Monday, July 30, 2012

Articles for Acne Prone & Oily Skin

A important part of skin care is education, so educate yourself. =)
Feel free to contact me with questions at

Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer SPF 30 Sensitive Skin

The answer to my SPF prayers, Olay delivers with a light, non greasy SPF with no white cast, doesn't cause breakouts or irritate eyes and is under $15!  I've tried an array of brands and stunned this is my favorite. My oily skin does not feel greasy, heavy or like a oil slick.  I can apply this SPF on my eyelids and under eyes with absolutely no burning or tears!  Apply SPF 30 daily to face, neck, chest, ears and all exposed areas.  Recommended for everyone including extremely sensitive skin, acne prone and oily skin

"Gives your skin complete care, providing everything it needs most to stay beautiful, plus extra protection against sun damage in a light, non-greasy formula."-Olay

Key Features:
  • Contains both Physical UV blockers (Zinc oxide) & Chemical UV blockers (Octo, Octi, Octin).
  • Light, non greasy cream formula.
  • Does not clog pores or cause breakouts.
  • NO white cast and absorbs well into hydrated skin.
  • Replenishes moisture and contains Vitamin E, Green Tea, Aloe.
  • 100% PABA free.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (7.5%), Zinc Oxide (6%), Octisalate (2.5%), Octocrylene (2.5%).

Available @ all drugstores

Update 1/20/13: I experienced dehydrated skin, minimal moisture, some irritation and clogged pores- the hunt for my perfect spf continues.  I have since tried The Spf 15 version and my dark marks have returned.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel

"Clears clogged pores of bacteria to control acne and restore clarity."-Murad

A favorite of mine, this acne gel is perfect for those with very oily skin and/or acne.  It exfoliates dead skin cells, kills acne bacteria, speeds up healing of pustules, reduces surface oil and is fast acting.  I did experience a little dehydration as my skin adjusted to this gel and the Hydrating Toner and Essential C Toner had my skin balanced in seconds.  Contains Hydrogen Peroxide delivery system with Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid, Retinol, anti-inflammatories licorice extract, chamomile and aloe vera.  These ingredient pack a powerful punch against acne is amazing on congested skin, blackheads, stubborn acne and extremely oily skin.  My skin looked better overnight, smoother, refined, pustules decreased in size or disappeared, has faded acne scarring and significantly toned down my oily skin.  I use this acne gel every night on my face, neck, chest, and and upper arms to control acne and love the clear results!

*Only for extremely oily skin types.  Not suitable for dry, normal, rosascea, psoriasis. Combination skin types try Murad Gentle Acne Treatment Gel.

3.4 fl oz.
Available at Murad, Massage Envy, Sephora

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation

Foundation can be tricky.  You have to find the right shade to blend seamlessly into your own skin tone, the right finish and for my skin in particularly one that doesn't look ashy, pink, red and make my hyperpigmentation look more pronounced.  I first tried the BB Natural Finish Foundation and thought I'd found my staple foundation. oxidized turning my yellow golden skin orange, absorbed too much oil AND moisture from my skin.  The idea of this foundation was nice, but in reality it just didn't work for me.  I switched to BB Skin Foundation and have finally found my perfect match.  A foundation that looks like second skin and I LOVE it.  I prefer my foundation to look as natural as possible, even like I'm not wearing any.  The Golden shade does not oxidize and add's even more glow to my skin.  I love to glow, from my L'oreal Dark Spot Corrector serum, Murad Radiance Peel and Essential C Toner lol.

Back to this fabulous foundation:
  • Looks like skin, not makeup
  • Weightless feel and look
  • Evens skin tone, minimizes pores, conceals imperfections
  • Light liquid like consistency
  • Broad spectrum SF 15
  • Hydrating on skin & for all skin types!
I dot on the back of my hand and apply with Sonia Kashuk flat top brush for a airbrushed look.  I experienced absolutely NO breakouts,  irritation, white cast, and oxidizing.

A Lady J Favorite!!
1 fl oz.
Available at Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Restore Vital Moisture with Murad Toners

I have often overlooked this step in my skin regime because I never found the right toner.  Why do we need a toner anyway?  Moisture.  Your skin will hold in more moisture, allowing it to look younger longer.  Toner will also pull products (treatments, serums, creams) deeper into the skin and removes hard water residue.  A hydrating toner or one full of antioxidants can hydrate, revive, replenish, brighten and soothe skin.  Throw out the 100% witch hazel, its too harsh and drying on skin (and contains too high percentage of alcohol.)  Witch hazel should only be used in tiny amounts mixed with hydrators and antioxidants.  When the skin is dry and dehydrated it will wrinkle faster, so hydrate hydrate hydrate.  Prevention is your best option, so start early if you can.  Mature skin will need toner, anti aging serum, weekly exfoliating, bi weekly facials and a rich moisturizer to keep revive skin.  If you start early, all you will need is maintenance.

