Thursday, January 31, 2013

Drill, Baby, Drill! (Oily Skin and You)

I've heard from numerous gals lately who all have the same problem: they have that fresh-from-the-gym  shine when the most physically exerting thing they've done all day is get out of bed and wash their face. The problem? More often than not, the root cause of oily skin is... the skin is being stripped of oil.

This sounds counterintuitive, but according to an interview InStyle magazine conducted with dermatologists Jeannette Graf and Anne Chapas, "like attracts like. A cleansing oil adheres to the sebum deep inside pores, so both end up getting rinsed away with water."

Also recommended for those suffering from acne (or anyone who worries about fine lines): retinol. Dr. Chapas says, "Not only does retinol exfoliate and unclog pores, but retinoic acid actually binds to the sebaceous glands and limits their production of oil."

Shu Uemura makes some of the best cleansing oils on the market. At $31 a bottle, they aren't the cheapest product available, but I prefer to think of it in terms of bang for your buck. Because the oils emulsify on the skin, a little goes a long way, but Nip + Fab makes a similar product for around $11.

I use Origins Mega Mushroom Calming Cleanser ($28.50), which is rich in oils, RoC retinol (around $15), and CeraVe moisturizer ($13), and I've seen a dramatic improvement in my skin's texture, clarity, and oil production. Because winter weather does dry the skin, I recommend using a richer night cream or raiding your pantry. When nothing else stops my skin from peeling, olive oil works wonders.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

L'Oréal: Because You're... Pink-Haired?! (Updated!)

Hey, all! My goal of blogging twice a week got sidelined by the start of the spring semester. Now that I'm back in the swing of things, I've returned with a review of a product I did not get along with at all: L'Oréal's Superior Preference in 6R Light Auburn.

As I mentioned in my intro post, I have very prematurely graying hair -- it started turning silver when I was in 5th grade -- so I dye my hair. What I wanted? Rich, cinnamony auburn. What I got? Dark, blotchy, pinkish red. (Pictures will be up when I can shoot in daylight.)

It's horrific. I don't understand if the dye itself was bad, but I also noticed as it developed on my hair, the scent was much stronger than normal and made my eyes burn despite the bathroom door being wide open and the fan running. I use L'Oréal religiously and have used this exact color before with beautiful results, but it's put me off.

Recommendations, anyone?

As promised, here is the color my hair turned, photographed in natural light streaming in through my window. As you can see, it adds a lovely pink glow to everything it touches. It's actually not a terrible color, but it's not at all what I was going for. I want my hair to look like I don't color it, not like I have pinkish-red hair. Below the pinky one is a photo of how my hair looks in artificial, incandescent lighting. See, it matches my eyebrow! That is what I was going for. Alas, my hair doesn't look like that in natural light or under the harsh glow of fluorescents.

However, all was not lost! I spoke with someone from L'Oréal's tip line, and they were incredibly helpful and sweet, so the brand still earns major brownie points from me.