Derma E & Yes To Carrots: A guy’s perspective!

I am asked by everyone how they ought to take care of their skin, and what would work for their particular skin type. Lately, I’m being asked by more men than women! I thought it would be great to get a male perspective on some of my favourite products, and since I’m 100% woman, I gave about a two week sample of two of said favourites to a male friend of mine. I sent him three questions to answer about the samples.

The products, as well as my thoughts on them, are as follows:

  • Derma E’s Very Clear Problem Skin Cleanser: It isn’t often that I purchase a product twice, but this cleanser works great when I use it twice a day, and leave it on for 5-10 minutes as a pseudo-mask at night. It is creamy, rich, cooling (because of the tea tree oil), and gets rid of blemishes better than any other cleanser or mask I have tried!

Currently on sale on Derma E’s website, for $12.50!


  • Yes To Carrots’ Repairing Night Cream: Such a light, yet hydrating cream! I bought this for under $15 at Shoppers, and it works so well with my dry skin (I use it as a day moisturizer and a night moisturizer), that I don’t even need to apply extra coconut oil or intensive moisturizer to my face for adequate hydration (as I most often do).

Click on the photo to learn more about this night cream!

And the questions, plus his answers:

1) What was your favourite thing about using each of these products?

Derma E Cleanser: “Other than its effects on my pimples, my favourite part would have to be the tea tree oil! At first, this cleanser smelled like something you would find at the Home Depot in the paint section (ha ha, good one, Jake!). I don’t mean this in a negative way because I actually like its smell. After the first night, I noticed this pimple yard below my bottom lip completely gone (not even exaggerating). I’ve never tried anything like this before and kind of thought it should have been illegal. Thankfully, it isn’t! I will surely be using this from now on and wished it were introduced to me ten years ago.”

Yes To Carrots Moisturizer: “I really enjoy the smell of this cream. It feels really thick which is exactly why I do not need to use a lot. Luckily it will last me a while! After cleaning my face and a good shave, applying this moisturizer makes me want to touch my face all day. I like how it isn’t shiny either so it’s hard to tell that I’m using anything at all. My face does get dry all year around and especially during winter so I am sold on this product!”

2) If you could change something about either of these products to improve them, what would it be?

Derma E Cleanser: “I’m pretty sure that I was using the right amount but I would not mind if the cleanser either bubbles up or just stays white just to let me know that all areas of my face have been covered while cleaning.”

Yes To Carrots Moisturizer: “I can’t really think of anything here. Smells great, feels great!”

3) Did you notice an improvement in the condition of your skin, and how it felt or looked?

“After using the two products together I have definitely noticed an improvement in my skin. I never really was into cleaning and taking care of my face before but after being introduced to these items, I won’t stop using them. I was skeptical at first and one should be until one gives it a fair shot.”

Jake has since purchased both of these products! As far as everything except shaving-related products, guys don’t have to stick to male-specific skin care lines to take care of their skin. It also doesn’t have to be expensive.

Expect more talk from willing male testers and reviewers soon!


Skin care superfruit – Part One!

I have mentioned Sibu Beauty‘s products several times in my past few entries, and that I was going to review a few of their products.

Sibu Beauty is a company that produces skin care products free of parabens, and they are cruelty-free. Their products also are free of dairy, wheat, gluten, sodium, yeast, or preservatives. The key ingredient in all of their products is the sea buckthorn seed in all of its many forms! This seed gained popularity when it was showcased on Dr Oz as a “miracle berry” type food that can help improve skin from the inside via supplements, and from the outside as well with a whole line of moisturizers, cleansers, and more. It contains essential fatty acids 3, 6, 7, and 9, which make it extremely exceptional and packed with goodness!

I received several samples from Sibu Beauty, including their Sea Buckthorn Hydrating Serum, Sea Buckthorn Daytime Facial Cream, Sea Buckthorn Body Cream, Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Night Cream, Sea Buckthorn Eye Cream, and the Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser. Sorry for the lighting in the photo!

I also purchased a few Sibu Beauty items from Vitacost that I was particularly curious about. A full size of the Sea Buckthorn Daytime Facial Cream, Sea Buckthorn Facial Soap, and their Seabuckthorn Seed Oil (you know how crazy I am about oils!).

