SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #2]: Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen

 

Price: I bought it for $32 on amazon
Amount: 3 fl Oz
Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 30+

UV FILTERS:
Type: Physical-Chemical Hybrid
Zinc Oxide 7.0%
Octinoxate 7.5%

INGREDIENTS: I’ve heard that the ingredients list is not in the proper order, so the ingredients at the top may not indicate this product has a lot of that ingredient. (Let me know in the comments if this is correct)
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CONSISTENCY: Fluid cream

 

APPLICATION: Very easy to blend in and cover a lot of skin.
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FINISH: Glowy. Could be borderline greasy if you’re not into very moisturizing sunscreens.
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FEEL: Light and Moisturized. Doesn’t feel like I have anything heavy on my face.

STINGS EYES? Yes.

WHITECAST?
Minimal. I don’t notice it if I were to wear it on its own outside. However when I was at the gym, it was a tad noticeable that I was a lot paler than my body under false lighting.

WATER RESISTANT? No.

SKIN BENEFITS?
Gives my skin extra moisture and I don’t feel as dehydrated by the end of the day.
Note: My boyfriend applied this to his freshly shaved face and it stung him a bit.

UNDER MAKEUP:
So far my favourite to use under makeup. My skin is nice and smooth after I use it, so adding my CC Cream on top adds to the healthy look my skin is showing.

WHERE TO BUY:
I got mine at Amazon.ca for $32, but the price fluctuates. However, their other sunscreens seem to be around $40 as I write this.
Dermstore for Americans

This is my favourite sunscreen I have EVER purchased. Love the amount I get and how cosmetically elegant it truly is! I definitely want to repurchase it, but it’s very difficult to buy for Canadians. I may need to hunt for a different staple that’s easier to buy, otherwise I would definitely repurchase an Elta Md sunscreen!

xo, M


SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #1]: Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++

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SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #1]: Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++

INTRO to the SERIES

The more I delve into the realm of skincare science, the more I get into sunscreen. As much as I love being outside in the warm weather, you should always be on top of your sun protection game. While the sun is a life giver and healer, excessive sun exposure guaranteed causes burning and DNA damage. Depending on your genetic makeup and which part of the world you live, there is a unique balancing act we all have to play, but sunscreen should ALWAYS be applied well and reapplied.

Being exposed to the Asian Beauty industry and wearing their SPF products is what really begun this desire for constant sunscreen application. Undoubtedly the industry has many a comfortable and cosmetically elegant sunscreens on the market!

I’ve made quite the collection of sunscreens since and I thought I’d do some simple, but hopefully easily understood reviews on these sunscreens if you’re considering purchasing them!

QUICK NOTES:
Skin Type: Acne prone, dry
Shade: Light-Medium, Medium
Undertone: Neutral, leans to yellow or olive (mixed Asian, I am confused about this lol)
Application Amount: Nickel-size
Photos: Natural light, taken right away


Make P:rem Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++

Price: $32 USD / $36 CAD
Amount: 75ml / 2.53 fl Oz
Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 50+ PA++++

UV FILTERS:
Type: Chemical, unknown percentages
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate – Octinoxate
Homosalate
Ethylhexyl Salicylate – Octisalate
Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate – Uvinul A Plus

INGREDIENTS:
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CONSISTENCY: Milky gel

 

APPLICATION: Glides on easily and quickly sets
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FINISH : Glowy
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FEEL: Very light. Not tacky and doesn’t feel like it adds moisture

STINGS EYES? Yes.

WHITECAST? No.

WATER RESISTANT? Unknown.

SKIN BENEFITS?
Skin is very healthy-looking and even tone throughout the day; more in-the-moment type of effects rather than long term. Don’t really feel the “cool down” from infrared, but my skin is never irritated when I have sunscreen on.

GOOD UNDER MAKEUP?
Yes (It Cosmetics CC Cream). CC Cream is able to glide on my skin very easily and doesn’t disrupt its finish. Both products have a glowy finish, but I’ve used many different types of complexion products with this sunscreen to know it won’t make your makeup overly glowy.

WHERE TO BUY:
Glow Recipe
Bisou Beauty Bar

Anything else I should be adding that would help with this series? Let me know in the comments down below!

xo, M

REVIEW: [JOLSE] secretKey Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel 120ml (New Package)

Jolse, another online Asian Beauty Retailer that offers worldwide shipping on Asian skincare, makeup, and other cosmetic products! They sent me the Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel * to review and I’m ready to share my thoughts with you all!

