Beauty

Sunday Facial

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Facials Facials Facials, something I’ve tried in so many places from all over the world. Everyone has their own method, technique, products and most important is philosophy. So the question begged to be asked is what is my philosophy? Well its a holistic combination of atmosphere, state of mind, products and LOT of facial massage. I’m not particularly huge on gadget treatments but I do use a couple at home. Another crucial aspect for me is skillful, experienced hand at Extractions! Another reason why I have regular facials to maintain the health of my skin and ensure any underlying congestion is addressed. Generally I go for professional facials every 6-8 weeks however it can be a pricey affair so I do many interim maintenance facials at home. This post delves into how I indulge in at home facials.

Atmosphere: Typically I would also indulge in bath, so water in running in bath with capful of a bath oil (Aromatherapy Associates bath oils are amazing). The bathroom air fills with relaxing aroma of bath oil while I get started with a double cleanse. In addition, a gorgeous soy wax based candle is burning. Cleansing the skin with an oil or balm, taking it all over my face, neck, chest, behind ears and massage. Cup my palm over my nose and take deep breaths as I massage. This helps calms my raging mind, center my energies on the moment I’m about to indulge in.

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To remove the balm or oil, I have warm steaming wash cloth, air it for few second before I slap it on my face to ensure the temperature is not too hot for the skin. Cocoon my face in warm towel before I compress the towel on my face. The warm towel steam’s amalgamation with rich essential oil balm is truly transcending.

Next up, prep for exfoliation. Either physical, acid or enzyme, or combination. Choice is entirely yours! I have a separate post on all types of enzyme and physical exfoliators. Upon schmearing my enzyme exfoliator all over, I will steam my face. Steaming with enzyme exfoliator loosens surface dead skins and making it a whole lot easier to buff it away. Also preps skin for next step which is extractions. Not something I’d recommend to do at home – go to a professional if you don’t know what you’re doing. I typically only limit to extraction for blackheads, whiteheads and spots only if they’re ready to pop.

Skin can be stimulated at this point with steam, exfoliation and extraction – so Pause, Breathe. Mist some rose water. Dry your face and next up is a gadget High Frequency Facial Machine.

fullsizeoutput_435e.jpegHigh Frequency  helps treat and prevent stubborn acne, shrink enlarged pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, decongest puffy eyes, fade dark eye circles, rejuvenate the condition of the scalp and nourish hair follicles for healthier hair growth.

Most professional high frequency machines used in spas, salons and medical offices operate at a frequency of 100,000-2500,000+ hertz (cycles per second). However the machine I have here is only 50-60 htz, which is enough for regular at home use. Also assuring to know with such low frequency it isn’t going to damage especially when it is in DIY spirit.

Basically two types of high frequency with orange (neon gas) used to treat aging, promoting hair growth, tightening pores and skin elasticity and on the other hand is violet gas (argon gas) which is anti bacterial and wonderful for treating acne.  The violet argon gas frequency is typically used in spa’s however for at home function I find the orange neon gas works just fine on spots, pores, elasticity, blood circulation and  promoting overall health of the skin.

Soon after high frequency, I follow with clay or mud mask to tighten the pores after the treatment and continue the spirit of detoxifying and purifying the skin. Leaving it on for no more than ten minutes and I do not let it dry completely. When its completely dry (to a point where you’d need a chisel) you’ve drawn out all moisture from skin too. Taking it off with warm towel, next up is my personal fave step. The step for which I desperately and achingly look forward to a facial.

fullsizeoutput_4395Massage with a light, high linoleic acid carrier oil. The mantra here is firm pressure, no feathery, flimsy, sissy massage, you need firm pressure upward and outward. Following the muscle structure in the face. When hands, palm and fingers are tired, I employ Jade Gua Sha. This is literally the bomb of blood circulation and lymph drainage.

