The Sunscreen Project, Part 21

/ Friday, February 22, 2013 /

My next sunscreen in line to be reviewed is Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea (1.7oz).

Source: I received two bottles of this at Sephora and Origins (separate shop) on Earth Day last year. There was a special promotion where you could recycle a bottle of one of your used-up beauty products (including shampoo, haircare, etc) and receive a 1.7 oz of either this or another moisturizer. I decided to go for two products with spf due to my concerns about Texas sun.

Ingredients (taken from NIH's DailyMed site):

Active ingredients Purpose
avobenzone 3.00% Sunscreen
octisalate 5.00% Sunscreen
octocrylene 2.70% Sunscreen

Inactive ingredients: 

water; citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower water, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower water ∙ butyloctyl salicylate ∙ ethyl macadamiate ∙ methyl trimethicone jojoba esters ∙ butylene glycol ∙ lauryl peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone ∙ peg-100 stearate ∙ glyceryl stearate ∙ citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil1, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil1, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil1, cinnamomum camphora (camphor) bark oil1, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil1, magnolia acuminata flower extract, iris pallida (orris) root extract, rosa damascena (rose) extract, citral, linalool, limonene ∙ camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract ∙ pinus pinaster bark/bud extract ∙ arabidopsis thaliana extract ∙ ascorbyl tocopheryl maleate ∙ oryzanol ∙ ergothioneine ∙ triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract ∙ hordeum vulgare (barley) extract ∙ cholesterol ∙ caffeine ∙ mangifera indica (mango) seed butter ∙ butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) ∙ potassium cetyl phosphate ∙ cetyl alcohol ∙ ethylhexylglycerin ∙ linoleic acid ∙ squalane ∙ sodium hyaluronate ∙ caprylyl glycol ∙ dehydroxanthan gum ∙ silica ∙ ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer ∙ citric acid ∙ sodium stearate ∙ sodium dehydroacetate ∙ phenoxyethanol ∙ mica <iln36381>

Seeing that Origins is a company that prides itself on using "natural" ingredients, the schlew of oils and other extracts is not surprising.

Once again, here are the qualifications I look for in a sunscreen:

  • Preferably inorganic (derived from zinc oxide or titanium oxide)
  • At least SPF30 coverage (following US FDA recommendations)
  • Doesn't break me out or give me a rash
  • Preferably does not give me a white cast
  • Does not contain oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate (future article coming out soon)
  • Is affordable
Now, let's see how this sunscreen did.

  • No white cast
  • No oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate
  • Provides both UVA and UVB ray coverage (active ingredients include avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene)
  • Provides the highest level of avobenzone possible, as allowed by US FDA guidelines (3%)

  • Uses organic sunscreen ingredients (listed active ingredients)
  • "Comedogenic-ness": When I first tried out this sunscreen, I applied it directly to my face. Not surprisingly, with all of the essential oils and extracts, I broke out. However, afterward, I decided to apply it just to my neck, and it was fine - no more breakouts.
  • Price: This product sells for $39.50 (1.7 oz) on Definitely very very pricey.
  • Lower SPF coverage (SPF 25)

Overall, while I am definitely very thankful for my two tubes of product, I do not think I will purchase the product. It is definitely very pricey and there definitely seem to be cons that in some ways outweigh the pros.

An additional shout-out: To my best friend (who also got the sunscreen from the same promotion): What is your opinion of it? Lemme know via the comments, Skype, in person, or something!

Source: 1

Review: Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream (Normal-Combo skin)

/ Wednesday, February 20, 2013 /

This. is. da. bomb.

I have been searching for a good, non-comedogenic, light, hydrating nighttime moisturizer for my face. As you all may know, I have combination-oily, acne-prone skin. What does this mean? It means that I have normal skin around my cheek area but around my t-zone (forehead, nose, down to my chin) I am prone to getting breakouts. I definitely do have acne, depending on my levels of cortisol (a hormone that correlates with the amount of stress I'm under). And of course, around the hormonal changes that surround most women, etc.

