Cleansers -Neutrogena - Naturals - Purifying Facial Cleanser
texasbeautyaddict 3/7/2013 11:25:00 AM
I like this face wash. It claims to be "natural", and to some degree it is. It uses willow bark as its salicylic acid source (versus a chemically made one- willow bark can also be used as a pain killer when acetylsalicylic acid is derived from it ((Aspirin)). Actually, let's be honest- they probably don't use willow bark but are just toting the product to be natural because it's trendy, haha. BUT IF IT IS TRUE...the willow bark is a legitimate source for the acne treating ingredient. Anyhow, I've been using it for a month and a half or so. It has kept a lot of my pimples at bay, and though not perfect (as it doesn't keep them ALL at bay), it is effective and has not caused me to have any violent, cystic acne or strange pustules. I don't know if my skin has changed or if the concentration of salicylic acid is low (it's not listed as to what percentage is in it), but it has not caused any irritation like I expected it to. As far as blackhead/white head prevention, I haven't really noticed it particularly helping, but I also use a moisturizer with sunblock everyday so I don't think I will. However, I haven't noticed any crazy new amounts of comedones forming, so I would imagine if I WASN'T using sunblock everyday I probably wouldn't have an issue...but I'd rather have clogged comedones than skin cancer/wrinkles. Overall- pretty decent cleanser. Average price (I paid around $6 - $7 at my HEB) , and a little seems to last quite a while. A light push on the pump dispenses a suitable amount, and it lathers well (which I know some people complain about but lathering just makes it SO much easier for product use). Haven't noticed any product leakage either and the pump does lock, so that's a plus for the frequent traveler. The product does have a scent- sort of like...apples? It's sweet, but I don't find it overpowering. 4/5. Not perfect, but it works well for me.
After using this and the Thayer's toner, I think it is safe to say I probably have an issue with witch hazel (or whatever ingredients the two have in common). The toner is refreshing upon application, and overall feels nice on the skin. It did not offer me any noticeable benefits (no even tone, no blackhead removal, etc etc), but it did cause me to break out in places I usually don't (my forehead). I used it for about three weeks, and unfortunately the break out scars are STILL there (and this was about two or so months ago- probably still healing...I hope). I would not recommend this product if you have witch hazel issues, and if you are not sure, TEST a small patch of skin. I wish I had.
Cleansers -Cetaphil - Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar
texasbeautyaddict 2/6/2013 1:30:00 PM
I had a friend recommend this soap to me after explaining to her that honey, Purpose (and other "gentle" washes), had lost their effect, or just quite weren't antibacterial enough for me to ward off pimples. I used this soap for about four weeks in combination with a face brush. The soap lathers very well and is creamy. It contains triclosan as its antibacterial agent, and did not leave my face terribly tight feeling. It also worked to free me from the big, red pimples (and would bring them to a head usually if they did occur). Overall, that was great- however one day I was washing my face and I saw A HUGE amount of whiteheads all on my face (particularly on my cheeks). While you can't see them at first glance in regular light, depending on the way the light hits you can make your skin look very, VERY bumpy. I was not happy about this. I carry the soap in a travel soap container. It does deteriorate rather quickly once it gets wet, and can be a nuisance to carry around. My skin does not seem to work well with Cetaphil products, and I will venture to guess that because I am white head prone, that having a "creamy" soap probably worked against me instead of with me. Thankfully, the product was not expensive (I think I paid around 5 dollars for a bar), and while the product does break down in water, you don't need a lot to get a decent lather. I still had a good portion of the bar left after a month of use.
Shampoo -L'Oreal - L'Oreal Kids Shampoo- Strawberry Smoothie
texasbeautyaddict 12/27/2012 4:37:00 PM
I have this shampoo in the watermelon scent, and was a bit skeptical about it just because it's a kids shampoo. However, I was DEFINITELY wrong. This shampoo is actually the only shampoo I've tried (and I have a long list going that I need to write reviews for) that does not leave my hair very squeaky (unless I try to get it to squeak). My hair is not frizzy after it dries, but still has its volume and is still clean. I use this every other day to every couple of days and I do not have greasy hair. It leaves it soft and a little does go a long way. The only thing I wish was different about the product was that the smell would linger (which I can understand may not be a good thing for a lot of people but I really like the smell of watermelons, haha). The shampoo smells like Summer, is tear free, and is dirt cheap. It's definitely worth checking out as I think I paid $2.78 for it. 2/06/2013 Still using this shampoo. It is my go to shampoo and hasn't left my hair stringy or dry. I've even convinced a few people to get it and they also love it. 3/07/2013 They have come out with a new, paraben free formula. For the watermelon version I also believe they changed the scent. It smells more like...bubbles? It's very weird and not as pleasant as it used to be. I switched to the strawberry smoothie scent, and it still shampoos the same (but possibly a little more conditioning). Not good for getting rid of heavier styling products like pomade.
