Can Heptapeptide-7 Treat Stretch Marks?

heptapeptide-7 stretch marks

The skincare world is obsessed with peptides. At first glance, it is easy to see why. They are said to smooth skin, increase collagen production, reduce wrinkles, puffy eyes, and stretch marks.

Yet, when you dig deeper you realise that there are only a handful of scientific studies supporting their claims, and most of them were conducted by the companies that make them. Not exactly the most trustworthy of sources…

One of these supposedly miraculous but scarcely researched peptides is Heptapeptide-7. Still rarely used, it can, according to Helix BioMedix Inc., the company that developed and patented it, improve menopausal skin and reduce stretch marks. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were true? But is it? Let’s investigate:

What’s Heptapeptide-7?

Hexapeptide-7 is a synthetic peptide made up of seven aminoacids, including asparagine, glycine, arginine, and isoleucine, commonly found in the skin. It is designed like that to mimic the “natural sequences found as part of the body’s own defense and repair system.

What does Heptapeptide-7 do?

Heptapeptide-7 is said to be very beneficial for mature skin. A 2010 study conducted by Helix BioMedix Inc on 32 50-something women found that heptapeptide-7 stimulated keratinocyte proliferation and migration and induced collagen synthesis, thus improving forehead wrinkles and skin texture. How?

Keratinocytes are the predominant cell type in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. Their main function is to form a protective barrier against heat, bacteria, water loss, UV rays, and anything else that can damage skin.

But they also play a role in wound healing. They do so by migrating to the wound area, filling in the gaps. In the same way, they can fill in fine lines and wrinkles, reducing their appearance. Stimulating collagen production also helps to keep skin elastic and wrinkles at bay.

This boost in collagen production also supposedly reduces the appearance of both old and new stretch marks. But I couldn’t find any studies backing up this claim. Instead, its beneficial effects are only touted by Apothederm, a company owned by Helix BioMedix Inc that makes a stretch mark cream with this peptide.

Of course this doesn’t mean that this peptide is useless. Reviews of Apothederm Stretch Mark Cream are mostly positive (although it’s pricey and, apparently, you need to use it consistently for months before you see a tiny improvement) and preliminary studies are promising. But I’d rather wait for confirmation of its benefits by independent studies before rushing out to buy a product with this ingredient.

Hopefully, such confirmation will come soon. At the moment, no topical ingredient can treat old stretch marks, so it would be wonderful if someone had finally developed something that can really get rid of them.

heptapeptide-7

The controversy about peptides

Not everyone is in love with peptides. Some experts, like dermatologists Leslie Baumann believe they don’t work. That’s because they are too big to penetrate skin. It has been suggested, though, that they could still work even when left on the surface of the skin by signalling to receptors present there how cells should behave.

The Bottom Line

Hexapeptide-7 is a new promising ingredient that could help in the fight against wrinkles and stretch marks. Problem is, all the studies proving its efficacy have, so far, been conducted only by the company that makes it. Until independent research supports these findings, I’d be hesitant to purchase a product just because it contains this ingredient.

Have you ever tried Hexapeptide-7?

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Product Review: Burberry Lip Cover In Tea Rose

burberry lip cover tea rose 02

Name: Lip Cover in Tea Rose
Brand: Burberry
Size: 3,5g
Price: £23.00

From Burberry’s website:
Burberry Lip Cover adds a touch of radiance.
The lightweight combination of nourishing oils and gel dispersed pigment ensures intense moisture and long lasting colour.

What I liked:
– beautiful shade, complements any look and can be worn for every occasion
– good colour payoff
– slightly luminous satin finish
– creamy texture, glides on smoothly and doesn’t dry out lips
– practical and luxurious packaging

What I didn’t like:
– not very moisturizing
– average staying power

Burberry, the clothing brand, has never spoken to me. The dishvelled elegance it is famous for is not really my style. I prefer neat, classic, and sophisticated elegance. I like to get all glammed up.

But Burberry, the makeup line? That’s a completely different story. The luxurious packaging, the beautiful shade selection… I was instantly intrigued, and I knew it was only gonna be a matter of time before I tried something from the brand.

burberry lip cover tea rose 03

Sadly, the Burberry makeup line isn’t available in my little town, and I was hesitant, at this high price point, to buy something online, sight unseen. I needed to see the range in person before making a commitment. The opportunity finally came late last year, when I found myself in the duty free area at Stansted Airport.

