Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Saving Face with The Soothe Chef

I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret: I struggle profusely with acne. Since sixth grade, I've tried tons of different "miracle" skin cleansers or medications from my dermatologist, and while a few of them helped, I've still had a hard time with it- until now. In today's Etsy Subscription Box Review, I'm sharing my experience with The Soothe Chef's Organic Skincare Box. I've been using the products in this box for over two months now, and they have completely revolutionized the way I treat my acne. Keep reading for my new skincare routine in full.
The first item in this box is Micellar Water. I'll admit to having no idea what this stuff was when I opened it, but after some internet searching, I was sold. Micellar Water is made up of molecules called micelles which, when applied to the skin, are attracted to dirt or other impurities in the skin, suspended in soft water, which is just regular water minus certain metal cations. This is important because these micelles basically pull everything you don't want on your face away, leaving behind clean skin. The best part is, it's applied with a cotton pad, and you don't have to wash it off. No water or washcloths involved! It's a lazy girl's dream. I begin my skincare routine morning and night by thoroughly cleaning my face with a cotton pad doused in this.

If you want more detailed information on micellar water, I'd recommend this article from Huffington Post for an overview or this article from Lab Muffin for a more in-depth scientific explanation as to why it works so well.
Next is the Charcoal Facial Cleanser. This little bar looks really cool (my brother calls it my lava rock), and it's a really great facial cleaner, though I don't use it half the time. In the mornings or on days that I don't wear makeup, I just use the micellar water to save time. I save this for when I'm wearing a lot of makeup or just on days where I feel the urge to make my face feel squeaky clean. I've actually found that my face has been a lot softer now that I've cut down on the amount of times I wash my face in a given week, though I think this cleanser is on the gentler side.
The next product was another first-time for me- Toner. I've heard about toners for ages but never really paid them much mind or knew much about what they did. These products are meant to be used after a facial cleanser to remove any extra impurities and the oily film often left on your face after using a cleaner. I only use this after washing with the charcoal face wash on days that I wear makeup, and it leaves my face feeling more clean and fresh than the cleanse alone. I wouldn't say it's an essential step in a skincare routine, but it's definitely a good refresher.
Lastly for my daily skincare routine is the Facial Serum for Acne-Prone Skin. The serum also comes in dry, oily, and average formulas for those who don't struggle with acne like I do! This product has been a life saver for me this winter, as my face has felt overly dry and irritated, and it completely turned the condition of my skin around. After using the aforementioned products, I apply two prescription medications, Epiduo and Aczone, and apply this over them. I use this primarily at night since it makes my skin look much more oily than usual and is primarily meant to be used at night, but when my skin is feeling more dry than usual, I will use it in the mornings, too. This serum makes my face feel so smooth and moisturized and has done much more for my face than any moisturizer I've ever used.
The last item in the box is the Blackhead Buster Charcoal Facial Masque. This is a great mask to use on a weeknight when you're feeling stressed and need to take a few minutes to relax and dedicate some time for yourself. The masque comes with a sheet that includes several different recipes, allowing you to mix the powder with a large variety of ingredients in order to perfectly match your skin type. I used the most basic recipe, a half tablespoon of the powder combined with three quarters of a teaspoon of water, and applied it to my face, allowing it to sit for about twenty minutes. The masque goes on a very dark green but fades to a more pastel green when it hardens. It is removed with warm water and a washcloth in minutes and is simple to use, making it great for when you need a little pick-me-up on a packed schedule. Its versatility also allows you to play around with ingredients to find what you like best! I personally have never struggled much with blackheads, my battle is with whiteheads, so I didn't notice much in terms of lessening my acne, but it did leave my face feeling extremely smooth and fresh.

In the two months since I changed my skincare routine, my acne has cleared up almost completely. I've put this to the ultimate test, going through my menstrual cycle twice, which is when I usually break out the most, and being crazy stressed about upcoming mid semester exams, yet my skin has been completely under control. I didn't even go through much of a transition phase with these products! I normally break out a bit when switching bits of my skincare routine, but this worked its way flawlessly into my routine, and I've had so many compliments from family and friends about how clear my skin looks! You can find the latest box in The Soothe Chef's Etsy shop for $30, with the products inside retailing for $44! I would highly recommend this service, and so will your skin.

Remember that I have received compensation for the posts in my Etsy Subscription Box Review series, but none of my opinions are influenced by the featured brands. All opinions are my own.

Check out the rest of the series here!

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