Category: Skin Care

I Haven’t Used My Acne Medication in Four Weeks: Here’s What I’ve Been Using Instead

Published in: Beauty Tips, Boots, Guest Post, Skin Care

boots-no7-skincare-regimen

From L-R: Boots No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil, Protect and Perfect Day/Night Cream, Protect and Perfect Intense Eye Cream, and Youthful Eye Serum

If you’ve been reading my posts here, you know that I’ve really struggled with adult acne, and especially with being comfortable in my own skin. Recently with my dermatologist prescribed medications, I finally felt that I had found a routine that worked for me, but the products often left my skin dry, red and, at times, very itchy. Sometimes, after using these medications, applying different products and makeup on my skin would also cause irritations.

Then I found the Boots No7 Protect and Perfect and Boots No7 Youthful lines, and now I think I’ve finally figured out exactly what my skin’s problem is.

It’s moisture. I actually need more of it.

I was a little wary of all of the moisture in these products. After all, I can be sort of an oil slick, and I’m always afraid of waking up in the morning to discover that the products I applied the night before haven’t sunk into my skin, and now I have a giant grease face.

But these products didn’t just work well; they actually improved my skin over time. On the packaging they promise better looking skin in four weeks, so that’s how much time I gave them.

Let’s start with the Boots No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil. This is the product I start with every night before bed, applying it to a freshly washed and cleansed face.

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Boots No7 Youthful Replenishing Oil ($22.99 for 1 oz.)

Ingredients
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Rosa Moschata Seed Oil, Isostearyl Isostearate, Alcohol Denat,. Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum (Fragrance), Isopropyl Myristate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Salicyloyl Phytosphingosine, Tocopherol

This non-greasy blend of jojoba and rosehip seed oils sinks into my skin in but a moment. I usually concentrate it around the areas where I’m driest and red, like the apples of my cheeks; the sides of my nose, where I have some broken capillaries; and the areas on my chin where I have some acne scarring.

There’s also a little warning on the back that literally says, “May make surfaces slippery,” and they aren’t kidding. The bottle is glass, and I almost dropped it on my bathroom floor several times. In spite of that fact, though, it makes a wonderful precursor to…

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T-B: Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Night and Day Cream ($22.99, 1.6 oz.)

The Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Night Cream, which is my follow-up to the Replenishing Oil. It blends in seamlessly, and has a clean scent that doesn’t irritate my skin. As far as the Day Cream goes, I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the time when I use moisturizers with SPF, they tend to clump up when I try to put makeup on top of them, but that isn’t the case here. It dries nice and matte.

Night cream ingredients
Aqua (Water, Eau), Glycerin, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Sorbitan Stearate, Demethicone, Butrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter, Beurre De Karite), Ethylhexyl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Acid Glycol Ester, Dimethiconol, Butylene Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Sucrose Cocoate, Methlparaben, Carbomer, Laureth-7, Ethylparaben, Dipropylene Glycol, Retinyl Palmitate, Xantham Gum, Ascorbyl Gluoside, Tetrasodium EDTA, Potassium Hydroxide, Lupinus Albus Seed Extract, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Polysorbate 20, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extratc, BHT, Tocopherol, Butylparaben, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Silica, Propylparaben, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7

Day cream ingredients
Avobenzone (3.0%), Octinoxate (6.0%), Octisalate (2.5%), Aqua (Water),Glycerin,C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate,Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter,Dimethicone,Isononyl Isononanoate,Cetearyl Alcohol,C18-36 Acid Glycol Ester,Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide,Sorbitan Stearate,Mica,Polysorbate 20,Alcohol Denat.,C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethiconol, Butylene Glycol,Methylparaben,Potassium Cetyl Phosphate,Ethylparaben,Parfum (Fragrance), Laureth-7, Retinyl Palmitate,Sucrose Cocoate, Dipropylene Glycol,Xanthan Gum,Ascorbyl Glucoside,Tetrasodium EDTA,Citric Acid,Lupinus Albus Seed Extract,Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Carbomer,Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract,Potassium Hydroxide,Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, BHT, Tocopherol, Butylparaben, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben,Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7,Cl 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

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Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel and Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost

Published in: Face, Guest Post, Skin Care, Tarte

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

A proud “makeup-free selfie” while applying Tarte Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost

Summer means warm weather, water and lots of sunscreen, even though I’m basically speaking from past experience right now because it’s still so rainy and cold here in Wisconsin that I can barely remember when warm weather feels like…

And as much as I LOVE a day filled with fun in the sun, there’s no denying that it can be rough on my skin. Even slathered in sunscreen, my complexion still pays a price for all of those products, that water and that sweat (it’s not glam, but that’s the reality).

