Treatments -Garden of Wisdom - Light n' Brite Serum
eddiecatt 5/18/2013 11:27:00 AM
I have been on Lumixyl for the past seven months, and while it worked very well initially, I felt I had 'plateaued' with its effects (I think this is common with lightening treatments) so I took advantage of a sale that GoW was having on the amped up version of this. It has been about three weeks and I have seen definite results! I am using lots of lightening stuff for my melasma--still finishing up the leftover Lumixyl, a home-made niacinamide toner, a DIY licorice root extract and yellow dock aloe gel mixture, taking pycnogenol and Vitamin C supplements etc., so this isn't the only thing that is contributing to the results, but I am almost sure it is the main factor for the recent bump in lightening I've seen. Most lightening serums out there are very expensive and use a lot of filler ingredients--with this, you pay for the actives and nothing else. I think it is excellent, as are most GoW products!
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Sea Buckthorn Oil
eddiecatt 2/6/2013 5:34:00 PM
I bought some of the SBT oil (both seed and berry) last week as I had been reading a lot about how good seabuckthorn is for the skin. I have three experiences I want to share about this oil. 1) Coincidentally, I scalded my wrist while making dinner that night and it swelled up pretty bad, so I experimented with rubbing a little of the seed oil on the swelling and went downstairs to watch TV. By the time I got up to go to bed, the swelling was gone! It came back a little bit overnight, but another dab of oil and the swelling went away forever. The part where my skin had blistered didn't disappear though. 2) I have no fewer than six terrible acne scars on my cheek at the moment, and I have been rubbing a bit of the berry oil on them several times a day. Three of them have been with me for about a month and had stayed the same until I started rubbing the oil on them. One week later, they are significantly flattened and faded, though sadly still highly visible. 3) A few nights ago, after rubbing some of the oil on my acne scars as above, I took a hot bath. I turned red as a lobster as usual, but to my surprise the part of my cheek where I had rubbed the oil remained absolutely pale and blanched! I have yet to figure out if this oil does for acne and pigmentation as some reviewers say, but so far my experiences of its effects on inflammation and scar healing are pretty impressive. I would imagine that it would be great for rosacea sufferers and those who are recovering from sunburn or radiation therapy. Yes, it makes my skin orange but that fades after 30 minutes or so, so if I'm not going anywhere that's not an issue!
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Lumixyl Topical Brightening Creme
eddiecatt 1/17/2013 2:27:00 PM
I have been on Lumixyl for four months now, together with monthly Silkpeels to treat the melasma on my cheeks and upper lip. The bottom line is that it works--but slowly. When I first bought it, I was really psyched to learn about studies that showed that subjects' melasma improved by 80% at the end of 8 weeks, or whatever, but I would say, after 16 weeks, the improvement is more like 40% (so, half the rate promised). I am onto my second bottle--the first one lasted about three and a half months, using a tiny bit at a time. Nevertheless, it works. My esthetician did some before and after photos on me about 6 weeks in and there was definite improvement--disappearance of some freckles and overall lightening of the melasma. I am not sure how much the Silkpeels are adding, but they are expensive procedures and when I reach the end of my package I might just stick to my at-home glycopeels and twice-daily application of the Lumixyl. If this melasma ever goes away on this regime, I will definitely update! Oh, another thing. Several reviews said this also helped adult acne, but I have seen none of that, unfortunately. I have read that taking pycnogenol supplements and Vitamin C and zinc can help with melasma too so I am doing that. Other than that, I guess my final word on this is that it is worth trying, but not to expect miracles! Update: just to add one more thing--the packaging truly sucks! The cap that goes over the pump dispenser cracks very easily and the pump on my second bottle stopped working after just three weeks. Luckily my dermatologist's clinic replaced it without extra charge. For $100 I expect packaging that works :-(
Treatments -The Body Shop - tea tree oil Cover Stick
eddiecatt 1/17/2013 2:16:00 PM
This provides very little coverage. Overall, all it does is somewhat improve the appearance of a blemish by making it fainter.
Treatments -RoC - Purif AC Blemish Correcting Emulsion
eddiecatt 1/5/2013 1:48:00 PM
I am on the fence with this one, because it works to prevent the really big pimples from forming (the ones where you can feel tenderness under the skin before you even see anything on the surface), but when used as a spot treatment on already formed pimples, it just seems to arrest their development, so what you get is a soft, squishy, inflamed thing that lasts for a long time and, in the end, leaves a huge scar. This has happened to me twice already, so I know it is this product as I've never had that happen with anything else. Plus, it is tested on animals, and I bought it in a moment of weakness (desperation). So, all in all, thumbs down.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
eddiecatt 7/4/2012 5:21:00 PM
I was quite paranoid about this clogging my pores, so for the first few weeks I only put it on about an hour or so before I washed my face, and only gradually left it on longer. I now use this as my daytime moisturizer. It really does work on acne--I had a huge one on my side one day, put coconut oil on it and it disappeared overnight! Doesn't do much for my acne scars though, but that's OK. I melt some in a jar and add tea tree oil to it to boost its antibacterial properties. Thinking of also squeezing a Vit E capsule into it next time. If you have acne, this is worth trying, because it is so cheap and effective and natural--just go slow at the beginning so you can tell whether your skin can take it.
