Category: cleanser

product minimalism

Victory: removed another item from the bathroom.


I now have something in common with Brad Pitt.

Currently using shampoo (Earth Science fragrance-free) as face wash, body wash, shampoo. Could also be used for side-of-sink hand-wash, menstrual cup cleaner, hand-washing detergent, etc. On the other hand, I’ve got a lot of the current stuff to use up (Everyday Shea unscented moisturising body wash + Curelle Hydra shampoo mix), and it’s cheaper. So I might still be a two-soap person, but using one on my whole entire person.

No deodorant, though? Nope. Sorry. Have to deal with other human beings in work. This means not being smelly: no bodily odour, including no additions like perfume. I’m not sure if my compromise, the deodowich, counts as environmentally-friendly enough to meet the Pitt approval. I am sure, though, that there are better compromises than the concoction it’s claimed Mr Pitt is using. So: dear Mr Pitt, if you’re interested, drop me a line: I’m happy to share the knowledge. Or indeed my own deodorant. Or anything else…


the lovely Brad, back in the day: a portent of the future soap-free pits

skinsperiments: oh bugger + oh, okay then

Cleanser experiments: fail. Clogging and drying. Both with creamy cleansers alone, and with oil alone.

Solution: oats. In an ideal world, a cruelty-free version of Aveeno moisturizing bar or A-Derma’s version (the latter contains mineral oil etc., the former doesn’t and is more oaty). Stopgap solution: plain fine-milled oats. You know, the raw material for porridge and flapjacks. As the good Doctor put it,

Johnson's Dictionary: oats

Johnson’s Dictionary (1755): The British Library (image links to original source)

Hmmm: speaking as a partial Scot, that’s fighting talk. Speaking as a 21st-century Vancouverite, I’d love to know what The Doctor would make of our uses of oaty goodness and what that says of us. Combined with animal-loving and other posthuman aspects.

Yes, there is more than one Doctor. And yes, all good solid Brits :)

That is all: the last three days’ worth of updates to the sunscreens post have been somewhat draining. Might have had an effect on skin too.

So, oaty stuff: not the first time this has been used on my skin (that would be nearly 40 years ago, when I was a wean). Probably not the last. The damn stuff works, is all. Skin is soft, moist, calm. All roughness and starts of zitty clogginess: gone. Just feels lovely. I don’t feel anything at all. I’m not so weird as to be going around stroking my own face all the time (let alone other body parts: oh yes, the experiment was all over).

Interestingly, when my skin’s been in a State Of Er-mergawd-mergency in the past, including when in hospital, the other things that’s worked has been mineral oil. I don’t ever get cloggy with it. And it’s easier to apply all over than is oatmeal. I don’t mix in butter (see image above), just water.

So, nice animal-friendly environment-hugging apothecaries and other concocters of magic potions and lotions: time for a moisturizing cleansing bar that’s a near-dupe for the aforementioned ones. Can’t be that hard. (And no, NOT a cold-pressed traditional-method soap that’s super-fatted and bursting full of oats, or a variation on the theme of “harsh stripping destructive evil lye soap” as I prefer to call them: high pH and a bloody disaster on my skin. If unlucky, that bleeding is literal rather than figurative.)

current skinsperiments

Most of these are things that I have already, or that were hanging around at the back of a cupboard and I thought I’d give them a last chance before chucking them out (if elderly and decrepit) or donating them to a women’s shelter (if still well within their use-by dates and new/nearly-new, can be swabbed down with alcohol, usable: must be in the same fit state where you might also give it to a friend who was lusting after that item).

See also:

1. A cream cleanser (pref unscented) instead of Continue reading

a lazy post about exfoliation: the joys of facecloths

Copy-pasted from old MakeupAlley skin-care board discussion thread of way back when. Even now, mixed reaction of LOL + WTF, do you live under a rock + OK, fair enough, innocence is always a defence. But I had to bite down hard on any risk of sarcasm, and some might have slipped out. For which I still feel guilt and of course continue to flagellate myself on a regular basis.

