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Friday, September 16, 2011

Know your products: comedogenic and irritating ingredients

September 16, 2011 0 Comments
Hello everyone!

If I had to ask how many of you pay attention to the ingredients list when choosing a beauty product, the answer would probably be very few.  The main reason for this is that the majority of us (the consumers) have no idea what the scientific names of the ingredients mean.  Nonetheless, I do think that is it crucial to understand the importance of ingredients, especially for those with sensitive and/or acne-prone skin.

test tubes

But what does Comedogenic mean?  This means that the product may contribute to the production of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), and therefore may cause or aggravate acne.  When ingredients are tested for their comedogenic or irritating level, they are ranked on a scale of 0-5. 0 means that the ingredient is non-comedogenic and non-irritating, while an ingredient that receives a 5 is the worst in terms of comedogenic/irritating levels.


Remember that all ingredient lists are in order of predominance, with the ingredients used in the greatest amount first, followed in descending order by those in smaller amounts.  So if you find a product, and you see it has a potentially irritating ingredient towards the end, it is less likely to cause skin problems.


However, the actual comedogenicity of a product cannot be predicted from its contents; rather the finished product itself needs to be tested.  Reactions are more likely to occur if the applied cosmetics are left to sit on the skin (e.g. make-up and moisturisers) and are not removed after use (e.g. cleansers)


Tip:


Look for the terms “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”, and for products that are labelled “oil-free” or “water-based”.  Still, it’s important to test products for yourself rather than to believe statements made on the labels.


Below you can find a list of the most common ingredients found in make-up and skincare products.  For more details, I advise you to check my source Dermaxime, where you can find everything you need to know about the subject.


Highly Comedogenic 
Acetylated Lanolin
Algae Extract
Algin
Butyl Stearate
Carrageenan
Cetearyl Alcohol
Cetyl Acetate
Cetyl Alcohol
Cocoa butter
Coconut Butter
Coconut Oil
Colloidal Sulfur
Cotton Awws Oil
D & C Red #17, 21, 3, 30, 36
Decyl Oleate
Dioctyl Succinate
Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2-Sulfosuccinate
Ethoxylated Lanolin
Ethylhexyl Palmitate
Glyceryl-3-Diisosterate
Hexadecyl Alcohol
Isocetyl Alcohol
Isocetyl Stearate
Isodecyl Oleate
Isopropyl Isostearate/Linolate/Myristate/Palmitate (Isopropyl alcohol is OK)
Isostearyl Isosterate/Neopentanoate
Laureth #23, 4
Lauric Acid
Myristyl Lactate/Myristate
Octyl Palmitate
Octyl Stearate
Oleth-3
Oleyl Alcohol
PEG 16 Lanolin
Polyglyceryl-3-Diisosterate
Potassium Chloride
Propylene Glycol Monostearate
Red Algae
Sodium Chloride
Sodium Lauryl Suflate
Solulan 16
Steareth 10
Stearyl Heptanoate
Syearyl Heptanoate
Wheat Germ Oil
Xylene


Moderately Comedogenic
Almond Oil
Apricot Kernel Oil
Arachidic Acid
Ascorbyl Palmitate
Avocado Oil
Azulene
BHA
Benzaldehyde
Benzoic Acid
Cajeput Oil
D & C Red #19, 27, 40
Glyceral Stearate SE
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Mink Oil
Myristic Acid
Olive Oil
PEG 150 Distearate
PEG 200 Dilaurate
PEG 8 Stearate
Sandelwood Seed Oil
Sesame Oil
Shark Liver Oil
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sorbitan Oleate
Soybean Oil
Stearic Acid Tea
Sulfated Castor Oil
Sulfated Jojoba Oil
Wheat Germ Glyceride


Highly Irritating
Acetone
Algae Extract
Algin
Cajeput Oil
Colloidal Sulfur
Isocetyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Alcohol
Laureth 4
Octyl Stearate
SD ALcohol 40


Moderately Irritating
BHA
Benzaldehyde
Benzoic Acid
Camphor
Flowers of Sulfur
Isopropyl Myristate
Capric Acid
Caprylic Acid
PEG 16 Lanolin
Solulan 16
Steareth 10
Tridectyl Neopentanoate
Xylene


Next time you shop for a beauty product, keep an eye out!


