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A Peek Inside Marta's Medicine Cabinet

A Peek Inside Marta's Medicine Cabinet
November 19, 2013 Reviewed by admin 5 Comments

We asked Marta, “Do you enjoy testing products?” and her response was quite honest. “Yes, very much. But frequently, it is an occupational hazard.” After all, for someone with sensitive skin, it’s not always easy to jump into a new product. “I usually start off on my neck, which is less sensitive, and then venture elsewhere after a couple of days.”

Regardless of what she is testing, Marta, like the rest of us, has her tried and true selection, and a toss pile. Get an exclusive look inside her medicine cabinet, including everything from the products she can’t give up to those she "wouldn't touch with a baguette."

What Marta is currently using:

E’shee Elixir of Life KI Therapy Serum ($189 in the shop) With its inclusion of Far Infrared Powder and growth factors to repair stubborn lines, E’shee Elixir of Life KI Therapy Serum is so potent that Marta is able to reap its benefits with use only once every three days. Marta described this serum's effects as “astonishing…within two to three weeks, my skin was looking even plumper, firmer and smoother.”

AQ Skin Solutions Eye Serum ($99 in the shop)  When asked what she thought of AQ Eye Serum, Marta’s response was simple: “here’s the answer in a nutshell: highly recommended.” This serum combines growth factors and peptides to tackle all sorts of eye concerns, such as crow’s feet, dark circles, puffiness, and loss of firmness, yet it remains lightweight - perfect for daytime use. No wonder this is Marta’s go-to morning eye serum and one of the best that she has ever used!

Your Best Face Correct ($150 in the shop)  To complement her morning routine, Marta follows up with Your Best Face Correct at night. This thicker cream keeps the delicate eye area thoroughly moisturized throughout the night, and its powerful actives offer a lifting effect to combat sagging skin. Writing about perhaps her most near and dear eye cream, Marta says, “If I had to take only one thing to my desert island, Correct it would be.”

Your Best Face Define ($70 in the shop)  Your Best Face takes the feedback of the TIA community very seriously when it comes to boosting the power of their anti-aging products. Your Best Face Define is no different. This meticulously reformulated lip cream includes the brand’s signature ingredients, such as spin trap, matrixyl, and sodium hyaluronate for younger looking lips. Marta reaches for this anti-ager every day and writes, “Without question, my lips are redder and fuller. Meanwhile, the lines around my mouth have become fainter.”

Royal Nectar Face Mask with Bee Venom ($68)  Bee venom and manuka honey are both trending beauty and anti-aging ingredients. These two are worth the hype though; Marta uses Royal Nectar Face Mask once a week to give her sensitive skin a boost. Even with the bee venom, this mask is gentle and non-irritating. In her review, Marta writes, “If my skin looks dull and dry, I find it to be an instant pick-me-up that gives me a great glow (and a great start to the day).”

BRAD Biophotonic Essential Elixir Multi-Peptide ($95)  With over a dozen amino acids in a hydrating base of hyaluronic acid and organic herbs, BRAD Essential Elixir Multi-Peptide has earned its place in Marta's nighttime regimen. After her first month testing this serum, Marta said, “My skin looks like it has been on vacation. It is smoother and clearer and just healthy looking. It is even doing a good job on my neck.”

Suki renewal bio-resurfacing facial peel ($82.95) This professional-grade face mask gives Marta’s skin a “refreshed clarity of a weekend away from it all.” suki renewal is an exfoliating mask that closes the pores, removes dead skin cells, and encourages collagen production over time. Marta currently uses this once a month, particularly when her nose needs a good clear-out.

S.W. Basics Toner ($24) Marta was impressed with the simple and effective formula of S.W. Basics, as all products from this brand contain five ingredients or less. She currently swaps this with Stemulation’s toner for balanced skin that is neither oily nor dry.

Ultra Clear Facial Cleansing System ($86) You don’t always know what you don’t like until you try something better. This was the case with Marta and her beloved Clarisonic once she upgraded to the Ultra Clear. As an excellent part of any skincare routine, the Ultra Clear helps remove dead skin cells and dirt, and keeps pores unclogged and breakouts at bay. 

Stemulation AHA Herbal Balancing Toner ($38) Stemulation AHA Herbal Balancing Toner is packed with antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids. It removes any final traces of make-up and environmental pollutants left after cleansing, while maintaining skin’s essential moisture. Marta recently told me, “I used it this morning and thought ‘this is my very favorite toner!’”

Osmotics Micro Peel Resurfacing System ($86) While Marta is not currently using any scrubs or exfoliators, she does occasionally return to the Osmotics Micro Peel every 2-3 weeks for a touch up. It visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles, particularly making inroads on Marta’s lip lines.

Arcona The Solution Pads ($45) Neck concerns? Marta has found her answer with The Solution Pads from Arcona and incorporates them into her routine two to three times a week. These pads are pre-soaked with glycolic acid for turbo-charged exfoliation, creating a smoother, more even-toned neck and décolleté.

