Behind The Butter

favorite skincare products

This is coming straight off the reader request line!

I don’t know how it seems on the blog, but I have pretty troublesome skin.

My skin is prone to breakouts, gets oily and has random dry patches that get all red and scaly. Not attractive. To battle this little “issue”, I try to use really good skincare products and also wear makeup on a regular basis. I know some people say “the best makeup women can wear is a smile”, which can be true….but I also love my blush, foundation and under-eye concealer. Who are we kidding here?

Every morning and night, I wash my face with Philosophy Purity face wash. I started using it not too long ago and love it. It even takes off my mascara and eye liner without bothering my eyes!! Genius. After washing my face, I use Philosophy clear day retinol clarifying lotion. It’s hard core without being drying and really works to keep me breakout free and reduce redness and scars from previous breakouts. It’s expensive ($40 for this little tube) but worth it!

Contrary to what the jar says, I don’t use that Neutrogena night cream at night. I use it on those previously mentioned dry scaly red areas that pop up every so often. I just dab a little here and there…wherever my skin feels the driest. I like this one because it’s not oily at all and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

I also just started using that Olay regenerist eye lifting serum every morning and every night. I figured it’s never to early to start using anti-aging eye creme!


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  • Amanda
    December 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Awesome! I always like to know what other women with problem skin use to deal with an unruly face. I’ve struggled with acne since I was 12, and I keep thinking that 27 is too old now to be STILL dealing with this. I would just destroy my face with benzoyl peroxide when I was younger, but I finally went to a dermatologist once I got a real job and realized that MOISTURE was what my oily skin actually needed.
    Thanks for the product suggestions!!!

  • Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy
    December 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I need to get new eye creams, time to start fighting fine lines!

  • Carolyn
    December 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! I always love hearing what other people use. I recently switched my makeup to an organic line (Physicians Formula Organic Wear), and have noticed significant improvement overall. I got mine at Target but here’s a great deal online:'s-formula-organic-wear-100-natural-origin-tinted-moisturizer/ID=prod6014836-product?V=G&ext=frgl_Google_Beauty

    It’s so moisturizing it’s like a lotion and it smells good too! Couldn’t recommend it more. I feel like all dermatologists tell you different things … so in the end you just have to find what works for you.

  • Joanna
    December 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I love Philosophy products. I have only used their lotions and perfumes, which I adore (Falling in Love is my fav!) I would love to try hope in a jar but it is quite expensive.
    The products I swear by is Origins. It sounds like we have similar skin types and their foaming cleanser and face creams really help balance the oils well. 🙂

  • Heather
    December 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I really think it’s important to use natural products though.. I have learned that there is a lot of chemicals in many mainstream beauty care products.

    (Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal-Care Products Endanger Your Health… and What You Can Do About It written by Samuel Epstein)

  • AmandaM
    December 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    So you don’t use your perscription face wash anymore? Why did you stop using that? I remember you poseted about using Rosaderm before and said it worked really great for your breakouts.

    • jenna
      December 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      Just decided to change it up!

  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine
    December 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    So true on the anti-aging cream. 🙂

    I love Philosophy products! Have you tried the Hope in a Jar moisturizer? It’s fantastic!

  • Jesse
    December 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Great post. I too have really troublesome skin with all the same issues you listed. I have been really bad about taking good care of it lately and I think I need to make some changes to my routine and I really like hearing what other people use and how it works for them 🙂

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    December 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Cool post! I use the Purity fash wash too 🙂

  • Kelly
    December 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I feel like skin care is always one of those challenging issues because what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. I have friends who could go to sleep in their makeup and who would work out in it and never get a blemish where as I feel my skin is constantly a battle. Heck, I’ve even gone to dermatologists where they have to make multiple recommendations until something actually sticks. I like philosophy products for body washes, but that face wash makes my sensitive skin sting like crazy. I feel like I’ve tried everything in every price range but have found for my own personal skin type, Aveeno works the best. Though I do like the Philosophy lotion and love it.

  • Meghan Hochgesang
    December 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    with your breakout-prone skin, have you ever considered using a clarisonic? i just bought one with a promo on sephora (they are a bit pricey) and absolutely love it. i don’t know what i was doing for so long. my face has never ever felt this soft or clean and you can really tell a difference. i battled with “blah” looking skin for so long, especially in the winter, and finally feel like it looks fantastic all the time. worth checking out!

