Preventing Stretch Marks and Breakouts During Pregnancy

For moms-to-be who are looking to moisturize their growing bellies, LUSH has a 100% organic Therapy Massage Bar ($10) made from shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet orange oil, and lavender oil. It smells heavenly – like chocolate covered orange candies and it gives skin a healthy dose of natural moisture. It’s free of synthetics so it’s mommy-friendly and the long-lasting hydration is just what you want when trying to keep stretch marks away.

And while we’re on the topic, LUSH Herbalism Cleanser ($11) is known to clear up breakouts naturally, so during pregnancy you can use the Ground Almonds and Kaolin based cleanser to slough away rough skin keeping it clear and smooth.

Cetaphil Cleanser: As Good As You’ve Heard?

Does the long-loved Cataphil cleanser live up to its hype? Dr. Frank Lipman takes a closer look at its ingredients and explains why this iconic cleanser may not be doing your skin any favors.

You can check out the article HERE

Best Cleansers of 2011 (thus far…)

I had a steady stream of cleansers sent my way lately which were quickly adding up, so over the past few months I’d use a different one for a full 7 days, twice a day to get a real feel for how it worked and how my skin responded. They didn’t all make the cut of course, but I did find several I really liked based on the following:

  • Completely cleans skin and removes makeup
  • Has a unique spin
  • Smells good (one was excluded just because it smelled like old lady)
  • Doesn’t dry or strip the skin
  • No irritation or breakouts caused

So here we go, the first batch of cleansers I’m loving in 2011.

Kosmea Clarifying Facial Wash

It’s not only the intoxicating rose scent that makes me love this Clarifying Facial Wash, it’s the feeling it gives my face after using it that I call squeaky soft because although it removes all impurities, there isn’t a hint of tightness once my skin dries. $32

Caudalie Cleansing Water

Now you have no excuse not to remove your makeup nightly. Caudalie’s Cleansing Water is one of the best I’ve used to really remove the day using a quick, gentle solution of Grape Extract and Plant Glycerin. Soak a cotton pad with the water and with just a few swipes, you’ll have a sparkling clean face that even the most sensitive skin can tolerate. $26

Sensai Silky Purifying Creamy Soap

Sensai’s Soap in a tube is such a hit that Saks wouldn’t let you buy more than 6 a month. I can understand why – the travel size I received will probably outlast most of my standard sized cleansers. It’s so rich and dense that just a dab produces a hearty foam nabbing dirt and makeup, and leaving behind a really soft moisture finish. $50

Bioelements All Things Pure Cleanser

A good clay cleanser is hard to find. I like Bioelements‘ version because of the amount of organic aloe it mixes in with the clay to soothe and calm the skin. It’s the first clay-based cleanser I’ve used that would be suitable to all skin types, and it’s definitely ‘green’ girl approved with mostly natural and organic ingredients. $35

Kate Sommerville Detox Daily Cleanser

Facialist-to-the-stars Kate Somerville formulated her Daily Detox Cleanser for those who struggle with breakouts but also want some anti-aging benefits. In short, it’s not a harsh cleanser that will strip the hell out of troubled skin. Daily Detox gives you the foam you want for slightly oily and inflamed skin while also helping to lighten acne scars using Phytic Acid and also stabilize oil production. $32

Wei Chinese Rose Foaming Cleanser

Yes I know I’m slightly obsessed with all things Rose, but this is a perfect example of a great cleanser that didn’t just use the scent to brand the product – Rose Flower Infusion is its first ingredient. I found it to be surprisingly thorough and one of my favorites of the bunch because of its light and easy ability to cleanse and leave the skin looking bright and glowy. $32

L’Oreal Go 360 Clean Deep Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

I tried several drugstore offerings in this batch, some I’ll review for my blog for Walmart.com, but I thought this one was special and had universal appeal. 360 for sensitive skin is a soap-free, gentle cleanser that washes away clean without leaving a trace of irritating residue. $7

Desert Essence; All Purpose Cleanser and Treatment Concealer

I love when lines get a little facelift. Desert Essence recently underwent a packaging upgrade which I think matches its modern natural feel. I’ve used their Organic Jojoba Oil in place of body lotion for years, I bought it last it looked like this.

Old school

Shiny new

Maybe they changed the packaging to highlight their USDA Organic seal? Regardless, I’m so happy for this line because their powerful collection of cost-effective organic skin and body care is worth checking out.

