As you may be aware, due to my frequent moans and rants, my skin has been playing up over the last few months. It hasn't been particularly spotty but, it has felt quite congested and the texture has ranged from dry in parts to oily in others. This has been quite hard to deal with as, for the majority of my life, my skin has always been normal and very clear.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not averse to a few spots and don't think I am an exception to the rule but, it has definitely been tough to deal with as I genuinely didn't know how best to approach such a variety of skin problems. Firstly, I decided to identify the cause and try to remedy that. The change (heehee no, not THAT change) seemed to coincide with changes in the weather and, after some research, it seemed that central heating could play a large part in blocking up and drying out skin.
I remedied this as best I could by turning down my radiator in work and upping my water intake (though I drank at least 3 litres per day as it was) and then I set about unclogging my skin. The best approach I found was to use a stringent exfoliator and finish off with a hydrating facial oil, used neat on the skin. Now it was onto cleanser. I wanted something strong but that would not irritate my already volatile skin. After some more research #shouldhavebeenascientist, I settled on trying out the NeoStrata Facial Cleanser (€23.00 RRP) I'd received as a sample a few weeks prior.
The facial cleanser I tried is from the PHA line of NeoStrata. Awarded the Best Beauty Buy of 2010 by Social & Personal magazine, the cleanser brands itself as gentle and non-drying. It has a soap-free formula that gently exfoliates while also cleansing and removing make-up.
What sets this NeoStrata cleanser apart from all others on the market is the addition of PHA or Poly Hydroxy Acid. There is 4% PHA in this cleanser, though it varies from product-to-product in the range, and it works to speed up the skin's natural shedding process to remove dead skin cell faster and reveal fresher, healthier skin.
I was no stranger to NeoStrata products prior to receiving this sample. My mam swears by them for their gentle anti-aging effects and my youngest sister credits them with keeping her acne relatively under control so, they are always floating around the bathrooms at home.
That being said, I never had any need to use them at length before so, wasn't sure what to expect. My skin was noticeably clearer after two days of use. It felt smoother and looked more even and less patchy. I will contest the assertion that this is "non-drying" however. I don't believe that any product that contains acid will not have a drying effect on your skin and, for the first 2-3 days of using this cleanser, the skin around my T-Zone became very flaky and required a lot of exfoliation and moisturisation to correct.
However, it soon cleared up and my skin looked fresher underneath. I'm going to reserve this cleanser for days where my skin looks and feels blocked as I think it is too strong for me to use on a daily basis and I don't want my skin to adapt to the effects and it not work anymore. I would say if your skin is super-congested, this is worth giving a go on a continuous basis. If, like me, your skin has seasonal flare-ups, this is one most definitely worth keeping in your skincare arsenal to combat these at the outset.