Category Archives: Moisturizers

Another top 5 repurchases

2017 and 2018 have been kind to me on the professional and personal front, after the annulis horribilis that is 2016. In skincare too, I have been particularly lucky that I found a number of products that I can foresee myself repurchasing again and again. So 3 years after my initial post (2015), I think its time to do another 5 repurchase.

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Cream

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream (Review)

This is no doubt the best find of 2017 for me. The cream is rich, emollient and very comforting for nightly use, especially for dehydrated skin. This cream is exactly what I have been looking for in a night time moisturizer, and I am not switching anytime soon.

Naruko Tea Tree Purifying Essential Oil

The earlier part of this year has been marred by outbreaks of pimples. In my teenage years I have used products containing benzoyl peroxide, but I have not touched that particular ingredient in close to 10 years, as I only suffer from mild cases of acne. The Naruko tea tree line contains 15% tea tree oil (higher than the recommended minimum of 2.5% to 10%) which has anti-bacterial properties and 2% salicylic acid to assist with the chemical exfoliation. It works well enough that I am not straying yet.

On the other hand, I am terrible at dishing our acne-fighting advice as I get them once in a blue moon.

Melano CC Intensive Spot Serum (Review)

The best ascorbic acid serum by far. Mind you, I have used some expensive whitening stuff like Guerlain (here) and Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solutions (not reviewed) and products made famous by internet i.e. OST C20 Serum (featured here), but nothing works as well as this does. No painful burning or tingling upon first application, small nozzle, little exposure to oxidation. What more could I ask for?

Biore UV Kids Nobi Nobi Suncream

It is weird that a children’s sunscreen is my favourite to use on a daily basis? My skin has been moving towards the dry end of the spectrum steadily and my old favourite Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel is not enough for me anymore. I like the creamy finish and the slight stickiness of the Nobi Nobi Suncream. Plus, it is yellow! How happy can that be?

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Skin-Friendly Nanoskin Sheet Mask (Review)

For a skincare junkie, I am not exactly a major fan of sheet masks. It is time-consuming and I find much of it very standard and gimmicky. This ceramide based mask reviewed here, however, is a godsend for dry to normal skin types. They have recent reformulated the mask so now it comes in 25ml instead of 30ml, and the serum is a lot less oily and more gel like. I still like the formulation but I wish they’d give me more serum.

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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 😉

A Week of Repairing Skincare

When I just returned from my trip to Switzerland, MY HEART WAS FULL (´ ▽`).。o♡ but MY SKIN WAS TERRIBLE (⌣_⌣”).

Despite taking a small army of skincare items, plus protective gear like hats and sunglasses with me, I still suffered from redness (a combination of the cold, sunburns and windburns) and the feeling of skin dryness and tightening is almost constant. So when I returned, it was an uphill battle to get my skin back to the pink of health.

Here are a few things I did to get my skin to calm the F down.

The ceramidin mask is pretty awesom. It is also the most expensive mask that I have ever repurchased. 😦

1. Masking, masking, masking

A huge problem I had was the inability to retain moisture. As soon as I stepped out of the shower, there was an uncomfortable tautness in the skin. The answer to that, I found, was using a mask every single day. Be it regular glycerin-propylene glycol-hyaluronic acid type of mask or the high end ones that claims to do everything under the sun, it is the consistency that counts the most.

I have been enjoying the JAYJUN Baby Pure Shining MaskDr Morita Hyaluronic Acid Essence Face Mask, and my absolute fave by far DR. JART+ Ceramidin Mask (review), a mask full of watery and oily goodness.

As for the mornings, I have no time or patience for masks, but I was sure to use Chifure Essence (review) or any other hydrating essences.

Repairing Skincare 02

Some high end stuff in the mix!

2. Mositurise

Following the mask, I moisturise immediately. Without a layer of emollients as well as occlusives to keep the water in, I find that my skin returns to the previous state of uncomfortable tautness. In mere minutes I can feel my skin shriveling up like an old man, seriously.

