‘Astonishing’ ingredient saving bad skin
Right now, I am feeling pretty damn fancy.
But it's not because I'm sat by a pool in the Dominican Republic, drinking a delicious pina colada - though that's definitely a good reason to feel swish AF.
Instead, my smug grin is based on the fact that despite slathering my face in layers of SPF while living my best life in the Caribbean this week, I'm not battling oily skin.
Regular Beauty Diary readers will know that since I turned 30 a couple of years ago (okay, a few) my skin has become much oilier - a bad skin trait I've been trying to find a solution to.
But a new cleanser called Fancy Face by Go-To Skin Care has turned my luck around.
And get this, the ingredient in it that's fixed my face is oil.
View this post on Instagram
This week’s #TheBeautyDiary is coming in hot from the Dominican Republic and is all about the new @gotoskincare product, Fancy Face. As someone who battles with oily skin, I was a bit nervous about slathering my face every night with an oil based cleanser - but @zotheysay put my concerns at ease and can I just say the results are pretty WOW 😍 Find out my thoughts this Sunday on @newscomauhq #beauty #gotoskincare
If you're a little confused by this, don't worry - I was too.
Thankfully Zoe Foster-Blake, the beauty guru behind Go-To, has explained the baffling situation to The Beauty Diary.
"It's counterintuitive, but oils can be wonderfully hydrating and balancing for oily skin," she said.
"For one thing, if you're giving your skin too little oil, it can start overproducing sebum to compensate, so you actually get oilier skin, plus congestion/clogged pores."
There's no denying it, there has been noticeably less oil on my skin since I started using Fancy Face several weeks ago after being sent an early bottle to test.
"It's better to keep skin hydrated and oil levels in check, than strip your skin of oil together," Zoe said. "With oil cleansing specifically, the nutritious, antioxidant-rich botanical oils attract and remove the dirty oils from your skin and pores, as they replenish and soften the skin. It's a lovely give and take."
When I first used the cleanser, I loved the light texture of the product, which isn't thick or greasy. I was super impressed with how easy it is to use and how well it removes make-up using just my hands.
As per the LOL-worthy instructions on the signature peach packaging, each night I take three pumps of oil into my dry palms and slather all over my face, massaging it gently over my eyelashes and eye area.
Everything on my face, from sunscreen to foundation and even stubborn long-wear mascara just melts away under my fingers, which is kind of gross but super satisfying.
Sure, it leaves me looking like a total panda in the process - but once the make-up has been lifted, you splash your face and rub with a damp cloth and just wipe it away.
Fancy Face comes with a white muslin cloth dubbed the Posh Cloth, but I've been using my trusty Face Halo's and it works a treat.
And the whole process is surprisingly gentle. Using foam cleansers alone or something like micellar water on a pad, I find I have to rub quite hard at the lashes to get mascara off but the oil took all that tugging and friction away.
Missed a column? Catch up on all The Beauty Diary action here.
The scent is totally delicious too, a subtle holiday fragrance that will instantly take me back to my luxe Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda getaway, which comes from the five botanical plant oils (camellia, sunflower, sweet almond, argan, passionfruit seed oil) used in the formula.
After using an oil cleanser, Zoe and die-hard skincare fans go for a second cleanse, this time using a water-based cleanser - but is double cleansing really necessary?
"It's entirely up to you, your skin, your day," Zoe said. "As an SPF-devoted, make-up-wearing person with dry skin in her late 30s, I double cleanse most days. I need a deep clean, and crave more hydration.
"If you're wearing heavy make-up or SPF, or you have dry or mature skin, then your skin will benefit from a double cleanse."
Being new to this oil business, I have to confess, I've not done much double cleansing. But I am now a huge convert. After getting all the crap off my skin, the ingredients in my water cleanser were able to actually penetrate my skin and work more effectively.
And let's face it, I pop a lot of stuff on my face which can be hard to get off - most notably sunscreen.
This is something Zoe said was the main reason for choosing to release an oil cleanser following her last release Zincredible, a zinc SPF product, in October 2018.
"Zinc is notoriously hard to remove, so we wanted Go-To customers to be able to get it off easily and thoroughly," the 39-year old said, adding the other reason she spent months and months formulating Fancy Face was because she would "hanker for a cleanser that is nourishing, so I made a product I wanted".
Since the new Go-To dropped at the end of January, the brand's loyal customer base has been lapping it up.
"I LOVE this product!!! Fave beauty product ever. Big call. But real!" one wrote on the brand's Instagram page.
"Fancy Face is fabulous," another agreed.
While someone else said: "Best oil cleanser ever. Removes even the most waterproof mascara in a second."
The reaction has blown Zoe - a former beauty editor - away, with the mum-of-two describing it as "astonishing".
"We have such loyal, curious customers - something I never take for granted," she told The Beauty Diary.
"If we explain to them what a cleansing oil is, and how it might be useful for them, and what the benefits are, they trust us, and they give it a go. Even if it's something they may not have tried before, or are, like you, scared of oils.
"We have a super special relationship with our customers. Their enthusiasm, engagement and support is whatever is 500 above Next Level. I adore them."
Among a few of the comments was some feedback on the price, with some pointing out it's quite high compared to other cleansers on the market.
But there's 100ml of product in the bottle and I find the pump measures the amount you're using perfectly, ensuring there's little waste.
With my oil-phobia officially cured, I can't rave about this product enough. It works on all skin types, is gentle on the skin and leaves your face in all its fresh and natural glory so it gets a hell yeah from me.
View this post on Instagram
Here’s a video of me hastily putting on some everyday makeup, and then removing it all with a double cleanse incorporating our new makeup-removing, skin-nourishing Fancy Face oil cleanser, so you can see exactly how to use it. Also there’s an extravagant collar in there somewhere but you’ll barely notice it.
Fancy Face costs $45 and can be bought at Mecca stores or online at gotoskincare.com
This column is not advertorial content. Every review is independent, honest and ad free.
If you have a question about a beauty product or an item you'd like to see road tested in The Beauty Diary, jump on to our official Facebook group where you can join like-minded beauty junkies.