Night time routine

Used to be that I couldn’t find any products to wear at night. They’d always break me out. I couldn’t justify the breakouts if I wasn’t receiving any additional benefits from using a product, so I left my face bare every night.

If you’re acne prone and your night cream isn’t of the zero blemish cream variety, you might be better off without it. Dr Hauschka says to leave your skin bare at night and founder of the ordinary Brandon Trauxxe, shares my opinion, too much hydration, just like dehydration, will cause you to breakout.

I now use a face oil at night, oils don’t moisturise, they seal in the moisture you already have. Coconut oil enthusiasts, please stop asking everyone to put it on their face, it has a comodogenic rating of 4 and the scale only goes upto 5, few people can handle such high comodogenicity (if that’s even a word).

Now, my night oil is wonderful, it exfoliates and seals moisture at the same time. Even though I could easily survive without it, I don’t want my face coming into contact with surfaces unprotected while I sleep, something I never thought about before.

Think of your skin as a piece of paper, it’s easier to create folds on a dry piece of paper than a wet one, similarly if you create folds on your skin when it’s dry, those folds will hold and become creases. I don’t know about you, but I tend to lie on my side a lot when I sleep, when I do, I create a fold between my nose and my cheek. I have a theory that this repeated trauma is what causes jowls, as the years pass your skin’s ability to snap back into place is compromised, the fold deepens and you’re left with jowls.

You could stop sleeping on your side, but any other position you choose will still create a fold somewhere. Nothing short of using a Japanese pillow will give you a foldless expression as you sleep.

I make too many movements, I couldn’t handle sleeping on a wooden pillow, so I do the next best thing, lubricate. 
As stated before, I use an oil at night, (I also use snail gel depending on the weather). This particular oil is fast absorbing, sinks deeply into my skin and exfoliates at the same time. It’s quite potent as an exfoliator, infact I skip my acid toner when using it. 

What allows it to work so well for me is the base formulation which contains almond,jojoba,hemp seed, sunflower and sesame oil. This rich and non comedogenic base is infused with various citrus oils and that’s what helps with the exfoliation.
Hemp seed oil, is just code for cannabis sativa oil by the way, but don’t worry, you can’t ingest a mind altering substance through your skin (also it contains no CBD).

The reason they have it there is because it has a comodogenic rating of 0. That means it can’t block your pores, infact it can’t break you out at all (as with all other things, don’t use if you have an allergy). Other oils with a zero rating are sunflower oil and safflower oil.

This is my current night time routine, it is preceded by double cleansing, something I have talked about at length here. I haven’t changed anything in my cleansing routine, except that I have added a snail gel cleanser to my arsenal of second cleanse cleansers. I’ll be reviewing that and snail gel cream as requested by Chubby’s mom. 

I’m reading the final book in the song of ice and fire series, I just hope reading through this post hasn’t been as punishing for you as my experience with that book.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Baby smooth skin for adults is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and other Amazon sites. 

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Yves Rocher zero blemish gel cream

When it comes to moisturisers, I always go for something that doesn’t make any extravagant claims. I don’t want it to have active ingredients unless they fall under the category of humectants, emollients or occlusives. There’s one exception though, yves rocher zero blemish gel cream.

(comes in 10ml tester size too)

As you might have guessed by now, almost every serum or cream promising to fight acne is going to have salicylic acid in it, yves rocher is no exception.
Finding salicylic acid in a serum or moisturiser is hardly a novelty, Sunday riley has it, bravura, clean & clear, Neutrogena, and the list goes on. What interests me in the yves rocher zero blemish gel cream is bailkal powder. 

When that time of the month is approaching, my skin will look for any and every excuse to break out. Daily exfoliation is part of my daily routine, so any zits that try to pop up are flattened before they’ve lived a day on my face.

Now that my skin can’t surprise me with a breakout, it settles for the next best thing, looking dull and greasy. When it does I’m always ready with my zero blemish gel cream. 

As the salicylic cleans out my pores, baikal powder soaks up the extra oil my skin produces and visibly refines the texture of my skin. 

The mattifying effects are incremental meaning you will need less and less product to achieve the same effect with each passing day. While I use this as a treatment, I don’t use any other moisturiser on top and when my period arrives, my skin normalizes and I return to my usual routine. You could of course use it everyday as a night cream.

Also in the same range is this serum.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Baby smooth skin for adults is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and other Amazon sites. 

Anti-pollution skincare

Do you live in a busy city? If you do, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but city air is aging you. Air pollution in urban areas, much of which comes from traffic, includes tiny particles called PMs, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Prof Jean Krutmann, director at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Germany, says, “UV [damage from the sun] was really the topic in skin protection for the last 20-30 years. Now I think air pollution has the potential to keep us busy for the next few decades.”

