The definitive list of Skincare Ingredients

skincare, top tips

Suffering from a myriad of skincare ailments during my 25 years of life thus far has given me a natural interest in skincare, and ingredients used within skincare products.

Over the years I have experimentally tried various homemade concoctions and shop bought products in the search for perfect skin; ranging from grinding green tea leaves with Manuka honey and smothering the sticky mixture onto my face in a clumpy manner, all the way to using a £130 Chanel face cream, and actually being naïve enough to believe it would make me look ten years younger. I believe I have researched, reviewed, tried and tested so many skincare products that I have now become somewhat of a skincare connoisseur. What I have reluctantly realised is that informing yourself on ingredients is paramount to choosing the right skincare for your skins needs. Below I have compiled a list of what I have found to be the most popular and effective ingredients presently being used in skincare.

IMG_2589

A – Amino Acids – Formed to build Creatine, Amino Acids will support natural skin functions. Cells are stimulated to produce more collagen and elastin. This helps to maintain younger looking skin.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

Vitamin A – Topical Vitamin A used in creams and serums is proven by dermatologists as anti-aging. UV Exposure and other environmental factors cause the production of collagen to slow down, consequently causing early signs of ageing. Vitamin A (and Retinol / Retinoid which are derivatives of Vitamin A) ‘’turn on cells’’ that are responsible for producing new collagen, actively fighting signs of ageing and blitzing fine lines (Canyon Ranch, 2018).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types – Vitamin A can be drying, use sparingly on sensitive & dry skin types]

B – BHA – BHA is an acronym for Beta Hydroxy Acid. This is the structural name for Salicylic acid that can be used to fight signs of acne. Salicylic Acid gets through oil and helps to normalize pores, reducing the production of blackheads and spots. Don’t let the word ‘’acid’’ put you off (skincare acids are not the type that burn through your skin, thank goodness because that would be worrying!), BHA contains naturally calming and exfoliating properties, giving skin a rejuvenating glow.

[Recommended for Oily skin & Acne sufferers]

C – Caffeine – Being a stimulant, caffeine can offer anti-oxidant benefits to skin. It penetrates skin and is ultra-soothing.

[Recommended for those with non-sensitive skin as Caffeine can potentially be an irritant]

Collagen – Perhaps one of the ingredients we are more familiar with, but what does Collagen actually do for our skin? Collagen is a protein found throughout our body. It is produced naturally within our skin, and one of its fundamental functions is to provide elasticity. However, with factors such as stress, ageing, pollutants and UV damage affecting skin over time – collagen production can slow down. Using skincare products with added collagen will help to maintain the skins elasticity and firmness that we associate with youthful skin.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

D – Vitamin D – When we talk about Vitamin D we generally think about UV Rays, However, Vitamin D oils and serums can be hugely beneficial to skin. Vitamin D helps to minimise acne, retain skins elasticity and lessen fine lines. UV Rays from the sun help the body to naturally produce Vitamin D; moreover if you live in a northern climate it is possible to develop a deficiency. You can orally take Vitamin D supplements, or search for skincare that contains Vitamin D.

[Recommended for Oily / Combination skin]

G – Glycolic Acid – Glycolic Acid exfoliates the skin, it is often used in toners / toning solutions. It helps to shed dead skin, giving a natural glow and radiance.

[Recommended for Oily / Combination skin]

H – Hyaluronic Acid – Ah yes the wonder ingredient that is absolutely everywhere at the moment! Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it is a moisture binding ingredient. It helps to keep skin plump, firm and younger looking. FYI – it is a naturally found compound in the body, which is also used (completely safely may I add) in lip fillers, hence the ‘’plumping’’ affect.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

IMG_2591

M – Marula Oil – Marula Oil is essentially made up of many fatty acids. Because of this it has the potential to deeply hydrate skin, healing skin and improving elasticity. If used regularly it can improve skin softness.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types / Particularly Dry Skin]

P – Peptides – When collagen breaks down, short segments of amino acids are formed. These are the tiny proteins and active molecules known as peptides. Peptides in skin care can provide significant anti-aging benefits (Mango Madness Skincare, 2018).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

R – Retinol – Retinol is essentially a large dose of Vitamin A, used for anti-aging in skincare. Retinol, like Vitamin A, will boost collagen production – banishing fine lines and wrinkles. It is important to remember to only use one Retinol treatment at a time, and to use sun protection – Retinol can thin the skin layers by gently scrubbing away at dead skin cells. This can leave skin open to sun damage if you use Retinol daily for longer durations.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types – Vitamin A can be drying, use sparingly on sensitive & dry skin types /Also recommended for Acne & Hyperpigmentation]

