Beauty supplements

  
I love the idea of a magic pill that makes you beautiful: perfect glowing skin, flowing shiny hair, slim and elegant of form, with sparking eyes and teeth, talons of steel, and immediately captivating to everyone. It would be a compromise to have to take such a pill every day for life; but many of us (women) do this anyway with contraceptive pills, and many people have to do more invasive things to themselves every day to stay alive, with scary-looking syringes. Having it all in one convenient pill would be great.  Continue reading

A post in celebration of true beauty

Some amusement

rapid update on sunscreen

Current like:

CoTZ Sensitive SPF 40

  

  • 20% coated ZnO, unscented, minimal
  • SPF 40, reported to be around PPD 10 (using coated mineral filters of several different sizes)
  • cruelty-free
  • 3.5 oz / 100 g
  • costs around US$20, usually around CAD25.00 – 28.00
  • online from various places, also in some doctors’ and dermatologists’ offices

Manufacturer information: 

Active Ingredients: 

  • Zinc Oxide 20% (Sunscreen)

Inactive Ingredients:

  • C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Glycerin, Methicone, Microcrystalline Wax, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Chloride, Stearyl Dimethicone, Tetrahexadecyl Ascorbate, Triethanolamine, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Water

Comments:

  • Easy to apply: creamy, smoothes on well, easy and fast to apply evenly. I’m applying as usual to dry skin after it’s been washed, dried, and moisturised.
  • Zero irritation 
  • Zero zits and/or irritated cloggy areas
  • Dries fast
  • But moisturising and non-drying
  • Better and nicer than their previous all-zinc sunscreens: they were either very siliconey-slippy, or powdery-dessicating, or both. This translates in BlurbSpeak to “silky soft,” a phrase that you’ll see in many an online review; its presence should alert you to a review probably being a pseudo-review that’s a more-or-less unsubtle copy-past job on advertorial bumff graciously provided by a marketeering department (or straight off the product label of the “Face” tinted SPF 40). But I digress.
  • Invisible finish but: on me; I am NW05 approximately and match walls; YMMV. CoTZ have a tinted face SPF 40 which is available in two shades, but it isn’t just ZnO it uses TiO2 too.
  • Slightly weird smell, rubbery? plasticky? for a brief moment when applied; disappears
  • Contains TEA: this irritates my eyes in anything other than minute concentration in mascara, but OK in a product like this one at low concentration.
  • The sunscreen filters are coated (that’s what most of the silicones and crosspolymers are doing in the ingredient list) and small, hence use of the term “transparent”; CoTZ uses several different particle sizes in their “Gentle Mineral Complex.” This is a very good approach to protection and the best compromise between smaller particles (= best coverage, least concentration needed, very elegant thin sunscreen, but The Nano Concerns for whatever that’s worth) and larger particles (= less coverage–more and bigger gaps between particles–and uneven coverage; a thicker layer with a higher concentration means inelegant clownface). 
  • Cheaper than comparably elegant ZnO-only face sunscreens, ex. Replenix sheer physical cream
  • Less greasy-feeling than Replenix sheer physical spray (which contains no grease, so go figure)
  • Spread more evenly and sinks in more smoothly than a non-silicone “greener” ZnO-only sunscreen like Derma E
  • Needs more serious attentive removal, like any other siliconey sunscreen: oil, or a good milk-fluid (La Roche-Posay Tolériane dermo-cleanser fluid works well, use a little more or clean twice or something similar, use common sense and good judgement to figure out when the stuff’s successfully off your tender visage)

  
The Pediatric SPF 40 is basically the same stuff and usually the same price. This is worth knowing as sometimes one will be available but not the other, or a website may sell out of the one or the other (the same tip applies to that great sunscreen classic, Blue Lizard, and its “Sensitive” and “Baby” versions): 

Active Ingredients:

  • Zinc Oxide 20% (Sunscreen)

Inactive Ingredients:

  • C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Glycerin, Methicone, Microcrystalline Wax, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Chloride, Stearyl Dimethicone, Tetrahexadecyl Ascorbate, Triethanolamine, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Water

skin, updated

(Little to report.)

