REVIEW: ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask

The resumption of normal activities is gradually getting us back to the grind and for most of us, this just means more hours at work, so much so that we probably would not be able to carve out much ‘me time’ – time to indulge ourselves with some self-care and for our skin to take a breather. Moreover, with the restrictions in place due to the pandemic, securing a preferred time slot at the aesthetics clinic right now might also pose an issue for the busy professionals, so why not take the pampering home? All you need is 20 minutes every other day with this newcomer in the local beauty scene 馃槈

ILLUMIA Therapeutics, a new medical aesthetics spa and also the brainchild of local socialite-turned-entrepreneur Kim Lim, has recently introduced a skincare line under its umbrella with Baby Drops Mask, a spankin’ new luxurious sheet mask. Judging from its name, it is clear what you would achieve from using it – skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom. But of course, with a jaw-dropping retail price of S$139 per box, there is far more than it can offer.

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask (S$139)

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask (S$139)

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask (I didn’t bother zooming into the details as you won’t be able to see them (the downside of iridescent packaging…), so click here if you wish to take a look at the ingredient list!)

Made in South Korea, the Baby Drops Mask contains coconut oil, stem cell cultures (an emerging technology where plant stem cells are grown under controlled conditions in the laboratory and hence they can be quite expensive), camellia sinensis callus culture extract (i.e. green tea) and portulaca oleracea extracts for their outstanding anti-ageing properties. In other words, this mask, which comes in an iridescent box of five, is capable of improving skin elasticity and strengthening skin cells to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while leaving the skin moisturised and baby soft.

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask (S$139)

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask (S$139)

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask

Choosing to be her own guinea pig, Kim Lim had tested over 169 different face masks (bless her face!) before deciding on this formulation, hence Baby Drops Mask was certainly not created on a whim (so better guarantee of results?). It is also dermatologist-tested and found to be suitable for all skin types which is great news for problematic skin sufferers like myself!

The backing paper attached to the mask

The backing paper attached to the mask

The sheet mask screams opulence from the very first touch because of its thick and fairly weighty biocellulose material that, unlike other face masks, isn’t inordinately inundated with essence (but still thoroughly soaked!) that you end up with a drippy mess. Its drip-free quality could also be attributed to the syrupy consistency of the essence which kept to the mask (every single ounce of it) throughout the wear time – despite the fact that I was seated upright.

Cleansed and exfoliated, before masking

Cleansed and exfoliated, before masking

In addition, fragrance is listed last on the ingredients so you don’t have to worry about the mask being heavily perfumed. In fact, all my nose could detect was a faint fruity smell which reminded me of amoxicillin, or the pink childhood liquid medicine that most of us are familiar with 馃槀 I would have brushed it off as the natural scent of the biocellulose material (I’m not a mask expert, you see…) if I had not read the ingredient list!

To prevent it from sticking on itself when folded up in the packet, it has a layer of backing paper over it which can be peeled off progressively as you align the holes to the eyes, nose and mouth. But due to the thickness of the sheet material, the mask tends to bunch up along my jaw with air bubbles forming on the lower half. My trusty APRILSKIN angled spatula didn’t do much to flatten it, so I wasn’t sure if the mask had adhered properly to my face 馃槄

Peel off half of the backing paper before placing the mask onto the face (be sure to cleanse and exfoliate first!)

Peel off half of the backing paper before placing the mask onto the face (be sure to cleanse and exfoliate first!)

Now, remove the other half of the backing paper!

Now, remove the other half of the backing paper!

Use a spatula (or a mask applicator) to flatten out the mask. You can find cheaper alternatives on marketplaces like Shopee going for as low as $1!

Use a spatula (or a mask applicator) to flatten out the mask. You can find cheaper alternatives on marketplaces like Shopee going for as low as $1!

The mask doesn't seem to flatten out entirely on my face, unfortunately.. :(

The mask doesn’t seem to flatten out entirely on my face, unfortunately.. 馃槮

Bunched up sides..

Bunched up sides..

Once the mask has been laid over the face, leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes before removing. Then, gently pat the essence into the face for maximum absorption. The remaining essence in the packet can also be applied all over the neck, d茅colletage and arms so you don’t waste a single drop of this extravagant product. Truth be told, this is my least favourite step of masking because the essence usually leaves an uncomfortable, tacky finish on my skin that makes me want to wash it off but to my utter amazement, this does not at all聽馃槺 For this reason, I have absolutely no qualms about slathering my whole body with it. That is, if there is even any left!

