Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Neutrogena Naturals Cream Cleanser Review

Chances are we’ve all dealt with acne at some point in our live. Chances are also that those who struggle with acne have searched for a product that will blow our minds and keep the acne off of our faces. 

Today, I’m sharing with you a new product from Neutrogena (the naturals line). This product is called the “Acne Cream Cleanser.” There are several new products in this line, however; I am just going to be talking specifically about the Acne Cream Cleanser.

In the past, I have tried Neutrogena face products in my teen years. They didn’t work that well for me then. If you’ve read any of my skincare reviews, you know that most products geared toward acne never quite blow my mind. I didn’t mind this Netrogena cleanser much and it is very affordable (priced at $7.99 at your local Walmart). It might be a little more pricey if you purchase it from a drugstore. 

This product’s main ingredient towards fighting and preventing acne is salicylic acid. The description claims that it powerfully penetrates down into pores to treat breakouts and help prevent new ones from forming.
The formula is quite creamy, and it is 93% naturally derived. The product claims to lather to gently cleanse and remove pore-clogging oil, dirt and impurities. 

One of the most amazing things about this product is that it is NOT tested on animals. Also, it is fortified with an acne-fighting bionutrient for clear, healthy looking skin.  It does not contain any harsh chemicals, sulfates, parabans, and the like. 

One of the things that I did not like about this product was the fact that it was so creamy. It didn’t lather at all. For me, that is a weird thing, for you, you may not mind. Don’t get me wrong, the product cleansed my skin absolutely fine, I just wish that it lathered. It does not have any microbeads in it, so it will not work as an exfoliant either. For that reason, I choose not to use this product after removing my makeup at the end of the day. After removing makeup, I like to wash my face with a scrub that has microbeads in it to ensure that I have successfully removed all makeup. With this particular Neutrogena cleanser, I liked to use it more in the morning. 

The scent is a little citrusy but has an undertone of a medicine-ish smell, if that makes sense. I like to use this product in the morning for two reasons. One, because I am not removing any makeup in the morning (obviously), so I don’t need a cleanser with microbeads. And two, the scent of the product kind of provides for a “wake me up.”

As far as the potential to help treat and prevent acne, I did find that this worked towards keeping my skin clear and preventing any future acne breakouts, but it did not work so fast nor great in clearing up the breakouts that I had already had. I wouldn’t say this product is bad, but I would use it in conjunction with a cream/serum specifically geared towards acne-prone skin for the best prevention method. 

Overall, I like this product. I would consider repurchasing this product when I run out of it because I like products like this as a light cleanser in the morning before I apply makeup and get ready for the day. It didn’t work wonders for me with regards to my acne, although that is not to say that this product wouldn’t work great for someone who just has an occasional breakout. Please keep in mind when reading this review that I have oily/combination skin, which is extremely sensitive and acne-prone.

New Burt's Bees Products!

Depending on where you live, the seasons can be pretty harsh. I’ve found that Burt’s Bees are usually some of my favorite products to keep my skin hydrated and prepped for the harsher weather. I’m going to be sharing some products from the Burt’s Bees line with you today which can keep you hydrated no matter what season you’re in.

The first product is the Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream. This product retails for $13.00 on http://burtsbees.com. It is 99% natural. It contains Baobab Oil to help moisturize, Watermelon Seed Oil to nourish and natural fruit acid complex to gently exfoliate. This product claims to provide all-day moisturization  for extremely dry skin and also claims that it will not leave behind any greasy residue. It also contains pumpkin seed oil and green tea extract. 

My thoughts on this product are that it is probably one of the most hydrating hand creams I have ever used. I really do enjoy it, however; I found that it did leave my hands feeling a little greasier than I would like. After a few minutes, the greasiness subsides and seems to “soak” into your skin.  I don’t necessarily know that it provides all-day moisturization to an area that is consistently being cleansed throughout the day, such as your hands. However, it will keep your hands moisturized until you wash them. For me, I do not mind to reapply hand cream after I wash my hands. (This product has a light and pleasant scent to it).

The next product is the Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion. This product retails for $18.00 on http://burtsbees.com and is 99% natural as well. This product is infused with Clary Sage, and claims to be a fast-absorbing day lotion to leave dry skin feeling soft and supple while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It provides intense hydration and has enhanced priobiotic technology, crafted by dermatologists. This product also claims to be non-greasy.

For reference, my personal skin type is oily/combination. I was surprised at how thick this cream was for being a day cream. (However, please note the product has a pump dispenser which is an awesome feature!) I personally cannot wear creams that thick throughout the day, especially when I plan to wear makeup over top of the day cream. This product did cause my makeup to become much oilier faster than it normally would had I chose not to use a day cream or a lighter day cream. This product, unfortunately, broke my skin out (which it is also important to note that I have extremely sensitive and acne-prone skin). I think this product would be more suitable for someone who has dry skin, rather than oily skin. I cannot comment on the claim that it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because I have not used the product long enough to notice any effects of that nature. However, this product claims to provide hydration and it definitely does. This does not leave your skin feeling oily afterwards and really sets into the skin quickly. 

