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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How to ruin your skin

I love recommending products and giving people advice on what to do with their skin. Often it helps.

But because of undiscovered (or undisclosed) allergies and sensitivities, my advice doesn’t always work. If I truly wanted to ruin your skin though, this is what I would ask you to do.


1. Use baby wipes to take off makeup

My issue with baby wipes is that they contain mineral oil. That’s the reason they take off makeup so well.

You might have heard already that petrochemicals (like mineral oil) can cause cancer, that’s not the reason I hate mineral oil though. I hate it because it’s difficult to absorb, you put it on your skin and it just sits there waiting to cause breakouts. 

2. Homemade oil cleanser

Oil cleansing with a tincture of oils formulated by you is a bad idea. You can’t mix and match essential oils as you wish, it requires training. Essential oils can be lethal if used the wrong way. 

But since you want to ruin your skin don’t listen to me, make your own oil cleanser. It won’t emulsify with water like store bought cleansers do, that means you’ll have to use a hot face flannel to take it off.

3. Steam with a hot flannel

Steaming skin, especially with abnormally hot steam, can worsen redness and potentially result in broken capillaries that show up as thin, spider-like lines.

Go ahead and use a hot face flannel to take off your homemade oil cleanser.

4. Use SPF moisturizer at night

Never mind that taking off SPF is the sole reason some people double cleanse every night, put on your daytime moisturizer at night. It will only increase your chance of irritation and stinging, especially if you have dry skin with a damaged moisture barrier.

5. Scrub your face

For this you will need an apricot scrub or a clarisonic with a less than gentle attachment brush. Scrub away.

6. Get a back alley facial

A back alley spa is the place where they’ll damage your skin in all the ways you missed before.

They love to scrub skin, if you’re lucky you’ll also get an aggressive acne extraction and a nice soothing massage with an essential oil which hasn’t been adequately diluted.

7. Repeat 

Thanks for stopping by!

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carbonated water facial 

​We spend a lot of time debating about what are the best formulas to put on our faces when it comes to cleansers, masks and serums. However, we do not often think about the type of water we are splashing our faces with. The most you might think about is whether you should use lukewarm water, cold or hot. What about the kind of water? What about switching your tap water for something a little bit more, well, fancy? Say carbonated mineral water.

Carbonated water cleansing has been all the rage in Japan and South Korea for quite some time now.I’ve always hated that fizzy water that often comes in a green bottle, so why not wash my face with it?

But first things first, what do experts say about washing your face with carbonated water?

“Carbonated water has been reported to cause vasodilation (dilated capillaries), which would improve delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin,”explains dermatologist Dr. Emily M. Wise.“However, there have never been any studies in dermatology literature to validate the specific claims made by this trend.” 

Celebrity aesthetician Kate Somerville agrees. “The bubbling sensation of carbonated water can give the perception that the water is acting as micro brushes to help cleanse pores and remove dead skin (because you feel a’tingling’ effect), but that is not the case.”

 Washing my face with carbonated water reminds me of the time I used this beauty formulas face mask.
It billows up like a bubble bath, covering your every pore with a thick layer of grey, soapy suds that seemingly arise from nowhere. It didn’t do much for me but honestly, I only bought it for the bubble action. 

Without further ado, here’s how you wash your face with carbonated water. 

Step 1:
Choose a carbonated water with absolutely no artificial scents or coloring. No lemon, lime or any flavorings, either; you want pure carbonated mineral water.


Step 2:
Fill a large bowl with half regular water and half carbonated water. You want a 1:1 ratio.
Step 3:
Dunk your makeup-free face in the bowl and hold for 10-15 seconds.

I added my own twist by using the water to rinse away my facial cleanser instead of dunking my face in a bowl. I also used the undiluted carbonated water to tone my face. You probably shouldn’t do this if you have sensitive skin. 

Verdict 

The bubbles when  paired with said cleanser actually do a nice job of cleaning out my pores. I performed this facial on myself last night and woke up to glowy skin this morning. 

Would I do this on a regular basis? Washing your face with carbonated water on a daily basis is prohibited. This also has the potential to bring underlying pimples to the fore. I wouldn’t use this when I feel a break out coming on. However, I will keep some carbonated water on hand to use as a toner on days when I want to give my acid toner a break.

 Thanks for stopping by!

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Budget Cleanser.

