A discontinued favorite: The Body Shop Moroccan Black Olive & Argan Oil Scrub

Hey everyone!!

Hope you guys are having a fabulous Wednesday! Don’t you hate it when a company discontinues a favorite product of yours 😦 (First world problems). When I first found out that the Body Shop is discontinuing its Moroccan line in the Spa Wisdom series I hoarded a few jars of the Moroccan Black Olive and Argan oil scrub 😀 Now that I am down to the last bits of the last jar I was inspired to write this post! I have no idea why they discontinued this product especially since anything Argan oil is the ‘ in ‘ thing right now. I thought I’d share why I like this product and why I want The body shop to bring it back 🙂

The Body Shop Argan oil and Olive scrub

The Body Shop Argan oil and Olive scrub

  • I find this a reasonably priced body scrub in a really nice jar. Now although the jar is nice, the consistency of product makes a tube more easy to manage. But, I have no complaints..I like the jar and it can be easily re purposed. I have used the empty jars to hold coins, hair pins etc.
It has a pretty lid too !

It has a pretty lid too !

  • Now lets discuss the product inside..this is slightly different in texture compared to other body scrubs I’ve used in the past. It has a jelly like consistency with the scrub particles suspended in it. I know, it doesn’t exactly sound very appealing but I liked the whole jelly thing once I started using it.! The grainy stuff in this scrub is ground olive seeds and argan nut shell powder.
Jelly like texture

Jelly like texture

  • The reason I love this scrub is because its gentle on my skin. It gives the desired scrubbing effect at the same time doesn’t dry out my skin or make it red or give that burning feeling that you get when you use really harsh body scrubs. The jelly like part of this scrub does contain skin conditioning  ingredients like glycerin, Olive oil and Argan oil. I do find that my skin feels silky smooth after I step out of the shower!
  • I have to admit that initially I wasn’t a big fan of the smell. It smells a bit orangey and floral and sometimes a bit like shampoo! But it is a mild scent which I have gotten used to I guess since it doesn’t bother me so much any more!
  • The only downside to this scrub is that the scrubbing grains(ground olive seeds and argan shell powder)  do not dissolve in water unlike the traditional salt and sugar based body scrubs so you might have to check your shower area after you step out to make sure all of the scrub grains have gone down the drain.

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Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I wish The Body Shop would bring this back! Meanwhile I might just try out the African salt scrub from the Spa wisdom series which is still available for purchase once my current  jar finishes up! Does anyone else like this scrub?  Tell me about a favorite product of yours thats been discontinued 🙂 and if your a blogger..do blog about it!

Until next time ciao!!

 

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Ingredient Wise : The L’oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher

Hey everyone!

As you may know by now I do post some beauty related science posts once a week. I thought I’d start a series called Ingredient wise where I look at the claims of some of the latest beauty products in the market and see how many of their claims are supported by science and the ingredients in them and how much is just pure marketing at work 🙂  The Ingredient wise series is a reflection of the thought process and research I do before I go ahead and buy a new skin care product. I am sure many of you like to think hard about the claims made by companies before you go out and splurge on their products, so I hope you enjoy this series!

I thought the L’oreal youth code texture perfector pore vanisher is an ideal candidate to inaugurate this series of posts on my blog since it does claim to do a lot!

 

Source : L'oreal USA website

Source : L’oreal USA website

The claims (from L’oreal USA website)

What is Pore Vanisher™?
Pore Vanisher™ is a fresh, airy cream that instantly minimizes the look of pores and shrinks actual pore size in 1 month.

How does it work?
Pore Vanisher™ works on three dimensions to shrink pores: depth*(with product on ), number and size. Instantly pores appear virtually vanished and skin feels hydrated. Perlite absorbs excess oil for an all-day, shine free, smooth finish. In one day LHA micro-exfoliates to visibly smooth skin’s surface. In one month pores begin to snap back into shape as our highest concentration of Perline-P strengthens and tightens pore walls to shrink actual pore size.

