Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 – SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #20

Another Sunday, another Paula’s Choice mineral sunscreen review! In today’s post, I will be reviewing a travel size of the Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30.


Information on Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30

“This illuminating moisturizer shields skin with all-mineral sun protection plus antioxidants to help protect against the effects of environmental damage.

Creates an instant, healthy glow for makeup-optional skin
12 antioxidants visibly diminish the signs of environment-based aging
Lightweight, illuminating cream
Apply as the last step of your morning routine

– paulaschoice.com

Price: $29 USD (full size)
Amount: 60ml/2oz (full size)
Packaging:  Opaque hot pink plastic tube.
Water Resistant? No.

UV FILTERS:
Zinc Oxide 6.125% (UVB, UVAII and some UVAI)
Titanium Dioxide 5.25% (UVB and UVAII)

Protection:
UVB: SPF 30
UVA: If U.S. regulations say UVA has to be 1/3rd of the UVB, it should be around a PPD of 10

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Isononyl Isononanoate (emollient), Butylene Glycol (texture enhancer), Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient/texture enhancer), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate (emulsifier), Dimethicone (hydration), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancer), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (skin-soothing), Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil (non-fragrant antioxidant plant oil), Tetrapeptide-30, Linoleic Acid (skin-restoring agents), Resveratrol (antioxidant), Ascorbyl Glucoside (vitamin C/antioxidant), Niacinamide (skin-restoring), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phospholipids, Lecithin (skin-restoring agents), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols (antioxidant/hydration), Xanthophylls (antioxidant), Pullulan (texture enhancer), Sodium Gluconate (hydration), Xanthan Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Alumina (texture enhancers), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (skin-replenishing), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Triethoxycaprylylsilane (texture enhancer), C13-14 Isoparaffin (solvent), Acrylates Copolymer (film-forming agent), Polyhydroxystearic Acid (dispersing agent), Caprylyl Glycol (hydration), Polyacrylamide (film-forming agent), Ceteareth-20, Aluminum Stearate (texture enhancers), Laureth-7 (emulsifier), Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol (preservatives).

INCIDecoder

Of course, like all Paula’s Choice products, the inactive ingredient list is a cocktail of skin beneficial ingredients. It’s also handy that the primary function is provided beside every ingredient on their website.

Moisturizing – Glycerin, Dimethicone, Argan Kernel Oil, Phospholipids, Soybean Sterols, Sodium Gluconate.

Antioxidants – Resveratrol, Niacinamide Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopherol, Xanthophylls, Kiwi fruit Extract

Soothing – Licorice Root Extract, Bisabolol

Brightening – Licorice Root Extract, Niacinamide, Tetrapeptide-30


My Experience with Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30

FRAGRANCE: None.

APPLICATION: Applied in 2 separate layers to give the sunscreen a chance to adapt to my skin tone as best as possible. Feels a bit greasy while applying and definitely more emollient than the Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense. I also noticed pilling along my hairline while lightly massaging the sunscreen onto my skin.

FINISH: Very glowy, it looks like there are shimmer particles in the sunscreen. It sits similarly to the Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense.

FEEL: Light, it has a tacky, slightly greasy finish. The feel sits between the PC Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense and the DRMTLGY Universal Tinted Moisturizer.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST / TINTED? The colour of the sunscreen is an off-white but this is not tinted. After initial application it looks pretty blended in as I can still see my skin’s undertone, but I do see a whisper of a cast. After 20 minutes, it looks more or less the same.

EXTRA SKIN BENEFITS? Simply that it sits comfortably on my dry skin type. Other than that, this sunscreen makes me look like a disco ball and the way it sits on my skin makes it quite unflattering for the texture on my face.

UNDER MAKEUP: On my dry skin, the moisturized finish of this sunscreen pairs well with whatever base makeup I use. It is not as grippy as the PC Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense, which oilier skin types may prefer.


Final Thoughts on Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30

Pros

  • At least a SPF30, as recommended by most skin experts.
  • Comfortable to apply the 2mg/cm2.
  • Like all Paula’s choice products, contains other nice beneficial ingredients.
  • Skin felt comfortably moisturized for most of the day.

