Saturday, 18 June 2016

Today's hair

Today's hair is the infinity-type bun from a while back. It's held with a 7 inch copper Ron Quattro fork I bought some years back. It's one of those hair tools I just end up not using a lot because it's just too big.

I'm just not a big fan of being able to see your hair tool when you see yourself from the front...

Bun didn't get as smooth and pretty as the last time. And the fork did that thing where it crosses it's leg inside the bun, hmm!
I still really like the bun structure though!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Sensitive skin: An owners manual

Pinpointing the problem
Trying to figure out what triggers sensitivity issues can be an enormous pain in the ass. There are just so many options!
  • Is it something in your diet? Gluten? Refined sugar? Lactose?
  • Is it hormonal? Stresse related? High insulin? Thyroid issues? High testosterone or low estrogen?
  • Is it an ingredient in skincare products? Alcohol? Retinoids? Alpha-hydroxy acids? Oils? Sodium lauryl sulfate? Ammonium laureth sulfate? Perfume? Mineral oil?
  • Is it your environment? Cold? Heat? Dry climate? Sun exposure? Long days of work with too little sleep?
Often your problem isn't in just a single factor but a combination of them. Of course this makes pinpointing the problem even harder.

TL;DR version: "Avoid eye area"
If a product is so harsh that it says on it to "avoid eye area", avoid it everywhere! In fact, avoid spending your money on it.

TL;DR version: Ingredients
Avoid adjectives in your skincare products. You want your products to add simple moisture. Products trying to multitask adds extra ingredients that might cause irritation. So avoid products that are anti wrinkle, anti aging, brightening, anti acne, firming, anti redness and botanical overload type products etc.

The simpler, the better.

TL;DR version: Products
Be cheap! Let's face it, there are actually only so many ingredients that can actually, truly do something for your skin. Like, really. So when you buy pricier products, they often add fancier, pricier ingredients of questionable value to your skin. Often these products contain colour or perfume to look and smell exclusive and worth the added cost. Don't fall for that.

Be cheap.

TL;DR version: Sun
Avoid sunlight: I've read that sun suppresses your immune system. Since skin redness is an immune response to inflammation, you notice less redness when out in the sun. Also, a bit of tan will help mask the problem areas. Sunlight dries out your skin, which will make the skin produce more oil to compensate, which may just cause further problems.

Nature knows best
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. Your skin is a waterproof, protective layer on your body's surface and protects your body against infections.

The top layer of the skin is called the epidermis. It contains no blood vessels to transfer nutrients to it and oxygen is supplied by diffusion from the surface.
Cell division happens at the basale layer (Stratum basale) and move up through the epidermis layer. On the way, the cells die as they are cut off from nutrition for the blood vessels. The cells change shape and composition as they die. The cells lose their cell organelles and a protein called keratin enters the cells. After about two weeks, the dead cells reach the surface of the skin (Stratum corneum) where they slough off.

The stratum corneum is the natural barrier to infections. This layer of skin containing keratin is what keeps the body's water from escaping, and keeps bacteria, virus, fungus and chemicals from entering the body. It is literally a dead, protective layer.
The stratum corneum has three lipid components: ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. This is called the acid mantle and keeps the skins pH at a slightly acidic pH, usually around 5,5. The pH is important because it keeps the skin an inviting home for the benign bacteria you want to have living on your skin: The kind that doesn't cause you problems and will out-compete the malign bacteria you don't want to have living on your skin.

What can we use this for?
To work with the natural function of the skin, there are three important points:
  • Exfoliating gently. Exfoliating is one of the quickest and easiest things you can do to make your skin glow. But exfoliating works exactly by removing the stratum corneum to let the lower layers "glow" through. It doesn't mean that exfoliating is something to avoid completely, but there are gentle methods to chose. If you have sensitive skin, a cleansing brush tools may offer you enough exfoliating. 
  • Protect your skin pH. Some products are well outside of the skin-friendly pH range. Look for the pH of the product on the label, or look it up. 
  • Beware of desinficering your skin. It might seem like a good idea to kill off bacteria, but you don't want to kill your friendly bacteria and invite unfriendly bacteria to take their places.
A side note: Skin care products to protect and support the stratum corneum to keep your skin healthy, is predicted to become "the next big thing" in Korean skincare.

