Moisturisers

J.One Jelly Pack

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ja jiwonYet another ingenious Korean Beauty creation by Ha Jiwon, popular Korean actress and K-beauty trendsetter.

Claims to be a multi-tasker that firms skin, hydrates, and ‘grips’ makeup all in one for a flawless, plump complexion.
Spoiler: YES I agree with every single claim! It performs as promises.

Glow Recipe explains how it works:
The unique jelly texture melts into the skin with gentle patting, creating an ultra smooth canvas for flawless makeup application. Fragmented hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates while fullerene acts as an “oxygen magnet” to brighten complexion. The makeup gripping properties also helps the silky smooth application of any foundation or sunscreen used afterwards. The Jelly Pack is also nicknamed the ‘corset mask’ for its instantly tensing and firming effect. For their video click here.

At first, I was immensely skeptical of this product, its claims and ingredients. Then I played with it on back of my hand and I thought I’m definitely going to hate it. But I knew Christine from Glow Recipe loves this product and truly recommends it.

The packaging is a solid opaque plastic bottle with a pump. Disadvantage I cannot see when the product will come to an end and at what stage I need to stock up. Yes it’s become a staple for my makeup routines especially in summer.

With an open mind I gave it a go the following morning on my face. I dispensed 2 pumps of the schmicky clear odourless gel on index finger. Then spread evenly on face, it felt like spreading sticky honey on face. Unlike regular water or oil based serum it didn’t absorb or melt in skin.

Once schmeared all over, instructions said pat pat pat. Once the patting motion started, it felt sticky. Not in a disgusting way but not in a pleasing way either. My skin felt like that sticky schmicky tape ready to trap whatever I slap on next. In a matter of few seconds, the skin was dry, smooth and firmed from a sagging ol prune to nice juicy grape.

I used my L’oreal Cushion foundation with Real techniques sponge and it felt like the product clung onto the skin so well. Finished makeup, applied my Soap and Glory Kick Ass Powder and set off for the day. I did blot my face at lunch and everything appeared to be in place.

P1040494Fast Forward to 6pm: makeup was intact, product hasn’t moved at all. I’ve tried this with all my bases (see my morning routines) below. It was worked really well with all bases. In terms of application tools I used RT sponge, brushes and good ol’ fingers. I found sponge and fingers worked best with lots of patting motions. Much to my surprise this product photographs really well.


Ingredient Speak:

The formula is Free of:  Parabens, Synthetic Dyes & Fragrances, Mineral Oils.

Not only has my skin appreciated a decent primer but also loving how firm, taut and hydrated my skin feels. From an ingredient speak perspective the fourth inci is Niacinamide, you know how much that tickles my soul. Addition of Rose water, Rosemary water, Chamomile water, Fermented Black tea (works as humectant), Cogon Grass root extract, Water Lily Flower extract, Sea Daffodil Flower Extract, Glycerin, Adenosine, Hylauronic Acid with a blend of some preservatives and thickeners.

Suitable for all skin types, although dry skins might need a little bit more. In fact, I don’t know how it will perform in winter given my skin is a bit more demanding.

All in all, thumbs up from me unless winter skin makes me change my mind.

HHW.com

xx

Insight – Mahogany Naturals

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Many of you may have noticed on my Instagram account my new found love for Mahogany Naturals products. Mahogany Naturals is created by hair stylist Tope Beesley in 2012 to specifically address the needs of curly, textured and afro hair. Tope is also a certified Aromatherapist & Beauty Therapist so she understands how ingredients and essential oils affect different skins, hair and scalp conditions.

Tope believes everything has a purpose but most importantly, the products are meant to de-stress and relieve anxiety. As with any artisanal skincare, Mahogany Naturals is also hand made in small batches to retain its freshness in the historical town of Bletchley Milton Keynes, UK. They are PETA CERTIFIED as a cruelty free company and all  ingredients are 100% natural, organic, not tested on animals and are vegetarian friendly.

SNEAK PEEK: Keep an eye out on my Instagram, a giveaway of products will be announced to win some of the products mentioned below.

Meet Tope, below is my lil chat with this gorgeous talented woman

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1. Why Mahogany Naturals (why the name and why create this brand)?
The name Mahogany has always been a part of me. I remember using it since I was a teenager. It means strength, luxury and the best from mother nature.
2. The new trend of ‘Green Beauty’ is falsely misleading some customers as they’re not all completely natural or green….your thoughts? How is Mahogany Naturals truly natural? 
Everything we use is completely natural. I started out mixing formulations in my kitchen from my fridge to my food cabinet.  Even our preservative is naturally derived. I do roll my eyes when I see well known brands slap “natural” on the front label but then you look at the ingredients list and silicons and harsh chemicals are in the first 5 ingredients. I urge everyone to go straight to the ingredients list and familiarize themselves with it.
(You see why I love Tope so much, she insists on same thing, check the ingredient listing, get the past the claims of the product)
3. What motivates you to create new products? How are you inspired with different ingredients?
First of all my family is number one, my children and husband inspire me to start formulation my own recipes. I am also a qualified Hairstylist and Aromatherapist so I have the knowledge of the effects of essential oils and how to blend them. I also see a problem when a client comes to me and if I don’t have a product that solves their issue I work on formulating something.
4. Skincare market is saturated and everyday new brands are coming up. How does Mahogany Naturals distinguish itself from other brands in market?
I stay true to the essentials. I keep it simple with my ingredients and use only the best and highest quality ingredients. I don’t make any wild claims. I let the products speak for themselves and work their magic.
5. What skincare advise did you receive as a little girl and what advise do you give your children?
I don’t think I specifically got any skincare advice as a kid. I just grew a passion for it as I got older. My kids use everything I use from head to toe. My girls are always very moisturised. I explain to them that if you look after yourself from a young age you grow old gracefully and stay looking youthful for longer.

