#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!

Update: Leaving New York City

Hi all!

Can you believe my 5 months in New York are almost over?! In fact, I’m flying back next Thursday. I didn’t have the time to keep this blog updated during the past months but instead, I did get to make some amazing memories.

I met so many new people during my time here and I am so thankful for each and every one of them. Not only did I experience what it’s like to work in New York’s fashion world, but I also experienced what it’s actually like to live in this overwhelming city.

Penn Station, 34th Street

When I arrived in New York, I was convinced that I wanted to change myself and be an entirely different person when I return. That was my main goal. Truth is, I didn’t even change that much. However, I did learn a lot about myself. Even though I stayed with family, I learned what it’s like to be on my own and be responsible for myself. I must admit, it was scary sometimes and there have definitely been some moments where I just didn’t feel like I belonged here. Then I realized, I came all this way to New York for a reason and I’m not going to let some intimidating thoughts get the best of me. I had a great opportunity and I took it, I am living my dream and I don’t want to spend my time regretting it.

Another good thing that came from New York is that I picked up my reading and writing again. The two things I used to love the most. A while ago, I told myself I didn’t have the time anymore to read books or write stories. Yet the first thing I did when I came to New York was going to Barnes&Nobles and buy a book. Even though I didn’t read for months, I felt like I needed to have a book close to me. Every time I needed a break, I’d grab this book and just read a little and it would make me feel calm again. I kept making up excuses for not doing the things I loved most, which is as silly as it sounds, I am so glad I’m realizing that now.

During my time here, I also found myself becoming more and more social. I always used to avoid small-talk and conversations with strangers, but in New York it just became normal and I even ended up making some great friends because of it.

I am forever grateful for having the opportunity to move to New York, for the incredibly kind and inspiring people I met here and for the great memories. The past few months have taught me the art of surviving on my own. It has been an amazing, unforgettable journey and even though I haven’t left yet, I can’t wait to return.

Staten Island Ferry
Rockefeller Christmas Tree, Manhattan
The Brooklyn Bridge

Quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean ‘love’ in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again.

Joan Didion

Update: First month in NYC

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Hi everyone !

This is my 6th week in New York, which means I’ve been here for longer than a month! I experienced a lot in just a few weeks and I’m having the greatest time so far.

In the past 6 weeks I’ve met a lot of new, amazing people at different occasions and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be here. It’s truly wonderful. Also, happy Fall! This is one my favorite seasons of the year and I get to experience it in New York which makes it a 100 times better.

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What’s it like to live in “The city that never sleeps”?

The lifestyle in the US, or New York in particular, is very different than what I’m used to. Life goes way faster and everyone always has somewhere to be. But even though everyone has such busy lives, New Yorkers are the kindest people I have ever met. They are incredibly helpful, whether you ask for help or not. If someone catches you looking around in confusion, they’ll walk up to you and offer their help. I’ve seen it happen several times and it keeps amazing me.

I’m working full-time at my internship and I spend my weekends working on school assignments, so it’s really hard to find some time for myself. Luckily, I sometimes get Friday’s off and I spend them wisely. Every Friday off I plan an exploring-day. I visit parks, different neighborhoods, tourist attractions, museums etc. A few weeks ago I visited the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMa) by myself, and I loved it! Even if you’re not really into art, it’s a must-see when you get the opportunity!

 

I also spent one day at the annual Coterie trade show at the Javits Convention Center, which was a great experience. I was representing Only Hearts with the sales team which was very fun and interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’ve got many more exciting things coming up and I can’t wait to tell you guys about it (best friend and my parents visiting me in NYC, weekend-trip to Philadelphia, Thanksgiving, Holiday-season……)!

I’m so sorry for not keeping this blog up to date, but I hope you can imagine how busy I’ve been the past few weeks. Please comment below and let me know how you’re all doing ! I miss catching up with you all :(

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P.S. Feel free to message me if you have any questions (moving to NYC, internship in USA etc…) 

P.P.S.  Are any of my readers from New York or in the city right now? Let me know if you want to go out for coffee sometime. I love meeting new people here! 

 

 

Review: Dior’s Hydralife BB cream

What product am I going to review?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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..!

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