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

What’s inside my Bellabox June 2012

Filed Under (bodycare, fragrances, lotions, serum, skincare, toner) by rinnah on 21-06-2012

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june bellabox

I think of all the Bellaboxes I’ve received thus far, I’m liking the June Bellabox most of all. :D

Themed the Summer Upgrade box, I was extremely psyched to find out that June’s box included sample/travel sizes of the following products:

  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
  • Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner
  • Ralph Lauren Romance
  • Biotherm White D-Tox BB Cream
  • Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Moisturizer
  • Lancome Blanc Expert Derm-Crystal
  • Lancome Genifique Youth Activator
  • Shu Uemura Whitefficient Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil

Whew! That’s quite a bumper box of goodies! :D

So far I’ve already dug into Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and you can betcha I’ll be purchasing this once I’ve finished up my sample. I’ve already been using Ralph Lauren’s Romance perfume, so having a travel vial allows me to keep it in the office.

Do you have a Bellabox subscription already? Or does this box tempt you to sign up?

Style File : Red Nail Polish Lemmings

Filed Under (cosmetics, nail polish, style file) by rinnah on 18-11-2011

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As my fellow beauty bloggers would know all too well, lately I’ve been struck by a new lemming for nail polish. But not just any nail polish. Oh no.

Like a moth to flame, I find myself inexplicably drawn to red nail polishes. The redder, the better. :P

It all started nearly two years ago when I was getting a manicure/pedicure done for Chinese New Year and I decided to go out of my comfort zone (pretty but safe light pinks and neutrals) and go red. The manicurist recommended to me the most sought after red in the salon : OPI’s best-selling I’m Not Really A Waitress.

opi-im-not-really-a-waitress-nail-lacquer-large-22
Image credit for I’m Not Really A Waitress

It’s not so much a bright red, but a deep red with burgundy highlights that show up in brighter light conditions. I liked it so much that I bought a bottle to keep – my first red nail polish. I’m not good with doing my own manicures, so I’ve been using it on my toes where it still looks good from afar and mistakes are not so noticeable. Heheh.

Then I read Lyn’s post on her new Chanel Rouge Carat nail polish and was hankering after it so bad that Beetrice had to drag me into the Chanel boutique with orders to try it on just so I would shut up about it. :P

chanel_rougecarat001
Image credit for Chanel Rouge Carat

This is a brighter red compared to I’m Not Really A Waitress and under the boutique lights where I swatched it, it appears to have gold flecks in the red. Absolutely gorgeous and the only reason why I didn’t walk out of the boutique with it was because it’s much cheaper in Malaysia (MYR 70.00) compared to Singapore (SGD 36.00). Come this weekend, I’m going home to Malaysia to get this limited edition baby.

Then came another siren’s call when I got intro’d to Singaporean blogger Joey Chong. What should I see scrolling down the first page of her blog but this post on Dior’s Les Rouges collection featuring not one, but three different types of red.

Dior-Les-Rouges

I’m eyeing Gruau (on the right) and Icone (on the left), but I’ll need to see it in real life before deciding which of the two I want. Tralfagar (in the center) is a bit too bright red for me. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is *also* a limited edition collection.

As if that wasn’t enough, while fruitlessly hunting for Dior’s Les Rouges (didn’t realize that it’s exclusive to Isetan Scotts), I glanced over at the neighboring Lancome counter and saw… another red in Kate Winslet’s Golden Hat holiday collection for Lancome. Oh yeah, need I mention also that this is another limited edition baby?

kate winslet holiday collection soft cream red

Unfortunately, the consultant told me that the polishes for the Golden Hat holiday collection were not being brought in to Singapore. Bummer!

Now tell me, have I been poisoned by red nail polish lemmings or what? :P

A miniature haul from Hong Kong!

Filed Under (bodycare, cosmetics, fragrances, lip gloss, lotions, moisturiser, retail shopping, skincare, suncare) by rinnah on 25-07-2011

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Ah Hong Kong! How I miss shopping there already… and I’ve only been back for a week. :P

Being a total newbie (it was my maiden trip to HK), I was totally unprepared for the bright lights and myriad stores. But I was lost the moment Kahani introduced me to Bonjour.

