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THE COSMETIC REPORT
July 1, 2002

Every month I like to highlight one of our Panelists and the research and reviews she's been working on. This week I'm pleased to share Lisa's 30+ Beauty report on face creams. Enjoy!

Lisa is 30 years old, and hails from from Columbus, OH. She has very fair skin that tends to be "combination," with unexpected rages of sensitivity. Lisa's heritage is rather mixed - mostly Hungarian, with some Scottish and French mixed in with a dash of Native American. Her very fair skin tans like nobody's business and produces a myriad of freckles, so she always wears plenty of sunscreen. Lisa has golden-green eyes, and auburn hair (not naturally, though - she's been coloring it every shade of red imaginable since she was 15). Lisa's main beauty concerns are puffy, sensitive, "circled" eyes, (which she remedies with Creme de La Mer applied at night, and Avon Lighten Up Plus in the daytime) and blackheads on her nose. The best thing she's found so far for the blackheads is "Queen Helene" Mint Julep mask - it works great, and has that fun retro packaging (it's available for mere dollars at drugstores and beauty supply stores nationwide) - and the AHA mask from Tipton Charles (from indulge.com). Have a question for Lisa? Email her here.

Take it away, Lisa!

Greetings fellow makeup mavens! I'm pleased to present my second installment of the 30+ beauty series. If you missed our first installment, which covered a variety of anti-aging eye creams, be sure to take a few moments to give it a read. This time, we'll focus on facial moisturizers, because goddess knows I can't resist the opportunity to try a new one! Facial creams and lotions are definitely among my favorite items to sample; especially now, as I've noticed that my skin has changed since my early twenties.

While I am very fortunate to be blessed with great "skin genetics" (my mother is 62, and still has gorgeous skin), I have most certainly noticed some changes. I see fine lines here and there, and my skin seems more prone to hyperpigmentation than in the past (which, I'm sure, has something to do with the fact that I've been taking oral contraceptives for over 12 years, as they tend to make you more sun-sensitive). Thankfully, my little cosmetic obsession has spawned great skincare habits; I've taken good care of my skin since I was young because I actually enjoy sudsing and slathering all sorts of goodies on my face. All that attention has definitely made a difference.

If you are noticing that your skin needs a little extra pampering, a protective cream or lotion really can make a positive impact. With regular use of one of the new formulas containing retinol, hydroxy acids, vitamins, and other goodies, you'll definitely see some real results. I recently tested a bevy of products specifically designed to address the needs of maturing skin, and was pretty pleased, overall, with what I found.

The first product I tried was Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream-Gel. This lightweight formula is true to its name; a perfect cross between a gel and cream that felt very refreshing. In fact, it is specifically designed for any skin type in "hot, humid climates." Considering the fact that Ohio summers can feel like a bit like a steam room, this was exactly what I was looking for.

This formula is targeted for women under 40 who are looking to protect their skin from environmental factors like pollution and free radicals. Like other Clarins products, it contains a host of plant extracts, but special focus is given to the Mourera Fluviatilis, a South American plant that supposedly has an amazing resistance to environmental changes. The leaves, which contain a multitude of sugars and mineral salts, are dried, and then the aforementioned "key elements" are obtained via water extraction.

Scientific mumbo-jumbo aside, I really liked this cream-gel formula. It is light pink in color, with just a slight tinge of pearl (and I do mean slight - you'll barely notice it) added to impart a little glow. While it provided a good level of hydration, it never felt greasy in the slightest. After using it for about 4 weeks, my skin looked and felt wonderful, and didn't break out. It is, however, an expensive product (1.7 ounces for $55 at Gloss.com) that I'm not sure I would buy again for that price.

My only gripe? I just could not figure out, despite the numerous enclosed texts, if it actually contained sunscreen or not. While it promised to "protect my skin against environmental factors," the packaging did not say those magical words that put me at ease: SPF 15. Consequently, I used a foundation with SPF protection, just to be safe. However, if I'm paying $55 for facial lotion, it should definitely have sun protection.

