Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Filed Under (cleanser, skincare) by rinnah on 18-07-2012

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I think I’m in love with this brand. :P

pai skincare logo

I was randomly browsing beauty blogs when I read fellow blogger Gaby’s post where she said that a combination of Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate oil and Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream worked well to help her keep her eczema under control. I am a veritable sucker for all things – whether it be products or services – that claim to help eczema sufferers and have little hesitancy to try out the next ‘miracle’ cure. So off I toddled to the Pai website and popped their sample kit for sensitive skin into my shopping cart together with a bottle of the Rosehip BioRegenerate oil.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’d have seen my tweets on how amazed I was at the quickness of Pai’s customer service in sending my products. I placed my order on a Friday afternoon and it was shipped out on the same day itself and in my hands by Tuesday morning all the way from UK! I was already impressed at the speedy delivery and I hadn’t even started using the products at that point in time.

pai skincare samples

When I opened up my package, I was absolutely delighted to find these cute wee sample tubs of Pai’s Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser (2 tubs), Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator and Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Moisturizer. A perhaps irrelevant point, but I really liked how sturdy the tubs were – much better than the Daiso kits I use for travelling at the moment.

pai skincare camellia & rose cleanser
Image credit to Pai Skincare

And after that lengthy introduction, I’m finally going to cut to the chase. I was blown away by Pai’s Camellia & Rose cleanser from the first use. The cleanser is soft and creamy and the texture of it seems to invisibly melt into your skin to cleanse. Naturally, no foam or bubbles or even white milky streaks on your face. Just a wonderfully soft feeling when I massage a dollop of the cream into my face. Much like the touted Eve Lom cleanser (which I have not tried before), Pai recommends using warm water and a muslin cloth (provided in the full size version of the cleanser) to gently wipe and rinse away any residue from your skin. Having no muslin cloth at hand, I used a soft face towel and that worked just fine too. Amazingly, this simple and gentle method of cleansing my face worked more wonders in removing the dry flaking skin on my face from a recent eczema flare-up than any of my other gentle exfoliation methods previously. And have I mentioned the scent? It’s soft and delicate, and made me feel like I was having a spa session in my home.

The end result was soft, soothed, non-irritated, calmer looking skin. I have not felt my skin feel this comfortable on its own for a long while now, and needless to say, I’m delighted.

I can confidently say that I vastly prefer Pai’s Camellia & Rose cleanser over my previous standby Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser for Intolerant Skin. I was never really able to put my finger on it before, but now I can – Avene feels a bit like it sits on top of my skin because I feel there’s filmy layer is left behind whereas Pai sinks into your skin, leaving it soft and hydrated to the look and touch. This baby’s a keeper for me!

Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser retails for USD 50.00 (100ml) on their international website here.

Description : Our Camellia & Rose gentle hydrating cleanser easily removes dirt, make-up and other impurities that build up on your skin throughout the day. Suitable for all skin types, including allergy prone skin, the Pai cleansing system is gentle but effective. Unlike detergent or alcohol based cleansers, it won’t dry out or irritate your skin. Bursting with omega 3 and vitamins A, B, C & E, this cleanser works to hydrate your skin, leaving it soft and supple.

Directions : For eyes – Pump one dose of cleansing cream on to a cotton wool pad and gently pull the pad across the eye lid to gently lift away make-up. For face – Gently massage 2-3 pumps of cleansing cream onto damp skin. Remove with a warm damp muslin cloth using a circular motion. Rinse the cloth and repeat the exercise until all the cream has been removed. Finish with a splash of cold water to the face.

And finally, a related but yet unrelated postscript : In the course of writing this blogpost, I did some Googling and lo and behold, apparently Paris B reviewed their hand cream before. (But the brand didn’t strike my fancy then. Ahahahaha.)

What beauty related stuff do you keep at work?

Filed Under (bodycare, cosmetics, heels, lip balm, lip gloss, lotions, shoes) by rinnah on 01-05-2012

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The idea for this post was generated from a random chat with Beetrice (during work hours! :P ) one fine day and I got the idea that it would be fun to see what kinds of beauty related stuff people would keep at work.

I tend to go for the minimalist approach where possible, but soon found out that what I considered minimal was a whole lot more than what some of my beauty blogger friends had (which is nothing! Paris B, I’m looking at you!). But then again, some of the stuff I’ve listed aren’t strictly make-up or skincare related. I’ve just included them because I consider them to be part of ‘beauty at work’.

Are you ready for the virtual tour? Heheh.

