Since I started doing my YouTube videos (click here to subscribe!) many readers have been asking me about my skincare regimen, and my favorite product picks. First off, let me make a disclaimer about skin care reviews.

It is possibly THE most polarizing kind of beauty writing, next to hair product reviews. What works for me really may not work for you. If you have super sensitive skin, something I love might exacerbate an existing condition for you. The amazing results one person may have, may not be as amazing for someone else.

I’m particular about my face washes, moisturizers, masks and serums. I hesitate to try just any old thing, having had a history of skin issues – but in the course of being a beauty blogger, I do try to try whatever I am sent. And believe you me, there are a LOT of craptastic face washes cluttering up store shelves out there.

I’ve become picky. I demand results – in terms of texture, efficacy, and quality. Some of these items are pricey, but I love them because they WORK. So having offered that preface, allow me to share some of my absolute highly recommended latest skincare discoveries – face washes, cleansing tools, and facials – based reviews I’ve been doing over the last six months. Get ready for the best of the best!

1.Lancer RX Polish. The Lancer RX brand is the brainchild of Harold Lancer, MD – dermatologist to the stars. So please know that this stuff may cost a pretty penny, but I gotta say, the Lancer RX Polish is one of the finest exfoliating products I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. Texture wise, it’s in a league of its own. It’s not coarse, it’s not grainy. This is a finely ground exfoliant that sloughs off all the roughness and makes my skin feel like 100% silk. It’s $50, you can buy it through their website. And don’t let your husband know about how awesome it is because he’ll totally use the whole tube. Trust me, I speak from experience.

2. Go Clear Clarifying Cleanser AM/PM. Ever since I moved to Chicago, my skin has gone through some changes. I used to be just oily. Now I’m oily/combination, if such a thing exists. Go Clear manages to help my skin figure itself out. It’s creamy white with little granules in it. It’s both oil free and hydrating. And it leaves my skin feeling clean, pretty, and not all dry and stripped of oil. I love the consistency and how it makes my skin feel. It’s $25 for a 4.4 oz tube – available at Sephora.

3. The Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial. It is billed as “the Hollywood secret,” used by celebrities, dermatologists and fancy schmantz spas all over the globe. Beloved by a who’s who of celebs including Madonna, Naomi Campbell, John Galliano, and Justin Timberlake (who offers the enlightening quote, “It makes my skin look dope.” Thank you, Justin).

I was lucky enough to recieve an Intraceuticals facial here in Chicago at the gorgeous mySpa at the Fairmont Chicago. I didn’t know what I was in for. The Intraceuticals facial is truly like no facial I’ve ever had before. I had the Intraceuticals Opulence Infusion – a light pressure spray of oxygen and serum is applied to your face at very close range. The serum contains Hyaluronic acid, which makes for instantaneous plumping, and visually apparent results. In the same week, I had the enzyme chemical peel done at Eshe Day Spa , and later that week I was invited to recieve the Intraceuticals facial. As luck would have it – the Intraceuticals facial can increase the results of previous skin treatments. So not only did I see instantaneous results after my facial — I swear to you, for the next month or so, my skin was enviably gorgeous and clear. Like, people randomly complimenting my skin on the street, gorgeous. No WONDER Madonna’s into this stuff! For pricing and other information, click here to find an Intraceuticals clinic near you. And please – yet another disclaimer – see a dermatologist if you’ve got ongoing and troubling skincare issues. I’m not a doctor, all I can speak to is MY results with this particular treatment.

4. Clarisonic MIA. I’ve been a Clarisonic stan for a while now and I will continue to preach the gospel! But for travel purposes or subtle countertop display purposes, it ain’t exactly convenient. Which is why I prefer the Clarisonic MIA – it’s cute, portable, and just as effective as its Clarisonic counterparts. Plus the soft rubber duckie color is too cute! $149 – but please believe me when I say the Clarisonic is an investment in improving your skin. So just think, would you rather have a fly pair of heels or a hot purse – or dramatically improved skin? OK then.

5. Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser. I already told you, Mario Badescu is my skincare savior! Everything I’ve tried from the brand has been completely effective. The packaging is no frills and the product is meant to WORK. Right now the Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is changing my life in a special way. For years, I’ve had backne. I usually don’t wear backless clothes because I have breakouts and hyperpigmentation – and I’m SICK of it. I was advised to try this Glycolic Foaming Cleanser and the difference so far is incredible. My back breakouts are far fewer and the skin on my back has become smoother and has a more even overall tone. If I do get a zit on my back, this wash dries it out in no time flat. This product is too harsh for my face, but the back is benefiting from its goodness.

I’ll let you know when the hyperpigmentation has gone away – for now, I’m finally feeling confident enough to try something cute with a slightly more revealing back!

Those are my favorite skincare picks. Have you tried any of them? Let me know your opinions and results!

Photo originally found here

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Dawnavette says:
July 12, 2010, 12:51 pm
So interesting to learn what you use! I've been wanting to try Clairisonic for years, and think I'm about ready. But I think I want the larger version (that can be used all over). Do you have both or are you now devoted to the MIA? Thanks.
Yolanda says:
July 12, 2010, 12:59 pm
Thank you so very much for sharing this information. I can't wait to try the oxyginating facial. It's awesome that you are taking good care of your skin now. If you feel good about your skin and your hair, all else seems to fall into place as far as your appearance goes IMO. I use the clairasonic brush and it has made a huge difference for me. It has eliminated blackheads on and around my nose. Nothing else has been able to do that. It helps facial products to absorb more readily as well.
Krissy says:
July 12, 2010, 2:29 pm
Great post! I just posted a video and blog post about my skincare routine. I use Mario Badescu, Clarisonic, and GoClear as well.
Living Fly on a Dime says:
July 12, 2010, 3:42 pm
Thanks for this post. I've always heard great things about Mario Badescu. For whatever reason, I've recently developed bacne (ugh!) so I may have to try this.
Clarisonic says:
July 12, 2010, 5:51 pm
Thanks for being such an amazing Clarisonic Super Fan. We are excited to hear that the Mia has become your new travel buddy! If you or your fans ever have Clarisonic questions you can find us on Twitter @Clarisonic or via email We will also be coming out with new Mia colors in the next several weeks so stay tuned!
sandra says:
July 12, 2010, 6:17 pm
I can't believe people. Of course bloggers talk about what works for them; why would they not and it has come to disclaimers for doing what makes sense. Thanks for sharing "what works for you" and I'll try it and see if it "works for me"... Wishing you the best and I'm looking forward to all of your posts whether they work for me or not. Keep up the good work. “To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary. Like all judgment, approval encourages a constant striving. It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value. Approval cannot be trusted. It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been. It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy. Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.” - Rachel Naomi Remen
teachermrw says:
July 12, 2010, 7:29 pm
Thank you for your post. The only product that I have tried from amongst those you present is the Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser. However, I didn't have the degree of success that you are experiencing. In fact, after trying several Mario Badescu products, I had to move on to a different product line, and with which I have had very good success.
sybil says:
July 12, 2010, 9:04 pm
hi bella! it's hard for me to believe but i am back on the clinique train. it works really well for me. i'm still oily (even at this age) and my skin looks better than it ever has. my goal (and i'm sure a lot of other peoples too) is to have skin that is so healthy i don't need foundation, just tiny bit of powder. thank you for this post. i look forward to hearing about all the things you get to try =
bella says:
July 12, 2010, 9:09 pm
