Friday, June 29th, 2012


Ole Henriksen Herbal Day Creme SPF 15

Ole Henriksen Herbal Day Creme SPF 15 ($35.00 for 1.7 oz.) is designed for daily use to “protect against UV rays and environmental aggressors.” It’s supposed to moisture and yield “healthy, radiant results” without leaving any residue behind. The brand says the formula is suitable for normal, combination, and sensitive skin.

I have normal-to-dry skin, though I’m rather normal right now, which is typical for me during the summer months. I’ve been using this as my day cream for the past month, and I’ve got about one or two uses left. It comes in a plastic jar, and the cream itself has a thick, creamy consistency that feels on the richer side. What I’ve noticed is that while it feels fantastic on, it can take awhile to absorb into the skin. It consistently would take at least a half hour to sink into my skin, and until then, there was a slightly greasy feel to my skin; I could just touch it and know it wasn’t absorbed yet.

Now, I know the first thing that comes to mind is to use less product, and you totally could; it would sink in faster, and you don’t necessarily need a whole lot, but if you’re using this as a sunscreen, you absolutely do need a certain amount. Most recommendations say 1/2 teaspoon for face and neck. If you’ve never measured out what a 1/2 teaspoon looks like of your favorite sunscreen, I highly suggest you do so. You’d be surprised! So if you want to get the SPF 15 protection, you can’t skimp on the product.

It has an herbal and citrus-scent that some might love, others can hate. I like more herbal-scented products (and loathe more generically perfume-y ones, e.g. Lancome) myself, and I didn’t get strong whiffs of the scent while I wore the cream during the day. I mostly smelled it while I was applying the product to my face.

Overall, I liked the cream, and it’s something I’d consider using it again, if it had a slightly higher SPF rating.  The texture is really appealing, because it has that luxurious, rich feel and hydrates my skin excellently.  That hydration lasts all day long–my skin isn’t parched at bed time–and that’s what a good moisturizer should do. If it didn’t have SPF, it could be a really nice night cream. Based on my experience, I think this is more suitable for normal to dry skin, because it did feel a bit heavy for my skin in its more normal state.

Ingredients

Octinoxate 7.5%, Oxybenzone 2.0%, Meridamate 3.0%. Water (Aqua), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oilm, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Oleate, Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Eugenol, Annatto (CI 75120).

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel
Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel ($38.00 for 1.0 oz.) is a moisturizer that can be used for either day or evening application. Boscia states that this moisturizer is supposed to “refine skin texture, brighten skin clarity, and minimize the look of pores instantly and over time.” According to the brand, it’s suitable to all skin types.

It’s gel-based, which means it has a thicker consistency (like a gel!) but feels very lightweight and as if you’re applying cool water against the skin. It absorbs very quickly, which is a huge plus if you’re short on time. The first time I used it was an interesting experience, because it really is a charcoal-hued gel, so it’s not quite opaque black, but it’s darker than gray (it actually does contain charcoal, which helps to absorb excess oil and detoxify). It spreads easily across the skin, but it does tint the face gray while it absorbs, but once it’s dry, it disappeared. Initially, I felt a very subtle cooling sensation, less than a tingle I’d say, that disappears soon after it starts. It hydrated well in some ways, but I did still have some drier patches on my cheeks that this just couldn’t combat. If you have more combination to oily skin, this would be more appropriate, given the ingredients Boscia calls out and the gel consistency–you definitely won’t feel like there’s a greasy layer of moisturizer on.

There’s a discernible scent of roses, charcoal, and something a little herbal. It’s not heavy, strong, nor does it linger. I smelled it mostly when I pumped it onto my fingers but almost not at all when I applied it. It’s packaged in an opaque black tub with an airless pump mechanism. I couldn’t find a way to unscrew the top (short of prying it open, but me trying to pry something over with a sharp edge is likely to result in a trip to the emergency room), so I don’t know if anything was left over, but it felt empty.

My only real problem with this was that it ran out quickly–less than a month of evening usage–and it wasn’t all that surprising once I read how much the jar contains. A lot of moisturizers contain around 1.7 fl. oz., but this one only contains 1.0 oz. That makes this much pricier than it initially appears! I felt that I needed to use as much of this product as other moisturizers, so it wasn’t one of those “a little goes a long, long way” such that you would use less of this and therefore it would last longer than other moisturizers.

Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Isononyl Isononanoate, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Glycolic Acid, Menthyl Lactate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Citrus Paradisi Seed Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Carbomer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Xanthan Gum, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Silica, Ceteth-25, Oleth-10, Charcoal Powder, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Tropolone, Potassium Hydroxide

Monday, May 21st, 2012


BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer

BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer ($30.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is available in two formulations: one for normal to dry skin, and one for combination skin. It’s supposed to be hydrating, lightweight, and leave skin protected and smooth. The brand also states that it is “[c]linically proven to reveal brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and remarkably smaller-looking pores.” Both formulations are also available in a sheer tint, but I don’t know how much of a tint it gives–the one I tried was for combination skin without a tint.

Like the rest of the BareMinerals skincare range, there’s a light, herbal-like scent that seems like it’s the ingredients’ coming through, rather than a specific scent added. It’s innocuous and very subtle, and I don’t notice it at all once I’ve applied it. This product uses physical blockers (5% Titanium Dioxide and 3% Zinc Oxide) to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Physical blockers can be great for those who tend to be more sensitive to chemical sunscreens. I’ve definitely worn this under foundation in photos, and I didn’t see any major reflection back, but physical blockers can sometimes cause this to occur. If you have a major event, I’d opt for chemical blockers, but during regular life, the preference is yours based on what you find works for your skin!

I liked it! The consistency is thin, more like a lotion, so it spreads easily and evenly across the skin. It feels lightweight, not greasy, and it absorbs in three to five minutes. My face never felt dry at the end of the day, which was surprising, because this is one of the lighter moisturizers I’ve tried recently. Whether I wore it alone or under makeup, it performed well. I can’t speak to anti-aging benefits and the like, but it did keep my skin looking hydrated, healthy, and smooth. It’s packaged in a plastic cylinder with an airless pump. You can unscrew the cap, too, and all that is left is about a usage and a half at best (which is pretty good!). I was able to get the last bit out with a cotton swab.

It didn’t work for me as a sports sunscreen, because when I played tennis, this broke down under sweat more easily than a thicker, heavier sunscreen (I’ve been using Shiseido’s for tennis). I’ve been outdoors just walking about, and it’s held up better, but if you’re going to be really active, I didn’t think this did as well there. I liked it much more as a daily moisturizer. I’m a huge fan of bareMinerals’ skincare range–it’s actually a range I would consider returning to if I stopped testing skincare. It’s affordable, effective (for me), and doesn’t seem to over-promise. I also really appreciate that they include their ingredient lists online.

Ingredients (Normal to Dry)

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 6.0%. Inactive Ingredients: Aluminum Hydroxide, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil [Anthemis Nobilis], Ascorbic Acid, Benzyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Citronellol, Coumarin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract [Epilobium Angustifolium], Ethylhexylglycerin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil [Glycine Soja], Isostearic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil [Lavandula Angustifolia], Lavandula Hybrida Oil [Lavandula Hybrida], Lecithin, Limonene [Limonene], Linalool [Linalool], Phenoxyethanol, Phytoecdysteroids, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Propanediol, Retinyl Palmitate, Sinorhizobium Meliloti Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Soil Minerals, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethylhexanoin, Trisodium Edta, Water [Aqua], Zizyphus Jujuba Seed Extract [Zizyphus Jujuba].

Ingredients (Combination)

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 5.0%, Zinc Oxide 3.0%. Inactive Ingredients: Acacia Dealbata Flower/Stem Extract, Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matracaria) Flower Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Ectoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Geraniol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Jojoba Esters, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Propanediol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Silica, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Soil Minerals, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm & Moisturizing Balm SPF 25
Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm & Moisturizing Balm SPF 25

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm & Moisturizing Balm SPF 25 Review

This past winter, Bobbi Brown released Extra Repair in balm-form.  (It seems like these were reformulated, because based on googling, these were out previously.)  The range calls out two specific ingredients that make this extra awesome:  Argireline Peptide, which is said to “boost the natural production of new collagen and elastin in the skin, gradually helping to restore natural structure and firmness,” and Clary Sage Ferment, which is said to “improve cell renewal and repair barrier function, so skin looks more radiant and is more hydrated.”  Both come in glass jars with black screw-top lids, so for those who prefer airless pumps, pumps, or tubes, these are not for you.

