Andalou Naturals

Encyclopedia of Face Masks

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The western skincare scene has usually been limited to clay, mud, charcoal, cream, gel kind of masks. Move to the east and we have a whole new innovative category of masks. Starting with the more traditional sheet masks for various parts like face, hands, feet with different materials to a rather new age innovative Oxygen bubbling, Splashing or Patting, Rubber modeling, Spot treatment, Lip masks!!!! Below I have a list of masks based on various consistencies and textures:

  • Clay, Mud, Charcoal
  • Powder aka Ubtan
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Sheet – face and eye – cotton, gel, sea weed/kelp, hydrogel, foil back sheet mask
  • Sleep or Overnight – cream, gel or bouncy textures, water pack
  • Peel off mask – Gels
  • Rubber modeling
  • Oxygen Bubbling
  • Splash or Patting
  • Mousse pack – too cool for school eg mousse pack
  • Nose pack – mainly for white and black heads
  • Spot treatment
  • Hand & feet
  • Lip mask

In terms of why we mask, its simple – immediate crash injection of whatever skin needs. Below are some outcomes expected of masks, and the gobbledygook it’s usually marketed with:

  • Repair, Rescue
  • Detoxifying, Decongesting, Purifying, Deep Cleansing, Mattifying, Clarifying, Pore Correction
  • Exfoliating, Resurfacing, Retexturizing
  • Radiance, Brightening, Glow, Luminous
  • Hydration
  • Moisture
  • Firming, Lifting, Shaping
  • Self Tanning Sleep Mask

I’ll talk about my current masks on rotation based on their purpose in life and intended outcome for my skin. Here I have a decent mix of price points and regional availabilities. Of course if all else fails, diving into your kitchen and whipping up one of your own creations is always an option. I have a post on DIY masks you could refer for some ideas and inspiration.

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Charcoal, Clay and Mud Masks

I hate paying ridiculously priced clay, mud or charcoal masks! They are the cheapest ingredients and formulating a mask with them as a base doesn’t cost an entity as much moolah. Large mark up zone, so beware and ensure you read inci list here. Look for life changing ingredient (as if they exist – eye roll) to justify a price tag.

Generally formulated with some soothing, hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. This category of masks can leave the skin dry and parched. This happens because the mask is left on too long. These masks should be left long enough for it to work but not to the point where they are bone dry. By doing so it is drawing moisture from skin. Once you let it dry completely to the point you cannot move your face, you would need a bloody chisel to break through (exceptions: Aesop, SkinFood NZ, Sanctuary Spa). Therefore I prefer slapping these on when I intend to step in the shower. With the steam and clay/mud/charcoal it draws impurities to surface and truly detoxifies the skin. Plus its easier to remove and goes down the drain instead of messing up the sink.

Great for oily, combination, congestion prone skin. Alternatively also good for skin who need a detox. Drier skins need to be slightly careful with masks, add couple of drops of facial oil to avoid any post-mask tightness or dryness.

Quick blurb on all masks pictured above: Dr. Organic Virgin Olive Oil – too drying, hard to work with; Good Things Manuka Honey – purifying yet leaving skin supple; Nip+Fab Kale Fix – seriously softens the skin; Caudalie Purifying – too strong essential oils, not crazy about this one; Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus – smells amazing but results are mediocre; Moreish – another Kiwi fave mask, almost creamy and leaves skin supple; Cattier – limited availability outside France, good basic clay mask; Mahalo Bean (limited edition) – not available anymore but left skin radiant; Andalou Naturals – great drugstore option; Aesop – long time fave, wonderful detoxifier; SkinFooz NZ – the best mask truly, not drying, applies nicely, very mild exfoliating and nourishing; Derma E – exfoliating particles not for sensitive skins; Sanctuary Spa – warming sensation, easy to remove; Colleen Rothschild Detoxifying – minty freshness, leaves skin refreshed and purified.

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Brightening, Radiance, Firming Mask

Texture wise this category varies between gel, cream and whipped mousse. Ingredient base will usually have some form of AHA, or Enzymes to allow the surface exfoliation which results in brightening and radiance. Occasionally some masks include physical exfoliation aspect as well, in this case its M61 Skincare Vitablast C Scrub & Mask. I tend to slap it on, leave it for a while and then gently massage/exfoliate the skin. Given its formulation with Vitamin C it helps brighten the skin. Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey mask is an unusual one in this category, whilst Antipodes claim it to be purifying as honey draws impurities to surface I prefer this mask for subtle glow and brightening my skin. Easy cream application leaves skin soft, supple and glowy.