I have both, I was sent my first Clarisonic in 2006 or 07, so the models have changed quite a bit since then! I think the MIA is awesome AND can be used for all over use. It may take a little longer though!
bella says:
July 12, 2010, 9:09 pm
oooooh! I'd DIE for a purple Clarisonic!
alicia e. says:
July 12, 2010, 11:34 pm
I am interested in Clairisonic also...but my skin is so sensitive I am wondering if it would work for me. Thanks for your review!
YumYumDumSum says:
July 12, 2010, 11:51 pm
I've had the Clarisonic since 2007, purchased it for my birthday!! Best investment I've ever made for my skin!!! I've since purchased the newer model (I'm a sucker for new techie things) and I use it religiously... and my skin THANKS ME for using it every day. Improved skin tone, decrease in pores, removal of white and blackheads. My next venture is the Mario Badescu line. I've heard great things about this line. I want to decrease my hyperpigmentation due to my acne scars, and don't want to bleach out my skin where I'd end up looking like a chocolate chip cookie!!!
YumYumDumSum says:
July 13, 2010, 2:02 am
The Clarisonic uses various brush types... the delicate brush is quite soft and gentle and may be what you need. They also have a sensitive brush. I, on the other hand, prefer a more rougher brush and use the normal one or sometimes the body brush. I highly recommend purchasing it!!!
Denise says:
July 13, 2010, 9:29 pm
Shucks! I thought my post has posted yesterday, but it didn't:( Anywho, 'Bella, if you read this, have you tried the new Clarisonic Opal? I really want to get it, but wanted to know if you had any personal experience with it since it is a little pricey. (If I get it, it will be a birthday splurge on myself before my baby is born.)
Lisa says:
July 13, 2010, 10:50 pm
Are you still using the Jolie MD line? It sounded great from your previous review.
bella says:
July 14, 2010, 12:10 pm
Totally agree with you, Yolanda! I spent too long and too much money on covering up my skin care issues instead of dealing with them. Love the Clarisonic!
bella says:
July 14, 2010, 12:11 pm
I do still use Jolie MD but not during the hot summer days. If I know I'm not going out in the sun, I use it. Otherwise I'm using a moisturizer with SPF. Post to come on my faves soon!
bella says:
July 14, 2010, 12:12 pm
Hey! No I actually haven't used the Clarisonic Opal...just the original model and the MIA. Make sure to read lots of online reviews before you buy, but in general I think Clarisonic is a quality brand. Happy shopping!
Stacy says:
July 14, 2010, 1:20 pm
I wish the Clarisonic had worked for me. I purchased one but ended up returning. It just didn't WOW me, and for $195 I need to see & feel the WOW factor. After dreaming about one forever, my dream product turned out to be a dud for me. :(
Denise says:
July 14, 2010, 5:26 pm
Thanks Bella. now I'm contemplating getting a MIA and an OPAL...we'll see.
Deann says:
July 15, 2010, 3:30 pm
As a now mature woman, I cannot tell you how important a skin care regiment is to the health of your skin. When I was in my early 20's I developed a bad habit of not washing the makeup from my face at night. My skin began to look dirty and blotchy. Because of the condition of my skin, I never went without makeup. This went on for several years. Finally, I got into taking care of my skin after a friend became a beauty consultant (I won't mention company name). Anyway, after quite some time, my facial skin began to come alive again. My skin tone was no longer discolored and uneven. Now, for the past many years, I have been sticking to a skin care program morning and night. It doesn't matter if go to bed at 2:00 am, I still go through this process. So, if you want healthy looking skin throughout your life, you have to do it. Oh one other point, before exercising, always wash your face (I had to learn this the hard way too).
Nicole says:
July 16, 2010, 7:49 am
Thank you for sharing! I've used Mario Badescu and I like that skin care line. I have acne prone skin and I've read good things about Clarisonic so I think that will be my next investment.
Kimmie says:
July 19, 2010, 3:27 pm
