I feel like a BB Cream expert at this point having tried about a dozen of them in the past year since I went in search of a good one for my skin. Aveeno’s Clear Complexion BB Cream tops the other drugstore offerings I’ve tried by far. Its coverage is light to medium and the finish is natural with a nice luminous glow so your skin looks really awake and healthy. It’s a good grab and go formula for those who want something light, an everyday makeup for the casual girl. A big plus is its SPF 30, saving you that extra step in your sun protection too.
I love the scent of sunscreen mixed with tropical fruits. It’s why I bought Hawaiian Tropic’s oil last year, that smell is so completely nostalgic that I’d use it instead of perfume every day. The caveat is that it’s really greasy since it’s not designed to fully absorb into the skin when you’re at the beach. Enter Alba’s Dry Oil SPF 15 I picked up at Whole Foods. Its rich coconut scent is every bit as heavenly and the dry oil soaks into the skin leaving only light hydration behind. It smells so yummy I almost forget that I’m dutifully applying sunscreen everyday to my arms and neck like I should.
I was able to try some products from MyChelle a while back after I got my face scanned. After learning that I basically have the face of a 90 year old, I took home a bunch of their products so I could return for an ‘after’ scan which unfortunately didn’t happen before I had some laser treatments so we wouldn’t have an accurate look at the changes their products alone made. Sigh. But what did happen (even pre-laser) is that I finally found a natural skincare line that actually works! I love MyChelle; from the packaging, to the product variety, to the way it makes my skin look and feel. Here’s a rundown of what I used, what I liked, and what unfortunately missed the mark.
Cleanser: Apple Brightening
I really liked this cleanser, light and slightly foamy but not overly so. The apple scent was a nice and I used it faithfully until it was totally gone which is really saying something. It also left my skin feeling soft and looking bright without stripping or drying. Biggest downside would be the size- 2.1oz for $13 which seems a little skimpy to me.
Mist: Apple Brightening
Ever since I can remember I’ve used a toner. From Sea Breeze to Clinique, I’ve used them all in the name of squeaky clean skin. Though I’m still addicted to that (not really important) step after cleansing, it’s good to give my skin a break and to stop stripping away the moisture it needs. In the morning after cleansing when I know there isn’t any makeup left behind on my already clean skin, I’ll spritz a few sprays of this mist instead of my usual toner on a cotton pad routine. It feels refreshing and adds an extra dose of brightening power in a way that’s as light as water.
Hydroquinone is not for me. Too harsh and too many risks involved so it isn’t worth it to use even though uneven skintone drives me crazy. I’ve used this serum on and off for years and I’ve found that it does work. It’s so easy on the skin without the use of harsh chemicals to fade dark spots in a natural way. Compared to hydroquinone, it will take more time so be patient and stick with it, you will see a difference.
If you’re using a Vitamin C (and everyone should be in my opinion) look for it in the form of L-Ascorbic, the most effective with the best absorption. Anything else might just be orange scented liquid that smells great but does nothing for the skin. This L-Ascorbic serum doesn’t aggravate or leave skin red so sensitive skin can enjoy using it too.
I love a zinc-based sunscreen, but this was my least favorite product of the bunch. It was hydrating and the texture was good, but it left a bit of a sticky after feel that I couldn’t get used to. Nothing too terrible, and the feeling did go away eventually but it just wasn’t for me.
A friend with similar skin to mine raves about this cream, she said not to let the rich feel steer me from trying it. It’s by far the thickest cream I’ve ever used but also one of the best. It dissolves into the skin and leaves it really soft. Long term its benefits are great; wrinkle relaxing, tightening, and clarifying so that skin looks brighter and younger. At $54 it’s pricier than most of their line, but it’s a price I’d happily pay.
Because MyChelle isn’t 100% organic, they can balance some more advanced ingredients with natural ones which makes the line more effective in making changes in the skin. Fewer essential oils also mean fewer irritations for sensitive and acne-prone skin so trust in their speciality lines and give them a shot. You can Skype a skin specialist of theirs, or better yet see if they have a Visia scanner at a store near you so you can get a (free!) before and after of your skin and some product recommendations made just for your specific needs.
I ended up loving the Elta MD sunscreen that Dr. Pacheco gave me a sample of after my laser treatment so much that I bought it at my follow up visit. I bought the UV Clear SPF 46 which is moisturizing but still light weight and designed for temperamental skin. I tend to stay away from SPF over 35 because I feel like it’s too heavy, but I think this is one of the best daily sunscreens I’ve tried. It’s lighter than Obagi Healthy Skin SPF 35 that I used for a long time (but can’t seem to find anymore) and less expensve (around $29 with free shipping HERE at Dermstore.com) It’s also a safe formulation using zinc and not chemicals. Don’t just take my word though, there are 300+ raves on Dermstore from people who swear by it too.
It’s hot. Like super hot here already and my aversion to heat is putting a serious cramp in my daily walks while the baby naps. I go anyway of course, but I just melt in misery and return home a puddle of exhausted mess. Sigh, it’s going to be a long summer.
Since I’m rehabbing my skin with all sorts of high-potency potions, I’m really careful about keeping sun exposure to a minimum. When I do head outside, I’ve been piling on Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protection SPF 50. It’s the highest SPF in the lightest weight lotion I’ve come across maybe ever that doesn’t turn your skin white or make it greasy. It keeps my skin hydrated and protected at the same time without the obnoxious sunscreen scent that you’d expect from this level of SPF. I normally don’t do a SPF past 30, but for those of you who like more protection this one is worth checking out.
If you’ve asked me for a concealer recomendation in the past few months, I’ve told you to high tail it into Sephora and grab Miracle Skin Transformer’s because it’s among the best I’ve ever used. I actually bought it and would again- both for me and my kit. It’s no surprise that their Miracle Skin Transformer (MST) for the face is just as stellar.
The all-in-one ease of MST for the face makes it perfect for both the girl who loves a good pre-foundation primer and she who wants great looking skin just by rubbing something on before heading out the door. It can be used as a primer if you want to build a little more coverage with foundation on top, but its true brilliance is how it gives that blurry effect to the skin so pores look smaller, discolorations fade away, and you have a really good look to your skin whether it’s used as a first or only step. It’s touted as a 5-in-1 for hydration, mattifying, SPF 20, priming, and perfecting – basically it makes the skin look and feel great. I’ve used it under mineral foundation, regular foundation, and on its own. It enhances whatever I use and just makes the skin look better. If nothing else, it’s my lazy makeup/SPF solution for the days when a full routine proves to be too much.