Time to remove the mask!

Time to remove the mask!

[Pardon my unruly brows, hehe!] As you can see, apart from what's left below my eyes (which got absorbed soon after), the mask didn't leave my face drenched with essence! 馃槏

[Pardon my unruly brows, hehe!] As you can see, apart from what’s left below my eyes (which got absorbed soon after), the mask didn’t leave my face drenched with essence! 馃槏

Side-by-side comparison: Before VS After! The texture of my face is visibly smoother after use.

Side-by-side comparison: Before VS After! The texture of my face is visibly smoother after use.

What's left in the packet.. not a lot of essence :(

What’s left in the packet.. not a lot of essence 馃槮

Applied the remaining essence on my arms and neck!

Applied the remaining essence on my arms and neck!

The final step is to follow up with serum (if applicable, a dose a lot smaller than your usual) and moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated. Should you be heading out after masking, do remember to slap on some sunblock too!

Post-masking: applied my serum and moisturiser! The shine here comes from the moisturiser. My neck looks practically normal even though I had applied some of the mask essence :)

Post-masking: applied my serum and moisturiser! The shine here comes from the moisturiser. My neck looks practically normal even though I had applied some of the mask essence 馃檪

My verdict on Baby Drops Mask? I love it. Apart from the superior ingredients that went into these packets, what drew me into this mask is the fact that it is drip-free, mess-free and tack-free, providing me with a masking experience never felt before. That said, a repeat purchase is highly unlikely for me because this is way out of my league (sister here is a lowly wage slave 馃槱). But if you’re into upscale beauty products, the Baby Drops Mask is definitely something you should consider adding to your skincare routine!

What are your thoughts on these Baby Drops Masks? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

ILLUMIASKIN Baby Drops Mask is now available on Illumia’s e-store, SHOPEE, and Illumia Therapeutics at Wheelock Place. For more information on IllumiaSkin, follow them on FACEBOOK聽or visit their official WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY ILLUMIASKIN FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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[SNACKS] NutsAndSnacks.com.sg: Specially Curated Nibbles for Your Midday Slump Needs

Workplace violence, fatigue and falls – to name a few – are some common examples of office hazards. But what most employee safety handbooks fail to mention is the inevitable rumbles in the tummy at odd times that could spiral out of control if we ignore them long enough!

Hold up – isn’t it bad to snack?

Contrary to popular belief, snacking (i.e. eating a small quantity of food) in between meals is actually healthy as it keeps our metabolism humming while providing us the needed energy to stay alert and focused at work – so long as we stick to the nutritious nibbles (as opposed to junk food). However, the increase in false advertising claims over food labelling in recent years has only made it more difficult for us to discern the truly healthy ones on the supermarket shelves. Recognising this challenge that we consumers had been facing, dedicated online businesses that specialise in wholesome snacks have sprung up to save us the hassle of scrutinising ingredient lists (and of course, our waistline!), one of which is Nuts and Snacks.

Nuts and Snacks Gift Box!

Nuts and Snacks Gift Box!

Nuts and Snacks is an online retailer and wholesaler for, as its name suggests, snacks that are not only nutritious, but also pleasing to the palate. Its catalogue boasts a wide array of dried fruits and nuts ranging from dried cranberries to Turkish apricots, and almond to macadamia (with an option of having them raw or baked) in 100g, 500g or 1 kg packets. Carefully selected to ensure that only the best possible ingredients are used, these munchies are touted as good sources of fat, fiber and protein. Furthermore, they are also fortified with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as magnesium and vitamin E, hence rendering them a healthy yet affordable option to tide you over till your next meal – without the guilt.

Kacang Puteh men are such a rare sight these days... but you can still get your Kacang Puteh fix on Nuts and Snacks! No sugared nuts, though!

Kacang Puteh men are such a rare sight these days… but you can still get your Kacang Puteh fix on Nuts and Snacks! No sugared nuts, though!

Going nuts over these nuts!

Going nuts over these nuts!

[100g packs] From bottom left, in anti-clockwise direction: Natural Macadamia Nuts, Tropical Trail Mix, Roasted Salted Mixed Nuts, Roasted Almonds (unsalted), Pistachio Nuts Roast (salted).

[100g packs] From bottom left, in anti-clockwise direction: Natural Macadamia Nuts, Tropical Trail Mix, Roasted Salted Mixed Nuts, Roasted Almonds (unsalted), Pistachio Nuts Roast (salted).

