Summer 2012 Favourites: Skincare

Wednesday, 8 August 2012
Following on from my Summer 2012 Makeup Favourites post earlier this week, I'm now going to introduce my current favourite skincare products.

Skincare Favourites Summer 2012

1) REN Clarifying Clay Cleanser

REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser

REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser

REN is a brand that I only became aware of in the last few months, after reading a few reviews of their masks on a couple of beauty blogs.  I took a look at their website and, since my skin has been playing up in the last few months, decided to purchase a starter kit for blemish prone skin.  The kit was £19.00 and contained mini bottles of the Anti-Blemish Clay Cleanser, Anti-Blemish Day Fluid, Anti-Blemish Treatment Mask, and Replenishing Night Serum.  Also, as I bought the kit through the official REN website I also got 10% off (as it was my first order) and 2 samples of my choosing - I love when companies offer little extras like this!

The main standout for me in this kit was the clay cleanser - the mini bottle lasted me nearly 2 weeks (and that was with me using it twice a day!) and I could totally see a difference in my skin from using it.  My red spotty cheeks looked much calmer and the overall look of my skin was much improved.  The only slightly negative point I could think of was that is doesn't have the nicest smell - but that's because they don't use any synthetic fragrance or other skin-unfriendly additives, so you can't really complain!

I was so impressed that I decided to buy the fullsize bottle and with superb timing on the day I planned to buy it I got an email from REN introducing their latest offer of free delivery and 4 free samples (instead of the usual 2) amazing!  So I ended up buying the Clay Cleanser plus their new toner (next up in my list) and got 2 masks, a gel cleanser and an SPF as my samples.

I'm now about halfway through the fullsize bottle, and I can't praise it enough!  My skin is looking the best it has in months - my pores are reduced, the redness on my cheeks has calmed down a lot, I've got fewer spots, and my skin just looks smoother and fresher in general - so happy!

2) REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

This was one of the free sample bottles I picked up when I bought the Clay Cleanser - I've only used it twice so far but I've been amazed by the results each time.  This is a bio-active peel mask (sounds a bit scary!) and claims to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and dramatically improve skin tone.  It smells lovely and fruity and tingles slightly when it's on the skin (so you know it's working).  I was a bit unsure about it at first as it said on the website that it isn't recommended for sensitive skin, and my skin can sometimes be a bit sensitive, but it certainly hasn't had any negative effect on me at all.  When I've used this I've seen an immediate difference in my skin after washing it off and drying my face - it just looks so much smoother and feels unbelievably soft.  I'll definitely be buying a full size bottle of this shortly as I think I'm only going to get one more application out of the mini bottle.

3)  REN Clarifying Toning Lotion

REN Clarifying Toning Lotion

The third and final REN product on my list this month - what can I say, I'm in love!  The Clarifying Toner is a fairly new product in the REN range and I thought I'd give it a try when I was buying the clay cleanser as my bottle of No7 Gentle Toner was nearly finished.   Interestingly this claims to be an exfoliating toner that unclogs pores and removes dead skin leaving a clear and smooth complexion - I don't know about you but I've never heard of a toner being exfoliating, so I was excited to try this out.  I'm about halfway through the bottle now and I'm pretty impressed so far - I'm not sure how much it's contributed to my improved skin tone since I've been using so many different new products at once (i.e. the clay cleanser, plus various masks each week) but like I've said above I've definitely seen an improvement in my skin.  I like that this dries really quickly too as it means I don't have to wait long before using moisturiser.  Also it feels really gentle on my skin, despite the fact that it's an exfoliater so you'd maybe expect it to be a bit harsher than normal toners.  Another one that I'll probably repurchase once it's finished!

4) Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover

Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remove

I think this is the best eye makeup remover that I've ever used - I never need more than 1 cotton pad to remove makeup from both eyes, and it even works on waterproof mascara.  It also doesn't irritate my eyes at all and feels pretty gentle on my skin.  The only slightly negative point would be that it's quite oily so can leave the skin around my eyes feeling a little bit greasy, but since I always wash my face after removing my makeup I'm not really that bothered.

5) Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel

Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel

Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel

I've written a full review of this here so I won't go on too much, but this is basically my favourite moisturiser at the moment.  It feels really light on my skin so doesn't leave a tacky or greasy residue behind, also it leaves my skin lovely and soft and radiant looking.  I never really used to bother with moisturiser but I've been using this morning and night for about a month now - so that shows how much I like it!

What are your go-to skincare products?  Are there any products you recommend I try out?

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