Skincare

My Guide to Elemis Moisturizers

0EF7BAD7-7BE4-47D4-A7BC-7BBAB3FBD86B_1_201_aElemis Moisturizers, in my opinion have the best range of moisturizers, that are luxurious, sensory treat to use, and most importantly effective! However they have a fair few to choose from, and here is my breakdown:

🔮Pro Collagen Marine Cream is hailed as the cult / best selling moisturizer from Elemis. It has shown to reduce the depth of wrinkles, improve skin firmness, tone and hydration in 14 days. This is one for all and all for one. Faking good skin is achieved with one, consistency not too dense, easily absorbed, and layers well. Would suit most skin types as it’s not very heavy on EO’s (not to be confused with botanical extracts). Basically a solid moisturizer for night or day.

Inci List – Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Isononyl Isononanoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Porphyridium Cruentum Extract, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Extract, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylate-13, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Polyisobutene, Fragrance (Parfum), Citric Acid, Chlorphenesin, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Citronellol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cuminum Cyminum Seed Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Limonene. (N)

🔮Pro Collagen Overnight Matrix is slightly more richer than above. This does a little more than just good skin, has visibly improved my barrier and plumped my skin. In terms of ingredients more than moisturizing ingredients (oils, butters, squalane), such as Peptides, Peacock’s tail algae, Microalgae and Wild Indigo Oligosaccharides (helps with hydration and barrier function). This would be lovely for mature skins, or skins needing more oomph with their moisturizer. Beyond basic.

Inci List – Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Olus Oil/Vegetable Oil/Huile Végétale, Propanediol, Behenyl Alcohol, Squalane, Butylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Beheneth-25, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Benzoic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Rhizobian Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Linalool, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Geraniol, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Chlorphenesin, Plankton Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Citronellol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Caramel, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Wood Oil, Limonene, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Tephrosia Purpurea Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lactic Acid/Glycolic Acid Copolymer, Phenylpropanol, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-50, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Heptapeptide-15 Palmitate.

🔮Pro Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream is a delight, my one stop shop. Personally this is my fave of all. A mousse like consistency, smells like a calm night & air scented with blooming white florals. This has helped my skin with visible radiance. Can’t speak to its anti aging benefits but definitely radiant skin. Ingredient wise stellar, Algae & Red Coral, Peacock’s tail algae, Peptide, rich Sesame, Avocado, Jojoba Oils. This is a sensory treat to use, possibly more than the one above and really helps calms me down with a deep breath. Again most skin types can use this but the limiting factor can be the price.

Inci Listm – Aqua/Water/Eau, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Glycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lauryl Laurate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Ethyl Macadamiate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Oil Unsaponifiables, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil Unsaponifiables, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Algae Extract (Red Algae), Acacia Decurrens Flower Extract, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Hexapeptide-9, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Fragrance (Parfum), Butylene Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Phytosterols, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sorbitan Oleate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool, Citronellol, Tocopherol, Limonene, Geraniol, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Extract, Malic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Mannitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, Diatomaceous Earth, Zinc Sulfate.

🔮Peptide Night Recovery Cream-Oil, the entire Peptide4 range from Elemis is around sychronising and following the natural circadian rhythms of the body. While the texture of this is light and fast absorbing I wouldn’t recommend this for sensitive skin given the number of essential oils (Lemon, Orange, Nutmeg, Butter Orange, Coriander) and addition of coconut oil. It does moisturise the skin very very well, and for me that’s where the benefits stop. The consistency reminds me of DrDG Peptide Milk. The scent of this product is wonderful, powered by Night scented stock (flowers that bloom in evening with gorgeous aroma that fills evening air). All in all, the experience & ritual of this cream in oil is truly lovely but the performance is basic moisturizing.

Inci List – Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glyceryl Oleate Citrate, Matthiola Bicornis (Night Scented Stock) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance (Parfum), Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil, Chondrus Crispus Powder, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Benzyl Benzoate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Linalool, Limonene, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Hexyl Cinnamal, Sodium Benzoate, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Eugenol, Coumarin, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf/Twig Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil.

