Category Archives: Skincare

Seborrheic Eczema and a general health/wellbeing post

A very belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Again, thank you for those who are still reading and following this half-defunct blog.

As promised, I will be posting reviews of some of the more natural alternatives to skincare that I’ve mentioned previously soon.

Following on from my previous post on the MooGoo MSM Soothing Cream & Eczema, today’s post will continue on the topic of eczema. It is a lengthy post, so if you are not interested or this doesn’t relate to your skin problems, you are very free to tune out… right now.

I have mentioned previously that I suffer from eczema. From childhood, I suffered from contact dermatitis on my hands when I handle raw meat and seafood. It wasn’t until I moved to Australia that I was correctly diagnosed with this skin disease. The eczema on my face (see the MooGoo post linked above) started in 2010 and has recurred regularly ever since. However, this year I have noticed that my face eczema, which usually only comes up when I’m stressed, has been coming up regularly without any logical reason or stress triggers. On top of that, I started to have DAILY rashes on my arms and torso. I thought this was due to the dry winter climate. The only relief was found in anti-histamine tablets which I had to take every single night. This started in June 2013 and I have not stopped taking the tablets ever since!!!

I initially thought it was food allergies, which was strange as I have never had any food intolerances in my 25 years of life. I tried cutting out groups of food to no special effect. The rash on my face – nose and cheeks, became much worse and was almost a daily hindrance. I did realise that the problem was inside – my health. Now, I’m not a health freak, but I think I’m not too shabby with my general health and fitness. I don’t eat much junk, I try to exercise, I rest well and generally don’t stress that much.

After reading around, I found out that the rash on my face is actually Seborrheic Dermatitis. After reading around more, I found out that although the real triggers to this condition are still vague, it is generally caused by an overabundance of fungus (yes, it sounds disgusting). I won’t take up space by explaining what other people can explain so much better, just google it. I also realised that my rashes may be caused by a weakened immune system and a leaky gut. Basically my guts are sick – which leads to an over-investment of bad bacteria, and not good bacteria which we want.

The steps that I have taken to get rid of the SD on my face, and hopefully the rashes all over my body is as follows:

1. Take supplements which encourage the growth of good bacteria and the strengthening of my immune system. I am currently taking: Evening Primrose oil, zinc, folic acid, Yakult (once daily), and a supplement tablet which contains similar good bacteria.

2. When my SD flares up, wipe it with organic Apple Cider Vinegar ‘with the mother’. ‘With the mother’ means that the vinegar has not been filtered and still contains the cloudy white concentrate that occurs naturally. Then, apply Zinc Oxide cream on the affected areas. I’m still using the MooGoo MSM cream as an overall moisturiser.

3. Healthier diet and lifestyle.

My SD has gone without a trace since I started the supplements and skincare routine as described above for the last month. I failed no. 3. Christmas and NYE. Enough said.

So now hopefully the arm and torso rashes will go away as I slowly build my army of good bacteria up again. Of course I know that I have a chance of being wrong. But on the other hand, if I am wrong, only good things will come from leading a healthier lifestyle and taking these preventative measures.

On a side note, I might have to change my name! I was sort of obsessed with whitening/clarifying a few years back, but since I discovered that I look 10x better with a healthy colour on my face, I haven’t really been using any whitening products. Due to skin/health problems I’m trying to go as minimal as possible when it comes to skincare and what goes in my body. On the top of my list are various oils that I’ve been using.

I will hopefully post again soon!

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Updates

Can’t think of a more boring title, eh?

Well, let me start by applauding those who still loyally read this blog, considering we haven’t posted in eons (*I* haven’t)!

Apologies for those who have asked me questions in the comments section, or those who posted comments at all, as I haven’t even reviewed them!

Won’t keep you with boring chatter. Nothing major happened, just got lazy and had a full time job. I’m now back to studying which means… more procrastination time!

Regarding skincare, I am not so focused on whitening anymore. I still have the odd whitening serum or two, but I use it in conjunction with non-specialized skincare.

