MY MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE

Hi, at long last I got a video up!  The camera work on my Morning Skincare Routine video is a bit shaky sorry about that but Mom really did her best, she helped me that morning get it done, God bless her.  Drink Bonamine nalang before watching, lol.

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1. Safeguard Derma Sense Cleanser for Sensitive Skin (fragrance-free)
2. NIVEA Soft Moisturizer (bought in Japan)
3. This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up Moisturizer
4. VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Face Cover Sunscreen SPF45
5. NYX BB Beauty Balm in shade “Natural” (oil-free)

Of course you understand that on some days I don’t get to use all of the ones mentioned here.  Sometimes, I leave out one or two of these in the rush, but right now these are all the products I’ve been reaching for before I’m out the door in the morning.  Click continue to get to the video.


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A CLEANSING BALM CALLED A MAKEUP REMOVER

It happens sometimes in the industry, a certain product is named something, but what it’s called is not entirely accurate or complete.  I realized this when I was confused on how to use Thai drugstore brand IN2IT’s Makeup Remover Cream.  I thought it was supposed to work like cold cream at removing makeup, but leaving it on my face after it moved the makeup around didn’t feel right.  Eventually, I spotted the magic word that jumped out at me in the instructions on the back of the tube: RINSE.  This is got me extremely excited.

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IN2IT MAKEUP REMOVER CREAM PHP399.00, SM Beauty.  Key ingredients: extracts of lemon, cucumber, grape, apple, olive oil, witch hazel, chamomile, aloe Vera and Vitamin E. MADE IN THAILAND

I’ve been using this for the past 5 days in place of my CLINIQUE cleansing balm (it’s easier to bring along because it’s in a tube).  I rinsed and discovered this IN2IT makeup remover cream is actually a budget cleansing balm.  Read on for the full review.… To full post & COMMENTS...

A TRUE TEEN’s ACNE-PRONE SKIN ARSENAL

So, this is as spontaneous as it gets.  Sleepover = true skincare stories.  Ever so randomly last night, a teenage cousin of mine with acne-prone, reactive skin spilled the details on her current skincare swat team.  The line-up is to say frankly, not edited but as real as can be, because they were all on her bathroom counter in sincere disarray from daily use.  We gathered them ’round to compress for this family photo (I really have a good laugh inside when people yell out “compress” because it’s just everyone’s thing).  I’ve seen my cousin’s face months before all this, it was shiny, sensitive, and eruptive.  This time though, her face was clear and not shiny with no sign of acne on the horizon.

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Please note that this selection is not used simultaneously and was formed gradually with the added supervision of her dermatologist.  The products may or may not work for you in the same way or may not be recommended for you.   Read on for the full regimen post and what she told me about each product.… To full post & COMMENTS...

I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU USED LAST SUMMER

January 2016 is being all annoying and walking briskly ahead, so we all know what that means.  In a fluke of some sort last year I managed to NOT post my 2015 summer holiday skincare favorites while being in Balesin.  I kept the evidence as shot from the Mykonos villas.  As you can see, I also thought the title of this post should be island getaway inspired *thunder cracks*.

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YVES ROCHER Detoxifying Teas toning lotion, DIORSKIN Nude Tan BB CREME, Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream (ointment), Nivea Sun Immediate Sunscreen SPF50, Tarte Maracuja Oil, Macadamia Rejuvenating Sulfate-free shampoo, Bioderma Cicabio Soothing Creme moisturizer (suitable for babies), Avene Eau Thermale Gentle Milk Cleanser, Clarisonic Mia 2

That last one was the summer that did a What’s In Her Bag interview with Tricia Centenera-Valenciano and when I fell back in love with my Clarisonic which I bought on foot in Macy’s NYC in 2014 (it seems just like yesterday, yikes), some don’t agree with using it or find it too harsh.  I just find the Clarisonic extremely suitable in the summer.  I don’t use it for the rest of the year unless I’m having a heavy makeup sort of month.  When I cleanse my face after a sunny day out while traveling I want to be sure I get all the sunblock lotion, sweat, sea scum, beach bits, and light makeup off my skin before my serums and facial oil at bedtime, so I use the Clarisonic.  That’s to help provide a clean canvas for another layer of sunscreen the next day.  If you don’t want to get all gadgety alternately a facial flannel or baby face towel soaked in warm water with a good emulsifying cleanser should also get the grime off your face.  What I like about having the Clarisonic is there’s nothing left over to launder.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm | Cleansing Reinvented, C. Hirons’ Personal Choice

Meet the cleansing balm that sent UK bloggers swarming into Space NK (England’s version of Sephora) shortly after advanced facialist and brand consultant C. Hirons of the blog Beautymouth repeatedly blogged over a year and a half ago that this is her personal cleansing choice, especially for evening.  Recently, Caroline outright put Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm up first on her featured products via Pixiwoo’s BodyTalk interview with her on YouTube.  I’d like a moment to segue into some emulsifying cleanser insight.

