Clinique’s City Block Purifying™ Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub Review

Clinique Grey

Clinique Pink

Face – Exfoliate

Clinique’s City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub



charcoal clay mask+scrub

See On –

What It Is:

A 5-minute dual-action detoxifying – exfoliating clay mask.

Skin Types:

Oily Skin.

What It Does:

Purifies and polishes your skin. This dual-purpose exfoliator gives a delightful deep-clean treatment.

Natural bamboo charcoal and kaolin clay help to remove pollution and impurities, while natural silica beads gently refine texture.

Suitable for extra cleansing; if you have oily skin that can benefit from the use of a clay mask; City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub is for ideal for you. This highly absorbent and fragrance-free product helps make skin look smooth and refined in just five minutes.

Once applied this clay mask/scrub hybrid goes on as a medium gray shade that turns light blue as it dries, indicating its time to rinse.

You’ll feel the clay become progressively tighter as it dries, but once you rinse, the skin doesn’t feel taut or overly dry. This clay mask product would not be suitable for someone with dry, dehydrated skin.

Ingredients: Click To SeeWater, Kaolin, Butylene Glycol, Silica, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Charcoal Powder, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Sucrose, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.

How To Use:

Use 1-2 times per week.

Leave on for five minutes or until mask turns blue.


Combines cleansing of a scrub with the oil absorption of a clay mask.

It will help reduce pore size and clear blackheads.

Leaves skin refined and matte, not tight or dry.

Works in five minutes and rinses off easily.

Contains gentle, plant-based soothing agents.


Not only will it remove dead skin, but it also removes impurities and pollution from your skin. This allows for the new skin to appear with a healthy, glowing appearance to it.

When you are washing the mask off, you gently work it into the skin and get the scrub effect but without the harshness of some ‘scrub’ exfoliants, this is perfect as we don’t want to be ‘tearing’ at our face to achieve good results! The other thing I like about this mask is that it doesn’t leave your skin feeling too dry or tight.

It’s not a deep clean, but it helps to keep skin looking good, and it is an important part of your skin management program when applied twice a week.

The reviews for this product have been excellent.

I like that this product has a clean ingredient list, no added fragrance or irritants.

I would recommend this product.

Have you used any Clinique Products? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.


Clinique’s 7 Day Scrub – Cream Rinse-Off Formula Review

Clinique Grey

Clinique Pink

Face – Exfoliate

Clinique’s 7 Day Scrub – Cream Rinse-Off Formula

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream

    See on –


What It Is:

Gentle exfoliating cream polishes skin and refines skin texture.

Skin Type:

Normal to Dry Skin.

What It Does:

This fragrance-free scrub has a very creamy texture and contains coconut oil, making it more suitable for people with normal to dry skin.

If you have oily or combination skin, it is possible you will find this is too creamy for your skin.

This version includes the more environmentally-friendly silica as the scrub. The silica grains are microfine and gentle, so when you are applying, and working the solution into your skin you should not feel any harshness on your face, which is welcome news for your skin.

In addition to emollient ingredients, this also contains some mild cleansing agents. The formula rinses cleanly from the skin, leaving it feeling softer and conditioned.

Dermatologist-developed exfoliating cream refines skin texture, helps to smooth and polish skin and unblock pores. Also, helps minimize the appearance of fine, dry lines. Exfoliate clears the way for moisture and smoother makeup application.

Ingredients: Click To SeeWater/Aqua/Eau, Tridecyl Stearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Dipentaerythrityl Hexacaprylate / Hexacaprate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Sorbitol, Hexyldecyl Stearate, Bisabolol, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Triethanolamine, Oleth-10 Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Stearyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorphenesin.

How To Use:

Can be used daily as it is not harsh on the skin.


My skin is very dry, many exfoliants & peels leave my skin dehydrated with flaky patches, and skin feeling very tight. This product, however, along with intense serum therapy has produced the best surface I have ever had.

