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F is for the First Blog Post

I’m Faiza – a Muslim mother, wife and friend. I consider myself very blessed, Alhamdullilah (praise be to God), although perhaps not with beautiful looks, the ideal body and money to shop at branded stores.

I have many favourite bloggers who I have been following for years, but as a “mature” woman I find myself unable to identify with these younger bloggers with their perky bosoms, tight butts and wrinkle free skin. After all, this body now has plenty years of “experience” on it. Don’t get me wrong, I admire all these women and continue to follow them. However, my aim is to create a platform that is more relatable to an older audience.

I’m completely out of my league here, but even if I inspire one forty-plus woman then I have already achieved my goal. I brainstormed with my family and friends, and after receiving their backing I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. This blog is a family affair, I cannot do it without their support.

A little background to every_thing_F. As I’ve said, my name is Faiza and the most important things in my life are my family and friends. I’m in my forties. I love fashion, but don’t consider myself very fashionable as I am lazy, and dress for comfort and affordability. I’m a perfume addict, can’t get enough of fragrances. I’m a runner so that means fitness is an important part of my life. I love food but hate cooking it. I am passionate about antique furniture. Although I am not green fingered I love my garden and it gives me great joy when my flowers blooms.  I curse a lot and my nearest and dearest know that my favourite word is the F-wordJ.

I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life and I hope you enjoy our journey together.

Healthy Skin is not an Overnight Process

Today, let’s talk jade rolling and Gua Sha. Made from jade, its origins can be traced back to China and both devices have been used traditionally in skincare routines for decades. Jade is believed to have energy-healing properties that helps to boost circulation, reduce puffiness and soothe skin inflammation. Both techniques claim to leave your complexion looking smooth, taut, more radiant and youthful looking. In my humble opinion, whilst I do see some of these benefits, it’s only temporary and as with all skin care routines, one needs to be consistent and patient if you want to see results.

Jade rolling increases circulation, brings oxygen to the skin and helps reduce puffiness. It is an effective way of helping your skincare products penetrate more deeply into your skin. It is a simple process which doesn’t take a lot of practice and can be done almost anywhere (with or without skincare products). The disadvantages are that the rollers tend to break over time because it has several working parts which wear. I find it a bit of an inconvenience to clean because my product tends to trickle into the areas where the roller and track meets so I have to find ways to keep those areas clean and hygienic.

Gua Sha is a traditional technique from Chinese medicine in which a tool is used to scrape the skin in order to produce red marks called petechia. The facial Gua Sha has been adapted and the strokes are performed slower and more gently to attain a more relaxing and comfortable experience (with no red marks). Like jade rolling, facial Gua Sha improves circulation and helps your products to penetrate the skin more deeply. It is an effective way of releasing tension in the face, jaw and neck and should ideally be performed using a facial oil or mist. Unlike the jade roller, facial Gua Sha strokes create pressure and stretch and the tool is designed with shapes that fit perfectly around your facial features which helps lift and contour the skin. By using the different edges, you can really contour the jawline & cheekbones.

But which technique is better for you? That depends entirely upon your lifestyle and what you’re trying to achieve – there’s no right or wrong choice. Personally, I use both but prefer the Gua Sha tool because it’s more versatile, precise and easier to use and clean.

Both devices are available for purchase from many outlets but be careful and make sure you purchase from a reputable source as there are many fakes on the market. My devices were purchased from The Wellness Warehouse and is manufactured by Celluvac.

I hope you found this helpful.

Bye for now

xxx F

In The Middle

What do I have in common with these weirdos? We are all MIDDLE children of course. From left to right, you’ll find my daughter @chroniclesofnaadirah, and my sisters’ kids @livid_luq and @adeeb_ceres07. A lot has been written about middle child syndrome, but is this in fact even a real issue?

According to Wikipedia – “Middle child syndrome is the feeling of exclusion by middle children, due directly to their placement in their family’s birth order. This alleged effect is supposed to occur because the first child is more prone to receiving privileges and responsibilities (by virtue of being the oldest), while the youngest in the family is more likely to receive indulgences. The second child (or middle child) no longer has their status as the baby and is left with no clear role in the family, or a feeling of being “left out”. There is notably often a negative connotation surrounding the term “middle child syndrome.” It is debated whether the family dynamic imposes this negative attitude or if middle children develop it themselves, or if it exists at all.”