I got a sample of this product originally in the mail. Oh my goodness. So light, yet refreshing. It is literally the first dupe I've found of Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief.

Clinique - Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Ingredients (Garnier product):

Water , Glycerin , Alcohol Denatured , Dimethicone , Isononyl Isononanoate , Carbomer , Dimethiconol , Chlorphenesin , Caprylyl Glycol , Sodium Hydroxide , Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Extract , Xanthan Gum , Tetrasodium EDTA , Tocopherol Acetate , Ascorbyl Glucoside , Methoxypropanediol , Magnesium Gluconate , Sodium Citrate , Benzyl Salicylate , Linalool , Calcium Gluconate , Biosaccharide Gum 1 , Hydroxyisohexyl 3 Cyclohexene Carboxalde , Butylphenyl Methylpropional , Yellow 5 , Blue 1 , Fragrance , Phenoxyethanol

As you can see, the second ingredient, glycerin, is a humectant - water-retaining product. That is nice. Dimethicone is a skin protectant, which is also a nice addition


  • Really light-feeling
  • Only slightly sticky (less sticky than the Clinique product)
  • Really moisture-retaining
  • Doesn't make me break out (non-comedogenic)
  • Price ($7 for 1.7 oz at HEB/Target/Walmart/wherever, vs. Clinique, which is $37 for the same size at Sephora)
  • Really big, heavy scent (characteristic of most Garnier products, in fact)
  • Jar packaging - susceptible to bacteria

Overall, I definitely liked this product. The pros definitely outweigh the cons. Personally, in some aspects, I like this better than Clinique's because it feels less sticky, and of course because of the price. I could buy 5 Garnier's for just one Clinique! Seriously!

I have just repurchased this.

Source: 1 / 2

Hair issues

/ Monday, February 18, 2013 /
Ultimate fob pose XD
Unedited fob pose. Look at the crazy light hair color!

Confession: I think the quality of my hair has gotten worse.

When I was younger, I used to have dark, smooth, silky, strong East Asian hair. Later on in life, southern Gulf Coast USA weather sunbleached it to a dark brown.

My hair has been getting lighter in color since.

I have gone to the same cosmetologist for the past 6-7 years. She is very detailed and knows how to do perfect East Asian female cuts. And she charges for $15 a cut + tip. (what a great deal!) Anyway the point is that she's stated that the quality of my hair has been getting worse throughout the years. It's still shiny; it's still silky, straight, etc. But these characteristics are now not because of a result of my natural/inherent body, but because of products as well.

  • I now have to put in hair serum in order to make my hair feel smooth and silky
  • I do co-washes every other day to prevent shampoo from damaging it
  • Split ends come in a lot.
What is going on?

Well, for starters, around the time my hair first started changing quality, I had:
  • Changed my diet - a lot less cheese, milk, red meat, etc
  • Been under a lot of high school stress - college apps, scholarship apps, etc
  • Been deprived of sleep
  • Involved in a lot of competitions
Perhaps the chronically high levels of cortisol were diverting resources away from hair quality and more toward surviving?

  • During my junior year of college, I started growing it out a lot. I was still shampooing it 1x/day, every day, and I guess the sulfates really got to my hair. Lots of split ends. I had never, ever, ever gotten split ends before. Etc.
  • Based on recommendations, I actually have to eat protein and stuff now. So red meat, milk, Greek yogurt, etc - have to be in the equation.
  • Now, going into anatomy lab = formaldehyde/formalin exposure (which I have been going to for the past 7 months)
  • The condo that I live in is quite old (perhaps around 30-40 years old) so perhaps something with the walls/ventilation system/air created as a result?
What do I do now to prevent this (or at least as much as I can)?
  • Use a hair serum every night - rub into hair's roots and ends
  • Cut off ends of hair every 2 months
  • Do a co-wash every other day
  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo
So far it seems like it's worked but I've still got to work on it. I hope it'll get better!

