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Skin Care Secrets that Put ProActive to Shame

I‘m pretty sure the only thing more sensitive than my feelings throughout my late teens and early 20’s was my skin. If you’ve ever felt like your skin irrationally breaks out or you just get the occasional pesky blemish, I wanted to share a few skin secrets you may not have heard of in the past.

On a sidenote, ProActive does a great job marketing and paying celebs to show off their flawless skin. But it’s not effective for problematic skin and is too harsh for many skin types. For example, some celebs like Kendra Wilkinson and Jessica Simpson admitted in past interviews to using Accutane years ago to get their skin completely under control. It would be nice if companies like ProActive and BeautyMint explained that as well so people don’t have unrealistic expectations.

Jessica’s newest skinline partnership is with BeautyMint.com 
Here are a few skin care secrets I’ve discovered in the past:
1. Clearasil or Cortisone?
If you have a BIG event like a wedding, party or dance you’re preparing to enjoy and a couple days before you feel a painful pimple coming, for men and women, it’s the worst! If it’s not too bad, take the regular route using a topical product and makeup to cover it. If it’s going to be a conversation stopper and last for at least a week, make an appointment with your dermatoligist asap. In less than 10 seconds, he can inject it with a tiny dose of Cortisone which immediately reduces the redness, eliminates the pain and makes it practically disappear in a day or two.
2. Budget Friendly Facial
If you’re thinking about joining a gym in January, my best advice is to splurge on a better gym to pamper your skin and save money on facials. Plus, if you love your new gym, you’ll go more. Make sure to check your city for a gym that has a steam room and sauna. Go in the steam room for 20 minutes, relax, and then use your little Clarisonic Mia to exfoliate when you get out. You’ll be surprised how great your skin feels and looks. The best part is it’s all included for free with your gym membership so steam as much as you want. 🙂

If you live in the Bay Area, I highly recommend a Western Athletic Club membership which owns the Bay Club and San Francisco Tennis Club. They have top notch facilities.

3. The Real Deal
If you’re taking action with your skin, I recommend a facial with an esthetician. I was lucky enough to get a complimentary facial last week with Amanda at my favorite salon where I get my hair done in San Francisco called CODE. I’ve gone to different spas for facials in the city and this was by far the best and only one I’ll continue going to because ALL of their facials are customized to the client’s needs.
CODE Salon in SOMA is this spacious modern loft above Peet’s Coffee on 4th St.
(My Parking Tip– Whole Foods accross the street from CODE amazingly offers 2 hr free parking if you shop there but they don’t monitor it from what I could tell.) Parking is hard to come by in the city 🙂

CODE Salon Facial Details 
I’ve had products used in the past that felt like they were burning my skin so I explained I needed gentle, yet effective products. After cleansing my face, Amanda used a BT Micro(Biotheraputic Exfoliator) which uses little ultrasonic waves to exfoliate and penetrate products into the skin. My skin felt amazing and moisturized which is key for winter. Code Salon is full service and located in SF. You can see all services and prices here
 BeautyMint is new, but I’m not sure what to think about it yet.
4. IMPORTANT- A Good Dermatologist is Your Skin’s 2nd BFF (Sunscreen is 1st)
Just ask Jessica Simpson or millions of other women, over the counter products like ProActive just don’t cut it in some cases. Most insurance companies cover a dermatologist, but it never hurts to check even if you don’t have insurance. I highly recommend it if you’ve been meaning to and do your research to find a good one. 🙂
This new company, BeautyMint, that Jessica’s endorsing has you take a free online skin consultation, then “creates a customized” skin care system and you pay to receive their recommended products for you. I took the survey for fun and it asks very in-depth good questions, BUT I’m skeptical about this system. I think it’s fine for anyone who already has clear skin, but just like ProActive, I’m not sure it’s a good solution to treat regular breakouts or sensitive skin.
Would you try BeautyMint or did you ever use ProActive? Feel free to share any of your winter skincare secrets. 🙂
Have a great weekend!

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  1. Girlie Blogger says:

    Good tips. I love Clarisonic. It’s the best thing ever.


  2. Clara Turbay says:
  3. CottonCandyINK says:

    nice post, i need a clarisonic

  4. inmyhansonshirt says:

    Really great tips, thank you! I’ve never used ProActive or anything like that, but I know people who have that weren’t happy with the results.

  5. SassyUptownChic says:

    I tried proactive and was highly disappointed. The cleanser and toner were too harsh for my sensitive skin. I had red irritation blemishes from using it and stopped. That’s why I’m so leery of celebrity endorsements. :S When I joined an upscale gym, I used it a lot more.

