Oxybenzone, Phenoxyethanol and My thoughts



It has been six months since I’ve joined Mary Kay as a  Independent Beauty Consultant.  During this period of time I’ve learn a lot about makeup and skincare through lessons and research.   I’ve learned about the various types of skincare products available in the market and how they work on your skin.

It’s interesting to learn that not all products are made equal and even though certain well known brands have stellar products you still need to pick and choose carefully from their range.

Apparently not all products are equally good.  Even though brands have their award winning product it doesn’t mean that the particular product is free from  questionable chemicals which are used as ingredients.  Groups  like the EWG have done extensive research into the toxicity of the different types of cosmetic products.  What they reveal is contradictory to what the FDA has been saying about the safety of using certain ingredients in these cosmetic products. This  information has left me quiet skeptical about the validity of the FDA as a reliable consumer watchdog.

I’ve started looking into the ingredient list of the items which I use to understand them better.  It is certainly important to know whether the products that I am using are helping or harming my skin.   Even though  I am still quite a newbie when it comes to skincare and makeup I’ve certainly learned a great deal these few months.


What I have learned about the chemicals in Sunscreen. 

Oxybenzone primarily functions as a photostabilizer and sunscreen. Among the vast selection of sunscreen active ingredients, It is a chemical which  has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage.

Phenoxyethanol –A preservative found in nearly every type of cosmetic and various cleaning products. Proven organ system toxin in animals (even at low doses), and suspected to be carcinogenic. Some studies say that it can be harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive

I was attracted to Mary Kay by it’s range of skincare ( am still am) and have been using a wide range of products from the brand. However what I was surprised to know that all of their sunscreens have  Oxybenzone which makes them less then desirable for usage.


mary-kay-sun-care-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-50-z1Mary Kay  Suncare Sun Screen Broad Protection SPF 50 

Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 5%. Other Ingredients: Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Ammonium Hydroxide, Behenyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Cyclamen Aldehyde, Dicetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethyl Linalool, Ethylene Brassylate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Methyl Trimethicone, Methylenedioxyphenyl Methylpropanal, PEG-100 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Phenylisohexanol, Propylene Glycol, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sorbic Acid, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trideceth-6, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Water, Xanthan Gum
mary-kay-timewise-day-solution-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-35-z1 Mary Kay Timewise Day Solution  SPF 35

Ingredients: Active: Avobenzone 2%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2%, Oxybenzone 4%,. Inactive: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-25, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Plankton Extract, Hydrolyzed Algin, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide PEG-15 Disulfate, Sorbic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-75, PEG-150, PEG-8 Cetyl Dimethicone, PEG-4 Laurate, Laureth-3, Disodium EDTA, Ammonium Hydroxide, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol.


np_sunProtector Mary Kay Sun Protector SPF 35/ PA ++

Ingredients: Water, Homosalate, Dimethicone, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Syrene/ Acrylates copolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl carbonate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Glycerine, Cetereth-25, Dimeticone Crosspolymer, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Acrylates/ C12-22 Alkyl Methacryate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Ethylene, Dicocamide PEG- 15 Disulfate, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Aetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenayed Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, PPG-15 Stearly ether Benzoate, Disodium Etda, Ethylene Brassylate, Proppylene Glycol, Peg-4 Laurate, Sorbic acid, Isobutlyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Iodopropylyl Butylcarbamate, Ethyl Linalool, Methylendioxyphenyl, Methlopropanal ammonium Hydroxide, Phenyisohexanol, Cyclamen Aldehyde. 




It will be safer to opt for Mineral based sunscreen that uses Zinc Oxide/ Titanium Oxide. Preferably one that is free from parabens too.  Even though the harmful effects of these chemicals have yet to be proven I think it is best not to take any chances as there are sunscreens around which do not have any of the listed chemicals inside and certainly safer for myself and the kids.


Makeup- Choosing the Right Foundation

Mary Kay Timewise Foundation

There are many different types of foundations available in the market these days. CC creme, mineral foundation, liquid foundations etc. The choices we have are simply boggling.

It is not easy to decide on which one is more suitable for your skin type with the variety available.

Since joining the Mary Kay family I’ve learned a lot from the seniors about the various types of foundations and which one is more suited for my skin type.

Before choosing which formula works best there are 3 questions which you have to ask yourself.

1) What is your skin type?

2) What benefits are you looking for in a foundation? 

3) What is your desired coverage? ( How much do you want to conceal and what is your lifestyle)

A Selection of Mary Kay Products
A Selection of Mary Kay Products

There are 3 main skin types for Asian women- Normal,  Oily or a Combination of both. Living in a temperate country makeup may run easily due to perspiration. One needs to choose the correct type of foundation to enable the makeup to stay and last through the day.

