Salicylic Acid

My Guide to Bravura London

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Today I’m extending an insight into other Bravura London offerings. I’ll be covering the First Cleanse Oil, Purifying Calendula Toner, Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment and Azulene Moisturizer. I’ve talked/raved about Lactic Acid (10% infused with Rose) and Salicylic Acid (2%) before, you can click here to read.

Since Bravura London have updated their packaging, the temptation has almost tripled to get everything. Bright coloured glass jars which represent colours of our chakras.

BL.pngFirst Cleanse Oil aka Fail Proof Oil Cleanse

In Plain Words: Simple, Basic, Fuss free, Effective & Efficient at dissolving and removing makeup, Emulsifying, Non Sticky, One pump job, Inexpensive.

Wonderful certified organic carrier oils are used such as Safflower, Avocado and Vitamin which perform an excellent job whilst essential oils such as Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary give it an extra edge from a pleasing scent perspective.

Ingredients Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride(From Coconut Oil), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate (emulsifier), Tocopherol (Vit.E), Anthemis Nobilis Oil* (Roman Chamomile Essential Oil), Lavandula Officinalis Oil* (Lavender Essential Oil), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil* (*Certified Organic).

Purifying Calendula Toner 13%

An exfoliating toner that feels refreshing on skin and smells lovely. Claims to have 10% Glycolic, 3% Lactic acid with Hydrating Aloe Vera, Glycerin and Anti Inflammatory and Soothing Calendula. I don’t feel any acid tingle on application and it fits nicely after cleanse and before hydrating toner (Makeup Removal/First Cleanse – Second Cleanse – *Calendula Toner* – Hydrating Tone). In my opinion, most skin types can use it (normal – combination – oily – slightly dry). The ingredient listing has some major hydrators in the line up with some punchy acids. The whole blend together makes it perfect for morning or evening acid tone. Would be fantastic addition to beginner to intermediate level acid users.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Glycerin, Lemon Juice, Calendula Extract, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Glycolate, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Lactic Acid, SD Alcohol 40B, Fragrant Oil, Bisabolol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate.

P1030261Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment

As Amanda calls it Exfoliating yet nourishing. Bravura claims: Glycolic Acid 15% Night Treatment is an effective treatment for dry, mature and problem skin. It has 15% Glycolic Acid which has been partially neutralised and has a PH of 4.5 (where acid is active).

Packaged in a gorgeous heavy grey glass jar, this dense whipped cream is fantastic for the skin. I noticed an overnight difference in my skin. If used consistently (i.e. night after night) it may dry out the skin, so its preferred if layered under hydrating oil or over hydrating serum. Because of it’s thick texture, the tiniest amount goes a long way and I prefer to tap this in the skin rather than massaging it in (it just moves the product around on the face). I guess this product will be my second fave after Lactic Acid.

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Glycerin, Glycolic Acid and Sodium Glycolate, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Arnica Blossoms Extract, Calendula Blossoms Extract, Glucose and Fructose and Sucrose and Urea and Dextrin and Alanine and Glutamic Acid and Hexyl Nicotinate, Tocopherol, Sodium Alginate, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Chamomile Extract, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Guar Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hydrogen Peroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

P1030258.jpgAzulene Moisturizer

Bravura says, this unscented, light emollient cream is ideal for problem skin, in particular non sensitive Rosacea, Azulene Moisturiser provides instant moisture relief with a long-lasting soothing effect.

It’s light, airy, non greasy texture makes it suitable for most skin types. However, dry or very dry skins would need a little something more to thoroughly nourish their skins. As it is fragrance free, it would be a hit with sensitive skins or congestion prone skins.

On application it absorbs nicely in the skin. Doesn’t feel heavy or leave a greasy finish on skin. Also works wonderfully as a makeup base. I noticed my skin didn’t get as oily during the course of the day. This would be the perfect candidate after a microdermabrasion sesh just to calm and soothe the skin. Finally, let’s address the gorgeous colour of blue cream as a result of Azulene (no added colours).

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Sodium Alginate, Hops Extract, Rosemary Leaves Extract, Sage Leaves Extract, Hazelnut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Triethanolamine, Avocado Oil, Azulene, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate, d-Panthenol, Ginseng Extract, Allantoin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.

Obviously, Bravura also offers cleansers, more tonersmore peels, moisturizers and serums. Highly recommend you check this brand as it has wonderful effective products at an inexpensive price point and beyond exceptional customer service. Also if you’re confused what would work best for you and for your specific skin conditions, drop in a line on their website and someone will guide you.

HHW.com

xx

 

Acids 101: AHA, BHA, PHA

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We’ve all heard catch phrases and marketing spills from various brands that echo in our heads something along these lines, “using AHA, BHA …. product will give your skin glow from sun……………… blah blah blah!”

