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June 2018

Review: Kikumasamune Sake Skin Lotion High Moisture

Edits: I missed the inclusion of licorice root extract upon my first pass, so I’ve added a paragraph about that below. I also was given a couple studies about sake extract, so I’ve included that information here, but kept my original content about other fermentations in tact below in case anyone finds value in them.

One in vitro (meaning in a dish or tube) study showed that rice wine increased “the expression of procollagen and laminin-5,”⁴ which is one of the key components in the intercellular makeup of the layer that holds the epidermis to the dermis. Additionally, “laminin 5 also accelerates the assembly of basement membranes and may enhance the recovery of damaged skin.”⁵ In the same study, experiments were done on hairless mice (in vivo) and showed that topical application protected the mouse from photo-aging.

Another study showed that sake extract inhibited tyrosinase, both in vivo (in a living organism) and in vitro, though it is unclear how many subjects were involved based on the abstract alone.⁶

More notes: First study comes from Doosan Group R&D, which seems primarily interested in vehicles, construction, electrical, etc., while the second study was paid for by AMOREPACIFIC R&D.

If you spend time on Reddit, especially Asian Beauty subreddits, you know how beloved Kiku’s High Moist Sake Skin Lotion is.

First, it’s an enormous bottle — 500ml (roughly 16.9 fl. oz. or 0.125 of a gallon) — for only about $13 USD (with tax), which works out to roughly $0.77 per fluid ounce.


Second, it’s loaded with ingredients that are discussed frequently, like arbutin and ceramides.

Full Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol , Rice Ferment Filtrate (Sake), Glutamic Acid, Arginine, Leucine, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6, Placental Protein, Arbutin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root Extract), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Maltitol, Methyl Gluceth-10, Peg-6 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Fragrance.

I’ve highlighted the ingredients that are worth discussing a bit in detail.

Ingredient Breakdown

Sake is a fermented product made from rice, water, koji, and yeast. Ferments have been all the rage recently, with Saccharomyces cerevisiae (living yeast) extract and Saccharomyces ferment being the two I see the most. While I could not find any clinical dermatology studies done on sake as a ferment in skin, we may be able to glean some understanding into the benefits of sake by examining both ferments and koji (kojic acid) itself.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast used for brewing beer. In one study, saccharomyces cerevisiae extract (SCE) was studied in several formulations. One contained SCE, and/or vitamins A, C, and E, and was patch-tested on the back of volunteers. The subjects were then tested for transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin moisture (SM), skin microrelief (SMR), and free radical protection in 3 hour, 15 days, and 30 day intervals.

“Our results suggest that vitamins and SCE showed effects in [skin moisture] SM and [skin microrelief] SMR. Only formulations containing SC had long term effects in the improvement of SMR. Thus, these kinds of evaluations are very important in cosmetics development to evaluate the best risk and benefit correlation.”¹

It’s sister, saccharomyces ferment, has similar benefits. It is obtained through the fermentation of saccharomyces – a genus of fungi that is known as the baker’s yeast – in the presence of metal ions. The yeast is credited with promoting good skin condition and is frequently found in products that reduce redness.

The other half of sake worth discussing, koji (kojic acid) is a skin-lightening agent and antioxidant. It is a tyrosinase (an enzyme that controls the production of melanin) inhibitor, but not as effective as other tyrosinase inhibitors like licorice extract. “In combination with allantoin and other proper ingredients in sunscreen preparations, the mixture can inhibit UV-caused erythema and accelerate wound healing.”² Unfortunately, it can also be sensitizing to some skin and create irritation.

From this break down, we can assume that sake contains some sort of very mild exfoliating, humectant, and whitening properties, though it is important to keep in mind that there are no studies that I could find into the benefits of sake when applied topically, so this is all assumptions based on the chemical makeup.

The next ingredients on the list are ceramides 3 and 6. If you’ve been following my blog, you already know that ceramides are naturally found in the skin and help maintain the skin barrier. In fact, our skin’s natural lipids are 35-40% ceramides. If you want to read a bit more on ceramides, please check out this post on moisturizers.

Slightly more exciting is placental protein. Derived from animal placenta (in this case, horse), it is considered to be a safe ingredient that does not deliver any metabolic or endocrine activity. Again though, there was not much precedent that I could find on the benefits of including this ingredient specifically, however egg whites have been used for centuries on skin to make skin temporarily feel tighter and appear smoother.

Fun fact: Umbilical extract has precedent for unrestricted use in Japan, except for certain products.³

Finally, we arrive at the stars of this product: arbutin and licorice root extract. Arbutin, an ingredient primarily used for it’s antioxidant properties as well as skin bleaching. It is a natural hydroquinone, derived synthetically or from bearberry plants. Once on the skin, it converts into hydroquinone and acts as a tyrosinase inhibitor. While not as effective as hydroquinone, it lacks the concerns of hydroquinone thus has become more popular in recent years.

Licorice root extract is similarly a tyrosinase inhibitor as well as an anti-irritant – with some studies signalling that it may be able to absorb UVA and UVB rays. It is more effective than kojic acid and some studies put it at 75x more effective than ascorbic acid (though Dr Dray raises some interesting points regarding the efficacy of L-AA). “The chief constituent of licorice root is glycyrrhizin, present in concentrations that range from 5 to 24 percent depending on the variety of licorice used.”²

My Experience

As you probably already noticed from the photo above, the pump on my bottle broke off rather spectacularly when my bottle took a tumble from my tiny bathroom counter top. I’m not sure why this product comes with a pump applicator in the first place, as it frequently would dispense more product than I needed, which I suppose is fine as I was able to spread it down my neck and chest, but it was still was a bit of a shock to get a whole handful of it on the first pump. This experience doesn’t seem limited to me, so I really recommend decanting this product into a better dispenser if you can, like a spritz top bottle.



