Skincare routine for managing eczema

Filed Under (cleanser, mask, moisturiser, scrub, serum, skincare, toner, treatment) by rinnah on 23-09-2013

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Ah eczema. It’s the bane of my life and has been around for 17 odd years now – more than half my lifespan! It only became a huge issue for me over the past three or so years when various stresses in my life combined to push me over the edge and eczema started to affect my face. Naturally, I panicked and started running all over like a headless chicken, throwing money at any product that even remotely claimed to be for sensitive and eczema affected skin.

So I tried stuff from Dior, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, Kiehl’s, Dermalogica, drugstore brands and even to the extent of buying many expensive natural/organic products from overseas to try and manage my skin. Sometimes it worked for a while and then it would stop working. Other times it just greatly aggravated my skin to the point where I started thinking I would never look ‘human’ again.

Dry skin
Waiting out a flare-up in December 2012

Anyway, the point of this blogpost is not to moan about how horrible eczema can be and how it affects me but to note down the following skincare routine – I’ve been following various permutations of this routine for the past 5 months and I think I’ve found the right combo that helps me in managing my eczema.

Back to Basics
Eczema flare-ups can last anywhere between a week to a month for me, depending on the severity of the flare-up and whether or not I’m on doctor’s prescribed medication. Symptoms of an ongoing flare-up include itching, swelling, redness, inflammation, weeping, crusting and even bleeding when the skin splits.

Whenever I have a flare-up, I stop ALL skincare to keep from aggravating my skin. I only wash my face with water in the mornings. Occasionally at night, I will use Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose gentle hydrating cleanser. I can get away with this very basic cleansing routine because I don’t use any makeup at all during a flare-up.

pai skincare camellia & rose cleanser
Image credit to Pai Skincare

After cleansing, I will apply calendulis cream from The Eczema Company on the patches of eczema. Calendulis cream is made from the calendula flower and is almost as effective as a cortisone / steroid cream and better in the long run as it is natural. This is so gentle I can even use it around and all over my eyelids, because the eczema tends to breakout there.

Healing and Treating
Once my skin has passed the swelling/weeping stage and starts drying out, it will start to peel. I will vaguely resemble either a bad sunburn victim or a reptilian creature, depending on how you want to look at it. There will still be itching, redness, inflammation, crusting, flaking/peeling and also bleeding when the new skin tears or splits.

No change to the cleansing and moisturizing routine from the basics above. I add on one extra step to aid with the healing process by using Leaders Insolution aloe vera sheet mask nightly, after cleansing with the Pai cleanser and before the Eczema Company calendulis cream. Once a week I will switch from using the Pai cleanser to Mario Badescu enzyme cleansing gel for some gentle exfoliation to aid in removing the flakes and dead skin cells.

Maintenance
After all of the skin flakes have dropped/peeled off, my skin will still have red/discoloured patches where the eczema outbreaks were. Sometimes the dryness and flaking will continue on these patches for a period of time even after the rest of my face is back to normal.

Sulwhasoo first care activating serum
Image credit to Sulwhasoo

As my skin gradually regains normality, oil production returns. Hello shiny nose! When this occurs, I will cleanse my skin with Sulwhasoo gentle cleansing foam in the night and use the Pai cleanser in the mornings if needed. I continue to use the Mario Badescu gel once a week for exfoliation and mild brightening effects. After cleansing I will use Sulwhasoo first care activating serum all over my face, followed by the Eczema Company calendulis cream on dry patches. At night I continue to use either the Leaders Insolution AC-dressing sheet mask or the Hyaluronic sheet mask after cleansing and before the Sulwhasoo first care serum. Which mask I use depends on whether I want to address redness (AC-dressing) or hydration (Hyaluronic) issues, but most of the time I will use the AC-dressing one as I find it is more effective for me.

Leaders Insolution AC-Dressing Skin Clinic Mask

Adding the step of a nightly sheet mask was when I really started to see major improvement in my skin in terms of healing time and also in spacing out the downtime between flare-ups. I must note though that my skin only seems to work with Leaders Insolution sheet masks as I attempted to use My Beauty Diary once and had a mild flare-up on the following day.

