Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Holy Grail Moisturizer Found!

I have a tough time finding a moisturizer that fits my skin type. My skin is dry, acne prone and sensitive, all at once. When I find a product that keeps my skin moisturized, it's often too heavy to wear under makeup, and it makes my face shiny (if not breakout). If something is light enough to keep me from getting oily, it isn't strong enough to target the dry spots. And with my allergies and general sensitivity, anything that has a fragrance is out of the picture. On top of all of this, I prefer something with sunscreen, but it can't contain certain chemicals that irritate my skin. Yeah, I'm a skincare marketer's dream, ready to buy a new product each time my skin changes.

Here's a list of the face moisturizers I've gone through in the last 9 months alone: Cetaphil Lotion, Cetaphil Cream, Vichy Thermal S1, La Roche Posay Toleriane Fluide, Clinique CX Protective Base, La Roche Posay Toleriane Soothing Protective Lotion... and now, my search is over.

Yes, dear readers, I've found the holy grail of face moisturizers. It moisturizes dry areas! Leaves no shiny residue! Contains sunscreen! Fragrance free! Completely non-irritating! Improves the look of makeup! The list goes on and on.

AND it's available at a drugstore (though not at drugstore prices).

This magic moisturizer is Olay Total Effects Visible Anti-Aging Vitamin Complex. If it seems like I've been on an Olay kick lately, it's because before this year I'd never tried their products, but I've been incredibly impressed with the three I started using in the last few weeks.

The product isn't perfect; it doesn't have strong enough sunscreen ingredients for my taste (they're not photostable, either), and it's expensive. Well, relatively. It retails for around $18, but it's on sale sometimes, and Amazon offers it at a slight discount with free shipping. But honestly, these are small prices to pay for a product that has done what was previously thought of as impossible, drastically shortening my skincare routine. No need to apply a thicker cream to dry areas, a mattifyer to my t-zone, and sunscreen all over. Though I don't use primer, I think it prepares the skin so well for makeup that one wouldn't need primer.

Honestly, I could go on and on about how much better my skin looks after using this product. After I got that amazing facial a few weeks ago, I think this is what extended the results for so much longer than usual. If I wasn't self-conscious, I'd post a before and after photo and show how much better my skin looks after applying this: skin tone is far more even, no visible dryness and my skin just looks more radiant, but not in the typical "shine=radiance" way.

Okay, I swear I'm done. If you have similar skin problems and you're in the market for a new moisturizer, check out Olay 7x, it definitely lives up to the hype.


Natalie said...

This is so bizarre! I have very similar skin problems, and I just started using this lotion last week after my mom suggested it. It's awesome!

Also, I love your blog. Great job!

Meg said...

That's so weird! Yeah, I've been using it for a few weeks now and it's really helped my skin, I'm glad you like it too. And thanks for the compliment, I'm flattered!

Have a great day!

Laura said...

I'm not sure I've met an Olay product that didn't do what it said. Sometimes what it says it will do is not what my skin needs, but that's hardly the fault of the product!

I think Consumer Reports recently checked into night creams, and Olay's came out on top, with the 4x-as-expensive Lancome coming in 2nd.

Flashy_Shades said...

i really agree with you on the oil of olay! and i never understand why people swear by cetaphil, it really irritates my skin

sparkler said...

I have problem skin too – severely sensitive and allergic, oily and breakout prone with random bouts of dryness. I recently started using pure jojoba oil in place of a traditional moisturizer – 1-2 drops once a day – and it's AMAZING. My skin has never looked clearer or felt better.

Apparently jojoba is closest in structure to skin's natural oils, so it "tricks" the skin into not producing excess oil. Whatever the reason, it works. My skin feels soft and smooth, and I haven't had a bad breakout in months!

No sunscreen, unfortunately. :/

Anonymous said...

Like Sparkler, I've also started using oil instead of lotion, though on my body instead of my face. I picked up some Booth's bath and body oil at Brook's (half the price of Neutrogena plus a bigger bottle) and apply it to my arms and legs right after getting out the shower. It's totally solved my dry skin problems, especially on my legs.

Meg said...

It's encouraging to hear that so many other people have had success with this and other Olay products, I really like them.

Sparkler and (last) Anon- I've heard so many good things about Jojoba and other non-comedogenic oils on dry and even acne-prone skin, but I'm still a little nervous about taking the plunge to use it on my face. I currently use an oil cleanser (DHC) to remove makeup, but follow it with Cetaphil so that it doesn't stay on my face. I'll start with trying body oils, but I promise to try the Jojoba on my face at some point!

Anonymous said...

I have similar skin issues as yours and I like the Biore pore minimizing lotion. It's $12 at Target and it works very well and lasts longer than you'd think from the size of the bottle. If you are like me, you have had bad experiences with all other Biore products you may have tried, but this one is good. I will however have to try this Oil of Olay product to see if it's better. The grass is always greener....

Meg said...

Hey Anon- I'll have to check out the Biore... you're right, I've generally found their products to be irritating and not very effective, and I avoided the pore minimizing line because, let's be honest, most of us have bigger skin issues to deal with than simply minimizing our pores. It has good reviews on MUA too, so I'll let you know if I like it.

catherine said...

Jojoba Oil is really nice, especially for taking off eye makeup. It's kinda pricey at Trader Joe's but I've heard it does wonders for people (on MakeupAlley).

It makes your face really soft :D

Maril said...

Wow, it sounds like you all and I have the same kind of skin! I am going out and buying some of this stuff tomorrow - thank you for the recommendation. Meg, your blog is awesome!

suziemclean said...


I came across your blog when I was googling for reviews on everyday minerals. I just got my free samples in the mail today.

Anyway, I'm a huge fan of this moisturizer too. I'm already on my 5th or 6th bottle.

I started using it after reading beauty editors of all the women magazines (in the United States, the UK, Malaysia [where I'm from] and Singapore) raving about this product.

I was skeptical at first because I have acne prone skin but this product has not aggravated it in any way. It's a great makeup base too.