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My current beauty regimen includes some incredible new finds, truly groundbreaking – or at least skin-changing. I almost shake my head with wonder at the performance of Medik8’s Red Alert, Amarte’s Eyeconic has changed my thinking about retinol (and eye serums), and I have a two new firming treatments: an at home microcurrent device and a surprising serum from Peter Thomas Roth. But before I get carried away with new beauty successes, allow me to walk you through my beauty routine in an orderly manner.
Cleansers and toners
The litmus test is whether I buy a second bottle and with Josh Rosebrook’s new Moisturizing Cleanser ($27), I had no hesitation. This black African soap (which is plaintain) cleanser is perfect for my slightly oily and sensitive skin. The botanical ingredients are steller and such a little goes such a long way that I kept my 2oz bottle going for four months. The consistency (slightly creamy) works extremely well with my Ultra Clear Facial Cleansing System ($86 in the shop).
I can’t resist a little innovation and am utterly charmed by Me & the Girls Bar Beleza Multi-Use Beauty Bar ($40), a novel soap, balm, moisturizer that comes in a twist-up tube. The mercifully simple organic formula is going to be perfect for when chillier days set in.
Still on the theme of simplicity, I am taken by a brand that is new to me S.W. Basics. This company’s products are all formulated with five ingredients or less. Bear witness the S.W. Basics Toner ($24) with (1) water, (2) apple cider vinegar, (3) witch hazel.
Serums and targeted serums
I usually kick-off with Medik8 Red Alert ($60 in the shop). This is the best thing I have ever found for redness, rosacea and broken veins that make my cheeks much rosier than I would like. After using most of the bottle of Red Alert (targeting the aforementioned apple of my cheeks), the skin is clearer than it has ever been. The active ingredient is teprenone, so it also improves the thickness of the skin at the same time.
I was shocked to see that it is exactly a year ago since I first reviewed E’shee KI Therapy Serum - Elixir of Life ($189 in the shop). At the time I said that it was “having astonishing results on my skin”. It still is – I have just started my fourth bottle. It gives mu skin a subtle glow and suppleness, as well keeping lines at bay. I tried to stop using it for nearly a month a while back when I was testing lot of other stuff – I caved and went back to it and my skin is thanking me.
I am also still loving BRAD Multi-Peptide $95 in the shop) and am on to the second bottle. I use it in the evenings (E’shee K1 mornings) or sometimes alternate days. I don’t know why, but they seem to complement each other and I like the refreshed but matte look that BRAD gives my skin.
Peter Thomas Roth has won me over with Neuroliquid™ Volufill™ Youth Serum ($120). It is mostly amino acids (19 of them in all) and is supposed to restore fullness and diminish wrinkles – claims that I have substantiated. I have been experimenting with it on my jawline, marionette lines and forehead and am impressed. I was hoping it would complement use of my Ultra Renew Plus ($159 in the shop), which I tend to focus on the same areas, but the consistency is too runny. Still, I think that this will be a keeper and a full review will be coming up soon.
When I first came across Medik8 Firewall back in 2009 can you believe, I gushed “it works. It really works. It really, really works”. It still does and Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop) is doing a very good job on forehead lines and neck with its potent combo of Matrixyl 3000 and copper peptides in a unique dual chamber container.
For dark spots (which I must admit I am not consistently diligent about tackling as I should be), I have gone back to E’shee Serum Intensive Brightening ($119). As with most things E’shee, it works (if you stick with it) and it uses an innovative skin lightening active, tranexamic acid.
Another surprising hit has been Amarte Eyeconic Eye Cream. Center stage is epidermal growth factor, which is nano-encapsulated for better penetration. It is a great eye cream for smoothing wrinkles and reducing crepeyness, without being at all drying. Because Amarte Eyeconic has retinol, I use it only at night and limit it about three times a week.
Daily standbys are AQ Skin Solutions Eye Serum ($99, in the shop) – this has its own version of epidermal growth factors, human conditioned media. With depuffing and dark under eye circle actives, it remains (after a year since I first got to know it) a go to. I also continue to like Tilth Beauty Resurrect Eye Cream (0.5oz/$62) majors on four versions of perfluorodecalin, an ingredient that dissolves and delivers oxygen to the skin and there is also firming/anti-sagging ingredient, ChroNoline.
As I have already mentioned, Ultra Clear and Ultra Renew Plus are entrenched in my regime. But two new tools are also making themselves useful and permanent. The PMD Personal Microderm System ($179) is a once-a-week tool that is easy to use safely and without incident (a big plus for me since I am a bit wimpy when it comes to microdermabrasion). My other new tool is Myotone ($279), this is a microcurrent device and the results are impressive (especially for immediate gratification), I am alternating it with the LED/ultrasound of the Ultra Renew Plus.
Moisturizer, sunscreen and masks
My slightly oily skin doesn’t always need a moisturizer with my serum, but when I feel the need I am very partial to Snowberry Starbright Moisturiser ($51) is light, but rich in natural antioxidants and perfectly suited to my combination, slightly oily skin.
For sunscreen, I’ve been mostly loyal to Prana Natural Defense SPF 25 Moisturizer($39 in the shop) is my new cosmetically acceptable sunscreen (no chalky residue) for day-to-day – light and pleasant to use, with tons of botanical extracts. CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm ($26) is a skin 911 (as our reviewer Tina put it) that comes in handy for patches of eczema, itchy rashes and bug bites.
Once in a while, Arcona Mandarin Brightening Peel ($78) gives my skin a wakeup call when it looks tired and dull and my new favorite mask is Michael Todd True Organics Charcoal Detoxifying Facial Mask ($34), which nourishes and cleanses.