Sunday, July 27, 2014

Skincare Review

I've had acne prone skin since I was born. That might sound like an exaggeration, but it's really not a huge one. By now, my face has calmed down a little bit, but not by as much as my dermatologist promised. I'm still bitter about her false hope, but that's beside the point.

Acne skincare is one of the hardest to find products for. Which ones really work? Which ones will be too oily or leave skin too dry? It's always a gamble, at least for me. But then a nice lady at Ulta introduced me to Mario Badescu, and I'm slowly starting to accept this man's power.

On my latest trip to Ulta, I went a little crazy on the Mario Badescu skincare. I bought two full sized items, got a sample, and then graciously received three mini samples from the saleslady. Over the past few weeks, I've been able to try each one out and observe the effects on my skin.

At first, I was using the glycolic cleanser everyday, which it turns out I'm not supposed to do, since it's a chemical exfoliator. Two to three times per week is what's suggested, but I usually use it once a week or when I'm feeling particularly clogged up. I already use the (sadly discontinued) True Blue Spa apricot facial scrub, so I don't need an additional exfoliator that often. When I do feel like there's just too much sunscreen and dirt and grime on my face, though, I reach for this cleanser. It's not as good for my skin as his acne cleanser, but it works to leave skin feeling fresh and smooth.

To get myself the free sample of the glycolic cleanser, I bought the Buffing Lotion and the famous Drying Lotion. When the saleslady explained each product to me, she mentioned that the buffing lotion is to quell cystic pimples and the drying lotion is for whiteheads, which I have plenty of both of to test out the theory.

The buffing lotion suggests every other day application underneath the drying mask, but I've amended that suggestion to further satisfy my personal skincare needs. Since the description on the bottle also says 'to treat large patches of acne' as well as cystic pimples, I decided to apply this as a base coat and all-over pimple preventer for my face. I need something to go over my problem areas, and this seems to do the trick. (It also does a great job of drying out the cysts it was made for, which is a good sign.)

Perhaps the most famous and debated acne product on the market, the drying lotion has had mixed results on my part. I love how it effectively reduces the size of my large whiteheads and gets rid of inflammation and redness with one to two uses, but it isn't an all-over prevention product--it's a spot treatment. If Mr. Badescu makes a cream that works the same way as this stuff, I would be interested in buying that and giving it a try. I'm just at a loss as to repurchasing this one... I love what it does, but I have to go to bed every night with little pink dots covering my face.

Is this product worth the money? Yes. It's only $17 for a glass bottle that has lasted me a month so far, bound to last at least two more. But I use a ton  of this each day, and I'm not sure it's a good long term product for my level of acne trouble. I'm sure this would work wonders on people who are prone to small, isolated pimples or breakouts. I'm just not sure it was meant for people with my skin and my acne.

I also received three mini samples that I have tried: the herbal hydrating serum, the ceramide herbal eye cream, and the seaweed night cream. Over three different weeks, I used each product separately so as not to contaminate my regime, which gleaned interesting results.

I applied the hydrating serum in the morning before my makeup, since it goes on effortlessly and soaks in immediately. Though I think it was too much for my summertime oily skin, it did a great job of replacing my morning moisturizer for a few days. It also covers skin with minimal product, which is always a plus for a moisturizer.

The eye cream was the best sample I received. I have some pretty bad dark circles (due to lack of sleep and stress--completely my own fault, I know), so applying concealer is a must every single day. With the help of this, my skin was smooth and didn't get greasy. The price is also right compared to other eye creams--only $18 for a full sized pot. Pretty great!

Lastly, I got a small package of seaweed night cream. First of all, I really disliked the smell of this. It reminded me of my grandma's house, but in a very bad way. Yuck. Secondly, I really didn't see that much of a difference between this stuff and my Korres night cream, or even the standard Neutrogena stuff I used to use. It worked, but was really heavy on first application (which I hate). I might try more just because it's also fairly inexpensive, but for the moment, I'll stick with what I'm using.

Overall, I'm impressed with Mr. Badescu's products. I would love to try some more products, maybe get some more samples so that I can see how much better they work in tandem, as they were meant to be. I will definitely be repurchasing the drying lotion, even as just an emergency spot treatment, but I'm going to have to give the others some thought. The eye cream and the acne cleanser would also be great options to have as low cost solutions!

I'm happy with what most of the products do. I'm skeptical as to their long term success, since my skin is almost helpless, but I'm satisfied for the moment. If nothing else, I've found my spot treatment for the rest of my life, and that's not nothing!

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