Great Mineral Oil Free Product For Angry, Reactive Dry Skin

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 104888033
Copyright : magone

 

I had spent the last two months of 2020 searching high and low for a natural, rich, mineral-free cream which I could use on my very parched, eczema-tortured skin which developed as a result of an overly aggressive CO2 laser treatment, a 2 month reaction to mineral oil, and the cold, dry winter air. After searching high and low in an effort to find a solution, I stumbled upon a product which fit the bill: Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty. From the very first application, I got INSTANT relief, and my skin drank this stuff up. I slathered it all over my neck, chest, shoulders, and forehead, and all the itchiness went away almost instantly. Ahhhhhh…

While the cream is extremely thick, almost like frosting, it absorbs quickly and beautifully, and hydrates like a dream. Another thing I appreciate is the fact that this product is fragrance free, and that there is just a nice, clean, very faint neutral scent from the ingredients themselves.

Though I suspect that I will go through the 8.8 ounce tub pretty quickly in an effort to finally heal my angry skin (my entire upper body is suffering), I think it is well worth it, especially since so few creams out there are mineral oil free, and also since this, along with only two other products I have tried (Skyn Iceland Arctic Repair Cream, and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm), have the ability to calm my reactive skin to a point where I don’t feel like I have a million ants crawling all over me.

I will most definitely purchase this cream again. And again. This may be a new holy grail of moisturizers for me!

One Theory Complete Collection Skincare Line

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  I was provided with free product in exchange for my unbiased review.

Every once in a while, I encounter a skincare line which impresses me so much that I want to praise it from a mountaintop.  This is definitely the case with One Theory Complete Collection, which I recently got a chance to use and review.  You can see in the YouTube video review which I have shared at the top of this post that, though I am not standing on a mountaintop, I am definitely a fan of this skincare line, which is paraben-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin like mine.

The Complete Collection includes the following products:

Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum | 1 fl oz
Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum | 1 fl oz
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum | 1 fl oz
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer | 1.7 oz

 

One Theory recommends using the following products in sequence for your morning ritual after cleansing and toning your skin:

Morning Glow Routine:

Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer

 

In the evening, you will use the following products in sequence:

Night Flow Routine:

Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum
HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum
La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer

One Theory Complete Collection

 

Morning Beat™ Vitamin C Serum:

Probably my favorite aspect of this serum is the fact that it features the more stable magnesium ascorbyl phosphate molecule as its Vitamin C antioxidant.  This particular form has both hydrating and calming properties, making it ideal for all skin types.  Vitamin C is terrific for combating environmental skin stressors, and it brightens skin beautifully.  When I apply this onto my skin, I get wonderful hydration, great absorption, and a glowy tone.

 

Millionaire Sugar™ Retinol Serum:

Though I am not the biggest fan of retinol (I just don’t like walking around with flaking skin), I do honor its ability to increase cell turnover and refine the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Millionaire Sugar™ features a slow release, active 1% microencapsulated form of Retin-A which prevents the retinol from breaking down before it penetrates your skin.  The result is improved skin texture and improved skin renewal.

Imagine my surprise when I developed absolutely NO flakiness or peeling from this product.  My skin was already more radiant after using this product for a few nights.  I am in love with this retinol product, and look forward to rejuvenating my skin each night as I sleep with this wonderful serum on my face.

 

HydraMatrix Amino Tea™ Peptide Serum:

This product boasts a collagen-boosting peptide known as Matrixyl 3000® which is phenomenal for the area around my mouth and eyes, because it just smooths out fine lines and rough skin patches (which I developed from a fractional laser procedure in November of last year). The addition of cucumber and green tea make this gel incredibly soothing, something my skin really appreciates.  It’s incredible how this serum seems to normalize skin, balancing out redness, dry spots, and oily spots (yes, I still have some oiliness in my T-zone even though I am over the half-century mark).

 

La Rituelle™ Kojic Acid & Green Tea Replenishing Moisturizer:

Whenever I find a great moisturizer, I get almost giddy with excitement, because they honestly are difficult to find.  From the first time I ever used La Rituelle™, I was completely hooked.  It nourishes my parched skin without sending it into an oily mess, absorbs completely, and imparts such a smooth, amazing finish to my skin that I often don’t bother using finishing powder (I don’t use foundation, just finishing powder to combat shine).

La Rituelle™ provides a gentle barrier to moisture loss and works beautifully with all three facial serums in the One Theory line. Kojic acid, Willow Bark extract, Green Tea, and Ginseng are combined with a bit of glycolic acid in a Hyaluronic Acid base to create a magical moisturizer which has become a personal favorite.

