What do a cleanser, a cc cream, a lip balm, a primer, a face serum and a skin protectant all have in common? In this feature, they’re each one of six really good ways to save your skin for extra grief. Each one of these products does something specific, and does it very well. Some of these companies you may know and love already, and some may be new to you, but all are worthy of your investigation. The Advice Sisters tried them, and we’re telling you what works, and why:
Micellar Water seems to be the chic, new cleanser option, but actually, it’s not a new concept in Europe. It was created in Paris due to the hard water there, which isn’t really great for skin. Micellar waters use tiny micelle particles to draw make-up (including waterproof mascara), sebum and impurities from the skin. This type of cleanser is designed not to be used with water, but simply to be swiped over your skin on a cotton pad, without even having to rinse it off. Micellar waters don’t contain soap or alcohol, so if you’re a “wipes” fan you may find that a cotton pad soaked with micellar water works more gently, but just as well. One that also has anti-aging properties is Micellar Water Face, Eyes and Lips from the Vie Collection ($54.50 8.4 fl. oz.). Housed in a tall white plastic column with shiny black top, this product has cleansing micelles to get gently but thoroughly cleanse your skin, and it also has volumizing hyaluronic acid and Vitamins to help maintain hydration, tone the skin, and boost collagen which also helps the skin to remain firm and smooth.
The press literature I received with this product was a bit technical, but let me put it this way, if you’re going to cleanse your face, you might as well do it with a talented, high-tech mutli-tasker that is gentle to skin, works will all skin types (Mature, Sensitive, Dry, Oily, Combination and Normal and even sensitive skin and contact lens wearers), helps keep skin smooth, soft and hydrated, and really does whisk away even stubborn dirt, oil and makeup. There is a very subtle floral scent that I barely notice, but it has a combination of fresh and floral notes, with a bit of an aquatic hint and some musk (key notes are rose on top, peach in the middle, and moss at the bottom). Take some along on your next airplane ride and freshen up right at your seat before you disembark, it’s really a luxurious and effective way to cleanse your skin, especially when you are in a hot, sticky place, or don’t have water, or just because you don’t want to dry out your skin with soap. For more information visit the Vie Collection Web Site
CC creams are one of those things loyal fans can’t get enough of and are a must-have no matter what season it is. But one that I’ve forgotten to review (a big omission on my part, because it is quite good) is the CC Creme Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 20 ($54.20) by Phytomer. If you read my advicesisters.com beauty reviews regularly, you know that I’m a big fan of Phytomer products for many reasons. Phytomer has over 40 years experience using marine botanicals with new technology to create innovative, 100% natural skin care ingredients. This CC cream has intelligent “color control” combined skin loving ingredients and also a decent amount of SPF protection. As a treatment for skin, it helps to refine skin texture, even out skin tone and boost brightness, but it also moisturizes and softens. The product is tinted, but it is really sheer. However, the SPF 20 is thanks to actives of Octinoxate 5.99%, pctisalate 1% and 5.35% Titanium Dioxide, and Titanium Dioxide can leave a bit of a film that you can see on deeper skin tones. If you love the product for all that it does, wear your own foundation over it.
