Category Archives: Uncategorized

Softest, Most Comforting Hydrating Mask: Dr. Grand+

Dr. Grand+ is considered a ‘derma-cosmetic’ brand creating skin care products that are clinical-grade with anti-aging and brightening solutions.  Sheet mask is always a great way to be introduced to a new brand.

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What intrigued me about these masks are two things:

(1) ‘4 Dimensional Facial Contouring’.  Based on my understanding, this is describing the 4D stretch design of the mask to perfectly cover the entire face with minimal creasing or gap, and thus seriously treat every aspect of the skin for a noticeably lifted look, along with firmer and smoother skin.  The mask has a stretchy texture when wet and literally touches every skin surface.

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(2) The unique mask material that makes this one of the softest, most highly absorbent, and most comforting sheet masks I’ve ever used!  Now that I’m trying to mask daily, I can really appreciate the differences in mask material and texture, and ultimately the way it feels and the result it has on my skin.  The characteristics of these mask are described to contain high quality cotton linter as material, using filaments mutual self-bonding features and non-woven.  This translates to masks that has high liquid absorption and retention compared to regular cotton.  The non-woven aspect allows the mask to be highly breathable.  When the mask is wet, it is a transparent sheet with the essence permeating the filament.  When mask is dry (picture below), the intricate filament is appreciated.  The mask is stretchy, and the high essence retention allows the mask to cling tightly to the face.

Here I put the Absolute Solution Masks to test: (1) Aloe and Madecassoside Soothing Mask, (2) VitaC and Glutathione brightening mask.

Aloe and Madecassoside Soothing Mask

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WHAT IT IS

  • A soothing and calming mask

WHAT IT DOES

  • Best for achieving hydrated, plump and translucent skin
  • Gives skin a boost of hydration
  • Skin soothing
  • Improve skin barrier
  • Wrinkle improvement

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Aloe – promote skin healing, an anti-inflammatory
  • Madecassoside – anti-oxidant
  • Adenosine – anti-aging
  • Trehalose – hydration
  • G4D Active – Patent complex of active ingredients for anti-aging
    • ceramide
    • arginine
    • lysine polypeptide
    • N-actyl glucosamine
    • Sodium hyaluronate
    • Biossacaride Gum-1

RESULTS

I’ve already professed my love for the mask quality.  It literally clings like a second skin, and completely soaked with watery essence that has a mild floral scent.  I did not mind that there wasn’t any essence left in the package because I believe all the essence are effectively absorbed into the mask and slowly delivered into my skin over the ensuing 40 minutes.  The mask is still damp after 40 minutes!  I love aloe for its soothing and repairing effects and this mask does exactly as it claims: effectively hydrate the skin after one use, restore and boost moisture retention for a healthy glow.

Absolute Solution Mask: VitaC and Glutathione

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WHAT IT IS

  • A brightening mask

WHAT IT DOES

  •  ‘Tone up’ – Improve dullness and uneven texture
  • Whitening – lightening of dark spot
  • Brightens skin

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Vitamin C – anti-oxidant, help lighten scar, spots; reduce blemishes
  • Glutathione – brighten skin tone
  • Niacinamide and Adenosine – reduce skin aging, boost healthy collagen synthesis

RESULTS

A powerful blend of antioxidants, glutathione, niacinamide visibly brighten skin to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentations.  My face soaked up all the goodness while resting under this superpower fabric of mask drenched in essence.  My skin instantly feel smoother, and looks hydrated, even toned and radiant.  I can judge that one application is enough to give me immediate brightening effect.  I definitely need to restock this one, as a few application may get the full benefit of the ingredients that help to minimize fine line and dark spots.

You can find these masks at http://www.drgrandplus.com.

 

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.

My Exfoliating Toner Rage: 11 Huesday Deeply Control Balancing Toner

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I stand by that toners are an ‘essential’ step in a skincare regime.  Two functions I’m looking for in a toner are: exfoliation and hydration.   11 Huesday Deeply Control Balancing Toner does a superb job in both categories!  Alpha and beta hydroxy acid gently sweeps away dull, tired skin, while niacinamide helps to protect against moisture loss.  This combination helps to strengthen skin’s resistance to breakouts and fine lines, and maintain the balance between preventing a build up of dead cells and encouraging cell renewal.  It has quickly become a toner I cannot live without.

