Hello all, I sure hope you are doing okay during these trying times. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite skin, hair and other beauty basics that I use regularly, if not daily.


Many of these hygiene care items have broad appeal, and are used by men and women of all ages. In fact, several are also used by my hubby and adult sons. I like not having to clutter a bathroom vanity or shower with different personal care products for every member of the family.

Since age factors into skin care, many of the beauty basics I use may appeal more to women 40 or 50 and over. Of course, everyone is different in terms of their skin tone, so I’m avoiding most cosmetics.

I’ve also excluded products that should be first discussed with your physician; like prescription drugs, over the counter medications and even vitamins.

Sure would appreciate feedback and input on your favorite beauty basics in the comment section. Why are they your favs?

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A Few of My Favorite Things


This trio of flamingo packages contained my favorite thing for the gift exchange during the Alice in Wonderland, Unbirthday Party.

One of the most common questions I get about How to Host an Extraordinary My Favorite Things Party, is what do I and the ladies bring for the gift exchange.

A favorite thing is an item that is special to the guest, with a preset spending limit. The gift to exchange may be one of many items.

Today I’m sharing some of my personal beauty basics. Most of my favorites also fit within the $8 or $10 spending cap (per item), set for each of the four theme parties I’ve held so far.

Safety First

Wearing a mask is probably the most important thing we can all do right now to protect our health and that of others. No prescription necessary!

That’s my niece wearing one of several hundred she (with help from her mom (Sistah B), dad and my mom) and made for nurses in the Charleston community.

Today, I’m focusing on general categories like, skin, hair and dental care..

Most beauty basics are reasonably priced and widely available at drug and grocery store outlets.

For your convenience, I’ve provided links to Amazon (and/or Whole Foods) to my favorites. Simply click on the item name highlighted in bold, italic text (or the picture). And, If you have Amazon Prime, you can get free delivery with contact free shopping.

Skin Care

Both my husband and I have pale complexions with freckles. We also tend to have dry skin.

Four of the soap and moisturizer products listed below are appropriate for all skin types. They are especially good for those with acne, eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, as well as dry or sensitive skin. They were recommended by my dermatologist, and I’ve been using them for years.

Because of my freckles and moles (and age!), I make a point of visiting the dermatologist once a year.

Hubby also likes and uses many of the same skin care products.

#1 Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

I use Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash on my face once or twice every day, both in the morning and evening. A little goes a long way, making a twelve-ounce pump bottle last a long time.

#2 Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths

When traveling, I always bring Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths.

With 25 cloths in a package, that’s enough for most trips.

However, the last few years we took bucket list trips that included a Greek Island Cruise, Galapagos Islands Cruise, and an Incredible Iceland Adventure.

Each vacation lasted an average of two to three weeks. So, I brought along several packages to use twice a day during the duration.

I also got a special plastic dispenser as part of a promotion. Once opening the package, the case keeps the cloths from leaking or drying out.

#3 Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

But, when in either the shower or bathtub at home, I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

Like Purpose, It also comes with a handy pump. So much easier to use!

My adult sons are like their dad, preferring products without a scent. Our entire family uses some of the same skin care items. That helps to minimize the number of different health and beauty basics cluttering the showers and on the vanities. With extra space, toiletries can be purchased in larger, more economical sizes too.

And, it means the boys don’t have to bring a lot of toiletries home. Often, they fly, so that makes packing and going through security easier.

#4 Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

My guys also like the non-greasy feel of Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion.

And, like many of the other beauty basics listed, I particularly like the convenience of using a pump, rather than something in a tube or jar. Otherwise, the cream is likely to get stuck under my fingernails.

I keep the moisturizing lotion on the nightstand next to my side of the bed. That makes it handy for applying to heels and the bottoms of feet.

I don’t bother to use a specialty product for my feet. Do you? If so, do you think it makes much difference?

Another container of the lotion is also in both bathrooms, which I generally use after showering or shaving my legs.

#5 Neutrogena Hydro Boost Concealer

Ok, this may fall in the cosmetic category, but it’s part of my everyday, basic skin routine.

I use Neutrogena Hydro Boost Concealer — whether wearing makeup or not. It not only covers dark circles, but brightens up my narrow, deeply set eyes.

The concealer is oil-free, lightweight and non-greasy. I especially like that it provides good coverage without looking thick or getting creases. Plus, it blends easily with foundation — when I wear it.

Select from a number of different shades to match your own skin color.

 #6 Secret Clinical Strength Clear Gel

During the hot summer months, and whenever I’m headed to the gym (or working out at home now via Zoom classes), I use Secret Clinical Strength.

The deodorant and antiperspirant designed specifically for women really does the trick!

