Splurge vs. Steal - Amazing Anti-Aging Products for Less!

Airdate: 12/1/11

Discover the best products to address wrinkles, crow's feet, dark spots, loss of collagen, and other signs of aging. Find out which inexpensive anti-aging products outperform their pricey competitors, and learn which anti-aging products aren't worth buying.

Bryan Barron: Good evening everyone. It is December 1, 2011 and you are listening to BlogTalkRadio's "Be Beautifully Informed with Paula Begoun and her Paula's Choice Research Team. My name is Bryan Barron and I am sitting in the host chair for Paula this evening as she is currently traveling, taking a little bit of a holiday before the holiday. And so you are going to be hearing us talk about amazing anti-aging products for less.
00:00:35 This is essentially our "Splurge vs. Steal" show. And I am on air tonight with our intrepid host, Desiree Stordahl. Good evening, Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: Hello. Good evening. I can't believe Paula is missing this show. This is one of her favorite topics.
Bryan Barron: It is. And I know that she was having feelings about not being here for the show. But we are going to do our best to do her proud. And before we delve into the topic tonight, I wanted to remind our listeners that we welcome your questions.
00:01:08 You can call and ask us skincare, makeup, cosmetic procedure questions, maybe in the preparation to do some holiday shopping you have some people on your list that might benefit from a good skincare routine. We can certainly discuss that. So, give us a call at 347-426-3783. And just a reminder to our new listeners, if you go to the community page at, if you are enjoying what you are hearing tonight we have a full archive of all of our previous shows that you can listen to at any time.
00:01:45 You can download them onto your iPod or mp3 player and listen to them when you work out. I know a lot of our fans do that. So check that out. And we also make transcripts available, usually about a week to two weeks after a show. But there is, of course, a backlog of transcripts that are already up on the site that you can view online when you are sitting at home with your iPad or if you just wanted to print it out. Especially for a show like this, when we are going to be talking about a lot of different products, the transcripts can be helpful.
00:02:17 But before we delve into the topic, we haven't done a rant for awhile. And coincidentally it seems like most of our rants come from fashion magazines because month after month most of the fashion magazines print half-truths and misinformation that a lot of readers, especially if you don't know any better - I know I do this - they take it word for word. And they are not all that skeptical about it. So I came across one in the December issue of Harper's Bazaar. And the headline of the article was "Look Thinner by Tonight: These Ten Tips Will Help You Slim Down by Sundown."
00:03:00 And the theme of it is you have got a party you want to look as good as possible. Here are some ten quick tips to help you lose weight so that when you are photographed you look better in pictures. I'm not going to go over all of the tips. I just wanted to briefly comment on a few that I thought were just silly. First of all, if you were to do all of these tips you would spending a good deal of money and also a lot of time, all to maybe look ever so slightly thinner at that party when there are a lot of different things that you can do when you are posing for a picture, regardless of what your weight is, or if you are feeling bloated.
00:03:41 There is a lot you can do to make yourself look thinner by the lighting, by how you are standing, how you position your body. A quick look through any of the celebrity magazines, particularly when they photograph stars on the red carpet, and In Style does this a lot, you will notice how a lot of the women stand. Desiree, have you seen this?
Desiree Stordahl: Oh yes.
Bryan Barron: Typically they angle one side out. Usually one foot is at an angle behind the other.
Desiree Stordahl: They have always got the hand on the hip.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:04:13 And they know their most flattering side and they tend to pose that way and that all makes sense. So one of the, frankly, dumbest pieces of advice was to soak in Epsom salts. And they have a dermatologist from New York saying that it draws water out of your skin cells, kind of like reverse osmosis. And so you are supposed to lie there for 15 minutes. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. They can make bathwater feel silkier, softer.
00:04:46 If you don't soak in them too long they can make your skin feel softer. And anecdotally, they can be soothing. And there is information out there, not necessarily the most reliable, showing that it can reduce inflammation. But the whole concept of drawing water out of the skin cells - yeah, if you dehydrate yourself, yes, you will by definition look a bit thinner. A bit thinner.
00:05:10 But you won't look as good in photos. And after your bath, what are you most likely going to do? You are going to slather on some moisturizer. So that water that was sucked out, supposedly, is going to go right back into the upper layers of skin and plump it back up. And you are right back to where you started from. What is particularly interesting is that later on in these tips they recommend drinking a bunch of water. So, in one of the tips you are supposed to soak in Epsom salt to pull the water from your skin cells to look thinner.
00:05:39 But at the same time you are supposed to guzzle water to detoxify your system and no doubt end up going to the bathroom a lot more than you normally would. The other dumb tip was to nix the gum and this was sort of good and bad. Another expert recommends avoiding sugar-free gum because you swallow air when you chew, creating gas, and the body can't digest the artificial sweeteners in gum which causes you to attract and retain water. I don't know how much of that is true. I am fairly certain that, right, the body can't digest artificial sweeteners.
00:06:14 Those probably just pass through unchanged. There is certainly no nutritional benefit to them. But the part I thought was a bit dumb was that the repetitive movement builds up your jaw muscles so your face looks wider. Come on!
Desiree Stordahl: And actually if that were true probably women would be chewing gum because they want that bone structure. So for them to add that in there I thought was really bizarre.
Bryan Barron: Right. Not to mention that you would have to chew - think of how long you have to chew a piece of gum or how much gum you have to chew before you even notice that your jaw starts hurting? Just - Oy - this is one of the reasons that Paula and I have this love/hate relationship with the fashion magazines.
00:06:56 The two tips in this piece that I thought were actually helpful was to enhance your bone structure with makeup and they suggest blending cream bronzer under your jaw line and cheek bones. It makes the face look more angular. And also to pull your hair up into a high ponytail or half-up ‘do to give your face an instant lift. When done correctly all of those tips can absolutely make your face look slimmer. I would suggest being very careful using any creamy product along your jaw line because creams have movement. And especially if you were wearing an outfit where your jaw line or the edge of your neck may be contacting clothing, you will transfer makeup to that clothing and it won't be a secret to anyone what you did.
