Drmtlgy Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Review

The Pumpkin Enzyme Mask by Drmtlgy is a self-warming, 4-in-1 mask that claims to gently exfoliate, nourish, hydrate, and reduce the appearance of large pores, and leaves the skin soft and glowing. This is suitable for all skin types.

Ingredients: PEG-8, Kaolin, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Jojoba Esters, Steareth-21, Titanium Dioxide, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Extract, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), Colloidal Silver, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Ethylhexylglycerin, Talc, Water/Aqua/Eau, Red 30, Iron Oxides, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol

PEG-8 and glycerin are humectants. Kaolin is a clay that is used for oil control and helps to minimize the look of large pores. The mask contains jojoba beads that provide gentle physical exfoliation and replenish moisture as they activate on contact with the skin. Pumpkin fruit extract contains carotenoids to help with oxidative damage and improving skin tone, and vitamins. Colloidal silver is an antibacterial and has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Directions: Apply a generous amount to clean, dry skin. Massage until warming sensation dissipates. Leave on for 10 minutes. Wet hands and massage again. Rinse with warm water. Can be used 2 to 3 times a week.

I had not intended to purchase this product as I am not much of a mask person, but this was a free gift with purchase from a Drmtlgy promotion and I was getting sunscreen anyhow. I have fine lines, large pores, oily T-zone, dry and dehydrated cheeks, and blackheads.

The mask is heavy and sticky, and works better with a generous amount, dotting the face and allowing it to warm and soften a little on the skin. I had applied a thin layer the first use, but it did not seem to do much. It has a pumpkin spice scent. I have been using once to twice a week for a few months now. The mask is supposed to self-warm as it is massaged into the skin, but that has not happened for me. It does get a little warm for about 10 seconds once I add a bit of water and massage again after the 10 minutes. There are tiny bits of jojoba left after the 10 minutes that allows for further exfoliation.

From the first use, this provides gentle exfoliation, moisture/hydration and softness to the skin. It softens blackheads and sebaceous filaments, so I like to use a BHA product after the mask (I have recently been using Slurp Laboratories Decalt). My skin appears cleaner and clearer, glowy, supple, bouncy and feels so smooth and soft. My pores look a little smaller, perhaps because of the cleansing properties of the kaolin clay. I did not really notice a difference in fine lines; there are other products that improve fine lines that I like to use rather than relying on a weekly mask, such as an AHA and/or retinol.

I much prefer the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask to Drmtlgy’s microdermabrasion scrub. The mask does not really warm up like it is supposed to, however, is a definite repurchase and a product that I have added to my favorites. So glad Drmtlgy was offering this; I would not have tried it otherwise.

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Drmtlgy Microdermabrasion Scrub Review

The Microdermabrasion Scrub from Drmtlgy claims to improve skin texture and tone and reduce the appearance of large pores, fine lines, scarring, and hyperpigmentation using nonabrasive exfoliation, and enriching ingredients to soften and soothe the skin. For dry, oily, combination or normal skin.

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Pumice, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Titanium Dioxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Benzoate, Gluconolactone, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Blue 1

The exfoliation is provided by fine pumice granules. Glycerin, triglyceride, and cetearyl alcohol soften and soothe the skin. The granules are in a thick cream base. There is added color and fragrance. The scent is a bit medicinal, but pleasant.

Directions: Apply to clean skin and massage over face and neck. Rinse with water and pat dry. Can be used 2 to 3 times a week.

I have combination skin; oily T-zone and dry cheeks with some dehydration. I had been neglecting my skin care for a bit, so my skin felt rough and dry and just wanted a really good scrub. I used too much product and applied too much pressure the first time I used it, so my skin was red and irritated with some stinging. Subsequently, I used very light pressure and wet my face and hands first. I have been using 1 to 2 times a week for a couple months. There is a bit of a cooling sensation on the skin which I think contributes to irritation. Every time after use, my cheeks are a bit red for few minutes. The scrub certainly improves skin texture and tone. I do not notice any difference in softness, hyperpigmentation, large pores, or soothing. Fine lines on my forehead are a bit improved. I do not really expect a scrub to help with hyperpigmentation from sun damage; it might improve postinflammatory hyperpigmentation a bit. For treatments on sun damage, I got really good results with photofacial treatments and the Obagi Nu-Derm system (the beginnings of my love of skin care).