It says a 7-day scrub, I use it every night as a part of my cleansing routine, and as a small amount is only required, a tube last a fair while. My face is then ready to receive retinol and serums with my skin looking perfect the next morning. I would definitely recommend this product.

Have you used any Clinique Products? How do you rate there beauty products? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.


Do Face Masks Work?

face mask

The popularity of Face masks has never been so widespread as they are today. Do face masks work? The consensus is that they do work.

But as with a lot of other cosmetics, the options are enormous.

You have Korean face masks, clay masks, cream masks, gel masks exfoliation masks to name but a few. So, how does a person who is looking for a face mask choose?

You then have to decide which face mask is suitable for my skin type?

After you find the suitable product, you have to be sure you are not going to do more damage than good to your skin!

So, let us see if we can guide you through the face mask minefield and, hopefully, find an answer to the question, do face masks work?

What Face Mask for my skin type?

When you try to decide what face mask will suit your skin, it may seem straightforward enough if your skin is the same all over your type

But for some people, it can be that you have dry skin on your cheeks while your forehead and nose could be oily. Your chin could be prone to breakouts, and your neck could be very sensitive and become red at the slightest hint of a face mask containing alcohol.

It may mean that you have to use a variety of different types of the face mask at the same time, one for dry skin on your cheeks and one suitable for oily skin on forehead and nose.

Just because a particular type of product is trendy at the moment, it doesn’t make suitable for your needs, the worst thing anyone can do is to put an unsuitable product near their skin.

There is usually a solution out there for even the most complex skin types.

Oily Skin:

The temptation for people with oily skin is getting a face mask that they hope will strip off all the excess oil on there face.

People seem to forget that your skin does need some oil to protect it.full face mask

The most common cause of oily skin is often due to moisture deficiency.

To combat this, your body trying to keep the moisture in by covering the skin with oil. The kindest thing for your skin is to hydrate it.

You should consider using a CLAY face mask. Look for one that has Bentonite and Kaolin as this will help to absorb excess oil and control shine to leave skin with a smooth looking complexion.

Another ingredient good for oily skin in need of hydrating is hyaluronic acid. It is suitable for keeping the skin subtle and hydrated and very lightweight.

Avoid masks that are likely to clog pores with such ingredients as beeswax or cocoa butter.

Dry Skin:

The cause of dry, dehydrated skin is due to a very thin protective layer that is letting moisture evaporate from the skin’s surface. The best mask for dehydrated skin is something that promotes moisturizing.

A nourishing, rich cream texture mask that combines plant oils, antioxidants, and vitamins A & C to help protect the epidermis. Glycerin to help strengthen the skin surface is particularly useful if the skin is in need of rehydrating.

Sensitive Skin:

If you suffer from sensitive skin, it will be crying out for face mask with calming detoxifying ingredients.

These type of masks will help with breakouts, skin irritation, and rashes brought on by pollution, hormones, and stress. Antioxidants will calm irritated skin and remove free radicals from below the surface.

Again look for an ultra creamy, moisturizing mask containing plant oils, green tea to relieve any inflammation.

Whatever mask you pick you must avoid alcohol and harsh chemicals as these will dry and irritate your already sensitive skin.

Acne prone skin:

Acne prone skin can be brought about by unbalanced moisture levels. If you keep removing the protective oils from the skin surface and then apply creams and balms, you will clog the pores so leading to spots and pimples.full face mask

A charcoal gel mask to remove impurities containing bentonite and kaolin to help with excess oils that help decongest pores, BHA (Salicylic Acid) suited to Oily Skin. Glycerin to soothe and lightly hydrate skin. Niacinamide is very good for oily acne prone skin.

How often should I use a face mask?

I would suggest if you have an excellent skin care routine the need for a face mask would be one or twice a week at the most.

I would also think most face mask will say this on the packaging, so do heed what the directions say on the packet.

