Drugstore Beauty - une femme d'un certain âge

Drugstore Beauty

As part of the ongoing effort to reduce wasteful spending, une femme is taking a second look at the value of department store skincare products.  (Remember, my definition of waste is “that which does not add to the quality of one’s life.”) I’ve observed that women can be pretty polarized on this topic, either scoffing at those who pay top dollar for “hope in a jar,” or trumpeting the miracles delivered by those same pricey jars of oil or lotion.

I’m one of those who generally has preferred the department store stuff. It’s not that I don’t believe what they say about the grossly inflated prices compared to the actual cost of ingredients, but have almost always found that the formulations of the drugstore brands I’ve tried to be less than stellar.  In other words, Oil of Olay may have the same active ingredients in the same percentage as a comparable Clarins product, but the OofO seems to sit on top of my skin like a sticky film, whereas the Clarins cream seems to be absorbed much better and require use of a smaller amount. 

Now, if I lived in France and had access to the amazing pharmacies with their extensive stock of skincare products and knowledgeable staff, I might have skipped off to the drugstore for my face cream years ago. Browsing the shelves at the local CVS, it sometimes is hard to determine which of the products in hermetically sealed packages might be best for one’s own use.  Is this one better for mature skin?  Is that one meant to be used in combination with something else?  Even reading the packages carefully and researching products online often yields conflicting information. And no one is giving out little samples to try. Ask the average worker in an American drugstore about the products and you’ll probably get a blank stare.

But I’ve received I-can’t-remember-how-many recommendations for Roc retinol products from les amies d’un certain age, and having already ruled out Oil of Olay, thought I’d start there.  I needed a new night cream, so went with this one. It can be used alone or underneath an additional moisturizer. I figured, as long as my skin doesn’t look *worse* at this price it’s a net win.  I’ve been using two weeks. Due to the retinol, I guess, it tingles a little bit when you first put it on, but that soon subsides. It doesn’t feel as moisturizing as my regular night cream, so I often add a bit of that on top (still using up my samples).  The good news is my skin looks good, certainly no worse, maybe just a little better. Anyone use this?  Do you use an additional moisturizing cream with it?

Just for grins, I also picked up a tube of this eye stuff for night time use.  This also tingles a bit going on, nothing drastic, but I’ve noticed that the skin on my eyelids has become super sensitive, enough that even the same day cream I’ve been using for months stings going on, so I’m probably going to discontinue, or use only periodically.  Too bad, I think it was improving the look of the skin and reducing the lines and puffiness around my eyes.

At this point, I’m still working through my current batch of daytime moisturizer with SPF and daytime eye cream.  But I’m keeping an open mind about less expensive versions of these too when the time comes to replenish.

For makeup removal prior to a scrub with the Clarisonic, I’ve used these sheets from Neutrogena, for quite some time but now that I’ve switched to waterproof mascara, find I also need a liquid eye makeup remover to fully dissolve, and am currently test-driving the Neutrogena version. In a pinch, a little Vaseline also gets the job done, but isn’t something I use regularly.

When it comes to hand/body lotions, I’ve been a Jergens gal since Day One, and still prefer it to almost every expensive alternative I’ve tried.

What are your favorite drugstore beauty/skincare products?  Have you found anything new lately that you love?  Any ingredient you assiduously seek out or avoid? Anyone using Boots No.7?  Does it live up to the hype?

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49 Comments

  1. March 17, 2011 / 1:34 pm

    To answer you question about Boots No.7, I just started to use these products (cream and serum) 2 weeks ago. I have a very sensitive skin (can’t use any Olay products!) and so far I’m really happy with the results. I find my skin smoother and glowing. I tried many products before so I would rate No.7 a big 8 for moisturizing, firming and confort. I’m not crazy about the smell (roses); it’s very subtile and I prefer perfumed products (contraty to a lot of people ;-).

  2. March 17, 2011 / 1:34 pm

    I have always had super sensitive skin. I grew up with Clinique, but when they changed from a glass bottle to a plastic bottle in 2004, I had to find another moisterizer. (yes, THAT sensitive, steriod sensitive!) Now I use Cetaphil clenser and lotion. I exfoliate every 2 weeks with baking soda-in-Cetaphil. And I am always looking for a good eye cream, but most are way too irritating so I stick to cool water for the morning puffies. And when I need a deep moisturizer, I use Vasiline. I wipe a thin film on before bed and in the morning my skin is unbelievable!

