Showing posts with label sun protection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sun protection. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF42 PA+++

Been using this Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF42 PA+++ (now simply Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF42) at home while working by my huge windows. This 7mL bottle was a bonus freebie when I bought The Skincare Hydro-Balancing Softener.

I wasn't too thrilled with this, to be honest. Not only it has a lower SPF, having gotten my skin deep fried by the super drying Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF55 PA+++ (now simply Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF50+) I didn't expect any better from this one. From what I've read, Shiseido sunscreens, even the Japan exclusive ones (Anessa, etc.), tend to be more drying than other brands', not sure why. I guess the selling point here is that it's oil free. The problem is that I actually need the oil for my skin because it's very dry, so the oil-free is not a plus for me in this case.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Clarins UV Plus HP SPF40 Day Screen

After L'Occitane Immortelle Brightening Shield SPF40 PA+++, I moved on to testing this 3mL/0.1fl oz. sample of Clarins UV Plus HP SPF40 Day Screen. According to Clarins, this is a 100% physical sunblock lotion with active ingredients of 8.1% Titanium Dioxide. It's actually not my first time using this particular product - I had used up a few bottles of its former carnation aka the UV Plus Protective Day Screen SPF40 about 7-8 years ago.

I have to say, this product has come a long way since and it now feels significantly different than its old self, and for the better too! While it's still a milk, it's no longer runny and is slightly thicker and, as far as I can tell, requires no shaking. Again, for each application I applied about 1mL's worth, a third of the sample tube. At this amount, it took 10 minutes or so to dry completely. Once absorped, I got a comfortable and completely matte finish that left no visible white cast. I have no doubt it would make an awesome makeup base. What's more, it felt much more substantive than the previous version and seemed to have some oil control function as my t-zone did not get oily after a few hours. Thinking back to the old version that turned me greasy, this is a huge improvement! In other words, this day screen now looks and feels no different than my favorite Japanese sunscreens! Shall I remind you again it's supposedly 100% physical sunblock? It's quite an impressive feat for a physical sunblock to be so elegant!

Monday, March 25, 2013

L'Occitane Immortelle Brightening Shield SPF40 PA+++

Had a few sample 1mL/0.03oz. sachets of L'Occitane Immortelle Brightening Shield SPF40 PA+++, including one from the Brighten Up Collection I recently received as GWP. This product is a part of the recent Immortelle Brightening line, claiming to even out and brightens the skin tone while reducing wrinkles, promising to prevent dark spots via mineral physical sunblock, the 11.52% of Titanium Dioxide in its ingredients.

See below screencap for content details of the L'Occitane Brighten Up Collection.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++

Update Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Revisited this Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ after SunPlay Super Block failed me and I grew tired of having to take second measures around the eye area when using Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Essence. I mean, putting on sunscreen every day is one thing, but having to put on two different sunscreens, one for the face and one for around the eyes? What a pain in the a$$!

So I dared another experiment with this dreadfully drying UV Sara Sara Milk, though this time I'd learned my lesson (or not, after all here I am trying this stuff again...) and was being super careful about layering adequately underneath it (Caudalie VinoSource S.O.S Thirst-Quenching Serum, will review next). Interestingly enough, I can't seem to find this UV Sara Sara Milk in Taipei! I've seen plenty of its alcohol-free sister Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk in the blue bottle at Watson's, but not Sara Sara Milk in the pink bottle. Not sure why. 

Anyway, this was totally unexpected, but this Sara Sara Milk turns out to be just perfect for the crazy humid Taipei weather! Even better is that together with SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, it's been really helping with my pore clogging problem ever since I came to Taipei, perhaps because it's just that drying and it gives my skin no chance to get oily and clogged. Also, there is a reason I gave this sunscreen and SK-II Clear Lotion the credit for helping to clear up my skin and not Avene TriAcneal, but I'm not going to get into it until I actually review that product. 

So there, I brought my partially, well, more like 2/3 used bottle from Japan to Taiwan  on a hunch and it rewarded me handsomely. In fact, it worked out so well that when my sister came to visit in late October-early November, I asked her to bring me an extra bottle from my stash. Even then, I doubted this extra bottle. At the time, I was only about 2 weeks into the trial and I, nah, I probably won't even touch the new bottle because it would deep fry my skin before I finish up the current bottle. Well, I'm so so glad I was wrong, and that I have this new bottle to use, because it's been almost 7 weeks now and my skin thanks me for it!