🔮Biotec Skin Energizing Day Cream claims to help increase cell energy. The unique thing about this cream is inclusion of encapsulated Zinc and Copper. It dispenses (pump) the energizer and cream together, mix it together and apply. I wouldn’t recommend this for very sensitive skin given the essential oils. But in terms of performance, layers well under sunscreen, hydrates skin well under makeup, and does all expected from solid day cream. However again, price can be a limiting factor.

Inci List ENERGIZER: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Palmitate, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Xanthomonas Campestris Polysaccharide, Polysorbate 20, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrated Silica, Disodium EDTA, Zinc, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Copper PCA, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Lauryl Laurate, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Canarium Luzonicum Leaf Extract, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Amber Extract, CI 77400 (Copper Powder).

Inci List CREAM: Aqua/Water/Eau, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hexyldecyl Laurate, Hexyldecanol, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire d’Abeille, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Coco-Caprylate, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), Chlorphenesin, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Disodium EDTA, Alisma Plantago Aquatica (Water Plantain) Extract, Maris Sal/Sea Salt/Sel Marin, Sodium PCA, Succinic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Propanediol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Seed Extract/Extrait de Semence d’Orge, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Canarium Luzonicum Leaf Extract, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Coumarin, Rhizobian Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Amber Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract.

🔮Biotec Skin Energizing Night Cream is the richer version of day cream, imo. For night creams I think they offer a lovely range in pro collagen range, so this is one I have overlooked the most. Not because performance was meh, there was just better option from their range.

Inci List ENERGIZER: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Palmitate, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Xanthomonas Campestris Polysaccharide, Polysorbate 20, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrated Silica, Disodium EDTA, Zinc, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Copper PCA, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Lauryl Laurate, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Canarium Luzonicum Leaf Extract, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Amber Extract, CI 77400 (Copper Powder).

Inci List CREAM: Aqua/Water/Eau, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lauryl Laurate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Phospholipids, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), Chlorphenesin, Stearic Acid, Calcium PCA, Sodium Hydroxide, Maris Sal/Sea Salt/Sel Marin, Succinic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Propanediol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Sodium Anisate, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Seed Extract/Extrait de Semence d’Orge, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sodium Levulinate, Potassium Sorbate, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Copper Gluconate, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Canarium Luzonicum Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Limonene, Linalool, Coumarin, Rhizobian Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Amber Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citric Acid.

Since this post was originally published, obviously Elemis have launched couple more moisturizers in their range which I have not personally tried yet. however if you have please do share your comments below.

HHW.com

xx

Cleansing & Exfoliating Powders

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We see it everywhere now, cleansing / exfoliating powders. An ancient concept and like many other Asian girls something we took for granted as a part of our childhood. I distinctly remember when I was little, my Mum made a paste and gave me a bath with that paste. Yes all over the body. Many of you will instantly think of garbanzo bean powder, or powdered green mung beans, turmeric and milk or yogurt….yes that’s exactly the ubtan I’m referring to. That exact concoction is also applied to a Indian brides before the wedding. It’s said the ubtan aids exfoliation and imparts glowing flawless skin.

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So you ask, well explain what is an Ubtan? As per ancient Ayurvedic principles and texts, it is roots, flowers, mud, clays grounded and mixed in a powder form. The benefits are endless – Natural ground powders of clay, mud, roots, flowers, spices, salts, lentils, dried fruit skin’s which can be mixed with rose water, milk, honey, yogurt whatever your skin and heart desires. Aids exfoliation, helps with glow, wonderful cleanser, incredibly cost effective however there are plenty of options to splurge on. Multi purpose as it can be cleanser or mask or an exfoliator.

Finally, the western world of skincare has caught on, well more specifically ‘western natural skincare world or green beauty world’, call it what you may! I’ve noticed three distinct categories of this, western skincare entirely, western brands inspired by Ayurvedic principles and then of course eastern brands that are entirely based on Ayurvedic principles and elaborate methods of preparation.