Packaging aside, the first time I used the High Moist lotion, I was pretty nervous. It’s a very runny product, sharing a consistency with water, and if you’ve read my blog at all you know that I am a fairly dry-skinned lady. To my surprise and delight though, it was uber moisturizing. I applied it fresh out of the shower, in place of my HadaLabo Premium, and instantly my skin just felt soft and supple. I imagine much of this is due to the placenta protein filling in the gaps of the skin cells and creating a “smooth” texture as well as the ceramides, which tend to plump up my skin and make it feel softer.

The fragrance was also so mild that frankly, the smell of sake overpowered it. Thankfully this smell seemed to dissipate after a few minutes of application, and my rosacea did not flare up from the inclusion of fragrance.

Over the next few days, I used the High Moist in place of my HadaLabo, and then began to combine it at night with the HadaLabo Premium on top. It worked well with oils and other moisturizing products on top – no pilling or strange film to report.

In two weeks, my skin looked brighter and felt smoother, though none of my dark spots had faded. Unfortunately, like most products with ferments, it began to break me out after this time. The good news though is that it doesn’t appear to break me out immediately, unlike every other ferment, and the smoothness lasted for a few days after I discontinued use, which means I may try to use it sparingly once my skin heals.


  1. Evaluation of dermatological effects of cosmetic formulations containing Saccharomyces cerevisiae extract and vitamins
  2. Milady Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary,  2014, M. Varinia Michalun
  3. Final report on the safety assessment of human placental protein, hydrolyzed human placental protein, human placental enzymes, human placental lipids, human umbilical extract, placental protein, hydrolyzed placental protein, placental enzymes, placental lipids, and umbilical extract.
  4. Anti-aging effect of rice wine in cultured human fibroblasts and keratinocytes.

  5. The importance of laminin 5 in the dermal-epidermal basement membrane

  6. Identification of sake extract as a new anti-melanogenic ingredient by in vitro and clinical trials

  7. Effects of a sake concentrate on the epidermis of aged mice …

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Skincare Oils: Jojoba Oil

by Kristen
Skincare Oils: Jojoba Oil

Over the past few weeks, I have credited jojoba oil with the improvements in my skin. It’s softer, smoother, and seems to be more tolerant of products that once irritated it (such as Retin-A .025%). In the process of trying to learn why this may be, I’ve encountered a lot of claims about jojoba oil: it’s anti-aging, it helps heal wounds, it has a smaller molecular size which makes it better absorbed by skin, it heals UV damage, and on and on.

While preparing this post, I went unusually deep. I dug through Google Scholar and sorted through several PDFs, trying to figure out what exactly was so magical about this little oil. It’s recommended everywhere and holds a fair amount of shelf space in natural health food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Trader Joe’s, and even appears in the acne.org routine.

All About Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is produced from the seed of the Jojoba plant, a shrub native to Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico. While frequently called “jojoba oil” due to it’s appearance as a liquidy oil, it is more appropriately described as a wax due to it’s composition, which also accounts for it’s high shelf-life and resistance to high temperatures.


It is also thought to be very similar to our skin’s natural oil, and is even suggested as an ingredient in synthetic lipids when testing how things will interact with human sebum.¹ Some feel like this similarity to our own natural oil can “trick” the skin and help balance it’s own sebum production, though I was unable to find any scientific literature to back up this claim.

Like all oils, jojoba oil is also frequently described and recommended as an occlusive. From HowThingsWork:

“‘Jojoba oil is rich in natural fats that mimic those in the outer layer of the skin,’ explains Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. ‘This means it can help the skin retain moisture and heal itself.'”

To learn more, I dug into a study about the TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) of several oils and popular occlusives, namely jojoba, soybean, almond, avocado, paraffin, as well as petrolatum (control). The study noted that TEWL measurements have become “an important, non-invasive tool in dermatology and cosmetology and is generally associated as a device for the monitoring of changes in the barrier function of the stratum corneum. In intact skin, TEWL values are rather low, as impaired skin provides increased values leading to decreasing value when the barrier recovers.”²


To test the effects on TEWL, two types of measurements were taken on six healthy volunteers, aged between 25-50. Volunteers were instructed to not utilize skincare at least 24 hours before, and not to bathe or shower up to 4 hours prior to the beginning of the measurements. TEWL measurements were taken before and thirty minutes after application as well as after the remaining oil had been wiped off. In vivo (meaning measured on a living being), laser scanning microscopy (LSM) revealed that substance penetration appeared to be limited to the uppermost two layers of corneocytes, meaning that no substance penetrated deeper than the stratum corneum (SC). Surprisingly, soybean and almond oil had the deepest penetration into the SC, down into its third layer, while jojoba, avocado, and paraffin was only detected on the skin’s surface and in lipids around the first few corneocyte layers. Petrolatum, the control, was also not vicisble in upper corneocyte layers. In short, despite quite different oil chemistry, the penetration of the tested vegetable oils vs paraffin oil was comparable.²


TEWL was also measured before the substances were applied as well as after substance application. The results showed that TEWL decreased markedly in all cases, except for jojoba oil.


