1. Mario Badescu Elasto-Seamollient Hand Cream - reviewed here. Absolutely the best hand cream ever. 2. Alba Botanica Kukui Nut Body Cream- reviewed here. 3. Alba Botanica Sugar Cane Body Polish - There are no words to express how scrumptious this scrub smells; if I had to try I'd say "brown sugar cookie dough". I won't repurchase, though, because it's not very dense and I went through the entire container in 4 or 5 uses. If Alba ever makes a body butter with the same scent, I'll be first in line to buy it!4. Alba Botanica Kona Coffee After-Sun Lotion - a decent aftersun; smells more nutty than coffee-like to me. Like most Alba Botanica products, the ingredient list is fantastic: aloe, shea and cocoa butters, and sunflower, coffee, and papaya extracts are among the goodies inside.5. Random old shaving cream; I started using Barbasol's mens cream for sensitive skin last year and haven't looked back.6. Paula's Choice Extra Strength BHA toner - I'm planning a full post on Paula's Choice BHA products, but in a nutshell, they're good but overpriced. 7. Burt's Bees Milk and Honey Body Lotion - decent moisturizer, but sadly (as I love honey-scented things) smelled more like milky citrus. It was bearable, but not pleasant, and I definitely won't repurchase. 8. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré 2x - reviewed here. You can see that my complaint about the packaging in my original reviews still holds! The metal tube inevitably tears when bent and I had to duct-tape it shut so I wouldn't waste the practically full container. 9. Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion - reviewed here.10. Palmer's Skin Smoothing Alpha/Beta Hydroxy Lotion - my skin gets on really well with Palmer's products, and this was no exception. It's a light lotion with both an AHA (in the form of lactic acid) and BHA (salicylic acid), to reduce scarring and slough away rough patches on the body. I found it very effective, lightweight, and non-greasy, but I just cannot deal with the awful smell. It's an overpowering stench reminiscent of truck-stop cologne. I have no idea why Palmer's put the fragrance in there because I don't know anyone who would like it. If a fragrance-free version every comes out, I'll buy it by the gallon, but until then....I just can't. Sad, because it's one of the best and cheapest AHA/BHA combos out there.11. Avene Hydrance Optimale UV (Legere) - reviewed here. 12. Jason Naturals 5000 I.U. Vitamin E Oil - reviewed here.
It's difficult to find a rich, truly hydrating face cream that doesn't overload the skin and clog the pores. Bioderma's offering for dehydrated sensitive skin promises to deliver long-lasting moisturization through a formula that's also hypoallergenic and noncomodeginc. Color me impressed, because even though those were big promises, Bioderma has seriously exceeded expectations.Simply put, Hydrabio Riche is a no-frills cream that does everything it's supposed to do and more. Like with Avene products, my skin feels calmer the second I apply it. When I wake up after using Hydrabio as my night cream, my face is soft and plumped, and surface redness has dramatically decreased. The unexpected bonus is that it also functions as a barrier repair cream, healing and soothing fragile skin that's been stressed by environmental factors or harsh products. A scrape on my cheek vanished overnight, with no scarring or residual irritation. With a light, pleasant scent (like most French skincare products I've found) and sleek pump packaging, Bioderma's managed to elevate a necessary basic into a small luxury that's a joy to use.I love this little gem, and will absolutely repurchase the next time I'm in Europe. I'm also going to try the Legere (light) version for day. Because I have very dry skin, I can get away with using this under makeup as long as I apply it thinly to damp skin; however, those with oilier skin types will probably find it too heavy for daytime use. I paid 10e when I bought this in France, and for Europeans it's 12e on easyparapharmacie. In the U.S. it's significantly marked up on Amazon, but you lucky Brits should be able to find it in-store soon, thanks to Bioderma's launch in the UK!
At first, my interest in skincare was mainly fueled by the fact that I have quite problematic skin. I've been diagnosed with rosacea and keratosis pilaris, have very dry and sensitive skin, and spent 2011 and 2012 having the first real breakouts of my life before I stopped taking medication that affected my hormone levels. Because in my case the condition itself and the resulting scarring are both severe, KP in particular has had a significant effect on my self-esteem - I didn't wear short sleeves for years because of how bad my upper arms looked.
Now, although in real life it's caused some distress and embarrassment, I realize that I'm lucky that my (relatively minor) skin problems cause discomfort rather than pain. However, I'd like to be able to be open on this blog about my experience with a very common skincare concern that affects a lot of people. Not only does it help me to organize methods that work vs. those that don't, I hope that some of the knowledge and tips I've picked up along the way can help people who are distressed by similar skin conditions. After all, I've had KP for the past ten years and only recently have found some solutions that work for me.
This series of posts has five planned additional parts - Lotions, Localized Treatments, Oils, Lifestyle Adjustments, and Resources - and I may add more if I find anything else to talk about. Please do let me know if there is anything in particular that you think I should make sure to address!