A-Closer-Look-At: Sunscreens (part I)

Sunscreens – part one: How do sunscreens work?

The big question is of course, why should you use sunscreen. Sunscreen is good for preventing sunburn. The red color of sunburned skin is a tell-tale sign that skin cells are damaged. Damage can be induced by UVA (Ultra violet sub type A) and UVB (Ultra Violet sub type B). There is also UVC (Ultra Violet sub type C), but the ozone layer prevents UVC from entering the atmosphere. UVB increases melanin production in the skin, which makes us tan, and also causes sunburn.

UVA is perhaps even more dangerous. UVA is able to penetrate deeply into the skin, ages skin quickly and damages DNA. Damaged DNA can lead to cancer (okay, I have to admit, that the fact that ‘DNA damage causes cancer’ is a very, very brief summary about what causes cancer. Even now, scientists are still trying to figure out how and why cancer exists.)

UVA isn’t blocked by glass or the clouds. Unlike UVB, UVA doesn’t give you any warning signs. You’re not going to get a sunburn or a tan. UVA is present every day, in every season, whether it is overcast or not. My first advice would be  to wear sunscreen (with at least SPF 15) every day. My second advice is to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen which protects you for both UVB and UVA. You should be able to tell from the packaging if this is the case.l

Oh, and it is wise to avoid sunbeds, according to a study in 2007, even one visit to a sunbed can increase your chances of getting skincancer (melanoma, the most dangerous kind) by 19%! (International Agency for Research on Cancer Working Group on artificial ultraviolet (UV) light and skin cancer. The association of use of sunbeds with cutaneous malignant melanoma and other skin canacers: A systematic review. Int J Cancer. 2007: 120: 1116-1122.)

How do sunscreens work?
There are two types of sun filters; chemical and physical.
Chemical filters (oxybenzone, octyl methoxycinnamate, octocrylene and avobenzone) are absorbed into the skin and absorb UV radiation. A number of chemical filters can be absorbed by the body and end up in the bloodstream. Others can generate free radicals (free radicals are bad!) when they react with the suns rays and therefore cause skin damage. This also happens if you don’t use a sunscreen!

Physical sunfilters stay on the skin and reflect the light. Good examples are titanium oxide and zinc oxide. They create a barrier to protect the skin by not allowing harmful chemicals to enter the bloodstream. They are known to not cause irritation. A drawback is that physical sunscreens leave a white film on the skin. If these sunscreens don´t leave a white film, nanotechnology is used.

What is nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is the use of very, very tiny particles to enhance the performance of a product. The name derives from a nanometer. A nanometer is one billionth of a metre. Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating material on a molecule or atom scale. It is a relatively new study, so long term health effects are not known yet. The main concern is whether or not the particles can be absorbed by the skin and other cells of the body. This could lead to a higher dosage of the chemical in your body. The dosage of a chemical is linked to its toxicity. How higher the dosage, the more dangerous (poisonous) a chemical is. The main concern is if nanotechnology can penetrate the skin and cells. If yes, it could be dangerous, if not, we don´t have to worry. Unfortunatley, this is still being researched, so I can´t give a clear statement whether or not nanotechnology is advisable or not.

What is SPF?
SPF, sun protection factor is a (laboratory) logaritmic measure of how effective a sunfilter is. This is mentioned on the bottle. The SPF is the amount of UV radiation required to cause sunburn on skin with the sunscreen on in comparisation of the amount UV radiation required without the sunscreen.

It is said that the number of SPF determines how long one can stay in the sun without re-applying the product. For instance, if you get a sunburn from one hour of exposure to the sun, you should be able to stay in the sun for 15 hours with an SPF 15 on. This is not true. The intensity of radiation varies considerably with time of day. In early morning and late afternoon, the radiation has to pass through more of the atmosphere because the sun is nearer the horizon. The amount of SPF is determined by factors like skin type, the amount of sunscreen that is applied and the frequency of re-application, activities (sports, swimming) and the amount of sunscreen the skin has absorbed.

It is therefore recommended to re-apply sunscreen (half a teaspoon every application for the face and a shotglass for the rest of the body) every two hours and to stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day (12.00 – 15.00) of the day. Or go and have a nice long lunch in the shade. Or take a siesta.I mean, it’s vacation anyway.

Make up has an odd number of SPF (for instance, SPF 8 or 18) because first, the product is formulated and then the SPF is measured. Usually, an SPF in make up, or in a sunscreen in spray form isn´t as effective as a  regular SPF because you have to apply the sunscreen thickly. With a spray, it is usually not easy to determine where, how thickly and evenly the sunscreen is applied. With make up it is the same way. To get the SPF that is indicated on a foundation or powder, you have to put on the foundation very thickly (a.k.a. cakey!). So it’s always better to use a sunscreen under your day cream and makeup.