NOTD... from Christmas Break

/ Saturday, February 16, 2013 /

Yes, I know, it is late. I just wanted to post this beforehand.

Like I stated in a few posts before, I did not want to paint my nails until Gross Anatomy was done. Yes, I know.

But it was Christmas, and one of my friends and I went to the mall. Why not try it out?

Base: Sephora by OPI
Middle: Massai Red by Dior
Top: Sephora by OPI

I took this coat off about a week later. I'm not going to put on nail polish again till Gross is done!

Review: Weleda Body Lotions

/ Thursday, February 14, 2013 /

Weleda is a high-end, natural, organics-based company that specializes in skincare, oral care, hair care, and other products. I was fortunate enough to receive some samples of body lotion from this company from a store. I have used the two scents of lotions I received, Sea Buckthorn and Pomegranate Regenerating, for a few days, and decided to do a review on it.

According to the official website, here are the ingredients for the two products:

Sea Buckthorn Lotion:

Ingredients (INCI)
Water (Aqua), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glyceryl Stearate SE, Glycerin, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tapioca Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Farnesol*.
* from natural essential oils

Pomegranate Regenerating Lotion:

Ingredients (INCI)
Water (Aqua), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Panicum Miliaceum (Millet) Seed Extract, Xanthan Gum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Coumarin*, Farnesol*.
* from natural essential oils

So, here you go!

Sea buckthorn body lotion:
-Easy to apply
-Easily blends into skin and absorbs into skin
-Smells really nice, kind of a sweet yet "sea-like" smell
-Has lots of organic material (is 97% organic, according to the website)

-Really drying for the skin; it somehow dried out my skin rather than hydrated it
-Cost: Is $16.50 for 6.8 fl oz

Pomegranate regenerating body lotion:
-Has lots of organic material (83% organic)

-Leaves a white cast
-Is really hard to blend in
-Feels tacky - e.g. doesn't sink into skin
-Doesn't hydrate the skin; is drying
-Has a plastic-like smell
-Cost: is $16.50 for 6.8 fl oz

I've got to say overall they really resemble, in terms of the intensity of scent, dryness, and overall feeling, these lotions really resemble the one by GUD brand (for my review on it, click here). If one really wanted a lotion with this kind of feeling, I would recommend the GUD lotion over this one because of the price factor (GUD is $7 for 8 fl oz, whereas Weleda is $16.50 for 6.8 fl oz). Overall, I definitely liked the Sea Buckthorn lotion a lot more than the Pomegranate Regenerating lotion. I think the sea buckthorn lotion would be good for someone who was looking for an organic product and had more oily skin. However, as of now, I don't think I would recommend the pomegranate regenerating lotion for someone with my skin type (face = combination, body = normal-dry).

So there ya go! Another skincare lotion review.

Sources: 1 / 2

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

/ /

Source: 1

OOTD - Lazy Days

/ Tuesday, February 12, 2013 /

Shirt: Souvenir
Sweatpants: Aerie (similar)
Socks: Unknown
Hat: Ebay

Expectation vs. Reality: Childhood style

/ /

The ultimate idol/guide that many young girls looked toward for becoming tall, thin, and beautiful...

This is Barbie with and without makeup.

The left picture is how Barbie looks when she wakes up!

If even she looks "normal" like us without makeup, then we can definitely be ok with ourselves.

Every person is imperfect and human. There is no way anyone can wake up and look like a movie star. Even movie stars themselves have to go through lots of makeup routines in order to look the way they do.

Sometimes the best beauty is the simplest - without makeup, without anything.

The Sunscreen Project, Part 20

/ Sunday, February 10, 2013 /
All righty, so after all of those hunts, I've gone back to the drawing board to look for more sunscreens.

Here's a new one!