Essentials that I need at hand on my workstation :
- Box of tissues (for my sinuses. Atchoo!)
- Avène Thermal Spring Water spray (to combat the drying effects of the office air-conditioning)
- Small standing mirror (to check myself out; also a gift from the lovely Syen)

Hidden away inside my drawer, tucked inside a pink cosmetics pouch from Daiso :
- tiny DKNY Pure Verbena scent spray (from one of my Bellaboxes)
- Liese Juicy Shower Hair Fragrance Spray (for those days when you eat out and come back smelling like a kitchen)
- Folding comb (also picked up for a song at Daiso)
- Oil blotting papers (I ‘fess up, I have two types – both powdered and non-powdered)
- Lip balms (not one, not two, but four! Estee Lauder Lip Conditioner SPF15, Mentholatum Pure Softlips in Honeydew, Pangea Organics Lip Balm in Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom, and Maybelline Lip Smooth in Rose – the last one is a tinted lip balm)
- Lip products (mini Smashbox Lipgloss in Buff, Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Rose Pearl, and Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum)
- Assorted medication (for the sudden fever, cold, allergy, headache/migraine)

Also hidden inside my drawer but not in the cosmetics pouch :
- Small tub of Vaseline (original petroleum jelly type, not cream or lotion)
- Santa Verde Aloe Vera Creme in Medium (doubles as face and hand moisturiser)
- Crabtree & Evelyn India Hicks Island Living Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy (a gift!)
- A’kin Lavender, Geranium & Jojoba Hand, Nail & Cuticle Creme
- Vitamins (Blackmores Cold Combat, and Scott’s Vitamin C Pastilles)
- Shoe shine sponge (part of a travel toiletries set)

And last but not least, something I consider essential to beauty at work for me… uh… four pairs of high heels under my table.
- Aldo Doyscher heels in black leather (super love them – my Louboutin dupes!)
- Rockport Luciana pumps in sandstone (a new addition bought on sale…)
- Lewre work pumps in black leather (my go-to regular shoes)
- DMK peeptoe heels in camel (when black just won’t match my outfit of the day)

So, what do you keep at work that’s beauty related?

My current skincare favorites

Filed Under (cleanser, moisturiser, serum, skincare) by rinnah on 12-04-2012

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Since I got back from my Hong Kong holidays two and a half weeks ago, I’ve been experiencing a period of relatively good skin condition. I’m not sure if it’s attributed to the slightly cooler, rainy weather we’ve been having (less inflammation) or the recent changes I’ve made to my skincare routine.

You see, I was worried that the colder weather in Hong Kong might dry out my already irritated and dehydrated skin even more, so I added a heavier moisturizer/serum combination and continued it even when I returned. So far (touch wood) my skin seems to be loving it.

My skincare routine (April 2012)

Here’s what I’ve been using in the morning and evening:

- Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser
- Estee Lauder Hydrationist Moisture Barrier Fortifier serum
- Estee Lauder Hydrationist Moisture Creme


- Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
- Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serum or Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum

That’s it! I know, it’s an extremely simplified skincare routine, but so far my skin seems to be thriving on it.

What makes my skin happy, makes me happy. :D

For a bird’s eye view of what type of products others incorporate in their beauty routine, do check out the reader comments at Paris B’s post here.

Clinique Derma White City Block Anti-Pollution SPF40

Filed Under (skincare, suncare) by rinnah on 25-08-2011

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I need to confess that I’m a very bad girl when it comes to sun protection for my skin. I hardly ever use sunblock since my previous working lifestyle in Malaysia meant that I was somewhat vampirish/zombieish – the times that I ventured outdoors was usually early in the morning before the sun rose and late at night after the sun set. So, yes I was lazy about protecting my skin in that aspect although I was diligent about my moisturizers.

But ever since I’ve moved to Singapore, I find myself being rather concerned about sun protection since I have to do a fair bit of walking out in the sun – in the morning, at midday and again in the early evening. To be honest, I’m most concerned about changing skintone color. (It’s the Asian genes in me that incite the need to be as fair as possible. Heh.)

So I’ve been looking for a tinted sunblock or moisturizer for some time now ever since I finished off my previous one (Avène Very High Protection Cream SPF50) and Clinique’s Derma White City Block Anti-Pollution SPF40 landed in my hands at just the right time.

Clinique Derma White City Block
Image credit

I like the tube packaging and the clean white and silver design. Controlling the amount of sunblock you want to use is easy and I’ve never had a mess on my hands. So no gripes about the packaging.

The Derma White City Block is a tinted sunblock and it comes in only one shade. I’m not sure how it will fare on darker skinned girls as I tend towards the lighter end of the spectrum for Asians. The tint seems to suit my skintone fairly well because you can’t tell at all that I have a tinted product on but it does little to cover up redness and blemishes. It did feel a bit ‘sticky’ on my skin upon immediate application, but that feeling fades after a while (around 30 mins or so). The thing that I noticed and loved the most is that there is no typical sunblock smell about the Derma White City Block. It looks and behaves (to me) almost like a liquid foundation but with sheer minimal coverage and higher SPF protection.

