My Fears About Aging + a Product Review

I’m not going to lie, I have this irrational fear of aging. And it’s not all about vanity (though I’m very much not excited for wrinkles, age spots, saggy skin…I’m getting a nervous stomach just listing those!) It’s about so much more than that. First of all, did you know that most YP groups allow members ages 21-40? Soooo, do they just kick you out when you turn 40?! As if turning 40 didn’t have enough gloom surrounding it!

I’m not trying to be rude to anyone at or above age 40, I’m simply talking about my own (irrational) feelings towards aging and ME — me aging. Then, I’m going to talk to you about a product that I’ve been testing to help with some of those vanity items!

On a serious note, I have this feeling that time is running out, that it’s going too fast. Time with my kids, time to be successful (probably should get on that), just time in general. And then there’s this idea that my opinion will no longer matter to people when they need to know what “young people” want (this is why I said irrational fears). For instance, I have a job in community and economic development and am very active in talent initiatives. For a while, I’ve been at the table of people that asked how to recruit/retain people my age. In a couple of years…they won’t want to know what I think because I won’t be a part of the target group anymore. I was at a conference a few weeks ago and the speaker said, “who in here is Gen X? she asked. Yeah, we don’t matter, we kind of disappeared off the list.” Um, okay, so where do we go from here? Well I, for one am going to continue to speak up, share my opinions, and continue to be relevant, perhaps without bragging about my age. Which brings me to…vanity. If I look young, no one will know the wiser, right? Okay, I feel ashamed for even writing that!

I’m the queen of beauty products. I have tried it all from acne products to anti-aging products (some that target both — which I love!) When you read about aging skin, at the top of the list is 1) don’t forget about your neck and chest! and 2) don’t forget about your hands! These areas show aging the fastest, mostly due to sun exposure in our younger days and these areas are most often neglected when in comes to products.

Enter in…Exuviance Age Reverse Hand Rejuvenator available at ($65). This powerful duo helps to restore smoother, firmer, and younger looking hands using a 10% Citric Acid Peel followed by a rejuvenating hand cream.

Exuviance Hand Treatment

I grew up outdoors and enjoyed many hours in the sun. While I did use sunscreen, I have to admit that I didn’t put it on my hands. I spent much of my youth working in the hayfield, driving a tractor in the sun all day long. This type of exposure is going to lead me to dark spots on my hands, I just know it. My grandfather had them, my mother has them, so chances are… I’ll buck that trend by taking care of them now, using sunblock on them, using products like this peel, and applying regular anti-aging products just as I do to my face.

Exuviance Peel and Rejuvenating Hand Cream

Protect Your Hands!

Me – putting sunscreen on my hands before heading outdoors!










The acid peel felt invigorating. You apply it with a cotton ball, let it dry and then apply some more. After it dries, apply the Age Reverse Rejuvenating Hand Cream and then…go to bed and let it do its magic! In the morning, simply apply the hand cream once more. I used this every other day (though, you certainly can use it daily). I don’t yet have any noticable spots on my hands, so I can’t tell you if they are lighter or disappeared. What I can tell you is that my hands do feel softer and smoother as the acid peel exfoliates dead skin. I also notice that I need more lotion throughout the day in order to keep that new layer of skin happy. All in all, I think this is a product that I will continue to use and maybe even share with my mom!

***Please note, this post was sponsored by Brandbacker. I received this product complimentary in exchange of my honest review. All opinions are my own.***

Do I have to choose between acne and wrinkles?

**Sponsored Post**

As you might remember, I have suffered from acne nearly my entire life and lately, though I’m not going to share my exact age, I’ve been faced with the challenge of dealing with acne prone skin at the same time as trying to fight the early signs of aging. There are not many products that are effective in targeting both (though, there are getting to be more out there).  Many acne products, geared towards adolescent acne, are just too harsh for aging skin. There has to be a happy medium, right?  One of the most effective ingredients in anti-aging formulas as well as acne topical treatments (remember Retin A?) is Retinol. One of the things that you have to be careful of when using Retinol products is over drying sensitive skin — even acne-prone and oily skin.

As most of you know, I am a beauty product fanatic. I love to try the latest makeup, skincare, hair care, nail products, you name it! So when I had the the opportunity to sample Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum through my affiliation with BrandBacker, I jumped at the chance.

Thimg_0355e great part about this Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum is that it also contains things like Vitamin C (for absorption) and vitamin E to replace moisture. I stillfound that I had to alternate nights when using this product as it tended to dry out my skin on my cheeks.

