Showing posts with label natural skincare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label natural skincare. Show all posts

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Skincare Saturday: Rainshadow Labs ABT Blemish Clearing Mask

I went off birth control a few months ago (and am now using the LadyComp Pearly, which I'll probably devote a post to someday), and while I'm overall pleased with the decision, it has had the unfortunate side effect of fucking up my skin. I need more data to know for sure, but it seems that there's a couple of weeks of every cycle, around ovulation, where my skin decides it's had it with anything resembling good behavior. I break out in small spots, big spots, cystic acne, the whole works. It's terrible. Seriously, skin, fuck you.

Benzoyl peroxide (I use Clean & Clear PersaGel 10) helps speed up the healing process, but it's also quite drying, so I can't use it all the time. I augment it with nightly application of Rainshadow Lab's ABT Blemish Clearing Mask. It's advertised as either a spot treatment or full-face mask, but I find it absorbs nicely and I can wear it as a sort of serum at night (it also works underneath makeup, but I tend to restrict my acne treatments to nighttime only so as not to overstress my skin). I'm not sure it has a big effect on preventing acne, but I do notice it helps speed up the healing process on blemishes that already exist, and works beautifully on bigger cystic acne as well––nightly application on spots makes them less noticeable, less painful, and heal faster.
similar thickness to honey, but without the stickiness.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Skincare Saturday: Rainshadow Labs QVMT Moisture Treatment for Sensitive/Acne Skin

I have incredibly persnickety skin, and always tread lightly when it comes to introducing new things, as it often decides it is having none of that, thank you very much, and rewards me with a fresh batch of blemishes. But there comes a time in every girl's life that she realizes she is a) running out of her trusty Amber Cream, and b) wanting to try to actively help her (gradually showing signs of age, poo) skin, rather than just not piss it off. And so I started trying to inspire myself to do the natural diy skincare thing, to little avail––turns out I suffer from a severe case of laziness, who knew?.

However! I read a post from Liz about an anti-aging moisturizer from Rainshadow Labs, and was intrigued by the natural ingredients (long ingredient lists can be scary, but less so when they're all natural oils and extracts), ridiculously low price ($3.95 for an ounce), and fact that everything is produced here in Oregon. I spent some time browsing their extensive website, and finally settled on a few products to try. Shipping was around $11, but three samples were free (this isn't advertised anywhere on the site, so I'm not positive if this is a normal occurrence), so I ended up with 7 or 8 1-2 oz jars/bottles of various potions for around $30. 

I've spent time testing most of the products, but will focus on them one at a time, since to do otherwise would surely result in thousand-word-epics that no one would want to read. (On the upside, now that I've given the whole spiel about the company, I shan't need to repeat it!) Today's product: QVMT Moisture Treatment for Sensitive/Acne Skin.
seen here, after a few weeks' usage

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Skincare Saturday: Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Soap Bar Selection Reviews

Last week, I blabbed on and on about Chagrin Valley's shampoo bars. This week, I'll be talking about their soap bars!

I tend to prefer liquid shower gels over bar soap for cleansing myself, but I ordered several soap bars from the company in the hopes that they would help my face be less stupid, and as travel-friendly cleansing and shaving aids. I tried a couple of the complexion bars on my face, only to break out horribly, since almost all contain coconut oil, which hates my skin, even saponified. Fortunately, they make a few soaps that don't have coconut oil (in addition to the two discussed below, the Castile is also coconut-free), so I was able to test those on my face. My body is much less persnickety, so I was able to use them all and can now natter about them! A quick note: the complexion bars are designed for use on your face, but that's merely a suggestion––I find they work great on body, and at least one of the soaps that's not deemed a complexion bar would be lovely as a face wash (namely, Olive and Shea).

