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Tag : korean skincare

30 Jun 2018
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Is Korean BB Cream Really an All-In-One Solution?

Since 2010, Korean BB cream has been a hit in the cosmetic and beauty industry across the globe. Like its predecessors, it has positioned itself as the ideal all-in-one solution. Unfortunately, many consumers have become wary of any product that promises the ability to take care of multiple beauty problems simultaneously. This raises the question of whether or not Korean cream should really be considered an all-in-one solution.

The best place to start is with what this cream says it can do. Most creams state they are a combination moisturizer, primer, sun screen, foundation, and anti-aging cream. To find out if Korean cream can really replace all of these products, it is critical to take a closer look at the ingredients. The easiest product to see BB creams replicate is sun screen. There is no doubt that this creams offer a certain level of SPF protection. In fact, most of them are at least an SPF 30. This ensures they offer effective sun protection. In fact, this is equal to or greater than the amount of sun protection recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. Many creams take it a step further by adding zinc oxide or titanium oxide. This not only provides a physical sunblock but also makes them water resistant.

These creams are tinted, which means they can act as a foundation replacement. The key is choosing a BB cream that is the correct color for the skin it will be applied to. When selecting the cream color, the same process should be followed that is used when selecting a foundation color.

Many Korean creams also include a number of ingredients which have been proven to be effective moisturizers. These ingredients are typically hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Not only are they excellent moisturizers, but they are often considered to be the key ingredients in popular stand-alone moisturizers.

The final ability BB creams promise is anti-aging properties. Great BB creams includes a number of ingredients which have proven anti-aging properties. For example, licorice and arbutin are great at helping someone even out their skin tone. Mica is another beneficial ingredient because it helps create a luminous, youthful finish. Plus, the additional of silicone-based ingredients like dimethicone can smooth out skin. This not only acts a primer but can help eliminate the appearance of small wrinkles.

Like any beauty product, the key to success is in the ingredients. It is important to remember that all Korean BB cream is the same. Always take a close look at the ingredients to discover which one is right for a particular type of skin.

One of our favorite B.B. creams is the Missha M Perfect BB Cream. What’s yours?

by Rosario Berry

05 Jan 2018

How do Face Masks Work and Help the Skin?

Our skin has a natural protective barrier of fats that creates a nice smooth waterproof layer to keep the moisture in and foreign substances out. The skin's ability to stay hydrated is an important factor in its ability to maintain softness, suppleness and elasticity. Unfortunately, the drying effect of the cold weather or the air con, the damaging effect of the harsh sun and pollution from the environment can cause our skin to look fatigue, dull and blotchy. And combined this with the aging of the skin, the lack of sleep and our hectic stress lifestyle, our skin can become wrinkled, flaky and look older than it should. In addition, the use of makeup on our face also could clog the pores of the skin, preventing carbon dioxide inside our body from coming out and fresh oxygen from entering the skin. This causes the skin to lose its glow and attractiveness. Facial masks are an ultimate nutrient delivery system in anti aging skin care. They are much thicker than a moisturizer or topical treatment, and because of its extended application time and the inner warmth generated, pores easily open and the penetration of nutrients into the skin occurs more efficiently.

Basically all face masks have some kind of a cleaning function; they remove excess oil, environmental debris and pollutants much more gently than astringents, toners or scrubs. Various anti aging skin care ingredients are used in the face masks, depending on the skin type and to some extent on the availability of materials. Clays form an important constituent of many face masks as they are excellent absorbing agents. Gums and polymers are added to lend sticking properties to the clays. They help to remove dirt, sebum, and dead skin so that the skin looks clean, soft and youthful.

Some facials are also meant to exfoliate, clarify and unclog pores. They work by causing an abrasive action against the skin that removes the top layer of dead cells from the skin and accumulated dirt, leaving behind fresh healthy-looking skin. Regular exfoliation can reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkle and improve the clarity, tone and radiance of the complexion. Some facial masks contain antioxidants to protect against free radicals. Facial masks for dry skin hold water in the skin, making it softer and more flexible. Facial masks for oily skin often contain natural fruit extracts and hydrating marine extracts. These oil-free facial masks peel away dead surface skin cells and refine the pores.

