Tag Archives: skincare

Germany Drugstore Beauty Haul | Fall 2018

So, we had a short trip to Germany and if it wasn’t for the rush, it would have been perfect. Weather was wonderful and everything seemed so peaceful, I miss peaceful places and days, everything seems so crazy nowadays.

Before leaving for Germany I placed a pharmacy order with a few CeraVe products, as I’ve been really interested in trying them for a pretty long time. I just started using the Hydrating Facial Cleanser and so far, it seems really mild and gentle on the skin while removing all the impurities. I also wanted to try their Foaming Facial Cleanser and then picked up the Daily Moisturising Lotion that can be used on face and body (sadly, the eczema line was not available and I was hoping to get something for my dry legs) and the PM Facial Moisturising Lotion that also contains my favourite Niacinamide.

During the short period of time we were in Germany, I managed to enjoy visits at a couple of their drugstores and I didn’t want to leave. Everything was so interesting for me but I was mainly attracted to the colourful hair and body products. I got only one makeup item, the Catrice Slim’matic Ultra Precise Brow Pencil. I’m always on the hunt for a replacement of my Soap & Glory pencil and this one looked promising at first, I got the darkest shade available, 040 Cool Brown, a really good match for me, the pencil glides on easily and it’s indeed precise. The downside is that it’s too soft for such type of brow product and it just won’t last that long, I feel as if there’s only half left in the packaging although I’ve used it just a few times.

Sheet masks are something I’m not really using at the moment, so I picked up only 3. The Garnier SkinActive Pure Charcoal Black Tissue Mask seemed interesting because it promises pore-tightening and purifying effects. Honestly, I’m not such a fan of the brand’s sheet masks but they surely look tempting. Then I saw the adorable-looking Balea Happy Macarons Sheet Mask with Hyaluronic Acid and Blueberry Extract and the Balea Aqua Sheet Mask. I love the Aqua range, so I had to repurchase one of my favourite drugstore hyaluronic acid serums, the Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum. I’ve talked about it many times on the blog, I’ve featured it in annual favourites, as well and whenever I have the chance, I just get it.

I’ve never tried a Dontodent toothpaste (DM’s own brand) but I noticed they had a limited edition Ginger & Lemon Balm one, it looks so retro that I added it to my shopping basket.

As to hair, mini treatments are always good to have when travelling and Germany’s drugstores had quite the choice but I ended up getting the L’Oréal Elvital Anti-Breakage Treatment and the Balea Avocado Hair Mask minis.
I was so curious about the Garnier Fructis Hair Food Masks but they had just two types, so I decided to go for the Banana one. If you love banana scents, you will like this one, it’s lovely and it also nourishes my hair and makes it smoother and more shiny. I will be surely talking more about it once I’ve properly tested it out.
There were not that many shampoos that caught my eye, unfortunately. I remember that I liked the Balea Professional line before and I noticed it’s changed a bit and I don’t think I’ve seen the Clay Shampoo. It’s supposed to help with oily roots and dry ends, so I’m looking forward to trying it. The second one is a sulphate-free shampoo and I love finding new sulphate-free shampoos and cleansers and toothpastes… I hope this Nature Box Apricot Oil Shampoo will be a good one. It comes with 100% cold-pressed apricot oil, known for containing vitamins and antioxidants and is supposed to restore the shine of the hair.
Then I went to the baby section and I found one more sulphate-free shampoo. It’s from DM’s own brand Babylove and it should be quite calming and soothing. And while I was browsing the aisle, I also picked up the Cleansing Gel from the range, it’s said it can be used ”from head to toe”, so it should be another gentle product.

I’ve tried shaving foams from Balea before and now they have smaller versions of them. The Limited Edition Lovely Couple Shaving Foam has a Fig, Peony & Magnolia scent and it’s said to be good even for sensitive skin. The bottle looks really pretty and I remember they usually last quite a long time, so it’s a great budget buy.

Balea always offer colourful and fun body washes and even if they contain sulphates (I’m not saying it’s terrible, I just try to avoid sulphates because of skin issues), they smell wonderful and I can’t help myself but picking up a few. The Soft Shower Oil is something I’d like to try in the winter because it’s supposed to be purifying and hydrating at the same time. They also had a Shower Cream in a Rostock Limited Edition and the scent is of Raspberry and Lime. The traditional shower gels come in a large fruity variety and my choice ended up being the Star Fruit & Melon and the Cactus & Fig ones.
Kneipp never fail to offer fresh-scented summer body washes. Their shower foams are some of my favourites ones and I’ve had the Watermelon & Mint fragrance in a shower gel form which I loved, so now I want to try the shower foam version. I’m also looking forward to trying the Shower Tonic with Pink Grapefruit & Vetiver.
I’m familiar with CD‘s aluminum-free deodorants but I’ve never tried anything else from them. The Mint & Cucumber Morning Fresh Body Wash sounds so refreshing, perfect for the last summer mornings.
And last but not least, two of my favourite body brands. Weleda Feel Good Spicey Ginger Body Wash
and Sante Happiness Organic Orange & Mango Shower Gel are exactly what I’m looking for in a body wash, gentle formula, beautiful texture and lovely scent.

