Tips for layering products

These days there are so many products out there.  Add in getting older or troubled skin and you end up having a bed time routine that rivals painting the Sistine Chapel.

I believe that effective multi-taskers which give you everything you need in one or two steps is like a unicorn that will never be found.  Buy really good products that target what you’re solving for, and layer ’em up.

What actually seems like a straightforward idea is the cause for much confusion.  How do you know what to put on first? Readhead to the rescue!

Getting Started

There are two really great ways that can help you remember how, and which products, layer well and in which order.  One, determining what the individual products are supposed to do and two, the consistency or viscosity of those products.  Read on for more.

Step 1: Determine what the individual products are supposed to do

You’ve got targeted serums high in actives?  Those should go closest to your skin so they can get in there and do their job.  As you layer, the ones closest to your skin are generally more concentrated.  You’ll want your acids, retinoids and peptide powerhouses to be slathered on before your heavier products.

Concentrated serums —> moisturizers —> protectants

Make sure to check out ingredients that play well together and during certain times of the day, and those that don’t.  For instance, vitamin C helps with photoaging and is best used during the day.  Retinoids can make skin photosensitive and may have negative effects if used during the day, especially without a proven form of SPF.  Others, like glycolic acids and salicylic acid work beautifully together to remove and declog layers of the skin but can be irritating to those with a compromised skin barrier or sensitive skin.

It can seem like your local beauty associate is selling you up the creek by suggesting different products for a day and night routine, but if you’ve got the resources (read time and money) you should tailor those routines as much as possible for the most efficacy.  Be aware of products that are high in ‘ones (i.e. silicones) that have a silky or waxy slip as they create a barrier that may be harder for other actives products to break through.  Use those towards the end.

Step 2: Feel the viscosity to know what goes first to last

This trick rings tried and true for me if I get a new product and I’m not quite sure where it fits in the continuum.  The more watery (and usually clear) your product is, the closer to the front of the line it should go.  As products get more occlusive (meaning thicker and sealing down) less and less of the goodies will be able to penetrate it.  For example, my Skinceuticals C E Ferulic is straight like water.  That goes on first.  My retinoid is a slightly thicker watery gel consistency.  The SkinMedica TNS product I use is slightly thicker and my moisturizer the thickest.  Easy!

How long do you wait between steps?

Ideally, you’d want to give each layer 5-10 minutes of dry-time if you can spare.  With busy schedules I say as long as you give time between the different viscosities, you’re OK to speed up using a few products together.

What about oils?

This one is up for debate and tricks even the savviest of skincare connoisseurs, however if you think about the science of oil, it makes sense that oils should be the LAST piece to the puzzle (except for SPF).  If you think of the old term “oil and water” you know that they don’t really mix.  Moisturizers, although made of oils, are meant to hydrate the skin and generally contain water-friendly ingredients, including hyaluronic acid which helps to draw water into the skin.

If you put oil on first, then a moisturizer, your oil is working to keep anything water-friendly out.  By using oil afterwards, it seals the moisturizer in by repelling it until it’s absorbed, and then the oil continues to hydrate. And there you have it, Readhead readers.  Moisturizer first, oil last.

How many steps do you have in your routine? Drop us a line in the comments.

New year, new items: What’s in my beauty bag

Happy new year to all the ReadHead readers!  I can’t believe it’s been almost a year to the day that I’ve written my first post.  A big thank you to all who have supported my passion project.  If you’ve learned something new or tried something you liked, I’d love to hear it through the comments!

As a skincare fanatic, I try a lot of different items.  My goal is to give it to you straight, and to show you that more money doesn’t always mean better – but sometimes it does.

I took a look at the things that continue to be my staples over time, whether it be my other items didn’t continue to work for me anymore, or I found something to replace it.

If the new year means new you, here my go-to items to give you some inspo for your own makeup and skincare routine.  Happy reading!

Skincare items I can’t live without (everyday routine):

Cerave SA Renewing Face Wash – has ceramides, niacinamide and hydrators, plus removes all my makeup and has a kick of BHA to keep my pores clean and has a friendly drugstore price.

L’Oreal Hydrafresh Toner – while there may be options with better ingredients (i.e. sans denatured alcohol) this one boasts 99% alcohol free, is hydrating and you can’t beat the drugstore price & availability. It helps to remove any traces of dirt and makeup, is refreshing and has added BHA to help with clog-prone skin.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum – is perfect for someone with skin like me – clog and milia prone (ultra rich eye creams are a no-go), anti-aging and reducing puffiness.  Luckily dark circles aren’t a problem for me (yet) but the ferulic acid will help.  This is a gel serum so it won’t be ultra hydrating if that is important to you. Pro tip: If puffiness is something you struggle with, put this in the fridge to get some extra benefit!

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Treatment – much like the above, it has fantastic ingredients that help to brighten, protect and refine skin, and is gentle yet effective.  I have other retinol products that pack a bigger punch (Peter Thomas Roth 3% for example), but I can use this consistently and layer with other acids with no irritation, and notice brighter, clearer skin.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum – I did a ReadHead 2 Head on this vs. Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma (which continues to be my most reviewed post on ReadHead).  I recommend reading it if you’re new to vitamin C.  The vitamin C and additional layer of ferulic acid helps to give an extra layer of sun protection (key for someone with fair skin and correcting sun damage) while destroying free radicals and helping the skin function at its healthiest.

SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum – this is my ultra splurge item which utilizes growth hormones and antioxidants to trick older skin into think it’s a younger version of itself. This helps to regenerate new, healthy and less wrinkled skin.  It’s not surgery (nor should you expect the same result), but it’s one of the best topical cosmeceuticals on the market with clinical trials to boot.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Serum – a nice AHA acid that I alternate at night with my retinoids to keep my dead skin and clogged pores at bay. If I start getting little pimples, this removes the top layer of skin and away they go.

