Today I bring you guidance on how to make your face so squeaky clean that window cleaners will happen upon you and remark “damn, that is one clean face.”
Oh I jest! This post, in truth, is all about my favourite skin care range, Dermalogica, and the current member of its family I am lavishing attention on. As ever, I advise you to skim through my beauty basics before burying your head in any recommended products, and you should do so at your own risk.
My journey with Dermalogica began seven years ago…
If you aren’t currently imagining wavy lines and harp music, you’re dead inside.
My skin and I have had a good relationship over the years, thanks to my mother. Mother dear looked exceptionally lovely right up to her dying day (on which she let herself go a bit, what with all the death). Her secret was simple to cleanse and moisturise twice a day, every day, and she got me and my sister started the moment we started messing with make-up.
The conversation went something like this: “Start using moisturiser now, and you will thank me later. I started later than I should have, and now I have lines.”
Me: “No you don’t, where?”
“Will you shut up, are you blind?”
“But you don’t!”
“I DO! Of course I do, for fuck’s sake.”
“Jesus, alright, you DO.”
“WHAT?!! You bitch.”
I never had a chance.
Luckily, mother passed on more than advice; she passed on her genes (and her capacity for gin), which meant sis and I were blessed with relatively problem free visages throughout our formative years.*
But my skin suffered a crisis in my mid 20s. A combination of a faddy diets and stress ahead of my ill-fated wedding furnished my face with sudden brutal breakouts for several months. I tried many inferior products to treat it – soap bars, scrubs, masque of varying expense. At the end of my desperation, I found a salon in offering facials with a so-called ‘face mapping’ service that promised to address skin problems.
And so, my affair with Dermalogica began.
The beautician took one look at my skin and asked me to list all the products I was using. Face wash, facial scrub, face masks, cleanser, toner, spot treatment, moisturiser, radiance gels, essential oils…… I trailed off. I had a very nice collection of products from various brands that were, together, messing up my skin. I was treating stress-related spots with harsh astringent and clogging them thick creams designed for older dry skin. Plus, most of the products contained lanolin, which I then learned was a big no-no for my delicate visage.
The therapist (a lovely girl whose name I can’t remember for I am terrible) scrutinised my skin under a massive magnifying glass, squeezing black heads as she went (yep – satisfying), and made her assessment before applying a suitable facial. Up to that point, I was certain I had oily to normal skin. Balls, did I! I actually had sensitive skin with dry patches on my forehead (I was so worried about treating my blemished chin, I had forgotten to do anything to my forehead). I walked out of the salon with their Ultra Calming cleanser, Active Moist moisturiser, Multi Active mist toner (once a day would be enough), Gentle Cream Exfoliant (a non-abrasive masque) and instructions to chuck everything else out.
After a week of using Dermalogica, my skin looked better than it had in years and the bad breakouts never returned, so I have never looked back. I have yet to find a Dermalogica product that fails, as it puts skin care first, beauty second, and packaging, hype etc last. It is not cheap (just request their products as birthday or Xmas gifts), but they last and last. If my skin is ever in need of a boost, I will go on a Dermalogica only ‘diet’ and it puts my pesky epidermis firmly in its place.
You can try the quick online face mapping service at Dermalogica’s website, but anyone with troublesome skin would do well to go for the full salon experience.
If you have sensitive skin, invest in it, and thank me by way of cake.
I was a late comer to this particular party, but I’m glad I made it in the end. I snapped this up at Evolution Skin Studios.
The precleanse is the first step of D’s recommended double cleansing routine, and it is a bizarre concoction at first glance.
Firstly, it is an oil. No foam or cream, but a combination of olive, apricot and kukui nut oils that promise to cut through waterproof make-up, sunscreens and any other debris. Using DRY hands, massage a few drops directly onto your face – eyes and all (it will not irritate). You don’t need water at this stage, as just a little bit of oil literally melts away make up and grime, including that caked-on mascara. By the time you’ve finished this first stage, you look like a bleak panda.
Then, dampen your hands and continue to massage your face. The water to transforms the oil into a milky emulsion that ‘lifts the debris from the skin’s surface’. Rinse off, and pow – squeaky clean skin. For best results, follow with your chosen cleanser, which will penetrate the skin even further.
After a few weeks of use, I can attest that it is an exceptionally good cleanser. It removes every scrap of eye make-up, and it leaves skin very soft and pampered. At first, I had a couple of tiny blemishes on my chin (my hot spot for breakouts), but once my skin settled into the regime, they vanished. Used alongside their Essential Cleansing Solution (I got a little sample bottle for free, which lasts a surprisingly long time), it give great results.
At £31.50 in store, it’s not cheap. It’s not cheap at all. It’s almost crazy. BUT, it will last a long, long, long time. A few drops are all that are needed, and the quality is high. And your cleanser will also last longer as you need less of that too.
I have also just learned that precleanse is now also available in handy travel wipes at a more reasonable £14.60. I’ve not tried them, but I doubt they will go wrong
You will come to love this product on those nights or morning when you skin is sagging under the sheer weight of make-up, pollution, booze and shame, and you want a quick way to destroy the evidence without having to flay your face.
Canterbury stockists and salons include:
Surprise Budget Buy Of The Day
Sure Women Maximum Protection Deodorant
I currently cannot live with this – a long lasting cream deodorant that promises 48 hours protection. And it delivers. Bone dry, I tell you. Currently £5.30 at Boots
*Fun horrifying fact about me – I DID have acne as a teenager, but on not my face or back or my chest. It was on my armpits. Great waves of red and white spots covered my underarms for many years. Easy to hide from the public, murder in the summer when you wanted to wear a vest top. It has since vanished. I tell you this so that you might know that I, like you, am human. Sometimes.