Should you use fragrance-free skincare?

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I’m in the process of phasing out fragrance from my skincare regime. I will explain why but first lets address what a fragrance is.

Fragrances in skincare come in a few forms. It can be a synthetic (lab-created) fragrance which will appear as “Parfum/Perfume/Fragrance” on the label. Frequently at the bottom of a label you will also see ingredients like “Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene” to name a few. These ingredients are allergens and have to be disclosed on labels if they are present above a certain limit.

Fragrances also come in the form of essential oils for example lavender oil, peppermint and eucalyptus are popular ones. Fragrances, both synthetic and from essential oils are referred to as “allergens” in the cosmetics industry and they can cause sensitisation of the skin.

Now the tricky bit. Just because a product is “unscented” doesn’t mean it is “fragrance-free”! Sometimes companies add fragrances to a product to remove smells, confusing, I know. Also just because a product has a fragrance doesn’t mean it isn’t “fragrance-free”. Some ingredients like shea butter for example have a natural odour which is not allergenic. To overcome this issue when looking at labeling make sure it specifically says “FRAGRANCE-FREE”.

So why should you avoid fragrances? If you suffer from sensitivity, rosacea, eczema, acne, inflammation then you MUST avoid fragrances in your skincare.  Fragrances are one of the most common reasons for allergic reactions in skincare so please take a look at the ingredients listing on your products, it may reveal why your skin has been acting up.

Generally if you don’t suffer from the above skin issues it is still safe to use fragranced wash-off products like face-masks and face wash as these don’t come into contact with the skin for a long period of time. For products that you leave ON your skin? Well the jury is still out.

The reason that I have been cutting out fragrance is not because I suffer from sensitivity but I figured there is literally no benefit in having these allergenic ingredients in my skincare routine. Even if they don’t cause a visible reaction, who knows whats happening in the lower layers of my skin. There are some sources which say perfumes can leads to the breakdown of collagen in your skin. Currently there is very little research which supports this and maybe I’m being paranoid, but why take the risk?

What are your thoughts on fragrances in skin care? Have you had any reactions to them? Do you avoid them? Comment below and let me know.

Jay x

 

Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser – Review

Hi ladies and gents! So as you might all know I’m a big Liz Earle fan, therefore I wanted to try something from the Superskin range. A 15ml jar of this moisturiser from John Lewis cost £14.95.

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Superskin Containing high levels of GLA and rich in omega-3, it helps prevent moisture loss and improves skin elasticity, while pomegranate fruit extract and natural source vitamin E, both rich in antioxidants, help protect from environmental damage.Naturally active ingredients include precious cranberry, borage and rosehip seed oils.This is marketing at mature or very dry skin types.

The first thing I noticed upon opening the jar was the smell. Now I’m not one of those people who needs my skincare to smell amazing, in fact I prefer unscented products, but this just smells bad! Further to smelling bad it also lingers on the skin which isn’t great if you’re sleeping next to someone.

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The texture of the moisturiser is nice, it is a white cream which isn’t thick, but is very hydrating. I did find it only a little richer than the original Skin Repair. Also because it is unscented, those with sensitive skin care can use it, I myself am not prone to comedogenic breakouts.

I used this small jar for 2 months as my night time moisturiser and whilst it did hydrate my skin I didn’t find it any more effective than the Skin Repair (normal/combination). I was a bit thrown back by the price as this is only £6 cheaper than the 50ml Skin Repair Moisturiser which means it isn’t great value for money. Overall this wasn’t a great stand-out product for me but maybe if you have sensitive skin it could work for you.

Have any of you tried anything from the Superskin line from Liz Earle? What were your thoughts? Comment below 🙂

Jay x

Nature Republic California Aloe Sunblock SPF 50 PA+++

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I last posted on here. The last two months have been rather hectic, I actually started a new job which is a bit more demanding than the last one so I don’t have as much time or energy to post, but now that I’ve settled in I hope to be writing a lot more.