 

I never recommend products which I do not personally use, so when I say that I am over the moon with the One Theory skincare line, I truly mean it. My skin is luminous, hydrated, and happy with all four products in the One Theory line.  I am also so excited to try their cleanser and toner when they become available, because I have no doubt that they will be outstanding!

To order the One Theory Complete Collection, just click on the link below:

https://www.onetheoryusa.com/collections/all

Mineral Oil Sensitivity

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 33900955
Copyright : thodonal

 

Ever since I was a baby, I have had wicked reactions to mineral oil, and consequently have avoided it for the bulk of my life.  My poor mother was unable to apply Johnson’s Baby Oil on me, and had to find other options to moisturize my skin.

Whenever mineral oil is placed on any part of my skin, I experience intense itching within a couple of minutes which starts at the point of contact with the oil, then about a minute or so after that, I develop a fine, sandpaper-like, incredibly itchy rash over my entire body.  I must immediately wash off the oil, then take an antihistamine.  The rash takes hours to subside.

In case you think I am making this up, I have gone for massages and hadn’t paid attention to what oil or cream the therapist was using.  There have been numerous incidents in which I reacted to an oil in the manner I just described above, and upon querying the therapist, discovered without fail that they had applied baby oil, i.e. mineral oil, to my skin.

Strangely, I have never had a pronounced reaction to any other mineral oil based products such as petrolatum, paraffin oil, or paraffin wax, so I have kept items like Vaseline and Aquaphor on hand, and I have never concerned myself with small amounts of mineral oil in body lotions.  However, I have never been comfortable with the fact that mineral oil is ubiquitous, used in everything from lotions, to cold creams, ointments, cosmetics, and personal care products.  Mineral oil is very inexpensive, and helps to lock in moisture, making it desirable for use in skin products.

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 81118389
Copyright : Dmitry Pichugin

But let’s think about where mineral oil comes from.  When crude oil is refined to make gasoline and other petroleum products, such as diesel fuel, jet fuel, asphalt, lubricating oils, and biofuels, mineral oil is one of the by-products which is used in household and personal care products.  I know that there are purifying methods used to guarantee that the substances used in personal care products aren’t toxic, but I am a bit bothered by the usage of crude oil distillates and by-products in this way, and would prefer to avoid them.

The reason why I bring all this up is because I had the worst reaction ever to a post-laser treatment cream which I was instructed to use immediately following a fractional CO2 laser treatment which took place in mid-November of 2020.  I hadn’t used the cream much during the first 36 hours following the procedure, but began using it 5-6 times a day from the 36 hour point on.  Within a couple of hours, I began noticing an incredibly itchy, fine, sandpaper-like rash which appeared on both arms, my chest, belly, hips, neck, and shoulders.  I kept using the cream, and the rash became angrier, and completely robbed me of sleep for the next 2 nights before I decided that I had better check the ingredients on the post treatment cream.  Of course the second ingredient listed was mineral oil.

Hence began my quest to find a rich, emollient cream which would soothe my laser torched skin without exposing me to petroleum products.  I couldn’t use Aquaphor because it had petrolatum, so I turned to a shea butter cream I had…which also had mineral oil.  I broke out horribly.  My next idea was to use cocoa butter cream, but that also had mineral oil in it, so the rash persisted.  In desperation, I turned to raw mango butter, but I discovered that my skin wasn’t fond of that substance either.

It has been nearly impossible to find rich, emollient creams which are free of mineral oil.  I have been on the hunt since November, and have looked everywhere.  I know there are others who have sensitive, reactive skin, and I had even focused my search on treatments for eczema and psoriasis.  What shocks me is that the majority of products for those conditions have…mineral oil.  It’s enough to drive one mad.

It has now been over SEVEN weeks since I had the laser procedure, and since that time, I have been on oral antihistamines, gave myself two hydrocortisone injections, and used everything imaginable to try to get my skin not only to calm down, but to also offer hydration.  Incidentally, my skin is so leathery and parched, that I must apply emollient creams every hour to replenish moisture, and I am STILL battling a constant rash and hives all over my upper body.  The combination of the fractional CO2 laser and the mineral oil cream have essentially ruined my skin.

