Favourite Essence, Serum/Treatment & Cream/Moisturiser of 2020

Featured Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Happy 2021!

This is a continuation from the 1st part where I wrote about my favourite cleanser and toner for the year 2020. If you have not read the 1st part, I would suggest you to do so.

Disclaimer: My skin type is combination sensitive. And this post is not sponsored.

A quick question: Do you need facial essence in your skincare?

The answer is not necessarily, depending on your skin needs. If you felt that your skin need a hydration boost or the benefit from the facial essence, you can consider adding an essence into your skincare regime.

Favourite hydrating essence: Primera Miracle Seed Essence

Photo courtesy: Primerabeauty US

Why is this my favourite?

Out of all the essence that I have used, this is the most hydrating yet lightweight facial essence. Whenever I used this, It felt like an instant water boost on my face. The key ingredient used is the lotus seed extract – Rich in amino acids and polyphenols helps increase hydration, and help defend against environmental factors.

Other notable ingredients are the Niacinamide and Glycerin which helped to brighten and hydrate the skin. On top of that, it contains Saccharomyces Ferment known as the fermented yeast that provides anti-ageing properties. But it is listed at the bottom of the ingredients so It might be at a lower concentration.

The pros about purchasing this is that it comes with a complimentary cotton pad of 70 sheets. I would recommend you not to use the cotton pad because it absorbs more essence = wasting more essence. And the cotton fibre sticks on my skin after application which could potentially irritate your skin.

My only concern was that it was hard to use for the first few times as I was struggling to get the essence flowing out to my palm. I am not sure if it’s some air pressure or the hole diameter of the bottle.

This essence retails for USD 58 for 150ml.

Ease of application:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Value for money:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin type:

YES|NO

Animal Cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does it contain harsh chemical?

Free from: Parabens, Mineral oil, Animal-derived ingredients, Synthetic colorants, Artificial fragrances, Imidazolidinyl urea, TEA


Favourite affordable essence similar to SK-II facial treatment essence:

  1. Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence RX (4th Gen)
  2. Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Rose Edition

Why are these my favourite?

Missha has been my my favourite essence since 2019 and it still my favourite for 2020. I like the fact that this essence does not contain any pungent smell derived from the fermented yeast like the SK-II facial treatment essence.

Furthermore, it uses their Pro Ferment α™ technology that transforms the double fermentation content to phosphatide making it easier for the skin to absorb.

This 4th generation essence is a simple formulated essence containing 95% cica enzyme ferment extracts alongside pearl reef extracts and rice extracts. It helps to increase the hydration of the skin and moisture retention as well as smooth out fine lines/wrinkles for a youthful appearance.

I have been using this for almost 2 years and it has become a staple product in my skincare routine. I always felt that applying essence before your serums/ampoules or treatments make it absorb better to your skin. This essence retails for USD 31.20 (discounted) for 150 ml.

I decided to try this essence because some say that this is better than the Missha essence. I have been using this for the past 2 months. I would say that it deliver a similar result to Missha essence. I think it boiled down to personal’s preferences and the budget.

The unique thing about this essence is it contains Rosa Centifolia Flower Water that helps tighten pores and brighten your skin complexion. It also comprises of antiseptic properties that fight acne and reduce redness on the skin.

I like it whenever I applied on my face, it soothes and hydrates my skin immediately which gives a short “cooling” effect to calm my skin. Over time, it does brighten my skin and maintains the hydration. I prefer this over the original secret key treatment essence because it is simple formulated compared to the original consisting of less than 15 ingredients.

This essence retails USD 16.84 (discounted) for 150 ml.

Ease of application:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Value for money:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin type:

YES|NO

Animal Cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does the product contain harsh ingredients?

Missha: free from parabens, artificial fragrance, artificial colouring, mineral oil, alcohol, sulfate.

Secret Key: free from parabens, animal oil, artificial fragrance, artificial colouring, mineral oil, alcohol, sulfate.


Favourite hyaluronic acid treatment: THE LAB by blanc doux Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Ampoule.

Photo courtesy: THE LAB by blanc doux

Why is this my favourite?

Before I even mentioned the reason why I like this ampoule. I would like to state the difference between a serum and an ampoule to avoid any confusion.

The difference between a serum and ampoule:

Photo courtesy: Rovectin

According to the photo above, the first column represents the texture, second column represents the function and the last column represent the usage.

I liked this ampoule because it is a lightweight formula that can be used daily. Also, it does not break me out and super hydrating on the skin. What’s so special is that it contain 10,000ppm low molecular mass hyaluronic acid that able to penetrate to your skin deeper.

