Skincare Update [Sept 2016]

 

Hi hi, this is just an entry to list down what I am currently using and loving for the past few months (over 6 months, in fact).  I don’t always feature skincare products on the blog, and I have a lot, a lot of skincare products waiting for me to try out.  But longtime readers know I only update on skincare 2 or 3 times a year because I don’t tend to skip from one routine to another…I usually add in a couple of new products here and there until eventually the whole routine is updated and we have another entry like this to share.

It is only fair to give credit to the products which have served me well, and before I accumulate more empties that I throw away, I better start documenting them while they are still in my rotation.

Also, I have been getting questions on what is my skincare routine/how I maintain my skin, and I find that I don’t have a straightforward answer to that. If I were to tell them the 20 or 30 products that I am rotating, then where are they supposed to start? Besides who want to sit and listen to me ramble on and on about my skincare routine? What turned out to be a polite/ curious question about my skincare routine becomes a 1 hour long conversation is NOT what most people expect, right? Which brings me to the focus of this entry…I am going to list products according to what I think serves a purpose for my skin. You can pick and choose what you think you can try out.

I find it hard to review only a single product or a single brand– unless everything I am using happened to be from one brand (and I believe I have done this with great results from Lancôme, Shiseido and Clarins in the past) but in recent years, my skincare stash has become a lot more varied. I hope to share everything I am using with you in the most organic way possible–nobody is paying me to talk about their products here, and I am just sharing with you my own personal experience.

Of course, some of the products I mentioned here have been repeated several times in my previous skincare updates- they are staples and won’t be going anywhere soon.
I am also not mentioning a host of other products that I have previously featured in my other skincare feature entries (like the Sephora cleansers and anti-aging features)-  those products are still lurking in my rotation, but I won’t be repeating them here. I have shared some of the anti-aging serums to my mother who can benefit from those products too. Everything mentioned here are really just things I can count on for the past few months.

About my skintype – I have normal to combination skin. My skin will break out in one or two spots if I try out a product that does not work on me. Hence, in my skincare routine, I must always have something that will HEAL and also RESET my skin back to original condition. I will also stop using that product immediately and fall back on my own routine. I am also 37 this year, so some form of anti-aging, skin cell regeneration & hydration is important to me.

1: Neurogena Oil to Foam Cleansers
These come in three types – normal, brightening, hydrating. I have already used uo the normal one, and I am almost done with the hydrating one. I love these cleansers because they are so easy to use. They break down your makeup when massage on dry skin, and start to emulsify and foam up when you add water to the massaging. I use this everyday in the evening to remove makeup, and sometimes I will double cleanser with a foaming cleanser. I highly recommend these effective and affordable cleansers.

2: Foaming Cleansers – IOPE IDEAL CLEANSING FOAM
This is not new to me, and I have mentioned it a few times. It is just a super foamy brightening cleansing foam that washes my face well.

3: Mask Treatments
I love a good mask on weekend mornings. To detox my skin, to boost skin firmness and also just to nourish my skin in general. Three masks that I am loving are
BIOTHERM WONDER MUD – this is soooo awesome, I am quickly running out of it. My brother loves it too for the no fuss and refreshing cleansing properties.
GLAMGLOW MUD FIRMING TREATMENT – this is a silver peel off mask. I find that this does plump up my skin, and gives it an overall brightened appearance.
FRESH VITAMIN NECTAR – this is like applying an apricot jam spread on your face. It smells sweet and fruity and I like this as a lightweight nourishing face mask treatment.

4: DIOR SKINCARE – my skin has been loving Dior skincare products for the most of this year. I am thankful that I get lots of Dior stuff to try out because they are definitely not cheap. If I have to recommend only one item you got to try, and if you are looking for a rich face cream, you must use the Dior Capture Totale multi perfection cream – this cream comes in 3 formulations : gel, universal, and cream (?) I got the universal, and this is the night cream I go for when I want to reset my skin, when I want to heal a particular spot or dry area. I use the cream in conjunction with the matching serum – the Totale Capture Intensive Skin Detoxifying Booster Serum & also the Total Capture Eye Zone Detoxifying Radiance Boosting Care. I apply a very generous layer of the serum, and I sealed it with the application of the cream afterwards. Which sounds slightly messy, but the next morning, my skin is restored and ready for the day. I think the Capture Totale range is my fave from Dior by far.

