The Review| Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Lotion SPF 30

I’ve been using the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Lotion SPF 30 ($28/2 ounces) on an almost daily basis for months now, but it’s really in the aftermath of suffering through a cold and dealing with very dehydrated skin in the fall that I’ve appreciated  this extremely hydrating mineral-based SPF moisturizer so very much. It does not have the lightest texture and some might regard it as slightly greasy, but its ability to provide gentle mineral based protection without drying out the skin and instead, providing so much hydration that a separate moisturizer is not required beforehand. Essentially, it’s impressive because it manages to fulfill my expectations of a moisturizer, along with a gentle SPF product that my skin can tolerate within a single product.

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Product Ingredients:
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 3.85%, Zinc Oxide 3.12% (mineral sunscreens). Other Ingredients: Water (Aqua), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (thickener), Isononyl Isononanoate (skin conditioning agent), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil (non-fragrant emollient plant oil), Glyceryl Stearate (emollient thickeners), PEG-100 Stearate (emollient thickeners), Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agents), Pentylene Glycol (slip agents), Cetearyl Alcohol (thickening agent), Dimethicone (silicone slip agent), VP/Eicosene Copolymer (film-forming agent), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols (antioxidant fatty acid), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (anti-irritants), Glycerin (skin-identical/repairing ingredient), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredients), Allantoin (anti-irritants), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrogenated Lecithin (cell-communicating ingredient), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (stabilized vitamin C/antioxidant), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10/antioxidant), Ceramide NG, Methicone (silicone slip agent), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (cell-communicating ingredient) , PEG-10 Dimethicone – (silicone thickener), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient/skin-repairing ingredient), Tribehenin (skin conditioning agent), PEG-10 Phytosterol (emulsifier), Sorbitan Stearate (emulsifier), Polyhydroxystearic Acid (thickeners), Alumina (thickening/opacifying agents) , Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Aluminum Stearate (thickening/opacifying agents), Xanthan Gum (thickeners), Caprylyl Glycol (preservatives), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Chlorphenesin (preservative).

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It adds instant hydration that suits those who suffer from dry patches and generally dry-slash-dehydrated skin and it does not have an overly thick texture, as might be problematic if you suffer with clogged pores or breakouts along with dryness concerns. It has a lotion texture and a white cast, as expected, but it’s relatively sheer and blends into my fair skin with ease – and is minor compared to other physical sunscreens that are not tinted to conceal the cast. I do love how it instantly calms and soothes the skin, while preventing from further damage and irritation from the sun, with SPF and antioxidants. It’s an excellent one for under makeup in terms of making it apply smoothly without highlighting drier patches, but on any sort of oilier areas, it can create some shine throughout the day.

As with all Paula’s Choice products, – in my experience, at least – the Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion does what it sets out and claims to do, replenishing “dry, sensitive skin” and ensuring “a healthy barrier function while protecting from daily sun damage with gentle mineral sunscreens” and is “loaded with potent antioxidants, skin-identical ceramics and cell-communicating peptides to restore and help maintain healthy, radiant skin”. The standout ingredients include the high concentration of apricot kernel oil for combatting inflammation, the barrier-repairing sodium hyaluronate, the anti-irritant allantoin and a cocktail of different antioxidants, to name a few. Especially for those on the more sensitive end of the spectrum, I would recommend this mineral based SPF moisturizer, if you’re on the dry to very dry end of the spectrum. I think it might be too heavy duty for normal skin, but I can’t be completely certain…

Thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Morning Skincare Routine Update

While I haven’t had the worst skin the world, I have always struggled with my skin. I deal with moderate acne on the body and milder stuff on the face, have eczema and otherwise catastrophically dry and sensitive skin, have issues with redness, clarity and texture but since beginning this blog, I’ve noticed remarkable improvements in my skin. Over the last two years, my skin has improved as I’ve stuck to my skincare findings and have made tweaks here and there, but my skin is at its finest with my current routine that I’ve been consistent with for three or four months. Rather than rambling on and on about the products, I figured that I would update you all on the products that I’m currently using in the morning. And by the way, I promise my routine is more consistent than it sounds. Basically, this routine has done its best to keep my skin calm and hydrated and clear by sticking to gentle products and ensuring that my skin renews more effectively – it seems to naturally be very sluggish.

