The lovely PR for The Sanctuary sent me some of their new Brightening Facial products a while ago and I've finally gotten around to trialling a selection. I'm now regretting having waited so long!
This really is a fab range; great packaging, great price point & a wonderful concept for anyone looking to recreate a spa treatment at home. My hot tip for a Christmas present is their Brightening Facial in a Box, £16, which would make a nice gift for someone who deserves to take time out for themself or a beauty addict who perhaps you can't afford to treat to a full-on spa experience.
I tested the Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser and Radiance Exfoliator which are both contained within the Facial in a Box. I can't comment on the long-term effects of these as I haven't been using them for long enough as yet but am highly impressed so far!
I'm a big fan of hot cloth cleansers although I do find them somewhat time consuming which means that I tend to use a speedy wash in the mornings and do a thorough cleanse before bed when I feel my skin really needs it. They can range quite significantly in price so I'm impressed with the value for money offered by The Sanctuary's version at just £9.99 for 125ml. Even if you've never tried a hot cloth cleanser, the packaging gives clear instructions so I'd definitely recommend this to beginners- in fact, I've (reluctantly) passed my sample onto my mum who has never tried a hot cloth cleanser before.
To start, you need to open pores by applying a warm muslin cloth (supplied) to skin. I like the ritualistic aspect of this, combined with the knowledge that I'll be benefitting from a really deep cleanse as a result.
Then, the creamy cleanser should be massaged onto the face. For those who are accustomed to balm style hot cloth cleansers, you should be aware that this is a cream, not a balm so it lacks the indulgence factor of "melting" into skin yet still feels really hydrating and gentle. It has a comforting botanical scent.
Next, you use the muslin cloth to massage off the cream, using circular motions. This has a gentle exfoliating effect. For an extra thorough cleanse, you can repeat these steps. I'm not sure I'd bother on a daily basis but it's certainly an idea on weekends when you have more time, if your skin feels particularly "dirty" after a day wearing full make-up in the city or when your skin needs some extra care & attention. To finish, close pores by splashing the face with cold water. Thumbs up!
I absolutely swear by regular exfoliation- for me, it's an integral part of a good skincare regime but personally, I don't tend to like physical (i.e. granular) exfoliators, preferring more intensive chemical ones which don't feel scratchy on the skin. I still stand by this but if I were to use a granular exfoliant, I'd happily go with The Sanctuary Radiance Exfoliator, which I used after cleansing my skin per the steps above. It's a standard exfoliator with apricot granules and grape seed acting as the physical exfoliant suspended within a gel base. I was a little surprised to discover that it's the same price (£9.99 for 100ml) as the cleanser & you get less, as on first impressions, it seems that the cleanser is a higher quality product with more work having gone into it. I suppose you have to bear in mind that you wouldn't exfoliate every day so this would last longer. However, once I looked a little more closely, I was impressed to note that the exfoliator combines the physcial exfoliants with fruit acid extracts of pumpkin, pineapple and papaya to generate cell renewal so you're essentially getting a double-action exfoliator for your money. It does offer an impressive exfoliation with the standard benefits of leaving skin texture improved & aiding absorption of products such as moisturiser. My favourite thing about this product is undoubtably the incredible, lemony scent which is super uplifting.
I've noticed on the website http://www.thesanctuary.co.uk/ that selected items from the range are currently included in a 3 for 2 offer. I'm not sure how long this is on for but it seems like a good excuse to try the range!
Before this trial, I'd only used the wonderful body products from The Sanctuary- I'm delighted with this range and am swiftly becoming a devotee!