REVIEW: Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask + Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

Hello skincare fanatics!

Unless you have gone on a social media diet, you would definitely have been at the mercy of Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm and seen numerous videos of people prancing around with a pink (or blue) jar or letting out an orgasmic sigh as they slid some pink mousse-like paste down their cheeks. Well, if you didn’t manage to sit through the advertisements to find out what the rage was all about, wonder no more as this review will take you through the exact same products that had sent so many people into a state of euphoria.

*squeals* I'M SO EXCITED!

*squeals* I’M SO EXCITED!

Ohh hey there!

Ohh hey there!

It's the Sand&Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and Porefining Face Mask!

It’s the Sand&Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and Porefining Face Mask!

Founded by Australian twin sisters and supermoms Emily and Sarah Hamilton – who were also the creators of beauty box subscription company, Bellabox – in April 2017, Sand&Sky was born out of the realisation that there was a gap in the market for luxurious yet affordable and effective face masks, as well as their desire to showcase the efficacy of the botanical ingredients (ethically) obtained from their motherland in skincare.

So, gathering their market intelligence on consumer behaviour and experience in collating beauty products for Bellabox members, the Hamilton sisters formulated a millennial pink (😱) clay mask that contains 50% Kaolin clay (Kaolin tops the ingredient list as shown here and it is a considerable amount as compared to the 10-15% in many clay products) sourced from remote pockets of Southern and Western Australia to remove toxins and impurities from the skin, and organic liquorice to diminish the appearance of skin discolouration. Apart from organic aloe and pomegranate to tighten pores, soothe, and stimulate collagen production, this much-revered formula also includes a combination of kakadu plum and mangosteen to create a defence shield that would leave skin clear and glowing.

Porefining Face Mask

Mini brush

Mini brush

Enclosed in the box together with the pink jar (note that it’s no longer blue) of clay mask is a handy flat brush (high quality with soft bristles 😍) which I feel is a really thoughtful gesture on Sand&Sky’s part to maintain the sterility of the product during application. On top of that, it also helps ensure even coverage fast and prevents wastage while keeping our hands clean.

Everything inside the box

Everything inside the box

Protective seal

Protective seal

Protective cover

Protective cover

The product

The product

Cool when first applied, the mask – which had a subtle musty and earthy smell – became warmer as it settled on my towel-dried skin. There was some tingling sensation (but no discomfort or itchiness whatsoever) and gradually, areas where pores were most visible turned red slightly beneath the mask. Perhaps because the fan was blowing in my direction, it kinda expedited the drying time so the mask took less than 5 minutes to solidify completely.

[BEFORE] Cleansed face

[BEFORE] Cleansed face

Gonna pick up some product with the cute brush!

Gonna pick up some product with the cute brush!

How the product looks like when applied! P/S: I filmed the application process on the left side of my face - check out my Instagram for the video!

How the product looks like when applied! P/S: I filmed the application process on the left side of my face – scroll all the way to the end for the video!

When it's still moist, and before I transformed into a Chinese Opera performer

When it’s still moist, and before I transformed into a Chinese Opera performer

TAKE NOTE 📌
Clay masks are known to dry out when exposed to humidity or a drastic change in temperature. Therefore, refrain from storing the clay mask in the bathroom as this will cause it to dry faster. Instead, keep it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Should your clay mask harden prematurely in the jar, add a few drops of serum or water (about half of the amount of clay left in the jar) to rehydrate it.
Almost there..

Almost there..

100% dried up!

100% dried up!

Ahhhh so smooth

Ahhhh so smooth

Still, it was left on for the suggested 10 minutes before I removed it with a damp cloth in an upward motion. Just to sidetrack a bit, I cringe every time I see reviewers drag their skin down with their cloth as if having a droopy and saggy face is a worthy trade-off for a brighter complexion. As far as possible, we want our skin to be both firm and youthful, so never do that! Alternatively, if you have no cloth available at your disposal (and don’t worry, it doesn’t stain), you can easily wash it off – again, in upward motion – with warm water, which was what I eventually did when I realised that the wiped-off product on my cloth kept transferring back onto my face (the product liquifies instantly when comes in contact with water), repeatedly forming white casts with every wipe 😑

Try'na remove the mask with a damp cloth..

Try’na remove the mask with a damp cloth..

