Sunday, April 15, 2012

Product Review: Sally Hansen Naturally Bare Creme Hair Remover For Body

I have been blessed with thick, luxurious hair on my head, legs, arms, and bikini area. While it's fine on my head, I don't appreciate it on the rest of me. I resort to shaving most of the time, and just living with the man-hair on my arms. Occasionally I've tried to lighten it, but it's a long process and doesn't yield the best results. Depilatories are so harsh and have left me with terribly painful rashes whenever I've used them. Even on my legs, but especially my bikini area including those formulated for "sensitive" skin.

I was tickled when I found Sally Hansen Naturally Bare Cream Hair Remover For Body. The reviews all said it was gentle even on the most sensitive skin. I figured I'd give it a go and try it out. I did my arms first; something I've never done. My arms are now smooth and I only felt the slightest burning after a minute, but that went away as soon as it came off. It took my arm hair off in under three minutes, and there was not residual redness or any hint of a rash. They stayed pretty smooth for about three days; I could have gone longer, but since I was ready to try it on my bikini area and the back of my upper thighs (another trouble spot), I did my arms again. The arms tingled a little more...that could be because I've been dry-brushing to help clear up keratosis pilaris so my skin is slightly raw. My thighs felt fine. No clue I had put anything on them. Bikini area: HOLY COW WHERE'S THE FIRE HOSE? I could not get it off fast enough. The good news is that even for the minute or so I managed to hang on with my bikini line, it did take off a significant amount of hair. All other hair came off with ease.

It comes with this nifty little plastic scraper that you use to scrape the cream off and it takes the hair too. It is really thick and kind of gritty, but doesn't not have that chemical stink like other depilatories. So that's another plus. I will continue to use it; just not on my bikini area. I do not think it is available in stores any longer; I ordered it off of Amazon.

Bottom line: A+ for everywhere except the tenders.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Basic skin care

Peels, scrubs, gels, creams, masks, night time, day time, sunscreen, glycolic acid, exfolliant, pore strips; it's enough to make your head spin, let alone leave a gaping hole in your pocket book.

Skin care is pretty easy, and doesn't require spending hundreds of dollars on bottles of potion that are just going to sit on your bathroom counter and collect dust. Ready? It's so easy, you won't believe me:
Use an exfolliant appropriate to your skin type (more on that later) two or three times a week, and use a mask for your skin type (again, more later) once or twice a week. 

Avoid straight up soap because it's pretty harsh on your face; think of soap is meant to clean: pits, bums, feet - grimy stuff; it has to be strong. Your face deserves a little bit of tenderness. I'm partial to Olay or Dove beauty bars myself. They're inexpensive and do the trick. Depending on how prone to break outs you are, or if you're dealing with black heads and the like, look for a cleanser containing salycitic acid. Start off using it once a day and if your skin is sturdy enough and once a day isn't doing the trick, try twice a day. Just know that it is pretty strong stuff and has a tendency to really dry out your skin.

Toners are nice for getting the bit of dirt and make up left behind by cleanser. This is where I splurge. I love Caswell-Massey Orange Flower Water Tonic. I love the smell. That alone is enough for me. It also leaves a wonderful little tingle behind, and it reminds me of something very similar my Granni used when I was little. If you're dealing with very oily, acne-prone skin, there are tons of astringents that are inexpensive and do the trick. Just be careful to not over-dry your skin. Clean and Clear, Clearsil, Oxy, are all comparable in effectiveness and price. Witch hazel is also a wonderful and inexpensive toner to have on your bathroom counter.

Moisturize with a  moisturizer formulated for your skin. You'll be doing yourself a major favor if you find one that contains sunscreen, too. As for day vs. night cream? There's some that say you should do both, but others that say your skin doesn't know if it's day or night so you only need one. Personally, I have both right now because my night cream is slightly heavier and I concentrate it on my eye area, and my day cream is light, oil free, and contains a sunscreen. It's up to you; neither way is right or wrong. I have not noticed any benefit to using a different cream at night so I will go back to just one cream when the time comes.

In order to have the best face you can, you MUST exfolliate. The layers of dead skin cells that pile up on your face is what causes a lot of the uneven skin tone and dullness. Again, there are tons of different products out there, but none of them need to break the bank. The drug store or grocery store has all you need. I prefer a grainy scrub. It feels like I'm doing something. Chemical exfolliants work well, too, but they're more expensive and not usually found in the discount mart. Queen Helene has almost everything for everyone and is super inexpensive. 

Masks are where you can really have fun. Queen Helene has some of my favorites, but the one I love the most is the Mint Julep mask. I have combination skin that tends toward being on the oily side and this makes me feel like I have obliterated every oil molecule on my face. Love it!!! Once or twice a week, fill up a tub with warm water, pile on a mask, soak in the tub, and relax.