Cleansers -Derma E - Glycolic Facial Cleanser with Marine Plant Extracts
eddiecatt 7/4/2012 12:19:00 PM
I've been using this for two and a half weeks in conjunction with the microdermabrasion scrub, and I must say it has made the biggest difference of any product that I've tried in the last year and a half of product junkie-hood. I've had trouble with acne for the past year or so, but was reluctant to try anything with glycolic acid because I'd had a bad experience with the past, but now that I've figured out how to moisturize intensively, I figured I should give it another go with a gentler formulation. I had a few pimples last week, but am putting that down to the scrub bringing some bacteria to the surface--despite my panic, though, they stayed small and didn't get too inflamed and are now more or less gone. My skin looks more even-toned and my acne scars are also slowly fading (with a bit of help from Vit E oil). It does sound as though this product is irritating to some people, but it's worth trying--because it really works.
Cleansers -Burt's Bees - Natural Acne Solutions - Purifying Gel Cleanser
eddiecatt 4/13/2012 3:24:00 AM
So far so good! I have been struggling with adult acne which is fairly mild but because my skin scars easily, everything leaves a mark. I started using this about three weeks ago, and after the first week (knock on wood) I have not had any new acne. This is kind of unusual for me, so I'm assuming this cleanser has something to do with it! I have also been using honey and cinnamon scrub masks and have been carefully experimenting with virgin coconut oil, so perhaps those things are helping too. But this cleanser seems quite effective and doesn't dry out my skin. Works well with the Clarisonic! I'm not sure why people hate the packaging so much--it's easy to use and recyclable/reusable. Oh, and I should mention that my acne scars seem to be fading slowly too, which is huge. I've learned that my skin does not do miracles, so it isn't as if this cleanser has given me perfect skin overnight, but the improvement is noticeable, and I'm feeling pretty upbeat about things!
I have had this for three months now, and while I haven't experienced the miraculous improvement that others have, I can tell that my skin is improving slowly and steadily. It is not a cheap device, but for what it does, I can with hindsight say that it is actually reasonably priced. I made myself a deal--no facials for one year, but a Clarisonic and whatever skincare products I set my heart on, and so far I think the Clarisonic is winning! I definitely feel like my skin has improved more in the last few months than with any facials I've ever had. Just a note about moisturizers: it is true that they absorb much better after using the Clarisonic, but in my experience you end up using MORE because of that! But it's all good, because at least you know it's reaching into your skin ... And if the part about changing brush heads every three months is making you think twice, I would say that it's a good thing--for all kinds of reasons you WANT to change these things regularly. I've been cleaning my brushhead semi-conscientiously, but it has still picked up stains from my turmeric face masks and also smells funny. Can't wait for the three-month mark to come round so I can put on a new one!
Moisturizers -100 Percent Pure - Pure Argan Hydration Moisturizer SPF 30
eddiecatt 9/28/2011 5:53:00 PM
I'm giving this only 4 because of the nano thing (tho' I think nano zinc oxide is supposed to be relatively OK)--otherwise, I love this as a sunscreen for the face. Unlike other reviewers here, I find it isn't greasy as compared to most other sunscreens out there, and I can say this having used it in the humid tropics all summer! In fact, I found on the days I used it on its own without some light moisturizer underneath my skin felt a little on the dry side. Will definitely buy again.
This is a very nice facial oil blend made with "wild harvested and/or organically grown" oils of buriti, rosehip, pracaxi, and essential oils of helichrysum, neroli and rosemary. Because of the buriti, it's kind of orangey when you first put it on, but it soon absorbs. (In fact, buriti has a natural SPF, so on cloudy days when I'm not outdoors too much, I skip the sunscreen and just have this on my face.) I've been using it for about two months now and I do think my skin has become more even in tone and its texture has improved. Even my freckles appear to have faded a little, though I know this is going to take a long time. The oil itself has a lovely and subtle tea-like scent. I wrote more about AmazonDrops in my review of their Heni anti-aging balm, but I just want to say again what great values they have--fair trade, eco-friendly, and whoever chooses their essential oil blends has the best nose ever! Their customer service is also amazing--really helpful and personal. I highly recommend these wonderful products!!
