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LUSH Sweet Japanese Girl Cleanser for a Facial Treat

LUSH Sweet Japanese Girl Cleanser ($10.25 for 1.2 oz.) is quite possibly my favorite LUSH product of all-time. It’s a “facial massage and exfoliation bar.” I don’t really say it’s a massage bar (though you could, since it’s grooved), but I love it for how it hydrates skin with a buttery goodness feel while gently exfoliating. I prefer to use mine at the end of my shower, so my skin is warmed from the hot water; this product just melts into the skin. I rinse with splashes of warm water, then gently dab my face dry at the end. My face feels moisturized and so, so smooth. Just ridiculously silky soft!

Ingredient List: Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Palm Kernel Oil (Hydrogenated palm), Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Ground Aduki Beans (Phaseolus), Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis), Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), *Citral, *Limonene, Perfume,.

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Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment for Temporary Relief

Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment ($6.99) is a product designed to treat acne problem areas. You have that raging zit that just won’t quit? That’s what a spot treatment is for. Spot treatments are generally known for also speeding up the zit-be-gone process. For those who missed it, I broke out something awful when I used a silicone-based primer, and to clear everything up is a challenge. I finally caved and went to the drugstore to get a spot treatment product (for some reason, there are no drugstores that close by–I’m so used to not having to drive more than a few minutes, not 10 or more–so spoiled).

While I was browsing the shelves laden with acne “miracle” products, I landed on Clean & Clear’s. I’ve used one of theirs in the past, and it seemed to work OK. I don’t really expect any spot treatment to be miraculous and reduce a monster zit to nothing in an hour or even overnight for the most part. I had already used 10% benzoyl-peroxide to no avail, and I think I must draw the conclusion that my acne always responds better to salicylic acid over benzoyl-peroxide. Most acne products contain either of these ingredients. 2% salicylic acid products are about as high as you can get over the counter, I believe, and this one is that.

The rest of the ingredients are harder to pronounce, and judging from the list, I’d say it’s probably not a great combination of ingredients. But my skin is made of tough stuff other than that terrible reaction to silicone (totally new experience for me–the worst kind, of course), so I got it anyway. The key with this product is to apply it in a thin area, and the product does say apply it one to three times a day. I opted for two, since it made the most sense; once before bed, and then once after I showered and put on makeup.

Beyond pimple reduction, this product also helps to reduce redness, which for me was a major concern. The last thing I want to do is put foundation on my face when it’s trying to clear itself up and heal, but at the same time, I don’t relish walking outside without it! So I usually end up with a light layer of foundation on. This helped make it easier to go out and not worry about how red those zits were. This product also did not dry out my skin at all, which is a huge plus. Many acne spot treatments will dry your skin out, but it is still important to use a good moisturizer along with the spot treatment to ensure you don’t dry out.

Sometimes the product seemed to work, sometimes it didn’t do anything. This product does seem to speed up the process, though. I would say that most pimples were reduced over two or three days, depending on their original size. Larger, angrier pimples may make it easier to see efficacy with this product, but I only had one or two of those. For the price, I’d recommend having one of these on-hand just to combat those pimples that just crop up. I don’t recommend spot treatments as a general rule for those who suffer constant breakouts, because at that point, it is more important to find a skincare routine that can really clear up your face. This is a temporary solution; a way to salve your self-esteem when a product has made your skin angry.

Lush Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser is Perfect for the Morning!

LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser ($9.95 for 3.5 oz.) has been my go-to morning cleanser lately, because it’s a mild exfoliating cleanser that’s perfect for both sensitive skin and everyday use. If you’re new to Lush, this might be a little more adventurous product type than other products they offer, just because it feels very natural/organic.

It’s sort of a gummy roll of product, which you take a pea or two peas-sized dollops out of. You add a little water, then rub it between your hands until it starts to break down into almost a paste consistency. Then you apply it like your usual cleanser–gentle, circular motions. Rinse, then pat your face dry, and you’re all done. Of course, you can choose to follow up with toner and/or moisturizer if you so desire.

Angels on Bare Skin includes the following ingredients: Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Glycerine, Kaolin, Water (Aqua), Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Lavender Flowers (Lavendula hybrida), *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume. The Rose Absolute is supposed to tone, while the Lavender Oil soothes your skin. I list the ingredient list so you can see what’s in the product, but also so you can have an idea as to why this product has a shelf life of a mere three months. This is not a product to stock up on! That huge chunk of product in the photo will surely last me at least three months!

The scent of Angels on Bare Skin reminds me of going out in the woods or a field–it’s not that compost heap “natural” smell or anything, but more like the invigorating scent of nature. I don’t mind it, though I know a few are put off by the scent of this. I don’t feel this removes makeup 100% (especially not eye makeup–hello, it does have ground almonds in it, aka not going near my eyes), so I prefer to use something else in the PM or else I’ll use something else to remove makeup, then follow-up with this cleanser in the PM.

Overall, I recommend trying this product, because it’s worked well in recuperating from my silicone-based break out. It hasn’t caused any additional acne, and I believe it has helped in reducing inflammation of those stubborn pimples (thus, making them appear less red and making me feel less self-conscious!). I’ll be posting more about my favorite Lush skincare products soon!

