Monday, 25 April 2016

Clarisonic Mia Review

I've had the Clarisonic for a few years. Here's a detailed review about this device and what happened to my skin when I used it.

  • a travel-friendly, professional-quality skin care brush
  • the sonic frequency moves Clarisonic's soft, gentle brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second
  • removes makeup six times better than traditional methods
  • clears pores and reduces the appearance of pore size
  • cleanses so thoroughly that skin care products absorb better
  • creates noticeably healthier looking skin.
  • ideal for all skin types, it is used and recommended by leading dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.

I have the Clarisonic Mia which came with the sensitive brush-head and a cleanser. The cleanser wasn't the best, so I used my own. Never use a scrub with this, or a cleanser with small particles, as you will over-exfoliate your skin, After charging for 24 hours, the brush lasts many uses; about two months if you only use it a few times a week. The normal brush head isn't harsh, and doesn't irritate my skin, even when it was sensitive and spotty.

While I was very diligent in using this daily when I first started, now it's something that I would never do, only because I like using chemical exfoliants and it would be too harsh for my skin. My skin didn't break into a lot of spots or become red when I did use it daily, but I made sure to be gentle and not drag it across my face.

This also has removed makeup well, but now I prefer to use cleansers or oil to clean makeup, which works better for me. I also hated how the brush would look after makeup haha..

The brush head doesn't rotate, but vibrates and 'oscillates'. There is also a timer, so it stops automatically. In the newer models, the timer beeps to indicate how long you should spend on parts of your face, but I don't think that's necessary.

  • exfoliates skin and skin feels smoother
  • removes makeup (better than some methods)
  • skincare does seem to absorb better
  • foundation applies easily and the finish is smoother, as it gets rid of dry patches
  • does help in smaller whiteheads
  • lasts a long time after being charged

  • easy to over-exfoliate, especially if used every day, or with chemical exfoliants
  • not great if you have very thin skin or are prone to broken capillaries 

I think the Clarisonic Mia is a great tool to use if you aren't fond of chemical exfoliation (which can also have it's side effects), and would like to manually exfoliate.
When I used this everyday, I didn't experience anything negative; at the time I had oily skin and cystic acne. I was also careful to be gentle, and not apply any pressure. It worked the best when used occasionally, a few times a week or even less, I felt like it kept my skin smoother, and kept the smaller spots I was prone to get on my forehead at bay.

Have you used the Clarisonic? I know some people are totally against face brushes, but I think they are great to use occasionally on your face, and to exfoliate your body. The key is not to press or drag!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Azelaic acid for Acne, Rosacea and Hyperpigmentation

There's one acid I completely missed in my chemical exfoliation post, and it seems to be the most promising one. Most people haven't heard of this as you can only get it through prescription in the US and it's hard to find in Australia and elsewhere.
Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid which is found in wheat, barley and rye.

Here's why it's great for many skin concerns:

Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis are two of the dominant bacterium found in acne. Topical application of 20% azelaic acid cream has been found to inhibit the growth of these bacteria in many studies (Bladon et al., 1986), including a recent study which showed a reduction in 60 % of pimples in sixty patients (Iraji et al., 2007). Azelaic acid also acts against many other bacteria.

Applying azelaic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation (Elewski, 2006)

Azelaic acid reduces inflammation and redness in rosacea patients (David A. Jonesand, 2009) and only requires a daily application (Worcester, 2008).

Azelaic acid is also anti-inflammatory because it can scavenge free radicals which would otherwise be harmful for the skin, which means it has an anti-oxidant effect. Skin damage is also more prevalent in skin conditions like acne and rosacea.

This describes the process of the outermost layers of skin softening and shedding, much like exfoliation. Like alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, azelaic acid is able to chemically exfoliate and reveal 'new' skin.

Azelaic acid is able to inhibit the formation of blemishes and comedones which usually form when oil and skin cells become trapped.

Having anti-inflammatory, comedolytic and exfoliating properties makes azelaic acid a great treatment for acne, blackheads and whiteheads. Studies have shown that azelaic acid gel in 20% form can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne (Iraji et al., 2007). Azelaic acid also targets the bacteria associated with acne and seems to be a great ingredient that is effective overall in targeting acne through many pathways. 

Discolouring after acne scars or other skin conditions like melasma is a problem many people face. If you have a darker skin tone, scars can be dark, and while some products may help, they can also lighten the skin surrounding the scars and make your overall skintone uneven. Azelaic acid interferes with melanin production where it is abnormal and blocks the extra production but does not affect the normal melanocytes.

Finacea Gel - you need a prescription in the US and it apparently costs between $240-$300, which is ridiculous, ordering it and shipping it online from Australia seems to be a better option. Details will be up this week.
Azclear Action Medicated Lotion - is what I'll be trialling and reviewing soon - probably purchase from Chemist Warehouse


Bladon PT, Burke BM, Cunliffe WJ, Forster RA, Holland KT, King K: Topical azelaic acid and the treatment of acne: a clinical and laboratory comparison with oral tetracycline. Br J Dermatol 1986;114:493–499.

Iraji, F., Sadeghinia, A., Shahmoradi, Z., Siadat, A. and Jooya, A. (2007). Efficacy of topical azelaic acid gel in the treatment of mild-moderate acne vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol, 73(2), p.94.

Jones DA. Rosacea, Reactive Oxygen Species, and Azelaic Acid. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2009;2(1):26-30.

Worcester, S. (2008). For Rosacea, Azelaic Acid Only Requires Once-Daily Application. Skin & Allergy News, 39(8), p.37.

