Jan 30, 2009

Correctionist Daily Light Moisturizer SPF 15

Correctionist Daily Light Moisture is manufactured by American International Industries and marketed and sold by Sally Beauty.

This cream is a wonderful addition to the Correctionist line. The texture is thicker than a serum and lighter than a cream. The scent is light, delicate and gender neutral, not at all overpowering but clean and fresh. It absorbs very quickly and leaves my skin moisturized without feeling coated or heavy. I actually use it over my Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer for added protection when I will be outside for long periods of time. It makes my skin dewy but not overly shiny and makes it feel soft and smooth.

I like that it contains peptides and anti-oxidants. I also appreciate the fact it is not in jar packaging which only allows air to degrade the anti-oxidants. Jar packaging may look pretty but does nothing to preserve the efficacy of the ingredients. Whether or not peptides help the skin is still debated as there have been few independant studies done on them but more and more manufacturers are including them in their products.

While it has not caused me to breakout, because it contains Stearic Acid and Shea Butter, acne prone individuals might want to proceed with caution until they see how their skin will react to it as there are those who believe Stearic Acid and Shea Butter may contribute to breakouts.

Some of the benefits of this formula according to the Sally Beauty website include: Balances and tones with Toni Skin .01%, Repairs skin damage with Detoxyl .05%, Reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles with Matrixyl 3000 .01%.

A 1 ounce bottle of Correctionist Daily Light Moisture sells $14.99 ($13.99 if have a Sally Beauty Club Card) and is available in store and online from Sally Beauty.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.50% (Sunscreen Agent) Oxybenzone 3.00% (Sunscreen Agent).

Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Isopropyl Palmitate, Yeast Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Seedcake Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Polysorbate 20, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Sesquioleate Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional , Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Jan 29, 2009

Pharmagel Pharma-C Serum

I stumbled across Pharmagel Pharma C serum several years ago when I found it on clearance. Given the trouble I've had finding skin care products that don't break me out I didn't expect much. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this product a lot.

It is a clear, watery, gel like serum that spreads easily and absorbs quickly. It is basically unscented and leaves my skin matte ready for moisturizer.
During the time I used it I noticed a slight reduction in freckles and spots. While it did not irritate my skin there was a slight tendency for it be drier if I used the serum more than once a day. It is silicone-free which is a big bonus for me. It can "ball up" on the face if you apply too much of it.
Because it contains a high concentration of Vitamin C, 10%, sensitive skin people might want to take it easy until their skin adjusts to it.

In addition to this product, Pharmagel has an entire line of moisturizers, serums, cleansers, treatments and body lotions.

Available online from their website and at some spas, Pharmagel Pharma C serum retails for under $40.00 for a one ounce pump bottle.

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Peg-45 Palm Kernal Glycerides, Zinc Yeast Derivitive, Glycereth-26, Tyrosine, Live Yeast Cell Derivitive, Hyaluronic Acid, Saccharide Isomerate, Hydrocotyl Extract (Centella Extract), Cone Flower Extract (Echinacea Leaf Extract), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tetra Sodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben.

Jan 28, 2009

Lancome Paris High Resolution Refill - 3X SPF 15

Lancome Paris is the luxury skin care and make-up division of Loreal which also owns, among others, Maybelline and Biotherm. Loreal sells their mass market products at drug and grocery stores while Lancome sells and markets their products through high end department stores.

Lancome seems to frequently revamp their products. New to the market is Lancome Paris High Resolution Refill - 3X SPF 15, a triple action anti-wrinkle cream that is lightly fragranced and smells like most of the other Lancome creams I have tried. It is a light, clean scent but it does linger. It is not overly strong or offensive, however. The cream is very lush and feels rich but absorbs remarkably well. This cream "balled" up if I rubbed my face which I have noticed with other silicone based creams that contain talc.

The ingredients list indicates that it contains numerous forms of silicon. In addition, it contains mineral oil which is something I didn't expect from a modern formula. Silicone and mineral oil, I have read, can cause some people to breakout. This has been my experience with products containing those ingredients.

I developed small breakouts on my forehead after using this cream once. I cannot say whether it was from this product, but it does contains Mineral Oil, Silicone, Nylon-66 and Talc and the breakouts developed within hours of application. This would lead me to suggest this product is better suited to drier, more mature skin types or those who are not prone to breakouts. Some days it seems that everything causes me to breakout so I tend to be careful what I apply to my skin.

Alfalfa, Rice Protein and Sodium Hyaluronate are the ingredients de jour. There are no peptides in this cream although the matching eye cream contains two peptides. This formula doesn't appear to be as high tech when compared to products by other manufacturers such as Estee Lauder. For the cost, I would expect something cutting edge, one of a kind. Creme de La Mer, which has been around for ages, contains Alfalfa, and numerous other products contain Rice Protein and Sodium Hyaluronate. Many products contain similar ingredients and sell for far less including products by Lancome's owner Loreal.
Available in a 1.7 ounce jar this cream sells for $75.00. The 0.50 ounce eye cream is $55.00.

