Howdy, howdy. Some expired makeup coming at you today from this lovely Spring. It’s a mixed bag of loves, likes, mehs, and things that just did not work out for me. Click play above to start watching or head on over to YouTube to see the full information box in its glory (search “nephriticus”). If you’ve tried any of the products mentioned, I would love to hear your thoughts! xx
Hello all! One of my favorite green beauties who I read regularly and I have collaborated to bring you a review, Q&A, and giveaway all in one. If you don’t know Nancy from Glossed in Brooklyn (http://glossedinbrooklyn.com/
Nancy and I are each reviewing a product and doing a giveaway where one lucky, lucky winner will win both products. In each of our posts, we’re answering four questions to create a mini review of our picks. Check out the Q&A below and then *enter the giveaway* at the end of the post.
I’ve been accumulating empty products from body oils to hydrating serums to cleansers for the past several months, and have put them together in one video of mini-reviews to share with you. To see the products mentioned, any relevant posts, and what makeup I was wearing, head on over to YouTube to see the full description box (along with individual timings for each product–I know I talk a lot). If you like the video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe, and if you’ve tried any of the products mentioned, please do let me know your thoughts in the comments!
I was recently blessed with a trek to the rainy state of Washington for an internship interview and further blessed when I had extra time to drop by the recently opened Gressa Skin Lab in Seattle for a facial. Continue reading Gressa Skin Ritual
The cleanser with coconut oil that my skin loves – MV Organics Gentle Cream Cleanser
I put off trying this cleanser for years out of fear that the coconut oil would break me out. Until I had a mini MV Organic Skincare facial at a Credo Beauty. The cleanser is mega gentle, and although creamy, leaves no oily residue or breakouts, surprisingly.
The rosey facial oil calms my acne – MV Organics Rose Plus Skin Booster
I also put off trying this for years not out of fear, but more out of “meh, rose? Overrated.” My Credo Beauty facialist and MV founder Sharon both recommended I give it a try for my acneic therefore sensitive skin and I have never been more loyal to a facial oil. You may have noticed my posting volume has been way down the past several months which I have been in grad school. Given my insane stress levels (group projects, ugh), my face should have broken out so much more given how sensitive my face is typically to stress. I’m not complaining.
The face mask that is good enough to sleep in – Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask Continue reading 15 #GreenBeauty Favorites from 2015
As I’m marking each email with a #greenbeauty sale that arrives in my inbox, I am almost a bit hesitant to share them with you as I did last year in a big post of savings as a different kind of message is cropping up.
As a fellow consumer, I completely understand that you have probably been saving up for these sales in order to stock up on your favorite products, to try new products, to buy gifts for your friends and loved ones, and so on. Me too (well, sort of–I have been noticing a scary trend in my budget that I tend to spend more on green beauty than my groceries each month). Yesterday alone, I clicked the “checkout” button three times to get in on sales and avoid any out-of-stock issues. Continue reading Sales of Thanksgiving
First things first, I chopped my hair. Also, I’ve accumulated quite the stash of products in my collection that have expired on me and rambled about them, why I couldn’t finish them, and other thoughts on the ‘tube. Grab a cuppa, head over to YouTube to watch (for the full service of the info box), or just click play down below.
During the school year, my shower was my break from my nightly homework session. In an attempt to sleep as early as possible and therefore finish my work as soon as possible, I would shower furiously fast. Shampoo my hair, condition my hair, wash my body, quickly scrub down 2-3x a week, hop out, oil up, and get back to the grind.
Having come home for the summer break, I was showering a glorious two hours before my school average when I had a simple revelation. I didn’t have any buggy code or listening exam studying to rush back to. I could take my sweet time. And I did (with the water turned off, of course. No water in Cali 🙁 ).
How much more pleasant it is to scrub off excess dead skin cells and give your body a nice rub-down in slow motion. It’s like satisfying the whole days’ worth of itches.
When I get lazy or absent-minded and skip a week or two of scrubbing, without fail, I notice the familiar scales building up on my legs. Oil up as I like, the scales will stubbornly stay unless I scrub down, and Organic Bath Co’s body scrubs do the job.
The ingredients list is wonderfully simple. Sugar (fair trade) + moisturizing oils + fragrance from essential oils. It’s brilliant–the sugar (with your hands’ help of course) rub away dead skin cells while the oils (sweet almond, apricot kernel, and sunflower oil) stay behind to moisturize your gams. The sugar is pretty coarse (not to the point of causing distress or inflammation though), and if you store your scrub in the shower like I do (though do your best to not drip water inside), the texture becomes a bit clumpy–nothing a stir with the included wooden spoon (adorable, isn’t it?) or a recycled ice cream spoon doesn’t fix.
In the winter, I usually layer on an oil or butter post-shower for extra moisture, but in the summer, my scrub session also does double duty as my body moisturizing and softening session. In all the seasons, I like to scrub before shaving, as the oil leftover leaves behind a protective layer, making my shave smoother and usually less irritating. I also like to scrub before I self-tan to make sure I don’t have any dry skin patches lingering to funk up my tan.
