It's gonna get sappy up in here.
People, it’s been too long! I want to say that I’ve been busy. But of course, we’ve all been busy, and I’ve managed to watch every single episode of Investigation Discovery’s “Solved” on Netflix, and now know too many fun facts about forensics. (Which surprisingly make for great icebreakers at parties. I love meeting fellow morbids!)
Amidst all of these changes that have been happening in my life as of late -- doing different kinds of work, meeting new people, and continuing to figure out my way around a city that’s NOT on a grid system and that makes me uncomfortably dependent on my GPS -- I’ve also altered a step in my beauty routine that has been fairly consistent since I hit puberty: I stopped washing my face.
I mean, who has time for that ish, amirite?
I KID. I would never use all of those annoying phrases in the same sentence. (Or would I?) Nor would I ever stop tending to my precious skin.
Rather than washing my face, I’ve switched to cleansing. Not the oil cleansing method! I wish I was that hardcore. Instead, I’m using this glorious, gooey little product from Lush called Ultrabland that’s made with almond oil, rosewater, beeswax, and honey. It’s like OCM for people who are too big of babies to smear straight-up oil all over their faces, and who also like to spend more money.
Ultrabland’s certainly not new. Here’s one of the co-founders of Lush talking about how she’s been using the stuff for THIRTY-FIVE YEARS. Gala also brought it up in a past post. But it’s the best thing to happen to my skin since it started getting all flared-up, flakey, and pimple-y earlier this year, so here we are.
Although it’s marketed as a make-up remover, Ultrabland was sold to me as a product that helps alleviate redness. Beeswax and rosewater both have anti-inflammatory properties. And with vitamins E, A, B1, B2 and B6, almond oil is fantastic for dry skin. All three ingredients remove dirt and oil and don’t clog your pores.
Especially since I was switching over from getting my face all sudsy, splashing my makeup off, and watching it run down the drain, using Ultabland initially skeeved me out. Applying the product kind of felt like coating my skin with Crisco.
You want to use the tiniest amount before you go to bed -- just scoop a bit up with your index and middle finger, and coat a thin layer over your face, like, hm, putting Crisco on a cookie sheet. Then remove it with cotton pads or a damp washcloth.
Beware of using your fancy, frou-frou Egyptian cotton towels though, as they'll end up totally destroyed and stained. (Woopsie! Yay for HomeGoods.)
After about a week and a half, I noticed my skin getting brighter, more even, and less sensitive to every single element around me. Because it also removes eye makeup and works as a moisturizer, I’ve pared down the number of products I’m using in my nighttime routine, which made way for some additions I would normally never consider, like this one:
Exfolimate is this new skincare tool from Australia that kind of resembles an instrument say, a SERIAL KILLER would use (too much TV, exhibit B), with an ominous-looking stainless steel blade that’s much bigger than that on your standard shaving razor.
The blades on the tools are pretty blunt, though, and can’t cut your skin, remove hair, or STAB you (exhibit C). When you run it over your skin with warm water at a 90-degree angle, the stainless steel removes dead skin cells, and activates blood flow to improve your skin tone.
Two pieces come with each set -- a baby one for your face, and the big guy for your body. Near the end of every shower, I use baby Exfolimate all over my face, neck, and chest. It’s replaced the exfoliators that have recently started irritating my skin, and made my rosacea way worse.
Sadly, there’s no satisfaction in seeing chunks of dead skin on the blade at the end of each swipe. I first noticed the tool was even working when I dried off and saw those little bumps all over my décolleté -- that probably spawned from sitting in the sun all summer -- disappeared.
I’m still getting used to using it after the gym rather than washing my face. But I haven’t broken out in over a month [knocking on my laminate wood coffee table], I only use Ultabland at night, and other than my period, sweating makes me break out the most. So why knock it if it seems to be working?
I’ll use the big dude maybe once a week, also in the shower. The first time I swiped it up my legs, going against the grain, I giggled, alone, creepily. I thought it created this strange sensation, and did notice the blood rushing up to the surface of my skin with each swipe. (Now I'm thinking it's because I'm ticklish on my legs, though.)
After using both tools, I'll use a light moisturizer once I'm dry. The difference of the skin on my body was almost instantaneous, but that's probably because I got afraid of slipping and falling and breaking my head open in the shower from oily body exfoliator and stopped using it a few month prior (exhibit C).
Exfolimate's site says the blade's good for a year and will cost you $29.99. 1.5 oz of Ultabland lasted me about a month and a half (I switched to 3.5 oz for my most recent tub, which is above) and will cost you $16.95 (or $29.95 for 3.5 oz).
Tell me about the weirdest product you have in your beauty routine, or what's been doing wonders for your skin!
Follow me on Twitter, and I promise I'll have more to talk about than things I've seen on "Solved": @caitlinthornton