Friday, May 29, 2015

Sensitive Skin Essentials for Clearer Skin

For a long time, I've been in a constant cycle of breaking out, then using something harsh to control the breakout, then it getting slightly better, then getting a rash or itchy, red skin, then giving up, and then starting all over again. After my last particularly bad cycle, I finally got fed up with being itchy! So I decided if I can't stop my skin from breaking out, then I'm at least going to do something about my constant skin irritation. I went to amazon and did some perusing and decided to find some products that are sensitive skin friendly and don't have any questionable chemicals to hopefully calm my skin. While the products I found aren't fun or flashy, they've done the job. My skin overall is a lot less red and itchy. I'm still breaking out some, but my skin looks a lot better which makes me wonder if a lot of my breakouts were coming my attempts to stop them. I thought I'd share with you what I've found so that hopefully if you're dealing with the same issues you can find something that works without having to read a ton of Amazon reviews!

1. Basis Sensitive Skin Bar
For a long time I've used Dove's Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin. I really want to love it because it doesn't irritate my skin and I love Dove products. However, it doesn't do enough to soothe my skin, so I decided to give Basis a go.

I was pleasantly surprised by this bar soap. It's very gentle. I can use it on my face and body which is very convenient and economical. I also immediately started noticing that my skin wasn't red like it usually is after I wash it. It sounds silly, but my skin really does look calmer when I use this soap. While it does not have any added fragrance, it does have a light chamomile scent from the chamomile extract in the soap which I think is lovely. The light scent makes me feel a little better about not getting to use a fun, scented soap. This soap is a safe choice for people with sensitive skin. If you try it and find that it doesn't work for you, I'd try Dove's Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin. Several people in the Amazon reviews said either one or the other worked for them.

2. A Konjac Sponge
The Basis Sensitive Skin Bar is working beautifully for my skin, but I need a little exfoliation on my face to keep my pores from clogging up. I decided to try a Konjac sponge because they're very in at the moment. I see why! When dry, it looks like a sponge and feels basically like sturdy styrofoam. Then, when you put water on it, the sponge gets bigger and softens. You can use it without soap, but I like to use it with the Basis Soap. I'm obsessed because the sponge is so soft and cloud-like. It gives me a little extra gentle exfoliation without irritating my skin. I'm liking Ecotools Konjac Sponge because it's perfect size for my face, it doesn't have anything extra like clay or charcoal added in, and it's affordable.

3. Neutrogena Clear Face Sunblock
Wearing sunscreen daily is so important for preventing skin cancer and aging, but it's so hard to find a good one that's not too sticky or pore-clogging. Neutrogena's Clear Face Sunblock is amazing! I bought it for the first time about four months ago, and I kicked myself for not trying it earlier. For some reason I had it in my head that it would be heavy and sticky. Now that I've tried it, I see that it's actually very light. Once it absorbs, my face feels lightly moisturized but more also matte. So if you're looking for moisturization, this lotion is not for you. It's perfect for my oily, sensitive skin though. If you're worried it won't be sensitive skin friendly enough, then try Elizabeth's favorite and go for Neutrogena's Sensitive Skin Sunblock.

4. Cetaphil Eczema Calming Body Moisturizer
I don't think I actually have eczema, but I figured if this lotion works for people with eczema, then it should definitely work for me. At the time, my skin was crazy itchy, and I was desperate. I saw the Good Housekeeping seal, so I knew it had to have promise. Since I've started using it, it has not let me down. It's unscented and free of irritants. The lotion is not anything fancy but, it keeps my skin moisturized, itch-free, and calm. It's a great everyday lotion for people with sensitive skin.

5. Dove Go-Sleeveless Anti-Perspirant Deodorant in Soothing Chamomile
The skin under my arms gets so irritated and itchy from shaving, which I just cannot deal with. I decided to try Dove's Go-Sleeveless Deodorant in Soothing Chamomile, and I'm really pleased. Now, after I shave, I put a little of the Cetaphil Moisturizer and then this deodorant on and my problems are solved. My underarms look a lot less distressed, and I'm not going crazy from being itchy. I really like the light chamomile scent. It's not especially sweet or fruity but more of a very mellow, natural scent. If you truly have sensitive skin though, then I would say skip the Dove Deodorant since it is scented and try Almay's Sensitive Anti-Perspirant Deodorant. My dad has super sensitive skin, and this is all he'll use. It's free of fragrance and definitely should not irritate your skin.

If you're like me and your skin is in constant turmoil, it may be because you're treating the symptoms but not the root of the problem. I think for me, I was using stuff that was too harsh for my skin trying to treat breakouts, and really the harsh products were making my skin a lot worse. So it's worth a try to walk away from the hardcore stuff for awhile and try using a base of simple products for sensitive skin and see what happens. Then, if you need to, maybe try using just one product a day for breakouts. I alternate using a benzyl peroxide lotion and a salicylic acid/retinol lotion at nighttime. It's just enough to keep my skin under control without it turning my face perpetually red. Hopefully, this is helpful! I'd love to hear your favorite sensitive skin products and tips!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

March Julep Box

I'm a little late on this review, but better late than never. For my March Julep box I decided it was time for a new look for Spring. So I ordered Julep's Soft Focus Finish polish in Ali, Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Aurora Pink, and Orbital Eye Shadow in Earthshine.

Julep Soft Focus Polish in Ali

 Ali is a super pretty semi-matte seafoamy mint polish. (I'm wearing a topcoat over Ali which sort of negates the matte finish.) Every time I wear this polish I get compliments! It's perfect for the spring and summer months. It is a bit trickier to apply than some of Julep's other polishes. It takes at least two coats to get an even color and takes a bit of patience. I'd say for the color it's well worth it though.

Julep Plush Pout in Aurora Pink
 Julep is spot on with the coverage and moisturization of their lip crayons. I love the formulation of their Plush Pout sticks. However, their shade depictions need a little work. From the website and name I was expecting a rosy pink color. I was really surprised to put it on and end up with a bright poppy coral color. The color is beautiful but just not what I was expecting! Luckily, Julep customers are very good about posting their reviews of products on the product pages. So next I'll be looking there before I buy another lip crayon.

Aurora Pink 
Unlike Aurora Pink, Julep's swatch for their Orbital Earthshine eye shadow is spot on. It's a highly pigmented deep, shimmery treebark brown shadow. It has a lot of staying power and is easy to apply. A little goes a long way! It's a very versatile every day shadow. I like to use it on it's own, as a compliment to lighter shadows, or as a powder eyeliner. 

Julep Orbital Earthshine Eye Shadow

I can't wait to try more of their Orbital Eye Shadows. I would love to have their Pan The Story Begins Orbital Eye Shadow Collection. It's a whimsical collection rich, shimmery hues like Supernova- a charcoal with electric orchid pearlescence and Moonbeam- a silver with lilac pearlescence.


Last but not least is the lovely bonus polish, Brandis, that Julep added to my box. (Always check your email ladies so you don't miss Julep's fun bonus offers!) Unfortunately, I don't have a swatch of this colorful turquoise creme polish because I sent it to camp with Elizabeth. Brandis went on super smoothly and was very rich. The formulation made it a breeze to apply. I was a little intimidated by the color at first because it's so bold, but it was a unique accent to my boring grey ensembles!

As always, if you think you want to try Julep, I'd love to refer you! Simply, click here to check out Julep's offer this month. It's free the first month, and if you don't like it then call Julep to opt-out.


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