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Ingredients to Avoid if You Have Acne

Acetylated lanolin alcohol
Avocado oil: less comedogenic if refined.
Butyl stearate
Cetearyl alcohol + ceteareth 20: each of them is less comedogenic than combined.
Cetyl acetate
Decyl oleate
Cocoa butter
Coconut butter/oil (cocos nucifera)
Corn oil
Cotton seed oil
(D & C) red #3, #4, #6, #7, #9, #17, #19, #21, #27, #30, #33, #36, #40: more or less comedogenic, among which, #3, #17, #30 and #36 are more comedogenic. These pigments [Continue reading…]

A Natural Mask for Oily Skin

Oily skin is not a brick wall but skin care products for oily skin tend to be quite harsh making the problem even worse. So instead of buying clay masks that your skin might not tolerate, why not try this new mask for oily skin – Milk of Magnesia. It is generally used to relieve occasional constipation. Since magnesia absorbs oil and [Continue reading…]

Avobenzone - 4 Tips on Stable and Less Irritating Sunscreen

Avobenzone is an effective UVA filter. Avobenzone is also known as Parsol 1789, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, 4-tert-butyl-4′-methoxydibenzoylmethane, and Eusolex 9020. The maximum concentration of avobenzone allowed in US is 3%.
Issues about avobenzone have been skin irritation and photostability. Some people that have used avobenzone sunscreen think that their skin and eyes do not tolerate avobenzone, and they have to switch to mineral sunscreen [Continue reading…]

Which Antioxidants In Sunscreen Add Extra Sun Protection?

Having antioxidants in sunscreen is appealing, but how much do these antioxidants contribute to extra sun protection? A recent study published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that 10 out of 12 sunscreen products claiming benefits from antioxidants have 0 additional protection from antioxidants. Instead, the majority sun protection is still from their sunscreen ingredients.
A further look at this [Continue reading…]

7 Less Known but Top Notch Beauty Products

Note: hydrating products are not the best during harsh winters, but they are must-haves during other seasons.
1. Cosmetic Solutions Hydra B5 Masque
It is not the hydrating effect that makes Cosmetic Solutions Hydra B5 Masque stand out. Cosmetic Solutions Hydra B5 Masque is effective for face tightening and lifting.
Update: I no longer recommend Cosmetic Solutions Hydra B5 Masque. The one I purchased recently [Continue reading…]

A Cheaper Alternative To La Mer

la mer
Crème de la Mer has been criticized by some for its somewhat mundane ingredients, and at the same time, has been considered indispensable by others. Although Crème de la Mer does not have any special anti-aging effects, anybody that endures a long international flight, or goes through a dry and cold winter knows how [Continue reading…]

Is Hydrogenated Oil In Skin-Care Products Bad For Your Skin?

Image courtesy of bantransfats.com
While hydrogenated oil is increasingly included in skin care products, there is no conclusion about its effects on human skin. My knowledge about hydrogenated oil applied to skin is also limited, but I hope that the following analysis is helpful for you to decide whether you would like to put [Continue reading…]

Massage for Puffy Eyes - Inward or Outward?

Some eye moisturizers are made in the form of eye rollers so that it is easier for us to massage puffy eyes. The instructions of these eye roller massage are not the same. Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage and Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller ask to roll under the eye [Continue reading…]

Super Night Recharge with Red Algae Review

A night treatment that brightens, smooths, and renews.
Ingredient Screening
Water, Isododecane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Phosphatidylcholine, Thioctic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid), Docosahexaenoic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Pyridoxine HCl, Pantethine, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Tocotrienols, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Astaxanthin, Copper Gluconate, Litsea Cubeba [Continue reading…]

Do You Use Sunscreen Correctly?

Using sunscreen correctly is very important to your skin. If you choose good sunscreen products and use them correctly, your skin can get more protection and thus looks younger with time.

