Mask

Cleansing & Exfoliating Powders

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

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

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

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

Westernized Versions (bold ingredients are common)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Closer to Ayurvedic Texts, Principles, and Ingredients

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

Kama Ayurveda ($22 for 40g)

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

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

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

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

HHW.com

xx

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

BirchBox – October 2014

Here is my BirchBox for October 2014. My mind was so occupied with our recent move to Chicago I forgot I had a subscription box!

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P1000878Here are my initial impressions of the products:

Atelier Cologne – Love the fragrance, slightly woody and intense on my skin. However the lasting power will decide if this will truly be my winter scent.

Dr. Brandt – Skeptical about this one, swatched a tad on my hand. It has waxy look but gel texture with a cooling sensation on my skin. Don’t know how would it vacuum my blackheads <clueless shoulder shrug>

Lord & Berry – Mehhh just an eye pencil with glitter.

ModelCo – OMG love this lipstick! Perfect shade, MLBB (my lips but better) shade. It says its a matte lipstick but my lips are not dry or cracking at all. Lurve!!!

Toni & Guy Shine Gloss – For me this was the star product of the box. Used one pump on ends of my hair, instantly nourished dry ends, smells wonderful and not offensive at all. Will purchase full size.

xx

HHW.com

My Thoughts: Laniege Multiberry Yoghurt Peeling Gel

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I don’t know where to start with this product, I don’t know if I’m using it correctly, there I said it! So whilst the following are my initial thoughts, suggestions on how to use this are more than welcome.

I’ve used other peeling gels in the past and they actually peel and roll off dead skin from surface. So when I purchased this product based on its name ‘peeling gel’, I expected it to do exactly the same. However much to my surprise I still don’t understand what it does. Now I’m not one to waste products, so I find some way to use them. In this case, I now use it as face mask….and low and behold I still don’t get it! So I use it now as my morning cleanser! Still don’t fully grasp its purpose in life but with the spirit of no wastage, I’m determined to finish the product and present it in my 2014 empties.

The gel is very tiny grainy texture, that doesn’t feel exfoliating even one tiny bit. As a cleanser it does ‘a’ job and not quite sure what to make of it. On bright side (yes there is one) my skin doesn’t feel stripped or funny after using it. Would I repurchase it? No! Would I recommend this to a person with ultra sensitive skin? Possibly yes, I don’t think I was right audience for this product.

Ingredients:

Mannan, Sogurty, Multi Berry Complex (from sasa.com)

Laniege Multiberry Yoghurt Peeling Gel $20

xx

HHW.com