Cons

  • The glow of the sunscreen is so shimmery, I feel like I look like a disco ball. I was able to diffuse some of the glow with a setting powder but the shine is quite strong and it does not make my skin look smoother.

Overall the Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 is very comfortable to wear and I am impressed at how there is very little to no cast on my skin. Usually with all mineral sunscreens I can see a difference in the undertone, but this one blended out well enough that it could be worn on its own. Unfortunately the shimmer is too much for me and it makes me uncomfortable with how much texture it emphasizes.

WHERE TO BUY:
Paula’s Choice Website *

As always, I hope you found this review helpful and informative!

xo, M

Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 – SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #19

Another “Youtube made me buy it” moment! The Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 seems to be a popular tinted mineral sunscreen in the beautysphere, and I wanted to give it a try on my acne prone, normal to dry skin.


Information on Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

“A lightly tinted mineral-based formula that protects skin from sun damage and fortifies it with state-of-the-art antioxidants.

Prevents premature aging of skin
Boost skin’s environmental defenses
Silky texture leaves a soft matte finish
Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine”

– paulaschoice.com

Price: $33 USD
Amount: 60ml/2oz
Packaging:  Opaque blue plastic tube.
Water Resistant? No.

UV FILTERS:
Zinc Oxide 13% (UVB, UVAII and some UVAI)

Protection:
UVB: SPF 30
UVA: If U.S. regulations say UVA has to be 1/3rd of the UVB, it should be around a PPD of 10

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), PEG-12 Dimethicone (texture enhancer), PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone (texture enhancer), Lauroyl Lysine (skin-conditioning agent),Sodium Chloride (stabilizer), Trihydroxystearin (texture-enhancing), Dimethicone Crosspolymer ( suspending agent), Resveratrol (antioxidants), Quercetin (antioxidants), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidants), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Adenosine (skin-restoring), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract (skin-soothing), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract (antioxidant), Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract (astaxanthin/antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Corn Starch (texture-enhancing/mattifying agent), Polysorbate 80 (texture-enhancing), Hydrated Silica (texture-enhancing/mattifying agent), Triethoxycaprylylsilane (texture enhancer), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient texture enhancer), Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate (texture enhancer), Caprylyl Glycol (preservatives), Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservatives), Iron Oxide (CI77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Phenoxyethanol (preservatives).

INCIDecoder

In true Paula’s Choice fashion, the Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30’s inactive ingredient list is a cocktail of skin beneficial ingredients and I always appreciate the ingredients having their primary function beside them.

Only noticeable moisturizing ingredients are various -cones which make the base of the sunscreen.

Antioxidants Resveratrol, Quercetin, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, and plant extracts high in antioxidants.

Soothing ingredients Bisabolol and Willow Bark Extract.

Adenosine for wound-healing and aiding in barrier repair and protection.


My Experience with Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

FRAGRANCE: None.

APPLICATION: Applied in 2 separate layers to give the tint a chance to adapt to my skin tone as best as possible. It does not feel greasy at all, rather it feels like a light lotion. I experienced no pilling.

FINISH: Semi-matte but still skin-like, I notice my texture is a bit emphasized once it sets more.

FEEL: Light, sets pretty quickly and has a light tacky finish, not as tacky as the DRMTLGY Universal Tinted Moisturizer SPF 46.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST / TINTED? I find the tint to lean slightly pink. With separate layers it’s not very noticeable, but when I apply the sunscreen all in one go, the pink is more obvious. I have also used this sunscreen as a “topper” over an all-organic UV filter sunscreen for the tint, and with a very sheer layer I barely notice the pink undertone.

EXTRA SKIN BENEFITS? One main benefit I’ve noticed is that the light coverage does even out my skin tone. Other than that, I don’t find it does dry skin any favours, even if you’re well prepped prior. It makes me look dehydrated quickly and as a result makes me look a bit more aged. By end of day my skin feels uncomfortably dry.

UNDER MAKEUP: Like other all-mineral sunscreens I have tried, I find it grips onto product more and thus increases coverage. On days I feel like I can wear it on its own, my concealer and liquid blush sits really well on it and still blends easily. I notice when I set my face lightly with powder, the dry feeling increases quickly.


