I often joke that I have had acne since I was a fetus. In truth, I’ve had it since the second or third grade. No child that young needs zits, but I assured myself it would get better once I reached adulthood.
While my face is the clearest it’s been, oh, ever, it’s not because I’ve grown out of acne; it’s because I’m tried a million and one products and am finally finding ones that work for me.
The biggest surprise was that all that prescription crap I tried in high school — the acid creams I had to store in the refrigerator that burn my face so much, I’d tear up; the ointments my mom had to rub on my backne and bleached every single pair of pajamas I owned; the pads that smelled like I was rubbing nail polish remover all over my forehead and nose — was crap. It’s not the oft-touted salisylic acid that works for me. Yes, benzoyl peroxide works better, but not as well as it should.
No, no. It’s the natural stuff this face wants. It wants toner with witch hazel and face scrubs with brown sugar and very, very, very sensitive products that cost way too much.
Considering how much crap I’ve tried over the years, I feel the need to share some of the greatest products ever. (And thanks to Birchbox for helping me discover three of the four.) In no particular order …
1) C. Booth’s Tea Tree Therapeutic Toner
I bought this on a whim nearly a year ago. I knew I wanted to try to incorporate a toner into my routine, and I was happy with it from the start. I love the minty smell and how it always feel cool upon my face.
Then on a weekend trip to my parents’, I forgot to bring my facewash. I only had my toner, so I used only it for the weekend. By Monday, my face was as clear as I’ve ever seen it. The time off from face washes actually made it clearer.
Now don’t think I’m one of those who over-washes and so over-dries her face. I wash in the morning and at night, and that’s it. But after a week of not using facewash at all, my skin looked great.
The problem was when the errant pimple — or, egads, period time — came up, I’d need something more than toner. Enter …
2) Befine Exfoliating Cleanser
Samples of this face wash were in my most recent Birchbox. I was doubtful at first, as I find most scrubs to be too harsh for my face. Upon rubbing my hands together for that first face wash, I wrinkled my nose. This stuff did not smell good.
But when I washed my face, it lathered spectacularly well. The rough scrub dissolved after a few seconds, and when I rinsed the cleanser off my face, I was left with incredibly soft skin.
The foul smell, I have to say, is just a Jaclyn Thing. I hate the smell of almond in things, but it’s a common ingredient in any soap. Befine is a mixture of brown sugar, almond and ginger root … and it’s fantastic.
Naturally, a tiny bottle of this stuff will run $25, which is about three times what I normally spend on face washes. When these are the results, however? Bring it on.
3) Peter Thomas Roth Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel
Birchbox’s claim for this face cream made me roll my eyes. You’re gonna absorb oil, are you? Just like that? Sure thing, Captain. After that, let’s find a rainbow’s end and become rich, shall we?
Um … I was wrong. Peter Thomas Roth, please forgive me for I know not what I say.
This anti-shine gel is, at the risk of sounding like an ass, The Bomb. Whenever I get home from work, my face looks as though I have dipped it in a bit of olive oil. That means, if I want to keep my face on for whatever after-work plans I have, I need to wash my face (which does not need to happen a third time a day) and then reapply my makeup.
This stuff, however, I apply right over my makeup. And by the time I’m finished rubbing it in, my face is perfectly matte. No more oil slicks, no more “Oh, I can see my face in your face!” reflective tricks.
Naturally, my princess face is cool with this. The rest of me is not so cool with this, as a full size bottle is friggin’ $35. The good thing is that I’m still using the sample I received from Birchbo last month, and it’s only 1/4 ounce. The full size? A whopping, enormous, gimundo … 1 ounce. ((facepalm))
But it’s soooo good. I have some points stored up, so it may need to be a splurge.
4) Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream
I think I’ve shared the Benta Berry love on here before, but it bears repeating. It’s really dang tough to find a moisturizer for an oily, sensitive face. Sure I can get dried out, but too much of a wrong thing — or even just a little bit of a wrong thing — can send me spiraling back to the days of falling asleep on my World History notes to wake up and find a disgusting forehead smear on my spiral notebook paper.
Alas, Benta Berry is light, it goes on smooth, it leaves my face soft and it has such a delightful fragrance. I forked over the $22 for a full-size of this bad boy, and I haven’t regretted it once.
In short, my face likes you if you’re a) natural and/or b) expensive.
What are your favorite facial regiment products?