I’m looking forward to trying all these new products and I’m in particular curious about the CeraVe range. I hear so many dermatologists talk about and a lot of skincare bloggers seem to love it, as well. I’ll be also posting updates on my Instagram.

Advertisements

May Favourites

There’s one more day left in the month of May and I just wanted to show you a few of the products I’ve been enjoying using in the past few weeks. I’ve been testing so many items this month that I didn’t manage to share anything on the blog but I’m trying to be active on Instagram despite their algorithm getting worse and worse.

My skin is combination with shiny T-zone and visible pores. I also struggle with hyperpigmentation issues after blemishes heal, so about 6-7 weeks ago, I started using The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. It’s supposed to reduce the appearance of spots, to balance the sebum production and brighten the skin. The texture of the serum is a bit gloopy but spreads easily and leaves a slightly sticky residue. I always follow with another product, so this isn’t a concern for me, it doesn’t interfere with the rest of my routine, I just make sure I’m not using Vitamin C when I’m applying this serum. I haven’t noticed a difference in terms of shine around my T-zone and the size of my pores but I’ve been definitely getting less spots (it also soothes active ones) and my pigmentation seems to be fading much faster than usual. My complexion looks brighter even if I use The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% only once a day. It’s suggested to use twice a day but I usually reach for Vitamin C in the morning and they shouldn’t be mixed together, so I use the serum mostly in the evening and about 30 minutes after applying Differin or any other retinoid. I know that Niacinamide helps my skin a lot, I’ve tried it in moisturisers, cleansers, serums and that’s a great budget option, so I really need to repurchase this product.

I’m back to Norway and I’m really happy to witness warmer and sunnier days. The sun here (whenever there is sunshine) shines much brighter and stronger than many other places I’ve been to and sun protection is very important for me, especially considering I’m using acids on a daily basis. And although I’m always on the hunt for the best face sunscreen for combination skin, I think I’ve found my favourite lip SPF. L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Lip Balm SPF 25 in the shade Rose Nude is a tinted lip balm with added sun protection. It looks really bright in the bullet but it gives me just a hint of soft pink tint and a healthy sheen without being too shiny. The texture of the balm is smooth and feels weightless on the lips, it’s not thick like many lip balms with SPF. The cap twists off at the base and I think it’s a nice idea because often lipsticks and lip balms tend to open in handbags and then it can get quite messy and not really hygienic. I love that it’s tinted because I tend to apply only a face sunscreen and this lip balm on a Sunday morning and go out for a short run in the nature, it makes me look a bit more fresh without applying makeup but they also have a clear version of it.

In the past year, I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of items containing sulphates in my everyday life, mainly because of a skin issue that occured. And it hasn’t been that easy, to be fair. Everything around us contains sulphates and I often need to place online orders for products all the way from the US or go to specific shops where prices are much higher. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see a sulphate-free shampoo in my local supermarket. Unfortunately, the range doesn’t seem to cater an exact product for my type of hair but I picked up one of the shampoos. L’Oréal Paris Botanicals Fresh Care with Lavender Shampoo aims to soothe and nourish sensitive scalps and fine, fragile hair. My hair isn’t fine but my scalp is quite sensitive, so I decided to try it out. As a person who goes through shampoo incredibly quickly, I appreciate the fact that this one comes in a big 400 ml bottle with a pump that actually works and dispenses the right amount of product. It has a subtle lavender scent which I personally like but people who aren’t fans of herbal scents, probably wouldn’t be so happy about it. The formula is vegan and contains no sulphates, no parabens, colourants or silicones. It’s enriched with organic lavender essential oil, soya and coconut oils.  It leaves my hair clean but not stripped, it makes it soft, shiny and easy to manage, I really like this shampoo and I’m pleasantly surprised. The packaging is made from 100% recycled materials and I think I might try more from the range.

