The organic and vegan community are very passionate about using natural and organic ingredients in their skincare and beauty products. I think they’re coming from a good place but the information they’ve been given by skincare bloggers and youtubers is often based on false information. So let’s seperate fact from fiction.
Some natural ingredients are GREAT for skin but that doesn’t mean that all of the are good.
Many natural and organic ingredients in skincare products can cause irritation and sensitivity to our skin and build up over time.
Some natural and organic ingredients can actually breakdown our skin’s ability to defend itself against environmental damage. The main culprits are fragrance (natural & synthetic) and essential oils, which are lovely aromatherapy treatments but never ingredients that should be used on our skin.
Many of us believe if we don’t see signs of irritation on our skin, then we are the exception. However, our skin is very tricky and can hide signs of irritation in the deeper layers of the skin.
Natural and organic ingredients to avoid lie the plague are:
I love applying a good primer before I slap on makeup on my face. I’ve tried tons. Most of the Smashbox range, Dior, Urban Decay. Most I’ve enjoyed but I wanted to start using a makeup primer that would not only blur my pores and help my makeup go on smoothly, but provide real skin care benefits as well. Lucky me, my two favourite skin care brands have great primers with skin care benefits. Score! So, let’s take a look at each of their claims, how well they held their ground with my makeup, and whether I saw any visible improvements from using them.
Hylamide HA Blur (Hyluronic-Based Prismatic Blurring Surface Finisher)
Whew! Long-ass name for a hyluronic based primer! The HA Blur is part of Hylamide’s Finisher Series. After one uses their Core Series products and any of their Booster Series’ products, Deciem recommends using one of their Finishers. So, I chose the Ha Blur because of my skin’s affinity for hyluronic acid.
Hylamide HA Blur promises to blur and minimize pores while hydrating and plumping the skin. It uses a new form of powder based hyluronic acid which is supposed to provide blurring properties to your skin. It also claims to be compatible with all makeup and all skin types. In fact, Deciem states that “…it’s so compatible with makeup that you can apply under or over foundation, or mix it with any liquid foundation for an ultra-high-definition skin finish.” (Hylamide, 2018)
Looking at the ingredients, HA Blur uses a heck of a lot of crosspolymers to formulate their primer. Crosspolymers basically do the same job as silicones in skin care; they work as film-formers (hence the blurring claims) and work as aesthetic enhancers, helping your makeup glide on smoothly and stay put longer. It also contains sodium hyluronate, which is a salt form of the skin-replenishing ingredient hyaluronic acid, and it’s supposed to be more effective for skin than pure hyaluronic acid due to its greater compatibility with your skin.
I’ve used HA Blur since last October. I first tried using a pea-sized amount alone and as a layer before my foundation. No bueno. My experience using the primer this way goes against Deciem’s promise that this will work under foundation. It pilled and made my foundation patchy. I had to rub the foundation around my face for quite a while before the patchiness went away along with most of my foundation. The next time, I tried mixing it with my foundation and this worked beautifully. No pilling and no patchiness. Definitely blurs and minimizes pores. Did it hydrated my skin? My skin is well-hydrated since I use a healthy amount of hyluronic acid already, so I didn’t feel any significant difference in the hydration level of my skin. Did it plump my skin? Nope. Again, I use a shit ton of hyluronic acid already. Would I repurchase? Yes. It looks great in pictures and it definitely blurs my pores.
Paula’s Choice Resist Smoothing Primer Serum SPF 30
This primer serum is part of PC’s RESIST line of skin care, which is specifically targeting anti-aging (I really don’t like this term. We need to come up with a better alternative) concerns. It’s both a primer and a serum in one. Let’s get straight to the claims.
Paula’s Choice primer serum promises to target fine lines and wrinkles, protect against sun damage, protect skin from environmental damage, and prevent early signs of aging. It preps the skin for a perfect makeup application and has a lightweight silky texture. All claims are right up my alley.
