How to choose the right facial cleanser

How to choose the right facial cleanser

Facial cleansing has become more than just a practice of hygiene. It has become a relaxing ritual for many people with the goal to improve health and appearance.

Why do we cleanse?

Many of the pollution and cosmetic products are not water-soluble so water is not enough. Ingredients in cleansers are capable of turning fat soluble impurities to water soluble. Facial cleansers have substances that are active on the skin’s surface that lifts and removes dirt, sebum, oil from cosmetic products, bacteria, and dead skin cells. In contrast, a good cleanser should also keep the skin surface hydrated to prevent skin barrier damage.

What happens if we stop cleansing?

Our pores will become clogged which may turn to serious acne. Without cleansing, our face will look greasy and aged. Some people may not experience it at the moment, however, inadequate attention can result to cumulative long-term effects.

Skin care products are ubiquitous and most of them advertise promising results. While there is plenty to choose from, there is no denying that choosing the right product for your skin type has become a difficult conundrum especially that not only our skin, but also our budget is on the line.

Do you know?
In order for the skin surface to maintain a healthy barrier, it has to maintain a physiological pH of 4-6.5. The naturally acidic environment protects the skin from harmful bacteria invasion such as Propionibacterium acnes.

How to spot a harsh cleanser?

  1. “Squeaky-clean feeling” or sensation of tightness after wash. This happens because of TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) which is the rapid evaporation of water from the skin surface. This can eventually lead to dryness, scaling, and/or flaking skin.
  2. Irritation as evidenced by redness and itching after use of cleanser – an indicator of damaged skin barrier.
  3. Cleansers with fragrance, dyes, and preservatives can cause allergic contact dermatitis
  4. Cleansers that are not easily rinsed – the potential for a product to cause irritation is if the residual cleansing agent is left on the skin for a long period of time.

How to choose a cleanser?

  1. Know your current skin concerns. While there are different skin types (dry, oily, sensitive, combination), I would like to keep it simple and broke it down into two:
    1. Acne-prone skin a.k.a. oily skin – keep routine simple, use medicated cleansers with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that deeply penetrates into the pores of skin. It is a potent ingredient that targets clogged pores by dissolving “glued” skin debris. But be warned. Salicylic acid can cause side effects such as redness, irritation, and dryness. According to studies, experiencing these side effects is a common reason for noncompliance. It is recommended to start with the lowest potency (2%).
    2. Sensitive skin – avoid irritants or ingredients that are known to cause sensitization in the skin: fragrances (natural in the form of essential oils or synthetic) and dyes are often sensitizing substances.
  2. Whatever your skin type is, choose a simple cleanser that:
    1. Targets clogged pores.
    2. Reduces oil production.
    3. Keeps the skin hydrated – read product ingredient list and be on the look out for: sodium hyaluronate (also known as hyaluronic acid), glycerin, dimethicone. These substances help to retain moisture after cleansing.
    4. Does not irritate the skin.

Please share your favorite cleansers on the comment section down below and which product helped with your skin troubles.

Send me an email at questions@ranlopez.com for feedbacks, suggestions, and queries.

Cleanser review: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

Cleanser review: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

The key ingredient is Squalane oil, a byproduct of squalene oil, which is naturally produced by the body. It protects the skin from UV radiation and is also an excellent emollient that our body is already familiar with. After the age of 30, we produce less of of this which contributes to dry skin. Fortunately, this can be derived from both plant and animal sources. This oil-based skin cleanser costs $7.90 on Ulta as well as on Sephora.

Although this is an oil-based cleanser, this does not leave a greasy feel after rinsing with water. According to studies, Squalane is noncomedogenic and antibacterial. I use this product as a first step to my double cleanse night time routine. It melts away the sunscreen, makeup, esters that the water-based cleansers can’t take off. This product also did not cause irritation. I like the fact that it’s inexpensive in comparison to other cleansers.

The only thing I do not like about this product is it does not take off my mascara quite well. If you do not wear heavy mascara, it may not be a problem for you.

The solution I have found for this is to use Albolene Cleansing Balm for my eyes and that does a very good job in removing most of the residue. Remember to be gentle with cleaning around the eyes as the skin in this area is very thin.

How to use? Apply a small amount to hands, rub hands against each other until it is oil-like in consistency, then massage the face gently. Rinse well with water.

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.

Announcement

To everyone reading my blog posts:

I do appreciate the fact that strangers from different parts of the world take time to read my posts. I am truly grateful.