I’ve been using the product for about 3 weeks now, about 3-4 times a week.

I’ll say it right now, I loved it after the first time I’ve used it.


ABOUT THIS PRODUCT

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Features (as listed on Jolse)

  • Lemon water, lemon extract, and carbonated water eliminates skin wastes.
  • The mild peeling gel tends the skin with a moist and fresh finish.
  • Natural ingredients provide moisture and soothes the stimulated skin.

Price: $9.65 USD
Amount: 120ml
Texture: Thick gel

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Highlighted Ingredients:
Citrus Lemon Fruit Water
(90ppm = 0.009%) and Extract (10ppm = 0.001%) – Contains a high amount of vitamin C, but there are only extracts so we don’t know if it’s even a decent amount of vitamin C to have a long term effect, but it can impart a brightening effect.
Carbonated Water (47ppm = 0.0047) – The idea behind this is that it washes your face better than plain water. The bubbles deliver oxygen to your skin, helping to wash away dirt and dead skin buildup. Also claimed to help with puffiness, as well as firming and plumping the skin and controlling oils. Washing your face with carbonated water is a technique originally hyped up and popularized by Japanese women.

Other Notable Ingredients (listed by basic functions (some are repeated)):
Skin-Conditioning:
 Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract (also could be sensitizing), Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Hydrolized Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oryza Sativa Rice Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract
Skin-Soothing: Althaea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadenis Leaf Extract, Hamamelis, Veirginania (Witch-Hazel) Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract
Antioxidant: Camellia Sinsesis Leaf Water (47ppm = 0.0047%): Antioxidant, Witch Hazel Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Algae Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract
Exfoliant: Carica Papaya Fruit Extract (possible exfoliant properties)

Very awesome that the ingredients list are mostly that of skin-soothing and skin-conditioning! (I found the basic functions from various websites like EWG, Paula’s Choice, Special Chem. Feel free to correct anything if the basic function is not accurate).

The main advertising points on Jolse.com are in Korean, so I don’t know what all the claims are and how hyped up other ingredients may be.


MY EXPERIENCE

Scent: Fragrance is listed in the product. It smells like a dish detergent, but not in an overly chemical way. It’s very light, so it doesn’t bother me much. I was expecting a strong, artificial, citrusy sweet type of scent. I’m pleasantly surprised how gentle and natural it actually is!

Application: Spreads well without pilling immediately. Pilling is not as chunky, it looks thinner. You can lightly massage your face for a decent amount of time without feeling the product dry up too much.

Instant Benefits: Face does not feel dry or like it was even compromised negatively from any product. Skin feels very soft and smooth, looks even tone and slightly brighter.

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Shizzle from my face. I used to get more when I started using peeling gels!

Long Term Benefits: Helps prevent skin congestion and gets rid of any rough feeling on my face. I use it in the morning and it has never sensitized my face. The feel of my skin is well maintained when I use it consistently.


FINAL THOUGHTS

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The Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel has become an instant favourite. I was expecting a cheap, conventional peel that would just do the basics of exfoliating with no additional skin benefit. This peeling gel does what it says and I am surprised at the quality. There is a lot of product that contains a bunch of skin-soothing and conditioning ingredients, making it gentle on the skin and leaving baby soft results. Because of this, I don’t know if we could say the lemon-derived ingredients or carbonated water are the true keys to making this product so good. Either way, my skin has only been benefiting!

I saw it being sold on Amazon.ca for $20, whereas on Jolse.com it’s $9.65 USD (right now $7.24 USD because of a sale)! To find a skincare product that works well, is affordable, and has good ingredients is a rarity, so I’m glad I got a chance to try it. On that note, I’ve barely been touching my current peeling gel, Dr. G. Brightening Peeling Gel (but I will definitely finish it up).

You can buy Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel at Jolse.com

Hope this review helped you out! Is washing your face with carbonated water really that awesome? Also, did you like how I listed the ingredients by their basic function? Let me know your thoughts, that way I can tweak upcoming reviews to your preference as well.

xo, M


RELATED ARTICLES:
REVIEW: Charmzone Control Cream Self Massage
First Impressions from a Peeling Gel Skeptic | FT. The Face Shop Mild Papaya Peeling

REVIEW: Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask & Hydrogel Sheet Mask

A couple of weeks ago I got sent an Influenster VoxBox with complimentary Neutrogena products to try out!