PMs have been shown to increase age spots and wrinkles but one of the latest studies also implicates nitrogen dioxide for accelerating aging. The study was conducted on people in Germany and China and it was discovered that age spots on their cheeks increased by 25% with a relatively small increase in pollution, 10 microgrammes of NO2 per cubic metre. Many parts of the UK have illegally high levels of NO2, with London breaking its annual limit in the first week of 2016, with levels reaching over 200 microgrammes of NO2 per cubic metre.

My two cents on this is that all this pollution is the reason why cases of rosacea are on the rise. At the moment, there are not many products for prevention [of air pollution damage], however it may be a trend in the coming years as it becomes a much bigger issue.

I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing broad spectrum sunscreen, it won’t protect against pollution but it will prevent photoaging whilst your skin is battling pollution. You wouldn’t leave your skin vulnerable to both the sun and pollution, would you? Give it a helping hand where you can.

As far as dislodging those harmful particles that settle on your skin, consider these options;

Clay masks

Clay face masks benefit the skin by using capillary action to absorb substances on and beneath the skin’s surface. They can absorb sebum, bacteria, water and various toxins and irritants from the skin and can exfoliate dead skin cells and blackheads without friction.

£26.61 amazon.co.uk

£10.66 amazon.co.uk

Activated Charcoal

It’s been added to cleansers, face masks, toothbrushes, and even juices for its ability to absorb toxins and pollutants.

These and other similar products will help your skin. The one product you should skip is scrub, doctors recommend you give it a wide berth.

I look forward to a time when I can recommend a whole range of products geared towards fighting the effects of pollution on our skin.
Thanks for stopping by! 

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Face oils for every skin concern

When it comes to face oils, blends are better than individual oils and not just any blends, there is a world of difference between a basic blend curated at home and a sophisticated well balanced one. You could of course copy a recipe and mix up the various component oils by yourself, but first do your math it might not be as cost effective as you would like it to be.

If like me you’re not much of a DIY person, you might want to try one of these.

Dry skin

Clarins blue orchid face treatment oil

amazon.co.uk

This leaves your skin so soft and hydrated, once you’re hooked you won’t bear to be without it.

This best-selling face oil contains extracts of Rosewood, Patchouli and Blue Orchid. Added Hazelnut Oil helps prevent moisture loss and the formation of fine lines Suitable for dry or combination skin.

It has a pleasant smell but as someone who suffers from migraines I should mention that the scent is somewhat of a migraine trigger, but there’s hardly anything to worry about if you use during the day when headed outdoors, the smell will dissipate fast enough.

Anti-aging

Looking for a product to prevent signs of aging? If this is your first foray into anti-aging skincare, rosehip oil is perfect for you, it naturally has vitamin A.

The number one anti-aging ingredient right now is retinol, a vitamin A derivative.

Other than vitamin A, rosehip oil contains vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin D which are all antioxidants that help fight free radicals.

amazon.co.uk

Rosacea

When you have rosacea it’s important to treat your skin gently. Avoid potential irritants such as alcohol, retinol, AHAs and preservatives. Avoid hot showers too as they can increase skin flushing. Not everything works for everyone but additionally I would recommend this balance me rose otto face oil, it contains essential fatty acids that ease the redness and help to rehydrate and calm your skin.

amazon.co.uk

Dark spots

When dealing with dark spots or hyperpigmentation, almost everybody now knows the important role played by skin resurfacing, AHAs come highly recommended for this purpose.

There’s a multitude of reasons why some can’t use AHAs one of which is the resultant dryness that comes with using acid toners, if you’re worried about dryness but still want to treat your hyperpigmentation, how about citrus oils?

Don’t make the mistake of using them straight, they are always better diluted (as most other essential oils). I’ve included some links of facial oil blends that have citrus oils in them, personally I use luron stimulating massage oil.

amazon.co.uk

One thing you want to remember is to always skip your acid toner when using citrus oils, don’t worry about exfoliation, citrus oils will do that as well.

Thanks for stopping by!

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How retinols work

Retinoids first came to market in the early 1970s as an acne -fighting drug. Since then, they have also been used to treat psoriasis, warts, wrinkles and blotchiness caused by sun exposure, and aged skin.

Here’s the catch, with repeated use, retinol products begin to thin out your skin and will eventually make you more susceptible to UVA rays. If you’re not wearing adequate SPF all the time, with passing years you’ll have more melasma, more discolouration not to mention possible irritation. 

Retin-A, Reova, Accutane, they’re great drugs in that they work. Everyone wants to change the skin, everyone wants to prevent damage. But none of the products on the market we’ve tested prevent damage.

 When we tested Renova and Retin-A, they had an effect on wrinkles and age spots. The only problem with those drugs is that women’s skin is already considerably thinner than men’s, and these medications take off the top layer—so you’ve lost the first or second layer of your skin, and though your skin looks fresh and bright and great, it can actually get worse.

