SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #8: Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30 Moisturizer

Product is a PR Sample provided for review purposes.
All opinions are my own, always *casts doe patronus*


DERMALOGICA PRISMA PROTECT SPF 30 MOISTURIZER

 

Light-activated multitasking moisturizer provides broad spectrum defense while preventing future signs of skin damage. Intelligent drone technology is activated by visible light to help boost skin’s natural luminosity. Breakthrough antioxidant technology helps protect skin against pollution. Broad Spectrum Defense SPF30 provides protection from UV damage, while a bio-ferment from sage helps maintain an even skin tone. Advanced moisture magnets provide all-day hydration for visibly smooth skin.

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • No artificial fragrances and colours
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

Price: $89 CAD
Amount: 50ml

UV FILTERS & INGREDIENTS:

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Type: Organic / Chemical
Homosalate 10%
Octocrylene 10%
Ethylhexyl Salicylate (Octisalate) 5%
Avobenzone 3%

Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 30

FULL INGREDIENTS LIST:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Coconut Alkanes, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethyl Capramide, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Saccharide Isomerate, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Sclareolide, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, PEG-100 Stearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arachidyl Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Methicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Propanediol, Geraniol, Limonene, Citral, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol

From my -skinthusiast- perspective…

From my understanding, Drone Technology refers to encapsulating an ingredient for better penetration into the skin. There are a few beneficial antioxidants in the formula such as Green Tea Leaf Extract and Vitamin E, as well as Palmitoyl Oligopeptide for anti-aging that I suspect may be the encapsulated ingredients. In terms of luminosity, there’s no standout ingredient to tell me this would add a luminous boost other than the fact that there are more than a handful of moisturizing ingredients to help achieve the look.

UPDATE JAN. 27, 2020: getthegloss.com has more insight into the Drone Technology and light-activating properties of this sunscreen:
https://www.getthegloss.com/news/dermalogica-prisma-protect-spf30-review

Moisturizing (humectants, emollients): Butylene Glycol, Coconut Alkanes, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Methicone, Caprylyl Glycol
Antioxidant: Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate
Peptide: Palmitoyl Oligopeptide

INCIDecoder breakdown


EXPERIENCE

PACKAGING: Tube with squeeze spout.

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CONSISTENCY:  Cream.

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FRAGRANCE: Ginger Root Oil, Geraniol, Linomene, Citral. It’s a very light scent and not unpleasant. Smells like a high-end Western SPF.

APPLICATION: Glides on skin very easily.

 

FINISH: As the product describes, luminous. Not too much and not too little.


FEEL: It’s like I added extra moisturizer on my skin. My face feels a bit hot.

STINGS EYES? Yes.

WHITECAST / TINTED? No.

WATER RESISTANT? No.

SKIN BENEFITS?
Adds extra moisture to the skin, has antioxidants from vitamin E and Green Tea Leaf Extract to protect skin against free radicals, and Palmitoyl Oligopeptide to help with skin’s firmness.

UNDER MAKEUP:
Currently in winter mode, this SPF feels great under makeup and doesn’t dry out my face.


FINAL THOUGHTS

PROS:

  • As expected from Dermalogica, cosmetically elegant
  • Provides extra moisture and some preventative aging benefits
  • Any skin type can use it, you would just havee to adjust it accordingly in your skincare routine

CONS:

  • $$$$$$
  • Skin felt heated shortly after application

IN-BETWEEN FEELS

  • As mentioned in prior posts, I’m more of an SPF50+ kinda gal. For the price I really would’ve liked to see that in a Dermalogica sunscreen.

Overall the Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30 Moisturizer is a decent sunscreen. It’s not my typical go to because of the price and the UV filters, but for a North American sunscreen it performs very well; It is definitely not as greasy as other Avobenzone sunscreens I have tried and I found it moisturizing. There are definitely affordable options with better UV filters if you’re willing to purchases internationally, but if Dermalogica is in your price point and you want a nice-feeling Western sunscreen with organic UV filters, the Prisma Protect SPF 30 is it.

WHERE TO BUY:
Sephora

This is an affiliate link. If you click on this link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you so much if you decide to use it! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.

Hope you found this post helpful and informative!

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

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

BRAND REVIEW: Stubborn Cosmetics

People, if you love Krave Beauty, Dr. Sam, you absolutely must check out this brand, especially if you live in the U.S. of A!

Stubborn Cosmetics is an indie American brand that is literally a one-woman show providing products with my favourite combo: scientifically proven ingredients paired with beneficial ingredients from nature.

