True Beauty Contributor JustD

I'm sexty-one and live in the Houston-Galveston area.  Dealing with the humidity and the heat, it's a daily challenge to stay looking fresh rather than disheveled by the area's climate. Notwithstanding the elements, I also suffer from hypothyroid and RA symptoms, some minor hyperpigmentation from occasional skin flare-ups brought on by the climate, diet or product irritation, along with my lovely laugh lines and the beginnings of that softness in my neck area just beneath my chin. Ah, but there is good news: I don't have wrinkles... yet.

I'm happy to share my regimen of products that I'm currently using. The products listed are ones that I initially found or tested for TIA and these are the ones that I keep in my arsenal and are emphatically working for me right now.

I'm a fan of green smoothies, but I don't do them every day.  I eat lots of green vegetables and drink tons of water to stay hydrated and to help with my RA symptoms and aging skin.  I also take Biotin in the hopes that it will assist me in the areas that are affected by my thyroid and it does more so with my hair growth than my nails, but no complaints. 

Body Lotion

When it comes to keeping my body glistening, I have to use a lot of products that are not exactly pure or organic because I haven't found anything that particularly works well for me over-any-counter.  So some of what I'm listing here may raise some eyebrows or gnarl up a lip, but if it's working for me, I'm going with that until something more efficient and cost-effective comes on my horizon.

For body lotion, I put about a half cup combination of organic coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil into a jar and use that mixture along with Eucerin Body Lotion ($7.19) or Bliss Body Butter ($24) to lavish my skin and feet, and I get lots of compliments on my skin's texture and softness, which always surprises me but also reaffirms why I'm using these products. I've tried a few samples of lotions by Juice Beauty and Bumble Bee, and they're good but not good enough to give me the moisture longevity and protection I desire.  I add the oils I use to a lotion base that works well with their scents and doesn't make me feel like an oily rag. My skin drinks in this concoction and it also helps me sleep really well too.

Eye Cream

I've used a lot of brands from TIA that I have really liked, but some of them are no longer sold in the shop or are just out of my wallet's reach, like AQ Skin Solutions Eye Serum ($99 in the shop).  The one I'm using now that I really like and have been using since I reviewed it for TIA is Michael Todd True Organics Intensive Organic Eye Treatment ($38) and Michael Todd True Organics Knu Anti-Aging Serum Eye Treatment($150).  Michael Todd Intensive really moisturizes my eye area, and I really like the massage tip applicator.  I find that my eyes don't feel tight, and they look dewy and refreshed. The serum is an added bonus, but I find I don't need to use it every day. I do slather a little of it on at night instead, and I'm never disappointed by what I see in the morning. I'm a fan and I have TIA to thank for that introduction.

Face Cream

Over the years, I've tried everything: Tilvee Argan & Sea Buckthorn Age Defying Creme, Sevani Rapid Renewal Resurfacing Creme, Royal Nectar, Lumavera, Sevani, Osmosis and Oil of Olay to name a few, but I've narrowed it down a few products, one I was sent to review and one I purchased based on a TIA review, and I heart them both. The tested product is Astara Radiance Renewal Intense Moisturizer ($54); this is a great product, and unless they change the formula, t's going to be a constant component to my skin care regimen.  The reviewed product is Michael Todd  Anti-Aging Face Lift Knu ($150). I use the Astara for my night cream because it tends to really feel richer with enough hydration to carry me through the night, while the Knu is used for my day wear, is lighter and doesn't negatively affect my make-up despite the humidity and heat.  Together they have really worked wonders for me, and I found them both through TIA.  Last but not least is Michael Todd Knu Anti-Aging Serum ($150). I use it every other night on my pore areas (nose and chin), and this baby is blowing my mind.  It's an ultra-rich serum that promotes healing and repairs loss of elasticity and wrinkles.  Well, I don't have wrinkles, so although this is not the intended purpose for its use, my pores are beginning to become more visible, so it just happened to work out in that regard for me.  

Facial Cleanser

My absolute go to facial cleanser, another TIA tester I reviewed, is also by Astara Skin Care.  Astara Botanical Cleansing Gele ($19) is the best facial cleanser I have used!  I cannot say enough about it and made that clear in my review. It has a refreshing scent I like, and it gently cleanses my sensitive skin while hydrating it and contains aloe.  I've tried some other brands I don't recall along with a few Juice Beauty products and face wipes as well as some by Michael Todd, but none of them impressed me enough to continue using them except Astara.  This is my favorite cleanser, and best of all no breakouts at all when this one is in my arsenal.  


I have two LED light therapy devices I use regularly. The oldest one is the Sirius Aurora LED Light Therapy ($88.95) unit, which I purchased from TIA several years back. The newest one purchased this year by, you guessed it, Michael Todd, is his Clear Bi-light Blue-Red Light Treatment LED ($195). I'm pleased with both, but I do use the MT unit more because it's easier and sturdier to hold. I mostly use these devices on my laugh lines and neckline, and they both have worked quite well for me.  

I recently went home to Illinois because I have two aging parents who are suffering from a variety of ailments, so the stress was always palpable.  Add to that my daughter was diagnosed in 2012 on Christmas Eve with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, so my life is etched with drama as well as my soul, spirit and face in my opinion.  However, I've used these babies alternately for the past two years at least twice weekly, and everyone I encountered from my past while I was there said that I haven't changed a bit since high school or college.  Of course, they were lying, but I hope not too much. It was certainly good to hear the compliments, they were good for the soul and served a very necessary need for my ability to look at myself through the eyes of others, rather than my own very discriminating ones.   

Perhaps the more high-end LED light products offer a better return than either of these two devices, but I stand by both of them for all that I've derived from using them and for the fact that although I may be blessed with a few good genes, I'm so thankful that these two devices help me to keep the ones regarding my face better situated.