Neutrogena’s 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment – this is my ride or die BHA serum that I use when I’m needing an extra dose of pore cleaning and Neutrogena discontinued it.  I have absolutely no earthly idea why as this has a cult following that may have some feeling one would need to pry whatever’s left on the market from their cold, dead hands.  I think it’s because it worked so well people didn’t need their products anymore! Anytime I can find this, I snatch it up and use it like it’s as precious as 24 carat gold.

Belif’s the True Cream Moisturizing Bomb – this has become my HG moisturizer.  Calming, hydrating, basic and effective.  It leaves my skin feeling awesomely dewey and minus the clogged pores of overly heavy/silicone feeling.

Dr. Jart Premium BB 45++ – the last step in my skincare routine, this is similar to foundation but has amazing ingredients, helps to cover redness and has an awesome amount of SPF in  it.  Talk about a multi-tasker!

Obagi Professional-C Sunscreen – I use sometimes under my Dr. Jart, or on days when I’m going makeup free.  It has vitamin E and the most stable form of vitamin C, l-ascorbic acid.  I like this formulation, but I received it for free from a promotion.  I like that it leaves me matte, but I wouldn’t say it’s an HG.  Great ingredients, and a good finish for oily-skinned folks who don’t want to layer makeup on as I find that it does pill up.

Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator – great lash conditioner which helps lashes grow by keeping them healthy.  I put this on at night (and not under mascara like it says you can do). It won’t compare to a Latisse or other lash growth items on the market, but it will help keep hairs conditioned and strong – plus you can’t beat the drugstore price!

Nature’s Bounty Hair Skin & Nails + Alive Whole Food Energizer  + Vital Proteins Collagen Peptide Powder – these supplements/powders help to give me the added amino acids, proteins, and goodies I need like B vitamins, biotin, collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin to boost my beauty routine from the inside and give me a little pep in my step.  The combination of these help my hair grow strong and my nails like a weed.

Just for fun (rev up that routine!):

There’s the steps that I take as an avid skincare connoisseur with skin that changes like the weather.  If you notice there’s a lot of de-clogging, brightening and exfoliating happening here.

If you’re new to the game don’t get overwhelmed – any steps beyond what you’re doing will bring improvements and take these slow.  You don’t need top of the line either, you just need to know helpful ingredients.  But, if you’re in the prime anti-aging years, it may be worth it to give your beauty counter a boost. And, if dry-like-the-Sahara skin is your concern (different than dehydrated) you may need to incorporate some extra moisture here.

I hope you got excited to try something new!  Have a favorite routine? Drop us a line in a comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder

While perusing the makeup aisle at Walgreens looking for some fun additions before a work holiday party, I wandered over to the Milani section which I must admit, I’ve never taken seriously because it’s all the way in the back.  I pass my trusty go-tos long before I reach their products, which is next to the off-brands and hodge podge of nail/tweezers/cotton balls.

I have been hearing more and more about Milani’s quality drugstore items and I was in the mood for a new highlighter, so I snatched this one up.  And I must say, if this product is an indication of Milani products in general, well it’s time I get on the fan-girl bus!

What is Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder

Milani’s Strobelight Instant Glow Powder is a finely milled highlighting powder that comes in an impressive array of colors – seven to be exact. There’s a great chance that you can find one that works with your skin tone, and that you can experiment with for different looks. It’s best used to highlight the high points of the face and body (much like bronzer, you use it where light would reflect off your skin) and to give you a soft – or high wattage – sheen. Highlighters provide a “dewiness” effect which can make skin look younger, more awake.  It is also a nice final trick to a contour job to help further emphasize the good – eyes, bridge of the nose, lips – and divert the eyes away from problem areas.

I tend to have dehydrated, oily skin and use a lot of emollient products, so highlighters aren’t something I use everyday.  But, when I’m going glam or feel winter dryness sucking the life from my face, I appreciate the look that a good one can provide. I surprised myself by reaching for a powder because I’m borderline obsessive about not putting anything powdery by my impending crow’s feet so I’ve gone the liquid route in the past.  But for the price and the sheer curiosity, into my basket it went.

First Look & Packaging

I went with the color 01 Afterglow because I’m fair-skinned and I believe it was the last one left which hints at its popularity.  The presentation of the product itself was nice; it has a raised swirl pattern to it which picks up light and also provides additional texture to help lift the product from the pan onto the brush. Typical to your average drugstore product the packaging is just fine.  That’s it.  Just fine.  No frills here but it was sturdy enough at the hinge and was easy to hold.  It didn’t come with a mirror or a brush which is not a deal breaker for me.  I don’t do my highlighter on the go and the brushes you get are generally junk but if you’re looking at a convenience factor and those things are important to you, what you see is what you get.

Application

I used a typical blush brush and first lightly swirled it in one circle around the pan.  I do this for all products especially the first time because I had no idea how sparkly or opaque this would be and to make sure I pick up any variance in color throughout the pan. I then started at my upper cheek bones (and cringed while putting powder here…I digress), swiped it back and forth in a diagonal line to follow my cheek bones and then blended by changing that to a C shape –  bit under my eye area and up around my temples and brow.

I was impressed at how buttery this came out.  No glitter, no dusty chalkiness.  Because I was feeling frisky I did one more light pass just the same and came out with an impressive “lit from within” look to my skin.  I then proceeded to do the same down the bridge of my nose, a dot on my chin, a smidge in the middle of my forehead by my nose, and my collar bones.