About Eleven Huesday

Eleven Huesday is a Korean skin care brand formulated by TMC Korea, which is a trading, marketing and consulting company for the medical aesthetics industry.   The company’s goal is designed to bring professional skin treatment results to the comfort of your homes. Their philosophy is in using natural oriental ingredients combined with innovative proven formulation to help skin to recover, regenerate and be re-born.  They believe that three key steps are the pillars of optimizing good skin: (1) Hydration, (2) Balancing (pH, oil/water, nutrient), and (3) Keratin care with protection of skin barrier.  Their entire product line are designed with these three-steps in mind, including toner, serums, moisturizers and sunscreen.  Today I’m reviewing their Balancing Toner.

Eleven Huesday Deeply Control Balancing Toner

WHAT IT IS

  • An exfoliating and balancing facial toner

WHAT IT DOES

  • Daily sebum controlling and moisturizing toner
  • Sweep away dead cells that exacerbate fine lines, dry skin and blocked pores, leaving skin brighter and smoother
  • Balance sebum production and pH balance
  • Improvement of absorption capability for the next step
  • Swipes away residual dirt or makeup missed by cleanser

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Salicylic acid (BHA): Exfoliates keratin gently, Dissolves sebum and dirt in pores
  • AHA: Malic acid, lactic acid and citric acid. Balances pH value, Removes dead skin cells and maintains water retention in the skin.
  • Papain: Adsorb excessive sebum in pores and removes keratin and dirt.
  • Niacinamide: Enhances skin barrier, brightening effect.
  • Witch hazel : Increases the skin’s resistance, gentle astringent and soothing effects

TEXTURE/FEEL/FRAGRANCE

  • Gentle hydrating formula; no tingling or irritation; mild floral scent

WHY I LOVE IT

It’s cliche, but I literally fell in love with this toner at its first use.  The texture of this product is incredibly soft and comforting on the skin, and I did not expect an ‘exfoliating’ toner to have such a hydrating effect.  I place the toner on a cotton pad and swept over my face after cleansing.  The toner has a perfect consistency: just thick enough so it’s doesn’t run, yet fluid enough so it spreads quickly and easily.   Having the exfoliating ingredient in such a light formula allows for layering and helps the product to be immediately absorbed.  I feel that chemical exfoliation is far superior to physical exfoliation like scrubs and cleansing brushes.  It does not cause any tingling or irritation, in fact, it’s the complete opposite:  It just quenches my skin’s thirst.  The result however assures me that it is enough of a treatment in itself.  Immediate after each use, my skin feels smoother, more plump and looks dewy.   With daily use for weeks, my skin is clearer and overall brightened, and pores are tightened.  It is simply a delight to use this daily!  I will definitely restock this once its finished.  I feel it’s one of those toner staples that any skin type can really benefit from the gentle exfoliation, balancing and hydrating effects to protect the skin barrier.

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Lapothicell – Keep Your Youth

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I’ve professed my love for this brand before.  Their sensitive skin care range is just perfect for my skin.  All of their products are hypoallergenic, mild and refreshing and literally have been transforming my skin.  Lapothicell was developed through all of technology and know-how accumulated by Kukje pharmaceutical researchers under the concept of “Real Derma-Cosmetic” over the past 57 years. Their products have been accomplishing remarkable achievements based on its quality and results in Korea and is expanding into the rest of Asia and now international.  They carry all the basic skin care products everyone should own, from cleansing water, to peeling booster to sun protector.  I’m so excited to incorporate some of their Keep Your Youth products, consists of gels, serums and creams which promise to give you tangible anti-aging results and to bring back the clarity of your skin.

Keep Your Youth Eye Contour Gel 

WHAT IT IS
  • Light-weight & refreshing gel eye gel
WHAT IT DOES
  • A solution for fine lines and wrinkles around the eye
KEY INGREDIENTS
  • Adenosine
    – Increase cell regeneration
  • Centella Asiatica
    – anti-inflammatory and calming effect. Brightens overall skin tone and age spots
  • Patented ingredient, ‘Syn®-Coll
    Syn®-Coll is a mixture of synthetic peptides designed to stimulate the skin’s natural mechanism to produce collagen
    – boost collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Houttuynia Cordata Extract
    – helps brighten skin and sebum control.
WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS
  • Clear lightly viscous gel; glides smoothly and easily patted in and absorbed
WHY I LIKE IT
This is my first eye product in a gel form.  The advantage of a gel product is that it is thinner, and as a result, the active ingredients can penetrate deeper.  My eye is always an area of concern for fine lines, so please penetrate away!  It contains the above ingredients as well as trusted hyaluronic acid for added firmness and rich peptide to help firm skin over time as well as instantly.  The product spreads out evenly and is fast absorbing, leaves no residue yet really lock in the moisture.  I actually leave this in the fridge and the coolness of the gel offers an immediate cooling boost to awaken and refresh and reduce under-eye puffiness.  This is great for those who want a fast absorbing product instead of heavy eye cream, and is perfect for day time use and summer time.