For anyone who even dares to argue that mineral oil sensitivity is not a thing, I challenge you.  Honestly, I’ve lived with this condition for my entire life, and I am extremely irritated by the fact that dermatologists foolishly avoid the subject, as if it was some forbidden topic.  An article by Lisa Mai Møller Jensen is particularly irksome, because she claims that “medicinal white oils have no sensitization potential in human skin, which means they do not trigger allergies.”  I’d like Ms. Jensen to explain why I have had horrible and immediate reactions to baby oil as a baby and as an adult, and why I developed the SAME rash last November after exposure to mineral oil. 

Hopefully there is a light at the end of this skin rash tunnel.  There are three emollient creams which I have ordered which are free of mineral oil and other petroleum substances, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of them will give me blessed relief.

Scent Beauty Has Incredible Fragrances!

 

I’ve been working with Scent Beauty as one of their brand ambassadors for several months now, and I absolutely love the fragrances they sell.  So far, I have seven scents from their line:

  • Intention, Transcend, and Balance from the Phluid Project
  • Rise and Shine, I Am Bright, and So Serene from Scent Organix
  • Cher – Fragrance Foundation’s 2020 Awards Winner

Here are links to the fragrances I just mentioned:

https://scentbeauty.com/collections/house-brands

https://scentbeauty.com/products/cher-eau-de-couture

 

So you may be asking, do I actually use any of these fragrances?  The answer is a resounding YES.

Intention by The Phluid Project

 

Intention from the Phluid Project is the perfect blend of spicy, floral and sweet, with the following scent profile:

SCENT PROFILE
Pink Pepper, Rosebud

TOP

Cherry, Saffron

HEART

Tonka Bean, Cedarwood
BASE
Intention has only a hint of sweetness which comes from the cherry, but is well balanced with the other tones.  I love this fragrance and wear it often.
—-
I also love the dual phase feature of all three fragrances in the Phluid Collection.  They are just gorgeous!  All you do when you need to use a Phluid Collection fragrance is to shake the bottle to mix the phases, then spray onto your skin!

Transcend by The Phluid Project

Then there’s Transcend, which is mildly reminiscent of Prada Candy, but is a much softer expression, a tropical beach with hints of fruit and sea salt and sultry warm notes like vanilla.  It is my current favorite!
SCENT PROFILE
Dragonfruit, Pineapple Leaf

TOP

Tiare Flower, Sea Salt

HEART

Palo Santo, Vanilla Orchid

BASE


Balance by The Phluid Project

In stark contrast, Balance is a very clean, crisp fragrance, and one which to me is a men’s fragrance, despite Scent Beauty’s claim that all of its scents are unisex. Here are the notes:
SCENT PROFILE
Cardamom, Iced Grapefruit
TOP
Black Tea, Clary Sage

HEART

Vetiver, Atlas Cedar

BASE


Rise and Shine by Scent Organix

Rise and Shine from Scent Organix is a beautiful, light, clean fragrance which just makes me happy when I smell it. Here is the scent profile for Rise and Shine:

SCENT PROFILE
Tangerine, Lemon Spritz

TOP

Hibiscus

HEART

Peach Blossoms, Orange Zest

BASE


I Am Bright by Scent Organix

I Am Bright from Scent Organix, while also light and fresh, has more of that tropical citrus vibe.  This is more fruit-forward than Rise and Shine, but not in an overt fashion.  I love it as well!

SCENT PROFILE
Juicy Pineapple, Salted Coconut

TOP

Tiare Flower

HEART

Orange Flower, Lemon

BASE


So Serene by Scent Organix

Then there is So Serene, which I love to wear when I go into the office.  It is very subtle, and no note overpowers any other.  It imparts a relaxing vibe which keeps me at an even keel.
SCENT PROFILE
Mandarin, Violet Leaves

TOP

Wild Freesia

HEART

Green Tea, Lime

BASE


Cher Eau De Couture_Icon

The last scent I have in my Scent Beauty collection is Cher Eau de Couture, which is a very intense, smoky, deep and complex fragrance.  It’s as commanding as Cher is!  It just declares itself, as a sultry, clove-dominant scent. I do love it, but I don’t think I would ever dare wear it during the day.  This is something I can imagine someone of either gender wearing on a steamy date night!
SCENT PROFILE
Bergamot, Clove, Neroli

TOP

Jasmine, Rose, Orange Flower

HEART

Vetiver, Sandalwood, Vanilla Orchid

BASE

 

To order any of these amazing fragrances, please use the following link so that Scent Beauty knows that I referred you:

 

The Bush Is Back In Style, Ladies…

source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 99058606
Copyright : Vladimir Gjorgiev

If you’ve spent many years battling the crop of hair which continues to grow in your nether regions, I have some good news for you. The bush is officially back in style, so much so that celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow are rocking their pubes like it’s 1971. Now you can be free of stubble, razor nicks, the pain of having a wax infused muslin strip ripped away from your groin, and the piercing pain of laser pulses deranging your hair follicles.

