The Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream in Medium No.2

Hello! I picked up the Burberry fresh glow BB cream on a whim last summer. I have a love hate relationship with this product and after using this for almost a year I think I am ready to give my thoughts on this BB Cream.

Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream

As with almost all products from Burberry, this one too is packaged beautifully. I picked up the shade Medium N0.2 ( I am in the NC25 to NC30 range ) which had enough yellow undertones to work out for me.  The tube comes with a pump which is really handy and overall the packaging is very travel friendly.

I bought this to use in the summer for light makeup but unlike most traditional BB creams this has zero coverage. It maybe evens out my skintone a little bit but other than that it does nothing. Applying more than 1 layer does nothing either.

It comes with a pump.

My biggest issue with this BB cream is the texture. It reminds me of sunscreen (It does have an SPF of 20). It feels greasy not creamy like most BB creams. On the skin, it drags and does not become one with your skin..rather it sits on top and you feel like your skin is dirty! The smell also reminds me of sunscreen.

I have dry skin and found that I looked like a greasy mess within 3 hours of wearing this! I tried this BB cream in combination with a powder foundation and it was better. The greasy feeling was still there but it felt less tacky on the skin. I was able to wear it a bit longer this time around, but I couldn’t wear this for a full work day even with the powder on top.

Things were better when I tried it this winter though! My skin had become even more dry and I thought I’ll bust this out and see how it works with my even drier skin. The greasy sunscreen feeling was still there but with powder foundation on top I was able to pull this through a full work day. It acted more as a dewy base so my skin did look nice and glowy.

However, for the price tag of 44$ I think this BB cream is way overpriced and Burberry should go back to the drawing board with this one! My L’oreal True Match Lumi foundation from the drugstore is far superior in terms of performance. It gives me the glow, feels like skin and has medium coverage.

Overall, I did not enjoy the Burberry BB cream and find that there are far better BB creams out there!

Until next time…ciao!!

The skincare ingredient must have : Ceramides

Hello folks!!

Sorting through all the anti ageing skincare products in the market, I am pretty sure you might have come across the term ceramides at some point. They are often touted as miracle workers for ageing and dehydrated skin. So what exactly are ceramides?

Imagine that the brick and mortar structure you see in the picture below is the outer later of your skin. If the bricks are to be your skin cells, then the ‘glue’ or mortar holding your skin cells together is ceramide.

File:Brick and mortar (5110740610).jpg

Brick and Mortar (image source: wikicommons)

To nerdyify things a bit.. the intercellular spaces between skin cells are occupied by lameller sheets. The major lipid component of these lamellar sheets is ceramides. In addition to ceramides, cholestrol and free fatty acids are also found in the lipid domain. Together, they play an important role in maintaining skin hydration by preventing water loss and holding on to moisture. Unfortunately, as we age our ability to produce ceramides decreases and hence our skin gets dry and dull. Ceramides also play an important role in keeping our skin firm and thus when the production declines with age, our skin starts to sag 😦

An important thing to note is that ceramides refer to a family of molecules, in other words there are many different types of ceramides occurring naturally in our skin. There are 9 different types found naturally in human skin: they are labelled ceramide 1 thru ceramide 9.

So how do we go about choosing the right moisturiser that helps us maintain firm healthy moisturized skin ?

Ideally, for ceramide creams to work optimally to restore skin balance and function , cholestrol and fatty acids should be present along with ceramides . As you may recall, these 3 components together form the majority of the intercellular spaces between the skin cells naturally.

Ceramides found in skin care products are usually synthetic or plant derived. When looking through the ingredient lists, you will  notice that ceramides are often labelled in the following fashion:

Ceramide 1 : Ceramide EOS
Ceramide 2 : Cermamide NS = N-stearoyl sphinganine
Ceramide 3 : Ceramide NP = N-stearoyl phytosphingosine
Ceramide 4 : Ceramide EOH
Ceramide 5 : Ceramide AS
Ceramide 6 : Ceramide AP = α-hydroxy-N-stearoylphytosphingosine
Ceramide 6 II : Caproyl sphingosine
Ceramide 7 : Ceramide AH
Ceramide 8 : Ceramide NH
Ceramide 9 : Ceramide EOP
Ceramide E : Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide and Hexadecanamide

If you are curious to know more about the different ceramide containing moisturizers in the market, I suggest checking out the following website : https://www.verywell.com/ceramide-moisturizers-1069550. The author has detailed 6 ceramide containing moisturizers.