While this study was very small (only six people), this may be why some people do not find jojoba oil very “moisturizing.”

Jojoba oil is also pretty well-tolerated, which may be due to it’s similarities to human sebum, but it may also be due to it’s composition of only 5-15% oleic acid³, a fatty acid that has garnered a reputation for causing acne, specifically due to it’s ability to increase the growth of P. acnes.⁵ In animal models, oleic acid “and it’s peroxides were able to induce fairly large comedones and there was good correlation between the lipid peroxide levels and the size of the comedones.”⁴ While this does not necessarily speak with absolute certainty to how oleic acid functions in humans, it shouldn’t be discounted and is worth further research.

I’ve also seen two particular studies used to inform whether jojoba has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects. Specifically, one study in rats showed it to be anti-inflammatory by decreasing prostagladin E2 (PGE2) levels, while another (unspecified whether it was animal or human) “demonstrated that exposure of bacteria for 24h to [a jojoba/tea trea mixture] containing an antimicrobial leads to a loss of their culturability.”⁵ While the former may hold merit worth further exploration, as with the oleic acid experiment I noted above, it should be noted that in the latter study, the components in the mixture was not disclosed, and that tea tree was included – a substance that has shown to be as effective (over time) in killing P. acnes as benzoyl peroxide.⁶

An in vitro study (meaning a test taken outside a living organism, such as a tube or culture disc) also showed that jojoba “notably accelerates the wound closure of both keratinocytes and fibroblasts” in scratch wound experiments (“Cells are grown to confluence and a thin “wound” introduced by scratching with a pipette tip”⁷). This study suggests that jojoba could be used in the treatment of wounds in clinical settings, but I could not find any in vivo studies to give certainty to this.

All Tied Together

While I didn’t figure out why this oil has been so magical for me, I do think jojoba is a special oil in it’s unique composition, which makes it worth checking out if you are acne-prone or sensitive.


If buying, look for gold, cold-pressed jojoba, which means that it was extracted mechanically and no extra heat was applied during extraction. This helps the oil retain it’s original properties. Unrefined, cold-pressed jojoba oil should have a very, very faint scent and be gold (but translucent) in color. If your jojoba oil is colorless, it may be refined – a process of bleaching and deodorizing an oil and adding preservatives.

IMG_1874I also suggest buying from a trusted retailer. All oils may vary from retailer to retailer, and from harvest to harvest, as they are collected from a natural source. I purchased my jojoba oil from Trader Joe’s, which while it does not advertise itself as “cold-pressed,” was confirmed to be cold-pressed by a representative for the company.

It should also be noted that it is not a very good occlusive ingredient (like… at all) and is better as an addition to your moisturizer if you need some “slip” or as a stand-alone emollient, filling in the “cracks” of the skin to make it smoother and softer. This lack of occlusivity should also serve in not preventing ingredients on top of it from being absorbed by the skin, such as Retin-A. In fact, it may be an excellent buffering ingredient for this reason.

The only real note is that if you use jojoba oil during the day, beneath sunscreen, make sure to blot your skin of additional oil before applying sunscreen. While sunscreen does not need to be “absorbed” by the skin to be effective (a common myth), it does need to form a film, which can require drying down or settling on the skin. Too much “slip” on the skin, in the form of oil, can prevent this from occurring and render your sunscreen less effective.


  1. Human synthetic sebum formulation and stability under conditions of use and storage
  2. Cosmetic Oils in comparison: penetration and occlusion of paraffin oil and vegetable oils
  3. Jojoba Oil Specifications
  4. Google Books – Acne: Diagnosis and Management
  5. Dermatologia e Venereologia – Warning: Graphic Images
  6. Herbal Therapy in Dermatology
  7. Scratch-wound assay
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Skinolog.ist Reader Survey (Win Some Skincare!)


Hello dear readers!

Since I started Skinolog.ist, I’ve received a lot of love, a lot of questions, and a lot of suggestions.

I’m working on new content all of the time, but I want to hear from you: what do you want to see more of? Less of? How do you get your blog content, et cetra.

All of these things can help me when I am writing content. It informs me when you have time to read, so you don’t land on content you’ve seen for two days. It informs me of the types of content you want to see, so you aren’t feeling bummed when you drop by and it’s the stuff you dislike. It helps me know how to reach you, so that you just need to pop open a social media feed rather than signing up for more inbox spam.

Since I know time is valuable, I am giving away an unopened, brand new tube of Oribe’s Daily Ritual Cream Facial Cleanser. Don’t worry — this isn’t sponsored and I am not sharing anyone’s email addresses. I merely received it in my last Lucky Box from Beautylish and want it to go to a good, loving home. 🙂 You’ll see that the survey is collecting emails to do this, so please watch your email over the next couple weeks, as I’ll notify the winner there (and make a blog post about selecting someone, so you aren’t continuously waiting).

Thank you so much.




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Keratosis Pilaris (KP): Those Weird Arm and Thigh Bumps

This weekend, I was spending time with some of my favorite women when one approached me to ask about bumps that she had on her arms. Before she could even finish describing it, I knew exactly what she was asking about: keratosis pilaris, also known simply as “KP.”

It is a condition that has plagued me as long as I can remember, and is frequently asked about on every Internet skin forum.

Keratosis Pilaris (KP): Those Weird Arm and Thigh BumpsKeratosis Pilaris (KP): Those Weird Arm and Thigh Bumps

While it may resemble an acne bump at first glance, upon closer examination you know it isn’t, but then… what is it? 

