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Sunday, 21 October 2012

Skincare Old and New

I don't blog much about skincare because my routine doesn't change much; I've even dropped the monthly 'empties' posts which other bloggers do so well, since I tend to use up and repurchase the same old products over and over.

But since the last round-up in February (main routine // supplementary), I have actually replaced a few products with new loves, as well as reaffirming my devotion to other staples. So here goes:


1. LOTION

During my Asia trip earlier this year, I tried out a few new new lotions (moisturising toners), hoping to find a replacement for the Hada-Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion [ingredients] which has been a daily staple for the last five years. Because with the growing popularity of Japanese beauty brands, it's so often out of stock on adambeauty (most reasonably-priced etailer for me) when I want to repurchase, and also because I'm stupid curious! like that.
The best of a meh-to-bad bunch (from GWP samples from RMK, Lunasol, Fancl etc. to drugstore brands like Naruko and Shiseido Senka):

  • Hada-Labo ES Lotion turned out to be far too watery (so difficult to apply with hands) and not moisturising enough, even for the humid Hong Kong summer. ES [Enjoy Skincare] is a new sub-brand from Rohto Hada-Labo, slightly cheaper [170ml retails for ¥1100 while my regular Hada-Labo lotion goes for ¥1260] and aimed at very sensitive skin; its products are free of fragrance, alcohol, mineral oil and parabens and did not irritate my skin at all. None of them impressed me either -- this is a good line to try for those with oily-normal skin and very minimal requirements.
  • White Formula Super Moist Toner is, despite the Japanese language packaging, from a Taiwanese brand made in Taiwan [forgot the retail, but definitely under £10 for 290ml]. Like many other Taiwanese toners, its has a viscous gel texture rather than the 'enriched water' of my regular Hada-Labo, which feels sticky going on (not a dealbreaker) and can also ball up under my other skincare/makeup layers (dealbreaker). Despite the stickier feel, it actually seems a bit less effective at hydrating my skin than old reliable; finally, a reminder that unscented =/= scent-free, this has a strong synthetic-metallic smell.
White Formula Super Moist Toner ingredients


2. OIL
As the very last step in my nighttime routine, I use a few drops of oil to seal in all the other layers. Left to my own devices, it would be a cheap health food store option like Desert Essence Jojoba (emptied) or a rosehip / almond / avocado variation. Sometimes I receive posher branded oils as presents (from friends not PR) like DHC Extra Virgin Olive Oil (emptied) for Christmas, which has a far nicer texture (genuinely dry/weightless -- even lighter than neat jojoba or rosehip in feel) and packaging, but wasn't so superior that I'd be tempted to repurchase for myself.
However, the REN Omega 3 Night Repair Serum (a birthday present I've been using for the last three months) leaves my skin so soft-glowy-happy in the mornings I'm seriously thinking of shelling out the £34 for another bottle of (fishyapricot-stinking) magic when I'm done. Note that this is much 'oilier' in feel than the DHC or most neat oils, and may not be suitable for the breakout-prone; it is marketed as plumping and barrier repair for dry/sensitive skin and surprisingly does exactly that for me.
REN Omega 3 Night Repair Serum ingredients


3. EYE CREAM
Finally -- and I mean after four years and a hundred others FINALLY -- I have found a replacement for the heinously expensive Sisley Sisleya Global Eye and Lip Contour Cream (UK retail £105; I usually purchase for £85ish at Duty Free). In fact, I like Korres Materia Herba Eye Cream (comparatively much more reasonable £30 for the same 15ml as Sisley) even better, as it visibly faded my hereditary undereye pigmentation, so that Burberry's light click pen is now all I need to cover the bruise-y sleep-deprivation-type circles, no separate corrector necessary. 
As for the rest of my eyecream requirements, Korres is on par with Sisley at: depuffing, keeping my very dry undereyes moisturised all day, being light enough to smooth on without tugging [my issue with some thicker balms], sinking in instantly, sitting beautiful under makeup, excess working well as a lip balm etc. 
I've been using this since May (onto my second tube now -- the first lasted about four months) but held off on the review until I could be sure the circle-fading thing wasn't just a quirk, and that it would still be rich enough for my skin in London. It isn't, and it is. LOVE.



4. EMERGENCIES
After an entire tube of La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B-5 [ingredients], my first impressions were pretty much confirmed -- this is a waxier matte-finish cream which is harder to spread onto my dry skin than Avene's creamier Cicalfate [ingredients]. Even in East Asian summer humidity, the LRP wasn't sufficiently moisturising for me to wear overnight, and its drier feel didn't layer as easily as Avene would with additional products -- which made it a tricky proposition under makeup [again perhaps because I favour creamier textures there too]. Both products did speed up my skin's healing time, but I felt Avene addressed the flakiness that inevitably accompanies barrier-damage better.