Applying a facial mask once a week helps revitalize the skin and keeps it smooth and youthful. Normally, the face mask is applied on the cleansed skin for about ten to twenty minutes, thereafter, wash the face with lukewarm water and afterwards apply a thin layer of cold-cream or a moisturizer.

Source by Ruth Tan

05 Jan 2018

What is the Difference Between Age Spots and Melasma?

Hyperpigmentation in dermatology means the darkening of an area or areas of the skin. This is due to increased melanin levels. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by different things. In this article we’ll look at the difference between dark, brown, age spots and Melasma. Dark, brown and age spots are due to increased melanin levels in areas of the skin. This skin problem usually arises due to an over exposure to the sun over a long period of time. If you for example like sun tanning and did it recklessly in your 20s without using sun block, you are probably going to have to deal with this problem in your late 30s and early 40s.

Age, dark and brown spots are the same and they usually appear where you’ve exposed your skin to the sun: face, neck, shoulders, hands and arms. These hyperpigmentation problems are harmless (remember that too much sun can also lead to skin cancer). However, these imperfections do have an impact on your appearance and therefore on your self esteem. This is why many try finding treatments to get rid of them.

Some treatments for age, dark and brown spots are skin microdermabrasion, dermabrasion and skin bleaching creams. It’s always recommended to talk to your dermatologist before you undergo any of these treatments because they can have some unwanted side effects. If you want to use a cream, use something that contains Rumex extract (natural melanin inhibitor), rather than hydroquinone (chemical skin whitener). The chemical variant can cause quite a few side effects that can make the problem worse. Natural skin creams that control melanin production on the other hand are safe and effective.

Melasma is also a type of hyperpigmentation problem. It’s also caused by an increased melanin production, but it’s not due to an over exposure to the sun: its cause is hormonal changes. This is why melasma appears during pregnancy. Melasma is harmless, but can just like age spots, affect one’s self esteem. Treatments for melasma are the same as for age spots. You need something to prevent and control melanin production. Since this is a problem that arises during pregnancy, harsh treatments are not recommended. A natural skin cream that contains Rumex extract is therefore the best way to treat melasma without causing any problems to your baby.

Source by Ulrik Birkkjaer

03 Jan 2018

What is an Emulsion in Skin Care?

What Is An Emulsion?

Lotions, liniments, massage oils, creams and compresses are all external preparations such as moisturisers but are also used to treat conditions such as skin problems and rashes, to relieve bruising, aches and pains.

But what is an emulsion and what does it actually mean.

All of these products tend to be water and oil preparations and as a result of the oil content will absorb into the skin.

Making a lotion, cream liniment etc is based on blending the oil and water in the right proportions to make an emulsion. Leave it long enough and it will eventually separate. By adding an emulsifier, this becomes a stable product and will remain bound. The emulsifiers you then select are dependent on which type of emulsion it is.

So What Is The Difference?

An emulsion can be made in two ways: either as a oil in water emulsion or a water in oil. Sound the same don’t they and they do create a similar result.

Explanation

If it is a oil in water emulsion, then the oil is the disperse phase and the water is the continuous phase.

If it is a water in oil emulsion, then the water is the disperse phase and the oil is the continuous phase.

Either type of cream/lotion can separate into it’s components over time even with the emulsifier present and can sometimes be caused by extreme temperatures, the wrong proportion of the disperse component and the addition of other components such as alcohol.

Most people these days are selective of what they put on their skin, so be aware of what type of emulsion it is. Try to find a product that has natural emulsifiers in it and uses natural oils are the base. Your skin will thank you for it.

