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Makeup Wars: My Favorite Skin Savers

best splurge skincare products

Today for Makeup Wars we’re sharing our favorite skin savers, products that we reach for when we need to solve a skin issue. I ran into a bit of a problem when writing today’s post. I had too many skin care products to recommend! So while I’ve divided products into the problems they solve, I’ve also decided to split everything into 2 posts. Today, the “high end” products (I don’t really use truly luxury brands, so the highest I get is Kiehl’s and products from Sephora/ULTA). Tomorrow, I’ll repeat this post with my favorite drugstore problems solvers, some of which are near dupes for products on this list!

Dry Skin

1. Kiehl’s ‘Midnight Recovery Concentrate’ Elixir: To say that I’m obsessed with the Midnight Recovery Concentrate is probably an understatement. Since my original Midnight Recovery review I’ve declared it one of the best products in my first 5 years of blogging (which was, wow, 2 1/2 years ago already?) and a travel beauty essential product. I won’t get on a plane without it! If my face is feeling at all dry, I just apply a few drops of this product to my skin before bed, and in the morning I’m glowy and dewy again. It’s a miracle!

2. Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve: This hand cream was reviewed on my blog all the way back on February 2, 2007. Which was my first week of blogging. It’s one of my go-to products to save my hands in the middle of winter. Working in a Peds ICU means I wash (or anti-bacterial foam) my hands before and after each patient, and in the winter I do that again pretty much any available moment. Add on lower humidity, heated air, cold air outside… I need a heavy duty hand cream! So, this one lives in the pocket of my white coat. I even featured it in my best winter hand creams post.

3. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (my review of Ultra Repair Cream): In the winter I definitely go all out trying to keep my skin hydrated. We keep a tub of this cream right next to our kitchen sink for easy use, and I have a second tub up in the bathroom to use on any trouble dry spots. A few applications of Ultra Repair Cream on any dry areas (usually on my legs) can really keep my eczema flares away.

Chapped Lips

When my lips get chapped or a bit painful, I pull out these two products. 5. Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair is a balm that was actually developed to help heal cheilitis, that horrible irritation you get in the corner of your mouth.

6. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy is more of a liquidy ointment, and I think it is easier to wear under things. So, I use the Ultra Repair Lip Therapy throughout the day, and at night I layer the Osmia Lip Repair over it.

Clogged Pores

4. Ellen Lange Retexturizing Peel Kit (see my Retexturizing Peel Kit review): This is a great, gentle peel that even my Rosacea sensitive skin can handle. It evens out texture and pigmentation and helps clogged pores.

7. Kiehl’s ‘Rare Earth’ Deep Pore Cleansing Masque: This is my favorite “higher end” mud mask. It does a great job of pulling everything out but it doesn’t feel tight or hurt when it dries. This is another one of my first reviews on 15 Minute Beauty, this one about 2 weeks after I started the blog.

8. Clarisonic Mia2: There are a lot of deep cleansing brushes, and I use a Clarisonic Plus. The Mia2 is the one I most often recommend to buy, it is very sturdy and a bit smaller (and easier for travel) than my plus.

9. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment: This green goo takes under a minute in the shower, but leaves your skin smooth and glowy. Check out my ExfoliKate review.

Dark Spots

10. Kiehl’s ‘Clearly Corrective’ Dark Spot Solution: I like this stuff so much I actually have an entire Clearly Corrective Review Series. What I like about it is that it doesn’t really lighten/bleach dark spots (which is a problem because you always get a bit of the surrounding area, which turns ultra light and makes the dark spot seem even more obvious). Instead, you can use it all over your face and it helps speed up cell turnover, prevents melanin from going crazy and creating dark spots and has a great side effect of fighting aging.


11. Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix: This spot treatment has Benzoyl Peroxide in a gel delivery, and I swear it gets into my blemishes faster.

12. Tanda Zap Power: This is a slightly smaller (and rechargeable) version of my Tanda Zap, which I really do think helps my blemishes. I’ve been using it since my review, I don’t even know how many times I’ve replaced the battery.


13. Tria Age-Defying Laser: If you read my Age-Defying Laser post you know that I was happy with the results I was getting, with minimal irritation. I had to stop using it due to my pregnancy, but I plan to restart after I deliver this baby girl.

Irritated Skin

14. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask (my Instant Oatmeal Mask review): This is perfect whether your problem is a sunburn or windburn. And it smells like a cookie.

Stay tuned for a drugstore version of this list tomorrow!

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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