  • kristinp
    December 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Just to pass on a tip I got from the delightful Sephora gals – the Philosophy On a Clear Day is the *exact* same thing as Philosophy’s Help Me retinol stuff, but more expensive. You’ll get more product for less cash by switching to the product with the other name 🙂

  • Tracey
    December 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I also have “random dry patches that get all red and scaly” and my doctor diagnosed them as eczema. Interesting idea to use the Neutrogena night cream… I may have to try that! I usually use a steroid cream to treat it!


  • Jennifer
    December 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I stopped having all but the usual hormonal breakouts when I began eating half a grapefruit with breakfast a few times/week. My sister first noticed her skin improved when she ate grapefruit, so when she mentioned it, I tried it. I’ve learned as long as I eat it at least once a week, no problems. Now, whether it’s in season or out of season, whether it’s the type of grapefruit I prefer or the type that tastes bad, I always make sure to include it. Drinking grapefruit juice should also work. Also, I’ve been getting a lot of comments on my skin ever since I tossed my moisturizer (trying to avoid chemicals, parabens and phytoestrogens) and started using grapeseed oil. I add 1 drop each of calendula oil and tea tree to 1 ounce of grapeseed oil and use that every night. Now that the weather is cool and dry, I’ve also been using it in the mornings. I only wish I’d stumbled upon such things sooner- I went from having manageable skin most of my life to having terrible acne + dry skin when I reached my 30s. It took me a couple of frustrating years to get that sorted out. Also, washing my face twice a day has only ever caused my skin to become too stripped of its natural oils, so once a day is it for me.

  • erin
    December 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    i SWEAR by ponds dry skin cream ! i just moved to a colder climate and i put it on about 15 minutes before makeup and then at night and my skin is soo hydrated and no dry patches (it had gotten a little iffy!) and it comes in a 2-pack for $10 <— are you kidding?!

    i also have sensitive skin eczema wise and it doesn't bother it AT ALL

    my little plug.. i swear it's a miracle in a jar hahah

    • Jen
      December 7, 2011 at 9:46 am

      I LOVE Ponds dry skin cream! It’s the only thing that keeps my skin hydrated in the winter and it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin – and you can’t beat the price!

  • Becca
    December 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Question- what kind od sunscreen and foundation products do you use?

    • jenna
      December 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      I use MAC studio fix foundation, which has an spf 15 in it. During the summer I’ll use an additional sunscreen as well.

  • Laura
    December 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I always enjoy reading what other people use.

    I have very dry skin, and earlier this year I found Cerave moisturizing cream. It’s a drugstore product, but it works so well. Glycerin is one of the first ingredients, so it actually moisturizes really well, without making my skin feel oily.

    I also purchased a Clarisonic, which I use nightly with a Cerave moisturizing wash. Best purchase of the year, for sure. I am prone to breakouts, and I swear I’ve had a lot fewer breakouts since using it for the last six months. I haven’t had to refill my prescription topical cream as often since I’m not using it as often, thanks to Clarisonic.

    • jenna k
      December 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm

      LOVE cerave! my dermatologist suggested it almost a year ago, and it’s really helped my skin. it’s a great lotion for everyday use, but is still super moisturizing.

      i took accutane in high school and ended up being part of the 20% it doesn’t work for after a few months off it… cool. now i’m on a combo of birth control, antibiotics (i think i’ve taken every single kind used for acne…), and prayers. i’ve been battling acne for over half my life (and i’m only 22!), so i totally feel how important it is to baby your skin and search for what works the best for you.

  • Amanda
    December 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I love purity face wash! It’s the best thing I’ve ever tried. All cleansers dry my skin out (even cetaphil) and it was always itchy and tight. But ever since I switched to purity my skin has been happy.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    December 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Do you use Ole Henriksen anymore? I remember you posting about his products awhile back and it’s actually what made me try them out. I love their eye creams but haven’t found much else by them that seems to work. My skin has been horrendous for the past 4 years so I’m always trying new stuff. It’s like puberty decided to hit me at age 25, not sure what’s going on!