The ingredients

DIMETHICONE • AQUA/ WATER • GLYCERIN • DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER • METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER • ISONONYL ISONONANOATE • ALCOHOL DENAT. • VINYL DIMETHICONE/ METHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER • BUTYLENE GLYCOL • LAURYL PEG-9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE • BORON NITRIDE • SILICA SILYLATE • PHENOXYETHANOL • PEG/PPG-18/ 18 DIMETHICONE • PERLITE • MAGNESIUM SULFATE • CAPRYLOYL SALICYLIC ACID • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • MENTHYL LACTATE • LENS ESCULENTA SEED EXTRACT/LENTIL SEED EXTRACT • BISABOLOL • PARFUM/ FRAGRANCE • DEXTRIN • DIMETHICONOL • CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/IRON OXIDES • CI 77891/ TITANIUM DIOXIDE • SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE • EPERUA FALCATA BARK EXTRACT • FARNESOL • LIMONENE • DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE • ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE • CITRONELLOL • ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE

Do all these claims work?

  1.  Instantly minimizing the look of pores : Yes, it is going to be able to achieve this because if you take a look at the ingredient list you’ll see that this product is loaded with silicone based polymers which can temporarily fill in the pores and give a smooth silky feel to the skin. The very first ingredient is dimethicone! and it seems to be the top ingredient, being listed before water! In addition to dimethicone you can see that the product is laden with cross polymers of silicones of all kinds..so ingredient wise this claim will work for sure!
  2. Leaves skin feeling hydrated : The 3rd ingredient in this product is glycerin so yes there is an ingredient to back up this claim. How it works depends on how dry your skin is to begin with. Glycerin is a humectant ( it draws mositure to the skin from the surrounding environment) and so it can work well to hydrate moderately dry skin. Additionally, Isononyl isononanoate is also present which is an emollient so the product does look promising in the hydration department.
  3. Shrinks pores in depth, number and size : Before we talk about this claim we need to take a look at what exactly are pores? Pores are hair follicles, outlets for the sebaceous glands and sweat glands. Our body is covered with millions of pores but the ones which annoy us are the visible clogged ones which are concentrated near the nose and cheeks since that is where a lot of sebaceous glands are present. Unfortunately, no product can reduce the number of pores since its hereditary. So that claim of reducing the number of pores is not true at all. Now lets talk size ..pores get enlarged due to a number of factors..clogging of pores, age and again some people have large pores due to genetics. Shrinking of pores can be achieved but again its temporary in nature. I f you take a look at the ingredient list you’ll see alcohol denat listed. This is essentially denatured ethyl alcohol which causes a tingling sensation to your skin (thereby making you feel like the product is working) and causes a certain amount of irritation of the skin. When skin is irritated it swells slightly and this in turn makes the surrounding pores look closed. Regarding depth of pores..I am not sure what they really mean by depth of pores since if your pores are getting clogged they enlarge in size not depth. But in case you really do have deep pores or any imperfections, the silicones in the formula will take care of it temporarily.
  4. Perlite absorbs excess oil for an all-day, shine free, smooth finish : Perlite is used as a filler and absorbent in cosmetic products. Here in addition to perlite, Boron nitride and silica silylate also help with the mattifying and oil control aspects.
  5. In one day LHA micro-exfoliates to visibly smooth skin’s surface : First off what exactly is LHA? D’ont you hate it when companies throw 3 or 4 letter acronyms at you!? 🙂 LHA stands for Lipohydroxy acid. The LHA in this formula is capryloyl salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is known to have bacteriostatic, fungicidal, and keratolytic actions. It is a lipophilic (oil loving) molecule that penetrates the epidermis easily and can help soften or loosen corneocytes or dead skin cells (keratolytic activity), this in turn helps with removing dead cells which have accumulated in the pores of the skin and gives the skin a smooth appearance. By attaching a fatty acid molecule to the salicylic acid , the molecule becomes even more lipophilic in nature thereby enabling better penetration into the epidermis. It also has better keratolytic activity as explained in this study. The article is based on a conference presentation so it isn’t published study in the traditional sense.
  6. In one month pores begin to snap back into shape as our highest concentration of Perline-P strengthens and tightens pore walls to shrink actual pore size : Now I have no idea what is Perline- P . It appears to be a trademarked name for a plant based complex used by L’oreal as per their website. Perline -P might be Lens esculenta (lentil) seed extract along with something else since there is a study showing the effect of Lens esculenta (lentil) seed extract on tightening pore walls and minimizing pores done by researchers at a french cosmetic ingredient company called Silab. Now since its not an independent study by someone outside the cosmetic industry I do advise you to take it with a grain of salt 😛 The Silab study does conclude that there is a visble reduction in pore size after 28 days , which is similar to L’oreal’s claims.