5. SUNSCREEN
Now let the angelic chorus swell once more, for I have finally found a zinc-based sunscreen that doesn't dry me out OR leave me tin-mannishly shiny to layer over my all-chemical Ducray Melascreen SPF50. High-maintenance, much? Yeah, but this was my bare face in June, right before I started layering; and here it is after five months of layering. Okay, freckles do darken in summer but I promise you many of the smaller ones, which I've had for years, have completely gone and the rest have faded significantly.
I recognise that wearing one sunscreen daily might be too much for some skins, let alone two -- but if you can find formulas to work for you (and whose filters don't interfere with each other) I would wholeheartedly recommend it, especially if, like me, you don't reapply sun protection every two hours throughout the day. The Ducray provides high-UVA chemical protection (from octinoxate, Tinsorbs M and S) while the BurnOut gives sustained physical protection (zinc is the most stable filter) -- neither on its own would be quite ideal, but together: Dream Team.

Burn-Out Ocean Tested SPF30+ ($17.99 for 100ml) contains 18.6% zinc oxide in a no-frills formula [ingredients] which is the most cosmetically elegant all-physical I've tried -- "cosmetically elegant" in sunscreen reviews often seems to mean "MATTE / oil-controlling" but as you all know, I love me some dew and I hate me some itching and flaking skin -- what I mean is that it is a light gel-cream texture that glides effortlessly over the skin, setting to a soft satiny finish with no rubbing in or waiting time required. Cosmetics layered over this do not ball up or 'stick', and I can take the cream right up to my lashline and around my mouth without any irritation, stinging, or interference with my fun: eyeshadow or lipstick.

BurnOut retails replaces Kiss Me Sunkiller Baby Milk SPF38, which has been reformulated and renamed as Kids UV SPF38 [ingredients and info]. The older version was my favourite Japanese milk sunscreen for years, a rare alcohol-free all-physical formula (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) but I found the newer one too matte and too drying -- even without alcohol, and layered over a hefty coat of Ducray, I find physical filters quite drying -- my skin would start itching by lunchtime and flaking after a few days' sustained use. I also prefer the ease of cream/gel formulas to ultra-runny milks.



But some things one can only get in Asia. Sickeningly cute Bioderma Crealine set, anyone? :D

36 comments:

  1. w\Wow - I thought I was the only weirdo who layered a mineral sunscreen over a chemical one - not very often though. Although, sometimes I layer two different mineral sunscreens - american mineral sunscreens (Josie Maran SPF 40, which is cosmetically elegant-ish) over Shiseido cream block, which is tacky-cream.

    I think I started layering mineral over chemical after I read that chemical sunscreen ingredients as a they degrade release damaging free radicals on to skin, so I thought slap on a mineral block to slow down chemical degradation from UV rays. But who knows if that works?

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    1. hah! :D I think I got the layering idea from another 'weirdo' years back, it's just taken me this long to find the right ones. I'm not sure if the physical would stop the chemical filters from deteriorating but that would definitely be a bonus; I think of the physical as 'backup' protection for the when chem filters stop working so effectively. :)

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  2. Ahhh darn! I was looking up the Korres Materia Herba Eye Cream after you mentioned it but it seems that it's no longer available?? May I ask where you got yours--because the Korres site doesn't even list it and neither does Sephora. I have a problem with hereditary darkness under my eyes as well so I'd love to try something like this! Thanks Kate!

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    1. I was searching for it too after reading Kate's review -- looks like it's d/c :(

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    2. Oh, I'm so sorry, guys :( And gutted! I buy it from Liberty which is my 'local' Korres counter, but it's also sold here (I've ordered before, good CS): http://www.beautyexpert.co.uk/korres-materia-herba-moisturizing-eye-cream-15ml/10206834.html

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    3. Beauty Expert are sold out too as is bathandunwind but there are some on amazon (uk) and gorgeousshop.co.uk where it is actually £24 delivered. I'm sold. Thanks Kate.

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  3. You know my love for sisleya, I picked up materia herba two weeks ago due to travelling, I have to take a closer look how it works. I am a huge fan of REN oils in general and the sample I had from 3 night repair was amazing. I have to use up my rose serum and see if it will make a good replacement (I love oils for night time). Ducray, a staple of mine :D that Bioderma is so cute! / Claire

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    1. \o/ I did like the Rose oil too and it smells approx. 12492458798790 times nicer than the Omega 3, but Omega is just magical on me <3

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  4. O.k. I'm convinced to start layering physical over chemical block. I told my husband that after a certain age, freckles are no longer cute, they are even called age spots for a darn good reason. Hopefully this will help me delay getting any kind of laser treatment to ablate them.

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    1. I should add that I'm referring to my own freckles/age spots (the large ones that have become confluent). Yours are quite cute as they are :-)

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    2. No probs, Claire ;D I feel exactly the same way about other people's freckles. Mine? SUN DAMAGE DNW.

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  5. I loved the Kiss Me Skin Free Mild Milk (all physical) which was also replaced by KIDS UV. There's another one from Kiss Me, Suhadafit Baby Milk, that's also physical, but I tried both and still want my Mild Milk back!!! ;_____;

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    1. :( I can't keep up with the J brands and their discontinuation/reformulation thing. It's bad enough in makeup but I need my skincare to stay the same for decades!

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  6. You have such nice skin! I was wondering, do you use anything to lighten your freckles? I'm pretty fair with freckles that are starting to take over my face...