  6. Great post. I’m skeptical about new companies and products as well.


  7. Kaitlin Mattingly says:

    i love skin tricks.
    will look this up more.
    jessica simpson has the most beautiful skin too

    xoxo katlin

  8. PoetessWug says:

    I’ve been using Noxzema since I was a young girl. I use it as a night cream to wash off in the morning…WONDERFUL! I use it as a base before applying makeup. It protects my skin, and my makeup washes off easily too. I’ve tried other things for my skin, but I’m in my 50s and the old ‘Nox-O-la’ has never let me down…so I stay with what works…for me.

  9. i still use proactiv i have never ending teenage skin 🙁 but it doesn’t seem to be working as well now as it use too.. i’ve been wanting to check out other beauty products but there’s so many it’s slightly overwhelming so i always revert back to proactiv.. awful right?? hahaha

  10. Great tips, I appreciate them!
    Come back soon to visit my blog, I’ll be waiting for you!!

    Cosa mi metto???

  11. alessandra nitti says:
  12. Great skin care write-up! I feel pretty lucky to have had fairly good skin throughout my life, other than having large(r) pores 🙁 Do you love your Clairisonic? I’m on the fence about getting one, everyone raves but its such an investement item I want to make sure its worth it!

  13. Iloshka Glittering says:

    Thx for this really useful post!!!

  14. People have always told me diet and sleep, both of which I manage poorly 🙁

  15. Jen @ redsolesandredwine says:

    I think this is the best facial/skin tips review I’ve seen. I’ve used ProActive and it didn’t really work and dried out my skin and definitely what helps the most is a great dermatologist. Beauty Mint and all the mints are the perfect way to get a monthly fee from everyone 🙂 It’s great to feel pampered but actually getting a skin improvement comes from a read doctor 🙂

    Red Soles and Red Wine

  16. I tried ProActive before and it helped a little bit but not like I was expecting. I really like Cetaphil for a cleanser.
    I NEED a facial so badly! Maybe I’ll get one for Christmas!

  17. Thanks Jen & I’m not a big fan of all the “subscription” companies either
    @Bobbi, I like Cetaphil too becuase it’s so mild but it doesn’t get my makeup off well
    ~About Clarisonic- I have the regular size one and it’s kinda big so I recommend the “Mia.” I use it twice a week & my skin feels better after using it. As far as I can tell the other brands that are half the price of Clarisonic would work just as well. They are all just exfoliating your face more than just washing so I don’t think you need the expensive one 🙂

  18. tiny dancer says:

    Cool post! I’m not sure if I’d try it though, I am pretty religious about using Cliniques products haha mainly cause they work so well for my skin 🙂 Thanks for sharing something new!

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for following! I really appreciate your support <3

  19. very interesting post, thanks a lot 🙂

    xoxo Daisy


  20. Great tip on going to the dermo, I never think of that… and covering up a mountain never works quite like you hope it would 🙂 I actually use Proactiv – I use it every other day… and have to admit I love it. You definitely need more moisturizer in the winter tho – it can leave your skin dry…

  22. Hi thanks so much for the lovely comment you left me and thanks so much for following me, I followed you back 🙂

  23. Great blog dear! Love the skin care tips! My skin is a nightmare, very sensite and prone to redness so I have to always moisturise it well, avoid washing all the time and wear sunscreen (by La Roche Posay, 60)!



  24. I myself suffered with bad skin for as long as I can remember. I’ve been taking Accutane for years on and off, of course consulting my dermatologist first, and it’s the only thing that helped reduce my breakouts.. I’ve used Proactive in the past at first it worked but all of a sudden did nothing for my skin, on the other hand my sister had the worst reaction since it contains benzoyl peroxide which she is allergic to.

    I never knew that injecting Cortisone could do such a difference!

    I’m loving this post thanks for sharing 🙂

    Make-up Overdose

  25. The Chic Etoile says:

    Really fantastic post…. I think that your blog is so interesting 🙂 🙂




  26. College Beauty Junkie says:

    Love the tips! I am currently having one of the worst breakouts I’ve ever had in my life and I have no idea what it’s from. Maybe it’s the stress of finals week or maybe a new product, but I’m so eager to get rid of all the little pimples cropping up.

  27. I found this post thoroughly helpful so thank you so much! These tips are great. I have really sensitive skin especially my face so I try not to use too many products. I like to keep it all natural.

    I also never had acne problems and I rarely get pimples so I’m pretty lucky. But of course, I still make sure to take care of my skin!