Overall, I might just pick up this product sometime since I am looking for a hydrating primer which is what I expect this product to be and also I am quite curious about it in general :). Regarding its other promises of strengthening pore walls and shrinking their size I am not so sure. Do tell me your experiences with this product if you’ve already purchased it 🙂

If  like me sitting you’ve been sitting on the fence trying to decide whether to take the plunge or not I hope this post helps you decide!

Additional References

  1. The New Science of Perfect Skin: Understanding Skin Care Myths and Miracles. Daniel Yarosh, PH.D.
  2. http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/summary/summary.cgi?cid=338

 

foto friday ! 04/25/2014

Hey everyone!

So for today’s photo post I thought I’d put up a pic I clicked on my trip to southern Vermont last week 🙂 I absolutely loved the place..in fact it made me want to quit the city life and buy a farm and live  near a river or stream in the mountains 😀

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Have a great weekend everyone!!

 

Covergirl lip perfection jumbo gloss balms

Hey everyone!

I know I am late to the lip  jumbo/chubby sticks party at the drugstore 🙂 I am a fan of the Clinique chubby stick ones which I unfortunately left behind or misplaced when I moved half way across the world last year ! I think a couple of weeks back I discussed the Covergirl lip perfection lipsticks (here) and how when I picked those up I had picked these jumbo gloss balms too. If you’ve read that post on my blog , you’ll know that those lipsticks didn’t win any gold stars from me and unfortunately neither do these 😦

Covergirl lip perfection jumbo gloss balm in mocha twist and plum twist

Covergirl lip perfection jumbo gloss balm in mocha twist (265) and plum twist (260)

The 2 colors I picked up were the mocha twist which is a brownish nude color and plum twist which looks like a dark mauve purple in the tube. The annoying thing is that these color names are not printed onto the product and are listed only in the outer plastic wrapper, so once you open the seal you just have numbers for reference..so mocha twist is shade no.265 and plum twist is shade no.260.

Mocha twist

Mocha twist

Another interesting thing I should mention 🙂 I find the formula for the 2 shades slightly different! I generally like the feel of mocha twist on my lips than plum twist..so…anything good that I write about these jumbo gloss balms are solely based on my experience with mocha twist 🙂 As you can see from the pictures, I’ve used Mocha twist much more than Plum twist!

Plum twist

Plum twist

  • One of the things I like about these is the packaging. It is easy to carry this around in your purse (you will definitely need to, if you plan on using this as your lip product of the day). The packaging is very much like the Clinique chubby sticks, with a twist mechanism at the bottom to push out the product from the top.
  • The mocha twist shade is a neutral nude shade which has just the right amount of shine which I like. You can see from the picture that there are fine shimmer particles in the balm. However, I don’t get the same amount of shine from the plum twist.
  • They are advertised as being lip balms and although they are not very moisturizing, I do find that mocha twist does a fairly good job of not drying out my lips. Its the opposite with plum twist for me! I find plum twist very drying on my lips!
Swatches: Mocha twist on top and Plum twist on the bottom

Swatches: Mocha twist on top and Plum twist on the bottom

  • The swatches above are after I’ve swiped these balms 6 times..and yes they still look quite sheer..which is okay since they are advertised as being sheer. But what I don’t like is that the plum twist comes off looking really patchy on the lips with the color settling into fine lines. The patchiness gets worse with each swipe so it comes off looking like a bad lipstick.. a single swipe on the other hand hardly shows up! so in other words I find Plum twist totally useless although its one of the darkest shades in the line ! Mocha twist is a nude shade and that is probably why it doesn’t come off looking patchy.
  • Mocha twist glides on quite effortlessly and as I mentioned before is decent with the moisturizing aspects. With plum twist I find that its a bit more dry in texture and so sometimes it does feel like I am rubbing a crayon across my lips 😦
  • These jumbo balms wear off quite fast, so if like me you don’t like to keep touching up your makeup throughout the day, they are not for you!
  • These are quite pricey (8$) for what you get! They have poor staying power, patchy color payoff, not particularly moisturizing (drying in the case of plum twist) so I don’t see myself picking up anything more from this line 😦

Maybe I got a dud plum twist..I dunno..or maybe I have the worst dry lips in the world 😀 . Let me know if you’ve tried these and it worked for you!

Until next time, ciao!!

L’Oreal Hydra-Renewal continuous moisture cream- a review

Hi everyone!!