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    1. Hi Hannah, at the moment the actives I use are a vit C serum (The Body Shop capsules) and a niacinamide serum (Olay Regenerist fragrance free).

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  7. I've been curious about BurnOut for ages, but I'm determined to use up John Masters first. I'm pretty much restricted to physical blocks exclusively, but I have the same complaint: dries my skin out over sustained use. I'll definitely try this next!

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    1. If you can, as BurnOut for samples of their other formulas as well -- I've heard conflicting things on Skin Board as to which is the richest (I can't use the other 2 personally because of sensitivities).

      It cracks me up how long it takes you to finish skincare ;D How many years did a bottle of HadaLabo last you?

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  8. <3 Yay Skincare! I'm all morning-bleary ... I'll probably comment again later >_<

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    1. :*

      Definitely more skincare talk than you ever wanted to hear:

      It's funny to see that Ren oil, I slather it on with abandon in airports pre-flight , but have never bought a bottle b/c I think it's too rich for me to use frequently. But I'm still in love with my Suti Rejuvenate, which also happens to smell GREAT. Facial oils FTW!

      I'm looking for a eye cream replacement, since I was enjoying the Nude one, but it seems to be gone since their repackaging. (Using up a tube of LRP Active C now, and pulling it down over top-of-cheekbone-sun-damage, but not really seeing results … seems to be mainly silicone.) I'm curious if Materia Herba is D/Ced for real, since the price is nice. I've been considering La Bella Figura Decouverte Eye Repair (mouthful!) since Grace's review:
      http://www.londonmakeupgirl.com/2012/05/la-bella-figura-decouverte-eye-repair.html

      But the price is just silly, and I need to screw my head on straight. (The Coffee Bean one she mentions is something I'm going to pick up for the DH, but puffiness isn't really my issue.)

      I think it's time I tried Cicalfate. I need something protective for When Everything Goes Wrong.

      For SS I've been using Neova DNA Damage Control SPF 44, or Anthelios SX when I'm not really going to be in the sun at all. You might like the Neova (combo physical/chemical + lots of antioxidants). I think I might try the BurnOut when my Anthelios is gone. I love the short ingredient list (less potential for skin freak-out) - good price too.

      I'm also curious about your Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil - I like my Shu, but it's not doing anything amazing, and how could I possibly just stick with something that's "good enough"? LOL. Enjoying Pai's cleanser for low/no makeup days, but again, not wow-ed.

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  9. OMG that Crealine set is so cute... I think if I ever go to Japan I will completely bankrupt myself on beauty stuff!

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    1. haha, I haven't even opened it yet :D It will take a year to finish my big Bioderma but I just like having it around to look at :D

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  10. Hai :D I love these posts. Do you use the Anti-Aging or Moisturizing version of the Korres Materia Herba eyecream? Thanks!

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    1. I would be much more into skincare if SOMEONE had a blog about it :P
      Just the one version now: Anti-Dark Circles -- Liberty and Beauty Expert haz :)

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  11. I'm interested in the Ducray Melascreen SPF50. I'm wondering where I can buy it so it ships to Australia. The Korres eye cream is sold out everywhere :(

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    1. Hi Linda, of the etailers I've used both cocooncenter.com and monguidesante.com ship internationally; not sure about rates though :(
      I must find out if Korres are discontinuing this bloody eye cream or what >:C

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  12. I'm very much amused by that last photo of the bioderma cleanser. That is v cute and only in Asia... I must say it hasn't occurred to me to combine sunscreens...very interesting concept...:)

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  13. I'm glad to see another BurnOut fan. Chemical sunscreens tend to make my face really red, and the BurnOut is the best alternative I've found. It isn't enough SPF for here, and it is a little too sticky. The application texture is fantastic, though, and it keeps my skin happy as long as I'm just getting casual exposure.

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  14. I am so happy to see this post! I have a huge obsession with skincare, so it's always nice to know what's good & what to stay away from! :)

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  15. I need that Korres eye cream stat!!! Thanks for enabling haha

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  16. "it visibly faded my hereditary undereye pigmentation, so that Burberry's light click pen is now all I need to cover the bruise-y sleep-deprivation-type circles, no separate corrector necessary"

    It do what now?! *lusts*

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  17. Genuinely *gutted* that it looks like Korres have discontinued this eye cream. I need decent moisturisation to help minimise fine lines, and something that combats darkness that doesn't cost £stupid would be amazing (I wrestle with the Decouverte - I haven't purchased it yet since finishing every drop of the sample vial I had). It looks like they've replaced with the Quercetin & Oak range. Tempted to give that one a shot.

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    1. I am curled up in the foetal position right now D: I need to compare the ingredients with the Q&O one

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  18. Hi, i just discovered your blog and I will def be back! Love your swatches and inclusion of ingredients (very important for the sensitive skinned!)

    Did you purchase the BurnOut from their website? I couldn't find any info there on whether they ship outside the US.

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    1. Yes, I did :) International shipping was very reasonable and prompt.

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  19. OOoh! Skin care is always fun :) Just wondering about the Ducray sunscreen - what's the difference in texture/feel of the emulsion and cream?

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