FTC Disclosure:

I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review of RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum and RoC Retinol Correxion Senstive Eye Cream

I am turning 40 next month so this is making me feel more conscientious about the appearance of my skin, particularly signs of aging. These are the following flaws that I have noticed with my skin:

Fine lines on the forehead

Slight drooping of the eyelids

Fine lines and crows feet around the eyes

Dark circles around the eyes

Light creases or frown marks between the eyes

Occasional puffiness under the eyes

Enlarged pores

Moles and flat birthmarks (I don’t expect the products to help with this)

Blemishes, blotchiness, uneven skin tone and discoloration on my entire face

Parenthesis creases at the corners my mouth

I don’t really think that I look bad per se for my age, but there is definitely much room for improvement. I am trying to do as much as I can without expensive cosmetic procedures to correct and reduce the signs of aging. Maybe, when I am much older, with sagging jowls and deep wrinkles, I might get a Lifestyle Lift or some other cosmetic procedure done. Ha, ha, ha.

My skin is pretty much combination type, with my T-zone being oily. I have always worn sunscreen on my face and neck, so I think that this has helped a lot through the years. My skincare regimen for the past six years has been really basic: I wash my face twice per day and use oil-free, moisturizing sunscreens. I never really was big on using astringents and toners. Acne products are used as needed. Anti-aging product (i.e., wrinkle creams and serums) use was never top priority for me. I generally do not wear heavy makeup, either.

I get occasional acne, which leaves scars on my skin. I have trouble finding a product that will reduce the appearance of acne scars, without causing me to breakout. Hydroquinone and cocoa butter are not good on my face, as they both irritate the skin on my face. My skin is sensitive, so finding a product that will reduce the signs of aging, without causing acne and irritation is very important to me. I am not looking for a miracle “face lift in a bottle”, but I expect at least a moderate improvement in my skin’s look and feel.

RoC Retinol Correxion
Deep Wrinkle Serum

RoC Retinol Correxion
Sensitive Eye Cream

RoC Retinol Correxion
Sensitive Eye Cream

I ran out to CVS and bought two sets of anti-aging products that people have spoken positively about, for the most part: a L’Oreal Youth Code starter kit and RoC Retinol Correxion products. The products that I am trying right now are RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream in a  0.5 fl oz. tube and RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum in the 1.0 fl oz. bottle with a pump. Both products can be bought at Walmart for $17.99 each.

At the time of this blog post I have only been using the RoC products for two weeks. I am going to use them for 12 weeks to see if they really work. After the 12 weeks are up, I might go ahead and try out the L’Oreal Youth Code starter kit. Or I may branch off into other RoC products. I don’t intend to use the two products lines (L'Oreal and RoC Retinol) together. The idea is to get an idea of which product will work best for me. I figure that it took years for my skin to age, so damage repair is not going to happen overnight.

Background on RoC retinol:

Retinol is a retinoid or class of chemicals which are a derivative of vitamin A. Some other retinoids that you may be familiar with are Retin A (retinoic acid), Renova, and Differin gel. These are all topical prescription medications, most commonly used to treat acne, sun damage, and lessen the appearance of wrinkles. They are also stronger, more concentrated, and much more expensive, than retinol products that can be bought over-the-counter.

Retinoids rejuvenate the skin by stimulating the production of new skin cells in the epidermis. Retinoids also produce collagen in the skin and reduces the destruction of collagen. The combination of increased cell production and collagen is what gives the skin a glowing, youthful look.

There are downsides to using retinol containing products. Retinol is known to make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, use of a sunscreen, with an SPF of 15 or greater is suggested. Also, retinol may cause redness, swelling, peeling and dryness in some people.

RoC retinol is manufactured for Johnson & Johnson Consumer companies. The brand includes lines of serums, moisturizers, night creams and eye creams. This company makes bold claims about the performance of RoC retinol products, such as “Add ten years back to the look of your skin”. Here some other claims that the brand makes regarding the benefits of using their retinol products:

  • Helps smooth fine lines and deep wrinkles

  • Even skin tone
  • Reduce the look of mottled pigmentation
  • Improves skin texture
  • Helps pores appear smaller and less noticeable

These are the results that RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum claims to produce: 

After 4 weeks: 
  • Skin is more radiant
  • Fine lines on the face and neck are smoothed
  • Skin firmness is improved
After 8 weeks:
  • Crow's feet are visibly reduced
  • Signs of photodamage are diminished
After 12 weeks:
  • Deep wrinkles on face and neck are visibly reduced
So in other words, if you want the chance to experience these results, you have to use the product for at least 12 weeks.

