As I type this, most of the country is in the middle of a heat wave. Temperatures here in DC have been in the high 90s with a heat index of over 100 degrees! I guess it’s safe to say that summer is in FULL effect even though it was tardy to the party! With summer in full swing, comes increased sun exposure and the need to increase our SPF coverage. Yes, brown girls…I’m talking to you here too! Contrary to popular belief, we too need increased SPF coverage in the blazing hot summer. While we have some natural protection thanks to the melanin in our skin, with the eroded ozone layer we are exposed to UVA and UVB rays at alarming rates so sunscreen is a MUST.
What many people may not be aware of, is that in June of 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized new labeling and other requirements for sunscreen products that took effect in December of 2012. The FDA is taken the following steps to help protect consumers while also standardizing how sunscreens are marketed and labeled. The measures taken by FDA include:
- final regulations that establish standards for testing the effectiveness of sunscreen products and require labeling that accurately reflects test results
- a regulation that would limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labeling to “SPF 50+”
Below is a round up of the labeling changes that you should look for on your sunscreen products and what these changes mean.
- Products that pass the broad spectrum test will provide protection against both ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) and ultraviolet A radiation (UVA). Under the new regulations, sunscreen products that protect against all types of sun-induced skin damage will be labeled “Broad Spectrum” and “SPF 15” (or higher) on the front.
- The back of sunscreens labeled as both “Broad Spectrum” and “SPF 15” (or higher) will include a statement that the product not only protects against sunburn, but, if used as directed with other sun protection measures, can reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. For these broad spectrum products, higher SPF (Sun Protection Factor) values also indicate higher levels of overall protection.
- Sunscreens that are not broad spectrum or that are broad spectrum with SPF values from 2 to 14 will be labeled with a warning that reads: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”
- The terms “waterproof”, “sweat-proof” and “sunblock” will no longer appear on packaging.
- Water resistance claims on the front label must tell how much time a user can expect to get the declared SPF level of protection while swimming or sweating, based on standard testing. Two times will be permitted on labels: 40 minutes or 80 minutes.
- Sunscreens cannot claim protection immediately on application (for example, “instant protection”) or protection for more than two hours without reapplication, unless they submit data and get approval from FDA.
- Additionally, the FDA is finalizing requirements that sunscreen products that have SPF values higher than 50 to be labeled as “SPF 50+.” The FDA feels there is not sufficient data demonstrating that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide additional protection compared to products with SPF values of 50.
Its important to note that the FDA only considers products in the form of oils, creams, lotions, gels, butters, pastes, ointments, sticks, and sprays to be over the counter (OTC) sunscreen products and eligible for approval to use these new labeling guidelines. Suncreen products in the form of wipes, towelettes, powders, body washes, and shampoo not eligible cannot be marketed as suncreen products without an approved application. For sunscreen spray products, the FDA is reviewing data to establish effectiveness and to determine whether they present a safety concern if inhaled unintentionally.
The changes that the FDA made only apply to the labeling, not the ingredients or the effectiveness of the products, the SPF content, or any other aspect of the product. If you are a bargain shopper, you might have noticed lots of high end and name brand sunscreen products popping up in closeout stores such as dollar tree, five below, big lots, family dollar and dollar general. From my research, it appears that these products are safe to use, though it is questionable if the SPF looses its effectiveness over time.
So there you have it PJs…everything u need to know about the new FDA sunscreen labeling guidelines. If you would like more information, check out the frequently asked questions page on the FDA website here.
It’s time again for the monthly favs for June!! I can’t believe it’s July already, so sorry about the delay.
We’re going head to toe this go round, so let’s get into it!
Hair: Hairveda Red Tea Strong Holding Gel: Talk about frizz control?! This gel, loaded with fab ingredients like aloe vera, argan oil, and Rooibos tea extract tamed my curls and left them shiny and frizz free for 3-4 days. Other nourishing oils in the product helped me maintain moisture in my curls throughout the week so I didn’t have to really refresh much. Here’s a pic of my hair using it:
Despite the “Strong Hold” in the name , it’s really a flexible hold that keeps frizz at bay and allows your curls to remain soft and bouncy.
