I Put Super Charged Greens On My Face: Eminence Organics Eight Greens And The End Of Hormonal Acne

I Put Super Charged Greens On My Face: Eminence Organics Eight Greens And The End Of Hormonal Acne

One of my best friends has been singing the praises of Eminence Organics skincare for years. I’ll admit to pooh-poohing organic and natural skincare in the past, but boy have things in that niche changed. I finally went to the famous Ottawa boutique spa, Oresta Organic Skincare, for one of the best facials I have ever had. My skin was in good hands, as Oresta herself has struggled with hormonal skin issues. She massaged, scrubbed, serumed and essenced my face into submission. My favourite part of the facial involved the Eminence products. They smell divinely spa-like and gentle, so that the whole user experience of the line is luxurious. That’s the best part of Eminence for me – there is a luxurious quality to the whole line. The luxury natural lines are becoming more common in the beauty world, as some people just won’t sacrifice luxury in the name of [allegedly] safer ingredients. I’m not saying that is good or bad, but just a fact. Part of the beauty ritual is feeling lovely, so if a product delivers on performance AND the ritual experience, consider me sold.

Even Kitty can't believe how amazing Eight Greens are!

Even Kitty can’t believe how amazing Eight Greens are!

I tried the Eight Greens line with an Eminence starter kit, which is a terrific way to try any skincare. I got the Eight Greens Starter kit, which is the suggested kit for anyone struggling with hormonal acne flare ups and ageing skin. Everything about this line works to reduce inflammation and irritation. You feel it immediately. A must try is the Eight Greens Phyto Masque Hot – it warms on the skin. It stimulates circulation and adds a glow that has to be seen to be believed. Perfect for doing in the afternoon when you’re going out in the evening and you want to look like a lovestruck teenager. Amazing.

Eminence Eight Greens serum

The big winner from the kit for me was the Eight Greens Serum and it has had such a positive effect on my skin I can’t imagine being without it. A reader contacted me after she got her starter kit and told me she noticed a difference right away as well. I use it twice a day, as the first step after cleansing and toning my skin, and before any other skincare I might use. From their site:

Treat the visible signs of aging with this powerful combination of organic phytoestrogens. Concentrated 
whole plant yucca extract, Vitex Angus Castus and flax seed are all active ingredients in helping with the appearance of tight and bright skin.

Key Ingredients

Yucca Extract: antioxidant; source of phytoestrogens
Flaxseed/Linseed Extract: Omega 3s, antioxidant
Hop Extract: antioxidant
Paprika: invigorates and rejuvenates the look of skin
Vitex Agnus Castus: source of antioxidant bioflavanoids
Biocomplex™: a booster of antioxidants, vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, and Alpha Lipoic Acid to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the appearance of skin

I love the Eight Greens Whipped Moisturizer so that may be next on my list as well. I ended up getting the Probiotic Cleanser, just to fight off any zits that get any funny ideas about popping up on my face. I wholeheartedly recommend this line to anyone suffering from hormonal skin nightmares. It will change your life.


(makeup on me done by the amazing Natalie Peachy)

Organic Acne Fighters: Odacité & Osmia Organics Skin Oils Kill Zits

Organic Acne Fighters: Odacité & Osmia Organics Skin Oils Kill Zits

Damn you, acne! One would think that by the time we are long past puberty, long past childbearing and on our way to *cough* menopause *cough* that acne would cease to be an issue. It doesn’t have to be menopausal either – PMS zits, stress hormone zits…. I’ve battled them for so many years that it feels like a lifelong vendetta. It is definitely hormonal, but is also effected by my diet. Yes. My diet. I know that sugar, lots of it, is the worst thing for my skin. Chocolate, too. Not the super dark variety, eaten in small doses, but the milky creamy evil stuff. I can guarantee a break out after sweets binge. I try to resist, people, I really do, but who is really that noble? Not me. At any rate, even when I cut out all the evil foods, a cystic zit will grow in spite of my good behaviour. Stress, hormonal swings – who knows why? But when it happens, I try to kill it immediately. I have used everything to fight it – benzoyl peroxide (oy my skin), salicylic acid (not bad in small doses), prescription creams (retin A hurts my face, prescription benzoyl peroxide works for a very short time), sulphur (works but not always). Sigh. So I decided to try the natural skincare route. And I found some natural warriors that fight acne to the death.