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter)
    December 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I love posts like this.. I’ve been thinking about getting a new face lotion, particularly since I’m not sure when is the right time to start worrying about wrinkles haha.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    December 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Great product info…Ive been addicted to the Lancome face wash in a pump, I think they call it Mousse Clarte now (used to be called Mousse Eclat) but the stuff is ridic expensive, like $38+ for one bottle of it but it’s the only thing that doesnt break me out, doesnt dry me out, and …works. I will check out the Purity you mentioned!

    • jenna
      December 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      oh my gosh, i used to use that in high school! I didn’t know they still made it! good to know 🙂

  • ashley
    December 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    It’s surprising you’re not using more natural products. Why not?

    • jenna
      December 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      Because this is just what works for me. I don’t really try to use all natural skincare products…I just use what works for me. It’s different for everyone! If all natural is your thing and you’ve found great products that work, all the better.

    • Sharon
      December 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      It’s important to keep in mind that “natural” as it pertains to skincare and cosmetic products, isn’t always equivalent to “better” or non-irritating. Here’s a great resource:

  • Katrina
    December 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Jenna, have you ever tried Sumbody products? All natural, organic, handmade soaps and skin care products out in Sebastopol. I have challenging skin that sometimes makes me want to hide under the covers all day long. I recently had a facial from Sumbody that literally changed my life. I’ve been mixing up my usual products with some things from sumbody and have loved the improvement! I also like that they are local and all natural! Love your blog btw!

  • Elisabeth
    December 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I love all things Philosophy! However, I’ve never used any of their skincare products. I’ve had oily skin since about 9 years old (29 now) & used to have terrible acne. The acne is much better, but i definitely still breakout. I’m definitely going to look into both of those Philosophy products. 🙂

  • Grandma Honey
    December 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Random scaly dry patches? Yes, I also have those! So did the Neutrogena night cream get rid of them? How long did it take before you noticed a difference? I’ve tried so many things for my dry patches but so far no luck.

  • Sara
    December 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I second clarisonic, the thing is actually life-changing, it’s a must try! Makes just about any cleanser fabulous (my recent fav was something by alba botanicals for acne prone skin that smelled awesome and wasn’t at all drying, but honestly, all that matters is the weird little brush thing). Smallest, cheapest one is the way to go, still expensive, but def my favorite skin care product ever, and essentially a one time purchase (or Christmas present even). Otherwise, for breakout prevention and management, I’m currently liking Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel, not sure it will save you money over Philosophy, but it’s another product along the same lines that works well for me. Overall, the clarisonic has made me much less skincare obsessed. Honestly, when I was traveling abroad and couldn’t take my clarisonic, I picked up a plain old manual face brush (less than $1 in Asia, but certainly less than $10 in US). It wasn’t as great as the clarisonic, but it was much better than a washcloth, so I recommend that out even if you don’t spring for the clarisonic.

  • Sarah
    December 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    so the philosophy retinol really doesn’t dry you out at all? i am tryin’ to decide if it’s worth the splurge. my skin is so temperamental. some months seem to be particularly hormonal, while others are just fine. i’ve been using olay regenerist exfoliating face ash, which is wonderful, but i kinda wish i could stop having random teenager flare-ups. come on, life, i haven’t been a teenager for a while now…

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    December 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Haha…cute post Jenna. Honestly, though, you’re skin looks fab on the blog! 😉

  • Sandy
    December 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Oil CLeansing Method. Changed my life! Google it! Or look on crunchy Betty. Never going to sephora again! (hate parabens etc. Have to be cautious, Breast cancer in mom and aunt…)

  • Jill
    December 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I’m glad there are others suffring from eczema. I sometimes feel I’m the only one. I haven’t had a breakout in quite some time but it came back a while ago. I’m out of the steroid cream I was using in the past. I’ve tried a lot of different things to get rid of it. I will have to use the Neutrogena night cream and see if that helps.
    I also want to try the Philosophy products. I’m glad a lot of the readers like it.

  • DessertForTwo
    December 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Are you really happy with that Philosophy face wash? I tried it about a year ago and quickly had massive breakouts. I read online that it has irritating oils in it. But I’m a big believer in doing whatever works for you!

