Empties: Jul to Oct

Featured image: Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

Hello. Apologies for the short hiatus… I am finally back! I am aware that I have not been posting the monthly favourite since July but this post shall compensate for the beauty category

Today’s post will be product that I have started using from July and finished at the end of October.

Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not sponsored or so.

Photo from the left to right:

Keep Cool and Soothe Toner. Brand: KEEP COOL | Time Revolution Artemisa Treatment Essence. Brand: Missha | Time Revolution the First Treatment Essence Rx. Brand: Missha | Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Calming Cream. Brand: THE LAB by blanc doux

How will I mention about the products?

I would do it in a Q&A format where I would answer the typical questions that people want to know about the product.

Before I begin, I would like state that my skin type is combination-sensitive skin.

Question and Answer

Product name: Keep Cool and Soothe Toner.

Photo credit: ALTHEA

Q: What is my first impression of the product?

Me: The bottle structure is like how a typical toner bottle would look like and the design is simple and minimalist. The toner dispense easily to my cotton pad. Overall, it was a good impression.

Q: What do I like about this toner?

A short background info about the product: Keep Cool prides itself to use natural derived, cruelty free ingredients. And they do not use synthetic fragrances, essential oils and drying alcohol.

The toner is formulated with 85% Bamboo water. So what make bamboo water special than regular water?

Bamboo water provides deep hydration to the skin and it is rich in silica content that gives your skin a radiant glow. Also, it helps to boost natural collagen production that might result in youthful and firmer skin. It is a powerful antioxidant that keeps your skin safe from damaging free radicals.

Other notable ingredient include is the Phyto Green Shower Complex that include 4 types of phytoncide-activating ingredients (bamboo, cyprus, pine, and thuja) that help to calm and soothe the skin.

3 things that I like about this toner:

  • It calm and soothe the redness on my face.
  • It is hydrating which make me feel like I am splashing cold water on my face.
  • It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly to the skin with no sticky feeling.

Q: What do I not like about this toner?

Me: There is nothing much that I do not like about the toner. But there is one ingredient, citric acid which might be potentially irritating to sensitive skin. But it’s stated at bottom of the list so I would say that concentration is rather low. I did not experience any irritation upon using it so I do not think this is a huge concern.

Q: How has my skin benefitted or not befitted from using this toner?

Yes my skin benefitted from using this toner. In comparison to the cult favourite Isn’t Tree Green Tea toner, this is more hydrating. As for sebum production, I don’t see my face getting oily throughout the day. Overall I think it does a good job keeping my skin balanced (oil to water balance). Also, I tend to have a few breakouts before/during my period and this toner does help to soothe the redness of the acne spots. But it does not prevent acne/pimple.

Q: Would I recommend it to my friend or family members?

Yes definitely would! This moisturising toner is suitable for all skin type and the price point is value for money. Normally the volume of a typical toner is between 150ml to 200ml but this comes in 2 sizes, 160ml and 350ml. I paid $20.00 for 350ml of toner and it lasts me longer for about 4 months as compared to the previous toner that I need to replenish every 2 months. For me, I used it twice a day – daytime and night time after cleansing.

Overall Ratings:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

To find out more about the product: click this link

Product name: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence.

Photo credit: Missha Korea

Q: What is my first impression of the product?

The glass bottle gives a classy and sleek look and the design is simple and easy to understand. I like they blend the bottle cap with the bottle that give an ombre effect (dark to light). Lastly, the essence dispenses easily on my palm so overall it’s a good impression

Q: What do I like about this essence?

This essence contain only 1 active ingredients: 100% Artemisia Annua Extract. Artemisia, also known as mugwort, is a medical plant that is great for its healing and calming properties while strengtening the skin barrier.

Missha Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence is doubled fermented in an urn once at a warm temperature and twice at a cool temperature for 100 days. The Artemisia extract is retrieved using a low temperature high pressure extraction process, the solution is extraceted into a single element of higly active ingredients.

