Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sunblock Showddown

The three  contestants are: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children (what a wordy name), Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 Protect + Perfect, and Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50. All of these products have extremely long names, so I’m just going to refer to them by brand name.
Before we get into the details, you should know a little bit about my skin and what I expect in a sunscreen. I have extreme combination skin, an oil slick on my t-zone which extends to the area around my nostrils, and normal to flakey skin on my cheeks and parts of chin. This definitely makes finding the holy grail in any category a challenge.
The sunscreen shouldn’t feel greasy, should sink into my skin nicely, not make my face have an obvious white cast, pill up under my makeup, last on my skin, and shouldn’t exacerbate my acne. I think that these are some pretty fair expectations. Let’s see how the sunscreens have held up to my expectations.
            Shouldn’t feel greasy:
            Shiseido spreads easily and dries to a soft powder finish. It’s the exact opposite of what I’d label as greasy. Josie Maran has a moisturizing feel to it, but not what I’d call greasy. The moisturizing effect does backfire, because I feel like I can’t apply too much without feeling like I stuck on too much moisturizer. Paula’s Choice is capitol of greasy town, after applying I look like I’ve stuck my face in a vat of grease.
            Sink into my skin:
            Shiseido feels invisible once I’ve applied it to my skin. It’s perfect in that regard, but acts horrible when I try to place makeup on top of it. It doesn’t allow any of the products to actually stick onto my face, which makes my makeup look way cakier than normal. Josie Maran does not sink into my skin, at all. If I apply it, I need to make sure that I have at least an hour extra to start my base makeup. I think this is because of how moisturizing it is, I can feel it even after my usual fifteen-minute wait time. Paula’s Choice doesn’t sink into the skin, but it isn’t as noticeable as Josie Maran. I still need to wait a little bit more than 15 minutes to sink in, but not an hour. Although, the grease factor doesn’t go away after it sinks in.
            White cast:
            There is only one offender to this, and its Shiseido. If I apply the correct amount of sunscreen, I look ghostly. This isn’t a passable white tint; I look like I’ve applied white paint all over my face. This makes the sunscreen basically unwearable.
            Pill up on my face:
             Shiseido and Josie Maran don’t pill up under my makeup at all, Paula’s Choice on the other hand…. Paula’s Choice doesn’t pill up usually, but it has had its days where it does badly. My friends will ask me if I’m shedding, and then I have to blame it on my sunscreen. The odd thing is that I don’t change my skincare routine, so I have no clue why it occasionally pills.
            Last on my skin:
            Shiseido lasts the longest on my skin, but I can only say that because I can still see the white cast on my skin when removing. It is also a real pain to remove, which makes me happy because I know that it’s going to be doing its job (even though I reapply every two hours anyway). Josie Maran is hard to tell when it fades, so I assume that it lasts as well as an average sunscreen. The Paula’s Choice fades the fastest, and I say this because when I start to get oily I can feel it sliding around my face.
Exacerbate my acne:
            From all of my testing, I’m surprised to say that none of these break me out. This is a huge surprise to me, because when I was using other sunscreens, they all broke me out. Those offenders were the sunscreens in the Neutrogena line.
            And the winner is: I’m not really sure. This must be the ultimate cop out, but the one that I think is the most suited for me (Shiseido), has the unforgivable flaw. So I guess it goes to Josie Maran by default (Paula’s Choice has way too many problems), but I wouldn’t actually repurchase it. It has definitely sparked an interest in Asian sunscreens though, so I’ll be reviewing the Kao Biore UV PERFECT Milk SPF50+ PA++++ when it comes in the mail next.

For those of you curious on the ingredients and COSDNA ratings on the sunscreen:

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce for Sensitive Skin & Children
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 Protect + Perfect
Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50:
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.4%, Octocrylene 3%, Titanium Dioxide 1.4%, and Zinc Oxide 16.4%. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Isopropyl Myristate, Isohexadecane, SD Alcohol 40-B, Isododecane, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, Xylitol, Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Ectoin, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Isostearic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Talc, Alcohol, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Syzygium Jambos Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Fragrance.
Zinc Oxide 9.4% and Titanium Dioxide 5.9% Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclopentasiloxane, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Mica, Nylon-12, Glycerin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate, Methicone, Alumina, Phenoxyethanol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Chloride, Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Magnesium Stearate, Isopropyl Myristate, Fragrance, Bisabolol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Laureth-12, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 2.0%, Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.0%, Octocrylene 2.0%. Other Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Silica, Dimethicone, Tocopherol ,Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Peucedanum Graveolens Extract, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Avena Sativa Bran Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Titanium Dioxide,  Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Carbomer, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol.                       