Massage has endless benefits some of which include: promoting blood circulation, lymph drainage (stuff that has toxin build up and makes you look puffy and dull), supports vitality in your skin, pressure point massage particularly fantastic for sinus sufferer like myself, better absorption of products in skin and most important of all it is incredibly relaxing. A good facial massage can put you to sleep (of course when someone else is massaging). To remove oil from skin, followed by another warm cloth compress, followed my misting with rose water again.

Here on, I begin layering products on skin to wrap up the facial. First up is acid treatment, followed by toning mist. Next up is one more gadget for eyes, from Dr fullsizeoutput_4396Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Pro, a FDA approved device featuring 72 LEDs, with a full spectrum of therapeutic light. Again a tool made for home use to replicate the professional light therapy used in medical clinics. I was extremely dubious about this product however using it for 3mins for last 20 odd days, I’ve noticed a visible difference in skin around my eyes. It’s tighter, firmer and smoother. I don’t have deep set wrinkles, I have fewer lines under my eyes but nothing that is major aging (if you know what I mean). I’ve also noticed when applying eye makeup, my skin near eye is more resilient and not so thin. I will continue using and keep you posted if I see more improvement. So following the light therapy near eyes is a retinol based eye serum.

From here, I finish off routine with an active Serum, treatment cream or balm or oil and hydrate a LOT with water. My choice of products and ingredients can vary for each facial however it is really driven and dependent on what my skin needs.

Also I specifically wanted to call out one more point about which type product I like to use in each category. This topic could be a post in itself however this gives you an indication where I’d like to put my money.

Medical cosmeceutical product vs. Green/natural product

  • Green/Natural – Cleansers, Toners, Masks, Balms, Oils – Typically on the surface of skin, and not much ‘face time’
  • Cosmeceutical (blend of cosmetic and pharmaceutical) or Over the Counter  – Acid Treatment, Serum, Eye Cream, Active ingredients (retinol, aha’s, peptides, etc) – This is deeper penetrating in skin and one which will show more visible results

*Personally I dont use any pharmaceutical product (yet)

There are other types of facials I do as well, which include micro dermabrasion but that facial routine looks completely different. Im curious to know, how do you do your at home facials?

HHW.com

xx

Enzyme & AHA Exfoliators

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Today in the market we have a massive range of exfoliators to choose from, of course the traditional physical exfoliator continue to exist but many have evolved to chemical (AHA and Enzyme) exfoliators. There is also a combination of physical and chemical exfoliator. So ultimately it comes down to your own preference and skin’s tolerance level. The general theme to all these products is the following category of ingredients:

  • Natural fruit enzymes loosen dead skins cells from the surface of skin. Also includes fermented fruit extracts
  • Physical exfoliants can be a huge range from botanical, herbals, precious stones to buff away surface dead skin cells
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids gently exfoliates skin and depending on type of AHA (and it molecular structure…to learn more about AHA click here), goes deeper than enzymes (learn basics of enzymes, click here). Lactic acid, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Malic Acid
  • Cellulose peels & Sugar extracts polishes, lifting away dullness revealing brighter skin

Choice of product depends on many factors such as:

  • How many actives? Just enzymes or AHA’s or combination?
  • Purely chemical exfoliation or including physical exfoliation too?
  • Product effectiveness?
  • Other factors to consider such as packaging, consistency, texture, smell?
  • Of course how much $$$ we need to fork out?
  • Certain brand principles and ethos?

In this post, I have attempted to round up all exfoliators I’m currently using and provide a brief summary on their composition and performance. Any questions or feedback you’d like to add to any product please post in comments below.

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PCA Skin Revitalizing Mask was a complete surprise for me! The ingredient listing, performance, results and finally the price. Primary base and first ingredient as Papaya fruit extract adds to the distinct green colour of the product. Tingles in a good way and sloughs off dead skin from surface. The product is enriched with Squalane, Sugarcane Extract, Sodium Chlorophyllin-Zinc Complex, Honey/Mel/Miel, Rose Geranium Flower Oil, Fennel Oil, Patchouli Oil, Green tea leaf Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Lemon Fruit Extract, Apple Fruit Extract, Sucrose, Soybean Oil, Rosewood Wood Oil, Lime Fruit Extract, Orange Peel Oil. The skin glows and if followed by clay mask, the final result is spectacular. This is certainly not for sensitive skins, with combination of strong enzyme and essential oils it might be tad much.