All that 💩aside (because who really believes Wikipedia), us middles are actually quite independent and adaptable. Being stuck in the middle has made us mentally tough. We are most definitely trustworthy and loyal and if you want someone to keep a secret – then we are who you should confide in. Although we can appear introspective and quiet, we can also be quite rebellious and impatient. I asked these three their opinion on being a middle child, and here’s what they said:

“Being a middle child is super alienating, but at least the trauma made me funny ☺️”. –@chroniclesofnaadirah

“I don’t demand attention because I’m a Pisces. I demand attention because I’m a middle child😜”. – @adeeb_ceres07

“It sucks most of the time, but it’s nice when I can do whatever I want and not get caught 😉”. – @livid_luq

So, there you have it. I guess Middle Child Syndrome does exist. I mean it was pointed out to me that even Covid-19 ignored me but didn’t miss my siblings. I suppose there is also a positive side to being a middle child – we have one super power – Invisibility 😆!

Bye for now

xxxF

Behind The Blog

It’s been a while since my last blog post but I do hope that you continue to follow me on Instagram and Facebook, where you are able to view weekly content.

I started my social media account because I am passionate about skincare. I’ve put in a lot of time and effort but the skincare content market is so flooded already and everybody is trying their hardest to get their brand noticed and be unique. All I want is to spread awareness that consumers do not have to buy from luxurious and expensive brands in order to have healthy skin. That being said, if you have the money, by all means, spend it at will.

My kids suggested I show my followers the personality behind the social media account, hence, I started posting more about myself. I’m still reluctant about sharing too much of myself – this is a personality you may or may not like, if it’s the latter, then that’s what the unfriend or unfollow button is for I guess.

Currently, I lead a pretty dull life, which suites me perfectly. There are always storms to weather so during the quiet times, I chill and take life in my stride. That means I don’t really have much to share about myself or my boring lifestyle, and due to Covid, I don’t venture out much and prefer the comfort of my home. My ideal relaxation is lounging in front of the TV watching my Korean dramas, or reading a book. I’m a very private person and don’t like sharing too much about myself or my family. It is such a cruel world out there and social media can be far worse than reality, with so many trolls hiding behind their screens and resorting to online bullying.

I am usually a confident person but in front of the camera I feel very vulnerable and shy and never know what to do. I’ve never liked being photographed or recorded because I think the camera can capture ones’ true self. My true self is not something I easily share with everyone. I’m very selective about the people I surround myself with and only my family and a few close friends truly know me. I’m very outspoken and straightforward, not something everyone likes. I respect other people’s opinions and therefore expect the same from them, which doesn’t always happen in life, but that’s what prayer and therapy is for.

I don’t consider myself an influencer yet, I’m not quite sure when I will – perhaps when I receive constructive feedback from someone who actually tried one of the products’ I recommended 🤔. I am a content creator though because I review all the products myself, do my own research, write my own articles and come up with concepts on how I want my content displayed – even though I may not take all the photos & videos myself. I don’t apply filters or edit any of my personal images – kudos to my photographer @tylerwarrin_ who is a complete amateur but has a keen eye and always manages to capture my best features on camera. I’ve received many compliments on how pretty I am but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I consider myself average, it’s the camera and Tyler that gets the good angles. I have many flaws so have never done well with compliments either but I’m slowly learning to just say THANK YOU and move on.

Instagram vs Reality

I’m not that tech savvy but I’m learning fast. Being a content creator requires a lot of work and I am grateful for my kids’ help and patience. It’s sad how some people have become fake, just to get more likes, gain more followers and to receive that instant gratification. In the end, they lose their true self. Not everything you see on Instagram or social media is real, people! Take this picture for example, it has been staged to show you what influencers sometimes resort to for just one post. Honestly, I can’t even see what I’m reading because I’m not wearing my specs. The real me seldom doll up these days, but when I do, I won’t be lounging around donned in a pretty dress, accessories & make-up. That requires lounge wear, comfy shoes and a bare face – and if you really want to hang loose…try going braless ☺️. I want to remain true to myself and my followers by being just ME! I hope this gave you a little bit of insight into my personality. There’s a lot more of it but in due time, you’ll hopefully get to see it.

Bye for now

xxxF

P.S. Watch the behind-the-scenes video on my Instagram highlights and follow me on @every_thing_F.

