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About Face is thinking about your face, literally

It’s years after high school and I’m still plagued with skin that constantly breaks out. Will this variety of face products offer up a miracle cure?

We’re now two months into About Face, and finally, a post about actual products for your face that aren’t makeup! Crazy, right?

makeupIn high school, I thought I had the worst skin ever—is anything more stressful than a blackhead that just. won’t. go. away?—and now that I just turned 24, I’m not sure much has changed. I still have so many blackheads, they’re like a colony on my nose. (Sorry for the grossness, but I had to be honest!) I still have that oily T-zone area on my forehead, but really dry cheeks. What’s wrong with my face? Does it exist purely to spite me?!

So in a quest to discover some kind of miracle product that will finally vanquish these blemishes to their deaths, and help my face not look as sleep-deprived as it always does, I’ve started trying out these skin products — from scrubs to masks, cleansers to gels — in a project that will probably take me through this winter. Blackheads, get ready to meet your end (and if the bags under my eyes could disappear, that would be great, too). With these products, I finally think I’ve got a fighting chance.

+ First up: Getting experimental. I can’t forget my years of acne—like, literally. A few scars on my face are memories of the worst blemishes through the years (yes, including that clichéd one I got on prom night) and it would be great to watch them fade away. Maybe the following can do the trick: (top row, from left to right) Origins Brighter By Nature brightening peel pads, with the power of a professional glycolic peel and meant to provide instant smoothness ($37.50, Origins); Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength, meant to deliver “spa-grade exfoliation” after a 10-minute application ($45, Juice Beauty); and Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel, for use each night to lighten dark spots ($60, Murad).

+ Exfoliate—often. I wash my face twice, sometimes three, times a day, but incorporating an exfoliating scrub into the regimen would probably get rid of whatever buildup could be left sitting on my face. Starting once a week, I plan to reach for either (top row, fourth and fifth from left) The Art of Shaving Peppermint Facial Scrub, which—despite being for men—smells like delicious minty candy ($22, The Art of Shaving) or Ahava Facial Mud Exfoliator, which uses a blend of minerals from the Dead Sea waters ($26, Ahava). So fancy!

+ Moisturize. A bunch. Isn’t it practical wisdom that everyone should start applying sunscreen and moisturizer in their 20s, to put off developing wrinkles that inevitably will come in future years? I should probably start doing that. I should also probably start getting more sleep to keep my eyes from looking so tired and puffy, but with a full graduate school courseload this semester, that’s not happening. Here’s what I’m hoping will turn around the exhaustion that’s obviously showing on my face: (bottom row, first three on left)Aveeno Smart Essentials Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment ($9.59, Drugstore.com), which uses a roller-ball to spread vitamin-packed gel under the eyes; KORRES Quercetin & Oak Hydrating Antiageing & Antiwrinkle Day Cream, either SPF 4 or SPF 10 ($48, KORRES), which includes various natural extracts to battle aging; and L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Face Neck & Chest Balm ($19.99, Target), which is buttery soft and can be used both for the face and décolletage area. Multipurpose —I’m down with that.

+ Take off my makeup—everyday! Every women’s magazine warns you against sleeping in your makeup, and still, I do. I’m just lazy some nights, OK? But maybe using products specifically formulated for my issues will get me energized: (bottom row, fourth, fifth and sixth from left) Pangea Organics Facial Cleanser in Australian Wild Plum & Willow, designed for combination to oily skin ($28, Pangea Organics); Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser, made from natural Willow Bark Extract ($10, Burt’s Bees); and June Jacobs Spa Collection Fresh Squeezed Lemon Cleanser, which is a mix of white, red and green tea extracts and smells like the best lemonade ever made ($44, June Jacobs).

+ And finally, slather on a mask. If I’m cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and treating, I may as well spread a mask on my face once a week and call it a complete procedure. These masks do different things, so maybe I’ll try a different one each week and see what works best: (top row, first and second from right, clockwise and downward) Boscia Luminizing Black Mask, which you peel off after 20 minutes to reveal brighter skin ($34, Boscia); Juice Beauty Organic Facial Rejuvenating Mask, which kind of sounds like a smoothie with ingredients like apple, lemon and grape juice, raw cane sugar and honey ($32, Juice Beauty); clickR Skin Care Hot Face Mask, which is supposed to detoxify clogged pores ($32, clickR); Nature Girl I Am Plant Mask, an exfoliating mask based in oatmeal ($35, Nature Girl); Nude Skincare Intense Moisture Mask, for supremely dry skin that needs overnight treatment ($60, Sephora); and Clark’s Botanicals Intense Radiance Mask, a white clay mask that’s definitely pricier but is meant for everything from combination to aging skin ($72, Clark’s Botanicals).

EDITORIAL NOTE: The product/s reviewed in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s reviews are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company or any other organization unless mentioned.

Product photo by Adam Fried.


roxana_hadadi_blogIn middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s new beauty blog — and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.



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