Tag: skin care

The Magic Pads Review

Do you remember your days as a teen using acne pad to clear your skin? When I started using The Magic Pads, I felt like I was having a flashback of those days. Back then those pads used to severely dry out my skin and even give me a rash, so there was definitely some concern in my head. Luckily this was a much better experience. The Magic Pads are SO easy to use. You can literally use them any time that you need a quick cleanse. I loved using them in the morning to refresh my skin before my routine. They don’t have an overpowering smell. They don’t dry out my skin. They help with pesky blemishes and tighten up your pores. They aren’t just for your face either. You can use them anywhere. I love them for my neck and chest. I even read reviews about people using them on their feet. I feel like Magic Pads are one of those little secrets that beauty editors and makeup artists keep to themselves, but it’s time for these to be in everyone’s arsenal.

Spring Skin Care Most Wanted

Skyn Iceland Brightening Eye Serum – This eye serum isn’t just small in size, but also price. It’s unique, in that it is more like a gel than any other eye product I’ve used before. It feels really moisturizing around my eyes. Skyn Iceland says it’s meant to relax the skin and boost collagen, all meaning you can say goodbye to lines. I’ve had such success with Skyn Iceland in the past, I don’t doubt them at all.

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil – If you want a little splurge that will last a long time, try this face oil from Dermalogica. You already know and trust the brand when you get a facial. Get that same moisture with this little oil. You can wear it alone or add it to your daily moisturizer to add a massive boost of hydration to your skin. This face oil is a little bit oily on my skin when worn alone, but you don’t notice it as much when mixed with other products. It does feel refreshing and give my face that nice dewy feel that I just want to touch.

Garnier Skin Active Clearly Brighter Gentle Smoothing Scrub – Garnier’s Skin Active Smoothing Scrub is everything my face wants in a daily face wash. It’s gentle enough to use every day, but tough enough that I feel really clean afterwards. I like that it’s not heavily scented. It even uses sustainable argan, so I can feel a bit better about using it. I do find that it dries out my face a bit, but that just gives me the opportunity to use some of those really super moisturizing creams. For this price, it’s just what my wallet wants for skin care too.

Strivectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask – When in need of a burst of just straight moisture, this Strivectin Overnight Mask is an easy solution. Apply a generous layer on your face before bed and you are sure to wake up feeling extra moisturized. If you are like me, you might worry about getting cream all over your pillow. The Strivectin cream does absorb enough that by the time I was actually putting my head down, my fears were pretty much gone. I feel like this mask is the perfect secret skin care weapon. Personally, it’s not something that I need to use 2 or 3 times a week, but maybe once a month I could get my moisture on with Strivectin.

At-Home Spa Day Most Wanted

Sometimes a girl just needs an at-home spa day for a little pampering with all of your favourite new bath, body and beauty products, candles and a glass of wine. Here are a few products to add to your supple for the perfect spa day at home:

Live Clean Dead Sea Salts – Soothe tired muscles on your at-home spa day with a long bath with these Live Clean Dead Sea Salts. They have Epsom salts, green tea extracts, aloe vera, Eucalyptus essential oils and Ginger. All of this combines for soothed muscles. The scent is strong, but really relaxing at the same time. It’s perfect for helping you forget that busy week.

Avon Foot Works Clay Mask – A spa day wouldn’t be complete without a little foot pampering. Short of having someone to give you a pedicure in your living room, this foot clay mask is the best thing to do. I’ve tried lots of clay masks for my face, but never for my feet. The feeling is pretty similar. Be sure that you are sitting somewhere good, because you won’t be able to walk around. You will need to clean your feet off wherever you are. The lavender smell is nice and relaxing while you wait. I didn’t expect much in the way of results, but my feet were very soft after just 10 minutes or so with this on.

Arbonne Tahitian Coconut Lip Therapy Set – You don’t usually get to pamper your lips, but it feels so good when you do. The Lip Smoother is a coconut exfoliator that will help clean up all of that dead skin from winter. The Lip Salve is an oil based balm that softens and moisturizes. It’s a nice treat for your lips to feel soften and fresh.

Claus Porto Soap Gift Box – This is the MOST beautiful soap that I’ve ever owned. The white box with the art deco logo is the first signal that you are in for a treat. No matter how many times I opened it to see the three soaps inside, I was never not in awe. The packaging for each of these German soaps is a work of art in itself. Almost too beautiful to use. When you have had your time with the box, be ready for a nice treat with this soft smelling soap in the tub. Spoil yourself, or someone that you love a lot, with these soaps for every occasion.

