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When TIA posed the question “What’s working for you now? What’s your regimen?” I was forced to step back for a moment and think. Sadly, I’m a creature of habit and when it comes to skincare, I just like to have my regular stuff on hand and put minimal thought into it. But over the past three or four months I’ve tried a few new things (several of them as a TIA tester), so I had to really sort out what I would stick with, what I’ve consistently gone back to, and what was, in fact, working.
I started with a no-brainer: body. The transition into fall and the cold, dry winter weather tend to wreak havoc on my dry skin, so I’m always looking out for body treatments. I’ve become completely dependent on Retrospect’s Feet, Knees, and Elbows lotion ($38), which TIA asked me to review in the fall. I bought it again (for myself and for everyone else!) and just started a new tube. It’s rich – but not greasy – extremely soothing and emollient. This lotion is definitely getting me through the winter. I liked it well enough to go out and buy the Retrospect Hand and Nail Reconstructor ($36), which I’ve used nightly. I agree completely with Lily’s recent review: it is an exceptional hand, cuticle, and nail cream. However, if I had to choose just one of these two products, I’d pick the Feet, Knees, and Elbows, which I slather on everywhere it’s needed – including my hands, of course.
My face poses more of a challenge. I was definitely feeling the effects of the weather, and possibly, the effects of being 57. I’m lucky that I don’t have a lot of sagging, but I was especially concerned about dullness, texture, and the very new (and so unwelcomed) emergence of cross-hatching below my eye area – to say nothing of under-eye puffiness. So, uncharacteristically for me, I turned to some new finds.
The first standout among those is the new BRAD Biophotonic Ultra Elastin Cream ($195 in the shop). The first jar, which I used mostly as a night cream, lasted about two months and really smoothed, brightened, and hydrated my skin (both face and neck), which was feeling drawn and old at the start of the season. The other superb moisturizer and soother was the CV SkinLabs Calming Moisture ($49) that I’ve been using during the day. It’s particularly well-suited for skin that’s battling cold weather or has been otherwise damaged by the elements. I also read a very positive review of Stemulation’s Elevate Eye Cream ($75) by TIA reader Ann, and, having really liked the Stemulation Gentle Gel Cleanser ($35), decided to try it. I loved its light yet moisturizing texture and how easily a little pill-sized amount of the product (which squeezes out of a small tube) spreads around the eye area. A couple of months later, it’s definitely helped diminish fine lines, wrinkles, and smoothed my eye area; however, it hasn’t improved puffiness or firmness as much.
I’ve redoubled use of some old favorites during this time as well. I know I do sound like a broken record, but I (still) swear by Your Best Face Prep ($80 in the shop) for an exfoliating, pore-reducing scrub, and the Royal Nectar Face Mask with bee venom ($65), which leaves skin unbelievably soft and hydrated. I try to use each once a week, sometimes more frequently. I’ve layered some of my favorite antioxidant serums, too, notably Your Best Face Control ($160 in the shop) and Restore ($130 in the shop), as well as Your Best Face Hydrate B Concentrate ($45 in the shop), with the new finds. I’ve concluded that they really magnify the impact of whatever else I’m using, especially at night. I also rediscovered Your Best Face Define ($70 in the shop), which has done a good job of keeping my lips conditioned and lip lines in check.
During this time, I’ve been a little less consistent than in the past in my use of the Ultra Renew ($89). So my New Year’s resolution is to be disciplined about using it regularly in both ultrasonic and LED modes, since nothing else seems to deliver as well for firming and plumping.