Face: Rite Aid Renewal Duo Fiber blending brush (synthetic): I actually bought this brush for my mom not realizing she had a brush like this already and I’m so GLAD I did not return it. This is the softest brush I’ve ever felt from a drugstore brand. It blends all my liquid foundations so effortlessly that it’s a brush that been washed so many times this month because I refuse to rotate to another. Because the brush head is on the smaller side, I’ve also used it to apply blush and setting powders with no issues.
Body: TWO items I’ve been hooked on because of the smell that are also uber moisturizing:
Citrus smells always get me hook, line and sinker! Both of these are loaded with oils and butters that left my skin feeling soft, hydrated and supple without the greasy feel. For ladies on the go, the Pacifica butter comes in packaging that’s perfect for having in your purse to attack those stubborn areas, or simply to replenish moisture after handwashing. I definitely will be repurchasing these!
Nails: Tips and Toes edition!
- Surreal Appeal by China Glaze
- Amanda, by Zoya Nail Polish
I have been married to these two for my tips and toes, because while I love to sport super colorful shades for the summer, my work environment limits how “expressive” my nails can be. Needless to say, I thought my toes would be having all the fun with the splashy coral of Surreal Appeal, but Amanda made a believer out of me as a person who typically doesn’t gravitate towards nude shades. Amanda is the updated version with a peachy edge. Against my skin it’s absolutely lovely and coordinated well fashion-wise (where I would usually have to change my polish). Since my recent move to LA, I have been going to a ton of different events and haven’t had to worry about my manicure one bit. Zoya’s formula is superb. I never chip with it and it lasts a week or more.
So, what are your favs for June? Tell us! We wanna know (so we can go buy it already)!
Cleansing oils can be a very natural way to cleanse, nourish, and pamper your skin; but many of the cleansing oils on the market are full of cheap filler oils and are WAY over priced for the ingredients they contain. I maybe a PJ, but I’m also a budget beauty lover so dropping $28 for 7oz of cleansing oil just wasn’t on my list of things to do. Especially if the first two ingredients are mineral oil and safflower oil! So I decided to put this Chemistry degree to use and reverse engineer myself a cleansing oil that meets MY specific skincare needs.
The way a cleansing oil works is based on the common principle of “like attracts like”. The oil in the skin attaches to the oil in the cleanser, and then you rinse both of them off, resulting in gentle yet effective deep-pore cleansing. Oil cleansers also bind to makeup and other daily dirt and grime — and flush that away completely, too. Your skin is left clean, but not parched. I wanted a cleansing oil that will remove makeup, rinses clean, and doesn’t aggravate my oily acne prone skin. It’s interesting because as many of you know, when you are oily, adding more oil to your face seems strange and foreign. However, using an cleansing oil to remove dirt and makeup is exactly what many oily people do. It prevents over stripping your skin and over time helps regulate the oil production of the skin and your skin produce LESS oil long term.
After looking at the ingredients of a few popular cleansing oils on the market, it was quite easy to see that most of them contained 4-5 main ingredients…oils, an emulsifier, various extracts, fragrance (some) and preservatives (most). I decided that my cleansing oil would not contain preservatives, mainly because oils (as long as no water is introduced) do not NEED preservatives. I decided to skip the preservatives and prevent introduction of water by putting the finished product in a pump bottle. Originally I decided to skip any fragrances because I’m not scent sensitive, but later I decided to add in tea tree oil which adds a bit of fragrance as well as medicinal properties to the final mix. So that leaves the bulk of my cleansing oil mix as the actual oils and an emulsifier.