It’s befuddling, embarrassing, and can be a source of shame for many people. I’ve had many women tell me they only wear long sleeves or three-quarter sleeves to avoid embarrassing questions, and indeed, I never thought much of my KP until my teens, when an ex-boyfriend asked me one day what all the red bumps on the back of my arms were. After that, I banished all of the sleeveless options in my closet and hid in long sleeves and sweatshirts.

Thankfully, KP is an incredibly common, harmless skin condition that is fairly simple to treat.

KP, Explained

KeratosisPilaris_img2Keratosis Pilaris (KP) is a common, frequently inherited disorder of follicular hyperkeratosis (build-up of dead skin), where dead skin cells – known as keratinocytes – form hard plugs within the hair follicle and do not shed properly. It is typically referred to as “goose bumps” that never quite go away, appearing as hard bumps. It is most commonly found on the arms (particularly the back of the arms) and thighs, but can appear on the butt and face as well, where it is frequently mistaken as acne (if you believe you have KP on your face, please visit a medical professional to confirm).

One thing about keratosis pilaris that makes it more distinguishable from other conditions is that it is a symmetrical condition, meaning if it appears on one arm, it will appear on the other.

The bumps are very rough, frequently appearing to be the normal tone of the skin with a small halo of red.


It is most common in children, affecting up to 50%, but is also frequently seen in adolescents and adults, where it only begins improving in the elderly years. People who have drier skin, eczema or atopic dermatitis, seasonal allergies, and asthma seem to be the most frequent sufferers of KP, but it can also appear in people undergoing chemotherapy.

It worsens in the winter or in lower humidity environments where the skin is most prone to water loss (known as TEWL, or trans-epidermal water loss). It can flare up at any time though, and has no cure, but thankfully can be managed at home with ease.

Cleansing KP

As I said before, KP is most prevalent in people with drier skin types. As such, it is very important to look for soap-free cleansers that will not strip the precious lipids from the surface of the skin, drying out the skin cells, and creating a build up of dead skin.

This means avoiding bar soaps (frequently very drying due to their high pH value and ability to strip away lipids indiscriminately) and even liquid soaps. Soaps containing SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and even it’s gentler cousin, SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) are frequently far too drying for the parched skin of KP and should be avoided.

Some people find value in gently scrubbing their KP with a washcloth or sponge to loosen the dead skin cells to help them shed, though aggressive scrubbing should be avoided if your skin is sensitive, as aggressive scrubbing can cause inflammation and actually make the KP worse.

Moisturizing KP

Moisturizing the body, particularly the areas affected by KP, is incredibly important with KP. When moisturizing, be sure to put moisturizer on straight out of a shower, before drying off. This will lock the moisture from the shower into your skin, and slow down TEWL.

Sufferers of KP should also look for products that are keratolytic (meaning they can break down the “glue” that holds skin cells together, allowing them to shed), such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and urea. For some, tretinoin and adapalene (Differin) may also prove helpful.

If your KP is particularly aggressive, try moisturizing twice a day – with a thick, creamy moisturizer in the day, and a keratolytic moisturizer at night.

Managing KP on the Face

Home-Remedies-for-Keratosis-Pilaris.jpgAs I mentioned before, KP can appear on the face, though I’ve only been able to find examples of facial KP in children, so I apologize for the lack of photos of facial KP on adults.

Regardless, many of the same rules apply, with some differences to account for the sensitive nature of the facial skin.

Look for creamy cleansers that will not strip the skin of essential moisture, or consider using a wash with salicylic acid (SA, also known as BHA). Feel free to use this cleanser around the areas most affected, massaging it in with your hands. Rise with lukewarm water and pat dry. From there, apply your moisturizer. I prefer moisturizers with low percentages of urea, but you may do better with a glycolic or lactic acid (AHA).

Other Notes

Avoid taking very hot showers or baths if possible, and reduce your showers to once a day at max. Water, especially hot water, can still be very stripping to dry skin. If you’re in a drier climate or running the heater, use a humidifier in your bedroom at night to keep humidity levels higher, which will reduce the rate at which skin dries out.

Shaving the hair, waxing, and epilating can all aggravate the condition, so if your KP is particularly resistant to at-home treatments, consider laser hair removal.

If your skin begins to feel raw, irritated, or tender after using products containing AHAs or BHAs, back down on frequency. Body skin is pretty resilient to these ingredients in my experience, but it is still possibly to over-do it. Stick with moisturizing twice a day, once with the creamy moisturizer and once with the keratolytic moisturizer. Adjust as needed, swapping out the AM creamy moisturizer with a keratolytic moisturizer if you need more oomph.

One last note: if you have tattoos, keratolytic ingredients such as glycolic acid are perfectly fine and safe to use over your tattoos. They do not penetrate deep enough to disrupt the ink, and in fact may brighten your tattoos by sloughing off the dead skin in the stratum corneum that dulls their color.

Product Recommendations

As I mentioned, KP is all about dry skin and moisture, so look for products that can boost the moisture content in the skin. I’ll be breaking down my recommendations into creamy cleansers and keratolytic cleansers as well as creamy moisturizers and keratolytic moisturizers.

Most people do not see resolution of their KP until they add a keratolytic product to their routine and remove their drying cleanser, so I recommend starting there.

