Best for Dry, Dehydrated, Sensitive Skin | Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

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I always hesitate to use the term “holy grail” product, but if there’s any instance where I make an exception this is it.  The Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer by Paula’s Choice is the best moisturizer I have ever tried.  Some key ingredients in the formula include several plant derived oils, glycerin, squalane, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E.  It’s marketed towards people with very dry or sensitive skin, eczema, rosacea, or those concerned with wrinkles and anti-aging.

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CeraVe Cleanser Review | Sometimes the best skincare comes from the drugstore

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If you have yet to hear about my love for CeraVe skincare products, prepare for some seriously rave reviews. Today I’ll be talking about both of their cleansers. There’s the Foaming Facial Cleanser for normal to oily skin and the Hydrating Cleanser for normal to dry skin. I’ve used both but the one I usually prefer for my skin is the Foaming Facial Cleanser. I have very acne prone, dehydrated skin. An odd combination, I know. The Foaming Cleanser is my personal favorite. Compared to the Hydrating Cleanser, it cleans a bit better without leaving my face tight and dry afterwards. The Hydrating version leaves my skin very soft and moisturized, but using it consistently leads to clogged pores. My aunt started using this one on recommendation from me and she thinks it’s been the cure for the dry flaky patches she used to get on her chin. If you’re a bit older and acne is no longer a major concern I think that version will be right up your street!

Both formulas contain glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and cholesterol making them hydrating for each respective skin type. If you’d like a brief scientific babble about why each of these work, keep reading. (If not skip ahead to the next paragraph.) Glycerin is a humectant that attracts moisture, although in its pure form it loves moisture so much it can actually have a drying effect on the skin. Ceramides are naturally occurring as part of skin’s cellular structure and moisture barrier. Including them in skin care helps repair the moisture barrier, enabling skin to hold onto whatever moisture it’s given. Cholesterol has a similar function. Hyaluronic acid helps skin retain moisture and may help reduce inflammation. Ceramides, cholesterol, and hyaluronic acid have also been shown to support cell to cell communication. Your cells have to be able to talk to each other if they’re going to work together to fix skin issues. The Foaming cleanser also contains niacinamide which is supposed to help prevent discoloration, presumably from acne scars since it’s marketed for oilier skin (1).

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Garnier Clean+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil | Review

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I’ve long since been a fan of cleansing oils for removing makeup quickly and effectively at the end of a long day, but most of them come from higher end brands like Shu Uemura and MAC. Imagine my excitement when Garnier released their new Clean+ line that included a cleansing oil!  Despite the appeal of an affordable version of the MAC Cleanse Off Oil or Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, it took me quite a while to purchase.  Let’s face it, makeup removers aren’t the most exciting product to buy, but they are extremely essential!

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Recent Haul: Foundation, Skincare, Lipstick, & More!

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I took a look at my makeup stash trying to decide what to review next and realized that since starting my blog I’ve done quite a bit of hauling that I might not have otherwise done. I love seeing what others have picked up recently so I thought I’d share! This is quite a lot of stuff, but I’ve collected it over the past 2-3 months so the damage isn’t quite as bad as it looks. Let me know if you see anything you’d be interested in seeing a review in any of the products shown. I should have quite a few concealer reviews coming up seeing as I’ve been on a bit of a kick lately.

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Obsession: Soap & Glory Hand Food

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I may or may not have developed a slight obsession with the Soap & Glory Hand Food… I definitely have three different sizes floating around my apartment.  I’ve tried several different hand creams and this one stands true as my favorite!

My first mini tube came from Sephora just before I left for my trip to England.  It quickly replaced my Bath & Body Works hand cream for a few reasons:

  1. It’s completely non-greasy.  There’s nothing that irritates me more than leaving a trail of greasy fingerprints behind me after applying hand cream.  This one sinks right in!
  2. It smells AMAZING.  It says it contains the scents of shea butter, macadamia oil, and marshmallow.  To me it smells like the Miss Dior Cherie fragrance.  Very sweet but somehow still a bit luxurious and sophisticated
  3. It fulfills the most basic requirement of a hand cream: moisturization.  Granted if your hands are so dry they’ve begun to split at the knuckles you may need something stronger, but for daily year-round use it fits the bill perfectly.  You’ll need to reapply after washing your hands, but a little bit of the hydration will stick around even if you don’t.

