The Thoughts |The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Derivative Offerings

There are few products that made such a difference in my skin with short-term use as using the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster – a water-based preparation of 15% ascorbic acid. Unfortunately, I can find it irritating on my reactive skin when used twice a day along with the other actives in my routine and that I struggle to use up the product before it oxidizes.  As a result, it’s expensive with the low value of the Canadian dollar, when it can only remain stable for three or so months. I’d describe my skin as reactive and quite dry on the cheeks and chin, and prone to dullness and uneven tone. Also, I’m prone to under the skin bumps and the occasional pimple in my cheeks and chin that take forever to go away. I struggle with my skin taking forever to heal from these occasional blemishes. The Paula’s Choice offering really helped with the healing time for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and truly evened out and brightened my skin. I found myself trying a few different products from The Ordinary to potentially use in its place after seeing their prices and hearing the company’s boasts about their products stability.

DSC_0054.JPG

The Ordinary Ascorbic Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F ($17.80 CDN)

I was so excited to try out this brightening vitamin c derivative because it’s formulated along with essential fatty acids that are incredibly helpful in the maintenance and repair of the skin barrier. On the positive side, this product was not irritating in the least but I also did not see much in terms of notable results. It was nothing even comparable of the effect of the Paula’s Choice and I’d say that this is because vitamin c derivatives require the skin to perform an extra step to convert the ingredient to ascorbic acid so even if it fully converts, the concentration of vitamin c would be lower than the 20% advertised. It performs as a regular antioxidant in my routine and unfortunately for me, I did not enjoy the coconut alkane base; I found it made my dry skin feel almost greasy  and felt kind of almost gritty, without ever truly absorbing into the skin. I didn’t find myself wanting to use the formula even at night because it didn’t feel great on the skin. And I note that this is as someone with dry skin who does not typically mind oilier formulas. There’s definitely research that indicates that ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate has deeper penetration than other derivatives, has excellent skin brightening ability and has good stability. We just don’t have the research that it stimulates collagen in the way that ascorbic acid does and helps to prevent and reverse skin damage when used along with sunscreen.

Ingredients: Coconut Alkanes, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ethyl Linoleate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Squalane.

The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution ($18 CDN)

Much like the former product, I enjoyed the product’s gentle formula but wished there was more in terms of notable results. I think that I saw a slightly more pronounced brightening effect with this one and less of a gritty texture but I had the same issue with its stable water-free formulation – it felt oily on the skin and never quite absorbed. As someone who loves oils, I was shocked to learn that the oily texture was so unappealing and even impacted foundation wear on my normal areas of my drier skin. I like to use vitamin c during the daytime for extra antioxidant protection and the texture of this product made daytime wear incredibly unappealing. It’s a more stable derivative, or more precisely, an ester of ascorbic acid, that has some research that suggests that it may produce more similar effects to pure ascorbic acid with increased stability but we aren’t there yet at knowing for sure. It does have notable brightening ability, seems to help with collagen synthesis, inhibits the formation of melanocytes and has significant ability to repair the skin from sun damage. The body metabolizes ethylated ascorbic acid as l-ascorbic acid but there is first a conversion that occurs and its unclear how much l-ascorbic acid this formula converts to. The formula is incredibly simple and only contains two ingredients, so this may be a good option for skin types that are often irritated and avoid long ingredient lists. It’s merely ethyl ascorbic acid and a hydrating penetration enhancer. My complaint is merely that I don’t find it to be cosmetically elegant and appealing for daytime wear.

Ingredients: Propanediol, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid
What’s your favourite vitamin c?
Maggie, x.

 

The Beauty Bargain| L’Oreal Revitalift Cicacream

The L’Oreal Revitalift Cicacream Skin Repair + Anti-Aging Cream ($29.99 CDN) is one of those strange products that is available in a myriad of countries, yet has at least three different formulas. There’s one formula sold in the US that seems to be the most economical – but with the least impressive ingredient list – and there are two more similar ingredient lists (but still different) in Europe and Canada. I have the Canadian version. At almost thirty dollars at most drugstores here for 50 mLs, this product doesn’t seem to be the most affordable. However, the formula is impressive enough for me to highly recommend it.

