If you’ve found your calling, stick to it. That’s how British organic skincare brand Pai positions itself as the go-to skincare for anyone suffering from sensitive skin. The range of gentle products is designed to calm sensitive skin, and as Pai Founder Sarah Brown (you can read my #beautyinsider Q&A with her here) explains, ‘Pai was born from my personal experience, I created this business because I felt there was a real need. […] We’ve developed our expertise to understand all the factors that influence sensitive skin.’ Pai even offer free and confidential 30-minute over the phone skincare consultations – which of course I made full use of. I talked through my skin type and current beauty routine with the lovely advisor Holly, who recommended reducing mechanical exfoliation so as not to irritate skin, and introducing a AHA mask to control breakouts. As a devoted user of Pai’s restorative Rosehip Bioregenerate Radiance Mask I was excited to try out this newly launched Sensitive Skin Toolkit. The transition in seasons (early summer and autumn), with its temperature change and artificial heat, can bring up eczema inside my elbows and on my eyelids, so switching to a gentle skincare routine this month seemed like a good preventive solution.
If you’re looking to overhaul your skincare routine this starter toolkit is a good place to start. Whatever your reasons – searching for cleaner products or a simplified routine, you’ve suffered flare ups, your current routine is no longer delivering results or you just fancy a change – if you’re new to Pai this is a great way to trial new products without committing to a full size of something that might not be to your skin’s taste (buying all the full sizes in this kit would set you back £160). Although the kit includes 5 products, I apply them in a way that I only have a 3-step skincare routine. The recyclable cardboard box slides open to reveal 6 items and a very simple description above each product to guide you on its usage.
I start my evening skincare routine with this light cleansing oil, applying 3 pumps to dry skin and massaging in. I pay particular attention to my lashes as I’m currently wearing a very resilient mascara. Typically I would start with an oil based eye makeup remover to get if off but by gently massaging my eyelashes then using the cloth provided in the kit, it comes off completely. With olive, sunflower and castor oils being the main ingredients, it feels so gentle and gives off quite a pleasant whiff of ‘natural goodness’ as my city brain puts it, I think thanks to the rosehip oil.
For my morning skincare routine I swap out the cleansing oil for this gentle alcohol-free hydrating cleanser, which I also massage into dry skin and remove with the wet cloth, leaving me with super soft skin that doesn’t feel tight. During my Pai skincare consultation, the advisor recommended only washing my face in the evening, and in the morning just using water so as not to strip out skin’s oils. Since my teenage years it’s been ingrained in me to cleanse morning and evening, and at the time when my skin felt so oily and acne-prone, I wouldn’t have dreamt of heading to school without a thorough cleanse. I would even wash my face again before a night out. But looking at my skin now, there are some mornings when I’m happy with the way it feels, before having gone through any of my morning steps. So on those days I’ll give the water only approach a go, even though this cleanser feels so gentle and nourishing.
I’d like to give a massive shout-out to the unsung hero of this kit: the dual-sided cloth. The textured muslin side can be used with warm water to remove product and provide skin with gentle exfoliation, then the softer terry-side of the cloth gently removes any residue. This is probably the thickest, highest quality skincare cloth I’ve used.
Once my skin is clean I only have 2 steps left to complete this skincare ritual: next step is the eye cream. Out of the Pai sensitive toolkit this is the product I’m least excited about. There’s nothing wrong with it – I apply a small amount of the omega 3 and 6-rich formula all around my eyes and it hydrates the delicate eye area. It’s effective and does what it says it’ll do, but I’m not getting the pleasure I get out of applying the other products that seem to deliver a more tangible result.
The final step: moisturising my face. A little trick I learnt from Fushi: mixing a blob of this day cream with the rosehip oil for a super nourishing treat. Free from common rosacea triggers such as alcohol, witch hazel, peppermint and menthol, this soothing cream contains chamomile to reduce the appearance of reactive redness. The rosehip gives the cream a very rich consistency without feeling heavy or clogging pores.
I’m a big fan of rosehip oil and the way it leaves my skin feeling so healthy. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, this multi-benefit omega-rich oil helps to regenerate skin, therefore improving the appearance of acne scars, fine lines and sun damage. I mix 3 drops to Pai’s Calming Day Cream and massage into slightly damp skin. If you’re after a matt finish with your makeup, keep the oil for evening application only and leave it to fully sink into skin before hitting the pillow to avoid greasy patches.
I was already a huge fan of Pai before trialling the Sensitive Skin Toolkit so had high hopes for this easy-to-follow routine. And it performed as well as expected: every single product feels so gentle and calming on skin I couldn’t fault anything! Priced at £40, I reckon I’ll get around 4 weeks’ use out of it – a little less with the eye cream as it’s a small tube but much longer with the cleansing oil and rosehip oil. What products do you rely on to calm your skin? Leave a comment below to let me know.
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