osmia organics spot treatment

I started using the beautiful products from Osmia Organics a few years ago. Her products helped my daughter through a wicked perioral dermatitis (exzema, meet acne) during her stressful master’s degree program. The Osmia Organics Facial Calibration serum has brought my skin back from the brink after abusing it with the above medical treatments on more than one occasion. I had seen posts on social media about her Spot Treatment Oil and every single one hailed it as their Holy Grail Acne Killer. I say the same. When a nasty cyst starts growing under the skin – you know the kind – they hurt and you know its ONLY GOING TO GET BIGGER. You know you shouldn’t touch it, but you do. Honestly – a few days of applying her spot treatment oil to the area several times a day shrinks that bitch and shows it who’s the boss. You may have to do it again if it flares up but it works. I can feel the results sometimes minutes after I apply the oil. It’s astounding. At $22 US acne sufferers cannot afford to not have this in their arsenal.

“A surprisingly powerful blend of essential oils combats bacteria and diminishes blemishes, while evening primrose oil prevents overdrying and heals the skin. Unlike most acne solutions, this serum does not strip the skin of its oil, and does not leave blemishes flaky and crusted while healing. Used early and often, our natural acne treatment is very effective on blemishes even before they come to the surface fully, often preventing them from surfacing at all. The Spot Treatment has a very pleasant, lemony scent (and no tea tree oil), making it a pleasure to use.”

– organic evening primrose oil and essential oils of lavender*, cajeput*, lemon*, parsley, thyme, cypress*, and rosemary CO2*
– 96.5% certified organic ingredients


As with any skincare, even miracles have exceptions. So, in the case when my Osmia Organics Spot Treatment isn’t enough, I break out the BIG GUNS. Odacité Black Cumin & Cajeput Serum Concentrate  ($32 USD) is the bomb dot com and I have yet to meet a zit that is a match for this miracle in a bottle. It is part of the Odacité collection of concentrates that are designed to be incorporated into your existing skincare routine. They are highly refined, tested and full of natural science and goodness and they work. The Black Cumin Concentrate (what I call it for the sake of brevity) kills inflammation almost upon contact. I find for me it works best as a spot treatment, but it is also perfect for adding a drop or two to your current skincare routine.

– Formulated to absorb deep into pores, this active serum helps to achieve blemish-free skin and smooth the complexion
– The purifying properties of Black Cumin oil control the spread of breakout-causing bacteria.
– Therapeutic Cajeput acts at the source of the problem with potent antiseptic properties, helping to prevent further pimple eruption.
– In aromatherapy, Cajeput is known to promote clear thoughts and liveliness.

Verdict? Love. THEY WORK and I cannot imagine being without them.

Obsessing Over Penetration: Deciem Hylamide Gets Under Your Skin In The Best Way

Obsessing Over Penetration: Deciem Hylamide Gets Under Your Skin In The Best Way

If you haven’t tried the DECIEM Hylamide, and you have skin, dude. Get on it! The eye and facial serums in the DECIEM line are blowing my mind. And I’m not the only beauty blogger who is loving this stuff. We get pretty jaded, what with the LATEST! NEWEST! BECAUSE SCIENCE! stuff that arrives for review on a regular basis. Yes of course there are many great lines out there, and I’ve fallen hard for a few products that are now staples in my skincare. DECIEM Hylamide is all about every layer of your skin. Penetration, man. It’s what our skin needs. DECIEM is a really cool Canadian company that is all about science. They have a sense of humour, which a quick peruse of their site quickly shows. The founder, Brandon Truaxe, was one of the brains behind one of my favourite simple skincare saviours, Indeed Labs Hydraluron serum.

