Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Review: Garnier Pure Active Range

If you've visited my blog before, you'll probably be aware of the difficulties I've been having with my skin. I went through my teens and early 20's with nothing more than the odd blemish, then after that it all went downhill! I've been prescribed Differin Gel which has been working wonders for the past 2 months. Obviously I still have to be very careful with what I put on my face and that usually means oil-free makeup and moisturisers. I have a 6 page list of ingredients that are pore clogging and/or irritating to acne prone skin and I carry this with me when purchasing anything new. I find that the majority of drugstore or high-end skincare contain some combination of these harmful ingredients. This is hugely infuriating, as I want to look after my skin and should be able to go out and buy something without the worry that it will actually make my face worse-I'm sure I'm not alone.

Garnier however, have just launched their new Pure Active range which is specifically formulated for and tested on spot-prone skin. Sounds good so far, so how does it measure up? Well as always, I like to point out that with skincare or indeed any item that I test, it's my opinion and findings and you may feel that you get different results yourself, afterall we're all different!
First of all the Deep Pore Unclogging Wash and Blackhead Clearing Scrub shown in the image above, I decided against testing. A closer look at the ingredients revealed there were a few things that may or may not have irritated my skin and at this stage (when my skin is almost back to normal), I didn't want to risk it. It's worth bearing in mind though, that these are wash-off products which aren't absorbed into the skin over a long period of time, so may very well not break me out. I may still give these a try at a later stage as I've seen many positive reviews for them so far.
The other 3 products I've been using are Spot Fighting 24hr Moisturiser, Spot Purifying Toner and Spot-On Roll-On Rapid Soothing Relief. Overall these products have a very clinical, chemical smell which I wasn't keen on. Although in saying that, many products of this type seem to-it's perhaps greedy to ask for sweet smelling but spot busting! Also they all have a tingling effect on the skin which was very off-putting at first. The toner was especially bad, with a burning sensation upon application. I wasn't sure if I was having a reaction or if this was the product working 'deep down' and effectively. However after continued use, I have not found any bad effects. Just be sure to wash hands after application and don't get near your eyes or on your lips (it tastes yuckier than it smells!)

I was quite 'lucky' a couple of weeks ago, as I accidently used the wrong foundation and thinking 'what harm could it do?', applied it and woke up the next day with 4 or 5 spots. I say lucky, because it gave me a chance to see if these products really worked! I'll give more detailed info below, but I was really impressed with how quickly these products worked to get my skin back to normal. They are super effective at speeding up the process of a spot.

The toner feels like it is really wiping away deep down dirt, it feels so clean and leaves skin very refreshed. It, along with the rest of the range, contains 2% Salicylic Acid, a well known anti-bacterial ingredient which is used to help refine pores and prevent spots from appearing. Plus HerbaSoothe which Garnier have derived from blueberries, which soothes and cares for skin.
The moisturiser is a pale blue almost gel like formula (above) in a handy pump dispenser. I've been desperate to find a moisturiser that meets my needs, as so many of them contain ingredients that I shouldn't use. This one isn't perfect, but the 'bad' ingredients are very low on the list and they haven't given me any trouble. I found it absorbed into the skin very easily and didn't feel greasy or drying. I would say my skin is oily-ish in the t-zone but normal on the cheeks and it can be hard finding something to suit my slightly combination skin. It claims to be mattifying, however I felt it left my face with a slight sheen (not oily though). I actually reckon it was because my skin was so 'clean' from using this and the toner.
I've saved the best until last. I really love the idea of this product, it's so easy to carry around and apply no matter where you are, throughout the day. The only disadvantage, is some people may not find it hygienic to apply direct to the affected area (as the ball will rotate and touch the rest of the liquid within the bottle). The metal rollerball is really cooling and although it tingles for a little while, it does feel soothing. I applied this in the morning to my spots (and used Differin at night). After the first day my spots were still there but slightly reduced, after 2 days they were significantly reduced and dried out. The faint, remaining marks took another few days to disappear, but were much more easily covered with makeup. I feel my spots normally take a really long time to come to a head and completely disappear, but not with this. I've also noticed that smaller blemishes haven't really had the chance to come to anything when using these products, so they do as they say. *update* I have just received information from Garnier regarding the hygiene issue "The Pure Active spot-on roll-on is an innovative format that rolls out the formula for on-the-spot application and is designed not to let any of the product back in. If for any reason any product does get back into the applicator the high level of salicylic acid (2%) helps kill any bacteria that could be present as this is a key antibacterial ingredient." Brilliant news!

In conclusion, I'm quite impressed, they definitely help speed up the blemish process and over time I'm sure they will prevent further break outs. The downside is the burning sensation and scent and I do wish the packaging was a bit more lust worthy. Although it's probably targeted at teens and you certainly can't fault the high-street prices. Visit the Garnier Pure Active website for more info.

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