Month: March 2016

Product Guide – Bravura London

P1030282

Today I’m extending an insight into other Bravura London offerings. I’ll be covering the First Cleanse Oil, Purifying Calendula Toner, Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment and Azulene Moisturizer. I’ve talked/raved about Lactic Acid (10% infused with Rose) and Salicylic Acid (2%) before, you can click here to read.

Since Bravura London have updated their packaging, the temptation has almost tripled to get everything. Bright coloured glass jars which represent colours of our chakras.

BL.pngFirst Cleanse Oil aka Fail Proof Oil Cleanse

In Plain Words: Simple, Basic, Fuss free, Effective & Efficient at dissolving and removing makeup, Emulsifying, Non Sticky, One pump job, Inexpensive.

Wonderful certified organic carrier oils are used such as Safflower, Avocado and Vitamin which perform an excellent job whilst essential oils such as Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary give it an extra edge from a pleasing scent perspective.

Ingredients Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride(From Coconut Oil), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate (emulsifier), Tocopherol (Vit.E), Anthemis Nobilis Oil* (Roman Chamomile Essential Oil), Lavandula Officinalis Oil* (Lavender Essential Oil), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil* (*Certified Organic).

Purifying Calendula Toner 13%

An exfoliating toner that feels refreshing on skin and smells lovely. Claims to have 10% Glycolic, 3% Lactic acid with Hydrating Aloe Vera, Glycerin and Anti Inflammatory and Soothing Calendula. I don’t feel any acid tingle on application and it fits nicely after cleanse and before hydrating toner (Makeup Removal/First Cleanse – Second Cleanse – *Calendula Toner* – Hydrating Tone). In my opinion, most skin types can use it (normal – combination – oily – slightly dry). The ingredient listing has some major hydrators in the line up with some punchy acids. The whole blend together makes it perfect for morning or evening acid tone. Would be fantastic addition to beginner to intermediate level acid users.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Glycerin, Lemon Juice, Calendula Extract, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Glycolate, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Lactic Acid, SD Alcohol 40B, Fragrant Oil, Bisabolol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate.

P1030261Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment

As Amanda calls it Exfoliating yet nourishing. Bravura claims: Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment is an effective treatment for dry, mature and problem skin. It has 15% Glycolic Acid which has been partially neutralised and has a PH of 4.5 (where acid is active).

Packaged in a gorgeous heavy grey glass jar, this dense whipped cream is fantastic for the skin. I noticed an overnight difference in my skin. If used consistently (i.e. night after night) it may dry out the skin, so its preferred if layered under hydrating oil or over hydrating serum. Because of it’s thick texture, the tiniest amount goes a long way and I prefer to tap this in the skin rather than massaging it in (it just moves the product around on the face). I guess this product will be my second fave after Lactic Acid.

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Glycerin, Glycolic Acid and Sodium Glycolate, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Arnica Blossoms Extract, Calendula Blossoms Extract, Glucose and Fructose and Sucrose and Urea and Dextrin and Alanine and Glutamic Acid and Hexyl Nicotinate, Tocopherol, Sodium Alginate, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Chamomile Extract, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Guar Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hydrogen Peroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

P1030258.jpgAzulene Moisturizer

Bravura says, this unscented, light emollient cream is ideal for problem skin, in particular non sensitive Rosacea, Azulene Moisturiser provides instant moisture relief with a long-lasting soothing effect.

It’s light, airy, non greasy texture makes it suitable for most skin types. However, dry or very dry skins would need a little something more to thoroughly nourish their skins. As it is fragrance free, it would be a hit with sensitive skins or congestion prone skins.

On application it absorbs nicely in the skin. Doesn’t feel heavy or leave a greasy finish on skin. Also works wonderfully as a makeup base. I noticed my skin didn’t get as oily during the course of the day. This would be the perfect candidate after a microdermabrasion sesh just to calm and soothe the skin. Finally, let’s address the gorgeous colour of blue cream as a result of Azulene (no added colours).

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Sodium Alginate, Hops Extract, Rosemary Leaves Extract, Sage Leaves Extract, Hazelnut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Triethanolamine, Avocado Oil, Azulene, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate, d-Panthenol, Ginseng Extract, Allantoin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.

Obviously, Bravura also offers cleansers, more tonersmore peels, moisturizers and serums. Highly recommend you check this brand as it has wonderful effective products at an inexpensive price point and beyond exceptional customer service. Also if you’re confused what would work best for you and for your specific skin conditions, drop in a line on their website and someone will guide you.

