Review: The "clean" Japanese skincare line with the cutest bottles ever! Do the formulas live up to the hype? Are the ingredients and results worth the price? Click on my blog post in the bio to find out!
PS Have you tried any of the Tatcha products or other Japanese skincare brands? In love? Hate 'em?
First of all, stop cleansing with a harsh surfactant filled cleanser. Amazon sells the Kose Deep Cleansing oil for less than $10 and it is gentle, efficient, and as clean as any of the other clean beauty brands. If your skin doesn’t have active acne you can skip traditional cleansers entirely! You know magical squalane oil that you think is cheap from the ordinary? Lotioncrafter.com sells it for 1/3 of that price. Take the squalane oil and massage it into your skin to melt makeup and loosen dirt and then remove it with a clean cotton ball. Follow with a cotton ball with DIY toner of mostly water with a splash of raw apple cider vinegar. This will remove any traces of makeup left behind, balance your skin’s PH, and give you some good probiotics. Follow with Cerave Baby Moisturizing cream but add a few drops of that glorious squalane to make it more moisturizing, and at night press pure squalane all over your face. This will start your skin’s healing process and stop irritating the sh*t out of it. If you want to splurge on one product that will help heal your skin’s barrier repair function to get your skin back to hydrated, plump, and not irritated it’s Amazonia’s Neroli Blossom Toner which is also a barrier repair treatment and hydrating hyaluronic acid serum and niacinamide treatment. It comes in a big 4 oz bottle for $58 but it will last forever if you don’t use it as a toner and waste a lot putting it on a cotton ball, just put one pump directly onto your face every morning and night after toning and this will heal, hydrate, calm, and plump your skin. If you do these things, you will be AMAZED at how your skin improves. Then when it is all healthy you can look into adding actives like BHA, AHA, or vitamin c without it irritating your skin. Ok so I have TONS of suggestions on how to make skincare cheaper and this is already super long so I’m going to have to divide it out into several posts and maybe do a blog post…
Have you guys tried any of the @biossance products yet? They are a cool clean beauty brand that I'm going to be reviewing on the blog soon and I wanted to see if any of you guys had tried their stuff yet. Do you have any favorites? Things you didn't like?
Because b*tches be crazy! JK, there are no products that everyone is going to love. In fact, if EVERYONE even likes a product it is probably mediocre to be that middle of the road! Products that do a lot are often polarizing. Like imagine, if something is SUPER moisturizing the oily skinned people would hate it, but if it's less moisturizing suddenly the dry skinned people would hate it! Some people can't live without silicones, whereas they make my skin clogged and angry. I feel suffocated by fragrance, many women feel pampered and only want products with a strong fragrance. Products and preferences are as different as everyone's unique skin, and just because something works for someone else, doesn't mean it will work for you. So don't fret my special little snowflake, that's totally normal! 🙂
What are some products that "everybody" loves that you did not?
Have you tried @herbivorebotanicals pink cloud moisturizer yet? I like Herbivore because they are one of the few "natural" skincare brands that are actually pretty squeaky clean and green. From the ingredients list I can tell this is a basic moisturizer, in the sense that there are no actives or anti-agers and its purpose is simply to hydrate, which is fine. It looks like one of those Korean water creams (except natural) that give you a layer of hydration but are very light and not super moisturizing for dry skin.
Have you tried it? Should I try it? What's your face moisturizer? Is it clean beauty?
I just found out many people think lush makes clean beauty. Um, 49 of their products contain methylparaben! You go to their website and do an ingredient search to find that and many others. I get bamboozled by branding too, which is why you always have to remember to read the label!
Do you guys only use clean beauty products or are you ok with things like parabens if you like the product?
It's not black and white because there are both natural and synthethic ingredients that fall into each of the categories of: safe, toxic, eco-friendly, and harmful to the environment. You really have to decide on a case by case basis. For example, natural titanium dioxide can be toxic because of contamination with heavy metals whereas the synthetic version is totally pure. Bisabolol is a great natural skincare ingredient that they make by mowing down hectares and hectares of the Candeia tree to squeeze this precious ingredient from the bark. There is a bioidentical synthetic version of bisabolol that is proven to be just as effective and safe except it's eco-friendly. Other synthetic ingredients like retinoids can be harmful on the other hand and cause birth defects because of the excess vitamin A it puts in your system. My point is, just because something is natural or synthetic that does not guarantee that it is safe or eco-friendly, or toxic and bad for the environment. These generalizations cannot be made. Sorry for the bad news...
What do you guys think about greenwashing? That's when a company creates the illusion of natural/non-toxic products when in reality they are filled with synthetics and toxins. Do you not care as long as the product works or do you get mad about the misrepresentation?
If you bought the Fresh brand Rose moisturizer pictured above would you be upset to find out it had very few nature-derived ingredients and contained things like isoparaffin - a mineral oil petroleum byproduct, or a level 9 out of 10 on EWG.orgs toxicity scale fragrance, or the silicone dimethicone?
Full ingredient list: AQUA (WATER),GLYCERIN,ETHYLHEXYL ISONONANOATE,BUTYLENE GLYCOL,PENTYLENE GLYCOL PROPANEDIOL,CAPRYLYL METHICONE,ISOSTEARYL ISOSTEARATE,DIMETHICONE,BEHENYL ALCOHOL NYLON-6/12,STEARETH-2,XANTHAN GUM,PRUNUS DOMESTICA SEED OIL,ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER WATER,ALGIN,ANGELICA KEISKEI EXTRACT,ACACIA SENEGAL GUM,CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) FRUIT EXTRACT,ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER OIL,SODIUM HYALURONATE,TOCOPHERYL ACETATE AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER,STEARETH-21,POLYACRYLAMIDE C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN,ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER,TROMETHAMINE DIMETHICONOL,LAURETH-7,TETRASODIUM EDTA,CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE,BHT CARAMEL,SERINE,PARFUM (FRAGRANCE),PHENOXYETHANOL,CITRONELLOL,GERANIOL
Many people think they have sensitive skin when in reality it has been sensitized. Sensitized skin can be fixed, so it's important to know which one you have! The symptoms look the same but the cause is very different.
