Disclosure: I received this product at no charge to facilitate this review. Thanks so much to Skin Authority!
Beauty. Not my forte. Once I had Cub, I cut back an already slender set of products and procedures to the absolute bare minimum. I had more of a body care routine when I was 11 than I did at 30. I own no makeup beyond lip balm. I doubt I’ve blow dried my hair more than two dozen times in the past two years. As you know if you follow this little blog o’ mine, I only use homemade shampoo, no conditioner (except AC vinegar from time to time) and bar soap in the shower.
So let’s talk about my face.
So many moles. Such abundant eyebrows. So greasy in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin); ingrown hairs around the brows; prone to dryness in the cheeks and around the eyes… and zits.
Let’s talk about my struggle with pimples. I remember one time working as a barista in my teens and having a handsome, gentlemanly customer express concern about the massive welt on my forehead that he assumed had been caused by a severe blow to the head. I guess I could’ve gone with that… but I am the world’s worst liar, so the whole line up got to marvel (and try not to stare at while ordering) my zit with its own zip code. To console me, another customer remarked that I should be grateful to be young enough to have pimples. Well…. come on, I love talk radio, I’m in bed before 11 and I haven’t been ID-ed in a decade… how come I still get pimples?!
So, until receiving a skincare consultation from Ashley at Skin Authority, how was I caring for my face? Jojoba oil to cleanse, a scrub once in a while and some Greenbeaver moisturizer. For the zits? Sometimes a dab of tea tree oil or witch hazel…
My skin was fine with that routine, but by “fine” I mean how it has been since before I got pregnant:
My nose was populated by a mountainside town of little white huts, my forehead was home to the magical castle- appearing out of thin air and disappearing slowly only to reappear in another piece of prime forehead real estate. My chin was another pretty metaphor for zitty.
I explained all of this to Ashley via email. I loved being able to exchange with her at my convenience this way (though you can also schedule a phone call). She asked a few additional questions, like if I prefer a scrubby-feel to my cleanser (I do) and what I use for sunscreen (nothing- yikes).
She created this routine for me:
After almost a month of following the routine to the letter, here’s what I’ve noticed:
- I like taking the time to pamper my skin each morning and night. I confess that I often used to skip washing my face before bed, but now I make a point of it.
- Applying the calming face mask makes me feel like I’m at a spa for 10 minutes (even if the spa is actually a bathroom with a toddler in the bathtub).
- It really is possible to have a daily facial sunscreen that doesn’t clog my pores or feel heavy and oily.
- And most importantly: all the unwanted tenants in my zit code (get it?!) have been…. EVICTED.
I noticed pimples twice during my trial period: once after getting my eyebrows threaded. Whenever I have hair removed on my face (upper lip or brows), I always get little white pimples. I had only been using Skin Authority for a couple of days when I had my brows threaded, so next time I might not have this problem! The second time I noticed a pimple was after my long day of travel, when I hadn’t used any of the products for almost 24 hours. Other than that that, the reduction in white heads on my nose and my forehead has been drastic. My husband… who has a not-so-secret (buy very unsexy) love of pimple popping was startled by the results!
A Closer Look at Each Product:
Remember those commercials in the late 90s, featuring fresh-faced adolescents raving about “smooth, round microscrubbers” in their facial cleanser? Turns out those microscrubbers were actually teensy little balls of plastic, called microbeads… and as they’ve been increasingly added to our beauty products, waterways near major urban centres have become saturated with these non-biodegradable beads, including the St. Lawrence River. Microbeads are being found in wildlife all the way up the foodchain. Illinois recently banned microbeads in cosmetic products, and I hope Canadian provinces will soon follow suit.
I’m happy to report that Skin Authority’s Exfoliating Cleanser uses completely natural pumice as its exfoliating agent.
I find the texture of the exfoliant to be just the right amount of “scrubby” for daily use. It foams up a bit with water, and you really do just need a pea sized amount. Using it daily seems to have really helped with the ingrown hairs that usually grown along my (very generous) brow line.
In terms of ingredients, I thought it would be interesting to compare Skin Authority’s ingredient list with that of a Clean & Clear scrub, something I would have typically used as a teen and in my early twenties.
Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycolic Acid, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Pumice, Aloe Barbandensis (Aloe Vera) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Matricaria Recuitita (Chamomile) Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA.
The ingredients in green are my favourite, since I know immediately what they are. They are all common ingredients included in many homemade beauty product recipes. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) is a foaming agent and can be a cause for concern, depending on how it was manufactured. Glycolic Acid boosts the exfoliating power of the cleanser, and is low-risk according to the EWG. Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate comes from coconut oil and is a no-risk ingredient. Xanthan Gum is a stabilizing agent that many will use in their own homemade beauty products. Hydoxyethylcellulose is a thickener and comes from cellulose (plant protein.) Methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone are preservatives listed by the EWG as moderate risk, but not as hormone disrupters, like parabens. Sodium Hydroxide is a low-risk buffering agent and Disodium EDTA is a chelating agent with no risk.
Although Skin Authority products are not yet listed in the Environmental Working Group’s database, I was able to generate my own report by entering the label ingredients:
Water (eau), Methyl Gluceth-20, Polyethylene, Lauryl Glucoside, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone PEG-8 Meadowfoamate, Cera Microcristilllina, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Menthol, DMDM Hydantoin, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-7, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Blue 1, Yellow 5, Red 30, Talc, Ultramarines, Parfum.
What freaks me out about this ingredient list is how few of the ingredients I can identify. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’m no chemist… but I am certainly not a fan of the ubiquitous, unregulated and vague ingredient “parfum,” nor the addition of dye! You’ll notice that Skin Authority’s products are all paraben free, which is a big deal to me. I’ve found it difficult to find paraben-free cosmetics on drugstore shelves. Parabens are preservatives that, according to the EWG “mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.” The Clean & Clear scrub also contains derivatives of petroleum (Cera Microcristillina) which I endeavor to avoid (though I grant that the majority of cosmetic products, Skin Authority included, come in containers that are made from petroleum! DMDM Hydantoin is a formaldehyde releaser and is one of the ingredients that contributes to this product getting a “high” risk assessment at EWG.
My savior! My savior! Finally an acne spot treatment that works for me! Salicylic acid, the active ingredient, is what my pharmacist father always recommends for my pimples, and when I was a teen, he often mixed up a salicylic acid treatment for me.
My only issue is the dispenser: I don’t actually have a better design idea, but its container is number 7 plastic, so not recyclable, and I find it hard to dispense the perfect amount.
I have been applying this product day and night and, as I’ve said, my pimples are almost entirely gone. Furthermore, the few pimples I have gotten haven’t stuck around for long!
My Mama says if she could go back to her 30s and make one change to her skincare regimen, it would be to use a daily facial moisturizer with sunscreen. I’ve been super lazy about this since I haven’t found one that doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m wearing an oily mask. Luckily, I’m only just turning 31!
Every time I apply the mask, I am reminded of the movie “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.” Random? Sort of. You see, I remember one of the first times I ever used a facial mask was at a sleepover party I hosted in Grade 7… and that was our (odd) movie choice. The calming mask has the most perfect amount of tingle to it, and it smells divine. I’ve been using it once a week.
I love applying this delightful smelling moisturizing oil right before bed. Bergamot, jasmine, sunflower, safflower oil and more… I am looking forward to seeing how well this combats the dry skin I face every winter!
I would like to see the oil, like the Acne Control, come in a fully recyclable container.
My brother’s wedding took place a week or so after I began using my Skin Authority products… I felt radiant without a stitch of makeup on my brother’s special day!
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