Compared to my last post: stabilisation, mainly ups overall. Skin feels, seems, and looks more stable.

Here is what I am using on my face right now:

  • Mix of sunflower + meadowfoam seed oil as makeup remover; warm water & a fresh cleansing pad flannel thing every time
    = no change
  • Wash: La Roche-Posay Tolériane Dermo-Cleanser; applied to dry skin, removed with a damp cleansing pad. Zero anything with this cleanser: a bland fluid, feels like lightweight cold cream or cleansing milk. Cleans well and leaves skin feeling clean but comfy.
    = no change
  • Toner, serum, etc.: nothing. Just pat skin dry.
  • Eye area: Garden of Wisdom anti-puffery eye serum (hyaluronic acid, caffeine, matrixyl 3000). Using this for puffy eye area (undereye and eyelids) with regular seasonal allergies. Current sleep situation is improved; I get baggy both with too little and with too much sleep, so actually bags are a good indicator of whether or not I’m getting the right amount of sleep (for me, and this is one of at least two raisons d’être for bagginess in my case; the “how” and “why” of bags varies).
    = no change
  • Moisturiser (face, eye area, throat): La Roche-Posay Tolériane Cicaplast balm.
    Testing against their Tolériane Ultra ended with the following:
    1. Cicaplast baume is moister, more concentrated, and as I use about a third of the quantity and a tube is half the price, Cicaplast is a better buy.
    2. Cicaplast keeps my skin better moisturised for longer.
    3. I do not get any redness, bumpiness, itching, spottiness, or other stages of irritation with it. At all. Skin just feels soothed. While Tolériane is fine on most areas of my face plus neck, I get all these irritable negatives in the nose, chin, and jawline areas. Sometimes soon after application, sometimes a few hours later.
    Conclusion: staying with Cicaplast Baume. Used up the last of the pathetically tiny tube of Tolériane Ultra in one lavish swoop as a body moisturiser after a very pleasant oily bath. Waste not, want not.
  • Lips: my old multi-purpose DIY balm, shea butter + olive oil + beeswax
    = no change.
  • Face & eye-area sunscreen: Derma E Face SPF 30 (16% ZnO, also green tea, vitamin C (SAP), no silicones; = Wise/Poor Man’s Replenix)
    = no change.
  • Lip sunscreen: Badger unscented SPF 35 stick (22.5% ZnO)
    = no change.

Using up the remaining Lipikar Syndet cleanser on body, plus Lipikar Baume on body and hands (like it a lot), and Derma E Body sunscreen.

So: continuing minimalism and super-gentleness. As I said before: Current cleanser and moisturiser are pricy but not exorbitant, and certainly cheaper than prescription medication or trying out other products that might or might not work. Above all, functioning calm skin and no pain = priceless.

Plus hat, covering up, daily antihistamine, etc. …

On a less self-protective defensive note, but staying with that idea of being pure as the driven snow:

  

current state of the skin-nation

Ups and downs, mainly ups overall. 

Changed cleanser experimentally to an even blander one without niacinamide; face happier. Lipikar Syndet had been stinging a bit in the shower. Next move is to see (once I’ve finished the current cleanser) if I can find something similar that’s cheaper. Right now, where I am, I can’t: I can get similar and more expensive, or nearly-similar but with some known problem ingredients for about the same price.

Here is what I am using on my poor unfortunate face right now:

  • Mix of sunflower + meadowfoam seed oil as makeup remover; warm water & a fresh cleansing pad flannel thing every time
    = back to my old multi-purpose oil, moister than just meadowfoam alone and cheaper
  • Wash: La Roche-Posay Tolériane Dermo-Cleanser; applied to dry skin, removed with a damp cleansing pad. Zero anything with this cleanser: a bland fluid, feels like lightweight cold cream or cleansing milk.
  • Garden of Wisdom anti-puffery eye serum (hyaluronic acid, caffeine, matrixyl 3000)
    = no change
  • Moisturiser (face, eye area, throat): La Roche-Posay Tolériane Ultra cream or Cicaplast balm; applied to dry skin, after drying skin with a soft flannel cloth. Skin had been getting red, rashy, and sore when using a regular towel, even just patting at skin gently. I thought I might have been getting slight break-outs around the mouth and nose from Cicaplast, but not with Tolériane Ultra (tested split-face etc.). Not conclusive. Continuing testing.
  • Lips: DIY shea butter + olive oil + beeswax lipbalm
    = back to my old multi-purpose balm
  • Face & eye-area sunscreen: Derma E Face SPF 30 (16% ZnO, also green tea, vitamin C (SAP), no silicones; = Wise/Poor Man’s Replenix no. 2)
    = no change
  • Lip sunscreen: Badger unscented SPF 35 stick (22.5% ZnO)
    = no change

