Monday 22 November 2010

The Sanctuary Skincare Review

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 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!

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