Iraji, F., Sadeghinia, A., Shahmoradi, Z., Siadat, A. and Jooya, A. (2007). Efficacy of topical azelaic acid gel in the treatment of mild-moderate acne vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol, 73(2), p.94.

Sieber, M. and Hegel, J. (2014). Azelaic Acid: Properties and Mode of Action. Skin Pharmacol Physiol, 27(s1), pp.9-17.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

How to Replicate the American Psycho Skincare Routine

So recently, I watched the psychological thriller, American Psycho. Apart from being completely disturbed, there are moments of the film that are actually comical, in an absurd, unsettling sort of way. Patrick Bateman's opening scene is one of them, where Bateman discusses his lengthy morning routine which involves a very elaborate skincare regimen. So, just in case you're a little crazy and want to be just as a diligent and precise as Mr Bateman, here's how you too can replicate this routine.... The products I mention are either those that I have or would/ want to use in the future.

You can watch the video here:

In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now.
Let's skip the crunches - the cooling mask is actually a good idea if you have a puffy face in the morning, and want to reduce the swelling.
TheraPearl Eye-ssential Mask, Reusable Hot Cold Therapy Eye Mask
Facial Ice Pack

After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion.
I usually use a light cleanser in the mornings, but make sure it's not too stripping - deep pore cleaning
goPure Natural Facial Cleanser for Acne, Blemishes and Anti-Wrinkle - natural skincare
Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser - gel cleanser that has charcoal and brightening ingredients, not stripping.
ClaREN ClearCalm 3 Clarifyingy Cleanser - gentle anti-bacterial clay cleanser formulated to combat acne.

In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub,
Cussons Imperial Leather Body Wash - is what I use, it leaves skin moisturised and 'no. 37 - Flirtatious' smells like roses,
Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Shower Gel - here's something for men, and something Bateman would have probably used...
L’Occitane Almond Shower Scrub

and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub.
Unless you wake up with dry, flakey skin and want a quick fix, using an exfoliating product in the morning is overkill. I also don't think you need a scrub when, you can use a gel exfoliant. Using an exfoliant at night, or once in a while is a better option.
Cure Natural Aqua Gel - natural skincare, best selling in Japan
boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel - a peeling gel, just in case you wanted to re-create the famous scene.

Then I apply an herb-mint facial masque which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine.
Queen Helene Mint Julep Facial Masque  - this sounds like the closest to what's described, but it is a clay mask, so it would work better at night.
Dr Hauschka Soothing Mask - a soothing mask without clay.
ArtNaturals Aloe Vera Gel - aloe vera alone is great to soothe skin and calm redness

I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older.
Using skincare without alcohol is actually a good tip. Here are a few alternatives to aftershave.
Aloe Vera Gel - soothes and moisturises skin, also has great healing and anti-bacterial properties.
Jojoba Oil - the closest oil to our own natural sebum.

Then moisturiser,
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion - affordable and gets great reviews
Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Daily Moisturizer - and here's an additional $1.50 discount
Thursday Plantation Replenishing Moisturiser - what I've been using lately

then an anti-ageing eye balm
Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream - here's an additional 15% discount on Burt's Bees.
Avocado Oil - what I occasionally use. Certified Organic.

followed by a final moisturising protective lotion
I'm going to take this to mean sunscreen - it wasn't though, but it should be.
Natural Instinct Invisible Natural Sunscreen - physical sunscreen, with more natural ingredients (Australian)
La Roche Posay CICAPLAST BAUME B5 - multi-purpose/soothing/repairing balm

If we all followed a routine exactly like this every morning, I think it would be fair to say that our face would eventually fall off. Some steps are better for the evening, like the first cleanser, and exfoliating gel. Bateman also seems to be obsessed with his pores, but ultimately his routine reflects the routine of someone who hasn't really researched the skincare products, and just buys the latest, or most popular product at the time. The products I've suggested are more gentle or natural, and will be reviewed in future posts so stay tuned!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Thursday Plantation Replenishing Face Moisturiser Review

I picked this up about three weeks ago, and have trialled it everyday so far. My skin is usually normal to slightly oily, but I my cheeks have been have dry lately. The moisturiser claimed it was suited for dry skin, and I was hoping it would help,

  • Protects the skin from the visible signs of premature ageing
  • Tightens the skin
  • Retains optimum moisture to the skin
  • Restores the skin’s natural glow
  • 99.5% naturally derived
  • Contains natural yet innovative ingredients that reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Free from petrolatum, mineral oils, silicon, SLS, SLES, animal derived ingredient and testing, synthetic parabens
  • Vegan friendly

Apply daily on face and neck after cleansing and massage into the skin


The formula is slightly thick, but easy to spread. It is a slight beige colour but doesn't stain your skin. I apply this onto cleansed, slightly damp skin by patting it in. I also have massaged it in as the directions say, but the results are the same. The formula dries without a sticky finish, although it can feel slightly powdery after it dries, which I think, is because of the addition of bentonite. This is hardly noticeable.

  • contains many beneficial plant oils, vitamins and vegetable squalene
  • dry skin does feel more moisturised
  • slight 'tightening' feeling
  • non-irritating, no redness after use
  • easy flip lid, and hygienic tube packaging 

  • contains essential oils which some people may find irritating - citrus, lemon smell
  • skin looks more 'natural matte' than 'glowy' after use (can be a benefit)

Ideal For: those with normal to drier skin

Even though it is recommended for dry skin, I think normal to slightly oily can also benefit, because the finish is not greasy or oily. It did help my dry patches, but for extremely dehydrated skin, it may work better with a drop of facial oil. Overall, this is an amazing moisturiser that does not irritate my skin and is cruelty free.

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