Such acts of morally necessary flagellation aside, I don’t really approve of exfoliation. And certainly not the kind that thinks of itself as the removal of old skin to reveal new fresh skin, but is in actual fact the stripping-off of a protective layer so as to damage shiny, red, rawness that wasn’t ready for exposure. Chemical peels: NO. Clarisonic and other demonic devices of its ilk: NO.

a most excellent meme, and still a classic two years on

(a digression within a digression, if you’ll allow me: there is a most excellent entry on this meme—taxonomy, usage, history and development, kinship network, references, etc.—at Know Your Meme; image linked to it)

This seems to be the start of the exfoliatory season. In that there’s a certain rise in incidence of discussion thereof. Partly folks preparing for office Christmas parties and wanting to Look Their Best. To pull someone more drunk than you? how appealing and appetizing; hey, no accounting for tastes and twists. The next phase will be after the merry festive Saturnalian season: self-punishment to restore balance after excess, combined with turning over a new leaf as part of New Year resolutions. New body + renewed innards + new face (+ new clothes thanks to presents) = New You.

Do yourself a favour: Don’t do it. Instead, here is a tried and tested ancient method, that produces the desired result every time, a secret passed down Continue reading

Allergenics emollient cream

allergenics emollient creamPreviously discussed on here:

This stuff is bloody brilliant. Here’s what it can be used for:

  1. hand cream
  2. body moisturiser
  3. face cream
  4. eye cream
  5. neck and décolleté (and, yep, boob) cream
  6. facial cream cleanser / cleansing cream, and make-up remover
  7. shaving balm
  8. hair conditioner
  9. leave-in conditioner: I first used Allergenics cream this way for swimming
  10. styling cream, when hair’s being dry; helps to tame frizz.
  11. emergency soothing cream, inc. on some kinds of hurt skin
  12. shoe polish: I’ve used this (a while back) on leather shoes and bags (I don’t wear leather these days), and also on non-leather footwear, as a waterproofing layer. Other things are cheaper, but if you’re travelling and have opted to pack light, it is another handy use. Can also be used at a pinch on waxed cloth, though as with shoes, a waxy balm is better (and when packing light, I’ll have one of them with me anyway).

Recent and current uses:

  • hand cream
  • localised treatment for dry patches:
    • these come and go with changes in temperature if I go into a very heated dry room; the usual one is my forehead
  • hair cream, assisting in The Fight Against Frizz:
    • Wash and condition and rinse hair in the usual way.
    • Towel dry.
    • Leave to air-dry a little. This is the tricky point and will require experimenting, to figure out the ideal moment at which to…
    • … squeeze a small blob of this out, rub between finger-tips to distribute, and tease through frizz-prone areas of hair. Too litle = no effect, too much = greaseball.
    • In my experience, that moment is when the rebellious strands start to become feisty and exercise their right to self-determination. When they start to poke out and wave around in a direction contrary to the rest of my hair, and gravity itself. This may mean looking in a mirror from time to time to check. Pulling hair back tightly doesn’t help, nor does being more gentle with it and wrapping it up. At some point, the rebels will revolt. The moment they do, tackle them with soothing creaminess, subduing them in the nicest possible way into submission. But hair should still be damp, and definitely not dry.
    • A warning: this cream is a careful balance of humectants (aloe vera, glycerin, hyaluronic acid) and moisturisers/emollients (fatty alcohols, wax, oils, butters). But that includes a fair whack of aloe vera. Which, as with all hair things containing aloe, is a factor in the weird and wonderful equation that is how hair behaves depending on its dampness and that of the surrounding air.
      Some extremes:
      —Apply this to dry hair + then go outside in the rain = frizzy hair.
      —Apply to damp hair + let air-dry naturally slowly, indoors in moderate temperature and comfortable humidity, air neither too moist not too dry, as detected by skin happiness + then go outside = soft waves.
      —Apply + leave hair even just ever so slightly damp + go outside into cold dry air = dry brittle frizzy hair.
    • NB: this will not flatten out hair or make it all nicely uniformly straight. Only flat-ironing or a wig will do that.
    • NB (2): in my case, when this stuff works, the wiggly bits will insist on persisting in being wiggy and poke out in amusing directions. But they won’t be frizzy, I won’t look like I’ve had a close encounter of an electrifying kind, and the hair will feel supple and smooth, not dry and brittle.
    • NB (3): hair may well still revert to type and go frizzy if the weather changes for the rainy partway through the day. *Sigh*. Using a teeny amount of the right texture oil (meadowfoam on me: light but potent) seems to be another good way around this problem. Work in progress…

INGREDIENTS: Aloe Barbadensis, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cera Alba (beeswax), Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Prunus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Rosa Moschata (Rose) Oil, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterol, Zinc Oxide, Capryloyl Glycine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.

