Sunday, 9 November 2014

New Cleansers from Jurlique, Skin Theory and Boots No 7

There have been quite a few skincare launches in the past few months, and I've been busy trying out all the new cleansers! Jurlique have been around for a while, but Boots No 7 and Skin Theory are two brands which have just launched in Australia which is super exciting. Here's what I thought of the cleansers:

Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Nourishing Cleansing Oil

This is a cleansing oil which marries the make-up removal properties of an oil with the clean feeling of a cream cleanser. I've posted before about how cleansing oils work - essentially you need an oil and a surfactant that will help the dirty oil dissolve in water. It comes out clear but when mixed with water, turns milky white. In this cleanser, polyglyceryl-10 laurate and polyglyceryl-2 oleate are the main surfactants, while a mixture of ethylhexyl stearate, and castor, safflower and sunflower oil make up most of the oil component.

Cleansing oils are typically very gentle and non-stripping, and this is no exception. It's very mild and has some good ingredients (like licorice root extract, which brightens skin, and a host of skin-friendly oils), but its effects would be limited in a wash-off product. Like most Jurlique products, it smells great without being over-the-top or irritating.

Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Stearate, Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Polyglyceryl-2 Oleate, Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Oleate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Aqua (Water), Ribes nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Sesamum indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Betula alba Leaf Extract, Sambucus nigra Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Evodia rutaecarpa Fruit Extract, Fragrance/Parfum, Squalane, Tocopherol, Bisabolol, Propanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Limonene, Linalool.

Jurlique Clarifying Deep Cleansing Gel

This contains little scrubbing beads made from environmentally friendly jojoba oil, which unfortunately didn't show up very well in my photo. It's recommended for oily skin but has lots of humectants, which is good news for dehydration-prone skin like mine! This is a pretty gentle scrub, at an appropriate, slightly acidic pH 5.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Decyl Glucoside, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Glycerin, Jojoba Esters, Carrageenan, Rosa canina Fruit Oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycine soja Protein, Salix nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Equisetum arvense Extract, Melissa officinalis Leaf Extract, Lavandula officinalis (Lavender) Flower Extract, Origanum majorana Extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Urtica dioica (Nettle) Extract, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Achillea millefolium Extract, Calendula officinalis Flower Extract, Spilanthes acmella Flower Extract, Crithmum maritimum Extract, Fragrance/Parfum, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, SD Alcohol 40-A (Alcohol Denat.), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Limonene, Linalool.

Skin Theory Gentle Cream Cleanser

Skin Theory is a new skincare range launched from Colour Theory (there's also a new beauty tools range called Beauty Theory). The range is very budget-friendly, topping out at $12.

There are three cleansers in the range, and I've tried two of them so far - there's also a foaming cleanser I'm yet to test-drive. The Gentle Cream Cleanser cleans by dissolving make-up and dirt off your face. It doesn't strip the skin, which also means that on the flip side, it also can't cleanse very thoroughly so it's not ideal when you're wearing a lot of sunscreen or heavy make-up. This leaves a slightly filmy feeling on the skin which I don't mind, but I can imagine it's not for everyone.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Pretty Serious Stop! Collaborate and Listen Collection

A few months back I was lucky enough to have had Kaz of Pretty Serious make me my dream polish, Undercover Mermaid. Two other bloggers also had Kaz fulfil their dreams at the same time - Kristy of The Polish Haven, and Mary of Swatch and Learn. They've been sitting in my inbox for a while, but my nails have finally recovered from travelling so I can show them in public again! Here are their collaboration shades:

Swatch and Learn has iridescent glass flecks, with copper and gold flakes, in a green jelly base. The green is murky and mysterious, and the blue-pink flash of the flecks comes as quite a surprise. It's a really unique polish. Three coats here.

Stuck in the Middle is a bright pink jelly with iridescent glass flecks that mostly flash purple and blue. The pink is so, so vivid - I started worrying about staining the moment the brush hit my nail, but I've had no issues! The smooth richness of this polish makes it really fun to apply. I usually avoid pinks, but I'm actually quite fond of this one. This is two coats.

These shades and Undercover Mermaid are available now from Pretty Serious and their stockists.

These products were provided for review, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

What is clinical strength antiperspirant deodorant?

My go-to antiperspirant deodorant, Nivea Stress Protect, has recently come out with a clinical strength version, and since it's been a while since I blogged about underarm matters, I thought it was time to revisit the basics of sweat science...

What's the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant?

Deodorant targets smell. It usually contains fragrance, and sometimes antibacterials too to kill the bacteria which feed on your sweat and create body odour. They won't stop you from getting wet armpits though - that's the job of antiperspirants, which stop perspiration (sweating). Antiperspirants are usually combined with deodorant.

How do antiperspirants work?

Antiperspirants contain aluminium salts. These react with small amounts of sweat to form a gel plug which blocks off the sweat gland. The plug comes out later as your skin cells shed.

There are two types of sweat: thermal sweat and stress sweating. Thermal sweat cools your body down when it's hot or if you exercise, and is quite watery (99% water). It comes out of eccrine glands found all over your body. Stress sweat is sometimes called a "cold sweat" - it comes from adrenalin-fueled nervousness or anxiousness, and appears mainly in the armpits and groin from the apocrine glands. It contains less water and more proteins and lipids (about 20%), which bacteria feed off, and hence it tends to smell more (it's mainly the bacteria that make body odour, not you!). Antiperspirants block off the armpit sweat, leading to less odour and less sweaty stains.

But isn't that dangerous?

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Asian Sunscreen Showdown: Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence vs Shiseido Senka Mineral Perfect UV Gel

This is part of a continuing series on sunscreens. The first installment with two physical sunscreens is here.

One of my biggest issues with sunscreen is the greasy feel and the pain of trying to get them to sink in, so I was bound to eventually end up at Asian sunscreens.

Asian sunscreens are well known for their high SPF values and pleasant textures. Two of the most talked-about sunscreens are Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence and Shiseido Senka Mineral Perfect UV Gel, so of course I bought them and road tested them. Here's what I thought...

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50 PA+++

Price on eBay: $12 for 50 g

A friend grabbed this for me when she went to Hong Kong. The sunscreen itself has a weird, grainy looking gel sort of texture, kind of like natural yoghurt, but don't let that put you off.

It's a very light, completely non-greasy sunscreen that sinks in with zero effort. The texture is honestly like no other sunscreen I've tried - it's super weightless, and I would totally believe it if someone official announced that they've discovered that it gave zero sun protection. It's that good. But it's been approved in a lot of Asian countries, so I'll believe the label!

Unfortunately there are no UVA1 filters in the formula, and PA+++ only translates to around PPD 8-16, so it doesn't offer the best UVA protection.

- Amazing texture, not sunscreeny at all
- Pretty damn cheap
- Awesome UVB protection

- Contains a lot of alcohol, so can be drying for people prone to dryness (but moisturiser on top will fix that).
- Lower-than-optimal UVA protection

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Agar, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Xylitol, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Fragrance (Parfum)

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