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Update Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Okay, so after 3 weeks of continuous use of this Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ sans moisturizer underneath, it totally dried out my skin. Damn, I was so convinced I would get away with it given how hot and humid it is outside! Guess not :( The alcohol is probably too much for my skin to handle and I've been getting dry and flaky patches on both cheeks, chin, and on the area around the mouth T.T

Time for damage control, and after spending more than 10 days layering moisturizer underneath (Mamonde Moisture Emulsion or HABA Lift Up Serum - finally ran out of both and currently using Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee Anti-Wrinkle Fluid, will review soon), the dry and flaky patches improved but haven't gone away completely. So unfortunately, this sunscreen is definitely a big no-no for me during the winter. I mean, shoot, it's already giving me dry flakes now when my dry-combination skin requires only light to no moisturizer. What havoc will it wreck during the colder months when my skin goes into crazy dry mode? Eeeps!!! I guess there's no replacing my trusty all-star year round Allie after all. Ha.

This Sara Sara Milk is strictly for summer use, I concluded, and with adequate moisturizer underneath for sure. If your skin is super oily, that's an entirely different story, but if your skin is just plain dry, really, stay away! 

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Original post Sunday, July 15, 2012

Having decided to put away Allie Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N, I was eager to give this Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ a try. There are 2 sunscreens available in the Skin Aqua UV Milk range, a Moisture Milk I tried a few years ago that's alcohol-free, aiming to maintain moisture as most Japanese sunscreen are full of alcohol and can be drying, and this Sara Sara Milk released spring of last year that contains powder for a smooth finish. I ignored it then, thinking powder is rather an unnecessary ingredient, only to change my mind in the spirit of trying new things and gave it a chance recently. And besides, trying a different product from the same brand/range is not really that "new" or particularly adventurous in anyway. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++

Update Friday October 26, 2012

After moving home from Japan, I've experimented with this Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block again in the super dry weather while visiting my folks in the US of A. I have to say this sunscreen worked extremely well in a drier environment! It became very light and weightless in addition to making my makeup look pretty much flawless. The slight downer was that the slight white cast also became more noticeable due to the dryness of the weather and the brightness of the sun. Nothing a few fluff of setting powder couldn't correct though, and if you are living in a dry environment, this would make an excellent substitute for Allie at a fraction of the price. Really, it was no wonder why my mum loved this little red cap bottle so much!

With this confidence, I brought a few bottles with me to Taiwan, not being certain whether I would be able to find a supply of it here in Taipei. Well, turns out I was wrong on the former and correct on the latter. I was correct in that this sunscreen cannot be found here at all! I tried looking everywhere, Sasa included and still couldn't find even one bottle! However, I was unexpectedly wrong in that the humid Taiwanese weather (more humid than Japan, eeps!) turned this Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block super thick and heavy on my skin. Even after I skipped moisturizer altogether, Hadanomy AquaPlacenta Concentrated Mist included(!), it still felt as though I was walking around with a mask on. And yet with no moisturizers underneath and set with translucent powder, my t-zone still shined like an oil spill when I got to school! Through classes, I had to blot constantly to keep my nose shine-free. Not sure what happened there! :( So yeah, I had to stop using this and switched over to the Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Essence, which I'd reviewed recently after having tested it in 3 different countries, Japan, US, and Taiwan ^.^

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Original post Friday, August 10, 2012

A year or so after my first Allie sunscreen, I made a convert out of my mum and she loved Allie's texture and finish after Lancome and Estee Lauder, among other things, failed her (and stung her eyes badly). Late last year, having had my sister lugged home several bottles on her move back, mum started to complain about how much they cost. So I went online and found this post recommending the Top 5 Japanese Sunscreens for Summer 2011. Since mum's concern was affordability, I decided to get her a couple of bottles of Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++ to try, after all, its retail price is a mere 398yen for a 27mL bottle (versus Allie's 1,470yen for 25mL or 2,940yen for 60mL) and I've seen it sold for even less, 298yen(!) at certain drugstores. 

By the way, there is also a Top 5 for Spring 2011 edition too and I have actually reviewed a few from both lists: obviously Allie (been using since 2008), Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++ (started using at my sister's recommendation since she's been using the Cool version on her face for a few years), most recently Allie Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N SPF50+ PA+++ (best for winter use I decided), Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ (summer use only, definitely with moisturizer underneath as it is very drying with strong alcohol content, that said it's still much better than its alcohol-free sister UV Moisture Milk I tried a few years ago), and now this Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++. After this, I will probably move on to another item on the list, the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50 PA+++, so check back later ^.^

Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Essence SPF50+ PA+++

It has been quite an interesting experiment with this Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Essence SPF50+ PA+++. I bought it back in May and started testing it along with several other sunscreens, Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA+++, Mentholatum SunPlay Super Block SPF50+ PA+++, Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++, and Allie Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N SPF50+ PA+++ for the face, and Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel SPF32 PA+++ and Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++ for the body.

