Skin Care Routine & Chit Chat

Hi guys! Last year, I had a series of blog posts entitled “Let’s Talk Skincare” (parts 1,2 and 3), where I talked extensively about the products that I use, ingredients, and my opinion on some of the of the more controversial components in our skin care. While I am quite willing to experiment with makeup, I am in fact, quite conservative when it comes to taking care of my skin. For the most part, if something works, I stick with it! Therefore, if you have read my posts from last year, you will see a lot of recurring products. The reason I filmed a video about my skin care routine, is that I have received a lot of compliments over the past year on the condition of my skin…something that would have never happened 2 years ago. So, to ask everyone’s questions on what has worked for me lately (without claiming it is a foolproof protocol!), I decided to just record a video. It is by all means quite long, but keep in mind, that I still failed to say a lot of things…just for the sake of time and not making this video as long as a full feature movie ;).

You can watch it here, if you are interested:

See you soon!

XO

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Let’s talk SKIN CARE! Part 3

Hello again!

So, after 2 long long posts about skin care (here and here)…prepare for another one hahaha but also, the last one in this series. For now anyway!

I have a few more products in my skin care routine that have proven useful and I’d like to share my experience with them 🙂

Let’s go on with The Body Shop and their Vitamin C microdermabrasion:

vitC micrderm abrasion TBS

This is basically a gentle face scrub. When applied on the skin, you feel many, many micro beads which gently exfoliate the skin without irritating it. Personally, I don’t have sensitive skin, so also the more “aggressive” scrubs do the job well for me.

That being said, I do enjoy the tender touch of this product a lot. I normally use it in the end of my shower, as a final cleansing step, and the frequency varies between 2-3 to 4-5 times a week…depending on whether I remember to exfoliate or not hehe.

I do like this scrub, despite the fact that for the most part, it’s just a generic cosmetic mash of ingredients:

FULL INGREDIENTS

Water (Solvent/Diluent), Solum Diatomeae (Abrasive), Glycerin (Humectant), Aluminum Silicate (Exfoliant), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Skin-Conditioning Agent/Emollient), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (Stabiliser/Viscosity Modifier), Polysorbate 60 (Surfactant), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Antioxidant), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Fragrance (Fragrance), Sodium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Myrciaria Dubia Fruit Extract (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Citral (Fragrance Ingredient).

Again, much like with the tea tree lotion I discussed in part 2, the main component that is being marketed here, namely vitamin C, is standing somewhere in the middle of the ingredient list. I don’t know if they rely on the notion that most people will simply not know that magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is actually vitC, or that we won’t notice….No idea! Whatever the case, I would have liked vitC to me a more prominent ingredient in this exfoliant.

Also, I am not quite sure whether vitC can really penetrate the skin…I do remember getting this procedure at the beautician salon with vitC…ionophoresis, I think. She used a special technique to introduce vitC into my skin.

So, am I simply washing the vitC in this scrub off of my face under the shower? I don’t know…

In any case, this exfoliant doesn’t do harm, and it seems like my skin looks brighter lately, so I will give it the benefit of the doubt 😉

Once a week, and for me that’s always on Sunday (my beatifying day…do you have one too?), I treat myself with a face mask:

face masks

Discovering this brand – Montagne Jeunesse – was also a random event. I needed a face mask…wanted to try something new…and I saw chocolate on the package. Done deal!

After the chocolate one, I tried a number of other face masks from this brand and loved most of them. The only one I did not enjoy was the self-warming fudge mask, which irritated and prickled my skin.

Chocolate remains my favourite face mask, and not only because it smells divine :). It really does brighten up the complexion, tighten up the skin and rejuvenate it. Another favourite from the Montagne Jeunesse masks, are the ones you can peel off. Face off!!! So cool! Joke aside, those also refresh the skin very well.

Most of the masks are clay based, so I have been thinking of getting just a plain clay mask, as these are particularly recommended to people with blemish-prone skin.

What kind of masks do you use?

And, last, but perhaps first on my most-beloved-skin-care-products list at the moment: pure maracuja and argan oils:

Tarte maracuja oil argan oil

Maracuja (aka passion fruit) oil and argan oil are both plant oils. Plant oils have been gaining loads of popularity recently. Pretty much every self-respecing skin or hair care product these days contains some plant oil…with argan being the current trend. These oils are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins. Maracuja oil is rich in vitC, and argan oil in vitE.

My first experience with those oils, I owe to my dear friend Manuela (thank you Manuuuu!!! <3). As a birthday present this year, she gave me a holiday set from Tarte. Tarte is like the American answer to The Body Shop, as I see it. Perhaps even better! Or maybe the grass is just greener on the other side of the fence hehe. Anyway, a part of this set, was this sample baby bottle of the Tarte Pure Maracuja oil. Mostly due to my ignorance at the time and the fear of smearing oil on my face, I ignored this treasure for months. Then, 1.5 month ago I finally decided to give it a go.

The oil feels very light-weight and absorbs quickly.

Already the very first time I applied it, I thought “OMG!!!” And bear in mind, I hardly ever react like this to skin care products..most of the time I am extremely skeptical. My skin instantly looked brighter and just so fresh and alive. Unbelievable! No dullness, no redness, no large pores….no extra oiliness…just LIFE! I have been using it religiously ever since, mixing 2-3 drops with my Olaz Total effects 7 in 1 day cream.

I dread the day I will be out of this oil, because our local natural products store doesn’t carry maracuja (passion fruit) oil. I will have to figure something out to re-supply myself…If any of you knows how and where, please oh please!, leave a comment.