00:07:38 So, instead of using a creamy product you would want to use a very carefully applied contoured type of powder, or even a bronzing powder that is not too orange or peach right under that jaw line area. And you can practice this at home to see if you like the sculpted effect. But absolutely playing around with contouring the face - and we have information on that on our website - can definitely help enhance your natural bone structure and make you look more elegant in photographs.
00:08:09 The other one I thought was great that most of us are guilty of is having poor posture. It is amazing, and they mentioned in this article "slumpy equals dumpy." And that is so true. When you see someone that stands up straight, with their shoulders back, their stomach tucked in, they automatically look thinner, they look more confident, they look more poised. When you have got your shoulders hunched and you are kind of slouching around, you just automatically don't look fit or trim, even if you are.
00:08:40 So stand up straight for photos. Figure out what your best side is. Experiment with makeup. Hopefully you will have a little time to do that before your holiday so you will look good in those photos. And don't follow all of those - most of those, sorry - silly tips in Harper's Bazaar. Next we are going to talk with Ms. Desiree because she has a few fun, fabulous, and somewhat sad products to tell you about. She has personally experimented with these and thinks that they are worth sharing, especially as we gear up for holiday party season. Desiree?
Desiree Stordahl: Absolutely.
00:09:17 This is one of my favorite parts about my job is I get to be a guinea pig for new products, whether they are new products that we are formulating -
Bryan Barron: For better or worse.
Desiree Stordahl: For better or worse, or new products from another brand. And Dior came out with a product called Velvet Eyes Multi-Wear Adhesive Eyeliner Patches. They are $59.00 which is pretty pricey. They are available at Sephora. And what they are are adhesive eyeliner appliqués that are intended to be a quick and easy way to create the dramatic eyeliner look that you would see on fashion runways. So they are not just like a thin strip. They are very -
00:09:54 They encompass a large area on your eyes. And we were optimistic about trying these out. There are four different patches that you get, or four different pairs of patches that you get. There is one that has a velvet matte appearance. A couple of the others have sparkles and rhinestones. So each pair has a very different dramatic, bold look to them. And what you do is you peel them off the backing. You can put the glue on them or they are sticky enough the first time to just put them on your eye.
00:10:24 So you are trying to put them as close to your eyelash line as you can. The problem is not everybody's eye is shaped the same, nor is it the same size. So for me they were a bit too large. I kind of had to curve them a little bit to get them to fit the shape of my eye just right. They were awkward feeling; they took up a large part of my eye, like three-fourths of my eye, which just looked absolutely ridiculous. And they felt really heavy.
00:10:54 All in all I wouldn't say they were a slam-dunk. I didn't think they looked all that great on me. I think most people would have to trim them in order to fit their eye shape correctly. And at $59.00, if you screw up and over cut them, you have just lost out on a good chunk of money. I didn't find them to be all that great. But, that being said, for somebody who wants a really bold, dramatic eye statement, maybe for theater makeup or some costume party, it would be - you could consider looking at these.
00:11:29 But for $59.00, that is a pretty big investment, especially considering if you take the time and you have a somewhat skilled hand at eyeliner you could recreate this look yourself. Like I said, $59.00 from Sephora. I thought they were a dud. I wouldn't do it again, but just putting that out there for all of our listeners. On the other hand, a product that I liked that is a new and interesting product is Sally Hansen's Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. And what these are, basically they are nail stickers, which sounds really cheesy and tacky.
00:12:06 And they could be, if you picked out a really weird print or design; they have all kinds of different designs that you can do. There are checkered and flowers they have all sorts of Halloween ones or you could do solid colors. But essentially it is a stretchy sticker that you put over your nail. You stretch it over the tip of your nail and it breaks off right where the edge of your nail is. And there are different sizes that you can get them to fit your nail just right.
00:12:36 And you can file them down so they are just perfectly against the edge of your nail. But I thought, "Oh, these are probably going to last a day or two." And I thought after the first hand washing and time in the shower they would be gone. These lasted for me longer than a regular manicure does. I had a whole full week with them. And they didn't chip. They held up against all the wear and tear I put them through. So I was actually quite pleasantly surprised and they are only about $7.00 to $10.00 at the drug store.
00:13:04 Bryan, have you seen these?
Bryan Barron: I have not. But when you were telling me about them before the show, the one thing that I think was really going to stand out for our listeners was how long they lasted.
Desiree Stordahl: Absolutely. I mean I can't believe that they lasted a full week, which normally with a manicure I would have had chips by then. So it was a pretty fun find and they do have some really fun prints so you could get a little crazier with them, or like I said they have just the normal, solid colors as well. So something fun to try out.
Bryan Barron: Where did you find those, Desiree?
Desiree Stordahl: These were at Ulta, but I know that they sell them at all kinds of drug stores or even like a Fred Meyer's. I have seen them all over the place, so anywhere you can get Sally Hansen pretty much you are going to get these.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:13:49 And then really quickly tell us about the last one.
Desiree Stordahl: There is a nail polish available at Sephora. It is called Nails Inc. by London. And it is a magnetic nail polish and one of our coworkers, Daynah, tried this out. And what you do is you brush the nail polish on and at the end of the cap there is a magnet. And it actually creates this cool kind of ridged chevron design in your nail. And it was a really neat effect.
00:14:16 She demonstrated it for us in the office and you could actually see it happening. So if you go on Sephora's website you can look it up to see what it looks like. Currently they only have a gray, purple and a dark teal color. So you are a bit limited on the shade selection. But it is a fun new nail thing. $16.00 at Sephora. I think there are other brands coming out with similar products that you might be able to get for less money.
Bryan Barron: That was definitely a little different if you are looking to jazz up the nails and kind of do a science experiment that if you have young kids they would probably think it was super cool to watch it change like that. All right, onto the topic - Anti-Aging Splurges vs. Steal. Now I am going to be going back and forth between we have ten splurges and we have ten steals.