I have been enjoying: HABA Squalane (review), which isn’t occlusive enough to replace a face cream, Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream (review) absolute fave, Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream (review) for the day time under sunscreen, and SK-II RNA Power Cream.

On the first few days, I’ve also worn the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Mask (review) on top of the cream as yet another layer of occlusive.

I had to take a photo with these alliums (basically flowering onions, I think?) I love having fun with the styling of the photos on this blog XP

3. Careful with the AHAs

I packed a BHA along with me for the trip, because AHAs can lead to sun sensitivity and I don’t want it to be a problem, even though I touch up on skin screen almost religiously. But as I have normal to dry skin, AHAs always made a lot more difference to my skin than BHAs ever did, so I was happy to be back home and reunited with the Cosrx AHA Whitehead Power Liquid.

The thing is, AHAs have kinda stung for my entire life. Even after 5 years of regularly using AHAs, it hasn’t gotten any better and it is something that I’ve come to accept and anticipate with any AHA usage. With my skin in a highly sensitised state, I only applied the AHA once in the week, and left it at that. Gradually, it went back to 3 times a week, which is how I normally use it.

Really short routine, but this is exactly what I used for the first 2 nights when my skin was at my worst.

4. Bring out all the anti-oxidants

I think everybody has a favourite serum for, you know, general anti-aging. If not, I wish you loads of luck and you can click through my Serums and Skin Treatment reviews for ideas. For me, my one true love has to be Estée Lauder ANR, which is my oldest cosmetic love. I don’t exactly know what is working for me, maybe it is the Vitamin A, but I always have a 100ml on hand, even though most of the time I’m trying out other serums. But during this period, I have turned to those that have consistently worked well for me.

Serums that I’m using now: Estée Lauder ANR and Melano CC Medicated Intensive Spot Correcting Serum (review). If you have dabbled in skincare for a while now you’d have your own faves too, just make sure you stick real close to those tried and tested formulas, rather than popping yet another serum that you’ve never tried open.

What I Used To Do

I’ve actually had loads of experience with dryness and sensitivity, and I’ve mostly stuck to the routine.

Back in 2014, I’ve tried a hell lot more, as seen in my post, A State of Emergency. Some things include:

  • Manuka honey mask – which I most commonly use when I have both sensitive skin and pimples, I cannot vouch for its efficacy, but it is a delicious mask 😉
  • Manuka honey + cinnamon mask – Again, delicious mask, does it do anything at all? ><
  • EPO, flaxseed oil, vitamin supplements – Nope, haven’t done any supplements in a while now, but I’m a lot healthier than I was back in 2014 (exercise & eating well. I’m still not getting enough sleep).

You can go to my old post and have a laugh (but seriously its not TOO bad) =.=

Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream: The Award Winner

Ladies and gents, after a long break, here is another addition to my family of Hanyul product reviews!

The Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream (50g) is a fairly new addition to the Seo Ri Tae line. At least, it wasn’t introduced as part of the original lineup back in 2014. Somewhere in between, it replaced the Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti-Aging Cream as the only moisturiser in the Seo Ri Tae Line. It claims to revitalise and moisturise skin, and is targeted to a younger audience than the Baek Hwa Goh line.

The Skin Refining Cream won the Singles Magazine 2017 Best Ingredient Award, which does seem like a recent thing, as I did not see it when I purchased it back in March 2017.

The award seem to award specific ingredients out of the whole list, rather than the entire concoction. In the short article written about the award, Singles justified awarding the product based on 2 ingredients: soybean extract and madecassoside. The rest of the ingredients are not mentioned at all.

However, props are given to the packaging of the product, which reflects a “dawn frost”, and it is such a romantic way of describing a packaging. (It is really fun to read the Google Translate of the web page, I’m sure some of it is lost in translation but really… “dawn frost”? I love it! XD)

The (Not Very Exciting) Ingredients List

Purified water, Shea butter, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Caprylic / capric triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-14 Olefin), Glyceryl Stearate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Madecassoside, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Natto Gum, Dextrin, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Adenosine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Palmitic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-100 Stearate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Flower Extract, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

  1. Soybean Extract is an antioxidant and improves uneven skin tone. It is the feature ingredient in the Innisfree Soybean Energy line
  2. Madecassoside I’m more familiar with, it is a proven antioxidant in its own right, and works well when combined with vitamin C.