This post is intended to provide you further information on source of these acids, their purpose in life, how it would benefit the skin and some product suggestions.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHA’s)

Operation Mode

AHA’s are water soluble which basically means it reacts with upper layer of epidermis and dissolves all dead skin cells on surface of skin. AHA’s operate at pH level of 3 – 5 (it’s the level of acidity, when compared to water at pH level 7 which is neutral).

Suitable Candidate or Skin Concerns

People experiencing sun damaged skin, aging, pigmentation, brown spots, wrinkles, rosacea, acne spots, congested skin.

Where should it be on the Ingredient list?

Products containing higher concentration of AHA’s would usually be listed 2nd – 3rd – 4th – 5th in the ingredient list (but these do not necessarily interpret effective result it may mean faster results).

Which acid is most effective? Which acid penetrates deepest in layers of skin?

It simply depends on the relevant acid’s Molecular size….Not all of the acids work in same way. Smaller molecules penetrate deeper in the skin for best results. But they are also the ones that give the skin tingling sensation or irritate very sensitive skins.

The following acids are in the order from . The following table shows the types of AHA’s, in the order of Smallest (deepest penetration in skin) to Largest molecule (more skin surface exfoliation), Source they are derived from, their Purpose in life and Product suggestions:

Type Source Derived from Function

Product Suggestions

Glycolic Acid

(Smallest Molecule)

Sugar Cane Degreasing and controlling production of sebum, and stimulate collagen production in skin. Alpha Hydrox range (12-14% Glycolic Acid)

Peter Roth Thomas Glycolic Range

Kate Somerville Glycolic & Retinol Peel

Alpha H Liquid Gold Range

Bravura London Glycolic Peel (10%) & Moisturizer (15%)

Lactic Acid Milk, Yoghurt, Sour Butter Milk or fermented fruit Antimicrobial, hydrating and adjusts ph level, skin softener, keeps skin moist Priori Gentle Facial Cleanser (13% Lactic Acid Complex)

Bravura London Lactic Acid Peel

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Malic Acid Apples, Cherry, Pears Hydrating, soothing and increases tissue respiration, increases oxygen supply to skin Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Packs

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel

Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser & Enzyme Exfoliant

Tartaric Acid Grapes, Berries, Currants, Passionfruit, Red Wine Antioxidant Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Mask
Citric Acid Tomatoes, Oranges, Lemons (citrus fruits) Brightens skin, anti aging properties Mario Badescu Orange Tonic Mask

Ole Henriksen Truth Collagen Serum

Mandelic Acid Bitter Almonds Helps age spots, discoloration

Vivant Skincare Mandelic Serum

Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Brightening Solution

BETA HYDROXY ACID (BHA)

Operation Mode

BHA’s are lipid (oil) soluble, which basically means it can break down the oils on surface of skin and penetrate deeper in layers of skin. Due to the ability of BHA’s going deeper in skin, they aid in acting against sebum congestion under the skin’s surface. They have anti-inflammatory properties too. Like AHA’s, these operate at pH level of 3 – 5. BHA products may result in dryness and dehydration to the skin.

Suitable Candidate or Skin Concerns

BHA products are suitable for congested skin, blackheads, whiteheads, acne, wrinkles, and ingrown hair.

Where should it be on the Ingredient list?

Unlike AHA products, the products containing Salicylic acid would usually be listed towards end of the ingredient listing. BHA is far stronger and therefore effective on skin.

Type Source Derived from Function Product Suggestions

Salicylic Acid

(Molecule smaller than Glycolic Acid)

Salicylic Acid derived from White Willow Bark. Aspirin is also derived from White Willow Bark and its active ingredient is Salicylic acid. You may have heard Aspirin masks for acne prone skin. Unclog pores, helps with underlying congestion, ingrown hair.

NO impact on sebum production or killing bacteria.

Bravura London Salicylic Acid Peel 2%

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (French Version)

Skinceuticals LHA Solution (also has Lipo Hydroxy and Glycolic Acids)

Dr Dennis Gross Purifying Booster

Perfect Image Skincare – TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) 15% Gel Peel Enhanced with Salicylic Acid

Body scrubs that contain Salicylic acid are brilliant for ingrown hair

Categories/Types of products that contain AHA’s and BHA’s

Cleanser, Toners, Exfoliators, Eye Creams, Serums, Moisturizers, Chemical Peels. Below I have summarized some of the products that contain AHA, BHA, or a combination of two. 

AHA & BHA General Knowledge

1) Most important thing to bear in mind is AHA and BHA do cause skin sensitivities especially to sun exposure. Basically all hard work done with skin care products, can be reversed with unprotected sun exposure or inadequate sun protection.

