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Hello, 

welcome to SKINCARMA!

These are the musings of a skincare junkie + writer + brand guru with 25+ years of product wisdom put into action to demystify skin care. 


You can change your skin’s destiny.™

PRODUCTS I LOVE : SWEET CHEF NATURAL SKINCARE VITAMIN SHOTS
The Ordinary’s 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder was the 2018 Skincarma product of the year!

The Ordinary’s 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder was the 2018 Skincarma product of the year!

When I was growing up, my mother always insisted we take our vitamins. Sometimes my brother Dominic and I listened, sometimes we dropped them into the radiators that ran along the floors in our bedrooms. I’m sure they nearly immediately dissolved in the steaming hot water piped throughout the house. I’m proud to say today that vitamins are at the core of the Skincarma philosophy for maintaining healthy skin. Specifically, both my AM and PM regimens include a combination of three highly effective vitamin-based products — a Vitamin C serum or powder, a Vitamin B3/Niacinamide serum and a Vitamin A/Retinol serum or cream. There’s a reason that The Ordinary’s $5 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder was named the 2018 Skincarma product of the year! And a reason why I would actually splurge on a $165 bottle of the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic serum. If you aren’t incorporating a selection of antioxidant vitamins in your skincare routine, you’re missing one of the most effective methods for attaining your healthiest skin possible.

It’s funny because when I first started working in skin care, we didn’t really talk about ingredients as much as the products themselves. Ingredients were hidden secrets. Products were iconic — made so through million-dollar marketing campaigns. It’s only been in the last few years that people — marketers and consumers alike — have begun to focus on skincare ingredients. And it wasn't all that long ago that antioxidants were believed to be most appealing to a younger consumer. Why? Because they were viewed through the lens of anti-aging, not anti-unhealthy skin! Antioxidants prevent aging. So the “wisdom” went like this: young people want to prevent signs of aging, older people want to correct signs of aging. What nonsense! First of all, everyone wants to look as young as possible and that means everyone wants to prevent more aging no matter how old they are. No one I know says they’re okay with looking older than they are. It really was such a foolish and even cynical view of things.

Forget about anti-aging!

Your focus should be on your skin’s health. Healthy skin can withstand aging forces better than unhealthy skin. It seems so obvious, but a real focus on skin health is in itself anti-aging.

And that takes me back to the antioxidant formulas in my skin care routine. About six, maybe eight weeks ago, the guys (actually, gals!) that introduced me to K-Beauty, Glow Recipe, launched a whole new skincare range that’s so genius in its simplicity, it really stands out to me. Their entire Sweet Chef brand comprises just three products — three distinctly potent, vitamin-infused antioxidant serums. If you aren’t using antioxidants in your skincare regimen yet, all you need to do is get your hands on these three serums and you’re good to go. Now you have no excuse.

Hello, Sweet Chef!

Sweet Chef’s three antioxidant vitamin serums.

Sweet Chef’s three antioxidant vitamin serums.

Sweet Chef’s three genius serums are “the perfect daily shot of natural skincare infused with vegetables and vitamins to freshly boost your skin's vitality and deliver a healthy radiance.” Honestly, that sums up the brand perfectly. Each serum combines antioxidant vitamins with fruit and vegetable extracts that nourish, protect, retexturize, hydrate and/or moisture the skin — all of which you need to maintain optimum skin health.

Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot

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The Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot is a really well-formulated Vitamin C serum. Full stop! The formula’s particular form of Vitamin C is Ascorbic Acid — also known as L-Ascorbic Acid — the star ingredient in that Skincarma product of the year. Ascorbic Acid is well-researched with proven abilities to brighten the complexion, even out skin tone and, of course, perform the vital function of antioxidant protection. As the most powerful form of Vitamin C, it is highly unstable and difficult to formulate with. Kudos to the Glow Recipe labs and chemists on this one!

In addition, the Ginger + Vitamin C Serum contains a range of potent antioxidant botanical extracts including Ginger Root Extract and Turmeric Root Extract, both of which are included here at a high level. Sweet Chef says that its ginger extract contains “40 different kinds of antioxidant properties to even out your skin tone for clear, healthy, youthful skin.” I didn’t know ginger was that powerful! A little googling and I now also know that it’s a medicinal plant used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to alleviate muscle pain, nausea, even cramps. Wow.

This herbaceous serum is quite lightweight and super easy to layer as one of the first steps in your regimen — right before or after Hyaluronic Acid, depending on the viscosity of that particular serum. As always, feel welcome to DM me on my Skincarma IG page with questions about product application.