00:15:07 So quite a few products to discuss. I'm going to try to over this as succinctly as possible. You can access complete reviews and other details on any of these products on All of these were culled from our best anti-aging/anti-wrinkle products list. And they are not in necessarily any order of preference or popularity. These are just some particularly good formulas. There are others that you can explore on the site. So, these are not the end all, be all. But because that list is somewhat overwhelming, it is several pages long, for those looking to just kind of hone in on some of the products that the Paula's Choice Research Team thinks are definitely worth splurging on and are definitely bona fide beauty steals, you are listening to the right show.
00:15:55 So, these are divided into four different topics. We are going to talk about AHA products, serums, moisturizers with sunscreen that you would of course apply during the daytime, and then regular moisturizers that you can apply at night, so a couple of these have night in the name. You can also apply the moisturizers we are going to talk about during the day as long as they are applied underneath a moisturizer with sunscreen.
00:16:20 Now do you need to do both in the daytime? No. We hear from women every now and then via email and on our Facebook page that ask does a sunscreen that I wear during the day moisturize. And yes, most of them do. And the reason for that, even if it doesn't say that it is a moisturizer, is because the active ingredients used in sunscreen formulations tend to perform best and are easiest to stabilize when they are in what is called an emulsion.
00:16:52 And without getting too technical, an emulsion is simply a lotion, a cream, something that feels moisturizing on the skin. So although a true moisturizer per se may feel thicker and richer, more hydrating, a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen is going to have those same qualities. It just may not be as thick. There are some out there but bottom line is you can get away with wearing just a moisturizer with sunscreen unless your skin is super dry and you may want to put a thin layer of a rich moisturizer on first.
00:17:25 But everyone else, you don't need both products during the day. Okay, let's start with some serums. The three that we thought were good anti-aging splurges, and we are going to start with some of the pricier ones, and almost without exception serums tend to be the most costly anti-aging products. They are costly to make. The ingredients in them, if they are well-formulated, are expensive on a pound-per-pound basis. ZO Skin Health Ossential Growth Factor Serum - that one is our priciest.
00:17:56 It is $195.00 for an ounce, but it contains a great blend of anti-aging ingredients including retinol. It has some vitamin-C. And it has a silky gel base that someone with normal-to-oily skin would like. Another pricy one is Jan Marini Age Intervention Peptide Extreme Facial Serum. That is definitely more wallet-friendly than the ZO Skin Health one. It is $89.00 for an ounce. Still pricey. We are going to tell you about some less expensive ones, don't worry.
00:18:26 But if you want to go the Jan Marini route, it is a great serum for normal-to-dry skin. It is packaged to keep those key ingredients stable during use so they are not being exposed to degrading light and air. The claims for this particular product are over the top, but it is still a good formula that has several peptides along with a lot of proven anti-oxidants and a non-fragrant plant oil. The other serum that is a bit on the pricey side before we get to some "steals" is Peter Thomas Roth's Retinol Fusion PM.
00:18:55 That one costs $65.00 for an ounce. It is a simple formulated product. It is fragrance-free. And it contains a good amount of retinol along with vitamin-C and E and a cell-communicating ingredient known as Lecithin. So, not a lot to this particular serum from Peter Thomas Roth, but it has it where it counts, so to speak. And if you are somebody who has sensitive skin, as a general rule you want to use products that have fewer ingredients rather than a laundry list of ingredients because that reduces the chance that your skin will react to one or more of the ingredients. So, for that, Peter Thomas Roth's Retinol Fusion may be worth a try if you want to splurge.
00:19:39 Now moving towards a couple of the serums that are in the "steal" category, I would be remiss for not mentioning any of the serums from Paula's Choice. Our best-selling product for several months now has been our Resist Super Anti-Oxidant Concentrate Serum. It is $25.95, Desiree?
Desiree Stordahl: I think that's right. Yes.
Bryan Barron: $25.95 for an ounce. It comes in an opaque tube with a teeny tiny needle nose applicator. Very silky texture. Good amount of vitamin-C along with several anti-oxidants and peptides. Incredibly silky feel. If you happen to have tried this and think that it is too greasy, I can almost guarantee you are applying too much, so scale back.
00:20:23 We have two other serums in Paula's Choice that are the same price point and size. One being the Skin Recovery Super Anti-Oxidant Concentrate Serum. That is best for normal-to-very dry skin. It does contain retinol if you are looking for a serum with retinol along with several other goodies. The Skin Balancing Super Anti-Oxidant Concentrate Mattifying Serum also has retinol. It is for normal-to-oily or combination skin or someone who is struggling with breakouts and acne. Very silky texture. It feels almost weightless and airy on skin.
00:20:56 And a lot of our customers tell us that they love using this as a foundation primer because it absolutely has that affect. But unlike a lot of foundation primers it is loaded with beneficial ingredients, so you don't need that extra foundation primer that is just a bunch of silicones all by themselves. Get the silicones that make your skin feel super silky in a full-fledged serum that is giving your skin a lot of anti-aging ingredients, too.
Desiree Stordahl: Those are actually on sale this month, too. 20%.
Bryan Barron: Oh, that's right. 20% off December special. All of our anti-oxidant concentrates. Woo-hoo! I need to buy some. I'm almost out of the Resist. At the drugstore we like Okay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum.
00:21:40 This is somewhat similar to their original Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum, but if I am not mistaken you get a bit more product for your money with the micro-sculpting version. The retail price is $26.99 for 1.7oz. It doesn't have any sculpting ability; you can ignore the macro and micro scale sculpting and lifting claims. Simply hydrating and plumping the skin shows signs of aging - it is not going to make it look lifted. The serum isn't a mini-facelift in a bottle. A great name, though.
00:22:15 But with each use your skin is going to be treated to a potent amount of the cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide, repairing ingredient, glycerin, and a trio, actually more than that, of other anti-aging ingredients. It has got some good anti-oxidants in there. It does contain some mineral pigments that leave a shiny finish which is how this manages to make your skin look brighter and more radiant. It is a cosmetic effect.
