ROKer and talented blogger Kareen, of Ziba by nature posted this question: “What is the best way to pick out a skincare serum?” As noted in my previous post on skin-serums in general, they are highly active formulations targeted towards … Continue reading
As a medical student, I’ve had to pull a few all-nighters in my time.. no that is a lie, I’ve never really succeeded at all-nighters, (a thorn in my side of late night exam studying) my demand for sleep is … Continue reading
What a long name for a tinted moisturizer! I almost fell asleep writing that, zzzz.. It`s also rather self-indulgent if you ask me, using the words `miracle`, `skin perfector` and `all in one` in the same everlasting name for what is, and let`s face it just a tinted moisturizer.
Or, is it? To be honest I didn’t even know what a BB cream was, until I now googled it. Apparently it stands for Blemish Balm, or Blemish Base. Originally formulated in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek in the 1950s the cream was initially used to protect skin after laser procedures and surgery, while also providing light coverage. BB creams come in a variety of different formulations and qualities mainly perceived as being anti-inflammatory and having a soothing effect. Due to its “multi-tasking” all-in-one properties — moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock — the cream became a hit in Asia where it still has the most popularity, and has recently made an entrance into the western world of cosmetics. It seems beauty now a days is all about looking like you just woke up gorgeous; skin glowing, eyes bright, not letting anyone know that you actually spent 5 hours in front of a mirror getting that “all natural look”.. There’s a constant search for that one product that`ll give you the fake-makeupfree-glow your looking for, and the BB cream claims to be just the thing for that.
This is the first BB cream I`ve tested, and I`ve come to realize there`s been a lot of talk about it in the beauty-blogosphere for a while, and I kind of get why.
The Garnier BB cream contains SPF 15, a number of emollients (skin softeners) ascorbil- glucoside- a form of vitamin C, and sodium-hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid- a water binding molecule in the skin which results in a plumping effect).
I bought mine in the springtime, and started using it now in the summer as a substitute for foundation when I wanted an even skin tone and light coverage. I also used it when I had my thesis defense, and you can have a look at what my skin looked like for that HERE. I have used mineral makeup in the past for that light cover feeling, which I`ve been happy with so far, but for summer this BB cream is performing better in giving me that “glow” I`m after.
The cream is thick and is easily pressed out from the tube. It sort of “melts” into your skin, to leave a nice moisturized, and tanned looking face behind. It adapts to your skin tone, so I use it on areas where I want the most coverage first, and then spread it out to the other parts of my face after. It`s very moisturizing and might be too rich for people with oilier skin types, but will work great on dry, mixed and normal skin.I`m very happy with the moisturizing aspect of this product, as it gets the job done on top of my sunscreen as well as giving me an even radiant face with a dewy finish. I comes in two types, light and medium, I`m happy with mine in medium.
Summed up, the positives are:
1. Moisturizes well
2. Covers lightly- good for us wanting a “see-through” finish
3. Well pigmented, gives a sunkissed look
4. Blends easily
5. Has SPF 15
6. Contains Vitamin C and a hyaluronic-acid derivative
7. Gives a dewy skin result
8. Paraben free
9. It`s inexpensive. £7.24 from Amazon: Garnier Nutri Miracle Skin Perfector Medium
The negatives are:
1. Contains ONLY SPF 15, which in my book is too low a number for your daily UV- shield, so you would still need to apply a sunscreen first. (And there goes the “all in one” part of its name)
2. Contains few antioxidants, vitamin C being the only one. I like products with a number of antioxidants in them, and although vitamin C is a great one, I would still have to use a serum first, in order to give my skin some added protection.
3. Somewhat oily- and leaves skin dewy (which I love!), but it might give too much of a shine to those of you with oily skin.
4. Light coverage- again, great for me, but not so great for those of you seeking more coverage with perhaps a matte finish.
All in all its a great multipurpose makeup product for summer, and can easily be used as a substitute for foundation.It has tickled my curiosity in regards to what other BB creams are out there, and I wonder how they will compare. But for now I`m sticking to my Garnier BB bottle, and I`m confident I`ll re-buy it at some point, as it performs so well and is more than worth the little money I spent on it.
Has anyone tried this cream? Or do you have any other similar products to recommend? I would love to hear about them!