2)  Skin regeneration is turnover of new skin cells that is critical for healthy, radiant and clear skin. Whilst AHA’s, BHA’s and PHA’s are brilliant for chemical exfoliation which continually “promote” growth of collagen in skin, it should be noted that AHA, BHA, PHA don’t generate new collagen. These are a great prep point for repairing products that have specific ingredients aimed at repair and nourish various skin concerns.

3)  There are number of companies and products that have a combination of AHA and BHA (Salicylic Acid). As for AHA’s you will need to read the ingredient list to ensure which type of acid is included in the product. Some companies also used synthetically sourced AHA and BHA, which is not naturally sourced. Think of it as, Vanilla extract (in a bottle with alcohol) as against using natural vanilla pod! Similarly some companies use AHA concentrate rather than extracts from natural fruit or vegetable. 

POLY HYDROXY ACID (PHA)

For sensitive skins, that are irritated with deep penetration of Glycolic Acid or cannot handle the tingly sensation from AHA’s, the Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHA’s) come to their rescue.

Polyhydroxy acids enhance exfoliation of the outermost layer of the skin and normalize its thickness. Products containing PHA’s cause less irritation to sensitive skin due to their large molecular structures. Considering it has a larger molecular structure it doesn’t penetrate deep in layers of skin, however it has has been proven the efficacy is not impacted in anyway compared to any other AHA.

Generally, the two types of PHA’s available are Gluconolactone (from oxidized glucose – natural sugar found in human body) and Lactobionic acid (from oxidized lactose – milk sugar).

Some product suggestions with PHA’s:

Thanks for taking the time to read the post and hopefully it has answered some of your burning questions.

HHW.com

xx

Insight – Bravura London

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Amanda Elias the person behind the brand Bravura London & http://www.inkmedix.com. She is like any of us, a beauty obsessed mother of 3 adorable girls. Amanda’s passion for skincare and make-up started at an early age and now its been 18 years in the beauty industry.The motivating factor behind the ingenious creation of Bravura London is loving luxury without the price tag. Below is my chat with Amanda for an insight in Bravura London and her passion for skincare will be clearly evident.

Amanda

1. A lot of your products have a strong presence of AHA’s, why did you specifically choose acids to develop your skincare range?

Exfoliation is so important for the skin but scrubs containing harsh particles such as nut kernels can cause little micro tears in the skin, we don’t notice these but they can cause irritation, dryness and breakouts. I discovered AHA’s and started to use them on my own delicate skin, even a face flannel used too firmly can break my skin yet I was able to use strengths as high as 50% glycolic acid on my face with no side effects! I also saw just how superior chemical exfoliation is to manual exfoliation, how it leaves the skin soft, glowing and healthy without that tight, shiny look or feel. I started supplying just glycolic acid, then customers started asking for other acids, then skincare and it all went from there.

2. Amanda you assist a lot of people with making right skincare choices from the line, in your experience and exposure to all the questions that come your way, what are the most common mistakes or myths people have?

The most common mistake is over exfoliation, whether it be using acids too often or using scrubs and acids, or very commonly, using products such as a sonic brush twice a day. Over exfoliation can cause irritation, dryness and very commonly, breakouts. As soon as I receive an email from a customer saying their skin is breaking out when using the acids, I’ll ask their routine, 99% of the time they’re over exfoliating. Not everyone can use acids of course, there are occasions where it’s simply too strong for the skin but more often than not, it’s over exfoliation.

The biggest myth is that oily skin doesn’t need moisturising or that people with oily skin should stay away from oils. I have oily skin but because I moisturise religiously and use an oil cleanser daily, my skin doesn’t get ridiculously oily. When oily skin is dehydrated, it will produce more oil to over compensate, feeding your skin with moisture keeps it happy.

(HHW – Please someone engrave this on a rock of beauty….)

3. How does Bravura differentiate itself with several other market players that cater to inexpensive options for acid products?

I think what makes us unique is that we’re not just about selling, for me it’s all about helping people with their skin, that sounds cliché I know but genuinely, it’s true. When I recommend our products I also give customers a link to a cleansing routine I’ve written, for people with hormonal acne I send them an article I’ve written on supplements that can help control hormones and in turn reduce the breakouts. If I don’t think our products will work for someone, I’ll tell them so.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing our customers not only love our products but talk about their with their friends, I’m tagged in posts on facebook, instagram and twitter where people are talking about what the products have done for their skin, the excitement they feel from the results of my products is just the most wonderful feeling, running a business and being up against huge companies with massive budgets is hard work but it’s these comments that help keep me going, knowing just how much of an impact it has on a person’s self confidence, it’s very very rewarding.