Using a tiny amount of scrub, a bit less than a pea size, and using a light touch on wet skin still made my face a bit red with a warm sting on my cheeks. On rinsing, the skin is not dry, but has a smooth feeling with a bit of moisture from the cream. Mixing it with a cleanser (Slurp Laboratories Gel and Soon Jung 5.5 Foam Cleanser are two favorites) helps with the “harshness” of the scrub. For gentle physical exfoliation, I prefer powder cleansers (Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is really good) and the Foreo Luna device. A product from Drmtlgy that actually provides gentle exfoliation while softening and moisturizing the skin is the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. Generally for my oily skin and large pores, chemical exfoliation (AHAs, BHAs, retinol (not a chemical exfoliant per se but speeds up cell turnover)) is better without the potential for physical micro-damage to the skin.

While Drmtlgy’s microdermabrasion scrub smooths the skin and provides improvement to texture (and is more luxurious in a cream base), it is a bit much for my skin, causing some redness and a bit of a sting. I will not repurchase for my face, but have been using the scrub on my hands, particularly the knuckles and the cuticles.

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K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo Review

K18 Peptide Prep Detox is a clarifying shampoo for all hair types and textures, color safe and pH optimized. This shampoo claims to effectively cleanse product buildup, oils, and minerals found in hard water. With a pH of 3.8 to 4.2, this is said to minimize swelling of the cuticle during washing and protects hair’s natural moisture levels. If pH is too high, a shampoo can increase friction, causing frizz and breakage (an interesting read on shampoo, hair and scalp pH from the NCBI).

Ingredients: Water (Aqua) (Eau), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Salicylic Acid, Charcoal Powder, sh-Oligopeptide-78, Panthenol, Glycerin, Sodium Phytate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Citric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene.

Salicylic acid clears sebum, activated charcoal targets dirt and oils, and this is formulated with the K18 peptide to reduce protein loss for overall hair strength.

Directions: Use weekly or as needed for a heavy-duty cleanse. Massage into hair and scalp to remove excess buildup. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat as needed. Follow with conditioner or the K18 hair mask.

This shampoo is grey in color, has a light citrus scent, and is a little more liquid/runny than other shampoos.

The shampoo creates a big, soft lather that rinses well. The last photo is a blow dry with a round brush after using only the Peptide Prep Detox shampoo and the K18 mask (albeit frizzy, my hair never turns out this nice (by my hair’s usual standards anyway) after blow drying). I would follow with a hair oil or Shu Uemura’s overnight hair serum for the frizz and easy styling.

I have oily scalp and dry, frizzy hair. My hair is not colored. I use about every 1 to 2 weeks (I have used it for about 2 months), followed by the K18 hair mask or my regular conditioner from Snobgirls.

I have used the shampoo on 3-day hair with no product in it and 6-day hair with a buildup of oils and Redken Dry Shampoo Paste. My hair is well cleansed in both scenarios, however, Peptide Prep Detox does not give the hair the extra squeaky-clean feeling of other clarifying shampoos or even the Snobgirls shampoos (which are so good for oily scalp). I would assume this is because of the added K18 peptide, the pH of the shampoo, and the salicylic acid to break down oils, so the hair is not stripped of moisture. As an aside, a great AHA/BHA product for dead skin cells and oil buildup on the scalp is Drunk Elephant’s Happi Scalp. For extra-clean squeaky hair, a long-time favorite is the Living Proof Triple Detox shampoo. What is immediate and very noticeable with Peptide Prep Detox shampoo (which is surprising and I did not expect from a clarifying shampoo) is the softness of the hair, even while damp, and after a blow dry. My hair has body, movement and softness, whether using the K18 mask or my regular conditioner. I also got soft hair using Redken’s All Soft shampoo and conditioner, though the softness is aided by oils and silicone.

The evening before getting a hair cut about a month ago, I used the K18 detox shampoo and mask, and my hairdresser said my hair felt very soft and healthy and asked what I had been using.

K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo cleanses well while maintaining moisture, prepares the hair for the K18 peptide mask, and makes the hair very soft and manageable. I would repurchase.

K18 also has a daily shampoo, Peptide Prep pH Maintenance Shampoo, with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. I have not tried it yet, but eventually will for sure, hoping that it gives my hair the same softness as the detox shampoo.

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Super Deodorant Review

Super Deodorant is a natural deodorant that is free of fragrance, baking soda, coconut, AHAs, BHAs, essential oils and aluminum that provides 24-hour protection from body odor. This deodorant is safe for everyone. In addition to the underarms, it can be used on the feet, groin area and under/between the breasts.