Is there proof that ceramide containing moisturizers work?

Now this is where things get a bit complicated. There are so many different types of ceramides and depending on the other ingredients present, the concentrations etc the story can change. Here is a sampling of different studies showing the efficiency of ceramides as a skincare ingredient:

There are of course, more studies outlining the efficiency of ceramides as a skincare ingredient. As I mentioned earlier, this is just a sampling of different types of studies done with ceramides which prove that they can be effective in fighting atopic dermatitis, wrinkles and also hyper pigmentation.

After reviewing quite a few research publications, I personally believe that ceramides can be a beneficial skincare ingredient. Have you tried any ceramide creams? If so what do you think of them?

References:

  1. Hashizume H. Skin aging and dry skin. J Dermatol. 2004 Aug;31(8):603-9.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12553851
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492545
  4. http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/cerami122014tent.pdf
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24656726/

Marula Oil: Argan oil’s wonderful sister perhaps :)

Hello folks!

I have been MIA since I have been enjoying some wonderful downtime with family 🙂 Lets kick off September with a post on Marula oil which is one of the current darlings of the cosmetic industry. General curiosity had made me dig up scientific info on this oil and now I can’t wait to try it out on my skin 🙂

 

Marula02.jpg

Sclerocarya birrea or better known as Marula tree (Source: Wikimedia)

The Marula tree plays an important role in traditional African medicine and diet. The tree grows throughout Africa. It can be found in South Africa and all the way up north in Ethiopia and Sudan. The tree is also found in the western African nations like Gambia, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The fruit of the Marula tree is eaten fresh or fermented to make beer 😀 (Would love to try that out if I ever visit any African nation). Marula oil is obtained from the soft white edible kernels found inside the fruit and is considered a good source source of dietary protein and oil.

Marula01.jpg

Marula Fruit (Source: Wikimedia)

Traditional Uses
Local populations in southern Africa, have been using marula oil for years to protect against dry and cracking skin, as a base oil for soap and as a shampoo for dry, damaged and fragile hair. The oil is also used to massage babies and as body lotion massaged onto the skin of their face, feet and hands.

Properties of Marula Oil

Marula oil is a clear, pale, yellowish-brown colour and has a pleasant nutty aroma. The oil is classified as medium rich and is silky to the touch with an excellent ‘slip factor’ making it ideal as massage oil. The presence of high amounts of Oleic acid and Linolic acid both of which are beneficial for skin moisturization makes this a great skincare ingredient.

File:Marula Oil.jpg

Marula Oil (Source: Wikimedia)

Proven Benefits

Scientific evidence supporting some of the traditional uses of Marula oil exist. It has been shown that Marula oil can improve skin hydration and combat skin redness. The presence of large amounts of fatty acids , especially Oleic acid enables easy absorption into the skin. Marula oil has also demonstrated anti inflammatory properties which explains its ability to calm skin redness.  A study on the  irritancy potential of Marula oil not only concluded that it was non irritating, but also that the oil has moisture retention properties and has a moisturizing effect on the skin.

A lot of the Marula oil based products in the market claim to be anti ageing. However, I could not find any studies supporting those claims. Overall, I think Marula oil sounds fabulous to combat dry skin issues. Have you tried Marula oil in your skincare routine?

Until next time…ciao!!

References

  1. African seed oils of commercial importance —Cosmetic applications
  2. Sclerocarya birrea (Marula), An African Tree of Nutritional and Medicinal Uses: A Review
  3. Safety and efficacy of Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst (Marula) oil: A clinical perspective

The Coast to Coast Ultra Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Hello everyone!!

