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August 12, 1999

The Cosmetic Connection Product Panel has grown quite a bit over the last few months, and every Panelist is just as devoted a "product junkie" as I am! This week I am pleased to feature our Panelist Deanna as a Cosmetic Report featured writer.

Deanna is 33 years old, and half Caucasian, half African American. She has normal to oily skin that tans easily and is prone to mild/moderate acne breakouts. Her skin tone is a warm yellow, similar to Iman's Sand 2. Deanna has dark brown hair with natural auburn highlights and medium brown eyes. Deanna lives from Silver Spring, Maryland, and is currently a full-time student studying for a Master's degree in International Business Management. Deanna is also a new mom to a little girl, Cydney. In her late teens and twenties, she worked as a large-sized model and has been a product junkie ever since!

Take it away, Deanna!

During the last month of my recent pregnancy, I just couldnít move around as well and was, in fact, on physician prescribed "bed rest." I donít know if it was the hormones, the inability to get my regular cosmetic counter "fix" or just simply the fact that I couldnít sleep that lead me to it, but, whatever it was, I did it. Yes, armed with the TV remote and a credit card, I ordered some of those "as seen on TV" products. Címon, you know youíve wanted to, and, besides, what else is there to watch at 3:00 a.m.? Iíll try anything once, so, let me share some of my experiences with you.

The Selleca Solution
Price: $39.95 + shipping and handling
This is a skincare system touted by Connie Selleca supposedly based on a an "ancient Egyptian miracle cream." I was drawn to this product because of the inclusion of essential oils, specifically myrrh, frankincense and sandalwood - oils known for their hydrating and healing qualities - and because it promised gentle, quick results. After all, I was pregnant and concerned with what I put on my skin. The system consists of three pieces: a cleanser, a day moisturizer and a night cream. It also includes an eye treatment kit, two pieces, one for day and one for night, and some "freebies": a sample of body lotion, a sample of quick lift facial firming gel and a sample of eye makeup remover. These products are supposed to work together as a "system." This is how it worked for me.

Soothing Cleanser with Chamomile
A cleanser is supposed to remove all makeup from the face. Unfortunately, this cleanser couldnít do it. I washed my face three times to remove just my foundation, blush and lipstick (regular formulations) using this cleanser and I still couldnít get it all off. I eventually had to use my regular facial cleanser. When checking the ingredient list, I found that this "cleanser" was almost all fillers and comedogenic ingredients. However, not to be deterred, and hoping for a "miracle", I pressed on.

Daily Difference Moisturizer
This was an average little moisturizer. It smelled nice and felt good on the skin. It takes a few minutes to absorb so, I had to wait about 5 minutes before I could apply my makeup, but, all in all, it was okay. It contains some essential oils, but they are listed so far down on the ingredient list, there canít be much in there. Another drawback: itís loaded with comedogenic ingredients.

Nighttime Miracle Cream
Iím not a real fan of night creams but I have to admit this one felt nice and I didnít wake up "puffy." It has the same bois de rose scent as the rest of the skincare line. I didnít experience any life changing results, though. This product, too, is loaded with comedogenic ingredients.

Firming Eye Gel
This is the daytime portion of the eye treatment kit. As far as eye creams go, itís about average. I did not see any difference, but the product did feel good on the skin and absorbed quickly.

Hydrating Eye Cream
This is the nighttime portion of the eye treatment kit. Again, average. It didnít do a thing for my crowís feet, but it felt good.

Essential Moisture Body Lotion
Iíll admit my skin was particularly dry during my pregnancy. Even still, an average body lotion, I would compare it to Suave or St. Iveís body lotion.

Quick Lift Facial Firming Gel
This gel, like many others of its type, works by temporarily (and I mean temporarily) tightening the skin.

Gentle Eye Make-up Remover
Again, average. It did a better job than the facial cleanser, but not by much.

I used these products for about three weeks. Although I really canít recommend these products for people with my skin type, I will say that they do smell good and feel good, but all I got for my money was disappointment and pimples. If you are still interested in these products, which are distributed by Guthy-Renker, you can check them out at www.choicemall.com.

Proactiv Solution
Price: $39.90 +shipping and handling
This is another series of products distributed by Guthy-Renker. Judith Light, Mackenzie Phillips and two dermatologists, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, advertised it. I bought the 3-piece system, which included the Renewing Cleanser, the Revitalizing Toner, the Repairing Lotion and a "free" Refining Mask. I tend to break out anyway and after the "Selleca Solution," I really needed something to help clear my skin. Hereís how it went:

The Renewing Cleanser
This is a gentle exfoliating cleanser with beads and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. It felt terrific on my irritated face. It removed every trace of my makeup, including the "stay put" variety. It is not recommended for the removal of eye make up, though, so this must be done separately.

The Revitalizing Toner
Iím not a "toner" person. I think that it is a wasted step, after all, pores donít open and close. However, I found it very refreshing on my skin and it felt even better after I started putting it in the refrigerator. It contains very small quantities of glycolic acid, which I wouldnít think was enough to make a difference. The cleanser works so well, I didnít notice makeup or "dirt" on the cotton pad after a swiped my face with the toner, so Iím not really sure what the toner actually does. However, I used it anyway.

The Repairing Lotion
This product felt really good on the skin. It really soothed my face and absorbed quickly. I could put my makeup on almost immediately after applying the product. Even though this product contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, initially I didnít find it the least bit drying or uncomfortable.

The Refining Mask
This clay-based mask should be used about two to three times a week. It contains 6% sulfur and zinc oxide as its active ingredients. It definitely dried up my oily skin and left my face smooth after each use.

Believe it or not, this product line was actually worked. My large pimples and whiteheads were pretty much gone in about three weeks. Although I still had a few blackheads, I liked it so much that I not only reordered it, I ordered some other products from the line as well. These included the Oil-Free Moisture with SPF 15 and the Proactiv Blemish Stick.

Oil Free Moisture with SPF 15, Price: $26.50
This was a pleasant moisturizer. I found it came in handy at about the three week mark of using Proactiv Solution, when I found that my skin became a little dry and felt a little tight. I donít usually like sunscreens (too sticky and tacky), but this one was fairly pleasant to wear on my face. The drawback: titanium dioxide "whitening"; unfortunately, this moisturizer does give an "ashy" white cast to the skin which can be seen almost immediately upon application. But it is effective and passed the "oil-free" acid test. Luckily, I didnít really need to use it for long. The dryness passed after about a week when I began to use the mask only once a week instead of twice.

Proactiv Blemish Stick, Price: $19.50
The blemish stick contains 6% benzoyl peroxide, a good deal more than the original formulation. It is designed for site specific application. I found it worked well on individual pimples, particularly the larger ones, drying them up in about two to three days.

Proactiv also makes a fairly comprehensive line of other skincare and haircare products as well as line of makeup that includes foundation, medicated concealer and powder. If you are interested in the Proactiv Solution, and you can find it at www.choicemall.com.

All things considered, Iím very happy with Proactiv Solution. In fact, I am still using it. My husband and younger sister are using it, too. Itís definitely a great skin care line for the price and worth the money because it works. I would highly recommend these products for people with mild to moderate breakouts. My only wish is that it did more to address aging skin, but, for now itís my primary skincare selection. That is, until I find something else better! Now that the baby is born and I can get moving again, Iíve traded in the TV remote for the car keys. Iíve still got my credit cards! "Watson, the gameís afoot."

CosmeticConnection.com Product Review Spotlight
Check out this week's new reviews on Cosmetic Connection, T. Le Clerc face powder and Alterna hair care. You'll find them in the new Spotlight section on the Product Reviews page.



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