Keep Your Youth Daily Essence

WHAT IT IS

  • Anti-aging and balancing essence

WHAT IT DOES

  • To improve elasticity of skin and thus help minimize fine lines
  • To hydrate, repair and strengthen skin’s natural barrier.

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Adenosine- Increase cell regeneration
  • Chia seed – A source of omega-3 fatty acid, which makes it an effective skin moisturizer and helps to hold onto hydration; Helps with hyperpigmentations, and act against inflammation
  • Centella Asiatica- anti-inflammatory and calming effect. Brightens overall skin tone and age spots.
  • Patented ingredient, ‘Syn®-Coll (Palmitoyl tripeptide-3)
    – boost stimulation collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Houttuynia Cordata Extract- helps brighten and clear skin and sebum control.

WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS

  • Clear water based essence, with concentrated oil capsules; visible oil bubbles that burst when massaged into face; no detectable scent; Glides smooth and absorbs fast

WHY I LIKE IT

This Lapothicell essence has earned a permanent place in my beauty arsenal.  Oil and water co-exist in harmony in the skin to help maintain its equilibrium of hydration and natural oil production, help to mimic and rebuild damaged skin hydrolipidic film.  It really contains the best of both world as an oil-in-water essence.  It’s non-greasy and lightweight as a water-based essence, yet formulated to travel deepest into the skin with the oil micro-capsules to deliver the finest cocktail of hydrating botanical oils and peptides.  The consistency is slightly thicker than most essence but still ultra-light and instantly glides onto the skin to provide a burst of powerful moisture that leaves my skin fresh, soft and supple, and moisture retained for the whole day.

Tone Up Serum

WHAT IT IS

  • A brightening serum

WHAT IT DOES

  • Highly moisturizing serum that penetrates deep inside giving silky finish.
  • It also brightens and restores your skin to healthier and natural glow looking.

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Pearl Extract – Increase skin hydration to improve skin elasticity
  • TRANEXAMIC ACID – Prevent skin Melanin production
  • Adenosine – Increase cell regeneration
  • Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 – Boost Collage and increase skin elasticity
  • Niacinamide – Korea FDA approved ingredient for brighten skin tone

WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS

  • A milky light serum, feels refreshing on the skin, and has no discernible scent.

WHY I LIKE IT

I’m always on a quest for brightening serums, and it’s especially amazing when a product uses skin-safe ingredients to brighten complexion, as well as improve hyperpigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tone; which are ALL of my concerns.  The serum is super light weight, yet so hydrating and simply feels decadent on the skin.  It boasts so many beneficial ingredients.  This has been in my daily routine for a while now and my skin is brighter, and acne scar is starting to lighten.  While it doesn’t aggressively reduce the appearance of dark spots, it does leave my skin looking brighter and more even.  I haven’t experienced any irritation and I haven’t felt the need to use any heavy coverage for scars.  I feel a good serum should be multi-functional and certainly this one not only brightens but it’s also enriched with niacinamide and adenosine that have skin firming benefits, and gives another layer of hydration to help plump and give a bouncy and elastic feel to the skin.  The price is reasonable for a multi-faceted product that provides anti-aging, skin brightening, spot correcting and moisturizing in one.

Keep Your Youth Daily Gel

WHAT IT IS

  • A lightweight daily moisturizing gel with anti-aging and skin brightening benefits

WHAT IT DOES

  • Improve dull skin, uneven skin tone
  • Softening fine lines
  • Protect and balance skin sebum

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Pearl Extract- Increase skin hydration to improve skin elasticity
  • PhytoG-Honey Extract (from Jeju Island) – Implement skin hydration & keeps the moisture in.
  • Adenosine- Increase cell regeneration
  • Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4- Boost Collage and increase skin elasticity
  • Niacinamide-FDA approved ingredient to helps even skin tone and hydrate skin

WHAT IT SMELLS/LOOKS/FEELS

Extremely lightweight and airy; feels like a thicker version of a serum, absorbs easy and no tacky feel

 

