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!!

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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!!

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!!!

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!!

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

Hola folks!!

I have been using the Origins checks and balances face wash for over 6 months and I am now finally ready to give my thoughts on this face wash 🙂

Origins is an Estee Lauder company which makes natural skincare products with many of their products formulated with plant oils. They are also notable for formulating their products without parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petrolatum, paraffin and synthetic colors, fragrances and animal ingredients..Phew! That was a long sentence!! I am not sure if Origins is a cruelty free brand..they do mention on the face wash tube that they test their products on volunteer panels but don’t out right say they don’t test on animals.

The Origins Checks and Balances frothy face wash

The Origins Checks and Balances frothy face wash

This face wash claims to be able to cleanse both the dry and oily parts of your face without cancelling each other out…I’m not so sure about that. I have pretty dry skin and in the summers I have an oily T zone but for the most part my skin is dry. Although, they claim that your skin won’t feel stripped or tight after using it, my skin does feel slightly tight after using it. I have to immediately moisturize my skin after using this cleanser which is what I do always anyway so this wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

A single tube can last a really long time!The tube above is pretty full looking considering I’ve used this everyday for 6 months. All you need is a really tiny pea size for your whole face and it froths up well too (as the product name implies!). Unfortunately, all that frothiness does not remove makeup..you will definitely need to use a separate makeup remover for that purpose.

The cleanser has a minty smell which although mild, I am not a fan of! It smells a bit like my toothpaste 😐 This is due to the presence of spearmint oil among the ingredients in this product.

Ingredient List

Ingredient List

The ingredients in this cleanser look good..till you get to all the essential oils listed. If you have extremely sensitive skin, you might know already that these are potential skin irritants. I have seen reviews from people with really sensitive skin on makeup alley talking about how the product caused breakouts , rashes and redness. Although my skin is pretty sensitive in general, I did not experience any skin irritation but if you know for sure that your skin doesn’t take kindly to stuff like spearmint and bergamot oil this cleanser is best avoided!

I like the idea of using a face wash with ingredients like lavender water, glycerin and Behenic acid (major component of Moringa oil) but I did not see any effect of these ingredients on my skin. For me, this was a very basic face wash which didn’t do anything exciting to my skin and so I might not be repurchasing it once I am done with the current tube.

Have you tried the Origins Checks and Balances frothy face wash? What are your thoughts?

Have a great week!!

Until next time…ciao!!