The founder Annalisa, runs the show and here are the many hats she wears:

  • Lead Cosmetic Scientist
  • Production Engineer
  • Procurement Agent
  • Graphic Designer
  • Lab Technician
  • Operations Manager
  • Cleaner
  • the first Customer
  • the “We”

Stubborn Cosmetics currently is focused on creating moisturizers for all skin-types, and she goes so far as to offer a customized moisturizer, based on your quiz results. Recently she formulated an anti-oxidant face mist and it’s been a hot minute since I’ve used one!

Here’s the site’s blurb that sums up what they’re about perfectly, and something I appreciate:

“We’re an indie skincare company with the mission of creating cosmetics that bring together the best of the natural world with the best of scientifically studied ingredients. Our aim is to share skincare that is effective, fun, and positive by nature. We’re not going to scare you with buzz words like “toxin- and chemical-free”. That wouldn’t be in line with our ethics. Instead, we curated a selection of naturally derived ingredients and scientifically proven synthetic actives (like peptides and vitamins) because they are just too good to be given up.

We believe in nature and science. We believe they can coexist in harmony. We believe in community, we believe in hugs, we believe in kindness, we believe in well-formulated products as well as in a personal approach to skin care. These beliefs are the essence of our creations. Others call it skincare – we call it personal skin love.”

Here are the products I’ll be reviewing, all purchased myself.

  • Custom Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Combination Skin, $40 USD
  • Face Hug – for Dry Skin, $25 USD
  • Face Cuddle – for Normal Skin, $25 USD
  • Skin Mercy Anti-Oxidant Face Mist, $22 USD

QUICK FACTS:

  • Every moisturizer has 4% Niacinamide
  • Cruelty-free
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Custom Moisturizers are made-to-order based on a mandatory Skin Quiz, and get PIN for repurchase
  • Shelf life ~6 months after opening
  • Products are only scented from aromatic plant extracts
  • Most products are vegan; Face Hug only moisturizer not vegan because it contains silk amino acids (sourced from vacant cocoons)
  • International shipping
  • pH levels are 4.5-5.5 (based on blog post “How to Use Moisturizers“)

CUSTOM MOISTURIZER

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This was my first purchase as I was curious how Annalisa would formulate a product for my all-over-the-place skin. I’ve mentioned it before, but right now I’m normal to dry, get easily sensitized from dry environments, but I still get pretty oily by the end of the day, and I still have acne! I was sent a card with my Skin Quiz results, Product PIN for re-ordering, and the ingredients list. Unfortunately, I cannot find the card ;_;

PACKAGING: 30 ml plastic bottle with airless pump. Love that there are 2 pumps – teal for normal areas, white for dry.

USAGE: 1 pump of each.

TEXTURE: A thin, thick cream (if that makes sense).

FRAGRANCE: Custom Moisturizer has the option to add fragrance in via phyto-scents (plant extracts); I chose raspberry, tangy and zesty! It’s not too strong.

APPLICATION: Green pump on my T-Zone, White for my C-Zone; Sometimes I like to mix the two.

FINISH: She may be thin, but she feels very moisturizing. I do have a glow and it doesn’t make me look super matte (which I like).

INSTANT RESULTS: Moisturized skin.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Skin hasn’t been experiencing congestion and my sebaceous filaments haven’t been looking awful. Sometimes I feel a bit dry near the end of the day, but my work environment is pretty freaking dry, as is my country’s climate (Canada). I also lack in water-drinking skills :3  Overall it performed well in the colder months here in Canada (haven’t tried it in snow mode yet).


FACE HUG & FACE CUDDLE

PACKAGING: 30 ml plastic bottle with an airless pump.

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USAGE: 2 pumps to cover face and neck comfortably in the morning before SPF.

TEXTURE: Face Cuddle – gel cream, Face Hug – more emollient version of a gel cream.

FRAGRANCE: I’m not sure how to describe it, but there is no added scent and it’s just the smell of the formula.

APPLICATION: Massage into face.

FINISH: If you don’t apply the moisturizer properly, it looks like there is a film on your face. If you take your time, it leaves a nice moisturized, not overly glowy look.

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Top: Face Cuddle, Bottom: Face Hug

INSTANT RESULTS: Moisturized!

LONG TERM RESULTS: Skin hasn’t been experiencing congestion and my sebaceous filaments haven’t been looking awful. Moisturized feeling lasted better in summer months here in Canada. Sometimes these both sting my face.


SKIN MERCY

PACKAGING: 4oz, glass bottle with a spray top.

