Product Review: Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company Buttercream Cleansing Cream

chagrin valley

As far as facial cleansing goes, I’m still loyal to LUSH’s 9-5 for a morning rinse and Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser for evening makeup-removal and a deeper clean. On especially warm and sticky days of the summer, however, I’ve been using Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company’s Buttercream Cleansing Cream once or twice a week when I need a little extra something to wash away the day’s sweat and grime.

Buttercream Cleansing Cream is a thick, waxy product packaged in a glass jar. When you scoop out a small amount and work it onto damp skin, however, it alters into a thin, liquid-y cream with light foam. It’s actually a combination of soap with moisturizing ingredients, so it cleans without leaving my face feeling tight and dried out.

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Product Review: Aesop Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream

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Have I complained about this unusually cold and snowy winter yet? I’m sure I have. In any case, it’s the kind of weather that really puts skincare products to the test. One product that hasn’t let me down in this recurring polar vortex chill is Aesop’s Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream, a “daily moisturizing cream for normal to dry or stressed skin.”

I apply Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream in the evening, after washing my face and pressing a few drops of Aesop’s Fabulous Face Oil into my skin. I concentrate on dabbing the cream onto areas that always need a little extra moisture (between my eyes, the tip of my nose), as well as any other areas that might be feeling drier than usual. If it’s been a particularly cold and windy day, I apply a very thin layer of cream all over my face, on top of the facial oil. This combination, used nightly all winter, has kept my face amazingly free of flaking or redness.

This cream is packaged in a glass jar—not ideal, since you have to handle it a bit carefully, but I always apply my nighttime skincare with freshly washed hands anyway. (The bigger problem, for clumsy me, is not dropping the jar on the floor.) It has a light lavender scent and a pleasingly creamy (not greasy) consistency, and it’s packed with skin-healthy ingredients:

Water, Hazel Seed Oil, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Sweet Almond Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Evening Primrose Oil, PEG-20 Stearate, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Lavender Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Wheat Germ Oil, Disodium EDTA, Sage)Oil, Sodium Citrate, Linalool, d-Limonene.

Even when the dry, freezing weather gives way to spring, I’ll still be using this cream in conjunction with the Fabulous Face Oil. It’s just an effective, customizable duo that works for me.

Have any particular skincare products really won your devotion this winter?

Product source: I purchased this product at an Aesop boutique.

Product Review: In Fiore Fleur Vibrante Face Balm Concentrate


Winter is in the air, literally—and the lower temperatures and humidity will take a toll on my skin if I don’t fight them with extra hydration. The latest addition to my skincare arsenal is Fleur Vibrante Face Balm Concentrate from In Fiore, a small brand specializing in natural fragrance and skin products.

Fleur Vibrante is billed as “a wonderful curative to remedy scarring, redness, itchiness, and to strengthen tissue elasticity,” designed to soothe skin distressed by acne, sun damage, laser treatments and “other aggressions.” It’s recommended especially for dry and “mature” complexions, and even if you aren’t coping with any of the problems above, it’s a luxurious and effective solution for dryness or minor skin irritation.

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Product Review: Obiqo Gentle Face Scrub

obiqo scrub

Obiqo is a line of skincare products made in New Zealand and formulated for women over 30 with normal-to-dry skin. I definitely fall into the latter category, and I prefer skincare products that incorporate natural ingredients, so Obiqo—with its New Zealand sea kelp and various botanical oils and extracts—checks all the boxes for me.

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