MoroccanOil’s Body Soufflé: Better than their actual moroccan oil

Years back, a hairstylist used MoroccanOil brand moroccan oil on my hair. It seemed to make my hair all sorts of awesome. I’m not quite certain whether it was the flat iron, other products, or the oil, but they sure seemed certain that the oil should accept credit for my luxurious locks. Of course, the scheme here was to get me to buy the oil, which was insanely over-priced, and there was maybe a 5% change I could re-create the look at home.

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I did not purchase the MoroccanOil at that time, though I did at a later date. And yes, you can bet I was disappointed. It was over-priced, and didn’t do anything much for my hair. I much prefer coconut oil or olive oil, if I’m doing a treatment. If you’ve bought this and it has worked for you –  hi-fives all around. But don’t fall into the hype.

Onto a MoroccanOil product I do enjoy! This light and fluffy body soufflé (as they call it) has a very light and  warm scent, with a hint of jasmine. It isn’t the smell I really enjoy about this, but more the texture. It surprised me, because it goes on so light, yet moisturizes so well. The packaging is simply gorgeous, and looks great on a bathroom or bedroom vanity.  It moisturizes impressively well, and absorbs quickly. Unfortunately, I am unable to find the ingredients on Makeup Alley, or the MoroccanOil Website (aside from them mentioning it contains shea butter and moroccan oil).

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Try it for yourself!

If you’re going to use conditioner – try this one.

My extended stay in America has been fabulous. The repeated failure of Greyhound to take me home has resulted in a complimentary voucher for the next time I travel, and extra time for me to spend with my boyfriend and other NH lovelies. I’ve been here since December 5th, and don’t leave for home until tomorrow. I’m already eager to return for New Years Eve.

gosh-cosmeticsWith that said, I can never get my brain to stop with the many blog possibilities. I was hesitant to post about this almost daily winter-time love of mine, because I fear the cruelty-free status of this product is questionable. If anyone has any information on the cruelty-free status of Goshgoshmuchmore Cosmetics – feel free to comment below!

Peta still continues to list them on their Companies That Don’t Test list, however, when I click on the link to their site (GoshAmericas.com), I get a generic “page cannot be found” message. They still exist at Gosh.dk (their Danish website), so I am hoping they are undergoing some sort of overhaul on their American website.

Their Much More Moist! Conditioner is a product I’ve used in the colder months, when just using apple cider vinegar or white vinegar as a rinse won’t cut it. The product includes ingredients like seaweed, honey, and hyaluronic acid. It’s got a unique smell to it – kind of.. vegetable-y? I am not sure if I’m smelling the beet root in it, or what.

I use a small amount of this conditioner (which comes in a convenient pump, and lasts just about forever), on the ends of my hair, and leave it in for about 3-5 minutes in the shower. It leaves my hair so soft and looking lovely. It has a relatively short list of ingredients, which I prefer to the extensive lists I see in many cosmetics / skin care products. It often goes on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $7-8. If you’ve got dry hair, and would prefer not to go without conditioner, I’d suggest you check this out 🙂

Non-Comedogenic Oils: Here’s a list!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I will let you know that I can be an extremely opinionated bitch when it comes to skin care, makeup, and what I think. But it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit of research here and there to back a lot of my nonsense up. I have been researching different oils; their comedogenicity, in particular. Comedogenicity basically refers to a product / ingredient’s ability to produce comedones aka cause you to break out.

I have researched a variety of sources online, and some of the results have been rather contradictory. It is important to take into account that just because something is typically comedogenic, doesn’t necessarily mean it will break YOU out.

I wanted to organize the different oils and present them in as simple a way possible to show how likely or unlikely it is that they will break you out. And the sources I used for this include soapnuts.com, momandpopsoapshop.com, and acne.org.

  •   Sweet Almond Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Emu Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Mink Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

  • Coconut Oil
  • Wheat Germ Oil

I was most surprised when I read (from several sources) that coconut oil falls higher on the scale of non-comedogenic to comedogenic. I haven’t used it on my face in quite some time, but I wonder if it was ever a culprit in causing me to break out. I still use it as my only body moisturizer, and rarely ever break out anywhere except my face, so I’d still recommend it as the best moisturizer for the body.

Did you know?

Based on what I’ve read, jojoba oil is considered to be virtually non-comedogenic, and is touted by many experts and professionals as the best oil for anyone who is acne-prone. I don’t find it is hydrating enough for my dry skin (especially since beginning the Acne.Org regimen with benzoyl peroxide), though I have been using a mix of sweet almond, jojoba, and castor oil, and I find this works better to keep my skin hydrated.