Still on Dior, I also enjoyed mixing the DiorSnow White Perfection brightening serum with the Bloom Perfect Brightening Perfect Skin Perfector (which is slightly tinted). This gives me a good base to apply my makeup though I wish the combo can be more hydrating.

— you would notice by now, I like to go for skin renewal products at night, and for day I like hydrating products —-

4: Kiehls Essentials
I have very good luck with Kiehls Skincare. They are reasonably priced and there is something to suit everyone. I love most of their face creams, and currently my basic face cream is their iconic Ultra Facial Cream. I am also trying out both of their facial treatments, the Micro-Peel concentrate & Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution – both are awesome at ensuring that my skintone is as even as possible. And both the facial oils are fail-proof for me. I always go back to the night concentrate – can’t remember how many if these I have gone through over the years – and it is also a staple oil that my sisters swear by – when I only want to use one product. I use the day oil on weekends at home, and literally just let my skin soak in oil for the day.

5: Other essentials that I rotate daily
I like to dab some Laneige Firming eye cream under my eyes for day time, and I use more at night. This is a rich cream without being too heavy. Definitely will repurchase when I am done with it.

Algenist Splash Absolute Hydration is a great moisturiser for day time. I alternate between this and Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream. I don’t usually use serums in the day time, so it is just a great basic face cream and sunscreen before I apply my makeup for the day. Also I love that it is in a pump bottle, so easy to use.

I also use the Sunday Riley Luna Oil once or twice a week. I have just a tiny bottle, but I can see the hype over this facial treatment oil. To me, it is like a richer version of the Kiehls midnight discovery oil and almost twice the price. I love it, but I won’t be purchasing the full size soon – have too many similar products for me to use up first.

6: SKIN INC SERUMS
These serum cocktails are a funny thing. They don’t feel like anything on the skin, but yet they are made up such powerful ingredients. I like that their composition is so pure, they don’t really interfere with any other creams I apply over. Again like previous serums I have mentioned, I apply them very liberally and soak my skin in them for a minute before I apply my face cream. I can’t remember what is the formula of my skininc cocktails but the beautiful thing is you are supposed to customise them based your own skin concerns.

7: SUN SCREENS
I have a whole host of sunscreens that my sister and I rotate.
For lightweight/ invisible ones that I use before makeup, I would go for the Chanel UV ESSENTIEL, CLARINS UV PLUS DAY SCREEN, KIEHLS Ultra Light Daily Defense.
For running days when I only use the sunscreen on its own, I would go for the KIEHLS Ultra Daily UV Defense mineral suncreen which is slightly tinted, and the DIORSNOW UV Shield protection which is quite a heavy duty one that adheres to my skin and doesn’t move at all.

Throughout the day, I also spritz my skin with various facial mists, especially if I am in an AC room for too long, or whenever I feel like refreshing my face. But I guess that another entry for another time.

So to sum up, regardless of your age, I think sun protection and hydration are most important. Have a few trusted skincare products that you can count on (or like me, maybe 10 of them ahahah) and know what works for your skin concerns.

I hope that my sharing has been useful, and thank you for reading!!

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“Fitness” & Lifestyle Update [Sept 2016]

“Fitness” & Lifestyle Update [Sept 2016]

Hi hi!!

This entry, as you can tell from the title, is going to be a rambly, possibly pointless update.  A couple of years back, I wrote about my weightloss journey (I started back in Dec 2013, spent the whole of 2014 losing almost 20kg, maintaining it in 2015, and now here we are in September 2016).  Over 2 years on, how am I doing?   What long term changes have I noticed in myself?

Not quite sure how to organise this entry yet, I am just typing whatever comes to my mind.

I can share with you the most obvious benefits I have noticed about myself:

Eating ‘Healthy’ & Juicing – I am guilty of something.  Compared to 2014 and 2015, I haven’t been eating quite as clean this year.  But I am not going crazy eating anything I crave either.  I am still holding off the carbs 80% of the time, and I try to avoid fatty food.  I am not doing so good when it comes to sugary stuff (which is really bad I know) but my bad  funky logic is, having a sweet tea/coffee is better than having a whole plate of fried rice that most people eat as a meal everyday?  I try to do a juice cleanse every 1-2 months, a 3 day programme at one time.  This year I have juice cleansed for 3 or 4 times – I find that this is  good detox, not so much as a weight loss, I do lose 2-3 kg each round, but I do it more to reduce bloating and really just to clear my system.

