Category:  skin

The Ongoing Fight to Erradicate Blackheads…

By | skin | 4 Comments

Conquering acne can literally seem like fighting a long, hopeless war… Sometimes you win a battle, most times you lose. That’s why we need to come armed with the best and most reliable products on the market!

My current mission: A face mask strong enough to destroy and detonate blackheads….

My find: DDF’s Sulfur Therapeutic Mask. This mask is a necessary addition to your weekly skin routine, especially if you suffer from oily skin and congested pores.

is an amazing ingredient for problem skin. Back in the day – like wayyyy back – Grecians used sulfur to treat rosacea, dermatitis, and dandruff. Nowadays, sulfur is added to products because it contains anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties that are great for treating acne and unclogging those viciously clogged pores.

DDF’s mask also contains aloe vera, which soothes the skin (great for sensitive, oily types), and purified clay to dry the oil glands. The mask hardens in about 10 minutes and once I rinsed it off (warm water, pat- not rubbed – dry), my skin was smooth, refreshed, glowing… and, the beat part, my pores actually appeared smaller!!!

Mission accomplished…. blackheads demolished!

Friends of mine have raved about DDF’s entire product line…. the mask is the first item that I’ve tried but I’m definitely going to be stocking up on some of their other facial goodies!

Price Tag: $34.00 for a 4 oz. tub of clay

Do you have a favorite DDF product that I just have to try?!? Let me know!


By | skin, weekly must-have | 7 Comments

My dermo told me about a moisturizer that she proclaimed works better then Cetaphil for oily skin…. GASP! What??? Better then Cetaphil? And I thought that Cetaphil held the trophy for best moisturizer in the biz (for oily/ acne skin types)!

Well, it looks like we’re passing the torch. Tried and tested, Olay Complete All Day Moisture Lotion with SPF 15 is our new favorite! And it is a must-have for ANYONE suffering from oily, sensitive, problem skin! Unlike Cetaphil, Olay Complete totally absorbs into the skin… this is VERY important for oily complexions!

Here’s why I like it:
It’s light and non-greasy (in other words, it won’t just sit on the surface, it soaks in)
Non-Comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
Oil-Absorbing Powder (so that surface oils are banished immediately and skin is left matte and unshiny… like blotting papers!) **this is my fave aspect of the moisturizer**
Antioxidant Vitamin E plus C
100% Oil Free
100% PABA Free

I highly recommend this moisturizer for anyone suffering from oily, acne-prone and/or problem skin. It does not disappoint. And it really does hydrate without over-moisturizing or leaving skin shiny.

The Complete moisturizer also comes in sensitive, normal, and dry skin formulas.

Price: $8.85 for 4.0 FL OZ

10 Things YOU Need To Know About Retinol…

By | skin | 8 Comments

Love this!

Retinol has long been used to clear problem skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimize pore size, aid in erasing hyperpigmentation and sun damage, and exfoliate skin to bring new, healthy skin to the surface.

Thanks to Johnson and Johnson’s Roc and their newest skin product,RETINOL CORREXION® DEEP WRINKLE DAILY MOISTURIZER with SPF 30, we now have a cheat sheet on how to use Retinol.

Here are the 10 things YOU need to know about Retinol:

1. Retinol products containing pure and stable Vitamin A are most effective. Retinol’s structure allows it to immediately set to work improving skin’s appearance. In contrast, Retinol esters (pro retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinyl propionate, etc.) first have to be converted into Retinol before they can begin to work.

2. Retinol fights fine lines AND deep wrinkles. Whether you’re looking to prevent future signs of aging or hoping to appear years younger, there’s a Retinol product suited to your needs. For deeper wrinkles, opt for a formula that offers an ultra-effective combination of Retinol and an Essential Mineral Complex.

3. Retinol’s strength is not only determined by its concentration. Retinol’s efficacy relies heavily on its formulation and delivery system. A product containing a higher percentage level of Retinol will not necessarily work better or faster.

4. Retinol must penetrate skin to improve it. Delivering Retinol in an encapsulated form enables it to penetrate into the skin’s surface, improving performance. Many other over-the-counter products only topically coat the skin, compromising results.

5. Retinol can degrade if not packaged properly. An air-tight, opaque tube or bottle helps maintain the formula’s stability by preventing oxygen or UV-light penetration.

6. Retinol works best when introduced gradually to your regimen. Using Retinol is like training for a marathon. Slowly build up your tolerance level—begin by applying a product containing Retinol every other day. Once your skin adjusts to this effective ingredient, you’ll be able to incorporate it into a daily skincare regimen with little chance of flaking or redness.

