Another secret to great skin

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What it is: Skin Abstract‘s Blemish Potion, a bi-layered 5% sulpher spot treatment in the strain of Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion. (Which, unfortunately, I haven’t tried, so I can’t make comparisons!)

The basic gist of things: Normally, I pay very little attention to skincare press releases — I have my skin routine pretty much figured out, and while it’s boring, I wouldn’t want to sacrifice clear skin for my short attention span! (That’s a lie. I totally want to. But I won’t, and that’s what’s important.) However, when I noticed that the Blemish Potion is paraben-free and based with sulpher (my favourite acne-fighting ingredient,) I had to give it a try. My Potion is in the shade “light,” but it comes in “white” (for the nighttime) and “dark” as well. I have to admit, though, its downfall is that it doesn’t exactly smell great!


Application and wear: I didn’t love the unsanitary  nature of using a re-dippable wand and touching it to acne, so I use the wand to get product on a q-tip, then use the q-tip to actually apply product to my skin. Problem solved? Probem solved! Edit: I had a chat with Karen, one of the brains behind this beauty, and she let me know that the top layer of this bi-layered Potion is actually alcohol — which cleans the wand every time you pull it out or dip it in. It’s brilliant!

Anhow… the Blemish Potion dries very quickly, and once it’s dried it doesn’t budge. Like my other favourite sulpher-based acne treatment, the Potion really helps cover up redness, acting almost like a colour-corrector underneath your base products. Though “light” is too dark for me, putting foundation or concealer overtop the Potion (once it’s dried) basically creates a perfect finish, no additional finicky green-colour-correcting needed!

Note: it’s the perfect shade for my sister, so it doubles as a concealer and a spot treatment for her. And it looks flawless!


But was it effective? Can you give me a Y? Can you give me an E? Can you give me an S?

Please? Please can I  have them?

Alright, FINE. If you won’t give me a “yes,” I’ll give you one: YES! 

While my skin’s doing quite well on its own, I do still have the occasional zit — and this takes care of them lickety-split. It brings acne to the surface and then to a head in about three to five days, for me, which is ages better than the two or three weeks that those deep bumps would normally take to go away! The only downside to this is that, if you have acne all over your forehead, it won’t make the best all-over treatment. But, I mean, that was pretty darn obvious.

This is kinda nifty!

The verdict? Je l’aime! While I’m not sure if I’ll leave my Drying Cream for this (this is more expensive and seems to be used up more quickly,) I am very happy with it. It’s $18-20, depending on where you pick it up, and I’d definitely recommend it for ladies who either can’t find the Mario, or who have darker skin. (The Drying Cream only comes in one shade, and though it’ll work for treating acne, it won’t help you with that concealing! This one, on the other hand, comes in three.)

My skin-diet… and finally achieving "perfect skin."

Friday, February 12, 2010

I took this photo for the Fiberwig review, but chose to give it its own separate post… it’s about time we talked skin. What makes this photo different from all other FOTD photos on theNotice is that, while it’s only a half-decent photo, it hasn’t been retouched, and I’m not wearing foundation. (Just a bit of blush, some lip balm, a touch of concealer under my eyes, and mascara.) Normally, due to the retouching, I can’t take credit for my skin… but today I can, and it’s wonderful!!

Keep in mind that flash on the XSi is really quite flattering. Plus it does this crazy thing where it like, GIVES you eye makeup. As I said, crazy.
And feel free to enlarge.

As many of you know, I dropped dimethicone (and all other silicones, for that matter) in mid-November of last year. Check out the pros and cons behind the cut!


The pros: Well, duh: my skin is looking fantastic. While I still have blackheads around my nose (you can’t really see them in this photo, but I promise they’re there and quite prevalent in real life, unfortunately) and I do get the occasional zit — usually one or two minor ones each month — my pores are practically invisible, and I no longer get awful white bumps that take ages to come to a head, turning red and incredibly irritated for days after they do.


The cons: Not using silicones is a hard task! It means I have to skip all of my favourite primers, I can’t use my favourite shine serum, and almost all foundations are off-limits to me… including the gorgeous MUFE HD, which in 117 matched my skin perfectly. Scanning each and every ingredients list is a pain in the arse, especially when you find out you can’t wear that item — which happens very often. Even my new moisturiser ended up having dimethicone in it! (And I really, really liked that moisturiser.) I’d warrant to say that about 95% of skincare, haircare, and liquid foundations have silicones in them, and it’s hard to give up 95% of your choices!


What I am using: German Nivea, Marcelle’s AC-Solution cleanser, TimeBalm concealer, pure silica powder… and no foundation.


The verdict? For now, I’ll be sticking to my “dimethicone diet”. Do I miss being able to wear products like a normal person? Uh, yah. But is it worth it? Absolutely.

The acne solution — or just another imposter?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What it is: Marcelle’s AC-Solution Blemish ControlThe gist of it: Basically, this is a salicylic-based liquid spot treatment with a brush applicator. Like any other spot treatment, it’s made to be put only on breakout-prone areas… and no, we don’t mean your whole face! According to Marcelle this should not only “help regulate sebum production,” it should also reduce inflammation and clogged pores, soothe redness, and “make blemishes disappear.” It’s a tall order to fill if you ask me!

The packaging: What I really disliked about this was that the brush applicator didn’t feel sanitary — it’s touching your acne, then going back in? Somehow it just doesn’t make sense, if you ask me. After a while, due to the nature of the packaging, liquid would “squish” out, welling up around the edge and drying into the sticky mess above and below. In other words. Major points lost for the packaging.

The effectiveness: Personally, I don’t feel like this is an effective treatment for my acne — but before you freak out, remember that different ingredients help target different things! Salicylic is more gentle than something like benzoyl peroxide, but it’s also less effective if you have closed comodones, etc. I find that sulphur-based treatments work best for my skin… acne treatments are just so finicky, it’s hard to write one off for others’ skin!

The ingredients:

ALCOHOL DENAT., AQUA/WATER/EAU, GLYCOLIC ACID, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE, ARGININE, SALICYLIC ACID, HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL) WATER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER EXTRACT, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE , BISABOLOL, ALLANTOIN

The verdict? I would pass on this one. Though the packaging was cute, it’s also the product’s major downfall — with the mess that it makes, I really don’t think this blemish treatment’s worth the hassle, even if you’re a salicylic lover. That doesn’t mean the whole line’s a writeoff, though! I’m a fan of the AC-Solution cleanser, as well as the toner (which I haven’t yet found the time to review.)

A cleanser to cure the "cleanser blahs"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What it is: Marcelle‘s AC-Solution Purifying Foaming Cleanser

Packaging: I wanted to mention this first because I really love the packaging for this cleanser — it’s sturdy and super easy to use (unlike my Aveeno cleansing pump, this pump actually pops back up. Stunning, right?). The best part about this packaging, though, is that Marcelle didn’t skimp on spending money on quality: the pump not only feels sturdy, but produces a very stiff foam. I’ve dealt with a lot of pumps that turn liquids into foams, and what I’ve found is the “cheaper” the packaging feels, the more watery the foam is.

(I also like how the bottle looks very… clean. Decide for yourself, but I adore the simplicity and minimalistic qualities of Marcelle’s packaging!)

Formula: I can’t say about how effective this is against acne, as I’m testing out the WHOLE regimen and will give results at the end, but this is a wonderful cleanser for anyone with combination and/or oily skin. When used in conjunction with the AC-Solution toner, my face is actually less oily — and yes, I’m sure about this! I used to get oily around 10 and have to oil blot by noon, but now at noon I’m just starting to develop shininess in my t-zone.

The salicylic acid in this means it doesn’t exactly smell like roses, but it’s not particularily offensive and doesn’t hang around like a bad ex-boyfriend. I know that salycilic acid can be too harsh for some, so keep that in mind, but the concentrations are (I think) fairly low — I tend to be very sensitive to things, but this didn’t overdry my skin or worsen the patches of rosacea I have around my jawline.

Ingredients


AQUA/WATER/EAU, SODIUM C14-16 OLEFIN SULFONATE, DECYL GLUCOSIDE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERIN, SALICYLIC ACID, TRIETHANOLAMINE, ZINC GLUCONATE, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA , ALLANTOIN, COCAMIDE MEA, BISABOLOL, DISODIUM EDTA, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE

All you really need to know is that this is paraben-free, yay!! It also contains salicylic acid, hence the acne-fighting bit.


The verdict? If you have access to Marcelle (this means you, Canadians!) and have oily, combination, or acne-prone skin, check this out. I really liked it, and will most likely re-buy! At $13.50 for 150mL it’s pricier than some other drugstore cleansers, but certainly not “expensive” — and remember, because this is a foam-from-liquid, you use less each time compared to, say, a cream cleanser.

Apparently what we want does not exist

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The problem? You all know it well — I just finished a massive breakout, and I scar awfully. So, to deal with it, I’ve been working with different mixes and products and methods.

What I’ve come up with is a DIY recipe using foundation, moisturiser, and the non-sulphur-based acne treatment of your choice to create a zit-busting tinted moisturiser. I prefer to do this because a) I haven’t found a TM that also treats acne, and b) this way, I already know that what I’m putting on my face won’t break me out.

  1. To start, put a small dab of foundation on the back of your hand. (I use minerals, so I just tap it carefully onto the flat part of my hand and try not to sneeze or trip).
  2. Match this amount with some moisturiser. I like to keep it oil-free, lightweight, and with an SPF of at least 30.
  3. Add a small dab of your acne treatment. I use 10% benzoyl peroxide and the treatment-to-moisturiser ratio is probably about 1:5. Don’t use too much, as it’ll induce the dreaded flakies!
  4. Blend with your fingertips (of the other hand) and apply.

The exact things I’m using are Everyday Minerals Intensive Foundation in “Sandy Fair,” Bioré SkinPreservation moisturiser (review upcoming… once I’ve tried it for a while longer,) and Clean & Clear “Persa-Gel 10″. Feel free to go here to read more about how I’m dealing with suddenly having acne!

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