And to several few people subscribed, I am indebted.

And because of that I would like to let everyone know that I am turning my site from a personal blog to a skin care site.

Cosmetic science/skin care has become my passion and I intensely grew a liking on it.

It’s baffling to know that there are so many people out there needing transparent information about skin care products and I am holding that as my lifetime mission.

I am neither a dermatologist nor a licensed esthetician. However, this is something I am immensely passionate about as I have been through the same skin troubles just like some of us have.

We have plentiful of information that may either help us or misguide us and there’s got to be someone who is willing to deliver transparency to consumers to aid them with making an informed decision of their purchases.

If you have made it this far, again, thank you.

Please stay tuned.

My journey with acne

Warning: This blog contains sensitive photos. Read at your own risk.

I’ve been dealing with acne since after high school. Sad to say but it still haunts me up to this day. Having acne on my teenage years did not really bother me that much however I do remember people from the past give me tips on how to clear it up. There were girls my age back then that started using makeup likely because they wanted to cover any acne scarring. At that time, I hated using makeup. I thought I will just let it run through it’s course since I was still a teen.

My self esteem hit an all time low by the time I was on my early 20’s. More people were butting in. I thought, if it does not bother me, maybe the sight of me bothers them. I started using Proactiv and it seemed to have worked for a few months. The product did give me irritation so I stopped using it. I was back to nothing.

January 2015. I just passed my NCLEX-RN. Before that I was very stressed from all the studying and family problems. I still did not use makeup. When I saw this picture today, I just said OMG.

I did not research to make my face look better. Although I remember applying a BB cream, which was from Korea, to my face and that was all I had to put whenever I needed to go out.

January 2016. Looking a lot better. Still without makeup. I was also dating my then boyfriend, now husband, on this period.

I was feeling a little better with my face but I did have bad relapses.

April 2016, one month after my wedding. Some acne scars on the jaw and cheeks. New acne on the forehead.

And let’s say my best appearance was when I was pregnant to my first child. How ironical.

Pretty confident in here as you can tell. My pores were smaller, face was brighter, lesser acne.

I did not have any special routine at that time. I may thank my pregnancy hormones though because I stayed radiant for the whole period of my pregnancy until 5 months postpartum.

No makeup and acne free for the first time in my life. I guess you can say this was one of my happiest moments. I am sure stress is a big part of acne.

Sure enough, my confidence was short lived. Before my son turned one, more acne showed up unwanted. That’s when I started to use a cleanser and make-up.

I used the Shiseido Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam as well as the Shiseido Pureness Oil-free moisturizer. My skin did pretty good with just these products along with minimal make-up to cover the acne scars.

I started to spend more money than ever to buy make-up. I was not obsessed with it but I did enjoy trying out different brands other than Laura Mercier such as NARS, Bare Minerals, and Too Faced. Because of that, I probably did more damage even though I was cleansing and moisturizing my face. My acne got worse late 2018 until early 2019.

January 2019. My worst nightmare.

I was in deep distress. I was emotional, panicking, depressed, and moody because of my appearance. I was lost. I was using countless different products every week. I tapped into Korean products such as Laneige, Sulwhasoo, Dr. Jart as well as hyped skin care solutions like Drunk Elephant and Fresh Beauty. I felt like my money was flying away.

I turned into YouTube and searched for creators that provide educational insights about my huge dilemma. I found Liah Yoo, founder of Krave Beauty, and Dr. Dray, a dermatologist and followed most of their tips.

April 2019. Convinced that I could do without makeup, I tried a Korean BB cushion to cover my scars. I also used Differin as recommended by Dr. Dray.
Differin at night, sunscreen and BB cream by day.

As stubborn as I was, I finally let go of control, and set up an appointment with a dermatologist in my area. He gave me antibiotics to take every day and a topical gel to apply before I go to sleep.

I did that religiously and I was starting to see good results. He did mention that it’s going to be worse before it becomes better. But how, I asked. He said that acne is deep under the skin and the topical gel will help bring the acne to the surface. Until the acne’s clear, we can take care of the hyperpigmentation. He advised that I need to be stubbornly persistent with the routine he mentioned. It sounded promising.

July 2019.

I am glad I sought for professional advice to help me with my long-time problem. Although I still have acne here and there, I try to remind myself of his tips until it all becomes better. For lack of better word, just don’t give up easily.

Currently, I do the following skin care routine.