The next product is the Burt’s Bees Ultra Moisturizing Lip Treatment, which retails for $5.00 on http://burtsbees.com. This product is 100% natural. It contains Kokum Butter, and is fragrance free, as well as hypoallergenic. It comes with a twist-off cap and the product is dispensed through the slanted top as you squeeze the tube. 

It does provide a lot of moisture, and a slight glossiness to the lips, however the moisture disappears after the product wears off, as with most other chapsticks/lip balms. I find this to happen to me personally no matter what lip products I use to keep my lips hydrated so for you, this may work differently. I do like the way this feels on the lips however and I can imagine that it would be lovely to use throughout the colder winter months to keep your lips baby smooth and soft. I always have loved Burt’s Bees lip products because of the moisture that they provide. I do not mind reapplying these products even if they wear off frequently on me. This product is worth every penny of its price tag!

The last product is the Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Body Lotion, which is priced at $10.00 at http://burtsbees.com. This product is 99% natural. This product contains Baobab Oil, as does the hand cream, along with pumpkin seed oil and green tea extract. It claims to also be non-greasy and claims to provide all-day moisture. 

I absolutely love this body lotion. I especially love applying it after shaving my legs because it puts the moisture back into the skin, even after such a sensitive thing as shaving. It did not cause any sort of irritation or additional redness. The scent is light and in fact very similar to the hand cream. The consistency is also the same as the hand cream and, in my opinion, these products are basically exactly the same. I don’t think that you would necessarily need to purchase both of them unless you absolutely wanted to. I also let my fiancĂ© use some of this lotion. He has extremely dry skin and he also notes that it provides moisture all day long. 

Overall, I’m impressed as I usually am with most of Burt’s Bees products. I’m disappointed that the day cream broke me out because I really wanted to fall in love with it. However, just because that product did not work for me does not mean it would not work for someone else. Like I said, if you have oily skin, I would steer away from the day cream, but if you have dry skin, I think you will most likely fall in love with it. 

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Proactiv Skincare Review!

Anyone who suffers from acne, whether it be an occasional breakout or a serious day-to-day problem, knows how awful it is to deal with. Many of us have seen the commercials and advertisements on television for the popular Proactiv skincare line which claims to erase acne. I have never tried the original line, however I was super excited to try their new skincare regimen. 

The new line is called Proactiv Plus and claims to be the fastest and most effective Proactiv ever. The steps are a little different than the original regimen, so I’ll walk you through the products and give you my thoughts. I have only been using this product for around nearly two weeks now. Obviously, it’s optimal to use a product for at least a month to see the full effect but I feel that I have a great grasp on how this product works thus far.

The first step in this regimen is the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator. This product has a slight smell but nothing too strong if you are particularly sensitive to scents. The texture is very thick and it has micro exfoliators in the cleanser. They are not rough on the skin and provide a great way to really deep clean your skin. This wash gently and effectively lifts away dead skin cells, traces of makeup, oils and other substances that would otherwise clog your pores. It claims to give your skin an immediately brighter and smoother look and fell. This product has a mild concentration of micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide (2.5%). This product is common in most acne products and kills the bacteria that causes acne. This product also aims to increase the hydration in your skin and minimize the appearance of pores. 

My thoughts on this product are that it is an amazing cleanser. It claims to be suitable for all skin types, whether your skin is the driest of dry, or the oiliest of oily, even sensitive skin. I have combination/oily skin for reference. I found that this product worked amazing for me. I wouldn’t necessarily say it provided intense hydration, however it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry and tight. It did an awesome job at removing all traces of makeup (after removing the majority with a makeup removing toilette of course). 

Step two is the Pore Targeting Treatment. This product also contains benzoyl peroxide (2.5%). The “Smart Target” technology helps to transport the acne medicine off the skin’s surface, to minimize dryness and irritation, and deliver it directly into the pores. It is supposed to minimize surface dryness, irritation and redness while clearing your acne blemishes and preventing future breakouts. Glycerin also helps lock in moisture to the face to provide a soft glow. This formula is lightweight, non-greasy, paraben-free, non-comedogenic, and dermatologist tested. It will not leave a filmy or greasy residue. 

