Weekend Beauty Report for March 18, 2012: It’s Raining Skin Care!

Published in: Makeup, Skin Care

weekend beauty haul

After fish and chips last night, I asked El Hub to drive me to Sephora, because the best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day when you’re playing the proximity Irish card is to 1) eat fried food, 2) drink a pint of beer (I highly recommend the Unfiltered Wheat at Moylan’s next time you’re in Novato) and 3) do a wee bit o’ beauty hauling.


Last night was a skin care night. I love makeup, but there’s something about the prospects of a new skin care holy grail that always fills me with hope (LOL!). The gal who rang me up last night at Sephora said it best, “New makeup is always fun, but new skin care feels like a fresh start.” Here, here, girlfriend! Preaching to the choir.

I picked up a few things for my face and body that I hope will help me with a few issues I’ve been having.

A new crop of hormone-fueled pimples just popped up around the edge of my chin — the kind where you can feel the hard bumps just beneath the surface. It’s like, when I hit my mid-30s, all hell broke loose on my chin, ugh!

My skin usually responds well to beta hydroxy and benzoyl peroxide acne products, so I’m trying bottles of Peter Thomas Roth Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Acne Wash ($35) and Kate Somerville Anti Bac Clearing Lotion ($39). The Kate Somerville one contains 5.3% benzoyl peroxide. Hopefully that’s enough to take care of those zits.

I’m curious — when you break out, what usually works for you? Do you prefer benzoyl peroxide, beta hydroxy acid or something else?

peter thomas roth beta hydroxy acid acne wash

kate somerville antic bac clearing lotion

I’m also trying a couple of body care products from Caudalie, my latest skin care crush. You may have seen the line at Sephora. They’re a French brand that uses grape seed polyphenol anti-oxidants in their products, and their stuff is on the more natural side, with lots of plant-based ingredients, no parabens/phthalates, and it’s not tested on animals.

I got hooked on their Hand and Nail Cream a few weeks ago (I hope you try it; it’s so great!), and that got me interested in checking out more of their products, like their Fleur De Vigne Shower Gel ($12) and Vine Body Butter ($28).

caudalie shower gel

I gave the Shower Gel a try today after my run, and eh, it’s a’ight. I love the fresh, grassy scent (it’s like their hand cream), but it barely builds any lather or foam.

Probably won’t be rushing out to get a second bottle…

caudalie vine body butter

But the Vine Body Butter? — ooh-la-la! Same fresh fragrance, and my dry skin just soaks it up. It’s a little greasier than the hand cream is, but not so greasy that it feels heavy. So far, so good.


Anywho, that’s the latest beauty news in my life. 🙂

If you had a chance to do any beauty shopping or browsing this weekend, I’d love to hear about it.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. It’s not too late to enter this weekend’s giveaway for a $50 eGift card to Sephora. All it takes is a comment. Good luck!


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So far, 37 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Kim says:

    I’ve been trying out a skincare line from your neck of the woods called Andalou Organics. They make a probiotic vitamin C skin cream that smells amazing and really calms my skin. I am also using their moisturizing conditioner, and both products smell like an orange creamsicle. I’m excited to try more products from them.

  2. Amiee says:

    I’ve had acne since I was about 14 or so (I’m almost 25 now) and Bezoyl Peroxide worked well in my teen years. Now it just seems to over dry my skin (which is really oily and hard to dry out!). I just recently picked up a new skin care line as well which is the Boots Botanics Complexion Refining mousse cleanser, toner and night cream. I like that it uses witch hazel to clear acne since I think that is gentler on my skin. Heres to hoping it works!

  3. Tania says:

    I can’t use peroxide or high levels of salicylic acid. So I use tea tree oil w/lavender for day and all natural witch hazel for night. After the witch hazel, I use coconut oil. All are good for the skin and can be found at the healthfood store. I’m sure Trader Joes has ’em! 🙂

    • Puffnstuff says:

      Ive read that lavender in facial care actually causes skin cell death…i stopped using skin products with lavender in them…

  4. Becca says:

    I would definitely go with Benzoyl Peroxide. I had something similar happen to me too: had moderate acne in high school that cleared up in college from birth control and a healthier lifestyle. Recently though, now that I’m in my mid-20’s, I hit a very sudden and unexpected wall of severe acne all over my chin and jawline-typical areas for hormone-related breakouts. I tried everything under the sun. Finally had to see a derm who prescribed me Epiduo (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide). If you can get this, I HIGHLY recommend. If not, I’m sure benzoyl peroxide on its own will help immensely.

    • Fieran says:

      I also use Epiduo and it’s pretty good. I take antibiotics with it though (Tetralaysal) and I have the best skin I’ve ever had these days. I only wish I could have it without medication 🙂 But we can’t have everything I guess..