Adding the Extras
Once I’ve gotten my skin to the stage where I’m pleased with it, I usually start to add on what I term as ‘extras’ to my skincare routine. So far I’ve found that my skin seems to adore the Sulwhasoo TimeTreasure perfecting water and the TimeTreasure perfecting emulsion in addition to the first care serum at night. In the day time I use Sulwhasoo Renodigm Ex dual care cream for mild UV protection.

Sulwhasoo renodigm ex dual care cream
Image credit to Sulwhasoo

So that’s it – what I’m currently using to manage my skin. While each individual has unique peculiarities and what works for me might not work for someone else, I hope that this post may be of use at the very least to give hope to anyone suffering from eczema.

September 2013
Present-day in September 2013

Style File : The 2013 edition

Filed Under (discussion, fashion, style file) by rinnah on 17-09-2013

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Since my great wardrobe clean-up, I’ve made some discoveries about my sense of style and favoured brands. It was rather interesting to me, so I thought I’d blog about it.

Marks & Spencer tweed jacket

Style
Relatively classic. (Some might even say boring or dated.) I mostly stay far away from seasonal trends and cuts. I like clean lines and prefer a relaxed look and fit where possible. Comfort is key to feeling good and also in hiding any undesirable or less-than-perfect body parts.

I like *cough* expensive fabrics. Silk, chiffon, lace. I think I’ve developed an affinity for animal prints this past year or so. Clothes and designs with intricate embellishment or detailing also catch my eye.

I tend to stick to colours that I feel ‘safe’ with. The basic palette as my base – black, grey, brown, navy blue. Add in pops of colour, usually a top or cardigan – blues and greens (anything sea-toned), pinks. Occasionally reds and orange make an appearance. I used to have a lot of white in my wardrobe until I moved to Singapore and found that my whites were turning grey in the wash here. So out of convenience, the whites have slowly been phased out.

I am also a ‘Cardigan Queen’ for practicality – I tend to feel cold easily even in the humid, tropical weather of Singapore and Malaysia no thanks to overly cold air-conditioned places. I often wish I lived in a climate that would allow me to wear coats (especially trenchcoats!) and boots.

You can get a feel of my style at my Pinterest board here.

Brands
These brands are staples in my wardrobe for work and play. I reckon I rarely shop at other places!

  • Zara (Spain – international)
  • MNG (Spain – international)
  • Uniqlo (Japan – international)
  • Espada (Thailand)
  • Et Cetera (Indonesia)
  • Cultivation (Malaysia)

Other notable brand mentions:

  • Espirit (international) for jeans
  • Nicole (Malaysia) for affordable slacks for work
  • Asos (international) for pretty dresses
  • Daniel Yam (Singapore) for dinner/formal outfits
  • Arthur Yen (Singapore) for separates

Fashion Icons
This is a toughie, because I don’t particularly fancy any one person or celebrity’s style. I draw inspiration these days from Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Kate Middleton, with a tip of the hat to Gwen Stefani (sans the punk/rocker vibe).

What’s your style like?

Two Blur Guys, Tras Link, Tanjong Pagar

Filed Under (food, western) by rinnah on 23-08-2013

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More gourmet burgers on the blog, courtesy of joining my burger-loving friend who is on a personal quest to try out all the burger joints in Singapore.

There have been a couple of rave reviews online about this gourmet burger joint called Two Blur Guys located in Tanjong Pagar. I was ready to be impressed, but came away feeling rather meh about the whole experience.

two blur guys

I had the grilled chicken ‘blurger’ with asian spices (curry powder) (SGD 12.50) and it comes with sides of salad greens and potato salad. It is a decent sized burger and they are not stingy with the portions for the sides. I found the chicken a tad dry and was not a fan of the fact that the grilled chicken skin was part of the burger’s filling. The salad greens and potato salad were quite normal by my standards although my friend did like the potato salad.

Adding on SGD 5.50 to make it a set meal will get you a drink (ice lemon tea / coffee / tea) and a dessert. However, I found the policies regarding the top-up menu a bit inflexible. I asked if I could change the selected drink to a Coke and mentioned that I was also willing to add-on an additional sum to the top-up amount to change the drink. This was not permitted, even though on the menu, the price of an ice lemon tea drink (SGD 3.50) is more expensive than a Coke (SGD 2.80). The ice lemon tea which I had in the end was watery and I would definitely not order it if given a choice. It is also worth noting that Two Blur Guys does not offer water on the house either.