At the moment, I am using a range of products depending on the state of the seborrheic dermatitis on my face (refer to MooGoo MSM cream review). I’m currently pretty smitten with OILS! Yes, oils… currently I’m using jojoba and tamanu oil alternately for my face and coconut oil/various body oils on my body. So hopefully a review of those will be coming up.

Stay tuned and perhaps… perhaps I will update soon!

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Hada Labo Gokujyun Ultimate Moisturizing Cream | Review

Hada Labo Gokujyun Ultimate Moisturizing Cream – Score: 3/5

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Hada Labo Gokujyun Cream

Pros: good consistency, no fragrance, does not clog pores, moisturizing, cheap.

Cons: can be a bit too heavy during warmer months.

Price: unfortunately I can’t find this in Sasa. But you can find this quite easily in Asian country pharmacies.

Buy again: no.

Basic moisturizer which can be handy in the colder winter months. It’s quite moisturizing and it did leave a sheen on my face, however the following morning it was absorbed into my skin.

Nothing special to write about, it’s a decent basic moisturizer to choose if you don’t want to put any unnecessary ingredients on your skin and you don’t have a specific target (brightening, anti-aging). The price is a good starting point.

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Mustika Ratu – Peeling Mundisari | Review

Allow me introduce all the non-Indonesian readers to Mustika Ratu, an Indo brand that proudly embodies the tradition of Javanese heritage and incorporates its centuries old knowledge into their body, health and beauty products.  I sound like their PR spokesperson.. Y’all should send us heaps of Taman Sari products =)

They have several product lines out on the market (Taman Sari is more geared towards spa-like treatments –that’s their upmarket line), and the Mustika Ratu Peeling Mundisari falls in the generic category. Now this is the pre-packed version, which I reckon doesn’t sell as well as their very popular powder variants (which I will discuss in a later entry. promise!)

Bought this since I had to travel, and the prospect of mixing a powdered mask with rosewater in a bowl was unsettling in a foreign setting hence me buying this tube. There’s another variant out, the Bengkoang Mask which allegedly aids in skin brightening.

Here’s the English blurb at the back of the packaging:

Made from natural plant’s ingredients and original rice flour. Help to exfoliate dead skin cells and accelerates skin rejuvenation process. Leaving your skin clear and fresh. For best result use before masking. Apply gently onto face. Avoid eyes and to be used twice a week.

Speaking of packaging.. I’ve noticed they’ve been revamping the sachets for the powdered masks. I wonder why this stays the same.

I find the product name very ambiguous actually. Normally I associate ‘peeling’ with a mask that you have to let sit for a while. But this product really is a scrub. So they should’ve used that word instead of ‘peeling’. This isn’t one of those evil abrasive scrubs (well at least not to my skin it’s not..), the scrub particles are really fine.. but sharp-ish, yet non-offending to skin.

scrub beads? what scrub beads??!

Pro
– affordable & easily available in supermarkets, drugstores.
– doesn’t dry out or makes skin feel tight.
–  it does what a scrub is supposed to do. what more is required, really?

Cons
– no ingredients list! I actually find this important and it’s because I trust this brand that I’m willing to overlook this matter, otherwise I wouldn’t even consider buying it.
– has a bit of a funky smell to it. i expected something more herbal, similar to the powder variant. But this is more clinical smelling. to others perhaps this is a plus.
– the scrubbing particles are tiiny. make sure to wash it ALL off prior to opening them, otherwise it’s guaranteed to travel into your eyes.

Price: around the Rp 25.ooo,- mark. about US$3.

Buy again: I probably will, it’s practical enough.

Nature Republic Snail Therapy

All I can say is: I succumbed to the snail trend. Very quick and messy post just for the sake of updating!

I had the priviledge to visit the infamous cosmetic shops of Korea – including the tourist-hungry shopping strips on Myeong-Dong earlier this year.

One of the things that I was looking forward to see for myself was the snail products galore… and see them I did! They were everywhere! I was even confused on which one to buy.