USAGE: I typically use this in the mornings, because that’s when I like using antioxidant based products the most (like Vitamin C).

TEXTURE: Watery.

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FRAGRANCE: Smells like pine – the cinnamon peppercorn type of smell!

APPLICATION: Spray spray spray.

INGREDIENTS:

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FINISH: The watery consistency is quite deceiving, for I find this moisturizes my skin pretty well on it’s own and it leaves a moisturized film on my skin.

INSTANT RESULTS: Skin feels moisturized, tingly and bright.

LONG TERM RESULTS: Currently, this in rotation with my Jordan Samuel Hydrate the Mist. I usually reach for Skin Mercy when I feel like I need more of an oomph for my skin.


FINAL THOUGHTS

stubborn-cosmetics-review-michxmash

PROS:

  • INCI list is out of this world. I’ve never seen a list where I have all the major ingredients I want – Niacinamide, Ceramides, antioxidants, peptides, Beta-Glucan, Hyaluronic Acid…
  • Offers customization. Especially handy if you’re super sensitive, and I can’t help but wonder if this would be a great moisturizer for those with fungal acne!
  • No bullshit. Love the marketing and they’re not about fear-mongering, but educating consumers on awesome ingredients despite their chemical name!
  • Prompt shipping. I’m pretty sure all of us had a moment (or multiple moments) when we’re ready to drop $100 and then the shipping fee just cuts that shopping joy in half! Well despite a charge for international shipping, it’s speedy, and you can expect your moisturizer within a week (obviously depends where you are in the world and weekends not included).

CONS:

  • Both Face Hug and Cuddle occasionally sting my face and pill on me.
  • As much as I love the INCI list, it’s a bit daunting to figure out what’s causing the moisturizers to sting my face (at first I thought it was from using a chemical exfoliator beforehand, but sometimes it still stings even with a basic routine).
  • Skin Mercy’s pump stopped working for me after a few uses. It almost feels as if it’s stuck :\

IN-BETWEEN FEELS:

  • Price / size. Another classic “stupid Canadian dollar” type thing. WHY CONVERSION, WHY!? Aside from this, I can see this as a pretty fairly priced moisturizer to Americans and anywhere else in the world that doesn’t have a shitty dollar.

Overall, a lot of love and effort goes into Stubborn Cosmetics and Annalisa is making it available internationally. On top of that, she does not do any BS marketing whatsoever and tries to accommodate all skin types and needs.

I’d personally repurchase the Custom Moisturizer because it is suited for my skin needs, but I’d still like to try out any new items that SC comes out with!

WHERE TO BUY:
Official site: https://stubborncosmetics.com/

Hope this review helped you out!

xo, M

REVIEW: The Innate Life Small Complete Hair Care Bundle

Inspired to take care of my scalp more + the desire to try something new, I purchased Toronto-based brand Innate Life products and had to share my thoughts on their products!

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I’ve strayed away from Green Beauty marketing-based companies when it comes to skincare, but when it comes to my hair I find that’s when these types of products benefit me the most! I decided to purchase their Small Complete Hair Care Bundle with the small sizes of the following products:

  • Scalp Treatment for Problematic Scalp
  • Herbal Hair Mask
  • Rose Hair Elixir

As I just mentioned, the Innate Life is a Toronto-based Canadian brand that takes an ayurvedic approach to hair care! Every product contains their signature blend of the following ayurvedic herbs, all supposed to promote either hair growth and overall scalp health:

  • Bhringaraj
  • Brahmi
  • Amla
  • Tulsi
  • Neem

My personal opinion: I do believe traditional medicines serve a purpose and have some promise since it’s based off of thousands of years of trial and error, which is why I occasionally like using these kinds of products. It is consistent long-term use for potentially long term gain, and sometimes it’s hard for them to compete with new Western medicine, especially when you’re living a modern lifestyle of different  (and more often than not, a lot more) stresses (environment, food, etc.).

The Innate Life Small Complete Hair Care Bundle with tax cost $55.53 USD / $76.19 CAD have used this bundle for a couple of months now, so I am ready to share my thoughts!


Scalp Treatment for Problematic Scalp

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Hair growth starts at the root. The Scalp Treatment is the ultimate product for hair growth because it nourishes and stimulates the scalp. It’s packed with natural goodness that will benefit your scalp and hair in ways you never thought possible! Used a couple times a week, The Scalp Treatment will provide intense hydration and repair the scalp for ultimate growth. It’s relaxing herbal scent makes it an essential part of any self-care day.

