After all the attention lavished on my lulu last week, it's time to turn the spotlight on more publically visible areas this week, starting with my face. As has been oft mentioned, I have oilier-than-thou skin which is prone to blemishes and blocked pores, and I spend my life being essentially frightened of moisturiser for fear of it breaking me out or leaving me with skin so greasy an ant could waterski across my cheeks.
As such, I have always stuck to skincare (specifically moisturisers) targeted for oily and problem skin. Anything that promises to mattify, I'll buy it. For the most part I'd reached a happy place with my skincare towards the end of last year, but I'd started to feel like my skin didn't actually look that bright or 'glowy', oh the irony. My spots were under control and my pores weren't particularly bad - thanks to sustained use of Liquid Gold for most of last year - and the texture was fine, I just felt like it was missing that certain 'je ne sais quoi' that made me look healthy. Enter Murad and their Energizing range of products to offer hydration, vitality and a healthy dose of antioxidants to the mix.
When I received this kit to try, I was initally nervous. This is the Energizing range for combination skin, something I would normally avoid like the plague on the shelf. However, since we've been experiencing pretty cold (for us English wimps) weather recently, my skin has gone from oily to moderately oily so I thought I'd give this a whirl. The set (currently on offer) contains mini sizes of a cleanser, pore refining gel, a moisturiser with SPF 15 and two sachets of an exfoliating mask, all pomegranate scented. In the interests of fair research, I've used these products exclusively for my daytime skincare routine for the last four weeks.
First up, the Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser. It's a foaming cleanser so if you're principally against that, then you might not like this, however I really do. I've been using it in the shower in the morning and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean, but not stripped. It's got a lightly fruity fragrance but nothing that lingers on the skin or is offputting. It's not suitable for removing make up (I've tried) so this is best, I think, in the mornings. As you can see I've not got much left; I use two pumps each time, and like I said I've been using this for four weeks now, so I think that's not a bad amount for a mini sized product.
Step 2 is the T-Zone Pore Refining Gel. I was happy to see this in the kit; I'm a big fan of gels, especially ones that claim to help minimise my crater-like pores. For the last year I've been using The Doctor Brand gel, which I really like, so I was interested to see how this compares. First of all, the bottle is going to last me forever. Literally. The gel is quite thin and runny and goes a long way; I only need half a pump of this for my face. I apply it and leave it for a minute or so* to absorb before applying the moisturiser. This hasn't disrupted my skin at all, and I like feeling like I'm applying a pore-refining product pre-moisturiser as I feel like it assists in minimising any extra oiliness or potential blocked pores. I also like that this doesn't sting my skin or feel cold at all, which sometimes The Doctor Brand one can do, particularly in the winter.
Finally, the Energizing Pomegranate Moisturizer with SPF 15. Again, I think this is going to last ages. I use a pea-sized amount and it's perfectly adequate for my entire face and a little bit for my neck as well. It's light without being runny, moisturising without being greasy and hydrating without being oil-inducing. I'm so impressed with it; my make up applies really well over it (it sinks in quickly) and I've experienced no breakouts whatsoever since I started using it.
I think the biggest difference though that I've noticed in my skin has been that 'je ne sais quoi' I mentioned earlier. I really feel like my skin looks healthier and brighter now and, dare I say it, less oily. I have a feeling that I was so worried about loading my skin with moisturiser that I was probably under-moisturing, or using something too harsh, so to compensate for the lack of hydration I was producing more oil. I should also mention that I started using a Clarisonic about two weeks ago (review pending) and have completely stopped using powder, which might sound crazy for an oily like me but I'll explain my motives in due course.
Skin sans foundation or concealer (yes, I can do that now on a good day)...
I think you could do a lot worse than this little kit if your skin is somewhere on the oily-normal spectrum. It's just brilliant and I will be purchasing the full-sized products fo' sho'.
*the time it takes for me to put on my deodorant and flap my arms around like a desperate bat whilst it dries