  3. Anonymous
    March 17, 2011 / 1:43 pm

    I’m one of those who think that most department store cosmetics are not worth their prices. I do make an exception for lipstick (the cheaper ones are drying) and nail polish (the better brands last longer, go on smoother.) I have tried ROC, and I like it very much. I use the night cream both day and night (during Winter only) to avoid the ubiquitous chemical sunscreens which turn my skin into corduroy (another reason to avoid most fancier products–they seem to sneak sunscreens into EVERYTHING. Surely I’m not the only one who’s terribly allergic to this stuff?) I do like good European soaps, and am devoted to Kiehl’s eye cream (doesn’t make my eyes water or itch–love it) but everything else–foundation, gloss, mascara, moisturizers (I like Neutrogena for sensitive skin)and various pencils–come from the drugstore. Sometimes I even make my own all-purpose ointment of natural beeswax gently melted into warm extra virgin olive oil; lovely.

    C.

  4. March 17, 2011 / 2:39 pm

    Neither drugstore nor cosmetic counter!

    Go to Coastal Classic Creations online. I’ve been loyally smitten with them for the past five years. Love their perilla oil facial bar for sensitive skin cleansing. Also, the Safe Harbor Hair Treatment works wonders on my dry, thick hair. Plus, my fingers never get that dry, catchy feeling anymore when I put this stuff in my hair.

    (From the drugstore, I only use CeraVe face cream. It’s the only thing I’ve discovered that quenches my thirsty skin all day & night.)

  5. Anonymous
    March 17, 2011 / 2:51 pm

    Love your site!
    On the subject of this post, are you familiar with Beautypedia? It is the online version of Paula Begoun’s “Don’t go to the cosmetics counter without me”. At the risk of sounding as if I work for the company (I don’t), her own products are also fantastic for the most part. -Luna.

  6. March 17, 2011 / 2:52 pm

    Like M, I love Cetaphil.

    I first started using it back when visiting my parents and my dad had to use it because he was having some skin rashes. I’ve used it ever since.

    I don’t use much else. I have frequently bought eye creams and night creams, but after about a week I start skipping the regimen.

    I use moisturizer in the winter, or during those Santa Ana days.

  7. March 17, 2011 / 3:08 pm

    I am a Dr. Hauschka gal…gentle products but no reversing of age kind of stuff, it’s a simple routine…love their make up too…it goes on like a tinted moisturiser.

    I have rosacea so i must avoid any retina A or alcohol based products…

  8. March 17, 2011 / 5:12 pm

    I’m another one of the super-sensitive skin people (allergic to all chemical sunscreens, nearly every fragrance, any sort of flavoring in lip balms, etc.–I’ve reacted to most “sensitive-skin” formulations, including drugstore and non) and found a line of skin care products via my MIL who is also sensitive. It’s drugstore stuff, and very cheap, but works very well and I have had no issues with reactions.

    It’s called Vanicream (http://psico.com/) and is available at my local Target. I use the Lite Lotion (~$7) and the bar soap (~$3), and she also uses their hair care products. Other than that, all I can use is Vaseline (straight, not even the lip balm with the cherry flavor!) Though I am still using the Yves Rocher Calmille 2 en 1 toner as an eye makeup remover, and that works well and at least at the moment I am not reacting to it. I found it while we were living in Paris, but thankfully, I can order it online in the US for very little, too. Many of their products are too highly scented for me, but that one is very mild and gentle.

  9. Anonymous
    March 17, 2011 / 5:38 pm

    Have you ever heard of beautipedia.com? I’ve been a subscriber since it came out – I was paying $25 a year. Now it is free. I would highly recommend going over and checking out. I find it a very good source (have a degree in organic chemistry and can judge cosmetic formulations). It is only part of the whole equation though, there is texture, hopefully no scent etc. so I find it is best to try a product before buying or have and use the option of returning.
    I.

