Tag Archives: beauty blogs

Vintage Reader

Sunday Love, Link and Magic #1

May 26, 2013

Hello my loves! 

A really nifty thing happened this weekend… Ziba is now on Pinterest!

I swore I would keep my social media channels down to the bare minimum (Twitter and Facebook).

And while I already had a Pinterest account, I only made it for my own personal amusement. It had nothing to do with Ziba and I wasn’t using it very much.

For the longest time, I had only one board on it called Homework. Basically, it was just me FANTASIZING to myself about how my move out west is going to change everything and how my new house is going to be insanely spacious and feng shui.

This was what Pinterest was to me: an online space for sublimating domestic fantasies. Like little girls playing tea party.

But… after much encouragement from my readers, I decided to make better use of my Pinterest account and transform it into a Lifestyle Visual Outlet for Ziba.

So! Do check out Ziba’s Pinterest Page 

And begin a visual exploration on themes of Beauty, Elegance, SoulWit and so much more! 

Vintage Reader

And now for your reading pleasure…

So today, I’m actually starting a new weekly feature called Sunday Love, Link and Magic.

It will be a time for me to share with you some of the most interesting bits of the week.

And for the very first feature, I’ve decided to share some of the most interesting posts that I’ve read this week! They’re written by other bloggers who I either follow regularly or have just recently discovered.

And I would love for you to discover them too!

Fantastic blog posts that I’ve read this week:

1) Top 20 Hydrating Foods & How To Incorporate Them In Your Daily Life – by Storybook Apothecary

Staying hydrated is important for keeping our skin healthy and glowing. And while many people try to get all their hydration through drinking water, it’s a lot easier AND tastier to get your hydration through the foods that you eat. This post highlights the great variety of skin nourishing and water-rich foods out there!

2) My current 3 Favorite Sunscreens – by ROKderm

ROKderm, who is a dermatologist to-be and a bona fide skincare guru, does not play around when it comes to the sun! She takes sun protection very seriously. As should you! Here are three sunscreens that she uses and recommends, all of them with at least SPF50. Read this review and see if there’s a sunscreen here that might work for you.

3) Old souvenirs – My First Start As A Makeup Artist – by Kris Discoveries

Kris is a beauty blogger who I consider to be a kindred spirit! She lived in Paris for many years, she is constantly traveling and she has serious entrepreneurial aspirations! In fact, she just recently launched her own beauty shop online. In this post, Kris reminisces about her first experiences as a makeup artist and gushes about how terrible her hair looked! But actually, I think she looked rather adorable.

4) Why I Love Rose Flower Water – by MademoiselleNature

I was very happy to discover MademoiselleNature, another blogger who writes about simple and sensible beauty tips, natural products, shopping for french cosmetics and analyzing things from a scientific approach!  In this post, she lists all the beautifying properties of rose floral water. I too love rose floral water. If you’ve never tried rose floral water before, then I beg of you… try it! It will make you see life en rose.

5) Fashion Blogging: It’s Not Just About Pretty Pictures – by Beautifully Invisible

If you’re a blogger and you have moments of doubt about what you’re doing, read this! I was inspired by the thoughtfulness of this post. It celebrates the invisible fashion blogger (I just substituted “fashion” with “beauty”) who doesn’t fall into any categories but just blogs for the love of it.

6) Spring Workout – by Healthy Frenchie

A French girl living in Canada and passionate about healthy living. I’m inspired by her level of dedication when it comes to fitness. And I also envy the natural outdoors in which she gets to play and do her workouts. I’m looking forward to reading more about her quest for a healthier way of living.

7) OST Pure Vitamin C20 Serum – By SweetJellyBean

Before I found Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C serum, I was always on the lookout of good vitamin C serums. This is a very thorough and positive review, and you should check it out if you’re shopping around for Vitamin C serums (though personally, I would probably stick with Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C serum because it’s free of suspicious sounding ingredients).

8) Highstreet vs. High End Eye Cream: Is The Price Really Justified – by Beautiful Solutions

If you’ve wondered whether it’s worth it to invest in pricey eye creams, you should read this article. Beautiful Solutions did her research quite well and her findings may help to clear up some questions you’ve had about eye creams. For example, why can’t you just use a regular moisturizer on your eyes?

