Thursday, March 26, 2015

Springtime skincare changes!

Spring has finally arrived, and that means our skincare routine changes as well! As the weather warms up and sun rays intensify, the problems of winter--dry, itchy, or flaky skin--become less notable. Here are some tips to deal with the changing seasons!


1. Toss out old, expired products

Make sure you're not using old products that have already expired. Some key signs include consistency changes (separating into layers, clumps, etc.), color changes, and fragrance changes. Products, particularly moisturizers containing antioxidants and retinol, can degrade with time and lose their effectiveness. Lastly, sunscreens do have expiration dates. While most manufacturers have a 2-3 year expiration date, there is no real consensus as to how long the sunscreen remains effective. Most experts suggest changing sunscreens yearly.

2. Use sunscreen more regularly

While we all know to use sunscreen regularly, even during the winter, it is essential to continue using sunscreen, especially as the sun rays intensify during the spring. Many skincare professionals recommend applying a SPF 30 sunscreen 30 minutes before leaving home and reapplying every 2-3 hours. Also consider looking for a hand cream with SPF, as your hands are constantly exposed to the sun rays as well!

Moreover, there are two types of sunscreens: chemical and physical sunscreens. Each have their own pros and cons. You can check out my informative post on sunscreen here.


3. Lighten up your products

During the springtime, your skin becomes more oily, meaning that you no longer need heavy creams, moisturizers, or hydrating serums that can then clog pores. Instead, look for lighter products that provide the needed moisturizing properties. For those with oily skin, look for gentle toners that help clear pores and remove excess oils.



Beautiful skill is all about taking care of your skin and knowing what product to use and when! Even though I don't like wasting products, be careful to evaluate how your changing, springtime skin may react to your old, winter-time products. And be sure to keep an eye out on expiration dates!

Do you have any product suggestions or skincare tips for the spring?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: Ost Pure Vitamin C21.5 Advanced Serum

Being the girl who loves trying new beauty products, I had to try something new after finishing my second bottle of InstaNatural's (20%) Vitamin C serum! Luckily, I got the opportunity to test out a new serum: WishTrend's OST C21.5 Serum. The C21.5 Serum is an upgrade from the C20 Serum. Although I haven't used the C20 serum, I did a little research on the difference between the two.


 Packaging 



This serum comes in a dark-colored, glass container, which is great, because Vitamin C tends to degrade from light. This dark glass helps slow down that process. Additionally, this serum came with two tops: a cap and a glass dropper. The cap was very useful for me during my travels, so it was great that both were provided!

 Physical Properties 


This serum is very smooth and watery--it's not very sticky, but still is a little bit sticky to touch. The color of the formula is clear. Unfortunately, I can't quite tell what the scent is, but it's more medicinal and herbal than orange-y in scent. However, this does indicate that there's no added fragrances!

 Ingredients 

According to CosDNA, all of the ingredients used in the product are very safe and paraben-free, and none of the ingredients are acne-causing or irritating. Isn't that great? 

Hippophae Rhamnoides Water, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Lactate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol


Vitamin C, in this case ascorbic acid, is one of the few beauty ingredients that has proven to help with fine lines, wrinkles, and skin discolorations! It works by increasing collagen production and speeding up the body's natural repair mechanisms. It also helps protect against sun damage, but that doesn't mean you can toss out the sunscreen! 

 My Opinions 

Although I didn't quite like the scent of the product, it works quite well. I usually use 3 drops for my face, and an addition drop or two for my neck. Just a short side, be sure to apply products to your neck as well! Your neck needs as much care as your face! I've heard from other people that the older version stings (not the best for sensitive skin), but this serum applies very smoothly and makes my skin feel extremely soft. Moreover, the formula is absorbed very quickly. The longer I use the product, the brighter and clearer my skin looks. In fact, directly after applying the product, my skin has a healthy, dewy appearance

**Warning: be sure to keep this product in a cool place. The best place is to keep it in the refrigerator. This will decrease the rate of oxidation for your Vitamin C!

 Rating 

    

 Where to purchase 

WishTrend - $24.99

Currently, WishTrend is the only place I can find that offers the OST advanced serum. However, there are a few places to purchase the OST Original C20 Pure Vitamin C Serum:

WishTrend - $14.99 *currently free shipping!
Jolse - $19.00 *free shipping
Amazon - $22.99 *prime


 WishTrend Discounts 

  • WishTrend friend-referral program: if you input my referral code 173883312 upon registering for a WishTrend account, you will instantly receive a $5 discount
  • Coupon code: 10% off  $55+ purchase with WISHMAR2015; cannot be combined with other codes or discounts!
  • Coupon gift: Free full-size IPOO Smell Cover Oil (Baby Powder) on ANY purchase with WISHGIFTMAR2015!

