Jul 25, 2013

SPF in your makeup: Is it enough?

Lately it's been a fuss about how convenient is to use SPF makeup products such as BB creams, CC creams, foundations etc. Our favourite products not only offer coverage, moisture and radiance but also sun protection. At least they CLAIM that they do. As it is summertime, we tend to try to simplify our makeup and skincare routine. Many people skip the sunscreen application because "My BB cream has SPF50!", " My (Shisheido) foundation has high SPF factor and says it's ideal for being in the sun!", "Sunscreen is too greasy! I use my SPF day moisturiser instead". 

As you can imagine, these statements aren't actually helpful. Especially when these are said by blogs and beauty personas whose opinion influences people (and especially young ones). So, SPF in beauty products, is it or is it not enough? Obviously it's not. If someone ever tell you you don't need sunscreen just because you use makeup with SPF, then just tell them this is bull and that they are dangerous.

So why your foundation/BB cream is not protecting you enough against sun rays ?
Let's see how experts define the SPF:

The SPF number is calculated by looking at how long it takes for skin to go red with the product on, compared to how long it takes for the skin to go red without it. This is based on the application of 2 miligrams of product per cm² of skin. When you apply a pea size amount of an SPF25 product, you get about 3 millimetres. Meaning that... in order to ensure enough protection you will have to reapply EVERY 2 HOURS. 

Do you re-apply foundation or BB cream every 2 hours ? I am sure you don't.

To work out exactly how much sun protection your make-up is giving you, you need to measure the area of your face in square centimetres, then accurately measure how much product you are applying. The average human face is about 400 cm² so it is estimated that you need to apply about 700mg of product. A "pump" of product usually weights about 130-150 mg. I doubt you use more than two pumps of foundation. 

The bottom line : Your product might say it will give you protection of SPF30+ but the protection you get is related to the amount of product you use. We don't use as much foundation/bb cream as sunblock,  hence we are less protected against sun damage. 

So if you skip sunscreen, it is possible that you think you get a SPF25 from your makeup but in fact you might actually get about a SPF4 protection. Now add that up with the sweating and the lack of re-application... Bam! No protection + Hot summer = Skin damage, wrinkles and why not...cancer. Keep in mind about 90% of skin ageing comes from the sun exposure.

So why don't we like applying sunscreen?

Most common problems:

1. Too greasy : Most of the sunscreens have oils in them and they might feel heavy, sticky and gross especially when you have an oily skin. Solution? There are so many matte finish, non heavy and sticky sunscreens in the market that "the greasy factor" should really stop being an excuse. My personal favourite and my go to product from April to September is the Anthelios SPF30 (comes also in SPF50+) Dry Touch Gel Creme Sunscreen. It is non greasy and it dries matte really fast. 

2. Ghost Face in photos : This shouldn't really be a problem, since the "ghost face" happens in flash photographs and why would you take a photograph in the sun with flash ? Even though, if you have to do that, try a chemical sunscreen and not one with titanium dioxide (that white powder that gives you the white-ghost face in photos).

Do you still rely on marketing and beauty product advertisements? Even if the product itself says it's a "BB cream for sun or especially designed for sun"... it's not and you will end up unprotected. 

Still thinking about it? Check this picture (from wiki). I was shocked when I found it. See how your skin is NAKED against the sun rays. 

Even hotter days are coming, so just apply and re apply your sunscreen. The sun is not how it used to be 20 years ago. 

For more info on products containing SPF you can check this link as well. 

Jul 24, 2013

The Skin Regime : Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin + Giveaway

Sometimes I just stare at this pile of half full skincare products I have on my boudoir. Some of them I quite like, some I just ignore or absolutely hate. I was wondering how much money has gone to waste for these. Do we really need all these? Not only one face soap but also a face washing balm and the list just goes on...

I recently came across this skincare book called "The Skin Regime: Bootcamp for beautiful skin". I absolutely love beauty books since I get to criticise all these clichés they are full of. I can understand when a beauty related book is worth reading when I read what I don't expect to. Normal beauty books won't tell you to maintain a minimal skincare routine (they just make you think you need to "invest" in some ridiculously expensive and hyped products with insane ingredients - gold and snake venom infused serum? seriously?). What I personally loved was that it exposed so many skincare related myths such as the scam with collagen infused products, the faux "organic and all natural" lines and so many more. Not many authors make these statements easily.