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Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

I’ve been testing the Deep Clean for a few weeks now and just used the sheet mask, and I’m ready to share my thoughts with y’all. Just keep in mind the basic information I’m providing about the products are based on the Canadian websites and packaging.


Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask

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$13.49, 119g
Use: Post-workout, in-shower; Leave on for 5 mins

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Ingredients: Water (eau), Glycerin, Kaolin, Bentonite, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Titanium Dioxide, Trideceth-9, PEG-5 Ethylhexanoate, Xanthan Gum, Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Menthyl Lactate, Panthenol, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Green 3.

The Deep Clean Cleanser/Mask contains Salicylic Acid, a BHA that exfoliates the skin in the pore lining to help prevent clogged pores turn into blackheads, whiteheads, or a cyst, as well as smoothen skin texture. Glycolic Acid is on the list as well, but the focus for this product seems more about SA; On the US website only lists SA as an active ingredient (0.5%), but the percentage is unknown on the Canadian site and packaging. I typically use chemical exfoliants after a workout in-shower, since that’s when I will be the most oily and more prone to breakouts. For the past few weeks, I have been using the Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask on my face as well as my back and chest to prevent congestion and body acne. I need a treatment for my back because I still tend to develop painful cysts, and I have some marks leftover to prove it! I like that the cleanser can last for a few minutes on my body without worrying about it washing away.

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In the few weeks I have been using this cleanser, my back has not broken out and my chest area looks and feels congestion free! As for my face, the Menthyl Lactate in the Deep Clean Cleanser/Mask sensitizes my skin a bit; I can feel the cooling sensation a lot. While it doesn’t heavily irritate my skin, it is a bothering feeling, especially since it lasts a while after I use the mask. Because of this, it is the reason why I prefer using it on my body or solely after a workout session. I don’t like the unknown percentage of BHA, because I don’t know if it will effectively “Deep Clean” my pores. I opt for Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne wash for my face (and sometimes back) which clearly lists 2% Salicylic Acid.


Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

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$4.89, 30g
Use: Once; Post-shower, after using Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask

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Ingredients: Water (eau), Dipropylene Glycol, Propanediol, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Chlorphenesin, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Chloride, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Sucrose Cocoate, Tocopherol, Blue 1.

This is probably the most unimpressive sheet mask I have ever tried. As you can see, Hyaluronic Acid is low on the list, and the bottom piece of the mask kept slipping down from my face. I left it on for the recommended 15 minutes and didn’t find anything noticeable with my skin other than it looked somewhat hydrated. That look disappeared quickly and there was no nourishing feeling or look on my skin that I would normally get from other sheet masks in my collection. For $5, my $2 sheet masks do way more with better ingredients and more serum in the pack.


Final Thoughts

The Neutrogena masks are overall decent drugstore skincare products that provide some skin benefits. I personally will pass on the Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask because the Menthyl Lactate bothers me too much. The Hydrogel Mask was nice but I’d rather pay $2 for a Korean sheet mask that do the same thing. Also, if you have sensitive skin, both do contain Fragrance.

On the Neutrogena Official website, they stated that the ingredients list does not get updated in a timely matter or if the formulation changes, so you must refer to the package for the actual ingredient list of your product. So if you plan on purchasing Neutrogena, it’s best to go to your local drugstore rather than an online shop to make sure you’re getting the exact ingredients you know is in the product.

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M

REVIEW: Banish Acne Scars Banish Starter Kit

After years of ogling this product, back when I was a broke af university student, to my now somewhat adult self, I bit the bullet – I purchased the Banish Starter Kit.

Now for those of you who don’t know the brand Banish Acne Scars, it’s a skincare brand created by an OG acne-talking YTer named Daisy from the Acne Channel (formerly Perfect Beauty). Back when I was dealing with cystic acne, I found Daisy’s channel and saw that she too was going through the same journey to clear skin. Back in the day, not a lot of people showed their bare face on camera if they had really bad skin, so I was really happy to find a YTer I could connect to.

Fast forward to today, she has her own business called Banish Acne Scars, a brand that’s about:

“[Creating a] product line that gets to the root of problems, not just to cover them up temporarily. 

Use fresh natural ingredients, sourced from the West Coast of United States .

Focus on the internal rather than external healing.”

I’ve been wanting to try her products for a long time, especially for my leftover scarring from cystic acne. The website has a lot of before and afters of customers that have been using her products, and that just made it more intriguing for me to try it for myself.

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