Sunscreen

July 23rd, 2018|

Ensuring your skin is protected from the sun exposure is a must all year round. We all know this fact, but some people think about sun protection only at this time of year. Having this in mind, it is good to remind ourselves that UV rays reach the ground all year round, even on cloudy or hazy days (up to 40% of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the Earth on a completely cloudy day).

Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin, age it prematurely and increase the risk of skin cancer. UVB rays damage the skin’s upper surface and are the main cause of sunburn. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply causing wrinkling, sagging and other signs of aging. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.

Sunscreen is a product combining several ingredients which we put on our skin to protect it from UV rays. It is just a filter, it does not block UV rays. Every sunscreen should have broad-spectrum protection which means that it is against both UVA and UVB rays.

Depending on the active ingredients, sunscreens can be chemical or physical and there are also combinations of these two.

Chemical sunscreens are those that contain chemicals such as avobenzone and benzophenone. They are absorbers as they work by absorbing UV rays, reducing their penetration into the skin. These formulations are easier to rub into the skin, but chemical sunscreens tend to be more irritating. They should be applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to bond to the skin.

Physical ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zink oxide are reflectors. They form a protective layer on the skin which deflects UV rays and they protect from the sun as soon as they are applied – no wait necessary. These sunscreens are more natural and skin-friendly, so they are better for people with sensitive skin and those who have any kind of dermatitis, eczema or rosacea. Compared to chemical sunscreens, they offer higher UVA protection, (thus protecting your skin from aging as well), but they tend to leave that thick, white cast on the skin that is unattractive. Nanotechnology is used to grind up zinc oxide and titanium dioxide into smaller nanomolecules to make physical sunscreens more esthetically pleasing to put on. Based on the best available evidence, it is assessed that these nanoparticles do not pose a risk to your health as they remain on the surface of the skin, in the outer layer of the skin that is composed of non-viable cells.

As for the sun protection factor, we should know that SPF number is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin. For example, if your skin starts to redden in 20 min. without sunscreen, an SPF30 will allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer without getting burned. Many people don’t understand how the SPF scale works thinking that an SPF50 is almost twice as good as SPF30. This is incorrect as the SPF scale works as follows: SPF15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, SPF30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF50 ones about 98% and SPF100 about 99%. As you can see, the amount of additional sun protection is negligible above SPF30. SPF15 will be sufficient to protect you against brief everyday sun exposures, while SPF30 and above should be used for extended exposures.

The amount of sunscreen you apply is very important. Sunscreens should be applied generously. 5ml (one teaspoon) should be enough for your face, ears, neck and decolletage. Most adults need about 30ml to fully cover their body.

Sunscreens lose effectiveness over time, so bear in mind to reapply at least every two hours and after swimming or heavy sweating. Water-resistant sunscreens should state for which period of time they protect the skin when swimming or sweating. They are good for hot days, when on the beach or while playing sports, but they may be not as good for everyday wear as they are thicker and don’t go well with make-up.

Some sunscreen products can irritate your skin. Many products claim to be hypoallergenic or dermatologist tested, but you can never be sure if a product will irritate your skin unless you try it. Apply a small amount to the soft skin inside your elbow every day for three days and if your skin does not have any reaction, the product is probably safe for you.

Every sunscreen product has the expiration date. Most of them are good for 2 to 3 years, but those that have been exposed to heat for long periods may be less effective.

Sunscreens are available in many forms – there are lotions, creams, gels, ointments, wax sticks…We should choose the one which is the most suitable for our skin type. Also, there has been a continual debate on which sunscreen is better to use-chemical or physical. Both chemical and physical sunscreens are good and safe for use and it is just about finding what best works for you. The kind of sunscreen you use is a matter of personal choice.

NARS PURE RADIANT TINTED MOISTURIZER

June 24th, 2018|

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is my choice No.1 during summertime when you need something lightweight regarding both the texture and the coverage. It is two in one – a nourishing skincare product which at the same time provides you with a veil of colour.

In their own words, the advanced oil-free formula reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots in four weeks. The moisturizer is infused with lush, botanicals and ingredients to help thirsty skin feel hydrated immediately. Kopara from French Polynesia and mineral rich seawater help to revive and re-mineralize your skin. It has a generous broad-spectrum SPF 30. It is for normal to dry skin types. It is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phtalate-free and synthetic fragrance-free. It is dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic.

In my opinion, this moisturizer is more than a tinted moisturizer as it covers and lasts better than many medium coverage foundations. Although it has a light, sheer, translucent coverage, you can definitely build it up to a medium coverage. It does not set into pores or fine lines.

