I actually prefer this to PanOxyl water-base gel, even though this one has alcohol in it. I have naturally oily skin, so the alcohol doesn't bother me. This has a smoother texture than PanOxyl and seemed more effective, more quickly. I sometimes mix it with a dab of Cerave moisturizer if my skin is on the dry side. This doesn't give me any irritation or rash, so I'm happy. The smell is slightly minty/medicinal, but I kind of like it.
I am usually a spicy, oriental fan. This year, I wanted to try something different - something a bit green, fresh, and ladylike. It was a random guess - I literally ran around the counter at Nordstrom, tried about a dozen different perfumes, and made a cold, hard assessment based on the above criteria + reported longevity of the fragrance (thank you Nordstom perfume ladies for helping me make the call.) I brought home Baiser Volé, a total surprise to me. Based on my usual preferences, I would've thought I'd end up with Le Baiser du Dragon, but there you have it - I wanted fresh, green, and ladylike. And that's what I got. This opens with green, but a sweet green - nothing medicinal or bitter. People have mentioned they don't smell lily, but I definitely do - freckled, fuscia, Oriental lily, to be precise. Sweet and flowery and quite pronounced - but not cloying, as I find many florals. Beneath it is soft powder and perhaps even a touch of soap - Cashmere Bouquet, to be precise. Not normally a note I like, but I feel it works here. The green does fade, sadly, relatively quickly, but what I'm left with is not boring. People have mentioned white musk, and perhaps that's it - it smells like a soft powder, yes, but somehow with a bit of sparkle. And it lasts. I catch its ghost the next day, even. This is young ladylike, I feel, but not callow. It's proper, definitely polite -- classy -- perhaps even conventional -- but no less lovely for it. And what should I say about the bottle? It's brilliant. It's modern, yes, but in the sense of early-to-mid 20th-century modern. It's completely beautiful, satisfyingly and elegantly mechanical, and the very, very light tinge of ballet pink against the pale gold top is delightful. I would prefer more of the green, perhaps more of the reputed white musk -- and it's hideously expensive (thank you gift card!) -- but I find myself wearing this daily. It's not a typical fragrance for me, but I wanted something different from my usual. I got it, and I'm warming up to it.
Heavy, rich and warm, but too sweet for me. The eau du parfum starts with a horrible acrid burst of alcohol, which only lasts for a few seconds, and then settles down into pure Coke syrup. I imagine there is meant to be sandalwood and cedar in there, but I'm overwhelmed by the syrupiness. Then comes the sandalwood...with a hint of licorice? Strange, but not unpleasant. After an hour or two, I'm left with baby powder and little else. By evening, it's damn well gone - not as much staying power as I expected, and too sweet for my blood. I also find powder notes to be, well...dull as powder. For a spicy floriental, I prefer Chanel's Coco. It's less sweet, lasts forever, little to no powder, and seems somehow better balanced to me.
This didn't end up helping my keratosis pilaris - but I did find it's helpful to put on my legs after shaving to prevent razor burn. Bonus - it doesn't sting, and it's quite moisturizing. It does leave a slightly tacky residue on your skin, but it is fragrance free, gentle on the skin, and not greasy or oily. If you have KP that is very dry and crusty, or eczema, you might find this helpful. But if you're like me, and have KP with oily skin and the occasional waxy plug, then the over-moisturizing effect may not agree with you. I finally started using Neutrogena Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment on my KP and it is nearly gone after a couple of weeks. I found this rather expensive, and the flip-top cap on mine was very stubborn. However, you do get a big tube of moisturizer for the price, and I'm planning to use it up on my very sensitive, razor-burn-prone legs. I may even consider buying it again just for that purpose.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Life Brand Clear Action Dual Action Moisturizer
rambow 12/19/2011 1:49:00 AM
This is truly not a moisturizer. Instead, it is a milder salicylic acid leave-on treatment that isn't quite as drying. It is the generic SDM version of Clean & Clear's Dual Action Moisturizer. It has a weaker formulation (only 0.5% SA instead of the typical 2% found in most SA treatments.) Because I use Retin-A, I find the 2% treatments far too drying. What I like about it is that it is good to wear under makeup to ward off clogs and acne. I usually put it on over top of light moisturizer, and underneath my sunscreen. It really does seem to help prevent my acne-prone skin from developing clogs in reaction to makeup. I also like the pump packaging. What I dislike is the over-the-top floral smell, and the fact that this truly cannot be used on its own as a moisturizer, so the name is a bit misleading. But if you're looking for a very gentle SA treatment, this might be for you.
