Lazy Skin Day

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A pile of ‘lazy day’ products have seemingly collected themselves on my vanity; these are products for days when you have things to do and not much time to spare on skin. I am a person who enjoys spending quite a bit of effort on my skin, but if I can find products that cut down on time I am all for that.

IMG_0334First up is cleanse; two to mention, both rather different in concept. Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water is a smartly-packaged micellar water with the innovative inclusion of hydrogen water, the same ingredient at the heart of the rather unique Perricone H2 Elemental collection. I recommend this article on hydrogen skincare, but essentially hydrogen is an antioxidant with a unique activity in the skin that up-regulates NRF2, which in turn increases our body’s own antioxidant production. So we have hydrogen, sake, willowbark, royal jelly, and rose all acting to soften, cleanse, and resurface the skin. For those who love that squeaky-clean feeling, this is an incredible one-and-done rinse-off (please rinse it off) cleanse.

For those with a penchant for a traditional cleanser, CLE sent me their Oxygen Foam Cleanser. This is applied to dry skin where it can dissolve makeup and cleanse the skin in one step, though I would always go in twice on days I am wearing liquid foundation to ensure every last bit is taken away. This too gives that squeaky-clean feeling, and I do enjoy how bright and even-toned my skin looks after application. This does say it assists in promoting the production of collagen, which I am sceptical of, but as a cleanser this is a comfortable option.

I have a few bottles of Avène Thermal Spring Water lying about, and though I have tried and tried to make these work I never see any difference when using them despite having tried Avène’s and both the regular La Roche-Posay and Serozinc. The infusion of minerals is supposed to act as a supplement to the skin, though again I never notice anything different. Nevertheless, I quite enjoy spraying them on my skin mid-day to refresh or before a moisturizer to sheer it out and make it feel lighter. For me this step is necessary whenever I wear Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, which I tried to like but just could not get on with. I quite enjoyed it the first few days I used it, but several weeks later my skin had developed red bumps across my temples and even a few hours later I could feel it on my skin. I was rather disappointed because Caroline Hirons just dropped it into her Hall of Fame, and I have heard wonder-stories of people who have replaced most of their routine with this one product. Its claim-to-fame is its inclusion of ceramides, which are lipid molecules that exist in the stratum corneum and protect against water loss and the entrance of foreign substances into the skin. I suppose not every product is for every person, but I still wholeheartedly recommend giving this cream a try if you have compromised, problematic, or mature skin.

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To finish the lazy look, Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Advanced is an after-moisturizer skin perfecting serum that provides both instant gratification and long-term benefits to the skin. I am always sceptical of luxe products in higher price brackets, but this is truly remarkable. Within a few minutes its optical powders mildly blur imperfections like moderate dark spots, impart a subtle glow to the skin, minimize the appearance of pores along the top of my cheeks, and subdue minor texture along my jaw. What is unique about this is that it also has long-term benefits, stemming from the inclusion of longoza extract which acts to both increase collagen and elastin production and ease gravity-related sagging, and opilia extract which aids in dark spot correction, red spot correction, and the reduction of visible pore size. Critics say these ingredients are unproven, but if we look at skincare as a whole the only ingredients which are relatively ‘proven’ are ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, green tea, and vitamin C and even so, most of these studies are far from extensive nor are they done on the product but rather the ingredient and often tested in vitro rather than in vivo. So in all honesty, if a product makes you look instantly better, makes you happy to use it, and will not kill you, then it is aces in my books.

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.

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.

Verso Skincare

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What: Verso Skincare.

Who: Mature skin, blemish-prone skin, city-dwellers.

How: Formulated with Retinol 8 technology, Verso features unique technology in brilliantly restrained packaging. Dark Spot Fix contains the highest concentration of Retinol 8, and reviewers say it makes quick work of sun damage and residual acne scarring; brown marks of discolouration, essentially. It also features niacinamide, one of my favourite ingredients, that aids in the inhibition of melanin production and visible redness.Their day cream, night cream, serum, and oil all contain shea butter which makes them more suitable for those with insufficient oil production rather than those prone to congestion. Despite that, I am more comfortable with recommending Super Facial Oil, a formulation which includes a light-weight ester of shea butter rather than the more unprocessed variant typical to skincare. And to start your routine on the right foot, Foaming Cleanser is a cream-based cleanser with a slight lather. Its formula is rather minimal, though it is a gentle option to consider.

Why not: The line is a tad bit confusing in that it is not made clear why there are so many products, despite them saying they offer few. If Retinol 8 is so fantastic, why are there so many different products in the collection? A day cream and night cream, alright, but why a serum, a face oil, and a dark spot corrector? I think greater clarity in that regard would be appreciate. On another note, Canadian availability is limited with no major physical retailer carrying the line; a shame, because the results of Verso are widely cited.

Where: Sephora (America), Mecca (Australia), Cult Beauty (internationally), Feelunique (internationally).

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.