XOXO
Euphrasie85

Friday, August 26, 2011

Overnight spot treatment: Calamine lotion

August 26, 2011 30 Comments
Hello everyone!

In this post, I will talk about Calamine lotion and how it can be used as an overnight acne treatment.

Calamine lotion is a mild astringent and antiseptic.  It relieves the symptoms of mild sunburn and is commonly used for minor skin irritations (itching, pain, and discomfort).  It works by soothing and protecting the skin. The active ingredient in Calamine lotion is Zinc oxide.


Topical Zinc oxide is used to treat diaper rash, minor burns, severely chapped skin, or other minor skin irritations.  Zinc is a natural astringent that helps tighten the skin, therefore, reducing the appearance of large pores.  Astringents help dry the skin and reduce inflammation.  Zinc can also help reduce the irritation and itchiness attributed to acne.  Zinc also controls the amount of oil produced by the sebaceous glands.
Zinc oxide naturally protects the skin from sun damage.  So, when purchasing sunscreen for your face, make sure the ingredients include zinc oxide.

Application:

Wash your face (or any affected area) as usual and gently towel dry.  It is very important to shake the bottle well before using it.  Apply Calamine lotion to the affected skin, using a cotton swab.  You can apply more than one coat if you want.  Let the Calamine lotion dry and leave it on overnight.  Wash your face, as usual, the next morning.

Tips:

Do not use around the eye area.

You can use a small, clean make-up brush for easier application.


Leave your comments below.  I hope this was helpful!

XOXO
Euphrasie85

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scrub your face with sodium bicarbonate!

May 17, 2011 3 Comments
Hello everyone!

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is one of the most versatile, money-saving products found in the average household.  It literally has hundreds of uses. But what about baking soda as a skincare product?  It exfoliates the skin and, possibly, even reduces acne.


Baking soda makes an excellent exfoliant.  Why?  Because baking soda is coarse, but not too coarse.   It's the perfect consistency for removing dead skin cells.  If applied correctly, it can also be used on sensitive skin.

How to use:

Mix a teaspoon of the powder to your facial cleanser and add a few drops of water to create a paste.  Massage gently into the skin, like you would with any other exfoliant.  Remember to always moisturise afterwards because this treatment strips the skin's natural oils!  For best results use this two times a week.




The same exfoliant can also be used as an acne treatment!

Baking soda deeply cleanses the pores, helps blemishes heal faster and also reduces redness.  To use as an acne treatment, leave the scrub on your face for a couple of minutes, then rinse clean with lukewarm water.  Use a clean towel to pat your face dry.  Tone and moisturise as usual.

Tips:

If you notice that your skin is red or irritated afterwards, it means that the scrub was too abrasive for your skin; try putting in less baking soda or more water to the mixture.

I mix the baking soda, cleanser and water directly on the palm of my hand; it saves time and it’s less messy!

I would like to know what you think about this scrub!

XOXO
Euphrasie85

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Not just an aspirin facial mask!

May 08, 2011 4 Comments
Hello everyone!

I’m sure that many of you have heard about the aspirin mask and its benefits.  For those who do not know; the aspirin mask is a homemade BHA mask available to each and every one of us, inexpensive and highly efficient. Aspirin is known to help significantly with deep cleaning pores and thus contribute to keeping our skin blemish-free.  Aspirin is efficient on existing blemishes as well, helping them heal.

To make the mask I do not use aspirin tablets, instead, I use effervescent, water-soluble Aspirin C!  I will explain why.

Each tablet of Aspirin C is composed of 400 mg acetylsalicylic acid and 240 mg ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).


Vitamin C, in skincare, is known for decreasing pigmentation and increase collagen production; it is also an antioxidant and can help reduce skin damage caused by free radicals.  It protects skin from UVA and UVB, still, it cannot substitute sunblock/sunscreenThese aspects of vitamin C help to reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.

This mask is suitable for all skin types, especially normal to oily and combination skin, acne-prone and clogged skin.

How to prepare and use:

Mix 1/2 crushed Aspirin C tablets with a few drops of water, apply on clean dry skin (focus on T-zone).  Keep it on until completely dry (20-30 minutes). Wet your face lightly and use a circular motion to massage gently.  Finally, rinse with plenty of water.  Apply your regular toner and moisturiser.