I first tested wearing this sunblock over my moisturizer and nothing else. I did feel a bit oilier than usual around my T-zone after 4 hours but it was nothing that a quick blotting couldn’t cure. The following day, I used pressed powder over the sunblock and the oilies were well in control at the same 4 hour mark. In fact, with the pressed powder working in combination with the sunblock, my skin tone looked evened out especially in the areas where I’m prone to redness and the combination provided me with sufficient coverage for a pretty much flawless surface. (Please bear in mind that I have dry/combination skin, rarely have pimple breakouts and don’t have open pores to conceal.)

As for the Derma White City Block’s protection qualities, I was out and about in the harsh midday sun during my lunch hour running errands and I can safely say that it was doing its job because my unprotected arms felt like they were burning but less so on my face.

Would I repurchase this? Very likely yes, unless another product comes along to distract me. :P

Yes factors : Nice level of sun protection, color tint helps to cover uneven skin tone, no chemical sunblock smell
No factors : It only comes in one shade, feels a bit sticky on application, makes me a bit oily, may be a bit pricey for some

Packaging : 30ml

Recommended retail price : MYR 135.00

Note : This product was provided to me by PR for consideration. This does not affect my review in anyway and do refer to my disclosure policy for further details.

Read other blogger reviews here :
Paris B

Great Deals : Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser

Filed Under (cleanser, sales, skincare) by rinnah on 02-02-2011

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If you’re an Avène user in Malaysia, you would know that the brand very rarely goes on sale, and even then the discounts are only around 10% – 15% off.

avene extremely gentle cleanser

I happened to be at my local Guardian drugstore today and noticed that they had a special offer for Avène’s Extremely Gentle Cleanser (which I use but have not yet reviewed) – the 200ml size bottle was on offer at MYR 48.88 compared to the normal retail price of MYR 64.90. Needless to say, I snapped it up immediately, since it also came with a free travel size (50ml) Avène Thermal Spring Water spray which normally retails on its own for MYR 18.90. Is this a great deal or what? :)

I’m not sure how long this promotion will be on, but if you use Avène, I’d say get going to your nearest Guardian and grab this bargain while you can.

Review on Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser will be out soon. :P

Avène Very High Protection Cream SPF 50

Filed Under (skincare, suncare) by rinnah on 19-05-2010

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Avene SPF 50 cream

Tagline : 100% mineral sunscreen cream provides non-irritating, broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Description : Avène “White” suncare line offers 100% mineral, chemical filter-free sunscreen products to provide broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection without irritation. It is safe for even the most sensitive skin, including infants, babies, and post-procedure skin.

Packaging : 50ml / 1.69fl.oz

Recommended Retail Price : MYR 75.90

My review :

I rarely use sunblock or sunscreen during normal working days as I barely see the sun, heading to work before dawn breaks and returning home well after the sun has set, resulting in me being able to easily maintain my originally fair (some say pale) skin color. However, as age is slowly but surely catching up with me (I thought I saw a dreaded freckle forming!), I decided that perhaps I should start to diligently apply myself to the area of sun care. I had a small sample-sized tube of Avène Very High Protection Cream SPF 50 (after this to be referred to as Avène SPF 50 cream) that came in the Avène sensitive skin starter pack I bought last year so I thought I’d give it a spin and see how it goes.

Being accustomed to using as little skincare as possible to not aggravate my hypersensitive skin, it was a little uncomfortable for me at first knowing and feeling an additional layer of cream on my skin on top of my moisturizer. That’s because I’m psychologically programmed to think that ‘less products used mean less irritation’ after numerous eczema flare-ups. Anyway, I persevered my way through the small sample-sized tube, which lasted me maybe 8 – 10 applications because I use very, very little at a time.

The Avène SPF 50 cream is lightly tinted and it blends in seamlessly on my skin without standing out. In fact, I would even say that it actually evens out my skin tone somewhat so that my patchy skin (due to eczema outbreaks) seems even and smooth and less red. So yes, I like this about Avène SPF 50 cream a lot as it reduces the need for me to use an additional concealer or foundation on top of sunscreen. Also, daily use of Avène SPF 50 cream (over 2 weeks) did not result in the dreaded red spots/patches that usually immediately appear the moment I use something that doesn’t suit my skin, so that was a super plus point in my books.

Unfortunately, the things I don’t like about Avène SPF 50 cream outweigh the plus points for me.