This Sara Sara Essence is a newer release and I picked it because according to what I read, it has stronger UVA protection (indicated by PA) with Tinosorb S, an ingredient common in European sunscreens known for much stronger UVA protection than American sunscreens, which focuses on UVB (indicated by SPF) and pretty much ambivalent when it comes to UVA. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA+++

Hubby only has 2 requirements for sunscreens. The first and most important is that he will put it on himself if and only if he cannot feel it on himself. Unfortunately, 98% of all the sunscreens out there fail this test (thank you, Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++ and Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel SPF32 PA+++!). The second is that the sunscreen does not require an oil cleanser to be removed, because he will not be bothered to wash his face before getting into the shower, because he is going to wash his face in the shower already. He should, but does not care much for the SPF or the PA ratings and will happily wear the same sunscreen on his face and body. His lucky butt has normal skin, which does not get oily or sweaty. He doesn't sweat much on the body either (double lucky, urgh). 

My requirements for sunscreens are a bit different. On the body, SPF30 is okay since I dress conservatively to begin with. On my face, however, ever since my first venture into Japanese sunscreens, Sofina Perfect UV SPF 50 PA+++ Lucent, I have stopped settling for anything less than SPF50 PA+++ for daily use. With that in mind, I was scheming to get hubby to apply a stronger sunscreen on his face ^.^ It's incredible he is willing to put any sunscreen on himself to begin with (thank you thank you Nivea and Mentholatum!), yet here I was pushing my luck, trying to get him to use not one but two different sunscreens, one for his face and one for his body. Muahaha *evil shifty eyes, hands rubbing together* xD

So I read around on the same website with the awesome lists of best spring and summer sunscreens for 2011 and found this Best Pick post for Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA+++. It immediately made its way into my shopping basket as a test-run candidate for hubby's stronger facial sunscreen mission. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

Update Friday August 24, 2012.

After I finished up hubby's travel sized tube of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, I got him started on this GWP 0.5 oz./15mL jar of Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. Hubby used to love this, and so did I. However, after the umpteenth GWP jar and a couple of full sizes (yes, despite my protest with the price tag I caved), we both got bored and branched out a bit to experiment. Fast forward a couple of years, we are ready to go back ^.^

Good stuff, I tell you. Very light but provides effective hydration. Absorbs very quickly and leaves behind no traces of itself, not even slight stickiness in this humid weather. No wonder hubby prefers it over everything else he's tried. I get bored easily though, so after this jar I will probably move on again.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel SPF32 PA+++

I ran out of the 80g Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++ bottle a couple of weeks ago and moved on to this 2012 reformulation of the Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel I started using in 2009

This new formula marks an important change in the sunscreen, making it photostable in addition to offering slightly better protection with SPF32 and PA+++ (the old formula had SPF27 and PA++). Supposedly, the feel of the sunscreen changed as well, and the big round sticker on the lower half of the outer packaging gasps, "It's just like lotion!" By lotion they meant toner, and remember that Asian made toners are seldom runny water but instead more viscous like a runny gel. The hygienic and nicely sized 150g pump bottle supposedly retails for 1,260yen and the 130g refill pouch 1,050yen, but you can get it for cheaper. I got mine for 945yen and 745yen, respectively, and I'm sure some places have them for even cheaper.

Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel SPF32 PA+++ 150g pump bottle and 130g refill pouch

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Allie Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N SPF50+ PA+++

Just restocked my supply of the trusty Allie Extra UV Protector Perfect Alpha, which has been reformulated again earlier in the year into Extra UV Protector Perfect Alpha N, with the "N" differentiating the 2012 from the older 2011 formulation. I probably won't review this 2012 formulation unless there's a significant change in texture and/or finish. I probably won't get to this sunscreen till a while later anyway, as I'm determined to try out a few new things before retreating back into my good ol' familiar turtle shell.

One of those new things I'm trying is this Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N SPF50+ PA+++. Hell, I'm trying something new for the body, the Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++, so why not try something new for the face too, right? It seems Allie has been trying really hard to push the Body UV Mist SPF26 PA+. There are tons of these gift sets with a mini bottle of Body UV Mist going for only 2,058yen with tax, and although I'm not too thrilled with the mist myself, I'll use it on a cloudy day for a trip to the groceries if they're so hell bent on giving it to me. I sure wouldn't go buy a full size though, not when it hasn't been reformulated and is still not photostable!

