Lazy Skincare Loves: Multitasking Moisturisers and Multipurpose Balms

Lazy Skincare Loves: Cinch Face Cheat and Multipurpose Balms

I love my multi-step night time skincare routine and it’s done wonders for my skin, and you will pry my targeted serums out of my cold dead hands. But if I’m staying over at someone else’s house or I’m travelling with limited space in my baggage, a multi-step routine just isn’t going to happen, and convenience wins. Here’s where my newfound love of multipurpose, multitasking products comes in.

Although a lot of beauty magazines say that multipurpose products are a backlash against the 13-step Korean style skincare routine, in my opinion they’re actually complementary. Most of the products in a multi-step routine don’t multitask well, since they’re usually designed to treat a single skin issue with maximum efffectiveness and customisability. Multipurpose products are designed with the complete opposite idea in mind – you want a product that can do a whole bunch of different things reasonably well.

The two multitaskers I’ve been loving for this sort of lazy skincare are Cinch Face Cheat and Multipurpose Balms.

Lazy Skincare Loves: Cinch Face Cheat and Multipurpose Balms

Cinch Face Cheat is the only product of its kind that I know of. It works as a light moisturiser that’s heavy enough for night time use in reasonably humid weather and primer as well as a hydrating mist that you can use under or over your makeup. As well as a host of humectants and occlusives to keep skin hydrated, it also contains Kakadu Plum extract which contains vitamin C. I tend not to use any skincare products on my face in the morning apart from sunscreen due to time constraints (i.e. I’m not a morning person), but I’ve started using Cinch under my sunscreen so I’m finally getting some skincare into my morning routine.

Cinch Face Cheat is also vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens and synthetic fragrances, if you’re steering clear of those.

Read more

How Do Cleansing Balms Work? The Science!

cleansing-balm-micelles

Cleansing balms like Banila Co Clean It Zero are very popular in Asia, and it’s made its way to Australia in the form of Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm. What’s in them, how do they work, and why are they different from cleanser or micellar water? Here’s the science!

What’s in a cleansing balm?

The concept of a cleansing balm is a lot like cleansing oil – the ingredients include a solid oily component, combined with a surfactant or emulsifier.

Emulsifiers or surfactants are double-ended molecules, one end of which likes oily substances (the “tail”), while the other end (or “head”) likes water. They help oily substances dissolve in water.

surfactant-molecule

Interestingly, if you zoom in on the structure of a cleansing balm, it looks like inside out micellar water. The fact that it’s oil-based rather than water-based means that the surfactant tails point out into the bulk rather than in towards the centre of the spherical micelles.

cleansing-balm-micelles

How do cleansing balms work?

First, you rub the oily balm on your face to quickly dissolve your make-up into a melty mess. These balms usually go runnier as they warm up on your skin. Next, you splash water on your face – the dirty balm washes off cleanly thanks to the surfactant.

Read more

Winter Skincare Tip: Overnight Masks

overnight-masks

My skin’s undergone a bit of a change this year compared to last year. It’s always been on the oily side and a bit dehydration-prone, but the dehydration’s gotten worse this year – I’ve stopped taking the oral contraceptive pill for the time being, which means my skin is a bit oilier than usual. At the same time, I’ve also upped my usage of retinol and tretinoin, and AHA and BHA exfoliants and peels, so my skin has dried out from that. All in all, it’s a pretty good recipe for getting combination dehydrated skin, where my nose ends up pretty oily during the day but my cheeks get dry – I’ve even had dry peeling which I’ve never had before, thanks to retinol! It’s taken me a while to get used to these new developments, so I’m going to be blogging about some of the ways I’ve been keeping my skin happy.