Skyn Iceland All Eyes On You Treatments – Skyn Iceland has some of my favourite eye products. They always make them nice and cooling and soothing so that my eyes feel relaxed. This set includes an Icelandic Relief Eye Pen, Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and Glacial Cleansing Cloths. This means you can pamper yourself with the gels now and have the cloths and pen for your regular everyday use.

Body Lotion Head-To-Head Part Two

When I said we were serious about our body lotion and skin care in the winter, I mean it.

Yes To Coconuts Dry Skin Head-To-Toe Hydrating Balm

Yes To Coconuts Dry Skin Head-To-Toe Hydrating Balm

Description: Take moisturizing to the next level with a super moisturizing balm that is for the most extreme dry and cracked skin. The Yes To line creates products that are also natural on top of everything else using natural ingredients the way they were meant to.

Look: This package looks pretty boring and unassuming. The little bronze package doesn’t look very exciting. The balm looks like margarine or maybe coconut oil. It doesn’t look very appealing.

Scent: It does have a coconut scent, but since it is a balm there is also a kind of waxy scent to it. It doesn’t have an overwhelming scent, but it is noticeable.

Feel: This is similar to coconut oil. It looks like a solid, but melts with your body heat to turn into more of an oil consistency when you apply it to your skin. Because of that, we agree that you should use it on only your most dry parts. It can be a bit greasy and oily for the rest of your body. It feels amazing on my feet. I can just slip my socks on after applying to keep the moisture close.

Cost: This might be the strong moisturizer that you can get for under $10. I think this is an investment piece that you should always keep handy, especially in the winter.

Volition Illuminating Body Milk

Volition Illuminating Body Milk

Description: I thought this was a regular moisturizer, but this product has little particles that help to illuminate the skin with a pearly glow, leaving your skin not only moisturized, but shimmering in the light as well.

Look: This box is really pretty. The cream in the box has such a shimmery pearly shine to it. When you open the jar, the cream itself isn’t really that pretty. It’s smooth, but looks so thick and chunky.

Scent: Somehow Volition made a body milk with no scent at all. I am not joking. I can’t smell anything at all. It’s really surprising. I truly expected it to smell all light with flowers and roses because of how it looked.

Feel: In the container it feels somewhere between a paste and a gel. It’s really weird. If you can get over the strange feel, it does smooth quickly when you apply it. This milk almost completely disappears when you apply it. The shimmer quality is really subtle. It’s the adult version of those shimmer creams. It’s just a bit of a healthy glow, as opposed to a shimmer in the light. It leaves my skin feeling soft, but not really moisturized. This is definitely a luxury product, once you have an intense moisturizer worked out.

Cost: This luxe product costs $35 for one jar, but think of it more as a splurge. It’s also a great gift for the girl who has everything.

Nivea Creme

Nivea Crème

Description: This classic Crème has been around for over 100 years! I would bet that there is a whole generation of people who haven’t tried it yet. There are so many other options on the market that sometimes a classic is overlooked. Nivea’s Crème is perfect for all skin types, ages and any part of the body.

Look: The all new Nivea Crème now comes in a blue tin that feels really iconic. It’s a great look. The white cream inside looks a bit like a paste.

Scent: Nivea’s cream smells more medicinal or clinical. It’s not overwhelming. When you apply it to your skin, you can’t even smell it at all. Perfect for people who are sensitive to strong smells.

Feel: This is the one cream where I feel almost instant results. My rough dry spots feel smoother without any residue left behind. Sometimes, you can’t beat a classic. Theirs is a reason Nivea has been making this product for so long.

Cost: A tin of Nivea’s Crème runs between $10 and $15, but this is kind of a household must have in my books. One tin will last a while, so it’s well worth the money.

Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Collection

I’m getting older now and it’s finally time for me to start worrying about wrinkles. I have been using anti-wrinkle creams for years, but this collection from Nivea is one of my favourites so far.

I have to disclose that the collection isn’t all new. Nivea has given their collection a new look, which helped me discover it. I tried two products in the Nivea Q10 collection.


The Day Cream is a rich, thick moisturizer that is perfect for keeping your face protected all day long. After application my skin feels dewy and it absorbs well, just leaving the powdery scent behind.


The Replenishing Pearls Serum is a cooling gel serum that also leaves my skin feeling so soft.

I like that the pair are different consistencies. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling heavy with too much moisturizer or sticky with gels. The products work perfectly in harmony. My skin, which can sometimes be prone to acne, loves this combo. I honestly can’t wait to try the rest of this line. It’s been a long time since I said that!

Spring Cleaning Face Masks Most Wanted

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet. Give your face a little TLC with these face masks that are just what you need.


Lush Cup O’ Coffee Face And Body Mask

Bring your morning coffee into the shower with you courtesy of Lush. This new Face and Body Mask is amazing for revitalizing your skin. We already knew that coffee was great for increasing blood flow in the skin, so it’s no wonder that Lush would tap into this natural product. The main component is fresh coffee grounds, which is great for exfoliating. The addition of the agave syrup is sweet and moisturizing. It really makes my face feel and look amazing. It’s a huge added bonus that it smells like my morning cup of joe.


Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask

Freshen up that face the all-natural way with this great green mask from Acure. The main detoxifier in this little bottle is the green clay. It helps to pull out everything from your skin and leave it feeling full refreshed. This mask dries, but it doesn’t get so tight that it pulls or dries out your skin. Thanks to the addition of argan oil in the mask, my face feels moisturized after rinsed. My face feels oh so smooth. I didn’t even need to lather on moisturizer like I do after some masks. My face felt refreshed and looked perfect.


StriVectin Oxygen Infusion Smoothing Mask

Need a face mask that is undoubtedly different from anything you’ve ever used before? This Strivectin Oxygen Mask is so much fun to try. The foam goes on fairly smooth, but when it touches your skin the mask activates. The mask bubbles up against your skin and you can feel the little oxygen bubbles popping. It gives you a light exfoliation that leaves your face feeling very refreshed. There’s none of the drying out that you sometimes get with intensive masks. Just nice soft skin!

The Estee Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water PackThe Estée Edit by Estée Lauder Pink Peony Overnight Water Mask

If you love masks but hate waiting, an overnight mask might be a good idea. The Pink Peony Overnight Water Mask does everything you want a moisturizing mask to do. It soaks into your skin really quickly but instead of waiting ten minutes to take it off, you go to sleep and wake up with soft, hydrated glowing skin. It has pink peony to soothe your skin and a goji berry, blueberry, cranberry and hyaluronic acid combination gives your skin energy and a long lasting boost of moisture. It also smells as great as it works. Why do the work when you can get results from just sleeping?

Erborian Korean Skin Therapy


Erborian Skin Therapy straight from Asia is a passion project of two Korean women. They sought out traditions and natural products from around the world and combined them with Korean tradition to make a line of products. Right now Erborian is made up all of skin care products that can be discovered by ingredient or routine.

If you’ve never tried any products from Korea, you don’t know what you are missing. Korean women take their skin care very seriously. Their products are innovative and cutting edge. A huge portion of the trends that we get here start in Korea, because they are always thinking up the next big thing.


Erborian products are beautifully light on the skin. I tried a few different products and all of them were soft on my skin. Even the exfoliators are oh so gentle.  For cleansing, I tried the Cream and Cream Scrub, both which include seven herbs of Korea.

For a deeper clean and moisturizing, I tried the Bamboo Waterlock Mask. I had no idea that bamboo was so moisturizing, but this gel mask is soft and gentle.

Erborian Korean Skin Therapy bb creme

As a last step I used the BB Cream with ginseng. Unlike so many BB creams, this one feels like it really cares about your skin. It is skin care first and makeup second. It leaves you with smooth skin with a touch of colour to help even out the skin tone.

If you want to try something innovative and new give Erborian a look, you are sure to be pleasantly surprised.

Acne Skin Care Tips From Neutrogena

If you are suffering from acne, it can be tricky to know which products are helping your skin and which are only making your skin condition worse. To get the fact, we turned to Neutrogena expert, Toronto dermatologist, Dr. Paul Cohen. Get ready to take notes and hit the stores to stock up!

NEUTROGENA Oil-Free Acne Wash

Q: When choosing skin care lines, are there ingredients that people with acne should look for?

A: It really depends on your skin type and on the severity of your acne. Most people who get acne will develop mild acne and this can usually be treated with OTC (over-the-counter) medications. OTC medications can be bought at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription and they are usually applied to the skin (e.g. topical medicines that most commonly contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid).

Benzoyl Peroxide helps kill bacteria and slows down your glands’ production of oil, and is a very commonly used antibiotic agent found in acne treatments. While benzoyl peroxide is a topical antibiotic, it is not something to which we can develop a resistance. Although Benzoyl peroxide can be very drying to sensitive skin types, it’s usually well-tolerated; however, the main downside is it can bleach clothing, pillow cases, sheet, towels, etc. and I usually like to warn my patients in advance of this.

Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory topical acne treatment derived from aspirin. Salicylic acid is good for cleaning the skin, and takes excess oil off when used for cleansing. It is good for the face and body too – especially since it doesn’t bleach clothing or towels. It can be drying and slightly irritating for people with sensitive skin, particularly people who have a condition like rosacea. I recommend the NEUTROGENA® Oil-Free Acne Wash for the face and body (it comes in a body wash that is great for the chest and back). The Pink Grapefruit version is great.

If your acne is more severe, you should see a derm. You should visit a derm when traditional over the counter products aren’t working, and when all of the “best practices” are being taken into account (wearing oil-free makeup, practicing proper hygiene, etc.) – but you are still having issues with acne flare-ups. Prescription medications for acne come in many forms, such as creams, lotions, etc. – and your dermatologist will decide what is best for you. You may be prescribed an oral or topical antibiotic for inflammation, or birth control pills if it’s hormonal.

Q: Are there ingredients that they should avoid?

A: For some acne-sufferers, it can be helpful to avoid oil-based makeups, moisturizing creams or lotions, as these contain oil, which can speed up the blocking of your pores.  Always look for products that are non-comedogenic, which will not block pores.

Q: There are many different types of skin care products (creams, foams, gels). Is there a type of skin care product people should use?

A: Look for oil-free, non-comedogenic skincare products. People with acne-prone skin tend to have oilier skin and tend to do better with gel-based products and more watery formulas, versus thick, rich creams. Gel-based products and foaming cleansers tend to have more alcohol in them, helping with drying the oil build-up in pores.

NEUTROGENA Oil-free Moisture SPF 15

Q: What are the top products someone with acne should use regularly?

A: A mild cleanser, a light and oil-free moisturizer. NEUTROGENA Oil-free Moisture SPF 15 is one of my favourites. Sunscreen – the sun can aggravate acne-prone skin – use sunscreen regularly. For acne-prone skin, look for oil-free sunscreens with a light, watery and fluid formula. One of my favourites is the NEUTROGENA ULTRA SHEER WATER-LIGHT Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 60. I would say to avoid clogged pores that lead to break outs, consistency is most important. I would also recommend a gel based or spray sunscreen that has alcohol and works well on more oily skin types.

Waxing Tips & Most Wanted Products From WAXON


With the winter chill here, we are sure that many people are heading south to find the sun, heat and the beach. To prep for bathing suit weather, we expect that you will be hitting a salon, like WAXON to clean up. We chatted with WAXON’s founder Lexi Miles for tips on all of your waxing so that you can be smooth and ready.

Q: What are the steps to prepping the skin/hair before you go for your wax?

Exfoliation is key! Exfoliating before getting a wax will help prep your skin and hair for your wax services. It helps release ingrown hairs from under the skin’s surface and leaves the skin renewed, which will help you to achieve a flawless wax experience!

Trim your hair if it is too long to ease discomfort when the wax strip is removed. The ideal hair length is ¼ of an inch (the length of a grain of rice) or for any of you who haven’t yet converted to waxing (p.s. now is the time) 12 – 14 days after shaving. However, we do have Lycon Stripless Hot Wax that removes hair as short as 2mm, for emergency wax situations! It happens sometimes, we know.

Q: Is there anything different that you should do depending on where you are getting waxed? Specific tricks before a Brazilian, legs, brows, etc?

As always, exfoliating before getting any waxing services will help prep the hair to be removed. Hydrated skin results in a better more flawless wax, so keep your skin well hydrated especially leading up to your waxing appointment. For a Brazilian, trimming the hair if it is too long will ease pain during a wax service as there won’t be a pull when removing the wax strip. At WAXON we also have numbing creams available that are applied 20 – 30 min before your service, used for primarily below the belt services. BareEase numbing cream for Women, and Numb Nuts for Men, and YES – it does exactly what it says. No pain, no problem!

For WOW Brows, the golden rule is DON’T touch them! Leave it to the professionals – if it’s your first time then the more hair to work with the better!

Q: What is the proper way to exfoliate between waxes to stop ingrown hairs?

Exfoliating at least 2 – 3 times per week in the opposite direction of hair growth to slough off dead skin cells and help prevent ingrown hairs.

HOT TIP: For best results, we recommend WAXON Loofah Scrub ($10) for below the belt exfoliating and ‘On the Rocks’ Body Scrub ($29) for full body exfoliation.

The very best product to eliminate and prevent ingrown hair from coming back in the future…the Oprah favourite PrinceReigns Ingrown hair serum. Use daily post shower to get rid of those pesky ingrown hairs and prevent them from coming back in the future!

Waxing frequently is key! Waxing every 4-5 weeks helps prevent ingrown hairs. When the hairs are shorter and are on the same growth cycle it reduces the pull during a wax service which in turn can cause ingrown hairs

Q: What are your top products for caring for your freshly waxed skin? 