My dear friend and ROKer, “cookiemonster” posted a great question concerning the application of multiple beauty products from various brands. The coockiemonster asked:
“What do you think about the fact that most companies tell you strictly NOT to use their products together with other competitors products and thereby indirectly prohibit you from combine your favourites? Do you think there is something to it, or is it just an exploiting way for the companies to keep you from buying their competitors products? Could it be that different products contain different chemicals and substances that should not be mixed with others and therefore can actually matter if you use lets say a facial cleanser from one company and then a cream from another?”
This is something I myself wondered about for the longest time. I remember reading skin-tips from magazines when I was younger, recommending sticking to one line, and one line only. I’ve come to realize this is rather unintelligent advice, as most lines do not contain a full regiment of products containing all the major active ingredients for your particular skin concern, be it fine lines and wrinkles, acne, or dehydration. The most important in my book (and also in most dermatologists books) are retinol, AHA’s, and antioxidants (vit.E,A,C,reservatrol etc.)
As you might have noticed, I tend to use and recommend different products from different brands, based on their efficacy and ingredient list, this is also what most dermatologists do.
According to dermatologist Dr. Neil Schultz, it is not the different products per se that may cause problems, he even states there is no limit to the amount of active agents you may use, as long as you use them correctly. Rather it is the cross-reaction of the agents of products layered on top of each other, and the vehicle in which those agents are transported that matter.
Some ingredients do not work together, such as Retinol, AHA’s, and vitamin C, which should therefore be applied separately. So in this regard, using products from the same brand might be beneficial, but never by all means necessary! One must just take retinol, AHA’s, and vitamin C into consideration as agents that should not be combined at the same time, but at intervals. If you stick to this simple rule, it doesn’t matter which line you choose to buy them from. Another point to reflect on is the vehicle of your product when applying various products together, such as serums, lotions and creams.
According to Dr. Neil Schultz, the lighter/ less oil-containing agent goes on first, like lotions and watery products, and you add the heavier ones, like a cream last. This ensures the proper absorption of the active ingredients in your creams and serums.
I’ll try to give you a visual: Imagine pouring a light fluid into a heavy fluid. The watery fluid will then sit on top of the oilier fluid, and form a layer there. This is what happens in our skin as well.
If you apply a heavy cream first, the lighter serum will not be able to penetrate down to your deeper skin layers, and will therefore not give you the effect you bought it for. On the other hand, if you apply the lighter agent first and the heavy cream afterwards, the cream will still be able to penetrate the lighter lotion and exert its effect on your skin.
As a rule of thumb the light occlusive agents found in skincare are: silicones, jojoba oil, and niacinamide. While the heavy occlusive’s are: petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin, and sheabutter.
There are of course positives of using products from the same line, such as:
- Vehicles are used to work together in the products, and you need not worry about when to add one or the other.
- Order of product application is easy and followed as instructed by the line without considering cross-reactions of agents.
- Timing becomes straightforward, as there is no need to wait excessively between product applications.
I have yet to find one brand, which offers all the active ingredients I love, and so I choose to add favorites from different lines as I discover them. I have had no problems doing this so far, and with the support of the dermatological community on this, I feel we are all safe to choose the products we feel work the best on our skin, without having to succumb to pressure- to- buy from cosmetic companies.
I hope this helps cookiemonster!
And to all my ROKers, do not hesitate to ask a question if you have one! Easiest way to do so is by commenting on my blog posts.
Have a splendid evening, lovelies!
“Let food be your medicine, and medicine food” – Hippocrates
I’ll tell you a secret. I sometimes spend hours searching out exclusive interviews with top models and actresses in which they supposedly spill their beauty secrets and favourite products. I used to be constantly annoyed by their repetitive answers about how they just eat well and drink water all the time, and oh lets not forget, sleep 8 hours every night! I was sure they were guarding some massive, skin altering, beautifying ingredient that they had swore to guard with their lives at a dark and candlelit location at the start of their modelling careers. It took me years to realize, that they were actually just giving us the absolute best possible beauty secret there is, and I only realized after I tried it my self, after changing my diet, adding specific things, taking some stuff out etc.
I could literally see my self grow younger in the mirror everyday after a couple of the initial weeks had passed. I guess its true then, what our mothers always told us, that true beauty comes from within.
