Powder power

Okay, I’ve talked about making a DIY version of a powder product before, but now I HAVE to do it! Check out Peter Thomas Roth’s two new sunscreens.  The first is an SPF 30 formulation that’s specifically meant for oily and/or problem skin, and it contains such additions as salicylic acid and “willow bark extract” (ahem: same damn thing, PTR), as well as the old standard antioxidant cocktail.

However, the new stuff ALSO contains powdered dimethicone, which we all know I’m not a fan of.  And can you blame me?  The stuff blocks pores like none other, so I don’t exactly consider it a wonder ingredient for a product that’s designed to alleviate oily skin and acne.  (Perhaps there’s something I don’t know here — maybe dimethicone in powder form is less comedogenic.)

The second new tube contains the same antioxidants and sunscreen ingredients (albeit in higher concentration), and no salicylic acid. And they’ve somehow packed butylene glycol in there.  But BOTH new versions contain bismuth oxychloride, which is a real bummer — it’s known to make some people break out in an irritated, bumpy red rash.  No thank you!

The old stuff I still have a tube of contains silica and the Antioxidant Trifecta, but no dimethicone or bismuth oxychloride.  It also has significantly less titanium dioxide (and less zinc oxide as well), and it’s WAY too dark for my skin tone so it’s pretty obvious.  I tested these two new ones on my hand at Sephora and they both seemed a bit paler, but it was tricky to tell.  However, the ingredient list in the old stuff is much shorter, which of course makes me happy.

Honestly, since they still share the same crappy packaging with the coarse, shed-prone brush and the cap that comes unscrewed, I’ll probably just concoct my own and put it in a synthetic dispensing brush that I found online.  I will update if and when I get around to actually seeing this through… now I just need some free time to clear out our storage closet!

Borrowing from Bare Escentuals

I recently caught wind of the Rare Minerals acne-fighting mineral powder concealer by Bare Escentuals, and now I see that it’s been voted a Sephora best-of.

I’ve always wanted to avoid anything by BE, since they are notorious for including the chemical bismuth oxychloride in their formulations.  (Many people are quite allergic to bismuth, and it causes a rash-like reaction that takes ages to clear up.  I’m not eager to find out whether I should count myself in those ranks or not!)  And bismuth aside, this stuff definitely has some other ingredients (like dimethicone) that would aggravate my breakouts.

However, the idea of making a powder concealer that contains acne-fighting ingredients definitely intrigues me.  I’ve been trying to figure out a good BHA solution for ages and ages, and concealers that help dry up and bust blemishes definitely appeal to me.  And since my problem with salicylic acid was always figuring out how to get it to dissolve in a liquid base, the idea of being able to leave it in its powdered form is a definite bonus!

I’m going to try this out with my Everyday Minerals concealer set.  I’ll mix the shades that best match my skin for covering blemishes, and I’ll add a few drops of manuka essential oil (gentler than BE’s tea tree oil, and less stinky), and a bit of powdered salicylic acid.  I may also try adding some powdered zinc oxide, both for extra sun protection and for its soothing properties.  (I just have to make sure it doesn’t lighten the mix too much.)

If I can track some down, I might also add powdered sulphur, since that’s the acne-fighting ingredient that always shows me great results on individual blemishes.  However, sulphur’s smell really turns my stomach, so it may be worth while to leave that out of the mix.  It looks like I’ll be making up to four different batches to test this idea out, so I’ll post updates soon.  Thanks for the great idea, BE!

Still the one

So I’ve been using Devita’s Solar Protection Creme 30 for a couple years now, and it’s still treating me well.  Despite concerns about the actual level of sun protection, this product is the most cosmetically elegant and skin-friendly sunblock that my picky skin has ever found.

Turns out, there’s an even cheaper way to enjoy it! The company came out with a body block formula that’s nearly identical to their facial sunblock, but is significantly cheaper.

The body block also comes in smarter packaging (a bottle rather than a jar) which makes it more hygienic and therefore increases its shelf life. Sure, it’s no amber glass vacuum-sealed pump bottle*, but they can’t all be winners. I’m pleased to find a way to make this sunblock a bit more user-friendly.

Devita products can be tough to track down, though. I’ve found that the best prices are at Internatural, though they haven’t yet caught on to the fact that this sunscreen’s growing popularity means they might want to maintain a larger product stock — they frequently run out and take forever to get a new supply in. But at 15-20% cheaper than the rest of the Web, plus free shipping for larger orders, they’re the best vendor I’ve found.

Fair warning to those of you who get inspired to try other Devita products: they’re not all golden like this one! Devita sure did hit a home run in the sun care department, but I’ve found their other creams to be mediocre at best, and I have serious beef with their body wash and their allegedly alcohol-free acne pads (which are, in fact, chock full of alcohol — sensitive complexions beware!). So much so that I don’t trust anything else they formulate. So experiment at your own risk, but don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

*And in fact, the packaging shown on the Devita site is not accurate. Instead of a nice cosmetically sound pump bottle, it’s in a flip-top plastic bottle. Still functional, but not quite as elegant and a wee bit harder to use.