Blurbs on others: Andalou Naturals Berry Enzyme – again great drugstore alternative without hefty price tag; Forest Essentials Yogurt Purifying – stings skin slightly, smells yummy, whipped yogurt texture and results are meh; Dr Lewinns Reversaderm – sure shot radiance with runny blue lotion like consistency; Natio 10min Brightening – so good, but limited to Australia; Farmacia Barcelona Gold Mask – slightly gimmicky with gold ‘powder’ but decently hydrating; Nip+Fab Bee Sting – nothing firms skin like this fella, taut skin; Chantecaille Fruit and Flower – smells amazing, feels creamy and leaves skin glowy. love.

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Hydration Boosters

Hyaluronic acids, Glycerin, fermented ingredients or masks formulated with serious humectants are all about major hydration. Absolute treats for skin and sensorial experiences include Mahalo Petal – the smell is heavenly, apply and step in shower and the whole bathroom smells divine. Words are not enough to describe the scent. In terms of hydration its a mild everyday use mask. May Lindstrom The Honey Mud classified as cleanser, but No its too lush to go as cleanser hence a sweet spicy honey mask. An inexpensive treat is Super Facialist Una Brennan Rose Hydrating mask and Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses mask.

The beauty of these masks is you can use everyday (if your skin needs it). Leave it on for as long as your heart desires and skin is left hydrated, nourished and smooth.

Serious hydrating masks are – Bioderma Hydrabio (nothing like this fella), Rodial Dragons Blood Hyaluronic Acid (overnight leave on mask), Natio Ageless Vitamin C hydration and The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture mask.

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Powder masks

The purpose could vary from mere cleansing, exfoliating, detoxifying to enzyme radiance. Recently I wrote about cleansing powders aka ubtans could also be used as masks. Since the ingredients are in dried powder form this one has greater shelf life but can be messy to use. At the same time it gives you the flexibility and allows creativity on the liquids to use for mixing. May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver is enriched with spices and oils and tends to self heat (due to spices) when applied to the skin. Love this mask for its ability to decongest and purify skin.

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The new concept of splashing or patting unadulterated concentrated ingredients on skin for crash radiance. The methods of application can be as creative as they can get, but what remains consistent is the result on skin. Bright, radiant skin like someone slapped it to life! This product is truly tailored for clumsy individuals like me. Definitely look into this, now available in Sephora too, so you can try a sample.

Click here for my detailed review

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Sheet Masks

These masks are now becoming all the rage in western markets whereas they have dominated the east Asian market for decades. Made with various materials, ingredients these masks pack a punch and truly feed the skin. The beauty of these masks is you can get it for absolutely any skin concern. Sheet masks are also made specifically for neck, hands, feet, eye, and lips.

Personally I love using these after acid tone stage, as my skin drinks up all the essence in these masks, follow with serum or ampoule and finish off with oil or moisturizer. The fits and sizes of these masks can vary for a lot of non Asian faces. In some instances, the forehead is not big enough or nose is tiny, or mask in general is smaller. They are made with Asian faces in mind however the outreach of these masks is phenomenal.

Whilst Korea dominates the sheet masks domain, Asian countries like Japan (HadaLabo, SKII, Shiseido, Harihada, Biore), Taiwan (My Beauty Diary, Naruko, Neogence, Silk Whitia), Singapore (DrGL, BioEssence, RachelK), Hong Kong (Hiruscar,Wai Yeung Tong) are not too far behind and worth giving a try.

These masks are wildly creative with the ingredient formulation too, from oils to fermented ingredients to animal by products (donkey milk, snail mucin, abalone serum), EGF factors, etc. The price points can also range from a $1 to $40 per sheet mask.

The new trend also includes cleansing gel, peeling gel, aqua or milk peel swab (aka acid tones), essence and sheet masks making it a one stop shop for convenience and travel friendly. Reme G, Ettang, Papa Recipe, Somoon, The Saem are some brands which have got on board with this concept.

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Not a huge deviation from above mentioned Sheet Masks, these Eye patches specifically address puffiness, bagginess and brightening eye area. Common ingredients that are often used are caffeine, retinol, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, bamboo water and other fermented ingredients.

On a disgustingly warm day, keeping any sheet mask in fridge for few minutes before application can seriously feel amazing, slapping on cool sheet mask whilst everything around you is boiling and feel like your insides are melting. Amazing for travel, excellent short cut to an elaborate routine without compromising on results.

How innovative and experimentative are you with masks? I’d love to know in comments below is there any category of mask or brand I absolutely must try.