Today I want to share with all of you, one of my favorite cleansers! Unfortunately, the brand Coast to Coast is no longer carried at Ulta, which is where I purchased this from. Coast to Coast is an Australian skincare brand whose products are an absolute delight for my skin 🙂 I have used their lovely clay mask (review HERE) and also their cleansing oil (review HERE). Don’t you just hate it when something you love is no longer easy to find 😦

Atleast now I know what to buy if I ever travel to Australia in the near future 😀

Coast to Coast Ultra Gentle Foaming cleanser

Coast to Coast Ultra Gentle Foaming cleanser

I have dry sensitive skin..the worst skin type you can have I guess and the hardest to please! The gentle cleanser from Coast to Coast is actually really gentle on my skin! It has a gel like texture which foams nicely when in contact with water. The cleanser leaves my skin feeling soft, clean but not stripped dry and does not leave any kind of film on the skin.. which is awesome. I have not used this to remove makeup and to be fair they don’t claim that it will act as a makeup remover.

Ingredient List

Ingredient List

The ingredient list for the cleanser is very good in my opinion! I love that they have Glycerin and Aloe Vera as the first few ingredients. These are amazing ingredients for dry skin. The ingredient decyl glucoside is great for those with sensitive skin. It is a mild foaming agent which is plant derived and gentle.

I was initially wary of using this due to the presence of so many plant oils and extracts because although they might be ‘natural’ some of them can irritate the skin. However, I am pleased to report that these do not irritate my sensitive skin 🙂

The cleanser has a very mild scent of eucalyptus and mint which is not over powering or irritating to the skin. The smell pretty much disappears once the cleanser foams up.

Overall I am in love with this cleanser and I hope to find something as good once this runs out.

Have you tried any Coast to Coast products? What do you think of the brand?

Until next time..ciao!!

The perfect winter time face mask!

Hello folks!

Its here..its December! Usually this is my favorite time of the year and I get into the holiday spirit by mid November, however this year it is yet to hit me. For some reason I can’t believe that 2015 is almost done..it went by too fast. It is getting slightly cold and my skin which is always dry is getting drier.

Winter is when my facial skin decides to shed and get all flaky. Sometimes even applying straight up oil on my face doesn’t help with the flakiness. (I know..all you oily gals must have cringed a little reading that line 😉 ) This year I found an awesome and simple solution for my dry skin problems! An egg!! or to be more precise an egg yolk 🙂

File:Raw egg.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons

I have heard of countless face masks using egg whites but never tried them since they dry out your skin. Egg white face masks are great for tightening your skin and controlling oil so do try it out if your skin isn’t like the Sahara desert.

Now egg yolks are a different ball game. They are moisturizing and soften your skin! After separating the yolk from the white, I like to add a little bit of honey to the yolk and mix them together nicely. The mixture will be a bit runny so this is not a face mask you can slap on and walk around. You will need to remain seated till it dries a little. Another thing to note is the smell :D..Yes it isn’t the most pleasant smelling face mask but the result is totally worth it in my opinion! Plus adding the honey does mask some of the eggy smell.

After it dries down (15 to 20 minutes) you can wash it off with lukewarm water and your skin will be moisturized and soft like a baby’s butt 🙂 I like to apply this face mask once a week and my skin is loving it so far!

As you may be aware, honey is known to be a great moisturizing agent and combined with the egg yolk, the mask delivers a punch!

There are many other combinations I saw online. You can add blended avocado or even milk powder to this mix to make it even more hydrating for the skin. I have yet to try these other versions. For now, I love this simple mask with just honey and egg yolk!

Have you tried any egg yolk based face masks? I would love to try them out!

Until next time…ciao!!

DIY Beauty~ Yogurt face masks !

Hello folks!!

Just 2 more days for the weekend! Yay! Today I have 2 really easy face masks you can try out this weekend to relax and pamper yourself after a hard work week 🙂 Now, the masks I am going to share here are by no means new or innovative; just ones I found very effective personally!

I have very dry skin which gets red and irritated easily (sensitive and fussy) and I got sun burnt a couple of weeks back (yikes!).  All these factors made my skin care a bit more complicated for the past couple of weeks. I wanted to try something natural to sort of nurse my skin back to health and that is how I got hooked to yogurt face masks!

I tried 2 types of yogurt face mask for 4 days a week for the past 3 weeks and voila! My skin feels awesome..in fact much better than what it was before I got baked in the sun!

Before we talk about the 2 masks, lets chat a bit about the star ingredient.

