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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#1144: Current Skin Care Favourites

Something that's always been really important to me is having good, clear skin. 

I used to be plagued with acne for more than 3 years and it got so bad that I went to visit a dermatologist to get prescribed medication just to cope with it. I was prescribed both topical and oral medication but I've stopped taking oral medication for more than a year already and I only apply the topical creams as and when I feel that my skin is getting really bad (which hardly happens anymore, thank goodness).

The horrific thing about acne and scarring is that no matter how much make up you pile on your skin, you can never fully hide the bumps. Redness I can deal with with some foundation and concealer but you can never hide skin unevenness. 

Thank goodness for the medication, it stopped my acne cycle and since then, I still suffer from the occasional break out but never anything as bad as last time and right now, I'm mostly left with the scars from before that are lightening nicely and can mostly be covered. 

I attribute my current skin condition to the (medication that I took, but mostly to the) beauty products that I've been using religiously and I'm super excited to talk about them!! I've been using some of them for the longest time and they've been my favourites for quite a long time already. Do note that I'm no beauty expert and that whatever I say here is just my own opinion. 

Before I rave about them, this is my skin right now, with only one layer of foundation and a little loose powder. I did not use any filter on any of my photos and all photos are taken under natural lighting.

You can still see a little scarring on my cheeks and a little bump on my forehead but it's all mostly cleared up!! My skin has never been this good in the past half a decade and boy am I thankful for that.

Without further ado, I present to you my current beauty favourites!

From left to right (clockwise): Innisfree It's Real Rice Mask, Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX, Skin Food Black Sugar Mask Wash Off, Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum, It's Skin, Power 10 Formula VC Effector.

The first item is Innisfree's It's Real Rice Mask and I am really loving this mask! I've always loved Innisfree's masks and I swear by them because not only do they feel amazing, they really keep my skin hydrated. I've used many of their masks from their It's Real range like green tea, aloe, lemon lime, manuka honey…

I used their rice mask for the first time a couple of days ago and I must say that it feels lovely on the skin. Rice is known to help brighten the skin, reduce redness and to firm up the skin. I wouldn't say it exactly reduces the redness on my skin (my skin isn't usually very red so I can't tell the difference) and I don't know if it firms up my skin but it really does help brighten my skin up.

I usually do sheet masks at night, 2 to 3 times a week, before I sleep. I'll apply toner and eye cream first, before doing sheet masks, then leave the mask on my face for 20 minutes before removing the sheet mask and patting all the serum leftover on my face into my skin and continuing with my skin care routine. Usually I don't see much difference after using masks except for noticeable increase in hydration levels, but my skin did look amazing in the morning the next day.

I have a lot more masks from Innisfree (and The Face Shop, Etude House, Nature Republic…. haha I'm a mask hoarder, I'll do a mask haul post soon!) to try out but so far I'm really loving the rice mask from Innisfree!

One of Innisfree's top selling products will have to be their Green Tea Seed Serum. As seen on the Innisfree website, the Green Tea Seed Serum is a "moisturizing and nourishing serum with organic green tea seeds from Jeju to fill the skin with suppleness and clarity." Also, quoting what is on the bottle, "Enriched with fresh green tea seeds and squeezed green tea from the pure Jeju island to deliver abundant moisture and nourishment deep into your skin."

This serum is also part of Innisfree's 6-free pledge: Free from paragons, pigments, mineral oil, ethanol, benzophenone and animal ingredients.

For the packaging, what's great is that it comes with a little matte brown cover which prevents any accidental dispensing of the product if you were to bring it out with you and put it in your bag.

Firstly, the scent is amazing. It smells really fresh and refreshing, one whiff and I was sold. (Smell it and you'll understand what I mean.)

The serum is also really light and watery which is really lovely for Singapore's humid climate and my skin does absorb the serum really quickly and does not leave a sticky residue. Also, because it's really watery, a little goes a long way. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and dewy (as you can see from the picture above).

On the downside though, it doesn't really moisturize my skin as much as I would like it to.

Psst, green tea is also packed with anti-oxidants so for all those who are concerned about skin aging, green tea products will definitely help in that area!

The third item is It's Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effector. The VC Effector is the top seller in their Power 10 Formula line and it's a brightening serum which contains vitamin C and green tea components which helps suppress the formation of freckles that can make the skin look dull and dark, and it helps tightens pores to leave skin fair and luminous.

From what I've researched, It's Skin is a dupe for the famous Skin Inc but the price is so much more reasonable. Skin Inc's Regulate Vitamin C Serum (which the VC Effector is a dupe for) is a crazy S$128. Can I just say that the VC Effector is only 9,800 Korean won which is like slightly more than S$12. Just the price point alone is such an attractive factor, considering both serums are the same size (30ml).

