Skincare Items & Intro to Retinol

Other than my regular cleansers and moisturizers, I’ve been trying out some skincare products I wanted to share with you. Hopefully some of this information will be helpful for you!

Lather Honey Moisture Mask with propolis extract – Spoonie Safe!

20170106_183723.jpgThis mask is labelled as a relief mask for environmentally stressed skin. It was an item I received in a past Ipsy bag that was so long ago I can no longer access it on the Ipsy site. It smells exactly like fresh honey, and feels so luxurious, I’ve been using it only very sparingly for special occasions when I feel my skin really needs extra help. It should be applied it to the skin and allowed it to sit for 20 minutes. Then press or rub the rest of the product into the skin, and incredibly smooth and soft skin is left behind. This is a great item for your arsenal in the winter to battle really dry skin.

Lather was a brand that I was introduced to by Ipsy, so I had to do my own research. Their motto is “clear skin for a radiant life. They create holistic and natural products, so they’re a great option if you’re looking for a healthier brand. Since this brand was founded by a woman who struggled with very sensitive skin, you can trust your own sensitive skin to these products. The item I own is .5 oz, and it’s lasted me a long time. The full size product is 4 oz, and is listed on their site for only $24. I think this is a really great price for a natural Spoonie-safe, luxurious mask. I will definitely be purchasing the full size once I’m out. While checking out their site, I also spotted a muscle ease gel for $18 – definitely another item that would be great for Spoonies. Check them out!

Shea Moisture masks – Spoonie Safe!

20170106_190512 (1).jpgI did an entire post on Shea Moisture, and if you haven’t checked it out yet you really should. I just wanted to mention that I’ve found their single face masks in places like Target and Walmart for only $2.50, so if you spot them you really should give them a try. I’ve tried a couple that really perform as the packaging says, so I think they’re worth a try. They’re another great tool for battling dry winter skin.


Advanced Clinicals Retinol

20170106_192043.jpgI’ve heard a lot of gurus on YouTube mentioning retinols as part of their beauty routine, and thought I’d try one out for myself. While I don’t have wrinkles, there are definitely some fine lines forming around my mouth and eyes, and on my forehead. I’ve read that preventative skincare, particularly in your late twenties is really important, so hard to get rid of issues don’t establish themselves in your skin. I wasn’t really willing to spend too much on a retinol so I picked this one up for only $6.99 at TJ Maxx.

Advanced Clinicals isn’t a brand I’m familiar with, but the simple packaging and product claims made me purchase this brand over some other options. My research tells me that their products are all clinically tested, and they focus on making high performance ingredients at an affordable price. The product I picked up at TJ Maxx is listed on the Advanced Clinicals site for $15, which is still reasonable for full price.

I encourage you to do research before using a product like retinol, because they’re very potent and can be an issue for sensitive skin. This might require a more in-depth post, but since I don’t want to leave you hanging with nothing I’ll give you a few tips. Generally, you want to purchase a retinol with skin conditioners and/or moisturizers to give you an extra edge against the power of the chemical. The item I picked up is listed as a serum (it has aloe vera and green tea), and when I apply it to my face it definitely feels like it conditions and moisturizes. Make sure you skin is completely clean, use your toner, make sure everything is dry and smooth, and then apply your retinol. After that soaks in, you can add whatever other serums or moisturizers. When you’re using a retinol you MUST use an SPF to protect your skin cells, and always be sure to follow the instructions on products like these. They’re very important!

This product has definitely smoothed out some of those lines I have noticed, and my skin feels very smooth and new. I do get some flushing and itchiness if I use it every day, but generally the side effects are minimal with optimal results. I like this product!

