Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Skin Care Faves and Reviews

Happy Wednesday, beauty lovers! I hope everyone's having a great week thus far. :)

I just wanted to share my latest skin care regimen with all of you! I have oily yet aging skin, which is a major pain in the butt! I'm in my early 30's, yet I'm seeing fine lines around my eyes, and a line between my brows. Sort of like the '11' that many people get, but mine is just one line. I always hear that oily skin doesn't age like dry skin does, but I beg to differ! I know we are all our harshest critics, but I see old lady so often when I look in the mirror. Here's the products I'm using lately to combat my oilies, as well as my lines.

On the bottom left is 1) Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Gel for Normal to Combination Skin.
Top Left to right is 2) Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser for Oily, blemish-prone skin, 3) Avene Eluage Cream, 4) Bioderma Crealine H20 Solution Micellaire, 5) Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, 6) NeoStrata Toning Solution Level 1 and 7) NeoStrata Eye Contour Firming Cream

1) The Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Gel is wonderful for oily skin. It absorbs quickly, feels wonderul and has a faint, yet pretty smell.  I have had no breakouts from this after using it for a few months, and it leaves my skin so soft. I apply this every morning and night, and still consider it a treat to apply, even after months of use. It runs pricey though. It is $49.50 for 50ml at Shoppers Drug Mart. I honestly just use the smallest amount and dot it all over my face. I find it's all I need. Anything more and I'd probably be a shiny mess! This cream-gel contains Hyaluronic Acid, which is said to help skin retain moisture, and plump up fine lines.

2) I began using Avene Cleanance Gel Cleanser about 7 months ago, and again no break outs or anything. I originally purchased it to use with my Clarisonic. I wanted something gentle, yet designed for oily skin, and this fit the bill! I have since stopped using the Clarisonic, but continue to use this. I feel that with the chemicals I use on my skin, I need my cleanser to be quite gentle. I only use this in the morning to break down and remove any traces of products used the night before. I also wake up oily sometimes, and I find this really helps combat that problem! It has a non-offensive scent, which is nice. I find I don't like the fragrances used in many Avene products, but this one is okay! I ordererd my 250ml bottle from a french pharmacy for dirt cheap, but you can pick up a 200 ml bottle Shoppers Drug Mart for about $23.

3) I think I've been using Avene Eluage, nightly, for about a year now. I applied it all over my face for many months, but started discovering tiny clogged pores on my chin. I now just use it under my eyes, and on my line between my brows. This cream has a thick, heavy texture, and a light, peachy colour. I did not like the scent of this, but I got used to it. It contains Retinaldehyde (a form of Retinol) and Hyaluronic Acid. I honestly don't know that this product is doing anything for my fine lines. Perhaps it's stopping them from becoming worse? I've tried Tretinoin, the full strength prescription retinoid, and it made me super flaky, and my skin just couldn't get used to it. I'd love to find a happy medium between these two products. My skin needs it! On the plus side, I did give my sister some of this to try, and she said she thought it was helping her fine lines. I'll have to follow up with her. :) The Avene Eluage is also expensive. I think it's $50 at Shoppers Drug Mart, but Avene products are frequently on sale there.

4) I've also been using Bioderma, nightly, for almost a year. I love this stuff! I'm sure most of you have heard about it, and many of you have tried it (or one of the other Micellar Water solutions available). It's wonderful stuff! I was super skeptical before I first used it; I thought it would break me out for sure, and just wouldn't cleanse my skin properly. I was wrong. I use a cotton pad to apply this to my skin and remove all makeup. It even removes my eye makeup better than my Lancome Bi-Facil, believe it or not! I do not follow up with any other cleanser, as I feel this cleanses sufficiently. A big 500ml bottle lasted me upwards of 6 months, using it once a day. It's about $22 for a 250ml bottle, but Shoppers Drug Mart occasionally stocks the 500ml size.

5) I haven't been using the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair long enough to leave an accurate review of it's benefits. I've only been using it about 3 weeks, but I can report no breakouts and no shine or anything. I don't know how to describe this formula. Apparently it is a serum, but it applies like no other serum I've tried. It absorbs instantly, and feels like nothing was ever applied. It does seem to leave my skin extra soft in the morning! So far, I'm very happy with it. It has a distinct medicinal smell to it, which may bother some, but I don't mind it. This stuff is EXPENSIVE. I received my bottle as a gift with purchase, but the full sized product retails for $96. Not cheap, but I imagine a full sized bottle would last a long time. I'll post a little review once I've used up mine and let you know whether it's worth it!

6) NeoStrata Toning Solution Level 1 is a basic Alpha Hydroxy Acid toner. I use it nightly to help keep pimples at bay, and I like to think it also helps with fine lines. :) This product stung when I first started using it. It felt like little pins stabbing all over my face. Not pleasant! I've learned to let my skin settle for 15-20 minutes after cleansing, and there is no pain. I've been using this for over 4 months, and I've barely had a pimple since. It costs about $26 at Shoppers Drug Mart for a 100 ml bottle. I only use a few drops on a cotton pad when applying, so it's lasting me quite a while.

7) Lastly is NeoStrata Eye Contour Firming Cream which I've been using in the morning for a few months to help with the lines around my eyes. I genuinely noticed a tightening sensation during the first few weeks of using this product, which was awesome! Now I continue to use it because it doesn't cause any milia and I refuse to go without an eye cream. I think after I finish this bottle I'll be on the hunt for something else. It takes a little while to absorb and leaves a greasy looking residue before it does. Overall, I like it, but don't love it. It is $32 at Shoppers Drug Mart, but Neostrata is also frequently on sale, with up to 30% off.

I also use Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion for Face/Body (not pictured) which helps mattify and protect my skin from sun damage.

I'd love to hear everyone else's skin care faves if you'd like to share! I'm always on the hunt for the latest/greatest thing. boyfriend walked by as I was typing this and said, "Woah! Writing an essay?" I apologize for the length. Must learn to write less! Thanks so much for reading! :)


  1. Im pretty sure the bioderma broke me out because it really dried out my skin and left it really flaky. And the avene cleanser! We must have like opposite skin types hehe.

    1. That's awful, Michelle! Is your skin dry? Mine is super oily, and it takes a lot to dry it out. Like full strength Retin-A! Lol...I bet our skin is total opposites. :)