Of course, if you have had any treatments to impede hair growth (laser, IPL, or waxing), it may be challenging to get the lawn to grow in fully. A hair transplant clinic in London has actually answered that lament by offering pubic hair restoration for women who have had it removed by laser. Apparently this service is increasing in popularity too.

This also may be good news for men who prefer a lush, full pubic bush framing the garden in which they enjoy frolicking. I wonder if this somehow follows on the heels of the lumber-sexual beard trend which some men chose to adopt in recent years? In true hippie, or as the trendy term goes, bohemian, style, I guess we are all reverting to a freer time. It’s time to back away from laser hair treatments, waxing, plucking, and shaving, in favor of a return to what Mother Nature intended us to sport under our skivvies.

Moreover, there are numerous benefits to allowing pubic hair to return to its original, uncropped and untortured state, which are listed in this article:

https://www.bolde.com/full-bush-trendy-relieved/

source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 116442280s
Copyright : Olena Kachmar

Have patience while you let your magic carpet grow in. And once your muff mop returns to its unrestricted state, you can even improve it with products like Fur Oil, which is specially designed to condition its thicker texture. A UK-based company named Two L(i)ps sells a charcoal infused vulva mask which apparently “detoxifies” your vajajay, and works just as well if your kitty is as bald as a baby bird or if it rocks a shaggy mane. I simply must share some of the musings of Imogen Edwards-Jones who wrote a hilarious article for Get The Gloss in which she reviews this bizarre product:

“…I am not a woman who gives her wazoo much thought. I do rudimentary minge management. I wax and clip and occasionally when I’ve been a little too busy, I’ve posted the straggling escapees back under my bikini while relaxing by the pool. But basically my vagina and I, we get by.”

Here are her initial impressions of the mask:
“…Initially, it made me desperate for the loo. It was like wearing a cold, wet, swimming costume, unpleasant enough to trigger a virulent episode of cystitis. Then after about five minutes, it warmed up. Somehow that was worse. Perhaps I had peed myself unawares?”

The company recommends that you apply a mask every day for 5 consecutive days, which comes to a whopping $120. Now, I honor and appreciate my goodie parts, but I certainly am not about to fork out over 100 clams (pun intended) to see how this product might yield a brighter, toxin free cootch.

Whichever you direction you ladies decide to go in, shaved clean, cropped, or a mop, rock it the way you know best!

Vajazzling

source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 113005851
Copyright : Irina Timokhina

When I was researching the topics which comprised my two previous blog posts, I ran across vajazzling, a ridiculous trend which somehow caught on with women about ten years ago. Wikipedia defines vajazzling as:

“A vajazzle (also spelled vagazzle) is a form of genital decoration, formed by the application of crystal ornaments on the shaved mons pubis of a woman. The process is known as vajazzling, a portmanteau of “vagina” and “bedazzle”.”

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 82512498
Copyright : Marina Foteeva

I suppose vajazzling is better than genital tattoos or genital piercing, since it is painless and temporary, but I honestly don’t understand the appeal of affixing crystals onto your hoo-ha. Vajazzling art lasts anywhere between several days to 3 weeks, but you have to be careful about wearing tight clothing, because the fabric will cause all the baubles to rub off. You can expect to pay anywhere between $24 to $300 for an aesthetician to create a small masterpiece on your mound of Venus.

Here are a couple of videos which discuss vajazzling:

The adhesive which is used is medical grade, so the gems tend to stay in place quite well, even while swimming. But vajazzlers want women to be aware that frequent bathing may cause the stones to loosen more rapidly. My guess is that if regular bathing is discouraged to an extent, those private areas would need the extra ornamentation in order to lure their partners!

Take Care of Your Girlie Parts

source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 116442285
Copyright : Olena Kachmar

As a follow-up to one of my more bizarre blog posts which dropped last week, I’m posting information on a couple of skin care products for a woman’s private parts. Though I have been involved in cosmetic dermatology for over 16 years, such products are honestly a surprise to me, and I wonder how gimmicky they are. I am of the strong opinion that ladies needn’t trouble themselves with detoxifying and pH-balancing an area which does a pretty good job of balancing things out on its own. I also can’t see why anyone in their right minds would be willing to blow $20 a pop on the Blackout Mask. The design of Janna’s Intimate Mask seems much more appealing, and has a more reasonable price point (about $6.50 USD), but of course it is only available in specific countries in Europe.