Benefit(s) to the skin:

  • Antibacterial – great for acne-prone skin
  • Anti-inflammatory – help to reduce flushing and redness or skin irritation
  • Antioxidant – help to slow down the ageing process.

3 things I like about this essence:

  1. It’s lightweight and absorb quickly to the skin with no sticky feeling.
  2. The immediate effect of reducing the redness/flushing of my sensitive skin after application.
  3. Help to reduce my pimple/acne outbreak during my monthly cycle.

Q: What do I not like about this essence?

I am not sure if this is just me that experienced this but whenever I put the essence on my face, it somehow would sting my eyes and get it teary. FYI: I do not put the essence on my eye area, usually I would put it on my forehead, T-zone, cheek and chin. And I have tried to put it only at my cheek area but I would still experience the eyes stinging. I guess probably the volatile gas from the Artemisia extract get into my eye and cause mild eye irritation.

This essence does have a herb scent which is rather mild but if you are not a fan of any herb scent that this essence might not suit you. FYI: This essence does not contain any artificial fragrance.

Q: How has my skin benefitted or not befitted from using this essence?

I do see an improvement on my skin. Most importantly my skin redness reduced and oftentimes, my skin has that obvious flush when the weather is too hot and this does not make my skin appear like “tomato”.

My skin is hydrated as usual and a great bonus for me would be that I did not get any Mascne (mask-acne) since I am obliged to wear a mask whenever I step out of my house. And I know that mask acne might be an unavoidable problem as we wear our mask every day to work/school. But this essence helps to prevent my face from getting mascne. But not 100% guarantee that it will help you solve the masne problem.

Q: Would I recommend it to my friend or family members?

I would higly recommend to those with sensitive/irritated/acne-prone skin types because I feel that this essence is targetted toward a specific skin concern. The price point is afforable that retails for 27,300 KRW. I got this for $25 from Shopee Singapore that directly ship from South Korea and lasted me for 2 months as I used it as a quick calming mask too.

Overall Ratings:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

To find out more about the product: click this link

Product name: Time Revolution the First Treatment Essence Rx.

Photo credit: Missha Korea

I have actually reviewed this essence back in 2019 and never regretted my choice of switching to this from the renowned SK-II facial treatment essence.

Q: What is my first impression of the product?

As usual with Missha time revolution, the essence are bottled in a glass bottle that give a sleek and classy look. And the design is kept simple and easy to understand. Lastly, the essence does easily depense onto my palm or cotton pad.

Q: What do I like about this essence?

3 things I like about this essence:

  1. It’s a lightweight and absorb quickly to the skin and leaves no sticky feeling.
  2. It has no smell as compared to a renowned facial treatement essence which contain a pungent smell derived from it’s natural fermentation.
  3. It is really hydrating and also contain anti-ageing properties for the skin.

Missha Time Revolution the First Treatment Essence Rx is the 4th generation of the treatment essence since their first launch back in 2011. This is their latest revamp of the time revolution the First Treatment Essence and what is it different from the previous generation?

This 4th gen essence contain 95% Cica enzyme ferment extract alongside with pearl reef extract and rice extract. The essence is formulated without parabens, artificial fragrances, alcohol and mineral oil. And it uses a double fermentation process that is similar to the Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence.

Q: What do I not like about this essence?

There is nothing much I do not like about this essence. Unlike the Artemisia Treatment Essence, this essence does not cause any eye irritation even if it’s placed near my eye.

Q: How has my skin benefitted or not befitted from using this essence?

I have been using it for almost 2 years and this has been a staple of mine. My skin has been more “clear” than before. My face is hydrated and balanced. I do not think it helps to brighten my skin much but I like the anti-ageing benefit that it provides.

Q: Would I recommend it to my friend or family members?

Yes I would recommend to those who want to include a facial essence into their skincare regime. I think this essence is a good stepping stone for one to purchase plus it is affordable too. I got mine for less than $50 so it is worth a try? The essence is suitable for all skin types of all ages and one bottle can last me for 3 to 4 months.

