Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Face the Facts on Facial Produts... Watch Those Ingredients

Back on Mother's Day, my husband got me a GC to yet another spa. This was the 3rd different spa I had been too. That's ok, cause who am I to turn that down :-) . I almost always get a facial. Little did I know that this would be the best facial I ever received and the best Skin Care Specialist I had ever been to.

The spa is Christy's Serenity Spa in Gainesville, VA. The Skin Care Specialist there is Lisa O. The first thing they do there is to ask you about what products you use on your face. Let me tell you it is very very educational. I had never gotten any kind of skin care information (other than the spa's products they always tried to push on me) and this to me was solid gold. After my facial was done, I found out that I got to come back in 3 weeks for my free consultation. I was told to bring all my facial products with me. That I did. Let me tell you, if you live in my area and read my blog...and want a good facial and Skin Care Specialist...go to Christy's. Lisa gave me the run down on every product I used, the ingredients (what's good and what's bad) and in what order I should use them in. She was impressed with all of my "all natural" products made by my indie friends. She likes to get information on other products out there. She told me the products they sell at the spa are excellent, but they don't always work for everybody. So, she likes to find other products out there to recommend to clients. I was there for an hour and a half at my "free consultation". No one ever took the time before to give me any kind of information, let alone this gold mine that Lisa did.

So...which of my products made the cut and which ones was I told to throw away?..... Well, you'd be surprised.

I was using Aveeno's Positively Ageless Firming moisturizer )...that I was told to chuck immediately. Lisa told me that Aveeno makes really good body care products, but they should have stopped there. Alot of these "anti-aging" products contain Alcohol (check your ingredients ladies). Alcohol will temporarily plump up those little lines, but will eventually dehydrate your skin. In my Aveeno cream, alcohol based ingredients were up in the beginning of the the fifth ingredient. You know what the closer to the beginning of the list, the more of that ingredient is in there. So, Alcohol is a no no. If it's towards the end of a list and there' s alot of good stuff in front of it..then that is ok.

My cleanser is made by Avalon Organics and is a Vitamin C based cleanser. I paid about $7 for it at Target. This cleanser got the ok from Lisa. It's got vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, lemon bioflavinoids, melatonin and a bunch of other ingredients that are good for the skin.

The serum I had been using is Cleary C by Avon. I had used it before (before Avon took it off the market) and tried it again after Avon brought it back. I had really thought it did some good for my skin, especially during the summer. Then I looked at the ingredients.....alcohol is like the first ingredient and the Vitamin C is the fifth ingredient. Besides, Lisa told me I was getting more than enough Vitamin C from my other products.

Now I'm using a serum from Karess Krafters etsy store called Karess My Face Orchid Facial Serum. It's got Squalane, rosehip oil (vitamin C), Abyssinian oil, carrot seed oil and orchid extract. It smells a bit funny, but a little goes a long long way in moisturizing your face. I use it in the morning and the evening (make sure it is completely absorbed into your skin before you put your moisturizer on). I paid $12.99 for my 1/2 ounce bottle...again, a little goes a long long way.
Lisa told me that Squalane is very very good for the skin.

For my exfoliation, I have been using another Avon product from their Clearskin line. It's more of an antiseptic exfoliant. I really only use it if I seem to be having a breakout. I will rub it in my skin and leave it there a little while and then rinse it off. I had been doing that in the shower, but Lisa told me exfoliate in the evening (no more than 2 times per week) and follow it with a facial mask (no more than 2 times per week). She tested the PH of my scrub (as with all my products) and the ph level was ok.

I am currently looking into new exfoliants. Right now I'm trying a product from Skin Journey (etsy). It's a microderabrasion cream with alphahydroxy and shea butter...among other things. I've only used it once, so I can't really give you a good review on it yet, but once I use it for awhile, I'm sure you'll hear from me on it.

The two products of mine that Lisa really raved about were my products from Manor Hall Soap Company. Manor Hall has new facial masks, which every woman should have, and I bought the Kelp and Sea Clay mask. Here's all the ingredients: white kaolin clay, sea clay, sea kelp powder, honey powder. I was told by Lisa that these are all fantastic for the skin. Use only once or twice a week though. And, this stuff really gets those toxins out. I had a really bad zit on my forehead that just wouldn't, you know, come to a head. I put a bit of this mask on that zit and just let it stay there. By morning all the crap in it had come up to the surface and was easily "removed". The jar costs $9.35 and you actually don't need much powder to make a mask for your face.

The other Manor Hall product is the Sea Buckthorn & Rosehip Peru Face Creme. I use this at night as it's a little heavier, at least to me. But it makes my skin feel nice and soft. A once ounce jar costs $11.35.

So, the best advice I can give you is to look at those ingredients. The more natural the better. And, I was also told that some of the not-so-natural products can totally undermine the products that have natural ingredients. Basically cancelling out those oh so wonderful benefits your skin is getting from those natural ingredients. I have given you only a few products that I use or don't use anymore. All I can really say the ingredients before you buy. If you see alcohol or sodium in anything then you'll end up with dry skin eventually. This was the best advice I have gotten and I'm going to stick with it.

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