DSC_0049.JPG

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, PEG-100 Sterate, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, BHT, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Centella Asiatica Extract, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Chlorphensin, Citric Acid, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Faex Extract, Madecassoside, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Pentaerythrityl-tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthum Gum

This product is recognized for skin health by the Canadian Dermatology Association for its value on sensitized skin, or skin that is just plain sensitive in nature. It’s fragrance free and doesn’t contain any irritating plant extracts or drying alcohols either. Also it’s paraben and dye free if those are concerns of yours. This version has an impressive amount of centella asiatica extract, which is a potent antioxidant known to accelerate wound healing, combat inflammation and restore an impaired skin barrier. It’s anti-aging in the sense that it prevents further skin damage from occurring via antioxidant activity and decreases inflammation, strengthening the skin barrier. The base of the product is glycerin, your standard emollients, sesame oil, shea and cocoa seed butter and fatty alcohols. Further down on the ingredient list, this product also features yeast, another antioxidant. Unfortunately, the formula only contains a minuscule amount of retinyl palmitate and will not likely have an impact on the skin.

My experience with this moisturizer on my dry and easily irritated skin is that my skin is left calmed, soothed, hydrated and comforted and I happily find myself reaching for it, even when my skin is quite dry and irritated. The formula reminds me a lot of the Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer – which is also in the L’Oreal family and contains shea butter and centella asiatica – with a higher price tag.

Have you tried this product?
Maggie, x.

More Curly Girl Method Approved Empties

Ever since re-starting the ‘curly girl method’ back in December, I’ve done a looooooot of product buying and testing — product junkie, hello. Before it gets any more out of control, I’m making an active effort to actually finish up the products I have and this is mainly the result of that. As I reminder I have high porosity, fine hair with high density and my curl pattern is mainly in the 2c range, but has some 2b thrown in and some 3a patches.

DSC_0025

DevaCurl B’Leave In ($27 CDN/ 177 mL): This has to me among the hair products that I love the most and I’ve loved it for years. It’s a confusing and misunderstood product, adding bounce and elasticity to waves and curls with protein and helping to keep curls clumped together. Using this product tends to lead to a good hair day for me, unlesss I’ve done something disastrous. It helps my long curls that tend to wilt from their length — I really need to get some layers next time I go for a cut — stay clumped together in larger curls and bounce up. I couldn’t stand to finish this bottle until my fresh bottle came in the mail. It’s glycerin based and also contains wheat protein and water-soluble castor oil with a weightless gel texture. It does not offer hold on its own.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.

DevaCurl Low-Poo Delight ($32 CDN/ 355 mL): I found myself really liking the lightest weight cleanser from Deva but it’s not the most moisturizing admittedly. What I like about it is that it’s weightless and contains cocamidopropyl betaine and coco-betaine, which are gentle cleansing agents that are remarkably good at removing build up. I find this shampoo gently clarifying whilst being minimally stripping. I might actually repurchase this after I go through the million sulfate-free shampoos that I still have….

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Coco-Betaine, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Nymphaea Lotus Flower Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Polyquaternium-10, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-7, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

DevaCurl One Condition Delight ($32/ 355 mL): As a girl who loves her intensive conditioners, I kind of laughed at the idea of a lightweight one until I tried this offering. It’s a nice complement to the heavier conditioners that I use, adding no weight whilst having a generous amount of slip, protein and moisture. I like it so much that I bought the salon size. I use this when I want lots of volume and often use it as a leave-in. It has some protein that adds bounce to my waves and has curl-enhancing linseed extract along with the usual glycerin, slip agents and fatty alcohols.
Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Cetyl Esters, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract (and) Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Nymphaea Lotus Flower Extract, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Propylene Glycol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Tresemme Botanique Nourish & Replenish Conditioner ($6.99 CDN/ 739 mL): I have to say that Tresemme’s coconut oil infused conditioner has to be my least favourite of their silicone-free conditioners that they have offered over the last five years. It’s the heaviest of their conditioners and is decently moisturizing but doesn’t help clump my curls in the way that I like my medium-weight conditioners to. It also does not have the most slip. After the traditional fatty alcohols and slip agents, the formula contains coconut oil, aloe and coconut extract. Coconut oil and aloe can act like a protein for some people in a problematic manner but I’ve never had this experience before. However, my waves just don’t clump or curl the most nicely with this conditioner. It does have a nice musky coconut scent that doesn’t read too sunscreen-y. I finished up my bottle as a detangling product and to co-wash my hair.