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Contains:

  • 1 x Natural Lift & Moringa Cleansing Balm (100ml) – enriched with an uplifting blend of moringa seeds, wild sea fennel, vitamin E, orange, neroli and mandarin, jasmine and rose.
  • 1 x dual-sided cleansing cloth (100% cotton on muslin side; 80% polyester, 20% polyamide on microfibre side)

 How to use:

  • Mix a few drops of warm water with a little Moringa Cleansing Balm in the palm of your hand to create a milk
    Apply to the face, neck and eye area using circular motions and massage thoroughly to melt away make-up, excess oils and grime
  • To remove, soak your cleansing cloth in warm water, squeeze out the excess and gently wipe over the whole face and neck, taking extra care around the delicate eye area
  • Use the gently abrasive muslin side of the cloth to exfoliate dry, lined, thickened and congested areas and the smoother microfibre side for more delicate and sensitive areas

People are familiar with the globally popular Shu Uemura cleansing oil and some of us were dashed to pieces to find that it wasn’t at all recommended by C. Hirons, in fact she shot it down.  I actually realized on my own, without knowing who Ms.Hirons was yet,  that the Shu cleansing oil wasn’t good for me because for the very first time last year I looked at the ingredients list…practically at the top of the list was Paraffinum Liquidum aka Mineral Oil.  The world’s most popular cleansing oil turned out to be souped up mineral oil made to emulsify with water, I could hardly believe it and I was irritated to say the least because I did like how Shu’s oil performed but I did wonder why my skin felt like it felt smothered when I’d lay it on.  You can’t blame them because they were among the first generation of emulsifying cleansing oils and they participated in beauty innovation…even top UK brand Eve Lom’s most popular cleansing cream contains mineral oil as a huge part of the base so these were the pioneer products.  Research has found that mineral oil isn’t particularly ideal at bringing down the nourishment into the skin so I think it’s time for long-time faves to up the ante and update their formulations.

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Well, the first thing our currently fave online facialist says about this Emma Hardie gem here is that it’s a non-mineral oil cleansing balm.  It’s a more solid balm but it melts and emulsifies in the same milky way the Shu cleansing oil does when water hits it.  However, this does the same job with a bang on formula that’s ultimately better for your skin.  Moringa for your mug shot anyone?  Emma Hardie is an English brand that’s being doing wonderful things with formulations using moringa (malunggay).  Being the determined diva I am I sourced my own pot and paid only Php50 customs pickup tax for it.  The new rule at the Makati Post Office is that parcels above $50 USD in value will be taxed heavily so make sure whatever you’re buying online is under $50 USD.  That explains why I only got the 50ml pot (which will last me 3 mos. anyway), it cost £15.99 with £6 shipping, totaling about ($35) Php1450.  Read more to get to the full post.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Facial Skincare | December 2012

The last feature I did on my facial routine was 6 months ago and that was reviewed here, so I guess a quick update is in order because my skincare has quite grown up in a sense but there is one item that hasn’t changed as you’ll notice below.  I’ve become more conscious of ingredients and I recognized some sensitivity and an increase in dryness skin-wise and I’m sure that has to do with 30 being just around the corner.  I’ve retreated from toners, even organic ones like Dickinsons because December brought in dryness.  I’m not the sort of person who stays completely loyal to products for years.  Naturally, my sensitive skin gets bored then at a certain saturation point begins to subtly reject skincare products I use for weeks or months on end.  I just wait for it to tell me when it’s due for a switch.  So far for the past 1-2 months these products have been my facial friends, some have been reviewed, some are waiting in line.  It’s a split down the middle on availability…3 are locally available and 3 are imported if I’m not mistaken.  Ignore the toothbrush.  Reviewed items are posted as links.  The funny thing is I noticed how great my skin was after using this team for a week before I was confined for dengue fever at the end of November.  The significant difference in my routine now is the added factor of deliberate nourishment and intense moisturizing after cleansing, aka steps to stay young longer with good organic stuff LOL (I refuse to say anti-aging…”doh!”).