I did a lot of research into which natural oils were good for acne or oily skin. I determined that I wanted my mix to contain castor oil, jojoba oil, hemp oil, and neem oil. I am including castor oil because it has potent anti-inflammatory properties, but is also healing and cleansing to the skin. Jojoba oil because it is most similar to the oils that the skin naturally produces. Hemp oil has anti-inflammatory properties, helps clean and detoxify your skin, and because of its rich in omega 3, 6, and 9 oils it also evens out your skin tone. Finally neem oil is ideal for acne-prone skin because it can help to soothe irritation and inflammation, clear up pimples and remove bacteria from the surface of the skin that can cause more break-outs.
Now that I knew which oils I wanted to use, the last step was the emulsifier and then figuring out the ratios of oils for the mixture. I knew I needed an emulsifier that when water was added to the cleansing oil on my face, it would completely emulsify the oils with the water and ensure removal of all traces of the oils from my face. I decided to use polysorbate 80 because it works better with heavier oils such as castor and neem. If you are unable to find polysorbate 80, polysorabate 20 would work as well, but my suggestion would be to increase the amount in your final mix. As for the ratio of the final mix, at least 20% (1/5) needs to be the emulsifier, the rest oils. So to keep the math simple, I make my cleansing oil in 10 oz batches; of which at least 2 oz is emulsifier. I decided that I wanted at least 1/2 my mix to be castor oil, and 1/5 of it neem. The rest is divided between the jojoba and hemp oil.
So here is the final cleansing oil mix
- 4oz castor oil
- 2oz neem oil
- 1oz hemp oil
- 1oz jojoba oil
- 2oz polysorbate 80 (if you can only find polysorbate 20, increase to 3oz)
- Tea Tree Oil (about 60 drops)
Directions: Measure everything with a measuring cup, mix to incorporate all ingredients, and pour into a pump bottle. To use, take 2-3 pumps to apply to DRY skin (The neem oil may tend to settle out, so shake well before use). Massage well to loosen and dissolve makeup, dirt, and grime. Rinse with water and voila. Clean makeup free skin that’s not tight!
I appreciate your feedback and comments, so if you decide to try this DIY project, please let me know your thoughts and results in the comment section below!
- Juice Beauty Reflecting lipgloss in Pink- I received this in one of my beauty bags this month and it’s been glued to my side ever since. The moisture and shine from this gloss made it a pleasure to wear. I was also thankful that it didnt leave a residue as some lip products do after being on for a while. The citrus scent was also a plus.
- TheBalm Instain Blush in Toile – This gives a nice flush to my cheeks for my “no makeup, makeup” looks. I’m working on a review right now, so I won’t completely give it away–but longwearing MEANS LONGwearing!! (Nuff said).
- Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics /Julie G Gumdrop nail polish in Crushed Candy-If I could eat my fingers I would because they look like candy! This polish is super cute, super pink and I was loathe to remove it! It’s one that I kept reaching for time and time again.
- Sake fragrance mist, by Fresh- This light, clean and crisp scent garnered tons of compliments! There’s not much else to say about this one other than you need to check it out at Sephora and take a whiff. It’s a keeper!
- Dior Diorshow New Look mascara- We joke at PlatinumPJ about having anemic lashes, and I think mine may be the worst of them all, but this mascara came to my rescue! It plumped, defined and lengthened my lashes. I really like the brush it comes with that makes it easier to get the lashes in my inner corner.
- CoverFX cream foundation in N110 as a concealer : This stuff has stolen my heart!! It’s super creamy, blendable and doesn’t settle into lines or cake. It works with all of my setting powders which is a plus because not all makeup works well together. The coverage of course, is excellent and so close to my skin that even I’m fooled and forget I have it on.
- Herbal Essences Conditioner in Unbreakable Seduction: This is a trusty rinseout and detangling conditioner. It has just enough moisture and protein in it to keep my hair well balanced, and tons of slip to make detangling a breeze
FTC Disclosure: These products were purchased by me and this is not a paid endorsement. The views expressed here are my own.
So, what were your favorites this month? Have you tried any of the products here? Tell us!
Natural by Design Cosmetics was started to showcase the bevy of hair and skincare products made with natural and naturally derived ingredients. Natural by Design Cosmetics refuses to add any parabens, mineral oil or petroleum to anything that is created. A majority of the products offered are vegan as well. One of the main reasons that Platinum Product Junkies exists is to bring to you our loyal readers new and innovative products that you might not have other wise heard of and Natural by Design products certainly fit the bill.