Planted in Beauty Detox Exfoliant is a classic combination of physical and chemical exfoliation (pineapple enzymes). The physical exfoliation is very fine and wouldn’t scratch or damage the skin. It is also enriched with some lovely antioxidants (Raspberry and Moringa Seed Extract), plants extracts (Great Burdock, Fenugreek, May Chang, Alpine Willow Herb, Wintergreen), and sugars (Alpha Glucan Oligosaccharide). It appears to be well rounded in terms of formulation and performance is immediately visible results. Packaged in a tall 120ml/4oz pump bottle makes it very convenient. The addition of essentials oils makes it smell something like a product used in a spa.

Dr Lewinn’s Reversaderm Enzymatic Detoxifying mask sounds promising and heavy in its name. Purely chemical exfoliation, with slightest tingle however in terms of performance it does ok for people with low expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it does it’s job however its limited in its performance compared to many others in this post. The inci list stars include, Irish Moss Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Papain, Bromelain, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Vitamin C, Resveratrol Ferment Extract, Oligopeptide-24, French Saffron Extract, Glycolic Acid. Also the availability is limited to Australia and possibly online in UK.

BeautyPie Fruitizyme Five Minute Facial is a newer product on the market, with an interesting brand concept where their members can shop from an ever-expanding selection of unbranded luxury skincare and makeup products, and pay only the straight off the production-line prices. Anyway aside that, let’s talk about product formulation and performance. So formulated with Glycolic Acid, Pumpkin Fruit Extract, Lactobacillus  Pomegranate Fruit Extract, Quartz Powder, Bamboo Stem Extract, Rice Starch, Pomegranate Bark Extract, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Witch Hazel Bark Extract, Raspberry Leaf culture. It is thick mildly physical exfoliating gel which positively tingles the skin and definitely does its job. Except how the brand works and does it truly save money, is largely questionable.

Själ Pearl Exfoliating Mask is the most expensive product on this post. A triple-performance exfoliant and mask that effectively detoxifies pores and brightens skin texture through a complex of enzymes, multi-fruit acids, and crushed pearl to minimize dullness, remove dead skin and excess sebum. The inci list is dissected below for each category of ingredient:

  • Galactoarabinan: Larch Tree extract (recommend reading this article by Oskia)
  • Precious Stones Exfoliators: Pearl Powder, Sapphire Powder, Diamond Powder, Citrine Powder, Amethyst Powder, Tourmaline Powder, Ruby Powder, Amber Powder – claims to have its own vibration that creates a gentle cooling effect when applied to skin that stimulates micro-circulation while helping to improve clarity and brightening. I don’t know enough about precious stones vibration and its impact & effectiveness in skincare but surely intrigues me a lot.
  • Enzymes: Pumpkin Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Pomegranate Fruit Ferment Extract, Bromelain, Papain, Bilbery Fruit/leaf Extract, Sugar Cane Extract, Sugar Maple Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Lemon Fruit Extract
  • Other Extracts & Cellulose/Sugars: Smithsonite Extract, Rhodochrosite Extract, Mushroom Stem Extract, Algae Extract, Fennel Extract, Mannitol (type of sugar), Cellulose, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Royal Jelly Extract
  • Essential Oils: Blue Tansy Oil, Rosewood Wood Oil, Lavender Oil, Lime Peel Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Orange Peel Oil, Bergamot Fruit Oil

Upon application this product does tingle my skin, dries fairly quickly, and finally the skin is visibly radiant. To remove, I wet my fingers and gentle buff away the product as it has slight physical exfoliation component through precious stone powders. It is pricey and has a competitor in same price range which I’ve talked about below (Omorovicza Copper Peel).

Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator’s is much revered among the blogosphere, and social media. Of course I had to grab myself a 1.5oz (45ml) jar at $60. Quite a pricey proposition and the formula is basically Honey, Plant Oils, Herbal Enzyme (powders), Papaya Enzyme (41th / 49th ingredient) and Essential Oils. While it leaves skin soft, smooth, radiant, its essentially a physical exfoliant in a honey base and very little active enzyme (Papain, of course honey too). I feel no tingle expected from a typical enzyme exfoliant, however get more from this product through its physical exfoliation. I’m possibly the only one who feels this way about this product, and also feel there are other physical exfoliators at a much competitive price too.

Colleen Rothschild Dual Enzyme Polish (50ml at $55) is unique formula in this category of peels and exfoliants. While the formula consists of usual Bromelain, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Papain, it also has notable ingredients like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and finally few more ingredients like Comfrey Leaf Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Argan Kernel Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil. The Vitamin  and C are on skin for such a short while I don’t see them making an impact on skin. This polish to be applied, left on for few minutes and then gradually exfoliated off the skin. Fresh, bouncy, soft skin reveals itself.

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SkinJuice is an Australian skincare distinguished by its intense bright colour packaging. Not widely known to the world but it is surely a brand to keep an eye out for. I tried their Facial in a Jar mask which is basically a hot pot of AHAs, Enzymes and potent botanical extracts. Some known ingredients included in this formulation are: Lactic Acid, Witch Hazel Distillate, Pomegranate Fruit Ferment Extract, Mandelic Acid, PhytoCide Elderberry Extract, Sodium Lactate, Manna sugar, Malic acid, Pumpkin Fruit Extract, Seabuckthorn Berry Oil, Moth Bean Seed Extract, Irish Moss Extract,  Rapeseed Oil, Ginger Root Extract, Papain, Sodium Hyaluronate etc. Packaged in an air tight pump up jar, and need only 2-3 pumps for a layer over the face. Slightest tingle on skin and leaves skin incredibly soft, radiant and refined. No physical exfoliation at all, however it major concoction of AHA’s and enzymes I doubt the skin needs any more exfoliation.

January Labs Power Peel & Go is one product I was very excited to try however it left me very underwhelmed. It appealed to me for its short, concise inci list and hoped it performed like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, but it left a lot to be desired. For non-elephant skin individuals this peel might work, however for me it didn’t do a thing. I contacted brand and they sent me the Pro version, which gave me mild tingle and flush to skin mainly because of Cinnamon Oil. Sensitive skinned people should be careful using Cinnamon oil in this formulation, as it may irritate the heck out of your skins. Long story short, for USD $75, there are much better alternatives available. Full Inci List: Water, Hypromellose, Phenol (magic ingredient in Biologique Recherche P50 1970, for numbness), Cinnamon Oil (stimulate the skin and increase circulation), Potassium Sorbate, Chloroxylenol, Grapefruit Extract (purifier, antiseptic, and preservative).

Chantecaille Fruit and Flower Mask is a gorgeous cream mask with not so clean ingredient list but performance surpasses many masks! A light whipped cream consistency mask, packaged in thick glass bottom jar, and enriched with Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Hibiscus Flower Extract, Mandarin Orange Peel Oil, Grapefruit Fruit extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Papain (Hyaluronate and Papain/Papays enzyme are last few ingredients). I do feel a mild tingle on applying this mask, it smells just gorgeous of florals like Rose, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Narcissus. I also enjoy steaming my face as this mask eats away dead cells from surface.

Pixi Peel & Polish is a mild physical exfoliating or a leave on peel. Hence the name Peel and Polish. P&P is formulated with Lactic Acid, Sunflower Seed Oil, Witch Hazel Water, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Papaya Fruit Extract, Sugar Cane Extract, Sugar Maple Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Lemon Fruit Extract, Bilberry Fruit Extract. The physical exfoliation is courtesy of Polylactic Acid beads which are tiny, and not as abrasive on skin’s surface. For $24 this product performs well, and quick spruce up for skin. By no means this is an indulgent luxurious or clean product but like I said, does the job.