Staying fit and growing stronger – One of the benefits which I think will stay with me for life, is making fitness a way of my life.  And among my close friends, we all do something physical regularly on our own.  We can yak non-stop about our workout sessions, we work out together and also perfectly fine on our own.  I used to only go on my solitary runs, but in the past year, I have grown to love practising yoga.  I have to thank the great yoga teachers along the way, starting with MABEL (@mabesyoga) who started us off the right way – to me the right way is to ease into it, learn the proper techniques and form.  She got my friends and I into yoga, and even though our sessions together have taken a  hiatus, we continue to practise on our own at various places – I usually stick to the same few studios only.  I may not be the most yoga-ry person – no contortions and inversions for me, but I think yoga is something that I can see myself doing for many many years to come.  I have experienceed greater strength and flexibility in my body, more toned limbs – my weight didn’t go down but I think I am more toned.

Because my body is stronger and I am going to different places to practise yoga, I am now more open to trying new forms of working out.  I tried out Pilates, I tried out a barre class, etc I don’t think I would have dare to try a couple of years ago.  And that confidence to try out a class is priceless.  

I still go for my runs, but the frequency has gone down from 4-5 times to 1-2 a week, usually weekend mornings.  I try to do yoga at least 4 times a week.  I have since switched from Kfit to Guava – read about my Kfit experience/ fitness update back in Feb 2016 here.

Guava is more expensive – I signed for a 6mth contract at SG139 a mth, but I need the unlimited classes factor.  The ten sessions per monthly cycle with Kfit wasn’t giving me enough sessions. I do enjoy the variety of places which I practise at, which is why I did not commit to a membership at one particular studio.  Besides, on Guava, I get to try out barre classes and pilates as well. If I had only sign on as a member at one studio, then I won’t explore other options or discover other great yoga classes.

Also, I think there is a difference between learning and practising yoga.  Some places (usually the big crowded classes) you only get to practise, but you won’t get to LEARN the poses as compared to a smaller more intimate setting – where the teacher is able to go around and help you. I am not saying that teachers in huge classes/ studios ‘dun teach’ but you just to be aware, the style and feel is different when you are in these huge classes of over 30 students.  So you might want to have a session a week where you LEARN, and 2-3 other sessions where you practise what you have learned.  There is no point in doing something if your form is wonky, you might hurt yourself, and you might be left wondering what the heck just happened after a class, and also you don’t end up working out the correct muscle groups.. or you end up thinking ‘oh yoga is just to stretch only right’… because believe me, a good yoga session (whether hatha or vinyasa) is all sweat and work, super enjoyable, you don’t have to be all panting and puffing, but your body feels great afterwards.  I hope this point about learning vs practising and small vs big classes isn’t too controversial… but it’s just my own thoughts.

Lastly, the weight – I have put back on 3-4 kg over 2015 to right now.  But I am not so worried about the extra kilos…I still fit the same size clothes, but I think whatever I am doing now is more sustainable (I need to improve on my eating).  And if I need to cut back, I know what to do (eat cleaner works the best for me).  I still go for my accu once a week, and I don’t think I will stop that yet.

Other benefits?  Exercising is the best form of anti-aging self care!  Eat well, sleep well, workout regularly. FYI, ONCE A WEEK IS NOT ENOUGH – you got to keep at it at least 3 times a week, commitment and dedication is important.  Work is never-ending, that dinner date or event which I am invited to can wait or skip… I would rather turn up on the mat for my yoga then attend a beauty event these days.  I am already 37, and I know it is shameless to say, everyone who asks how old I am, or wonder to themselves how old I am, they always guess at least 10 years younger.  Then they ask, what do I do?  How?   And this is how – skincare, bodycare (not just slapping anti-cellulite creams mind you), eating well… it is all the whole package.  I don’t think I intentionally try to look younger… but everything I do regularly in my lifestyle helped.

I hope this sharing is helpful, and thank you for reading.  Leave your questions, comments below!

 

Experiencing Estetica’s Skinjexion Facial

Experiencing Estetica’s Skinjexion Facial

 

Hi hi

In this entry, I will share with you a new facial treatment I got to try out a few weeks ago at Estetica.  I tried their new Skinjexion Facial – a multi-step facial treatment targeting lines and signs of aging.   The treatment is a high performance line reducer which is safe and yet affordable as compared to other more invasion methods.

