Review: Sunsense Sensitive Sunscreen SPF50+

Sunsense it quite a well known Australian brand that aren’t seen in almost all pharmacies and supermarkets. It’s not unusual for households to have at least one of their products lying around. They have some really fantastic products and I usually wear one of their sunscreens on my body if I go swimming in summer.

When I came across this I was super excited. It’s quite difficult to find physical sunscreens without having to go to specialty stores around this area. However, this sunscreen only has zinc as a UV blocker, which sounds amazing.

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Rubbed in moderately

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Bonus photo of me after I tried to rub it in when I applied it on the weekend (I’m notorious for applying a lot of sunscreen)

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Price:

$12.99AUD for 200g

Texture:

This sunscreen is very thick and almost impossible to rub in. When I first applied it, I wondered how nobody thought “Will people actually like this?”. Honestly, it’s one of the thickest sunscreens I have ever used. I understand that zinc makes things have a white cast, but this was nothing like I have seen before.

Ingredients I like: 

It’s not all bad, there are actually some really great ingredients!

Zinc oxide: One of the few UV blockers without the risk of irritation. It’s great for sensitive skin and can even be an anti-irritant.

Nicotinamide: Really great for anti-aging benefits and well has helping to improve skin elasticity. Other benefits include enhancing barrier function and help to fade discolourations.

It’s also free from fragrance which is beneficial for those with sensitive skin!

Overall Impression: 

I think it’s difficult to weigh up the cost/benefit. On one hand, this product is affordable, waterproof and great for sensitive skin. But on the other, it’s almost impossible to rub in and has a pretty terrible texture. I think this may be beneficial for a day at the beach or something where you plan on doing a lot of exercise. Otherwise it’s just far too thick.

Repurchase? 

As great as it is to find an affordable physical sunscreen for sensitive skin, I don’t think I can handle the white cast. It’s so thick and impossible to not look like a ghost with it on.

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I never thought I would come across sunscreen so white

…and yet here I am. It’s such a bright and sunny day here in Australia and it’s really starting to heat up. I quickly ran to the store today to pick out a body sunscreen and came across this one, which I was delighted to see was a physical sunscreen for sensitive skin. Much to my dismay, this was what the recommended amount looked like once ‘rubbed in’ to my skin. It was such a shame because I usually really like the brand. The good news is, it really didn’t irritate my skin, so it holds up to its claims 🙂

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I am planning to write a proper review in the next couple of days, but I just had to share my experience! Would love to hear about your sunscreen blunders!

Review: O Cosmedics Mineral Pro SPF30+ Triple Defense Protection

It’s rare that I review Australian sunscreens due to the difficulty of finding something non-greasy and cosmetically elegant. Winter is finally over here in Australia and not everybody has access to amazing sunscreens from overseas, so I thought I would review something a little closer to home.

I will be talking about this sunscreen from O Cosmedics, which is a physical (or mineral) Australian sunscreen. Physical sunscreens are fantastic for those that don’t particular react will with regular (chemical) sunscreen. Because this only uses zinc oxide as it’s main UV blocker, it could be very beneficial for those with acne or irritated skin.

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O Cosmedics are an Australian owned and made brand that focus on the science behind skincare. They produce products known as ‘cosmeceuticals’, which are basically pharmaceuticals and cosmetics combined.

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This comes in clear or tinted. I do admit that this costs a little more than I am used to paying for sunscreen. But I feel like it’s super important in Australia to ensure proper protection from the harsh sun. Unfortunately sunscreen has a horrible reputation of being sticky and greasy, so I don’t mind paying a little extra to wear something comfortably.

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My hands are a little dry so it hasn’t rubbed in as nicely as my face. However, it still sinks in after a minute or so.

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Price:

$45AUD for 75ml

Texture:

This is quite creamy, like many physical sunscreens. Although it does leave a very very  slight white cast (again, like many physical sunscreens), it’s barely noticeable and very moisturising. It dries almost matte, while slightly silky, and has a beautiful finish.