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First off, I gently cleanse my skin, generally with the underrated Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser ($9-10) [review], or if I cannot be bothered to actually apply and then rinse something, I just go for the classic Bioderma Sensibio H20 ($22).

Without fail, I follow up by applying the Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment ($30 US) [review] to get that AHA brightening action (along with a boost of BHA),with some moisture and a general calming effect on my skin. A couple of times per week, I’ve been applying a few drops of my sample of the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($48 US) to ensure that I’m getting the environmental protection that the antioxidants provide during the nighttime – as I was beginning to feel that I wasn’t getting the most of the product solely at night.

Afterwards, I either use my favourite facial oil, the Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($55), [review] or one of the two lovely facial moisturizers that I’m alternating at the moment, depending on how my skin is – the Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ($46) and my love, the Caudalie Vinosource Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40) [review].

I do use two moisturizers because my skin reacts to chemical sunscreens and mineral formulas are not hydrating enough on their own – and because makeup sits so much nicer if I do double up. Speaking of mineral sunscreen, every day I reach for either the Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream ($36) [review] or the Avene Mineral Cream SPF 50+ ($30) for protection without irritating my spectacularly sensitive skin.

Any skincare thoughts or favourite products to share?
Maggie, x.

The Review: Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream

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I didn’t think that last year’s discovery, the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet could be beat, with its intense hydration packed within a lightweight base, gentleness and soothing ability. However, I couldn’t be more pleased to be wrong, finding its big sister product, the Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40) superior after trialing it for a few months. It does everything that the Sorbet does and without being heavy on the skin at all, it offers even more hydration, soothing power and actually helps to repair the skin, keeping it from that cycle of irritated dry sore skin – as it promises. Let’s get on into the details.

“This rich hydrating cream provides must-have moisture protection to repair and cure dry, dehydrated skin. Grape oil and Shea butter deeply nourish and soothe to restore the hydrolipidic layer and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier, resulting in soft, comfortable skin.”

INGREDIENTS : AQUA (WATER), GLYCERIN*, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE*, SQUALANE*, CETEARYL ALCOHOL*, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED OIL*, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER EXTRACT*, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, HYDROLYZED POTATO PROTEIN*, BORAGO OFFICINALIS SEED OIL*, HYDROGENATED OLIVE OIL STEARYL ESTERS*, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, PANTHENOL, CETEARYL WHEAT STRAW GLYCOSIDES*, TREHALOSE, POLYMETHYL METHACRYLATE, CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE*, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE*, DIMETHICONE, CARBOMER, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), PALMITOYL GRAPE SEED EXTRACT*, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, TRICAPRYLIN, TOCOPHEROL*, LINOLEIC ACID*, CASTANEA SATIVA (CHESTNUT) BARK / LEAF EXTRACT*, PISUM SATIVUM (PEA) EXTRACT*, CYCLODEXTRIN*, LINOLENIC ACID*, SODIUM CARBOXYMETHYL BETA-GLUCAN, BHT, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, SODIUM HYALURONATE, HEXYL CINNAMAL, LINALOOL, LIMONENE, BENZYL BENZOATE, CITRONELLOL, GERANIOL, COUMARIN. (032/119) *Origine végétale – Plant origin

Despite how the ingredient list sounds, it’s actually a rather impressive one despite the somewhat unfamiliar names. Plus, aside from that there’s also the fact that this not only is an amazing moisturizer but also has aspects of a treatment or serum in it too at once. The lightweight but rich cream has a soothing and gentle base, made up of glycerin, squalane and the moisturizing cetearyl alcohol. It does have a little bit of pleasant fragrance which isn’t great for the skin but it doesn’t seem to bother my sensitive skin in the slightest, thankfully. The formula’s intense soothing ability would seem to be chalked down to the heavy concentration of antioxidants coming from grape oil, (as one might expect from the brand) along with squalane. It also must be mentioned that although the moisturizer only comes in a 40 mL tube, it actually is ridiculously concentrated and should last a good while in comparison to others.

