Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

Glowing Summer Skin

This summer my skin is the healthiest it's ever been, which is surprising considering the number of skin care products I'm constantly testing for this blog.

In my "pre-natural products" stage when I was busy following the latest trends instead educating myself on the hazards found in many mainstream cosmetics, I bought department store brands in large quantities.

And as an editorial makeup artist, I used to receive bags stuffed with high end products sent to my agency - gratis. Out of all of the mainstream brands I tried, Clarins was the best for my skin. But the cost was a bit much, even with the salary I was making then. It would be out of the question now.

My exodus from the offerings found at the Bloomingdale's counters led me to my current destination - indie beauty brands. I love brands that begin with nourishing botanicals as their base. Aveda and DHC come to mind immediately as the biggest players in the market.

The smaller, newer businesses with a commitment to natural ingredients are entering the market with force, educating consumers to old school wisdom. We are being reminded that simple ingredients like Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Aloe Vera are wonderful for the skin.

I prefer products made from things I recognize on the label. I don't care if the shelf life is slightly less than the pumped up, chemical versions available.

Every week the mailman brings me a box of something new - a moisturizer a company wants feedback on; a primer that claims to smooth out wrinkles and brighten the area around the eyes; a sparkly new mineral based lipgloss.

It's great fun. Most of the products I get are really good. The formulators are working hard to bring quality merchandise to market, even if they don't have the budget of Estee Lauder.

This summer I'm crooning over Skin eScentuals Aloe Jelly Face Moisturizer and GeoGrafx Revitalizing Night Serum. I've put other sampling on hold (for the past six weeks) just to be sure this combination is what's making my skin look like gold. It is. I normally advocate using all one brand of skin care, but I've found that advice not quite as vital when working with all natural ingredients.

For instance, GeoGrafx Night Serum is made of nothing but nourishing oils - apricot kernel oil, rose hip seed oil, evening primrose, wheat germ oil and others.

While the Aloe Jelly Face Moisturizer starts with Aloe Vera and adds many of the same essential oils that are found in the Night Serum. But the texture is different, more like a light weight gel. I use the face moiturizer under my makeup in the daytime.

And apply the night serum just before bed to fight those fast approaching lines and wrinkles. You can see from the picture above - my skin is thriving.

But I have a pile of skin care in a box waiting for review. The last two I tried caused break outs. I didn't write about them. I simply told the manufacturers that my experience with their product wasn't good.

In the fall, I'll put aside my beloved combo to again do reviews. But for now, I'm enjoying the healthy glow.

What's your favorite skin care product?