“Your skin has more layers than you know. You’re probably ignoring most of them”

Deciem Hylamide

We’ve heard a lot of skincare buzz words in the past several years, ingredients, ingredients and more ingredients! A lot of us seek out and want certain ingredients because of buzz. Some are deserving of the hype and praise, and some not so much. Things like hyaluronic acid are good things. Things like collagen, stem cells and plasma (what. even.) sound great, and I suppose some work, but for the most part these things don’t perform the miracles we are led to expect. Most of these ingredients are in suspended in molecules that are way too large to penetrate the dermis, or too small to treat the areas they are targeting. We kind of know this, right? But we are forever hopeful, if not in vain.

Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Serum SubQ Eyes

So while most skincare brands focus on simply “penetration”, DECIEM Hylamide is focused on controlled depth of penetration, aimed at targeting multiple skin/dermis depths and functions in single treatment regimens. Talk about keeping it simple. Hylamide encapsulates it’s active ingredients in varying sizes, ensuring that the right molecule makes it to the right place. The Hylamide SubQ serums come in little glass bottles with glass droppers – a very lab and science packaging. MY ONLY GRIPE: I am not a fan of this type of packging, having accidentally knocked over several bottles and spread hundreds of dollars of serums on my bathroom counter over the years.  I’m not sure how it could be improved on, but I do wish a more stable and secure package was possible.

Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Serum ($38 CAD for 30ml – yeah, that’s right, THIRTY EIGHT DOLLARS) is at the top of my skincare regiment, and I NEVER EVER EVER want to be without this. Oh, mama! My sensitive skin breaks out if I look at it wrong. It’s got oil! Pores! Fine lines! You name it. Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age serum and it’s lovely molecules offer surface hydration, below-surface hydration, treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, dynamic lines, sagginess and textural irregularities. My beautiful friend Tracy over at Beauty Reflections said it best on Twitter a few weeks ago “Hylamide has made my skin as smooth as glass”. Friends – this is a true statement. When I first tried it, I thought it seemed like any other hyaluronic serum I’ve tried. Lovely, light, simple, and moisturizing. Oh no, no, no. This is no simple serum. My pores are tighter, my skin is smoother. When I have a breakout (damn you, Laura Mercier powder foundation) Hylamide soothes my face and helps it heal. It has a ton of awesome ingredients you can read about here.

The Hylamide SubQ Eyes ($35 for 15ml) serum is just as amazing. One teeny tiny drop covers my orbital area. The skin around the eyes is four times thinner than that of the rest of the body. SubQ Eyes is a concentrated strength, clinical serum that uses Deciem advanced technology and ingredients to target multiple aspects of under-eye ageing at once. SubQ Eyes also helps correct puffiness and dark circles. I was amazed the first time I used it. It is light – a serum – and feels silky and smooth on the skin. Yet, my eye area stays dewy and hydrated all day. Trust me on this, I’m a crazy lady about hydrated skin.

Is my Deciem Hylamide glow blinding you with science?

Is my Deciem Hylamide glow blinding you with science?

To sum up, I love Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age and SubQ Eyes so much, I want to marry them. These serums have earned a permanent place in my skincare and beauty routine. The products deliver, and the price is beyond reasonable. This is is accessible skincare science for everyone. Boys and girls, obvies. Verdict? LOVE.

Deciem products are available on their website

Skin Having a Seasonal Freak Out? Calm It With Consonant Skincare And Osmia Organics.

Skin Having a Seasonal Freak Out? Calm It With Consonant Skincare And Osmia Organics.

Ah, our skin. We finally get our zits/dry patches/insert your issue here under control then BAM. The seasons change and it all goes to hell. I’m certain that somehow our hormones get involved but I’m no doctor so that’s just guesswork. But I always feel like when our skin goes haywire, hormones are somehow involved. But I’ve been able to clock major breakouts with the change of seasons for years now, and I am SO OVER IT.