Source by Frosa Katsis

22 Sep 2017
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Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner

Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner 

This mist-type toner is slowly becoming a new classic. It’s hydrating, refreshing, and it’s great for calming irritated skin

Benefits  

This cool hydrating mist is made up of 91.9% Barberry root extract, which is a powerful antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory, energizing and nourishing properties. Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner quickly absorbs to hydrate and refresh your skin. It also soothes the skin and prepares it for the next stages of your skincare routine.

Ingredients

Barberry Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate

How To Use

After cleansing, hold the bottle 7-8 inches away and spray. Follow with the rest of your skincare routine. Also can be used as a mist to freshen up throughout the day.

Final Thoughts 

Pyunkang Yul products are free of artificial fragrances, dyes, or irritants. I love the fact that it’s a multi purpose product because it can be used not just as a toner but also as a mist. Works over makeup when you need a little freshening up. It can help if your skin tends to be shiny and oily. Also works great for those like myself who tend to have enlarged pores or are prone to breakouts due to excess sebum.

 

22 Sep 2017
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Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask

Innisfree color clay maskInnisfree Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask

Pink Vitalizing

This is a water gel clay mask that revitalizes tired skin with JeJu volcanic clusters and pomegranate seed oil.

Volcanic clusters are a natural ingredient that forms when lava from a volcano eruption solidifies on JeJu Island.

Benefits

The volcanic clusters purifies the pores thus providing superb sebum control which helps keep the skin vibrant. This is a great mask to use for people with oily skin.  It is a water gel clay texture which is lightweight and rich in moisture.

Ingredients

JeJu Volcanic , hyaluronic acid, pomegranate seed oil, Parthenon, madecassoside, sea salt, mud, and vitamin C derivatives

How To Use

Since this is a moisture enriched mask, it tends to dry quickly. It is recommended to use after cleansing by applying a thin layer all over your face or just on problem areas. Leave on for 5-10 minutes then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Use 1-2 times a week.

Final Thoughts

Inisfree is a natural brand that shares the benefits of nature. The color clay line comes in 7 different colors that address different skin concerns. This allows you to multi-mask by selecting the mask color suitable for your various skin concerns. I felt like it was easy to use. Worked well and didn’t leave my skin feeling to dry or tight as some clay masks usually tend to do.

 

 

 

 

11 May 2017
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Bonus Spotlight: Symphony Beauty Moisturizing Cleansing Wipes

Subscribers this month received a free travel size of the Symphony Beauty Moisturise Makeup Cleansing Wipes in Cucumber & Aloe Vera. These soft cleansing wipes gently sweep away makeup, oil and impurities, leaving skin perfectly clean and moisturized in a single, easy step.

Featuring a soothing blend of natural cucumber and aloe vera extracts, these wipes instantly restore the skin with long-lasting moisture. Each wipe is also infused with the ultra-brightening complex arbutin, which naturally illuminates the skin to impart a radiant, youthful glow.

This 10 sheet pack is the perfect size to keep in your car, purse, makeup bag or travel kit.

For more info visit http://symphonybeauty.com/

25 Jan 2017
Copy of 3 Tips To Balance Your Skin’s pH and Why It Matters.

Types Of Skincare Ingredients

Types of Skincare Ingredients

When you first start caring about ingredients in your Korean Skincare products, or beauty products in general, the names can be overwhelming with words bleeding into each other. There are some products with a “clean” ingredients list, i.e. only a few ingredients that are easily understood. Then there are those that look like a mini chemistry thesis. So how are those ingredients categorized? In this post we will try to demystify the different types of skincare ingredients, and make it simpler to understand.

All skincare ingredients can be divided into 3 types:

  1. Functional
  2. Aesthetic Modifiers
  3. Claims Ingredients

Functional Ingredients

A tub of Vaseline contains just one functional ingredient: Petrolatum

Functional ingredients are the ones whose main function affects the appearance and feel of the skin or hair. This can be one or more ingredient in any product. As an example, Vaseline contains just one functional ingredient: petrolatum (petroleum jelly) while a moisturizer will contain many different functional ingredients like polymers, humectants, occlusives, emollients etc. Common functional ingredients include cleansers, conditioners (like polymers, humectants, emollients), colorants (as in hair dye).