9) Finding a suitable natural facial SPF – by Sugarpuffish 

Sugarpuffish has been on the lookout for natural facial sunscreen. And as someone who refers to herself as “Queen of the Allergies,” I imagine she’s got some meticulously high standards. In this post, she recommends a few natural sunscreens. And one of them, John Masters Organics SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen, has been on my radar for quite some time now.

And last but not least…

10) Sunday Reads – by Luchessa

Luchessa has regularly been doing the Sunday Reads feature on her blog. And in fact, she was the one who encouraged me to write this post today. So be sure to visit her post as well and have a look around on her blog for more interesting reads and digs!


By the way!

If you look under the Follow Along section on the sidebar to your right…

You’ll also notice that I’ve brought back the Bloglovin icon and the Hellocoton icon (french version) back.

I know some of my readers use these platforms, so I wanted to make it easy for them to follow Ziba through these channels.

Ok! This ends today’s Sunday Love, Link and Magic feature!

I hope you’ll tune in next Sunday for another showcase of interesting beauty bits and bobs from the week.

Product Review: Effaclar Duo by La Roche-Posay

October 3, 2012

Plus, A Little Lesson On Treating Acne.

This is my first foray into pharmaceutical skin care products. Although La Roche Posay products are paraben free, there is little else that is natural or organic about them. And just in case you were wondering… yes, I am beginning to branch out towards products that are not necessarily labeled natural or organic! I have a couple of reasons for this. If you’ve read my article on The Bias Against Organic Cosmetics, you might start to get a feel for why.

But the main reason why I’ve specifically begun using La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo is to treat a skin problem of mine which has been lingering around for almost a year now.

A Mild Form of Acne

Last year, during the fall of 2011, my skin began to break out badly with acne. It took a few months to clear up, but ever since, the surface of my skin has continued to be marred by these little flesh-colored bumps. These little flesh-colored bumps are, in fact, a milder non-inflammatory form of acne called “closed” comedones. More popularly, they’re known as white heads. But white heads sound so gross to me, so I’d rather just stick to the technical term.

Closed comedones / white heads form when pores get clogged with oil and dead skin cells. When skin grows over this dried-up oil plug, oxygen cannot get into the pore and turn the material inside into a darker color. So the pore stays “closed” and the material inside stays “white”. The fact that the pores are closed is what makes getting rid of white heads so difficult, even with regular exfoliation.

By the way, if you want to see a video with images that show the difference between open and closed comedones, you can watch this: What are black heads and white heads? 


White heads do not necessarily have to be infected. But if the P. acnes bacteria is present on the skin and manages to infect the cells around the pore, the white heads can become infected and turn into the pustules which we more commonly think of as “pimples”.

In my skin’s case, however, this rarely happened.  For months I just had these little bumps under the surface of my skin, which never turned into actual pimples but never really went away either. It hasn’t been that problematic. But under certain lighting conditions, these little bumpy silhouettes on the surface of my skin could become really noticeable. Despite everything I did, like having a healthy lifestyle, cleaning my face regularly and routinely exfoliating, I wasn’t able to completely banish these little fellas from my life.

Treating Closed Comedones

After looking more into white heads and how to treat them, I figured that I didn’t really need to focus on anti-bacterial treatments like benzoyl peroxide because I didn’t have problems with acne infections. My problem was also mild enough that I didn’t want to turn to retin-A, which is a prescription strength treatment that can really irritate the skin. So this left me to look for products mainly containing salicylic acid.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid found in many acne treatment products. It works by dissolving the substance that causes skin cells to stick together, thus helping to slough away dead skin cells. Salicylic acid is especially helpful in treating comedonal acne because it can penetrate the pores and clear out cellular debris from within the follicles. Salicylic acid products are found in strengths ranging from .5% to 2% and can easily be acquired over the counter.

So off to the pharmacy I went!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

La Roche-Posay is a dermatological brand that capitalizes on the therapeutic properties of the thermal waters found in the town of La Roche-Posay. Many La Roche-Posay products use this thermal water, which has a low mineral content and contains calcium bicarbonate, silicates and selenium. Clinical studies support the observations that the water possesses anti-inflammatory, anti free-radical properties. With over 30 years of experience in research and working with dermatologists throughout the world, La Roche-Posay has become a leading skin care brand in Europe, creating products suitable for various skin types and conditions.

Effaclar Duo Corrective and Unclogging Anti-Imperfection Care serves a dual purpose: 1) Fighting against bacterial proliferation and 2) Eliminating accumulated dead skin cells that are responsible for clogging pores.

