October 29, 2013

Product: Tend Skin Liquid

If I remember correctly, I first heard of this liquid through longtime reader Sophie.  The web site told me it reduced ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and redness.  It was exciting to think there was a product like this, but back then, the only way I could get it was either ordering it online, or going into Sephora, the most intimidating cosmetic store in Canada.  (To put that in its proper context, I go to Walmart or drugstores for my cosmetics.  I'm easily intimidated.)  To be honest, Tend Skin’s claim that it solved common hair removal complaints sounded too good to be true, so even when I crossed Sephora’s threshold for the first time in my life, I never actually bought it.

Then a few years later, I finally saw it in a drugstore.  If the product had made it out of specialty shops at last, perhaps now was the time to give it a chance.  What kinda sucks about reviewing products how is that my facial hair is much less coarse, much less dark, much... less.  It's hard to me to gauge the way the product would have worked on my original beard anymore.

...Is my lesser beard making me irrelevant?

Tend Skin Liquid, 188 mL / 4 oz (also available in 8 oz and 16 oz, as well as refillable roll-on)

Source: Tendskin.com
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol), Butylene Glycol, Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin), Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Diglycerin, Polysorbate 80.

Things I liked:
  • I noticed much less ingrown hairs when used on face, underarms, and thighs--particularly the latter two.  It’s even better than Bikini-Zone for such prevention, which made it invaluable in summer.
  • A little goes a long way.  One quick turnover onto a cotton swab would cover my entire beard area or underarms.

Things I didn't like:
  • It’s an astringent, so it stings.  Probably worse than the styptic pencil, but for a shorter period of time.  At least you know it’s working.
  • Because it’s alcohol based, I know it’s drying out my skin.  This needed to be counteracted with generous moisturizing.
  • You have to be SO careful not to get it on mucosal body parts, especially when using it near the bikini line.  Seriously.  Don’t ever do that.  Ever.
  • $20 CAD is a bit steep, but if it works well for you, it may be worth it.

Did it do what it promised?
  • “When applied regularly, Tend Skin® Liquid effectively reduces appearance of unsightly razor bumps...” 
I can’t say for certain if my razor bumps improved on my face, mostly because my face has been doing better and better with reduced amounts of hair, thanks to laser hair removal.  But they did improve in other shaved regions.
  • “...reduce appearance of existing ingrown hairs without tweezing...”
Though I mostly used this preventatively and noticed much less irritation, especially on my thighs and underarms, I did use it a couple of times after ingrown hairs appeared and it does reduce them retroactively too.
  • “...reduce appearance of the noticeable redness that appears on the skin after shaving...”
Inconclusive.  My face is sensitive and gets red at the slightest touch or temperature change, so I found the astringent properties of Tend Skin added to the redness after shaving, though it went away quickly.

I wish I’d known it’s now suggested for use after laser hair removal to reduce redness and bumps.  I had chosen to suspend its use after my sessions because my skin had already sustained such abuse, the last thing I wanted was to put a stinging, drying liquid on it.

In summary, I’d recommend trying it.  I wish I’d tried it when shaving was harder on my face, so I would know if it would have helped me back then, but it was great for keeping my thighs and underarms more comfortable.  You may find it a little too harsh and unpleasant, or you may find it works great for you.  I’m glad to have it within reach for those times when shaving just isn’t going well and needs and my skin needs an intervention.  (And if you can’t try it, some people say you can make your own!  Some of the recipes include Witch Hazel, which is probably a lot nicer for you than some of the ingredients in Tend.) 

Note: pregnant women and those with aspirin allergies should not use this product, and for everyone else, please try a test area before using.

What other people thought of Tend Skin liquid:

Have you used Tend Skin?  Do you have a positive or negative story to tell?  Leave it in the comments!

October 15, 2013

Four Weeks on Vaniqa

It’s been about a month since I started Vaniqa.  Actually, technically it’s been five weeks, but I didn’t bother applying Vaniqa during the week I had the flu.  Nor did I shave, and I can tell you that yes, more hair has definitely grown in on my chin since the last laser treatment.  But as for the Vaniqa, the various papers did say results can begin to be seen in four to eight weeks.  So have I noticed any change?

Well, within the first few days, I started getting pimples on my chin.  This may have coincided with the beginnings of the flu, as I sometimes get skin breakouts when my immune system goes kaput.  When the flu was gone, so were the spots, but I am also using Polysporin cream to help prevent future skin infections.

Other than that?

I'm pretty sure I’m getting into an awkward stage where the hair is noticeable in the morning, but not quite long enough for a comfortable shave.  This is leading to some irritation after a couple of days of consecutive hair removal, and reviving my old habit of staying at home on weekends to give my skin a day off.  And this, aside from the acne side-effect, is what I was dreading about starting Vaniqa.

However, it’s early days.  Things could still get better, so I’m sticking with it.  Another Vaniqa report in four weeks!