Your cheat sheet to help avoid those “dirty” ingredients your skincare

Over recent years people have started to really look at what is in their food and understand from an ingredient list, what is and isn’t good for you. Unfortunately this happens a lot less when it comes to skincare.

The skin is our largest organ in our bodies and we need to make sure we look after it. So I have done a lot of research into cosmetic ingredients and created a simple dirt ingredient cheat, to help you keep an eye out for what to avoid and why.

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Why use dirty ingredients?

There are many reasons that our cosmetics supplier use these dirty ingredients. They are usually cheaper than their cleaner alternatives. Dirty ingredients also act as thickening agents, prevent mouldy products, create foamy lathers and much, much more.  But we don’t have to put up with this as there are so many amazing products on the market that do not have such toxic side effects. Bare in mind that even some organic cosmetics may contain some dirty ingredients below – click here read my post on what truly makes a product organic.

What do the side effects mean?

A Skin irritant is a substance which, while not corrosive, causes a temporary or reversible inflammation of living tissue (such as eyes, skin, or respiratory organs) at the point of contact.

Allergies are when the ingredient could cause your skin to have an allergic reaction, this could be as little as red, itchy skin to extreme reactions such as hives.

carcinogen is any substance that has the potential to cause cancer in living tissues and exposure can occur from the inhalation, ingestion, or absorption of many different types of substances.

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Hormone imbalances occur when an ingredient interferes with the production, transportation, breakdown, binding or elimination of our hormones. This includes our thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, pancreas, hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

Reproductive defects can occur similarly to hormone imbalances. This is when an ingredient interferes with the bodies natural development and maintenance of the reproductive system.

Toxic references an external toxin which are toxins outside of our bodies, that can be ingested or absorbed. External toxins are capable of causing disease on contact with our skin.

The Cheat Sheet 

Ingredients

Do you need something faster?

If you are still not sure or would like a guide that can do the research for you while you’re shopping, download the “Think Dirty” app. This app provides a dirty rating on a scale of 1-10 listing the chemicals in your products that make them “dirty”. The other amazing part of the “Think Dirty” app is if the product you have selected rates high on the dirty scale, it will recommend much cleaner alternatives. Pretty cool eh.

Like to learn more?

The great thing about today is that we have the internet, so no need to go rummaging through the library to do research. However if you would like a book to use as a reference I recommend reading A Consumer’s dictionary of cosmetic ingredients.

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5 simple life hacks, solved with your beauty essentials

There are a lot of articles and posts incorporating general household items into your beauty regime. Olive oil as cleanser, apple cider vinegar as toner and blotting your face with coffee filters are just a few. But what if your beauty products can solve not only their own, but other little problems too. Here are my top five tried and tested..

Hack One – Static Clothing 

There is literally nothing worse than being out and all of a sudden your dress or blouse becomes the most clingy, static mess of all time. I personally do not own enough of these materials to bother putting in a drying sheet, but this still happens and drives me crazy. Grab a hand Cream or moisturiser and rub onto your skin or tights, this will prevent the static from occurring – This hack was tried and tested today while I was at a trade-show and worked instantly.

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Hack Two – Wrinkled Clothing 

Just as your just about to walk out the door as you are putting on your shoes you notice a great big wrinkle in your clothes. Then the internal debate starts, can I get away with it, probably not, but I don’t have enough time to get the iron out of the cupboard. To get this sorted quickly, turn on the straighteners and as soon as they are warm you can literally straighten the wrinkle out.  I am terrible at ironing so I use this hack more often than I use the iron.

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Hack Three – Dress jewelry turning you green?

For as long I can remember I’ve had a love for dress jewelry, quirky rings and necklaces can change any outfit instantly. But after a while the rings start to turn my fingers green, which is definitely not a good look. So to prevent this happening, paint two layers of clear nail varnish on the inner facing surface, wait for it to dry and say goodbye to green skin.

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Hack Four – Fogging bathroom mirror

I love doing my makeup in my bathroom mirror as the lighting is great, but I hate having to wait for the mirror to defog. This is easily preventable, just apply a small amount of shampoo onto a paper towel or kitchen roll, rub onto your mirror and wipe off with a clean cloth – Simple.pexels-photo-271631.jpeg

Hack Five – Cleaning your makeup brushes

There is absolutely no need to use a special brush cleaner to rid your makeup brushes of product and dirt. Using your shampoo will do the job and a good one at that. If its good enough for your hair, its good enough for your brushes – be sure to check out my post here on the hair care brand that bought my hair back to life.

