Skin-Saving Drugstore Faves: St. Ives Scrubs!

Hi lovelies!

Today I want to share with you a few little products I absolutely love. St. Ives scrubs are amazing overall for soft, smooth, hydrated skin, but I have three favourite products in particular:

From left to right: 1.) St Ives Oatmeal and Shea Butter Hydrating Body Wash, 2.) St Ives Even & Bright Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Scrub, and 3.) St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub.

1.) First and foremost, the Oatmeal & Shea Butter body wash is sooo smooth and, well, buttery! It moisturizes beautifully and leaves a gentle, subtle, fresh shea scent. It’s not overpowering at all. I love this body wash because it’s gentle on my skin, very well-priced (I can sometimes even find it at the dollar store for $3 or so), and isn’t heavy, so it lets my skin actually breathe. 🙂

2.) The Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange scrub works wonders for my blackheads. It’s very gentle, so I use this every other day or so to gently exfoliate my face. It evens my skin wonderfully and wakes me up in the morning because it smells so great! One precaution, though: I often get some into my hairline and in my eyelashes/eyebrows, which is sometimes hard to rinse off completely, and when it dries it looks like white specs in my eyelashes which is super weird looking! So I use this in the shower so I can rinse it off more thoroughly.

I have tried many of the other facial scrubs (including the famous apricot one and the green tea scrub) and while I find that they all work well, the pink lemon & mandarin orange is my favourite because of how it evens my skin tone, is gentle, and the energizing scent!

3.) The Apricot scrub’s directions actually say to use it on your face, but I find it’s too rough for that. I use it on the rest of my body, especially my arms and legs. I have these weird little bumps on the outside of my upper arms, and my arms and legs tend to get very dry, and this scrub has worked wonders. It almost feels like a mini massage! I have also used this for blackheads on my back and it’s helped a little bit there as well. I also use the scrub wherever I shave, because exfoliating beforehand allows for a smoother, longer lasting shave! This is the best body scrub I’ve tried. Also: the 300mL tub is significantly cheaper per volume than the 150mL tube thing, and they’re exactly the same product. I think it was $1 more for double the volume (the 150mL was $5, and this was $6 if I can recall correctly).

All in all, I absolutely love these St Ives scrubs. They make my skin soft, smooth, and moisturized. My arms and legs look so smooth and healthy thanks to the oatmeal body wash and apricot scrub, and my face is so even and my blackheads are reduced thanks to the pink lemon and mandarin scrub.

Have you tried these scrubs before? Let me know what you think!

Love always,
Holly

DIY: How to Make Bioré Pore Strips More Effective

I love love love the idea of pore strips, and ripping all the gunk out from my nose. When I first bought a pack of Bioré pore strips, I eagerly followed the instructions on the package and kept touching my nose and feeling the strip harden. I was so so so excited. I waited the full fifteen minutes (which was not easy!), and then ran to the mirror to peel it off and…

I could see a total of maybe three blackheads on the strip, and another three billion still on my nose.

K. Thanks, Bioré.

I was not impressed.

As with all products, I tried to not form an opinion on a single use, so I tried again, and again, and again. I went through almost the entire package in a week. Still nothing. What the heck?

With one strip left in the package, I found myself on a Pinterest witchhunt for anything that could make these dang strips live up to their reputation…..and I found it. Woohoo!

As it turns out, a quick baking soda soak (called a disincrustant solution) before you use the pore strip loosens all the grossness from your pores, so the strip adhesive can grab it and stick better. I originally found this method on YouTube via MichelleReneeBeauty.

I’ll give you the SparkNotes though: get about half a cup of very warm water (in between warm and hot…be careful, don’t use water that is hot enough to burn you!) in a small bowl and add some baking soda. Keep adding baking soda until it just stops dissolving when you stir it. That’s usually about half a tablespoon for me. Stir until it’s as dissolved as possible, then stick a cotton round pad in the solution. Squeeze excess solution out of the pad so that it’s still wet but not dripping. Stick it on your nose and leave it there for ten minutes or so. Resoak the cotton pad if it dries out.

After the ten minutes are up, take the pad off of your nose. Wet your nose with some more of the solution, then use the pore strip as directed.

If your face is like mine, the pore strip will be like a little forest when you take it off…so gross, but so satisfying! Once, my boyfriend found me in my room with a pore strip on, and I begged him to let me try one on his nose (his was worse than mine! Gotta love teenage acne that doesn’t go away). Now he’s hooked too.

I have heard that steaming your face before using a pore strip works as well, but I have not tried it myself. Additionally, the slower you take the strip off, the better—if you take it off too quickly, the glue adhesive stuff can stick to your face, not the strip, so no blackheads come out. 🙁

As always, please be careful with any new procedure, and ask a professional first. Best of luck!

With love,
Holly