The whole concept of this regime is that you can achieve flawless, acne and blemish free skin with minimum and basic products but always accompanied with face peels. So let me tell you more about these peels. I am talking about chemical peels and in particular glycolic acid peels. Not the extreme ones you can get at a dermatologist but the milder ones. This book is a full guide on how to successfully use glycolic peels safely at home with low cost. This boot camp lasts for 6 to 12 weeks. The results are visible from the first uses.

I received a sachet with a glycolic peel sample from the platinum line. I used it after carefully reading every line of the book. I've never had smoother skin in my life. I chose a bad skin day to test it (also tested it on my brother - who was surprised by the smoothness of his face). I've been suffering from acne breakouts lately due to stress.

I have to admit that the peel definitely reduced the cycle of my acne, they practically reduced in puffiness in two days! The experience of the peel was something I never had before. I applied it on dry clean skin and left it on for about 3 minutes. I experienced a lot of itchiness and discomfort after the 1st minute but that was absolutely normal. The left picture is right after I washed off the peel, as you can see the skin looks blotchy and irritated. The redness disappeared after a couple of hours. The picture on the right shows how my blemishes improved after 2 days! I was shocked. Also my skin felt incredibly soft.

I will be posting updates on how the "regime boot camp" develops. In the meantime you can search it for yourself. Some helpful links :

Here you can see before & after shots of people who tried the regime

Before - 2 days after

So, let get to the giveaway part. You get the chance to win a copy of the "The Skin Regime: Boot Camp for beautiful skin" signed by the author Dana Ramos.
Please fill the form below. The comments won't count as giveaway entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 6, 2013

Sleek Blush By 3 - Sweet Cheeks : Review & Swatches

Recently I've picked up this blush by 3 blush palette from Sleek as I love their trio blush palettes. This is a limited edition product part of their new Candy Collection. I must admit this is was great purchase.

Packaging:  As always their packaging is absolutely "sleek", sturdy, simplechic. No bulkiness here.

Colours & Formula: In this palette you can find 3 shades of pink, including an amazing cream blush. The first blush is a magenta-bubblegum pink cream blush called "Cupcake", the middle one is a pale mauve baby pink powder blush called "Dolly Mix" and the last one is a watermelon pink shade with slight shimmer called "Candy Floss".

Cupcake (The cream blush): I believe Sleek is trying to market test their cream blushes by putting one in a ltd palette. Great way to test it as far as marketing goes (so I won't be surprised if they release new cream blushers next season). This particular blush is very well designed. It is super creamy but not thick and sticky, it is super pigmented but blends like a dream, while it feels creamy on the hand, it dries matte like a powder on the skin. My only complaint is that it doesn't make the cheeks "glow". It looks like a powder blush. This shade has no shimmer. I adore it (I've been using it everyday ever since I got it) for it's staying power. It lasts forever on the cheeks, I've never had a blush that stays put all day. 

Dolly Mix : Standard Sleek quality blush. It applies effortlessly, it feels silky and it's matte, totally matte. I usually layer this on top of the cream blush. It's the perfect sweet, girl next door blush shade. Words are useless. Love it.

Candy Floss : When I first saw this one I was like "humm shimmery blush...not my favourite". The shimmer in this blush is super subtle, barely noticeable. It gives a beautiful finish on the cheeks. It reminds me of how the skin reacts when it's pinched. You can easily achieve this "flushed" "no makeup flush" by applying it lightly on the cheeks while skipping foundation. A bit of concealer, some powder on the T zone, lip balm and this blush and you are good to go.

Price and Availability: This palette retails for 12.99 euros on the official Sleek website. Since this is a limited edition piece, you better get it now before it's gone or you 'll have to pay something more on eBay to get your hands on it.

Eventually, do I recommend? I couldn't recommend more. If you are into pink cheeks this is a handy compact all-in-one palette. Personally I carry only this when travelling and I never regret not carrying other blushers with me. Not to mention the lasting power is phenomenal.

Take care and don't forget your sunscreen