4. What is your main concern in today’s skincare industry as it stands?

False advertising, fake, photoshopped images, adverts telling women they should strive for unachievable perfection, brands telling women they should look young to be desirable and to feel shame in laughter lines, giving young people the impression that if they get rid of their spots suddenly they’ll become more popular, all these subliminal messages that are really eating at our self esteem. If you’ve had stretch marks from having a baby, no oil will magically cure them, if you have melasma, no cream is going to fade it and as for your pores, it’s normal for them to be a little visible, magazine images are photoshopped to conceal them. I really could go on and on.

(I guess Amanda and I could have a separate post on this topic specifically! Couldnt agree more!)

5. You have fabulous glowing skin yourself, so could we please have a sneak peek in your daily skin regime?

Ahh thank you, my skin honestly is no where near perfect but it’s probably the best it could be, I once had a Dr not believe that I had polycystic ovaries because my skin was too clear, it is achievable.

Obviously I mainly use Bravura products, I NEVER ever forget to cleanse, no matter how tired I am, even if I’m not wearing make-up, I always cleanse. I use the First Cleanse Oil and follow with the Purifying Gel Cleanser or Our Volcanic Mud Cleanser, to tone I use the Revitalising Ginseng Toner. I use the Hyaluronic Acid Serum and the Azulene Moisturiser. We don’t have an eye cream so I’m usually trying different brands. The same goes for face Masque’s, I have a few different brands such as Eve Lom, Nuxe and Korres, it depends on how my skin is feeling. I more often that not alternate between the Glycolic acid 10% and Salicylic Acid 2% but as it’s winter, I’m using the Lactic Acid 10% a little more often. If I’m feeling a little lazy one evening, I’ll use the Dermaflannel instead of one of the acids or one of the acid serums or creams, I go by how my skin is feeling. Because I have sensitive skin which is prone to acne, particularly hormonal I don’t really change my routine too much, I’ve tried incorporating a facial oil in to my routine, but sadly I haven’t found one that doesn’t break me out.

I had a treatment recently called Sculptra, after having 3 children and a bit of yoyo dieting I’d lost fat in my face, sculptra stimulates your own collagen to help plump the skin from within, I had it 2 months ago and so I should see true results in another 1-2 months but so far, I’m happy.

I also use fake tans, my favourite face tanner is James Reed sleep mask, although I don’t sleep in it. It leaves me skin with a healthy glow and doesn’t cause breakouts.

Express Review – Salicylic Acid 2% and Lactic Acid 10% (Infused with Rose) Peels 

Basics Information about Lactic & Salicylic Acid

  • Lactic – its Alpha Hydroxy acid, larger molecule, therefore more surface exfoliation and resurfacing action. Excellent for any acne scarring, sun spots, pigmentation, blotchiness, and boosting radiance. All skin types could use this including dry and dehydrated skins (also operates as humectant).
  • Salicylic – its Beta Hydroxy acid, smaller molecule, allowing deeper penetration in skin. Excellent for breakouts, underlying skin congestion (which doesn’t surface no matter what you do), blackheads, controlling sebum production, tightening pores. Suited to oily, combination, congestion prone skins.

Bravura London website claims the ph level for Lactic acid is 3.75 & Salicylic acid is 3, which means it well within the range where acids work effectively.

Uses: As a peel – leave it on for 30mins (recommended to start with 10mins), or Acid tone (after cleansing and before serum), or as a Serum (after tone), or as a spot treatment (for fresh acne scars or pesky angry spots) or as a part of my Triple Mask Routine.

Results: Its lovely, but I find it gentle on my acid acclimatized skin, so I prefer it as acid toner or serum or spot treatment. Lactic – visible difference on my skin the following morning. Firmer, brighter, even toned, radiant. Honestly my absolute favourite peel over any other. Salicylic – my spots calm down (redness goes down). More importantly any underlying skin congestion which doesn’t surface, this is excellent solution for those bastards. Yes I Hate em!

If I had to sum it up in One Word. Fabulous. Seriously at the given price point, it works like any other expensive peel, easy on wallet, wonderful on skin, what else would a woman want?!

Best PERK of shopping with Bravura London – Amanda will personally assist you with your skincare or product queries. If you’re unsure, drop in a line and she will help you make the right decision for your skin.

Lactic Acid Peel Ingredients: Purified Water, Rose Floral Water, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Citrate.

Salicylic Acid Peel Ingredients: Distilled Water, Salicylic acid, Propylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide.

Excellent products and a wonderful, passionate person behind those products. Definitely recommend trying them and as for me, sure shot repurchase 🙂

HHW.com

xx