Active ingredients: Pure medical-grade silver (non-nano), zinc oxide, magnesium hydroxide

Base ingredients: Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, allergenic protein/peptide-free, phytoestrogen-free, isoflavone-free ultra-refined soy butter, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax, maranta arundinacea (arrowroot powder), d-alpha-tocopherol (non-GMO vitamin E)

Silver is used as an antibacterial rather than baking soda that creates an alkaline environment or AHAs/BHAs that create an acidic environment on the skin to kill bacteria. Deodorants that alter the pH of the skin can cause irritation and damage to the microbiome. I had tried The Ordinary’s AHA toner on my underarms for odor and hyperpigmentation and while it does work for odor control, it does not last all day and can be irritating. For dark underarms, I use Bush Balm’s Bermuda Oil and First Aid Beauty’s KP Bump Eraser. I thought I had read a blog post from Super Deodorant that explained why deodorants with acidic formulas stop working over time, but now cannot find it. I emailed Super Deodorant and will update with the article if/when they respond (update September 24, 2022 – Here is the response from Super Deodorant “When an AHA is used as an active ingredient in deodorant, it comes with limitations. First, how much of this active is bioavailable? For example, mandelic acid has a pH between ~3 to 4. At this strength, most people can use it as an exfoliating peel. When used in any “leave on” product, such as deodorant, it has to be balanced to a pH of 4.5 for the skin to tolerate it. This is also governed by local health regulators (eg. Health Canada). pH above 4.5 is close to the skin’s natural pH and there isn’t much of the active ingredient readily available to continue performing. It will reach equilibrium in a few hours and get neutralized when constantly mixed with sweat and other bodily fluids”). Though I have not experienced deodorants that stopped working after a while (though for review purposes, I do not usually stick with one product long-term), I have seen reviews and comments on various deodorant brands where customers had loved the deodorant, but longer term, it did not control body odor as well as it had.

Zinc oxide prevents rashes and injury to the skin. Magnesium hydroxide balances pH. Rice bran wax makes the deodorant stick to the skin when wet or sweaty. Arrowroot powder absorbs sweat and reduces wetness. Vitamin E improves shelf life.

This is a deodorant, not an antiperspirant, so will not prevent wetness from sweat, though does reduce it somewhat.

Using a pea-sized amount on each armpit every day, a tin will last about 45 to 50 days. As this product contains no preservatives, an unopened tin lasts about 6 months. This product can be stored in a Ziploc bag in the fridge or freezer before opening to extend shelf life (Super Deodorant offers a discount if purchasing more than one).

Directions: Exfoliate the underarms before using Super Deodorant for the first time and once to twice a month if the skin does not exfoliate itself effectively (I use First Aid Beauty’s KP Bump Eraser). Click here to find out why. Apply a pea-sized amount to each underarm in a sweeping motion. Wait a minute before putting on a shirt.

Super Deodorant is a light grey paste that has a minimal clay scent. It rubs in well and leaves a bit of a grey cast until it warms up a bit and is rubbed in a second time. There is no grittiness. In warmer temperatures, particularly when shipping, there can be some separation of the product and it can be put in the fridge for a creamier consistency. This does not stain clothes so long as it is rubbed in well.

I have used three tins of this deodorant so far. I put it on after a shower in the evening and it really does last 24 hours. It can be applied after shaving with no stinging. I generally get underarm odor during sleep and if I forget to apply in the evening, I use it in the morning and Super Deodorant immediately eliminates odor. I really put the deodorant to the test the other day – I applied before bed and the next day worked in the office, cleaned and vacuumed the house, went to the gym, and mowed the lawn in 30oC weather. Though I was very sweaty and hot, I had no body odor at all.

Super Deodorant is fantastic. It works very well and is long lasting for odor protection, better than other deodorants I have reviewed, including my previous favorite from Kopari. I have found the one and will continue to purchase.

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LUS Brands Love Ur Curls 3-Step System Review

LUS (Love Ur Self) Brands is a Canadian hair care company that offers a 3-step system (shampoo, conditioner and an all-in-one leave-in cream) for wavy, curly and coiled/kinky hair that claims to soften, hydrate and enhance all curl types.

The 3-step system consists of a shampoo and conditioner for all curl types and an all-in-one cream leave-in customized to wavy, curly and kinky/coiled hair. I received this set as a gift from a family member including the shampoo and conditioner for all curl types, the all-in-one for curly hair, an infinity spray bottle to re-wet and refresh hair and a cotton t-shirt type hair turban that is very comfortable and helps reduce frizz as the hair dries.

All products are free of:

Shampoo for all curl types:

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Cocamide MEA, PEG-150 Distearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance/Parfum

Directions: Apply to wet hair and massage gently. Rinse well.

This shampoo claims to cleanse hair and scalp without stripping them of moisture, leaving the hair feeling clean and moisturized. The shampoo comes in a squeeze bottle where to open, one side is pressed down and the other pops up. The shampoo is thick and quite difficult to squeeze out of the bottle, particularly when the shampoo is about halfway down. The scent is not fruity or flowery; it is a nice smell, a little overpowering in the bottle, but not on the hair. A fragrance-free option is also offered.

