Monday, 31 July 2017

Most popular Skincare Brushes and Tools

I personally have used the Clarisonic Mia for years, and it always helps to keep my skin smooth, especially with the spots I get on my forehead. Here are the most popular skincare tools of this year. They are getting great reviews in the thousands; I think it's time I upgrade my Mia for something better.

  • personalized Facial Cleansing Brush
  • designed to eliminate blemishes
  • while effectively addressing concerns related to aging skin
  • for large pores, acne and blemishes and fine lines 

Clarisonic Mia 2
  • sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to deeply cleanse the skin far more effectively, yet more gently
  • noticeably smoother, more radiant skin
  • 2 speed setting with 1 minute pulsing timer

Clarisonic Mia FIT
  • removes dirt, sunscreen, makeup and impurities
  • light-weight, travel friendly and water-proof
  • two new speed settings: delicate and power cleanse
  • pulsing T-timer

Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System with facial brush
  • 2-speed rotating facial cleansing brush thoroughly cleanses as it gently exfoliates
  • superior cleansing on hard-to-remove makeup
  • renews skin texture for a refreshed, smooth feel
  • water-resistant in the shower
  • includes 2-speed Facial Cleansing Brush, Cleansing Brush Head, Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser (0.68 fl. oz.) and 2 AA Duracell batteries

NuFACE Trinity Facial Trainer Kit
  • FDA-cleared, clinically-tested, and consumer reviewed
  • natural, non-invasive facial-lift using microcurrent technology
  • visible results that are long-lasting with continued use
  • helps to improve facial contour, skin tone and reduce wrinkles in as little as five minutes a day
  • interchangeable treatment attachments to help with facial stimulation and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

10 Benefits of using Oats for Skin backed by Scientific Research

A few months ago I used oatmeal as a face mask. I mixed some rolled oats with water and left it on my face until it dried up. Afterwards, my skin felt soft and supple and it lasted the whole night and even into the next day. The process of leaving it on my face while it slithered down my neck felt more like a biohazard than a calming experience, so I never did another oatmeal mask again. Until a few weeks ago, and here's why (and how).

Properties of Oatmeal
Oats contain lipids, proteins (glutelin and avenin), β-glucan (mucilage polysaccharides), and flavonoids. They are also a rich source of antioxidants and saponins.

Colloidal oatmeal extracts were found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The extracts diminished pro-inflammatory cytokines in vitro, while an oatmeal lotion improved skin dryness, scaling, roughness, and itch intensity in 29 females with moderate to severe dry skin on their legs.
Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin. (2015)
Avenanthramides, polyphenols from oats, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity (2008)

'Oats' by David J licensed under CC BY 2.0

Oats contain saponins, which have soap-like properties, making them cleansing as well as soothing.
Steroidal Saponins in Oat Bran (2016)
Oatmeal in dermatology: A brief review (2012)

Skin Barrier
A 2016 study investigated the effects of  oatmeal on the skin barrier in vivo and in vitro.
Treatment with oatmeal showed:
  • significantly upregulated genes associated with skin barrier function
  • enhanced expression of genes involved in keratinocyte differentiation, lipid production and tight junction formation, which can provide overall skin barrier related benefits
  • helped in the recovery of cytokine-induced barrier disruption. Over-production and disfunction of cytokines are associated with many inflammatory skin conditions.

Skin hydration
The same experiment revealed those with moderate to severe dry skin showed significant improvements, at all time points during and after application, as well as 13 days after.
After 3 weeks of treatment, skin moisture was significantly revealed.
Atopic Dermatitis
Studies have revealed that daily use of colloidal oatmeal products (cleansers and moisturisers, in this case), improved area and severity, itch, dryness and quality of life.
Colloidal Oatmeal Formulations as Adjunct Treatments in Atopic Dermatitis (2014)

Other Properties
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-viral
  • anti-genotoxiticity
  • moisturising
  • protects skin from UVA, as flavonoids in the oats absorb some wavelengths of UVA rays

Most of these studies have used colloidal oatmeal, which is finely milled whole oat grains suspended in water. You can either grind oats yourself or buy them.