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Have you got any hacks you can share, if so drop a comment below – Remember sharing is caring!

 

The secret to using pigments..

When I first started using makeup I was told to use pressed eye-shadows, with pigments seen as a mythical product used only by professionals. It was only when I started training as a make-up artist that I was introduced to pigments, and since then I have become addicted.

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What are pigments

Pigments are the main ingredients in eye-shadow. Usually with pressed eye-shadows a binder is added which dulls the pigment’s color. Without binder, the intensely coloured loose powder is known as pigment—they can be matte, shimmery or glittery. Pigments give you the ability to control the coverage, opacity and intensity of the finish.

Loose Pigments

Loose pigments are a fine, loose powder which are very multipurpose. These can be used wet or dry to create a vast range of looks. Loose pigments can unfortunately have a lot of fall out (falling onto other areas), so I find applying the pigment to my eyes first, gives me the chance to wipe my skin free of the fall out, before applying my base.

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Pressed Pigments

Pressed pigments are made with over 80% pure pigment which offer intense colour, shimmer and multiple dimensions. Pressed pigments are ideal when looking to create a range of looks.  Developed to deliver the coverage, rich colour payoff and finish of a loose powder without the inconvenience or mess.

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Face

Pigments can be used as blushers, highlighters and to contour your face. To use, tap the pigment onto a flat surface and use either a fan or angled brush to pick up the pigment (don’t forget to tap off the excess) and sweep along the desired area of your face. Be sure to choose colored pigment that complements your skin tone.

Body 

Perfect for a night out, festivals or holidays, loose pigments can be mixed into your body lotion or simply dusted onto your skin to create a body shimmer and give you a great all over glow.

Eyes 

Loose pigments can be used as dry or wet eye-shadows, or as eyeliners. To reduce fallout I would always recommend using an eye-shadow primer to create a base for the powder to adhere to. The application is also made easier when using a brush with dense bristles to pat the colour on and use a fluffier brush to blend. Pressed pigments can be used in the more traditional sense alongside pressed eye-shadows. Again use a fluffier brush to blend.

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Lips 

Loose pigments can be mixed with a gloss or balm and applied to the lips – this is sometimes a little trickier than it sounds, so practice the look first. I have used pressed pigments over the top of matte lipsticks to  create an ombre effect – and I love it. This is definitely a great look for an evening out.

Nails 

I know your thinking, how am I going to use pigment on my nails. Well its all too simple really. You can add your favorite loose pigments to a clear nail varnish, add into a small pot, stir well and paint away. pexels-photo-709803.jpeg

Budget Beauty – Give yourself the chance to sparkle

I am a huge fan of all things glitter, especially for a girls night out or on holiday. I love looking at new ways to incorporate a little shimmer into my life be that through my highlighter, eyes or skin . I need to make sure I get the balance right though as there is nothing worse than looking like a disco ball. I always found this rather challenging, that was until I tried GlitterEyes.

What is GlitterEyes?

GlitterEyes is a relatively new brand with a fast growing social media following, and for very good reason. The products are developed in the UK and are 100% vegan, non toxic and cruelty-free. (They test all their products on themselves!) All of this is great but are the products any good?

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The Collections

GlitterEyes are continuing to innovate their products, bringing new colors, pigments and glitters to their collection. They have multiple different types of products but I will be talking through the ones I use most.

GlitterEyes Pressed Pigment

GlitterEyes have a large range of pressed pigments all of which can be used anywhere on the skin. Pigments are now my go-to eye-shadows but I also use them as highlighter and on my lips.

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The application is easy and can be done with either a makeup brush or finger. The pressed pigments glide on the skin without much fall off and can be built up gradually to create a natural or dramatic look without looking cakey or thick. The GlitterEye pressed pigments are also easily blended to create a smokey eye or ombre lip. The colour layoff is brilliant especially considering these are only £6.99 and you also have the option to create your own palette of colours on the GlitterEyes website. So no need to have that one shadow you never use and feel guilty throwing it away.

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GlitterEyes Pressed Glitter

GlitterEyes hand make all their pressed glitters in house within the GlitterEyes lab and the best thing about their pressed glitter is that no adhesive is needed. These can be applied with a brush (more intense) or finger (less intense) straight onto the skin.