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CLOCKWISE: Pevonia Botanica Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, ORIGINS Drink-up Intensive Overnight moisturizer/mask, St. Ives Moisturizing Olive Cleanser, (underneath St. Ives) depotted Nivea Baby Smoothy Cream Moisturizer, Pai (UK) Rosehip Bioregenerate facial oil, Shiseido Extra Gentle Cleansing foam.

The moisturizers have become a vehicle for the active weapon.  My new favorite thing is my Harper’s Bazaar Awarded “Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Facial Oil” which carries vitamins like Pro-Vitamin A, non-irritating active botanicals, carotenoids, and anti-oxidants that penetrate the skin surface with the help of a quick absorbing moisturizer.  Pai  is an organic skincare brand based in the UK known for its multiple type ranges suitable for sensitive skin.

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My friend Trixie in Singapore ordered it for me and since they only ship as far as SG and not to the Philippines she brought it home for me when she visited a few weeks ago.  I just use the cap dropper to add 1 drop of the Pai facial oil to my moisturizer (the smell is a bit foodie since it’s organic, it may not appeal to some) and massage it into skin before bed.  My Nivea Baby Smoothy Cream is my day moisturizer (mostly but sometimes I will use it at night) and right now I alternate it with the tropical fruity smelling Origins Drink Up Intensive as my night moisturizer…it’s not really a mask like it says it is.  Both those moisturizers do the job of making sure that while I sleep good things are happening in the facial department and I wake up super hydrated on the surface anyway.  With this new “step” added into my routine before bed I was burning up at the hospital but I was there with even better, more supple, rosy skin with no tiny bumps or rashes.

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I’ve not been one of those people who without fail night after night performs the same skin ceremony, but I’ve been more consistent this month especially at night before bed.  I now see why it’s important to have a regimen, so that the benefits compound and give you a completely unmistakeable result…just like exercise which…huhu…after dengue I desperately need to get back to.  Friends might mock these remarks and say “Julia…duh…you were born with great skin”.  Yes, I was born with soft, clear skin…that unfortunately reacts to almost anything new or sub-standard I might happen to put on it, so 7 times out of 10 there’ll be a set of whiteheads/rashes as a result camped in unnoticeable patches/groups on irritated areas that only I can feel (and pick at, TSK!) and only my Mom notices visually.  With this skincare team though, I’ve not been getting those little things.  Some spots have only resurfaced because of the late nights and rich food the past Christmas holiday week.  I recently organized my products with this acrylic container which was a gift so they wouldn’t clutter my bathroom counter.  I will take the time later on to review the remaining things I haven’t individually, but at least this gives you a glimpse of my skincare arsenal of the moment.

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Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser – Can’t do without it now

In the last two weeks I have kept a certain product close by as part of my every 2nd day cleanse and I like it very, very much.  When I can’t find it I’m completely not at ease and bothered until I recall where I put it, in fact it came with me to the hospital a few days back when I was confined for dengue fever.  When I sat on this tube on the bed last week by accident I nearly let out a cuss word, just nearly, because some product had gotten squeezed out but I had enough self-control to rein in my tongue.  This Pevonia Botanica Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser has basically replaced my former favorite nutty exfoliating scrub by Jurlique which I didn’t hesitate to call a miracle skin product when it was still available at Greenbelt.  To put it simply, if I liked that Jurlique exfoliating product that much to go through 3 tubes in 3 years, I’m not going to pretend to deny that I’m liking this even more.  This one by Pevonia Botanica is a milky cleanser with some abrasive granules that polish the skin, kind of like the St. Ives Apricot Scrub but not as thick and pasty, more runny like a cleansing milk with a scrub effect and…I just don’t know how to properly describe it.  I already have very clear good skin and just when I thought it couldn’t feel any better or get any softer this came along and changed the game completely.  I use it every other day alternately between my St. Ives Olive Cleanser which I use when I don’t need to exfoliate.

KEY INGREDIENTS: Jojoba, Safflower, Chamomile, Horse Chestnut and French Rose.

