Blog Archives

Terrific Toner: Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion

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Clarify and disinfect with Mario Badescu’s Special Cucumber Lotion. This refreshing, deep-cleaning astringent is an anti-bacterial solution that will help to disinfect skin and discourage acne flare-ups. Though this description sounds harsh – it is nothing but soothing and gentle.

I hate the word astringent. It reminds me of products like Sea Breeze – that we used to basically burn acne off the skin. The Special Cucumber Lotion is considered an astringent, but I use it as a toner. Though it does contain alcohol and sulfur – it has never been overly drying. Despite the alcohol ingredient – it doesn’t burn or tingle when applied. It feels super soothing and nourishing and makes the skin feel clean … really clean.

I like to use this product when the seasons change. The weather gets a bit warmer and my skin acts confused. Unable to embrace any skin type – combination, oily, dry or acne-prone. I believe this product calms and soothes my skin back to normal.

Ask for sample of the Special Cucumber Lotion to see if it works for you.

Dazzling Duo: Philip B. Oud Royal Forever Shine

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Philip B.’s revolutionary duo, Oud Royal Forever Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, is designed to help infuse more life into dull, dry, and limp locks. It’s MegaBounce technology uses nano molecules which are small enough to actually penetrate the hair and moisturize each strand from the inside out. After a single use, hair is bouncier, smoother, sleeker, and shinier.

Agarwood Oil, also known as Oud oil, Aloeswood oil, and many other names depending on location, is an extremely rare and precious natural oil obtained from several species of Agarwood trees. It originates in North Eastern India, Bhutan and parts of South East Asia. Agarwood has a very long history of medicinal use, as a valuable component of incense, and aromatic oil. The fragrance is complex, deep and woodsy, and is highly prized as an incense in Japan and as an oil in the Middle East.

INSTANT, DRAMATIC RESULTS:

  • An intensive hydrating complex treated with high-vapor energy – a new, patent-pending technology that breaks botanical oils into molecules tiny enough to sink deep inside the hair shaft.
  • Time-released botanical delivery system (made with natural Safflower Oleosomes) for major volume and a lustrous shine that goes on and on.
  • L-Amino Acids revive parched strands & tame frizz without weight.
  • Sweet Blue Lupine Peptides for superior color protection.
  • Pure Oud Essence for a rich, warm, sweet-woody scent.
  • Sulfate-free shampoo cleansing base with a rich luxurious lather for gentle and effective cleaning.
  • Safe for color-treated or straightened hair. 

Philip B. Oud Royal Forever Shine shampoo and conditioner create a luxurious and aromatic shower experience. The formula looks like liquid gold and reflects in the hair creating a luminous shine. The shampoo is sulphate and sodium chloride free which is highly recommended for colored and/or damaged hair. It does not lather like most shampoos but leaves hair exceptionally clean. Just one use will make a remarkable difference in the overall look and feel of your hair. Literally just wash, condition, rinse and style. No other products needed. You will be left with bouncier, glossier and voluminous hair that lasts for days.

Pint-Sized Palette: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

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Launching in the US tomorrow, November 29th, is the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. This pint-sized palette features five matte shades and one demi-matte shade. Four of the six shades are new and exclusive to this palette.

Perfect for travel or on-the-go, this palette can fit in your wallet or purse. It contains six full-sized eyeshadows, which include: Venus (soft, off-white demi-matte), Foxy (very light yellow/beige matte), Walk of Shame (very light pinky nude matte), Naked 2 (rosy taupe matte), Faint (warm, dusty brown matte), and Crave (deepest, darkest brown/black matte).

Urban Decay’s matte eyeshadows are some of the best I have used. They are in no way chalky, powdery or dry but super silky, finely-milled and pigmented. They are also long-lasting and true-to-color.

Starting on November 29th the Naked Basics Palette will be available at Urban Decay, Sephora, Ulta and select Macy’s. If you love neutrals and nudes to create a subtle and dramatic definition, then you will love the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.

Gentle Giant: Tangle Teezer

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The Tangle Teezer is an innovative detangling brush, ideal for all hair types, wet and dry. What I thought might be a gimmick turned out to be the item I reach for most. This hand-held brush runs through hair effortlessly, transforming tangled hair into stress-free, style-able hair.

Ergonomically designed to fit comfortably into the palm of the hand, the Tangle Teezer’s key feature is the inclusion of individual teeth designed to glide through hair and break-down knots and tangles instantly. As a result, preventing less breakage and damage to the hair.

The Tangle Teezer is ideal for all hair types, even children. Works great on wet or dry hair and is perfect for weaves and extensions. Comes in a compact, handbag-size, bright colors and designs.

