Moonlab Gold Snail Vital up Essential Cream

Hello folks!

Recently I dived into K Beauty and found out I love all things snail 🙂 I tried out a trial sample of the It’s Skin Prestige Cream d’ escargot which was amazing for my skin. I just couldn’t bring myself to bite the bullet and buy the full size bottle which costs around 65$. There are so many snail creams out there, what if I find one that works just as well but is cheaper?

So, off I go to Amazon to check the bazillion snail creams they have there and stumbled upon the Moonlab Gold Snail Vital up Essential Cream. It was selling at a price of 10$ so I decided to see if they really have snail filtrate and gold in there. I found out that this cream was being sold for around 88 dollars in Singapore (Thanks Google)! So this had to be a fake one right? Nope! Turns out that the seller is the actual company that makes these creams so this was not a knock off. Maybe the company is doing some sort of promotional price and since it was only 10 bucks I decided to buy it.

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Moonlab Gold Snail Vital up Essential Cream

A few days later I got the cream in the mail. The box and the cream tub looked nice and luxe. I liked the silver lettering on the coffee maroon lid. The cream came with a nice spatula too. My first impressions were immediately dampened when I saw the expiration date on the outer box. The cream was all set to expire in 10 days! You get what you pay for 😛 That was the reason this guy was only 10 bucks.

So I decided to test the cream out for 10 days and another 10 days post expiration. The ingredient list looked real good which was one of the reasons I got it. Take a look.

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Ingredient List

It has Sodium Hyaluronate, Snail filtrate, glycerin, niacin amide…. all as the first couple of ingredients. This is the stuff my dry skin loves.

The cream has a nice pleasant smell. I can’t describe it..its not overly floral but it is a very faint floral scent which is not over powering. The texture of the cream is a bit stringy compared to the the It’s Skin Prestige Creme d’ Escargot snail cream. However, it feels really nice when applied to the skin. The cream sinks right in and my skin did feel moisturized the next day morning.

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Slightly stringy with gold flecks best describes the cream!

I am not sure if those gold bits did anything for my skin. I used to find small specks of it on my face sometimes..other than look like I went for a late night craft lesson I doubt it did anything.

Overall, it was a decent moisturizer. But was it amazing..nah. I did not find my skin looking any brighter or radiant. It did not do anything for my blemishes, redness, dullness etc. I don’t see myself re purchasing this one again ( especially not if they sell old stock that expires in 10 days). There are so many snail creams out there for me to try!

Have you tried the Moonlab Snail cream? or any of their other products?

Until next time, ciao!!

 

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My Scheming Hot Spring Water Sheet Mask Review

Hello folks!

The weather here is so dry that my already dry skin looks even more parched than usual. My usual intense moisturizer from Caudalie was starting to give up on fighting the extreme dryness of my skin, so I thought its time to indulge in some masks and serums.

Korean beauty has taken the world by storm and I am currently enjoying dabbling in it. Sheet masks are a K beauty staple and I decided to try a few out. The My Scheming brand sheet mask isn’t technically K beauty since it is made in Taiwan but you can find it at some of the online retailers selling K beauty items. This mask was given to me by my sister in law who loves it so I am not sure where exactly she purchased it from.

My scheming hot spring water Sheet Mask

The sheet mask was totally soaked in the serum, in fact it was so saturated that it was dripping all over the place the moment I took it out of the packet. All that excess drippage eventually landed on my neck and decollete so I am not going to complain too much about that 😉 but do proceed with caution as you take the mask out and put it on your face.

The mask is made of a very thin material and the backing foil helps you to place it nicely on your face without tearing the actual mask. The essence or the serum of this mask is quite sticky so the dripping can be a bit annoying when you are trying to fit the mask properly on your face.

I liked the refreshing sensation that this mask instantly provides and a big plus for not stinging my skin..that was my number 1 concern about the mask since I do have sensitive skin. I had the mask on for about 30 minutes and my skin felt plumped up and hydrated once I was done! 🙂

Ingredient list

Now the ingredient list is not all that spectacular, but I am happy to see glycerin and niacinamide in the top half of the list. I was quite concerned about using this mask initially since butylene glycol is the 3rd ingredient. It can be irritating for some people with sensitive skin. Luckily I did not experience any negative skin reactions after using the mask.

I am guessing that the water mentioned in the ingredient list is actually spring water..since that was the whole USP of this mask!! But they do not specify that in the list which is interesting!!!

The only negative about this mask is the smell. It does have a slight chemical scent to it and the stickiness can be quite annoying to deal with too!!

Have you tried this mask? What is your favorite sheet mask?

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.

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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 🙂

 

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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.

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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.

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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

Baylis and Harding Rose and Honeysuckle Luxury Hand Lotion

Hello folks!