What kicked it all off for me was a book written by a dermatologist and internal medicine specialist, Dr. David Colbert, a book with an utterly ridiculous name – The high school reunion diet- (please don’t stop reading) I swear to you, apart from the incredibly stupid name its really smart, and makes a lot of sense. I just wish a man with an MD and two specializations could have thought up something a little bit less dim of a title for his book. It hasn’t stopped it from selling like hotcakes in the US though. I’ll come back to this book later on as I am planning a to do a review on it separately.
If you want to read it while I get my review ready, you can get it off Amazon for £7.44 here: The High School Reunion Diet: Younger, Thinner, and Smarter in 30 Days
I’ve always had a soft spot for diet in relation to health and medicine, and when I realized the effect it could have on my skin as a beautifying remedy I was very very exited. I’ve been exited since, but have also had moments of cake excitement, and so results have not been as consistent as they could have been.
As I have touched upon before, in my post on almond oil, antioxidants have been proven to aid our skin tremendously against the stresses of the outside world, as well as the stresses happening on the inside. Antioxidants and nutrients seem to have the same end effect on our skin, weather we eat them or apply them to our face directly.
I’ll have a go through of the most talked about antioxidants and food ingredients that do our skin a world of good:
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E refers to a family of eight nutrients of which α-tocopherol is the most abundant and biologically active form in the human body. This essential nutrient is well known for its role as a chain-breaking antioxidant, protecting cell membranes against oxidative-stress (free radical damage). Vitamin E concentrations in skin can be increased with oral or topical delivery, and are decreased with UV exposure. Clinical trials suggest that dietary as well as topical vitamin E may act as a photoprotectant with the aid of other antioxidants. Food sources include vegetables (spinach, avocadoes, asparagus, beetroot, mango), vegetable oils, like olive oil and coconut oil, cereals and nuts. Almonds are a particularly good source of α-tocopherol, containing approximately 26 mg per 100 g.
- Flavonoids: Flavonoids are a family of over 5000 compounds found in plants. Individual flavonoids compounds have been reported to be radical scavengers (antioxidants), UVA absorbent, cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory anti-apoptotic (protective against cell death), and to inhibit DNA damage and to affect cellular signalling pathways. A case-control study in an Italian population found a negative correlation between cutaneous melanoma (pigmented skin cancer) and daily tea drinking, high consumption of vegetables, particularly carrots, cruciferous and leafy vegetables, and fruits, especially citrus. The cocoa flavenoids Epicatechin and Catechin, was shown in another study to increase skin density, decrease roughness as well as increase skin hydration levels. Flavenoids in green tea have been attributed to increased levels of skin elasticity.
- Carotenoids are a family of compounds of over 600 fat-soluble plant pigments. Fruits and vegetables are major sources of carotenoids. In a cross-sectional study investigating the association between skin wrinkling and dietary intake, a significant negative association was found with eggs and green leafy vegetables. Eggs are a highly bioavailable source of lutein, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of both β-carotene and lutein. This relationship between carotenoids intake and skin wrinkling may be due to an ability to prevent extracellular matrix breakdown. Eating lots of green leafy vegetables have also been associated to decreased risk of skin cancer development, particularly melanoma. β-Carotene is in the carotene class of carotenoids. It is a strongly-colored red-orange pigment. As a carotene with beta-rings at both ends, it is the most common form of carotene. It is a precursor of vitamin A. Rich sources of β-carotene include yellow and orange fruits, such as mangoes and papayas, orange root vegetables such as carrots and yams and in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, sweet potato leaves, and sweet gourd leaves. Lycopene, and luetein are other carotenoids which been shown to have massive antioxidant properties, as well as skin softening ability when applied topically to rough skin. Lycopene is mostly found in tomatoes, and lutein is found in egg yolks, and green vegetables and leaves such as kale, broccoli and spinach.
One of my own personal favorite beauty foods is the spice; Tumeric , which contains Curcumin, and is known to act protectively against cancers, as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. Curcumin is currently a hot topic in the beauty industry due its anti-wrinkle- effect as well, and several cosmetic companies are developing products, which contain this mega antiager. I sprinkle the spice on most of my meals, but I’m also buying capsules to from
Curcumin 95 (Tumeric) by Jarrow Formulas (500mg, 60 medium capsules) to ensure maximum antioxidant load. When adding tumeric to your food, add a pinch of black pepper as well, as this has been shown to aid tumeric absorption, according to MensHealth.
