Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cleansers and Masks and Moisturizers, Oh My!

I'm off work today. In fact, I'm off for the rest of this week. Pretty sweet after poor doggy girl was stuck in her crate for 13 hours yesterday since Husband is out of town and Tuesdays are my longest work days EVER. So exhausting. At least I got a fifteen minute walk in the sun over my lunch break...? 

I'm so sore from Monday's Warrior Woman session! WOW. Oh hey, butt and thighs, haven't done that in a while, have we? Maxed out squats (135 lbs) and bench press (85 lbs). Not horrible for feeling super weak since I haven't been to a Warrior Woman class in almost a whole month. I tell you, though, going up and down stairs and trying to get up from chairs right now...haha. It's intense. Hurts so good.

Let's move on, shall we? I've been promising a post about non-Birchbox beauty products for a looooong while now, and finally have decided to sit down to do it! Here we go! I'm going to start with skin care products:

 I have used Mary Kay skin care products literally since I was 12. It was the first brand I used when I started washing my face with something other than water. I always resisted it, because I thought it was for old ladies and my mom was a consultant and so I thought I'd be rebellious and make her buy me Clean & Clear (the absolute WORST kind of thing to do to your skin, ever...ugh so dry and bad...). So once I realized what that crap was doing to my skin, of course I switched to Mary Kay's teen skin care line, Velocity. Then I moved on to the TimeWise 3-in-1 cleanser and moisturizer. Both of those systems are really good for what their purpose is - I didn't use the TimeWise Day and Night Solutions religiously, just sometimes, but they were good additions to the cleanser and moisturizer. I like it because it's relatively gentle, doesn't make your face feel all tight and dry after washing and rinsing, and the moisturizers are soft and work well.

When Mary Kay came out with this TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Set a couple years ago, I had to try it. The cleanser was even better than the regular TimeWise cleanser I was using before, and I loved the Volu-Firm Lifting Serum - super smooth and silky, and made my skin feel new. Then there was the day cream with sunscreen, which was not my favorite. Felt like it sort of just sat on top of my skin rather than soaking in, and actually would sort of pill up underneath my makeup as I was putting foundation on, so I ended up flaking a lot of it off - at least that's what it seemed like. Does that make sense? The night treatment with retinol was pretty great though, thick but not oily or greasy, felt like it was really doing a nice job of moisturizing my skin. The dispensers for both the day and night creams were pretty annoying. There was also the eye renewal cream, supposedly to reduce the crow's feet lines in the outer corners of the skin around the eyes, and boost firmness in all the delicate and thin skin around the eyes in general. This felt nice, but I don't know that I have an opinion about how well it actually works.

Overall, I liked this system of skin care. I never felt like my skin was dry, but always felt that the cleanser removed my makeup effectively. The different creams and serums didn't really take any longer than my normal cleanser and moisturizer plus face cream routine, so that was definitely a plus. For the record, I have stopped using this in favor of trying different systems that contain less chemicals and preservatives.

I got these samples at one of my trips to Sephora. There is a facial mask and an eye mask. The facial mask felt pretty good, my face felt super clean and exfoliated and new after I used it. It did feel slightly harsh, but I used some pretty great moisturizer afterwards (can't remember exactly which one I used now, but it was probably one of the Birchbox ones I liked so much). The eye mask...ouch. I'm not actually sure what it was supposed to be doing, but it did not feel awesome on that delicate around-the-eye skin. Kind of stung actually. I don't think I left it on as long as it said to, because I didn't want to be hurting that skin without a proper moisturizer to use afterwards.

This was another sample from Sephora. Actually, this might have been the one I used after the GlamGlow face mask above...but I can't remember. It wasn't too thick, nice and smooth, but nothing to write home about. There are plenty of nice moisturizers out there, including plain old coconut oil, which is what I'm moving more towards now.

However, I will tell you what did NOT work with my skin: Josie Maran Argan Oil. Talk about some serious clogged pores and break outs. It felt super nice, but it definitely made my problem skin WORSE. I gave it a few weeks, too, and it was not good. Maybe when my hormones are more under control I will try it again because it does feel AWESOME, but definitely not again anytime soon.

These were on clearance at Target (I think) a couple months ago, so I figured I'd try them. I like cleansing cloths for taking camping, especially when we go someplace hot in the summer that requires multiple sunscreen applications throughout the day, because I just cannot wait to get that GUNK off my face at the end of the day! And let's face it, toiletries requiring some form of water or wet washcloth or something are really annoying on a camping trip. These are good for that purpose. In general, facial cleansing towelettes (both Burt's Bees and the Mary Kay ones I have) leave my face more dry than I like it, but bringing my regular moisturizer or coconut oil on a camping trip isn't a big deal for me since I usually need some lotion on the rest of my body as well.

This is my newest adventure in varieties of skin care: DeVita Natural Skin Care Aloe Vera Moisture Cleanser. I found it at Pharmaca, and it's paraben-free and safe for gluten-sensitive skin (which mine definitely is - as evidenced by my itchy eczema break outs after eating just about any form of gluten in an amount larger than two or three bites). The ingredients list is mostly essential oils and extracts, and it's touted as being 100% vegan (which I don't actually care about, but likely ensures higher quality sourced ingredients than larger brands laden with chemicals). I've been using it for three days, and last night I used ONLY this cleanser and plain coconut oil to follow, and this morning woke to find my recently very problematic skin looking and healing significantly better than it was just last weekend. So, good news for this brand so far. It's super gentle, doesn't foam much but that's not a huge deal to me. It's also not a cream, but again, doesn't matter much to me. My skin feels clean afterward without feeling dry or taught.

A few notes to add:
I previously have used Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover EXCLUSIVELY since...literally since I started wearing mascara, so probably since I was about 14. Even if I didn't wear eyeshadow or eyeliner, I usually wore mascara and would need eye makeup remover, and the MK was THE PRODUCT. I still recommend it to anyone and everyone who doesn't like their current eye makeup remover, and even to those of you who think you like yours. The MK one is great. I have tried several other brands, both expensive and relatively cheap, and none of them compares. Until I started using just coconut oil. Yup, plain old coconut oil; put a little bit on my finger, smear all over my eyelid, above and below, and get it on my lashes, and then wipe it all off with a cotton ball. It's AMAZING, you guys. Seriously. Looks like it makes a mess, but comes off SO nice and clean in the end, especially after rinsing or cleansing as well. Pretty awesome.

Like I said, I've switched to almost exclusively coconut oil as a moisturizer, too. Super awesome for any skin on the body, non comedogenic, safe around eyes, smells nice, and just all around great.

So, since I started with skin care in this post, the next one will include some makeup products I've tried recently. Might be up later today, or might not be up til tomorrow. We'll see.

It's time for me to get outside and take Tiny Girl out for her walk! She's getting antsy, and I am too.

Until next time, y'all, thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your thoughts!