I love using the pressed glitter over the top of the pigments to add a little more drama to a look. These can also be applied round the eyes which looks great at festivals. The pressed glitters are easily removed with water and a microfibre cloth without going everywhere in the process.
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GlitterEyes Loose Glitter

Loose Glitter can be dusted onto the skin to create an all over sparkle or if you are looking for something more concentrated onto a particular area you can use an adhesive which GlitterEyes has available. Loose Glitter is great for festivals, parties and being a little bit over the top – because why not.

The loose glitter stays in place all day – I wore this for a 100km bike ride (long story) and it did not budge at all but was easy to remove when I eventually wanted to do so.

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 The Verdict

The GlitterEyes products are fun to use, they make me want to do something a bit different and they also work really well.

You can purchase GlitterEyes on their website and through a whole host of online boutiques. Be sure to check out their Instagram page for some amazing looks and sneak peaks at brand new products.

Click here to see the range GlitterEyes

Beauty products explained – Face Wash vs Cleanser

I am constantly changing what I use to clean my skin. I tend to use cleansers when my skin needs brightening and an infusion of moisture, and face wash when I’m having a break out. But I wanted to be sure I was doing the right routine and really understand the difference between a face wash and a cleanser.

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What do they do..

Face wash and cleansers ultimately do a similar job, they rid the skin of dirt, makeup, and excess oil. But what is the difference, and when should you use them?

Cleansers are non-foaming and more gentle on the skin with nutrients that moisturize and hydrate. Cleansers also dissolve away excess oil, makeup and grime from your face rather than penetrating deep into the pores. If you have been exposed to a lot of dust and pollution or if you’re wearing makeup, it would be a good idea to use a cleanser first, before using a face wash.

A face wash, is a foaming liquid that acts more like soap, to remove deep seated dirt and grime. Face washes are a little harsher and thorough compared to a cleanser. The right wash should leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed. Face washes should not be used more than twice and a day due to the removal of your skins natural oil.

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How to use them..

For those of us that wear makeup or are exposed to a lot of pollutants, I would always recommend a double cleanse. The first cleanse should rid the skin of surface dirt and if you are wearing makeup, use a cleanser designed to remove it as not all cleansers are. (If you are unsure to check the product label.)This will then prepare the skin for a second cleanse. Just like starting your beauty regime with a blank canvas. 

The second cleanse should provide for the needs of your skin, whether that be a deeper clean to unclog pores (face wash) or softer surface cleanse (cleanser). This is then your opportunity to decide if you would like to use your face wash or cleanser.

Top Tips

  • If your skin starts to feel dry and tight after using your face wash – switch to a new product as this may be removing too much of your natural oil
  • Not sure what cleanser is right for you? Have a look at my post here for your cleanser 101
  • You should always follow your cleanse with a toner, click here to read my post on why this is so important

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A more natural way to get those pearly whites..

I have always wanted to try a more natural toothpaste but I was unsure about what brands to try and how effective they would be. Reading multiple reviews and feedback online, many brands do not have the minty fresh taste and teeth rarely feel as clean.

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I am extremely particular in what I want from my toothpaste and I have never been the type of person to buy just anything offer. Toothpaste must be very minty, reasonably priced, convenient to purchase and whiten my teeth – due to my rather excessive Tea addiction.

So I started reading a lot of post purchase reviews on the likes of Amazon, Holland & Barrett and other e-retailers to try to find a brand that could accommodate my slightly demanding needs. One brand in particular really caught my attention.

EcoDenta 

Ecodenta is a Lithuanian oral care company who combine science and nature.  Ecodenta  manufacture their products from natural and eco-friendly sources, without harmful or abrasive ingredients. Ecodenta toothpaste’s have been developed with extracts of 7 different herbs, to ensure a comprehensive oral care. Some of the toothpaste also contain Kalident, a natural source of calcium, that strengthens your tooth’s enamel and helps to avoid decay.

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Ecodenta has a vast product range to suit all your toothpaste needs – perfect for the fussy buyers like myself.  I have included a few of the vast collection below;

Wild strawberry scented toothpaste for children with carrot extract & Kalident

Triple effect toothpaste with white clay, propolis and Teavigo

Whitening Toothpaste with black charcoal and Teavigo

Whitening toothpaste with mint oil, sage extract and Kalident

CODENTA COSMOS Organic toothpaste for sensitive teeth and gums with natural salt and potassium citrate

I decided to try the Whitening toothpaste with mint oil, sage extract and Kalident – please note this particular toothpaste is not fluoride free. I purchased this from Holland & Barrett for £3.99 per 100ml – slightly more than I would usually pay for a toothpaste.

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So how was it?