Clockwise from left: Sibu Seabuckthorn Seed Oil, Daytime Facial Cream, and Facial Cleansing Bar

This entry will focus  on only two the samples I received, and the following entries will focus on other samples, and finally the full-size products. Since I received samples and also bought the Daytime Facial Cream, I will save that review for the following entry.

Seabuckthorn Replenishing Night Cream

All Sibu’s products have this light orange scent. Kind of like orange creamsicle, or an orange flavoured herbal tea. It is not overpowering, and disappears shortly after applying. This night cream is silky, soft, thick and moisturizing enough for my dehydrated / dry skin, and did not aggravate my rosacea that I noticed (though I only had enough to use for less than a week).  This cream is heavy enough for a night cream, it sinks in very quickly, and does not leave me feeling oily in the morning.

This product claims to:  smooth wrinkles and fine lines, reduces visible sun damage, stimulate the skin’s cell renewal cycle, and protect the skin’s natural lipid barrier.

I don’t yet have any wrinkles or fine lines, and don’t burn in the sun, but each morning when I woke up after applying this my skin did feel fresh and look bright and healthy.

Here are the ingredients, which I took from their website:
water, sd alcohol 40-b, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, stearic acid, polyglyceryl-10 pentastearate, sea buckthorn seed oil (hippophae rhamnoides), olea europaea (olive) fruit unsaponifiables, phenethyl alcohol, sea buckthorn fruit extract, (hippophae rhamnoides), limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, hydrolyzed rice bran protein, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, panthenol, brassica juncea (brown mustard) sprout extract, brassica oleracea acephala sprout extract, brassica oleracea botrytis (cauliflower) sprout extract, brassica oleracea capitata (cabbage) sprout extract, brassica oleracea italica (broccoli) sprout extract, wasabi japonica root extract, glycine soja (soybean) protein, oxido reductases, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed extract, hyaluronic acid, xanthan gum, sea water, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium anisate, sodium levulinate, sodium phytate, fragrance (from orange and lemon essential oils)

My only concern  is that the infamous sd alcohol 40-b is listed as the second ingredient! This ingredient is anything but hydrating, and I am curious as to why they chose to put this into a product that is designed to enhance then maintain moisture levels. Sd alcohol 40-b, or alcohol denat., is often used in many skin care products to dry out the skin (which may help those who have oilier or more acne prone skin, or it may make the situation worse by resulting in excess oil production), but if used on a regular basis it can lead to skin irritation, inflammation, and other skin problems (For more information, check out this article about good and bad alcohols for skin).

The majority of the other ingredients look great –  I am always weary of products that contain sd alcohol 40-b, because I do have skin that is prone to inflammation and irritation.

While the product is called Replenishing Night Cream on the packaging, their website calls it Rejuvenating Night Cream. I’m sure this can cause a tidbit of confusion for consumers, wondering if it is the same product, or not! I’m sure not everyone is as nit-picky as I am, but it’s what I do. 🙂

Overall, I did enjoy this product, but I would not purchase it because of the SD Alcohol 40-B.

If your skin is not so sensitive, and does not react negatively to regular use of products with SD Alcohol 40-B, I would suggest giving it a try, because 90% of their ingredients are phenomenal.

At $34.95, it is a mid-range priced moisturizer. And since you only have to use a very small amount, the product will last you a long while.

Seabuckthorn Body Cream

This is such a great body cream! I love how it absorbs into the skin so quickly, smells slightly sweet, and moisturizes very well.

The product claims to hydrate, soften, rejuvenate skin, and soothe sun-damaged skin. I will agree that it definitely hydrates, and softens. I did not notice any particular “rejuvenation”, but I did only have small samples to use. I also don’t burn in the sun, so I didn’t require any relief in that regard.

Ingredients: DI Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol Glycerin, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Seed Oil, Behenyl Alcohol, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Pulp, Fragrance (orange / lemon oils), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Xanthan Gum, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables, Sodium Phytate, Panthenol

At $14.95, it is more than I typically spend on a body cream, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to others who have dry skin/sensitive type skin, and I am sure it would be great for normal skin too. I am not sure about how well it would work in the winter – you’ll just have to try it out and see!

Check back again in to read the next reviews from this great company, coming soon!

Sea Buckthorn whaaaaat?

