Category Archives: Routine

Current Skincare Regime – 2015

This skincare regime is working well for me. It’s nothing miraculous or revolutionary. I’m not at the stage where I have to worry too much about lines or spots, so I’m focusing on prevention and avoiding skin mess-ups (e.g. dermatitis and breakouts). Also trying to reduce the amount of chemicals on my skin. I know it’s shocking that I’m using a soap bar to wash my face! However it’s worked out well and it hasn’t dried my skin out.

AM

I’m pretty lazy in the morning. If my skin is particularly dry or peeling, I’ll use an extra moisturiser under the sunscreen. My skin also gets oily pretty quickly so I don’t pile on the products in the morning.

Cleanser – water or Simple Pure Soap
Moisturiser – Skin Aqua UV Mild Milk (buy from Ebay or SASA)
Extra moisturiser if needed – Rosehip Oil

PM

One thing that I also do religiously is using  my serum and night cream on the back of my hands, neck and decolletage, down to my chest and the front of my shoulders. If your serum is too dear, perhaps try buying a separate serum and night cream for your non-face areas.

Pre-cleanse – Oil cleanser (Japanese brand, sorry I peeled the label off!)
Cleanser – Simple Pure Soap or HadaLabo (finishing this one off) with Clarisonic Mia
Serum – Rosehip Oil
Night cream – Puretopia
Eye cream –  Antipodes
Lip balm – Nuxe Reve de Miel

Weekly

Physical scrub – Sukin face scrub
Chemical scrub – Abra Alpha Enzyme Peel

Related reviews of products

Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Mild Milk
Clarisonic Mia

kitteh

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.

 

b.liv Off With Those Heads Serum | Review

b.liv Off With Those Heads Serum – Score: 5/5

Pros: it’s a miracle in a bottle, non-sticky, refreshing feel.

Cons: expensive, not readily available, stinging sensation on sensitive skin.

Price: US$63.20 for 45ml (SASA).

Buy again: YES.

((This is gonna be long… and graphic))

Like the Clarisonic Mia, this was a totally random impulse buy. I was browsing through some beauty blogs when I read about this seemingly too-wonderful-to-be-true serum! After reading through some reviews on the net, I decided to take the plunge despite the semi-expensive price.

I have (had ;) )severe blackheads on my nose and some on my cheeks.  I also have an issue with enlarged pores and congestion… it’s a vicious cycle!.

After using b.liv for 3 weeks, AM & PM (only on the nose in the morning and the whole face at night), my blackheads have pretty much disappeared. They still needed manual extraction but using pore packs/squeezing became MUCH easier.

Unfortunately I don’t really have a clear “before” picture of my strawberry nose. This is the best that I’ve got. Aren’t you thankful I don’t have a HD photo?

Before > After

As you can see I had severe blackheads and spots on my nose. I’ve been battling them since I was about 11/12 years old so this is as bad as it gets.

Now my nose feels smooth to the touch and even though my pores are still huge, they’re EMPTY!! haha. Makeup works much better when I want to conceal my pores. Here are some disgusting close-up pics of how effectively this has worked in combination with physical scrubs and pore packs. Note: I think the more severe blackheads you have the better the results. If you have a speck or two then I don’t think it’s worth it to buy this product.

I can’t thank this serum enough and will buy it again and again and again and stock up for the next 20 years if they plan to discontinue it. The ONLY thing that has worked for me in getting rid of blackheads. No amount of chemical/physical exfoliants, pore packs or masks have been able to get rid of them.

FYI I have tried chemical exfoliants (Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion, Dermalogica Gentle Exfoliant, etc), numerous scrubs (aspirin mask, St. Ives, etc), and regular pore packs (Biore and other Japanese brands). One thing I haven’t tried is Mario Badescu’s Silver Powder.

Might do another post on blackhead battling plan and a review of my absolute favorite pore pack: Kose Softymo Nose Clean Pack.

 


hyaluronic kitteh’s intro + skincare regimen

OHAI hyaluronic kitteh is here!!

a quick self-intro:
Oily/combination skin which is only emphasized seeing I live in the tropics, thankfully I have no acne/eczema/whathaveyou. Generally speaking my skin isn’t too high maintenance. I hate to break the bank just to maintain my face, there are more important things requiring my monies (sadface). I love to discover products that delivers the maximum bang for my proverbial buck. I use Japanese, Korean and Indonesian brands.

My skincare interests lie in brightening products, though I should really be looking into anti-aging as well as I’m leaving my 20s in a couple of years.

Skintone is light medium, a very yellow based NC30, so western base cosmetics rarely suit me since they’re usually not yellow enough.

Right! Now on to my routines:

AM

  • Biore Pure Mild cleansing foam
  • Biokos Vital Nutrition 30s – Nutri Toner
  • Hada Labo Arbutin Shirojyun Whitening Lotion
  • Mentholatum Skinaqua UV Moisture Milk SPF 50+ PA+++ or OMI Solanoveil White SPF 50+ PA+++

Makeup: I don’t use much makeup in weekdays. I’m lucky enough that I can rock up at work in tshirts and shorts, so pairing this up with a fully made face is overkill.

  • The Face Shop Face It Oil Cut Powder Pact in NB23
  • Skinfood Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake #1
  • Burts bees lipbalm Pomegranate

Seriously, that’s all I use for my weekday office face. I have stuff in my makeup pouch that I carry around but that will be elaborated in another post. 