Creamy Cleansers

CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash (Body)

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, White Petrolatum, Lauric Acid, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Urea, Stearic Acid, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Chloride, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium PCA, Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (Face)

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser (Face)

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau (La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water),​ Glycerin​,​ Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate​,​ Propylene Glycol​,​ Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate​,​ Polysorbate 60​,​ Ceramide NP​,​ Niacinamide​,​ Sodium Chloride​,​ Coco-Betaine​,​ Disodium EDTA​,​ Caprylyl Glycol​,​ Panthenol​,​ T-Butyl Alcohol,​ Tocopherol​.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser – Creamy Formula (Face)

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol.

Keratolytic Cleansers

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash to Cleanse and Exfoliate Rough and Bumpy Skin (Body)

Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Niacinamide, Gluconolactone, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ceramide 3, Cholecalciferol, Ceramide 6-II, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ceramide 1.

CeraVe Renewing Gentle SA Cleanser for Rough and Bumpy Skin with Salicylic Acid (Face)

Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Niacinamide, Gluconolactone, Sodium Methylcocoyl Taurate, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Salicylic Acid, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Sodium Benzoate, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cholecalciferol, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide.

Creamy Moisturizers

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (Body)

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20 and Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Phytosphingosine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.

CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Cream (Body)

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Petrolatum, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Behentrimonium Methosulphate, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide.

Keratolytic Moisturizers

CeraVe Renewing SA Lotion 8 oz Salicylic Acid Body Moisturizer for Rough and Bumpy Skin (Body)

Purified Water, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Ammonium Lactate, Salicylic Acid, Trolamine, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3 in Corn Oil), Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Cholesterol, Phytosphingosine, Dimethicone 260, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.

CeraVe SA Cream for Rough and Bumpy Skin (Face)

Purified Water, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20 And Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate And Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Phytosphingosine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.

CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream (Body)

Active Ingredient: Salicylic acid 2% Inactive Ingredients: water, urea, glyceryl stearate SE, cetearyl alcohol, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, niacinamide, laureth-9, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, PEG-100 stearate, gossypium herbaceum (cotton) seed oil, behentrimonium methosulfate, 1,2-hexanediol, C12-13 alkyl lactate, dimethicone, tasmannia lanceolata fruit/leaf extract, ceramide 3, ceramide 6-II, ceramide 1, phytosphingosine, cholesterol, tocopherol, hydroxyacetophenone, hydrogenated olive oil, glyceryl stearate, disodium EDTA, sodium lauroyl lactylate, xanthan gum, carbomer, sodium hyaluronate, sodium hydroxide.

Eucerin Intensive Repair (Body, warning: feels very thick, like spreading glue)

Water, Mineral Oil, PEG-7 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Isohexadecane, Sodium Lactate, Urea, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Panthenol, Microcrystalline Wax, Magnesium Sulfate, Lanolin Alcohol, Bisabolol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

Eurcerin Advanced Repair Lotion

Water, Glycerin, Urea, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Glucoside, Cyclomethicone, Sodium Lactate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Methylpropanediol, Octyldodecanol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Tapioca Starch, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Arginine HCl, Sodium PCA, Dimethiconol, Lactic Acid, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Carnitine, Ceramide 3, Mannitol, Serine, Sucrose, Citrulline, Glycogen, Histidine HCl, Alanine, Threonine, Glutamic Acid, Lysine HCl, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol.

AMLACTIN Alpha-Hydroxy Ceramide Therapy Restoring Lotion (Body)

Water, Ammonium Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Potassium Lactate, Sodium Lactate, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Steareth-21, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Steareth-2, Stearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Carbomer, Ceramide EOP.

AMLACTIN 12% Moisturizing Lotion (My Body Routine Product)

Water, Ammonium Lactate, Mineral Oil, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Laureth-4, Peg 40 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben and Methylcellulose.

For additional facial recommendations check out my recommended products for rosacea.


My Routine: June 2018

by Kristen
My Routine: June 2018

I’ve made some changes to my routine since I wrote my first routine post back in May, and I feel like my skin has been much better for it. Certainly I’ve tried some new products, which I will be reviewing in the coming days, but I have landed on something so simple and so bland that I never would have imagined it would work for me.

If you are curious about the plethora of ingredients I cannot use, want to know some back-story on my skin, or read mini-reviews (plus ingredients!) of each product, please check out my first routine post.



My routine has largely remained the same, but I’ve jostled products around, removed many, and added jojoba oil (Trader Joe’s brand, which was the cheapest I could find).

Product List

  • HadaLabo Goku-jyun Premium
    • Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, PPG-10 methyl glucose ether, hydroxyethyl urea, sodium acetylated hyaluronate (super hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid (nano hyaluronic acid), hydroxypropyltrimonium hyaluronate (skin absorbent type hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer (3D hyaluronic acid), aphanothece sacrum polysaccharide (sacrum), hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, glycosyl trehalose, diglycerin, sorbitol, pentylene glycol, triethyl citrate, carbomer, polyquaternium-51, PEG-32, PEG-75, ammonium acrylates crosspolymer, disodium EDTA, potassium hydroxide, diethoxyethyl succinate, disodium succinate, succinic acid, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben. 
  • Trader Joe’s Jojoba Oil
  • Trilogy Rosehip Oil
  • Clinique Take the Day Off Balm
    • Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Water / Aqua / Eau, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol.
  • CoTZ Sensitive SPF 40 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB
    • Active: Zinc Oxide 20% (Sunscreen). Inactive: C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Glycerin, Methicone, Microcrystalline Wax, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Chloride, Stearyl Dimethicone, Tetrahexadecyl Ascorbate, Triethanolamine, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Water.
  • Finacea 15% Gel
  • Tretinoin .025% Gel


Since writing my last post, I’ve finished a tub of Clinique Take the Day Off Balm and re-purchased. It is my stand-by, my forever cleanser.