SPF can’t be increased by layering it. I will explain this with an experiment. Take two glasses. Fill them with water. Add to each glass the same amount of food coloring (or dye), for instance, 3 drops. Mix well, and take half of the first glass. Put this in a new glass. Now take half of the other glass, and put it in the third glass as well. Has the color changed? No. So, if you use a daycream with SPF 15 and a foundation with SPF 15, you will not get SPF 30. It will only help you to reach the required half teaspoon of sunscreen.

As I said earlier, SPF is a logaritmic scale. This means that SPF stops 93% of the UV rays (UVA or B depending on the sunscreen). Factor 30 stops 97% of the radiation. A higher factor is not always better. The higher the SPF, the more greasy the product will feel like. If your skin type is average (meaning not extremely fair), I would recommend sticking with SPF 15 in the winter and SPF 30 in the summer.

A wee bit extra
Next to a good sunfilter, it is also wise to check the rest of the sunscreen. Are there irritating ingredients in the sunscreen, like perfume, PABA, coloring agents, methylisothiazolinone, tea tree oil, witch hazel, ylang ylang, mint or citrus? Alcohol is not good either, unless it is a fatty alcohol (just type in the name of the Alcohol in wikipedia, and scan the page on the word “fatty alcohol”. For instance, cetearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol).

And last, but no means least, after tanning/staying in the sun and using a sunscreen, hydrate your skin! Take a luke warm shower or apply aloe vera to cool the skin. Or use after-sun.

In the next post about sunscreens, I will talk about different kinds of sunscreens, and which ones to look out for!

Until next time,
Dymphy

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Read-The-Label: FACE Atelier Ultra Foundation PRO

Below you will find Dymphy’s review of the ingredient list, but let me give you some background on FACE Atelier first. I started reselling FACE back in 2009, and I’ve had the very good fortune and privilege of meeting CEO and founder Debbie Bondar when she came down to help me pull together my first appearance at The Makeup Show in Berlin in 2011. Yes you read it right. She came down all the way from Canada to help yours truly and I’m forever gratefull that she did, because I had no clue whatsoever and without her I would probably not have survived. Debbie: if you’re reading this: you are the definition of girl power and my inspiration!

Debbie Bondar IS FACE Atelier. To read more about her, the brand and the philosophy behind it (including views on animal testing (Peta approved) click here

The focus of todays post is the line’s star product: Ultra Foundation Pro. The “pro” refers to the packaging more than the product, because the same foundation is also available in 30 ml glass bottles for personal use.

The Pro version however, is housed in 20 ml lightweight, compact and unbreakable containers (shown below), made specially for the makeup artist on the go. Debbie lightens our load (literally) and we love her for it.

Other than that, this foundation is a staple in my own kit. It’s versatile, can be mixed to create every shade under the sun from white to almost black, and above all: it won’t budge!

Dymphy: take it away!

It’s a coincidence that Tanistates asked me to review a foundation – Monique asked me the same a few days before. Reader requests take precedence, so this post moved up a week and instead I reviewed the Ben Nye foundation and concealer.

This week it is time for FACE Atelier Ultra Foundation PRO.

Here’s the ingredientlist:

Cyclomethicone, Water, Glycerin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl Dimethicone Copolyol, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Cellulose Gum, Nylon-12, Tribehenin, Lauroyl Lysine, Tristearin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. May Contain: Ci77891/Titanium Dioxide, Ci77492 Ci77491 Ci77499/Iron Oxides, Mica Ci77019

Cyclomethicone is a silicone and also the main component of the product. It’s responsible for the smooth application of this product. After applying, it evaporates. The other main component is water.

Glycerin (E1520) is a moisturizer which was traditionally obtained from animal fat or tallow. It can be made by adding a caustic, or highly alkaline substance to animal fats or vegetable oil, resulting in the formation of glycerin along with soap. Glycerin and parabens are two of the traditional cosmetic materials that have been used for many years, because they are safe and effective. Heck, it is even safe enough to eat, the FDA lists glycerin among the sugar alcohols as a caloric macronutrient.

Although glycerin is a good moisturizer, it isn’t a very good idea to put pure glyerin or too much glycerin on your face: the glycerin sucks the water from the lower layers of skin to the upper layer of the skin. In a foundation, it softens the skin. In eyeshadows, glycerin holds pressed pigments together.

Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate (E1452) is a powdery thickening agent. It absorbs and can also be used as an anticaking angent.
Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate is an emmolient/surfactant that keeps the formula together.
Cethyl Peg/Ppg – 10/1 Dimethicone is a silicone that moisturizes the skin (and doesn’t evaporate).
Hexyl laurate is a moisuturizer, and is a mixture of hexyl alcohol and lauric acid.
Cethyl Dimethicone Copolyol is a mixture of cetyl alcohol and dimethicone, which doesn’t dry out the skin, but instead moisturizes it.
Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate is a glyceryl ester and acts like an emulsifier.
Propylene Carbonate is a solvent and a film-forming agent.
Quaternium-18 Hectorite is a suspensing agent and also has emulsifing properties. Cellulose gum, or Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) is a thickening agent that can be made synthetically or derived from plant cell walls.
Nylon is an absorbant and a thickening agent. Please note that nylon is a plastic and therefore not suited to be flushed down the sink.
Tribehenin is a moisturizer that is composed of a mixture of glycerin and behenic acid.

Lauroyl Lysine is a moisturizer. It contributes to the product’s texture by helping as a gel solvent and is very stable.
Tristearin is a fatty acid which has three tails, together with a head of glyceryl. It makes a great emulsifier.
Phenoxyethanol is, together with Methylparaben and propylparaben part of the preservative system that keeps the formula (texture) stable and keeps the nasty bacteria away. Those three are the safest and less irritating preservatives.

Then on to the ‘may contain’ section. As you might already know, Ci77891/Titanium Dioxide, Ci77492 Ci77491 Ci77499/Iron Oxides and Mica Ci77019 are pigments. They are used in such low levels, that they don’t provide any protection from the sun.

Face Atelier is a silicone based product, with a lot of moisturizers and some emulsifiers to keep things together. It’s a good formula, although I wonder why so many moisturizers are used.

Until next time,

Dymphy

Read-the-Label: Ben Nye Matte HD Foundation vs. Ben Nye Media Pro Blue Neutralizer

Reader Tanimara (click on the link to see her wonderful blog! ~Monique) asked me to look at the (fairly new) Ben Nye Matte HD Foundation and the Ben Nye Media Pro Blue Neutralizer.

Copyright Tanimara Loupatty

The ingredients for the Matte HD Foundation are:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Copernicia cerifera (carnauba), Talc, Ozokerite, Polymethyl methacrylate, Methyl methacrylate, Crosspolymer, Silica, Kaolin, Phenoxyenthanol, Mehtylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.
May contain (+/-): Cl NO. 77489, 77491, 77492, 77499, 77891, 77289, 77288, 77007, 19140 (Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Chromium hydroxide green, Chromium oxide green, Ultramarines, Yellow 5). Parfum Free.

Copyright Tanimara Loupatty

And for the Blue Neutralizer Concealer:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Copernicia cerifera (Carnauba), Talc, Ozokerite, Polymethyl methacrylate, Methyl methacrylate, CrossPolymer, Silica, Kaolin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben. May contain (+/-): Cl NO. 77489, 77491, 77492, 77499, 77891, 77289, 77288, 77007, 19140 (Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Chromium hydroxide green, Chromium oxide green, Ultramarines, Yellow 5). Parfum Free.

Copyright Tanimara Loupatty

Two things I can already tell from scanning this list:

A) They are exactly the same. If the consistancy of the concealer is slightly thicker, it means that you’ll get the reduced version of the foundation. Try this little experiment: put a little bit of foundation in a microwave-safe jar, heat it up in the microwave and see if the texture looks the same as of the concealer. If the two textures are alike, you basically have the same product in a different jar, perhaps with a bit more solvent (caprylic/capric triglyceride) than in the concealer. If that is true, go for the product that has the best price per gram. Or, if you are a pro and carry the full range of both the foundation and the concealer, you can decide to only carry the concealers, plus the R.C.M.A. Foundation Thinner (9,95 EUR for 1 oz.) and mix to create a foundation.

B) There are no silicones in this product, which means that you have to blend, blend and blend. Using your fingers, a sponge or a brush might not suffice. This formula dries very quickly; so the key is: blend fast! Or try using the R.C.M.A. thinner. This foundation and concealer are the perfect products to use on people who are allergic to silicones.

