Skin care junkies – I need your help!

Hey folks I’m calling out to all my beauty blogger friends for some much needed advice/ recommendations. I’m searching for a new night time moisturiser so who better to ask than you lovely people! It needs to be suitable for oily skin and can’t cost more than say £30. Also it has to be 100% fragrance free (parfum, perfume or essential oils) and no alcohol in the formula.

My skin concerns are dullness, hyper-pigmentation and anti-ageing.

Please, please, please comment below with some suggestions, I’ve done so much research and I’m really not sure what to try next.

Thanks in advance!

Jay x

P.s. I’ve already tried Clinique Dramatically Different Moistuizing Gel which didn’t give me the results I wanted.

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement Serum – Review

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For the past 10 weeks I have been testing Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement as my daily night time serum. Taken from the Bobbi Brown website Intensive Skin supplement is “an advanced, multi-benefit serum that improves skin’s appearance as it helps prevent the visible signs of aging including dark spots and fine, dry lines. White Birch Extract reduces the look of fine, dry lines, while Grape Extract helps clarify and brighten the complexion. After just four weeks’ use, skin looks firmer, smoother, more even-toned and radiant.” I picked this bottle up from my local department store for £45 and have gotten around two thirds of the way through it in 10 weeks.

Packaging: This serum comes in a semi-opaque bronze bottle with a dropper on the top. I would have preferred if the bottle was fully opaque and there was less air exposure so that the anti-oxidants can remain more stable. However, I have to say I really like the way this bottle looks.

Formula: This serum is water based and contains a few silicones and glycerin which gives it a nice texture and leads to a plumping effect on the skin. Grape Extract is said to help even out skin tone and Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant (may not remain stable because of packaging), Castor oil is also present in this formula making it moisturising whilst not being comedogenic.  It is also fragrance-free making it suitable for sensitive skin. The formula is marketed for all skin types.

Texture and appearance: This serum is clear in appearance. The texture is very watery but once I pat it into the skin it becomes quite sticky. This absorbs in within seconds but leaves a sticky residue, which in my opinion makes it unsuitable for daytime.

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Effects: On the very first night of using this I woke up to more balanced skin, my oily T-zone was less oily and my cheeks were more hydrated. I also had a big red spot on my left cheekbone which disappeared within 2 days of using this and an overall reduction in redness. I’ve been using this only at nighttime only and my skin looks and feels plump and evenly toned. Together with my Paula’s Choice BHA liquid this has reduced the bumpy texture in my T-zone as well. If you have mature or dry skin however this may not be moisturising enough.

Having used this serum for a while now I can say that my skin looks more balanced and the serum has complimented the rest of my skin care routine. I know that this serum is one that I can go back to should my skin break out but I’m not sure I would necessarily purchase it again as it didn’t make me say “wow” unlike Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.  I experienced balancing in my skin making it perfect for combination/ oily skin and an overall reduction in redness which also makes it suitable for sensitive skin. It is simple and effective skin care with some great ingredients which prevents ageing. Based on that I recommend it if you have troublesome combination-oily skin that is prone to breakouts.

My Current Skincare Routine

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Happy Sunday loves! How are you all? Today I’m going to be sharing my skincare routine with you, I love seeing what others use as I get some great advice from reading other blogs, so hopefully this post should help if you have skin like mine. I would describe my skin as combination-oily meaning it is normal on my cheeks, very oily in the T-Zone with some dryness on the undereyes. Over the last year I have tried a plethora of products to help improve my skin and I feel like I finally understand what ingredients and formulas work for me.

MORNING ROUTINE

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1) Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

In the morning I need my cleanser to refresh my face and get rid of any oiliness and product left overnight. A pea size amount of this cleanser does the job without stripping my skin.

2) Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

This toner is really good at imparting some moisture into the skin and prepping it for the serum. I use this by applying it onto a cotton pad and wiping it over the skin.

3) Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

I use a 5p size of this serum all over my face, it keeps me hydrated throughout the day and provides my skin with some much needed antioxidants. I also like that I can use this serum on my eye area. Full review here.

4) Paula’s Choice Hydralight Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

This moisturiser is amazing for the daytime and great for oilier skin! It really helps keep my oiliness at bay but protects it from the sun. This step is imperative for everyone but especially if you have hyper-pigmentation like I do.

5) Clinique Superdefence Eye Cream SPF 20

This eyecream is great at hydrating my eye area and protects it from sun damage.

NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

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1) Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil

This is a great make-up remover, I use two pumps of this to get rid of all of my make-up. Click here to see my full review.

2) Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

Same as morning.

3) Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

Same as morning.

4) Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

I used a liquid exfoliant on my T-zone to help combat blackheads and clogged pores. I have been using this for two months now and have seen a dramatic reduction in texture and it is getting better the more I use it. To use I put some on a cotton pad and let it absorb into the skin. BHA exfoliates by getting deep into the pores and preventing them from becoming clogged. This product is great for oily or acne prone skin.

5) Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement Serum

This is a great little serum for balancing the skin and keeping it healthy. I’m not overly attached to this serum but it’s what I’m using at the moment, I’m likely to try another one after this one is up.

6) Repairwear Anti-Gravity Eye Lift Cream

I’ve got dry skin under my eyes so in the night time I like to give it a drink of moisture. I pat a bit of this on to my under eye area using my ring fingers. Again this isn’t the best eye cream I’ve used so I will be buying a different one after this. Full review here.

7) Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

This moisturiser is perfect for oilier skin as it keep my skin from drying out overnight without exacerbating oiliness. I’ve been using it for around 10 days and haven’t had any breakouts, good so far!

TREATMENTS

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1) Clay Mask

Once a week I use a clay mask to extract oil from my pores, I don’t have a favourite one so I’m still on the hunt for a really good one but I’m using the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask at the moment.

2) Sheet Mask

Once a week I try to make time for a Korean sheet mask. These are infused with ingredients that target your skincare concerns. You just pop one on for 20 minutes and let your skin soak in the goodness. I buy most of my my sheet masks from YesStyle.co.uk.

3) Paula’s Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA

I use this treatment once a week by applying it liberally onto the skin with a cotton pad. I leave this on my skin between 10-30 minutes depending on how much time I have and rinse off. There is a bit of tingling with this product when first applied and when you wash it off you get the softest, supple, fresh looking skin ever. This is a product that I would recommend solely if you’re 25+ because it is an “anti-ageing” product which is highly effective. Also proceed with caution as it can irritate sensitive skin.

4) Mount Purious Hemp Oil

On the rare occasion that I get dry patches I love massaging hemp oil on top of that area. It is a great oil for oily skin as it is non-comedogenic and it is very hydrating on the skin.

So THAT is my routine, I hope you enjoyed this post. Comment below on what you think of the routine as a whole, if you like/ dislike any of the products that I use. What products do you like using and what could you not live without?

Jay x

Liz Earle Daily Eye Repair SPF 10 – Review

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I bought this tiny 5ml tube of Liz Earle’s Daily Eye Repair from the Liz Earle website for £8.95 as I wanted to try an eye cream that contains SPF. The eye area is especially prone to sun damage so it is important to keep this area protected. There aren’t that many SPF eye creams on the market because sunscreen ingredients can be irritating around the eye area, therefore it can be difficult to get the formulation right.

What’s really impressive is that I bought this tube in February and it just finished 2 months later! I didn’t expect a tube this small to last more than a month. The formula contains Titanium Dioxide as the sunblock ingredient amongst other moisturising ingredients.

The cream is white in colour, not particularly thick or tacky and absorbs quickly whilst leaving a bit of a white cast. It sat well under my concealer and didn’t cause any irritation. Overall I did find that this product wasn’t moisturising enough for my dry under eyes therefore I won’t be repurchasing it. However if your skin isn’t too dry then this would be a perfect product to carry in your travel bag.

Jay x

P.s. My international giveaway is going on at the moment, so please check it out!

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

 

Paula’s Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA (Glycolic Acid)

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It’s been a while since I exfoliated my skin with a scrub. The reason being that scrubs/microbead exfoliators will successfully remove the topmost layer of skin for a short period but don’t have any long term benefits. Furthermore they can actually cause damage to the skin by making small lacerations on the skin surface. AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) chemical exfoliants are a step up from scrubs which don’t cause any damage to the skin whilst exfoliating and are beneficial to building new healthier skin.

AHA is commonly used in salons as a chemical peel but in higher concentrations (40%+) as it is proven to penetrates the skin to produce keratin and collagen. 10% AHA Glycolic Acid from Paula’s Choice is an effective and safe version to use at home but should not be used more than once a week. If you experience any sensitivity or redness the frequency should be reduced.