Origins Brighter By Nature SPF 35 Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer

Origins - Brighter By Nature™ SPF 35 Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer

I went to Origins awhile ago and decided to look around at the various items that the store had. One product that intrigued me was this moisturizer, which, according to Sephora's website, is formulated without "parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, and triclosan."

All right. That sounds nice. From what I can discern:
  • Triclosan can be an irritant - it is often used a detergent/cleansing agent in various soaps. I guess such an agent shouldn't be in a moisturizer, right?
  • Synthetic... I really don't like that term. Technically everything is "synthesized" from something - different carbon molecules, oxygen molecules, hydrogens, etc. This can be thought of as "fluff" words in a sense, though there are designations for such "synthetic" things - aka things that you can manufacture in a lab versus finding in nature. But the thing is, a lot of things that are found in nature can also be manufactured in a lab. Think about it; in the Miller-Urey experiment, laboratory setups that simulated conditions that were thought to exist at the time the early Earth was formed generated many of the 20 amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) - that are the building blocks of life. What do you think about that?
  • GMOs - I like that there are no "genetically modified organisms" in the moisturizer. Thank goodness.
  • Petrochemicals - There is a lot of contention about this. A lot of contention and misinformation about this; one of the main petrochemicals used, petrolatum, has gotten a lot of bad press. There have been claims stating that it clogs pores, is carcinogenic, causes premature aging, etc. These are all false (see articles 1, 2, 3 and the primary references listed in them for more information).
Bottom line, I can objectively state that a lot of these words are words that appeal to certain consumer categories. For me, I'd rather look at the ingredients list, test out the product, and see how it works on my skin before making any true conclusions. From what I've seen here, I can tell that Origins really tries to appeal to its market and has made a nice effort in trying to distinguish itself from other skincare brands. However, I don't promote products due to just hype; I want to judge based on actual results.

All righty, I'm gonna get off my soapbox now. Onward with the review!
Ingredients list: I could not find the full list on either the Origins website or the Sephora site. I had to go to NIH's DailyMed Current Medicine Information website. I guess perhaps this is because substances with SPF are considered to be drugs in the US, not just cosmetics, so thus are more controlled by the FDA.

Anywhere, here you go, word-for-word quoted:

Active ingredients: homosalate 5.00% [] octisalate 5.00% [] avobenzone 3.00% [] octocrylene 2.70%
Inactive ingredients: water\aqua\eau; citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower water, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower water [] butyloctyl salicylate [] methyl trimethicone [] jojoba esters [] butylene glycol [] polyester-8 [] ethyl macadamiate [] lauryl peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone [] peg-100 stearate [] butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) [] glyceryl stearate [] citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil*, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil*, cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass) oil*, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil*, salvia sclarea (clary sage) oil*, ormenis multicaulis (chamomile) oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) flower oil*,  lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil*, thymus vulgaris (thyme) oil*, coriandrum sativum (coriander) fruit oil*, citral, geraniol, linalool, citronellol, limonene [] gentiana lutea (gentian) root extract [] hordeum vulgare (barley) extract\extrait d'orge [] paeonia albiflora (peony) root extract [] sanguisorba officinalis (burnet) root extract [] cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract [] perilla ocymoides leaf extract [] pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract [] hydrolyzed rice bran extract [] scutellaria baicalensis root extract [] triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract [] polygonum tinctorium leaf/stem extract [] curcuma longa (turmeric) root extract [] palmaria palmata extract [] trametes versicolor extract [] sodium grape seed extract phosphate [] micrococcus lysate [] mangifera indica (mango) seed butter [] silica [] potassium cetyl phosphate [] cetyl alcohol [] ethylhexylglycerin [] arginine [] ascorbyl glucoside [] caffeine [] salicylic acid [] cholesterol [] behenyl alcohol [] tocotrienols [] linoleic acid [] sodium hyaluronate [] squalane [] magnesium ascorbyl phosphate [] phospholipids [] ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer [] caprylyl glycol [] tocopheryl acetate [] glycyrrhetinic acid [] dehydroxanthan gum [] sodium stearate [] sodium dehydroacetate [] phenoxyethanol [] mica

Yeah. I concur with you. That is one looonnng ingredients list.
Cool things that were added: jojoba esters, salicylic acid, caffeine, sodium hyaluronate, cetyle alcohol, arginine, vitamin C, vitamin E, cucumber, etc.