00:22:39 If you like that, great. Women with oily skin may not like it because that simply adds more shine to the skin. And that is about it for the serums that we would consider "steals," because most serums that you are going to find are anywhere between $25.00 to upwards of $195.00. You certainly don't need to spend in that range to get a brilliantly formulated serum. Now for AHA products there are a couple here to talk about. On our splurge list, this is an eye area product by Exuviance from NeoStrata and it is called Age Reverse Eye Contour.
00:23:18 You can apply it anywhere on your face, but you are one of those women, or men, who prefer using an eye cream, even though that is not necessary. We won't go into that right now. But if you are intent on using one, this is a good one to consider because of its blend of polyhydroxy acids for exfoliation. You can read about polyhydroxy acids in the cosmetic ingredient dictionary on They are similar to AHAs. This eye cream also has several anti-oxidants and anti-irritants and it is fragrance-free.
00:23:48 Once again, like the Marini product, the claims for this are a bit over the top, but you will get hydration, you will get some smoothing, and it is a gentle product that is used around the eyes or elsewhere on the face. In the "steal" category, Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting AHA or BHA Exfoliants. Those are $18.95 for anywhere from 3.3oz to 4oz. Those recently debuted in brand new packaging sporting our new look. And several of our exfoliants are now in a pump bottle which has been a fairly frequent customer request.
00:24:28 It is a much more elegant way to use those products. They all are formulated with effective amounts of either AHA or BHA in a very gentle fragrance-free base that is loaded with anti-irritants and other great for-skin ingredients. So, if you haven't tried one of those yet, it is definitely the group of products that will often get new Paula's Choice customers sold on what our concept of skincare is and how we are different.
00:24:56 There are other companies, of course, that offer AHA and BHA products. And another one we wanted to mention tonight is from Derma E. And that is sold in some drugstores. I believe you can get it online at but they have a product called AHA Alpha Hydroxy Acids Beauty Fluid. It is $16.95 for 2oz. It is an AHA lotion that has about 5% glycolic acid formulated in a pH range that allows it to work as an exfoliant. It is a very good option for normal-to-dry or sun damaged skin.
00:25:28 A few anti-oxidants in there and a nice dry skin friendly mix of emollients. A tiny, tiny amount of fragrance from lemon extract, not enough to be concerned about. Let's talk real quick about some moisturizers with sunscreen. Definitely a favorite topic of Paula's and it almost goes without saying that if anti-aging is your mantra for skincare your daily routine must include a sunscreen. If it doesn't, or if you think you are going to be lax about applying it, I really can't stress enough how much using other products, it is kind of money wasted.
00:26:10 Protecting your skin from further sun damage is critically important so that when you are using other anti-aging products that have those anti-oxidant collagen stimulating and repairing ingredients they actually have a safe platform from which to start working. Skipping the sunscreen means your skin is constantly being exposed to cumulative sun damage and your skin is constantly in a mode of being damaged and then trying to repair that damage. But the more sun damage we get, the more those mechanisms in skin that allow it to repair itself become hindered and eventually become so faulty that the result years later is deep etched lines, uneven skin tone, a leathery texture.
00:26:52 Pretty much everything that causes someone to complain about how their skin looks when they get to a certain age can all be traced back to sun damage. Okay, coming off my soapbox. The products that we liked in the "splurge" category, and I am hesitant to recommend somebody splurge on a sunscreen, because the more you spend on a sunscreen the less likely you are going to be to apply it liberally. And liberal application is essential. But, if you promise that you are not going to skimp on application, let me tell you about two of them that we like.
00:27:26 One is from Estee Lauder. It is their Time Zone Line & Wrinkle Reducing Moisturizer with SPF-15 and that is their Normal/Combination Lotion. They recommend it for normal/combination skin, but really the formula's lightweight cream base is best for normal/dry skin. You can try it if you have combination skin. You might find it feels a bit too heavy over your oily areas. But, see what you think. If you opt to go this route it gives you great broad spectrum protection with Avobenzone which is a key active for sufficient UVA protection.
00:27:58 The other one that we like offers a higher SPF and it is from Philosophy. It is their Miracle Worker SPF-55 Miraculous Anti-Aging Fluid. This one is $55.00 for 1.7oz. And I noted that that was $1.00 per SPF number.
Desiree Stordahl: Ouch.
Bryan Barron: Hey, it's a splurge. It has a light fluid texture. It is great for normal-to-oily skin, especially if you have normal-to-oily skin that is prone to breakouts. Again, the UVA protection is coming from Avobenzone and this formula treats skin to a pretty impressive mix of anti-oxidants.
00:28:37 You get a cell-communicating peptide and some beneficial plant extracts, too. And it is fragrance-free, so we love that. Fragrance-free is always better for all skin types. What is good for your nose isn't good for your skin. If you want to spend a bit less money I have a couple of options here. Of course, Paula's Choice offers several daytime moisturizers with sunscreen. We have SPF-15, SPF-20. Our Resist offers SPF-25 -
Desiree Stordahl: That one happens to be my favorite, the Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF-25.
Bryan Barron: Really?
Desiree Stordahl: And you know why I like it? Even though I have oily skin, so I don't use it all over.
00:29:16 I use a different formula for --
Bryan Barron: That's why I was surprised.
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. But for under the eye area and highlighting my cheekbones, it has a certain sheen to it that gives you a subtle beautiful glow.
Bryan Barron: It does.
Desiree Stordahl: And so I will use it on the under eye area and my cheekbones on those days where I want to have a little bit of a dewy glow. And I love it.
Bryan Barron: And because it has the mineral active which is incredibly gentle, it is actually a great option to use around the eyes.
00:29:45 I mean on the entire face, too, if you want, especially if you have normal-to-dry skin. But, yes, that is a good tip, Desiree. SkinMedica has a product called Environmental Defense Sunscreen with SPF-30. Now, I put this in the "steal" category even though when you hear the price, it is $40.00 for 3oz. So, it seems expensive. But when measured up against several other daytime moisturizers with sunscreen at the department store in the $60.00 to $80.00 range for an ounce, maybe two if you are lucky, it really does become more of a bargain.