The product works by using the thermal waters of La Roche-Posay and the combined effects of the following 4 main active ingredients:

  • Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 and nicotonic acid, niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, and stimulate microcirculation in the dermis. It also has a growing reputation for being able to treat an uneven skin tone and to mitigate acne and the red marks it leaves behind, known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. (Source: Cosmeticscop)
  • Piroctone Olamine, also known as Octopirox, piroctone olamine is an anti-fungal compound mainly used in anti-dandruff shampoos to treat itchy scalps. But it also has anti-bacterial properties which help to control bacterial populations on the skin. (Source: Chemlink)
  • LHA or Lipo Hydroxy Acid is an exclusive pro-exfoliating molecule developed by La Roche-Posay to micro-exfoliate the skin and stimulate cell renewal, helping to even skin tone. The LHA molecule (lipo-hydroxy-acid) is a lipophilic derivative of salicylic acid that incorporates a fatty chain for improved affinity with the sebum in the epidermis allowing for faster skin regeneration. LHAis proven to exfoliate six times better than regular salicylic acid. (Source: PRnewswire)
  • Linoleic Acid is an essential fatty acid necessary for proper growth and development of the epidermis. It also is required for synthesis of the important long-chain ceramides necessary to protect against dry skin. (Source: iS CLINICAL)

Using This Product

I’ve been using Effaclar Duo for over three weeks now and these are my impressions so far:

The texture of the gel/fluid is light, absorbs quickly and leaves a glowing but non-greasy residue on the skin. The smell is subtle and pleasant. It can be applied morning and night. If applied during the day, it can serve as a non-comedogenic base for make-up. I’ve only been applying it at night though, after I clean my face. Usually, I don’t put anything else over it. No night creams and no moisturizers. I just leave my skin to breathe while allowing the product to work.  If you have dry skin though, using moisturizers in conjunction with this product shouldn’t be a problem.

At first, I didn’t know how my skin would react to using Effaclar Duo. So I started by applying small amounts only to the areas where I tend to have problems with clogged pores. My skin stung a bit and turned reddish where the product was applied. Over the weeks, my skin has become habituated to the product and reacts less and less to it. I no longer hesitate to apply it over my entire face.

Keep in mind that I have normal/combination type skin. But I have read reviews from others with sensitive type skin who have used this product with no problems.


When it comes to acne treatments, it’s very important to keep using a product for at least one month in order to make a solid assessment of its effectiveness. However, after using Effaclar Duo for only three weeks and seeing the positive results, I think enough time has passed to report my findings on here.

95% of the little bumps on my skin have cleared up.

My skin definitely looks smoother. Actually, around the second week of using this product, my skin got worse! More bumps had shown up. But by the third week, my skin has overall become smoother than before I started using the product. In the morning, I’ll find dry flakes of skin and peel it off to reveal smoother skin underneath. I realize how much this makes me sound like a snake, so go ahead and make fun of me.

Overall though, I’m pretty satisfied with the results of La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo. It got the job done without any fuss. Oh, I should mention that even though I was looking specifically for products containing salicylic acid, the LHA or salicylic acid derivative in Effaclar Duo was probably a better find. The 40ml tube which I bought for 12€ is not even half way done, but once I’ve completely used it up I will probably buy another tube. I intend to continue using this product even after my skin has completely cleared up.

Closing Thoughts

I’ve read many negative reviews about this same product from people who didn’t see any improvements or saw that it only made their skin worse. But I think where many people make their mistake is stopping the use of this product around the time when their skin begins to look worse.

Unless your skin reacts severely to a product, in which case you should definitely stop using it and mention it to your doctor or dermatologist, it’s very important to keep using the same treatment at least one month to really assess its effectiveness. Treating difficult skin problems like acne takes A LOT of time. Sometimes it can take up to six months. You have to be patient and to stick to one line of treatment, rather than switching to different products every couple of weeks because this can end up doing more damage to your skin in the long run. And even if you notice an improvement in your skin, it’s important to keep using the same  product for a little bit longer, because otherwise the same problems can easily come back again.

Where to find La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo 40ml: On Amazon.com. You can also read about it on the La Roche-Posay website

How much: 12€ at the pharmacy where I bought it, $19.40 on Amazon.com

So that concludes my review for La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo and my little lesson on treating the mild form of acne known as closed comedones (also known as white heads). I hope you learned something from it!