Ingredients: Ensulizone 1.8%, Octinoxate 7.5%

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cylopentasiloxane, Mineral Oil, Amonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Methylsilanol/Silicate Crosspolymer, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Medicago Satva (Alphalfa) Extract, Hydrolized Rice Protein, Acetyl Trfluoromethylphenyl Valylglycine, Adenosine, PEF-8 Isostearate, Polygylceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Nylon-66, Talc, Silica Mimethyl Silylate, Dimethiconol, Limonene, Xanthan Gum, Maganese Gluconate, Linalool, Cholesterol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Acrylates Copolymer, Sorbitan Palmitate, Geraniol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutmate, Disodium EDTA, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Fragrance.

Jan 27, 2009

Yves Rocher ADN Vegetal Nocturnal Regenerating Lotion

Yves Rocher claims to be the leader in botanical skin care with one of the best selling skin care lines in France. Started in a small village over 40 years ago Yves Rocher has grown into a multinational company with hundreds of products including face, body, and hair care, men's and women's fragrances and make up.

Yves Rocher ADN Vegetal Intensive Cellular Care Nocturnal Regenerating Lotion is one of the more expensive products manufactured and sold by Yves Rocher and part of their ADN Vegetal Intensive Cellular Care product line aimed at wrinkle and age spot reduction.

The creamy white fluid is light and spreads very well. It doesn't take very much to cover the face and it absorbs well but slowly. I broke out after using it just a few times. I really liked this product and wanted to be able to use it.

Yves Rocher uses lovely packaging for most of their products and many of the containers are glass, not plastic, which gives their products a more luxurious appearance.

The scent of many of their skin care products is overwhelmingly strong and long lasting which is not uncommon with European lines. The scent of Yves Rocher ADN Vegetal Nocturnal Regenerating Lotion actually caused me to have a headache as it is that strong. It is a pleasing scent but much stronger than I would expect for a facial product.

While this product does contain some useful ingredients, as with many Yves Rocher products, they are listed far down on the ingredients list which indicates they are used in small amounts.

Why companies continue to put alcohol in their products is beyond me. Alcohol, not to be confused with similar sounding ingredients such as Cetearyl Alcohol, are drying to the skin and may cause cell damage. The very fact that a moisturizer has it listed as fourth ingredient is amazing to me. I suspect it is used in such a large amount to reduce the oiliness caused by the other ingredients. Regardless of the reason, it is unnecessary and does not help the skin one bit.

This product also contains numerous forms of silicone as well as stearic acid which may contribute to breakouts for acne prone individuals. It also contains Talc which may contribute to breakouts, as it does for my skin. These ingredients are meant to give the skin a smoother appearance and reduce shine and oiliness.

The elegant 1.35 ounce glass pump bottle costs $79.00 and is available online from Yves Rocher. In Toronto and Montreal, Canada Yves Rocher has lovely boutiques at most of the shopping malls such as Eaton Centre.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Urea, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cyclohexasiloxane, Stearyl Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ceteareth-33, Ethyl Linoleate, Parfum (Fragrance), Methylparaben, Rosa Moschata Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Oleth-20, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Allantoin, Acrylates/C10-30, Alkyl Acrylate Copolymer, Dimethiconol, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide.

Jan 26, 2009

Open Forum: What is your favorite scent?

What is your favorite fragrance? Is it something new and daring or classic and refined? Where do you buy it, what does it retail for and what does it smell like?

Jan 23, 2009

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll-On

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll-On has been my product of choice for about 6 years or so now.

It does a good job at preventing odor, rolls on easily and is basically unscented. There is a very soft scent but not at all strong enough for me to consider a scented product.

It is a bit sticky until it dries but does not leave a white cast on my clothing and seems to work from shower to shower. This might not be the best choice for someone who perspires heavily and as it is not an antiperspirant it does not prevent wetness.

Of the so called natural deodorant products I have tried, this is my favorite and it seems to work the best for me. If you're looking for a more natural product to use and don't require an antiperspirant, this might be worth considering.

The 3 ounce roll-on bottle sells for under $4.00 in my area. It has become more difficult to find locally but CVS currently carries it. Many on-line natural/vitamin type stores sell it.

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (potassium alum), Zinc Ricinoleate, Xantham Gum, Chamomile Extract, Chamomile Extract (Anthemis Nobilis: Flower), Phenoxyethanol.

Jan 22, 2009

Alberto V05 Extra Body Shampoo

Alberto VO5 is a name that most people recognize having been around since 1955. It is owned by Alberto-Culver who owns such brands as Nexxus, Noxema, St. Ives, Tresemme and Mrs. Dash.

