21 January 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Groupon recently started offering deals in the Capital District. And, while I really have exercised a lot of restraint (i.e. I didn't sign up for the 8 car washes for $30 yesterday), I do succumb to the occasional emails. The deal that sucked me in last week was a 50% off facial at Rumors Spa and Salon -- I usually don't even like facials, but  sometimes most of the time, I just can't pass up a deal.

I must admit my skin felt smooth and looked clean, and I learned some great beauty tips.Rather than hawking the featured over-priced salon creams, lotions and potions, the aesthetician recommended using good, ole' drugstore Cetaphil. It's a bargain (and has a light clean scent) compared to the Lancombe exfoliator that I've been using. Little did I know that the magic beads in most exfoliating cleansers cause microscopic scratches on the surface of your face, ultimately drying out your skin.

I also learned on my trip to the spa that a daily serum is one of the most important products that you can use to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. I'm getting to the age where years of using tanning beds and skipping sunscreen (gasp!) are catching up with me, so I'll do any anti-aging regimen to try to reverse the sun-worship sins. The aesthetician recommended using a serum with Vitamin C, but I've been using Kiehl's Abyssine, made with ingredients from the abyss like corallina officinalis extract...Sounds like it wards off free radicals to me.

And on days when I really feel like extending my beauty routine, I go for the eye cream too.

Continuing along the lines of beauty routines, one of my favorite, favorite, favorite things to do is take long hot showers. When I say 'long', I mean, when I was growing up, my mother used to knock on the bathroom door after an extended period of time and ask me, "What are you doing in there? Washing an elephant?" I'm always cold, and standing under a hot stream of water is one of the quickest ways to warm up. It's relaxing, comforting, and I do some of my best thinking during the quiet time in the shower. The down side to long hot showers is uber-dry skin, especially in the winter. But I've found two great products that seem to keep my skin moisturized -- Aveeno body wash and Sabon body scrub.

Aveeno Positively Nourishing hydrating body wash combines shea butter for moisture and fig for scent to leave skin velvety soft. Fig can sometimes be too strong and sweet, but this product has a light, earthy yet feminine fragrance.
I can't say enough good things about Sabon body scrub either. Sabon's mission is to "encourage an appreciation of the daily ritual of bath by creating an environment that inspires and captures the imagination, through the visual and sensory experience." Their scents combine herbs and botanicals... think lush fragrant flowers. I've been using the dreamy, romantic Delicate Jasmine. They also offer lemon mint, lavender apple, fig coco, and patchouli lavender, among their wide selection.

The olive oil and Dead Sea salt make-up of the scrub is not too abrasive and leaves skin feeling smooth and moisturized.

I'm always looking to try new products. What are your recommendations?

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