For an ingredient to be considered “functional” it would have to meet the minimum efficacy concentration percentage to be considered functional and not a claim. As an example, Salicylic Acid is a functional ingredient in many acne fighting products, but if it was in a concentration less than 0.5% it would not be considered effective and would thus be considered a “Claim Ingredient” (see below for more on what a claims ingredient is).

Functional ingredients usually appear in the beginning of the list of ingredients and are usually in concentrations greater than 1% in the product. E.g. Water is usually high up on a list of ingredients, so it’s safe to assume that out of 100% of all the ingredients in a product, water makes up more than 1% of the product and will therefore appear higher on the label. This doesn’t mean that all ingredients that are at the top of the list are effective, as mentioned it would have to be in a  specific concentration to be considered effective. It just means that the product contains that specific ingredient, but if the concentration is too low, then it’s not a functional ingredient, but rather a claim ingredient.

When reading an ingredient label, as soon as you see an ingredient that couldn’t possibly be higher than 1% in the product, it’s safe to assume that the rest of the ingredients are either aesthetic modifiers or claims ingredients. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to know which ingredient could never be more than 1% in a product unless you’re a cosmetic scientist; But an easy one is Tetrasoda EDTA which is a kelating agent and would never constitute more than 1% of any product. Once you hit this ingredient, you can basically ignore everything below it, unless you’re sensitive to fragrance (which can appear last on the label), then by all means carry on down the list.

Some products also contain functional ingredients that are active drugs like zinc oxide which can be found in sunscreen or a specific drug that battles acne or pigmentation. Functional ingredients as a whole are sometimes referred to as “active” ingredients by some, but this is not entirely correct as not all functional ingredients are “actives”. Actives, like the zinc oxide in sunscreen, can be considered any ingredient that affects the structure or function of the body (skin too) and would classify as a drug that requires FDA approval to determine that it’s safe and effective.

Some functional ingredients can also double up as an aesthetic modifiers.

Aesthetic Modifiers

Aesthetic Modifiers are ingredients that makes delivery of the functional ingredient easier or changes the viscosity (thickness/stickiness/texture) of a product. There are many different types of aesthetic modifiers. It can be a solvent to make delivery of an ingredient easier, like water; a pH adjuster such as Sodium Hydroxide or Chloride, a kelating (binding) agent, a Solubilizer to clear up a cloudy solution, a thicker, fragrance, filler, or color etc. Aesthetic Modifiers follow the functional ingredients on an ingredient label, except for color, fragrance and preservatives which will typically appear at the end.

This type of ingredient also includes Preservatives (which are a good thing!) to prevent the growth of microbes. Parabens is probably the most popular preservative class of molecules with the most popular ones in skincare being Methylparaben, Propylparaben or Butylparaben. These paragons are the most widely used because they’ve proven to be the most effective against bacteria. The reason more than one preservative is used is because each one in isolation is not effective against all microbes. The “no preservatives” label you’ll see on some products is unfortunately a “Claim” as there usually are preservatives in the product even if it’s not labelled directly as such, or the product has been stored and transported in a climate controlled box and is a one time use product with a very very short shelf life. You might see products that claim to be ‘Paraben free” but this doesn’t mean that no other class of preservative was used. It could contain Phenoxy ethanol  or other natural preservatives, but are not always as effective as parabens. Parabens can be an irritant however, especially if used in larger concentrations on sensitive skin.

Parabens are a whole other post, but  suffice to say that current scientific research has determined parabens to be safe. Parabens in the correct concentrations are a VERY good thing for your skin, especially if you want to prevent possible life threatening skin infections caused by bacteria that would have normally been destroyed by preservatives or a preservation process.

