Month: October 2015

Husband Friendly Skincare

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The obsession I have for skincare is borderline OCD. But its the best for largest organ of our body and I care for everyones skin around me. Today’s post in imbibing same culture in my loving other half aka Man of the House. When I look at his face, some times its difficult to look past in-growns visible through his beard, or congestion on nose or something else (I think, I will stop shaming his skin blues publicly). This is how I sold/ cultured him into skincare world. Also how I simplified his skincare routine and made it “Husband Friendly”.

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Cleanser – His idea of cleansing his face is in shower, let me rephrase, under a shower! CRINGE alert. I found Context Skincare Cleaner which appeals to both genders and its creamy (not foaming). He loves this cleanser, whilst I slip a balm to him least once a week he still prefers his shower cleanse. My persistence shall pay off one day. Gradually warming up to the idea of wash cloth/face cloth/flannel.

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Toning Pads – Specifically Acid Tone. My preferred have been Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkled Peel Pads or Nip & Fab Glycolic Extreme Fix. Oddly enough this man enjoys a slight tingle on skin, he feels like having pop rocks on skin <you see why I married this man!>

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Spritz – Spritzing Caudalie Grape Water to stabilize the ph level of skin after an acid tone, absolutely loves. To him, this translates to second shower by a can. Lets not go in detail with this one, as it drives me mental.

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Serum – Obviously a crucial step in ensuring key ingredients (Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Retinol, Peptides, Antioxidants…..etc) reach deep within layers of skin. Generally, open to all serums I shove in his face nightly, as long as they’re gel consistency and not oils. One baby step at a time.

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Face Oil – This was the hardest sell. He hates the sticky, schmicky, tacky feeling. Basically he hates oily feeling, he loves clean feeling skin (don’t even ….makes me cringe). Introducing a face oil to him was like convincing political leader not to go to war. Anyway, his skin needs to stretch and feel like lizard and then he would reach for it himself. These are the only oils I’ve been able to sell to him Trilogy CoQ10 Booster Serum, Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex and Grown Alchemist Antioxidant+Facial Oil.

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Lip Balm & Eye Cream – One Balm and One Cream. No more. Nuxe Reve de Miel & Antipodes Kiwi Seed Eye Cream. Balm is just fabulous and works wonders on his skin and eye cream is light and easily absorbed. Fuss Free.

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Sunscreen – Hands Down the MOST important step, where I have pestered into every cell of his brain to apply face, neck, back of ears, nape of neck or any exposed skin. Our choice of sunscreen is Biore UV Aqua Rich which is gel consistency, immediately absorbed, no white cast and doesn’t make skin feel oily or tacky. The best is yet to be revealed, easiest sunscreen to remove!!!

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Ingrown Solution – Only one I ever tried and Love. Skin Doctors In Grown Solution. Heavy on salicylic Acid & alcohol but darn effective. When he asks me where is post shave/trim solution…..he is referring to this underrated fella.

This is going to be an ongoing learning process, one baby step at a time. I don’t want to push so hard in his face that he rebels. Ideally I’d like for him to want/need it.

How do your men cope with skincare regimes? Do they have one?

HHW.com

xx

May Lindstrom – The Honey Mud

P1010554May says Honey Mud, “An exquisitely distinctive union of raw honey, white halloysite clay and aromatic pure plant oils marry to envelope you in a truly intoxicating and highly addictive cleansing ritual. This silken, pudding-like treat gently frees you of the day’s pollutants, infusing your skin with active enzymes and nourishment while restoring your optimal hydration and individual rhythm.”