  10. Katriona
    March 17, 2011 / 6:17 pm

    Good old Cetaphil is a great cleanser to fall back on, when you can’t handle soaps, and lathering cleansers. I tried to like the Regenerist Line,(my sister loves it) but it’s little too sting-ey on my skin. I do like lot of Biotherme’s products, their body milk smells like milky grapefruit–wonderful in the summer, and their skin creams are rich and gentle. If you want to go really low-tech in a pharmacy, go to the medical supply area where they sell peroxide and the like, and get a bottle each of witch hazel, rosewater, and vegetable glycerin.Witch hazel plus rosewater equals a lovely toner, and you can adjust the amount of rosewater to the strength you like.It also smells beautiful. Or mix 1/3 glycerin and 2/3 rosewater, and you have a light moisturizer for hot humid days. My Grandmother used this in Alberta Canada even in the winter,(it’s unbelievably dry there) and she had lovely skin. Just smooth it on with a cotton pad. When I was a broke student in Montreal, I would get Orange Blossom water from the Lebanese grocery stores (they use it and rosewater for cooking a lot) and mix it with glycerin instead of rosewater..it worked just as well,and people would come up and inhale and ask where they could buy that eau de toilette. I never told anyone but my close friends, but now it’s out there!

  11. Anonymous
    March 17, 2011 / 6:52 pm

    Over 60 and using unscented, gentle Cetaphil all over…and Revlon superlustrous lipstick.

  12. Anonymous
    March 17, 2011 / 6:54 pm

    I use CeraVe to moisturize – like most of Paula’s Choice products especially Resist toner (which I know is not necessary – but I like the way my skin feels after I use it!). But due to a bad case of cancer on my nose which resulted in surgery and skin graft – I needed a good concealer and went for help at the department store. I chose and like Laura Mercier concealer and also foundation.

  13. Pam @ over50feeling40
    March 17, 2011 / 12:01 pm

    I have had such great success with Olay products…I do not think anyone could tear me away. I just started with the new ProX firming cream and it is amazing!! I highly recommend their Regenerist and Pro X line…the second is a bit more expensive…but I am a bit more older!!

  14. LuxeBytes
    March 17, 2011 / 12:03 pm

    I used ROC for years but just this month switched to the lowest dosage of Retin A. ($30 for a year’s worth at Costco, hooray.) So far, so good. I use the 55 SFF of Neutrogena that is liquid, can’t recall the name but it’s very very good. Using Embroyelisse (sp)as my basic, no-frills moisturizer over the Retin A. Everything else is Mario Badescu. Cannot imagine life without the Clarisonic.

    Am planning to do a post on my favorite French pharmacie finds on my blog soon-ish ….

    ROC is cheap at Costco, btw. Sometimes you can get a free eye cream with two tubes for about $30.

  15. LuxeBytes
    March 17, 2011 / 12:04 pm

    P.S. Olay has so many lines now that I’m confused by the brand. I’ve looked and looked and am literally confused by the differences, if any, in their lines. It’s a turn-off.

  16. la fourchette
    March 17, 2011 / 12:08 pm

    I’ve gone from department store products…to specialty products like the Philosophy line (now sold at most Sephora spots)…to a new ancient product that tops them all! Argan oil. Very popular in France, Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties. All production is done by women’s cooperatives (I’ve heard…don’t quote me on this…but it’s reported to be this way) so all proceeds support women in Morocco. It tends to be pricey but less, actually, if you add up the multiple products we tend to gather and slap on from morning ’til night. This is more expensive if you purchase it as an ingredient in a cosmetic product but you get more bang for your buck if you purchase it in its pure form…as in, directly from the oil section of your gourmet supermarket! I paid 12€ for a bottle here in France and it’s double that for far less if I buy it upstairs in the cosmetics department! I’ll take the pure product, thank you very much, because it does wonders for my skin…that happens to be ‘of a certain age’!

  17. M
    March 17, 2011 / 12:27 pm

    For the body, unscented Cetaphil lotion combined with a pump of my favorite Jo Malone lotion.