We are excited to offer you a chance to win a sample pack from this innovative Etsy Company. Included in the Sample Kit are:
- Curl Magic Leave in Conditioner
- Peach Coconut Moisturizing Hair milk
- Curl Magic Cleansing Conditioner
- Body Basics Body Lotion
- Body Basics Body Wash
- Body Basics After bath Moisture Splash
To enter the contest, register at Platinum Product Junkies forum then leave your screen name in the comment section below! We’d love for you to introduce yourself in the “Introduce Yourself” thread and jump right into the conversation.
To earn additional contest entries
- “Follow” the Platinum Product Junkies and Natural by Design Cosmetics on Twitter.
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Please note: Giveaway is open to US residents only. Contest winner has 48 hours to respond to email notification (please double check your email in the comment section), with a valid shipping address.
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March has come “in like a lion and out like a lamb” and it’s now April and spring is officially here…at least that’s what my calendar says even if the weather man doesn’t agree. The temps in March here in DC have been up and down…nice warm balmy 60 degrees one day and a freak snow storm the next. With such weather fluctuations, it can be difficult to find products that work in both weather extremes. Here is a quick look back and round up of some of my favorite products from March.
- C. Booth 4-in-1 Multi-Action Body Lotion: This lotion works equally well in warm and cooler weather by delivering great moisture without leaving you greasy. It also has AHA which helps sloth off dry scaly skin to leave your skin soft and even toned. Check out my more in-depth review of this product here.
- Philosophy “The Present” Clear Makeup: Philosophy calls this clear makeup but it’s really a primer…and a darn good one to boot! Nefertiti and I like to call this “makeup glue” because whatever makeup you apply sticks to it and lasts ALL DAY. It’s great when the weather is cooler because it locks in moisture from your moisturizer, but when the weather warms up; it keeps your makeup in place and prevents the “melt down”. I’ve been using this daily for the past few weeks after taking a break from it to test and try other things and I couldn’t be happier to have it back in rotation!
- Ulta Super Blending Sponge: I never really got the hype over the beauty blender…I always thought it was just an overpriced sponge and surly my makeup brushes provided just as good application or better. While pursuing Ulta one day, I decided to try this “generic” version and now I FINALLY get it! I have been using this sponge daily for a few weeks and my foundation has gone on sooo smooth and flawless. The real selling point for me is that I get coverage without that “heavy” feeling that some foundations can leave. This blends out the tiniest amount of foundation perfectly and my skin looks like skin and not “foundation on top of skin”. LOVE this thing and I’m going to pick up a few more!!!
- Hairveda Almond Glaze: I haven’t been doing much lately with my hair other than twists and puffs. My hair has grown out of its pixie cut and I’m on the fence about cutting it short again, letting it grow, or locing so I’m just letting it be for now until I decide. After washing and conditioning, I apply my leave in de jour and seal in the moisture with this. I LOVE that it’s all natural yet shields my hair from the temperature fluctuations. It leaves my hair soft and shiny without being too greasy (unless you over apply). I can apply it directly to my scalp in areas where it gets tight and dry or I can apply it to the ends to keep them from drying out. My jar is almost out so I’ll be picking up 1-2 more to add to my stash!
- Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15: If you know me from Curl Talk or any of the natural hair forums, then you know I’m a HUGE fan of Kiehl’s products, especially their facial moisturizers. I have extremely oily acne prone skin and it can be difficult to find a product that adds the perfect amount of moisture without causing a breakout. I have found that Kiehl’s products perform exceptionally well for my skin in this regard. As the days have started getting longer, I wanted to add in a lighter SPF to my routine (I use SPF 50 in the summertime). This product provided enough moisture on those bitter cold days, without being too heavy for the nice balmy days we’ve had in March. An added bonus is that the SPF doesn’t leave that dreaded white ashy cast to my dark skin. I’m not sure if I could use this in the summer as it might be TOO heavy once the humidity sets in, but for late winter/early spring usage I have found this to be a winner.