Pro tip: use a shadow brush, dip it into your highlighter, and trace your Cupid’s bow (where your top lip dips) and bottom lip, and add a dab to the middle of both of your lips.  Make sure to blend it out.  This will help accentuate your lips without using a gloss. Get multiple uses by using it as a brow highlight or inner-corners of your eyes.  You can also give yourself some quick dimension and all-over glow by using a big brush and running it down your shoulders/arm, and front of your legs.  I recommend using a different pan for your face and body, however.

I did use this another time and added more than a light second layer.  It gave me that Instahighlight that really caught the light.  It was more bold than I like to go with my highlighter, but wasn’t garish, still blended nicely and proved you can get some serious color pay-off with this little gem.

Overall Thoughts

For $10 at .3 oz which will last me forever, and the convenience of finding this at any drugstore (if it’s in stock) I think this is a fantastic buy.  The highlight is versatile to fit lots of different looks for different occasions (yes, you’ll light up the floor at your unce unce unce club if you want!).  It’s fun for baby-faced glowsters, and also very age-appropriate for the um shall I say “slightly more matured” woman or man.  It has no glitter or sparkles, and was very buildable.  You will want to be moisturized before using this, but it did not dry me out, settle into fine lines or accentuate texture issues.  This is #1 of importance to me as an aging woman with large pores.

New Year’s is right around the corner and is a perfect opportunity to have some fun with your routine to ring in the new year.  I may grab up one of the golden colors to try something new.  In the meantime, I’m going to keep Milani on my radar as a strong contender for amazing drugstore finds!

Overall: 4/5

Packaging: 3/5

Price: $$$$$

Have you used Milani products or have a highlight tip you love? Drop us a line in the comments.

Product Review: SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

Here at ReadHead, we’re just a tad bit (a lot) nerdy about science in skincare.  I will start this post off with saying three things right off the bat before you read on: 1) this is clinically proven to work 2) you will never get over the sticker shock 3) there are some funky ingredients.  Ok now that that is settled, read on!

SkinMedica is a physician-only skincare line – meaning you have to get it from a place that is licensed like a dermatologist, medical spa or plastic surgeon’s office.  Their products contain top-of-the-line ingredients, and a price tag to boot.  Their #1 flagship ingredient is TNS, which I’ll talk about more in a second.  This line, and TNS Essential Serum in particular, is well known, top-rated and a part of the daily skincare routine by just about any certified dermatologist/plastic surgeon/medispa professional out there.

The science behind SkinMedica’s TNS

Major contributors to both intrinsic (meaning the actual aging process we all go through as part of our biology) and extrinsic (meaning things like diet, improper care and damage that humans expose themselves to) aging are splotchiness and freckling, wrinkles and loss of collagen.  You can read my post about drinking collagen to learn more about the role and effects of losing collagen here in my blog.

SkinMedica has done research that founded and brought to the commercial pharmaceutical landscape the importance of stem cell and human growth factors into topical skincare.  TNS includes a patented and to some, shocking and confusing ingredient called Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media.   This ingredient, which is sourced from discarded neonatal tissue (i.e. foreskins…and here’s usually where the confusion/shock/intrigue/distain sets in) is housed in chambered solutions that allow it to function and generate as our natural bodies would.  This growth factor and other cytokins mimic the skin’s natural production of elastin and collagen synthesis to promote younger-looking skin over time.

As also stated in my post about collagen, there is speculation on how much penetration these molecules have due to their large size.  There is agreement that it can penetrate pores and hair follicles, but that they function at their best after skin has been compromised i.e. microneedling, a strong peel, or laser, to get deeper and get more of the benefits of the technology.

Unlike many skincare products out there, this one has been proven in multiple clinical studies, and as mentioned, is THE choice for doctors and specialists to have access to just about anything in the world to choose from.

If you want to learn more about growth factors and clinical studies, you can find sourced information from the NIH here.

Ingredients

This SkinMedica product dispenses in a dual chamber, so that you get two different “sets” of product that you mix together.

I’ve already mentioned the Human Conditioned Fibroblast Media which is the differentiator in this product, but it also has an impressive array of vitamins and extracts.

Here’s the info from SkinMedica’s website:

Chamber 1:

TNS Recover Complex – Human Fibroblast conditioned media. A physiologically balanced, naturally secreted and stabilized growth factor blend that helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone and texture.

Chamber 2:

APS Corrective Complex made up of peptides and antioxidants like green tea, vitamin E, alpha-arbutin and hyaluronic acid.

Full list of ingredients: Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media, Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables, Alpha-Arbutin, Isoceteth-20, Arachidyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Ethoxydiglycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dimethicone, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Ergothioneine, Hydrolyzed Sericin, Phospholipids, Ubiquinone, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Aminobutyric Acid, Phytosterols, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Squalene, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax (Oryza Sativa Cera), Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Steareth-10, Steareth-20, Butylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Parfum/Fragrance, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Coumarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Isoeugenol

Packaging & Application

The packaging that this bottle comes in is top notch.  It’s a presentation, as it should be with a $280 MSRP price tag. It has SkinMedica’s signature taupey-gray color with the silver chromatic lettering.  While the box it comes in is substantial, I wouldn’t call it or the bottle the product comes in as beautiful.  SkinMedica wouldn’t compete with a Lancôme or other products that spend a lot on marketing and packaging.  It’s straight-forward and appropriate, but you know you aren’t paying for a beauty bottle on your counter.  I care more about the science than the look of packaging, so that doesn’t bother me.  But, if you like to be delighted with your packages, this one may leave you wanting more.

The chambers are also a bit annoying.  Over time, the two products can misfire so that you get more of one product vs. another.  I end up having to store it upside down, or forcefully tap it on it’s top to get the chambers to work properly.