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Origins Modern Friction: Fab Skin Results, But…

Origins’ Modern Frictionicon ($37.00) is a super citrus-scented exfoliant that uses rice starch to help slough off dead skin cells. You might remember I posted about this product a few months ago, as I bought it for my younger sister after she fell in love with the difference it made on her hand (she tried it in-store). Being a beauty addict, I figured she couldn’t have all the fun, so I had to get my own jar to try, too!

The product leaves me a little torn, because sometimes I find it seems too acidic that my eyes tear/sting a little just from the scent (because I definitely don’t use this near my eyes–at least not deliberately!). I think I must be particularly sensitive to an ingredient in there that causes that problem, so it probably isn’t something the average person would experience. Also, I do find it can be too harsh/abrasive when used dry (I find myself having to use water to soften it a bit). Origins says it is “nature’s gentle dermabrasion,” but it doesn’t feel that gentle to me. I love to exfoliate–and I have a whole slew (err, bin) of exfoliants and scrubs for face and body–so I’m no stranger to the feeling!

But on the other hand, my skin feels ridiculously smooth and instantly brightened post-use. The product is designed to be used over dry, clean skin two to three times a week. They do mention to use it over damp skin if you have more sensitive skin. After you’ve rubbed the product in, work it into a lather with a splash of water, then rinse. It really can be an amazing product to help soften, smooth, and brighten skin, so I definitely suggest stopping by your local Origins’ counter/store and getting a sample if you can.

It’s easy to use, but I know a lot of people are going to be put-off by the packaging, which is a large 4 oz. tub of product, which you scoop out product of. It’s just not the most sanitary way of doing things, so be sure to wash your hands before using to minimize contamination. Personally, I wash my hands thoroughly before I start my AM/PM skincare regimen, so it’s not a huge deal, *but* the jar contains so much product you’ll have this on-hand for at least a year. You just don’t need much to get the job done (especially if you use it with water rather than just dry). So while it helps stretch out the product’s cost, it is longer than I’d like for this kind of product. I do think this is a product better off in a tube and sold in smaller sizes (obviously at an equivalent price).

Overall, I still use the product regularly, but I wouldn’t say it’s my holy grail, just because it’s a bit harsher than I’d like on my skin in particular. The results definitely make it worth checking out, and like I said, I still find myself using it periodically, because I love the way it makes my skin feel afterward. If you find it’s too harsh for your face, it does work just as excellently as a body exfoliant, too!

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Pur~lisse Brings Chinese Beauty Secrets to You

pur~lisse is a product line created by Jennifer Yen utilizing science and Chinese beauty secrets to create products good for you. You’ll find most products have either Blue Lotus Flower or White Tea (antioxidant) in them.

pur~moist ($65.00) is a moisturizer that feels like a hybrid of gel and cream. It absorbs quickly, and it keeps skin hydrated throughout the day. What I particularly liked about this moisturizer was it helped calm any redness I had in my face (which, admittedly is not a major concern nor obvious). I couldn’t detect any noticeable scent to it–seemed non-fragrance to me. This particular moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF, so you’ll need to use something else to cover you on sun protection (though they have pur-protect, which does include SPF). The only downside to this product is the price; you should easily get two to three months worth of usage out of the tube, though. Also, since it is in a tube rather than a jar, you can worry less about getting bacteria in it and oxygen exposure. Always a good thing!

pur~delicate ($38.00) is a cleanser designed for all skin types, and it is a non-foaming milky cleanser. It uses soy milk (along with soy proteins) as one of its key ingredients. You’ll also find extracts of oatmeal and white tea in it. Because it doesn’t really lather or foam up, it doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils, so it shouldn’t dry you out. It does a great job of removing dirt and makeup and leaving your skin feeling clean (but not that squeaky clean feeling of tightness). As far as packaging goes, it uses an airless pump, so you can control how much product you need (one pump should do ya!) and keep it sanitary and out of oxygen’s reach. There’s no real fragrance to it, which further lends credence to its claim of being non-irritating for all skin types.

Clarisonic for Better Overall Skincare and Appearance


visit Sephora.com to purchase

Clarisonic ($195.00) is one of those products you tend to hear raves about, but you take one look at the price tag and run in the other direction. But you’re always wondering, “Does it actually work? Is it worth it?”

Yes, and yes. Most definitely.

The Clarisonic Skin Care System was developed by the creators of the Sonicare toothbrush. I look at this in a similar way–the Sonicare toothbrush price tag shocked people, but it does give you a great clean. It’s a purchase that saves you money elsewhere in your life. The toothbrush kept you from going to the dentist as often for problems (or minimized problems found during your regular visits), and the Clarisonic does the same. You get a better clean, which lets other skincare products absorb better–you know, that pricey serum you purchased may have better results because of the increased absorption.

Here’s the other big reason why both sonic systems work: the timer. You’re supposed to brush your teeth for two minutes (30 seconds per side), and because the Sonicare lets you know when to switch sides, you actually brush for that length of time. Same idea on the Clarisonic; you can choose between one minute and two minutes cleansing times, and it will beep approximately every thirty seconds. We are all busy, busy people, so we often don’t think about whether we are properly cleansing. A few weeks ago, I read about a study where people who washed their hands properly with regular soap had the same amount of bacteria leftover as those who washed properly with antibacterial soap–because the key was washing your hands properly, getting underneath the nails and giving yourself enough time.

So, let me tell you how my skin has changed as a result of using this product for the past four weeks!

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