SKIN | What the hell is Vitamin C?

Well this post has been sitting in my drafts for far too long so it’s time for me to stop procrastinating and tell you why you should care about vitamin C in skincare.

Vitamin C’s having a real time at the moment, helped by the proliferation of vitamin C and vitamin C-adjacent serums in The Ordinary’s lineup. It’s a complicated ingredient, though, and it’s fickle—not all types of the molecule are created equal, so it’s important to know what you’re buying. Even the wrong type of packaging can make your vitamin C product a total dud.

So who should use vitamin C in skincare? Oh, you know, everybody. It’s one of the most versatile skincare ingredients, having measurable effects for preventing and repairing signs of aging, preventing and repairing dark spots and other pigmentation, minimising inflammation… it’s a comprehensive list, basically.

SKIN | What the hell is niacinamide?

skincare products with niacinamide

Niacinamide is a true hero ingredient, but I held off on writing about it because I wanted to get my hands on the hero niacinamide product: Cerave PM. Cerave is a drugstore skincare brand from the US, and quite difficult to get in New Zealand. I had a promising connection with their PR until it became apparent shipping internationally would be too much of a challenge (story of my life). Anyway, eventually I found a reputable seller on eBay who didn’t have offensively expensive shipping, and here we are!

SKIN | What the hell are peptides?

Image of peptide-rich products including eye creams and serums with peptides

Peptides! What are they? Good question. Plenty of skincare products use them—you might have seen Clinique’s new Pep-Start eye cream, as an example—but no one has ever really explained to me what they are or what they do. I’ve done a bit of research and I’ve got some answers, so if you’re wondering whether peptides are good for your skin, whether they’re anti-aging or just another marketing buzzword, I’m here to help.

SKIN | What the hell is micellar water?

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The Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is now available in New Zealand, and it’s time to ask the big questions. What is micellar water, and how does it work? I’ve been using micellar water for a good while now, and I’ll readily admit that I was confused when I first came across it. Case in point, this post from May last year: ‘I don’t know what micellar means but it might as well mean magical, as far as removing makeup is concerned.’ That’s not a lie, by the way. Micellar water is one of those fantastic beauty shortcuts that is actually a beauty shortcut, and not a stupid beauty ‘hack’ that’s just going to screw up your skin in the long run. Let me show you how.

SKIN | What the hell is an acid mantle?

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The ‘acid mantle’ is a term you might have heard mentioned if you’re a skincare science enthusiast, but chances are you don’t really know what it is and how it works. It came up in my skincare class at school, to the extent that ‘you have an acid mantle on your skin’. That’s it. So I didn’t understand it properly until I started researching for this article. It sounds like somewhere you might visit with Ms Frizzle on the Magic School Bus. Is there a skincare-based Magic School Bus episode?

This is an article I wrote for xoVain but it got dropped due to some changes happening to the site, which explains the slightly different tone to normal. Let me know if you’re into it!

SKIN | What the hell is hyaluronic acid?

neutrogena_hydro_boost_hyacinthgirl_top_sI was in Countdown with a migraine the other day, buying myself treats and picking up as much codeine as I could from the pharmacy (spoiler: not very much). Despite my headache stupor I couldn’t stop myself browsing the skincare and was genuinely excited when I saw the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range. It’s a supermarket-priced skincare range that contains hyaluronic acid! You may know how much I love hyaluronic acid, and you may also know that products containing it are usually pretty costly.

So what’s the big deal about hyaluronic acid, and why should you buy this stuff?

SKIN | What the hell is a chemical exfoliant?

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I think most people know that exfoliating is good for your skin, but the new trend of chemical exfoliators is a bit harder to get your head around. What the hell is a chemical exfoliant, and why should you choose it over a scrub?

Because I like to understand what I’m putting on my skin and what it does, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this. The benefit of this is that I will now translate it into a (hopefully) easy to understand blog post for you! So if you’re wondering what AHAs and BHAs are, and why people keep going on about acid toners, READ ON.