Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, Rose and Lavender

Cult Liz Earle product, Cleanse and Polish – has got a new limited edition sister! Rose and Lavender is the new, special edition version of the hot cloth cleanser, with £2 of each sale going straight to The Princes Trust.

It is the same idea as the standard Cleanse & Polish – which you can read my reviews of here – but with added rose petal oil and lavender essential oil to help add to the overall calming properties – not only to the skin, but to your mind – it’s great to use before you got to bed for that very reason!

I’ve been using it for the past few weeks with a muslin cloth and find it very soothing for my problematic skin. I am safe in the knowledge that this removes all traces of make up and daily grime. There are only a few cleansers I feel safe with on my messed up face, and this is definitely on the safe list! My Mum, who is in her fifties is also a big fan – as well as my teenage sister. If you want a soothing cleanser which leaves your skin clean without being tight – try this, you’ll love it!

The limited edition cleanser is available for £19.75 for 150ml at John Lewis, Liz Earle and QVC while stocks last.

Murad – Celebrate You! ‘Embrace Balance’ Skincare

Last month Murad released their Christmas Kits – bargainous sets of skincare with big savings. I was sent the Embrace Balance box to try out.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am quite particular about what I try on my face as it’s very prone to spots, but after reading all the bumpf I was happy to give this a go. The back of the box filled me with hope with this statement ‘Clear pores and embrace beautiful, radiant skin. Three simple steps balance oily and dry zones while removing dull, dry cells for skin that is smooth and shine free.’ It sounded ideal for my skin – dry patches, oily patches and spotty patches (mmmmm).

The kit contains 50mls Pomegranate Cleanser, 60mls T Zone Pore Refining Gel (which is actually bigger than the full size 50mls worth £50!), 30mls Pomegranate Moisturiser SPF 15, and 2 Pomegranate Exfoliating Masks. I love the size of the bottles – they are perfect for putting in a wash-bag while traveling, or staying over at a friends house without having to scrimp on skincare during your stay. You’d think that they wouldn’t last very long being these sizes, but I have been using these products religiously for around 4 weeks and they are all still at least half full.

The cleanser comes in a pump-bottle which dispenses it as foam. One or two pumps is enough to cleanse your entire face. I have been applying it to my face using my Clarisonic Mia. It has a light fruity, refreshing fragrance. It feels very light, and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. At night I have been using a Simple facewipe to take off the bulk of my make up, then using the cleanser to remove all the rest of the grime and excess make up from my face. As I am using Retin-A I seem to need a bit of extra exfoliation for the dry patches, so I remove the cleanser using an Emma Hardie muslin and microfibre cloth.

The tip I have for the toner is not to use too much – a little goes a long way – half a pump is perfect for my face. It’s a thin, runny, liquid, and on contact with my face feels a bit tingly. Not in an uncomfortable way – but like it’s doing some work! It says that it ‘balances oily and dry zones while gently exfoliating to remove dull, dry skin cells’ which for me is key! The toner takes a few minutes to sink in as it’s quite wet. Once it’s dry I apply a thin layer of Retin-A to my face (obviously this is just an additional step as this is what my GP has prescribed to me!)

The moisturiser is gorrrrrgeous. It’s oil free yet very moisturising. It’s lightweight and is like an instant blanket of comfort over your face once you massage it in. It totally restores my face to a natural balance and doesn’t leave me looking shiny, or feeling greasy.

I wouldn’t say my skin is any better or worse since I have been using this range, but this in itself is a massive achievement. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that my skin will never be perfect, so the fact that these products could maintain the condition of my skin is fabulous!

If you’re interested in this kit, it’s only £39.50 from www.murad.co.uk and is actually worth £78. If you’re looking to try a new regime, I would recommend Embrace Balance highly!

How I Got Clearer Skin

I have suffered with bad skin for most of my life. My GP put me on Dianette contraceptive pill at the age of 14, to help my skin, and a big bottle of the stuff surgeons use to ‘scrub up’ before an op, to use as face wash. I couldn’t cope with the orange liquid, but the pill was easy enough to take, and within a couple of years I had clear skin.

