Darphin

Winter Skincare Wardrobe

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As the colours change, and temperatures drop, the state of skin is temperamental, agitated and protesting the change. Over the years, I’ve come to a solid conclusion my skin has a mind of its own and I need to adapt it’s care needs accordingly.

With fluctuating environments of strong wind chills, to artificially heated offices, cars and homes my skin is almost in an eternally dehydrated and confused state. Whilst it’s predominantly combination skin, with an oily T-zone and drier cheeks, during winter the ‘combination situation’ is exasperated. In addition, let’s not forget to complicate matters worse with a bout of dehydration and breakouts. Now that the problem is sufficiently moaned about, here’s how I adapt my skincare regime.

Aim of the game is similar to Asian beauty routines, where a number of thin layers of hydration and nourishment products are slapped on. With this method, the skin remains hydrated and nourished for longer.

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Cleansers typically I use oils or balms to remove makeup and second cleanse. Well that wouldn’t change for the evenings. However my morning cleanses, will include a lot more nourishing cream cleansers. Some of my faves in this category are, MV Organic Gentle Cream Cleanser, Trilogy Cream Cleanser and, and Good Things Manuka Cleanser.

Some mornings where I could get away without cream cleanser, I resort to milk cleansers and a strong fave has always been Institut Esthederm Osmoclean or Bioderma cleansing milks. New on the block is Forest Essentials Deeply Nourishing Cleansing Paste with ground paste of almonds, pistachios, and other lush Ayurvedic ingredients which provide skin gentle exfoliation and nourishment in one step. Smells Delish too!

Acid or other forms of exfoliation is driven strictly by my skin need, of how strong of an acid I use and which specific type of acid I use.  

Combination of various Acids: Dr Dennis Gross peels (of varying strengths), Biologique Recherché P50 range, MD Sun Skin Exfoliation Pads, Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads, M61 Power Peel, Neogen Wine Peeling Gauze

Glycolic Acid: Alpha H Liquid Gold, Bravura London Calendula Toner, Pixi Glow Tonic, Cane & Austin Miracle+ Pads, Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexurising Peel

Lactic Acid: Kate Somerville Clinic to go,  Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel

Milk Peels (the new thing!) – Primary Raw or Dr Jart+ milk peels are gentler on skin OR Pre Lab Toning Peeling tap which is essentially exfoliating with enzymes.

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“Toning Mist & Amp up with Essences” A regular toning spritz post acid to stabilize the pH level in skin. Some examples could be basic floral hydrosols such as Rose Water by MV Organic, Alteya Organic, Santa Maria Novella, Whamisa Damask Rose, Andalou Naturals, Forest Essentials, Kama Ayurveda, Just Herbs etc. Or Zinc based like La Roche Posay Serozinc. Other toners with a combination of ingredients to hydrate and provide other benefits to skin could include Farmacy Skindew, Patyka Revitalizing Toner, Sjal Mineral Kalla toner, Antipodes, Aesop or Trilogy toners.

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These toning mists are then followed by serious hydrating or fermented essences to inject and plump the skin. My absolute fave is Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Toner, and from same brand Refresh and Original are just as wonderful. To name a few others: Decleor HydraFloral Essence Lotion, Blithe Vital Treatment Essences, Earth’s Recipe Energy Boosting Toner, Missha Time Revolution The First Essence Mist, Bio Essence 24 Gold Water, Shiseido Ibuki essence, Rohto Hadalabo Shirojyun or Gokujun.

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Masks including Sheet Masks Lots of hydration and moisturizing masks, good ol’ sheet masks are fabulous in this category. In saying so, I also throw in one detoxifying or purifying mask, least once a week. I tend to incorporate this everyday if not every second day. Masks are the best way to turbo boost and treat the skin.

Serums or Ampoules are used as usual to specifically target the problem of the day/week/month/season. I have a whole separate post on Guide to Serums for all conditions and skins.

Moisturisers and Oils are the cornerstone of protecting skin’s barrier and thoroughly nurturing it with lovely oils and ingredients. Some wonders which have stood the test of time with me are; Decleor HydraFloral, Mahogany Naturals Manuka Honey Cream, Whamisa Fermented Water Cream and Nourishing Cream, Bravura London Azulene Cream, Pistache Skincare Hydrating Moisturiser, Missha Misa Geum Sul Emulsion, Yuri Pibu Asiatica, Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream.

Here’s a tip if you don’t want to invest in a separate night cream however are quite content with your  regular moisturiser, just add few drops of oil to your day cream and use in your night routine.