00:30:20 Certainly not the lowest price option out there, but it is definitely worth considering for it's in part zinc oxide and other mineral sunscreens. It has a creamy smooth formula. You are going to get proven anti-oxidants along with repairing ingredients and some soothing agents. And you do get almost twice as much product compared to many other daytime moisturizers with sunscreen in this price range. So, definitely another one to consider. And then there are two from BeautiControl which is a mail-order or you can find a BeautiControl rep that sells the line.
00:30:50 Their BC Spa Facial Defend & Restore Moisture Crcme with SPF-20. And then they also have Facial Defend & Restore Moisture Lotion with SPF-20. That version is the better one for normal-to-oily skin. It has a much lighter texture. If you have normal-to-dry skin you can consider the cream. They are both fragrance-free, pure titanium dioxide sunscreen and it has, the cream version, comes in a definitely thicker base that has lots of antioxidants and it is also a good option for sensitive skin.
00:31:28 So those are the ones that we like along with the Paula's Choice that would be considered steals. Let's see, we did that, the serums, let's talk about some moisturizers. This is a category where the prices are all over the place. So, our splurges aren't necessarily too pricey in the grand scheme of things because you can find moisturizers at the department store that are in the $300.00 to $400.00 range, including a couple for $500.00. Don't buy those. Those are just not worth it. You are paying for the marketing and for the image and for the ultra fancy packaging which almost always is a jar.
00:32:07 Dr. Dennis Gross, he has a product called Hydra-Pure Oil-Free Moisture. It is $78.00 for an ounce. Again, this is one of our splurges. It is a great moisturizer if you have normal-to-slightly dry skin. A great array of anti-oxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and moisture binding agents. It is fragrance-free. We also like one from a line that we recently reviewed that is sold at Sephora. And the line is called Algenist. And they have a product called Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion. This is $75.00 for 2oz and this one has a fluid, silky, lightweight texture. Overall it is best for normal-to-dry skin, especially if you have normal-to-dry skin and want something that doesn't feel too heavy.
00:32:51 It has some excellent ingredients to reduce signs of aging. And it most likely contains enough vitamin-C. And the form they are using is Ascorbyl Glucoside to help improve brown spots. The last moisturizer on the splurge list is a little bit less costly. It is from a line called Boscia. And it is their Restorative Night Moisture Cream. This one is $48.00 for an ounce. Rich cream. It is best for dry and sensitive skin that is not prone to breakouts. Has several proven emollients and some notable plant extracts. Very much like Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Moisturizer.
00:33:30 This comes in a jar but don't let that fool you; it is actually airless jar packaging so it is going to help keep those ingredients stable during use. That type of packaging is pretty cool, especially if you are someone who likes jars but knows that really they are not the best. There are some cell-communicating ingredients in the formal, too. It is fragrance-free and definitely worth seeking out if you have skin that is sensitive and uncomfortably dry. It should really make a difference. And again, in terms of a steal, you can give our Skin Recovery Moisturizer or even the Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment mask a try. Those are both fabulous for dry sensitive skin.
00:34:15 In the steal column, in addition to the Paula's Choice moisturizer I mentioned, of course we have several facial moisturizers that go between $18.95 and $24.95 for 2oz. We have at the drugstore CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM. It is $13.00 for 3oz. It is truly a drugstore best buy. It contains an outstanding blend of emollients, some skin identical ingredients, great for normal-to-dry skin. In addition to those skin identical ingredients, it also contains a generous amount of the cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide which offers multiple benefits for skin, uneven skin tone, larger pores, impaired barrier.
00:34:58 You will find niacinamide in several products in Paula's Choice Skin Balancing line. It is the cornerstone of our Skin Balancing Toner which we get rave reviews on and I wish I could use that one but it just doesn't agree with my skin. All right, CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion, we talked about that. I wanted to see if there was one or two on this list that I missed.
00:35:25 And nothing, eh, I'm not going to talk about that one; that's just a little bit too expensive. Oh, one for use around the eye that I actually thought was kind of different and dare I say "cool." If you are looking for an eye area product it is from M.A.C. And it is in their - I can never say this - Prep + Prime line. And it is called Vibrancy Eye Primer. It is $30.00 for an ounce. It comes in a little black pump bottle. It is a lightweight eye cream. It has got a moist feel and a slightly shiny finish because of the shimmery pigments it contains.
00:36:02 And what M.A.C. did was by combining the pigment that they normally used in their shine enhancing or radiance-boosting makeup, they have an eye area product that smoothes and brightens. So kind of like what Desiree was saying earlier by using the Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer around her eyes, this has a similar brightening effect but it comes more from shimmer. To a certain extent, because of the coloration, this can help improve the appearance of dark circles or under eye darkness.
00:36:32 It isn't going to go as far as a concealer will, and for best results if you have dark circles you will want to pair this product with a concealer. But it does help. But most important, it contains a really nice range of anti-oxidants and water binding agents along with other ingredients to help reduce signs of aging. Those are our steals. Those are our splurges. I encourage you to check out to learn more about any of the Paula's Choice products on the list. And, again, you can go to to read reviews of any of these products and thousands more.
00:37:08 Desiree, it looks like we have some callers.
Desiree Stordahl: Let's go to Steffi from Tennessee.
Bryan Barron: Hi Steffi. You are wondering about battling breakouts while preventing wrinkles?
Steffi: Yes. I'm only 25 years old, but one side of my family is extremely wrinkled and they all showed signs really early - like 30 they started getting a lot of wrinkles and stuff like that. And the other side didn't. So, I'm hoping I have the genes from that side. But I'm Greek so I also have a lot of sun damage I'm sure under there somewhere. But I'm still breaking out and having trouble with congested skin. So I don't know which I should be focusing on first, or what I should be -
00:38:02 I know salicylic acid and all that for my breakouts, but should I add more moisturizing ingredients for anti-aging, or should I just focus on the breakouts until they clear up?
