#8 Things You Should Not Be Putting On Your Face + Why

Hi there! First off, happy new year to all of you! Let’s hope for 2021 to be much and much better than the rough year we left behind, filled with lots of happiness, love, laughter and perhaps the most important one of all, good health.

Let’s get straight to the point, because this post is a must-read for pretty much everyone who likes an occasional DIY face mask or natural remedies for skin issues.

By now we all know skincare is incredibly important and not to be underestimated. Young and old, men and women, almost everyone has started taking (better) care of their delicate skin; which creates the perfect opportunity for brands to develop their own skincare line. In a world where status and reputation matters more than ever, people are willing to spend crazy money on skincare that might not be as effective or healthy for your skin as it claims to be. Your skin is the one thing that will stay with you your entire life, so you really do want to treat it as delicately and carefully as a newborn baby.

Not everyone can afford or wants to spend lots of money on skincare products which is totally understandable, most of the time you’re paying for the brand anyways. This is why people start looking at other options: DIY skincare. Homemade face masks, lip balms, moisturizers, etc. It’s easy to believe that these actually work since you’re making it yourself, and you know exactly what you put in it. You’re most likely only using natural ingredients, so what’s the harm? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

There is quite a list of ingredients influencers claim can do wonders for your skin, but in reality they can do more harm than good. Take a look at the list below and the reasons why you should think twice before you apply them to your face.

Disclaimer: I am no dermatologist, skincare specialist, or esthetician. For serious skincare issues, doubts or worries, you definitely want to consult a professional or see a doctor.

1. Lemon (juice)

For many people, lemon juice is considered a holy grail for quickly drying out pimples or to lighten / brighten (acne) scars. It is believed that it works when you feel it burning, but in fact the exact opposite is happening. If you’re putting something, anything, on your skin and it starts burning right away, this means you applied it to an open wound (no matter how minor) or the product is so acidic it’s breaking through your skin barrier. Either way, the burn and tingling sensation you’re feeling do not mean it’s working, it means you’re permanently damaging your skin. Even when it doesn’t burn, lemon juice is a highly acidic liquid which harms the skin barriers and messes up its pH-level. This makes your skin even more sensitive to sun exposure, making you more prone to hyperpigmentation (chances are this is one of the reasons you wanted to put lemon juice on your face to begin with).

I hoped this helped you realize that there are so many side effects and consequences that outweigh the benefits of lemon juice, which will hopefully make you want to steer clear of putting lemon juice on your face. If, for some reason, you still want to apply lemon juice to (a part of) your face; consider watering it down with only 1/3 lemon juice. Want to read more about lemon juice and why you should not be putting it on your face? Check out this article from the True Skin Care Center.

Tip: Whether you have a damaged skin, are prone to hyperpigmentation or your skin is perfectly healthy: always wear your SPF! The lighter your skin tone or the more damaged or sensitive your skin (especially when you’re going through facial treatments such as chemical peels, lasering or microdermabrasion), the higher the SPF you should be putting on your face. Also keep in mind that SPF only works for 2-3 hours, make sure to re-apply, even in the winter or if you’re staying in all day! If you’re wearing makeup throughout the day, consider using a transparent SPF spray. Not sure which SPF spray will work for you? Take a look at this article from Health.com!

2. Toothpaste

Toothpaste is often used as a DIY ingredient to dry out pimples or remove blackheads. If you’ve used this method before, you probably noticed your pimple turning red after you removed the toothpaste. This redness is caused by its strong ingredients, and these strong ingredients can lead to burns and infections. Yes, in some cases toothpaste manages to make pimples disappear overnight but most of the time, it only makes it worse. This is why you might want to look for safer options to treat your acne, preferably something that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. A well-known acne remedy is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion which dries out the pimple, making it shrink faster (note: the drying lotion has to be applied multiple times and usually cannot miraculously make pimples disappear).

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda might be the most popular DIY ingredient for skincare right now. People are claiming it can dry out pimples, brighten the skin, lighten dark spots, smoothen skin texture, minimize pores, etc. Truthfully, I am not saying baking soda does not work for any of these issues because I’ve tried it in the past and it often worked great. But! Baking soda harms your skin’s pH-level and will most likely cause skin damage in the long term. When your skin’s pH-level is disturbed, it can cause breakouts which is exactly what you don’t want, right?

If, for some reason, you still want to apply baking soda to (a part of) your face; consider watering it down with only 1/3 baking soda.

Tip: A lot of the ingredients in this list can harm the skin because they disturb the skin’s pH-level, so what products are safe for your skin? These are often products developed by dermatologists, labeled non-comedogenic or labeled to be pH-neutral. If you want to be entirely sure, research the product’s ingredients and try to find out if any of the ingredients can affect the pH-level. Some types of products (such as exfoliators) are highly acidic and will therefore always disturb the skin’s pH-level, which is why it is often recommended to use another product before or afterwards to balance the pH-level. The popular science-based skincare brand The Ordinary is incredibly transparent about its ingredients and offers lots of information about their products’ pH-levels, it’s worth taking a look if you often use acid exfoliators, serums or chemical peels. Take a look at my review of The Ordinary’s most popular skincare products.