Arcona Wine Hydrating Mask ($38) With the chill of winter creeping around the corner, Arcona Wine Hydrating Mask is keeping Marta’s dry skin at bay with weekly use. The mask is rich in resveratrol (a powerful antioxidant found in red grapes), hyaluronic acid, and shea butter for some deep moisturizing. Marta recommends “leaving it on for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off to reveal skin that looks much more satiny.”

Hair Vitality Complex ($49) Marta spent over a year working through the trials and errors of Hair Vitality Complex to ensure that it would be a product without any nasties that really worked. With copper peptides as the active ingredient, Marta uses this treatment two or three times a week for hair growth and reduced shedding.

Kat Burki Body Butter ($62) Kat Burki Raw Beauty Body Butter is so luxurious that it is almost guilt-inducingly decadent. Marta, who tends to consider body lotions a tedious step between shower and clothing, finds herself actively looking forward to using this quick-absorbing cream.


What Marta is currently testing:

Sciote Peptide + Defense Firming Eye Cream Marta really likes this eye cream, but needs another three weeks to give a full report.

Kenneth Mark M.D.'s Antioxidant Cream with Astaxanthin This may be the first product that Marta comes close to comparing to her beloved E’shee KI Therapy Serum. “I'm happy to rotate them,” she says. 

Arcona Overnight Cellular Repair Complex Marta is currently using the Overnight Cellular Repair Complex as an alternative night treatment to BRAD’s Multi-Peptide, as well as a neck cream.

Osmosis Relieve While hesitant at first, a few weeks of use has shown Marta that it helps cuts down her redness.


Marta's Toss Pile:

Yon-Ka Paris Elastine Nuit Marta rejected this night cream based off solely the ingredient list and refuses to put it on her face.

Oxygen Pur Serum Curiousity led Marta to try her free sample of this oxygen and water-based product, but left her without results or any improvement after five weeks.

  • November 25, 2013

    by Jennifer

    These prices are comparable to what you'd find at Sephora and department stores. The difference is that the cost of department store products goes to marketing; with these products, it goes to quality ingredients that work! I thought the AQ eye serum was too expensive...before I tried it. After one week, my fine lines were significantly diminished and my eyelashes were long and gorgeous. After one week! Because I previously spent hundreds of dollars on ineffective eye products, I didn't feel guilty about paying top dollar for something that works so well. That's why I love TIA--I know my money is going toward great products, whatever the price, and I love that TIA also offers lower cost options (I'm a big Mad Hippie fan as well).

  • November 21, 2013

    by Cheryl

    PJ, I have to agree with you about a lot of these products. They cost way too much for the average person. And all those steps! I'm 58 and after I found this site, I started using products from Mad Hippie because they were the only ones I could afford! My skin looks better, and I look younger than I am, but I have to wonder how I'd look if I could use the really expensive stuff! However, it will never happen. Nowadays I read the price and then skip the review if it's too much.

    However, I'm seriously considering giving myself Your Best Face Define for Christmas because my lips are in seriously bad shape!

  • November 20, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Sheryl

    It isn't necessarily true that higher concentrations are more effective. Yes, it is true that some products have amounts so miniscule as to be ineffective - in the trade it is called fairy dusting. However, with potent peptides such as Matrixyl 3000, I'm not sure that products boasting a 10% concentration (or even more) are actually any better - after all, the manufacturer's clinical trials are all at 4%. And with ingredients such as AHAs, the concentration will depend on your skin's tolerance. So, it's mostly trial and error. For ideas for sagging skin, take a look at our Five Best for sagging skin:
    And there are other Five Best recommendations on our Five Best page:

  • November 20, 2013

    by sheryl

    HI Martha,

    Please could you advise is the treatments that you are using higher in quantities of eg peptides, aha etc than normal cosmetic house brands and Dermalogica, Skin Doctor and Lamelle products?

    I have been told to check the quantities of ingredients in the products as some are so minute they take a long time before you see results, whilst others work quicker.

    What would you suggest for sagging skin- forehead, eyelids and under eyes. Terrible as I use foundation to cover pigmentation and this emphasises the lines on ones face even more with foundation.

    Thankyou for your advise

  • November 19, 2013

    by PJ

    Good God, most of these cost far beyond the reach of the average householder. Oh sure, I found one absolutely wonderful product; tried it out for darn near a week, then I received the BAD NEWS. It was $189.00 per tube!!!! You better believe, I packed this up very quickly and sent it back, and told them to please, not send me any more!

    I am finding that simple, pure and organic products like Burt's Bees to be an affordable, effective and gentle solution to any aging skin problems I may have.

    I have been attentive to moisturizing. I am told I look 15 years younger than my 72 years. Organic moisturizing products are the best that I know of, to maintain youthful looking skin.

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