Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask Review

This is more of a first impression rather than a full review of Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask as I have only used it once. I will update at the end of the post in a month or two with more photos.

The No. 8 mask is Olaplex’s newest product for all hair types and textures and particularly for damaged hair. This hair mask claims to repair, add shine and moisture, smooth and add body to damaged hair. The No. 8 mask is different from the No. 3 Hair Perfector in that it is to be used after shampooing in place of conditioner once a week. No. 3 is a treatment used on damp hair that is then shampooed and conditioned.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua/Eau), Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima, (Avocado) Oil, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Olivate, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Bromide, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Quaternium-80, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Seed Extract, Ceramide AP, Ceramide NP, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, Arginine, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Jojoba Esters, Panthenol, Squalane, Carthamus Tinctorius (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Histidine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Phosphatidylcholine, Citric Acid, Sodium Lactate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Bis-Cetearyl Amodimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene

The mask contains dimethicone as the second ingredient. As mentioned in my review of the Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil, from what I’ve read on different sites, dimethicone is a cheaper silicone that is not water soluble and is hard to remove. However, Olaplex says they use a high quality, low molecular weight, water soluble dimethicone that easily washes away and does not build up in the hair. The mask is formulated with plant oils, ceramides, amino acids and the bonding technology Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate that rebuilds broken and weakened bonds in the hair due to chemical and mechanical damage.

Directions: Apply to clean, damp hair from mid-lengths to ends. Work through with fingers. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly; style as usual. Start with one pump for shoulder-length hair; use more for longer or thicker hair and less for fine or short hair. Use sparingly on roots. To be used once a week.

For deep repair, Olaplex recommends using No. 0 and No. 3 along with No. 8 once a week. This could also be followed with No. 7 on damp or dry hair.

I have fine, frizzy, dry hair that I have not gotten colored or cut in a long while, but I am getting breakage towards the front hair and the shorter side pieces, particularly when brushing, that I hope the Olaplex mask can improve. After last getting my hair colored, I have had a band of frizz/damage that looks different from the rest of my hair which I hope will also improve with continued use.

Above is one pump of the hair mask. It is concentrated and thicker in texture and spreads through the hair easily. I sectioned my hair in two halves and applied one pump to each section after shampooing and towel drying. I left the mask on for 15 minutes under a shower cap, then rinsed and air dried (after using the Aquis hair turban). While finger combing the product in, the hair detangled quite nicely. While rinsing, the hair felt very silky.

Above, after one use, my hair is much less frizzy and feels soft with improved fly-aways. The ends of the hair look generally better. I do not really have an issue with body, but the mask left movement and added bounce and my hair was not weighed down. My hair felt softer and more silky than when using the Briogeo moisture mask (though likely due to the silicone in Olaplex No. 8) and not as soft as when using Redken All Soft shampoo and conditioner, though again, has less frizz.

So far, I like the Olaplex Bond Intense Moisture Mask and have noticeable results after one use in terms of hydration and frizz. I will update here after I have used the mask for a month or two.

Thanks for reading.

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfoods Hair Mask Review

This nourishing, protein-free hair mask by Briogeo is for all hair types and textures and claims to nourish, hydrate and soften the hair while providing improvement to frizz, curl definition and dryness.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Alcohol*, Stearyl Alcohol*, Behentrimonium Chloride*, Brassica Alcohol*, Propanediol*, Cetyl Esters*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract*, Spirulina Maxima Extract*, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Biotin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil*, Isododecane, Brassicyl Isoleucinate Esylate*, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract*, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract*, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract*, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract*, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract*, Isopropyl Myristate*, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract*, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract*, Cetrimonium Chloride*, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride*, Corallina Officinalis Extract*, Behentrimonium Methosulfate*, Panthenol, Volcanic Ash*, Arginine*, Glycerin*, Curcumin*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Palmaria Palmata Extract*, Mineral Salts*, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Potassium Sorbate*, Sodium Benzoate*, Fragrance (Parfum), Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol
*Coconut, vegetable, or plant derived.

