Clarifying Dull Skin with Glycolic Acid

Shannon Smyth
When it comes to exfoliating your skin, typically you either use a physical exfoliant or a chemical exfoliant. Physical being a scrub, like the Reflekt Facial Exfoliator or Andalou Naturals Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub; or with a beauty tool like the Clarisonic. And chemical like Acure's facial peels. But what if you want the best of both worlds? What I like about Beauty Rx By Dr. Schultz's Advanced 10% Exfoliating Pads, is that it is a dual-acting chemical and physical exfoliant. With 10% glycolic acid, it will dissolve the hardened oils clogging pores (my favorite thing for it to tackle) and soften the appearance of fine lines. Whenever I go for a facial at the spa, I always ask for a glycolic mask. It's your skin's best friend. The pad also cleanses skin as you rub it on the areas you want to treat most. The pads themselves are similar in appearance to other cleansing pads I've used, but the formula is vastly different. At 10% glycolic acid, this is a strong acting exfoliant. It's not meant for sensitive skin and the box warns that it is not starter strength. Since my skin is already accustomed to to professional grade glycolic acid, I felt comfortable using it. It did sting the first few weeks when applied, but nothing more painful than if you applied a high formulation of Vitamin C to your skin (which is more annoyance level than actual pain.) For the first week or so, I would swipe the pads across my skin, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off and apply my usual night cream. By about week 3, I was able to leave it on my skin overnight. What resulted were less random blemishes, pores that weren't as obvious with the usual gunk in them and brighter skin. This is a great product to use in between spa facials. The Advanced 10% Exfoliating Pads are $70 for 50 pads, but well worth it. Dry, oily, normal and combination skin types can use this treatment. It's also paraben and fragrance free and dermatologist tested.  Have you tried it? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Spa Expert's Tips for Glowing Skin

Shannon Smyth
Spa expert's tips for glowing skin via @agirlsgottaspa #skincare #spatreatment #spa #skintips

Hydrate Skin with Cold Pressed Oils: At the new Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, Spa & Recreation Manager Allie Arguelles recommends massaging Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Nourishing Face Oil or cold-pressed apricot or coconut oil in small circles from forehead to chin.

Humidify Your Way to Brighter Skin: At Windsor Court Spa, Spa Director Sharla Martin recommends investing in a good humidifier to keep skin hydrated especially during bitter-cold winter days. To get rid of unwanted dry, flaky skin, she recommends exfoliating with a sugar and oil-based exfoliant.

Coffee Scrub for a Bright Complexion: At Well & Being at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princes, Whitney Mullins, a dual massage therapist and esthetician, recommends guests sip on a cup of coffee to keep skin merry and bright. Coffee has many natural skin benefits, including reducing inflammation, reducing cellulite, gently exfoliating while brightening the skin and reducing puffiness, as well as packing the skin with antioxidants.

Use Oxygen to Revive Tired Winter Skin: At The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being, intentional living specialist Emily Heim recommends travelers revive dull winter skin with Dr. Lancer’s 3-Step “Method,” which includes, The Method: Polish, The Method: Cleanse and The Method: Nourish.

Get a Glow with an Overnight Mask: At Guerlain Spa at The Plaza Hotel, lead esthetician Alina Cimpoeru recommends sleeping with the Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Mask, which leaves skin hydrated, plump and bright.

Use IntraCeuticals to Heal Winter-Ravaged Skin: At Well & Being at The Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas, lead esthetician Melissa Miller advises guests to purchase IntraCeuticals Oxygen Therapy products formulated for home use to maintain stunning skin throughout the snowy season.

Call on Mother Nature: At Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa’s Group Spa and Wellness Director Sienna Creasy recommends an exfoliating treatment to get rid of dry skin. Beginning with a triple threat combination of Blue Mountain Coffee to tone, sea salt that detoxifies and golden-brown sugar to soften. Shea butter and local annatto oil provide a warm glow naturally from the color of the seed’s skin which is an orange-red.

Ban Dry Skin with Avocado Honey Mask: At Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino Michelle Arce, marketing director for Zen Spa Retreat, says that avocado and honey have powerful antioxidant and moisturizing properties to ban tricky rough patches and keep skin healthy and smooth during winter. Apply the following mask 2-3 times a week: mash 1/2 avocado and add 2 tablespoons of honey and apply generously on your face and neck. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with water

Brighten Complexion with Coconut Oil: At Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort at Sibö Rainforest, Spa & Retreat, Nicole Courrau, spa manager says that a good body scrub eliminates the accumulation of dead skin cells and brings back that healthy glow in the winter. To maximize results, scrub with a body brush in circular movements then apply coconut oil which provides deep hydration and promotes the removal of dead cells to brighten a dull complexion.

Refresh Lips with Sugar and Honey Treatment: At Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose César Sánchez, spa manager for Kuö Spa, deals with chapped lips by mixing sugar with honey is a great moisturizer that helps heal them quickly. Mix two teaspoons of sugar with one teaspoon of honey and rub the paste gently on the face to loosen the dead skin cells. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water.

Light Therapy to Sooth and Rejuvenate: At JW Marriott Grand Rapids, guests cure the winter blues with Light Therapy treatments. During the session, lay with the Light Therapy lamp over the face with a soothing eye mask and massage. According to spa manager Caitlin McClelland, using an illuminating palette can provide a summer-inspired, dewy look.

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Beauty Must-Haves When Skiing the French Alps

Candyce Ross
French beauty must-haves when skiing the French Alps via @agirlsgottaspa I recently visited Morzine, France for a week of skiing aka falling in the snow (as I am still extremely amateur.) For those of you who have been on a ski trip, you will know that a week on the slopes is one of the most special types of trips. It involves good food and wine, great company with friends and family and whilst it is one of the most physical weeks in terms of exercise, it leaves you recharged in a different way. Perhaps it's the positive effect that open space and fresh air brings - an uplifted sense of well-being. In saying all this, a day on the slopes means your skin can be exposed to both the elements of the sun and snow. At the end of the day not only have your legs had a workout, but your skin is tired too! Beauty must-haves when skiing the French Alps (Morzine, France) via @agirlsgottaspa These are my top picks for what to pack to ensure your skin is looked after just as well as your chalet hosts look after you! IXXI Silky Cleansing Balm - Yes, your skin has had fresh air all day in the alps, but remember, you've been sweating and have most probably had a combination of sun, snow, sleet, wind, rain or all of the above against your face. Besides the warm tea and afternoon treats that were waiting in our chalet for us at the end of each day, using this cleanser was what I looked forward to most after a day on the slopes! Rich in consistency and full of essential oils to put the bling back into your skin, this product feels like you've bathed your face in milk. It has a comforting, soothing effect. Apply to a dry face, massaging gently as the gel transforms into oil. Leave on for a few minutes as you would a mask before rinsing off. When in contact with water this oil changes into a milky balm - it's the best feeling! The balm washes off easily, leaves no oily residue and removes makeup effectively. Containing almond and coconut oil, the cleanser leaves your skin nourished and also has anti-redness and anti-aging properties. What's more is that 90% of this products' ingredients are from natural origin. @ixxicosmetics is a must-have when skiing the French Alps via @agirlsgottaspa After cleansing, I lathered my face with IXXI Sublixime Anti-ageing Absolute. This is like liquid silk! A few drops of this oil is all that is needed to regenerate your skin. I applied this each evening and the pine extracts (derived from bark, pine seed oil and pine needles) ensure that you wake up with radiant, toned skin. The smell is divine - it has a sweet alpine smell, with hints of violet and jasmine, musk and orchid. Dry, chapped lips are never a good look and unfortunately the wind and dry air on the slopes mean that this nasty look is often highly probable. This is a beauty product that you will probably find in every Australian women's handbag and it's one that since living there I have wondered how I ever lived without it! Lucas’ Pawpaw ointment is made in Brisbane, Australia from fermented Australian pawpaw fruit and is one of those products that seems to work for everything - chapped lips, burns, cuts, rashes, you name it! It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and comes in a convenient tube. Pop this in your ski jacket and reapply every few hours to keep your lips plump and smooth. @ixxicosmetics must-haves via @agirlsgottaspa Just because your goggles cover your eyes during the day, doesn’t mean that they don’t need some attention. IXXI’s Eye Contour Treatment is cooling and ideal for night and day. A week of skiing, whilst the best of fun is also tiring, so a treatment that puts puffy eyes and dark circles at bay is always welcome. Creightons Argon Smooth Miracle Oil – my hair is often the first to show a change in climate and washing my hair every day and wearing a helmet on a ski trip can take its toll. After each wash, I applied a few pumps of Argan oil to damp hair to leave my hair smooth, frizz free and shiny. The smell of this oil is incredible, like a sweet perfume, which is very different to the dull smell of other hair oils I have used in the past. If you have any tips for perfect ski skin or any travel beauty essentials that you can’t leave home without, let me know! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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LabGrab Eye Renewal for Puffiness and Fine Lines

Shannon Smyth

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Silk Therapeutics for LabGrab. All opinions are my own.

@skincarebysilk's Lab Grab eye cream review via @agirlsgottaspa Do you have fine lines or under eye puffiness? Lack of a decent amount of sleep will often cause me to get puffy bags under my eyes, and well, my age is showing with fine lines and crow's feet on a regular basis. If you are a regular reader, you know I love the New England-based Silk Therapeutics brand and have reviewed a few of their products (Silk Therapeutics Nurture ++ Moisturizer, Purely Smooth Daily Minimizing Complex, and Silk Renewing Peel.) If you are not already familiar with this great skin care brand, they use minimal ingredients and activated liquid silk in all of their products. Silk protein is what firms and smoothes skin and gives its healthy appearance. Pure liquid silk does the job of a number ingredients and this is why their products can be ultra-effective without a laundry list of fillers. @skincarebysilk's Lab Grab eye cream via @agirlsgottaspa As with most brands, there are a lot of great ideas for other products put forth and formulations that tried and tested. However, most of the time, only one of those products make it to market. It's not to say that the other product ideas or formulations weren't good, it's always just a matter of which one is the best of the best at the time and money to get it from the lab to you. As a beauty brand owner myself, I can't begin to tell you how true this is. I would surely love to launch many items at once, but just to put ONE out costs a considerable amount of money and that's not a pricetag I want to pass onto you, and neither do they. But I love the idea Silk Therapeutics came up with to problem solve this which gave birth to a new line called LabGrab. LabGrab is a skin care line with the same innovative formulations of pure liquid silk, made in limited edition batches at affordable prices. It's no frills naming (the formulator's initials, internal formulation number and intended purpose of the product) with the product in lab glass. While EC-018 may not sound sexy, your skin won't know any better. Lab Grab by @skincarebysilk - love this eye cream via @agirlsgottaspa I had the opportunity to try their Cream - Eye Renewal prior to launch. It's an unscented eye treatment comprised of liquid silk, silk micro-capsules, caffeine, and botanicals. The texture has a whipped consistency - it is lightweight and airy. It's not at all greasy and doesn't feel like it sits atop your skin. It's incredibly concentrated and you only need to use a tiny amount. And by tiny, I mean less than pea-sized for both eyes. I've used it every day for a few weeks now and it looks like I've barely touched my jar. Also - the skin around my eyes looks great! My crow's feet have softened and there's no under-eye puffiness. Now, I know that I won't see miracles only having used it for a short period of time, however, I am beginning to see results and I know with consistent use, the overall results will improve. I'm really excited about the launch of LabGrab and I hope you'll check out the products for yourself! Any questions? Let me know in the comments! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Try This Face Mask for Acne Prone Skin

Candyce Ross
Loving nugg beauty face pods! Charcoal review on @agirlsgottaspa As much as travelling is one of my favourite things in life, often the change in climate and environment is not always that much fun for my skin. Sometimes our skin needs a quick fix to get it back on track. For me, removing impurities and controlling shine is key, especially in humid climates. nügg has just released these fantastic pocket-sized face mask pods that are small enough to fit in your hand luggage, so they are very travel-friendly! No matter how many trips I've done, I always seem to bring everything except the kitchen sink with me and have a constant battle with the lid of my suitcase and the zip. (Sound familiar??) So, as you can imagine, any space-saving beauty product has me rejoicing. Charcoal face mask from nugg beauty via @agirlsgottaspa These face mask pods come in different targeted treatments. I recently tried the Black Charcoal Skin Detox face mask. This mask has a calming effect on the skin due to the soothing oatmeal; keep impurities at bay due to the tea tree oil and controls shine without drying out the skin. Charcoal face mask from nugg beauty via @agirlsgottaspa I was impressed with how much goodness is packed into each one of these tiny pods. Ten minutes is all you need to have fresh, clean and soft skin, so it's perfect if you're short of time and your skin needs a quick pick-me-up. nugg beauty charcoal face mask review via @agirlsgottaspa The mask has a gel-like consistency and the smell is divine - it smells as if you are at a spa having a facial. What’s best, is that it’s made from 97% natural ingredients so your skin is being fed with only the best! There are no parabens, synthetic fragrances or colours. nügg face masks are available in different combinations depending on your skin type and are available to buy in Beauty Mart, Selfridges,, Fenwick’s, Beauty Bay and soon to launch in John Lewis. In the US, you can purchase them on Amazon. Have you tried them yet yourself? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Mandara Spa Aboard Norwegian Cruise Line

Candyce Ross
Mandara Spa on Norwegian Cruise Line, London review via @agirlsgottaspa Picture this – You’ve just started your holiday. Before you know it, you're whisked away to a luxury spa and are being pampered with the view of the open sea in front of you and not a worry in the world! Everything is being taken care of and all you’re in charge of doing is sitting back and relaxing because it's only smooth sailing from here. Literally - because you're on board a Norwegian Cruise ship and being treated like a princess in their Mandara Spa. Mandara Spa is on board every Norwegian Cruise ship and I was given a taste of this experience when I recently escaped winter for the afternoon at the Mandara Spa at Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge in London. View of Big Ben in London from Norwegian Cruise ship via @agirlsgottaspa Mandara Spa review via @agirlsgottaspa As I sunk into the massage table and enjoyed a Balinese massage and mini facial, I closed my eyes and imagined watching the vast deep blue as if I was cruising. My therapist carefully chose the most suitable Elemis products to hydrate my skin, which needed a little boost after being exposed to the cold winter weather. Mandara Spa, London via @agirlsgottaspa The spa uses signature Mandara, Elemis and Bliss products and has an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, manicure and pedicure area. In addition, there is also an amazing salt grotto which is surrounded with layers of body cleansing salt crystals and is said to help skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as colds, allergies and respiratory ailments. Spa treatment at Mandara Spa in London via @agirlsgottaspa Norwegian Cruise line has been voted the World’s Best Cruise Spa by the World Spa Awards so you know that you’re in the right hands when it comes to choosing a holiday focused on a little “me” time. What I like about the idea of cruising with a luxury spa on board is that you can have a week (or two!) of trying different treatments, seeing different destinations and you only have to unpack once! Foodie indulgence aboard Norwegian Cruise ship via @agirlsgottaspa Norwegian Cruise ships also have a large selection of entertainment and restaurants on board to cater for all interests and taste buds. From waterfront bars to specialty restaurants, you are spoilt for choice. There are also many healthy dining options available, so for those who are worried about returning from a week of indulgence looking like a house – fear not! What better way to see the world than replacing stressful flights with days spent looking out to sea. Beach hair, sun kissed skin and a trip to the spa to top it off...dreamy! Have you had the chance to spa at sea yet? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Coconut Water: Hydration with Skin and Health Benefits

Gail Lewis
Invo Coconut Water review via @agirlsgottaspa Whatever time of the year you are reading this - now is the time to get healthy. And it can start off small, easing into one thing at a time to make it a positive, healthy habit. I'm a big fan of coconut everything - from coconut oil, to coconut scented beauty products, to eating the fruit and drinking it. Coconut is a go-to for its many health and beauty benefits. Coconut water is something I like to sip on, and recently had the opportunity to try cold-crafted, INVO coconut water. INVO uses high pressure processing to keep the nutrients from the coconut as pure and intact as possible. (Drinking an INVO is like sipping direct from the coconut itself!) Benefits of coconut water via @agirlsgottaspa I'm sure you are aware of the many health benefits of coconut water. If you're not, it's known to boost hydration, reduce blood pressure, facilitate digestion and aids in weight loss. Coconut water is rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. In addition to the great health benefits, coconut water also has some pretty amazing beauty benefits when it comes to your skin. Thanks to its anti-microbial properties it helps to fight blemishes (much like drinking lemon water - but this is much more tasty!) It also contains a protein called cytokines that is responsible for encouraging cell growth and cell activation. Invo Coconut Water via @agirlsgottaspa Each bottle of INVO coconut water is packed with 5 essential electrolytes, which promotes rapid hydration.  It is low in sugar, 99% fat free and has as much potassium as a whole banana. You may notice that each bottle pictured seems to be a different color. I tested INVO's Pure Coconut flavor (they also have Tropical and Sencha Green Tea), and despite the color ranging from clear to a deeper pink, they all tasted the same and were completely refreshing (chilled is my preferred way to drink it.) The pink color comes from enzymes working to change the color of some of the beneficial polyphenolics found naturally in coconut water and do not affect the quality or taste. Do you drink coconut water? What are the benefits you've seen from it? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Marula Night Serum with Hibiscus

Shannon Smyth
Marula Night Serum from @travertinespa review via @agirlsgottaspa With age comes a multitude of skin issues. Dry skin is one of them, both face and body. Now combine age-related skin issues with other environmental issues, and we've got a problem. Typically I would use a night cream, which is normally thicker than a day lotion and sans SPF, and that has worked out OK. But I didn't know what I was missing until I tried Travertine Spa's Marula Night Serum. Marula, is similiar to argan oil, but provides a much deeper level of hydration and protection of the skin. It has an abundance of vitamins and minerals, something mature skin desperately needs. (Being honest, I hate calling my skin mature. It makes me feel super old.) Travertine Spa's Marula Night Serum also contains certified organic hibiscus flowers (you actually see them floating in the serum), geranium and essential oils of nerouli and lavender. My experience, where to start? I've never used Marula oil before to be honest. I've used argan oil and never really strayed because it got the job done. I've known the owner of Travertine Spa for several years now and when I was talking to him about my skin issues, he told me that Marula would make a world of difference. I agreed to give it a try because he has never steered me wrong. The serum looks maroon in the bottle, but comes out clear. The first thing you notice is the fragrance. To say I am in love with the fragrance would be putting it mildly. I applied this serum at 11pm the first time and literally considered texting him right then to ask that he make me an oil I can put in my aromatherapy diffuser with the same scent. Lucky for him, I chose to wait until the next morning. The directions say to use 3 drops, but I found that one pump (a little more than pea-sized) was sufficient for my skin. I smoothed it over my entire face and neck. One night, after a week of using it, I remarked to myself after applying it how much better my skin looked. Almost like a few years have turned back. Not being comfortable with this whole aging thing, this was motivation enough for me to make sure I am consistently use it nightly. The serum is not greasy and quickly absorbs into the skin. Your skin will literally glow. All evidence of dry patches have disappeared. So much so, that I was able to wear my BareMinerals bareSkin Serum Foundation. If you are not familiar with that review, here's a quick summary - it looked great on my skin with the exception of magnifying dry patches of skin. Liquid foundation has never been my friend. However, after using Marula Night Serum for just few weeks, I was able to wear the foundation and SLAYED. Here's what you need to know - I review skin care products regularly. But when I start trying to figure out my budget so that I can purchase this when I run out and plot how I will also scoop some up for my mom (she mentioned she wanted it after hearing how much I loved it), you know that this is SOMETHING INCREDIBLE. Do your skin a favor and grab some for yourself. Girls, this will not disappoint! Marula fans, let me hear your thoughts - leave a comment! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Vitamin C Skin Treatments

Shannon Smyth

Age spots caused by sun damage, scars, dark brown spots (for whatever reason) - all of the things we wish to fade away in order to regain a near-perfect canvas. Having done EVERYTHING wrong to my skin in my younger days, from using the tanning booth to rarely using sunscreen, to picking at my blemishes and never taking off my makeup before just not taking care of my skin in general, I'm now paying the price.

Note to beauty girls piling on the makeup with contouring, baking, highlighting, over-doing it on your brows, skipping the sunscreen, etc etc. - you will one day regret how you treated your skin during this trend of makeup excess. TRUST.

But I digress.

If you don't have the time or budget for cosmetic treatments to help undo skin damage, then your best bet (aside from being smart about skin care going forward) is to use Vitamin C skin treatments to brighten your skin and fade hyperpigmentation.

The thing is, just any Vitamin C treatment won't do. When searching for the perfect Vitamin C product, you need two things: a stable form of Vitamin C and a high concentration of it (i.e. not the last thing listed on the label so that the brand can make claims.)

A stable form of Vitamin C is the most potent - if your Vitamin C is brown, then it is oxidized and not stable, therefore ineffective. It's also important to note that some Vitamin C treatments do give a stinging sensation. Everyone's skin reacts differently and I've found that some products sting (briefly) while I feel absolutely nothing from others. I can only think that this is due to the other ingredients in the product that may help to counteract the stinging.