Packaged in a classic May Lindstrom black opaque glass jar, with gold embossed labelling this treat smells like sweet pudding heaven. I’m a sweet tooth, so as I took a deep whiff of the product, invariably I was tempted to taste it. I scraped the tiniest bit on the tip of my finger and it was sweet, as honey!. Obviously I wouldn’t take a spoonful like Nutella but my compelling logic said, if my taste buds love it, so would my skin 😉

What’s in it? Ingredients

***Raw Honey, White Halloysite Clay, *Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia Nut Oil), *Hammamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Argentum Metallicum (Colloidal Silver), Theobroma Cacao (Cacoa Absolute) Oil, * Citrus Sinenis (Sweet Orange) Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil, *Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) CO2 Total Essential Oil, *Juniperus Virginiana (Cedarwood) Oil, **Boswellia Cateri (Frakincense) Oil, ** Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil

(*Certified Organic, **Wild Harvested, ***Collected from unsprayed and unfertilized fields of Michigan Wildflowers)

Presumably, we know most of the ingredients listed here. To some Halloysite clay may be a new term since we’ve primarily seen Kaolin, Bentonite, French Pink, Moroccan Red Clay, Fullers Earth etc. Well Halloysite is a white clay like Kaolin with a smaller ion structure (better penetrability) which makes it fantastic for drawing impurities from skin. May sources the clay from England. This clay is a favorite for sensitive complexions as it is the mildest of all clays. It also helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. It does not draw oils from the skin, so it can also be used even on dry and highly reactive skin types.

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Let’s talk about how I’ve used it. It’s quite a versatile product ensuring you get value for your money:

Morning cleanse – Scoop some goodness out of the jar and schmear all over the face. It’s not possible to massage this for long (tops a minute), take few drops of water and it starts emulsifying. Perfect ally for winter skin.

Bachelor Mask – At this point, we take it a knotch up. Same step as above, except leave it on till I finish my other chores. However if you’re blessed and don’t have other chores to do, lay back and wander away in your thoughts. Few minutes later wash it off and skin is plump, hydrated and feels clean (like healthy clean….if that makes any sense at all).

Married to The Problem Solver Mask – Match made in Heaven. Spoonful of Honey Mud with a Spoonful of The Problem Solver (TBS). These two were made for each other, they’re perfection personified. Apply the mask with a brush, sit back or do whatever that is therapeutic to your mind while this rockstar couple does magic to your skin. Ideally wash this mask in a shower as it can get messy. One look at my skin and it radiates, it’s firmer, pores appear tighter, overall texture is calmer. TBS mask draws impurities while Honey Mud soothes the skin. It’s a 2in1 effect. Alternatively if you have The Problem Solver mask however don’t want to invest in The Honey Mud, I’d recommend getting some raw honey from supermarket and adding to the mask, voila!

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Of course, as with all May Lindstrom products this doesn’t come cheap at $80 but if you’re willing to invest in hand made artisanal skincare with quality ingredients then she is the one (just saying).

Now if you’re hesitant to spend that much or have a limited budget here is an alternative DIY Mask: any clay powder, 1tbsp raw honey, few drops of witch hazel toner, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder, a drop of any essential oil (optional). To perfect the consistency you can use milk or yoghurt (lactic acid bacteria help with overall radiance).

All these ingredients are easily available and collectively wouldn’t cost as much Honey Mud. Have you tried any May Lindstrom products? How do you use your Honey Mud?

HHW.com

xx

Change in Formulation: Pixi Glow Tonic

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Recently it came to my attention that Pixi Glow Tonic have a slight change in their formulation. With the help of Sal from Ummbaby we also noted a change in packaging, labelling and colour of the product.

To begin, let’s dive into the ingredient listing aka the core of any product:

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(Left – Old Formulation————— Right – New Formulation)

OLD Formulation (from Pixi Website): 

Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Glycolic Acid, Ammonium Glycolate, Glycerin, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Biotin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance.

Ingredients are subject to change. For the most complete and up-to-date list of ingredients, refer to the product packaging. Made in the USA.

NEW Formulation (from my recent product purchase packaging):

Note: new additions are in Bold font.

Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Glycolic Acid, Ammonium Glycolate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Gycol, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Biotin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance.

Ingredients are subject to change. For the most complete and up-to-date list of ingredients, refer to the product packaging. Made in the USA.

Well if you’re still reading this after being bombarded with inci list jargon,  I guess your first question is What are these ingredients and What is their purpose in life?

Butylene Glycol (chemical compound) and Hexylene Glycol are clear colourless liquids which are used as solvents, and viscosity decreasing agents. Pixi comments, “To be compliant in the USA the Ingredient Listing itemized all the ingredients, even carrier systems. Butylene glycol and hexylene glycol are used solvents, serving as ingredient carriers.