From May Lindstrom to Leah Lani, they’ve all formulated a version of their very own and sold as cleansing powder or exfoliating powder. The ingredients are varied between brands but after a while you tend to see a consistent trend (albeit with slightly different proportion and formulation).

Westernized Versions (bold ingredients are common)

May Lindstrom – The Clean Dirt ($60 for 200ml)
white halloysite clay, red morrocan rhassoul clay, sea salt, vitamin c, sodium bicarb, marshmallow root, spices like cinnamon, clove, turmeric, ginger, vanilla and cacao

Leah Lani – Kalima Cleansing powder  ($46 for 100ml)
coconut milk, brown rice, clay powders, guava fruit, banana, camu camu, rosehip, honeysuckle, sea salt, hibiscus, vanilla, rose, vitamin c

de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate ($60 for 70g)

rhassoul clay, rose clay, sodium bicarbonate, white clay, oat flour, vitamin c, cocoa, rose, himalayan cedar wood, sandalwood, frankincense, vanilla, elderflower, marshmallow, grape, cucumber, calendula, german chamomile, gotu kola, ginseng, chrysanthemum and horsetail

Farmacy New Day Exfoliating Grains ($30 for 100g)

sodium cocoyl isethionate, corn starch, sodium bicarbonate, cranberry, water, adzuki seed, vitamin c, camellia, carrot, echinacea, glycerin, lemon willow bark, spiraling powder

One Love Brand New Day ($39 for 48g)

zea mays (corn) starch, pisum sativum (pea) flour, sodium cocoyl glutamate, kaolin, ananas comosus (pineapple) fruit extract, fragrance/parfum

The common ingredients that overlap between some of these products are Sodium Bicarbonate (resulting in fizzy emulsion making it more appealing & fun), Sea Salt, Vitamin C, Marshmallow Root, and Clay Powders. The first three ingredients mentioned is what clearly sets the Western Cleansing Powders apart from traditional Ayurvedic ubtans which are far more gentler on skin and dare I say far more “green” for skin! In my experience and opinion, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sea Salt and Vitamin C (assuming its pure Ascorbic Acid powder) can be very harsh on sensitive and sensitized skins.

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Coming to my second category, which is western skincare brand based on Ayurvedic principles and ingredients. This brings me to Mauli Rituals Radiance Exfoliant and Mask (£36.00 for 30gms or 1oz).

The inch list truly excites me, with inclusion of Fullers Earth Clay (that unmissable sweet scent),  Rose petal powder,  Sandalwood powder, Turmeric powder, Vetiver powder, Kashmiri Saffron, Asparagus, Sandalwood Oil, Rosehip,  Rose Absolute, Kashmiri Saffron Extract.

Works wonderfully as cleanser, exfoliant or mask. Versatile in use and mixing base. The luxurious  ingredient listing is much closer to authentic Ayurvedic ingredients with a clear exclusion of Sodium Bicarb, Sea Salt or any other skin stripping harsher elements.

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Closer to Ayurvedic Texts, Principles, and Ingredients

Forest Essentials ($18-$20 for 60g)
Tejasvi Milk – neem, cinnamon, fennel powder, sweet almond meal, sandalwood oil, fenugreek powder, peepal extract, anantmool powder, apricot kernel, saffron, durva extract and milk
Soundarya – orange peel, rose, jasmine, neem, oatmeal, sandalwood, turmeric, fennel, anantmool, saffron flower, lemon peel and star anise.
Multani Mitti  (my personal FAVE) – fullers clay, neem, turmeric, fenugreek seed powder, lodhra bark, woodfordia powder and banyan bark powder
Narangi (Orange) & Nagkesar (Messua ferrea) – orange peel, marigold flower, licorice root, messua ferrea, bala root, vetiver, ashwagandha, durva, neem, brahmi leaf, anantmool and cinnnamon
Roop Nikhar & Gulab (Rose) – lentil seed, rose, ornage peel, oatmeal, anantmool root, neem, katsuya powder,turmeric, saffron, cinnamon

Kama Ayurveda ($22 for 40g)

Mridul (face & body) – oatmeal, green gram, almond, neem, sandalwood, turmeric, rose and fennel.