Ingredients: Water (Eau), Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Behentrimonium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Garnier Fructis Strengthening Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask ($5.99 CDN/ 100 mL): I’ve waxed poetically on about this hair mask before so I’ll try to keep it sweet. I love this hair mask because of how easily available it is locally in Canada and because it works well as a deep conditioner or a richer rinse out on my waves and curls, offering slip and helping to clump curls without added weight. I think it’s about time for me to pick up one of the newer larger more cost-effective tubs of this.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Olea Europaea Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/Rosemary Leaf Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Persea Gratissima Oil/Avocado Oil, Tartaric Acid, Cetyl Esters, Tocopherol, Salicylic Acid, Caramel, Linalool, Eugenol, Limonene, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Parfum/Fragrance.

Dippity-Do Girls With Curls Light Hold Gelee ($6.99 CDN/ 340 mL): Let me tell you, I was shocked to find myself loving a gel by Dippity Do and pleasantly surprised. It definitely doesn’t offer adequate hold on its own for me but it works as a curl-clumping product used in combination with gel to help my curls form larger and more spiral-y clumps and is a fantastic product for when I damp refresh my curls. It’s lightweight and glycerin-free although it does have sorbitol and propylene glycol which are similarly behaving humectants. It contains a tiny bit of hydrolyzed wheat for protein and has a moderate amount of aloe as well. It has a solid light hold and lends bounce to the hair. I would definitely repurchase but I’m going to try to hold off for the moment.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, PVP, Sorbitol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Parfum/Fragrance, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Benzophenone-4, Benzyl Benzoate, Red 33 (CI 17200).

Shea Moisture Hydrate + Repair Multi-Action Leave-In ($13.99 CDN/ 237 mL): This spray treatment product from Shea Moisture has to be the best leave-in product I’ve ever tried. The only complaint was that I went through it quickly – this was likely because I discovered it was a great milky spray to refresh second and third day curls. It was substantial enough to add moisture and help with definition but added no extra weight. It contains water soluble a protein-silicone polymer so it acts as a heat-protectant for when diffusing but I experienced no issues with build up or anything of that sort. It offered great slip and weightless hydration. I’m definitely repurchasing and luckily, it’s now sold in Walmart and Shopper’s Drugmart in Canada.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, PVP, Sorbitol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Parfum/Fragrance, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Benzophenone-4, Benzyl Benzoate, Red 33 (CI 17200).

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Another Weekday Wishlist

Wishlist posts aren’t the most informative but sometimes materialism is exciting. Joking aside, sometimes there’s nothing like the euphoria of buying a new beauty product and have it work out for the better. Here are a few of the products on my radar:

6000199550886_Fotor_Collage

  1. L’Oreal Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation ($20 CDN | drugstores): When I started to think about writing this blog post, this foundation that everyone seems to be raving about was a true wishlist item. However, after hearing that people with dry skin were loving this heavier coverage foundation, I had to give it a try and it’s good. Spoiler alert: I bought it. It has a satin finish, offers medium-high coverage and has a fantastic shade selection, with different undertone offerings, particularly for shades on the fairer spectrum.
  2. Dior Forever Skin Glow 24H Radiant Perfecting Skin-Caring Foundation ($64 CDN | Sephora): I really need another foundation like I need another hole in my head because it really looks like this foundation will be similar to the discontinued Diorskin Star foundation, which I loved and am hoarding what remains of my bottle of it. I’m excited that there is a much better shade selection on this one and I love a good Dior base, especially one that promises glow and medium-buildable coverage.
  3. Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer ($35 US | paulaschoice.com ): I have a few moisturizers on the go at the moment but after a friend of mine described this moisturizer as a fluffy cloud on your face and rather soothing, I’m very intrigued. This moisturizer has an interesting formula, containing antioxidant-rich plant oils, shea butter and a myriad of barrier restoring ingredients. I’m interested.
  4. DevaCurl Devafuser ($68 CDN | Sephora): I’m a big fan of diffusing my hair because my waves and curls take forever to air dry and because it adds some bounce and volume to my long fine hair. However, my diffuser that I have is old and falling apart. I’m really interested in this one because it the hand shape allows you to easily dry the roots with lift. It is ridiculously expensive for a dryer attachment though…
  5. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein Power Treatment ($13.96 CDN | Walmart): Despite the fact that I thoroughly disagree with this product being sold as a protein treatment, I really enjoyed my packet of this thick masque. It’s not heavy in the slightest and adds nourishment to the hair. I’ll pick up a jar the next time I’m somewhat near to a Walmart, which doesn’t seem to be overly often.
Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Essentials | Deep Conditioners

