18 Jun 2017

quick guide to aha/bha

alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)

they are water soluble components, so they penetrate deeply into the epidermis, they are good for skin exfoliation and shred of dead cells, for collagen stimulation, and the normalization of the outer layer of the epidermis.

they are different types of ahas, the most common and used ones in cosmetic products are glycolic acid which comes from sugar, and lactic acid which comes from the milk.
  • glycolic acid → sugar → exfoliates, evens the skintone, stimulates collagen production
  • citric acid → citric fruits → spots/sun damaging
  • mandelic acid → almonds → antibacterial, controls oiliness
  • malic acid → pears, grapes → antioxidant
  • tartaric acid →  pears, grapes → antioxidant
  • lactic acid → milk → skin maintaining, gently exfoliation

beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs)

they are lipid (oil) soluble, so they are likely more useful with oilier skin types. they are best used for exfoliation, taking care of break outs and for texturised or clogged pores.

there’s only one type of bhas, which is the salicylic acid which is taken from aspirin.

easy ways to know your skintype

i. normal skin
your skin doesn’t feel oily or tight/dry by the end of the day, it feels supple and hydrated until you arrive home. you might get a pimple or two but they are related to hormonal cycles or to eating unbalances. you don’t get red spots or allergies using make-up or cosmetic products.

ii. oily skin
your skin feels oily, shiny and with an excess of sebum or grease. it can be a general sensation of feeling all your skin oily, or you can feel places more oily than others (for example the t-zone, your chin or your forehead). you might get clogged pores around your nose and chin as well, pimples and blackheads. you have problems maintaining your skin matte.

iii. dry skin
your skin tends to lose moisture along the day and by the end of it, it feels dry, tight and uncomfortable. as the case with the oily skin, you can feel a general sensation of dryness or you can feel it focused on different zones (cheeks are very common to feel extra dry), you feel like you lack hydration from any products you use, and your skin often feels flaky and dull.

iv. combination skin
combination skin is a very common skin type that it’s a mix of having oily and dry skin. you can have a dry skin which tends to be oily, or an oily skin which tends to be dry, or a skin that has both oily and dry tendencies, the most common expression of combination skin it’s having a very oily t-zone and dry cheeks, you usually struggle to find products that balance your skin, moisturising but mattifying it.

v. sensitive skin
your skin is very thin and very sensitive, it reacts strongly to certain products or even scents (usually alcohol based products is a no-no for sensitive skin types), you get red spots, bumps or any other allergic reactions and you need to be careful about ingredients and the sun. your skin can be dry, oily or combined but your main concert is how strongly it reacts to products. you need specific products that matches the necessities of your skin.

☆REVIEW☆ pilaten ; suction black mask

this is a classical charcoal peel off mask designed to clean pores, i bought it over amazon to substitute the daiso one i have been using for years because i found it they use parabens as the preservatives, and this one doesn’t have any (but they have other preservatives that are as controversial.)
according to the information at the amazon page, the shelf life of this product is three years, but it won’t last you more than a few months (around three or four months) depending how much do you use it. depending on your skincare type and your tendency to clogged pores, i would say that using it once per week it’s more than okay, but using it specifically on your nose, chin or trouble areas it’s an option too.

 the ingredients listed are: water, polyvinyl alcohol, glycerol, propylene glycol, diazonium imidazolidinyl urea, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, glycol.
to make this easy: basically it’s a lot of alcohol and microbial preservatives 

like i said, it doesn’t use parabens, so instead they use alcohols in order to preserve the product and absorb the water. the idopropynyl butylcarbamate it’s a preservative that was first used in other industries, and that now is used in the persona care one. there is a debate about whether or not it can be toxic, and some companies have started to cut down it’s use, since pilaten it’s a chinese company, i don’t think most of the rules apply to them.

i am not happy about synthetic preservatives in general (even though they area necessity) and honestly i am going to try to keep looking for a charcoal peel off mask which is more natural.

postive things:
  • it’s easy to apply, as messy as any other mask similar to this, like daiso’s or my scheming mask’s
  • no parabens
  • it works well for me, it does leave my skin clean and manages to take off some superficial black spots
  • the drying time depends on the amount you have used and if it’s only a spot or the entire face but i guess it’s around 20 minutes to dry off completely
  • very easy to peel off, it comes out in one piece (it hurts as any average peel off mask)
negative things:
  • it has a … faint scent? (that comes from the propylene glycol) it doesn’t particularly smell like anything to me, but to excessive sensitive people it might be unpleasant
  • it contains alcohol
  • questionable products used as preservatives
  • pilaten is a chinese company so this is not cruelty free
  • it’s around 5-6€ for 60gr. of product, it does last for a while but compared to daiso which is 5€ for 80gr. of product it’s more expensive
ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to try it. as a face mask, which is complementary skincare, you don’t use it everyday, and it has a very specific use. even though it does work well for me, i am going to keep looking for a charchoal mask that i find more natural (this might be really hard if i am on a budget).

seven basic skincare tips

i. sleepi know it sound obvious but a rested skin is key, while we sleep our body restores itself and so does our skin. even though you might feel “fine” sleeping 4/5 hours, you will feel refreshed and your skin will be less flaky and bloated if you sleep around 7/8 hours per day. (and if you go to bed before/around midnight).

ii. drink water!i know it sounds stupid again but along with sleeping a key to a good skin is keeping yourself hydrated. you don’t like to drink ‘plain water’? try infused water with fruits (i will make a post about easy recipes soon), or make yourself herbal teas. the more hydrated your skin is, the more plump and healthy it will look.