Claims ingredients

Claims ingredients are what you’d call the “hype marketing”, “fairy dust” or “gimmick” ingredients. Some may very well work, but unfortunately the majority of claims ingredients are sometimes in such small concentrations that it has no effect on your skin, but manufacturers will include it to make the product more appealing. Some of us do love fairy dust so it’s not always a terrible thing, but it’s important to focus more on the functional and aesthetic modifier ingredients and less on the claims labelling.

18 Jan 2017
Copy of 3 Tips To Balance Your Skin’s pH and Why It Matters.-2

3 Tips To Balance Your Skin’s pH and Why It Matters #kbeauty

The pH of your skin is how acidic or alkaline (basic) your skin is. When your skin’s pH is imbalanced, it shows up as wrinkles, acne, dry skin or oily skin. When your pH is balanced, your skin more dewy and plump. It makes sense then that you have to balance your skin’s pH.

Balanced pH of your skin should be around 5.5 which is slightly acidic. The thin outer layer of your skin is called the acid mantle which is a protective layer that keeps the good stuff (like moisture)  in and the bad stuff (like bacteria) out. Overusing products or tools that disrupt the skin’s pH and thus the acid mantle, leaves your pores wide open to the bad stuff getting in and causing more damage in the deeper layers. Products that destroy the acid mantle are typical anything that works as an exfoliator. There’s nothing wrong with exfoliating, but it should be done sparingly and using gentler methods. It’s a good idea to  follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. If the bottle says to use it once a week, then don’t use it on a daily basis.

Balanced skin is slightly on the acidic side, as being too alkaline can also lead to other issues.

Skin is too Alkaline?

Very oily, acne prone or very dry skin are often signs of skin’s pH being too alkaline. The alkalinity can cause your skin to be extremely brittle and dry resulting in fine lines and wrinkles or acne flareups as your skin produces more oil to makeup for the dryness. Alkaline skin that is not pH balanced accelerates the break down of collagen and increased inflammation leading to faster aging.

Skin is too Acidic?

Even though the skin pH needs to be on the acidic side, if it’s too acidic it can also lead to issues like being too sensitive. Sensitive skin is easily irritated, red and inflamed. Skin becomes too acidic when it is over processed by the overuse of harsh cleaners, harsh scrubbing or exfoliants. Skin becomes stripped down and results in red, irritated and inflamed skin.

So how do you balance your skin’s pH?

Fortunately the skin’s resilience means your skin barrier will return to its naturally slightly acidic pH fairly quickly provided you do the right things.

 

The skin’s pH can only be balanced by using the correct products,  and not over processing the skin with stripping agents. Below are the 3 key tips to balancing your skin’s pH:

  1. Use a pH balancing toner. Fortunately most toners have pH balancing as its primary function, so just about any toner will do, unless your skin is easily irritated (acidic), then it’s best to use a toner that’s alcohol free.
  2. Gentle face washes and face washing methods should also be used. It’s better to use a low pH cleanser, but for those with acne who might still need foam cleansers, following up with a toner is essential.
  3. Avoid overly scented products with harsh ingredients.
  4. Cut down on exfoliating your skin. If you need to repair your skin’s barrier, try not to exfoliate for a fee weeks You can then do it once a week using a gentle enzyme peel or gentle manual exfoliation. Avoid overly chemically scented products and harsh scrubs.

It takes up to 6 weeks for your skin’s barrier to be renewed and restored, so stick to a routine and you will see results.


30 Aug 2016
Moisturizers Korean

Moisturizers: Occlusives vs Humectants

 

Moisturizing your skin is probably one of the most important steps in any Korean Skincare routine, well any skincare routine. There should usually be a different moisturizer for day and night time. This may seem odd to neophytes to skincare, but the benefits of two different moisturizers can be the difference between good skin and great skin.

The reason we need two moisturizers is because we have different needs during the day vs the night time. Moisturizing itself is not just for hydration, but also for its protective, preventative and treatment benefits, and different ingredients work differently at different times.

