Category Archives: My Skin Care Routine

Earth’s Recipe

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As summer is nearing the end, it means cooler weather and a drop in the humidity.  I’m slowly saying goodbye to the lightweight products that I have been slathering on all summer.  It’s time to bulk up with a heftier hydrators.  Heavy does not mean greasy.  It means finding a product with right hydrating ingredients.  Earth’s Recipe Toner, Brightening Serum and Moisturizer has been go-to skin routine.  The brand philosophy suits my pursuit to live more simply, naturally and conscious of the environment.  They use earth-friendly ingredients and never test their cosmetics on animals.  Each product is created to hydrate and illuminate the skin.  All of their products contain the brand’s secrete ingredients known as Tremella mushroom, that can hold 5X more moisture than its size, and rich in Vitamin B1, B2, D that detoxes and prevents the skin from aging.

Energy Boosting Toner – This toner is designed for nourishing and moisturizing the skin with its lineup of amazing botanical extracts with powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-wrinkle and brightening effects (japonica, licorice, soybean, orange, bergamot) The texture is light and thin, which makes it absorb into the skin quickly.  But it is so powerful in reaching the deepest layer, making my skin supple and soft.  The natural ingredients provide amazing moisture for any skin type and really keeps my skin in balance, and revealing the natural clarity and glow.  In addition it will brighten and decrease wrinkles.

Gigawhite Radiance Serum – My routine always contain a brightening serum.  This one contains some powerful ingredients: Gigawhite complex which is a blend of botanical extracts including Edelweiss, Peppermint, Veronica, Primerose and Lemon balm to improve the appearance of dark spots, promotes even skintone, and boosts radiance.  Also contains tranexamic acid, the star ingredient in one of my brand favorite Shiseido White Lucent line, that has ‘skin lightening’ effect on pigments and melasma as powerful as hydroquinone, minus the side effect.  The serum is clear, and the texture is silky and smooth.  It blends into my skin with ease and the formula is highly concentrated.  A little certain go a long way with this products.  I love the pump dispenser because it delivers the same amount of product every time.  It’s also got a lovely scent that keeps your skin smelling fresh while it moistens.

Moisture Bound Cream – Last but not least, the star product of this line.  I aboslutely love this moisturizer because I feel like it reduce the presence of fine lines by really plump and hydrate the skin.  It contains ceramides, which are the essential and healthy fatty acids that occur naturally in the skin but need to be replenished during the cooling months.  Also formulated with white jelly natural herbs that are rich in collagen and bean ferment extract and yam complex that sooth and revitalize tired skin.  This is a perfect daily moisturizer for both day and night time.  During the daytime, it has a luxuriously silky texture that spreads into a thin layer that plumps the skin for the ultimate makeup base.  At night, I apply a thicker layer to get the full benefit of intense hydration that improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and support the natural hylauronic acid.   No fragrance, none-pore clogging, and simply works to help my skin reveals radiance and brightness from within.

 

You can find all of Earth’s Recipe’s fabulous products the company website through Amazon.

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Power Enzyme Duo By Jan Marini

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Jan Marini needs no introduction.  It is one of the most respected brands in professional skin care.  Today I’ll review their dynamic enzyme duo that uses proteolytic enzymes to lift away makeup and impurities, and gently resurface the skin to help achieve healthy, smooth and polished skin!

ABOUT THE DUO

Clean Zyme cleanser and Skin Zyme mask are supplemental home care exfoliation products that have the ability to remove dead skin cells without harming sensitive or irritated tissues. Use anytime for an immediate polished look! Intended to be used as a pair. Both products are also great when used as part of a comprehensive skin care regimen.

CLEAN ZYME CLEANSER

PRICE: $30 / 4oz

Key ingredient: Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract – A natural source of malic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates skin.

Directions: Clean Zyme should be applied in place of regular cleanser and left on 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a clean, wet and wrung out washcloth using lukewarm water. Blot dry.

My Review

This is a non-foaming gel cleanser that is very effective at removing day’s makeup, dirt and oil, as good as any oil cleanser, without drying the skin.  The key ingredient in this resurfacing cleanser is a gentle AHA, malic acid that breaks down dead skin cells, and help to unclog pores and prevent buildup that cause blackheads and pimples.  Potent antioxidants (vitamin E) and botanical extracts nourish skin and protect it from environmental stressors and free radical damage.  It has a light ‘fruity scent’, likely due to the combination of orange and papaya fruit extracts.  Unlike other AHA cleansers I’ve used in the past that sometimes can sting, this one is super gentle on the skin with no tingling and help to maintain skin moisture barrier.  It rinses easy without leaving any noticeable residue, and really works well with sensitive or even post treatment skins.  I always like to leave the cleanser on my face for a few extra minutes to allow the fruit acids to work their magic.  I’ve noticed significant cleaner pores and less breakouts and even faster recovery from breakouts.  As advised, I use this cleanser after the Skin Zyme Mask and the combination always leave my skin feeling unbelievably clean, silky and soft.

What I love about this product is

  • Gentle on skin; no tingling irritants or overly drying cleansing agents.
  • Remove excess oil and makeup without stripping skin.
  • Rinse without leaving a noticeable residue.
  • Contain minimal fragrance.
  • Work well for the intended skin type.

SKIN ZYME MASK

PRICE: $60 / 2oz

Key Ingredient: Papaya Extract – Taken from papaya fruit, this ingredient is an exfoliant with antibacterial properties.

