Boots No 7

I’ve been fascinated with this brand, and even though I went to London last year – still did not try it after reading about the line’s Protect and Prevent Intense Serum in Allure and other beauty mags.

I have a price threshold for drugstore brand skincare that doesn’t pass $15. I know it’s funny.

But, although I’m ok with buying Oil of Olay’s Daily Moisture spf15 – something that I put on when I first wake up to give my skin a drink, paying more than a few bucks is pain-ful.

I’m much harder on my evaluation of drugstore brands and their price points vs physician name brand, glitzy retail or prescription strength.

I guess it’s because I don’t expect the drugstore brands to really do much for me.  All of them have some product endorsed by Allure or Good Housekeeping et al -but somehow paying almost $30 for those brands doesn’t convince me that dollar for dollar they will work.

Because the same magazines also note that drugstore and lesser brands have less active ingredients.

That’s why you pay less.


There are plenty of products that work great – but I have to say they are in the cleanser and toner class- not the critical area of skin-CARE.


In the case that Boots No. 7 was on sale for $21.99 this past weekend at Tar-je’.  Lucky me the Boots sales representative was there encouraging people to try the products.  I asked her if the Intense Serum was for me because on the bottle it says it treats deep lines and wrinkles – that lucky for me I don’t have. She countered that -the product is great to prevent.

I smoothed a dab on my hand and smelled it – vaguely familiar.

Then it struck me – it smells like vitamin A based products-one of which is Nerium AD. I don’t know for sure what Nerium has in it besides retinoid product, but for $21.99 vs $100+ – hmmmm.

I asked the salesgirl —is the product stronger than physician prescribed? In the Obaji system the tretonin is usually given at 10% – though you can get stronger straight on Retin A. She did not confirm or deny.

I thought about buying it – but ended up not buying.  At the end of the day, though everyone says Retin A is the most critical skin care ingredient – I’m still a big believer in vitamin C.

I’ll give you the update on the 20% L-asorbic acid (vit c) product I bought instead.

Don’t ask me how much it cost.






I’ve run into a second product in the past year that my skin reacted badly to—Oil of Olay’s Silk Whimsy body cream in Rose fragrance.  I used the product once and noticed that the fragrance was very strong but didn’t smell much like roses-almost a fake chemical smell.

I wanted to try it out anyway-my truly fragranced products like Philosophy’s Falling in Love body lotion or Laura Mercier’s Pistachio body creme don’t have this effect, but these less expensive products have something in them that makes my skin VERY upset.

Within a day of using the product I got a few little spots–I thought it was heat rash because I went “trotting” which is slow jogging.  I shrugged it off.

Used the product again and noticed that the spots became more numerous. Immediately stopped the product and applied a little cortaid cream which pretty much took care of the rash.

To mention another product, I tried St Ives body lotion, don’t remember the   fragrance but also had a severe reaction to that as well. That reaction was so bad, my friend who is a personal injury lawyer thought I might have actionable issues.

I guess people with sensitive skin to start out with know to avoid these fragranced products but as I age, I think I am joining the ranks.

I read about Cerave’ products recently and a reader also suggested their lotions for their moisturizing properties.  I bought the body cream version-I always go for the most heavy formula because I like extremes, and this morning my skin is pretty silky soft.

Cetaphil products have always been a hit with me and I really love a new product Aveeno Baby lotion with 24-hour moisture with oatmeal to calm the skin.  Tried it at my mom’s house in Maui and really kicked Vaseline Intensive Care’s Aloe body lotion (which if I continued to use that would probably cause a reaction). Besides Intensive Care is so 80-s – I guess they have a lot of old faithful followers.

Johnson&Johnson baby body washes in the apple and honey or shea formulas are great too!  Their baby body lotions don’t quite do it for me, but their baby body cream is pretty good.


It probably makes sense in the long run to make the switch to products made for sensitive skin-hopefully they have less chemicals?


Epiphany-Face vs Body?

I woke up this morning and as I was applying moisturizer with spf15 (Olay) I thought-wait, my Mom is 70+ years old and she doesn’t have wrinkles. My aunt who is 91, also has very few wrinkles and only when she smiles.  My grandmother who passed at 94-had some wrinkles-but not many.  Her backstory is she was educated in Japan in the early 1900-s (which was a rarity for a female in Japan) and came to Hawaii as a picture bride.  She and her husband moved to California and as an educated woman, she worked in the fields picking tomatoes. Hard work and a lot of sun exposure.  Still, before she passed, she had more smooth, wrinkle-free areas on her face than wrinkled.

I have good genes.

My epiphany this morning was, since it’s pretty clear I’m going to have pretty good skin as I age, I should get back to work on the bod!

A week or so ago, I met a woman who was in her 50-s(as I am) and she had a fantastic tight body with gorgeous arms.  Not a bodybuilder look, but the look of someone who ate no fat, did a lot of cardio and did real weights.

I sat there in envy.

But of course I was checking out her facial skin quality. This woman obviously enjoyed her life and worked on her body, but neglected her face and hair.

When people ask me, I ask them “what kind of sunscreen do you apply? how often do you apply? how much do you apply?”

More often than not, even here in Hawaii, people rely on the minimum application. Some go for high spf, but don’t reapply. Some think the sunscreen in their bare minerals or in their liquid foundation is enough.

It’s not.

In fact, I commit my own sin.  I read this morning, that sunscreen should be applied first with treatment after.  It’s interesting and will spark a debate with the beauty counter people-they always say put the treatment first, starting with serum, then moisturizer etc.

Seal it all in with sunscreen.  (For me, on dry skin days I actually do all that, and pat on moisturizer around my eyes and nasolabial fold(around the mouth).


When someone notices you-what do they notice first?  I’m newly single, but having been out of the dating pool for awhile, I am not up on the “moves” anymore.  I have noticed people smiling at me, but did they check the body first, or the face?


I’ve read so many articles about “men don’t care what your body looks like, and their preferences are different than what women think are important.” For example, they like a little more junk in the trunk while women think that same junk needs to go away!

Oh well, I guess I’m looking for someone who ultimately likes me way past the exterior package.

But I do want to work on my arms a little-and improve my upper body strength. My recent move proved proof positive (PPP) that I am a major weakling.  My dancer’s legs can strangle someone, but only if I can jump up and grab them like Jackie Chan!

So right now, I think I have to face it, so I’ve brought out the hand weights to do during tv,  and plan to do crunches during the commercials and 20 reps for biceps, shoulders, lats and triceps.

Be back with an update!


Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep-The Case for SkinCare

I’m not going to talk about how men don’t do anything, and as they get old they look “distinguished”.

I’m going to talk about – when you are sleeping, this is the best time to take care of your skin. Plus you don’t have to worry about product not mixing with your foundation primer, or sunscreen, your moisturizer melting your eyeliner and so on.

No, at night is the perfect time to slather it on.

But if you don’t,   if you wash your face and fall into bed without anything…

At least put a nice thick cream around your eyes, your forehead and naso-labial folds around your mouth. It’s more about sealing in moisture-especially after you’ve used soap to wash it.

Think about it, it’s an investment in what you look at when you are brushing your teeth everyday and what other people see. You can choose to use Avon or Olay-they make some good products, or you can use something in a fancier package. Whatever floats your boat.

At the end of the day, some products just work better for some people. I know a lady who is in her 60-s who uses Olay Total Effects and her skin is glorious. It’s not the price tag-it’s the chemistry of the product working with your skin.

So, do something!