Ingredients for Retrospect Feet, Knees, and Elbows: Water, Urea, Decyl oleate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Lanolin, Cetearyl Glucoside and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Olivate, Keratin and Hydrolyzed Keratin, Glycerin, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate and Isopropyl Myristate, Dimethicone, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Panthenol, Bisabolol and Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance
Ingredients for Retrospect Hand and Nail Reconstructor: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Di-PPG-3 Myristyl Ether Adipate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance
Ingredients for BRAD Biophotonic Ultra Elastin : Sunflower Oil, Vitamin E, Glycolic Acid Bio-ferment, Coconut Oil, Squalane, Lactic Acid Bio-ferment, Msm, Cocoa Butter, Cucumber, Hyaluronic Acid, Multi-vitamin C Blend, Propolis, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Phospholipids, Multi-peptide Bio-ferment, Grapeseed Oil, Grape, Green Tea, Camilia Oil, Avocado Oil, Eyebright, Helichrysum, Licorice, Lemongrass, Tamanu Oil, Borage Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Rosehip Oil, Vitamin B5, Allantoin, Arnica, Lavender, Calendula, Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Lecithin, Apple, Lemon, Sugar Cane
Ingredients for CV SkinLabs Calming Moisture: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Triolein, Glyceryl Stearate, Sucrose Laurate, Squalane, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ganoderma Lucidium (Mushroom) Extract, Beta-Glucan, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil , Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract*, Bisabolol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Cera), Silicon Dioxide, Water (Aqua), Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin *Organic
Ingredients for Stemulation Elevate Eye Cream: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Beta Glucan, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein, Oxido Reductases, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Human Stem Cell Cultured Media, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark (Maritime Pine) Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Na Carbomer, Tetrasodium Glutamate Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Quaternium-15
Ingredients for Stemulation Gentle Gel Cleanser: Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Glycerin, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleacea Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Extract, Aristotelia Chilensisui Fruit Extract, Aronia Arbutifolia/Aronia Melanocarpa (Chokeberry) Fruit Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Isoceteth-20, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol
Ingredients for Your Best Face Prep: Aluminum Oxide Crystals, Reverse Osmosis Water, Olivem (Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate), Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Oliwax (Hydrogenated Olive Oil (And) Olive Oil (Olea Europaea) (And) Olive Oil Onsaponifiables), Pentavitin (Saccharide Isomerate), Phytic Acid, TEGO Pep 4-Even (Tetrapeptide-30 (And) Glycerin (And) Water), Edelweiss Extract, Vitamin B5, Relistase (Glycerin (And) Acetylarginyltryptophyl Diphenylglycine), TEGO Pep 4-17 (Tetrapeptide-21 (And) Glycerin (And) Butylene Glycol (And) Water), Allantoin, Ethoxydiglycol, Niacin, Vitamin E, Leucidal (Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate), Coenzyme Q10, Matrixyl 3000 (Glycerin (And) Water (And) Butylene Glycol (And) Carbomer (And) Polysorbate 20 (And) Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (And) Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7), Olive Leaf Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Aspen Bark Extract, Glucuronolactone, Spin Trap (Phenyl Butyl Nitrone), Tetrahydrodiferyloylmethane (Turmeric Root Extract), Ferulic Acid, Tetradecylthioacetic Acid (TTA), Lipochroman-6 (Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol), Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitamin B6 (Coenzyme B6 As Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate), Blood Orange Oil, Bergamot Oil (Bergaptene-Free/Non-Photosensitizing), Vanilla Absolute
Ingredients for Royal Nectar Face Mask: Distilled Water, Nector Ease (Manuka Honey, Bee Venom), Lanette Wax, Avocado Oil, Tocopherol Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Easyliance, Rose Hip Oil, Rose Water, Bees Wax, Evening Primrose Oil, Optiphen Plus, Natural Fragrance, Cocoa Butter, Ticaxan, Marshmallow Extract, Manuka Oil, Lavender Essential Oil.
Ingredients for Your Best Face Control: Revised Formula Ingredients: Reverse Osmosis Water, Relistase (Glycerin, Acetylarginyltryptophyl Diphenylglycine, Syn-Hycan (Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Magneisum Chloride, Glycerin), Syn-Tacks (Glycerin, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminobutyroyl Hydroxythreonine, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminohydroxybutyrate), Matrixyl 3000 (Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate-20, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3), Nylon-12, Olivem, Renovage (Triglyceride, Teprenone), Olive Squalane, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Ethoxydiglycol, Dimethylisosorbide, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Trans Resveratrol, Spin Trap (Phenyl Butyl Nitrone), Vitamin E, C10-C30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Leucidal, Lipochroman-6, Sodium Hyaluronate, Coenzyme Q10, Tetrahydrocurcuminoids, Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-Lipoic Acid), Trithanolamine
Ingredients for Your Best Face Restore: Reverse Osmosis Water, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (Vitamin C), Alpha Arbutin, Ppg5 Ceteth-20, Vitamin B5, Dimethyl Isosorbide,Niacin, Spin Trap (Phenyl Butyl Nitrone), Vitamin E, C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polysorbate-20, Lipochroman-6(Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol), Triethanolamine, Paraben Du
Ingredients for Your Best Face Hydrate B Concentrate: Reverse Osmosis Water, Vitamin B5 (Dl-Panthenol), Syn-Hycan (Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Magnesium Chloride, Glycerin), Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Vitamin B8 (Inositol), Sodium PCA, Leucidal (Radish Root Ferment Filtrate)
Ingredients for Your Best Face Define: Reverse osmosis water, xylitol, olivem (cetearyl olivate), Pentavitin (saccharide isomerate), ethehexyl palmitate, white tea (reverse osmosis water, white tea), Syn-Coll (glycerin, palmitoyl tripeptide-5), Hilurip (isohexadecane, BIS-PEG/PPG- 14/14 dimethicone, ethylene/propylene/styrene copolymer, butylene/ethylene/styrene copolymer, cyclopentasiloxane, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, tripeptide-1), vitamin E, meadowfoam seed oil, alpha arbutin, licorice root extract, Syn-Tacks (glycerin, palmitoyl dipeptide-5, diaminobutyroyl hydroxythreonine, palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminohydroxybutyrate), niacin, Lipochroman-6 (dimethylmethoxy chromanol), sodium hyaluronate, spin trap (phenyl butyl nitrone), superoxide dismutase, peppermint oil, lemon oil, blue til, blue chamomile oil, paraben DU