 Simon Erani, the founder and CEO of The Somme Institute in New York.

I share Simon’s sentiments about retinoids, although he does sound rather alarmist.

There’s a proper time to use retinoids, and that’s when you have visible signs of aging, don’t use retinoids before your time, unless you covet that wax doll appearance that long term users of retinoids often have.

As a preventative meausure against fine lines and wrinkles, use anti-aging products without retinol. Somme institute makes products like that, couple them with physical sunscreen and you will enjoy youthful skin for years to come.

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30+ Sensitive

Thanks for stopping by!

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All products mentioned in this post available at  amazon.co.uk

Gross ingredients in skincare

Sulphates, parabens, alcohol and petroleum are much talked about and hated in the beauty industry, but did you know about this relatively harmless but gross ingredients in skincare?

Tallow

Tallow is a hard, fatty substance made from rendered animal fat, which is commonly used to make soap and candle. Rendering fat is also the most common method of making glycerin. 

Ambergris

Sperm whales eject an intestinal slurry called ambergris into the ocean, where the substance hardens as it bobs along. Eventually it gets collected along shores.

High-end perfumes from houses such as Chanel and Lanvin take advantage of the ability of ambergris to fix scent to human skin.

It was once thought the ambergris was ejected by mouth. As of now, the argument seems to be weighted toward the back end of the whale.

Snail gel

Snail slime (or its cosmetic name, snail filtrate) is packed with nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein, proteoglycans, and antimicrobial and copper peptides, all of which are commonly used in beauty products and proven to be beneficial for the skin. These elements help to protect the snail’s skin from damage, infection, dryness and UV rays.

Snail slime contains 91-98% water. The slime is filtered multiple times to increase its concentration and ensure its purity. Some snail slime products claim to contain as much as 97% snail secretion filtrate. 

Placental lipids

The afterbirth organ that enables a foetus to grow in a pregnant female is a hot commodity. Although some skincare companies opt for sheep or pig placenta instead of human placenta, the prospect of putting placenta on your face is still gross.

Humanolin

Years ago someone had a brilliant idea to create a Sebum Reclamation System that would separate human sebum from soap and water in your shower water. Your sebum or your family’s aggregate sebum would then be collected in a vial then stored in the fridge.

He was working on the premise that people buy lanolin for its similarities to human sebum. If people wanted a product similar to sebum, how much better would they like their own sebum?

I can see the advantages but it’s just a bit too utilitarian, kind of similar to taking a dump in the vegetable patch.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Fragrance mini haul + layering

I’ve been feeling a bit sad lately, so I treated myself to a little shopping spree yesterday. Right now I’ve got every skincare essential stocked up, so I bought fragrance mists instead of skincare products.

Bear with me, I know fragrance isn’t skincare, and my commitment to keep it skincare on this blog isn’t waning, there’s still a lot about skin I haven’t written yet.When you’re a skincare blogger, it’s easy to forget about life’s other little luxuries like clothes, shoes, perfume and purses (I adore purses btw) so yesterday’s treat was well deserved. 

Let’s get right into it.

I bought four fragrance mists, two by bath and body and two by body fantasies. I’ve always wanted to learn how to layer fragrances, to this end I bought unblended scents. What I mean by this is that each fragrance mist has only one note.

Bath and Body


Body Fantasies

All of these fragrances work well on their own, a wonderful thing because on a hot day all your layering efforts will go to waste, scents wear off faster when it’s hot. If you like topping up your body mist or perfume throughout the day then you will want to wear only one fragrance, it’s easy to carry just one bottle and you don’t have to worry about proportions when you spray.
As for my informal layering experiment, this is how it went down.

 I once read somewhere that fresh scents like cucumber and watermelon go great together. Not the case here, cucumber overpowered watermelon in this combination.

I tried layering cucumber with twilight but again the cucumber was too strong. I think I’ll wear twilight as a stand alone fragrance.

Surprisingly, cucumber complemented coconut quite well in this combination. The coconut body splash I bought from Yves Rocher earlier on this year, I wear it on its own but smelling it all day can get a bit oppressive.

Another surprise success is the combination between watermelon and coconut. Certain scents are migraine triggers for me, these include vanilla (cheap generic kind), shea and coconut if sprayed with a heavy hand. Watering down the coconut with some watermelon makes it less likely to give me a migraine.

As you might read elsewhere on the internet, layering also involves packing on a scent using lotion and body wash. When I really want to smell of cucumber I’ll use this combination.


Missing conspicously from my layering experiment, is the bath and body Japanese blossom, I was rather unimpressed with it. I won’t give it away though, I’ll wear it to lousy dates and boring seminars.

 Thanks for stopping by!

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Maureen Wahu is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and other Amazon sites.