Facial Cleanser


Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil vs. Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil – Is It a Dupe?

I’ve been a long fan of Cleansing Oils for washing my face. They are hydrating without being too much (even when my skin was oilier). They’re gentle yet effective, and they even remove makeup without much trouble. They really can be an all-in-one product. Plus there’s just something about the process of using a good cleansing oil that I really enjoy. I have tried a number throughout the years – from higher end to more budget friendly – and I’ve recently stumbled upon two very similar oils…but with dramatically different price tags! For the pricier option we have the Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil and on the more affordable end, we have the Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil. So, let’s go through the similarities and differences and see – do we have a budget-friendly dupe?!?

Non-Drying Vegan Cleansers (Accutane Skincare)

As most of you probably know, I recently started taking Accutane in a last ditch effort to help my acne situation. If you’re familiar with Accutane, you know that it is known for drying out pretty much everyone’s skin. Knowing this, I came to the party prepared! I wanted to be using only skincare items that were best suited for dry, sensitive skin even before starting the medicine. I have found that there are 4 cleansers that I’ve been rotating between and I actually really enjoy them all! Perhaps best of all my skin, though it is drier, has yet to become flaky or uncomfortable! So, in an effort to share what little knowledge I may possess, I thought I would share my finds with you!

Saying Bye Bye to Makeup! – IT Cosmetics New Cleansing Balm

I feel like I’ve reviewed a fair number of makeup removers on this blog because, love it or hate it, removing makeup comes with the territory when you choose to wear it. Finding a good makeup remover can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re a fan of anything waterproof. Now days there are so many options to choose from that figuring out what to try can be a bit daunting. I’ve always seemed to lean towards makeup cleansing oils and have rarely been disappointed. However, I recently ordered a set on QVC that included a cleansing balm and I finally decided to give it a go. So glad I did because I’m absolutely loving the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Balm!

A Twist on “Empties”: Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser

I’m not one for saving my trash. I have enough junk lying around that I don’t need a pile of literal garbage cluttering up my life. That would be one reason why I don’t do “empties” posts. It also takes me what seems like a lifetime to finish things, or I run out of every product I use at once! So instead of doing a collective “empties” post, I think what I will do is review a product after it’s finished to let you know what I thought of it months later…or even a year later. Since I literally just finished a bottle of the Sibu Beauty Seabuckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser and figured it’s about time to review it!

Starting with my skin type – it’s often pretty normal, but tends to get oily on my forehead as the day goes on. I occasionally get a bit of dryness and if I don’t use a good moisturizer it feels tight and dry. It is definitely acne-prone and congested, but getting so much better and, like most women, I am trying to defeat the aging process. JBasically, if there’s a skin issue, I have probably dealt with it. Moving on….

The Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser is labeled for “All Skin Types.” I definitely agree with that claim. It is a very gentle cleanser that is not at all stripping, drying, or irritating yet it still leaves the skin feeling soft and slightly conditioned. I guess I would consider it a gel cleanser, but it also contains very gentle “micro-particles” that gently exfoliate and really gets the skin clean. I do not feel like this would be irritating even on sensitive skins. It is considered a non-foaming cleanser, but it does have a subtle lather – not like soap lather, but there is a little something happening when you rub it in with water. It also claims to remove makeup, and it actually does a pretty good job, though I tend to use something else first. It just a beautifully cleanser that leaves the skin feeling clean, comfortable and balanced!

If you’re unfamiliar with Sibu Beauty, one of their trademarks is the use of the Seabuckthorn Berry. This particular berry can be taken internally as well as used topically. It is quite high in rare omega-7 fatty acids, which is a rare fatty acid that is helpful for collagen production and building healthy hair, skin and nails. Sea Buckthorn berries are also high in Omega 3, 6 and 9. Basically when used topically, it is an anti-aging powerhouse that nourishes the skin. Sibu Beauty uses Fair Trade wildcrafted sea buckthorn and all of their products are non-GMO, Vegan and of course, cruelty free. Yea! J

Obviously since I used the entire bottle, this is a product that I really like. I feel like my adult-onset acne began clearing up a bit once I started using this cleanser. It’s very gentle, yet effective and my skin feels nice and clean without feeling parched, tight or stripped. I haven’t found it even remotely irritating even when my skin has been terribly inflamed, raw and sore. I love that it comes in a pump and the bottle (which contains 4 ounces of product) lasted me a good while. I can’t speak to the improved collagen production or anti-aging aspects of sea buckthorn berry, but I do feel like this makes my skin healthy and happy so I love it and have already opened up a new bottle! If you’re in need of a new cleanser, no matter what your skin type or issue, I would definitely recommend giving the Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser a go!!!