I was using ACV as a toner for a long time (two-three months) and then something happened. I started getting these red bumps that would never come to a head but would just hurt and would never go away. I don't know if the pH of my skin changed or what, but it was awful. It did make my white heads seemingly vanish though, but I'd rather have white heads than red bumps. However, for the first couple of months my skin was doing great. I would recommend this just because it may work in the long run for someone. It does make a great hair rinse, and I also use it in my clay mask. The only thing that stinks (pun intended) is the smell. It does linger if you sweat or your face gets wet, and my partner would comment on the smell as well.
Concealers -Make Up For Ever - Full Cover Concealer
texasbeautyaddict 12/27/2012 4:19:00 PM
I went to Sephora the other day and was matched at a 5 (or Vanilla, as it is called). I specifically asked the on-staff make up artist to cover a pimple up with the concealer to see if it worked. MAGIC. IN. A. TUBE. My pimple vanished, and the color matches me very well. I haven't used it under my eyes because I do not have issues with dark circles. The squeeze tube is very hygienic, with a small hole for product dispersal to guarantee just the right amount is used. It is water proof and noncomedogenic, and from the looks of it will last a long time provided it is used for spot treatment. The product is not cakey and blends well with a brush. I love it!
Toners -Thayers - Rose Petal Alcohol Free Witch Hazel
texasbeautyaddict 11/14/2012 10:35:00 AM
I have been using the ACV toner for a while, but grew kind of tired of smelling like vinegar and smelling it whenever I would sweat or water would get on my face. It wasn't terrible...but...certainly not my favorite smell in the world (obviously). I would gladly smell like vinegar again if it would mean taking these break outs away! I bought the Thayers toner thinking that it would be my answer to great, healthy skin without a weird smell. I had good skin before hand, but now it's going to be a slow process for me as I have about four or five of those awful pimples that aren't quite at a head but are still sort of white in the middle and just hurt. I'm not sure what in the product is causing the breakouts, but I'm pretty sure it is the vitamin E or the glycerin. It also made my nose and forehead blackhead central...not a fan. Now, acne aside, the product has a rose smell that one of my good friends said "smells like my grandma" right off the bat. So, it's that kind of scent. I personally was not bothered by it. The packaging isn't anything stellar. I haven't traveled with the bottle so I can't mention anything about leaks, but the bottle itself does not seem like it would be leak prone. The bottle itself is not very fancy looking. The price was okay. I paid around 6-7 dollars for 12 oz at Sprouts so it's plenty of bang for your buck (which, if you're skin is like mine, may be a bad thing...) I would not recommend this for oily skin. I put this on and literally within an hour I will be shiny. Overall: not repurchasing, and put this product in the trash.
Conditioner -John Frieda - Go Blonder Lightening Conditioner
texasbeautyaddict 10/22/2012 9:52:00 PM
I liked the conditioner better than the shampoo, but not by much. Despite using the conditioner, my hair was still frizzy following use. The conditioner is harder to rinse out (not annoyingly slow, but for someone who is a speed bather/in a rush this product probably could cause build up and I'm sure some scalp irritation). I used the conditioner, like the shampoo, for three to four weeks (with the shampoo) and did not see my hair getting any blonder. I did see it getting dryer and frizzier, which I was not a fan of (obviously). I do not blow dry, straighten, or dye my hair, and, at most this conditioner is average to me. Smell was not impressive, but better than the shampoo scent. I would not buy this product again, and, like the shampoo, I felt the packaging to be sub par as water collects in the lid (though product does not leak out, which is a plus).
