Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review


I know I’m kind of late to the game reviewing Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm, but you know…better late than pregnant. Anywho, late or not, I have recently been wearing the UD BB after a suggestion from Bren of OMG Bren. My skin has been super dry lately, and she suggested I wear a good BB cream under my foundation. Since my foundation of choice is UD Naked Skin, this seemed a logical choice!

It claims to:

– hydrate instantly
– improve hydration over time
– make makeup go on nicely
– make makeup last longer
– protect with SPF 20 (broad spectrum)
– instantly even out skin tone
– instantly minimize pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness
– treats skin to firm, improve elasticity, and provide “measurable anti-aging benefits”

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm contains some new to me ingredients. Pepha®-Protect helps protect your skin cells against daily stress. Uh hi? I need that. Vitasource® and dGlyage® firm the skin, improve elasticity, and fight wrinkles. Not huge issues for me NOW, but hey better to prevent than to try and fix later!

At first I wasn’t all that excited about trying this because it only came in one shade. That shade has been renamed Naked Medium, and a lighter shade and darker shade (Naked Light and Naked Dark) have been added to the range. Hooray! Not surprisingly, I’m wearing Naked Light.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is not what I expected, formula-wise. I was expecting something thicker. UD’s BB is pretty runny actually. It applies very smoothly and sort of glides over the skin. Unlike other BB creams I’ve tried, I actually don’t recommend applying this like you would any other skin care. If you rub it in circles or rub too much, I find it just balls up. If you just smooth it gently in one direction, it will blend and apply beautifully. That could be because of the skin care I use beforehand, but  if you’re having similar issues try that. Apply it almost like you would a face mask type product.

After applying I definitely feel the silicone-y primer-y feeling, but it’s not as much as when I just whack on a bit of primer. Flaws are definitely blurred. As far as coverage goes, it’s not so much covering problem areas as just making them less noticeable. Red areas look less red, spots are still spots but not as glaring. It’s like a soft focus effect more than a tinted moisturizer effect of providing light coverage – which is what a lot of other BB products provide. I find that I need way less foundation/concealer when wearing this. Whereas before I had foundation and loads of concealer, today I only put on a little concealer over the beauty balm and I was good to go.

If you aren’t looking for coverage, this beauty balm will appeal to you. If you need additional actual coverage, it does make a sublime canvas for applying additional foundation/concealer. Foundation and concealer apply so nicely over the beauty balm! If you don’t wear more base over this, blush and highlighter etc. still  applied really well.

I haven’t been using it long enough to know if the long term benefits are really coming through, but wearing less concealer and foundation couldn’t ever be a bad thing. I can definitely feel a difference in hydration overall. And also, sun screen! :) This sun screen doesn’t bother my skin at all. Many of them do.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this and have incorporated it into my everyday beauty routine! Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is available at Sephora, Ulta, UD’s site…you know the drill, for $34.

New FDA Regulations for Sunscreen

Alright I have my creepily happy sun pic up again, so that means – you guessed it, more talk about sun screen.
Remember this post from March about how what you don’t know about sun screen might be compromising your safety? Well the FDA has finally made some new rules about sun screens that will be effective next year. You definitely will see some changes when you shop for sunscreen after these go into effect! 
What you’ll see…
– Sun screens will be required to list protection against UVB (causes sun burn) and UVA (causes skin cancer) rays. SPF ratings will still be there to rate UVB protection, and UVA protection will be rated 1 to 4 stars.
What you won’t see…
– Sun screens marketed as “waterproof”. There is no such thing as a sun screen that is water proof. They can only claim to be “water resistant” or “sweat resistant”. 
– Sun screens marketed as anything higher than “SPF 50+”. There is no evidence of any benefits of SPF higher than 50. So those Neutrogena sunscreens that claim to be SPF 100? Pure marketing BS. 
These finalized standards have taken the FDA over 30 years to draft. Why on earth has it taken the FDA so long to put an end to the blatant false advertising on so many sun screen products? In Europe, even higher standards for sun screens have been in place for years already. In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group, about 20% of the products on the U.S. market that do pass muster under the new standards still would not be able to be sold in the E.U. 
The EWG has a great site full of information about sun screens, as well as an app to help you research sun screens from your iphone! Now, I know that they also have a database of which cosmetics have cancer-causing ingredients, but I really wouldn’t worry about your makeup possibly causing cancer – the odds of getting skin cancer from not having adequate protection are way higher than the odds of getting it from wearing foundation! 

