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Category Archives: Skin Food

skin care stuff

[Sun Protection] – Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel

**warning I am about to start a long rant of my history with sunscreen, scroll down further for the TL;DR version**

Everyone that cares about their skin knows how important sunscreen is. It’s probably the most effective way to fight aging skin. I, like many others, have always neglected the importance of sunscreen when I was younger. Back in my young days, my skin never reacted to the sun much, I don’t get tanned much, and I don’t get red at all. It was only about when I was 25 years old, I started noticing my face would get red when it’s under sun exposure. I would be wearing those big buggy sunglasses, and the skin around my eyes would remain normal while the rest of my face would have a tint of red. I didn’t give it much thought, but I didn’t want to be tanned, the yellow undertone of my skin really pops when I tan, and I didn’t like it. So that’s basically when I started wearing sunscreen (I know, so late into the game). A number of years went by, and one day while I was looking around at Murale (like Sephora, but Canadian), and a sales person asked if I would like to test the age of my skin. After I agreed she proceeded to put this ultrasound like device on my face that’s suppose to read my skin condition, she then told me I had a lot of sun damage and my skin was aged at 45! (I was in my mid to late 20’s at that time). She then explained how important sunscreen was and of course proceeded to give me recommendations. I didn’t buy anything from her, but I went home and started frantically looking for sunscreen and doing a lot of research on what to look for. I’ll be honest, I didn’t put on sunscreen mainly because I hated that greasy feeling, and that smell (ew). I’ve tried sooooo many North American brands, the best way to describe them would be a bottle of grease. I couldn’t, I just can’t, especially after finding out you should put at least 1/4 Tsp on your face for the sunscreen to be effective. Now I was always into Asian skincare, mainly Japanese at that time, I always see “cooling effect” “non-greasy feeling” “watery” etc etc of the likes marked on Japanese sunscreen, and I thought, well might as well give it a try, and I was hooked. I’ve tried many different brands namely, Shiseido,  mentholatum sun play sunscreen (there’s a range of them and I’ve tried them all), Skin Aqua (also a range of different kinds, and again tried them all), and other brands that I can’t really recall now. Skin Aqua was one of my favourites, but the price was fairly high for the amount of product so I continued my search. It seemed that Japanese sunscreen were always in a 30ml to 50ml tube/bottle, and never anything over that. My intention was to put sunscreen over all exposed skin and not just my face, so I wanted something more substantial. One day as I was browsing a drugstore in Taiwan, I picked up the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, and I’ve never looked back again.

Now, the one I have pictured above is actually the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel. I picked this up last time I went back to Taiwan, because unlike the watery Essence which I believe was a 50ml soft tube packaging, the gel version is a 90ml bottle packaging, and it was for about the same price. I figure more bang for my buck! I honestly don’t feel much difference between the two. The watery essence is a creamier version, and the gel version is a bit more liquid-y.

***here’s the TL;DR***

The consistency is probably my favourite part of this product. The formula is so weightless on the skin it’s a long way from the bottles of grease North American sunscreens are. 

Instead of making your face look like you can fry an egg on top of it, it initially gives a dewy look but then drys semi-mat, though I personally wouldn’t mind if it stayed dewy looking.
And if you will notice, there is NO white cast! how amazing!

I apologize for not putting up a picture of the ingredient list, but, for easy for packing I threw away the packaging that lists the ingredients in English and I don’t know enough Japanese to decipher a list of chemical ingredients. But I do know it contains alcohol and is a chemical sunscreen, I do not believe it has any physical sunscreen in it(titanium dioxcide or zinc oxcide).

In short, best sunscreen ever!

consistency: liquidy, the watery essence version is creamier

scent: there is a very slight floral scent to it, nothing terribly strong, and certainly does not smell like typical North American sunscreen. The scent dissipates fairly quickly.

colour: it is colourless and does not give you a white cast.

Sun protection: this is a SPF 50+ (meaning probably more than 50, but this is the max they are allowed to label to) and PA++++

I was trying to find the post where I talked about the difference between SPF and PA rating, but I couldn’t find it! I swear I’ve wrote about it before. But anyways, in case anyone is wondering…SPF (or Sun Protection Factor) is “a measure of the fraction of sunburn-producing UV rays that reach the skin.  For example, “SPF 15″ means that 1/15th of the burning radiation will reach the skin,” assuming the correct amount is applied (source). It is important to note that this factor only refers to the protection you have from UVB rays and not UVA rays (source). PA (or Protection Grade of UVA) “measures the UVA protection that a sunscreen provides. PA+ corresponds to a UVA protection factor between two and four, PA++ between four and eight, and PA+++ more than eight. This system was revised in 2013 to include PA++++ which corresponds to a PPD rating of sixteen or above” (source). So what’s the difference between UVB and UVA you ask? Well UVB rays are Ultraviolet B rays, or known as the “burning rays.” This is the ray that causes sunburns and “tends to damage the more superficial layers of the skin and are what most sunscreens historically claimed protection from” (source). Where as UVA rays or Ultraviolet A rays are the long waves that are less intense, but more prevalent and can come through clouds and glass, so you would still be exposed even if you are indoors. “These rays reach the deeper dermal layers of skin and and can damage your skin’s collagen and elastin causing premature aging, & wrinkling” (source). In short, it is far more important to be protected from UVA than UVB. You’ll notice North American sunscreens tends to only label SPF without any PA ratings, can we assume we are also protected from the harmful affects of UVA while wearing those? hard to say, I think I’ll stick with my Japanese sunscreens. (And sorry for all the sourcing, I am an uni grad, I have to LOL)