Anyhow, the day I was at the natural products store, there was sale on pure argan oil. Having heard so many good things about it, there was no way I’d pass on this deal 😉

I still don’t have much to say about it…I have been applying it around the eyes, where my skin can get very dry, but not so much on the rest of the face. What I do notice is, that compared to maracuja, argan oil is a bit more “heavy”. It’s not the right way to describe it, but I have not found a better word…Maybe richer in texture…I don’t know.

Argan oil is also very nice, very hydrating.  I am very curious how it will compare to maracuja oil, when applied on the whole face.

I will keep you updated!

Do you also use plant oils in your skin care routine? Share your experience!

With this, I conclude my skin care series for the time being. There are new things on the horizon, but I will need more testing time before I can be a fair judge 🙂 I hope you will share you skin care secrets with me and found mine at least a bit useful.

See you soon!

XOXO

Let’s talk SKIN CARE! Part 2

Hello hello!

Ok, now that all the elephants are out of the room (see part 1 of this post for details here), let’s move on to some other skin care products I am enjoying 🙂

Continuing with Olaz, I am currently using the Olaz Definity eye cream:

olaz definity eye

Now, one thing I am quite unsure of (much like the deal with day and night creams) is whether the skin around my eyes really is a “different species” altogether…so much that it would necessarily need a separate cream. Why would this part of my face be so different compared to the rest of my face? Have you ever wondered about that?

I remain critical about this…sure the skin there is thinner, sensitive and all that…but a whole new branch of the cosmetics industry dedicated to eye skin care? Hmm..

Well then, let’s take a look at the ingredient list of this eye cream and find out if anything on it is particular to the eye area, or it could easily be used on the rest of the face too (and vice versa…can day cream be used on the eye area?)

Image

So, cyclopentasiloxane, together with dimethicone are used as slip agents…That explains why the cream has such a silicone-ish feeling to it. This guy is on top of the list 😉 For the rest, this cream is light and absorbes quickly. It doesn’t have a scent.

Clycerin is a humectant. It is highly hygroscopic, meaning it loves water, and absorbs it readily. Together with silicones, emollients and oils it helps with moisturizing.

Sunscreen (titanium dioxide) among the first ingredients. Important overall, not just around the eyes.

I see also the vitamin bunch here (niacinamide, tocopherol and tocopheryl acetate, panthenol)…just like in the day cream, perhaps in lower concentrations.

Acetylglucosamine is an amino sugar which helps with skin lightening. That makes sense, since the cream is supposed to diminish dark under-eye circles. I don’t suffer from dark under-eyes, so I cannot be sure of the effectiveness of the cream for this particular problem…but the ingredient is there, has been proven useful, and is high on the list.

Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 (also -3, also matrixyl) is a basically 5 amino acids attached to a fatty acid. Supposedly it helps with cell-cell communication. Cells talk to each other all the time and their (mis)-communication is quite a topic of research. Apparently, this compound “tells” cells to build new cellular matrix…which could be pretty helpful with repairing skin damage, possibly wrinkles. From what I understand, it can counteract the damaging effect of the Sun, like retinol (alcohol form of vitA) does, without the side effect of being a skin irritant. (Retinoids can cause irritation to people with more sensitive skin.)

Collagen doesn’t hurt…You know collagens are important for skin elasticity, which goes to hell as we age. Not sure whether collagen in creams does anything really. If it doesn’t stimulate the skin to produce it, which sadly is the case…then, what’s the point? I don’t have to burst your bubble, you already know that no cream in the world can prevent aging…loss of skin elasticity included.

Sodium hyaluronate is a salt of the hyaluronic acid. It’s good – prevents loss of skin moisture.

Those were the “active” compounds in this cream, as far as I can see. I deem nothing wrong with using this product as my day/night cream. And vice versa, my day cream contains plenty of goodies which my eye area would benefit from.

Moving on…

The next product in my routine is from The Body Shopthe Tea Tree Blemish Fade night lotion:

tea tree TBS

As this cream is supposed to help with blemishes, I use it especially in certain days of the month around my cycle, when my skin is at its worst.

This cream is also very lightweight and absorbs quickly, leaving the skin matte and fresh. It has a slight scent. I use it mostly in the evening because it doesn’t have strong SPF. (BTW, that is pretty much all you need from a good day cream vs a night one: decent SPF!)

I quote the ingredient list as mentioned the website of TBS:

FULL INGREDIENTS

Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Silica, Acrylamide/Ammonium Acrylate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Polyisobutene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Titanium Dioxide, Phytosphingosine, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Limonene, Citral, Leptospermum Petersonii (Lemon Tea Tree) Oil, Tocopherol.

Overall, it’s a fine cream…it contains some goodies: tamanu oil (=Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil), tea tree oli, phytosphingosine, tocopherol (vitE). 

BUT…oh, Body Shop, there is a BUT, even though I wish otherwise! :-/

The product is marketed as a tea tree bla bla cream…and a quick look at the ingredient list immediately shows you that there isn’t much of it in here. Tea tree oil is in the middle and end of the list. Same goes for phytosphingosine and vitE…somewhere in the end of the line.

For the rest, generic cream ingredients…

Disappointing, I’d say. Don’t get me wrong, still a fine cream…just not living up to its tea tree promise all that much.

You have had enough of my blabbing by now, right?! So, let’s leave the plant oils post for part 3 😉

And definitely let me know in the comments what your skin care routine contains and whether you are satisfied with it, ingredient-wise! I am always on the look-out for good products that will, at least superficially, hide the aging process hahaha