About Me

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I've been having mixed feelings about this post. Dermalogica isn't a "natural" brand, nor does it claim to be. It's developed by the The International Dermal Institute and while the ingredient lists are long with mostly names you can't pronounce, the difference to me is that 99% of those ingredients are high quality (or so my trusty esthetician and the Internet tells me). I've tested several of their products for an allergic reaction, and their Age Smart line is the only one that doesn't like me (which is OK with me for now, since my battle is mainly with acne and sensitivity and wrinkle prevention is merely a dot on the horizon). 

Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant is one of the products I purchased after my most recent facial. The $52 price tag was a little hard to swallow, but my esthetician assured me that if I was going to splurge on a product, this should be it. So far, I'm not disappointed. This is one of those products that wows after one use. It's a powder that you dispense into your palm, rub around with a wet hand to make into a thick paste, and slather all over your skin. I like to use it in the shower and leave it on my face while I'm doing something else to give it some extra time to sink in. After you rinse it off, your skin will be super soft and smooth. And the more I've used it, the softer and smoother it seems to be getting. Although "daily" is in its name, I use it every other day since I'm a bit cautious about over-exfoliating, and so far I'm seeing great results. My skin is overall looking clearer and more even.

My one complaint is that the small holes in the top to dispense the powder make it challenging to put some of it back in if you pour out too much, which I almost always do. At least it's a small complaint. I wouldn't be complaining at all if it was less that $52, which truly makes every ounce count. 

Something else that's cool about Dermalogica: they have fun how-to videos on their website for most of their products, so if you're not sure you're using something correctly, you can just watch the video! I actually watched the video for their Special Cleansing Gel and realized that I had been lathering up incorrectly, putting the product directly on my face rather than lathering a small amount up on my fingertips first. The More You Know. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The "Describe Your Skin" Question

I'm always perplexed by how much to go into detail on that question on those forms they make you fill out when you're a new client at a spa. Often, I find myself fibbing ever so slightly, mainly for the sake of brevity. After all, they only give you two lines, if that. I most recently put "sensitive, combination to dry, acne-prone." 

Let's start with the first one: sensitive. My skin is not sensitive in the traditional sense. I have not always had sensitive skin. As far as I can remember, up through the end of high school when I went on the pill, I could put just about anything on my skin and be fine. This had led me to ask more than one doctor if going on the pill could have something to do with it, and they usually respond, "well, it's unlikely, but maybe, the pill can really change your body." No shit. 

Another doctor randomly scratched my arm with his pen cap during the middle of an examination. Because it wasn't still red a few minutes later, he ruled out hypersensitive skin, then proceeded to talk about some extremely rare type of cancer that I might have simply because I was turning red because I was nervous and didn't like the way the examination was going. Needless to say I never saw him again.

Products labeled "sensitive skin" 99% of the time do not work for me. It could just be that "sensitive skin" products generally contain harsh chemicals despite their misleading labeling. 

Moving on to "combination to dry."  My skin is dry and flaky, pretty much everywhere. But, I still get shiny fairly easily (lucky me). Two estheticians within the past few years have told me that my skin is "dehydrated." One offered no explanation, but the more recent one blamed my cleanser, a lack of proper exfoliation and dead skin building up, which can also cause acne. I guess that's plausible. I bought the exfoliant she suggested and we'll see if there's any changes in my skin over the next few weeks.

And finally, the dreaded acne, which I am still getting at the ripe old age of 26. I've been told that what I have is hormonal acne, since it's mainly around my mouth and chin, and that switching to a different pill or going off it completely would probably make a big difference. Well, I kind of love being on the pill. What's a girl to do? Try every skincare product out there for acne -- check.

All that said, I feel like my esthetician never really gets an accurate picture of my skin because there's only so much I can fit on that card and I don't want to scare them away. But then again, maybe that's all they need. It's not like I'm expecting them to "cure" my skin. I'd rather save my miracles for the bigger fish to fry, anyway.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hand Cream Addict

The word "addict" is not used extraneously in this post title -- I actually have withdrawal symptoms when I don't apply hand cream immediately after washing my hands or even just after getting them wet. My hands immediately feel dry and tight. It becomes distracting. Sometimes I try to tell myself, well, since you're going to be doing something within the next hour that will likely get your hands dirty, might as well just wait to apply lotion, but it NEVER works. I apply. And reapply. Probably an average of 10 times a day. And unless I work up the courage to try and wean myself off this addictive product sometime in the future, I should probably carve out some funds for hand cream indefinitely.

I guess I lied about Argan Oil being my one repurchase. When I wrote that post I was thinking about facial products, but I've actually repurchased these two hand creams several times: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream and L'Occitane Lavender Hand Cream. The Neutrogena is an old favorite, dating back as far as high school, and even my hubby loves it for his dry knuckles. It's a rich, concentrated, unscented cream, and just a pea sized amount does the job. I finish up my morning beauty routine with this stuff. If I skip it, I'm wondering why my hands feel so dry 10 minutes later as I'm gripping the steering wheel. It's a no-frills, drugstore-available cream. I used to get really dry skin patches on the palms of my hands, and this cleared that up completely. No brainer.

A few years ago I was given a small tube of the L'Occitane cream by a friend. I would call it more of a lotion than a cream. It has a light, slik-like feel that's surprisingly moisturizing. My favorite part about it is actually the scent. I love lavender, and this smells strong. I feel fresher when I put it on because of the scent. A coworker once told me the smell of lavender made me think of me, and I'm OK with lavender being my signature scent. Lavender, fresh jasmine, and Fresh's Sake perfume are probably my three favorite pretty scents. I'm also a fan of gritty scents, like gasoline and airports, but that's probably enough of my weirdness unveiling for this post. :)