7. Retinol products can be safely used on sunny days. You don’t have to forego Retinol’s anti-aging benefits during daytime hours. A formula containing SPF 30 will provide adequate protection from the sun’s rays (like RoC’s newest addition, the RETINOL CORREXION® DEEP WRINKLE DAILY MOISTURIZER with SPF 30)

8. Retinol will complement AHA usage. Alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate the skin, enabling Retinol to penetrate into the skin’s surface even more efficiently. A product containing both ingredients is best used at night to avoid sensitivity.

9. Retinol can help prevent the signs of premature aging. Early use of products containing pure and stable Retinol will help to combat fine lines before they start to appear noticeable, so skin continues to look years younger than it’s true age.

10. Retinol improves more than just wrinkles. It not only reduces the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles, but also improves skin tone, the signs of photodamage and pore size. Combined with sun protection, it’s the gold standard in anti-aging.


By | how to, skin | 18 Comments

We’ve all heard about the plethora of products that offer the promise of a flawless face.  Some of them work, most of them don’t.  A lot of it is trial and error… figuring out what regimine is right for YOUR skin.

But there are some standard practices that really do help to give you a healthy complexion.
Here are my favorite ten to remember, cherish, and use!
1 – Vitamins are vital!  Fish Oil has been proven to help in the maintenance of healthy skin and hair.  I love the Pharmax Fish Oil with Essential Oil of Orange – it’s a liquid but it doesn’t leave any fishy after taste. It works to give you a glowing complexion from the inside, out.  
2 – Don’t overwash… and don’t overdry!  Too much washing or drying out of the face only leads to your oil glands actually producing more oil to compensate.  Wash twice a day, at the most! And make sure to use a gentle, non-irritating cleanser that is anti-bacterial – to eradicate bacterias that fill your pores.  Cetaphil’s antibacterial gentle cleansing bar is a great choice (and an inexpensive one!)
3 – Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock!!! Even if you love a nice tan, you MUST use sunblock EVERY DAY!!! The number one cause of wrinkles is sun exposure!!!  And your sunblock should fight against UVA and UVB rays (click HERE for some great sunblock options!)
4 – Change your pillowcases every third night!  It seems arduous but the truth is, dirt, bacteria and oils from your hair seep into the pillowcases thus seeping into your skin while you sleep. It’s vital to allow your face a clean, fresh fabric from which to relax and unwind.
5 – Wash your hands before going to bed!  Again, clean hands help to keep unwanted dirt and bacterias AWAY from your face.  You should really wash your hands consistently throughout the day but also before bed time.  You know how they say germs are transferred from your hands to your mouth… thus, spreading virus’ and infection?  Well, the same is true with hands to face… spreading dirt and bacteria!
6 – Eye cream must be made a part of your daily regime!  Even if you have oily skin, it’s imperative that you hydrate your eyes.  The skin around your eyes is a lot more tender and delicate, thus it needs special care.  Eye cream should be dabbed – not rubbed – from the outer corner, inwards… twice a day! Click HERE for some fantastic eye cream choices!
7 – Don’t pick!!! This is the hardest rule for me to follow, so I’m gonna add an addendum –  If you must pick (like when that white head has taken over your entire chin…), steam your face first.  And please, I beg you, wrap your fingers in toilet paper so that you don’t transfer the dirt and bacteria from your fingers to your face/ pimple.  Also, make sure to only press lightly… when you try and force the puss out, you’re actually spreading it around and infecting it!
8 – Drink as much water as you can possibly handle!!! This seems like common knowledge, but the truth is, we don’t drink as much water as we should.  Water flushes out all the yuckiness inside of our bodies and it promotes health, bottom line!  If you find that you’re not a water-lover, try adding a flavor to your water.  I suggest Crystal Light on the go packs… they come in 10 flavors, they’re low in calories and they can be added to ANY size water bottle as easily as ripping the packet open and pouring it into the bottle!
9 – Even if you’re oily, you MUST moisturize!  A common misperception is that oily skin doesn’t need extra hydration…. NOT TRUE!  All skin needs hydration because hydrating your skin actually balances out the oiliness.  Obviously, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should choose an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturizer.  Something that is light and non greasy.  There are thousands of moisturizers on the market… try them ALL until you find the one that suits your specific skin.  But don’t skip this step!!!
10 – NEVER rub, ALWAYS pat!  This is true when applying creams and medicines, and when drying your face after washing.  Rubbing your skin stretches it, causing lines and wrinkles.  It also “rubs” the bacterias everywhere, infecting not only the problem areas, but the entire face. However, patting your skin – be it with a moisturizer or a wash cloth – is gentle and non abrasive to your face.  It also allows the face to truly soak up the moisturizer, medicine, and/or face wash so that you experience the full effects of said products!  When you rub, you rub off a majority of the benefits of these products as well!!!
Have a great skin tip?  We want to know it! Leave us a comment in the box below!