In the mornings you’d use a moisturizer for hydration and protection against the sun’s UVB/UVA rays, environmental elements and antioxidants. At night you would use a moisturizer that has nourishing ingredients, as well as preventative and treatment benefits, e.g. something with AHAs, BHAs, peptides, peeling agents, exfoliating agents, anti-aging, retinol,  or other specific treatments your skin needs.

Simply put, mornings are for hydration and protection and evenings are for hydration and treatment.

But how do you know which ingredients in your moisturizers are good for you during the day vs at night?

Two common words in skincare  is “occlusive” and “humectant”. You’ll hear these words often, and if you’re new to skincare, you might even able to associate them with certain ingredients. There are highly scientific explanations for both terms, but in this post, I wanted to simplify it and make it understandable for anyone to know the difference, and know what to look for in moisturizers.

As an aside, in my own quest to heal my troubled skin, I read a lot of books that used scientific naming conventions, but were too long winded. Although they were understandable, it was just not written in a format that made it reader friendly. I love learning new words, but dammit give me some brevity.

Anyway.

What Are Occlusives?

I always mind-associate this word with “exclusive”, like an exclusive club that has security blocking off the entrance. Which in a round about way relates to what an occlusive is. In medicine, “occlusive” means the closing or blockage of a vessel or organ. In skincare, occlusives are the ingredients that prevent the loss of water from the skin.They literally create a barrier so moisture can’t escape from the skin.

Those of us with dry skin will know the pain of having a desert for a skin mantle. No sooner is our skin moisturized when that little thing called evaporation happens (fast) and our skin is bone dry again. For those with dry skin, occlusives can be a heaven send.

We also sometimes hear people complaining about a product because it feels like it just “sits on the skin” with no real absorption. This is a tell tale sign of an occlusive being present in the formula. It’s sitting on top of the skin doing what its meant to do, that is, block water from escaping.

It makes sense then, that many healing and super moisturizing products like Vaseline and Cocoa Butter contain occlusive ingredients. Vaseline is probably the most well known, made up of petroleum jelly also known as petrolatum. Other occlusive ingredients include mineral oil, dimethicone, shea butter, beeswax or lanolin.  They can be excellent for those with dry skin, but a nightmare for those with acne. The problem with occlusives, is that in blocking your pores, it can also clog your pores, leading to acne.

It should be noted that if occlusive ingredients are present in cleansers, they are fine to be used as it’s not left on the skin, provided its followed up with a second cleanse that dissolves the oily film left from the occlusive.

However in a moisturizer, or any other product that is left on the skin, occlusives can potentially lead to breakouts from the pore clogging and blackhead forming (comedogenic) effects.

What Are Humectants?

Humectants attract water from the air and deep within the skin to the upper layer of skin. It’s a better option for those who suffer from acne as it’s less comedogenic. Added benefits of humectants include wrinkle reduction due to the plumping effect.

Common humectant ingredients include urea, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, actin acid, and propylene glycol.

There is however a slight downside –  because humectants draw moisture from deep inside the skin , it can lead to water loss if the skin barrier is compromised which can result in even dryer skin. For this reason humectants are often combined with an occlusive to prevent this water loss.

The best night time recovery moisturizers have a balance between occlusives and humectants.

But as stated the pore clogging can be an issue for certain skin types, especially if you’re acne prone. In these cases you need something that helps you retain moisture, but does not break you out.  This is where the good stuff like hyaluronic acid, snail secretion filtrate, green tea, tea tree oil and jojoba oil based moisturizers come in. If you’re not sure on the ingredients, then choose a lotion over the thicker and oilier cream type moisturizers. Light weight lotion type moisturizers that are mostly water are good for all skin types.

There are also other moisturizing ingredient types like emollients and rejuvenators, but those have more an effect on the texture of the skin rather than the moisture levels.

A tip on moisturizing: Use a mist or water spray just before your moisturizer so that your skin is slightly damp. This will allow your moisturizer to lock in the moisture from the mist.

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