Our Rating: 5 stars

I could have done with Your Best Face Balance ($45 in the shop) this past summer when I was breaking into a sweat trying to control – mostly in vain – my shiny face. But Balance, a brand new product from YBF, wasn’t available then. However, this mattifyer does some other things that my skin really likes, such as closing pores and controlling redness and rosacea.

Balance is a pale blue, soothing and cooling cream with a lovely whiff of lavender. It has been formulated (at a most reasonable price, I must say) to control breakouts, calm irritation and regulate shine – all without drying out the skin at all. I have found that I can use it all over the face, or just where needed and it plays nice with any other potions I happen to be using.

Although YBF bills it as perfect for 20-somethings, my 50-year old skin is finding it extremely useful and the addition of L-carnosine is giving me an antiaging boost. I even found myself recommending it along YBF Prep ($80 in the TIA shop) to a 40-something reader who emailed me for advice for her oily, sensitive skin that had blocked pores and had been subjected to too much retinol.

YBF always tends to be a bit out there (in a good way) and I had to grin when I saw that Balance contains tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA). This was one of our ingredients to look out for in 2010.  As well as being an antioxidant, it is anti-inflammatory and may hold promise for helping those with acne. It protects cell proteins and metabolism and, it seems, regulating the sebum that is responsible for acne.

In the anti-acne dept, we can also find niacin and vitamin B. Bisabolol, hyaluronate and azulene soothe and hydrate. Dab it on before your morning commute and YBF claims that the soothing lavender and neroli oils will banish rush hour blues. I don’t know about that, but I have taken it with me on my Thanksgiving weekend trip to Nicaragua.


Reverse osmosis water, nylon-12, olive squalane, L-carnosine, olivem (cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate), ppg5 ceteth-20, niacin, tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA), c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, vitamin B5, alpha bisabolol, sodium hyaluronate, lavender oil, cedarwood oil, niaouli oil, triethanolamine, paraben du, azulene (guaiazulene)