One use which makes complete sense to me is after IPL or laser hair reduction treatment, or waxing, since the masks would probably do an excellent job of soothing the skin post-treatment.

Here are the products:

https://www.jannauk.co.uk/product-page/intimate-mask-ph-balancing-skin-essence

Intimate Mask + pH Balancing Skin Essence
Janna’s Intimate Mask is our first anytime wearable mask that gently cares for your intimate skin. Each mask comes individually packaged with our delicately formulated essence made from natural, organic and skin loving ingredients to give you that fresh all day feeling.

Blackout (Activated Charcoal Vulva Mask)

BLACKOUT (ACTIVATED CHARCOAL VULVA MASK)
$28.00 SGD
The world’s first vulva mask. Blackout’s 4-step process soothes, detoxifies, brightens and moisturises the vulva with the help of infrared activated charcoal to boost lymphatic drainage to rejuvenate the skin.

Made with organic ingredients without sulphates, parabens or petrochemicals. Gynaecologically and dermatologically tested.

Now ordinarily I would be willing to serve as a guinea pig for any skincare products, but I’m not sure how I feel about sacrificing my goodie bits for the sake of dermatological scientific query. I’m very curious to know what the gals across the ocean think of such products?

Rapunzels Are In Vogue

source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 81849095
Copyright : subbotina

Super long hair is in fashion these days, so much so that ladies who are unable to grow their hair as long as they want have been sporting extensions to produce the desired long locks. It’s been interesting hearing people comment on my hair, which I had decided to grow out again, because people who haven’t known me for long think it’s a new thing. Well, it’s not. I have always sported extremely long hair past my waist since I was a young child, and at one point in my 20’s, my hair was so long that not only would I sit on the ends, but other people sitting next to me would accidentally pin me down, and I would have to ask them to release my hair.

The longest my hair ever got was in 1991…

I know it sounds strange, but to me, my hair at this point almost seems short,compared to that time in the early 90’s when my hair was at its longest. Here’s where my hair was length-wise in June, and then in August of this year:

My hair in June 2019

By August 2019, my hair was this long, and this was even after a trim!

I still look at images of women with crazy long hair (past the gluteal fold), and find some appeal in it, but I honestly don’t know if it would drive me nuts to carry around such a long span of keratin everywhere. Let’s face it, long hair gets in the way, it’s heavy, it makes the nape of the neck hot during the summer, and caring for long hair requires some extra effort to keep it looking its healthiest. I’m not even sure my hair would reach the same length where I had it in 1991, but I suspect I’d get so sick and tired of the maintenance that I would opt for a shorter, more manageable length.

source 123rf.com
Image ID : 96202263
Copyright : Sergii Vorobiov

I will say that women with very long hair do stand out. Long hair is special, it’s beautiful, and not everyone can rock a Rapunzel-length mane. I think anyone with beautiful, healthy hair who wants to grow it out should do it, even if they later decide that sporting a scarf of hair isn’t for them.

source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 90512289
Copyright : YAUHENI HASTSIUKHIN

There is also a fair amount of versatility with long hair. It can be coiled into an elegant updo, crafted into a half-up, half-down hairstyle which is fashionable and pretty, swept up into a ponytail, braided, or left loose and free. In addition, long hair makes a handy shawl or scarf if one is caught in brisk weather without a sweater or coat. Believe me, I have used my hair as insulation from cold air many times over the years!

source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 84565803
Copyright : victoriash

Lastly, there is something so romantic about very long hair. Women with uber long hair aren’t afraid to express themselves as women. A sharp contrast to pixie hair styles, long hair evokes tremendous femininity. What’s strange, though, is how oppressed the literary character Rapunzel was. She was held captive by a witch in a tower, and her only hope of escape was to find a rescuer who would have to climb up her incredibly long hair to rescue her. Eventually Rapunzel cuts her hair, which apparently symbolizes cutting ties with a maternal figure. Wow, heavy stuff.

I suspect that I will sport extremely long hair, at least waist-length, for as long as I live. I’ve spent the majority of my life with long hair as part of my signature style, and I don’t plan to change that style by chopping my strands.