Speaking of luxurious and indulgent lets talk Omorovicza Copper Peel. A brightening two phase peel for brightening skin, combining a blue copper paste and a lactic acid activator, polishes and smoothes complexion and visibly reduces pore size for a brighter, more even skin tone. I was very dubious about this product, given the price and ingredient list appeared reasonable but basic.

So let me cut to the chase, did it live up to the hype? Yes! The paste is very very fine and very gentle to massage on dry skin. Paste is enriched with Sodium Bicarbonate, Squalane, Copper Gluconate, Camphor, Yeast Extract, and essential oils like Sage Oil, Chamomile, Geranium. I tend to leave it on for few minutes before proceeding with the Activator enriched with Hungarian Thermal Water, Lactic Acid, Hungarian Thermal Water Ferment Extract, Apple Fruit Extract, and Chlorella  Protein Ferment. Gently massage in the activator and it forms white foam (don’t think soapy suds, no). Finally splash water on water and throughly remove any residue. The skin feels soft like cloud, radiant like first ray of sun. The tubes last least 3 uses, for me personally I used 4 times. So it seems the dollar goes much further than initially anticipated and results surely make it worth it for me.

So as a final round up, couple of quick points from usage perspective, I tend to use 2-3 times a week. Typically after cleanse and before a dense purifying clay or mud mask. Also highly recommend steaming your face with these products on your skin, the results are astounding. If there is any product you’d like to recommend in this category, please leave your recommendation in comments below.

HHW.com

xx

SkinBetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream

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SkinBetter a skincare brand converging beauty and science. The skinbetter science team of aesthetic experts who developed Restylane® and Dysport® have a comprehensive approach to age management and skin care. One of their best selling products the AlphaRet® Overnight Cream claims to go to work while the skin is at rest, to visibly reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. This formula is supercharged with AlphaRet, with unique combination of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and a Retinoid to create a revolutionary double conjugated retinoid.

Let’s cut to the chase and get into the nitty gritty of this product:

fullsizeoutput_4036Major props to this brand for Packaging, in an air tight container, with no sun or light exposure, no bacteria exposure through fingers and  nails, sleek and elegant colour scheme packaging. Once you hold the bottle its light plastic bottle but does a darn good job for aforementioned reasons.

In addition to the bottle, it also has a solid box casing with all benefits, claims and ingredients listed on the box. In saying so, the website is transparent with its inci lists so no hide and seek games there.

Talking about inci lists, lets dive in the best part of the review:

Aqua/Water, Sodium Glycolate, Glycolic Acid, Cetearyl Olivate, Pentylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isohexadecane, Sorbitan Olivate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Glycerin, Ceresin, Glycol Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Squalane, Methyl Gluceth-20, Ethyl Lactyl Retinoate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Ceramide NP, Hyaluronic Acid, Ubiquinone, Tocopherol, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Superoxide Dismutase, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Allantoin Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Linolenic Acid, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Steareth-2, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Hydrated Silica, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Tromethamine, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

Star performers in the formulation include, Ethyl lactyl retinoate (a proprietary blend of lactic acid and retinoids that exfoliates and boosts collagen production); Squalane, Niacinamide, Ceramides, and Fatty acids (moisturize). Last few ingredients are preservatives or consistency improvers, and this is the exact place you would want to see these ingredients.

Ingredient to be perceived negative or potentially congestion inducing for many is addition of Shea butter, however in this formulation is works beautifully to moisturize the skin without irritating or congesting it.

Skin Type: I would say absolutely any skin could use it except for super sensitive, or eczema prone skin.

Texture & Consistency fullsizeoutput_4037

The dispensed product feels like light whipped cream, 2 pumps is sufficient for face however 3 needed to take it all the way down to neck. Following with an oil or balm and no peeling, rolling or piling experienced. Wonderful to layer products with. In a typical skin care routine, this is the order I would take it in:

Makeup Removal – Second Cleanse – Mild Acid or Essence patting – Hydrating Serum – SkinBetter AlphaRet Intensive Cream – Oil/Balm.