Give knots the brush-off with the Tangle Teezer.

 

Five Favorites: Lip Treatments

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The product on everybody’s lips… Lip Treatments.

Moisturizing lip conditioners are some of my favorite products. Essential for getting rid of dry, chapped lips, these treatments care and protect all-year-round. Slather them on day/night, in-flight, in-car… anytime. My current five favorites are:

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream: Full Post Review: HERE

Homeoplasmine Cream: One of my French pharmacy favorites, this multi-purpose ointment soothes, protects and moisturizes the lips/skin. The homeopathic cream was originally created to heal the nasal passages from colds, allergies, and treat skin irritations. However, it is amazing on dry lips as it literally heals them before your eyes. I love the non-greasy consistency and the natural matte finish. Great for travel, this cream will quench jet-lagged lips/skin and the aluminum casing ensures the product will last forever. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find in the US. Sorry. 

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy: Brings the healing power of First Aid Beauty’s best-selling Ultra Repair Cream to moisturize, nourish, and protect your lips. This long-lasting, petroleum-free and paraben-free formula will prevent dryness and heal parched lips. On its own, it has a subtle, semi-matte finish. Use this healthy lip balm under lipstick to keep lips hydrated, smooth and soft.

Eco Lips Renew Rejuvenating Lip Balm: Formulated with argan oil, vitamin E and antioxidants this lip balm aids in cell renewal and anti-aging. The organic lip conditioner improves skin texture almost immediately and the petroleum-free formula locks in moisture. The bold Orange Spice flavor is a treat on the lips and kind of addicting.

NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm: – Used by many makeup artists as a lip prep, this soothing lip conditioner soaks into lips and dries perfectly matte. The richly concentrated balm contains honey, plant oils, shea butter and grapefruit essence to help nourish, repair, soothe and protect the lips. The incredibly creamy, smooth texture glides on the lips effortlessly and smells of sweet citrus.

Tried & Tested: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

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The newest BB Cream to hit our counters is Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35. Exclusive to Nordstroms, the formula combines moisturizer, skincare, foundation and SPF into one.

Features & Benefits: Water-attracting molecules boost hydration. Light-reflecting pearls brighten dull skin. Botanical extracts and caffeine reduce discoloration and redness. Pore-reducing peptides minimize fine lines. Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and antioxidants fend off future damage.

Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream SPF 35 is available in five shades: Extra Light, Fair, Light, Medium and Medium to Dark. I was certainly intrigued by this, due to the fact that Bobbi Brown Cosmetics are primarily yellow-based shades. Many BB Cream (especially asian brands) are based on cooler-tones, such as pinks and greys.

As I sampled the different shades, I was persuaded by a sweet Bobbi Brown representative to try the darkest shade, Medium to Dark. This shade looks quite dark, almost bronzer-like. But, I took her advice and purchased.

APPLICATION: Smooth and easy to apply. Goes on quite dry, but feels nice and extremely light on the skin. (Unless you have very oily skin, a moisturizer is needed in addition to this BB Cream.)

COVERAGE: Sheer.

FINISH: Skin appears matte with a subtle sheen. Very healthy-looking. However, like most BB Creams, after a couple hours the oils will come-out and skin will look too glowing. A finishing powder is recommended.

COLOR: Initial application, the color appeared too dark. Let dry and after a couple minutes, the color adapts to the skin and the color is perfect. It might be a smidgen too dark – but I am loving the subtle-tan look for summer.

VERDICT: Like many of the US BB Creams, this is much like a tinted moisturizer. But, I love the finish it leaves on the skin and the feeling is remarkably lightweight. For a high-SPF product, this cream wears like you have nothing on. The shade choices are great and warm-up the complexion beautifully. Leaves skin looking fresh and healthy. A great option for the summer months – SPF, lightweight, easy.

(When testing these BB Creams, before deciding on a shade, I suggest waiting at least 5 minutes for the color to oxidize and adapt to your skin tone.)

For other BB Cream reviews:

Dior Hydra Life BB Cream

Boscia BB Cream

Healthy Skin from Within: Nordic Naturals Complete Omega – 3.6.9

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There are a million reasons to take an omega-3 supplement everyday. One of the many is that EFAs or essential fatty acids control a large number of cellular processes in the body that directly relate to the health of your skin, hair and nails. Before I get to that, let’s look at the numerous benefits of fish oil.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are considered “essential fats” because they are required for optimal health but cannot be produced by the body. EFAs can be found in fish, flaxseeds, walnuts and canola. Fish oil supplies the most beneficial omega-3s, which are: EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Eating actual fish (mostly oily, cold water fish like salmon, tuna, herring and sardines) is the best food source of EPA and DHA, but due to concerns about toxins such as mercury, a fish oil supplement is the safest source.

