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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DSP's Favorites in Skincare Series

Part One:  Cleansers

Cetaphil Daily Cleanser

If you’re a long-time follower, you’ve probably seen me recommend this numerous times.  I discovered this cleanser through my dermatologist, and it appears I haven’t been the only one - this is a universally popular product for people with any and every type of skin.  It’s one of the mostgentle products I’ve ever used on my face, but the incredible part is that it REALLY cleans!  It soaps up on your face and you can really feel it washing away dirt, makeup, oil, and sebum.  It’s unscented, so you shouldn’t be turned away by it at all, and the pump is very convenient and easy to use.  Cetaphilwon’t react with any moisturizers or makeup that you apply to your face afterwards, and has never caused me any redness, dryness, or irritation in the 5+ years I’ve used it.  This will always be a staple in my skincare regimen- and my boyfriend’s, because surprisingly he loves it too.  You can get this pretty much anywhere in the States, for about $8.00… and it will last you for a very long time.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

I couldn’t decide which one to pick, so I chose both.  This cleanser is Cetaphil’s fancy little sister.  Thepackaging is equally as convenient, and it cleans just as thoroughly without irritating even the most sensitive skin. But this Neutrogena Natural cleanser is fancier - it has a strong fruity smell(which some enjoy and some don’t care for), and is sulfate, paraben, dye, and petro free!  The fact that those harmful chemicals weren’t added, and the additional naturally derived ingredientsreally drew me to this new Neutrogena fave.  The first time I used it I had low expectations, but itlathers incredibly well and as long as you don’t half-ass it will clean off any dirt, creams and makeup that you have on your face (although for eye makeup you’ll need a specific makeup remover, no cleanser should be used to completely get rid of mascara, etc.)  It’s a PH balanced product, so it really helps keep foundation from oxidizing or makeup from turning colors on your face due to oils and chemicals.   My skin felt SO clean, but still soft.  Plus because there weren’t any harsh chemicals, it really helped when it came to my skin’s clarity.  It didn’t cause any redness or dryness - a definite good find!  You can find this anywhere Neutrogena products are sold, for about $6.50.

Part Two:  Mask

Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask

I know recently I did a review on a Neutrogena mask that I said was one of my mask go-to’s for clear skin.  Well, this is my other favorite!  This masque is unique because it zaps zits WITHOUT using the harsh chemicals benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which you normally see in anti-acne products.  This mask claims that “Mint Julep is the original natural home treatment developed by a dermatologist”… the natural ingredients DO help clear skin, wash away blackheads and shrink the appearance of pores.  It’s a green clay mask, with sulfur as the secret ingredient - but no worries!  It smells deliciously of sweet mint.  It cools your face and tingles slightly, giving you theultimate feeling of a spa experience.  This mask is much cheaper than leading competitors (I got this at regular retail for only $2.99!) and I think twice as effective as many of them.  Love love love.

Part Three: Acne Spot Treatment

Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 10

This is my life-saving product.  You know how you have a big interview coming up, or maybe prom or a first date, and for some reason your skin decides that TODAY is the day you're going to get a giant zit on your forehead?  Well this is my anti-all that.  This is my skin's secret weapon.
I've struggled with hormonal acne all my life, and if you have too, you'll know the frustration with trying products and never seeing results.  THIS little tube gives even the most stubborn acne a kick in the butt.  The "10" in Persa-Gel10 means10% benzoyl peroxide - a pretty potent amount.  Just dab a little onto a spot, and it dries and shrinks ASAP.  This is a spot treatment however, so if you apply it all over your face, you might see some tightening, and with prolonged use some drying.  But usually this will eliminate your issues within a day or two - and that's MY skin - so I can tell you this is a fast-acting product.  I use this for emergencies or whenever I have a stubborn spot that I don't want around anymore.  You can find it at pretty much any drugstore, for only about $5 - cheaper than the treatments that claim to work "overnight" that never really do.  This is good for anyone who gets blemishes, from severe to mild - the perfect secret weapon to have hiding in your medicine cabinet. 

Part Four:  Moisturizers 

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer

I have long been a sucker for Aveeno products - they always contain quality ingredients and really perform.  This moisturizer is no exception - if you've ever read my FAQ or read my skincare, you'll know that this is my go-to moisturizer for all skin types.  This truly leaves your face "positively radiant"... I swear it's helped to reduce my redness and fade my acne marks significantly since I started using it.  Naturally it just makes your face look glowing.  
The magic is in the "soy complex", which is an extraction of properties derived directly from soy beans.  Soy calms your skin and rejuvinates tired cells, plumping skin to prevent fine lines and bags under your eyes.  Soy also contains Vitamin E, which is a miracle ingredient for skin - Antioxidants as well will help prevent premature aging as well as environmental stresses that cause acne, dullness, etc.  I know all this from personal experience - my uncle grows and harvests soy beans ;)
If you have oily skin or persistant acne, or if you're allergic to soy, don't bother with this.  I've read so many reviews that said this didn't help acne, or make skin matte - but that's because it's not supposed to.  Otherwise, this is a great daily moisturizer - it contains SPF 15 so it protects you all day as well.  This will always be a repurchased product in my book!

Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Control Moisturizer

When you break out, the last thing you want to do is layer a thick, greasy moisturizer over top - but you also don't want to let your face dry out!  Fortunately there are options that give you the best of both worlds - acne fighting medication as well as a highly needed dose of moisture to maintain balance in your skin.  This moisturizer from Clean and Clear is oil-free - a key aspect to any moisturizer for this skin type.  This also contains salicylic acid, a zit-zapping ingredient that is proven to clear skin quickly.  Apply this after you wash your face, underneath your makeup and/or spot treatment and you'll see a difference in your skin's clarity, as well as it's health.  You won't get too greasy throughout the day because this formula is oil-free, but you won't get dry patches thanks to the moisturizing properties.  And one of the most important aspects of skin's clarity is balance!  However if you have sensitive skin the salicylic acid may irritate your face.

CeraVe AM/PM Facial Moisturizers

CeraVe is a dermatologist recommended brand that focuses on moisture.  Whether you have dry skin, acne or if you're just looking for an inexpensive way to keep your skin balanced, this is a great brand.  There are two separate moisturizers - AM and PM.  Both are noncomedogenic and won't irritate even the most sensitve skin.  It's recommended by dermatologists for people on acne medication because it won't react with other products, like some moisturizers can.
AM - Contains SPF 30 for ultimate UVA and UVB protection.  Ultra hydrating formula keeps your skin happy all day without making you greasy.
PM - No SPF, (zinc oxide in sunscreen can sometimes break you out, so it's good to have a nighttime moisturizer without any), and EXTRA moisture so your skin is hydrated all night long.  You'll wake up looking fresh!

Part Five:  Scrub

St. Ives Green Tea Scrub

My Pick for Normal, Oily and Acne-Prone Skin!
Green tea is a natural ingredient that can be used to clear breakouts as well as brighten dull skin!  Make that into a scrub and you've got the ultimate recipe for radiant skin.  This scrub is oil free and has tiny microbeads that exfoliate without damaging your skin (like the popular Apricot scrub can).  This scrub also contains a small amount of salicylic acid - enough to zap your zits but not too much that would irritate or dry out your skin.  Even better - this scrub doesn't contain harmful parabens.  It's only about $4.99 USD - a great bargain considering the amazing results you'll get.

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