Avene Compact Review (Avene Sunscreen)

Avene CompactAvene Compact Review

I accidentally discovered the Avene compact while searching for powder sunscreen for my face. This happened to come up in the search results on Amazon and I didn’t even realize at first that it wasn’t a powder. It is actually a creamy texture and looks like a regular make up compact.

Well, as always I set out to research it. I found that it was recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. You can view it here. (Just search under “recommended products” for foundations with SPF of 50 or higher.)

The Avene website listed the following benefits:

  •  Available in 2 shades: honey and beige 
  •  100% mineral sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection 
  •  Enriched with patented Pre-Tocopheryl (a photostable form of vitamin E) for powerful antioxidant protection 
  • Soft-to-touch, easy application with matte finish 
  •  Paraben-free, fragrance-free, water resistant 
  •  Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic

I also read tons of reviews from users, and while there are always some people who will not like a product, the overwhelming number of reviews were very good.

But here was the strange thing. It only came in two colors.

What?

That’s right. Two colors. Beige and honey. But people were raving about how they were skeptical, but that it matched their skin perfectly. I have had some nightmare situations with “tinted” products that were supposed to blend into my skin, so I wasn’t too sure about that.

But I ordered the compact and waited.

When it finally arrived, the first thing I saw was that is had a separate area for the sponge. This lifted up to give access to the creamy product itself. As someone with oily skin, I always look for that in a compact. I don’t like for the sponge to get oily and gunky and  then sit in the powder, foundation, etc.

When I tried the product I was blown away. It covered better than the foundation I had been using…..or had ever used. And it was supposed to really be sunscreen, not foundation. It stayed in place and didn’t seem to wear off during the day either.

Those are the pros. Here are the cons.

I purchased the beige version. It went on so well and match my skin so completely that I couldn’t tell when I was missing a spot. However, I was sure someone else could tell when looking at my face outside, so I got out a magnified lighted mirror and found all those places. I also saw that the texture of my face left something to be desired. It sits on top of my skin and doesn’t absorb at all.

I realize that it IS a sunscreen first, and a foundation second. That can be understandable seeing as how you are getting stupendous sun protection.

But here’s the second problem. It is difficult for me to get the right amount of the product on the sponge and get it spread out evenly. I wind up thicker areas on my face that don’t look bad. For that reason, I simply cannot put it on without the magnified mirror I mention above. This makes it quite time consuming to get it on my face. (And I was trying to simplify things, not the other way around.) I considered mixing something with it (like a face corrector I like to use) in order to make it more manageable, but that really defeats the purpose of the product and cuts the SPF factor. It doesn’t go on well for me with water either.

Lastly, I found that after I after I had used the product just three times that I could already see the bottom of the compact in the center. Now, I am not saying that I used it up in three applications, because there was lots more product in the compact. But I am saying that I didn’t expect to see the bottom that quickly.

In the end I have to say this product could probably be great for someone who will take the time to apply it appropriately. It is also worth the money for the product if it’s benefits are important to you.

You can purchase the Avene compact here.

Stay Beautiful – Inside and Out!

If your experience has been different (or even the same), please leave feedback.

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Obagi Blue Peel Review

Obagi Blue PeelObagi Blue Peel Review

I recently had my second Obagi Blue Peel and feel that I must share the experience with my readers.

There was a huge difference between the first and second peels I have undergone, so I have mixed feeling about it at this time. Please read this post to the end if you are considering this same peel.

The Obagi Blue Peel is part of a larger offering of Obagi products aimed at improving the look and feel of skin. It helps with wrinkles, acne, and other imperfections.

The Obagi site states the Blue Peel is an:

In-office facial chemical peel procedure that uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA) mixed with a special Obagi blue base to monitor and slow penetration.

Use of the Obagi Nu Derm System is recommended before and after your Blue Peel, which takes place in your physician’s office.

First of all, let me say that I had my first Obagi Blue Peel four months ago and it went just fine. I was able to tolerate three applications of the acid and I went home to have a typical recovery. My face became very tight, the skin turned dark brown, then my it started to peel off. Under that yucky peeling skin was fresh skin that looked and felt like that of a newborn baby. I was in heaven!

Fast forward to last week…..and things changed.

I was undergoing a horrific allergy attack, so I called the office and asked if they still wanted to perform the procedure. I was told it would be fine and to come on in, which I did. However, once I was on the table and being prepped she said my skin was overreacting to everything and rashing up, so she couldn’t do it. I was fine with that because I was not tolerating the procedure well at all. (She goes around your face doing all kinds of painful things to get you ready. She cleans your pores, uses an extractor to remove things, uses a laser to zap imperfections, etc.)

I returned to her office the following Monday and had two applications of the peel this time. The burning was extreme (same as the first time), but I made determined to hang in there. The aftercare includes mixing hydrocortisone cream (Obagi version is called Tolereen) and moisturizer (Obagi version is called Action) and applying it to your face 2 to 3 times a day. The first time she told me to do this for 2 or 3 days. The second time she said to only do it for one day following my peel. She said it would give me better results.

I go home after that and my face appears to be following the same routine as before. It got tight, turned brown, and peeled. But this time the skin under it was extremely red. Like a primary red crayon. The first time it has only been a slight pink. So I called the office and left a message on Thursday. I knew they would not be in the office that day, but expected a call back on Friday. But it never came.

By Saturday I truly looked like a science experiment. My skin had areas of bright red and dark brown with lots of peeling skin. My husband as freaking out and thought my face might be ruined. My mother-in-law agreed and they both said I should never get this done again. I gave this some consideration. However, I developed a new problem. I had a bright red rash that started just under my nose and went down my neck. I also ran up my jawline on both sides. It was raised and it itched like crazy. By Sunday it was driving me crazy.

After trying everything on the aftercare sheet, I finally started taking Benedryl (didn’t know what was causing it, so thought it couldn’t hurt) and applying Neosporin. I finally started to see some improvement after this, but who knows if this was just a coincidence.

Monday morning I finally got a call back from the office. I was in the shower, of course, so they left a message telling me to do exactly what my aftercare sheet said, which I had been doing. When I called back and explained my situation, she suggested that I come in to see the aesthetician if it didn’t get better by the end of the day. I was finally starting to look better, so I decided to wait it out.

So that’s what I am doing right now…..waiting it out…..while I am writing this.

I did some research online and found that it is common for your skin to become extremely red as mine did after a TCA peel and that it could last up to 3 months. I also found that Obagi suggests that you use their skin care system, Obagi Nu Derm System, for at least 4 weeks before you undergo an Obagi Blue Peel. My aesthetician never told me that. In fact, she asked what all I used and I told her, so she knew I wasn’t using those products.

She recommended that I stop using my tretinoin cream (Retin-A) a couple days before I came back for my peel since my skin had reacted so badly during my prep, which I forgot to do. But that is not something that you commonly need to do, as tretinoin cream is a part of the Obagi skin care routine, so I don’t think it really made a big difference.

So would I get this peel again? I don’t know just yet. I don’t do well with peels to begin with since I absolutely hate the feeling when it gets tight and I can’t move my facial muscles. We will see……

Stay Beautiful – Inside and Out!

If your experience has been different (or even the same), please leave feedback.

(Also, if this review has been helpful to you, please click the “like” button and help a girl out!)