I use it primarily as a day cream under sunscreen and it works beautifully. In fact, I was really surprised at how much I liked this cream given the boring ingredients list above.

My favourite part has to be the fluffy texture. The cream is super lightweight and fluffy like marshmallows. It is easy to spread and pat in. While it is a cream, it contains just the right amount of emollients for day use. Unlike the Beauty of Joseon Cream (review) which I found a little lacking in moisture retention, this is just enough to provide moisture, but not too much that my face becomes an oil field.

With the right amount used under sunscreen, I was spared the afternoon dehydration lines and tightening of the skin in hot weather. There is no added glow or dewiness, but it does appear healthier and more hydrated.

One thing that I’m not really a fan of: it smells like a mimosa perfume mixed with wheatgrass and avocado smoothie. I like these smells separately but not mixed together.

Overall, it is not mind-blowing, but I can see it being one of those staples that I can go back to consistently.

Verdict: 4.5 / 5.0

Decent but still lacking: Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream

Hello! First off, why are there zero posts in May? That’s because I went off to take an exam, which thank dear Lord is over ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡ )  Preparing for examinations while working is nasty, so nope, no Instagram, no WordPress, no Facebook ( ᵒ̴̶̷̥́ _ᵒ̴̶̷̣̥̀ )

Now onward to my first post in a while. I bought the Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream very early on during the #MyABRideorDie challenge on Instagram back in April. I’ve seen it before on social media, but when people are claiming this is their rideordie, I’ve got to try it.

Ingredients List

The ingredients list is promising, with a nice range of humectants like the standard glycerin, butylene glycol as well as sodium hyaluronate and honey. I highlighted some ingredients that I like, but I don’t normally judge a product based on the formula alone. Head over to CosDNA for the list of possible trigger ingredients.

Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, naicinamide, dipentaerythritol hexa C5-9 acid esters, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, polyacrylate-13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, hydrogenated lecithin, C14-28 alkyl acid, stearyl alcohol, benenyl alcohol, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone, adenosine, glyceryl stearate SE, cetearyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, stearic acid, tocopheryl acetate, sodium polyacrylate, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, centella asiatica extract, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, human oligopeptide-1 (EGF), argania spinosa (argan) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, ceramide 3, trehalose, calendula officinaalis flower extract, caprylhydroxamic acid, 1,2-hexanediol, raphanus sativus (radish) leaf extract, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, cucurbitaceae (gourd) extract, orchid extract, honey extract, panax ginseng root extract, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, shea butter, phytosphingosine, ceteareth-20, glyceryl citrate/lactate/linoleate/oleate, fragrance

My Skin Type and Concerns

Now before heading on to my thoughts about this product, bear in mind what I look out for may be totally different from you. If we’re skin sisters, GREAT! If we’re aren’t, you know to take things with a pinch of salt, right (○゜ε^○)

  • Normal skin type
  • Hardy for the most part, able to tolerate most ingredients such as a small quantity of alcohol in skincare
  • Hyper-pigmentation on spots where old blemishes healed
  • Dehydration lines on forehead and around nasolabial folds
  • Dark circles and visible veins in under-eye area
  • Occasional bouts of irritation, dryness and sensitivity

Now because of my normal skin type, theoretically I should be able to use creams and moisturisers of all textures with no problems, but over the years I have developed a liking to some textures over others. My favorite types of creams are stiff and buttery, sinks in quickly, and produces a satiny finish. (Like this and this)

The Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream is unlike anything that I’ve tried.