IMG_2593

S – Squalane – Often named as the replacement for Argan and Coconut oil, Squalane oil offers many benefits for skin. It is derived from plants, and the same oil is naturally produced in our bodies. Using it topically helps to main Squalane oil levels as we age. It is also noncomedegenic, which means it is one of the oils least likely to clog pores (Popsugar, 2017).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

V – Vitamin C – We all aware of the health benefits of Vitamin C, as it is often recommended to fight to common cold. But did you know this Vitamin is also a powerhouse for skincare? Due to its anti-oxidant properties Vitamin C helps skin to fight off any oxidative stress. Results show that over time Vitamin C will help your skin to enhance its natural defence system.  Vitamin C is also great for anti-aging.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types] 

IMG_2596

 

 

Advertisements

Rodin Mermaid Collection Luxury Lip Oil review

product review

What could be more enchanting than an entire beauty collection dedicated to a mythical creature? Linda Rodin (creator of Rodin Olio Lusso), always felt she was a mermaid in a previous life. She enlisted the help of her artist friend Donald Robertson to collaborate and design this simply magical mermaid collection. Donald’s artwork on the packaging of the entire collection makes the ever classy Rodin products even more alluring.

I have been reviewing the Mermaid Luxury Lip Oil. The mermaid collection has a running theme of illumination and fantasy. Each product designed to shine and glow gloriously. The Luxury lip oil is a gold based lip oil that universally suits all. It provides an incandescent shine reminiscent of, well, mermaids.

How does the Luxury Lip Oil perform?

Once you have got over the sheer excitement of the packaging and concept of potentially looking like a mermaid; using the product gives the exact same feeling!

The Luxury Lip Oil glides seamlessly onto bare lips, or alternatively on top of lipstick. Glossy, but not sticky, metallic lips are the outcome. What I really love is the lip oil not only looks aesthetically fantastic, it contains an array of nourishing ingredients including Vitamin E, Sunflower Oil and Olive Fruit Oil. These moisturising ingredients are particularly helpful at protecting sensitive lips, and even more relevant in the recent blistering heat we’ve been experiencing the UK. Excessive heat and sun ray exposure not only dries skin, but lips too.

A lip oil is one of those products that you wouldn’t necessarily fall into a shop rushing to buy, but once you have it you cannot imagine life without it. I believe this lip oil is great for summer, to enhance a naturally radiant look.

I think this product could be used to create an eye catching lip look, that can be worn both casually or dressed up. I’m excited to attempt to create some stunning looks with this by the time I jet off this year so stay tuned!

Follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with my make up looks; @versaceblonde

Rodin Olio Lusso’s Mermaid Collection is available at Liberty London. The Mermaid Luxury Lip Oil retails at £25 and is available here.

La Mer: Crème De La Mer Moisturising Cream review

product review

La Mer is one of those luxury brands that I have forever admired from afar. One of the main reasons being that it’s pricey, the skincare range starts from £100+. I have always wondered whether the prices were justified, if you spend £220 on a cream does it make you look 10 years younger? Glow like a unicorn? Or just fit into a certain societal stereotype?

I’m a huge fan of budget skincare and make-up. Who doesn’t want a product that performs as well as a high end one for half the price? It’s just logic. But recently I’ve started to delve deeper, and it’s not always that simple. I started to compare ingredients used within skincare. And you will notice that high end products use the same ingredients as budget ones. Let’s use Vitamin C as an example, two products can contain the Vitamin. However, is there a difference in potency? The way the ingredients are formulated could differentiate? These are the questions we should be asking when buying skincare.

My best advice when purchasing skincare is to research ingredients. If you know what ingredients do for your skin, you are then making more informed choices when choosing skincare. In turn, your skin should reward you.

Crème De La Mer Moisturising Cream, £120 for 30ml – Review

When we read skincare reviews, it’s often important to remember that everyone has a different skin type. What works for one person, doesn’t always work for everyone. Crème De La Mer is a heavy Moisturising cream that is aimed at those with dry skin. It claims to minimise pores, reduce fine lines and give a natural glow.