Besides, it consist of white snow tea leaf extract and cauliflower mushroom extract for a natural fermented polysaccharids formula that aid the growth of the natural moisture factors filaggrin and ceramides. Most importantly, it is fragrance free and free of colour additives. I usually put this at night 3 times a week and wake up in the next morning to a nice glowy skin.

This ampoule retails for USD 21.70 (discounted) for 30ml.

Ease of application:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Value for money:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin type:

YES|NO

Animal Cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does the product contain harsh ingredients?

Free from: parabens, artificial fragrance, artificial colouring/dyes, essential oil.


Favourite serum: Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief

Photo courtesy: Krave Beauty

Why is this my favourite?

Previously, I often have redness on the face and dry patches around the jaw. Besides, I do have acne scarring hence I was looking for a serum that help to tackles these problem and seriously this works for me. It is also great for those who have damaged skin barrier. Or at least want to maintain a healthy skin barrier.

I apply this 3 times a week but it is appropriate to apply daily. This serum is soothing and does not feel heavy on the skin. The effect is not immediate and it took me about 3 weeks to see the results. Overall, it does brighten my face and my redness was significantly reduced. I do notice that my acne scars were lighten too.

I would like to caution that if you have oily skin, I would recommend to apply 1 pump of the serum. But if your skin is normal to dry skin, 1 to 2 pump is recommended.

This serum retails for USD 28 for 45ml

Ease of application:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Value for money:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin type:

YES|NO

Animal Cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does the product contain harsh ingredients?

All KraveBeauty products are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and formulated without fragrance, essential oil, colorant, and potential allergic sensitizers.


Favourite moisturiser/cream: Krave beauty Oat So Simple Water Cream

Photo courtesy: Krave Beauty

Why is this my favourite?

As you can read from the name, it is a simple formulated cream with less than 10 ingredients. The cream consist of the main ingredient: Avena Sativa (Oat) Meal Extract that is about 80% according to Liah Yoo, the founder of Krave beauty. She mentioned that oat extract help to retain skin moisture and rebuild the skin barrier.

It is a simple cream that soothes and hydrates your skin and it could act as a foundation for layering your active ingredients such as vitamin C, hyaluronic treatment, retinol and many more. Also, the cream is fungal acne safe which is a huge bonus for me.

I have tried many creams and even some expensive creams contain ingredients that could triggered fungal acne. Fungal acne and pimple are two different terms.

Photo courtesy: Zula.sg

Fungal acne is defined as caused by yeast, a fungus, that inflames the hair follicles on your skin and causes pimplelike bumps or red bumps. I used to have it on my forehead and it is relatively itchy that cause me wanting to scratch my forehead. It can also appear on the chest, back, or upper arms. From my experience, it is harder to treat fungal acne compared to regular acne. It takes about 2-3 weeks properly treat it.

I have been using this cream since it was launch back in 2019. Even though I have other cream, I always reach out to this simply because I liked how basic it is and the unique texture that seem like a heavy cream but once applied it is like a thin layer of water on your face. It is perfect for those who lives in a humid and hot country or during summertime.

This cream retails for USD 28 for 80 ml.

Ease of application:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Value for money:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin type:

YES|NO

Animal Cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does the product contain harsh ingredients?

All KraveBeauty products are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and formulated without fragrance, essential oil, colorant, and potential allergic sensitizer.

Unfortunately, I do not have a favourite for the sunscreen category, the sunscreen that I am currently using is decent but not something that I am fond of. So I am hoping to finish the current one and hoping to find a sunscreen that I liked in 2021.

If you are interested in the product mentioned above, feel free to click on the link under their name. Thank you for taking your time to read the post. Stay tuned for more post in 2021!

Cheers,

Favourite Cleanser & Toner of 2020

Featured image: photo courtesy of Eqqualberry

I decided to combine my November and December favourites for the beauty category here because it’s sum up the products I used for this year.

Without further explanation, let’s jump straight into the products:

Disclaimer: My skin type is combination-sensitive.

Favourite Cleanser: First Aid Beauty Face cleanser

Photo courtesy: First Aid Beauty

Why is this my favourite?

First of all, this cleanser is affordable and I don’t think there is a need to splurge on an expensive cleanser because it is a wash-off process that you put on your face no more than 60 seconds. Some may not prefer cream cleanser because it might be either overly drying or stripping leaving your skin feeling tight. But a combination skin like me has benefitted from using this and I love that my skin felt clean but still retaining that hydration after cleansing. Over time, my skin felt smoother and softer. I have recommended this to my friends which they told me that their skin have improved – lesser pimple and oiliness.

This cleanser retails for SGD 34/USD 21 for 142g.