You can follow Tope and the brand on Instagram (click here)

EXPRESS REVIEWS

IMG_9266This is where my love affair with Mahogany Naturals began. Hair Mask with Rhassoul Cocoa, Honey Deep Hair Treatment. Its rich, delicious, intoxicating, intriguing texture had me all over it. Admittedly slightly heavy for my hair type (fine, thin and flat), but I can see this would be deeply adored with very dry and brittle hair. I carefully glanced at ingredient listing and decided to use as face mask! Fabulous deeply moisturizing for skin. Have a closer look at this decadent pot of lushness.
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Rhassoul, Raw honey, (Theobroma Cacao) Organic cocoa powder, Theobroma cacao Unrefined cocoa butter, (Aloe Barbadensis) Organic aloe vera, (Olea Europa) Extra virgin olive oil, (ulmus rub) Slippery elm, Guar, emulsifier, essential oils.

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Next hair treatment I tried was the Coconut Water Restorative Hair Mask, this suited my hair perfectly. I’ve used it as pre shampoo and post shampoo and my hair loves this mask. Also it smells beautiful (as with all Mahogany Naturals product). Scent wise I’ve yet to come across any product from this brand that I don’t like. This hair mask is not as dense as Rhassoul Clay and glides effortlessly through the hair strands.

Packaging wise all products come in plastic containers (not flimsy at all) with all information on labels. They are environmentally friendly and recognize the fact that we throw boxes!!!

(Aloe Barbadensis) Aloe vera, Coconut water, Organic castor oil, (Ricinus communis) Shea butter, Organic coconut oil (Cocos nucifera). Organic honey (Prunus Dulcis), Sweet almond oil, (Tocopherol) vitamin E, Vegatable glycerine, (Olea Europaea) Extra Virgin olive oil, silk amino acids, cetearyl alcohol, optiphen

P1040247My personal favorite skincare range from this brand is truly de-stressing component of my skincare regime. It really uplifts my mood from the shittiest day in the history of my existence. If asked to choose one product from this line up, I would walk away from all three because I cannot choose. Its all or nothing.

Cleansing Oil – perfect as morning or second cleanse, I dont prefer using this lush oil for makeup removal because I want direct contact to feed and nourish my skin and not deal with my war paint issues. Doesn’t emulsify with water but comes off effortlessly with hot cloth. I don’t need to specifically talk about the scent, just glance at inci list below.

(vitis vinifera) Grape Seed Oil, (olea europaea) olive oil, (citus sinensis) sweet Orange Oil, (melaleuca alternifolia) tea tree oil , Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Oil, lavender, camomile,  Eucalyptus radiata oil.

Next up, Face Hydrating Repair Oil. Yes we all know I have a major weakness for oils. But oils like this, where the Man of house calls it his own, means we have a clear winner. We need a moment here, to appreciate my Man uses face oil, this in the past has always been a forced measure. Now he is willingly doing it himself. Reasons behind this you may ask: well the uplifting scent, with instantly absorbing formulation, leaving the skin with a hydrated plump feel. What more could I ask for?!

(Oenothera fiennis) Evening primrose, (Sclerocarya birrea) macula, (Adansonia Digitata) baobab, (tocopherol) vitamin e, camellia, (Rosa canina) rosehip, (Persea americana) avocado, teatree, (Anthemis Nobilis) camomile, (Rosmarinus officinalis) rosemary.

Now the one that took me by surprise, Manuka Face Cream. I’ll be honest I don’t like or appreciate creams as much as face oils (in case you didn’t already know that!). However if you ask why that is the case, please click here as I have detailed post on this.

The first point of difference with this cream, the first ingredient is Aloe Vera. Second the addition of Manuka Honey 20+ factor as third ingredient. Tope is not mucking about with rubbish ingredients, she knows the true value of good quality ingredients. Much to my surprise the addition of Shea Butter did not congest or break me out. The preservative and emulsifier is also from natural source. Another reason why this won my heart, it’s in a bottle with a pump, no filthy fingering business.

Instantly absorbs, in same scent profile as other skincare products, immediate softness and plumpness in skin. Fabulous as makeup base or for basic Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize routine.

Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf extract, Light Coconut Oil, Manuka Honey 20+, Avocado oil, Butyrosperum Parkii (Organic Shea Butter), Rosemary oil, Glyceryl stearate, Stearic acid, Glycerin, Collagen (Marine), Cetyl Alcohol, Hippohae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn seed oil), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)

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Lastly the body care category, my favourite from this range is the body oil. The best combination is soak in bath salts and then slap on the body oil. I smell and feel bloody amazing.