WHY I LIKE IT

It’s the summer, so for my combination skin, I seriously feel that a good gel moisturizer is the best way to get hydrated without overwhelming my pores.  My skin is the classic combination type, some areas are parched and flaky and t-zone completely opposite. This product does a superb job of balancing skin moisture without leaving my face feeling greasy.  The Daily Gel has a cooling effect when applied, and glides evenly and smoothly.   It literally feels like I am wearing nothing since it gets absorbed into the skin immediately but my skin feels sooo hydrated, firm and elastic.  Thanks to its nourishing ingredients (including niacinamide, honey, and pearl), it recharges and quenches my skin, even on the driest of complexion days.  I find it can be a great multi-tasker as well, especially if I leave it in the fridge and can easily use it as a cool de-puffing mask, or a soothing gel for sun burns.  Additionally it leaves my face with a dewy fresh-faced glow, easy for those no-makeup or lazy days.  A little bit goes a long way, and its convenient tube form is easy for travelling and hygiene.  I feel that this may be a product that can be used on my skin year-round.

 

There you go, it’s really quite obvious I am a big fan of Lapothicell products.  I have managed to create a skin-care regime using many of their products that simply produce the results I’m looking for: improve dullness, hydrate but non-clogging, improve skin complexion and texture, with added bonus of anti-aging effects.  I love experimenting but sometimes using skin care products from one brand can work synergistically together to get the outcome I want.  More importantly, find products that work and perform well for your skin.  Do you have a brand that you love?

You can find these products on Amazon or http://www.lapothicell.com

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/

 

Beautigenix – Stem Cell Facial Sheet Mask

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ABOUT BEAUTIGENIX

Beautigenix specializes in face masks formulated with an exclusive Human Stem Cell Culture™serum and  a special blend of all natural botanical ingredients with the power to brighten, hydrate, lift and soothe.  Beautigenix stem cells are harvested at the Seoul Stem Medical Center in South Korea.  Their masks are currently found in many professional spa and cosmetic clinics throughout the US.  They carry four varieties of the Stem Cell Sheet Masks for brightening, hydrating, soothing and toning/firming.  You can find these masks by visiting their website and locating a spa near you.

STEM CELL FACIALS

Now, have you heard of stem cell facials?  It sounds intriguing and so enticing and unfortunately oh-so-expensive as well.  When I heard about Beautigenix sheetmasks and their main ingredient is stem cells, I have to give it a try and create my own experience with a stem cell facial at home.  What is the hype about stem cells and skin care?

Stem cells are incredibly unique as they have the potential to transform into any cell types by stimulating growth of new cells and encourage production of fundamental building blocks of skin such as collagen and elastin, as well as repair of damaged cell.  Stem cells have been the heat of research for scientists and in medicine for these regenerative and reparative properties.   The philosophy behind stem cell facial is regeneration of skin cells.  Aging causes loss of collagen and elastin; sun and environment causes damages to cells result in laxity in skin, wrinkles, loss of radiance and formation of pigments, spots, scars and uneven skin tone.  It is hoped that with properly formulated stem cells, they can get incorporated into your skin, revitalize the skin’s building blocks, and help to stimulate epidermal stem cells to thicken the skin, which leads to tightening, firming and prevent wrinkle formation.

BEAUTIGENIX BRIGHTENING MASK

WHAT IT IS

  • A brightening, pigment reducing sheet mask

WHAT IT DOES

  • With state-of-the-art breakthrough stem cell technology, stem cells are blended with botanical extracts to help counteract visible signs of aging, including the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dehydration, dullness, and sagging.

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Stem cells reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Niacinamide has multiple skin benefits including reducing appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness, and a weakened skin surface
  • Sodium hyaluronate smoothes and plumps the skin.
  • Trehalose hydrates the skin and gives your skin a youthful, supple glow.
  • Witch Hazel reduces swelling and blemish
  • Botanical extracts for skin brightening

Purified Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin,Glycereth-26, Adult Human Stem Cell Culture Media (330,000 ng), Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Fructan, Betaine, Trehalose, Hamamelis Virginiana, (Witch Hazel) Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Phenoxyethanol, Propanediol, Arginine, Carbomer, Portulaca Oleeracea Extract, Allantoin, Zizania Aquatica Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Chondrus Crisps (Carrageenan), Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol Acetate, Diptassium Glycyrrhizate, Niacinamide, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Rubus Coreanus Fruit Extract, Nelumbo Mucifera Flower Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Bisabolol, Fragrance.