Finding out what works for you is largely a trial-and-error process, but it pays off in the long run. Stick to the oils that have a low-clogging probability, and do your best to incorporate one new oil at a time so you can see if you notice the effects (positive or negative) each oil has on your skin.

Get ready for an intensive review.. of Acne.Org’s regimen!

I’ve ordered the bigger size of Acne.Org‘s skin care products, in order to specifically follow The Regimen, plus their AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). I had gone through most of my life acne-free (minus a zit here and there). And then last summer – BAM! Whether the boyfriend and I were doing too much makin’ out (he can grow some mean facial hair), or I started using a product that aggravated my skin, something happened to make my skin break out.  It hasn’t cleared up in any major sense since, though I have started benzoyl peroxide treatment, which has shown some promise so far. I’ll be doing a full review of their cleanser, moisturizer, benzyol peroxide, and AHA! I am so excited to receive these products – the review is going to be super fantabulous.

TIME FOR SOME ZIT ZAPPIN’!

For the love of pores, keep it simple!

**WARNING**

This post will be highly opinionated, and is primarily based on my own experiences (and whatever semblance of logic I have left). If you take personal offense to what I have to say, I’d suggest never using the internet ever again.

I know just how easy it is to get enticed by the allure of trying a new skin care product. Even when I think of how silly it sounds, I still can’t shake the idea that there is one product out there that will be my holy grail product, and I will never have to worry about zits, dryness, or redness again. Sure, there are fabulous products out there, but they are often on the exact opposite end of the shelf you had been gawking at for the past 2 hours and 45 minutes.

It won’t be long before skin care brands sell cleansers that promise to make our boobs bigger, butts tighter, and our brains grow these cyborg sidekicks that read minds. The point is, cleansers do NOT need to be these powerhouse products they are turning into. The purpose of a facial cleanser is to gently, non-abrasively remove oil and dirt from our skin’s surface. We do not need all of the extra frills that many cleansers claim to have, whether it be a cleanser that claims to provide a deeper clean, keep your skin clean even after you’ve washed, or cleansers that contain some degree of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

It is not that you never want to use products that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or other skin-enhancing ingredients, but you aren’t going to see much of a benefit from these products in a cleanser. The product is only on your face for about 30 seconds, or less, and then it is washed off. So, smartypantses, why add extra ingredients to something, when it is totally unnecessary!?

Save the zit-zapping ingredients, and whatever other remedy-specific ingredients your skin requires, for the treatment products you apply after you cleanse. For example, toners, acne gels, moisturizers, serums, or even masks, and peels. These products sit on / absorb into the skin over an extended period, after you’ve cleansed, so you they have time for the ingredients to actually treat your skin woes.

Stick to cleansers that describe themselves as fragrance-free, gentle, a cleansing milk / cream instead of a gel, hypoallergenic, non-irritating, or for acne-prone skin. Many of the cleansers I’d suggest are not cruelty-free (Cetaphil, Spectro Jel), but there are cruelty-free options too (the Acne.org cleanser, for example). I’d suggest checking out Acne.org’s review section: it is a fabulous community!

Chemical Exfoliation: Not as Radioactive as it Sounds

Stay tuned for an update on a new favourite in my skin care collection: Andalou Naturals’ Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask!

This is the side of exfoliation that gets me extremely psyched! It definitely is not as intense as it sounds, and can actually be quite gentler than the mechanical methods of exfoliation I mentioned in my previous post.

Chemical exfoliation refers to the use of certain chemicals to facilitate a sloughing off of dead skin cells, and these chemicals also promote the regeneration of new skin cells. When you see words like brightening, or regenerating, it is often referring to the chemical exfoliation process. This is the ideal method of exfoliation if your skin is dry, sensitive, acneic, or if you’d like to get rid of red/brown spots from acne!

NO SCRUBBING REQUIRED!

The most common chemicals used to provide chemical exfoliation are AHAs, and BHAS (alpha & beta hydroxy acids). To find these ingredients in products, you want to look for ingredients called glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid. Acne.org offers a10% AHA 6 oz tube (or 16 oz) for a pretty decent price (not to mention their version of AHA is fragrance and dye-free, and specifically formulated for those with acne-prone skin).

