Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Skincare Must Haves

First and foremost let me start by saying that my skin is far from perfect.  After moving to Miami a few years ago, I started battling acne.  Being that I had never had any problems with it before,  I thought maybe it was the change in climates that was causing it.  I tried everything I could to get rid of it on my own, to no avail.  I finally went to an amazing dermatologist (more about that later) and I was diagnosed with adult acne.  He assured me that it is completely common, and put me on prescription meds (that I still take daily) and also prescribed Aczone, which I apply topically every morning, and also RetinA, which I apply every other night.
Prescription products that I use...

My skin is 100% better, and back to normal.  I'm still struggling with the remnants of acne scars (I'm a picker) but the RetinA has definitely helped with that.  I'm thinking about getting a peel before my wedding, because I've heard it works wonders for acne scarring.  Have any of you ever had peels?  My friends say that they're not so bad, but that you need 3-4 days to hideout in your house afterwards!  I'll let you know if I end up going though with it.

So, now that I've gotten that out of the way, lets chat about some of my favorite skincare must haves! I'm an admitted beauty product junkie.  I can't begin to count let alone name the various brands & products that I have tried.  Cleansers, toners, creams, moisturizers, serums - these words are music to my ears.  Walking into the beauty department at Neiman Marcus is like heaven on earth for me!  Rather than me go on and on about what products I love, I'll just get straight to the point.  Here is what I am currently using:

  • Dr. Brandt Lineless Foaming Cleanser - Amazing stuff!  I'll never switch....
  • Kate Sommerville CytoCell Dermal Energizing Treatment - also amazing! I use every a.m.
  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion - I layer this over the Kate Sommerville.
  • Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream -  I swear this has gotten rid of the lines under my eyes.
  • Latisse - I love how my lashes look since I started using this!
  • Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes - gotta love good old Neutrogena :) 

Regularly (not every day)
  • Dr. Brandt Lineless Cream - the nights I don't use RetinA I use this and Glow.
  • Glow by Dr. Brandt - I'm still trying this stuff out, works pretty good so far.
  • Kate Sommerville ExfoliKate - Love this! I use 1-2x per week, makes my skin feel so soft!
  • Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cleanser - basic, non irritating cleanser.
  • Bliss Fabulous Skin Reviving Rubberizing Mask - I use this on myself and Adam about once per month. Available at Sephora.
  • Clarisonic Pro - I use this maybe once per month now.  I think it was making me break out when I was using it regularly. :(

Some products that I have used in the past that I really liked are:

  • Neoteric Alpha Hydrox Retinol Night ResQ - Heck, if its good enough for Oprah, its good enough for me!  I used this religiously before I was prescribed RetinA, which is stronger.  This is an amazing product and I would use again.  You can buy it on Amazon for ridiculously cheap.
  • Neoteric Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle - I couldn't use this as it would break me out, but my mom uses it and loves it!  You can buy on Amazon or at Ulta.
  • Obagi Medical ElastiLash Eyelash Solution - I used this before I started using Latisse last year.  It doesn't make your lashes as long as Latisse does, but works really well and makes them much thicker.  Its half the price of Latisse, and you can find it on Amazon also.

For me, the two most important aspects of skincare is:

A) Find a regime that works for you and really stick to it.  Establish a routine when washing your face at night, and be consistent.  And while we're on that topic - its so important to cleanse your skin at night!  All that makeup sitting on your face while you sleep wreaks havoc on your poor skin, and can age you really fast!!  I have my nightly routine that I do every night before I go to bed.  It makes my skin feel better, it makes me feel better, and I swear that I sleep better when my face is fresh and cleansed.

B) Be patient!  It takes a while for any product to really start working, and for your skin to reach its full potential from it.  Trying out new creams can sometimes be frustrating because you want to see the instant results that the package promises.  I have a 2 month rule.  If I don't see results within 60 days, I toss it.  If you stop using it before then, you're just selling yourself short.

Ok, so now about my dermatologist.  I go to Dr. Brandts office in Coral Gables for all my dermatology issues, as well as my monthly facials.  That's why I use a lot of his products, and I can assure you that they really work.  The man is absolutely amazing! Have you ever seen what he looks like?  He has the skin of a 12 year old.  I swear, its perfect.  He looks like he is a member of the Cullen Family, like a vampire walking among us!  His whole staff is great, and if you ever get the chance to visit his office here in Miami or his NYC location, I would highly suggest it.  I know that he has a list of devoted celebrity clients such as Kelly Ripa,  Gwyenth Paltrow, Naomi Campbell, and Madonna and I'm told that several celebrities go to the Coral Gables office also.  I'm dying to run into one some time.  Between all the extractions, needles, and redness, every time I leave there I look like total CRAP!! It would be unreal to see a celebrity looking just as crappy as me! :)

This is all that I can think of at the moment, I'm sure down the road I'll have much more to share with you as my must haves are always changing!  

Please leave feedback and fill me in on what skincare products you gals (and guys) swear by!




  1. What a great topic, Andy! Skin Care has become a personal obesssion lately- I choose not to associate my obsession with the fact i've been forced to care more for my skin due to age related changes...I blame it on the stresses of graduate school! But I wanted to share my personal favorites with you....

    I got a facial back in November and fell in love with the products she used. I started using the line Arcona. Have you heard of it? Here's their link http://arcona.com/

    It's all organic and I LOVE the way my skin feels since using it. They have lots of products to offer- maybe you can find something to add, not suggesting replacing, to your personal collection! So far i've only tried the 5 basics (for normal/dry/aging skin):

    1. Morning exfoliating/cleanse (use 2-4x week): Golden Grain Gommage. I personally loved this exfoliater b/c its a soft oatmeal based exfoliate so it's not rough- my skin breaks out with almost all other exfoliates

    2. Hydrate (AM/PM)- Magic White Ice. I used to love the feel of a thicker lotion, I liked knowing I was hydrating my skin. This is actually a thin, thin almost liquid lotion but it makes your skin feel incredible!

    3. Protectant (use AM as needed)- Desert Mist.

    4. Evening Cleanse/Toner- Toner Tea Soap Bar. I never liked a bar of cleanser but this one made me change my mind!

    5. Regenerate (use 2-4x week)- Gentle Solution!

    They offer a travel pack size that comes with the basic 5 for only $85 dollars! Perfect way to test out their products without buying all the full size bottles!

    Hope you enjoy! :)

    Also, I wanted to share this with your blog readers. I as well started using a Retin-A- I LOVED the way others skin looked after using it. Unfortunately, my skin is too sensitive for Retin-A. I constantly looked like I had a bad sunburn/peel going on. My dermatologist suggested "Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories (DLC) AHA revitalizing mild glycolic. It's been a miracle. So for those, sensitive to regular strenght Retin-A you should give this mild version a shot! Enjoy!

    1. Awesome info, Lindsey! Thank you so much for sharing this! I'll definitely look into Arcona....

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