Stuff I Buy: Fighting Discoloration Naturally

When will this damn melasma go away? It’s such an uphill battle fighting skin discoloration in the summer, even with an SPF 50 on every day. I’m outside so much that I know I’ll have to wait a few months before another round of lasers to get deeper than any skincare can, but until then I’m hoping a few things I grabbed this week will help get my skin to get back to a more radiant state.

Oz Naturals Vitamin C Serum

I’ve never heard of this line before and I’m not even sure where it’s sold other than online, but it’s an Amazon.com bestseller with 1,400+ glowing reviews. Oh, and it’s only $23. It’s an organic vitamin c, amino acid blend, and hyaluronic acid serum that people swear gives them more a radiant skin texture. Could it be a big marketing campaign from people within the company leaving false feedback? Sure, it happens on amazon all the time. But there are a ton of verified customers who left great feedback, enough to get my money and see for myself.

oz naturals

Skin Obsession 40% Gycolic Peel

Yet another amazon.com best seller for skin peels, a huge sort of underground category on there for skin. They’re basically professional caliber peels available to the public from companies I’ve never heard of before. Totally legit right? Again, the reviews got me- 400+ singing the praises of how well this peel worked. Basically, I’m using it for my melasma, fine lines, and overall texture which is still not back to normal since my pregnancies. There’s just a dullness and blah to my skin that makes me look tired and probably old which really sucks. The great thing about peels is that the acid (whether it be glycolic, lactic, or whatever) dissolves the waxy layer of oil and dead skin that builds up on your face over time (why consistent exfoliation is key!) and gives that dull, dry, wrinkly look. Once that’s removed you’re left with a fresh layer of new skin that looks more radiant and less lined. Do a ton of research (I’ve looked for over a year) and google around. I was going to go with a peel from THIS line, but after reading several times how they plant positive reviews from within their company I decided it was best to skip it. Just follow their directions to a T which includes knowing how to neutralize the peel once it’s on otherwise you could end up with permanent burns and even scarring.

skin obsession

Éminence Eight Greens Whip Moisturizer

My girl Alexa, an aesthetician to Denver’s who’s who over at the swanky Spa Vital in Cherry Creek has been an Éminence fan for as long as I’ve known her. After my facial today she sold me on their Eight Greens moisturizer which has a thick, almost balm-like texture that dissolved into my skin so completely and left it looking really fresh and hydrated and I didn’t even get that typical afternoon shine. It addresses tone and aging using natural ingredients like yucca, stone crop, and flaxseed. It’s a really cool line with a big upscale spa presence that you can check out HERE if you’ve never heard of it before.

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Éminence Lemon Cleanser

Alexa turned me onto this cleanser like 8 years ago. It’s a cream that doesn’t foam up (which is why I think I quit using it) but now that I’m older, I can finally appreciate a cleanser that cleans without stripping and drying. This one does that and also happens to have the best slightly sweet and tangy lemon scent that I just adore.

eminence lemon cleanser

Next up; more laser research on CO2 vs Fraxel. I think I’ll wait until October so I have a little time. Tweet me your thoughts if you’ve tried either before and had a great result.

GLAMGLOW BRIGHTMUD Eye Treatment

Have you heard of the hot new treatment that claims (I haven’t tried it) to instantly brighten dark circles, lessen fine lines, and de-puff? The (really cheesy- seriously it looks like an SNL skit) video explaining it is here. Apparently you tap it on and wipe it off using a tissue- it doesn’t dry like a traditional mask and it gives a tingling feeling even after it’s wiped away. Its benefits are temporary but visible which would be a great morning fix for tired eyes or before a big event.

Check out the sephora reviews here. 12 treatments $69

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How to Get Rid of Blackheads with Murad Pore Reform

I’ve been hearing such good reviews on Murad’s Pore Reform line including two friends who swear by it. One started off with buying just the moisturizer and saw such big results that she went back to Sephora for the whole line. They say that their pores have never been clearer and their stubborn blackheads which were once resistent to any sort of treatment were totally gone. After receiving the products from Murad to try, I decided the best thing to do (since my skin is clear right now and being pregnant I can’t do retinol which is in the T-zone Serum) was to hand it over to another friend whose skin is a total roller coaster ride in terms of breakouts and blackheads.