Usually, at duty free shops, I prefer to shop for gift sets. I think I get better value for my money that way. But that day at Stansted, it was the Burberry counter that kept drawing me like a moth to a flame. The SAs must have thought I was crazy as I kept eyeing their counter, only to move away looking for something cheaper, and coming back again a few minutes later.

Then, I saw it. Burberry Lip Cover in Tea Rose, a medium rose pink with a satin, slightly luminous finish. It must have cast some sort of spell on me, because I knew I couldn’t leave the airport without it. I was a bit surprised about it because, usually, lipsticks don’t have that effect on me. I have always been a lipgloss kinda gal. Is this a sign that I’m getting older?

burberry lip cover tea rose 04

If so, who cares? A few months later, I’m still as infatuated with Tea Rose as ever. It’s a beautiful, feminine shade that can be worn with any look and for any occasion. It is perfect for a natural look for the office, but also nicely complements a smokey eye for a night out with friends. It even looks good when paired with bright eye makeup. You just can’t go wrong with it.

Tea Rose has medium colour payoff. One swipe is pigmented enough to provide an opaque, but delicate coat of colour on the lips. If you want a more intense look, you’ll have to layer it. That’s what I did in the face swatch above (you know, I love bold shades). And no, it doesn’t feel heavy when you do so.

Although I don’t find the formula particularly moisturizing, it is lightweight, creamy, and doesn’t dry out lips. It glides smoothly on the lips and feels comfortable on. But sadly, that also means that, after two hours and a half, it already starts to fade. If you eat or drink, it’ll disappear sooner.

burberry lip cover tea rose 01

But, for once, I don’t mind reapplying. It’s such a pretty shade that I love wearing it even if it needs some retouching every now and then. You don’t even need a mirror for that. The top of the case is very reflective and doubles up as one. Very convenient, isn’t it?

The magnetic closure is very handy too. Even if you don’t close it properly, it will eventually slide into place on its own. But the tube is not just practical. It is also beautiful. Like the bullet inside, it is decorated with the Burberry trademark check pattern. Such a luxurious touch.

Available at: Harrods and Net-A-Porter

Summary
Burberry Lip Color in Tea Rose is a medium rose shade with a satin finish, good colour payoff and a creamy, but not very moisturizing texture, that glides on smoothly. I just wish it lasted longer on the lips.

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
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New Spring 2015 Collections: Dior, Givenchy, & Nars

Hello gorgeous,

take a look at what Dior, Givenchy, and Nars have come up with for the upcoming spring:

Dior Kingdom Of Colors

dior kingdom of colors spring 2015 collection 01 dior kingdom of colors spring 2015 collection 02

Welcome to Dior’s Kingdom Of Colors. The new spring collection from the French maison features green, pink and coral shade that will allow you to create fresh, colourful, and wearable looks for the warm season. Here are more details:

KINGDOM OF COLORS EYE, LIP & FACE PALETTE ($80.00)
The palette features a mattifying skin-perfecting powder; a pearly highlighter and coral blush to enhance the complexion; and a deep purple enhanced with a silver shadow; an illuminating touch of aqua green shadow; and a black eyeliner to define the eyes. An iridescent coral gloss and a powdery pink lipstick adorn your lips and four professional brushes make application a breeze.

5 COULEURS COUTURE COLORS & EFFECTS EYESHADOW PALETTE ($63.00)
Available in House of Greens and House of Pinks.

DIORSHOW KOHL PROFESSIONAL HOLD & INTENSITY EYE MAKEUP ($32.00)
Available in Pearly Silver, Smoky Black, Smoky Blue, Smoky Brown, and Smoky Grey.

DIORBLUSH VIBRANT COLOR POWDER BLUSH ($44.00)
Available in Peach Splendor.

DIOR ADDICT GLOSS ($29.50)
Available in Fastes and Mylord.

ROUGE DIOR BAUME ($35.00)
Available in Palais and Cotillon.

VERNIS BLOSSOMING TOP COAT ($28.00)
Dior Vernis Blossoming Top Coat is brimming with confetti to decorate bare nails or to enhance your nail color.

VERNIS GEL SHINE & LONG WEAR NAIL LACQUER ($27.00)
Available in Lady and Glory.

The collection is already available at Nordstrom.

