Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Biore Mandarin Blossom Nose Strips ($6.99 for 8) is a twist on their traditional deep cleansing nose strips, because they are now lightly scented with a citrusy scent of mandarin blossom (this is a limited edition offering). These strips bond with dirt and help remove build-up after wearing the strip for ten to fifteen minutes. It is recommended that these strips are used once a week to help remove weekly build-up from deep within the skin (which means those eight strips will last you two months, not bad for the price!). It is really important that you follow directions (cleanse thoroughly, dampen the nose, and wait!) to maximize the results. Just a helpful FYI based on experience, HA! I find these work well enough to merit the weekly usage, and they are perfect for my weekly pamper-me-day. The scent of mandarin blossom is really light and reminds me a bit of taking a jaunt the spa – not at all a heady or overwhelming scent at all.

Get yours at drugstore.com or at your local drugstore.

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

DHC recently launched a Salicyclic Acid Acne Treatment System that includes a Salicylic Acne Wash ($13.00), Salicylic Acne Toner ($14.00), Salicyclic Face Milk ($19.00), and Acne Spot Therapy ($12.00). The wash is a non-drying cleansing gel that foams to gently exfoliate, while calming skin with aloe vera and green tea. I find that it’s fairly gentle, despite being an active acne-fighting product, so my eyes handle it well if any gets in them on accident. The toner works well for those who are oilier, but I found myself skipping this part of the four-step routine when I was pressed for time (that’s probably a big oops, right?) because I felt like I didn’t need it. The Face Milk is a lightweight moisturizer that is  targeted to help reduce acne because of the salicyclic acid in it, but it ensures hydrated skin while doing so. Out of the system, I think one of my favorite products was the Spot Therapy, because I felt like it did help to minimize redness caused by new blemishes in a short amount of time. Many acne-fighting products tend to dry out skin, which is why I liked the DHC system, because they recognize that and make sure to infuse their products with hydrating ingredients to give skin the balance it needs while breaking down blemishes.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

If you remember anything about my skincare routine, I hope you remembered how much I absolutely adored Renee Rouleau’s AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel, which I don’t leave home without–it is just THAT fantastic!  Obviously, Renee Rouleau’s doing something right, so I thought I’d try a few more products!  (And now, since I was impressed by these, I am eager to try more!)

CALMING CHAMOMILE CLEANSER ($30.50)
I know many of my readers have sensitive skin, and this particular cleanser is meant to work with it in a gentle manner while doing its job flawlessly.  It is a creamy, water-soluble cleansing lotion with chamomile, aloe vera, and vitamins A and E.  It helps to remove dirt, oil, and makeup and let pores breathe.  It’s so easy to use, all you do is apply a dab to your skin and rub in circular motions into the skin for thirty seconds, wet your fingers, rub for another thirty seconds, then rinse with warm water (not hot).  I recommend this for those who have

SKIN DRINK ($33.50)
Skin Drink is a serum that’s purpose is to intensively hydrate the skin instantaneously.  It is actually quite refreshing, no doubt because one of the key ingredients is aloe vera, and cool to the touch.  You really only need about two drops of this stuff to fully cover the skin, and I find that through regular, near-daily use, a bottle will last me two months or more.  It is a great way refresh and pump skin full of moisture before applying moisturizer or after using a facial mask.  It is an oil-free serum, so those of you who worry about leaving a greasy film behind, worry not.  This serum sinks into skin and leaves no evidence behind.

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Clinic’estetica™, a state of the art aesthetic medical clinic that meets the needs of individuals seeking non-surgical permanent and semi-permanent solutions for cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, is proud to introduce ClearPluss™ Acne Clearing Treatment — an original and uniquely designed at-home acne clearing product line for face and body (chest and back). ClearPluss™ is based on the theory and testing that has shown that acne has a trigger; when that trigger is disengaged acne outbreaks will be curtailed and possibly stopped. Each product in the line is a step-by-step acne clearing treatment. ClearPluss™ creates an accumulative positive result for controlling all types of acne while working to keep skin healthy and unmarred. Breakouts, swelling, and scarring become a distant memory.

I spent just about three weeks testing out Clinic’estetica’s ClearPluss™ Acne Clearing Treatment.  As someone who has always had a touch of acne (thankfully nothing so bad as frightful as of yet), I was curious to see how this system would work for me. It consists of a four-stem system; you begin with the Acne Clearing Cleanser, which aggressively prepares the skin to absorb the elements of ClearPluss while removing dead skin cells and dirt. I personally enjoyed this cleanser, which is definitely an exfoliating cleanser. I would say that those with more sensitive skin may not like how abrasive the particles in the cleanser are. It took me a few cleansings to get used to it and like the feel of it really working.

