Category Archives: Acne treatments

Have/Love/Want 6.13.12

Posted by:  Jordan

Have: Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Cotton Rounds

After reading the positive review about these cotton rounds on the Glamorganic Goddess, I figured I should really be concerned about not only what products I put on my skin, but also what I put them on with–namely cotton rounds that have been chemically bleached.  I was won over by The Goddess’s arguments about how destructive conventional cotton farming is on the environment, so I’m trying to make a conscious effort to buy more organic cotton.  However, I can’t say I’m won over by these cotton rounds.  I always end up with cotton shreds on my face and fingers, and then waste several seconds trying to remove the stubborn hairy bits stuck to hands.  Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be buying these again.  Does anyone else know of organic cotton rounds that are a bit more sturdy?

Love: All-Natural Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

First, I need to point out the confusion that Emily and I ran into when she asked me for a recommendation for effective diaper rash relief.  We’ve unfortunately had to deal with irritating diaper rash a few times, so I’ve tried a few techniques.  I recommended Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, but I didn’t realize there was a natural version and a non-natural, petroleum-based version.  Emily saw the original formula (non-natural) at her local store and figured, “well, maybe this is something Jordan feels it’s ok to make a concession on since it really cures diaper rash”, even though she was hesitant about the ingredients.  Later that week she mentioned that it had really worked at clearing up her daughter’s diaper rash and I realized that I should write a review of it on the blog.  At that point she said, “but it’s petroleum-based…”  After much discussion on the scent and the color of packaging, we deduced that we had different versions; there must be a natural and a non-natural version.  Thanks to a quick Google search, we discovered that there are, in fact, different versions.   So, if you’re in need of some Butt Paste, we urge you to get the natural version for your sweet baby’s skin.

Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Castor Oil, Citric Acid, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Peruvian Balsam Oil

Since the tube is rather large, and you only use a small amount on baby’s skin–Bless Google–I did a search for other uses for Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and found a multitude of things for which people had used this cream.  Basically, it’s a cure-all for skin ailments– bug bites, acne, psoriasis, dandruff…the list goes on; someone even said it cured their ingrown toenail (??).  I haven’t tried this cream for anything other than a small breakout I had, which it did seem to relieve the redness and made the pimple smaller overnight.  If you’ll remember, I tried Weleda’s Diaper Cream as a blemish remedy once, as well.  The zinc is really effective in drying any breakouts up, and Boudreaux’s has 16% zinc–a bit more than Weleda’s 12%.  I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has found this cream to be a cure-all for anything!

Want:  Eminence Organics SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizer

I am still madly  in love with all Eminence products.  They’re my Creme de la Mer of organic beauty products–on the expensive side (not as much as Creme de la Mer, thankfully), but so effective and luxurious.  Everything I have tried from them has been an instant favorite.  So it’s not a surprise that Emily and I are both itching to try this (figuratively…if it were in the literal sense, I’d recommend rubbing some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste on that itch).  Tinted moisturizers are my favorite daily beauty product.  I like that it gives me some sun protection (if I’m outside at the park or beach, I’ll apply something more heavy-duty), and evens out my skin tone.  But it feels lightweight like a moisturizer, rather than a foundation on top of a moisturizer, which is heavier than I like–especially during the summer.

As an addendum to my Eminence wish list, my friend, Amy, told me about the amazing Eminence facials she gets at Pretty Please Beauty Studio in the Flatiron District of NYC. I’m trying to find a way to get myself some free time to indulge in a relaxing, organic facial!

 

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Filed under Acne treatments, Baby, Cool Companies We Love, Have/Love/Want, Product Reviews

Weleda Diaper Cream as Blemish Cure

Posted by:  Jordan

From Weleda’s website:

What do you recommend for treating blemishes?

Our Calendula Diaper Care works as an excellent spot-treatment due to its active ingredient of Zinc Oxide, which promotes healing. Extracts of organic and Biodynamic® grown calendula and organic chamomile reduce redness and inflammation.

