There are no miracle products, but there are products that perform extremely well. So well that they fix issues and make a visible difference. Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is one such skincare item. Like all cleansing balms, Elemis Pro-Collagen is a semi-solid goo that melts upon contact with skin. You scoop out a grape-size amount and apply to your face, massaging all over. The key here is taking a minute or two to really work the balm and let it do its thing. The result is that all makeup melts away (including mascara, tough I don't use waterproof). Not only that, but the balm also dislodges gunk that got stuck in your pores. It's a similar effect to using a cleansing oil: you can feel it as the pores get unclogged. Removal is with a warm damp washcloth: there's no need to vigorously wash and rinse afterwards (though occasionally I do).
The thing about Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is that it's kind and gentle on the face, giving it a spa-like treatment. The people at Elemis also suggest using the balm as a mask:
"...Smooth a generous amount over the face, neck and decollete with dry fingers. Massage to warm the skin and loosen the balm. Leave for 10 minutes. Hold a very warm, damp cleansing cloth over the skin, practice abdominal breathing and inhale the exquisite aroma. Gently wipe away."The balm not only helped me clear some unfortunate mishaps recently, but also makes my skin look and feel soft and healthy. I love that a washcloth is included in the box. It's a good one; you can also use a mousseline cloth and whatever cheap (clean) face towels you have on hand when the Elemis one is in the wash. The balm is scented-- it smells herbal-floral and, again, very spa-like. Since the formula includes various essential oils, do make sure you're not allergic to any of them.
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-8 Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Silica, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Lecithin, Borago Officinalis (Starflower) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Cera (Wax), Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Cera (Wax), Rosa Multiflora (Rose) Flower Cera (Wax), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Ho Wood) Wood Oil, Mentha Arvensis (Mint) Leaf Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Citric Acid, Linalool, Geraniol, Eugenol, Citronellol, Limonene.
Bottom Line: big love.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm ($60) is available from Nordstrom, Ulta, and Skinstore.com.
Photo via Huffington Post.