Check out Sibu Beauty’s website here.

Best of 2012 – Skincare!!!

With a new year beginning, I wanted to look back and see what products I grabbed for again and again this past year. Let’s face it, that is the real test of a product – how often do you actually use it? JThese are not necessarily products that debuted in 2012, but those that seemed to stand out to me this year. The best of the best, if you will. So without further ado, here are my favorite products of 2012!

To keep this post from being ridiculously long, I am going to break it up. To begin with, I will cover my favorites for skincare, because without great skin, nothing else will look quite as good!

I tried a few facial cleansers this year, and regretted it every time I changed from my old stand-by: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. There’s nothing particularly spectacular about this face wash, but it is gentle and does what it’s supposed to – it cleans your face without drying it. Perhaps most importantly, this does not break me out or irritate my skin at all. It is not too expensive, it is available everywhere, and it lasts forever. I feel it would work for any skin type and every dermatologist I have ever spoken to has recommended this and only this. Cetaphil is made by a pharmaceutical company, so I’m sure the company tests on animals for various reasons, but I did email them and Cetaphil itself is NOT tested on animals.


I discovered a stand-out eye cream this year in Tarte’s C-Brighter Eye Cream. I have never gotten too excited over eye creams, but my eye area often gets dry and flaky, especially in the winter. Within a week of using this eye cream, my eyes were soft, hydrated and free from flakey patches. They have stayed perfectly moisturized ever since and I LOVE this eye cream.
If you’re looking for a great facial mask, I really love the Cupcake Fresh Face mask from Lush. It smells delicious! It’s a wonderful minty-chocolate concoction that helps absorb excess oil, while tightening and softening skin. Plus, you can walk around looking like you just dipped your face in the mud! J


For facial scrubs, I really like Lush’s Ocean Salt. It may be a bit harsh for some, but I love that it’s an unforgiving scrub! JIt has actual sea salt granules in it that not only help to physically scrub away dead skin, but it also helps to tighten pores – can you tell that I hate my pores? JIt smells delicious and my skin always feels really soft and smooth after using Ocean Salt.
A slightly milder scrub that still feels scrubby is the Be Fine Exfoliating Cleanser with Brown Sugar, Sweet Almond & Oats. This scrub has large sugar crystals to help eliminate dead skin, but they quickly dissolve and the remaining product turns into a wonderful creamy cleanser that feels silky on the skin. This also leaves my face feeling wonderfully soft and smooth. I tend to use this in the shower and the Ocean Salt at the sink – mainly because of the packaging for each. I feel like they yield similar results and I really like them both. The Ocean Salt may reduce the appearance of pores a bit more, while the Be Fine scrub is a bit more gentle. Depending on your skin type, one may be a better fit than the other.
My last skincare must is specific to my cystic acne-prone skin, but it has greatly changed the condition of my skin. I started getting bi-monthly microdermabrasion treatments, or for insurance purposes, acne surgery, this year. As far as I know it’s pretty much the same as having a microdermabrasion facial, but it’s done in my doctor’s office AND it’s covered by my insurance. They basically exfoliate my face with a sandpaper-like tool that also suctions away the dead skin as it is removed. After that, the aesthetician takes one of those little blackhead removing tools and unclogs any blocked pores. Gross, I know. The purpose is almost to damage your skin so that the cells turn over faster and, over time, the skin learns to heal quicker. At least that’s what I remember being told when they started these “treatments”. (For more precise information about this procedure, check out this article from Discovery Health.) My skin really does heal faster. Pimples are smaller, less frequent, and disappear quicker. Any discoloration clears up in less time than before and I think my pores are a tiny bit smaller. This is obviously not something most people need, but for anyone who has serious trouble with acne, and other prescription treatments are not remedying the problem, this might be a good thing to discuss with your dermatologist. (Just a disclaimer, I’m no expert when it comes to these things, I just know that I have noticed an improvement in my troubled skin since starting these treatments – please, please, please talk with your doctor if you feel something like this is appropriate for you.)
That does it for my skincare picks for 2012. Stay tuned for body, hair and makeup picks coming soon!

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