Summer Product Review (2010) – Skincare & Haircare

29 Aug

My skin’s been feeling really tight and dry lately, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to say good-bye to all my summer skincare and haircare products.  That’s the thing about living in a country that has four seasons — not that I hate it or anything, but it does get a little frustrating at times especially when the weather’s extremely brisk and dry one day, and broiling hot and humid the next.  Ah well, it keeps life interesting I guess.

I like to experiment and try out different products with the coming of each new season, while keeping a few staples along for the ride and this summer has not been an exeption.

Shampoo

Yes To Carrots:
Pampering Carrot Juice Shampoo
Daily Pampering Conditioner

I bought the shampoo at the beginning of summer actually. I like the fact that it contains a lot of natural ingredients and is paraben-free. It foams up really nicely and rinses out relatively well but made my hair tangle like crazy while I’m washing it.  I found that it helps a bit if I use conditioner first before using shampoo and then condition again, but overall, I just can’t bring myself to love it.  While did it thickened the individual strands of my hair, it also it really stiff and somewhat dry.  I dyed my hair at the time and it just faded my hair color like crazy.  My brother loves it though — since he’s into the whole spiky hair look — and has been using it ever since.

John Frieda Radiant Red Color:
Captivating Shampoo
Magnifying Daily Conditioner with Light Enhancers

I switched to this after using Yes To Carrots, and I love this.  It makes my hair really shiny and silky.  I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect, but I think it makes the red in my hair more vibrant.  For some reason, it worked really nicely during the summer but now that the season’s changing, it doesn’t feel as moisturizing as it use to.   I would repurchase it the next time I dye my hair again in the summer though.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Lipbalm

Burt’s Bees:
Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil

I’m not really a fan of the smell, but it is pretty moisturizing and I like that there’s a subtle tint of color.  This also contains a lot of natural ingredients so that’s another plus as well.  Would I repurchase this?  Yes, but I’d go back-and-forth with another lip balm that contains SPF since this one doesn’t have SPF protection.  It’s a good lip balm to keep around if you don’t like carrying around lipsticks but wouldn’t say it’s the best that I’ve tried.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Cleanser

Burt’s Bees:
Burts Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

You probably wouldn’t want to use this if you have sunburn since there is a bit of menthol in it but overall I really like this cleanser.  Granted, I have combination skin (oily t-zone, dry skin everywhere else) and wear little to no make-up on a regular basis so I have no problems with this.

It has a good creamy consistency and doesn’t foam up when you lather it but it leaves my face feeling clean and refreshed.  It doesn’t burn, sting,  dry out my skin or leaves it feeling tight so yes, I will definitely repurchase.  Bonus points for being “Paraben, Sulfate, and Phthalate free”.

Biore:
Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser

I don’t use this for my face, since it’s really drying, but I swear this kills back pimples/back acne like nothing else.  Literally here one day and gone the next —  2 days at most — with no scarring whatsoever (if it stings a bit, it means it’s working.  Use it like you would with soap and rinse off.)

I also use it as a shampoo once or twice a month when I get that horrible product build-up feeling on my scalp.  Definitely a summer staple.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Toner

Nivea Visage:
Gentle Toner for Dry/Sensitive Skin

It doesn’t burn or cause my eyes to water when I use it since it doesn’t contain alcohol.  It smells lovely; it does a great job at removing excess cleanser, left over makeup and dirt… Hah, I don’t know what more to say about it… I’ve been using this for over a year and I still love it as much as the first time I’ve tried it.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Sunscreen

Neutrogena:
Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer (SPF 30)
Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen (SPF 55)

I confess — I’ve never really cared much about sunscreen but with maybe because one of my best friend keeps complaining about being old (she just turned 23 at the beginning of May), I guess the whole fear of wrinkles and skin cancer finally caught up with me.  I use to hate wearing sunscreen because of the smell (awful), texture (super greasy) and the feel of it (like it’s just sitting on top of my skin and clogging up my pores).   But surprisingly, Neutragena’s sunscreens are exactly what they claim to be: lightweight, oil-free, non-shiny, and fast-absorbing.  I use it moisturizer everyday in the summer and I love it.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

After Sun Treatment

Aloe Pura Laboratories:
Aloe Vera Gel

I have been a fan of this product ever since I accidentally stumbled upon it in Hong Kong a few years ago.  My aunt came to visit us during the spring and she brought along 4 tubes of these as a gift for me so I have enough to last me for about 2 years.  Anyways, this is perfect as a night-creme in the summer since it’s light and fast-absorbing.  I just use it as is with nothing else, but if the weather gets dry, I like to mix in a little Cetaphil sometimes.  It does smell a little strange at first, but it’s super effective.  The first time I tried it, I immediately felt my pores tightening.  If you see that your skin starts flaking after a few minutes, it just means that you didn’t use enough because your skin  will literally drink this up.

I’ve tried the pure aloe one, the anti-oxidant vitamins one pictured above, and I’m currently using the one with tea tree oil.  Out of the 3, I find the tea tree oil one to be the best — the pure aloe vera one is most drying if used alone; I can’t tell if I’ve had any benefits from using the anti-oxidant one, but the tea tree oil one really minimizes my pores and is the most hydrating.

By the way, the price tag in my pic that says $150.00 is in Hong Kong dollars, not Canadian dollars.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in stores here.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Hand Creme

St. Ives:
Vitamin E Hand Cream

I guess this has been discontinued because I can’t seem to find any pictures of it online other than the one in the body lotion format.  Just as well… It’s not at all greasy or sticky when you apply it, but I find it a bit too rich and thick for my liking.  It did moisturize relatively well, but I’ve had better.  Would I repurchase?  Probably not.

I actually like their Cucumber Melon Hand Creme more, but unfortunately it’s been discontinued as well (Why St.Ives?? Why???)  Should have stocked up when I had the chance…

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Foot Scrub

Dr. Scholls:
For Her – Pumice Foot Scrub

I bought this on a whim since it was on sale, and I tend to get dry heels during the summer.  The product itself was okay.  I can’t say that it’s fantastic since this is the first and only foot scrub I’ve ever bought, but it did exfoliate pretty well.  It smells like peppermint… Don’t really know what more to say…  Overall, I liked it.  Would I repurchase?  Probably… Unless someone can recommend me a better foot scrub, I guess I’m happy with this.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Body Lotion

Cetaphil:
Moisturizing Lotion – Normal to Dry Skin

The perfect moisturizer for the summer.  Non-sticky, non-greasy, fast-absorbent, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free.. what more can you ask for?

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

So what do you think?  Agree/Disagree?  Helpful?
What were your summer product hits and misses this year?

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