  5. Becca says:

    PS: if you like Caudalie you’ll LOVE their Vinoperfect Radiance serum. When your breakouts go away, this serum will help to fade any acne scarring-but without any harsh chemicals. It doesn’t “lighten” your skin, but instead “brightens” (if that makes sense) and gives your skin a certain radiance. I have been using it for almost a year now and can’t live without it!

  6. Evelyn says:

    My never fail pimple cure is zinc cream. Yep. Good ol’ white zinc your mum used to make you wear on your nose at the beach (Australia pop culture reference only maybe?).

    If I’m gettign a pimple i was my face with my normal cleanser, moisturise all over (avoiding the nasty spot in question), dab on a small amount of zinc and go to bed. They’re usually gone in the morning. If not, I will put a layer of zinc on the spot under my foundation and repeat the cleansing/zincing process that night.

    Best part? It’s $2 a bottle and it lasts for-ever.

  7. Kristen says:

    Ugh! Acne is the worst.

    Have you considered going to a derm for Finacea? It has seriously saved my skin and is very gentle! I use it with Paula’s Choice BHA at night. Keeps my pores unclogged and my skin smooth and exfoliated!

  8. Tanya G. says:

    The PTR Beta Hydroxy acne wash is my skincare staple! I absolutely love it, it’s really saved my skin. I do have to beware though, the first time you wash your face with it your skin will feel so soft and wonderful you’ll have a hard time not touching your face (just make sure your hands are clean!) ;D

  9. Angela says:

    I never has really bad acne until about 4 years ago (26). It’s frustrating and I don’t have money for a dermatologist. I tried all kinds of acne treatments and finally found one that atleast lessens it for me. I use the tea tree oil face wash and toner from the body shop and follow up with moisturizer from boots botanic.

    After analyzing why I could be breaking out I narrowed it down to a possible three things that had changed in my life, coffee, milk, or sugar. I cut out the milk and switched to soy and then cut out the mochas and switched to lattes. Haven’t been able to cut out my two lattes a day though. Has anyone else noticed that connection?

    • Fieran says:

      Hi Angela. I also have similar issues and my acne also got worse after 25. Before that I had a few pimples but they were not the cystic, under-the-skin type and they rarely scarred much.

      My acne is definitely triggered by excess sugar and dairy. If I drink more water and have soy lattes instead of regular milk, and eat less sugar, my skin is much clearer. I have asked my dermatologist about this before and he said that there is no relation between what you eat and acne as he said it’s the p.acnes bacteria that causes acnes.

      But I still think there is a relation. At least I seem to have less pimples when I watch my sugar and dairy. You could consider getting a Clarisonic btw, it keeps your skin extra clean. Prior to seeing my dermatologist, I used the Clarisonic most days of the week (once a day) and it made my skin more manageable.

      • Becca says:

        I definitely think that there is a connection between dairy and *certain types* of acne. Like I said, I was fine for years and then started breaking out like crazy on my chin and jawline. These are typical areas for hormone-related breakouts. Dairy often times contains antibiotics and artificial hormones (like DHT) and can potentially trigger acne when you consume too much. When I started thinking about it, I realized that I when I started breaking out, my diet was FILLED with dairy (milk with cereal in the mornings, and lots and lots of cheese [I could eat cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. LOVE cheese!!!]). I don’t think my acne was completely because of dairy-but I do think it exacerbated the problem for sure.

  10. Louise says:

    Hi Karen! Can you please do a review & let us know whether or not the Peter Thomas Roth & Kate Somerville products helped your acne? I’m in the market for new products to deal w/my occasional bumps as well

  11. Andrea says:

    I’ve been browsing the origins website today and considering a new moisturizer. I’ve had pretty good luck with the skincare I’ve tried from them and I’m always excited for new products!

  12. Rose says:

    Karen – the shower gel probably didn’t lather well because it’s a sulfate-free formula. I’ve been trying to go that route with my shampoo and body washes and it’s one of the things I had to get used too. Keep at it. You might find that you like how your skin feels after awhile. I find that mine doesn’t get so dry and tight after showers now.

  13. Rads says:

    Yayy…I am trying out Caudalie too 😀 It’s nice having Sephora here..get to try out so many products I won’t normally find in India!

  14. Inday says:

    I’ve had really bad acne since around age 12, none of the dermatologists I saw at Kaiser throughout my teen years could/would help. In my early 20’s I finally found a great derm who prescribed a regimen that actually worked! But that was in the Philippines 🙁 After I moved back to California, I had a year of meh skin (still had breakouts but not the cystic acne I usually suffered from). Then, six years ago, at age 33, I started getting HUGE cysts on my forehead, nose, and chin. It was so bad there were times the shape of my chin was misshapen due to the size of the cysts there. With no insurance and definitely not enough money to pay a dermatologist out of pocket, I barely left the house for nearly a year.