Another incident that irked me slightly was that it is also not informed up front that your selection of dessert for the top-up menu is limited. When I selected the top-up menu, I was told that I could select my dessert later. After the main meal, when I made my selection of the chocolate lava cake with ice cream as my dessert, only then did the waitstaff tell me, “Oh, the dessert is limited to only the brownie, slice of pie, or lamingtons.” Had I been informed of this up front, I would have been fine with this, but being informed at such a late stage made me feel somewhat shortchanged.

I found the waitstaff to be curt in speech and mildly irritating in that within 30 seconds from the moment you sit down, they are hovering at your shoulder asking you to place your order. Granted that the menu is not extensive with only two pages, but surely you should give customers more than 30 seconds to look at the menu and only come over when signaled?

Perhaps it was an off-day for the waitstaff but at the end of it all, I most probably wouldn’t return to Two Blur Guys on my own accord. The food was not fantastic enough to make me overlook the service shortcomings (especially when you are paying 10% service charge).

Two Blur Guys
1 Tras Link
#01-13 Orchid Hotel
Singapore 078867
T : +65-6636 4183


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Changing hairstyles – a story in pictures

Filed Under (salon, services, shopping malls, style file) by rinnah on 26-07-2013

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After several years, I figure it’s time to give my wonderful stylist the recognition he deserves for making me look awesome each time I go for my haircut.

Not every stylist out there knows how to handle my hair, which is frequently described as being deceptive. It doesn’t look like it, but it is thick and has differing qualities – some strands are thick, most are baby fine, and the occasional odd one out is curly/wavy! Most stylists start off thinking my hair is easy to handle, and then they discover that it’s actually quite a handful. Deceptive appearances, I say. :P

So before I found the one person I trust to handle my hair, I used to bounce from salon to salon in search of a stylist who could manage not only my hair but my high expectations as well.

Enter Sam.

I have to tell you the story of how I found him, because it was totally by chance.

A long, long time ago…
I had gone for a trim at one of those ‘quick-cut’ salons because it was so cheap, and naively asked for a layered cut. Said ‘quick-cut’ salon botched up the job and left me with not a layered cut, but literally a jagged cut with ends that stuck out like a broom. I was *thisclose* to tears when I looked at myself in the mirror.

A desperate girl…
So in desperation, like, 10 minutes after I left that ‘quick-cut’ salon, I walked into Peekaboo at the Curve and told the reception “I want your best stylist who does short hairstyles”. As luck would have it, I was assigned to Sam and I guess I freaked him out at first – new customer sits down in front of him and tells him to chop off her hair in order to rectify the badly botched haircut from the ‘quick-cut’ salon. (I really wonder what he thought that day of this funny customer. Heh.)

Sam saves the day!
In any case, Sam did wonders to save the walking disaster that was the ‘quick-cut’ salon haircut (I couldn’t maintain the length anymore because the original cut was that badly executed) and I determined that this was it, he was THE stylist for me. So it’s been nearly five years since (late 2008 – 2013) and I’ve never even thought of going elsewhere. Such is my total confidence in him that I can confidently tell him to go ahead and cut whatever style he thinks he wants to give me for the season. I’ve never been much attached to the length of my hair and I reckon I’m rather chameleon-like in adapting my style to fit my look of the moment.

You can find Sam (Professional Stylist) at Peekaboo, the Curve

The following is a series rather self-gratuitous series of shots to show how much my hairstyles have varied over the years under Sam’s capable hands. (I realized that I generally prefer myself in shorter hairstyles…) And oh, this is probably the only time you’ll see this many pictures of me floating around on the blog. *wink*

01 Hairstyle Sept 2008
First time with hair that’s above the chin level with a longer, slightly shaggy fringe – very Korean guy’s style

02 Hairstyle Nov 2008
Hair is a bit longer here at the sides but now sporting a short spiky fringe

03 Hairstyle Jan 2009
Trying out blunt cut fringe and a rather bowl-shaped cut – Sam and I mutually agreed it wasn’t very me

04 Hairstyle Feb 2009
Still with the blunt fringe but thinned out for a more wispy look at the sides –more of a Japanese look/feel

05 Hairstyle Oct 2009
Growing out the fringe by reverting to my original left side parting but keeping the chin length cut

06 Hairstyle Feb 2010
Shoulder length and nearly on the level

07 Hairstyle Oct 2010
Going for the ‘tai-tai’ look with a blow-out

08 Hairstyle 2012
Total refresh of image – short boyish style

09 Hairstyle June 2013
And now, growing out the undercut and getting an asymmetrical bob

Which look do you think suits me best? Let me know in the comments!

