Shield your skin from UV: Murad Sunblock

I must confess that for a long time I didn't know how important it is to protect your skin against sun rays. Despite having a medical science background I was careless to the effects of sun on my skin. I knew everything about skin cancer and the consequences of environment stress. But for some reason I never used tanning beds but considered tanning on the beach somehow ok. It's not that I didn't use any sun protection for my face, I did! But only on the beach. Apparently, it was not enough I got tanned and despite knowing that it's bad I was happy to have a "healthy sun glow". I know ridiculous but we were / and still are all influenced by the western tan - obsessed culture.
 
 

 After getting older, now 26 and starting to care about anti-aging I realized that I was doing damage all this years. I developed some small lines on my forehead, nasolabial folds and visible pigmentations. I blame my behavior also on living  for some time in south France. The French brought tanning in the 20s (Coco Chanel they say, later made popular by Brigitte Bardot) and it became popular in western world. To my knowledge people in the US are becoming more aware of sun damage and use sunscreen,tanning spray salons etc. to get a fake tan. Nevertheless, the French didn't really adapt this habit and like to 'grill' in the sun. It's quit unpopular in France, especially in the south, to have a fake tan and everybody is expected to be naturally tanned. A fake tan is a no-no because you are living in the south.  When I lived there I was knew of photo aging and didn't want to tan a lot. I saw for the first time in my life so many French  girls/women with sun spots, pigmentations, freckles and yellow dull looking face. Don't get me wrong I don't want to offend French women and I'm sure many are using sunscreens. But In general I think a change in awareness of sun damage is needed. For more about this check this video out; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeHgv1W_hRg,  its by a French blogger about the attitude of French women towards sun protection.
 
Despite 'me' using sun protection I burned several times on the beach, probably because I stayed in the sun between 12am-15am and didn't use enough sunscreen after taking a swim. Still, I remember one of my colleagues asking me why I looked so pale while living on the cote azure (I was tanned but not too much, apparently this was considered pale). I
This was an introduction to what led me to start using sunscreen on my face and think about the consequences could be if I don't. It's important to protect your skin everyday even in the winter. It's the best anti-aging cream you can get,  maximum UVA/UVA protection. Shield your skin from damaging UV rays!!!
One of  the first real sunscreen  that I started using was the Murad sunblock.


I had some small 30 ml  tubes that I bought from a beauty website here in Holland during a sale period, it must have been a year ago. The sunscreen is a chemical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun rays. The active ingredients are: avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, oxybenzone.




 Murad sunblock has full  UVA/UVB  protection SPF 30 waterproof formula, which utilizes three active sunscreens. It claims to resists water and free radical damage and helps lock in moisture and maintain skin firmness. Contains vitamin C,  Hyaluronic Acid and Phytolipids.
  • - Hyaluronic Acid is a very popular skin care ingredient with a lot of scientific proof, it boost skin's moisture content, reduce inflammation, has cell-communicating abilities and help prevent moisture loss.
  • - Vitamin C is my all-time favorite ingredient!  There is so much scientific research showings it's skin benefits. It Reduce the appearance of brown spots and other types of sun damage. Helps boost healthy collagen production.
The sunscreen promises to reduce inflammation and irritation, both of which cause a cascade of damage, fade post-breakout red marks by improving skin’s natural healing response and increase the effectiveness of your sunscreens and boosts your skins defense against UV exposure....
The instructions says to apply it for 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply after 80 minutes the water or after excessive perspiring.

I used the sunscreen in the hot summer months especially on the beach,  because of the water proof claims. The texture is really thick creamy and difficult to spread, I didn't like that. However, it's water resistance and thus has a long staying power. My face is really sweat proof when I'm using it but it does have a white cast effect. The sunscreen didn't cause any breakouts or any other reaction on my sensitive skin. In general sunscreens tend to be drying, and the murad is no exception with its thick texture and mat finish. That's why I would use it only in the very hot summer days or on the beach, otherwise it's not moisturizing enough. For oily skin it's probably okay for daily use.
 Overall I use this sunscreen during very hot days and when my skin tends  to be oily. If you want to buy the full size it's about 30 Dollars, it’s not expensive for the 125 ml full size product. Normally, face sunscreens contain 50-60 ml a tube.
I don't think I will repurchase it again in the near future,  there are many other brands I can't wait to try out , I'm now moving into the territory of Japanese sunscreens, nobody makes them so good as the Japanese; usually they tend to be lightweight  and cheaper compared to western brands. I also prefer a sunscreen with both chemical and physical filters. Physical sunscreens protect your skin from the sun by deflecting or blocking the UV rays where chemical sunscreen absorb UV rays. But the ingredients vitamin C (high in the  ingredient list) and Hyaluronic Acid are really good skin care ingredients.