I realize that applying diaper rash cream to your face seems a little unorthodox, but it actually seems to work REALLY well!  I tried this trick after reading the above recommendation on Weleda’s FAQ page on their website.  I was surprised how quickly it cleared up a few blemishes I had over the weekend…2 days later I was blemish free without even the slightest bit of dry, flaky skin! Since this cream is so soothing and moisturizing, and obviously made for sensitive skin, I wasn’t too worried about it being drying, but I wasn’t sure how quickly it would work as an effective blemish treatment.  Turns out, it went to work almost overnight!  Is this a one-time fluke?  I hope not, and I’ll be sure to update this post if my opinion changes in the future.

And as it so happens, Emily and I will both be stocking up on the Weleda Diaper Cream soon, as we’re soon going to be venturing into the world of mommyhood!  Emily is due next month, and, official announcement: I’m due in October!  So with all the hormonal changes going on in our bodies, we’re sure to be constantly applying this multi-purpose cream to both our babies and ourselves soon!

Mommies-to-be!

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Guest Post: Mishaps and Miracles Episode 1 – Whiteheads, Blackheads, and Zits Oh My!

Posted by: Amy (one of PJR’s very first readers/guest poster!)

As a devotee of the blog I am constantly thinking of things (or mistakes I made) that would be helpful to share…so I decided to send Jordan and Emily my own little posting and share my mis-adventures as a developing product junkie who knows enough to be dangerous but still has a lot to learn!

I started October off with a bang, a crazy fun wedding for my boyfriend’s younger sister. On the day of the wedding, everyone I was hanging out with decided to get makeovers at Macy’s and I caved in to the Chanel counter. I figured one non-natural evening wouldn’t hurt….plus Chanel is so high end….I would be fine. WOW. My face has never broken out faster! Now, I have always had very sensitive skin but this was crazy….I used unnatural products for the first 31 years of my life but I guess it just goes to show you once you get your skin used to natural how much better it is for you!

So with a second big wedding coming up (that this time I was in and therefore very concerned about pending photographs), I needed to figure out a natural cure…fast! I have my usual chin and t-zone issues occasionally but usually just depend on Bare Escentuals Rare Minerals Blemish Therapy and everything goes away in a few days.  However, this was a patch that was smack in the middle of my cheek and it was not going anywhere with my usual methods. So I checked the blog, started applying frozen grapes, and emailed my experts, Jordan and Emily, in a panic.

Emily reminded me of her success with salicylic acid, so I ran out and bought the Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub, which I liked the feel of a lot, and noticed a small improvement right away. Now, a little background on me – I am impatient and also a big skier. We have in “ski-world” what we call a “quiver” – like a quiver of arrows in Robin Hood days – it is basically the philosophy that different types of skis are needed for different types of conditions. I have noticed over the years that this philosophy has gotten ingrained in me in more ways than I would sometimes like (at least when it comes to my budget!) and I now have many “quivers” in my daily life.  So in this case, even though I could tell the salicylic acid was helping, I was still looking for a miracle – the “ski” wasn’t perfect (plus I don’t like to exfoliate my face every day…I am more a once or twice a week exfoliater).

Emily had also mentioned tea tree oil to me, so when I saw a little jar of Desert Essence pure tea tree oil at my local health food store, I grabbed it.  I had read it is generally too strong to use alone on your whole face so I also grabbed their Jojoba oil to use as a diluter.  Well mishap #1….tea tree oil is STRONG!  When they say diluted they must mean basically just wave it over the jojoba but don’t actually use any of it!  Man, did it make my sensitive skin burn….especially around my poor nose which was all raw from allergy season – ouch!  BUT….I noticed my cheek looked a million times better that next morning so I wanted to keep trying….leading to my miracle cure.  Pure tea tree oil on a cotton ball then just blotted on the spot doesn’t sting and it makes an awesome spot treatment!  After 3 days it is almost completely gone and I am able to completely cover it without concealer and just my 100% Pure Tinted Moisturizer (shameless plug, but I truly can’t live without it!).  A complete success in my book!  I will note that it has a very medicinal smell that isn’t very pleasant (although it sounds like it smells like roses compared to Jordan’s recent Neem oil adventures).  The good news is the smell only lasts about 5-10 minutes so I found it easy to deal with.