It is stringy, gooey, and if I didn’t know better I’d think that the main ingredient is 99% snail goo. The texture doesn’t really bother me but it takes some getting used to. Using a spatula to scoop out the cream is a MUST. Now despite the appearance, it spreads very easily and dries down quickly enough without a hint of heaviness afterwards. Because of its light texture, I experimented using it as a day cream under sunscreen and makeup as well as a night cream.

Annnd that’s when the problems come in. On the days that I wear the cream alone, the tightening feeling that accompanies dryness sets in within a few hours. The effect is not very pronounced in the daytime, but when used as a night cream, my skin literally shrivels up like a dehydrated peach the next morning, with none of the well resting morning glow that I look for.

It helps to apply this in two thick layers, which helps with the dehydration. Using a facial oil like HABA Squalane (read review) under the cream also does help. My favoured way of using it is as a sleeping pack, on top of my regular moisturiser. To put it simple, it’s not cutting it on its own.

I compared the ingredients list of a my current favourite cream with the Beauty of Joseon Cream, and that’s when I noticed a lot of difference.

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream (CosDNA):

Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, hydrogenated olive oil lauryl esters, squalane, diamethicone, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, butyrospermum parkii butter, diisostearyl malate, jojoba esters, cetearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, lentinus edodes extract, hydrolyzed ginseng saponins, panax ginseng root extract, aspergillus ferment, paeonia albiflora root extract, zingiber officinale root extract, cnidium officinale root extract, angelica acutiloba root extract, glyceryl stearate, cyclopentasiloxane, trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-100 stearate, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, hydroxyethyl acrylate/ sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, glyceryl caprylate, carbomer, tromethamine, ethylhexylglycerin, adenosine, theobroma cacao extract, dextrin, 1,2-hexanediol, hydrogenated lecithin, sodium polyaspartate, phytosphingosine, sodium methyl stearoyl taurate, disodium EDTA, fragrance

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream (CosDNA):

Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, naicinamide, dipentaerythritol hexa C5-9 acid esters, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, polyacrylate-13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, hydrogenated lecithin, C14-28 alkyl acid, stearyl alcohol, benenyl alcohol, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone, adenosine, glyceryl stearate SE, cetearyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, stearic acid, tocopheryl acetate, sodium polyacrylate, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, centella asiatica extract, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, human oligopeptide-1 (EGF), argania spinosa (argan) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, ceramide 3, trehalose, calendula officinaalis flower extract, caprylhydroxamic acid, 1,2-hexanediol, raphanus sativus (radish) leaf extract, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, cucurbitaceae (gourd) extract, orchid extract, honey extract, panax ginseng root extract, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, shea butter, phytosphingosine, ceteareth-20, glyceryl citrate/lactate/linoleate/oleate, fragrance.

The bolded ingredients above are ingredients that act as emollients, which help to reduce rough and flaky skin. Many emollients also double as occlusive agents and help to retain moisture. In the Hanyul cream, there are a lot more emollient ingredients and they’re further up on the ingredients list, while in the Beauty of Joseon Cream, emollient ingredients are more dispersed throughout the list.

Now I’ve never really realised what is it that I like in a moisturiser, but now it is clear. Bring on the emollients and occlusives!

Verdict

The Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream is decent as a daytime moisturiser and a sleeping pack, but definitely lacking in emollient or oil properties to be a good nighttime moisturiser for my normal skin type.

Combination to oily skins can give it a try, but I doubt this will be enough for dry skins without pairing with facial oils or heavily layering with other skincare.

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream

When I learnt that Hanyul line is being revamped and the Rich Effect Cream is no more, I felt bereft. I held on to the hope that the reformulations are not much different from the original. (In SK-II, the RNA Power was rebranded from the Stempower line with a bit of reformulation). But soon I realised that in Hanyul seemed to be a total overhaul. The Rich Effect line was repackaged to Seo Ri Tae line, but the Cream is gone*.ヾ(;゚Д゚;)シ

And with that realisation came the bitterness, loads and loads of bitterness which lead me to step away from the brand for a while. (Alright, I promise that this will be the last time that I willl harp about my old HG.) But now, I’ve come back because life has to move on. And because the Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream looks like a great treat to the skin.