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Balms have a special place in my heart and stash! I view them as amplified  version of oils, and of course more lush experience as well. Strong fave continues to be Mahalo Rare Indigo Balm, followed by Mahogany Naturals Blue Lover, May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, Mahalo Balm, Darphin Purifying balm, Decleor Rose d’Orient balm. In terms of lip balm, there was one and always be the one, Nuxe Reve de Miel. The rich beeswax coats the lips and leaves it matte. In saying so, I have a separate post on Lip Balms which explores other lip products too.

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Since I complete my evening skincare routine by 5pm, I Re-balm or Re-Oil my skin one more time before bed. Or mist SKII Overnight Essence, which is moisturizing to skin but also leaves a tingly refreshed feel on the skin. Other categories to nourish much drier skins also includes Overnight Masks which can be argued is a richer version of a night cream.

How do you plan to amp up your skincare routine for the winter?

HHW.com

xx

Luxury Oils & Balms

P1030287.jpgMy love, admiration and respect for oils and lush balms is known to every shred of living organism on planet earth. Generally the variety and choices of these lush treatments vary between high, mid and low end. Below are my chosen indulgences and absolute treats for my skin. The price points are insane, however the one off feeling they provide is irreplaceable with instant gratification.

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May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon would come as no surprise to absolutely any skincare lover. Before trying this product, I heard umpteen number of rave reviews but always held slight skpeticism. Eventually I folded and indulged and much to my surprise (and secret high expctations) all claims, rave reviews, gushes, & hypes stood true.

The balm is a treat for the skin. It smell insanely divine and melts away all the stresses. It helps calm my skin down from any inflammation, irritation, redness, or dryness ($160 50ml – $3.2 per ml).

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Mahalo The Rare Indigo Balm is my joy ride. As soon as I open the jar I find myself sniffing the pot like K9 unit at the airport. I take forver doing my routine with this bad boy, because I spend more time sticking my snout in the pot than actual application on skin. Very easily carried away, but a little goes a long way. The texture and consistency of this balm is what make it sooooo unique and delectable ($110 30ml – $3.67 per ml).

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Darphin 8 Flower Nectar is a walk in a garden. Slightly different texture to regular oils but good heavens this oil is Flowery Dreaminess… Glorified! Darphin also have individual flower facial elixirs like Chamomile, Rose, Jasmine, Niaouli, Tangerine, and Orange Blossom. Now imagine a congregation of all these lovely florals coming together for an orgasmic union. I reserve this oil for when I truly need a pick me up, when I feel world is crashing down on me (yes hormones I’m referring to you) or when my skin has behaved so darn well it deserves an incredibly euphoric treat ($150 15ml – $10 per ml).

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Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Oil was a complete surprise in a 12ml bottle. Picked up with zero expectations and it surpassed everything else. Ingredient wise, possibly the most unique on this list (refer to my review, you’ll know what I mean) and has a certain richness about it. This brand came at my forefront because of this oil and I can unbashedly admit it was “the discovery” of 2015 for me (INR 1,890 Rs157.50 per ml, USD $53 12ml – $4.4 per ml).

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MV Organic Skincare Rose Plus Booster Oil is an oldie but always a Goodie!! I’m an old lady at heart and soul and I’m obsessed with anything Rose. But we know rose scents are so awfully plagarised in the market and we’ve all come across hideous, synthetic, nauseating, vile versions of rose. All that….until you come across this unsuspecting bottle of rose heaven. Blended with Camellia, Jojoba, Rosehip, Rose Damascena Oil, Geranium, Rosemary, basically a pinnacle of perfection. Top marks for its versatility in use with a cleanser, mask, oils and creams. Skin is calm, stable and “sensible” the following morning (USD$120 $3.42 per ml, AUD$99 $2.8 per ml, GBP £72.00 35ml -£2.05 per ml).

Hope you’ve enjoyed this read, tell me what are fave oil indulgences? I would love to expand this palette.

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

Darphin 8-Flower Nectar Elixir

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

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

HHW.com

xx

Repurchases & Back Ups

As a part of blogging and micro blogging, I’m fortunate to try new products, however there are some products I’ve continually repurchased and restored the “stash” for an apocalypse. This post may come as no surprise to regulars as they would have seen the products time and again.

The post intends to round up most of the repurchases, backups, trusted products in compromised dire situations (dramatic much!).

THE JOY OF MY LIFE: CLEANSERS

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Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm – Simple, effective and now synonymous with Must-Have. Gorgeous smelling buttery balm, that melts in an oil and dissolves all war paint. Take it off with steaming cloth and you’re officially at gateway Heaven.