PurEarth ($60 for 100g)
Turmeric Exfoliating Face Sand – Bitter apricot kernels, fullers earth clay, persian walnut, neem, turmeric, pomegranate, lavender, rose, seabuckthorn berry, and saffron

The web is also inundated with several DIY recipes, of which garbanzo bean powder,  mung bean powder, turmeric and milk or ghee is by far the most popular. However based on your skin’s needs, concerns and what’s available in your kitchen, these ingredients can also be used: Oatmeal, almond meal, rice flour, sandalwood powder, fenugreek powder, turmeric, grounded spices (cinnamon, clove, star anise, though not recommended to sensitive or reactive skins). Mixing bases may include purified water, steam distilled rose or any other flower water, full cream milk, cream, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, aloe vera juice, witch hazel, vinegar.

Ultimately it filters down to what your skin needs, how much are you willing to spend, where your brand loyalties lie, your preferences with traditional ubtan or westernized  version or a happy medium between western and eastern etc. Personally I’ve tried homemade Grandma’s ubtan recipes to modern Ayurvedic shops like Forest Essentials and Kama Ayurveda. My personal preference lies with more traditional format minus Vitamin C, Sodium Bicarb, Sea Salt.

HHW.com

xx

Kate Somerville Liquid ExfoliKate® Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment

fullsizeoutput_2051As I was scrolling through my 5,000 odd photos on camera roll, I discovered I took this picture on 20th January 2019 with an intent to posting a review and comparison of new (well relatively) Kate Somerville  Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment. Many know, I loved and adored Clinic to go (CTG) pads, which were Lactic Acid clinic however those were discontinued and made way for this new exfoliator.

Inci list analysis – the new one claims to have 10% triple acid action (Glycolic, Lactic & Malic), it also includes many others ingredients to soften the acid blow. Second ingredient being Geranium water. While CTG straight hit on Lactic acid, Witch Hazel and Onion Bulb extract. As stinky as it may sound, Onion bulb extract was also used in Biologique Recherche P50. The CTG inci list was short and included ingredients that really packed a punch in terms of performance. While the new one, in addition to acids, also includes enzymes (papain – papaya, bromelain – pineapple), peptide, honey extract. More than just exfoliating ingredients for the skin skin.

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Top Inci List – Triple Acid Exfoliator, Bottom Inci List – Clinic to go

Performance reflects the inci list precisely. The triple acid exfoliator while nice, is a lot gentler on skin. An everyday acid, without damaging the barrier (of course be guided by your individual skins). But with this formulation it is hard to over do it. Quite the contrary to CTG, not an every night treatment and used 2 times a week it really made a significant impact. I don’t have my pH testing kit on hand, but Beautypedia claims it hit pH4.35 (which isn’t in the optimal acid function zone), and hence the gentler effect. The experience of using it is pleasant, smells a lot nicer than CTG, the obvious scent of Geranium water. Pumped on cotton pad, dabbed all over and done. While CTG were individually packaged pads, making it convenient for travel. The new bottle is a pretty frosted glass bottle, omitting itself from being a travel companion (unless you’re planning road trip;) )

Long story short, triple acid doesn’t mean wham bam strong. This is a far more gentler formula suitable for entry level acid folks. As for me I will continue bitterly missing Clinic to go pads. Fully knowing that isn’t going to come back, I like layering triple acid with Kate Somerville’s RetAsphere (retinol and glycolic cream). 

HHW.com

xx

My Guide to January Labs

CompleteJanuary Labs, the brain child of January Olds. A brand born out of a necessity for simpler, purer products with much greater transparency about their ingredients. Her simple belief, that skincare doesn’t need to be complicated is well reflected in her range and formulation. I’ve had an opportunity to explore, try, experiment with most of the products from this brand and below is my experience, review and recommendations.

Before taking a deep dive in reviews, below is a quick overview of where this leads:

What I adore about this brand? Absence of Glycolic acid in formulations, and resurrection of Witch Hazel. Plus the basic-ness and simplicity of formulation and range of products offered. If you’re a far call from true blue skincare junkie, this is your brand. Also the products are easily versatile, and compatible with products from other brands.