HHW.com

xx

 

Oui Please – France in a Box

P1030367

A subscription box with a regional French Edge curated by Parisian-born Jessica Barouche, would tickle any Francophile’s soul with joy. Oui Please releases 6 limited edition boxes per year and the contents (full size products) of each subscription box is a secret until it ships! The contents of the box include French apparel, beauty products, jewelry, home and epicure. They offer curated (from Online Shop) and à la Carte boxes. The boxes have a theme per region of France:

image 1image 2

Each box will include a copy of French lifestyle publication, OuiPlease Magazine. Oui Please kindly gifted me a special box with a variety of products from many of their previous boxes. I’d like to think as a special curation for me 😉

P1030370

Now onto exploring each item included in the box – each item is originated from France and has a lovely local artisan and story behind it. 

P1030428L’Attelier Guérande & Les Ladures

L’Attelier is a Brittany based bakery crafts all of their foods in an artisanal manner and uses only regional, organic ingredients. They work with traditional recipes approved by the French pastry and confectionary industry.

Les Ladures is in the heart of salt marshes of Guérande. They design and manufacture to the delight of gourmets exceptional products from organic agriculture.

P1030430Lebon toothpaste Cinnamon/Mint 

The luxury toothpaste is made in France. Lebon toothpastes have 100% natural fragrance, no parabens, no triclosan, no fluorine, no colorings and no saccharin. Not tested on animals. 

P1030432Sothy’s Deep Cleanser Desquacrem

In 1946, Sothys was a beauty institute in Paris, where a list of exclusive customers enjoyed fine French products created by Dr. Hotz, a medical biologist. Sothys is renowned for bringing advanced skin care and expertise to consumers worldwide. This deep cleanser helps to remove stubborn impurities from the skin. 

P1030433Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel with Rose Petals

Most of us are very familiar with Nuxe, founded on the passion for the power of plants and everything they have to offer, Aliza Jabès poured her knowledge as a research pharmacist into a natural line of skin care products. 

P1030439Doux Me Rose Blossom Mist

Created in 2002, and based on the belief that we must take good care of our skin the way we pay attention to our diet by choosing the simplest, most natural and most gentle ingredients possible, in line with a global concept of a healthy and harmonious philosophy of life. The first Ecocert certified organic cosmetics brand, Doux me is responsible for breathing new life into the world of beauty with commonsense organic skin care certified products that are both sensory and feminine. 

P1030438Oliv’ La Claree Radiance Elixir

The olive leaves are harvested in Provence. In Manosque, Les Mees and the Valensole growers prune branches from March to May and form bundles in their driveway olive trees. All of the formulations and packaging take place in the golden heart of “locavore”. All in less than 160 km; Les Mees, Forcalquier, Digne-les-Bains, Prayer, Les Pennes-Mirabeau, La Fare les Oliviers. This anti-ageing dry oil with a delicious perfume of olive leaves, helps smoothing and revitalizing the skin.

P1030437oOlution Glow up Skin Care 

oOlution believes in the need to urgently leave behind the old ways of the XXth century, with its standardization, homogenization and mass phenomena. This brand loves to the question the accepted ways and improvise to make it better.

Harem Des Sens Fabulous Silk Milk

A designer at heart, enriched by her Franco-Algerian double culture and with a passion for Beauty, Nabila Boutrif decided to create what she could not find on the market: modern and upscale cosmetics with an Oriental inspiration, natural, sophisticated and effective all at once. 

P1030435Graine de Pastel Baume de Cocagne Face and Body Butter

Born in 2003, this skincare re-explored the pastel, this tinctorial plant whose leaves contain a precious blue pigment that marked the history of South West France region, Toulouse and the “Pays de Cocagne”. But above all, the ancestral medicinal plant, whose dermatological properties were forgotten!! With a rich and dense texture, this face and body balm intensely nourishes and regenerates the skin. SO far my fave product.

P1030436Pier Auge Body Balm Caresse Agrumes Essential oil of Grapefruit

Founded in 1961 in Monaco, and then settled in Chateauroux in 1967. Jules Pierre Augé gave a unique concept of care which is exists, even today. The Pier Auge products select best local ingredients and artisans to create the products.

P1030442Historiae Perfume Hameau de la Reine Spray 

With its unique fragrance with scents that are simultaneously green, fresh and floral, Hameau de la Reine will take you to the heart of the Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Hameau to live again these great moments of emotion. 

