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NotSophia

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How to use Ascorbic Acid POWDER + my AM routine
How to use Ascorbic Acid POWDER + my AM routine
Vitamin C will forever be part of my morning routine, because the 'before and afters' don't lie!! I experimented with a number of AM routines and different vit C serums from The Ordinary before landing on their The Ordinary - 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder Ascorbic Acid is pure vitamin C in its most potent, and also the most unstable form. It is incredibly difficult to formulate serums with L-Ascorbic Acid, which is why TO offers it in a powder form to slow/prevent its oxidation. You are meant to mix it with a liquid only as you need it. Don't worry, it dissolves in water based serums almost instantly and does not feel gritty! My "before" photo is from a little over a month ago, and my "after" was taken today (Nov 20) after using the ascorbic acid powder daily for 1 month! Both taken in the same room, same lighting, zero makeup. In addition to improving texture and decreasing breakouts, the difference it made in my pigmentation and skin tone is incredible! This is my AM routine and directions on how to properly use a pure powdered form of Ascorbic Acid. After cleansing, I add 1/2 a scoop of The Ordinary - 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder into my palm (start with only 1/4 of the supplied scoop until your skin adjusts). Then I add 2 drops of The Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5and 2 drops of The Ordinary - Amino Acids + B5. You're aiming for about a 20% concentration of vit C. Mix with a finger until the powder is fully dissolved then apply evenly over face and neck, avoiding eye area. It is advised to use additional antioxidants with vitamin C in order to minimize oxidation and increase its effectiveness. Therefore I immediately follow up with 2 or 3 drops of The Ordinary - Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% I then apply an oil to moisturize. I currently use about 3 drops ofThe Ordinary - 100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil and sometimes mix with a couple drops of The Ordinary - 100% Plant-Derived Squalaneif I need a moisture boost. (Feel free to use any moisturizer that you prefer, as long as it doesn't contain actives that conflict with Ascorbic acid.) The last step is always, always, always sunscreen! I use thinksport - Everyday Face Sunscreenspf 30 which I tint to match my own skin tone (see my previous diy post for this). Then proceed with makeup (or not). Some additional notes: Keep powder closed, away from sunlight, and DRY. Don't even open it in a humid bathroom after a shower! If it oxidizes, toss it immediately. It mixes most easily in water based serums, but can be added to other serum or moisturizer which it does not conflict with (consult TO's regimen guide). Mix only what you need per application, don't pre-mix a batch. And start out slowly since it does tingle/sting a bit. I hope this is helpful, but don't hesitate to ask me if you have additional questions. Thanks for reading!
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NotSophia
100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil
The Ordinary-100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil
Hylamide High-Efficiency Face Cleaner
Hylamide High-Efficiency Face Cleaner
I would describe #Hylamide - High-Efficiency Face Cleaner[products]#[FiveStars] as an oil cleanse and a gel cleanser all-in-one. It comes out of the bottle as a very light feeling oil, but washes off like any other cleanser. I dont know how Deciem accomplishes this magic, but I do know that it is very effective at removing makeup and cleansing the skin. It's regular around $19 cdn for 120ml from deciem.com, and it will last forever! I apply a nickle or quarter sized amount to DRY skin and massage my entire face (closed eyes and lips included) for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. As soon as water is introduced, it no longer feels like an oil and easily rinses away. It does not leave your face feeling "squeaky clean" (which some may prefer), but it removes all traces of face and eye makeup and leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and not stripped of natural oils. (I wiped my face with a cotton pad and micellar water after washing off a full face of makeup and found no hint of foundation, so I know it works). Before this cleanser I used to double cleanse with plant oils and then a gel cleanser, but no longer require a double cleanse. My routine is complicated enough, so I'm happy to be cutting out a step. I don’t know why people aren't raving about this (or all) Hylamide products, (I even had to create the product tag for this review!?). Definitely try out this high-tech line for some innovative skin care! 👍 And for the simplified, less-expensive alternative, The Ordinary - Squalane Cleanser is awesome too! ($19 cdn for 150ml) It works almost the same way - warm it in your hands until it becomes oil-like, apply to dry skin and massage, then wash off with warm water. I love it too, and find it a little more gentle. It would be great for very sensitive skin! Thanks for reading!