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Being an oily/combination skinned girl I find it very difficult to find sunblocks that don’t leave my skin greasy, uncomfortable and with a white cast. I recently received this sunblock as a sample and after trying it I had to buy the full size. The full size cost £22 from Amazon for a 100ml bottle.

This sunblock contains ingredients that physically block the sun (UVA and UVB), its active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. I always opt for these ingredients as opposed to chemical sunscreens. The sunblock factor is SPF 50 which means it is intended for use during periods of long exposure to the sun. It is also PA+++ meaning it has the highest protection against harmful UVA rays. The only ingredient which may raise concern is Aluminium Hydroxide, whilst there is no evidence to show it is toxic, some may prefer not to use this on their skin.

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The first thing I noticed about this cream upon opening the seal was the smell, it has a fresh aloe fragrance which fades after about 10 minutes on the skin. The cream itself has a thick consistency which spreads easily. Once massaged into the skin the initial white cast disappears completely even on my deep tanned skin. The cream feels moisturising but has a semi-matte finish once it dries, which is perfect for those really hot and sweaty summer days.

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Overall I am very impressed with this cream, it has a high SPF and PA rating, ideal for summer use. It doesn’t leave any white cast and it leaves the drier than any other SPF creams I have used before which makes it a perfect make-up base. I would recommend this for anyone with non-sensitive, non-acne prone, oily skin.

10 Tips : Prevent Premature Skin Ageing

Approaching my mid-20’s has made me think about my skin and how to prevent premature skin ageing. It is important to look after your skin and body when you are young so that you don’t aggravate the ageing process. Here are 10 tips that have been proved to prevent premature wrinkles.

1) Sun Protection: If you’re a 90’s baby you’ll remember the song Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen and let me tell you, they weren’t joking. Sun damage accounts to about 80-90% of environmental skin ageing, so always wear a broad spectrum sun screen. Yes even when it’s cloudy and cold outside. Make sure your sunscreen protects you from UVB and UVA rays and has a high PA rating. UVB are short sun rays which causes tanning in the skin, UVA are long distant rays which can affect the skin at a cellular level and can lead to skin cancer. The SPF number refers to the amount of protection you get, so if it is SPF 30 you get 300 minutes of protection and SPF 40 you get 400 minutes… etc

2) Cleansing: Make sure you cleanse your skin thoroughly every morning and night. If you leave make-up on during the night when your skin is regenerating it can lead to clogged pores, acne and reduces the elasticity of your skin over time.

3) Anti-oxidants: Free radicals from UV and air pollution lead to skin damage at the cellular level by breaking down collagen and reducing cell renewal. This can lead to an inflamed, blotchy appearance in the skin. Eating and drinking foods which contain antioxidants such as green tea and blueberries are a great way of reducing antioxidants within the body. Skin care products which contain vitamin C, E, Retinol, Niacin or green tea are a great topical defence against free radicals.

4) Water: Water helps to flush out toxins and hydrate the outermost layers of the skin. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how much moisture you put on your skin topically, if it is dry from within then it will continue to be dry on the outside. Drink at least 2  litres of water a day to help the liver detox.

5) Smoking: Smoking causes wrinkles by narrowing blood vessels in the outer layers of skin. This causes less blood flow and reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can get to the skin. On top of all the other negative health effects of smoking, this is just one more reason to never start or quit for good.

6) Alcohol: Alcohol is a hepatoxin meaning it inhibits the livers function at clearing out toxins and breaking down harmful substances in your bloodstream. Whilst the occasional drink may not hurt, excessive drinking will leave your skin sallow and dehydrated.

7) Exercise: Regular cardio exercise improves blood flow which can improve skin tone over time.

8) Eat well: This is a no-brainer. Keeping your calorie intake low and eating fresh fruits and vegetables will not only make you feel great but will help maintain healthy skin.

