What are some good exfoliants that won't tear up skin like the st. ive's apricot scrub?

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Chemical exfoliants like AHA/BHA’s work best, imo. 

  1. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask -   
    A bunch of different acids that chemically exfoliate. You leave it on for ten minutes so it can sink in. A lot of other chemical exfoliants like the Murad one (see below) are traditional scrubs just with nominal amounts of AHA properties in them. Scrubbing for like half a minute and washing the product down is a waste of product. You gotta let it work. Plus it has a bunch of natural oils to promote cell turnover. It’s surprisingly gentle even though it’s a “chemical” exfoliant. Don’t let the name intimidate you. 

We’ve also answered this question before.

Source for inexpensive skin oils


All this talk about skin oils from Arabelle reminded me of this company that’s pretty popular for their skin oils. I may have talked about them before but in case I haven’t, the website is GardenofWisdom. Though the website leaves a lot to be desired, their skincare is pretty popular with a forum I follow.

1 oz of Organic argan oil for $10, 1 oz of Maracuja/Passionfruit Seed Oil for $5.25, a cleansing oil for oily skin starting from $3.85, and a cleansing oil for sensitive skin starting from $4.25

Their chemical exfoliants (AHAs, BHAs, etc) also have a pH listed which is always good since too high or low of a pH makes the AHAs or BHAs less effective.

Most of the oils are unrefined so they will be a little smelly.

The products are inexpensive enough that they’re worth try before jumping in and making a huge purchase. They also offer a few samplers of their cleansing oils too.

Give them a scope!

Hello! I have badly clogged pores on my nose and I was wondering what your favorite deep cleanser is for clearing/ minimizing pores? Thank you :)

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when it comes to minimizing pores and blackheads etc i always turn to clay masks. you can get clay masks for a variety of different price ranges, the mint julep one in drugstores is a longtime, affordable favorite of mine. it’s $3.99. 

i also like mario badescu masks, i have them all and they are my favorite part of my skincare regimen at the moment. 

I was just wondering what AHA/BHA exfoliants you recommend. I have combination skin & I tried to look for the tag but nothing popped up with /exfoliate /exfoliant /AHA /BHA, thank you

Asked by

I personally use Murad’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser twice a week, but as a mask for about three minutes after I’ve massaged it in. It’s a bead cleanser actually, very fine, similar to Dermalogica’s or Bobbi Browns but pre-soaked, much finer than the St. Ive’s or similar exfoliants. But the AHA/BHA properties are pretty useless if you just immediately wash it off, so I leave it on in the shower so it can do its job. I revolve this one with a japanese one I got in Tokyo but I have no idea what it’s called, so I can’t link you. 

I recommend this philosophy acne treatment as an exfoliator for combination skin actually. It isn’t marketed as a BHA/AHA exfoliant, but it works as one, since BHA is actually salicylic acid. Fragrance free, too. 




DIY Skin care recipes you should NEVER try! by Veronica Gorgeois

no seriously watch this, it’s important

listen to estheticians, kids. they know their shit.

(via k1mkardashian)

Review: Michael Todd True Organics Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser

Michael Todd True Organics Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser ($24.00 for 7.1 fl oz) | link is a charcoal-based cleanser that is wonderful for combination, oily or acne-prone skin because of its deep cleansing properties. I have been using this product for the last three months and I am in love with this cleanser for a couple of reasons.



  • This cleanses everything. I’m talking /everything/ okay. Any dirt or impurity your skin has will be cleansed completely with this cleanser. The nice thing is that you don’t even need that much product to cleanse your face completely – I use a half a pump of product for my entire face when I use cleansing oil beforehand. This will last for a very long time.
  • You don’t have to use a separate makeup remover. The website claims that this will take off makeup completely, and it does. Even my waterproof eyeliner and mascara melt away with water + this cleanser, with a tad bit of rubbing. Truly surprised – although I still use my cleansing oil.  
  • Helps with blackheads and clogged pores. My chin’s pores and I are in a constant battle for dominance and this cleanser is tipping the battle in my favor – even during my period! Definitely helps in keeping my pores unclogged and blackheads at bay in my trouble areas. 


  • This can be drying. I was tempted to put in the pros ‘not drying’ because as the weather gets warmer, it leaves my skin clean but not stripped. However, when I first started to use it during the later parts of the winter, I had to make sure not to use the cleanser too much or else I would get some dry spots. Would not recommend for dry skin because I fear this would irritate dry skin further (perhaps try the Honey and Oat cleanser).
  • The price. This is an interesting point, because I will spend a lot of money for my base makeup (foundation #1) and specific skincare treatments, but this is the most expensive cleanser that I’ve ever purchased.

Would I recommend? Yes absolutely. This is quickly becoming a staple in my nightly skincare routine and my skin has taken a turn for the better once I started using it, and I will be repurchasing when I eventually run out. 

My (Semi) Recent Purchases

Hi lovely followers! Recently, both of us have slowed down our general beauty purchases for various reasons, making our haul posts few and far between. However, I quite enjoy making haul posts, so here’s what I have purchased over the last three months.

Essence I <3 Extreme Volume Mascara | $4.99 | link: I am constantly on the hunt for mascara I actually like, but I heard great things about this one so I bought it at Ulta. If you have any suggestions for mascara, both of us are looking for good ones. Nice volume and decent length would be nice.

Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara | ~$12 | link: Speaking of recommendations, a wonderful reader recommended that both Arabelle and I try this brand of mascara because she really liked it, so when I went to a Japanese supermarket and saw it, I purchased it! At enormous markup but it was completely worth it; the product I’m looking forward to trying most out of everything here. Isn’t the packaging cute?

Sana Super Quick Gel Pencil Eyeliner | ~$12 | link: This was an impulsive purchase but one can never have enough black eyeliner so it’s completely justified. 

Bobbi Brown SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer in Deep Tint | $42 | link: Repurchased my favorite summer base product since my entire collection of drugstore foundations were breaking me out. Just enough coverage for my acne scars but light on the skin and good lasting power with a finishing powder. 

Etude House Sun Prise Natural Corrector SPF 42 PA ++ | ~$11 | link: I wanted to try a new sunscreen so I decided on this one, which is supposed to act as a makeup base as well as a sun protectant. This does leave a cast on the skin, which slowly adjusts to your skintone. As an African-American, I was very surprised that it actually adjusted darker, but it needs time. This product + powder and concealer would make a great light makeup base. However, I think this breaks me out. A tad heartbroken. 

Etude House Sun-Prise Water Essence Gel SPF 30 PA++ | ~$11 | link: I gravitate towards Asian sunscreens since they don’t break me out and they are better for my skin with no white cast. I purchased this from Gmarket along with the other sunscreen pictured above! I haven’t used this one yet but I think I’ll like it because it looks like the newer version of the sunscreen I used last summer – mentioned here.

Glycolix Elite Gly-Sal 5 Percent-2 Percent Pads | $16.40 | link: My skin had been reacting to absolutely everything I was using, so I decided to stop using all of my skincare for about a month except a light moisturizer, and then try something new for my acne. Found this product, and from two weeks of use, I must say I like this. Works well for my skin and my active breakouts are almost gone. 

What have you purchased recently, lovely followers? Comment on the post using Disqus! o/ See you soon and as always, leave a comment or an ask if you would like a review.