Now whether this scrub helped me to stress less? I’d like to think somewhat so during my 5-10 minutes under the showerhead, but stress is kind of a monster. While the exact composition of the scent is under wraps, I mostly get lavender from Stress Less. Lavender is usually the essential oil suggested for calming down, and it certainly didn’t hurt. Scent-wise, I may prefer the coffee-minty Java Jolt and minty RefreshMint, the other two scents that I own–I never thought coffee and mint would be a combination, let alone thought I was a minty person.
I suppose in a way the product, being a body scrub, has helped me stress less. Sure, you could rush through the process, but I like it so much better done slow and mindfully. Now, when I start grad school in the fall? We’ll see if I will keep up my turtle pace, but it’ll depend on how buggy my code gets…
Have you tried this scrub before? What are your thoughts? If not, what is your go-to for sloughing off your scaly gams?
Ingredients: Fair Trade Certified™ Sucrose (Sugar)*, Prunus Amygdatus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot Kernel) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Essential Oil Fragrance*. *Certified Organic Ingredient
Disclaimer: While I was initially gifted two scrubs by the kind Gianne of Organic Bath, I purchased Stress Less, the scrub pictured above, myself from Organic Bath’s website. Since my purchase last fall/winter, Organic Bath updated their branding, so my tub, as cute as it is, will look a little different than its updated counterpart.
I had this interesting conversation with the derm-in-training The Green Derm a year ago about how using a hot water + wash cloth to remove an oil “cleanser” is way too much for the skin to take every day. The Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil (review here) has been my long-standing solution for that uneasy problem (it’s too satisfying to see all of your makeup off your face and onto a cloth, and it feels hopeless trying to rinse off oil with water because of course they don’t mix)–it removes makeup and washes off with water. Easy, done.
Despite going through many (loved) bottles of the aforementioned, I could not help be tempted by the recently launched (couple months old now) Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser. I held off for months with the intention of finishing my current cleansers. When I pumped off the last bit of my favorite YÜLI Halcyon Cleanser (review here), paired with unhappy skin due to a myriad of reasons (exams/projects/hormones/dessert), the hypothesis of “I’m putting my skin under too much stress with my daily hot cloth routine!”, and the desire to try something new (oh, and NMDL deal with Citrine Beauty didn’t hurt), I jumped for the Nourishing Oil Cleanser.
From the description of the cleanser on the Tata Harper website along with the ingredients list, I had the impression that the cleanser could rinse off with water as well, and I intended to rotate it with my de Mamiel cleansing balm (review here) + tepid water + wash cloth routine to put less stress on my face as my makeup remover/first cleanse at night.
In comparison to what I remember from the ED4OLO Cleansing Oil, this oil seemed much harder to rinse off with water when used for makeup removal, slash it seemed to take longer to rinse off until I didn’t suspect I had much of the oil left on my face because it really does leave the face feeling nourished and soft. In my impatience, I sometimes used tepid water + wash cloth to remove the oil, which defeated my purpose of purchasing the oil. Alternatively I’ve also used a konjac sponge to remove the oil (favorite way of removing the ED4OLO Cleanser), or just resorted to rinsing off the cleanser in the shower (using the water pressure as my friend).
I then reviewed the directions for the cleanser and snooped more around the Tata Harper blog. A re-reading of “The Double Cleansing Method, Explained!” revealed the routine of starting with wet hands and a dry face, spreading the cleanser all over, waiting several seconds, emulsifying the formula by splashing water onto the face and massaging, and then rinsing.
Wet hands made rinsing off minutely faster, massaging the cleanser while emulsifying it instead of jumping straight into the rinse-off also made rinsing off minutely faster (and satisfying to see the gently “foaming” emulsion–see above photo). Of course, when not used for makeup removal but for a second cleanse post-makeup removal, the cleanser rinses off fairly easily since it does not have sunscreen and makeup in the way.
I am not wild about the scent, which comes off as mostly citrus to me, but using this twice in the evening and once in the morning has been very agreeable with my skin. Any makeup is easily massaged away, and as a second rinse, no film is left–just soft skin. Along with the Nourishing Oil Cleanser, at the time I actually ended up purchasing two other cleansers (if you saw in my recent haul video)–freaking out as I was about my skin and eager to try all the new things, so I did until common sense kicked in and I resorted to picking one cleanser and sticking with it, i.e. the Nourishing Oil Cleanser. The arrival of that time of the month marked the pinnacle of that bad skin bout, and this cleanser did nothing more to exacerbate the spots I had as my skin calmed down. If anything, it encouraged my skin along its healing path.
While there are those being of the opinion that one shouldn’t splurge for cleansers since you wash them off anyways and probably a large subset of that group who think that this cleanser is a bit exorbitant, I initially thought this cleanser was a great deal. The size, 4 oz, for $64 is quite on par with other cleansers I have enjoyed (in comparison, YÜLI Halcyon is 3.4 oz for $52 and Dr. Alkaitis is 4 oz for $56).
