It has been a while since I have sat down and spoken in depth about skincare ingredients. I am so sorry for those who really enjoy reading these sorts of posts as I know I have completely neglected this particular area on my blog. The simple reason being is that these posts actually take so much time to research and the past few months have been crazy with family, Christmas, New Years, Lunar New Year and organising the wedding! I just haven't been able to dedicate a good chunk of time to look further into some of the things that we often find in our skincare. I do hope to be able to focus more on these sorts of posts this year (most likely after the wedding in February) so don't worry - we will be back on track! For today though, I thought I would look into a little detail into some interesting skincare ingredients that I have come across in products that I have come across and/or purchase and discuss a little in terms of how they work and what they can do for the skin.Read More
In doing my research in face oils for the past few weeks, I have started to notice a growing trend for more rare or harder to find carrier oils. Don't get me wrong, oils such as grapeseed, argan, almond, jojoba and rosehip oil are fantastic and really do have some wonderful benefits to the skin. However, in saying that, as consumers we are always wanting to discover and find out more and see what other products are potentially fantastic for our skin. Oils that are found in exotic locations or that are wild harvested have started to gain more appeal. In this part of the series of Understanding Face Oils, I have decided to briefly look at four emerging types of carrier oils that I have noticed are being used more often and do a quick overview of how these oils can be beneficial to the skin. These oils include Marula Oil (a huge hit in Australia at the moment thanks to the Mecca launch of African Botanics and Drunk Elephant Skincare), Camellia Seed Oil, Tamanu Oil and Prickly Pear Seed Oil.Read More
We live in a world where we have many choices when it comes to products, especially when it comes to skincare products. Rewind back to 5 or 10 years ago, finding beautiful all natural skincare would have been incredibly hard. Fast forward to now, the green beauty market is one of the most fastest growing and lucrative markets out there. As consumers now we have so much choice when it comes to natural products, especially when it comes to face oils.
In a market that is incredibly competitive, we now also have options from face oils that are incredibly kind on the wallet like those from Boots, Sukin or Trilogy. On the other end of the spectrum we have luxuriously priced face oils such as those from Rodin, May Lindstrom, 5YINA, African Botanics and of course Vintner's Daughter. There are also the happy in between oils like those offerings from Antipodes Skincare and Drunk Elephant Skincare. With the array of different facial oils on the market these days, many which offer similar solutions but with a broad price range, its incredibly hard for the average person to pick one oil.
However, with such a vast range of different oils available on the market, how can one oil cost $20 whilst others companies are charging well over $250 for their formulations? This is something I personally used to struggle with as I just felt I couldn't shell out so much money for a skincare product. Was it really worth it? My view points have changed as I have started to develop an appreciation for these beautiful creations (my bank account does not like this at all) and as I learn more about skincare, I can truly appreciate the time, energy, passion, and monetary costs that are involved. In writing this post, I decided to reach out to some of the more luxuriously priced companies that produce these face oils to understand exactly WHY their oils maybe more than others in the market. As I read through my email correspondence, I start to notice that there is more to these popular face oils than meets the eye. As Julia Noik from African Botanics put it perfectly, "when it comes to ingredients and formulations on the market, not everything is as it looks". Put simply, everything is not as black and white as many of us may think. There is so much more to making and creating these facial oils than pretty packaging and marketing - the reasons why these oils are probably more expensive than your average Organic Rosehip Seed Oil from the drugstore does come down to its quality, method of extraction and the general design process.
Read more after the jump!Read More
Korean skincare is an area of skincare that is quite new and foreign for me in terms of learning about a few of the many different brands available, what each brand is notorious for and of course what are the must purchase items whilst in Seoul. I nerded it up before I went to Seoul and did so by reading endless reviews and hunting down accurate ingredient listings. I also tried to develop general understanding on why and how Korean skincare is that little bit different to what I am used to. After reading some great K-Beauty blogging resources like those from Snow White and The Asian Pear, Fifty Shades of Snails and Fan Serviced B, I discovered that what perhaps sets Korean Skincare and Western Skincare apart is their use of of ingredients, their concentrations within formulas and the innovations within the research and development laboratories of big companies such are Amore Pacific and LG.
In this blog post I look into five different skincare ingredients that are widely used or popular in South Korea (and slowly making waves in the Western skincare scene). Some of these skincare ingredients have heaps of scientific research to back up their benefits whilst others, not so much. However, each and every one of these ingredients are quite popular and are used in many Korean skincare products as a main ingredient (and thus a marketing tool) or is just commonly found on a formulation listing of different products.Read More
I am so sorry that I haven't written an Ingredient Spotlight post in a while! It's been quite the busy month and these sorts of blog posts do require some time to go through scientific journals and read and understand some of the studies. This post tackles the issue of parabens in skincare or our personal care goods. Its another controversial where the media have given it a bad name, but is it deserving of this? Or is this another case of the media interpreting a scientific article in a completely wrong way?