I dispense a shockingly strange color of white and bright orange onto the back of my hand, dollop them around a bit to mix them up, ad put it on my skin.  I’m a terrible baker, but I envision when you use a spatula device to layer in whipped egg whites – scoop and flip gently. The look, nor the smell will take you anywhere close to organic or botanical.  It’s a kick you in the ass real-deal “if you don’t like it oh well” type of thing.  It smelled to me like whatever chemicals they use in a Port-o-Potty.  I can’t even make that sound any more refreshing.  I’d turn my head and “whiff.”  Not my favorite. At all.

But dammit if it doesn’t work, and then you have to suck it up on the painful price tag, it’s faulty mechanics and it’s awful smell because your face glows, your skin is tighter and your wrinkles less.  And such is life.

Final Assessment

This is a supreme luxury treatment and is right for the right type of consumer.  This is prime for someone in your 30s or 40s (who can afford it) before you start to see the full signs of aging.  This is a bit overkill for anyone younger.  I’d suggest a drugstore or Sephora-like buy of the beautycare basics an exfoliant, moisturizer, retinoid and sunscreen for that age range.

There are other products that will do great things for your skin.  But, they won’t do great things like this.  Growth factors are the future of pharmaceuticals, but they also have their risks.  It’s new and groundbreaking, but it is also not tested over time.  I also maintain that no topical product is a replacement for surgery or injections, so you have to be realistic about what it can do for you.

For now I’m going to hold my breath and wait until my local spa has it on sale.  For $281 MSRP for one oz, that is a bit of like breathing in smelling salts (or Port-o-Potty chemicals) and feeling like you need to go o confession each time you press “buy.” But I’ll give it a ReadHead best and save my pennies to purchase this little dose of the fountain of youth.

Consumer warning: this is a product that is certified to be sold at licensed skincare professionals only.  You buy at your own risk from Amazon and other sellers.  In my opinion the savings is not worth the risk.

Overall: 5/5

*Certified ReadHead Best

Packaging: 3/5

Price: $$$$$

Have you used SkinMedica TNS? Drop us a line in the comments.

The Cheap Mask for the Pumpkin Everything Lover

Ahhh fall.  It’s almost that time again.  When I was younger it was noted by the cooling temps and the leaves changing vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow.  Now it’s because well…IT’S PUMPKIN EVERYTHING SEASON!

This mask is sure to make the pumpkin fiends out there as happy as enjoying a pumpkin late with a slice of pumpkin pie.  Andalou Naturals is a bit off the radar as a brand, but has some impressive products.  Their Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask retails for drugstore friendly pricing and works as well as it’s luxury competitors.  Beyond the fact it works, it literally smells like pumpkin pie on your face.  And that, ReadHead readers, is a little slice of heaven.

For those who also like a little granola on the side of your scientific skincare, you’ll like Andalou’s brand promise: “Andalou Naturals, the first Non-GMO Project Verified beauty brand, is the ultimate culmination of their many years developing meaningful policy and healthy products partnered with their deep commitment to uplifting people and the planet.”  Hug your skin and the world while you’re at it.

Ingredients:

Andalou Naturals is full of natural products and little fillers.  That’s why I like this brand.  Sure, you’ll see straightforward ingredients which means you could make something similar at home, but by the time you get the ingredients and the formulations right, whether it be hard costs for ingredients or opportunity cost, I’d pass and go for this little gem that’s ready. set. go.

Pumpkin is a double whammy of goodness, providing vitamin-rich C and glycolic acid, which both help to brighten skin by reversing free radical damage and removing dead skin cells.  It’s the #1 ingredient, and is supported by the stand-alone glycolic acid ingredient, which is what you want to see when you’re judging effectiveness. You’ve also got pineapple juice and sugar cane which aid in the breakdown of old, dull skin.

Ingredients like glycerin, honey and sodium hyaluronate help to calm and moisturize, as well as many other “extracts” that help to aid in exfoliation or soothing of the skin.

This does have cinnamon in it, which can add in that tingle that you’ll feel and is supposed to help invigorate the skin, but being towards the end of the list I think it’s more for the smell to evoke that pumpkin pie feeling, and can be irritating to some.

Here’s the list of ingredients:

Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Puree*, Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Manuka Honey, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Juice*, Pectin, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Lecithin, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract*, Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) and Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Oils, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract*^, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon), Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) and Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Powders*.

Non-GMO verified *Organic ^Fair Trade

Application & Consistency:

Right when you open the jar, you get a whiff of pumpkin which smells slightly like pie but a little less sugary.  It looks like an earthy concoction with an orange tinge as anything with pumpkin should.  It comes in a jar, which I prefer a pump top to maintain the ingredients, but for the price is expected.

I put it on my face and immediately felt tingle.  I’m used to acids, but if you are a newbie, know that this will have some kick.  Negative reviews will state this, that it burned or left their face red.  I say that they may not understand the role of acids (they can burn and turn you red).  Pumpkin also contains niacin which can give you a bit of a flush if you’re sensitive to it.  It’s always best to patch test if you are reactive to ingredients or have very sensitive skin.

The consistency was a bit of a gel-like puree.  It spread easily, but felt earthy.  It’s a bit inconsistent in it’s application which is fine by me.  It doesn’t contain silicones that will give this a beautiful slip.  It’s a bit clunky, not like oatmeal, but you get the idea.

I sat with it on my face for 15 min.  The tingle stopped in that time, and it dried down to a nice feel.  It wasn’t overly tight or harsh like a clay mask.  I rinsed it off and voila!  Bright, clear skin that had a slight orange tinge to it that went away quickly.

Final Assessment:

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a mask with this type of quality and is yummy to use.  Especially with fall time coming around when we’re trying to undo all the summer sun damage and get ourselves into the swing of cooler weather and flannel.  For around $15 for a 1.7 oz jar, it’s one I forget I own as I pillage my more pricier options, and continue to kick myself after using it because it’s great and for a great price.