How to incorporate oatmeal into your routine
  • Mask Paste: I now mix my pre-ground oats with water. I usually use 1 teaspoon of oats to 3 teaspoons of water. It makes for a hassle free mask, and the results are better too!
  • Use as a gentle morning cleanser
  • soothing bath

Links: Where to buy oatmeal powder and oatmeal products

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Quick Acne Clearing Tips

Here are a few things I do when I need to get rid of spots that have surfaced unexpectedly. When I follow these tips, my skin clears up a lot faster.

Use topical treatments
I've used salicylic acid based products in the past, and they are very effective in clearing up spots. I now mostly use azelaic acid, which functions in a similar way to benzoyl peroxide, without the drying after effects. I also find the azelaic acid reduces any redness in spots, and reduces inflammation in a way other products don't. Here is a review of the product I have been using. Azelaic acid also helps with other skin conditions, here's a post on what the latest science says.

Drink more water, and try to get at  least 8 cups a day.

Blending kale, spinach or collards with frozen fruit is an easy easy way to get those nutrients and antioxidants in without feeling like your drinking your front lawn. I always feel like I'm doing something good for my skin (and health) when I drink green juice, and it's great for those who aren't fond of salad.

Cut out dairy
I don't really eat dairy (at least, I try not to but I occasionally slip up, usually when it comes to desserts). Cutting out dairy is how I initially cured my cystic acne. Here are a few posts about the link between acne and dairy:
5 Reasons why Dairy Causes Acne
I gave up Dairy and Became Acne Free

This is especially helpful before a pimple surfaces; if I take this early enough, spots aren't as red and inflamed like they usually would be and sometimes don't even flare up. A lot of people who have acne are actually zinc deficient, and find that once they start supplementing, and then include zinc in their diet, their acne goes away.
Vitamins for Skin: Zinc

These tips help me when my skin isn't looking its best, and eating healthier just makes me feel better in general, so it's a win-win.

xo, Amali

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Biore Triple Action Toner Review

I've had this product in my bathroom for a few years, and it's finally being reviewed. I initially purchased this because my cheeks had started to get a few pimples, and after about two weeks they weren't going away. They were inflamed and I wasn't using a toner at the time, so I grabbed this. I didn't even read the ingredients, which is pretty unusual for me.

  • Oil-Free
  • Non-Comedogenic (won't clog pores)
  • Hypo-Allergenic
  • Dermatologist tested
  • gentle enough for daily use morning and night
  • can help treat and clear blemishes for a deep down clean
  • with an active blemish-fighting ingredient, 
  • this toner effectively cleans skin and penetrates pores to reduce breakouts

Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other: Water, Alcohol Denat., Isopropyl Alcohol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Glycerin, Alcohol, Menthol, Benzophenone-4, Polysorbate 60, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Yellow 5, Blue 1

  • cooling feeling (probably due to the menthol)
  • salicylic acid is proven to be effective against acne
  • at first skin feels clean, and not dry
  • helped the smaller zits

  • contains denatured alcohol as the second ingredient, as well as isopropyl alcohol
  • the formula may feel gentle but is very stripping of your skins natural oils
  • skin produces more oil
  • doesn't help acne long term
  • the only 
This didn't magically get rid of my spots at the time. Nor, did it improve the condition of my skin as a toner. I don't recommend it at all, the ingredients are too harsh, there is too much alcohol, and this will end up dehydrating your skin. It cleans my bathroom cabinet doors well though. 

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Photos of Half Moon Bay during Winter

Here are a few photos that I took when my friend and I decided to go on a spontaneous road trip on a Friday evening. It's not the best time for beach (since it's winter!) but we really wanted to catch the sunset. We decided to drive to Half Moon Bay which is only thirty minutes from Melbourne.

It was slightly cloudy when we arrived but it was still nice to walk along the waves to the wharf.

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