4. Coconut oil

Many people swear by oil-cleansing as it is believed that oils are more effective in removing waterproof makeup. Natural coconut oil does not contain very harmful or damaging ingredients, but you might still want to avoid it if you have an oily skin. Coconut oil takes time to get absorbed into the skin, and if you already have an oily skin the oils will clog your pores, eventually leading to breakouts.

Tip: When you have oily and/or acne-prone skin, it is tempting to start using harsh products filled with chemicals you might never have heard of, hoping to ‘fix your face’. But the thing is, the only thing that your skin will really benefit from is taking gentle care of it. I’m sure you heard of the expression “Less is More”, and that really is the case. You don’t need 3 cleansers, 4 serums, 2 exfoliators and a bunch of weird moisturizers. Pick skincare products you really need and make sure they’re mild and gentle for the skin.

5. Hair spray

Okay, so this one really shocked me, but apparently people are using hair spray as a setting spray for their makeup? Please, please don’t! Hair spray always contains alcohol (unless it is specifically labeled alcohol-free). The alcohol decreases the moisture level of your skin, leading to dry and dull skin, and long-term use of hair spray on your skin can lead to faster aging symptoms such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Tip: If you’re often wearing (lots of) makeup for long days, you should consider investing in a good setting spray to apply while and/or after applying your makeup. Believe me, it will be worth it. One of the best setting sprays right now, based on customer reviews? That would be Urban Decay’s All Nighter Long-Lasting makeup setting spray.

6. Hot water

Showering with (nearly boiling) hot water just feels good, I’ll admit it, I love it. However, our skin? Not a fan. Hot water can severely burn our skin, and you might not even notice it right away. When you wash your face or get out of the shower and your skin is all red, that’s a sign that your water might have been too hot. Lower the temperature to lukewarm to make sure you and your skin feel comfortable and you’re not causing any harm.

7. Essential oils

Essential oils have grown more and more popular over the years, people are using it in baths, on hair, on the body, in (facial) steamers, on pillowcases and even directly on the skin. But the thing, is essential oils have the potential to severely damage and irritate the skin. It is always recommended to avoid sensitive areas such as the eyes, ears and mouth but I would strongly advise you to avoid putting essential oils on your skin at all. Most of the time, it’s not really doing anything for your skin except giving off an extremely strong smell (which can never be good for the skin). Keep your essential oils in your bath, and avoid putting them directly on the skin.

8. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is considered an effective ingredient in DIY face or hair masks. And while it works like a miracle for your hair (try adding eggs to your mayonnaise hair mask, a guaranteed success!), your skin is not going to like it. Mayonnaise is highly acidic, which disturbs the skin’s pH-level and can clog your pores, both of which can lead to breakouts. Some ingredients in mayonnaise, such as egg yolk and soya, can also lead to allergic reactions. Keep putting mayonnaise in your hair and definitely keep dipping your fries in it, as long as you keep it far away from your delicate skin!

9. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegar is believed to dry out acne without leaving any scars, or even make old acne scars disappear. Technically, this is true. ACV contains acetic acid which could help with these issues.. But just like lemon juice, using pure ACV will only burn and irritate your skin. If you’d really like to use ACV, consider mixing it with water (1/2 water and 1/2 apple cider vinegar). 

Tip: Make sure your apple cider vinegar isn’t too old. As it grows old, the water leaves the vinegar which makes it stronger and ends up doing more harm than good for your skin.

10. (Electric) Cleansing Brush

Two to three years ago, electric cleansing brushes were a huge hype. Brands encouraged their customers to use the brush every morning and every day for “optimal results”. Later scientific studies showed that daily use for electric cleansing brushes actually disturbed the skin barrier resulting in (often invisible) damage. According to dermatologists, cleansing brushes are not necessary at all. A mild face wash and your fingertops are often enough to clean your face. Everyday usage of a cleansing brush can also damage your pores and lead to irritation such as acne flares and other skin problems. Try using your cleansing brush every 2 or 3 days to avoid damaging your skin.


I know this post contained a lot of information, some of which you maybe already knew and some things might have been entirely new for you. Eitherway, use this information well to take even better care of your precious skin.

A last tip: there are a number of skincare brands that are either developed or backed by dermatologists and labeled non-comedogenic (meaning they don’t contain ingredients that are known for causing breakouts or allergic reactions). If you want to keep your skincare routine as simple and mild as possible (recommended!), consider the following brands that are available in both the US, Asia and Europe: Cerave, Cetaphil, Murad, Neutrogena & La Roche-Posay.

Take care of your skin and yourself & stay safe!

#6 Labels to Look For on Your Next Skincare Products

*This post is not sponsored.