The first thing I’ve changed is adding an overnight mask. This is an extra product layered on top of all my other goo. As well as sealing in the goo, it seals in water so it doesn’t evaporate as much overnight. I’ve been looking specifically for oil-based masks for winter, as I’ve found that the water- and humectant-based masks (most of the Asian sleeping masks, like Laneige Water Bank Sleeping Pack) aren’t quite enough to save me from dehydrated skin at the moment.

overnight-masks

My favourite at the moment is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer. This is a thick, sticky balm with the texture of honey that gets a little runnier once you heat it up in your hands.

elizabeth-arden-eight-hour-protectant

The stickiness makes it a little fiddly to apply, but it stays on much better than the more slippery masks. I’m not a huge fan of the scent although I’m usually a lavender fan – this is a slightly berryish lavender that smells like my hands after pole. Despite the scent, I love how smooth and plump this leaves my skin in the morning! It does contain a little salicylic acid, which might explain the extra smoothness. For a more budget-friendly version, Vaseline works pretty damn well too, though it doesn’t quite have the same skin-smoothing kick for me.

Read more

Why Linoleic Acid and Rosehip Oil Might Fix Your Skin

trilogy-rosehip-oil

It’s time for me to gush about rosehip oil again! It’s my favourite skincare oil, and it’s my SOS beauty saviour – whenever my skin is looking dull or pimply or otherwise subpar, I give it a break from all my other treatments and just slap on rosehip oil. Today I’m focusing on one of its components: linoleic acid, also known as an omega-6 fatty acid.

trilogy-rosehip-oil

What is linoleic acid?

If you remember from my soap chemistry post, all fats and oils are composed of three fatty acids (the blue sections on the right hand side), chemically bound to glycerin (the purple section on the left hand side).

fat-structure-chemical

Linoleic acid is one of the many fatty acids that you can attach. It’s unsaturated, which means it tends to stay liquid at lower temperatures. Other unsaturated fatty acids include oleic, alpha-linolenic, gamma-linolenic and ricinoleic acids. There are also saturated fatty acids (lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic) which are more common in solid fats.

structures-saturated-unsaturated-fatty-acids

As you can see from the structures, the saturated fatty acids are quite straight, oleic acid is reasonably straight, while linoleic acid is a bit kinky.

What does linoleic acid do for skin?

People who are acne-prone tend to have a low percentage of linoleic acid, and a high percentage of oleic acid in their sebum (natural skin oil). It’s thought that these low linoleic acid levels is one of the things that causes acne.

In one study, rubbing 2.5% linoleic acid on the faces of people with mild acne made their microcomedones (baby pimples) smaller Рfantastic news for people looking for acne relief! This is particularly helpful because the most popular acne treatments (benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, tea tree oil) focus on killing bacteria, so this targets a completely separate part of the process, plus it can help with non-infected clogged pores as well. 0.5% linoleic acid in ethanol was also good for reversing UV-induced hyperpigmentation (aka sun spots) in lab animals.

Read more

My Skincare Regimen (in excessive detail)

A few people have asked me about my regular skincare routine, which I described briefly in my interview with Beautiful With Brains – here it is in more detail. I generally use the same steps, but I often substitute in different products. It gets pretty complex, but I hope it makes sense! I’ve included a summary chart at the bottom, …

Read more

Travel Beauty Essentials

As some of you may know, I’m in Europe again for a couple of months. Luckily before I left, I went to a beauty event where I managed to stock up on a bunch of handy travel-friendly products from McPherson’s, who own many of the brands you’ll find in Aussie chemists as well as your local Priceline. Here are my …

Read more

Cuticle balm guide

There are a lot of options for cuticle balms, so how do you decide which one you should get? First off, is balm what you need? Whether you should use a hand lotion or a cuticle balm comes down to both what’s wrong with your skin, and personal preference. If your cuticles are flaky and white, chances are your skin …

Read more

My 10 favourite scented products right now

Sometimes when I’m feeling down, a whiff of a scented product can make me feel a tad better. Here are ten of my favourite “scentsations” (I apologise profusely for the pun, it’s Monday!): Elume Creme Caramel Candle – I haven’t even lit this yet but I’m already in love. It occupies a permanent place on my bedside table, so I …

Read more