PM

  • Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil or  Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil
  • Caring Colours Martha Tilaar Fair White Cleansing foam or Kracie Naive Pomegranate Deep Cleansing Foam
  • Biokos Vital Nutrition 30s – Nutri Toner
  • Hada Labo Arbutin Shirojyun Whitening Lotion
  • Hada Labo Arbutin Shirojyun Whitening Essence

1-2x Weekly (or whenever I remember, the combination varies)

  • The Face Shop Herb Day Massage Cream – Cucumber
  • Mustika Ratu Tomato Mask
  • Mustika Ratu Bengkoang Roots Mask
  • Mustika Ratu Peeling Mundisari
  • Innisfree Black Head Heating Gel
  • Garnier Pure Self-Heating Sauna Mask
  • Biore/Watsons Pore pack

Aside from skincare products,  expect to also see entries about (Asian) make-up every now & then from me (arbutin kitteh doesn’t know this yet =p).

Clarisonic Mia | Review

 

I’m terribly sick. My head is ringing cos my ears and sinuses are blocked -__-

Well that means more time for making posts!

Continuing on cleansers, I would like to review a lifesaving tool – the Clarisonic Mia.

The Clarisonic range consists of the standard Clarisonic, Mia, a small, travel-size version, and the Clarisonic Plus, which comes with a body brushing option.

For more information please go to the Clarisonic website.

I bought the Mia as I was budget-conscious and after looking at all the features, I concluded that the Mia is essentially the same thing, except smaller and with only one speed setting.

However, if you are diligent enough to brush your body as well and you have the budget, go for the Plus.

I bought mine at skinstore.com for about US$115 or so as it was on sale. Also bought 2 replacement brushes (for normal skin) as well. The standard one costs about US$195 and the Plus US$225. Clarisonic is available in Australia at DJ but I didn’t even bother to look at the price…

 

Clarisonic Mia – Score: 5/5

Pros: cleans really well, prevents break outs.

Cons: can be expensive, have to buy replacement brushes ($20-30) every 3-4 months, not readily available in Australia.

Buy again: Not until it breaks, which I hope is not in another 5 years or so =P

Overall: This was actually quite a quick purchase. I read about it in a beauty blog, researched for 1-2 days and bought it straightaway. I was sold by the rave reviews and the concept seemed good to me…

I use the Mia once a day for one minute (default setting) with a foaming cleanser at night, after using a cleansing oil. I start from the forehead and work my way around my face in a circular motion.

It has made a big difference in the cleanness of my open pores and it has generally prevented breakouts. Well I don’t really “break out” but my problem is more towards congested pores.

My face feels cleaner and much smoother with the Clarisonic. It really does prevent whiteheads and blackheads… although my nose seems to say otherwise!

For an investment of $115 and one minute a day, I can safely say I love the Clarisonic! I have converted one of my girlfriends to the Mia and she swears by it too.

 

ps. …who also thinks that the Mia looks like a Lamprey? Google image search if you want a brain scar…

Very informative first post | Current regime

I’m bad with introductions!

Skincare blog. Sometimes makeup blog, we’ll see… Mostly asian skincare brands.

Run by two delirious people: arbutin kitteh and hyaluronic kitteh (you can read our separate posts by clicking on the author pic on the right hand side).

There is a high possibility that this blog will be much neglected in the future. However the whole point of the blog is to vent and/or rave about skincare products that no one else cares about in real life so it is more of a skincare diary.. but hopefully whatever I post here will be helpful to you too!

On to stats.

Skin: combination, a bit oily in summer and gets dry and flaky in winter/recurring eczema problems on nose and cheeks/congested pores and scarring problems/focusing on brightening and reducing scars/NC25-30

Current routine

AM:
-Cetaphil
-Shiseido Pureness Balancing Softener
-Optional – Hadalabo Arbutin Whitening Lotion
-Laneige Water Bank Cream 2_EX (if overly dry)
-Mentholatum Sunplay Skinaqua UV Moisture Gel SPF 25 PA++ or OMI Solanoveil White SPF 50+ PA+++

PM:
-Kokuryudo Hipitch Cleansing Oil or some other random cleansing oil
-Clarisonic Mia + Cetaphil or Shiseido Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam
-SUKI Q10 Whitening Toner
-isQueen Crystal White Essence
-Optional – Hadalabo Arbutin Whitening Lotion (if overly dry)
-Laneige Water Bank Cream 2_EX

Weekly or twice weekly:
-Cleanse as usual with cleansing oil + Clarisonic
-TSAIO Organic Peeling Gel
-St. Ives Daily Microdermabrasion Scrub
-Innisfre Wine Peeling Massage Cream
-Random pore pack/nose strip (my recommended brand is KOSE Softymo Softy Nose Clean Pack which is almost always OOS in Sasa!)
-TonyMoly Tomatox Brightening Mask or Mustika Ratu Bengkoang Mask (Indonesian brand)

Once every two weeks:
-Dermaroll with 1.0mm needles on scars
-Vitamin E

I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis. Probably once every two weeks or less – only when my skin is crashing.

As you can see I’m a total asian skincare wh– *ahem* devotee. And my skin is very high maintenance. The moment I drop any of these routine products I will break out.

At the moment my staple routine is definitely cleanse – tone – serum – moisturise with regular scrub and mask. My skin is not sensitive so I like to switch products around as long as the basic routine is the same. Unfortunately for my open pores and easily congested skin the more effort = the better my skin is!

Some of my products are almost finished, so I will do another post detailing my future changes as I am now patiently waiting for a BIG box of SASA goodies which I just hauled a few days ago =)