Final Thoughts on Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

Pros

  • At least a SPF30
  • Sets quickly and has a skin-like, non-greasy finish
  • Like all Paula’s choice products, contains other nice ingredients
  • Skin tone looked even

Cons

  • I don’t know how they can call this a moisturizer, it’s quite drying. Seems that it would work best for those of you with very oily skin that have never been concerned with the uncomfortable, tight feeling. Otherwise I’d recommend to moisturize prior to application for any skin type.
  • Even though it is a soft matte finish, I find my texture is still emphasized because of the way it sits on my skin, and it adds further to the dehydrated look I get.

In-between Feels

  • Tint – prefer the undertone in the DRMTLGY one but this is still passable when applied properly. For fairer skin tones you may notice it being a bit dark with generous application, darker skin tones may still see a cast.

Overall the Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 seems like a good tinted sunscreen for those with very oily skin types, and because the finish is so skin-like I can see it performing nicely under makeup. I will be giving this away to a family member with a more oily skin type because it is too drying for mine.

WHERE TO BUY:
Paula’s Choice Website *

As always, I hope you found this review helpful and informative!

xo, M

My Summer 2020 Morning Skincare Routine Ft. Aczone

If you live in Ontario, we really have 2 seasons – Summer and Winter lol. I decided this year I will share my skincare routines by season – I usually mention here or there the slight changes I do in my routine based on the warmer or colder months, but I thought it would be more helpful to not only demonstrate it, but to talk through my thought process as well when it comes to how I approach my skincare.

Skin type: Acne prone, normal to dry. Becomes easily sensitized from drying products or environment.
Skincare Focus: Acne control, hydration, barrier protection.
What my skincare addresses: Acne prevention and healing, hydration, barrier protection, promoting graceful aging, fade pigmentation, minimizing pore size, reducing redness and inflammation, improves texture, promotes collagen synthesis, skin thickening.


Products marked with * are PR Samples/gifts. This does not change my opinion of the product. My thoughts are honest, always *casts doe patronus*

All links are affiliate links. This means when you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE

michxmash-morning-skincare-routine-summer-2020

The products below are my tried and trues out of the rotation of items I receive from PR, gifts, and my own purchases. Each are purposeful and contribute to my skin’s overall health.

1. Hydrator

Product: By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence *
How I use it: Apply on a cotton round and wipe face to remove a night’s buildup or fluff. Depending on how skin is feeling, apply another layer or 2.
Why I use it: Due to my problematic skin, layering something as light as a hydrating toner/essence/lotion really helps reduce my skin’s chance of becoming dehydrated without feeling congested. I also find hydrators make my skin just a bit plumper, brighter, more even, softer.
Blog Post: REVIEW: By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence
Where to Buy:
Wishtrend
Yesstyle

2. Vitamin C

Product: Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
How I use it: Apply immediately while skin is still slightly tacky from hydrator step. Massage a full dropper all over face and neck and pat once evenly spread.
Why I use it: Mainly for photoprotection, and it’s nice that it maintains my bright and even complexion. Vitamin C is the most expensive and finnicky product in my routine – L-Ascorbic Acid oxidizes in 3 months and I can’t visibly tell if it’s working. I spoke with my derm about it, and she’s pro-Vitamin C. I decided to keep it in my routine as an extra boost to the graceful aging aspect.
Blog Post: My 3 Must-Have Actives After 3-6 Months of Differin
Where to Buy:
Paula’s Choice
Nordstrom

3. Aczone

Product: Valeant Aczone Gel 5% Dapsone – (prescription only)
How I use it: Apply a thin layer all over face and under jaw
Why I use it: Helps reduce inflammation around any active acne lesions, also helps to control non-inflamed lesions. It also pairs well with my Retin-A Micro, Vitamin C serum, and chemical exfoliants.

