Saturday, February 11, 2012

Skincare Saturday: Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum (In Depth) Review

You've probably noticed that I don't do full-face pictures. Part of this is to try and retain some sense of privacy (laughable, I know, what with all the other personal info I give), but most of it is because I have pretty terrible skin and no photoshopping skills to speak of. I've battled moderate-to-severe acne for more than a decade (jeeeeesus), trying literally every kind of prescription acne treatment available. I've had best success with sulfur-based treatments and antibiotics, but recently even those have failed me. The only thing I haven't tried long-term is Accutane, and that's in part because a few weeks after I started it in high school, I got really sick. Whether that's causation or correlation is mostly irrelevant, because my skin is generally not so terrible that I want to risk messing with my body so severely (especially since I have a history with depression). 

I've found that my skin reacts badly to a lot of products, though I still don't have a handle on what the guilty ingredients are, and that keeping close tabs on how my skin reacts to new products helps a lot in keeping my breakouts down. But outside influence is not the only thing that screws up my skin and I found myself wanting something that would help balance my skin's self-caused grouchiness, and after browsing the Bloom website, decided to order the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum.
Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum
BCS is an amber-colored semi-viscous liquid that comes in a glass bottle with a dropper, which removes any risk of contamination. I was surprised by how much product there is and how big the container is, I guess because 2 oz is much larger than most skincare treatments are. I find a few drops covers my entire face, though you could certainly use less if you just want a spot treatment. After a month of daily use, I can barely tell that I've used any product up––the bottle will last a long, long time!

The back of the box describes the product thusly: A powerful hydroxy acid complex of certified organic apple, lemon and willow bark unclogs pores, reduces breakouts, and lightens scars while organic aloe, coenzyme Q10 and fat-soluble vitamin C renew the skin for a fresher, clearer complexion.

I've said it before and I'll say it again (probably several times): I have no knowledge of science, so I really can't tell you all that much about how the product works. Lizzy (or anyone else who's science-y), if you have any input, let me know in the comments! I do know that acids in skincare, as long as they're mild enough, are really beneficial in encouraging cell turnover, which then, as the above says, "unclogs pores, reduces breakouts, and lightens scars". And vitamin C is a seriously hyped ingredient that is supposed to be great for anti-aging, somehow (I try not to pay too much attention to the details, heh). Having prefaced with that, let me get to the one thing I am qualified to share: how this worked for me.
I have been using this every night for the month+ that I've had it, and you guys, IT IS AWESOME. Like, I kind of just want to run around screaming about how much I love it. But I'll try to quantify it somehow, so:

1) It has drastically decreased the number of breakouts I suffer. I used to have 5+ big blemishes (I loathe the p-word) at any given time, as well as whiteheads, blackheads, and not-infrequent cysts. In the weeks that I've been using this, I've had maybe 5 big blemishes, total. Unheard of for me!

2) When I do get smaller blemishes, they're minimized within a day, and basically gone after 2. Even when I pick at them (it's terrible for your skin, so don't do it, really), any sign of their presence is completely eradicated within a week. No scars, no recurring blemishes, nothing.

3) The BCS has slowly started minimizing the appearance of my pre-existing scars; I think it'll take a couple more months for more dramatic results, but I'm pleased with the way it's going.

4) It doesn't dry me out, at all. I have never used an acne treatment that has been so successful and yet not given me even a hint of dry, scaly skin. My skin becomes flaky with even a little dryness, so the fact that I haven't experienced any irritation is somewhat of a miracle! It's this last point that makes me think this product would be great for people who have really sensitive skin but still want something to help with the occasional blemish.

5) It started working right away––none of that gets-worse-before-it-gets-better nonsense. Definite plus!

The only thing I'm not crazy about? The consistency. It's thin and kind of sticky; it spreads over my face really well so I don't need much product to cover everywhere, but, at least on me, it never fully sinks in. I just use it as a night treatment, though, so it's not been a problem for me, but it is something to keep in mind if you were hoping to use it twice a day (and Juice does say you should wear it during the day under moisturizer and at night alone, so in theory, the stickiness shouldn't be there). It also doesn't help minimize my oiliness, but then again, it doesn't claim to, and I've got several items in my arsenal to combat that. Besides that, though, I couldn't be more pleased. And have I mentioned that it smells fruity and herby and really delicious? It makes me happy to put it on my face and sniff away.

Though my skin is certainly still far from perfect, it is the best it has been in years. I'm even considering doing FOTD and blush photos, whoa! (Eh, privacy is overrated.) I don't know if it will continue working as well as it has been, since my skin's usual routine is to get better for a couple months then build up resistance to whatever I've been using on it, but a girl can hope! $29 for a huge bottle of product that actually works? I'm sold.

Here's a full list of the ingredients; the items in bold are organic:
Organic Juices Of Pyrus Malus (Apple) Juice, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Juice & Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Organic Saccharum Officinarum, Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract, Glycerin, Organic Botanical Extracts Of Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Leaf, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf & Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf, Organic Algae Extract, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Allantoin, Phospholipids, Sodium Hydroxide, Sclerotium Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Tetrasodium Edta, Xanthan Gum, Lavandula Angustifolia & Commiphora Myrrha Pure Essential Oils.

$29 for 2 oz, available from Bloom, Juice Beauty, various other etailers and natural health stores

Have you tried anything from Juice Beauty? What are your skin woes? Does the Blemish Clearing Serum sound appealing to you?
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