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.

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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.

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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.

Best Beauty Buys at Trader Joe’s

When Trader Joe’s opened three (!) stores here in Colorado everyone was buzzing- even those who had never stepped foot into one were excited to see what all the hype was about. I knew what I was in for having lived in Arizona and California where I enjoyed all that TJ’s has to offer, but the things I was most excited about weren’t food (or wine..) related at all. It’s the cheap face washes, soaps, lotions, and oils in their concise beauty aisle. Here’s a rundown of a few along with their can’t-beat prices.

Top to bottom, left to right:

Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil: This light castile-like soap cleanses skin and leaves a tingly fresh feeling behind from the tea tree. It’s a great basic cleanser for day and night and all skin types.

Moisturizing Shave Cream: This is one of my favorite shave creams. It’s so rich that a tiny amount goes a long way, this tube will last me several months.

Nourish Spray Sunscreen SPF 50: You can’t do much better than $6 for a big can of SPF 50. You can spray down the whole family all summer long.

100% Pure Jojoba Oil: I LOVE this oil so much that I used to buy several of and bring them back to Colorado whenever we’d visit CA. I don’t know what it is about this body oil but it’s a perfect balance of hydration and slip. You can even rub it on your eyes to pre-cleanse to remove eye makeup or use it on your face. It’s that good.

All-In-One Facial Cleanser: I haven’t used this cleanser but at $6, another great deal.

Coconut Body Butter: I bought this and I’m obsessed. The smell of coconut is intoxicating to me and this has a balanced scent that’s sweet and tropical.  It’s the best bargain I saw, $5 for a body butter that’s normally sold for $20 at other stores. A must-have for sure.

Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Moisturizer: A good, lightweight all-purpose moisturizer for those who are looking for something basic and effective.

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Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Limited Edition Grapefruit Whipped Body Butter

Kiehl’s has a limited Grapefruit scented version of their legendary Creme de Corps, a fluffy cream with a fresh citrusy scent. It’s the consistency of whipped icing and the smallest amount goes a long way to soften skin for hours.

Forget the boring candles and grab this for a white elephant or any gift where you need something easy that’s a sure thing.

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Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream

When Kiehl’s asked if I’d be willing to try out their new Super Multi-Corrective Cream for 2 weeks for review I already knew it had to be something special. It’s a pretty confident ask after all; having Beauty Editors commit to a review after using it for such a short amount of time. What if it wasn’t long enough to see a difference, or worse yet what if I hated it and had to write a super awkward review like an ‘at least I liked the purple jar’ type of thing.

Lucky for me I don’t hate it. In fact I love it. I like it so well that I just returned the Ole moisturizer I bought recently that I’d been using on and off for a few years. Compared to this cream, Ole’s just felt flat and almost runny. It certainly didn’t stand up to this cream’s texture and it didn’t have nearly as many benefits. It strikes that perfect balance of being thick but not greasy and moisturizing but not heavy while using scientific advancements married with proven natural ingredients. It completely melts into the skin and gives the type of softness that feels like baby skin and not something artificial from a jar. It’s how my face feels after a facial, like it’s brand new.

It’s meant to lift, firm, and repair damaged skin using Jasmonic Acid (plant-based), Beech Tree Extract, and Fragmented Hyaluronic Acid which gives that big drink of hydration. I can see the texture of my skin is better from getting the moisture it needs so even my makeup blends in easier and my cheeks have a healthy glow. It’s too early to get the long-term benefits but I believe it’s doing great things (and it’s safe for pregnancy, yay!) so I’ll stick with it and be faithful to this little jar.

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Dr. Oz and The Wonders of Sea Buckthorn Oil

I didn’t know that Dr. Oz recently touted Sea Buckthorn ‘the new miracle berry’ when I ordered it from Amazon a few weeks ago. I was searching for natural skincare to help with my melasma and such during this pregnancy when I fell upon Sibu Buckthorn Oil and 180+ sparkling reviews about how amazing it is. It has a cult following for calming rosacea (a big theme among the reviewers), but it was also said to clear acne, fade dark spots, heal burns, and give skin a glowing new appearance. Really! People are losing their damn minds over it (see the reviews HERE on Amazon where I bought it.) There are a few different brands who sell this type of oil, but Sibu was the best reviewed and under $10. Sold.

I started using it under my moisturizer at night only as recommended because it takes a little while to fully absorb. It isn’t greasy or heavy and doesn’t really have much of a scent at all. I like the added hydration it gives and it hasn’t caused any breakouts – a big concern when using a new product on my skin especially an oil. Right away I noticed how calming it is and how I wake up with a glow. I think it’s too early to see long term benefits, but since it’s 100% natural and safe so I’ll continue to use it. It’s one of those things that you know is just good for your skin long term so I’ll be patient and wait for some great results.

Next I’ll try their Cleansing Bar, another fave among reviewers, as well as check out their supplements since it’s meant to be taken internally as well.

sea buckthorn

My New Daily Sunscreen: Obagi Sun Shield SPF 50

I used Obagi Healthy Skin moisturizer for years. It was my go-to daily moisturizer with an SPF 35 and the right amount of hydration for year round protection. But then it was discontinued. Since I couldn’t scrounge up a bottle anywhere, I bought an EltaMD daily sunscreen from my derm which I like, but I’m finding isn’t enough moisture at times.

Enter Sun Shield, Obagi’s SPF 50 moisturizer that took the place of Healthy Skin. I never thought I needed an SPF that high, but seeing what the sun does to skin over time with my clients (not to mention horror stories of melanoma) has me pretty cautious. It’s worth it, especially here in Colorado where the sun is always out. This sunscreen has the same medium weight as the SPF 35 did, and it’s a matte formula so it isn’t greasy on the skin and makes a great primer for makeup. Obagi’s sunscreens typically get great scores from EWG’s site too, so I like that it’s a safe option from a medical line.

This will be my daily moisturizer from now on, glad it’s around $35 in a big 3 oz tube that typically lasts around 6 months.

sun shield