Alberto V05 Extra Body Shampoo contains the 5 vitamin complex as well as collagen. I think it is one of the better mass market shampoos. This is a detergent shampoo so expect a lot of bubbles and lather. The texture is slightly thick and the scent is clean and neutral. It does a good job of cleansing and removing build-up. As it contains sulfate cleansing agents it can be a bit drying, especially on color-treated, dry or frizzy hair. The collagen protein helps to moisturize the hair.

It appears to have been recently reformulated and now contains less of the 5 vitamin complex. Before they were listed before the fragrance and preservatives and are now instead listed after them. A cost cutting measure perhaps?

It contains Collagen, Vitamins E, D, A, C and B5.

Packaged in a 15 bottle and sells for under $2.00 in most areas.

Ingredients: Water; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate; Cocamidopropyl Betaine; Ammonium Chloride; Hydrolyzed Collagen; Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E); Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D); Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A); Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C); Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5); Sodium Laureth Sulfate; Octoxynol-9; Fragrance; Citric Acid; Tetrasodium EDTA; DMDM Hydantoin; Blue 1; Yellow 5; Red 40.

Jan 21, 2009

Avon Dramatic Firming Cream

I've recently been buying my Mother various skin care lotions and potions since she has developed more of an interest in skin care. Her main concerns are hydration and firming and so I've been buying her products that address those issues. The majority of what I've bought her are department store brand products.

I bought her a jar of Avon Dramatic Firming Cream after reading some glowing reviews on it as one of her stocking stuffer gifts. I didn't expect her to like it as much as her costlier skin care products. It's easy to become a bit of a skin care snob, especially when you find something that works well for your skin type.

Imagine my surprise when my Mother tells me that she likes it better than anything else she has tried. "Are you sure?" was my response. After all, Avon isn't what I think of when thinking of cutting edge products. As it turns out, Avon has been revamped and now offers products that are just as good if not better than many of the leading products. Prices for their newest products are much higher than one might expect from Avon but on par with department stores.

The Avon website states, "Rediscover your skin. Our exclusive mix of vitamin E, carrot, apricot and arnica oil improves elasticity and resilience, for noticeably firmer, toned, supple skin in just 4 weeks."

This product has a numerous natural ingredients in it plus antioxidants, vitamins and collagen. I am told it absorbs quickly and completely, doesn't feel heavy or greasy and hydrates quite well. The scent is rather light and pleasant. This product does not contain sunscreen and so should be used at night or during the day under a sunscreen. This cream may be better suited to more mature, drier skin types. It seems to be a popular cream among those who have written reviews posted on the Avon website.

Avon Dramatic Firming Cream
is part of the Avon Solutions skin care line and sells for $8.50 for a 1.7 ounce jar.

Ingredients: Water, Myristyl Myristate, Prunus Ameniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogentated Vegetable Glycerides, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/ Dicaprate, Squalane, Punica Granatum Fruit Juice, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Soluble Collagen, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Choleth-24, Methylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Dimethicone, Sorbitan Stearate, Ceteth-24, Glycol Stearate, Isodecyl Salicylate, Polysorbate 60, Fragrance, PEG-150 Stearate, Steareth-20, Stearamide AMP.

Jan 20, 2009

Opium pour Homme Eau de Toilette Spray

Opium caused a stir when it was introduced in 1977 and because of it's name was actually banned in some countries. However, the scent continues to be one of the most popular fragrances and one that is unmistakeable as soon as you smell it.

Expect nothing less of the men's version, Opium pour Homme, available in Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum. This is not a fragrance for the man who doesn't like getting asked qustions because wearing this will cause people to frequently stop you to ask what you're wearing.

Introduced in 1995 by Yves Saint Laurent under Tom Ford, Opium pour Homme is a sexy, Oriental fragrance that lasts and lasts. It is sweet, dark, mysterious, vibrant, strong and mellow, unique. A contradiction. The packaging alone makes one want to take a whiff, it is very elegant and beautiful but also masculine.

According to the fragrance history website Basenotes (1), Opium pour Homme has Top Notes of Star Aniseed and Black Currant, Middle Notes of Chinese Galanga and Szechwan Pepper, and Base Notes of Fresh Bourbon Vanilla, Tolu Balm and Atlas Cedar.

Opium pour Homme is also available in a body/hair wash, deodorant, body spray, after shave, after shave balm, and a much stronger, longer lasting eau de parfum version in a refillable decanter.

Retail prices vary as do availability. It is available from Yves Saint Laurent as well as some UK department stores. It is also found from some online perfume retailers.

Ingredients: Vary by product type.

(1) http://www.basenotes.net/ID26121231.html

Jan 16, 2009

How I Treat My Breakouts

Like just about everyone I know I get the occasional breakout. Sometimes it is caused by trying a new product other times it is just one that pops up out of no where. Regardless of the cause I have tried everything and have discovered that a lot of the products marketed for acne don't help me.