Important FDA Sunscreen Regulation Info

I got some important info about the FDA and sun protection that I thought I absolutely must share with you guys. Sun protection is so important! Not just for vanity, but for your health. Yes a little sun can be good for you, but melanoma is very serious and I love you all and want you to have all the information you can about good sun protection.

The FDA is currently in the final planning stages of a new regulation for how sun protection products are labeled. Right now, the only required labeling is SPF, or “sunburn protection factor”. Here’s the thing about that– SPF only refers to UVB rays. There are no regulations in place that require products to disclose information about their UVA protection. Most products out there on the market do not protect you adequately, and are therefore leaving you exposed. UVA rays actually penetrate deeper than UVB rays do and can cause cancer and all the other unpleasantness (skin discoloration, wrinkles, etc). The FDA is working on getting a system in place that rates sun protection from UVA rays based on a 4-star rating, and requires all sunscreen products to display this label in addition to SPF information.

We talk a lot about avoiding sunburn, but it’s very important to remember that sun damage can be caused even if you are not sunburned. So if you are one of those people who never wears sunscreen but insists “oh, I never burn so it’s okay!” (ahem. mr boyfriend, I’m looking at you!) – guess again. The best way to avoid dangerous UVA and UVB rays is to use a sunscreen that contains physical sunblock. These are the ones made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They block out more of the harmful UV radiation than chemical sunscreens (and as a side note, they are a lot more gentle on sensitive skin – chemical sunscreens break me out like crazy!).

A few years ago when I consulted a dermatologist for advice on my skin, he advised that I should always wear an SPF 30. I was surprised at the time because I figured for someone as pale as me, he’d recommend a higher SPF. Keep in mind that I knew very little about sunscreen back then. “There are tons of sunscreens out there that advertise SPF 50, SPF 70, and even SPF 100! Why isn’t he recommending these to me?” I remember thinking. Well, it turns out the FDA only recognizes SPF of up to 30. The testing for anything above 30 is inaccurate and “inherently misleading”, to quote the FDA.

Here’s a fact that blew my mind: SPF 15 protects from 95% of the sun’s UVB rays, and when you go up to SPF 30, you only gain 1% more protection. Crazy, right? The FDA considers anything above an SPF 30 to be purely a marketing ploy to lull consumers (like me! I admit it!) into a false sense of security. Scary stuff.

Fortunately for us there are sunscreens available that provide adequate protection. The downside is that many of these products are European and therefore expensive or hard to find here in the U.S. Two very popular brands are Bioderma and Avene, both available from the extremely informative skin-beautiful.com. Hopefully we can look forward to more brands in the U.S. following suit in the future as the FDA regulations come into effect! One company that is already making great strides in sun care is Dermagenics, a CA-based company whose Sun-Savvy Solar Shield provides 95% protection against both UVB and UVA rays.

I hope that information was helpful! I don’t often get all warm and fuzzy and/or soapboxy on my blog, but I care about my readers– this info has to be told!

This article made possible with helpful info from Dermagenics and Skin-Beautiful.com, but I was not sponsored in any way.

Bioré Dual Fusion Moisturizer SPF 30

Everyone knows sunscreen is super important. Skin cancer is no fun, and sun damage also includes wrinkles, freckles, etc. But finding the optimal sunscreen product(s) for you are pretty freaking hard sometimes. Being super fair you’d think I’d always be hyper conscious of always wearing SPF, right? Err. Sure. I’ll let you think that.