But it keeps coming back >_>

But it keeps coming back >_>

So I washed it off!

So I washed it off!

For best results..
♥ Oily skin to combination skin, use 2 to 3 times a week;
♥ Dry or sensitive skin, use up to 2 times per week

My verdict? The Porefining Face Mask delivered what it promised – a tightened, rejuvenated and shine-free complexion without harmful chemicals and the unnecessarily excessive use of preservatives, which ultimately make it suitable for sensitive skin like mine (even so, doing a patch test on your inner elbow is advisable), and safe to use in pregnancy. The results were even more prominent on my 60-year-old mother (unfortunately, no pictorial evidence as I had experimented on her out of boredom and didn’t expect it to work so well) who was absolutely amazed to see her fine lines smoothed out, wrinkles softened and an overall improvement in her complexion after use. Her skin felt silky to the touch too so for the first few minutes she couldn’t keep her hands off her face!

R E F R E S H E D

R E F R E S H E D

Smoother complexion

Smoother complexion

Pores tightened

Pores tightened

I must, however, add that this is not a cure for acne (but can be used alongside your regular skincare products). In fact, in the process of detoxification and purging, little poppable bumps – like in my case – may surface on congested areas a few days later. But they never grew beyond their initial minuscule size and they disappeared entirely once gratifyingly popped 😂

Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

Exfoliating scrub

Exfoliating scrub

Since the tremendous success of the face mask, Sand&Sky has followed up with a second product that would complement the erratic schedule of career-oriented women: an exfoliating scrub that doubles as a flash mask which can be applied in-shower. It is also more nourishing than the original mask, making it an ideal option for those with extremely dry skin.

Likewise, the Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment also contains Australian Pink Clay to draw toxins, pollution and impurities from deep within the skin. But because it has more water content, it appears translucent to reveal the physical exfoliating particles when spread out on the skin. Apart from that, it has, among many other ingredients, low amount (less than 10%) of AHAs from Australian finger lime to promote cell turnover, collagen production and the absorption of moisture into the skin, bamboo stem extract to restore elasticity and suppleness to the skin, as well as rosehip seed oil for face rejuvenation and its anti-aging benefits. For the complete list of ingredients, click here.

The back of the tube

The back of the tube

Protective seal

Protective seal

The product

The product

To use, gently massage the exfoliating scrub into cleansed, moist skin (avoid eye area) in circular motion for about 30 seconds to allow the granules to remove dead skin cells. Then, leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. And there you have it – radiant, sensationally soft and smooth skin in just half the time needed earlier! Plus, it also allows for better and more effective absorption of any serums and moisturisers that come after.

Scrub-a-bab-ba-bab for 30 seconds

Scrub-a-bab-ba-bab for 30 seconds

As the product loses its moisture, it also loses its opacity

As the product loses its moisture, it also loses its opacity

Only the physical particles are visible now!

Only the physical particles are visible now!

Rinse away after 5 minutes!

Rinse away after 5 minutes!

However, it wasn’t until I looked in the mirror the next morning that I saw the full extent of the effect. My face seemed like it was given a new lease of life as it appeared to be more refreshed and clear, and the newly smooth canvas made it really easy to apply my foundation. Moreover, the experience provided by the scrub was quite different from that of the clay mask. Besides the coarse texture and the fact that I had to get my hands “dirty”, the warm and tingling sensation felt when using the mask was noticeably absent this time.

Smoother complexion

Smoother complexion

Pores exfoliated

Pores exfoliated

Smooooooth

Smooooooth

For best results..
♥ Oily skin to combination skin, use 1 to 3 times a week;
♥ Dry or sensitive skin, use up to 3 times per week

With the key ingredient Australian Pink Clay present in the clay mask and exfoliating scrub, one may ask if it is necessary to purchase both. In all honesty, it depends on the intent for using the products. I would say the primary function of the clay mask is to purify and tighten enlarged pores and reverse dull skin while the scrub is mainly to exfoliate and eliminate those nasties responsible for clogged pores. Personally, I would pick the scrub over the mask out of convenience, and also because I don’t like to be rushed into finishing the clay mask before it dries out. But both products work best together so ideally, you should get the Perfect Skin Bundle (save 15%!). Bear in mind, though, that they should not be used on the same day because too much good stuff may irritate the already-delicate skin 😝

Furthermore, getting the honourable nod from PETA also meant that Sand&Sky does not test on animals, nor does it contain any animal components or by-product. Thus, if you’re a firm believer that no animals should suffer for our vanity, this reason should propel you to support this brand!