WAXON’s Skin Quenching Body Oil; BodyShot is a 100% Natural go-to post wax product. Not only does it make your body look look and feel fabulous, it’s ultra-hydrating, containing ingredients like coconut oil, avocado oil and arnica, which helps remove heat from the skin post wax.

BIG News – you no longer have to schedule your day around the dreaded post-brow wax redness! At WAXON we complete every brow service by applying Priori Mineral Makeup. Priori is a medical mineral makeup that actually has beneficial ingredients that improve the skin while you wear it while reducing and concealing any redness caused by waxing or threading without clogging pores. Receive your Priori touch up, followed by a brow fill in by our Brow Experts using WAXON’s WOW BROW DUO and you are ready to hit the town!

Yes, there is one more! At WAXON, we complete our 5-step wax process by renewing the skin post-wax by applying our soothing Prince Reigns Ingrown Hair Serum. Exclusively sold at WAXON, Prince Reigns contains aloe, chamomile and lavender that helps calm the skin post while reducing the chance of ingrown hairs.

Skin Saving Acne Tips From Neutrogena

There is almost nothing worse than acne. It doesn’t matter if you suffer from regular acne or just the occasional breakout, it’s the worst. There are hundreds of products promising to give you beautiful clear skin, but it seems impossible to know what to trust. To take the guesswork out of preventing acne, we turned to Neutrogena and their expert, Toronto dermatologist, Dr. Paul Cohen.

Q: There are a lot of rumours and tales on what causes acne, but what are the actual most common causes of acne?

A: There are many different factors that can cause acne – hormones, genetics, bacteria, poor skin barrier function. Recent research also says diet can even have an impact. It’s a multi-factorial skin condition. Acne is primarily a hormonal condition driven by male hormones. Sensitivity to such hormones, combined with bacteria on the skin, and fatty acids within oil glands, cause acne. Simply explained – skin cells, sebum and hair can clump together into a plug in your pores; this plug gets infected with bacteria, resulting in a swelling. A pimple starts to develop when the plug begins to break down. Sometimes, p. acnes, the bacteria that live on our skin, also gets inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect environment for multiplying very quickly and the pore becomes red and swollen. If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule can appear. Common sites for acne are the face, chest, shoulders, and back — the sites of oil glands. Up to 90% of people will suffer from acne at some point within their lifetime.

Q: Outside of skincare, are there lifestyle changes that people with acne should take?

A: I would say diet is important. The thoughts on this connection have really changed over the years. In the past, we were told that we should stay away from chocolate to avoid acne. Then that connection was disproved and the school of thought changed, saying food was not a factor. Now, we know that diet does affect breakouts from recent research. Specifically milk and dairy products, especially in women, have been recently proven to have a direct correlation. High sugar levels have also been noted as a factor, as they cause insulin levels to spike and cause a shift in hormones to regulate, and also foods with high-glycemic content.

Q: Are there different ways to treat different types of acne?

A: There are different types of pimples but they all start with plugged-up pores. Different medications or treatments may be used to treat the different types of acne, but all in all, it all starts the same. I tell all of my patients that using proper hygiene and the right treatment for your skin should help your skin.

Proper hygiene for acne-prone skin includes washing your face about twice each day. Use a mild soap made especially for people with acne, and warm water. Do not scrub the skin. Don’t try to burst the pimples. You may push the infection further down, causing more blocking and worse swelling and redness. Popping pimples makes scarring more likely. I also ask them to try to refrain from touching their face with their hands – it spreads dirt and bacteria that can aggravate acne.

Q: Moving into winter, are there any changes that people with acne should make to their skincare routine?

A: Alter your skincare routine for the cold weather – your skin changes with the seasons, so your skincare routine should as well! Use a milder cleanser, I usually recommend a liquid cleanser. Cleansers containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be particularly drying, especially if you are using them in conjunction with other acne treatment products. You can go back to an acne-fighting cleanser once your skin doesn’t feel as dry. Instead, try using a gentle foaming cleanser.

If your skin is feeling very dry, you may want to scale back use of your acne creams and treatments. Try using your treatment products every other day until the dryness and flaking lessens.

Regular use of a moisturizer is important, even for those with acne. Remember, nearly all acne treatment products dry the skin to some extent. Choose a moisturizing gel or lotion because they are lighter than products labeled cream. Whatever moisturizer you choose, be sure it is marked non-comedogenic and oil-free.

Stay tuned for next week when we talk to Dr. Cohen about what you should look for in your cleanser to fight acne!