To be 100% transparent and honest with you, this product was not instant love for me. I used it 3-4 times and set it aside thinking its not doing much for my skin. So first point to be noted here is Consistency of use to see visible results. Also why this may not have performed on my skin first 3-4 times like many others is because my skin is extremely in tune with potent AHAs and Retinoids, standalone as well as combination. Hence it didn’t blow me away in first few uses.

Fast forward to few weeks later, on a work travel trip, I committed to using it for 2 weeks straight with a basic hydrating serum, and BAM there I fell in love. I truly saw the product’s performance capability. So lets go through its claims and benefits and see if it stood true.

Benefits, Claims, Performance & Results

  • A significant reduction in the appearance of depth and size of wrinkles in as little as four weeks, with little to no irritation.

Fortunately I don’t have deep line or wrinkles on my face, so cannot speak to it. However I experienced absolutely no irritation on the skin, in fact left it moisturized even on nights when I didn’t follow with an oil, cream or balm.

  • Glycolic acid helps retexturize and increase the efficacy of AlphaRet

Yes Yes Yes it surely worked to improve my skin’s tone and texture. It felt more taut and clear of congestion.

  • A targeted peptide blend acts synergistically with AlphaRet resulting in fewer visible age lines.

Not qualified in this area to provide an opinion.

  • An ultra hydrating blend of squalane, niacinamide, ceramides, fatty acids provides deep moisture to help counteract the dryness associated with traditional retinoid based products.
  • A trilogy of skin soothing ingredients including allantoin glycyrrhetinic acid, bisabolol and portulaca extract provides a sensation of calmness.
  • A potent blend of antioxidants helps provide protection against free radicals.

For the last three bullets, the combination has surely worked to improve my skin’s overall health. I view this product as a crockpot of goodness, brimming with healthy, boosting, and skin health improving ingredients.

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Now for the million dollar question,  what is the difference between regular AlphaRet and Intensive version, well its really simple! The order/potency of their Second – Sodium Glycolate (salt of Glycolic Acid) and Third – Glycolic Acid is swapped to make it “intensive” and stand true to its name. All ingredients thereafter are exactly the same and in the exact same order too.

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The availability and price may deter some from this product. Available through professional physicians and at USD $110. For the well researched, this is not the only product in the market that has combined AHAs with Retinoid, however what sets it apart is the addition of peptides, antioxidants and a blend of squalane, niacinamide, ceramides, and fatty acids. A well rounded, one stop shop treatment for skin. In my view, its definitely worth the dough, as it captures most skincare needs in one product unless you have a very specific concern.

HHW.com

xx

Review & Comparison: AveSeena HoneyActive Beauty Mask

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Since I declared AveSeena’s HoneyActive Beauty Mask as May Lindstrom Honey Mud’s younger cousin the review and comparison post was inevitable. I’ve been using AveSeena for a few days now and I’m ready to spill the beans.

A uniquely thick, decadently rich beauty treatment, designed to offer natural nourishment leaving the skin looking illuminated and full of vitality. The brand claims, Delicious pure honey-based mask enriched with sublime botanicals smells sumptuous upon application, while gently releases the face from impurities with a sense of creamy smoothness and silky comfort. Based on my experience, I agree with every word in their claim, its honey heaven, decadent and intoxicating smell transcends me to milky smoothness on skin.

Anyway, lets dive in the specifics of the product, packaged in a classic violet miron glass jar. This treat smells very similar to Honey Mud, i.e. cocoa velvetty aroma wrapped around fresh orange blended with beautiful floral. Formula is decadent honey mixed with cocoa absolute, clay, lush oils and botanical extracts. Also the colour of the product is identical to Honey Mud.

Note: Click here for my Review on May Lindstrom The Honey Mud 

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For both these masks, the heart of formulation is enzyme rich Honey, purifying clays, moisturizing oils and healing plant oils and botanical extracts. Main differences between the two honey based product reside in texture and consistency due to the choice of ingredients in the formulation. The use of type of clay and oils explain the density of AveSeena’s clay mask. Below I have dissected the formula based on category of ingredient. Also note the order of ingredients is same as well.