Shampoo -John Frieda - Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo
texasbeautyaddict 10/22/2012 9:45:00 PM
Even after the first use, I knew the shampoo would be a no go (and as I further found out, the conditioner as well), as it left my untreated, natural, thick, blonde hair dry and very, VERY frizzy (like someone threw me head first into a static storm). My hair felt stripped even while lathering (which it does do fairly well; to be expected as sodium laureth sulfate is one of its first listed ingredients). I continued to use the shampoo and conditioner for another three - four weeks and found that if I waited longer in between washes (I usually wash every other day- this time I waited about three-four days) it was better, but my hair was greasy at its roots (which was no good because I part it at the side). The price was okay, but the packaging left something to be desired as it collects water in the lid (cold water falling on your feet in a hot shower is no fun...first world problems). Like I said, my hair is completely natural. No dying, straightening, blow drying etc. It is short, and naturally dirty blonde. That being said, I also did not notice my hair getting blonder like the product stated it would. This shampoo/conditioner is probably better as a once a week/once every couple of days combo, but otherwise I would not recommend daily use/use to begin with. The smell is fairly perfume-y to me as well, and not in a pleasant way...like fake lemons and chemicals.
After doing some research (watching videos, reading the blogs, consulting MUA, acne.org etc), I decided to embrace ACV toning. After enjoying the results from that, I took the plunge and went au naturale with my skin care- I currently wash my face with raw honey, tone with ACV (my skin can handle it straight, but I seem to read frequently that a 1:1 ratio is popular. I did mine with green tea for two weeks and had no bad results), and moisturize with two to three drops of jojoba oil after dampening my face slightly with water (helps spread it). I love the use of honey! I have been using honey since September 12th, 2012 (I had to look at my prior reviews to make sure; today is 10/17/2012), and the results have been great. My skin looks fuller, more even, and is less stripped after washing with honey. This is not a miracle cure however, as I have been using it for a month and a week, but IT IS helping and that in itself is enough for me to keep using it. What I do is slightly dampen my face (this helps with spreading- don't leave too much water on your face or the honey will drip), and then I scoop up say...two teaspoons or so of honey and slather it on and let it sit. Sometimes I just wash and rinse if I'm short on time, which works well too. Afterwards, if it's in the morning or something and I'm getting ready for class/whatever I'm doing, I just go about my business; I'll make food, get my stuff together, pick out an outfit, and then go rinse. My face does not look red or dry, and it does not break out (I will caveat that with I do get pimples, but maybe one or two VERY small ones rarely...like once or twice a month if that). I find that honey helps with healing any blemishes I have, and I believe in combination with the ACV toner and jojoba oil has eliminated the white heads on my forehead. I also like to run my hands through my hair after using the jojoba oil on my face because it helps with frizz. I currently use "Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Wholesome Health Raw Honey". It comes in a clear container with a yellow lid. The honey is not clear at all, has the enzymes, vitamins etc, and is yellowish in color. I find the taste is better too (I like to mix mine with tea). I bought it at Sprouts for I believe $8. My only complaint is it is in a tub, but it does not leak so it isn't too bothersome. Skin care for me is a trial and error process. Do your research, test new products, and be patient. All natural methods may not work for everyone, but it certainly doesn't hurt to try. For people who suffer from pimples/acne in general, I feel like trying a new product is a chance you should take. Don't give up. You truly have everything to gain if a product does end up working for you. Update 2/06/2013: Ultimately I had to quit using honey on my face because it was not strong enough for my skin to keep me from breaking out. While I enjoyed the glow I would get from it after using it, it was not effective enough for me. Perhaps manuka honey may be a better bet for people looking to use honey.
I had started using this product when I had my short (think men's short), bleached platinum-blonde hair in the Summer of 2012 (in May). I would wash my hair every other day, and while it would leave my hair slightly drier, it was never anything a hair treatment/conditioning couldn't fix (and for anyone that's used the purple toning shampoo, this stuff was MUCH nicer to my hair in comparison). Fast forward to mid July and I buzzed my hair off. After letting it grow till late August/early September I re-continued use of the shampoo. I got a nice clean from the shampoo with my natural hair. I don't really put my hair through a lot aside from styling it, but even then I didn't have an issue (regardless if my hair was styled with wax, pomade, or hair spray I had no build up left after washing). I like this shampoo- a lot. The smell is of mild coconut (didn't seem to linger), and it left my hair soft, without frizz, and without feeling stripped. The shampoo lathers well, and I feel for the price (I paid ~$10 at my grocery store), it is a pretty good deal. No complaints about the packaging- product does not leak and the design is pleasant (I'm sort of a minimalist so that's probably why, lol), and I did not have any hair breakage/hair loss while using.
