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, December 10th, 2007

Cream Extreme Barrier Repair ($75.00)

A healthy and glowing complexion is directly related to the optimal functioning of the skin’s barrier. CREAM EXTREME features Osmotics’ BRT, (Barrier Repair Technology), a patented combination of epidermal lipids clinically proven to repair, nourish and maintain healthy barrier function, thereby eliminating the underlying cause of dry skin. In addition, this breakthrough technology dramatically improves moisture retention and increases penetration and absorption of antioxidants and vitamins. Ideal for post treatment care after peels, lasers and dermal procedures and extreme weather conditions. Skin becomes healthier and acts younger.

Physiological Lipids- these lipids occur naturally in the epidermis and are the key components of the skin’s barrier. When all three are used in the proper molar ratio, they restore the lipid balance (by forming lamellar membranes) and provide long-term barrier repair. The three physiological (epidermal) lipids are: Chlosterol, Ceramides, Fatty Acids- including both non-essential and essential. Also included are: Non-Physiological lipids, Petrolatum, Lanolin, Glycerin, L-Carnosine, Linoleic Acid, Allantoin, and Tocopheryl Acetate.

What makes it worth it: Let me preface this review by saying that I have had this product awaiting a test run for quite awhile, but I have only recently had sufficient reason to lust after a product of this caliber. I recently experienced incredible dryness around my mouth–I cannot really figure out why, but I think it may have been a skin drying reaction from anti-acne production–and this was my MIRACLE product. I had already been trying to moisturize twice a day, sometimes more, for that area, in addition to applying hydrocortisone cream to it (which is what my dermatologist recommended for dry/flaky eyelids). That particular regimen just wasn’t working, it wasn’t making it better. It would hide it for the day, but it didn’t FIX the problem. Osmotics’ Cream Extreme was the answer to my problem. This is an ultra rich moisturizer, but it dries quickly and doesn’t feel heavy. It truly does create a barrier, locking moisture in. In two days–yes, 48 hours later–and my dry, flaky skin had been resolved and turned back into normal, healthy skin. For that, I am forever in debt to this product. I fully recommend it. I am so tempted to continue using it, but at $75 a pop, I will use this as a spot treatment for dryness as I experience it.

Why you might pass on it: The price is quite hefty for most, but it is a definite must for truly eradicating dry, flaky skin. If used as a treatment, and not a regular everyday moisturizer, this product should last you quite awhile. Even using it as an everyday moisturizer, it should last you at least a month, if not two. Anyone who has experienced skin that is visibly dry and literally flaking off will know that $75 is nothing to get back to gorgeous, naturally healthy skin.

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Estee Lauder DayWear Plus ($38.00)

More than moisture. More than protection. DayWear Plus actively shields skin from the multiple assaults of the environment to help prevent lines before they appear — so your skin looks younger longer. The secret? An active response anti-oxidant system with a powerful blend of new and natural ingredients. A skin-friendly UVA/UVB screen you can wear AM and PM. An advanced dual moisture system to keep skin feeling moist and healthy. Lightweight, oil-free creme. Dermatologist-, Ophthalmologist-tested. Apply AM and PM after cleansing, and after applying your Repair Serum.

What makes it worth it: Oh my goodness, I fell in love with this rich moisturizer as soon as I put on my first application of it in the morning! It is a luxuriously thick cream that dries quickly and leaves skin feeling incredibly smooth and hydrated. The scent reminds me of cucumbers and cool days, I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s a subtle scent, so it’s perfect for a facial moisturizer. I just honestly felt like I was pampering my skin with this product, and I will definitely be adding this to my list of staples. A little goes a long way, which as I always say, is most excellent. Oh, what else? It contains SPF15, which is an essential item you need for your daily regimen.

Why you might pass on it: None! Buy it today. I adore this, and I can’t think of a single reason not to at least check it out and try out the texture for yourself. The price is the only thing that could sway you, but I imagine one container will last me at least a month of use, so I’ll fork over the money for this lovely addition.