Firstly, there is this faint metallic-like smell that I keep on smelling whenever I have Avène SPF 50 cream on. It’s not super strong like say, Coppertone or Banana Boat sunblocks, but it is there all the same and that bugs me until I get to wash my face at night. Secondly, I’m not really an oily-skinned person but I felt that using Avène SPF 50 cream turned me into an oil slick. After about 3 hours, I swear I could feel a layer of oil film on my nose that I needed to blot. This feeling happened every single time I used Avène SPF 50 cream and again, it bugs me big time.

I toted along Avène SPF 50 cream on a quickie trip to Singapore with the girls simply because I needed a sunblock/sunscreen to use and it was sitting on my dresser and it was a handy travel size. I had it on while we were out and about under the scorching hot Singapore sun (walking the streets at midday with no umbrella is no joke!) and it really does do the job – I didn’t feel my skin burning up and I didn’t turn a shade darker when the trip was over. Unfortunately, I could still smell that metallic-like smell and needing to wash my face to get rid of the oily feel was not what I was looking for in a sunblock/sunscreen.

Compared to other sunblocks/sunscreens available in your local drugstore, I’d say that the pricing for Avène SPF 50 cream is not exactly friendly for those on a budget but I would be willing to pay for something that actually suits my sensitive skin. When pressed for other alternatives, I’d come back to Avène SPF 50 cream because I know it doesn’t affect my skin and try to close my eyes to its shortcomings. But the search for a daily use sunblock/sunscreen continues for me.

Yes factors : High SPF ratio, doesn’t break me out, light tint evens out appearance of skin tone
No factors : Faint metallic-like smell, makes my skin oily, a bit pricey for drugstore brands

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray

Filed Under (skincare) by rinnah on 27-09-2009

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Avene Thermal Spring Water

Tagline : Thermal Spring Water soothes and softens sensitive skin

Description :
Avène thermal spring water comes from Avène-les-Bains thermal spring in France which was declared to be of public benefit in dermatology in France, in 1874. This thermal spring water’s unique and constant composition gives it soothing and softening properties for sensitive skin. This has been acknowledged by numerous scientific studies. Avène thermal spring water is used for many skin conditions at Avène Dermatological Hydrotherapy Center in France. Tested by dermatologists, it is particularly suitable as essential care for sensitive, hypersensitive and allergic skin.

Dermatological care – post surgery, post procedure, redness-prone skin/inflammation, keratosis-prone scaly skin, eczema/atopic dermatitis, allergic reactions/sensitive skin/irritation, burning/stinging/itching/tingling

Daily care – after cleansing, after shaving/after waxing, after exercise, during travel, sunburn, burns, diaper rash, to set makeup

Packaging : 50ml / 1.76oz, 150ml / 5.29oz, 300ml / 10.58oz

Recommended retail price : MYR18.90, MYR35.90, MYR53.00

My review :

I’ve been going through a really bad spell with my skin lately, experiencing extended outbreaks of eczema that seem to flare up with greater intensity and in new places too. The worst part about the recent spate of outbreaks (which is still ongoing, although in a reduced intensity by now) is that this time around, it now affects my face, mainly all over my eyes and forehead and parts of my cheeks too. You can imagine my horror when I started seeing unsightly red, roughened splotches all over my face accompanied by skin so dry that it literally flaked off my face like dandruff. I panicked, of course. I’d never had eczema break out on my face before in my life, and I’ve been battling ezcema since I was young, around nine years old. All of my normal control methods didn’t seem to work and I was extremely cautious of what I used, since it affected my facial area. Steroid creams were my last resort as they thin out the skin quite drastically.

Luckily for me, I found something that did work (although it doesn’t cure) in the Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray (referred after this as Avène spray). Avène spray is basically pure thermal spring water in a pressurized spray bottle and it’s touted to help soothe and soften sensitive, hypersensitive, allergic and irritated skin.

With this in mind, I used Avène spray quite liberally on my face. I use it to dampen my face before applying my moisturiser (Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief). I use it periodically throughout the day, keeping a travel sized can in my bag, a full sized can at my desk in office and another full sized can at home. That way I always have some Avène spray nearby and I make sure that I keep the surface of my skin moist, preventing it from further drying out and flaking/cracking. Using the spray delivers an immediate moisture charge to my dehydrated skin and keeps it from getting further irritated, which in turn helps to calm down my skin somewhat, making it better receptive to moisturisers and creams later on.

I’d say that my skin has improved tremendously since I started using Avène spray and it has earned a place as a staple in my skin maintenance routine.

Read other blogger reviews on Avène here :
beauty geeks
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