Overall Ratings:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

To find out more about the product: click this link

Product name: Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Calming+ Cream.

Photo credit: THE LAB by blanc doux

Q: What is my first impression of the product?

The cream comes in a tube form which resembles a toothpaste rather than the conventional glass/plastic jar. It is easy to squeeze the cream out from the tube. The cream has a texture like a soft balm that glides easily on your face. Overall, I has a good first impression.

Q: What do I like about this cream?

3 things I like about this cream:

  1. It contains hyaluronic acid which is an excellent hydrator to the skin.
  2. Not only it provide deep hydration but it also calm my face too.
  3. It is a light cream that does not feel heavy which is suitable to use in a humid country and it does not contain artificial fragrance too.

Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Calming+ Cream by THE LAB by blanc doux is a moisturizing cream with hyaluronic acid that deeply hydrates your skin. 

According to a study, hyaluronic acid (HA) or hyaluronan is a crucial molecule involved in skin moisture, a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) with a unique capacity to bind and retain water molecules. It belongs to the extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules and the predominant component of the skin ECM is HA. HA is most abundant in the human skin, accounting for 50% of the total body HA. And skin ageing is associated with loss of skin moisture.  To prevent skin ageing, hyaluronic acid is introduced to retain moisture to the skin and reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles to create a more youthful look. Read more: here

Photo credit: THE LAB by blanc doux

You might have notice the word: “DERMA-CLEARA” highlighted in blue and wondering what does it mean?

Photo credit: THE LAB by blanc doux

Q: What do I not like about this cream?

There is nothing I do not like about this moisturing cream. And I did not experience any irritation using this cream.

But based solely on the ingredients, it does contain a few essential oils which may be potential irritants to the skin. If you know that your skin could be reactive to certain essential oils then this cream would not be suitable for you or use it with caution. It also contains silicone so if you are not a fan of silicone in your skincare product or your skin is reactive to silicone then this product might not be suitable.

Full ingredient list: Purified Water, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Tryglycerides, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Sorbitan Olivate, Vincetoxicum Atratum Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate (3010ppm), Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Beta-Glucan, Jojoba Seed Oil, Betaine, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid (5ppm), Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate(0.5ppm), Isododecane, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Xanthan Gum, Trideceth-10, Candelilla Wax, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethicone.

Q: How has my skin benefitted or not befitted from using this cream?

My skin has become more hydrated. I used this cream during the daytime before applying my sunscreen help to keep my face hydrated for a longer period. I do feel that my face is much softer and radiant. This cream leaves a semi-dewy finish, not those kinds of cream that give you a dewy glow finish which some may find it looking too oily.

Q: Would I recommend it to my friend or family members?

I would recommend to those ppl whose skin need a hydration boost, normal to combination skin including sensitive skin. Perhaps oily skin might find this a little too oily for them. The price point is considered afforable as I got this for $30 for 50ml.

Overall Ratings:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

To find out more about the product: click this link

I have to come to the end of my post. Thank you for taking the time to read my post! And should you be interested in any product mentioned, feel free to look them up! Kindly stay tuned for the november favourites.


Boyfriend reviews his current skincare products

Featured image by Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

Hello. It’s been a while. I have been busy with my university projects hence I did not manage to post a July favourite. But I will combine them with the August favourites.

Today post is different than usual. Normally, before I post any skincare product recommendation, I would use them for 2 weeks or more to give an objective review of the product. The product mentioned in this post will not used by me but my boyfriend instead.

I would like to put out a disclaimer that all the product mentioned are bought by my boyfriend with his own money. None of these are sponsored.

I know there is a controversial of a guy using skincare product dictating them as “girly”, “feminine” or even worst “is he gay?”. I am not trying to offend anyone or the LGBT community. But I had heard people saying this in my previous job. I know in South Korea, men do use as much skincare product as women. So, I don’t think there is anything wrong with men using skincare products. I think it’s beneficial for them to use them to protect their skin for pre-mature ageing.