Another antioxidant I’ve been taking capsules of for a while is Reservatrol, this is the agent my friends, which makes red wine so healthy. This is another major antiager, and skin protector. Caudalie was the first company (to my knowledge) that started using it as a main ingredient in their products. Appropriately they are French,and based in the wine region of Bordoux. I’m currently enjoying my Caudalie Vinexpert Firming Serum £44 from lookfantastic., which ofcourse contains Reservatrol.
Reservatrol capsules can be bought from ProHealth at $30.49 ProHealth
Natural Resveratrol (200mg, 60 Vcaps)
Another food/drink I have everyday is green tea, green tea has been shown to remove damage to skin cells by UVB/UVA rays, through DNA repairing mechanisms, as well as reduce UV induced inflammation.
Vitamin C is another regular addition of mine. I take 1000 mg a day, as vitamin C both topically and internally is necessary for proper collagen formation in the skin, as well as aiding in evening out skin tone.
I always try to add as many spices and vegetables to my dishes without compromising the taste of dish. I truly believe that what goes into our bodies have an effect that goes far beyond disease prevention, and can result in both therapy for disease and also beneficial skin alterations, including– skin rejuvenation.
I’ve touched upon this vast topic with this post on the most important skin antioxidants, but remember the key is just to add all that you see that has color, always get your deep greens, and continue to mix it up with spices, and combinations of vegetables.
I’ll continue this little (or long) series on food and skin with another post on what to avoid in order to look your best now, and always. I’ll keep you posted!
Let me know if you have a favorite beauty food! I’d love to hear about it!
Polyphenols: Skin Photoprotection and Inhibition of Photocarcinogenesis
Farrukh Afaq1,* and Santosh K. Katiyar1,2,*Mini Rev Med Chem. 2011 December 1; 11(14): 1200–1215.
The Role of Phytonutrients in Skin Health
Nutrients. 2010 August; 2(8): 903–928.
Published online 2010 August 24. doi: 10.3390/nu2080903
Julie A. Evans and Elizabeth J. Johnson*
Arch Dermatol Res. 2010 March; 302(2): 71.
Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and DNA repair mechanisms
Published online 2009 November 7. doi: 10.1007/s00403-009-1001-3
Beneficial role of curcumin in skin diseases.
Thangapazham RL, Sharma A, Maheshwari RK.
Nutr J. 2003; 2: 20.Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:343-57.
The role of the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, in protecting against age-related macular degeneration: A review based on controversial evidence
Published online 2003 December 11. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-2-20
Maneli Mozaffarieh,1 Stefan Sacu,1 and Andreas Wedrich1
Protective effects of curcumin against oxidative damage on skin cells in vitro: its implication for wound healing.
PhaJ Trauma. 2001 Nov;51(5):927-31.n TT, See P, Lee ST, Chan SY.
“Like to an Almond tree ymounted hye
On top of greene Selinis all alone
With blossoms brave bedecked daintily;
Whose tender locks do tremble every one
At every little breath that under Heaven is blown.”
Since prebiblical times the almond tree and its seeds have been a symbol of femininity, lust, hope, and everlasting love. It’s only natural then I guess, that the oil of its fruit carry massive beauty bringing powers.
Sweet almond oil as opposed to bitter almond oil, has a number of purposes in cosmetics. Most often it is used as an emollient (skin softener) and as a carrier medium for agents in creams.
When I first decided to give almond oil a go after reading about it’s skin-calming advantages, my choice fell on Weleda’s Almond Soothing Facial Oil. Weleda is a brand that only uses biodynamically grown ingredients through a holistic approach to farming resulting in superb quality produce. Weleda also has sentimental value to me, as this is one of the few cosmetic brands my mother buys, and I remember growing up, there would always be a tube of Weleda Rose Cream on the bathroom shelf.
The ingredients for Weleda’s almond oil for face are as follows:
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Domestica (Plum) Seed Oil, Prunus Spinosa (Blackthorn) Flower Extract.