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well.

Today I want to talk to you about a major (and for some even essential) skincare topic that you might want to consider. As most of you might know, I am obsessed with trying out new skincare products, from high-end moisturizers to Korean cleansers and “underdog” serums. However, do we really know what we’re putting on our face? Since I’ve had some more time on my hands these past few months, I’ve been doing some research into skincare ingredients (e.g., what they mean, what they do for your skin, what can and cannot be combined, etc.) and I realized that a lot of our favorite products are filled with ingredients that can either harm our skin (if not now, then in the long run) or are simply not doing anything good or effective and therefore, unnecessary.

In this post I will be talking about a number of labels and terms on skincare products that you might want to pay attention to. If you have an easy, non-sensitive and non-problematic skin, I can imagine you don’t see a reason to switch up your skincare routine. And, as long as you’re still aware of what you’re putting on your face, that’s okay! But if you find yourself struggling with acne, blackheads, oily skin, large pores, redness or simply cannot maintain a balanced skin (aside from hormonal issues)- you should consider looking for the following labels and terms on your next skincare products.


Oil-free.

If you’re dealing with oily-skin and nothing seems to work for you, try specifically looking for oil-free products. If the product isn’t meant for sebum regulation or mattifying purposes or if it doesn’t specifically mention “oil-free” on the packaging, chances are that the product contains some ingredients that will lead to an oily skin throughout the day. I personally have always dealt with oily skin. No matter whether it was warm and humid or freezing cold, my skin would always get shiny a few hours after my skincare / makeup routine. I would blot my T-zone several times a day and the oils would still come through. So, when I read about the difference switching to oil-free products could make, I did not hesitate for one second and started looking up suitable products. Now, all my skincare and makeup products are water-based instead of oil-based, and I switched my Teaology Rose Tea Micellar Cleansing Water to the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner. I can’t be too optimistic, applying this toner in the AM and PM does not guarantee that your skin won’t get oily throughout the day. But the times I need to blot my T-zone has drastically decreased and that’s something, isn’t it?


Alcohol-free.

Despite popular beliefs that alcohol is good for drying out acne and oily skin, it’s probably for the best if you try to avoid alcohol on your skin. It doesn’t even sound right, does it? Shortly put, alcohol is too harsh, too drying and too damaging to the skin’s protective barrier. This means that the skin won’t be able to lock in moisture and will therefore cause dryness, irritations and even breakouts. But…there are also “good” kinds of alcohol (no, not the mojito you’re planning to have this Saturday night!). These good kinds of alcohol (A.K.A fatty alcohols) are derived from vegetables. Fatty alcohols (often indicated as Cetearyl, Stearyl, Cetyl and Behenyl in an ingredient list) help emulsifying purposes. This means that, for instance, they help keep the product together so that the oil and water don’t separate. Fatty alcohols do not dry or irritate the skin at all and are therefore safe to use. So, don’t shy away from all products that mention ‘alcohol’ in their ingredient list, make sure to check if it’s the good or bad kind first.


Fragrance-free.

Let’s be honest here, most of our favorite skincare products contain fragrances (sometimes also indicated as “perfume” in an ingredient list). Several studies have shown that fragrances in skincare products are the most common cause of sensitizing and other negative skin reactions. This goes for all skin types, not just if you’re dealing with sensitivity, redness- or acne-prone skin. If you’re not noticing any damage to your skin, that doesn’t mean your skin is not hurting. Our skin is very good at hiding when it’s being aggravated, and it will come back to haunt you in the long run. So if you can, opt for fragrance-free skincare products. Click here for an article by Paula’s Choice on why you should be choosing fragrance-free products. This was a hard one for me because I found out that the majority of my go-to skincare products contained fragrances. However, I did manage to switch my Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer to the CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion (which is even cheaper!).


Non-comedogenic products.

Non-comedogenic is a term used to describe skincare and make-up products that are formulated in a certain way that they are not likely to cause pore blockages and breakouts. When a product is labeled non-comedogenic, it means that the product does not contain any ingredients that are known to clog pores. Especially if you’re struggling with acne, you might want to consider purchasing non-comedogenic skincare products and make-up. Click here for more reasons to be using non-comedogenic products.


Paraben-free.

Parabens are ingredients that should be avoided altogether: in makeup, skincare and even in hair products! But why? Parabens disrupt the hormone functioning by mimicking oestrogen. Still don’t see the harm? Too much oestrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumors. Several studies have linked paraben use to breast cancer and reproductive issues. For more (detailed) information about this, check out this article by ELLE Magazine.


Silicone-free.

The main reason you should be avoiding silicones in your skincare is because it clogs your pores. Silicones trap everything like bacteria, impurities, dirt and sebum in your skin by forming a barrier on the skin (this is why most make-up primers are silicone-based!). Silicones can cause large pores, acne and blackheads so try to avoid it as much as possible! Check out this article by Fitglow Beauty for 9 other reasons to avoid silicone (although this one should have been enough…).


