Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ole Henriksen Blue/ Blackberry Enzyme Mask

Lately I have been on the hunt for over the counter enzyme masks that really work. There has been a lot of hype surrounding certain enzyme masks lately, and I wanted to test them out. This blog post will solely be about Ole Henriksen Blue/ Black Enzyme Mask. I will blog about the other masks soon.

I was interested in this product because it is designed for normal/dry, sensitive skin and it is left on for twenty minutes. This isn't my skin type ( I'm oily), but most enzyme masks for at home use are usually left on for ten minutes. I had to assume this is very gentle since it is left on for so long, but I wanted to know if it was effective.

I didn't purchase this product, I went to Sephora and was given a generous sample to try. This lasted about 5 uses.  I generally would like more time to review a product, but I felt I already had my opinion on this product.

This is the description of the mask, "This aromatic, reparative gel mask hydrates with sodium hyaluronate and lavender to quench dry and sensitive skin. The perfect antidote to facial stress, this potent blend of extracts smoothes and polishes skin."

Ingredient Benefits

Blue/blackberry fruit extract Oxygenates, renews skin cells, smoothes and refines texture
Lavender extract Reduces inflammation, repairs and renews
Panthenol (vitamin B5) Hydrates and nourishes
Papaya enzyme Renews skin and removes dead skin cells

*In case you were wondering what sodium hyaluronate is, it is meant to moisturize and plump up dehydrated skin. It comes from hyaluronic acid, which attracts water/moisture to the skin, also smoothing and plumping up the skin.

This mask can be used 2-3x a week at night. Apply a good amount to the face and neck after the skin is cleansed. Leave on for 10-20 minutes. Rinse with cool or warm water until all product is off. Continue with moisturizing routine.

In my opinion this mask is very gentle, perfect for sensitive skin. This mask did not sting or burn like other enzyme masks I've tried. I found it to be somewhat hydrating, it definitely did not dry my skin out. I noticed my skin had a smooth, soft clearness to it after using this mask. Too bad the effect doesn't last very long, which is probably why you can use it so often in a week. I like this mask, I think it is gentle and effective. I would recommend this to someone who has never used an enzyme mask before, it is a nice introductory mask. This definitely is great for dry and sensitive skin types.

This mask comes in two sizes, 1 oz./ 30ml for $10.00 and 3.5 oz./ 100g for $32.00. You can purchase this on their website Ole Henriksen Blue/ Blackberry Enzyme Mask or through Sephora.

I hope you found this helpful and don't forget to subscribe to my blog!

Thank you for reading and feel free to ask any questions!!

Friday, February 22, 2013


Is there actually a holy grail cream that works on acne, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles??!! Yes!! This holy grail cream is Retin-A (tretinoin). As amazing as this product is, there are still plenty of side effects to be aware of before starting Retin-A.

Retin-A comes from vitamin A also known as retinoic acid. Retin-A works by increasing cell turnover, which means it is heavy duty exfoliation. It is clearing out old cells and allowing new cells to come up, which is preventing clogged pores, fine lines, and fading dark spots.

Retin-A comes in a cream and gel form. The prescription doses for cream form are: 0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1%. For gel form it is: 0.01%, and 0.025%.

If you are interested in using Retin-A, it is best to get a prescription for it. This way you know the percentage and amount of Retin-A you are using. If it is too hard to get a prescription, there are many over the counter brands that now use Retin-A in their products. There are many to choose from and I haven't tried any, (I do have a prescription for Retin-A) but I would recommend RoC or Philosophy help me night cream.

The best way to use Retin-A is at night on a clean dry face. After you cleanse the skin do not moisturize, moisturizer will interfere with the way Retin-A works. Wait about 10-15 min after you cleanse your face and apply Retin-A to the areas of concern. The skin must be dry so it properly absorbs the Retin-A. If you are applying it all over the face, use only a peas size, a little goes a long way. If you are using it in a small area, apply a very thin layer. If you have never used Retin-A before, I suggest you apply it every other night or 3rd night.

The most common side effects are dry, peeling, irritated, and sensitive skin. Also you will be sensitive to sun light so you must wear a sunscreen if you are going to use Retin-A.There are some people with very sensitive skin who just can not tolerate Retin-A, therefore please be aware of your skin type and talk about this with your Doctor.

I started using Retin-A about 6 years ago. I had a horrendous breakout on my chin that wouldn't stop, I finally decided to see my Doc and she prescribed Retin-A 0.05% (a generic brand) and clindamycin in a topical gel form (this is an antibiotic in a topical gel form). I felt the Retin-A worked amazing and the breakout stopped, it also helped to fade the acne scars I had left. I don't use Retin-A consistently anymore, but when I do use it I apply it once or twice a week to keep my skin smooth and clear. I have oily skin and I can't use this every night, if I do my skin is irritated and peeling, not cute.

Please excuse my worn tube of Retin-A.

 Retin-A does not cure acne, there is no cure, but for some people it may help. Using Retin-A properly will help for some people, depending on the type of breakout. I don't recommend this for severe acne, it will only irritate the skin and you must see a Dermatologist for other recommendations.

A prescription of Retin-A could cost between $10-$50 depending on your insurance and the brand.

I hope you found this post helpful, if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Also don't forget to be a bare skin lover and subscribe to my blog!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil Key Lime Flavor

There are many ways to take care of our skin, especially these days with countless products claiming untrue results. It's important to remember to take care of our selves from the inside out. It's even more important than what we use topically. What we consume plays a big roll in how we look and feel, just like that saying "You are what you eat!". Including more veggies and fruits is always a plus, whether you eat them, blend them, or juice them! Also consuming healthy fats (omega-3) will have a positive affect on the skin and body. I will go more in depth on healthy foods in another blog, I'm starting to go in another direction!

I want to blog about the benefits of fish oil. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acid which is EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is found in cold water fish. Fish oil is beneficial for heart health, brain function, dry skin, acne, anti-aging, high cholesterol, and it's anti-inflammatory. The list goes on and on, fish oil is beneficial for so much more. Our bodies do not make omega-3 fatty acid, so we have to get it from supplements or diet.

I have been taking Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil Key Lime Flavor and it is amazing! I used to take the capsule form of fish oil on and off over the years, I was too scared to take fish oil straight up! Many companies have made fish oil easier to take by adding lemon or flavoring to it. I heard great things about Barlean's Fish Oil and I would always see it at Whole Foods. I caved when I heard they had a key lime flavor, I am a sucker for key lime anything. Barlean's has many flavors to choose from, so if you don't like key lime just know there are options!

Okay, so what makes Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil Key Lime Flavor so great? Of all the flavors they have, key lime has the highest potency of omega-3 in it, at 1,500 mg per serving. It is "Ultra High Potency". You will only need one tablespoon a day. Barlean's is naturally sweetened with Xylitol. It is "clinically proven 9 times more absorbable than standard fish oil".
 The taste is amazing, there isn't even a hint of fishiness. The texture is thick and creamy and the color is a mint green. If I could I would have more than a tbsp a day. You can take this by it self or blend it in a smoothie. Barlean's must stay cold and refrigerated.
Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil Key Lime Flavor retails for $29.95. I purchased mine at The Vitamin Shoppe on sale, I believe for $22 or $23. You can find this at Whole Foods or online. If you do purchase this online make sure they ship it over dry ice, this must stay cold!

There are many brands to choose from, I happen to really like this one.

University of Maryland Medical Center

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