Body Oil: (Vitis vinifera) Grapeseed oil, (Olea europaea) Virgin Olive Oil, Eucalyptus radiate, Lavandula officinalis oil, (Citrus Grandis) Grapefruit oil.

Bath Salts: Sodium Chloride Rock Crystal, Geranium Oil, Vegetable Glycerine, rose oil, eucalyptus oil, Allura Red

The deodorant is used more as body mist for me, I’m a woman who needs clinical protection deodorant for my kinda activities.

Have you tried anything from this brand? Alsooooo keep your eyes peeled for the giveaway on my Instagram.

HHW.com

xx

Darphin Stimulskin Plus SeruMask

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Yet another luxurious product from Darphin. Somehow they never fail to disappoint me with their product offering. The product was inspired by the technique and technology of Pierre Darphin’s signature Deep Massage. They claim, “The culmination of our Darphin Institute expertise, this ultimate youth-revealing hybrid mask blends the benefits of our iconic serum with the indulgence of a mask. At its heart lies the Stimulskin Plus serum’s reshaping “Push Up” benefits with precious Sea Emerald and other powerful anti-aging marine ingredients. Upon application, skin is wrapped in luxurious comfort. Over time, skin reveals a younger-looking self. Texture is beautified, lines and wrinkles are visibly minimized, firmness is improved, and skin contours appear lifted and redefined.” Lets dive straight into the inci list:

Getting a full list of ingredients for this product has been incredibly challenging. I have included the name the website from where I got this inci list. So assuming this site is accurate, lets break down then list to analyze the goodies (highlighted in bold):

Water/Aqua/eau, Caprylic/Capric, Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed oil, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Squalane, Peg-100 Stearate, Methyl Gluceth-20, Isopropyl Isostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate-60, Peg-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Commiphora Mukul Resin Extract (Guggul Gum-resin from Myrrh tree), Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract/Extrait d’Orge, Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Caffeine, Alteromonas Ferment Extract (gram-negative bacteria found in deep areas of seawater), Prunus Amygdallus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Whey Protein/Lactis Prtein/Proteine du Petit-Lait, Micrococcus Lysate (enclosed in a tiny package of fat (called a liposome) that supposedly helps deliver the enzyme deep into the skin), Algae Extract, Xrithmum Maritimum Extract (Samphire/Sea Fennel Extract), Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St Paul’s Wort) Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Hydrolysed Rice Protein, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Hydrolyzed Corallina Officials (algae), Ethylhexylglcyerin, Nylon-12, Carbomer, Acrylamide,/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Dicaprate, Oryzanol, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Tromethamine, Sorbitan Stearate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hyaluronate , Fragrance (Parfum), Glucosamine HCL (amino sugar), Lecithin, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891).

There are a number of preservatives, emulsifiers in the formulation (as it’s a cream consistency with water in formulation). I would imagine every skin type would benefit from this, however very sensitive skins need to be weary of inclusion of beeswax. Also some skin’s cannot handle Algae and instantly breaks them out, another ingredient to be mindful of. In my case, I don’t have any congestion or sensitivity to report.

To support claims of “texture is beautified, lines and wrinkles are visibly minimized, firmness is improved, and skin contours appear lifted and redefined”, the following ingredients in the formulation help (info from Darphin):

  • Commiphora Mukul Resin Extract (Guggul Gum-resin from Myrrh tree) – known for its anti aging and lifting properties
  • Alteromonas Ferment Extract – Sea Emerald botanical jewel sourced off the Philippine archipelago promotes collagen synthesis to lift and tighten
  • Hydrolyzed Corallina Officials – commonly knows as Pink Coral Seaweed, this algae extract contains high levels of micronutrients and polysaccharides that help restore hydrarion to the skin.
  • Deepsane – Helps to stimulate renewal and improve skin’s overall condition for a more youthful, smoother appearance.
  • Samphire Extract – known as “retinol of the sea” from the coast of Brittany helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Packaged in a typical Darphin jar with white twist open lid. The texture and consistency is of an unsuspecting cream that not only promises the world but actually delivers it.

Now I looked up this application technique video on Youtube, by Darphin Korea, and it is excellent. Couldn’t wait to get my mitts on brush and slap it all over. Applying with the brush does justice to the product, makes it uber relaxing and luxurious. I tried once applying with my finger (scooped some product on back of my hand) but it just didn’t have that instant gratification. Thankfully the brush comes with the product.

Darphin Application techs

Considering this product is marketed as a fusion product of a serum and mask, I like to apply this product after an intensive peel (like Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic+Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel) or Treatment (like at home microdermabrasion). It’s a rich luxurious product, why not reap its full benefit and make it as decadent as possible.

 

Upon application my skin immediately felt hydrated and soft. The following morning skin appeared visibly firmer and plumper. I even tried/forced this on Man of the House and for him to tell me next morning, his skin feels firm, I was flabbergasted! This is the same man that cleanses his face in shower.

Have you tried this product? What are your thoughts?

HHW.com

xx

Budget Skincare: Australia Pharmacy/Chemist

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A mission to curate skincare on a budget, not only in USA but also UK and Australia. I have collaborated with ever so lovely and fabulous Sal aka Ummbaby to find skincare options that don’t burn a hole in our pocket. Below I have a run down on all Aussie budget skincare finds. If you’ve missed USA and UK version, click on the links.