  18. coffeeaddict
    March 17, 2011 / 12:28 pm

    Metscan did a similar post today.
    As far as the eye makeup remover goes, whether your mascara is waterproof or not, I recommend a bi-phase remover. It gets the makeup off with far less rubbing than any other product. I was particularly satisfied with Lancome and Clinique.
    As for drugstore products vs. high end brands: one might get lucky and find a perfectly decent drugstore product that works miracles and be completely dissatisfied with an expensive product. It’s frustrating but in the end it’s mostly a trial and error process.
    As of recently most of my cosmetic is organic and cruelty free and I’m delighted to say that my drugstore products are just as effective as the coveted Dr. Hauschka line.

  19. March 17, 2011 / 7:30 pm

    As above, Beautipedia (from Paula Begoun) is an excellent resource for evaluating skin care products. Paula also sells her own line. I love everything I’ve bought from her line and I also love everything she recommends from other lines (Cerave, which someone above mentioned).

  20. March 17, 2011 / 8:43 pm

    I have sensitive skin and since I have been trying out different anti-aging treatments ( eg IPL and Pelleve) it is even more sensitive. About half of all allergies to cosmetics are caused by the perfume, so I always opt for fragrance-free. And oddly enough, there is often a wider choice of fragrance-free products in drug stores. Like so many others I swear by Cetaphil and now use it with the Clarisonic. I remove my eye make-up with Almay oil-free make-up remover pads. They claim they are the #1 eyemake-up remover in the America. I dont know who gave them this title, but they certainly live up to the promise. At night I top my Retin A treated skin with Cerave PM which has ceramides, and hyaluronic acid– two turbo powered water attracting substances. In the morning I use Aveeno Ulta-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF30 on my face. Under my eyes I use Revlon Age Defying Moisturizing Concealer SPF20. It hydrates, does an amazing job of hiding dark circles and has sun protection– what more could you ask of an eye cream. Oh and one other thing. WHen I have a procedure at the derm (eg laser or a peel), I use a Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF30. It contains titanium dioxide to block the sun’s rays. THe chemical sunscreens can be too irritating for just treated skin.
    But make-up is a different story. I have found that all brands turn orangy on my skin and I am committed to Bobbie Brown, Nars, MAC.

  21. ~Tessa~Scoffs
    March 17, 2011 / 2:08 pm

    Agree with you re the tingling and I don’t like it so Pierpont is using up my ROC. When my youngest was just a baby I broke out in a weird face rash and the only thing that worked was Neutrogena’s Advanced Solutions for Acne. It’s sold as a 3-pack (cleanser, daytime moisturizer and a acne night cream). I use the night cream every 3rd or 4th night. I have tried valiantly to wean myself off the stuff but everything (and I mean everything) else I try reduces my face to pizza. Maybe I’m not giving my face enough time to *adjust* but at my age I’m sticking with what works!

    Also, I CANNOT live without Lancome’s Definicils. I buy two at a time during their Free Gift week.

  22. S.
    March 17, 2011 / 2:53 pm

    This isn’t exactly the drugstore, but the grocery store… A few years ago, my face started getting red and bumpy in the winter. Mild rosacea, I think. Anyway, there is a brand called “Kiss My Face” that is sold at Greenlife, Whole Foods, etc. that absolutely improved my skin– I got the fragrance free “olive and aloe” ultra moisturizer, and it is FANTASTIC. I put it on in the morning, and one tube lasts all winter. Best yet– it’s about $5 for a 4 oz. tube. It has no parabens, artificial colors, is very moisturizing, and absorbs well. A lot of unscented products smell weird, but this one doesn’t at all.

  23. Denise
    March 17, 2011 / 3:20 pm

    I love Lumene products; I buy them at CVS (they’re not found at Walgreen’s, for some annoying reason). I use the serum, day and night creams, and I think they’re wonderful. I read about them, indirectly, in an article in Vogue some time ago about a “miracle” apple tree in Scandinavia and its “regenerative” properties. However, the article seemed to have some scientific data behind it, so I was intrigued. Lumene products are Finnish, and I’ve been using them for nearly two years, and I think they’re terrific.

  24. March 17, 2011 / 10:33 pm

    Another roseacea-having person (I avoid “sufferer”) here — it’s all LaRoche Posay all the time, per the recommendation of my dermatologist.

