A Chemist Answers All My Questions About Clean BeautyClean beauty; a trend or a necessity? As someone who never truly understood it, I turned to an expert to help answer my most pressing questions.
Cherie is an online community of beauty lovers sharing their stories, whether that's their favorite products, makeup tutorials, or skincare routines. Download the app today to be a part of #BeautyWithoutBarriers and show the world what beauty means to you! When it comes to clean beauty, I have a hard time knowing what's right and what's wrong. How can I tell what makes a $20 face wash with clean ingredients so much healthier than a $2 one? They both say they'll clear my skin, so of course I'll opt for the more affordable one. As clean beauty is starting to make its way into more and more marketing, I really wanted to know; is this a trend or necessity? What exactly makes beauty clean? I turned to an expert for these answers, Dr. Barbara Olioso, aka The Green Chemist. With 20 years experience in developing natural and organic cosmetics, she loves to teach people all about clean beauty. Here's what I learned about clean beauty when I sat down and spoke with her:Q: So, what makes clean beauty clean? A: Clean beauty is about protecting your health and the earth's. "You need different criteria, in my opinion, to classify clean beauty as clean than what the mainstream media is saying. Clean beauty originally started with the criteria that it's got to be safer than conventional cosmetics. That is a good criterion — but how can you have personal health if the environment you live in is not healthy? We very much depend on that, so you must include other criteria on top of your own personal safety. For example, the end of life of a beauty product; what happens to the cosmetic ingredients in a beauty product once it ends up in the water system? Then, if you want to really push it further, you can think about ethics and you can think about animal testing and maybe fair trade. There is not an official definition of clean, but most brands interpret it as being extra safe and extra sensitive in the way the formula is built. The complexity and the evolution behind clean is not just about our own health, but it's strictly connected to environmental health as well. We need to embrace additional criteria. Clean beauty is about being extra careful and extra cautious about the ingredients you put on your skin and what ingredients you release into the environment."Q: What are some ingredients we need to be cautious about using? Why?A: Silicons, fragrance, the list goes on and on."Silicons are classified as safe for skin, and can be very helpful in terms of some skin conditions. But, if you don't have such conditions, why are you using silicons that aren't biodegradable? They have their benefits, but in my opinion we need to be thinking about the health of the environment, and there isn't enough evidence to prove silicons have a positive environmental impact. Once they are released into the water system, it's not known what happens to silicons and that's dangerous. We need to understand more about the end of life of silicons and the environment." "If you think you have sensitive skin, avoid ingredients like fragrance. Even though fragrance can make you feel good, if you have very sensitive skin it's best to avoid it. Use fragrance-free products."Q: What's the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone considering switching to a clean beauty regime?A: Know yourself, know your skin."If you are a teenager and you have oily, breakout-prone skin, you will need products that will balance your skin oil content and will break apart the keratinocytes in your skin and so on. You will need antibacterial ingredients as well. However, if you were to use these same products on a more mature woman, she would likely have a skin reaction because, even though ingredients like salicylic acid are found in willow tree bark, she will have redness and it will not be good for her skin. My suggestion is to be wise about the types of products you are using on your skin and to know your skin so you can find the products that will fit your skin needs the most." "Usually the tendency is "let's avoid a, b, c." But, it should start with your own skin and your own needs. For people who are vegan, the most important thing is to avoid animal-derived ingredients and animal testing. But ideally, you have to learn your skin and work with a skincare professional to get to know your skin."A note on professional advice that isn't so clean..."Unfortunately, most dermatologists are more into sillicon-rich products because they can be helpful for skin, but they aren't considering the environmental impact, so it's quite tricky to find guidance that fits both the skin needs and the environmental needs. I've worked with their dermatologists in the past and I know they use petrochemical loaded products."The benefits of making the switchClean beauty products are milder products. Depending on the brand, there is a personal benefit because you're using a milder product and you're more in harmony with nature.