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NotSophia
Squalane Cleanser
The Ordinary-Squalane Cleanser
Tinting mineral face sunscreen: For DIY-ers
Tinting mineral face sunscreen: For DIY-ers
Just bought a facial mineral sunscreen that leaves a horrible white cast?? If you like DIY projects and hate wasting money (like me), might I suggest custom tinting, instead of tossing it?! I love Thinksport body sunscreens for their safe ingredients and nice smell, so I bought TWO thinksport - Everyday Face Sunscreen "tinted" SPF 30, without ever trying it. Turns out it leaves a noticeable white cast, even on my light complexion. So I ended up tinting it to match my skin tone. I now have a very safe, usable mineral sunscreen that also functions as a BB cream with some coverage and subtle highlight. It actually makes my skin look BETTER, well moisturized, and glowy - instead of that pasty, "been dead for 6 hours" look. You can see the colour difference in the swatches on my arm. I clearly needed a much darker tint to counteract the whiteness of the zinc! (The light colour is the tint out of the tube). To do this, you'll need some iron oxide pigments (and micas, if you like pearlescent highlights) - which are already present in tinted formulas. You can purchase samples of these pigments from most soap making stores (ie: Candora Soap and Soap Supplies) for around $3 each (a sample size will last forevvver). Just make sure you're getting pigments that are meant for cosmetic uses, and avoid ultramarines! I use brown and yellow oxides and beige and gold micas, which work well for my warm skin tone, but everyone's skin is different so you may need to experiment with undertone colours. Directions: squeeze all the sunscreen into a mixing bowl (a mortar and postal work best) add pigments a teeny, teeny bit at a time, mixing very thoroughly until you've got a shade that works for you Transfer the sunscreen back into the container it came in (I cut the bottom of the squeeze tube off in order to refill it, then heat-sealed it back up), or to make it easier, transfer to a wide-mouth screw top jar. *Be sure to use the sunscreen up within a short period of time, since removing it from packing and adding ingredients has the potential to introduce bacteria. And always work in a clean area with clean/sterile utensils!* If I have trouble with the white cast of mineral sunscreens, then I can't imagine the struggles for people with much darker skin tones - so I hope this idea is helpful and makes safe, mineral sunscreen an option for everyone! Cheers!
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NotSophia
Everyday Face Sunscreen
thinksport-Everyday Face Sunscreen
Amino Acids: Extra hydration for winter skin
Amino Acids: Extra hydration for winter skin
The Ordinary - Amino Acids + B5 Amino acids are naturally present in skin, as part of what’s called our natural moisturizing factors (NMFs). They are the building blocks of both peptides and proteins, and each has a specific role in skin care to maintain skin’s hydration, texture, resilience, and an overall supple, healthy appearance. Pro-Vitamin B5 Supports healthy-looking skin, can help stimulate the healing process, and absorbs moisture rapidly <-- pretty much plagiarized from some websites I was reading. I recently purchased The Ordinary - Amino Acids + B5 . Understably, many of its benefits will take time to become noticeable, but the instant hydration it provides is amazing! It's hard to describe, but it gives my skin a plump, primed feeling - like it's completely saturated with moisture. Almost a tacky (not sticky), bouncy feeling..not unpleasant at all! This morning, I mixed 2 drops of Amino Acids + B5 with TO's Hyaluronic acid and a pinch of TO's 100% ascorbic acid powder, then followed up with TO's Resveratrol + Ferrulic Acid, Marula oil, squalane, and sunscreen. It made for the most hydrated skin-day ever! (I should note that I have dry, dehydrated skin, so all the layers and oils I use might not bode well for oily skinned folks!) Bonuses: AA+B5 has no conflicts with other TO products and the texture is water-like so it absorbs almost instantly and completely. If you're not a fan of the sticky texture of the Hyaluronic acid, this would be a wonderful substitute. This Amino Acid serum is definitely becoming part of my winter skincare regimen. Dry, cold, Canadian winters are so hard on skin! Happy Hydrating!
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NotSophia
Amino Acids + B5
The Ordinary-Amino Acids + B5
Hylamide finisher for a natural glow!