TEXTURE/FRAGRANCE/FIT

  • Soft and breathable mask, saturated with the stem cell rejuvenating serum
  • No detectable scent
  • Adheres to the face very well and thus making it easy for me to multitask; comfortable on the skin
  • Small-medium fit

WHY I LIKE IT

Beautigenix recommend that these sheet masks be used regularly two to three times weekly to get the most benefits.  I have been using these mask right after I do an at-home chemical peel, and these are the perfect skin soother to help heal and repair after the treatment.  These masks feel heavy because the material is simply supercharged with the serum, slowly delivered into the skin over the course of 20-30 minutes.  I feel that masks that are highly absorptive often contours to the face better, and really enhances moisture retention.

My favourite part of this sheet mask is massaging the serum onto my face after the mask is removed.  The serum is like a lightweight oil blending serum (perhaps due to castor oil) that really contribute to a luxury experience.  I can just see and feel that the serum has penetrated the skin, and provides instant replenishing the skin with essential moisture and create a moisture barrier for skin brightening.  It feels so light on the skin, and absorbs quickly without leaving sticky or greasy feel, which makes it a perfect mask treatment for daytime look – even under makeup or sunscreen.

I do feel that this mask produces results above and beyond what I usually expect of a facial mask.  It is of professional quality, after all!   It is unbelievably good at boosting the moisture levels in my skin, and the result is the longest lasting effect of all the masks I’ve used, while maintaining a stable skincare routine.  I feel like I just had a proper facial, with skin feeling consistently soft, plump, and looking more radiant for days.  The mask packs hydrating, plumping, and brightening punch that I feel is above its price tag with its hero ingredient: stem cell.  I can definitely see myself using this mask on a regular basis.

You can find this on Amazon ($28/single, or $220/tens) or by locating a spa near you at http://www.beautigenix.com.

Ocean-Based Retinol: Simplicity Skincare’s Dual Pump

There is no magic bullet for perfect skin. But retinol comes pretty close.  I kind of jumped at the opportunity to try this ‘ocean-based’ retinol product.   I truly believe everyone can benefit from a little bit of retinol on the skin.  In fact, it is the only clinically proven ingredients in anti-aging for fine lines and wrinkles, and reverses sun damage and improve overall skin tone and texture.  It can also help to manage large pores and acne.  I am a bit of a retinol newbie.  I have tried prescription tretinoin, and even at the lowest percentage, I was experiencing flaking and redness and really have to back off on all my other skin care products.  Then I read somewhere perhaps plant based retinol product can be a little better tolerated.  The Simplicity Skincare’s Dual Pump has ocean botanical based retinol as one of its key ingredients.  Read on for my thoughts!

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WHAT IT IS

“Dual Chamber Delivers the highest quality anti-aging peptide moisturizer and hyaluronic serum”

“72% organic”

WHAT IT DOES

“The results are deep cellular rejuvenation, wrinkle repair, reduction in inflammation and intense hydration curing dry skin in days”

“Stimulate collagen and elastin, support healing and repair, increase skin thickness, refine wrinkles, evens skin tone and texture, and restores elasticity and firmness to the skin”

KEY INGREDIENTS

Chamber 1: Superior serum – hyaluronic acid serum packed with peptides

Chamber 2: Peptide Moisture – ocean based retinol, Matrixyl 3000, tripeptide

Ocean based retinol = crithmum maritimum extract, known Sea Fennel Extract.  It is often considered a plant alternative to Retinol.  It is considered advantageous to synthetic retinol or derivatives as our body or skin tend to process and integrate natural counterpart better.  Sea Fennel, which is lush with radiance-delivering sea-minerals, vitamins A, C, E, amino acid peptides, pigments and polyphenols, can effectively stimulate skin renewal and boost collagen and elastin, similar to retinol.

HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS/SMELLS

 

 

No detectable scent

DIRECTIONS

Simply place one pump of each product on fingertip, mix and apply.  Use both morning and night for best results.

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MY REVIEW

This is my first time using a dual pump product, and certainly it’s a great way to maintain integrity of each product individually while getting benefits when the products are mixed.  It is an airless bottle to avoid bacterial contamination and oxidation.

The Serum (clear) contains hyalruonic acid and peptide amino acids and that are designed to rev up collagen production to make skin appear plumper.  The Moisturizer contains ocean-based retinol, along with amazing organic ingredients from botanical (licorice, green tea, bearberry, blueberry, cranberry), pure plant oils (avocado, rosehip, flaxseed),  and organic vitamins and minerals that moisturize and hydrate the skin.  I think this is actually a great middle ground if you find retinol products too harsh on its own.  I find the product is light yet moisturizing enough, fast absorbed and does not leave residue.  In terms of anti-aging claims, this will require longer usage to see results.  However, it seems to delivers the benefits of retinol without redness, itching and flaking that normally come with it!  This may be a great product for someone who is new to retinoid, as it is gentle on my most sensitive skin.

