REVIEW: NALC Moisturizer All-In-One Gel for Tone-up, Wrinkle and Acne Care

Hello everyone!

With more sectors of our economy allowed to resume operations progressively, it is only a matter of time before our borders reopen and we are able to jet off again (though probably not as extensively as before), or, at the very least go on a staycation; hence perhaps it’s about time we gear up with all the travel necessities so that we would be ever-ready for an impromptu getaway, especially once the restrictions are finally lifted.

Don't we all miss finding out our boarding time and gate in front of the FIDS? (Image by Jan Vašek)

Don’t we all miss finding out our boarding time and gate in front of the FIDS? (Image by Jan Vašek)

Much as my wanderlust itch is dying to be scratched, there is always this one small First World problem that makes travelling a little less enjoyable for me, and that is packing. As one who prioritises vanity, I mean, spares no effort on the upkeep of my appearance, my toiletries usually take up a lot of room inside my luggage, and this exacerbates if my destination is experiencing the height of winter, thereby leaving a limited amount of space for other essential items, and adding unnecessary weight to my precious load. For my trip to Japan last December, for instance, I had to pack my facial cleanser, toner, exfoliator, moisturisers (one for outdoor use) and acne treatment on top of my shower products (my sensitive skin doesn’t quite jive with some of the body wash provided by hotels so I tend to bring my own) into my luggage. And let’s not forget about the unpacking after everything is done and dusted. Oh, so lazy…

Thankfully, all this is about to change with the All-In-One Gel Moisturizer (also known as Three Protect Gel) by NALC, a Japanese unisex skincare brand that was previously featured here for their amazing waterproof sunscreen.

NALC All-In-One Gel Moisturizer (S$45)

NALC All-In-One Gel Moisturizer (S$45)

Touted as a handy all-in-one medicated gel that replaces your regular facial serum, moisturiser, cream and leave-on night mask altogether, it helps to tackle three major skin issues – wrinkles, acne and discolouration – with ingredients that lock moisture in the skin (i.e. ceramides and hyaluronic acids) and maintain its supple texture (i.e. collagens and amino acids). Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, an active ingredient in the formula, prevents acne, heat rash, frostbite, chapping and cracked skin under extreme weather conditions while tranexamic acid suppresses the production of melanin to reduce the appearance of spots and freckles.

Protective seal

Protective seal

Ingredient list

Ingredient list (click here for complete list)

The tube

The tube

You might also be interested to know that this is actually a quasi-drug (approved by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan) which ultimately means that the ingredients are recognised as effective, or more so than cosmetic products.

Medicated, another way of saying quasi-drug

Medicated, another way of saying quasi-drug

The "医薬部外品" label is what you need to look out for on the packaging to check if the product is a quasi-drug

The “医薬部外品” label is what you need to look out for on the packaging to check if the product is a quasi-drug

Moreover, it contains several natural ingredients such as white fungus polysaccharide, artichoke extract, scutellaria root extract, soybean extract, almond extract and bilberry leaf extract to promote better skin health.

Clinically proven to be hypoallergenic, this gel moisturiser is formulated without ingredients that are known to aggravate the skin (i.e. alcohols, fragrance, mineral oils, petroleum-based surfactants, artificial colouring, and parabens), therefore making it suitable for sensitive skin. In fact, this product is so gentle on the skin, it can also be applied on children of at least 7 years of age, and the elderly!

[First try] Didn't read the directions before I applied it for the first time. You only need 1/5 of this amount!

[First try] Didn’t read the directions before I applied it for the first time. You only need 1/5 of this amount!

[First try] But since it's already on my hand, let's not waste it :) Look how clear it is once it's been spread out!

[First try] But since it’s already on my hand, let’s not waste it 🙂 Look how clear it is once it’s been spread out!

[First try] Ta-dah! Barely noticeable! You wouldn't know it's there until you touch the area where you applied the moisturiser!

[First try] Ta-dah! Barely noticeable! You wouldn’t know it’s there until you touch the area where you applied the moisturiser!

