Yes, I just reviewed a sleeping mask, but hear me out – this is a very different mask, and honestly, one I prefer / find more effective. I absolutely LOVE this mask. In fact, it’s on my face right now, ready to kick in when I sleep.

Product: Dr.Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask
Rating: 5.0/5.0
Use: Hydrating / moisturizing sleeping mask
Quick Thoughts: An amazingly gentle and effecting hydrating mask

I rave about this mask to all of my friends. It a nutshell, it’s gentle, deeply hydrating, soothing, and calming. Best of all, my skin feels completely renewed and glow-y in the morning. Whenever I feel dry (such as when my face actually stings when I apply lotion), I always turn to this mask. Unlike the Korres sleeping mask, my skin immediately feels this mask’s calming effect when applied.

It’s an opaque gel that comes out of a pump. The gel feels cool to the touch, and it’s very easy to apply. It absorbs quickly – I don’t feel the need to wait a bit before hitting the pillow (although, directions say to wait 10 minutes before sleeping. This actually gives the perfect opportunity for late night emails or blogging!). This gel is to be applied after the normal nighttime skincare routine. At first I was a bit skeptical – I had done this mistakenly with the Korres sleeping mask with not-so-nice results, but since this was what the directions dictated, I gave it a try. I applied the simple version of my routine (just a serum + moisturizer) to avoid too much product on my skin at night, then followed up with a thin layer of this Dr.Jart+ sleeping mask. This gel did not irritate my skin at all.

The effects of this gel are amazing! Redness was gone; my skin was hydrated and stayed that way the whole day; my skin had a glow to it; any traces of budding eczema patches disappeared; and my skin felt so soft! I had a hard time trying not to touch my skin due to how soft it was (please don’t do this – avoid touching your face at all costs during the day. There’s no telling what’s on your hands).

To sum it up, I’d highly recommend this product to anyone with dry, red, sensitive skin. especially with winter coming up, this sleeping product will go a long way to preventing dry skin or eczema!

 

If you’re a greek yogurt fan, like me, then you’ll love this mask. Korres uses the proteins, minerals, and vitamins natural in greek yogurt to sooth skin. With my sensitive and eczema prone skin, I’m always looking for natural products formulated without parabens and sulfates. I received a sample for the Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C mask, but the smell was a bit too intense. It worked well, but I wanted to try the greek yogurt “flavor”.

Product: Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Use: Moisturizing / nourishing sleeping mask
Quick Thoughts: A wonderful overnight that refreshens, soothes, and moistures

It’s a rather oily cream. I made the mistake of applying too much and woke up with a heavy feeling on my skin. I washed that off. The second time I used it, I only applied the Caudalie Vinosource SOS serum before applying a very thin layer of this Korres sleeping facial. It worked wonderfully! When I woke up, my skin felt comfortable and moisturized. I couldn’t actually tell if my face was brighter, but my skin felt soothed and hydrated. This effect actually lasted for a couple of days – perfect for the upcoming chilly days.

It’s incredibly gentle. If my face is particularly dry (and thus the need to use an extra boost of hydration), applying it may sting a bit, but by the morning my skin is renewed and hydrated. I have not felt any irritation or eczema forming because of this product. For anyone looking for a gentle, moisturizing mask, this is it! Because it’s an overnight sleeping mask, it’s also very convenient to use. Simply apply and then go to sleep. There’s no need to wash it off after an interval of time!

Like I mentioned before, don’t put too much on – it is oily, and I only need a tiny bit to apply over my face. I am looking forward to using this continuously (probably 2-3 times a week), and seeing how effective it is during the dry winter days.

 

Maintaining control of your eczema isn’t limited to which products you use. Habits such as diets, clothing, and general hygiene can also contribute to flare-ups of eczema. Over the years, I’ve discovered some tips that helped alleviate eczema patches.

1) Food: eat healthy. This goes without saying, but I’ll put it down in words. This is not as specific to eczema, but for skincare in general. Greasy foods such as chips, hamburgers, fries, fried chicken, etc.. will affect your skin. I can only attest to my skin type (dry): when I eat greasy unhealthy foods, I tend to breakout and my skin gets even drier! Whenever I indulge in a hamburger or extremely cheesy foods, I notice more itching and more acne.

2) Drink LOTS of water. This is another “of course!” tip. I think anyone who is interested in maintaining their skin’s health understand how important this is. Drink lots and lots of water.