P1030470.jpgMirgiole Sorbonne Gold Plated Earrings

Mirgiole was conceived by designer Raphaëlle Mourey after her travels abroad in Belgium and Latin America. The bohemian collection, named after the designer’s mother, is known for its colorful and playful aesthetic. The designer hand makes her creations, weaving together materials including gold, enamel.

Its wonderful to read, learn and experience all these products of regional France which I would have never discovered from the comforts of my home in Chicago.

HHW.com

xx

Mettā Skincare Body Butter

P1030235

Generally, I don’t talk about body products. Why you ask? Well because its body (huge mehhhh feeling), don’t give it as much importance (in terms of inci lists etc) and one category I go drugstore basic. However when I stumble upon something as unique as this, I need to talk about it.

Anca from Mettā skincare sent me this gorgeous jar to try, and I was skeptical. I opened jar and played with it….skepticism continues. Few hours later, I shower and decide to use this in the peak of winter. Lo and behold, I was about to bite my words and welcomed the thought of being wowed!

Mettā Skincare Claims:

A subtly fragrant luscious yet easily-absorbed body butter melting on contact to a serum-like potion that deeply comforts the skin.

Yes the texture is something we need to talk about. Its butter, where in its solid state it creates curls of butter. You have no idea how much joy this gives me. Someone said, enjoy simple pleasures of life, well this is one of em! Upon contact with skin, it melts like butter to an oil ready to be absorbed by skin.

Rare certified organic Shea Nilotica Butter nourishes with vitamins A, E and F, soothes dryness and minor irritations and enhances the skin’s natural healing and regeneration process. Cold-pressed certified organic Grapeseed Oil helps tighten and tone the skin leaving a smooth satin finish. Certified organic raw Cacao Butter provides long-lasting hydration and nourishes with vitamin E for an antioxidant boost to help fight free radical activity and maintain a supple and young look.

The richness of Shea Butter, paired with emollient qualities of Grapeseed Oil, Raw Cacao Butter makes it a very rich indulgent body butter.

Certified organic therapeutic-grade French Lavender Essential Oil imparts a sense of calm and balance as you turn your attention inward and focus on self-care.

Its Lavender, that’s as complex as it gets! You expect to smell Lavender, not too strong not too subtle – just perfect imo. Scent profiles are personal preferences.

P1030239

Ingredients

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil* (contains linalyl acetate, linalool and limonene as naturally occurring components of lavender essential oil) * denotes certified organic ingredient

The simplicity of the formulation with 100% natural cold pressed vegetable oils, butters and botanical extracts makes it an incredibly appealing and effective option.

Mettā Skincare carefully selects the nutrient profile and active properties of each butter and oil. Only 100% pure therapeutic grade steam-distilled essential oils are used. Much like the smaller, hand made, artisanal skincare brands, Mettā is also handcrafted in small batches in Melbourne (my home town:)).

Environmentally friendly packaging in recyclable glass containers. These can definitely be repurposed and reused for whatever your heart may desire (like May Lindstrom jars).

Skin Suitability: Suitable for all skin types, especially dry, mature or environmentally stressed skin.

I’d say absolutely anyone in brutal winters. I might ease up the use in summer, however will still apply on back of my hands before bed. The scent of lavender is calming and relaxing before bed.

Usage: Apply small amount and gently massage until absorbed into skin. Best used after a bath or shower when the skin is still slightly damp and most receptive to nourishment.

Agreed! Due to its unique texture, it’s easily absorbed with damp skin whilst it is receptive to heavier oils this has to offer. On dry side, I’ve noticed skin isnt as welcoming of heavier oils and the product sits on top. If I was to nitpick, it would be one thing. This boils down to personal preference of application. Due to the nature of ingredients (and given the weather conditions) the body butter in its solid state needs a little working into the skin. Little goes a long way but you need to work at schmearing and massaging it in the skin. I reserve this for evenings when I have more time on hand and feel more indulgent (and spa-esque). But when I’m in a rush and know I wouldn’t have the time to rub it in and savour it, I will skip this butter.

Side Note: Mettā Skincare formulations excludes

  • Synthetic colours fragrances or preservatives
  • Petroleum-derived ingredients
  • Parabens
  • Sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES)
  • Sodium laureth sulphate (SLS)
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) triethanolamine (TEA)
  • monoethanolamine (MEA) or polyethylene glycol (PEG)
  • Genetically modified (GMO) or engineered ingredients
  • Water, synthetic emulsifiers or fillers
  • Testing on animals

P1020864

Anca was also kind and generous to include the Face Balm, I will upload the review on that in a few weeks. Until then I’m itching to try the Hand Balm and Lip Balm from the range.

