Neutrogena Cleansers

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years it’s that you don’t have to pay a lot for a great cleanser. I always grab one from the drugstore and spend around $10 because it’s something you wash right off since it’s only on your skin for a few minutes max. I have some preferences of course (can’t burn my eyes, needs to remove makeup, should foam) but other than that, something basic is fine by me. I’ve found that my Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser is good to use daily because the exfoliating beads are tiny and encompassed by tons of thick cleanser so it doesn’t scratch your face and leave it red. I can even use it with my Clarisonic for an extra skin-smoothing boost. You can’t use it around your eyes of course, so morning use is probably best.

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

Their Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is in my shower and has been getting some good play time lately too. The pump makes it so easy to use and I like how it foams up and doesn’t leave my skin dry or tight. It’s dense without being heavy which also makes it good for shaving. It’s a huge 12oz bottle for just $7 so I’m not worried about blowing through it too quickly.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

Don’t overspend on cleanser when you don’t have to. Just find the one that works with your skin and save your pennies for a bigger splurge like a serum or a foundation. It’s all about balance.

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel

Kiehl’s Sky Flyin’ Foaming Facial Fuel is pretty genius. Realizing that most men wash their faces with Irish Spring or whatever bar soap is in the shower, Kiehl’s created a shave gel that doubles as a facial cleanser to keep their routine nice and easy. Its light lather coats the skin for shaving and pumps it with caffeine and vitamins to hydrate and clean without stripping and drying the way soap can. Mike liked the clean scent and how his skin felt without taking an extra step that he probably wouldn’t otherwise do.

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water

I get confused looks when I answer the question that most of my clients want answered: What’s my very favorite foundation that I carry in my kit because the cult following of Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Moisture Foundation hasn’t quite trickled down to the masses. It’s a well-loved staple though for Makeup Artists and their celeb clientele as is their Cleansing Spa Water, something I’ve wanted to try since I saw it in practically every Makeup Artist’s kit backstage at New York’s Fashion Week. Typically, I carry baby wipes to clean client’s faces because it’s so quick and easy, but I needed something to remove stubborn waterproof mascara without burning or stinging the eyes so I couldn’t wait to try another solution out.


Maifanshi Moisture Foundation

It’s a totally unassuming looking liquid; crystal clear and completely unscented, but it’s a soapless, mineral-rich cleanser that gets skin sparkling in just a few wipes. It comes with special cotton pads that you saturate and use to gently work off makeup or to give skin a refreshing once over in the morning. No need to rinse after or even tone because your skin will feel perfectly balanced and so soft.


Cleansing Spa Water

I’m loving this ease and effectiveness of the water- not to mention how much space it saves in my kit. It’s one of those things that I’ll actually order and use again and again.

My Summer Cleanser

Sheckys.com included me in their best in summer beauty from Beauty Experts around the web where I talk about my new fav foaming cleanser. Check out my, and others’ summer loves HERE.

Yay Himalaya Neem Cleanser, Boo EvanHealy

When I first found out I was pregnant I was freaked out by changing my skincare routine. Hey later, Retinol. See ya around, Benzoyl Peroxide.. I’m so screwed. Hardworking acids and harsh yet effective treatments were commonplace for my can-take-anything skin so the thought of using just nuts and berries for 9 months had me in a panic. Coming off Botox was bad enough, but now the thought of my true, chemical-free face being revealed was too much to bear. I was doomed to many months of breakouts without any reasonable relief. Always favoring a natural solution first, I headed over to Whole Foods in search of something safe.

Recommended to me were two things, one I love and will buy over and over again- it’s this Himalaya Neem Face Wash, a lightly foaming cleanser I use with my Clarisonic daily. It looks a little like an aloe gel without a discernible scent and works great with natural ingredients, and costs like $7. Sold.

Also highly recommended (as in she practically forced me into buying) was this EvanHealy Blemish Kit $34 containing their Pomegranate Repair Serum, Tea Tree Gel Cleanser, Blemish Treatment Roll-On, Green Tea Clay, and Lemon Thyme Facial Tonic Hydrosol. I found the line to be a shining example of what’s wrong with natural and organic lines. Sure on paper the ingredients used are supposed to be antiseptic and healing for blemish-prone skin, but in practice nothing worked and the scents were gag-inducing – especially the Pomegranate Repair Serum. My skin was decidedly worse after a few faithful weeks of use, it caused a massive breakout that my skin hasn’t experienced before or since I stopped using it. Total waste of money. I can’t speak for the rest of the line, but as far as this kit goes, I’d say there are far better options out there.

I did eventually put together a safe, effective skincare routine (which you can find HERE) that has worked perfect – my skin hasn’t looked so good as is has these past 8 months. Maybe it’s my foreskin cream? I’ve found that I need a little bit of science mixed in with nuts and berries, that’s just how my skin rolls.

Blissoma Botanical Skincare

Blissoma’s science-meets-nature approach is what I love about great skincare. It’s the happy medium of having more than just two ingredients of nuts and berries or being solely engeneered with chemicals you can’t pronounce. You can pronounce all of their ingredients, most botanical, but there’s also a lot of science that goes into every little jar so that each ingredient helps another to work better, penetrate deeper, and give a better result than if used alone. Blissoma is award winning and popular enough to be sold at Abe’s Market yet remains slightly under the radar.

I had a chance to try out the line recently and really liked it. Nothing caused my skin to freak out as some botanical lines do (I’m looking at you Hauschka and Evan Healy. Sidebar: I might do a separate post on Evan Healy which was the worst skincare experience I’ve had in years.)

Anyway, here are a few standouts from the line I liked best.

Most certainly natural, but not all the way hippie is the scent behind this thick serum of plant-based moisture. Awake is designed for normal to oily skin, it works to both hydrate and lightly mattify giving the perfect prep for makeup. I found that it felt very neutral on, just how I like my skin to feel. If you’re looking for something more hydrating, check out Restore and its blend of 10 essential oils that gives skin a healthy glow and a ton of clean moisture.

As much as I can, I use natural-based cleansers which I’ve found to strip less and leave skin really clean. Their Mild Rice Cleanser is thick enough to grab onto impurities but still really gentle. I used olive oil and my Magic Mitt to remove my eye makeup as I always do, so I didn’t give it the mascara removal challenge. I had a client with Eczema use it to see what she thought and she said it was one of the best cleansers she’d ever tried because it didn’t leave her skin red and inflamed after washing. She’s so sensitive she was down to using just Vaseline and water so she was thrilled. I gave her mine. The girl deserves a calm face.

Check out Blissoma HERE or at Abe’s online.