Category Archives: Acids

My Exfoliating Toner Rage: Bravura Revitalizing Ginseng Toner with Glycolic Acid 5%

IMG_2198.PNGPRICE: £12.40 / 150mL at bravuralondon.com

WHAT IT IS

  • An alpha hydroxy acid toner for normal to dry and sensitive skin

WHAT IT DOES

  • Ideal to balance skin’s pH after cleansing
  • Prepare skin for treatment
  • Tone, firm, tighten the pores and refine skin
  • helps diminish superficial sun damage and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • pH 4.5, to allow moisturizers to work more efficiently on a pH balanced skin

INGREDIENTS

  • Ginseng: therapeutic and stimulating properties as it is a natural oxygen supplier to the skin
  • Glycolic acid 5% with Ammonium hydroxide: exfoliate by loosen excess accumulation of skin cells; boost collagen production, moisturize skin
  • Witch hazel: toning and astringent properties
  • Aloe vera – healing and soothing, increase skin water content through humectant mechanism

Purified Water, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut Extracts, Glycolic Acid and Ammonium Glycolate, Glycerin, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Ginseng Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Biotin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrant Oil.

TEXTURE/FRAGRANCE/FEEL

  • Mild herbal smell; clear liquid toner, hydrating and soothing on the skin; no tingling or irritation

WHY I LOVE IT

The packaging is just divine in this sunshine frosted glass.  I’m all about no-nonsense skin care, meaning every product I use in my routine needs to have a function.  This one does a wondrous job sweeping away dead skin cells that settles on my skin and in my pores and leaving it clean, and glowing.  Aloe vera helps to attract and help the skin to retain moisture; Ginseng helps to tone the skin and speed up cellular turnover, while witch hazel deal with excess oil and breakouts.   It leaves my skin feeling so fresh, clean and moisturized, and is perfect to use before Bravura acid peels.  Gentle enough to use on a daily basis, this product gives some serious results without over-working the skin. Packed with ingredients that resemble many cult favorite like Pixi Glow Tonic, Biologique Recherché P50, this one is definitely the most sustainable purchase for the wallet.

Bravura is topping my list this year as a favorite skincare brand.  Share some of your favorites!  You can find this at bravuralondon.com.

Face Wash For Acne

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After I hit my 30s, I started to battle some breakouts that I had in my early teenage years; all at the same time trying to stave off some fine lines that comes with age.  For cleansers, I’m looking for ones that can help clear up the annoying zits, as well as to fight dull, aging skin.  The trick is identifying a cleanser that offers a deep clean without over-drying the skin, as our skin naturally produces less oil with age.  Adult acne is different from teen acne.  It’s not usually in the usual t-zone area, and more so are hormonal related.  Hormone related breakouts are primarily on the lower face, specifically with cyst along the jawline and even down the neck.

Below are two cleansers I’m currently loving, with completely different ingredients and approach to cleansing.  Find out how they help to keep my skin youthful and successfully fend off breakouts.

Bravura London Purifying Gel Cleanser

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PRICE

WHAT IT IS

  • A deep cleansing oil-free formula

WHAT IT DOES

  • Dissolves dirt, surface impurities and most makeup without stripping skin
  • Contains alpha and beta-hydroxy acids and natural enzymes that helps to exfoliate the skin
  • For normal to oily skin types

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Glycolic and lactic acid help skin to exfoliate, to unclog pores, while salicylic acid works deep in the pores to help reduce size of pores and clear black heads.
  • Yeast extract: natural vitamin B complex helps to regulate oil gland secretion
  • Natural botanicals: watercress extract rich in vitamin C help with clearing complexion, lavender extract has healing and anti-inflammatory benefits; papain is a botanical exfoliant

Aloe Vera Gel, Decyl Polyglucose, Glycolic Acid (7%), Salicylic Acid , Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Dimethicone, Yeast Extract (Vitamin B), Sodium PCA, Glycerin, SD Alcohol 40, Lactic Acid, Watercress Extract, Papain, Bromelain, Lavender Extract, Soap Wort Extract, Camphor, Sodium Hydroxide, Guar Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate.

