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May 30, 1999

This week I am very pleased to bring you my review of Sage Skin Care, located online at http://www.zerozits.com.

When I'm not locked up in my bathroom testing cleansers and trying different brands of eye shadow, I am regularly online surfing around for interesting beauty sites. During a recent jaunt, I discovered Sage Skin Care by Barbara Strickland. Barbara is a published author and has 17 years experience as a Para-Medical Esthetician. Her Sage Skin Care site features products she has created to treat acne, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discolorations. Barbara also shares some great information in articles about preventing acne, avoiding common skin care product ingredients that can aggravate acne, and using sunscreen religiously.

Here are a couple of Barbara's tips that I now swear by:

o Wash your face with slightly warm to cool water. Hot or very warm might feel good but that heat makes the skin swell and your pimples get irritated. Now that we're getting into summer, try using cool water and see how refreshing it feels.

o In Barbara's words, "Be an acne detective." Learn about product ingredients and which ones to avoid. This advice alone has made a marked improvement in my skin far beyond what any one cream or mask could do. I never realized just how many ingredients I was using regularly were making my problem skin worse.

When you first visit Sage Skin Care and browse the selection of products, you may wonder why everything seems a little expensive. This is not another skin care line charging high prices for fancy packaging and expensive advertising; what you are paying for is truly product quality and unbelievable service. For every customer and every product ordered, Barbara will work with you to get the best results for your skin, whether that means exchanging products, reformulating ingredients, or customizing a program that suits your needs. I only wish every shopping experience could be so warm, personal, and thorough.

Corrective Grains ($17.50 for 4 ounces)
Because Barbara will re-blend her products depending on your skin's reaction to the initial formula (made of ammonium lauryl sulfate, aloe vera, benzoyl peroxide 2 ½%, polyethylene beads, aloe vera, and preservative), I actually tried two versions of this scrub. The first was a little too grainy and drying for my skin, so Barbara made a new blend with fewer scrub grains and more cold pressed aloe vera and hydrolyzed sunflower oil, which worked wonderfully for me. I also modified my program so I use the scrub once a day in the morning rather than morning and night. I almost can't imagine my morning without it!

Facial Shampoo ($17.50 for 4 ounces)
Again, some trial and error led me to trying three different versions of this cleanser. The first was a little too drying for my normal to dry skin (made of ammonium lauryl sulfate, aloe vera, hydrolyzed safflower oil, allantoin, panthenic acid, and preservative), so Barbara sent me two other formulas, one foaming with more cold pressed aloe, and one non-foaming with hydrolyzed safflower oil. I love both and use the foaming in the shower and the non-foaming at night. This cleanser is very gentle and removes all your makeup effortlessly without irritating your eyes.

SPF 25 Sunblock ($21 for 4 ounces)
For my pale skin, sunblock is something I already use faithfully but never really liked. Almost all the ones I've tried are thick, too white, smell awful, or leave my skin feeling greasy. Barbara created hers to work with the water left on your skin after cleansing, so it absorbs more quickly and easily into your skin. It contains octyl methoxy cinnimate (uvb), octyl salicylate (uvb), menthyl anthranilate (uva), titanium dioxide (uva) plus aloe vera. If you never use sunscreen because you hate the consistency, consider this one. I don't get ready in the morning without it.

Gelloid Moisturizer and Masque ($40 for 4 ounces)
Here's another example of trying more than one formula. The original Gelloid (made of cold pressed aloe vera, allantoin, hydrolyzed safflower and sunflower oil, panthenic acid, chamomile, vitamin c and preservative) wasn't absorbing well into my skin, so Barbara tweaked it for me. The only downside is that I can't use it around my eyes - if it gets anywhere near them, my eyes get red and teary. Otherwise this is a great lightweight cream that makes the skin feel supple and smooth.

Glycolic Acid 12% Smoothing Cream ($60 for 2 ounces)
I've been an advocate of AHAs for acne prone skin for quite some time, and I've tried just about every brand out there. I can honestly say I like this one the best. Unlike most AHAs, this one also has BHA (salicylic acid) and vitamin C in a surprisingly non-comedogenic base of aloe vera, allantoin, hydrolyzed safflower oil, and hydrolyzed sunflower oil that smooths the skin and reduces fine lines and blotchiness from old acne. I've had better results and less irritation with this than any other AHA I've tried.

Old Lady Cream ($40 for 2 ounces)
This is the only Sage product that didn't "wow" me. It's a basic moisturizer that seals in the moisture on your skin. I used it on some dry patches and around my eyes for a while, but didn't see a dramatic difference. My re-formulated Gelloid plus a regular eye cream (I'm using Alpha Hydrox now) do a better job for me.

Miracle Zit ($35 for 8 ounces)
At the heart of the Sage acne fighting program is this benzoyl peroxide cream. It's free of the irritating fillers that most drugstore brands have, and is designed to be used on your whole face (or wherever you regularly breakout) as well as for spot treating individual pimples. Personally, I could only use it on individual pimples; my skin does not react well to benzoyl peroxide all over, so I use prescription erythromycin gel and Differin all over my face instead. XX Miracle Zit ($40 for 8 ounces)
For especially large, cystic pimples, this extra strength cream works quickly (within 24-48 hours) without drying your skin to death. This version is NOT designed to be used all over your face.

One of the best ways to try Sage products is in a Try Me Pack. For around $50, you get 2 ounce sizes of the products most appropriate for your skin, complete with Barbara's great service and advice. If you want to try the products and see how your skin does, this is a great way to do it.

For more information about Sage Skin Care, including product descriptions and online ordering, visit http://www.zerozits.com.

Congratulations are in order for our recent contest winner, Kate Whipple. Kate is now the proud owner of a Profaces Professional Brush Kit. Our latest contest is a short one - ending June 4th - so get your entry in now. We are giving away four sets of Trucco cosmetics from their new Aura collection.

Click here to enter now:

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