Friday, July 14, 2017

Beauty product recommendations

I started this post ages ago and now realize that I have a lot to say about hair products these days, so that’ll be a separate post. In the meantime, here’s a post about recommendations for beauty products. Note that some (not all) of the links are affiliate links, which means that as long as my Amazon store stays online, if you make a purchase using that link, I might get a discount on my next purchase (not cash back). I wouldn’t recommend products that I don’t love myself, and I tested all these products with my own money. All opinions are mine.

Sandal season is upon us, which means there’s more pressure to have my feet looking good if everyone is going to be seeing them. I like giving my toenails a coat of clear polish, but beyond that, my problem area is my heels, which have a lot of unattractive dry skin on them. I tend to use a pumice stone, but that’s not ideal. I find it doesn’t scrape away all that I would want it to, and it sometimes hurts my heels even when there’s plenty of dead skin left. What ended up making a bigger difference than the pumice stone was actually a moisturizer, more specifically Curel Rough Skin Rescue, which is almost miraculous in its foot-moisturizing properties! I actually found that after one application, I had softer skin than when I only use a pumice stone; applying it several nights in a row works wonders.

That being said, I absolutely have to tell you about the best way I’ve found to physically get rid of the dead skin. The best foot exfoliant I’ve ever tried is BabyFoot Deep Exfoliation for Feet Peel. Caveats: because of certain essential oils in the product, it is counter-indicated if you are pregnant or breastfeeding (and is also counter-indicated if you suffer from diabetes), so I haven’t been able to use it in a while. In a nutshell: soak your feet 30 minutes in warm water, then dry them. Put on the BabyFoot booties (which are filled with gel) and keep them on for 1 hour, then wash your feet with soap and water and soak them again for 30 minutes. (All this soaking time really makes a difference when using the product, according to Amazon reviews. I did this in front of the television in the evening.) The smell of lavender was lovely, but I admit I didn’t notice anything immediately and was wondering whether it was a scam. After one week, however, the dead skin on my feet started to peel off, and continued to peel for a week. After that, I had the smoothest, softest feet ever! It was not only more effortless than a pumice stone, but it worked better, too! You can watch a promotional video here, but the (affiliate) Amazon link I gave you lists a better price for the kit.

I hadn’t spoken about it before on this space, but I had a bout of PUPPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy) (also called PUPPS by some) during my second trimester. [Pour les francophones, selon ce que je trouve ici et ici, il s’agit d’un type d’urticaire de grossesse nommé dermatite polymorphe gravidique.] It wasn’t typical in that it was early – onset at 18 weeks, whereas the average is 35 weeks – and symptoms disappeared after a month, though it took another week or so to heal. My OB said my guess was as good as his, but I wonder whether 4 weeks would be the rough duration of most bouts of PUPPP, since it usually disappears after delivery, and labor is often induced early to relieve the mother. In any event, I wanted to share the things that helped with the intense itching: I used hydrocortisone cream mixed with an emollient (to stretch it further) for immediate relief, but I also really liked a soap bar with pine tar and oatmeal, which really made a difference (it worked better than my usual Ivory bar in the circumstances). I also had prescription hydroxyzine (an anti-histamine), which was a blessing in disguise because it helped me sleep so much better at night! I remember being awake several hours each night in my first pregnancy, and I did wake up a lot more when I forgot to take the medicine before bed, so at least that part was awesome.

I’ve had trouble finding good sunscreen. Most of them are uncomfortable to me, leaving me feeling sticky or covered in white residue. I do have a good moisturizer with SPF 15, but with my skin, that isn’t enough to act as an actual sunscreen. However, I now love Ombrelle Ultra Light Advanced Weightless Body Lotion in SPF 50+. It protects against both UVA and UVB rays, it is odorless and hypoallergenic, and most importantly, it absorbs so well that I actually forget I’m wearing it.

I’ve also found new moisturizers that I like. I still use (and love!) the Hand and Elbow Moisturizer by Yes to Carrots, but I’ve more recently started using Moroccanoil Hand Cream in Fleur d’Oranger on my hands and Moroccanoil Body Soufflé in Fleur de Rose on my body. They smell divine! (When the weather gets really cold and dry, though, or when I have to wash my hands a lot, I find that I need something stronger, like Eucerin or Aquaphor or even Triple Cream.)

Stay tuned for posts about deodorants and hair products!

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