Tag Archives: HABA

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) =.=

Advertisements

The Mega Skincare Empties Post

In the dusty corners of this blog, I found old posts which I drafted 2 years back which I did not post, because I was into the whole neglecting-my-blog thing. ๑•́ㅿ•̀๑) ᔆᵒʳʳᵞ

Most of the draft posts I’ll trash, because I forgot I’ve used those products (e.g. The History of Whoo Myeong-Ui-Hyang Secret Court Cream). But certain posts I think are worth sharing–2 empties posts from back in 2015, which featured an interesting range of products. Some are defunct / discontinued, but there are many that I am still repurchasing now.

So to give the old posts a new life, here I will combined 3 empties posts into 1:

  • March 2017
  • May & August 2015: Kept exactly how it is written 2 years ago, with any updates to my thoughts in italics.

Current Empties: March 2017

Melano CC Whitening Lotion (150g) is the companion to my favourite Melano CC Essence. I’ve enjoyed using this toner, but I’m not impressed by the dish soap scent. The Lotion relies on 2 derivatives of vitamin C, 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid (EAC) as well as the standard ascorbic acid. But who knows how stable the ingredients are in such a standard toner packaging. Not likely to repurchase.

Hada Labo Super Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (150g) I have no idea how many bottles of this I have gone through over my skincare life. It is a good product to have in anyone’s repertoire, but I think users need to be realistic about expectations. This is a hydrator which provides a boost of hydration. It doesn’t deliver antioxidant or vitamins and other goodness that you skin can benefit from. I will still repurchase (on and off) as a supplement to my standard hydration serum.

Dove Nutrium Moisture Face Foam Cleanser Sensitive (130g) is a decent foam cleanser which I’ve enjoyed using. My only anxiety comes from the fact that its pH level might be too high. I won’t know because I haven’t gotten myself pH test strips and stuff, because I’ve been busy! because I’ve been LAZY HAHAHA

HABA White Lady (30ml / Reviewis a SAP serum which is great to layer under daytime skincare. It doesn’t do much for spots but it is good for boosting overall clarity. I will not repurchase at this point, because I have 3 other brightening serums to try (Muahahaha Shiseido Haku Melanofocus, SK-II Aura and SK-II Spot)!

Melano CC Melanin Whitening Anti-Spot Essence (20g / ReviewIs much more effective than HABA White Lady in terms of spot reduction. If you’re into OST C20 (you’ll see four empties below from back in 2015), you should try this.

Flow Fushi Matsuge Biyou-eki (15g) is an eye gel and lash serum. After abusing my lashes I have stopped wearing mascara and eye liners to work, and applied this daily. No effect for now, but I’m giving it chance by using a second tube.

Shiseido Bio Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream (50g) A HUGE NO IN CAPS. I hate the feel of diamethicones in this, and the cream is so difficult to spread and tap in.

Emptied the #shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream yesterday! Took me close to 2 years 😒 not wild about this, so writing a quick review about my thoughts . My skin type is normal, so generally I can use gels and creams of all textures with no problems. This one, though, should be reserved for super-ultra desert dry skin only 🌵 🌵 🌵 The cream is a lot richer, thicker and more emollient than most other creams, and it can be difficult to spread, and impossible to massage. To apply this, you need to lightly tap and dab it into the skin until absorbed. . Following the application, my skin feels soft and smooth, but don’t be fooled, dimethicone is the 5th ingredient on the list 😱 Despite the texture of the cream which is more suited to dry skin (or someone who likes to spread heavy stuff on the face), it should still give you anti-aging benefits. There is a tiny tiny bit of “morning after glow”, but it is not enough for me to justify the price 💸 . So sorry, Restoring Cream, you ain’t for me. #donotbuy . #japaneseskincare #asianbeauty #rasianbeauty #skincare #skincareroutine #skincarejunkie #skincarediary

A post shared by A Banquet of Roses (@theskinchronicles) on Mar 21, 2017 at 8:59am PDT

Old Empties Post: August 7, 2015

May - June Empties (m)

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (155ml / ReviewIn my previous review I said I would not repurchase this essence, but I did. And I’ve used 3 whole bottles (hides).

Hanyul Optimizing Serum (120ml / Review) has survived the Hanyul revamp, but it now comes in a different packaging. I still like it for its calming effects on the skin, but age has necessitated that I need to amp up my dose of antioxidants, vitamins and skin-repairing ingredients. While I may still repurchase it, the days of using only the Korean brown bottle is over.

C20 Vitamin C Serum (15ml) is a necessity as I am recovering from holiday sun burns. is a much more affordable dupe for the La Roche-Posay Redermic C (featured here) series and its effect is very immediate and observable. [Update March 28, 2017: I prefer Melano CC now~ seriously, try it! ] 

Hanyul Finish Essence (50ml) I have never heard of this product, nor could I find it on the official website. It is supposed to be an all-in-one serum, moisturiser and primer used as a last step of skin care. I was not expecting much, because while Hanyul has its fair share of winners and HGs, but it also produced some fails like the Eungyeol Light Eye Cream (Review). Turns out this does exactly what it says and more. As a moisturiser, provides just the right amount of moisture and protection; as a primer, my make up stays put even hours after application. It’s a bit of a stretch to call it a serum, but for S$10 this is a bargain beauty purchase. [Update March 28, 2017: Didn’t manage to find this on Gmarket again, so I couldn’t repurchase.] 

