Aug 032012

Garnier PureActive Pore Unclogging Wash

I found Garnier PureActive Pore Unclogging face wash when I was searching the shelves of our Indian malls for the Neutrogena face wash for acne that contained salicylic acid. The Garnier PureActive face wash also contains salicylic acid according to the ingredient list and I’ve found it to be quite effective in treating pimples and whiteheads.

Ingredients in the Garnier PureActive face wash

I’ve been using it for a while now and I’ve found a great reduction in the number of whiteheads in my skin. My pimples have stopped altogether (although I do also treat my acne with a set of vitamins that I shall discuss in a future post). I’m not saying that this face wash will make your acne disappear but it will certainly help you along. The salicylic acid is just the thing needed to clear out those clogged pores that cause pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.

I use it just twice a day, never more because that would be too harsh for the skin. The one thing I don’t like about this face wash is that it is not soap-free. Soap-free is always better when it comes to cleansing the face.

It is a blue gel and comes in a squeezy tube. The smaller tubes have a screw-on cap which I find a bit irritating. The gel itself is runny, and trying to get it out of the tube without making a mess and wasting any of it becomes difficult. Especially when you’re trying to twist the cap back on with one hand while holding the gel you’ve dispensed for your face in the other hand. The larger tubes have a flip-top that is certainly easier to use.

Garnier PureActive face wash: Appearance of the gel


Garnier PureActive flip-top tube

Right now this face wash has pride of place on my washstand. I would recommend it to anyone battling acne. It is a good product. Just make sure you follow it with moisturiser.

Price: Rs.150/- for 100 gm

Quite effective in battling acne
Improves texture of the skin
Reduces scars

Screw-on and flip-top tubes lead to the product running down the side of the tube when you try to pour it into your hand; would have been better with a narrow, protruding nozzle instead
Not soap-free

Jun 212012

Nivea Visage Oil-Regulating Toner

This toner is supposed to be a toner for mixed to oily skin. However, I found that it made my skin feel quite sticky and my face would start looking shiny and oily in no time at all. On the positive side, the fragrance is pleasant and it does not sting. Rather than being a toner for oily skin, it would probably do very well as a toner for someone with normal to mildly dry skin as it moisturises the skin so much that you don’t need to follow it up with moisturiser.

The key ingredients as printed on the bottle are:
Aqua, SD alcohol 9.15% v/v, glycerin, aluminium chlorohydrate, carnitine, aloe barbadensis, panthenol, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil.

Nivea Oil-Regulating Toner: Ingredients and price

Pleasant fragrance
Gentle on skin, no stinging

Too moisturising for oily skin, leaves a sticky film on the skin

In short, my only issue with this product is that it is categorized wrongly as a toner for oily skin. Otherwise, it is a very gentle toner as compared to others.

Jun 212012

A good daily routine for skin care can allow you to do your makeup without foundation. There are a few basic steps that you can follow to ensure that your skin looks as good as it can without foundation.


  • Do not use regular soap on your face. Always use a facewash. These are made keeping in mind the special needs of the skin on your face which is quite different from that on the rest of your body.
  • Choose a face wash suited to your skin type. A creamy facewash or cleansing milk would be more suitable for dry skin or normal skin. A gel facewash is better for oily skin. If you have acne-prone skin, look for a facewash with salicylic acid in the list of ingredients.
  • Wet the face sufficiently; this helps the cleanser to work on your skin.
  • Be sure to spend a couple of minutes gently massaging the cleanser all over your face. Do not just slap it on, give your face a quick scrub and then wash it off. Also do not be rough on the skin of your face.
  • After massaging the cleanser onto your face, rinse it off thoroughly. Pay special attention to the grooves between the nostrils and the cheeks and the jaw-line while rinsing as these areas tend to get overlooked.
  • After you’re done, PAT your face dry; do not rub it. Rubbing with a towel will not make your skin cleaner, it will only damage it.

Proper care of your facial skin while cleansing as described above will reduce the occurrence of blemishes or pigmentation. Cleanse a maximum of 2 times a day, usually in the morning and at night before bed. According to me, the night cleansing is especially important because it removes the grime and pollution of the day which would otherwise enter the pores when they open up while you sleep. If you use any mode of transport that exposes your face to the wind, dust and pollution, make sure that you wash your face as soon as you get home. As far as possible, use a soap-free face wash.

A note on the use of Toners and Astringents:
I recommend skipping these products as they can over-dry the skin. Toners and astringents are used to remove any traces of oil or makeup after cleansing, and to tighten or close the pores that open up during cleansing. If you use a cleanser, the oil or makeup will be removed by it because that is what cleansers are meant to do. As for the pore-tightening quality of toners and astringents, I can only say this: I had a habit of using toner for a while thinking that it would help reduce the large pores on my cheeks. It didn’t help at all even though I used more than one recommended toner. Finally I cut it out of my skin-care routine and focused on using the correct facewash and moisturiser. Now I find that my pores have actually reduced in size. If you do want to tighten your pores, just rub an ice-cube over your skin or wipe your face with a cotton ball moistened with rose water. They are cheaper alternatives and are much gentler on your skin.

The skin on your face needs to be moisturised after washing. Again make sure that you choose a moisturiser suited to your skin type. There seem to be enough of highly moisturising face creams on the Indian market for normal to dry skin. However, those with oily skin may have to hunt a bit. Your skin should feel soft and supple after applying the cream. If you experience dryness or oiliness within a couple of hours of application, then you need to switch to another more suitable cream. You may need two different moisturisers for summer and winter depending on whether the climate of your state is dry or humid.
For all those with oily skin, there are two things that you need to know.

  • You too, need to wear moisturiser. Cleansing can dry out your skin a little and the moisturiser helps to replenish what is lost in that process. If you do not moisturise your face, the dryness may cause the oil glands of your face to overcompensate for it and you may end up aggravating your oily skin.
  • You don’t need heavy moisturisers. A very light, water-based lotion should do (look for ‘aqua’ or ‘water’ as one of the first ingredients). If not, pure aloe vera gel will do just as well especially if you have extremely oily skin.

There are a few advantages to having smooth, soft lips. Lipsticks glide on well and look delicious as they are supposed to. Lipstick on rough, flaky lips doesn’t look alluring at all. Smooth lips also feel more comfortable than chapped ones. I’ve seen so many women complain about their chapped lips and about being unable to find a solution. So here’s my take on caring for your lips:

  • Every once in a while (once or twice a week) gently exfoliate your lips while washing your face at night. This exfoliation can be done with a face towel or a ball of cotton. You can also use an extra soft toothbrush but some may find it too harsh while others may find it icky. Massage the lips very gently in circular motions to remove all the dead skin.
  • Pat lips dry and apply a thin coat of Vaseline. Leave it on overnight. If your lips are really bad, then apply a little Nivea Soft cream (I have a soft corner for this cream; you can use any face cream instead) before applying the Vaseline.
  • For daily care, apply Vaseline on your lips every time you wash your face. Do this while the lips are still moist.

Exfoliate your face with a gentle face scrub at least once in 2 weeks. Find one that suits your skin type. Never rub hard. Use gentle, circular motions to massage the scrub onto the face. A scrub removes the dead skin cells on your face which make it look dull. Always follow up with moisturiser.

Including these tips in your daily routine for skin care will improve the overall texture and appearance of your skin. You should start seeing results within 2 weeks of following these tips.