Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Favorite Skin Care of 2012

I must address my favorite skin care in 2012. Without good skin, your makeup won't look its best. It was a year of advances. I want to include whole lines of products as well as individual products - skin care that works, products that excite me. Not all of the products I am mentioning here were introduced this year, but when you find something you love, you need to stick with it.

Let's start with TATCHA, a beauty company that is inspired by ancient geisha skin-care traditions. If you haven't tried it, I think you're going to love it as much as I do.

TATCHA founder Victoria Tsai has been a lifelong seeker of beauty. Her passion for skin care began at an early age when Victoria’s mother shared traditional Asian herbal skin-care treatments, which they sold in her family’s beauty boutique. Victoria’s love of discovery has since led her to become a sought-after expert in the field, developing products and brand strategies for the world’s largest beauty companies.

Searching for a new approach to beauty, Victoria began traveling to Asia, where a chance encounter in Kyoto with a modern-day geisha changed her course. For over 300 years, Japan’s geishas have been held in awe for their enduring wisdom and breathtakingly beautiful, porcelain skin. Perfected through centuries of timeless rituals, their beauty secrets have been passed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth alone. As she began to immerse herself in Japan’s culture, Victoria discovered unearthed a 200-year-old beauty manuscript. On its ancient pages, she rediscovered the geisha’s coveted daily regimen. Moved and inspired, Victoria founded TATCHA as a way to share these timeless secrets with the modern world.

Traveling back to the City of 2000 Temples (Kyoto), TATCHA works closely with teams of scientists, scholars and geisha themselves to decipher the rituals and ingredients from the sacred beauty text. TATCHA’s formulas pay homage to the icon of Eastern beauty and the brand’s own storied heritage. Now the secrets of the geisha live on through a proprietary process involving the most precious green teas, Okinawa red algae, rice bran, and other time-tested ingredients.

I have fallen in love with the Radiant Deep Brightening Serum and the Dewy Skin Mist, and now I'm testing and loving Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream and Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream. I can't get enough of TATCHA.

I've also become a Natura Bissé devotee. Most of the products I'm using come from the Diamond and NB•CEUTICAL collections, although I love everything I've tried. During a recent event at Neiman Marcus, I restocked on my Diamond Extreme and Eye Recovery Balm. Right now, I need to go purchase more Diamond Extreme Eye. Their Pure Air Bubble, featuring the Diamond White Facial, will be returning to Neiman Marcus soon. I sure hope I can reserve a coveted space. I desperately want to try the Diamond Life Infusion serum, but at $590, I can't afford it right now.

Another line that captured my attention before 2012, but held it through the year is RéVive.  Who is the genius behind RéVive? Skin care pioneer and noted plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Bays Brown established a research laboratory to conduct a $2 million study on wound healing. In his research, he discovered a bioengineered molecule called Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) that dramatically accelerated burn and wound healing in test subjects. The defining moment came when Dr. Brown discovered that the EGF molecule was the same molecule that regenerated aging skin. He was convinced that the only way women could get what they really wanted (the healthy skin of their youth) was at the molecular level with EGF. Dr. Brown was immediately inspired to set up a clinical laboratory within the research unit to validate his findings and to pioneer a face cream with this "youth molecule," EGF. Dr. Brown was the first doctor to apply the bioengineered version of EGF into skin care. He wanted to give women an alternative to the knife, today's overused face lift. He launched RéVive to the public in 1997.

Dr. Brown's first cosmeceutical product, the one that started the RéVive revolution and roped in my friend Carol, was RéVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream (shown above). This powerful perfecting cream, which contains EGF, gives all faces the legendary RéVive Glow - quickly. It's a remarkable moisturizer. In addition to his powerful EGF, Dr. Brown has started to incorporate peptides into his products, as they also gain a reputation as effective skin renewal ingredients. The newest product I've purchased - there are a lot of them is Peau Magnifique Les Yeux Youth Recruit, and I can't wait to see the transformation of my eye area. If it's as dramatic as the effect I saw with Peau Magnifique Youth Recruit for the face, I'm going to be delighted. These products are pricey, but worth every penny. The Intensité Volumizing Serum is a game changer.