Can you tell that I recommend this moisturizer? I think its suited to anyone with normal to drier skin and anyone on the combination to slightly oilier side might enjoy the lighter sorbet. It might just be holy grail material.
What’s your favourite moisturizer?
Maggie, x.

Recent Skincare Loves

DSC_0731Despite the hormonal loveliness that I’m still suffering from, my skin has been as good as it can get and it has been for a good month or so and I’ve been wanting to share the more recent products that I have been loving. So let’s get cracking.

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La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP ($30)

I’ve been using this non-greasy but heavy duty moisturizing cream on my eczema-effected legs for about a month now, twice a day, and although it does sting the teensiest bit on open abrasions, this has not only soothed the issue but has helped to lessen the chronic itchiness overall. Unfortunately I’m nearing the end of this tube now but I will definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out, preferably in the larger size with somewhat of a sale. It’s free of fragrance, alcohol and all that jazz and nourishes the skin with glycerin and shea butter while containing the skin-repairing hero ingredient niacinimide. It actually helps the whole eczema situation so halleluiah. 

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Indeed Laboratories Facial Powdered Exfoliator ($30)

Not being a traditional scrub kind of girl, — they tend to leave my skin raw and irritated — this acid-infused exfoliating powder is quite possibly my ideal exfoliating product. Although it is a physical exfoliant with the rice bran powder in the formula, it doesn’t have that irritating grittiness that scrubs tend to have and it also contains some potent acidic goodness. This is one of those powders that you pour into your hand before mixing with water to create a foam before applying to your face and it does instantly brighten things up and springs them into action with that mild tingly sensation. This is definitely one to combat general dullness but I do lament that it does contain a wee bit of irritating alcohol but it’s towards the end of the ingredient list and its rinsed off the skin so I’m letting it slide.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($29)

This mask is a cult-favourite of many bloggers for good reason and I’ve previously sung its praises but not in a too frequent manner so I thought that it could be included again. The ingredient list didn’t look outwardly promising or bad and as a result this overnight mask was a product that I hummed and haw-ed about for ages and I’m glad that I finally went for it when I did. I would likely prefer it without the irritation that natural fragrance brings, but it does smell exactly like peaches and it has a rich creamy texture that doesn’t feel particularly heavy on the skin. It’s definitely potent in the nourishing and hydrating department and it soothes the skin during the process, dealing with dry patches quite effectively. I love this stuff, but it can sting slightly over irritated patches of skin.

DSC_0732First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($14)

In a way, I don’t know why I haven’t spoke about these gentle alcohol-free acidic pads but as much as I like these for their gentle efficacy, I’ve been hesitant about praising their goodness because I have heard that their pH is a little bit off to keep them effectively exfoliating the skin. However, I have found that the glycolic and lactic acid pads work for me, smoothing texture, brightening and adding radiance while still being nice and gentle on my skin. I also enjoy the reasonable price tag and lack of unnecessary ingredients in these pads, along with how concentrated with product they are — I can actually get away with using each side of the pad on separate occasions! Let me know if these work for you!

DSC_0733Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40)

Second to the La Roche-Posay, this is my most recently acquired item but I feel so strongly for this moisturizer that I feel I can declare my love after a month of use. If you’ve been with me for a while, you may remember that I loved the slightly milder formulation of the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and as difficult as it is to believe, I have to say that I’ve been enjoying this one even more. Without being heavy or greasy in the slightest, this emollient cream gives the skin a major boost of hydration and nourishment and doesn’t burn or sting even on my most irritated of skin and with its high antioxidant content, it almost feels like a treatment at the same time, soothing the skin effectively whilst being a moisturizer.