I’ve been using this product for about 3 weeks and am very happy with the results. Short term, my skin feels smoother and I can tell a difference in my forehead “frown” lines. **There isn’t a big enough difference (yet) to merit before and after photos.** With long-term use, I am hoping to see improved coloration, more even skin-tone, and continued diminishing wrinkles.

You can get this product (plus many other great skin care products) on the Valentia website or at Amazon for $35.

**This is a sponsored post powered by BrandBacker. As always, all opinions are my own.**

Product Review: OZ Naturals Retinol Serum

I received this product from Brandbacker for review purposes. I was in no other way compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. 

If you’ve read my blog before then you are likely aware that I have suffered from acne nearly my entire life and have tried nearly every product on the market. In more recent years, I have been trying to balance having acne prone skin with battling the early signs of aging. (If you haven’t followed along on any of my journey, you can catch up here, here, here, or even here.)

So as you can see, this is a subject that I’m quite versed in. You can’t use the same products to fight adult acne as you used in your teens. Those products are simply too harsh on aging skin, so trial and error gets a little dicey now that I’m older.

A year and a half ago, I used Accutane and, as scary as it was (and as overly drying to all parts of my body) it was the best thing I ever did for my skin as it pertains to acne. However, now I suffer from hyper-pigmentation and ruddiness in my cheeks from all those years of acne.

OZ Naturals Retinol SerumAlways on the lookout for products that claim to help smooth complexion while preventing breakouts and wrinkles, I jumped at the chance to try OZ Naturals Retinol Serum. This serum contains clinical strength 2.5% Retinol plus Vitamin E and is the only retinol product on the market to contain Astaxanthin. The unique blend of active ingredients promises to minimize hyper-pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles and, over time, greatly improve texture and tone. A few other things worth mentioning: this product is made in the USA, is cruelty free, 72% Organic, and doesn’t contain any alcohol, parabens or sulfates so it is safe for sensitive skin.

oz 2

I’ve been using the product for about 10 days and, while I haven’t noticed a huge difference in my hyper-pigmentation, I have noticed the texture of my skin feeling better overall. Also, and this is a huge plus for someone with my skin type, it has not caused a single breakout! I plan to continue using the serum, targeting my cheeks for ruddiness and my forehead for fine lines as well as on my neck and decolletage. I’ll report back here when I have Uh-mazing results!

Until Next Time,

Anti-Aging Blemish Fighting Serum

**Sponsored Post**

As many of you know, I have struggled with acne nearly my entire life. My first visit to a dermatologist came at 14 and my most recent visit was at age 35 and yes, it was for acne.  I have had some good periods in my life where I’ve been able to stay off medications or prescribed topical treatments for months at a time, but I always have a re-occurrence and it is almost always severe enough to have to undergo prescribed treatments. About 2 years ago, my dermatologist recommended Acutane (it’s called something different now, but that is what it is most commonly known as). I was fearful of the side effects, but decided to give it a go. It is one of the best things that I’ve ever done. Since that treatment, I have not had any ongoing acne-related skin issues. I am able to experiment with products (which you all know I love) and I’m actually able to work on my next issue – combating the effects of aging. 

That brings me to InstaNatural’s Age Defying Skin Clearing Serum, which I received through Brandbacker to sample and review.  Along with the serum, I also received the Vitamin C Facial Toner which targets tightening pores and reducing the signs of aging.

The products have a strong citrus scent, which took some getting used to. If citrus is not your thing – these products may not be for you because it is pretty strong. In terms of helping with skin issues: I have used the products for 7 days in a row and did not experience any breakouts (which is still big deal for me when trying a new product, even one geared for reducing acne). I use the serum just once per day as it does have retinol in it and that can be drying on sensitive skin. The Serum is focused on reversing the signs of aging while at the same time treating acne and hyperpigmentation. It is packed with a great line-up of proven acne and anti-aging ingredients. Besides retinol, the formula also includes acne champions sulfer, salicylic acid, niacinamide for redness, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid to repairing damaged skin.  The toner, I used twice each day. It is so refreshing! I have come to like the invigorating citrus scent.


InstaNatural is a leading online and global distributor of more than a dozen nature inspired beauty and cosmetics products. Our products are one of the top sellers on Amazon and can also be found in leading spas, salons and aesthetic centers in the US, as well as internationally in UAE, UK and Canada (coming soon). We are constantly in search of wonderful natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe, so we can bring you the absolute best products, no matter the cost. In addition, we strongly believe in treating our customers the way we would want to be treated. This is why our lifetime satisfaction guarantee and our customer service is unlike any other company in the industry.

I received these products complimentary through Brandbacker from InstaNatural for testing and review purposes. All opinions are my own.