I read some really awesome things about Bioré Dual Fusion Moisturizer on Makeup Alley. I was interested since I have found lots of moisturizers that I love, and even a couple sunscreens that work for me, but had never found a moisturizer with SPF that wasn’t greasy and heavy or broke me out. I’m also allergic to avobenzene, a chemical sunscreen ingredient found in a lot of stuff. CVS had this for 50% off a couple of weeks ago, so I grabbed it right up. So far, very good. Bioré describes Dual Fusion as being formulated for “transitional skin” – skin that is in between the teen acne years and serious anti-aging concerns. Like a newly 24 year old, perhaps? ;)

This moisturizer comes in an interesting and innovative dual-chamber pump bottle that looks like this:

and Bioré says the dual chambered design keeps the moisturizer and the sunscreen separated to “preserve the power of each formula” in order to maximize the effectiveness of each. When you push down on the pump, you get a green liquid and a white liquid, which I mix together in my hand and rub onto my face. I think the green is the moisturizer and the white is the sunscreen, but I have no idea really. ;) I like that they’re different colors so you’re sure to see if you’re getting both. Some users complained that it was hard to get both to come out in equal portions. I haven’t found this to be the case, but Bioré recommends tapping the bottle on a hard surface (like a counter top) to settle the product when this occurs. 
The thing I appreciate most about this moisturizer is how cosmetically elegant it is. How many times have you tried a moisturizer or sunscreen and had it be too heavy, too greasy, take forever to absorb, or even had it ball up under your makeup? Gross. No fun at all. It’s no wonder so many women slack off when it comes to their sun protection with results like that, right? You will have none of those problems with Dual Fusion. The thin, almost watery consistency absorbs like lightening and makeup applies like a dream over it! It also doesn’t have that kinda icky, chemically “sunscreen smell” that we’re all so fond of. Like the other Bioré products I’ve tried, it smells lightly fruity. 
I’m really enjoying this product so far. It seems to be getting along with my skin. Usually after a couple of weeks I can tell if something is going to work for me, and this seems like the beginning to a beautiful relationship. ;)
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (3%), Zinc Oxide (3.9%)
Other Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Butylene Glycol, Phenyltrimethicone, Cetyl PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Nymphaea Coerulea Flower Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Hordeum Distichon Extract (Barley), Disodium Rutinyl Disulfate, PEG 3 Dimethicone, Polyacrylamide, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Copolymer, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Sodium Stearoxy, PG Hydroxyethylcellulose Sulfonate, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Laureth 7, Propylene Glycol, Iron Oxides, Disodium EDTA, 1,2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Tropolone, Fragrance (Parfum), Green 5, Yellow 5, Green 3

Price will vary somewhere between $13-$15 for a 1.7 oz bottle, and it is available at drugstores, or any other places that carry Bioré products.

Review: Coppertone Kids Continuous Sunblock Spray SPF 50

The boyfriend and I picked up this sunblock in Walmart not too long ago because I wanted a spray sunscreen. It’s quick and easy, and because of that there are no excuses not to wear sunblock!

It’s not the nicest feeling thing in the world though. :\ I will probably keep using it just because I paid for it and sun protection is important, but it’s not that nice!

First of all, if you use this…do not get it in your hair. Just. Don’t. It makes your hair look like a greasy over-hairsprayed mess.

If you spray more than a light mist on any one part of your body, it will stay pretty greasy for a while. And then after it dries, it can slough off like when you have a bad moisturizer that balls up on the skin. Cute!

But, on the plus side…I didn’t get sunburned, and the packaging is cool. There’s no cap, it justs twists open and closed. Soo, there’s plusses and minuses. Even being kinda greasy I guess it’s not so bad– most sunscreens for the body are pretty greasy afterall. This one is waterproof and provides UVA and UVB protection.

Active ingredients:

Avobenzone (3%) (sunscreen), Homosalate (15%) (sunscreen), Octisalate (5%) (sunscreen), Oxybenzone (6%) (sunscreen)