You Dew You

Vitamin C, also called L-Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbic Acid is a brilliant, well-rounded ingredient and can be used in the morning and evening. According to experts, the best concentrations to use are between 8-20% with a PH of between 2.5 and 3.5. The benefits of Vitamin C on your skin are:

  • It has a brightening effect
  • Reduces risk of sunburn
  • Is wound healing
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Is anti-inflammatory
  • Helps maintain collagen levels
  • Helps smooth skin
  • Helps with pigmentation

I have been using a Vitamin C serum for a number of years now and it has been a game changer when it comes to my skin. During lockdown last year I ran out of my usual The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% Serum and opted for Tia’m My Signature C Source Vitamin C Serum which is a Korean brand.

Unfortunately, this product was a miss for me as it stung my skin, made me purge and it oxidized too quickly. I’m not sure whether it was the high concentration of ascorbic acid (20%) that my skin was not used to. As for the stinging, this could be due to a number of factors, one of which is the alcohol it contains. I don’t know the exact percentage, but considering that it’s the third ingredient on the ingredients list I assume it to be high. This product also contains Limonene which is a very common and cheap fragrance ingredient and I usually steer clear of skin care products containing fragrance. Limonene is found in many plants, such as rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and is the main component of the peel oil of citrus fruits. Limonene also oxidizes on air exposure and perhaps this is the reason why this particular serum oxidized much quicker than my usual one.

I stopped using this product after two weeks and decided to give my skin a break. A few weeks later I tried it again, this time introducing it into my routine very slowly. I did eventually manage to tolerate it but was unable to finish the bottle because it oxidized too quickly. Ultimately, I ended up adding it to my body lotion so that it didn’t go to waste. The product has a lengthy ingredient list, perhaps too many ingredients for me personally. If this is a product you’d consider trying, a 30ml dropper bottle costs R355 and I purchased mine from Glow Theory.

In contrast, The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% is a delight to use. Even when I first started using this serum I had no adverse reaction, and was only able to see the benefits. This may be due to the fact that the formula only contains three ingredients, two of which are the most powerful brightening agents in skincare, pure Vitamin C and Alpha Arbutin.  Alpha Arbutin is also a highly-purified biosynthetic active ingredient that reduces the look of dark spots and uneven skin tone. Together both ingredients are solubilized in a completely water-free formula for ideal stability. When it comes to the benefits listed above, this product ticks all my boxes and is evident in the condition of my skin. I highly recommend that everyone should give it a try. I purchase all my The Ordinary products directly from Deciem and with the Rand/Dollar exchange a 30ml dropper bottle costs me around R199. The product is also locally available from Samika and Takealot and retails around R590 but this is not a price I’m willing to pay, so I will continue purchasing mine from abroad.

I hope you found this helpful and remember – Invest in your skin, it’s going to represent you for a long time.

Bye for now

xxxF

Disclaimer: I am not a skincare specialist.  Information, recommendations & advice are based on my own personal experiences and research.  Consult your dermatologist or doctor for professional advice.

Sunscreen – The Closest Thing to a Fountain of Youth

I’m sure by now everyone is sick of hearing me talk about sunscreen, but just because you’ve heard it before doesn’t mean you won’t hear it from me again. According to CANSA, South Africa has one of the highest monitored ultra violet levels in the world, with research showing that our incidence of malignant melanoma is also among the highest in the world. Malignant melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in the cells that control the pigment in your skin, and while people with darker skins are at a lower risk of melanoma than those with lighter skin, it does not mean that darker skin groups should not wear sunscreen. If sunscreen is not a part of your daily skincare routine then I recommend you start making it a priority today. For more information on being sun smart, click here.

Sunscreens fall into two categories – chemical, which absorb UV rays and mineral, which deflect rays away from the skin. While a mineral formula is my personal choice of sunscreen, this is not necessarily the case for everyone else. Choosing the right sunscreen can be tricky and there is plenty of debate around chemical sunscreens being harmful to your skin and the environment. My opinion is that when it comes to choosing a sunscreen, the most important thing is that you find a formula that you like and will actually use every day.

Mineral sunscreens contain safe ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and has been proven to have a lower chance of irritating your skin. Personally, my favourite sunscreen for my face is Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen, which I’ve reviewed before. Unfortunately this product is not locally available so I have tried two other mineral sunscreens for the face, both of which suit different budgets and are worthwhile trying.