Directions: Apply Skin Zyme in a thin even layer over entire face (and neck, if desired) and allow to remain for up to 20 minutes. To remove Skin Zyme, apply a small amount of Clean Zyme to face and massage very gently to achieve emulsification. Remove with a washcloth and splash face 10 to 15 times with lukewarm water. Blot dry and follow with usual Skin Care Management products and/or moisturizer.

My Review

I love my weekly sunday masking ritual.  For the last few weeks, this Jan Marini mask with green papaya enzyme has been my secret weapon for combating dull and congested skin.   It has been an absolute skin saver for my adult-acne prone and sensitive skin.  First of all, the mask smells amazingly citrusy and refreshing.  I’m definitely a citrus-scent gal.  The mask is green in color and the texture is that of a silky smooth cream.  I love using a warm cloth to open up my pores first, and then apply a thin even layer of the mask on the face, and then kick back and relax for twenty minutes.  I remove the mask with the Jan Marini Clean Zyme Cleanser, and literally after every single JM masking session, my skin would go from dull to vibrant.  This mask contains antioxidants, fruit enzymes, skin brighteners, and healing agents.  Natural fruit enzymes from papaya extract help break down dead skin cells.  Dull complexions are revived as vitamin E and sunflower oil soften and nourish-leaving skin revitalized, hydrated, and glowing.  It makes my skin very smooth, and really help breakouts to heal.  It never leaves my skin red or irritated.  It’s such a great pampering session that immediate detox my skin from inside out.  This is definitely a restocking item in my skin care ritual because I’ve noticed that continual use of this luxurious formula really help to increases radiance and softness for a renewed appearance with visibly minimized pores.

You can find this dynamic duo on the Jan Marini’s website: https://www.janmarini.com.

‘Less is More” – Mode Blancs

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Sometimes ‘less-is-more’, especially on those mornings where I just need a few extra minutes of sleep, and a few less minutes to spend on my skin care.  There are several beauty companies dedicated to simplified yet optimized skin care routine to maximize results.  I first heard of Mode Blancs at Kcon.  All of their products contains natural ingredients derived from the nature and birch sap, and are free of artificial fragrances, animal testing, color pigments, synthesized preservatives and synthesized surfactant.  Mode Blancs has two lines of product (1) Functional (for anti-aging and skin brightening), and (2) Moisturizing with a simple three-step: Toner, Emulsion and Moisturizer.  Let me tell you, everything about these trio feels luxurious from texture, to feel to how it ultimately look on my skin; much more than I would expect from just using three products!

Their names carries the brand’s main philosophies:

M: minimize harmful element/unnecessary element

O: organize natural cosmetic based on birth extract

D: develop hypo-allergenic cosmetic

E: enhance customer satisfaction

Of course, I had to jump on using the Functioning line designed to combat fine lines and for skin brightening.  The brand describes these products as “Mild prescription with functional ingredients provide anti-wrinkle, whitening effect without irritation.”  The core of the Functioning line contains the following natural ingredients and their functions:

  • Betula alba juice ‘birch’ – this one is all about skin brightening.  Birch juice is a small molecule and thus skin can effectively absorb the product and all its nutrients.   Birch has naturally-occurring niacinamides, fruit acids, minerals, and most importantly, vitamin CThe pairing of adenosine helps to even out skin tone while botanical extracts with anti-oxidant properties  helps protect the skin and help to lighten pigments and brighten skin complexion.
  • Hydrolyzed algins – considered a ‘skin conditioner’ with antioxidant and water binding properties.  It is rich in proteins, vitamin A, sugar, starch, vitamin B1, iron, calcium, magnesium, copper,  most of which are benefitial for the skin to improve appearance of aging skin
  • Adenosine – According to Paula’s Choice, it’s a yeast-derived ingredient that has an important cell-communicating ingredient with anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory effects.  It supports healthy cell function which in turn gives smoother and thus more youthful skin.
  • Botanical extracts: cleansing, anti-inflammatory, enriching and nourishing

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Toner

PRICE: $31 / 120mL

For me, toner is as crucial as cleansing.  It is an extra step that helps me to eliminate any impurities, as well as help to restore skin’s natural pH balance.  I like this toner because it is alcohol free, which means my skin can be refreshingly cleansed and toned without being stripped of its natural moisture.  I can easily apply this by soaking a pad, and this help to gently yet thoroughly remove any residual impurities from the skin.  I then pat this product in to get all the benefit of the birch infused nutrients and minerals to replenish and recharge the skin with moisture, fight aging and even redness.  The texture is thin and easily absorbed.  The fragrance is light in floral.  The astringent properties of birch normalize oily zones of skin while making skin smooth and providing it with a sense of comfort and freshness.  My skin always feels smoother, softer and more resilient, with a harmonious balance of moisture and oil.

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EMULSION

PRICE: $31 / 120mL

How to use: Apply proper amount to palms and spread it on my face all over softly.  Pat lightly to make it absorb in the skin.

The texture of the product is heavenly.   One pump deposit a droplet that’s creamy white, soft and bouncy, and then it spreads like a luxurious facial oil, gliding on and cooling the skin with application.  You can just see and feel the product forming a film of hydration on the skin and with gentle massage, it gets absorbed so quickly feeling like second skin but softer, brighter and clearer and definitely more moisturized.  There is a mild floral scent that is delightful to the senses.  I did not experience any breakouts or irritation.   The pump bottle makes dispensing of products easy, hygienic and convenience.  For the price, this is a huge amount of product that will last me a long time.  For combination to oily skin gals, this emulsion may be enough to give soft, plumped and hydrated skin.  Now that the weather is cooling down, even for my combination skin, I find following the emulsion with their functional cream, gives me an additional layer of glowing, without being too heavy or greasy.