Allie Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N and Extra UV Protector Perfect Alpha N Gift Sets with mini bottle of Body UV Mist SPF26 PA+, each 2,058yen with tax.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++

I mentioned I am doing some (okay, a lot) of shopping for my sister, and it includes stocking her up on her favorite sunscreen, the Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++. She actually prefers the Water Gel Cool version for its, well, cooling effect, most probably from the menthol in its ingredients. While at it, I also picked up a couple of the regular version for myself to try ^.^ 

I just finished up my last stocked bottle of Allie from the 2011's formulation and am completely open to trying new sunscreens. In the past, I had been sticking with only Allie for the face and Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel SPF27 PA++ for the body - please note this review link is for the 2009 formulation that is no longer available, and the current Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel is a new and improved 2012 formulation that is photostable(!) and has slightly higher SPF to boot (can't wait to try this one too)! So as you can see, the Japanese sunscreen market is continually making improvements and I can't keep missing out on the good stuff! 

Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF30 PA++ regular (white bottle) and Cool version (blue bottle).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Allie Extra UV Protector (Perfect Alpha)

I didn't review Allie 2010's Precious Barrier Protector WaterTouch N because, as I said, they seem to revamp the formula annually, each time with the product's name getting more and more convoluted and confusing. And plus I didn't notice any obvious difference in terms of texture or how the formula worked in comparison to its previous incarnations, the 2009's Precious Barrier Sunscreen WaterTouch as well as the 2008's Comfortable Sunscreen EX WaterTouch.

Allie 2011's Extra UV Protector (Perfect Alpha)

Allie 2011's Extra UV Protector (Perfect Alpha), however, is something else. Of course the very first noticeable different is the packaging. I don't quite like this change, to be honest. The bottle looks larger and clunkier, being rectangular in shape instead of the sleeker and smoother oval bottles in the older versions. I guess that gives you the illusion that there are more products inside, but nope, it still contains only 60mL, only in a bigger bottle. Not sure why they did that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Allie Body UV Mist SPF26 PA+

I haven't bought the full size yet but so far have gone through 2 (or was it 3) of these mini Allie Body UV Mist SPF26 PA+ already.

I bought it in a set along with the newly updated Precious Barrier Protector WaterTouch N (review overdue, I know, sorry!) and kept buying this set since the mini bottle was cute and small and much more convenient to lug around than the full size bottle, which is a bit more plump :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX WaterTouch SPF50+ PA+++

Update Monday, May 24, 2010.

Thanks to Ratzilla who pointed out that the picture posted below is actually of the revamped 2009 version, renamed Precious Barrier Sunscreen WaterTouch. The 2008 Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Watertouch had been discontinued as of 2009, so I had been sloppy in calling it the 2008's "new packaging." My bad!

By the way, this 2009 version had also been discontinued as of 2010. I haven't even gotten around to reviewing mine yet, and I think I'm not going to. Looks like Allie is going to change the formula yearly, and plus the naming convention is getting more and more convoluted and confusing (what's with the "N"?), so I'm not going to bother chasing after them.

For 2010, Allie's website features the latest generation that includes Precious Barrier Protector WaterTouch N, Precious Barrier Protector Whitening N, and EX Guard Sunscreen UV Perfect N. Check out this Sunscreen Comparison by Ratzilla, after reading the results, I think I might need some of this Precious Barrier Protector WaterTouch N stuff :)

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Original post Thursday, April 9, 2009.

I switched from my favorite Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Perfect to EX WaterTouch simply because I ran out of the former. Yep, I ran out of it while away on vacation, and the only sunscreen we had with us then was the EX WaterTouch version that hubby was using because he didn't want to fuss with the oil cleansers and whatnot. So yes, this EX WaterTouch version is the non-waterproof version of the Allie sunscreen that does not need an oil cleanser for complete removal.

Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX WaterTouch in new packaging. See the list of ingredients translated from Japanese.

***Picture from Adam Beauty.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk SPF50+ PA+++

This Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk SPF50+ PA+++ is waaaaay overdue for a review! I've been using it daily since more than a month ago, after I ran out of my Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX WaterTouch.

