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A Look at a Cosmetic Chemist’s Skincare Routine

By Cecile, Cosmetic Chemist

Cécile is 28-years old and is half French, half Belgian. She spent most of her life in France, with a little in Belgium and Cyprus, but she currently resides in Switzerland. For the past six years, she has worked in the cosmetic and perfume industry after she obtained her Master’s in Chemistry from ISIPCA (founded by Mr. Guerlain himself!), with an emphasis in cosmetics. She prides herself on her extended knowledge of cosmetic ingredients, skincare products, and European cosmetic legislation. She has been developing cosmetic products like skincare and suncare and is wise to marketing claims.Cécile has a natural curiosity about everything in life. She loves cooking world food and anything related to nature and animals. Her two cats, Guinness (Cyprus) and Guru (Siamese) are always there to keep her happy!



A Look at a Cosmetic Chemist’s Skincare Routine

My skin care routine is pretty simple:  I like to say that once you have found the products that suit your skin, it’s good to keep it simple–less is more!

In the morning, I use Noviderm Boreade Cream Cleanser ($10.95), which is a soap-free facial cleanser, and then I apply a soothing serum and light, hydrating cream followed by an eye contour cream.  Once everything has absorbed, I apply my makeup.  Before going to bed, I like to use Bobbi Brown’s Cleansing Oil ($39.00) to remove any makeup and then use Boreade Cleansing Cream to cleanse.  Then, I repeat my morning routine and use my serum, moisturizer, and eye cream.  Now, let me tell you why these products have become my morning and evening staples!

I have combination skin with pores that tend to clog, sometimes even breaking out, so I need to ensure my skin is well-cleansed.  Both in the morning and after I remove makeup, I use a mild, soap-free facial cleanser: Noviderm Boreade Cream Cleanser ($10.95).  It’s very effective in the long-term, used once or twice per day.  There are three active ingredients:  one that helps re-building or preserving the hydrolipidic film of the skin, which means no dehydrationor no irritation; one that has mild anti-bacterial properties to help minimize breakouts; and one that helps regulating the sebum secretion, which helps combat blackheads. It also helps to remove any impurities left, like pollution.

When I wear makeup, I love using cleansing oils to remove it; they clean the face so well and remove all kinds of makeup without drying out the skin, since they are soap-free and very mild.  My favorite is Bobbi Brown’s Cleansing Oil ($39.00); the texture is nice–not too thick, easy to spread and massage on the face, and it’s easy to emulsify and rinse off.  It has a nice essential oil scent, and it’s the most effective makeup remover I’ve come across.

To hydrate, while I haven’t found my holy grail moisturizer, I have been trying Avene Thermal Water Soothing Hydrating Serum ($34.00) for a few months now and really like it (though I am still trying out different brands and textures!).  The Soothing Hydrating Serum soothes away redness and irritations, is perfume-free, and developed to reduce the risk of allergies.  It has been helping to keep my skin hydrating without feeling oily.  It does need a moisturizer or cream on top, so I have been using Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Anti-Fatigue and Moisturizing Cream ($35.00) for normal to combinations skins. I haven’t yet tried this one for long enough to make a full judgment, but it has been working okay so far.

During the day, it’s important to protect your skin from harmful sun rays.  If I’m only going to and from work, which means I’m only out for a few minutes at a time, I find the SPF 15 in my foundation sufficient.  If I’m going to be outside for an hour or longer, no matter the season (sunlight passes through clouds!), I apply a minimum of SPF 30.  My favorite is Lancaster Sun Beauty Care SPF 30 ($65.00).  It’s lightweight, not oily at all, spreads evenly, and doesn’t clog pores–it also has anti-aging properties and can be used before makeup

I’m still searching for the perfect face and eye cream–do you have a product to recommend?

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Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow

Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow
Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow

Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow

Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.042 oz.) is described as a “warm minted green” with a metallic finish. It looks absolutely NOTHING! like the swatch/photo of it on Lancome’s website, which makes it look more like a vibrant neon lime green. Instead, what we have is a pastel mint green with a subtle iridescent sheen. The color payoff is decent but could use a little more oomph or better binders so it would apply more opaquely. I know shades like this have to exist, but I couldn’t find anything in the Swatch Gallery; MAC Aqua was the closest, but it’s darker and more aqua, less green. It might be a little lighter than something like MAC Aquavert (which is a few years old now). Sugarpill Lumi has more of a teal iridescence.