The ingredient list is pretty impressive, see below for full review.

FULL INGREDIENT LISTS

A little COSDNA analysis showed that the Superior Serum is actually not too bad.  With the exception of jojoba oil which is rated as a 2 in ‘acne’ and ‘irritant’ category.   It is however low on the ingredient list.  Personally I have many products containing jojoba oil with skin benefits without being comedogenic.

The Peptide Moisture ingredient list is pretty impressively long.  There are a few that are identified to be irritants or comedogenic rated as 2-4, lower down on the list.  Many different types of alcohol are recognized as well, which likely transforms to faster drying time of the product but can be irritating.

However please be aware that an ingredient may be comedogenic on its own and might not be comedogenic in a product or on skin.  I’ve also tried products that contains no comedogenic ingredients and still found it be irritating to the skin.  I use COSDNA as a guide only. I always do patch testing to see the real results on my own skin.   

Superior Serum

Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Silk Amino Acid Blend (Sodium L-Pyrrolidone Carboxylate, Sodium Lactate, LArginine, L-Aspartic Acid, L-Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid, Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Serine, L-Valine, L-Proline, L-threonine, L-Isoleucine, L-Histidine, L-Phenylalanine), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin

Peptide Moisture

Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Oil), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Glycolic Acid, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Glyceryl Stearate, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Squalane, Lactic Acid, Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Octyl PalmitateOrganic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Butter), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Crithmum Maritimum Extract (Sea Fennel Wax), Matrixyl 3000, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber Hydrosol), Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Organic Beeswax, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu Oil), Wildcrafted Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), R Lipoic Acid, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract (Bearberry Extract), Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry Extract), Organic Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry), Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry Seed Oil), Wildcrafted Mahonia Aquifolia (Oregon Grape), Organic Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice), Wildcrafted Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright), Helichrysum Italicum (Helichrysum Essential Oil), Camellia Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado Oil), Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Essential Oil), Organic Borago Officinalis (Borage Oil), Organic Linum Usitatissimum (Flax Seed Oil), Organic Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose Oil), Organic Rosa Canina (Rose Hip Oil), Sodium Hydroxide, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Phytic Acid, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl (Antioxidant), Lecithin, Pyrus Malus (Apple), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon), Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane), Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate (peptides), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Palmitate), Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Sclerotium Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Wildcrafted Arnica Montana (Arnica), Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula), Organic Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed Oil), Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia Nut Oil), Sodium Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, Benzyl Alcohol

You can find this product at http://www.simplicityskincare.com.  Product provided by Brandbacker for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.


 

Benton Cacao Moist and Mild Cream

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Humidity makes my face oilier, so it’s so important for me to transition my routine to products that are lighter yet still provide adequate hydration.  My previous experience with Benton product is that the company focuses on using high percentage of active ingredients, as such this one contains 63% of cacao extract and 10% cacao seed butter and the remaining ingredient list is generous in botanical extracts.

Claims
– Lightweight texture
– Suitable for summer
– Moist finish
– Water-oil balance
– Mild formula

Ingredients: Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Water, Sorbitan Olivate, 1,2-Hexandiol, Pentylene Glycol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyglutamic Acid, Madecassoside, Beta-Glucan, Carbomer, Arginine, Xanthan Gum

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Review
Ingredients: Cacao and cacao seed butter are new ingredients to me.  Cacao is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from environmental toxins and damage.  Cacao seed butter is rich in beneficial fatty acids such as palmaitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid, which helps skin to retain moisture. Another unique ingredient is  Madecasseoside, derived from Centella asiatica, with collagen stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties.  Skin protection, hydration, and age-defining are my major skin concerns so these ingredients and functions are very attractive.

Texture:  One if the best features of this product is the light weight texture.  It resembles somewhere between an essential oil and a face cream.  The consistency allows it to just glide and spread so smoothly and sink in quickly, without leaving skin sticky or greasy.

Finish: I have combination skin but this product feels refreshing upon application.  Despite light weight, it did not compromise in helping to balance skin hydration and imparts a subtle, shine-free glow.

Fragrance: The cream is scentless, which will come as a relief to those whose skin often reacts to perfumed creams.

Result:  I feel the hydration lasted for most of the day, and my skin remained feeling fresh and comfortable, perfect for combating through oil and sweat.  I love products that comes in a tube form for hygienic reasons, and this product is generous in size as only a small mount is needed.  This product definitely met its claims in being a great light moisturizer, perfect for summer, and even sensitive and oily skin.

