…beacause beautiful skin is the best summer accessory!
Happy Monday! Hope you guys are as excited for this post as I am! If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I am like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to trying new skincare products and treatments. I love when I find something that improves my skin and have so much fun testing & trying new things!
I’m sharing 5 products below that I’ve been using for a while that I’m enjoying immensely and/or seeing great results from, enough that I had to share with you guys! Feel free to comment below or DM me on Instagram (@bellebylaurelle) with any questions, and I hope if you pick one or a few up that you love them as much as I do!
I’ve never been one to rave about cleansers, as I’ve not had many that actually made much of an impression on me. This cleanser is amazing and definitely rave-worthy!! It’s gentle on the skin, yet very effective on a few fronts. Because it’s gentle, it doesn’t strip my skin or leave it dry/tight, which has noticeably decreased the mid-day oil and shine I tend to get. As gentle as it is, it still does a fantastic job deep cleaning and removing makeup. Waterproof makeup usually takes a double cleanse with this to get off, depending how much of it I put on, but I usually double cleanse anyway so I don’t mind. (A lot of acne/blackhead issues can be drastically decreased by double cleansing – it’s a gamechanger!!) It has AHA in it, which mildly exfoliates and I’ve found leaves my skin soft, my pores smaller, and it helps the products I use after penetrate faster and deeper. The cherry on top is that it smells fantastic (a faint blueberry scent) and is made with natural ingredients!
It’s taken a while, but sunscreen has finally been given it’s proper place in anti-aging regimens in recent years. In case you missed the memo, sun exposure is one of the leading causes of visible signs of aging. Like it’s more effective at aging your skin than actual aging; multiple studies attribute 80%-90% of visible signs of aging to sun exposure. So how much protection do you need? I recently learned from Dr. Tina Ho, who I’ve been seeing at Ringpfiel Advanced Dermatology for skin rejuvenation the last couple of months, that SPF 30 is the lowest you should ever go with SPF to really protect against sun damage and aging caused by exposure. And you should always be wearing it, even on rainy days and during the winter.
Dr. Ho is slowly working products into my skincare routine to address some of my major concerns, and this sunscreen by Alastin is one she personally uses and recommended I use (you can read her review here). I’ve been using it for about 7 weeks now and it’s definitely up there for me for favorite tinted sunscreens & moisturizers. The line was started by scientists and beloved by dermatologists and estheticians, so you know the products are solid and effective.
The Hydratint Mineral Sunscreen has an SPF of 36, moisturizes, but also adds a lovely glow, has a good amount of coverage, and is packed with antioxidants so it protects from environmental aggressors as well. It comes out looking orangey, but I don’t find it looks that way on my skin at all, if anything it adds a sun-kissed glow. I also love that the pump feature delivers the perfect amount needed in one pump and that the line is mineral based, so no yucky ingredients, oils, fragrances, or chemicals! They’re also cruelty-free!
Recently I’ve gotten into more serious products & treatments that actually make a difference in your skin short-term and long-term, Retinoids being one of them. Retinol is talked about and lauded quite a bit for being one of the few products that can actually turn back your skin’s clock, but it’s actually not the Vitamin A derivative that does the heavy lifting and result delivering… Retenoids are.
Retinol is often labeled as part of the Retinoid family, but it’s not actually a Retinoid as it doesn’t contain Retinoic acid. Retinol is a less concentrated, over the counter Vitamin A derivative that when applied, will be eventually turned into Retinoic acid by your skin’s enzymes. Retinoids are Retinoic acid, and therefore are much more concentrated, powerful, and have to be prescribed . Retinol still helps with cell-turnover, but much more gently and gradually as it takes around 3-4 weeks from first application to be converted to Retinoic acid. If you really want to see noticeable results, Retinoids are what you should be using as you’re skipping the wait time and upping the concentration (obviously so long as your dermatologist agrees and prescribes). The specific percentage of concentration will be on the bottle and it will irritate your skin when you first begin to use it, but that means it’s working and you’re going to see faster and better results. Over time, your skin should get used to it and you can use it more frequently and/or increase the strength to see even greater results.
I’m currently using a Retioid called Tretinoin recommended & prescribed for me by Dr. Ho as part of my skin rejuvenation plan (if you live in the Philly area, you can get it at Ringpfeil Advanced dermatology, where I go). It’s .05% concentration and I started out using it mid-April once a week and now use it about 3-4 times a week. My skin was a bit sensitive at first, showing a bit of redness the day after, but it’s gotten used to it and I now have little to no irritation when I use it if I use a rich moisturizer after. I’ve started to do 1 night a week without applying anything to my skin after and I have a bit of redness & irritation for a day or so after, but also have more noticeable results, so I plan to increase that to 2 nights in a week or two to keep the results coming. Speaking of results, in addition to the glow that any kind of exfoliation gives, Tretinoin has helped greatly with my hormonal acne, eliminating almost all of what was left of it, as well as with resurfacing my skin and fading dark spots over time. I’m loving seeing faster and more noticeable improvements in those areas and can’t wait to see how my skin continues to improve long term!
The first ‘skincare meets self-tan product’ and wow did James Read blow it out of the water!! I am obsessed with this product and don’t know what I did before it! I use the Retinoid I mentioned above 3-4 times a week now and use this about 2 of the nights when I’m not using the Retinoid. It’s perfect because it’s much gentler but still helps with cell-turnover and making sure I wake up to bright, smooth skin the morning after I use it. What truly makes it a game changer though is the fact that I also wake up to the perfect bronze glow. The color is never too dark, splotchy, or orange. It looks so smooth and natural. I really can’t imagine a product better than one that gives you the gorgeous glow of a few days of tropical sun while actually doing the opposite to your skin of what harmful UV rays do!
I’ve finally gotten to test some of the iconic luxury brand La Mer’s products in 2019 and the more I try, the more I add to my loves list! While the price point for their products is high, I do feel some are worth the $$. Their Eye Concentrate is one I’m absolutely loving lately, as it ticks off a few boxes that I usually require all my favorite skincare products to do. First and most importantly, it’s effective. I’ve been using it for about 6 weeks, and I’ve noticed the dark circles under my eyes diminish and the area get brighter. I’ve also noticed my skin there has gotten softer and smoother, two results I’ve noticed seem to be a signature of La Mer skincare. I’ve also noticed when I use the metal applicator, it helps depuff. Second, it’s so enjoyable to use, an added bonus my favorite products have. It feels amazing when applied, as it’s slightly cooling, but it also smells lovely, like fresh cucumbers. All around loving this eye cream!