Apply sunscreen during the day all year round. The UV radiation you get through the window, during a short walk outside, and when you are driving can add up day by day. [Continue reading…]

Two Skin-Brightening Newcomers

For the past year, there have been some newly developed skin-brightening formulas. SkinMedica adopted 4-ethoxybenzaldehyde into its new skin-brightening product, which helps to reduce redness. According to SkinMedica’s test, this product is more effective than 4% hydroquinone. There is also a new form of vitamin C, 3-O-ethyl ascorbyl ether. Ethyl ascorbyl ether is a more stable and effective form of vitamin C, [Continue reading…]

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion as Hair Conditioner

Recently when I was reading the ingredient list of CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, I found that this lotion could be used to moisturize the hair as well. I have heard that some stylists use hand cream for the hair. I did not pay attention at the time. Now I found it a great idea. Leave-in hair products sometimes cause pimples on the skin [Continue reading…]

New Ingredient for Building Collagens And Elastin - Neodermyl

Collagens and elastin are important proteins that provide skin its firmness and elasticity. Skin care products have incorporated ingredients that indirectly help maintain and generate skin collagens and elastin for the past years. The new trend, on the other hand, is to dig into the cellular level [Continue reading…]

A Complete List of Skin Irritants and Allergens

Skin care products can bring skin problems rather than solve them. Though it is not easy to choose the right products because each individual responds differently to each skin care product, it is wise to avoid skin irritants and allergens as much as possible. I summarized the following list for your reference. In skin care, nothing is absolute. Some of the ingredients [Continue reading…]

14 Best PHA Products For Less Irritating Exfoliation

In previous posts Aged Skin Is Less Acidic – Hydroxyacids Can Help and Exfoliation – PHA, I talked about some benefits of PHAs. You might be wondering which products have effective PHAs. So in this post, I would like to list some good PHA products. They contain one or combination of gluconolactone, glucoheptonolactone, lactobionic acid, and maltobionic acid. They all provide antioxidant [Continue reading…]

Lancôme Génifique vs. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

Lancôme Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate has been around for quite some time. I did not review it because I was not impressed by its formula. Then I keep seeing ads about Lancôme Génifique and start to be attracted by their claims about genes.
Supposedly, Lancôme Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate can boot genes’ activity according to the in-vitro test on genes. This claim does [Continue reading…]

Clinique De-Puffing Eye Massage vs. Garnier Anti-Puff Eye Roller

Since I tend to pull my skin when I massage my eye area, I am trying some eye roller massage products. In this post, I am going to review Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage and Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller[Continue reading…]

Probiotic Skin Care - Is It A Hype?

We know that probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are healthy for the intestine, but can probiotics also benefit skin? Is the new Clinique product, Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup SPF15 with Probiotic Technology, a hype?
On Journal of Dermatological Science, I saw an invited article Pre- and probiotics for human skin by Jean Krutmann, [Continue reading…]

Oxybenzone Safety

Technically, all sunscreen active ingredients allowed by FDA should be safe but a lot of new research has found potential health risks of several of these sunscreen active ingredients. Since sunscreen is used everyday and some of the sunscreen ingredients themselves are irritants, it is good to know better about each of the sunscreen active ingredients. First, let’s look at oxybenzone, also [Continue reading…]

Exfoliation - AHA and BHA

Exfoliation is perhaps the only skin care process that can improve your skin’s appearance instantly. If you choose AHA or BHA, instead of scrubs, this exfoliation process can also bring you long-term benefits. This post discusses why you need exfoliation, what are AHA and BHA, how to use AHA and BHA, side effects of AHA and BHA and what AHA and BHA [Continue reading…]

Cosmetic Skin Solutions vs. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

I know there are some confusions and doubts about the serums from Cosmetic Skin Solutions versus SkinCeuticals. As you can see at the end of this post, the ingredient lists of C E Ferulic Serums from these two brands look the same, both claiming that they have 15% of stabilized Vitamin C, 1% Vitamin E, and 0.5% ferulic acid.
At the request [Continue reading…]