I do have pretty sensitive skin (and all beauty advisors like to tell me this over and over again -_- like I don't already know it.) I've had this for months (since my first trip to Korea in June) but I didn't try it because I just started using the green tea seed serum from Innisfree and I didn't want to apply too many new products on my face at one time just in case I break out from the overload of new products. So I've only tried this for a week or so and I AM LOVING IT. No joke.

Packaging-wise, it comes in a dropper bottle which is good because I can control the amount of liquid that comes out (typically 2 drops is enough for my whole face) and it is encased in a small transparent cover which helps protect the rubber dropper.

Firstly, the VC Effector has a citrusy smell which is amazing 'cuz I love citrus scents but if you don't then maybe this product isn't for you.

Also, it's slightly on the thick side so it takes my skin a while to fully absorb the product but I'm not particular about that.

My skin looks instantly brighter whenever I apply it and after a week or so, it hasn't given me break outs which is amazing (I just added it into my skin care routine without removing something else which isn't the smartest idea if your skin is sensitive but who cares?)

It's also quite watery even though it's thicker than Innisfree's Green Tea Seed Serum so I'll usually use this after the Green Tea Seed Serum.

I also bought 2 other products from the Power 10 Formula line but I haven't tried them yet. I'll update this space if I find that I love them more or as much as the VC Effector!

The next on my list is Laneige's Water Sleeping Pack_EX and this has been my holy grail sleeping pack for the longest time. (It also is my sister's and a lot of my friend's holy grail sleeping pack as well!)

According to Laneige's website, the "light gel-type texture provides intensive hydration, vitality, and brightening effect while restoring skin with deep relaxation."

It claims to do a lot of things and while I do not know whether it provides vitality and brightens my skin, I do know it does provide a lot of hydration to my skin and every morning when I wake up, my skin feels super hydrated and as my friends put it, have the "doink doink" effect (I think it means like your skin feels bouncy 'cuz it's hydrated.)

I usually apply this every night before I sleep as the last step in my skin care routine and it has never failed me. I'm currently using my second tub (almost halfway through!) and yes I have 2 more tubs stocked up just because I think this product is amazing and has never failed me so far. Whenever my skin feels exceptionally dry, like when I travel to other countries and the climate there is drier than that of Singapore, I'll apply slightly more on the areas that are dry and I wake up to clear, glowing, hydrated skin.

Also, the texture is really light despite being so moisturizing so it's good for Singapore's humidity and it does absorb fast without leaving a sticky residue. That being said, when I apply this, it's the last step in my skin care routine so that means I've already got quite a lot of products on my face and so it does not exactly absorb as quickly as if you were to only put this product on your face.

Another favourite of mine is Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado which has been loved by many people. According to the website, Kiehl's website, "this creamy preparation with Avocado Oil, gently moisturizers the delicate eye area. Our unique, concentrated texture does not migrate into your eyes. Ophthalmologist-Tested. Dermatologist-Tested."

The first thing I noticed about the eye cream was that it is super creamy and looks really thick and I was scared that it will be too oily for my eyes. No one wants oil seeds around their eyes. Also, if the eye cream is oily, make up won't stay on and will slide around which really sucks.

But despite the thick and creamy texture, it wasn't oily at all and I did not have any problems with oil seeds or problems with my makeup sliding off my eye area which is really surprising.

It is extremely moisturizing which is really lovely. Definitely good for people who have dry eye areas!

The only downside of this product is that it doesn't have any brightening effects and it doesn't reduce dark eye circles or puffiness. It's purely for moisturizing but it does do its job well.

And last but definitely not least, Skin Food's Black Sugar Mask Wash Off. This has been highly raved all over the internet and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it when I first went to Seoul. This mask is packed with minerals, vitamins and glycol acid which has moisturizing effects and and helps to exfoliate the skin.

The first time I used it, oh my word, I could feel the effects of the scrub immediately. You know how certain scrubs leave your skin feeling really clean afterwards - some times too clean and your skin feels slightly tight?

Well, this mask doesn't have that effect at all. My skin feels baby skin smooth and moisturized even though it's just been exfoliated and it doesn't leave my skin red or irritated at all.

The smell is just amazing.

I usually apply this mask on my face after cleansing and leave it on for 15 minutes before massaging the product onto my face with damp hands to exfoliate my skin. After most of the sugar granules dissolve, I'll rinse my face with water and I'm done.

Definitely a must-buy!!! (I've got another tub in my drawer, that's how much I love it.)

And that's all for my current beauty favourites! I know I'm not the best reviewer of products (it's my first time) but I really love raving about beauty favourites to all my friends and we can spend hours discussing what's good and why they're good and I'm researching on new products All. The Time. 'cuz I love skin care and I love make up.

Do let me know if this review is helpful and if I should do more of such posts.

Till then, like Shu An always says, go and be beautiful! x

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