*Benton has provided the product for review purpose.  All opinions are my own.

 

My Skin Care Journey

I know it’s terrible, but there has been many times when I choose the perfect foundation over sun protection, or forgo cleansing my face prior to going to bed.  Now that I’m in my thirties, I’m starting to see some of the havocs of these bad habits.  I am ‘faced’ with stubborn sun spots on my cheeks and around the eyes, and hormones are kicking in, giving me more acne that I’d ever experience since my teenage years.  A couple of skin-saving tips that are ever so simple have made big differences in my skin care: the way I cleanse my face and wearing sun screen.  Now for me, sunscreen isn’t an option. I need to wear it everyday, rain or shine.  Here I’m going to review one of my favorite sunscreen from a company called Lapothicell.  I’ve really grown to love all the products from Lapothicell.  A friend had recommended this brand from Korea and I just had to try.  Their products appealed to me because the company uses fine quality, highest performing botanical ingredients backed by clinical testing that yield desired results.  The packaging accentuates product visibility while balancing a modern simplistic aesthetic and ease of usage. My favorites are their sun screen and Sensitive Skin Cleansing Water.

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Lapothicell Natural Mineral Sun Protection (SPF50+ PA+++)
Price: $21 / 50mL
Ingredients: Water,Cyclopentasiloxane,Zinc Oxide,Propanediol,Titanium Dioxide(CI77891),PEG-10 Dimethicone,Dimethicone,Cyclomethicone,
Disteardimonium Hectorite,Pentylene Glycol,Magnesium Sulfate,Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract,Centella Asiatica Extract,Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide,Hydrogen Dimethicone,Stearic Acid,Dimethicone Crosspolymer,Sorbitan Sesquioleate,Phenyl Trimethicone, Fructooligosaccharides,Saccharide Hydrolysate,Pullulan,1,2 Hexanediol,Ethylhexylglycerin,Octyldodecanol,Anthemis
Nobilis Flower Extract,Butylene Glycol,Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil,Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil,Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract,Sodium Hyaluronate,Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract,Panthenol,Tocopherol,Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract,
Chamaecyparis Obtusa Leaf Extract,Salix Alba(Willow) Bark Extract,Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract,Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract,Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract,Phenoxyethanol,Fragrance

Review:
This sunscreen is feather-light, undetectably absorbent, and unscented. It’s a titanium-and-zinc blend that disappears into skin in seconds and dries totally matte, so it’s a perfect primer for makeup. It contains powerful botanical extracts such as chamomilla Recutita that has anti-inflammatory and skin soothing properties, often used as a skin conditioning agent for skin cell rejuvenation. It also contains extract of aloe vera leaf, and thus it leaves the skin well moisturized and boosts radiance! It gives my skin the protection I need from sun damage without clogging pores or aggravating acne. I am going to use this bottle till the very last drop, because no sunscreen feel as good as bare skin! Yes, I’m raving about this product!

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Sensitive Cleansing Water

Price: $23 / 200mL

Claims: The cleansing water removes all makeup and impurities without irritation while it helps maintain healthy skin.

Ingredients: Water,PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides,Butylene Glycol,PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate,Glycerin,Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol,Dipotassium Phosphate,Tropolone, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil,Disodium EDTA,Urea, Trehalose,Panthenol, Potassium Phosphate,Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract,Portulaca Oleracea Extract,Propylene Glycol,Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract,1,2-Hexanediol,Centella Asiatica Extract,Sodium Hyaluronate.

Review:

Cleansing water was not in my vocabularies nor in  my skin care routine just less than 6 months ago. Now I can’t live without it! Son and Park Beauty Water got me hooked and now I’m discovering a new favorite in the form of Lapothicell Sensitive Cleansing water. This is a multi-use product that resembles a toner but can do so much more including removing makeup, dirt, oil and cleanse residue, act as a gentle exfoliant that sweeps away dead skin cells, and prep and hydrate the skin, with the added bonus of botanicals filling most of the ingredient list:

– Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract – exfoliate by lifting impurities and dead skin cells, smooth and improves skin texture

– Pantenol– cleanses and moisturizes

– Centella extract – also known as Gotu Kola, well known herb that has anti-inflammatory effects and is rich in saponins that stimulate skin repair and strengthen and strength skin and minimize imperfections

My skin has literally never felt clearer after using this sensitive water. It soothes, moisturizes, softens the skin and is a powerful yet gentle cleanser, effective at removing all the daily grimes of the skin. It is a low pH product thus respecting skin’s natural acid mantle and this may be the reason why it’s so hydrating and refreshing upon application, literally leaving me with a dewy, fresh complexion. This has become a necessity in my routine and my skin is thankful to be cleansed and brought back to a health state.

