Tag Archives: Kose

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.

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Japanology: Quest for Perfect Skin

Not a Japanophile, but I find the NHK Japanology series hugely entertaining. In particular, this 2016 episode Quest for Perfect Skin caught my attention. In Japan, skincare heavily outsells makeup, haircare and fragrances, with a whooping 46.2% of the Japanese cosmetics market is contributed by skincare. Such an informative episode warrants a mini reflection of the learning lessons.

1. The sun the the (greatest) enemy

Women from the Shimane Prefecture have the best skin in the whole of Japan.  This observation comes from an annual assessment of more than 700,000 women across all prefectures, where skin samples are assessed based on factors such as moisture and texture.

The reason why Shimane Prefecture have been crowned for four consecutive years, is that the region enjoys a cloudy and wet climate, meaning less sun exposure and skin damage from UV rays.

In another instance, Kako Iizuka, a lady with great skin at the age of 56 introduces her sun gear. This includes gloves, hats, huge sunglasses as well as cloths that covers her face and neck. Like this:

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-9-40-57-am

Lesson Learnt: I am at a disadvantage because I live in the tropics and UV is abundant all year round. Daily sunblock is a must even if I am staying indoors. I don’t think I will go as far as wearing a hat and sunglasses daily, people here just don’t do that.

2. Lather your soap

Unlike the Western variety, Japanese foaming cleansers usually work into an ultra-dense foam like beaten-up egg whites. It is thought that a dense foam will reduce the friction during the cleansing and minimize stress to the skin. Japanese ladies spend a full minute to aerate the soap until stiff peaks form before spreading it on their face. Also, more attention is devoted to the nose and forehead, where sebum production is in excess.

Lesson Learnt: I’m still not very keen on using a pile of foam for cleansing, because generally foams are created using SLS or other foaming agents. They can mess with the pH of the cleanser. BUT I must say, the Japanese lathering method is a super luxurious way to clean your face. The dense foam really glides across the skin as you massage your face, and it is a magnificent feeling.

Look at all these foam created with Kose Softymo White Cleansing Wash

Look at all these foam created with Kose Softymo White Cleansing Wash!

3. Ancient remedies do work

In the past, women in Japan used rice brans to exfoliate their skin after their bath. In recent years with the advancements in technology, compounds extracted from rice can help with the skin’s ability retain moisture. These include fermentation products derived from rice, such as sake.

Lesson Learnt: I happen to have Kose Moisture Skin Repair Cream on hand, and its key ingredient is rice. Not surprisingly, the product claims to “improves the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture from within“. I have had difficulty writing a review about it because I could not find a ingredients list in English, nor any research on the efficacy of rice extracts on skin. But heck, I do like it as a moisturizer and now I know why.

kose-moisture-skin-repair-cream-02

Kose Moisture Skin Repair Cream, whose key ingredients include rice extracts.

There are other interesting points in the episode as well, but these are the ones that truly stood out for me. Do you know of any informative shows or podcasts for this skincare junkie?

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)