    I buy my goodies at the “beauty bar” in one of the local CVS branches — the “posh” one in Newport, which also carries Vichy, and where there’s a helpful consultant who’s generous with samples. I suggest you ask at your local CVS to see where LR-P is carried near you.

    You can also get LR-P products at Beauty.com and other online retailers, often at considerable discount and free shipping, though an advantage of buying at CVS, at least at first, is their very liberal returns policy (just keep the receipt until you’re sure you’re in love).

    As for specific product recommendations, I use Eau Micellaire for makeup removal (at night, prior to the Clarisonic), Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser AM and PM, Toleriane Riche Soothing Protective Care as my night cream, and Hydroderm UV SPF 15 as my day fluid. I recently added Hydraphase UV eye cream to my routine, and after a month, I’m really seeing a difference. All La Roche Posay products are fragrance-free and pack a lot of bang for the buck.

  25. March 17, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    Another vote for Costco! I stock up on Olay stuff (Regenerist serum, Total Effects, some sort of nighttime cream) whenever there’s a discount coupon. My only non-Costco products are DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, made with olive oil (it really removes ALL your face makeup), and Neutrogena’s eye makeup remover, which I buy at Nordstrom Rack whenever I have a Nordstrom Rewards coupon. I use Neutrogena waterproof sunscreen, too (yes, on my face).

    I should add that I’ve always been blessed with ridiculously low-maintenance skin. YMMV.

  26. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 / 12:09 am

    Like others I’m looking for “drug store” alternatives for my increasingly dry skin. (I’m 66). I spend a lot of time outdoors daily. In summer, if I’m riding my bike downtown & may sweat in the sun, I use Channel cleansing milk & moisturizer for their lightness & SPF. In winter, when I may be skiing or walking in minus fifteen weather, I use Pond’s Extra Moisturizing cream, slathering it on my face; massaging it in; steaming it briefly with a hot cloth, before wiping off & adding a final layer of cream to finish off. Twice a week or so, I use a face brush (the best from Muji in Paris or in a pinch, a natural bristle mushroom brush from the kitchen store). But I only do this at night and currently apply Boots 7 Serum as moisturizer to finish.
    Both the face brush (exfoiliating) & the Pond’s are old habits that I learned from two 70 year old women with the most fabulous skin and they seem to work as well as the more expensive (Channel) products. In short, climate, activity & time of day determine what I will use. But I liked the Boots product well enough to replace the Channel once I run out.

  27. March 18, 2011 / 12:55 am

    I’ve used Johnson & Johnson baby oil gel as eye make-up remover for years, and I think it works really well. It’s gentle, and it’s moisturizing, too.

  28. Someone
    March 17, 2011 / 6:09 pm

    My regimen is: grocery store extra virgin olive oil for clean(s)ing, a Paula’s Choice salicylic acid exfoliant, a Walgreens knockoff of a “dry touch” suncreen (with a generic O of O oil-free with SPF for around eyes where the other stings). Since I have oily skin, I do not use moisturizers at night.

    This is all pretty cheap, simple, and non-drying. After trying quite a few products over the years I discovered the insanity that is industrial “beauty” – drying out and irritating my skin and then chasing that with overly emollient creams and lotions. Never again! I don’t care for the over-medicalized, overhyped, overpriced, industrial chemical “skin care” at all anymore.

    As for drug store beauty however – some very high quality eye shadows can be had there for cheap. Wet n Wild Color Icon, E.L.F. Beauty Books if you can find those, and L’Oreal H.I.P. are some excellent examples.

  29. March 18, 2011 / 2:46 am

    i’ve literally spent hours in walgreen’s before, when i lived abroad (small island, very little available) and would visit the US, stocking up at the local walgreen’s. i could easily rack up $200+ in products. not to mention, a big list of purchases for my expat friends.

    now i don’t get a lot of drugstore products anymore, since i’ve had to eliminate many chemicals (SLS, parabens, etc) from my beauty routine. but drugstores are starting to stock a lot more natural organic products, which i love. burt’s bees is my favorite.

    i buy my makeup from department stores.

    sometimes i walk around drugstore cosmetic aisles just making sure i don’t “need” anything! old habits…

  30. Jane W.
    March 17, 2011 / 8:33 pm

    Second the Badescu. I’ve never, ever been disappointed with one of their products. The cost is comparable to some drugstore brands but the quality is far superior–they’re generous with samples, too.

