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AHA vs BHA and the Alphabetical Lingo of Skincare Products


AHA vs BHA Neostrata Glycolic Wash

So, you’ve just run out of your favorite cleanser.  You head to your local pharmacy or beauty shop to pick up a new one.  But as your browsing the aisle, you’re shocked at all the new product releases.  You pick a few up and scan the bottle.  Okay, deep cleansing…brightening…hydrating…that words are familiar.  Then you get deeper in to the aisle and you start seeing: PH balancing…AHA…BHA…

Now, you’ve wondered in to unfamiliar territory.  All the “new” products just confuse you.  Like what are they supposed to do for your skin? You think,”The packaging looks cool, so it must be good right?”

If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place.  I’m here to decode the alphabet for you because when it comes to skincare products you shouldn’t buy blind.

AHA vs BHA

Nowadays, it just seems like skincare products should come with their own dictionaries.  What does it all mean? Well, there are two very popular ingredients in skincare: AHA vs BHA.

Both AHA and BHA help with exfoliating the skin and improving collagen levels.  Basically it gets rid of the GUNK and leaves you with smoother, plumper, and more radiant skin.  If you want to know about the importance of exfoliating regularly click HERE.  Now what’s the difference between AHA vs. BHA?

Let’s start off with what it stands for.  AHA is an acronym for Alpha Hydroxy Acid.  It’s a gentle exfoliant that clears away the lingering dead skin cells the surface of your face.  Plus, AHA restores moisture and builds up the collagen.  For this reason, people with sensitive, dry skin love this stuff.  And if you’re still looking for the perfect mother’s day gift.  Any type of skincare with AHA will be great for her because AHA builds up collagen (which plumps up the skin) and prevents sun-damage by strengthening the epidermis.

BHA is short for Beta Hydroxy Acid.  It’s a deep-cleansing acid that is amazing for treating acne-prone skin and clogged pores. Unlike many cleansers in the market, BHA can get through the excess sebum on acne-prone faces.  By penetrating through this gross layer, BHA can kill the bacteria and reduce the inflammation of blemishes from the inside out.  Because BHA exfoliates while treating blemishes, BHA also is great for treating hyper-pigmentation.

Remember, to always use a good moisturizer and serum after exfoliating because that’s when your products absorb best!

For more detailed info, check out Skinstore and Stylecaster.

Which One Do You Need?

I prefer a combination of both.  AHA in the morning and BHA at night.  I use the NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash every morning to gently exfoliate my face and prepare it for smooth makeup application.  I love how the Neostrata wash foams up and never leaves my face tight or stripped of moisture.  After using this was for a month, I’ve noticed less bumps on my forehead and reduced pore size around my t-zone.  Plus, the wash is fragrance-free so it doesn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts.

For days when I have a major breakout or I’m starting to noticed some pretty large blackheads, I go in with the BHA Blackhead Power Liquid from CosRX.  I take a toner pad and soak it with the liquid and just wipe it gently over my t-zone to get rid of the blackheads.

But for dryer skin, I definitely recommend the AHA vs BHA because BHA is definitely dries out my skin if I use it too frequently.  AND FYI, I have acne-prone combo skin, oily in the t-zone and dry under the eyes and around my chin.

Would you give AHA or BHA a try?

Comment down below!

**Disclaimer: I received the NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

So, when’s the best time to moisturize? and The Three Step Skincare System You HAVE to Try


best time to moisturize Jan Marini Hyla3D

It seems like there is a new step or a new product to try every day.  Like it never ends. And with so many bottles of toner, serum, essence, lotion, emulsion, and whatever else I have on my vanity cause a beauty guru told me I needed it.  (I know you guys feel me.  I mean who else’s vanity is cluttered with #youtubemademebuyit?)

Anyway, where do I even start? What exactly goes on my face first? Because on days that I wear makeup, it feels like I’m putting everything except the kitchen sink on my face.  But that’ll probably be a new DIY mask coming soon! Am I right?

Well, this is the no-fuss skincare routine for all my lazy girls out there.  I love the Korean Skincare routine but there are days (sometimes weeks, possibly a month) where I just need to be done in five minutes flat.  So, here we go…

What’s the Best Time to Moisturize?

Well, the best time to moisturize is when the clock is exactly 11:11:11.  (LOL just kidding) There isn’t literally a time, but there is a place for it in your skincare routine.

If you are a true believer of the three step skincare system then, the time to moisturize is right after your cleansing or exfoliating.  Because once your face is clean of the junk and grime it accumulated through the day, then it’s ready to be nourished and pumped back to life.

BUT before you moisturize, use a hydrating serum to really protect your newly cleaned pores and hydrate the skin.  Personally, I’ve been trying out the Hyla3D from Jan Marini for the passed month.  The serum hydrates my face and gives my skin a nice dewey glow.  Because I have combo skin and don’t want to look like an oil slick in the day, I only use the Hyla3D serum at night.

The Jan Marini serum has a loose gel-like texture.  It doesn’t really have much of a scent, which makes the serum great for people with sensitive skin.  When you first apply it to your face, it feels slightly tacky.  But after rubbing the product in, that tacky feeling completely goes away, leaving your skin feeling baby smooth.

