Posts tagged ‘Zits’

Roughing it: Giving your skin a break

I just returned from a two day camping trip with the family.  Our campsite is one of the best camping destinations in America, and it is only 20 minutes away from our house!   Little Cottonwood Canyon is full of green vegetation, wildflowers, and wildlife (we even saw a moose).  The lower third of the canyon consists of of smooth steep faces of granite, some up to several hundred feet high.  The Little Cottonwood Creek runs right next to our campsite, and the sounds of the cascading water along with the cool breeze are incredibly relaxing!  

If you want to read about an interesting river rescue that took place while we were there, check out this news story:  http://www.kutv.com/content/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=12be9347-f8a1-48ea-9d74-e12e5934d6fe.   Luckily a young boy staying at our campground heard the man’s screams and got help.  This is a picture we took of the LifeFlight helicopter leaving the with the rescued fisherman.  How horrible for him to have his leg pinned all night under a boulder, and that water is so cold!

Right before this trip, I noticed that my skin was giving me some trouble, namely some breakout activity.  I am attributing this breakout to hormones, stress, and using a lot of new skincare in the last few weeks.  My skin can be pretty tempermental, and changing things around isn’t always a good thing.  Because of my self-appointed position of reviewing skincare items, about every three to four weeks, I will try something new.  You always hope that this transition will be smooth, but this isn’t always the case.  I would definitely characterize my skintype as sensitive, meaning, sensitive to breakouts. 

Needless to say, I switched things up a bit, started breaking out, and had this camping trip coming.  I decided it was time to give my skin a break.  A break from anything new, and my makeup routine.  Guess what?  I survived!  Two days using just the basics for my skincare (cleansing, toning, moisturizer), and sunscreen and insect repellent.  Although, I am scratching one bug bite on my leg right now, drats!

This morning, my skin is feeling stable, and on the mend.  I think that giving your skin a breather (on your off moments) is very good beauty advice.  Next time you get an opportunity for a few days away, consider giving your skin a break.  Just don’t forget your sunscreen!

July 29, 2008 at 9:27 am 6 comments

FGW: Just in time for Cosmedicine’s special deal

I know skincare is usually Jen’s territory, but with a deal as good as 50% off I just had to seize my opening. Besides, great skin is truly the foundation to great makeup, so I think it’s totally appropriate. If I’m not back next week I guess that means Jen doesn’t agree 😉

One of the items in the Sun Care Kit I bought from Sephora was Cosmedicine’s Medi-Matte Oil Control Lotion. I have oily skin that is blemish prone, and I’m getting older, so I want something that can keep my skin clear, balanced, and help fight some of the outside factors that contribute to aging. Since I was so happy with the Medi-Matte, I picked up a First Measures ll For Oily to Oily/Combination Skin set at Sephora and took it for a spin. I couldn’t find the set on the Cosmedicine website, but it’s currently only $24 at Sephora, so it’s worth the jaunt to a store or a quick hop to Sephora.com.

The set contains 5 deluxe sample sized items: Healthy Cleanse Clarifying Cleanser & Toner-In-One, MegaDose Skin Fortifying Serum, Medi-Matte Oil Control Lotion (SPF 20), Opti-mologist Eye Cream with Light Diffusers, and Medi-morphosis Self Adjusting Exfoliator.

The Cleanser/Toner takes a little getting used to. Think of those hand soap pumps that dispense foam instead of just liquid soap and you’ve got an idea of what it’s like. It was quite a change for someone used to thick creamy cleansers, and I was skeptical, but it cleared away my makeup and left my skin nice and clean. The light feeling is really nice once you get used to it, though the smell is rather unpleasant. At least I know they’re not adding a bunch of unnecessary fragrances to their product, right? $35 for the full size product puts it well within the average price range, and once you stop overcompensating by pumping too much (guilty as charged) you’ll see that it really goes a long way.

The Medi-morphosis exfoliator is a bit grittier than I’m used to, but it works since the particles are much smaller than usual as well. I was really impressed with the even distribution of particles as I massaged my face, since usually everything will bunch up in one spot or another. It was surprisingly gentle, and even sensitive skin would love it, though if you are used to a more aggressive exfoliator you may want to use it 3 times a week instead of 2. At $42 for a full size tube, I find this a little on the pricey size for an exfoliator.

I’m not usually a proponent of eye creams, but since none of the other included items fit the bill as something I’d want to smear on my eyes, I gave the Opti-mologist Eye Cream a shot. I was really worried that it would leave me with greasy, shiny eyes, but it was a great product for my skin type. Just enough moisture so my eyes didn’t look crinkly, but it thoroughly absorbed quickly and left smooth skin that my concealer easily adhered to. $45 dollars for the tube is pretty average for an eye cream, but unless you really feel like you need the extra oomph, you could probably lose this product.