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wrinkles go away
I’m always one to be open to trying new products to see how they can benefit my skin. If it doesn’t work, I simply move onto the next product. If I ever come across something that works extremely well, I’ll add it to my list of must haves and will usually not steer away from that product unless I happen to stumble across a better working product. ESTĒE LAUDER - Advanced Night Repair Limited Edition ESTĒE LAUDER - Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Crème For my skin care routine to keep my skin hydrated, I’ve consistently been using Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night repair and their Revitalizing Supreme+. These two have worked great in keeping my skin hydrated which helps keep my dry skin away and whenever my skin is more hydrated, I look younger. These two also have great anti-aging affects on your skin, and you can really see the difference after a few applications. Your lines and wrinkles start to disappear after a few application, that along with the more hydrated skin really makes your skin feel amazing. The Revitalizing Supreme+ creme is non-acnegenic, so it doesn’t clog my pores and helps me reduce my acne. This works great with the advanced night repair because that serum is oil free. I’ve always had acne prone skin, so using these two has helped my acne and even helped reduce breakouts. I highly recommend these two products if you have acne prone skin, dry skin, or have dehydration. These two products go hand in hand and will work wonders for anyone with similar skin issues as me. Results may not show right away, but constant application will show great results!
Donts of Exfoliation
Absolutely do not over-exfoliate! Over-exfoliation can disrupt the skin barrier function by just simply breaking down too many skin cells and disrupting the moisture content on the epidermis. Often times, especially people with oily skin and acne prone believe exfoliating is going to answer all their acne problems, and go on scrubbing 3+ times a week or using an exfoliating mask too often. This is actually counter intuitive for acne as if can actually make you break out more, and it can create sensitivities you dont need. How do you know you’re over exfoliating? If your skin lets you know. Yes, very confusing, but the reality is some people can actually tolerate more acids and scrubs than others, and the best way to figure out how much your skin can take is to incorporate little by little, one product at a time. If your skin is going red for prolonged periods of time, or tingling, even burning, for long or for the entire duration of having the product on (ie. With a mask) you’re probably overdoing it. Another way to prevent over exfoliation is just knowing when to stop. If your skin is happy and glowy and not breaking out, you may not need that new glycolic acid mask, adding an exfoliating mask to your regimen may just tip the scales into skin barrier disruption and dehydration! Be careful with exfoliation!
My favourite tinted SPF
Sunscreen is the last and most important part of my AM routine. It protects skin from UV rays and prevents uneven skintone, dark spots, and aging from sun damage. I make sure to re-apply it every 2 hours even when it’s cloudy/rainy! That being said: This tinted moisturizer is my favourite SPF!! It's perfect for my oily-combo skin. The slight tint gives a sheer coverage and evens out my skin tone a little, and the matte finish keeps it from looking greasy. It’s easy to blend and absorb into skin due to its light texture. I still apply moisturizer beforehand cause I feel like it's not enough to moisturize my skin but overall I’d say this one is sooo worth the try!