The claim to fame

The Baek Hwa Goh Cream claims to restore the skin’s vitality and elasticity, what ever that means. The star ingredient is the baek hwa goh extract i.e. extract from shiitake mushrooms. Using mushrooms in skincare is not unique to Asian products nor is it very exotic. The Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom line from Origins also relies on extracts from mushrooms.

I have used another cream with mushroom ingredients, the DHC Kakonjuka Cream, which I wrote about in my first ever post here on October 2013 (4 years ago OMG). I liked that cream but I didn’t repurchase because I didn’t have major skin concerns then. Its a whole different story now…

Ingredients

Head over to CosDNA for the full ingredients list. The key ingredient is the lentinus edodes extract: extract from shiitake mushrooms, which is shown to have both antioxidant and anti-irritant properties. Studies show shiitake mushrooms are rich in compounds that reduce redness and calm irritated skin with topical application: polysaccharides, triterpenes, proteins, lipids, phenols, and cerebrosides (Source) **.

Other ingredients include:

  • Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins are saponins derived from ginseng that are hydrolyzed by acid, enzyme or other method of hydrolysis
  • Panax Ginseng Root Extract – Which is the main ingredient in other star products like the Sulwhasoo Revitalizing Overnight
  • Aspergillus Ferment – Fermentation extract from a aspergillus, a type of mould.
  • Also high up on the ingredients list are glycerin and squalane, two well known humectants and antioxidants.

How I incorporate this into my routine

I apply Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream as the last or second to last step in my skincare routine:

Toner > Fermented Essence > Serum > Hydrating Serum OR Sheet Mask > Moisturiser > Sleep Pack (Optional)

It is strictly for night time use only because I live in the tropics and it is humid all year round. If you live in a dryer climate, you can get away with using this in the day time.

I use a chickpea sized amount of the cream to cover my face. Most of it is absorbed immediately, but it leaves behind a thin, glossy sheen that is smooth but not sticky. From the first use, I can say it is very very similar to the Rich Effect Cream (NOT the Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream), and its got me almost shedding tears of joy. It has the exact same texture as the Rich Effect Cream, something like butter (don’t question me about my memory because I dream about my HG every night). It is thick and emollient, but absorbs splendidly, without the cloying feeling of dimethicones sitting on top of the skin.

Aside from the texture, I’m wild about the scent as well. I don’t catch any mushroom, but I can definitely place the ginseng. I love ginseng.

The next morning I wake up to really well rested skin, a little like the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Mask (featured here). I have not had this kind of feeling from a cream for a very long time. The last one was actually SK-II Stempower, which cost me an arm and a leg (Hanyul cost me just an arm, thank you).

One last thing, please please bear in mind my skin type and my skin concerns when you read my review! What works for me may not work for you. You can head over to my Beauty Profile, but if you’re lazy to click, here you go:

  • Normal skin type
  • Hardy for the most part, able to tolerate most ingredients such as a small quantity of alcohol in skincare
  • Hyperpigmentation on spots where old blemishes healed
  • Dehydration lines on forehead and around nasolabial folds
  • Dark circles and visible veins in under-eye area
  • Occasional bouts of irritation, dryness and sensitivity

Verdict

This is a pure gushing post. I don’t see why this will not suit your skin, unless you don’t handle oils in your skincare well and you prefer a gel texture. Get it! Its is potential HG for me.

Why potential HG? Hurhurhur as I’m writing this, two more Hanyuls: Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream and Seo Ri Tae Firming Sleeping Pack are making its way to me from Korea. I have high hopes for the Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream, so I shan’t count my chickens for now~

.

* The Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti-Aging Cream is not the old Hanyul Rich Effect Cream. Seriously, the texture is very different. Look at beautifulbun’s review and pics of it here.

