Monday, June 1, 2009

Recessionista Review #3: SKINCARE Drug Store Brands

In my previous blog entry Recessionista Review #2: SKINCARE Department Store Brands, I talked about the 3 department store skin care products that I swear by. As a recap, they are: La Mer The Eye Balm, Estee Lauder Idealist and Shu Uemura Principe 21. As these products are on the higher end of the price range, I have also mixed in some drug store brands into my skin care regime. Today, I will review my 4 favorite drug store brands.

Drug Store Brands:

As a little girl, I recalled hating the smell and oiliness of the Oil of Ulan. My aunt swore by this pink fluid; packaged in a heavy glass bottle. Back then, Olay was known as Oil of Ulan, then Oil of Olay, and now just Olay. I never thought about using Olay till I saw an Olay Regenrist bottle sitting in my brother-in-law's toiletries bag. He has minor Eczema and with his frequent flying as a pilot, his condition got worse. This stuff actually works for him.

Verdict: In comparison with department store brands, Olay is by far one of the best drug store brands that I know of; some perople even say it is comparable to La Mer. I use the Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum (1.7 oz $19.99) during the day and the Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Moisture Treatment (1.7 fl oz $19.99) at night, and this stuff really works wonders! I also heard good things about their Total Effects line for anti-aging.

I've heard that Aveeno is comparable to Origins or Aveda, but priced much lesser than those 2 brands. So I tried using the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 (4 oz $14.99) . After using it for 3 months, I found that this stuff is really good. There is so much product in that bottle that it took me quite a while to finish it. The other product that I heard was really good is their warming scrub ($7.99). I will probably try that next.

Verdict: Aveeno is very good especially if you have sensitive skin. The main ingredient is oat meal which is totally natural. I am going to start trying their products as well.

Neutrogena comes across as a skin care company who specializes on sensitive and acne-prone skin. And so their first product I've used is the Deep Clean Facial Cleanser ($5.99). I use it whenever I get breakouts, or during summer when I perspire a lot. I have not tried the Wave Power Cleanser yet because it was sold out every time I wanted to get it from Ulta. I have heard positive and negative reviews about it, so I'm not sure if I will eventually get it.

Verdict: If you have a problem with acne or get occasional breakouts, I would say Neutrogena is the best drug store brand for that.

Queen Helene
Did you know that the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque (3 oz $3.99) was voted as America's #1 Facial Masque and is an industry staple? I decided to try it after hearing rave after rave about it. It has a very refreshing minty smell to it, and after I washed it off, my pores felt so tight and my skin felt soft and refreshed.

Verdict: At first I was skeptical because it was so cheap. But after using it for a month, I can say that it is comparable; if not better than my other department store brand masques that I currently use.

Final Verdict: To date, I have tried probably about 8 drug store brands. Some of them were reasonably priced, but did not do anything for my skin other than making it smell nice. These 5 products can pretty much complete your skin care regime, and are definitely must-buys if you are on a strict Recessionista budget.

Disclaimer: I am not a beauty expert or a licensed esthetician, I am simply a skin care customer who is providing feedback based upon my personal experiences.