Greek yogurt tastes yummy and there is enough research talking about how the probiotics in them are good for your gut health. Well did you know that it is excellent for your skin and hair? 😉 I haven’t tried a hair mask with yogurt yet..if you have, do tell me how it feels! I am concerned there might be some weird smell lingering around , if I use it on my hair. Greek yogurt is rich in lactic acid which helps moisturize skin and it also acts as a very gentle exfoliant by sloughing off dead cells. Another important skin care ingredient found in yogurt is Zinc. Zinc is commonly used in anti acne creams since it helps kill acne causing bacteria. It is also known for its mild astringent properties which help in tightening pores. Sounds good huh?! The 2 masks mentioned below combine yogurt with either honey or oats. If you want you can make your mask with all 3 together!!

1. Yogurt and Oats Mask

This is a simple mask combining 2 teaspoons of full fat Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of rolled oats! (you can adjust the proportion as per your liking). Use more yogurt for a thicker mask and less for a thinner, faster drying mask. I like to leave my mask on for 30 minutes before washing it off using cool water.

Yogurt and Oats face mask

Yogurt and Oats face mask

Oats works great as a gentle scrub for your face once the mask dries and you start washing it off. If you do not like the scrubbing effect, try adding powdered oats to the yogurt to get the skin care benefits of oats. Oats contain beta glucan which helps to reduce fine lines in addition to being a calming agent for irritated skin. So if you have sensitive skin this mask works great!!

2. Yogurt and Honey Mask

Out of the 2, this is my favorite!! I find this to be very moisturizing for my dry skin and its good enough to eat ;). Again, you will need a teaspoon or more of full fat Greek yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Give this mixture a whirl with a spoon to incorporate the honey into the yogurt. I like to apply a thick layer of this to my face and leave it on for 30 minutes.

Yogurt and Honey Mask

Yogurt and Honey face mask

If you like, you can use Manukka honey which  has special benefits (I’ll write another post on that!). Honey has been used for its wound healing and anti microbial properties since ancient times. The ability of honey to draw moisture from the air makes it an amazing moisturizing agent.

Do try these easy masks out! They are natural and you most probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already!

Until next time…ciao!!

 

References

1.  Levkovich T, Poutahidis T, Smillie C, Varian BJ, Ibrahim YM, Lakritz JR, et al. (2013) Probiotic Bacteria Induce a ‘Glow of Health’. PLoS ONE 8(1)

2. Manisha Deb Mandal and Shyamapada Mandal ,Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr; 1(2): 154–160.

3.Tahereh Eteraf-Oskouei and Moslem Najafi, Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2013 Jun; 16(6): 731–742.

4. http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/10/03/13517.aspx

5. Josée Beaulieu, Claude Dupont and Pierre Lemieux, Journal of Inflammation 2007, 4:6

 

Phytorelax Mandorla Olio Body oil

Hello everyone!!

So if you like to explore the beauty section at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, chances are you might have come across some not so familiar brands once in awhile. The phytorelax body oil was one such discovery for me. I have used up more than half the bottle and the words Mandorla and phytorelax have faded from the label due to all the love this bottle is getting from moi!

Phytorelax Mandorla Olio Body oil

Phytorelax Mandorla Olio Body oil

This is basically a perfumed sweet almond oil and I absolutely love it! The perfume added to the pure sweet almond oil is very mild and not over powering in any way in case you flinched when you saw the words perfumed oil ! 😀

The best time to use this oil is right after you step out of the shower. It has a very light consistency and hence absorbs really fast when applied on the skin. It does take a minute or 2 for it to completely absorb into the skin and after that you are well moisturized without any greasy/sticky feeling 🙂 I also like that the bottle comes with a spray pump making it easier to dispense the oil onto your palm. I do find it really relaxing working this oil into my skin and I guess this can be used a massage oil as well.

Ingredient List

Ingredient List

The ingredient list as seen above is short and simple as it should be! The main ingredient is of course the sweet almond oil. BHT and BHA are antioxidants which are commonly used to preserve oils and food.

The only negative about this product is that its not easily available. I bought this bottle at Marshalls for around 8$ which I think is a steal. Sadly, I don’t see it so often at TJ Maxx/Marshalls and might have to stock up when I see it there the next time. I did however find it on amazon for 25$ (ouch!) if you badly want to try it.

Hope you all are having a great week!

Until next time ..ciao!!