    I always, always moisturize every night before I sleep. 😀

    P.S. I’m glad the award made you smile! <3

    Lots of love, B
    Tweet me: Viva_La_Breee

  28. Gawgus things... says:

    I’ve just erupted in the most ginormous spot ever! It looks like a second head on my face. I’m not sure what I’m going to try at the moment, but I don’t want to prod too much in case I cause it to scar!ARGHH!

  29. What an informative post. Really useful reading.

  30. Clara Turbay says:

    Stunning blog keep doing it!

  31. Not a fan of ProActiv at all. I use Clinique products and love them. I had the Olay ProX and even did a review on it early in my blog, but I was using it too frequently. I then switched to only using it in the AM and my skin looked awesome…until the batteries died. I think I’m adding a Clarisonic to my “lust” list.

  32. I love what steam can do for my skin. It always looks so great after 15 minutes in the steam room.

  33. HauteMessinHollywood says:

    I kinda want to try BeautyMint…not going to lie.

  34. wow i have learnt many things from this post 😀

  35. Pratishtha Durga says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing. Amazing how much we don’t know about skin care. Fortunately, I have a great dermatologist, and she keeps my skin in a near decent shape.

  36. Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou says:

    Sounds like you’ve made a wonderful discovery with CODE. I like gentle for my skin, as well, (a sensitive girl, you know) and so I like to find gentle products. I’ve never tried ProActive but always wondered if it was really as good as it’s touted to be by the celebs.

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou
    This Week: “Have Yourself A Sparkly Little Christmas” with two new free Paris-inspired printable gift tags 😉

  37. thank you for such great ideas


  38. Ms. Givens says:

    Hurray for this post! I am an esthetician who let her daughter purchase ProActive and then thought better of it. Even the moisturizer at that time consisted of mostly benzoyl peroxide. It is very drying and people who use this for a life time are going to have wrinkles.
    Being balanced and getting on a routine is key to good skin.

  39. Great post! I adore my Clarisonic. I’ve had it for nearly three years, and it has really made a difference for me. It makes my skin look more “radiant” when I use it. I try to use it about three times a week with Cetaphil or Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser so it isn’t too harsh.

    A word of warning: injecting blemishes with cortisone is a great fast fix for the larger, more inflamed ones, but it can cause a small concave scar to form there where it otherwise wouldn’t if you let the blemish runs its course and heal naturally. Before having anything injected, consult with your dermatologist to weigh the costs and benefits for your skin. It might be better to deal with a big blemish for a few weeks than to risk a scar forever.

    Hello, Framboise

  40. This is really handy advice! I’ve never been in need of ProActive or anything specifically for acne, but a great deep clean from the clarisonic is great for preventing future spots coming up… I also like getting facials but you’re right – unless you go to an aesthetician who can apply some real science and savvy to your face, I don’t think it’s worth the money.

    So excited to have stumbled across your fabulous blog!

    Catherine @ The Spring (in Brisbane)


  41. I’ve always suffered from the odd breakout, but I never took the ProActive route or did anything too harsh on it even though I probably could have been a good candidate for it when I was younger. I just try to be as gentle to my skin as possible and use oatmeal now to wash it and a cleansing milk. If I’m at my boyfriend’s, I use cetaphil and find it’s gentle enough. For me at least, I found that when I did more to it, I tended to make it worse. I do think I’d be wary of anything that’s celebrity endorsed because as you said, ProActive has done a great job of getting big celebrities on board but a lot of my friends who have tried it have been really disappointed! This is a great post love, thanks for dispelling some of the myths and offering some great skin care solutions!

    Alexandra xo


  42. Great tips! Thanks!



  43. Stokely Rainbow says:

    This looks interesting. 🙂 Great Blog

  44. This is absolutely some fabulous information doll. I did too like many others used ProActive and was so disappointed. Thank you so much for sharing this tips and info with us I’m definitely bookmarking this post now.

    <3 Marina

  45. Super interesting post … relmente I just had serious acne pimples and some in my adolescence, but after a time to observe your skin feeling you are your most sensitive areas, and you know you are more likely to suffer from these problems when you quit your usual diet, basic tips are definitely excellent, good nutrition, exercise and taking good care of the pien doing cleaning, exfoliation is essential to have a terza skin, even when our body always has the last word, I believe that genetics family also has much to do, once we all have an uncomfortable moment when some espnilla sura in the wrong time even regular care.
    Thanks for following my blog and for your encouraging comment I follow you now;)

  46. Great tips, how amazing is Bio-oil…seriously without a doubt one of the best inventions!!


  1. Care For Skin The Right Way With These Tips :: Its get loose says:

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