Review: Shu Uemura Balancing Cleansing Oil

First, an update on the “Less ‘Poo” post – I’ve now been washing my hair every other day for the past month and a half. Not quite as quick and grease-less as I’d hoped, but improvement is there.  The first day (day of shampooing) is still the best; that’s when my hair is light, fluffy, and so smooth I tell the bf to finger comb it. Mmm sooo softt.

On the second day, it still gets oily, though less so than before and the old hair-funk smell isnt (as) overpowering.  I usually opt to pin back my bangs/front hairs on the 2nd day so it stays out of my face.  What I discovered t is that the 2nd day is the best time to curl my hair or get some kind of wave into it, because the texture stays much longer!  I think I’ll continue Less Poo-ing; if my hair is anything like me (and it probably is), it likely is more stubborn than most and needs extra time to change =P

Keeping in line with fighting oil with oil, I’ve been using the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil in Fresh for awhile now, and I like it!  My roommates both love this, and there are 3 big bottles in our bathroom.  It’s really pretty, and the aesthetic of the bottles psychologically makes me want to wash my face more.  I had tried it haphazardly a few times before, but never really stuck to it.  Now I know that it’s important to give this a fair shot, and commit to using it continuously until your skin adjusts itself.

How I use it: With clean dry hands, I push out a pump of the oil in my hands and rub together. Then I smooth it over my face for 90 seconds or so and gently but firmly spread it to all inches of my face.  The oil is a great makeup remover so in the last 10 seconds or so, I use it to remove my eyeliner and undereye concealer – just make sure not to open your eye or else you’ll go blind.  Then I add a bit of warm water to my fingers and start up a milky lather on my skin – this is the “emulsifying” action, and essentially turns the oil into a creamier cleaning agent. Alchemy in motion! Ah the magic of science.  I repeat this step until I feel that the oil is gone from my face.

After I pat dry, my skin isn’t taut or shiny, like how it normally is with more severe acne cleansers, of which I am no stranger to.  Ever since I was a teen, my skin has gone through many many cycles of breakouts, and the conventional wisdom is to zap all those oily blemishes with stringent cleansers.  That gets me right back in the same rat race as with my oily hair however, so I need to break that. I like that this cleanser is oily, but not too rich – there are multiple formulas in the Shu skincare line, with ones specifically for drier skin (the orange Enriched formula), and one to whiten (the blue Brightening one). For me though, the pink Balancing is great.

For follow-up, I use a toner and then moisturizer. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it’s peace of mind for me to make sure I don’t break out from using this. I know others have complained about pimples from oil cleansers, but I suspect it’s because they don’t use a toner.

Next up, I want to try the green Premium A/O cleanser, which has green tea extract in it, and is purported to be great for oily/combination skin.  My only gripe about these is the steep price ($75/big bottle… geez), but I guess I’ll save on foundation with better skin!


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