Anti Aging Skin Care and Great Perfumes of 2006
Marcy Goldman Presents:
I admit I am, what the French term, ‘a woman of a certain age’ which sounds ever so much nicer when you say it in French, ‘une femme d’une certaine age’. That makes me, somewhere between 30 and 110. Suffice to say, as genetically blessed as I am, (it’s all that baking, steam and sweat – does wonders for your complexion), I recently began to get curious about all the hoopla about anti-aging and other skin care regimes that don’t involve scalpels and doctors. For me, surgery is out. (That in itself is the stuff of my in-progress novel.) Stuff like Botox as well as inserting other dubious elixirs, fat sources, and tonics into my skin to coax wrinkles into hiding is not my thing. I have definite reasons and philosophies. Perhaps ask me in 20 years from now and I might have a different stance. For now, I am happy to look into creams and lotions that make great claims and see what’s what and share those findings with you. My only caveat is that I am a discerning baker with a girlie girl habit – I am not a skin care specialty, dematologist or beauty editor, per se.
But first let me say a few things on aging, skin and otherwise. No one gets to live to 100 and look like 20. Just like no one gets to be pregnant and have a flat stomach in their ninth month. Moreover, we really, really have to get used to seeing older and not seeing it in negative terms. That is wholly a Western way of looking at things that is counter to accepting yourself and promotes youth, versus accepting and celebrating the natural aging process. You cannot have confidence and poise and an unlined, unlived face. Until we accept that, I can only recommend we all stop checking the mirrors, and mall windows as we walk by and focus instead on just being because chances are, at a certain age, our faces won’t reflect how we feel inside. A life lived radiates outward. That is a blessing and evidence of grace. If you work it right that sort of beauty glows in a way 40 quarts of Botox, a lifetime supply of La Mere, and legions of green tea and soy extracts cannot furnish. No one wants to be a cosmetically correct, ‘Desperate Housewives’ circa woman with a muted inner reflection. Taking care of yourself resonates in a special way but a dramatic surgical overhaul might just says, ‘she has had work done’. You want a soul and spirit to shine inside and out. Did I forget to mention you have to eat right, move (dance, run or walk), and get some sleep and like your life choices? The face, the body and the skin don’t lie. Before your surface and package can look good, the inside work has to be done. How you feel and how nurtured (and take that from a chef), as well as how attuned you are to yourself, is the foundation of the outside beauty.
This all said, I still am a naturally born, late bloomer, primper. I love playing with cosmetics, soaps, scent, face creams. I never did much in the way of ritual skin care but recently, the anti-aging brigade made me curious. That and noticing all the Life Network plastic surgeons seem to have that same unmovable mouth. Surely, there were alternatives! Yes, there are. I have found some great ones and am happy to share them with you.
My real incentive began when I was interested specifically in eye cream, hand cream, and face creams and moisturizers. I set out to find the best of the best I ogled Google and from the comments, threads and recommendations, I hit the department stores’ cosmetic counters, and shopped and researched online as well. I soon found out that whereas Lancôme offers an outstanding eye cream, there was no way I was going to outlay $70 for a tablespoon of miracle eye potion. Ditto for classics like La Mer, a celebrity skin cream legend. No, I needed great finds at great prices or at least more moderate priced, great performers.
The first thing you need to know about the anti-aging cosmetic is that no one cream suits everyone nor does one cream or particular brand do it all. Anti-aging is divided into three sorts of approaches for three skin conditions. The conditions or challenges are:
Lift (skin looses resiliency)
Wrinkles (you laugh, you cry, the skin reflects your moods and history and genes)
Dull, or Uneven Skin (which calls for Brightening products) (this covers both brightening up the complexion overall as well as fading age spots and red areas)
Within these three categories, skin care also acknowledges that the eyes are more delicate and require more care or different care. Within eye care, there is the lift, wrinkle, and brightening issue, the latter being more about dark eye circles. For that there is, www.Hylexin.com, being one of the best (and yes, it does work). And incidentally, specifically for lips with those pesky feathering lines, L’Oreal’s Collagen Filler (that silver tube thingie) does seem to work, if applied dutifully.
As skin ages, you are trying, as best as topical or external treatment can do (and least invasive) is to assist cell renewal, promote elasticity, resurface or retain a more even skin tone, moisten, repair as well as prevent wrinkles and lines. Can a cream do any of this? Great anti-aging products can help maintain what you do have or delay the aging somewhat, as well as prevent a modest percentage of more damage (less deep versus a deep wrinkle). Certainly, a glowing skin that is properly exfoliated, toned, and moistened is going to look better, you will feel better, and overall, self-care again, radiates below the skin surface level. It says, you are taking care of yourself.