Happy mid week! only 2 more days to the weekend yay!! The Clarins Hydra Quench Cream for normal to dry skin has been my skincare staple for quite a few years now and I was always happy to shell out 40 to 50 bucks for it since it worked for my skin. However a friend of mine who is also a die hard fan of the Clarins cream told me they changed the formula and it doesn’t help with her dry skin issues anymore. I then decided to go back to the drugstore brands to see if I can find something that would tame my dry skin and guess what! I struck gold with the L’Oreal hydra renewal continuous moisture cream 🙂

L'Oreal Hydra- Renewal Cream

L’Oreal Hydra- Renewal Cream

  • First off I absolutely love the price tag! Its only 6 to 7$ depending on where you are buying it from. A cream that works for 6$ is definitely awesome 😛
  • It has the same light weight feel as the Clarins cream and is extremely hydrating. This is the perfect night cream since it has no SPF so I don’t recommend using it as a daytime moisturizer although I did use this in the winter months during the day as well.
  • The cream quickly absorbs into the skin and hence you don’t have that icky greasy after feel. I love how smooth and soft my skin feels after using this post night time shower 🙂
Light weight texture

Light weight texture

  •  In case your wondering what the ingredients are I am happy to report that the primary ingredients in this cream are Shea butter and glycerin. I am a big fan of Shea butter and was absolutely thrilled to see it listed as the 2nd ingredient right after water on the label. In case you are unaware, ingredients are always listed in their decreasing order of concentration in the product so the first  3 to 4 ingredients are always crucial.
The ingredient list

The ingredient list

  • As you must have noticed while browsing through the the ingredient list, this cream does contain mineral oil and parabens so in case you have any sensitivities towards these ingredients this cream might not work for you.
  • I also have to point out that the cream does have a slight floral scent which doesn’t bother me too much since it disappears after application but in case you are sensitive to fragrances I think you can skip this one.
  • I am also not a fan of the jar packaging since you have to dip your fingers to get the product out each time. But this is a fairly common problem with a lot of face creams don’t you think so ?
Swatch time !

Swatch time !

  • It states on the outer box that this cream is non comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and so it is safe to use if you have acne prone skin. Hence if you have acne prone dry skin this might just work 🙂  However, I do think this cream might be a bit greasy for oily skin folks.
  • As I stated before the lack of SPF means this isn’t a good option if your looking for a day time moisturizer but is definitely awesome for nigh time use!

Let me know whats your favorite drug store moisturizer!? until next time ciao!!

When to throw away cosmetic products and how to keep them contaminant free

Hey everyone!

Here is wishing everyone a belated Happy Easter! I was out of town during the Easter weekend and since I was travelling friday, I was unable to post a foto friday post..my apologies! I had a really lovely time in Vermont with the husband 🙂 hope you guys had a fabulous weekend too!

Today I thought I’ll post about something important that gets overlooked by everyone even the germophobic makeup lovers! We are all guilty of hanging onto our favorite lipstick or blush for years esp those limited edition ones..or we all are guilty of  buying too many products and then using them once in a few years! We often tend to forget that like food items cosmetic products too have a life span beyond which using them increases our risk to eye and skin infections.

Here are some tips and pointers to help decide if its time to throw away that favorite lipstick you’ve been clinging onto for the past 5 years…..

  • The most obvious thing to do is to use your eyes and nose! If you see the product has separated, changed color, has some mold growth, change in smell etc its time to  chuck it into the bin.
  • We have to take special care when it comes to eye products. Its always a good idea to throw away mascara and liquid liners which are older than 6 months. These liquid products can breed bacteria over time and anything related to the eye, its always better to be safe than sorry! The mascara wand introduces bacteria into the tube after each use so its especially important to refrain from using old mascara.
  • Cream products like cream blushes, bronzers and eyeshadows have a shorter shelf life compared to their powder versions. The high moisture content of these products make them susceptible to contamination with bacteria with each use so its advisable to throw away cream products after a year of use.
  • As for lipsticks most manufacturers suggest throwing them away after 2 years. Lipsticks is one product everyone loves to keep around because we like to have multiple colors and having many of them means they wont get used up quickly and hence linger in our vanity drawers for a really long time!
  • Powder products are the safest to keep around for more than an a year. Most manufacturers suggest that they keep well for atleast 2 years.
  • Although the FDA hasn’t made it mandatory for manufacturers to put an expiry date on cosmetic products, they are expected to put out some guidelines. If you look carefully at the packaging most cosmetic and skin care products have a symbol such as the one shown below (the opened container symbol with 12M) which tells you how long  you can use the product after opening the manufacturers seal.