3) Allergies: Stay away from foods or products that contain the substance you are allergic to. I learned this the hard way. That experience made me doubly aware of ingredients of foods or products.

4) Remove sources of skin irritation: take lukewarm showers. Don’t blast yourself with steaming hot water (as good as that may feel). Instead, treat your skin gently with hypoallergenic soap, lukewarm water, and a gentle exfoliant. Instead of scrubbing your skin to dry off, use a towel and pat dry. Wear soft materials and avoid scratchy ones. I have a fabulous knit sweater that I can’t wear anymore because the material irritates my skin too much.

5) Avoid sudden changes in temperature. I didn’t figure this out until I spent a summer interning in Shanghai. The numerous thresholds of humidity versus heavily air conditioned environments wrecked havoc on my skin.

6) Trim your nails constantly. At least for me, itching has become second nature. My fiancé constantly points it out and forces me to be aware of what I’m doing. One way I cope with this is to keep my nails short. I also play the harp, so that forces me to keep them short as well!!!

7) This is personal and beauty-product related… but this has been such a help that I have to put this on. To cope with facial eczema, use Clarisonic! Using it consistently for the past 3 years made a tremendous and visible improvement on my skin. I don’t feel the need to scrub my face anymore. Clarisonic is gentle and thorough in cleansing my skin.

 

Alright, who has heard of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse? When I was in Paris this past summer, one of my must-vists was the pharmacy. French pharmacies are famous for their fabulous selection of skincare products. From La Roche-Posay to Caudalie, there are products any beauty enthusiast would love to peruse. I picked up a pretty glass bottle of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. It is a dry oil that can be applied to skin or hair. It is wildly popular and I wanted to give it a try.

I started applying this to my body after I showered. With my skin a little bit damp, I would start spraying and spreading the oil to cover my skin, especially my dry eczema patches. Later that day, I felt itchier than I had in months. As I had just returned from Europe, I thought it was a side effect of travel fatigue. However, I continued to use the product and my skin continued to become drier and itchier. In fact, my fiancé noticed. That’s when I decided to discontinue my usage of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. I was disappointed. I really wanted to like this product. It has a great scent, too.

HOWEVER, I did a little research, and I discovered that the essential oils used included macadamia seed oil, hazelnut oil, and almond oil. Well, duh!! I have a tree nut food allergy. It’s mild, but I am allergic to tree nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, etc). I cannot believe I did not check the ingredients. Of course my skin reacted! This isn’t really a case of sensitive skin or eczema – this applies to everyone. Please, please, check the ingredients. This is a mistake I will not make again. After applying Aveeno’s eczema therapy lotion for a couple days, my skin returned to normal.

Product:  Midnight Recovery Concentrate 
Rating: 
5.0/5.0
Use: before moisturizer at night
Quick Thoughts: great smell, light, long lasting, and most of all, very effective!

I love this product. I will recommend it without hesitation. I’ve actually been using this for about two years, and it’s helped control my eczema tremendously. It’s a staple in my nighttime regime.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a lightweight oil that works with the skin’s natural recovery process during sleep. The common phrase “beauty sleep” is actually exemplified by this product! Kiehl’s boasts that it is a repair treatment. I was a bit hesitant to try it at first because of its texture (very runny oil), but I actually only needed 2-3 drops to cover my entire face! For those concerned with the fact that it is an oil – don’t worry. The oil seeps right in, and the scent is very subtle. Sleeping with or without moisturizer over it causes no problems. I can treat it as a moisturizer if I wanted to, but due to my very dry skin, I do need to apply night cream over this serum.

This product is very effective. From the first time I used it, I noticed a marked improvement on the condition of my skin. My skin glowed. As a 22 year old, I cannot attest to its effect on wrinkles, but my skin felt completely rejuvenated. I felt fresh, clean, and best of all, hydrated when I woke up (no tightness or irritation). This serum is a very gentle product. Since then, I’ve been using 2 drops every night after cleansing. It truly is an important step in my night time skincare routine. I would highly recommend this to those affected with eczema or sensitive skin.

 

Before we get into the review… I’m back! Quick updates: I’ve road-tripped across the country via  Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park, scrambled around the Lombardy region of Italy, and braved my way from Paris to the south of France! Alex and I officially launched our wedding photography business. We also got engaged (and thus the wedding planning starts!) and made the big move to Boston.

