Sep 26, 2011

Answer bag: This or that?

Time for another rendition of Answer Bag!

Jennifer writes:
"Hello I myself have a passion for beauty. But never truly had the opportunity to fulfill my dreams in it yet. But I figured I would come to you for this question. Seeing that you have tried many products... I am struggling with my skin and in finding the perfect skin care regimen and line..if there is such a thing.

I am torn between 2 lines... the Arcona and the Kate Somerville.. Just wondering what your thought and input would be on this.  I would really appreciate it."

Well, I know a lot about both lines and enjoy both, full-heartedly. The fact of the matter is that sometimes mix and matching products can produce a greater benefit than using one line alone, because it can target different issues you are having. For instance, I probably go through 20 products in a week. Let's be clear though -- I don't use all those products in one day. There is such a thing as overload, people!

I'm kind of OCD about washing my face. Sue me. However, sometimes beauty products can scare away consumers because there are too many choices. Here's an easy way to look at it: washing your face at night is much like doing your laundry. You rinse, then wash; soften and dry.

Rinse: Removing makeup or impurities from the environment with a non-resuable facial tissue or a mild cleanser.
Wash: If you've acne prone, this where where your acne cleansers come into play. Don't overdo it with the exfoliants.
Soften: Apply moisturizer after you cleanse the skin to keep it supple and hydrated.
Dry: Dry out blemishes with a salicylic acne spot treatment or with a drying cream.

In between a daily routine, sometimes you need to scrub out stains (exfoliant) or steam-dry (peels, facials, etc.). But for the most part, you can get a lot of of a daily regimen if you use the right products for your skin type.

Here is an example of what I do on a normal day:

Morning Cleanse Ritual

I buff my face every morning with a facial loofah I bought for $3.00 at a beauty store in the shower. It's not harsh on the skin but exfoliates dead cells off when necessary. A Clarisonic skincare brush is another viable option, but mine (unfortunately) ended it's life a few months ago. I use a mild facial shampoo without any acne products in it just to clean and prep the face while exfoliating witht the buff. Then I apply a SPF 30 to protect my skin and add a moisturizer on top, such as Arcona's Magic White Ice. I absolutely love it because it's a serum and makes my skin matte, even after applying sunscreen.

Nightly Beauty cycle

I remove makeup with first Neutrogena's Oil-Free Fresh Foaming Cleanser, which removes a majority of the makeup, then I do a clean sweep with their pre-moistened makeup removing cloths to make sure I get all my mascara and eyeliner. Again, I wash with an acne cleanser. I alternate between Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash (the green one), Proactiv Solution, and Clinical Formula's Pumace Cleanser. I usually stick to Neutrogena since it doesn't have any exfoliants in it and I'm not trying to strip my skin of all its oil, however, once or twice a week I'll use the Proactiv or the Pumace Cleanser.

I moisturize at night with First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream, which is paraben-free and highly hydrating. It's perfect since I'll use Clean & Clear's Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment on specific spot areas or a dermatologist prescribed retinoid to held keep my cell-turnover high. I'll alternate the Clean & Clear with Mario Basescu's Drying Cream with eliminates blemishes overnight. I don't use these products all the time, however -- only when they're needed.

The hydrator makes sure my skin isn't dried out from the acne products, and I try to not use them every night because the treatments can dry out skin and overproduce oil, which in turn creates more acne.

Kate & Arcona

Kate & Arcona by kirbiej on

So, now that you see it's okay to veer away from the norm and use a bunch of different products, let's talk about Kate Somerville and Acrona. Jennifer mentioned to me that she doesn't have problem areas, but that she's worried about hyperpigmentation, aging and red spots post-acne.  With these issues, I am obligated to mention that you need to wear at least an SPF 30 every day underneat moisturizers and makeup. When it comes to fighting hyperpigmentation, the issue is that the dermis cells that you readily see are pigmented darker, so you need to remove those. You can get a professional grade peel to help instantly create an even tone (but be prepared for sunburn-ish peeling), or you can gradually work on eliminating the problem with at-home products -- Arcona & Kate both have alternatives.

Arcona is a great natural line of products, and Kate is known worldwide for making celebrities glow before the Oscars with her facials. So both lines are comprable to one another and are great quality.

I personally love Kate's Exfolikate, because it's a super exfoliant for sensitive skin. It's not grainy but very smooth, yet still removes any rough patches or dead skin. It doesn't feel like sandpaper and won't cut your skin like some exfoliants will. You don't use this product every day, but maybe once or twice a week to lift impurities.

As far as hyperpigmentation, Arcona's Raspberry Resurfacing Peel is helpful in repairing damage from sun exposure, but also minimizes pores, improves skin tone, and creates skin with better texture, firmness and density. Use it once a week after removing makeup. You gradually build up with this peel, so start with a five minute application and then increase time each week. Remove the peel with the hydrating Triad Pads, and follow with a moisturizer (like the Magic White Ice). Pick up the Winter Repair Kit which includes both the peel, Triad Pads for instant hydration, and a Peptide Serum or complete moisturization (now $45 instead of $85).

Hope that helps, Jennifer! Good luck and remember, less is always more when it comes to skin products (unless it's sunscreen)!

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