Disclaimer: While this product was provided for review, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hello Mexico! My first cruise experience~

It's officially spring break, and for the first time ever, I decided to travel! I ended up going on a four-night cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, with my sister and a friend! It was such a fun and exciting experience traveling to a different country and "living" on a boat!

We went with Carnival Imagination. Although Carnival doesn't have the best reputation, I had an amazing time with them! The staff members were all so hard working, and they were super friendly! I was so shocked how sweet and funny they were!


Our first stop was Catalina Island, which, if you didn't know, is still in the United States. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun. The beaches were beautiful and the water was very blue. Unfortunately, we didn't plan well ahead of time, so we ended up just enjoying some good, old ice cream and handmade taffies! It was still a fun and relaxing experience!



Our second stop was Mexico. Ensenada was definitely very different from Catalina. While it definitely looks much more rural, Ensenada was nonetheless a very beautiful place. In the morning, we went to a flea market. The flea market was definitely targeted towards tourists, but it was fun and exciting anyways. I know I can haggle with the shopkeepers, but I'm super horrible at haggling, so I probably bought everything overpriced...oh well. It's the memories that count~

Later in the afternoon, my friends and I went horseback riding by the beach. It was such a fun and unique experience! I loved being able to see the sea and the open sky while riding a horse.

 

On the actual cruise ship, there was so much food! My friends and I definitely ate our full. We had breakfast, lunch, and 3 dinners! Lol~ The food was quite delicious: we had steak 2x, salmon 2x, and Maine lobster once! What a deal! All these meals were included! <3 yayyy!

 
Breakfast!

Teatime!

 
 
 
Dinner! AND of course many more desserts--just could add them all!! 

Have you ever been on a cruise? If so, how was the experience? If not, where would you like to go? <3

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Mizon black snail all-in-one cream

Snail creams have been extremely recently. Personally, when I first heard about snail creams, I felt a little weirded out. Snails? That's a little crazy. However, after hearing about the amazing benefits of snail mucus, I really wanted to try a snail cream for myself. I ended up choosing the Mizon black snail all in one cream, which I purchased from Jolse last year!

Snail mucus benefits the skin in many ways; it hydrates, firms, softens, and even brightens the skin. This snail cream contains peptides and vitamins that help maintain the skin's elasticity. Lastly, this product is paraben-free and contains no artificial fragrances. Perfect!

 Packaging 

This simple, opaque black jar contains 75mL of product.




 Physical Properties 

The product itself is milky white in color and scentless. The texture is a bit slimy and bit sticky. However, this is unnoticeable after the product absorbs. The cream is not thick at all.



 Ingredients 

Overall, all the ingredients listed are pretty good. There is only one that got flagged red--triethanolamine. This compound is commonly used as a pH balancer for many cosmetic products. It is a mildly basic compound that can cause allergic reactions in some people. Triethanolamine can also be shortened to TEA in some ingredients list.

Snail Secretion Filtrate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Butylene Glycol, Synthetic Wax, Hydroxyethyl Acylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Triethanolamine, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glyocol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tropolone, Adenosine, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Allantoin, Pathenol, Allium Sativum (Garlic) Bulb Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Morus Alba FruitExtract, Rubus Coreanus Fruit Extract, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Black Sugar Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract,  Charcoal Powder, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Sepia, Porphyra Tenera Extract, Polygonum Fagopyrum Seed Extract, Vitis Vinfera(Grape) Fruit Extract, Coffea Arabuca Fruit Extract Inonotus Obliquus (Mushroom) Extract, Mirabilis Jalapa Seed Extract, Piper Nigrum (Pepper) Seed Extract, Fagus Sylvatica Seed Extract, Anona Cherimolia Fruit Extract, Dictyopteris Membranacea Extract, Rose Extract, Cinnamomum Cassie Bark Extract, Aronia Melanocarpa Fruit Extract, Rhus Semialata Gall Extract, Prunus Mume Fruit Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Copper Tripeptide-1, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Lecithin, Olea Europaea(Olive) Fruit Oil, Phytosterols, Squalane, Butyrospermun Parkii (Shea Butter), Ceramide 3, Rh-oligopeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Beta-Glucan, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol


 My Opinions 

I like the cream! It's definitely very refreshing and moisturizing. While the initial application is a little sticky, the stickiness quickly disappears as the product is absorbed into the skin, leaving my skin quite soft and prepped for the day or night. A plus for me is that you only need a little of the product, because it spread very well! 



The only down side I noticed is that this jar packaging makes it very easily for contamination to occur. Unfortunately this product did not come with a spatula to keep the product sanitary. This is one reason why I prefer moisturizers that are in pump or tube form!

 Rating 


    

 Where to purchase 

Cosmetic Love - $17.57
Jolse - $19.99
Amazon - $23.25