Saturday, 1 May 2010

# 126 Brushing Up

I had a fab sonic toothbrush, a really expensive one, and it needed a head change. Sadly, said head refused to be removed, even with huffing and puffing red-cheeked levels of exertion. So I handed over to Mr M and asked him to do the honours. At which point he snapped the head clean off, exposing all the scary wiring inside and consigning it to the dustbin forever after. And I've yet to replace it (I bought a cheaper sonicare equivalent from Makro instead)... but I still have fond memories of my smart sonic brush with its varying speeds & flashy lights & clever 'press too hard & I'll stop working' in-built monitor. Sigh.

Now, with my latest sonic gadget - the Clarisonic Face & Body Brush - it goes without saying that Mr M will be allowed nowhere near (despite picking up the package when it arrived & mocking the pseudo-science all over the box). I've wanted one for ages actually & shall be guarding it well and popping it back in its custom cradle every night to ensure it stays in tip-top condition. Well, it does cost a whopping £175.

So, I've been using it for the week. It's taken me a while to get the hang of it because I'm using it with my customary ESPA and Emma Hardie balm-style cleansers (applied to skin, emulsified with warm water, brushhead wet with warm water, brush applied to skin) and not the cleansers it comes with. The first night I did a single cleanse - removed eye make-up first and then buffed away with the brush until it timed out (it only lasts 60 seconds each time). I spent too long on cheeks, not long enough on chin & failed to heed the beeping signals (it's a bit like the GPS of cleansing). The second night I had another read of the manual and had more luck - and I also cleansed first with my balm, patted skin dry, and then massaged another layer of my cleansing balm into my skin, emulsifying it with hot water, and letting the damp brush come into contact with the complexion. The amount of colour that came away within the brushes bristles was sobering - despite that first cleanse I'd already carried out.

What was most noticeable was the heightened rosiness of my skin after I'd finished - and not an irritated flush, but a circulation-boosted glow. Skin also felt very very soft (and I've been using exfoliating muslin cloths with my cleansing balms for almost a decade), and product absorbed marginally better afterwards. The next morning a couple of little spots had come up on the chin - not troublesome ones, just pores which could be easily evacuated - as though deeper impurities were being drawn out by the Clarisonic. I'm now a full week in and it's all going smoothly. As with everything I trial I'll be giving this the full month & suspect it will become a regular part of my nighttime routine. Given that I normally spend 10 minutes cleansing (I don't feel like 'me' unless I've done the 'massage, steam & buff'), this is actually far speedier, so that's a nice perk to get in exchange for a more thorough cleanse. Thumbs up.

Also going through the MM motions this week are:

Dior's new Hydralife Pro Youth Sorbet Eye Cream. It is too heavily fragranced (I'm used to things that smell like god intended) and contains too many preservatives for comfort. Also, and this is probably not a surprise, while suffering my eczema flare-up a week ago, this stung on contact with the sore patches. On the plus side (and there is a plus side), it sinks into skin very very well & plumps out those fine lines in seconds; it's a good make-up base because it's utterly ungreasy, and because I had no choice but to use it for a full 3 weeks because I packed no other eye cream while away in Paris, I did notice that it helped with my customary dark circles too... not 'WOW' worthy, but worthy enough, or wary-with-benefits...

E45 Cream. Never let it be said that I won't swallow my wise-cracking words. Off to see doctor with the ol' eczema story. She takes a peek and prescribes a very mild steroid cream and a topical emollient. When she says E45 I roll my eyes and nod, politely, knowing it won't do any good at all. Then, whadya know. I used the steroid cream on day one only (I hate them, spent 10 years as a kid being covered in them, and now that I'm 7 months pregnant - and despite their 'absolute safety' - I just want to steer clear if I can possibly bear it), and then switch to lashings of E45 for the body patches - and can't believe it, but eczema has all but disappeared. This comes after 6 months of natural shea, vitamin E, coconut oil, chamomile cream... I cannot even list the number of homeopathic & natural remedies I've tried for fear that this blog will go into meltdown over excessive word-count. And in 3 days, the bog standard, cheap as chips E45 has all but banished the itchy patches. [Weleda Skin Food I learned, to my immense disappointment, was good at calming, but did not manage to clear entirely]. I'm in denial [surely it's the steroid cream more than the E45? Right?] - but my body's there to taunt me. But given that I'm entirely comfortably-skinned for the first time since getting preggers, I'll let it have its moment. Long may it continue.


Minzhi said...

everytime i read your blog i wish i were an beauty editor!!!! i dream that my drawers have lons of beauty freebies too! although i'm too lazy to use any of them..

BeautyGeek, Kishmat-Lola said...

omg i remember being covered in E45 and Acquas cream as a kid....its thick and yucky...bed defo does the job. I wish it smelt nice though...but i guess the point of it is not to have all the added perfume smells which can irritate! xx
ps love ur page