Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 50. What’s the craic?

I’ve not reviewed anything since my only 2 reviews a wee while ago. Apologies. Life got in the way as it inevitably does. And then I spent hours the other night writing this review for it to literally disappear off the page without a trace! But I have re written it and here it is.

“Botanical Sunscreen Tinted Face High Protection SPF 50 – Australian Gold Premium Coverage Mineral Lotion Non-Greasy Antioxidant Rich Very Water Resistant”. Rolls right off the tongue.

So let’s dive in...

Price: I bought this from the Australian Gold UK website last year after watching HotandFlashy on Youtube where it received a glowing review. Generally speaking this product has very good reviews everywhere so I thought I would give it a bash. I paid £22 for 88ml of product. Most branded tinted mineral suncreens are charging this pricepoint. Overall, I think this is decent value for money baring in mind I could buy La Roche Posay Tinted Shaka Fluid for roughly £12 for 50ml. This product is also available cheaper on other websites. I bought it from the official site to ensure I had the legit product. Given that I can buy products that I like better for a similar price point, I give it 4 out of 5 for price.

Packaging: it is a plastic bottle so it is easily cleaned, it is easily carried around in your bag for re-application, it squeezes out easily and doesn’t leak everywhere and like all SPF bottles it is a solid bottle that doesn’t allow for light or air to penetrate and degrade the product. The only downfall of the squeezy bottle is that when the product gets low, it is then difficult to squeeze what is remaining out due to the bottle size and the thick consistency of the SPF. A beauty spatula can’t save the day here either as it is a small hole. The only remedy would be to cut the bottle open and decant the product in to another appropriate container. Hassle. I would have liked to have seen a better designed tube that would allow all the product to be accessed. I do like an airless pump bottle as well. For this reason, I give the packaging 3.5 out of 5

Smell: Fragrance free! Always go with fragrance free products. However, despite this product saying it is fragrance free, it is clear it isn’t because as soon as I opened the bottle I was hit with an over powering smell. To me, it smells like over ripe bananas with an after smell of paint. I stress, this is my senses telling me this and it will likely smell like something completely different to you. I tested this theory by asking my partner and he immediately said it smelled of playdough. Despite this being said, the smell isn’t actually unpleasant. It’s not off putting, it’s just very strong in the bottle. Thankfully, the smell doesn’t persist once you have applied it on the skin. No banana-paint-playdough scented skin for you! I don’t mind the smell however I prefer products that really are fragrance free. As this product is, in my opinion, misleadingly touting itself as fragrance free, which it really isn’t, I give the product 2 of 5.

Application: This is long. Sorry! But all relevant and helpful, I swear!

The SPF has the consistency you would expect from a silicone heavy product mixed with shea butter. It has the consistency of a thick cream. It’s smooth and blends in relatively easily for me, depending on what other products it was coming in to contact with. It dries within seconds and leaves no sticky or tacky residue. For less than a minute, while it fully absorbed and dried it did look as if it had a low level sheen to it, however it dries down completely matte. It is not pore filling, despite it having silicones in it. It did not fill my large pores. At all.

The tint, is generally light but compared to my pale complexion, looks peachy so it will not be suitable for a lot of skin colours. It is realistically too dark for me and while I would be able to make it work, it’s obvious I have a product on my face that isn’t a match.

When I applied this product on to clean bare skin on it’s own, it went on well. No issues. However if I had used skincare before hand, such as a serum or moisturiser, the SPF didn’t absorb well and went on streaky. As the SPF is tinted, the streaks were obvious. This was made even more obvious when I tried to apply a liquid foundation on top. If other skincare had already been applied it was almost as if the SPF was too heavy to be absorbed too. As a result the SPF appeared to not be able to soak in leaving it to sit on top of the skin and free to slide around, which it did! This then left the foundation to slide around and look streaky too. Slidy, streaky mess.

Knowing my skin, I feel this issue is down to the shea butter in the product. Shea butter is quite a heavy ingredient (for me) – it is a humectant but also an occlusive and emollient. I know from my experience of shea butter that it doesn’t absorb well on my skin. Shea butter leaves my skin feeling suffocated and greasy. I know when I have applied a product with shea butter as an ingredient because I become so aware of my face and I can sense there is something on it making it feel heavy and restricted. If you have no issue with shea butter, this could work really well for you. Re-application for me would result in me feeling as if I had a clay mask on my face as I wouldn’t be able to tolerate layer upon layer of the consistency.

It may well be that this is just a tinted SPF to be worn on it’s own and isn’t something to be wearing make up on top of for some people. It’s tinted, is make up even needed?

