Nov 29, 2011

Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser

I originally tried this product on the advice of a dear friend prior to using a Jessner Peel for the first time. Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser states that it is for 'mature' or 'sun-damaged' skin and considering I fit into 'both' these categories (yes I admit it I am not only old but also damaged!) so I thought it best that I gave it a try.          It is produced by Reviva Labs and can be purchased through and at $8.64 for 4 fl.oz it is quite cost effective. This is a soap free, oil free Hydrophilic (water activated) cleanser.
Glycolic Acid is an exfoliant and initially (being the doubting Thomas I am) I was not convinced that it was necessary for me to use anything other than my regular Cetaphil cleanser but I was pleasantly surprised. My initial concern was that this cleanser would be extremely drying on my skin due to it being an AHA but this was not the fact it left my skin feeling silky smooth.
I have been using this particular cleanser for one month now and am very pleased as to the quality and benefits of use. When used on a regular basis I have noticed that it appears to increase the intensity of some of the other products I use such as Retin A, Alpha Hydrox Souffle and last but not least the Jessner Peels I have been doing. Will I stop using my Cetaphil Cleanser..... absolutely not! but without doubt this now has a very important place in my skincare routine.
I have not had any irritation from this product and would advice anyone, young or 'mature' to try this cleanser. The price is very cost effective and the customer service and speed of delivery from is first class.

This should be massaged onto your face for two minutes with damp fingers (remembering that this is a water activated product) you then leave it on the face for a further one minute. Finally rinse thoroughly with warm water followed by cold water then pat skin dry.

Please Note:
Do not expect this to lather as it is a non lathering product
This is a cleanser not a makeup remover
Cleans without drying out the skin
Paraben Free

Benefits of Glycolic Acid
Removes dead cell build up which causes dull skin
Cleans the pores (remember that it is medically impossible to reduce pore size but keeping them clean will make them appear smaller)
Reduces pigmentation i.e sunspots, melasma etc.

Nov 18, 2011

Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle' 12%

Not too sure how I missed reviewing this before as I have been using it now for a couple of years.....but better late than never!
This was one of the first products I introduced to my skin when I made the decision to start on a more 'serious' skin care routine. After much research it became apparent that one of the reasons products either fail to work 'or' take so long to work is due to them not being able to penitrate the skins surface adequately. Therefore I decided to find a product that could remove the 'glue like' surface of the skin enabling Retin a's and the like to do there job more efficiently and that is when I came across alpha hydrox AHA Souffle'.
AHA is a chemical exfoliant and it helps to break down the "glue" that holds dead skin cells together, allowing them to slough off more easily.
Alpha hydroxy acids are reported to improve wrinkling, roughness, and mottled pigmentation of photo damaged skin after months of daily application. The majority of OTC AHA products are around 5-8% but this product is 12% and very effective.
The two major side effects of alpha hydroxy acids are irritation and sun sensitivity. Symptoms of irritation include redness, burning and itching. The use of alpha hydroxy acids can increase sun sensitivity by 50% which creates an immediate issue.... alpha hydroxy acids may be able to reverse some of the damage caused by photoaging, but at the same time they make the skin more susceptible to photoaging (sun sensitive). Therefore it is imperative that when using alpha hydroxy acids you must use a good physical sunscreen.
Prior to starting on Retin A I used alpha hydrox AHA Souffle' for a total of one month, Even though this is an OTC product do not be fooled as to how powerful this stuff is. The instructions state that you can use this twice daily (morning and night) but I would suggest that you introduce it once a day in the evening for the first week before jumping to twice per day.
I noticed a difference in my skin after 10 days of continuous use. My skin was definitely clearer and brighter and I immediately noticed that foundation makeup was much easier to apply.
However what really amazed me was how 'unaware' I was as to how much my skin needed an AHA to remove the 'glue' like substance that I had on my skin and I am very happy that I introduced this product prior to using Retin. However since I now use Retin A, Tazret and facial peels on a regular basis I find that I only turn to AHA once every 3 months and use twice a day for one week.

Only use once per day for the first week (preferably in the evening).
After the first week start using twice per day.
If you have any prior irritation or sore areas do not apply to those areas as it will 'sting'.
Use a microfiber cloth twice per week to encourage removal of skin surface.
Remember to use a physical sunscreen as you 'will' become more sun sensitive.

This is a great introduction to prepping the skin for Retin a's and chemical peels.
Definitely improves skins texture.
Improves skins appearance giving it a 'brightness and glow'.
Works relatively fast....I noticed an improvement within the first 10 days.
Easy to find in local pharmacy's (CVS, Walgreens, Walmart).
Cost: around $12.00 for 1.6oz's.
Only a small amount needed therefore last a long time.
The following link is the official Alpha Hydrox Website who have plenty of other great items and hold regular sales:

The only con I can think of is if your have easily irritated skin or have an allergic reaction otherwise this product is suitable for all.