I’m not going to sugarcoat it, finding average-priced skin care products with (most of) the above-mentioned labels is hard. That’s why it’s important to learn how to read ingredient lists, don’t you want to know what kind of acids, soaps, oils, etc., you’re applying to your precious skin every morning and evening? You can also consider to use products that are either developed by dermatologists, meaning that the ingredients are carefully selected and most likely to be non-comedogenic.

If you have problematic skin, I know it’s tempting to switch to another skincare product or routine when you don’t see any results right away. It’s frustrating, because why is the $40 vitamin E-serum that you’ve been using for a month not getting rid of your hyperpigmentation yet? It was expensive, so it must be good, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that (anymore). That’s why it’s important to be patient and learn to stick with one particular product routine that works for you. If it isn’t causing any breakouts or redness, it is definitely worth using the product for a few months and see what it does. Check out this article by Business Insider for 11 clean skincare brands!

What are some things you pay attention to before purchasing a new skincare product? Comment below!

Review: The Ordinary Peeling Solution, Alpha Arbutin & Niacinamide for hyperpigmentation

*This is not a sponsored post.*

For those who have known me for a while probably also know that I’ve struggled with acne for a long time. Now that (most of) my acne is gone, I’m left with quite some scarring (the ‘official’ term is: post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Although I should consider myself lucky that most of my scars are superficial and barely affecting my skin structure (deep scarring), I’m still not comfortable leaving the house with a bare face. I’ve tried so many methods to get rid of the dark spots, from home remedies in my kitchen cabinet to chemical peelings and expensive skincare products (note: I have never done the dermabrasion treatment which is also considered an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation).

So of course, I did what any other desparate girl would have done: I went to the internet. I read tons of articles on how to reduce hyperpigmentation, I read reviews of skincare products I could never afford, and I watched as many “how to get clear skin” tutorials as I could. There was one thing that recurred in every article, review and tutorial: I need to drink more water. Lots of water. Everyone made it sound like drinking water was going to solve all my problems (Spoiler: it doesn’t). But, I did start drinking more water than I did before. Now I’m not saying that this is the holy grail to clear skin but it sure helped my skin stay hydrated and healthy.


Alright- let’s move on to the reason you’re here. Here’s how (I think) my skin has improved drastically over the past year.

About one and a half year ago I asked some friends about their must-have products to clear acne and acne scarring; and based on all the comments, one brand was significantly the most popular: The Ordinary. I had never heard of the brand before and when I looked it up, all the chemical terms and names sounded a bit scary to me. I mean, BHA? AHA? Acids? Ascorbyl Glucoside? Alpha Arbutin? What was I about to do to my face?! The pricing surprised me though, almost everything was priced for less than 10 EUR. I figured it was worth a try.

Note to self (and my readers): Thoroughly research skincare products before you purchase/use them, especially when they contain acids or other chemicals. Do they fit in your skincare routine? What do the listed ingredients mean and (how) do they improve your skin? Is it making your skin (temporarily) more sensitive?

I’ve tried several serums, peelings, acids and creams by The Ordinary; and here’s how I implemented my favorites into my current skincare routine:

  • 2 times a week: TO AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution
  • Rosewater (toner)
  • TO Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
  • TO Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • TO Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (day moisturizer) / Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference moisturize (night moisturizer)
  • Biodermal SPF50 Sun fluid (SPF)

Every morning and evening, I tone my skin with pure rosewater. Then, I apply a few drops of Alpha Arbutin on my entire face. On the weekends, I like to use my jade roller which allows my skin to absorb the product better; but on weekdays I just let it dry. Lastly, I apply Niacinamide and let it dry before I put on my moisturizer.

On the nights when I apply the peeling solution (for me, that’s on Sunday and Wednesday), I don’t use any other skincare products after; except for moisturizer.

Please note: this combination makes your top-surface skin more sensitive and prone to sun burn and damage. Make sure to wear SPF (minimum of SPF 20) the next day(s). But of course, you should already be wearing a daily SPF anyways :)

I’ve been using the combination of The Ordinary’s peeling solution, Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide for more than 6 months now, and my skin has never looked better. See below for the descriptions and directions of these 3 products.


The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This peeling solution (mask) exfoliates the skin for a brighter and more even appearance.

Directions

Apply on dry, clean face + do not forget to use an SPF the next day. It is recommended to apply this mask in the evening as it may leave some redness on the skin. The peeling comes with a number of important don’ts:

Don’t leave the peeling on for longer than 10 minutes.

Don’t apply on wet skin

Don’t use this peeling if you’re not an experienced users of acid exfoliation.

Don’t use on sensitive, damaged skin.

Don’t use more than twice a week.

pH-value

The pH-value of this peeling solution lays between 3.5 and 3.7, which is why it is recommended not to combine this solution with products that have a higher pH, as this could make the formula (even more) irritating


Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin is a highly-concentrated serum and also includes hyaluronic acid (HA). The serum is supposed to reduce spots and hyperpigmentation. The Alpha Arbutin in this serum is proven to be much stronger than Arbutin or Beta Arbutin.