Some people might find the granules a bit rough, they’re like sea salt but I don’t mind, I just go about scrubbing my face gently and try to use this only every other day.  It’s one of those few exfoliating cleansers where even the fluid part is convincing, not just the scrub part.  It just leaves my skin immaculately soft and clean.  It’s got a mild, fresh, low sillage but clean, beach-y vacation scent (don’t know if that helped any).  Basically it’s like you spent the whole day at the beach then took a clean soapy shower after…that combined freshness of having been outside and cleansing yourself is what the fragrance brings to mind…it transports me to Mediterranean terraces or seaside roofdecks.  If you haven’t heard about Pevonia Botanica it’s understandable.  They’re a luxury Swiss brand range of products locally curated, directly sold, and used on customers by The Spa chain of wellness spas.  You can inquire about these products at The Spa in either Alabang, Makati, or BGC Fort, Taguig.  Pevonia Botanica can be compared alongside prestigious, botanical, mildness approved skincare brands like Jurlique, Clarins, and even Aesop and when my mom sniffed the sunscreen included in the little skincare pack the Pevonia brand manager sent me Mom quickly said “It smells so nice, it smells like they gave it a lot of thought and research…”  What I have is a 1.7oz travel size tube that came with a summer skincare set.  The full size of this tube on the website is about 5 oz and costs around Php1350.00 I’m not exactly sure of the price difference between online and at The Spa.  I certainly want to ask if I can avail of the full size since I like it a lot.  Follow Pevonia Botanica Philippines’ Facebook fanpage and the Pevonia Twitter Account @pevoniaph for more information.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Facial Skincare, June 2012 – Less is More

I often get questions about skincare, but I personally can’t credit AWESOME skincare or anything like that when it comes to my skin.  I just genetically have good skin thanks to my Japanese ancestry on my mother’s side.  I do know what works well for me though and what doesn’t irritate my face.  Oh, if you’re missing a sunscreen product and makeup remover it’s because a few of my favorite makeup bases already contain SPF20 and above and I don’t wear makeup everyday, so my current makeup remover can have a standalone post of its own soon.

Clockwise (products linked to blog reviews): 1. The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam, 2. Dickinson’s Pore Perfecting Toner, 3. Obagi Medical Elastiderm Eye Cream, 4. Nivea Baby Smoothy Cream moisturizer

I look for products that maintain the good skin I have and that don’t have a lengthy list of unnecessary ingredients in them.  They don’t have to be purely organic I just prefer the list of ingredients to be shorter rather than longer.  I sometimes throw in one or two random “steps” or skin products I want to try on certain days, but these four items are the ones I really stick to.  I don’t use Dickinson’s Witch Hazel toner on a daily basis since it’s not alcohol free, but I use it alternately on days where I feel more oily after using makeup, plus also to slowly kill off whiteheads that are forming.  My belief is less is more so if your skin isn’t in dire need of a certain product why add it to the conga line?  How many skincare products are part of your daily routine?… To full post & COMMENTS...

Skinjoy Ph-Balanced Professional Skincare – Developed under Enjoy Haircare

When I first read about Skinjoy Professional Skincare I thought the range visually represented what a younger sub-brand by Laneige might look like, but it apparently has no relation to Laneige.  It looks and sounds young and oh, so very Asian but it isn’t.   This caught my interest because it is said to be a carefully formulated Ph-balanced range that is free of sulfates and methylparaben.  It was developed after Enjoy Haircare, a professional range started by hairstylist, Patrick Dockry, in California.

I once had a favorite ph-balanced skin cleanser that utterly changed the way my agitated skin felt in my teens, it became super baby smooth and it FELT better, like the skincare was in tune with my skin or something like that.  Back then it was Johnson’s Ph 5.5 range, anybody remember that?  I was frustrated when it got phased out sooner than expected locally.  I extremely appreciated the facial cleanser and the body wash, then suddenly, after a year or two, they were gone and I could not repurchase.   I just spotted Skinjoy online as it seems to have just been made available on StrawberryNET under the mother brand,  Enjoy.  In my experience, Ph-balanced products do deliver and you feel the harmonious effect tremendously on your skin.  I’m very keen to try this range out and am particularly interested in the Skinjoy Foaming Cleanser and the Skinjoy Face Finisher which is a mild ph-balanced youth serum that brightens, seals, and protects the natural lipids in the skin.  Prices are of a premium mark but not unreasonable as can be expected from a professionally developed salon brand.  In my experience, although more expensive, less mainstream professionally developed products more often than not deliver the most impressive results.

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