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Function Cream

PRICE: $33 / 50ml

I’m all about effortless and lightweight skin care, so this cream is like a dream.  As soon as I opened the jar, mild floral scent is fresh, genuine and tangible.  On the first touch, I’m greated with a gentle, almost gel-like texture.  The magic doesn’t stop there as the cream absorbs quickly making the skin instantly feels more firm and plump, and just a hint of healthy glow to the eye.  I massage the product gently yet firmly into all areas of the face using an upward circular motion, and I find it really help to penetrate the formula.  I think it gives my skin some nice clarity and brightness.  I love that it’s packed with an anti-aging punch too.  I feel this cream is perfect weather for all year round, light enough for warmer weather, and moisturizing enough for cooler temperatures.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This trio is no joke. A balancing and brightening toner to tone and provide antioxidant benefits, and a light emulsion for the day and ultra hydrating moisturizer for all year round.  The products pack a punch in terms of wonderful natural ingredients to treat uneven tone, hyperpigmentation, skin aging and hydration, hydration, hydration, with just 3 steps!   I will definitely continue to use these products and  I can’t wait to see the benefits it will bring to my skin over time.

 

 

 

Brand Highlight: Anticanus

 

Anticanus is a relatively new Korean skin care brand, who is well-known for their Moisturizing and Whitening Masks!  Their name ‘Anticanus’ is Latin for ‘anti-aging’, with philosophy to provide natural yet scientifically sophisticated and effective at-home skin care products.  I always have to make sure products or brands that I try have mission that align with mine.  Anticanus select the highest quality ingredients, infuse them with potent plant extracts and nutrients to make them effective for every unique skin type. The result is beautiful, glowing skin.

They vet on their ingredient: the main ingredient in their masks is Edelweiss extract, imported from Switzerland.  They vet on safety: ingredients are natural and masks are made of all-natural cotton and cellulose.  They vet on their mask shape and size: ensuring that as much of the facial skin is covered as possible.  Well, simply put, the packaging, the ingredients, the scents and the – well – everything about their mask was impressive.

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • Edelweiss extract imported from Switzerland: star ingredient in this mask that contains all sorts of great compounds that beneficial to the skin including cleansing properties, powerful antioxidants, calming properties.  Thus this is a powerful force in many anti-aging skin care products, that helps protect skin from environmental stressors while nourishing the skin and providing an overall soothing, calming effect.

Moisturizing Dream Mask

WHAT IT IS: Moisturizing Dream Mask helps your skin healthy using edelweiss extract from Switzerland and fresh ingredients

  • Long lasting moisturizing effect : Edelweiss from Swiss provide your skin with lightening effect and prevent water evaporation
  • Additional moisturizing ingredients: trehalose, allantoin, canola flower, macadamia seed oil, sodium hyaluronate
  • Anti-wrinkle and whitening effects : Adenosine and niacinamide provide anti-wrinkle and effects
  • Ingredients patent listed : Common bean extract, ceramide, Blue lotus extract
  • Vitalizing with natural ingredients : Canola flower, Allantoin, Macadamia provide skin with sensitivity relieving, reducing inflammation, vitalizing effects

Whitening Dream Mask

WHAT IT IS: Cosmeceutical mask sheet product with anti-wrinkle and whitening multi functions.

  • Long lasting moisturizing effect : Edelweiss from Swiss provide your skin with lightening effect and prevent water evaporation
  • Anti-wrinkle and whitening effects : Adenosine and niacinamide provide anti-wrinkle and effects
  • Additional whitening ingredients: niacinamide, citric acid, phaseolus vulgaris (kidney bean) seed extract, Leontopodium alinum flower/leaf extract
  • Ingredients patent listed : Common bean extract, ceramide, Blue lotus extract
  • Vitalizing with natural ingredients : Canola flower, Allantoin, Macadamia provide skin with sensitivity relieving, reducing inflammation, vitalizing effects

WHY I LOVE THESE MASKS!
The packaging itself is sleek and beautiful.  The mask is thin and super soft, made of natural cotton, and saturated in clear watery essence containing edelweiss extract imported all the way from Switzerland!   It gives the mask a subtle floral scent.  Trehalose, ceramide and sodium hyaluronate are added to provide skin with continuous moisture.  Additionally botanical extracts are included for ‘moisturizing’ and ‘whitening’.  The mask can be a little tricky to apply because it’s so thin, but once it’s adequately placed on the face, the adherence is amazing.  The fit is medium (not too big nor too small), and the openings for the eyes and nose are perfect in size, not leaving too much skin exposed and untreated.  I left the mask on for more than 30 minutes, and upon removal, my face felt so soft, nourished, and bouncy (I love bouncy supple skin).  Skin tones appears more even, and any redness is diminished.  There was plenty of serum left to pat onto my neck and the rest of the body leaving me feeling overall hydrated and refreshed.  Both of the face masks are great at moisturizing dehydrated skin, revive dull skin for a brightened complexion.

You can find these product through ‘Try Program” http://www.08liter.com/ (3 X photo credits)

 

Banish Pimple Overnight – How I Spot Treat

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I dislike pimples, especially the ones that creeps out of no-where, unpleasant, painful and in the worst possible locations, despite my oh-so careful cleansing and exfoliating routine.  I’m always looking for a heavy-duty spot treatment that can cure the uncomfortable sensation before I get too impatient to pop it, resulting in more damage to my skin. Currently I have three products that I use in combination to target these acne breakouts.  They are potent yet gentle exfoliant that helps to clear out the pores, reduce the size of blemishes, sooth any inflammation and help the skin heal.  AND these are super budget-finds!

