During my Bali vacation I woke up to the fact how much air pollution sticks to the skin along the day. It´s no wonder I´d be wiping black dirt off my face in the evening if I had been riding my scooter half day around Ubud. I could have not even thought of going to sleep without cleansing my face first. I understood why Asian women are fans of double cleansing: the air pollution in the cities is a true problem.
In Finland you won´t end up having as much air pollution on your skin unless you spend excessive amounts of time in traffic, but even here your skin cannot escape environmental pollution. Many may be thinking of a cleanser merely as a make up remover and hence pondering on it´s importance if they don´t use a lot of make up. Before we can even begin talking about skin care the face and neck have to be cleansed, after all that is the whole base to skin care.
Aside of cleansing off make up it is important to cleanse off all the environmental pollution that during the day has accumulated on the skin, which is one of the most common reasons for skins premature ageing. Skins exposure to air pollution begins the production of oxygen free radicals which when accumulated cause cell and tissue damage. Air pollution accelerates oxidative stress and multiply the UV damage in skin. Oxidative stress means an imbalance in the skin where free radicals harm the skin cells. When the skin is repeatedly exposed to free radicals, especially environmental pollution, it reduces the production of collagen and elastin. If the skin is unable to cleanse on a cell level it begins to look gray and dull, pores get clogged and wrinkles become more prominent.
Careful skin cleansing does not mean washing the skin – anyone who has read my book or is an avid reader of my blog surely knows this, but repetition is the mother of all learning, so here we go. Forget about cleansers containing detergents, like cleansing foams and gels, they cause external strain on the hydrolipidic film which harms the natural skin barrier. Make up foundations are rarely water soluble so the smartest thing to do is to cleanse make up off with an oil cleanser. Oil cleansing is an effective way of cleansing off the make up and simultaneously it dissolves extra sebum and environmental impurities from the pores. In a double cleanse you top the oil cleanser with another cleanser, which can be a cleansing milk or a cleansing cream. The later cleanses off the oil and intensifies the cleansing of the skin without harming the skin barrier.
The natural cosmetics genious Tata Harper´s cleansers have been my favorites for a long time. Tata´s selection has perfect products for a gentle but effective double cleanse and a detox cleanser designed especially for cleansing off air pollutants and impurities. Tata talks a lot about the damage environmental pollution has on our skin and a while ago the detox cleanser made a new friend in the detox mask, which she calls the skins “juice cleanse”.
Let´s see what a skin detox ala Tata Harper looks like.
Tata´s Nourishing Oil Cleanser is my definite favorite of all the oil cleansers I have tried, it´s consistency and ingredients are perfect. The cleanser is like liquid velvet, it effectively cleanses make up and impurities and emulsifies off with water if you want to pass on the double cleanse. The cleanser contains plenty of rose hip oil (first in the ingredients list) and apricot seed oil, argan oil, sacha inchi oli, camellia oil, which transfer vitamins A, C and E to the skin, beta carotene, lycopene and omega 3 fatty acids – they aid in neutralising oxygen free radicals and nourish the skin. Use the cleanser on dry skin, rub on the face an neck for a couple of minutes. After this we continue to the second cleanser.
The Purifying Cleanser had me nearly hyperventilating the first time I tried it on. It´s consistency is gel like, but contains nearly no detergents. The consistency is more of a gel like cream. Even though I had already used a bottle of this cleanser I was gasping for air when Tata´s head of Canada was in Finland last spring conducting a skin care work shop. As we were applying the cleanser on the back of our hands with the other attendees everyone experienced the same effect: our hands seemed to be miss matching, the detox cleanser brightened and lightened the skin nearly two tones. It was absolutely amazing!
The Detox cleanser minimises pores and neutralises the stress on skin caused by environmental pollution preserving the skins moisture balance. The enzymes of pomegranate and papaya and willow bark extract very gently peel the skin and brighten skin tone. Broccoli and aloe vera leaf extract transfer ample antioxidants to the skin. Clove, ginger, spruce and fennel oils activate micro blood circulation and leave a cool sensation on the skin. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme which has begun to show up in some products lately. It is a powerful antioxidant that occurs naturally in the body as well but it´s amount decreases as we age. It is also found in several leafy greens like for example broccoli. SOD effectively prevents the function of free radicals and reduces signs of premature ageing.
Apply the detox cleanser on top of the oil cleanser and again rub on to the skin for a couple of minutes avoiding the eye contour area. Rinse the skin with lukewarm water and press dry with a facial towel.
If your skin is very dry, thin and sensitive I recommend choosing Tata´s Refreshing Cleanser instead of the detox cleanser. The invigorating creamy cleanser has a grapefruit scent, contains no detergents and is completely gentle. Even though being super gentle is is equally effective due to it´s pomegranate, grapefruit and willow bark extracts that very gently peel and brighten the skin. Refreshing Cleanser is perfect for ageing skin and it contains the super antioxidant SOD as well.
The refreshing cleanser is used as the second part of the double cleanse: apply it on top of the oil cleanser and rub on to the face and neck for a couple minutes. Finish by rising the face with lukewarm water and press dry with a facial towel.
The Purifying Mask regardless of it´s name is not a regular cleansing mask just for oily and impure skins. It is developed especially for cleansing environmental pollution and toxins deep within the pores and to prevent signs of premature ageing for all skin types. The mask effectively minimises pores, brightens the skin tone and leaves the skin feeling refreshingly cool. The feel is remarkably same as with the detox cleanser due to it containing clove, ginger, spruce and fennel essential olis which give a cooling and tingling sensation to the skin.
The base of the mask is of aloe vera juice and kaolin which help cleanse the skin of toxins. Papaya enzyme and willow bark extract gently peel the skin and cleanse pores. Tata has added a probiotic extract to the mix to enhance the skins natural bacteria and function in shielding from harmful bacteria. The sea weed extract transfers oxygen to the skin, turmeric brightens and broccoli contains plenty of antioxidants. Sandalwood and calendula calm the skin. Meadowsweet calms irritations, minimises pores and brightens skin tone.
The mask does not dry hard on the face but remains pleasently soft. Apply a thick layer on the face and neck avoiding the eye contour area and leave on for 10-20 minutes depending on how sensitive your skin is. Finish by rinsing off with cool water or with a damp konjac sponge. Begin by using the mask daily for 2 to 3 days and continue with a weekly appliance.
I did not think of packing any detox products with me to Bali except a facial peel and on arriving back to Finland my skin has been craving for a good detox. The skin detox with Tata´s products has been like a juice cleanse for my face, so once again her products deliver exactly what they promise.
Finally I have news for you that will make you jump of joy: if you are coming to Helsinki head over to the brand new Naturelle flagship store at Bulevardi 24. The store carries luxurious natural cosmetics products and is so beautiful you will probably just want to drift the day away over there.
By using the code NATURELLE15 on their webstore you will get a 15% discount of all until 18.9.2016.
Who is in with the skin detox? Have you had a chance to try Tata´s detox products?
Photos Katja Kokko
Translated by Mariko Pajalahti