OMEGA-3:  EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)

*Healthy heart and body*

  • Maintains a healthy heart and circulatory system
  • Enhances joint flexibility and movement
  • Promotes healthy immune function
  • Supports optimal metabolism and body composition
  • Promotes balanced blood sugar levels
  • Supports the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response

OMEGA-3:  DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)

*Healthy mood, mind and memory*

  • Supports learning and memory
  • Promotes positive mood and well-being
  • Supports and protects the brain, eyes, nervous and immune systems
  • Essential for the proper development of infants and children
  • Recommended by physicians for pregnant and lactating women

OMEGA-6:  GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid)

*Healthy skin, hair and hormones*

  • Nourishes hair and skin
  • Supports healthy joints
  • Enhances Hormonal Balance
  • Maintains optimal body fat metabolism
  • Supports positive mood
  • Supports a regular menstrual cycle

OMEGA-9:  OA (Oleic Acid)

*Healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels*

  • Naturally occurs in fish oil
  • A “good for you: omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid
  • Supports healthy blood vessel function
  • Promotes healthy cell membrane structure

Healthy Skin from Within:

Our skin cells need plenty of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Without these, our skin can become dry, dull, prone to premature aging and even inflamed. There are two key essential fatty acids that your skin and hair will love. Since your body doesn’t manufacture them, they must be sourced through food and/or supplements.

Omega-3s in fish oil have been shown to:

  • Keep the skin hydrated thus helping to prevent dry skin and other skin conditions
  • Help soothe scaly, rough skin by reducing unnecessary inflammation
  • Improve blood flow and support the elasticity of red blood cells thereby providing more oxygen to nourish the skin
  • Encourage the production of strong collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis making skin look younger by reducing wrinkling and sagging

GLA is an Omega-6 fatty acid that occurs naturally in evening primrose and borage oils and has shown to:

  • Relieve dry skin
  • Reduce hair loss
  • Provide relief for eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis

Your skin is the largest organ in the body and allows approximately 60% of “what goes on it, to go inside it”. Anything that increases the body’s ability to maintain integrity in our highly polluted world is a plus for your beauty routine.

Nordic Naturals is the leading manufacturer of fish oil in the United States. They are committed to delivering the world’s safest, most effective omega oils. The Complete Omega – 3.6.9 is an omega-rich blend that contains all the needed ingredients to support heart health, brain function, positive mood, healthy joints, as well as healthy hair, skin and nails. It has a fresh lemon taste that ensures no fishy smell, taste or aftertaste and all research is based on third-party test results – resulting in an honest and pure product. You will not find a better fish oil than Nordic Naturals.

Drugstore’s Finest: CeraVe

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Recommended by dermatologists everywhere, the CeraVe line of skincare products are all non-irritating, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. Better yet, they are all available at a drugstore near you.

The CeraVe line was created in conjunction with dermatologists and was intended for use in the treatment of dry skin and other conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. CeraVe is the first brand to contain essential ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids that healthy skin needs. CeraVe uses a patented “multivescular emulsion” or MVE® system that was only available through prescription not long ago. This system consists of a controlled and steady release of various ingredients over time allowing skin to be hydrated longer and more efficiently with one application. The daily regimen of cleansers and moisturizers helps repair, replenish and protect the skin’s barrier to leave it looking and feeling soft, clean and healthy.

The CeraVe line of skincare products are drugstore’s finest. Here is a review of the first few products I have tried and tested:

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser: Gentle yet powerful, this cleanser removes makeup, dirt and oil like a champ. It leaves the face feeling soft and clean, not stripped or dry. It contains the brand’s signature ceramides and hyaluronic acid – two ingredients that help lock in moisture so your skin will never feel tight or dry.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30: A great daytime moisturizer that feels light on the skin but wards off UVA/UVB rays with it’s standout broad-spectrum sunscreen. It keeps skin hydrated and restores the skin’s barrier with Niacinaminde (vitamin B3) making it less vulnerable to the elements.

CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion: This body lotion does it all – exfoliates, smoothes and softens. Skin can only be truly hydrated when the top layer of dead skin cells are removed. This allows moisturizing ingredients to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. The Renewing Lotion does all of this for you. Formulated with both salicylic acid (used for epidermal exfoliation) and ammonium lactate (a mild exfoliant and humectant) this lotion gently removes dry, scaly skin. While, vitamin D, glycerin, ceramides and hyaluronic acid smooths, firms and hydrates the skin.