5 Best Salicylic Acid Exfoliation Products

Please read Exfoliation – AHA and BHA first if you just start to use salicylic acid exfoliation products.
(img:DHC Salicylic Face Milk)DHC Salicylic Face Milk contains 2% salicylic acid with pH 3.8. For any skin type but the sensitive skin because it contains rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil.
(img:Jan Marini  <a href=[Continue reading…]

Skin Corrector Rush

Correcting skin discoloration has been an all-time focus in the Asian cosmetic market, but now it seems there is a skin corrector rush in US – all major beauty brands are promoting their skin corrector products. Below are 5 skin correctors that are relatively new to the market.
PREVAGE® Clarity Targeted Skin Tone Corrector

PREVAGE® Clarity Targeted Skin [Continue reading…]

Eye Serum For Dags Under Eyes

People have all sorts of expectations for eye cream – moisturizing, de-puffing, reducing dark circles, unwrinkling, anti-aging, etc. But anyone who knows skin care products well understands how tough it is to reduce bags under eyes. Unlike temporary puffiness, fat bags under eyes usually have to go under the knife to be removed.
Since I do not want a [Continue reading…]

5 Effective Ways To Make Your Hair Naturally Beautiful

hair img
I have summarized the 5 most effective ways to improve hair, starting from the most effective. These methods make a visible difference on your hair. Please comment with your own hair-improving tips.
Replace synthetic shampoos with natural shampoos
Most shampoos today have sulfates and silicones. Sulfates make [Continue reading…]

6 Best Sunscreen Products for Sensitive Skin

(img:SkinMedica Sunscreen)SkinMedica Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 30+

Sunscreen ingredients: 5.5% Octinoxate and 8% Zinc Oxide.
Beneficial ingredients: Oat Kernel Extract, Caffeine, Ceramide, Soybean Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract, and Hyaluronic Acid.
Fragrance Free: Yes.
Paraben Free: No.

(img:Eucerin SPF 30)Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30

Sunscreen ingredients: Octinoxate, Zinc Oxide, Octisalate, Ensulizole, Titanium Dioxide.
Beneficial ingredients: Lactic Acid.
Fragrance Free: Yes.
Paraben [Continue reading…]

Acne Prevention - 5 Things You Must Know

Even low concentrations of comedogenic ingredients can cause acne. This is different from skin irritants and allergens, some of which do not cause problems at very low percentages.
The belief that mineral oil causes acne is both right and wrong. Just give you an example, mineral oil from good sources is less likely to cause acne than olive oil. So why does mineral [Continue reading…]

Are Micronized Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide Safe?

Micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are widely used in sunscreens because of their invisibility advantage. The public is hence worried about the safety of micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The concerns are twofold: (1) skin penetration; (2) sufficiency for UV protection.
Skin penetration
Intuitively, when the particle sizes of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are smaller, it is more likely for the [Continue reading…]

14 Dermal Fillers and Their Side Effects

Bovine collagen

Brands: Zyderm I (for superficial wrinkles), Zyderm II (for moderate to deep wrinkles), and Zyplast (for deeper lines, deep acne scars, and lip augmentation). Zyplast lasts longer than Zyderm I and Zyderm II. Avoid Zyplast injection at vascular areas such as between the eye brows.
Approximate longevity: 6 months.
Description and use: bovine collagen has been used for injectable filler for about 30 [Continue reading…]

Sunscreen In A Pill - Polypodium Leucotomos (Heliocare)

Almost nothing blocks 100% of UV unless you always stay in dark. So multiple sun protections are necessary if you really want to avoid photoaging as much as possible. Clothing and sunscreen can block some UV radiation, and topical antioxidant treatments can strengthen skin’s natural capability to fight UV damage. Surprisingly, some dietary supplements build your skin’s natural strength against UV insult [Continue reading…]

Lavender Oil - Watch Out!

