Mark my words: 2013 will definitely be the year of skincare for me. As you may recall, my third New Year's beauty resolution was to focus more on skincare, and I'm off to a great, albeit costly, start. The state of my skin now is worlds apart compared to how it was when I started on this skincare journey just one month ago. It is much more balanced, clear, soft, plump, supple and hydrated with my new routine, which really makes the switch-up worth it. As a result of starting so many new products around the same time, I can't say with confidence how each product individually has affected my acne or my redness or my dry patches, but rather, I like to believe it is the combination of great products working together that is really helping me on the road to finally achieving gorgeous skin.
At the start of the year, my skincare routine was more or less completely flipped upside down as it experienced the biggest overhaul ever. Although I still use my Shu Uemura Fresh Oil Cleanser to remove my makeup and my Murad Clarifying Cleanser occasionally in the shower, everything else is my current routine is completely new to me. I'll slowly be popping up reviews of each product when I feel ready, as skincare products take much more time to test out, but first up is my new favorite cleanser of all-time, Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser.
I kind of remember hearing something about this cleanser a long, long time ago in one of Sandra's videos, but what finally pushed me over the edge to get it was Sunny's post. Sunny has an amazing blog, and I truly trust all of her reviews, so if she says it's good, it must really be good!
One month ago, I ordered from Pai's website, and I was pleasantly surprised (shocked, actually!) when my cleanser was dispatched in less than a day and arrived 2 days later FROM. THE. UK. And on top of that, shipping is extremely affordable (considering it is international shipping) at only $5.95 for orders under $60 and free for orders that exceed that limit. I originally ordered the travel size bottle because I wasn't sure I'd like it, but after only using for about 5 days, I hurriedly ordered and committed to the largest bottle they offer as I loved it that much and wanted to save my travel size for travelling :)
The Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is a cream cleanser that has the consistency of a lotion. The bottle is equipped with a pump, and although Pai recommends using 2-3 pumps per wash, I find that 1 pump is quite generous and offers more than enough product. It has a light and fresh scent that smells a bit like lemongrass to me.
After splashing a bit of water on my face and pumping out 1 pump into my hands, I massage the cream all over my face, eyes, and neck. Then, I dampen a washcloth or muslin cloth with warm water, wring it out, then use it to gently remove the cleanser from my face, moving in circular motions. Lastly, I give my face a quick splash of water to rinse off any excess product, although it never actually feels like there is any left on my face. Unlike some cleansers, this one does not sting or irritate my eyes whatsoever. It does not leave behind any residue after I wipe the product off, and it just leaves my skin feeling clean, baby soft, and incredibly hydrated.
This cleanser claims to also function as an eye makeup remover, although I haven't tested it out for that purpose, simply because I wear waterproof mascara and based on the consistency of the cleanser, I highly doubt it would be able to remove it. I prefer to take all of my makeup off using a cleansing oil, then follow up with either my Pai cleanser or the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm as a second cleanse, and guess what? There is always residual foundation that comes off on my washcloth during the second cleanse. Tsk tsk! Moral of the story: Always cleanse twice when wearing makeup.
Although Pai's cleanser is geared towards dry, delicate, sensitive, and combination skin types, I honestly think it is a cleanser that would work magnificently for all skin types because let's not forget, oily skin needs hydration too, and this cleanser offers the kind of hydration you can feel via the plumpness of your skin rather than a physical product sitting on top of it. I've never experienced any irritation or redness from using this product, although admittedly, I don't tend to have very reactive skin either.
It is also worth mentioning that the muslin cloth that comes with the cleanser is quite good, despite feeling a bit like sandpaper before it gets its first wash (I was almost afraid to use it for the first time!). It completely softens up after you wash it, and has the perfect consistency to be able to gently remove the cleanser while still offering enough texture to lightly exfoliate as well.
Overall, I'd highly recommend the Pai Camellia & Rose Gently Hydrating Cleanser to everyone. Yes, I said everyone. It is an incredibly nourishing and non-offensive cleanser that I feel would work on all skin types. It has quickly become my all-time favorite everyday cleanser, beating out my beloved Shu Uemura Fresh Cleansing Oil that I was obsessed with for years, and I even think that I love it more than the much talked about Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm that I'll review in due time.
For $25, you can try out the cleanser by purchasing the 1.7 fl oz travel size bottle like I originally did, and who knows? You might find yourself frantically shelling out 70 big ones for the large, 6.8 fl oz bottle too :)