The Weekly Skincare Treatments



Today I’m here bringing you the last instalment of my May series creatively titled “skincare series” but rest assured, I’m going to make an effort to write more frequent skincare-themed posts in the future… I know I already have gone on and on and on again about treatments but this post was an essential one as I felt the need to separate the less frequent treatments that I’ve stuck to using on a regular basis. And coincidentally all of these treatments fall into the mask category, by the way.

I figured that I would begin with the most frequently used offering, The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask ($22 CDN) that I happily slather on my face in the place of my regular moisturizer 2-3 times weekly. This is a treatment that aims to soothe and deeply hydrate the skin, differing from the usual treatments that tend to be a wee bit harsher in order to pull the skin into order. The mask is intensely hydrating, calming, soothing and all that jazz but the remarkable thing is that the mask doesn’t feel heavy or uncomfortable on the skin and it doesn’t disappear a few hours later, either.

The following three masks all fit under the clarifying clay-based umbrella variety and I alternate between the three (but go for the Kiehl’s offering the least often), slapping one of the trio on about once a week or perhaps twice if my skin is in need of extra help in the congestion department. I was tempted not to include the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque ($27 CDN) as it fades into the background in comparison to the Clinique offering and doesn’t offer any additional benefits; I’ve had this one for ages and I’m not sure if I will repurchase but truth be told I do reach for this one and it does the job without irritation. The Clinique Acne Solutions Oil Control Cleansing Mask ($26 CDN) is superior in the sense that it’s just as gentle and congesting but easier to remove and also formulated with salicylic acid in addition to speed the decongesting action further.

The third and final clay mask offering, namely the Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It ($22 CDN) is easily the latest addition but it is one I do enjoy immensely for its hybrid nature as a gentle scrub (containing fruit acids for chemical exfoliation) and standard clay mask. Unlike the other offerings above, this is not one of those masks that you leave on for a good ten minutes but instead is left on the skin for three or four in order to achieve the decongesting purifying effects of the clay-based formula. The ever-so-slightly abrasive (but quite gentle) texture of the scrub (from the diatomaceus earth) leaves the surface of the skin gently exfoliated along with the brightening effect produced by the acids. Unfortunately this one does contain a bit of fragrance (but it doesn’t irritate the skin) which gives it that nice minty scent but even on my dry skin, this is not problematic in the least. None of these masks are drying in my opinion and although this one is marketed for much oilier skin than I possess, it does not dry out the skin in any shape or form and in some ways can help with the hydration situation with its ability to refine texture. It should go without saying that all of these are free of drying alcohols that tend to creep up on the ingredients list on treatments of this variety

What are your favourite treatments – I’d love some recs! Have you tried any of these!

Maggie, x.

Evening Skincare Routine




Like loads of others, I’m sure, my evening skincare routine is a wee bit more intensive than my morning one and although I would describe myself as someone who is dedicated to their routine, although it tends to vary night to night throughoutthe week in terms of treatments – I’ll get onto this later.Because my eyes are so sensitive and dry, I always begin with two cotton pads soaked in the cult-favourite Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Solution ($22) and hold them over my eyes for up to a minute to thoroughly remove mascara and other stubborn makeup although I’m sure others could get away using the cleansers to remove eye makeup as they are so gentle.

Not just because of the recent widespread belief in double-cleansing at nighttime, I’ve been dedicated to washing my face twice at night because I have the kind of skin that makeup clings to like nothing else in this world; I’m fortunate that I’m someone whose foundation stays on the skin for an amazing amount of time but this characteristic has made intensive but supremely-gentle cleansing essential to the whole skincare shebang. For the first cleanse, I alternate between the Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($9-12) and the Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser ($12) as both textures of products nourish the skin while cleansing gently and removing makeup with ease. I might be tempted to say that the cleansing oil has slightly stronger makeup removing power as it can remove makeup completely and to be honest, I can be satisfied with a single thorough wash with this one (on a rare occasion when I’m feeling spectacularly lazy) but it is the messier option of the two and contains mineral oil – I know mineral oil is problematic to some but it isn’t for my fragile skin type. I make sure to always use a washcloth with the first cleanse to ensure that the makeup has been truly removed.

I have the kind of skin that holds onto foundation and the like in the same manner as glue I reckon and therefore even before all of that double cleansing hoopla took over, I was faithful to cleansing the face twice; unless I’m not wearing makeup (or sunscreen – naughty), I cleanse my skin the second-time with the basic fragrance-free non-foaming lightweight thin gel-cream Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser ($11-12). This cleanser actually does remove makeup as well but I prefer to go in with a more nourishing oil-based cleanser beforehand and strikes me as the superior version of Cetaphil. 