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AMOUNT: 2oz
INDIVIDUAL PRICE: $20 USD

Coconut Oil as the main oil is also great for hair health, for it is able to penetrate the hair shafts, create a water-blocking layer, and prevent protein loss. The ayurvedic and other plant extracts in the list are shown in herbal medicine to have soothing properties – definitely a must when applying potent essential oils on the scalp and trying to lower irritation from buildup. The essential oils listed, particularly Rosemary Oil, has a study on how it contributed to hair growth (Rosemary Oil was compared to be just as effective as Minoxidil (key active in Rogaine) but without irritation!). Pair all of these ingredients with the act of scalp massaging, it sounds like this is a go-to product for literally getting your head in the game of scalp health.

I’ll leave the following links below if you’re interested in the read. PLEASE NOTE: Just because some studies were done, doesn’t mean that it’s 100% safe and proven to be used in such a manner. Only until your country’s governing body passes ingredients (in this case, essential oils) as a drug for use in such a manner (in specific concentrations), these are just the beginning of studies and any use otherwise is anecdotal.

Human studies:

2015 Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial

Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue

In vitro & in vivo:
Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.

Animal studies:

2016 Study Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice

Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic signs

USAGE: 2 hours before I planned on washing my hair, every wash. My scalp was quite irritated at the time, and I confirmed with Innate Life that I was able to use this every wash (for me that’s every 2-3 days).

SCENT: Light herbal scent, the Peppermint Oil is the most noticeable scent.

TEXTURE: Runny, make sure to take little amounts rather than a lot in one go.

APPLICATION: Parted my hair in sections, and massaged thin layers directly on the scalp. After my entire scalp area was covered, I massaged it for 3-5 minutes.

FEEL: While massaging, I felt my scalp heating up. Not in an irritating way, moreso that there was a lot of blood circulation gong on. This feeling lasts from 30 minutes to an hour.

WASH: Need to shampoo twice to make sure all the oils from my hair are out.

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE SCALP TREATMENT FOR PROBLEMATIC SCALP

PROS:

  • My scalp became less itchy; Usually it gets itchy by the 2nd day, and I haven’t experienced that since using this treatment
  • In combination with the shampoo and conditioner I am using (see Haircare Haul), I’ve been told my hair looks fuller at the front
  • I’ve noticed baby hairs that I usually don’t see finally sit on my head differently and look more visible (they already existed, the photo does not show brand new growth)
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CONS:

  • Not a fan of the clear, jar packaging. It is great that it’s in glass, the essential oils act as a natural preservative, and I can keep it in a dark cabinet, but it should be in an opaque package with a small dispenser to further prevent any ingredient degradation.

Overall I have seen benefits while using the Innate Life Scalp Treatment. My scalp feels less irritated, baby hairs are coming out to play, and it is not difficult to wash out.


Herbal Hair Mask

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Dry and damaged hair rejoice! The Herbal Hair Mask is the answer to your prayers. This intensive once-a-week hair mask has the power to naturally transform hair into a silky dream. Formulated with over 15 plant-based botanicals, The Herbal Hair Mask keeps hair soft, silky, and shiny. Natural detanglers leave strands tangle-free and manageable. This Mask also reverses damage caused by heat tools and hair dyes. For sad-looking locks, The Herbal Mask is sure to cheer them up!

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AMOUNT: 4oz

INDIVIDUAL PRICE: $25 USD

USAGE: 2 hours before I planned on washing my hair, once a week alongside the Scalp Treatment on dry hair. I tried damp and after-conditioning as well; I did not notice a difference between the application methods, so I stuck with the pre-wash.

SCENT: Citrusy Lavender. Definitely took a handful of whiffs while applying it!

TEXTURE: Light cream.

APPLICATION: Massaged product in from the mid-length to ends on dry hair, making sure it was properly coated.

FEEL: Like a light oil, not as overwhelming as Coconut Oil on its own.

WASH: Rinses out pretty easily without using shampoo at the ends.

OVERALL THOUGHTS OF THE HERBAL HAIR MASK

PROS:

  • Smells divine – I definitely enjoyed this while applying.

CONS:

  • Hair feels the same, nothing crazy different
  • I get similar results from just leaving conditioner in my hair for a couple of minutes

Overall this was my least favourite product out of the 3. Not just the Innate Life Herbal Hair Mask, but I find conditioning masks in general don’t do much for my hair. Maybe my hair is less damaged than I thought? If you’re looking for a light hair mask, still consider this one – lots of other users have benefitted from this hair mask!


