Skincare Journal 05

Back at it again with the Drunk Elephant, I have been trailing a few different products from the line these past three weeks in a follow-up to my original post. This time it’s been about C-Firma Day Serum, T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, and Marula Oil. This is my first proper trial of a vitamin C product (the first was a dalliance with Indeed Laboratories C24) and my goal is to drench my skin in antioxidants while correcting post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. I am using T.L.C as a night serum, alternating with Differin, in an effort to correct surface irregularities. As a final step, a little layer of Marula Oil. How this compares to The Ordinary Marula Oil still alludes me, mostly because I haven’t any idea whether Deciem’s is unrefined and I am sceptical as to whether or not they would even know for certain. An overall glance at my routine:

AM: Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser, Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum, Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum mixed with Drunk Elephant B-Hydra, Drunk Elephant Marula Oil.

PM: Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser, Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum, Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum OR Differin Gel, wait twenty minutes, Drunk Elephant Marula Oil mixed with Drunk Elephant B-Hydra.

First impressions after three weeks:

– C-Firma gives a good instant glow to the skin, though I am always sceptical of vitamin C’s ability to correct red post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
– T.L.C. is potent and fantastic at reducing inflammatory acne; I love it as a spot treatment during the day.
– B-Hydra is nice, though I do not see a major difference using it when I already use the day and night serums.
– Shaba is pricey for what it is, though it is fantastic at plumping dehydration lines and making me look a bit more awake than I really am.
– Marula Oil is lightweight but intensely soothing.

Lancer Method

lancer-skincare

What is it?

A clinical skincare system for glow.

What did I try?

The Method: Polish, The Method: Cleanse, Retexturizing Treatment Cream Glycolic Acid 10x, The Method: Nourish.

What is the key ingredient?

The Method: Polish – quartz and sodium bicarbonate crystals (physical exfoliant), pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes (chemical exfoliant), brown sea algae (globally corrective).
The Method: Cleanse – sodium PCA (pH-balancing), rice protein (softening), amino acids (hydrating).
Retexturizing Treatment Cream Glycolic Acid 10x – glycolic acid (resurfacing), CoQ10 (antioxidant), phospholipids (hydrating).
The Method: Nourish – nasturtium flower extract (glow), hexapeptide 48 (treats fine lines), polyphenol (antioxidant).
Continue reading “Lancer Method”

Skincare Journal 03

Nearly a year ago I purchased most of the Drunk Elephant collection. Everything else went away into a box, and I went all-in. I was impressed by how each product seemed to leave skin comfortable for the next, and the result was skin with a bit more balance to it than my typical hodgepodge of active ingredients, products, and brands. The Pekee and Juju cleansing bars are a bit too much for twice-daily use, so I suggest Pekee every evening and Juju twice a week; splash your face with tepid water in the morning. B-Hydra was hydrating and plumping, and T.L.C. was brilliant at tackling texture and small blemishes. I now have Lala, and find it far too heavy for twice daily use; once in a while it’s a comforting treat. Overall the line is a tad bit expensive for what it is, but the formulas are great and the philosophy of simplicity is one I can get behind.

Skin Journal 01

A different format, one where I can spend less time on aesthetics and more time on sharing my thoughts on the newest products in the beauty and skincare industry.

I have taken another look at Tata Harper. In the morning I have been experimenting with the Purifying and Regenerating cleansers, and I now remember how much I enjoyed using them last year. Purifying gives a deep clean with a light lemon scent, while Regenerating leaves my skin rather luminous. Neither would make for a great twice-daily cleanse for anyone but the most oily of skins; instead I would alternate them with a gentle oil cleanse (perhaps the Nourishing Oil Cleanser). As for the Rejuvenating Serum, I have been using it in the morning as a moisturizer. It hydrates and illuminates brilliantly. Every other day I have been using the Resurfacing Mask, which has sloughed away any rough texture resulting from my retinol. Tata is a great brand to consider if skincare is an experience for you, and you value naturals.

Recent Acquisitions – Winter

Photograph of Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel, Dr. Jart Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in Green, and IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel for hair.

To celebrate the winter season—and mourn the loss of autumn—here are my latest skincare and haircare acquisitions worthy of note. A video version of this post up now, and you can watch it here.

On the hunt for a gentle yet effective cleanser these last few months, I was rather unhappy with the options available domestically; hence my purchase of UK-favourite Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. Yes, it has been mentioned by almost every other blogger; yes, it is worthy of acclaim. After cleansing with NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester, I apply this to dry skin, wait a few minutes, massage with my Foreo, and then rinse off with a hot cloth. My skin feels incredibly smooth, redness is reduced, and my skin feels comfortable. This is my all-time favourite cleanser.