Sit down and slather this one on. It’s time to treat yo’ self without feeling guilty from your wallet or the calories.

Overall: 5/5

Price: $$$$$

Packaging: 3/5

 

Have you tried any Andalou products or want to know more about them? Drop us a line in the comments.

 

 

What Drinking Collagen For 30 Days Changed For Me (Part 2)

I wrote in a previous post about the benefits of collagen and that I was going to put it to the test in a 30 and 90-day recap.  I purchased Vital Protein’s Collagen Protein Peptides because it seemed quick, somewhat affordable, and had the backings of pro athletic teams and Jennifer Anniston – and who doesn’t want to look like her.

I made my teal blue and white plastic tub my BFF at work for the last 30ish days.  It became a bit of a talking point while making my coffee or typing away.  “What cha doing there?” says a co-worker.  “Drinking your lunch again?” says my boss (she’s awesome and acknowledges my beauty quirks without raising too much of an eyebrow).  “Oh ya know, just injecting my triple espresso Americano with protein collagen powder from cows.  It’s totally normal.”

For a little over 30 days consistently I mixed my one scoop of extremely fine milled powder into my kick-me-in-the-ass coffee.  It left a little bit of a sticky, sandy feel that seemed to find my fingers and lingered in the back of my throat that took a few days to get used to.  I don’t even notice it now.  That’s how I went about my every morning except one time when I got fancy and tried it in a cold ultra smoothie (that I was in fact drinking as my lunch).  It turned into a gelatinous blob of what I can only think of wet Plaster of Paris mixed with mucus would consist of.  One unsuspecting gulp of that concoction that barely made it through my straw literally caused my gag reflex to fire. I grossed everyone out around me by fishing it out of my smoothie with the straw and flicking it into garbage can. Plink. Plink. ::shudders::

I give Vital Proteins credit.  I went this route because I loathe every other protein shake that I’ve tried.  They are either gritty, have some sort of fake taste to it, or require a degree in blender college + an investment that would surely dip into my Sephora stash for the fruit just to make it bearable.  Isn’t that just more calories??? Pass.

Other than the sandy stickiness, there was no detectable taste.  It was easy to mix right at my desk.  I thought the portion size was a bit ridiculous when I saw my $40 jug was only 14 servings but I ended up only doing one scoop once a day vs. two multiple times a day and still have plenty left.

The Verdict

I’m only about 30 days in, and I don’t believe in overnight miracles.  The protein powder is said to help with hair, skin, joints and nails.  I take supplements already that address these, so I honestly didn’t see a difference that I could attribute to this powder.  I started walking more and felt like I had rocks in my joints, so although I will chalk that up to age and overdoing it, it certainly didn’t make me feel like a gazelle.

I also didn’t turn into Benjamin Button overnight, so I’m left wondering what this supposed miracle in a bottle is really supposed to do for me.  However, I will say that I no longer had my pangs of needing protein STAT! which was the reason I started the process in the first place.  The fact that I see this difference leads me to believe there’s something there, and since that was a huge annoyance for me (plus it was clearly something my body was telling me I needed to give it) I’ll keep with it.

For those who don’t have such an extensive skincare routine as I do, or maybe don’t take other supplements that address hair, skin and nails (I will attest that the ones I take do work) then you might see a difference.  I’m only 30 days in, and am looking forward to seeing if there is any accelerated change when I check in at the 90 day mark.

So far would I suggest it? If you’re into supplements and you’re a health optimizer, then sure.  It certainly isn’t hurting anything.  If you’re like me and have had trouble finding ways to incorporate protein, I’d also say it’s a nice alternative.  The jury is still out though, on if this really lives up to the hype of being a beauty benefit.  Vital Proteins has full stars from over 120 reviewers, so unless there’s something shady there, they are making believers.  I have yet to be sold.

Check back in for the 90 day review!

 

 

Acne or Rosacea Sufferer? Meet Azelaic Acid

A long time acne and mild rosacea sufferer, I considered myself to be pretty in the know about all things pimple-plastering.  Whether it be due to new beauty contenders like Deciem’s The Ordinary or because old becomes new and people always need something groundbreaking to talk about, my eyes and ears caught wind of a new acid I had never heard of.  Fights acne…acts as an antiseptic…decreases effects of rosacea…and it was like the record scratched and all things came to a halt in my life.  What the what?  I (and now you) MUST KNOW MORE.

What is it?

Azelaic acid is a naturally-occurring acid that comes from yeast, barley and wheat.  Typically found in a white powder, this powerful acid is a triple threat to skin issues due to bacteria-fighting benefits reminiscent of benzoyl peroxide and anti-inflammatory properties similar salicylic acid.  Fellow rosacea suffers often get bumps and redness, so the mix of these two could be quite impressive while also cutting down irritation with a multi-functional product.  It is also said to possess skin lightening properties which could be an alternative to (albeit not as effective) as hydroquinone which is quite the controversial lightening ingredient depending on who you talk to and has been banned in many countries due to its adverse effects. <— check your lightening products for this ingredient if this is important to you.

Unlike alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic and lactic that help to slough off the top layers of the skin by breaking up the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together so that new skin can emerge, azelaic acid does exfoliate, but think of it as a gunk buster that gets into the follicles and pores to clear out and kill the things that cause moderate to severe acne – Finacea is one of it’s more well-known prescription-strength topicals.

