Review: The Rosehip Specialists Rosehip Oil

Okay, so you want the full product name?
The Rosehip Specialists
Rosehip Plus Pure & Natural Rosehip Oil
Australian Certified, Organic, Cold Pressed.
For a long time, I have kept my distance from oil-based products in my skincare. Despite hearing about the benefits it might have for even oily skin, it just didn’t appeal to me. Why would I add more oil to my oily face? That said, there’s no doubt that the recent uprising of oils really interested me, no matter how I resisted.
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Originally, I was going to purchase rosehip oil from The Ordinary, who sell 30ml bottles for £9, but I spotted this in TK Maxx, the last box at the back of the shelf, for £6.99 (also 30ml) and grabbed it immediately. This particular oil has added vitamin E in the form of Tocopherol. It has a yellow, slightly orange colour to it.
From the packaging, Rosehip Oil contains:
Antioxidants Lycopene and Beta-carotene
Vitamins A,C and E
80% Essential Fatty Acids Omega 3, 6 and 9
Rosehip Oil is touted for a whole lot of benefits but the one that caught my eye was that it was also compatible for oily skin because the oils that are in it are at different levels to the ones that naturally occur in oily skin types, therefore it should help to balance the oils somewhat. That said, I can’t quite remember where I read this… (I know, I’m a bad academic). It’s also not occlusive, so I could layer it under masks and other stuff this winter!
Here are some of the product’s other claims as taken from its packaging:
Reduces the appearance of stretch marks and scars
Maintains skin hydration and softness
Improves appearance of dry and sensitive skin
Minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Promotes skin elasticity and texture
My first use of it was to add it to my Etude House Collagen Emulsion, just before my occlusive layer. I have also tried to mix it with Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum. On the first impression, it seemed to break up the product but as I kept mixing the two blended together fine. I really like it for adding some richness to my otherwise very light and layered routine.
Thankfully, it hasn’t broken me out, which was what I was most worried about. It has also helped to restore my skin’s odd dry winter patches, too, although it hasn’t done anything, of course, to help my skin’s oiliness level. Over more long-term use I found it helped reduce the prominence of some of my old acne scars.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my first foray into skincare oils and now squalane is on my list to try, too!
How do you use oils in your skincare routine?

Until next time,

X

Review: Superdrug Calm Skin 2-in-1 Serum & Moisturiser

Hello everyone!

I spotted Superdrug’s new additions to their own-brand skincare line whilst shopping around for Christmas, and thought I would pick something up to try. The Superdrug Calm Skin range aims to de-stress skin and includes an overnight mask, a cleanser, a facial spray and a facial oil. None of which break the bank at less than a fiver (or even £3) as far as I know!

The item that appealed to me the most was the Hydrating 2-in-1 Serum and Moisturiser (how does that work?) which costs £2.99 for a 50ml. It claims to instantly soothe, calm, and deeply nourish the skin as well as improving skin texture over at least 4 weeks. Well, mine has been in use for longer now, and regularly at that so I thought it was time to share my thoughts.

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The bottle is very similar to their other serums in different ranges, such as the Simply Pure Hydrating Serum which has long been a staple in my routine. The textures of the Simply Pure and Calm Skin serums are similar, too. The Simply Pure feels fractionally less greasy which is part of why I love it, but there’s nothing particularly greasy about the Calm Skin so ??? I can’t pin it down either. Something is different but not largely so. The Calm Skin serum itself is also more translucent than the Simply Pure.

One of the things that made me drop my hard earned coins (literally, considering the price) on this was the inclusion of Niacinamide which is fifth on the ingredients list. Niacinamide is touted for its help with dullness or uneven skin texture caused by acne scars. The hyaluronic acid and chamomile are much lower down so unless you’re allergic to either, neither of those two should be the deciding factor if you’re considering buying this.

I have had both this and The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% Serum in testing and therefore both will have contributed to the recent improvement in my skin texture, particularly a deeper acne scar becoming more even, and blemishes gradually matching the rest of my skin (!). However, I tended to reach for this more often The Ordinary’s option, one of the reasons being that I don’t need to dilute it for use and can just slather it on.

After using this, I realised how much I had been taking for granted the scent-less Superdrug Simply Pure hydrating serum, once again. If you recall I did not like their B.Hydrated Essence Lotion largely because of the sharp scent. The Calm Skin Serum & Moisturiser product also suffers from this but not as badly. Overall, it’s not off-putting and I got used to it.

