Monday, October 22, 2012

My Favorite Face Moisturizer

There is only one for me; Crème De La Mer!

Crème De La Mer Moisturizing Cream
I’ve raved about this product before, and will most likely continue to do so until I discover a worthy substitute.  Crème De La Mer is a thick, lightly-scented cream that hydrates the skin resulting in a healthy appearance. I can honestly say that since I started using this cream two years ago I have had no issues with dry patches on my face. I use it as a night cream primarily on my dry areas, but also as an allover moisturizer to rehydrate my skin after a deep cleansing mask.
I will make no attempts to justify the cost of this cream, but I can say that for me, it is worth every penny. The longer I use it, the less I need, so my 1 oz. bottle now lasts well over 10 months. I can assure you that I am not using this product because of the hype or its cult following, I use it for one reason only; it is the best face moisturizer I have ever tried.
I would love to recommend a cheaper alternative but every moisturizer I’ve tried prior to or since discovering La Mer has not delivered comparable results. 

Thanks for reading,
xoxo Ree van D
Be sure to catch the next blog post in this series, “My Favorite Lip Treatments & Balms”, due October 25th, 2012.

For “My Top 3 Shower Creams” Click HERE
For “My Top 3 Body Butters” Click HERE

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Favorite Hand and Foot Creams (Winter Skincare Series)

Two of the most hardworking parts of our body, our hands and feet, are sometimes the most ignored. It baffles me that so many people walk around with dry, calloused, ashy hands and feet when caring for these parts requires relatively minimal effort. All you have to do is exfoliate and moisturize.

Those who know me personally can attest to the fact that I have very soft hands. I do not have any special regimen or exclusive treatment; I simply keep them moisturized. Here are my current favorite hand creams:
1. L’Occitane Hand Cream
I love this stuff and strongly believe it deserves all the acclaim!
It has a delicate scent similar to that of the Ultra Rich line and with 20% Shea butter it is very moisturizing. My favorite thing about this hand cream is that it is non-greasy. It absorbs quickly and does not leave behind that greasy residue like so many other hands creams.
L'Occitane Hand  Cream

I have it in three sizes;
150ml €19: I keep this large tube around the house. I always reach for this after I have done the dishes or used cleaning detergents.
30ml €7: This one I keep in my handbag. It’s a good size to tote around or even to keep in your desk at work.
10ml: I received these tiny tubes from a business class goodie bag, but they are also available in the L’Occitane travel kit. They are just the perfect size to slip into your clutch.
2. Gamila Secret Hands 50ml € 25.95
This was given to me as gift November, 2011. My initial reaction was “oh how nice” and before even trying it I stuck it in a drawer and completely forgot about it. The truth is, I was quite satisfied with using the L’Occitane Hand Cream and as I had not heard of Gamila Secret prior to receiving this gift, I really did not give it much thought.
Gamila Secret Hands
Eventually I “rediscovered” it in the drawer, but could not find any reviews of this product so I did not know what to expect. I decided to give it a try and immediately fell in love with its sweet herbal scent. It’s very soothing, absorbs quickly, and as a bonus, it is an organic product.
Although they are hidden away most of the time our feet are still in need of a bit of loving too. This is particularly true during the winter when our heels are more prone to developing callouses, which when left untreated may lead to cracks. Not only are these symptoms unsightly, they may also cause discomfort. In most cases your regular body lotion or even rich body butter is not designed to combat the drying effects of winter.  Regular exfoliation coupled with a cream designed specifically for foot care is your best bet to prevent dry, cracked heels.
My new fave:
·         Gamila Secret Feet 100 ml € 30.95
I was so impressed with Gamila Secret Hands that I figured why not give “Feet” a try; it did not disappoint. It has a minty scent and when applied is quite refreshing and soothing; a great treat for tired feet at the end of the day. Like the Gamila Secret Hands, this too is an all-natural product.

Gamila Secret Feet

Worth mentioning …
·         The Body Shop No More Rough Stuff Foot Smoother
·         The Body Shop File A Foot
The Body Shop No More Rough Stuff Foot Smoother and File A Foot
I think everyone, male and female, should own a pumice stone. They are inexpensive and very easy to use. I use mine in the shower to quickly buff away any dry skin. I use the File A Foot during my in-home pedicures; leaves my feet oh so smooth.

Be sure to catch the next blog post in this series, “My Favorite Face Moisturizer ”, due October 22nd, 2012.
Thanks for reading,
xoxo Ree van D
For “My Top 3 Shower Creams” Click HERE
For “My Top 3 Body Butters” Click HERE

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Top 3 Body Butters (Winter Skincare Series)

I am obsessed with body butters. I use them all year round, but whereas I alternate between butters and lotions during the warmer months, I use only butters during the winter. Body butters are richer and creamier than lotions, thus providing added protection against winter dry skin.

