A few weeks ago, I had a massive allergy attack – my face suddenly grew large red patches, my skin was flaky, and I was itchy all over. My face looked like it was fried under the sun even though I’ve been spending more time indoors than I should. It was so bad I was forced to go to a dermatologist (and you all know how much I try to avoid going to a doctor of any specialty).
Given that it was a weekend and most of our HMO-accredited doctor don’t have weekend clinics, I decided to go to my trusted mall-based one – Dermclinic. I am far from a loyal client since I don’t go regularly, but whenever some skin catastrophe happens, this is the first place I run to and trust. I once had a bad allergic reaction to deodorants a few weeks before my wedding and they miraculously whitened my skin in just two short weeks. It was costly, true, but it saved my life, and my wedding day.
Anyway, my allergies were triggered by stress this time around, and I was told to not stress too much (!!!), and given fluoderm (a topical cream that works just like cutivate or betnovate IMO), a bottle of vitamin C to even out my skin tone (due to scarring), and two bottle of antihistamines – one for day, and another one for night. Trust, the one scheduled to be taken at night knocked me out so badly I woke up at 10am the next day. On a freaking Monday. To be on the safe side, I was also given a mild facial wash lotion that reminded me of Physiogel, although I liked this one better because of the consistency.
Did it work? Yes! And once again, I have Dermclinic to thank for my skin’s fast recovery. Just two days into the week-long treatment and the red splotches were gone. Makes me seriously consider booking regular appointments with my derma.
Since avoiding stress is quite out of the question (who in this century can honestly say they live a stress-free life, anyway?), it was almost an answered prayer when one of my former teammates from two companies ago called me to try out their skin products under Nu Skin, a direct-selling American company. They have several lines, mostly dealing with anti-ageing and lifestyle products, but I took the safer route and asked for the mildest shampoo and soap in their line-up.
I normally hesitate using liquid soap but this unassuming white bottle gave me a refreshing grapefruit scent which smelled sweet enough to make me want to sniff my skin, but not overpowering that would make me sneeze. It has a rich lather that rinses off easily, one of my main issues with liquid soaps, making it very economical – a bottle lasted me almost two weeks! And at Php780/bottle, it is much cheaper than my Avene soap (around Php 600/bar which only lasts me a few days). And yes, I didn’t break out in angry red spots after a month of continued use.
The shampoo was also divine – the Ava Puhi shampoo/conditioner combo worked wonders not just for my hair but also my scalp. I normally have a hard time finding a shampoo that works for me: again, stress makes my scalp flaky and itchy, and the wrong kind of shampoo can aggravate it in an instant. Not even anti-dandruff shampoos have worked on me. Plus, I had my hair rebonded at the start of the year (and dyed it a bright red a few days ago) so I was careful with the brands I use. I was quite happy for a time with the Garnier shampoo for hair and my huge tub of organic conditioner from Tony and Jackey salon, but the Ava Puhi was a welcome addition to my shower routine. It smelled nicely too and didn’t give me any dandruff.
The scion feminine wash and anti-perspirant also passed my strict skin test (fine, my skin test consisted of using it for a couple of weeks). I guess the key here is that the fragrance used isn’t strong and that each product is Ph-balanced and uses clinically-tested ingredients. Safe to say that I have found a product combo that I will have a long-term relationship with.
Up next in my roll call is the Neutrogena facial moisturizer. My dermatologist told me to get Physiogel moisturizing cream but they ran out at the Mercury Drugstore I went to so I opted to get one from my trusted brand (yes, I am quite loyal to products from my former and current employers). It has SPF too and not thick like most sunblocks so it matches my wants from a multi-use product.
A high school friend introduced my to VMV Hypoallergenics. I’ve been wanting to try their products but never got around to doing so because 1) I have too many other products at home and 2) I honestly just keep forgetting. Anyway, one weekend I found myself walking around Bonifacio High Street and I decided to get their hand and body smoother.
Verdict? I love it! It is by far my favorite lotion (shooting past my Aveeno and Avene staples). You know why? My skin easily feels very supple after applying it and while it is fragrance-free, it leaves a distinct scent that reminds me of milk and honey. And I don’t itch or dry out even though it’s been hours since my last application. I loved it so much I also got a tube of lipstick which I hope to blog about soon (which reminds me that I am about seven tubes of lipstick delayed).
Neutrogena body wash, Kiehl’s Centella Recovery Skin Salve, Lip Balm, Toner and facial wash
A few days before I got my Nu Skin loot and right after my trip to the derma, I tried out Neutrogena’s shower and bath gel, which, sad to say, fell short of my expectations. The scent made me sneeze just a few seconds after opening the cap, and my skin felt taut and dry after using it. The hubby liked it though.
I also tried out the Centella Recovery Skin Salve, toner, lip balm and facial cleanser from Kiehl’s. The salve, which almost drained my wallet that day, works best on irritated skin. I use it when my skin threatens to dry up and becomes itchy (since the fluoderm cream is steroid-based and not to be used for more than seven days) – and my skin immediately feels and looks nourished the day after. And of course, who doesn’t swear by the lip balm? Too bad the store didn’t have the colored lip balms I prefer and hoarded in one of my trips abroad.
I am packing my bag for a three-week vacation and all the products you see here are already safely tucked in their own compartment in my luggage. Yes, they are that good that I cannot leave home without them (nor would I want to rely on hotel-issued bath and body products).