Hylamide finisher for a natural glow!
For some reason The Ordinary - Hylamide Photography Foundation finisher isn't getting much attention. But it should be, since dewy/glowy/luminous skin is all the rage right now. Hylamide is a sister brand to The Ordinary, under the Deciem umbrella of products. A step up in technology and price. The name is misleading since it isn't foundation and offers no coverage, but what it does do is blur your imperfections and add a lit-from-within glow and subtle highlight. You can apply it before or on top of foundation, or all by itself. I prefer a natural look, so have only worn it alone. In the photos I'm wearing only a mineral sunscreen, Hylamide Photography finisher, and some TO marula facial oil (no filters or editing). I don't have flawless skin - I'm 36 with freckles, uneven pigmentation, and wrinkles, but I think this does a great job of blurring some of those imperfections. I purchased Transparent (which looks white but blends to nothing but luminance), and Golden Tan (which looks scary gold but blends to a warm, subtle glow). I wouldn't recommend the gold for really fair skin. I'm wearing one on each side of my face in one picture, but it's hard to see much of a difference in the two. Speaking of glowing skin and Deciem products, for a natural tanned glow, I would recommend Hylamide - Glow Radiance Booster which is a better alternative to traditional sunless tanning products. This also doesn't seem to be getting the hype it deserves. I may review it separately another time. Cheers, beauties!
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NotSophia
Glow Radiance Booster
Hylamide-Glow Radiance Booster
STOP wearing your hair up!!  Thinning hair!
STOP wearing your hair up!!  Thinning hair!
Over the past several months I've found myself house-bound, in social isolation, sporting nothing but yoga attire and a messy up-do.  Little did I know, my no-hassel hairdo was causing a receding hairline 😱😱😱!  I believe it's called "traction alopecia" - hair loss caused by continuous strain on hairshafts. It was happening to me so slowly that I didn't realize the damage until I started to look like I was balding from certain angles - que panic mode!!  (I did my best to take some really unflattering before and after photos, a month and a half apart.  It's not as noticeable in photos, but I can definitely see baby hairs coming back and a change in the shape of my hairline.) So here are the steps I took to begin seeing significant regrowth within 45 days! 1.  SWITCHED SHAMPOOS. I stopped using harsh/drying, chemical laiden shampoo and found a natural, sulfate free brand to nourish and moisturize my scalp for optimal hair growing conditions.  I've been using Scentuals Mint/Rosemary shampoo and conditioner (about $12 ea), but there are many others to choose from which promote scalp health.  I don't contribute too much success to shampoos though, since I only wash my hair every 1 to 2 weeks.  Infrequent washing is also beneficial to hair health 👌! 2.  SCALP MASSAGE.  I purchased the silicon scalp massager (pictured) on Amazon for under 10 bucks.  Use it to lather shampoo and also on dry hair for a gentle scalp massage to stimulate blood flow, which promotes hair growth. 3.  The Ordinary - Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density .  I'm still unsure whether this product is meant to stimulate growth or increase existing hair shaft thickness (or both), but I'm attributing success to it either way. I used 1/3 of the dropper full, along my hairline, every night for 45 days (and counting) and made sure to massage it in with my fingertips. It is a water-like consistency and does not leave hair looking or feeling oily, so no need to wash hair after each application.  For $17, it's worth a try! 4. TAKE A BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT. (I'm NOT a healthcare professional, so please, do your own research and talk to your doctor before starting any oral supplements).  I find that 5000mcg of biotin daily has really improved my nails, and is contributing to how fast my hair is re-growing.  5.  Most importantly, I STOPPED WEARING MY HAIR UP.  I have long, thick, heavy hair, and was constantly piling it on top of my head in an awkward bun that would bounce around and yank on my delicate hairline.  I stopped this immediately and switched to fabric headbands or low ponytails with silk scrunchies if I needed my hair out of my face. Once my hair grows back fully, I won't hesitate to rock the odd high pony or messy bun, but I won't be doing it everyday!! I truly hope this is helpful, since no one should have to deal with that horrible blow to self confidence that hair loss causes.  Hair is a fickle B, so my best advice is to be patient and consistent. Good luck!
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NotSophia
Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
The Ordinary-Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
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