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Four of our remaining wrinkle creams advertised sunscreen built in: L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Philosophy, and StriVectin. Retinoids degrade very quickly in the sunlight, losing their potency. More worryingly, the 2010 handbook of Cosmetic Dermatology Products and Procedures suggests that retinoids may release free radicals as they degrade — molecules that harm your skin rather than helping it. Because of this, the handbook concludes, “it is still recommended to avoid UV exposure when using topical retinoids” (312). Sunblock does slow retinoid degradation, according to a 2008 study, but the retinoids still degrade to some extent. Ultimately, this wasn’t a risk we felt comfortable taking. Until there’s been more extensive research on the topic, we’ve opted to skip all sunscreen-containing products.
One of the best items to invest in is a good anti-aging cream or moisturizer. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends beginning with a sunscreen and moisturizer to help offset premature skin aging. Once you find a product that works for your skin type, the AAD also advises taking advantage of its consumer hotline (check the product label) to ask questions about whether the product you’re considering is hypoallergenic and doesn’t cause acne.
Testers rated Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum best for minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Said one, "I had a very deep wrinkle between my eyes, and it's really starting to go away." Lab tests didn't show stellar wrinkle reduction with any of the serums, but the Estée Lauder proved itself a top-notch skin smoother. Echoed a panelist, "My face feels smoother, and my skin tone looks brighter. I have been wearing less blush!" If you want to spend smarter, go for the large size of our winners (the 3.3-oz. Lancôme, $150; the 3.4-oz. Estée Lauder, $160) and you'll slash the price per ounce by $44 and $18, respectively.
What causes them? Though you might hear the word “bags” used interchangeably with “dark circles” or “puffy eyes,” these distinct under-eye pouches are markedly different from either one. This structural puffiness is caused by a combination of fat herniation and skin laxity—they’re genetic and a normal sign of aging. They can appear as early as your late-20s or 30s—but apparently none of the SELFies who complained about bags actually have them, because the docs didn’t diagnose any instances of bagginess in our photos.
Now, I know there’s nothing productive about sitting around complaining about “flaws” that aren’t actually flaws. We are aware of the way we’ve internalized idealized standards of beauty—and that articles about how to “fix” them can reinforce those standards. (The irony is not lost on me as I write this very article.) And yet there we were, comparing notes about our particular eye concerns, wondering what was causing them and what we could do about them, when suddenly we realized: We don’t actually know what we’re talking about. One person said she had “puffy eyes.” Another rued the “bags” under hers. We thought we were all talking about the same thing, but maybe we weren’t. We started to wonder: What are puffy eyes versus bags versus dark circles, anyway? And which ones were we actually complaining about?
"I added it to my routine (Cetaphil wash, The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner, and Corsx Snail serum, on a weekly basis). This is the third week and I have noticed a huge diminishing in my uneven skin tone and acne scarring. I look younger and my skin glows after. It doesn’t burn like stronger peels and my skin only slightly reddens after." —Alexandra Snyder
The consistency, in my jar, is thick like pomade/defining paste for hair. This confused me since the instructions on the label say to “shake well before each use.” I’ve used it only at night since it is so thick and greasy no matter how little I used. No more than 1 hour after applying it I noticed that it becomes grainy on my skin and when I’d rub it particles would fall off like dandruff. It reminds me of how glue from a glue stick feels after it dries on your fingers and begins falling off.
Well, the Wander Beauty mascara is valued at $24 and the Model Co is actually a highlighting cream trio valued at $22. I don’t expect every box to just “get me.” There will always be hits and misses. There are no comparable boxes that provide full size high-end samples for $15. Not to mention, Allure then turns around and includes or mails out an additional full size sample often. Customer service is also speedy when ordering through Amazon. Beats the heck out of Sephora Play @ $10.
The price isn't for the faint of heart, but AmorePacific Time Response Eye Renewal Creme earned splurge-worthy status with an outstanding performance in the lab, including perfect scores for firming and hydrating. Testers ranked it best for de-puffing — "It made my eyes look brighter and less puffy," said one — and appreciated its luxurious texture and mild, pleasant scent.
"Here’s how I use this product: I place some cream (about the size of 1-2 green peas) on my index finger and dab it on my forehead, my nose, each cheek and my chin before slowly rubbing the product into my skin in a large circular motion — first clockwise, then counterclockwise. Any product that's left on my fingers goes right to the backs of my hands for some anti-aging there,” says Dr. Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
After being a long time Ipsy subscriber I will never go back! This box gave me so many full size and/or large sample sized products I am amazed that it’s only $5 more! My pouch did not come ripped like others however I do believe they could improve the quality of the bag. The booklet shows a Beauty Blender Micro Mini set should have been in the box but I received a neon pink NCLA nail polish ($16 retail) that is not mentioned in the booklet. As for the items I think this box was a good mix of genres, from hair, skincare to makeup. Over all this box is better than a lot of others!