The price is fine, however, the recommended usage is what makes the cleanser feel pricy. I typically used the suggested two pumps for morning cleanse/2nd cleanse and three to five pumps to remove makeup. Add that all up, and I neared the end of the cleanser after about a month. That is alarming. Given, five pumps is very generous and whenever I put my palms together in preparation for massaging my face, I lost a little to the carpet (for science!). While I love using a generous portion of the cleanser to cleanse my face–the more oil (to a point) you have, the easier it is to massage–you probably can get away with an average of 2 pumps per cleanse.
Great performance and happy skin aside, a look at the ingredients list will easily tell you why Caroline Hirons places this cleanser not on the makeup removing list, but the second cleanse list. Rosa Canina seed oil, at the very top of the list, is fancy for rosehip oil, which as you may know, is a whole well-lauded product from Pai Skincare all unto itself as a greener source of vitamin A (anti-aging, helps heal scarring).
Sacha Inchi, also known as the Inca peanut, has about the same level of omega-3 fatty acids as flax and twice the level of omega-6 (basically mega awesome for the skin in terms of healing, guarding against the sun, strengthens the skin’s barrier, etc.).
Camellia Oleifera seed oil’s fatty acid content is similar to olive oil–it is massively high (~80%) in oleic acid. Oleic acid has been getting a bad rap for being a non-ideal oil for acneic types (*raises hand)–in high levels, it has been demonstrated to disrupt the skin barrier and hurry along TEWL (transepidermic water loss). But here’s another point of view: camellia oleifera has been shown to be able to penetrate the skin and decrease barrier resistance, making way for other things (the study was for drugs, but here it is probably beautiful extracts and nourishment).
The secret to rinsing oil off with water–a seemingly impossible feat–is this combination of emulsifying agents: Shea Butter Ethyl Ester and Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate. These two allow the oils to mix with water, and thus rinse off. Bonus: they’re also emollients that soften the skin.
Besides the fact that this oil cleanser can wash off with water, eliminating the use of a wash cloth (a timesaver when exhausted), the medley of extracts drew me in. Alfalfa, arnica, calendula, comfrey, borage, elderberry (Sambucus Nigra), meadowsweet–kind of beautiful, right? The common themes linking them together are their potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
tl;dr Sort of the more expensive dupe for the ED4OLO oil cleanser that is slightly harder to wash off. However, just as happy skin due to luscious oils and extracts–if purchase again, probably would reserve for second cleanse.
Have you used this cleanser? What are your thoughts? If not, what’s your favorite cleanser these days?
Note: By hot water, I mean tepid/warm water before anyone starts yelling broken capillaries.
Ingredients: Rosa Canina Seed oil*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Olea europea (Olive) Oil*, Argania spinosa (Argan) Kernel oil*, Plukenetia (Sacha Inchi) Volubilis, Jojoba Esters, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Aroma**, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Arnica montana (Arnica) Leaves and flowers*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Symphytum officinale (Comfrey) Leaves*, Borago officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) flower Extract*, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract *Ingredients from organic farming ** Clinical grade essential oils blend
Disclaimer: I purchased this product myself from Citrine Beauty. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not being compensated for my words.
Adorjan, Barbara, and Gerhard Buchbauer. “Biological Properties of Essential Oils: An Updated Review.” Flavour Fragr. J. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 25.6 (2010): 407-26. Web.
Feás, Xesús, et al. “Triacylglyceride, Antioxidant And Antimicrobial Features Of Virgin Camellia Oleifera, C. Reticulata And C. Sasanqua Oils.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) 18.4 (2013): 4573-4587. MEDLINE. Web. 9 June 2015.
Mack Correa, Mary Catherine, et al. “Molecular Interactions Of Plant Oil Components With Stratum Corneum Lipids Correlate With Clinical Measures Of Skin Barrier Function.” Experimental Dermatology 23.1 (2014): 39-44. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 June 2015.
Maurer, Natalie E., Beatriz Hatta-Sakoda, Gloria Pascual-Chagman, and Luis E. Rodriguez-Saona. “Characterization and Authentication of a Novel Vegetable Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia Volubilis L.) Oil.” Food Chemistry 134.2 (2012): 1173-180. Web.
Mccusker, Meagen M., and Jane M. Grant-Kels. “Healing Fats of the Skin: The Structural and Immunologic Roles of the ω-6 and ω-3 Fatty Acids.” Clinics in Dermatology 28.4 (2010): 440-51. Web.
It’s getting serious when you’re starting a count, right? Keeping up the motivation from the #GreenSurvivor Challenge and finishing up my products. Lots of favorites and essentials in this one, including YÜLI Halcyon, Osmia Organics Active Gel Toner, and more. Also hints for the next post to come. Watch it below or head on over to YouTube!