The second step is the Acne Clearing Treatment, which is a serum used daily to reduce or eliminate acne, blackheads, and overly oily skin.  It has a pleasing smell of peppermint and a little goes a long way.  Since this is the product that really is the cornerstone of the system to keep acne at bay, I blame the patches of dryness that occurred after two weeks on this one – for those with drier and/or sensitive skin, I’d opt to use this serum only once a day or every other day.  Especially since I am not plagued by severe acne, I think it would have been just as effective.

The third step is the Acne Clearing Tonic, which is to help skin control excessive sebum production.  It is meant to be used in-between to reduce acne persistance during the regimen.  I only used this a few times, because my skin does not really require a toner.

The last step is the Acne Clearing Moisture, which provides additional moisturization to dry, sensitive skin.  It helps reduce the inflammation resulting from acne, rosacea, etc.  It does not have any oil or fragrance, which is always a great thing in a facial moisturizer.

Results? Yes, I saw results.  My skin looked and felt healthier, cleaner.  It is a meticulous routine, though, so if you are forgetful or often skip steps in your skincare regimen, this is probably not for you.  However, on the same note, all these products work together to achieve maximum results, so you do not have to worry about finding the right mix of non-matching products.  Most of my acne was reduced to just one or two small, manageable pimples along the chin area or forehead — noticeably less, and any small bouts that appeared were hardly visible (did not get any enormous, traffic-stopping zits!).

ClearPluss™ Acne Clearing Treatment can be purchased at http://www.simplysvelte.com/.

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Estee Lauder’s Take It Away Makeup Remover Towelettes ($17.50)

Fast, effective and incredibly convenient. Portable, pre-moistened towelettes quickly remove makeup and freshen skin without water. Advanced cleansing emulsion hydrates, softens skin. Ophthalmologist-tested. Do your skin a favor: never go to bed with makeup on. Clean skin is healthy skin. Sweep over entire face. Firmly reseal package.

What makes it worth it: I am not one to fall prey to high-end brands with makeup removing sheets when I can purchase them for much less at my local drugstore. However, Estee Lauder’s take on the makeup remover towelette has me reconsidering my position. These feel luxe, soft, and delightfully gentle against my skin when I use them to remove my makeup. Unlike my drugstore finds, Take It Away makes removal effortless and a feel-good remedy for my skin on lazy days or when I need a quick remover. The scent that lingers behind is a subtle, clean aroma. I also feel like my skin doesn’t need instant rehydrating after using these, which I do notice is an issue when I use drugstore versions.  I do like that they give you an actual package that is resealable, whereas many drugstore versions are tougher to reseal and may end up drying out the top one or two sheets (yes, you can get a container or ones that are meant to reseal, but those often are $7-10!).

Why you might pass on it: Budget. This is really the only reason to skip these, because they’re effective, luxurious, and effortless to use. If you’re looking to skimp somewhere, opt for drugstore makeup remover wipes and pick up Estee Lauder’s DayWear Plus (what, I love it! I must proclaim my new found love all the time!) instead.

Find this product at Estee Lauder locations, www.esteelauder.com, and www.nordstrom.com.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

John Masters Organics Linden Blossom Face Creme Cleanser ($19.00)

Non-foaming, this is the gentlest cleanser available for the face. The softening properties of rose and linden blossom essential oils mixed with a light facial creme gently clean away dirt and make-up.

What makes it worth it: All John Masters Organics products must be 75-100% organic with no petroleum or non-carbon based products. They use as much organic ingredients as they can manage in their products, which means this is a line and product that is perfect for those wanting to protect the environment and still get their dosage of beauty. They also do not test on animals, use environmentally-friendly harvested ingredients, and no artificial colors/filters/fragrances can be used in their products. This is to be used as an extremely mild face wash for sensitive skin, and it is also great for removing makeup.  For those who need extra moisturizing, it can be left on the face for an additional five minutes. This is so gentle that it is safe for babies! I like this product for its environmental stance, and I do like that it’s incredibly easy on the skin.

Why you might pass on it: I personally found the scent of this to be a bit too organic/natural for me. I could use a stronger note of citrus or something to subdue the scent of the natural ingredients. If you’re not into organic beauty, you might find the price point a bit too high for your liking.

Find this product at John Masters Organics boutiques and www.johnmasters.com.