Exfoliating my skin wasn’t something I thought I needed in my routine until very recently. The idea of “exfoliation”, “toning” etc are all relatively new to me, so is of course the concept of “exfoliating toners” and “exfoliating masks”. Needless to say, I didn’t have any clue about their importance in my routine or even “How-To” till I stumbled upon a few beauty blogs. Things have changed lately though, and I am more aware of its significance, and also own a few products which, I think, are taking care of it.
I have spoken about my morning and evening skin care routines here and here, and while they are pretty simple and straightforward, I do take a slight de-tour on some days (or nights) and treat my skin to a special concoction. My choice of exfoliator until recently has been the gentle and yet effective, Clarins One Step Orange Extracts Cleanser, which was doing the job pretty well. When it got over early last month, I was ready to try something new, as per usual, and excitedly ordered the REN Micro Polish Cleanser £20. We’ll talk about this in just a moment!
I have already professed my love for the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask here, but I have been reserving it for when my skin is in a really bad shape, and have instead been employing a different one for my weekly needs. REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask was the first face mask (second to Lush’s Mask of Magnanimity which I loved!), I splurged on nearly a year ago. It set me back a good $44 (On Sale) and I had sky high expectations from this stuff. With images of a flawless, bright complexion clouding my mind its an understatement to say that I was let down. It was duly shelved and I moved on.
Coming back to the cleanser, it was something that I had used before through a deluxe sample and had liked a lot. When it arrived recently, the orange and white packaging reminded me of the REN mask which had been eating dust at a corner silently. I dug it out and realized that both the cleanser and the mask were part of the Radiance Range and it just occurred to me to use them together and see if it worked. And I was right.
This has been nothing short of a revelation to me. I had never before realized, what a huge difference exfoliating the skin before applying a face mask, could make! I believe applying an extensively potent concoction like a face mask on an un-exfoliated skin is akin to applying ointment on a wound covered with band-aid! (Well not exactly but something on those lines, you get the point?) I have gone through several masks (cheap ones mostly) and been disappointed probably, only because I wasn’t using them correctly!
So to use these two REN products, I first remove all my makeup, exfoliate with the Micro Polish and right after apply the mask in a thin layer all over and let it sit for a good 20 minutes as opposed to the 10 which is recommended (typical! but I think I am going to stick to the ten minutes deadline now)
The Micro Polish Cleanser is creamy with exfoliating beads which are not abrasive yet thoroughly exfoliating. The Mask is like fruit jam with a mild fruity scent, thick and sticky in texture but not in a bad way, just in a lovely orange marmalade way 🙂 . I apply it with my fingers all over and let it sit. The mask tingles very slightly in the first 2 minutes of applying and then settles down. It never completely dries down, but does thicken up slightly on the skin. I use a hot damp muslin cloth and remove the mask and rinse my face with cold water.
My skin feels nourished, cleansed, and actually glowy! Although the mask is not recommended for sensitive skin, I have not had an issue with this when used in moderation.
Note : Neither the Mask nor the exfoliator are going to do anything to the pores, like shrink them or make them disappear, they just thoroughly cleanse the skin, and make it supple without drying and add the glow back by (probably) removing every last bit of oil and grime! I am no expert but you get the idea!
I try to remind myself to exfoliate twice a week and to apply this mask on one of those times. This has been serving me well and provides enough detoxing without going overboard. I usually top up a hydrating mask like the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask to complete the routine, review here.
You can buy both of these at CultBeauty or from REN’s website based on your country of residence. It is also available on Sephora US website and Beauty.com.
Have you tried either of these products? What are your favorite Exfoliator + Mask? Let me know! 🙂
Thanks so much for reading!