    I agree, it’s never too early to start using eye cream! 🙂

  • Katie
    December 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    For those random dry patches, try Korres yogurt cream for “oily and dry” skin. Me exactly! I always hated moisturizers b/c hello, I don’t need more oilyness on my face. They’d all sit there and feel gross; I’d want to wipe my face off with my arm. Worst of all, they’d never resolve the random dry patches (esp problematic in winter). I don’t remember why I tried this yogurt cream in the first place, but I am shocked: it’s amazing for my dry, oily, acne-prone, scaly-dry-patch prone face. It completely absorbs, never creates grease, and amazingly wipes out the dry patches by day’s end (when I use it daily I never get the dry patches in the first place). They say oily acne skin with dry patch problems actually means you really have dry skin that’s getting dried out more by being bombarded with acne products so the skin over-produces more oil to combat it. So that makes sense why the yogurt cream solves all the problems: the skin is properly (but not overly) moisturized so it stops feeling the need to pump out oil that creates acne, and meanwhile the yogurt enzymes slough away scaly skin. Korres. At Sephora. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • Katie
    December 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    To correct slightly: the name is Korres yogurt cream for “oily & dehydrated skin,” which I was so shocked to realize perfectly described my skin (whose symptoms sounded just like yours, Jenna). Definitely give it a try! I am serious you’ll be shocked at its efficacy.

  • Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    December 7, 2011 at 6:06 am

    My skin is prone to breakouts too- and I’m almost 32! I’m like seriously, when does this end??
    I love Philosophy anything, but am usually too cheap to dole out the money for it.
    I’m actually doing an experiment and trying to majorly increase the amount of water I drink each day (I def don’t drink enough)- and am wondering if that will have a positive effect on my skin.

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    December 7, 2011 at 6:18 am

    I love the purity face wash! It’s absolutely amazing and smells so nice 🙂

  • Irene
    December 7, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Wow, my skin sounds a lot like yours! I am 28 and recently my skin has been so dry (although of course still breaking out periodically despite all the products I use) and I’ve been thinking of switching to a retinol based regiment instead for a little while now. This convinced me to give it a try! I just ordered the philosophy on a clear day product and I’m really hoping it will help my skin stop being so crazy!

  • Jaime
    December 7, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Clarisonic face brush. Life changer. <–for reals, yo.

    Sunblock on your face, the one in your moisturizer and/or makeup is in most cases, worthless! Cerave is a good cheap one and Shiseido makes a great one, but $$. SPF 35, no lower, and you need to reapply it in the afternoon…that stuff doesnt last all day. <—prevents wrinkles and sunspots: two things we spend grips of money on trying to remove, how about we not get them in the first place.

  • Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen
    December 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I always have little skin issues–nothing major but I’m in my late twenties. Like, why am do I still have breakouts. Annoying. I’ve decided to invest in that clarisonic face brush thing. It’s expensive but people say it’s UH-MAZING. We shall see!

  • Tasha
    December 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I love Philosophy products. Have you ever tried Hope in a Jar? My favorite for winter dry skin!

  • Lauren
    December 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I love Philosophy skin care, and am a huge fan of their “Miracle Worker” products. I also recommend the Clarisonic skin-cleansing system (it really makes your skin ultra-soft and smooth) and Clinique daily face wash – it’s a classic for a reason! Lastly, I SWEAR by By Terry Firming Lift Face Mask – it’s wonderfully effective and rose-scented, to boot.

  • Marissa
    December 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

    My skin sounds VERY similar to yours — it’s so dry but also breaks out very easily. I’ve used the heaviest moisturizers I could find for years just to keep it under control, then I read about the oil cleansing method, and after using it for only two months, I dont have any dry patches at all and it doesn’t break out my skin, honest! I know it sounds gross to slather oil all over your skin, but if you google it, there is actually a lot of research backing up the logic of it all. I just mix one tablespoon of castor oil with three tablespoons of olive oil, and it takes off all my makeup like a dream! So much cheaper too. Anyways, thats my speal, love the blog!!! 🙂

  • Jen
    December 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Hey Jenna! Do you imagine you will stick with the purity facewash? I was in ultra the other day and saw a little bottle and a big one, I am trying to decide which to get 🙂