Usually, my hands are really dry in the winter but they get better during the warmer months even without the help of a hand cream. However, this year, I’ve been struggling a bit with the condition of my hands and a few weeks ago, it went to a point where my hands looked as if it’s December, peeling, bleeding and hurting. I decided to try the Neal’s Yard Remedies Geranium & Orange Hand Cream and it didn’t disappoint. I like to use it before going to bed because I’ll usually apply a thick layer of it but it actually sinks into the skin quite nicely. It has a subtle herbal scent and contains Glycerin, Soya Oil, Almond Oil, Beeswax, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice and 92% of the ingredients are of organic origin. It’s really nourishing and hydrating and I’d recommend it in any season.

But here is a summer favourite. I’ve had the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream for quite a while but when people said it had a lot of shimmer in it, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it, at all. And then everyone thinking it’s a miracle product that would erase your cellulite, no, it won’t. But it contains antioxidants that have an anti-ageing effect, a blend of nourishing oils and caffeine and together they work to smooth out the skin, to support natural circulation and to lock in moisture. And that’s what this cream does without feeling heavy or leaving a sticky residue. I’m in love with the exotic nutty scent, it’s not overpowering or too sweet and lingers even on the next day. At first, the texture seems thick but the cream almost melts onto the skin and absorbs quite quickly leaving just a slight hydrating layer on top… and a lot of shimmer. That’s the only thing I dislike in this cream, it’s really shimmery and it’s the only shimmery product I keep using. And I even got a second tub of it.

It’s interesting how something doesn’t need to be perfect to be good and even amazing, more so when we talk about bodycare products. This is what I’ve been loving in the month of May when it comes to beauty and I guess we’re all ready to welcome the summer months.

Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25

In a world filled with stress, pollution, sun damage, bad diet our skin can suffer just as much as our health. That’s why sometimes we need to slow down.
When I noticed the Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 a few months ago, my attention was grabbed by the promises for healthy skin, protected from the everyday harmful factors. I really wanted to share with you the pros and cons for me because it’s quite a popular skincare item. I have to say, I’ve been mostly using it in the warmer months and that might be the reason for the negative side of my experience but I’ll continue testing out the fluid in the fall/winter.

I really like the idea of Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 and the way it’s expressed because it’s not presented as an anti-ageing product but as one that aims to prevent premature ageing. The concept is inspired by the “Slow Movement” and doing everything at the right pace in order to achieve the best results. When it comes to skincare, this will mean protecting the skin for the longer term well-being.

First of all, the packaging of the Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 is stunning. It comes in a weighty glass bottle (not travel-friendly but it’s beautiful) with a lovely colour theme and a pump, it’s so simple yet so pretty. The glass isn’t transparent, so you can’t really tell how much product you have left.

My decision to pick up the fluid was made by the fact that I have combination skin and this is supposed to be a lighter version of the cream from the line that is suitable for drier skin types. The products from the range are paraben-free and hypoallergenic. The fluid formula combines three naturally active ingredients and broad spectrum filters. The active ingredients are Baïcalin, Bifidus and Vichy Thermal Spa Water.
Baïcalin is a powerful antioxidant which has roots traced back to traditional Chinese medicine. In combination with Vitamin C, Vitamin E and the SPF 25, it works to slow down and correct the signs of ageing by protecting the skin against daily pollutants and aggressors. Sadly, Baïcalin is at the end of the ingredient list which means the concentration is very low. Bifidus is the ‘good’ bacteria, it’s probiotic-derived and helps strengthen the skin’s barrier function against factors that may weaken it such as stress, UV and pollution. The Vichy Thermal Spa Water is rich in 15 minerals and helps rebalance the skin’s pH and improves the overall quality of the skin.
The product is not fragrance-free, so have that in mind in case you have sensitive skin. Vichy Slow Âge Fluid‘s fragrance was developed to mimic the fresh volcanic force of the Vichy mineral water and nature in general.

When I first looked at the texture of the fluid, it seemed quite thick to me but once I applied it on my face, I noticed how milky and lightweight it actually was. It absorbs quickly and gives a nice glow to the skin, feels nourishing and hydrating and smells amazing. But then the downside appears. The radiance is replaced by shine because of my combination skin, the makeup doesn’t apply that well on top of it and even my long-wearing foundations don’t last that much if I’ve used the fluid underneath. That’s why I like using it on days when I have to apply my makeup really quickly using less than 5 products or with no makeup at all.

I don’t think I can say something about the anti-ageing properties just a couple of months after using the product but I have to admit, my skin does look a bit brighter and more even now.

I love the concept and how Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 mousturises the skin while providing sun protection and  if I wear just a bit of concealer and mascara, it’s all ok. However, if I want to use foundation, I need to apply another moisturiser underneath my base. That’s why I’d like to try it again once the weather gets colder, hoping that it won’t interfere with my makeup and my T-zone will look less shiny. Also, Baïcalin is the ingredient that is the base of the brand’s campaign for the range but the quantity of it in the formula is actually very small. I like the fluid, just I can’t say I love it or at least not yet.