This unscented gel moisturiser has a light and slightly milky consistency that spreads easily on the skin. A little goes a long way, so you would only need a small amount of it (less than 1 cm in diameter) to cover the whole face. Otherwise, you may run the risk of having to deal with the tackiness it leaves behind. However, you can dispense a larger amount (about 1.5 cm in diameter) if you intend to use it as an overnight mask (but do be prepared for any product to transfer onto your pillow).

Okay, now, trying it out on my face. This is how much you need. No kidding!

Okay, now, trying it out on my face. This is how much you need. No kidding!

Simply dot it on your forehead, cheeks, the tip of your nose and philtrum. There's seriously enough to go around!

Simply dot it on your forehead, cheeks, the tip of your nose and philtrum. There’s seriously enough to go around!

Then, spread it out! Be sure to spread it outwards, like how you should when you apply other products on your face, to prevent premature sagging and wrinkles ;)

Then, spread it out! Be sure to spread it outwards, like how you should when you apply other products on your face, to prevent premature sagging and wrinkles 😉

All done!

All done!

Having tried the moisturiser in the day and at night for a week already, the whitening effect seems to be the most noticeable on my skin because the hyperpigmentation left behind by maskne has lightened quite a bit. Granted, it did not really do much in preventing blemishes from me wearing my face mask for an extended amounts of time (this can’t be help, can it?), but it sure expedited their healing process. Within the third day, the zits had more or less flattened and the redness had also reduced drastically. While I can’t attest to its effectiveness in combating wrinkles (because I am lucky enough not to have any visible ones.. yet 🥺), I am confident that this moisturiser would do an equally great job at banishing those fine lines!

Most importantly, this, too, does not cause any irritation to my sensitive skin.

Before (taken on 30 June 2020) and after (taken on 7 July 2020) using NALC All-in-One Moisturizer!

Before (taken on 30 June 2020) and after (taken on 7 July 2020) using NALC All-in-One Moisturizer!

What are your thoughts on this all-in-one gel moisturiser? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

NALC All-In-One Gel Moisturizer is now available on SHOPEE. For more information on NALC, follow them on FACEBOOK or visit their official WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY NALC FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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IN MY DNA: What GeneLife Genesis 2.0 Told Me About My Health Through Genetics Testing

Life is unpredictable.

News of people who seem physically fit (especially those who partake in vigorous exercises regularly) falling victim to life-threatening illnesses saddens me every time because it makes me wonder: if it can happen to them, it can happen to us – to me, to you, to anyone. Am I doing enough to prevent myself from suffering the same fate? What if all the frequent workouts and healthy eating habits that I’ve been practising don’t actually make any difference to my general well-being because the likelihood of contracting some chronic diseases is already imbued in my DNA?

The only way to find out more (apart from looking into my family’s medical history which isn’t very helpful, to be perfectly candid) is to undergo a DNA test which can now be easily done through at-home test kits. Quite a number of consumer genetics-test makers have sprung up when this industry boomed, but only one remained catered to the Asian market with a Singapore headquarter, and that is GeneLife.

GenelLife Genesis 2.0

GenelLife Genesis 2.0

GeneLife?

Created by Genesis Healthcare (a privately-owned Japanese genetic testing and research company), GeneLife Genesis 2.0 is designed to analyse one’s DNA using saliva samples to determine the individual’s potential risks of acquiring common chronic diseases (such as hypertension, stroke and type 2 diabetes.. oh, the list is extensive), and to establish the metabolic type and genetic diet. Through this test kit, one would also be able to uncover his/her unique physical and behavioural traits, like skin type, drinking patterns and sleep behaviour. Furthermore, unlike other DNA test kits that are based in USA, GeneLife has a wider gene pool of Asiatic population so chances of accuracy are way higher (although I feel this would be more applicable to DNA tests for ethnicity).

Since our genes do not change in the course of life, taking the test just once is sufficient to help us make better health and lifestyle choices based on our risk profile. Even so, such test kits don’t come cheap and can set you back at least S$200 which I don’t feel comfortable parting with. Therefore, when Genesis GeneLife 2.0 was made available in the Shopee flash sale for S$97.75 (after further discount, and no shipping fee!), I knew right away that I should not pass on that deal. I mean, spend only S$97.75 to get key insights of my health destiny? Why the hell not?!

Taking the test, and why?