Since my skin is dry, I’ve begun only cleansing PM with this cleanser and one of the microfiber towels resting atop the HadaLabo that is pictured above. I wipe away most of the excess cleanser with the towel, but very lightly. This exfoliates my skin lightly, and doesn’t irritate me.


Swapping out my Cheryl Lee MD Lotion for a simpler routine, I add 3-5 drops of Hada Labo Premium to my palm, along with 3-5 drops of jojoba oil and 2-3 drops of the Trilogy Rosehip Oil (which I am almost out of). I massage my hands together, which creates this lovely, slippery emulsion, and spread it across my face, down my neck, and across my chest. It’s lovely, hydrating, and doesn’t leave me as dry in the AM as when I was using traditional moisturizer or when I use do steps separately (example: applying the Hada Labo, then the oil).

I feel like the real game-changer for me in this was the addition of jojoba oil. I actually wasn’t sure if jojoba oil was going to work for me, but I picked up a bottle of it on one of my last Trader Joe’s visits and began slathering it on unapologetically. To my surprise and delight, my skin took to it immediately, looking less red and feeling softer, plumper, and less flaky.

I definitely owe a whole post to jojoba in the future. I’m a convert.


Still the same ol’ same ol’ (CoTZ Sensitive SPF 40 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB). I think I’m about halfway through this tube, and it is still one of my favorite sunscreens around, instantly soothing my skin.

It can settle into my fine lines, such as around my nose and the 11s on my forehead, but this isn’t a huge deterrent for me. It just means I need to make sure to make sure to wipe it away at night with a cleanser (especially since I’ve missed the creases of my nostrils before, which has created a build-up of dead skin and sebum).


I am still using Finacea (15% Gel), possibly until the day I die, and have added tretinoin .025% gel every third or fourth day. I only apply it to my forehead and chin (my cheeks and rosacean areas are simply far too sensitive) so it is way too early to tell what benefit this has had on my skin, but this is absolutely the most I’ve ever been able to use it successfully, without breakouts or even excessive peeling.

What My Routine Looks Like

My routine is still heavily based around what my skin looks like or feels like. Since I started to include tretinoin back into my routine, I notice slightly more peeling, for instance, so I try to keep that in check.


  • Mix HadaLabo Premium with Jojoba Oil and massage into face, down neck, and onto chest.
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Apply eye makeup
  • Follow with powder, face makeup, and then more powder to set.


  • Work in Clinique Take the Day off Balm
  • Lightly wipe away with a makeup removing microfiber towel and rinse with cool water until water runs clear off of my face.
  • Mix HadaLabo Premium with Jojoba Oil and massage into face, down neck, and onto chest
  • Apply Finacea to flushed spots.
  • Apply tretinoin .025% to neck and chin area every third or fourth day.
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Perioral Dermatitis: An Odd Mouth Rash

by Kristen
Perioral Dermatitis: An Odd Mouth Rash

When I first started writing about skin, a friend reached out to me to ask about a skin condition that she had been diagnosed with years ago: perioral dermatitis.

Admittedly, my knowledge of perioral dermatitis was quite shallow, and as I began to research it, it seems that there isn’t a whole lot that is known about it. Fortunately, it is a highly treatable condition that seems to overlap to a degree with rosacea (earning it the earlier name  of “steroid rosacea”) and even seborrheic dermatitis.

What is Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral dermatitis (PD) is a chronic, recurrant inflammatory disease that most commonly occurs in the perioral region of the face (the area around the mouth). It can also affect the area around the nose, and in roughly 20% of cases, it can manifest around the eyes (though it goes by another name if around the eyes: peri-orificial dermatitis).

perioral-dermatitisIt afflicts around 1% of the population of the United States, particularly those with fair skin, and predominately occurs in women between 18-45, with 20s and 30s having peak incidence.

It presents as small, red, tender, sometimes itchy bumps that can flake and burn. While commonly mistaken for acne, it is distinct from acne in that it only presents in specific locations, spares the small area around the lips, and lacks pustules (whiteheads).

Causes of Perioral Dermatitis

The causes of perioral dermatitis are unclear. It is a relatively “young” disease that was only first described as a distinct condition in 1964. It is first and foremost an inflammatory condition, and is aggravated by ingredients and habits that can create inflammation either in the skin or in the body.

perioral_dermatitis_2_highWhile I was researching PD, the one constant that showed up again and again is that it is aggravated by corticosteroid use — both topical and inhaled. To specify, that means not just creams like kenalog, triamcinolone, and over-the-counter hydrocortisone, but also asthma inhalers (including Advair, Flovent, and ProAir aka Albuterol) and nasal allergy mists like Beconase, Flonase, Nasonex, Omnaris, and Veramyst.

Less commonly, but still a factor to consider are hormones, where monthly shifts can put the condition into overdrive. More frustrating is that oral contraceptives can worsen PD in some.