In Australia, there are a number of avenues to explore what we call “Budget Skincare”. Sold in venues like Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Woolworths, Coles, Kmart, Target, Local chemists, etc. Unfortunately I won’t be talking about each product in detail, this post will aim to provide you with some pointers at certain products and brands. Whilst I have not used every single product mentioned in this post, I have reviewed each ingredient listing. Even if you’re not on a budget and love to mix and match high end and drugstore skincare, this post will help you fill in those gaps.

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Some brands will feature repeatedly in each category and some products in these brands are worth a looksie. The brands include, A’kin, Moreish, Goodness Labs, Trilogy, Antipodes, Sukin, Dr.Lewinns, Botani, Swisse, Natio, Manuka Doctor, People for Plants, Innoxa, Nu’trir, Essano, QV, Lucas Papaw. By the very nature of globalization of businesses, there will be brands that overlap (e.g.: Nip+Fab, Indeed Labs, Burts Bees, Derma E, Olay, Yes to). 

Priceline Bourke Street Mall

First Cleanse

The very foundation of removing all war paint and daily debris from face. Some prefer micellar water (which requires a cotton pad) and some prefer cleansing oil (lazy person’s preferred method – one pump, massage and shifts all war paint from face). Cleansing Oils can be emulsified with water or removed with hot cloth. Needless to mention but my chosen method is the latter.

Micellar Water: Many brands do micellar water such as Simple, Garnier, Sukin, Swisse, Essano Micellar Water, L’oreal and Nivea Micellar Water. However not all move the makeup and dirt in same way. My preferred is Bioderma, however in spirit of ‘budget options’  I prefer Garnier, Simple, and Sukin (smells lovely).

Cleansing Oil: Some prefer basic coconut oil from supermarket however, basic oils like those may be comedogenic for some. You can look into Swisse Moringa Cleansing Oil, Nu’trir Nourishing Cleansing Oil (not typical texture, develops light foam upon contact with water), Dr. Lewinn’s Essentials 4 Fusion Cleansing Oil, Innoxa Restore Hydrating Facial Cleansing Oil.

Second Cleanse

Typically used to nourish and feed the skin all the goodness of ingredients. The price bracket is slightly higher than first cleanse. Look for cleansers with decent ingredients that you’d like to ‘feed and nourish and nurture’ your skin with. Removal method is hot cloth again!.

Gel Cleanser – Sukin Sensitive Cleansing Gel, Botani Purify Facial Cleanser, People for Plants White Tea, Aloe, Witch Hazel Cleanser & Makeup Remover, Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser, Trilogy Balancing Gel Cleanser, A’kin Sandalwood & Neroli Facial Cleansing Gel.

Milk and Cream Cleansers – Sukin Cream Cleanser, Moreish Cream Cleanser, Goodness Every Day Cream Cleanser, Essano Rosehip Cream Cleanser, Natio Renew Gentle Toning Facial Cleanser, A’kin Rose & Geranium Creamy Cleanser & Toner, Antipodes Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser, Trilogy Enzyme Cleanser & Cream Cleanser.

Balm Cleanser – Natio Cleansing Balm (doesn’t emulsify however cleanses skin well), Trilogy Makeup Be-Gone Cleansing Balm, Sanctuary Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser, Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser.

Mud Cleanser – Sukin Charcoal Cleanser.

Face Mask

Masks are intended to address specific concerns of skin in a ‘crash course’ format and of course with continued use you will see noticeable improvements. Generally, clay or mud masks are great for congested, oily, combination skins. Hydration is for dehydrated skins, but sometimes also adds that boost that makes you look alive. Radiance masks would be expected to have ingredients that exfoliate the surface of skin, such as enzymes or aha’s. Sheet Masks, are obviously an asian beauty staple and perfect for my multitasking brain, slap it on and continue moping, cleaning, laundry etc.

Clay or Mud Masks – Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Mask or Sukin Oil Balancing Charcoal and anti pollution mask, Sanctuary Deep Cleanse Facial 5 min Detox Mask, Swisse Manuka Honey Detoxifying Facial Mask, Moreish Emergence Clay Mask, Natio Clay and Plant Face Mask Purifier, Premium Spa Face & Body Mask White Clay, Rosehip & Chamomile.

Hydration – Burts Bees Intense Hydration Treatment, Natio Ageless Hydrating Mask with Vitamin C and Restore Mature Skin 10 Minute Moisturizing Mask, NIP+FAB Bee Sting Fix Lifting Mask or Kale Fix Dry Skin mask.

Radiance – Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, Nu’trir Detoxifying Enzymatic Radiance Masque

Sheet Masks: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Mask (5 pieces), Skin Republic Sheet Masks (particularly love their brightening vitamin c mask).

TIP 1: Sometimes the whole face doesn’t need a specific type of mask, you can apply clay mask on T-zone, while radiance or hydration mask on forehead and cheeks. Listen to what your skin needs and cater accordingly.

TIP 2: You don’t necessarily need to spend money on this category, there are umpteen number of home made options, all you need to do is explore your kitchen cabinets. I have a post on DIY Masks, click here.

