Not sure where to start or what to get when it comes to high-end skin care products? Team Bella has tried out lots of luxe skin care items over the years, and here are a few of our favorites. Some are slightly more reasonably priced than others, but all deliver luxurious results.
There may well be some habit-forming ingredient in Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel-Cream ($34), because I'm having a hard time putting it down. Ever since the stuff came across my desk I've been slathering it on like I just wandered out of the Mojave.
I really like the texture; it's like a more emollient version of aloe gel, so it doesn't give your skin that unctuous feel that heavy moisturizers often do, and you can layer on as much as you feel inclined to. Gel cream formulas also work on both oily and dry skin types, so most people will be able to use it without incident, and it'd be a good one-shot moisturizer for combination skin. Claims the ads make about plumping up skin and filling fine lines are a stretch, though — it's a really nice product, but there's nothing antiaging about it. My suggestion would be to keep Moisture Surge around for daily use, and buy something else with retinol in it for fine lines.
Finding a moisturizer that works for your skin type can be tricky, and nobody wants to end up with a sprinkling of acne as a result. When reader Malu purchased the reasonably priced Eucerin Facial Lotion ($8.50), she wasn't disappointed. Here's what she had to say:
"I've been looking for a long time the perfect moisturizer that will moisturize well without being greasy; offer sun protection but won't smell like sunscreen; and will not break my wallet. This is the one! Also, it doesn't cause breakouts. What more can you ask for?"
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Maybe you know that vitamin C is an antioxidant responsible for fighting the signs of aging or that this essential nutrient helps burn fat. But, when reader Brig482 tried out The Body Shop Vitamin C Moisturizer SPF 15 ($15), she was disappointed by the paltry amount of actual vitamin C in the list of ingredients. Here's what she had to say:
I was on a mission to find a good vitamin C product for my face, and before I did my research I was talked into buying this from The Body Shop. Bad idea. It's a decent moisturizer, but the actual amount of vitamin C is less than 1 percent! For a vitamin C product to work effectively, you need at least 10 percent.
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A friend of mine got a facial in Boston and fell head over heels for a moisturizer from SkinCeuticals called Emollience ($50). Her rave reviews about how her skin looked even, supple and hydrated after just one month made me run faster than Forrest Gump to the store. So far I've been using it for two weeks and here are my thoughts:
Emollience has a thin, slip-like texture, but it delivers heavy moisture. It has a light and clean scent that feels refreshing on your face and makes your skin look dewy and smooth. Also, I love that it is reasonably priced for such a large jar. It lasts long too. All you really need is a pinky nail bed-sized dollop for your entire face and neck.
The texture aside, the results are really what make this such a solid purchase. I apply it in the morning and my face doesn't dry out even the slightest bit all day. It absorbs quickly so I can put my makeup on right away without any base or powder sliding off. I use a little bit extra in the evenings, along with an eye cream and when I wake up, my skin looks splotch-free and feels like buttah.
It's recommended for those with dry skin since it contains restorative oils (grapeseed, rose hip and macadamia), but my skin is combination and it seems to be responding well to the formula (meaning, it's not too oily, even around my t-zone). Is this the best face cream in the whole wide world? No, but it definitely ranks high, and I can confidently recommend it to anyone looking for a gentle cream that will give your thirsty complexion a tall drink of water.
About a month ago, Nars released a new, highly concentrated, skin-restoring face moisturizer called Lipid Support Potent EFA Cream ($70 for 1.7 oz). This thick, lightly scented lotion is formulated with lipids (Omega-3 fatty acids and ceramides), acai and hyaluronic acid to replenish your skin and to create a more hydrated texture. In turn, this helps aid in skin-cell regeneration and decrease wrinkles and create an overall more supple appearance.
Now, I don't know if you're aware of this, but some ingredients can break down when exposed to the air — and that means your skin isn't getting all of the ingredients it should. I like this container aesthetically, but I love how the airtight seal protects the cream's active ingredients from overexposure to sunlight, germs, and oxygen.
I really like the cream, especially for nighttime, but the one drawback is that has a slightly heavy and greasy texture. It claims to be suitable for all skin types, but due to its intensely hydrating formula, I would suggest it for those with dry skin.
I was astonished when I walked into my friend's bathroom to find an entire shelf lined in face creams alone. I counted thirteen in plain sight and another six when I opened up her medicine cabinet. Holy Batman! That's 18 face lotions!
Before I entered the wonderful world of beauty product testing as a career, I had four different face lotions: two for daytime and two for the evening (and no, I'm not including eye creams). How many facial moisturizers do you own?
Sunshine is a natural source of vitamin D, which is great for your bones, your organs, and your mental health. (It's true, the sun makes people happy.) But as you well know, it's also dangerous, and it's a top cause of skin aging. Below is my seven-post roundup on noteworthy SPF-enhanced beauty products (there's even a DIY recipe in there too) so that you can safeguard your skin, your hair, and your lips at all times.
Everyone has days when work feels like a labor of love, but then there are the days when I come home to a shiny package filled with a jar of Omorovicza Plumping Cream ($260) — and suddenly I remember how lucky I am! I first informed you about the amazing wonders of Hungarian skin care products in December and about a month ago, I talked to you in more detail about the Budapest-based brand Omorovicza.
After using the cream for almost a month straight, I am grateful to find something that has noticeably improved the overall tone of my skin. Maybe it's the hyaluronic acid, omega-6 ceramides, the elastins, or the special Hungarian healing minerals, but my skin feels smooth, hydrated, and far less blotchy.
Just a small dab for your entire face and neck will do ya, which I think is great since it's so expensive. The ultrathick cream has a soothing and subtle rosy, lavender scent. It absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling hydrated, smooth, and even a little bit brighter. And here's a tip for those of you who don't have almost $300 to burn: ask for a sample. It will last you over a week and you can see for yourself if you think it's worth the investment.
In honor of Sun Safety Week (June 8th-14th), I've decided to bring you a five-post series on beauty products that contain SPF. And I'm not talking SPF 4, 6, or 8, I'm talking the big numbers to keep your looks preserved, your skin protected and your body healthy and happy. Today's topic is facial moisturizers and below are three great products that have piqued my interest. What's your favorite SPF lotion?
I haven't tried anything from Ahava except for their Purifying Dead Sea Mask and I loved it, so when I heard that they launched a line of Mineral Sun Care products I was intrigued, especially with the Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF 50 ($25). It claims to guard your skin from both UVA and UVB rays and it's formulated for sensitive skin.
Last Summer, Kiehl's launched the UV Protective Face and Body Sunscreens with SPF 20 ($32.50), which I love. The big news is that they've already released the same version but with SPF 50 overseas and plan to launch it in the US next year — how's that for early buzz!
The sun creams are formulated with Mexoryl technology to ensure that UVA and UVB rays are blocked from penetrating your skin. They are photostable, non-greasy, fragrance-free and sweat resistant, however, they are lightweight in texture so they won't clog your pores.
For one more facial moisturizer with SPF, read more