Taken from the Paula’s Choice website:

“This exclusive, extraordinary resurfacing treatment is an exfoliant formulated to reveal youthfully radiant skin overnight. It couples age-fighting antioxidants with 10% glycolic acid—ingredients proven to stimulate healthy collagen production and reduce wrinkles. A unique liquid delivery system, along with innovative soothing anti-inflammatory ingredients, guarantees impressive results that are visible from the first application. In less than two weeks your skin will experience improved texture, color, tone, and a noticeable reduction in the appearance of wrinkles. With ongoing use, skin becomes firmer and is better able to further resist the signs of aging.”

This chemical exfoliant comes as a clear liquid, it does have an unpleasant chemical smell (doesn’t linger) and no added fragrance. During the first few minutes of applying this with a cotton pad I experienced some tingling and itching which quickly subsided. You have to apply this exfoliant after toning and before your serum, avoiding the delicate eye area. If you have sensitive skin it is advised to wash it off your face after 10 minutes, otherwise the product is suitable for all skin types.

I used this product three nights ago and I have to say I am astounded at the results. My skin looked bright and smooth the morning after, just like after a facial, and the results are still visible three days on! After using this exfoliant I don’t think I’m going back to using the scrubs anymore as this is a much more effective and long-term solution to my anti-ageing concerns. One thing to note when using AHA exfoliants is to ensure you always wear a 25+ SPF cream during the day as they can make you photo-sensitive.

Jay x

Beauty Wishlist – February

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There’s a lot of beauty related items that I really want at the moment but creating a wishlist really allows you to visualise and differentiate between what you want and what you need. I’ve managed to whittle my wishlist down to 10 things I want to buy in the next few weeks.

From left to right

1) Paulas Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

2) Paulas Choice 10% AHA Weekly Resurfacing Treatment

3) Narciso Rodriguez For Her EDT

4) Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

5) L’Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara

6) Etude HouseDarling + Syn-Ake Bio-Cellulose Mask Sheet

7) Clinique Superdefence SPF 20 Age Defence Eye Cream

8) Laneige Water Sleeping Pack

9) Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer

10) Annie’s Way Arbutin + Hyaluronic Acid Brighting Jelly Mask

Whats on your beauty wishlist? Comment below and let me know.

Jay x

Memebox Princess Edition #2 Sleeping Beauty & #3 Rapunzel (Unboxing)

So my Memebox’s arrived last night after a looooong wait. Here are the contents of the Princess Edition #2 Sleeping Beauty and Princess Edition #3 Rapunzel boxes.

Princess Edition #2 Sleeping Beauty

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1) ReinPlatz Intensive Moisture Pack 23g ($4) – Full Size : 20 minutes moisturising foot or hand mask (I got the foot mask)

2) Vellas Night Tight Cream 50ml ($30) – Full Size: Neck cream to prevent sagging of the skin on the neck.

3) D’Ran Aqua Wonder Recovery Eye Cream 25g ($35) – Full Size

4) Dermahouse Aloe Vera Aqua Gel 150ml ($29) – Full Size: Moisturiser for dry and irritated skin

5) e choice Aloe Vera All Care Cream 10g ($3) – Full Size: Cream for dry, damaged skin, heels, nails, lips, around the eyes

6) Dewytree Aqua Collagen Peptide Sleeping Mask 150ml ($28) – Full Size: Sleeping pack to lock in moisture

Total value: $129

Princess Edition #3 Rapunzel

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1) Sally’s box Friendly Argan Hair Mask ($4) – Full Size

2) Elizavecca Collagen Ceramide Coating Protein Treatment 100ml ($34) – Full Size: In shower hair pack

3) Tosowoong 10 Hours 25ml ($12) – Protein hair ampoule to be used overnight to replenish shine

4) L’Cret Hair Color Keeper Treatment Shampoo 300ml ($42) – Shampoo with argan oil for dry and color treated hair

5) Boutique Bebe Hair Salon Vita-Clinic Mist 60ml ($24) – Hair mist to protect hair from further damage

6) ProYou Scalp Nutrition calming Moisture Fluid 150ml ($48) – Morning and night scalp essence to sooth itchy, dry scalps.

Total value: $164

Overall I have to say I’m a bit disappointed with the Sleeping Beauty box. The products don’t feel as luxurious as normal Memeboxes and the values don’t seem realistic. I am however really excited to use the products in the Rapunzel box as the packaging looks great!

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