Ease of application:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Value for money:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin types:

YES|NO

Animal cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does it contain Harsh chemical?

Free from the followings: Alcohol, Artificial Colorants, Artificial Fragrance, Lanolin, Mineral Oil, Parabens, Petrolatum, Phthalates, Propylene Glycol, Sulfates, Talc, Formaldehydes, Oxybenzone, Coal Tar, Hydroquinone, Triclocarbon, Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol.


Favourite Toner for combination to oily skin: Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner

Photo courtesy: Isntree

Why is this my favourite?

The toner contains 80% of green tea extract with that being the first ingredient in the list and green tea does have many benefits to the skin such as antioxidants, anti-ageing and reduce redness/flushing. This toner is also alcohol-free and fragrance-free making it gentle and less irritating to the skin. Lastly, the cost of this toner is affordable about SGD 18 for 200ml. I do not think there is a need to splurge on toner as it is the first step after cleansing to give some hydration to the skin and regulate back your skin pH level.

Ease of application*:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*Can use with or without a cotton pad.

Value for money:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin types:

YES|NO (most suitable for combination to oily skin type)

Animal cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does it contain any Harsh chemical?

photo courtesy: Isntree Korea

Favourite refreshing toner for all skin type: Keep cool and soothe bamboo toner

Photo courtesy: Keep Cool Korea

Why is this my favourite?

I live in a place where the weather is hot and humid frequently so a refreshing toner can instantly cool down my skin on sunny days. The toner contains 85% bamboo water with it being in the first ingredient in the list. Bamboo water is more hydrating than regular water and helps to boost natural collagen production. I also liked that it does calm and soothe the redness of my skin. Likewise, I brought it at an affordable price of about SGD 20 for 350ml that lasted for four months. A GOOD DEAL!

Ease of application*:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*Can use with or without a cotton pad

Value for money:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin types:

YES|NO

Animal cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does it contain any harsh chemical?

Free from: Alcohol, Fragrance, Parabens and Essential oil.


Favourite 2 in 1 toner: Laneige cream skin refiner

Photo courtesy: Lameige Korea

Why is this my favourite?

This toner is specially formulated by Laneige Cream Blending Technology™ to dissolve a jar of cream to the skin toner. It contains white tea extract rich in amino acid to soothe and reinforce the skin barrier and return skin to its healthy condition. Plus, white tea consists of a higher number of antioxidants than green tea. This makes me get ready faster, for example, daytime skincare routine I will apply this after cleansing, followed by essence and finally sunscreen. It is also very hydrating for skin during hot weather.

But my only concern is that it’s somewhat sticky after the toner dries. I would recommend applying one layer regardless of your skin type so it might not feel that sticky. The toner is more costly than the ones mentioned above, retails about SGD 38 for 150ml.

Ease of application*:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*Best recommended to use without a cotton pad.

Value for money:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin types:

YES|NO

Animal cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does it contain any harsh chemical?

Free from: Alcohol, Fragrance and Parabens.


Favourite exfoliating toner: Krave Beauty Kale-Lalu-yAHA

Photo courtesy: Krave Beauty

Why is this my favourite?

A quick question: Do you need to exfoliate your skin?

The answer is Yes. Regardless if you have wonderful skincare products and you do not exfoliate your skin, you need to re-evaluate your skincare regime! Proper exfoliation removes the barrier of dead skin cells clogging the skin and uncovers fresh new cells below. This opens the way for moisturising products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which makes them more effective.

I swear this is the only AHA toner that worked for me. It is gentle enough yet not overly drying to my skin. I could see result (lesser breakout, glowy skin) after using it for 3 weeks. It contains 5.25% glycolic acid and formulated with a pH of 3.5-4.0. Glycolic acid is commonly used to formulate AHAs toner.

Kale-lalu-yAHA contains vitamin-rich leafy greens like kale, spinach, and parsley that is load with antioxidants to give your skin an energy boost. In addition, it consist of aloe water, hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to replenish, hydrate and soothe skin.

Initially, when I first started using, I would experience a slight tingling sensation that I thought my skin is “burning”. This is a common experience for those who first started using chemical exfoliant as our skin is new to the ingredient. Although AHAs are often marketed as safe for all skin types, you might want to be cautious if you have extremely dry and sensitive skin. I strongly recommend using once per week then slowly building it up to twice per week.

Please be warned not to use it on open wounds, the toner might sting the hell out of your skin and possibly making it worst.

The toner retails for USD 25 for 200ml.

Ease of application:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You do require a cotton pad to swipe it over your entire face.

Value for money:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin types:

YES|NO (sensitive skin user should use with caution)

Animal Cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does it contain any harsh chemical?