What products have you incorporated into your routine over the past month? What are your standout performers or favorites that have amazed you? Share them with us in the comments.
FTC Disclosure: The item discussed below ( C. Booth 4-in-1 Multi-Action Body Lotion) was purchased with personal funds. This is not a paid endorsement. All thoughts and ideas expressed are those of the reviewer.
Product: C. Booth 4-in-1 Multi-Action Body Lotion, Vanilla Butter scent
The premise and claims (from www.drugstore.com):
“Simple, natural, trusted.
Why should faces get all the special treatments? c.Booth believes in equal rights for the skin below the chin. Take a close look at yours and see if it doesn’t deserve the four fabulous benefits of this extremely busy lotion:
- A potent combo of alpha hydroxy acids works tirelessly to ditch dead skin cells and even out skin tones so even sun-damaged areas look healthy and happy.
- Sweet almond, apricot kernel and shea butter oils work in perfect harmony to hydrate needy skin.
- Vitamins and minerals perform like superheroes, valiantly fighting off the dastardly deeds of the harsh environmental forces that threaten our skin.
- Caffeine firms and tones less-than-taut skin, making it feel youthful, revitalized and wide awake. “
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Dimethicone, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (Coconut), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter (Cocoa), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Shea), Cetearyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Caffeine, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) (Vitamin E), Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A) (Vitamin A), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond), Prunus Armeniaca Kernal Oil (Apricot), Sea Salt, Lactic Acid, Maleic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Niacinamide, Carbomer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, BHT, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, 2 Bromo 2 Nitropropane 1, 3 Diol
Size: 32oz (1L)
Price: Varies, but is generally priced between $8-$10. I usually purchase on sale at Ulta when it is BOBO ½ off or BOGO Free.
Availability: Ulta, RiteAid, Wal-mart, Drugstore.com, and select major drugstores and supermarkets
Consistency/Application: This is a slightly thick body lotion. It’s very moisturizing without being greasy and would work for most people year round. It glides on smoothly to the skin, sinks in fast, yet keeps ash at bay all day.
Scent: I’m not scent sensitive so the vanilla butter scent seems very faint to me. It fades away fast and doesn’t interfere with my perfume. This lotion comes in three scents (vanilla butter, coconut fig, and lemon sugar) so if you are not a fan of vanilla, you have other options. I generally prefer unscented body products so I would love to see an unscented version of this product in the future.
Over-all Impressions: What I really like about the C. Booth 4-in-1 Multi-Action Body Lotion is the addition of the maleic and glycolic acids which help to sloth off dry skin and help with cell turn over. My knees, elbows, and hands have taken a beating in the gym doing planks, various yoga mat work, and lifting weights. This lotion sat in my product stash for a while before I decided to try it and I couldn’t be happier with it. It keeps my knees and elbows from getting scaly and it has also helped with the mild body acne and keratosis pilaris on my shoulders/upper arms from all the sweating my workouts produce.
I can’t really speak to the skin tightening benefits of the caffeine because I believe that nothing really tightens loose skin except removing the excess skin and everything else is temporary. All in all for the price and quantity you receive, I think this lotion is a winner. If you’re in the market for a good all over moisturizer that does what it’s supposed to without breaking the bank, I’d highly recommend this product!
FTC Disclosure: The item discussed above was purchased with personal funds. This is not a paid endorsement. All thoughts and ideas expressed are those of the reviewer.
Grapefruit Ginger Sea Salt Scrub
FTC Disclosure: This product was purchased by me and this is not a paid endorsement. The views expressed here are my own.
Lackluster, dry, itchy skin? Body discoloration? Need more circulation? There’s nothing better than sea salt scrubs! They exfoliate, tone and detoxify the skin. They feel amazing. I prefer them to sugar scrubs, because I like a little more “scrub” in my mix. I live at Etsy.com, so I’m always looking for new hair and body products to try. Discovering Naki Nagi Body Scrubs on Etsy reminded me of my need to get my skin ready for the arrival of Summer- the time for bare skin, sandals and light clothing.