Lavender oil is an effective essential oil to provide relaxation. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief that lavender oil is safe and beneficial to your skin, researchers have found that lavender oil is toxic to skin cells at a concentration of 0.25% and above. At the same time, lavender oil shows no scientific evidence to accelerate wound healing or benefit skin.
Although such [Continue reading…]

Which Antioxidants Treat Wrinkles?

Q: Which antioxidants treat wrinkles?
A: The efficacy of antioxidants currently lacks controlled clinical studies in humans. Most antioxidants are scavengers of oxidative stress, which means they prevent wrinkles but not treat wrinkles. This include the most potent antioxidants, such as idebenone, CoffeeBerry® and resveratrol. Often, the ability of most skin care products to improve wrinkles is due to swelling caused by irritation [Continue reading…]

A Common Mistake by Contact Lenses Beginners

A friend of mine complained that it was hard to put on contact lenses and with time, it could cause droopy eyelids, wrinkles and saggy skin because she had to keep pulling her skin every time she put on contact lenses. Then I found she was not doing it right. Since some contact lenses starters might make the same mistake, I would [Continue reading…]

Preview Before Plastic Surgeries

Now patients can preview different possible outcomes through different plastic surgery procedures using a new system – VECTRA M3. VECTRA M3 instantly captures detailed 3D images of face, neck and decolletage, and with these images, doctors can show patients how they will look afterwards before they actually do it. This will enhance the communication and planning before a plastic surgery. The video [Continue reading…]

Hydroquinone - Final Amended Safety Assessment

Hydroquinone has been causing a lot of debate regarding its use in skin bleaching products. Its use is banned in the European Union. But in the United States, we still see hydroquinone products around, including some well-known and effective skin lightening products such as DDF Fade Gel 4, Murad Environmental Shield Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel, and Alpha Hydrox Spot Light [Continue reading…]

Skin Redness Treatment

Cold whether and cosmetic irritation can cause skin redness and slight pain. Here are some simple steps to treat the symptom.
Calm down
You can calm down your skin temporarily just by using a cold compress. This is simple yet effective. Soak a washcloth in ice water or milk, or wrap some ice in a washcloth, and leave it on your skin for several [Continue reading…]

Estée Lauder 'Nutritious' Vita-Mineral - Nordstrom Exclusive

Nordstrom anniversary sale starts this Friday. It is a good time to buy next season’s styles, of course. But don’t forget your skin. Nordstrom carries some skin care products that are not available elsewhere. One of these exclusives is the Estée Lauder ‘Nutritious’ line, known for its pomegranate content.
Pomegranate is one of the most potent antioxidants that can be used both orally [Continue reading…]

Beauty From Food

We all know that applying antioxidants and other skin-beneficial ingredients is good for skin but absorption of these ingredients in skincare products is limited because of skin barriers. So another way to improve your skin is to eat skin nutrients. In general, these nutrients are not only good for skin but also great for overall health.
Vitamin C
(img:vitamin C)
Vitamin [Continue reading…]

MyHabit: Private Fashion Sale Site By Amazon

MyHabit, a private fashion sale site, was launched by Amazon last month. I am generally a Gilt person. There are so many private fashion sale sites today but I am still loyal to Gilt because of their aesthetic taste. MyHabit, on the other hand, was launched by Amazon! Who can neglect Amazon‘s power? So I tried MyHabit using my Amazon login credentials. [Continue reading…]

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

(img:Mother's Day Gifts)Charming Tails My Daughter, My Love Mother-Daughter Figurine by The Hamilton Collection acclaims artist Dean Griffs’ Charming Tails mouse and ladybug characters in a celebration of the special bond between mothers and daughters.
(img:Mother's Day Gifts)Diabetic Mother’s Day Gift Basket Giving Mom a gift basket is never a mistake while replacing it with [Continue reading…]

