Reviews: Avene Cleanance Cleansing Bar and Bioderma Ultra Repair hand cream PLUS win R5000 worth of Essie nail polish!

Did you know that the 12th of December is National Nail Polish day? Ja, I didn’t either , but hey, if it involves Essie sending me a bunch of cute colours, then I’m celebrating. The shades are all from last year’s spring collection (California Road Trip) but I know that they’re still in store because I saw the one I like best, B’Aha Moment, in Dis-Chem the other day.

Pretty in hot pink. Just the way I like it.

A slightly creamy, bright pomegranate two-coater, it reminds me a lot of my ultimate fave Essie colour, Exotic Liras. (For the record, I basically live in Exotic Liras when I’m rich and Smudge’s Haute Couture, when I’m less rich. The latter is a decent enough dupe but Essie would murder it in a longevity death match.)

Anyway, in honour of all things mani-licious, Essie’s running a competition in which you can win 40 of their nail polishes to the value of R5 000 and entering is easy. All you have to is post a pic of your ‘Essie nail look’ using the hashtag #essienailpolishday and tag a bestie. The competition closes on 18 December and Ts & Cs apply but I don’t know what they are or where to find them (it’s Essie’s comp, not mine) but if you have any questions you can chat to them via their Facebook page.

Moving on, let’s chat about soap. The facial kind! A while back a few beauties where chatting on twitter about how they wish the world made less face wash and more bar options I was surprised by how many people where like ‘hells to the yaaaaaas!’. So brands take note – there’s a potentially large, underserved market of people thirsty for cleansing bars.

If you’re a bar biets yourself and happen to have combination skin, you’ll be glad to know about Avene Cleanance cleansing bar face and body (R99,95, Dis-Chem). Created for oily, blemish-prone skin, it’s SLS-free and contains Avene’s themal spa water, pore-exfoliating salicylic and monolaurin to inhibit oil production.

Could my hand look any more like a weird, wrinkly Shar Pei?

I’ve used it for about five days now, on both my face and body, and it’s worked a treat. It takes off most of my make-up (I still need to use a facial wipe or cleansing oil to whisk away the last trace of mascara, but that’s how I roll anyway when using most gel cleansers) and it leaves my skin feeling clean, but not dry or tight. I haven’t noticed a decrease in oil production (I still reach for my blotting papers as often as ever) but wasn’t holding my breath. I was more concerned about it possibly being too drying and it’s not. It’s great!

It’s important to note, however, that it is a scented formula and contains quite a bit of fragrance. I didn’t find this irritating at all but if you’ve got very sensitive, reactive skin or an impaired barrier function I’d opt for a non-fragranced product.

Lastly, let’s chat about Bioderma Atoderm Ultra Repair dry & damaged hand and nail cream (R119,95, Clicks).

The 50ml tube fits into the palm of your hand so it’s easy to stick in your purse.

If you visit Bioderma’s site you’ll see they talk about how it’s got a ‘rich and creamy texture’ forms a nourishing ‘glove’ around your hand. Having read that, I thought it was going to be a real oil monster, but it’s just the opposite. In fact, it’s one of the lightest, fastest absorbing hand creams I’ve used and I think a lot of that has to with the fact that, aside from hydrating ingredients like gylcerin, Shea butter and palmitic acid, it also contains a whack of aluminum starch. This helps to rapidly speed up absorption and creates a matte, ‘dry finish’, so you get your moisture, but aren’t left wanting to wipe your hands on your pants before attempting to unlock your phone with a finger tip.

Also – random fact – I recently crashed at a hotel after a particularly festive night out (I don’t drink and drive) and woke up looking like a nasty, middle-aged, zombie prune. I didn’t have any moisturiser on me, so I slapped it on my face and, being dehydrated yet oily-skinned, it actually worked a treat. So ja. Use it. Don’t use it.

In all, I reckon Ultra Repair is a nice wallet-friendly ‘summer’ pick for anyone wanting dry-touch hydration, not just those with very dry skin. In fact, if you’re super, duper dry, I’d probably go for something with more ceramides and urea in it. In this case, you’re probably going to be left feeling a little ‘filmy’, but hey, those are the breaks.

Love, love


5 thoughts on “Reviews: Avene Cleanance Cleansing Bar and Bioderma Ultra Repair hand cream PLUS win R5000 worth of Essie nail polish!

  1. Hey Leigh, oh you are lovely. I enjoy EVERYTHING you write and think you are just awesomeness. Leigh, please can you suggest a fragrance-free hydrating cleanser? I cannot seem to find anything at Clicks. I was looking for Neutrogena hydrating cleanser but seems they don’t have it. Sigh. Please, can you suggest anything else? Also what sunscreen do you use on your face? Much love, Biets!

    1. Hi hun! Apologies for the slow reply and thank you for the lovely compliments. When you say hydrating cleanser, do you mean a face wash or something like a micellar water to take off make-up? Sunscreen-wise, I’m given a lot so I tend to use the lightest and least greasy-feeling of whatever I have on hand. When I’m buying it myself, however, I gravitate towards Heliocare Gel (non-tinted) because it’s super duper light and I’m very oily. Another fave is Cetaphil’s Dermacontrol Moisturiser (white pump bottle, purple cap) as it’s super light and contains an SPF 30.

      1. Thanks for answering me, my Leigh! So the hydrating cleanser is something that has no fragrance and is like a milky cleanser to take off grime/makeup from the day. Neutrogena used to have one called ‘Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser’ but I have never seen it again. Thanks for suggesting Heliocare Gel – will definitely order that one! Thanks also for the Cetaphil suggestion. Oh and lastly, which curling iron would you suggest for me to buy? I have fine hair, but lots of it (like you :-)) There are so many like Vaudry, GHD etc. and its quite overwhelming and if I am buying something so expensive, I want it to be a good one. Please know I appreciate your help so much, you really rock! And are the most wonderful, approachable blogger. I have unsubscribed from all other beauty blogs and only kept you because once you find the one, there is no reason to look at others. Lol! You the best!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s