June 11, 2019

COOP+DAISY Skincare Review

Hey everyone,

you may have already read about my latest skincare routine. One of the products I use almost everyday is the COOP+DAISY Fresh Glow Jelly Cleanser. I found it a few months ago at TK Maxx (4 fl oz / 128 mL for 5,99 €) searching for a smooth and gentle cleanser. It smells very mild, a bit acidic, yet delightful. And I do feel that it is able to take off the dirt and pollution on my face, though I do not use it for removing makeup. But whenever I double cleanse with oil first, I use this jelly cleanser afterwards and it works perfectly.

the label on the back of the COOP+DAISY fresh glow jelly cleanser bottle showing the ingredients and directions
COOP+DAISY Fresh Glow Jelly Cleanser ingredients

The ingredients list is not too long - a huge purchasing factor for me - and it does contain a few beneficial chemicals. While glycerin and aloe vera juice are hydrating to your skin, it does not contain harsh surfactants, such as SLS or sodium laurate, but a milder one called Polysorbate 20. Basically it is a good cleanser for dry, dehydrated skin and my face tells the same. I like to massage it into my skin and get rid of sebum and dirt, without drying out my skin - all in all perfect.

a beautiful capturing of the COOP+DAISY collection, including the Brigthen Up Glow Serum (left), the Fresh Glow Jelly Cleanser (middle) and the Night Glow Sleeping Serum, surrounded by two succulent plants
COOP+DAISY products from left to right: Brighten Up Glow Serum, Fresh Glow Jelly Cleanser, Night Glow Sleeping Serum

Months later, about two weeks ago I even found the two serums matching the skincare line by COOP+DAISY. The pink one is supposed to be used nightly, while the yellow serum does not direct you to use it during a special time of the day.

The Brighten Up Glow Serum (1.5 fl oz / 44 mL for 8,99 €) does - as well as the Jelly Cleanser - contain great ingredients shown just below. One of them is niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3. I know that vitamin B3 is crucial for your mental well-being, as it can cause e.g. depression. But if you want to learn more about its effect on skin, I recommend to read Michelle's blog entry on labmuffin.com, I linked it to the word niacinamide. Ascorbic ccid, vitamin C, is a great antioxidant, helping your skin to reverse signs of aging. While the enzyme exfoliator pineapple fruit extract can cause irritations, especially with sensitive skin, it is actually helpful to remove dead skin cells. You may heard that pineapples bite back when you eat them, meaning a chemical in them called bromelain is able to dissolve proteins. This effect is used in skincare to help get rid of the flakes of shed skin. I do not use the serum for a longer time than half an hour, as my skin is very sensitive recently and I do not want to irritate it too much. Magnesium - an essential mineral for flora and fauna - is also added to the glow serum, meaning it can be absorbed through the hair follicles and sweat glands and release its beneficial influences when applied for a longer time. But thinking of all the acids in this serum I personally would not wear it all day.

a collage of the labels on the back of the bottles of the COOP+DAISY Brighten Up Glow Serum and the Night Glow Sleeping Serum, showing the directions and ingredients
COOP+DAISY Brighten Up Glow Serum (left) and Night Glow Sleeping Serum (right) ingredients

Last, but not least, I purchased the Night Glow Sleeping Serum at TK Maxx (1.5 fl oz / 44 mL for 7,99€), too. One of the ingredients you can spot above is collagen. Though the molecule is too big to penetrate skin, collagen has hydrating benefits, perfect for dry skin. Glycolic acid, an Alpha Hydroxy Acid, is able to penetrate the skin and remove dead skin cells, leading to a smoother and plumper skin. Pure titanium dioxide is not hazardous, but it can absorb sun rays and ultraviolet light, making it a good ingredient to avoid skin aging. Though I do not understand how it is supposed to unfold its properties at night. All of the products contain perfume as the last ingredient, which can be an issue with sensitive skin. It is best to test the cleanser and the serums first before applying it onto your whole face and neck.