 Have you tried any of these? If not, what have you been loving recently?

Maggie, x.

The Beauty Bargain | No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser

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DSC_0389I’ve said multiple different times that the Boots no 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser is one of the best bargains of the beauty variety because even ingredients-wise, this indulgent creamy cleanser performs with the most luxurious of them and for a little over a ten dollar bill (and less most of the time because Shoppers seems to consistently have the line on sale), you can get 200 mLs of product and a nice muslin cloth. I believe that Americans can purchase the line from Ulta, and obviously those from the UK can purchase the line from Boots.

The packaging is rather nice and convenient but admittedly not the most compact for traveling purposes; my only issue with it can be chalked down to user error. I have this tendency to either forget to put the top on after use or somehow end up losing it altogether and this tends to make the first part of the cleanser come out with a hardened patch that I have to discard.

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The cleanser is designed to be a more affordable alternative to the famous Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish but I can’t comment because I haven’t and don’t plan on trying it because it contains essential oils unlike this version. It has a rich and nourishing cream texture but it doesn’t feel heavy in the slightest while it works to soothe the skin and cleanse/ remove makeup without stripping the skin. The cleanser has an emollient base and is also rich in glycerin and cocoa butter. It’s not great for the skin, but at least the fragrance is somewhat low on the ingredient list and the fragrance makes the product seem more indulgent than the price-point would suggest, emulating that spa-like feel. The scent doesn’t smell artificial or particularly strongly and it is actually rather pleasant, if you ask me.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tribehenin, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance), Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylparaben, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Hydroxide.

As I have been for numerous months, I use this cleanser as my initial nighttime one to remove makeup. Now I don’t use it to remove my eye makeup as directed but I’m sure most could get away with that — my eyes are far too sensitive to tolerate a cream-based product without burning or any other form of reaction. This detergent-free non-drying cleanser is very effective at removing makeup when paired with some sort of washcloth (or muslin cloth if you prefer) and never seems to irritate my skin, even when it’s in its most fragile state. I’ve also found that this is a nice cleanser in the morning when you want a bit of a treat because it soothes and hydrates the skin after being rinsed away and leaves things looking a bit brighter; it takes a little more effort but it is rather nice when I’m rather sleep deprived and looking dull, or my skin is just not at its best. As regular readers would be aware, my skin is definitely on the drier and more sensitive side of things and this is an appropriate cleanser for that but I also think that it would be suitable for more combination skin types as it is not heavy. It also does not contain mineral oil, if you have an issue with that ingredient.

Have you tried this cleanser or another ‘hot cloth’ cleanser?
Maggie, x.

La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense

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I’ve been using the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense Localized Redness Serum on a daily basis since May and while I haven’t been trialling the product long enough to speak on the long term effects of the serum — but I’m doubtful that there are any, given the ingredients. If you know me at all, I’m sure you already are aware that this won’t be brief, but to anyone new – you have been forewarned. In essence the product is a 30 mL serum (in hermetically-sealed packaging) that retails for $39.99 CDN but also can be found for 25% off at both Shopper’s and Lawton’s Drugstores and is marketed/targeted to those who are prone to rosacea (which I’m not) as well as others (like me) suffering from sensitive redness-prone skin. And before we really get into the details here, I must say that the packaging of the product is fabulous — it’s hygienic, avoiding contamination and keeps things from degrading while having a nice pump dispenser.

According to La Roche-Posay the

Rosaliac AR Intense is an anti-redness innovation formulated with three key ingredients: Ambophenol + Neurosensine + La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. Helps to reduce visible redness, irritation and discomfort – suitable for sensitive rosacea-prone skin. Daily treatment with instant optical neutralization of redness. Cooling and soothing effect on tingling and sensation of heat. 24 hour hydration, leaves skin feeling calm and refreshed. Anti-relapse, long-lasting efficacy.