Other causes can be fluoridated toothpaste, high SPF value sunscreens¹, sunscreens with the filters zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the ingredient “isopropyl myristate,” improperly removing makeup or sleeping in makeup, occlusive ointments (Vaseline, Aquaphor, and oils, for example), heavy creams with occlusive ingredients, and cold creams (wipe-off cleansing creams that leave a residue, like Pond’s). In one case, a woman’s favorite lip balm (containing the ingredient propyl gallate) caused her PD.⁶


PD can look like many other conditions, such as acne, angular cheilitis, rosacea, or seborrheic dermatitis, and requires treatment of a professional due to the inflammatory nature of the condition.

The most important thing for anyone suffering from PD is to discontinue steroid use – whether cold-turkey or weened off with the management of a healthcare professional. While topical steroids can seem to improve the condition, they frequently create a rebound effect, which can make the condition worse.

Once steroids are removed, the skin will get worse before getting better. This is the toughest part of PD for most people. Topical antibiotics or topical immunosuppresants (such as Pimecrolimus or Elidel) are frequently prescribed due to their tremendously  helpful anti-inflammatory effects on PD, and azelaic acid can prove useful in some cases. In very severe cases, oral antibiotics can be prescribed in addition to topicals.

While healing from PD, the skin should not be cleansed with any cleanser, and makeup and skincare products should be avoided completely until the condition resolves. And no matter how tempting, PD should never be scrubbed, as this worsens the inflammation.

Once treated, it is encouraged to use liquid or gel sunscreens as well as soap-free cleansers that do not dry out the skin, as TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) is significant in people who suffer from PD.

Long-Term Care

Some people have PD once in their lives, while others may combat it on and off for several years. If you fall into the latter, it is important to try to avoid triggers that can cause the condition to reoccur (particularly steroid use). That means cleansing your skin each day with gentle cleansers, always removing makeup (removing it with a wipe does NOT count – you need to cleanse it away thoroughly with an oil cleanser that rinses cleanly), and using light products, particularly around the areas typically affected.

Prescriptions like azelaic acid and over-the-counter .1% adapalene (Differin)² may  also help to manage the condition in the long-term.

I’ve put together a list below of some cleansers and moisturizers that are recommended for people suffering from PD. Again, like with my rosacea list, this is not a be-all-end-all list.

None of the products listed contain isopropyl myristate or heavy occlusive ingredients.

Recommended Products

Creamy Cleansers

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser 

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.


Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol and Xanthan Gum.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau (La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water),​ Glycerin​,​ Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate​,​ Propylene Glycol​,​ Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate​,​ Polysorbate 60​,​ Ceramide NP​,​ Niacinamide​,​ Sodium Chloride​,​ Coco-Betaine​,​ Disodium EDTA​,​ Caprylyl Glycol​,​ Panthenol​,​ T-Butyl Alcohol,​ Tocopherol​.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser

Ingredients: Wate/Aqua, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Capryl Glycol/Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion

Ingredients: Avene Thermal Spring Water (avene Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Serine, Cetrimonium Bromide, Coco-Glucoside, Dipotassium Phosphate, Disodium Edta, Disodium Phosphate, O-Phenylphenol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Water (Aqua).

Spectro Jel Cleanser for Blemish-Prone Skin – Fragrance Free

Ingredients: Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydroxypropyl Methocellulose, Polysorbate 20, Cetyl Alcohol (moisturizer), Hydrated Silica, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Diazolidinyl Urea, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Sorbitan Oleate.

Foaming Cleansers

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

Ingredients: Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Terastearate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric, Glycerides, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide I, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Sodium Chloride, Phytosphingosine, Citric Acid, Edetate Disodium, Dihydrate, Sodium, Lauroyl Lactylate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.

Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive

Ingredients: Water/Eau, Glycerin, Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polyquaternium-10, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Laureth-10, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, DMDM Hydantoin.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau (La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water),​ Glycerin​,​ Coco-Betaine​,​ Propylene Glycol​,​ Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate​,​ PEG-120 Methyl Glucoside Dioleate,​ Sodium Chloride​,​ Ceramide NP​,​ Niacinamide​,​ Sodium Hydroxide​,​ Disodium EDTA​,​ Capryloyl Glycine​,​ Caprylyl Glycol​,​ Citric Acid​,​ Acrylates Copolymer​.

Makeup Removers

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Water / Aqua / Eau, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol.

Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil

Ingredients: Mineral Oil, PEG-8 Glyceryl Isostearate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cyclomethicone, Water, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Isostearic Acid, Glycerin, Phenoexyethanol.


CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Phytosphingosine, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Ceteareth-20, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20 and Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3-Diisosterate, Dimethicone, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Cholesterol, Phytosphingosine, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium phosphate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.

CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Lotion

Ingredients: Active – Dimethicone, 1%. Inactive – Purified Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax, Niacinamide, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lauric Acid, Zinc Citrate, Polygylceryl-3 Diisotearate, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Arginine PCA, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, EDTA, Sodium PCA, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer.

La Roche-Posay Toleraine Facial Fluid

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Squalane, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Sodium Carbomer, Ethylhexyloxyglycerin/Ethylhexyglycerin, Capryl Glycol/Caprylyl Glycol.

EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

Ingredients: Purified Water, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/ Sodium Acryloyl Dimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Linoleic Acid, 1-3-Bis (N-2-(Hydroxyethyl) Palmitoylamino) -2- Hydroxy Propane, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycereth-26, Cetearyl Glucoside, Thioctic Acid, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Bisulfite, Sodium Hydroxide.