Next up, MegaDose Skin Fortifying Serum. At $80, this is the real make or break product. Treatments and serums cost more because we expect them to do more, and with discoveries in ingredients and nano delivery systems, there’s no reason they shouldn’t. One of the things I really appreciated about this line is that it really focuses on prevention rather than just treatment, and MegaDose is no exception. Packed with antioxidants like Pomegranate and Vitamin C, as well as Dimethicone, which helps keep nasty stuff out and moisture in, MegaDose is a solid skin protector with extracts to help boost collagen. The feel is initially something like a good primer, but after a few minutes it’s absorbed and leaves a soft, smooth feeling. I appreciate that it isn’t overly heavy or greasy feeling, and I honestly feel the Medi-Matte performed better over this serum than on its own. Again, the scent isn’t great,but I’m willing to let that slide because it disappears quickly. The price is hefty, however, just a dab will do ya with this, and if you have the coin I recommend giving it a try.

The last product (and my favorite of the 5) is the Medi-Matte lotion. A thick feeling lotion, it can be smoothed on quite lightly and a pea sized amount will cover most of your face easily. It gives an extra layer of smoothing, and I’ve taken to skipping my primer altogether while I’ve been using this set. While my initial reaction to such a thick lotion would be to cringe and imagine zits aplenty later, this lotion proves that my immediate reaction isn’t always correct. Even when my skin does start to get a bit of shine, the Medi-Matte helps to keep everything in place and my perfectly applied face doesn’t slip off.

In my search for a new skincare regimen, this has been a delightful find. My skin feels a lot more balanced and the blemishes have been at a minimum. I felt like a little moisture was missing right when everything was applied, though my skin didn’t end up overcompensating with oil production so it can’t really be too bad. It was a pleasure to see a skincare line that realizes it’s not necessary to dry out oily skin and I’ve really liked what these products have to offer. Also available are collections for normal and dry skin types, so don’t feel left out if your skin isn’t oily. If you have experience with the other collections than please let us know how you liked them!!

Don’t forget! Cosmedicine just re-launched their web site and are offering a killer promotion. Enter COSLNH to get 50% off your purchase. One piece or twelve – the discount applies to your total purchase amount. It’s limited time only though – just to promote the launch (expect it to last two weeks or so).

July 16, 2008 at 12:35 am 5 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

Bionic Beauty Tests the Thermaclear Acne Clearing Device

Thermaclear Acne Treatment device
Heat treatment for pimples, abscesses and cysts is nothing new, but the Thermaclear device brings it to a focused “head” specifically for acne.

Bionic Beauty tried Thermaclear for 30 days and found it helpful in healing her light acne.  With healing results quicker than without treatment.

Basically you activate the Thermaclear, wait a few seconds for it to heat up (it beeps when it’s ready), then hold it against your pimple, and press the button. Zap. At first treatment, its a bit shocking, but is nothing more than a mild twinge.  Bionic Beauty started on the low setting to prepare herself and after the first treatment was up to the high setting.

You can read the rest of the review of Thermaclear at the Bionic Beauty site:

Bionic Beauty Tests the Thermaclear

July 3, 2008 at 6:34 am 1 comment

Battle of the Breakouts

This is a repeat post from a few months back, with some minor revisions…

Back in 1986, some of my high school friends and a few band geeks organized an event called the “Battle of the Bands.” The idea isn’t original, but their music certainly was. One of them even videotaped it and published it on YouTube! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpMhPx1B0vw) They all had visions of becoming the next Neil Young.

The memories of that teen scene bring me to the current topic. While the bands had their battles, I battled with bouts of acne as a teenager. I tried everything: antibiotics, Retin- A, benzoyl peroxide products like Clearasil, Noxema, cleaning pads like Stridex, and the lists goes on. All with varied results, I hated Retin-A.

I also loved to tan. I used baby oil and aluminum foil while laying out. Sunscreen? Are you kidding me!? I spent most of my babysitting money on trips to the tanning beds.

Now, as a mature, knowledgeable adult, I don’t tan anymore and religiously use sunscreen. However, due to hormones, stress and sun damage, I still battle with break outs!

Since a year ago, when I finally said ENOUGH, I set out on a quest for a real break out solution. I have been seeing a Dermatologist regularly. I use daily sunscreen & avoid the sun when possible. And, I invest in highly-recommended skincare lines and cosmetics.  My skin is making progress.  Slow, but real progress.

What I recommend?  
  1. Consider Retin-A again, Renova and/or Generic Tretinoin Cream (it is an emollient and is much less harsh than what I tried as a teenager). I have read that every person over 30 can benefit from using Retin-A. That is unless you are pregnant or nursing…
  2. Benzaclin Cream:  Px topical cream with both antibiotic and drying/healing properties. Good stuff for keeping zits at bay or spot treating an existing blemish.
  3. Monthly Glycolic Peels: expensive procedure, but easy to do. There is no downtime and, over several peels, this procedure will improve your skin cell turnover rate, improve clarity, even tone, lighten pigmentation, etc.