Alive: Lab Red Spot Lemon Powder ($13.90/8mL)

This unique formulation of lemon extract and lemon oil is the perfect dual of exfoliation and soothing treatment to minimize any acne.  Lemon extract is a natural astringent and antibacterial agent that remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores, while lemon oil hydrates the skin leaving skin soft and velvety.  It also contains soothing ingredient like madecassic acid.  Allantoin, a skin softer and conditioner, help to protect the skin while stimulating cell regeneration.

The unique thing about this product is its powder form, which makes it one of the more versatile products. Why? I can use this in so many different way to deliver this gentle yet potent treatment to my skin.

(1) Mix with a toner (like LJH Blue one) for spot treatment

(2) Mix with my favourite cleanser to help balance oil product for a clearer complexion

(3) Mix with a serum and cream to add an overall brightening effect to even out skin tone brighten complexion overall, and

(4) Mix with a modeling mask or any wash off mask for its exfoliating and soothing properties.

The ingredient list is short and concise.  Fewer ingredients often means more potent skincare!  Read on to see why I like mixing this with LJH Blue One for the ultimate acne-fighting must have.

Ingredients: Ascorbic Acid, Silica, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Panthenol, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Oil

 

LeeJiHam Dr.’s Care Blue One ($15 / 30mL)

We are all familiar with LJH, the first company in Korea to develop and introduce cosmeceuticals for the enhanced health and beauty of skin.  Well praised for all of its dermatologically tested products, the Blue One is a potent and effective solution for reducing the appearance of moderate to severe blemishes.  It looks like water when dispensed but this clear liquid has EVERYTHING – salicylic acid that that penetrates deep into the pores, exfoliate dead skin cells and have potent antiseptic antibacterial effect to shrink and dry up the pimple.  Lactic acid helps with skin resurfacing and smoothing, peels away dry skin to help eliminate the appearance of post-breakout scars..  Combined with soothing ginseng root extracts and brightening licorice extract for the ultimate anti-inflammatory treatment to calm any redness.   I love mixing this with a little bit of Alive:lab lemon powder and use it to banish acne like no one’s business.  Despite potent concentration, it does not leave my skin dry or irritated.

Ingredients: alcohol, water, lactic acid, candida bombicola/glucose/methyl rapeseedate ferment, salicylic acid, phytosphingosine, o-Cymen-5-ol, silkworm extract,
schizonepeta tenuifolia extract, poria cocos sclerotium extract,
pogostemon cablin leaf extract, panax ginseng root extract,
glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, cnidium officinale root extract,
citrus unshiu peel extract

Kocostar Face Spot Mirror Patch ($7)

This is a medicated patch designed to help treat blemishes overnight.  It comes as invisible patches impregnated with salicylic acid to unclog the blocked pores and impurities and tea tree oil (a natural anti-septic remedy) to keep bacteria away. Of course, no one wants a dry skin patch after treatment. Grape seed extract and hyaluronic acid combined to sooth and moisturize the skin for healing. It comes in a pack of 36 in each package, in two different sizes (1 and 1.35cm). They are translucent with a natural sticky side. When it’s applied, it blends into the skin seamlessly, barely obvious that I’m wearing a sticker on my face.  Why I love using this?  It helps to seal in the active ingredients, thus helping skin to absorb the medication, making it more effective, while also prevent me from wanting to pick at the acne.  Wearing overnight, it definitely helps to decrease inflammation, reduce size of blemishes and dry up blemishes. I’ve even worn this occasionally under makeup during the daytime, to avoid getting makeup on an already irritated skin.  Kocostar made this even more convenient with a build-in mirror for convenience.  How thoughtful!

Ingredients: Vinyl Caprolactam/VP/Dimethyl-aminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Melaleuca Alternifolia(Tea Tree), Leaf Oil, PVP, Water/Aqua, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Salicylic Acid, Allantoin, Polysorbate 80, Methylparaben, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phytosphingosine, Acrylates Copolymer, Alcohol Denat

What are your favourite ways of spot treatment?

Chik’O 肌珂 Art Of Skin Care

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Can we just take some time to appreciate the aesthetics of the pantone packaging? The eye-catching packaging, and use of tried-and-true beauty ingredients have made these Chi’ko masks a permanent place in my skin care regime.

Chi’ko (from Taiwan) has been been infusing the Asian market with their Sparkling and Brightening, and Energizing and Moisturizing Sheet masks. The first is designed with ampoule rich in Vitamin C, tranexamic acid, and papaya and pineapple enzyme to brighten skin tone. The second one contains allantoin, trehalose, and hyaluronic acid for comforting and moisturizing the skin.

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

Sparkling and Brightening Mask

  • Vitamin C – antioxidant, skin brightening, lighten pigments, skin firming, anti-aging
  • Tranexamic Acid – anti-inflammatory, reduce skin redness, lighten pigmentations
  • Papaya and Pinapple Enzyme – both contain active ezymes of papain and bromelain, which help to breakdown and disoolve dead skin cells on surface of skin with the ultimate result of achieving more even skin tone

Energizing and Moisturizing Mask

  • Allantoin – extract from root of comfrey plant; soothing, non-irritating ingredients that help to stimulate cell regeneration to promote health skin
  • Trehalose – sugar found in plants, known for its hydrating and water-binding and antioxidant properties
  • Hyaluronic acid – retain skin moisture, antiaging and skin firming benefits through collagen synthesis

MY THOUGHTS

Made of soft Cupro fiber, these thin and breathable masks adhere closely to the skin and hold 10x the moisturizing essence of a normal cotton sheet mask. The mask feels just like silk, soft and comforting on the skin, like a second skin. I feel the elegant texture of the mask really elevate the sheet masking experience to new heights. I will admit that the sheet mask is super thin (comes in a plastic protector), which I fidgeted a bit when applying. I can easily overcome this minor technicality because the results of these mask are simply fabulous.

