NIOD Sanskrit Saponins Review

Sanskrit Saponins (SS) from Deciem’s NIOD is a pH-balanced, concentrated cleansing balm formulated with arginine and Ayurvedic plant surfactants. By deep-cleansing, SS claims to clean pores, clean dead skin cells without peeling and gently remove the skin’s own oils encouraging “natural recycling” of the oils. With continued use, SS is said to target build-up, congestion and blemishes. Claims are made that from the first use, SS leaves skin looking “pore-free,” clean and radiant.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Arginine, Polysorbate 60, Acacia Concinna Fruit Extract, Balanites Aegyptiaca (Desert Date) Fruit Extract, Gypsophila Paniculata Root Extract, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Pentylene Glycol, Melanin, Sorbic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

Directions: This is to be used once every other day in the morning or evening, but can be used more often if desired. SS is not intended to remove makeup or sunscreen, so cleanse the skin using another cleanser as a first step. Wet face and lather SS into a paste in the hands for a few seconds. Apply and massage gently, avoiding the eyes, then rinse.

I have oily skin prone to breakouts and blemishes and often get build-up and congestion, especially in the T-zone. I’ve been using this on and off for a long while, and have purchased three tubes thus far.

SS is a light tan/beige color with a thin, cream-like consistency. It smells rather yeasty, which I don’t mind. It doesn’t lather or foam on massaging into the skin.

This is a product that I didn’t realize was doing much of anything other than a nice cleanse until I stopped using it after a few weeks. I then started using again and realized it had helped with clearing dead skin, making the skin smoother, and skin appeared clearer and less congested around my nose and forehead. I have since been using this as a morning mask and cleanse (with much better results than using as just a cleanser), putting a rather generous amount on dry skin, letting it sit while brushing my teeth or showering, then massaging with a bit of water and rinsing. Using it like this, my skin is immediately smoother and more radiant-looking from the first use. With continued use, I don’t feel like my pores look smaller, but my skin is generally clearer, cleaner, less oily and feels less bumpy. SS helps small breakouts along the jawline and whiteheads on the forehead. For bigger pimples, I’m not sure they are cleared up any sooner than the usual healing time, but seems to help with redness and irritation of these larger pimples and helps prevent these breakouts. This has no effect on the blackheads around my nose. SS is also nice to use with the Foreo Luna. SS rinses well and is not drying.

SS comes in a metal tube and once punctured, product runs out on opening the lid for the first few uses. I then have to try and close the lid really fast while product continues to leak out around the lid. There have also been some inconsistencies in the formula between the three tubes I have bought. In one, the SS was thicker, one was thinner and the last tube I bought had some small, hard particles in it; these were not uniform like in a scrub and were rather sharp on the face, but seemed to dissolve slightly in water while massaging the cleanser on the face.

Sanskrit Saponins has become one of my favorite morning masks/cleansers. It provides the results claimed (except for the skin appearing pore-free) and I will continue to purchase.

Thank you for reading.

The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics Review

Marine Hyaluronics from The Ordinary uses marine-derived water reservoirs that act as hyaluronic acid in that it performs as a humectant. This product claims to attract and hold water to the skin, providing hydration.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Algae Extract, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Salicylic Acid, Citric Acid, Propanediol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Salicylate, Sodium Benzoate, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.

This product contains skin-friendly bacteria, red algae, blue-green algae, glycoprotein (works with ingredients like glycerine, hyaluronic acid, ceramides for healthy-looking skin) and amino acids. Sodium lactate can be used as a humectant.

Contrary to the name of this product, it does not contain hyaluronic acid. Some find hyaluronic acid products to be sticky or tacky and to pill under other products, such as with The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, that some reviewers have mentioned. I have not tried this one yet (I’m not sure I will) so can’t compare the two.

Directions state to apply a few drops to clean skin, morning and night, before creams.

For reference, my skin is oily in summer and combination in winter and prone to breakouts. I live in an area that is dry in both winter and summer. I’ve been using the Marine Hyaluronics for about 9 months, morning and evening.

The product comes in a dropper bottle. It is a light-weight, clear product with a very thin, water-like consistency. Because it so thin, I put the drops directly on my skin from the dropper; otherwise it runs through my fingers if applied that way. This might be better in a spray bottle. This can be mixed with The Ordinary’s 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder.

Some reviewers have mentioned that it smells bad; like fish or seaweed. I’ve purchased three bottles thus far and if anything, I thought it had maybe a plastic-like scent in the bottle; definitely not fish or seaweed, and I don’t smell anything when it is on my skin.

I apply this after cleansing and toning. The Marine Hyaluronics soaks right into the skin with no residue and no pilling with other products. When I used this for the first few weeks, my skin felt a bit more hydrated and not as tight, but I thought it should perhaps be doing more. I got no unusual breakouts with use.

