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Worth the splurge

June 26, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 1 Comment

I was just re-reading an old post of mine on some Consumer Reports picks, in which I remarked that Lancome Renergie Double Performance Treatment Anti-Wrinkle Firming ($80) is the world’s most expensive petroleum jelly – the fourth ingredient after highly sought after water and silicone. It gave me some context for thinking about my own pricier picks. If a beauty product is worth the splurge, then there must be one criteria on which they pass: pretty much everything about it has to have value and make a beneficial contribution to our skin. If you take the plunge with these, you’ll know your hard-earned dollars are being put to good use.

Quasar MD Plus ($795). It has only red and infrared light and it doesn’t come with other functionalities such as the Ultra Renew’s ultrasonic. But if you want an LED light device plain and simple, then this is probably the best. I am always impressed by how well it works with only three minutes per treatment area. The Quasar MD Plus promises results in the periorbital area. That doesn’t mean that you are restricted to using it around the eyes (this is where it was tested for FDA approval). I have used this all over my face and neck and am pleased especially by the results on forehead and lip lines.

Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop). A recent Five Best with copper peptides, Medik8 takes its copper peptides very seriously in Firewall. Not only is copper in various forms (colloidal, copper PCA, copper ferment and gluconate), they are kept in a separate chambers in the container until used. This unusual serum also has Matrixyl 3000 and the free radical scavenging Lipochroman-6, niacinamide and other anti-aging ingredients. Best of all, it works (and I mean works), especially for firming the skin and smoothing crow’s feet. Read the full review.  

Snowberry Gentle Remineralizing Toner. When pushed in our Q&A interview, Snowberry’s founder admitted that Remineralizing Toner is her favorite product in the range. It is unequivocally mine too. For those that dismiss the idea of a toner priced at 50 bucks out of hand, please give it a second chance. This is actually a twofer, a cleanser that also tones. And what a cleanser it is. There are fruit and other plant extracts that are serum worthy. You might expect kiwi from a New Zealand brand, but there are also lesser known indigenous botanicals, such as the totara tree, which is a natural preservative. With trace minerals (oligo-elements), ubiquinone and mother of pearl, I leave this on for as long as I can before rinsing. A good cleanser is, after all, the foundation of good skin.

BRAD Biophotonic Ultra Elastin Lift ($210). This serum is excellent at achieving tighter, plumper skin, as well as improving tone and radiance. It is a standout product. The cover-all-bases formulation may mean that you don’t need to use anything else. It moisturizers, clarifies and brightens, prevents expression lines, and boosts with plant-derived antioxidants. A big plus is that the lightweight formula should be smeared not slathered and, therefore, the 1.7-oz bottle lasts for months and months. Read the full review.

E’shee KI Therapy Serum - Elixir of Life ($189 in the shop). I first reviewed a free sample of this serum last September and I have been buying it full-price ever since (coming up to the end of my second replacement). For me, it has been nothing short of transformative, giving the texture of my skin a pleasing and more youthful smoothness. The key ingredient is a curious one, Far Infrared Ceramic Powder, a wound healer and collagen booster. KI also has the brand’s signature FGF peptides and glutamic acid. I can’t promise results for everyone, but for me there’s no doubt that I’ll be buying another bottle.

Hair Vitality Conditioner ($44 in the shop). The reviews and testimonials for Hair Vitality Conditioner by Truth In Aging have been overwhelmingly extremely positive – except about the price. Forty-four dollars seems to many people to be a tad expensive for a conditioner. And it is, if you are looking to switch out your regular haircare product. But the thing about Hair Vitality Conditioner is that it was formulated to help people with thinning hair. Using natural and potent ingredients, it very noticeably reduces shedding and adds volume. But it is more than a complement to Hair Vitality Complex (a hair growth serum); this conditioner has with regular use restored my hair to the texture it was when I was much younger. Even the gray hairs are no longer coarse. I think of it as a hair treatment.

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Plus Brightening Complex ($189). I discovered this in London and this all-natural UK brand is a find. Rarely are natural products made with such elegance and finesse. The scent is summer English garden and puts me in such a good mood that this alone justifies a repurchase. The botanicals are all potent ones, such as New Zealand fern, rich in phospholipids; and kigelia, a bat-pollinated flower that is a significant antioxidant. Mulberry and papaya are amongst the brightening ingredients. Leaves skin clearer, prettier and plumper. Read the full review.

Stemulation Rescue Repair Hand & Body Treatment ($96). This is made for hands, feet, elbows and knees and make no mistake every one of these will give your age away. I’ve been tending to my extremities in recent months and have proven that when you make the effort with time and money, it pays off. My knees no longer look as if I have been earning my living on them. Lactic acid is a key ingredient. Stemulation Rescue Repair has some interesting botanicals. Cyperus Esculentus is a kind of sedge; the roots have a similar composition to olives in that they are high in fatty acids. And there’s one of my favorites, Milk Thistle. Read the full review.

AQ Skin Solutions Vaginal RejuvenationSystem ($199 in the shop). Polite society may blush when I mention that Atrophic Vaginitis is a common affliction for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. And for us children of the 70s, it is not only painful but, quite literally, frustrating. Sex is vitally important and many of us want to go on enjoying it for a long time to come. If you’ve tried all those lubes and gels, and/or don’t want to go the estrogen route, then AQ is worth the lay out of a couple of hundred bucks. The active, human conditioned media, was developed for wound healing and can really help with those nicks and legions that can be the result of extreme vaginal dryness. Not quite a revolutionary sex aid, but a contribution to the ongoing Sexual Revolution. Read the full review.

  • June 27, 2013

    by Annika

    I have thin, sensitive skin (blonde, blue eyes, fair skin) and looking for something to tighten and firm and also provide plumping and texture improvement. Which of the above serums would be best for me??

    Thank you SO MUCH!

    Btw, I used the hair vitality treatment and the shampoo and conditioner and LOVE IT!

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