Next on sample slab was Lubriderm Skin Renewal Anti-Wrinkle Facial Lotion. Since I was so fond of the Skin Renewal Eyecream I tried earlier this year, I was looking forward to testing this facial lotion. It has such a reasonable price point (a generous 3.4 ounces for about $12) and since my husband and I are paying off the last of those niggling wedding bills, that's a very attractive attribute to me.

I wasn't disappointed with what I found. This fragrance-free, SPF 15 facial lotion feels sheer and clean on skin, even in the hot humid weather we've been experiencing in Ohio. The active ingredient is a poly-hydroxy acid, which provides the same results as alpha or beta-hydroxy acids, but doesn't feel the least bit irritating or sting-y when applied. After using it for about 4 weeks, my skin tone was more even, and my fine lines were definitely less noticeable. I also didn't have any breakout problems with this lotion.

This product is a wonderful value, and easily out-performs an old favorite of mine, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Lotion, because it is lighter, and soaks in more quickly. You can purchase it at drugstores everywhere, or online at places like Drugstore.com.

Next, I moved on to Osmotics Illuminating Hydrating Complex. I had never tried Osmotics products before, and I've heard plenty of hype about this line, so I was really curious as to what type of experience I would have with this product.

I was a little worried when I read on the bottle that it was best suited for drier skin types. My skin can definitely get a bit dry when it is colder outside, but during the warmer months, that isn't a problem for me. As luck would have it, just as I was ready to try this lotion, we had a SERIOUS cold snap here in the midwest. And, when I say serious, I mean record-breaking. We had a freeze in the middle of May! My skin was a little dry after that, so it worked out perfectly. I also read on the label that it was safe for sensitive skin, so I figured that even if it was a bit rich, it wouldn't break me out.

I liked this facial lotion quite a bit. Even though it was moisturizing, it didn't feel greasy, at all, and no pimples came to visit. It has broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, and a subtle touch of pearl that added a glow, and diminished any little imperfections. It isn't fragrance-free, but the very slight smell of what I would describe as "fresh baby powder" didn't bother me, at all.

However, this is a very expensive product (3.4 ounces for a whopping $60) for something as basic as SPF facial lotion with a little shimmer. It doesn't contain any sort of fruit acids or retinol for resurfacing or refining, and in my opinion, $60 is just too much to spend for a basic facial lotion. But, other than that, I have no complaints. It is a good lotion, but just a little too spendy for us divas on a budget.

To round out my testing, I revisited on of my most beloved skincare lines, Ole Henriksen. Ole has helped my skin through some really rough spots (increased sensitivity, oiliness and dryness at the same time, etc.), so I was confident that he would have a product to address the aging issues mentioned earlier. I decided to try the Pure Perfection 12% Glycolic Crème. Ole has never let me down before, but would this product break his exceptional track record with me?

No, no it would not. While I doubted this incredibly rich and thick crème would be right for me upon first examination, when I actually tried it, my fears were put to rest. The interesting thing is that this is that this crème can be applied to the entire face (SPARINGLY!) including right under the eyes. It absorbed well, and didn't leave as much of a residue as I thought it would, although I still would only use it at night, because it tended to make my skin a bit shiny. It stings a bit, but only for a few seconds (unless you rub it over a blemish that has erupted, which will smart for a minute or so), which wasn't enough to even bat an eye at. When I woke up in the morning? Wow - Tight pores and firm skin, and not a blemish in sight! As I continued use of this crème over a month's period, I noticed fines lines disappear, and little patches of hyperpigmentation fade. Even the price is right (2 ounces for $45, but considering the teeny-tiny amount you use, this jar of mine barely looks touched, and I've been using it for a few months!) As usual, Ole maintains his skin hero status! If you haven't tried Ole's products, do yourself a favor, and buy a few items. Your funny little face will thank you! You can find Ole products, and this great creme, at Ole Face and Body online.

And that, my fellow cosmetic junkies, brings us to the end of this installment of 30+ beauty. Hopefully, you've found some useful information that will help you look and feel your best. Look for the next installment of 30+ beauty later this summer, which will cover treatments for the body!

Thank you, Lisa, for another great report on 30+ beauty. I hope you enjoyed this issue of The Cosmetic Report!

Until next time,


 

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