Let’s move on to the ingredientlist.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: First off, I love the fact that the product isn’t water/oil based. This means that you get more bang for you buck. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an extract that is derived from coconut (or palm kernel oil). It is mostly used as a moisturizing and thickening agent. It has low toxicity and it’s short tails (there are tree tails in this fatty acid!) can penentrate the lipid membrane. The short tail can penetrate cell wall membrane lipids (a lipid is a fat that is the main component of a cell membrane) from bacteria. Although you shouldn’t bet that caprylic/capric triglycerice can be used as a preservative, it’s good to know that it’s able to contribute to the stability and safety of the product.

Copernicia cerifera (Carnauba) is a palm tree of which the wax is used. The wax coats the leaves to prevent loss of water, so it’s logical that it also creates a film on your skin. To obtain the wax, the leaves are dryed in the sun for days. The wax turns to dust, and is removed by threshing. It is melted, strained and cooled. This wax is the hardest natural wax available. Wax is harder than fat (for instance, you can punch butter (dutch proverb), but I wouldn’t try it with wax), it has a higher melting point and doesn’t become rancid. It can be used as a thickening agent, and it can absorb oil.

Talc absorbs oil as well, and together with the wax, it creates a matte finish. Talc is a mineral, and consists of hydrated magnesium silicate (meaning that water is added). It is grounded into a soft powder, mostly in small flakes. To be used in cosmetics, talc is milled and purified. Next to absorbing oil, and as a bulking agent, it gives the skin a silky smooth feel. Talc is perfectly safe. If it is in powder form (as in, a loose foundation or another powder), it is harmless should you inhale it (but as with everything, inhaling too much is never a good thing obviously).

Ozokerite is another wax, and it’s closely related to mineral oil. In India it is used as an alternative for Vaseline. Polymethyl methacrylate and Methyl methacrylate are like a big brother and a little brother. Most often, polymethyl methacrylate is made from methyl methacrylate. Actually, the correct listing of polymethyl methacrylate is Poly(methylmethacrylate), because poly(methylacrylate) could be a crosspolymers and belong to the group of acrylates. I’m not sure if I like it; it is acutally a form of plastic and we labrats (ok, inside joke, I know) like to handle acrylate very cautiously. In this formula, it is used as a surfactant. Whether it is good or bad I leave it up to you (I’m a bit torn), but remember: if it isn’t safe, it probably wouldn’t have been FDA approved. However, don’t flush this down the sink; we dont want to add even more to the plastic soup that is already floating in our oceans.

Silica, otherwise known as Silicon dioxide or ‘Sand’ is used to thicken the product and to absorb oil. Don’t inhale it to0 often (just like talc, it will clog your lungs!), but obviously that won’t be a problem with this cream product. Funny fact: drinking 10 mg a day of silica for over 10 years could decrease dementia. I guess we all know Kaolin, clay from the famous clay masks. It absorbs oil and thickens the product.

Phenoxyethanol is an alcohol, and acts like a preservative. Other preservatives are Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben (and correctly listed by form: least to most carbon atoms – a funny fact that I love. Call me a geek if you like). This group contains the most effective and safest preservatives available, and phenoxyethanol is very effective against bacteria and yeast.

The “may contain” section contains numbers and names. The numbers match the names listed between the brackets. These are the pigments that are used to give the product the color. So, in this context, the “may contain” indicates that it is used, but in very small amounts. So, for instance, don’t count that the Iron Oxides and the Titanium Dioxide will provide any sun protection because they are used in a very low amount. The iron oxides are a group of well, compounds that exist of iron and oxide. In this formula, they are used as pigment. This group can range from yellow to rose/red/brown. This is mainly because of the iron in it. Titanium dioxide is white. Chromium hydroxide green and Chromium oxide green are both green (in case you hadn’t guessed yet). The difference between Chromium hydroxide green and Chromium oxide green is that Chromium hydroxide green has one extra hydrogen atom. And last, we have Ultramarines and Yellow 5, and they turns out to be blue (because of a sulfide anion) and yellow. 😉

This cream product is a cream because of it’s many thickening agents and the ozokerite. There are a lot of oil absorbers in this product as well, which makes this product great for oily/combined skin. It’s not as suitable for people with dry skin, unless they mosturize well before use. I love the fact that there is no water in this product, which makes it less suseptable to pathogens (bacteria, yeast, etc.). But they actually have no chance at all with it’s well balanced preservative mix of at least four different kinds of parabens and phenoxylethanol. The only thing that could be a worry for some are the acrylates in these products; polymethyl methacrylate and methyl methacrylate. It’s not that bad, but you shouldn’t flush it down the sink.

Tanimara, I hope you liked this ingredient review of your products and I hope that your questions were answered. If not, you can always leave a comment for me to answer.