All KraveBeauty products are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and formulated without fragrance, essential oil, colorant, and potential allergic sensitizers.


Favourite non-AHA/BHA/PHA exofilating toner: EQQUALBERRY Daily Peeling Swimming Pool Toner

Photo courtesy: EQQUALBERRY Korea

Why is this my favourite?

As much I loved Krave beauty toner, I was on a hunt for an exfoliating toner that does not create any tingling sensation when applied on the skin and this is the one. It does not only exfoliate your skin but also moisturise it at the same time. Surprisedly, this toner does not contain any alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) or Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHA) but rather contains KERASOLAZE(H) to exfoliate the skin.

It was known as a protein solution separated from the hatching liquid within 24 hours after rainbow trout’s eggs hatch. There should be low irritation to the typical exfoliating component BHA and 24-hour protein decomposition in some tests, which is suitable for daily peeling.

Eqqualberry toner contain 5 BERRY COMPLEX which origined from 5 types of berries to provide moisture and ZEMEA® – a moisturiser using plant-oil extract that derived from corn (GMO-free) as a base.

Since it’s a gentle exfoliating toner, I used it for twice or thrice a week and it did not cause any redness or breakout for me. My skin felt more moisturised and glowy after application in comparison to the Krave beauty’s toner. I introduced this to my boyfriend for his eczema-prone skin which he is impressed. I purchased this toner for SGD 23 (discounted priced) for 300ml which is totally worthy.

Ease of application:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You require to use a cotton pad to swipe it over your entire face.

Value for money:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Compatibility to all skin type:

YES|NO (Most suitable for normal to dry skin including sensitive skin)

Animal Cruelty free:

YES|NO

Does it contain any harsh chemical?

All ingredient is EWG tested & verified – the toner is free of harmful ingredients and heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury.


Okay these are 5 favourite toner for the year 2020! If you are interested any of the products mentioned above, feel free to click on the links under their name. Stay tuned for the second part of the favourite essence, serum and toner for 2020!

Cheers,

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.

Click on page 2 for more favourites.

April Favourites 2020

Hello! It’s time the month of favourites. Phew! March ended just like this. Most of the time, I was staying at home except if I am doing the grocery run. I feel that this self-quarantine does not sound as bad as it seems. Sometimes, it can be a perfect time for you to slow things down if you always have been busy coping with your work.

It’s a time for you to slowly unwind and notice the surroundings or do something that you like to do. Have you ever sat down in your rooms, look outside the windows and appreciate the outside scenery – the cloudy sky, the trees and the sudden breeze that blows through your window?

If you are new to this segment, I’ll be sharing about 2 or 3 favourites that I have used for the month of April. It can be anything from beauty, makeup, book, music or app.

(*) = affiliated link.

Favourite beauty of the month: DR.G RED Blemish Clear Soothing Cream

Photo credit: dr-g.co.kr

This cream was one of the best sellers in Korea in the year 2019. This retail for 36,000 KRW which is roughly about 40 SGD for 70ml. The price is considered affordable. Unfortunately, there is no physical shop in Singapore so I got it online. And I have a question: “Is this cream worth the hype?”

A brief background information about the brand DR.G.

DR.G was founded by dermatologist Dr. Ahn Geon-young of Gowoonsesang Cosmetics*, one of the world’s largest skincare medical group and the number one skin clinic in Korea. Gowoonsesang means ‘Beautiful World’ in Korean. According to their webpage, My Skin Mentor DR.G was launched in 2003 with a philosophy: “Dr. G guarantees a healthy and beautiful skin by continuously developing safe and effective products that are suggesting solutions for various problems based on genuine sympathy and consideration for those with skin problems.”

For more information you can read up his interview here* or visit the DR.G official website (Korea)*

When it comes to cream/moisturiser, I am very particular due to my past experiences of using the cream/moisturiser that causes me to breakout or have fungal acne aka tiny little bumps on the face after some time. I have tried numerous creams from drugstore to expensive cream such as the TATCHA Silk cream. I never really mentioned my experience with using TATCHA Creams so I am going to briefly share it below. You may choose to skip the next 5 paragraphs on the TATCHA experiences.

About 4 years back, I brought the TATCHA silk cream* (120 USD for 50ml), the name indeed sounds luxurious but it was not worth the splurge. The silk cream is a rich gel-cream that is suitable for normal to dry skin. Back then, my skin was relatively combination-dry. After using for two weeks, I started to have fungal acne on my forehead which I did not have previously. And every alternate day, I woke to a new pimple on my face. It made me question whether was it the silk cream that I recently used.

