Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review: Mr. Firming Eye Gel, Facial Scrubs and Cleansers

Do you know how hard it is to get some males to use skincare products?
They tend to think that their skin will take care of itself and they shouldn't mess with nature. Other than the perfunctory shaving creams and hair styling products, skincare is not a word the men in my household understand. In fact, it's so foreign to them it's almost akin to asking them to wear lipstick or paint their nails.

But men's skin like any other skin type, have different and specific needs. Men’s skin is generally thicker than women’s skin. They have larger pores that are more prone to clogging as they are a lot more oiler than women (15% more so in some instances) and as they are often shaving their face so are frequently disrupting the skin natural barrier in these facial area, they need skin care solutions that take all these factors into account.

So when I received some very masculine skincare products recently, I passed this over to male members of the family with the stern order that they are to use it every day - all for the purpose of research of course. Putting that scientific spin to it seemed to do the job and they were more diligent with trialling the products than I've seen ever seen them use any lotion or creams.

Mr. Skincare
I've previously mentioned this newish Aussie brand back in November and the guys were kind enough to organise a few products to be sent for trail. Made from all indigenous Australian products, the entire Mr range is designed to help men tackle today’s lifestyle. After 3 weeks of use, here are the verdicts from the boys.

Mr. Firming Eye Gel  - 15ml RRP A$52
  • Impressive packaging - this comes in a sleek silver pump style bottle with a cap top that you see with many high end products. It definitely impresses and I suspect the packaging alone will quickly win over any unconvinced user to try the product.
  • Clear gel with a light scent (I took a sniff and to me it seems to have a light rose scent). It was not offensive to the boys' nostrils at all. In fact, I suspect they like the scent very much as I caught my dad sniffing at it the other day when he was about to use it. 
  • Is light and non-greasy which that is a big plus with males. It was slightly tacky immediately after use that the boys didn't quite like but it disappeared within 5 minutes.   
  • Although light, it isn't too fluidy and finger patting it into skin is recommended to get the product to absorb into the under-eye area - a method that took some demonstration to the boys before they learnt this new way of applying the product (their usual modus operandi is to slap it on and rub it in like crazy - a big no-no in  delicate eye areas).
  • Contains seaweed, centella, and Echinacea  to soothe and restore moisture to skin and works well in de-puffing eyes in mornings and gave the eye area an immediate awaken look.
  • There was a slight brightening associated with this gel but no real difference was seen for prominent eye bags or deep wrinkles after 3 weeks use but I'm not sure if there would be visible difference on mature and neglected skin such as my dad's who's almost 60. On younger skin, I expect results to be more noticable/effective. 
Mr. Facial Cleansing Scrub - 80ml RRP A$37
  • Contains micro-fine crushed limestone and sandstone from Central Australia to exfoliate without scratching or harming skin during daily use. 
  • Easily removes, dirt, oil, dust and skin cell build ups and has a soothing base made with rose and tea tree oil to soothe and repair skin from any scraps or razor nicks. 
  • Left face cleansed, refresh and softened without being too drying. 
  • No-fuss and easy to use, this got the boys tick of approval within the first day of use. 

Mr. Facial Cleanser - 80ml RRP A$35

  • Comes in the signature sliver pump style bottle that is sleek and functional, this is well packaged and looks good in the bathroom stand or in the sport bag at the gym (yes boys, you should wash your face after a big sweaty workout).
  • Gel based cleanser that is soothing and gentle whilst at the same time powerful enough to provide a deep clean to remove the daily grime that accumulates on skin after a long day out at work. 
  • This non lathering product with aloe extract has great skin softening powers and is soothing to use after shaving - it was an instant hit with the brother.
  • Also contains chamomile essence and witch hazel extract - all of which are known for their soothing and calming properties which is why this is great for sensitised skin, especially after suffering from razor burns.
Next time you are stuck for ideas on how you can get your man to start taking good care of their skin, try looking for products that are simple and fuss-free to use and not only will make them feel better in their skin but isn't too fancy by appealing to their masculine sense of style with metallic designs and muted neutral packaging. Mr.'s collection is certainly one to look out for to tempt him into developing his own skincare regime or prevent him from borrowing/stealing your favourite skincare products.

The Mr. Range is available online or exclusively at shaver shops and selected salons.  Note online prices are quoted ex-GST, which is added in when processing the sales order.
The above products were sent for consideration.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Au Voir & My Travel Skincare Kit

In a few short hours time, I'll be flying out of Melbourne and heading to tropical SE Asia with my family for the next 4 weeks.

I wish I could pack my whole table full of skincare products from home with me, but I planned on travelling light and want to leave as much space as possible for the quintessential Asian bargain shopping to be had.