Out of my own curiousity, I will do a post on Acrylates next Friday, see you then!

Until next time,

Dymphy

How-To: Bronzer 101!

  1. Don’t use bronzer to shape your face!
    I know I know, it’s all over the net: “how to shape your face with bronzer 101”. Right?
    Wrong!
    Shaper and bronzer are 2 different products for different purposes.
    A bronzer is used to warm your complexion and to simulate days spent in the sun. The sun hits your face on the highest parts of the face, bridge of the nose, apples of the cheeks, forehead, chin, cleavage. So that’s where you will want to place your bronzer.
    A shaper is used to give extra depth to areas that are natually hollow on your face (under cheekbones, jawline, temples, side of nose) and give the illusion of ie a sharper jaw line, higher cheekbones or a narrower nose.Whereas a bronzer usually has an orange or pink base, shapers have a brown/grey base. This makes perfect sense and to test this, just look at the shadow cast by an object. Any object at all in fact, will have a cool brown/grey undertone, never ever orange or pink.
    If you use your bronzer to shape your jawline for instance, you will end up with a muddy/dirty looking jawline instead of those enviable sharp contours you crave.
    In short: the placement of bronzer is the exact opposite of the placement of shaper.

    Continue reading

Get the look: Eva Jinek

Event: book launch of Linda de Mol’s first photo book in 2011

A look I did for Eva Jinek, dutch tv anchor woman and talkshow host of (formerly) the NOS Network, and currently Vandaag de Dag and Eva Jinek op Zondag.

Eva, Bram and Linda de Mol together, showing the first copy of the book that Linda launched to celebrate her series of celebrity couples in Dutch magazine “Linda”. Eva and Bram received the first copy because their love affair actually began during their shoot and the interview they did for the interview.

How to achieve the look I gave Eva for this event:

Face prep:
Eva has lovely skin so only a touch of Embryolisse Lait-Créme Concentree on dry zones is sufficient. A touch of Elizabeth Arden’s 8-hour cream on the lips to moisturize and prevent flaky lips when it’s time to finish the look.

Foundation:
FACE Atelier Silicone Ultra Pro foundation in #2 Ivory along the t-zone and #3 Wheat on the outer perimeters of the face. This foundation does not require priming at all.
The new Super Foundation Brush by Royal & Langnickel applies this foundation beautifully. Buff it out with a dampned Beauty Blender for that lovely airbrushed finish.
Lightly powdered with Yaby loose powder.

Cheeks:
Nars blush in Orgasm topped with some Visiora pc104 face powder.

Brows:
filled in with Yaby brow powder in #3 and # 4 with brow shaper BC550 by Royal & Langnickel.

Eyeshadow:
Yaby es103 Golden Desert on the moving eyelid, topped with a touch of es192 Seashell for added highlights.
FACE Atelier eye pencil in black, smudged deep into the upper and lower lashline gives a smoldering look, and is set with Yaby eyeshadow es154 Abyss to make sure it lasts as long as the party does. The same eyeshadow is taken slightly up, into the outer corners of the eye to make the base of the crease definition.
Yaby eyeshadow es144 Twinkle Twinkle lightly applied into the lashline for a gently, but sexy sparkle that catches the light.
Crease definition is achieved by blending Yaby es168 Bark, es253 Milk Chocolate and es562 Royal Brown to bring out the blue in Eva’s eyes, together with es154 Abyss for depth.

Lashes:
Lots of FACE Atelier Mascara in Midnight Black on both the top and bottom lashes.
I usually do layers of mascara in between working on different parts of a face, allowing the lashes to dry completely, so I can curl them several times in between also.
The icing on the cake: a pair of half lashes by Cara K and a final coat of mascara to blend natural and false lashes seamlessly.

Lips:
Outlined and completely filled in with FACE Atelier’s lip pencil in Spice for staying power, topped off with a generous coating of non-sticky FACE Atelier Lip Glaze in Peach,
Eva’s favorite, along with Primrose.

R.C.M.A. Research Council of Makeup Artists

One of the least known brands carried by Promakeupstore, RCMA has been an insider secret of pro makeup artists for many years. The reason you haven’t heard of RCMA? They don’t advertise. Why don’t they advertise? Because they don’t have to. The brand has earned it’s good reputation with the pro’s by being consistent, hard working and performing at top level at even the most grueling of circumstances. They many not sport fancy packaging or big screen names to promote their brand, but the good news is: you will not be paying for that either! Because of their low profile and organic marketing strategy, you only pay for Continue reading