When she showed me the section on sample/travel sized products, I was completely sold on the concept and there was no turning back. The majority of the stuff you see in the picture below is from Bonjour, with a purchase each from Sasa, Harvey Nichols Beauty Hall and duty-free at Changi Terminal.

Hong Kong miniature haul

In no particular order, I came back with :
1. Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Rose Perle
2. Steam Cream
3. Lanvin Marry Me perfume miniature
4. Talika Lipocils Expert eyelash serum
5. Lancome Hydra Zen Neocalm detoxifying moisturising multi-relief anti-stress gel essence
6. Lancome Hydra Zen extreme soothing moisturising cream-gel
7. Lancome Genifique Youth Activator serum
8. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex serum
9. Estee Lauder Hydrationist Moisture Barrier Fortifier ultra-hydration serum
10. Dior Capture Totale One Essential skin boosting super serum
11. Diorsnow White Reveal essence
12. Shu Uemura UV Armor high protection face cream SPF 50
13. Shu Uemura Deepsea Hydrability moisturizing gel cream
14. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
15. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial micro serum
16. Laniege Water Sleeping Pack_Ex
17. Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale exceptional complete care serum
18. Clinique Take The Day Off makeup remover

Whew! That’s a lot of miniature stuff, methinks! :P

And did you notice anything about the list above? It’s mostly skincare with a heavy slant towards hydrating stuff and anti-aging stuff.

I’ve been lemming quite a number of these serums for some time now, so yes, I am one very happy camper. Let’s hope that my sensitive/problematic skin takes kindly to me experimenting in the next few months!

How I wish I had access to these miniature pretties in Singapore or Malaysia all the time…

Read other blogger notes on shopping in Hong Kong here :
Kahani
Paris B

L’Oreal Luxury Sale

Filed Under (cosmetics, fragrances, sales, warehouse sales) by rinnah on 22-08-2010

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Ah, my favorite warehouse sale is back. :)

L'Oreal luxury warehouse sale

As the picture says, you can get deals on cosmetics and fragrances from Lancome, Biotherm, Shu Uemura, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Cacharel, Guy Laroche and Diesel.

I’ve never missed a sale since I found out about it two years back, and if you shop carefully, there are likely bargains to be found especially if you know the usual recommended retail price. It is interesting to note though that prices at these ‘warehouse/clearance’ sales have been steadily increasing and while still cheaper than the average over-the-counter price, it is no longer a steal by any means. Still, as the savvy shopper who can suss out a good deal from an average deal, you’ll be fine.

Happy shopping!

L’Oreal Warehouse Sales

Filed Under (cosmetics, fragrances, sales, skincare, warehouse sales) by rinnah on 23-08-2008

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Note: This post is back-dated to 23 August 2008.

When I’d first heard of this warehouse sales, my first thought was that of dismay as it was a 1 day only sale. I had a scheduling conflict in terms of an exam scheduled for that very day at 10:00am, which happened to be the time that the warehouse sales began. I figured that all the good stuff would be snapped up before I could even possibly hope to get there. Luckily, I was proven wrong.

L'Oreal warehouse sales

After insanely rushing through my exam in record time (I wonder what the results will be like?) I drove over to the Parkroyal Hotel, which was where the warehouse sales was being held. Saw a number of people evidently leaving the sales with plastic bags of stuff, and my heart sank. The lack of any queue as I headed up to the first floor was even more discouraging! Apparently the organizers only opened the doors every 20 – 30 minutes or so, and I arrived with perfect timing to get in without even having to wait. Yay!

My colleague was a bit disappointed because she’d asked me to get her Ralph Lauren Romance perfume, but there was only Ralph Lauren Rocks available then. The Biotherm stocks rapidly dwindled too, but there was plenty of Lancome skincare around. Pity that my favorite Lancome mascara was not available in black, but only in odd party/funky colors. Still, I got my hands on some Lancome lipsticks and grabbed a couple of Lancome skincare items for mom and myself, plus a Biotherm moisturiser.

It was a far better set-up than the previous warehouse sale I’d attended just a week earlier and I was pretty happy with what I got. Definitely one of the warehouse sales to put on my list for next time!

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