So, what works for me and my ultra sensitive skin?

I have found through trial and error that the best thing for my occasional pimples is the use a gentle cleanser and to keep my skin hydrated.

Many of the products sold for acne contain harsh ingredients that dry out the skin and therefore encourage sebum production and thus the cycle of breakouts goes on and on. Products that contain alcohol or harsh sulfate cleansers strip the skin's moisture barrier and the skin, reacting to the dryness, produces more oil. For those of use who are acne-prone this just results in more pimples. Many toners contain high amounts of alcohol and simply strip the skin and dry it out.

I use Mastey de Paris Traite shampoo, $20.00 for 16 ounces, to cleanse my face. (I use it on my hair as well.) It is gentle and does not strip the skin of it's natural moisture. I then use Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer, $28.00 for 3.38 ounces, both available from the Mastey de Paris website. If you are oily or combo, applying moisturizer to slightly damp skin sometimes helps keep it from being too greasy. Lately I have been dabbing on Mastey de Paris Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex, $18.00 for 3.38 ounces on pimples at night which seems to heal them rather quickly. Using products that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acid should only be used at night and you absolutely must use a good quality sunscreen during the day as AHA's make skin more sensitive to sunburn.

When I have a really bad breakout I use Good Skin All Right Spot Treatment which is sold exclusively at Kohl's and manufactured by Estee Lauder under their Beauty Bank subsidiary for $8.50. It contains salicylic acid which helps heal the pimple and reduce redness. It also contains moisturizers which keeps it from being too drying.

Over the years I have compiled a list of ingredients that seem to cause or aggravate my breakouts. They include: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Talc, various Silicones, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Silica, Polyethylene, etc. If I use a product with these ingredients I tend to develop painful breakouts. Many people use products with these ingredients happily so it is something that varies for the individual.

The bottom line, for my skin, is that stripping it of all it's protective oils only encourages more breakouts. By keeping my skin clean and hydrated the number of breakouts I've had is greatly reduced and my skin looks and feels so much healthier.

Will this concept work for other people? I cannot say, but I do know it has helped me a lot.

Some websites of interest:




Jan 15, 2009

Darphin Paris Densifying Anti-Wrinkle Cream

I tend to lean toward French product lines. There is something about them that appeals to me. Maybe it's the way they are formulated, their scent or the fact it is ooh, la, la, French. Whatever the case, the products I tend to like the best come from French companies.

Darphin Paris Densifying Anti-Wrinkle Cream is one of those creams that I sampled and really liked. I was given a sample jar of this product and used every last drop of it. Using it every night for approximately 5 days I did not breakout.

It is meant to treat lines and wrinkles and improve skin's density. This product seems to be geared toward mature skin but I found it to work well on my younger, combo skin. This product does not contain sunscreen and therefore would be best suited for night time use or under sunscreen for day time use.

The scent of this product is absolutely beautiful. A floral scent, Iris, maybe, that is very delicate and delightful but at the same time not so strong that people can smell it from across the room.

The texture of this pink cream is extremely thick but it spreads very easily and absorbs well. It feels very lush and rich and you just know that you are using a fancy French product.

Estee Lauder, one of the world's largest cosmetic manufacturers, bought Darphin Paris in 2003. Darphin Paris Densifying Anti-Wrinkle Cream retails for $185.00 for a 1.7 ounce jar. However, a tube or airless pump packaging would better protect the ingredients.

Ingredients: Water, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Gleceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Shea Butter, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Polydecene , Tridecyl Trimellitate, Tricostearin, Squalane, Iris Flower Root Extract, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminobutroyl, ...

Jan 14, 2009

Creme de La Mer Moisturizing Cream

Creme de La Mer was developed by a NASA scientist, Max Huber, after he was burned during an experiment, so goes the story behind one of the most famous and expensive skin care products. Bought by Estee Lauder in 1995, Creme de La Mer has changed little, if any, since it was first introduced. Estee Lauder has added numerous products to the line which now includes serums, toners, cleansers and other moisturizers. The "Miracle Broth" it contains is supposed to be the secret of it's ability but some may beg to differ. Seaweed extract is not exactly a rare ingredient but La Mer says it is how the ingredients are fermented that makes the difference.

I used Creme de La Mer a few times over the years but not for long periods. I'm not sure what to think of it. I've read other blogs mention that it is very similar to Nivea but I don't know as I've not used it.

La Mer is a very thick, dense, greasy product that must first be warmed between the finger tips and then patted onto the skin. I find that it works just as well for me if I apply it like a "normal" moisturizer and apply it straight from the jar.

The scent is actually quite pleasant in my opinion. The scent sort of reminds me of soap but not in a bad way. It is a light scent that does not overpower and I feel is gender neutral.

