skin update 

Skin in a better state. Still constitutionally sensitive because that’s just how it is, but the extra horrors of most of the year seem to have abated. 


Moisturiser: back to ShiKai borage dry skin remedy hand cream. Yes, on face and neck and around the eyes. Morning and evening. It is marvellous. It has a smell, and many people hate it. That’s borage seed oil. It’s OK if you hate it, that’s perfectly normal and human. I don’t mind it–and it goes away fast–and the stuff works well on my skin. It doesn’t hurt it and it moisturises it. That’s all I want from a moisturiser, so I’m happy.

I woild rather use something in a larger tube (less use of plastic) and that’s cheaper and at least as ethical as whatever I was using before. This stuff ticks all the boxes compared to Avène Cicalfate


  • CoTZ sensitive / pediatric SPF 40. Good on all fronts: no irritation, does what it’s supposed to, OK ingredients, no animal testing, decent price.
  • Oil, mix of random quantities of meadowfoam and sunflower, mostly the latter: eye makeup remover, sunscreen remover and body moisturiser in shower, etc.
  • Balm, DIY, mix of shea butter + Badger unscented balm (olive oil + beeswax).
  • Primal Pit Paste deodorant, unscented regular strength.
  • Aloe vera gel, version with xanthan gum from Mountain Rose Herbs, as hair styling stuff


One thing could change.

La Roche-Posay Tolériane dermo-cleanser: very simple lotion cleanser. I have found nothing that is comparable (same or similar ingredients, similar formulation) in either the mainstream or “greener” brands, nor as easily obtainable (local drugstore) or cheap. 

If you have suggestions, please do drop me a line. I am open to alternatives but they must be serious alternatives. Not effing coconut oil or some trustafarian’s essential-oil-loaded concoction at several times the price. I would like to move away from LRP for reasons of ethical discomfort, but I do not want to test out lots of stuff (reasons: expense and waste) and I do need stuff that cleans my face without damaging it (reason: risk to skin a.k.a. to health). I’ve spent quite enough time in hospital this year. 


    • gingerama

      Thanks for the tip. Alas, not for me:
      (1) this is more expensive than what I’m currently using,
      (2) not available in shops here in Vancouver,
      (3) shipping from New York will make it more expensive,
      (4) tea tree oil on my kind of skin is a bad idea (and indeed on many kinds of fragile and irritable skin), YMMV on rose though my own skin and nose are cool with rosewater,
      (5) no preservative in a water-based product.
      That last one is major: one of the things that ****ed up my skin and landed me in hospital was a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections on skin are not recommended. On preservatives and the need for them in water-based products, see for example:

      But an interesting product, nonetheless, so here’s a link to it for other people in case it’s useful to them. It’s just rosewater, glycerin, and tea tree oil:

      On the company site, a couple of minuses:

      (1) “Fewer ingredients = less chance for irritation, higher potency, and a smaller overall ecological impact.” This statement is not true.

      (2) referring to “crazy synthetic chemicals” is anti-science fear-mongering idiocracy, which I try to avoid for ethical and political reasons.

      In both cases, the error of ignorance is irresponsible; the insult of patronising is arrogantly over-responsible, assuming a responsibility and authority to which one has no right. I don’t know which is worse.

      But several pluses: the company ethics otherwise look really good: ingredient sourcing, support for sustainability and small farms, minimalism in formulation.

      • gingerama

        Point of comparison for cleansers:

        La Roche-Posay Tolériane dermo-cleanser


        PRICE: CAD 18.00-22.00 for 200 ml
        = USD 13.60-18.00 for 6.76 fl oz
        or GBP 8.66-11.55 or EUR 11.85-15.81
        I’ve seen this in Belgium and France this summer for around EUR 10.00.

        Product not tested on animals (a legal requirement so as to be sold in Canada and EU), individual ingredients (ex. water) not tested on animals since at least the standard FCOD of 1989.

        Fluid-lotion cleanser, no fragrance or scent (including no essential oils), tissue-off or rinse-off.

        Nearest things I’ve used here in Canada (a while back): Weleda almond cleanser (way more expensive for a tiny tube), Earth Science ADE creamy cleanser (nice lotion but scented).

      • Wonderlusting Lynda

        I really should have asked for your specific requirements before making a suggestion. The SW Basics products I’ve bought are like food items with a made on and use by date. They’ve got very short shelf lives so I suppose that’s why they don’t use preservatives. I imagine bacterial infections anywhere are not recommended 🙂

        So very many companies talk about being “chemical free” which does drive me nuts. I tend to look at the ingredients rather than the marketing. Good luck with your search!

        • gingerama

          No worries, that’s cool, and *I* should have included more details on the original post – hence adding the comment!

          I do like that companies like this are around, though, local and selling small-batch fresh stuff. Like making your own face-masks at home when a teenager 🙂 I see this sort of thing a lot here in Vancouver at farmers’ markets and via some small boutiques. Plus of course loads of small-to-tiny independents on Etsy.

          I like the idea of single-use or weekly supplies, made and bought locally, whether as an occasional special treat or as a regular thing for richer folks. There’s a democracy there, that anyone could buy a small size for a once-a-month (or -year) special day. That everyone deserves holidays from reality, escapism. I can do that with smells though I can’t do it with stuff applied to my skin, so I can still enjoy outdoors things here and our several beautiful botanical gardens. And for pure unadulterated deep escapism? Our marvellous magical public library! Besides the obvious attractions, it has a grass roof with bee-friendly plants, smells lovely and fresh (sadly not open all the time, I’ve only been there on special occasions).

          Which reminds me: are you in NYC? I did wonder, as the company you suggested is there. I wondered because I love a good public library and when I was living near NYC, I loved going in to spend quality time at the 42nd st main NYPL. This was way back, before it closed for years for renovations… anyway. To any New Yorkers looking for a cheap treat and escape from reality? Go to your fabulous public library! Your local branch is probably not far, and you can always go to the bigger branches too.

          • Wonderlusting Lynda

            I’m actually in London. I bought the SWB stuff on my last trip to USA (it’s available in the UK but at double the price). In my dream world you could just buy exactly what you need of everything like going to the market – 5 days’ worth of cleanser, 1 month’s lipstick etc!

            One of my pals moved to Vancouver two years ago – I should go visit. It seems like the quality of life, food, scenery and public services are fantastic. That Iibrary sounds spectacular. I adore libraries – unfortunatley a battle is raging in many parts of England to save libraries as many sadly are being closed.

            It’s good that you have a handle on your skin. It couldn’t have been fun getting there.

Care to reply?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s