A short description of my boyfriend skin type/condtion. My boyfriend suffered eczema skin condition since he’s young. Fortunately, majority of his eczema occurred his body, so it hardly breakout on his face. His face type is combination – oily at the T-zone area and somewhat dry around his cheek area.

My boyfriend skincare routine is pretty much the basic that consist of 3 simple steps: Cleanser >> Toner/Essence >> Cream/Moisturiser.

I am aware that he is missing a step for his sunscreen/sunblock for his daytime routine. I tried to persuade him to put but often times, he forget to apply.

Recently, he tried to two new beauty products which are of the following:

Photo credit: Laneige Korea (Laneige.com/kr)
Photo credit: Roundlab Korea (roundlab.co.kr)

Let’s start with the one on the left which is the Laneige Homme Cream Skin Refiner All in one retails for 28,000 Won = 23.49 USD for 150ml. At the moment, this is only sold in South Korea.

Photo credit: Laneige Korea

This is the men version (2020) of their infamous cream skin refiner. If you have not heard of it yet, the cream skin refiner was the talk of the town last year (2019). I had tried the cream skin refiner and it was good and my skin had no reaction or whatsoever.

One of the main ingredient used was the white tea leaf extract which has a higher concentration of antioxidants and amino acids compared to green tea leaf extract. The only thing that I did not like was the sticky feeling after application. So I did not repurchase it, overall it’s not a bad product, it does leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. I highly recommend for those with dry skin and it’s applicable to all skin types.

The difference between the original cream skin refiner and Homme cream skin refiner is the extra ingredients contain in the men version which are ethanol, chamomile extract and mentoxypropanediol.

Ethanol – It is a well-known topical penetration enhancer, which means it can be used to increase the transdermal delivery of certain ingredients into the skin.

Chamomile extract – It is known for its excellent soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mentoxypropanediol – It is a cooling agent that derived from menthol and it is commonly used fragrance or masking agent.

How does this review goes about?

I have sent a list of question to my boyfriend and he will give his objective review about the products. P.S. He has been using these product for more than 3 weeks.

Questions and Answer

Q: What is your first impression of the product?

A: I like the simplicity of the packaging and it looked relatively cool for a guy.

Q: What do you like about the product?

A: First off, it has no smell and it is easy to apply without the use of a cotton pad. It absorbed relatively fast into the skin and it is also a 3 in 1 product.

Before Application.
Photo taken by my boyfriend for illustrative purposes only.
After application.
Photo taken by my boyfriend for illustrative purposes only.

Q: What do you not like about the product? why?

A: The stickiness after application. When you first apply it to your face, it feels like putting a light lotion/cream. As the toner gets absorb within 5 seconds, it will leave a slight stickiness to your face. Furthermore, your hands will be sticky as well, so it will be necessary to wash our hands after applying. Another downside is that it does not provide as much hydration with comparison to other toner.

Q: How has the product benefited or not benefitted your skin after using it for a month?

A: Overall, I feel that this toner has help to control some of my oiliness and kept my skin slightly hydrated. There is less sebum production during the day and slightly lesser pimples produce as well.

Q: How likely would you consider repurchase the product?

A: Not likely|Neutral|More Likely|Most Likely.

Q: Would you recommend this product to your friends or relatives?

A: I will recommend this product to other friends if they are looking for a 3 in 1 facial product and they are not fussy about the stickiness.

Q: Overall rating of the product?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Simple Homemade Korean Dishes

Featured image: Photo by Yeo Khee on Unsplash

Hello. I have been innovating my new dishes lately and adding my own twist to it. I enjoyed cooking and the luxury of having to eat what I cooked make me feel content. I know some may find cooking a hassle because of the effort required from preparation, cooking and risking yourself to oil splatter. But trust me, when you cook your own dishes, it can be much more healthier and nutritious as compared to takeaways or food deliveries. Besides, you know what ingredients you have put in the meal as well as the estimate amount the calories.