No matter how little I use, Creme de La Mer just doesn't absorb, it sits there until I wipe it off. I don't know how well it works if it doesn't even absorb. Hours after application my face remains greasy. I have used it as a moisturizing face mask and find that it leaves my skin feeling soft.

The ingredients list is interesting because it does appear to contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. However, the second ingredient is mineral oil, and it contains quite a bit of lanolin, both of which cause me breakouts.

The past few days I have used it under my eyes as an eye cream and it does seem to moisturize pretty well, but it is so heavy and greasy on my skin. I also just can't justify the cost for this product. La Mer has some newer moisturizers that are probably better suited to younger skin or those who are acne prone.

This is a product that people either really love or don't. Some feel it transforms their skin. I am on the fence about this one. It is outrageously expensive when you consider it contains large amounts of mineral oil. The jar packaging is not ideal because antioxidants exposed to air lose their potency. It may be a wonder cream but for the cost, the jar packaging, the mineral oil, the lack of sunscreen and the fact that it doesn't absorb, I am not inclined to purchase.

Creme de La Mer Moisturizing Cream is available at many of the high end department stores or from the La Mer website. The 1 ounce jar retails for $130.00.

Ingredients: Seaweed (Algae) Extract, Mineral oil, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Extract, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Sesame Seed Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Magnesium Sulfate, Sesame Seed, Medicago sativa (alfalfa) seed powder, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seedcake, Prunus amygdulus dulcis (sweet almond) seed meal, Sodium Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Paraffin, Tocopheryl succinate, Niacin, Beta-carotene, Decyl oleate, Aluminium distearate, Octyldodecanol, Citric acid, Cyanocobalamin, Magnesium stearate, Panthenol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Benzyl salicylate, Citral, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance.

Jan 13, 2009

Noxema Original Cleansing Cream

Noxema, the famous cream cleanser in the blue jar, that some sources state was first introduced in 1914 and is currently owned by Alberto-Culver, has a cult following. The camphor and Eucalyptus scent is very distinctive as is the texture and packaging of this cleanser.

So far nothing else removes blackheads on my nose as well or as quickly. I use it on my nose once or twice a week for that purpose alone. It is a bit too drying for the rest of my face. This is a potent product that may not be suitable for sensitive skin types.

Over the years Noxema has added new products to the range that include facial cleansing pads and various other facial cleansing products.

Noxema Original Cleansing Cream comes in a blue plastic jar with 10.75 ounces and retails for under $5.00 in most local stores.

Ingredients: Water, Stearic Acid, Linseed Oil, Soybean Oil, Fragrance, Ammonium Hydroxide, Camphor, Menthol, Eucalyptus Oil, Propylene Glycol, Gelatin, Calcium Hydroxide.

Jan 12, 2009

Good Skin All Bright Moisturizing Sunscreen

I first bought All Bright Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30 from Good Skin last summer after reading it was a SELF Health Beauty Award Winner 2006.

The texture of this white cream is somewhat think and a bit oily. The scent is like most other products from Good Skin and smells a bit like the ingredients it contains but not in an offensive or over powering way.

The directions say to apply this all over your clean skin after moisturizing. Having tried it that way several times it is my opinion that it is best used alone for everyone but those with extremely dry skin. This moisturizing sunscreen tends to leave the skin a bit greasy after application. During application it has a white cast that quickly goes away. It will sometimes "ball up" a bit when applying it over another product or if reapplying it later in the day.

Even after it is dried this product still feels a bit oily on the skin which is most likely caused by the numerous sunscreens it contains in order to make it SPF 30. All Bright Moisturizing Sunscreen has chemical sunscreens rather than physical sunscreens such as titanium or zinc oxide. I must avoid physical sunscreens because they cause me painful pimples so this is a big bonus for me.

I used this product when I was outside this past summer and liked it for the most part. I did develop some pimples while using it but luckily they weren't all that bad. If this gets in your eyes when you perspire it will sting so use caution when applying it to the forehead or above the eyes. From everything I have read it is best to apply sunscreen before heading outside in order to give it time to absorb. Even with sunscreen I get freckles but I did notice I got less freckles when using this. Overall, I like this product a lot and will more than likely buy more of it to use this spring and summer.

At only $12.00 for 1.7 ounces this is a marvelously formulated and quite inexpensive sunscreen that not only protects the skin from harmful UVA and UVB but contains peptides, numerous anti-oxidants, anti-irritants and skin humectants. This sunscreen goes above and beyond many other far more expensive products in quality of ingredients. Although this product does contain silicone it has less than many other similar products which is another bonus for me. Available in the US at Kohl's department stores.