Since glycolic acid is a bit too harsh for me, I use this sleeping serum only one to two times a week during the night. I can tell that it is benefiting my skin paired with the glow serum I usually apply for around ten minutes to half an hour every second day. I feel like my skin is plumper and smoother, apart from my still existent break outs which did not exceed while using the serums. Certainly I am going to repurchase the jelly cleanser, but I am not sure about the serums. I will use them for a little bit longer and see how much my skin is going to change for the better.

The serums come in glass bottles with a dropper and the cleanser in a pump dispenser made out of glass and plastic. The jelly-like liquids are white-ish with a fair scent that is mostly the same for all three products. Below you can see the textures (perfect on texture tuesday).

a photo showing the textures of the Glow Serum dropping out of the pipet (left), Jelly Cleanser on the back of a hand (middle) and the Sleeping Serum dropping out of the pipet (right)

Do you know COOP+DAISY and their jelly cleanser, plus both the serums, already? Are you a fan or do you loathe the products? Let me know in the comments, I would appreciate to hear about your experiences. ☺

xxxx Aga

June 1, 2019

skincare 3.0


Hi everyone!

Literally no one asked me to write this post, but I want to share my skincare regime with you nonetheless. I called this post skincare 3.0 because it is indeed my third main change in how my skin is acting and how I treat it. Please do not hate me for using the word skin so so so often in this post, I could not think of another term and it is needed to avoid misunderstandings.

I had bad skin breaking out like 24/7 for a very long time in my teenage years. Makeup was an essential and I slapped it on my face every day. Breakouts, dark eyes, herpes and pimple scars, blemishes on my skin - they all made me very insecure and I suffered from my problematic skin. Back then I had absolutely no access to professional skincare and I have not visited a dermatologist whatsoever. It was not acne I guess, but it was very near the mark. Thanks to whoever I only had breakouts on my forehead, temples and chin, but they were bad. And I wore makeup all day, so it was a vicious cycle I could not exit. Although you cannot call this skincare, it was the first touch with it. Finding several products at the drugstore was my kind of skincare back then. I did not know how damaging and contradicting it was to use certain cleansers, masks or spot treatments, but they were the last straw for someone who was too lazy to look up skincare AND too fed up with their skin condition.

A few days before turning 18 I went to the apothecary and asked what to do with my skin. I was fed up with the need to cover up, to hide my real face. Makeup itself was (and still is in an extent) an amazing way to represent my feelings, me in general I think. But plastering my whole face just to cover my impurities was a burden. I wanted to look good without having to put on concealer, foundation, powder every single day. As I was not able to access a dermatologist I asked a pharmacist how to cure my acne-prone skin. That was the start of my skincare version 2.0, my first attempt to somehow professionally clear up my face.

The first advice was to skip putting on makeup and use skincare products. I was sold a few NUXE products, as far as I can recall it was a unclogging thermo-active mask, a skin-perfecting purifying lotion toner, a soothing and rehydrating fresh mask and an anti-shine fluid, along with a few sachets of sunscreen and after sun lotion for my body. Aside from the advice to stop using makeup to let my skin clear up and breathe for once, I was made aware of another mistake I was doing back then. For makeup removal I used very harsh cleansing gels from the drugstore because I wanted my skin to be squeaky clean. The pharmacist told me that getting rid of the sebum so harshly to counteract my oily skin is only telling my skin to produce more sebum and this is making my skin look greasier. I mean, that is logical when you bear in mind that your skin is only trying to save itself from losing all its oils so much, but back then that was a revolutionary advice for me. Instead of using oil-stripping cleansers from the drugstore I was recommended to use a toner instead, just to take off the pollution and excess sebum of my skin before going to sleep.