price: I got mine in Taiwan, I recall it works out to be about $5 CND per bottle (I KNOW RIGHT?!). I did a quick search and it appears ebay and the likes are about $10~ $20 price range which is still not bad, but I will continue to hoard them when I go back to Taiwan (or when my mom does). I got 3 bottles of this when I came back in March, and I am down to my very last bit, and will possibly have to go one week without any sunscreen, because I just can’t find anything equivalent here (here’s hoping my skin doesn’t melt off my bones). My brother will return with these on the 11th of Dec, I need to ration! fingers crossed!

my particular bottle was made in Japan, I have seen made in Taiwan ones though.

Overall: I think no one will be surprised I am giving this sunscreen a 5/5. If anything, I only wish they came in bigger bottles. The search for the perfect sunscreen is over for me, I will never leave you Biore UV aqua rich!

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Posted by on November 25, 2017 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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[mise en scene] – Hair Mask Treatment

IMG_20170917_201249.jpg Hi peeps! So, a friend gave me a couple of these and I thought I’d review it. I honestly am not even sure of the name of this thing, I just know it is a hair mask treatment, because every thing is written in Korean. While I did live in Korea for a year, I wasn’t very self disciplined with self-teaching Korean. I got through the parts of roughly knowing what each character is suppose to sound like, and that’s about it (LOL). So I did a bit of google search, and found someone selling this online. The instructions are as below:

“After shower, towel dry and apply hair pack onto hair evenly.
After hot oil use steam hair mask cap and massage oil to absorb.
Use sticker to fix hair pack.
After 5~15 minutes remove cap and rinse off with lukewarm water.” (source)

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I know it’s sorta poor English, but at least I can understand most of it.

So a little background on my current hair situation. I have fairly fine hair and for an Asian, not a lot of it. My current hair has been dyed twice and permed twice, so it’s pretty damaged to say the least. The hair stylist that permed my hair had to do it twice, because he said the first time wouldn’t take, as my hair was too healthy. I am sure that’s not the case right now. If I don’t take care of my hair the ends do feel very dry, but my hair has never been brittle. Now on with the review.

When I was reading the instructions I didn’t understand what the “sticker” is suppose to be in order to “fix hair pack.” I was perplexed. So I googled some more and found a YouTube video of someone using it, and finally understood what the sticker was suppose to be.

below is the picture of the “hair pack” (which looks like a really cheap shower cap) The tab circled in red has a peel off plastic part and you can then tighten the cap to fit your head.

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The consistency of the hair cream is really thick. It has a fairly heavy smell to it, but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is. It doesn’t smell terrible or anything, and is a floral scent.

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So as per the instruction, you are to rub this cream on your hair evenly, then wear the cap over your head and massage. After 5 to 15 mins rinse off and style as per normal.

Here’s what the cap looks like over my head. The YouTuber had a bit of an issue putting it on. I just gathered my hair and did a little bun on top of my head and slid the cap over it, but when I was massaging, the hair kept trying to escape. User friendliness is definitely a down fall for this product.

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To conclude…

Properties:

from this ebay seller this mask is suppose to repair extremely damaged hair. It has 7 natural oils: argan, camellia, coconut, apricot, marula, jojoba, and olive oil. It’s suppose to be like going to a hair salon and getting an expensive treatment. (it should be noted here that the seller’s item pictures “perfect serum” but the title says “perfect repair”; the one I used says perfect repair on the packaging)

Price:

I didn’t buy this product, but it seems like it’s in the $15 to $30 USD range on ebay depending on how many you purchase.

Scent:

heavy floral scent, would definitely stay away if scent is a big issue for you. That being said it doesn’t really stay on your hair after you rinse it off.

and of course, like most Korean branded products it is made in Korea.

Results:

I left it on for a lot longer than it suggested (about 45mins), I do this with most of my face masks too because I just feel like it’s such a waste!

I like the fact that when it washed off it didn’t feel slippery, but I can still run my fingers through with easy. Most hair masks or conditioners will feel slippery when rinsing off, kind of gives you a sense of you hair being smooth and healthy, but it really is just the silicone in the product that’s giving you that fake sense of healthiness. After blow drying my hair, it’s shinny, still has a bit of fuzz, but the ends feels very smooth. My hair in general feels like there’s a layer of oil covering it, but not in a gross way. The mask didn’t weigh down my hair like most masks or conditioners will do. I don’t have much volume, but it allowed for me to keep the little volume I could have. Overall, I am pretty impressed with the results. I suspect if I had the time and money to use this at least once a week it would help my hair a lot more than just the one time.