TL;DR version: Clean the right stuff!
When you have sensitive and easily irritated skin, you will often subconsciously touch your skin. This is not something you can do anything about, short of tying your hands together or something. You feel the irritation, often subconsciously, and you touch the irritation, equally subconsciously. What you can do, is to limit the amount of dirt and bacteria you transfer from your surroundings to your skin via your fingers.
  • Clean your hands! Soap + water and a gentle hand cream. 
  • The amount of bacteria you carry with you under your nails is just crazy. Keep your nails short to literally limit how much room there is for dirt and bacteria. Clean your nails often.
  • Disinfect the surfaces you touch a lot: Keyboards, your mouse, work tables, phones, door handles (Especially non-metal door handles) the steering wheel of your car, remote controls etc. 

Hell is other people
There is a lot of truth to this if you have sensitive, troublesome skin. Everyone will want to fix you help you. They seem to fall in two categories:

The guru
"Why dont you just do what I do?"
The guru has good skin. Bulletproof skin. The kind of skin that can survive a high-perfume, abrasive, dehydrating, dye-full skincare routine. The guru gets their information from glossy advertisements and those totally real and totally not sponsored reviews she finds at mainstream sources. The guru barely even knows that there are different skintypes, and even if they do know, they think sensitive skin is something that can be cured(!). Since the guru has such naturally good skin, the guru never bothered to read independent, non-sponsored information about skin and skincare. The guru really, truly, honestly believed that if everyone just did what she does, no one on the planet would ever have any skin trouble.

The guru is a moron.

But if you can demonstrate that you actually really know what your're talking about, you just might get the guru to shut their face.

The scholar
"I just read about this thing....!"
Gosh. Aren't you lucky? The scholar just read about this thing and guess what? It totally fits you! That is totally that thing you have! Because the scholar totally thinks they found a symptom that matches! Lucky you! The scholar is just that smart!
Within a few minutes of learning about your skin woes, or having spotted this one symptom that totally fits you (Yes it does! It totally does!), the scholar has diagnosed you. Aren't you lucky the scholar is here to help you?!

The scholar is an idiot.

When you try to disprove the scholar, they take it as a personal offense. Because they totally just read the thing! And it had science in it! Made by real scientists!
The scholar completely and totally believes you will fall to your knees and worship them for how smart they are, and thank them for being there to rescue you.
Unfortunately I have no tips on dealing with the scholar. Where you can usually get the guru to shut up, there is nothing you can do against the scholar: The scholar strangely seems to take it as a personal offense that you disagree. Instead of understanding that you, the owner of the skin (Who knows what your skin likes and dislikes and how it reacts and have had years of experience dealing with it) disagree with their diagnosis, the scholar instead seems to think you object to the scholar having ever read the article in the first place.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Gosh Much More Moist

First impressions... 
The name makes me crack a smile. "Much more moist"?
Should it be... "Moister"? "Much moister"?

Moist..... Von Lipwig?
(Great book btw)

Second impression was that it was a good price.

The product is a thin cream texture that doesn't add a lot of hold. It doesn't add a lot of shine either, but did make my hair easy to comb without making it slippery and unmanageable. 
Colour is white with some "pearl" effect and smells pretty good. Sort of "warm" and clean. Once it dries, the scent becomes more soapy.

water, cyclopentasiloxane, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, vaccinium mytillus extract, saccharum officinarum extract, citrus aurantium dulcis fruit extract, citrus medica limonum fruit extract, acer saccharum extract, behentrimonium methosulfate, c10-40 isoalkylamidopropylethyldimonium ethosulfate, betaine, panthenol, acetamide MEA, lactamide MEA, butyrospernum parkii, phenoxyethanol, piroctone olamine, parfum/fragrance, benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, linalool, butylphenyl methylpropional, limonene

That's a lot of extracts?