Category AveSeena HoneyActive Beauty Mask

May Lindstrom The Honey Mud

Honey Mel (Honey) Raw Honey
Clay Kaolin Clay White Halloysite Clay
Oil Coconut Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil Macadamia Nut Oil
Other Witch Hazel, Colloidal Silver
Essential Oils

 

Cocoa Absolute Oil Cacao Absolute Oil

Sweet Orange Oil

Ylang Ylang Oil

Vanilla CO2 Total Essential Oil

Cedarwood Oil

Frakincense Oil

Myrrh Oil

Extracts

(Fruit & Flower)

Orange Fruit Extract

Orange Peel Extract

Lavender Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract

Cardamom Seed Extract

Gardenia Flower Extract

Apple Fruit Extract

Apricot Fruit Extract Hibiscus

Rose Mallow Extract

Clove Flower Extract

Jasmine Flower/Leaf Extract

Vanilla Fruit Extract

Tuberose Flower Extract

Spiked Ginger Lily Extract

Plumeria Flower Extract

None
Preservative Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

Another Major Distinction in the formula is the use of essentials oils versus botanical extracts. AveSeena developers believe the use of essential oils in a formulation wouldn’t allow very sensitive skin types to explore and enjoy this mask. They perform their own extraction on botanicals with their proprietary technology (which they cannot provide deets on). In saying so, Honey Mud has Witch Hazel and Colloidal Silver which helps soothe and purify the skin.
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Next up is the comparison on Texture, Performance and Results on skin. 

Category AveSeena HoneyActive Beauty Mask May Lindstrom The Honey Mud
Texture & Consistency Dense, firm, very mildly grainy for very very mild exfoliation

Think of honey based body butter

Air, light, smooth whipped like a pudding.

Airy thick lotion, think meringue mixture.

Mixing with Water Both the masks feels exactly the same on skin once few drops of water is mixed. It spreads and emulsifies nicely. The clays allow the milky emulsification while drawing impurities.
Results SAME – soft, nourished skin, healthy skin
100ml

$67

$90

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Both these masks can be very versatile in use and can be used multiple ways:

Morning cleanse – Scoop some goodness out of the jar and schmear all over the face. It’s not possible to massage this for long. Take a few drops of water and it starts emulsifying and can be massaged longer. Gently cleanses the skin, wonderful for sensitive skins.

Stand Alone Mask – Same step as above, except leave it on till I finish my other chores. However if you’re lucky 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. Both masks will not dry on skin where you’d need a chisel to remove.

Boosted Mask – Mix couple of drops of serum for more boosted treatment on skin. AveSeena recommends their own serum however I’ve tailored serum based on skin concern and need.

Mix with other powdered masks – Spoonful of any powdered mask concoction, such as spoonful of May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver (TBS) or Mahalo Care Pele Mask, or any other powdered mask concoction. 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. One look at my skin and it radiates, it’s firmer, pores appear tighter, overall texture is calmer.

DIY Mask: Like I mentioned in my Honey Mud post, if you’re hesitant to spend that much or have a limited budget here is an alternative: white kaolin clay powder, 1tbsp raw honey or manuka 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 boost the results, you can also use milk or yoghurt (lactic acid bacteria help with overall radiance).

Personally, I would happily walk past Honey Mud knowing there is another comparable, equally fine performing product with stellar ingredient listing at a competitive price point. Why would I want to fork out additional $23? In addition, for many the formulation differences may also be a deciding factor, i.e. essential oils or botanical extracts for your skin.

Of course it really comes down to personal preference and brand loyalty for some. I have my own thoughts on that, and this is certainly not the post to express that. What are your thoughts?

HHW.com

xx

Disclaimer: I was gifted the AveSeena Honeyactive Mask.