Overall score: 4.5/5 I am taking away 0.5 for the user unfriendliness of the product, but in general I am pretty impressed.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in All Things Prettified!, Randoms, Skin Food

 

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[The Face Shop] – Lovely Me: Ex Pore Ghassoul Mask

imageOOPS! Sorry I missed 2 weeks of posts. I just got lazy the first Sat, and then I was in San Diego for the 2nd, so….I have nothing to say for myself. I am sorry T_T I’ll make it up with fluffy panda pictures next week! I promise! (that probably doesn’t mean anything now T_T)

Anyways, on to the topic at hand. So I got this a while back from ebay for $13.59CND. I won’t recommend the seller though, because I had some issues with the shipping. It took them 3 days to ship after I paid, and I had to email to ask about it.

I had originally wanted to purchase only the Jeju volcanic clay mask, but just can’t resist the adorable packaging!! Can you?

I didn’t have high hopes for this thing. It’s a clay mask, and they never do much except maybe reduce oil. But this mask didn’t even do that. It smelled nice, and was easy to wash off, that’s about all the pros I can give you. It did absolutely nothing for my pores, though from the description it seems like it’s suppose to shrink or at least clean the pores. Nope didn’t do that either.  Definitely not worth repurchasing. But damn that packaging is just adorable!

For those interested, here’s the list of ingredients:

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Here’s the texture of the clay mask. Nothing special really.

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So a 2/5 for this baby, mainly for that cute packaging.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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[JUJU Cosmetics] – Aquamoist Cream

image A couple of sasa orders back, I had gotten this because my Innisfree Green Tea Seed Cream was disappearing quickly. I just wanted a simple face cream that’s not sticky and has moisturising properties. A while back a friend had told me about JUJU Cosmetics, obviously Japanese, the main idea of this brand is less is more. Most of their products (if not all) are non-scented, and are basically the bare bones of skin scare. In this case, the Aquamoist Cream is packed full of hyaluronic acid, which is naturally produced by the body. The cream claims to be hydrating for 24hrs a day. I don’t know how much of that claim is true, and honestly, with my Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair Serum I really can’t tell if this cream does anything. Perhaps I will try a couple of days without the serum and see how my skin reacts to this thing.

That being said, I do still like this cream quite a lot. First and foremost, I like the fact that it isn’t scented. I’ve been looking for a minimalist face cream for a while. Sorry to say, but most (if not all) of the Korean brand cosmetics are heavily scented, even the ones that supposedly focuses on “natural” things.

Secondly, the cream does indeed moisturise, it is the length of this moisturising effect that I cannot comment on.

Last, and most importantly, it is not sticky at all. The texture is a bit of a gel and it spreads quite nicely over the skin. No need for harsh rubbing. When applied it feels more watery than creamy with no sticky feeling after, and that’s something very important for me in any cream.

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If I recall correctly, this little jar was in the ballpark of $20 or so. Money well spent I think. I give it a 4.5/5. Definitely willing to repurchase, but probably won’t end up buying it again just because I like trying new things. That being said, I will probably try something within the JUJU cosmetics brand next time as well.

If I do end up testing this without the serum I’ll let ya’ll know.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2013 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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[Shills] – Black Gel Mask

image My somewhat recent order form Sasa.com included this gel mask. I’ve been wanting to try out these black gel masks for a while. There was another Japanese brand (Hanaka) that was all the rave, but it was a bit too expensive for my blood. So I opted for this Taiwanese brand, Shills, instead. The content is 100g for about $12 on Sasa.com.

The whole idea of this black gel mask is that it removes impurities from the skin. I don’t know how much of that claim holds truth, I mean it’s a gel mask. I think I’d rather trust my pore cleaning to exfoliating cleansers and peel masks. I did hope maybe it just helps draw out the impurities, at which point a good cleanser or peel mask can pull it out, or fully remove it. So I tested it out for a week. I’d put on this mask everyday for a week, then did a peel. I did feel that the peel mask picked up more gunk than usual, which is great.

The texture is gel like (obviously). It does look black in the container.

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But once out of the jar, it’s more clear like with a tint of black.

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This is about as much as I put on my face.
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Once dried it makes the skin look a bit dirty-like. But washes off pretty easily.
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The other thing that these black mask gels claims to do is brightening, and I can actually see this after I wash off the mask. Here’s my hand’s before and after picture. Hopefully, you can kind of tell, in the before section, the skin is a bit more uneven, where as after is brighter and more even. These pictures are taken out doors with natural light. The difference is a lot more obvious in person, the before side was pretty red and the after was even toned.

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I normally use this after shower, and after I splash my face with cold water (to shrink pores), It stays on my face for about 15 to 20 mins, it doesn’t take too long to dry out, then I’d wash it off. The gel mask is gentle  enough to use on a daily basis, and I like the idea that it draws out impurities, and there’s no pain involved when removing. If not for cleaning effect, at the very least it does brighten and even out my skin tone. It also reduces redness when I extract pimples, which is a great plus. I’d give this a 4.5/5, and I would definitely repurchase this. I may even try the Hanaka brand.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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