Acids for Exfoliation

Regular readers know my LOVE for acids, if you would like to know about more AHA and BHA please refer to a separate post where I explain their basics. If  you’ve used highend acid peel pads you will know the pads surface are a lot softer on skin and companies invest a bit more in packaging. In the drugstore space, some pads can feel slightly abrasive, some pads don’t feel as well soaked and in some packaging is just meh (basic plastic jars).

Nip+Fab Glycolic Acid and Night Pads Extreme (glycol acid), Dr Roebucks Tone (with glycolic acid).

Toner

Once you acid exfoliate (where the acids lower skin’s ph 3-5), you need to bring your skin’s ph balance 5.5, (still slightly acidic) back to normal and hydrate skin. If the skin’s ph balance is higher than 5.5 (alkaline) it may result in skin being dry, sensitive and inflamed skin. Chemistry lesson Over!

Personally I wouldn’t spend a lot of mooolah in this category. Basic Rose Water (how to choose right rose water is simplified and explained here).

Natio Refreshing Face Mist, La Roche Posay Serozinc (can’t believe this is now available in Priceline), Sukin Clarifying Balancing Facial Tonic, Mario Badescu Facial Spray Aloe, Herb and Rosewater, Swisse Deep Sea Hydrating Mist Toner, People For Plants Rose Otto, Burdock, Green Tea Mist Toner.

Eyes

Depends on your age and condition of skin around your eyes, you want to choose an eye cream with specific ingredients. Younglings can get away with basic hydration boosters and soothers. Slightly more mature individuals or individuals looking to prevent early want to look into eye cream with ingredients like Peptides, Retinol, Skin Hydrators, Niacinamide, and Vitamin C and E.

Local Brands: Sukin Antioxidant Eye Serum, Nude by Nature Bright Eyes, People For Plants Kakadu Plum, Calendula, Chamomile Eye Cream, A’kin Purely Revitalising Lifting Eye Creme, A’kin White Tea & Cornflower Eye Day Gel (niacinamide heaven).

Other overseas brands: Yes to Cucumbers Eye love Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel, Burts Bees Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream, Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum, Indeed labs Eyesilix.

Treatment Serum 

This is the only category I would really recommend to reserve a bit more to splurge on. Whilst budget skincare do dish up some decent options, I’d still say identify your particular skin concern and get one serum (moderately priced serum) to really notice a difference in skin. Something to look into – most of Olay products are high in Niacinamide compared to other drugstore brands, and are reasonably priced. If you’re interested I have a separate post on serums based on specific skin concerns and ingredients to look out for each skin concern.

Treatment Serums: Generally there would be serums to address your specific skin concerns however sometimes treating your skin to a weekly or bi weekly treatment can make a world of difference.

Derma E Overnight Peel (review linked- I’ve use  and have compared it to Sunday Riley Good Genes too (click here), Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy Forte (acids and retinol in a thick cream form), Skin Physics Luminosity Even Tone Illuminating Serum, La Roche Posay Redermic R (gentle retinol on skin – no dryness or peeling of skin),  Essano Rosehip Collagen Repair Serum (niacinamide heaven), Trilogy Age Proof Nutrient Plus Firming Serum.

Brightening & Radiance Serums: A’kin Pure Alchemy Cellular Radiance Serum, Manuka Doctor Facial Oil Brightening, Swisse Kakadu Plum Brightening Serum, Antipodes Apostle Skin-Brightening & Tone-Correcting Serum, Nude by Nature Nude Miracle Serum

Hydrating & Plumping Serums: Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum, Billie Goat Soap Hydrating Face Serum, Moreish Glory Serum, Sukin Purely Ageless Botanical Hydration Booster.

Antioxidant Serums: Botani Acai Berry Active Antioxidant Serum, Antipodes Chia & Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum, Sukin Super Greens Facial Recovery Serum, Antipodes Worship Superfruit Antioxidant Serum.

Other overseas brands: Olay Regenerist, ROC Retinol, Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum, Indeed Labs Hydraluron, Peptabright

Face Oil 

Australian budget skincare is bursting with some seriously good face oils. Face oils are a short cut method to thoroughly moisturize your skin. Why I say this? Typical moisturizers have silicones, fillers, emulsifiers etc. However face oils (blend of carrier and essential oils) are 3-4 drops of concentrated moisturizer for skin and fabulous for Every skin type. I have a separate post on why I prefer Oils over Moisturizers, click here. Budget skincare do cater to some lovely oils, but make sure its all oils, no other ingredients are added.

Blends of several carrier and essential oils: People for Plants Argan, Pomegranate, Milk Thistle Face Oil, Sukin Facial Treatment Oil, Swisse Cranberry Antioxidant Facial Oil, Thursday Plantation Almond Oil Soothing, Nude by Nature Nude Oil, Thursday Plantation Brightening Oil Tone Correcting, Trilogy Age Proof CoQ10 Booster Oil, Sanctuary Youth Boosting Therapists Secret Facial Oil

Chia Seed – Goodness Labs (Certified Organic), Sukin Nourishing Chia Seed Oil, Swisse.