Empties for the months of April, May and June 2013

Filed Under (cosmetics, haircare, nail polish, scrub, skincare, treatment) by rinnah on 01-07-2013

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OK, so I finally got my act together this past quarter and managed to finish/use up/throw out/give away some stuff. Go me. Hahah.

OPI Drip Dry

This is a bottle of OPI Drip Dry that I bought years ago with the nail polish that started it all – OPI’s iconic I’m Not A Waitress. This is an empty that’s not really an empty that I managed to finish. In fact I think I only ever used it a few times and even then mostly on my toes when I gave myself a pedicure. It’s an empty only because it totally and completely dried up without my knowledge. (I know, I know, I’m a terrible hoarder.) I don’t really have a need to use an additional product to hasten manicure/pedicure dry time (not with my must have Seche Vite top coat around) so I wouldn’t be repurchasing anytime soon.

I also finished up the last remnants of a tube of Dynavate-N, which is a steroid cream that I use to control my eczema. Not an empty that I’m proud of but it’s a necessary evil at this point in time. To give you an idea of the amount of steroids I’m on, I have multiple tubes of this cream – with me in my handbag, one at office, two in my room in Singapore and one at home in Malaysia. They’re all in various stages of use so I kinda regularly finish it off.

The other item on the empty list but not pictured is a tube of Colgate toothpaste – pretty much self-explanatory, that one.

pure-nutraceuticals-paw-paw-ointment

Passed on a practically new tube of Pure Nutraceuticals pawpaw ointment that I opened but couldn’t stand the smell of – looks like fermented pawpaw and I are not meant to be best buds after all. I couldn’t verify the efficacy of this product on my eczema because I just couldn’t get past the smell.

Last empty for the quarter was again a bottle of Lactacyd – another self-explanatory empty.

wax02

Threw out a barely used tub of Lucido-l hair wax (forgot to photograph it before it went into the trash so here’s a standard product shot) – remnant leftover from my buzz/undercut hairstyle last year as I’m now growing it out into a slightly longer bob. I have a mild suspicion that using the hair wax (or any hair styling product) aggravated my eczema because it was worse wherever my hair touched/covered my face, especially around my eyes. It also made my scalp itchy and flaky. The silly things we do in the name of vanity and fashion!

8850007541691

Passed on a tube of Neutrogena Deep Clean blackhead eliminating daily scrub that I bought but again, hardly used. Even though I only used it for my nose a few times, it felt too harsh for my sensitive skin so eventually I stopped using it. If you have oily skin it may work for you though, as other bloggers love it. I’m starting to wonder if Neutrogena and I are not meant to be or if I’m picking all the wrong products from this brand.

It seems as though I’ve made progress but compared with the number of products I bought in the corresponding period, the input is far greater than the output. I really should do better at this whole empty business. Sigh.

&Made by Bruno Menard, Pacific Plaza

Filed Under (dessert, food, michelin starred, western) by rinnah on 12-06-2013

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nMade 01
Quotable quotes on the ceiling at &Made – I’m so gonna live by that last one “sleep ‘til you’re hungry, eat ‘til you’re sleepy”…

A 3-star Michelin chef (Bruno Menard) opens a burger joint. If that doesn’t pique your (foodie) interest, I don’t know what else will. I only knew about this place when my self-confessed burger lover friend chanced upon reviews of &Made online and suggested that we check it out for dinner after work.

nMade 02

I opted to craft my own burger – this here is my creation of a ground chicken patty, topped off with yuzu-kosho mayonnaise, caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese in a brioche bun with tomatoes, lettuce, onions and dill pickle (which worked out to around SGD 18 in total?). The ingredients were fresh and the burger was a decent size for me. I liked the combination of flavours I chose for my burger (duh!) although I would’ve liked it even better if the kitchen was a tad more generous with the caramelized onions.