As a natural redhead, I have been working for what seems to be a lifetime to gain as much of a clean slate as I can, but my skin just likes to remind me that I am not worthy.  I freckle if I even think of the word sun, my pimples hang around FOREVER and cause PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) after they’ve left for months, and my cheeks have a pink flush to them that is thank goodness mild, but still exacerbated by just about anything.  Many of you ReadHead readers with sensitive or fair skin may be experiencing the same.  Look for products that contain azelaic acid and watch it work wonders.   It may just be the missing piece to your acne-free, glowing complexion.

The Ordinary’s Azelaic 10% Suspension is currently in route to my door and cost me $8 + shipping.  I’ll be tearing into that packaging like a kid on Christmas.

Have you used azelaic acid before?  Drop us a line in the comments.

 

Product Review: belif’s The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb

As ReadHead readers and friends will know, I am pretty upfront about the struggles of my skin both as an early teen and continues in adulthood.  While I’ve thankfully never struggled with the extremes of the worst, I’ve experienced, and continue to experience, the bits of bad things that add up to being detractors of beautiful skin.

One of the hardest products for me to find is a suitable moisturizer.  I am guessing there are a lot of you out there like me, the Goldie Locks of moisturizers – too oily, not enough moisture, ingredients break me out, causes skin irritation, not enough skin-beneficial ingredients….on and on.  I definitely don’t turn my nose up to drugstore finds which have some excellent products with good technology for the money (I’ll review a few of those) but I’m also willing to drop some coin on the thing that will work for me because most just do not.

The Introduction:

I ran into the JC Penny Sephora since it was closer to where I was running errands to pick up what I was currently using that I used up the last drop.  They don’t offer all the same products as a true Sephora store and didn’t have the Drunk Elephant La La Retro I was currently using, so I went on the hunt to see if there was a new relationship to be made.  La La Retro is pretty good, but we were transitioning from winter to spring which changes my skin, and it wasn’t HG (holy grail) status for performance or price.

I was also doing some research for a client looking at packaging and in a sea of overdone sameness this one caught my eye as a Korean brand and therefore worthy of a closer look.  It has about ten lines of ingredients ranging from every botanical and antioxidant you could think of on the box, so I pulled out my phone to look up reviews on my trusted sites and into my bin it went.

THIS, the True Cream Moisturizing Bomb from belif, IS my holy grail.  For a skincare expert to say HG status, well, that’s a league all in its own and its also a Certified ReadHead best.  Read on!

What it is:

Belif is a Korean skincare brand that touts itself as the most truthful skincare company that focuses on superior botanical ingredients, safety, honesty and efficacy originating from Europe hundreds of years ago.  They are definitely on the natural and botanical side and approach skincare as a natural benefit vs. the scientific cutting-edge new innovation to hit the interwebs.

I’m typically the science-buyer focused around results and clinical studies, so this one is a bit off the radar for me. Truthfully their brand positioning pangs me in a way that my day-job background just won’t let me let go, but their product is so good that I’ll give them a pass. ::Belif – call me!::  This one definitely got consideration due to reviews and ingredients.

There are two belif products that have entered cult status – the Aqua Bomb and the True Cream Moisturizing Bomb.  The Aqua Bomb is a lighter formulation geared towards those with oily skin and may be a better option for some in the summer and in humid climates.  The True Cream is for those who are on the dryer side.  I use a lot of anti-acne and aging ingredients which can dry my skin, so while I’m oily/combo by nature, I went for the option that would help keep my skin barrier in tact and hydrated.

Ingredients:

Remember me mentioning the ten lines of ingredients on the package?  They are impressive.  There’s no fillers in there.  Where I will say that it’s not always the case that more is better, if your skin likes natural products it will love this.  It does have traces of alcohol and ‘cones in it as well as a slight fragrance that occurs naturally, which could be problematic if you’re very sensitive to these ingredients.

In happy excess are hydrators like glycerin and traces of oils (traces being the optimal word here to someone who gets clogged pores), and botanicals/extracts. Noticeably absent is SPF and targeted anti-aging ingredients like retinoids or AHA/BHA acids.  This means you’ll need to apply them separately.

Derivatives of vitamin C like L-ascorbic acid that you’re typically used to seeing will not be listed.  You’ll have to do more digging into the benefits of botanicals to really understand what they’re bringing to the table and quite honestly is one of the frustrations I have with natural products over the more straightforward scientific approach.

belif – and other natural brands that fall into this camp – should better educate their consumer about why they are choosing what they are and the benefits of those ingredients.

From Sephora’s website:

-Comfrey Leaf: Detoxifies skin, leaving it smooth, soft, and clear.

Water, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dipropylene Glycol, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Triethylhexanoin, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, PEG-40 Stearate, Saccharomyces/Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Imperata Cylindrica Root Ferment Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteayl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sorbitan Stearate, Stearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Poncirus Trifoliata Fruit Extract, Panthenol, *Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, *Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, *Nepeta Cataria Extract, *Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, *Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract, *Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract, **Alchemilla Vulgaris Leaf Extract, **Viola Tricolor Extract, **Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, **Spiraea Ulmaria Flower Extract, **Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Achillea Millefolium Flower Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, Thuja Occidentalis Leaf Extract, Menyanthes Trifoliata Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Chelidonium Majus Extract, Urea, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium EDTA, Tromethamine, ***Fragrance, Citronnellol, Limonene. *Napiers Original Formula. **Napiers Moisture Formula. ***Fragrances of Natural Origin.

Packaging:

The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb comes in an understated box with a texturized cardboard feel, light blues, black and white.  It’s appropriate for it’s earthy vibe and it’s price tag.  The jar itself is a sturdy and white plastic jar with a black plastic top.  It feels sleek, does the job, but I always prefer a pump for sanitary and product stability reasons.

