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Category: Skincare

Glossier Invisible Shield: Is it really invisible, powerful protection?

My search for person of colour sunscreens continues. A few months ago, Glossier came out with a new sunscreen that promises to be a game changer. There were ads all over the subway and billboards in New York. The Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 35 is touted as a broad-spectrum sunscreen that goes on invisible on all skin tones. This got my attention. As I have discussed in previous posts and videos, one of my biggest pet peeves with sunscreens available in the US is that they often leave an ashy cast on the skin. This is partially because sunscreens are regulated as drugs (by the FDA) as opposed to just cosmetics. The E.U., Asia (especially South Korea and Japan) and Australia have access to a wider variety of sun-protecting filters. So I paid another visit to the showroom on Lafayette and picked this up, crossing my fingers. And by the way, check out my other Glossier reviews.

Glossier Invisible Shield Review – Video

For those who like the visuals, here’s my video review.

Glossier Invisible Shield Review – General Product Details

The Glossier Invisible Shield is descibed as “a clear watergel formula filled with active microcapsules that instantly absorbed into the skin with no greasy residue and zero white cast”.

It is vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free and non-comedogenic and suitable for all skintypes and skintones.

The active sunscreen ingredients are: avobenzone, homosalate and octisalate. These are well known and used chemical sunscreen commonly used in the US. It does not contain octinoxate, which I *think* is the ingredient that gives me problems. These filters are contained in microspheres which bust as your rub this onto the skin to release these ingredients.

The other active ingredients are:

Water – yes. Water is a main ingredient and the formula is a thin gel. This makes it great for both dry and oily skin types. Water also helps the product to sink into the skin quickly. Also it contains no alcohol, which is a good solvent but can be drying on the skin.

Antioxidant Complex – These are Vitamin E and P, Broccoli and Aloe Leaf Extracts. These provide extra protection against free radicals and oxidants that are found in the air that we breathe and that surround us. Breaking up the effects of UV radiation also can pass that released energy to oxidants which can contribute to aging and cancers. The antioxidants counteract that.

Fermented Yeast and Vegetal Extracts – Fermented ingredients are very popular in Asian, especially Korean and Japanese, skincare routines for many years, even centuries. These fermented ingredients help form a physical barrier on the skin to block out pollutants.

This product also contains Sweet Orange Oil as a fragrance. It gives it a very fresh, citrus scent. For some people, this may cause irritation to some.

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The 3 best Paula’s Choice anti-aging products you should use

I have been using Paula’s Choice products for a few years now. I have even gotten my Mum hooked on some of her products too! I am always drawn to well-thought out, well researched skincare brands that rely on hard science when making their formulations. Paula Begoun is one of the better known skincare experts in the cosmeceuticals industry. I like that her products have simple ingredient listings i.e. there are not a lot of ‘filler’ ingredients, added fragrance and are made for use by people with skin sensitivities. She also gives you ingredients that are in high enough concentrations to be effective. The last thing that is pretty unique about PC, is that she includes published research from medical journals that support her decisions for using particular active ingredients.

Paula’s Choice Products – Video

In this post I will be talking about the 3 products that I have been using from Paula’s Choice. These are the Paula’s Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster 15% Vitamin C, RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA & RESIST Intensive Repair Cream. For more details on each individual product, please check out my video below.

Paula’s Choice Products – Ingredient Review and Product Usage

Paula’s Choice products are cruelty-free, contains no added fragrance or dyes and manufactured in the USA.

Paula’s Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster 15% Vitamin C (USD$49 for 0.67 fl. oz.)

Paula's Choice RESIST C15

Image via Dermstore

This product has a very watery consistency with a distinctive citrus smell and a very pale yellow/orange tint. I apply it directly to skin after toning but it can also be added to your moisturiser. It comes in UV safe packaging. Once your product has deepened in shade, it is time to be thrown out. I use this right after cleansing and toning in the morning.

Active Ingredients: L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

L-Ascorbic Acid is found in multiple levels in the skin and is vital for the production of collagen. This is how Vitamin C is helpful in the reduction of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also attacks the oxidants (free-radicals) that damage the structure of skin which also causes wrinkles.

Vitamin C is also protects against the damage from UV exposure. It attacks the free radicals that are activated by sun exposure therefore it protects the skin and it also prevents photo-damage, which includes overproduction of melanin. This leads to brightening of the skin (not whitening) and it had help those with hyperpigmentation.

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5 ways to effectively remove your makeup that you should know

There are tons of reviews and articles online about makeup application. What products to use, what brushes to buy, how to apply it. But what are you to do when you have come home, exhausted and need to take that makeup off? What do we use? Makeup removal should be your first step of your skincare routine. That leftover foundation will block or affect the efficacy of any serum, hydrator, antioxidant that you use. Nowadays, in the US, folks are using more and more long wearing, richly pigmented, heavy duty or waterproof makeup and sometimes your regular cleanser just doesn’t cut it. I like to get rid of that first layer of product so that my cleansers would be more effective and deep cleaning. So in this post, I will be discussing 4 different types of makeup removers. I even include an extra makeup removal tip! So that is really 5 ways to remove your makeup.

So this post and video will only cover removal methods for regular consumer makeup products. Special effects, theatrical and other alcohol/silicone based makeup are excluded.

Check out my video on makeup removers

Details mentioned in the Makeup Removers video
  1. Balms/Cleansing Oils Makeup Removers

These do a great job in breaking down pigments, long wearing makeup and even sunscreen. Does this without drying the skin and can be used on all skin types.