What I don’t adore about this brand? The claims on products are tad OTT, definitely not the first brand to do so (hold no grudge here people). There is much more to love here than loathe. There are more hits, than misses.

Definite, Highly, Strongly, Recommend for every single one, all skin types – Retexturing Night Cream, Restorative Tonic Mist

My skin hates/allergic/sensitive to Glycolic Acid – Brightening Tonic, Restorative Tonic Mist, Retexturing Night Cream

My skin could give any reptile a run for its money, so bloody dry, flaky and dehydrated – Brightening Tonic, Moisture Renew Mask, Revitalizing Day Cream

You could miss out on these and not sweat – Pure and Gentle Cleansing Gel, Glow & Go Power Peel Exfoliant

Cleansing GelStarting a simple routine with a cleanser called the Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel. This cleanser claims to be gentle, non drying facial wash. To which I would add, a light citrus scented gel based cleanser, which builds to a light to medium foam. I typically used it in the mornings or as a second cleanse in evening. While I tried removing makeup, it didn’t do so well with a full face/intensive makeup face. So if you’re light basic makeup wearer you might be fine with it. This cleanser doesn’t need a washcloth, however after splashing and cleansing with water it left a soapy feel on my skin. Initially I thought it might be the quantity of cleanser I was using however that wasn’t the case. Despite its foaming action, I noticed it did not strip or dry my skin’s barrier and that can be squarely attributed to its formulation (addition of Aloe juice, Glycerin, Vitamin E, Phospholipids, Macadamia Glycerides, Sodium PCA).

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (Sugar Based), PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Coco/Isostearamide, Lauryl Glucoside (Plant Derived), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Plant Derived), Glycerin (Plant Derived), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Pinus Strobus Bark Extract, Phospholipids, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Shea Butter, Macadamia Glycerides, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Palmitate), Sodium PCA, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita Flower/Leaf (Chamomile) Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Citric Acid.

Moving onto the masks category from this range, starting with Glow & Go Power PeelPeel Exfoliant. This is not a peel exfoliant in the typical sense with hyper charged alpha hydroxy acids or enzymes. I see this product more of stimulant and booster for skin. It also claims to revitalize and brighten the complexion which I didn’t notice in my personal experience. Sadly, both the inci list and performance fell short. I’ve tried the regular and pro version of this peel and the results varied in terms of what gave me most tingle and flush. Or you could say oomph of blood circulation. The thick-ish gel consistency spreads nicely but had to be removed with washcloth and not much to report in terms of results. One cautionary warning, sensitive skinned people should be careful using Cinnamon oil in this formulation, as it may irritate the heck out of your skins. All in all, for USD $75 there are better peel alternatives available.

Ingredients: 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).

The other mask has quite the opposite performance effect, the Moisture Renew Mask. Everything as the name suggests. Rich delectable cream consistency, can be used as hydration mask or an overnight mask, works wonderfully. If I took the liberty of renaming this mask, I’d rather call it ‘Overnight Barrier Repair Mask’ (overnight plump skin). In this case, the formulation and results are directly proportionate, lusciousness of Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid, Linoleic Acid (making it suitable for acne prone skins), Vitamin E balanced with Green tea antioxidant and Cucumber extract for anti inflammatory property. The richness of Avocado oil (rich in Oleic acid – a very healthy fat), is balanced with Linoleic acid rich oil such as Sunflower Seed Oil. This mask is a wonderful formulation to combat both dehydration and lack of moisture (aka, nourishment and hydration).

Ingredients: Water, Squalane, Avocado Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Sunflower Seed Oil, Aloe Leaf Juice, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Apricot Seed, Corn Sugar, Sulfonic Acid, Palm Oil, Saccharide Isomerate, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Sage Leaf Extract, Chamomile Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Coconut Oil, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract.