I caught a YouTube video on hyaluronic acid and how these serums really only work when it’s raining and there’s a lot of moisture in the air. I figured the same must be true of the Marine Hyaluronics (being a humectant), so I then started misting my face with water; something like Caudalie Grape Water, Evian Mineral Water Spray or tap water in a spray bottle, then applying the Marine Hyaluronics. Neither water nor hyaluronic acid are hydrating on their own, but together they made quite a difference to my skin. This is how I found out I have dehydrated skin even though it is oily.

Since using a water mist, then applying the Marine Hyaluronics, my skin has been hydrated, less tight and more plump-looking with an overall nicer complexion. I use this on my hands and lips as well which are frequently dry. I also use this under my eyes. This product, along with NIOD’s SDSM, seemed to provide enough hydration for me in the summer, and now that it is getting colder, I’ve just started using the Cosrx Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream.

To note, for skin to be fully moisturized while preventing water loss, it needs an emollient, a humectant and an occlusive, so water and the Marine Hyaluronics alone do not provide all three.

I quite like The Ordinary’s Marine Hyaluronics and have repurchased a few times now. I notice that my skin has a dry, slightly tight feeling when I do not use this product.

Thank you for reading.

The Ordinary Suncare Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 With Antioxidants Review

The Ordinary Suncare SPF 30 claims to offer lightweight mineral SPF protection (micronized titanium dioxide (5.44%) and zinc oxide (14.03%)) with antioxidants, anti-irritation and hydration in a noncomedogenic silicone base. To note, this is not labelled as having broad spectrum UV protection (protecting from UVA and UVB rays), as Deciem apparently did not test for it, but there is a high percentage of zinc oxide, so one can presume that it protects from UVA waves.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Astaxanthin, Disodium Uridine Phosphate, Ethyl Ferulate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Picea Mariana Bark Extract, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Sodium PCA, PCA, Sodium Lactate, Glucose, Maltose, Fructose, Trehalose, Urea, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Lysolecithin, Lecithin, Triolein, Pentylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate, Polyglyceryl-5 Trioleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Tocopherol, Alumina, Citric Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. 

The antioxidants in the formula neutralize free radicals, protect from UV exposure and minimize the intensity of UV radiation penetrating the skin. The biosugar complex increases the skin’s ability to hold water and provide short and long term hydration. The lipids restore a compromised skin barrier and prevent water loss. Tasmanian pepperberry calms skin.

Directions state to apply liberally 20 minutes before sun exposure, reapply every 2 hours when in continued sun exposure and after water and sweat exposure. This sunscreen is not water resistant.

I have medium toned, oily skin in warmer weather that is prone to breakouts and blackheads and I easily get hyperpigmentation (freckles) from the sun.

I generally do not like lotion sunscreens, as they feel heavy (especially mineral sunscreens) and had been using Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Powder. I recently saw a photo of different sunscreen types under UV light showing that sunscreen powder applies rather patchy and it is hard to build up, so decided to try lotion sunscreen again. I still like to use mineral powder sunscreen for touch-ups throughout the day over makeup.

The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters is a beige-colored, thick lotion that has an almost mild nutty scent I thought.

Using the general application “rule” of 1/4 teaspoon for the face, I used half that and applied to half my face in the above photos. It is a bit hard to tell with the lighting and angle of the photos, but my skin is noticeably lighter/whiter on the right side. Since the sunscreen is quite heavy, application is not as smooth as I would hope. I’m using Retin A at this time, so there is some flaking and dry patches that the sunscreen seems to “stick” to and application is less smooth in these areas (might be similar for those with quite dry skin). The freckles and uneven color are covered a little and the pores are blurred. After 10 minutes, the sunscreen dries down a bit, but still has some white cast and tackiness that lasts until it is washed off. My cheeks are generally reddish and after application of the sunscreen my daughter asked why my skin was pink. This sunscreen does not sting my eyes. Application is nicer and white cast is a bit less when the sunscreen is applied after a moisturizer (I like Drunk Elephant Protini). Applying sunscreen over half the face, I am able to clearly tell that it feels heavy on the skin.

Above, you can see around my eye where I missed application that shows the color difference.

Above shows a satin finish, light coverage foundation with and without the sunscreen. Not a great makeup day, as I am using Retin-A, but in any case, this foundation applies quite nicely over the sunscreen, it covers the white cast, my skin looks smoother and the pores more blurred on the right side. I also notice throughout the day that my face appears less oily and shiny on the sunscreen side, so similar to a silicone-based primer.

This sunscreen can be a bit hard to wash off (even from my hands after application with a mild hand soap), but I did get a good result with The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser.