Overall:

  • I like that it has niacinamide which actually did something.
  • It’s hella cheap.
  • Fragrance, as always, is a personal thing.
  • Does occasionally cause makeup to pill but is it just me or is it really hard to find skincare that doesn’t do that?????? I need help in that department, friends.

As a final point, I am halfway through my bottle after almost-nightly use of 2 pumps, so sticking at this rate I will take 2 months to finish this bottle (1 month if I used it both day and night). Not bad.

Take advantage of the superdrug skincare offers they often do for their own brand if you decide to pick this up! This is worth a try if you have coins to spare.

Until next time,

X

Review: The Creme Shop Sheet Masks

Since hearing that TK Maxx in the UK had begun to sell K-beauty items, I have made a point of dropping by more often to scour their messy shelves full of open products. You do find gems there occasionally. They’re also fantastic for the odd bit of gorgeous stationary in the notebooks section!

Most recently, I bought two packs of sheet masks from The Creme Shop Fusion Mask line. The Creme Shop are actually a US brand (based in LA) but the masks are made in Korea, which they mention proudly along with the fact that their products are cruelty-free.

The mask multipacks cost £4.99 for a pack of five individual sheet masks, which means each mask is about £1. This is a decent price in my opinion, and its US source is probably the reason why seeing as actual Korean-branded masks are usually sold for £2-3 individually at the same store! Price markups are scary.

Now, here’s a little pointer I have to mention. I noticed soon after purchasing my masks that they had an expiry date in 2016. We are well into the second quarter of 2017 now so that is a little concerning (Although not as bad as some 4-year old mask horror stories I’ve read!) I did patch test the essence just to make sure it wouldn’t immediately burn my face, and during my first use I kept the mask on for less time than I normally would have (twenty minutes as opposed to my usual hour or two) just in case.

I decided to make an exception and not return these masks seeing as sheet masks are individually sealed and my skin is generally unreactive. However, in future, I will definitely be checking for expiry dates and erring on the side of caution as to not buy them.

I don’t think in the UK we have expiry dates on cosmetics, just shelf life recommendations, so I don’t think there are any laws concerning any expiry dates on cosmetics anyway. With the rise of global products in cosmetics and especially the popularity of sheet masks recently, I hope regulations on cosmetics expiry dates and retail are considered soon in the future.

EDIT: From the cardboard packaging I had assumed these were expired, but on the individual mask packets the expiry date is listed as 2019. EH. It really shouldn’t be this misleading.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the Fusion Masks! I bought two varieties – the Green Tea and Latte, and the Honey and Lavender.

(Displayed on packaging for both masks)

Fusion Masks – The benefits of 2 masks in 1

The Creme Shop’s fusion sheet mask is designed to deliver the benefits of two masks with just one application.

Directions:

  1. Cleanse and dry skin.
  2. Pull out sheet mask from package and place mask on face. Use the excess essence in packet on neck and parts of face not covered by mask.
  3. Leave mask on for 20-30 min or until dry.
  4. Remove mask. Do not wash off or pat dry. Allow skin to absorb remaining nutrients.
  5. Proceed with routine skin regimen.

For a cooling effect, store your mask in the refrigerator.

Not only is each mask infused with two nutritious ingredients, it is also rich in the ultimate moisturiser: hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid’s superpower: Retains moisture. One gram can hold up to six liters of water. When skin lacks moisture, it can become cracked, aged and dull. Hyaluronic acid keeps skin young and perfectly dewy.

One of the first things I noticed was that The Creme Shop really play up the Korean inspiration of their masks. Since sheet masks became the next new thing, we have seen brands from Superdrug and Garnier to Estee Lauder and Charlotte Tilbury bringing out their own variations. I am aware that some brands do manufacture theirs in Korea as well. The Creme Shop is the first brand I have seen put Korean text on their packaging. Honestly, at a glance, I thought it was a proper Korea-based brand and that is what made me check out the products in the first place. Interesting move.

Green Tea and Milk 

Green Tea’s Super Power: Combats age. Antioxidants in green tea create a barrier to protect skin from free radicals while preventing deep, fine wrinkles.

Milk’s Super Power: Smooths out skin for a soft, silky complexion. Proteins and lactic acid in milk nourish the skin and gradually repair skin discolouration.