What do you think about this brand? Have you tried any of them? If not, do you intend to? Let me know what you think in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading and stay gorgeous! 😘

Sand & Sky is now available on their website (with free delivery on all orders), ZALORA and Beauty Bay.
Products were supplied by Sand & Sky in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: IYOU Mask – Face Masks, Jelly Face Masks, Steam Hair Cap, Neck & Collarbone Sheet, Hand Gloves & Foot Socks

Hello everyone!

Sheet masks may have long been a staple in Asian skin care, but they have only recently gained traction in the Western world. Prior to the surge in popularity of sheet masks, traditional wash-off masks was the go-to treatment for brightening and softening complexion but not only is the application and removal process more time-consuming (and a waste of water), they also tend to strip away oil and moisture from the skin which often results in the tight feeling after use.

IYOU Mask

IYOU Mask

Sheet masks, on the other hand, are a convenient game changer in giving the skin that extra boost of moisture (primarily so, with added benefits). Formulated with almost the same active ingredients as serums, the single-use sheet acts as a physical barrier that prevents the essence from evaporating, thus enabling it to absorb into the skin more effectively while also ensuring its equal distribution over the target area. Since my first foray into the world of facials nearly a decade ago, sheet masks have evolved past the humble cotton material for the face to include more luxurious ones with better skin adherence for other parts of the body as aptly manifested in IYOU‘s product line-up.

Founded in 2016, IYOU is a budding South Korean beauty brand committed to providing high-quality sheet masks for head-to-toe pampering at an affordable price. Despite being an emerging business, IYOU has already made their presence felt on a global scale by partaking in beauty expos around the world and stocking up on Amazon, Etsy, Qoo10 and at Little Tokyo Market Place (a Japanese-Korean supermarket in Los Angeles), thereby building a cult following for their diverse selection (10!) of sheet masks which I’m about to take you through in this review*!

*Do note that due to time constraints, I was only able to try out certain products as depicted in my pictures. Also, Prices reflected do not include delivery costs.

FACE MASK

The mother of all sheet masks, face masks are the easiest way to get anyone started in the quest for perfect skin. With two kinds of texture – original and jelly – in their face mask series to choose from, IYOU has just about everything you need to achieve your desired glow but a more pocket-friendly option would be the apple or avocado face masks in their normal range.

To ensure that the skin receives the full benefits of ingredients infused in the face mask, it should only be applied on freshly cleansed and properly toned complexion once weekly to once daily, depending on the state of the skin. The occlusive nature of sheet masks may aggravate existing inflammatory skin conditions but those blessed with golden genes would notice significant improvement (such as increased hydration and radiance) in their skin with more frequent usage. If you are, like me, a lazy busy person with acne-prone skin, a twice-weekly ritual of face masking would be adequate to your needs.

Apple

IYOU Apple Face Mask (10 × 25ml / 0.85 fl.oz)

IYOU Apple Face Mask (10 × 25ml / 0.85 fl.oz / S$15.90)

IYOU Apple Face Mask

IYOU Apple Face Mask

IYOU Apple Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Apple Face Mask ingredients

A nutrient-rich treatment for restoring moisture to the face, the Apple face mask is mainly composed of vitamin C (from apple fruit extract) for its skin whitening and antioxidant properties that prevent the damaging effects of free radicals while boosting skin elasticity and regeneration. Other ingredients in the mask include Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera) and Centella Asiatica Extract for their anti-inflammation abilities, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract for a skin-nourishing experience, and Melissa Officinalis Leaf (Lemon Balm), likewise, for its antioxidant function.

Made of TENCEL®, a natural cellulosic fibre derived from wood that is 100% biodegradable, this eco-friendly mask offers transparency on the skin (as seen in the pictures), has a finer and more supple texture than cotton (but with the strength of polyester) and promotes better moisture absorption thanks to its unique nano-fibril structure. Soft and smooth to the touch, its high heat capacity and slow cooling rate provide for thermoregulatory stability as it helps to smooth out the temperature fluctuations in our skin, preventing any chances of sensitisation.