Examples

2. Micellar Water Makeup Removers

Makeup Removers Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution

Image via Bioderma – Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

 

Made famous in the US by French brands. Water like consistency and actually contain mild surfactants/cleansers. Good to use if looking for a one step process

Examples

* Not a makeup remover but a clarifying cleanser for hair! –My DevaCurl Buildup Buster Micellar Cleansing Serum

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The simple way I protect my skin all year: La Roche-Posay review

laroche posey mexoryl review

The one product that I have used for years to protect my skin…..La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen with Mexoryl SX SPF 15

I grew up in the southernmost part of the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago. Two islands surrounded by deep blue seas, beaches and hot blazing sun. The last thing on anyone’s mind was sun protect. What is that? We black…..Unfortunately we did not understand the need to protect our skin for the future.

The number thing you can use to protect your skin and slow down the aging process is SUNSCREEN! Click To Tweet

As I grow older, I became wiser and set off looking for a suitable product. Being a dark skinned person, this proved to be quite difficult. As with cosmetics, many companies have not brought out sun protection products that are acceptable or suitable for folks with some melanin. I have two main requirements when selecting a sunscreen:

  1. It does not leave an ashy/white residue on the skin
  2. I do not get an allergic reaction to it

This makes an already small selection even smaller. About 90-95% of the sunscreens that I try, fail one or both of these criteria. Including mineral “natural” sunscreens. I get contact dermatitis with just one application. Starts around the eyes and temples and spreads across the fact. Itching, then rash, then burning. I want to bust a myth that I see peddled out there a lot. For some reason, people have this idea that mineral or physical sunscreens are safer and better than chemical ones. The US FDA regulates sunscreens as they are considered ‘drugs’ and therefore they are more closely regulated that other cosmetics. The US is very slow in approving new sunscreen ingredients – much slower than in the E.U. and Asian countries, so that there is a small pool of approved ingredients that everyone uses. The main ingredients in minerals sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They are both chemicals. They are all chemicals….different types of chemicals, but all chemicals. This is a review of a sunscreen that I have been using for years…pretty much since it came out on the US market – La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen with Mexoryl SX SPF 15

laroche-posay-mexoryl-review-2 
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mexoryl moisturizer review

If you want to skip straight to the video review, click here.

General Product Details

This is an opaque thick, white cream that is meant to be used as a daily moisturiser that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection at an SPF of 15. Fragrance-free, paraben-free PABA-free, tested for sensitive skin and allergies and supposed to provide 24 hour hydration. NOT vegan/natural/organic. The active sun protection ingredients are Avobenzone 2%, Ecamsule 2%, Octocrylene 10%.

Actives

Avobenzone – appears as other trademarked names including Parsol 1789. This is an oil-soluble compound that provides full spectrum protection against UVA rays, by absorbing rays and converting to another form of less harmful energy. UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and are the responsible for skin cancer, premature aging and wrinkling.

Ecamsule – L’Oreal-exclusive ingredient in the US. Effective and provides additional protection from UVA radiation.

Octocrylene – Used to stabilise Avobenzone, and make it not degrade quickly, therefore making it a lot effective. It also has some emollient properties and helps the skin retain moisture. Octocrylene also absorbs UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays affect the top/outer layer of skin and is responsible for sunburns and is the biggest implicator for melanomas and other skin cancers.

Basically, all three of these ingredients provide an umbrella-like protection from UVA, UVB and free radical protection.

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How I cleanse my skin: The Sunday Riley Cleansing Balm review

Sunday Riley…A name that piqued the interest of the beauty world about 2 years ago. Every blogger, every magazine, every celebrity…everybody was talking about their Luna Sleeping Oil. How skin changing it was. But this is not about the oil. This is about the Sunday Riley Cleansing Balm.  Actually, its full name is the Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm.  That’s a mouthful!  The thing that attracted my to SR, was that the owner has a background in chemistry and you know that is really close to my heart!

With my dry skin, I try to stay away from gel or foam facial cleansers and I usually gravitate towards cleansers that are more creamy in texture. And more naturally based. So as Korean beauty continues to have an increasing influence on the industry in the US, I was interested in using a cleansing balm. I decided that, as my first step into cleansing balms, to try this one. I was pretty confident that it would not leaving my skin stripped and dehydrated after cleansing, it contained a lot of botanical ingredients and appeared to be pretty “clean” and the soft blue colour made it all exciting!

The Sunday Riley Cleansing Balm Details

sunday riley cleansing balm-review-10

The company describes this as:

A hydrating cleansing balm that removes makeup—even stubborn eye makeup—and impurities with sugar-based cleansers as soothing essential oils calm irritation. – as per Sephora.

This balm contains sugar based cleansers, Sucrose Laurate, as its surfactant/cleanser. This is the part of the balm that binds to dirt, makeup etc. and turns milky, and is washed away. It also contains Cocoa Seed Butter, Mimosa Flower Wax and Sunflower Seed Wax that contain antioxidants that protect the skin as well as condition and hydrate. The blue colour comes from both the Blue Tanzy Leaf Oil and the German Chamomile which are indigo oils that are rich in azulene, a compound that soothes and calms irritated skin. Citrus based essential oils that help clarify the skin, a note to those who have a sensitivity to citrus oils. These properties make it a great choice for both oily and dry skin types alike.

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