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

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

DR. BRANDT’S DISCOVERY KIT ($85.00)

This convenient instant gratification kit contains everything you need to replenish and retexturize your skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and maintain skin’s natural firmness.  Includes:
- mini microdermabrasion instantly polishes away dead skin cells leaving skin smooth and radiant – 0.5 oz
- mini r3p- anti-aging formulation of three intense polypeptides, and potent antioxidants to refinish, replenish and retexturize your skin 0.5 oz
- mini laser tight- tighten and tone, leaving skin firm and improving elasticity. 0.5 oz
- deluxe size crease release targeted formula to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles 0.25 oz

What makes it worth it: First, I love skincare kits that give you an opportunity to try before you buy [in full-size], because then you save a bit of money and get a chance to test out products you might not have on its own. I followed the instructions that come with the kit, which means you start with Crease Release. I have to say, even though I don’t suffer too many fine lines yet (thank god, but I know they’re coming, boo!), I did notice that my eyes looked a bit brighter, and my smile lines (sigh) were less apparent. Next to use was Laser Tight, which comes in a pump-bottle (yay!) and is meant to tighten and tone. I think this was one of my favorites out of the kit, because my skin just felt so much healthier and great after using this for a few days. I liked that it was an unscented moisturizer, because sometimes it’s refreshing to have little to no fragrance in a facial product. R3p is an anti-aging ultra thick cream – I wouldn’t quite call it a luxe cream, because it’s a bit different from that in that it has a thick texture, but it is not really heavy cream.  It takes a few minutes to absorb, and you really do need to let everything dry before you continue with the steps. Since I know I tend to dry out when I use anti-aging products (just so long as I never go through Retin-A results again, I’ll be OK!), I only used this once a day (PM) and enjoyed the results. For my microdermabrasion treatment, I went with the once-a-week-regimen, because I have fairly normal skin that only reacts oddly around the mouth area. This scrub doesn’t require much product to get total coverage of the face, and it doesn’t feel too rough or harsh against the skin. In fact, I definitely think this would be a good idea for sensitive skinned readers who would like to try a facial scrub. Overall, my skin thanked me for its healthy glow and incredibly soft texture. Even my boyfriend mentioned I had been looking more awake and refreshed!

Why you might pass on it: The price tag is steep, at least to plunk down all at once, but it really is an incredible value. The products should last you a good while before you need to replace them, and of course, you get to test-drive four products in one kit. Although, if you do love these as much as I did, your wallet may cringe at the thought of buying everything full-sized, so best ask friends and family to stuff your holiday bin with Discovery Kits!

Available at www.drbrandtskincare.com.

Find out how to use this great kit with step-by-step instructions straight from the Doctor… Continue reading →

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Clinique Superdefense Review

Clinique Superdefense Triple Action Moisturizer with SPF 25 ($39.50)

This is a patent-pending moisturizer that bridges the evolution gap between your skin’s natural defenses and the demands of today’s environment. Helps neutralize the toxic effect of UVA/UVB rays. Helps rebuild skin’s natural defense systems. Scavenges free radicals. Available in Combination Oily to Oily, Dry, and Very Dry formulations.

What makes it worth it: This is a more luxurious, rich facial moisturizer, compared to their Dramatically Different Lotion. I love a rich formula, especially when it sinks into my skin and leaves me feeling velvety soft in little time. Who wants a layer of cream on their face all day, right? I have to admit, the packaging and the technological spiel kind of get my engine revvin’. It comes in a lovely little pot, and even though you always see these containers and go, “That’s all I get?” you have realize that what you do get will last you at least a month, if not more. You can use the product sparingly, because you can stretch out a dab or two quite well. Beyonce moisturizing, Superdefense is meant to address elasticity and firmness problems. I also love that it contains SPF 25–nothing says anti-aging like sunscreen!

Why you might pass on it: You absolutely cannot put this moisturizer on your eyelids! Yes, the instructions indicate this, but unfortunately I had forgotten during an application and merely put it all over my face, and this was not a good mistake to make. So while I get a product that gives me sun protection as well as great moisturizing effects, I cannot use this on my eyes, which means I have to find something that I can. Sure, your eyelids may not need moisture, but what about some SPF? Also, with a product like this, sensitive skin may find it too much to handle, since it’s obviously not conducive to the sensitive skin on eyelids, I’d recommend doing a patch test, first (which the directions may tell you–read those, too!).

Find this product at Clinique counters, boutiques, as well as www.clinique.com and www.nordstrom.com.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

John Masters Organics’ Rose & Apricot Antioxidant Day Creme ($24.00)

Enriched with sea algae, aloe vera and other nutrient-rich botanicals, this anti-oxidant day creme is potent yet light and gentle enough for all skin types. Oat beta glucan stimulates procollagen production and promotes cellular turnover. $24

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. I liked the lightweightedness of the product, because I can’t stand a heavy cream (at least not if it feels heavy) My skin definitely drank this creme up, as well, and it left it feeling soft and velvety.

Why you might pass on it: I’d would prefer a more fragrant scent to accompany this creme. I found that the oat beta glucan in it was a bit overpowering, and I’d have enjoyed a more natural, citrus scent instead. 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.