Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Amorepacific Natural Protector

AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30/PA+++ ($65.00 for 2 oz.) is a non-greasy, broad-spectrum moisturizing sunscreen that’s great if you have no aversion to heavily fragranced skincare.

I could only use this for an hour before I had to remove it. It wasn’t that the fragrance was unpleasant, but the particular scent is very floral, and I couldn’t stop sneezing and my eyes wouldn’t quit itching. It pretty much set off an allergy attack for me, and as much as I wanted to test this product for at least a full day for how well it would wear during the day, I just couldn’t.

In general, fragrance in products happens more often than not, and I don’t find myself particularly sensitive skin-wise to products with it in it. I’ve never encountered a skincare product this heavily scented, though. Typically, I’ll notice a subtle scent when I sniff directly from the jar, but the scent doesn’t linger once applied to skin. Completely the opposite here — it was lingering and noticeable, not just to me, but my boyfriend. (Yes, I totally made him smell my face!)

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Dimethicone, C12- 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Caprylyl Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Stearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glycerin, Polyacrylate-13, Alumina, Polyisobutene, Zincoxide, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Myristic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Ethyl Hexanediol, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, CI77491, CI77492, Fragrance.

On the upside, it dries to a lovely velvety smooth finish. It’s not a dry matte, but it’s that velvety matte kind of feeling. I loved that it applied smoothly and easily, and it didn’t feel greasy for even a second. This is the result of the silicone in it (dimethicone), so if you’re sensitive to silicone-based products, you may want to skip this one.  I really wish I didn’t break out something awful when using products with dimethicone anywhere near the top half of a list. (I’ve noticed that I can handle smaller quantities of it, say towards the end of an ingredient list, but it can’t be a significant part of the product.)  However, if you’re not, it’s a great way to keep oily skin under control and give you a lovely matte looking finish.

The sunscreen ingredients are:   ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (aka octinoxcate) (7.0%), titanium dioxide (19.9%), and zinc oxide (0.025%).  The titanium dioxide and zinc oxide cover the full spectrum of UVA and UVB.  Octinoxate covers the UVB spectrum.  (See our Sunscreen 101 post.)

It’s a real shame! If it wasn’t so heavily scented, it has all the makings to be a really great sunscreen overall. Because I really couldn’t give it a good wear test, I’m not going to give this product a rating. I do believe the scent is way too heavy, and there’s no real benefit or possible reason for it to smell stronger than a perfumed body lotion.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

For Normal-to-Dry Skin: Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer

Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer ($32.50 for 1.40 fl. oz.) is designed for normal-to-dry skin types and contains SPF 6. It’s supposed to give skin “24-hour intensive moisturiz[ation].” According to Korres, this moisturizer also contains Wild Rose oil, which “diminishes fine lines, hyper- pigmentation and resurfaces skin, revealing a soft and radiant complexion” along with vitiamin C to “inhibit free radical damage and brighten skin” and Phytic Acid, “a natural skin lightener.” Two other ingredients Korres calls out specifically are Grape Seed extract (rich in VItamin E) and olive oil. (You can see a full ingredient list at Korres’ website.)

Korres is a brand that considers themselves natural, and this product (based on Korres‘ website) has 85.1% natural content, and it does not contain petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicones, parabens, sulphates, or synthetic dyes. It does contain fragrance, alcohol, and nuts. It is suitable for vegans and contains no animal by-products or undergone animal testing. Also, even though it talks about diminishing fine lines, it doesn’t contain any retinol or AHAs (it’s purely from the vitamin C).

I started using Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer immediately after I finished testing their Thyme & Honey Cream, which I liked but didn’t love. I definitely liked the feel, scent, and results of Wild Rose better than the Thyme & Honey Cream. I felt like this had a very subtle scent of rose, but it was much less cloying (even when you sniff directly from the jar) than the honey scent from the other moisturizer.  I didn’t mind the honey scent since it didn’t linger, but it wasn’t exactly my favorite.