Ingredients:

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Xanthan Gum, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tricadeth-10, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Milk Protein Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Allantoin, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

Compared to the Honey and Lavender, I found this mask to be more pleasant to use. Largely because the smell is less strong and more tolerable, and doesn’t induce the visual of putting straight-up bar soap on my face. Otherwise, the fit was alright. There is a bit of awkward nose shaping but that’s not really new.

There is quite a bit of essence dripping from the mask so I did end up with extra to rub down my neck and arms.

Honey and Lavender

Honey’s Super Power: Filthy rich. Honey is rich in natural sugars and minersla, providing skin with essential nutrients. As a humectant, it traps in moisture to create silky, hydrated skin.

Lavender’s super power: Kills softly. Lavender is known for its therapeutic purposes, but is also effective in combating acne. They key to unblemished skin.

Ingredients:

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Xanthan Gum, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tricadeth-10, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Lavender Extract, Honey Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Lavender Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA

Okay, when I opened this particular mask, I noticed the bubbles. When I took the mask out, I also noticed the bubble on the eye holes. This being a lavender mask, it totally smelt of lavender soap.

I found it was dripping in essence, and if I had not been erring on the cautious side, I would have used it all. The essence is clear and runny.

The mask fit was decent. As usual, there’s a lot of excess around my chin but the rest of my face fits alright. I should also note that the cotton is standard – thicker than My Beauty Diary, about the same as Etude House. If you’ve tried any sheet mask chances are you’ll be familiar with this type of sheet.

Overall, a decent experience with these masks but I’m not sure I will go out of my way to buy either of these in future!

What have been your beauty finds at TK Maxx recently?

Until next time,

X

Review: Kose Suncut Ultra UV Aqualy Protect Gel SPF50+PA++++

A few weeks ago, I mentioned in this review that I had possibly found my favourite, everyday indoor sunscreen. I’d been mulling over buying this for weeks and weeks. There aren’t many reviews of this online, so I just kind shrugged and went ‘for the blog!’ and ordered it. I don’t regret it one bit.

Store: This eBay seller here, who ships from Japan. It took about two weeks to arrive to me in the UK.

Cost: £13.93 including free shipping.

Amount: 160g, which is a LOT compared to the 50ml that other facial sunscreens I’ve tried normally come in. But this is assuming 1g = 1ml.

Cost per 100g: £8.70, which makes it more cost-effective than all the sunscreens in this round-up post. The cheapest one in that post, the Biore Watery Essence, has a cost per ml almost double! (My wallet is happy… for now eheh.)

Packaging

This comes in a pump bottle! There are other sunscreen products that come in large pump bottles but this is the first of those I have tried. It also comes in a smaller bottle without a pump. It’s pretty solid and sturdy, and also comes with a cap cover making it suitable for travel too, although this will mostly be living on my desk.

Below I have compared the size to the Biore Watery Essence (50ml) and as you can see, it’s deceptively small but fatter.

Product claims (with the help of Google Translate):

  • Protects from severe UV rays
  • Can be used everyday
  • Is suitable as a makeup base
  • Suitable for leisure activities

The packaging then elaborates on these points in some more detail including things like ‘water-light texture that isn’t heavy’, ‘no white residue’, ‘non-drying’ and ‘easily removed with cleanser’. It also contains hyalauronic acid and lots of plant extracts.

As far as I know, this isn’t waterproof, so I wouldn’t use it for sports and strenuous activities. Otherwise, I think the product meets its claims.

Ingredients

For these I am gonna link you to Ratzilla Cosme’s product page on the sunscreen.

The CosDNA analysis is here. You may be concerned with butylene glycol, cetearyl alcohol,  or methyl paraben in this sunscreen. Please check the ingredients list if you have any other known sensitivities.

This has mostly chemical sunscreen ingredients and a tiny amount of the physical titanium dioxide.

This is the 2016 formulation of the product and is SPF50+ PA++++.

Note: I’ll be comparing it to the Biore UV Watery Essence a lot just because it’s so popular and it’s very much a bog standard amongst Asian sunscreens and its the one other Japanese sunscreen most people are likely to have tried. On the other hand, I could only find two reviews online for this sunscreen!

Texture and finish:

This has an initially very dewy finish that takes a minute or so to settle down to slightly more matte. It also has a slight chemical scent but it is nowhere near as strong as that of the Biore Watery Essence – I had to hold my hand up to my nose before I realised there was a smell, unlike Biore which you can smell as soon as it leaves the bottle.