4. Moisturizer

Product: Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume
How I use it: Apply once Aczone has settled. Massage half a pump or less all over face and neck
Why I use it: Skin always feels comfortably moisturized without feeling congested. Calms my skin, softens it, and leave a non-greasy residue on my skin.
Where to Buy:
Well.ca

5. Sunscreen

Product: La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Fluid Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+
How I use it: Apply once moisturizer has settled. Shake up bottle and pour a generous amount in the palm of hand. Lightly massage in 2 separate layers all over face, ears, and neck
Why I use it: Due to my nightly use of Retin-A Micro and other actives, sun protection is a must. I also have found that the generous amount I apply and the high UVA protecting susncreens I use have made a big difference. It’s helped to further prevent pigmentation from lasting on my skin, I rarely have irritated skin or an uneven skin tone, and in pair with my prescription topicals my skin texture seems softer.
Where to Buy:
Well.ca

Video:


And that’s it for my morning skincare routine during the warmer months! As always, I hope you find this type of content helpful and informative!

xo, M

My 3 Must-Have Actives After 3-6 Months of Differin

Recently I shared my *simple* skincare routine – basically the go-to products in my routine to tackle my top priority skin goals: acne control, hydration, barrier protection.

In today’s post, I’m sharing with you the three extra actives I added to my skincare routine once my skin adjusted to my prescription topicals. They are powerful ingredients that are no one-trick ponies, but have a multitude of functions that contribute to skin’s overall health!


Products marked with * are PR Samples/gifts. Links marked with a * are affiliate links. This means when you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


Niacinamide

Niacinamide is an amazing all rounder ingredient that addresses multiple skin issues, it is actually my favourite ingredient out of the 3! It is an antioxidant, increases skin’s lipid production to improve skin barrier, minimizes pores, helps refine wrinkles, brightens and evens skin tone, helps with sebum control, and fades pigmentation.

Current go-to: The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + Zinc

  • $5.90 USD, $10.60 USD
  • 30 ml, 60ml
  • Use PM, mixed with Hada Labo Premium Lotion before Differin

Why it’s my go-to:

  • Cheap, lol!
  • A simple, straight-shooter formula that I like to use to mix in with my HLPL
  • Provides pH level and percentages
    • pH: 5.5 – 6.5
    • Niacinamide: 10%
    • Zinc PCA: 1%
  • Skinthusiast perspective: Niacinamide and Zinc PCA are the only star actives in the formula, but the bulk of the formula still has solvents doubled as humectants.

I  currently have a rotation right now of other Niacinamide serums/boosters out of my sheer curiosity (Niacinamide battle soon), but TO’s has been a constant repurchase for me and it’s a staple in my skincare collection.

Where to buy:


Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is a water-soluble chemical exfoliant. It increases cell turnover on the top-layer of skin, the Stratum Corneum, acts as a humectant, and increases Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid in the dermis, making it thicker and less prone to TEWL. For my skin, GA has also shown to be the most effective with improving my skin texture, most notably in smoothing out my atrophic acne scars.

Current go-to: Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA *

  • $25 USD
  • 200ml
  • Use AM 1-2x week, before Vitamin C

Why it’s my go-to:

  • Low percentage Glycolic Acid that’s gentle but can still exfoliate
  • KB also provides pH level and active percentage
    • pH: 3.0-4.0
    • AHA: 5.25%
  • Skinthusiast perspective: Also has additional ingredients that promote skin’s health:
    • Aloe, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5 – humectants and skin soothers
    • Dark leafy greens kale, spinach, parsley – antioxidants
    • Allantoin – skin soother

KB was a good product to reintroduce after acclimating to Differin. However, after I finish this bottle, I will move on to Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant. KB is still unavailable to Canadians to purchase, and also I am ready to move up in strength. I opted for PC because I find they do a great job at formulating high percentage active products that don’t irritate my skin.

Where to buy:


L-Ascorbic Acid

LAA is the best researched Vitamin C ingredient compared to its derivatives; It is an antioxidant, provides photoprotection, promotes collagen synthesis, brightens and evens skin tone, and fades pigmentation. Combining L-Ascorbic Acid, Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin E has shown to increase the effectiveness of LAA and improve its stability.