Then, when you’re ready to moisturize your moisturizer is sealing in all that prep work, so your skin stays plump and radiant with just three steps.

The Three Step Skincare System

So, I’ve been a firm believer of the Korean 10 step skincare for almost a year now.  And I can honestly say that I’ve seen improvements in my skin.  However, exam week has recently killed my buzz and desire to do a lot of things like facial masks, essences, and toners.  I’m tired and I just don’t want to.

For the passed month, I’ve been trying out my newly invented three step system:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Apply Serum
  3. Moisturize

I’ve been using a gently exfoliating cleanser as my daily cleanser because I love a dual-working product.  Plus, with this cleanser I can skip exfoliating and give myself another five minutes in bed.  Because when you only sleep about an hour, five more minutes is much needed.

At night, after my double cleansing and exfoliating, I apply serum and finish off with moisturizer.

For the day, I apply serum and a CC cream after cleansing.

Through this whole post, what I’m trying to say is that the best time to moisturize is right after washing your face because applying a moisturizer over clogged pores and oil is not good for your skin.  It’ll only make matters worse because you’re sealing in the dirt with a moisturizer.  GROSS.

The next time you ask yourself, “When’s the best time to moisturize?” After cleansing and as the last step to your skincare.  Just remember that moisturizer is the icing on the cake.

**Disclaimer: I received the Jan Marini Hyla3D serum free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

P.S. Check out these other awesome VA bloggers!

Best Cleansers for Acne-Prone Skin (That I’ve Ever Tried!)

best cleansers for acne-prone skin

The problem I have with many cleansers designed for acne-prone skin is how drying they are.  My skin felt stripped and tight and it just wan’t a good feeling.  Plus, my skin would start flaking around my eyes and my mouth and parts of my chin and forehead because it was so dry.  It was like the cleansers just sucked the moisture out of my skin.  If you have the same problem with your cleansers, check out my list of the best cleansers for acne-prone skin.

The Best Cleansers (like ever!)

My first suggestion is the Biore Charcoal cleanser.  I’ve been using this cleanser for almost two years now.  And it’s amazing.  It lathers really well and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean.  Take one pump in your palm and massage the product on to your face.  When you take a minute to really massage the cleanser in to your skin, you’ll get a light tingly feeling. For me, this feeling is ahhhmazing because I can feel my pores getting de-clogged.  After using this cleanser, make sure you grab a super hydrating moisturizer because this cleanser can leave your skin feeling a little tight and dry.

For moisturizer suggestions, check out my previous post here.

DermaE Charcoal and Algae cleanser is my current favorite.  Much like the Biore cleanser, this is a deep cleansing cleanser (Try to say that five times fast…) that helps unclog pores and keep your pores clean.  What I love about this cleanser is that it is much less drying and stripping than the Biore charcoal cleanser.  The whole DermaE line is gentle and great for sensitive or acne-prone skin.

When my face needs a little pick-me-up, I love using the DermaE charcoal mask.  And this mask is a great dupe for the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing mask.  For more info on this dupe, click here.

I also love the Soap and Glory Cleansing milk.  This is the perfect example of Youtube-made-me-buy-it.  I heard Tati from GlamLife Guru rave about this cleanser and Zoe from Zoella and Louis from Sprinkle of Glitter all love Soap and Glory Products.  So, when I saw this cleanser in Ulta.  I had to try it.  And it doesn’t disappoint.  I love the scent of this cleanser. It’s peaches and cream and smells heavenly!  This cleanser is super gentle, doesn’t break me out, and removes most of my makeup.

The BEST series continues…

That’s it.  Those are my best cleansers for acne-prone skin. I don’t experiment with too many cleansers out there because once I find one that works, I just keep using it.  But I have been testing out a variety of serums, toners, and essences so be on the lookout for that post coming soon!

Do you have a cleanser to add to the Best cleansers list?

Comment down below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

**Disclaimer: I received the Derma E charcoal and Algae cleanser free as a press sample.  All opinions expressed are my own.**

New Drugstore Releases You HAVE to try (Seriously, go buy it and they are WORTH the Hype!)

I used to believe that drugstore products were second to higher end brands such as Tarte or Urban Decay.But Tati from GlamLifeGuru and Kathleen from KathleenLights have changed my mind.  Now, drugstores are treasure coves of unexplored makeup. And there’s always new drugstore releases and displays at CVS, Walgreens, Ulta, and Rite Aid.  (Which is super exciting!)

So, when I got the chance to try out Revlon’s new highlighter and blush duo.  I knew I had to jump on it!

new drugstore releases revlon highlighter and blush

And I have to say that these new drugstore releases seriously proved me wrong.  Revlon’s highlighter and blush duo is now my go-to product for a natural and healthy flush of color.

Review of Revlon Highlighter and Blush Duo

new drugstore releases Revlon highlight and blush duo photoready primer

These two cream sticks are the perfect combination for a flawless and natural look.  I have the Revlon Blush and Highlighter DUO in Medium which gives you the blush in NUDE Kiss and the highlight in Gold Light.