Directions

A few drops should be applied on dry, clean skin in the AM and PM, don’t forget to wear an SPF in the morning!

pH-value

Alpha Arbutin has a pH value between 4.85 and 4.90. It should be noted that the serum is extremely sensitive to degradation in the presence of water if the pH of the formulation is not ideal. The pH value of this serum is shown to be the most suitable to minimize the degradation of Alpha Arbutin. If you’re not sure what all this means: that’s okay! I do recommend researching the meaning of pH values if you’re planning to use skin care acids more often.


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is supposed to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. The added Zinc (1%) balances visible aspects of sebum activity, which reduces large pores and makes the skin less oily. However, niacinamide is not an acne treatment (salicylic acid).

Directions

Niacinamide can be applied in the AM and PM, before heavier creams such as moisturizers or oils.

According to The Ordinary, independent studies have also shown that niacinamide is an effective ingredient for brightening skin tone.

pH-value

Niacinamide has a pH between 5.50 and 6.50 which technically means it is not suitable to use in combination with the Alpha Arbutin serum. However, this combination has been working out great for me. If you’ve been using this combination and you’re not noticing any improvements, you could consider applying Niacinamide in the AM (recommended if you have oily skin) and Alpha Arbutin in the PM. The other way around should be fine as well. If you’ve got some more time on your hands in the AM and PM, you could consider waiting 30 minutes after applying Alpha Arbutin before you move on to Niacinamide.

P.S. If you have any questions regarding The Ordinary products, or any other product(s) in my skincare routine, shoot me a message!

P.P.S. Coming up: A post with detailed explanation of the (chemical) skincare terms frequently used by The Ordinary and other skincare brands, such as retinoids, AHAs, BHAs, pH-levels, etc.

2018/2020: Living in New York City & Pamplona, Spain

Hi all!

First off, I hope that you’re well, staying inside and making the best out of this bizarre situation. Please remember to stay positive, even if your life seems to be falling apart right now or if you simply feel lost or desperate. This too, will pass.

The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands. – Sir Richard Burton

It has been a while (more than a year ago, to be exact) since I posted my last blog. I thought that my busy, chaotic lifestyle back then did not leave room for my favorite hobby anymore. Well, a year (and many new experiences and memories) later I’m realizing that I was incredibly wrong. I found that, no matter where I lived or how busy I was, I still missed having a creative outlet. I missed sitting down for a few hours and focusing on something entirely different than work or school- so I decided to free up some time and go for it again.

In my last post, I wrote about how my time in New York City was coming to an end. Those five months were amazing and changed me as a person. I gained a new perspective on the world; I met so many new, interesting people; I learned what it’s like to be out there in the real world, practicing my career with people who trust me to do what I’m good at (in NYC, nonetheless…!). I am so thankful for my family that looked after me during this time, and – ofcourse- my internship company for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

Less than 6 months after I returned from my internship, I moved to Pamplona (Northern-Spain) for to study for one semester. Pamplona is known for its annual bull fights (San Fermin) and is located on the famous Pilgrim-route to Santiago de Compostela. To be honest, I had never heard of the city before, but I wouldn’t want to have gone anywhere else. I studied Management & Business Administration at UPNA (Universidad Pública de Navarra) for six months. During these months, I met some incredible people and made friends for life. I traveled more than I ever had, I felt what it’s like to be living on my own and be a 100% independent. And I loved it. I learned Spanish, fell in love with the Spanish cuisine (Paella, tortillas, churros, patatas bravas, croquetas…) and tasted the most wonderful wines. I had the most meaningful conversations with people from all over the world, and locals. There were happy moments, and sad ones, and I am grateful I got to experience every single one of them.

Now I’m back home, working on my bachelor thesis during my graduation internship and I’m hoping to graduate with a BBA in International Business and Languages by the end of this year.

Much love,

P.S. I’m hoping to do some product reviews again soon, what do you guys want to see?

#8 Amazing Skincare Benefits Of Aloe Vera

What’s the one natural beauty product all beauty bloggers swear by? That’d be Aloe Vera. This tropical plant is known for its multiple uses and health benefits. In fact, it’s the gel that does the trick. Fortunately, you don’t need an actual Aloe Vera plant to enjoy its benefits. You can buy the gel at a lot of drugstores and health and food shops, and it’s entirely affordable!

In this post, I’ve summed up the most popular skincare uses for Aloe Vera which will make you ask yourself: why do I not own this amazing product yet?!

1. Treating skin conditions

Aloe Vera gel is a combination of vitamins, minerals, acids which makes it a great remedy for skin conditions (this is also the most common use of Aloe Vera gel).

