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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Colorsport: Rapid Lash-Gro Eyeliner

Claims: Fuller, Thicker, Longer –Looking Lashes in 60 days
I was sent this nearly a year ago to trial and am only about ¾ through.  I started off using it very regularly then slacked off and have been using it almost daily for the past 3 months.
Beware the ingredient
There is a chemical that has given amazing results in terms of eye lash and eye brow growth to chemo patients called LATISSE® which is a prostaglandin.  It is FDA approved but only available on prescription as there can be some serious side effects.  It is not available for general cosmetic use.  Therefore consumers need to be careful when buying an eyelash growth product that you check it is approved for cosmetic use and is not a prostaglandin.
Managing Expectations
Therefore brands with eye lash growth products have a bit of a tough time living up to Latisse, as its normal to only expect eyelash growth of around 2mm over a 60 day period which is not always so noticeable.  
The Science
Reference is made to an active called Capixyl™ which is acetyl tetrapeptide-3 with red clover extract.   Acetyl tetrapeptide-3 is a peptide which is known to stimulate hair growth and is a popular choice for this type of product.    Red clover is rich in isoflavanones and is known to be increase hair thickness and is recommended for alopecia.  The manufacturer of Capixyl™ is the well regarded Lucas Meyer who has conducted clinical trials to test the efficacy and has no doubt observed synergy between these two ingredients.  The active is included at 2.5% which is well within manufacturers recommended range.
I do find liquid eyeliner challenging to apply and rarely experience matching eyes.  However, this is a very fine brush which has retained its shape for many months and is effective in applying a fine line above the eyelashes.  It is also quick drying which is a huge plus, which means eye shadow can go over the top without smudging – and has lasts until it’s removed at night time.  In fact I find it better than other liquid eyeliners I’ve used and eyeliner pens.  I didn’t really get on with applying it to my bottom lashes, it tended to smudge more and not last as long – but this maybe down to my application.
In some respects I wasn’t the best subject to test for lash thickening and lengthening as I wear eyelash extensions and every time they come off I think my eyelashes look non-existent because I’m so used to seeing extensions.  However, one of the reasons I wanted to use this was because I wanted to improve my lash condition and keep them growing healthy and strong to be able to take the regular application of extensions.
If it hasn’t been used for a while it may start to separate, however its fine after being shaken.  The only negative is the component.  After 4 months the lid started to crack at the bottom and now the brush part stays in the pot and detaches itself from the lid and it’s a bit messy pulling the brush out and putting it back in the lid (I tend to use a cotton bud and tissue to avoid getting black all over my hand).  It does drip a bit when taken out of the component, so I recommend applying it over a skin.  Its trial and error to select the right component sometimes so hopefully if the manufacturer reads this they can feed it back to their component supplier.

Costs around £14.95

Janina Maximum Super Strength Ultra Whitening Toothpaste *

Claims: Whitens and strengthens teeth, Controls plaque and tartar and helps prevent decay

I used to sell to Arm & Hammer, GSK and Colgate so I know a fair bit about what goes into toothpaste and the challenges facing the manufacturers.  So I was able to identify that this toothpaste had a lot more high quality and interesting ingredients than what is available mass market.

How it works?
Bromaine Complex is combination of pineapple and papain which is natural enzymes which will help gentle remove plaque.  This is rare to see in oral care, usually baking powder or silica is included as abrasive ingredients.
Hydroxyapatite is an essential part of teeth and this is a grade which whitens and re-calcifying teeth.
Mentha Avensis Leaf oil – gives a natural flavour to it, rare in mass market toothpastes.

The manufacturer recommends not rinsing the mouth out with water after spitting out the excess.  This is in order to allow the actives time to work due to extended contact time.  It does take a conscious effort to remember this each time.

I have tried a few whitening toothpastes before and never really saw any difference, however I did see a noticeable difference with this, particularly when I followed the instructions more closely of not rinsing out the mouth with water.