I used to use Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil  to massage my calves after jogging. After an ankle injury last year, I’ve had problems jogging, so any exercise that is intensive on the ankle is out of the question for now. Nevertheless, I finished it with determination since oils will run rancid after a while. Not going to repurchase.

The Asahi Suhada Pack Gel is supposed to be a lotion, emulsion, serum, cream and mask in one. I suppose it is for busy (or lazy) people who have no time for the full set of skincare routine before sleep. The gel melts into the skin and becomes almost the consistency of water as I pat it in. It doesn’t do much except provide hydration through hyaluronic acid, so I found it quite boring after a while. Not going to repurchase.

And here comes the product I was most disappointed by. I was initially drawn by the advert of Mamonde Age Control Power Serum (40g) which is so darn pretty (see above). The product’s performance however is lackluster. It did not break me out, but the only thing memorable was the fragrance, which is what you look for in a perfume, not a serum. I guess the disappointment came because of the unreasonably high expectations from such a pretty poster AHAHA. Eventually I finished the bottle by mixing the serum in my body lotion.

Old Empties Post: May 17, 2015

Project Empties

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Rich Oil (150ml) is just a bad cleansing oil, period. The whole point of using a cleansing oil is to be able to spend time to give the face a good massage (using the Caroline Hirons method) with the oil/balm as a lubricant. This oil emulsifies so so quickly that there isn’t time to work the product in at all. It came in a set of 3 when I bought it on Gmarket AmorePacific Store, so I still have 2 more bottles to work through though. I’ve learnt my lesson now! T.T [Update March 28, 2017: Finished up the remaining 2 bottles as sunscreen removers for body, still not impressed, I have not bought anything from the Face Shop since] 

Rosette Scrub (120g) us a dupe for Cure Natural Aqua Gel, and this is not up to the standard, but it is 20% of the price of Cure so I suppose it’s alright. [Update March 28, 2017: I am still using and repurchasing this!]

Kikumasamune Sake Lotion 菊正宗 日本酒の化粧水 (500ml) was lugged all the way from Japan in June this year. It is a really good toner, lasted me a good 6 months, so I should probably have bought a few more. Naris Up Skin Conditioner Pomegranate (500ml) is not used as a toner, but rather a DIY mask in the Chizu Saeki method. Soak 2 pieces of cotton pad with the conditioner and spread it on face like I would a mask. It doesn’t do much except provide a hydration boost, so I will not be purchasing again. [Update March 28, 2017: I am currently using my 3rd bottle of Kikumasamune Sake Lotion!] 

La Roche Posay Redermic R (40g) – is my second retinol product and a great introduction to the ingredient. It is only 5%, and therefore comes with none of the drawbacks of retinol such as skin irritation and flaking. I wish I could repurchase this, but sadly it is so expensive everywhere except Citi Pharma in Saint Germain. [Update March 28, 2017: I lost the photos for the LRP empties, but you can see some photos featured in my super old routine here]

La Roche Posay Redermic C (40g) Nah. Go for cheaper alternatives like OST C20. [Update March 28, 2017: Nah go for Melano CC! ] 

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (30ml / Review) I still don’t know how I feel about this facial oil. The first few months really gives amazing results, the effect declined after a while, but even after a second bottle, I can’t decide if it is worth the money. [Update March 28, 2017: The uncertainty remains! In 2016 I used the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate as well, I still can’t decide for sure it I will repurchase either.]

There’s nothing to be said about Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask (118ml / Review), except it is one product that does not deserve the many rave reviews floating out there in internet.

 

There you have it, my cheat 3 in 1 empties post! As I get older i go through skincare a lot more quickly than I used to (I really don’t wanna see myself aging) so I’d expect to write a lot more empties posts this year~

The Minimalist Pair from HABA

I’m alright a long ingredients list in my skincare, because my skin can handle a pounding: parabens, mineral oils, acids, all of these never really wrecked up my skin. (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑

Occasionally though, I do get curious about the less-is-more philosophy, which Japanese companies like HABA do really well. HABA hails from Hokkaido and they claim that all their products are free of parabens, mineral oils, colorants, fragrances and petrochemicals.  (Totally unrelated, but next on my try-list is another Japanese brand FANCL, which claims all their products are 100% preservative free).

haba-skincare-02-s

HABA White Lady (¥3,888 for 30ml)

Ingredients List: Water, sasa kurilensis water, glycerin, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, pentylene glycol, polyquaternium-51, sodium hyaluronate, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, citric acid

HABA White Lady contains sasa kurilensis water, a bamboo extract which stands-in for traditional preservatives, and vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most well known and extensively researched topical antioxidants. Continuous use has been shown to improve signs of aging and brighten skin tone.

