Skin Care

By Andrea Toochin

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April is here and you know what that means – summer is just months away and soon they’ll be pulling the cashmere sweaters out of our hands and tossing us a sun dress. Before that can happen we need some serious motivation to hit the gym, resist the sweets, and get our skin in shape. I’ve substituted pudding for ice cream, goji berries (the wonder food!) for nuts and raisins, herbal tea for that afternoon coffee, and I’m considering boxing or Capoeira because running in space is just too boring. But, the real replacements are the ones that involve cleaning my medicine cabinet, which is reaching maximum capacity at present. Here are a few items that made the cut.

The latest independent skin care line to hit the market is the brainchild of plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Galumbeck of Spa Phoenix in Virginia. Dr. Galumbeck believes that treating inflammation at the cellular level can heal the skin and improve the appearance without harsh peels.

Skin Amnesty comes in three varieties: dry, normal/combination, and oily/acne prone. Dr. Galumbeck and his research team developed the patent pending main ingredient, Bioactive Modulators, which respond to inflammation caused by pollution and sun damage.

The products contain a variety of herbs and natural ingredients such as arnica, ivy, calendula, and linden flower but the acne prone products also contain salicylic acid and horsetail, an extract with an inherent form of sulfur. The toners all have an aloe and witch hazel base, and each is formulated with different herbs. The hydrating eye cream contains forms of vitamin E, C, and K, which diminishes dark circles. But, it’s the serum and the exfoliating face mask that are most likely to be best sellers.

The kaolin (clay) based scrub is just strong enough to physically exfoliate while the hydrating and stimulating ingredients improve skin tone. The Restore Protect Serum contains the signature blend, but it’s the packaging of the 15 percent solution of vitamin C that makes it a winner – through a small gap in the label you can see a cylinder within the bottle where the vitamin C is stored separately, which keeps it stable and effective.

Developed in France and made in Syria, Tadé makers were inspired by the Hammam, the Arab version of Russian Turkish baths. This olive oil- and red clay-based paste is an invigorating bath product best used on a washcloth. Though it doesn’t look pretty, it smells delicious and lathers well. After years of using fruity gels and salt scrubs, this product is a nice alternative. Plus, it lathers so well this huge tub will easily last for months.

There are tons of cleansers out there, but if you’re past the days of acne washes and unsatisfied by the many mundane choices comprised of unpronounceable chemicals, it’s time for Replenix. This creamy cleanser takes on the scent of orange extract, but it also has vitamins A and E, and more notably, green tea, white tea, and CoQ10. It’s a rare cleanser that allows you about 10 minutes after washing before your skin begins to crave moisturizer. This does just that and it effortlessly removes makeup.

Skin Amnesty products are priced between $25-$80, available at

Tade Turkish Black Bath Soap is just $20 for 16.9 oz, available at

The 6.7 oz bottle of Replenix Fortified Cleanser is $20, available at

Originally published April 2006

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