9) Sugar: The body also ages by the process of glycation. As the name suggests this is a glucose driven process. When excessive sugar is consumed the sugar attaches itself to proteins such as collagen which causes the fibres to lose elasticity and cause breakage.

10) Don’t stress: Ageing is a natural process and should be seen as a privilege. Many people don’t get to experience growing old. Be happy, relax and don’t stress 🙂

Jay x

Lush Mask Of Magnaminty Self-Preserving- Review

Mask Of Magnaminty is a multi-purpose mask with a mixture of gentle yet effective ingredients to clean, calm and clear the skin. The self-preserving mask is different to the regular mask because it does not contain any parabens.

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Easily smoothed over the skin anywhere you like, this mask is made with peppermint oil to stimulate, marigold oil and chlorophyllin to treat the skin; evening primrose seeds and aduki beans to gently exfoliate as you remove it. There’s also mineral rich kaolin to nourish, antibacterial honey, and peppermint oil to stimulate the blood cells just under the surface of your skin to leave it looking bright and refreshed.

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Mask of Magnaminty is supposed to calm, cleanse and exfoliate the skin. The texture of this mask is grainy and cooling but the best thing about it, in my opinion, is the smell. The mask has a lovely peppermint and vanilla fragrance that makes you almost want to lick it!

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After 15 minutes the mask dries, add some water to use it as a scrub and rinse off. I was so surprised that not only had the mask cleansed and exfoliated my skin leaving it clean and soft, but it didn’t feel tight at all. For that reason I would recommend this product for people will combination to oily skin. It can also be used on the skin all over your body to control breakouts.

Another great thing about this mask is the long shelf life of the product. Unlike the fresh face masks from Lush, this mask has a shelf life of around 3 months and you can get between 8-12 applications depending on how thickly you apply it. Furthermore, it costs just £5.25 for a regular sized pot and £9.25 for a large one. Overall I have to say I LOVE this mask and I think it’s my personal favourite from Lush. If you have some oiliness on your skin and you want to cleanse it without drying it out, then this mask is for you.

https://www.lush.co.uk/products/mask-magnaminty-self-preserving

Have you tried Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving before? What do you think of the product, comment below!

Jay x

 

Korean Skincare Routine

I went to Korea this summer and one thing I noticed about Korean women was that their skin was FLAWLESS. Now I’m not talking about some 20 year old with perfect skin, I’m talking 40 to 50 years old with no wrinkles, no dark spots… nothing. It’s easy to see that Koreans are very into their skincare, there are so many cosmetic shops on every road in the big cities.

Selfie on Seoraksan Mountain
Selfie on Seoraksan Mountain

So when I came back home I wanted to adopt this skincare routine, in hopes that it will help my skin in the future. I know that different people have different versions of the routine buy here is my version broken down for you:

Day time

Step 1: Cleanse

Opt for a cleanser that refreshes the skin in the morning but doesn’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils. Massage cleanser into skin, wash off and pat dry.

Step 2: First Essence (Optional)

This step is used to inject a bit of moisture into the skin after cleansing. First essences have a very watery consistency. Pat a few drops into the skin, let absorb for a few minutes.

Step 3: Toner/ Skin Refiner

Used to bring the pH level of the skin to its natural level which is important in protecting the skin against bacteria and reducing sebum production. Use a cotton pad to wipe across face and let absorb for a minute.

Step 3: Essence

Essence is packed with targeted skin care ingredients for you concerns whether it is anti-ageing, hyper-pigmentation, dryness etc. Pat a few drop into your skin and let absorb for a few minutes.

Step 4: Gel/ Lotion/ Emulsion/ Cream

This step is all about moisturising. Gels and emulsions are much lighter compared to lotions or creams and are ideal for the summer or oily skin. One thing to note is you should always (all year round) use a cream that has a high level of SPF in it that will protect you from UVB and especially harmful UVA rays. Let absorb for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Eye Cream

The under eye area needs extra hydration, it also helps concealer glide on better. Pat into the under eye area with the ring finger.