It is white in colour, leaves a very slight cast upon initial application but after it dries properly there is no cast at all. It has a slight cooling texture. It’s got a watery gel texture that does run a little, and it’s not thick at all. If you’ve never tried a sunscreen like this before (watery, from Japan) it can be best described as lotiony. The kind of lotion feeling you never realised was possible in a sunscreen. It’s life-changing (haha).

As an added note, my makeup worked absolutely fine on top, as if I weren’t wearing any sunscreen whatsoever.

Personal comments:

I was looking for a sunscreen to replace the Biore Watery Essence. I know in my sunscreen round up I said I wouldn’t repurchase it as it wasn’t the best choice for long wear/oil control on oily skin types, however I realised that I enjoyed it as a simple indoor sunscreen. For an indoor sunscreen it doesn’t have to be matte or waterproof, just something that is enjoyable to use so I won’t hesitate to reach for it every day. It is also lightweight and comfortable on my neck so I won’t shy away from using it there too.

For whatever reason if you want a long-wearing outdoors sunscreen, look elsewhere.

If you have tried and happened to like the Biore Watery Essence, chances are that you’ll like this as I find them to be pretty similar. I think this is a fantastic, more affordable alternative, and I can imagine myself repurchasing this once it runs out – which hopefully won’t be for quite a while with this bottle size!

If you know of any more underrated sunscreens, let me know. This one definitely needs more love.

I hope you found this helpful. Thanks for reading!

X

 

 

Reviews: Simple’s Revitalising Eye Roll On, Boots Vitamin E Eye Cream

A few weeks ago I reviewed Superdrugs Naturally Radiant Eye Cream, and I wasn’t very impressed. I know I need to improve my sleeping routine for a start, but I need something that improves my eye bags, even just a little bit.


This Simple Revitalising Eye Roll On was on sale at Superdrug for just under £3 compared to its usual £4.99 so I picked it up to try. (I was actually only there to buy some lip liners but this one Superdrug store had completely run out of the ones I had researched so thoroughly to decide on buying. Honestly.)

I really like rollerball applicators as they’re always cool and wake me up a bit in the morning.

I also recently bought Boots’ Vitamin E Eye Cream to try as well, mostly because it is one of the few eye creams I have spotted with SPF, and is really quite affordable at £2.54.

 What I like about these eye creams is that they’re not just eye creams – they have something extra, the Simple one has the rollerball and the Boots one has SPF – both of which I am grateful for and what pushed me to buy them in the first place. When an eye cream is just an eye cream I probably won’t be able to see the difference, which may have been my problem with Superdrug’s cream.

Complete Skincare Routine: September 2015

I did do a skincare routine post just a few months ago but so much of it has changed already so I thought I would do a simple hyperlink-heavy post to summarise what I’m using now. I was building it up to match the Korean Routine, famous for having 10-12 steps but I’m still young so my main focuses are cleansing, spot treating, moisture and SPF… she says as she realises how many steps she’s typed up below…
You may observe that I have previously reviewed some products that have either been finished and not repurchased, or have just fallen out of rotation so they’re not in my current routine.

As for context, I have oily, very acne prone skin, not sensitive. I’ve previously used higher end products but right now, everything is from the drugstore and under £10 apart from two cleansers.

Makeup removal: Huggies Pure Wet Wipes (Link to Boots although you can find this anywhere, usually for £1 a pack or in a multi-pack). Very simple –  It gets the bulk of my BB cream and cheap eyeliner off my face and my family swears by it for just about anything that you could possibly use a wet wipe for. Mostly I go makeup free for school, so no worries about using too many wipes.

Cleansing: My Murad Clarifying Cleanser has just been finished. Now I use three different cleansers, depending on how my skin feels. Sometimes, a milk if my face has dry patches or feels tight or uncomfortable. Secondly, a super gentle foam wash that isn’t stripping – Forever’s Aloe Hand and Face Soap, good for a refresher without squeaky cleanliness. This cleanser ranges in price depending on where you buy it – £10 to £15, although I have come across local stalls selling it for less, they are few and far between.
I have Biore’s Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser for days where I need a super deep cleanse and my face feels like gunk, which is about two to three nights a week – Sometimes nightly, again depending on how my skin feels.

Exfoliation: Twice a week, one using an exfoliating glove (which you can buy anywhere), the other with Quick Fix Facial’s scrub mask (which has run out over the weeks that I’ve put together this post – won’t repurchase).

Mask: Twice a week, one using Quick Fix Facial’s Anti-Blemish Mud Mask and the other with Boots’ Tea Tree, Witch Hazel and Charcoal Mask.