an amazing line for dull skin + pigmentation
Georgette Klinger and Cherie gifted these products to me so I could review them honestly! I have been using them for ten days now, and I have thoughts to share! I supplemented this routine with a moisturizer, spf, and eye cream, as well as hydrating masks every three days. Pre-Information — I’ve used many vitamin c products in the past, and my skin likes the ingredient! I have combo skin, which is sensitive and acne prone. I also have rosacea, which makes my skin red, especially when using actives. Every product here has fragrance and all the products smell like an orchard (it’s strong!). If you are sensitive to fragrance, keep that in mind. GEORGETTE KLINGER - Vitamin C Cleansing Gel 6.7 oz I like this cleanser, and I don’t usually reach for gel cleansers because they tend to be fairly stripping. This one is gentle and doesn’t dehydrate my skin on impact; I use it as a second cleanse at night following an oil based cleanser. It doesn’t irritate my skin, but kind of soothes it instead — which is a lot to ask for from a cleanser. Not the best for daytime use for me, I find that in the mornings my skin is better off with water + toner. Three stars because it smells like dollar store hand soap and I cannot ignore it. GEORGETTE KLINGER - Vitamin C Toner I think it’s an okay toner! I don’t like the dispenser at all, because product comes out fast and it’s hard to control. The viscosity of the toner is pretty thin, but my skin feels smooth after application. It sinks in fast and isn’t sticky! I use this with a reusable cotton round and it preps my skin nicely for the rest of my routine. It’s not really a “special” product for me, and I’m the kind of person who wants skincare routines to be ritualistic and also make me feel good on the inside, so I’ll have to pass on repurchasing. GEORGETTE KLINGER - Vitamin C Complex This might be one of my favorite vitamin c serums! It’s a little tacky, but sinks in faster than some serums I’ve used, and once you apply a moisturizer, the tackiness disappears. It’s pretty gentle and I didn’t experience any discomfort, tingling, or excess redness after application. I really like the packaging on this, and it’s an easy product to slip into your routine. GEORGETTE KLINGER - Vitamin C Mask This is my favorite product out of the four! I LOVE the packaging — pump top for a mask? Revolutionary. The pump makes getting product so easy, and you can control it easily. The texture of this mask is like a thick smoothie, and it smells good, too. I noticed my skin becoming brighter when I use this for a midday pick-me-up. I can guarantee that I’ll run out of this one first. Overall, my skin looks GOOD. I can’t tell if it’s just because of my cycle, or if these products did wonders for me (ten days is a short time to tell I think). I did notice some dehydration towards the five day mark, but overall my skin looks better!
Do’s & Don’t’s of A Sensitive Skin Routine
In my opinion, all skin is sensitive- but people with particularly reactive skin have to take extra caution, especially when you have a condition like eczema (hey fam!) and rosacea. Personally, I have combination sensitive skin and eczema, but nowadays my skin is pretty normal. Here’s some tips to follow when building your basic skincare routine... • Don’t: Jump into a ten-step routine. Overwhelming skin with so many products can easily aggravate sensitive skin, while also making it harder to figure out what one is irritating your skin. Take your time. • Do: Iron out the basics! Before introducing serums, make sure to find a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen combination that gently nourishes skin. Avoid exfoliants in these so that they’re a safe fall-back if your skin starts flaring up. My favourite sensitive skin cleansers are HOLI FROG - Tashmoo Water Lily Nourishing Milky Wash and PAULA'S CHOICE - RESIST Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser , as they cleanse without stripping skin of protective oils. My go-to sensitive skin (and all skin) sunscreens are PAULA'S CHOICE - Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 (mineral) and PAULA'S CHOICE - YOUTH-EXTENDING DAILY HYDRATING FLUID SPF 50 (chemical). • Don’t: Use products with fragrance, alcohol, or essential oils. Alcohol is drying and can weaken the skin barrier, your skin’s defense against environmental damage. Fragrance and essential oils not only have a high chance of irritating skin, but also oxidize upon contact with the air, releasing free radicals that break down collagen. Avoid these. • Do: Incorporate antioxidants. Antioxidants battle environmental aggressors, neutralize free radicals, soothe skin, and calm redness. These and a good sunscreen are going to be your best combination for calm, youthful skin! I utilize a couple drops of The Ordinary - Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% on mornings I forgo vitamin c, but I also enjoy the silky texture of PAULA'S CHOICE - Retinol Super Antioxidant Serum for a gentle, moisturizing retinol that is also loaded with antioxidants. • Don’t: Try to smother skin into submission. Piling on layers of the heaviest cream may provide temporary relief, but it can lead to congestion and acne, which will only inflame skin more in the long-term. • Do: Combine fatty acids, ceramides, peptides, and/or hyaluronic acid treatments to repair the skin barrier, promoting moisture retainment in multiple levels. Layering different types of hydration/moisture from thinnest to thickest is better for your skin and will promote healing the root cause versus treating the symptoms. I love combining PAULA'S CHOICE - Resist Anti-Ageing Omega+ Complex Serum and NIOD - Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex underneath my moisturizer to hydrate + nourish my skin and reduce frequency of my eczema flare-ups.
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