Next up is the Daily Brightening Tonic, an exfoliating treatment that claims to hydrate while stimulating collagen production. Strong claim and I will reel it back just a touch, look at this product as a gentle, everyday use acid toner that will serve skin other benefits too. While I don’t take fancy to the claims description, the toner itself is quite nice. A simple (in terms of formulation) or basic, every day use, Lactic Acid based toner with other ingredients to help gentle exfoliation (cell turnover) for even the sensitive skinned (all skin type suitable). If Glycolic Acid is no no for you, you will love and adore this toner. No sensitized skin, no harshness of poorly formulated acid based toner and all in all a gentle toner. As simple as that! My skin loved this one particularly on night’s I don’t want to use strong peel pad (i.e. Alpha H Liquid Gold, DrDG, Murad, Biologique Recherche). This one broke it up nicely during the week along with Zelens PHA Pads.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Sodium PCA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lactic Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Glycerin, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Black Tea) Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower (ORGANIC Chamomile) Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract

Tonic and MistAfter an acid toner, follows a refreshing generous mist of Restorative Tonic Mist. One of the first products I ever tried from this brand and I instantly liked it. One of the reasons I really like this is because of its use of Witch Hazel, as simple as that. In our fancy skincare world or #beautycommunity no one really appreciates good ol’ Witch Hazel anymore. And this is where this product stands out. However not basic Dickinson’s Witch Hazel, this is blended in with more goodness of Aloe Juice, Sodium PCA, Rose Oil extract, Glycerin, Panthenol, Licorice extract, Gotu Kola extract and Marigold extract. Doesn’t dry skin, wonderful in skincare routine or over makeup, or as mid day refresher without sucking hydration from skin. All skin type suitable, all situation suitable, simple packaging and mists nicely. Misting is not as fine as a cloud, but not a water gun either. I particularly love using this on my scalp too!!!

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Sodium PCA, Rosa Damascena Flower (Rose) Oil Extract, Glycerin, Sodium Lactate, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Horse Chestnut Extract, Ruscus Aculeatus (Butcher’s Broom) Root Extract, Linalool, Licorice Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Extract, Geraniol, Citral

An incredibly rich day cream, that sparks a love hate relationship in me, RevitalizingDay Cream Day Cream. Rich it is, but lightweight cream, that works nicely under makeup and no piling either. Wonderful when I may have overdone an acid or retinol night before, or indulged in bottle full/emptied libations. But on regular mornings, too rich for my skin in a humid summer morning. Within couple of hours, my skin is a reflection of a frying pan causing an avalanche of makeup (not a good look). The jury is out on how this performs with my skin as we get into winter. The inci list boasts some nice and notable ingredients with Niacinamide, antioxidants, Hyaluronic acid. The incident list also explains the rich formulation with inclusion of Vitamin E, Borage Oil, Grape seed oil,  Shea Butter. This would be particularly nice for dry skinned folks. I wish it was touch lighter, seems like it is trying too hard for a day cream and it would work for larger population.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Beantree Oil, Beta-Glucan, Verbena Officinalis Extract, Hydrolyzed Soybean Fiber, Propanediol, Niacinamide, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Stearyl Alcohol, C14-22 Alcohols, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark (Maritime Pine) Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Glycerin, Euterpe Oleacea Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Extract, Aristotelia Chilensisui Fruit Extract, Aronia Arbutifolia/Aronia Melanocarpa (Chokeberry) Fruit Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil

Night CreamOn the other hand, Retexturizing Night Cream is a treasure in the chest of night creams. Rich but easily absorbing cream, enriched with Lactic Acid…exfoliating in a beautiful rich formula, truly retexturizing, which rings true to its name. This one works stand alone as ‘one stop shop’ or layers perfectly with a host of other steps in night skin routine. Absolutely adore this cream, with 9% Lactic acid, Peptides, Beta Glucan, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic acid is rightfully the work horse. My skin appears so healthy and balanced the following morning. The gentle exfoliation coupled with ingredients that help repair and build the barrier.

Water (Aqua), Lactic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sodium Lactate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Verbena Officinalis Extract, Beta Glucan (smooths fine lines and wrinkles), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii, Glycerin, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Soybean Fiber, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum.