HHW.com

xx

Darphin 8-Flower Nectar Elixir

Rejuvenating elixir, in the pure tradition of aromatherapy, blends rare and radiance boosting aromatic essences from 8 precious flowers. Opulent formula with anti-oxidants, nourishes and helps smooth the look of lines and wrinkles, firm skin and renew skin suppleness, resilience and youthful radiance, key evidence of truly, younger-looking skin. With an exquisitely feminine, sensual fragrance that could double as a perfume, it is the quintessential holistic beauty care that creates a feeling of overall beauty and well-being while rejuvenating skin’s appearance.

P1020514
Ingredients: Jojoba Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Hexyldecanol, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Jasmine Flower Extract, Iris Pallida Root Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Phytosterols, Date Seed Extract, Cranberry Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Patchouli Oil, Helichrysum Angustifolium Flower Oil, Lavender Oil, Orange Flower Oil, Beta-Carotene, Rose Flower Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Rosewood Oil, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopherol, Sorbitan Oleate, Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol
What are the 8 Flowers you ask?
Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Iris, Patchouli, Immortelle, Orange Flower, Rose, Lavender
  • Carrier Oils: Jojoba, Sunflower, Avocado, Apricot Kernel, Macadamia, Vegetable Oil
  • Other Essential Oils: Vanilla, Date Seed, Cranberry Seed, Olive fruit, Rosewood
Packaged in a tiny 15ml glass bottle with twist open top. The bottle opening is very narrow, for a darn good reason.
IMG_8850.jpg
Use: I place my finger, on the opening of the bottle and tip the product on my finger. Repeat this process with 4 fingers and then proceed to face. Needless to mention, I take a deep breath cupping my palms. There is nothing more relaxing than that.
Texture & Consistency: Gorgeous oil appears dense but absorbs instantly in the skin. It Smells like no other oil I’ve ever tried. Beautiful intoxicating floral that transcends you in a gorgeous garden in Grasse France.
If you don’t like essentials oils, or have an issue with heavily scented products, this is NOT for you. If you hate strong scents in your products, don’t consider any facial oil from Darphin. An absolute treat for my skin, and skin appears calm and plump next morning.
At $10 per ml, it is exorbitantly expensive, and wise to wait for some sale or discounts unless of course you just have an itch to splurge away, go for it. Reserved as complete treat for the skin.
 *Product gifted by brand.

HHW.com

xx

Acids 101: AHA, BHA, PHA

IMG_8471

We’ve all heard catch phrases and marketing spills from various brands that echo in our heads something along these lines, “using AHA, BHA …. product will give your skin glow from sun……………… blah blah blah!”

This post is intended to provide you further information on source of these acids, their purpose in life, how it would benefit the skin and some product suggestions.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHA’s)

Operation Mode

AHA’s are water soluble which basically means it reacts with upper layer of epidermis and dissolves all dead skin cells on surface of skin. AHA’s operate at pH level of 3 – 5 (it’s the level of acidity, when compared to water at pH level 7 which is neutral).

Suitable Candidate or Skin Concerns

People experiencing sun damaged skin, aging, pigmentation, brown spots, wrinkles, rosacea, acne spots, congested skin.

Where should it be on the Ingredient list?

Products containing higher concentration of AHA’s would usually be listed 2nd – 3rd – 4th – 5th in the ingredient list (but these do not necessarily interpret effective result it may mean faster results).

Which acid is most effective? Which acid penetrates deepest in layers of skin?

It simply depends on the relevant acid’s Molecular size….Not all of the acids work in same way. Smaller molecules penetrate deeper in the skin for best results. But they are also the ones that give the skin tingling sensation or irritate very sensitive skins.

The following acids are in the order from . The following table shows the types of AHA’s, in the order of Smallest (deepest penetration in skin) to Largest molecule (more skin surface exfoliation), Source they are derived from, their Purpose in life and Product suggestions:

Type Source Derived from Function

Product Suggestions

Glycolic Acid

(Smallest Molecule)

Sugar Cane Degreasing and controlling production of sebum, and stimulate collagen production in skin. Alpha Hydrox range (12-14% Glycolic Acid)

Peter Roth Thomas Glycolic Range

Kate Somerville Glycolic & Retinol Peel

Alpha H Liquid Gold Range

Bravura London Glycolic Peel (10%) & Moisturizer (15%)