My favorite part about this moisturizer it is it applies very quickly, feels lightweight, and it does provide good hydration throughout the day. I don’t typically feel dry with this moisturizer at all, which is a great thing. However, I’ve noticed as I’ve concluded my testing phase (five weeks), I do have some drier spots–in the same places where I typically get them–so I think it’s about time for me to switch to a more moisturizing night-time moisturizer. While I was using this, I also felt like I wasn’t as oily at the end of the day, either.

I was using this AM and PM (I’ve been too lazy to come up with a dual regimen, I fail!), and it lasted me approximately five weeks. With the SPF (even though it’s minimal) in this product, I would consider it more of a morning moisturizer, and if it’s used strictly during the morning, you’ll find a jar lasts you two to three months, which is typical of a 1 oz. jar (from my experience). As far as pricing and value go, I think it’s about on par with mid-range skin care, and I get enough usage out of one jar to merit the $32.50 price tag.

I really like the Korres’ brand, and I like their mission and how they identify certain products. They also have a great labeling system and make it easier to understand what you’re getting (or not getting!) in your skincare. I do wish they’d use an airless pump (or perhaps a tube) for their moisturizer to keep it more hygienic, but I’ve personally been able to change my behavior and be sure to use open-jars more hygienically with a clean spatula.

I had a good experience with this moisturizer, and it kept and made my skin look smooth and like it had a glow from within. I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase this in the future, even though I liked it, because it didn’t do anything for my acne (it didn’t make it worse–it just didn’t eliminate it). It’s not technically supposed to, but it’s definitely something I’d love to find in a daily moisturizer so the hunt continues!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you have normal-to-dry skin and are looking for a fast-absorbing, lightweight daily morning moisturizer, you may find Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer to be right up your alley.

Availability: Beauty.com, KorresUSA.com, Sephora

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense Facial Moisturizer SPF 50 ($13.99 for 1.7 oz.) is a drugstore option for a great summer moisturizer. I find it to be fairly lightweight (maybe light to medium), but once it dries, there’s no heaviness or super greasy residue. What I like about Cetaphil products is that they’re consistently good; they’re extremely reliable. I know I’m getting a no fuss formula that does exactly what it says – moisturizes and protects my face from the sun.

I would say that since the SPF is so high, there is a bit of a white cast when it is first applied. It does seem to fade after about ten or fifteen minutes, and I no longer notice it. I find myself always turning to Cetaphil when nothing else seems to work (or everything else seems to send my face into conniptions!). I’ll definitely be making my boyfriend wear this, too, when he goes outdoors and plays tennis!

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009


Mellan says… Protect yourself! Sunglasses & sunscreen!

Make sure you keep yourself protected this holiday weekend! It’s the official start of summer, and with that, I know a lot of you are spending sometime outside and (hopefully) enjoying summer rays. Sunscreen should be one of the first items you put on before you go out, but you should also keep some with you for easy re-application. As much as we’d love it if it were true, one application in the morning doesn’t keep you protected all day long.

For the past month or two, I’ve been road-testing a bunch of sunscreens from tubes to creams to sprays. One of the ones I’ve tested recently has been Kinesys‘ travel-size spray sunscreens. They have SPF 30 and cost $6.99 each. What I like about them is that they fit easily in my purse, so I can keep one on me for unexpected adventures. It’s available in both fragrance-free and regular–the regular version kind of smells like the beach… lots of sunscreen and a little bit of fruitiness. I find the fragrance-free version to be a lot more odorless, so I do prefer that one. The spray sunscreen is water/sweat-resistant, making it an excellent option for if you’re heading to the beach.

I’m not a dedicated spray-sunscreen kind of gal, but I do love it for on-the-go and impromptu trips outdoors. So while I’ll usually opt for a cream or lotion in the morning, I refresh my sun protection with sprays later on during the day, when I know I’m heading outdoors for awhile.