I feel the Brightening mask is ideal for those looking to restore luminosity and brightness to dull skin. Their unique ingredient formulation help to gently exfoliate and resurface the skin, to lighten dark spot and simply help to create a glowing complexion while evening out the skin tone.

The Energizing and moisturizing mask is ideal for sensitive and irritated skin, with a short list of 16 gentle and safe ingredients that provide the ultimate soothing hydration.

Both of these masks instantly calm and hydrate my tired complexion, and rejuvenate my skin, keeping it looking great for the rest of the day.

You can find these masks at Chik’o Art of Skincare retailing ~$13/box of 5 sheet masks.

 

 

Invigorating Oxygen Facial At Home: Exuviance Bionic Oxygen Facial

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ABOUT THE BRAND

EXUVIANCE® is created by Drs. Van Scott and Yu, a dermatology developed skin care line expertly formulated to visibly transform skin using the latest innovations in ingredients and technology.

WHAT IT IS

  • Company Description:  ‘New Exuviance Bionic Oxygen Facial is a fast fix for stressed skin, delivering a spa-quality treatment at home. The triple oxygenating blend works to restore radiance and brighten skin. A revitalizing infusion of molecular oxygen detoxifies and eliminates dullness, helping to trigger cellular energy and optimize collagen.’

WHAT IT DOES

  • Detoxifies and eliminates aging dullness
  • Encourages vital cell energy
  • Provides essential support for optimal collagen levels
  • PHA/Bionic Blend adds extra youth-promoting benefits to restore radiance and suppleness

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • The Bionic Complex is composed of Gluconolactone and Lactobionic Acid, both of which are are Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA).  Similar but smaller than AHA, they are more easily absorbed by the skin to condition and smooth the skin without irritation, as well as treat a variety of skin texture problems while also boosting the turnover of new skin cells for skin firming.  A few of their effects:
    • ✓ Gentle exfoliator which will brighten and even out all skin types, even sensitive
    • ✓ Stimulates cellular turnover, preventing build-up and illuminating lacklustre
    • ✓ Attracts and retaining moisturise within the skin, plumping fine lines and wrinkles
    • ✓ Acts as an antioxidant, prevents free radical damage
    • ✓ Fades scarring and areas of hyper-pigmentation

HOW TO USE
Massage a generous, even layer on clean, damp skin. Wait five minutes, allowing a thick oxygenating froth to form and then disappear. Rinse skin and apply an Exuviance treatment or moisturizer. Use at least 3-4 times a week; ideal following use of an Exuviance peel or Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish.

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MY REVIEW

If there is anything that stands out about this product is the unique application experience.  The product is dispensed in blue gel from a tall airtight bottle.  I use about five pumps that will provide a nice layer to cover the entire face.  Unlike many masks which I sit and wait impatiently to dry, this one provides a delightful tingle indicating the oxygenation process and that the invigorating oxygen molecules are reaching deep down into the skin to work its magic is working on the skin.  Immediately after contact, the gel start to release oxygen bubbles and develops into foam on the surface of the skin.  While the mask is bubbling, it feels very light and airy; no pain or irritation at all.  After about five minutes, all the foam breaks down.  No guessing games here.  This is the time to start washing the residue off.  The results?  My skin feels ultra conditioned and balanced, instantly softer to touch and well moisturized.  My pores feels so clean too.  The deep but gentle cleansing properties, the anti-aging bionic acid/PHA blend, and the enhanced moisture make this an ideal product to use after a peel, giving my skin a boost of fresh air while optimizing collagen and healing from any treatment.  It’s definitely not a boring masque treatment because you can feel the product constantly working!  I look forward to using this after my next peel treatment.

You can find this and purchase Bionic Oxygen FacialBionic Oxygen Facial and Other Exuviance products online at neostrata.com

Products are sponsored by BrandBacker.  All opinions are my own.

 

A Mask For Every Need: Dr. Grand+ 닥터그랜드플러스

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Korean sheet masks are all the rage in the beauty industry.  Aside from their convenience, there is a sheet mask for practically every skin ailments.  The novelty of Korean sheetmask has been around for years, and yet some company still manage to surprise us with ingenuity.  Dr. Grand+ is one of those companies.  Dr. Grand+ skin care is actually the product of Grand Plastic Surgery, a leading plastic surgery hospital in Korea, staffed with a medical team of experts in providing the most advanced cosmetic services to enhance one’s beauty.   Here I’m going to review not-your-regular sheetmasks:  V-line mask, Stem Cell mask and Peeling pads.
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V-Fixer Remodeling Mask