For centuries people have been using Aloe Vera gel for treating minor cuts, soothing rashes, treating minor (sun)burns, accelerate wound healing, reducing infections and many other skin conditions. The gel is cooling and anti-inflammatory which makes it great for treating sunburns and soothing the skin. This sounds like the kind of product your grandma would pull out of her kitchen cabinet for any little problem, right…? It’s a must-have home remedy!

(If this is your first time using Aloe Vera: always do a patch-test on your hand before applying the gel on your face. Just to make sure you’re not allergic!) 

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-27 om 12.32.49.png

2. Hair growth 

Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes which repair the dead cells on your scalp and maintains its pH balance. This is why many people claim that applying the gel on their scalp (or using it as a conditioner) makes their hair grow faster. It has not been proven by any researches yet, but we’d like to believe it, don’t we? Also, what’s the harm?

Besides hair growth, Aloe Vera is believed to do many more wonders to your hair: it relieves an itchy scalp and significantly reduces dandruff. After using the gel as a conditioner, it will leave your hair smooth and silky. I say it’s worth the try, isn’t it?

3. Make-up Remover

It might be a little weird to think about: using a gel as a make-up remover. Honestly, it’s not something I would try out myself but there are people who did, and they’re loving it! The gel is very gentle and not harmful at all for the delicate skin around your eyes, the cooling ingredients also reduce the redness on your skin (e.g. acne scars, spots, rosea).

Just apply some gel on a cotton ball/ pad and use it like you’d use any make-up remover.

Aloe Pura Organic gel
This is the gel I own: Organic Aloe Vera Gel by Aloe Pura

4.  Exfoliator

Aloe Vera gel works great as an exfoliator (homemade scrub) and it’s so easy! Just mix the gel with brown sugar (brown sugar is rough and works better as a scrub than normal sugar). Be careful not to exfoliate too much though, 2 times a week is all your face needs.

5. Skin brightener

Aloe Vera gel is often used as a skin brightener in the South-Asian countries. It might not be as effective as lemon juice but it’s way less damaging, which is exactly what you need if you want to brighten scars or blemishes on your face.  All you have to do is apply the gel to your flaws every night (or morning too, if you’re not going to wear make-up) and stay consistent for a few weeks to see a significant change.

6. Anti-Aging

If you’ve ever applied Aloe Vera on your face or body, you’ll know that it tightens after a few minutes. But how does that fight aging? Aloe Vera helps to rebuild collagen (more of it and faster) which controls the aging process of your skin. Aloe Vera also contains vitamin E which will keep your skin looking youthful and prevent premature signs of aging. Some even claim that Aloe Vera works better than anti-aging products…

Aloe Vera moisturizer

7. Overnight Mask

Because of its soothing and moisturizing ingredients, Aloe Vera gel works great as an overnight mask. The gel will significantly reduce redness and scars and you’ll wake up with a healthy, glowing skin. Isn’t that what we all want? 

8. Moisturizer

Many models swear by Aloe Vera as their go-to moisturizer. The gel increases the water content in your skin and leaves it hydrated and non-greasy. This is perfect for people with an oily or acne-prone skin.



And that was it! I hope this post convinced you that Aloe Vera should be a part of your skincare routine, because you’re missing out on some great benefits! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried Aloe Vera on your face and how you experienced it.

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-27 om 12.29.55.png

Note:

  • Using Aloe Vera on your skin is safe, but do not take it internally!
  • If you’re considering to buy Aloe Vera gel, make sure you buy it in an actual certificated drugstore/ health store instead of on some strange online webshop (for your own health!) 
1314503473113914070415

My #8 Favorite Skincare Products

Over the past few years, I’ve started to realize how important it is to take good care of your skin. If you’re even a little concerned about your physical appearance, you’ll know that a healthy skin appears full, vibrant and glowing. Poor skincare habits,  however, can lead to acne, dry patches and early signs of aging (wrinkles and fine lines).

In this post, I’ll be sharing my 8 favorite skincare products with you guys! Some of these products aren’t available in all countries but there are plenty of other alternatives/ brands out there.

1. Clinique Take The Day Off makeup-remover

The first thing I do after a long day, is taking off my eye- and lip makeup. I’m using the Clinique Take The Day Off makeup-remover which removes any (waterproof) makeup in one swipe (with a cotton pad/ball).

The Take The Day Off makeup-remover is one of Clinique’s best-selling products at the moment, but I do think there are lot more alternative make-up removers available in drugstores, which will work just as effective.

Size: 30ml

Price: €9,95

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-26 om 13.36.12.png

Alternative: Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water

2. Fresh Face Carbon cleanser

I’ve only been using this carbon cleanser for only a few weeks but I’m loving it already. I bought this cleanser during my trip to Zaragoza but it appears that Fresh Face is a Spanish brand and it’s not available outside Spain. But if you’re planning on visiting Spain anytime soon, I definitely recommend visiting Primor. This is the place to be for the best and cheapest high-end duplicates, Japanese face masks and many more must-haves.

