skinminimalist skinminimalist

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Márcia  🇪🇺EU-based scientific researcher w/ nerd quest: find & streamline effective skincare for happy skin [30+ combo acne-prone] 📩skinminimalist7@gmail.com

📽SOUND ON 🔊
#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 15 | Skin Hero
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My 1st thought about skin-hero was ”consistency” – since I started to do more consistent routines, my skin truly improved but today, I want to share products I have been using consistently for almost 2 years that deserve to be called skin-heroes:
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📌Have you had one of those days in which everything you apply in your skin else burns and irritates your sensitive (and/or sensitized) skin? That's when I summon #Bioderma Matricium Skin Regeneration Treatment - this skin recovery treatment comes in single-use sterile ampoules (1 ampoule = 2 uses: AM & PM) is my go-to when my skin’s barrier has been compromised (due to a burn, over-exfoliation, extreme dehydration, etc). It feels like water, sinks in seconds and only contains elements that are naturally found in the skin and are essential to cell life, function and regeneration. Not cheap (~50€ for a box with 30 ampoules) but it really works! Plus: is preservative-, paraben-, alcohol- and fragrance-free. This is perfect skin-regeneration-hero after dermatological procedures (laser treatment, peelings…), cutaneous irritation caused by new product trial, sun, wind, cold and hormonal disturbances; or even after accidental over-exfoliation (when acid-toner-lovers get carried away) or excessive use of retinoids. THE BEST SOS PRODUCT EVER 🙌🏻
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📌Matricium is an occasional skin-saver but what about daily skin-heroes?
#niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum (CAIS): I'll save you from reading about my love for copper peptides (and this serum in particular) because I've done too often & too recently on this page. In a nutshell, it boosts wound healing, immune function, collagen synthesis, blood vessel development, fibroblast production and anti-inflammatory responses 💙
#niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC2) - I truly believe that most skin's issues start w/ dehydrated skin. The daily use of a great hydration serum is crucial to keep my dehydration- and acne-prone skin happy! Besides 1% HA in its acid form, MMHC contains 14 other hyaluronic compounds & hyaluronic precursors (that induce the production of HA by your own skin at deeper levels) 🙌🏻

#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 14 | double cleanse
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In the morning, a single and very gentle cleanse (w/ a very small amount of a gentle cleanser) is enough! At night, double cleanse is essential to properly remove:
• all those layers of SPF applied
• grime of the day
• occasional makeup.
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It might sound like overdoing the cleansing step but double cleanse does not mean harsher if you choose gentle options (non-foaming, low pH, with nourishing ingredients) that do not strip the skin.
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📌1st CLEANSE:
I personally prefer oil-based cleansers, specially in balm format! My faves: #clinique Take The Day Off Balm, #jordansamuelskin Plié or #heimish all clean balm; if you want a more sensorial experience, you can add a couple drops of fave oil (I love to add a tiny scoop of Blue cocoon) to one of the above-mentioned options; if you prefer options w/ beautiful scent, try #demamiel Cleansing Dew (oil), #emmahardie Moringa Cleansing Balm or #maylindstrom pendulum potion.
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📌 2nd cleanse:
Here I prefer a water-based cleanser (always low pH, non-foaming, effective yet gentle). Depending on the condition of my skin I might use: a non-foaming gel (e.g. #isclinical Clleansing Complex - my current fave) or a cleansing stick like su:m37 miracle rose cleansing stick - both options are suitable for everyday use, • a clay- or saponin-cleanser (like #sundayriley Ceramic Slip or #niod Danskrit Saponins, respectively) both great if my skin feel congested, • a milky cleanser (e.g. Cerave Hydrating Cleanser) if my skin feels sensitized or dehydrated...
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The biggest transformation in my skin started w/ the ritual of double cleansing: my acne/congestion was finally under control and my skin is properly prepped for the nice skincare that comes after!!! I do not use any cleansing devices just clean facial cloths (a wet one to gentle clean remove the 1st cleanse and a dry one to pat my face after second cleanse).
And yes, I must thank @carolinehirons for raising awareness about double cleanse! I can't "rub" my face with a flannel the way she does (my face would fall off) but I'm grateful for her blog posts & videos about the importance of "properly washing your face" ☺️❤️

