Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Long Overdue: Product Recommendations February 7, 2017

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I am embarrassed to say how long ago I tried the products I am going to mention in this post so it’s probably just best I don’t address that issue.  Instead please find my reviews below of a few products I have tried and liked.  Some of the products were sent to me for review, others I purchased on my own.  Let’s begin, in no particular order.

  • No7 Refreshing Toner:  This product I purchased out of desperation.  Two long airplane trips in a row left my skin extremely dry and parched.   I tried to think of something I could do to bring extra moisture back to my skin in addition to my regular moisturizer. This toner did a great job at bringing much needed moisture to my skin.  I recommend this product for someone looking for an easy yet effective way to get more skin hydration.
  • Neutrogena sent me a number of products to try.  Unfortunately most were strong, anti-acne products that weren’t right at all for my skin.  The only product I tried, and loved, was the Neutrogena Cooldry Sport Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 70.  This sunscreen felt great on my skin.  It goes on totally weightlessly, absorbs quickly, and didn’t leave any sticky residue behind.  I highly recommend this sunscreen for use on your body.  It isn’t meant for your face.
  • The kind folks at Meg21 approached me about trying their products many moons ago. This company has an intriguing approach to anti-aging skincare – the main thrust of their message is that glycation is ruining our skin.  “Toxic sugars” (their words not mine) are breaking down the collagen in our skin thus aging it.  Their products contain an ingredient called supplamine that inhibits glycation in the skin thus keeping your skin looking young for longer.  The company was kind enough to send me full size products to try along with a few samples.  Overall I really liked the texture, ease of application, and how the products felt on my skin.  The packaging for their moisturizers is great.  Unlike a lot of moisturizers that are in containers with tops that come all the way off which then exposes the product to the air, these moisturizers were packaged in containers that had a top that did not come off. Instead you pressed down on the top in order to release the amount of product that you wanted to use.  This way none of the moisturizer was ever exposed to the air.  I tried the antioxidant serum (I can’t live without using an antioxidant serum each and every morning), the cleanser, Smooth Radiance Face Treatment, and the Smooth Radiance Advanced Formula. Though I definitely liked the way all the products felt on my skin I did not use them for long enough to be able to tell you if my skin looked any younger or fresher.  I will say though that the science behind the products is definitely intriguing.  If you are looking for a new and innovative way to fight skin aging these products are definitely worth trying.

 

Favorites from 2010 December 31, 2010

 

As we leave one year behind and start a new one I thought this post would be great to take an opportunity to look back on some of my favorite product discoveries from 2010.

But before listing my favorites from 2010 I wanted to take the time to say thank you to a few people who really made this blog possible:

  • First and foremost a great big thank you to my dear friend the fabulous Ms. S who gave me the idea to start a blog.  Always happy to share her blogging knowledge and tips, Ms. S really helped me get going with blogging.  (You can read Ms. S’s own blog filled with her musings on life.)
  • Thank you to my husband, mother, and sister for being the first subscribers to my blog.
  • And last but certainly not least – THANK YOU TO MY READERS!!!  A big thank you to everyone who posted comments over the last year and who took the time to read what I have written.
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Favorite New Product Discoveries from 2010

In no particular order here they are:

  • Obagi’s Clenziderm anti-acne line:  I’ve had acne for 20 years straight and tried so many products in order to keep my acne under control that I’ve lost count of what I’ve tried.  This physician dispensed line really delivers.  It isn’t cheap, but it is well worth the money.
  • The first post I ever wrote for this blog was about brush-on mineral sunscreen, an obsession of mine for about two years now.  Until about a month ago I had always used Peter Thomas Roth’s brush-on sunscreen and had had issues with the container/brush of the product.  Basically the powder sunscreen would spill everywhere.  Not fun.  I finally tried Colorscience’s brush-on sunscreen, and well now I understand why it costs $50.  The brush is by far the most superior and high quality brush I have used for a product like this.   The actual powder sunscreen goes on flawlessly, cutting down on mid-day shine while providing that much-needed sun protection.  Once again – not cheap but worth the investment.
  • I have always been bothered by my calloused feet.  Simple moisturizers never gave me the smooth feet and soles that I wanted.  Then I realized that I needed to use a moisturizer with glycolic acid in it in order to get smooth feet.  So little effort, so much reward.  I’ve tried two products and been very happy with both:  Philosophy’s Soul Owner and DDF Pedi-Cream.

 

Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy 2011!

 

Will Ferrell Sunscreen – I Kid You Not June 20, 2010

I don’t even remember any more why I was looking at the Fred Flare website in the first place.  But as I was tooling around the site I came across what I thought at first was a joke: Will Ferrell endorsed sunscreen  which benefits Cancer for College.  My husband is a big Will Ferrell fan so I thought buying him this sunscreen as part of a Father’s Day gift would be fun and a great surprise as well.

It turns out that Will Ferrell is a long time friend of the guy who founded the non-profit organization Cancer for College.  Craig Pollard founded Cancer for College after battling and surviving cancer twice before he turned 20.  Realizing that many families use up all their savings just to save the lives of their kids who have cancer he wanted to help those kids realize their dream of going to college.  The non-profit holds an annual golf tournament fundraiser which Will Ferrell always participates in, and now Ferrell has also lent his name and image (well partial image) to a sunscreen whose proceeds benefit the group.

The sunscreen is spf 30 and has a lightweight feel.  It went on easily and sunk in quickly.  I definitely recommend it for use this summer.

You can buy the Will Ferrell sunscreen through the Cancer for College website, Fred Flare, and even Amazon.