A face mask that does have harsh chemicals and alcohol or have a specific purpose such as Exfoliating, anti-acne or anti-aging will have ingredients that can irritate your skin if you overuse them, be warned!

Korean Face Masks:

Korean Face Masks are advertised everywhere these days.

The beauty world is waxing lyrical about the benefits they offer.

Korean Face Masks are also known as sheet masks, and they are for single use only. The sheets are usually cotton pads soaked in skin repair ingredients.

The mask will have the eyes, nose, and mouth cut out and sit on the face to allow the ingredients to infuse into the skin for the duration it is on the face, usually around 20 minutes. It is due to the skin-smoothing ingredients that Korean face mask are so popular.Korean face mask

But despite all of this, the benefits from Korean face masks are limited.

The deep-down healing that our face skin requires to look its best is not possible from the best Korean face mask.

The way Korean face masks work is to keep active ingredients locked against your skin. It acts as a barrier to retain the moisture where it can work best, against your skin.

The sheet mask will not go hard and dry like clay or mud masks, but when they dry, they crack leaving gaps for the moisture to escape when it is the essential thing the skin needs and wants.

Using the Korean sheet mask, you will not get this problem. The mask will retain moisture in the skin for as long as it is on. As good as that may sound to you, Korean face masks are limited in the benefits they provide.

The problem with them is they work on the top surface of the skin (epidermis), but they do not penetrate down very deep into the lower layers, the dermis, and the hypodermis.

It is in these lower skin layers we find too precious assets to having healthy, radiant skin, namely Collagen and elastin.

It is these two proteins that your skin is supported by and gives it that smooth, tight appearance we all crave.

Korean face masks cannot get deep enough to be of any benefit to these to vital facial structures.

So even though these type of masks are great for the appearance of the skin and very faint lines, it will do nothing for wrinkled skin.

It is the deeper, more stubborn wrinkles that develop as you age and to try to improve them you need to penetrate the deeper layers where collagen and elastin are found.

So, we know Korean face mask do have active ingredients, and they work fine on the top layer of skin, but it’s the fact they keep moisture in the skin is the reason you see benefits from their use.

After about 20 minutes the cotton sheet dries and so loses its moisture trapping capabilities, if you leave the mask on any longer it can in fact start to draw moisture back out of the skin.

In those 20 minutes that you have the sheet on you are not getting to the lower lying problems or do anything to remove deep wrinkles in the skin.

Silicone Patches:

So, that leads us to something that is effective in the form of a mask like alternative, Silicone patches.

The silicone patch works in s similar way to the sheet mask in that it forms a barrier on the surface of the skin. It stops moisture from escaping and traps it next to the skin. The patch will let oxygen and moisture in from the air outside and then becomes trapped under the patch and pushed deeper into the skin.

silicone patches full face

The silicone patch is worn for longer periods, eight hours or more, and is suitable to have on overnight. This allows the moisture to affect the collagen and elastin, the support your skin relies on to look smooth and ultimately free from wrinkles.

While you are sleeping the silicone patches feed your skin the much-needed moisture, and the other benefit from silicone patches is they can be reused, up to 15 times which is more cost effective than the Korean face mask.

Our Conclusion:

Whatever face mask you eventually decide to use you will gain benefits from using it, and the beauty of face masks is that you can use two different types in one week and get double the benefits from them.
Using face masks will also allow you to get the maximum benefits from all the other products you apply daily as part of your skincare routine.
Your moisturizers, skin tone and hydrating products will be to work much better without dead skin cells and blocked pores getting in the way.

You will also benefit by using the time that it is on by closing your eyes and giving yourself a few minutes well-earned relaxation, it’s a win-win situation.


Do you have a favourite face mask you use? Please leave any comments or questions below and I will be happy to discuss them with you.


Best Way to Exfoliate Your Face

Exfoliate Face


Exfoliating your face is something that can bring that ‘sparkle’ back to your complexion, it removes all the leftovers that your daily facial wash doesn’t lift and will leave your skin looking refreshed and glowing with that all-important youthful appearance.