To mattify my skin and also create a barrier to make it harder for pollution and bacteria to reach my skin, the pharmacist told me it is best to apply a face cream at the morning. For oily, acne-prone skin it is recommended to use a lighter type of cream, for example a fluid or gel, which is non-comedogenic and mattifying. The NUXE fluid was indeed mattifying my skin, not all day, but it has been a significant difference and I did not look all greasy after just one hour. The two masks were supposed to clear up my skin in a gentle way. Putting on mask twice a week, alternating between the two, was purifying, but when I look back it was a suboptimal idea to use the thermo-active mask, as it contains walnut shell powder. Thanks to Kylie Skin it should be known all over the internet that walnut shells as peeling agents are harmful to the skin as they can cause micro tears, damaging the skin's natural protection hull. Frankly my skin was not damaged as much by using this mask and my skin did improve.

I do not know how I would have reacted to these advices while still going to school and not being able to hide my impurities under makeup. As far as I still know I was done with school, just waiting for my A-level exams, so going bare face was do-able. It was a very long way to clear up the blemishes and pimples, and I need to confess that I was not strictly leaving out makeup. But it did get better and showing my bare skin was starting to feel better. I was still extremely insecure, but seeing my skin clear up day by day made it easier to accept the journey.

Unfortunately when I moved away to study maths I quickly gave up caring for my skin out of  lack of time and motivation. As soon as I ended up the products I did not even rebuy them because I did not have the money. I started using makeup on a daily basis and in 2015 my skin was bad again. It was not the same though, the blemishes were kind of more adult-y and mature. I feel like I had cystic acne pimples in my teenage years, which switched to oily impurities, not sitting that deep in my skin. At that time I was upset about my breakouts, but was not motivated enough to get myself skincare products to use on a daily basis. So I stayed with makeup.

After quitting studying I lost the interest in going out. So I did not need to use make up so often anymore. I found that it helped my skin to clear up, only a few pimples showed up every now and then. It was okay until last year, when breakouts hit me like a ton of bricks. Somehow they came back worse than ever. To be honest, I completely did not know what to do. Instead of going to a dermatologist or just gathering information about proper skincare, I used whatever promised to clear up spots within hours. Perceiving that I broke out due to lack of hygiene I used harsh scrubs and cleansers to get back my rather uncomplicated skin. Basically I used products similar to those in my first skincare attempt. It was a step backwards and as you can imagine, it did not help at all. My skin got worse day by day, but at that time whenever one pimple disappeared it made me think I am doing the right method.

My favourite skincare products: Eveline Hyaluronic 3 in 1 Primer, Uriage Bariederm Cu-Zn Spray, cosrx AHA/BHA toner, COOP+DAISY Fresh Glow Jelly Cleanser, Avène Eau Thermale Spray, Bioderma Photoderm AKN Mat SPF 30, The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, Dr. Jart+ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment, Heliocare 360 gel oil-free SPF 50, Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
All my skincare products in one photo, listed at the end of this post ↓

November 2018 I was finally fed up with my skin condition. I needed immediate remedy, so I looked up what to use for my oily, now dehydrated and sensitive skin full of impurities. Instead of following every single routine and suggestion by several influencers I found on the internet, I properly searched for what could be the best for my skin on medical or scientific sources. And I found some products people swear by. My aim was to find something that is going to help my skin, but also to be rather environmentally friendly. As I was not able to completely control the amount of trash the products are going to produce, I ended up looking into the ingredients to ensure that these products do not contain substances harmful to the environment. My skincare 3.0 was born.

Having so many breakouts is hindering my self-confidence to flourish, so I wear makeup. But I learned to use non-comedogenic foundations and primers, while using a good moisturizer and sunscreen beforehand. This has been a game changer, to be honest. Also acids are the second most important part of my skincare routine. I use different ones to help my skin get rid of dead cells and pollution, but to fight my impurities it is needed to use a beta hydroxy acid, aka salicylic acid. If you want to implement acids in your own skincare routine, please be careful. Always start with a low percentage as acids can harm your skin and worsen its appearance.