Josie Maran
Paula's Choice

Thursday, September 22, 2016

When a Friendship Officially Dies

              I’m going to preface this post with the fact that this subject is hard for me to talk about, but because I want this blog to be more than superficial crap, here it is anyways.  
            Freshman year was a real disaster for me, it was a new school with kids I’ve never met before, and with classes that I never even heard of (transferred from a charter school to a religious school). Kids mostly ignored me, and I had few people that I’d call real friends. There was one positive thing that came out of this though, I had developed a deep friendship with a girl that was so different from me. She was social, involved, and was always positive, plus she was smart. I, on the other hand, had almost no friends, and barely knew of any events in our grade. We had real conversations that could last hours, and really took the time to get to know each other. When there was a crisis in her life, I was the one she called for first. The major difference was that we had different friend groups, but the knowledge that I was her go to was enough to keep me content with that situation. Freshman year ended, and then everything changed. Over sophomore year, our friendship started to deteriorate. By January, I could have been any other girl in the grade to her.
            The thing is though, was that this hurt me a lot. It hurt to know that someone I shared so much with, could so easily forget me. This wasn’t like any other girl in the grade, she knew the real me. I could always write off the lack of friends by the fact that the others never knew me, so it had no saying on my character. Remember when I said that this girl was the opposite of me, it showed. On social media, I was constantly bombarded with her pictures with her other friends and how happy she looked. I usually saw these posts while I was alone and home for the millionth week in a row. I was in shock that she could be so happy pretending that there was never a relationship between us.
 I’m an extremely loyal person, once I decide that I like you, I will fight for you and always stand by you. I tried to fight for her, even mentioning that I felt like we were drifting, when she said that she still felt the same was about me but was busy. Maybe I shouldn’t have fought, because it had no impact.  When I tried talking to her, it was if I didn’t exist. I always knew that she seemed to lose focus on me when around her other friends, but now I lost the comfort of knowing that she trusted me with all of her secrets.
            The moment that I knew I had to admit defeat was my birthday. Freshman year, she had bombarded me with happy birthday texts and demanded that we go to lunch and see a movie together that weekend. We spent that whole day together, and laughed at the lame romance movie we saw. After, she put up a post on Instagram saying how much she cared about and loved me, filled with inside jokes. That seems so trivial, but in my school, that was the major way to declare love for a friend. Sophomore year, she sent a generic HBD into our grade group chat, and left it at that.
            Every time I saw her, I would wonder why. Why don’t you care? Why wasn’t I good enough? And the most painful; How could you forget me? These were the questions that would eat me up alive, and kept me up for hours.
            Junior year rolled around, and I decided that I was done wondering. Deep down I knew why, but the fact that I might’ve been wrong was enough to drive me to ask her. I imagined exactly how this conversation would go down: I would see her in the halls, stop her, and ask her the simple question of whatever happened to our friendship. She would look at me, and I would see this sadness and nostalgia in her eyes, and she would say she didn’t know but was sorry that it was gone. We would conclude that it was pretty great, and promptly move on with our lives. Except, that’s not how it happened at all.
            I couldn’t find any time to pull her aside at school, and decided that I couldn’t keep letting this bother me. Instead, I texted her a screenshot of me typing can I talk to you to her, and made it appear like I was going to send this to someone else. I knew exactly what I was doing, but didn’t have the courage to just send can I talk to you. She asked what, and when I said now face to face, she pretended that she didn’t see it. Cue her walking off the bus (we both take it to get home), and she responds why. I realize that this is a catastrophe, and just say never mind. She then proceeds to say it must be about something, and I make the ballsy move to ask her about our friendship. The response cracked my heart into a million pieces.
            “You meen when we were freshman? People grow apart and change. I haven’t thought about that in forever. We also have really different friend groups…” is basically the response that I received. And yes, the spelling error was intentional. This message taught me two things: she never cared about me and that I needed to move the fuck on. The not thinking about that line was the first dagger in my heart, I had been torturing myself for almost a year, when she wanted me to know that she had given zero cares. The line about different friend groups taught me that never cared about me. When you really care and love someone, you don’t care who they associate with. You value them as a person and find a way to spend time with them. Now for the people who think that it might have genuinely been hard for her to separate from her group, WE RIDE A 45 MINUTE BUS RIDE TOGETHER TWO TIMES A DAY, where only one of her friends rides. Sorry if you felt like I was yelling, but just wanted to shut that down as quickly as possible.
            So how do I deal and what did I learn from this? I realized that I need to stop letting shitty people get to me. I can’t trust other people to stay in my life, and that I need to be okay when it does happen. Because, I’m ninety-nine percent sure that someone in the future will stop caring about me, just because that’s just the way life is. And that if something is bothering me, to not wait forever to address it. I should own the fact that I’m confrontational, instead of pretending like I’m not until I die of curiosity. I’m not going to lie; it still hurts a ton when I see her around. But, I don’t wonder why anymore and keep myself up thinking about it. I’m hoping that this post will enable me to move on. It probably won’t change how I feel, but maybe it’ll speed the healing processes. I’m done wondering why, and hoping that she’ll “take me back”, all that’s left is for me to disassociate the feelings of sadness and pain with her name.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Skincare 101