Lactic Acid Milk, Yoghurt, Sour Butter Milk or fermented fruit Antimicrobial, hydrating and adjusts ph level, skin softener, keeps skin moist Priori Gentle Facial Cleanser (13% Lactic Acid Complex)

Bravura London Lactic Acid Peel

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Malic Acid Apples, Cherry, Pears Hydrating, soothing and increases tissue respiration, increases oxygen supply to skin Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Packs

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel

Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser & Enzyme Exfoliant

Tartaric Acid Grapes, Berries, Currants, Passionfruit, Red Wine Antioxidant Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Mask
Citric Acid Tomatoes, Oranges, Lemons (citrus fruits) Brightens skin, anti aging properties Mario Badescu Orange Tonic Mask

Ole Henriksen Truth Collagen Serum

Mandelic Acid Bitter Almonds Helps age spots, discoloration

Vivant Skincare Mandelic Serum

Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Brightening Solution

BETA HYDROXY ACID (BHA)

Operation Mode

BHA’s are lipid (oil) soluble, which basically means it can break down the oils on surface of skin and penetrate deeper in layers of skin. Due to the ability of BHA’s going deeper in skin, they aid in acting against sebum congestion under the skin’s surface. They have anti-inflammatory properties too. Like AHA’s, these operate at pH level of 3 – 5. BHA products may result in dryness and dehydration to the skin.

Suitable Candidate or Skin Concerns

BHA products are suitable for congested skin, blackheads, whiteheads, acne, wrinkles, and ingrown hair.

Where should it be on the Ingredient list?

Unlike AHA products, the products containing Salicylic acid would usually be listed towards end of the ingredient listing. BHA is far stronger and therefore effective on skin.

Type Source Derived from Function Product Suggestions

Salicylic Acid

(Molecule smaller than Glycolic Acid)

Salicylic Acid derived from White Willow Bark. Aspirin is also derived from White Willow Bark and its active ingredient is Salicylic acid. You may have heard Aspirin masks for acne prone skin. Unclog pores, helps with underlying congestion, ingrown hair.

NO impact on sebum production or killing bacteria.

Bravura London Salicylic Acid Peel 2%

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (French Version)

Skinceuticals LHA Solution (also has Lipo Hydroxy and Glycolic Acids)

Dr Dennis Gross Purifying Booster

Perfect Image Skincare – TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) 15% Gel Peel Enhanced with Salicylic Acid

Body scrubs that contain Salicylic acid are brilliant for ingrown hair

Categories/Types of products that contain AHA’s and BHA’s

Cleanser, Toners, Exfoliators, Eye Creams, Serums, Moisturizers, Chemical Peels. Below I have summarized some of the products that contain AHA, BHA, or a combination of two. 

AHA & BHA General Knowledge

1) Most important thing to bear in mind is AHA and BHA do cause skin sensitivities especially to sun exposure. Basically all hard work done with skin care products, can be reversed with unprotected sun exposure or inadequate sun protection.

2)  Skin regeneration is turnover of new skin cells that is critical for healthy, radiant and clear skin. Whilst AHA’s, BHA’s and PHA’s are brilliant for chemical exfoliation which continually “promote” growth of collagen in skin, it should be noted that AHA, BHA, PHA don’t generate new collagen. These are a great prep point for repairing products that have specific ingredients aimed at repair and nourish various skin concerns.

3)  There are number of companies and products that have a combination of AHA and BHA (Salicylic Acid). As for AHA’s you will need to read the ingredient list to ensure which type of acid is included in the product. Some companies also used synthetically sourced AHA and BHA, which is not naturally sourced. Think of it as, Vanilla extract (in a bottle with alcohol) as against using natural vanilla pod! Similarly some companies use AHA concentrate rather than extracts from natural fruit or vegetable. 

POLY HYDROXY ACID (PHA)

For sensitive skins, that are irritated with deep penetration of Glycolic Acid or cannot handle the tingly sensation from AHA’s, the Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHA’s) come to their rescue.

Polyhydroxy acids enhance exfoliation of the outermost layer of the skin and normalize its thickness. Products containing PHA’s cause less irritation to sensitive skin due to their large molecular structures. Considering it has a larger molecular structure it doesn’t penetrate deep in layers of skin, however it has has been proven the efficacy is not impacted in anyway compared to any other AHA.

Generally, the two types of PHA’s available are Gluconolactone (from oxidized glucose – natural sugar found in human body) and Lactobionic acid (from oxidized lactose – milk sugar).

Some product suggestions with PHA’s:

Thanks for taking the time to read the post and hopefully it has answered some of your burning questions.

HHW.com

xx