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Reviewed by Charley
I was born with severely dry skin. Every winter, I have to arm myself with a variety of exfoliators and rich creams. A few months ago, my skin started scaling and shedding more intensely than ever before. I tried gently scrubbing twice a week, leaving the humidifier on all the time, as well as slathering layer upon unctuous layer of creams.
When I was dared to try Your Best Face Boost ($65 in the shop), I hesitated. Yes, it’s by Your Best Face, a beloved brand (and for good reason) but “lightweight daily moisture” in the depths of winter? The texture is somewhere between a gel and a mousse... nothing like the occlusive balms that I’ve been indoctrinated to use since I was a child. I was pretty skeptical. There I was, three months into “dandruff face,” having gone through my winter stash (some of which sat on the surface while things remained tight and raw beneath, others had to be re-applied frequently, while most had me looking shiny and congested) and still struggling. It was not a bad time to introduce a challenger.
In the beginning, I had to apply Boost two layers in succession: after cleansing while my skin was still damp, then again after the first layer had set a little. It absorbed quickly and set to a smooth, matte finish – so matte, in fact, that I had to keep checking to make sure I wasn’t drying out. At first, I needed a lot to calm the flakes and ease the tightness, but the effects lasted 12 hours without reapplication. Using it night and day, I went through a lot of product that first week. Thank goodness for the blemish inhibitors, vitamin B5 and niacin, because not only was I applying Boost pretty thick, I was also laying off the deep cleansers and exfoliation.
The shedding slowed down steadily. By week three, my skin no longer prickled from super-dry overheated office air. By week four, the flakes were so minimal that I was able to use sunscreen again (nothing like zinc oxide to highlight those flakes). In the last week, I tried combining it with other products. There are plenty of antioxidant, anti-aging, healing ingredients, such as cucumber extract, white tea, Renovage, Spin Trap, Lipochroman-6, homeostatine. If you have good skin, you won’t need much else. Hydration being my nagging concern, I layered it with a mix of hyaluronic acid and diluted honey. Boost remained unflappably matte.
Every day I awoke to a soothed, hydrated and rejuvenated complexion that I could see and feel. Using a lightweight moisturizer! In winter! Before this, I thought only in terms of lipid barriers. I guess no lipid could trap moisture that isn’t there. Boost is that perfect balance of water and moisture trappers that plumped and protected, allowing my skin to heal. The anti-aging was icing on the cake. My skin actually looks better now than last summer: tighter pores, no shine, more even tone.
If you’re worried about parabens and diazolidinyl urea, there’s a thoughtful disclosure on preservatives on YBF’s website that will help you make an informed decision. (Concentrations are: .003% propylparaben, .014% methylparaben and .081% diazolidinyl urea.)
In four weeks of double-layering twice a day, I’ve used about 14 grams – that’s half a bottle. With the outstanding results I experienced, largely unaided by any other product (I did not exfoliate in four weeks, and used Dr. Alkaitis Cellular Repair Mask once), I would pronounce this the very best anti-ager AND moisturizer under $66.
The flaky mess isn’t so obvious on the “before” photo except on my lips and nostrils (both “before” and “after” were taken in the morning, pre-wash and pre-moisturizing, unretouched; different lighting conditions unfortunately). The coarseness you see between my eyebrows and on my cheeks in the “before” picture is flaky skin smothered in balm – it’s like flour batter on fried chicken. I didn’t think my cheeks and forehead were particularly red, that is, until I saw the “after” photo. In four weeks, I did not use a scrub, I used Dr. Alkaitis Cellular Repair mask once, and started using MAD Hippie only in the last three days. I attribute the turnaround to Boost.
Ingredients: Reverse Osmosis Water, Green Tea, Cucumber Extract, Olivem (Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate), Caffeine, Homeostatine (Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Caesalpina Gum), Renovage (Triglyceride, Teprenone), Niacin, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Spin Trap (Phenyl Butyl Nitrone), Lipochroman-6 (Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol), Paraben Du