CeraVe, in my opinion, is the best affordable line of skincare products. All of the products are gentle, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, non-irritating and readily available at mass retailers and drugstores nationwide.

Festival Beauty Essentials

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Be prepared for hot and sticky situations with Glow-T’s Festival Beauty Essentials:

Tory Burch Double Zip Train Case: A great travel case with cool ikat design.

Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipes SPF 30 (21 count): These sunscreen wipes are individually packed, perfect for throwing in your bag. The pre-moistened towelettes are formulated to calm and soothe the skin while providing complete UV protection. Great for sensitive skin, these wipes can be used all over the body.

Coola SPF 30 Unscented Matte Finish Tint: This lightly tinted moisturizer delivers broad spectrum SPF 30 protection. Infused with antioxidants, shea butter, plankton, borage seed oil and evening primrose extract, this lotion will rejuvinate, hydrate and protect. The water-resistant formula and matte finish is great for long days in the sun.

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25: My favorite lip balm to date, this product is incrediably soothing and moisturizing – provides SPF 25 and lasts. Enriched with superior skin conditioners and antioxidants, this emollient balm relieves dry, chapped and irritated lips.

Donna Karen Cashmere Mist Deodorant: Keep dry and odor-free with Donna Karen’s Cashmere Mist Deodorant. Delicately scented with perfume, this advanced formula controls wetness and perspiration.

CleanWell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Spray: Thousands of people and porta-potties… hand sanitizer is a must. This all-natural formula is made with thyme oil that kills all germs and the portable spray makes it easy to carry everywhere.

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo (Travel Size): Extend time between washes with a dry shampoo. This gentle formula smells nice and absorbs oil and dirt – an instant refresher. Infused with oat milk, it also nourishes the hair while creating volume and texture.

Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes: Remove makeup, dirt and oil quickly with these all-natural wipes. Formulated with aloe vera, cucumber, chamomile and vitamin E, the easy-access wipes cleanse and refresh the face and body. Bonus: When purchased, these biodegradable wipes support to protect the endangered Polar Bear.

RMS Cream Eyeshadow – Solar: Perfect for the desert princess, this cream eyeshadow reflects a sheer wash of gold. A great all-in-one eye product, it doubles as an eye cream to nourish and moisturize the eye area.

NARS Cream Blush – Cactus Flower: The name alone implies desert beauty. This bright coral/spicy pink cream blush can be used on both the cheeks and lips. A very subtle gold shimmer leaves the skin flushed, dewy and healthy.

Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Waterproof Mascara: Waterproof mascara is a must-have. I assure you Givenchy’s will not budge or smudge. The spiked-ball wand takes a little to get used to but defines, separates and lengthens exquisitely. Tip: With your finger, smudge on the lashline for an instant liner effect that will last.

Laura Geller Balance-n-Bronze: A genius design, adding bronzer and foundation, all-in-one. The color-correcting foundation is sheer but never looks powdery. The baked bronzer is infused with layers of color to achieve the perfect sun-kissed shade. Swipe separately or swirl together to get a glowing, sun-goddess look.

Gym Gear: Lululemon Wunder Under Crop

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Bikini season is right around the corner. Getting fit for summer starts by feeling good about yourself. The best motivation technique I know of is purchasing gym clothes that make you look good.

This can be done simply by purchasing a pair of Lululemon workout pants. Yes, the cost is ridiculous but the quality is incomparable. The Wunder Under Crop is my current favorite. From the outside, they look like your run-of-the-mill workout wear. But when pulled on, they instantly hug the body and flatter the figure with ‘superhero-like’ strength.

The capri-cut and gusset-style design allows for maximum range of motion when working out. Lululemon’s custom Luon® fabric resists moisture and will keep the shape of the pants after washing (cold delicate cycle/no fabric softener/ hang to dry).

The Wunder Under Crop run a little bit small. If you live near a Lululemon store, it is worth going in and working with a sales associate. They will find the perfect pieces for your body type and lifestyle.

 

Simple Sponge: Konjac Sponge

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Konjac Sponge

Konjac is a natural food source that has been used in Japanese cuisine for over 1500 years. Ninety seven percent of Konjac is water and three percent is a dietary fiber. Rich in vitamins and minerals, the Japanese have been using Konjac sponges as beauty treatments for centuries.

The unique net like structure of the Konjac sponge, gently massages and stimulates blood flow and new growth of skin cells.  A naturally moisture-rich plant fibre in the sponge balances the acidity of the skin and leaves it extremely clean and refreshed with no need for additional cleansers or soap.