So culling products and travel packs are the way to go for me over the next 4 weeks. These tried and trusted items will going to be on my skincare travel kit:

Cleansers: 50ml travel size ASAP daily facial cleanser & daily exfoliating facial scrub. 
Moisturisers/serums: Prevage Advance Anti-aging serum & ASAP Super C serum 
Day moisturiser: Vitacreme B & Neutrogena Healthy Defence daily moisturiser SPF30+ for oily/combo skin 
Night moisturiser: Roc Retin-Ox Intensive Anti-wrinkle night cream 
Eyes: Olay Regenerist Anti-aging eye roller 
Lips: Blistex Ultra Lip Balm SPF 30+ 
Body/hands: Auscreen Active Clear Zinc Lotion SPF30+ and Banana Boat Sports sunscreen SPF 30+ for the body &amp Skin Doctors Younger Hands and a travel size of L'Occitane's Rose hand cream
Other Miscellaneous items:
  • 2 big cans of tropical strength Aerogards to fend off the mozzies for the whole family. 
  • Prescribed Elocon for any insect bites and itches
  • Vitamin supplements of fish oils, bio-zinc and iron tablets to make sure I've got all the energy and vitamins intake I need to have a fairly active holiday
  • Cotton wools, buds and Garnier Clean Sensitive wet cleansing wipes 
  • a manicare kit containing nail clipper, nail file, tweezers and a small pair of scissors

I know it seems like a load of products to lug around and not much culling was done, but trust me, it was difficult to not try and pack 3 different types of moisturisers and 3 eye creams.  Most of these items are travel size and some of the items are almost finished so I just want to use them up and throw them out before buying new items whilst on my travels.

While I'm off, my blog will not be updated regularly (unless in the unlikely event that I find chunks of time in some internet cafe in Vietnam and Cambodia). Catch you all next month when I get back.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review: ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser with AHA

Without doubt, good skin starts with proper daily cleansing to remove the skin from oil, grime, dirt and makeup.

I was a real fan of glycolic facial cleansers and have been using the Invisible Zinc's 12% glycolic cleanser - RRP $35 for 200ml over the past year. That product was great but it stung my sensitised skin (ie. when it was a bit raw) and it didn't smell too great (there was that distinctive fermented fruit smell).

So an equally affordable and milder glycolic cleanser was always on my list of to-hunt-for products but along the way, I got side-tracked with Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel - RRP $53 for 250ml which is also another amazing cleanser that is very gentle on skin and leaves skin super soft. My only complaint with it is that it lacked the power to slough away the flaky dead skin cells that I was rapidly accumulating due to my use of Retin-A based products.

I've been trialling a new glycolic acid cleanser for the past 3 weeks and I think I can safely say it's now my most loved facial cleanser.

ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser with AHA
  • ASAP is a 100% Australian owned company that produces all its products locally, providing cosmeceutical skincare products to consumers since 2000. All their products are formulated based on proven active ingredients and extensive scientific research. 
  • This cleanser is oil-free and non-pore clogging. The product is quite fluid and has a mild milky texture with very faint fruit scent. It is very gentle on skin and not once did I feel any stinging sensation when using this.  
  • Gentle enough for twice daily use, I only use this at night to do the deep cleaning whilst I try to finish up the Dermalogica special cleanser in mornings when my face is not as oiled and clogged up with makeup. 
  • Suitable for all skin types, the cleanser contains 12% buffered AHA stablised at a pH of 5.5 to a loosen and invisibly remove dead skin cells. When using this, I would rub face in upward and outwards motion and all these loose skin would rub off - totally disgusting I know but it's very satisfying to see and feel gunk coming off my face :)
  • This is non-lathering cleanser acts more like a milk cleanser and gave a powerful clean even with a face full of makeup. I found I needed to double cleanse around the eye area to really get rid of the stubborn eye makeup but as this product is mild, I didn't have any problems with it stinging my eyes. 
  • Skin feels renewed, velvet soft and hydrated afterwards, it really is a one-action cleanser and you can skip the use of a toner after this as it leaves skin so well hydrated. 
Ingredients listing
The full size product comes in a massive 240ml bottle and is really quite affordable compared to the current cleansers I'm using. The best part about it is that it is very effective and gentle on skin. It makes the perfect cleanser for everyone young or old, those with skin problems such as acne, skin pigmentation or sun damaged skin as glycolic-acid based products will over time help to resurface the skin to reveal clearer, smoother skin - just don't forget to use a high protection sunscreen daily to protect your new skin.  

If you are looking for an effective glycolic based cleanser that doesn't break your budget, give this a try and you too, will fall in love with it. 

RRP A$44 for 240ml bottle at ASAP stocklists across Australia and New Zealand. It is also available online at the Facial Company.
This product was sent for review.