Application & Consistency:

I opened the jar to find an opaque white cream that was heading more towards a typical moisturizer with a bit of a gel-like consistency and some slip, rather than anything super heavy or whipped.  It had a very slight clean, citrus smell to it which didn’t scream chemical, and wasn’t overpoweringly flowery or earthy as some botanicals can be.  These are both deal-breakers for those with very sensitive skin (or noses).

I use a Q-tip to apply my moisturizers from a jar to save any contamination from my fingers.  I scooped some up, dabbed it across my face, and here’s where the magic comes in – smoothed it on.

This spread on like a dream.  Thin yet substantial, moisturizing but not oily, calming but not tingling.  It sank right in to my skin and left a matte yet hydrated look in impressively appropriate timing – meaning not instantly which means watery and alcohol-filled, and not forever and risking too heavy or emollient.  I didn’t glow like a disco ball, but when I touched my skin you felt that moisture was there.  Wow!  Did I just stumble upon the 8th Wonder of the World? This porridge was JUST. RIGHT.

As we all know with skin care and skin like ours that is finicky and reactive, the true test is the days afterwards.  This stuff continued to power through and provide me unparalleled moisture and if anything, helped to clear up some of my pimples likely caused by the stress of products on my skin.  I’ve been around the block and don’t overhype products for that reason, but my skin has never – even after peels and scrubs – felt so soft.

I’ve noticed my skin elasticity on my neck getting a little firmer because it’s being more properly hydrated and bouncy (and not breaking out praise the Lord) and my decollete, which is prone to wrinkling due to being blasted by the sun over the years mixed with how I sleep and that I have to wear substantial over the shoulder boulder holders to function everyday, is soft and hydrated more than it ever has been.

I actually look forward to and enjoy putting this on each time.  I haven’t said that about a moisturizer in well…maybe ever.

Overall:

I went into this purchase with no expectation given it was a brand I had never heard of, and was in a category which has let me down in the past.  This is absolutely, hands down the best moisturizer that I have ever purchased.  And, the fact that it has out-performed and cut my cost in half to replace my other go-to, puts a smile on my face and some dough in my pocket.

For you to love this you’ll need to really understand it’s purpose because it’s going to do only that – hydrate and calm your skin so that it functions in an optimal way.  It’s not a super anti-ager, nor is it a multi-tasker to get you out the door in one step.  This is designed for the no-frills simple-yet-effective type of person who is ingredient-conscious, or those like me that already have targeted products to take care of the heavy lifting.

For $38 for 1.68 oz, it’s not outrageously priced, either, and is approachable for the average skin-conscious consumer.  I’ve had it for about two months and use it twice a day.  I see it lasting for another month or so.  As I mentioned I’m using the heavier/more moisturizing option and that seems to be OK for me in the summer, albeit right at the line on the most humid days.

Anytime a product does what it says, is affordable, improves my skin complexion and function AND doesn’t break me out in pimples or a rash, it’s miracle-status.

This is one I highly suggest you run out and try (or get a sample of) yourself.  I’m looking forward to using this for years to come.

Overall: 5/5

*Certified ReadHead Best

Packaging: 4/5

Price: $$$$$

 

Have you tried the belif brand?  Drop us a line in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

ReadHead 2 Head: Skinceuticals C E Ferulic vs. Drunk Elephant C-Firma

If you’ve been around the cosmeceutical (that’s cosmetics/skincare with a pharmaceutical mentality) world for the past few years, you’ve likely heard of Skinceuticals’ C E Ferulic serum. Newer to the game is Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma serum, which leaves a girl to ask – who does it better?

A little background.

Skinceuticals, a subsidiary under the L’Oréal parent company, was one of the first to bring skincare + science to the masses and in ’94 brought their revolutionary skincare technology closer to the consumer by partnering with physicians to bring medical-grade ingredients to those like you and me. Launched around 2012, the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic was a serum ahead of it’s time, incorporating proven and new ingredients with promising results.  It boasts winning 24 beauty awards and quickly grew to beauty care cult status…for those who could afford it.

New to the skin care game and bringing with it a loud voice and a big stick, Drunk Elephant has exploded in the industry and quickly gained loyal followers.  Created by Tiffany Masterson and based off the promise of effective products that leave behind the known irritation triggers, Drunk Elephant’s unique ingredients (including it’s signature Marula oil) are both high-grade and effective while leaving those who are a bit more cause or source-conscious like a happy pachyderm.

The products

A lone star for many years, Skinceuticals C E Ferulic continues to grow in popularity but people can’t help but wonder if the Drunk Elephant C-Firma is a true dupe (meaning duplicate) for the high-end serum and half the cost.

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

  • Cost: $165 USD
  • Size: 1 oz.
  • Packaging: No frills dark glass bottle with a dropper.  It’s straight forward and looks clean + clinical
  • Application: 3-4 drops to face and neck.  Smells like typical vitamin C and ferulic acid – like hotdogs.
  • Consistency: very watery and clear
Key Benefits & Ingredients:
  • 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) provides visible anti-aging benefits, brightens skin and helps protect against oxidative stress
  • 1% vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) neutralizes free radicals and replenishes lipids
  • 0.5% ferulic acid enhances the antioxidant benefits of vitamins C
  • Shows improvement in the appearance of lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and brightening your complexion
  • This vitamin C serum remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours
  • Evens skin tone and diminishes discoloration
  • The pH of the SkinCeuticals is patented, so no other product on the market has a pH between 2.5 and 3.0.  This is what keeps other companies from copying their serum verbatim.