Stay safe and sunburn free! Continue reading →

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Clinique’s newly revamped Suncare line is definitely a product that’s going to make it into my beach bag this summer. The line includes a SPF 30 Face Cream ($17.50), SPF 50 Face Cream ($17.50), SPF 45 Targeted Protection Stick ($17.50), SPF 15 Face/Body Cream ($20.00), SPF 30 Body Cream ($20.00), SPF 50 Body Cream ($20.00), After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe ($20.00), and SPF 25 Body Spray ($20.00).

I absolutely love the new packaging Clinique went with for their suncare line, because it stands out, is definitely “sunny,” and it’s fun. All of the new Sun products use avobenzone, ethylhexylsalicylate, homosalate, oxybenzone, and octocrylene as ingredients for UVA/UVB protection and stabilization. For those curious, these are chemical sunscreens, not natural ones, so if you’re allergic, you’ll have to opt for another line.

The SPF 30 Face Cream ($17.50) is fairly thick, comes out white, and it does have a bit of the sunscreen scent. The scent fades after application, as does the whitish cast once you’ve blended the product in. I find it dries down quite a bit leaving a non-greasy finish. I actually find myself still reaching for a moisturizer (a lightweight one) most of the time. I find the SPF 30 Body Cream is very similar to the Face Cream, perhaps it is a bit thicker, though. I love the SPF 45 Targeted Protection Stick ($17.50) for quick touch-ups, additional coverage (like on nose, ears, etc.), and just having something that’s extremely portable and travel friendly.

I can’t say I’ve truly road-tested the After Sun Rescue Balm ($20.00) yet, because the face and body creams are keeping me so well protected, I’m not burning whatsoever. (Plus, I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never burned before.) However, I did slather it on my boyfriend’s neck, because he plays tennis regularly so the sun would beat down on the back of his neck. He said it felt soothing, a bit cooling, and just overall made it feel less burnt.

See another imageContinue reading →

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Get Sunkissed Without the Risk: Try Clinique

Clinique Sun SPF 30 Face Cream 9$17.50 for 1.7 oz.) is a newly launched product by Clinique as part of their suncare line. It uses “SolarSmart” technology, which is meant to stabilize high-level protection against aging and burning effects from both UVA and UVB rays. There are solar-activated antioxidants to help prevent visible damage to the skin.

Okay, so sounds like there are some fancy schmancy ingredients in this product, right? I can’t really tell you about preventing aging or skin damage (how am I going to know? it’s usually on such a micro-level, you can’t see any visible damage for years!), but I do want to tell you about how it feels, applies, and works as a facial sunscreen, because that’s really why I wanted to try it! It’s a fairly thick cream, but you actually don’t use very much when you go to apply it. I do find that on normal to dry skin, you may want to use your normal moisturizer in conjunction, rather than instead of. With oilier skin, you may find that just this is perfect.

With SPF 30, this face cream is a good choice for everyday wear. You get good coverage for both UVA and UVB. It’s a blend of avobenzone (broad spectrum UVA), ethylhexylsalicylate and homosalate (UVB abosrbers), oxybenzone (broad spectrum UVA & UVB), and octrocrylene (UVB and short UVA). It is always a good idea to look for a sunscreen with ingredients that protect you from both the UVA and the UVB spectrums. (Check out our Sunscreen 101 post, so you know which ingredients do what!)

The packaging is sleek and fun–the yellow is perfect for summer–and the tube technology means less exposure to light and dirty fingers. The product itself feels lightweight when applied, and it doesn’t have any greasy or oily feel either (very important!). It takes makeup well, and it doesn’t leave a whitish cast when it’s dry. It didn’t cause me to breakout, and I seemed pretty sweat-resistant, too. I like the price tag, because I feel a tube should last me at least a month of daily wear, perhaps even a little longer.

Anyone else try out Clinique’s new Suncare line?

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