Ingredients I like: 

Sunscreens in Australia unfortunately aren’t required by law at this stage to list all of the ingredients in SPF products. While I do find this a little odd, O Cosmedics often promotes the science behind their skincare which gives me confidence. In saying that, there are a few great ingredients listed.

Resveratrol: An antioxidant found in red grapes. It has amazing anti-immflammatory properties as well as many other really beneficial properties which can be read on Paula’s Choice who sum it up well.

Palmitoyl Oligopeptide: Research, although not conclusive, states that it may help to stimulate collagen production.

Overall Impression: 

I think that it’s quite difficult to find local physical sunscreens, let alone one that doesn’t leave your face super greasy or white. This rubs in extremely well, looks cosmetically elegant and smells like toffee and vanilla. It’s very lightweight and I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything when I use it throughout the day. Because it’s a physical sunscreen, it would be especially great for those that break out from sunscreen. Given that zinc is the only UV blocker it could potentially be very beneficial.

Repurchase? 

Yes yes 100% yes. I really love this sunscreen and I’m so glad to have found a local sunscreen that isn’t greasy or heavy AND physical!

Review: Moogoo Full Cream moisturiser

It’s officially spring in Australia! However, unfortunately it’s no warmer as of yet and my skin is still suffering from the dry winter. I decided to try this cream because my skin was starting to get flaky from my other one, indicating that it wasn’t moisturising enough.

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This particular moisturiser is aimed for irritated and sensitive skin and only uses ‘natural’ ingredients. As you know, I don’t really mind whether ingredients are natural or synthetic as long as they are safe and work well for my skin. Some people do prefer using all natural ingredients though so this would be an added bonus for them.

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Price: 

$18.50 for 270g

Texture:

It’s quite thick when first applied and a little hard to rub in. But it’s not greasy at all and sinks in after around 20 seconds, leaving a beautiful silky finish.

Ingredients: 

See cosdna

Ingredients I like:

I’ve actually used quite a few MooGoo products and I have to commend them on always using fantastic ingredients. Some note-worthy ones in this moisturiser (in order of concentration):

Sweet Almond Oil: Often used as an emollient in moisturising products. According to Paula’s Choice, it is rich in skin repairing properties. However, should be avoided if you have nut allergies.

Olive oil: A great ingredient that has many benefits such as anti-carconogenic properties (study here, thanks to FutureDerm). This study also talks about it’s anti-oxidant properties.

Honey:  Can be very beneficial in moisturising your skin as well as having anti-bacterial properties as seen hereherehere and here (thanks to /r/skincareaddiction on Reddit).

Overall Impression: 

I really like this moisturiser and have replaced it as my day moisturiser. While it may be a little thick for somebody with oily-normal skin for every day use, I think it’s perfect for dry skin or night use. It smells like vanilla and has left my skin feeling incredibly silky and soft.

Repurchase? 

Absolutely. It’s affordable and it works, there is nothing I can complain about.

Removing broken capillaries (spider veins): My experience with IPL

When I was younger I couldn’t resist the urge to pick or pop those pesky little pimples on the side of my nose. Unfortunately, this cause broken capillaries that followed me into my adult life. While they weren’t super noticeable to other people, the side of my nose was noticeably red in photos when I wasn’t wearing concealer. I decided to bite the bullet and face IPL even though I had heard it would hurt.

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Before and 3 days after

I have to apologise the the small image. I completely forgot to take a proper ‘before’ photo and had to find one on my phone. As you can see, there are two red lines on the side of my nose. The photo on the right was taken only a few days after so it’s still a little red, but the lines are gone.

What is IPL? 

Intense Pulsed Light (or IPL) uses a broad spectrum light source to treat various skin issues. I’m not quite sure how it worked in my case, but my dermatologist said something along the lines of sending light pulses into the veins to stop blood flow. I plan on doing more research on it and writing a follow up blog post soon, explaining the exact procedure. This is just to talk about my experience.