Rose Hair Elixir

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The Rose Hair Elixir is the Holy Grail product of hair care. Formulated with over 15 organic oils, this Elixir is potent and serves a number of purposes. It can be used daily or whenever your hair needs a quick pick me up. It can be used on dry hair to nourish split ends, tame frizzy hair, repair damaged hair and add shine. This little bottle does it all! It even works as a heat protectant before styling or on damp hair as a leave-in treatment. If that’s not enough for you, it’s intoxicating rose smell will have you coming back for more.

AMOUNT: 20ml

INDIVIDUAL PRICE: $15 USD

USAGE: 2 times a day, morning and night before brushing my hair.

SCENT: Starts off smelling like rose. It isn’t overwhelming, but I definitely liked sniffing my hair throughout the day. After a few hours the scent wears off and your ends smell like a mix of oils.

TEXTURE: Similar to a silicone-based hair serum, but feels like an oil, if that makes sense…

APPLICATION: Apply 4 drops to my mid-length to ends, more of a focus on the ends.

FEEL: Does not weigh down my hair and does not leave an oily look.

OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE ROSE HAIR ELIXIR

PROS:

  • First oil-based hair serum that performs well
  • Ends feel very soft and healthy
  • Lovely, subtle scent of rose

CONS:

  • Another deduction for packaging; Clear bottle and the dropper doesn’t even reach the bottom, you’d have to poor out the oil when you’re near the end

Overall this is my favourite oil-based hair serum I have tried to date. I personally preferred silicone-based hair serums because I saw better results, but I’m happy to have discovered the lovely formula that is the Innate Life Rose Hair Elixir.


FINAL THOUGHTS

OVERALL PROS:

  • All products have very promising ingredients that have potential to contribute to scalp and hair health, particularly Coconut Oil, Amla, and Rosemary Oil
  • Fairly affordable price and lasts fairly long considering I have long hair
  • Quick delivery once ordered – being in Toronto in particular it takes 3-5 business days
  • Saving $10 when buying the bundle as opposed to the individual products
  • The Scalp Treatment in particular was the catalyst for paying more attention to my scalp, leading down the endless hole that is haircare

OVERALL CONS:

  • The packaging on the Scalp Treatment and Rose Hair Elixir needs to be updated for better function and product preservation
  • Just like other brands, I am not a fan of the scare-tactics type of marketing; They use the “no chemicals” and “non-toxic” approach to their products. If they changed their marketing to show the real scientific-based plant power going on in their products and promote these beneficial chemicals, they could definitely gain more of a following and trust with their brand

OVERALL IN-BETWEEN FEELS:

  •  I’m going out on a guess, but these products are not made by a chemist or in a proper lab. There’s no guarantee you’re getting controlled amounts of “actives” in these formulas like the studies would do. I obviously don’t mind using the products, but it is still a point I address for general caution if you’re particularly sensitive, even with wash-out products
  • Adding to the previous point, would love it if they included percentages for how much of the actives they are using
  • Scalp Treatment and Herbal Hair Mask can be left on overnight, but I didn’t notice much of a difference than if I were to just keep it in for 2 hours

The Small Bundle is a great introductory purchase for the Innate Life products. On top of the sensorial experience from each product, 2/3 products actually delivered for my hair type and have played an essential role in gaining and maintaining healthy scalp and hair. It was easy to consistently use these products, especially knowing that they wouldn’t run out so fast.

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I already repurchased their Long Hair Bundle which contains full sizes of the Scalp Treatment (Problematic Scalp) and the Rose Hair Elixir. They’re definitely part of the reason I’ve been loving my hair state lately and will continue using them and supporting a Canadian brand!

All products were purchased at https://theinnatelife.com/ (not affiliate)

Have you tried these Innate Life products? They also have a shampoo and conditioner, let me know what you think about them in the comments if you’ve tried!

xo, M

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REVIEW: Dr. Sam’s Perfected Basics

Back in February I had a “treat yo’self” moment, so I decided to splurge on the entire Dr. Sam skincare line (so far) called Perfected Basics. I purchased the following products and have rotated them in my skincare the past few months:
Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser
Dr. Sam’s Flawless Moisturizer
Dr. Sam’s Flawless Sunscreen

As usual, after giving them a good trial run, I am ready to share my experience!


Who is Dr. Sam?

Her official bio says it best:

“[She] is a London-based cosmetic dermatologist specializing, quite simply, in great skin – she’s widely considered to be a beauty insider’s best-kept secret.