First up is the CF Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 40. I came across this sunscreen whilst grocery shopping at a Pick ‘n Pay Hypermarket, but unfortunately haven’t seen this product in any other store since then. CF Products is a local manufacturer and supplier and offers a range of services such as sun care, body products, product amenities & packaging. They have an online store and offer free delivery if you purchase over R350, so I’m excited to try out some of their other sunscreens as well. Click here if you would like to view this range.

The Pro’s:

  • It is fragrance free.
  • It is not as drying on the skin as some other mineral sunscreens.
  • Dries down quickly with hardly any cast, so darker skin tones can use it as well.
  • Did not sting my eyes.
  • Has an impressive price point – 60ml costs R80.

The Con’s:

  • Because it dries down so quickly, it’s a little hard to spread which causes pulling on the skin whilst trying to apply the product.
  • It contains a chemical filter.

Next up is the Avène SPF50+ Mineral Cream. This brand requires no introduction and has a great range of sunscreens and other skin care products. This product is available at Dis-Chem and Clicks and retails around R250 for a 50ml.

The Pro’s:

  • It is paraben and fragrance free.
  • Has an impressive ingredients list and contains no chemical filters.
  • Is water-resistant.
  • Glides on smoothly and is easy to apply.
  • Did not sting my eyes.
  • Suitable for very sensitive skin.

The Con’s:

  • It left a white cast that didn’t fade at all therefore it would not be suitable for darker skin tones.

In conclusion both these sunscreens receive a thumbs up from me!

I hope you found this helpful and remember – live, laugh and wear sunscreen.

Bye for now

xxxF

Disclaimer: I am not a skincare specialist. Information, recommendation & advice are based on my own personal experiences and research. Consult your dermatologist or doctor for professional advice.

A Bit of Talcum May Not Always be Welcome!

A month ago, I did a blog on the uses of baby powder. Imagine my alarm when my daughter, the one pictured in that post, pointed out the presumed link between talcum powder and cancer. Of course, I initially questioned this claim because I grew up with Johnson’s Baby Powder and it has always been a constant in many homes around the world, including my own. Nonetheless, I decided to do more research on this topic. In all honesty, even after reading tons of articles over the last few weeks, I think I’m still sitting on the fence regarding this issue. However, I feel it is my duty to inform my followers about this controversy.

In the past five weeks I’ve browsed the internet in the hope that this speculation could be false, but many articles emerged which casted doubt about the use of Johnson’s Baby Powder. In 1894, Johnson & Johnson introduced baby powder made of crushed talc. Talc is a mineral that can be found with asbestos in the earth and most of us are aware that exposure to asbestos over long periods can cause cancer. This raised concerns that Johnson & Johnson’s talc products are contaminated with toxic asbestos.

In fact, Johnson & Johnson has over 20 000 pending legal cases of where consumers have sued them, blaming that Johnson & Johnson talc-based baby powder caused their cancer. Of course, Johnson & Johnson disputes these accusations but what concerns me is that in May 2020 the company announced the discontinuation of their talc-based baby powder in the United States and Canada. Although the company attributed the decline to changes in consumer habits, this makes me question the accusations against them. In fact, in a recent article by Bloomberg, it was reported that Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $100 million to resolve over 1,000 lawsuits.

There are so many articles on this topic but below are links to a few which may or may not be helpful for you, the consumer, to decide whether you would continue the use of this product.

↓ Link to Bloomberg article.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-05/j-j-to-pay-more-than-100-million-to-end-over-1-000-talc-suits

↓ Johnson & Johnson announcing the discontinuation of their product in North America.

https://www.jnj.com/our-company/johnson-johnson-consumer-health-announces-discontinuation-of-talc-based-johnsons-baby-powder-in-u-s-and-canada

↓ Investigative report done by Reuters in 2018.

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer/

↓ Research article on PubMed – The Politics of Measurement of Asbestos in Talc, 1971-1976.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31095409/

↓ Articles by Oregon State University – When is Asbestos Dangerous.

https://ehs.oregonstate.edu/asb-when

The Prophet Muhammed (Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him) said: “Leave what makes you doubt for what does not make you doubt”. If indeed this has cast some doubt then using corn starch-based baby powder is a great alternative to talc and readily available in many retail outlets and drug stores.

I hope you found this helpful and remember – better a little caution, than a great regret!

Bye for now

xxxF

Disclaimer: I am not a skincare specialist.  Information, recommendation & advice are based on my own personal experiences and research.  Consult your dermatologist or doctor for professional advice.