TEXTURE/FEEL/FRAGRANCE

  • A unique gel formula that activates into refreshing foam, mild medicinal scent

WHY IT WORKS FOR ME

As its name suggest it, this is a a serious purifying cleanser that comes out as foam, making it one of the most creamy whipped frothy washing experiences.  It’s formulated with Bravura specialties of acids: salicylic, lactic, glycolic to target and prevent breakouts, while aloe, lavender and watercress soothes red and irritated skin.  I love using this first thing in the morning, as it makes my skin feel so squeaky clean, invigorated and balanced.   My skin feels like it just received a deep cleanse.  The cleanser also help to reduce shine by absorbing sebum, while tighten the appearance of pores, literally ‘purify’ my skin leaving it baby soft and smooth, yet still hydrated. I feel that this face wash is a great way to get these fabulous acid into my daily beauty routine to yield reliable consistent results – I wash my face every day, after all.  Additional benefit is that I don’t experience any major side effects of a potent combination of acids as the cleanser does not stay on my face for long periods of time.  The benefits are noticeable: less breakouts, less oily t-zone, and improved skin tone and texture.  Bravura has rocked my skin again with this fabulous product.

Dr. Wu Deep Cleansing Gel With Niacinamide

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PRICE

WHAT IT IS

  • Effective and gentle cleanser for oily and acne prone skin

WHAT IT DOES

  • Cleanse away acne-causing bacteria, excess oil and impurities without over-drying or irritating skin
  • Also help to keep skin looking young by retaining moisture and providing anti-aging benefits
  • Prevent acne problems in all stages and visibly reduce marks left behind by blemishes
  • Control sebum

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate – derived from coconut oil; used as a gentle surfactant that help water mix with oil and dirt so it can be easily rinsed away
  • Niacinamide – Powerful ingredient for anti-inflammation making it an effective treatment for acne, psoriasis and rosacea; reduces sebum production; antiaging benefits by stimulate dermis to produce more collagen; prevent moisture loss
  • Chamomilla recutita extract – calm sensitive skin, condition the skin to optimal balance
  • Aloe barbadensis gel – hydrate and repair the skin’s natural barrier; healing and soothing for the skin, anti-inflammatory

TEXTURE/FRAGRANCE/FEEL

  • Light gel cleanser; mild floral scent

WHY I LIKE IT

This cleanser made me realize that just because I have acne prone skin, it doesn’t mean that I need a harsh cleanser.  How does this treat acne without ingredients like benzoyl peroxide?  It’s all in the formulation combining an effective and gentle surfactant from coconut oil, as well as nourishing skin ingredients that help to deeply cleanse and refine the pores, balance sebum, restore moisture and thus leaving skin fresh, hydrated and healthy to minimize breakouts.  The gel develops into a non-drying oil to protect the skin’s natural moisture levels and hydrate dry areas at the same time.  It then changes into a light milk formula for easy rinsing.    It cleanses so thoroughly.  My skin is left residue-free, and totally refreshed, and conditioned to its optimal balance.  What’s more, it is enriched with aloe vera to really lock in the moisture and offer a fuss-free approach to truly tailored skin care.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Two cleansers, two completely different ingredient lists. Both are great gentle cleanser that are designed to fight pimples while also keeping my skin looking young by retaining moisture and providing anti-aging benefits.

What are your favorite cleansers?

 

Bravura London At Home Chemical Peels

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About The Brand: Bravura London

I’m so excited to share my experiences with Bravura.  Their products have rocked my skin world this past few weeks.  Behind the brand is Amanda Elias, who developed passion for skincare at an young age, and wanted to create products that are effective and luxury minus the price.  The entire product line is developed using acids, including glycolic, lactic and salicylic.  I have had experiences with chemical peels, and I found that some peels are too harsh.  What attracted me to Bravura London’s chemical peel is the lower concentrations, and therefore am hoping for results minus irritation or peeling.
Bravura product philosophy promotes slow gradual changes rather than overnight miracles.  Additionally, they believe in creating beauty routines that leads to real beauty results.  Amanda’s blog is a wealthy of information, and she really do want to help people to improve their skin health through education and finding the right products.  There is also a free, no obligation skin consultation online, and include recommendations for different skin types, skin concerns and even pregnancy skin care.  The website also contains detailed instructions and so much information about everything  you need to know about AHA and BHA products.  Your orders will also come with a detailed instructions on how to safely do a chemical peel at home.
On top of that, how gorgeous are their packaging?  At such affordable prices, I may have to get all of their products so I can line them up for a beautiful photo-op.  Today I’ll review their two of their three at-home chemical peels: 10% lactic and glycolic acid.

10% Lactic Acid Peel (Infused with Rose)

Price: £9.59 / 30mL

WHAT IT IS

An alcohol free lactic acid peel; pH 3.75

WHAT IT DOES

Infused with rose water, lactic acid peel is a perfect treatment for dry or dehydrated skin suffering from hyperpigmentation, acne, dry/dull skin, aging skin

INGREDIENTS

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

Lactic acid is a gentler form of AHA peels, and this means that it has a lower side effect profile such as dryness, irritation, skin peeling and hypersensitivity.  This means that it is a great option for people who are prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentations as well as have sensitive skin types.  Lactic acid is also a humectant which helps skin to retain moisture, thus is a great peel option for those with dry or dehydrated skin.  Additional benefits including anti-aging by increasing cell turnover, and stimulate collagen production, as well as lightening of pigments and scars.

SCENT/TEXTURE/FEEL

Water, colorless liquid; One full dropper measures about 5ml, just perfect for one application; scent is similar to other lactic acid peels, like a sour yogurt scent as it is derived from milk

WHY I LIKE IT

Lactic acid is not as easy to find as an ingredient as other acids (glycolic or salicylic).   I was first introduced to its amazing benefit on my skin by using the Sunday Riley Lactic Acid serum.  Additionally lactic acid products almost always comes at a higher price point.  The fact that Bravura offers a lactic acid peel at such an affordable price point is simply fabulous.  Even at 10%, I did feel a mild tingling upon application, which resolves within a few minutes.  As instructed, I started out my first peel at 5 minutes and gradually added an extra minute with each use.  Following instructions for these chemical peels are SOO important.  The most immediate and visible effect for me is cleaner and smaller pores.  I feel the result of this peel is most noticeable about three to four days after the peel when my skin seems smoother and has more radiance.  It makes it really easy to create a dewy look when your skin is glowing from within.

Glycolic Acid Peels (Infused with Lavender)

PRICE: £9.59 / 30mL

WHAT IT IS

An alcohol free glycolic acid peel; pH 3

WHAT IT DOES

Infused with lavender, designed to help fade pigmentation from sun or acne, reduce appearance of fine lines, exfoliate without being abrasive and reduces acne breakouts

INGREDIENTS

Distilled Water, Lavender Water, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose.

Glycolic acid is an all around great skin rejuvenation peel sourced from sugar cane and combat skin issues such as acne, clogged pores and blackhead, as well as dull or uneven complexion.  It is the most effective anti-aging chemical peel as it penetrate the skin the deepest of all AHA chemical peels, and thus can promote improved cellular turnover, stimulate collagen, and all to reduce visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve overall skin tone and texture.   The lower concentration makes this adaptable to use even 3-4 x weekly as per website, with very little downtime.

SCENT/TEXTURE/FEEL

Citrusy scent; clear watery texture; easiest to apply with brush

 

WHY I LIKE IT

I did not experience acne until my thirties, and it definitely seem to be hormone related.  I would get painful cystic acne along my chin, and despite tendency to pick at it, it often leaves me with unsightly scars that is red and then turns brown.  Since starting to use these two chemical peels alternating at a weekly basis, my chin acne has minimized and the brown patches are finally starting to show improvement.  Don’t be fooled by the 10% glycolic.  I know this is lower than most at-home peel products offered by other brands, the results takes patience and it will come.  The best thing for me is that this is the first glycolic acid product I’ve used (peel or cream) where I did not experience any redness, irritation or skin flaking.  I do use their pre-peel Ginseng toner before hand and will review this separately.

Upon initial application, there is definitely tingling, more pronounced with the glycolic peel than lactic acid.  It subsides within minutes.  There is a slight redness with the glycolic peel immediately after, which is resolved by morning.  I usually like to do these peels at night, followed by sheet masking.  I also use light hydrating gel products (such as Lapothicell Daily Gel Moisturizer) that cools and soothe the skin, yet gentle and not comedogenic.  Keeping your skin hydrated but not suffocating it has made a world of difference in terms of how I heal and respond to a peel.  My skin never feels stripped or irritated, and the results is the best on days when my skin feels overly-congested.

 

I love that these two at-home peel can leave my skin soft, fresh and more youthful looking with no noticeable side effect.  It is one of my favorite ways to exfoliate now, as it’s gentle, has no downtime, irritation or flaking.  For me, they have been so effective at helping to maintain a clear complexion, free of hormonal breakouts, which was one of the main reasons I wanted to start doing peels.  Overall it has revitalized my skin and helping to bring the glow back, and are totally worth the ingredient, performance, and the price.   I am planning to increase the use to every 3 nights or so, and am excited to follow the progress.

Of course don’t forget to stay out of the sun when you can and use spf when doing these peels at home.

You can find these beautiful Bravura products at https://www.bravuralondon.com/