The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel – annoyingly discontinued by The Body Shop, so I’ve stocked well considering TBS website is clearing at $7.25! Just as fabulous as Emma Hardie balm at a fraction of a price.

Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm – perfect second cleanse or morning cleanse or aromatherapy-esque massage. Slightly waxier in texture but on contact with skin its Lush.

Rodial Glamtox Cleansing Balm – my beloved travel companion. Only brand (until Sarah Chapman) who did cleansing balm in a pump bottle and ticks all the  requisites of good cleansing balm. Detailed review on Rodial balms….click here.

MY REASON TO LIVE – ACIDS

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Alpha H Liquid Gold – my first ever Acid product, loaded with Glycolic acid, operates at pH level of 2.5 and super effective.

Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads – claims to be at 20% but operates at higher pH of 5, very gentle on skin and all round worker (not limited to exfoliation) for days when skin needs a pick me up.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel – Two words. Travel BFF. I’m willing to leave the Man at home on a holiday, but not these acid pads. Conveniently packaged with a punch of acids and genuinely gives you holiday glow!.

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Bravura London Lactic Acid 10% & Salicylic Acid 2% Peel – peel, serum, spot treatment, acid tone, or part of Triple Mask routine (explained here). This is as Versatile as you’d like it to be. Solid, basic, effective acid – must have in an acid arsenal.

My detailed review on these peels….click here.

ESSENCE OF LIFE – TONERS

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La Roche Posay Serozinc – so simple yet so effective. My review on Serozinc can be found here.

Kama Ayurveda Toning Mists (Rose and Mogra) – I wish I had come across this brand sooner.

The steam distilled face toning mists, not only smell divine but also soothe irritated skin. Always keep least one as a back up and one specifically for travel.

SOUL SEARCHERS – SERUMS

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Sunday Riley Good Genes – Unneutralized Lactic Acid at 40% that gives major light bulb glow the following morning. The key with this product is Use Wisely, not abuse it. This will always remain in my stash when I need glow before an event or need to slap my skin to some form of radiance.

Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic+Retinol Brightening Solution – may it be ‘breakout’ville, or post breakout ‘scar’ville, this serum is plain fabulous for addressing scaring, uneven skintone, irritated or inflamed skin. Also used as a spot treatment on that bastard that left a scar.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair – all round, good skin in a bottle. Hydrates, plumps, calms, soothes…..literally Good Skin in a Bottle.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron – essential dose of hydration, my skin just binges on this stuff. Instantly see the difference in skin.

A guide to All Serums….Click Here.

FACIAL OILS THAT GIVE ME BLISSFUL FEELS

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil – Must Have. Calms my angry spotty skin, hydrates, fakes my sleeping pattern. Light texture, immediately absorbs. My detailed review here.

Aesop Fabulous Face Oil – Smells amazing, absorbs instantly, excellent for combo skin. My detailed review here.

Goodness Chia Seed Oil – Cold Pressed Chia Seed Oil (excellent source of fatty acids and omegas), fabulous on its own or mixed with any other oil, mask or cleanser (read, majorly versatile here). Does a fab job with just 2 ingredients : Chia Seed & Meadowfoam Oil.

Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Facial Elixir – Decadent oil with incredible ingredients where I only need  a drop or two, can be mixed with Chia Seed Oil and massage in the skin to glory. My detailed review here.

For a snapshot on ALL facial oils used….Click Here.

CANNOT FUNCTION WITHOUT A LIP BALM

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Nuxe-Rêve de Miel this should come as no surprise, I’m almost married to this balm.

Lucas Papaw Ointment – this is my childhood in a tub and tube and it aint going anywhere at all.

Follow my Lip Balm Trail …..Click Here.

DISASTER RECOVERY PRODUCTS – BREAKOUT HELPERS

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Effaclar Duo, K and AI – with the slightest indication that my skin is going to rise in a battle, I will bring the ‘A’ team out to settle matters.

Duo on spots – always with me (travel, purse, home, side table….every where).

K is for overall calmness and Salicylic acid helps sort the situation.

AI is again for spots specifically when I know that bastard will leave me a scar.

LUSH TREATS – MASK

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Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask – honey is such a fabulous ingredient, although I feel its very underrated for what it offers. This mask is such a stellar product, calms, purifies, hydrates, plumps….this time I will call it Good Skin in a Tube.

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask – in my opinion, the stand out product of Aesop. Used as spot treatment or an overall cleanse, fabulous. The only clay mask where I don’t need a chisel to break through.

I’d love to know what are your backups and repurchased products? What do you rely on in a major situation or an emergency? Who are your fall backs and trusted souls?

HHW.com

xx