Lotions & Potions

Oh my obsession with skincare…never changes.  I will try anything (derma-rolling review still to come!) to combat the signs of aging.  It’s not that I’m in denial about being in midlife – I actually love being in my 40’s – it’s just that I don’t want to look old and tired, and I don’t think that will ever change.  But I digress. I’ve tried a whole lot of serums and such lately and here are my thoughts!

ellenlangeLet’s start with a bang!  This Retexturizing Peel Kit from Ellen Lange seems a bit spendy at first glance.  The kit is $79.00 and comes with an exfoliating peel prep, accelerator pads and a glycolic peel.  I have used this kit no less than 10 times already, however, and there is a TON of product left.  I would absolutely consider this clinical, professional quality and it’s currently averaging about $7.00 a peel.  HUGE bargain.  This product has made a tremendous impact on my skin and has really helped erase signs of obvious damage including hyperpigmentation and fine lines. Please note that the link above is an affiliate link.  To learn about how I use affiliate links, read the post here.

If you’re one of those “Ooooh, I don’t like it, it burns!” type of person, walk away.  But, if you’re like me and will gladly tolerate a little sting for a huge improvement in skin, this is for you.  Buy it now, thank me later!

While you’re chilling out let the peel bubble away your unnecessary skin, chill out with some soothing Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil.  It’s somewhat different than traditional lavender with a slightly more floral scent but every bit as relaxing and so much cheaper.  I recommend this one!

After you’ve done an aggressive peel, you’re going to need some serious skin soothing.  Enter the magical serum!


SerumCeuticals makes  a huge and impressive array of anti-aging products.  I had the opportunity to try three – with varying levels of success and satisfaction.

First up, the Albumin serum. I like this one quite a bit, but I’m not sure it’s for me.   When I was a child, my grandmother would rub egg whites on my skin. She said that it would help give my skin protein (Wha?). This reminds me a lot of that, except that 1) it doesn’t carry a risk of salmonella like my grandmother’s remedy. 2) It doesn’t stink like egg whites did and 3) it leaves less residue. Now, it does leave a small amount of residue making it something I would only use at night, but it’s not obnoxious or problematic. It absolutely leaves your skin feeling instantly tightened and I could see this being a huge asset for pores that clog easily and/or acne prone skin. I don’t have that challenge, so for me, it’s not worth the $21.00 price tag,  but it could be for someone else.

Next on deck was my least favorite of the three, their Antioxidant Facial oil.  Now, I  love facial oils and use them religiously, so my problem isn’t with the concept of oil-based serums.  My problem is that this one just isn’t very good.  In my opinion, this product is not packaged properly (the dropper in the bottle neck may be too small for oils) and it’s difficult to get the right amount of product out of the bottle without vigorous shaking.  I also feel like the oil was a little rancid.  I’m very sensitive to smells, and I had this with a Josie Maran oil I once received, but it was just a little bit off. Oils, by nature, are unstable so a rancid oil is not an indictment on the company or their production standards.    I’m sure that was only the bottle I received, but I used it a couple times and then just couldn’t stand the thought of putting it on my face anymore, so I gave it to my bitchy neighbor (I kid, I kid).

Finally, I used their Vitamin C serum,  an amazing little gem with an absolutely worthwhile $16.00 investment.  I have used Vitamin C serums for a long time and find that they brighten my skin in a way that no other product can, and if I don’t use it for a few days, I can totally tell and my skin looks tired.  This is without a doubt the BEST Vitamin C serum I have ever used and it will become a go-to for me.  It’s very concentrated, packed with 21% of the good juice,  smells faintly of oranges and absorbs completely and quickly.  I wear it every day under make-up now and my skin is much happier for it.  If you have a tiny little abrasion you’ll find it when you apply this potent serum!

And now, on to a couple of products that are new concepts for me – and I don’t mind telling you I am IN LOVE.  I have raved about Valentia’s products before, and this Royal Rose Hydrating Serum ($35.00) is no exception.  Full of all sorts of goodness, this creamy, gentle serum contains rose, rose hip, niacinamide (B3), evening primrose an12961613_10154164518425229_4099407682474435325_nd bearberry to soothe and moisturize even very sensitive skin types.  It has a super light rose fragrance that, for reasons a psychotherapist would have a ball with, make me feel like a kinder, sweeter, gentler soul.  From the 1800’s.  It instantly hydrates and I can absolutely see a huge improvement in my skin tone – my complexion is more even, softer and dewier than the norm.  Love it.  It’s creamy enough that you can easily use it day or night and absorbs quickly enough that you can carry on with the rest of your skincare routine without much delay.

This isn’t the only exposure I’ve had to Niacinamide lately, and I’m really starting to dig this ingredient.  Admittedly, I haven’t done mountains of research on it yet, except for trialing these products, but hey, it’s VITAMIN – it must be good for you.  This company, InstaNatura is new to me as is this serum.  But at $15.15niacinamide for a pretty large bottle, it seems like a great place to start a foray into this new-to-me Vitamin miracle.  Now, the claims on this products Amazon page are pretty absurd, and I’m so opposed to using any product that promises the sun and stars, but I gotta tell you, this one is a keeper.  Like the Royal Rose Serum, it’s ultra-hydrating but has no discernable scent, something I usually consider a plus.  I’ve been using it in the morning. I think it’s enough moisture if you plan to use a liquid foundation, and it gets a little bit sticky so it serving double-duty as a make-up primer.  I love little surprises like that in my routine.  Mornings are so unpleasant for me that anything that gets me out the door quicker is a massive win.

Well, lovelies, that’s it from the Land of Lush for tonight.  Hope I have shared something that might be of interest to you!

Disclaimer: I received all of the products in this post at no charge for review purposes.  The opinions expressed in this blog are my own honest and unbiased thoughts and experiences.

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