The Extra Repair product range is focused on anti-aging, which is hard for me to weigh in on.  I have some fine lines around my eyes, but I don’t have too many aging signs yet.  The majority of my review is based on texture, feel, hydration, and the like.

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm ($90.00 for 1.7 oz.) is a thick, gluey cream that really is like a potted lip balm.  Using this put me in such a quandary; at first, I loathed it, because it was such a pain to apply and never fully absorbed, yet it provided excellent hydration.  I cannot emphasize how thick, tacky, and gluey the texture of this product is.  I couldn’t even imagine using this during the day, because it doesn’t fully absorb for me, even after two to three hours.  It’s possible very dry skin types will have skin that just drinks this in, so absorption may be better.  I’m having very dry skin at the moment, and it’s still not quite absorbing for me.

I have just a couple of uses left in this jar, and I’ve been using it consistently as a night cream for about two months.  The best way to apply, which is still annoying, is to warm the product up between your fingers, dab a little bit all over your face (like spots), then pat those dabs into the skin with finger tips.  I don’t recommend attempting to spread the mixture, because it really doesn’t like to move around.

My skin always felt really plump and hydrated the morning after using this, and despite the heaviness, I never had an issue with breakouts.  The amount of acne I had was about the same or slightly less than my normal range.  The texture took some getting used to, as did the application method, and I’d still prefer a cream that was spreadable.  The jar format is less desirable, especially at this price point and with anti-aging ingredients.  It has a citrus and herb scent; I like it, but I tend to like those types of scents–others may find it less appealing.  FutureDerm has an excellent post on Argireline Peptide and its background, which may not be the most effective topical anti-aging ingredient (also see Cosmetics Cop).

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm SPF 25 ($90.00 for 1.7 oz.) is the daytime companion product to the balm, but the texture of this is completely different.  It feels like a heavier cream, but it doesn’t feel too heavy for daytime wear if you have drier skin. I really liked this one, and I was sad when the jar finished (about a month, but my fiance was also using this for daytime wear).  Despite the heaviness, it absorbs after five to ten minutes, and it leaves skin feeling hydrated all day long.  I never began my night time skin regimen feeling like I needed more moisture.  It has the same citrus and herbal scent.

The active ingredients are Octinoxate (7.5%), Homosalate (5%), Oxybenzone (3%), and Avobenzone (2%). Octinoxate, Homosalate, and Oxybenzone cover the UVB spectrum, while Oxybenzone covers part of the UVA range and Avobenzone covers part of the UVA range (the ingredients themselves then cover 290-400nm). Cosmetics Cop has a good breakdown on whether avobenzone is stable or not. SmartSkincare also has a good overview of avobenzone and stability.

These were product samples, so they did not come with boxes, therefore I don’t have the ingredient lists at my disposal. I was able to find this ingredient source for the SPF 25 version.  On that note, I continue to be frustrated by the lack of ingredient lists published online by brands themselves–especially with skincare.

Sunday, September 11th, 2011


bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer

bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer

bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer ($28.00 for 1.7 oz.) is a lightweight lotion for daily moisturizing needs.  The scent is the same as the rest of the product range–a subtle herbal scent.  I don’t find the scent heavy, obtrusive, or noticeable.  It’s available in two sub-formulas: one for combination skin and another for normal to dry skin.   I started using the Combination initially, because the Normal to Dry launched later, but once it did launch, I switched, since it seemed more appropriate for my skin type.