The first recipes I am sharing is Mandu Kimchi Jjigae (dumpling Kimchi Stew). This is a relatively popular dish among Koreans and well-loved among foreigners too.

Disclaimer: I am a person that cannot take very spicy food if not my gastritis would be triggered. So there are some ingredients I may have altered to my liking but I would provide options to include them in.

Homemade Mandu Kimchi Jjigae taken by me.

Abbreviation: tbsp = tablespoon, tsp = teaspoon.

My recipe for Mandu Kimchi Jjigae (2 servings)

This recipe is dairy-free.

Preparation time: 5 – 7 minutes

Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes.

Total time: 25 – 37 minutes.

Soup stock:

  • 1/3 cup of dried anchovies
  • 1/2 slice onions

Alternative: ready-made chicken/pork/beef stock

Main Ingredient lists:

  • 1/2 of a regular size zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium size carrot, sliced
  • 150g of kimchi, sliced
  • 8 big handmade mandu (handmade dumplings) Alternative: frozen pre-made mandu

Extra ingredients to add in: (optional)

  • 1 block of firm tofu, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp of gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 cup of kimchi juice

How to make the Jjigae base:

  • 2 tbsp of gochujang (hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp of soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp of sugar (adjust according to your liking)
  • Add in gochujang (hot pepper paste), soya sauce, minced garlic, ground black pepper, sugar and gochugaru (if available) and kimchi juice (if available) into a bowl.
  • Mix them well and done.

Cooking steps:

  • To make the soup stock, put some dried anchovies and sliced onion in a pot filled with 500ml of water. Allow it to boil for 15 minutes. If you are using ready-made stock, you can skip this step and pour the chicken stock in the next step.
  • After 15 minutes, lower the heat remove the anchovies and add in the sliced zucchini, carrot, kimchi and jjigae base into the pot.
  • Bring the stew to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, add in the mandu and let it boil for 5 – 7 minutes depending on the mandu size.
  • Turn off the heat and pour the Mandu Kimchi Jjigae in a bowl and serve! Optional: garnish with spring onions before serving.

Recipes for handmade dumplings:

Preparation time: 20 – 30 minutes.

Ingredient lists:

  • 220g of minced pork (Alternative: chicken/beef)
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp of corn flour
  • 1 packet of gyoza pastry

Extra ingredients to add in: (optional)

  • Spring onions, chopped
  • Korean Chives, chopped

Preparation steps:

  • Add in minced pork, shiitake mushrooms in a mixing bowl.
  • Add in the seasonings: sesame oil, soya sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt fish sauce and egg.
  • Mix the seasoning well with the minced pork and shiitake mushrooms.
  • Add in the corn flour and mix well. Leave it aside.
  • Prepare a tray or a large container where you can store your dumpling.
  • Shift the tray/container with a bit of flour to prevent the dumplings from sticking on the tray/container
  • Put a scoop of minced pork-mushroom in the centre of a piece gyoza pastry and start folding your dumpling. Placed the mandu on the tray once folded.
  • 1 packet of gyoza pastry should make about 25-30 mandu.
  • Keep the unused mandu in a vacuum tight container and freeze them immediately.

There are many ways to fold a dumpling, I pick the most simple one (circle in red).

Image credit: redhousespice.

I’ll provide the link on the various way to fold the dumpling: Ten ways to fold dumplings.

The second recipes I am sharing is the Korean Fried Chicken which is also a popular dishes that loved by local and foreigners.

Homemade Korean Fried Chicken Fillet with rice cake

My recipe for Korean Fried Chicken (2 servings)

This recipe is dairy-free.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes.

Total time: 20 minutes.

Main Ingredient lists:

  • 1 packet of fresh chicken fillets about 7 strips. Alternative: any other chicken part
  • A handful of tteok/rice cake (For frozen rice cake, kindly pre-soak in warm water)
  • 1 tbsp of korean sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 cup of potato starch mixed with rice flour (ratio 3:1)
  • Cooking oil for deep frying (I used canola oil).