This is the list of ingredients that RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum contains:

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Nylon-12, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Laureth-23, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Fragrance, Laureth-4, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Polyacrylamide, Disodioum EDTA, Allantoiin, BHT, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, C13-14, Isoparrafin, Polysorbate 20, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Bisabolol, Retinol, Ascorbic Acid, Hydroxyphenyl, Propramidobenzoic Acid, Laureth-7, Copper Gluconate, Yellow 5

Ickk!  It reminds me of why I hated Organic Chemistry in college.   

Roc says that according to their clinical testing that after using Roc Retinol Correxion Sensitive eye cream, people notice visible improvements in:
  • Fine lines
  • Crow's feet wrinkles
  • Under eye wrinkles
  • Dark circles
The eye cream contains RoC Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, which hydrates and moisturizes.  Here is a complete list of ingredients in RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive eye cream:

Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, PEG-8, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyacrylate-21, Nylon-12, Dimethicone/ Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Acrylates/Dimethylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sclerotium Gum, Butylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, C11-15 Pareth-7, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, Dihydroxy Methylchromone, Silica, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Pamitoyl Oligopeptide

My routine with RoC retinol, thus far:

I started off using the products only one time, every other night, for the first week, since my skin is sensitive. During the second week, I used both products once a day in the evenings before bed.

The product that I use to wash my face morning and evening is Johnson and Johnson Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash. I do notice a little bit of burning upon application of both Roc products, but nothing unbearable. The burning only lasts a few seconds. There have not been any bad reactions like redness, swelling or breakouts thus far from using the RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum or the RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive eye cream.  

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum is a brownish color and has more of a cream like consistency and it smells funny. It is noncomedogenic which is a major selling point for me. 3-4 pumps are needed to get enough serum to cover your face and neck. I just smooth it on my face and neck after washing and towel blotting my face and neck dry.  It not greasy and absorbs fairly quickly into the skin. 

By the way, if you plan to try these products, I suggest that you wait at least 20-30 minutes after washing your face to apply them. This may help lessen the intensity of any burning you might experience. I apply an amount of the RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive eye cream, about the size of a small pencil eraser.  This amount is enough to cover the area around both eyes. I don’t rub the eye cream in, because the skin around the eyes is very delicate. It is best to pat it on in a circular motion.

I don't use Roc Retinol in the daytime, because it makes your skin sensitive to sunlight.  I make sure that I use a sunscreen on my face and neck before I leave home.  My sunscreen of choice is Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture.

Down below are my results, which I will be posting periodically:

Start date: Wednesday, 4/11/12

After using 1 week: skin feels softer; light peeling on my cheeks and chin

After using 2 weeks: skin feels softer;  continued peeling on cheeks and chin; increased dryness of cheeks; chin and area around the mouth; some areas of the skin are shiny after washing my face

After using 3 weeks: skin feels softer; no noticeable improvement in the skin appearance and texture so far;  skin is not as dry and there is not as much  peeling;  some parts of of my face is darker due to sensitivity to sunlight (this is despite using a sunscreen of SPF 15); some areas of the skin are shiny after washing my face

After using 4 weeks:  My skin is not as blotchy as before and it looks like it is beginning to even out.  My face still looks a bit shiny after I wash it.  As time goes by there is less dryness, too.  I think that the retinol is making my skin somewhat delicate.  I got my eyebrows waxed recently and the skin around that area was irritated a raw for a few days.  That hasn't happened since the first time I got my eyesbrows waxed.  Also, I am using a sunscreen with an SPF of 35.  The area that was previously darkened by sunlight, is getting lighter.

After using 5 weeks:  No noticeable changes over the prior week, other than less dryness and irritation.

After using 6 weeks:  No noticeable changes over the prior weeks, other than less dryness and irritation.  My skin doesn't peel anymore.

After using 7 weeks:  My skin has a nice radiance and glow to it which wasn't there prior to using the product.  I can see that the darkness around my eyes are lightening up.

After using 8 weeks:  The dark circles around my eyes are continuing to lighten up.  I am noticing that my crows feet look less visible.  I have to stare really hard to see the fine lines on my forehead.

After using 9 weeks:  No changes noted since prior weeks.