The blush blends beautifully in to the skin and the highlighter has the perfect amount of shimmer! And what I really love about the highlighter is that it doesn’t have chunks of glitter in it! For this reason, the highlighter looks super luxurious and high-end.  The texture of this highlighter is very similar to the Marc Jacobs glow stick but the color is a little more golden than the Marc Jacobs highlighter stick.

Plus, the blush is very similar in texture and consistency to the Makeup Forever HD blushes (which I’m currently obsessed with!). The Revlon blush in to the skin beautifully just like the Makeup Forever one.  I’m in love!  I definitely need to pick up more colors. And if you want to pick these things up, go now because the highlight and blush duo are limited edition!  However, you can buy them separately at CVS.

Now, whenever I see new drugstore releases from Revlon, I need to buy the whole display (LOL)!

Review of Revlon PhotoReady Primer

I have been a long-time user of Smashbox PhotoFinish Primer. BUT this one might take the cake.

I’ve also tried the Benefit That Gal Primer, which was recommended by BubzBeauty and I’d buy anything she recommends so…

Anyway, the Benefit That Gal primer is a brightening primer and leaves your skin with a natural glow.  Which is exactly what the Revlon PhotoReady Primer does!  Do I dare say its a dupe?

I’d say, “YES IT IS!” The Revlon PhotoReady Primer is not as pink as the That Gal primer but it still leaves your skin with a nice glow and subtle shimmer.

How To Save Money On New Drugstore Releases

CVS Extrabucks are LIFE!  Seriously, you can buy one product, get Extrabucks for your purchase, and use those Extrabucks on your next transaction!  So it literally pays to separate your transactions!

It’s insanely awesome! If you want to learn more, stay tuned for a new blog post!

new drugstore releases revlon highlighter and blush duo and photoready primer

**Disclaimer: I received the Revlon highlighter, blush, and Photoready primer free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

Facial Peels vs Exfoliating Scrubs: What You Need to Know

facial peels vs exfoliating scrubs
The importance of exfoliation has literally been pounded in to our heads.  But now there’s a new trend going around, facial peels (AKA chemical exfoliants or chemical peels).  So what’s the difference between facial peels vs exfoliating scrubs?

For a beauty and skincare junkie like me, I’ll give anything a fair shot.  So, when I got a chance to try a facial peel, I jumped at it.  Here’s what I found.

What’s the Difference Between Facial Peels vs Exfoliating Scrubs

Many facial peels have a negative connotation.  They bring to mind scary red faces and maybe even a painful procedure.  Well, I’m here to banish those thoughts.

Before trying out the D’OR24k multivitamin Recovery Facial Peel, I had no idea how gentle a facial peel can be.  I thought for sure my face is going to feel that advertised “refreshing tingling sensation” that can sometimes be better equate to my face feels like its being burned off.

The D’OR24K facial peel is super gentle.  It has a gentle gel-like texture and feels like those popular Asian Jelly Masks that you leave on your face for 20 minutes.  After spreading the gel over your face, you’re going to gently massage the gel over your face in circular motions.  It feels amazing. Plus, the gold flecks in the facial peel makes it super luxurious.

After you’ve rubbed the product thoroughly over your face (I’d say about two-three minutes) rinse your face with warm water.  Your face now feels baby soft and surprisingly not stripped or tight.  Now follow-up the peel with your favorite toner, essence, serum, and finish off with the D’OR24K multi vitamin day cream. This cream is thick and super hydrating.  It absorbs quickly in to your skin without leaving any greasy or sticky feeling.

facials peels vs exfoliating scrubs will facial peels irritate my skin

FAQs: Will Facial Peels irritate my skin?

Maybe.  There is no definitive answer unless you’ve actually given it a try.  But in our comparison between facial peels vs exfoliating scrubs, I would say exfoliating scrubs are much harsher than facial peels because the little beads or granules in the scrub are rough against the skin.  This leads to irritation and redness.

But I know, the term facial peel puts a scary image in many people’s head including mine.  Before I actually tried a facial peel, all I could imagine is a red splotchy face with skin peeling in all directions. But the two facial peels I’ve tried so far have been quite gentle and leave my skin feeling smooth without feeling completely stripped of moisture.

I have acne-prone skin and have breakouts like 80% of the time.  So I tend to not exfoliate because it actually hurts to do so.  However, by not exfoliating my skin, my pores get clogged and even more breakouts emerge.  It seemed like a lose-lose situation.

But, since I discovered the D’OR 24K facial peel. My skin feels so much smoother because the hyper-pigmentation has diminished and my acne scars significantly less noticeable.  When using a facial peel, ALWAYS try out a test area first to make sure you’re not allergic.

Once you have rinsed off your facial peel, always hydrate and moisturize with serums because this is the optimal time for product to absorb in to your face.  I love using the D’OR 24k cream because it’s hydrating without being sticky.

If you have sensitive skin, you should definitely give D’OR24K a try because their products are packed with vitamins that are good for your skin and it’s completely unscented.

**Disclaimer: I received the D’OR24K facial peel and cream free for reviewing purposes.
All opinions expressed are my own.**