Two other lines have made claim to my heart: Sisley and La Prairie. I don't use a complete regimen of either line, but they made products I could not live without. Sisley's Express Eye Contour Mask should be in everyone's toolkit. The new Eau Efficace Gentle Make-Up Remover is revolutionary. This gentle, sensory, high-performance and non-rinse cleansing lotion removes face and eye make-up and tones the skin in one single sweep. The dispensing system is really cool.

Formulated with deeply cleansing plant-based saponins, Eau Efficace removes surface impurities and traces of pollution accumulated during the day, and helps preserve the skin's natural radiance. Applied with a cotton pad, it effectively removes face and eye make-up, even long lasting, leaving the skin clean and matte, and the complexion fresh and glowing. I love it.

I've got an upcoming feature coming for a new La Prairie product, Cellular Power Serum, so I'm going to hold off here. Just know that I am smitten. I like the slogan too.  "Never look your age again."

La Mer's The Moisturizing Soft Cream, a 2012 introduction, is fabulous. Luxuriously light, this formula delivers miraculous benefits - the same benefits as the original cream, but much easier to apply. It penetrates deeply to replenish moisture and strengthen skin. Renewed and energized, my skin looks youthfully radiant when I use it. I highly recommend it. If you are addicted to the original Crème de la Mer, give this one a try. It has some advances, including a new delivery system, that should please you.

Kate Somerville's new DermalQuench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment is the product I nominated to New Beauty as the "Skin Care Advance of 2012." Kate took her DERMAL QUENCH Oxygen Treatment, delivered in spas or in special events at Kate Somerville counters and canned it. She gave us a treatment we could use at home. It was genius. I don't think you can find a better instant lift. Check out the fall issue to see what I had to say.

When I had my first DermalQuench Oxygen Treatment at Neiman Marcus, I experienced instant, unbelievable results. When my hour-long treatment was finished, I looked as if I had stepped out of a time capsule into a face that I had about five years ago. It was amazing. My face had a glow, and it had "lost" all the fine lines. Even my nasolabial folds (smile lines around the mouth) weren't as deep. My skin was plumped, youthful, and pretty. I'm thrilled to be able to come close to those results at home.

Two Le Métier de Beauté skin care products I can't live without are Rejuvenating Anti-Aging Night Crème with Syntoc Actif + Power4 Anti-Aging Complexe and Replenishing Daily Solution with Syntoc Actif + Moisture Rich Complexe. As pricey as some of my other must-haves, these products are amazing. They were introduced in 2011. Le Métier de Beauté has made the only products containing retinol that I can use. Plus they work as promised. The company's new CHEM60 Pro-Peel & Glow10ai Mask Set, which finally made its way to counters in 2012, is showing great promise.

I cannot close this feature without naming two new-ish products (2011) that have become staples in my skin care: Perricone MD Acyl-Glutathione for the face and Acyl-Glutathione Eye Lid Serum. I will not go without the eye lid serum - ever.  Well, unless Dr. Perricone introduces a new, improved version.

I am also testing a new 2012 line, VENeffect Skin Care, courtesy of generous samples (I simply cannot afford to purchase everything!). So far, it appears to be excellent. A little-known scientific phenomenon, virtually unexplored by the beauty industry, is now being shared with a breakthrough skin-care line developed by women, for women. Rebecca Booth, MD, a nationally recognized gynecologist and hormonal wellness expert, and Cecil Booth, her sister and a 20-year beauty industry veteran, share a mission to enlighten women about the relationship between beauty and hormones. They have spent the past seven years developing a line of skin-care products that reverse the physical signs of hormonal aging and restore a healthy, desirable female glow.

The sisters discovered their solution in the plant world. VENeffect gets its potency from 100% natural phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant-based “mimics” of human estrogen that safely and effectively bind to the receptors in the skin, preserving and restoring collagen, dramatically increasing elasticity and reversing the signs of hormonal aging. Dr. Booth explained, "The small molecular size of phytoestrogens allows them to easily penetrate facial skin and bind with estrogen receptors in the dermis and epidermis." Unlike anti-aging products that are designed to exfoliate dead skin (for example, retinol), VENeffect restores the vital effect of collagen to dramatically improve the glow of healthy skin.

VENeffect products are formulated with additional ingredients that offer anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties to provide the best in modern skin care. Five new VENeffect products are available: two moisturizers, one for day with SPF xx and one for night, along with eye and lip treatments. The prices range from $85 to $185.

There you have it. Wondering how I can use all these products? With few exceptions, I alternate, trying to reap the benefits offered by each. It seems to work nicely.