She’s passionate about making a dermatologist’s advice more accessible and helping women understand that a visit to her office is not just for serious skin conditions. Through her media and TV work, as a presenter on TLC’s Extreme Beauty Disasters, Dr Sam helps bridge the gap between traditional dermatology and beauty. She is sought-out for her expert opinion in countless fashion and beauty publications.”

I’ve been following her Youtube channel for a while now, and I find her videos to be very digestible and to the point when it comes to our common questions about skin and ingredients. Actually, it’s pretty much this strong trust she’s built through her social channels and in-person patient visits that pushed her to create her own skincare line.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Fragrance free
  • Not tested on animals
  • Vegan
  • Gluten free
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Contains no SLS, parabens, pthalates
  • Worldwide shipping
  • Products manufactured in the U.K.

Here’s what the site has to say about their 3 Dr. Sam’s Flawless products:

“We want you to build an effective skincare routine by starting from a position of strength.
That means nailing your basics. We call them Perfected Basics.”

If that isn’t a wholesome dermatologist philosophy in a nutshell, I don’t know what is!


FLAWLESS CLEANSER

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ABOUT

PRICE: £16 / ~$21 USD / ~$28 CAD
AMOUNT: 200ml / 6.8 fl oz
CLAIMS:
– Suits all skin types, even redness-prone, sensitive skin
– Thoroughly removes make-up, sunscreen, oil and grime whilst respecting the skin’s natural barrier
– Specifically suitable for acne-prone, grown-up skin
– 1 minute to cleanse
– No oily  residue
pH: 5.0


INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Poloxamer 188, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Disodium EDTA, BHT

EXPERIENCE

USAGE: Sometimes in the A.M. as my morning cleanse, but mostly in the P.M. as my 2nd cleanse.

SCENT: Smells like a raw, no masking fragrance product.

TEXTURE: Jelly!

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APPLICATION: One pump for my 2nd cleanse, massage for 1 minute. I tried to use 2 pumps to remove waterproof sunscreen, massaged for 2 minutes max, and it still didn’t remove everything. As I am massaging the cleanser on my skin, there is no foaming whatsoever!

FINISH: No residue, but my skin feels very soft and doesn’t feel like it’s going to dry up.

INSTANT RESULTS: Clean, happy skin.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Skin still feels clean and happy!

FINAL THOUGHTS ON DR. SAM’S FLAWLESS CLEANSER

PROS:

  • Love the texture – most pleasant cleanser I’ve used to date (even my bf said the same thing)
  • I don’t think you need a full pump, I can use less to achieve similar results for a 2d cleanse

CONS:

  • From what I recall, Dr. Sam is not a fan of the double-cleanse method in the sense that you need to buy another product as the first step of removing makeup or SPF. I tried massaging 2 full pumps of her cleanser on my face to break down LRP’s Anthelios Tinted SPF, which is water resistant. While it removed most of the SPF, it wasn’t 100% (and I massaged the cleanser on my face for over 2 minutes). I’ll stick to my tried and true double-cleanse method and happily use her cleanser for the 2nd step

FLAWLESS MOISTURIZER

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ABOUT

PRICE: £25 / ~$33 USD / ~$43.50 CAD
AMOUNT: 50ml / 1.7 fl oz
CLAIMS:
– Bouncy gel cream
Suits all skin types
– Absorbs rapidly
– Leaves skin comfortable
– Long lasting hydration
– Layers beautifully with your serums and sunscreen
Won’t clog pores
– Contains 5% niacinamide, a master of all trades ingredient

  • Brightens and boosts skin
  • Keeps pores clear and skin calm
  • Makes your skin more tolerant of retinoids

INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water/Eau), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Panthenol, Xylitylglucoside, Polysilicone-11, Stearic Acid, Anhydroxylitol, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xylitol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid

EXPERIENCE

USAGE: A.M.

SCENT: No fragrance.

TEXTURE: At first it feels a cream, on application however…

APPLICATION: 1.5 – 2 pumps for face and neck, and surprisingly glides on like a gel. It really does feel like it adheres, or hugs my skin!

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FINISH: Moisturized and gouda.