Ingredients for Fried Chicken Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp of gochujang (hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp of soya sauce
  • 3 tbsp of tomato ketchup sauce
  • 1 tsp of korean sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tsp of brown sugar (white sugar is also okay)

Recommended ingredient to add in:

1-2 tbsp of honey (this will make the chicken sticky and nice gloss finish). In this case, I did not add honey because one of my family members is allergic to honey.

Cooking steps:

  • In a bowl, put chicken fillet, sesame oil, salt, pepper and grated ginger. Mix them well.
  • Add in a cup of potato starch and rice flour (ratio 3:1) into the bowl and coat the chicken evenly. Alternatively if you do not have potato starch, you can use corn starch.
  • Add cooking oil into a deep fryer/wok/pan. Heat the oil to about 175℃ (350°F). Slowly add the chicken fillet inside the deep fryer.
  • Cook till it’s golden for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the fried chicken and placed them on a kitchen paper or drain them on mesh strainer set in a bowl.
  • Reheat the oil to 175℃ (350°F) and fried the chicken fillet again for about 2-3 min.
  • Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  • Prepare the fried chicken sauce by putting all the ingredients and mix them well.
  • Pour the sauce into the pan and turn on a low heat.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer and add the fried chicken and rice cake.
  • Turn off the heat and coat the fried chicken and rice cake evenly.
  • Plate the fried chicken on a serving bowl and sprinkle some sesame seeds (optional).
  • Serve with rice or eat it alone.

Violà! You are done! 🙂

I hope you find some inspiration in my recipes or you can adjust accordingly to your preference!

A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.

Thomas Keller


June Favourites 2020

Featured image: Photo by Loverna Journey on Unsplash

Hey! We have passed the mid-year and left with relatively five months to mark the end of 2020 and ring the bell for 2021! How has the half-year been for you? I know we are experiencing new changes due to pandemic and I hope that you are positively adapting to new norm such as sanitising your hands often, wearing a mask when you heading outside and keeping a safe distance from one another.

If you are new to this segment, I’ll be sharing about 2 or 3 favourites that I have used for June. It can be anything from beauty, makeup, book, music or app. FYI: The product(s) mentioned is/are not sponsored.

Favourite Beauty of the month: MISSHA Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence (150ml)

This red algae treatment essence retails for 39,000 Korean Won and that is equivalent to about 45 SGD. I think the price point is considered affordable as compared to a renowned facial treatment essence. This was newly launched this year in February but I ordered this in mid-May from an online store (Shopee) and the package arrived in early June which is in time for this month favourites!

If you have been wondering is it necessary to include treatment essence in your skincare routine? I would say it is not essential, but it’s good to have one. Facial Essence is a lightweight liquid formulation that adds a level of hydration. Besides, it contains concentrated active ingredients that target different skin concern such as wrinkles, fine lines, dullness and uneven skin tone.

Red algae have been a rising trend in the skincare industry that it was said to have numerous benefits to the skin. MISSHA utilized their technology and slowly ferments at 36.5℃ for 100 days to increase the anti-oxidant power of the Irish Moss extract (also known as red algae) and then it captures the 100% undiluted solution. It has been about a month since I have used the new red algae treatment essence.

What I like about this Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence:

  1. The essence is suitable for all skin type, especially dull and stressed skin.
    • FYI: My skin type is combination-sensitive and up to this point, I did not experience any skin reactivity after application.
  2. The essence only contains one ingredient which is 100% Chondrus Crispus Extract (scientific name) as stated in the ingredients list.
    • Chondrus Crispus is widely known as red algae which is a type of seaweed that is a rich source of nutrients for the skin. It’s highly rich in phenols and fatty acid that gives remarkable moisturising properties to maintain the skin’s natural protective film, replenish the skin’s natural water reservoir, and increase its moisture-retention capabilities.
    • It contains high potent antioxidants that help fight free radicals making it a powerful anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory. I did notice that it does reduce the redness on my skin.
    • It contains a high concentration level of carrageenan. This form a “protective” film layer on the skin to shield it against environmental stress and damaging air-bone pollutants.
  3. It absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves no sticky/tacky feeling. The viscosity of this essence is a slight gel-like liquid as compared to their best seller of a water-like viscosity.