After using 10 weeks:  My pores look smaller, but nothing dramatic.

After using 11 weeks:  No changes noted since prior weeks.

After using 12 weeks:  No changes noted since prior weeks.

For more information about RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum and RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream, call Roc skincare at 1-800-762-1954 or visit www.rocskincare.com.

Copyright 2012 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dr. Scholl’s Advanced Comfort shoes vs. New Balance Athletic Walking shoes

I work in an industry where standing for long periods and walking is required. I wrote in an earlier blog post about my experience with leg, knee, and foot pain as well as my reaction. The pain was so severe that I needed to take over the counter pain medications and use a topical ointment. So I know that I need very comfortable shoes to lessen leg, knee, and foot pain. 

Dr. Scholl's Advanced Comfort shoes
Serene style

New Balance Athletic Walking Shoes
The first pair of shoes that I bought were women’s Dr. Scholl’s Advanced Comfort shoes, Serene style. These shoes cost me about $25 at a Walmart store. They have an upper made of leather and man-made materials. There are adjustable straps, instead of shoe laces for a better fit. These Dr. Scholl’s shoes have a gel cushion insole to absorb shock and a soft lining. The thing about them is that they feel comfortable for about 30 minutes. However, after about 2 hours of standing, your feet start to feel very tired and sore. So, I purchased some Dr. Scholl’s Massaging gel insoles to go on the inside of these shoes. These insoles can be purchased for about $10- $12 at most retail stores.

Now these insoles did improve the comfort level and support of the Dr. Scholl’s shoes. At the same time, my feet and legs still felt a little sore by the end of my shift. Just to give you an idea of what the comfort levels were, I’ll try to describe them on a scale of 1- 10, with 10 being the highest comfort level. When I was using the Dr. Scholl’s Advanced Comfort shoes without additional insoles, my comfort level was about a 5.  My comfort level wearing the shoes with additional insoles was about 6.5.

I think that somehow your feet adapt to insoles and sort of build up a “tolerance” to them. Or, it could be that insoles don’t last very long if you’re using them all the time. They seem to lose the power to absorb the shock and the rigors of heavy use. Either way, I noticed that my feet weren’t feeling as comfortable after using the insoles for a few months. Therefore, I went out and purchased a pair of New Balance Athletic Walking shoes, model MW475BK in early April 2012.

I bought mine at Sears on sale for $50. It is funny because the shoes that I bought are actually made for men. I got them because Sears was out of the size that I needed in the women’s version. You can hardly differentiate between men and women’s variations.  It is more advantageous to wear the men's version.  They are wider than the women's version and have lots of wiggle room. Plus, I earned a few points through their Shop Your Way Rewards program. They are solid black, in lace up style, with a leather upper and a rubber outsole.

My comfort level in wearing the New Balance MW475BK is about 8.5-9.  This doesn’t really surprise me, because New Balance is a brand known for being a leader in providing well constructed and comfortable footwear. My feet felt like I was walking on air the very first time that I wore them. I still wear these shoes. I can’t say that I don’t feel any pain at all, even since using New Balance. At least I don’t go home feeling like my feet are stiff and on fire. I take Advil pain relief tablets from time to time and I no longer need a topical pain ointment for my legs and feet. The New Balance walking shoes were well worth the money that I spent and them some.

Aside from lack of adequate comfort, Dr. Scholl’s Advanced Comfort shoes are not as durable as New Balance shoes. I noticed that a few of the threads were coming out of the Dr. Scholl’s shoes after a month of use. Dr. Scholl’s Advanced Comfort shoes are only good for light use and occasional walking. New Balance is a shoe better suited for lots of walking and standing for long periods. 

As for the ability to handle slippery surfaces, these particular style of New Balance fail, while these Dr. Scholl’s shoes does a better job. I was walking across a wet floor in my New Balance shoes and I started to slide. I never had this problem with my Dr. Scholl’s shoes.

When it comes to helping to provide comfort to people whom have major foot problems like plantar fasciitis, I am not sure how well either of these shoes would address the problems. Perhaps, more specialized products, such as Dr. Scholl's custom fit orthotics or Good Feet insoles would be helpful.  If all else fails then a doctor visit is best.  For people that don't have major foot problems, I would say that spending an extra few dollars on a pair of good shoes like New Balance is best. The final verdict is New Balance walking shoes beats Dr. Scholl’s Advanced Comfort shoes hands down, when it comes to comfort and support.