Within the three categories of skin care, lift, wrinkles, and brightening, most companies offer various approaches. Within the carrying agents (shea butter, alcohol, perfumes, etc.) there are the performing ingredients like peptides, soy, citrus, and green tea extracts, all manners of what is called anti-oxidants, retinol, vitamin A and yet more active or ‘performing’ components. These components are the star focus cosmetic formulaic cocktails in the various creams on the market. Yes, it is very confusing and tons of choices and this all occurs (it is a conspiracy, I am sure) at a time when you are most busy, distracted, and you brain is already brimming with information (both important and minutia of life) collected over so many decades of living. I am almost sure it is a conspiracy against we Women of a Certain age to make us buy what we don’t need and trigger our insecurities. The irony is, often we don’t buy anything but Ponds or Nivea Milk because we are so confused!
Overall, skin care is a four-pronged affair of cleansing, toning (with exfoliation in the mix), moisturizing, and repair (nighttime products, sun blocks, specialty treatments, masques, eye creams, etc.). For best results, regardless of your choice in products (whether you choose all one line or mix and match), it is basic good skin care to clean your skin well, exfoliate off dull stuff, tone (but be careful –toners feel freshening and tautening and they are – because they are often alcohol based which does cleanse and tighten but also dries the skin)
Selecting Products – By Skin Type, Age, or Specific Need?
Next, focus on a goal that is your biggest concern (crows’ feet around eyes or wanting to soften your neck and throat area or lift on your facial cheeks) and alternate products such as, use a Lift product for a few days a week, and then alternate with an anti-wrinkle or brightening product. Otherwise simply targeting all areas, all at once, will become your new day (and night job).
A last consideration is that creams come in different scents, different consistencies or formats, and different decanters or product consistency (lotions, creams, milks, butters, serums). A cream that promises great claims and is affordable but has an awful scent or another one has a perfectly wonderful scent is something to think about. You have to live with it. Do you like thin, clear ‘serums’, which are popular, light ‘milk’ creams, or heavier ones? As for the last consideration, the dispenser, bottle or jar, do you prefer a tube, a pump canister, or a dig-your-fingers into a pot of cold cream jar?). This is part of the fun of primping and skin care that shouldn’t be overlooked. Aesthetics and sensory appeal have their role.
The thing to do is have fun, not break the bank, be a girlie girl who is maintaining her skin, and discover the wealth of amazing products out there, thanks to the boomers who bolding are going where we have not quite gone before (at least, with this sort of vengeance). Simply in investing in skin care by considering it, your skin (maybe it is your mood) begins to perk up. But do be consistent. Beauty is skin deep but still requires daily, consistent care both to maintain and repair skin but to show results from whatever skin care line you choose.
You will never know it all and figure it all out. But between thinking none of the non-surgical anti-aging creams performs at all (they do!), or what’s the use, or you are too confused by what’s offered, there is a buffet of fun to be had and some amazing discoveries to be made. It is not about stopping time or being frivolous as much as it is about self-care and investment and profiting from some of the definite discoveries that are out there –for those of us who don’t want drastic solutions.
Here are my discoveries.
Next comes Avon’s Anew Ultimate Transforming Nail and Hand Cream. It features a slightly lesser SPF (15) than Robanda but does also noticeably benefit your hands, no question. What is nice about Avon is that you can try their products and return anything you don’t like or don’t feel is performing and have a full refund.
If you don’t need anti-aging but want to maintain your hands’ condition, especially in winter, there are my tried and true favorites: Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (any pharmacy), or L’Occitane’s Lavender and Shea Butter hand cream. You can also use Bag Balm, which my fellow Canadian Shania Twain swears by. It comes in a delightful, vintage, green tin and is essentially a greasy, but good, slightly medicinal balm for reddened hands. It works on chafed, and chapped hands and is good to use once a week, in winter, with cotton gloves on to let it absorb http://www.bagbalm.com. It is great for rough feet (winter or too much tango) or chapped lips.
Eye Creams, Face Creams, Anti-Aging Moisturizers, and Wrinkle Serums By Brand I worked with a few companies that I felt were unique, stood behind their product, and were priced competitively while delivering exceptional quality. Here are my picks.
