acne

cleanse and moisturize

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be talking about two products that I have enjoyed using. These products were given to me by a friend, Jeanette Weeks…click on her name for more information about her! 🙂

The first product is the Mary Kay Clear Proof Clarifying Cleansing Gel. Say that three times fast…
On the Mary Kay website you will find this run down of the product:

  • Gently removes dirt, oil and complexion-dulling impurities.
  • Deep cleanses skin to penetrate and clear pores.
  • Helps reduce and control shine, leaving skin with a beautiful matte finish.
  • Helps maintain a clear complexion.
  • Does not strip skin of moisture.
  • Leaves skin feeling smooth and fresh.
  • Rinses clean with no residue.

It’s also fragrance-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic and suitable for sensitive skin.

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This cleanser gets it done! It’s a clear gel that foams into a nice lather. It doesn’t have any distinct smell as it is fragrance free, which I love! FRAGRANCE DOES NOT EQUAL SKINCARE!!! So thank-you Mary Kay for leaving irritating fragrances out of a cleanser designed for already irritated skin…applause! I find that this cleanser effectively removes excess oil and dirt from my skin. I have tested it by using a toner on a white cotton pad after cleansing. Nothing shows up on the cotton pad! Yay! After using this cleanser my skin feels clean and soft. I don’t feel dried out at all. The only claim that Mary Kay makes about this cleanser that I cannot vouch for is whether it reduces and controls shine. My skin will grease through the best mattifying products on the market. About 1 hour after washing my face I can see the oil start to seep through my pores, but that’s okay because I have always been this way.

The second product I want to talk about is from the same line. It’s the Clear Proof Oil Free Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin. What is with these hella-long names!? Aha! Anyways, here’s what Mary Kay says about this moisturizer:

  • Replenishes moisture to provide balanced hydration.
  • Is lightweight and quick-absorbing with no oily or greasy feel.
  • Does not clog pores.
  • Helps control excess oil, leaving skin with a beautiful matte finish.
  • Feels soothing to irritated skin.
  • Improves the appearance of skin’s tone.
  • Helps skin feel healthier, nourished and smooth.
  • Helps maintain skin’s moisture.

It also is non-comedogenic, suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin, and clinically tested for skin irritancy and allergy.

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I really like this moisturizer! It’s a gel-cream texture that feels absolutely amazing on my greasy face. I find that this moisturizer absorbs quite quickly and it doesn’t leave any sticky or oily-looking residue on my skin. I don’t think I have been using this product long enough to make a conclusive statement as to whether it has altered or improved the texture or appearance of my skin but after a few more weeks I’ll let you guys know. I have been rolling through different moisturizers for a while and none of them have really impressed me, but this one is definitely impressive. I will enjoy using every last drop of it!

Thanks for reading my review! If you’re interested in trying these products or any other Mary Kay products click here!

 

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april 2014 skin update

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Hi friends! I’m a few days late on my April skin update, but I did take these pictures on the very last day of April, so technically it still counts.

As you can see my skin has improved even more over this past month. You can check out my March skin update here to compare.

My cheeks have maybe 3 pimples in total. There is still hyperpigmentation and redness present, but I feel like each of these problems has improved since my last update. Hyperpigmentation takes a really long time to resolve so I am trying to be as patient as I can. As for the redness, I am trying to be as gentle with my skin as possible in order to reduce any irritation. I’m not using any harsh cleansers or soap on my face, I moisturize morning and night, and I’m using a buttload of SPF on my face…that’s right, a buttload. Since the sun has started peaking out I have upped it to an SPF of 30 or greater every day.

My forehead is going a little cray…I think I’m experiencing a bit of a PMS/hormonal breakout because I have 4 giant pimples on my head. They are the deep, painful type. Not quite a cyst, but definitely cyst-like. I think it’s probably going to take two or more weeks for these suckers to vacate the premises…ugh! Due to the fact that my forehead is acting up I’ve added some benzoyl peroxide back into my skin care routine. I’m only using a 2.5% concentration, and I’m only putting it on my forehead. I use a small dot of the Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment and then spread it all over my forehead. Then I put my nighttime moisturizer on.

Here’s a lovely picture of my forehead…Please ask small children to leave the room before scrolling down.
DSC00417Aaaaaahhhhh!! TOO CLOSE!!
My sincerest apologies.

I will be posting a full skin care routine that includes all of the products I use. For those that are wondering, I am still using my Clarisonic Mia 2 and the Arbonne Intelligence Genius.