Copyright 2012 www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

Review of Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra Odor Detect Spray kit

Air Wick Freshmatic
Odor Detect Ultra device
Air Wick Freshmatic
Odor Detect Ultra
side view

Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra
Refill Spray Can
Lavendar & Chamomille

Air Wick Freshmatica Ultra
Spray Refill Can
Sparkling Citrus
This is a review of Air Wick Freshmatic Odor Detect Ultra Automatic Spray, which is manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser. I bought the starter kit at CVS on sale. I used a $2.00 off coupon, so I paid $8 for it. The starter kit that I purchased includes one can of Lavender & Chamomile scented spray and 3 AA batteries. There are many refill scents available: Apple Cinnamon Medley, Cool Linen and White Lilac, Fresh Waters, Glacier Bay, Hawaii, Juicy Peach, Spring Blossoms, Tropical Bliss, Vanilla Indulgence, Virgin Islands, and Yellowstone.

One of the things that I like about this product is its compact, sleek design, which can blend in very nicely with home or office décor. They can be set somewhere high up on a shelf or hung from a nail on a wall. This design is more aesthetically pleasing than the regular Air Wick Freshmatic kits. I have never seen them available in any color besides white or crème. I decided to put this one in my bedroom, since I already use Air Wick products in other parts of my home .

I don’t really understand how this device operates, but I am fairly confident that it works. I am going to tell you why I feel this way. One day, I was sitting around in my bedroom and I farted (when no one else was present). Within a minute afterwards, the Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra Odor Detect device sprayed twice, back to back. I really don’t think it was a coincidence, because the device usually sprays only once and at intervals. Now, I am not saying any of this to offend anyone: Farting is an unpleasant and smelly fact of life. I say this to support my belief that the Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra Odor Detect works quickly to help neutralize bad odors. I don’t have any pets so I can’t speak to how well it will work for litter boxes, etc.

It is so simple to set up and use. There is a button on the side of the device that you can set to control the intensity of fragrance that is dispensed.   The intensity control settings look like flowers. Check out the side view picture that I post above. This control setting will help the refill can to last longer. To me, Lavendar & Chamomile is not the best scent for this product. I bought a spray refill can of sparkling citrus along with the starter kit. Sparkling citrus has a fragrance which appeals more to me.

Refill spray cans generally run about $5 at most retail stores and coupons are widely available for them. From my experience the refill cans last about 5-6 weeks, but it also depends on how often the devices sprays. I keep my Air Wick Freshmatic on the lowest setting, and sometimes I turn it off when I am gone for long periods. Be careful when handling the device, because it could automatically spray into your face and eyes.

The fragrance is really strong and lingers for maybe 10 or 15 minutes after the Freshmatic Ultra device sprays and the mist diffuses into the air. Sometimes I smell the fragrance as I walk through the corridor towards my closed bedroom door. As I said earlier, I put the Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra inside of my bedroom. The scent makes the environment very welcoming and relaxing. It helps to put me at ease after a long stressful day at work. I really do like it and in the future, I will purchase this kit over the other Air Wick Freshmatic kits available.

If you have any questions about the product or comments, you can contact Reckit Benckiser at 1-800-542-1300 or visit
www.freshmatic.com or www.airwick.us .

Copyright 2012



Monday, April 9, 2012

Review of Ninja Professional Blender- NJ600 Series

Ninja Professional Blender
NJ600 Series

I just bought the Ninja Professional Blender NJ600 series in March 2012. It is manufactured by this company called Euro-Pro Operating LLC, which also makes other stuff, like Shark vacuums. I purchased it at Target for $99, and got a free $10 Target gift card for making that purchase. So, I guess you could say that the blender really cost me $89. I think that the timing of the sale was perfect for me, because I was already in the market for a good blender. I used to have a Black and Decker blender, but it conked out on me. Anyhow, so far so good.

Well I want to start off 2012 in a healthy way, so I have gradually changed my eating habits. All the junk foods are slowly getting kicked to the curve and I am consuming a lot more fruits and veggies. Now I don’t see myself chewing up 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies daily, so I decided to buy a blender so that I can get my servings in by drinking them in the form of healthy fruit smoothies. I plan to also use the Ninja blender to make protein shakes and an occasional mixed alcohol beverage, as well.

