07 May 2008

ProActiv: The Good, The Bad & The Damned

We've all seen those ProActiv commercials...you know the one's proclaiming there product will miraculously turn Chewbacca into Beyonce... These same commercials include celebrity endorsements;Vanessa Williams, Alicia Keys, Jessica Simpson & even Sean 'Diddy' Combs. When Diddy starts endorsing a face cream there has to be some hope for credibility right? But, does this product really produce the dramatic results in which they advertise? Short answer...YES...

I admit I was mesmerized by all the before/after photos as I watched the infomercial & something about that seemingly flawless Vanessa Williams made me anxious enough to wanna give it a try. I ordered the Three-Piece 30-Day-trial online which included the Renewing Cleanser, Revitalizing Toner & Repairing Lotion; they even threw in a FREE bonus of my choice which was the Daily Oil Control. I've always had sensitive skin so I knew right off that anything too strong would be harsh and cause some type of hideous reaction. Since my teenie bopper days my hair & skin has been prone to be oily which causes spontaneous breakouts. Now lets get down to the facts; my skin situation was no where near as bad as some of the people in the commercial but I still suffered from the occasional breakout. I also had a few spots that remained from previous blemishes & I wanted to get rid of them.

Once my Three-Piece-Trial arrived I immediately put it to work. I followed the directions & implemented the 3-Step program as suggested. After my first night of using it I have to admit that the next morning my skin felt noticeably softer. But this was way to early to cast a vote so I gave it a little more time. A couple of weeks had passed & my skin situation was taking a turn for the better. My skin was looking healthier & my spots were beginning to fade away. Of course each step of the three piece trial was formulated to target different areas; so now I'll give a brief description of each step & how it benefited me...

Step 1: The Renewing Cleanser- As I applied it I could feel the tiny beads in the product which made me feel like I was gently scrubbing away any left over grime from the day before. In comparison to other scrubs I've used, I love the fact that this one seems to be much lighter & doesn't have a thick grainy feel. I've used harsher grainy scrubs in the past that have actually left scratches on my face & left my skin feeling stripped.

Step 2: The Revitalizing Toner- Before I applied it I prepared myself for the worst. I took precaution & judged the toner by its looks. It reminded of an astringent I once used & I wasn't too thrilled about applying it. Don't get be wrong I'm a fan of astringents but you have to be careful which ones you use because some burn like hell & leave your skin feeling like it's been in an abusive relationship. But to my surprise the toner was the complete opposite. The scent wasn't overbearing & it didn't burn. It left a refreshed cooling sensation that had me feeling pretty nice.

Step 3: The Repairing Lotion- I was a little apprehensive about the lotion because I was accustomed to some lotions leaving my skin way too oily. The Repairing Lotion didn't leave me oily & the ingredients read that the product was oil-free. But I eventually switched to another lotion that I was already partial to.

*Bonus: Daily Oil Control- I couldn't wait to apply the oil control because oil was my main culprit which contributed to the breakouts in the first place. Once I squeezed a little on my fingertip it wasn't long before this bonus oil control turned me off. The texture was really thin & for some reason it reminded me of clear saliva ***ewww*** not to mention it had a peculiar smell that made me nauseous. But aside from that it did reduce my oily skin to a minimum.

Taking the Good with the Bad...

The Good: Proactiv definitely worked for me. I used it on & off for about two months & still saw results. People began to notice the change & complimented my complexion. I'd definitely recommend the product but of course I'm sure the results will vary per individual.

The Bad: Even though the product did a great job @ clearing up my blemishes it still didn't portray perfection in every aspect; and NO I didn't expect perfection. But here's the downside, The majority of the time, it left my skin feeling really dry & some days I noticed tiny dry patches that occasionally started to peel (that wasn't sexy @ all). I found myself moisturizing a hell of a lot.