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

Enzymes 101

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In my last post on Acids 101 I decoded all Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids however this post I will talk about Enzymes. They are different to Alpha Hydroxy Acids in the way they operate. AHA’s dissolve lipids (oils) that hold cells together, penetrate in skin and loosen the clingy skin cells. However, enzymes dissolve the dead skin cells on the surface of skin. Enzymes are not pH dependent; therefore limited exfoliation can be achieved.

Skin Concerns: used to treat pigmentation, acne, fine lines, sun spots. The only catch to these products are the enzymatic activity (active period) lasts 4-6 months.

Textures & Consistency: comes in all forms, cleanser, exfoliants, peels or masks. Generally you can smell the original primary ingredient.

The Experience: stinging, tingling are common however you have to be guided by your skin’s tolerance.

Operation Mode: Enzymes are wonderful surface exfoliants without any manual scrubbing tugging or pulling action. They’re are gentler on the skin compared to AHA’s however some aggressive enzymes such as Papain may not be the best option for sensitive skins.

The table below shows the main types of enzymes used in products aiding in removal of dead skin cells with some product suggestions:

Source Enzyme Name Products Suggestions
Papaya Papain Cleanser: Jan Marini Clean Zyme

Exfoliator: Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder, Kate Somerville ExfoliKate

Mask: Astara Green Papaya Nutrient Mask, Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Mask, Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalising Mask, Elemis Papaya Enzyme Mask, Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator, Jan Marini Skin Zyme, Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Mask

Moisurizer: Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Pineapple Bromelian Cleanser: My Chelle Enzyme Fruit Enzyme Cleanser, Alba Botanica Hawaiian Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser

Exfoliant: Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant

Mask: Herbivore Botanicals Brighten Pineapple Enzyme + Gemstone Instant Glow Mask, Philosphy MicroDelivery Purifying Peel

Pumpkin Curcubita Exfoliator, Peel: Peter Lamas Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub, Perfect Image Labs Pineapple Pumpkin Enzyme Peel (includes AHA’s),

Mask: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Mask

Pomegranate Cleanser: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

Mask: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

Blueberry Mask: Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask

Hope this was helpful and thank you for taking the time to read this post!

HHW.com

xx

 

De’Mist’fying Rose Waters

Rose Water and Toners have been incredibly popular for its ability to hydrate, refresh, soothe, calm, and balance all skin types. Also known for its versatile uses as, toner, refresher, eye brightening, after shave spritz, pillow mist, mood enhancer etc.

In this post, I intend on shedding some light on Rose Waters in terms of types of roses, ingredient lists, some of my personal trials and experiences with some Rose Waters and some pointers you can look out for when deciding on a Rose Water for yourself.

 

Most common types of roses you’d expect to see in preparation of Rose Waters is Rosa Centifolia and Damascena Rose. Centifolia roses primarily grow in France and North Africa, have various sub types of roses, such as ‘Cabbage’ (left pic) or ‘Provence’ roses. Known to have first appeared in the late sixteenth century as a hybrid. They tend to have large globular blooms of white or pink, are fragrant and extremely hardy.

Rose Damascena commonly known as Damask Rose (right pic) with two distinct types i.e. Summer Damasks and Autumn Damasks. In addition, to these being used widely in perfumery, they are also known to be edible (Turkish Delight). The roses in this category are are a light to moderate pink to light red colour.

A Note on Preservatives Used: Consistently seen, Potassium sorbate is water soluble preservative and Sodium Benzoate – water soluble sodium salt of benzoic acid, usually used as preservative.

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My Trials, Experiences and Opinions (in order of my personal preference)

Kama Ayurveda Rose Water

Steam Distilled Rose Water

This is as pure and natural as it gets. As mentioned in my Oil Extraction Post (Water & Steam Distillation Process), Floral waters are by-product of oil extraction process. This is purest form of Rose Water you could possibly lay your hands on, where the original flower properties have remained intact. The mist is wonderful and thoroughly refreshing. In terms of rose scent, it has subtle rose fragrance, think of roses in rain scent.

MV Organics (AUD$40 – 70ml)

Water, Rose (Rose Centifolia) Oil, Polysorbate 40, Potassium Sorbate

With the least amount of ingredients, the simplest formulation and the most effective of the lot. One very important note too, the mist (mechanical pump) is damn fine! Crucial IMO. Fragrance wise, it seems to have the most subtle and “natural” rose fragrance. Fresh, Light and Nothing overpowering to make you nauseous.