Five (or six on occasion) times per week, I go for a product of the gentle chemical exfoliant variety. I’m still faithful to my long-time trio of gentle exfoliants of this variety – the BHA-based Clinique Mild Clarifying Solution ($16) and the slightly more concentrated Neutrogena 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment ($10-12) as well as my much-loved AHA-based Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright Cream-Serum ($40) – but I’ve also recently brought the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($14/37) as my supply of the cream-serum is dwindling. Although it isn’t strictly a chemical exfoliant but rather a gentle alcohol-free retinoid and antibiotic gel that rapidly increases the cell-turnover, I figured I would include the expensive prescription-only topical called Bianca ($90) that I’ve added back into to my routine 2-3x a week at this stage. I will warn you, however, that these retinoid products are one of the very few products that cause purging in the skin initially before the improvement begins.

If I haven’t already applied a serum-textured product in the above stage (the Neutrogena, Indeed Labs or Bianca), I’ve been applying the lightweight La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense ($35) serum before moisturizing with the soothing Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator ($45) that am a huge fan of. A few times a week, when I’m not going for a chemical exfoliant or I’m opting for one of the serum-textured-variety, I go for the soothing and brightening Organic Rosehip Oil, applying it on top of everything in the case of the first scenario and applying it over the chemical exfoliant in the second, skipping the moisturizer altogether.

When I’m not entirely too lazy to remember, I slather my poor chapped lips with the lovely multipurpose La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 ($16). 

This might seem rather exhaustive or unlike a routine at all but I promise that it is a constant routine that I follow and takes less than five minutes and it’s entirely worthwhile, for my skin at least.

Have you tried any of these products? What does your nighttime routine look like?

Maggie, x.

P.S. There will most likely be a weekly treatments post up in the near future…


Morning Skincare Routine


I’ve been hesitant about doing this but at the same time I’ve wanted to share the precise routine that I’ve stuck to that has improved my skin and in real life, non beauty-obsessive individuals have asked me about my routine so I figured it was time to get over the challenge of articulating a routine that differs slightly depending on the day of the week and the condition of my skin at the moment. I went on about my skin and skincare thoughts in the first post of this series last week here if you happen to be curious but I have dry sensitive skin with texture and brightness concerns and a side order of mild acne in short and here is my two minute morning routine…

Before I found easy gentle cleansers like the affordable Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanse($11-12 CDN) that gently cleanse the skin with minimal effort, washing away with a splash of water without leaving the skin stripped or irritated in some way, I wasn’t a believer in washing my face in the morning but now that I have, I can’t bring myself to turn back as my skin is far clearer.

Once-or-perhaps-twice per week, when I’m tempted I go for the extremely gentle salicylic-acid-based chemical exfoliant, namely the underrated — and way superior to the dreadful offerings in the three step formulation — Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion ($16 CDN). With only 0.5% strength salicylic acid, this “toner” provides the gentlest chemical exfoliation and I tend to go for this when my skin is a little congested in areas — not too rare of an occasion, if I’m honest.

Being interested in the wonders of a serum as of late, I’ve recently added the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense Localized Redness Serum ($35 CDN)into the morning skincare dash and so far I’m pleased with the soothing and hydrating power of this lightweight gel-like textured serum. I don’t have rosacea, so I can’t report on that front but this does help calm the skin, redness included.

Although there’s no SPF or anything of the sort that would confine this moisturizer to use in the morning, I tend to go for the lovely REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream ($54 CDN) that offers that essential soothing action with lightweight fast-absorbing hydration. But I still wouldn’t rank it above the Caudalie that I do not own at the moment but went on and on about last year for good reason, if you know what I mean.

Because I live in a cooler climate and have extraordinary issues with the whole sunscreen shebang – I’m allergic to most chemical sunscreens – I do that naughty thing and only wear SPF if I’m going to be spending the day outdoors in the sun and true to its name, the Avene High Protection Mineral Cream SPF 50 ($30 CDN)delivers. Like all mineral sunscreens, this one does bring a bit of a white cast and because of this the cream is tinted and pulls slightly pink-y on me (but not too terribly) but this remains the gentlest and most-effective sunscreen I’ve tried to date, never burning the eyes to boot. It has a hydrating texture that isn’t the most lightweight so on occasion I’ll skip on either the serum or moisturizer, as there’s no need for excess product.

It’s not life changing or anything of the sort but it hydrates my lips and works nicely under lipsticks so the EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Summer Fruit ($4 CDN) has my seal of approval. The texture isn’t overly slippy so it fares well under lip products and the scent doesn’t bother me like most fruit scents – if you ask me, it smells like authentic peaches.

What are your go-to products in your morning skincare routine?

Maggie, x.