I came off the pill to have my children and it has never gone back to how it was… I ended up with teenage skin. I tried the pill, but it didn’t have any effect on my skin. My doctor suggested I switched contraception as I had been using Dianette for so long, and seeing as it wasn’t helping my skin there was no advantage to using it. The new contraceptive had acne as a known side effect. Great!

Luckily I had just been contacted by a very lovely lady at Azani Medical Spa asking if I would like to try one of their products. We entered into an email conversation – the more I told her about my skin the more it became evident there was no point in me using this one product without the others as it would probably do nothing for me. She gave me a free email consultation (which is available to everyone via their site) and I sent some photos of my bare skin.

Dr Monica Gavin recommended a series of products to me and told me that I’d need to use them in conjunction with each other. I have to admit it did cross my mind that this was a scam, to get me to spend lots of money at their store! I couldn’t find much on Google about their products, but in the end I decided to take the chance, and I think it was one of the best decisions I could have made!

I have used the products for roughly 2 months, which is how long it took me to use up one bottle of each of the products. You’ll have to excuse the battered packaging; it’s been well used!

The products I was recommended and used, were:

Salicylic Face & Body Wash (180ml / $28.50) – I used a gentle face wipe (i.e. Simple) to remove my make up before using this. It works like any other cleanser – massage it over your face and rinse off with cool water. It contains 2% Salicylic Acid which calms skin irritations, improves the look of fine lines and is effective for clearing acne and dry skin conditions. It felt gentle on the skin and didn’t smell of much. I now use the Emma Hardie muslin cloth to remove this to help buff away my flaky skin (more on that later!)

AHA Clarifier (50ml / $30) – This contains 12% Glycolic Acid and botanicals to adbsorb excess oils, clear skin and improve the appearance of pores on oily skin. It recommends applying with a cotton pad but I felt I wasn’t getting enough of the product on my skin so I used my fingers. There’s a warning on the bottle that your skin might find this hard to tolerate, in which case to rinse it off for the first couple of weeks, but my skin was fine.

Oil Free Moisturizer (50ml / $45) – This is a fab moisturiser that leaves my skin feeling hydrated without it being oily. It feels very light and make up goes on well over it.

Pumpkin Clarifying Mask (50ml / $37.50) – This mask is meant to be used a few times a week (I alternated it with the other mask). It is supposed to help loosen blackheads and whiteheads, leave your skin super-clean and looking smoother and clearer. It smells slightly of cinnamon, and goes see through as it dries. You rinse it off after 5 to 20 minutes, and your skin really does feel smooth afterwards.

Antioxidant Soothing Mask (50ml / $37.50) – This mask reduces redness and inflammation, heals blemishes and absorbs excess oil. It contains clay, Alpha Lipoic Acid, 105 Sulphur, and Grapefruit extract. It has a slightly powdering smell but nothing unbearable. It dries white on the skin and after 20 minutes it feels rather tight, but my skin felt great once I rinsed it off. I always made sure I applied an extra pump of moisturiser after using this!

Dr Gavin had also recommended that I visit my GP to ask for some things only available on prescription – antibiotics and topical retinoids. By the time I got to see my doctor I’d been using these products for about 4 weeks – my skin had improved so much that I was refused the antibiotics. I had to plead to be given Retin-A gel, which I got given in the lowest dosage of 0.025%.

This is a very powerful product which must be used very carefully! You need literally a pea sized amount to cover your face, but be warned, it is very drying! Before I started using it I did a bit of online research and saw a lot of people saying that their skin got a lot worse before it got better, but telling everyone to stick with it because the end results will be worth it.

Luckily I didn’t suffer any of those results but my skin has gone very flaky around my nose and chin. In my next order from Azani I will buy their Micro-Buff Creme ($52.50) to help get rid of those patches. In the long run I’d rather have the flakes than the spots, so I’m bearing with it!