I Like My Products Like I Like My People – Non-Toxic!

Suffering with dry, irritated and itchy skin is the most unpleasant feeling and whilst we have emerged from winter, many of our skins are still recovering, especially those suffering from skin conditions like eczema. Today I will share three fragrance-free moisturisers which contains Avena Sativa (Colloidal Oatmeal) and will not break the bank.

Avena Sativa is Latin for “oats”. This natural ingredient is readily found in everything from haircare to hand cream and is exceptional when it comes to nourishing dry, irritated and itchy skin. Avena Sativa is a gentle, natural product which is well-tolerated and has been found to be safe for usage on all skin types. Allergic reactions are rare, that said, if you have a known oat allergy you should not use colloidal oatmeal. Anyone who suffers from dry, itchy skin and particularly those who struggle with eczema, xerosis or skin irritations caused by radiation treatments for cancer, will find Avena Sativa particularly beneficial.

Oats are a centuries-old topical treatment for a variety of skin conditions. Colloidal oatmeal is made by grinding oat grain into a fine powder. It’s an emollient (a substance that softens or soothes the skin) and contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that benefit your skin. Colloidal oatmeal creates a barrier on the skin to protect it against irritants. There are many products that fight the inflammation of dry and sensitive skin but not many can relieve the accompanying itch, therefore a product containing colloidal oatmeal is a lifesaver for soothing itchy skin. 

#1 Vaseline Atopi Rescue Body Lotion with Colloidal Oatmeal

This lotion is specially formulated to treat eczema-prone skin. It is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and the formula contains Barrier Restore Complex and colloidal oatmeal which delivers immediate relief and intense, lasting moisturisation. The Barrier Restore Complex combines Vaseline® jelly, glycerin, and pro-lipids to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier and the colloidal oatmeal calms eczema-prone skin. It is available in a 400ml tub and tube, costs under R60 and is accessible at most drug and retail stores.

#2 Mixa Soothing Body Lotion with Oat Milk

This lotion is enriched with oat milk, is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, lightweight and easily absorbs into the skin, immediately leaving the skin feeling nourished and soothed. It is available in a 100ml, 200ml and 400ml pump bottle with the biggest size costing under R60 and is readily available at most drug and retail stores.

#3 Dis-Chem Daily Moisturising Lotion with Colloidal Oatmeal

This lotion quickly relieves dry, itchy skin and provides long-lasting protective hydration. It is non-greasy, fragrance-free and the formula absorbs quickly into your skin without clogging pores. It leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth and healthy looking. It is available in a 227ml tube and 532ml pump bottle with the biggest size costing under R50 and is exclusive to Dis-Chem.

I hope you found this helpful and remember – your skin is your best accessory, take good care of it!

Bye for now

xxxF

Disclaimer: I am not a skincare specialist.  Information, recommendation & advice are based on my own personal experiences and research.  Consult your dermatologist or doctor for professional advice.

Begin and End Your Day With a Clean Slate

I have been a fan of micellar water for a number of years and have tested out a variety of brands. I am happy to share my top 3 drug store favourites with you, all under R100.

Micellar water is formulated to gently lift away make-up, dirt & oil.  It is made from tiny molecules called micelles (tiny oil trapping balls) which are attracted to dirt and can strip away skin impurities. Micellar cleansing water leaves the skin’s natural oil barrier intact, and because the micelles are so small, they can’t be absorbed by our skin, so there is no risk of allergic reactions. No wonder it has earned its status as the ultimate facial cleanser.

Facial cleansing is a must and should be the first step in your skincare routine. It is essential because not only does it remove make-up, dirt & oil, it also aids in cell renewal and prepares the skin to absorb the necessary nutrients provided by other skincare products. If you are a minimalist then using micellar water will not only cleanse your face at night but it can work as a make-up remover, toner and moisturiser. Micellar water can be used in the morning and night and you don’t have to worry about rinsing your face afterwards.

Because I am a firm believer in a double-cleanse routine, I personally do not use micellar water on its own and will always apply my gel or milk cleanser afterwards. I’ve been rather torn between my number one and two choice but I’ve based my choices on my own personal needs.