Ingredients: Water, Dicaprylyl Maleate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Butylene Glycol, Sucrose, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Burnet Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Apple Fruit Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Sunflower Seedcake, Barley Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Yeast Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Caffeine, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Xanthan Gum, PEG-8, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Polysorbate 80, PEG-100 Stearet, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Disodium EDTA, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben.

Jan 9, 2009

Mastey de Paris Rejuvene Cellular Recovery Treatment Creme

According to the Mastey de Paris website, Rejuvene is... "A high performance-rejuvenating complex that provides essential building blocks to supplement skin's own elastin for a younger, more elastic and youthful looking skin. This intense anti-aging complex noticeably diminishes the appearance of surface wrinkles, and firms and insulates the delicate facial skin.

For face and neck, Rejuvené infuses the skin with Ceramides, Retinol, Vitamins, Vegetable protein, Antioxidants, the Natural Moisturizing Factor, plus Ginseng, Ylang and Ginkgo herbal extracts to stimulate and help firm and support the system of fragile facial tissue."

The box states that, "Rejuvene Cellular Recovery Creme incorporates the latest discovery in the exclusive fibronectin protein complex that helps reach innermost cell layers and rebuild the entire cell. Rejuvene, a most unique anti-aging complex, helps firm the entire support system of fragile facial tissue and prvide the ingredients of youthful skin. Use Rejuvene nightly to replenish skin's vital nutrients."

Mastey de Paris Rejuvene Cellular Recovery Creme is a very luxurious, lush, thick and decadent cream meant to help tone fragile and aging facial skin. As it does not contain sunscreen it is intended for night time use.

Although scented it is extremely light and clean smelling, not heavy or distracting like so many other facial moisturizers from French lines. It absorbs extremely well and leaves the skin feeling very soft and hydrated. I think it minimizes fine lines pretty well, especially those cause by dehydration. I occassionally use it under my Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer for an added boost of moisture. A little goes a long way and it spreads easily.

This is a product I tend to use only during the cold winter months. It feels so rich and expensive. The texture is slightly oily but does not make my oil/dry combo skin greasy.

Rejuvene contains Fibronection, Solluable Collagen and Elastin, all dirived from plant sources. Mastey does not use animal by-broducts. Proteins help hold moisture to the skin and keep it hydrated.

Because it is a heavier creme it may be too rich for very oily skin types. It contains stearic acid which can cause breakouts in some people sensitive to them.

Rejuvene comes packaged in a 2 ounce jar and retails for $40.00 from the Mastey de Paris website and select salons and spas.

Ingredients: D. Water, Squalene, Glyceryl Tri-C-10-18 Acids, Methyl Gluceth-20 Sesquistearate, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Soluble Collagen, Fibronectin, Elastin, 1-Hexadecanol, Stearic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Lactic Acid, D-Panthenol Pro-Vitamin B5, Retinol Palmitate-Vitamin A, Methyl & Propyl Parabens, Fragrance.

Jan 8, 2009

Open Forum: What is your single favorite facial moisturizer?

Tell us what your favorite facial moisturizer is, why it's your favorite, the price, where to buy it and anything else you want to say about it.

Jan 7, 2009

Mastey de Paris Frehair Daily Conditioner

I have used Mastey de Paris Frehair Daily Conditoner and Mastey de Paris Traite Sulfate-Free Shampoo for years now. Even though I still try new products from time to time I still haven't found any other product line that works as well for my hair.

The texture is that of a light lotion. The scent is sort of fruity but very delicate and definitely gender neutral. I think of Mastey Frehair as a moisturizing cream for my hair. It smooths frizz and fly away and makes my hair so easy to comb and style. I apply it in the shower after shampooing, comb it through and leave it for several minutes before rinsing. After towel drying my hair I use a small dab as leave in which I think helps protect my hair from heat damage.

The ingredients list for Mastey products are simple and straight forward. Mastey doesn't seem to feel the necessity to fill their products with fluff and unproven trendy ingredients. They stick to what works. Because their products are silicone-free, there is no build-up and I don't feel the need to switch products every two weeks. It is really difficult to convey in words how nice this product feels and how well it works for me.

I tend to go on and on about Mastey products. The reason is simple, I have used so many products, tried the latest of this and that, and yet, no matter what else I try, I find myself eager to use my Mastey. It's just works that well for my skin and hair.
I think it is also good to note that Mastey recently updated some of their formulas and quit using paraben preservatives in their hair care lines. They do not use propylene glycol, silicone or mineral oil.

The products are a bit difficult to find locally for some reason. Perhaps there is no distributor in the area, but I don't mind ordering mine online. A 16 ounce bottle of Mastey de Paris Frehair costs $20.00.

Cruelty-Free Ingredients: Aqua, Eau [D.Water], Infusion of [Natural Moisturizing Factor] PCA and Sodium Lactate and Lactic Acid and Panthenol B5 and Phospholipid EFA, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Methyl Gluceth-20, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Cystine Amino Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ginseng, Gingko, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone, Parfum [Fragrance].