The shampoo has a concentrated formula to give the scalp and curls a “clean slate.” As usual, I shampoo my hair twice, once to clean surface oils and a second to deep clean oils and build up. The shampoo creates a big soft lather and is moisturizing, and cleans relatively well. Having an oily scalp, I needed to clarify after about 5 washes of the LUS shampoo.

Conditioner for all curl types:

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-11, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-37, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance/Parfum.

Directions: Apply to wet, clean hair from root to tip. Leave in for 3 to 5 minutes. Add more water. Comb gently with a wide tooth comb. Rinse well with cool water.

The conditioner claims to repair dry and damaged hair, moisturize the curl cuticle and leave hair soft without weighing it down. The conditioner is a thick lotion. It is easier to get out of the bottle than the shampoo. The scent is the same as the shampoo. The first time I used the conditioner, I applied too much and my hair felt quite heavy. Using the right amount, the hair detangles well, is moisturized, soft, bouncy and not weighed down.

Curly all-in-one:

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Polyquaternium-11, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-4, Corn Starch Modified, Polyquaternium-37, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance/Parfum.

Directions: This product is activated by wet hair and must by applied to wet, clean hair. Section hair. Wet thoroughly, add product, rake through and smooth. Squeeze out excess water and scrunch. Air dry or diffuse.

This product is an all-in-one leave-in that claims to repair, hydrate and style in one step, giving soft, bouncy, hydrated curls.

This all-in-one is a light-weight thin lotion that is not sticky. It has a sort of similar scent to the shampoo and conditioner, but much lighter. The first time I used this product, I applied to damp, towel dried hair and was very disappointed as my hair was sticky and heavy and I did not really have any enhanced waves. I have since been using this in the shower after rinsing the conditioner. I scrunch the product in, squeeze out the excess water and then use a diffuser. As an aside, previous to using this 3-step system, I had never used a diffuser. My hair is generally a bit flat at the roots and a diffuser is excellent for gaining and retaining volume.

The all-in-one definitely enhances frizz-free curls and waves. There is a bit of residue; touching my hair, I can tell there is product in it, but it is not sticky or crunchy and the hair is still relatively soft, though not as soft as using the shampoo and conditioner alone. Interestingly, the residue is felt more the next day and if the hair needs a touch up, I spray with water using the infinity bottle and do a quick diffuse.

I have fine, dry, wavy hair and oily scalp. I usually blow dry my hair straight with a round brush and if I air dry, I put my hair back in a bun. For reference, above, the first photo is air dried after using my regular Snobgirls shampoo, conditioner and bio oil (I do not remember if I maybe combed my hair out a bit and/or had it in a bun; my hair is usually more frizzy and more wavy than in the photo), and the second photo is blow dried with a round brush.

Above, the top photo is diffused after using my regular Snobgirls shampoo and conditioner on its own and the bottom photo is using the LUS shampoo and conditioner on its own (no all-in-one). The diffuser works well to enhance waves, curls and volume in both cases. I did not know my hair could look like this. The LUS shampoo and conditioner made my hair feel moisturized and soft (and less frizzy), where the Snobgirls shampoo and conditioner made my hair feel hydrated and silky. In both cases, my waves fell a bit after about 20 minutes and by the end of the day the more curly pieces were waves and the waves were straighter, but I still had a lot of volume and body. My hair generally has trouble holding a curl.

For the photos above, I used the LUS 3-step system – the shampoo, conditioner and all-in-one leave-in, and then diffused the hair. Right after diffusing, my hair felt soft, albeit with a bit of product residue. There is no frizz and the waves are certainly enhanced.

After 8 hours, particularly the hair at the back, there is less volume and body, and reduced waves. Overnight, I slept with my hair in a silk bonnet (I use one from LilySilk). The next day, my hair still looked pretty good. There are still waves and no frizz, however, less volume and I can feel residue from the all-in-one.

Where the LUS Brands shampoo and conditioner adds moisture and softness to the hair, the all-in-one is great for bringing out curls and waves, adding moisture and reducing frizz, and I expect does most of the work. I do not often wear my hair wavy/curly, but when I do, I would use the all-in-one. I could take or leave the shampoo (I prefer a really cleansing shampoo for oily scalp) and would use the conditioner when I need added moisture and softness.

My teenager has coiled hair and used the 3-step system and it worked so well (much better than for my hair) for very soft, more coiled, frizz-free, bouncy curls, with no residue. The all-in-one for wavy hair might work better for me, though the curly all-in-one worked quite well.

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