The form of vitamin C used in White Lady is sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP), which is less common (and less extensively researched) than the standard ascorbic acid, but is stable and water-soluble nonetheless. Like the magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), it is gentler and milder than ascorbic acid, and concentrations of 1% to 5% is shown to be effective. In comparison, vitamin C serums that uses the ascorbic acid variety generally contains 15% to 20% (examples being OST Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum and Paula’s Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster).

Prior to HABA White Lady, I have only used one other vitamin C serum–OST C20 Serum. From the very first use I can confidently say that White Lady is my preferred serum for everyday use. White Lady is unbelievably gentle. I give amount 4 pumps of White Lady and pat only my skin every night. It goes on the face with a texture of toner, and sinks into the skin very quickly. C20 Serum on the other hand stings upon first application, and has the very distinct scent of citrus fruits. It absorbs slowly and settles into a film on the skin. I do not dislike the C20 serum nor find the scent offensive, but it does makes my face look and feel sticky and look greasy.

This is where I find HABA a better fit in my skincare routine–it layers so well with all of the other skincare items and I can use it in the daytime under moisturiser and sunblock.

haba-skincare-s

HABA Squalane (¥2,700 for 30ml)

Squalane is a botanical lipid which is naturally occurring on the human skin. However, production of squalane slows as we age. HABA Squalane is 99.99% pure and aims to replenish the naturally occurring compound. I cannot find an ingredient’s list, so I cannot comment on what is the remaining 0.01%.

How to use: The official instructions by HABA is to apply 1 to 2 drops of squalane using moist hands on moist skin, after cleanser and toner, to create a well-balanced film over the skin.

In practice, I use it several ways:

  1. Mix it with with toner on the palm before applying to the skin, really go ALL OUT on the “moist hands and moist skin” by actually mixing squalane with a toner. The HABA G Lotion is an excellent companion.
  2. After moisturiser as an additional layer to seal in the moisture, particularly around the eye and lip area where the skin is most prone with wrinkles.
  3. BEFORE a sheet mask. It does not make sense to apply an oil before a sheet mask–wouldn’t the oil prevent penetration of any hydrating benefits of the sheet mask? But IT REALLY WORKS FOR ME! I don’t know it is weird.

As far as face oils go, the slight drawback is that Squalane absorb much quicker than most the other facial oils that i have used before. It takes some getting used to, as I usually do a quick massage on my face when I apply face oils, but Squalane doesn’t provide as much slip because it sinks so quickly.

Overall, the HABA line is excellent. No overnight magic here. The key is “gentle, nourishing and stable”. These are products that slowly inch their way into a place on your dressing table, and before you know it you’re repurchasing again.

The Materialistic Life: Japan 2015 Haul

(ヾノ•᷅ ༬•᷄ ) The following, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why I will be on a spending ban for the good half of 2016.

Japan Haul (m)

 Skincare

  • Shiseido Revital Moisturizer EX 100ml
  • Kose Medicated Sekkisei Whitening Lotion 200ml
  • HABA G-Lotion 180ml
  • HABA White Lady 30ml
  • HABA Squalane 30ml
  • Chifure Essence 45ml (x4)
  • Shiseido Elixir Superior Facial Effect Massage Cream 93g
  • Shiseido Elixir Massage Estherist Cream 100g
  • Mose Moisture Skin Repair Cream 40g

Japan Oils (m)

Japan Cleansers (m)

Cleansers

  • Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil 230ml (+ 200ml refill)
  • Biore Cleansing Oil 150ml
  • Shiseido Tiss Deep Off Oil 230ml – link
  • Shiseido Perfect Watery Oil 230ml – link
  • ROSETTE Cleansing Paste 120g – link
  • Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover 145ml (x2)

Makeup

  • Creer Beaute La Rose de Versailles Oscar Impact – link
  • Heroine Make Impact Liquid Eyeliner Black
  • Heroine Make Impact Liquid Eyeliner Super Waterproof Black – link
  • Kate Lasting Eyebrow W BR-3
  • BROWLASH EX Eyebrow Pencil And Liquid
  • Kanebo Media Brow DB (x2)
  • Cezanne Burashitsuki Eyebrow Deep Brown
  • Seria Eyebrow Pencil
  • Integrate Eyebrow
  • Kanebo Media Brow Powder
  • Esprique Foundation Brush
  • Canmake Cream Cheek

I don’t have the bad habit of hoarding my products, but Japan did get the better of me. EVERYTHING AT HALF THE USUAL PRICE HERE! SO MANY PRODUCTS I’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! GOTTA TRY THIS! AND THAT! AND THAT AS WELL!

Now I will work hard to finish them! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و

(But oh, I’ve already finished some of them… since… the Japan trip was 5 months ago already =.=ll God I’m so tardy. Got to change that)