Here are some descriptive features of the Ninja Professional blender NJ600 series:

  • Easy lock lid with built-in pour spout
  • Patented Ninja Blade technology- with six sharp blades
  • BPA free 72 oz (9 cup or 2.15 Liters) pitcher
  • Built in pour spout
  • Control panel with three speeds and a pulse feature
  • 1000 watts
  • Non slip bottom

As for the blade design, it differs from that of the regular blenders that you can buy at Walmart or Target.  Unlike the blade assemblies that are located along the bottom of most blenders, the Ninja blade assembly spans almost the whole length of the pitcher.  There are six very sharp, curved, blades spread out on a long plastic rod.  I know that with my old Black and Decker blender the blades, were only on the bottom.  With that blender, I had to stop it during the blending process, and take a spoon and scrape along the sides and bottom of the pitcher.  I had to do this because food would sometimes get trapped at these places during the blending process.  This problem has not occurred since I have been using the Ninja Professional blender.

Ninja Professional Blender NJ600
Control Panel

Ninja Professional Blender Blade
Top View

Ninja Professional Blender blades
side view

I have been making some delicious fruit smoothies, such as the following recipe:

2 ripe bananas,

½ cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries,

1/2 cup blackberries

1 cup of frozen peaches

1 cup of white seedless grapes

1 cup 1% Organic cow’s milk or Organic Coconut milk

1 cup of ice cubes

1/3 cup of honey

This recipe is good for about 4 servings.  The smoothie is really sweet, too. I am a beginner at this, so this recipe is really an experiment. I let the contents blend at the first speed for about 1 minute. The smoothie tastes very delicious, but I must say that it does not blend consistently smooth. I don’t know whether this is due to the blade design or the power of the motor.

As I drink the smoothie, I can always see and feel bits of the seeds from the berries and other particles in it. I have tried pulsing and blending at the other speeds but this does not make a difference. The texture is not the same as you would get with consuming a smoothie made in an industrial grade blender. Those particles are a little bit annoying, especially when they get stuck between the teeth. It is something that I can get over, though.

I will need to continue using my Ninja Professional blender in order to get a feel for how well it blends certain foods. For now I think that this gadget suits my needs. I am not looking for absolute perfection from a blender that only costs $99. I certainly don’t expect for this Ninja blender to pulverize material in the same way that a more expensive blender would.

Some people are completely mesmerized by watching videos of blenders which are powerful enough break bricks or iPads down into fine dust. I see the fact that the Ninja Professional blender is not quite that powerful, as only a minor flaw. At some point in the future I may choose to purchase a much more powerful (and more expensive) blender, such as the Vitamix or Blendtec. I expect that this blender will last until I am ready to upgrade.

Vitamix and Blendtec blenders are higher quality products, but they differ from Ninja blenders in a few ways. Blendtec and Vitamix blenders costs $400 and up. Blendtec and Vitamix blenders have higher watt motors in them. Blendtec and Vitamix blenders last longer and carry longer warranties than Ninja Professional blenders (7 year warranty for Vitamix and Blendtec blenders compared to only 2 years for Ninja blenders).

Pros and Cons of Ninja Professional blender:


  • The blender has a safety feature that prevents the blender from starting if the components aren‘t situated properly.
  • It has a 1000 watt motor.
  • It comes with a 2 year warranty.
  • It does a fair job of blending, pureeing and crushing ice.
  • Very quick and easy to clean

  • The contents don’t blend to a 100% smooth consistency.
  • It is loud as hell (but then again, most blenders are).
  • Sometimes the blender lid is a little bit difficult to remove from the pitcher.
  • Use caution while handling the blades, because they are very sharp.
Is the Ninja Blender Any Good?
So in closing, I recommend the Ninja Professional Blender NJ600 series if you are a very budget conscious person, seeking a simple, effective starter blender. This is a product suitable for people who want to eat healthy, but are new to the subject of "how to make smoothies".   I think that it beats most blenders (in the same price range) available at retail stores today. If you are looking for a blender that can turn a brick or iPad into dust, then this product isn’t for you. 

Update June 2014:

I have been using the Ninja blender for over two years and it is still going strong with no problems. 

Where to Buy Ninja Blender?

I purchased my ninja blender at Target, but is also available at most well known retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Bed Bath, and Beyond.  It is available direct from their website, too.  I put the link below.

For more information about Ninja products, visit


© Copyright 2012 Susan Broadbelt




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