Treatment Oils: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Some time ago I started adding ‘treatment oils’ to my nighttime regimen. I’m much too oily to wear them during the day (my makeup would just slide off), but add them as my ‘final step’ in nighttime moisturizing. Here are the oils that made the most difference (good and bad) for me:

Ren Rose Moisture Defense Serum
Price: $80

This oil is geared toward dry skin types, but I tried it anyway. It smells DIVINE. A little bit goes a very long way. It’s much more of a hydrating oil, than a corrective one. I found no real improvement in any skin complaints (cystic acne, discoloration), but my skin was plumper and very ‘fresh’ looking the next day. The smell puts you right to sleep. It’s true aromatherapy.

Grade: B

Fresh Elixir Ancien
Price: $250

This is by far one of the most expensive treatment oils that I’ve ever used. It blew me away when I first used it, and it destroyed a massive cystic pimple that had taken up residence on my temple. It has no scent, and absorbs very well. I have mixed with all manner of serums and moisturizers and found that it boosted performance of everything. The down side is, my skin became used to it after about a month. It totally stopped working for me. So I took a break from it (for about 2 weeks). When I went back to it, the oil began to perform as it first had. It also lasts a REALLY long time. A 1.7 ounce bottle lasted me a year.

Grade: A-

Decleor Neroli Essential Serum
Price: $60

I bought this one on a whim: I love the smell of neroli (orange blossom derivative), and thought it would be wonderful as an aromatherapy addition to my nighttime ritual. Boy, was I wrong! The morning after the first night I used it, I had a spray of angry red bumps across my forehead. I thought it might be a fluke, so I continued use. I just got more angry red bumps. After a week, I returned it. It smells wonderful, but the combination of carrier and essential oils was a no go for me. It broke me completely out. I had to purge my skin with tea tree and aloe, and go back to the Elixir Ancien to set me right again.

Grade: F

M. Steves RHSO Boost
Price: $48

This oil is proof that more expensive is not always better. From the first time I used it, it blew me away. It is fragrance free, and more of a dry oil. It absorbs quickly and plays well with other serums and creams. Forget all the boosting of hydration and what not, this stuff fights acne like nobody’s business. Cleared my skin up in 48 HOURS. Not kidding. So far, it’s the best treatment oil I’ve ever used. I’m still waiting to be convinced otherwise.

Grade: A+

Sunday Riley JUNO Lipid Serum
Price: $125

I’m having a  bit of a love/hate affair at the moment. I find this oil funky and REALLY oily. Overnight, it seems to make my skin produce so much oil that I can FEEL it when I wake up. That’s not good. And that lovely smell (farts) does not fade. I’m not sure I want my husband kissing me goodnight with that smell on my face. Just saying. So far, I’ve not seen any major improvement in my skin. In fact, a couple of cystic pimples have shown up in the 72 hours that I’ve been using it. I’m not fully convinced that it’s JUNO’s fault, so I’m going to give it a little more time. The ingredient list is beyond impressive, and I’m hoping that there’s a little detox action going on, and that’s why my skin is cutting up at the moment. The jury is still out, but if I had to grade it right now…

Grade: B

Those are the treatment oils that made the biggest impressions (good and bad) on me. Ciao for now!

The Fresh Facial

For my birthday, the ladies at Fresh in Beverly Hills (Neiman Marcus) treated me to a facial. I honestly thought it was just going to be some ‘at the counter’ treatment (since it was a gift from them), but I knew I was in for a treat when they led me to the ‘spa room!’

My lovely facialist (who’s name I have shamefully forgotten) began my treatment with the Soy Face Cleanser:

She then treated my face with the Black Tea Masque… which has an incredibly cooling effect:

While the mask was cooling, she wrapped hot towels around the edges of my face…it was the most awesome feeling! As the mask set (about 15 minutes), she massaged my shoulders and arms and hands. I had the best time talking to her… she’s incredibly knowledgeable about skincare. I always love to talk to experts about skin care, I’m always open to learn more about the subject… as I am of the belief that we should never stop learning.

After she rinsed the mask off of me, she followed with the Black Tea Serum:

Then she moisturized my skin with Black Tea Cream:

She explained that what she did for me was a ‘daytime’ ritual. If I was to do a nighttime ritual, then she suggested mixing the Elixir Ancien with the Creme Ancien:

Now you guys know that I make my own face care, but I was excited to try something new. It was a lovely experience, and I’m very grateful to the ladies at Fresh for treating me. I’m already committed to adding the Elixir Ancien to my nighttime skin ritual.

Now, I’ll just need to win the lottery to  keep up the rather expensive habit of using it…

Fresh: Elixir Ancien

So I’m at the Tom Ford Beauty counter last night … and two ladies from Fresh come to talk to me as I’m leaving. They’re holding this little bottle in one hand, and some kind of serum in the other hand. They start to talk to me about Fresh Elixir Ancien:

Okay, why have I not heard of this before? Turns out, it’s exclusive to Neiman Marcus, unless you get it from Fresh directly. That explains a lot, since my regular time spent with Fresh is at my local Sephora store. AND it turns out that one of the women who was explaining this to me, used to work at my local Sephora, and remembered me…

Anyway, back to the Elixir. It’s made by monks (seriously) and is all Omegas (3,6,7 and 9… I didn’t even know there WAS an Omega 7). They tell me to put a couple of drops in with my regular mositurizer and see what happens.

Now, I’m a huge skeptic when it comes to skin care. Because I make my own, I know that a lot of skin care claims are more fiction than fact. But they give me a sample and I decide to give a whirl.

I put it on last night (one drop) with my regular moisturizer and OMG! I woke up this morning and a pimple that’s been plaguing me for the last 3 days (with seemingly no end in sight) is flat. What? Seriously? Seriously!

That’s the good news. The bad news is… this stuff is $250. Ummm… okay. We’re going to need to think about this for a minute.

So while I ponder whether to plunk down the dough for this little elixir, you can find out more about it from the folks at Fresh directly.