Makeup and Beauty

Thursday’s Adventure: Skincare.

First of all, I should say I am not being paid by any company to write this. It is all out of my own desire to share good skincare, and nobody told me to write this, or paid me to write this. Although, y’know, the latter would have been nice. 😉

So today is a little different from normal, because it’s not an adventure Mr. Owl and I have had in the last week. Rather, it’s an adventure (or maybe you’d just call it an experience… or experiment… or… whatever…) I’ve had over the last three weeks… with skincare.

I generally have a very hard time finding skincare products that work for me. Part of this, I know, is that I am allergic to so many things — most recently, shampoo, and even Burt’s Bees all-natural shampoo gives me hives (haha! Hives… bees… get it?) — and I don’t know exactly what I’m allergic to, so finding skincare I’m not allergic to is just trial and error.

I had been using Aveeno, which seemed to work well enough, until about two months ago, when my face started having an itchy reaction, and I’d come out of the shower with irritated red spots on my face. Not exactly the feeling you want when you’re trying to feel clean.

But, being that pretty much any other skincare I had tried was not working, I didn’t do much about it until a month or so later, when I read Keiko Lynn’s post about her new skincare routine. I was convinced by the fact that Keiko has beautiful skin, and that she is also quite careful about who she endorses on her blog. I visited the website, looked it over, and thought… I should give it a try.

So, for the past three weeks, I have been using Beauty Mint’s skincare products. And so far, no allergic reactions! Plus, while the results were not instantaneous, and my skin is not quite perfect yet (after all, it’s only been three weeks), I have definitely seen results in the weeks I’ve been using these products. I noticed after the very first washing that my skin felt smoother, and on the two or three days that I haven’t used the regimen (out of laziness, or sickness, or both), I noticed that my skin felt a lot rougher and was a bit more red.

A few facts about my skin, before we get really into it: my skin tends to ride on the dry side. If I don’t get it moisturized properly, it gets tight and flaky, and my foundation tends to look like it’s peeling off. I get rough patches around my chin and forehead, and my cheeks and chin have always been red with little mottled areas– not sure whether they’re breakouts or scars or what. Because of my skin’s texture and general weirdness, I tend to be a chronic over-exfoliator, which leads to using too much moisturizer, which leads to breakouts, which leads to more exfoliation… etc.

You get the picture, right?

I took a picture after I washed my face for the first time with Beauty Mint, and then again this morning. There are not enormous differences, but see for yourself:

(this post got enormous. Click through if you want to see the rest!)

After the first washing, as you can see, my skin is pretty red, and there are blemishes, especially on my forehead and by my mouth. And the blemishes might not be huge compared to what my skin was like a year ago, or what others experience daily, but still. I don’t have perfect skin.

These ones, I took this morning. It is different lighting (we moved, so the lighting and colors aren’t exactly consistent), but my skin has improved. The forehead zits are almost gone, and my skin has gotten less red (yay!). I’m expecting and hoping that after another month or so of using Beauty Mint, I  might just have blemish-free skin!

Plus: totally not related to skincare products, but my freckles are coming out again! AH! I love freckles.

Anyway, back to Beauty Mint.

On their website, you are prompted to take a little skin-type quiz which asks you questions such as your skintone, whether you’re oily, normal, or dry, whether you tan or burn, what your biggest skin concerns are (blemishes, wrinkles, dark spots, etc.) and such. At the end, after you’re prompted to sign up (it’s free to sign up, don’t worry), you are given two choices: a four-piece skincare routine, or a five-piece skincare routine. They are exactly the same, except that the five-piece skincare routine includes an extra step (mine included eye cream) that just improves your results.

At first, I was a little undecided about whether I wanted to spend the money on the products. The four-piece system is $40, while the five-piece is $50. To me, who generally buys the cheapest product I can find, it seemed like a lot. But then I thought about it, and realized that really, buying five products (which I did) for $50 is exactly the same as buying five products of Aveeno or Burt’s Bees at Target… if not cheaper.

The one other thing that caused me to hesitate was the fact that Beauty Mint is a subscription program. You can cancel at any time, but it is a monthly subscription of products. So, basically, you pay $50 a month (or $40, if you choose less products) for your skincare.

