Posts Tagged ‘makeup tips’


[Tips] Cosmetic Ingredients You Should Avoid

April 23, 2014

cosmetic-ingredientsSo back when I started my blog (Beauty Cleric), it was actually called “The Beauty Scholar.” I chose that name because I was going through a silly crisis where I was afraid to use any makeup/skincare product because they all had harmful chemicals! I have since calmed down, though. =)

Although I don’t avoid “bad” makeup ingredients altogether, I do still care about what’s in my products. Before I purchase something, I at least take a look at the ingredients label. I don’t buy only natural/organic products, but I try to steer clear of some of the bigger red flags. In this post I figured I’d cover some of the ingredients that are said to be bad for you. You can of course make your own judgment calls about what products to use/not use, but I just wanted to make everyone aware. Before a couple of years ago, I had no idea there were potentially harmful ingredients in my makeup…I also didn’t know that the FDA doesn’t monitor makeup ingredients!

Without further blabbering, here’s a list of ingredients you may want to avoid!


This chemical is commonly found in many sunscreens, which is problematic since we should all be wearing some form of sun protection to prevent skin cancer! Oxybenzone has been linked to problems with cell development, allergies, and hormone disruption. While many still believe oxybenzone is safe in small amounts, it is better to just avoid the ingredient altogether if you’re concerned and choose a more natural sunscreen. Look for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide sunscreens.


Parabens come in several forms with the three most common being methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben. There are several other types of parabens, so you should try to avoid any product that contains the ending “paraben” in any of the ingredients. Parabens can be found in a large number of beauty products ranging from cosmetics and skin cleansers to deodorants and toothpastes. While there has recently been an increase in the number of “paraben-free” products, there are still many brands which use these preservatives. The danger of parabens lies in their alleged tie to increasing one’s risk of breast cancer. They have also been linked to hormone disruption. Look for alternative brands and products that carry the “paraben-free” label, and if you must use products with parabens, check the label to ensure that more than one type of paraben is on the ingredients list. Parabens are less harmful when mixed together!


Lots of beauty products list“fragrance” somewhere on their labels, but did you know that there can be as many as 200 ingredients mixed together to form the fragrance? The multitude of ingredients mixed to create fragrances for products are not on the ingredients list and are instead covered by one just word… This means there can be many hidden and potentially dangerous chemicals in your products! It is best to look for “fragrance-free” products in order to avoid the dangerous chemicals that are often used in synthetic fragrances. Many of these chemicals can cause allergic reactions, rashes, and possibly hormone disruption.


(Don’t ask me how to pronounce that. I have no clue!!)

This ingredient is not usually listed on the label, even if it’s in the product. However, if it is, you may want to think twice about using that product. Phthalates are used in some cosmetics to help prolong colors and scents, but they have been linked to hormone disruption and birth defects. Pregnant and nursing women should take  special care to avoid products with this ingredient. Look for abbreviations such as DBP, DEHP, and DEP–these abbreviations indicate the use of phthalates.


Anyway, as I stated above, I’m not so strict about my products as I used to be when it first scared the daylights out of me. I do still read the labels and try to find safer alternatives when I can. I also like to order cosmetics from Korea, because I know that in many other countries in Europe and Asia, cosmetic ingredients that are okay in the US are banned! I usually feel safer with foreign products!

If you want to check the safety of ingredients or specific products, you can try looking at the Skin Deep database. They list harmful ingredients and rate products on their safety.

Thanks for reading!


[Tips] My Nightly Skin Care Routine

April 15, 2014

So today I read a post entitled “4 Overnight Beauty Products You Should Be Using,” and it got me thinking about my own nightly beauty routine. (Oh how it has changed over the recent years!) I’ve gone from super lazy, to a dedicated skin care routine, back to lazy, and finally to a (still dedicated) routine that I can actually stick with!

The article I linked to above gives a very simple skin care routine to follow for night time. Even though I’m super lazy at times, I’ve been making an effort to stick to a multi-step skin care routine, because I really want to take care of my skin now so that I’m not sorry later. We all know sleep is extremely important to healthy skin, but (as the article says), you either get 8 hours or you don’t! I have a feeling most of us don’t…so we need to up our skin care game even more!

I think the steps listed in this article are great–if you want a basic night time skin care routine, use those steps as a guide! If you’re willing to put even more time into your skin care routine, then use the basic routine but add steps where necessary. Your skin care routine should be tailored to your skin and its needs. If you’re new to skin care (especially multi-step routines), I recommend shopping for skin care products on a website that breaks the products down by skin type. HSN’s skin care page does this. Analyze your skin and figure out what you want to see happen–do you need to brighten your skin? Even out the tone? Hydrate it because it’s dry?