AHAs work by encouraging the skin to regenerate itself, and using them will result in a thinner outer layer of skin, that reflects light better and ensures dead cells aren’t sitting on the surface, dulling your complexion.

There are unique benefits to using either of the AHAs mentioned, but they all work on the skin in similar ways. Salicylic acid, a BHA, works very well at exfoliating our pores. It is used in 2% doses for spot blemish treatments, but used in other concentrations in products to promote exfoliating of the skin.

From what I have read (and I did research for this article – I will specify my sources below), lactic acid is the most effective of the AHAs, as well as being less irritating. It must be said, though, that what works well for one person may not work at all for another.

A warning for those interested in using AHAs – they can make your skin sun-sensitive, so it is either best to invest in a good sunscreen / makeup with SPF, or to only wear your AHA products at night.

Retinol (or Vitamin A), is also a commonly used product in products that claim to be anti-aging, exfoliating, or brightening. It can be harsh if used too often, but definitely effective in a mask or treatment that you use 3 times a week!

Be sure to pick up a papaya, pineapple, or pumpkin fruit enzyme mask, if you’d like to try a gentler form of chemical exfoliation! Alba makes a really great one (IT IS CLEAR AND GREEN, HA!), that I really enjoyed.

You need not grab that facial scrub to get the super smooth and soft skin you so-eagerly desire!

Sources

The Dermal Institute: http://www.dermalinstitute.com/us/library/20_article_Methods_of_Exfoliation.html

Discovery Health: How to Exfoliate Skin: http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/cleansing/tips/how-to-exfoliate-skin.htm/

Exfoliation (Cosmetology): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exfoliation_%28cosmetology%29

Acne.Org’s take on AHA: http://www.danielkern.com/product-p/aha-6.htm

The Classy Anarchist Tells All: About Exfoliating Your Skin!

Ever have one of those days, where you look in the mirror and see a dull, and lifeless face looking back at you? Your skin seems like it has no glow, and those damned zits have healed, but they leave red or brown-ish marks that take months to fade? I don’t think we need makeup to give our skin a natural glow. By exfoliating regularly, we can shed those dulling dead skin cells from our face, revealing the fresher healthy skin beneath. Exfoliating helps to even your skin tone, give oil and dirt the boot, as well as prevent acne!

Before you whine about how your skin is too sensitive for facial scrubs, I will tell you there are types of exfoliation more appropriate for dry, sensitive type.

There are two major types of exfoliation methods. Mechanical, and chemical. I am going to discuss mechanical exfoliation in this blog entry, and will continue with chemical exfoliation in the following entry.

Most of us consider mechanical exfoliation to be the primary way we exfoliate. This would be through the use of facial scrubs, cloths, or any other tool you use to physically wash your skin for the purpose of exfoliating. Many facial or body scrubs contain ground walnut shell, oatmeal, sugar, or some sort of microbead that works to physically remove the dead skin cells, oil, and dirt, when you wash your skin with them.

The most harsh of these include loofahs (for the love of god, never on the face), walnut shell scrubs, and sugar scrubs. They can be effective, but someone who does not have excessively oily skin ought not use any of these methods more than once a week (if at all, arguably). If you have breakouts, these methods run the risk of irritating already pissed off pores, and will result in excessive redness and make your breakouts worse!

I used to use St Ives’ Apricot Scrub (the one with 2% salicylic acid), and while this did work relatively well for some time, I think it actually increased my skin’s sensitivity, and irritation, gradually over the years.

If you absolutely *have* to exfoliate using a mechanical method, I would suggest using a product that contains those microbeads (usually advertised on the product), as opposed to crushed fruit pits, shells, or even sugar. Oatmeal is also a gentler method. Check out the scrub section on Vitacost, as they list all ingredients. I did notice that Devita offers a Gentle Aloe Facial Scrub with jojoba easters (beads!), and this would be a good choice for anyone looking to mechanically exfoliate.

Check back for what I have to say about chemical exfoliation (my favourite method)!

My favourite moisturizers during breakouts!

Okay, so already I spilled my guts about coconut oil, and how much I love it. Don’t be surprised when I bring it up again, like in this post. BUT – I’ve got more for you; I swear.

I went through a shitty, and horribly zitty breakout in July, that seems to finally be tapering down. Typically, I’ll get a zit or two. But this time it was intense, and I felt like a creepy old troll. I found Acne.org, and have since incorporated advice from that site with my own knowledge of what works for me.