Anyone looking for a great daily cleanser to wash without stripping you have to try their Thoroughly Clean Face Wash, a castile soap infused with Lavender, Tea Tree, Goldenseal and a few other skin calming ingredients. It creates a light foam on the skin that very gently washes away everything, even eye makeup. I’ve never heard of the fragrant Awapuhi plant from Hawaii, but I’m obsessed with the lovely, slightly sweet scent it gives the wash.

Tea Tree Oil meets mineral pigments in their Blemish Touch Stick Concealer. I love the idea of treating blemishes as you cover them because some makeup can clog pores and make the inflammation even worse. It blends, it covers, it heals, and it’s only $10.

You can find Desert Essence at most natural food stores (like Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage) and online HERE. They’ve also added a listing of their gluten free skin and body care found HERE.

Super Duper Skin Care

Skin care is getting more and more advanced, so there’s no excuse to not love the look of your skin. Check out my picks for some skin care that has been giving my skin the royal treatment.

The Super Duper Do-It-All Skin Reviving Serum

SkinMedica’s skin boosting serum is widely regarded as one of the best on the market for changing skin on a few fronts. TNS Essential Serum uses a powerful growth factor combined with peptides to get into the skin cells and repair them so when they make their way up to the surface, they create younger looking skin that’s less wrinkled and more radiant. 7 antioxidants are used to fight off environmental damage to protect the youthful, new skin it helps to create.

The At-Home Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare (formerly MD Skincare) makes a bunch of stuff that I love, but recently I’m addicted to their Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel. For half the cost of a peel done by a pro, you’ll have a month’s worth of pads that will correct redness, calm acne, chase away fine lines, tighten large pores, and address dull skin. It didn’t leave my face flaky or red, it just started doing its thing right away to calm an annoying breakout and give my skin a totally rested and alert look.

The Smart Cleanser 

Who cares about a cleanser right? You rub it on then wash it all off, it doesn’t matter what’s in it as long as it’s getting skin clean. Not true with Erno Laszlo because they’re  taking cleansing a step further with their Firmarine, a Spirulina Maxima and Algae Extract rich cleansing bar that strengthens and firms the skin even after it’s washed away.

The Beautiful Moisturizer

I’ve been prepping my client’s skin with Intraceuticals Opulence Moisture Brightening Cream because it adds so much radiance to the skin, I’m cutting down the amount of foundation I use on them by half. I wore it today by combining it with a drop of liquid bronzer which made my skin practically glow. How many moisturizers can make your skin look that good instantly?

The Nourishing Eye Oil

Eye cream, yes, but eye oil? You bet. Before bed, I’ve been using an oil under a cream for added moisture before wearing a silk eye mask to keep it all in place. You don’t have to do the whole routine like I do, just get a moisturizing oil like Bioelements new All Things Pure Eye Oil. It absorbs easily into the skin and has an ingredient lineup that’s so pure you could eat it.

Best Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

Women who have sensitive skin tell me all the time that they often skip washing their face because their skin gets so red and irritated after that it’s not even worth it. Luckily, there are quite a few cleansers out that will remove impurities on your skin without causing a reaction so you can have clean skin that’s calm and free from redness. Here are my top 4.

If you’re sensitive and on the oily side, or even breakout-prone, you want a fresh, clean feeling without the dryness so your moisture barrier is still completely in tact. Foaming Facial Cleanser from Clean & Clear ($5) coats your face in soothing lather while it removes all traces makeup (even mascara) and leaves your face feeling comfortable and calm.

Simple’s Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion is formulated using Vitamin B5 for moisture, and Allantoin to calm and protect. This fragrance and dye-free formula has a creamy lotion texture that would be a fit for normal to dry skin. If you wear a lot of stay-in-place makeup, you’ll need an additional makeup remover, but most women who are sensitive can’t wear the makeup it doesn’t remove.

Whether your skin is always sensitive, or if you’re just temporarily so because of a peel or surgery, you should try Cell Ceuticals’ ($35) Extremely Gentle Skin Cleanser, a lightly foaming cleanser with a serum-like texture. It’s great for those who want a cleanser with some additional benefits like Amino and Lactic Acids which moisturize the skin while giving some gentle exfoliating benefits too.

If you like a rich, creamy cleaner with natural ingredients, go with Gentle Cream Cleanser from Noah’s Naturals ($8). They use their very own Acai Complex which is packed with vitamins and antioxidants that makes skin super smooth, bright, and moisturized.

If you’re still a little skeptical about using a cleanser on your sensitive skin, you can’t go wrong with Jane Iredale’s Magic Mitt which removes all makeup (even waterproof mascara) using only water and no cleanser. It’s made from a special micro-fiber that breaks down impurities on the skin all on its own.

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