It has a smooth texture, even though the color payoff could use a boost, so it applies well. Because it’s a little sheer and very iridescent, it could also be used as a layering shade–I bet it would be gorgeous layered over a black. Lancome’s eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing (without a base), and while I don’t quite achieve all-day wear, I get around eight hours with subtle creasing, but I don’t have any creasing issues if I use a base underneath.

Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow Fashion Forward

In the beginning, I definitely stayed in one brand, and a lot of that does come down to accessibility and affordability (it was MAC!). MAC is totally a gateway drug 🙂 But in the long run, no, and I think it’s better to buy the best products from all brands instead of settling for products from just one brand. Every brand will have hit or miss products as well as hit or miss shades.

— Christine

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Simply Beautiful: Pure Rose Hip Seed Oil

By Angela, Cosmetic Chemist

One of the leading brains behind beauty, Angela is an industry-renowned Cosmetic Chemist with over 11 years training and experience in developing cosmetics and toiletries. Having been immersed in the wondrous beauty world from an early age, she was instantly captivated by the rituals, the artistry and the allure. This initial intrigue soon developed into an unequivocal beauty obsession partly fuelled by teenage skin dilemmas but also stemming from a deep seated creativity and desire for self expression. This was quickly followed by a behind the scenes role in new product development where she formulated make up and skin care for an array of global brands.

Still not content with the industry offerings, especially those for women of colour, she still indulges herself with customised formulations to suit her specific beauty needs! Despite her wealth of scientific knowledge Angela takes what she calls a “feelosophical” approach to the industry. So whilst analysing ingredients and technologies, addressing safety fears and generally aiming to reveal the truth she never loses sight of the one essential thing about beauty and that is appreciating how it simply makes you feel! Check out her blog Beauty Feelosophy!


Rose hip by die.tine

Simply Beautiful: Pure Rose Hip Seed Oil

I would not call myself a naturalist, as I know that both natural and synthetic ingredients have their place in cosmetics. However, on occasion, less seems to be more and that is when I go back to basics by using simple ingredients that cut straight to the heart of my skin care needs. Rose Hip Seed Oil or Rosa Mosqueta (Rosa Affinis Rubiginosa) is one such ingredient so full of skin nourishing goodness that it has earned itself a coveted spot in my daily beauty routine! I keep mine in the refrigerator and use the pure oil every night before bed by applying it before my moisturiser for a little extra skin rejuvenating boost.

What is rose hip seed oil?

A beautifying wild rose, with fruit rich in vitamin C, leaves and petals used for refreshing infusions and seeds that produce a uniquely nourishing plant oil – and that’s were this fabulous product I so love comes into play!

So, what’s to love?

I use it for its moisturising and skin smoothing effect but there is a lot of science to also show Rosehip seed oil has many special qualities:

  • Moisturizing
  • Anti-wrinkle
  • Skin smoothing
  • Diminishes scars
  • Helps fade stretch marks
  • Healing
  • Treats sun burn and age marks
  • Helps regenerate skin cells
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Rich in vitamins, Omega 3 & 6

You might be surprised to learn that I love this product despite having oily skin, since conventional wisdom has taught us oily skin types to stick to “oil free” products only. Although this may be true some of the time, it is possible to achieve a balance between effective cleansing, which can undoubtedly strip the skin of some of those essential natural oils and good moisturizer. I wouldn’t recommend it for use in the day time under make up but the oil is quite light in texture, absorbs very easily and has a low spot causing probability so it can be used on acne-prone skin. For acne sufferers, I would recommend treating the problem skin first, and once you reach that point of clearer skin, use this along with a few facials to help deal with any residual scarring.

The Secret in the Science

The secret to how Rosehip seed oil works of course lies in the science! It contains a very high percentage of Linoleic, Linolenic and Oleic acids. These are important fats that ensure the vitality of your natural skin cells, and this gives Rosehip seed oil a regenerating and soothing power. Rose hip seed oil also contains Tretinoin, a very close relative of Vitamin A, which gives the skin a rejuvenating and scar healing benefit. Results are immediate for smoothing and improvements to the general complexion, but for scars, as you would imagine, it is not an instant fix so real results will take some time.

Where to find it?

You can find Rosehip seed oil at local health food stores, such as Aromantic.co.uk, iherb.com, and in some skin care products (like Liz Earl’s Super Skin COncentrate).  Alternatively, if a pure oil is not for you, look out for Rose hip seed Oil, Rosa Canina or Rosa Rubignosa in your product ingredient lists to benefit from this simple yet truly amazing beauty elixir!

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