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The Balm: REN No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm

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Chemistry 101 dictates that “like dissolves like.” When it comes to cleansing the face, oil is better at binding to oil and dissolving it, which is why it is so often the basis of makeup removers.

Ren’s No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm uses plant-based oils to cleanse the skin. It is extremely gentle on the skin, but powerful enough to remove oil, oxidized sebum (blackheads), daily dirt, and even waterproof mascara. Infused with chamomile oil and pink violet leaf, it calms the skin and soothes redness, while rose oil relieves stress, leaving skin purified and clear.

A totally unique way to cleanse your skin, the creamy clear balm transforms into a rich milk on contact with water. As you rub the product into the skin, the emollient process begins. This gives you ample time to work on a deep-facial massage – a facialist secret and crucial component to great skin. The balm is nourishing and hydrating and leaves the skin feeling clean and supple. It comes with a muslin cloth, which works wonders to remove all traces of makeup, grease and dirt while gently exfoliating the skin at the same time.

Avoiding overly-cleansed skin is key to healthy skin – especially those with acne-prone skin. Dryness sends a signal to your skin to produce more sebum (oil), which can make skin and acne worse. The oils in REN’s No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm bind to the oil in your pores, and whisk away grime without stripping your skin.  If your cleanser leaves your face feeling tight and dry, you’ve likely been stripped!

Retinol Rival: Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum

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Solazyme is a biotechnology laboratory in San Francisco where scientists study renewable energy solutions for cars, military ships, and airplanes. During their research, the company unexpectedly stumbled onto alguronic acid, a regenerative and protective skin care compound which launched the skin care line called Algenist.

Available only in Algenist products, this bioactive compound joins other powerful antiaging active ingredients to create a powerful serum that rebuilds skin firmness while restoring elasticity.

When scientifically tested (commissioned by Algenist): Alguronic Acid demonstrated significant anti-aging properties, increasing elastin synthesis by up to 32% and cellular regeneration by up to 55%. In head to head studies, alguronic acid outperformed retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C in it’s anti-aging capabilities.

I have used the Concentrated Reconstructing Serum for over one month now, and have noticed a change in my skin. Skin tone is much brighter, skin feels extremely hydrated and my sometimes acne-prone skin has disappeared. I have not noticed a significant change in fine lines and age spots, but will continue to use. The serum feels wonderful on the skin and produces no irritation, redness, or flaking, which are common side effects produced by more traditional ingredients like retinol and vitamin C.

Scientific ‘mumbo-jumbo’ set aside, based on usage – this is a fantastic serum that keeps my skin clear, hydrated and glowing.

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