    Finally, my mother took pity on me and offered to pay for a doctor and enough treatments to at least get it under control. And I was blessed twice because then I found the. Best. Dermatologist. In the world. He worked with me to control my acne, yes, but he did it within my limited budget. He and his office staff have helped me save money on treatments, medications, and lab tests. Most importantly to me, he’s always made me feel like he actually cared about ME, I wasn’t just another medical record number.

    For the past two years I’ve had the best skin of my life. Sometimes I just touch my face (clean hands of course!) and marvel at the smoothness and softness. The two things that have made the biggest difference? Other than an awesome doctor – a prescription retinoid and a Clarisonic.

    I know this is an EPIC comment, but this post touched a sensitive spot with me. I don’t get any sort of compensation or discount for extolling the virtues of my favorite doctor and his staff, but I do know how acne can really change how you look at yourself and how you live your life and if I can help someone with the same problems then I would be happy 🙂

    If anyone in the Hayward area, or even further out around the Bay would like his info please let me know and if it’s ok with you Karen, I’ll pass along his info!

  15. Melinda says:

    I recently had a bad break out (yes it was *that* time of the month). I think almost eleven spots was erupting at the same time it’s gross. My skin calmed down by using sample sizes from Paula’s Choice. The CLEAN cleanser, 2% BHA Gel and Skin Balancing Moisture Gel. And Benzoyl Peroxide for night time 🙂

    Too bad now I ran out of the samples. The full sizes are otw 😀 meanwhile i’m trying mario badescu drying lotion with samples of their acne facial cleanser and cucumber lotion.

  16. Hey Karen!

    It’s funny how you mentioned zit-combating now! Around last week I had this hormone-induced zit (sorry if it’s too much information) on my chin. I can usually nip it in the bud with this spot treatment that I have (it’s a pharmaceutical product from Louis Widmer), but this time I didn’t manage. I turned to a fellow blogger for help, who hooked me up with La Roche Posay Effaclar K. I woke up the next morning to a greatly-reduced zit that was no longer painful, and within 3 days it’s almost gone! My nose is also enjoying the smoothest time it’s had ever. I’m saying this stuff is a miracle-worker (the only thing you have to watch out for, especially if you’re not used to some BHA/AHA in your skincare, is that you should take it VERY easy in the beginning especially when it comes to areas that are not plagued by acne or blackheads. My cheeks don’t like this too much)!

    Oh, and I’m invited to a Caudalie blogger event this week, so if I find out about anything new & cool I’ll hook you up! I’ve been a fan of this brand for like 8 years now. There is NOTHING I have tried from them that is a dud, and whatever I’ve tried isn’t even among their more expensive products, so I’m saying it’s pretty safe to venture into this brand!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Katy Perry + Eyelure False Eyelashes in Sweetie Pie, Oh, Honey!, Cool Kitty, Oh, My! & EOTD feauting Sweetie Pie & Cool Kitty

  17. Rocio says:

    I get the same kind of pimples on my chin. They actually hurt sometimes when I smile. I gring up oatmeal with goat milk powder as a cleanser. I don’t know if it’s the oatmeal or lactic acid in the milk, but this helps prevent and heal breakout rather nicely. Ps. I like make up, but my passion is skin care. I’d love to see a few more posts like this one!

  18. Nina says:

    Caudalie is an awesome brand that would be even more awesome if it didnt cost me an arm, a leg and a kidney each time i buy something … 🙂

  19. NeenaJ says:

    Peter Thomas Roth Acne Spot and Area Treatment is the best I’ve ever found for banishing those deep bumps on my chin (cystic) before they erupt. They start forming right around *that* time of the month but, if I catch it quick and apply this stuff at night they subside before forming.

    I usually put a dab of it on the whole chin & rub it in really well, then put an extra blob right on top of the spot. The product claims to be non-drying. I find it *extremely* drying but, worth the result (I’ve got dry skin to start with, though).

    Here are the actives from Sephora’s website:
    -5% Sulfur: Absorbs excess oil and helps control formation of future acne.
    -4% Glycolic Acid (AHA): Exfoliates surface dead skin cells and stimulates cellular turnover.
    -Salicylic Acid (BHA): Helps loosen sebum within the pores and prevent future breakouts.
    -20% Aloe: Prevents skin from over-drying.

    I alternate in the daytime with a sulfur based product without the acids to ease the dryness. I use Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Correct & Perfect Spot Treatment and like it a lot. If I’ve got regular spots that pop up (not cystic), I’ll use this and they’re gone in no time.

  20. Leah says:

    One thing that has helped me when I get a cystic pimple is to put cortisone cream on it and then put a bandaid over it. It really helps with the swelling and doesn’t dry it out so that it’s all flaky. The band aid keep me from messing with it, too. Use a real band-aid brand bandage though because I’ve found that some of the cheaper generic brands adhesive can irritate my skin. This trick doesn’t make the zit go away but it at least shortens the time and takes some of the red swelling out.

