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5 Surprising Skincare Facts You Didn’t Know (Until Now!)

By Nicki Zevola, Pennsylvania, Skincare Expert

Nicki Zevola is a beauty expert and the founder of FutureDerm.com, where she provides clear, well-researched information about beauty+skincare, fashion+style, nutrition+fitness, and personal development from a different perspective from most in the blogosphere. Named one of the top beauty bloggers since 2009, Nicki is also a medical student (M.D.) with an estimated graduation date of May 2013. Continue reading her full bio

5 Surprising Skincare Facts You Didn’t Know (Until Now!)

1. Mixing certain skin care ingredients inactivates them.

Even if you hated science classes, you have to keep in mind that skin care is the product of somewhat advanced chemistry, subject to pH imbalance, unexpected reactions, and the like. For instance, many cosmetic chemists do not recommend using products with alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid, and retinol together. This is because retinol is most active at a pH of 5.5-6.0 (Journal of Investigative Dermatology), while glycolic acid has an optimized pH at 3.83 (Cosmetic Dermatology). Another problem is using a heavier skin care product under a lighter one. High concentrations of certain occlusive agents like petrolatum and mineral oil prevent the ingredients in the lighter serum from reaching your skin as effectively. Most dermatologists thereby recommend applying the lighter product first.

2. You should never apply self-tanner before going out into the sun, unless you use a sunscreen first.

Most self-tanners work by using dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the main ingredient. According to a 2007 study published in Germany, DHA causes the skin to release 180% more free radicals once exposed to the sun. Therefore sun protection is extremely important when you have used self-tanners containing DHA within the past 24 hours.

3. There is no such thing as 100% SPF protection from a sunscreen.

According to dermatologist Dr. Rachel Herschenfeld, M.D., the percentage of protection you get is 100 – (1/SPF number)*100. I know that looks complicated, but let’s take SPF 30 for example:

Percentage of protection = 100 – (1/SPF number)*100
Percentage of protection = 100 – (1/30)*100 = 100 – 3.3
Percentage of protection = 96.6

Using that same principle, SPF 50 provides only 98% protection, and SPF 100 provides 99.9%!  Keep in mind this is the amount of protection provided when you apply a whole shot-glass full of sunscreen for your entire body and reapply religiously every 2-3 hours. As such, it’s safe to say there is no such thing as 100% sun protection from a sunscreen.

Check out two more facts you didn’t know! 

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Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment (£15.50 for 0.04 oz.) is a limited edition shade launched to celebrate the brand’s first fragrance, Freak. It’s described as a “blackened plum shimmer,” which is an apt description! It’s a dark plum with a hint of brown underlying all the plummy purple goodness wrapped in a frosted finish. It’s sheerer when applied dry–the brown is more prevalent–and much more intense (and better!) when applied damp. The product binds together better with a little liquid, which yields a much more opaque, smoother color result. Bare Escentuals Romp is lighter, less blackened, and frostier–that was the only shade I felt came close, but it’s not a dupe.

Pure Pigments are loose colors that can be applied on the eyes, cheeks, face, or body. It can be used dry or applied wet for a “bolder colour pay-off.” Illamasqua recommends using it over a cream texture to intensify the color and hold the color in place. Queen of the Night will hold in place dry, but it lacks a lot of the intensity, so I’d recommend using it wet to achieve true-to-pan color.

Illamasqua Pure Pigment Queen of the Night

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shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo
shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo

shu uemura for WKW: Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo ($32.00 for 2 x 0.168 fl. oz.) is a set of polishes that can be used together or alone. The first shade is a rich, midnight blue cream that’s opaque in two coats. It has just a hint of purple, making it nearly royal blue. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is lighter but similar in hue. Orly La Playa is a bit darker but similar as well. The second shade is a multi-colored glitter with large, hexagonal glitter suspended in a clear base. It similar to China Glaze Snow Globe and MAC Unconditionally Fabulous. Together, the two are stunning–multi-colored glitter with larger, hexagonal glitter over such a rich backdrop? It was designed to be lovely.

The application was nice; the formula had a good consistency that allowed for even flow across the nail, good color intensity for each coat, and never felt too thick. I tested out wearing the two layered (the blue as a base, the sparkling shade layered on top), and I didn’t experience any wear issues–the two wore for a week with minor tip wear and no chipping.

I’m a bit stunned at the price tag, though. I believe the full-sized shu lacquers are $16–the two shades together are the equivalent of a single bottle and yet the price tag is double. The smaller bottles are cute to look at but less functional than full-sized polishes because of the smaller, shorter cap, which can be less comfortable to use, depending on the size of your hands.

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo


China Glaze Eye Candy Collection for Holiday 2011

China Glaze Eye Candy Collection for Holiday 2011

Forget diamonds! This winter China Glaze introduces a nail industry first: utilizing 3-D glitters in its new “Eye Candy” collection. Inspired by Marilyn Monroe and her timeless allure, this innovative new glitter technology provides a knock-your-eyes-out, super sparkly effect to your manicure. Multi-sized and differently shaped glitter particles are cleverly combined to create a sexy, super decadent, 3-D finish in six bright, eye-popping shades. Whether you prefer gleaming gold or glamorous smoky grey, China Glaze’s “Eye Candy” collection adds a dazzling finish to your holiday look with a glimmer that is sure to catch everyone’s eye! Colors in this collection include:

  • Love Marilyn Vivacious red with shimmering silver particles
  • Blonde Bombshell Glistening multi-dimensional gold flecks
  • Lorelei’s Tiara Sterling silver infused with blue sprinkles
  • Material Girl Posh pink with holographic bubblegum glitter
  • Some Like It Haute Graphite gray with holographic glitter
  • Marry a Millionaire Alluring amethyst with multi-tonal fibers

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