I hope it’s not too late to say Happy New Year! 
The holidays are gone now and so are most of my cleansers. As a rule, I make sure to have more than one cleanser at a time, these come in handy at different occasions

1. The foaming cleanser.
This comes in handy when you want to take off your makeup in a single step. Also great for cleansing in the morning as it leaves you feeling extra fresh.
When picking a foaming cleanser, always choose one without SLS.

2. The cleansing balm/oil.
If you have sensitive skin, clinique cleansing balm is one of the best options for your skin. It might be a little pricey but it’s well worth it. You can use this on its own or in combination with another product to double cleanse. Were it not that I hated the greasy feeling when applying this product, I would use it everyday.

3. The astringent.
When you mention astringent, most people will think of those alcohol laden toners. By astringent, I mean a watery cleanser or toner that you use as your second step cleanser or as your only cleanser if not wearing makeup (this kind is left on your skin and not rinsed away with water). Some people use rose water and glycerin but the moisture that this mixture lends to my skin always gives me breakouts (I have oily skin). If you have oily acne prone skin, choose a mild astringent with salicylic acid. This will work even better than a foaming cleanser with salicylic acid.

4. The cleansing lotion.
This is great for days when you don’t have access to clean water (or don’t want to touch water).
Use this  with a cotton ball to take off your makeup then follow with an astringent.

This beauty formulas cleanser is an example of a cleansing lotion.
For a person on a budget, this could be your only cleanser until you’re able to add more cleansers to your collection.

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Pros
– Cheap
-does not contain SLS
– contains salicylic acid to prevent and treat existing breakouts.

Cons

– Cannot be used around the eyes or to remove eye makeup.
– Has to be rinsed away with water.

At 295 shillings (Nakumatt TRM and Ebrahims) this deal is too good to miss. 

Thanks for stopping by!
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Update 

This cleanser is best used as a second cleanse cleanser. 

Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin)

Keratosis pilaris/chicken skin (those permanent goosebumbs on your forearms and thighs) is a condition that affects 50-80% of all adolescents and approximately 40% of adults.Most people with keratosis pilaris are unaware the condition has a designated medical term or that it is treatable. In general, keratosis pilaris is frequently cosmetically displeasing but medically harmless.
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Treatment of keratosis pilaris can include the following medications:
• Topical exfoliants. Medicated creams containing alpha-hydroxy acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid or urea moisturize and soften dry skin while helping to loosen and remove dead skin cells. Depending on their strength, certain creams are available over-the-counter and others require a prescription. Your doctor can advise you on the best option for your skin. The acids in these creams may cause redness, stinging or skin irritation. For that reason, topical exfoliants aren’t recommended for young children.
• Topical retinoids. Derived from vitamin A, retinoids work by promoting cell turnover and preventing the plugging of the hair follicle. Retinoids may be an effective treatment, but they can cause bothersome skin irritations, such as severe dryness, redness and peeling. Tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) and tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac) are examples of topical retinoids. If you’re pregnant or nursing, your doctor may opt to delay topical retinoid therapy or choose an alternative treatment.
• Laser therapy. Certain types of keratosis pilaris involving severe redness and inflammation have been successfully treated with laser therapy. Laser treatment involves passing intense bursts of light into targeted areas of skin. This type of treatment may require repeat sessions over the course of a few months, depending on your response.
Using a medication regularly may improve the appearance of your skin. But if you stop, the condition returns. And even with medical treatment, keratosis pilaris tends to persist for years.
LifestySelf-help measures won’t cure keratosis pilaris, but they can help improve the appearance of your skin. You may find these measures beneficial:
• Go easy on your skin. Vigorous scrubbing or removal of the plugs may irritate your skin and aggravate the condition.
• Gently dry off. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on the skin.
• Use a moisturizing lotion or lubricating cream. While your skin is still moist from bathing, apply a moisturizer that contains lanolin (Lansinoh, Medela), petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or glycerin (Glysolid), ingredients that soothe dry skin and help trap moisture.
• Try urea or lactic acid. Apply an over-the-counter product that contains urea (Nutraplus, Eucerin) or lactic acid (AmLactin, Lac-hydrin) twice daily. Both help remove extra keratin from the surface of the skin.
• Use a humidifier. A portable home humidifier or one attached to your furnace will add moisture to the air inside your home.

Thanks for stopping by!
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Japanese/Asian Skincare.

Hello there,
Are you a person who appreciates an intricate skin routine? If so then Japanese skincare might just be the thing for you.

The usual suspect for innovation in beauty is Europe and most notably France, which in recent years has given us micellar water, a good replacement for wet wipes when you cant be bothered to use a rinse off cleanser. (Note that I’d never be caught dead cleansing with micellar water alone).

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The Japanese are known to have youthful skin, so lets steal some of their secrets to keep our skin looking youthful too.

Rather than list down a step by step skincare routine, I will explain each principle behind Japanese skincare.

Double cleansing.
This process is prevalent especially in Japan. I have written an entire post on double cleansing which you can visit to familiarize yourself with the concept. Basically it’s the use of a two tiered cleansing routine to effectively remove dirt and makeup. The choice of your cleansing products is up to you but the Japanese notably use oils and balms for the first cleanse.

Emphasis on UV protection and whitening.
Asian skincare products reflect the sun-sensitive attitudes of its customers. Many of them contain built in sunscreens and whitening ingredients to fade out dark spots and freckles.

Several layers of hydration.
In this layered process, hydration begins with toner, which is more commonly referred to as a “skin softener”. These toners never strip the skin of moisture or try to work in some extra cleaning like you might find in Western products. After toners come essences, serums, and finally rich creams, which deeply hydrate the skin and fill out fine lines.
The sheet mask, an optional step can also be squeezed in here.

Innovative ingredients.
Asian skincare companies are quite a few years ahead of their Western counterparts.Competition and high demand from customers allows them to extensively research new ingredients.
Forget the Cliniques, Elizabeth Ardens and Mary Kays, Japanese products are the real deal. For the most part, product claims are not just a marketing gimmick they actually do what they claim to do.

Skincare part of overall health.
Good skin is an entire philosophy: when you have good skin, you can wear less makeup, look much healthier, and seem younger as well. The layered routine is almost ritualistic in its execution, and it can be the best part of one’s morning or night. It surpasses fulfilling a physical purpose, and can promote one’s emotional and mental well-being too.

Overall quality.
If it hasn’t already been made obvious, Asian women take their skincare very seriously! The market is highly competitive. Interestingly, brands do not really compete on price as customers tend to favor quality over price and do not mind paying more for a superior product. Discerning customers keep skincare brands on their toes. Therefore, you can find great skincare at almost every price point, which makes Asian drugstore items a hot commodity around the world.

Is the Japanese routine right for my skin type?
This routine can work for all skin types but I would suggest reducing the layers of hydration for oily skinned girls.

Thanks for stopping by!
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My latest buys.

Hello my name is Maureen and I’m a shopaholic. My search for the perfect product this time brought me to this dove body wash.

A few weeks ago, I resolved to stop using body washes that contain sodium lauryl sulphate and any of it’s harmful cousins. This sent me on a quest to find a new body cleanser and the qualifications were :
1.SLS free,
2.non-soap formulation and
3.richly foaming.

At first I settled for Aveeno moisturizing bar, an SLS free syndet bar. We had our good times but this melted like butter and didn’t perform so well in the foaming department.

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Exit Aveeno, enter Dove nourishing body wash. This is everything I was looking for and more. In place of sodium lauryl sulphate, this body wash is formulated with sodium lauryl glycinate.

Glycinate is a new development in body wash surfucants. It’s an ultra-mild surfactant with low potential for damage to Stratum Corneum (outermost layer of the epidermis) proteins and lipids. For further reading on this ingredient you can check out this website.

This body wash has been around for a while now but it doesn’t turn up on the internet  when you search for SLS free body wash, hence why I took so long to find it.

On my last post I promised I’d reveal what I’m using in place of my salicylic acid cleansers. I thought it would be useful to share this for people who want a deep cleanse but can’t tolerate Salicylic acid, other beta hydroxy acids or even alpha hydroxy acids.

Currently I’m using clinique cleansing balm to take off my makeup and Aveeno ultra calming foaming cleanser for my final cleanse.

This two are very mild but do a very thorough job both individually and when teamed up.

Now, I know foaming cleansers are generally bad news. Most of them contain SLS or a substitute surfactant that is just as irritating or doesn’t get the job done. This Aveeno cleanser however is refreshingly different, it’s SLS free but still strong enough to take off makeup. 

I imagine bathing in a cloud would feel like using this cleanser. This comes highly recommended for people with dry skin.

Thanks for stopping by!
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