By | skin, weekly must-have | 3 Comments

Sometimes, no matter how much primer or powder you apply to your face, you’re still going to have to suffer from a shiny complexion!

I love oil blotting sheets… love, love, love…. and my new find is no exception!  CVS’s Oil Absorbing Sheets get rid of unwanted oil and shine while still keeping your makeup in tact! Genius concept!  The sheets are packaged in a little envelope looking thing and are super easy to use while on-the-go! And even better, they’re less then $5.00 for 50 sheets!

A word (or several…) from the company:

“CVS Oil Absorbing Sheets instantly absorb unwanted oil from your nose and forehead to reduce that undesirable shine. It does this with virtually no disruption of makeup. You can see the oil you remove on the sheet so you know it is doing the job. Its soft, quiet nature allows you to use the sheets anywhere without drawing attention to yourself.”

These sheets are great for sweaty, humid summer nights! Buy in bulk today!!!!
***PROFESSIONAL TOP*** If you’re really in a pinch, use a toilet seat cover from a public bathroom…. the seat cover will virtually do the same thing as these oil absorbing sheets, it’ll absorb excess gunk… a couple of blots to the nose and forehead and you’re good to go… shine-free and sexy!

Skin Genesis is Sorta Genius

By | skin | 2 Comments

I’ve used the Cetaphil moisturizer for ages now – it’s inexpensive and effective – yet, lately it’s been making my skin oily. So while thumbing through a fashion magazine recently, I came across this advertisement for L’oreal’s Skin Genesis moisturizing cream. The model? Well, she’s really an actress with a great gig as a L’oreal spokesperson… the gorgeous and pore-free skinned, Penelope Cruz.

Yes, I must admit, I got taken by an advertisement. But, come on! Penelope Cruz has just about the greatest skin of anyone on this planet… and I can’t help wanting gorgeous skin myself! I finally had a chance to try the Skin Genesis moisturizer (oil-free, of course) and, I’ve gotta say, I’m a fan!

The Skin Genesis Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer won the Allure Best of Beauty “Beauty Breakthrough” award in October. And the entire Skin Genesis line has been creating a lot of buzz. The technology is this:  They call it “green chemistry.” Pro-Xylane, an ingredient in the product, comes from the wood of beach trees.  With this new water-based process that L’oreal uses to extract the ingredient, trees and soil are left unharmed.  Sounds cool, although I can’t comment on the reality of this process.

Here’s what I do know: Not only is the moisturizer oil-free, but it boosts cellular renewal to help erase fine lines. It also helps to maintain an even skin tone while keeping the skin’s layers hydrated. It starts with the outer layer, and works inward, thus you look younger from the first application.  And I loved the way it felt on my skin… it definitely penetrated throughout, not leaving a greasy layer on my face.  My only problem is that it contains fragrance… and people with sensitive skin should always avoid fragrance.
Have you tried any products from the Skin Genesis line?  Have a favorite?

Tea Tree Oil In A Blue Mask

By | skin | 5 Comments

I love tea tree oil. As I’ve reported on previous posts, one of my favorite zit fighters is Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick with Eco-Harvest Tea Tree Oil (read my rave review HERE).

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial. It is fabulous for oily, acne-prone, and problem skin. I’ve been using a purifying mask with tea tree oil on a weekly basis for some time now, and it’s really helped to eradicate excessive oiliness and tighten my pores.

Astara’s Blue Flame Purification Mask is my saving grace for problem skin. It mixes tea tree oil with botanical detoxifying, antibacterial, and healing agents for a ten minute mask that leaves your skin refreshed and revitalized. It’s a blue clay that dries hard, seeping deep into your pores to remove buildup from oil and environmental hazards. It’s also pretty brilliant as an overnight on-the-spot treatment as well.

A 2.0 fl oz tub sells for $41.00
We want to know, what’s your favorite mask???

Monday Skin Talk

By | skin | 7 Comments

I just returned from NYC where the weather is still cold and windy, thus leaving my skin dehydrated and dry. Even with oily skin (like me), it’s imperative that you moisturize. One of the biggest faux pas about oily skin is that you should dry it out… NOT TRUE… the more you dry out the skin, the more oil the skin thinks it needs to produce to counterbalance the dryness. Thus, even with oily skin, make sure to keep it hydrated. Of course, if you are prone to oiliness, it’s important to find a moisturizer that is oil-free and balancing.