I’ll be frank with you, the silk cream felt “heavy” on my skin and I find that it was not suitable for places experiencing humid weather all year-round. But I think it is most suitable for people with dry skin type and in places that experience winter. I gave the cream to my mum and she loved it considering that she has a dry skin type plus she loved the smell of the cream (FYI: the cream contain parfum/fragrance).

TATCHA launched the water cream* in 2017, I remember purchasing the cream (68 USD for 50ml) online back in late 2018 as it was marketed out as a lightweight gel-cream that was perfect for combination to oily skin type. Comparing the price, the water cream was more affordable than the silk cream. The experience using the TATCHA water cream was okay but nothing fantastic. It’s a lightweight cream that does its job to keep your skin hydrated leaving a non-sticky feeling. Neither does it cause any breakout nor prevent any pimple from coming out. It did nothing to my redness even though there was a split moment of a cooling sensation.

Overall, this is just an average oil-free cream. The selling point was that it contains GOLD as an ingredient in the water cream which is supposed to be anti-oxidant and perhaps giving you that glowy skin. I highly doubt that that is real gold added to the cream. But why add gold in skincare products? I don’t think that the gold would be absorbed by the skin, it would probably sit right on top of your skin that’s all. There was a news article* about the water cream reviewed by a dermatologist. The water cream lasted me for 4 months and I did not repurchase it.

I am not trying to trash TATCHA and just to let you know I used to loved TATCHA products and I want to be honest about my thoughts on their products. For those who actual loved their cream, you can continue using it. However, there are better affordable cream out there that can give you a similar result. 🙂

Let’s focus on the star product…

I have been using the DR.G soothing cream for 3 weeks which I think is substantial to give my honest thought about it. This cream is suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin. My skin type is combination-sensitive and occasionally I do have pimples.

I used this every night even though it was instructed to use it twice daily. So far, I had a pleasant experience, the cream is a lightweight gel texture and I would wake up with a nice glow on my face that did not look too greasy.

The cream absorbed relatively fast into your skin and it did not leave any sticky feeling aftermath. It also soothes my redness, not instantly, take about 5 minutes after application to see the effect.

What I like about this cream:

The cream is fragrance-free and essential oil-free.

I feel that fragrance and skincare should not come together because they don’t complement each other. I know skincare company add fragrance to mask a certain chemical smell or as a marketing technique to attract the consumer to buy their product because of the aroma fragrance.

Since last year, I have decided to make a change to minimise the fragrance content in my skincare products to as little or no fragrance. There is a good reason why. Your skin doesn’t react to a fragrant product from using it for a day, a week or even a month. It’s the prolong exposure that can potentially sensitised your skin and aggravated your skin condition.

You can read more about why you should choose fragrance-free products here: post written by Paula’s choice*

The cream is alcohol-free.

I feel that alcohol can be drying especially toward dry skin and be potentially irritating toward sensitive skin. But not all alcohol is bad for the skin. There are good ones which are classified under fatty alcohol such as Cetearyl, Stearyl, Cetyl and Behenyl alcohol that are not drying or irritating to your skin at all. In fact, they act as emollients which protect your skin and help it to keep moisture in.

The cream contains 5-CICA Complex™ that is specially formulated by DR.G. The 5-CICA Complex™ comprised of 5 skin-soothing ingredients:

  1. Madecassoside – wound healing, skin soothing and anti-oxidant properties
  2. Asiaticoside – wound healing and anti-oxidant properties
  3. Madecassic acid – skin regenerating, wound healing properties
  4. Asiatic acid – moisturising and wound healing properties
  5. Centella extract (aka Tiger grass) – anti-inflammatory properties

However, the cream is not silicone-free which is not necessary a bad thing.

When it comes to silicone, people might automatically assume that it is bad because it can clogged pores. However, this is not true. Silicone is both hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic and not known to sensitise the skin.

Silicone will not penetrate into the skin but it forms a breathable barrier on top of your skin providing beneficial properties such as conditioning properties, emolliency, and ability to prevent moisture loss. Furthermore, they can make the skin appear smoother and more radiant due to their light-reflective properties.

The main takeaway for me about this cream is beside it give my face a hydration boost but also did a good job in controlling any breakout. What I meant was a lesser breakout especially my hormonal breakout that it’s something I cannot control. For my existing pimple, it does help to reduce the flare-up of the pimple.

Back to my question whether is this cream worth the hype? Yes! It is worth the buy especially if you are sensitive – acne-prone skin and you wanted a gentle moisturising cream. This might be the one for you. So if you are interested, feel free to check it out online!

My rating for this product:

Rating: 4 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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