Thank u for feeding my product junkyism lol. I'm on a skincare mission right now & I'm having the best results I've ever had! I recently purchased the Clarisonic Plus w/the body brush attachment. Life changing!!! My skin is so soft, supple, & bright. I noticed after the first use! I also noticed that my serums seep into my skin now. Before, I'd go to bed w/a tacky feeling face b/c the product was sitting on top of my skin. And I thought I was doing a good job cleansing/exfoliating!! Because of that, my products are working much more efficiently & I'm seeing greater results. I also love the MB Glycolic cleanser. That stuff is a miracle in a bottle. I just placed an order to re-up after taking a break from it and trying the Aqua Glycolic line instead. Not as effective but still a good product. Surpisingly, I've been using Oxy acne wash & pads that I picked up while on a beach vacation & it has worked really well with combating my extremely oily skin. That, along with the Clarisonic & regular bentonite clay masques (aztec bentonite clay from Whole Foods) & a fade cream applied directly to any dark spots have really improved my skin! I'm going to look into getting one of these facials. I've got a peel scheduled next week!
Tonya says:
July 19, 2010, 11:23 pm
I love your website Bella! Thanks for all your hard work and input. I also have a clarisonic and I love it. I took your advice from an earlier post and I use the clarisonic with cetaphil. I get so many compliments on my skin. I have very oily skin and noticeable pores. Since using the clairsonic, my pores are hardly noticeable and my skin doesn't make buckets of oil. It was costly, but my skin is worth it.
BlackBetty says:
July 20, 2010, 3:53 pm
How do you apply the glycolic cleanser to your back? I'm definitely interested in giving that a try. Thanks for sharing your tips!
Carolyn says:
July 22, 2010, 7:05 am
Hey Bella, Hopefully this does not turn into a journal entry. However, I am excited, emotional, and oh so grateful, all at the same time. So, I read your post and decided to give some of the items on your list a try. Now the Clarisonic had me thrown..especially that price tag. But, I swear I did research until 4am in the morning and could not find one bad review. So...I just had to do it ( I also managed to get the full size model for an additional 20% off :) I also ordered the Mario Badescu wash (once again I searched and searched and searched again, but, could not find one bad review). I love the samples that come with purchases from his website. Now, I know that these items are no miracle workers....however, I have been using the glycolic wash, acne wash (sample), drying mask (sample), and my Shiseido white lucent line (which I had been using for about 2 weeks). Lets just has been 3 days and I promise you, my skin looks pretty damn good!!! Not sure if I am having a good 3 days (haven't had a good 3 days in over a year), so I am pretty sure it is the products. All of these things (I think it's the glycolic wash) along with my Clarisonic, have hit the spot!!!! Thanks, thanks, and more thanks. Like I said it has only been 3 days..but I have known my skin for 26 yrs ;) so I am pretty familiar with what my skin likes and when something is working. I will try to remember to give you a 30 day (money back guaranteed) update!!! Love your site hun...keep the tips coming!!!! Carolyn
Clarisonic says:
July 22, 2010, 10:39 am
Hi Carolyn. We are so excited that you are loving your Clarisonic so far. We'd love to get in touch with you and hear more as you continue to use the Clarisonic. You can find us on Twitter @Clarisonic or via email Again, we are so thrilled you are already in love with the product. Thank you Bella too for sharing the Clarisonic! Cheers!
Carolyn says:
August 18, 2010, 9:39 pm
Ok, so it is official...I am definitely keeping my Clarisonic and I am hooked. My skin looks amazing. For the first time in a year, my skin is clearing up (consistently) my breakouts are minimal and I am getting my 20-something glow back. I even told my mom that she needs to purchase one investment for skin! Using this with my Mario Badescu and Shisheido line has proven to almost be a miracle...loves it!!! Thanks again :)
charley says:
January 18, 2011, 6:03 pm
Hi Sybil. I'm new to afrobella so I just saw your post. I'm 51 and last year starting getting regular facials. The lovely women who does my facils started me on Jan Marini bioglycolic cleanser and a few other JM products...I'm no longer oily. after about two months my skin just normalized and no more shiny face. so I highly recommend the facials and the professional level products
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