WHAT IT IS
  • A volume lifting 2 step mask
 
WHAT IT DOES
  • For facial and neck firming and tightening
  • Specially designed Golden Ratio Fixer Mask for the jaw that pull up saggy skin to bring out firm V facial line with the help of elasticity-inducing ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, ceramide, gamma PGA
NOTABLE INGREDIENTS
  • Gamma PGA: fermentation extractive ingredient using Bacillus virus from bean that has outstanding moisturizing power and cohesion and called skin filler due to having similar function as a facial filler
  • Inline image 8
  • Elasticity inducing agents: hydrolyzed collagen, ceramide
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DIRECTIONS
  • First mask for the upper face: bamboo charcoal sheet that covers the curvature of face closely clear out and tighten up pores.  by balancing skin’s oil and moisture composition, the mask keeps the face moist, firm and multidimensional
    • cellulose containing charcoal and rich mineral, outstanding for sebum absorption, and containing bamboo, outstanding for supplying moisture to the skin
  • Second mask for the lower face: high-enriched hydro-gel mask, span tightly to skin with outsanding adhesion
    • mask enhance skin elasticity to regain natural, smooth facial line
WHY I LOVE IT
This is such a unique mask that is totally worth sharing!  Korean women love this one, as it is their quick fix to give them a firmer and slimming appearance around the lower face.  Most packaging will say to leave this mask for 20 minutes, but Korean women often wear it while they are doing their makeup, or even longer up to hours.
Step 1 is for the upper face, and step 2 is for the jawline.  The upper face is a charcoal mask infused with bamboo and the brand’s own G4D Active™, a complex with 5 active ingredients (Ceramide, Arginine, Lysine Polypeptide, N-Actyl Glucosamine, Sodium Hyaluronate and Biosaccharide Gum-1), which makes the skin healthier day in day out.

More important, let’s talk about the lower face.  The lower face is a hydrogel gel mask, which span tightly to the jaw, with a loop around the ear for a tightening and lifting effect.  It doesn’t feel restricting nor uncomfortable.  I can still talk and drink water et al.  The goal is to creates a desired, and more defined chin line by pressing the meridian points on the face to prevent skin from sagging.  The formulated concentrate contained in the mask has good effects on wrinkles, cellulite as well as skin elasticity.  The result that I noticed after one use is that my jaw appears more symmetrical as usually I am a little more puffier on the left side.  The result is a quick fix, and not permanent.  And that is exactly what these masks are designed for.  The goal of the product is  quick, safe and easy fix to achieve a defined V-line for special occasions.  It certain fulfill this goal.  You may get more consistent result if you use a mask like this everyday.

 

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DR.GRAND+ Milk Moisture Soft Peeling Pad

WHAT IT IS  
  • A duo-step at home peeling pad
  • One time use
 
WHAT IT DOES
  • Contains lactic acid and glycolic acid, AHA that exfoliate the skin gently and stimulate cell renewal
  • Contains abundance of skin-benefiting ingredients for skin moisturizing, antioxidant and protection, cell revitalizing, brightening and nourishing
 
NOTABLE INGREDIENTS
  • Lactic acid and milk protein extract: Lactic acid is extracted from milk, and is considered a gentle AHA that exfoliate and ‘hydrate’ the skin
  • Glycolic acid: the smallest of AHA that penetrate the deepest to facilitate skin renewal, regeneration and collagen formation
DIRECTIONS
  • Step 1: use embossed side: fine lattice structure pad, peels tiny dead skin cells and remove waste, and cleanse pores
  • Step 2: smooth pure cotton, mild peeling care by soft texture 
 
WHY I LOVE IT
Exfoliation is such a key part of my skincare arsenal.  I have an abundance of peeling pads, toners, et al that are all designed to exfoliate the top layer of the skin, soften and stimulate cell renewal to bring forth a more radiant and youthful complexion.  This one is a little bit different from the cult favorite Neogen peeling pad, as you do not need to wash it off, ensuring that the active ingredient has desired time to do its job.  The fermented extracts have so many anti-aging, brightening and naturally moisturizing effect.  The pad is extremely easy to use, quick one minute in my daily routine, right after cleansing.  It’s so ultra convenient and so super hydrating! as I can easily follow with other products without having to wash off.  The brightening and smoothing effect really took me by surprise.  My skin just felt baby soft, with glow.  The ease of this product makes this such a winner for me.
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Absolute Stem Cell Mask

WHAT IT IS
  • An anti-aging sheet mask
WHAT IT DOES
  • Ideal for aging skin, addressing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Help to improve skin elasticity and texture
  • Provide skin soothing effect
TEXTURE/FEEL/FRAGRANCE
  • Unique high density fabric of 100% cellulose, with high absorption rate
  • Perfect adhesion
  • No detectable scent
NOTABLE INGREDIENTS
  • A highly enriched ampoule 23 ml containing 5% stem cell nutrient culture and 37 growth factors to hydrate to reduce signs of fine lines and help delay visible signs of aging
  • Derived from unique technologies from human cord blood, the root of unborn baby’s nutrition supply; safely harvested and cleansed while active ingredients including growth factors are extracted for use
  • Stem cell: triggers fibroblast to increase collagen production to stop, slows down and reverse skin damage
WHY I LIKE IT
Stem cell, stem cell, stem cells!  Korean cosmetic companies always goes above and beyond to come up with unique ingredients to complete in the vast beauty market.  This innovative mask is a perfect morning pampering.  The mask is intensely hydrating and soothing.  The botanic extracts are powerful antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits.   The mask features a lightweight textured essence infused with stem cell, bacillus/fermented tumeric to boost cell regeneration and improve skin elasticity, cartageenan and bamboo extract for skin moisturizing and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, and portulaca oleracea extract and centella asiatica extract for skin soothing.
In just a few minutes time, my skin tone is even, pores are minimized, and any potential breakouts are soothed.  A great targeted and concentrated boost to my daily regime.  A little bit of sunscreen is all I need to get me ready to head out the doors.
You can find these masks at Modern and Simple: http://www.modernandsimple.com

Just Concentrate on Ingredients: Celranico

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Finding skincare that delivers superb results without spending a fortune is near and dear to my heart.  I am obsessed with Celranico’s selection of inexpensive makeup and skin care that are amazing finds as great as some luxurious counterparts.   Designed for quality skincare and makeup wth functional packaging, it is ideal for women on the go.  You can find Celranico products at K Beautie, the first exclusive Korean beauty website to only carry paraben-free products.  They also carry a fabulous selection of up-and-coming kbeauty brands you may not have heard of but just might become your new favorites, as they have for me!