Photo at top courtesy of the Huffington Post; other photos courtesy of the brands


Nemo said...

Happy New Year to you, Cg! Your wonderful enabling spirit hovers over me in the new year because I just ordered the Bobbi Browbn Pink et Red Valentine collection. It's fun, and God knows we need fun.

Unknown said...

VERY GOOD INFO! THANK YOU for the great product reviews and suggestions. It would be wonderful if you would share some foundation ideas/tips for beautiful mature skin! HA
Love your reviews, by the way...

JaneW said...

AWESOME, AWESOME info you are putting out there for us "mere mortals"!!! Thanks so much for putting it in one place - I have one file for you now!

Eileen said...

We've certainly seen some interesting developments in skin care this year. Of all the new products introduced, Tatcha really knocked my socks off! No exaggerated hype, no pseudo-scientific babble, no outlandish promises, no claims to alter your DNA or get your genes in gear (say what?). Tatcha is just a beautifully conceived, easy to use, soothing and nurturing skincare line that has worked wonderfully well for my dry, sensitive, mature skin. Add to that the superlative and gracious customer service, and I can't help but wonder why more lines don't emulate Tatcha's business model.

Although a long time user of the classic Crème de la Mer, I just bought the soft version and will be giving it a go this week. I like to use a bit of CdlM over my prescription retinoid. It's a winning combination that has worked for me for years. Retinoic acid for exfoliation and collagen stimulation + CdlM for soothing and calming = perfection :-)

I will be interested in what you have to say about La Prairie's Celular Power Serum. I received two deluxe samples of it and was very impressed; just not $475 impressed! LOL

This year I discovered Arcona's Cranberry Toner. My skin was getting a bit congested what with the heavier creams that cold, dry weather necessitates. I decided that I needed a toner that would remove the last traces of residue after cleansing (Tatcha's oil is the best!) at night. The Cranberry Toner has filled the bill. It leaves my skin feeling clean, smooth, and refreshed without drying or stripping it. And, most importantly, it has cleared up the congestion. No more little white bumps. Hooray!

I have a very good skin care routine in place, but occasionally it needs a bit of tweaking and 2012 proved to b a good year to do that.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Nemo, and Happy New Year!

I need to get photos of that tomorrow. Today, I had a doctor's appointment during prime photo time - the first day the sun has appeared in many days. It's pretty. You should like it.

Charlestongirl said...

JEM, my best of 2012 foundation was Armani's Maestro fusion. For more coverage, go with Armani's Luminous Silk or Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle Liquid Foundation. They both are great on my aging skin.

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Jane. Remember, that skin condition markedly influences preferences. Check out the lines because most of them have different products for different skin types. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hey, Eileen,

TATCHA has been such a pleasant surprise this year. I continue to rave about it. It's love.

I adore the new La Mer. I don't seem to lose any hydration of the old one, but I do enjoy the more spreadable formula. It's especially wonderful for non-harsh months. Total love.

I did spend the money on Cellular Power Serum. I have that much faith in La Prairie. I think you would love it.

Toner, huh? I never use it. My bad.

Marina said...

I often look at my array of potions and lotions and wonder which one I'm supposed to use...also, layering doesn't work well for me. Do you alternate them or layer them? for example, I love Revive moisturizing cream but find it works best by itself, if I layer something underneath, I get too oily....imagine, 56 and still oily! I love all your choices. Funny though, I found Perricones eye serum too drying even under another eye cream.

Eileen said...

Yeah, toner. I haven't used it in a gazillion years and generally thought of it as just an extra, superfluous step, but this one by Arcona certainly seems to be exactly what my skin is craving in order to stay refined and clear. I'm not sure why I developed the skin congestion, but I suspect it was just due to an abundance of sunscreen over heavier wintertime creams and more involved holiday makeup looks. I'm the one who should be saying my bad! :-)

The Cranberry Toner has a lovely fresh cranberry scent and is not harsh or drying. It's very gentle, but is naturally antiseptic. So, that "extra, superfluous step" seems to be just what I need right now. I've also been using it in the morning rather than a conventional cleanser. It leaves my skin soft and ready for the day's serum, etc. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

I too am a Tatcha enthusiast. I have worn Creme de la Mer for decades while playing around with many, many other lines but never could I find a rival to CdlM. Well, now I have with Tatcha. I use it exclusively and completely agree with everything Eileen says. My skin has never looked better and at 56 and counting, that's saying something. I urge your readers to try the $49 sample/travel sizes of Tatcha's products. They won't be sorry.

cgr1129 said...