via Chagrin Valley
Grapeseed Tomato Complexion: This is one without coconut oil and designed for troubled complexions (that's such a nice way of putting it!), and it helps clear pores without irritating skin. The picture on the website (above as well) shows a bar significantly redder than mine, so I think I got part of the old batch that had less tomato; hopefully the new and improved version works just as well, because I really like this bar! It's nice and mild, doesn't strip my face, and doesn't contribute to breakouts. I like using it in the morning as it gives a nice soft, clean base for the day. It does remove makeup, but as it's traditional soap, you do not want to get it near your eyes (not that I speak from experience...), so I prefer to use it in the morning when I have nothing on my eyes, though I have also used it as my post-makeup-removal cleanser. I intend to buy a full size once I go through my current facial cleanser stash (namely, a 12 oz bottle of Purity, ha). $2.70 for 1.5 oz, $7.80 for 7 oz

Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil; Organic Sustainable Palm Oil; Babassu Oil; Virgin Shea Butter; Water; Sunflower Oil; Olive Oil; Sodium Hydroxide*; Canola Oil (Non-GMO); Organic Tomato Juice; Castor Oil; White China Clay; Organic Tomato Paste; Essential Oils of Lavender, Geranium, Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang. *Used during the Saponification Process to turn oil into soap. None remains in the finished product.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Skincare Saturday: Grapeseed Oil

I've been exploring diy skincare the last couple months, and after some overly-optimistic headlong dives using a ton of ingredients at once, I've scaled back and am gradually adding things one at a time. I'll be featuring one or two ingredients per week, talking about their properties, benefits, and my experience with them.

I am not a chemist, at all. I cannot overstate that. As such, I rely on internet sources for my information; I have neither the time nor the interest to read scholarly articles on the subject, but I will try to relay reliable information. For anyone who's interested, I highly recommend Points of Interest; Susan (Swift) is incredibly knowledgeable and there's a ton of information on her site, including several extremely helpful ingredient comparisons and oodles of recipes. Wikipedia, in spite of its faults, is still a good place to start, and if you're a science-minded person, you can go straight to the research articles themselves.

First, some very basic terminology: carrier oil means an oil that can be used at high ratios in skincare formulations; as such, they are usually more affordable. With my oily, acne-prone, sensitive skin, I prefer carrier oils that are lighter and drier (such as grapeseed or safflower), whereas those with mature or dry skin might prefer heavier, richer oils (like avocado). Carrier oils serve as the base for other ingredients, such as essential oils, which are extremely concentrated, usually fragrant, and need to be diluted like whoa, and exotic oils (following Garden of Wisdom and Points of Interest), which are more expensive, often richer or higher in healthy ingredients, and which can help skin more dramatically. I'll be talking about items from each type in this series, but today my focus is on a carrier oil, grapeseed (or grape seed) oil.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Skincare Saturday: Eczema

My skin has been oily and acne-ridden for more than a decade, and is prone to bouts of dryness from product sensitivity, but it's recently added a new grouchiness: eczema! Oh, joy. It first appeared when I used MAC Pro Longwear foundation back in November, developing dry, scaly, itchy, red, bumpy, rough, and flaking (all at once, at its worst) patches along the right side of my jawline and forehead. I tried antibiotic creams (no effect), neosporin (ditto), and hydrocortisone cream (helped somewhat, but not terribly quickly). It gradually went away, and until recently, I only had the occasional dry patch.

Until a couple weeks ago, that is, when some odd combination of factors as-yet not fully identified (but certainly including either Hourglass Mineral Veil or Clarins Smooth Touch primers––possibly both!) caused my skin to freak the eff out. Back came the bright red, itchy, dry patches, with special bonuses on part of my left jaw and my temples. Accompanying this was a terrible case of acne. This is an unfortunate place to be in: the things I would normally use to treat my acne were potentially contributing to my eczema, but the things I might use for the eczema could break me out worse. I ended up opting to treat the eczema and basically left my acne to its own devices for more than a week (it was not a pretty time). I tried various things on the eczema to try and fix it; argan oil wasn't moisturizing enough (I KNOW RIGHT?!), hydrocortisone disappeared quickly, not to mention I didn't want to use it for very long due to potential side effects, and my trusty Amber Cream was powerless in the face of such angry dry patches. Aquaphor just made it angrier, which makes me wonder if I possibly have a sensitivity to something in that.
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