I have become absolutely obsessed with my dry climate skin cream…. Jurlique’s Balancing Day Care Cream is heaven to the face. It doesn’t over moisturize and it’s great for sensitive skin. You put it on and your face literally glows – like that dewy, healthy skin look.

A word (or several…) from the company:
“A light, absorbing moisturising cream infused with the living energy of daisy, chamomile and rose, and precious plant oils to minimize the visible signs of aging. Leaves the skin with a smooth, healthy-looking glow. Ideal for maintaining balance. “

I am a huge fan of Jurlique products because they use the highest quality natural ingredients… no synthetics that just clog pores and produce “pretend” results… these products continually deliver visible, healthy skin. Over and over again. My favorite aspects of the creams is how they make your skin feel – throughout the day, skin is hydrated (never dull) and smooth (never flakey).

Sometimes I mix my Jurlique Balancing Cream with a tiny dollop of Elder Cream. The Elder Cream is a brightening moisturizer that leaves your complexion luminous. Even if I’m super tired, I put this cream on and look like I’ve just had eight hours of sleep (and I never cease to get a compliment about how great and hydrated my skin looks when I use it!).

Both of these moisturizers sell for $40.00.

If you still want the organic, all-natural products without the high price tag, try Weleda. Their moisturizers are just as soothing and less expensive. A comparable cream to Jurlique’s Balancing Cream is Weleda’s Rose Cream. It’s great for balancing out normal to oily skin tones and like the Jurlique cream, it’s lightweight, never oily, yet super hydrating. It retails for about $25.00.

Rediscovering Mario Badescu

By | skin | 3 Comments

I LOVE to give myself at home mini-facials. You know, wash, exfoliate, steam, mask, pick (okay, fine, you’re not supposed to pick but I can’t help it!), moisturize… the whole nine.

So, last night as I primped for an evening of pre-Oscar events, I rediscovered an old time favorite skin care line. Mario Badescu. If you’re not familiar with the line, you need to be. They make a variety of products that suit all skin types – from acne to dehydrated! And it’s so easy to navigate! All of the products come tagged with C (for combination), O (for oily), S (for sensitve), D (for dry) and so on. It’s important to mention that the products are very well priced too!

They make an incredible drying lotion that literally clears pimples on contact. With it’s unique blend of Calamine and Salicylic Acid, the lotion heals and soothes those puss-filled pests overnight! It’s actually quite famous. And it’s only $17.00 and lasts forever! For more info on the Drying Lotion, click HERE.

I’m also quite obsessed with the Flower & Tonic Mask. It’s meant for combination/ oily/ sensitive skin (thus it reads C, O, S). It’s a purifying and calming mask with a Kaolin formula that helps to absorb dirt and oil and decongest pores, and Balsam Peru ingredient that soothes minor redness and irritation. I left the mask on until it hardened (about 20 minutes) and then rinsed with warm water. My skin was soft, smooth and glowing!!!

Next, I used the Ceramide Eye Gel. It’s emerald green, gooey and absolutely divine! This is by no means your conventional eye cream! The Ceramides and nourishing Herbal Extracts help to diminish puffiness and tired eyes. The lightweight gel is incredibly soothing AND **hint** if you store it in the fridge, it’s a fabulous morning pick-me-up for tired eyes! The best part is, it’s only $18.00! I applied the eye gel after the mask and before my moisturizer and my eyes were instantly brighter and tighter! It was the perfect eye treatment to use prior to a night out on the town!

I’m feeling the need to try more Mario Badescu products asap as I am so happy with the results of these.

Anyone out there have a favorite? (Hair crazed Jenny raves about the seaweed cleansing lotion)… Something I MUST TRY? Let me know!

LOVIN’ it up with Sweet Almond and Oranges

By | skin | 4 Comments

I’m always on the lookout for the ultimate beauty combo, one that can provide a good scent and luscious skin. My favorite, for DRY SKIN only, is a good creamy wipe, off cleanser. So I have never been so satisfied as I was to find LA FLEUR ORGANIQUE gentle cleanser with sweet almond and orange blossom. This pink cleansing lotion smells like sweet fruit and soothes away any wintery redness. This is a great segue into spring…

Another product I love, that’s a derivative of oranges, and just as healthy is the DR. OBAGI SYSTEM PROFESSIONAL -C SERUM 20%. It’s a lightweight slightly sticky solution that makes your skin glow. And glowing skin is a year round desirable.

Xoxo Di

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Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.