Night time 

Step 1: First Cleanse

This step is targeted at getting rid of make-up, especially tough eye make-up. Massage cleanser into skin, wash off and pat dry.

Step 2: Second Cleanse

Just like the morning opt for a cleanser doesn’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils. Massage cleanser into skin, wash off and pat dry.

Step 3: First Essence (Optional)

Same as day time

Step 4: Toner/ Skin Refiner

Same as day time

Step 5: Serum

Serums are like thicker versions of essences but with a higher concentration of skin care ingredients to target your skin care concerns. Again pat a few drops of this into the skin and let absorb for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Ampoule, Booster (Optional)

Ampoule is even more concentrated that serums and are usually quite expensive, the booster is used with the ampoule to help it absorb better and literally boost its benefits. This step is really only necessary for mature skin types.

Step 7: Cream

Night creams usually are a lot thicker than day creams and do not need an SPF. Massage and pat in with your palms.

Step 8: Eye Cream

Again as it is night time, when your skin aims to regenerate, opt for a thicker eye cream. Pat into the under eye area with the ring finger.

Once a week:

Sheet mask

Sheet masks are absorbed with essences or serums. Leave it on your skin for 20 minutes then rub in the extra essence. Use before night cream.

Deep cleansing mask

Used to deep cleanse the pores of all the grime, sebum, whiteheads and blackheads. Clay masks are especially good for this.

Twice a week:

Sleeping pack

A sleeping pack is used after the night cream and it gives a boost of hydration to the skin. Your skin will appear plump and hydrated in the morning.

Facial scrub

This step is used to exfoliate all the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin revealing fresher brighter skin.

 

 

 

 

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – Review

I remember the first time I used this cleanser and my reaction was literally “Woah”. I had seen it on QVC and was interested to see why it had won so many beauty awards. At the time I was using drug store brand cleasers which always left my combination skin feeling dry, tight and didn’t remove my make up efficiently.

From left to right: Muslin cloth, 200ml cleanser, 50ml travel size cleanser
From left to right: Muslin cloth, 200ml cleanser, 50ml travel size cleanser

The cleanser is free from mineral oil, it has a rich and creamy texture which is almost balmy. The smell has a fresh hint of eucalyptus. Massage this onto dry skin for 1 minute and then polish off the cream using the pure muslin cloth rung in warm water, to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and help reveal make-up free skin.

Creamy balm texture
Creamy balm texture
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Removal of various make-up including waterproof mascara and eye liner

I love using this product, it has really made cleansing fun and a treat for my skin. It is no longer left feeling dry or tight but instead moisturised and clean. The only reason that a bit of my MAC waterproof eye liner remained in the picture above is because I applied it just 15 minutes before removal, usually after a full day eye liner comes right off.

The muslin cloth helps to reveal brighter more radiant skin due to the gentle exfoliating action. The cloths have to be machine washed every two days, and eventually become softer when they have to be replaced. You can buy the cloths separately from Liz Earle but they are more economical if you buy them with the cleanser or you can buy them online from other sellers.

WithNature Skincare Pure & Gentle Muslin Face Cloths (Pack of 6)

The product comes in a 200ml tube (£24.75), 100ml pump (£13.25) and 50ml pump (£8.50). A 100ml pump will last one month If you use 1 pump every morning and night. However I find that I only need 1/2 a pump per wash and 1 if I’m wearing a full face of heavy make-up.

This is one of those product I can’t live without and will continue to use as long as I can afford it. I tried to revert back to cheaper cleansers but I just kept coming back to this one because of the positive effects it has had on my skin.

http://uk.lizearle.com/cleanse-tone-moisturise/cleanse-and-polish-hot-cloth-cleanser.html  

Are you a fan of this product? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Jay x