Melvita Rose Mist ($15 – 50ml)

Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Aqua/Water, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract*, Glycerin, Levulinic Acid, Sodium Levulinic, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citronellol**, Geraniol**

*Ingredients from Organic Farming – ** Natural Components of Floral Water

Second Fav, with good ingredient (Damascena, Rosehip) with boost of Glycerin for sure shot way of sealing in hydration. Other less familiar ingredient is Levulinic acid which is plant derived acid used as preservative for its anti microbial properties. Whilst Sodium Levulinic is a salt of Levulinic Acid. The aerosol based rose water, is incredibly fine and wonderful to travel with. Fragrance wise this one smells slightly more like a mature rose, not light or fresh like MV Organic. In a few seconds, it has slightly sour note (in the best way possible) may be due to my own skin composition. Having said that, it still a very nice scent.

Santa Maria Novella Rose Water ($35 – 250ml, 8.4 fl oz)

Aqua (Water-Eau), Parfum (Rosa Centifolia)-Fragrance (Cabbage Rose (Rosa Centifolia)), Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Geraniol, Citronellol, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate (Made in Italy)

Oh dear, this is where I walk on thin line. Santa Maria Novella I love as brand, for its culture, heritage and history (and packaging, who am I Kidding!). This rose water is nice and I have repurchased too but when I glance at the inci list, I have slight cringe factor because it has Rosa Centifolia Parfum not Oil (Bloody Hell!). Latter ingredients are preservatives. Housed in solid glass bottle (not with a spritz, my ingenious addition). Upon spritzing you can immediately tell its not Rose Oil its Rose perfume, almost like slight synthetic rose note. Still very appealing even in its delicious synthetic form. Obviously not travel friendly.

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner (USA only – $12.95 – 178ml, 6 fl oz)

Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate*, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lauric Acid, Fruit Stem Cells (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex: [Hyaluronic Acid, Magnolia Officinalis Bark, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Leaf Cell and Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) Extracts], Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract*, Hibiscus Sabdariffa and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*^, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) and Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oils*, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Oil

Non-GMO verified   *Organic   ^Fair Trade

This is where the plot thickens, this is technically a ‘Toner’ not ‘Water’. Inci list wise its great, price wise is mass appealing, housed in plastic bright fuscia pink bottle with decent mist. You cannot ask for anything more at this price point. Win.

L’occitane Rose 4 Reines Hydrating Face Mist (Discontinued)
Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Sodium PCA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium chloride, Butylene Glycol, Parfum, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl salicylate, Alpha-isomethyl ionone, Linalool, Eugenol

Disappointment is left for last, look at the inci list, where is the Rose?! It’s a NO from me (thankfully its discontinued). But I loved the bottle packaging and misting mechanism. Bloody, frigging, hell breaking, Excellent. Obvs retained bottle, to decant others and use (no brainer move).

So to condense it all, pointers for you to keep in mind:

  • Proper, Authentic Rose Water is steam distilled or a by-product of extraction process for Rose oil.
  • Check if its Rose Parfum or Oil?! Needless to mention, but Oil is the preferred option here.
  • Determine type of Rose used, Rosa Centifolia or Damascena.
  • No matter which rose is used, it should be a colourless fluid, any colour to the liquid indicates artificial colour added.
  • There will almost always be a preservative but it should be towards the end of the listing.
  • Commonly used preservatives include Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Polysorbate 40, Benzyl Benzoate.

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Now, after learning tad more about formulations, if you’ve lost all faith in Rose Waters, I highly recommend looking into Caudalie Grape Water which consists of Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice*, Nitrogen (USDA Certified Made in France).

Simple, inexpensive, effective and widely available. It lasts a while with a generous quantity packed.

Hope you’ve found this post useful and continue on your quest to find “The Rose Water”.

HHW.com

xx

Peels – Face Off (not literally)

P1010031Few days ago, I posted my reviews on Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel (sensitive) and Andalou Naturals Kombucha Enzyme Exfoliating peel. Today I have a face off/comparison for you:

Base Alpha Hydroxy Acids Enzyme
Exfoliate skin Yes Yes
Fine lines & wrinkles Unable to comment – don’t have any fine lines or wrinkles (in my 20’s)
Improved tone Yes Yes
Skin Clarity Yes Yes
Smoother skin/congestion Yes Yes
Dark spots Yes No
Pigmentation help Yes No
Texture Yes Yes
Dries skin after use Yes – after exfoliation need to moisturize Yes – after exfoliation need to moisturize
Suitable Skin Type Sensitive except rosacea and very sensitive skin Active & Oily; Sensitive
Packaging Clear glass jar with white lid Opaque Tube
Quantity 2 fl oz. 1.8 fl oz.
Price $39 $14.95
Availability Brand Website, Whole Foods, Ulta Brand Website, Whole Foods
Animal Testing NO NO, Vegan, Gluten Free