My thoughts on this product are that it is sort of like a mixture between a serum and a gel. I actually like it. You do not need much of this product to cover your entire face. I really love the fact that it has a pump on it as well. It provides for easy application. This gel absorbs into the skin rather quickly and I did not experience any problems with it breaking down my foundation or other makeup throughout the day. This product did not overly dry out my skin. It did leave a little bit of a tacky feel to the skin but once it completely absorbed in, that feeling was gone. 

The last step in this new skincare regimen is step three, which is the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator. It claims to continue the acne-clearing process and help prevent new breakouts. It also is supposed to reduce redness and irritation, absorb excess oil and provide a more even skin tone, all while brightening skin for a smoother and more radiant looking complexion. The key ingredient in this particular product is salicylic acid (0.5%) which is another popular acne fighting ingredient. This product is also paraben-free, non-comedogenic, and dermatologist tested. It is suitable for all skin types. Lastly, it has a few key ingredients which are supposed to brighten the skin such as licorice extract, bearberry, sophora root, and kojic acid. 

This product is given the description of being silky rich and having a luxurious texture. It doesn’t look quite like a cream, more like a mixture of a gel and a cream, however it applies and feels like a cream once on the skin. At first glance and first application, I thought this would be too heavy of a moisturizer to wear during the day underneath my makeup. However, I still put it to the test. I found that this product did not actually cause my makeup to break down any faster as I had anticipated it would. I definitely give Proactiv points for putting together a product that was suitable for wearing underneath makeup. 

The last product in this line is the Skin Purifying Mask, which is meant to be used two to three times a week in conjunction with the other products in this line. The key ingredient in the mask is sulfur (6%), which is another thing used to fight acne but is not readily found in most drugstore products that I’ve seen. This is maximum strength, and the sulfur is supposed to draw out impurities. This mask is also paraben-free, and contains a health complex of antioxidants, vitamins and botanicals to condition and moisturize the skin.
The mask did not have a strong scent to it, and applied as a sheerish, white layer over the skin. It was not difficult to wash off. You only need to leave it on for 10 minutes to feel the effects. After washing it off, your skin looks absolutely amazing. I noticed that it helped to even my skintone and whenever I use this in the morning, I feel like I have a good skin day. My only issue is that I wish this mask came in a larger tube with the rest of the skincare line because I think this tube is a little tiny. 

Overall, if you’ve ever read any of my skincare reviews for acne-geared products, you’ll know that I can tend to be a little harsh. However, I was majorly pleased with this particular line. (Okay, I’ll just say that I love this!) Within days, the little bit of blemishes that I had here and there, were going away like a dream. I did have two or three pimples come up while using this line, but it wasn’t anything outrageous. I also found that using a bit of the sulfur mask to spot treat at night worked well. What I mean is that you can put a little dot of the mask over a pimple, go to sleep, and wake up in the morning and wash it off. This helps the pimple to reduce in size and redness. I didn’t’ find anything on the Proactiv website saying this mask could be used for that purpose, however it didn’t cause me any issues.

I did notice that the entire regimen caused my skin to look a little dry around my nose and eyebrows, but it wasn’t extremely dry, just slightly. I think if you are experiencing dryness like this, just reduce the use of the products to once a day as opposed to twice a day. It wasn’t uncomfortable and I found that applying a more intense hydrating face cream to those specific areas helped a lot and restored the hydration back into the skin. If you already have extremely dry skin, I’m not sure if this would aggravate your skin or not (again, I have oily/combination skin). 

With respect to what this product claims to do (clear acne), I think it does a remarkable job. I don’t think this is going to be a miracle product and that someone will never experience a pimple again while using it, but I do think this is one of the best acne products I’ve tried on the market. I would continue to use it. I haven’t tried the original Proactiv line as I’ve said, so I can’t compare as to whether or not this line works better, but I can tell you that I enjoyed using this line as someone who is in their 20’s and still experiences acne breakouts. I would definitely recommend this product.

You can purchase this product from http://www.proactivplus.com . The three step kit is priced at $29.95, which is an amazing price point (around ten dollars per product) and you will also get the skin purifying mask for free. There are two other kits, one geared towards teens, and one called the “complete” kit which come with these three basic steps, plus the skin purifying mask, plus a couple of other items, such as eye brightening serum, mark fading pads, or a body cleansing bar, and the price points for those are $39.95. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

JB Cosmetics Review

Everybody loves products that do what we need them to do and are natural, or beneficial, for our skin rather than detrimental. Today, I will share with you my ideas on some products that I’ve tested out from JB Cosmetics. 

The first is the Lash Food natural eyelash enhancing system. This product contains 5 ml and the price is $80.00. Now while that may be a little pricy, depending upon whether or not you have short, stubby lashes, you may want to make this kind of investment.