Thanks for checking in with The Beauty Remedy! Please leave any comments or questions below, I love hearing from you! 🙂

 

Clarisonic Mia 2 Review

The Clarisonic Mia 2 revolutionizes skin care via facial sonic cleansing. Woah! Science!

The Clarisonic website states:

Unlike spinning devices, our patented sonic technology works with skin’s natural elasticity, oscillating at a sonic frequency that produces over 300 movements per second. The resulting flexing action works to loosen dirt and oil, removing deep-seated impurities from pores and priming skin to better absorb topical treatments.

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This baby rings in at approx $180CAD. For that pretty penny you get a sonic cleansing device that has two  speeds (universal and delicate), a one minute timer that pulses to let you know to switch areas on your face, an extra brush head (and the option of buying different types of brush heads), and a two year warranty. So the question remains…is it worth it?

I’ve been using my Mia 2 for over 30 days now so I feel as though I can offer a well rounded review without any “honeymoon state” bias.

The good. The Mia 2 is easy to use and only takes 1 minute of your time. It cleanses your skin like crazy good! I usually use an oil cleanser to take off any makeup first and then I apply a gentle, soap free cleanser to my face. Then I use the Mia 2 and go over my whole face for 1 minute. After I use it my skin feels amazing. My face feels so clean and so smooth. I feel like it really does live up to it’s claims, my moisturizer and targeted treatments really feel as though they are sinking in to my skin after using the Mia 2. My other skin care products no longer “sit” on top of my skin anymore.

The bad. This sucker is expensive. It’s about $180CAD for the Mia 2. There is a cheaper option but it doesn’t have the handy timer that tells you when to move it to a new part of your face. I have put off buying the Mia 2 for over a year because of the price. It’s hard to spend $180CAD on one item to cleanse your face. I know a lot of people would feel a bit guilty about spending this much money.

The final verdict. The Clarisonic Mia 2 is worth it for me. I love it. I am in love with it. It has changed my skin completely. However, this product is not for everyone. If you have dry, sensitive skin this might be overwhelming for your complexion. But if you’re like me and you have problematic skin in any way, shape or form I would encourage you to check this bad boy out. Your skin will thank you.

Do you have any experience with the Clarisonic or other skin cleansing brushes? Let me know in the comments! 

march 2014 skin update

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Thirty days ago I started a new skin care regimen. I had been suffering from a breakout that was getting progressively worse over the previous 6 months. I was frustrated. I was desperate. I just wanted something to work! 

I decided to throw out all of my “traditional” acne treatments. No more benzoyl peroxide, no more salicylic acid, no acne cleansers…if it targeted acne-prone skin, I stopped putting it on my face. 

Enter a whole new cleansing routine and a key anti-aging ingredient! 

I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 and Arbonne Intelligence Genius. This dynamic duo has changed my skin completely! I’ll be doing in-depth reviews on each of these products very soon. 

Here are some up close and personal pictures of my bare skin today…
those with sensitive stomachs should tread carefully

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My skin has come a long way in a month. You can see how it used to look here and here. I have less than 5 actual pimples and much of my redness is reduced. Even though the condition of my skin has improved tenfold it still has a long way to go before it’s “normal”. I have hyperpigmentation left over from healing pimples. I also have a few pitted scars.

The Clarisonic and the Arbonne Intelligence Genius have improved all aspects of my skin. I no longer have random dry patches around my mouth and on my nose. The texture of my skin is much smoother. The redness has also decreased. Since beginning this new skin care regimen the hyperpigmentation and scarring that I already had has decreased slightly. I’ve also noticed that any fresh breakouts are healing faster and are not leaving any noticeable hyperpigmentation or scars. 

I finally have hope that one day I’m going to wake up and look in the mirror and see “normal” skin! Even though I’m not there yet, I haven’t felt this hopeful in about a year. It’s a good feeling! 

If you have any questions or advice regarding skin care or acne please leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you. Thanks again for checking in with The Beauty Remedy! xo

bad skin blues

This is the first step I’m taking in chronicling my acne story. Over the course of the next few weeks, or months (who knows), I’m going to be talking about my acne and skin care successes and failures. Here goes nothing…

I have bad skin. There’s really no way around it. My skin complaints include, but are not limited to: oily, acne prone, cystic acne, enlarged pores, blackheads, fine lines (around my eyes), wrinkles (on my forehead), hyperpigmentation, and scars.

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These are the most recent photos I have of my bare skin. You can see how it looked a month ago here. My skin is much improved since the beginning of this year, but obviously it’s not perfect. Currently I have 2 or 3 active pimples (down from 10-15!). Most of the spots you see in the pictures is hyperpigmentation. This is a step in the right direction when trying to conquer adult acne.