Chia Seed Blend: Antiodes Chia and Kiwi Seed Oil

Rosehip Oil – Trilogy (Certified Organic), Sukin (Certified Organic), Essano (Certified Organic), Natio (Certified Organic), Natural Instinct (Certified Organic), A’kin (Certified Organic), Thursday Plantation (Certified Organic), In Essence (organic), Iluka, Swisse.

Rosehip Blends: People for Plants Rosehip, Calendula, Chamomile Face Oil, Antipodes Divine Face Oil Organic Avocado Oil & Rosehip, Antipodes Divine Face Oil Organic Avocado Oil & Rosehip, Model Co Rosehip + Luxury Facial Oil Hydrate & Balance, She Pure Botanicals Anti-Aging Rosehip Oil, Essano Rosehip Oil with Acai Berry Antioxidant Oil.

Argan Oil – Swisse Argan Face Oil, Moreish Liquid Gold

Maracuja Oil – Swisse Maracuja Skin Oil

Moisturizer

I have limited experience in finding a good moisturizer, and I will not pretend and make recommendations. Based on the inci lists I think some of these could be decent options to look into:

Day Cream: Swiss CoQ10 Anti-Aging Facial Moisturizer, Natio Evening Primrose Moisturising Face Lotion, Sukin Sensitive Facial Moisturizer, Sukin Rose Hip Oil Hydrating Day Cream, Sukin Super Greens Nutrient Rich Facial Moisturizer, Natural Instinct Nourishing Moisturizer, Botani Olive Repair Cream, Goodness Every Morning Moisturizer, People for Plants Rosehip, Ginkgo, Shea Day Cream, Moreish Empathy Sensitive Moisturizer, Essano Rosehip Regenerating Facial Moisturizer

Night Cream: Sukin Purely Ageless Replenishing Night Cream, Swisse Hibiscus Anti-Aging Night Cream, Sukin Moisture Restoring Night Cream, Moreish Dream Night Cream, Billie Goat Soap Hydrating Face Cream Night

Lips

We all need a good lip balm or stick, I’ve been regular with Nuxe reve de miel for years however at $20 a pot, its far from an inexpensive option. We are in the land of Papaw ointment, in fact many of us grew up using it. These days however there are many more organic and petroleum free options to look into.

Papaw Ointments: Lucas Papaw Ointment, Nude by Nature, Models Prefer (flavours – Peach & Coconut), Nature’s Care (has higher content of Beeswax),

Beeswax Balms: Burts Bees would be an alternative to Nuxe Reve de Miel, Dr Roebucks Lips, People for Plants (flavours – peppermint & evening primrose, pomegranate & seabuckthorn, manuka honey & shea, pink grapefruit & sweet fennel, tangerine & juniper berry).

Lanolin: Lanolips

Other Blends of Lip Balms: Sukin Nourishing Lip Treatment, People for Plants vanilla and cocoa butter

Lip Balms with SPF Protection: Natio Moisturising Lip Balm SPF 30+, Natio Moisturising Lip Balm SPF 50+

Curated Budget Skincare Routine AUD $180-$200

Skin Type: Normal to Combination, needing a Radiance boost.

First Cleanse – Garnier Micellar Water $8.99 , Swisse Moringa Cleansing Oil $14.99

Second Cleanse Trilogy Cream Cleanser $21.99

Mask Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Mask or Sukin Oil Balancing Charcoal and anti pollution mask $15.99 or Natio Ageless Hydrating Mask $18.95

Acid Dr. Roebucks Tone $19.99

Toner Natio Refreshing Face Mist $13.95

Eye Sukin Antioxidant Eye Serum $19.99

Serum Billie Goat Soap Hydrating Face Serum $16.99 or Swisse Kakadu Plum Brightening Serum $29.99

Face Oil Essano Rosehip Oil with Acai Berry Antioxidant Oil $15.99 or Sukin Facial Treatment Oil $19.99

Lips – Papaw Ointment $4.99

Treatment Derma E Overnight Peel $29.99 or Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy Forte $59.99 (optional)

Hope you’ve found this useful and informative and thank you for taking the time to read.

HHW.com

xx

Budget Skincare: USA Drugstore

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A mission to curate skincare on a budget, not only in USA but also UK and Australia. I have collaborated with ever so lovely and fabulous Sal aka Ummbaby to find skincare options that don’t burn a hole in our pocket. Below I have a run down on USA drugstore finds, however keep your eyes peeled for UK drugstore/pharmacy/chemist options which Sal will post this week and finally I will post budget skincare options for Australia.

In USA, there are a number of avenues to explore what we call “Drugstore Skincare”. Sold in venues like Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, Duane Reade, Walmart, Target, etc. Now Ulta may not be technically a drugstore, but it stocks inexpensive options of skincare. This post intends on unraveling all skincare options in a typical skincare routine format. Unfortunately I won’t be talking about each product in detail, this post will aim to provide you with some pointers at certain products and brands. Whilst I have not used every single product mentioned in this post, I have reviewed each ingredient listing. Even if you’re not on a budget and love to mix and match high end and drugstore skincare, this post will help you fill in those gaps.