Ever since I was young teen, embracing the wave that I found in my hair, I have experimented with using masks and deep conditioners in my routine as a standard conditioner. Even more than this, I often even left them in because it encouraged nice curls in my lengths and helped to prevent the dryness and tangles that I’ve always been prone to. However, since re-embracing the curly girl method this winter, I have been committing to deep conditioning for a good half hour or more weekly. This has really helped my porous hair form nice curl clumps, re-encourage curl in my lengths and keep my hair hydrated in this cold Canadian winter. Leaving a mask weekly (or even twice a week) can work wonders on your hair whether you wear it in its natural state, follow the curly girl method or heat-style it. Actually, I believe deep conditioning has been the main reason my high porosity hair has begun to actually hold onto moisture. The current favourites are as follows:

fullsizeoutput_3c0.jpeg

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein Power Treatment ($15 CDN): I’m pleased to report that while this was once a product that had to be ordered online from Ulta for us Canadians, it’s now starting to pop up in Walmarts and select drugstores. This may be sold as a protein treatment but I like it as a moisturizing deep conditioner with a hint of protein mixed in. I think it would work well for those that are protein-sensitive because it doesn’t contain much in terms of those small molecule hydrolyzed proteins that really work to add elasticity and bounce to the hair, while repairing damage. It has a nice mild scent and a thick texture that doesn’t feel particularly heavy on my fine strands. However, it leaves my hair super hydrated and smoothed.It helps my curls to clump and has lovely slip for even the most tangly hair. I think those who heat style their hair would really like this one because of how it can repair heat damage to an extent. I do note that this does contain a water soluble silicone-protein polymer, which I can only see being a problem for anti-silicone fanatics…

Ingredients: Water, Behentrimonium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Honey, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Yogurt Powder, Yogurt Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Trichilia Emetica (Mafura) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Tocopherol, Triethyl Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, lnulin, Benzoic Acid, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend).

Shea Moisture Mongongo and Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Masque ($16.99 CDN): This was my original Shea Moisture deep conditioner love and still remains one that I adore the most. It’s a bit heavier than the former product but never weighs down my fine high-porosity wavy curls. It’s unfortunately only available online in Canada or at specialty beauty supply stores. It’s smoothing and curl-clumping and gives serious bounce. It contains butters, oils, fatty alcohols, slip agents and a moderate dose of protein. It’s incredibly concentrated and has fantastic slip and consistently gives good multiple day hair without dryness seeping in. This is the one that restored my faith in deep conditioners’ ability to restore curls. It doesn’t contain coconut oil, which I only mention because it can be problematic to some and is included in many deep conditioners.

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Ricinodendron Rautanenii (Mongongo) Seed Oil, Vinegar, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Sodium Benzoate.