Tarte thought of everything with the incredibly comprehensive Rainforest of the Sea collection, from your base makeup to highlighting to eyeshadow and, yes, even skin care. Loaded with antioxidants and marine-based ingredients, these two hydrating skin helpers here will keep your skin hydrated no matter how much fun you have in your bikini this summer.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel and Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost

The cornerstone of the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea skin care family is the Deep Dive Cleansing Gel ($25 for 5 fl. oz. bottle). Touted as hypoallergenic, it’s designed to be gentle enough to be used in the morning to freshen up your complexion before applying your makeup, and then again at the end of the day to remove your makeup.

Now, even though Deep Dive Cleansing Gel is, indeed, incredibly gentle, and it doesn’t strip and irritate my sensitive skin, it also doesn’t remove all of my makeup all by itself.

That isn’t necessarily a problem for me because I usually remove my eye makeup and as much of my cheek and lip products with a few swipes of micellar water, but if you like a one-and-done approach to cleansing, Deep Dive Cleansing Gel may not be heavy duty enough for you.

“Dive into a rich, lavender oil-infused lather with tarte’s skinvigorating™ daily brightening cleanser. The gentle makeup remover is great for all skin types, and removes excess oil, impurities, and all traces of waterproof makeup. Powered by tarte’s exclusive Rainforest of the Sea™ complex, this vegan friendly formula is fragrance free and sulfate free, and it helps balance and soothe as it cleanses, without disrupting skin’s natural moisture, which can cause acne and other skin concerns. It softens and hydrates without clogging pores, while vitamin C works to enliven and brighten through each luxurious application.”

tartecosmetics.com

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel and Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost

The other item here, Tarte Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost ($39 for a 1.7 oz. jar), is an interesting concept that reminds me of French skin care (I’m thinking, more specifically, of La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast). It’s an incredibly refreshing hydrating moisturizer that has a cooling effect when applied and a perfectly pleasant lemony scent that isn’t overpowering (it dissipates almost as soon as the gel is absorbed).

“Treat yourself to a tall drink of H2O with this skin-quenching water gel. Powered by hyaluronic acid and tarte’s exclusive Rainforest of the Sea™ antioxidant complex, this cooling gel moisturizer helps restore skin’s natural hydration, while replenishing electrolytes for skin that’s fortified, refreshed and healthier-looking. The lightweight moisturizer sinks into skin, leaving no oily or greasy feel behind, while powerful marine antioxidants help skin defend itself from everyday aggressors. Vegan friendly and hypoallergenic, it also has powerful anti-aging and skin-balancing properties to help boost the appearance of firmness, tone and vitality over time – so all you have to do is ‘drink up!'”

tartecosmetics.com

I have very dry skin, and this feels ridiculously refreshing. I mean, I literally had an “ahhh” moment at one point the first time I tried it.

More importantly, the formula helps keeps dry patches and flakes at bay, and because the absorbed product leaves a slightly tacky texture on the skin, it’s also a great primer — particularly when paired with Tarte Rainforest of the Sea ‎Water Foundation.

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AmorePacific Sheet Mask Makes for A Perfect Skin Day

Published in: AMOREPACIFIC, Guest Post, Skin Care

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You know the old saying, “beauty is pain”? Well, in this case, you get all of the beauty while your loved ones endure the pain of looking at your terrifying face in this sheet mask!

The AmorePacific Moisture Bound Intensive Serum Masque is such a luxurious treat. Infused with 100% pure Bamboo sap and a blend of Asian botanicals, it moisturizes, plumps and firms.

If you’ve got an event where you need your skin to look its best, or your skin is just dull, dry and tired and you need a pick-me-up, look no further than right here.

The package comes with two treatments for $32, so this will definitely be a once in a while luxury for me. I’ll always keep a pack on hand, though, because they are THAT good. They’re one of those things that just make your skin look better.

It’s hard to find the words to exactly describe what happens between the time when you put one on and you take it off, but whatever it is, it’s magic.

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This one is a little different than other sheet masks I’ve tried, because rather than the mask being pre-soaked in a solution, you get a little vial of the serum and a dry, gel textured mask. All you have to do is dump the serum on your face and spread it around.

There’s quite a lot of it, so be warned — things get a little slippery.

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Burt’s Bees Radiance Lotion Will Have You Channeling Your Inner Queen Bee

Published in: Burt's Bees, Guest Post, Just For Fun, Product Reviews, Skin Care

burts bees, radiance lotion, body lotion

Holding court in my lotion kingdom…

So, here’s a bit of a confession, and I only call it a confession because you, dear readers, don’t know me that well, and my boyfriend is probably the only other one who knows this, but…I can be a grizzly beast in the winter.

Bodily speaking, I mean. Body hair, specifically. Body hair has become less and less taboo as the years have passed, and I find myself caring less and less in the winter.