My pick was Nature Republic’s Snail Therapy. I figured I’d buy the set as it was more economic. My friend took the cream away and I snatched the eye cream and ampoule.

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credit: hope-inablog.com

Pros: Makes skin smooth, moisturising

Cons: Hard to get, can congest skin.

Price: Unfortunately I have forgotten… around $80 per box straight from the Nature Republic shop. I’m not sure about online.

Buy again: No, try another brand perhaps.

The texture IS like snail slime (not that I have ever put snail slime on my face) – slimy, sticky, slippery. This one smells a bit artificial. I initially put 3-4 drops on my face but reduced it to about 2-3 as it was too much. A little goes a long way. The feeling after it settles down is a bit peculiar – like a layer of film on top of your skin. However, I love the effect it has on my skin the next morning. My face feels smooth and moisturised (sometimes a little overly moisturised/oily). A word of warning for the oilier-skinned people though; don’t overdo it or your skin will get congested. I alternate this with my other night creams/serums as it’s quite heavy. I think it’s more suited to dry and mature skin.

Can’t say much about the eye cream. Unfortunately the texture is not as fascinating as the ampoule, it’s just a normal light creamy texture. Goes on smoothly and smells the same as the ampoule. Also can’t say much about the effect as I don’t have any wrinkles/lines around the eye area yet. Only using this for the extra moisture and as a preventative measure.

Kose Suncut Essence In UV Protect Milk SPF 50+ PA+++ | Review

Kose Suncut Essence In UV Protect Milk SPF 50+ PA+++ – Score: 3/5

omi solanoveil kose suncut

(right item)

Description from Sasa:

Kose SUNCUT® Essence In UV Protect Milk SPF50 PA+++ Waterproof is ideal as a daily sunscreen. It is also a potent protection against severe UV rays while undergoing outdoor or water activites.
It resists sweat, water and sebum to deliver ongoing UV protection. Its efficacy is approved by FDA.
Thanks to its watery texture, it does not leave any white residue but leaves refreshing sensation. 10 botanical extracts hydrate skin and prevent dryness caused by sun exposure.

Ingredients: cosdna website.


Pros: high spf factor, matt finish, runny consistency.

Cons: too runny, feels oily, feels heavy on skin, powdery.

Price: US$6.30 for 30 ml (sasa).

Buy again: no.

This sunscreen used to be my all-time favorite. Used to are the keywords here! This product has always been a bestseller and is often sold out, so you’re lucky if you get to purchase a bottle or two. I went berserk and bought 3 (and another 2 for hyaluronic kitteh) – which is why it’s always probably sold out as other people might be doing the same thing!

However, after not using it for so long, it sadly disappointed me. First of all the texture is too runny and it made a mess whenever I apply it. Then it leaves an oily cast on my skin for the rest of the day… It’s hard to explain, but basically it feels like you’re wearing one of those white old school banana boat sunscreens. It also feels really powdery in the wrong way.

Do give it a try as this product is a lot of people’s favorite sunscreens. Meanwhile I’ll finish my 3 bottles and would most likely not repurchase in the future.

O’slee White Medi Perfect Whitening Serum | Review

O’slee White Medi Perfect Whitening Serum – Score: 5/5

oslee white medi perfect serum

Description from oslee.com:

PERFECT WHITENING SERUM 
Patent ingredient-SYMWHITE ® 377
Reduce Melanin in 24 hours

Before Use
: Skin is swarthy with dark spots.
After 28 Days
: Brightening skin and make spots invisible.

Non-stop Restrain Melanin Buildup. 
Long-lasting whitening effects. 
The latest world best whitening ingredient –SYMWHITE ® 377, comes from botanic plant extracts, is one of the most effective Tyrosinase Inhibitor, performs a powerful whitening effect with low Irritant reaction. Strongly retrain melanin buildup; its whitening effect is 20 times more than Kojic Acid. The test proves that it can 100% reduce Melanin in 24 hours.