Pro's

-               good SPF protection 30 UVA/UVB

-               water resistant

-               sweat proof

-               oil controlling

-               contains Hyaluronic Acid and vitamin C

-               not expensive 30 dollars for 125 ml!

-               big full size product 

 
Con's

-               a little bit of a whitish cast

-               not moisturizing enough for everyday use

-               contains fragrance  (may not suit sensitive skin)

-               to many chemical filters, (may also not suit sensitive skin)

Fighting acne with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+)

Skincare is my favorite topic in the beauty world, but its so difficult to find a good product that really does what it promises to. I'm usually very careful with new products, especially with my dry-oily combination  acne prone sensitive skin!. I know it sounds very problematic.
I had tried several products from the French brand La Roche-Posay  and it's a brand that I trust! I find that it works very well on oily acne prone skin. Today I will review one of my must haves  products from this brand the : La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+)! I have suffered from acne since I was a teenager, trying many 'anti-acne product out there without real improvements? The only thing that kind of helped my skin were prescriptions from the doctor.

 
As I approached my mid-twenties my skin improved  due to hormonal changes. However, I refined a breakout from time to time. Not so much inflamed red pimples anymore but more like clogged pores which  can be red and stay forever. A while back I had one of this periods were my skin started to break out, so I got the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) because of all the positive reviews and my previous I experience with the brand.
 

 
 
 

This version is actually an update (thats the +) that targets scars and blemishes. Here is what  the product promises (from the official site)

 Roche-Posay introduces new Effaclar DUO[+] anti-blemish cream, specifically formulated to target the key signs of oily, blemish-prone skin. Clinically proven to correct the appearance of blemishes. Unclogs pores and refine the look of skin texture. This daily skincare solution is suitable even for sensitive skin......Complete care with reinforced anti-imperfection efficacy, thanks to Procerad, an exclusive anti-marks active ingredient.

Sounds great right, now about the ingredients, which are so important when it comes to skincare and it's effectiveness.
 
  • procerad™ is there patented ceramide that promises to protect against the appearance of red or brown spots by suppressing the excessive production of melanin that is present when spots first appear.
  • Further there is also Niacinamide,  a very famous and effective cell-communicating, anti-inflammatory ingredient. Many studies have shown that it increases barrier function and ceramide levels and also lightens hyperpigmentation.
  • Piroctone Olamine is an anti-yeast anti-bacterial ingredient, also used as preservative and antidandruff in shampoos. Here it's function is to combat bacterial proliferation on the skin.
  • LHA and Salicylic acid these are often used as acne treatments. Numerous studies showed  improved skin barrier function and increased collagen production. It's antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and exfoliating!  Additionally, very easily absorbed by the skin compared to other ingredients.
  • Linoleic Acid is anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing supportive ingredient. Furthermore, it penetrates the skin and can help facilitate the penetration of other active ingredients.

 

OMG it's amazing, what a great ingredient list ! The texture is gel-like and a little bit is enough to cover the whole face. I used it regularly when my skin was troubled and it definitely reduced redness and active acne. Skin cleared up, the red nasty pimples reduced in size! Every time when I feel like my skin is prone to blemish I use this product after cleansing. It's really good for combating oily skin, but much to drying for my combination to dry skin. When I used it as a moisturizers I had dry patches and my skin was dehydrated. But you can use a moisturizer after and the problem is solved. This is actually what I did later, used it like a 'treatment' before a moisturizer.  Nowadays,  after several facials and another skincare routine which I love, I still reach for this product every time I see some blemishes. The product gave my over sensitive skin no adverse reaction! The only thing I didn't like about it, is that it didn't do much for my clogged pores. I saw a reduction in clogged pores but still had many left (my skin is very problematic, others may not experience this).


Overall great product. A must have, will be on my dress table for a while.)

Pro's

-     effective against blemishes and redness

-     Reduced appearance of red inflamed pimples

-     Takes down oiliness, anti - shine function

-     Good for sensitive skin

-     helps to unclog pores

-    Not expensive compared to other brands, 20 euro for 40 ml tube in a French pharmacie (maybe be more expensive elsewhere). Not very cheap but ingredients are so effective and well formulated

Con's

-not moisturizing enough for dry skin but this is ok because it's not supposed to be a real moisturizer

-did not really help  unclog 'many' pores