Night time:

  1. Cleanse face with HADA LABO Goku-jyun Super Hyaluronic Face Wash. Rinse and pat face dry.
  2. Apply Fresh Rose Floral Toner to face and neck.
  3. (Optional) Let toner sink into face and neck and follow with Sulwhasoo First Care Activating serum.
  4. Put on CeraVe Moisturizing Cream evenly to face and neck. The toner and the serum helps my face extra moisturized. Let the cream sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Using a pea-sized product, apply Adapalene/Benzoyl Peroxide medication all over the face especially on areas of concern.

Morning:

  1. (Optional) Cleanse face with Laroche Possay Salycylic Acid Gel Cleanser. Rinse, pat dry.
  2. Apply Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF liberally unto face and neck.
  3. Put on minimal make up after letting sunscreen sit in the face for approximately 10 minutes.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have comments or feedbacks. Send me an e-mail at questions@ranlopez.com or go to my Instagram page http://www.Instagram.com/ricemama_ 🙂

P.S. I am still on the quest to hunt minimal, affordable, and effective skin care products.

Products I mentioned.

What I wish I knew (as a younger version of myself)

“Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…do that.”

 – Gary Vaynerchuk

When I was in high school, my dad hated the idea of pursuing something if it does not lavish money in the household. I had so may interests back then but I did not get enough support to be motivated enough, if anything I was discouraged. Looking back as a young adult, I came to understand him. Time is a precious commodity to be spent on unnecessary things after all. On the flip side, I also believe that time is squandered when your untapped, God-given expertise atrophies.

What my dad did not teach me is that it’s okay to develop a budding interest or passion, stick with it, be freaking good about it, and eventually get paid to do what you really love. I had a lot of time as a teenager to be busy exploring my identity, passion, and purpose in life but I was confined in a preconceived idea. I cannot blame my father entirely because I did not know any better too. If I did, my life would have been different.

I chose to be an obedient child because I was sent to school without having to worry about tuition, school fees, etc. I studied and finished Bachelor’s in Nursing albeit I had an ardent enjoyment in teaching. I do believe that I was led to a good direction. Life’s great. For my age, I have a good paying job and I like what I do. But just like any other person, I had an existential crisis.

That’s when all the if only statements started to cross my mind. If only I was brave enough to be a risk taker. If only I listened to my gut. If only I gave enough attention to learn more about what I really wanted to. If only I knew.

For your inspiration: https://filipiknow.net/facts-about-manny-pacquiao/

I am not dwelling in the past, I am merely trying to make a clear recollection that may strike you. Maybe you were also in the same boat.

If you’re reading these, you may also be in a position where you’re trapped in a job you dislike, you want to escape the 9-5 but you have bills to pay and a family to feed. I don’t think it’s late to figure out your purpose in life and to pursue your goals. You don’t have to have an innate talent either. Talent plays a little role to be successful. In a world full of people bias to naturals, be the striver. We may give an excuse that we don’t have enough time but think about this: Successful people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg did not have more than 24 hours a day to work on their passion. These people were all driven, dogged, and tenacious. There is more time than you can imagine.

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

-Albert Einstein

I would like to share my own experience about being tenacious and the power of deadlines/goals. When I was in high school, I hated math simply because I did not study it with full intention. Moving forward to college, I was lucky enough to have a full-ride scholarship as long as I maintain a grade of C+ or greater per each subject. I knew I cannot take math for granted or else I will blow my scholarship. I paid attention to every single lesson, found out I really enjoyed it, scored very well on tests, and even had a grade of B- at the end of the semester. It’s not commendable but because I did not want to lose my scholarship, I worked hard on it and the best part? I enjoyed it!

And if you’re a teenager, you’re at the prime time of your life to explore your limitless potentials. I see so many teenagers today who are so caught up with trying to be who they are not because of the ubiquitous presence of influencers on social media. Please don’t waste your time doing this when you could be doing something better. No I am not specifically talking about doing your school work. Ask yourself. What do you enjoy doing on your spare time? Is it singing? Dancing? Learning how to code? Playing basketball? Sewing? You don’t have to be innately talented to be motivated. Just get started, hone your skills with the full intention to excel. If you don’t have the equipment, be creative and start right away. Don’t you think that as long you stay consistent, all the equipment you need will come as if it was miraculously bestowed upon you?

“Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV. Right now, the average person will spend 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. However, as digital media consumption continues to grow at unprecedented rates, this number is expected to shrink in counter to that expansion.”