Moisturizers -Equate - Complete Beauty Lotion with SPF 15 - Sensitive Skin
rambow 12/19/2011 1:37:00 AM
After trying many, many products, this is finally the daily sunscreen I settled on. My skin dislikes chemical sunscreens and stings every time I put one on. Oddly enough, however, it also stings with several all-physical sunscreens - like Burn Out and Cliniderm. This is literally the only sunscreen I have used that does not sting. Apparently octinoxate and zinc is the magic combo for my picky skin. It is moisturizing, but not greasy. It doesn't leave a white cast. It doesn't break me out. Makeup goes on fine over top. I especially love when this goes on sale at the drugstore, and I stock up. My husband has rosacea, and after Burn Out started to dry his skin a bit, he started using this one too, and it's great for him. SPF 15 is fine for me most days, since I am not out in the sun too often, and I think will be adequate especially in the winter. In the summer, I switch to Olay Complete SPF 30 for Sensitive Skin.
I don't use this on my face - but it is brilliant for keratosis pilaris. It has almost eliminated the keratosis pilaris on my upper arm. I've had KP there for years, and I've tried several things on it, with varying levels of success (Lac-Hydrin was the best before this, but was unpleasant to use; Avène Akérat did nothing for it; Lubriderm Triple Smoothing worked to a point but then caused pimples; glycolic acid night cream didn't touch it; Clearasil Ultra Overnight did nothing.) This is by far the best. I also like the scent (not stinky like Lac-Hydrin), the feel of it on my skin (it dries without being tacky), and the fact that it is readily available in most drugstores. I wish the packaging wasn't a screw-on cap, but that is seriously minor. It is a touch expensive for a drustore treatment, but worth it to me. I will definitely repurchase, probably my entire life. I apply it twice a day, morning and night, on my KP. I also use Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash, which also has salicylic acid. My KP is about 85% gone at this point - better than I was able to achieve even with Lac-Hydrin. I'll be thrilled if it disappear altogether, but if it stays as it is now, I will be happy.
Love this toner, because it's 6% glycolic acid, AND it is alcohol-free. I don't find it drying at all, nor does it sting me. My skin loves glycolic acid, but creams are too heavy and clogging for me. This stuff lightens the pores on my nose and keeps blackheads away. I no longer use the Pro Activ system, but I would buy this toner still. There is apparently a WalMart store brand dupe for this, and I'm planning to get it.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Ultraquin Plain Cream
rambow 11/12/2011 3:06:00 AM
This stuff smells like burning, and it will leave your skin pink, but it kicks ASS at removing dark, hyperpigmented facial spots and/or melasma. I had pretty large spots of melasma starting on my forehead and cheeks, and after using this stuff for a month (often on top of retin-a), they're invisible. It's 4% hydroquinone, which is double the strength of most hydroquinone creams I've found. Spendy (I paid about $24 for a tube) but worth it if you're looking to seriously fade some dark spots. Use it at night before bed, and be sure to wear sunscreen the next day!
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Complex 15 Therapeutic Face Cream
rambow 11/12/2011 2:57:00 AM
This is my HG light moisturizer - the first, and so far only, time I've described something as HG. I have oily, acne-prone skin, but I use treatments that can be somewhat drying. My face is also getting a bit drier as I get older, though ironically is still greasy during the day. This moisturizer covers any dryness I need to deal with, post-face washing or with acne treatments (like retin-a) without leaving my skin feeling either greasy, without disappearing completely and leaving my skin feeling dry again, and most importantly - without breaking me out! Normally even light moisturizers (Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Combination Skin was my previous go-to) will leave me with a few incidental whiteheads - but not this stuff. There's a very, very light glycerine after-feel to it, too, which I love. It has absolutely no scent either, which is great.