Why Exfoliate Your Face?

You Exfoliate your face to get rid of ‘dead’ skin cells and to cleanse pores that become clogged up with all the moisturizers and makeup you apply on a daily basis. Yes, your daily face wash and cleansing will help remove some of this but only to a certain degree, to get deep down into the skin this is when slightly stronger products that you use when exfoliating are required.

Moisturiser is applied daily and is an integral part of the process to protect the skin from ageing. When used on the face it moistens the skin, those slightly dry areas soak it up and don’t look so flaky or scaly anymore, this gives the skin a radiant, youthful appearance. The problem this then creates is the ‘dead’ skin cells that are ready to leave your face have also soaked up the moisturizer and so prevents them from falling, which in turn prevents the new ‘fresher’ looking skin from appearing.

Clarisonic Mia2 side
Clarisonic Mia2 Facial Cleanser Review

With the dead skin getting thicker with moisturiser it will eventually start to become dull looking and maybe even a little rough and uneven. As a result, this will make it difficult for you to get your make up on in that smooth, silky look you desire.

For people who suffer from acne, the worst thing they can do is leave dead skin cells on their face. The dead skin is the perfect place for bacteria to build up which in turn is the ideal breeding ground for spots! P.acnes bacteria in your skin will lead to more and more spots. It is essential for people with acne to exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and eliminate the bacteria from forming.

Also, it is imperative to keep those skin pores from getting clogged up with dead skin and pollutants, the more of it we leave on our face, the bigger the pores will begin to look, as dirt and grime begin to collect so the appearance of ‘blackheads’ arrives. Exfoliation keeps those pores free from build up!

Can Exfoliating Prevent Wrinkles?

Now that is a headline that gets plenty of attention! Of course, people will say if exfoliating my skin can prevent wrinkles why  smooth faceam I paying xx amount of dollars on expensive anti-aging creams? Well as mentioned moisturisers and anti-aging creams are very important, but they do stop the dead skin cells from falling this, in turn, prevents the younger smoother and better-nourished skin beneath from appearing. The old skins cells become dull and a ‘bit tired’ these need to be removed through exfoliating and allow new skin to come through. New skin will have a more youthful appearance so, to answer the question, yes to a certain extent exfoliating removes the tired, dead skin that would lead to wrinkles.

Skin Types & Exfoliants:

Before you begin exfoliating your face, it is important to know exactly what your skin type is. Exfoliates come in many formulas, so it is essential to use the one that matches your skin type. Generally, there are five skin types:

Normal – Dry – Oily – A Combination of the previous three – Sensitive

Using a product that doesn’t match your skin, you will end up doing more damage than good. All Skin types will benefit significantly from exfoliation, but it is imperative that you use the product that matches your skin type.

Suitable Products To Exfoliate Face:

ScrubNormal to Dry Skin – Review

ScrubOily Skin – Review

Peel  –   Normal to Dry Skin & Sun Damaged – Review

Peel  –  Combination to Oily Skin – Review

The Difference Between Scrubs and Peels:

So, do we ‘Scrub‘ or ‘Peel‘?

Choosing to ‘Scrub’ exfoliate, is deemed as a ‘mechanical scrub.’ The solution that  you are using will have tiny particles in it; these can be made up from micro-grains of sugar or a finer exfoliating powder like rice grain or even salt. It is these particles that act as the ‘scrub’ on your face. You would either use a brush by hand or a hand-held motorised device to work the solution into your face and almost polish the surface. Now, this way of exfoliating can be deemed to be quite harsh on the skin, and even create tiny micro tears. I would be less inclined to use this type of exfoliation if you have sensitive skin as it can be severe and cause much irritation. Some benefits of using a ‘Scrub’ exfoliant

  • Deep Cleansing of the Face
  • Remove Blackheads
  • Toning the Face
  • Removes Dead Skin Cells
  • Unclog Pores