  • Vaccinium mytillus extract = Bilberry
  • Saccharum officinarum extract = Sugar cane
  • Citrus aurantium dulcis fruit extract = Orange
  • Citrus medica limonum fruit extract = Lemon
  • Acer saccharum extract = Sugar maple
  • Butyrospernum parkii = Shea butter

Two 2´s for acne
Two 2´s for potential irritants high up on the list
A single 7 in red almost at the bottom of the list

Sunday, 12 June 2016


After I first wrote the biotin rant, I've gotten a reputation of being "anti supplement". That is simply not true.
I'm anti "mindlessly doubling or quadrupling your supplement intake based on that someone on some forum said that this vitamin is water soluble, so therefore safe to take enormous amounts of" and I'm anti "thinking that you're smarter than the scientists who dedicated decades of their lives to study this and give out recommendations based on what will keep the general population fit and healthy".
I take supplements. But I take supplements based on recommended daily allowances.
I also experiment with supplements from time to time. Granted, with no noticeable difference, but none the less I have experimented.

Today, I got two new supplements in the mail. Coconut oil to replace my fish oil, and inositol.

It's funny... Hubby and I have different attitudes to supplements. Hubby believes in "Just eat healthy instead", where I believe in "Try to eat healthy" but recognize how difficult it can be to get everything "good" through diet alone. So some times Hubby can give me a bit of attitude when I try a new supplement. This time however, he was very, very interested in the coconut oil supplement!


Last year in October, I decided to tell about my dermatillomania for BFRB awareness week. It's something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember, but only knew there was a term for (Or that I wasn't completely alone in the world with this!) for a couple of years.

For about a year or so, I've noticed information about inositol for anxiety and related disorders on the BFRB blogs and information sites.
At first, I ignored it.
There are so, so many "fix alls" floating around there on the internet. They come and go.
But it seems that inositol stayed. I even ran into it a couple of times on unrelated blogs where bloggers took it for other types of anxiety.
So of course I got curious.

I've read up on it a lot of places now, but let's just take the condensed, easy wikipedia version:
Some preliminary results of studies on high-dose inositol supplements show promising results for people suffering from problems such as bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), agoraphobia, and unipolar and bipolar depression.[21][22][23]
In a single double-blind study on 13 patients, myo-inositol (18 g daily) was found to reduce the symptoms of OCD significantly, with effectiveness equal to SSRIs and virtually without side effects.[24] In a double-blind, controlled trial, myo-inositol (18 grams daily) was superior to fluvoxamine for decreasing the number of panic attacks and other side effects.[21]
Similarly large doses of inositol have been studied for treatment of depression. A 2004 meta-analysis by randomized controlled trials, with mixed results. The authors concluded the evidence is insufficient to determine whether inositol treatment can reduce depression symptoms, but no evidence of harm or negative side effects is seen.[25]

Sounds good, doesn't it? Worth a try at least.

Of course the problem with reading up on things like this, is that you convince yourself you have a lot of other issues. It's like reading a horoscope or something... You always find something that fits!
(Seriously itching to get a check for PCOS since a lot of the symptoms matches. Sigh)

The pills are huge!

The one thing I find myself objecting to the most though, is that the dose mentioned is up to 18 gram. Holy crap, that is a lot! I like to split my supplements up in three portions (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) so I would need six of my enormous pills for each meal. No wonder inositol is linked to weight loss with those doses. I would be seriously full after a handful like that!

I don't want to have to go so high up in doses, no matter how "virtually side effect free" this is. I think my limit would be at two pills for each portion, maybe?
Anyways, my plan is to start with just one. Then go up in one pill/one gram intervals each week and see what happens. Maybe it will help, maybe it won't.
Stay tuned.