The mask contains vegetable extracts; avocado that contains fatty acids to nourish and condition, kiwi that contains vitamin C for antioxidant protection and spinach with flavanoids and antioxidants for overall hair health. This formula has volcanic ash, which I see in dry shampoos and scalp products to regulate oils on the scalp, so not sure what this does for the lengths of the hair. Apparently turmeric extract can reduce breakage on the lengths of the hair and stimulate the scalp. Cocoa seed butter locks in moisture.

Directions: After shampooing, massage into lengths of the hair. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse. Can be used 1 to 2 times per week in place of conditioner.

The Avocado Kiwi Mega Mask is thick and smells a bit sweet, though not in a pleasant way; the scent does not linger, however. I have fine, dry, frizzy, wavy hair and have used the mask a few times now. I apply on damp hair after clarifying every 2 weeks or so, leaving on for 10 minutes under a shower cap, then rinsing. On my first use, I had to apply more than expected and it did not apply that smoothly to the hair to immediately detangle, but on subsequent uses, I added more water and it spread nicely and after the 10 minutes, detangled well with finger combing.

The above photo is before and after 3 uses (air dried). My hair feels much softer, my waves are more defined and there is less frizz. The mask is not heavy and does not weigh my hair down; I had no loss in volume or body.

Above is after 5 uses. I do not have any good recent before photos of the front of my hair, but my face-framing hair has much improved; usually it will dry frizzy and somewhat straight.

As a side note, on one use I also applied the mask to the roots and my scalp got so itchy, however, this is to be applied to the lengths of the hair.

Compared to Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask, the Mega Moisture Mask gives noticeable results with hydration, softness and defined my waves. While the Deep Conditioning Mask feels so nice to apply, smooths through the hair really well and feels like it coats each strand, it did not give the desired results in terms of dryness and frizz.

I would repurchase Briogeo’s Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfoods Hair Mask.

Thanks for reading.

Cosrx Real Fit Vitamin C Serum C23 Review

The Cosrx Real Fit Vitamin C Serum claims to brighten skin, fade dark spots, even skin tone, plump the skin, refine texture, hydrate and smooth fine lines and wrinkles without the harsh side effects (irritation and redness) of an ascorbic acid product.

Ingredients: Propolis Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Aronia Melanocarpa Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Lactate, Water, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin

The first ingredient is 60% propolis extract, a material made by bees that soothes the skin and has antioxidant properties. Cosrx says they added propolis instead of water to combat dryness caused by vitamin C (though water is added as the eighth of 11 ingredients). Ascorbic acid is the most researched form of vitamin C in skincare, but is unstable and can be irritating. Vitamin C can even skin tone, brighten, reduce fine lines, wrinkles and spots, firm the skin and defend the skin against free radicals and environmental stressors. This formula contains 23% ascorbic acid at 99% purity. Aronia Melanocarpa Fruit Extract (black chokeberry) and Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract are antioxidants, hydrating and have some vitamins and minerals and are said to increase the stability and efficacy of the vitamin C. Butylene glycol is a skin conditioning ingredient that can soften the skin. Sodium lactate is a humectant. Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and helps redness. Allantoin is a soothing ingredient.

Directions: Apply 2 or 3 drops to clean skin. Store in a dark, cool (15 to 25oC) place. If redness or irritation occurs, use every other day until skin adjusts.

The vitamin c serum comes in a lidded bottle packaged with a dropper. On opening the container, there was a small puff of air that was released and air bubbles moving the surface; this happened the first few times when opening. Cosrx sent an email saying that since the vitamin C has 99% purity, it reacts to temperature changes during shipping and gas is generated inside the product; this can cause the lid to slightly open and leak (this happened to one of my bottles). The serum comes in a 20 mL bottle and is best before 2 months once opened. It has no scent other than a slight vitamin C smell. It has a liquid texture and is light yellow in color.

