Thursday, December 29, 2011

VFAV Beauty Awards 2011 - Facial Skin Care

Here's my 2011 skincare awards! Just so you know, I do use these in different routines and keep a journal of all my success/complaints, so it's easy to tell which product is doing what for me. Here's my years results, enjoy!

Best acne product: Avon Clearskin Professional Acne Treatment System $32 CAD

I don't deal with too much acne, just a few pimples here and there. I've used many drugstore brands and Clinique before to help clear it up without results I'd like. I've been pretty in love with many Avon products lately, and this is another that proves it's excellence - I haven't had a single pimple in over 6 months. Little tingly sensation, but it's also 0.5% salicylic solution, where most brands are 0.2%. Doesn't dry your skin out either, which usually happens, your going to feel sexy and smooth after this. I also mostly suffer from severe inflammation in new pimples over the actual huge pimple, and this calmed it down a lot!

Best face wash: Olay Total Effects Nourishing Cream Cleanser $19.98 CAD

This might be my favourite discovery next to my face cream. I've never washed my face with something that leaves me feeling like silk EVER the way this does. Not to mention the 7 skin+age fighting nutrients? This is a super wash for sure! I recommend this to every woman out there - even men. Go buy this NOW! It's recommended for all skin types. It's hypo-allergenic. It's gentle. It doesn't dry my skin out. It will un-painfully remove make-up. It's rich - but not oily or heavy. Let's the fact that it refines your skin, fights dullness and replenishes radience, minimizes pores, reduces fine lines and wrinkles.. I could go on forever on this product. It's worth every effing penny.

Best Face scrub: St. Ives Exfoliating Apricot $12.99

This product isn't 100% made for your face, but you'll never find anything better. You can get cheaper, smaller bottles, but I always go for the big tub. Used to use it on my whole body til I found Soap & Glory, but this still tops the best face scrubs. Don't be fooled by the roughness - the 100% natural jojoba beads are great for you face! It may seem like a rough scrub for your face but will actually leave your face amazingly soft and fresh - and deadskin free! I've been using this for 7 years now, will never turn my back on it. It's also pumped with Vitamin A and antioxidents. It always amazes me how actually gentle this is on your face.
Best face lotion: Neutrogena Oil Free SPF 15 Moisture Lotion $18.99 CAD

I generally have pretty normal skin, but was always searching for the perfect cream to top it off. Lots of creams are high in oils (which I find good for night time), but this turned out to be a perfect any time of day cream. It's very light, non-greasy, absorbs great and leaves skin soft and smooth. It's also one of the few creams I've found that can be used as a base for make-up. A lot of creams these days make pores pour out sebum, but this doesn't. 

Best eye cream: Anew Ultimate Contouring Eye System $32.00 CAD

Even though I have great skin, Clinique always made me break out, so I switched to this. I used to have what I'd say bad crows feet for 23, and this has visibly reduced it. I still suffer a small amount from them, but this cream has made my creases less visible, especially when make up is on which was my biggest problem. It's very light, great for night or day, and really showed a great improvement. 

Best toner: Sephora Face Soothing Toner $5.00 CAD

I had only tried one toner before this, which dried my skin out (felt more like an astringent). I've read some people think this has a bit of a sting, but I've never felt it. This was a great switch, as I felt my skin wasn't even close to as soft with my wash+ moisturiser. You can feel it doing the last bit of work to clean your face, did a great job cleaning my pores, and my face is left silk smooth. The smell is also great, like a soft rose sent. Sadly, they aren't selling it any more.

Best make up remover: Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action $26.00 CAD

I have tried many make-up removers, maybe around 20. I was using Clinique (unhappy about that one too) when I came apon a bottle in a free gift bag from Sears, and was instantly in love. Lots of other removers with oil like this will break out your skin or irritate your eyes, but this never did either. I also had trouble with having to rub hard to get mascara off, as where this one was simple - holding a facial pad against my eye for about 10 seconds and a quick swipe off. It's soft, conditioning and didn't leave any oily residue. I will never stray or even try another brand, this is the ultimate make-up remover. Not to mention a little goes a long way.

Best anti-age fighter: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream $23.99 CAD
I don't necessarily have wrinkly skin, but I'm a firm believer in preventing it. In the past I have always been very happy with Neutrogena products so I figured I'd give this a try. The first time I used it, I could feel an instant tingle and tightening sensation. Within a week (just like it says) I could visibly notice an improvement in my wrinkles near my eyes. I like creams like this that have instant effects as well as long term effects. Like all Neutrogena products, it isn't oily nor did it clog pores.

Best microdermabrasion: Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion System $19.99 CAD
The first time I used this, I was a little frigthened. But don't let that scare you away. This stuff is really intense first time around. It has a dial so there's different amounts of each liquid as time goes on, so you really need to make sure you use it as directed to get the best results. The first result I noticed was no dry skin - just like the real thing, dead skin layers gone! I also started to notice my face was more evenly toned - something I haven't found in years (I have a hyperpigmented spot on my face that's hard to keep hidden). This was my biggest love for this product - evening out my skin tones. Don't get me wrong, this stuff will get your face clean like you'd never believe. It's a great micro-derm system: exfoliates and cleans very deep without any harsh seeds or sand-paper like particles (although I personally like those kinds). But how deeply it cleans is un-believable. This is really spa level stuff!

Best facial peel: Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel $19.99

Here's another product that may scare you first use. I used it for the first time after washing my face off, and my goodness - she's got some sting to it for sure! It seems to have a very astringent/alcohol scent to it, which I'll assume is what helps with clearing breakouts and blemishes (because it will INSTANTLY remove blemish - no lie!). It's a pretty powerful peel, although not the first to have a bite to it I've used. This definitely has instant and long term effects. It kind of "puffs" the face so wrinkles aren't visible and softens skin beautifully. I noticed that for long term effects, after using this product, my face really started to have a glow about it, kind of like the cover of a magazine minus airbrushing. It's also dramatically cleaned and shrunk pores around my nose.

Best tool: Olay Profession Pro-X Advanced Cleaning System $29.99 CAD

As well as being my favourite tool of the year - this is my favourite skin care item of the year. I have wanted a Clarisonic forever, but couldn't justify spending over $200 on a face cleansing brush. So when this came out, I searched every corner of the internet for reviews and comparisons. To my happiness the internet told me exactly what I wanted to hear - this is a $30 clarisonic, more or less. I don't use this everyday, maybe twice a week. But each and every time I use it is like the first time. It's not just the cleansing, it's the massaging action while cleaning. It leaves your skin feeling relaxed, cleaned and pampered. I do use peels and what not once a week for deep cleaning and moisturising, but my Pro-X really does a good deep cleaning in between peels and is a great every-other-day tool for keeping up a good clean. 

What I learned about my skin and products this year:
I do not have perfect skin anymore, I get dry spots that need constant attention and a cream that could be applied multiple times a day. Astringents have started to fail me, so I had to find other products to clear up blackheads and shrink pores. Avon has great products - wishing I'd of given them chances before. Just because a product has a designer label and price, doesn't mean it's that great (clinique managed to disappoint me many times this year). Don't be afraid to switch it up if a product isn't making you happy, but always stick to what you love when you find it!

Keep checking for my 2011 awards for make-up, body care and hair care categories!

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