Posts tagged ‘therapy’

FGW: Resurfacing- It’s not just for roads….

Every now and then you look in the mirror and feel like starting fresh. At times like these there’s only one thing you can turn to: Chemical peels. What, you expected me to say therapy and self discovery?

A typical Glycolic Acid facial in a spa can be a relaxing and refreshing experience, but there are a few drawbacks. The first is time. At 45 minutes to an hour plus transit time, you’re looking at a decent chunk of time every 2-6 months, depending on your skin and the exact results you wish to achieve. Second is the cost. At roughly $80 a piece, generally as a series of about 6 treatments, that’s a lot of fun money, at least for someone like me. If you choose to get a stronger peel from a doctor than you can expect to spend $150-$300 a session, though the length of time between sessions can be much longer, depending on your needs and results. The recovery from one of these procedures is also much more intense, often with flaking, redness, and oozing skin. Makes me want to run right out and get one, how about you?

Thankfully, there’s a third option, an home peel. Alpha Hydroxy Acid products sold to consumers must be a concentration less than 10%, so the chances of doing your skin serious damage are greatly reduced when choosing these. These products can give your skin the little extra boost you’re looking for, brightening and smoothing rough, sun-damaged skin.

I’ve been trying Murad’s Intensive Resurfacing Peel for just that purpose.

Sold as a set of 12 ampoules, Intensive Resurface Peel covers the needs of many skin types with both Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids(BHA). AHAs work mainly as an exfoliant, sloughing off dead skin cells and making room for regrowth of new skin. Alpha hydroxy acids are reported to improve wrinkling, roughness, and uneven skin tone of sun-damaged skin and may even stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. BHA (salicylic acid) is able to penetrate into pores which contain sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore. BHA is better used on oily skin with blackheads and whiteheads, while AHAs are better used on thickened, sun-damaged skin. Containing both glycolic acid and salicylic acid, Intensive Resurfacing Peel covers all the bases.

A few moments after applying you start to feel a tingle. Some people with more sensitive skin might even call it a slight sting. Any broken skin or irritated blemishes will definitely sting if you apply this over them. First you cleanse and tone, then apply the peel all over your face/neck. After 10 minutes, or less if you find it too irritating, you simply rinse your face with warm water and continue your typical regimen. I first got a hold of this product as a deluxe sample from Sephora, but after that one use I just HAD to try the full cycle. The 12 ampoules are meant to be used 3 times a week, giving you a month’s worth in one package, though it is entirely possible to squeeze extra uses from each ampoule without altering the effectiveness. My skin felt so smooth and supple after using this, I just about fell over from the sheer joy of it. Over the month I used this I saw improvement in some old scarring from chicken pox, though it wasn’t quite as drastic as I’d hoped. My serums and moisturizer certainly felt as though they absorbed faster and better after use.

The bamboo beads included in the formula are sparse and are more puzzling than effective. Something else that I found incredibly annoying was the poor design of the packaging. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing, not being privy to research and all, but it is impossible to extract all of the product from this bottle without prying off the top and using a cotton swab. With a product that costs as much as this ($165 a set) I would expect to be able to get my money’s worth without playing MacGuyver to scoop it out. The price is a deterrent as well, since your instinct is to use as little as possible due to the cost, which could reduce the effectiveness. Also, you MUST remember to use a sunscreen when you’re using AHA or BHA products, since they make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure. Ironic, isn’t it, that the product which can repair your skin’s sun damage also makes it more susceptible to sun damage?

Overall I loved this, but I’m just not sure I’m quite ready for something so intense yet. My skin is still fairly young and in pretty good shape, and the proper use of cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen is really all I need for the moment. If you feel like you need a little more for your skin, you know where to find a fast, easy, effective home peel, Murad’s Intensive Resurface Peel.

September 17, 2008 at 1:24 am 4 comments

Beauty Rant: Cosmetic Counters

One of the reasons I became a beauty blogger is because I hate the feeling of being intimidated and overwhelmed at the cosmetic counter.  My hope was to get familiar with how the industry works to overcome this fear.  And generally speaking, my experiences blogging have really helped.

I don’t go to the mall often.  I have a learned aversion to shopping malls, and as much as I want to see the pretty packages and tubes of cosmetics, mall shopping is torture to me.  Another problem I have is with confrontation.  With my own children and husband, confrontation comes naturally.  But, with someone who I perceive as having authority, confrontation is another thing.  I have a very difficult time expressing a strong opinion.  This is particularly true when I desire to communicate my discontent or negative feedback.  Generally, if I don’t like something, I will choose to avoid talking face-to-face with a real person about it.  I have “changing the subject when the tension gets high” down to an art. 