Opting to ‘Peel‘ exfoliate, which is also known as a chemical peel. The solution has acid in it which is the active ingredient that peels away the dead skin. It is generally thought to be less harsh on the skin as it doesn’t contain the abrasive particles like the scrubs have in them. Though more gentle on the surface it effectively removes rough, scaly skin. There are two types of solution to choose from

  • AHA (Glycolic Acid/Latic Acid) or
  • BHA (Salicylic Acid)

AHA and BHA are both suitable for daily use, but again caution is recommended, if you have hyper-sensitive skin this might not be appropriate, see how your skin reacts to using either of these products and act accordingly. Both types of Peel can are available in differing degrees of strength so maybe go for a lower strength solution if you feel that you want to apply it on a daily basis.

Helping you to choose between the two types of exfoliants. For skin prone to all forms of breakouts (including blackheads), BHA is preferred over AHA. This is due to the main difference between AHA and BHA.

The BHA ingredients enable it to penetrate into the pore (AHA’s do not do this), and this allows it exfoliate deep inside the pore, and exfoliate the surface of the skin. AHA solutions only exfoliate skin cells on the surface of the skin.

The AHA is more suitable for Dry, Sun Damaged Skin.

The BHA is more suited to Oily Skin and Sensitive Skin types.

Some benefits of using a ‘Peel’ exfoliant:

BHA Salicylic Acid

  • Deep cleansing of the face
  • Help unblock pores
  • Even out skin tone
  • Removing rough scaly patches

Click To Read – Japanese Skin Care Secrets

How often should you Exfoliate your face?

I can only recommend or suggest what I feel comfortable doing myself. Every solution you buy will have clear directions for use on the packaging that you should read very carefully. I am a little apprehensive to recommend exfoliating your facial skin on a daily basis, especially if using a scrub, I feel it is much too harsh on the skin surface – unless you have skin like an elephant!

Maybe when you are starting out using exfoliators, and you are looking to remove a lot of damaged, dead skin, you could exfoliate more regularly, 3-4 times a week to begin with if using a scrub. See how your skin copes with this amount of cleansing and cut back or stop if you see any reaction. Exfoliating using the chemical peel solution, you can use it daily, but first, try using milder solution to see how your skin copes with the chemicals and to this amount of exfoliating, and act accordingly.

Perfect Steps:

  1. Always Cleanse your Skin before Exfoliating
  2. Exfoliate
  3. Important! After you Exfoliate your face always apply a moisturiser, and if you are going out during the day after Exfoliating you must use a Moisturizer with (Sun Protection Factor) SPF 30 or above.


What method do you prefer too use to exfoliate your face? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.


Skin Management – Learning Good Habits

Learning good habits

We all pick up bad habits in our daily routine. We stay in bed that extra 10 or 15 minutes, not allowing enough time in the morning to eat a healthy breakfast, which then makes us late for work, driving too fast because the traffic is heavy and the boss has given you numerous warnings!

So, getting up a little earlier can improve all of these things, but just as important is allowing enough time too give your skin the attention it needs and deserves, after all, we all want to look our best as we face our daily routine, don’t we? Its’ all about ‘Skin Management – Learning Good Habits.’

Washing your face:face wash

The type of soap or cleansers you use on your face is so important for delicate facial skin, and this is where Skin Management is essential, everyone has a different skin type, and you have to find the product that is best suited to your skin. If you use soap that is too harsh you will remove essential oils from the skin that is going to lead to a lot of skin irritation!

Click To Read – Alcohol and Skin Care Products – The Facts

When to wash your face:

This advice isn’t here to try to teach anyone how to suck eggs, but how many people do we know who do not follow the simple rules of facial hygiene? If we are honest, probably we all know someone!

Wash your face in the morning, when you wake up its so refreshing to gently cleanse your face, what better way to start your day, and it will leave your skin looking its best.