Read more here: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic

Don’t mind what other people may say because first of all, they don’t live your life. Second, they must have plenty of time to mind your business and that’s the main reason why their life is mediocre. You don’t want that kind of life. Taylor Swift even said it and other rich people you can think of: You must be thick skinned. If not, you will never be ready.

I have not mastered all of these but I am actively working on it by giving myself definite deadlines. By giving value to the readers, I am also constantly reminded to do better.

There are so many things I still want to share but I also believe that the attention span of a person is limited. I will reserve it for another time. If you enjoyed reading this please hit follow/like. For questions/feedbacks/comments send me an email at questions@ranlopez.com 🙂

Thank you and have a fabulous day!

How I’m dealing with self doubt

“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create, Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

-Will Smith

Have you ever felt anxious about something you do not know, it just came out of the blue, and felt like you were dissociated from your own body as you attempt to rummage through your mind, trying to find out where is this feeling coming from?

Today, I heard someone going through the same thing.

As I paid attention to her, I realized that there may be more people around me who may feel as lost as I am. This state of apprehension, if left unsaid, oftentimes result to sleepless nights, which drains energy, and eventually leads to lack of motivation.

And then I started journaling.

I wanted to keep track of my thoughts and find out how to improve myself. I watched numerous YouTube videos of entrepreneurs who became successful in their field. One of the common things they mentioned is that we tend to create this negativity in our own minds. It hit me because it’s true and I do this to myself most of the time. This reminded me of my mom. She set a perfect example to think of positive self-affirmations in the midst of adversity. At that time, I actually thought it was ridiculous and unrealistic. But when I learned about the Law of Attraction, that’s when I realized she’s right.

Being heavily influenced by the Law of Attraction, this literally helps me to get through tough times at work. Whenever something unexpected happens, I redirect my thinking to, “what am I going to learn from this?”.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that easy all the time. However, I am also aware that I get to choose how to think and feel.

Nevertheless, I continued to struggle with the same nagging thoughts when it comes to making my dreams come true. I know I can do it, but thoughts of self doubt and I’m-not-good-enough get the best of me. Oftentimes I feel like I’m the only person in the world who goes through this self inflicted punishment. That’s when a support person is very important.

I am blessed to have my husband.

Sometimes, all we need is one person who intently listens to our frustrations.

Even though I cannot fully express my intentions to him, he’s there to lend an ear and elevate me on my depressed moments. Having this kind of person helps a lot.

Thanks to him, I regained motivation to help myself. Last week, I went back to my favorite bookstore in the City and took my time to browse through the Personal Growth and Business sections. I took home three books.

I recently started meditating so I grabbed a book about Buddhism. I love how it teaches to embrace suffering in order to be free from suffering.

I still continue to journal and went back to writing through my website. I want to stay consistent and keep the fire burning inside me. I learned that by staying off of autopilot mode, I am able to challenge myself everyday and not stay stagnant.

“Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80- to 100 hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40-hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve”

-Elon Musk

You must be reading this post for a reason. Most likely you want solutions or you are probably looking for someone who is relatable to you. If you have reached this far, I appreciate you taking the time. I want to help you. Here are my tips to help you feel motivated.

  1. Record your thoughts. Write them down on a notebook that you really like. If you do not have the time, use your phone to record your outbursts, anxieties, sadness, etc. Include an action plan for yourself to manage these moments.
  2. Identify at least one person you look up to. Find out how they got where they want to be. If this person is an actor or an entrepreneur, watch YouTube videos about his or her life story. Write notes. For starters, I recommend Oprah.
  3. Invest in yourself. Learn how to meditate. Give up Netflix or Hulu. Start reading books on Personal Growth. If reading is not your thing, again there are amazing content creators all over YouTube who are passionate about summarizing motivational books. If you are struggling to find your purpose, look for Start With Why by Simon Sinek.
  4. Every morning that you wake up, enumerate all the things in your life that you are grateful about, set definite affirmations (example: I will earn and receive the sum of $500,000 for the year of 2019), and then challenge yourself by starting to work your tail off to make this happen.

I do not consider myself an expert in this matter. But I believe that by helping myself to become better each day, I will also be able to be of service to others. I sustain this belief to be my deeper purpose in life.

Thank you so much. Please send your comments/feedbacks/suggestions to questions@ranlopez.com 🙂

Let’s succeed together!

-Raina