I’m not sure if it really lasts for 48 hours or not. I do know, however, that after a workout and hitting the shower, I seldom apply any deodorant.

Although it’s available in a variety of “invisible solid” scents, I prefer to use the clear gel.




#7 Neutrogena Sport Face

As much as I’d love to have a nice tan, my pale skin tends to get pink and blotchy. Plus, freckles darken and appear to multiply in the sun.

Most women my age have had one or more unpleasant issues with skin cancer. My pale skin increases that risk.

So, I use Neutrogena Sport Face to protect my skin from sunburn and other damaging effects from exposure.

It’s an oil-free sunscreen lotion with broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 70+ protection, that’s also sweat and water-resistant. Yes, you read that right — 70+. It works really, really well. But, if you want a tan face, this is not the sunscreen for you.

High altitude increases the risk of damaging effects from the sun. That was especially true during a 10 Day Iceland Vacation with our adult sons, as well as our trip last year Exploring Machu Picchu.

Wearing a Hat

Of course, wearing a hat is another good defense against dangerous sun rays, like Sister A is wearing on her trip to Peru

That’s why I always take my trusty bucket-style, khaki hat whenever we travel. It also has a 50 SPF lined visor that also reduces glare significantly.

Not the most glamorous accessory, so I simply remove the hat for pictures, lol! I also slip it into my day pack when I don’t need it — like when we go into a restaurant or museum.

The bucket hat has traveled around the world with me, from Iceland, to Greece, to Turkey. Being so close to the Equator, while on a Galapagos Islands Cruise, made it essential — along with sunscreen.

But, I also bring a “pretty” hat for more stylish destinations, excursions or outings. There’s usually one or two, “squishable” hats in my suitcase.

Like this one worn on a windy day in Ronda, while traveling throughout Spectacular Spain.

#8 Neutrogena Beach Defense

The last souvenir anyone wants is a bad sunburn! But, you don’t need protection just when you’re on vacation,  poolside, or at an amusement park. It’s necessary even while gardening or cutting the grass — pretty much any outdoor activity.

I’m always after hubby to remember sunscreen, particularly now that he’s back volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and is often outdoors. And, I have to bug him to use it on the back of his neck, as the baseball style caps he likes to wear provide little protection.

Hard to believe that when I was in college, many of my sorority sisters would lay out on the “Dee Gee beach” slathered with baby oil! Hope the younger generations know better these days. I cringe when I hear about people going to tanning booths. Nowadays, if I want color, I use a bronzer.

So, the Buzz household go-to sunscreen is Neutrogena Beach Defense. It’s a water-resistant body lotion, also with Broad Spectrum SPF 70. We particularly like that it’s oil-free and fast-absorbing. 

Beach Defense also comes in a spray version, which is convenient, but not advised for applying under breezy conditions — like on a beach or boat. And, for those who want a little tan, it comes in lower SPF versions.

Dental Hygiene & Lips

Next up, are my favorite dental beauty basics.

#9 Vanicream Moisturizing Ointment

I seem to perpetually have chapped lips, especially the lower one. And, I’ve tried and used a long list of popular products.

None have worked nearly as well as Vanicream Moisturizing Ointment in a tube. What a difference after just one month of use! In fact, I’m about to purchase several more so that I can keep one handy in each purse.

The clear ointment was recommended by my dermatologist recently, during an annual checkup. She also noted that, with wearing masks and mouth breathing, more people are experiencing dry, chapped lips.

Designed for sensitive skin, the ointment is fragrance (and flavor) and gluten free (if that matters to you).  It is also water resistant and provides sunscreen protection of SPF 30, 

#10 Philips Sonicare Toothbrush

Another personal observation — I have had very few cavities in my lifetime, but I am a plaque-building machine! Too much information, lol?

This next recommended healthcare product is actually a device, and is a worthwhile investment for good dental hygiene.

My eldest son was the first to use a Sonicare toothbrush. He raved about it, and liked it so much he bought one for his brother! My hygienist also recommended it. So I got one while they were on sale, and bought another for my elderly mother.

In the past, I’ve had various battery operated toothbrushes, but nothing works nearly as well as the Philips Sonicare Toothbrush.

First of all, the FlexCare+ is rechargeable, which lasts for a long time. It includes 5 brushing modes, which initially takes getting use to. So, you build up the intensity level over time. I particularly like the “gum care mode,” which provides two minutes of overall cleaning, plus one minute to gently clean problem areas and along the gum line. That reduces gum inflammation, while protecting against gingivitis.

They claim the technology and contoured brush head removes up to 6x more plaque along the gum line versus a manual toothbrush. All I know, is that I have had markedly less plaque buildup between cleanings at the dentist.