So, my acne quiver is now established….2 good products that I really like for weekly/everyday use….and one miracle cure for flare-ups!  As a side note, the Jojoba oil (by itself and applied with a cotton ball) has made a great evening moisturizer. I have very dry skin and love how it makes my skin so soft in the morning when I wake up…who needs thick expensive creams?

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Neem Oil

Posted by:  Jordan

A new, unexpected term of endearment has been coined in our household recently.  I’ve suddenly become known as “my little everything bagel” thanks to the potently scented Neem Oil I started using after reading Brilliant Farmgirl’s Beauty Secrets post.  Everything bagels are my favorite flavor of bagel, but I don’t especially enjoy walking around smelling like onion, garlic, and sesame.  But, I figured, “how bad can it really be???”  Oh boy…

Ayurvedic medicine promotes Neem oil as a natural cure for skin ailments like acne, psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, rosacea, and even wrinkles!  With all those benefits in one $10 bottle of oil, I knew I had to try it.  So I made a beeline to my local health food store and asked the man at the beauty counter for a bottle.  He looked at me skeptically and said, “you know how it smells, right?”  I replied, “Oh yes, I read that it has a strong onion and garlic smell, but I’m sure I can handle it.”  I’m “man” enough to deal with smelling like onion…or so I thought.  I used this oil for 2 straight weeks before I had to go back to my pleasant-smelling Kae serums and balms.  This oil just smells so offensive!  My husband, despite his sweet pet names, physically turns his head away from me after I apply this oil to my face.  So unfortunately I can’t really give you an in-depth personal account of how well this oils works for clearing skin, reducing redness, and plumping wrinkles because I’m too disgusted by the smell to use it for an extended period of time!

Luckily, the helpful man at the natural food store did give me a sample of TheraNeem’s Oatmeal & Lavender Cleansing Bar.  It’s a much more pleasant-smelling way to add Neem Oil into my skincare routine!  And at only $6 it’s an affordable addition, too.

Neem Oil comes from the fruit of the Neem tree, which is indigenous to India and Burma.  The fruit looks much like an olive:

 

Neem Oil has strong antibacterial properties, which is why the oil is thought to help prevent acne.  In India, these antibacterial qualities are also thought to be an effective method in preventing pregnancy, by using the oil as a spermicide. But I think perhaps the oil’s horrible stench is possibly what’s more effective in preventing pregnancies!  All joking aside, the effects of using Neem Oil externally during pregnancy are not well researched, so if you are pregnant just make sure you do your own research to see if you’re comfortable using the oil in your beauty regimen during pregnancy.  Avoid ingesting Neem Oil unless you talk to a doctor or herbalist, as it can be toxic if taken internally.

If anybody is up for a dare, I dare you to use this oil for at least a month and report back in how it’s working out for your skin!  I just can’t bring myself to use it unless I had a cold and couldn’t smell a thing.   I guess I’m not as hard-core of a junkie as I thought!

 

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Filed under Acne treatments, Cleansers, Moisturizers, Product Reviews

The REN-down

Posted by: Emily

My prayers have been answered!!!

REN is coming out with a new Acne treatment skincare line!

From what I can tell, it’s exclusive to Sephora, which is great, because Sephora has the best return policy, so I know I can try it worry-free and return it if it doesn’t work.

But I have a lot of hope and faith that it will work! I am currently using, and loving, several REN products— simply by having gotten a lot of samples from various stores 🙂 What can I say? I like to try before I buy! I really like all the samples I’ve been using, but I have been craving a good, safe acne treatment.

So, I wrote to REN customer service a few weeks ago, to see what they recommend for use on acne-prone skin. And the weird thing was that I didn’t get a response back right away; customer service is usually quick and eager to answer. Several days went by. And I thought, well, that was strange, and then I finally got back the most lovely email from jolly old England, complete with up-and-down apologies for the delay. They listed several recommended products, most of which I was already sampling, but it got me wondering… why the delay?