It took me a long time to figure out what my nightly skin care routine should consist of…but I think I’ve finally got a routine that works for me! Below I’ll list step by step what I do to keep my skin healthy, even when I’m not getting enough sleep (or water)!

Let me know in the comments section what your skin care routine is! I’m always looking for new ideas! (Questions/other comments are welcomed as well!)

My Nightly Routine

download1. Remove makeup.

I like to use the Almay eye makeup remover pads just on my eyes and then take a makeup wipe to the rest of my face. I’ve been testing out some oil cleansers, too, so if it’s an oil cleanse night, I skip the makeup wipe and just cleanse with oil.


51ceAil70ZL._SL1500_2. Cleanse.

I’m currently using the Simple Foaming Cleanser and the St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub. I alternate between the two of these. I use the St. Ives up to 3 times a week, and the Simple cleanser the rest of the week. Whenever I cleanse with the Simple foaming cleanser, I use my Luna Mini!

3. Exfoliate (twice a week).

I use a Japanese brand product for exfoliation. It’s called Cure, and it’s the most gentle exfoliate I have ever used. I only use this a couple of times a week.


wonderpore4. Tone.

Right now I’m trying out the Korean brand Etude House Wonder Pore Toner!

5. Treat acne.

I don’t always do this, but I’ve been having breakouts lately! So I just grab a Noxzema acne pad and swipe it all over my face.


missha-misa-yei-hyun-eyecream-30ml5. Moisturize (or serum)

I tend to use my serum in the morning, so at night, I just apply a moisturizer. I’m testing out a Korean one now.

6. Eye cream.

I do use a separate cream for my eyes. Right now it’s the Etude House Collagen Moistfull cream!

So I know that may seem like a lot, but night time is when my serious skin care happens! What products do you use, and do you have tips for a night time skin care routine?

Thanks for reading! If you have any requests or want reviews on the products mentioned, let me know in the comments!


[Tips] Why Foundations/Moisturizers with SPF Aren’t Enough

March 6, 2014

20140305_075815In recent years, most foundations, face primers, powders, and moisturizers all contain at least 15 SPF. There will always be exceptions, as many don’t like to have SPF in their face products (thanks to the notorious white cast that happens in flash photography). But the amount of products with SPF is overwhelming. Since there are so many options, I, like many others I’m sure, was glad to see that I could count on my foundation and moisturizer to have me covered when it comes to SPF. I don’t want to worry about getting skin cancer, aging early, or any other complications that come from sun exposure, so I always make sure I have some SPF on.

A couple of days ago, I found out that what I have been believing about SPF in foundations/moisturizers is completely false! While it’s true the SPF in these products will HELP protect your skin from the sun, it simple isn’t enough!! I was appalled…here I thought I had been protecting myself from the sun for a long time…but really I wasn’t doing enough to lessen my chances of early signs of aging.

And just to clarify, you need to wear sunscreen everyday! Not just when it’s sunny or when you will be outside for a long period of time. It’s important all of the time because the sun’s rays are still hitting your exposed skin, even if it’s cloudy and even if you aren’t outside for long. I’m rarely ever outside longer than it takes to walk to my car/house…but I’m still wearing sun protection daily. I read a study recently about how skin cancer is more likely in the left-hand side of the body. Why? Because that’s the side that faces the window when we drive! And since most people spend a considerable amount of time driving their cars…well, it spikes their chances of skin cancer.

Anyway, all of this is to say that you need to be wearing a sunscreen daily…not just a moisturizer/primer/foundation with SPF. You’d have to use around 7 times the amount of foundation and 14 times the amount of moisturizer you usually use in order to actually get the SPF benefits listed on the product’s packaging (source). A lot of face products only have SPF 15 or SPF 20 anyway….

That being said: look for a sunscreen you can use daily. A sunscreen. Something that offers sun protection and basically nothing else. I currently use the Yes To Cucumbers SPF 30 sunscreen, pictured above. I really like it! I’d recommend it to anyone who has lighter toned skin. If you’re darker skinned, this may not be the best because the product is white and makes the skin a bit lighter. This doesn’t really affect me since I’m already pale, and I put it on before my foundation and concealer so no one can tell. You may need to experiment with a few before you find one that works for you for daily use.

I’m not saying you should forgo the SPF makeup entirely, though. Using a foundation or moisturizer with an SPF is a great way to beef up your skin’s sun protection. Just don’t rely on makeup and moisturizers alone! (Remember to wear an SPF lip balm under all of your glosses and lip colors too!) I use the Simple Light moisturizer and Covergirl 3-in-1 foundation shown above. These are my go-to products at the moment, though I do rotate my foundation/BB cream a lot! The moisturizer has an SPF of 15 and I think the foundation’s SPF is 20!

Thanks for reading!