Things that could be comedogenic/irritating/cause allergic reactions: all of the essential oils, flour water, mica.

The thing is that in US labels, you actually don't know exactly how much each ingredient is added in the overall, final product; you only know the relative amounts of each ingredient; e.g. the further up in the ingredients list, the higher percentage of the product that is composed of that ingredient. Thus, for example, water makes up a great composition of the product than jojoba esters (which is farther down the list in the list of inactive ingredients). So technically you don't know exactly how much each ingredient might be truly affecting you if you do have an allergic reaction to one of them.

Anyway, here we go. I got a really nice sample of this from Origins and have been using it for a week. Here are my experiences:

  • Used as an AM eye cream w/ SPF: really irritating on the eyes (not sure of exactly what ingredients causing this, but perhaps the essential oils or a synergistic effect of a bunch of them and some other materials)
  • Used as an AM sunscreen (on my face): MAJOR BREAKOUT! Not cool. Too oily. It felt as if I had smeared body butter all over my face. Way too emollient, even for my cheeks, which are not particularly oily on most days.
  • Used as a neck moisturizer: Pretty nice. I just had to let the moisturizer dry on my neck for about 1 hour before I felt as if it was not sticky anymore.

Bottom line:

  • Really emollient
  • All of the claims made by the product (listed above) and the disclaimers I gave about them
  • Really appeals to the environmentalist, or a person who is into "green" products
  • Really hard to apply makeup over it - the makeup, even waterproof makeup, just smears
  • Has SPF 35, which is above the SPF 30 suggested by FDA
  • Active ingredients cover both UVA and UVB rays
  • Super emollient and moisturizing
  • Bad for acne-prone skin (causes breakouts easily with all of those ingredients, as described above)
  • Super pricey ($45 for 1.7 oz)
  • Jar packaging (more likely to introduce microorganisms in)
  • May be bad for extremely sensitive or sensitized skin - cause rashes, breakouts, etc
Overall, I think this would be a nice product for people who do not have sensitive skin, are looking for a nice moisturizing product, and do not have acne-prone skin. For me personally, I do not think I will be purchasing the full-sized version of this product. It is pretty nice as a neck moisturizer but takes a tad too long to dry.

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 

Note: During this and every other future edition of The Sunscreen Project, I will no longer put up links of past posts at the end of every post. It seems that it just takes up too much space and unnecessarily clutters the post. Instead, I will have a separate page (accessible via tabs on the top of the page, near "Home", "About me", etc) that will list all of the posts as well as list articles that I've looked at, read, cited, etc. I believe that this will make the posts much more enjoyable to read! 

Happy Lunar New Year 2013!!!

/ /
greeting for year of snakeChinese New Year 2013 - Greeting Card Design - Year Of Snake Stock ... design - year of snake
Especially to my readers out there who were born in the Year of the Snake (1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001)- this year is your year!!!

<3, Lucia

Photo source: 1 / 2 / 3

Review: Origins Ginger Souffle Body Cream

/ /
Origins Ginger Souffle™ Whipped Body Cream

So good
Lots of samples from Origins

Really emollient
retains moisture (humectant)
nice, glides on easily
not sticky
Great smell - contraindications against allergies

Source: 1

Get your weird on tag!

/ Saturday, February 9, 2013 /

#1. What's a nickname only your family calls you? Lucia-baby

#2. What's a weird habit of yours? I twist myself up whenever I feel really uncomfortable - knot my hands, arms, and legs into a pretzel-like contraption/position.