#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 13 | masks
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I believe that good daily skincare should be enough to keep your skin happy! So why do I have 4 masks? My 2 faves are focused in skin decongestion the other 2 are hybrid-products: a mask that works as a night moisturizer and a cleanser that works as a mask:
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🏆1st place - A
niod Flavanone Mud (FM) - traditional purifying masks offer topical decongestion by using muds & clays to absorb surface impurities but FM goes a step further & provides preventive benefits for long-term skin health. After finishing 2 bottles & analyzing its skin benefits, I can say that I found my HOLY GRAIL clay-mask. It works in a 3-phase process:
• purifying phase: solubilization & removal of surface impurities (build-up of oil, sebum and cosmetic product), which is what most clay-ask do; thanks to black Amazonian clay (w/ high concentrations of titanium & oligo-elements), sedimentary white clay, copper-rich clay (supports surface barrier function) and enhanced delivery system.
• protective phase: works as a physical shield made of polysaccharides to slow down future build-up and w/ antioxidants (resveratrol analogue, bitter orange peel derivative and bisabolol) to protect skin from external pro-inflammatory external aggressions that can lead to premature ageing.
• responsive phase: this is when Flavanone (the ingredient that gives the name to the mask) comes to play by supporting dermal immunity against congestion factors. A pre-cursor to a modified oleic acid provides a slow increase of this acid without disrupting dermal pH or density (contrarily to acid toners that can cause inflammation and reduced skin density).
--> All together, results in efficient topical purification without irritation (mild tingling after rinse - tip: rinse off w/ water slightly colder than you normally use to decrease the tingling)! You don’t need much to cover your face because FM spreads like a dream. It’s recommend as weekly treatment but you can start w/ the “accelerated method” (daily use for 5 days followed by weekly maintenance applications) 🙌🏻
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🏆1st place - B
#biologiquerecherche Masque Vivant: 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

#1empty1newbie | Sun protection ☀️
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#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 11 - SPF
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As mentioned in previous posts. SPF is the best anti-aging as it prevents the major cause of skin aging - photo-damage. Since our skin is also exposed to other sources of oxidation & stress, I value the combination of powerful antioxidants & daily sun protection. I am keen to get my hands on the newest @niod Survival options (btw, I absolutely advice you to read the article written by Brandon Truaxe about UV protection 🙌🏻) but first I must finish my current stash of SPF options:
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📌EMPTY:
#skinceuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense: this is my absolute favorite sunscreen - it's a lightweight fluid that must be shaken before use (to ensure even distribution of active ingredients), 100% mineral (6% titanium dioxide + 4.9% zinc oxide), fragrance-free & tinted (to counteract white cast - not enough to give makeup coverage). It works (I use it in daily basis, incl. beach holidays), it does NOT break me out (most other great sunscreens that I had high hopes - like EltaMD broke me out) and it does not irritate my skin. Love it ❤️
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📌NEWBIE
Actually, I wanted to repurchase the #skinceuticals Mineral Radiance but I bought (by mistake) the Sheer Mineral UV Defense. Sending it back was too much faff for me and I decided to take this opportunity to try this formula but... oh dear, how much I regret this decision. The formula is EXACTLY THE SAME but is non-tinted and this makes all the difference in a mineral sunscreen! I get the same sun protection performance without irritation or congestion but... I look like a ghost 👻 The white cast is a real struggle!! It gets better 30 min after application but is not ideal! I am currently on holidays and will be happy to finish this bottle. I will not repurchase, obviously 🙃
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#skincare #skincareroutine #spf #sunprotection #antiaging #healthyskin #skinbeauty #skincarelover #antioxidants #niod #mineralsunscreen