Current go-to: Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Booster

  • $49 USD
  • 20ml
  • Use AM daily, freshly cleansed skin

Why it’s my go-to:

  • PC uses the most well studied ingredients in this formulation and tries (or maybe did) dupe the famous Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum
  • Provides the percentage of LAA as well as the pH level of this product:
    • pH: 3.0
    • LAA: 15%
  • Skinthusiast perspective: Contains additional ingredients that are good for the skin:
    • Sodium Hyaluronate and Glycerin – humectants
    • Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate – hydrates, improves skin texture
    • Panthenol and Bisabolol – soothing
  • Only LAA Vitamin C serum at a high concentration that does not burn my skin

I already repurchased my 3rd bottle of this booster! I have tried the infamous Timeless Vitamin C serum – 2 bottles worth actually – and it stung a LOT! And for those of you who may mention MaeLove’s Glowmaker Serum – no shipping to Canada! I believe they’re working on that, so maybe once it does become available I will purchase. In the mean time, I’m content with spending the extra cash on the PC C15 Booster.

Where to buy:


And that is it for this blog post! I know all too well how overwhelming the skincare world is. Lot’s of good ingredients, but not sure where to start or understand what exactly makes it so good! I hope my top 3 helped you out with your own skin journey, especially if it’s similar to mine! (Acne prone, dry, preventative aging…)

xo, M

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

I forgot to schedule this because my mind drifted during the Long Labour Day weekend 🙂

It has been around 9 months since starting 0.3% Adapalene, so it’s about time I do a skin update and show you my skin’s progress!

Be sure to read my first one so you’re up to date: Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve been doing since my last update in December 2018:

  • Still have not used a microneedling device since November when I reviewed the Banisher 2.0.
  • No professional facials done, just stuck with topical products I purchased.
  • Using Differin almost every night since I got it end of November 2018.
  • Aczone was good up until the 4 month mark, then I switched to Finacea (AA). I noticed Aczone would dry out my skin and make it look darker and red.
  • Upped my chemical exfoliators to 2 times a week – still using Krave Beauty’s Kale-lalu-yAHA and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.
  • Have been attempting to apply minimum SPF50 PA++++/PPD 16 up to 2mg/cm2 of sunscreen on exposed areas.

BEFORE / AFTERS

NOTE:

  • It’s really hard to match exact lighting and angle!
  • I also added the same photos with increased the shadows and highlights to emphasize the texture – even then it’s hard to truly depict what’s happening on my face
  • Ignore that cut on the bottom part of my face – I shaved and cut myself (yes I’ve been shaving my face! it’s quite magical)
  • TIMEFRAME: November 27, 2018 – July 13, 2019

michxmash-before-afters
Top: Befores, Bottom: Afters

michxmash-before-afters-2
Emphasized shadow and contrast. Top: befores, Bottom: Afters

ATROPHIC SCARS

In general, they look like the got smaller, and my face generally looks smoother. At first I thought I really wasn’t getting a good angle for the photos; but maybe, just maybe… they actually look that much better! My mom said my skin looks smoother every time she sees me, that has to count for something lol.

PIGMENTATION

I find a lot of the pigmentation I had lingering lightened up ever since I introduced AA and applied proper amounts of higher UVA protecting sunscreens to my routine, and a general boost in my skin’s health.

ACNE

I definitely don’t get as many breakouts since last year, and they are well under control. When I do experience a bad breakout, the connection is from eating too much processed food and drinking very sugary drinks. I find the actives I use in my routine however really help rid any active breakouts quickly, and I don’t find myself stressing over cystic spots as much as I used to.

OVERALL SKIN CONDITION

  • Clearer – acne is under control, pigmentation does not last for months
  • She is slow, but there have been some improvements with my atrophic scars
  • Feels fairly normal since we’re in summer, but still prone to dryness
  • I find my skin gets sensitive to products that I used prior without issue

And that’s it for my 2nd Skin Update! It’s by no means perfect, but I’m happy it’s getting better. Healing old scars as mine with topicals can only do so much, and I’ve accepted that, but at least there’s SOME improvement!

IMG_20190830_133143.jpg

ACTION PLAN

  • Continue with what I’m using, sticking with Differin
  • Use micro-needle again to boost the process
  • May look into the vampire facial, or other professional treatments to help speed the process for my atrophic scars. It’s so expensive doe ;_;
  • I like my skincare routine at the moment ko, so I’ll be sticking with what I’m currently doing and share it in good time!

It’s always nerve-wracking sharing my skin like this, but I really hope these updates help you out, especially if you’re going through the same skin struggles as I am!

xo, M