I’ve been using The Ordinary Suncare for a couple months now and haven’t gotten any unusual breakouts and my skin doesn’t feel dry with use (I don’t think it feels more hydrated either). I noticed a couple more freckles, which could be because I don’t always apply first thing in the morning when walking the dog or when staying inside.

Before purchasing the Ordinary Suncare, I had been using NIOD’s Survival 30 which I liked much more in terms of application, feeling on the skin and white cast.

I would repurchase The Ordinary Suncare despite a bit of white cast (it doesn’t bother me too much and mineral sunscreens are generally going to have some level of white cast) and heavy feeling; though perhaps when working with clients, would wear makeup over it.

Thank you for reading.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution Review

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution claims to provide skin clarity while fighting the appearance of blemishes by exfoliating the inside walls of the skin’s pores.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Water, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ethoxydiglycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 1,2-hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

The second ingredient is witch hazel which is said to help soothe skin, reduce inflammation and improve the look of pores. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that works deeper inside the pore to dissolve skin debris that clogs pores and causes breakouts.

Directions state to apply a small amount directly on spots or apply a thin all over the face in the morning and evening. This can increase sensitivity to the sun, so sunscreen is recommended.

My skin is generally oily and prone to breakouts, blackheads and large pores on and around my nose, so I wanted to try this in hopes of speeding healing of breakouts, diminishing blackheads and improving the look of pores.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid is clear and has a thin, gel-like consistency with no scent. It absorbs quickly with no sticky residue. I initially applied this in the morning and evening over spots as I saw breakouts appearing, and all over the nose and to the large pores on either side of my nose. The skin on my nose got a bit dry and starting peeling, so I applied just in the evening. I used this for 6 months.

On new breakouts, the salicylic acid stopped them from getting any worse and appearance was improved in a day or two. On larger, older breakouts healing time was improved by 2 or 3 days. The skin on and around my nose seemed to get less oily during the day.

Looking at these photos, the number and size of the blackheads has improved a bit (I think I’d expect more improvement after 6 months’ use, however). The pores on and around my nose look smaller and I have improvement in texture and clarity of the skin.

I think The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Solution works great on breakouts and pimples, but probably works better in preventing blackheads rather than removing those that are older and deeper in the skin. It helps improve the appearance and clarity of pores while reducing oil production. I think for me, getting a manual extraction of the blackheads and then using The Ordinary Salicylic Acid to prevent them would work well. I would consider purchasing this product again.

In the meantime, I am currently reviewing the Blackhead Clearing Fizz Mask from Dermalogica’s Clear Start line, so stay tuned for that.

Thank you for reading.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary is an noncomedogenic, balm-type cleanser suited to all skin types that can be used as a daily, standalone cleanser or the first step in a double cleanse. This claims to dissolve and trap makeup, sunscreen, dirt and debris from the skin while being gentle and moisturizing. It starts off as a balm-like texture, which turns to an oil when warmed on the skin and then turns to a milky texture when wet.

Ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Sucrose Stearate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Malic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin.

Directions state to put a bit of product into your hand and rub for 10 to 30 seconds to warm it up where it will dissolve into an oil. Massage onto dry face and rinse with warm water.

This comes in a 50 mL tube (The Ordinary will be making a bigger size) but they say only a small amount is required because the product spreads easily.

I have breakout-prone, oily/combination skin and have been using this cleanser for a few weeks now. I wanted to get an oil/balm cleanser to remove silicone-based sunscreens (I have been using The Ordinary’s sun care), light coverage foundation and waterproof eyeliner.

I started off using a two pea-size amount, but found it didn’t spread as well and go as far as I would have liked, and settled on using a nickel-size amount for the face and neck. It has a mild oil-like scent. It starts out like a balm-lotion rather than a thick balm texture like Drunk Elephant’s new Slaai Butter Cleanser.

I wear minimal, everyday makeup with waterproof eyeliner, non-waterproof mascara, eye shadow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, sunscreen from The Ordinary (which is rather thick and heavy on the skin), and the natural coverage foundation from Altilis Beauty. The Squalane Cleanser is able to remove all of the above, rinsing with my hands, no cloth. In looking at the below photo (after cleansing), there is only a smudged bit of black makeup at my outer eye left.

I don’t feel the need to use a second cleanser, as this doesn’t leave an oily or waxy film on the skin after rinsing like some oil/balm cleansers do; my skin feels moisturized rather than oily. It doesn’t leave a haze over the eyes. My eyes do not feel irritated. I didn’t get any unusual or increased breakouts while using the Squalane Cleanser. This cleanser is gentle and softens the skin. This also functions well as a mask to protect the face from heat and steam while in the shower.

While the Squalane Cleanser doesn’t spread as nicely or go as far as I had hoped (I like Drunk Elephant’s Slaai texture and spreadability), this does remove makeup and sunscreen and I would consider repurchasing the bigger size when it comes out.

Thank you for reading.