I started a lifestyle blog called Le Jus d’Orange, where I’m planning on blogging on food, design, wedding planning, style, and skincare as well. I will be starting a Sunday Skincare weekly post on Le Jus d’Orange, but due to the # of followers I have here, I decided to keep this blog going as well, a specific blog that will essentially have the same information.

Product: Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum
Rating: 
4.5/5.0
Use: serum before moisturizer for morning and night
Quick Thoughts: Light, moisturizing, and comfortable!

I bought this serum on an impulse when I was in Paris. I’d been urged by many to at least stop by a french pharmacie to peruse their beauty products. Heaven, I was promised, was within reach. Oh, the beauty products that surround you the minute you walk in! French pharmacies are nothing like those in America. They have the basics, but none of those snacks and drinks that populate the CVS’s in America. In french pharmacies, there are daily essentials, including walls and shelves of beauty products. La Roche-Posay, Caudalie, Nuxe, Avène – the list continues. Caudalie had been mentioned a couple of times during my Burgundy wine tour (something, I think, to do with the fact that one of they key ingredients in Caudalie products is grape), and I needed a new serum.

This serum is wonderful. It is possibly one of my favorite serums so far. It is made without parabens or sulfates, and after a month of use twice daily, I can say with confidence that it treats sensitive, eczema-prone skin well. Due to close to three weeks of travel in Europe, my skin’s condition was not exactly stellar. Eczema blemishes were popping up, and I wanted them gone. This serum is not only moisturizing – it’s incredibly light. It’s described as an oil-free serum, and it certainly feels like it! One pump is enough for application of my entire face and neck. It absorbs rapidly without leaving a viscous feel. I can apply my SPF or night moisturizer over the serum without any problem.

This vinosource serum from Caudalie is a solid item in my morning and night time routine. I will definitely buy this again.

Product: Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Ultra-Hydrating Body Butter
Rating: 3.5/5.0
Buy Again? Probably in the summer

I bought the Sweet Citrus option for this product. It’s a nice body butter. Let’s start off with the positives. It’s scent is quite subtle and pleasant. The feel is rich, and while it does feel greasy when applying, the butter actually absorbs quite quickly. I used it over the summer and I haven’t been noticing my dry patches as much. There’s something about this butter that applies very smoothly. My hands don’t feel sticky or greasy at all. I can shower, apply this body butter, and crawl under the covers without feeling humid or sticky. I’ve stopped using it since I came back to St Louis, though, because it’s too weak. My eczema spots are quite rough and while the butter soothes it for a bit, it does not provide long lasting hydration.

I use different moisturizers for winter and summer. Back in California, I didn’t need to do this, but St Louis’s harsh winters forced me to buy a stronger moisturizer. I tried Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, and it was nice, but it wasn’t as effective, either. I will be trying the Creme de Corps Body Butter though. Through trial and error, I’ve found that body butters are a lot more effective than lotions for harsh weather conditions.

Lotions and butters are very different. Lotions are essentially oil and water bound by an emulsifier, whereas body butter will usually include shea butter and two or more other oils. There are multiple ways to process body butter resulting in various effects in greasiness, smoothness, and moisturizing capabilities. Body butters are said to heal dry skin and moisturize at a deeper level. Lotions are said to be more of an additive layer, to add another layer of moisture. Of course, as I mention in every post, everyone’s skin is different, so try things out and see what works for you. Personally I’ve tried lotions that were more effective than some body butters I’ve had, and vice versa. It really depends on how your skin handles the product.

In this particular whipped body butter, the main ingredients are shea butter, argan oil, avocado oil, and white tea extract. As you can see from the title, argan oil is the star oil that the product is based on. Argan oil is believed to contain vitamin E and essential fatty acids. It boasts effectiveness in dehydration, inflammation, and hyper pigmentation. It seems the be the new oil of the year. I purchased a little bottle of argan oil and for awhile, I mixed a couple of drops in my face creams at night and added a couple drops through my hair after showering. It worked pretty well – my hair felt great! It added a layer of sheen and seemed to help prevent more split ends. My skin also felt better – not as noticeable as the hair, but better. However, I digress.

I like this product. I’m going to buy this again for the summer. For now, though, I need to find another effective lotion. This body butter isn’t long lasting enough for my skin during the winter.

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