So what has worked for me? Paula's Choice Resist Vitamin C Spot Treatment, InviCible Scars and emerginC Vitamin C Serum.

Paula's Choice Vitamin C Spot Treatment: 25% Vitamin C, the highest I have ever used. It does sting, but goes away within seconds. There's no fragrance to it and it says it works on all skin types. It is a white lotion, that feels "dry." Unless you've tried it, it's difficult to explain. It doesn't feel like a typical creamy lotion, which isn't a bad thing, but worth noting. It absorbs quicky and there is no greasy feeling. It's the smallest tube of the 3 mentioned (15ml) at a high price point ($55.)

InviCible Scars: 17% Vitamin C and it did not sting. It has no scent to it and is also meant for all skin types. This is a silky, white lotion which is partly due to the silicone (one of the best treatments for scars) and skin-softening ingredients like aloe, sunflower and safflower seed oil. I've used this on my face for dark spots, but I have also used it in the past for my burn scar. Using a small amount, it does not feel greasy and I found that it absorbs well. (28ml for $28.99)

emerginC Vitamin C Serum: 12% Vitamin C and it did not sting (they also have a 20% version.) My immediate thought when applying this serum is that it is perfect for combination skin, as it is a liquid gel serum. It does have a slight orange scent to it, but it fades once absorbed into your skin.  There is no greasy feeling and I like that it came in a large bottle (30ml for $83.)

While most stable Vitamin C products come in dark or concealed tubes/bottles, this one is in a clear bottle, so you *must* keep it in a dark place or it will become unstable.

Another thing to keep in mind, fading dark spots and scarring takes time. There is no quick fix. This is skin damage and takes consistent use over a period of time to see a difference - typically 12 weeks. Your best bet is to take a before picture of yourself and at the 12 week mark take another in order to note progress.

You must always wear broad spectrum sunscreen forever. And ever. Vitamin C causes photosensitivity, so if you aren't protecting your face when wearing these products, then you really are voiding their benefits. Once you have faded the pigmentation, you'll still need to wear sunscreen, as UV rays can re-darken the area (and no it won't fade like your tan will.) 

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Superfruit: Teadora's Lip Butter and Clay Soap

Shannon Smyth
Teadora Exfoliating Clay Soap and Nourishing Lip Butter review via @agirlsgottaspa There's beauty secrets to be found in the Rainforest. Thankfully, Teadora brings the magic of Brazil to your skin with their vegan, natural and cruelty free superfruit-based skin care. Teadora's products are intended to be a sensory experience - using decadent fragrances and textures, their products are designed to transport you to magical rainforest moments through a total immersion of your senses. Teadora Exfoliating Clay Soap review via @agirlsgottaspa With my combination skin, I am a huge fan of clay masks, so trying out their Nourishing Exfoliating Bar brings the mud to your face and body in soap-form. They are two different bars; Rainforest at Dawn and Rainforest at Dusk. I experienced Rainforest at Dusk, which has a delicious scent that is hard to describe. It's earthy, a bit sweet and unisex. The Exfoliating Bar has a fine grit to it and is comprised of Amazonian clay, natural Açaí Berry, organic Buriti Fruit oil, and organic Cupuaçu Butter. It gently exfoliates while nourishing the skin. For my face, I use the bar directly on my face in a few spots and then use my fingers the massage the lather across my face and rinse off.  Lather really isn't the right word, as it isn't foaming, but it's the best way to describe it. I use this Exfoliating Bar once a week in conjunction with my other skin care products. When not in use, make sure to keep it in a dry place. Teadora Nourishing Lip Butter review via @agirlsgottaspa This Nourishing Lip Butter is actually pretty big. It also has a dual purpose of exfoliating your lips while moisturizing. I have Açaí-Açu (Berry-chocolate), which smells of a nutty, chocolate fragrance. This lip balm does have a fine grit to it, tastes delicious (I kind of always want to lick it off), but isn't greasy. You simply swipe your finger across the butter and apply it to your lips. It seems to absorb, rather than lying on top of your lips like most lip balms, so it is more of a lip moisturizer than a lip balm per say. A little goes a long way, as well, as this lip butter has lasted me months and it looks like I've barely touched it. If you're looking to try something exotic that works great, give Teadora products a look! Have you tried them? Leave a comment and let me know! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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