Available in diferent ranges, according to skin type, the Konjac sponge can be infused with clays and charcoal for added benefits. Pink clay has been used for tired, devitalized skin, green clay for normal to oily skin and red clay for dry and sensitive skin. Also, available in bamboo charcoal for very oily or acne-prone skin.

To use, gently massage sponge over the face and body in a circular motion. A cleansing solution can be added, but is not necessary. If added, the smallest amount is needed as the sponge will create an immense lather. Splash with warm water to reveal squeaky clean and refreshed skin.

Each sponge lasts for around one to three months and can be found at any health-food stores. Can be used on the most delicate, sensitive skin and is even recommended for newborn babies. The Konjac sponge is simple yet effective and works on every skintype.

Bronzing Oil: Terracotta Huile De Voyageur

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Terracotta Huile De Voyageur

Summer is all about healthy-looking skin. The quickest way to fake this is with Terracotta Hulle De Voyageur Nourishing Dry Oil. This luxurious bronzing oil hydrates the skin and imparts a short-term glow.

The non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula is made primarily of Argan oil to hydrate the skin. Tiny specks of gold and mother-of-pearl provide subtle color and shimmer. Skin is left nourished, smooth and luminous.

The scent is a hypnotic blend of Tiare flower that perfumes the skin of jasmine. It smells rich and exotic, coating the skin for hours.

Guerlain’s Terracotta line uses a Tan Booster technology that prolongs a tan. It also uses Roucou, a reddish-brown vegetable pigment that has been used throughout the ages to intensify color day after day.

This is a great quick-fix bronzing oil, as it washes off with simple soap and water. Tip: Let the product dry completely, as some color will transfer.

Easy Exfoliating: Origins Ginger Body Scrub

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Origins Ginger Body Scrub

Want softer, healthy-looking skin…Exfoliate!

Your body is covered by a layer of dead skin cells. No matter how often you moisturize, these creams and lotions will not be able to penetrate the epidermis of the skin without sloughing away these dead skin cells.

A body scrub is made up of granulated particles that deeply clean the skin and unclog pores. These products single-handedly remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil. They also stimulate the skin and promote blood circulation which has been used to help with cellulite and even boost immunity.

Once you have removed the barrier of dead skin cells creams and lotions will be readily absorbed by the skin.

Origins Ginger Body Scrub is made with dead sea salts and ginger zest. This invigorating scrub smells delicious and removes all traces of roughness on the skin. It also contains moisterizing properties like Macadamia Oil, Soybean Oil, Jujui Nut Oil and Sweet Almond Oil.

When using a body scrub, gently rub all over body in circular motion and rinse off. The amount of pressure used is up to you. When having a scrub procedure done at a day-spa, they use an immense amount of pressure that can be slightly painful – but totally worth it. Don’t be afraid to work up a little sweat when applying. Make sure to moisturize immediately after to reveal your new skin, healthy and glowing.

Fine Line: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

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Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Gel-based eyeliners provide the look of liquid-liner but apply with the ease and control of a gel formula.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners are my pick in this category. They are extremely pliable, long-wearing, water-resistant and are available in an array of 14 beautiful colors.

This award-winning liner feels light and silky on the skin. The texture is smooth, slippery and glides on the eyelid gracefully. This liner lasts all day, no flaking and stays put.

Like most gel-liners, packaging comes in a pot-form. This product does not dry-out as fast as others and will last a very long time because only the tiniest amount is needed. Use with any brush that you are most comfortable with. I prefer Chanel’s Pinceau 13 ultra fine eyeliner brush, it provides ultimate control and accuracy.

This product is truly in a league-of-its-own and once you have tried this eyeliner, it will seem very hard to use anything else.

Drugstore Find: Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil

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Palmers Skin Therapy Oil

Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil is a multi-purpose moisturizer that improves the appearance of scars, uneven skin tone, stretch marks, aging, dry and damaged skin.

The oil formula is non-greasy and lightweight. The oil soaks into the skin immedietly and leaves the skin with a soft glow. Skin feels instantly hydrated and incrediably soft.

When I first tried this product, my initial thought was… average moisturizer/nothing special. After a weekend baking in the sun, I used this oil twice a day and noticed my skin was incredibly hydrated, radiant and dewy. Even a couple areas where I had failed applying sunscreen, healed almost instantly.

Palmer’s products use a Cocoa Butter Formula that smells reminiscent of sweet chocolate. The fragrance is a little potent but does not last on the skin.

This is a great summer moisturizer to replenish the skin from the sun’s harsh rays. Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil is an inexpensive option for healthy skin.

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