My most recent skin mania episode had me digging through my mountains of skincare supplies. I’d tried the usual suspects – benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulphur – you name it. Nothing was helping. My Consonant DHE Mask has been helping, but I needed more. Something important to remember when you have acne or break out prone skin is that it’s not just too much oil and hormones that cause this condition. It’s also sensitivity. It took me years to figure out that beating my skin into submission with tough love wasn’t going to help. I realized this – finally – after my millionth facial. Because every single facial (with extractions – ouch!) I’ve had has resulted in breakouts. Wax my brows? Cystic acne. Scrub, steam and massage for an hour? Acne. My skin needs a gentle touch.

Well, dear readers, there was hope lurking in my stash.

Consonant Organic Foaming Facewash

Consonant Organic Foaming Face Wash: I decided that I would start with using a super gentle cleanser on my skin. Everything I’ve used from Consonant to date just feels wonderful and soothing on my skin, and their Organic Foaming Face Wash also feels great. It has an air infused pump to make it foamy, vs sulphates, so it’s perfect for those with sensitivities. But even better than that, it cleanses my face beautifully and gently. My face looks and feels clean, and never tight or dry. No wonder this is an award winner! From their site:

Consonant Organic Foaming Face Wash is a gentle yet effective cleanser, packed with nourishing botanicals like teatree oil and grapeseed oil to help hydrate skin, eliminate uneven skin tones and fight blemishes. pH balanced, you don’t need a toner. This Face Wash is 99.5% natural.

Osmia Organics Facial Calibration Serum

Osmia Organics Facial Calibration Serum: I’ve talked before about using oils on oily facial skin – seems counterintuitive, yet there is a wisdom there. I love the feel of a beautiful high quality oil preparation on my face. You can almost feel your skin thank you as it drinks up the nutrients and moisture. The description of the Facial Calibration Serum on the Osmia Organics website says:

A select combination of plant oils, chosen for their balancing qualities, helps skin become more even and smooth, and assists in regulating sebum production.  Olive squalane, kukui oil, and macadamia oil nourish the skin, and calming schisandra fruit extract soothes irritation.  Super powered acai delivers an antioxidant boost, and organic black seed oil brings a vitamin and mineral infusion.  Absorbs quickly, and does not leave the skin oily.  In fact, used regularly, this face serum can help oily skin behave itself, and combination skin become less confused.  The scent is mildly herbaceous, with the subtle spicy undertones of black cumin seed oil.

Well, my skin was confused AND misbehaving, so I started using the Facial Calibration Serum at night, and I’m glad I did. It recommends applying it to damp skin, and seriously, you only need a few drops to cover your whole face. I wake up with soft glowy skin that you’d never guess has been to hell and back. This serum has been added to my emergency skin care arsenal and I can’t imagine being without it.

Finally, my skin seems to be recovering. My breakouts and eruptions are stopping, and my face is healing. Hallelujah!

Consonant Skincare is available on their website, and you can find retailers here. Osmia Organics is  US based skincare company and you can purchase their products on their website.

Short Post. Miraculous Product. La Roche Posay Cicaplast

Short Post. Miraculous Product. La Roche Posay Cicaplast

la roche posay cicaplast

I have mentioned La Roche Posay Cicaplast in passing, which isn’t really fair. It is a miraculous product I can’t be without and deserves a solid mention. Cicaplast was created to deal with several different skin irritations like dry patches, chapped skin, and skin that is tender and healing post-dermatological procedures like peels and resurfacing. I use it for skin injuries- most recently my daughter badly sliced her foot on a broken OPI nail polish bottle (beware!) and we have been using Cicaplast to speed healing, reduce scarring and relieve the itching that comes with healing skin. The thing I use it for most often though is healing acne blemishes that have been picked  ruptured. A sore pimple is bad enough and can take ages to heal. Once it scabs up it becomes almost impossible to camouflage with concealer, and may even have dry flaky skin around it due to any drying acne treatments one may have used. Well, Cicaplast to the rescue. I use this nightly on healing acne pimples to speed up the process and see a dramatic difference in healing time. It is soothing and comforting and easy to apply thanks to it’s silky smooth texture. Cicaplast also makes a perfect “primer” for a healing pimple before applying concealer. It creates a soft smooth canvas as well as soothing the poor spot.