Bryan Barron: Okay, it is two things. You definitely want to continue to focus on the breakouts as long as you are continuing to breakout. And for a lot of people, even when their breakouts are under control, they still need to use those products, particularly a beta hydroxy acid which is a salicylic acid exfoliant to keep things in check.
00:38:40 Unfortunately it is just a fact of life for a lot of us, at least until we get passed a certain age and it never seems to be as soon as we would like it to be. But you need to maintain using those products because if you stop the breakouts are going to come back and you will be right back where you started from, and nobody wants that. On the plus side, the BHA product if you are using a well-formulated exfoliant is going to do double duty. It is going to help exfoliate, reduce inflammation and to a certain extent kill that acne-causing bacteria.
00:39:15 But it also provides the anti-aging benefits as well. So, there isn't, in that sense, there isn't a compromise. You will get benefits, both anti-acne and anti-aging. The other part of your question that I wanted to address was the notion that anti-aging ingredients need to be moisturizing. They don't. Just simply applying more moisturizing ingredients is really not going to do much to stop or help control signs of gaining.
00:39:50 If your skin is dry, or if you have dry areas, completely different story, you do need those moisturizing ingredients to help reinforce skin's barrier. But by and large the anti-aging ingredients, they don't necessarily have a heavier feel. Ingredients like anti-oxidants, vitamin-C, retinol; skin repairing ingredients like ceramides; cell-communicating ingredients like niacinamide. You can find those great anti-aging ingredients in lightweight products so you can give your skin the anti-aging benefits, and it sounds like based on your age you are more at this point you are trying to be proactive about it - you are not waiting until you see those wrinkles, right?
Steffi: Right.
00:40:35 I don't have any wrinkles. I just know that I have spent quite a bit of time out in the sun and then with genetics and stuff, I feel it coming on, you know? And I want to do the best I can do to prevent or hold it off or make it better or whatever I can do; just do my best as far as just applying products.
Bryan Barron: Well, without question, the number one thing that you can do right now is to make sure that you are protecting your skin every day, even on cloudy days, and even in the winter, with a sunscreen. I guarantee if that is the only thing that you did and let's just assume that you didn't have breakouts to worry about, but if the sunscreen stuff was the only thing you did, you would already be ahead of the game compared to, chances are, many of your friends.
00:41:24 And 10, 20 years down the road, when they are seeing their uneven skin tone, and the wrinkles and the creases, your skin is going to look a lot better.
Steffi: Awesome. Yes, I do use a sunscreen in my makeup. Because I try to employ the - I don't know if it is accurate or not, but the most I can combine in a product and not use multiple products, I feel like is better if that makes any sense, so I am not just layering and layering and layering and layering because of the breakouts.
Bryan Barron: Right.
Steffi: I don't know if that is legitimate or not, but I try.
Bryan Barron: Well with breakouts you definitely don't want to layer a bunch of heavier products. But the concern, it is fine if you have breakout prone skin or oily skin to use a foundation with sunscreen as your sole source of sun protection - we typically recommend two things though. You have to make sure that if that is your only source of facial sun protection that you are applying it liberally and evenly.
00:42:27 So, don't just dab it on the central part of your face and then spread it out really sheerly with a sponge. That is not going to give you the SPF rating on the label. You will get some sun protection, but not SPF-15 or 30 or whatever the product is. You should also consider setting your foundation with a pressed powder that contains sunscreen. And, Desiree, let's make sure that we send Steffi a Healthy Finish Pressed Powder SPF-15. Probably - Steffi, is your skin tone more olive?
Steffi: Yes.
Bryan Barron: Medium olive?
Steffi: It's more yellow-based.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:43:07 Gosh, I wonder, we have got the neutral and then the - I wonder if we should send Healthy Tan.
Desiree Stordahl: When I email her we can figure out here exact shade. That would be perfectly fine.
Bryan Barron: We will get that. And then, Steffi, do you have a powder brush?
Steffi: I do. It's kind of old but I have one.
Bryan Barron: Well we will send you a Paula's Choice powder brush as well so that you have a tool to apply the Healthy Finish Pressed Powder with. And then what foundation are you using?
Steffi: Great, thanks.
00:43:38 I use, it is a Maybelline I believe. I can't remember the actual brand name, but it is Maybelline. I just don't know which brand.
Bryan Barron: Double check the review for that. Look that product up on when you have the bottle and you can type in the full name in the search box, and see what we say about it. Maybelline's foundations with sunscreen tend to be hit or miss in terms of providing reliable broad spectrum protection.
00:44:08 You want to make sure that your foundation with sunscreen is one that we recommend for adequate sun protection. If it isn't, you can go to our best products section and look up other liquid foundations with sunscreen that got our top rating. I know there are some from L'Oreal, there are some from Cover Girl. There are other options at the drugstore that you can try. And then you can find those that are great for normal-to-oily skin.
00:44:33 So lastly, what are you doing, real quick, what are you doing to manage the breakouts. What are you using?
Steffi: I use a Clean & Clear face wash that is fragrance-free and all of that. And I was using the Neutrogena 3-in-1 --
Bryan Barron: Right, the BHA product we recommend.
Steffi: But I have been using that for about two months and I haven't seen a lot of improvement.
00:45:05 I tried to give it significant time to see if it was working, but I haven't really seen much. So that is why I was calling here to find out what, to buy more products, which direction I needed to go in first. So, I don't really think that was working out that great for me. I do love the face wash.
Bryan Barron: Okay, let me do this, because I would like to get to some other callers as well. Desiree, let's send Steffi a bottle of the Clear Regular Strength Targeted Acne Relief Exfoliating Toner. And Steffi, you can use this in place of the Neutrogena. You can apply it with a cotton pad after cleansing. Don't rinse it off. I'm hoping that this will net you a greater improvement than you found with the Neutrogena product.
00:45:58 You can use it twice a day, and then in the morning you would follow with your foundation with sunscreen. But I also want to - we will send you a few sample packets of our Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion with SPF-15. That is a very thin textured sunscreen that I think that you will appreciate the texture and the finish of it.