My favourite skincare products: The Dr. Jart+ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment and the Heliocare 360 gel oil-free sunscreen with SPF 50
The color correcting treatment I use whenever I can leave out wearing foundation, plus my favorite sunscreen I yet have to buy in full size

There is such a thing called #60secondrule taking over social media platforms currently. It was created by the esthetician Nayamka and basically her YouTube video says to cleanse your face for at least 60 seconds to ensure the cleanser's ingredients are working perfectly and to let your skin get rid of filth, sebum and dead cells. I personally just now heard about it on instagram, but Nayamka posted the video on January 11th this year. Without knowing about the trend I have been applying a minute rule to my skincare. Not only do I try to cleanse thoroughly without using too harsh ingredients, I also have been waiting at least a minute after my different skincare steps dried before putting the next layer of skincare product on my skin. And I am sure this helped my skin, too.

Every now and then, when my skin is getting irritated and dry, I use a facial spray containing Copper Gluconate and Zinc Oxide to soothe the sensitivity and apply a polypeptide cream afterwards to help my skin avoid drying out too much. To make my skin look dewy without makeup I cleanse it with a jelly cleanser and spray an AHA and BHA toner all over my face and neck. I feel like this is minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and pores, but I do not have scientific proof on this, just my perception. The next step is to apply sunscreen and a green-ish beige tinted face cream to even out my skin tone, topping it off with a facial mist. I love using an aloe vera one containing rosewater, which is not depicted in the photo above. Though I heard that rose water can dry out your skin (I am sorry, I cannot provide a source for this claim), I use it to finish my look without spraying it on my bare skin. When I am out and about and need a little refreshment, I usually spritz a bit of my thermal spring water on my skin - bare or full of makeup, does not matter.

My favourite skincare products: The Eveline Hyaluronic 3 in 1 makeup primer, the Uriage Bariederm Cica-Spray containing Copper and Zinc, and the cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
The hyaluronic acid hydrating primer (left), copper and zink repairing spray (middle) and AHA/BHA toner (right) I use

I make sure to take off my makeup, sunscreen, lotions, etc. in the evening. It's helpful to use an electrical face brush, but sometimes I just use my fingers and massage my skin. I apply salicylic acids onto new pimples and usually moisturize my skin during the night, too. 

In the past few months I was able to soothe my skin, as well as get rid of most of my impurities. I struggled a lot from pimples on my chin and I sensed a change when I started to leave out milk in my diet. Although I still eat meat and dairy products I was able to cut out milk completely. I am not sure if going fully vegan is do-able for me, but I already reduced my consumption of animal products and I replace meat with plant-based proteins from time to time. I know animal products are a huge contribution to the environmental issues we are facing at the moment, but even reducing your intake of meat and dairy, while avoiding cheap animal products and opt for better quality meaning better husbandry, have an impact on the ecology, as well as on the economy. As soon as companies learn that dairy or meat are not longer eaten regularly and every day, but maybe just once or twice a week, they will come up with vegetarian or vegan options to make money. That would mean animal product substitutes are going to decrease in price. But this is another story and I do not want to upset anyone over the fact how often they are eating non-vegan food. The only advice I want to give you: avoid milk if you are suffering from acne or breakouts. I know this might not be the solution to achieve flawless skin, but it is often an obstacle why you are still breaking out.

To cut a very long story short, these are my current holy grails (all bought by myself):
  • Eveline Cosmetics - Hyaluron Clinic Intensive Hydrating Make-Up Base Primer 3in1 Hydrator
  • Uriage - Bariéderm Drying-Repairing Cica-Spray with Cu-Zn
  • Cosrx - AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
  • COOP+DAISY - Fresh Glow Jelly Cleanser
  • Avene - Thermal Spring Water Spray
  • Bioderma - Photoderm AKN Mat SPF 30
  • The Ordinary - Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
  • Dr.JART+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment
  • Heliocare - 360° Gel Oil-free SPF 50
  • Drunk Elephant - Protini™ Polypeptide Cream
Are you using any of these, too? Let me know in the comments what products you swear by and what products you are never going to touch again. I am looking forward to your recommendations. ☺

xxxx Aga

May 24, 2019

Endless Inactivity?