Other Benefits:

Potent anti-oxidation , enhance whitening effect
Natural Papaya Enzyme , instant brightening and even skin tone
Sympeptide TM 222, anti-aging and firming skin
Hyaluronic acid, intensive hydrating

Ingredients:

  • 【SYMWHITE ® 377】inhibits Tyrosinase, thus restraining melanin buildup.
  • 【Tranexamic Acid】reduces the appearance of flecks.
  • 【Natural Papaya Enzyme】removes dead skin cells, instantly brightening and evening out skin tone.
  • 【Sympeptide™ 222】gives anti-aging and firming effect.
  • 【Hyaluronic Acid】intensively hydrates.
Full ingredient list:
Deionized Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mulberry, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, European Hop Flower, Cetyl Alcohol, Waltheria Indica Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Isopropyl Myristate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Extract), Azone, Papain (Papaya Enzyme), Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E, Tranexamic Acid,  L-Superoxide Dismutase, Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Allantoin, Methyl Paraben, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, A-Bisabolol, Propyl Paraben, Hyaluronic Acid, Rose Water, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Ethydiglycol, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Oligopeptide. (credit: allaboutskinlightening.net)

 

I thought it would be worthwhile dissecting this serum in detail, so my apologies as this review is not going to be in the usual format.

 

Below are the whitening/lightening ingredients that I have identified:
-Mulberry extract – reduces melanin synthesis by inhibiting the Tyrosinase enzyme.
-Waltheria Indica – reduces melanin synthesis by inhibiting the Tyrosinase enzyme, anti-oxidant.
-Licorice extract – contains Glabridin, which reduces melanin synthesis by inhibiting the Tyrosinase enzyme, anti-inflammatory.
-Papaya enzyme – contains Papaine, an enzyme which promotes skin exfolation/turnover. It is not a whitening ingredient.
-Ascorbic acid – inhibits melanin production.
-Tranexamic acidacts on the chronic mild inflammatory condition at the sites of spots, to suppress melanocyte activation (from Shiseido’s website).
-Oligopeptide – inhibits tyrosinase but also halts melanosome transfer well as melanin synthesis.
(Credits to allaboutskinlightening.net, an excellent, well-researched website for reviews and ingredient information).

 

If you have a look at O’slee’s website, they have a freaky video wherein a liberal dose of the serum turned an iodine-stained water from brown/red to white within seconds with some vigorous stirring! Quite alarming… to be honest I don’t believe the video (IMO they must have used a very strong version or altered some condition or the other), as only very harsh bleaching products could do that; and if it is true then I would be as white as a sheet of paper now after using it for some weeks.

 

I decided to purchase this as this brand is quite established in asia and after reading up on the background and ingredients I thought it would be safe to try.

 

At first impression, the packaging and the bottle are very nice compared to other asian brand products of the same price range. They are well-made and not plasticky. The bottle itself is made of ceramic/glass and is quite heavy.

 

The serum itself is not white and runny as in the freaky video mentioned above, but rather yellowish and thick. The fragrance is quite strong and smells of roses… and something rather synthetic. I don’t mind it but it might be too much for some people. I hope mine is not a bad batch!

 

The texture is sticky and oily. Unfortunately it doesn’t spread easily over the skin, so I need at least 3 pumps to cover my face and neck. It also feels quite heavy on the skin, to the detriment of those who like lightweight serums. However, like most serums, it sinks into the skin and my face feels fine the morning after (not overly greasy). I am not using a moisturizer on top of the serum because it would be way too greasy. So now my nighttime regime is wash>b.liv serum>lotion>this serum.

 

oslee white medi serum

 

Whitening effect… hmm, maybe it’s due to the other products in my skincare regime which has been updated, but I do believe that this has helped a little bit in terms of lightening. I started using this in mid-September and I have noticed my face getting slightly lighter. One proof of this is the increased contrast between my cheeks and my dark circles.. haha.. unless my dark circles suddenly grew a shade darker!

 

I was alternating this with the isQueen night cream before, but I would like to see the concentrated result so I will be using this exclusively. Let’s see how it fares in the next 2-3 months.