File:4 PAO 12M 2007-07-12.jpg

(Picture source: wikimedia commons)

In the picture above, the manufacturer recommends you use up the product within 12 months of opening it.

So the next time your clearing out your vanity drawers its a good idea to keep these points in mind :). So how do you make sure that your products don’t get spoiled before their expiry date and if you want to stretch things a bit with that favorite cream blush? Here are some tips to make sure that your cosmetic items don’t get contaminated and become a  breeding ground for bacteria…

  • Avoid sharing makeup! During my college days, I used to cringe seeing 5 girls use the same blush or lipstick with the same brush/applicator! This is the fastest way to spoil/contaminate your product and get breakouts! I also find it revolting when ladies apply tester lipsticks in stores directly onto their lips!! Sorry I just had to put it out there!! end of rant 🙂 Its especially important not to share mascara and other eye products because your putting yourself at risk of catching conjunctivitis or other serious eye infections.
  • I know alot of women who sell their used cosmetics online on ebay, on their blog. etc stating its been used only once or 2 times or whatever…steer clear of used makeup..you have no idea how old the product is and also how many times its been used and its just risky buying something that’s been used on someone elses skin!
  • Use clean makeup brushes. Makeup brushes can accumulate alot of product with constant use and thus they become an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Its a good idea to clean your brushes atleast once a week..if you want to be extra careful you can use those spray bottle brush cleaners to clean your brush before every use. This will keep your products relatively contaminant free and also help prevent acne breakouts on your skin.
  • Storage. Its important to keep your makeup away from sunlight and sharp variations in temperature. Too much heat can melt some products or cause them to separate. always store makeup in a cool dry place 🙂
  • Lastly if you like to use your finger tips to apply any product its always a good idea to sanitize your hands with a hand sanitizer before hand 🙂

These tips are useful not just to prevent contaminating your makeup, they also help prevent breakouts and skin infections. After all we all like to apply makeup for fun and to enhance our natural beauty so it shouldn’t have the opposite effect!

Until next time, ciao!!

Spring time lipstick..The L’oreal Infallible Le Rouge lipstick in coral seduction

Hey everyone!

Irrespective of what the latest makeup trends are there are some things most of us love to use all year around or during a particular season. After all there is no fun in makeup if you stick to the rules and trends! So although I have labeled this much loved shade of lipstick of mine as a springtime one, I do enjoy using it almost at any time of the year 🙂 This is also the only coral shade that I own which is more of an orangey coral as opposed to a pinky coral. I usually tend to gravitate towards the pink toned corals since they are mostly easier to carry off on the lips and cheeks and seeing the brightness of orange toned coral shades I usually recoil in horror 😀 Then one fine day I saw one of my friends sporting this shade on her lips and was literally seduced into buying this shade!

L'oreal Infallible Le Rouge in coral seduction

L’oreal Infallible Le Rouge in coral seduction

coral seduction

coral seduction

  • First off, if you haven’t figured it out already, I love the color! It is a really nice shade of orange coral which doesn’t come off garish looking on the lips and I think it is a pretty matte shade which can be flattering for most  skin tones.
  • I also like the fact that it applied really smoothly despite being matte.It pretty much glides onto your lips but at the same time doesn’t feel heavy which is something I look for in lipsticks. Dont you hate that feeling of having something heavy on your lips ?
Looking pretty in the tube!

Looking pretty in the tube!

  • Another plus point ! these lipsticks has absolutely no smell..nothing fruity/minty/chemical smelling. Sometimes I am weary of makeup products with scents or smells since there is always a chance that the product works great but the smell puts you off and thus you cant use it!
  • These lipsticks are advertised as long wearing ( the claim being 10 hours!!). They are reasonably long wearing, 10 hours maybe if you don’t plan on eating or drinking at all that day 😉
Swatch time !

Swatch time !

  • The lipstick isn’t particularly moisturizing nor do I find it drying which is a good thing! I usually like to wear most lipsticks with a lip balm underneath and that works really well with this lipstick too!

Overall, I don’t have anything too negative to say about this lipstick except that the long wear claims are a bit exaggerated! I haven’t tried any of the other shades in this range and since the formula isn’t too bad I think I’ll pick up some other shades in the future! Do you guys have any shade suggestions? 🙂