Recommended:  Definitely
Costs around £8.44 from Boots

*Free Sample

Friday, 10 October 2014

Age Spots; what are they, how to prevent them and how to remove them

The sun emits 3 UV rays; A, B & C.   UVC doesn't penetrate the ozone so we don't need to worry about that.  UVB is a shorter wave and is responsible for sunburn, redness and causing ageing in the epidermis.  UVA penetrates the skin further into the dermis and damages the DNA of the melanocyte cells, causing them to over produce mutated (darker cells) which cluster together.

During the 90's I lived in South Africa and used a sunblock called SP20 which "allowed tanning without the sunburn" i.e. it blocked UVB but not UVA which is more effective at tanning so I am a bit concerned about how my skin is going to look in the next decade.
It is advisable NOT to use sunbeds as they emit high levels of UVA and it IS advisable to use a "broad spectrum" sunblock i.e. it protects against UVA & UVB.

It is believed that sun exposure before the age of 20 will determine how your skin will look when you reach your 50's, which is why there is such a big emphasis on putting sun protection on children.

There are a variety of methods of treating age spots.

  • Avoid making them worse by covering up and avoiding midday sun
  • Using known skin lightening actives ranging from Hydroquinone, Kojic acid, Arbutin, Vitamin C & Liquorice extract
  • Skin peels, facials, ingredients to remove top layer of skin to enhance penetration of actives 
  • Using actives to speed up cell renewal to stop mutated cells reaching full maturity 
  • Using actives that inhibit the production of the mutated melanocyte cells

Hydroquinone is a skin bleaching agent and side effects are burning and scarring and sometimes worst skin discolouration.  It is found in a lot of skin lightening creams for African skin and are banned in most countries - it should be avoided and certainly never purchased off the shelf.
Kojic Acid, Arbutin, Vitamin C & Liquorice extract are all permitted in cosmetics and as they all act in slightly different ways, they would have better synergy together.
Scrubs, peels, micro-dermabrasion will remove dead cells, revealing brighter ones, and make it easier for a skin lightening actives to reach the dermis.
Personally I'm not a big fan of facial scrubs (even though I get a guilty pleasure when using them) as I know my cell turnaround is working and speeding it up can have the opposite effect i.e. dry patches and redness.  Same goes for salicylic acid and lactic acid peels, they can be too aggressive for some skins, although fine for others.

In English Rose Cosmetics’ Nighty Night Cream I've opted to use 2 actives:-

Revinage (bidens pilosa) a plant with Retinoid properties and Pelevetia Algae.

Both these ingredients are clinically proven to inhibit the mutation of the discoloured cells, which I shall try to explain as simply as I can.

Bidens pilosa (yellow flower) is such an amazing plant, I source it from a Brazilian company who organically grow and harvest it and have conducted the studies to demonstrate its effectiveness i.e. boost collagen and elastin in the dermis to plump out wrinkles, regulate oiliness and was proven (in-vitro) to be more effective than Kojic acid and Arbutin at reducing skin lightening.

This is how it works…

It inhibits Tyrosinase (TYRP-1) which is required for melanocytes to produce melanin from the amino acid tyrosine, this slows down the amount of melanin produced, (remember the DNA damage causes excessive cell mutation)

It inhibits the Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) which is responsible in darker melanin. Incidentally MSH increases during pregnancy causing increased pigmentation  

Revinage compared favourably with Arbutin and Kojic acid (known skin lightening actives) - also it has never been animal tested.  

Incidentally, English Rose Cosmetics is approved by PETA and licensed to carry their logo.