There are 5 different types of foundations available in Mary Kay

  1. TimeWise Luminous-Wear™ Liquid Foundation
    for Dry to oily skin which will make your skin glow and have a dewy effect. Infused with vitamin E and a blend of peptides, the result is skin that instantly looks firmer, younger and healthier. It’s the perfect age-fighting foundation for combination to oily skin, visibly reducing the appearance of pores, fine lines, wrinkles and skin imperfections. If you are not into a dewy look you can opt for the TimeWise Matte-Wear® Liquid Foundation instead.
  2. Mary Kay® Mineral Powder FoundationIt is used as a skin perfecter that makes lines, wrinkles and other imperfections seem to disappear
  3. Mary Kay® Sheer Mineral Pressed Powder  It imparts an invisible layer of up to eight hours of oil-absorbing coverage
  4. Mary Kay® CC Cream Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15

    8 benefits in 1 step- protects, color corrects, brightens, reduce redness,conceals, hydrates, reduces signs of aging and defends against skin-damaging free radical.

  5. Endless Performance® Crème-to-Powder Foundation

    It stays true and appears fresh for 12 hours, Heat- and humidity-resistant. Glides on as a lightweight cream to hide imperfections. Evens out skin tone, then dries to a soft, powdery, matte finish.

I am personally using the CC Creme and Creme to Powder Foundation from the selection above. Here are my findings comparing the two different types of foundations.


I use either the CC creme ( Very Light)  of CTP foundation (Ivory 2)  for my daily makeup as I run around a lot with my packed schedule. Both of them have excellent coverage and are very easy to apply.

If  I intend to do some contouring on my face so that my face will be more define  for photo shoots I will use two different shades of CC creme ( Very Light and Medium- Deep) to achieve the effect that I am looking for.

Comparing CC Creme to the CTP foundation. I find that the CTP has a lighter texture and much longer coverage then CC Creme. It doesn’t feel as oily on my face after wearing makeup for the whole day.   The CTP foundation can be layered on easily to touch up your makeup throughout the day as compared to the CC Creme.

The only drawback is that it is not that suitable for contouring the face if I want to achieve the Korean look for the day.

Once you know which type of foundation is suitable for you, how then can you decide on the shade to use?

3 different color swaps
3 different color swaps

To test out which shade was more suitable for my skin color I placed a swab of three different shades  of TimeWise Luminous-Wear™ Liquid Foundation on my cheek to blend in. Ivory 3, Ivory 5 and Beige 3 .  As I worked the colors into my cheek I noticed that Ivory 5 was the closest to my natural skin color and it was the color that I should select.  Ivory 3 was too light ( made my face very white) while  Beige 3 was too dark.

It is recommended to blend in the colors on your jawline or on your neck as it will be the closest to your natural skin color and easier for you to achieve the flawless look.

So do you know which type of foundation and how to choose the correct color now?

Disclaimer: I am an Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant based in Singapore. If you are interested to try out any of the foundations above do drop me an e-mail or a comment and I will schedule a meet up with you.


Deliberating on Strengths


I have been doing quite a lot of  self learning in these couple of months. As part of my focus on CHANGE for 2015 I needed to know what my strengths and weaknesses are.  Even though I have an idea of what they are I was  interested to know if I have identified the areas correctly. 

I did an online test and these came up as my top 5 strengths. ( In no particular order)


Planner Strategize Strategize; Plan and identify relevant obstacles (to avoid them). People with the Planner talent create alternative ways to proceed. Given any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns or issues and find a functional path.
Information Excavator Information Input To dig and validate information. People with the Information Excavator talent have a craving to know more. Also enjoying the collection and archiving of information.
Confidence Self-Confident Self-Confidence to lead or create new ways. People with the Confidence talent feel assure in their ability to manage their own lives; possessing an inner confidence that their decisions are right.
Stucturer Disciplined be Disciplined and create routines to avoid rework. People with the Structure talent enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
Group Relations Relate Relate in order to integrate groups. People who are with the Group Relations talent enjoy close relationships with others; finding deep satisfaction in working hard together with friends to achieve a goal.


It is interesting to know what ones strength is so that one is able to capitalize on it.  To focus on your strength you will know where it is possible for you to excel easily.

As you can see from the chart above my main 5 strengths are

– Planning

-Information Excavator

– Confidence

– Structurer

– Group Relations

This means that I enjoy planning, searching for information and processing it. I love following routines and thrive with a schedule in place.  I also enjoying developing close relationships with others.  I found this analysis quite accurate.

To get a clearer and more professional assessment I took the Gallup Strengths Finder test and my top 5 themes came up as  Input, Learner, Responsibility , Focus and Deliberative.   The results for the two test were similar and it only confirmed my previous findings.

I’m a person who loves to increase my knowledge and have a craving to know more. There is a very wide range of topics and subjects which I am interested in. I’m constantly reading up and do get many different books to review on a monthly basis.

Being able to fuel my passion in reading have given me a chance to broaden my horizon. I have also been able to learn many new things which I have tried out and put into practice to enhance myself and the family.

I have been setting yearly and monthly goals which I try my best to follow through. I find that this helps me to keep focus and on track.  You can read about my resolutions for this  year  and my focus on CHANGE over at my main blog- Dominique’s Desk.

It is said that when one focuses on their strengths they are able to excel and do even better.  Now that I know what are my strengths I’m going all out to further improve on my strengths  and

Do you know what your strengths are?