Interview with Deciem (The Ordinary) Chief Scientific Officer and Dr Davin Lim

deciem interview

Dr Davin Lim and I sat down with Deciem’s Chief Scientific Officer Prudvi Kaka (PK) very early one morning (well, early for me at least – Davin gets up before dawn and PK’s in Canada). What we covered: 0:53 Do you use your own products? Which ones? 1:07 What’s your skincare routine? 1:22 Who does Deciem’s formulations? 2:11 How do …

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How Bad Is Alcohol in Skincare, Really? The Science (video with KindofStephen)

Alcohol (ethanol, ethyl alcohol, SD alcohol or alcohol denat) is one of the most controversial ingredients in skincare. You might’ve heard that it speeds up aging, kills skin cells, and creates inflammation. But what do the studies actually tell us? Stephen (@kindofstephen) and I have been working on this topic for a long time, and we hadn’t decided on the …

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The Pros and Cons of Accutane (Isotretinoin) for Acne

The Pros and Cons of Accutane (Isotretinoin) for Acne

This is a guest post from Facing Acne.

In the history of acne treatments, there has never been a medication that has caused more controversy than Accutane. There is also no treatment that has ever produced such startling results. For this reason, Accutane has both its passionate defenders and its equally passionate detractors. The choice of whether to try Accutane is a very difficult one. All the factors must be properly weighed, and if you are considering this option, you should be fully aware of all of the possible side effects as well as the nearly miraculous efficacy of this drug in clearing even the most severe cases of acne.

The Pros and Cons of Accutane (Isotretinoin) for Acne

A hyperaggressive treatment like Accutane should only be considered when other, more conventional treatments have been exhausted with unsatisfactory results. With so many options on the market, it is likely that one of them will fit your skin type and help give you relief from acne. (Related: Does Proactiv really work?) Many people have questions about the more common treatments and it can be overwhelming trying to sort through all of the options. But if you are a long-time acne sufferer, it is worth the effort. Here we take a closer look at Accutane and answer at least some of the most common questions in relation to this well-known, highly debated, and very controversial acne treatment solution.

How Does Accutane Work?

First of all, what is Accutane? Accutane is the brand name of the drug isotretinoin, which is a derivative of vitamin A. It is administered in pill form, usually for somewhere between 15 and 20 weeks. It works primarily by reducing the amount of sebum your skin produces and by helping your skin regenerate faster, thus healing existing lesions and evening out skin tone by eliminating any residual redness.

Different dosages are used depending on the severity of the condition. Higher dosages have a greater rate of effectiveness and a lower relapse rate, but also come with a heightened risk of side effects.

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Blogger Spotlight: Beautiful With Brains

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Welcome to another installment of the Blogger Spotlight series! Today’s interview is with Gio of Beautiful With Brains – when I was coming up with names for my blog way back when, “Beautiful With Brains” was on the list but she got it first! Her blog is a fantastic read and has been a big inspiration for me, with ingredient breakdowns, smart reviews and random interesting beauty facts. I was delighted when she agreed to do an interview! Here it is.

beautiful-with-brains-logo

Tell me a bit about yourself and your blog.

gio-beautiful-with-brains

Hello! I’m Gio, an Italian girl now living in London. I started Beautiful With Brains seven years ago because I wanted to share my passion for all things beauty with other like-minded people. I also wanted to help them make the best choices for their skin. There is so much confusion and contradicting information about skincare and cosmetic ingredients that it’s hard to know what to believe! I like to look at the science of beauty to debunk myths and figure out what really works.

What’s your daily skincare routine?

I like to keep my skincare routine as simple as possible and use only a handful of effective, chockfull of goodies, products. I start by cleansing with a gentle cleanser. My favourite is Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser because it quickly takes off everything without irritating skin and, thanks to the washcloth, also performs a gentle exfoliating action.

liz-earle

Then, I apply a serum. In the mornings, I alternate between one with Vitamin C (at the moment I’m using one from Skin Actives) and Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, which contains every antioxidant you can think of. At night, I use a serum with retinol.