We also ordered fries (both garlic & vinegar fries (SGD 3.00) and truffle fries (SGD 6.00)) to share. The fries come with a small serving of &Made’s BBQ sauce, which I found nice but I preferred my fries as they were. My friend commented that the garlic & vinegar fries did not have enough vinegar ‘kick’ to it and I thought that Charlie + Co did a better, more truffle-y version of the truffle fries.

nMade 03

What really blew me away, however, was not the burger or the fries, but the seasonal desserts. (Do bear in mind that the menu changes from month to month so you will get some variety in the choices on offer.) We shared profiteroles (SGD 14.00) and a half-baked chocolate cake (SGD 14.00), both of which were simply decadent and left me wanting more. If I had known just how yummy the desserts would turn out to be, I would’ve just skipped my burger and gotten desserts for my dinner. In particular, the half-baked chocolate cake was just oozing with chocolate-y goodness and perfectly moist. Paired with ice-cream, it was worth every calorie-laden mouthful.

nMade 04

Service was relatively fast and friendly. Water is free and the waitstaff attentively top it up at regular intervals. Your table is promptly but unobtrusively cleared as you finish your meal and the waitstaff are smart enough to provide extra napkins, plates and cutlery for sharing without being prompted for it.

This is not a ‘cheap’ place to dine at – on average we paid about SGD 36.00 per person without drinks, but I reckon you get quality (food and service) that you pay for and I would be willing to return.

&Made
9 Scotts Road
Pacific Plaza
#01-04-06
Singapore 228210
T : +65-6690 7566
W : http://andmade.sg/


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Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Filed Under (hotels, travel) by rinnah on 06-06-2013

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For my previous work trips to Bangkok, I stayed in the serviced residences booked by my Thai counterparts in the Sathorn area. While it was truly convenient for work (almost next door to the office building!), I wanted a hotel that was more centrally located for my first ever Thailand vacation.

I ended up selecting the Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit based on reviews I read on Agoda and Trip Advisor – the hotel was located near a BTS station (Phloen Chit) and was comfortably within my budget.

Novotel Ploen Chit Hotel 01
View of Novotel Ploenchit from the Phloen Chit BTS station

I booked a stay of 4 nights in total for my week long vacation through Agoda. Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised that they allowed me both an early check-in (before 11am) and extended my check out (1pm) at my request to accommodate my flight.

The location of the hotel was just right for my recent visit. The Phloen Chit BTS station was just a short 2 minute walk from the doorstep of the hotel (turn left from the hotel entrance to access the BTS station via the upriding escalator). If you’re the more outdoorsy type, you can even walk up the road all the way past Central and Siam to MBK.

Novotel Ploen Chit Hotel 02
View of the deluxe room from the door

Novotel Ploen Chit Hotel 03
Touches of blue and green decor

The Novotel Ploenchit’s rooms are relatively well appointed with touches of blue and green decor on the neutral colour palette. I very much liked the thoughtful ideas like having additional power points next to the beds and built-in USB port that allowed me to charge my multiple electronic devices with ease. The room came with complimentary wifi, but I preferred to rely on my mobile data connection as the wifi signal was a bit weak and tended to drop out occasionally.

Novotel Ploen Chit Hotel 04
Desk and flatscreen television

I booked a deluxe room with twin beds for my stay. Beds are sufficiently comfortable, with a relatively firm level of support and two pillows. I would have preferred a different (softer) type or choice of pillow but it was alright in the end. The deluxe room also came with a daybed that was nice for napping and drinking coffee.

Novotel Ploen Chit Hotel 05
See-through bathroom

The deluxe room does not come with a bath tub but that wasn’t a priority for me. Novotel Phloenchit follows the recent trend of having a see through bathroom window (nice for couples), with privacy screen (if you’re travelling with friends). Modern yes, and super convenient if you’re alone and want to watch television while you shower. The room I was in had a slight problem with slow sink drainage but this was rectified by housekeeping before my stay was up.

Novotel Ploen Chit Hotel 06
Sink and vanity area

Novotel subscribes to the recent trend of hotel chains that try to cut down on wastage by not providing toothbrushes up front but on demand. I also felt that the complimentary refreshments (tea, coffee sachets) could be more speedily replenished as it wad only replenished every other day despite the fact that we had used up the refreshments. The minibar was well stocked but tiny and didn’t allow for storing much items (we were enjoying local fruits in the room everyday).

I would peg the Novotel Phloenchit as more of a business hotel relatively close to the shopping district of Siam and would not mind a return visit if I were to return to Bangkok. Perhaps either the Novotel located at Siam Square or next to Platinum Mall would be equally or more convenient if shopping was an integral part of your trip.

