Skincare Product Reviews

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.

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.
UPDATE: The following link has the above on sale for only $4.99 plus plenty of other products....order while sale lasts!

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.

DHC Cleansing Oil
I found DHC Cleansing Oil after searching high and low for a cleanser that would remove my zinc based sunscreen efficiently. My first thought was "why on earth would I want to place oil on my face"....but once I got over that fear I decided to give it a try. If like me you live in fear of putting anything on your face that could possibly clog your pores I can announce 'Do not worry'! DHC Cleansing Oil actually does a very good job (in fact a great job) at not only removing the zinc SS but also removing makeup (even waterproof eye makeup). It did not leave an oily residue or (in my experience) clog pores or break me out. In fact it did a great job of dissolving the oils that may be clogging your pores. I choose to follow up with a facial cleanser (Cetaphil) along with my Clarisonic but this is just a personal choice and I am sure others will find using the DHC Cleansing Oil alone will be sufficient.
Apparently, it is also rated as being very good to use if you have oily or acne prone skin before using a glycolic cleanser (or any other acne cleanser) as those alone do not always do a sufficient job of removing makeup.
It is a little costly at $26.00 for a 6.7oz but I choose to only use this when I have a zinc based SS on and a little goes a long way.
Ingredients: olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, pentylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
I have read many reviews in regards to the topical usage of this product and decided, due to the high ratings to give this a try. I must say that I had high hopes for this product especially in regards to being able to use it as a moisturizer on the body after showering. Unfortunately I found this to be far to greasy and no matter how long I left it in the hope that it would eventually absorb into my skin I found it always left an 'oily' residue.On the occasions that I hastily dressed too soon after application I found that it would transfer onto my clothing of which I could not remove even after laundering! I therefore decided to try alternate uses for the EVCO and I have come up with the following:
Makeup Remover
This is a great makeup remover and works speedily without any need to 'pull' or 'tug' on the skin. However I do find it neccessary to then remove the EVCO with a non alcohol Witch Hazel (I use Thayers) and I must say that this does leave the skin wonderfully smooth and soft.
This works great for all of us who suffer with excessively dry skin on the feet. I place a liberal amount onto both feet and apply socks so as it absorbs throughout the night (and sometimes in the day) and after 5 days of using this I noticed a considerable difference.
Yes I know I said this was far to greasy for the body but I have found, after trial and error that a little of the EVCO goes a long way. Applying a small amount really does keep the skin supple and soft....the important key here is that 'less is more'.
EVCO is often talked about as a good source for dry hair supposedly leaving it soft and manageable. But beware EVCO on the hair can leave you with extremely oily and limp hair even when using only a tiny small amount. Thankfully I only tried this on the ends of my hair and even though I only used a pea size amount my hair, even though soft and shiny stayed limp and unmanageable for a period of seven days. Therefore my advice would be to only use EVCO on the hair in dire situations such as over processed hair etc and even then use with caution.
EVCO can also be used internally and below is some information in regards to the benefits. 
The current medical research indicates that at least thirty percent (30%) of our diet should be made up of fats. Each fat is not equal, however, affecting the body in a different way. Coconut oil is generally favorable, and has been shown to create a more favorable hdl/ldl ratio in the body. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, which have been described as having a negative effect on the cholesterol but coconut oil is different from other saturated fats in many ways.

Good Source of Medium Chain Triglycerides

Coconut oil is the highest vegan source (62%) of medium chain triglycerides. At least half of these medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are made up of lauric acid which is the single most important fatty acid in building and maintaining a healthy immune system. The amount of lauric acid in coconut oil is similar to the percentage in breast milk. No other vegetable oil has lauric acid and only milk and butter come close to the percentage, measuring in at 3%!

What About Cholesterol?

Virgin coconut oil has been show to raise cholesteral level in some individuals, however it is the beneficial and protective levels that are raised contributing to a healthier ratio of hdl/ldl cholesterol.
Studies have also shown that the current popular oil, canola oil, actually was one of the worst oils to use, producing high levels of trans-fatty acids when used in cooking.
Virgin coconut oil actually helps to prevent hardening of the arteries.
Personally I would only use EVCO topically as I feel that the high percentage of Saturated Fat content (12.5g which is 63% of our Daily Values per 1 tablespoon serving) is far to high.

Burts Bees honey lip balm
Honey and Vitamin E, Helps nourish dry lips with Honey and Vitamin E
What it does:
Living in Arizona my lips are often dry due to not only the heat but the constant a/c being run. I have tried and tested numerous lip balms and usually find that they leave a heavy and waxy film unlike Burts Bees Honey Lip Balm which I think is the best. It really does nourish and moisturize and makes my lips silky smooth and is so cost effective at around $3.00. This can be used if you have very dry lips or as a preventative measure. It is easily obtainable and can be purchased in Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and many supermarkets,

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