(Interview with Robanda)
Incredible, Well-Priced and Effective Products,
Robanda International, established 8 years ago, was founded by David Leib who recently shared some insights with Scent of a Baker, on Robanda’s skin care products. After nearly two decades in the cosmetics industry in Europe, Leib decided to launch his own line, based in the United States, incorporating all he knew and with a mindful approach to avoiding all the don’ts he had learned by being in the skin care and beauty business. He works closely with chemists and best, most visionary skin care professionals employing the best of the newest in skin technology, starting with a foundation that marries the best quality of the high performance and safest ingredients for all skin types, all ages, and even the most sensitive skins. Robanda know-how ensures each of their 16 products a winner. “Some companies have up to 150 products, “ says Leib’ which explains the confusion in the skin care line’. But Robanda purposely, “ develops one amazing product at time, perfects it and keeps things simple, and price points reasonable”. There is no animal product testing, fragrance (which, in the hand cream is simply ambrosial, a light green tea and tangerine scent to my sense of it) is light due to the fact, as Leib stated, “Fragrance can irritate and moreover, it has alcohol in it which dries the skin which is the whole point of what we don’t want to do!” Leib’s Robanda line is for all skin types, starting from ages 20 and up. Some products, like the Robanda Intense Night Cream contains patented ingredients such as Saccramyces Lysate, which helps to increase cell respiration at cellular level, resulting in younger and healthier skin cells. “We are trying to get rejuvenation” says Leib, in a recent phone interview, at the cell level which is really where you want to see things happen’. Robanda is also among the first to use safe, and natural ingredients in their pigment lightening (sun and age spots) cream versus the use of hydro quinine, a product with many health concerns, being phased out worldwide. All the Robanda products tested exceptionally well, and showed real results, but Robanda is without doubt, the masters of the hand cream as well as their Triple Performing Eye Gel. The latter does in fact, work against fines lines, puffiness and dark circles. “We are also coming out with a eye cream, soon, “ says Leib, for consumers who prefer a cream to a gel. The hand cream, which we tried in the BB test kitchen showed results in a few days but takes 3-6 weeks for full effect. Leib also explained that the anti-aging serum in his line, as well as any other company’s, generally indicates concentration of the most active ant-aging ingredients (versus a cream or lotion). “We suggest our serum for old skin or skin whose condition warrants it. We wouldn’t ordinarily suggest 20 year old use it.” “Mind you’, Leib went on to say, ‘It is never too early to start good skin care – and the early 20’s is the perfect time’. Robanda is 95% sold in retail stores and 5% online at www.robanda.com. Men account for 20% of their customers, by the way, so if you have some well-groomed guys in your midst, pass it on.
Most skin care products these days contain some sun block component; Robanda’s products contain a stronger sun block than most –another strong benefit to the line.
Robana also represents Tweed Perfume, which we tried. It is a gorgeous, vintage floral perfume that is totally, from another era. A classic and for perfume collectors everywhere. Ropbana is also the representative for the fabulous Marc Daniels of Australia First Aid for Hair. We are wild about their Big Hair products (adding volume), protein treatments (60 Second Success)and line of conditioners and shampoos –all high performing, great smelling, and state of the art hair care. You can find them at www.Robanda.com or www.marcd.com.au.
Best Money Back Return Policy on Cosmetics,
I tried a few eye creams and all were excellent and did indeed smooth the eye area, and offered slight lift. I would whole-heartedly suggest any of their eye creams in the line, starting with their best-priced one as it certainly brought results. Their Luminosity Cream is excellent for overall skin brightening and moisturizing. All Avon’s lift creams incidentally are easily absorbed, smell nice, but are somewhat thicker, richer creams than some women prefer for day wear. I would use Avon’s Lift creams at night and lighter pump-style serums or moisturizers in the daytime for under make up. If wrinkles are your nemesis, than choose one of the Avon serums (serums are always the strongest skin care in any line). Still, for products priced at $15-$30 you cannot get better skin care, with more research and quality, for the price.
For exfoliation, try Avon’s Laser System or Micro-Exfoliant.
For a soothing, all-round cream that gives instant moisture, Avon’s Comforting Cream with Neem Extract smells amazing but is absorbed instantly and is non greasy.
Some added perks from Avon this season is their perfume, Extraordinary. Reminiscent of Ana Sui’s Butterfly, this floral oriental is a delightful, fresh, breezy, feminine scent perfect for the holidays and suitable for any age. And if you are pressed for time, press on the instant nail manicure. Avon’s has this ingenious press on nail kit, which is pure nail color in a shape that fits your nails. You press them on and are ready to go. Perfection. Use nail polish remover to remove the press on polish. Choose from a limited but adequate color chart. These are great for last minute finishing touches or when traveling. You press them on, and they are trimmed easily to fit you nail exactly.
www.JuneJacobs.com June Jacobs Spa Collection
I always admire companies those founder stays close to the product and concept. Such is the case with the June Jacobs line, founded by June Jacobs herself, most closely associated with the equally fine line of skin care products, Peter Roth Clinical Skin Care.