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Laureth-23, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate

Drunk Elephant C-Firma

  • Cost: $80 USD
  • Size: 1 oz
  • Packaging: Opaque plastic pump with a twist top.  It’s bright and fun with a pop of orange on top of it’s oatmeal-colored earthy beige, and highlights it’s signature elephant logo
  • Application: 3-4 pumps for face and neck.  Newer versions have toned down the smell to be more earthy vs. hotdogs
  • Consistency: orange and a watery, viscous gel-like formulation.
Key Benefits & Ingredients:
  • Potent Antioxidant Complex (L-Ascorbic Acid 15%, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E 1%): Works to firm and brighten the look and feel of skin while defending against the signs of photo aging, pollution, and other environmental stressors
  • Chronocyclin: An antiaging chronopeptide that provides the antioxidant benefits of vitamin D to skin.
  • Pumpkin Ferment Extract and Pomegranate Enzyme: Work to enzymatically digest surface dead skin cells.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer: Hydrates and plumps the appearance of fine lines while acting as a free-radical scavenger.
  • Has a pH level of 3.3 to 3.5, which Drunk Elephant believes is the key to a non-irritating, clinically-effective formulation that delivers real results

*Duplicated ingredients from Skinceuticals are in orange

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopherol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Acetyl Glucosamine, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycine, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60.

And the winner is

I have been a Drunk Elephant fan-girl since this product came out, and have turned my nose up at purchasing something twice the price.  Especially since Drunk Elephant has produced results and has lots of great ingredients.

It was only after I received a great promotion on Skinceuticals that I decided to give it a go and I have to say that for my acne-prone skin, it is the winner.

Why you ask?

Skinceuticals had the least amount of ingredients, which my finicky skin appreciated.  It was not greasy and sunk in quickly.  The smell, although not my favorite, comes with the territory of medical-grade ingredients.  It seemed to perform the best on me by showing results and keeping my skin clear.

Although Drunk Elephant has a lot of great antioxidants and moisturizers in their product, the reason this doesn’t win overall is that my skin just does not do well with oils.  It performed on me, but it caused me to have clogged pores (which are already craters) continuously due to the Marula oil.  It also had a tendency to oxidize a bit at times and show a bit of an orangeish hue which could cause issues for the very fair skinned. It does excel in engaging packaging and providing additional benefits with more antioxidants.  Also, THAT PRICE.  You can’t argue with that.

So when it comes to the question on if C-Firma is a complete dupe, I have to say no.  However, I can’t say I don’t struggle with the price of Skinceuticals, and if I ran out and there wasn’t a sale, I’d be OK with DE.  Drunk Elephant still performs really well and those that have dry skin or aren’t prone to clogging may really dig this one.

Have you tried either?  Do you agree? Drop us a line in the comments.

 

 

Putting It To the Test: Drinking Collagen (Part 1)

Collagen is a noteworthy buzz word in the world of skincare and biology.  It’s the thing you never think of until you rapidly start losing it.

Let’s nerd out a bit about what collagen is.  We’re going to get slightly scientific here, but stick with me.

Collagen comes from the Greek word “kolla,” meaning glue.  That’s a great way of thinking what collagen’s function is in the body.  Made of up naturally-occurring amino acids in the body, collagen plays a major role in protein function.  We all know protein is important for strong muscles; think of collagen as important for making the protein work as it should.  Collagen also provides a connective network within the skin that provides support, repairs trauma, and outwardly maintains a youthful, glowing and bouncy appearance to the skin.

Over time our collagen levels deteriorate, and at an exponential rate around the age of 40.  This leads to sagging, dull skin that loses the bounce and glow.  I like to think of the pinch test – imagine pinching the cheek of a five year old (it feels firm and bounces right back) and then pinching the cheek of old Granny Glenda (feels malleable and more like loose skin than firm muscle).  Collagen breakdown starts to show up in hallowed eyes (sunken under your eye lids), deflated cheeks and jowls (flaps of skin under your jaw caused by gravity).

OMG.  We are going to be SO SEXY when we’re older….

The rate at which this happens is driven by genetics, but is also further exacerbated by sun exposure, smoking, diet especially high in sugar, free-radical stress and constant strain like running (think of your face constantly being stretched as you bounce upon the pavement).  I knew I had an excuse for not working out…I digress.

Medical News Today has a great write up if you want to further satiate your appetite for science.

Collagen in beauty care

You will hear collagen as a touted ingredient in skin care until you’re blue in the face.  The idea seems promising as it makes sense that if you know you’re going to lose it, why not slather/ingest/inject yourself with it to give yourself what your body needs.

For as many believers in collagen, there are seemingly as many nay-sayers.  The skeptics say that while there are benefits to the moisturizing effect, the molecules that make up collagen are too large to be absorbed into the skin and therefore any skin-building properties would be lost.  Injected collagen from fillers disappears over time, and ingested collagen likely doesn’t make it past the acids in the stomach and digestive process.

Collagen is also usually derived from bovine (cow) sources which prove to be issues for those who live a non-meat lifestyle, and can pose health risks if being derived from speculative sources.

Time to experiment

Admittedly, my skincare routine is on-fleek but my diet is left TBD (to be desired.  It’s definitely determined – lackluster at best).  I have noticed that I don’t get enough protein and was on the hunt for a protein shake.  They basically all suck in my opinion when it comes to drinkability and after five thought all hope was lost.

I had been reading posts about people drinking collagen for my hobby job (this) and found one while doing a brand exercise for my day job.  I ended up purchasing the powdered version from Vital Proteins, which has the backing of Jennifer Anniston and professional athletic teams.  The goal is that I will get more protein in my diet which will alleviate those sudden pangs of BURGER NOW and because I’m a sucker for anything that will make my skin look good I’m willing to give it a go.

I’m going to drink it for 90 days, checking in with ReadHead readers around day 30 and again at 90 to give you the update on before and after pics, and my experience collagen-ing.

What do you think?  Believe the hype or think it’s fluffier than a newborn bovine’s ears?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.