TRIED & TRUE TIPS: How I Repaired My Dehydrated and Dry Skin!

Press Samples in this post will be indicated with (PR)
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I thought I’d start off a new blog / video series called “Tried and True Tips” – basically I share tips that like many of us, go Googling for all over the internet for that I have tried, and have worked!

Since it’s now snowing here in jolly Ontario, I thought  it would be the perfect time to share my Tried and True Tips on how I repaired my dry/dehydrated skin! Before I do, quick recap:

  • I was oily-skinned for ~24 years
  • Past 4-5 years, after working in a stupidly dry environment and aging in general, my skin became so dry, it not only felt uncomfortably tight, there was no moisturizer, or oil in general to be found on my skin when I touched my face!

After many a months to a couple of years of trial and error, I finally found what has been working for me in maintaining my skin’s moisture! If what I’ve gone through sounds similar to your current circumstance, then keep on reading!


1. GET A HUMIDIFIER

Picture from Costco.ca

The most common tip, and for good reason! To start improving your skin’s hydration levels, this is an easy way to set it up for success. Like I mentioned, my skin gets easily sensitized in dry environments, so having a large humidifider that lasts hours was much needed for my place.

The one I purchased: Homedics Humidifier
Costco
Amazon.ca

2. PLAN YOUR MORNING CLEANSE ACCORDINGLY

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All these cleansers have a pH around 5-5.5

As demo-ed in my Morning Skincare Routine, I do not wash my face in the morning, and go straight into my Vitamin C serum. Most of the time, my skin doesn’t feel like there’s a heavy layer of product, feels oily, or crusty, so skipping morning cleanse in these instances work for me. It’s particularly beneficial for dry skinned folks because as we know, every time we cleanse our skin, we are promoting Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL); So limiting the amount of times you wash your face in a day helps. However, on the off days where I do feel like my skin has a greasy buildup or feels so crusty my skin texture is uneven, I use a low pH cleanser for 30 seconds in the morning. While cleansing, I already feel my skin becoming softer and smoother than before. Since the cleanser is pH balanced, it doesn’t dry out my skin and I can comfortably follow with my skincare routine; Sometimes my skin actually feels more moisturized! By planning my morning cleanse accordingly, I haven’t had the urge to jump into a chemical exfoliant right away, which overdoing could make your dehydrated skin worse!
Products:
Bioderma Sebium Purifying Cleansing Foaming Gel
Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser (reviewed)
Cerave Hydrating Cleanser (PR)
Dermalogica Active Clearing Skin Wash (Previously Medibac)

3. KEEP YOUR SKIN DAMP

In relation to the previous tip, when washing your face, try not completely drying with a towel. When we completely dry out all the water on our faces, we’re helping speed up the process of TEWL; This leaves our faces tight and uncomfortable, and now we’re using more skincare products than necessary to replenish what we helped lose. My face never feels tight anymore and I don’t feel like I need to use as many replenishing items or layers to feel comfortable again.

4. ADD IN EXTRA HUMECTANTS, EMOLLIENTS, AND/OR OCCLUSIVES

Rule of thumb for finding a moisturizer is that it should contain a good balance with all 3 types of ingredients mentioned above to help retain and prevent water loss from your skin – humectants to attract water, emollients to soften and smooth skin, and occlusives to seal in the deal (See Chemist Confessions post explaining further!). Depending on our individual skin concerns and our preferred products, you can incorporate an extra step into your routine to further help your moisture level.

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Using a hydrating toner, essence, lotion, and/or gel moisturizer is my favourite way of adding in extra moisture! They’re typically humectant rich, some may have emollients as well. I use these all year round, but come winter, I either layer a light one, or swap for a hydrator with a thicker consistency, and one that may leave a film.
Products:
I’m From Rice Toner (PR Sample) *
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner
Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion *
Hada Labo Premium Lotion *
Hada Labo Perfect Gel *

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Plant oils are another easy way of incorporating something more emollient into your routine. Oils I have tried and liked are Marula and Rosehip Seed Oil. Another popular oil is Squalane; I have never tried this one before but I constantly see it appear in people’s skincare routines!
Products:
Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil
Not shown cause I forgot: Jordan Samuel Soothing Facial Oil

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If my skin is in dire need, I will go in with the big guns and either mix or add a pea-sized amount of the best, cheap occlusive of its kind – petrolatum! Applying Vaseline or Cerave’s Baby Healing Ointment were some serious game changers in providing my dry skin with relief, especially when I started using 0.3% Adapalene around this time of year!
Products:
Cerave Baby Healing Ointment
Vaseline


And there you have it, the tried and true tips that have helped me fix my dehydration / dryness!