#1 Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water

My number one pick is the Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water. This product is the best at removing make-up and sunscreen and it leaves the skin refreshed and toned. Irrespective of your skin type, I recommend that you use this specific one as the ingredients list is minimal so it won’t cause irritation. If you are looking for a product that provides additional benefits, this may not be for you as it is purely a great cleansing vehicle. This works for me as I’ve mentioned that I prefer to double-cleanse.

#2 Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water

My number two pick is the Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water. If I wasn’t a double-cleanse believer, then this would surely be my number one pick. This cleanser is a lazy girl’s dream come true. It is super hydrating, gentle enough for all skin types and does not leave a residue. It has the most impressive ingredients list and the formula contains multi-vitamins and triple purified water to hydrate skin and reduce irritation. This is an all-in-one cleanser, toner and moisturiser and is ideal for when you’re travelling and don’t want to bother with a second cleanse. So, if you’re a busy mom who doesn’t have time for a lengthy skin care routine or have teenagers who are acne prone or simply just too lazy to wash their face, then this should be your go-to product.

#3 Nivea Perfect & Radiant 3-in-1 Cleansing Water

My number three pick is the Nivea Perfect & Radiant 3-in-1 Cleansing Water. Although this is touted to even the skin tone, I personally did not find that it provided that benefit after use. It is slightly weaker than the other two at removing waterproof make-up, but it does a good enough job. Like the Simple Cleanser, it also contains Vitamin E and B, so it definitely makes your skin feel moisturised and hydrated. You won’t go wrong by choosing this if you’re not into the double-cleanse method. If you are, then you’re simply just going to wash away the ingredients in this product.

I hope you found this helpful and remember – Be kind to your skin, it’s got you covered!

Bye for now

xxxF

Disclaimer: I am not a skincare specialist.  Information, recommendations & advice are based on my own personal experiences and research.  Consult your dermatologist or doctor for professional advice.

A Shower Gel So Good, It Brightens Up My Mood

As well as sensitive skin, I also have a very sensitive nose and whilst I love perfume, I find aggressive fragrances can irritate my skin and induce headaches and queasiness. I regularly wear perfume and want to make sure that my fragrance doesn’t clash with the scent from my shower gel or body wash. Many body washes include added fragrances that irritate my skin and cause itchiness, hives or redness. For me, the best way to avoid these symptoms is to make sure I use a body wash which has no added scents.

It is nearly impossible to find an affordable, fragrance-free body wash in a drug store aisle as most body washes are filled with overly masculine or feminine scents. I’ve been scouring stores for fragrance-free body washes for ages and the Sanex Zero % Sensitive Skin Shower Gel is definitely one of my favourites. I no longer have to put up with “Summer Rain” or “Spring Breeze”. This shower gel contains no colourants or soap. Furthermore, the brand denotes that their fragrance-free formula guarantees no fragrance allergens, is biodegradable and respects sensitive skin and the environment. This is evident in the product’s ingredient list and having used this product for a while, I can attest to it not causing skin irritation.

Sanex Zero%

This product contains minimal ingredients but manages to both moisturise and exfoliate my skin at the same time. At the top of the ingredients list is Glycerin, which is a powerful moisturiser and is great for dry skin. It also contains Lactic Acid, which works as a moisturiser, exfoliant, buffering agent and anti-aging ingredient. If you’re wondering what a buffering agent is – this is a helper ingredient that sets the pH of a cosmetic formula to the correct value and therefore does not change the pH of your skin. The last important ingredient is Caprylyl Glycol which is a handy multi-tasking ingredient that gives the skin a soft feel. So now you know why this is one of my favourite body washes! All I’m waiting for now is for the line to release a fragrance-free shower cream, fingers crossed this happens soon.

Fragrance-free body washes are also great for people who simply don’t like added scents. If you’re sensitive to fragrance you shouldn’t have to compromise on having a great body wash. Even though it may feel like the world is filled with floral-friendly body washes, the Sanex Zero % Sensitive Skin Shower Gel is a great unscented body wash that will clean, moisturize, and be gentle on your skin. Even if you have normal skin and are not averse to fragrance, fragrance-free body washes can be a great benefit to you, so why not try it out? This product is affordable, retailing at around R75 for a 750ml and can be found at most drug and grocery stores.

I hope you found this helpful and remember to nurture the skin you’re in!

Bye for now

xxxF

Disclaimer: I am not a skincare specialist.  Information, recommendation & advice are based on my own personal experiences and research.  Consult your dermatologist or doctor for professional advice.