#3. Do you have any weird phobias? Hmm... perhaps aeronausiphobia - fear of vomiting due to airsickness.

#4. What's a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you're alone? the old Britney Spears songs, techno, dubstep, lot of 90s favorites!

#5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves? Leaving things plugged in when they could be unplugged (save the environment!) And also not closing off lights that don't need to be used (same reason)

#6. What's one of your nervous habits? I get my crunch on.

#7. What side of the bed do you sleep on? I don't really sleep on a side... it's a twin bed...

#8. What was your first stuffed animal && it's name? It was a stuffed pink bunny - Ms. Pretty I think?

#9. What's the drink you ALWAYS order at starbucks? Tall skinny mocha
#10. What's the beauty rule you preach.. but never ACTUALLY practice? Get enough sleep

#11. Which way do you face in the shower? Toward the shower head

#12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'? I can do the splits

#13. What's your favorite 'comfort food'/food thats 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways? chocolate... lots of it. Lemon bars!

#14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say? Lolz?

#15. Time to sleep- what are you ACTUALLY wearing? *sigh* oversized t-shirt, boxer shorts. Scrubs if I'm lazy XD

Secrets to beautiful skin

/ Thursday, February 7, 2013 /
So many to list! Here are the ones that I personally like.

  • Drink lots of water - Always have a water bottle with you!
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies - don't buy the frozen meals and stuff; they aren't as good as the fresh stuff
  • Get lots of sleep - this one I'm not so good at but I've been trying to catch up on weekends
  • Work out - but always shower and wash your face carefully afterward
  • Always wear sunscreen everyday, whether it's cloudy and rainy or sunny and bright or anywhere in between
  • Always wash off your makeup before you go to bed
  • Apply a face mask a few times a week. My favorite one consists of a 1:1 lime and cucumber juice, oatmeal, and honey mixed in. Put it all together and let it sit on your face till it dries off (typically 15 min). Your skin will feel so good afterward.
  • An alternative face mask you can use is just 1:1 lime juice: cucumber juice. Put it on a compressed face mask and apply the face mask to your face for about 20-30 min.
  • Put on moisturizer every night before you go to bed.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Reapply sunscreen as often as necessary.
  • If your legs and arms are dry (esp during the winter) use a lotion that you like or coconut oil.
  • Use an eye cream if you wish (but you don't have to; it's not completely necessary - you just need something emollient around your eyes).
  • Above all else, DON'T STRESS! Seriously I've found that the thing that breaks me out the most is stress. Whenever it gets close to exam times (during med school especially) I find myself breaking out in tons, much more than I ever did before I started med school, even in college and high school, comparable to my worst acne I got during my teenage years.
Hope this helps! 

Review: Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap, w/ Vanilla Beans

/ Tuesday, February 5, 2013 /
Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap, with Vanilla Beans

Ahh, coconuts and papayas. Doesn't that sound exotic?

I had been searching for a skin brightening soap and wanted something that made my complexion look brighter. Thus, lo and behold, I read up on some sites and found out that papaya would be a good ingredient that would do the trick.

I had been ordering some things on (and had some credit due to a past purchase) so I decided to go for it.

This soap retails for $3.99 on

The ingredients, according to the website, are:

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Palm Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk, Papain (Papaya Extract), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Vegetable Glycerin, Essential Oil Blend, Vanilla Beans

The first time I tried this product out, it really made me break out. At the time I was really puzzled because I thought that it was because of the stress I was going through, hormonal changes, yada-yada-yada. Of course those factors came into play, but at the same time I didn't look at the ingredients list.

The first couple of ingredients - coconut oil, shea butter, palm oil, etc - all are super occlusive agents.

Papaya extract was one of the later ingredients listed, meaning it comprised of a smaller component of the soap than the occlusive agents did.


Anyway, here are the pros and cons. Please keep in mind that I have combination-oily skin, am of East Asian descent, and normally have the occasional breakouts every once in awhile.

