It’s actually happened. Every moisturizer I’ve liked even a little bit, has been squeezed out, run dry, or is officially past any acceptable due date for use. We’re SO lucky here to have awesome products sent our way, but as a result I’m just not in the habit of buying new moisturizers (OK, except for Tammy when I’m in New York and it stares at me longingly), because there’s usually at least a few lingering in my cabinet.
I’m making do with some last drops of oil I have from Marie Veronique and May Lindstrom—not exactly slumming it. But, while I lovelovelove nourishing face oils, sometimes you just want that water-combo consistency provided by a good moisturizer. Sometimes oil can seem to just disappear…
So what should I buy? Something old or something new? What’s in your arsenal of tricks?
Here are some favorites from my past… (The product names link to old reviews if you’re interested… as old as 2010!)
Tammy Fender Repair Balm: Siobhan and I have been obsessed with this stuff since that perfect box first appeared in the mail. It’s got a magically gummy, hydrating, consistency that we love, and it’s made with incredible ingredients. But it costs a small fortune, runs out fast, and maybe—hopefully—some of its magic powers are just in our heads? Maybe. Anyways, I’d love to find something in this consistency range that isn’t bank breaking. Any recs?
Egyptian Magic: Remember this stuff? Well this past weekend, I rediscovered it. My friend had it with her in Palm Springs and was religiously applying it to face and body every time she took a break from the sun. It’s made with some of our favorite basic ingredients: olive oil (which happens to be proven to reduce UV damage after sun exposure), beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, bee propolis, and by their own claim “divine love.” We love love! I’m definitely going to re-up on this regardless, it’s just a tad-bit vaseliney to put on under makeup or right before work so…
Pai Avocado And Jojoba: I love this stuff. Smells good, feels good, this is what I call a simple moisturizer. I’m not under any illusions that it’s completely changing my skin but it does the basic hydrating thing you want on a daily basis. Have you tried it?
Ok, help! I’ve got my credit card out and ready to go…
Disclaimer: This post is based purely on my anecdotal experience, and is written by a person who does really dumb things sometimes. Follow any advice herein at your own risk.
The preeminent rule of skincare is this: When you have a cyst—i.e. an owie under-the-skinner—you do not touch it. Hell, you don’t even look at it the wrong way, let alone rub your grubby fingers on it.
A few days ago I was following this rule. I had a hormonal guy growing deep beneath the surface of my chin, and for the first few days I dutifully ignored it. But then, who knows when—I was probably watching TV or being otherwise distracted—I somehow got to poking and prodding it a bit. And lo and behold, the next morning I woke up to a painful, red and pulsey protrusion.
Sorry guys, if you’re easily grossed out it’s earmuffs time.
At some point later that day I decided that what had really happened was that the cyst was coming to the surface (how nice of it!) and I would totally be able to lance it and be done with the thing. Lance, by the by, is the fancy word for pop with a needle.
For no good reason (it never works) I did this, and—surprise!—made matters so much worse. My friend was now infected: I could feel it spreading under the skin—swollen, painful, and soon to be a likely candidate for antibiotics. I’m not exaggerating: I have taken antibiotics more than once for infected cysts. Clearly I have a propensity for the things, and for rubbing them the wrong way.
Ok the gross ends there. In a preemptive attack to avoid the antibiotics here is what I did yesterday.
1. Topical Advil: Again, to be very clear, I don’t know if any skincare specialist would recommend this but when I have a swollen thing on my face I will sometimes turn to the anti-inflammatory properties of Ibuprofen (a.k.a. Advil). Here’s what I do: I cut the pill in half with a very sharp knife, run it under some water, and then scrape out some of the inside powder and apply it directly to the spot, letting it dry there for 20 minutes or so. If something is really infected (like yesterday), this isn’t going to make it much better—but it does reduce a bit of the pain and swelling and generally makes me feel less aware of the beast. Which is nice.
2. Clay: I was working from home, so after the Advil, I put on the Evan Healy Green Tea Clay, still a big favorite of ours. Both Evan and my father (who is a doctor and has helped treat these awful bumps of mine before) recommend clay for cysts. Clay helps bring to the surface all the bad stuff, which once you’ve done what I did is kind of your only choice. I spent most of yesterday with a big green spot on my chin.
3. Propolis: Last night, I took the cyst to Whole Foods and we bought some propolis together. We’ve talked about propolis over at GOOD: It’s the antimicrobial resin that bees use to sterilize their hives, and it’s been shown to do some pretty amazing things for humans too—like help kill cold sores. So, as my final act before bed, I drowned my spot in propolis (which dries in a weird sticky way, like apple juice would) and tried to get a good night’s rest.
It ain’t pretty—because now it looks scabby and dry—but I most definitely managed to kill the infection! The pain is gone and so is the swelling, which makes me feel like me and my friend are on our way to recovery. Now I will use much kinder tactics to heal the damage I’ve done—argan oil, Egyptian Magic, and some honey.
Here’s hoping that some of you will reveal equally weird (but maybe sometimes effective) things you do in your bathroom. The floor is yours!
Have you heard about this stuff? Someone once proselytized to me at a party about it—but it was in one cocktail, out the other. In fact it was only months after the book was done that I ran into Egyptian Magic at my local Whole Foods.
The kitshy plastic (boo!) container it comes in—with its ankh and its claims of being an “Ancient Kamitians’ Secret”—whoever they are—is pretty hilarious. The website is even better. But the stars are said to love it. Apparently it’s Madonna’s secret weapon (surgeries notwithstanding of course), and Juliette Lewis along with the ladies of The View rave about it.
Well, add me to the list of fans. I’ve been using it for a little while now, and I’m sold on the magic. Here’s why: The six ingredients in this product are olive oil, beeswax, honey, pollen, royal jelly and propolis. If you read our post about naturals that work, you’ll see that honey and its relatives have been shown throughout history to help with wound healing and to reduce scarring. Olive oil is a wonderful antioxidant, UV-fighting ingredient too.
It’s no wonder that it actually seems to help heal scars quicker. The downside: It looks and feels like Vaseline. We’re talking serious shine. But when I put it on before bed, I wake up with happy hydrated skin. I also use it on my lips, to tame flyaways and to brighten cheekbones throughout the day.
Have you tried it?