The Damned: The bottom line is you have to be consistent when using Proactiv, for maximum results it has to be used as a daily regimen. This is great for someone who likes a regimen but I'm always trying new things so it's not my cup of tea. Also, I noticed that on days I didn't use Proactiv, my skin would flare up & have withdrawal symptoms. It was almost as if my skin became reliant on the product. This was bad news to me, I didn't want something that created a dependency.

Basically Proactiv is a product in which you have to be willing to make a part of your lifestyle. It's an investment & I admit it's a good one if you find that its the only thing that works for you. It's all about personal choice & although I'll probably never use Proactiv again, for the most part I liked the results when I did use it. Currently I have a new regimen that's been working wonders for me, my breakouts have been in remission & my skin has been glowing...I'll give you the details in a later post...


12 March 2008

Carmex Is Evil...

When I think of lip gloss, lip balm, chap stick or whatever it is that you call it...my mind automatically reverts to my good old trusty can't-live-without-it Carmex. Those who know me might call it an addiction but I beg to differ. Just because I apply it an average of 10-12 times a day does that justify calling it an obsession? And just because I go into panic mode & have withdrawal symptoms similar to a cocaine addicted feign; whenever I misplace my little crack in a yellow jar....does that really constitute addiction? OK I admit it & maybe my critics are right...But here's why the chapped-lip patrol will never catch me unarmed. To me, dry lips are the equivalence of not being well groomed. I've tried other products but none are comparable to the brand I love. I like it because it doesn't have a waxy feel or an overbearing scent, I used to like the cooling sensation it gave after applying it but due to my consistent use I've become immune to that special tingle. It simply has lasting power & holds moisture for hours. But, even with all the perks I still find myself applying it numerous times a day. What's my problem?

Carmex is the third-largest selling lip balm in the country (WOW!)I wanted to get to the core of this so called addiction; So I decided to do a little independent research, which led me on a whirlwind of unanswered questions. I started by actually reading the ingredients on my tube of Carmex. Active Ingredients included Menthol, Camphor and Phenol...Wait a minute 'Menthol' isn't that used in cigarettes? Like many, I've heard the rumors & urban legends that Carmex can be addictive because of it's dirty, grimy, medicated ingredients...But nevertheless these rumors never made me self conscious about what I was applying on my lips.

After one simple search presented countless results, there was one finding that really stood out to me. It suggested that Carma Labs; the creator of Carmex "does admit to putting salicylic acid into their product, and they acknowledge the rumor that they put ground fiber glass into the lip balm." And Carma Labs has never denied this rumor...(Oh my..say it ain't so) I have no intentions of jumping on the band wagon of the fiber glass rumor because I think that's pretty far fetched...by the way Carmex is FDA approved...and so are cigarettes, caffeine and the list goes on...

To make a long story "which could eventually turn into a Babara Walters special" a little less intense; I discovered and came to the conclusion that these so called harsh ingredients can be addictive if you use massive quantities...but that's the case with any medication Right? Although the dangers of long-term use are still up in the air, I can attest that personally I haven't recognized any physical differences in using this product VS other medicated lip balms...well you know besides the fact that I can't go a day without it...And just a side note; the Menthol ingredient is used as a cooling vapour to relieve itch....Wheeeww...I'm relieved.

For more in depth information on the Pros & Cons of CRACK carmex you can check it out Here.

And for all my Carmex lovers here's a little something for you...

Maybe I'm behind but I just discovered that Carmex comes in different flavors...yummmmm....Strawberry, Mint & Cherry. I don't know if they're holding back on me but I've never seen any of those flavors in stores. And I almost went into a carmexic coma when I saw that they make a whopping 1/2 & 1/4oz. jar of the stuff....But hold those chapped lips people, the massive jar is only available online. Talk about chap stick heaven. God forbid that they ever stop making it because I'll be the one selling my TV & microwave for a hit of the scrapings...

*Sidenote* My sister introduced me to the variety pack sold @ Sam's Club Wholesale...(I was in aww)


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