Sunday, 29 May 2011

Skincare: Soap and Glory "The Fab Pore" Review

I've never used a hot cloth cleanser before, I usually take my make up off with a wetwipe with a cleanser in it before I wash my face, then use a toner followed by moisturiser.

I've been using the L'Oreal face wash with the scrubby rubber pad lately... well actually I've been using the pad mostly, I don't like the smell of the L'Oreal wash. It's the blue one for normal to oily skins.

More often, I was using the rubber brush thing with my Lush Herbalism cleanser. I've messed about with Herbalism, mixing it with gel wash instead of water, and once mixing it with a cleansing milk (totally recommend mixing it with a milk, you get a really creamy, thick consistency that feels quite luxurious.)

My skin has become more problematic over the years. The teenage spots are gone, replaced by adult spots. I get large pores on my nose and the surrounding area, with blocked pores across my T-zone, little blackheads abundant, (those pore strips don't always catch them either,) random dry patches, uneven skin tone, dark circles, and most annoying recently (as I can cover everything else with make up) I've had a lumpy forehead.

These aren't spots or lumps of dry skin, they're almost like tiny blisters that can't be popped.

I've also been having to really work to get my make up off lately, because of the stay-put nature of the make up I've been wearing.

I'd been hearing a lot about Hot Cloth Cleansers that utilise a muslin cloth to gently exfoliate the skin, dampened with hot water to soften the pores. I'm fairly sure you can just use any cleansing milk or cream and buy some muslin cloths from The Body Shop or Boots (surprisingly Liz Earle offers the cheapest muslin cloths), but I wanted to try one that was purpose made and came with a cloth. Liz Earle is the most raved about and costs £13.25 for 100ml, and Boots do a No.7 one that is 200ml for £9.00, Sanctuary Spa offer 125ml for £10.25, and Soap and Glory have The Fab Pore, 100ml for £9.19.

I looked for reviews on all of them and whilst the No.7 cleanser seems the best value for money, I heard negative comments on the smell, and that it was better for dryer skins, and that it was not made with natural ingredients the way the Liz Earle one was. I couldn't actually find a list of ingredients online which put me off even more.

I looked around on YouTube and suchlike for reviews of all the products, but I could only find a couple that even mentioned the S&G or Sanctuary cleansers. I took this as a sign, these cleansers need a voice. Only able to test one for the moment due to money and giving each one a fair go, I picked S&G because I like the brand and other products I have of theirs (including the never-in-stock Sugar Crush which smells like mojitos!) and it was the cheaper of the two.

Here's the ingredients list:
Linalool , Synthetic Beeswax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Sorbitan Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Aqua (Water), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylparaben, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA
I like that they use Synthetic Beeswax instead of the real thing, which is vegan friendly (Liz Earle uses real Beeswax and therefore is NOT vegan friendly.) I like vegan friendly products. Even though I'm not vegan or even vegetarian, I have friends who are, my brother was vegan for a long time, and I want to be able to recommend a product that is ok for everyone to use. Unfortunately I don't know that much about vegan do's and don't's, only what I hear here and there, so #I can't be sure if this is vegan, but I think it is.
What I DO NOT like in these ingredients is Methylparaben, which is a carcinogen (poison) and I don't see the need for it.
  • Sweet Almond Oil is used as a carrier oil in aromatherapy and massage, it's good for the complexion and for soothing irritation. It's full of vitamins that are great for the skin and is easily absorbed.
  • Lavender Oil is often used for calming and de-stressing as well as in treatment of headaches, but it is also good for cleaning, and has antiseptic properties.
  • Bitter Orange Leaf Oil is used for acne and works well with Lavender Oil.
  • Clary Sage is used for complexion.
The interesting thing about these oils is that they are all used as de-stressers or anti-depressants that create a sense of well-being and in the case of Clary Sage, euphoria. ~No wonder I've been sniffing the cloth like it's full of crack, then.
I have noticed that I have a really good feeling after using it, and it does smell amazing.


Start with a dry face. You don't need to remove make up beforehand. Run some hot water (as hot as you can stand, you can add some cold if you need) in the sink and stick the plug in. Take the tube and squeeze some of the cleanser onto your fingers and massage it into your face, avoiding your eyes until the last possible moment. Only use it on your eyes if you have eye make up that needs to be removed and be warned, it doesn't do well with eyelash glue. It kind of melts and sticks to your face in a smudge and gets really hard to remove so make sure you get it off before you start. Keep your eyes shut tight and don't let it get in your eyes. Essential oils will irritate the eyes and if you have problems with the oils irritating your skin (as they can with certain skins) S&G recommend you switch to Clean Mary cleansing milk instead. However, this has been discontinued so there aren't many places you can get it. I've given you a link to buy from ASOS.
Massage it in for at least a minute, and then leave it on to work into the skin for another minute. You could drop a Lush Toner Tab into the sink and steam your face whilst you're letting it soak in, the heat will soften the pores and help the ingredients into the skin. Drop the cloth into the water so it can soak and warm while you're waiting. The oils will start to tingle a little bit.
When you're ready, take the cloth out of the sink, give it a squeeze so that it isn't dripping and, starting with the eyes if you applied cleanser there, start wiping it off in small circular motions, rinsing off the cloth regularly. Once it's all off, splash your skin with cold water to tighten the pores, rinse and hang up the cloth (do not leave it sitting crumpled in a ball, bacteria grows in the damp spots and it'll go all crusty) and if you can, let your face air dry. Towels will be a bit rough for your skin and they have bits of lint and fluff and dust in the fibres, so if you have to, use kitchen towel.
Remember that there are oils in your cleanser and your make up, and there will be tide marks in your sink; so give the sink a clean when you're finished, especially if you live in a shared house or with your parents. Save yourself the "What the hell have you been doing in my sink?!" argument!

I've been using it like this every day, and instead of using a scrub, I've been using the Body Shop facial brush to buff it into my skin instead of massaging it in with my fingers. Of course you can't do this every day, probably only once or twice a week depending on the state of your skin. The brush is really soft but it is still an exfoliating device and over usage will damage your skin.

After Using:

My face feels soft and smooth, I feel happy and refreshed, my pores are clear and more refined, any spots or scabs from spots that wouldn't go away are gone, redness is reduced, I have no need for concealer anywhere but my dark circles, and even the lumps on my forehead are gone! I feel so strange stroking my forehead and finding it smooth :-)

I didn't use it yesterday (well, I used it at 5am when I got back from Voodoo, but I've slept twice since then) and the little lumps have reappeared. I don't know if this means they are something I'll always have to battle or if it'll just take more time to get them gone for good.

My Verdict:

S&G The Fab Pore is a fantastic cleanser, and if they could just get rid of that methylparaben it would be even better. It isn't eye safe, even though you can use it to take off your eye make up you need to keep it out of your eyes. It's a bad point, but if you changed it you'd have to take out all the essential oils which work so well on the skin. The muslin cloth seems good quality, I've heard complaints about the No.7 cloth being poor quality. I give it a four and a half out of your mother.

I will try out Liz Earle when I get a chance so I know what The Fab Pore is up against, and give you a comparison when I do.

Hope you found this helpful if you're looking at cleansers.

Much love,
Hell Thirteen

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