Toner also allows serums and treatments to lock into skin.  Remember moisture attracts moisture.  Applying products to thirty skin will not allow for proper benefits to take affect.  The skin will still be thirsty-so quench it. =)
I alternate between the two toners below and am thrilled with both products.  My skin looks and feels healthier, smoother, supple and happy (with no breakouts!)  Before these toners my skin appeared and felt dehydrated (even with my oily skin), tight, uncomfortable and sometimes itchy.  For those with oily and acne prone skin like myself-toner is essential so make your skin happy!

Murad Hydrating Toner:  Great for ultra hydration, dehydrated skin, restores suppleness, neutralizes surface impurities, soothing & calms irritation with chamomile and cucumber.  I use daily and am thrilled with how my skin looks and feels! $24 Lady J Favorite

Murad Essential C Toner:  Contains Vitamin C, brightens skin, strengthens skin, hydrates (binds water to skin).  A amazing refresher throughout hot summer days! Not suitable for acne prone skin.  $26

6 fl oz.
Murad Available @ Murad, Sephora, Massage Envy

L'oreal Youth Code Dark Spot Corrector Serum is a Dud

I would have easily overlooked this product as a over the counter fail but after reading many great reviews and personally using it for 2 month- I've been put in my place.  This serum is amazing.  Kudos to L'oreal for delivering a serum the provides great hydration, instant luminous skin and constant fading of hyperpigmentation (with NO hydroquinone!)  The consistency is silky and light and glides onto skin without clogging pores, making it a fantastic primer.  The serum does have a pearl appearance which gives skin the "luminous" look, but it has long term affects on the skin with constant fading (my Retin-A working).  My skin looks luminous and has drastically lightened my resistant dark area: hyperpigmentation on my smile lines and surrounding my mouth.  These lines have been a constant problem for me and are now GONE!  I am beyond thrilled with these results!  

"Works from within to skin's surface to help correct and fade dark spots, reversing the formation of pigment, resulting in a dramatically more even skin tone. Now, vibrant with a youthful look, skin instantly appears luminous as if lit from within."-L'oreal

Don't forget when you treat hyperpigmentation it is key to protect your skin with SPF 30 for lightening to take affect and prevent it from re-occurring after.  For better results use in combination with a Clarisonic, exfoliant and SPF 30. I use the Clarisonic Mia 2x a day, Differin or Retin-A in the evening, Murad Intensive Radiance C Peel weekly or Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Origins Modern Friction.  

*Update 1/20/13: Unfortunately,this serum irritated the heck out of my skin, bumps under the skin, redness, a rash.  This serum also seems to sit on the skin, the Vitamin C is not active enough to do any good (my Retin-A was doing all the work).  Don't let the pearlescent appearance fool you and save your money.

Available at Ulta, CVS, Walmart, Target
1 0z.

*All brighteners/lighteners are tested by me at different times and not combined through initial testing period.

Instant Glow with Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel

I have fallen in love with this peel!  My family and coworkers immediately noticed a difference in my skin after 1 use.  My skin is literally  glowing, visibly more even toned, and smoother.  I have experienced less breakouts and my trouble spots hyperpigmentation, acne scarring and sun damage have drastically lightened (without hydroquinone).  Vitamin C & Indian Fig promotes collagen production, fights free radical damage, enhances skin clarity and luminosity.  Glycolic Acid (exfoliates dull dead skin cells and smoothes skin texture), Myrtle Extract (supports collagen production and elasticity.)  Lets just say my skin looks like Jada Pinkett Smiths since using this peel.  Her skin is to die for...bright, even and GLOWING.

"This active treatment instantly brightens smoothes and hydrates skin, reversing environmental aging after just one use. An easy to use, at home treatment that enhances luminosity to reveal a more radiant complexion."

The peel is more of a mask and a cream consistency.  I massage the peel in instead of smoothing it on and have received better results this way.  I also bring it down to my neck and decollate.  Perfect for first time peel users, it is easy to use and can be used 2x a week.  There is no "peeling" of the skin.  I will be using this product till I  die, its that fantastic!  Murad products work

Recommended for all forms of hyperpigmentation: acne scars, melasma, sun damage and sun/age spots and anyone who wants instant glowing skin!
A Lady J Favorite!