-Did brighten my skin
-Smelled really nice
-Really great price - $4, and will last a long time

-Really made my skin break out
-The papaya bits were pretty scratchy (rough) on my skin

Overall, even though there are more pros than cons, I think that I will not be using this product again for my face. I think it will be a great body moisturizing bar - after all it has all of those rich agents, and my body does not have the same combination-oily composition that my face has - I usually don't get body acne. Thus I think I will try it as a body bar soap and see what happens instead.

I'm glad I only bought one bar to try out at the beginning. If it works well as a body bar then I might repurchase it.

Have you guys and gals had any experiences like this regarding such products? Any good suggestions on facial soap bars? Lemme know!

Source: 1

OOTD (Simple edition)

/ Sunday, February 3, 2013 /

Jacket: Thrifted, $6
Belt: Unknown
Shirt: Ebay, $9
Tights: Unknown

The Worst Shampoos I've ever used + Shampoos I've liked

/ Friday, February 1, 2013 /
Normally, I review skincare products and (sometimes) makeup products. I also do tag posts, lifestyle posts, OOTDs, etc.

This is one of the few times I blog about haircare.

I know that this sounds like a very negative post but I just want to make some things clear. I care about all parts of skincare, and hair is a part of it. It is made up of keratinized skin cells (dead skin cells) and comes out of all sorts of different parts of the body.

Today I'll talk about the hair on my head.


Once again, I apologize for such a negative-sounding title. I will just give my humble opinion on the subject.

I have semi-long, straight, dark brown hair. I am of East Asian descent. I have combination-oily skin.
I hardly ever straighten my hair (<10x/year) or blow-dry my hair (<3x/year). I put a serum in my hair most nights (usually when I remember). My usual haircare routine consists of (1) shampoo, (2) conditioner, and (3) hair serum.

I know that it is more wise to wash your hair with shampoo every other day but because of labs and such I feel pretty "gross" and wish to "cleanse away" everything afterward. Hence the daily hair washing thing.

Anyway, let's get started.
1. Vo5

This brand uses a lot of SLS/SLES (sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate) - a detergent found often things ranging from shampoo to toothpaste to even laboratory gels used to run DNA/RNA/proteins. Anyway, despite having many scents, this shampoo ALWAYS irritates my scalp and makes me shed a lot of hair. Uh-uh. And I always get an itchy scalp and hair afterward too.

2. White Rain - Same effect as Vo5.

3. Head & Shoulders - although this has been the touted brand for hair with dandruff, it has not worked for me. I normally do not have dandruff, but the few times I've used this I actually got dandruff after using it -_-

4. Sunsilk - itchy scalp, similar effects of Vo5/White Rain.


5. Herbal Essences - don't get me wrong; I love their scents and conditioners. However, for some reason this brand's shampoo makes me get patches of itchy scalp.

6. Pert - allergic reaction of sorts?

7. 2-in-1 shampoo-conditioners in general: The two ingredients combined together do not do their individual jobs properly. 'nuff said.

Pert Plus 2-in-1 Simply Fresh Shampoo & Conditioner - 16.9 oz Suave Men's 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner, Normal, Ocean Charge Pantene Pro-V Classic 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner, All Hair Types

8. Yes to Carrots: Really expensive for a drugstore brand and is very drying.

9. Suave - similar reaction to Sunsilk.

10. Tresemme - I know, I know, Tresemme used to be my HG brand of shampoo/conditioner, but I've got to say that this shampoo really dries out my hair AND has SLES. My hair does not like it as much.

Yes. I know. That was a lot. I'm still searching for a good shampoo.

Here are the ones I've liked:
1. L'oreal Sulfate-Free

2. Aussie

3. Pantene ProV Nature Fusion

Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Shampoo by Procter & Gamble
4. Aveeno
In general, these shampoos (1) do not irritate my scalp as much, (2) do not give me dandruff, (3) are generally affordable. Plus they smell good. 'Nuff said.

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15


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