Recently, this trend has changed for me.  Now, when I meet people at the cosmetics counter, they have become my new allies in the quest for good beauty stuff.  Instant soul mates.  I usually ask them tons of questions and have a great time talking with them.  What product really stands out?  What is your favorite product?  Have you heard of this line?  Which line carries your favorite foundation?

And then there is today.  Today, I needed to shop at the mall.  I left my entire lot of children with my oldest and slipped out of the house!  Sweet childless freedom.  I casually strolled into the shopping mall. No stroller. No crowds. Just me in a big air conditioned space.  First I went shopping for some bare necessities, and casually stopped by the cosmetic counter at Dillards.  My Dillards experience proved to be so disappointing in comparison to the Sephora I visited last weekend in Vegas. 

I noticed a new line I hadn’t seen before.  I walk over and dabbed some of their serum on the back of my hand.  I thought to myself, “Interesting consistency. Do I smell citrus?  Must have some alcohol in it too. Kind of reminds me of…”

Interruption!  

A cosmetic saleswoman with a bright white lab coat asked me if I needed assistance.  Another customer simultaneously asked the saleswoman about the Clarisonic Face Brush on display.  “As Mentioned on Oprah” the signs say around it.  The saleswoman gave the sales pitch for the Clarisonic Brush, quickly announcing, “This is the most amazing skincare item!”

When I responded, my troubles began.  I said, “Actually, I like it okay; I don’t think it is all they claim it to be.”

The saleswoman shot me a look of surprise, and then beamed daggers at me.  “Everyone here loves the Clarisonic; it helps our serums really sink in, instead of just staying on the surface.”

“Oh really.  Well, I am sure it does help exfoliate your skin.”

“If you tried this, you would really see how it makes a difference.”

“I have one of these, I used it for a while, and it is very nice.”

“What kind of brush did you use?”

“One for sensitive skin and the other for regular skin.”

“I meant to say, what kind of setting did you use on your Clarisonic brush? Low or high?”

“Gosh, I didn’t realize there were two different settings.”

“You must have had your brush on high!”

“Okay, thanks…” 

I wanted to stay and browse, but I didn’t want to keep this conversation going, and I felt about 3 feet tall.  Why on earth do I let a salesperson or any person make me feel this way!?   I made some kind of excuse and got out of there.

Does this ever happen to you?  I guess I need more beauty blogging therapy.

July 17, 2008 at 9:29 pm 20 comments

Mythbuster Beauty Review: Baby Quasar and Baby Blue

Warning! The photo rejuvenation devices I am about to review are expensive! You may be better off being blissfully unaware of these rather awesome devices. I give you this warning because once you read about what the Baby Quasar and Baby Blue Photo Light Devices can and do for your skin; you will covet them until you finally own them!

What are the devices: Photo Rejuvenation and Acne Clearing Devices

How they work: The Baby Quasar (or BabyQ, as it’s affectionately called) is designed to deliver four light wavelengths (that is amber, red and infrared). The Baby Blue delivers only blue light. This is a picture of the Baby Quasar. The Baby Blue looks exactly the same, but emits a blue light.

What the devices do:   By following a series of photo rejuvenation sessions for six weeks, the Baby Quasar can enhance the skin cells’ circulation, stimulating collagen production and healing. The Baby Blue emits a blue light that kills the p. acne bacteria. Used together, they can reduce the inflammation and redness associated with acne or sensitive skin. The red light causes the release of nitric oxide, which is essential for healing. These devices are meant to enhance and improve the effectiveness of your skincare serums and treatments. Light Therapy is best for individuals with sun damage, redness, broken blood vessels and brown discoloration, including freckles.

My experience:

I was told to start by using the Baby Blue device first followed by a Baby Quasar session for six weeks to achieve the maximum benefits. I used both devices every other day for six weeks and each session lasted for about 35 minutes.

Both devices were easy to use. The warmth from the light felt good against my skin and there was no pain involved. I found the light therapy sessions very soothing, especially after using the Baby Quasar. I noticed that my blemishes seemed to heal more quickly and the number of my breakouts diminished while using both devices. I generally used the Blue Light as a spot treatment on areas where I tend to break out (nose, cheeks and chin), and the red Baby Quasar over the entire face.