Rachel’s sea salt and sugar scrubs contain an antibacterial soap, and she also offers a sulfate-free option. Her scrubs can be used on the face and body, and she makes a peppermint scrub for the feet. I ordered the Grapefruit Ginger Sea Salt Scrub, and I’m SO glad I did! I love the smell of citrus and ginger, and the combination is heavenly. My shower experience was exhilarating – I’ve been experiencing the itchies, so the gentle, yet effective scrubbing action worked wonders. The soap in the scrub keeps the “oilies” down – the scrub rinses off, with no greasy residue. My skin felt stimulated and insanely soft. I glowed Wow. Note: This is not a “foaming” scrub. Do exercise caution in the shower. The shower/tub will be slippery.
Shipment was quick, and my package arrived safely (no leaky jar). The scrubs start at $15.95, and now thru the month of April there’s a $5 coupon code – SPRING
FTC Disclosure: This product was purchased by me and this is not a paid endorsement. The views expressed here are my own.
Organic Lip Butter
I’m a collector of lip balms/butters. I own a gazillion tubes and pots. I’ve tried them all. Yes, I’ve tried your favorite too. Most are nothing special. A few need to be pulled from the store shelves, and a few are noteworthy. You’d think it would be pretty easy to create a stellar lip lubricant – there’s so many butters, oils and waxes to choose from. Yet, the average lip balm is nothing more than souped-up Vaseline™. I got a little giddy when I stumbled upon Lisa’s Lip Melts Organic Whipped Lip Butter Etsy store. My eyes quickly found the Blood Orange and Vanilla lip butters, and after reading the descriptions I decided to pull the trigger and find out if these lip delights are truly hype-worthy. Lisa’s order turnover time is about two (2) weeks, so I tried not to get too anxious. I waited patiently for my order to arrive.
Okay, here’s the deal:
These lip butters should work fine for those who don’t need a heavy duty lip lubricant. I kept the Vanilla and gave the Blood Orange to a friend. I had to reapply several times during the day, and it didn’t give me that “smooth” feeling of waxier lip balms. If you need a bit of slip, before applying your lipstick, or if you’re in search of a light lip conditioning product, Lip Melts would probably be a good choice. However, my lips need a heavier, waxier product for the winter season.
The ingredients: butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter) fruit, theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, cucurbita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil, olea europaea (Olive) Oil, rosa canina (Rosehip) fruit oil, ricinus communis (Castor) seed oil , oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose) oil, euphorbia cerifera (Candelilla) wax, tocopherol (natural Vitamin E), essential oils.
Sephora Fragrance Sampler
The power of scent is undeniable. It has the ability to envelope us in warm nostalgic memories, invoke peace and calm in the face of turmoil, or spark passion and romance with a significant other. Humans have used the power of scent for centuries, and now I offer that power to you. Use the form below, to enter the giveaway. Follow the instructions, and check your email! Giveaway ends Friday, 11/30/12 @ midnight (EST). Winner will be announced on Saturday, 12/1/12. One (1) lucky reader will win a Sephora Fragrance Sampler, which includes a voucher for a full-size bottle of your favorite scent from the included samples.
- Betsy Johnson Too Too Pretty
- Coach Poppy – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Parfum Spray
- DKNY Be Delicious – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Parfum Spray
- Givenchy Very Irrésistible – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Toilette Spray
- Gucci Guilty Intense – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Parfum Spray
- Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Parfum Spray
- Hanae Mori Butterfly – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Toilette Spray
- Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy La Fleur redeems to a 2.5 oz Eau de Toilette Spray
- Marc Jacobs DOT – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Parfum Spray
- Narciso Rodriguez For Her – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Toilette Spray
- Prada CANDY – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Parfum Spray
- Versace Bright Crystal – redeems to a 1 oz Eau de Parfum Spray
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