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Any trip abroad isn’t complete without a visit to the local drugstore/chemist, and the US is no different. On my most recent trip I picked up a basketful of goodies that I’m slowly working my way through. Some are old favourites, some are new discoveries, and most of them are available in the UK, just not quite as cheaply. 
First up is this ‘new to me’ Orange Essence Facial Cleanser from Burt’s Bees. I will confess that I’ve always been wary of ‘natural’ skincare that gives the impression of being more ecological than it is effective. It’s all well and good if a cream is made with 100% organic mung beans and hemp, but if it’s not doing my skin any good, I’m really not interested. 
Burt’s Bees has always been on my radar, but I’d never really considered it as a brand I’d use for more than their (brilliant) lip balms. Then there I was, after a week of Thanksgiving excess, looking for something to soothe my skin which was suffering from the effects of the alcohol, rich food and dry air. I knew that the weather back home in the UK was going to give it a good bashing too, so I started scanning the shelves for an oil based cleanser. Regular readers will know that I have a bit of an obsession with oils, there really is nothing better for cleaning your skin in the winter, but they’re surprisingly hard to come by from low/mid-range brands. Liz Earle, Eve Lom and Shu Uemura are perhaps the most well known, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, what’s a girl to do?
Well, it would appear that Orange Essence Facial Cleanser from Burt’s Bees might just be the answer. I’ve only been using it for 6 days (and I’ve also just started using a new serum/elixir, more on that to come) so the results aren’t yet conclusive, but this rich, unctuous, orange goop could just be the best thing to happen to my skin in a long time! 
Completely sulfate-free, the cleanser is an emollient blend of vegetable glycerin, olive oil, oat flour, oat oil, aloe juice, rosemary oil, and most crucially, orange oil.
Orange oil is a bit of a wonder oil, with many therapeutic and topical uses. As an aroma, it can help with depression (that sunshine smell will lift your spirits every time!), nervous tension, stress, and sleeplessness. In creams and lotions it assists the lymphatic system, helping to detoxify congested skin and is great for older more mature skin, dealing with dermatitis, as well as acne and soothing dry irritated skin, all of which stems from the action it has on supporting collagen formation in the skin, which is required for a healthy, young-looking skin. 
One word of warning though, orange essential oil can photosensitise the skin, so please use with caution in the summer months, and always wear a sunscreen if you’re heading outside after use (which you all do anyway, right?!)

The thick, bright orange cleanser, is massaged into dry skin, melting away make up and grime, and then rinsed off using a cloth soaked in hot water, although if your skin is very sensitive or prone to rosacea, keep the water warm rather than hot. If you’re feeling particularly sensitive (or indulgent) add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the basin of water.

Et voila! Baby soft, clean and not-at-all-dried-out skin. Bliss.

Have you tried Orange Essence Facial Cleanser from Burt’s Bees or do you have another oil-based cleanser that you’d recommend? I’d love to know…

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