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* Products gifted by brand

All in all, a solid brand offering a well thought out and executed range of products (even with a couple of misses). Also important to note is the price point across the board making it accessible to many more with good visible performance and results. One could say, the skimping point on price point would be thanks to the largely plastic packaged bottles. While not packaged in fancy glass bottles or miron glass jars, the packaging is practical and works, which is of prime importance.

HHW.com

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Essence & Serum Loaded Pads

The skincare sphere has seen a huge influx of acid toning and peeling (AHA and BHA) pads. However, over last few years, brands are expanding the realm of convenience from acid toning peel pads to serum and antioxidants pads to nourish, protect and boost skin health. For people who travel extensively, this is a dream come true (TSA checks are hell simplified). Today, Renée aka @Gothamista and I have brought together our experience with some of these pads to help you choose the best option for yourself. Renée covers the Korean skincare pads, while I cover couple of recent launches from this side of the world.

Renée’s Review

I couldn’t review Korean skincare pads without first mentioning the actual pads that serve as the most perfect vehicles for the beautiful essences we swipe over faces. The technology behind these wipes add to and are just as much a part of the skincare experience as the formula itself. We have already experienced the sheet masks made of the softest materials that can hold an absurd amount of liquid within their fibers without anything dripping out or releasing too much. The pads in my favourite swipeys hold enough liquid for multiple layers of hydration. They also make for great cheek patches/masks or spot masking in a pinch or for areas that just need extra. There is also light texture on the pads to grip excess or unwanted lurkers on the surface of the skin and smooth things out.

My favourite pads are also the best multi-taskers around. The ultimate for reducing the steps of a skincare routine without compromising on results. Not only are these great and convenient for travel but also for crazy, everyday life when you just can’t.

Peach & Lily Lazy Day All-in-One Moisture Pads

Peach and Lily

Source: Peach and Lily website

Everyday has been a lazy day since getting my hands on these pads. They are juicy and bursting with an intensely hydrating liquid that takes the place of toner, essence and serum. One refreshing swipe-over of the face is simply not enough. I’ve used this for multiple skins, swiping, sometimes patting or swiping then patting the liquid in with my hands before swiping again. My cheeks tend to overheat easily and after a shower, I stick a pad on each cheek and leave them there for about 15 mins as they are cool and refreshing on the skin and will replenish whatever was stripped in the cleansing process.

In the Summer, there was many a night where this was the only step in my routine before face-planting into bed…and it was enough. I would wake up to plump hydrated skin. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to pull this off in the drier months without a moisturizer but it’s a substantial hydrating layer for any time of year.

The formula is a nourishing and restorative elixir containing all the elements I would want in an essence-toner and none of the ones I don’t. This has the hydrators, ceramides, fermented soy extracts and a whole salad of fruit and veggie extracts. I use this immediately after cleansing, top it with an oil then moisturizer. The minute this multi-tasking potion is bottled, I will stockpile.

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Panthenol, Sodium, Hyaluronate, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Brassica Oleracea Acephala Leaf Extract, Ceramide NP, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Olivate, Allantoin, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sorbitan Olivate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Phytate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil

neogen cicaNeogen Dermatology Real Cica Pad

These pads are the ultimate multi-tasker and does it all. I can honestly say that they saved my skin during the most stressful period of my life. For 2 months, beauty and self-care were rituals I had no time for nor cared about. I mustered a routine which consisted of rinsing my skin with water, these Cica Pads, then moisturizer. Somehow, during a time when I should have grown a thick and rough, husk of neglect on my face, my skin was smooth, soft and clear the entire time and that was in no small part due to these superstar swipes.

Not only do they deeply hydrate, but they are greatly soothing as well as smoothing and refining all at once. This contains a 3 different weights of Hyaluronic acid to thoroughly keep the skin hydrated but also a robust amount of Centella Asiatica and Madecassoside to sooth and repair the skin. But the Polyhydroxy acid (PHA) in this is what kept my skin soft, bright and smooth the entire time. PHA are like AHA’s except with a larger molecular size and tend to be way gentler. You will not feel tingling or notice a drastic difference to the skin immediately like Glycolic or more concentrated AHA formulas but this is a product I used twice a day everyday – something I would never do with regular AHA treatments. This subtly kept my skin texture so refined, soft and bright everyday. There are periods of time when I want a weekly shock of strong acid but I tend to have always experienced the best results with gentle AHA’s that subtly refine everyday.