This post is all about skincare, but I’d like to put the disclaimer that I am in no world a dermatologist. These are all things that I follow, and have read up on.
The basics; a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. This is the most most most basic routine for your skin. My routine is very similar, but I have a makeup remover and a couple of exfoliants thrown in as well. Below I’ve broken it down for you in the most simplistic way possible.

  • Cleansers are what remove all of the gunk from your skin.
  • Different skin types will benefit from different types of cleansers.
    •  Oily skin does well with gel and foaming cleansers.
    •   Dry skin does well with cream cleansers.
    •  Combination skin and normal can use either depending on whether it leans towards oily or dry.
  •  Some people prefer to use oils to cleanse their skin, and use the oil of their choice to cleanse. This method hasn’t worked best for me, but many people love it.
  •  To cleanse once or twice a day?
    • Many people feel like they need to cleanse twice a day because of how oily their skin is. This is when I yell to drop the cleanser, and listen. Your skin might be so oily because you’re over stripping the oils from your skin. When you strip all the oil out of your skin, your skin reacts by overproducing oils. I only cleanse once a day, right before bed. Although, some will benefit from cleansing twice a day.
  • What about cleansers that have actives (Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid) in them?
    • I don’t care for cleansers that have these ingredients in them because the cleanser is not on your skin long enough for these ingredients to work. The cleanser most also be at the right pH level for the active to work, which it’s often not.


  •  Moisturizers restore moisture back into the skin. Everyone needs a moisturizer, even those with oily skin.
  • One should moisturize in the morning and in the nighttime. You can use the same moisturizer for both the morning and nighttime, but often people like a heavier moisturizer for the night and a lighter one for the morning.
  •   Different skin types will benefit from different types of moisturizers:
    • Oily skin does well with a gel moisturizer.
    •  Dry skin does well with thicker creamier moisturizers.
    •  Normal skin does well with lotionesque moisturizers.
    •  Combination skin can use a combination of any of the above listed moisturizers.


  •       Most people think that this step is optional, but it is not.
  •        Sunscreen protects the skin from the sun’s rays, and needs to be worn no matter the weather.
  •     You need to apply around a quarter of a teaspoon of sunblock per application. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but measure that out and you will be amazed. This means that even if your makeup has sunscreen in it, you are in no way getting the adequate protection that you need.
  •         Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, especially if one decides to stay out in the sun.
  •     What’s the difference between SPF 15, 30, 50?
    •     SPF 15 filters out around 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 filters out 97 percent, and SPF 50 keeps out 98 percent.
  •        If you are wondering why people need protection from the sun, here is an article that should show you the effect that the sun has.
  •          But what if I hate how sunscreens feel on my skin?
    •     Sunscreens are known to be very greasy and have a white cast on the skin. I haven’t found an American sunscreen (I have other problems with them as well) that I love, but that’s where Asian sunscreens come into play. Asian sunscreens are known for being much nicer on the skin, even though they contain drying ingredients like alcohol. A cult favorite is the Biore UV Aqua Riche Water Essence Sunscreen SPF 50 ++++.
The Extra Products:

  •       Acne Fighters:
    •      Salicylic Acid: This causes the outer layer of skin to peel. The removal of the skin can help to unclog pores.  Known as BHA (beta hydroxyl acid).
    •      Benzoyl Peroxide: this kills bacteria, and kills bacteria that might cause acne.
  •     Glycolic Acid: this causes the outer layer or skin to peel. This is similar to Salicylic acid, except that it’s an AHA (alpha hyrdoxy acid).
  •     The salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be used daily, but the glycolic acid needs to be built up in frequency of usage. I recommend starting using it once a week, and building it up to a maximum of three times a week.
What should I avoid in my skincare?

  •  I try to avoid any fragrances, drying alcohols, irritating extracts (lemon, grapefruit, menthol, and etc.)
  • I try to avoid products in jars, to avoid contamination. Pump and squeeze bottles also help to preserve the ingredients in the products.
What order should I use these products?

  •       AM:
    •         Cleanser (optional)
    •         Active (optional)
    •        Moisturizer
    •        Sunscreen
  •       PM:
    •         Cleanser
    •        Active (optional)
    •       Serum (optional)
    •        Moisturizer

That’s all for skincare today, but if there’s a deeper interest in the future, I’m happy to follow up.