Yes. I have been properly inactive on my blog again. My mental state is screwing me up and I cannot seem to keep up writing posts regularly. Though I have a lot of ideas what to write about. I am even going to host a few giveaways, since I own and adore a few products which I would love to share with you.

I started studying applied chemistry and taking care of my skin. Stephen Alain Ko and Michelle Wong are my role models when it comes to both topics. I learned a lot in the past months and I am sure I can help some of you by sharing my skincare experiences. As I am just at the beginning you will probably find a lot of links that are going to redirect you to more scientific sources, but life is itself a learning process and hopefully I end up like Michelle and Stephen. Big thanks to you both, you are inspiring me every single day to keep going (because chemistry is a tough field) and I love your commitment to share your knowledge.

Every once in a while I am going to post about skincare products, makeup, eco-friendly tools and utensils, social topics and my life in general. I hope you stay tuned and support my blog throughout the journey. The posts are not going to be published frequently and regularly due to my mental health and the strain I encounter from studying, but if you want to be kept updated you can follow me on my instagram. As I personally hate receiving newsletters I do not think I am going to come out with one.

This time I hope that I can keep up blogging for a little longer, maybe even doing it for the next years, but I do not want to stress myself too much. I would totally appreciate your support, comment on my posts whenever you want to get in touch with me, or message me on the social media accounts I mentioned in the top bar tabs. Also, I welcome collaborations that fit my blog, so if you have got any product you want me to test, please e-mail me.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and kind of supporting me in the process of posting again. Please push a button below if you reached the end reading the whole post.  ☺

xxxx Aga

December 24, 2018

Merry Giving-Presents-to-Your-Most-Favorite-People-Holiday

... or just Merry Christmas!

I wish all of you a wonderful time with your family and friends,
enjoy the love and mirth!

Recycle the wrapping materials,
give back gifts you absolutely do not need, so they can be returned or reused and cook just as much as you need to avoid food waste.

Thanks for everyone who is here since the beginning of my blog, you rock!

Frohe Weihnachten   Wesołych świąt   Joyeux Noël
Feliz Navidad   Buon Natale   Vrolijk kerstfeest
Selamat Natal   God jul   Veselé vánoce
Mutlu noeller   Vrolike Kersfees   Maligayang Pasko
З Різдвом Христовим   圣诞快乐   С Рождеством
メリークリスマス   Весела Коледа   क्रिसमस की शुभकामनाएँ
메리 크리스마스   สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส   میری کرسمس

December 23, 2018

This Year's Summary

Hello my dear readers!

My life has been an utter rollercoaster this year. As you may already know I am struggling with different mental illnesses which make it hard for me to experience life in an enjoyable, fulfilling way. I started blogging again in January but could not keep it up. I have been to a clinic this summer which was quite helpful - until I ended up doing the mistake of going back to the toxic environment I lived in before. Long story short, I am not doing as much better as I did when I left the psychiatry in July. Many positive and negative events made up the second half of the year. And they were stressful, exhausting.

The positive were moving in with my boyfriend nearby my twin sister and starting to study again. Unfortunately there were more negative events than positive ones. I lost my beloved car, gained weight back, my psychiatrist was not able to continue having me as her patient and - what keeps me up at night the most - I have immense issues to keep up my friendship with my best friend Jess. Jess, I can totally understand if you hate me by now.

The dark blue evening skyline I see standing on my balcony
That's the skyline view when I stand on my balcony in the evening.

So, what steps am I supposed to take now? Studying is my priority recently, but so are my cats. Beside improving my friendship I also want to keep up my blog again. I have got some post ideas already, as well as a few giveaways planned. All I need now are active readers. You are invited to follow my blog, twitter and instagram to keep you updated. I can also put you on my mailing list to receive an e-mail whenever I publish a new post.

I hope you enjoy my blog! Stay in the loop! Plus, there will be a photo challenge soon - feel free to take part!

Have a wonderful fourth Sunday of Advent!

xxxx Aga