You may find Lapothicell products through their company website http://www.lapothicell.com through Amazon.

Happy Skincare – Natural, Organic and Vegan

IMG_9193.JPG“Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated to make a big difference to your skin” This is the basis behind Happy Skin, an Australian family owned business that focuses on developing facial and body care, as well as makeup products that are 100% natural, certified organic and vegan. Being a skin care affectionist, I’m conscious of what I put on my skin. Up to 60% of what we put on our skin end up being absorbed in the body, so natural ingredients are a much safer and healthier alternative. With its family-based nature, Happy Skin truly care about the health and the wellbeing of their consumers and the environment, and happily share the details of all of their ingredient selections and manufacturing process. Their products relies on using healing botanicals with rich nutrients and potent bioactive, free of unnecessary additives.

They put some of their best selling products into a sample pack for $19.80, a perfect way to discover what Happy Skincare is all about. It contains deluxe mini version of a ‘3 Step Happy System”

• Step 1 – Cloud 9 Deep Cleansing Balm – 20ml
• Step 2 – Either the Raindrops on Roses Hydrating Tonic (normal, dry & sensitive skin) or Tickled Pink Perfecting Tonic (oily & combination skin) – 15ml
• Step 3 – Either the Good Vibes Omega Facial Oil (normal, dry & sensitive skin) or Laugh Out Loud Active Jojoba Oil (oily & combination skin) – 5ml
• Extra – Pig In Mud Mineral Mask – 4g

My review
Step 1: Cloud 9 Deep Cleansing Balm – 20ml

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Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil*, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera (Candelilla) Wax, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Anisic Acid, Citrus Reticulata Peel (Mandarin) Oil, Backhousia Citriodora Leaf (Lemon Myrtle) Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil * = Certified Organic

This cleansing balm feels and looks like fluffy butter, perhaps with the shea butter ingredient. It contains organic plant oil to dissolve the oily impurities and melt away makeup and grimes of the day and aloe vera juice for hydration. It cleans without stripping the skin, and respects the skin’s natural moisture and lipid composition. This allows the skin to get benefit from my serums and creams. I absolutely love the divine texture and citrus scent that just screams relaxation and melts away the grimes and stresses of the day.

Step 2: Tickled Pink Perfecting Tonic

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Ingredients: Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice*, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) Extract, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), Lactobacillus/Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract, Black Willow Bark (Salix Nigra) Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Caprylyl / Capryl Glucoside, Bergamot (Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit – Bergaptene free) Oil, Cypress Australian Blue (Callitris Intratropica Wood) Oil, Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) Oil * Certified organic ingredients

This Mist contains amazing ingredients, a base of Aloe Vera and Witch hazel extract, with MSM, Papaya fruit extract and willow bark. These combinations make this a multifunctional toner that “Cleanse, Tone, Exfoliate, Nourish and Repair” in a very gentle way. Additionally it utilizes the fermentation process with Lactobacillus making any ingredients more powerful and beneficial. It comes in a hydrosol application, which allows me to spritz as a mid-day pick-me-up. In the morning, I spray this on a cotton pad to wipe away any residual cleanser, grimes or grease that may have been missed. It’s very hydrating and leaves no sticky residue. The versatility makes it a perfect skin care essential.

Step 3: Laugh Out Loud Active Jojoba Oil

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Ingredients: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Certified Organic Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) Oil, Ubiquinone (Co-enzyme Q10)
Look at this short and sweet yet powerful ingredient list! I’ve seen jojoba oil pop up in so many natural products these days. It’s a unique in its texture and form. It resembles natural skin sebum, so it helps to regulate oil production, absorbs easily into the skin and delivers hydration and is a great skin conditioner for combination or oily skin gals. Black seed oil and CoQ10 are powerful antioxidant that reduces UV damage and has antiaging benefits. The oil is so light and not greasy at all, therefore great for sensitive skins. It seals the moisture and creates an effective barrier to external element. I absolutely adore when I can find a luxurious facial oil that works for oily/combination skin.

That completes my Happy Skincare routine! Their products are not only nature, and organic, they are also very affordable for these luxurious products.  They also have a variety of non-toxic cosmetic and makeup products too! Be sure to check them out at www.happyskincare.com.au.