  31. Susan Tiner
    March 17, 2011 / 9:30 pm

    Of course, being clueless, I popped for “hope in a jar.” I want to believe there really is some hope in there.

  32. March 18, 2011 / 6:52 am

    Tried Roc, but Dr Godfrey (dermatologist to the stars) told me there is insufficient retinol in it to make it effective…have you tried to oil cleansing method?

  33. RoseAG
    March 18, 2011 / 12:54 am

    I switch around depending on what I’ve seen an ad for lately.

    I have rosecea; it’s much better than it was a few years ago. I took tetracycline for several years and I attribute much of the improvement to that. But I also think washing with a mild soap is critical to keeping that under control.

    I’m a sucker for “roseca” products but overall I haven’t tried any that I thought were more helpful than a solid soap/moisturizer routine.

  34. Toula
    March 18, 2011 / 2:52 am

    I have to agree with you on the Oil of Olay products. They felt so oily on my skin and made me break out.

    I’ve tried the Boots products, thought they were quite good for the first couple of bottles. However, got some access to some Dermalogica products and the difference in my skin since using these has shown the inadequacies of the Boots products.

    I use basic Cetaphil for cleansing, think it is fantastic. St Ives products for body moisturising seem to do the job as well.

  35. Laurie
    March 18, 2011 / 4:07 am

    Cetaphil cleanser is fabulous eye make-up remover. Fragrance free, non-irritating, inexpensive. I forgot how much I loved it and just returned to it after a few years of other things.

    Laurie S.

  36. Carolyn
    March 18, 2011 / 4:36 am

    Bravo on your ongoing quest to curb your spending! I used to use Boots products when I lived in the UK and was so delighted to see the brand at Targete. Today I purchased No.7 Protect & Perfect Eye Cream… price $19.00. I am sure it as good as other Boots products. Next time you do a followup post on this topic I will let you know. Really enjoy your blog!

  37. March 18, 2011 / 1:24 pm

    I am not a drugstore snob, I just want to use products that work. My favorite product is Cerave Lotion. I use it on my body and it moisturizes well without leaving a sticky or greasy feeling. Very happy that my aesthetician told me about this.

  38. March 18, 2011 / 2:15 pm

    I’ve used Noxzema for 20 years. Cetaphil makes me break out, and any kind of foaming cleanser makes my skin painfully dry.

    For moisturizers, I do believe that you get what you pay for, but as you say, only up to a point. I use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer every day, and I’ll never use anything else. The big 8 ounce bottle is actually a good value when you do an ounce-by-ounce comparison with other brands. Clinique discontinued my beloved oil-free Turnaround lotion, so I’m always on the hunt for products with salicylic acid. I did score a few older bottles of Turnaround on ebay, but my stash is dwindling and I’m getting nervous.

    I’m not a big makeup wearer, but I went through a long Makeupalley phase where I had to have only the high-brands at Sephora. Thankfully, I’m over it. The formulas and texture of drugstore cosmetics have really improved over the past several years, and if I pay more than $10 for any one item, that’s a lot.

  39. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 / 4:06 pm

    Boots No. 7 Quick Thinking face wipes are the best for make-up removal. Unscented, they leave no residue. And they take off Lancome Definicils mascara in one swipe! I buy them at Target.

  40. March 18, 2011 / 4:32 pm

    Aveeno works for me. Although I used Creme de le Mer for some ten years, and before that used Janet Sartin for some 20 years, my five-year-old and I are now Aveeno devotees.

  41. March 18, 2011 / 5:07 pm

    Aquaphor is the only product that has ever helped my dry lips (instead of sitting, greasy, on top of the peeling flakes). A miracle drugstore product – also the only thing that has kept my nose from chapping during a cold (even with use of tissues with lotion). I also love CeraVe facial mosturizer – not irritating or clogging, I use it after every wash (including under sunscreen in dry winter months) and Cetaphil for facial cleansing, and Aveeno lotion and sunscreens (the high SPF facial ones). Again, with Aveeno body lotion use daily (regardless of weather, though I’m in a northern state with cold seasons) I’ve finally been able to keep ezcema from breaking out on my dry legs.