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Dry Skin Saviors

Plagued by dry skin?  These products helped me get the moisture back!

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In the past few weeks my skin has been feeling progressively drier, something I’m rather unfamiliar with.  I kind of always assumed my skin would stop producing teenage amounts of oil as I got older, but since I’m only starting to reach the mid 20s range it’s caught me unprepared.  It could be due in part to my efforts to quash the hormonal acne I’ve been plagued with in the past few months, but a lot of what I do is spot treating so logically it shouldn’t dry out my entire face.  Right?  *crickets chirping*

In the past week I’ve been especially diligent in choosing products that are more suitable for dry skin.  I had one particularly miserable day where I went to work and my face felt so dry all day all I could do was pray for the end of the day so I could run home, remove makeup, and slather on a thick layer of the richest moisturizer I could find.  After that day of miserable discomfort I’ve also put a few of my previous favorite makeup and skincare products on hold.  They’re much more suitable for the combination/oily skin I was used to.  I’ve certainly felt more comfortable in my own skin since I changed up my routine.  Sad to see the old favorites go but I’ll have them on hand if my skin has another bipolar phase!

After a good bit of research and taking advantage of free Sephora samples, here are the skincare and makeup bits I would recommend for anyone battling dry skin in the midst of summer.

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EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46

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Sunscreen!  It’s one of those products that everyone knows they should wear on a daily basis to prevent signs of aging as well as skin cancer, but many of us don’t like it.  Common gripes against sunscreens are smell, greasy texture, causing breakouts, and leaving a white residue on the skin.  I’ve been wearing sunscreen everyday since I was about 13 years old.  I’ve gone through many different kinds over the years, but the UV Clear by EltaMD is the one I’ve stuck with since I found it.  Previously I had only ever used chemical sunscreens.  The “sunscreen” smell had always annoyed me and when I went through my skincare routine after working out the sunscreen started to sting my skin, so I wanted to try a physical sunscreen.

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La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo: How I Made It Work For Me

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I feel like the Effaclar Duo has a very love/hate following.  On one hand, it definitely works to get rid of acne.  On the other hand, La Roche-Posay is usually a brand that caters to more sensitive skin and this is one product that has managed to irritate even my generally tolerant skin.

As I understand it, there are two versions.  The version sold in the US is more concentrated and meant to be used as a spot treatment; the version available in the UK and Europe is more dilute and can be used as a spot treatment or an allover acne treatment.  As I live in the US, I have the more concentrated version.

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Softer, Smoother Skin & Ingrown Hair Treatment | AHA+ by Acne.org

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The promises of glycolic acid in skincare sound almost too good to be true: softer, smoother, younger and clearer looking skin?  Sign me up!  I had been interested in trying a glycolic acid treatment for a long time but I never knew which one to go for.  After discovering Beautypedia and spending far too many hours reading product reviews I finally settled on this one by Acne.org, and the results have been fantastic.

I am by no means getting to the stage where I’m overly concerned with the signs of aging, but I do subscribe to the “prevention is better than treatment” theory.  The main benefit I was hoping to get from this product was acne related.  As I’ve gotten older my skin has definitely started to change from oily to combination/dry, but I still have frequent breakouts.  I also switched birth control methods to a low hormone option.  While I’m happy with the switch in all other respects, I now have to contend with hormonal acne.  This type of acne shows up on either side of my chin, along my jawline, and some under my chin (which I have never had before and it grosses me out).  It’s also generally cystic and can be painful.

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Tree Hut Body Scrubs: Affordable & Effective!

The Tree Hut body scrubs were an accidental discovery for me when my mom included them in mine and my sister’s Easter baskets one year.  Since then they’ve been a staple in my routine and a frequent addition to birthday and holiday gifts!

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I have tried several of the scents available, but the one I’ll be reviewing first is the new Detoxifying Mediterranean Salt Scrub in Fig & Olive.  I happened to be perusing the aisles of Ulta this past week and this one was on the weekly buy one get one 50% off special.  I nearly picked up two of my old favorites, but the new scents caught my eye.  Ever since I visited England several months ago I’ve been more drawn to fig scents, which are much more popular in the UK than here in the States.  I gave this scrub a whiff and absolutely fell in love with the scent!  It’s much darker and stronger than any of the other Tree Hut products.  It’s nothing like what I would expect Fig & Olive to smell like; it’s very fresh yet heady, a bit green & floral too.  It smells expensive.

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