Aspartic Acid: Aspartic acid is one of two acidic amino acids and they are the building blocks of proteins.  Aspartic acid and glutamic acid play important roles as general acids in enzyme active centers, as well as in maintaining the solubility and ionic character of proteins.

The 20 most common amino acids found in proteins are: Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine and Valine (I’ve probably killed you with TMI by now!)

Pixi comments, “Aspartic acid is an amino acid and used as a skin conditioning agent.

Now moving onto the packaging and labelling of the bottles. 

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As you can tell from pic above, the newer bottle is taller and leaner (all I ever wanted to be!), whilst the older bottle is slightly shorter in height and rounder in frame (sigh, the brutality of life!). Just to reiterate the injustice of life here’s another pic.

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Onto Change in Product Labelling

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Minor, nothing to rant about.

Now if you have a keen eye for attention to detail, you may have already noticed a slight change in Colour!!!

Here’s what Pixi commented on colour, “We also use natural colorants, so the color will vary slightly between each batch.

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We all know the packaging, labelling are all game of aesthetics, but does the change in formulation and colour impact the product and its efficacy?

So I tested Pixi Glow Tonic’s (newer version) ph level at home with two different tester kits and the results were as follows:

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The first kit indicated 5 as the ph level. For any acid to be properly effective, the ph level needs to be anywhere between 3-4. Despite having 5% Glycolic Acid, high ph level wouldn’t allow the acid to tingle the skin. Pixi Glow Tonic is very mild and soothing for the skin which makes it an excellent choice for sensitive skin peeps (although sensitivities vary from individual to individual therefore not conclusive) or as a morning toner with sunscreen (obviously!!!).

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Second testing kit indicated same results as above.

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After such a deep analysis of it all, I wish I had a more juicy answer and say yessss I noticed a difference in its performance and results blah blah blah. Fortunately or Unfortunately (however you take this), No I didn’t notice any change, in terms of its smell, texture, performance, and results. Having said that, if you have noticed something different, I’d love to hear you from, please leave a comment below or reach out to me on Instagram.

HHW.com

xx

All Comparison Pictures Courtesy: Sal from Ummbaby 

Thank you darling, this is post couldn’t have been possible with your comparison pictures xoxox

Body Oils Edition

With cooler days fast approaching (and heaters are already burning away), I can feel the impact on my skin. Therefore, layering body care just like our skincare is the way to go. I don’t intend on shedding like a snake and therefore layering my bodycare is just as crucial as face skincare. I regularly exfoliate with sugar scrub, exfoliating gloves or dry brushing. Post shower, I slap on body oils followed by body butter/lotion. I spend my moolah on oils not on butters or lotions. Here we have

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Forest Essentials Mashobra Honey & Vanilla & Forest Essentials Bitter Orange and Cinnamon – These are cold pressed by hand and they smell lush. Sunflower, Almond, Apricot, Avocado, Honey, Sweet Almond Oils create a beautiful oil that the skin just laps up. If not massaged in properly it may leave a tacky feeling.

Caudalie Divine Oil – Of course being Caudalie it has some form of Grape Seed Polyphenol. Unlike Forest Essential oil this does not leave a tacky feeling. Smells bloody gorgeous and is beautifully absorbed by the skin. Enriched with Grape Oil, Extra Virgin Argan Oil, Sesame Oil, and Antioxidant Grape Seed Polyphenols it’s quite a treat for the skin.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil – Widely and dearly loved by MANY this dry oil is formulated with Borage, Olive, Sunflower, Rosemary, St Johnswort, Sweet Almond, Camellia, Hazelnut, and Macadamia Plant Oils. I’ve used on body, hair and face, making it a multipurpose oil.

L’occitane Fleur D’or Acacia Luminous Oil – Very similar concept to Nuxe and Caudalie (all Made in France). Spray, massage it in the skin and go. Excellent fresh scent, light floral and instantly absorbed by the skin. Its main oils include Sunflower, Rosemary, Acacia flower extract.

