Facial Pads

Facial Pads Round Up

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I’ve been talking about the benefits of toners for quite a while now. They are an integral part of my skincare routine and help to both balance the skin and prepare it to receive the subsequent treatments such as serums and moisturizers. One of the easiest ways to add in the benefits of  toner into your routine is with facial pads. There are a ton on the market now, so there is certainly something for everyone. Many are designed to help resurface the skin with mild acids, while others are designed to help treat problem skin that may struggle with acne and breakouts. I like to use both types of pads at different times depending on how my skin is feeling and acting. I typically use them after my second cleanse and follow them up with a quick spritz of a hydrating mist or toner to help give my skin a boost of moisture. Here is a quick round up of a few facial pads that I enjoy.
1. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads – I am still going strong with these as well as the Blemish Patrol Pads. These are by far the most gentle out of this bunch, and really give a delicate exfoliation while still helping to brighten, even out skin tone and refine the texture of the skin. I use them both morning and night after my second cleanse, and they feel wonderful on the skin. No tingling or burning and they are always a safe bet for me. These are forever in my routine and as soon as I finish one tub, I already have a back up waiting.
2. Zelens Resurfacing Facial Pads – Out of the three standard peel pads from this post (First Aid Beauty and Dr. Dennis Gross), these fell in the middle in terms of strength, from my experience. They combine both alpha hydroxy acids as well as beta hydroxy acids in one formula to help target fine line/wrinkles, even out skin tone and to help reduce the appearance of pore size. I did notice however that these are the driest pads out of all four and I tend to prefer the pad be a bit more saturated. That being said, I found they worked so well on my skin that I quickly got over that small nuisance. They not only helped me with texture and the overall tone of my skin, but I found that they were suitable to use even when I had a breakout.
3. Arcona Raspberry Clarifying Pads – Outside of the First Aid Beauty Blemish Patrol Pads (which I LOVE), I have yet to try and love another facial pad product for acne or problem skin. Until now. I am already a HUGE fan of Arcona (this is my holy grail face peel and this hydrating mask is one of my top 3 of all time), so I already had a good feeling about these. Formulated with salicylic acid, witch hazel and tea tree extracts, these really help to treat current breakouts while also preventing future ones. They are incredibly saturated which I actually prefer and can give a bit of tingling to the skin, but nothing that irritates me. I don’t use these daily but rather only when my skin is acting up.
4. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads -These Alpha Beta Peel Pads quickly rose through the ranks of cult classics early on and they are still one of the gold standard for facial peel pads. Frankly, all of Dr. Dennis Gross’ peel products are top rated (I love this peel – read my review here), and after using these I can see why they are so well loved. They are a two-step treatment pad (I am just showing step 2 here, but the step 1 jar and pad looks exactly the same), that are suitable to be used daily. Amongst this group, I would say these are the strongest out of the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads and Zelens Pads, though I still find these suitable for regular use without any irritation. What I love about these pads is that in addition to the strong exfoliation they give which helps to target uneven skin tone, fine lines, wrinkles and pore size, they are also gentle enough for sensitive skin and will help to calm redness and irritation. They are like a miracle in a pad! 
*pr samples included
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The Top 3 Anti-Aging Ingredients Most Prevalent In My Skincare Routine

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I have a few standard ingredients I have in my skincare routine that I’ve found to make the most difference for my skin and figured I would share them with you today. Though so many of my favorite products have various formulations and active ingredients that make them so effective, I have three that are the most prevalent and important to my regimen. They are retinol, vitamin  C and glycolic acid.
1. Retinol – I first began experimenting with Retinol earlier this year (read that post here), and found it did wonders for my acne and regular breakouts. Though retinol is designed to help target anti-aging concerns by helping stimulate collagen production, tighten/tone skin and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, one of the additional side effects was that it helps reduce breakouts and acne. It helps remove dead skin cells which can contribute to clogged pores and blemishes. The entire Verso skincare line is formulated with a type of retinol called retinol-8, which is 8 times more effective than standard retinol, and I have been loving their Night Cream. Since it is such a strong form of retinol, I did begin with every other night or every third night to ease my skin into it. I find that when my skin is acting up or overly hormonal, this night cream helps to get it back into balance. It helps with breakouts, texture and overall tone of my skin – a true anti-aging powerhouse product!
2. Vitamin C -Vitamin C can act very similarly to Retinol in the way that it helps to target anti-aging concerns such as fine lines, dryness and wrinkles. In addition to the ways it helps reduce the signs of aging, it is also an antioxidant that can help to reduce skin damage and improve the overall tone, texture and appearance of the skin. I find that using Vitamin C in my routine helps with brightness, fading of dark spots and an overall healing of the skin. The Kate Somerville Dual Radiance Serum is formulated with both Vitamin C and omegas 3,6, 9 and 7, and is housed in two separate chambers to preserve the potency of the ingredients until it is released. Adding this into my skincare routine has made a significant difference in making my skin look very even toned – and helping to reduce any dark spot issues that often arise after a breakout subsides. It is quite a strong formula so I don’t use it every single night, but rather every other night or every third night. However when I do, I wake up the next morning and my skin is literally glowing. Project age backwards is now in full effect for 2015. 🙂
3. Glycolic Acid – As a member of the alpha-hydroxy acid family, the biggest benefit of glycolic acid is it’s ability to treat acne. It acts as an exfoliant to help break down the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, removing any of the debris that clogs pores. In addition to helping treat blemishes, glycolic acid can penetrate into the pores helping to eliminate and kill bacteria that can contribute to future breakouts, blackheads and whiteheads. Though glycolic acid is seen primarily as an acne fighting ingredient, it’s strong exfoliation properties make it perfect for helping to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. As with any of these three ingredients (Vit C, retinol and glycolic acid), using an SPF during the day is vital so be sure to add one into your routine ( I currently love this one and this one). One of my favorite ways to incorporate glycolic acid into my skincare routine is with a facial pad, such as the Radical Age Defying Exfoliating Pads. I use them after cleansing for a slight exfoliation, before continuing on to the rest of my routine. I find that not only do my subsequent serums and moisturizers work better, it helps me keep breakouts away, minimize the appearance of pores and deal with any congestion my skin may be suffering from at the time.

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