There are numerous versions of this mask.  You can add strained yoghurt/Greek yoghurt for an astringent effect, Aloe vera or honey.  Another option is to crush aspirin into a mask; a clay mask, a hydrating mask or a soothing mask.

(Obviously, you can use any brand!)

My personal favourite version is with 1 crushed tablet of Aspirin C and a very small amount of Aloe vera gel (no added water).  I find that this way, the application is easier, less messy and does not irritate the skin.  After this mask, your face will feel smooth and clean!


Tips:

You can also make the mask mixed aspirin with a moisturiser, instead of water, as it will be less harsh on the skin.  This is a great alternative to using Aloe vera. 

It is very important not to over-use this mask.  For very oily skin and for severe blemishes, use every two/three days.  Other skin types should use it only once a week or once every two weeks.  If used too often it will over-dry and irritate the skin.

Take care!

XOXO
Euphrasie85

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DIY toner?!

April 12, 2011 0 Comments
Hello everyone!

For gorgeous skin, head to the kitchen and grab some apple cider vinegar!

Apple cider vinegar promotes blood circulation.  It is also a natural antiseptic, preventing infection.  When used as a toner, it reduces the swelling that comes with acne and helps dry the affected area.  

Apple cider vinegar acne treatments work because ACV is rich in alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA). It can dissolve excessive fatty deposits at the surface of the skin and reduce scaly or peeling conditions.

Cider vinegar, being applied as a toner after cleansing, regulates the pH of the skin (which is also acidic at pH 5.5) as cleansers are usually alkaline.

ACV also improves hyperpigmentation.

To make the toner you will need:

  •           small amber glass bottle.  (I use an empty witch hazel bottle.)
  •           Apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
  •           Cooled green tea (any brand)/distilled water

glass of apple cider vinegar

Green tea contains a cocktail of potent antioxidants called catechins, which help fight damage caused by free radicals.

cup of green tea

Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts of green tea/distilled water.  Use a cotton pad and apply this mixture all over the face, then seal your skin with a moisturizer.  

Tips:

Be warned; some find the smell of ACV too strong!  If you are sensitive to the smell of apple cider vinegar, green tea can help mask the smell.  I don’t mind the smell so sometimes I make the toner with just distilled water. 

This is a natural, chemical and preservative-free toner that can be used for all skin types. Also, as it’s preservative-free, I make mine on a weekly basis and keep it in a cool, dark place.

I hope this helps!
XOXO
Euphrasie85

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DIY: Yummy facial scrub/mask

March 30, 2011 3 Comments
Hello everyone!

This is a recipe for an inexpensive, easy and 100% natural scrub/mask.  This scrub/mask can be used on all skin types and it’s extremely beneficial for those who suffer from acne, acne scars or dry skin.



Ingredients:

1)  Sugar - 6 tablespoons

The main ingredient for this recipe is sugar.  Sugar works as a natural exfoliate helping to break up scar tissue.  It unclogges and reduces the appearance of larger pores.  Sugar is also very moisturising.


2)  Apple cider vinegar (ACV) – 1 tablespoon

ACV gently dissolves dead skin cells.   It exfoliates the skin breaking up scar tissue (helping even indented acne scars) and it’s also a great skin detoxifier.   It also contains vitamins A, E, C, B2, B6 and P which repair skin cells for softer skin.

3)  Honey – 1 tablespoon

Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps the skin retain moisture.  It reduces redness and stimulates skin cell renewal.  It also has anti-ageing benefits and is a natural skin firmer.

4) Green tea (optional – you can use water instead) – 1 tablespoon

Green tea detoxifies the skin with its antioxidant benefits.


Method:

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a glass jar.  


As you can see from the picture above; after letting it sit for awhile the sugar will settle at the bottom, so it will be necessary to stir well before using.


How to use:

  •           Apply the mixture all over your face and neck
  •           Massage the mixture and gently scrub for 2 to 5 minutes 
  •           Let it sit on your face for the next 10 minutes (if you want to use it as a mask)
  •           Rinse with warm water

Tips: 

I recommend using this scrub/mask 1-2 times a week for normal and dry skin and 2-3 times for acne-prone skin.  You will begin to see and feel the effects of the ingredients on your skin from the very first application. 


Since this sugar scrub is completely natural, it can also be used as a body scrub and a lip scrub!

XOXO
Euphrasie85