  1. Physical sunscreens with high sun protection factor may cause perioral dermatitis in children
  2. Perioral dermatitis successfully treated with topical adapalene
  3. Perioral dermatitis
  4. The Treatment of Perioral Dermatitis, Acne Rosacea, and Seborrheic Dermatitis
  5. Guideline: Perioral dermatitis
  6. Lip and Perioral Dermatitis Caused by Propyl Gallate

Review: The Ordinary Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil

by Kristen
Review: The Ordinary Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil

So awhile back, before things got… uhh… weird… with Deceim, I placed an order for a bottle of the Ordinary Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil.

It is $14.90 USD + Shipping for 30mL, which is roughly 1/3 the price of the brand from Amazon (Sibu — $15.95 per 10mL at the time of this writing) that I see most recommended on MakeupAlley boards.


It comes in a glass, UV-protective bottle with a dropper, and like every product I’ve ever used from the Ordinary, feels sturdy. No weird screw-cap issues with this bottle!

I’ve outlined the benefits of Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil in one of my previous posts, but the too-long-didn’t-read of it is that there are studies that back-up claims of wound healing (to a degree) as well as some UV-protective qualities (though not enough to ditch your sunscreen!). Any other claims being made are bogus.

When I first tried this oil, I put it on with a 1:1 ratio with my jojoba oil. BIG MISTAKE. As you can see from the photo above, I am pretty fair, so the generous ratio of sea-buckthorn oil to jojoba turned my face orange. And not like the warm glow of a good fake tan, but the yellow of “holy hell this turmeric mask just turned me orange dear god what have I done.” After this first night, I began to dilute it in a 1:5 sea-buckthorn to jojoba ratio, but it was still quite noticeably yellow-orange.


That dropper isn’t yellow — that’s the oil!

My boyfriend swore he couldn’t see it in low lighting, but later brought in my white pillowcase to shame me and ask if I had been doing something less than appropriate with my pillowcase at night. Thankfully these stains washed out easily.

This strong red-orangey hue is due to the high contents of beta-carotene in the oil. It’s the same coloring that gives the famed Stratia Liquid Gold it’s color.

In the morning, my skin still appeared a bit yellow, and indeed, when I swiped a cotton across my face with some Hada Labo, the cotton square pulled back with a light yellow tint.


Unfortunately, after a couple of days, the oil did begin to break me out. At first, it was just a small cyst on my forehead, which I discounted as being due to hair products and my new cut sitting on my skin a bit. However, as the days went on, one cropped up on my jawline during a normally clear timeframe of the month. This is when I realized it was probably due to the oil.


As soon as I stopped using the oil every night and went back to my typical routine, the spots began to subside.

This is not entirely surprising for me. I had a hunch that macadamia nut oil wasn’t a good fit for me years prior, and sea-buckthorn oil is pretty similar to it, as I mentioned in my previous post. I also just don’t seem to do well with high oleic oils in general, as I’ve had breakouts from argan oil in the past.

I’d recommend it for night use only, especially fair skins. If you do well with macadamia nut oil, argan, tamanu, olive, hazelnut, sweet almond, apricot, or even coconut, you may do well with sea-buckthorn oil.

Tracking it down in health food stores is difficult. I found mine online from The Ordinary, though there are growing concerns over the stability and behavior of the CEO. If you have this concern, I’d recommend the Sibu brand from Amazon.com, which seems to be favored among many on the MakeupAlley boards.


Visiting Riley Rose, Los Angeles

by Kristen
Visiting Riley Rose, Los Angeles

It wasn’t the first time I had visited Riley Rose. I had stumbled upon the place about a month earlier, when going for a facial appointment at Skin Laundry.

Initially, I walked right past the store, with it’s cheery pink neon sign and friendly cursive, discounting it as another Claire’s wanna-be. As I walked past it a second time, I noticed a Lime Crime display at the front, and thought to myself, “Wait, like the brand you can only buy online?”

I went in.

Visiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los Angeles

The center of the store is lined with well-lit vanities, and the cheery pink and white displays are lined with products from Internet cult-favorites, both makeup and skincare alike.

Lime Crime, Winky Lux, Sigma, CosRX, Banila Co., Tony Moly, Missha, and many more call the store it’s home. Each display has samples for you to try, and the multiple sitting spaces urge you to try on a new look with the products offered there.

Visiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los Angeles

Riley Rose, launched by the daughters of the Forever 21 founders, is a fun concept store for the savvy Internet beauty consumer. Not to be limited by skincare or makeup, it also offers shoppers a variety of haircare (both Asian beauty choices as well as western favorites) and lifestyle pick-ups, like headbands (I almost bought at least five pairs of cat-eared headbands), notebooks, pens, coffee mugs, and cute phone cases.

Visiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los Angeles

There is even a space for you to buy drinks and snacks, like green tea or Hi-Chews.

There’s a space near the back of the store that seems to be entirely dedicated to the 10-step Korean beauty routine, with suggestions for every skin type as well as beautifully displayed samples to use.

Visiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los Angeles

Whenever I visited, employees were passing out 20% off coupons for the Friends and Family sale, and it didn’t seem to have any limitations. Prices were on par to Amazon, if only a little higher, but you’re guaranteed authenticity and there are frequent coupons online, if that is where you prefer to shop.

Visiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los AngelesVisiting Riley Rose, Los Angeles

Overall, Riley Rose is a really fun experience if you’re a skincare fanatic, and akin to Disneyland if you use mostly Asian beauty products.

You can find Riley Rose online or in-person at the Glendale Galleria in Los Angeles.

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