Celranico is a Korean comsetic brand inspired by simple packaging, safe and quality ingredients.  Their philosophy is “back to basics, just concentrate on ingredients” rather than fancy packaging.  They invest on making products that are effective and feel good, high quality yet with reasonable prices.  Let me tell you, all of their products fulfill their moto.  Their products from cosmetics (‘It’s Chic lipsticks) to skincare (facial essence and eye serum: reviewed below) are some of the most feel-good products my skin has ever experienced.  All products are produced from GMP production line which are approved Korean FDA and ISO.  Here are two of their products that offer their claimed effects, inspiring textures and appealing skin sensations.

Green Tea Seed Oil Balancing Essence

PRICE

  • $19 / 60mL
WHAT IT IS
  • Moist rich essence
WHAT IT DOES
  • For deep hydration and nourishment
  • Refresh and sooth skin
TEXTURE/FEEL/FRAGRANCE
  • White gel-like texture
  • Featherweight
  • Natural scent
NOTABLE INGREDIENTS
  • Camellia sinesis seed oil – extracted from seeds of Camellia sinesis, the plant from which all tea is made out of; has many therapeutic properties
    • Brilliant moistruzier
    • Super antioxidant, antiaging
    • Anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory
    • Mild astringent
REVIEW
I used to be a skin-care minimalist, but adding an essence into my routine is an extra step that I don’t skip now.  Mainly because, despite combination skin, my skin has definitely gotten drier and duller in my 30’s.  I always look for an essence that contains well known hydrators such as glycerin and botanical extracts and oils like this one.  This essence is particularly lightweight, and feels like a splash of fruit-infused spa water on my face, yet capable of penetrating deep into the skin to help deliver added hydration and boost moisture level before my usual serum/moisturizers.  The ingredient itself is enough for me to get excited.  Green tea seed oil is rich in amino acids and minerals, and really keeps skin nourished and protected.   It also helps to control sebum and keeps skin smooth without shine.  Majority of the other ingredients are ‘humectant emollients’ that helps to attract water to the skin.
To reap the essence most benefit, I apply right after I step out of the shower, or immediately after I wash my face.  Clean, damp skin is more permeable than dry skin.  The product comes in a simple chic green plastic bottle, in a pump dispenser form.  Two pumps are all I need for application on my face and neck.  The product gives a very pleasant and refreshing feeling each time.  The moisturizing effect is absolute wonders, yet light enough to be followed by other products.

Return to Nature Pore Eye Serum

PRICE
  • $21/50mL
WHAT IT IS
  • A skin-tightening eye serum
WHAT IT DOES
  • Moisturize, soften, and strengthen the delicate skin around the eye
  • Brightens and tightens skin around the eye
  • Wrinkle care
TEXTURE/LOOK/FRAGRANCE
  • Clear gel/serum hybrid
  • Lightweight, bouncy texture
  • No discernible smell
REVIEW
My eyes is prone to bags more than hollows, and fine lines.  The need for a good eye product is undeniable.   I don’t look for miracle eye products.  I think lifestyle such as lack of sleep more so affect the condition of my eye than any eye cream.  However, I do feel that a good eye product can help to depuff the eye to take away some tiredness, and at least help to plump, hydrate and smooth the skin to prevent further appearance of fine line and dark circles.  I feel this one by Celranico does exactly that.
A closer look at the texture reveals it’s oil-free gel/serum hybrid that easily blends smooth and cools with application.  I love how bouncy, mosturizing and lightweight this eye product is.  It literally has a silky soft sensation when massaged onto the delicate skin of the eye, and absorbs quickly to sooth and nourish.  Most ingredients are safe, and are in fact emollients, solvents and surfactants that make up the texture and body of the product.  It works just as well as some of the more expensive eye creams I have tried, in terms of depuffing and plumping, and I feel certainly deserve the price tag.  I appreciate this eye product comes in a pump bottle, so it’s much more convenient and hygienic.
To be honest, I’ve never used an eye ‘serum’ before but I can definitely see some additional benefit of this compared to an eye ‘cream.’  This product is definitely more fluid and lighter than any eye cream I’ve used, and in fact absorbs into the skin more easily.  It doesn’t leave any greasy residue behind, and thus doesn’t make their way into the eye, which can be irritating.
Have you tried an ‘eye serum’ before? If you are interested in trying Celranico products, Kbeauty has a huge selection that will meet the needs of every step of your skin care.  I highly recommend trying out one of their It’s Chic Lipsticks.   Not only is the packaging luxuriously gold so it’ll make you want to hoard every tube, its hydrating and healing effects truly make it a must-have product.  Check out my review on Instagram: http://instagram.com/p/BYL7LDVhKM2/

Dr.Wu Hyalurcomplex

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Caring for your skin goes beyond treatment with actives like acids, retinol and vitamin C.  Maintaining a well hydrated skin is key to keeping skin healthy, plump and resilient.  When there is adequate water from inside and out, skin looks more vibrant and healthy.  This is at the heart of Dr. Wu’s Hyalurcomplex product line. What’s better to help keep skin hydrated than one of its natural composition of hyaluronic acid.