iii. remove your make-up
if you use make-up on a daily basis, especially if you use any kind of foundation, make sure you clean your face before you go to bed. double cleansing (an oil based cleaning first and a foam based one later it’s the most optimal care) but just don’t go to bed with your make-up on!, your skin needs to breath, so please even if you’re tired or lazy, remember to remove your make-up from your face.

iv. eat well
your skin is a part of your body, so it reflects many habits. a balanced diet will definitely help to make your skin feel clear, even more i you have an oily skin. vegetables, fresh fruits, juices and any kind of herbal teas are very good for your skin (i will make a post about skin-beneficial snacks later!).

v. don’t over-process your skin!!
if you’re in your late 10s or early 20s and you have a healthy skin (you don’t smoke or drink heavily, you don’t have acute acne, psoriasis or any other skin condition), you don’t need to use a bunch of products, stick to a good cleanser, a good moisturiser and a good eye cream that is adapted to your skin type and just add products for specific problems.

vi. alcohol and cigarettes are a no-no
both cause early aging and damage to your skin (and to the rest of your body), alcohol dehydrates your skin and smoking creates early wrinkles, if you are a heavy smoker (i used to smoke all the time during my middle 20s), make sure you boost your skin hydration to avoid the extra damage, but honestly quitting is more beneficial your skin and body and lungs! will appreciate it.

vii. always use sunscreen
if you live in a very cloudy place, this might not be necessary, but if you use vitamin c based products, acids on your skin on a regular basis, or you just live on a very sunny place, please put a layer of sunscreen as your last part of your morning skincare routine. the sun is beneficial for your skin and our body because of the vitamin d, but sunlight is very damaging to the skin and it can cause early aging, spots or large marks.

viii. taking care of your skin is taking care of you
your skin is a part of your body, so as you wash your body and take care of it everyday (you cover it from the cold, you exercise, you cure a wound) just rationalize it the same way with your skincare. that way it won’t be a chore, for me it’s a moment of self-care and appreciation, and i enjoy every moment i dedicate to my skin

19 Oct 2015

☆REVIEW☆ NARÜKO narcissus repairing mask

look who is updating their blog after 45 million of years... me! i swear to everything that i actually have tried to upload this earlier... and even i have a few entries half-written in my drafts that i hope to publish then somewhen before the end of the year... (who knows) (~‾▿‾)~

okay, what i bring you today is an out of the blue kind of quick review of a sheet mask i bought at the spanish's shop primor from the brand narüko called narcissus repairing mask.

honestly speaking, i had no idea about narüko as a brand whatsoever, purely my main reason of picking it up for trying it was because it was a facemask from a brand that i have never tried before and that was enough reason for a face mask/sheet mask enthusiastic like me to feel really happy (i am so easy to please, let me tell you)

all the information i got from narüko is from the shop i bought the face mask in, which is a spanish shop which sells cosmetics, and perfumes and all the deal with incredibly low prices so the 90% of any my skincare/bodycare/anythingcare routines come from there, really. anyway, the link to the website in case you speak spanish and want to be marvelled at the prices, really best site ever.

well long story short, from what it says in the primor's website, narüko is a skincare brand from taiwan which is cruelty free, respects the environment and has no parabens or any other artificial ingredients in their skincare formulas, which is always pretty great. i didn't really investigate any other of their products because i was honestly just looking for face masks to haul but from what it seems in the website they have a whole range of not only face masks, creams and any other skincare products but also make-up.

 this is the description of the mask in the back of the package

"This mask is specially designed for prematurely aging skin. Coordinating with high effective protective and hydrated formula, it cherishes damage and weak skin, and radiates refined and healthy shine."

( i reaaaally loved the fact they added this to help you peel off the mask and apply it on your face)

(okay this is all kinds of awkward but... you can see here how the mask doesn't 
really fit my face properly and creates a lot of wrinkles, but 
overall, the important stuff is covered, so it could be worse)

okay and this is ever more awkward but... i woke up at 6am, 
worked all day, made groceries shopping and actually got the face
mask on at 8pm, so really i think my skin looks bright, rested 
and pretty good for all of that at the end of a day, and week

my favourite things:
 - pretty much everything? come on it's a sheet mask for 1,99€ (2,2$) which leaves your face feeling hydrated and smooth and everything
- cruelty free, no parabens, all natural ingredients...
- i like the fact the package is different and smaller than any other face masks and also that it comes with a plastic mask which makes the process of peeling and applying the mask on your face better
- the instructions/ingredients came in chinese and english which is amazing and something i am super thankful for so kudos to narüko for doing that
- i like the concept of  "prematurely aging skin" because sometimes you start getting aging signs when you're kind of young so the "mature aged skin" products doesn't really fit you, so this is like an amazing idea  
- very very moisturising, truly. like usually when you have left a face mask for more than ten minutes it starts to get dry, after removing this one i squeezed it a little between my fingers and it started to ooze product, so really. amazingly moisturising.

my least favourite things:
- i have really no negative thought about this but maybe that the mask itself doesn't fit my face properly... but this is something that all asian's face masks i try have in common so no hard feelings
- the smell might be kind of unpleasant for some people? i don't think so because it's faint and nice but you never know
- the cellulose paper is kind of... thin? so it breaks easily if you move it around trying to adjust it
- i placed it too near of my eye and it kind of irritated it a little... but i think that's normal and just me being clumsy

general punctuation: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
i think it's impossible for a face mask not to impress me but... i am very happy with this one. the fact i can buy it close to home and it's affordable just adds to the charm, it has a lovely scent, it does work and it feels truly hydrating, calming and moisturising as it promises.

i didn't know anything about narüko as a brand but after this i feel like i want to at least keep trying the rest of the sheet masks or something else from their narcissus line.

as always, thanks for reading me and hope this review was useful for you guys~
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