Tag Archives: face mask


By: Sam

There comes a time in every girl’s life when your skin doesn’t want to cooperate. Whether it’s a hormonal breakout or one honkin’ zit…we’ve all been there. When this happens, panic and stress ensues and you try to find any and every possible remedy. Desperate times call for desperate measures: heavily medicated spot treatments, face masks, experimenting with high end, all natural, or over the counter skincare products, or a top of the line facial. In recent weeks I’ve been dealing with more than just breakouts, I would call it an outright rebellion. Rashes, irritation, bumps you know, the skin apocalypse! I also was experiencing some stomach pains, nausea, and physical weakness. What gives?! After about a handful of meltdowns, I decided to see a dermatologist.

Two of my older sisters swear by Bobby Buka’s work with their respective skin issues. When they saw that my skin was in need of professional help (lol), they recommended that I set an appointment ASAP. I made an appointment with Dr. Amy Spizuoco and I found out more than I had bargained for! First and foremost, the office downtown (214 Sullivan St. New York, NY) is G O R G E O U S, very hip and modern, (no anxiety filled white walls or clinical feel). Anyway, I told the doctor my skincare history, including my most recent purchases and she even asked about my eating habits. After this, she called in a facial specialist to take a closer look at my skin. After basically being dissected, it turns out I am allergic to dairy. 😥 After reading about all the symptoms that come from a dairy allergy, all of my past boughs of illness and weird digestive behavior finally made sense. Dr. Spizuoco was very sweet and helpful and quickly knew what to prescribe me for my skin: Epidou & Tretinoin:

Epidou– An antibiotic-free, topical treatment. Contains 0.1% adapalene (a retinoid- a vitamin A derivative, great for anti-aging and scarring), and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. It is designed to get rid of any kind of breakouts you’re working with and keeps them away by unclogging blocked pores and penetrates beneath the surface of the skin. Results may vary and can be seen anywhere from 4-12 weeks. Epidou also as an APP to track your progress and to remind you to apply the cream/gel when needed.

Tretinoin– another vitamin A derivative used to treat acne and all that comes with it, dark spots, wrinkles, and sun damage. Can also be used to treat inflammatory red bumps (yes those pesky, painful hormonal breakouts on your chin and jawline!)

The facial specialist was equally as helpful, advising me to use a mild cleanser from Neutrogena or Cetaphil, use SPF 30+, and a night moisturizer that does not combat with the medications (no AHA or Glyolic acid). Also she told me to stop exfoliating and using toners 😯 , because the Epidou basically takes care of those functions. She also enforced the importance of using face masks at least once a week, preferably all natural. She was kind enough to write down a facial recipe for me to use:

photo (19)

Basically, you make organic oatmeal using soy milk and purified water and when it is ready you put it in the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Then, you leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse and proceed with your nighttime medication or moisturizer.*She advised I alternate between essential oils: Licorice oil for brightening properties for tired or dull looking skin. Calendula oil for its healing properties. (Both can be found at health food stores) You can also use honey in place of agave nectar in this recipe.

Here is a slideshow of my new and improved skincare routine:

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Overall, my experience at the dermatologist was an eye opener. After spending money on countless products trying to fix my own skin issues, I feel like getting insight from a professional is exactly what I needed to get on the right track.

Tell us! What is your favorite face mask? Have you ever needed a skinervention?



Filed under Drug Store Gem, Natural, Skin, Splurge, Uncategorized

Review: Masking & Toning with Mario Badescu

Let’s face it, with millions of lotions, toners, masks and cleansers available, trying to choose the product that is right for you has become an increasingly difficult task.

With skincare, purchases are usually on a buy and try basis, as our skin is constantly changing with the weather, our hormones, and (dare I say)… our age 😕. Since changing skin equals the inevitable change in skincare, I was more than eager to update my regimen when Samantha offered some Mario Badescu products for me to try.

The toner and mask both came at the perfect time, as I’ve been feeling as though my morning & nighttime cleansing routines were a little…well…lacking. Simply washing and moisturizing didn’t seem to be enough for my annoying combination/ oily skin. So the Cucumber Cleansing Lotion provided the perfect balance and base I needed to prep my over-zealous pores after cleansing and before moisturizing. I’ve used toners before, but they’ve always left my skin feeling too dry. Infused with cucumber extract astringent, this lotion is intended for oily/combo types looking to calm redness, unclog pores and deep clean to prevent acne)

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When it comes to masks, I am far from experienced, but I recognize that my skin craves that extra deep cleanse every once in a while. The Flower and Tonic mask is refreshing, lightweight, and moisturizing. Most importantly, it doesn’t dry out your skin & the smell us simply intoxicating!

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I’m loving that Mario Badescu products (available online or at the Mario Badescu salon in NYC) guarantee results while being pocket-friendly. Tell us, what toners and masks are you trying for the summer?



Filed under Skin

A Gem from Japan

By: Katrina

Hey guys, I wanted to tell you about how I plan to keep my skin hydrated this spring/summer, especially on hot and humid days like this! My aunt took a trip to her homeland and brought me back some Japanese goodies!

Aside from the best thing ever made –GREEN TEA KIT KATS, she got me the next
best thing for my face: Puresa Face Mask. The information on the box is in Japanese so I had no idea what it was for- all I knew was I was curious enough to try.

I tried the face mask 3 days ago: image (24)

After spending last weekend in Miami , the sun and salt water did some damage to my otherwise normal skin. So, I washed my face before applying the mask using my usual face wash (Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser, $6.99) Instructions say to leave the mask on for about 10-15 minutes, then after taking it off, gently massage the mask residue left on your skin (no need to rinse!)

The mask left my face feeling so smooth and soft that I didn’t even need a moisturizer afterwards. How is that even possible?!
image (25)

So, with a little research I found that the mask contains enough collagen to not use moisturizer for the day. I didn’t have to use my Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($16.99) for 2 ENTIRE DAYS- has never happened. Today is the 3rd day and my skin feels smooth
and hydrated:

image (26)

For me, this is perfect to use for the summer, after laying out in the sun for too long!

You can purchase these masks on eBay for $12 for a pack of 5. The only other place I’ve seen them are at Mitsuwa (Japanese market place ) Fortlee, NJ for $13.00.

*There are different masks from this brand for different skin types. 😉

Has anyone else tried these ? What do you look for in a face mask?


Filed under Drug Store Gem, Home Remedies, Skin