The Procedure

I was given protective glasses to wear and was told it would only be a mild discomfort. There were warnings of potential side effects (hyperpigmentation/blistering etc), but was assured that they personally hadn’t had any complications before.

I’m not going to lie and say it didn’t hurt, because it did. But the pain wasn’t unbearable and it only went for around 2 minutes. There were zaps of lights and a warm feeling on my nose, almost as if somebody was flicking me with a burning rubber band.

However, the pain didn’t continue after the treatment and I was in and out of the dermatologist within half an hour. I was told to wait a month in case the veins resurface, but they have responded well to the treatment so far.

Would I recommend it? 

Absolutely. You obviously need to speak to a professional before trying anything, but I think that this has improved my confidence dramatically.

Allergic to dust mites? You may want to be extra careful with snail extract

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Snail slime is becoming quite popular in many skincare products due to Chilean farmers reported to having smoother skin on their hands after handling snails for the French market. The extract is supposed to be quite effective in the treatment of acne and hyper-pigmentation. So what’s the problem?

I was recently browsing /r/skincareaddiction on Reddit and came across this post written by /u/valiantdistraction. Valiantdistraction links to two studies and an article talking about the cross-reactivity of snail allergies and allergies to dust mites.

The Snail Science 

The first in vivo study, which can been seen here, tells us that 31% of children allergic to snails were also allergic to dust mites. You can read the follow up in vitro study here.

Upon further research, I have stumbled upon more studies/sources to read about the link between allergic reactions of snail to that of dust mites; herehere and here. It’s important to note that these studies are mostly testing the ingestion of snail, that’s not to say your skin won’t also react, especially if you’re applying product to broken skin.

Even though 31% doesn’t seem like a relatively large number, I personally think it’s still high enough to take precaution. There are such a large number of people allergic to dust mites, so perhaps take notice before you try any products for the first time.

Summary

Don’t throw away your snail products, just be aware of the risk before you try anything new. If you have a severe allergic reaction to dust mites then you may want to consider carefully patch testing any new products containing snail slime before you put them on your face (and be careful with escargot!). I am not saying that this is a cause for concern, but it may also explain why snail slime is a holy grail ingredient for some skincare enthusiasts and a nightmare for others.

My Beauty Diary sheet mask haul

Sheet masks are one of my favourite go-to products because they often give instant results. When my skin is feeling dull and dry I always pop on a mask for 20 minutes and it instantly brightens me up.

My Beauty Diary is quite a popular brand as they’re known to have consistently well formulated masks. Unfortunately popularity has its downsides as it’s not unusual to come across counterfeit items, so be sure you are buying from an authorised seller.

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I bought these from an authorised Australian seller, Beauty Life Australia. They currently have a sale on which is $10 for a box of 10, compared to the squall $15 a box. As you can probably see, I also took advantage of the free shipping upon purchasing $50 worth of product.

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Below are the 5 masks I bought along with a few of their beneficial ingredients (but there are plenty more!).

  1. Imperial Bird’s Nest
    Recommended for dry and rough skin. Contains ingredients such as collagen, baobab extract (high in vitamin c) and oat extract.
  2. Natto Mask
    Recommended for very dry skin (which I am unfortunately cursed with). It has lovely ingredients such as aloe extract, watercress, sambucus nigra and glycerin. Plenty of anti-inflammatory ingredients which sound perfect for dry and irritated skin.
  3. Rice Mask
    Recommended for dry and sensitive skin. Has ingredients such as rice extract, aloe and mulberry fruit extract.
  4. Royal Jelly Mask
    Recommended for skin lacking ‘radiance’. It contains royal jelly (a honey bee secretion – and acts as a water binding ingredient), as well as aloe and watercress.
  5. Vanilla Moisturizing Aroma Mask
    Recommended for extremely dry skin. Really lovely moisturising ingredients like hyaluronic acid and aloe.

I’ve patch tested one and I can’t wait to share results! Let me know of your favourite masks below 🙂