INSTANT RESULTS: Comfortable, moisturized skin.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: The moisture doesn’t feel long lasting throughout the day. I also don’t find my skin looks noticeably brighter, something I usually get from using a product with high % of Niacinamide.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON DR. SAM’S FLAWLESS MOISTURIZER

PROS:

  • Love how the product literally hugs my skin
  • Niacinamide is bae, and 5% is an awesome amount in a moisturizer

CONS:

  • Skin doesn’t look even and/or bright from it
  • Too little amount for the price

FLAWLESS DAILY SUNSCREEN

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ABOUT

PRICE: £29 / ~$38 USD / ~$50.50 CAD
AMOUNT: 50ml / 1.7 fl oz
UV FILTERS: 11.8% Zinc Oxide, 7% Octinoxate
CLAIMS:
– Cosmetically elegant
– Soft focus, non-greasy primer-like finish
– Weightless daily shield for skin
– Contains 5% Niacinamide
– Suitable for all skin types
– Won’t clog pores
– SPF 50
– 3 pumps = 1/4 teaspoon, the general recommended amount of sunscreen you must apply to your face

INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Zinc Oxide (nano), Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Squalane, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lactic Acid, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Polysorbate 60, 1,2-Hexanediol, Disodium EDTA, Isostearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Citric Acid.

EXPERIENCE

USAGE: A.M.

SCENT: No fragrance.

TEXTURE: Cream.

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APPLICATION: I know the recommondation is 3 pumps, but after measuring my face and finding out I only need 64% of 1/4 tsp, I decided to use 2 for my face. It’s very easy to glide on te skin and feels like a moisturizer.

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WHITECAST? Yessssss 😦 Even at my palest, my skin’s undertone is still strong and I see a contrast.

INSTANT RESULTS: Casty, shiny, extra-moisturized skin. Skin feels smooth.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Just like the Flawless Moisturizer, the moisture doesn’t feel long lasting throughout the day.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON DR. SAM’S FLAWLESS SUNSCREEN

PROS:

  • Primer-like finish
  • Offers good sun protection
  • Packaging makes it fool-proof to not apply the standard adequate amount
  • Good moisturizer for normal-oily skin types

CONS:

  • Caaaaaaaaaaaast
  • Too little amount for the price

FINAL THOUGHTS

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OVERALL PROS:
Cosmetically elegant products. Loved the texture on all of them and enjoyed using them.
– I haven’t emptied a product yet so this is based on comments in Dr. Sam’s Skincare Club on Facebook: once you run out of the moisturizer, it’s all gone! No need to try to crack open the bottle. It has been confirmed by numerous customers that you get everything down to the last dollop through the pump.
Gentle. The key component to these products being part of the Perfected Basics. My skin never reacted badly to any of them  and I never felt like my skin was sensitized.

OVERALL CONS:
Amount. Especially for the Moisturizer and SPF.
Longevity. Tied to amount, even with minimal use of every product they will not last and you’ll have to stock up frequently.

OVERALL IN-BETWEEN FEELS:
Price. I get it, that British pound conversion is quite a doozy, more so than the American Dollar! Also, all her products are manufactured in the U.K., that has to contribute to the price point as well. There is a shipping rate for international shipping, adding to my wallet hurting. Seems like Dr. Sam’s Perfectd Basics are better cost-wise for my friends across the pond!
Can be suitable for all skin types, if you want to work with it. Eg. The sunscreen is VERY shiny after application, but for oily skinned peeps you can probably just use it to moisturize as well (Caution to the very sensitive skin: I’ve read many a reviews that the 5% Niacinamide was too much and caused redness and irritation).

I hope you found this review helpful! As much as I really enjoyed the products, it would have to be too frequent of a repurchase and my wallet may bite at me and hide. Maybe eventually if they ever offer free shipping I would consider repurchasing the cleanser and moisturizer.

xo, M

WHERE TO BUY:
Dr. Sam’s Official Website

HAIRCARE HAUL: She’s a big one!

Hey everyone!

I haven’t done a hair specific post before, but I’d thought no better time then now since I bought a LOT of items to improve my scalp and hair.

I’ve tried every single product listed below, but will wait another month to give them proper reviews. All you have to know for now is I’ve been getting positive comments on how my hair has been looking! My friend says it visibly looks smoother, my mother even noticed it looks thicker and fuller, particular at the front, and I’ve noticed my hair feels super soft despite having bleached/dyed ends.

My hair:  Long (underboob length). Dark brown that gets natural highlights in the summer, tips are dyed because I’ve been growing out my natural hair – haven’t dyed my hair since December 2017. Pretty much straight 24/7 – although when I get a haircut there is a slight wave. Would say mostly my hair is 1A. Low porosity. Not thick like typical Asian hair but still considered thick (if that makes sense).

