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I love perusing the health & beauty aisles of Wegmans. I wander up and down each aisle armed with my stack of coupons and my iPad mini, researching various product lines, eager to try anything new and/or on sale. I’m not especially brand loyal nor am I a completest as far as product lines go. I like mixing and matching different products in an attempt to find things that work well with my – what the cheeky marketing folks define as – “aging skin”. For the most part, my skin is happy, generally event free (bouts of mild eczema notwithstanding) and fairly smooth. As much as I’d like to serve up this list of drugstore beauty bargains as the reason, I’m going to assume genetics play a much larger role that I’d like to credit. Anyway, here’s what I’m currently grooving on skincare-wise.

Giovanni D:tox Purifying Facial Scrub – 4oz – $9.95

A friend pointed me into the direction of this product when I scoffed at the price of M.A.C. Mineralized Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. I’m not saying the product wasn’t worth the $28; I’m saying based on how I rotate products in and out of my daily routine, it was not the volanic ash product for me. If I were a one exfoliating scrub kinda gal, that’s probably what I’d use. In any event, I LOVE Giovanni’s much more affordable alternative. While I have never used it as a makeup remover, I can attest to its superior cleansing power. I tend to use the product 3-4 times a week, usually after rinsing my skin or lightly cleansing with a foam or cream cleanser. Giovanni leaves my skin, smooth and soft without stripping my skin or drying it out.

Kiehl’s #1 Lip Balm (jar) – 0.50z – $7.50

I previous wrote about this product when I reviewed the many jar lip balms I own. Kiehl’s a staple of my cleansing routine. I apply a little to my lips to protect them during the cleansing process and hopefully avoid dry, chapped, flaky lips. I use it after the exfoliation process to keep my lips looking supple and feeling soft. sometimes I use a little around my eyes. I don’t know why. I just like to. (don’t judge me).

Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser – 6.7oz – $4.99

This replaced Cetaphil – oh who am I kidding, generic Cetaphil – as my favorite no frills, lazy gal facial cleanser. It’s gentle, hard-working, inexpensive and effective. I use it twice daily to cleanse my skin. It works fabulously as a make up remover and I swear it preps my skin for makeup (the little that I wear) better than anything else I’ve used. It’s one of the few products I purchase in multiples.

Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Cleanser – 7oz – price varies

Okay, so there are some days when I find the novelty of using an a complete skincare line entirely too irresistible. On such days, I start with this here cleanser, which like the above mentioned scrub (which is step 2) is filled with volcanic ash and activated charcoal hippie goodness. Less frequently I use this mild, pleasant smelling, deep cleaning product by itself and it’s pretty great, except I usually chase it with either toner (hello, 80s) or a facial wipe because it can leave a light film I find bothersome. Or maybe I’m not rinsing properly. who knows? In any event, it’s a really nice cleanser.

E.L.F. Lip Exfoliator – .15oz – $3

This is perhaps the greatest product ELF sells. With a few swipes this brilliantly packaged – a lip exfoliator shaped like a lipstick – scrub removes flakes and restore lips to a soft, suppleness. I use it nearly everyday, stockpile (as it often goes out of stock online) and my lips stay chap and flake free! Sure I could make my own scrub with brown sugar and dreams, but I’m not about that DIY beauty product life. I am perfectly content to pay someone else to engineer a product that’s easy to use, mess free and effective.

c.Booth Deep Cleansing Volcanic Mud Mask – 4oz – price varies

I used to be devoted to Queen Helene Mint Julep mask until one faithful day when it burned my face so badly I needed medical intervention. I don’t know why or how, but no more Queen Helene for me. I tried c.Booth’s other products and while there were no standouts or HG (holy grail) they did not sear my skin off. I alternate between this mask and Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Mask and honestly I don’t really have a strong preference towards either. I will, however, say of c.Booth is that it’s a lot easier for me to find, and it’s usually on sale. I don’t mask often, probably around 3 or 4 times month, and I only own two, so I don’t have a lot to compare. My skin looks and feels great after using this mask. I’m not sure what it’s doing, but I am sure of what it’s not doing: burning the hell out of my face.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes – 25 per pack – price varies

I started using these wipes when I had a ton of Neutrogena coupons and found by combining sales and coupons these wipes were cheaper than the baby wipes I had been using forever. Baby wipes were economical, but not especially functional. Too much scrubbing involved and kinda scratchy. I don’t know why I put up with the unpleasantness for years – oh yeah, I’m cheap. Anyway, like the Fresh Foam Cleanser, these wipes are cleansing workhorses. I use them in the morning, after the gym and whenever I just want a clean, blank slate. I’ve tried nearly all version of wipes of Neutrogena makes and found these to be both the gentlest and most effective.

L’Oreal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream – 1.7 oz – price varies

Moisturizer is a tricky thing. Particularly when on the search for one that just moisturizes well without making a bunch of anti-aging promises that are of no interest to me. Maybe this L’oreal moisturizer lives up to every claim made on its packaging. Who knows. I do know that it leaves my skin well moisturized and ready for either bed or applying makeup without feeling greasy, smelling like flowers or costing a fortune.

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