Conditioner -Paul Mitchell - Super Skinny Daily Treatment Conditioner
rambow 11/12/2011 2:48:00 AM
I've been using this with Shampoo Two (clarifying) for about a week now. I have fine, mostly straight, chin-length hair. I bought this because, though I have flat hair, it does tend to get flyaways and tiny bits of frizz in humidity, and I wanted to smooth it out. This has filled the bill, so far, and it smells nice. It's a bit stiff as a conditioner goes, and my bottle flip-top has been a pain to get open, but I really can't complain. It's done what I wanted it to do. I haven't had the issues with a film that other reviewers have mentioned. I sort of wonder if it's the combo of the Super Skinny shampoo with this conditioner that might cause problems? Oh well. Either way, I'm satisfied. ETA: Still works okay, but I don't know if I would repurchase because my hair still seems rather static-y even after using this conditioner.
Toners -Marcelle - AC-Solution Anti-Imperfections Clarifying Lotion
rambow 8/5/2011 1:20:00 PM
I bought this because it has both glycolic acid and salicylic acid in the ingredients - however, the package does not state what % of each active ingredient it contains. They are relatively high up on the list, though, so I figured I would take a chance. I recently developed some clogged pores under my jawline, high up on the sides of my neck, and neither a glycolic night cream nor a salicylic acid lotion have helped. I have oily, acne-prone skin, and I used to have great luck with a glycolic acid alcohol-free toner (from ProActiv), so I wanted to add one back into my routine. Unfortunately, the glycolic toners available from brands like NeoStrata and Reversa are quite expensive, so I decided to try this, although it contains quite a lot of alcohol. I got it at PharmaPlus for about $15. I just began using it a couple of days ago, so I cannot give a definitive review - I can only say that, thus far, it has not dried out or irritated my skin, which is a good sign since my skin is also rather sensitive these days. I will update with results later on, but I wanted to add this product to the database first. ETA: After using it for a while, it did seem to help me get rid of those annoying clogged pores on my neck. But I have stopped using it because I hate the alcohol smell and the slight film it seems to leave on my skin. I prefer my toners to be alcohol-free.
I bought four different types of baby wash recently when all of them went on sale at my drugstore for $2.99. Two of them were Johnson's, and the other two were the regular Dove and the generic Life Brand Fragrance-Free Dove dupe. I have gone through the entire bottle of the regular Dove Baby Wash (scented version) and am now starting on my generic dupe of the unscented version. I love these, particularly the unscented one. It washes my hair without stripping it and leaving it a tangled mess, it's gentle on my body skin, and also on my face (at least the unscented one - I was too scared to try the regular one on my face due to the scent. I'm very sensitive lately.) The Johnson's washes have a stronger scent, which I dislike, and they leave my hair tangled. I also developed a couple of body pimples while using them. I also love the fact that the Dove baby washes come in a pump bottle. This will continue to be my go-to body wash/hair/face wash shower combo for the foreseeable future. I've been looking for something like this for a long time. ETA: I finally got tired of the gluey smell of the generic unscented version. After a while, it also seemed as though my body acne (ew, I know) came back and wasn't helped. Still, though, I like the Dove scented version of this, and it makes a really good shampoo/body/face wash combo. Decent stuff, but I think I'm over my baby wash obsession.
Wouldn't use this on my face (unless I got a really bad cut or something), but this stuff is fabulous for whitening my teeth. It's gentle enough that I can use it nightly, and doesn't cause tooth sensitivity the way that Crest White Strips did. The effects also last much longer, since, again, I can use it every day instead of just twice a year. Should I also mention that it's ridiculously cheap? Why yes, I should. It's like $2 a bottle. Superior in every way to White Strips - price, effectiveness, and comfort. I've had slightly yellowish teeth since I was a kid - thin enamel or something. Now that I'm an adult and drink coffee daily, this combined with a whitening toothpaste keeps them looking much better. I don't want to go movie start white, because I hate the fake look, but the whitening I've gotten from this is perfect and natural-looking, a bright ivory instead of a blue-white fluorescent gleam. Just the way teeth should be.
Kind of spendy for a drugstore product (at least where I'm at.) But it foams up nicely, does seem to help my acne, though it's not a miracle product. It helps prevent the weird cystic acne that I get in random places, but doesn't seem to do much for tiny acne bumps on my upper arms, etc. I do find it very pleasant to shower with, especially with a Salux cloth, and I love the scent - sort of a spicy, clean scent. I've switched to baby wash for the time being for simplicity's sake, but if that doesn't work out, this is my go-to body wash. I'll stock up if it goes on sale :) ETA: Much cheaper to buy in the US. I love this stuff - using the baby wash didn't hold a candle to it. This smells better, and helps my skin more.