00:46:22 Even though it may seem like I am layering products, give it a try with the foundation and see what you think. I know it will give you the broad spectrum of sun protection so that on those days that you might skimp a bit on the foundation, you know that you are still covered. And it shouldn't feel heavy.
Steffi: Okay, great. Thank you so much.
Bryan Barron: We will let you give those a try and if you need some help routine wise with other Paula's Choice products, or trying to figure out how you can work the other products you have that you like, along with the Paula's Choice routine, you are welcome to contact our customer service team.
00:46:57 They are wonderful at helping you troubleshoot those issues.
Steffi: I will do that. Thank you so much.
Bryan Barron: You are welcome, Steffi, have a good night.
Steffi: You too.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. Next up we have Joyce from Colorado.
Bryan Barron: Joyce, how are you tonight?
Joyce: Hi, thank you for taking my call.
Bryan Barron: Sure.
Joyce: I'm going to be 60 on Tuesday and moved here in Grand Junction and I thought it would be the solution to some of our problems, but I have Rosacea and I'm glad Paula has warned people about Witch Hazel because I grew up thinking that Noxzema and Witch Hazel were the two where you were seeing steals of the deal when you were growing up, because I did a lot of clowning for hospitals and nursing homes and had a lot of makeup on.
00:47:45 So I used Witch Hazel a lot as an astringent. And it caused Rosacea and spider veins on my face. And so now I have switched from things I was using before. And I'm using the Hydralight One-Step Cleaner, and the Refreshing Toner, and the exfoliating 1%, because that is what on your site it says for Rosacea care. And then I just bought and just started using the Super Anti-Oxidant Serum at night. But during the day I am still using other things because of the sun during the day.
00:48:26 And I have been using Pre-Sun Ultra --
Bryan Barron: Pre-Sun Ultra? Okay. That is a 30. God, I haven't seen the Pre-Sun brand in stores around here in years. So it is still made, huh?
Joyce: Yes. We lived in Canada before we moved down here to Colorado. And so the dermatologist there had suggested using that.
Bryan Barron: How is it working with your Rosacea? Are you liking it?
Joyce: Well, no. It actually stings sometimes, even though it is supposed to be dermatologist recommended and stuff.
00:49:06 And like I said, a dermatologist in Canada referred me to that a long time ago. But it actually, as I am getting older, it stings my face.
Bryan Barron: Right. I will bet that there is at least one or more so-called chemical sunscreens as one of the actives, like Octinoxate, maybe Oxybenzone, or even Avobenzone.
Joyce: It has Avobenzone in it.
Bryan Barron: Okay. Although those all provide different levels of sun protection and I won't go into all the details about that. But, any of those so-called chemical or also known as synthetic sunscreen actives can cause some stinging. And it doesn't matter if you have Rosacea or not.
00:49:49 When you do have Rosacea the stinging can be worse. And of course there are many people that can tolerate those active ingredients just fine. They have absolutely no reaction whatsoever. But really for Rosacea, as a general rule, we recommend that you use a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen that has a titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, and that is it.
Joyce: Okay.
Bryan Barron: Is your skin more normal/dry or normal/oily?
Joyce: It's combination.
00:50:20 Because I have the large pores. Now your Hydralight Acid Gel has really helped as far as cleaning out the pores a bit, but my pores are still quite big. And then for makeup I was using Bare Minerals until I read on Paula's site that some of the physician's formula might be better for my face, so I am trying that right now.
Bryan Barron: Yes, Bare Minerals mineral makeup, I know it is very popular and I am not saying this at all to trash the product, but it does, it is one of those loose powder mineral makeups that has a higher amount of an ingredient called bismuth oxychloride.
00:51:06 And the issue with that, especially for sensitive skin is that bismuth oxychloride's shape, if you were to look at it under a microscope, it is a little crystalline-like molecule or cluster, so to speak, and it has what is best described as tiny little jagged edges. So it is not a perfectly smooth ingredient. And when you apply it to the skin, especially if you use that, what is it, Buff, Tap & Blend, or Tap, Blend & Buff, or I don't know how they do it.
00:51:43 I have seen the brushes - you are really kind of using that dense brush to work the powder into your skin. And for someone who has sensitive skin or Rosacea, it can cause those little bismuth oxychloride pieces can get stuck and start poking at the skin. It is not an issue for a lot of people. And, again, I'm not meaning to trash that particular foundation; I know a lot of women are thrilled with it, and that is great. It provides great sun protection.
00:52:09 But that could have been contributing to your issues. So, given that you have combination skin, we do have a couple of mineral-based sunscreens in the Paula's Choice line, but I am a bit hesitant to send you - I was thinking maybe the Skin Recovery. Why don't we send you the Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF-15?
00:52:33 And you can try that on your cheeks and where you are a bit drier. You can try it all over but I have a feeling in your oilier areas it may feel a bit heavy. But what I would like you to do, or what I would like you to consider is to try a product like our Barely There Sheer Matte Tint with SPF-20 that you can apply all over your face and get that mineral sun protection.
Joyce: Barely There?
Bryan Barron: Barely There Sheer Matte Tint. We can include a tube of that for you as well. You can correspond with Desiree as far as what would be the best shade for you.
00:53:11 My only concern with that is that the product provides sheer coverage. And if you are trying to hide the broken capillaries and redness from Rosacea, it may not be enough.
Joyce: Yeah, I need something heavier.
Bryan Barron: Yes. So let's skip that, even though it would definitely be a good product from a sun protection standpoint, let's skip that. Take a look at some of the foundations we recommend on Beautypedia's best products list. You will see an option under the best skincare products that says best products for sensitive skin.
00:53:45 And on that list you will see some foundations. And even if you wanted to look at our best foundations with sunscreen list, if the sunscreen active in the foundation is titanium dioxide, it is definitely worth considering as a general option for Rosacea and to give you that little bit of extra coverage that you need.
Joyce: Okay, I already have that printed out so I will check it again.
