As many of you know, my wife and I spent quite a bit of time in southern California this past summer hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. After spending about a month and a half living in the desert with little relief from the heat and dirt, I came to appreciate little things I never cared about before - like washing my face. At the end of a long day there was nothing better than wetting my small pack towel with what little water I could spare and wiping off the dirt. Once we got back I began to dabble in a few face wash products and found I really appreciated the clean and relaxing feeling I received from washing my face before bed.
It is important to know your skin type when looking into a skin care system. Some people have predominately oily skin, some have dry skin, and some have a combination of oily and dry skin. I have combination skin. I started experimenting with treating this with nicer products from my local Target. The Marlowe line of men's skincare products is a great starting point. After moving back to Chattanooga though I began to notice some issues. My face began to feel too oily almost all of the time; even after the whole face wash routine. After about two weeks of this I began to do further research and kept reading more about Aesop's products. Some reviews claimed their line didn't work the way they expected, but once browsing their website further I found a kit that was made specifically for combination skin. I had to try it.
The first step and product to use is the Fabulous Face Cleanser. This cleanser is olive oil based and is a mild, gel face cleanser that works great for cleaning sensitive skin. I follow this with the B & Tea Balancing Toner that helps clean the skin and naturally remove excess oil and dirt that the face wash might have missed. Toners typically dry out the skin so it must be followed by a hydrating lotion of some kind. Aesop offers two kinds that work well for combination skin. The one I went with is way more affordable and works better for me. The Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream is a light hydrating cream that doesn't leave your face feeling like you've rubbed a bunch of lotion into it. It really soaks into your skin fast and has a very light citrus aroma. The more expensive option is the B Triple C Facial Balancing Gel. I was able to try the gel for a week with some samples Aesop sent me. For the most part, it was great. It dries quickly and hydrates more lightly than the Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream. Aesop recommends using it if you live in a humid climate and after living in the southeast for so long, I couldn't agree more. I would also recommend the B Triple C for those that deal with acne as it works well with the toner to regulate oil and dirt while lightly hydrating.
The price of Aesop can be hard to swallow for many, but that price comes from excellent, scientifically sourced ingredients that even put vitamins back into your skin. While not all of these ingredients are organic, they are never going to include anything that is harmful. Instead, they use ingredients that are affective and tested to produce amazing results. One of the best ways to get into their products is to save up for a travel pack that includes a wide range of smaller bottles that are good for finding what works and doesn't work for you. They also sell kits and combination sets that make for great gifts during the holidays!
The Collective Care for Combination Skin can be purchased here.
(I want to thank Betty Law (aka Nana), my wonderful grandmother that listened to me talk about this and purchase me the combination skin set as a gift! See, I told you they make great gifts. Again, I was not paid for this review - I just wanted to tell you about a great experience I had with a new brand I've been wanting to try for a while.)