Category: oil

2018 updates (updated in July)

Surprise: this blog is not dead, it was just hibernating. I won’t be updating it much, but will try to remember to post updates like this at leat once a year. No news is good news: with an goal of moving to dormancy and slipping into silence when morosophy is obsolete. Or the anthropocene ends us all. Whichever comes first.

On which happy note, welcome back!

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Accidental new stuff, old-fashioned reactionary dullness, and a suprise


As we’ve ascertained in the previous two posts, I’ve not done anything very interesting about my skin in the last few years. Mostly it’s been a matter of trying not to actively do anything to it, or passively have happen to it, that landed me in the ER. Continue reading

Really seriously nothing to report

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:


lippie and what else is on the face a.k.a. The Routine (much as I loathe the word and idea)

Routine, schmoutine. Routine, rootin’-tootin’, poutine, pah! Now we’re talking.

routine? give me poutine
The skin on my face is still not exactly normal, but we’re managing to co-exist. I think my face is calming down and getting better, slowly slowly. My forehead is OK, nose, most of my cheeks. Chin and jaw-line are still a but itchy and iffy, and usually the area between just under my cheek-bones and the wings of my nose will get grumpy and spotify later in the evening. It’s OK now (nearly 8 p.m.), yesterday it did its daily reminder around 10 p.m., last week it was around when I was coming home from work (so, between 7 and 8:30 p.m.). At the beginning of last week, the itchy rashy spottiness was further up my face, on my cheeks and temples, with some red dots on my forehead the weekend before. So it’s diminishing and coming down my face. All very fascinating to watch.

Current stuff and what I do with it:


  1. wash with warmish water + cotton or bamboo flannel round (a reusable make-up removal pad, basically; a fresh one every time) + La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet cream-gel washlrp lipikar syndet
  2. dry face

skinsperiments update: irritated, reactive, distressed

My skin is currently not happy. It hasn’t been for about a week. Symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Pain when touched by anything
  • Stinging when touched by liquids, including water
  • Constant itchiness, etc., 
  • Tenderness to the touch, and, visually, swelling, blotchiness, a rash of red pimply-looking things, and dry flaky sore patches

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palm oil: careful not to throw the baby out with the bath-water

baby bathwater

From Thomas Murner’s satirical work Narrenbeschwörung (Appeal to Fools), c. 1512

Via a certain online discussion forum; identities have as ever been anonymised, and any other editing has been of typos, spelling, etc. so that they don’t detract from the actual content. Some good questions:


1. How hard is it to avoid palm oil?
2. And by any chance is it in mascara?
3. What is a good alternative?

I’ve read that other substitutes are not much better (ex. soy oil) because they also take a lot of land to grow. Help! I do my best to not consume items that have ill effects on the rainforests.

4. Or is it all just hopeless?


baby panda bathing

it’s never hopeless…

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summer updates

magic oil

I was away. This involved not carrying too much stuff. Unfortunately, until the FAA and suchlike get rid of that absurd 3-1-1 max 3 oz / 100 ml rule, I am obliged to check in one bag when flying, so as to have adequate sunscreen supplies. Until the kind of sunscreen I can use on my skin is available more widely, I am stuck with carrying around my own supplies. (Next time you see someone with a more visible disability than my relatively trivial one, spare them a thought.) Given that I live half-way around the world from the various places I was going, and given that I didn’t have the time to go by slow boat or foot: I was obliged to fly. Yes, I made my carbon-offsetting donations (and percentage-of-ticket-price donation to trees), like a good person.

Here are the lucky beautification products that accompanied me on my jet-setting adventures.

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multi-purpose oil revisited

Once again, I completely forgot my blogoversary (sorry blog) and also didn’t post anything on here for a while. Mainly because WORK. Also because I didn’t have any interesting updates to add. The only recent change in skincare has been to return, now my skin is less dry, to meadowfoam seed oil. This has duly been updated here:

I’ve also updated the big main post on oils, first posted three years or so ago. That is, it’s about carrier oils (as opposed to fragrant / essential oils), used on skin mainly for moisturising. I also used the multi-purpose oil for makeup removal, pre-cleansing (especially with heavier sunscreen), body moisturising, armpit shaving, hair styling / frizz minimising, and I’ve probably missed a few other uses. For lots of stuff, anyway.

Here is the shiny updated post, same place as usual:

The main tweaks are organizational:

In that last section, this might be sorta kinda useful:



Look for: lighter-feeling oils; often with lower molecular weight. Check the latter in chemistry textbooks, Wikipedia, etc.

Examples, cheap and readily-available from supermarkets, and should be likely to be OK on many skin types:

  • meadowfoam
  • mineral
  • safflower
  • sunflower


Look for: light-weight oils, high in omega-3, and/or astringent.
Avoiding: omega-9 (monounsaturated fat), omega-6 especially if λ-linolenic acid (gamma-linolenic acid, GLA), so seed oils unless high linoleic.

Some possible oils to try out:

  • grapeseed
  • hazelnut
  • safflower (low-oleic: check ingredients on bottle)


= skin that has become more sensitive and more dry, usually as a side-effect of things being used on it (Accutane, AHA, BHA, etc.); may also have damaged barrier
≠ sensitive dry skin, on which see item D below

Look for: light-weight oils, preferably high in omega-3, omega-6 OK if linoleic acid (LA).
Avoiding, to be on the safe side: nut oils; omega-9 (monounsaturated fat); omega-6 if λ-linolenic acid (gamma-linolenic acid, GLA), so seed oils unless high linoleic; astringency.

Some possible oils to try out:

  • meadowfoam
  • mineral
  • safflower
  • sunflower


Some possible oils to try out:

  • avocado (heavier)
  • borage / starflower seed
  • canola / rapeseed (careful: patch-test, as allergies are not uncommon)
  • evening primrose
  • hemp seed
  • macadamia (heavier)
  • meadowfoam
  • mineral
  • olive (EVOO, heavier)
  • rice bran (light but not astringent)
  • safflower
  • sunflower
  • sweet almond


Avoid: nut oils; omega-9 / oleic acid: emu, jojoba, olive oils (including derivatives such as squalane); seed oils unless high linoleic. Advice from people on MUA such as the great and good barbiH.

Some possible oils to try out:

  • mineral oil
The following two things are different, but both may result in skin looking and feeling dry:
  • Dryness = oil production by skin
  • Dehydration = water retention

Skin may be any combination of  the two: dry and dehydrated, oily and dehydrated, oily and hydrated, dry and hydrated. And it can be any of them in different areas. And to different degrees.

On dehydration: hydrate skin (water is the basic way), use oil to trap that layer next to skin. Hydrators can help too: a.k.a. humectants, like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, etc. In the form of toners, waters, Japanese and Korean moisturising waters/lotions, gels, serums. The most basic hydrator: plain water.


See also, on oils, and on irritation and comedogenicity indices:

Some more links, from barbiH on MUA:


And now for something completely different. Here are some irrelevant gratuitous nice treats from Chocolate Arts:

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 1.21.30 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 1.21.16 PM

review: camelina oil