I know this isn’t a super long list, but I wanted to share the very effective ones that worked so well for me! Hope you found this post helpful and informative.

xo,

M

My Updated Skincare Routines 2019

Hey everyone,

Here are the videos of my current morning and nighttime skincare routines! I’m proud to say that I’ve simplified my routine even further, and yet everything is very purposeful and contributes to my skin’s health.

Morning Skincare Routine:

Nighttime Skincare Routine:

Note that these routines are on the days/nights I do not test out new products, or if I need to give my skin a break.

Before you watch, please be sure to take a gander at other posts / videos related to my skin:

I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars

Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!

Thanks for watching!

xo, M

REVIEW: Physician’s Formula the Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Balm

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Let me start off this post by saying: It’s not a dupe for Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm.

Sure, they’re both balms, they’re both green, and they share less than 10 ingredients, but that’s pretty much all you’ll find in common with them.

As per the title, I will be more detailed about PF’s Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Balm, but along the way I will make comments about Farmacy’s Green Clean.


CLAIMS

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WHAT IT IS:
An ultra gentle 3-in-1 cleansing balm that melts away makeup, deeply cleans away impurities and leaves the skin fully supple and hydrated.

WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:

Antioxidant-packed and enriched with Matcha Green Tea, Bamboo Shoot, and Lotus Extract.

Physician’s Formula Offical Website

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Price: $14.99 CAD
Amount: 1.40 oz / 40g
Price per oz: ~$10.7 CAD

At first glance it looks like the best bang for your buck, right? Let’s compare to be sure:

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Farmacy Green Clean MINI size
Price: $28 CAD
Amount: 1.7 oz / 50 ml
Price per oz: ~16.47 CAD

Farmacy Green Clean FULL size
Price: $44 CAD
Amount: 3.2 oz / 90 ml
Price per oz: ~$13.75 CAD

As we can see, PF is more cost effective than the Farmacy Green Clean full size by $3.05 CAD, and I’m surprised at the price per oz for the Farmacy Green Clean Mini!


INGREDIENTS

Skincarisma

FARMACY GREEN CLEAN MELTAWAY CLEANSING BALM INGREDIENTS: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Peg-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Peg-10 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Amino Esters-1, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Amber Powder, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid.

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PF 3-IN-1 MELTING BALM INGREDIENTS: CETYL ETHYLHEXANOATE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, SORBETH-30 TETRAOLEATE, PEG-5 GLYCERYL TRIISOSTEARATE, PEG-10 ISOSTEARATE, POLYETHYLENE, FRAGRANCE/PARFUM, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF POWDER*, PHYLLOSTACHYS EDULIS SHOOT WATER**, NELUMBO NUCIFERA FLOWER EXTRACT***, CITRUS NOBILIS (MANDARIN ORANGE) PEEL OIL, WATER/EAU, PHENOXYETHANOL, SORBITAN SESQUIOLEATE, POLYGLYCERYL-10 OLEATE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM BENZOATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, POTASSIUM SORBATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, MALTODEXTRIN, YELLOW 5 (CI 19140), BLUE 1 (CI 42090). *MATCHA, **BAMBOO, ***LOTUS

CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF POWDER: antioxidant

PHYLLOSTACHYS EDULIS SHOOT WATER: skin-soothing, antioxidant

NELUMBO NUCIFERA FLOWER EXTRACT: skin-soothing, antioxidant

Sure, there’s some similar ingredients, especially the base of the balms. However, the exprience of each is completely different!


EXPERIENCE

SCENT: Light, artificial pear scent. Notice how for PF it just says parfum and Green Clean actually lists the fragrance derived ingredients.

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TEXTURE: Thick balm.