I contacted the lovely folks over at Sibu Beauty a few weeks ago, and they sent me some samples of their delicious skin care products to try. What makes this company stand out to me is their cruelty-free, paraben-free, and fair trade-friendly policy.

Sibu Beauty harnesses the nutrition and restorative power of the Sea Buckthorn berry, which is a berry that grows in the mountains of Tibet. Here is a fun snippet of knowledge from their pamphlet I received: “Sea buckthorn contains protective nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, K, minerals, carotenoids, flavonoids, antioxidants, polyphenols, and phytosterols. In fact, over 190 bioactive nutrients have been found in this important fruit of the Himalayas.” On top of this, Sibu’s sea buckthorn berries are full of omega 3, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids, and are gluten-free!

I was so excited about these products, that I couldn’t help but order some full size versions of a few Sibu products from Vitacost, which arrived shortly after the samples did!

I have had the products for about 3-4 days, so I am only going to describe exactly it is what I got, and I will be sure to do a review in about a month to give my two cents about each product and my experience with the brand.

I will start with the samples! I received a lovely variety of different Sibu products to try out. Six different products, to be exact.

Sibu Sea Buckthorn products in clockwise order: Daytime Facial Cream, Replenishing Night Cream, Body Cream, Hydrating Serum, Balancing Facial Cleanser, and Age Defying Eye Cream

Check out the full-size versions of Sibu products that I ordered from Vitacost:

Sibu Sea Buckthorn products from left to right: Face and Body Bar, Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, and Daytime Facial Cream

Let me first say, the packaging of the moisturizer is absolutely cute and fresh looking! The scent of these products remind me of a creamy citrus smell. The actual sea buckthorn oil smells stronger, almost like some sort of spicy orange citrus tea. In order to make sure my review is as accurate as possible, I am using only Sibu products to cleanse and moisturize my skin (minus my Origins VitaZing on some days).

Sibu’s products have quite the list of skin healing properties, including helping to relieve symptoms of conditions like rosacea, eczema, acne, and dermatitis. It is also suitable for all ages, including kids.

Here is a link to Wikipedia’s entry on the sea buckthorn berry, so check it out! Check back for a full-fledged review of these good-for-you products!

Origins VitaZing!

originsGuess what I picked up!? After watching a great review of this product by Tiffany D on YouTube (check out her channel, and the review of this product here), I decided it was my mission to find out where I could purchase this (hopefully locally).

I discovered that an Origins counter exists at The Bay, here in Ottawa, but only at their Bayshore location. After my reiki appointment today, which was on that end of the city, I walked into the Bay (having no clue where their Origins counter would be), and there it was!

The saleswoman was extremely helpful. Unfortunately, I already knew what I wanted, and she wasn’t surprised. 🙂 The Canadian price is $44, which is pretty pricey, but it sounds like a product that will save me money in foundation, and other moisturizer products, so I thought I would try it out. I also got 2 samples of their Starting Over, and A Perfect World moisturizers. I should also mention that they had these package deals, where you could purchase a moisturizer at its full price + 3-4 dollars, and you would get three extra products on top of that (a cleanser, eye cream, and something else that I’m sure is equally awesome). I didn’t want to go overboard, and they didn’t have a package deal that included the VitaZing (eventually, I hope!?)

As described on the box,  “this energizing, multi-tasking moisturizer gives skin an instant zing of visible vitality and vibrance. Sheer tint-release formula magically transforms and perfects to create even, flawless looking skin. SPF 15. Oil-free”.

Also on the box, it claims to be formulated without: parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petrolatum, paraffin, DEA, synthetic fragrance, and animal ingredients. Below this, Origins states that it only tests its products on volunteer panels. Here is a link to their website for more information!

Since I’ve only bought this product today, I cannot give it an adequate review. I will say, however, that when I applied it after I cleansed msmilesy face this afternoon, the redness that resides around my nose had completely disappeared. My skin looked more even, and I actually really like the smell. I have also been using rose water and rosehip seed oil for dryness and redness, and this has been helping, but I did notice a difference after my first application of VitaZing.

Success! My face, sans makeup, after using my Alba Deep Sea Facial Mask, rose water, and moisturizing with Aubrey Organics rosehip seed oil and the Origins VitaZing! Reviews on many new products, including the above mentioned, will be coming soon!

Thanks for reading!