In terms of ingredients, these aren’t mentioned explicitly on the La Mer website. I found this odd, as high end face creams often boast about their natural ingredients. I did some online searching and I found that the cream does contain some natural products; Seaweed Extract, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Mineral Oil & Sesame Seed Oil. All of these ingredients are known for their hydrating properties to skin. But, disappointingly the cream also contains Linalool (for Fragrance), preservatives and Alcohol – all of these ingredients aren’t great for those with sensitive skin, or or allergies (Quora, 2018).

I have only been using the cream for a few days but I do notice a huge difference. I have stubborn dry patches that are often irritated by creams, this one soothes it. As soon as you apply Crème De La Mer, your entire complexion is lit up. It’s like putting on a spotlight in a dark room. I can visually see from the difference in my own skin, why this has become a cult cream for many woman.

It’s very rich in texture and thick. You don’t need a lot of it. Before you apply to your face, you must rub it in your hands to warm the cream. As it becomes translucent you rub onto your skin. This is brilliant for those who want bare faced beauty, and a natural glow.

Worth £120 for 30ml?

I’d say this really comes down to personal preference. In a sense, yes it is worth it. Simply because it is a heavy cream, you only need apply a small amount. It will last you at least 6 months. It performs as it claims. It just comes down to how much you are willing to or can afford to invest in your skin!

Christian Dior Forever Undercover foundation – first impressions

product review

I joined Glamour Beauty Club online a few months ago, and surprisingly, have received two great products in the post since. Last week I was fortunate enough to receive a (rather large) sample of Dior’s newest foundation; the Forever Undercover foundation boasts a 24 hr full coverage. Does it live up to its claims?

The Performance & First Impressions

Firstly, I would like to advise any fellow beauty bloggers to sign up to Glamour Beauty Club. As you will know, unless you have several PR companies consistently fighting to mail you products, (we aren’t all that lucky). It can get very expensive when you keep buying the latest products just to produce blog content. It’s handy being sent free products to test – and gives a helping hand in producing content for both social media and your blog.

I’m not really a full coverage gal if I’m honest. On a daily basis I’ll wear a light Serum foundation for work. However this Dior foundation gives excellent coverage, without the heaviness that often comes with full coverage foundation. It isn’t thick or cloggy (I think I just legit invented a word), it is light on the skin but covers all imperfections. I have rather large, open pores on my right cheek. Probably an after effect of battling acne for the last ten years. And I struggle to cover them, even with a decent primer on before foundation application. The Dior Forever Undercover managed to fill them in and give a flawless finish. (See picture below).

It smells divine when you apply it, and has that luxury feel that you would expect from a £34.00 foundation. I’d be happy to wear this daily, and on a night out. As for the claim of lasting 24 hrs, I’m not nasty enough to leave my foundation on for that long. Although it did last all day without any signs of wear on my face (8 hours or so). Overall, I’d say that the foundation is great, but there are other foundations on par quality wise that are slightly cheaper.

(I know I’ve got a filter on my mush, but this foundation did give a matte, flawless finish💜)

Do we really need activity trackers / fitbits? 

product review

With life moving at an increasingly fast pace, as we are heavily consumed by a rapid online world and on demand services. Activity trackers are a great, convenient way to set fitness and health goals on the go. 

I think though, if we scratch beneath the surface there is something solemn about the fact that we now rely on technology in order to set goals. We pay, and download apps to remind ourselves to do basic things like drink water or walk. But technology is also innovative at making our lives easier, and as earlier mentioned with life beginning to move at such a rapid pace. This is the reality of our future. 

I was recently bought a Micheal Kors’ activity tracker (as pictured), it is a stunningly pretty bracelet with a neatly inserted battery (barely visible). It works via Bluetooth and an access app that you have to download. 


So what does it actually do? 

Because it’s on your wrist it tracks your steps, meaning you can set personal goals. (My personal best for the moment is 2,890 steps in one day which I’m told is despicable, most people aim to walk 10k steps a day??? #needtogetactive) 

It tells you how many miles you’ve walked per day, and how many calories you’ve burnt. No, that does not mean you can have an extra dessert per week. 

You can also set other health related goals, such as how many glasses of water you aim to drink per day – and how many hours of sleep you want to get at night. 

But I found myself asking, doesn’t our iPhone already do these things for us? Personally I don’t get the necessity to have 3 or 4 different apps which all have the same purpose. I guess though, because people have financially invested and be wearing it on their wrist; perhaps they are more likely to stick to their set goals? 