During the day you might have to do something very physical, causing you to sweat a lot or you may have a particularly dirty job to do. Even just walking around the city can you imagine how much dirt, grime, and smog cover your face, and the build-up of harmful facial bacteria would amaze you, so if you have a chance its always good to wash your face during the day.

Before going to bed, don’t just rely on having a shower being enough to remove all the pollutants that build up throughout the day. We need to wash our face separately using a facial soap/cleanser, do not just say “the shampoo will do it as it runs down my face” that’s not good enough! The use of hair shampoo is not suitable to be used as a face cleanser, this is where proper Skin Management comes into your daily routine, shampoo is much too harsh and as mentioned earlier will strip out all the essentials oils our face has and needs.

Also, never leave make-up or sunblock on overnight, this is a definite No! Your skin might forgive you doing it once but if you do this on a daily basis you risk the pores getting clogged up, which in turn will lead to skin problems and acne, also makeup will drain the skin of any oils and moisture it has and this in, turn will lead to dry skin and early aging! Do you want this?

How to wash your face:

Only use lukewarm water, never use hot water on your face, also keep this in mind when having a bath or shower as this will remove those essential oils from the face and body. Apply a mild face cleanser and using your fingertips to work the cleanser in a circular motion working from the forehead down across the bridge of the nose, cheeks, and chin.

Do not scrub your skin clean. If you have been sweating or working in a dusty environment you may feel the urge to give your face a good old scrub in the belief it is doing some good; it isn’t! DO NOT! Scrubbing the face will profoundly irritate your skin and if you do have any existing skin conditions will only make them worse.

Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove any cleanser and dry by gently patting/dabbing action with a clean towel, do not then drag the towel over your face, we want the skin to retain some moisture not leaving the skin feeling too dry or tight.

Shaving is something that is very severe on facial skin, again use lukewarm water to wet the area to be shaved, lubricate the surface using a suitable shaving foam, lotion or gel, I always use foams or gels for sensitive skin as they seem to irritate the skin less when shaving. A blade should only be used for 5 ‘shaves’ maximum, I know they are expensive but do not be inclined to overuse a razor as blunt blades will irritate the skin and can cause nasty ‘skin rash,’ and you do not get a close shave! Always shave in the direction that the hair grows so as not to razor burn or ingrown hair follicles.

Exfoliate your face: skin management

Exfoliating is an extremely vast topic, and many people will have different views on when, why, with what or how to exfoliate your skin. It is something that we will be looking into in greater detail in due course, but we do feel it is a significant part of your Skin Management program.

To begin with I would not suggest exfoliating your face on a daily basis, most people to some degree have sensitive skin and if you do exfoliate daily it can lead to irritation and redness and if you do have a skin condition (acne or dry skin) this will lead to inflammation of the skin and the dreaded accelerated aging!

Making our skin angry is not what we want from our daily skin maintenance. I would suggest aim for exfoliating 2 or 3 times a week using a ‘mechanical scrub’ if you have what we call ‘normal’ skin or ‘combination’ skin type. If you have sensitive or hypersensitive maybe consider using ‘chemical peel’ as they are not so harsh on the skin, some of the milder solutions are okay to use on a daily basis.

What we are looking to achieve when exfoliating our face is to remove dead skin cells that can block the pores and remove the daily build up of pollutants that give the skin a dull, unhealthy appearance. Your daily wash program that we have been talking about will help to avoid this to a certain degree but when you exfoliate your face that you are giving it a thorough deep cleansing.

For a more in-depth look at Exfoliating your face, you may like to read:

Click To Read – Best Way To Exfoliate Your Face

Skin Management – Its Important!

I hope this shows you why it is so important to get into a good daily face cleansing routine, once you have grasped each task they will fit seamlessly into your day, and as we say “practice makes perfect” and your skin will appreciate it! You will grow in confidence as your skin appearance improves you will face your daily tasks looking your best 🙂

What is your daily skin care routine? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.