[100g packs] From bottom left, in anti-clockwise direction: Brazilian Delight, Roasted Hazelnuts, Roasted Cashews (unsalted), Pine Nuts.

[100g packs] From bottom left, in anti-clockwise direction: Brazilian Delight, Roasted Hazelnuts, Roasted Cashews (unsalted), Pine Nuts.

Each product page includes a detailed description of the product’s nutrition facts, suggested ways to enjoy it and its country of origin to aid you in making an informed choice, especially if you are placing corporate orders. After all, you definitely want to create a positive first impression for clients by engaging their taste buds when they pop by at your office.

Example of a Nuts and Snacks product page

Example of a Nuts and Snacks product page

Given that Nuts and Snacks is also a wholesaler, prices are relatively low (less than $5 for most 100g packets) and bulk purchases are rewarded with significant discounts and free local delivery (or flat rate of $5 for orders below $80 per location). Don’t worry about over-ordering or taste preferences. Since the products are kept in food-grade resealable airtight packaging with oxygen absorbers added to eliminate extra oxygen and prevent food degradation, you can be rest assured that your (unopened) snacks will remain fresh for the longest time (which is up to 3 months when stored in a cool dry place, according to Google)! Besides, aren’t we somehow more likely to reach for a plate of nuts than for a basket of wrapped sweets if they are both laid right in front of us?

Snacks for the non-nut lovers! [100g packs] From left: BBQ Chickpea Snack (not available anymore), Chilli Fried Rice Crackers.

Snacks for the non-nut lovers! [100g packs] From left: BBQ Chickpea Snack (not available anymore), Chilli Fried Rice Crackers.

[100g packs] From bottom left, in anti-clockwise direction: Banana Chips, Chili and Lime Snippets, Honey Dijon Snippets, Peanut Butter Pretzels

[100g packs] From bottom left, in anti-clockwise direction: Banana Chips, Chili and Lime Snippets, Honey Dijon Snippets, Peanut Butter Pretzels

[100g packs] From bottom left, in anti-clockwise direction: Turkish Apricots, Chocolate Pretzels, Supreme Nougat, Turkish Figs, Green Raisins

[100g packs] From bottom left, in anti-clockwise direction: Turkish Apricots, Chocolate Pretzels, Supreme Nougat, Turkish Figs, Green Raisins

There you have it. Stock up your pantry with these affordable wholesome nibbles from Nuts and Snacks and you will no longer need to fight off your hunger pains in the middle of the day 馃構 Go on, your body (and wallet) will thank you!

What are your thoughts on Nuts and Snacks (if you’ve bought from them before) and their selection of products? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Nuts And Snacks Singapore聽路 NutsAndSnacks.com.sg 路 For more information, please visit Nuts and Snacks FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY Nuts and Snacks Singapore FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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Be sure to watch out for my Stories because that’s where I post my tasty encounters
馃榿

Gold Photothermal Therapy at The Clifford Clinic: An Unconventional Solution to Stubborn Acne

Six months have passed since the wearing of face mask was made mandatory by our government for everyone venturing out of their homes. If your skin still hasn’t been reacting well to the increased humidity behind the mask while being at the mercy of acne, you are not alone. Almost every day, my jawline, chin or cheeks would be greeted with pustules or whiteheads after donning a mask for nearly 12 hours in an environment without air-conditioning. These pesky flare-ups lingered even after they had healed, leaving fresh red marks on my newly-treated skin.

Image from Freepik

Image from Freepik

While acne treatments are aplenty, the nature of my day job forbids me to take a few days off to recover from any downtime that follows. Therefore, when The Clifford Clinic introduced their latest localised treatment for recurrent acne that promises no downtime, it honestly felt like my cries for help were finally heard 馃槱 The new kid on the block is none other than Gold Photothermal Therapy (or Gold PTT) which, from its name alone, already sounds superior than whichever existing treatments for mild-to-moderate acne. The Clifford Clinic is also the pioneer of this novel approach in treating acne at its root.

But why gold? Apart from potentially giving clients a taste of opulence (I mean, it doesn’t get any fancier than having gold infused into your skin 馃ぉ bling bling!), the key component in Gold PTT is, duh, gold nanoparticles which are chosen for their biocompatibility with human tissues and ability to penetrate easily into the deeper layers of the skin. That said, the gold nanoparticles are also specially engineered to enable them to be precisely and accurately delivered into the pores and glands of the skin via ultrasound sonophoresis (a type of drug delivery) before heating them with a dermatology laser to activate their function. This process is only possible because of the efficient light-to-heat conversion of gold nanoparticles, which allows local therapeutic hyperthermia of tissue.