Curl Junkie Repair Me Reconstructive Hair Treatment ($34 CDN): This is unfortunately a harder product to track down, especially in Canada, yet again. It’s only available at select salons that use this line and specialty beauty supply stores/ online retailers- I picked mine up from Honey Fig. It’s actually a unique product, with enough hydrolyzed protein to add definite elasticity and bounce back to the hair, help repair damage and prevent breakage, while also being very conditioning and detangling. I noticed a real bounce brought back to my curls from deep conditioning with this and I found that it left my hair with the most slip out of maybe any product I’ve ever tried and lasting hydration. It’s a traditional thick conditioner texture with the nourishment you would expect from a mask. It doesn’t have any shea butter or coconut oil so I think it would be a lighter weight option for those that have a real sensitivity to those ingredients.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Keratin Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Glyceryl Stearate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycol Stearate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Tocopherol Acetate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance/Parfum, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, *Benzyl Benzoate. *Fragrance Component

Garnier Fructis Strengthening Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask ($5.99 CDN): I really like this silicone-free and drying alcohol-free hair mask and was really happy to learn recently that there’s larger sizes available – and accessible, even in Canada – because this 100 mL size would not last forever, especially if you aren’t as much of a product junkie as I am. It works to hold moisture in my hair when I use this as a deep conditioner or rinse out and it’s quite smoothing and nourishing, without adding any sort of weight to the hair. It’s protein-free so I highly question the strengthening claim but it’s a great purely moisturizing deep conditioner. It has enough slip to detangle with without difficulty. It has your usual fatty alcohols, glycerin, shea butter, olive, soybean, sunflower seed, coconut and avocado oils, along with rosemary extract. It also has that nostalgic salon-y banana scent that I enjoy.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Olea Europaea Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/Rosemary Leaf Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Persea Gratissima Oil/Avocado Oil, Tartaric Acid, Cetyl Esters, Tocopherol, Salicylic Acid, Caramel, Linalool, Eugenol, Limonene, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Parfum/Fragrance.

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Conditioner ($13.99 CDN): I was originally going to end the post before this product but I thought to myself that it would be helpful to include other options for deep conditioning that aren’t as heavy. I know many don’t go for the intensive more butter and oil-heavy masks that I seem to adore as they can be heavy on some hair types – especially wavies that are prone to products building up on their hair. I think that if you are looking for some extra nourishment for your hair but find traditional thick masks heavy, this thick standard conditioner may be worth a shot. It’s not as thick as the deep treatment in this line but it still has a thicker consistency; however, it’s probably among the lighter of Shea Moisture’s offerings. I’ve used it as a deep treatment with nice results but it’s honestly my favourite as a rinse-out conditioner, as it’s nicely moisturizing and curl clumping without weighing down my hair in the slightest. This one doesn’t even contain water soluble silicones, has some slip agents, shea butter and oils. It has a tiny amount of protein in it. It’s available in Walmarts too which I adore.

Ingredients: Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Honey, Yogurt Powder, Yogurt Extract, lnulin, Trichilia Emetica (Mafura) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Evening Primrose (Oenothera Biennis) Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Bisabolol, Tocopherol, Triethyl Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend).

Do you have a favourite deep conditioner?
Maggie, x.

The Essential | Paula’s Choice BHA 9

As someone who doesn’t deal with pimples overly often, rarely has single blackhead and has skin that tends to be quite dry, I wouldn’t have expected that I needed such a potent beta hydroxy acid treatment in my life. Boy was I wrong. The Paula’s Choice RESIST BHA 9 Treatment ($43 US/0.3 ounces) is the perfect product for me to use in my routine alongside my repertoire of alpha hydroxy acid exfoliants for a pore clearing and anti-congestion boost. The consistency is very much a gel serum, which I appreciate because it does not dry out any sort of problem areas that I have any further. Unlike most other spot treatments on the market, this one does not actually irritate the spots further that I am trying to treat.

DSC_0020

Ingredients: Propylene Glycol (hydration), PEG-75 (texture-enhancing), PEG-8 (texture-enhancing), Water, Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/skin-soothing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (antioxidant), Sea Whip Extract (skin-soothing), Arginine (hydration/skin replenishing), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer).

