Sunday, November 04, 2007

Take Your Baggage

Ms. New Beauty has always felt a real connection with the elderly. She loves to spend a lazy afternoon with a person of a certain age soaking up that wisdom and insight that only comes from having lived quite a long time. As a child, MNB spent almost every weekend with her grandmother, just asking questions like "Mom mom, why they do that?" and listening to the thoughtfulness of the response. The one thing that Ms. New Beauty has always loved about the elderly is the seemingly bottomless pit of platitudes that they all seem to have. Those simple sayings always make her laugh. A response to stay out past 10 met with a "ain't nothing open that late but 7-11 and legs!" will make Ms. New Beauty crack up on the spot. And, she carries the sageness of "when you see crazy walking towards you, cross the street" with her everyday. One of her favorites though is "when you put the devil out, make him take his baggage." It's so simple on its face, but much more profound after some consideration. MNB never thought this saying would relate to her skin care issues, but she's found that as a brown girl who gets a pimple that lasts for two day followed by a scar that lasts for two years, it's come in quite handy. She'd found the ways to get rid of her acne and now she's searching for the products that will get rid of the baggage those horrible blemishes left behind.

DERMAdoctor Immaculate Correction

There's been a big debate lately about the use of hydroquinone in cosmetics. One study showed that the chemical is a carcinogen and led the EU to ban its use and the FDA may be following suit. This has led to a big backlash from dermatologists claiming that people who use it in beauty products will not be applying it in levels high enough to cause cancer. The derms seem quite adamant about protecting the use of hydroquinone in over the counter skin treatments. Now, I'm nobody's doctor or scientist, so I'm not about to analyze each side for the merits of their arguments. But, it's enough for me that hydroquinone was carcinogenic under any condition. Whether a study can support it or not, I do believe that what you put on your body will eventually end up in your body. So, I spent a lot of time wandering around Sephora looking for a hydroquinone-free treatment to combat the post-acne scars that I have.

What I ended up getting is this and I've been very impressed with the results so far. The package suggests that optimal results will take 6-12 months, but I swear a pimple scar I have above my lip is getting lighter already. The day before my sister's wedding, I felt a pimple coming up so I tried to pop it in a preemptive strike. It didn't come up and look horrible on my face for the wedding, but in the days after I had a huge scab and following that, a very dark scar. Since then, I've been applying Immaculate Correction every morning and evening to the spot and it's getting lighter by the day. But, that may just be me, you definitely have to give skin lighteners at least a month or two to judge the results.

$62, available at Sephora

Bliss Sleeping Peel Liver Spot Lifter

This peel is intended for age spots and sun spots and not necessarily post-acne scars. But, I figured melanin is melanin so it should work. Wrong. This has been sitting in my medicine cabinet for months. When I first bought it, I slavishly applied it to my dark spots every night before. And, every morning I woke up and did not see one bit of progress. I don't know if there truly is a difference between dark spots caused by different skin damage, but this just did nothing for me. And, for the price, I need it to do something besides take up space in my already crowded bathroom. I also found the texture a little too runny and watery. With one pump, it became a race against time to get the serum onto my face before it all ran through my fingers and into the sink. All in all, nothing about this impressed me. Luckily, I bought it at Sephora, so I can take it back and treat myself to something else. Save your money on this one girls.

$52, available at Sephora

Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Acne Mark Fading Peel

Unlike most post-acne treatments, this is an exfoliant and not a skin lightener. This is a salicylic acid based peel that gently exfoliates your skin to leave it smoother and clearer. Over time, all that exfoliationg brings the dark spots up to the surface and then off of your face. Although the smell is a little weird to me (not bad, just weird), I really do enjoy using this on my face. It leaves my skin so soft and smooth afterwards and makes the perfect little at home skin indulgence. Plus, it really does help clear those marks up. Using this in tandem with the DERMAdoctor has left me needing less and less on the spot concealer in the morning.

About $14.99, available at drugstores.

Rx For Brown Skin Naturally Flawless Advanced Botanical Brightener

I wish I could give you a full review of this product, but I can't. And, here's why. As a Philly girl, I was so excited when this line launched at Sephora. Dr. Susan Taylor is a Philadelphia dermatologist and basically the first doctor to pay any attention to the special needs of skin of color. Before her, cosmetic companies didn't differentiate or even recognize the skin issues that are specific to women of color. She changed all that.

So, I went into the Center City Philadelphia Sephora, which I must note is about three blocks from Dr. Taylor's offices, looking for this line to try it and support. And, it was nowhere to be found. Not sold out, not out of stock, they just don't carry it. Considering that Rx for Brown Skin is a Sephora-exclusive line, Philadelphia is a city full of women with brown skin, and like I said, the store is right near Dr. Taylor's office, there's only one word that I can use to describe this situation - Travesty!!!! So, I can't review this product yet and it's all the Chestnut Street Sephora's fault. Hopefully, I'll be able to grab one in New York with no problem.

$34, available at Sephora (well, at least it's supposed to be)

Put your acne out, and get rid of its baggage too, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

And, make sure you don't forget to sign up for the M.A.C. Holiday Collection giveaway! It's too much goodness to miss.


Anonymous said...

Sephora sent me an email announcing the launch of this product. It's a bit expensive and that's why I haven't tried it yet.

Anonymous said...

as a long-time acne sufferer, i just have to share what cured/saved my skin! i started taking omega-3 fish oil pills and my skin cleared right up!
and that's after trying EVERYTHING over-the-counter and dermatologist prescribed. the only thing is, it takes about 3 months to see results. but the wait is worth it!!!
it's also helped with fading old scars :)

Divine Blackness said...

Thanks for these reviews! I definitely could use some help in the "acne scars" department! New to your blog and I'm lovin' it. You're added to my Daily Beauty Marks so I shall return!


eva-k said...

Hey Ms New Beauty,

Are you sure C-nut Street doesnt carry it? I went to their opening and it was there. I even went back a week later and there was some products there...NOT fully stocked, but they did have some. Anyway, you do not have to go all the way to NY...Cherry Hill's Sephora at the mall has the FULL line...towards the back up against the have it ALL!...Good Luck!

Ms. New Beauty said...


They must have been cleaned out when I went in last weekend. There wasn't one Rx for Brown Skin product in the whole store and the sales staff looked like they'd never heard of it before.

Beauty Banter said...

great post! i am always on the search for fading products... have you tried mama lotion? i'm slightly obsessed!

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