Mentholatum Skin Aqua is a fairly new line of sun screen products, introduced only about a year or two ago. I've been dying to get my hands on these, but my usual online sources didn't carry them for the longest time. Sasa.com only started stocking them recently, albeit under the wrong name. The product page calls it Mentholatum SunPlay (another Mentholatum sun screen product line), but the accompanying picture shows Skin Aqua instead and the descriptions says "UV Mosture Milk SPF50 PA+++." Whatever, my sister brought me this bottle on her trip home this past summer, but I will probably get it from Sasa.com next time. Someone's clearly confused and Sasa.com needs to fix either the picture or the product page/description, but for $10.80 for 40 mL, I think I'd buy it anyway and hope I'll end up with the right product :)

See the list of ingredients translated from Japanese.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel SPF27 PA++

On her visit my sister brought me this Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Gel SPF27 PA++. Okay fine, I sent her a picture of it, and she was so sweet to indulge me :) More like she totally spoiled me rotten, and I'm the big sister LOL

This Mentholatum Skin Aqua line is relatively new, introduced in spring 2008 (the other older line is Sun Play). But up until now, I was still trying out different sunscreens out there, starting with Sofina Perfect UV, then Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX (both Perfect and WaterTouch). So I guess I'm totally ready to try something new.

See the list of ingredients translated from Japanese.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Perfect SPF50+ PA+++

Wah...it's almost October already! Yikes! Sorry for disappearing for a while there!

Back in June, I promised in this post I was going to give you a full review of the new Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Perfect SPF 50+ PA+++. I have never tried the old Allie sunscreen formula, but recently, the brand revamped, reformulated, and repackaged its sunscreens to replace the older ones. The new Allie sunscreen comes in 3 formulas:
1. Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Watertouch SPF 50+ PA+++: a daily sunscreen that does not need a separate oil cleanser to remove because it is not waterproof.
2. Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Perfect SPF 50+ PA+++: a waterproof sunscreen that needs a separate oil cleanser to remove.
3. Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Whitening SPF 50+ PA+++: self explanatory, in addition to being waterproof and needing a separate oil cleanser to remove.

The one is use is the "EX Perfect" version, and after a good 3 months trial, I am happily reporting that all hype with this brand new Allie reinvention is indeed well deserving! I don't know about the other 2 versions, but this Allie EX Perfect sunscreen truly is all it promises to be, and it is the one and only sunscreen for me now, replacing my all time favorite Sofina Perfect UV SPF 50 PA+++ Lucent! Unbelievable, huh?

Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Perfect SPF 50+ PA+++ (although they all look pretty much the same, save for the labeling). See the ingredients list translated from Japanese.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

DHC Moisture Pack

Okay, tell me I'm delusional, but in the heat and humidity of the Jersey summer, instead of melting away like everything else my skin is drying out like the Sahara!!! I guess my regular usage (every 2 nights) of retinoid treatment (Differin) and high alcohol content sunscreen (Sofina Perfect UV) has finally caught up with my poor dry skin. Damn, I really thought Sofina marked the end of my search high and low for a decent sunscreen! And it was working really well in the beginning too...garr!!! Oh well, what's why they say it takes up to several months to see if a product is a good fit. So on to the next less drying sunscreen I go...

The good news is that I have already ordered my Allie Comfortable Screen EX Perfect SPF 50+ PA+++ :D It is said to be less drying than Sofina, so we'll see how it goes. I'll do a review after a couple of months but will update again after several months for a progress report (sounds like we're still in grade school or something...).

***Picture form Adam Beauty.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC is a Japanese brand with a good North American following, even though most of their sales occur via monthly catalogues and an online shop. They are known for making olive oil-based skin care products, of which the Deep Cleansing Oil is a best seller with a huge fan base, myself included :D



***Picture from DHC USA.

Actually, I've been using this Deep Cleansing Oil for almost 2 years now. For a while though, I stopped and switched to FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil because I thought it was too drying. It turns out to be the sunscreen I was using, the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 55 PA+++, that was drying out my skin. After I changed my sunscreen to Sofina Perfect UV SPF 50+ PA+++, my skin recovered and I switched back to DHC.

I have tried 3 different cleansing oils: DHC, FANCL, and Shiseido SunCare Ultimate Cleansing Oil. By far, the Shiseido one is thinnest in consistency, then FANCL, and DHC is the thickest. The stuff looks, feels, and (somewhat) smells like olive oil! It took a while to get used to, but I ended up liking that smell more than the fragrance in the Shiseido and the strange sour smell in the FANCL (no, it hadn't gone bad, it just smells like that!).