After I cleanse I liberally spritz with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, which supplements the human body’s natural superoxide dismutase to reduce oxidization—and thus inflammation—whilst marine exopolysaccharides aid in moisture retention. I will report back after using this one for a bit longer to determine its relative efficacy.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is responsible for the numerous compliments I have received on my skin these past few weeks. A treatment for both acne and rosacea, azelaic acid reduces inflammation and bacteria. I have ordered many backups of this.

NIOD Hydration Vaccine has been my saviour this brisk winter. Formulated with fungi composite organisms, a silicone mesh, a blue algae molecular film, and more technologies to retain moisture, this goes far beyond a ‘moisturizer’ to enable the skin to better retain its own hydration rather than simply creating the illusion of such. On days I go out only for groceries or for a run I mix this with NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 12% to add a cinematic look to my skin through a reduction in redness and the appearance of texture; together they make a far more effective—and natural-looking—alternative to cosmetics.

A newer release, Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel* meshes well with my philosophy on acids; if you use them, be gentle. Hydrogen water—a key ingredient to the Dermaclear line—removes impurities, lactic acid topically exfoliates, salicylic acid reduces pore-level congestion, coconut milk calms irritation, while a trio of panthenol, squalene, and allantoin hydrate. While I am not thrilled by the inclusion of bergamot oil—a photosensitizing essential oil—I have enjoyed using this weekly to even out my skin’s texture. I have also tried Dr. Jart Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in Refreshing Green*, a mask which—when applied for a few minutes and rinses with water—turns to a deep cleanser. It too contains several fragrant oils, which I would prefer were not included, but it makes for a fine deep cleanse treatment.

Bosica Sake Brightening Hydrogel Eye Masks* are something I use on clients often, but for some reason have yet to try on myself. My favourite aspect of these is the use of hydrogel rather than cotton; these stick to the face and stay put. Sake hydrates and brightens, marine collagen reduces moisture loss, willowherb reduces inflammation, and jojoba leaf defends against free radical damage. These make for a refreshing treat for a weekend facial—or as a prep-step before an event—through reducing puffiness, soothing the sensitive under-eye area, and plumping dehydration lines.

For the hair, IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel* comes from a trio of America’s top-requested stylists. Formulated with coconut oil to hydrate and comfrey extract to soften, Rich Kid is a great styling product to achieve a natural look, especially for those with shoulder-length hair. I appreciate the lightweight texture, and even the smell is luxe.

Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterisk (*) were given to me free of charge. I receive countless products each month, and say nothing about the majority of them; I will only review a product if I think it is worthy of words, either negative or positive. Links are to the easiest and most common retailer. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies mentioned, nor my employer.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

Type of product?

Inexpensive exfoliating toning pads to increase skin cell turnover, clear pores, and plump the skin.

What does it claim?

5% glycolic acid exfoliates the top-most surfaces of the skin resulting in minimized discolouration. Salicylic acid is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and allows for increased skin cell turnover at a lower level; pores are clearer of congestion. Lactic acid has similar effects as glycolic, but has a larger molecule size and is thus less irritative. Hyaluronic acid plumps the skin and improves hydration. Skin texture is refined, brighter, and prone to less blemishes.

How should I use it?

Rub a pad into the skin, focusing on blemishes and problem areas like the forehead, until the pad is dry. Do not be afraid of pink skin; pink means you have circulation, which is desirable if one wants to continue living. Tingling is normal. I make sure to treat my face, neck, and chest; the skin in these areas is all very similar. Avoid the eye area unless you get those nasty little milia; the acids may help that, but be careful.

Nip + Fab recommends these to be used in your night routine, 2-3 times a week. Sensitive skins should use them weekly. I, having acclimated, use them every night. Use these after cleansing, but before everything else. I typically brush my teeth before I apply anything else to give the acids time to do their thing. Apply an SPF in the morning as always, ahem.

Verdict:

In a nutshell: I love these, I just wish they came in an even more potent formulation.

I began using them twice weekly, moving slowly to three times weekly. I thought they were rather harsh to begin with, especially once when I prefaced these with a clay mask. Having simplified my evening routine—to just cleanse, tone, hydrate—I find my skin can readily handle these every night.

Since using them nightly my skin has been far clearer, brighter, and healthy looking. The redness that is left behind after a blemish has left this earth is far less pronounced after a little rubbing with one of these pads. Blemish free? No, but they disappear far more quickly. My only quibble is that these pads aren’t very extreme in terms of power. I am sure they could make these a bit more potent without being dangerous.

Until I find something more powerful, these will have a place in my nightly routine. If you have blemish-prone skin or lackluster skin, you will quite enjoy these pads. I have not tried the regular Glycolic Fix pads, though I do hear that these Extreme ones are far nicer and effective. I highly recommend these, especially for the price.

You can find Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme at Shoppers Drug Mart for about $17 or online at Ulta or Boots.