The Jacobs line has received a lot of press from Oprah, to Vogue and Bazaar. The products work for any age, or type skin from sun-damaged, mature skin to ‘normal’ skin and skin issues. What is the most appealing aspect is indeed that ‘spa’ sense –the products are packaged in an aesthetic, elegant, pale yellow and cream box and graphics. Inside, each one is delicate, mild and pleasantly citrus-y in scent. Overall, you feel like you are using a magic potion of fresh lemons and cream. There is none of that heavy, ubiquitous ‘cold-cream’ scent in any of their products. It is totally inviting, relaxing in an aromatherapy way and uplifts your mood before you fully benefit from the products themselves. It is a home spa for skin, so to speak and the use of high concentrations of botanical and plant extracts bring broad benefits to the whole line of care, repair and treatment products. In keeping with a spa philosophy, Jacobs’ line also feels and looks wonderfully luxurious – but of course, it’s about performance in the product and these do. I tried their June Jacobs Age Defying Serum which is more of a light ‘milk’ that clear serum, the Firming Eye Repair and the Intensive Age Defying Hydrating Complex. The latter is pretty rich and I would use as a night cream but it depends on your skin. I saw results from the eye repair and rather like the option of dispensing a few drops via a glass dropped, allowing me to put the product exactly on the eye area that required it without undue, rubbing of product into the delicate eye area. Brilliant.
The Jacobs line is broad and each product profile is carefully detailed in their literature so you know exactly what is in each product and what it does and what it is for. Most companies do this but Jacobs is especially exacting showing much care in every detail of this treatment line. The fragrances in each product are predominantly citrus, then pomegranate, green tea, cucumber, mandarin, and some pumpkin-based products – all soothing, light and appealing.
No one will be able to resist the light, orange/mandarin packaging and scent of this well-priced, but elegant line of products. Recently launched in Canada, the Arbonne line in the U.S. is for all skin types, all botanically based, pH correct, never tested on animals, and do not contain any dyes or chemical fragrances. The entire line focuses on skin care programs, encouraging consumers to take full advantage of a whole skin care approach or regime, instead of mixing and matching products. This also promotes consistent usage for best results. Because of the concentration, a little Arbonne goes a long way! We found the products light (instead of greasy), effective in the short haul (suggesting in the total treatment regime, they would be very effective) and liked the idea of a complete care program with steps, and products, with some great, additional products for extra treatment. Replete with nourishing ingredients that promote skin rejuvenation, Arbonne also ties in a natural vitamin care program for your inner health, showing a concept of total self-care. Along with great skin care products, Arbonne offers comprehensive literature on total skin care, from extreme skin conditions and treatment to the most basic, helpful information. This is one of the most attentive, hands-on companies (you can always get a response) and the products, for their quality, are well – priced.
That’s the findings so far. Good luck and have fun!
For home recipes on skin care, you cannot beat my own Spa Salts recipe (in the complete recipe index). It exfoliates, smells amazing, costs pennies and works! It makes your skin radiant. And last, as a toner, you can simply make one yourself with 35% spring water, 35% alcohol, 20 % peroxide, and the rest, in drops of tea-tree oil from health stores, online or via the Body Shop; tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial), mint essential oil, as well as essential oils of chamomile and lavender –all of which soothe or awaken the skin, and smell nice.
Perfumes of 2006
Princess, Vera Wang
Fleurs de Rocailles, Original
Search Ebay or perfume places online. Fleurs De Rocailles original still exists and it is one of the most enduring, feminine, scents of jasmine, lilac and lily of the valley. It is one of life’s best kept secrets.
Delices de Cartier
Donna Karan’s Gold and Cashmere
Sensi by Armani
Insolence, by Guerlain
Love by Ana Sui
Cherie, Miss Dior
L’Occitane’s Bougie Parfmee – Perfumed Candles in Tins from L’Occitane.
FlowerBomb – one of the most gorgeous of all sweet floral perfumes. Wear this and you will cut men down in a swath as you walk into a room.
Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea – green tea, jasmine, rhubarb notes – totally great day perfume – and wonderful combined with Vanilla oil from the Body Shop or Kiehl, or Rose Oil from the Body Shop.
Joy, by Jean Patou. There is nothing more to say. Jasmine and Roses mixed into a potion for all time.
Hanae Morie – a signature scent for anyone –fruits, flowers, woods – a masterful symphony of scent few perfumers approach.
Lily of the Valley, Yardley
Iris Nobile, Aqua di Parma
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