There have been three goodies I’ve used in this new routine, and they are affordable, cruelty-free (well fml if that organic virgin coconut oil ain’t cruelty-free), and work better than any expensive high maintenance brand ever has.


The deets: morning, and night, about 5 minutes after cleansing (with a boring, plain, fragrance-free cleanser), I mix about 4-5 drops of the roman chamomile in jojoba oil, with enough coconut oil to slather on my face (play with the amounts until you find what is right for you – enough so your skin feels comfortably moisturized, not tight, and soothed). If I feel the need, I will also will slather on some of the Earth Science Almond Aloe Fragrance Free Moisturizer. This facial moisturizer contains helpful ingredients like hyaluronic acid, jojoba seed oil, panax ginseng root, and licorice root extract! It is gentle enough for sensitive skin, and helped a lot to moisturize and heal all those stinkin’ zits.

GREEN MONSTER!

I have also put an end to all my insanely intense ingredient-packed face masks – except for my DIY clay masks. I have added roman chamomile in jojoba oil (about 3-5 drops), to my green clay paste (which is just green clay + water). The simpler, the better.

My skin feels so much better, and is well on its way to being clear again!

A Quick Recommendation: Acne.org

I made a post about essential oils a little while back – yes, it is true. Using too many oils, too much at a time, can really eff with that sweet face and bod of yours. It is important to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for your skin type! Unfortunately, that means we have to experiment, and breakouts are inevitable. It can be extremely perplexing for those of us who prefer to stick to cruelty-free brands when we shop. After a recent breakout (and I rarely break out beyond one zit here and there), I found myself at a loss at the drug store. I wanted to find a benzoyl peroxide treatment that was from a cruelty-free source, and failed miserably!

Upon doing some research, I stumbled onto a community called Acne.org. The founder, Dan Kern, offers acne sufferers a community in which to gather. There are how-to videos, advice, product reviews; it is essentially a one-stop shop for everything healthy skin! The site is supported solely by the profits of The Regimen, which is a 3-step acne treatment program formulated by Dan himself. It includes a gentle cleanser, benzoyl peroxide acne treatment, and a moisturizer. Extras include alpha hydroxy Acid (an exfoliant), and jojoba oil (he is as into jojoba oil, as I am into coconut oil!).

While many of the product reviews include products that aren’t cruelty-free, I was pleased when I heard back from Brandy at Acne.org, who confirmed with me that the products sold in the Acne.org store are in fact 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Not only this – they are affordable!

Check ’em out!

Are your gums sore? It could be your dental floss!

I attempted to fight the morning urge to get out of bed and blog, but why fight such a good thing? After about 45 minutes of trying to go back to sleep, I hauled myself out of bed around 6:45am, and here I am some time later (after being awake until about 3am last night), ready to write to you about something I really needed to mention.

First, let me say this: I love me some healthy gums. This isn’t a rant about how unhealthy it is to floss. Gotta get those chicken wing bits out from between our teeth somehow, eh!?

Store brand drugstore floss (left); sketchy dollar store floss (right)

The reason for this post began several weeks ago; it goes back to a purchase I never ever should have made: at the Dollar Store. I love dollar stores! I go there to buy my boxes, travel containers, organizers, cups, stickers, shipping supplies, nail files; the list is endless. Several weeks ago, I decided to buy the dental floss. I was there; it was cheap. Who could lose!? Bad idea.

I am not quite sure why it hadn’t dawned on me earlier, that I should include floss in the “don’t go there” category of dollar store goodies. The product seemed legit enough to me.

And this is where my aching gums began. About 3 days after using this dollar store floss, my gums began to ache. They didn’t bleed, but they ached. My entire mouth began to ache, in fact. It became painful to brush, and my entire gums would ache for about 10 minutes post-floss.

Thankfully, the solution was easy. I had been using some of my boyfriend’s flosser sticks that he buys, and noticed the ache became less and less each time I flossed. So I splurged and picked up the store brand of floss at the drug store. It has been about a week and a half not using the sketch dollar store floss, and my gums are loving life again!

So the question is: what on earth was in that damned floss to cause so much pain in my gums? I have yet to find any information online as to what the culprit is! Any ideas, folks!? What on earth do they coat that shit with!?

I am always for cutting costs, but spend that extra $2 and go for the drug store floss! Even better, let’s hear thoughts on natural/organic/health-conscious floss from brands such as Desert Essence, Tom’s of Maine, Spry, and others. Side note: Spry’s toothpaste is fabulous, by the way. Expect an article about that gem in the near future.