Now all three of them are in love.

They all agree that the cleanser is a good formula, but the foamer reduces its richness and they’d like to see sturdier suds in their cleansing routines. They also loved the T-Zone pore Refining Serum that you use after cleansing day and night to dig out the trapped dirt and keep pores clear. They said that it leaves skin really soft and zaps shine for those who were a bit on the oily side, yet isn’t too drying. But the real heros are the Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo, a twice weekly treatment starting with the cream that you leave on for 10 minutes before washing it off and applying a lotion to seal the skin to prevent any additional blackheads from forming. I’m sad I gave this one away because they all swear by it and say that it gives their skin an instant fresh looking glow like no other. It’s like an extraction for the skin minus the painful poking and prodding.

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Kitty Litter Facial

You don’t have to resort to using kitty litter on your face to get squeaky clean pores and a spa-quality facial although the 750,000+ people who have watched YouTuber Michelle Phan’s video (below) might be doing just that. Apparently cats crap on bentonite clay which is also great for the skin so I use it too but in the form of Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask which is only $5 a pound and actually meant to be on the skin and not at the bottom of a cat box.

Either way, check out her video and decide for yourself- would you actually use kitty litter on your face?

Murad Age-Diffusing Firming Mask

There was a time when I would love a good Friday night of beauty. Do my nails, maybe a hair treatment and a face mask topped off with some 20/20 and it was the perfect night. Pretty crazy, I know. It’s not like I don’t do these things post-baby, it’s just that they’re more spread out so they don’t take up big chunks of time that are harder to find. Multi-tasking is the new name of the game so I’ve been putting on a mask before I hop in the shower so by the time I’m ready to jump out it’s ready to take off. All the more helpful because I’ve been using Murad’s Age-Diffusing Firming Mask which isn’t a clay version that takes patience and time in front of a mirror to remove, it’s easily wiped away and even better penetrated by the steam which makes it the perfect shower mate.

It’s meant to firm, tighten, and smooth out the skin with a bunch of fancy ingredients, but all I know is that it brightens and boosts my skin in a way that’s visible right after I use it. It makes my skin really soft too, it’s everything you need in a mask. As long as your skin isn’t breakout-prone, all that heavy clay isn’t necessary.

If you aren’t remembering to use your mask weekly, toss it in the shower and use it there. These mini-spa treatments are so key to the health of your skin especially if you aren’t getting regular facials, it makes such a difference.

How to Do an At-Home Facial

I’m a big fan of the at-home facial, and now that more and more masks use advanced ingredients that rival what estheticians use, it’s easy to have professional-grade glowy skin in about 30 minutes at home for a fraction of the cost. Here’s what I use for my own at-home facial routine.

I always start my facials with an enzyme especially if I’m doing extractions. I’ve been using Ole Henriksen’s Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask, a clear gel with fruit acids, lavendar, and Hyaluronic Acid so it’s hydrating as well as exfoliating. After about 15 minutes I remove it and then I steam my face with a hot washcloth before I extract all the yuk out of my pores. It’s a trick I’ve learned by getting great facials for years, they always start with an enzyme and some steam so your skin is softened and your pores are open making extractions easy and painless. It makes a huge difference especially if you’re using a great treatment afterward because your now clean and open pores will better absorb the ingredients in the next mask.

Now grab whatever mask you use that addresses your skin concerns. Since I’ve been trying to fade discolorations and get some radiance back, I use Priori’s Replenishing Masque twice a week. It’s a creamy formula superchanrged with vitamins, Lactic Acid, and moisturizers to nourish, exfoliate, and brighten skin. I see a huge difference in my skin’s overall appearance and texture right after I use it. I’ll still use a clay formula every now and again if I sense a breakout coming on, but I’ve really been favoring this more grown up mask that hydrates and delivers bigger results without drying.