I’m a habitual bikini waxer, but other than that, in the wintertime, it just makes things worse. I shave my legs, and my skin just dries out more. Who needs that?

testing-body-lotions-sparkle-meWell, despite my biggest excuses, I can’t resist trying a new body lotion, and if I’m going to try a new lotion, I want to feel like a baby dolphin when I do it. 🙂

Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion is part of the brand’s Radiance family of products, which consists of an entire line of skin care. formulated with royal jelly, as well as sunflower oil and aloe, which contribute to the amazing scent.

After a very long shower and the death of one very strong, very brave razor, my legs were once again hairless, and my body was ready to begin the testing. What I wasn’t ready for was how much I was going to sparkle! Radiance Body Lotion contains mica (a light reflecting mineral), and baby, does it reflect.

burts bees, radiance lotion, body lotion

Don’t doubt my commitment to Sparkle Motion!


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Egyptian Magic Skin Cream: A Multitude of Uses for This Multifaceted Potion

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Skin Care

egyptian magic, skin cream, acne treatment, spot treatment

Positively magical…

Typically, I do everything I can to remove grease and oil from my face. At 25, with adult acne and a slew of medications to combat it, I never thought I’d actually slather my face with anything oil based. I’ve tried coconut oil, as well as oil-based cleansers, and they never seemed to perform any magic.

Egyptian Magic, on the other hand, might have a few tricks up its sleeve. Containing only six ingredients, the cult beauty favorite has been around since the early ’90s, and it’s easy to see why it’s become such a must-have item.

My first impressions upon investigation were that it did seem very similar in the style of packaging to Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (with the prayers and simple fonts). The red font, coupled with the blue and white background, screams drugstore product, but EM seems to fall somewhere in the middle. Price/size wise, I would have to call it “lower to middle high end,” with a 2-oz. jar ringing in at $26 and a 4-oz. jar coming in just under $40 (though you can also purchase it at drugstores).

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream

Touted as an “all-purpose skin cream,” Egyptian Magic contains six ingredients that are said to be identical to a formula found in ancient tombs. While I’m not sure of that, I am sure that this formulation is somewhat of a miracle worker when it comes to difficult skin.

Here are just a few of the different ways I’ve used it over the past two weeks:

As an eyebrow tamer and conditioner

Seriously, I don’t know what possessed me to put this on my eyebrows, but something told me, “Marcy, put it on your damn brows. It’ll do them good.” And it did. I found that just dabbing my finger in the cream and applying before bed left my brows silky and soft (all the better for filling, my dear).

Note: it looks slightly wet if applied too heavily.

As a cuticle cream

This was sort of a “duh” moment for me. Applying EM to my cuticles daily and letting it sink in (5-10 minutes) is like heaven for my constant hangnails. I typically do so before bed, but if you have to during the day, it won’t make too much of a mess.

A moisturizer

A few times during testing I found myself without my regular moisturizer, or that I had forgotten my moisturizer. I was also moving at this time, and at one point, all of my products, except this one, which was in my purse, were packed away. Enter Egyptian Magic. Slathered on my face and properly rubbed in, I could go about my day without looking greasy. I didn’t exactly look matte, but I didn’t look overly oily, you get me?

A spot treatment

Also packed away were my acne treatments. Dabbing this on any problem areas has kept the few spots that have reared their ugly heads (literally) away for the last few days. Stress zits are real, ya’ll, especially when you stay up until 5 a.m. on the day your lease ends moving the last of your possessions (and your terrified cats).

To relieve hives/allergic reactions

I have a severe mold allergy, and due to some wayward mushrooms I found myself with a tiny patch of hives. This product did the trick better than the prescription cream an allergist (that I spent potentially hundreds on) prescribed me. Additionally, my boyfriend had a strange allergic reaction at this time, resulting in red welts on his arms, and rubbing a little bit of EM on his arms daily helped the itching.

As a lip balm

The first thing I thought of to apply this as was a lip balm. NYC winters and the winds that come with them can be extra harsh, and up until a few days ago, it was mighty cold around here. When I applied the cream to my lips, it was slightly exfoliating at first (TMI, that might have just been because of all the dead skin on my lips), and then came the pillowy softness and the realization, IS THIS WHAT SOFT LIPS FEEL LIKE? Applying this before bed and after a lip scrub will have you ready for any lipstick.

(Here’s a more comprehensive list of the product’s possible uses.)

All in all, I thoroughly enjoy this product. The only thing I own that is similar that I have enjoyed is Lush’s Ultrabalm. For $14.95 for 1.4 oz., it’s just slightly more expensive per ounce than the 4-oz. jar of Egyptian Magic. While Ultrabalm is vegan, I feel it doesn’t have as many uses as its contender. EM is a thoroughly universal product that anyone can find a practical use for.


Marcella Yakalis


Marcella Yakalis is a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn, New York, with two cats, one snake, and one very patient boyfriend. She writes about family, relationships, and oppressive retail culture. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

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