Givenchy ColorCreation

givenchy colorcreation spring 2015 collection

I’m in love with ColorCreation, the new spring collection from Givenchy. It’s bright, playful, colourful, and fun. Just what you need after a long, dreary, cold winter. Take a look at what’s available:

OMBRE COUTURE
Nude plumetis: nude beige
Rose illusion: pink

KOLOR KAJAL
Turquoise Imagination: sky blue
Vert Invention: emerald green
Violet Création: intense purple

NOIR COUTURE VOLUME MASCARA
Blue Taffeta: blue electric

LE PRISME VISAGE COLOR CONFETTI
A highlighting and corrective powder that makes skin glow and hides discolourations.

GELEE D’INTERDIT
Available in Orange Distraction.

LE VERNIS
Jaune Expression: yellow
Rose Evocation: baby pink

The collection reaches counters next month.

Nars Eye-Opening Act

nars eye opening act collection spring 2015

This spring, Nars wants us to focus on our eyes. The brand has released a collection that features new palettes and stick eyeshadows in dark, smokey, pigmented shades in shimmery and matte finishes to enhance the eyes. Here’s what’s available:

YEUX IRRESISTIBLE EYESHADOW PALETTE ($48.00)
All About Eve: flesh toned neutral with shimmer
Jezebel: shimmery sable
Thunderball: midnight gray
Colombo: vintage gold shimmer
Brousse: sable
Coconut Grove: deep brown infused with reflections

INOUBLIABLE COUP D’OEIL EYESHADOW PALETTE ($48.00)
Dalliance: dusty lilac stone
Pyla: smoky hunter green
Sidi Bou Said: blackened grape
Pandora: sheer white shimmer
Luberon: iridescent sand with rose gold sheen
Pandora: matte black

VELVET SHADOW STICK ($28.00)
Dark Angel: brown
Flibuste: black
Glenan: blue
Nunavut: purple
Reykjavik: gray

THE MULTIPLE ($39.00)
St. Lucia: champagne

The collection is already available at Nordstrom and will arrive at Nars counters on 15th March.

Which collection has caught your eye?

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Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.168

Hello gorgeous,

another Sunday, another round of random ramblings. Here we go:

Follow Me On Social Media

social-media
Recently, I’ve been debating whether I should join Instagram. I know it’s a great social media channel for bloggers and can drive lots of traffic to your site, but I’m really struggling to keep up with the platforms I’m already on. Not sure it’s a good idea to add more to my plate at the moment. Mmm… While I keep debating, you can find me on:

Pinterest: this is my favourite social media channel. That’s because I am a highly visual person. Pinterest is a great resource to find ispiration about pretty much anything. I pin a lot of makeup looks, hair tutorials, and fashion outfits on there. If you like this kind of thing, check it out.

Twitter: I love how easy Twitter makes it to chat with people all over the world, interact with brands, and stay up to date with all the lastest news. I also twit quotes, skincare tips, and more.

Facebook: I’m not sure I got the hang of facebook yet. They keep changing the rules all the time, which is very frustrating. But I still use it to share about new product launches that don’t make it on the blog, articles about body image and confidence, makeup looks I like, and more.

Google Plus: I haven’t figured out how to make the most of google plus yet, so for now I’m using it to share the latest, most technical, news in the beauty industry. If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and skincare research, follow me on there.

Bloglovin': if you want to make sure you never miss one of my posts, follow me on Bloglovin’.

Thank you! I can’t wait to interact with you on social media too. :)

What I’m Reading Now

the kennedy wives
The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America’s Most Public Family by Amber Hunt and David Batcher
The Kennedys are one of the most fascinating families in the world. Blessed with power, charm, and money, they have been struck by a series of tragedies that shocked the world. The women who married into the family led privileged lives, but they also had to put up with a lot, such as their husbands’ infidelities and media intrusion. This book briefly tells their stories. Rose, married to Joe, was the matriarch. Ethel, Bobby’s wife, a tomboy who loved to party but was also devoted to her 11 children. Jackie, the icon who forged the myth of Camelot. Joan, the most beautiful and fragile of the Kennedy wives, was unable to cope with her husband Ted’s infidelity without reaching for the bottle. And Vicki, Ted’s second wife, a smart young woman who took care of her husband during his last years. The authors skilfully capture their essences, strengths and weaknesses, and highlight the influence they had on the history of their country. Because it is short, these who are already familiar with those women won’t find anything new here. But for everyone else, it is an informative and insightful introduction to the Kennedy wives. It is available on Amazon.