The Sweet Chef Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot is deeply hydrating and helps lock moisture in skin.

The Sweet Chef Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot is deeply hydrating and helps lock moisture in skin.

Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot

Retinol is the gold standard in anti-aging. Or so they say. Actually, I gotta dispute that. The gold standard in anti-aging is a well-formulated mineral sunscreen. Retinol, or Vitamin A, is a distant second IMO. So, naturally, Vitamin A is the star ingredient of the Sweet Chef Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot. This milky serum is a blend of vitamin-rich Beet Root Extract, nourishing seaweed, humectant Glycerin and, yes, Retinol.

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The level of Retinol is, in my opinion, at the low end and should not lead to skin irritation — if that is a concern. There are several skin-soothing extracts in the formula that should help prevent the irritation common to Retinol use — and the very reason many people avoid using Retinol to begin with. That is a mistake. The key is to find a retinoid treatment that works for your skin and your lifestyle.

I experienced no irritation with the Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot and have actually used this in addition to a more potent Retinol treatment in the same routine. It’s just too delicious not to play around with. I wanted to test my theory that it wouldn’t conflict with a more potent, prescription-strength treatment. Again, zero irritation! It’s really just a great option for incorporating a well-formulated, low-grade Retinol into a healthy skincare regimen.

Sweet Chef’s three potent, vitamin-infused antioxidant serums.

Sweet Chef’s three potent, vitamin-infused antioxidant serums.

Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot

My kale pesto is the bomb.

My kale pesto is the bomb.

The Sweet Chef Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot is, as with the Beet Shot, a silky, milky serum. This one is packed with an extract from superfood kale — the tough, deep-green leafy vegetable I’d never heard of until I moved to New York more than a decade ago. Now I can’t get enough of it! I’ve even made kale pesto for Sunday dinner. In fact, I think I’ll make kale pesto for dinner tonight. Mmm!

The particular extract in the Kale Shot, Brassica Oleracea Acephala Kale Leaf, is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and Vitamin B. This form of Vitamin B, known as panthenol or Vitamin B5, is especially hydrating in skin and performs as a powerful humectant that attracts and holds moisture. In addition, Sweet Chef included Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract which they say is a “powerful anti-inflammatory booster that soothes and moisturizes dry, irritated skin.” I wasn't familiar with this form of aloe and, again, Sweet Chef taught me something about ingredients that I didn’t know. There’s so much that’s good in the Kale Shot — including antioxidants Turmeric Root Extract and Cocoa Seed Extract as well as Eggplant Fruit Extract, Red Algae Extract, and Carageen Moss Extract. It’s a veritable salad for your face. Make that a pesto for your face!

The Sweet Chef Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot is infused with superfood kale extract.

The Sweet Chef Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot is infused with superfood kale extract.

How sweet is Sweet Chef? Hey, I love when thoughtful, well-formulated skin care comes out of nowhere. In one fell swoop, you can amp up your skincare regimen with one or all three of these distinct antioxidant vitamin serums.

Take a look at Sweet Chef, and don’t forget to take your vitamins!

🖤 SKINCARMA


**WATCH MY VIDEO REVIEW OF SWEET CHEF AND THEIR ANTIOXIDANT VITAMIN SHOTS ON MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE.**



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The Ingredient List of the Sweet Chef Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot:

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Propanediol, Methyl Gluceth-10, Pentylene Glycol, Triethylhexanoin, Xylitol, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Retinol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/ VP Copolymer, Choleth-24, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Xylitylglucoside, Carbomer, Anhydroxylitol, Tromethamine, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glucose, Cyanocobalamin, Dextrin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Methylpropanediol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil.

The Ingredient List of the Sweet Chef Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot:

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-14 Olefin), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Trehalose, Brassica Oleracea Acephala (Kale) Leaf, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Corallina Officinalis (Red Algae) Extract, Panthenol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carageen Moss) Extract, SaccharumOficinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Polysorbate 60, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tromethamine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Sorbitan Isostearate, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Disodium EDTA, Dextrin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil.

The Ingredient List of the Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot:

Water, Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-20,1, 2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Choleth-24, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Cyanocobalamin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil.

SKINCARMA APPROVED : ANTIOXIDANT VITAMIN C SERUMS

SKINCARMA APPROVED : ANTIOXIDANT VITAMIN C SERUMS

PRODUCTS I LOVE : BIO-EXTRACTS CONCENTRATED FACE SERUM BOOSTS

PRODUCTS I LOVE : BIO-EXTRACTS CONCENTRATED FACE SERUM BOOSTS