The test kit was delivered to my doorstep two days later – considerably fast given the current situation then. There was a consent form found in it for me to complete, as well as an instruction sheet that directed me to sign up for an account on the GeneLife website to register my kit. Also included in the kit were a user guide, an information booklet detailing all the items that my sample would be tested for, a tube where I would be spitting into, a screw-on funnel to prevent spillage, a zipper bag and an envelope to mail my sample back to the local GeneLife headquarter. Analysis results were expected to be released on my GeneLife account within the next 4 to 6 weeks. Once they were ready for viewing, I would be notified via e-mail.

Hand-delivered!

Hand-delivered!

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (front)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (front)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (back)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (back)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (seal)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (seal)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (expiry date)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (expiry date)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (inside)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (inside)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (contents)

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 packaging (contents)

Consent form

Consent form

I had to refrain from eating and drinking (plain water is fine) one hour prior to collecting my own DNA sample to prevent contamination. Once I had produced enough saliva in my mouth, I placed the funnel close to my lips and spat until the secretion reached the black mark indicated on the tube. Then, screwing off the funnel, I noticed some solution inside the tube flowing into and mixing with my saliva sample. With a few shakes, the tube was now ready to be sent back to GeneLife by post. The whole collection process took no more than 10 minutes! Easy and convenient.

Test tube and funnel in zipper bag

Test tube and funnel in zipper bag

The black mark to indicate the amount of saliva

The black mark to indicate the amount of saliva

After spitting

After spitting

After shaking and screwing off the funnel

After shaking and screwing off the funnel

Sample ready!

Sample ready!

Packed sample in the zipper bag

Packed sample in the zipper bag

Ready to mail

Ready to mail

Signing up for a GeneLife account

Signing up for a GeneLife account

Signing up for a GeneLife account

Signing up for a GeneLife account

Signing up for a GeneLife account

Signing up for a GeneLife account

Signing up for a GeneLife account

Signing up for a GeneLife account

Registering my kit online

Registering my kit online

Registration successful!

Registration successful!

Before looking at the results, I thought it’d be more meaningful to have some expectations set, somewhat as a gauge for accuracy. Since most of my late grandparents had diabetes and hypertension of some sort, I highly suspected myself to be carrying these genetic illnesses too so in a way, I wanted a confirmation. The investigative reporter in me also hoped to see if the test was able to pick out my known inherited disorders, like asthma, acne vulgaris (not sure if this is considered genetic since none of my immediate family members has this condition.. sadly) and ichthyosis vulgaris (from my Dad).

*drum roll*… My DNA test results!

From acknowledging receipt of my sample at the Singapore’s office, to its arrival at the laboratory in Japan, and finally informing me of my test results, GeneLife constantly kept me updated on the progress via e-mail throughout the whole duration of the four-week wait.

E-mail updates from GeneLife

E-mail updates from GeneLife

What greeted me before I saw my results

What greeted me before I saw my results

Due to privacy reasons, only results that are worth mentioning or are particularly of concern would be shared here (trust me, there’s a lot more to what you see below).

Some questionnaire to fill out before my results were revealed to me, perhaps for GeneLife to gauge the accuracy of their findings based on my responses (which would not affect the outcome of my test)

Some questionnaire to fill out before my results were revealed to me, perhaps for GeneLife to gauge the accuracy of their findings based on my responses (which would not affect the outcome of my test)

The last questionnaire under the diseases category was the worst.. 56 QUESTIONS!?!?! Gimme my results already lah! 🤬

The last questionnaire under the diseases category was the worst.. 56 QUESTIONS!?!?! Gimme my results already lah! 🤬

My risk of various types of infection (click to view image in full size)

My risk of various types of infection (click to view image in full size). Based on the additional information, 99.9% of the test participants are susceptible to norovirus infection 😂

My risk of respiratory diseases (click to view image in full size)

My risk of respiratory diseases (click to view image in full size). Notice that my risk of asthma and childhood asthma is “normal” and “slightly low”? 🤔

My risk of bone/joint/skin diseases (click to view image in full size)

My risk of bone/joint/skin diseases (click to view image in full size). Acne is marked “high”. This kit doesn’t test for ichthyosis vulgaris but I think psoriatic arthritis comes close.