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Blogger Spotlight: Musical Houses

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This is the first in a series where I’ll be featuring interviews with some of my favourite bloggers – the ones who were nice enough to reply to my email anyway! 🙂 As you probably know, I love blogs that come at beauty from a scientific angle, and Of Faces and Fingers by Musical Houses is one of the best. Here’s the interview, which Ms Musical Houses was kind enough to complete in fantastic detail. Enjoy!

undertone-asians-musical-houses

Tell me a bit about yourself and your blog.

musical-housesI’ve been a beauty blogger for over 5 years (which feels like forever in Internet time). I started my blog in 2009 when I was in University doing my Masters, and I’ve been blogging ever since! My blog covers mainly skincare and makeup, and I do quite a few skincare science posts, as well as ingredients analysis of skincare and makeup products too!

 

What’s your daily skincare routine?

I review skincare a lot, so the exact products I use can change more often than is normal. But generally my routine has a similar structure, although the products may change.

1. Makeup remover (night only) and cleanser: In the mornings, I just use a gentle cleanser. At night, I use a makeup remover, followed by a cleanser. I like double-cleansing, so I normally use an oil-based makeup remover followed by a cleanser. Since cleansers don’t stay on the skin for very long, I don’t really think it’s necessary to spend a lot on them – anything that can remove the residue without being too drying will do the job just fine.

2. Lotion/toner (sometimes): The concept of applying a lotion or essence or similar product is a very “Asian” kind of concept, and I personally think this is more of a “nice to have” than a must-have. If I have a lotion or essence product I like I will use it at this stage, or sometimes I will use a toner instead. And at other times when I’m lazy, this is the step I will skip, haha.

3. Acne products: I’m a perpetual acne sufferer, so I always have acne products on hand. I haven’t really found a cure-all, so I just use whatever I have, as long as it seems to be working somewhat. I’ve had the most luck with products that have retinol, AHAs, BHAs, or tea tree oil, though, so I tend to gravitate to those.

4. Eye cream: I’m not too fussy when it comes to eye creams – as long as it’s not too drying or irritating, and doesn’t give me milia, I’ll take it. Bonus points if it has great antioxidant or antiaging ingredients!

5. Moisturizer: Moisturizer is a necessary step for me. Although I live in a hot and humid climate, I spend a lot of it indoors in air-conditioned rooms, which can be a bit drying for skin. I look for products that aren’t drying or irritating, don’t make me break out, are sensibly formulated, with bonus points for formulations that deliver something more.

6. Sunscreen (only for day): Sunscreen is also a must for me! I think the choice of sunscreen is a personal thing – I personally am fine with the thicker-textured European pharmacy brands, but lots of people prefer the more watery Asian brands as they are more aesthetically pleasing. I like my sunscreen to be affordable because you do end up applying a lot of sunscreen if you use the recommended 2 mg/cm2 amount (2 mg of sunscreen per cm2 of exposed skin), and I look at the ingredients to ensure that the formula provides both UVA and UVB broad spectrum protection, and is photostable. I will confess that while I wear my sunscreen when I go out 4 times out of 5, sometimes I also get lazy and skip this step, although I know I shouldn’t!

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The Science Behind Massage

If you’re like me, Christmas is 1/3 food, 1/3 fun and 1/3 hair-tearing stress. Gift-buying, feast-cooking and end-of-year deadlines – it gets pretty overwhelming come mid-December! If tea-drinking, baths and stress balls aren’t cutting it, it might be time to step up to a professional massage, which has lots of health benefits according to science!

wellness-massage

How to tell if you’re stressed

Here are the classic signs of stress, according to Dr Lily Tomas, an expert in integrative medicine:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia

Yep. I’ve got all of those!

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Guest Post: History of the Half Moon by Cassie (The Reluctant Femme)

half-moon-manicure

Cassie of The Reluctant Femme is today’s guest poster. Cassie’s blog is not your run-of-the-mill nail blog – as well as pretty nail photos, there are thought-provoking posts about feminism, media, queer identity and general geekery. And she writes like a pro – her hilarious articles on Lacquerheads of Oz are worth checking out too! Today she’s marrying nerdery to …

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