Personally for me I am giving this 2 out of 5 for application. The shea butter ruined it for me making it feel too heavy and leaving it to sit on the skin.

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Silica, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Stearic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Iron Oxides (CI77492), Alumina, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Panthenol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Squalane, Iron Oxides (CI77491), Disodium EDTA, Iron Oxides (CI77499), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Porphyra Umbilicalis (Red Algae) Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract , Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract

Good Good depending on skin type Potential Irritant

It’s a silicone based product, with a couple of antioxidants, a couple of skin softening and soothing ingredients and a couple of humectants. If shea butter and squalane are good for your skin, you are on to a winner as they do good things for the right skin. The standard UVA and UVB filters are in, both in their own right protecting against UVA and UVB rays individually. The rest is emulsisfiers, surfactants, stabilisers etc, all the products you need to get it to be the consistency it is. There a few potential ingredients to be mindful of but nothing major at all. Phenophexyethanol – preservative. When used at correct doseage, irritation is rare. But still possible like with any preservative, natural or not. Stearic Acid -Fragrance, surfactant, emulsifier. Safe, depending on the quantities used. Can be irritating if too much is used which it shouldn’t be. Disodium EDTA – Can enhance the dermal penetration of other ingredients so this is something to be mindful of if there is an ingredient your skin doesn’t agree with in the product. Triethoxycapryylsilane – penetration enhancer. Generally, it’s a good enough SPF with very few potential problems. There is a fragrance, but I can’t pin point specifically what ingredient might be influencing that so keep that in mind. Although the shea butter and silicone feel didn’t work for me, it has some good skin ingredients, good SPF filters and relatively low potential for irritation (fragrance aside). As I can’t pin point the cause of the fragrance to comment, I am giving this product 4 out of 5 on ingredients.

Summary: So what do we have? We have a decent priced product in a nice enough tube; strong but not unpleasant smell, but still fragranced none the less; works well on bare skin but doesn’t play well with others; problems with absorption and blendability (IMO due to the shea butter) and a relatively okay ingredient list (excluding the ingredients with fragrancing properties). It comes in at 15.5 out of 25.

Will I continue use? No. Will I repurchase? No. But we know why I won’t be repurchasing. I will be giving it to someone else to try because I do think it has the ability to be an amazing product for someone. It has lots of good reviews for a reason. I feel I have just been unlucky.

Conclusion: For the price point, if you don’t mind a thick texture or shea butter, the tint matches your skin tone, you’re okay putting fragranced leave on products on the skin, none of the other ingredients are known irritants or allergens for you and you’re looking for a product to wear on its own, I would say give it a bash. 15.5 out of 25 given my own personal issues with it leaves it to work wonders for someone with no issues with shea butter or fragrance.


Can magnesium improve the condition of your finger nails?

As a chronic migraine sufferer of 15 years and no hope on the horizon of them easing up I’m at the point where I am looking for reliable alternatives to prescribed medication. The migraine trust has information on the use of supplements so recently I purchased magnesium oxide in tablet and powder form.

I started taking the tablet form roughly between 4-6 weeks ago. The recommended dose is between 400-500mg a day. It can be 600mg, again, as always it depends what you read. The tablets came in 375mg so I was cutting up other tablets to get the full required doseage of 500mg. To begin with I think I had an intake of anywhere between 500-600mg per day.

However after some surprising emergency stop offs at any bathroom I could find, it was the best for everyone that I lowered the dose and tried to be more precise with the intake. If you hadn’t figured it out, high doses of magnesium oxide can cause laxative effects. The joys.

I was keen to be taking as pure a form of magnesium oxide as I could so I ordered magnesium oxide powder. There is nothing wrong with the the tablets, 500mg of magnesium in a tablet is the same as the 500mg powder when it comes down to it. However, the tablets are full of filler ingredients that I didn’t want in my system if I could avoid it.

At present I am guessing the amount of powder I take. I don’t have the time every morning to weigh it out specifically so I am going with the recommended dosage on the tub of a quarter of teaspoon equalling 400mg.

Research dicates that you have to wait 3 months to notice any changes with migraines however I have been more interested in my finger nails. Despite breaking a nail typing this, my finger nails have been gooood! I usually experience soft, weak, brittle nails that layer. Uneven texture and colour are the norm for me. However 2 days ago I noticed my nails are smooth, shiny, even toned and they haven’t layered or peeled in some time now. They are thicker and stronger, not by much, but slightly as they are lasting longer before breaking, bending and splitting.