#11 Crest Gum Detoxify Toothpaste

Crest Gum Detoxify toothpaste probably also deserves credit for reducing my plaque buildup.

One of several products recommended by my hygienist, Gum Detoxify is described as a deep clean toothpaste that neutralizes plaque bacteria, even around the gum line. Activated foam supposedly seeks out bacteria in hard to reach places.

It also gently cools gums during and after brushing.

Crest’s clinical line of toothpaste products comes in different versions. For instance, one includes a whitening feature. At my age, that’s not so much a concern.

My past preference was always to use a gel toothpaste. I liked how it tasted, and felt in my mouth, when manually brushing. But, I adjusted to the paste quickly and it rinses out well.




Hair Care

Now, let’s move on to favorite hair care products. Like cosmetics, this is a category of beauty basics that will likely vary depending on your hair type and its condition.

#12 TRESemme Keratin Smooth Color

Previously, I used a much more expensive product to wash my hair, which tends to get dry and frizzy. So, I tend to only wash my hair a few times a week.

But, you know what? I’ve found that TRESemme Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo works just as well as the much more costly salon products I used previously.

The shampoo seems to help keep my color from fading too much. And the Moroccan Oil — which I’m a big fan of — makes my hair feel silky soft. TRESemme also makes a heat protect version, but I address that issue with the next two hair products.

#13 Moroccanoil Smoothing Lotion

Heat from the hairdryer activates Moroccanoil Smoothing Lotion — one of my favorite beauty basics.

The lightweight blow dry lotion is designed specifically for unruly or frizzy hair. Enriched with argan oil, argan butter, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids helps to leave hair smooth, soft and manageable.

Before applying it to your hair, my hairdresser demonstrated how to warm the lotion first. Just rub the smoothing lotion vigorously between two palms.

Another tip ML shared — heat the hairbrush bristles and core with the dryer, before starting to dry your hair.

You might remember ML from Alfresco Alice in Wonderland Unbirthday Party. Here I am showing her the finer points of Playing Flamingo Croquet.

#14 Moroccanoil Treatment

Sometimes, the calming lotion isn’t enough to calm down frizzy and flyaway ends. Or, I want a smoother slick look for an evening out.

That’s when I pull out my trusty Moroccanoil Treatment; the original product in the now extensive product line. And, it smells fabulous too! You can use it on wet or dry hair, and in lieu of the calming lotion for blow drying.

Years ago, a dear friend was shuffling between their home here in Pittsburgh, and a small apartment in Manhattan — where her husband’s company relocated. There in NYC, she discovered  Moroccanoil. Since it wasn’t yet available from my salon, D would procure me a bottle now and then.

I quickly got hooked! For ease of use (because it is oil after all), spring for the bottle that comes with a pump.

#15 Loreal Magic Root Cover Up

Until the pandemic, I use to get my haircut and color treated about every five weeks. This last time, I went nearly four months! How about you? Do you color your own hair?

So, early on during stay-at-home orders, I quickly picked up two spray cans of Loreal Magic Root Cover up. Gray does not look good on yours truly!

The temporary spray color conceals gray in seconds and lasts until your next shampoo,. A lightweight formula leaves no smudging or sticky residue when dry, and it’s ammonia and peroxide free.

Match your color to one of eight shades. If you treat your own hair, the product is formulated to match L’Oreal Excellence or Superior Preference shades.

I find it perfect for in-between salon visits. But, it takes a bit of practice to point and shoot, lol!


Lastly, let’s talk about feet for a just second. After all, beauty basics are needed from head to toe, lol!

#16 Electronic Callus Remover

Having raised two boys, I never went to a nail salon except for special occasions. I did my own nails. But, once they went to college, I began to indulge myself with a monthly professional manicure, and bimonthly pedicure.

Yet, I still build up calluses on the bottom of my heel, side of my big toes, and pad of my foot. Ugh!

A handheld, battery-operated callus remover, used weekly, helps a lot. It gently buffs away hard, dead, calloused, dry and cracked skin on the feet with ease. I use mine when my feet are dry, but many are water resistant. If you like, some are rechargeable too. 

It’s the perfect addition to any pedicure kit. 

Be sure to select a device that has replaceable rollers. In fact, it’s a good idea to get an extra set when you purchase an electronic callus remover.

Now It’s Your Turn

Do you use any of the same beauty basics that I do? What are your favorites products and brands, and why? Know how to score a deal?

Please share in the comments so other readers can benefit from the discussion.



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I regularly participate in: Metamorphous Monday, Share Your Style, Tablescape Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Crafty Creators, Saturday Sparks, Happiness is Homemade, and Love Your Creativity.


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