Adult acne is a cruel joke. I had moderate acne when I was a high school student but a simple skin care regimen that included a prescription topical took care of that. Now, in my early twenties, acne has reared it’s ugly head yet again. The problem with adult acne is that a simple skin-care regimen is not going to cut it. Adult acne is closely tied to hormonal fluctuations and imbalances. So the key to reducing acne and improving the skin is to control the hormones. Easier said than done…

I have relentlessly researched how to balance female hormones related to adult acne. With hundreds of hours of research under my belt these are the changes I’ve made in my life to balance my hormones:

  • Staying hydrated: I drink 3-4 litres of water each day. I also drink a lot of green teas and herbal teas. Drinking water can help flush toxins out of the body.
  • Exercising: In the past I would have bursts of activity that last for 3-4 days and then I’d sit and vegetate for 5 days. Recently I have been trying to do moderate to intense activity every other day. I usually go to the gym or do a home workout.
  • Cutting down on sugar: This one kills me the most. I love chocolate and candy bars. I could literally eat them everyday and be so happy. However, sugar creates a stress response in the body. This stress response contributes to the wacky hormone levels that create ugliness on my face. So I had to break up with candy. I do still treat myself occasionally. Maybe 2-3 times a week. My goal is to cut treats down to once a week.
  • Sleeping: It’s hard to get adequate sleep. Everyone is well aware that getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night is good for you. Unfortunately, as a nurse, there are some nights when I’m getting zero hours of sleep. To combat this I’ve been letting myself sleep as much as humanly possible on my days off and then just sucking it up on the days and nights I work. So when I average out my sleep I’m still getting between 6-8 hours of sleep each night.

Each of these strategies is aimed at reducing physical, emotional and physiological stress. The less stressed I am, the less acne I will have.

Stay tuned, soon I’ll be sharing the skin care routine that has made the biggest impact on my skin.

Did you like this post? Let me know in the comments. I’d also love to hear some of your lifestyle beauty tips!

it’s covered

Recently I tested out Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup. Clinique states that this liquid foundation offers sheer to medium coverage. This is what they say on their website:

“Tested for streaking and fading at 88°F with a constant 80% humidity, all to prove Stay-Matte stays fresh. At the same time, this patent-pending formula absorbs shine, controls oil, resists sweat. And you stay matte all day.”

This is what it looks like

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So does it live up to it’s claims?

Before I show you pictures of my face, I just want to warn you…I have oily skin and adult acne. I’ll be doing a post about acne in the future. For now, here’s my face in all it’s imperfect glory. IMG_0631

This foundation has it’s work cut out for it.

I started with a thin layer of Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment. Then I buffed on one layer of the foundation with this brush, one of my favourites! As you can see, the foundation provides medium coverage. Most of the redness is covered but the dark spots and scars are still peeking through.

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Here, I patted a second layer of foundation over the problems areas only. I did not use any concealer in this photo. Can you believe this coverage!? Adding the second layer provided me with almost full coverage. The foundation layered well; it didn’t cake up or ball up. In person it’s evident that I’m wearing foundation, but it doesn’t look like it’s caked on at all.

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My final thoughts

The good: This is a great foundation. It goes on smoothly and offers medium coverage that is buildable. I love that I don’t need to have a concealer on hand when using this foundation because a second layer acts as a concealer. This foundation wears beautifully throughout the day. It mattifies well. No foundation has ever kept me matte for over 3 hours, this one fared well for at least 5 hours. After the 5 hour mark I did blot my face with an oil blotting sheet, but I didn’t have to add any powder. I wore this foundation for a total of 9 hours and at the end of the day it still looked great.

The bad: This foundation settled into the fine lines around my eyes and around my mouth after about 4 hours but it is easily blended back into place with either my fingers or a brush.

Overall: I would recommend this foundation to anyone who is struggling to find makeup for oily skin. This foundation lived up to it’s claims and provided beautiful, even coverage on my spotted up face.

For anyone interested here is the final look with the Clinique Stay Matte foundation

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Products used:
Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment
Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup
Benefit Fake Up Concealer
Elf Studio High Definition Powder
MAC Mineral Blush in Gentle
Elf Studio Brow Kit in Medium
NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Tarte Amazonian Clay NaturalEYES Natural Eye Pallette
Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Black
Covergirl Professional Super Thick Lash in Very Black
Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in Menace

Lastly, here’s a before and after shot

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Thanks for checkin in with me! Do you prefer mattifying or luminizing foundations? Comment below!