Bryan Barron: Awesome. And then another product, and I want to send you a bottle of the Skin Balancing Toner. I want you to experiment with that in exchange for the Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner. I'm curious as to how that will work for you.
00:54:29 The niacinamides should be helpful for barrier repair. There is some interesting newer research on the underlying causes of Rosacea and one of the things that they found out is that people who have Rosacea, their natural barrier function, which is what keeps the harmful elements out and helps the skin stay intact and healthy and smooth, it tends to be naturally thinner than people who don't have -
Joyce: [Unintelligible].
Bryan Barron: Exactly. And a lot of times people with Rosacea will describe their skin as being thin and delicate. And I think the explanation that I read mentioned that, and someone with Rosacea, that layer of barrier protection is only about 12 micro layers thick. And that somebody that doesn't have Rosacea, that layer of protection is about 58 micro layers thick. So that is quite a difference.
00:55:20 So anything that you can do to reinforce and build up that barrier and avoid irritating ingredients, and unfortunately when you have Rosacea sometimes even the most gentle ingredients can be irritating.
Joyce: That's why I am so afraid to try anything.
Bryan Barron: Yes, it is trial and error. I know, it is frustrating. I definitely feel for those people that have Rosacea because they have their work cut out for them when it comes to finding the best products. But hopefully what we are going to send you and what you will find on Beautypedia will lead you in the right direction. And you can keep in touch with us via email.
00:55:54 Let us know how that did. All right?
Joyce: Okay, thank you very much.
Bryan Barron: Thanks Joyce.
Desiree Stordahl: Thanks Joyce. All right, we have time for just one more quick call and it is from Allie in California.
Bryan Barron: Hello Allie.
Allie: Hello.
Bryan Barron: And you want to know, you are 28 years old -
Allie: Yes.
Bryan Barron: And you want to know what do you need to worry about now.
Allie: Listen, I am just freaking out.
00:56:20 I found a gray hair, and I know it is all downhill from now.
Bryan Barron: Oh, I thought you were talking like worry about global warming and the next presidential election.
Allie: Well, that too. It is like the Butterfly Effect, you know?
Bryan Barron: Yes, okay. So you found your first gray hair and - first of all, it does get better with age in many respects. I've got about ten years on you and I can tell you that it does get better. There are some tradeoffs with the grays, but are you wondering about hair color or are you seeing some skin issues?
Allie: Here's the thing - I am on this gray area right now where I am still battling with some breakouts.
00:57:05 I have combination skin, the oily T-zone, so on and so forth. But I have also noticed that my forehead now has lines that are pretty obvious. And under my eyes there are also lines that are pretty obvious. And the reason I know is because when I put my foundation on, and then I put on some concealer on, it just fills them in.
Bryan Barron: The lines pop?
Allie: Yes, exactly. Mid-day I look in the mirror and I am like how embarrassing. I'm totally making it more obvious than it should be. And so that is why I just don't know, should I start stocking up on the anti-aging stuff now or should I continue to worry about the small breakouts that I am still having issues with which I heard you guys with another caller and it sounds like it is something that just happens; there is nothing I can do.
00:57:56 But I just want to know what should I do - should I worry now or should I just let it go?
Bryan Barron: You absolutely - I wouldn't necessarily put it in the worry category, but I understand why it is concerning. But let's not stress out too much about it. There are solutions. In terms of the breakouts, that is within your control in terms of topically. There isn't anything that you can do to stop the underlying causes of breakouts in terms of oil production or how skin cells are getting stuck inside the pore to a certain degree.
00:58:40 What I would suggest, and I need to wrap up because we are running out of time, what I would suggest is starting with we are going to send you our Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator. I want you to star using that around your eyes. And Desiree let's send her the Resist Super Anti-Oxidant Concentrate Serum. And, Allie, you can use that morning and night. Put a thin layer around your eye area a good maybe five, ten minutes before you start your makeup and see if that doesn't improve how the foundation and concealer look.
Allie: Okay.
Bryan Barron: And then let's chat a bit back and forth via email and see if we can get a good routine lined up for you so that you can protect your skin from further signs of aging, improve what you are seeing now, and keep those breakouts in check.
Allie: That would be nice.
00:59:27 I want to just get it all now before it is too late. So thank you guys for everything.
Bryan Barron: That is great. Being proactive is awesome. So we will be in touch off air, and thank you for calling.
Allie: Thank you guys. Have a great night.
Bryan Barron: Thank you. All right, that is it for our show tonight. Let me tell you real quick about the shows we have coming up for the rest of December. Next week on December 8 we are going to talk about what to do when climate change affects your skin. And we are not talking about global warming, we are talking the winter season and do you or do you not need to change your skincare and why.
01:00:06 On the 15th, this is going to be a really fun show, especially because we haven't done a hair themed show in awhile. We are doing behind the scenes hair tips with celebrity stylist Sacha Q. He has worked with the women on "Sex and the City" as well as several other celebrities and he is just amazingly talented. On the 22nd we are doing a rebroadcast of how to create your own spa day at home.
01:00:31 So if the Christmas and New Year holiday stress is just leaving you frazzled, take an hour to listen to this show so that when the holidays are over you can have your own spa day and lock the door and have the husband take the kids out to McDonald's or a nicer restaurant. And then on the 29th, right before New Year's, we are going to be telling you about the sexy makeup tips for New Year's Eve so that you will stand out at that party and be the belle of the ball.
01:00:57 So thank you so much for listening tonight. I am Bryan Barron for the Paula's Choice Research Team along with Desiree Stordahl. We, as far as I know Desiree, Paula is going to be back on with us next week, right?
Desiree Stordahl: Right, she will be back on the show.
Bryan Barron: Okay, so it will be a trio again next week. And I hope you found tonight's show informative. I know we talked about a lot of different products and we will in the next week or two have a transcript up of the entire broadcast so you can hone in on those products.
01:01:27 Come visit us at Come check out product reviews at And have a great evening. Good night.
Desiree Stordahl: Good night.
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