OTC:

  • Excellent Skincare Lines:  Caudalie, Suki, Cosmedicine, Kate Somerville, Philosophy… On a budget?  Cetaphil Lotion is a great cleanser.  Organic is nice to consider as well.  I try to avoid any cleansers that are harsh or that strip my skin.  Squeaky clean is not a good thing.
  • Exfoliate: Lots out there, but I love Suki’s Lemongrass Cleanser, yummy lemon smell and both a scrub and a cleanser.  This leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed.  Be careful not to use facial scrubs on areas that are inflammed or currently breaking out.  Scrubs will only aggravate your breakouts.
  • Facial Peels.  Removes dead skin and increases cell turnover rate.
  1. Fruit Enzyme Peels.  One of my favorite fruit enzyme peels is from LooseLipsNY.com called, “Natural Pumpkin and 5% Multi Fruit Complex Peel.” Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes one a week and follow with a soothing lotion.
  2. Another fantastic but not cheap peel is from Murad.  Murad’s Intensive Resurfacing Peel ($164 and used for 12 weeks) is the closest product that I have tried that is somewhat like a low concentration gylcolic peel that you would receive at a Dermatologists office.  Little bamboo beads, glycolic and salicylic acid provide a wonderul exfoliation.  The little plastic dispensers are infuriating and wasteful, but the product is great.  Both of these peels offer a good alternative to the Glycolic Peel from a Dermatologist and are a lot less expensive.

Everyone has a different skin journey to travel.  My heart goes out to those who suffer from acne.  Please feel free to share any of your solutions or favorite skincare products. 

As music legend Neil Young sings,“Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World!”

June 12, 2008 at 6:34 am 2 comments

While you were sleeping: Beauty tips to take to bed

I recently read an article at msn.com called Overnight Beauty.”  I wanted to point out and discuss a few of the tips they suggested.  Overall it is a great read with very good information.  Note the concealer product that is recommended.  YES, our very favorite theBalm Anti-Aging Concealer!

Zap Zits  (Spot Treatments):

“Pimples may disappear like magic if, before retiring, you treat them with a product containing an antibacterial ingredient (bacteria can cause acne) and a sebum controller like zinc, says Kansas City, Missouri, dermatologist Audrey Kunin, M.D., associate clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. (Try Bio Jouvance Clarifying Iris Extract or Repêchage Hydra Refine Pore Perfecting Serum.)”

I have become a big fan of a prescription benzoyl peroxide/ antibiotic cream called Benzaclin.  I use it as a spot treatment, or on areas where my skin is prone to break outs (around my nose and chin).  I store it in my refrigerator and it will last for at least a year.  You can also read about other suggestions for spot treatments at this post.  My beauty blogging friend Christine at Temptalia recently wrote a great review about the Zeno Acne Clearning Device.

Moisturize Your Undereye Area:

“Hate the taut feeling of too-dry skin but find soothing eye gels too greasy? Dab on TheBalm Time Balm.  A concealer created to be worn day or night, it manages to feel superlight while delivering a slew of hydrators, including beeswax, soybean oil, and panthenol.”

caudalie.jpg

I am not sure if I would personally wear this product at night time, but for a daytime concealer theBalm’s Anti-Aging concealer really rocks!   Another very luxurious and my personal favorite eye serum is Caudalie’s Anti-ageing Serum Eyes and Lips, full of antioxidants and soothing for the eye and lip areas.  This eye and lip serum penetrates my skin without feeling greasy or heavy, a great skincare investment.  J’adore les Caudalie!   Kate wouldn’t you agree?

March 27, 2008 at 9:05 am 2 comments

Battle of the Breakouts: Spot Treatments

regret-small-web-view.jpg

I am so despondent today. 

This weekend, after several weeks of nearly flawless skin, my face decided to humble me.

Yes, the mother of all zits reared its ugly head, right on the apple of my left cheek.

Could I just leave it alone?  With all my skin sense, could I refrain from messing with it?  No.  And it became worse, more inflamed, and so red.   I have been using everything on it:  tea tree oil, salicylic acid, Bye-Bye blemish, Neosporin, drinking lots of water, but the damage was done.   If only I would have kept my “picking fingers” away, I am sure I would have avoided this disaster!

I am waxing poetic here, so bare with me:

“If you pick; your zit will stick.”

And yes, today my MIL has a big public event and I will face others without hiding my face behind my hair or a veil,

but I wish I could!

What do you do when the inevitable blemish comes to visit?  What has worked and what doesn’t?  Maybe an even better question would be, what do you use to conceal the thing? 

February 27, 2008 at 8:50 am 14 comments

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