Tiong Bahru Bakery

Filed Under (cafe, food, snacks, western) by rinnah on 26-04-2013

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It was back in February when I was told that I absolutely *had* to visit Tiong Bahru Bakery for their lemon tart. Lucky for me that they had opened an outlet that was conveniently located in the basement of Raffles City Shopping Centre. So up bright and early on a Saturday morning I went off to meet my girlfriends at Tiong Bahru Bakery.

I’m not always the hungriest person in the mornings (unless roused with the knowledge that a yummy hotel buffet breakfast awaits me) so I decided to play it safe and try out just two of their pastries.

Tiong Bahru Bakery Almond Brioche

My first choice was the Almond Brioche (SGD 3.00). This was nice and crisp on the outside with fluffy brioche innards. The sprinkling of almonds on the top was because it was an Almond Brioche after all. I decided it was relatively nice, but not something so memorable that I would need to eat it again.

Tiong Bahru Bakery Lemon Tart

Now, the Lemon Tart (SGD 6.00) on the other hand, this is the stuff you dream of and drool over. Think lemony custard with that perfect lemon tang, not too sour but with just enough zest, and a firm biscuit-ty crust. I had one whole lemon tart to myself and it was just about right. Enough to satiate until the next visit but not so little as to leave you wanting more. Possibly one of the best lemon flavoured pastries I have had. Ever.

Tiong Bahru Bakery Gryphon Chamomile Tea

I washed it down with a cup of Gryphon Chamomile Tea (SGD 4.30) and found myself full from brunch that I didn’t eat until later in the evening.

I am reliably informed by my brunch partners that the Kouign Amann and Croque Monsieur are also must-tries at Tiong Bahru Bakery.

Would I go back again? For that lemon tart, anytime.

Tiong Bahru Bakery
252 North Bridge Road #B1-11/12
Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore 179103
T : +65-6333 4160
Opens daily from 9am to 10pm

Mary Kay TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser

Filed Under (cleanser, skincare) by rinnah on 25-04-2013

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I’d heard about Mary Kay before, and to be perfectly honest, it really wasn’t a brand on my radar. Somehow, in my youthful mind a long time ago, I’d equated Mary Kay to be the overseas version of Avon. If I’m writing about the brand now, naturally something happened to change my mind. Heh.

Last year, I was Beetrice’s plus one at a Mary Kay event in Singapore to launch their TimeWise Plus new serum and eye cream, where the very nice lady (whose name I forgot because I didn’t get her card) persuaded me to test some of the sensitive skin range products during the event. My first time washing face in public yo! :P I was mildly impressed that my usually uber sensitive skin didn’t really act up, and that was that.

Fast-forward to this year and I recently received a TimeWise trial Miracle set for editorial consideration. I’m still on the fence about the serum, moisturizer and sunscreen that came in the set, but I am totally SOLD on the cleanser.

And now we get to the real review (after beating around the bush).

Mary Kay TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser

The Mary Kay TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser is one of those products that I didn’t have any expectations of and it just leap-frogged its way to the top of my list, dislodging my previous staple of Lush Angels on Bare Skin (which I have also yet to review).

This cleanser is a cream based cleanser with minute microbeads for exfoliating action. It comes out of the tube as a thick-ish white cream and it does not foam up at all so it feels like I’m massaging cream into my face. I like that it’s totally non-drying to my skin and non-fragranced so my nose is happy. There is mention of bentonite in the ingredients, so I assume that it enhances the deep cleaning action of this cleanser.

I wasn’t expecting anything but apparently my skin loves it. I had some dry, flaking problems from a recent eczema flare-up around my mouth and chin area. My skin totally calmed down (less redness) and after just a few days of use, the flakies have reduced tremendously. I attribute that to the mild exfoliating action and also maybe the bentonite. Skin feels soft and moisturized even before layering on any other skincare and I feel as if my skin looks brighter in the mirror. My skin is relaxed, comfortable and happy after each wash and that makes for a happy me because I am so much closer to having skin that actually looks normal. When I find myself reaching out for this cleanser automatically without having to stop and think about which cleanser to use, that’s when I know I’ve got myself a keeper.