Jan 6, 2009

Estee Lauder Time Zone Wrinkle Reducing Lotion - Normal/Combo

Estee Lauder just launched their brand new anti-wrinkle lotion which, they say, is the culmination of many years of research on the aging process and wrinkle treatment. They suggest it will take 10 years off the appearance of your skin after only 4 weeks of twice daily use. Time Zone appears to be the replacement for their discontinued Future Perfect Anti-Wrinkle Radiance products.

Estee Lauder recommends you use it after applying one of their repair serums, either Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex, $46.50 1 ounce, or their recent Perfectionist CP Wrinkle Lifting Serum, $55.00 1 ounce.

Interestingly enough, Perfectionist CP Wrinkle Lifting Serum is very similar to Good Skin Tri-Aktiline Deep Wrinkle Filler, $39.50 at Kohl's, but in a more spreadable, more easily used facial moisturizer.

I chose the Normal/Combination formula because the pump bottle protects the ingredients far better than a jar would. Why cosmetic companies don't package all their products in pump bottles or tubes still surprises me since most people are aware that air degrades ingredients such as antioxidants very quickly.

The scent is a delicate and refined scent that tends to linger a bit longer and stronger than I expected from a modern product. Time Zone absorbs fairly quickly and makes the skin feel powdery and soft. It contains sunscreen rated at SPF 15. The texture is rather light and feels a bit oily at first but dries to a slightly matte finish. Because this formula is geared toward normal and combination skin it contains ingredients (polyethylene, silica) that help reduce shine.

This product is nice enough but I don't think I would repurchase simply because it doesn't "wow" me. While it thus far has not broken me out, as so many products with high silicone contents tend to do, I have noticed a few spots that may be developing. The scent is a bit strong for my taste and I have noticed that by the end of the day my skin tends to be a bit dry and lines more prominent. A similar issue as I had with Good Skin Tri-Aktiline. The power ingredients seem to be listed way down on the list of ingredients thus suggesting they are in lower concentrations. From what I can tell up to this point it doesn't moisturize as well as Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer. I also think Mastey Moiste minimizes fine lines better.

The ingredients are very similar to that of many of Lauder products. This product contains Phytantriol which, from what I have been able to read online is a penetration inhancer to help skin better hold moisture (1.). Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (Argireline), a peptide, which as you know is supposed to relax wrinkles (2). Acetyl Glucosamine, an amino-acid, that when used in large amounts is said to help wound healing (3). Creatine, another amino-acid used by body builders and finding it's way into skin care as it is thought to help normalize cells (4). Plus, numerous silicones, thickners, antioxidants and sugar deriviatives.

This product also contains a lot of plant extracts. Their effect on skin is still debated but it seems as though some may act as antioxidants.

Selling for $58.00 for a 1.7 ounce bottle, Estee Lauder Wrinkle Reducing Lotion is available from the Estee Lauder website and departments stores such as Macy's.

Ingredients: Water, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, HDI/Trimethyol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Steareth-21, Steareth-2, Yeast Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Centaury Extract, Wheat Bran Extract, Barley Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Rosemary Extract, Pomegranate Juice Extract, Tangerine Peel Extract, St. Paul's Wort Extract, Olive Fruit Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Larix Sibirica Wood Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Spike Moss Extract, Hops Extract, Argania Spinosa Leaf Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Tamarindus Indica Seed Extract, Linolenic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Polyethylene, Cholesterol, Pentylene Glycol, Creatine, Caffeine, Hydroginated Lecithin, Polysilicone-11, Glycerin, Sucrose, Acetyl Glucosamine, Phytantriol, PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Trehalose, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Sodium PCA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sunflower Seedcake, Trimethysiloxysilicate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 80, Tromethamine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Potassium Sulfate, Adenosine Phosphate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Clyclodextrin, Silica, Fragrance, Ethylbisiminomethylguaiacolmaganese Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol (ILN34607>.

1.) http://www.dsm.com/en_US/html/dnpus/pe_phytantriol_protect.htm
2.) http://www.skin-care-report.com/spotlight/?p=8
3.) http://www.cosmeticscop.com/skin-care-facts-acetyl-glucosamine-natural-moisturizer-wrinkles.aspx
4.) http://www.smartskincare.com/resabstracts/aging-skin_berneburg_j-invest-dermatol_20050800.html

Jan 5, 2009

Grassroots Happily Ever After Moisture Cream SPF15

I first tried Grassroots Happily Ever After Moisture Cream SPF15 two years ago when I was given two generously sized sample tubes of the product. I was eager to try this product because of the fact it contains a lot of natural ingredients.

Grassroots is very similar to Aveda and Origins products and all three are owned by cosmetics powerhouse Estee Lauder. This product seems to be very similiar to Origins Have a Nice Day Super Charged Moisture Cream SPF 15.