Based on the photo, you can see that the essence is slightly pale reddish which comes from the red algae. This is 100% naturally pigment with no artificial colouring. It also contains no fragrance.

Honestly, I couldn’t think of any cons to this product because it was a simple ingredient product. So either your skin loves it or your skin hates it.

Overall, I had a pleasant experience using this for more than a month and it definitely moisture my skin. On top of that, my skin seems to be more “brighter” than before which gives a healthy natural glow. I think this could be a good addition to the skincare routine as our face might experience external stress from wearing a face mask which has become mandatory in our daily life. I highly recommend to those whose skin need protection and and has lost its strength barrier.

My rating for this product:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

For more information, you can visit the Missha official website or Missha US website.

Disclaimer: I find this product beneficial to my skin but it may or may not works for everyone. Kindly understand that every individual has different skin type and texture. I recommend that you do some research before purchasing the product or patch test on your skin before usage. This is not a sponsored post too.

Click on page 2 for more favourites.

May Favourites 2020

How’s everyone doing? I hope everyone is doing good and stay safe. Time flew passed quickly and we are midway through the year 2020. If you are new to this segment, I’ll be sharing about 2 or 3 favourites that I have used for May. It can be anything from beauty, makeup, book, music or app.

Favourite beauty of the month: Laneige Fresh Calming Sun Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

This product was freshly released last month, April in Korea but I discovered upon it in late April and decided to purchase it. This is not yet released in my country but I managed to get it online from Shopee (E-commerce store). The sun essence retails for 29,000 KRW for 50 ml which is estimated at about 33 SGD.

Sunscreen is the most crucial step in the skincare routine regardless of how many steps you have in your skincare or even how expensive is your skincare product. If you are not applying sunscreen, you are missing out a big piece in your skincare routine.

But why is it important to apply sunscreen?

Basically, we are living on Earth with the sun shining above us. It is not possible to say no to the Sun whenever we like it so we have to do our best to avoid sun exposure. Exposure to UV rays (sunrays) heightened the process of premature ageing of your skin such as wrinkles, fine lines, age spots.

You might be thinking that “I am still too young to get wrinkles or age spots on my face thus I do not need to apply sunscreen? OR “I spend most of the time indoor so I do not need to apply sunscreen?” The answer is NO! Even if you are like in your 20s, you still have to apply sunscreen to prevent further damage to your skin and UV rays can penetrate through the windows which will speed up the skin’s ageing process.

There are 2 ultraviolet rays from the Sun, UVA and UVB that are harmful to our skin. I’ll not go deep into the explanation of these two ultraviolet rays because this is not a science class. I’ll provide simple illustrations for a better explanation.

Image credit: Sungrubbies (www.sungrubbies.com)
Image credit: Gleneagles (www.gleneagles.com.sg)

Reference to the illustration above, UVA ray is capable to penetrate to the deeper skin tissues layer known as dermis that is responsible for premature skin ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines and hyperpigmentation while UVB penetrates to the top layer of the skin known as epidermis that is responsible for skin redness and sunburn.

There are two types of sunscreen: physical (mineral/inorganic) and chemical (organic) sunscreen. Similarly, I’ll provide illustrations for a better understanding.

Image credit: Babeandbeauty (www.babeandbeauty.com)

Reference to the illustration above, a chemical sunscreen contains organic UV filters that catalyse a chemical reaction when exposed to the sun. It will absorb the sun’s rays and transform them into heat which released into the environment. Whereas physical sunscreen contain inorganic UV filter that acts as a blocking barrier to reflect the sun’s ray from penetrating to the skin.

So which is a better sunscreen? This is a tricky question but it is dependent mainly on individual preference. As for me, I preferred physical sunscreen, not because I dislike chemical sunscreen but I experienced skin reactivity from using it. So far physical sunscreen has not caused any reactivity such as redness and hives on my skin.