With the access app you can also control your phone, you can set it up through the control settings so that you can answer your phone with the tracker etc. Rather cool I must say, albeit just another function I couldn’t work out how to use as I’m tech thick. 

Overall review of Micheal Kors’ activity tracker; 

I found setting the tracker up rather user friendly, and relatively easy. Even for a techy no brainier useless blonde like myself. (I’m not going to admit that my mum had to insert the battery for me, that didn’t happen). 

All you really need to get started is the app, and your Bluetooth switched on. Yes those last 4 words burnt me too. That burnt bad, for anyone with an iPhone this is sacrilege. My battery life is probably about 2 hours so with Bluetooth switched on permanently, make that 20 minutes. However, the tracker still tracks your activity even with your Bluetooth off. You just need to switch it on to view your results via the app. Thank goodness. 

At the moment I am still finding my way on the app, I’m certain there are even more uses for the tracker which I am totally unaware of. Moreover, overall I would say that the tracker is a good investment. In particular the Micheal Kors’ / or fashion ones alike – they double up as a pretty bracelet / fashion accessesory. So it’s damn cool that they are also activity trackers. 

I think even if you only bought this item purely to wear as a bracelet it’s worth the money, the fact you are also able to control your phone and set personal goals is amazing. And it isn’t too expensive either. 

I’m sure every 20 something Londoner will be sporting one in the near future. 

Overall score – 8/10 

Glow-getter 

product review

After last nights excessive Halloween make up you caked onto your face, what could be more refreshing than the perfect glow tonic? 

Pixis’ glow tonic with active ginseng and fructose ingredients has always received glowing (excuse the pun) reviews; by beauty bloggers and celebrities alike. 

Verdict? 

I have sensitive, acne prone rubbish skin. So when I find products which actually brighten my complexion, and give me the illusion of having great skin. I get hooked and I have to share. 

This glow tonic does just that. The smell is light, (some are very strong and astringent) and the effects are light too. A lot of toners and tonics can be abrasive to skin. The glow tonic is kind to skin, and works by removing dead skin cells, and has aloe-Vera for a calming after-effect. 

It leaves skin fully refreshed, it’s great for either a skin pick me up. Or to rejuvenate skin after a heavy night out. 

Glow get em girls! 

Fallin’ around: four beauty must-haves for Autumn

top tips

The transition from Summer to Autumn can be somewhat awkward, especially in England. You can easily get caught off guard travelling without an umbrella, (rookie error), fooled by the warm-ish sun you observed throughout the day and ending the day looking like a drowned rat. Let’s face it, we never know what are we going to encounter with the weather in this country. But don’t let your make-up be as inconsistent as the weather.

autumn-cosmeticsHere are my 4 beauty essentials to help you through the colder season, amazingly all under £25:

  1. Mac matte lipstick in Russian Red, £15.50

This deep red shade is perfect for the winter months, it allows you to channel your inner Russian goddess. Frosty, matte, with plenty of colour. Best suited with natural eyebrows, lined eyes, and a natural base on your face.

2. Urban Decay make-up setting spray in Oil Control, £22

Although I must admit before fully committing myself to buying the full size version, I purchased the travel size bottle which is £9. I am far from disappointed. This spray will help your make-up fight the elements, and by the end of the day you’ll still look like the same person, instead of a melting greasy mess that resembles a kebab shop worker. Can be used everyday, and especially handy for nights out.

3. Too Faced Better Than Sex waterproof mascara, £19

I will start by shamelessly bursting everyone’s bubble, and stating that this mascara does not live up to it’s name. However, this waterproof version of the beauty industries favourite mascara is brilliant for showery, wet weather. This mascara is one that you need to build up, it’s quite thin and light – but looks great on your dressing table, and is worth buying purely to see your boyfriends reaction when he clocks the name on the mascara tube. (Would be perfect with the Russian Red lipstick, for natural lashes and a bold lip for Autumn).

4. Urban Decay moondust eyeshadow in Space Cowboy, £14

This picture does not do justice for this amazing eye-shadow. It is more pigmented than a Mac lipstick, and believe me they are like paint. The moon dust eye shadows literally look like moon dust; they are sparkly and make you feel like a princess. Gone are the days of trying to use eyelash glue to stick glitter to your eyes. No No Hun, this is pigmented as ever and so so easy to apply. Glide gently over eyes for a natural day look, or compliment with darker shades to create a beautiful smoky eye.