Another Tatcha devotee here. I just can't say enough of this brand, my skin is so soft and glowing and my pores are markedly smaller after just a week of use. I'm waiting for the Dewy Mist and masks to come in and I'm loving my samples of the Ageless eyecream and Renewal Cream. Will be purchasing those once I'm almost out of samples. I've never found a skincare line where i love the entire line of products Their customer service is peerless as well. I'm so glad I discovered them.

Thanks for the review. I'll be looking into the Perricone eyelid serum.

Makeupremastered said...

Hi Charlston Girl
I am waiting for a revive eye set-and I cannot wait! I want to buy the moisturizing renewal cream-I sampled it and loved it.since this the more intensive products in this line are so expensive I hope the renewal cream will go well with other less expensive serums. Lancôme makes a very good dupe for the perricone acyl-both good for lid area and work as well as each other.i also mix my skincare brands , which used to be considered a big no-no!
Thanks for the informative post

abbygal said...

I discovered Perricone MD Acyl-Glutathione for face and eyelid this year also. I cannot live without either of these products! Definately made a difference in the depth of my wrinkles :)

P.S. I noticed a new wrinkle product on his website. Do you know the difference between it and the Acyl-Glutathione?

Thanks and looking forward to all your posts this year!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Marina,

I only layer certain products. For example, serum always goes under moisturizer. Sun screen should go as close to the top layer as you can get it. Otherwise, alternate, don't layer.

The Perricone serum is firming, not drying. It feels dry, but firms. Make sure to use a nice, hydrating eye cream over it.

Swathi Narumanchi said...

Happy New year CG, I am recently discovering good skincare as you know, and now I am using NUDE ProGenius, H2O Plus and Vichy. My skin looks wonderful.

Right now I think I'll venture carefully as I have extremely sensitive skin, I get rashes and react very soon for products that my skin can't absorb.

I do have a question for you, unrelated to skincare, I am sorry about veering off topic, but I didn't know whom else to ask. I wanted to order the LMdB Bauhaus kit, but sadly, it is out of stock on Zuneta, so instead I ordered Chauvet Pont D'Arc, along with Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss. Do you think that the two bronzy/burgundy shades in Chauvet kit are similar ro the shades in Bauhaus ? Or is it worth buying Bauhaus again ? I do have to say that I love the last shade Genre in Bauhaus, beautiful color. I wish Zuneta would try and get a few more pieces !

Eileen said...

Hi Swathi,

The colors are nothing alike. Overall, Bauhaus is a cooler selection of colors with more light/dark contrast amongst the shades. I think of it as a classic winnter palette with that nice balance of fire and ice. Chauvet Pont D'Arc is more of a summer palette with its warm earthiness. Charlestongirl has swatches of both Kaleidoscopes so you can see for yourself, but I find the bronze and burgundy shades to be completely different.

Melanie said...

I love posts like this! It's like taking a peek in someone's bathroom cabinet. I have been hearing so much about TATCHA in the last few months, I am taking it as a sign! I think I will do like Anonymous recommended and order the sample sampler set. And I think I'll keep RéVive in mind. Great post! Thank you!

lovethescents said...

What a fun list. I love reading through Best ofs. I haven't tried a thing from your selection. That Tatcha range is most interesting. Maybe some day!

Swathi Narumanchi said...

Hi Eileen,

Thank you so much for letting me know ! :)

I now want WANT the Bauhaus kit ! Hope the folks at Zuneta get that kit back in stock ! :(

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Melanie,

TATCHA has blown away a lot of us in the past year. Everything is so luxurious.

Charlestongirl said...

They have a great sampler pack, Lovethescents!

Charlestongirl said...

Looks like I missed some comments. Thanks to all. You are great at answers others' questions!

Bettina said...

I enjoyed reading this. I join in with La Mer's Creme Soyeuse being a great product. I stated on your blog already that I was opposed to La Mer. Until the sample came along. Well, no sense in talking about prices anyway. The product, the new cream, is great. Absolutely love it and I think I will get the full size once I will be through my second sample jar.
I need to check out Tatcha when my travels will lead me to the US. You can see CG the list is getting longer :)