Once you start using a primer, you can’t imagine how you lived without it. To ensure makeup goes on flawlessly, a good primer is key to correct, smooth and even skin so it’s perfectly prepped for makeup application. There are four primers from Mineral Fusion all in pump bottles and each does something slightly different, but I tried the Mineral Fusion Illuminating Primer ($28.99) and really liked the way there are actual, 24 karat gold flecks that add a hint of shimmer if you’re not using it under foundation. This primer fills in lines, brightens, illuminates, and evens tone and texture. and helps prepare your skin almost like a canvas, for foundation. The product is appropriate for all skin types and it is free of gluten, parabens, SLS, phthalates, articial colors and synthetic fragrances. It is also 100% vegetarian and never tested on animals. The key stars in this golden primer are Vitamin c and orange fruit oil. plus Mineral Fusion’s own natural wrinkle fighters — collagen boosting peptides that firm skin and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. I really like the fact that Mineral Fusion lists all the ingredients in all of these primers right on their web site. The other primers are color correcting, hydrating and mattifying. Based on my experience with this one, I’d stock up on all four! For more information, visit the Mineral Fusion web Site
Brightening serums have sprung up in the skincare category like daffodils in the Springtime. These serums can help turn back the hands of time in a visible way, by boosting the radiance of the skin and improving the look of uneven skin tone. But not all of the brightening serums are created equal. It’s a challenge to brighten skin without irritating it and causing other issues. In addition, these products are often quite pricey. The good news is that Altcheck MD is a new skin care line that is offering a collection of preventive and corrective products developed by a NYC dermatologist (Dr. Altchek MD) and all of the products are affordable at under $30.00. For example, the Altcheck MD Brightening Serum ($30.00 1 fl. oz,) arrives in a dropper jar (nice)! and purports to boost radiance and luminosity while calming irritation by applying a brightening serum. Key ingredients in this product are stabilized Vitamin C, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Resveratrol, Mulberry Root Extract and Botanical Extracts, all of which are proven anti-aging powerhouses that help to improve the look and feel of skin by exfoliating, calming, protecting, enhancing radiance as well as boosting cellular renewal, and The product is fragrance and paraben-free. Use it morning and evenings, followed by your favorite moisturizer. Take This Note Seriously: Like most brightening products, this one contains an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that gently but definitely opens up new skin to the sun’s damaging rays. You must use a sun screen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterward.
Altcheck MD Doctor’s Skin Remedy ($14.00 1.7 fl. oz.) is not an anti-aging product, but one that is an all purpose skin protectant. When I unscrewed the cap, I was surprised to find that it was a thick ointment/gel and not a cream, but this all purpose product really does a lot of good things for dry, chapped skin. in fact, it is such a multi-tasker that it has taken up residence in my handbag. For starters, it has beeswax, cocoa butter, eucalyptus oil, petrolatum, shea Butter, Vitamin E and allantoin. You’re probably getting the idea already that this product soothes, smoothes, hydrates and is highly emollient. Just a tiny bit of this unscented gel can be used for really badly chapped skin — even on the lips (and it adds a nice shine, so it’s a clear lip gloss substitute). In fact, it worked so well, I was amazed. This product also soothes minor burns and scrapes, and helps protect your skin from the drying effects of wind and cold weather. It’s just what you need right now, and into the future. You don’t need a lot, and it will absorb fairly quickly even though it feels a bit “greasy” at first. It’s not a “bug bite” balm and it’s not for deep puncture wounds or animal bites, but when it comes to dry, chapped skin, even dry cuticles, I’m loving it — and you get a lot for just $14.00. It will last you for months, depending upon how much you slather on, and how often. Try it on dry heels and elbows, too! For more information on Altcheck MD products, visit the web site
Beloved by all, disliked by none, Burts Bees Lip Balm is a tote-able treat that the whole family loves. The original packaging was a tin, which is cute, but not always so easy to open (and you have to stick your hands in any pot of “gloss” opening it up to contamination, not to mention a finger you have to wipe off with a tissue (or something). So Burts Bees got to thinking, and made the balm into a swivel up stick. That’s nice, too, but it’s kind of “boring,” so now, there’s an even newer version of the beloved lip balm, Burts Bees Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm ($3.99).
This is basically the original Beeswax Lip Balm you love—just squeezable. The squeeze tube has a slanted tip, and the same 100% natural formula with moisturizing Beeswax and Vitamin E to plus a bit of Peppermint to perk up your spirits, and your lips. There’s even a little “bee” on the side of the tube, just to remind you whose lip balm this really is. And the yellow tube is easy to find in your purse. Get it now at select natural, grocery, drug, and mass retailers, and on the Burts Bees Website .