This is also much more than your typical spot treatment. It’s a concentrated sustained-release formula that contains a whopping 9% salicylic acid and manages to not be irritating because of the buffered formula, containing anti-irritants and nothing known to be irritating on the skin. The pump container does have a tendency to dispense way too much product but the results that it provides makes it worth the hassle for me. It helps to unclog pores and deal with congestion the most effectively and quickly of any product I’ve ever tried and speed up the healing time of blemishes. On the rare occasion where I get blackheads, I often find that they take weeks to go and using this has reduced that time to a day or two. This also seems to prevent underneath the skin blemishes from forming to an extent and reducing the severity of the ones that form. It also helps underneath the skin bumps heal more quickly. It also really helps with the recovery time of hormonal blemishes. Not only does the 9% salicylic acid help to clear the pores rapidly, it also has anti-inflammatory activity that really helps with dealing with the post-acne marks that hang around on my skin for ages. The most significant part for me is that it does this without pissing my temperamental skin off.

I shouldn’t advertise this but this is an excellent product to use if you’ve slept in your makeup, majorly slacked on your skincare routine and eaten terribly, as it takes down congestion and inflammation like a champ. Also, it is the only product I’ve ever used that has gotten rid of a blackhead in six hours. It’s expensive (especially when converted into Canadian dollars) but I have to say that the hype was well founded.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Review | Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker

I promise I have non curly hair related posts in the works. However, there’s another hair product review post ahead. The Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker is a pricier product, retailing at $22 US or $30-ish CDN for 12 ounces or 355 mLs. It’s only available in Sally’s Beauty Supply in Canada, or other specialty beauty supply stores but is readily available online from Target and a bunch of other sites. I know in the US, it’s available at Sally’s Beauty Supply, Target and a bunch of drugstores. The product contains a bunch of naturally based ingredients, is cruelty-free and made in the US. I’m 99% sure it’s vegan too.


Camille Rose Naturals claims “our Curl Maker Curl Defining Jelly is handcrafted with marshmallow and agave leaf extracts”, will define curls “without the crunch” and will “eliminate frizz, moisturize and define curls”. In my experience, it definitely helps curls and waves to clump and acts as an enhancing product. It minimizes frizz and adds smoothness and hydration. I don’t experience any crunch with this gelly but I also find that it has maybe light hold on me and consequently follow it with a harder hold gel to get good results on my fine looser pattern of curls and waves. I know that those with a tighter curl pattern can use this gel on their own and enjoy doing so. The below picture on the left is my hair early on following the Curly Girl Method — fair warning my hair looks better now — with this product layered underneath a harder hold gel, and the picture on the right is my hair refreshed with this product.

IMG_0364_Fotor_Collage

Now, let’s delve into the ingredients further. I consider it Curly Girl Method approved, meaning that it doesn’t contain sulfates, silicones or drying alcohols. However, the castor seed oil that the formula contains will require gentle surfactants to be removed and thus, might not be compatible with a shampoo-free regimen. The formula doesn’t contain any glycerin or other simple humectants that tend to be problematic in low and extremely high dew points. It’s really nourishing and smoothing with the coconut oil, aloe juice and castor seed oil. Curl Maker contains a fair number of ingredients classified as film-forming humectants that pull water into the hair and keep the moisture intact — some of these include: pectin, aloe, marshmallow root, nettle and panthenol.

Ingredients: Dionized water, pectin, coco nucifera(coconut )oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, panthenol, ricinus communis (caster) seed oil, althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root extract, agava americana leaf extract, equisetum arvense (horsetail) extract, urtica dioica (nettle) leaf extract, corn starch, xanthan gum, chondrus (seaweed) crispus, polysorbate 20, tocopheryl acetate (vitanin E), cyanocobalamin (vitamin b-12), phenoxyethanol (optiphen nd) caprylyl glycol, fragance (parfum) and LOVE!

The Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker does not necessarily give me the tightest waves and curls out of every product on the market but it certainly helps to encourage spirals and curl clump formation. It’s that perfect balance on my fine but high porosity hair of being smoothing and moisturizing without adding heaviness. The formula is protein-free but the aloe and the coconut oil have been known to act similar to proteins for those who’s hair is protein sensitive. As I’m nearing the end of my bottle, I plan on reinvesting in another bottle to use as a curl enhancing product and to refresh with. Also, in my experience this is defining but elongating.

Has anyone tried anything by Camille Rose Naturals?
Maggie, x.