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks

When I think of face masks, Origins is probably the first brand that comes to mind. Whether it is a purifying or hydrating mask, they just seem to get it right. Sheet masks are really popular at the moment and when I learned about the Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks release, I couldn’t wait to see them in stores.

The masks have been insipired by the naturally radiant beauty of florals and they aim to help providing an instant boost of radiance and dewy moisture. The masks are made of natural Bamboo which makes them very soft and are formulated with pure flower extracts and essential oils. They all smell lovely as you’d expect. There are 6 types in total: Jasmine, Lavender, Orange, Raspberry, Rose and Violet. I’ve tried 5 of them because Rose never seems to be available but I keep trying to get my hands on it. Each mask is sold separately in individual packaging.
It’s suggested to leave the masks on for about 10 minutes after cleansing and toning but I often turn them over after this and use them for 10 more. Then I’d massage in what’s left from the essence and continue with my evening moisturiser. I wouldn’t say they’re expensive at the price of 55 kr but they’re not the most affordable ones out there.

Origins Flower Fusion Rose Hydrating Sheet Mask
A rose infused sheet mask that hydrates the skin and is rich in Vitamin C to leave skin smooth and bright. Like I mentioned above, it’s the only one I haven’t tried yet.

Origins Flower Fusion Violet Nourishing Sheet Mask
A mask rich in antioxidant Vitamins A and C with a violet infusion that acts to hydrate, calm and brighten the skin. I feel like this is a very gentle one even for those of us with combination and problematic skin.

Origins Flower Fusion Jasmine Softening Sheet Mask
A jasmine infused and scented mask that soothes and hydrates the skin leaving it silky soft and smooth. To me, this mask is great for a weekly boost of hydration no matter what your skin type is.

Origins Flower Fusion Lavender Soothing Sheet Mask
A lovely relaxing and brightening mask. I find it’s great applying it before bed as the scent is very calming. Lavender is antiseptic, so this is a good one for those of you with sensitive or irritated skin, it also helps reduce redness.

Origins Flower Fusion Raspberry Refreshing Sheet Mask
This is my favourite mask when my skin gets a bit more oily in the hot days. It’s indeed refreshing and bursting with vitamins and antioxidants.

Origins Flower Fusion Orange Radiance-Boosting Sheet Mask
Zesty, awakening, refreshing… I used this mask for the first time before going to a concert in the evening and I got a beautiful healthy glow, my makeup applied really nicely afterwards and I felt great. The most brightening one of them all, this mask is perfect to use in the long winter days or when your complexion is a bit dull and you want to bring your skin back to life.

I honestly cannot say anything bad about these sheet masks, I actually love them because they’re a quick fix in some of my not so good skin days, they smell lovely and I can easily find them around me.

Avène Cicalfate Repair Cream

photo-05-12-2016-13-13-48post

I’ve been wrongly prescribed an excessive amount of antibiotics this year which resulted in many internal and external issues. My skin has been suffering a lot and I was told by specialists that I’d probably need about six more months to sort it all out.

In order to bring everything back to normal, I’ve been trying to simplify my skincare routine and to incorporate more pharmacy skincare products into it. Most of them are known for me, I’ve used them before and I trust them but I found the Avène Cicalfate Repair Cream randomly. I needed something to calm my irritated skin, to be purifying but to also feel soothing, have anti-bacterial properties and to be suitable to use on both, face and body. I found out that most of the French pharmacy brands had similar products but one of the points was always missing and Avène Cicalfate Repair Cream promised everything I needed.

It has thick consistency but it’s not hard to apply it and a little goes a long way. Feels a bit greasy at first but soaks in well. I use a small amount twice a day, especially if it’s on the face because the thicker texture can make the make-up sit a bit bad on top of it. This cream contains thermal water to soothe, soften and calm the skin and Copper -Zinc Sulphate Complex that is purifying and anti-bacterial.

My skin tends to scar quite easily, I get this post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that can take months to heal but with this cream it starts to fade much quicker (especially if it’s a recent one) while also calming active breakouts. It reduces the redness, as well and stops the itching and burning feeling that sometimes may occur. Avène Cicalfate Repair Cream can also be used on lips, scratches, cracked skin, after hair removal or laser procedures and even on babies with nappy rash.

I use a lot more skincare products than this one, of course but it is an excellent healing cream for me and I can’t recommend it enough. In the past few months, I’ve done many purchases like this as an act of desperation but it’s great that the majority turned out to be successful and hopefully, they would help some of you, as well.