Pelevetia is an algae sourced from Brittany and has been clinically proven (in-vitro) to repair DNA, prevent the degradation of elastin (interesting as a bust firming active in the future) protects against UVB irradiation and reduces redness. 
Pelevetia also inhibits tyrosinase and melanin synthesis which are required to produce melanin cells.  So it compliments and boosts the action of Revinage.
In conclusion, with Nighty Night Cream I've used actives that will help prevent the appearance of age spots by working at the level in the skin where they are made, it will also help stop existing age spots getting larger and help reduce them gradually.
The clinical studies can be emailed on request, and can also be found online. Nighty Night Cream can be purchased here

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

“Fair of Face” Gentle Cleanser

 “Fair of Face” is the 7th English Rose Cosmetics’ product and I would like to share with you why I’ve chosen to develop this type of product.  The inspiration for the name "Fair of Face" comes from the Mondays Child Poem.

Decisions decisions….
The type of face cleanser will depend a lot of time and lifestyle and skin requirement of the individual.  A lot of beauty editors extoll the virtues of double cleansing using a facial oil/balm and then water based foaming cleanser to remove the first cleanser and any remaining traces of grime.  This is time consuming but probably necessary if you live in a polluted city.  For those that don’t live in polluted cities or work from home (lucky us), than we have less grime to remove and too much cleansing will disrupt the skin barrier.  Be it laziness or lack of time some of us don’t want to spend too much time on a cleansing routine. 

I never use bar soaps (too alkaline) or foaming gels (contain irritants) and am too lazy to use lotions & balms, but I wanted something using plants that was convenient to use in the shower or over the sink.

Foaming Component
This is a clever packaging invention that turns liquids into foams, so you can use a watery natural formulation that turns into a foam making it super convenient to use.

Water, glycerine (humectant) barley protein (conditioning) sucrose laureate (emollient/emulsifier) decyl glucoside (surfactant from corn) Quillaja Saponaria (soaptree bark) phenoxyethanol (preservative) ginger oil (fragrance)

Quillaja Saponaria Molinas
Chilean Soaptree bark (Quillaja Saponaria Molinas) is sustainably harvested and Ecocert approved by the manufacturer (Desert King) to reduce oil, shine and spots without leaving the skin feeling tight and dry.  Included at 6% as the primary cleansing agent.

Desert King did a 4 week in vivo on 30 volunteer’s average age of 25, with varying degrees of acne. They had to wash their face twice a day with a gel containing 2% Quillaja and results were measured at 2 weeks and 4 weeks, the before and after photos are quite impressive.

After 4 weeks the volunteers rated their satisfaction as follows:-
93% reduction in greasy skin
62% reduction in acne lesion’s
75.8% less evident pores
79.3% less shiny skin
82.8% good for delicate skin & washing away impurities
17.2% tightness & dryness
93.1% no adverse reactions

Decyl Glucoside is a biodegradable plant derived gentle surfactant with foaming capabilities and is popular in natural formulations – it’s included at 3% and is the secondary cleansing agent.
Barley Protein moisturises and conditions dry skin, and is recommended to use post shave due to its healing properties.  It is used at 10% and is the primary moisturising active.  Glycerine locks in moisture and is used at 1.5%

Sucrose laureate is a plant based fatty acid ester emollient/emulsifier. 
Ginger Essential Oil gives a natural invigorating fragrance and has the allergens removed.

Tipleave the foam on spots for about 10 minutes before rinsing off.  Most foaming products will irritate the skin after 10 minutes so this is a good indication of its mildness.  Also recommend using a 2nd cleanser on a cotton pad to check the effectiveness of “Fair of Face”.
Value for money – costs £13.00 for 160ml due to the inclusion of 20% natural plant actives which are considerably more expensive than SLS/SLES cleansing agents, most face washes would also contain less than 1% plant actives. 
Available – here  
Effectiveness – gently cleans the face without leaving a tight feeling, skin feels refreshed, calm and clean
Pampering factor – mild creamy foam with ginger aroma that’s a pleasure to use in the shower or over the sink
Recommended – this does not contain allergens or irritants so is suitable for sensitive skin, and is highly effective on spot prone skin