First, I’ll discuss the product. This product claims to nourish lashes with a revolutionary natural eyelash conditioner featuring nano-peptide technology. It provides the appearance of longer, thicker lashes and will transform your frail, brittle lashes into stronger, healthier lashes in 3-6 weeks (although this may vary depending on your own particular lashes). It also has biotin, soy protein, herb extracts, arginine, gingko biloba, and other natural ingredients which promote hair growth. This product is clinically proven effective and does not contain: prostaglandin, parabens, gluten, synthetic fragrance, etc. It is also cruelty free and dermatologist tested and approved. 

The product comes in a small tube with a similar applicator to a liquid eyeliner. It does note on the website that this product is better used in conjunction with their eyeliner, however I did not test out that product. I don’t have particularly small lashes. They are thick and somewhat long on their own. However, I used this product for around a month. I don’t necessarily notice a difference in my lashes until I apply my mascara, and then you can definitely tell the difference. I use the same brand of mascara for the past 6 months, so I know that it is not the mascara suddenly changing my lashes. I think that once you apply mascara and your lashes become darker, you definitely notice the difference. The thing that I mostly notice is the length that this product has given to my lashes. They look so long and beautiful once curled and mascara is applied. I don’t notice too much thickness, but definitely length. 

Overall, I give this product five stars. It has no strange chemical smell or anything (obviously – it’s all natural). I think if someone has very short, thin lashes, this product would be beneficial to them. After all, it can be kind of a pain to apply false lashes every day and rather than getting lash extensions, why not enhance your own? I think this product is great! However, I could not find anything that said whether or not the results you receive using this product will last when you STOP using the product. So, that is something to note. 

The next product I tried was the Derma Food Cellular Eye Perfecting Cream. This product retails for $69.00 for 15 ml. The packaging is super cute and very fancy looking. The green top comes off to reveal a push down pump in which the product dispenses, or alternative you can twist off the silver area of the product to reveal the product in its entirety. I think the pump is an awesome idea, however I think once the product starts to run low in the jar, it may be difficult to use the dispenser. 

This product claims to counteract the appearance of aging skin and to repair and replace damaged cells to reveal younger, firmer, brighter looking eyes with phyto stem cell technology. It also has micro perfecting tripeptides and vitamins e, c, and a. It’s anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, and also combats dark circles and reduces puffiness. 

Now, I don’t have puffy under eye bags and I definitely don’t have wrinkles (yet) but it’s always great to start preventative treatment. I do, however, have extremely dark  under eye circles which I believe is hereditary. I think this product has helped to brighten up my under eye area, and I definitely feel as if I don’t need so much concealer, however, I still do have some darkness under my eyes. I’m excited to see how that improves as I continue to use this product. 

The scent is very light and it sort of smells citrusy, or like limes to me. I’m not sure if that’s the scent they were going for intentionally or that’s some other kind of ingredient in the product. It definitely isn’t strong though. This product is a great moisturizer for your eyes. It does not leave your eye area greasy. This stuff basically seeps into your skin moments after you put it on. I only use this at night  because it is sort of thick and a much more heavy eye cream. I think if you have a particularly dry eye area, this would help with that. I have a normal eye area, my lids aren’t greasy or dry, so I can’t comment on that, but this stuff is absolutely amazing. 

For me, I would give this product five stars. It did exactly what it said it would do; it lightened and brightened my under eye area. 

Lastly, I have four nail polishes from Color Secrets that I’ve tried out. These nail polishes are $2.99 each. they are DBP, toluene and formaldehyde free too. From the image above, the colors I’ve tried from left to right are: Titanic, Finding Neverland, New Years Eve and Little Black Book. 

The packaging is pretty standard for a nail polish, it’s nothing fancy. The brush is a standard applicator as well. It’s not too thin, nor too thick and picks up the perfect amount of product. However, the product inside is some of the best nail polish I think I have ever used. All of these nail polishes, including the glitter polishes, are basically opaque in one coat. It’s actually quite stunning. 

Titanic is a sea-foam green kind of color with very tiny micro-shimmers in it. Little Black Book is your standard flat black color, although it is not a matte polish. Finding Neverland is a pretty unique glitter polish to me. It has different shades of green and gold glitter. Lastly, New Years Eve is your basic silver glitter polish.

I really put these polishes to the test. I intended on wearing these polishes for two weeks to put them to the test. I used a top coat by OPI. I would say that I didn’t notice any chipping of the polish until day 10. It was pretty minimal, just wearing on the tips of my nails. Overall, I’m super impressed and for the price, I think this is a steal. I have higher end nail polishes that didn’t perform like this!

You can view all of these products and more by visiting http://jbcosmetics.com. All in all, I think they offer some great products that really deliver and do what they claim they are going to do. I think most of everyone would be satisfied with purchasing any of the products I’ve reviewed.

-Dawn Santamarina

Instagram: MissDawn1012
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