Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Skincare for the Stars: Erno Laszlo

I've always suffered from problematic skin: from ezcema when I was young, which left dry, scaly red patches on the apples of my cheeks, to hormonal cystic acne, which plagued me as a teen and well into adulthood. At the moment, I'm the not-so-proud owner of classic combination skin: oily in the T-zone and dry everywhere else.

The kind folks over at Erno Laszlo (the famed skincare brand beloved by Hollywood celebrities like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe) caught wind of my skincare drama and sent over a collection of products for me to try, which was super exciting for me, as I've been a long-time admirer of the brand, having seen it stocked at Harrods and Harvey Nichols. 

Dr. Laszlo is perhaps most well known for his "double cleanse" method. The two-piece oil and soap bar sets target different skincare concerns and I tried the Hydra-Therapy duo to "hydrate and nourish". Unlike other cleansing oils, this one doesn't emulsify into a milky substance. Instead, you're supposed to massage the oil onto dry skin first, then - wet the bar of soap - and directly apply the bar to your face.

It felt a little strange to do this at first, but Dr. Laszlo clearly knew what he was doing, because together, the oil and soap are the magic combination - leaving my skin soft and cleansed, ready for the next step.

Of course, by day four of my Erno Laszlo trial, I was feeling lazy and wanted to skip the cleansing in favor of a quick swipe of hot-water-on-a-cloth, but was immediately reminded of Dr. Laszlo's stern adage, "Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle." Which I found both cutting and highly amusing. It reminded of that time I went to get a facial and the aesthetician asked me how many glasses of water I drank and how many "leafy green vegetables" I consumed per day and I mumbled something like, "1, 2 ... like, I mean, I eat salad and stuff ... sometimes ..." and she barked, "How can you expect to improve the outside if you're not helping the inside?" before I shrank into the treatment room like a crab disappearing under a rock.

But I digress.

After a full week of using the double cleanse method, I noticed that my skin stopped getting so oily in the afternoon and dry in the evenings. It looked and felt more balanced.

But for me, the real winner was the Hydra-Therapy Refresh Infusion Serum - a light, non-sticky (it's almost like water) serum that claims to "work on three levels to restore and preserve precious moisture". I typically apply serums and facial oils after my toner and before my moisturiser, so I tried this shortly after cleansing and, you know what? My face felt incredibly smooth and lasted that way for the whole day (definitely just touched my cheeks right now to test it out again). I typically use one pump of this in the morning, but it's something I'll definitely be purchasing when I run out.

Lastly, I've been using the Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask at night to help give me that extra moisture boost I need at the end of the day. I'm a huge fan of sleep masks (as long as I give them a minute or two to sink in, they don't leave any residue on my pillow and I wake up with nourished, glowing skin) and this one, though a little less effective than the one I normally use, was a great alternative to have on hand. My skin drank it up and I still woke with some dry patches in the morning, so I might need to work on drinking more water towards the end of the day (probably) and perhaps use a bit more product, as I've been a little conservative in my application.

An important lesson I learned when I was in my twenties was that investing in good, quality skincare is worth it - whether it's one dedicated set of products you return to again and again with no parabens or phthalates, or a range of cleansers, moisturisers and mists on rotation that just work for you.

What's your skincare routine like? I'd love to know! My mom has amazing skin ... and she just washes with a hot flannel and uses cold cream after! I wish mine was as low-maintenance, but alas ... I didn't inherit her glow.

All products provided courtesy of Erno Laszlo, a brand I love and use. All opinions are my own. Shop Erno Laszlo in the UK here.

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