#skinminimalistfaveingredients | COPPER PEPTIDE GHK-Cu (#cultbeautyskincarechallenge ( #cultbeautyskincarechallenge – day 9 ingredient)
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Copper peptides are naturally occurring small protein fragments that have high affinity to copper ions (more about this later on). Copper peptide GHK-Cu is a tripeptide (composed by 3 amino acids glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine) that was first isolated from human plasma albumin by Dr. Loren Pickart in 1973 (but can be found also in saliva and urine).
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The level level of GHK-Cu drops w/ age (200 µg/ml at age 20 --> 80 µg/ml at age 60), which are not good news given the benefits of tripeptide GHK-Cu: promote activation of wound healing, attraction of immune cells, antioxidant & anti-inflammatory effects, stimulation of collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis in skin fibroblasts and promotion of blood vessels growth. More recent studies have also shown its potential to modulate expression of a large number of human genes, generally reversing gene expression to a healthier state and its effect on stem cells (will not enter in details but I'll add the references in the comments).
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What is the importance of copper-binding?
Copper is a transition metal that is vital for all eukaryotic organisms from microbes to humans. A dozen enzymes (cuproenzymes) use changes in copper oxidation state to catalyze important biochemical reactions including cellular respiration, antioxidant defense (e.g. superoxide dismutase), detoxification, blood clotting, melanin production (e.g. tyrosinase) and connective tissue formation. Copper is required for iron metabolism, oxygenation, neurotransmission and many other essential biological processes. Another function of copper is signaling - for example, stem cells require a certain level of copper in the media to start their differentiation into cells needed for repair. Hence the biological importance of GHK-Cu’s ability to bind copper and to modulate its tissue level is a key factor determining its biological activity.
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POST CONTINUES BELLOW 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻
⚠️please ignore my double negation on Part 3/3: "not everything that has the word 'copper' is NOT copper peptides)!" - that second "NOT" should not be there 😉

#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 7 | Glow Giver
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📽SOUND ON 🔊: these IG stories that I prepared for the #mayskincarechallenge ) still translate my thoughts on how to achieve radiant skin:
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📌Option 1. "The overnight glow" ✨
I usually don't "buy" those claims of overnight-results but I must swallow my words when it comes to #sundayriley Good Genes (my fave SR product); this 5% lactic acid treatment does give an overnight glow; I usually use it once a week; it's perfect for a PM routine before a big event. Guess why? I do wake up w/ that effortless glowy skin and, most importantly, without any sign of irritation (score!). It's a creamy chemical exfoliant that should be used after all watery- and leightweight-serum. It works ok as a last step of my evening routine but I prefer to apply GG (wait an hour) and then top it w/ moisturizer or #maylindstrom Blue Cocoon.
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📌Option 2. "Consistent radiance" 🙌
Consistency is my cup-of-tea and I truly believe that it takes consistent skincare to achieve a healthy radiance/glow... and the key ingredient that I use on a daily basis (and swear by) is L-ascorbic acid. I am not using the #drunkelephant C-firma serum anymore (currently using the #skinceuticals CE Ferulic)! Since using L-AA daily, my skin looks more radiant, my skin tone is more even and I also get an antioxidant boost!
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📌Option 3. "If you can't make it, fake it" 😃
Despite good-skincare, eating-healthy and sleeping-well, I still have days that I wake up with dull or tired-looking skin... (it sucks!). However, I will not let that ruin my happy morning, I simply summon @niod Photography Fluid Opacity 12% at the end of my skincare routine. I either use a drop over the high points of my face (as a subtle highlighter) or I mix a couple drops in my moisturizer or CC cream... et voilà, instant glow without looking like a shimmer disco ball during the day 😜
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#radiance #glow #glowyskin #radiantskin #vitC #vitcserum #goodgenes #skincare #consistency #skincareroutine #healthyskin

#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 7 | dark circles 👀
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I suffer from dark (well, purple) circles but they are HEREDITARY and there is not much (if anything at al) that can be solved by skincare! I never found a serum/cream that faded /corrected my type of dark circles (most options only offer a temporary fix due to incorporation of reflective/diffusing ingredients). My approach on those days when my dark circles are more visible is "if you can't make it, fake it": SERUM + PRIMER + CONCEALER:
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📌SERUM
#niod Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate Serum (FECC): a concentrated formula w/ 12 peptides, a high concentration of niacinamide and glycation-fighting Albizia julibrissin extract (aka Silk Tree or Mimosa of Constantinople, a reported antioxidant, anti-inflammatory & treats signs of glycation - prevents collagen from becoming hard, brittle and less resilient over time), 2 forms of vitC & an enhanced delivery system. Impressive INCI, specially the amount of peptides that help w/ forehead wrinkles & crow’s feet (e.g. Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 aka Synthe’6), muscle relaxers (e.g acetyl hexapeptide-8 aka argireline), anti-irritants (palmitoyl decapeptide-21), collagen boosters (Palmitoyl Heptapeptide-18), etc. I only need 1 drop of FECC to cover the skin around both eyes and another drop for my forehead.
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📌PRIMER
#smashbox hydrating-under-eye-primer: infused w/ anti-aging and great ingredients (such as caffeine, peptides, yeast extract, humectants and optical diffusers), this primer not only it prevents concealer from slipping off and creasing but it also hydrates and helps reducing under-eye concerns such as dark circles, puffiness and fine lines /wrinkles. Its silky, serum-like texture blends easily into the delicate under eye skin and provides a temporary illuminating effect. PS: I do not use face primers and I only use this under eye primer on days that I will use concealer.
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📌CORRECTOR / CONCEALER
#nyx HD Studio Photogenic Concealer Corrector: not the "best concealer in the world" but gets the job done.
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--> What are your best tips?
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#darkcircles #eyeserum #concealer