Sukin Bio Natural Body Oil – I love Sukin as a brand and their body oil is no different. It’s formulated with Jojoba, Tamanu, Avocado, Carrot Seed, Lavender, Orange, Soybean, Sweet Almond and some added vitamins. It claims to help with stretch marks but I don’t have any so wouldn’t know. But it works wonderfully to moisturize skin.

Frais Monde Emollient Oil Moisturizing Body – Sadly I don’t have ingredient listing on one, but can definitely describe the experience. Light textured. Easily absorbed. Subtle comforting scent. Lovely if layered under Eucerin, it has worked wonders for my lizard legs! When I go back to Italy, defo stocking up.

I’m thinking to do a separate post on how oils are formulated and the difference between Carrier Oils and Essentials Oils. Also some tips on what you should look out for when choosing an oil for yourself. What are the various extraction methods involved in oil making and how it impacts the final product we use. 

Please let me know in comments below if you would like to know more on above mentioned topics. 

xx

HHW.com

Pipette of my Life

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Face Oils: Such a “trend” now. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is introducing a face oil in their range. I’ve almost forgotten the existence of a moisturizer since these oils came in my life. I use them when skin needs a boost, skin is stressed, skin is dehydrated, skin needs to soothed, skin needs glow, skin feels tad under the weather, skin needs aromatherapy, skin needs a lymph drainage massage, skin needs to be fed nutritionally balanced diet. I could go on and on with reasons why one Should have oils in their regimen.

Here are all my current oils on rotation.  Oils from various parts of the world, with all different types of ingredients, different properties and different purpose in life.

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  • Aesop Fabulous Face oil – On my third bottle, makes me weak at my knees! Excellent for hydration and calming skin. Macadamia, Sweet Almond, Camellia, Evening Primrose, Wheatgerm, Jasmine….wonderful inci list.
  • Aurelia Cellular Night Repair Oil – Dehydration warrior and smells amazing. Awesome ingredient listing too.
  • Estelle & Thild Rose Otto Face Oil – in a clear glass bottle with a pump (blows my mind)! Jojoba, Almond, Avocado, Sunflower, Blueberry, Sacha Inchi & Rose oils – wonderful and basic.
  • Essano Rosehip Oil – There are many versions of Rosehip oil, this is one of them.
  • Goodness Labs Chia Seed Oil – Cold Pressed Chia Seed Oil (excellent source of fatty acids and omegas), fabulous on its own or mixed with any other oil. Excellent for hydrating skin. Smells nutty and not the best in my opinion, but does a fab job. 2 ingredients : Chia Seed & Meadowfoam Oil.
  • Grown Alchemist Rosehip & Camellia Oil & Grown Alchemist Borago, Rosehip & Buckthorn Berry oil – Easily absorbed and light. Packed with antioxidants, wonderful skin emollients and vitamins to thoroughly nourish my skin.
  • Hylamide C25 – Whilst classed as a serum, I’ve placed it in oil category due to its texture. I love to mix few drops with all under oils or just wear under my makeup.
  • Kama Ayurveda – With Saffron being its key ingredient I’m obsessed how gorg it leaves my skin. Formulated with Vetiver, Lotus, Sandalwood, Licorice, Indian Madder & extracts of Banyan tree.
  • Mahalo Skincare Vitality Elixir – received sample vial, and its a powerhouse of ingredients. Chia, Kukui, Tamanu, Black Cumin, Sea Buckthorn, Turmeric, all in all a wonderful oil for moisturizing skin and adding glow.
  • MV Organics Jojoba Oil & Rose Plus Booster – Few drops mixed with other oils or in isolation or mixed in my cleanser, consistently delivering FABULOUS results. Oils in their purest form.
  • Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex – Reserved for long haul flights for its convenience of roll on ball. Great for hydration skin and soothing the skin.
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil – Claims 8 hours of sleep in a bottle, I concur. Highest content of wheatgerm oil, an excellent source of Vitamin E. Consistently raved and always recommend this as a starting point.
  • Trilogy CoQ10 Booster – Radiance & Hydration Kaboom! Enriched with antioxidants and vitamins.

What are some of the face oils you’d recommend?

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xx