Using up the remaining Lipikar Syndet cleanser on body, plus Lipikar Baume on body and hands (like it a lot), and Derma E Body sunscreen.

So: continuing minimalism and super-gentleness. Alas, the absolute minimalism of just oil–for both cleanser and moisturiser–doesn’t work: I get redness, inflammation, return to rashy irritated zittiness. Oils tested out at various stages in the last three months using various blander oils like mineral, safflower, sunflower, meadowfoam, avocado, hemp; the ones that worked previously with other skin conditions. Current cleanser and moisturiser are pricy but not exorbitant, and certainly cheaper than prescription medication or trying out other products that might or might not work. Above all, functioning calm skin and no pain = priceless.

Plus hat, covering up, etc. …

  

skin disaster updates + coming up next…

  
Main update: skin is improving and nearly “normal.” Touch wood (or soft fluffy bunny). How and why are mysterious as the exact mechanism is unknown and has not been tracked systematically, due to my having other things to do (work, life) which are incompatible with obsessively attending to skin-condition. My doctor suspects the following:

  1. Paying less attention to skin and more attention to other things has probably been a positive contributing factor.
  2. Skin improvement has meant that (1) above was possible in the first place, because my skin didn’t hurt so I could ignore it. Skin not hurting, skin slowly healing, triggered a neat nice virtuous circle.
  3. My skin may have simply taken a regular renewal time to heal: that is, two months after the multiple initial dramas at the beginning of March.
  4. Work stress, anxiety, and overwork have been a negative contributing factor. They would have put my whole system in a weakened state, including increased sensitivity, proneness to over-reaction, and lower defenses. I’ve been more physically ill this year than previously, and less mentally well. 
  5. A positive that may have helped in the last two weeks: it’s a calmer time of year, work-wise, and I talked to work-people who were supportive in various ways, including reducing my work-load. Moral of the story: talk to people, openly and honestly, including your boss. If you’re valuable you will be valued. If you’re anxious and/or depressed, you may have no idea as to whether or not you and your work are valued and valuable, and you may have no way of telling precisely because your judgement is off. This may of course be a high-risk gamble if you are in fact neither valuable nor valued; so talk to trustworthy peer-colleagues first. (If you have none, then it’s probably a sign you should change job; been there, done that…)

Current stuff used:

  • Meadowfoam seed oil as makeup remover; warm water & a fresh cleansing pad flannel thing every time
  • La Roche-Posay Lipikar cream cleanser; ditto
  • Garden of Wisdom anti-puffery eye serum (hyaluronic acid, caffeine, matrixyl 3000)
  • Garden of Wisdom green tea hydragel serum (= Wise/Poor Man’s Replenix no. 1)
  • La Roche-Posay Cicaplast balm
  • DIY shea butter + olive oil + beeswax lipbalm
  • Derma E Face SPF 30 (16% ZnO, also green tea, vitamin C (SAP), no silicones; = Wise/Poor Man’s Replenix no. 2)
  • Badger unscented SPF 35 stick (22.5% ZnO)

Next up: 

  • review of Derma E Face SPF 30: I’ll expand the quick notes on my notepad at the  “morosophical beautification” page
  • review of that Garden of Wisdom eye stuff, and a couple of comparisons
  • review of the Badger sunstick, comparisons (Babo Botanical, Elemental Herbs, BurnOut)
  • I’ll keep my eyes open for any new sunscreen that looks Ginger-compatible, and anything else useful and, again, usable on yours truly.

  

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Beauty news of the week / month / year