** Studies on the benefits of mushroom derivatives on skin: Mushroom Cosmetics: The Present and Future (Link)

PM Skincare Routines (Part I): All Out Spa Night

The last time I wrote about my skincare routine was back in 2014!!! D: Going back to read it makes to rotfl because I used Cetaphil!!! Sorry, I’ve let this blog rot for far too long, an update is due.

Thing is, I don’t have a single routine. I have an entire range of products and I mix and match everyday. The routine can range from 10 products to 3 products, all depending on how much time I have and how vain I feel. So here’s a selection of some of the night time routines:

  1. The all out spa night routine (below)
  2. The lazy night routine (I’ll write later!)
  3. The zombie night routine (I’ll write later!)
  4. The sensitive emergency routine (I’ll write later!)

I’m only sticking to night time routines here, because they are more exciting. More time and do weird things to your face, and you can get away with layering more products. I might get around to write my morning routine eventually.

(Take note that the steps matter more than the featured products, because the products can easily change).

1. The All Out Spa Night Routine

Spa Routine Part 1

Steps: Oil Cleanser > Foaming Cleanser

  • Oil Cleanser: Can I confess that I have never tried cleansing balms before? I have nothing against them but I find that oil cleansers work well enough for me, and they come with pumps so I find them extra convenient. I’ve been sticking to the Senka Perfect Watery Oil because I have a few refills, but there are many other Japanese oil cleansers that work well. An oil cleanser is a must because I wear sunscreen daily
  • Foaming Cleanser: I still haven’t found a cleanser that I truly love. I am currently using up the Kose Softymo Washing Foam but I’m looking for other alternatives.

Steps: Exfoliating Toner > Fermented Essence > Eye Cream > Serum > Face Mask > Moisturiser > Sleeping Pack / Facial Oil > Lip Balm

Spa Routine Part 2

  • Exfoliating Toner: This step used to be an AHA mask or AHA treatment, but ever since Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner came along it has become AHA/BHA toner. I am currently feeling infinite affection for Mizon because the toner has treated me sooo well, and I have this urge to try more products from this brand. (But then again, I remember the mediocrity that was Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream…) I might try for an AHA/BHA treatment in this step in the future, but the toner is working splendidly right now.
  • Fermented Essence: Estée Lauder Micro Essence, a Western variation of SK-II FTE. Many cheaper alternatives are also available from many Korean brands, including Secret Key FTE (review), IOPE Bio Essence (review). I am unlikely to repurchase both the ME and FTE unless they are heavily discounted because I really want to try a hand at the numerous cheaper alternatives from Korean brands.
  • Eye Cream: SK-II RNA Power Eye Cream. I am still not very convinced on the formulation of eye creams. While we know that the skin around the eyes are thinner and that there are no sebum glands in the under-eyes, there is no consensus on how eye creams should be formulated to accommodate for the differences.
    For the past 3 years, I have not been using eye creams. My last one was actually Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye (review) back in 2014. Subsequently I have used my regular face cream on my under-eyes as well. A recent addition is Elizabeth Arden Eye Capsules (featured here), which is essentially too light to be a serum. I have been using SK-II for 2 weeks, and currently withhold my opinion.

Spa Routine Part 3

  • Serum: Varies, I have a number of serums in rotation and I’ll choose based on my concerns. Right now, I’m working on my second tube of Melano CC Serum (review).
  • Face Mask: Varies with what I have on hand. Been loving the Kracie Hadabisei 3D Face Mask (featured here), which fits GREAT.

  • Moisturiser: I am currently finishing up the Kose Moisture Repair Cream YAY! I do like the moisturiser but I’m really looking forward to trying other alternatives.
  • Sleeping Pack: COSRX Rice Mask is the lightest of the sleeping packs that I own, so it fits best in a routine as long as this.
  • Lip Balm: A tub of Vaseline Lip Therapy Aloe. You can tell I’m not excited about lip balms.

That is all!

One last thing, if you wear eye make up, you should stick a separate eye makeup remover to the very beginning of the routine before oil cleanser. I haven’t been wearing eye make up for ages so I totally forgot about that step.