Price: €2,99

Alternative: Bioré Deap Pore Charcoal Cleanser

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-26 om 13.39.06.png

3. Sentiments Organic rosewater

Rosewater is a holy-grail when it comes to skincare. It works like a miracle and I’d recommend it to anyone. Just make sure that the rosewater you’re using is organic/100% natural and not mixed. I’m using it as a toner but you could also use it as a facial cleanser or face mist, or you could add a few drops of rosewater to your other skincare products.

Rosewater has anti-inflammatory ingredients which do wonders for an acne-prone and irritated skin. The ingredients are hydrating and soothing, which is exactly what your face needs! I bought this bottle in Suriname for SRD 10 (€1), but it’s available at any drugstore and maybe even at your local grocery store (don’t forget to check the ingredients though).

Price: SRD 10 (€1)

Alternative: Burt’s Bees Rosewater Toner

RoseWater

4. Nivea Cellular Radiance night serum

I’ve been using this night serum for nearly a year now and it works amazing. I apply this serum every morning and evening because it makes my face feel smooth and significantly reduces spots. The serum also reduces wrinkles and evens out my skin tone.

Price: €9,50

Alternative: Argan Oil Night Repair Serum 

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-26 om 13.42.13.png

5. Clinique Custom Repair moisturizer

I bought the travel-sized version (15ml) of this moisturizer about two months ago and I loved it, so I had to buy the original version. I can see how this moisturizer improved my skin condition by focusing on my flaws and pores. This moisturizer is de-aging and has SPF 15.

Size: 30ml

Price: €42

Alternative: Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Repairing Moisturizer

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-26 om 13.39.46.png

6. Bio-oil

This is the must-have oil if you have any stretch marks or (acne) scars you want to get rid of. Apply the oil on the affected areas (apply with a q-tip, if possible), do this every morning and evening and you’ll see the appearance fade within 2 to 3 months. Just remember that this oil will not make your scars entirely disappearIt takes time but really, what’s the harm?

Size: 60ml

Price: €9,50

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-26 om 13.40.18.png

7. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Skin Protectant Cream

I got the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant for €20 in Spain. Beauty bloggers and influencers have been recommending this “legendary formula” cream for years but I never thought it’d be worth trying. Now I’ve tried it for a month and I’m loving what it does to my skin. Some people dislike the medical smell but to be honest, it’s not that disturbing to me. The structure of the cream is similar petroleum jelly (which it is for 50%), just a little less sticky and greasy. One of the reasons I love this cream is its multiple uses (see description below). Can you believe this cream has actually won several awards? 

Size: 50ml

Price: €20

Alternative: Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm

 
Schermafbeelding 2018-01-26 om 13.40.55.png
ElizabethArdenBackDescription

8. Tony Moly Bubble Mask

Last but not least, the Tony Moly bubble mask which I bought at Sephora. I bought this mask for €15 and although it comes in an incredibly cute package, I think it’s a little overpriced.

Bubble masks are originally from Korea and deep cleanse your face. The mask removes excess oil and opens clogged pores. Bubble masks are also great for dealing with blackheads and besides, they make you look like you have a huge cloud on your face.

Price: €15

Alternative: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-26 om 13.29.19.png

And that’s it, those were my favorite skincare products, I hope you liked this post! A review of the Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Skin Protectant and the Clinique Custom Repair moisturizer will be published soon! What’s your favorite skincare product?

1314503473113914070415

Review: Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-18 om 16.00.12.png
Schermafbeelding 2018-01-18 om 15.56.23E

Hi all!

Today I will be reviewing the Estée Lauder Double Wear (Stay-In-Place) foundation, which is often used by professionals for its incredibly full coverage. I bought this foundation a year ago at Sephora in New York (it’s a shame Europe still does not have a Sephora!), but most major beauty / department stores sell the iconic Estée Lauder foundation as well. If you’re new to this foundation I’d definitely recommend you to visit a physical store rather than buying it online, not only because that’s the only way to find out the shade you need but you also cannot be scammed! High-end foundations often sell for way cheaper price on the web and more often than not, they’re not real! So if you find something that seems too cheap to be true, it most likely is.

The Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation comes in a heavy, frosted glass bottle without a pump, so I used the pump of an old Smashbox foundation and placed it on my new foundation. However, Estée Lauder does sell its own pumps separately. 

Schermafbeelding 2018-01-18 om 16.29.02.png

I would usually not impulse-buy a €44 high-end foundation which I don’t even need, but you know, I did it anyways and I’m happy I did. I’ve been in love with this foundation ever since I’ve worn it for the first time. I  have some dark spots on my face which I usually cover up with concealer but with the Double Wear foundation, I don’t even need extra cover-up. This foundation has a great full coverage, it stays on all day (or longer), and one pump will suffice for the full coverage!

The Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation is available in 38 (!) shades, so make sure you get the shade that really matches your skin. The shade I own is 4W1 (Honey Bronze). 