 

The Hyalurcomplex product line, designed to cleanse, hydrate, treat and simply plump your skin to health, youth and radiance.  This is done by using hyaluronic acid of different molecular weight along with special proteins that allow it to penetrate multiple layers of the skin for deep hydration.  Let me tell you, this toner and serum combo can revive even the most dehydrated skin.  The beautiful thing about these products is the light texture and formulation that won’t clog pores, perfect for oily and combo skin who we all know needs moisture too.  They deliver moisture and a matte finish for those who battle shine.  I have been using these for weeks and am loving the results.

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Intensive Hydrating Toner With Hyaluronic Acid

PRICE

  • $29 / 150ml

WHAT IT IS

  • A hydrating toner

WHAT IT DOES

  • For dehydrated and sensitive skin
  • Increase skin firmness
  • Stimulate cell renewal
  • Reduce scarring

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

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  • 5th generation HyaluComplex – A perfect combination of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acids; penetrate deeply into the skin to attract, retain and create hydration and moisture through all skin layers
  • Ceramela – A yeast extract which has similar structure to ceramide and can reinforce the skin’s natural protective barrier to reduce moisture loss
  • Amino Acids Complex – An effective moisturizer formulated with amino acids cocktail, which exhibits high hydration retention
  • High potency Hyalu-Complex, Ceramide III, Aldavine and Amino Acids Complex formula helps skin to attract, retain and create moisture through the different layers of skin

LOOK/FEEL/SCENT

  • Consistency of a ‘snail’ slimy texture; viscous liquid, works wonders on dry patches
  • Gentle and fast absorption
  • Matte finish
  • No detectable scent

DIRECTIONS

  • Apply small amount onto face and neck using firm and smooth circular movements from the central T-zone toward the outer edges.
  • Use daily, day and night.

WHY I LOVE IT

Some days I love to keep it simple, sticking to one product that I know works fabulous for my skin.  This toner surprised me with its slightly more viscous texture, reminding me of the Klair Supper Preparation Facial Toner.  Despite the thicker texture for a toner, there is nothing tacky or sticky about this toner.  It actually blends out lightweight and gets absorbed instantly.  I love applying this with cotton pad first, using it as a gentle hydrating cleansing water to get rid of any leftover residue, and then apply with my hands and pat it away.  On weekends, I’ve used this as the ‘7 Skin‘ methods and my skin just glows with high moisture retention.  This product is simply amazing, and the hydrating effect exceeds the capacity of any conventional hydrating toner that I’ve used.  It’s soothing and is gentle enough for every skin type.   I feel that this toner really preps my skin and enhances the effectiveness and application of other skincare product applied.  It leaves my skin baby smooth and soft and it doesn’t promise to do anything fancy.  It simply fulfills its claim in providing the absolute incredible hydration to the skin.

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Intensive Hydrating Serum With Hyaluronic Acid

PRICE

  • $31.95 / 15ml

WHAT IT IS

  • A hydrating serum

WHAT IT DOES

  • For dehydrated and sensitive skin
  • Provide skin with long term and intensive hydration
  • Continuous application can reduce fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and loss of elasticity and improve dull skin tone

NOTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • 5th generation HyaluCompleXActive – Most advanced hdyrating formula containing sodium hyaluronate, hyalo-oligo, hyalufix GL and optim-hyal which attracts, retains and create hydration through all skin layers
  • Yeast Extract – contain skin regeneration properties to promote cell renewal and healing
  • Ceramela – a yeast extract which has similar structure to ceramide and can reinformce skin’s natural protective barrier to reduce moisture loss
  • Seamollient – a marine extract rich in hygroscopic macromolecules which can improve skin hydration and create softer, smoother skin

LOOK/FEEL/SCENT

  • Incredibly lightweight cooling gel texture that makes it easy to work with
  • Sinks and absorbs quickly, with no tacky feeling.

How to use

Apply small amount onto face and neck using firm and smooth circular movements from the central T-zone toward the outer edges.

WHY I LOVE IT

I find it so beneficial to use this serum following the toner.  This combination really boost hydration results, easily transforming even the driest area of my face or neck into dewy, fresh skin.  It’s an oil-free serum, gel-like texture that cools on the skin, glides on silky smooth, and just soak into the skin.  It’s completely non-irritating, and it just seriously rejuvenate and restore hydration, while aiding at faster absorption and enhanced hydration.  It’s thicker enough that you can probably get away with skipping your cream altogether.  But I highly recommend at leasting sealing all that hydration goodness with an occlusive moisturizer.  Occlusive doesn’t mean heavy.  Current moisturizers rotating in my routine are: Pyunkang Balancing Gel and Lapothicell Keep Your Youth Daily Gel.

Bonus points: Whereas some hyaluronic products can leave skin a bit tacky, this one leaves your face completely soft and matte, minimizing lines and doubling as a makeup primer.  The only downside, it’s such a small bottle at only 15mL.  I will surely need to restock.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I can confidently recommend these Dr. Wu’s product to anyone who wants to seriously hydrate their skin.  These products will hydrate the most stubborn dry and sensitive, and the matte no-shine finish is perfect for combination and oily skin.  No hype, no gimmicks, just some fabulous hyaluronic acid products that guarantee to give soft, supple and glowing complexion, with long lasting moisture.

Where I got this: Beauty Secrets, https://beautysecrets.us.com/, free standard shipping for orders over $49.