By fusing three active substances, SKINJEXION is a skin therapy treatment representing a genuine substitute for medical-aesthetic injections. This efficacious treatment produces immediate results, working on three different levels to slow wrinkle formation in the skin, smooth wrinkles by relaxing and attenuating skin contraction, and fill wrinkles to reduce wrinkle depth through hydration and restoring the skin’s elasticity.

The three active substances to fight the wrinkles are:

Imudilin, SNAP-8, and High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid.

Imudilin plays a critical role in slowing down the process of skin tissue aging – it is supposed to stimulate the skin’s immune cells, which is essential for cell communication, a trait that decreases within the skin tissues as ageing occurs.

SNAP-8 smoothes wrinkles by relaxing and attenuating skin contraction – think of this as a botx effect, and SNAP-8 is ideal for anyone searching for a milder, safe yet effective anti-wrinkle treatment. It acts as a gentle and efficient alternative to Botulinum Toxin (botox), mimicking the effect of injections while targeting the same wrinkle formation mechanism.

High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid fills in wrinkle through hydration  and facilitates the formation of a structure at the skin’s surface to hold in water, preventing dehydration of the skin and reinforcing the skin barrier. This allows the restoration of the skin’s elastic properties, increases hydration levels, while plumping and smoothening the skin’s surface and texture.

 

The Process (and click on my pics which shows every step of the treatment) 

  1. Like every facial treatment, we started with cleansing of the face with a cleansing milk and lotion.
  2. Next, is the SCRUB, which peeling cream that is applied to the lines (mainly around the sides of my mouth, frown lines between my brows and on my neck) A brush is used to literally scrub this cream into my lines a couple of times, and then over the whole face lightly. The scrub is then rinsed off, and the same lotion from step 1 is applied.
  3. After the scrub, comes the serum application, using a syringe like applicator. The skinjector device is used to allow the serum to penetrate into my skin for ten minutes.  The remaining half of the serum is then applied onto my face, and this time, a mcropick is used to ‘roll’ and ‘prick’ my skin to stimulate the surface and boost absorption of the serum.  (You can see a close up of the mcropick in one of the pictures.)  The prickly sensation from the mcropick rolling on your skin takes a short while to get used to, but it is not painful by any means.
  4. After this intensive serum application, a richer cream is applied and massaged onto my face (by then I think I dozed off).
  5. After the cream massage, is the masque step – this is a bright red paste which is mixed just before use.  The masque is applied liberally over my face, and left on for 20 minutes.  As you can see in the collage, the mask sets and lifts off easily during the removal.
  6. After everything a ‘matte’ cream is applied to the lines area and lightly over the whole face.  Then a ‘filler’ cream is applied to the lines, filling in any wrinkles to ensure a smooth and firm surface.  This filler cream (shown in one of the close up pictures) is something you can use a base for special events, if you really want a instant wrinkle filler. The effect, I was told, last for about 5 hours.

All the skincare products that are used in this treatment are all formulated just for this Skinjexion facial and they are available individually for sale at the salon.

The entire treatment lasts for 75 minutes, and it is recommended to for a 4 session course, once a week. The cost of the treatment is S$350 and available at all Estetica outlets.

My thoughts: 

The treatment is soothing and comfortable.  I noticed smoother skin instantly post treatment, the lines around my mouth definitely diminished while I think those on my neck need more work (but anyway, I don’t think the lines around my neck are due to aging, they have been there since I was a kid – think of them as more of fat folds hahahaa).

Over the next couple of weeks, I must say I enjoyed a very smooth and even skin texture which was noted by people at work (no kidding, when more than two people ask me how I maintain my skin, I know something is showing – having a good facial, good skincare, clean makeup base all help to enhance the look of anyone’s skin).

I think that this treatment is beneficial for those in their late 30s to early 40s.. if you are starting to show signs of wrinkles/ lines.. and you want to treat them without doing anything too drastic.. this facial will definitely help – maybe one session might be enough to boost your skin, but a couple more will yield more obvious results for sure.

SKINJEXION TREATMENT

SKINJEXION Facial Treatment (90 minutes, $350) is available at all Estetica Beauty Studios islandwide. It is recommended the SKINJEXION sessions are done once a week for at least four consecutive weeks.

I hope that my sharing is useful, and do share with me what are your tried and tested anti-aging methods!

Thanks for reading!