After a long day and many cups of tea, I was very excited to try the EcoDenta toothpaste. When brushing, I use an electric toothbrush to reach my very new wisdom tooth, which I unfortunately cannot reach properly with any eco-friendly toothbrushes – so recommendations welcome.

I used a large pea sized amount and started brushing, I initially forgot that this was not a standard toothpaste as it was definitely minty enough. After a few seconds, I did notice that there was not a lot of foaming but I didn’t feel this impacted anything in particular.  After finishing, I was left with a herbal minty taste similar to a mint tea. My teeth felt very clean but initially not as white as they usually look. I will continue to use the  Whitening toothpaste with mint oil, sage extract and Kalident but just monitor how white my teeth become. Overall I am happy to convert to Ecodenta and will be exploring some of the other products within the range.

 

If you are looking for a fluoride free toothpaste try the Ecodenta Extra Black Whitening Toothpaste with Black Charcoal & Teavigo. I will be reviewing this product in the coming weeks. smile-mouth-teeth-laugh-65665.jpeg

Please note that Ecodenta states that they do not test on animals, I have done my own research and I am personally comfortable at this stage that they are cruelty-free, however they are not certified by leaping bunny, PETA or any other certification. I will also be monitoring Ecodenta going forward.

What does each Vitamin really do for the skin?

The beauty industry is consistently bringing out brands with a key focus on specific vitamins, especially with the trending Vitamin’s E and C. So how does all this science actually help our skin and what should we be looking out for?

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What is a Vitamin

Lets go back to basics and look at what vitamins are and as a collective do for the skin. Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in small quantities to sustain life and are fundamentally responsible for a healthy body. The skin is the last organ to receive ingested vitamins, so in order to access the skin more effectively skin care products are now used.

Fat-soluble vitamin

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and the liver. These are easier to store than water-soluble vitamins, and they can stay in the body as reserves for days, and sometimes months. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble.

Water-soluble vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins do not stay in the body for long as the body cannot store them, because of this, water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble ones. Vitamin C and all the B vitamins are water soluble.

A-Z of Vitamins 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is also known as Retinol and comes with a huge number of benefits. Retinol is known to encourage healthy skin production which reduces acne, evens skin tone and encourages a glowing complexion. Retinol also stimulates the production of collagen so is a great ingredient to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin A should be applied at night and application should be limited to 2-3 times a week or as per your product instructions.

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Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 also known as Niacinamide, increases production of fatty acids and cerimides which are two key components of your skin’s outer protective barrier. A daily application of Vitamin B3 can reduce redness, blotchiness and sensitivity. Vitamin B3 also reduces the transfer of pigment to skin cells, minimizing dark spots.

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 is also known as Pantothenic Acid and helps to keep the skin healthy and attractive in appearance, with broad abilities to moisturize, soothe, heal and regenerate the skin. Vitamin B5 also helps to slow down the appearance of premature aging on the skin such as wrinkles and age spots.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nails, hair and skin because it contributes to cell reproduction. Vitamin B12 benefits the skin by reducing redness, dryness, inflammation and acne and can be applied to the skin for psoriasis and eczema.

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Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a multi-beneficial ingredient which evens and brightens skin tone, improves your skins texture and helps to combat environmental damage. Vitamin C also helps to increase the production of collagen in the skin. In order for Vitamin C remain stable and work effectively, it must be stored in an opaque air tight container and is usually found in moisturisers.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is very popular for treating Psoriasis symptoms including itchy and flaky skin. Vitamin D3 contains strong anti-inflammatory properties which make it effective for treating burns, skin injuries, skin damage and stretch marks.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is great for boosting hydration, reducing inflammation and preventing free radical damage that can lead to pigmentation and damaged elastin. Vitamin E hydrates, prevents water loss, and soothes so it is good for both sensitive and aging skins types.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is applied to the skin to remove scars, stretch marks, spider veins, bruises, and burns. It can be used to treat rosacea, a condition that causes redness and pimples. Vitamin K also has the ability to strengthen the walls of capillaries and is generally used in eye creams to reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Know your stuff..

If you use different vitamins within your skin care products, be sure to know exactly what you are putting on your skin, especially as some ingredients should not be combined. For example applying a Retinol (Vitamin A) which increases the production of skin cells with a Glycolic Acid, which removes the top layer of the skin, would result in flakiness and dryness – not a result I would personally be trying to achieve.

My recommendation with any skin care product is to read the label so that; 1. You know what ingredients you are putting onto your skin and 2. Understand how to apply the product effectively to achieve the best possible results.

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