 

Caring for Your Feet May 15, 2010

 

I think/I hope we might finally be having spring weather in Chicago so summer is just around the corner.  Summer always makes me think of pedicures and having nice looking feet for sandal wearing.  I suspect that I am not the only person who suffers from rough, even calloused, feet year round.  I’ve tried to treat my own feet with callouse removers in the shower – scrubbing away at my heels to no avail; I never saw much of a difference when I used an emery type board on my feet.  I have also tried different foot creams that advertised that they would smooth your feet.  Then finally I got a clue – glycolic acid!  It was time to try a body lotion with a hefty dose of glycolic acid (10%) in order to smooth and soften my feet, especially my heels.  After all two things that glycolic acid does is smooth and soften the skin.  Products with glycolic acid that are formulated for the body are stronger than those for the face and worth trying.  I’ve been using DDF Pedi-Cream for only about a week now and immediately saw results.  I’m converted – no more scrubbing away at my heels in the shower.  And what could be easier than just applying a lotion to your feet and heels after you shower?

 

My New Favorite Lip Product May 7, 2010

I’m always on the look out for great lip products since I have dry lips all year round.  Until I discovered Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex recently my two favorite lip products were Aquaphor Healing Ointment (the small tube) and Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy.  Now I still like both of those products for use in the evening since they are thick  and hydrating.  Unlike the Dermalogica product the primary ingredient in each of those two products is petrolatum which is known for its healing and protective qualities and can be a great ingredient for lips.  On the other hand, the Dermalogica product has cocoa butter, castor seed oil, wheat germ oil, and even Vitamin E (which is a great antioxidant) in it in addition to a polypeptide which is anti-aging.  But my main concern with a lip product is – how long does it last?  Well the Dermalogica products lasts for a long time making it my new favorite.  As anyone who has read this blog knows – I want all my products to have spf in them so I am disappointed that this does not.  So after applying this lip product in the morning I apply an additional lip product with spf in it on top in order to get proper sun protection for my lips during the day.

You can buy Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex through Ulta.  Check out the online reviews; I’m not the only one who loves this product.

*Please note I get no compensation whatsoever for recommending products.  I just recommend them because I like them.*

 

Sephora Sun Safety Kit April 29, 2010

Sephora and The Skin Cancer Foundation have teamed up once again to sell a Sun Safety Kit for only $25.  That small amount of money gets you 11 trial size sun protection products in a cute pink bag.  In the kit you’ll find sunscreens, moisturizers with sunscreens,a lip balm with sunscreen, a self-tanner with sunscreen, and make-up with sunscreens.  And the best part, if getting all those products for $25 wasn’t enough for you, 100% of the net profits from the sale of the kits goes to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Enjoy shopping!

 

Ingredient Spotlight: Green Tea April 26, 2010

I want to address the issue of green tea in two different ways in this post.  First I’ll explain how drinking green tea benefits your health, and secondly I’ll explain how the topical application of green tea helps your skin.

And as always please note that I am neither a nutritionist nor a doctor, but I am careful to pass along information from reputable sources.  Please see the end of each section of this post for my sources.

 

The Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

 

So why do you want to drink green tea as opposed to black, oolong, or white tea?  Or as opposed to coffee?  In an article on WebMD Julie Edgar explains:

More than a decade’s worth of research about green tea’s health benefits — particularly its potential to fight cancer and heart disease — has been more than intriguing, as have limited studies about green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia.

Green tea’s antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis.

Because of green tea’s minimal processing — its leaves are withered and steamed, not fermented like black and oolong teas — green tea’s unique catechins, especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), are more concentrated.

The EGCG in green tea is responsible for most of anti-cancer and antioxidant claims made about green tea.  According the Dr. Amy Wechsler in her book The Mind-Beauty Connection:

EGCG can suppress the inflammatory chemicals that are directly involved in skin reactions, including acne.  Green tea has more antioxidants than black, but both help squelch free radicals and subdue inflammation.  Aim for four to six cups of tea per day.

While most of the studies about green tea and its anti-cancer benefits have been done on mice many doctors believe that it isn’t a huge stretch to think that green tea may help prevent cancer in humans.  Furthermore, Dr. Fredric Brandt writes in his book Age-less drinking green tea can also offer the following health benefits:

  • Restricts the increase of blood cholesterol
  • Controls high blood pressure
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Suppresses aging
  • Deters food poisoning
  • Fights viruses
  • Reduces the effects of smoking cigarettes

 

 

Sources and Further Reading

 

 

Topical Green Tea Creams and Serums – What Do They Do?

 

 

Ok – so perhaps I’ve convinced you to start drinking green tea.  Now why would you want to put a green tea product on your face?  As already explained green tea contains powerful antioxidants so that is already one great benefit for your skin (see my early post about antioxidants for more information about why you want to use skincare products with antioxidants in them).  Studies show that topical green tea may reduce the damage of UV rays on the skin.  While the polyphenols (or antioxidants)  in green tea don’t actually block sunlight themselves they do interfere with uncontrolled cell division which leads to cancer.  When applied topically green tea protects both essential tissue elements and antioxidant reserves in the skin.  So basically the bottom line is that when applied topically green tea helps to repair UV damage on the skin, is a strong antioxidant, is anti-inflammatory, and has anticarcinogenic benefits.  Just remember though when applied topically green tea probably helps reduce UV damage to the skin you still need your sunscreen.  A green tea serum is not a substitute for a sunscreen.

Dr. Ellen Marmur points out that if a skincare product contains the 5% green tea extract necessary for it to be effective topically the product should be brown.  My favorite topical green tea products are Replenix® CF Cream and Serum .

Sources and Further Reading

 

 
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