I have researched if magnesium can do this and it is pretty inconclusive. There is nothing definitive that I can find that says “yes, magnesium strengthens nails”. When I Google how to strenghten nails, magnesium isn’t top of the list of “ingredients”. It is however indirectly linked through magnesium being proven to help relieve stress and improve sleep thus improving your health and wellbeing and postively impacting your finger nails that way.

Shiny nails

I haven’t edited the photo of my nails to make them look better, they’re just shiny! No buffing or clear nail polish. Apologies for the quality of photo.

There is nothing new or different in my diet, other than trying to cut down my sugar intake? Magnesium is the only new thing I have going in to my system and I am not using anything new topically on my hands. Either way, it’s a nice surprise and something I think I am going to attribute to my magnesium oxide intake.

Magnesium tablets bought from “The Range” store and Magnesium powder bought from Amazon 🙂

Secret Key Aloe Soothing Moist Toner. Not so soothing?

The Secret Key Aloe Soothing Moist Toner was the first K-Beauty product I ever bought in January of this year. Intrigued by its claims to be soothing, skin softening and suitable “for all skin types” I set off to find a reputable source. I hovered over for weeks but the product never came back in to stock.  This was promising for me. Products that are out of stock are obviously popular! I am on to a winner, I can tell.

Not able to source it from yesstyle I bought the toner from Amazon. It was from an independant store on Amazon so I ran the risk of not knowing if the product was authentic but I risked it for a biscuit. I know a good deal when I see it (or so I thought)- 248ml of “soothing” toner for £13.65. I thought what the heck and added it to my cart. Several weeks later it arrived so it must have been on the slow boat from Korea.

So off to a good start with the quantity and price. A good place to start with Korean skin care I thought, especially as I planned to use this in layers as they do in 10 and 12 step Korean routines.

So the application experience is messy if you apply it by hand. You can use a cotton pad but I never did this. I’m not wasting precious toner!  FYI, it runs everywhere if you just use it on your hands and dab it on to the skin in layers like you do with an essence. There was no stinging to the skin or eyes, no burning, no tingling. My plan was to decant it in to a spray bottle for easier application.

The texture of the toner is clear, thin and lightweight, almost like a slightly heavy water texture. After about 20 to 30 seconds it absorbs in to the skin. I am trying this product again as I write to have a very up to date review!

It leaves the back of my hand feeling soft and hydrated with no stickiness. My face is soft too however, there is an ever so slight tackiness to my face that I didn’t get on my hand. You know that feeling you get when you touch your face after applying a product and your fingers stick to the skin and pull it a tiny bit. It’s like that but I do stress it is ever so slight. The slight tackiness might actually be good as a priming agent for make up?

Gothmista on Youtube has reviewed this and recommends this product as a good hydrating toner. She does say it is a clean product, but I personally wouldn’t describe a product as “clean” when it contains fragrance and potential skin irritants.

There is a moderate fragrance. Not overpowering, not horrible, but floral. Maybe the smell you would get if you mixed flowers with a mild chemical? It’s primarly floral but there is a chemical undertone. This is most prominent in the bottle but the smell doesn’t last outwith the bottle.

And on to the bit I am interested in the most – ingredients! As the product is Korean, the ingredients on the bottle are in Korean. Due to this, I am going by the ingredient list provided on The reason I am so interested in ingredients is because I like to buy skincare that actually works and not get conned in to paying a fortune for nonsense. But also because I had a reaction to this product, and I want to know why. Purely out of interest and so I can make sure to steer clear of the culprit in the future.  A red blotchy face isn’t attractive especially when you are as pale as I am.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta Glucan, Snail Secretion Filtrate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Allantoin, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 80, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Disodium Edta, Fragrance

18 ingredients in total. If my maths is right, more likely to be ropey than right but I will stick with 18. I have counted 19, but I am going with 18. Not a massive list and not a bad list at all at first glance as there is a lot of good ingredients in there.

This toner has active helpful ingredients such as aloe leaf juice and extract, sodium hyaluronate, beta glucan, snail secretion, portulaca oleracea extract, psidium guajava extract, allatoin and camellia sinensis leaf extract (green tea). These are the good guys. Very good guys.

The ingredients include properties like healing, soothing, softening, moisturising, hydrating.  There’s anti inflammatory, antioxidant, UV protection, humectant, polysaccharides, vitamins, minerals, amino acids – a lot! The snail secretion and portulaca extract are an impressive read on their own. If you’re a geek like me, go on, google them, you won’t be dissapointed.

There are some fillers, ingredients needed to bind, stablise, dissolve, emulisfy. 1,2 Hexanediol (solvent, binder, preservative – it depends where you look but also a humectant with anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties), hydroxyethycellulouse (thickener), polysorbate 80 (emsulsifier to bind oil and water), disodium EDTA (stabiliser and foaming agent.) The toner does foam and bubble if you shake it so maybe this is the dude causing that.