In the directions for use it is advised to apply it following your daily skincare routine. I have tried it both after my regular everyday moisturizer and on its own and for me (I have a combination skin), it works both ways. I definitely need to set it with powder as I have an oily T-zone. The lasting power is impressive as it stays on all day. It has a dewy finish which gives you a beautiful, healthy glow and your skin looks fresher.

The moisturizer comes in a tube of 50ml. It is available in 12 shades ranging from very fair to medium dark. Mine is in Groenland Light 3 which is described as light medium with a neutral undertone.

It is available from Lookfantastic (35,45EUR), Sephora Greece (40,95 EUR), ASOS (41,99EUR) and NARS Cosmetics EU (39,00EUR).

Elizabeth Arden Creams and Lip Balm

December 21st, 2017|

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream

This cream is thicker than the normal moisturizer. It should be applied daily to face and neck and it can be used both morning and evening.  It is better for dry skin or if you have combination skin, like I do, you will be able to use it in winter time. It is definitely not for oily skin. Although it is quite dense, it soaks up very quickly and you can easily do your make-up straight after putting it on. It does not contain SPF.

My only gripe is that this cream has extremely strong smell which might put you off at first as it is very unpleasant. It took me a while to get used to it somehow.

It comes in a glass jar of 100ml.

 

Elizabeth Arden Good Night’s Sleep Cream

This cream is a winner (qualitywise and pricewise) and has become one of my most loved night creams. Its texture is rich, but it is not heavy when you apply it. It just glides and melts on my skin and it instantly feels soft and hydrated. It is perfect for winter time as I find it a bit too heavy for the warmest months. Although it is lavender scented (which some people, including me, might find unpleasant), its smell is not overpowering.

The cream comes in a blue glass jar of 50ml.

P.S. It seems that this cream has been discontinued, but jars of it keep appearing at places like the airport duty free shops.

 

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Tin 13ml

This balm is miraculous in relieving chapped and cracked lips as it restores them very fast. It helps moisturize, soften and smooth your lips. I apply it at night and wake up with the softest lips ever. I also use it as a lip conditioner in the first step of my make-up routine and it really makes the lipstick glide on more smoothly. This is by far the best lip balm I have ever tried.

 

 

Soap & Glory DR SPOT Superstrength Breakout Clearing Gel 15ml

March 5th, 2017|

Every now and then I get an occasional breakout and this gel is the only product that works for me.

Dr Spot has salicylic and lactic acids which fight spots by gently peeling away pore-clogging dead skin cells and reducing inflammation. It also contains Fomes Officinalis mushroom to tighten pores as well as kaolin microclay to soak up excess sebum. Witch hazel optimizes PH balance on the skin’s surface and vitamins A, C, E and B3 stimulate circulation, brighten dark spots, smooth and exfoliate skin.

After just one or two applications on individual spots, they become visibly smaller and less red. It is a clear gel and it feels cool when you apply it. You might also experience some tingling and slight burning. It absorbs well. The spots will not disappear miraculously overnight, but this gel definitely soothes active spots and helps to speed up their disappearance.

Dr Spot costs around 9,00EUR and it can be purchased at Boots in UK or online.

It is a superb product for emergency spot fighting and by far the best spot treatment gel I have come across so far.

Lancome Visionnaire Cream Set

March 5th, 2017|

 

VISIONNAIRE DAY CREAM

Visionnaire day cream is an anti-aging moisturizer that combines LR2412 and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and pores as well as to repair areas of roughness and unevenness. LR2412 is a molecule which is a very powerful inducer of the specific enzymes that prompt skin cells to produce higher quantities of hyaluron.

I love this cream! It has a light, hydrating texture and it makes your skin smooth , soft and radiant. It is the perfect base for make-up as it does not leave any greasy residue. I have a combination skin and this cream meets all my needs. It takes a very small amount to cover the face, so the jar will last you a long time.

It is also worth to mention that it is formulated without parabens and sulfates and it is suitable for sensitive skin as well.

VISIONNAIRE NUIT BEAUTY SLEEP PERFECTOR

Visionnaire nuit beauty sleep perfector is a night anti-aging moisturizer which combines micro droplets of essential oils (rosa canina fruit oil, soybean oil, black currant seed oil and sunflower seed oil) in a hydrating gel.

During application it transforms from a gel into oil, but it does not leave any greasy traces on the skin. It gently nourishes and repairs the skin overnight. The skin immediately feels smooth and plumped.

It is suitable for all skin types.

 

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