Melvita Argan Oil and Such

I couldn’t wait to hit up Melvita during our Cali trip, I needed another big bottle of Argan Oil which I picked up last year in their Newport store and used it slowly until I couldn’t milk another drop out of the bottle. Even with all of the argan oils I’ve tried, I still love theirs the very best. It’s so soothing on the skin and you just need a little to really moisturize. You can use it on both skin and hair but since they don’t have a store in Denver, I hoard it like it’s gold and just use it as a body moisturizer. It’s a light, EcoCert (Europe’s organic certification) formula that feels like silk. With help from Moroccian Oil’s popularity, argan is now the ubiquitous ingredient touted as a cure-all for everything from wrinkles to eczema and even healing old scars. I think it’s a miracle for KP- those bumps on the backs of your arms that are so annoying and hard to get rid of. This is the only treatment I’ve used that really clears them up for good. It is pricey ($56 for 6.76 oz or $25 for 1.7oz) but it’s pure – only 100% real Argan Oil not mixed with anything else which is what you’ll want to use to see some type of results.

I tried a little of their Ultra-Nourishing Body Balm and of course loved it. I’m not typically a fan of body balms and heavy creams – they usually feel like lard to me, but this one was so softening and non-greasy that I knew I’d use it all the time. It has the most perfect, thick texture so you just need a little to keep your skin feeling smooth all day. The only caveat? It smells exactly like that pink ‘bubblegum’ flavored antibiotic we took as kids – remember that? Well if you don’t, good – you’ll think it smells just fine.

Nigella Oil (which I never heard of before) is cold pressed from seeds of a flowered plant that has apparently been used for centuries to relax sore muscles and purify the skin so they suggest using it on oily and breakout prone. I’ve used Suki’s face oil (which they also recommend for acne) for a long time and really love it’s ability to reduce sebum production and give just a really light hydration. Suki’s oil is a half ounce for $32, this oil is $19 for 1.7 oz and it’s organic. Face oils rule – they’re so light and without the needless creamy bases of glycerine or whatever else – they’re just pure beneficial ingredients that are great for the skin.

So far, Melivita stores are only in Newport Beach, San Francisco, and Seattle with one coming to New York soon. Subscribe to their newsletter to get sales notifications (which they have often) since you’ll probably need to order online to give it a try. I’d would suggest against the haircare line, which I felt was totally worthless and not worth the money at all. Stick to the oils and hydrosols, two things they’ve perfected making.

New From Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare and Peter Thomas Roth

A few new launches have caught my eye recently in a vast landscape of ‘more of the same.’ I haven’t tried either one, but I’m looking forward to checking out new innovations by two companies I’ve grown to really love.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare has a new Vitamin D Serum Oil $65 for those of us who are so good with sunscreen that the sun’s own vitamins can’t penetrate to nourish the skin. I was way low on D years ago because I’m a crazed SPF weirdo and now take a vitamin D daily, but haven’t explored using it topically until seeing this serum. It’s formulated to be available to the skin without sunlight and they mixed it with Vitamins A, E, B, CoQ10, as well as Glycolic and Ferulic Acids to get some hydrating and brightening benefits in there as well.

Peter Thomas Roth added a new addition to their way popular Un-Wrinkle line to hydrate and brighten up dull skin. Illuminator Instant Brightening Moisturizer $68 combines 3 color correcting shades of light pigment that blend with the skin to brighten dullness and neutralize redness. For me, the home-run is the combo of a wrinkle fighter with a skin perfecter – I love multi-tasking skincare that helps your skin to look great so you don’t need to use as much makeup in the end.

Because It’s Worth It… Where to Spend a Little More Money

If you haven’t watched the adorable Marcel The Shell video that’s such a huge hit on YouTube – you have to check it out below (and click HERE to see it if you get this post delivered via email). The the couple who produces it has already written a book and is in talks to develop a series staring their lovable one-eyed shell after just 2 videos. I watch it religiously. It just makes me smile.

http://youtu.be/Ta9K22D0o5Q

My favorite line is at the end when he says he smiles because it’s worth it. Which caused a mental domino about what’s really ‘worth it’ in terms of popping the lock off the wallet and spending a little more for an investment in your skin looking great. I’m not someone who thinks you have to spend a ton to look great – I recommend drugstore finds as often as department store ones – but there are a few exceptions that are so great that I’ll spend the extra cash because I know they’re worth it.

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation:

I’m scraping the bottom of my jar of Chantecaille Future Skin that I got almost 2 years ago. I heard so much about their foundations that I purchased the jar at a counter not knowing it was $72 and then tried to play it off when she told me my total like it wasn’t twice as much as I’d ever spent on foundation. I quickly discovered that after I tried every type of foundation that passed my desk, I’d happily return to Future Skin. Its coverage is fantastic, staying power terrific, and the look of it is so natural – which might be because it’s made of 60% water and seaweed. The higher price tag could be attributed to its treatment benefits like reducing sebum and calming redness with chamomile and green tea – but who knows. All I know is that I’m mentally preparing for another $72 purchase very soon, but at least this time I know it’s worth it.