Alpha H Liquid Gold Series

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Hellooo everyone, seems like I’m back to blogging after an unexpected and unintentional hiatus. Anyway so here I am, back from a visit down under i.e. Australia aka my home. On my random walk into Sephora I discovered Alpha H Liquid Gold (LG) Rose, without thinking and within a blink of an eye it made its way to the checkout counter.

I posted about it on IG and had a few questions, mainly around how is it different to original liquid gold in terms of performance and formulation. Widely known fact, I’m obsessed and addicted to Liquid Gold for a while now. Many moons ago, Ruth Crilly – A Model Recommends had me hooked me on this liquid gold (pun intended).

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Before we dive in, quick capture on the original LG for the virgins: basically an overnight  glycolic acid treatment, to be used every alternate night and the results show a visible difference in skin tone, texture, scarring, pigmentation, sun damage and signs of aging.

Moving on with comparisons of original LG and Rose LG. First up, Formulation & Ingredient focus.

Original Liquid Gold

Rose Liquid Gold

Aqua, Alcohol Denat, Glycolic Acid (5%), Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Silk, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Extract (licorice extract)

Aqua, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Silk, Butylene Glycol, Maris Sal (dead sea salt), Sodium Carrageenan (sodium salt of seaweed), Potassium Hydroxide, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract (sacred lotus flower extract), Orchis Morio Flower Extract (orchid flower extract), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Phenoxyethanol, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil (geranium Oil), Caprylyl Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract), Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Citral, Linalool

Original LG is known for its intense, punchy formulation which is certainly not for everybody, definitely not for sensitive skins. The Rose LG is simmered down with addition of some hydrators and botanical extracts. Ingredients in red font are additions to the new limited edition formula. None of the ingredients from original LG are eliminated, so the soul of the product remains intact. The added ingredients are intended to help the product be gentle on skin and hydrate & plump the skin while it does its regular job (minus the intensity of original LG).

So you ask, how does the newer formulation impact the classic LG tingle factor and performance? Safe to say, it does have an impact on performance. Thankfully a positive impact, where it could open its doors to a larger audience with various skin types. To validate this, I did my own pH test on both exfoliators. We already know the original LG is famous for its very low pH (3.5) delivery system, giving it that tingle factor and making it a fabulous performer. So the new Rose LG, had pH rating slightly higher at 5.5 than original, which still means great execution with addition of new ingredients. The feel and effects on skin are more subtle, delicate, caressing, hydrating on the skin.

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Some more points to note about Rose LG is it smells a whole lot more appealing, not as much of a tingle factor on skin, and followed by rose water is an absolute delight (even though Alpha H recommend finishing up with night cream or leave as a standalone treatment). Typically I use both LG’s after cleansing, soak cotton pad with product and dab on skin, note here – not swipe. I always dab acid products on skin. Alpha H recommends leaving it here for an intense treatment however I prefer to follow on with hydrating toner, serum, moisturizer or an oil.

In terms of benefits for skin, LG helps to clarify and brighten the complexion, improve appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation. However Rose LG goes one step further where it hydrates and plumps the skin due to the addition of botanical extracts in the formulation. Furthermore it is also anti inflammatory and helps with redness.

Some comparison points summarized:

 

Original Liquid Gold

Rose Liquid Gold

Skin Type

Mature, sun damaged, prematurely ageing and acne-scarred skin

Normal to dry skin, and mature skin. I wouldn’t recommend for very sensitive skins.

Recommended Application Frequency

Each alternate evening.

Each alternate night however in recent Lady CH video they say its ok for morning & night.

pH Delivery

Low pH delivery system – 3.5 Perfect pH – 5.5

Tingle Factor

6-8 / 10 4-5 / 10

Size Available

50ml, 100ml, 200ml 100ml – limited edition

My love for Liquid Gold isn’t slowing down any time soon, Rose LG or not, I’ll still be a regular user of LG. I would love for Rose LG to be a part of permanent line but I’m not fussed about it. For me the original LG, is still the one. This is beginning to sound like an undying love story, but it stands true for me. If you tried either of these, share your experience, I’d love to know your thoughts.

HHW.com

xx