Other lifestyle-related risks (click to view image in full size)

Other lifestyle-related risks (click to view image in full size). Hypertension is given a “normal” rating.

My risk of eye/ear/nose/throat diseases (click to view image in full size)

My risk of eye/ear/nose/throat diseases (click to view image in full size). As a short-sighted spectacle wearer, I’m baffled that I’ve been determined to have normal risk of myopia.

Other risks (click to view image in full size)

Other risks (click to view image in full size).

A click on each of the "Details" buttons directs you to a pop-up window similar to the above

A click on each of the “Details” buttons directs you to a pop-up window similar to the above

Some of these health revelations (e.g. slightly high risk of colorectal and bladder cancers) definitely came as a surprise to me because there isn’t any known family medical history of such illnesses, whereas there are few (e.g. high risk of acne, alopecia areata and atopic dermatitis) which were pretty much expected as I’ve already experienced them. What worries me most, though, is my high susceptibility to almost every lung-related disease listed (but strangely, I’m at normal risk of asthma?). This might have been inherited from the hardcore smokers on my paternal side because I don’t smoke, and I steer clear from secondhand smoke as best as I can. To mitigate these risks, GeneLife put forth a few preventive measures (as is similarly done for other risks identified) which include reducing exposure to polluted air by wearing face masks and installing indoor air purifiers, and consuming soy isoflavone and cancer-fighting fruits.

Now, onto my physical traits.. A closer look at my orientation/behaviour (click to view image in full size)

Now, onto my physical traits.. A closer look at my orientation/behaviour (click to view image in full size)

Some of my (innate?) abilities (click to view image in full size)

Some of my (innate?) abilities (click to view image in full size)

My body type (click to view image in full size)

My body type (click to view image in full size). Good to know that I would be pear-shaped if I ever become rotund.

More on my bone/joint/skin (click to view image in full size)

More on my bone/joint/skin (click to view image in full size)

As for my behavioural traits and abilities, the indisputable ones would be my high hoarding tendencies (my exploding makeup collection is the best testament to this), my preference for evening hours (I’m a late-nighter as my productivity level rises after midnight) and low mathematical performance (this explains why I was perpetually failing the subject back in primary school, and why I’d need to use a calculator even for the simplest calculations – Math just isn’t in my blood!). And who would have thought that my natural complexion has actually been dark all along?!

This test has, no doubt, revealed a lot of previously unknown genetic facts about myself. You’d probably need to sit down for a couple of hours to look through all the results because they are rather extensive. That said, such tests only assess your risk of diseases, so having normal risk does not mean that you have immunity to them; it just implies that you shouldn’t go overboard with your lifestyle choices. Since my chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes is on the high side, this probably means that I’d have to cut down on my bubble tea intake 🤪 Huehuehue..

On a side note, once you have determined your susceptibility to certain diseases or genetic disorders, you can also start deciding on your next step in life. For instance, should you buy certain life-insurance policies moving forward as a safety net? Should you still procreate and risk passing on your genetic mutations (if any) to your offsprings (I’m fully aware of this particular IVF technique that allows you to choose your embryo.. but let’s not go down the rabbit hole of ethics)? I, for one, am glad to know the illnesses that would potentially befall me so I can act on taking the necessary precautions to prevent them. Most importantly, understanding my risk profile has also solidified my decision to be childfree.

Now, let’s see if I’m able to get my hands on a DNA test kit that traces my ethnic mix (i.e. ancestry). For that, I have my eyes set on 23andMe and CircleDNA! Any advice on which would be a better kit for Asians?

What are your thoughts about GeneLife, or any other at-home DNA test kits for that matter? Let me know your views (and how accurate your results are if you’ve taken one) in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

GeneLife Genesis 2.0 is available on GeneLife.Asia and Shopee.

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REVIEW: NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++

Hello everyone!

The closure of gyms nationwide has essentially brought my weekly workout routine to a standstill since the onset of the Circuit Breaker. Instead of allowing unwanted fats to accumulate in my body while waiting for the economy to fully reopen (which God knows when it will be), I have decided to take my runs outdoors just like every other affected gymgoer to remain active.