And now it all makes sense! The customer service rep must have known they were *about* to release the acne line, and didn’t know if she could tell me yet! Don’t worry, REN customer service, I know all about it now! (I don’t mean this in any way to be a criticism of REN’s customer service– I was really happy with their response, and so what if it took a little while?)

Then, once Sephora launched the line, called Clear Calm 3, it still wasn’t available to order online for a few weeks, because, clearly, they’re trying to torture me! But as of today, when I sat down to write this, the following new products are available to order (and in my virtual shopping cart!!):

REN ClearCalm 3 Anti-Blemish Day Fluid

This light moisturizer promises less oil and smaller pores. I am sold!

REN ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum

Here’s the yummy ingredient list, and what it promises to do:

-Glabridin: Reduces sebum overflow and microbial growth, and lightens hyperpigmented acne scars.
-Leghemoglobin: Acts as a powerful antioxidant.
-Kaempferol: Repairs DNA damage.
-Chamomile and Lavender Essential Oils: Soothe skin and help to balance hormones.

Well, it sounds great, but I doubt the Chamomile and Lavender are going to balance my hormones! I don’t think Essential Oils have the power to do that 🙂 But I am excited about the Glabridin reducing sebum and lightening acne scars! I am so excited to try this.

And coming soon, ClearCalm 3 Anti-Acne Treatment Mask. I have been looking for an all-natural acne treatment containing Sulfur for the longest time! And this also has Salicylic Acid– perfect! My two favorite acne-fighting ingredients. Can’t wait till this is finally available at Sephora!!!!

One more little treat: Right now, receive a 0.5 oz REN ClearCalm 3 Anti-Blemish Clay Cleanser sample, free with any online merchandise purchase with the code CLAYCLEANSE at Sephora.com!

I decided not to buy this cleanser, even if I hadn’t gotten this nice, big sample. Much as I want luxurious cleansers, it’s one place I really like to save money. Cleansers don’t stay on your skin (hopefully– they’re supposed to wash off entirely!) so buying one with fancy, expensive ingredients can be a waste of money. I am sure this one is lovely, and I am excited to use this sample, but I think I’ll hold off on buying the whole thing. But if REN or Sephora wants to send me one, I’d LOVE to try it and review it, wink, wink! Come on, REN and Sephora, convince me I’m wrong about not needing pricy cleansers 🙂

And, as always, REN products are made without the following: Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Synthetic Dyes, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOs, and Triclosan. Love that!


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Natural blemish relief: Milk of Magnesia

Posted by:  Jordan

Happy 4th of July!  Summer is in full gear here in New York–it’s going to be 94 degrees today in my un-air-conditioned apartment.  If you have sensitive skin that is anything like mine and breaks out at the slightest change in humidity, altitude, or even which city’s water I use to wash my face, you might benefit from this skin-clearing tip. I learned this trick from The Green Beauty Guide and it really has been working for me!  When my complexion is refusing to cooperate with me, I do this mini-mask and my skin is appearing to suddenly obey my commands.  After removing your makeup at night, apply a thin layer of regular, unflavored Milk of Magnesia (found at the drugstore next to the Tum’s and Pepto-Bismol) to your face with either your hands or a cotton round.  In a few minutes you’ll look like a geisha and the white mask will feel tight.  Then, simply rinse off and apply your nighttime moisturizer.  It’s simple, cheap, and is really working to clear up any little breakouts I’ve been getting.  Let me know if it works for anyone else!