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Top: Farmacy Green Clean, Bottom: Physician’s Formula3-in-1

APPLICATION: Scoop of a nickel-quarter size amount for my face and neck. I’d use the latter amount if I was wearing a lot of makeup that day. Melts quickly and keeps a fairly melted, vaseline-like consistency.

FINISH: No residue or heavy moisture.

INSTANT RESULTS: No residue and skin is left feeling calm.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Nothing crazy to report.


FINAL THOUGHTS

For a Western drugstore brand, Physician Formula the Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Balm is a nice makeup remover balm. Also the ingredients are not that bad. I’d have to say though, after trying Farmacy Green Clean Meltaway Cleansing Balm in rotation, the experience is totally different. FG feels more luxe, whereas PF just feels like a standard, no fuss balm. Also, Farmacy doesn’t use dyes to get the green colour 😉 So out of the two, I’d still choose Farmacy Green Clean, but I still recommend Physician’s Formula the Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Balm for those looking for a drugstore alternative!

What do you guy’s think of Physician’s Formula new skincare? I’m glad drugstore brands are coming out with better skincare products and more options for us to choose from!

xo, M

WHERE TO BUY:
iHerb
Shoppers Drug Mart


REVIEW: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #7: Bioderma Photoderm SPF 50+ Milk High Protection

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ABOUT:

“Ultraviolet rays alter the skin’s DNA by breaking its nucleus. They also weaken the immune system. This increases the risks of genetic mutation, tumors, and skin cancer. By favoring free radicals and destroying collagen, UVAs can also contribute to premature signs of aging of the skin. That is why dermatologists recommend the daily application of high (SPF 50+) photoprotection against UVAs and UVBs. At Bioderma, we respond to your skin’s needs. Our Photoderm line erects a double barrier to encourage its immunity against the sun: the best of external protection as well as unique, patented and laboratory-tested Cellular Bioprotection®. Among our products made with organo-mineral, anti-UV filters, Photoderm Milk SPF 50+ offers a large spectrum of protection. Used according to the instructions and with other sun protection measures, the risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin caused by the sun is decreased. Also, Photoderm Milk SPF 50+ protects sun-dried skin against environmental aggressors.”

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ADDITIONAL CLAIMS:,

  • Suitable for babies, children, teens, adult, face, and body
  • Smooth texture
  • Colourless upon application
  • No greasy effect
  • No white traces
  • Excellent tolerance FPS 60/UVA 42
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Waterproof
  • Photostable
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Moisturizing

Price: $27.90 CAD
Amount: 100ml

UV FILTERS & INGREDIENTS:

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Type: Chemical
Octocrylene 10%
Bisoctrizole (Tinosorb M) 6%
Avobenzone 5%
Bemotrizinol (Tinosorb S) 2.5%

Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 50, PPD 42

INACTIVE:

Aqua, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cyclopentasiloxane, C20-22 Alkyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, C20-22 Alcohols, Decyl Glucoside, Cyclohexasiloxane, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Chlorphenesin, Disodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Mannitol, Ectoin, Fructooligosaccharides, Xylitol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Rhamnose, Laminaria Ochroleuca.

CONSISTENCY:  Runny cream.

FRAGRANCE: No noticeable scent.

APPLICATION: Glides on skin very easily and feels light.

FINISH: Shiny! Skin looks slightly even-toned as well.

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FEEL: It’s like I added extra moisturizer on my skin.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST / TINTED? You’d think a chemical sunscreen wouldn’t leave a cast, but Tinosorb M is the culprit behind it since it’s a white powder like Zinc Oxide (althought I’m sure both powders have their differences). I find the cast is more prominent when I apply this sunscreen on my face rather than my body.

WATER RESISTANT? No.

SKIN BENEFITS?
Quite a high UVA protection, so this will definitely help those that wish to fade pigmentation.

UNDER MAKEUP:
I do not wear this on it’s own under foundation. I usually let it sit for 10-15 minutes before I go in with a separate primer.