But there is one problem – the sun. One predominant factor that propelled me to get a gym membership was the fact that I could avoid being tanned (and not forgetting the adverse effects the sun causes). Now that hitting the treadmill is temporary out of the question, prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays would be inevitable for me when running at the park (no night-time runs because of my night blindness). As much as possible, I would try to minimise my time in the sun by heading out only in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun is half a fist from setting. Even so, having such a fixed schedule could prove to be a headache especially when an unexpected downpour occurs (or when the park gets too crowded), thwarting my plans entirely as a result. Therefore, if given a choice, the freedom to run at any time of the day would still be very much preferred.

credit: Luke Ow

credit: Luke Ow

The most straightforward solution to my love-hate relationship with the sun would be to use a sunscreen. However, prior experiences with sunscreens have left a bad taste in my mouth. Apart from breaking me out, those that I’ve used would also leave a noticeable white cast and an uncomfortably thick, greasy finish on my skin – and I’d be so tempted to rub it all off! Furthermore, sunscreens are traditionally not water-resistant and so won’t be able to stand up to sweat, which means I would have to constantly reapply it. Hence to save myself the hassle, it was either steer clear from the sun or simply brave the rays for me (and bear with the agony of sunburn thereafter).

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++ (S$34.90)

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++ (S$34.90)

But since NALC Sunscreen came into my life, my perception of sunscreens has taken a 360-degree turn. There’s actually a sunscreen that doesn’t do any of the irritating things above? As incredulous as it may sound, a big, fat YES – and that’s not all!

NALC Sunscreen ingredient list (click to view image in full size)

NALC Sunscreen ingredient list (click to view image in full size)

Sealed!

Sealed!

Small enough to carry around!

Small enough to carry around!

More images of the packaging

More images of the packaging

Pin-sized opening to prevent wastage

Pin-sized opening to prevent wastage

Made in Japan (and you know the Japanese don’t play around when it comes to sunscreen), the NALC Sunscreen has an impressive SPF of 50+/ PA++++ (the recommended SPF for sunscreens is 30) to protect the skin from prolonged exposure to UV radiation, which is the leading cause of premature ageing. Alcohol-free to suit sensitive skin, it also consists of anti-inflammatory ingredients and a generous amount of hyaluronic acid to lock moisture in the skin.

NALC Sunscreen before spreading out

NALC Sunscreen before spreading out

Spread outwards once

Spread outwards once

Fully absorbed into the skin

Fully absorbed into the skin

The NALC sunscreen appears pale yellow right off the bat (kinda reminded me of pus… yup, too much Dr Pimple Popper once again) but becomes colourless (goodbye stains!) once spread out. This attribute, coupled with the fact that it has a light, non-sticky and non-oily texture, makes it a perfect base for makeup to adhere to. It also absorbs nicely into the skin within seconds of application and doesn’t led me to feel like I had slathered lard oil all over myself.

Face before NALC sunscreen application

Face before NALC sunscreen application

NALC Sunscreen application in progress

NALC Sunscreen application in progress

After application! No white cast!

After application! No white cast!

Most amazingly, it has extreme waterproof capabilities (thanks to the latest three-phase emulsification technology that was employed in its formulation) to ensure that your sunscreen stays intact for a much longer time – even when you are sweating buckets from performing vigorous-intensity physical activities! 🙌🏻 That said, the sunscreen is easily removable with just your regular soap or facial wash, so simply take a shower after your workout to discard your shield 😁

My face after my 5km run in the blazing afternoon sun

My face after my 5km run in the blazing afternoon sun

With these game-changing features, I guess it’s safe to say that the future of sunscreen is officially here! Seriously, though, this sunscreen deserves more recognition than it has received to date!

All in all, the NALC sunscreen stood true to its claims and has certainly served me very well (i.e. has done a great job in preventing unwanted tanning as evident from my skin colour). Now that I am no longer held hostage by the sun, nothing can stop me from going for my runs during off-peak hours when the rays are at their strongest! WOOO! 😜😜😜

What are your thoughts on this sunscreen? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect is now available on SHOPEE. For more information on NALC, follow them on FACEBOOK or visit their official WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY NALC FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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