New Proactiv Acne System Review

I have received a lot of requests about New Proactiv 3-Step System. It is not surprising because you probably see the advertisements for New Proactiv everywhere. So I am going to review the New Proactiv 3-Step System.
<img alt=”(img:New Proactiv)” style=”width:100px;” src=”http://www.proactiv.com/img/order/select3G/pa3step.png”/>
The #1 question about New Proactiv is how it is different from Original Proactiv. In fact, New Proactiv and Original Proactiv have [Continue reading…]

10 Best AHA Exfoliation Products (2009)

Please read Exfoliation – AHA and BHA for information on why you need exfoliation, what are AHA and BHA, how to use AHA and BHA, side effects of AHA and BHA, and what to do if you cannot tolerate AHA. You can also find the effective pH range at different AHA concentrations in Most Effective AHA Concentrations and pH.
(img: Alpha Hydrox)[Continue reading…]

3 Best Products with both AHA and BHA

Please read Exfoliation – AHA and BHA for information on why you need exfoliation, what are AHA and BHA, how to use AHA and BHA, side effects of AHA and BHA, and what to do if you cannot tolerate AHA. You can also find the effective pH range at different AHA concentrations in Most Effective AHA Concentrations and pH.
(img: Dermalogica)[Continue reading…]

At Home Hair Treatment Products That Will Change Your Hair

You know you do not have to go to a salon to get an intensive hair treatment and spend more than 100 dollars. These at home hair treatment products will make you feel like you are just walking out of the salon.
(img:ApHOGEE)ApHOGEE Two-step Treatment Protein for Damaged Hair rebuilds hair structure for 6 Weeks with its hydrolyzed protein [Continue reading…]

NOW Foods - Pure Natural Oils

You guys probably know this brand – NOW Foods. But I actually discovered their pure natural oils and butter only recently because I am generally not a big fan of natural products. There are too many so-called natural skin care products with formulations that are not good for your skin.
These NOW Foods products, on the other hand, are pure natural oils and [Continue reading…]

3 Best Eye Creams with SPF

There are not many eye creams with SPF. Eye creams with SPF tend to irritate the eyes. The following ones won’t. These eye creams will protect and benefit your delicate eye areas. Of course, using eye creams is not a must so you can simply use sunscreens for sensitive skin if you prefer. From my experience, those are actually less likely to [Continue reading…]

Cheaper Alternatives of the Star Products I - SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0

Some skin care products are very good but their prices prevent consumers from using them every day. If this problem ever comes to you, you might find it helpful to know some cheaper alternatives of the star products. Not all of these cheaper skin care products perform exactly the same as their counterparts. Some of them might work less well for you [Continue reading…]

Cheaper Alternatives of the Star Products II - SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is a vitamin C + E skin care product that is proved to provide antioxidant protection. I highly recommend this product. Its price is $142.00 for 30 ml (about 1 oz).
Cheaper alternative: Cellbone C15ie Advanced C-Serum is an antioxidant treatment with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), 0.5% Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), and 0.5% Idebenone (a synthetic analog of [Continue reading…]

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense Spf 50+ Review

This must be a “Shake-Shake” summer for the L’Oréal Group. Another “shake then apply” sunscreen product, Super Fluid UV Defense Spf 50+, is promoted by Kiehl’s — right after SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense Spf 50. SkinCeuticals and Kiehl’s are both brands of the L’Oréal Group. My opinion on Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Super Fluid UV Defense Spf 50+ is “Not recommended for [Continue reading…]

Johnson and Johnson New Skin Care Products 2010

Johnson & Johnson launched new products based on completely new technologies 2010 for three of their brands. They are Aveeno Active Naturals Ageless Vitality Elasticity Recharging System, Neutrogena Clinical, and RoC Brilliance. The technology behind these new products is a two-part system containing ion-mineral conductors that, when activated by the companion moisturizer, create a positive electric micro-current on the skin, which, supposedly, [Continue reading…]

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