BRAND TALK

Some brands will feature repeatedly in each category and some products in these brands are worth a looksie. The brands include, Yes to, Burts Bees, CeraVe, Olay, ROC, Pacifica, Derma E, Shea Moisture, Simple, Garnier, Michael Todd, Soap & Glory, Hada Labo Tokyo, Indeed Labs, Andalou Naturals, Devita, Alba Botanica, Nip+Fab, Acure Organics, S.W.Basics,  Michel Todd (Ulta), Tony Moly (Ulta), Pixi Beauty (Target). There is also The Body Shop, whilst its not technically drugstore, a lot of their skincare it’s at a fab price point.

First Cleanse

Typically a first cleanse is intended to remove the first layer of war paint and debris from face. You want a product that effectively and efficiently shifts and removes the makeup. Micellar water and oils are fuss free, joyless effective options.

Micellar Water: Used on a cotton pad and swiped all over the face to remove makeup. Some love and some hate. Personally its my lazy route to a proper skincare routine. Brands that cater to micellar water connoisseurs at drugstore level include: Simple Micellar Water, Garnier Micellar Water, Pacifica Cactus Water Micellar Water, Boots Botanics All Bright Micellar Cleanser.

Cleansing Oil: The ultimate lazy human’s cleansing Bae! One pump, schmeared all over face and BAM! The war paint melts away and face can be wiped clean with a cotton pad (not recommended or preferred) or Hot Cloth (correct way! IMO). Our lazy bae’s are sold by Burts Bees Cleansing Oil, Mineral Fusion Makeup Removing Oil Cleanser, Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Facial Cleansing Oil. There are others like Boots No.07, Neutrogena however they contain Mineral Oil as first ingredient. You can also look into The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil.

Second Cleanse

Once makeup and dirt from face is removed, this step is intended to feed, nourish and cleanse the skin. Look for cleansers with decent ingredients that you’d like to ‘feed and nourish and nurture’ your skin with. Removal method is hot cloth (sold in Costco, Target) again!.

Gel Cleanser – There are various options of gel cleansers, such as gel to oil, foaming gels, creamy gels. Options: Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel, Pacifica Quinoa Sensitive Face wash.

Milk and Cream Cleansers – Great for all skin types. Easy to work with and effective at its job. Burts Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Creme Cleanser, Yes to Cream (all ranges) cleansers, Andalou Naturals Cleanser (Meyer Lemon, Apricot Milk), Burts Bees Brightening Cleanser and Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser.

Balm Cleanser – The Proper Cleansing Product One Should Invest (notice caps, intending emphasis). Enriched with oils and essential oils to feed the skin with goodness and include a aromatherapy-esque massage. Yes to Coconut Melting Gel (Ulta only – says Gel but texture and consistency wise, it’s denser thus in the balm category), Pixi Cleansing Balm, Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm, The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter.

Mud Cleanser – Wonderful for congested skin or skin looking for an ooomph with a cleanse. Or if you’re lazy like me and want a 2in1 step ‘second cleanse and mask’ look no further than Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser (my review, click here).

Face Mask

Masks are intended to address specific concerns of skin in a ‘crash course’ format and of course with continued use you will see noticeable improvements. Generally, clay or mud masks are great for congested, oily, combination skins. Hydration is for dehydrated skins, but sometimes also adds that boost that makes you look alive. Sheet Masks, are obviously an Asian beauty staple and perfect for my multitasking brain, slap it on and continue moping, cleaning, laundry etc.

Clay or Mud Masks – Shea Moisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Face mask, Nip+Fab Kale Fix Clay Mask, Nip+Fab Glycolic Instant Fix mask, S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask (Target), Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask, Now Foods Clay Powders (available in Moroccan Red, European Green, Bentonite clay and can be used with ACV, Milk, Water, Honey….dabble in kitchen. My DIY recipes click here).

Hydration – Hada Labo Tokyo Anti Aging Facial Mask, Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Overnight Creme Mask, Derma E Hydrating Mask with Hyaluronic Acid.

Radiance – Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus, Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask, Pacifica Future Youth Enzymatic Resurfacing Mask, Yes to Grapefruit Pore Perfection Brightening Peel, Acure Organics cell stimulating facial mask.

Sheet Masks: Yes to Grapefruit Pore Perfection Paper Mask, My Beauty Diary Sheet masks (now sold in Target for under $15).

TIP 1: Sometimes the whole face doesn’t need a specific type of mask, you can apply clay mask on T-zone, while radiance or hydration mask on forehead and cheeks. Listen to what your skin needs and cater accordingly.

TIP 2: You don’t necessarily need to spend money on this category, there are umpteen number of home made options, all you need to do is explore your kitchen cabinets. I have a post on DIY Masks, click here.

Acids for Exfoliation

Regular readers know my LOVE for acids, if you would like to know about more AHA and BHA please refer to a separate post where I explain it’s basics. If  you’ve used highend acid peel pad you will know the pad’s surface is a lot softer on skin and companies invest a bit more in packaging. In the drugstore space, some pads can feel slightly abrasive, some pads don’t feel as well soaked and in some packaging is just meh (basic plastic jars).

Nip+Fab Glycolic Acid and Night Pads Extreme, Alpha Hydrox pads, Clearasil Refreshing Superfruit Pads (Walmart), Shea Moisture Superfruit Renewal Peel Pads (Ulta, my review), Michael Todd Organic Lemon AHA & DMAE Toner (Ulta), Pixi Glow Tonic (Target)

Toner

Once you acid exfoliate (where the acids lower skin’s ph 3-5), you need to bring you skin’s ph balance 5.5, still slightly acidic) back to normal/slightly acidic and hydrate skin. If the skin’s ph balance is higher than 5.5 (alkaline) it may result in skin being dry, sensitive and inflamed skin. Chemistry lesson Over!