Being that I have never actually used a skincare program on a consistent basis, I have no idea how long Aveeno or Burt’s Bees (or Mary Kay, which is wildly more expensive) actually lasts. I don’t know if it lasts longer than a month or about a month or a few months, so I can’t really compare prices that way. But comparing the results so far,  the effectiveness of the products, and especially the lack of an allergic reaction… it’s worth it to spend $50 a month on my skincare.

And you know me: I shop regularly at thrift stores and tend to reject items from Goodwill because I think they’re too expensive. That should tell you something about how much I like Beauty Mint.

Beauty Mint provided me with a very easy regimen that so far I have stuck to, which is another amazing thing. Another part of why I probably had bad skin is that I generally tended to be too lazy to wash my face at night. With Beauty Mint, it’s become a habit. They do suggest that you double-cleanse at night– once with a washrag to get your makeup off, and a second time to actually cleanse your skin– and I saw a few reviews that didn’t like that you had to do that.

For me… I understand the effectiveness of double-cleansing. If you don’t double-cleanse, you should at least use a makeup-remover to remove your makeup before you cleanse your skin. Cleanser isn’t made to remove your makeup and clean your skin all at once. There has to be makeup-removal first in order for a cleanser to be effective! So I don’t mind the double-cleansing step. It works, I only have to use one product, I don’t need an exfoliator as the washrag does the trick (just be gentle!), and it doesn’t dry my skin out to use the cleanser twice.

The other four parts of the regimen are all lotion-type steps. There’s a replenishing serum (which targets wrinkles, roughness, and skin tone), a moisturizer, an SPF hydrator (for day use, not night), and an eye cream. You might think that piling on four things to my skin might feel heavy (Well, three, considering the eye-cream is just for eyes), but it isn’t. You only need a small amount of each product, and even with serum, moisturizer, and SPF moisturizer on, I never feel sticky or over-hydrated unless I use too much product.

Plus, my foundation goes over these products so much more smoothly than anything else I’ve tried! My skin is hydrated enough, so there’s no gross peeling (which almost always happened with any other product unless I was very, very careful about how I put on my foundation), yet it’s not so moisturized that my foundation just slips off.

I have done a lot of skincare posts in the past, whether it was about Lush, or Burt’s Bees (to which I became allergic), but I’ve never done follow up posts weeks later with those products. Why? Well, after a few weeks, Lush turned on me and my skin started to break out. And Burt’s Bees, well… I was allergic to the sugar in their face scrub (sad!), and after a while the cleanser got too creamy for my skin to like.

Which is why I kept quiet about Beauty Mint for a few weeks, because I wanted to make sure it was actually working and not do a post two days after I started and then have it turn out to not work as the weeks went by. But after three weeks, I have very high hopes for Beauty Mint products. I’m very pleased with the way they’re working on my skin. I saw immediate results in the texture of my skin – it was smoother even after the first wash, and gets smoother as I use it – and I’m seeing longer-term results in that my blemishes are going away and the redness in my skin is fading.

I will try to do a follow-up post in a few more weeks to see whether or not the products continue to work, but if everything keeps going the way it’s going, I think I’ll be a long-time Beauty Mint customer!

If you decide to try Beauty Mint out based on this, I should warn you of one thing: your skin may get a little worse before it starts to get better. This generally happens with any product– in order for your skin to clear up, it has to push out all the stuff that is stored in its layers, so you’ll have to expect that it might get worse first before it gets better. Which is why you should generally try skincare products for at least a month before nixing them, unless you have an allergic reaction.

My skin did get slightly worse in week two, but I can’t wholly credit it to Beauty Mint because week two coincided with my period, which is always when my breakouts are the worst. But, even though it did get worse, the breakouts were way less aggressive than they were in the past, when I wasn’t using Beauty Mint. So, y’know… I don’t know if the worse skin was due to the skincare product clearing me out, or my monthly “bad time” (as my dad called it the other day, which cracked me up) being conquered by Beauty Mint. Who knows.

Anyway. This review has become way longer than I expected it would or intended it to. I will just end saying if there’s something I didn’t cover that you have a question about, please ask! I’m not trying to convince you to buy Beauty Mint, but if you are considering it and you have concerns or are just curious about something I didn’t cover, let me know in the comments.

I hope you all have a beautiful Thursday, and here is to finding the perfect skin!