Nov 9, 2011

Primer Debate....To Use or Not to Use

Is it 'really' necessary to use a primer before applying foundation.....well this was a question I debated for many many months until I finally gave it a try. I, like so many out there, was convinced this was just another sales ploy to make us spend more money on unnecessary products that we could do without....but (yes I admit it ladies) I was wrong. Is it a necessity....probably not, but using a primer does the following things:

1. Without doubt foundation glides on more easily when used on top of a primer.
2. Makeup will stay put all day.
3. Makeup will appear more 'flawless'.
4. Pores definately (in my experience) are reduced especially on the nose.
The most important thing with all primers is to remember to use one that is compatible with the makeup you will be wearing i.e 'water and oil do not mix'....what do I mean by this statement, I will explain.
Water based foundations require a water based primer.
HD (silicone based) foundations require a silicone base primer.
Oil based foundations require an oil base primer.........remember like attracts like.
So often many of us (myself included) fail to like primers due to there lack of 'promised' performance when usually we are using a primer than is incompatible with the makeup we are wearing.
I personally love HD foundations (reviews coming shortly) but when I first starting trying primers I was confused as to what all the 'hype' was about unbeknown to me that I was using an incompatible primer . On learning as to how important it is to use a 'compatable' primer I am now a true believer and convert!
Below are a few primers I have tried and tested along with what is compatible with different foundations in the hope that this will give you a head start in finding one that will work for you without having to make the numerous mistakes I made along the way!

Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel.....Yes you read correctly! This has the identical formula as Smash Box Photo Finish Primer ($30.00) for a fraction of the cost. It can be purchased at any local CVS or Walgreen Pharmacy and costs around $6.00.
This primer is silicone based and can be used under any HD (High Definition) silicone based foundations such as MUFE, Ketts, Temptu etc.
I personally have been using this as a primer for over a year and absolutely love it.
1. Definitely reduces pore appearance.
2. Foundation glides on effortlessly.
3. Foundation stays 'put' for over 8 hours.
4. Gives a flawless finish to foundation.
The only con I can think of is if you are allergic to silicone in general otherwise this is an all round great primer.
Graftobian Anti-Shine Foundation Primer works wonderfully if you have a tendency for oily skin.
This is a great primer to use with Graftobian HD Foundation.
All primers create a light barrier between the skin and your foundation therefore this one will reduce oils from your skin mixing with your foundation therefore reducing the need to 'blot' shine throughout the day and overall enabling your foundation to stay in place longer.
Again I have personally used this primer (and continue to do so when I use my Graftobian HD foundation) and love it. However it is more expensive than the Monistat at $26.99 for a 1/2 oz jar. This can be purchased from:
So lets recap for a moment.
1. Read the labels so as to make sure it is compatible with the foundation you are using.
2. Remember 'Like Attracts Like'
3. 'Oil and Water do not Mix'
So simple but so very often overlooked!

Nov 4, 2011

Rosehip Oil and Retin A

I am always on the look out for 'proven' products that can repair sun damage and/or wrinkles including preventative methods for those who wish to be 'proactive' in their skincare regime.
I was introduced to Rosehip Oil by a dermatologist friend of mine who at 55 has beautiful skin that many half her age would envy. Her routine, like many of us includes Retin A, DIY Vitimin C Serum, Lactic Acid Peels, TCA Peels and of course Sunscreen. She also includes regular use of Rosehip Oil which appears to give her the 'edge' with her success of radiant skin.
I have decided to give Rosehip Oil a try and will give regular updates as to how this has an effect on my skin in conjunction with my regular use of Retin A, Vit C and Tazret. I purchased my Rosehip Oil from for $5.34 for a 1 oz bottle which should last a long time considering you only need use 2 drops for your whole face.
I will be apply the Rosehip Oil by rotating alternate nights with my Retin A.
Below is a study I found which gives some great information for those wishing to give it a try:

Rosehip oil is widely recognized for the effects of the natural topical trans-retinoic acid (vitamin A) it contains. The unique properties of rosehip oil were first discovered in 1983 by a team of researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Concepcion (Chile).
In a two-year study, rosehip oil was applied to 180 patients with surgical, traumatic and burn scars, as well as to a group suffering from premature aging of the skin. The results were remarkable. Continuous application of rosehip oil effectively attenuated scars and wrinkles, halted advancement of premature aging, and restored lost skin natural color and tone.
The action of rosehip oil in helping to regenerate damaged skin tissues was originally attributed to its high content of unsaturated essential fatty acids. These acids are important for healthy skin (when taken internally) for they are components of cell membranes and precursors of prostaglandine/leucotriens. Their presence did not successfully explain the regenerative effects of rosehip oil. Drs. Pareja and Kehl, identified trans-retinoic acid as the component responsible for these effects.
Trans-retinoic acid is a derivative of Vitamin A and is marketed as Tretinoin. The therapeutic effects of Tretinoin in the treatment of a variety of dermatology disorders have been well-researched and recognized for almost 30 years. Tretinoin can produce quick and positive changes in the skin, but because it is a very strong substance, it must be applied under medical supervision.
However, Rosehip oil produces the benefits of Tretinoin, but without secondary side effects, because the trans-retinoic acid is contained in a natural state as part of a complex of unsaturated fatty acids. The action is controlled and slowly released, eliminating the risk of overdoses.
PHOTOAGED SKIN Changes produced on skin by the action of the sun (photoaging or dermatoheliosis) are very common in all countries of warm climate. Exposure to sun causes important morphological changes in skin. Dermatoheliosis appears in different ways and varying intensity ranging from surface wrinkles, active keratosis and variation in the distribution of the melanin granules.
For this test volunteers were selected from people who usually spend the 3 months of summer in resorts by the sea or who go to the beach every day. The tests were carried out on 20 women aged
between 25 and 35. The most frequently noted signs were surface wrinkles and brown spots. All applied rosehip oil on the face during four months (May to August, 1988). Observations were made every eight days. Significant changes were noted starting on the third week. Surface wrinkles started to disappear and spots started to fade. By the end of the fourth month skin presented a smooth and fresh aspect and the spots had almost disappeared.