26239418_1635003086546081_8750516723183209872_n-e1516286694635.jpg

With a retail price at €44, this foundation is definitely not considered affordable. And I’m going to be honest, if you don’t wear makeup as often or if you don’t need a full coverage, you might want to opt for another foundation (or maybe even a BB cream). If you do wear makeup often or if you are looking for that full coverage, this would be a great investment.

Shade: 4W1 Honey Bronze
Finish: Matte
Coverage: Full
Price: US $42 / EU €44
Schermafbeelding 2018-01-18 om 15.55.42.png
Schermafbeelding 2018-01-18 om 15.59.12.png
1314503473113914070415

Updated: review on Clinique brush

Hi guys, just wanted to let you all know I just updated my review on the Clinique cleansing brush because I ended up having some bad experiences with the brush, it started to malfunction and stopped charging etc.

I explained and described everything in the post and I’m writing about the new brush I bought, soo if you’re interested..

Click here to go to the review

clq_Z75Y_402x464.pngclinique-logo-vector-image
1314503473113914070415

Review: Dior’s Hydralife BB cream

What product am I going to review?

Dior logo

Today I’ll be reviewing the Hydralife BB Cream by Dior. I got this BB Cream as a gift and it was actually one of my first makeup products ever. However, the shade I got didn’t entirely match my skintone which was a bummer because I really loved the qualities this BB cream brought along. As soon as I noticed that the BB cream was a bit too orange for my skin, I starting mixing it with a lighter foundation which eventually gave me the perfect look. My shade is called ‘Sunny Amber’ and it has SPF 30, which is what we should all be looking for in BB cream or foundation.

Coverage

Dior’s Hydralife Beauty Balm is focused on protecting and hydrating the skin. If you’re looking for medium or full coverage, this might not be your best choice. This BB cream is suited for all skin types and available in many shades, so make sure you’ve got the right one (very important!).

Dior’s Hydralife BB cream comes in a grey/blue-ish tube (50 ml) . The shade is indicated on the front of the tube. The tube is quite small and tall, which makes it perfect for traveling. The BB cream itself does feel a little heavy on my face, I can definitely feel that I’m wearing something which isn’t really what one would expect from a BB cream.

What did it cost me? + Where can you buy it?

I didn’t buy this BB cream myself, I got it as a gift. You can buy it online on Sephora, Dior and Amazon. The average pricing would be around $56 (€54), which in my opinion is a bit too expensive. This is why I never bothered to buy the BB cream myself in another shade, it’s just not worth it in my opinion.

Conclusion:

Personally, not a fan. But then again, this might also be because I never used the shade I needed…Bear in mind that this is a BB cream and it will not give you much coverage; instead, it will help even out and smoothen your skin tone. In my experience the BB cream felt heavier than I expected which is also one of the reasons I’m not a fan . However, the Dior BB cream does have SPF 30, which is a huge plus. Maybe you should see it as a tinted moisturizer with SPF? Eitherway, I’m not sure it would be a great investment. Looking for a more affordable BB cream? Check out my review on the Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream!

1314503473113914070415

Review: Sephora’s brightening & hydrating foundation

What product am I going to review?

I am going to review the brightening & hydrating foundation by Sephora. This is my very first foundation and I still use it because it just works great for my skin.

<img src="image.png" alt="text_to_describe_your_image">

Coverage

The foundation has a great coverage. Make sure you’ve got the right shade for your skin for optimal coverage.  I don’t have many spots on my face but sometimes I got these weird, light spots and the foundation just makes everything look equal and smooth. I also like the fact that this foundation stays all day long and hydrates. + It’s oil free!

Package + feeling

The brightening & hydrating foundation by Sephora comes in a small circular tube/bottle. It might seem like the capacity isn’t that big (20 ml) but I can go months with this foundation, only using a little amount. The foundation in general doesn’t feel heavy at all on my face and my skin doesn’t get oily. But always apply some pressed, mattifying powder on top. I can tell, it won’t look cakey at all. The foundation is available in 9 shades.

<img src="image.png" alt="text_to_describe_your_image">

What did it cost me?

I actually got this foundation as a birthday present the first time and the second time my cousin gave it to me because she didn’t use it.  I actually planned on buying one myself but it turned out that there were no more Sephora shops in the Netherlands. I tried to look up this foundation on Sephora’s website but uhmm, I couldn’t find it there either?? I continued searching for it because I did see some other reviews and I ended up on the Brazilian Sephora site. It costs R$93, which is, I think, quite expensive.

Update: I found this foundation in the Sephora shop in Thailand, it was $48!

 

Conclusion:

This is a great foundation and I’m sure I’ll be using this for the next few years. I love the coverage and the feeling. It doesn’t look shiny at all and that was quite a ‘must’ for me. I’d definitely recommend this foundation!

Comment below for any questions or if you’d like me to review a product..!

cropped-transparante-nieuwe-banner.jpg