Toning: My Lancome Tonique Douceur, Confort and Eclat samples have run out and I am now using Garnier’s Refining Shine Be Gone Toner as well as the Start Afresh Toner.

In the morning at this point I would also dab on some lip balm to pre-moisturise before I put on something on my lips.

Spot Treating: My Witch Blemish Stick (Boots link here, Superdrug link here) recently ran out and I’m not repurchasing it… I am now using Lush’s Grease Lightning spot treatment (review to come!) for preventing the smaller spots then Superdrug’s Deep Action Anti-Blemish Gel on the bigger, redder swellings.

Moisturiser: Neutrogena’s Oil Free Moisturiser. Mid-way between lotion and cream and very fast absorbing. Also good value at £4/50ml. I sometimes use Murad’s Perfecting Lotion on days where I feel like using something very lightweight.

Eye Cream:  Simple’s Revitalising Eye Roll On, and later I will add a thin layer of Boots Vitamin E Gentle Eye Cream SPF 15.

Day/Night Cream: Boot’s Mattifying Day Cream SPF 15, which I am desperately trying to use up, and Simple’s Protecting Moisture Cream SPF30 (Superdrug Link) which I have deemed better. Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream is my current night cream. In the evening at this point I would slather on a thick layer of lip balm to leave on overnight.

I am currently attempting to incorporate sheet masks into my routine for the winter. I am aware of how complicated the routine is getting, and can only sigh to myself in wonder. I am still on no-beauty-spending-September, which is great as many of my products are getting used up now.

Skincare family photo. Its… a lot.

So, there you have it. Now that I’ve written it down it all sounds very tedious and long but I’m telling you now, most days this takes about ten minutes, or fifteen at most. I scrub in the shower and when I put on that mask. I put on masks and forget about them. So, most days this is 5 steps and most nights, 6.

If I oversleep, I rush cleansing, spray on Superdrug’s Vitamin E Toning Mist, then stuff the moisturising SPF into my travel bag. The travel bag already has lip things and powder in it. Leaving the house without any skincare on does make me feel a bit bare (like being defenceless against spots, eep).

My skin has seen very much development recently, but I’m now trying to cut out some steps, particularly in the moisturising area as my skin is oily and, although it needs moisture, it doesn’t need that much! I have 4 moisturising products and I am to cut this down to one as I use them up – this step will be simply replaced by one facial SPF.

X

P.S. This post has been in progress for a good few weeks now, and I am planning to change a few things already… Will update again soon-ish.

Moisturiser Reviews: Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Oil Free, Simple Protecting M Cream SPF 30

That post title was getting a bit long…

Last month I bought Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Oil-Free Moisturiser. I’ve read plenty of good things about this on other blogs (never keeping track of which ones I read…) so, even though I also read about Neutrogena’s products being very hit-and-miss for everyone, I thought this was worth a try.

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The consistency comes out as being a medium thick cream which absorbs quite quickly into the skin. Two pea sized blobs just about cover my face and with morning and evening use, this lasted a month and a half. I like the thin tube as it makes it easier to stuff in a bag. It also has a clicking twist lid, although personally I prefer flip lids as I can snap them shut with my wrist or with the windowsill. It has the Clear Skin tech, but I don’t feel that this did anything for my skin. There’s not much else to say about this, other than it was £4 and did the job without breaking me out.

As for Simple’s Protecting Moisture Cream, I’ve had my beady little eye on this gem for a while now. As much as I dislike the idea of using anything with oil to avoid adding to the oil fest that is my face, I couldn’t resist the SPF30 paired with the ‘better than 1/2 price at Superdrug’ tag. £3.45, people.

I usually don’t see any budget moisturisers with more than SPF15, so you understand what I mean by seeing the light of heaven shining on this when I saw it.


As I mentioned, I avoid putting product with oils on my face even as I try to embrace it. This contains sweet almond oil but I was quite determined to give this a go. It didn’t break me out, so it’s a thumbs up from me.
It has that white sunscreen cast that takes a while to massage in but I am much more willing to put up with this than, say an SPF15 variant (such as my current Boots Mattifying Day Cream SPF15).

I haven’t tried it with face makeup yet besides powders. I have had experiences with it forming peeling flakes but I am not sure if it is due to the cream or another product in my routine. Note to self, edit this to add observations.

If you are simply looking for a budget sunscreen this is probably your best option.

X