When I first sought out skin care recommendations, I was easily swayed by online endorsements and eager to find bargains.
My first purchase was the CosRx Triple C Lightening Serum after I read about it in New York Magazine. At $27 for 1 oz., it seemed like a reasonably priced product. However, I knew nothing about vitamin C. I did not know what it was supposed to achieve and that it was unstable. I did not always bother to return the dropper to the bottle and soon the product turned orange. At that point, whenever I used it I was introducing free radicals to my skin. (I have since thrown the bottle away).
Why did I purchase Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream and Mario Badescu Protein Night Cream? Mario Badescu is a respected company, their packaging is a simple green on white (very pharmaceutical looking), and the prices are mid-range. The seaweed night cream comes in a jar (meaning any antioxidants have been destabilized) and contains elastin, collagen and sodium hyaluronate. I now know the elastin and collagen cannot penetrate the dermis even if the elastin is “hydrolyzed.” Its advertised special ingredient is bladderwrack extract to “soften and nourish the skin,” which I now recognize as meaningless jargon. The protein night cream also comes in a jar. It contains very basic moisturizers such as petroleum, glycerin and dimethicone. It also contains a dusting of retinol palmitate and collagen both of which are unlikely to be stable, in sufficient quantities to have any effect, or achieve dermis penetration.
Straight talk here, I am embarrassed to say I purchased a number of products from Perricone MD. Dr. Perricone has been approaching cosmeceuticals from a scientific angle for decades and he has written several best sellers. Unfortunately, the majority professional opinion is that many ingredients he espouses, such as DMAE, are not all that effective and he packages most products in jars. I purchased the Firming Neck Therapy (since discontinued) which contains resveratrol, vitamin E and sodium hyaluronate in a jar, ingredients definitely not worth the cost of this product. I also purchased his broad spectrum SPF with 4% titanium dioxide. There are tons of way less expensive creams with 4% titanium dioxide.
For exfoliation I purchased Bio-Peel Neogen Lemon Gauze Peeling. The Bio-Peel pads contain mostly citric acid and a small amount of tartaric acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid. Lemon has a low pH and is not considered one of the superior exfoliating acids.
I bought The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG after I saw before and after pictures posted on a Facebook group page of a woman first with large bags under her eyes and a second picture with seemingly transformed non-puffy eyes. First of all, under eye bags are not one of my skin concerns. Secondly, there is no clinical evidence that EGCG when applied topically, can fight under-eye bags and there is no clinical evidence that caffeine has any benefit for puffy eyes. This woman probably just had a better night's sleep before the second picture.
I bought two different hyaluronic acid serums at the same time not knowing what either product was meant to achieve. I bought the Sub-Q Anti Age Hylamide from Deciem which is hyaluronic acid plus peptides and The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. These serums are both pretty much the same thing except one contains peptides. I certainly didn't need to buy both.
I bought a sample size of Biologique Recherche Lotion P50. At first my skin hated it and became red and blotchy. I have since learned to use it properly with better results. However, I do not notice a difference between the P50 and the less expensive Pixie Glow Tonic.
Although it was dumb luck, I did make a few decent purchases. I bought Andalou Naturals Natural Tint SPF 30 with resveratrol. This is a BB Cream with 20% Zinc Oxide and a dusting of resveratrol and coQ10. The tube says the product is “age-defying.” I now know that this means simply that the cream provides sun protection. The ingredients are not anti-aging. Nonetheless, this is a good product because I use it and get the SPF benefits.
I tried the Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder with microclear technology because it was on sale for $1. The powder has SPF and it creates a barrier that protects your skin from sun damage. The powder also contains salicylic acid and it keeps away acne very nicely. I have since purchased this product at its full price of $11.
I fully recommend the Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask. I now know that the effects of masks are short lived, but this mask will take you from tired looking to normal in twenty minutes.