  21. Hiddy says:

    I’m using the Caudalie eye cream and loving it so far! Can’t wait to try out the other products from that brand.

    As for treating acne, Skin Apotheke’s Spot Treatment Serum has been working wonders for me. It is oil based and has a strong herbal scent due to the essential oils but it is my favorite non-drying treatment right now! Plus it is super affordable too 🙂
    The seller is super nice and friendly – it’s almost like shopping with a best friend!

    Her whole blemish line is awesome:

  22. Jenna says:

    For my acne prone skin (sigh) I use Prescribed Solutions Starting Up Face/Glycolic Anti Oxidant Cleanser with booster (available online and at the dermatologist’s office). I also apply prescription strength Retin A (for scars) and clindamycin (for actual zits).

    However, sometimes I find that combo of glycolic acid and retin-a can be a bit too harsh so I’ll use the Cerave cleanser at night and follow up with their moisturizer/creme (depending on how severe the flaking is).

    For cystic acne I use Mario Badescu’s buffering lotion.

  23. Kristin says:

    Hi Karen! Longtime reader here 🙂 I just had to comment when I read your experience with the chin pimples when you hit your 30’s! Me too! And they’re the same exact kind! The ones that are kinda below the surface and won’t budge if you try to squeeze them. Just wanted to let you know you have a similar pimple buddy! 🙂

  24. Alicia M Lay says:

    Have you ever tried Juice Beauty? I tried EVERY single prestige and luxury skin care line to help with my hormonal acne. This line is magical, the only thing that completely cleared me for good. I very rarely break out at all now, something I never thought possible. They’re based in San Rafael, completely and highly organic, and every product has anti-aging properties. My skin is completely different now! Try the amazing Green Apple Peel and Blemish Clearing Serum. I am still shocked. And I never ever felt or looked dry!

  25. Emma RZ says:

    Karen, I love the Caudalie products. I got a kit with the hand cream, body butter, small scrub and lip balm for Xmas and I’ll definitely be repurchasing some of those items if I can. Their perfumes are also lovely! So glad that you discovered this brand.

  26. Courtney says:

    I’m 30 and was prone to cystic acne on my chin. I cut my carb intake and my skin radically improved. Carbs = sugar. Insulin is a hormone and I’m wondering if by regulating my sugar/carbs if that helped. I also use Dr. Brandt Pores No More Cleanser which is awesome (don’t get the vacuum cleanser, just the regular one).

  27. Patricia says:

    I must share this bliss! I’ve been fighting acne forever, invested in all possible skin care lines like murad, kiehl’s and even SK-II. But I must say, the best skin care products I found for my acne prone skin is The Body Shop’s Tea Tree line. It’s a miracle, and I hope there’s someone out there struggling with acne give Tea Tree line a try. I guess a load of salicylic acid wasn’t exactly heailng my skin- natural was the way to go for me.

  28. Daniela says:

    Mmmm Caudalie! I have the same shower gel and I adore it…sadly I find a bit drying. Have you experienced that?
    As for breakouts I have become a full-fledged MUAC peel addict. The Mandelic acid peel clears my skin up in a few hours and leaves it glowing. It softens my lines up too. I love them so much it hurts:) I honestly think these products are true miracle-workers..and they don’t overcharge by keeping the packaging simple..love that!

  29. Dr Melissa says:

    When you see your dermatologist for your yearly skin cancer check, ask about Tazorac. It’s been the best thing for acne (and wrinkles) for me!

  30. angela n. says:

    love your skin care haul!! wish I have unlimited supply of money to just shop shop shop~ lol

  31. Phil says:

    The showergel isn’t suppose to lather up that much to begin with. The scent alone and the squalene are there to uplight & hydrate your skin. If it works great if you just use it on a washcloth while you scrub. The body butter & hand cream are amazing and top on my list too! Love Caudalie products 🙂

  32. Jae says:

    Have you ever tried looking at the Cosmetics’ Cop http://www.beautypedia.com when trying to figure out what products to use for skin issues? She makes her own line of skincare but also recommends lots of other brands, depending on what your problem(s) may be. I started using her skincare line about 2 years ago and I haven’t looked back. My skin hasn’t ever looked this good or this young (I can go without foundation AND I’ve been guessed several years younger than I am). Best of luck! Skin troubles are the worst!

  33. Jackie says:

    Kate Somerville Anti Bac is my HG product for acne! When nothing else worked, Anti Bac cleared up everything for me. That being said, my skin seems to prefer BP products compared to SA skincare. If you don’t enjoy the white cast that can be left on your face, I suggest mixing two pumps of Anti Bac with a smidge of moisturizer.

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