WHERE TO BUY:
Photoderm seems to be in Canada only, where I know there is Photoderm Max floating around in the world.
Shoppers Drug Mart

PROS:

  • Awesome UVA protection due to it being formulated with some saught after photostable UV filters for us sunscren connoisseurs – Tinosorb M and S! So happy to know that these filters are accepted in Canada and easily available to purchase at a local drugstore!
  • Personally I find it’s a great amount for the price, and there’s usually a sale on it
  • Can use on face and all over body for any age

CONS:

  • Why whitecast, why!?
  • Looks very shiny, even when applied on body
  • Oily-skinned peeps will hate this

Despite the cast and the shine, I am really enjoying the Bioderma Photoderm SPF 50+ Milk High Protection! Now that summer’s here, it’s been my go-to daily sunscreen, especially since I don’t reapply too often in the office. I’m a bit confused about what the difference could be between this and the Photoderm Max, potentially no cast? Let me know if you’ve tried the latter and how it works for you!

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY:
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Sunscreen Sunday #2: CANMAKE Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #3: Bare Republic Tinted Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #4: Neostrata Defend Sheer Physical Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte-Finish Tinted Sunscreen PA++++

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #6: Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Lotion

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ABOUT:

“The Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Mineral Lotion is more than just powerful sun protection – it’s gentle care for your skin. This non-chemical sunscreen lotion delivers a refreshingly luxurious, powdery-clean feel, while the subtle tint seamlessly blends into any skin tone yet washes away with water. Specially designed for sensitive facial skin, this lotion won’t clog pores and is fragrance free. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants from native Australian botanical ingredients, it allows you to enjoy the sun your way, protected from both UVA and UVB rays, and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.”

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ADDITIONAL CLAIMS:

  • A powder-like matte finish that’s never greasy
  • Australian Botanicals: Kakadu Plum, Eucalyptus and Red Algae form a unique combination of antioxidant rich botanicals
  • Oxybenzone Free, Paraben Free, Phthalate Free, PABA Free, Petrolatum Free, SLS (Sulfate) Free, Dye Free and Oil Free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist and Pediatrician Tested
  • Not tested on animals
  • Fragrance Free for use on even the most delicate skin
  • Gluten Free
  • Water Resistant up to 80 mins

Price: $23.49 CAD / $14.99 USD
Amount: 89ml / 3fl oz

UV FILTERS:

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Type: Mineral
Zinc Oxide 4%
Titanium Dioxide 4%

Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 50

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS:

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Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium Edta, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Hexyl Laurate, Iron Oxides, Panthenol, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polymethysilsesquioxane, Porphyra Umbilicalis (Red Algae) Extract, Silica, Squalane, Stearic Acid, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylysilane, Water

CONSISTENCY:  Surprisingly thin cream

 

FRAGRANCE: No noticeable scent. Although it claims it’s fragrance free, there’s still Eucalyptus leaf extract in the list, which has a scent in general.

APPLICATION: Because of the texture, I try to work in sections and layer as I go to get an adequate amount to cover my face.

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FINISH: Matte and smoothing.

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FEEL: I wouldn’t say it feels like I have nothing on the skin, but it’s still fairly light. For my normal to dry skin, sometimes it does feel too drying, especially when I used this in the winter time.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST / TINTED? A bit of both. Seems to blend in okay at first, but the more you layer the more noticeably a cast gets.

WATER RESISTANT? Yes – 80 minutes.

SKIN BENEFITS?
Antioxidants are always a nice-to-have in SPF, and it also contains Panthenol (pro-Vitamin B35 to help hold moisture.

UNDER MAKEUP:
Probably the best sunscreen to wear under makeup! It grips to your base like other mineral sunscreens, but it adds a blurring effect!

WHERE TO BUY:
Ulta
Amazon.ca

PROS:

  • Lightish feel
  • Acts as an awesome primer
  • Great price for the amount you get
  • Water-resitant for 80 minutes

IN BETWEEN FEELS:

  • Mattifying
  • Sometimes an okay tint for my skin tone / undertone

Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Lotion is an excellent affordable mineral sunscreen with a tint that’s suitable for some skin types. Although the finish is more suitable for those with oily skin and the tint can still appear grey, it performs well as an SPF and as a day time primer if I need my makeup to last all day! Dry-skinned peeps beware – this won’t be suitable for you in dry climates.

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY:
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Sunscreen Sunday #2: CANMAKE Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #3: Bare Republic Tinted Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #4: Neostrata Defend Sheer Physical Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte-Finish Tinted Sunscreen PA++++