Here is what La Roche Posay says about Cicaplast – which is concise and to the point.

Cicaplast accelerates reconstruction of the skin barrier thanks to a formula that combines:
– A copper/zinc/manganese mineral complex to stimulate the production of new cells,
– Madecassoside to encourage proper cell organisation and procure fast, high-quality epidermal repair,
– Its insulating texture is enriched in anti-bacterial agents to protect the skin. Invisible and non sticky, with easy spreading. This soothing, moisturizing treatment relieves itchiness and tight sensations.
Paraben-free formula.

I get La Roche Posay at my drugstore for under $20- a tube used on spots and injuries will last ages. Like, so far I’ve had it a year and it’s not finished yet. Verdict? A must-have.

Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Defense Serum Has Joined My Skincare Arsenal

Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Defense Serum Has Joined My Skincare Arsenal

I recently got my hot little hands on a sample of Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Defense after a friend told me it was recommended to her by Gee Beauty (one of my favourite shops & experts in all things Skinceuticals). We have similar skin types, and she really like this product. Well, I’m sold.

I don’t know if I can blame the planets for my zits…but I will anyways.
Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Defense is a serum chock full of ingredients that fight acne & oil, help maintain even skin tone, and to refine the surface of the skin. It decongests pores while it reduces acne bacteria. I loved it within 3 days of using every night at bedtime. Then, as is my wont, or perhaps the curse of a beauty blogger, I turned to another product. Bad idea. Almost within 24 hours my skin broke out. Distracted by many things, I just figured it was something else (Mercury Retrograde? Can it cause zits?) and went about my business, which is ADD skincare and cosmetic use. A few nights ago, the Skinceuticals B&A serum caught my eye and I thought “Hey I should use this again”. Lo and behold, it’s already working it’s magic. My pores are less noticeable, and my skin feels smoother and radiant when I wake up. If my skin feels a bit sensitive, I use it with the Skinceuticals Phyto-Corrective Gel serum, for a perfect combination and lovely skin. I am still using my Vichy proEVEN lotion during the day, and can’t imagine being without it, either.
Erin from The Waltons – squeaky clean with Sea Breeze


Skinceuticals products are available on their website or at Gee Beauty

Mario Badescu- Why Did I Ever Doubt You?

Mario Badescu- Why Did I Ever Doubt You?

I’m such a magpie with beauty products. There is always a new sparky one that catches my eye and off I run, chasing a new holy grail. I am oily skinned and acne prone, which has always seemed quite unfair, especially when one is, ahem, over forty. My younger daughter is going through the acne roller coaster now: antibiotics- ineffective, retin A- hard to tell. Now she is trying ProActiv and so far so good. Before the ProActiv though we were away and a monster zit reared its head. She was desperate so I got her the old cult fave, Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. You know- the one that looks like Pepto Bismol and smells like, well, Buckley’s Cough Medicine or Pine Sol. But it worked on that evil zit and made it into the arsenal of Zit Busters.

I don’t know why, but over the past few weeks my skin decided to freak out and treat me to some lovely cystic acne around my mouth. Maybe the weather? Who knows. Cysts are evil and almost always rooted in hormones which makes them very hard to treat. In a fit of pique and desperation, I busted out the Drying Lotion, gave it a shake, dabbed with a q tip and hoped for the best….

So, what happened? It worked! It kept the monster that was growing at bay for 2 days by using it at night.  Day 3 it started to shrink and by Day 4- today- it is gone! My skin is a tad dry where I applied the lotion, but I would rather have a dry patch than a monster zit or, worse, a scar. The interesting thing is how many people swear by this product and how effective it is. Yet when I looked it up on Beautypedia, it is dismissed as a nothing product with nothing in it that could ever ever ever help with acne. Good thing I read this after buying it and using it successfully or I might have believed it.

Thank you Mario Badescu Drying Lotion! I will never doubt your magical abilities again! Available wherever Mario Badescu is sold for around $17.

Whatever you do, resist and do. Not. Pop.