There are heaps of good body butters out there so you can afford to be picky when trying to find the right one (or two, or three) for you. I recommend that you consider the following:
The Scent: You must love the way it smells because you are going to be wearing it quite often. Plus, applying your body butter can be a moment to relax your mind through aromatherapy as you pamper your skin.
The texture: Do you like it creamy or whipped? Thick or light? Certainly not runny, nor do you want it so hard that it does not melt easily from the warmth of your hands.
Permeability: A body butter should absorb quickly. If it does not, then it’s a waste of money because it just sits on top the skin and rubs off the minute your skin comes in contact with fabric.
Last, but arguably most important …
The Ingredients: Are the key ingredients suitable for your skin type and concerns? For instance, Shea butter to treat dry skin, Cocoa butter to reduce the appearance of blemishes, and chocolate for an even skin tone.

My Top Three Body Butters:
1.      L’Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream  200 ml € 31
L’Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream has a delicate, powdery scent. It is a thick cream that is easy to apply and quickly absorbed. Infused with 15% Shea butter it is the ideal treat for dry skin. I like using it in the evenings because the scent is quite calming so it helps to soothe my mind after a long day.

2.     Clinique Comfort Body Butter 200 ml €31
Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter is great for those who do not like the scent of nut oils but still desire the moisturizing benefits of Shea butter. This light cream has a neutral, barely-there sent, which absorbs quickly and leaves the skin as smooth as silk. I always reach for this body butter when I do not want the scent of my body butter to detract from the scent of my perfume.

3.     Khiel’s 'Crème de Corps' Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter
“It’s so fluffy!” ~ Despicable Me
I may have saved the best for last. This is my favorite of the three. Khiel’s developed the perfect combination of soy, honey, and Shea butter into a product that does wonders for dry skin.  It has a rich, sweet fragrance with a light, fluffy texture. It absorbs quickly and nourishes the skin.

Sure my favorites are a bit on the pricey side, but this is a product I certainly do not want to skimp on, only the crème de la crème for my skin because it’s worth it. The effectiveness of your body butter can make or break your winter skincare regimen.

Worth Mentioning …
·         M.Y.O Body Butter
If you are veteran to DIY projects or just up for a fun experiment, Making Your Own Body Butter is an easy and inexpensive alternative. There are lots of recipes and tutorials available online to guide you through the process. It’s a fairly simple process of whipping together pure Shea butter with carrier oils, and essential oils. It is a great opportunity to customize the body butter to treat your skin concerns and create a scent you love.

·         L’Occitane Pure Shea Butter
L’Occitane Pure Shea Butter is a exactly what the name says; pure Shea butter. It’s quite thick yet easy to apply; simply warm it up with your hands. It can be used on the “face, lips, hair and body” (L’Occitane). This product has a very subtle, barely-there scent.

Be sure to catch the next blog post in this series, “My Favorite Hand & Foot Creams”, due October 15th, 2012.
Thanks for reading,
xoxo Ree van D

Kiehl's Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter

Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter

L'Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream
For “My Top 3 Shower Creams”Click HERE
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Monday, October 1, 2012

My Top 3 Shower Creams (Winter Skincare Series)

An effective winter skincare regimen begins in the shower. In our attempt to maintain good hygiene we strip our skin of its natural oils leaving it susceptible to the drying effects of hot water and cold dry air. Consequently, it is important to use a shower cleanser that helps to replenish some of the moisture lost in the shower. Personally, I prefer a creamy, soap-free shower cream infused with natural plant oils.

Here are my three favorites, which I have purchased over and over again.
The Body Shop Coconut Shower Cream, Shea Shower Cream, & Cocoa Butter Creamy Body Wash
     1.     The Body Shop Coconut Shower Cream 
     2.    The Body Shop Shea Shower Cream
     3.    The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Creamy Body Wash

Each has a sweet-nutty scent relating to the nut oil it contains. The creamy foam nourishes the skin while ridding it of impurities. I use these with a bath lily to help slough away dead cells and dirt. They retail for € 6 for 250 ml, so they will not break the bank.
Worth Mentioning …

L’Occitane Ultra Rich Shower Cream
L’Occitane Ultra Rich Shower Cream is equally as creamy and nourishing as my favorite Body Shop body cleansers. The reason it did not make my top 3 is because it is a tad bit expensive, particularly for someone like me who goes through a bottle so quickly. At €14 for 250 ml, more than double the price of the Body Shop shower creams, this will put a small dent in your pocket. However, I like variety so I do keep a bottle in stock to mix things up every now and then. I am keen to take advantage of sales to stock-up when possible.

Be sure to catch the next blog post in this series, “My Top 3 Body Butters”, due October 8th, 2012.

Thanks for reading,
xoxo Ree van D
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