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Juice Beauty: Organics to Clear Skin Kit

Posted by: Jordan

At first I was afraid,
I was petrified,
Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side,
But then I spent so many nights just thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew stong
And I learned how to get along

 
I’m fairly certain that Ms. Gaynor was referring to a lost love, but in recent weeks this song has got me thinking about my own lost love: Proactiv.  I was lucky enough to be mostly clear-skinned all through my otherwise ugly duckling teen years, but when I hit 25 my hormones decided that occasionally they’d like to make up for some lost time.  My friend Lora discovered Proactiv, and when I went to her with my skin woes, she shared her secret with me.  Bonding over our mutual drug of choice, we became fiends together.  When she decided to go natural with her beauty routine during pregnancy, and thus gave up our beloved Proactiv for nearly a year, I emailed my condolences, but was thinking to myself “another reason to put off that whole baby thing for a while longer”, and offered to take her Proactiv off her hands for her so that the precious creams wouldn’t go to waste.  When she was able to return to her old blemish-zapping routine, we rejoiced together. 

But now that I’ve decided to go natural with my beauty routine, the Proactiv had to go.  For good.  I hadn’t used it every day for years, but I’d keep it around for emergencies.  Lora, good friend that she is, took her first step along with me by permanently throwing out her chemical-heavy Proactiv.  For the first month of my completely natural skincare regimen, my face glowed and I thought to myself, “why did I rely on that junk as such a crutch??”  And then came the revolt.  Forehead and chin sprouts abound!  I kept waiting for the glow to come back, but all that came back were more red bumps.  Over a glass of wine at an organic restaurant on the Upper West side, I complained to Emily about what was going on with my face.  She suggested I try Juice Beauty’s Organics to Clear Skin Kit.  She said it was a great way to sample several of the products in their line, and she’d had great results with the blemish clearing serum.  The next day, I marched straight over to the Union Square Sephora during lunch time and couldn’t wait to try out the entire set!

 

 

Three weeks later, I’m a huge fan!  My face is nearly completely free of both blemishes and the drying that usually accompanies zit-zapping products.  I love everything in this set, including the bonus soft bamboo headband.  But I have to say, my most favorite product in this trial/travel sized kit is the Green Apple Peel mask.  You use it once a week, and I’ve found myself anxiously waiting for Thursday evening to arrive so I can use the mask again!  I read a few reviews on Sephora’s website that a few people were confused by the terminology, so let me clear that up for our readers.  Don’t think of this mask as one of those old-school masks that you literally peel off your face (anything that painful is obviously going to cause some irritation.)  You rinse this mask off.  The word peel is used in the sense of a chemical peel.  The fruit acids literally eat away at the dead skin, thereby exfoliating your face…you yourself do not peel the mask off.  The first time I used this mask, I put it on way too thick and my face turned bright red within minutes.  It went away after about 20 minutes, but it was a scary moment for a while there.  Coincidentally, when I was at Whole Foods during lunch a couple weeks ago with my friend Jamie, I was telling her about my one-week results so far with these great products and how much I especially loved the mask.  Like a guardian angel, a bubbly, glowing-skinned girl strolled up to us and asked if we needed help with any Juice Beauty products–she was the rep!!!  So I told her how much I was loving the results of the Green Apple Peel mask, and asked if she had any samples for Jamie to try out.  Precious-gift-from-above that she was, she opened a new container and scooped a few spoonfuls into a jar for Jamie to try.  And now Jamie is addicted too, and we both find ourselves getting ridiculously excited to our weekly peel!  But one tip to remember when using this mask, as stressed by the baby-faced Juice Beauty rep: do NOT put the mask on very thick.  Just a thin layer will do the trick.  In fact, the thicker you put it on, the more red and tingly your skin might temporarily get.  But the results will not be any better by piling it on. 

Yesterday I received this email from Lora:

it’s a [darn] good thing I threw out my proactiv because sistah.. I’m tellin ya.. I would have slathered that sh*t up on my zit full face like it was the day after lint and I had given up chocolate.

See, I told you we get a bit worked up about our breakouts.  In repayment to her blemish-fighting wisdom from our not-so-natural days, I told her to go try out this natural blemish-fighting kit and see if she likes it as much as I do.  It’s not an instant miracle like Proactiv was, but it also doesn’t contain carcinogens.  I think it’s a good trade-off, myself.

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Filed under Acne treatments, Cleansers, Exfoliators, Masks, Moisturizers, Product Reviews, Travel