Parabens are another one of those ingredients that are used in the skincare and cosmetic industry that can cause much debate over its safety to humans. There are many scientific studies that look at parabens and whether or not there are any links to cancer. The scientific community do generally agree that parabens as safe to use in formulations. However, there are also other scientists that question its use in cosmetics, personal goods, food and other uses (such as on paper) and whether or not it can cause harm to humans in the long term. Overall, based on the current research - parabens as a whole are still considered to be safe. There are currently no scientific studies that can prove that parabens cause cancer. However, with the rise of many companies marketing products as paraben free or the media reporting that parabens are linked to breast cancer, its difficult to understand or to know if parabens are really safe or not. I have tried my best to analyse some scientific articles (there are so many out there however and I have barely scraped the surface of this topic) and help you formulate your own personal opinion as to whether or not you should abandon parabens in your skincare or not.
Follow the jump to find out more...Read More
Mineral Oil - its another one of those controversial ingredients whereby it's very easy to get confused about. Type "Mineral Oil Skincare" in a Google search and you will find hundreds of articles arguing for and against mineral oil. Some say that the ingredient is incredibly safe and there is commotion over the ingredient is due to smaller companies wanting to boost their own sales and on the other side of the spectrum, you have those saying that mineral oil is incredibly dangerous as it causes cancer. Many dermatologists and scientists say that the mineral oil used in cosmetics is safe as it is of a completely different grade and is highly refined but on the other corner, you have skincare creators say that they would avoid it as it is derived from crude oil. So who do you believe? And what is up with mineral oil?
Find out more after the jump!Read More
Summer has officially hit Shanghai and I am loving the beautiful sunny days (as opposed to the humid and wet ones that we get hit with here as well). I have been making a solid effort to apply sunscreen not only on my face (so important) but also on my body as well on days I venture out to explore. Sunscreen is so important in terms of protecting our face and body from free radical damage, aging and getting sunburnt. I cannot stress the importance of sunscreen, and even more so if you are anything like me and enjoy being out in the sun and developing a bit of a tan (I am a terrible Asian in this respect).
In recent years through, there have many articles and claims that suggest perhaps the sunscreen that we are using is in fact dangerous, toxic or debilitating to our health. There have even been suggestions from other websites, bloggers and other influential media personalities that we should avoid using sunscreen altogether (and cover up/avoid the sun at its most potent). EWG releases a 'safe' sunscreen guide every year educating consumers on what sunscreens to 'avoid' and what to purchase. Our cancer research institutions such as the Australian Cancer Council and the American Cancer Society all claim that sunscreens sold in both markets are safe and are regulated. As a consumer, again its so hard what and who to believe as you have two trustworthy entities with two very different point of views. In today's blog post I try my very hardest to try an give you a better understanding on sunscreens, the 'controversy', the ingredients and the research behind it all. Please be wary, it is a long blog post and is quite a bit of a read.
Continue reading after the jump!Read More
Sorry for the lack of blog posts everyone! It's been a crazy 2 weeks, I've been in Vietnam organising wedding things, catching up with family and having some time to enjoy the food and my surroundings. I have also been busy working on some upcoming Ingredient Spotlight posts! My my recent one, looks at the addition of fragrance in our skincare and beauty products.
Fragrance is one of those ingredients that many of our products that we currently own contain, some of us sensitive skincare types will try to avoid and beauty guru Paula Begoin of Paula's Choice (and many other beauty gurus) are strongly against. But what is fragrance exactly? And what does it mean when it is listed in our personal care products?Read More
I sometimes find researching particular ingredients really frustrating, as the more controversial ingredients, information is all over the place and there are so many arguments for and against. My internet browser ends up having about 10 tabs open and I am reading through all the information discussed in forums, blog posts and at the same time trying to decipher what some of the actual scientific studies mean. I thought I would start a section on my blog on Deciphering Ingredients where I have the opportunity to surmise some of many the sources and information found, the studies conducted and explain it in a way most people can understand. It is a great way for me to share my findings but also a good way for me to learn more and get a better understanding on what is actually going into my skincare and its effects on the skin.
As my first Ingredient Spotlight post, I thought I would talk about alcohols as they do get a pretty bad wrap but it is important to remember that not all alcohols are the same. There are some good types out there as well that have some great benefits to the skin, especially in terms of hydration and moisture retention. In saying that, as many of you also know, alcohols can be bad for the skin, but how? And in what way?Read More