  42. Ms. M
    March 18, 2011 / 6:41 pm

    Blogger ate my comment. 🙁

    So I’ll summarize: Yes, the RoC wrinkle cream works better than any high-end product I’ve used and I’ve tried some $$$ ones. The RoC eye cream did nothing for me.

    I used to hate Olay, but I think they’ve greatly improved and now I trust them to turn out some great products.

    I do pay exhorbitant prices for certain products. If it keeps my skin clear and smooth, it’s worth it to me. I lived most of my adult life with “bad skin” and I never want to go back to that, just to save a few bucks.

  43. March 19, 2011 / 1:15 pm

    There is a Dutch general goods store, HEMA, that has surprisingly good cosmetic and skincare products – a friend told me about their cleansing milk and toner – they have one for “45+” skin. It is made in Switzerland and seems very mild; in any case I haven’t reacted to it. HEMA is generally available in the Netherlands, in Belgium and have a few outlets in Germany, but now they have a store in Paris, rue Réamur in the 1st arrondissement.

    It is easy to find French lines such as Klorane shampoos and conditioners here in Montréal; since I’ve been letting my hair go grey, I’ve been using the Klorane Shampooing reflets nuance argentée – it makes my hair really nice.

    I don’t wear a lot of makeup in general and am happy with the hippy-dippy lip balms with a bit of colour – Burt’s Bees or a Canadian line, “Green Beaver” (yes, what a ghastly name). Bordeaux shade as my lips are dark to begin with, but not too much colour. For more serious lipstick tend to opt for Clarins, Cinique etc but have not found the holy grail – need hypoallergenic as I have a lot of food and other allergies.

  44. March 20, 2011 / 3:31 am

    I just got that same ROC product. I don’t have any opinion on it yet. Well, at least nothing bad has happened from it!

  45. Katriona
    March 20, 2011 / 6:01 pm

    I thought I would throw this in, after some thought…I am a big fan of Metrin, which is not a drug store brand ,but about the same price as the more expensive drugstore products… The work strictly thru Internet,phone sales and reps,like Avon,but with much smaller product line.They have been around forever, but have very low profile.I am not a rep, but I swear by this stuff.Order a sample pack and try it…particularly anyone in a harsh climate.

  46. Fabulous Over 40
    March 21, 2011 / 12:49 am

    I typically am a department store skincare person for a few reasons. Most drugstore brands in the past have irritated my skin and to return them is more than a hassle and most places won’t let you. Many leave a film on my skin that irritates it. I also tend to find some brands like Shiseido are reasonably priced and do a great job. That said, I think drugstore brands have gotten better over the last couple of years. One is L’Oreal which makes a new line called Youth Code which I’ve used the serum and really like – others I know use the cream and eye cream and love them as well. This line is made for women over 40. I believe the products are all under $30. LaRoche Posay makes excellent skincare (also a L’Oreal owned company) as well as Vichy.
    I like Aveeno body lotion that my derm recommended, mild and non-irritating. Lumene makes great skincare and a makeup remover that is non-oily that removes waterproof makeup and a sensitive eye version too.

  47. Jill Ann
    March 21, 2011 / 6:25 pm

    Late in posting, but here’s my 2 cents’ worth: for makeup removal, an oldie but a goodie, Albolene cream. It’s similar to Vaseline but not as sticky, liquefies when you put it on, and removes all the makeup. It’s a bit hard to find but is usually at Walgreen’s for about $11 a tub (which will last forever.)

  48. March 22, 2011 / 10:49 pm

    Yes, I use drugstore products, but by that I mean prescription drugstore products. Even if your insurance doesn’t want to cover Retin-A, there’s nothing over the counter that can match it for effectiveness, and using the recommended pea-sized amount daily will make your tube last forever. Used that way, it’s on par price-wise with higher end drugstore items, and an absolute steal compared to drugstore.

  49. March 22, 2011 / 10:50 pm

    (I meant to type, “an absolute steal compared to department store”)

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