I have oily/combination skin and used the Real Fit vitamin C for 5 months, using 5 to 6 drops per use (2 to 3 did not seem like enough) for 5 months every morning.

I got no irritation, stinging or redness of the skin until after about a month of use. I tried it on dry skin and damp skin with no other changes to my routine. Some days my skin would be fine, a few days my skin got very red and irritated (after 30 to 60 seconds of application) and I wanted to wash it off, and some days just stung a bit. I did not find this to be a hydrating formula (some days my skin felt quite dry and I got flakiness around my nose and mouth) and other products layered on top did not feel as nice on the skin. It left a dry, sticky layer over the skin. Using this, my skin felt a bit more rough than usual and there was no plumping of the skin.

I keep my skin care in my closet, away from light, heat and humidity. Despite this, the vitamin C was very unstable and started turning darker yellow after a couple weeks, then turning dark yellow-brown at about 6 weeks (best before 8 weeks). I did not get through more than half the bottle (of any of the bottles I purchased) before I could not use it due to oxidation. I wonder if the air in the bottle caused it to oxidize faster than it should have. Likely a bottle with about half the product and a pump would be better, but the pump would have to be metered and very smooth with a liquid formula and would probably have increased cost.

After about 2 weeks of use, my skin looked generally brighter and was less oily.

Above, after 5 months of use, my complexion looks generally brighter and less congested. The splotch of hyperpigmentation does not look greatly improved, but some of the darker spots have faded.

The left side of my face has darker hyperpigmentation and I was surprised by how much the spots on my cheekbones had faded. This is more noticeable on this side of my face likely because the spots were darker and more defined than the right side.

The left photo shows general improvement in brightness, pores and hyperpigmentation. I have some fine lines on my forehead that I do not think are improved, but the brown spots over the far eyebrow have faded and my forehead looks less oily.

I am not sure if this is my imagination or not, but looking in the mirror, I thought my skin looked darker than normal (surprising since I used this over the fall and winter). A quick read of an article on labmuffin.com says that ascorbic acid turns into erythrulose, an ingredient in fake tanner that reacts to proteins in dead skin cells, causing darkening of the skin. This can be prevented if the ascorbic acid is used in a formula with vitamin E and ferulic acid, using an oil or cream after application of the vitamin C to protect it from the air (which I did, using The Inkey List’s Peptide Moisturizer) or using it at night.

The Cosrx Real Fit Vitamin C Serum C23 faded hyperpigmented spots, brightened and generally improved the skin’s complexion, but is not a formula I enjoyed using; it is sticky, drying, irritating, unstable, oxidized before I could get halfway through the bottle (a waste of product and money) and potentially darkened the skin. Despite the results, I would not repurchase.

Thanks for reading.

Redken All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Redken All Soft shampoo and conditioner are for dry and damaged hair that claim to leave hair soft, manageable and shiny. I have an oily scalp and dry, frizzy hair and have been using All Soft for a couple months now.

All Soft Shampoo

The All Soft shampoo claims to gently cleanse while creating soft and silky hair.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Dimethicone, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Glycol Distearate, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide Mipa, Parfum/Fragrance, Sodium Pca, Salicylic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Carbomer, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Disodium Edta, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Potassium Dimethicone Peg-7 Panthenyl Phosphate, Sodium Sarcosinate, Benzyl Alcohol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Arginine, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Coumarin, Linalool, Limonene, Fumaric Acid, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Ci 15510/Orange 4, Phenoxyethanol, Ci 17200/Red 33, All Soft Tetrasodium Edta, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxide (D184464/1).

All Soft shampoo is creamy and formulated with sulfate, silicone and salicylic acid. The shampoo contains Redken’s RCT (root, core, tip) protein complex; soy protein that adds structure to the root, providing stronger hair at the scalp; arginine, conditioning hair at the core, and Sepicap to restore the look of the ends of the hair. Moisturizing factor replenishes and maintains moisture balance. Argan oil provides softness, silkiness and shine to the hair.

