Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Glossier: Milky Jelly Cleanser

177ml | £15 from here

A good cleanser should melt away daily grime and impurities without leaving your skin stripped of its natural oils. It shouldn't be strongly scented or irritate the eye area. Trust me, it's not worth tearing up every single night for squeaky clean skin. Note, stay away from the January Labs Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel unless you're a bit of a masochist. One word - ouch!

What that bottle do?
Glossier claim that their Jelly Cleanser is the ultimate face wash. Apparently it:

  • is pH-balanced 
  • Dissolves makeup on wet and dry skin
  • Leaves skin feeling healthy and soft
  • Is safe to use around the eye area
  • Is free from parabens, sulfates and animal testing
  • Is vegan, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic 

The packaging immediately gets two thumbs up from me solely because it has a pump. There's nothing worse than fumbling around with bottle caps and squeeze tubes when you have wet hands. The pump dispenses a sufficient amount of product and stops everything from getting messy.

The cleanser itself has a gel-like consistency and is pale pink in colour. It has a delicate floral aroma thanks to the second ingredient being rose water. It smells like actual flowers, not perfume-y or sickly, artificiality scented. Rose water contains an abundance of antioxidants which helps to protect the skin from premature anti ageing1



Application and results
Glossier say that you can use the cleanser dry and wet. I prefer the latter as I find it difficult to spread the product across my dry face without tugging and dragging my skin. So what I do is use the Jelly Cleanser as a second cleanse. I first remove my makeup and sunscreen with some sweet almond oil. I leave it on for about 5 minutes so that it breaks apart all of the product and then rinse off with a pump of cleanser. I then go in with another pump to ensure my face is thoroughly clean. If I've been wearing a heavy face of makeup that day I'll go in with an additional pump or two to ensure that my face is thoroughly cleansed.

The gentle formula means that you can use it around your eyes however, I find that it struggles to remove all eye makeup, especially mascara - waterproof or not. I don't mind it too much since I like to use a cotton bud dipped in some castor to remove leftover mascara and eyeliner. I hear that castor oil is great for growing hair - who doesn't want thick, luscious lashes and brows? Fingers crossed.

Would I re-purchase?
Yup. It satisfies my skin's needs. It cleans sufficiently without leaving my skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. Practical packaging, smells good and doesn't sting my eyes. It's a decent all round cleanser for those who wear light to medium makeup on an everyday basis (or nothing at all)! For those who prefer the daily glam, I would opt for something a little more heavy duty.  

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Propanediol, Isohexadecane, Poloxamer 184, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Xylitylglucoside, Betaine, Allantoin, Glycerin, Panthenol, Symphytum Officinale Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Anhydroxylitol, Polysorbate 80, Xylitol, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Isopropyl Myristate, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide

References
1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586833/

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Dr. Dennis Gross: Dark Spot Sun Defense

 50ml | £38 from here

Guys, sunscreen is soo important. Do not neglect this step in your skincare routine. Since the start of the year, I have been trying to diligently apply sunscreen every morning with hopes to reduce the appearance of sun spots and hyperpigmentation on my face and to prevent further formation. I really do wish that I had started sooner but as they say, better late than never.

I have been reaching for the Dark Spot Sun Defense by Dr Dennis Gross, a mineral-based sunscreen which provides broad-spectrum protection with SPF 50. There are two types of UV lights that are harmful for your skin - UVA (can prematurely age the skin) and UVB (can burn the skin). Too much exposure to either types of rays can lead to skin cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from both.

This particular sunscreen also aims to prevent hyperpigmentation with its combination of vitamin C, unique melatonin complex, vitamin E and nourishing ceramides.  


Key Ingredients
Ascorbyl Glucoside: a water-soluble derivative of vitamin C. It's not as potent as other forms of vitamin C however, still has great antioxidant properties which help to brighten the skin and reduce the signs of ageing.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP): one of the most stable forms of vitamin C. Not only does it provide brightening benefits by suppressing melanin production, but it also has a hydrating effect on the skin making it great for those who have dry/dehydrated skin1.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THD): an oil-soluble form of vitamin C. It was found that THD has a higher rate of penetration compared to other forms of vitamin C, even when the concentration levels of other derivatives were 25 times higher2.

Melatonin: did you know that the skin contains melatonin receptors? That's right, this hormone doesn't just play a role in getting a good night's sleep. Melatonin has been found to be a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin against UV radiation and other environmental damages3.

Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA): a potent antioxidant which has been reported to demonstrate anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory effects4. As it prevents the oxidation of oil, it may be beneficial to those with oily skin.

Phospholipids: are comprised of of fatty acids which make them powerful humectants. This means that they are able to protect the dermal layer of the skin from external stressors including wind, sun and harsh chemicals by locking in moisture.

Sphingolipids: has the ability to suppress the development of bacteria and fungi which can be beneficial for those experiencing skin conditions such as acne or eczema.

Tripeptide-38: penetrates deep in to the dermis to help boost the production of collagen. It also supports the body's regeneration process, leaving skin firmer, more supple and radiant.

Summary

Pros
  • Broad spectrum, high SPF
  • Clever formulation - anti-ageing, antioxidants, brightening, moisturising 
  • Lightweight texture - similar consistency to lotion
  • Easy to apply and blend out
  • Doesn't leave a film or a visible white/grey cast
  • Doesn't pill under makeup
Cons
  • Takes several minutes to absorb fully
  • Contains BHT which is a controversial ingredient
  • May not be suitable for those easily irritated by citrus oils

Sunscreen is the last step of your skincare routine and the first step of your makeup routine
 
Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4.9%) Zinc Oxide (4.42%), Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Coconut Alkanes, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Melatonin, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phospholipids, Sphingolipids, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Glycolic Acid, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Oleanolic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Bis-Ethylhexyl Hydroxydimethoxy Benzylmalonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, BHT, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sodium Hydroxide, Isohexadecane, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Carbomer, Propanediol, Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Tromethamine, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil

References
1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4587894/#B37
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583885/
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3596923/

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bravura London: 10% Lactic Acid

 30ml | £9.59 from here

I cringe thinking back to when I used to slather St. Ives Apricot Scrub onto my face and scrub like my life depending on it. All those micro-tears I imposed upon my poor, defenceless face *weeps internally*. Gone are the days of physical exfoliators. These days, I have been using gentle chemical exfoliators to achieve smooth, radiant skin.

Got milk?
Lactic acid is an alpha hydoxy acid (AHA), a type of natural acid found in foods. This particular acid comes from sour milk and is the OG of AHAs. Ever heard of stories where Cleopatra was bathing in milk to beautify her skin? She knew exactly what she was doing. AHAs are used to topically exfoliate dead skin cells in order to improve the texture (acne, dryness) and appearance (hyperpigmentation, sun damage and fine lines) of the skin.

Lactic acid is a mild chemical exfoliator and also a humectant meaning that it is ideal for those with dry or dehydrated skin as it helps the skin to preserve moisture.

How does it work? 
Lactic acid works at the base of the skin’s stratum corneum (outermost layer of the skin), dissolving the hardened keratin that holds dead skin cells together. Because this increases cell turnover, skin becomes smoother, more elastic and more even in tone and texture. In addition, it also stimulates your skin to produce more collagen which is the main structural protein of the skin. Collagen keeps everything firm and smooth so when this starts to disintegrate, skin begins to droop and wrinkle.


What I do
The product comes with a set of instructions so ensure that you follow them to the T. Although the concentration is at a low, safe percentage,  you don't want to be mindlessly playing around acids.

After cleansing my face, I don't pat my skin dry. Instead, I let it air dry as I find that it has helped to reduce dryness. Afterwards, I wait 30 minutes before commencing with exfoliation. This is because after cleansing, the skin needs to return to its normal pH level for optimal results.

I dispense 7-10 drops of the watery solution out of the pipette onto the palm of my hand and use my fingers to apply the product onto my face and neck. You could use a synthetic hair brush for more precise application but effort. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards!

For the first application, you should keep the product on for 5 minutes, making sure that you're accurately timing it. Thereafter, you can increase the amount of time the exfoliator sits on the face in increments of 1 minute but only if you feel comfortable in doing so. You know your skin the best so act accordingly.

It's normal to feel a mild stinging/burning sensation during use. I find that it's more painful in the areas I'm trying to treat e.g., the hyperpigmentation on my forehead and cheeks. Don't worry though, once you have splashed some warm water all over your face to neutralize the acid, the uncomfortable sensation should subside. Personally, I don't experience redness after however it is quite normal if you do and should fade after a while. Allow 20 minutes before applying any lotions or potions to the face and neck area.

I use this product during my night time skin routine as it can be quite time-consuming. Ain't nobody got time for a one hour skincare routine before work. Unless you do.

Warning! 
Please, please, please ensure that you patch test before use. Even if you have used chemical exfoliators before, you don't know how your skin will react to a new product. Apply the product on the inside of your wrist as you would on your face by following the instructions and wait 48 hours. If no irritation has occurred, you're in the clear to use it on your face.

Do not use this product if your are pregnant/breastfeeding, undergoing intense beauty treatments such as microdermabrasion, laser therapy, chemical peels, etc. People who are prone to cold sores may find that chemical exfoliants can cause an outbreak. Do not apply to broken veins/capillaries or active cold sores.

Only use every other night e.g., Mon/Wed/Fri or else you run the risk of over0exfoliating the skin and destroying your skin's moisture barrier.

AHAs increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and increases the risk sunburn. You have to use a sunscreen everyday and try to limit strong sun exposure. Also, do not use sunbeds while using products containing AHAs.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Rose Floral Water, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Citrate