So let’s find the reason behind my red blotchy face and patchy itchy arm. The reaction to the product was gradual. It wasn’t instant. I had been using the product daily for several weeks. To begin with my face felt smoother and more hydrated. But then as the days went on I noticed the toner wasn’t producing the same results. My skin seemed uneven in tone and would become red and blotchy after applying it and this would take some time to go away. I stopped using the product for a few weeks and then applied it again and still a red blotchy face. I applied it to my hand and arm and it become red and itchy. So that was the end of that and the toner has sat in a basket ever since.

On doing some research on the ingredients 1,2 hexanediol has been known to cause irritation but it is used in such low doses that it reduces the likelihood of skin reactions. Hydroxyethylcellulouse from what I have read doesn’t appear to be a potential skin irritant. As always reactions can occur to any chemical but this isn’t a high risk known offender. I haven’t been able to find any research linking polysorbate 80 with skin reactions. Dissodium EDTA in itself isn’t directly causative of skin reactions by way of its own composition. However, it is a skin enhancer, so it allows other products to penetrate the skin. Based on that, it is possible that one of the other ingredients that isnt known to be a problem or just mildy irritating (like hexanediol), could have penetrated the skin deeper than normal, and caused a skin reaction that way.

Lastly, there are a few unknown quantities in the mix that are more likely to have caused a problem but I will be fair and say that depends on your skin type. My skin can be reactive, but I wouldn’t describe it as particularly overly sensitive. I am open to the idea that I am allergic to one of the “good” ingredients, but for the sake of time and effort, I think it makes logical sense to consider one of the other ingredients as the red rash instigator.

This leaves Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreano Extract, Usnea Barbata Lichen Extract and good ol’ plain fragrance. So Zanthoxylum, Pulsatilla and Usnea are 10, 11 and 12th on the ingredients list. Fragrance is last. I’m not overly concerned about “fragrance”. It’s last on the list so chances are it is very minimal. It is only when “fragrance” or “parfum” or well disguised fragrance compounds are higher up the ingredient list that I will start to raise an eyebrow about the product.

However, we have the other 3, slap bang in the middle. What are they? Essentially, within this product they are preservatives and fragrance. The 3 ingredients are often used together within Korean skincare to form a natural preservative named EURO-NApre. They have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and astringent properties but they are used primarily for their preserving abilility. Zanthoxylum (Japanese Pepper) is used as a preservative and is known to be sensitising, likely due to the components within it called limolene and citrone. Those componenents are essentially fragrance. Upon exposure to air and light, limolene degrades and becomes a skin and respiratory irritant and sensitiser. Nice huh? I can’t find anything on citrone but I know from Dr Dray on Youtube that it is added to skincare as fragrance and can be irritating. Usnea is used for its fragrant properties within this product most likely and has been known to cause skin rashes. Pulsatilla Koreano Extract is a tough one to decide on. There is research on it causing major skin burns when applied topically straight from the plant. I would assume the ingredient has been purified before being added to this toner 🙂

So to summarise, yes, maybe I am allergic to one of the “good” ingredients. Maybe I am allergic to one of the filling ingredients. Disodium EDTA may have increased the potential for any ingredient to penetrate deeper and cause a skin reaction.  However, I think it is likely I am allergic to one if not all of the ingredients used primarily for preserving and fragrancing the product. I have to bare in mind that I also bought this from Amazon and it may not be a genuine product.

This hasn’t been a winner for me but it doesn’t mean the product will cause any reactions for others. It’s worth a go as the list of beneficial ingredients is impressive. For the price, you have little to lose and beyoutiful skin to gain.

Edit: Depending on what site you look on, the ingredients for the product vary. I assume this is dependant on the country of origin and sale as countries have different safety standards that permit and deny the use of certain chemicals. Additional ingredients include glycerin (this is in the product, no idea why incidecoder left that out, and it is a good safe ingredient, althaea rosea flower extract (hollyhock) and Nonoxynol-12 (emulsifier). There is not a lot of research or information on althaea or nanoxynol. Gardeners have reported reaction to hollyhock, but that is in its orginal state, without extractions and purification. It is used within skincare for its skin softening and soothing properties, so that’s another good guy for the list. With regard to nanoxynol what I have found is one report that someone did have a reaction to this chemical at varying percentages when using it regularly within a domestic cleaning environment. Again, the composition and percentages of the chemical are unknown to compare it to the ingredient that may be in this product. Just some extra info to be mindful of.

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