Neogen is also renowned for their pad technology. Not only do they hold an ocean of product, but each side has a different texture. One side is for refining the skin and the other smooths everything out.

Ingredietns: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, Madecassoside, Lactobionic Acid, Gluconolactone, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Octyldodecanol, Ceramide NP(Ceramide 3), Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Allantoin, Betaine, Panthenol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Propanediol, Diglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Disodium EDTA

Binita’s Review

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The newest to the market which I’ve recently tried are M61 Skincare Hydraboost HA Serum Pad and Vitablast C Serum Pad. Lets first talk about the Hydration pad, which is loaded with Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, quadruple Peptides, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Centella Asiatica, Tamarind Polysaccharide, Aloe juice, Wild Yam. I used this is as hydration pick me up in the morning, swipe all over. The pad itself is decently soaked to be able to take it down all the way to neck and chest. Followed with another moisturizer (if skin needs extra layering) or follow with makeup primer. Through the day skin felt plump and bouncy. It claims lasting hydration of 48 hours, but honestly who doesn’t wash their face in 48 hours and I won’t be testing that claim either. These work really well in conjunction with other peel pads too. Go over with acid pad and follow with this hydration pad and voilà done!

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xylitylglucoside, Butylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Panthenol, Tamarindus Indica Seed Polysaccharide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Centella Asiatica Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Superoxide Dismutase, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Fructose, Urea, Sodium Hydroxide, Maltose, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lactate, Trehalose, Allantoin, Glucose, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol

M61 Skincare Vitablast C Serum Pad is the one that stood out for its brightening effect. I struggle a little with vitamin C on an ongoing basis, because it tends to irritate my skin or flush red. This was the first Vitamin C serum pad I used, so my expectations were zero. With such a start, I didn’t know what to expect from this pad, aside from what was claimed on the packaging. Claims to have 15% stabilized vitamin C with Vitamin E and Gallic acid (antioxidant that helps with brightening). With fairly short ingredient listing, this pad is nicely soaked with enough product to swipe over face and neck. The product leaves slightly sticky finish on skin, even after I pat it in the skin. Not a deal breaker for me, as I follow with a moisturizer. My skin, the following morning was noticeably brighter. If I had to choose between M61’s Hydraboost or Vitablast, my choice will certainly fall with the latter.

Ingredients: Ethoxydiglycol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Ascorbate, Pentylene Glycol, Water (Aqua), Gallic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 60

If you know me well, you sure as hell know how much I love a tingle, here comes in Exuviance SkinRise Bionic Tonic Pads. Non acid tingle (from peppermint and eucalyptus oil) and freshness on my skin with Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA), Gluconoloactone, Lactobionic Acid, Vitamin A, C and E, Cucumber, Eucalytptus (not for sensitive skinned folks) and Green Tea Extract. In fairness, this is formulation is loaded with ingredients as is the pad itself. To momentarily focus on formulation, it is loaded and performs as an all rounder on my skin. Whether it be under makeup or at night, it has not failed. Skin has consistently been firm, smooth and luminous with these pads.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 80, Gluconolactone, Propylene Glycol, Lactobionic Acid, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C Ester), Retinyl (Vitamin A) Palmitate, Arginine, Glycerin, Algae Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Camellia Sinensis (Chinese Tea) Leaf Extract, Menthyl Lactate, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Ammonium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance), Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 19140 (Yellow 5).

Other notable mentions which we have not personally tried, include, Cosrx One Step Moisture Up PadCitrix Vitamin C Antioxidant Pads, Rodial Vitamin C Brightening Cleansing Pads, BeautyCounter Rejuvenating Toner Pads, Serious Skincare Vitamin C Ester Pads

Gothamista & HHW.com

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