Why I love it:
1. It has anti-inflammatory properties: Almonds contain approximately 49% oils, of which 62% is monounsaturated oleic acid (an omega-9 fatty acid), 24% is linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acid), and 6% is palmitic acid (a saturated fatty acid). Especially the oleic acid and the linoleic acid have been attributed to anti-inflammatory properties in cases of wound-healing and inflammatory acne.
2. It has anti-bacterial properties: Oleic acid has been shown to upregulate antibacterial properties of the sebocytes (the oil producing cells of the skin), resulting in increased defence and regulation of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, which is a causative agent in the development of inflammatory acne vulgaris, which is the most common skin disease, afflicting up to 80% of individuals throughout their lives (Nordstrom et al., 1986; Chronnell et al., 2001; Bojar and Holland, 2004).
3. It has antioxidant and antiaging properties: Almonds are a rich source of vitamins E and A “the skin saver vitamins”. Together they are responsible for both healing of skin ailments and antiaging processes. Vitamin E showed the ability to enhance fibroblast migration and proliferation in a recent study, in addition to its ability to improve skin ulcerations, it also improves the skin manifestations evident with scleroderma, morphea, hypertrophic scars, and lichen amyloidosis . Together vitamin E and A induces early differentiation markers of keratinocytes (skin cells) which translates into skin regeneration. Niacin or vitamin B3 is another important component of the antiaging abilities of almond oil. During an eight-week, randomized, parallel-group study, sponsored by Proctor and Gamble and published in March 2010 in “The British Journal of Dermatology,” niacinamide treated subjects reported reduction of appearance of facial wrinkles. A separate study published in “Dermatologic Surgery” in 2006 showed topical niacinamide provided reductions in fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, skin yellowing and elasticity.
4. It has protective properties against UV radiation: this is mostly due to the antioxidant effects of vitamin E, which has shown to decrease photo-aging and Niacin that have been suggested to act protectively against developing skin cancer. One study that was published in July 2010 in the “Journal of Nucleic Acids,” reported that nicotinamide (niacin) was able to protect against ultraviolet-induced skin cancer in mice. It helped prevent the progression of premalignant actinic keratoses to malignant squamous cell cancers.
As for the other ingredients, Plum kernel oil works with the almond oil, balancing and soothing sensitive skin thanks to high quantities of antioxidants and vitamins A and E. Organic blackthorn flower extract, high in skin-toning tannins and vitamin C, protects and strengthens your skin.
I use Weleda soothing facial almond oil ( £11.15 from lookfantastic- ships free!) several times a week. I love it after a day in the sun or as a post treatment after a facemask. The trick with any facial or body oil is to apply it to moist skin! (more wet than moist really).
I just pat my face once after washing with a towel, and/or spritz some Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray 300ml on my face, before I massage 3-4 drops of oil on my face until partly absorbed. It works great on its own, but can easily be topped by a moisturizer for example during the dry winter months.
I also use it as an eye-makeup remover on a moistened cotton pad, which works amazingly! If I have really sore and dry lips I rub a drop of oil on them, and voila! The soreness is gone within minutes.
As this is an oil that has helpful effects against acne, it’s a great moisturizing and skin calming agent for people with dry inflammatory acne types, a skin condition which is particularly hard to find appropriate products for.
Effect of Dietary Conjugated Linoleic Acid Supplementation on Early Inflammatory Responses during Cutaneous Wound Healing
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 342328, 8 pagesdoi:10.1155/2010/342328Research Article
Na-Young Park, Giuseppe Valacchi, and Yunsook LimDepartment of Food and Nutrition, Research Institute of Science for Human Life, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-761, Republic of Korea
Sebum Free Fatty Acids Enhance the Innate Immune Defense of Human Sebocytes by Upregulating β-Defensin-2 Expression
Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2010) 130, 985–994; doi:10.1038/jid.2009.384; published online 24 December 2009
An Innate Bactericidal Oleic Acid Effective Against Skin Infection of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus: A Therapy Concordant with Evolutionary Medicine PublicationInfo J. Microbiol. Biotechnol.2011 ; 21(4): 391~399
Two cases of refractory discoid lupus erythematosus successfully treated with topical tocoretinate
Mika Terao, Saki Matsui, Ichiro Katayama
Dermatology Online Journal 17 (4): 15 Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul-Dec; 5(10): 164–173.
Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation
The Role of Phytonutrients in Skin Health