The ingredient list makes the skin care nerd in me drool. Ya know I love me some antioxidants and this primer serum has a very decent selection. Licorice root extract helps fight discoloration, fades age spots, fights free radical damage, and helps reduce oil production. Coffee seed extract helps skin retain moisture and smooth the skin’s texture. Matricaria Flower Extract calms sensitive skin and fights inflammation. Retinyl Palmate is the ester of retinol and is a gentle form of vitamin A. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin and a great antioxidant for us acne prone skin types. Chlorella Vulagaris Extract is derived from seaweed and prevents the breakdown of collagen and elasticity. Apple fruit extract is rich in antioxidants and helps reduce the look of pores. Pretty Impressive!
The PC primer serum contains a blend of chemical sunscreens and as always, layering sunscreen is a great idea and helps keep your skin protect from the sun’s rays longer. Definitely a plus.
I’ve been using this primer for over a year. It definitely has a silky texture and goes on smoothly and leaves a velvety feel to my skin. Yes, it does blur my pores and also works great as an eyelid primer. My foundation lasts all day and I don’t end up looking like an oil slick by mid-afternoon. Looks good in pictures but not as much of a blurring effect as the Hylamide HA Blur. You only need a pea-size amount to cover your face. Would I repurchase? I already have a backup stashed in my vanity.
I’ve used both of these primers together. I layer the PC primer first and then mix the HA blur with my foundation. Do you have a special night coming up and you want your skin to look flawless? Try this method. Works like a charm.
I would recommend both of these primers. Both are great to use with makeup. Both have skin care benefits. I’ll continue to use them both. What are your favourite primers? Have you used either or both of the above? Leave a comment below or come by the Deciem and The Ordinary Chatroom and discuss your favs with other skin care addicts like yours truly.
Paula’s Choice does not get enough praise from the vlogger or blogger community, and I’m here waving my hands frantically in the air, calling all the skin care lovers to try her products and sing their well-deserved praises. Let’s start with Paula’s new AHA product of 2017 – RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA.
Paula’s choice finally came out with a cocktail AHA product that is targeted for normal to dry skin BUT combination and oily skin types can most definitely reap the benefits of this powerful yet gentle exfoliant. It’s formulated with the following:
Four alpha-hydroxy acids ( glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic, and tartaric acids)
Beta-hydroxy acid aka BHA
A blend of antioxidants like grapeseed, green tea, licorice root extract
Skin- soothing ingredients like bisabolol and allantoin
Benefits of The Cocktail Approach
It’s a fantastic way of targeting sun damage, clogged pores, blackheads, and fine lines/wrinkles with one product. The mix of antioxidants also protects your lovely skin from further nasty environmental damage. It’s also got ceramides, which help bind skin cells together and creates a protective barrier against environmental aggressors.
How Does it Feel?
Light as air is the best way to describe this chemical exfoliant. It’s not a runny liquid nor is it a gel or lotion consistency. More like a hybrid between a liquid and a gel. It has a bit of a velvety feeling as it goes on skin. It absorbs extremely quickly and does not leave my skin feeling tight or dry.
Does it Sting?
I only felt a slight tingle for the first five seconds and then it went away. No stinging whatsoever.
Can You Use Other Products in Conjunction With RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA?
Yes, you can! Follow up with your other serums and/or moisturizer. I use the PC Retinol 1% Booster mixed with The Ordinary’s Niacinamide +Zinc 10%, and Hylamaide’s Hyluronic Acid Booster. No problem. You can also use it all by its lonesome if you prefer.
Times per Week?
I use this twice a week during my nighttime routine. I’m alternating between this and PC’s RESIST Advanced Pore-Refining Treatment 4%. Paula’s Choice states that you can use this daily if you wish, once or twice a day after your toner/essence. I think her recommendation is a good one if you’re used to chemical exfoliants but you want to tackle any existing sun damage or tough line/wrinkles that just won’t budge. As always, please use spf 30 or higher. No exceptions.
After using this for a month, my skin is smoother and brighter. My stubborn congested pores are almost all gone. The stubborn sun spot I have on my left cheek is lighter and I’m hoping with continued use, it’ll start to fade more. Crossing my fingers.
Is it Worth Buying?
Definitely. It’s more powerful but so gentle on my skin. I like The Ordinary’s chemical exfoliant selection but I’m weary of mixing their glycolic toner and lactic acid and using them in the same routine. For me, it’s worth the extra money and it lasts a relatively long time. I only need about 3 or four drops to cover my face and neck.
So, go get you some!! And join me in some Paula’s Choice lovin’