The Links

Does petrolatum really dry out your lips? – Future Derm

Ignore mascara ads. Embrace your eyelashes – Beauty Redefined

Natural vs synthetic: which is better? – Skincare Addiction

Save time, look fabulous: the twenty best beauty hacks you’ll ever need - London Beauty Queen

Interpretations of 17th century makeup
- Madame Isis’ Toilette

Sunday Survey, Vol.234

1. How did you get your name?
My parents wanted to give me a normal, but not very common name. In 1982, there were very few Giorgias around. Of course, a few years later, it became very popular, so I got stuck with an awful name for nothing! I even have a namesake (same name and same surname), a distant cousin I have never met.

2. A beauty habit you’d like to break?
I really need to stop neglecting my body, especially my feet. It’s one of my resolution for 2015. I’m still struggling with it, but, hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll have broken this bad habit for good.

3. A goal for next week?
Work out at least 6 times. I haven’t been well lately, so I neglected exercising, but I am really eager to get back into it. I think light but frequent workouts are a great way for me to do that.

4. Body butter or body lotion?
Body butter. My skin is very dry and most lotions just aren’t moisturizing enough for me.

5. How do you feel about fortune tellers?
I’m open to the possibility that some people may have psychic abilities. But it is something so difficult to prove, and there are just so many charlatans around that I prefer to stay away from them. I have never been to one and don’t think I ever will.

It’s your turn now!
1. How did you get your name?
2. A beauty habit you’d like to break?
3. A goal for next week?
4. Body butter or body lotion?
5. How do you feel about fortune tellers?

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Know Your Ingredients: Palm Kernel Acid

palm kernel acid

What it is
Palm Kernel Acid is a mixture of fatty acids derived from palm oil.

What it does
Palm Kernel Acid is a surfactant: it helps water mix with oil and dirt so they can be rinsed away.
It can also be used as an emulsifier: it prevents the oily and water parts of a formula from separating.
Finally, it adds opacity to soaps and cleansers.

Side effects
Palm Kernel Acid is generally considered to be safe.

(Source: paulaschoice.com)
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Product Review: Rouge Bunny Rouge Arcadia

rouge bunny rouge arcadia

Name: Arcadia
Brand: Rouge Bunny Rouge
Size: 50ml
Price: €97.00

What I liked:
– if you like metallic, floral woody scents, this is for you
– full of contrasts
– good sillage, tame and wearable
– good staying power
– beautiful bottle

What I didn’t like:
– if you like very sweet or very bold scents, this is not for you

When I think of Arcadia, I think of an untouched, unspoiled natural paradise inhabited by nymphs and shepherds. Men live peacefully in the wilderness, in harmony with a nature that boundlessly provides for their every need.

So, I was surprised when Arcadia, a new fragrance by Rouge Bunny Rouge, revealed its perfumey nature. It doesn’t smell synthetic nor chemical. Just abstract. Rather than the reminiscence of a pastoral life, Arcadia embodies the idyllic myth someone watching that world from afar has created of it in her mind.

It may be close to the original, but it never gets real. Because Arcadia isn’t real. It’s just a myth that lives in our imagination. And a beautiful one too. Just like the scent it has inspired.

Thomas Cole's The Arcadian or Pastoral State

Thomas Cole’s The Arcadian or Pastoral State

Its perfumey vibe is present from the very beginning. Arcadia opens with a fresh burst of ozonic notes that evoke a storm just passed. Trees, grass, and flowers are still glistening with raindrops. An amaretto accord adds a touch of bitterness, which is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of plum and saffron.

The heart is a beautiful bouquet of sweet lily of the valley and fruity-smelling osmanthus laced in incense. The incense is quite tame. It smoulders softly in the background, never overpowering the rest of the accord or taking a more prominent part in it. A mineral note, dry and hot, finishes off the accord, creating a nice, but subtle, contrast with the floral bouquet.

The drydown is, compared to the rest of the composition, quite boring. It’s a sensual and woody blend of vetiver, oak moss, and cedarwood that evokes the forests of Arcadia. Again, it is quite tame. The whole scent is. It’s what makes it easy to wear despite its many facets.

Arcadia is full of contrasts. It’s ozonic and woody. Sweet and bitter. Hot and cold. Dry and humid. With a hint of spiciness thrown in for good measure. Yet, it doesn’t scream for attention but neither does it hide too close to the skin. Sillage is just right, and so is staying power. I spritz it on in the morning and, in the evening, I can still catch whiffs of it as it is slowly fading away.

Available at: Rouge Bunny Rouge and Twisted Lily

Summary
Rouge Bunny Rouge is a tame metallic floral woody composition full of contrasts. Both sillage and staying power are good.

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
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