#1empty1newbie | Niacinamide-rich serum / booster / essence -
Niacinamide (Vit B3) is indicated to regulate cell turnover, reduce appearance of skin blemishes & congestion (already enough reasons for me to love it), as well as dramatically improve uneven skin tone, fade hyperpigmentation, reduce appearance of fine lines/wrinkles, strengthen skin barrier, refine appearance of pore size & skin texture. I already use products that have contain it but I wanted a serum w/ high concentration of this fabulous ingredient:
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📌EMPTY:
#deciem Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% by The Ordinary - bought it in the hope of finding a cheaper alternative to #paulaschoice RESIST 10% Niacinamide Booster. Both are water-based & contain 10% niacinamide but TO serum also contains 1% zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (Zinc PCA), which can can reduce the look of blemishes & balance sebum activity (similarly to Serozinc) and is very affordable. After using TO for some months (ps: bottle is not empty but I’ll give the 10% left to a friend that wants to test it), I was not impressed by its performance. It did not always layer well w/ other skincare 😐and I did not see the same amazing results I got w/ PC booster (probably because PC booster contains a long list of anti-oxidants that complements niacinamide’s action + soothing agents to minimize irritation).
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📌NEWBIE:
#stratia Rewind * - watery essence that contains 2-Dimethylamino Ethanol (DMAE - reduces appearance of lines & fine wrinkles), great plant extracts (licorice root, Centella asiatica and tamarind seed - powerful antioxidant abilities & help fade dark spots), 5% niacinamide (hello my old friend!), hydrolyzed rice protein, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, Sodium Hyaluronate, etc. It's fragrance-free, sinks in secs & layers beautifully w/ other skincare. However, after using it for 4 days, I got 3 breakouts in my cheeks (not a common for me; my breakouts are always around jaw line - hormonal acne). I blame my diet during my 5-day trip before I starting using Rewind. My skin healed fast (than you, CAIS!) and I’ll try Rewind again and cross my fingers because I love the texture, the ingredients & the price ($16) 😮👍
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* gifted by the brand

#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 6 | self care
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Again, I will repost previous IG stories that I prepared in May for another skincare challenge. My notion of self love has not changed:
📌indulge yourself w/ a delicious facial massage (while cleansing your face or at the end of your routine with a beautiful oil) 🙌🏻
📌prepare yourself an occasional bath with your fave bath foam / gel / salts 🛀🏻
📌enjoy a good night sleep 🌙
📌do things that make you happy (I love to film my IG stories 📽in the morning, love playing cello when it's raining, never miss a chance to laugh w/ friends, love drawing & painting w/ watercolors, or watch a good movie under a warm blanket...
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If you are not feeling "ok", your skin will show it and no expensive or miraculous skincare will make your skin look flawless... Call a friend, go for walk, start that language course you always wanted to do, start today whatever you promised yourself you wanted to do ages ago. Whatever you do that makes you happy is SELF LOVE and it will make YOU (AND YOUR SKIN) GLOW ❤️
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[PS: I am ware this sounds super cheesy but is so true; try it if you don't believe me 😉]
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#selflove #cultbeautyskincarechallenge #happiness #healthyskin #skinbeauty #skincare #massage #dowhatmakesyouhappy