Ingredients in Normal to Dry: Water/Aqua/Eau, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Wax/ Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Soil Minerals, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ns, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eos, Ceramide Eop, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Leucojum Aestivum Bulb Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Beta-Carotene, Sodium Cocoyl Alaninate, Castoryl Maleate, Hydrolyzed Algin, Sea Water, Glycerin, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybridia (Lavandin) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Caproyl Phytosphingosine, Caproyl Sphingosine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Behenic Acid, Cholesterol, Peg-75 Stearate, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Steareth-20, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorphenesin, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxide, Ceteth-20, Ceteareth-25, Limonene, Disodium Edta, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Linalool, Xanthan Gum

I used both variations at night time, because the range does not currently have SPF in it (I think enough people have clamored for it, so we’ll probably see it roll out sooner rather than later).  I loved the Purely Nourishing Cream for Dry Skin, because it worked well as a night cream on my dry skin.  Normal to Dry didn’t hydrate as well as the cream did, which I expected.  If this had SPF in it, I would definitely consider using it during the day time, when I prefer a lighter weight product.  It works better for my skin during the summer, so I think it’s a better fit for normal skin rather than dry.  I didn’t notice any differences in hydration between either formula, though.  I didn’t feel less hydrated by using the Combination (which one might have expected) but the same.

The formula is really lightweight, which is my favorite part about it, and it dries down within a minute.  It spreads easily across the skin without feeling like you need gobs of the stuff for good coverage.  It comes in a convenient skinny cylinder with a pump for easy and sanitary application.  I love pumps, because you can figure out just how much you need and stick with that amount each time.  I’d consider repurchasing as a daytime moisturizer if they included SPF, but I’d rather use the Cream for Dry Skin at night time based on my skin needs.

Ingredients in Combination: Water/Aqua/Eau, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cocoglycerides, Jojoba Esters, Behenyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Soil Minerals, Propanediol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Lecithin, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Linoleic Acid, Phospholipids, Honey, Panthenol, Sucrose Cocoate, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Lavendula Hybrida Oil, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Punica Granatum Sterols, Tamarindus Indica Seed Polysaccharide, Trehalose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acacia Dealbata Flower/Stem Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Anthemis NobIlis Flower Oil, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matracaria) Flower Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Myrothamnus Flabellifolia Leaf/Stem Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopherol, Benzyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Limonene, Carbomer, Dehydroacetic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Linalool, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum

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Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Cream
BareMinerals Purely Nourishing Cream

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Cream

Bare Escentuals Purely Nourishing Cream for Dry Skin ($28.00 for 1.7 oz.) worked so well with my normal-to-dry skin in the spring. I used it as my evening cream for about two months (which I finished at that point), though I definitely doubled up on usage a few times and used this as my morning moisturizer on days when I knew I was staying home.

It’s thick and creamy, feels rich without being heavy, but absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy feel behind.  My skin felt hydrated and lush; like it had a little extra spring in it because it was fully moisturized.  Like the rest of the new skincare range, it has a very subtle herbal-ish scent; a little lavender, a little earthiness.  It’s not a fragrance, though; it seems like the ingredients coming through but nothing added.   It’s always interesting when you try out a product, finish it, switch to something else, and that is when you realize just how much it had done for your skin.

I’m seriously this close to buying another jar, because the combination of products I’m using right now isn’t cutting it with California’s wacky weather and my skin is dying for some real hydration.  I’m rotating in their Purely Nourishing Lotion with SPF 15 in this week, so I’m hoping for good results from that since I’ve been suitably impressed with the line so far.  The price is right, quantity is good, and the product itself is excellent.  Sure, I’d love an airless pump, but otherwise, there’s nothing I don’t like about it.

ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Glycerin, Sorbitan Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Dimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Propanediol, Soil Minerals, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbityl Laurate, Jojoba Alcohol, Isopropyl Jojobate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Jojoba Esters, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract (Viola Tricolor), Xanthan Gum, Linseed Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Hydroxide, Trisodium Edta, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Glycine Soja), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil (Persea Gratissima), Citric Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil (Vitis Vinifera), Punica Granatum Seed Oil (Punica Granatum), Lavandula Hybrida Oil (Lavandula Hybrida), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter (Simmondsia Chinensis), Linalool, Salicornia Herbacea Extract (Salicornia Herbacea), Butylene Glycol, Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract (Fagus Sylvatica), Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbic Acid, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Tocopheryl Acetate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil (Anthemis Nobilis), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Averrhoa Carambola Leaf Extract (Averrhoa Carambola).

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