About Face – Recent Beauty Buys

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Since my post about my medicine cabinet, I have added some new items to the arsenal and I gotta say, they are absolute winners!

cerave cleanser

Many of you suggested in comments and by email that I try Cetaphil as a face wash; I knew I had used it in the past and couldn’t recall why I stopped. Then I was having Chinese takeout with my husband and he looked at my Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and mentioned how it looked like Cetaphil, “and would probably leave your face just as greasy.” I remembered – while I am fully aware a face wash shouldn’t leave your skin squeaky clean, Cetaphil made me feel as though I hadn’t removed anything from my face. If I wiped my skin post-Cetaphil with a pad soaked in witch hazel, it would come back brown from foundation; even with makeup remover when I washed with Cetaphil I still had raccoon eyes from mascara.

So I did some online homework and learned about CeraVe – this seems to be the answer for the small percentage of the population who doesn’t find Cetaphil to be their Holy Grail face wash. While it’s still cheap and easily found in drugstores, and it’s still super gentle, it doesn’t leave that greasy film on the skin. It also leaves my skin clean – passes the witch hazel test!

I wear contacts, and come winter my skin is so sensitive and dry it will crack under the nose and flake on the brow; with CeraVe I haven’t had any skin or eye irritation and no issues with flakiness. I also like using it with my Clarisonic Mia – it doesn’t disappear with the rotation, protecting while cleansing my skin.

I like this cleanser so much, I don’t see any reason to try another. I believe I have found my HG face wash!

Random – each time I see the bottle I start singing this song. And now, it’s probably in your head as well…

aaa loreal youth code serum

I found a sample for this serum in one of my fashion or beauty magazines. I tore out the sample card, tucked it into my medicine cabinet, soon after recycled or passed on the magazine. I finally got around to looking at the sample card… and really couldn’t figure out what this product was for. The card mentioned “genactiv technology”, said to smooth it on my face and neck. The name WAS Youth Code, so I figured it must be something to make me look youthful. From my previous experience working in skincare and cosmetics, I know a serum is something to use in conjunction with a traditional moisturizer. So I started using it under my daily SPF moisturizer.

Within a week my skin looked different. Different how? Well that is as hard to say as the sample card was uninformative. Maybe this is why the sample card was so vague – even L’Oreal couldn’t define the results!

My skin looked… better. Not so dull, not so saggy, not so tired. I still had my dark circles, my fine lines, my sun spots. But somehow all that wasn’t as obvious. I was convinced, and bought a bottle. Since then, I have had people ask if I have lost weight (I haven’t), if I am pregnant (nope), if I am getting more sleep (I wish). So whatever it is doing, it’s good.

I use Youth Code Serum on my face under moisturizer every morning and evening. A little goes a LONG way, and it really absorbs completely in the skin – no weird filmy or sticky feeling, just complete disappearance. hasn’t affected the longevity of my foundation or concealer, no irritation, no dryness. Just that unexplainable lovely something.


Amazing how two drugstore-brand products can make such a huge difference in my skin. The combination of the two along with my previous products (Olay SPF 15 Beauty Fluid and Olay Definity eye cream for day, CVS version of RoC Retinol and night cream for night) made everything work better, and my skin be so much softer, healthier looking, and happy. I can’t recall another winter in my adult life where I wasn’t cursing my face every morning, and wanting to slather it in Vaseline at night in hopes it would hydrate it without causing it to break out. In summary, my skin and I are happy campers!

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  1. I use the Cerave cleanser also.  The Cerave lotion is the best I have ever used, it sinks in and leaves no greasy feeling.  I do wish it did not contain parabens, but, It is a great product other than that.

  2. I did check with a dermatologist years ago and he suggested Aquaphor for it, which worked but caused me to break out. I do forget each year until mid-November when my face rages on me (though no raging this year, thank goodness!)

  3. With regard to your skin peeling at the brows, have you checked with a dermatologist? I had the same problem and was getting dry patches at different spots on my skin; turns out I had an case of face dandruff! She gave me a cream that I use when my dry patches flare up and it works great. Only happens in the winter to me too.

  4. I am about out of my face wash and am not liking it.  I was wondering what I was going to try and then I read your blog!!  My dermatologist recommended the moisturizer and I love the stuff!  I will have to try the L’Oreal too.

  5. Can’t wait to try some of these! I fell in love with the eyeliner, eyeshadow and Almay foundation you wrote about in your last beauty post. So much better to have recommendations than just wildly guessing at the drugstore.

  6. Not familiar with CeraVe, but does it have the same slew of parabens as cetaphil? I used to like Cetaphil, but stopped using it because it contains 4 different parabens as preservatives. I found a replacement I love (aloe 80 organice daily face wash by Lily of the Desert), so see no reason to deal with possible hormone disrupters.

  7. I think CeraVe is the best thing ever! I swear by its healing properties for damaged skin and small burns (must apply immediately after a burn for best results). I use almost everything — PM facial lotion, regular lotion as body lotion, cream (available on amazon as small 2 oz tubes) as hand/foot cream. The only thing I haven’t tried is the SPF facial lotion. I “supplement” with Paula’s Choice products for the antioxidants as per her recommendation, as CeraVe seems to be lacking in this department.

  8. Sounds good – I might try that CeraVe after my current Philosophy runs out. I love a good drugstore brand!

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