Directions: Massage shampoo into a soft lather on wet hair and rinse. Can be used daily.

The shampoo has a soft lather and smells nice. The shampoo cleanses well and does not tangle the hair while washing. The hair does not feel dry or overly squeaky clean while rinsing.

All Soft Conditioner

The All Soft conditioner claims to detangle, replenish moisture and provide intense softness.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Elaeis Guineensis Oil/Palm Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Octyldodecanol, Sodium Pca, Parfum/Fragrance, Citric Acid, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Potassium Dimethicone Peg-7 Panthenyl Phosphate, Sodium Sarcosinate, Propylene Glycol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Arginine, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Potassium Sorbate (D184537/1).

Like the shampoo, the conditioner contains the RCT complex, moisturizing factor and argan oil. The conditioner contains a water-soluble silicone that provides shine, softness and detangling.

Directions: After using All Soft shampoo, distribute through hair and rinse thoroughly.

The All Soft conditioner detangles well, particularly when left in the hair for a couple minutes and finger combing.

Using All Soft shampoo and conditioner, my hair feels very soft and silky and has some shine. My hair feels more hydrated, looks less poofy, has a bit less frizz and my waves and curls are more defined. The hair does not feel weighed down and still has good volume. Usually, when air drying my hair, my bangs and the shorter hair around my face will poof and frizz up, but using All Soft, I have nice curls around my face and my bangs were not frizzy at all. It’s been over a year since I got my hair cut and using this shampoo and conditioner, the ends of my hair feel less rough and dry.

I really like Redken’s All Soft shampoo and conditioner and will continue to purchase.

Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask Review

The Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask from Ilia is a lip treatment that claims to gently exfoliate, nourish and hydrate the lips while providing a soft, smooth, plumped feeling.

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mango Butter Dimer Dilinoleyl Esters/Dimer Dilinoleate Copolymer, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Polyglyceryl-10 Decaoleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaoleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate, C10-18 Triglycerides, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire d’abeille, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Hydroxystearic Acid, Aroma, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lactobacillus/Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract, Silica, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract, Gardenia Taitensis Flower Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

Salicornia herbacea extract is said to improve hydration up to 6000% for smooth and supple lips. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, drawing moisture to the lips. Papaya enzymes gently exfoliate the skin, improving absorption of other ingredients. Plant butters and oils nourish and soften the lips over time. Undaria pinnatifida extract is a type of seaweed that is hydrating and soothing and acts as an antioxidant. Geraniol, limonene and linalool are fragrance ingredients.

Directions: Apply a thin layer during the day and/or before bed as a lip mask. Can be worn under lipstick. Due to the gentle exfoliating properties, the lip treatment can be applied up to a few times per day.

Ilia Lip Wrap is a balm-like treatment that has a bit of a herbal scent/taste. It feels nice on the lips initially, not too heavy. It makes the lips a bit shiny, but not sticky. I’ve used for 2 weeks thus far, two to three times a day, in the morning, sometimes afternoon, and as an overnight mask. My lips are generally dry and can get flakiness.

A number of times I’ve applied this, after about 15 to 20 minutes, the lip balm seemed to soak in really fast, leaving my lips feeling much drier with quite a bit of flakiness. The lips look smoother and little plumper while the balm is applied, but there are no real short or longer term benefits. As an overnight mask, the Lip Wrap does not last on the lips until morning. In the 2-week photo above, my lips look and feel drier with dry surface skin and a couple cracks, worse off than in the before photo. The lips are not smoothed, nourished, hydrated, plumped or exfoliated. Lip Wrap gives similar results to the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, although feels nicer on the lips.

I would stick with my must-have lip balm Quench from My Best Face Skin Care. As an overnight treatment, I layer squalane oil over Quench for soft, hydrated lips the next morning.

I will not repurchase Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask.