I’m going to write this entire review based on a hope that you will understand this slightly flimsy premise: ‘post-holiday skin.’ By this, I’m not referring to any concerns as a result of sun exposure, but rather the sense of skin being oddly clearer and softer as a result of your having slept more, eaten well and having been exposed to healing salt water. It’s a quality thing that is hard to put your finger on. Anchor that post-holiday skin thing in your head to give you a frame of reference – these two Institut Esthederm products used in conjunction do that.
Neither contain a whisper of grain, nor foam when wet. In fact, it’s kind of hard to know anything is going on, so I almost wiped both off my face to apply something a little more tingly and satisfying when I first tried them. Ah, me of little faith. When used together as per the instructions weekly, my skin has thrived: it’s hardier, with fewer spots and blackheads and more glow. But – and it’s a big but – you have to use it like this…
Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser / Apply a large butter bean-sized blob to dry, cleansed skin (I tend to do a pre-cleanse to remove make-up and then use this) in strokes and small circles. Do not stop this motion – you want to gently keep working this into the skin for the duration of the time that it’s on in order to ‘re-balance your skin’s ecosystem’ (they’re a French company, I tried to get the science, they continued to slightly baffle me with tales of cellular water and the like – I’m recommending this one based entirely on the the results I saw on my skin). Rinse off. N.B. This can be used every other night without the second step.
Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Lightening Buffing Mask / Don’t you worry about the ‘lightening’ bit – ze French of course mean brightening. And that’s what you’ll get from this mask – more even, clear-looking skin without any weakening of the surface barrier or redness from aggressive scrubbing. So, your skin has been cleansed with the Deep Pore Cleanser. Pat dry, squeeze a little dollop of this out and smooth onto skin. Leave on for about two minutes, and then start to rub in small circles – some of the mask will start to roll off. Keep going for a little bit (remember to be gentle, though), and then rinse any remaining mask off. Et voilà!