Personally I wouldn’t spend a lot of mooolah in this category. Basic Rose Water (how to choose right rose water is simplified and explained here).

Yes to Grapefruit and Yes to Cucucmber Toning Mists, Mario Badescu Facial Spray Aloe, Herb and Rosewater, Shea Moisture Black Soap Problem Skin Toner,  Derma E Purifying Toner, Derma E Hydrating Mist with Hyaluronic Acid, Derma E Evenly Radiant Brightening Toner, Firming DMAE Toner, Anti Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Toner, Mario Badescu Alpha Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion, Acure Organics Facial Toner Balancing Rose plus Red Tea, Avalon Organics Vitamin C Facial toner.

Eyes

Depending on your age and condition of the skin around your eyes, you want to choose an eye cream with specific ingredients. Younglings can get away with basic hydration boosters and soothers. Slightly more mature individuals or individuals looking to prevent early want to look into an eye cream with ingredients like Peptides, Retinol, Skin Hydrators, Niacinamide, Vitamin C and E.

Yes to Cucumbers Eye love Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel, Boots Botanics Organic Hydrating Eye Cream, Burts Bees Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream, Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum, Indeed labs Eyesilix, Tony Moly Panda’s Dream Eye Patch, Nip+Fab Bee Sting Eye Fix, Shea Moisture SuperFruit Renewal Eye Cream.

Treatment Serum 

This is the only category I would really recommend to reserve a bit more $$$ to splurge on. Whilst drugstore do dish up some decent options, I’d still say identify your particular skin concern and get one serum (moderately priced serum) to really notice a difference in skin. Something to look into – most of Olay products are high in Niacinamide compared to other drugstore brands, and are reasonably priced. If you’re interested I have a separate post on serums based on specific skin concerns and ingredients to look out for each skin concern.

Pixi Overnight Glow Serum, Olay Regenerist, ROC Retinol, Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum, Alpha Skincare Rejuvenating Serum (super shot of Glycolic Acid), Andalou Naturals Turmeric Enlight Serum, Indeed Labs Hydraluron, Peptabright

Face Oil 

Short cut to thoroughly moisturize your skin. Why I say this? Typical moisturizers have silicones, fillers, emulsifiers etc. However face oils (blend of carrier and essential oils) are 3-4 drops of concentrated moisturizer for skin and fabulous for Every skin type. I have a separate post on why I prefer Oils over Moisturizers, click here. Drugstore do cater to some lovely oils, but make sure its all oils, no other ingredients are added.

Yes to Blueberries Face & Neck Oil, Pixi Rose Oil Blend, Loreal Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil, Olay Regenerist Luminous Facial Oil, S.W Basics Oil Serum, Acure Organics, Badger Organics Rose Oil, Mad Hippie (vitacost.com), Boots Botanics Triple Age Renewal Facial Oil

Moisturizer

I have limited experience in finding a good moisturizer in drugstore, and I will not pretend and make recommendations. Based on the inci lists I think some of these could be decent options to look into:

Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Anti Aging Moisturizer, Shea Moisture Superfruit Renewal Facial Moisturizer, Nip+Fab Bee Sting Deluxe Cream, Pixi H2O Skindrink, Burts Bees Intense Hydration Day and Night Creams.

Lips

We all need a good lip balm or stick, I’ve been regular with Nuxe Reve de Miel for years however at $20 a pot, its far from an inexpensive options.

Burts Bees would be an alternative to Nuxe Reve de Miel, Smith’s Salve

Treatment

Generally there would be serums to address your specific skin concerns however sometimes treating your skin to a weekly or bi weekly treatment can make a world of difference. I’ve use Derma E Overnight Peel (click here for my review) and have compared it to Sunday Riley Good Genes too (click here). 

Curated Drugstore Skincare Routine $100 – $120

(depends on your location within USA) 

Skin Type: Normal to Combination, needing a Radiance boost.

First Cleanse – Simple Micellar Water $8 , Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Facial Cleansing Oil $9

Second Cleanse Yes to Coconut Melting Gel $10

Mask Now Foods Moroccan Red Clay $6-$9 (depends on your location, can be mixed with water, ACV, Milk, Yogurt, refer to my DIY Mask recipes)

Acid Nip+Fab Glycolic Acid and Night Pads Extreme $15

Toner Mario Badescu Facial Spray Aloe, Herb and Rosewater $7

Eye Boots Botanics Organic Hydrating Eye Cream $15

Serum Pixi Overnight Glow Serum $24

Face Oil Yes to Blueberries Face & Neck Oil $16, Boots Botanics Triple Age Renewal Facial Oil $15

Lips – Burts Bees $3.30

Treatment Derma E Overnight Peel $19 (optional)

Hope you’ve found this useful and informative. To read and explore drugstore/pharmacy/chemist options in UK please keep an eye out for Sal’s Ummbaby’s post on A guide to UK Drugstore skincare. Thank you for taking the time to read.

HHW.com

xx