1.7 fl oz.
Available at Murad, Sephora

*All brighteners/lighteners are tested by me at different times and not combined through initial testing period.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Beauty of The Week: Elizabeth Olsen

I am all about healthy beautiful skin and Elizabeth has it.  

Lady J Approved Exfoliants

'What is exfoliation?  How often should I exfoliate?  I'm using the St. Ives Scrub.'  I hear these questions and statements often at work and online.  Exoliation is a must in every skin care regime.  It removes dead, dull skin cells on the surface of the skin revealing new, fresh, brighter skin cells underneath!  It also reduces the occurrence of clogged pores by sweeping out the accumulation of dead skin cells, debri, and oil.

Here are my top picks for exfoliating dead skin cells.  Sensitive skin exfoliate 1-2x a week.  Normal/Dry/Combo/Mature skin exfoliate 2x a week.  Oily and acne prone skin exfoliate 3x a week.  I let all my clients know that gritty/abrasive scrubs do more damage to their skin then good.  For example, St.Ives Scrub or it's generic sister.  I do not suggest using this product or anything similar-the 'grit', apricot shells cause micro tears in the skin and irritates skin.  Beware of any scrub with crushed shells or scratchy particles.  Here are safe, gentle, effective exfoliants.  AHA's and BHA's can reach down into the follicle, exfoliating deeper then just the surface. Typically a scrub cannot do this, which is the reason I don't favor scrubs.  Scrubs can also dehydrate skin.  DO NOT USE A EXFOLIANT OR SCRUB AS A CLEANSER.  It's not meant for cleansing the skin, even if it says for 'daily' use.  Scrubs and exfoliants are also not meant for removing makeup.

1) Clarisonic Mia: The amazing cleansing brush uses sonic technology to deep clean pores as well as exfoliate!  Buy it sooner then later, you won't regret it! $119 @ Ulta & Sephora

2) Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant: Super gentle but effective enzyme exfoliant dissolves dead skin cells for a brighter and even skin tone.  Activated by water, a little goes a long way. Contains papain enzyme, rice bran, rice extract, salicylic acid, licorice extract & bearberry (for brighter skin).  Excellent for ultra sensitive skin!  Tip: Use in warm shower when skin is moist and pores are more open.  Leave on skin for a couple minutes to dissolve dead skin cells.  $50 @ Ulta or

3) Murad Vitalic Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask: Natural fruit enzymes & AHA's dissolve dead skin cells for brighter, clear and smooth skin.  1 pack can be used 2x.  A Murad favorite-see the reviews!  $22.50 @ Ulta, Sephora & Massage Envy.

4)  Origins Modern Friction:  Microdermabrasion without the crystals or expensive bill!  Avoid eyes and make sure your eyes are sealed shut when using this scrub.  A little goes a long way, just a dime size is enough for your face.  May not be suitable for sensitive skin & active acne (add a pea size amount to cleanser for sensitive skin or first time users).  $37.50 @ Origins

5) Murad Intensive C Peel: Instant radiance for sun damaged skin and hyper pigmentation.  Evens the skin tone and exfoliates!  Contains stable Vitamin C, Glycolic acid, myrtle extract and Indian Fig.  My family and clients noticed a immediate glow and even skin tone when I use this miracle peel! $49.50

6) Murad Pomegranate T-Zone Pore Refining Gel-: For normal, combo, dry, acne prone skin.  Clears pores, balances dry/oily areas, dissolves dull/dead skin cells, treats/prevents breakouts.  Apply to skin after cleansing and toning and do not rinse.  This gel remains on the skin. Contains Glycolic acid, Retinol, Salicylic acid & Pomegranate extract.  $40

7) Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel: Wipes out breakouts and acne bacteria!  Exfoliates and penetrates skin effectively.  Contains 1% Salicylic, hydrogen peroxide, retinol, glycolic.  Only for very oily skin.  Gel remains on skin, do not rinse off.  I use this on my face, neck, chest and back!  $54

*Exfoliants listed are safe for all skin types & conditions unless otherwise noted.

Use the Mia with your exfoliant for amazing results!

Look for:
-Fragrance free
-AHA's & BHA's (acne prone skin)
-Creamy or gel consistency rather then gritty
-Powder formulations activated with water
-Read reviews!