I'm glad I went back to this DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, actually. My face feels refreshed and clean afterwards, and now that I'm not using the Shiseido sunscreen anymore, I see that the cleansing oil doesn't dry out my skin at all! I only use this cleansing oil at night to remove my sunscreen, and it takes 1.5 pumps (the instructions recommend 1-2) for me to take everything off of my face. If I wear eye makeup, I use a separate eye makeup remover first and leave the rest to the cleansing oil. Afterwards, I follow with another gentle cleanser as recommended. A bottle of 6.7 oz (200 mL) lasts me 3-4 months.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Current Skin Care Routine

Not that anyone gives a damn, just thought I might look back one day and think, "Wow, that was stupid." This is my current skin care routine as of February 2008.

AM Routine1. Kinerase Gentle Daily Cleanser (See my comments in an earlier post)

2. Avon Hydrofirming Eye Cream
This gel/cream goes on like water, absorbs completely leaving no residue behind, and best of all, it leaves my very dry eye area feeling naked but surprisingly supple and thoroughly moisturized. I used to think it wasn't moisturizing enough when I was still using the Shiseido SPF 55 sunscreen, but then I quickly learned the problem was with the sunscreen and not the eye cream. In fact, this is the only eye cream I've tried so far that does NOT melt my water-resistant sunscreen! I'm on my 4th jar and stock up whenever there's a good promotion, not that it isn't already dirt cheap. Try keeping this cream in your fridge for a lovely cooling effect, especially in the hot summer! I actually keep the empty glass jars afterwards too, removing the label and using them to store other creams and mix loose eye shadows, pigments, and blushes. Talk about efficient!

***Picture from Avon.com.

3. Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre & Lait Creme Concentre Fluide
I have combination-dry skin, and use the Fluide for my oily t-zones and the cream for everywhere else that's crazily dry. The cream is fresh and the Fluide is milky, both are very light, absorbs instantly, leaving my face soft and dewy. I don't wake up with oil-slick face, which is VERY impressive given my super oily t-zones! Neither the cream or Fluide breaks me out or clog my pores. Their prices are reasonable, given you don't need much at all for thorough hydration. My only complaint is they are fragranced.



***Pictures from Thecureshop.com.

4. Sofina Perfect UV SPF 50 PA+++ Lucent (See my comments from the Sun Protection! Part II post)

PM Routine
1. FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil (See the FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil post)

2. Kinerase Gentle Daily Cleanser (See my comments in an earlier post)

3. Lancome Renergie Microlift
It's technically not an eye cream, but who says I can't use it for my eye areas? Actually, I only use it because it feels rich and I love the soft powdery scent similar to those in the Shiseido Benefiance line. It moisturizes better than the Shiseido Benefiance eye cream and isn't greasy, but other than that, I don't notice anything else it claims to do. The cream actually melt my water-resistant sunscreen and stained my contacts when I tried using it during the day, so I can only use it at night. Oh well...

***Picture from Lancome USA.

4. Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre & Lait Creme Concentre Fluide
See comments above.

TreatmentsEvery 3rd night, I use a retinoid gel as a treatment. I actually started out with Avene Retrinal 0.025% Cream, however, while this cream cleared out the carnage from the Tinosorbs (See the Sun Protection! Part II post) on my face, it also clogged the bloody hell out of my already battered pores. The culprit is not the Retinaldehyde treatment, purging, irritation, or otherwise reaction with any specific ingredient but is rather the formula itself. To simply put, the cream was too emolient for my dry-combination skin. My dry cheeks were clear, but my t-zones were greasy and therefore didn't fare so well. After a 3-month battle with my face, I called it quits and switched to Differin (Adapalene) 0.1% Gel.

***Picture from Avene USA.

Differin (Adapalene) 0.1% Gel
Let's just say, "Wow." Within 1 weeks (2 uses) of this gel, my skin cleared like clouds after a rainstorm! I'm finally seeing my good o' clear skin back and this time, it returns with a nice pinkish glow. Am I imagining things? Anyway, because it's in a gel form, it's supposed to be stronger, and hence more drying. We'll see about that. So far, no signs of dryness yet. Let's hope it stays that way...

***Picture from Differin.com.

For more information on Retinoids:
- See an Anti-Aging FAQ page provided by Janssen Cosmeceutical
- See an article on Retinoids written by Albert M. Kligman, the dermatologist and researcher who invented Retin-A
- See even more information on Retinoids from MUA member Tetrakis's notepad, where the above 2 links are provided

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