28 Remedy Nots (Noble Through Skin) Balancing Toner

20170106_175453This toner claims to balance skin, improve complexion, and is formulated for acne-prone skin. While I don’t personally have acne-prone skin, I find the skin balancing effects of this product very effective. I’ve used this 0n clients that claimed they liked the clean, tight feeling it gave their skin. I didn’t feel any tightness, but rather a nice, smooth base to begin applying makeup products. I received this item in my February 2016 glam bag, and only used it for special occasions because I’m having an incredibly hard time finding where to order from online. If anyone can help me locate this product I’d be very grateful. I’ve finally run out and would like this item for my freelance kit.


LaBella Body Care Cucumber & Chamomile Clay Cleanser

20170106_182602LaBella Body Care is a small, black-owned business I found via Twitter early in 2016 when I was still struggling greatly with my scalp. They had tweeted that the Clay Cleanser is helpful for people with eczema and scalp issues, so I ordered it hoping it would help me too. I started to use the cleanser on my scalp in place of shampoo. While it did help soothe my scalp, my flakes actually increased! Not wanting to waste the product, I began using it for what it was intended for as a face cleanser. Again, while it feels and smells wonderful, I didn’t feel the cleansing power was enough for me. My face did not feel cleansed at all, and I still felt like I needed to use another cleanser afterward.

I won’t be writing off this brand, because I’m excited to try the other items she makes. Currently her website is down, but look for her return.

Hempz Triple Moisture Winterberry Crème Brulee Herbal Whipped Body Creme

20170109_144306.jpgI’ve never tried any Hempz products before, but during a trip to Ulta with my mom, we spotted the winter display for their limited edition Winterberry scent. Since I wasn’t excited about splurging on a lotion, my mom treated me to a travel sized bottle ($8). The berry fragrance is very fresh and natural, and while you can still smell it on your skin as you wear it, it isn’t like your typical perfumed fragrance lotions where the scent can get a little sickly. Although the product is a body cream, I’ve been using it to treat my dry hands while at work. As I’ve mentioned in my blog before, I work with a lot of paper and I like to keep my hands nice and clean. The dry winter air and repeated washings can get really hard on my skin, and this lotion more than stands up to the abuse I put them through. The moisture from this formula actually lasts well enough to where I don’t even have to re-apply it every time I wash my hands because the moisture keeps working. The formula melts into the skin quickly without leaving any residue or greasiness.

Beyond Belief Tropical Mango Body Lotion

20170109_144626.jpgI received this travel sized bottle in one of my Christmas gifts. I love lotions, but I have to be honest and say I was not excited about this one because I don’t tend to like mango-scented things. They always smell like medicine to me. Like the true product-tester that I am, I tried it anyway, and was really impressed. Rather than being an artificial smell, this smells just like fresh fruit. The formula really reminds me of the Hempz body cream I mentioned above, in that it lasts through hand washings, and can keep my hands very soft and smooth. The formula, just like Hempz’ melts into your skin quickly and leaves your hands feeling clean and soft with no residue.

Burt’s Bees Brightening Even Skin Tone Moisturizing Cream w/Daisy Extract

20161219_222449I’m not a fan of Burt’s Bees’ lip balms, so I never really took a second look at the brand once I wrote off their lip balm formula. On a recent trip to CVS I took the chance to check out some products on their shelves while I waited for my prescription to be filled, and discovered the line of skincare items from Burt’s Bees. I was really impressed with the ingredients and the claims for each product, so I decided to try one. This cream is really thick and hydrating which is perfect for drier skin textures, although I think less product would suit more oily skin types just as well. It has a very natural and light citrus scent that does not linger long.

Since using this face cream I have noticed a decrease in some of the darkness (hyperpigmentation) around my mouth, and the dark circles near my eyes. Overall my skins appearance is more uniform since beginning to use this product.

Burt’s Bees is a brand that focuses on sustainable and responsible sourcing and packaging, so they’re a brand I feel good about purchasing from again.

Well, that was a lot of information, wasn’t it? I hope something in here helped you. If you have questions about anything please let me know. Also let me know if you’ve tried any of these products yourself, and what you think! Take care of your skin this winter!

With love


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