Let’s get back to the star product…

I have been using this Laneige sun essence for more than 3 weeks. I have been pleased with this product but neither am I “wow-ed” by this nor am I disappointed at this. I think this is a fairly decent product launched by Laneige.

There has been an ongoing trend in Korea for sunscreen to be more than just giving you protection from the UV rays. But rather a sunscreen with added beneficial (hydration/moisture or even anti-ageing) to the skin. Therefore, you might come across labels such as “sun essence/cream” or “sun cushion”.

Laneige Fresh Calming Sun Essence a physical sunscreen that is suitable for all skin types especially toward troubled skin and sensitive skin. It is mildly formulated with 7 hypoallergenic free ingredients (animal ingredient, mineral oil, polyacrylamide, imidazolidinyl urea, triethanolamine, tar pigment and talc).

The SPF (sun protection factor) for this sun essence is 50+ with PA++++. I feel that it is best to go for a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 50, no more or less than this value because it’s at the optimal which is illustrated below.

Image credit: colorescience (www.colorescience.com)

As you might know that UVA rays are “silent killer” to the skin as the effect doesn’t take place immediately but rather a prolong exposure effect. The PA grading system origin from Japan to inform the consumers of the level of protection from UVA rays. The PA grading system was adapted using the PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening) method that analyses the duration of the skin turning brown/tan. The PPD value is then converted into the PA grading system.

  • If PPD = 2 to 4 = PA+ = Some UVA protection.
  • If PPD = 4 to 8 = PA++ = Moderate UVA protection.
  • If PPD = 8 to 16 = PA+++ = High UVA protection.
  • If PPD = 16 or higher = PA++++ = Extremely High UVA protection.

For example, PPD rating of 8 should allow an individual to handle 8 times as much UVA exposure. But the PPD rating doesn’t give the exact amount of the UVA protection as there is no standardised system to evaluate the PPD scores. Thus, only 5 countries utilise the UVA testing: Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, and Australia. In Japan, PPD results are grouped and simplified into PA measurements.

The drawbacks about PA rating system, not everybody get tan easily. Some people don’t even get tan from being exposed from to the sun. So this might be insignificant and the PA rating does not tell the duration that it can last in a real-world situation.

What I like about this sun essence?

  1. This product is not solely a sunscreen that blocks UV rays from entering into the skin but also provide moisture to the skin as it contains 70% moisture essence derived from natural ingredients such as green tea. It also has a quick “cooling” sensation upon application.
  2. The ease of application for the sun essence. This sun essence has a gel-like texture with a slight peach tint that spread easily around the face. Compared to my previous sunscreen of a tacky texture that took a while to spread evenly on the face.
  3. The product does not leave a white cast and blend well with your skin tone leaving a soft dewy finish. Compared to my past experiences using physical sunscreens, they do leave a white cast that it’s pretty obvious that cause the appearance of a greasy face.

Do take note that this is more of like a tone-up sunscreen (reduce redness and discolouration) that brightens up your skin. And it is not water-proof too!

What I do not like this sun essence?

  1. This product does contains parfum/fragrance which can be potentially sensitized skin. I mentioned previously that even though fragrance makes the product smell nice, it does more harm than good to the skin. So far, the product does not cause any irritation to my skin so I am not mad at it.
  2. After application, my face does feel a slight stickiness but it take a few hours for the stickiness to be gone. Similarly, I am not mad at it because I hardly touch my face.

Overall, I think this product is suitable for people whom prefer a physical sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen and also brighten up your skin to create that soft dewy effect which is suitable to wear it alone or as a make-up base. If you are interested in the product, feel free to look it up! For more information: Laneige

My rating for this product:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I find this product beneficial to my skin but it may or may not works for everyone. Kindly understand that every individual has different skin type and texture. I recommend that you do some research before purchasing the product or patch test on your skin before usage. This is not a sponsored post too.

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