Monthly Archives: January 2018

Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid

I have been a long time AHA user. Having a normal to dry skin type, I am much more concerned with anti-aging, spot lightening, skin texture, all of which addressed by AHAs rather than BHAs, which are more helpful for oilier or combination skin types (By the way, if anyone is confused about the different types of chemical exfoliants, I’ve inserted some resources right at the bottom of the post). My favourite has always been Sue Devitt Beauty Microquatic Lactic Renewal Facial Peel, which is a lactic acid-based exfoliant, but I have since been unable to find it anywhere on the internet :'(. I’m guessing that the brand flopped or it has been discontinued.

Point is, since then, I have been unable to find an AHA that I like. Cosrx was all the rage a few years back, there is a consistent supply, and so I went for it.

COSRX AHA201

If you are wondering about the weird lines on the bottle, I decorated by bottles with leftover coloured masking tape.

Ingredients

A short and sweet list. Sodium hydroxide may be an issue but various people on r/AsianBeauty have tested its pH to be below 4.0 so we’re safe.

Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Water, Niacinamide, Sodium Hydroxide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol

How I use it in my routine

I use once every 2 to 3 days, after cleansing and toner / fermented essence. It is light and slippery liquid, not unlike Chifure Essence (review).

I am immune to any tingling or stinging by this point, but if you are new to acids, they hurt. Like hell. It is like the acid is burning your face off and if you touch your face it will melt off like goo. Also, some acids that are poorly formulated can cause a breakout. I experienced it personally with the Alpha Hydrox (Reviews). Some souls on the internet call this purging and advice you to push through this difficult period following which baby-like skin will follow. Nope. It is as good as telling someone suffering from food poisoning (with the whole shebang of diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps) to continue eating the contaminated food because “your body is undergoing detoxification”. Go ahead at your own risk.

Overall, I rely on AHAs a lot for the daily maintenance of my skin–texture refinement, spot lightening, preventing wrinkles. Cosrx has done a fine job so far. It has done everything that I want from an AHA, with the added bonus of being readily available and affordable.

Glycolic Acid

  • Alpha H Liquid Gold
  • Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask (Reviews)
  • Andalou Naturals BioActive 8 Berry Fruit Enzyme Mask (Reviews)
  • Alpha Hydrox 10% Glycolic AHA Enhanced Cream (Reviews)

Lactic Acid

  • Sue Devitt Beauty Microquatic Lactic Renewal Facial Peel

Some Resources…

If you’re new to chemical exfoliants. There are tonnes of good resources out there so I shan’t bother writing my own version when I don’t have anything new to add on.

If you listen to podcasts on your commute or at the gym, the Snailcasts Episode 17 is a great introduction to chemical exfoliants without doing any reading. Hoojoo Beauty also has a great article here. I remembered Skin & Tonics had a science-y blog post, but I can’t find it anymore.

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First Post of 2018: Intoxicated Skincare Routine

I’m generally not into drinks–I’m a closet homebody and I love holing up with a good read. But for one reason or another, I found myself drinking quite frequently recently. But alcohol drives my skin (plus my sleep cycle, my weight and my wits) absolutely bonkers. You know it your skin gets tired and sallow the next day. So with my 1-year experience, here is my guide to getting skincare done while you are at different stages of intoxication.

Japan Oils (m)

1. Cleanse, Double Cleanse

You’ve puked more times than you can count. In the cab, in the lift, you don’t know where else. Deep down you know you’ve been an utter embarrassment in front of everyone (you can’t be arsed to care). You’re still mostly upright. Leaning against the bathroom wall is a comfortable position. You don’t want to move (move).

You probably have layers of makeup and falsies (Ewwww). Get those off with a cleansing balm or oil. You probably forget how to emulsify oils properly. Just don’t fall asleep at your sink and don’t gouge your eyes out.

If you are still upright by the end, reach for that low pH cleanser. Don’t whine, you bought it for the convenience. Pump it once and the bubbles are readymade. Muck the foam around your face and wash it off.

Now you can fall into the puddle that you have made on the bathroom floor and go to sleep.

Be ready to mop off the mess of oils, foam and your tears of regret from the floor the next morning.

Estee Lauder ANR

2. Potent Anti-oxidant Serum

You’ve had four drinks. You made it home on your own in a cab. You almost puked (it is thanks to that terrible driver), but you kept your dinner in. But you had too much work and too little sleep in the past week (month, year, years) and you feel like you can sleep for 48 hours straight. You don’t want to look at yourself in the mirror because Asian flush is ugly and you’re already your worst judge.

Clean your face, you’ve done it when you were dead drunk, you can do it now.

As much as you love alcohol, your skin hates it. Apologise. Feed it the clinically tested and scientifically proven anti-oxidant serum. For goodness sake, remember to screw the cap tight afterwards. It is worth 8 hours of painstaking and sometimes mind-numbing work and you don’t want light and oxidation to get to it before it gets to your skin.

Important reminder: Stay away from any acid at this point. Can you trust yourself not to get any of the pH 3.8 stuff into your eyeballs? I don’t trust you when you say yes, because drunk people say yes to everything. Save it for the next morning when you open your eyes with a splitting headache.

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Cream

3. Emollient Moisturiser

You’re still up? Good! Time to seal off the expensive serum. Get that jar of moisturiser that you’ve been buying on repeat this year. It is a jar of buttery goodness, and it reminds you of all the delicious, fatty food you’ve sworn off for the sake of your coronary arteries (it is your bloody figure, really, who are you kidding). Slap it on and let it melt into your skin like a piece of tender pork belly on your tongue. Arhhhhh.

Sulwhasoo Overnight Mask (m)

4. Sleeping Pack

If you’re at this step, you have only had two drinks, or the alcohol has worn off. You either feel terribly lonely or lightheaded from the lovely conversation. Either way, the sleeping pack fits because it is an additional layer of occlusive. It feels like another layer of warm blanky on your skin and you feel cocooned. The sleeping pack smells like ginseng, ginger and you find the medicinal smell comforting.

You can fall into bed and wrap yourself in the real warm blanky now.

And then maybe you can take out your phone and start writing crap on your WordPress app. ೕ(˃̵ᴗ˂̵ ๑)

(For clarification of doubt, Scenario 1 is imagined 😉