Aug 212013

“Heather, just wondering if you would talk about health and beauty products you like. I know you did this once with cleaning stuff. You have really pretty skin so I was wondering what you use on it.”

I confess that compliments like this, while lovely, make me feel almost guilty because I’m so incredibly lazy when it comes to skin care, yet I’m blessed with clear skin. It seems unfair, but maybe God is making up for the injustice of my prematurely silver hair? Yes. This is what I shall tell myself from now on.

It’s sad, but I don’t really even have a beauty routine. I wash my face, and if I remember, I put night cream on. I wear a hat when I go outside, and I only wear makeup on special occasions, like if we go to a wedding or something. Even so, there are a few products that I’m quite loyal to, and purchase regularly:

Facial cleanser

Clenziderm 2% Salicylic Acid Daily Face Wash

Don’t be alarmed by the price of this cleanser. I last bought a bottle in April, and it’s still half full. A little goes a LONG way. When I wash my face in the morning, I use gentle, unscented Cerave, and I use Clenziderm at night in the shower. It’s the best product I’ve found for acne control, and it doesn’t dry out my face.

Facial cleansing system

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

Again, I was mighty skeptical about this product (because why couldn’t I just use a washcloth to exfoliate, right?), but I read such rave reviews in magazines and online that I decided to spend a birthday gift card on it last year. It was well worth it! The rotating brush helps my expensive acne cleanser lather well and go farther, so I use less, and after only a few uses my husband commented on how fresh and glowing my face was. My attitude is that if it makes enough difference that even a man notices, it’s worth the 25 bucks.


Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bars

Unscented, effective, and gentle enough even for baby skin. I’ve been a loyal Dove customer for 20 years.

Daily moisturizer

Cerave Moisturizing Lotion

I use this lotion on my face, and everywhere else too. It’s light, non-greasy, and completely unscented, which is important to me because perfumes cause my eczema and asthma to flare. I use this lotion on my kids too, because they’ve inherited my sensitive skin.

Night cream

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

I never used a night cream until just this year, because I’m the world’s biggest skeptic when it comes to product claims and I didn’t think it was necessary. But then I had a minor emotional crisis about turning 40 (only 4 months to go….) and since I started using this product I’ve seen a dramatic difference in the fine lines around my eyes. I also had a weird, skin-colored lump on my forehead, which appeared after I got a severe sunburn when Cakes was a baby. I’ve tried to get rid of it for years, and after using this cream for a couple of weeks, it actually came off.  I was pretty stunned, and now I’m a believer!

Foot cream

Kerasal Exfoliating Foot Ointment

I have terribly dry feet in the winter (my heels get so dry that they crack and bleed!), but if I put this ointment on every night before I go to sleep, with cotton socks over it, my feet stay smooth and soft.

Lip balm

Blistex Lip Medex

Ah, that beloved blue jar. I’ve used this lip balm since college, and it’s still my favorite, hands down. I don’t wear lipstick or gloss – just this. I was so upset last Christmas because I looked for it everywhere, and nobody seemed to carry it anymore. My husband, bless his heart, drove all over creation and finally located some at a Walgreens. I was so happy to see it in my Christmas stocking!


Sure Unscented Original Solid

I don’t generally like scented products, and I especially don’t like scented deodorants, so Sure Unscented is perfect for me. It’s strong enough that both my husband and I use it, and it has a 2 rating (low hazard level) on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.

Feminine products

The Diva Cup Model 2 for post-childbirth

This reusable silicone menstrual cup literally changed my life. Aside from unscented panty liners, it’s the only feminine product I use. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and you can safely wear it for 8 hours without worrying about toxic shock syndrome. It makes dealing with that time of the month so much easier (honestly, I forget it’s even there. That’s how comfortable it is), and obviously it won’t clog your septic system like tampons do. Plus, it saves so much money! I’ve had mine for a year now, and I can’t say enough good things about it.

Anti-plaque rinse


Using this rinse before brushing helps remove more plaque, and my teeth are whiter because of it. It has a nice taste too!


Crest 3-D White Enamel Renewal Toothpaste

I didn’t put much stock in whitening toothpastes until I tried this one. If your teeth have minor surface stains, it really does work. After I’d used it for a couple of weeks, I couldn’t believe the difference! (Note: My children do not use this toothpaste. They use Crest Kids, and because our well water is not fluoridated, ACT fluoride rinse. Among the 3 of them (Cakes), there has been only one small cavity between 2 teeth that are extremely close together. Bee is almost 11, and she’s never had a cavity).


Reach Deep Clean Textured Floss

I saw an interview with a dentist once, and he said that if people would just brush after meals and floss thoroughly once a day, the majority of dental problems could be prevented. Ever since then, I’ve been religious about flossing, and this particular floss was recommended to me by my dentist. It’s more expensive than traditional waxed floss, but because it’s thick and textured, it removes more plaque between the teeth. I just love it (and I haven’t had a cavity in nearly 4 years. WOO!)


Listerine Original Antiseptic Mouthwash

OK, so I’ll admit that this stuff smells awful and tastes worse, but both my husband and I use it every single night before bed, and we have no problems with cavities or bleeding gums, so 30 seconds of swishing agony seems a small price to pay for good dental health. (Note – the blue mint variety is slightly less disgusting. But still disgusting).

Cost Cutters Professional Vitamin Treatment Leave-In Conditioner

I buy huge liter bottles of shampoo and conditioner when my salon has them on sale, because I’ve found that they’re gentler and less drying, and when purchased on sale, they’re about the same price per ounce as most drugstore brands. Cost Cutters isn’t my salon, but I do buy one product from them – vitamin treatment. 15 years ago, a friend recommended it to me because my hair was so staticky and flyaway that it was driving me crazy, and I’ve used it ever since. Unlike most leave-in conditioners, it doesn’t weigh your hair down or make it greasy, it has a fresh, fruity scent, and it works. I use it on my kids’ hair also.

Some of these products are more expensive than I would like, so I watch for sales and coupons, and use my Swagbucks gift cards to get hard-to-find products, like Clenziderm and Lip Medex, on Amazon. (P.S. If you haven’t signed up to earn Swagbucks yet, you should!) I reason that because I don’t spend money on expensive cosmetics or cosmetic services, manicures/pedicures, dermatologist visits, or costly dental repairs, the money spent to properly care for our skin, hair, and teeth is very worthwhile. After all, you can buy an awful lot of floss for the price of one root canal, correct?