According to Grassroots Happily Ever After is... "A mega moisture cream packed with a powerful blend of eight anti-oxidants, skin soothers and SPF 15 to protect, firm, and hydrate thirsty skin."

The first thing I noticed about this product was that it is thick and smells great. The scent is in the citrus family and while delicate does linger. The texture of this cream is slightly oil, like most moisturizers, especially those containing sunscreen. It spreads easily, however; I find that it does not absorb very well and instead sort of feels like it sits upon the skin. It also seemed to cause me breakouts. I used this several times when I was going to be outside for an extended period of time on hot days and it would irritate my eyes when I perspired. Sunscreen needs to be applied to the entire face and thus because it would migrate when I perspired I could not use it on my forehead at all or it would end up getting in my eyes and really irritating them.

Another concern of mine is the use of essential oils. A lot has been written about certain essential oils causing sensitivity among other issues. While some may be perfectly safe to use, others, I have read can cause the skin all sorts of problems and this tends to keep me away from them. Mint, Camphor and Orange being among those I try to avoid. Natural doesn't always mean better. Good Skin, another Estee Lauder product line also sold at Kohl's, offers sunscreens that are fragrance free and do not contain essentail oils. Mastey de Paris has Moiste Facial Moisturizer SPF15 (Which is what I use everyday and love) as well as SunBloc which is their moisturizing sunscreen.

Happily Ever After is very similar to other Lauder products, it contains vitamins, antioxidants, humectants, peptides and other ingredients that are helpful to the skin. If it weren't for the essential oils this might rate higher on my list. This cream also contains silicone which may cause breakouts in some individuals.

Grassroots Happily Ever After Moisture Cream SPF15 is sold in a jar, contains 1.7 ounces and sells for $18.00 at Kohl's.

Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Avobenzone 3.0%. Water, Butylene Glycol, Methylheptyl Isostearate, Pentylene Glycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Peg-100 Stearate, Citrus Tangerine (Tangerine) Essential Oil, Menthe Arvensis (Wild Mint) Leaf Essential Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Essential Oil, Citral Essential Oil, Linalool Essential Oil, Limonene Essential Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Essential Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor), Grapeseed Extract, Dimethicone, Rosemary Extract, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Steareth-2, Arginine Ferulate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Neopentyl Glyocol Diheptanoate, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Pantethine, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sucrose, Steareth-10, Lecithin, Cholesterol, Glycine, Lauryldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Carbomer, Isohexadecane, Trifluoromethyl C1-4 Alkyl Dimethicone, Peg-8, Polysorbate 80, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Carbomen, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Bht, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Chlorphenesin, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol.

Jan 2, 2009

Mastey de Paris Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex (AHA)

I have used Mastey de Paris Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex on and off now for several years, especially during the winter months. I find it works especially well as a night cream. Because it contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids it should not be used during the day and the daily use of a sunscreen is mandatory. I use it only on my face and only at night and make sure to use sunscreen (Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer with SPF) during the day. Even on cloudy, overcast winter days, there are damaging and aging UVA and UVB rays.

Velvetant absorbs extremely well and leaves the skin feeling soft and silky. It has helped to even my skin tone and increase my skin's hydration. Over the years I have tried many Alpha Hydroxy Acid products that have irritated my extremely sensitive skin or caused it to breakout. Velvetant is very gentle and I have recently begun using it as a spot treatment for breakouts because it seems to speed their healing and reduce inflammation.

Velvetant is a white cream with a slightly thick consistency and a very light, pleasing, gender neutral scent. It contains Mastey's pioneering Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) as well as vitamins, minerals, plant derived pseudo-collagen, and of course, Alpha Hydroxy Acids.

According to Mastey, Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex "Encourages the cell renewal process by lifting away dull, drying surface skin, without stripping away the vital moisture or protein. This mild renewal treatment promotes a soft skin texture, and refines fine lines. The results reveal dramatically smoother, more supple, healthier skin with new found vibrancy.Mastey Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex is a skin renewal complex contain Alpha Hydroxy acids from mixed fruit sources. It can be used on the face and/or body to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles."

Mastey de Paris Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex is available online at the Mastey de Paris website or in some better salons and spas. Mastey products are not widely distributed in my part of the country so I therefore order mine online. It comes packaged in a 3.38 ounce tube and retails for $18.00.

Ingredients: D. Water, Tridecyl Stearate Neopentyl glycol/Dicaprylate-Dicaprate/Tridecyl Trimellitate, Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Squalane, Peg-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearates, 1-Hexadecanol, Methyl Gluceth 20, Panthenol B5, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Urea, Pseudocollagen, Vitamin C Asorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate Vitamin A, Tocopheryl Vitamin E, Lactic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Paraben, Fragrance.