#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 5 | blogger
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I can't pick 1 blogger; 2 is also impossible;
I can't even pick a TOP5... So, I decided to choose all of those that I follow and interact with!!! ☺️
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I don't follow thousands of people because my main goal in IG besides "learn & share knowledge", is to interact one-to-one ❤️and I can only truly engage if I limit the amount of people that I follow... I would follow thousands of you if my days had 48h 🙈!!!
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In this collage, you can see only a few faces but there are more and please forgive me if I did not include you here but... YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE:
• I like and/or comment on your posts
• I laugh with your IG stories
• I ask and/or answer your questions
• we chat via DMs and share thoughts
• I've exchanged samples
• I've learn from you -
Today, this post is for YOU!!!
Thank you for making this skincare madness look normal, relatable and way more fun ❤️
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#skincare #skin #skincarelover #skincarejunkie #selflove #friendship #friends #healthyskin #knowledgeispower #skincarecommunity #love

#1empty1newbie | peptide/antioxidant serum ⚗️
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📌EMPTY:
#deciem The Ordinary Buffet: this water-based serum is, in my opinion, one of the best products by The Ordinary; contains good humectants (several forms of HA + 11 amino acids) but the real power resides on its peptide-blend - Matrixyl 3,000, Matrixyl Synthe'6, Syn-Ake, Relistase, Argirelox & probiotics from Lactococcus lactis, which sums up as 25% of the formula's weight. I used this serum daily, in my AM routine after my VitC; skin feels a bit tacky after application but that's not a deal-breaker because I follow it w/ a moisturizer & the tackyness disapears. Given the array of ingredients, this serum is an amazing value product but I'm not sure if I'll repurchase because I prefer the Hylamide SubQ Anti-age (described by Deciem as a "big sister" of Buffet). For the moment, I will not buy anything because I have an exciting newbie waiting to be tested...
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📌NEWBIE:
#medik8 Firewall: I was very curious about this product (was on my wish list for months) but I could not find a retailer that sold samples (I prefer to sample before purchase) and I can't begin to explain my excitement when I was given the chance to try it as a PR sample. Why? Because this serum has several unique features that I have never seen combined in 1 single product:
1️⃣Broad Spectrum & strength: ability to neutralise multiple types of free radicals thanks to a patented combination of stable, scientifically proven antioxidants w/ very high antioxidant activity ("Cusodase-P" comlex)
2️⃣Great packaging: formula is split into 2 airless compartiments to maximise stability & potency. Plus, the lid contains an oxygen-absorbing patch.
3️⃣INCI is 🙌🏻: no dyes, no fragrance and the main actives are amazing: •copper PCA •Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol (unique antioxidant properties -Medik8 patent pending) •VitE (important antioxidant recycler) •Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant enzyme) and •anti-aging peptide complex (stimulates production of elastin & collagen)! Only used it a couple times (AM routine) and loved the texture and how it layers w/ other skincare 💙but I will need a couple months to properly review its performance 🤓

#cultbeautyskincarechallenge | day 4 | anti-aging
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My anti-aging tips are summarized in these IG stories - created last May for the #mayskincarechallenge hosted by the lovelies @antiagingamber and @morethanjustskin that now paired w/ @cultbeauty to create a new skincare challenge ❤️
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As mentioned in my previous post about my current stash of sun protection options, I believe that:
• DAILY SUN PROTECTION ☀️ (broad spectrum) is the best-anti aging strategy as it prevents photo-damage (main cause of visible signs of skin aging).
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In addition to SPF, I must obviously mention 2 other skincare-ingredient-categories:
• RETINOIDS ✨: the options shown is the videos are not updated but you can check my previous posts of #showusyourstash --> currently using the 1% retinol balm by @officialmedik8 (Medik8 10TR); re-stocked my @paulaschoice 1% retinol booster (my fave); and I'm testing the @mdcompleteskin retinol and VitC concentrate.
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• ANTIOXIDANTS ⚡️ --> VitC serum, niacinamide, superoxide dismutase, etc... and don't forget multitasker ingredients like copper peptides that can also counteract the oxidizing effects of free radicals. I am currently using: @skinceuticals CE Ferulic, @officialmedik8 Firewall, @stratiaskin Rewind, niod CAIS and SDSM!
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📌All 3 together result in prevention + correction of visible signs of skin aging! There is nothing wrong with aging... as long as it happens slowly and gracefully ❤️
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#antiaging #skincare #skin #spf #sunprotection #retinol #retinoids #healthyskin #skinbeauty #skincareroutine #buyless #antioxidants

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