Using these products has improved my skin so much, that I recommend anyone with problem skin to get a free consultation from Azani Medical Spa. Although I have a bit of scarring still, I know that will fade in time. It’s so lovely to wake up and not have a new spot to have to deal with every day! I do still get the occasional spot, but it’s so much smaller and is gone so much quicker. I wish I had known about these products years ago!

I had had a few requests on YouTube for a skincare video, so have also recorded a video about these products. If you’d like to watch it, click play below!



 Azani Medical Spa can be found at http://www.azanimedicalspa.com/home.htm

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this!

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

Firstly, an apology – I haven’t been around as much as usual, or as much as I’d like, due to a number of reasons – it’s been my birthday (I got those Chanel Sunnies from my September Wishlist!, and a voucher for a brazillian blowdry – yay), I’ve had loads of work on, been trying to get my life on track, and my skin has been awful.

I’m sure the Cleanse & Polish has nothing to do with my bad skin – there are a number of factors which could be causing it – where I have moved house and have been without a doctor, I haven’t taken my Dianette for a couple of months because I haven’t had it – perhaps I rely on this more heavily than I realised – needless to say I have now registered with a doctor and have it on repeat prescription once again. I have also changed my skincare routine – my skin has been so oily recently that I’ve skipped out my morning moisturise and instead just use Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Primer. There’s a number of new products I’ve been using over the last week or so too – the Primer – although I have used the non-oil free one in the past without problems, and Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Concealer & Foundation (which I’m still not 100% about, by the way).

Cleanse & Polish has become a bit of a cult product – so many people I know use it, and the system has been one that’s always been of interest to me – I get dry patches on my face so I like the idea of daily exfoliation with the muslin cloth. I bought the 100ml bottle which comes with two muslin cloths in a wash-bag from John Lewis for £13. I got it at the beginning of September but wanted to have used it for a few weeks before I wrote up on it, so I could give an honest opinion.

The cleanser comes in a long tall bottle with a pump application – it’s slightly annoying that you can’t see how much product you have left as it seems to feel weightless – I’m 3.5 weeks in and have no idea how much remains! It’s a thick creamy consistency which feels really lovely to put on the skin. The bottle recommends using one to two pumps – I use one in the morning and two in the evening as I need it to remove my make up, and boy, does it remove make up! As I said above, I’m currently using Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation which is notorious for needing a double-cleanse – this gets rid of it all – every single trace of make up from foundation to mascara is gone and it’s so simple too!

You massage the cleanser on to your face and neck, then rinse one of the muslins in hot water, then use it to wipe all the cleanser off your face. Have you ever had the urge to put the hot-cloth on your face that they give you at the end of an Indian meal? I can’t say I have, but I know there are people that do it! Well now you can do it every day, and it feels gooooood. The heat from the cloth opens your pores, the muslin exfoliates your skin as you wipe, and then you splash your face with cold water closing your pores. You are only supposed to use the muslins 2-3 times to stop the spread of bacteria – this is great if you do a lot of white washing (which no doubt as my son has just started school I now will!) but if not you can buy more muslins from Liz Earle, or you can just do as I did and get busy with the scizzie and cut up one of my daughters big muslins which can be found anywhere from Asda to Mothercare.Once you pat your skin dry, you’re done.

I love that one product seems to do so much – I would have thought that something that can do so much and remove so much make up so well would make my skin dry and tight, but it doesn’t. Although it doesn’t seem to be helping with the breakouts (which again, I’d like to say I’m sure isn’t related to this), I am confident in the fact that this is making my skin totally clean at the end of every night. One of the main ingredients is chamomile, which feels really calming to the skin, and the richness of the cleanser is moisturising. I love it – it’s now on my Holy Grail list and after using such a great product I’d be really interested in finding out more about other Liz Earle skincare products.

Update – this lasts me around 4 weeks