Liz Earle Cleanser:

Cleanse & Polish, the cleanser that I’ve referred to as ‘near perfect,’ is so worth an order from the UK based Liz Earle (or from Fred Segal Santa Monica- their only stateside location I know of.) It’s not a pricey buy at $25 for a 3.3oz pump (and around $7 to ship), it’s the ordering that makes it a little more of a challenge than grabbing a bottle at a store like we’re all so used to doing. I’m so addicted to this thick, creamy, lightly Eucalyptus scented gentle cleanser which removes all makeup so effortlessly, that when I try out a new cleanser to review it’s what I measure them all against. It’s a gold standard for a cleanser and one that’s so popular they have an automatic refill service and also a 3 pack available to make getting this perfect cleanser as easy as possible.

SkinCeuticals Serums:

SkinCeuticals is renowned for their high-potency, crazy effective serums designed to correct, fade, protect, and calm – whatever your skin happens to need. Their C E Ferulic is probably their best known do-it-all serum with vitamins C and E and Ferulic acid to protect the skin against environmental damage and skin aging. They use the purest, best forms of vitamins (like L-Ascorbic for their C) for maximum benefits and create combinations with other vitamins and acids for the very best skin absorption. Serums compliment any skincare routine and are so beneficial using only a few drops a day making them worth their $100- $150 cost.

Estée Lauder Eye Creams:

Eyes show age. It’s that simple. Getting that thin skin moisturized and protected is important, as is finding an eye cream that has some beneficial ingredients and proven science. So many eye creams are a complete waste – basically just plain moisturizers in a smaller jar without any true benefits. I trust and love Lauder’s eye creams – they have something for every skin type and concern, but their Re-Nutriv eye creams are their supreme offerings. With too much science in them to explain (or understand, really) I just know that when I use a Lauder eye cream, I can see the difference. I can waste money $35 at a time with something that isn’t working, or just fork out the $100 (ish) to see a difference and keep the Botox away a little bit longer.

Don’t worry, I’m also rounding up a ‘not worth it list’ (hello mascara!!) so you can save your pennies on things that are all pretty much the same.

Priori Cellular Recovery Serum

Cellular Recovery Serum. You really can’t tell by the name what this wonder serum does, but it kind of just does it all. It’s Priori’s booster treatment, meaning it fits in with whatever your current skincare routine happens to be. Just a few pumps will, as they say, ‘mimic DNA repair enzymes to help reverse damage done to the skin by free radicals.’

Whew. That’s a lot of science going on

Instead of trying to give you a science lesson for which I am totally under-qualified, I divvied up the serum 3 ways and gave it out to a friend and 2 clients to get their take on what it did for their skin over a period of weeks. What I heard was all positive, with one purported miracle. One client in her 50′s said that within weeks her skin looked more radiant and she used less makeup as a result. She said it gave her hope that using good skincare could make enough of an impact so she could stop using Botox. Another in her late 30′s said that her skin was much smoother and she had fewer dry patches that typically appear this time of year. But a friend in her 50′s said the stuff was a downright miracle and she could definitely see fewer wrinkles and sun spots. She loves it and says she’ll continue to use it and even explore the rest of the line.

So there you have it. Smoother, radiant, less wrinkled skin. Sounds like good stuff, too bad I gave it all away..

You can find more info on the serum HERE and search for a retailer (typically a doctor) in your area HERE.

Hydrating Serums for All Skin Types

For all skin types and those who favor natural brands:

Firming Flax Serum from New Zealand’s natural line Living Nature is wildly popular because it suits all skin types beautifully. It locks in the skin’s moisture helping dry skin to retain hydration, oily skin to keep balanced, and troubled skin to clear up with its mild astringent properties. It’s oil free, mostly organic, and so light in weight that it just melts into the skin.

For oily, slightly dry, or acne-prone skin:

Aloe-based Moisture Intensifier Serum from Lexli is a light, soothing serum that adds moisture to compromised skin. It’s especially good for those who use acne treatments and have some dryness as a result. You can also use it for your daily moisturizer if you’re afraid to use a heavier lotion or cream.

For dry or sensitive skin:

If this dry weather has your skin looking dull and lifeless, you’ll love Hyaluronic Concentrate from Sanitas. It pumps your skin full of moisture by providing a deep down boost of hydration giving your skin a more youthful appearance and your moisturizer a great head start.

Facial Cupping

Facial cupping. While it sounds like a frat house dare, it’s actually a cheap, easy, chemical-free way to fight skin sagging and puffiness. There isn’t anything terribly advanced or complicated about cupping either, just press the bulb at the top of the cup and place it along the bottom of the face creating a suction on the skin. Let go of the bulb to create suction and move the cup going upward sucking sections of the skin into the cup until you’ve done the whole face which takes only a minute or so. Cupping immediately increases circulation and also drains stagnant fluid from the face so it decreases puffiness, brings nutrition to the skin’s surface, and helps to keep sagging away by tightening up the contours of the face. Weird but it works.

My esthetician Tjaden at the Skin Studio here in Denver uses it on her clients for those very reasons, and to also help vitamins and other serums better penetrate into the skin. You can get a set of cups HERE, HERE, or a ton of other websites when you google ‘facial cupping.’ Just make sure they’re the smaller size and not the larger ones for the body.

if you want to see cupping in action (and a really sweet t-shirt with a big red fish on it) check out the vid below. If you received this via email, click HERE to watch the video.