Friday Night Plans – Getting Sheet Faced!

If like me, you’re into skincare, you will be well aware that everybody and their mom have been posting sheet-mask-selfies. Legend has it that Geishas were the first women to use sheet masks. They would gather the scraps of leftover silk from making kimono gowns, soak the silk in flower water and rest them on their faces as part of their skin care routine. These days, sheet masking has exploded and become a staple of any Korean skin care routine (and by now you know I love all things Korean). There is a sheet mask targeted at every skin type and skin condition, they range in price but you definitely do not need to spend a lot of money to jump on this trend.

HolikaHolika Sheet Masks

What is a Sheet Mask?

A sheet mask is a packaged piece of face-shaped fabric that’s doused in a serum-based formula which is then placed on the face. Sheet masks have a higher concentration of actives than topical products and depending on the material, the sheet can help deliver products deeper into the skin. These liquid-based formulas come in many variations that claim different results, such as lifting, preventing acne, hiding fine lines etc., but according to many dermatologists and skincare specialists you should primarily count on them for hydration. When you put a mask on your skin, you can increase the water content because the paper in the mask seals the ingredients in to prevent them from evaporating, hence allowing them to better penetrate the skin. If you are still of the opinion that sheet masks can target specific skin care issues then by all means go ahead. Just ask yourself,  “What does my skin need now?”, then choose a sheet mask that has ingredients which will address that issue. Most people like to use sheet masks at night, but it does not matter when you choose to use them, as long as it’s convenient for you. 

How Do I Prep My Skin Before Using a Sheet Mask?

Cleansing is the first step to receiving all of the sheet mask benefits. This gets rid of all the dirt and impurities on the skin so that it’s ready to soak in the vitamins and other ingredients.  I lather with my face wash, use lukewarm water to rinse and then gently pat my skin dry with a soft towel.

After cleansing, I apply my toner to prepare my pores for my sheet mask. I like to think of my toner as the clear base coat I put on my nails before I paint on the polish. Toner balances my skin’s pH level and helps to open my pores. This way, my skin is prepared to receive the big boost of nutrients the sheet mask will provide. Some people prefer to use a cotton pad to apply their toner, but I just like to put a few drops on my bare hands and pat it on.

How do I Use a Sheet Mask?

Upon opening up the sheet mask packaging, there is usually a white or opaque liquid dripping from the sheet mask which is the serum that the sheet mask is soaked in. Serums provide the skin with moisture, vitamins, and sometimes other helpful nutrients like hyaluronic acid. The serums are where the sheet mask benefits come from.

When I put my sheet mask on, I start at my forehead and slowly work my way down my face. I carefully place the holes over my eyes, then lay the mask on my face, over my mouth, and down to my chin.

If there are any bumps or wrinkles in the sheet mask, I smooth them out as much as possible, using an outward motion. As I’ve mentioned before, the number one sheet mask benefit is hydration.  My skin receives a big boost of moisture and this helps to make my skin look healthy and radiant.

I always remove my sheet mask while it’s still moist. Always follow the package guidelines which is usually around 15 – 20 minutes as an ideal length of time to leave the mask on. You may assume that the longer you leave a sheet mask on, the greater the sheet mask benefits are, but this isn’t true. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. If you let it dry out and crack on your face, you are actually damaging your skin and allowing moisture evaporation.

What Do I do After Removing a Sheet Mask?

If there is excess serum on my face after removing a sheet mask, I gently pat it into my skin. Once I’ve patted in all the extra serum, it’s time to apply my moisturiser to keep all the nutrients and hydration locked into my skin. Many people wash their face after removing a sheet mask. By doing this you are removing all the benefits of the serum that the sheet mask provides.

You can use sheet masks as often as you’d like, the only limitations to how often you use them would be time and money. I always watch my budget and personally consider sheet masks as an added bonus to my skincare routine. I get lazy and sometimes find it bothersome to use, so I only use a one once a week, sometimes even less. Some Korean women use a sheet mask every night to keep their complexion even and smooth. If you have acne or extremely sensitive skin you may irritate your skin if you sheet mask too often. My motto would be to do everything in moderation.

I hope you found this helpful and remember – Get your Sheet Together!

Bye for now

xxxF

Disclaimer: I am not a skincare specialist.  Information, recommendation & advice are based on my own personal experiences and research.  Consult your dermatologist or doctor for professional advice.