My Scalp: Used to be super inflamed when I bleached for years, to the point where I developed a disgusting amount of dandruff. Now it is fairly balanced – no dandruff, but scalp gets itchy by the 2nd day after washing. Scalp can get quite oily. I tried “adjusting” to wash my hair only 1-2x a week for a year and it never adjusted (yes, even without using heat, using SLS and silicone-free shampoo / conditioners, dry shampoo).


CALIA NATURAL

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Broken record intro, yes, I heard about this from Holistic Habits lol.

I actually contacted Calia Natural customer service because they actually have such a huge selection of products, catered to any hair type! After explaining to them my current scalp and hair situation, they recommended for me the Purifying line for dry hair, the Balancing line, and to do a conditioning mask every so often. I opted for the smallest sizes of their Purifying Shampoo, Balancing Conditioner, and Intensive Conditioner. I’ve used these a handful of times and holy moly, my hair feels AMAZING. I’m no stranger to SLS-free, silicone-free shampoos and such. I’ve actually been using them for years. I think the biggest standout about their products is that they are attentive to the pH of their products. Their shampoos are around pH 5.5 (like the scalp) and conditioners around pH 4.5 (like the hair shaft). I am VERY impressed with these products so far, and totally get the hype around them.


THE INNATE LIFE + HASK

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This brand has also been mentioned by Holistic Habits, but it was actually OrganicallyAnna’s review that convinced me to give this the Innate Life a go. I purchased their small bundle which contains their Scalp Treatment for Problematic Scalp, Herbal Hair Mask and Rose Hair Elixir. I have had an irritated scalp for years, and have always bought serums to help. Not once however, did I ever intently massage my scalp, or did I ever use something so oil-based for it before! I tried coconut oil in the past and honestly w-t-f is the point if I need to do 2-4 shampoos to get it out!? So far though the Scalp Treatment has been fairly easy to wash out, and very enjoyable to use! I love the scent of the Herbal Hair Mask, but it performs kinda meh; I’ll have to try it in different ways to see how it performs best.

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Usually for hair oils, silicone always performs the best for me, hence why I purchased an amazingly affordable one from Hask – their Monoi Nourishing Shine Oil. I love how a small amount goes a long way and makes my bleached, dyed ends feels soft. However, I am equally as impressed and more obsessed with the smell from the Innate Life’s Rose Hair Elixir. O-M-G, yes, you smell like roses for majority of the day if you use this in your hair. Both hair oils have great scents actually, not super strong, quite subtle, but I prefer the natural scent from the Rose Hair Elixir.


BEACH COSMETICS

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After giving spot-on recommendations, I trusted OrganicallyAnna with another one of her favourites, Beach Cosmetics Mellow Out Leave-In Conditioning Detangler. After having horrid results from using Carina Organics Sweet Pea Leave-In Conditioner, I steered clear from leave-in conditioners for a while. I tried a sample-size of the Briogeo one and actually seemed decent, but I opted to support a more local brand made by a Canadian actress! I’ve used this detangler the least amount of times compared to the other products, but I still enjoyed using it the couple of times I did! It’s a lovely fine spray, leaves my hair actually detangled, feeling soft, and smelling like a cookie! It’s a bit too faux-fragranced for my liking, yet I can’t stop smelling my hair and feeling delicious. Either way while it’s in my hair it’s not overpowering and I don’t smell it unless I willingly sniff my hair (admittedly more often than usual). I may consider the Briogeo one in the future but for now I’m happy with the one I just got!


TEK BRUSHES + KITSCH

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The only tools / accessories purchased in this haul! I feel like almost every channel I watched, TEK Brushes were ALWAYS mentioned! And on top of that, I haven’t found a brush that looks quite like it (well, I did, but the quality was poo-poo). I caved and bought TEK’s Oval Brush, which I have been loving! Basically a wooden brush is supposed to help massaging your scalp, help distribute your natural oils throughout your hair strands, and not cause a lot of breakage to your hair when brushing. So far the head massages have been nice and gentle, and I can’t really tell if the “oil distribution” part is doing much. Either way this brush definitely performs and is great quality! As for the Kitsch Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap – I like how microfiber absorbs a lot of water from my hair, for this has helped reduce the amount of heat I use significantly! I already had a microfiber cloth, but Kitsch offered a turban towel so I had to get it. I’m happy to report that it fits all my hair easily!

Honourable Mention: Revlon One-Step Dryer and Volumizer. Check out my Instagram post on it if you want to know more about why I love this tool!


And that’s that for the haul! I’m going to attempt to explain my haircare routine in the future, and I’ll be reviewing some of the products at a later date (I’m thinking July, since some of these products are made by Canadians!).

xo, M