And the best skincare products are…

A little background on why you should care what skin care products I believe in: I spent 20 years in the beauty industry- the large majority of it was focused on skin care, dermatological skin care & sunscreen education/ awareness.  I have read scientific dossiers that would make your head spin… 90 pages of in vitro and in vivo studies proving the effectiveness or lack thereof for every product I worked on.  Thank goodness you don’t have to read those… talk about a little sleeping pill!  I have worked with product development, consumer testing, online TV retailing, education & training, marketing and sales for skin care and have been a consumer myself as I only truly learn by immersion in my subject!    So, here goes… the current faves & they might surprise you… not the most popular or mass marketed of the bunch.

  1.  Newest obsession:  Cannabis Beauty Defined by Kannaway                                                                      When I first heard that there was a skincare line that included hemp oil and ancient asian herbs- I was intrigued. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. I tried all of the steps and I am a very picky about skin care as I am used to products that feel good, smell good and give me an experience.    So, my first impression is that I LOVE the ingredients or, really, the lack of ingredients I don’t like:  parabens, fragrance, sulfates and dyes.  The ones I love are the detoxifying herbs from a secret east asian herbal formula developed for the Korean royal family and passed down through generations and generations.  It’s organic, natural and the key ingredients are never water or alcohol.  What a unique concept?   All of the products in the line also contain sustainable Hemp Oil- which is in all Kannaway products so you can benefit from it inside and out.  I especially love the serum with Dragon’s Blood, ginseng and green tea.  The detoxifying bath soak is heaven… and the salve is a life saver on tired muscles and areas that need relief.
  2. All time fave:  Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum and Night Serum in Oil + Aquasource                                                I am a HUGE fan of Biotherm and was devasted as were many others when the brand closed its US operations.  NOW, you have to get it online- but it’s easy and they have free shipping and samples all of the time.  Canada runs the website and it ships from Tennessee- cool!  Let’s set the record straight right now that I love all of their products (you really feel like you are at a spa when you use the products- light, refreshing, glowing-skin results) but alas, I had to choose one of the best.  Biotherm explains Blue Therapy as a fresh, highly concentrated anti-aging formula that fuses three active aquatic extracts for triple action on wrinkles, firmness and dark spots. Enriched in powerfully restorative, nutrient-rich Life Plankton™, this fast-penetrating serum, melts into your skin, repairing up to eight years of visible accumulated damage in just four weeks.  Aqua source is the most incredible moisturizer you will ever feel on your skin.  Words cannot really explain this powerhouse, water-like, cooling gel or creme moisturizer… so go try it for yourself!
  3. Dermatological skin care that feels good:  Vichy Liftactiv and Liftactiv Retinol HA                         Vichy usually comes from the European pharmacies with the big green glowing crosses on the front of the building and was born in Vichy, France where the thermal water is volcanic and rich in minerals.  This water is in EVERYTHING Vichy, but when it comes to anti-aging, Vichy doesn’t mess around.  The Liftactiv line is the perfect mix of what you want in anti-aging products- lightweight, absorbs quickly, works effectively, for all skin types and you can layer them with other products in your routine.  Since Vichy products are also very soothing due to the thermal water, these are great for those averse to active anti-aging ingredients typically.  There’s something wonderfully plumping, hydrating, skin texture perfecting and smoothing about the Liftactiv Retinol HA that is unrivaled in the industry.  There are so many great Vichy products and too many to name here, so it warrants a trip to CVS, Walgreens, Target, Ulta or Vichy’s website to check them out.
  4. The sunscreen you should be using but are not- bad girl:  La Roche Posay Anthelios                     I’ve never heard of a skin care brand that was not a pharmaceutical company, that had its own medical detailing team created originally to talk about Anthelios to dermatologists and pharmacists.  Impressive!  There are so many studies to prove the power of Anthelios that it is even prescribed along with medications to protect the skin from photo-sensitivity or reactions that may be experienced when taking certain drugs and being exposed to the sun- even in and out of your car or back and forth to work.  I love Anthelios SX and Anthelios Mineral!  I have used the mineral version on my son since he was a baby and trusted it for it safety after reading reams of material on it.  SX is the famous sunscreen that contains the last new SPF ingredient approved by the (ever so good at dragging their scientific feet) FDA in the USA.  The ingredient is like an extra-large sponge of protection against another one of the aging rays we have to worry about (UVA)- you know, the ones that cause wrinkles, dark spots, rough textured skin and eventually, skin cancer.  This is easiest to find at the pharmacy counter at CVS since it is sold with meds, or online at
  5. Pick one, pick all:  Skinceuticals anti-oxidant serums                                                                                      This is a good one to follow SPF, as the Skinceuticals serums have an amazing result on photo-aging (from the sun and environmental exposure) including the prevention of said damage- yea!  I have tried them all- C E Ferulic, Phloretin C F, and the newest- Resveratrol B E.  The names are a doozy, I know- but they do state in the name what the key ingredients/ antioxidants are after all.  2 of them come in a gel form if you think serums with droppers are messy.  I find the gels to be my favorite way to use them and great for travel.  I even layer them under my Anthelios on beach days or Legoland days with my son.  It’s my little insurance policy for my skin!  Check out  PS:  They have a great tinted mineral sunscreen too… shhh- don’t tell La Roche Posay.

OK- that is enough… I am a skin care addict so I could go on and on, but I use these daily/ weekly and they are tried and true.  I love brands that have great, effective ingredients without all of the chemicals, parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances and dyes.  The good ones smell great on their own with their ingredients shining through as the stars of the show- not fillers or fake reflective properties.  Notice I’m not saying “natural”.  Although I love that word, it means SO many different things to different people and companies.  If it truly is natural and that natural ingredient is good for your skin and doesn’t cause an allergic reaction, then I say, bravo!

But, never forget:  poison ivy is natural…

Enjoy & let me know your favorites!

One thought on “And the best skincare products are…

  1. OK- two more… there are 2 Biotherm products in Europe that are truly unique & rare finds… Aquasource Deep Serum & Life Plankton Essence. The ultimate in bathing your skin in 35 nutrients and life plankton for skin regeneration. I’ll take a lifetime supply please and thank you!


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