Truly sensitive skin is a genetic trait; typically in people who are prone to asthma, allergies, and rapid flushing of the skin. They normally have less pigment, a thinner epidermis, and blood vessels near the skin’s surface. These people should NEVER use retinoids for any reason. If your skin has been sensitive and reactive since you were a child you most likely have sensitive skin. If you were fine for years and then slowly or suddenly became sensitive, it is most likely sensitization.
Sensitized skin is caused by your environment. Factors like lifestyle, exposure to stress, chemicals, high PH or irritating skincare products, smoking, alcohol, medical procedures, over-exfoliation, hormones, and pollution.
The first place to start is by repairing the stratum corneum which is the skin's protective barrier. It can take up to a month to heal but if your skin is sensitized you won't be able to use many actives, AHAs or BHAs until you fully heal. To repair your skin you will want to look for a product has 5% Urea + 5% niacinamide (for oily/acneprone skin) like Amazonia's Neroli Blossom Vitamin Toner. If you have dry/dehydrated skin you'll want to add healing oils like squalane and gentle moisturizing humectants like organic glycerin.
Fragrance and frilly packaging is what sold skincare products for many years, but things are changing as people are learning more about skin care and demanding results-driven products. The trend also seems to be leaning towards fragrance-free and unscented formulas.
What do you guys like? Fragrance-free? Unscented? Lightly scented? Strongly scented? Naturally scented with essential oils? Do you like floral, citrus, or herby?
You'll have the most success if you go slow, try one newbie at a time, and leave a few days in between each encounter. First off, always do a patch test because you could be allergic to anything. Add one product at a time because if your skin gets worse or doesn't improve you want to be able to identify the problem product, which is hard to do when you've adopted a brand new 10 step routine! Especially with acids, start SLOW! These include: AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid etc. Once or twice a week at first, then add a day each week paying attention to any dryness or tightening of the skin, which means you should back off a bit. I know it's hard, especially when you're loving the results of a product, but I have over acid-ed (I know it's not a word) my face RAW using AHAs, BHAs, L-ascorbic acid, alpha lipoic acid, and even retin-A years ago before I knew there was a better way. Don't be like me, learn from me! Take it S L O W...... and moisturize like crazy.
Ingredient spotlight: Prickly pear oil - helps to brighten skin and lighten hyperpigmentation while restoring elasticity. I put this in Amazonia's Vitamin C Oil Serum because it rocks!
What are your favorite oils?
I know I'm a broken record, but SUNSCREEN! I cannot stress this enough. Wearing ONLY sunscreen will do more for your skin than wearing the best anti-aging products in the world without sunscreen. So sunscreen first, skincare second.
On that note, I'm always looking for a better mineral sunscreen, do you guys have any suggestions?
Hydration is key to beautiful skin, and even more important to remember during these warm months of summer! If you're like me and have trouble just drinking plain water, I squeeze a little bit of lemon juice into it and add a splash of rose water and a drop of stevia (trying to minimize all sugar and sweeteners) and I have something that tastes like a delicious mocktail! It also works with orange blossom water, both of which are super common in middle eastern supermarkets.
What do you like to drink to stay hydrated? Do you always make sure you get your 8 glasses of water a day?
Do pores need to breathe? NO. But can they get clogged if you "suffocate" them? YES. I've been hearing a lot lately how pores needing to breathe is a myth. While that is technically true that they do not actually breathe, if you put occlusive ingredients like silicones (ex. dimethicone) on your skin it can CLOG your pores if you are prone to clogged pores. This is why many people including myself can't use them and why I don't put dimethicone in any Amazonia products, and instead opt for natural alternatives that nourish and protect the skin. Scientific studies have not definitively proven that silicones can cause acne, but people with acnegenic skin know that the anecdotal evidence is compelling enough to be very cautious. I have heard accounts of people who used the same product for years without problems and then suddenly started breaking out, only to look at the ingredients list and see that they changed the formula to include dimethicone. Of course everyone's skin is different. I'm not saying don't use them, but just keep this in mind and proceed with caution if you are prone to clogs.
Do you like silicones? Do they break you out?
Not to ruin your summer fun, but... sugar literally causes your skin to age faster. Sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen fibers and cause them to lose their strength and flexibility. Your skin becomes less elastic and more vulnerable to sun damage, fine lines, and sagging.
I'm not saying suffer through the rest of your life without one gram of sugar, but be mindful. Maybe you make your own popsicles with some natural fruits and keep them a little bit more tart then the sugar-filled ones you get at the store. Homemade popsicles are yummiest anyways! 😀
In Europe, proper skincare is like proper hygiene. It's a regular part of life which everyone is taught and it's a part of their routine just like brushing teeth or showering.
I don't know about you guys, but I had to figure everything out on my own. As a teenager that meant fighting my acne by washing my face with harsh surfactants, toning with pure alcohol, applying benzoyl peroxide, and avoiding all oils even in moisturizer... I'm surprised I still even have a face to tell about it! 😱
How did you learn about proper skin care? Your parents? Blogs? Instagram? Skincare companies?