As I mentioned a couple of weeks back I got a chance to try out new beauty brands during my visit home. I found the Baylis and Harding Luxury Hand lotion in my mom’s cabinet. I have not heard of the brand before but a little online research and from the bottle, I understand that the brand is British.

Baylis and Harding Rose and Honeysuckle Luxury hand lotion
Baylis and Harding Rose and Honeysuckle Luxury hand lotion

I like the packaging and you do get a whooping 500ml of hand lotion. The lotion smells like real roses, no chemical or synthetic smells. However, the smell does not last. The smell hits you just after dispensing the lotion onto your hand, but once you rub it in, the smell is pretty much gone. I like scented body and hand lotions not just for the moisturization but also for the scent so I was a bit bummed that this did not make my hands smell of roses for a while after application.

The second issue I had with this lotion is the thin milk like consistency of the lotion. You have to be careful when you pump, since you can dispense too much and have it dripping from your hands. Initially, I could not wrap my head around the fact that a luxury hand lotion can be so thin in consistency but I do have to give it credit for doing a good job moisturizing my hands.

The lotion is quickly absorbed and does not leave a greasy after feel, which is great since it is meant for your hands….no one wants greasy hands 🙂

Overall, I think it is a decent lotion. I just wish the scent lasted a bit more!

Have you tried anything from the brand?

Until next time…ciao!!

Around the World via Beauty Products~ Himalaya Herbals from India!

Hello folks! As I mentioned in my last week’s blog post, I am currently chilling out at my parent’s place. They are currently based in Oman, a lovely quiet country in the middle east. You can find all the global brands here and also some interesting new items in the local beauty stores 🙂 I got a chance to try out a body moisturizer from the brand Himalaya Herbals which I picked up from the local drugstore. The cream is made in the Dubai but the original brand is from India, so I thought I should include this in the around the world via beauty products section of the blog!

Himalaya Herbals Nourishing Skin Cream
Himalaya Herbals Nourishing Skin Cream

The body cream comes packed in a tub, and with no outer box. The packaging is okay, nothing fabulous. A little online search reveals that the company Himalaya Herbals products are based on the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda, where they use plant and herb extracts in their products. This moisturizer has extracts of Aloe Vera and Winter Cherry according to the label, however there is no comprehensive ingredient list so I do not know the other ingredients in this moisturizer. This is the only major issue I have with this moisturizer.

The moisturizer has a lovely whipped light texture which is absorbed quickly and does not leave a greasy after feel, making this a pretty good moisturizer for the summer months! The best part about this moisturizer is the smell…I love it! It is a very fresh, light scent which is not too fruity nor is it too floral. It is a nice blend of fruity floral which is very spring summer appropriate in my opinion 🙂

Overall, I am enjoying this moisturizer although the lack of a comprehensive ingredient list is a bit of a let down. I would love to try their face products but again the lack of an actual ingredient list is making me really hesitant to try them.

Have you tried anything from Himalaya Herbals? Let me know what you think of them if you have 🙂

Until next time..ciao from sunny Oman!!!

Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream

Hello everyone!!

Last week, I had posted my favorite winter time face mask (HERE). I thought I’d continue the skin care theme onto this week too! For the last 3 months, I have been trying out the Caudalie Vinosource Intense moisture rescue cream and have fallen in ❤ with it! This is my first time trying anything from the brand and I am very impressed so far.

Caudalie Vinosource Intense moisture rescue cream
Caudalie Vinosource Intense moisture rescue cream

First off, I love the packaging. The tube style packaging not only makes it easier to travel with and is hygienic, it also ensures that the ingredients are not exposed to air. The tube holds 40 ml of product which is not a lot for the price tag, but surprisingly you don’t need much to cover your face. I have been using this tube for over 3 months and I still have quite a bit left! The product is dispensed through a small pin sized hole in the tube and that I feel, is quite indicative of how much you need for a single application.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I have extremely dry skin. This cream works really well for my skin! I find that the best time to apply this is immediate after washing your face, when your skin is still a bit damp. The cream is a bit thick and it spreads easier on slightly damp skin. After application, your skin will feel nice and moisturized without any tackiness. Sounds really good right!? 😉

The cream does have a slight herbal scent which I find to be mild and therefore don’t mind. The cream has no SPF  so I have been using this as a night cream. I therefore , don’t know how well this performs under makeup.

Ingredient List
Ingredient List

I think the ingredient list for this cream looks good too! I find really good ingredients for dry skin like glycerin, squalene, grape seed oil, shea butter and olive oil esters in the top half of the list.

Have you tried this cream or any other Caudalie product? I am looking forward to exploring more of their products after falling in love with this one! Do leave your recommendations below in the comments, I would love to read them!

Until next time…ciao!!