COST: £5.00 – 7.00 for a 50 ml tube, and worth every penny. Alas, the old 100 ml tube seems to have been discontinued.

Fairly readily available in the UK from high street chemists (many branches of Boots have it), Holland & Barrett, and other granolemporia. And online. Shipping rates vary, depending on where one happens to be located. I find that to get the stuff from the UK to Canada I usually count on doubling the price, a bit less when buying more at a time, but on the other hand not buying tonnes of the stuff otherwise those nice chaps from Customs will get too interested. Mind you, if my supplies were to get confiscated and used in other areas of Canada, and if those using the cream were to blog about it, this could give us some invaluable information on its uses, benefits, and other applications in other parts of Canada. Especially those parts where it gets very very very cold.

Dr Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker demonstrate the scientific phenomenon that is ginger frizz.

Dr Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker demonstrate the scientific phenomenon that is ginger frizz.
Image c/o the marvellous and ever-enlightening Yoga Leaks blog


to my MakeupAlley notepad: which is now updatable without crashing. Albeit, as is all too often the case, if you’re not using a Windows OS you can’t avail yourself of wysiwyg editors and you’re back with old-fashioned hand-scripting. Oh well. Does the job.

Revamped notepad now reflects what’s on here. Most of it shouldn’t need updating for a while. But–golly gosh–I first put together that MUA notepad five (yes, 5) years ago. My MUA-birthday was on the 24th; I admit to having lurked for 2004-07 on another account (which I deleted when I “went active”), with which all I did was read reviews and board discussion, as a passive MUAer. But five years is an eternity in internet terms. Even more chilling, for anyone scared of aging: I built my first website and made my first Wikipedia edits ten years ago, first blogging shortly after, and first online chat (gulp) twenty years ago.

Makes you think. Encroaching old age. Senescence and senility, or wisdom and venerability? Me, I’m looking forward to Second Childhood. And to all my colouring changing, which will mean being able to wear all sorts of ginger-inappropriate things with impunity:


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. Continue reading

product minimalism

Going away for a long weekend, wheeeee!!!

The usual question: what to pack?

One bag, as ever. Heck, if people can go around the world with one bag, I can jollywell go away for a long weekend with one. Review now updated now I’ve packed the bag…

Outer shell of self: layers of clothes, many of them worn on person inc waterproof outermost layer; one pair of shoes, solid waterproof suitable for walking but also vaguely chic; small foldable woolly hat and gloves; sunglasses and sunhat; e-reading device; a small mobile phone-web-camera device plus charger; antihistamines, first aid basics, mini sewing kit, handkerchief, toothbrush, face-cloth, some reusable cotton pads.

Face & body & hair products, head to toe, all decanted into smaller containers:

  1. shampoo = shampoo + face cleanser + body wash
  2. conditioner
  3. antioxidant layer
  4. multi-purpose oil
    = face moisturiser + body moisturiser + hair oil (+ pre-cleaser, if need be, for sunscreen removal)
  5. multi-purpose balm
    = lip balm + eye cream + hand cream
  6. sunscreen: BurnOut Ocean Tested SPF 30 (ZnO)
    = face + eye-area + body sunscreen
  7. 2nd, stick, sunscreen: BurnOut SPF 30 coconut-flavour lip balm (ZnO)
    = lip + eye area sunscreen
  8. deodorant (1): Naturally Fresh crystal rock spray (potassium alum aqu. soln.)
  9. deodorant (2): Desert Essence baby diaper cream / (later) Chagrin Valley solid deodorant cream


  1. mascara
  2. Silk Naturals foundation, , decanted into sample jar (or, later, their Sleep In A Jar concealer) = eye concealer
  3. lippie
  4. hairbrush, comb, lash-comb, mirror, nail-file, nail-scissors

All inside here:

Two reasons to love this bag:

1. the phrase “Portable Culture” on the name-brand-logo business on the front of a bag, and inside it,


It says “Made in USA”, “Made in USA” in Chinese, and “Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est.” (translation below)


Translation: If it doesn’t fit in your knapsack, leave it behind.

For more, see the Tom Bihn FAQ

2. (label alas not in my own actual bag):

tom bihn label

UPDATE: for more on that label, see some ridiculousness (2012-08-17)