1. Astara Blue Flame Purifying Treatment, 1.0 oz for $40.00 (old bottle)
Salicylic acid is a staple for me. I prefer all of my cleansers to have it in the ingredient list. Salicylic acid can penetrate sebum and unblock pores, as well as being anti-bacterial. Since my adult hormonal acne is as a result of super blockage deep in my pores because of a hormonal imbalance, I like using salicylic acid unblocking treatments. But many off the counter, drugstore brands don’t really cut it because they don’t unblock anything, or they are too drying.
I have heard about the Astara line for a while and never really tried their products until recently. It is a “natural” skincare line that has different skincare ranges based on your skintype. I think the Blue Flame range is their most popular, and it is meant for oily acne-prone skin. I was hunting for products that had a high salicylic acid count, when I found the Blue Flame Purifying Treatment. Basically, anything over 2%. Astara Blue Flame Purifying Treatment is one of the few over the counter products meant for facial skin that has higher than 2% salicylic acid, clocking in at 3%. I find it interesting that the brand literature doesn’t emphasize that this is the super pore unblocker. The literature seems to focus on the tea tree oil and totara tree extract, which I have noticed in a lot of high end natural acne care products. I will be blunt-these two ingredients alone, or together, do not do much for my skin. I have tried a Mychelle, Arcona, andDr. Dennis Grossman product with this stuff and they did nothing. This product is different and I believe it is because of high salicylic acid count.
This product was incredibly effective at reducing oil production in my skin for more than a few hours. It also left my skin feeling very soothed, and a few of the ingredients were responsible for leaving a protective, satiny-smooth coating on my skin while preventing oil breakthrough. I was impressed. My breakouts dwindled dramatically on this stuff after only a day of use, and it was maintained AS LONG AS I CONTINUED TO USE THIS on a daily basis. However, when I skipped treatments, I would breakout like before. I basically used this as a ‘I’ve gotten home and I am not going back out’ pre-treatment. I am still trying to figure out how to use this consistently, because Tazorac is so hardcore that sometimes I can’t even use the Blue Flame Purifying Treatment because it will burn.
Why use both together? I realized that Tazorac seemed to prevent, or super exfoliate the deeper cysts I was getting (out of nowhere I may add), but Astara Blue Flame Purifying Treatment handled all the other types of acne, which were more superficial, and also occurring at lightening speed which made no sense. (I mean, it makes sense now because I read a very good article about how excess male sex hormones mess up skintypes that are susceptible to breaking out from excess male sex hormones…my skin, basically.)
I will post on what my current skincare routine is soon because I have noticed my skin does break out less and my skin has different needs in colder, drier air. Not that current temperatures are respecting what should be Fall temps – as it has been somewhat humid the last couple of days. Bummer.
Ingredients: Aqua (Distilled Water), SD-Alcohol 3-C, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Salicylic Acid (3%), Glycerin, Fomes Officinalis (Mushroom) Extract, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Niacinamide, D-panthenol, Zinc Gluconate, Allantoin, D-biotin, Resorcinol (1%), Totara Tree (Totarol™) Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Methylcellulose.