My only gripe is that the trial size cleanser (2 oz.) which I got comes in a tube with a screw top cover. I would have much preferred a flip-top cover for easier one handed use. The full size cleanser (4.5 oz.) apparently comes with a flip-top cover so it’s just the trial size packaging that could be improved.

Reviews on the web for this cleanser are mixed, so your mileage may vary. I would say that if you’re looking for a cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin and does some very mild, gentle exfoliation, then you could try this out. If you’re used to foaming cleansers and stronger exfoliation as well as oil-control, then this product may not be for you.

A full-sized Mary Kay TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser (4.5 oz.) retails for USD 18.00 on the international website. Please refer to the Mary Kay website to locate an Independent Beauty Consultant near you.

Description : Fragrance-free. Non-comedogenic (won’t block pores). Combination-to-oily-skin formula is oil-free. TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser combines age-fighting benefits with three essential functions in one product – cleansing, exfoliating and freshening – to reveal younger-looking skin.

Directions : Apply TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser to wet face and neck. Rinse or remove with a warm, wet cloth. Follow with TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer. To remove eye makeup, use Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover before 3-in-1 Cleanser.

Note : The product/service in this post was provided for consideration by the brand itself or a PR firm. This does not affect my review in any way and do refer to my disclosure policy for further details.

Leaders Insolution AC-Dressing Skin Clinic Mask

Filed Under (mask, skincare) by rinnah on 18-04-2013

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Regular readers of this blog will know that I very rarely use sheet masks, or for that matter, any type of mask due to my hyper-sensitive skin. Well, I may have just found a mask that my skin likes!

Leaders Insolution AC-Dressing Skin Clinic Mask

This is the Leaders Insolution AC-Dressing Skin Clinic Mask. From the packaging, you can see that it claims to soothe skin irritation and redness, helps to reduce minor scars of troubled spots. Now I don’t have any visible scars on my face or troubled spots, but I do have skin irritation and redness.

I’ve been interested in natural skincare lately, and I was pleased to note that Leaders Insolution masks are free of parabens, mineral oils, silicon and artificial pigments. Less possibility of an allergic reaction is always a good thing in my books.

The mask is fairly saturated with essence and it feels sticky to the touch, maybe due to the active ingredient of snail secretion filtrate. I had no problem getting it to adhere to my face, but the cut-outs for the eyes, nose and mouth were slightly too close together for my face. It wasn’t a big deal, but it would have been more comfortable if they had allowed a few extra millimeters for people with *ahem* bigger faces. I don’t have a wide face, but it is rather long/oval so there was a good inch or so of my forehead that wasn’t covered by the mask. I did like that the mask was relatively transparent so you don’t end up with the scary ski mask look that some sheet masks tend to give their wearers. The quality and feel of the mask also reminded me somewhat of surgical wet dressings used in hospitals to promote healing.

I left the mask on for the duration of 20 minutes as advised. I did experience some minor tingling sensations, but as I didn’t see any allergic reaction I let it be. After you peel off the mask, you will see that a lot of essence still remains on the surface of your skin. You are advised to gently tap your face for a while to aid the absorption of the essence. I did that and found that even up to 30 minutes after taking off the mask, I could still feel a bit of the essence still on my skin.

Hydration – check. No adverse reaction – check. Comfortable skin feeling – check. I didn’t see any major improvement in redness or skin irritation, but as long as a mask doesn’t give me these two reactions I’m pretty happy with it.

I would probably repurchase this mask and maybe try out the other variants that Leaders Insolution has.

Leaders Insolution AC-Dressing Skin Clinic Mask retails for SGD 3.60 at Watsons Personal Care stores.

Directions : Cleanse your face and dry it, then refine your skin texture with toner. Apply the mask on your face and hold it for 15 – 20 minutes while taking a rest. Take off the mask and tap your face for a while. Leave it around 10 – 15 minutes and the essence will be fully absorbed. Recommended use of 2 – 3 times per week, 15 – 20 minutes each time. Suitable for daily use. For optimal results, please use regularly.

Ingredients : Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Betaine, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Hydroxyethylacrylate / Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurae Copolymer, Snail Secretion Filtrate, Terminalia Chebula Fruit Extract, Caesalpinia Sappan Bark Extract, Magnolia Obovata Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Ledum Palustre Extract, Ecklonia Cava Extract, Artemisia Capillaris Flower Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Saururus Chinensis Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Fragrance

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