Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask

Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask Mask

My mother-in-law gave me this deluxe sample tube of Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask earlier this year and like most beauty products I get it went into the drawers of doom until I was recently rummaging through, looking for something to sooth the dry skin I’ve been suffering with.

Clarins say this mask provides intense comfort for dehydrated skin and will restore freshness and radiance within 5 to 10 minutes. Its key ingredients are hyaluronic acid to restore the skin's water reserves, katafray extract to reinforce the barrier effect of the outer layer of the skin, and extracts of rowan tree buds to boost the skin's radiance.

I applied a layer of the creamy white mask to my face and neck and left it to work for the full 10 minutes. It has a rather clinical smell to it, it reminds me of Savlon! Not unpleasant, just surprising. After 10 minutes I removed the excess mask with some toner-soaked cotton wool as the instructions suggest, then applied my usual moisturiser.

I can’t say that I have experienced any of the benefits that were promised, even with subsequent use, which is disappointing to say the least. It’s quite an expensive mask, normally costing £33.00 for a 75ml tube, so I did expect better especially from a brand like Clarins as their products are normally really good.

You can buy Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask from retailers such as John Lewis and Escentual as well as from Clarins directly.

Have you tried this mask? What did you think?



Sunday, 28 September 2014

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is one of those products that I kept reading about on various blogs, people seemed to absolute love it, and I every time I read about it I thought to myself, “I must try that.” And then would promptly forget. Earlier this year I actually remembered to treat myself to a tube, then promptly forgot I had bought it! Then earlier this month I discovered that I’m allergic to methylisothiazolinone so I went through my beauty drawers looking for something to sooth the sore, dry skin that was left after the last allergic reaction and spotted it.

As the name suggest, Origins Drink Up Intensive is applied at bedtime and works overnight to replenish moisture reserves and build a reservoir for the following day. The key ingredient, Japanese Seaweed, repairs the skin’s barriers to help prevent future dehydration. It sounded like exactly what my poor frazzled skin needed!

The directions suggest to massage onto clean skin then tissue of any excess. I have more of a ‘waste not, want not’ attitude so I applied just enough. A blob about the size of a large pea was plenty. It’s not thick or gloopy like a normal face mask, it feels more like a very rich, intense moisturiser, yet lightweight at the same time. It has a gorgeous, fruity scent which makes me go “mmm”.

In all honesty, I didn’t expect to see results from the first use, especially as my skin was so dried out. I expected maybe a little less redness, maybe a little less dryness. I thought it would take a few uses to see real improvement. So you can imagine my delight when I woke the next morning to a smoother, more supple, glowing and happy looking face. Not totally back to normal, but vastly improved. I used it again a couple of days later and once again the results the next morning were amazing. I now understand why every blogger raves about it!

My skin is now back to its normal happy self but I will continue to use this mask weekly, or maybe fortnightly, depending on my skin’s needs. It’s so good to just be able to stick some on at night and wake up to gorgeous soft skin. A 100ml tube costs £23.00 which is insanely good value for money as you only need a small amount each time. You can buy it from Origins website here or you can pick it up in places like John Lewis and House of Fraser.



Tuesday, 23 September 2014


That’s a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it? Methylisothiazolinone (MI), apart from being a word that I cannot pronounce, is a powerful biocide and preservative that stops products going off, so extending their shelf life. It’s used in toiletries, make-up, baby products and paint. Yes, paint… So it must be pretty strong stuff!

You might be wondering why I’m writing about MI. Well, a few times I have mentioned that my skin has been having some very nasty reactions to beauty products. I would put a product on my face and within minutes my skin would be red, swollen and itchy. It would take about a week to ten days for it to calm down each time, leaving me with a very sad, sore, dry and angry-looking face.

I had put it down to my skin simply being more sensitive during pregnancy. But then I thought, why is my skin only reacting to certain products and not others, why is it so random? And in the midst of this pregnancy fog it occurred to me that maybe it was a specific ingredient that was causing the problem. So, like the geek I am, I wrote out the ingredients list of the three products that had caused the reaction so far (Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask, Ginvera BB Creme and Clarins Cleansing Milk) and compared them to see if they had same ingredients.

Lo and behold, all three products had two ingredients in common. Glycerin was the first, but I knew that was unlikely to be causing such a problem. MI was the other ingredient, so I chucked it into Google and was astounded to discover that it is second only to nickel in causing contact allergies. Yet it’s on the ingredients list of so many products, big name products too, and is in a lot of baby products. Those of you with little ones might remember there being a bit of a fuss in the media last year about baby wipes causing painful rashes – MI is the ingredient they were talking about. It seems that I have developed an allergy to it.

I’m now having to thoroughly check all of my products to see if MI is on the ingredients list and have had to get rid of loads, including my beloved Aussie shampoo and conditioner. My partner thinks it’s great, he has inherited lots of wonderful skincare goodies that I now can’t use!

So there you go, it turns out that my skin isn’t just suffering from pregnancy-related sensitivity. It’s something specific. Perhaps if you too find yourself having random reactions to make-up or beauty products check the ingredients list and see if it contains methylisothiazolinone.



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