My first stop: cleansing room!

My first stop: cleansing room!

During the treatment, my face was thoroughly cleansed by an aesthetician before an ampoule containing the gold nanoparticles was carefully applied. As someone with highly sensitive nose, the pungent smell of the ampoule hit me hard at first but thankfully, it got better with every ragged breath I took. Other than that, the whole cleansing process was nothing short of soothing and calming – I only wished it lasted a bit longer!

The little bottle containing the gold nanoparticle-infused ampoule

The little bottle containing the gold nanoparticle-infused ampoule

Applying gold onto my skin..

Applying gold onto my skin..

Spot my whiteheads!

Spot my whiteheads!

Pulsing the gold particles into the oil glands

Pulsing the gold particles into the oil glands

Pulse some more..

Pulse some more..

My skin is so basic, it couldn't handle the opulence of the gold nanoparticles so it broke out in a rash! Luckily, most of it went away towards the end of the treatment

My skin is so basic, it couldn’t handle the opulence of the gold nanoparticles so it broke out in a rash! Luckily, most of it went away towards the end of the treatment

Once the application stage was completed, I was led to another room where Dr Ee would massage the gold nanoparticles into my skin using Bellasonic, an ultrasound machine imported from South Korea designed for skin treatments, before performing the rest of the photothermal therapy.

A picture showing my entire face slathered with cooling gel that was taken during my second session!

A picture showing my entire face slathered with cooling gel that was taken during my second session!

The cooling gel allowed my face to cool before laser application took place...

The cooling gel allowed my face to cool before laser application took place…

At this juncture, a specialised long-pulse diode laser was used to heat the nanoparticles to break down the sebaceous glands in targeted pores, thereby reducing their secretion permanently.聽This heat also kills Cutibacterium acnes (the bacteria responsible for causing acne) so the risks of inflammatory pustules and papules forming on my face would have likewise been greatly reduced.

Last step: laser treatment to heat up the gold and the oil glands

Last step: laser treatment to heat up the gold and the oil glands

The most uncomfortable part of the procedure because I could feel some tingling sensation.. but it was bearable.

The most uncomfortable part of the procedure because I could feel some tingling sensation.. but it was bearable.

Although the final part of the treatment has been said to be painless, I could still feel a tingling sensation (somewhat like snapping a small rubber band on my face, but the pain is certainly nowhere near the agony I experienced during AGNES, inarguably the mother of acne treatments) with every zap of the laser. Due to the minimal discomfort of this procedure, anaesthesia is not required.

Post-treatment

Post-treatment

Another one without those shades.. My face looks a bit red here but it subsided very quickly

Another one without those shades.. My face looks a bit red here but it subsided very quickly

In addition, the Gold PTT is a highly-tolerable procedure. Unlike other lasers used in dermatology, the diode laser administered in this treatment only interacts with the gold nanoparticles instead of the skin directly. This allows for a highly-localised treatment where healthy skin is left undisturbed so there will not be any drying or irritating effect on the skin. The leftover gold nanoparticles are also inert – they will not react with skin tissue and secretion, and will eventually be shed off together with dead epidermal cells.

A total of three sessions (including the first) was scheduled over a 5-week period for me (it could have been shorter if not for work), each treatment lasting no more than an hour. Even so, noticeable results could already be seen after the first session as the areas where my acne would usually appear have remained as clear as day – even at time of writing (that’s two months after my last Gold PTT session)!

The day after my first session! Still some visible blemishes but they weren't there for long!

The day after my first session! Still some visible blemishes but they weren’t there for long!

All in all, this acne treatment fulfilled its objective of pulling the plug on my pesky acne. However, this might not be the most ideal treatment for those suffering from severe acne. For that, perhaps AGNES would be a better option 鈽猴笍

Have you heard of Gold PTT before? What are your thoughts about it and would you consider it if you’re suffering from recurrent acne? Let me know your views in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

The Clifford Clinic 路 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre Singapore 048621 (Exit A from Raffles Place MRT) 路 Tel: 6532 2400 / 8318 6332 (WhatsApp) 路 For more information about AGNES, do visit Their聽website or Like them on Facebook and Instagram.

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