Treatments -Neutrogena - On the Spot Acne Treatment Vanishing Formula
texasbeautyaddict 9/10/2012 9:29:00 PM
I'm currently using this as a daily treatment for my entire face. I use it in conjunction with Purpose Gentle Cleanser and Dan's AHA+ lotion. I resorted to this because I could not find another 2.5 % BP lotion. I needed something ASAP, and didn't want to splurge on the pro-activ lotion or wait for Dan's BP gel, so I found this. The product comes in a small tube and disperses easily. The cream is not moisturizing at all, and leaves my face very tight (as do most bp treatments- I come to expect this). Moisturizing alleviates this. I do not experience more breakouts from this, and I feel like it does help prevent pimples. I do not feel, however, that it is effective enough to spot treat big ones. The product doesn't have a distinct or noticeable fragrance, and is better put on when your skin is moist (like after a shower). It does not spread very well other wise. Not really my favorite product, but certainly not the worst. Will buy again if I run out of other preferred alternatives. Update: As of last week (today is 9/16) I've quit using this product and Dan's AHA+ lotion, and have instead switched the two out with apple cider vinegar. It has been fantastic, has lightened scars, kept pimples at bay, and has improved my skin tone already. And it's natural! Definitely worth investigating. Update #2: I had some red spots (not pimples, just small red...spots) develop and persist on my face during the last stages of using this. I've also started using raw honey and jojoba oil (with my three step now being honey for wash, vinegar for toning, and oil for moisturizing), and my skin is healing much better, feels better, and looks better now. Today is 10/2/12. i started doing the raw honey about three days after the switch to vinegar toning.
I will probably cry if this product is ever taken off the shelf. It is cheap, effective, and possibly embarrassing depending on who you live with in your house. The mask has a thick consistency when squeezed out of the tube. It has a mint fragrance (I don't find it overbearing, but I also like the scent), and a cold feeling to it...sometimes I like to sit in front of the AC for extra cooling. The actual product itself is wonderful, and while it doesn't totally annihilate redness, the sulfur ingredient in it it helps makes a noticeable difference on the redness from pimples on my face every time I use it. I have been using it for years, and have not experienced additional break outs from using it. When used weekly (I tend to do it twice a week), pimples are reduced, and any new ones that might surface are typically smaller for me. My only complaint is that the mask is a bit messy. I'm sure I'm not the only person this has happened to, but if I squeeze the tube in the wrong spot (or maybe the right, I dunno), it can sort of...explode out of the tube, and get green goop everywhere. Certainly not fun to clean up, I promise. Overall, the mint julep mask is a wonderful, fun, effective, and cheap face mask. I feel like it should be in every person's medicine cabinet.
Lip Treatments -Nivea - A Kiss of Smoothness Hydrating Lip Care
texasbeautyaddict 7/19/2012 12:38:00 PM
This is a good, basic lip balm that applies smoothly, does not have a strange scent (to me), or an odd taste. It has an SPF of 4, and comes in a simple package. It is free of menthol and as far as I can tell from the ingredient list (the font's a little small), petroleum as well. The product does contain beeswax for those that are Vegan and do not use products with beeswax in them. I would have given the product a 5 instead of a 4, but I find the packaging, despite how simple and basic it looks, to be a bit unorthodox. You have to take off the entire lid (which is almost the entire stick size in itself), and then twist. I prefer other designs where you take off a small lid and twist, or just squeeze. However, I'm sure I'm just being lazy with this and can see that having a longer lid might actually help prevent losing it as has happened with some of my balms in the past that have shorter caps. Overall, the balm is moisturizing, and leave my lips feeling nice, and like the name implies, smooth.
Lip Treatments -Eucerin - Aquaphor Healing Ointment for Lips
texasbeautyaddict 7/19/2012 12:30:00 PM
My BF pointed out that my lips were chapped and peeling really bad. Later that day we went to the grocery store, and I decided to pick this up as it looked promising and did not have petroleum or menthol (which from what I understand/have experienced tends to make my peeling worse) in it. Upon application and an hour later, I thought my lips felt and looked better. It wasn't verified, however, until my BF said my lips were much softer feeling! The product does contain beeswax for those that are Vegan and do not use products with beeswax in them. I live in a HOT Texas environment, where it is usually 90 and up 9 months out of the year, so my lips can get pretty rough. I find using this prevents that, provided I do not put too much on resulting in that greasy feeling. If too much is applied, it can leave a film/will not sink in. If I want extra moisture and suppleness I will often prime my lips with a lip balm (right now I'm using Nivea's Kiss of Smoothness), and then follow up with a thin layer of the Aquaphor for a nice, moisturized lip. My lips don't peel/crack nearly as much as they used to, and I attribute a lot of that to this product (and to drinking plenty of water, of course).