I noticed that the Baby Quasar significantly helped diminish my skin’s redness. It was very soothing to my skin. Over the six weeks, I noticed more firmness and softened lines around my eyes, mouth and forehead. My pigmentation issues have improved and are less noticeable on my cheeks and chin. On my cheeks, I noticed some very dramatic improvements including some pigmentation spots fading and completely vanishing.  I have been trying to clear up some very deep small whiteheads on the apples of my cheeks for years, and while using the BabyQ and Baby Blue, these small whiteheads have slowly been surfacing and disappearing!   I have also noticed diminished pore size around my cheeks, chin and nose.

In short, I loved the Baby Quasar. You are going to love what these devices can do for your skin!

You will need to avoid shining the light directly into your eyes or around mucous membranes. I did get a few strange sores after exposing my nostrils to the light. Other than that, I noticed no other side effects or adverse issues while using the Baby Quasar and the Baby Blue devices.

Where do you purchase, and how much:

The price of these devices is very high. The Baby Quasar costs $449 plus $20 s&h at the Baby Quasar site. However, if you look at the cost of going to an esthetician or clinic for Photo Rejuvenation Therapy or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) a series of five treatments can cost between $1,000 – $2,000. To have a device that can be used at your convenience and indefinitely, you can see how these devices can be a deal. The Baby Quasar devices have a one year warranty from the manufacturer, and the company provides excellent customer support. You can also share the devices with other family and friends.

Special Discount Code: Baby Quasar is offering a promotional code, ‘mythbeauty’ that will give you an additional 10% discount off any Baby Quasar device.

Conclusion: The improvements are subtle and take time, but I have noticed some real benefits while using the Baby Blue and Baby Quasar. I highly recommend using the Baby Quasar.

[Here is picture I took today with a bit of makeup, (but really not that much), and no touch-ups! My skin isn’t perfect, but not bad for a 39 year old mother of five.]

If you are serious about getting the most out of your skincare, purchasing the Baby Quasar would be definitely a step in the right direction. BabyQ really rocks!

July 10, 2008 at 4:00 am 17 comments

Kate’s Confession on Megsmakeup.com: LINGERIE! GROUP THERAPY!

I could not help but relate when I read this post from my dear friend Kate at Megsmakeup.com

Meg’s Make-up Reviews » COSMETIC LINGERIE! GROUP THERAPY-I NEED SOME ANSWERS!

waterfall

“After complaining last week about my “Water Water Everywhere” existential crisis (Note: I have amassed these hundreds of products and have nowhere to store them and can’t seem to use any up), I decided to do a little experiment this week. I wanted to know which products I really couldn’t live without. So I didn’t change a thing. I used whatever products I “felt like” that day hopping from brand to brand, formula to formula, color to color. All week. Right now you’re thinking, Katie: that’s completely pointless. The first step is admitting you have a problem. You’ve done that. Step two: Alter the behavior. HELLO! Ok, well I wrote down exactly which products I used every day, a product diary, if you will. I started with morning cleanser to final eye cream and lip balm at night. Here’s the results…”

You will have to go to Megsmakeup.com to read her in-depth analysis and cosmetic journal for the week.  Fascinating reading, simply fascinating.

My response to Kate’s problem?

“I feel your pain Kate, I really do. This year I have accumulated more makeup than I have had in my entire lifetime. At least you are attempting to analyze your problem. Now you need to act! Don’t make me call TLC’s “Clean Sweep” team and send them out to Ol’ Miss. I love your makeup lingerie analogy. Now that you know what you use and don’t use; toss out the cosmetics that you haven’t used in the past month. I know that these items are dear to your heart, you have history/memories together, and you probably spent your entire Sephora paycheck on them. I recently went through my entire stash, and I still have a TON of makeup, but it is more manageable. And then, you will have room for new finds! Best wishes babe and let me know if you make any progress.”

While driving my 4 year old daughter to preschool, Naomi asked me what was in a large box sitting on the side front seat.  I responded to her that, “Just some makeup that I am going to be mailing to my friend Mo.”  She took in a long dramatic breath and announced, “Makeup, Makeup, Makeup!  You don’t need any more makeup!”

She’s right.  I really don’t.

Please share with us your plight to keep accumulating makeup from overtaking your life.

January 27, 2008 at 9:30 am 7 comments


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