Ingredients: water, Glycerin, Isostearyl Neopantanoate, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Tambourissa Tricophulla Leaf Extract, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyl Tauramide, Disodium EDTA, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester

I have lukewarm feelings towards this product and its achievements; I commend them for putting out a serum in appropriate packaging, formulated without irritants such as alcohol and fragrance but I don’t believe that its results are nearly as dramatic as their claims – not a surprise given the ingredients list. The serum has a light but hydrating gel texture that does contain some silicone but doesn’t take on that slippery feel and because of its lightweight feel on the skin I believe that this would perform on oilier skintypes equally as well as on those with more parched complexions as myself. The gel texture is soothing, calming and cooling but doesn’t dramatically take down redness instantly but rather seems to combat irritation over time. My issue with this product is that I don’t believe that it’s changes are anywhere near as drastic as implied but it does help with what it promises on a smaller scale.

I wouldn’t describe it as intensely hydrating for 24 hours as it seems to promise but it does provide a good dose of hydration in with the skin-soothing action. The three key ingredients of the product do not seem to do anything miraculous and examining the ingredients would explain why; The magical thermal water is only supposedly chalked full of antioxidants, the Ambophenol extract from the Tambourissa Tricophylla tree that is said to calm redness is present in large quantities but lacks substantial evidence and the Neurosensine peptide that is known to reduce skin reactivity and hypersensitivity is so low on the ingredient list that the results would not be drastic. Regardless of this, this serum gently works to soothe the skin, reducing irritation and leaves it moisturized in a lightweight manner. There’s nothing miraculous about the formula, however and I would expect nothing drastic either when used by those with rosacea?

Have you tried this serum? Do you have a favourite serum to recommend?
Maggie, x.

The Acquisition: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet

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Being as foundation obsessed as I am (with hoarding tendencies to match), it is rather shocking that I haven’t added a Chanel foundation to my stash until the last week but I assure you, it was merely an oversight on my part due to the fact that it isn’t sold at my usual beauty shopping spots and that I assumed that the luxurious foundations, toted by Lisa Eldridge (our makeup idol) as those new generation second-skin bases, would be a whole lot more expensive than they actually are. The Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup ($48 CDN) contains SPF 15 but neither irritates my sensitive skin or causes the dreaded flashback effect and I picked up the latest offering in the lightest shade of the beige range, ’10’ which I would say is a good match for my moderately fair skin with yellow-beige undertones year round (with the addition of some bronzer as I gain a wee bit of colour). The shade range does leave much to be desired considering that I’m by no means the fairest of the fair and they don’t exactly cater to those with deeper skintones either. And before I get onto the good (there’s a lot of good to be said, by the way), I feel compelled to mention that the formula contains potentially problematic fragrance and alcohol — although much less alcohol than its sister foundation. I have skin that becomes irritated at the drop of a hat and it doesn’t seem to be bothered by it even currently in its sensitized state.

Not that this isn’t a fabulous everyday foundation year-round, this strikes me as the perfect summer foundation, being absolutely weightless on the skin providing good oil control on my normal t-zone and somehow gliding over the dry patches (that I have plenty of at the moment courtesy of returning to using retinoids and purging). While looking almost undetectable on the skin, the foundation provides medium buildable coverage and the luminous yet velvety semi-matte finish glides over imperfections. This sounds absolutely ridiculous but the foundation ticks all of the boxes and is noteworthy for its ability to look like skin on drier complexions while being on the more matte side of things.

Although the compact black-packaged beauty gets dirty quickly, its practicality and aesthetic appeal grants it my sign of approval. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, this is the kind of foundation that is on the runnier side of things and therefore must be shaken before use and does tend to be best applied with fingers, especially considering that before long it sets to that velvety finish. I’m kind of in love, if you can’t tell already and have been reaching for this one above all others in my plentiful stash

P.S. I’m only wearing concealer underneath my eyes and on one random red spot on my forehead and there’s no powder involved here.

Have you tried the foundation?
Maggie, x.