Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser

Aesop is fast becoming one of my favourite brands, so when my boyfriend presented me with their Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser on my birthday, I was so excited to try it! This is a cleanser unlike anything I’ve used before, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

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The idea behind Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser is that it helps to keep your skin immaculately clean in polluted environments. Something I recently learned is that microscopic pollution particles stick to your skin like you wouldn’t believe – even after cleansing. Unless you have a layer on your skin protecting you during the day (obviously many of us wear foundation, but this is a flaky layer which doesn’t actually stick to the skin consistently) then you will end up with this sticky pollution layer which is slowly absorbed by your skin, and is almost impossible to get off with conventional cleansing. Because of the way Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser works, it is uniquely able to combat this problem….

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What looks like a pretty normal gel cleanser is actually an acid exfoliator as well. With lactic acid in the formula, it very gently eats away at the upper parts of the stratum corneum (layers of dead skin) – not just to leave your face smooth, soft and radiant, but also to completely remove that pollution! To use this cleanser, you gently dampen your face, then gently apply it all over, without massaging. Then, leave it on for a couple of minutes (they say moments but uhhhh, it’s £27 per 100ml, you leave that stuff on your face for 2-3 minutes baby). After that, you wet your hands and massage it into a lather, then rinse it off. My favourite way to use it is just before a shower, because I can wipe the excess gel onto my neck and chest without worrying that I’ll create a huge mess when I wash it off.

I was really expecting my skin to be at least a little bit red, flaky or irritated after using this, but it’s been completely calm. This is an incredibly gentle cleanser, and the exfoliating effect is just absolutely perfect! My skin is left feather-soft just after leaving it on for a couple of minutes. It’s been radiant and bright, and much softer than it usually would in winter.

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Along with the lactic acid, this cleanser contains a mixture of antioxidants – parsley seed extract, liquorice root and blackcurrant seed oil to help the skin to process the free-radicals it has already absorbed. There’s also soothing, anti-bacterial lavender, and two types of chamomile to calm the skin. The cleansing base is SLES, the more skin-friendly version of SLS, along with olive oil cleansing compounds. This means that it effectively washes away dirt, without upsetting the balance of the skin. The bottle has an open mouth, which I expected to make it difficult to dispense the right amount, but the gel is very thick so you have good control over it. The scent it a light herbal/floral concoction that is absolutely wonderful – soothing and refreshing all at once.

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser is absolutely perfect for people in their 20s and 30s, looking to prevent ageing but also to give the skin what it needs right now – oil balancing, soothing, radiance and redness prevention. Yes, it’s a bit expensive for a cleanser, but you only need to use it in the evening, and you can use it 3-4 times a week to make it go even further. I’m confident that it will make a huge difference to my skin in the long run, as it’s made such an amazing difference already. Get the 100ml bottle from Beauty Expert, or the 200ml from Cult Beauty.

 

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Super Facialist by Úna Brennan – Rose Hydrate Brighten & Refine Facial Scrub

Well after that fairly heavy post yesterday I thought I’d share something a bit more lighthearted today. Una Brennan is a professional facialist and skincare expert, but whether or not the products are actually developed by her its not clear. Now, ok, I’m going to get negative here but believe me, it’ll end with a massive positive…

Super Facialist is a trademark of Brand Architeks Ltd, a brand-building company that produce Good Things and Dirty Works skincare too. As soon as I found this out I was immediately put off because I think brands like that are 90% marketing 10% product quality. I generally try to buy from brands that make and love their products, where the person who developed them works alongside the person that markets them, where the person that puts it in the bottle is employed by the same company that employes the IT guy, and so on. Well, even if Super Facialist isn’t like that, there really was no need to doubt the quality. Because this Rose Hydrate Brighten & Refine Scrub is amazing. 

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I spoke a while back about wanting to avoid scrubs, because I felt like they were too harsh and stuff. Ones with apricot kernel fragments I still wouldn’t touch with a bargepole because I remember them from my teens, and hello that’s not microdermabrasion, that’s just plain old abrasion. Yuck. But I did realise, after a week of unbelievably dry skin, that I would need more than just a Konjac Sponge to slough it all off. I spent about half an hour in Boots looking at all the different scrubs before finding this one.

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The packaging promised to do exactly what I wanted, all while being suitable for sensitive skin! Perfect. It contains menthol, which gives it this gorgeously refreshing, tingly feeling, and I haven’t had any irritation from it at all. My skin has improved in softness SO MUCH. This was what I started using when I gave up cheese, and couldn’t believe how soft my skin had become. I’m incredibly happy with it. Rosewater, mallow, willow bark and geranium, together with the menthol, are an incredible herbal cocktail for improving the skin. Then cocoa and shea butter help to moisturise, while several natural waxes and tiny flakes of pumice provide the exfoliation.

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You can see how tiny the exfoliating particles are in that photo (the black bits are the pumice). I like to warm my face with water first, before squeezing out just over half an inch (its really thick so comes out in a line). When I massage it in, I do it really slowly and gently, first spreading it over my whole face and then focussing on each specific part, rubbing in small circles. I think this reduces the abrasiveness, whilst retaining all the exfoliating qualities. It also gives the plant extracts a chance to get to work and provide effective care, and lets the moisturisers really skin in and nourish the skin. When my face is nice and tingly, I rinse it off gently with lukewarm water and follow with my Rosehip Oil and an eye cream. My skin is so much smoother, clearer and brighter since I started using this – plus its really affordable, and easily available from Boots too!