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Organique by Himalaya Invigorating Face Wash
eddiecatt 3/30/2011 3:59:00 PM
This is a very nice foaming face wash. It's gentle enough to use twice a day, doesn't dry out my skin, has a fresh, citrusy scent, and will last a long time because a pea-sized drop will generate enough foam to cover my whole face and neck. The key ingredients are cinnamon, lemon and Soliga Forest honey, but there is also rice extract, cabbage rose, English walnut powder, sweet marjoram oil and coconut oil in this. The entire line is gluten-free, cruelty-free, organic and free from sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens and phthalates. I'm not really sure if this cleanser is improving my complexion, but I'm not sure what cleansers can do in that department as they're only on your skin for a few seconds anyway. But certainly, this cleanser isn't getting in the way of anything else I'm using and I like it very much. I've recently taken to heart the advice to moisturize in order to decrease oil production--so far it's working out great, so I think that means this cleanser isn't stripping my skin of its natural oils too much. The cinnamon and lemon might bother people with very sensitive skin, but they don't bother me at all.
I've been on a mad hunt for a good moisturizing sunscreen lately that is non-nano, mineral-based, not too whitening, safe and cruelty free. The Skin Deep database rates this very safe, and it is truly a wonderful product. The only sunscreen ingredient is zinc oxide, but it smoothes on almost completely clear and is also very moisturizing. It is just a tad greasy in the finish, but nothing like most other moisturizing sunscreens, and on all but the hottest, most humid days that greasy feeling soon disappears. I think I'm ready to call this my HG moisturizing sunscreen, even though I just rated Pure + Simple's very highly. SanRe's product is simply much more cosmetically elegant. However, at US$32 for a 1.1 oz jar it's not cheap (they offer free shipping within the US and Canada though, which makes up for a lot). I recently looked in my jar and thought, hmm, I'm going through this a lot faster than I thought, but then found out that my husband has been coming upstairs to steal some of it every day. I think that's the final word on this--it's excellent!!
I found this in my healthfood store and have suddenly realized that I don't have to settle for permanently chapped, peeling lips. It has a strong medicinal taste that I nearly gagged on for the first couple of days, the texture is sort of nubbly and the balm doesn't hang together as well as some others, but otherwise this is the best-performing lip balm I've ever tried. I don't have to reapply much, even on the coldest days. It is petroleum-free and the key ingredients are lotus flower, fennel seed oil, cocoa butter, Soliga Forest honey, and turmeric. I've rated it a 4 just cos I think the taste could seriously put off some people, but I've got used to it and am happy to put up with it for the other benefits.
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Pure + Simple All Natural SPF 30 Face + Body
eddiecatt 3/28/2011 6:00:00 PM
I've nearly gone crazy trying to find a non-nano, all-mineral moisturizing sunscreen that is a) kind to animals, b) not too whitening, and c) available in Canada. When I finally found out about Pure + Simple (right here in my hometown of T.O.!) I damn near cried with gratitude and relief! Pure + Simple is a pretty interesting company--it's owned by a Chinese Canadian mother-and-daughter team who are Ayurvedic practitioners. All their products are cruelty- and worthless-chemical-free, and they even have a bottle recycling program where you get a discount off your next purchase for bringing in your old containers. I like! The sunscreen itself is does leave a slight white cast when first applied, but it is nice and runny in consistency and smoothes on pretty easily. The scent is pleasantly (but rather strongly) coconutty, and the finish is matte. Pure + Simple also makes more expensive moisturizing sunscreens for more demanding skin types: anti-aging, sensitive, and oily/impure. I've tried out the testers in the Yorkville store and they all seem to sink into the skin quite quickly and without excessive whiteness. Ingredients: 6% Titanium Dioxide, 6% Zinc Oxide, Deionized water, Sunflower seed oil, Lecithin, Coconut Oil, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Green Tea Extract, Jojoba Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Shea Butter Fruit, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil. I'm concurrently using SanRe Organics' Supple Sunshine moisturizing sunscreen and I must confess I still think that is more "cosmetically elegant," but at USD 32 for a 1.1 oz jar it's a bit of a commitment. Pure + Simple can't be beat for being locally available (no &^%$ Canada Post!) and affordable ($14.95 for 100 ml). They have an online shop too. UPDATE: I still like this, but if you try to put too much on at once, the zinc oxide particles pill together pretty badly. The trick is to put it on a little at a time, but I've also found that a moistened cotton pad applied very lightly will take off most of the pills. Sigh ...