IYOU Apple Face Mask (application)

IYOU Apple Face Mask (application)

IYOU Apple Face Mask (after)

IYOU Apple Face Mask (after)

To use (and this applies to all the masks mentioned in this post), open the packet and slather the excess essence in the packet (not soaked into the mask) onto the face, neck and everywhere else before applying the mask to make the most of it.

However, care must be taken when unfolding the masks as all of them do not come with a plastic backing. Once that is done, match the cutouts of the mask to the eyes, nose and mouth and gently massage it into the face’s contours to ensure maximum absorption. Remove the mask after 10 to 20 minutes (ideally) and gently pat the essence into skin with fingers until thoroughly absorbed.

Avocado

IYOU Avocado Face Mask (10 × 22ml / 0.74 fl.oz)

IYOU Avocado Face Mask (10 × 22ml / 0.74 fl.oz / S$15.90)

IYOU Avocado Face Mask

IYOU Avocado Face Mask

IYOU Avocado Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Avocado Face Mask ingredients

Made of cotton, the Avocado face mask delivers essential nutrients to supply moisture (from Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract) and reduce both radiation-induced cellular damage and skin inflammation (with the help of Centella Asiatica Extract) without harming the environment. Apart from being highly absorbent, this hypo-allergenic fibre also has great stretching power to ensure that every inch of the face is accounted for.

In order to promote overall skin health, Oenothera Biennis Flower (Evening Primrose) and Ginkgo Biloba Leaf extracts are also added for their anti-aging and antioxidant virtues. But in my opinion, the benefits of these Avocado masks aren’t much different from those of Apple and considering that the material used here is of a less superior quality, I recommend spending your limited budget on the Apple masks instead. #moneysaved

JELLY FACE MASK

A new concept by IYOU to allow deeper penetration of ingredients, the masks in this premium range contain jelly-like essence with a weaker fluidity and stronger viscosity that acts as a moisture barrier.

With the exception of Black Pearl, all of the masks are made of Cupro, a cellulosic non-woven fibre derived from cotton linter developed by Asahi Kasei Bemliese (a Japanese textile manufacturer), for its high absorbency and retention of liquid. Soft and silky in texture, the lint-free biodegradable fabric also provides for excellent adhesion as it conforms closely to the curves of the face like a second skin. Above all else, it becomes transparent once liquid is absorbed, providing an unobtrusive appearance when the face mask is worn 😮 Now, who says you have to always look like Jason Voorhees when rocking a sheet mask?!

Gold

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz)

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz / S$20.90)

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask ingredients

Apart from its high commodity value, gold is also known for its benefits in skin care as demonstrated by Cleopatra who was said to use a gold mask every night to enhance her complexion and maintain her youthfulness. “So what?” your broke ass may ask. Well, if you ever wanted to feel like a million dollars without breaking the bank, the time has finally come!

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask (application)

GOLD FLAKES!

GOLD FLAKES!

Adding a touch of luxury to the beauty ritual, the 20 ppm of gold particles in the Gold jelly face mask helps, in some extent, reduce the appearance of fine lines and blemishes while slowing down collagen depletion. But the primary advantages are, of course, only possible with the aid of other ingredients such as Bambusa Vulgaris leaf (or simply bamboo, which protects the skin against bacteria and fungus) and Chamomilla Flower Extract (or Chamomile, which soothes dry skin and promotes healing of skin irritation) that are present in the mask. And did I mention that a box of 10 Gold jelly masks only costs S$20.90?

Red Ginseng

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz)

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz / S$20.90)

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask ingredients

Ginseng is pretty much synonymous with the Asian culture as it is the most widely sold tonic made into a variety of health foods and drinks to improve physical fitness and overall wellness. Growing up, I was brainwashed by my mother into thinking ginseng was the one-size-fits-all solution to any sorts of health issues (because every illness must stem from having too much “heat” in the body). Come to think of it, she is not entirely wrong since it is slowly making its way into cosmeceuticals too 😂

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask (application) - look how transparent TENCEL is!

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask (application) – look how transparent TENCEL is!

The Korean equivalent of the ginseng I had in my childhood is the red ginseng which, according to Google, is typically steamed after drying. As the main ingredient in the face mask (on top of Chamomilla Flower and Centella Asiatica extracts), its purpose is to revitalise and increase the immunity of the skin while preventing aging and increasing the production of collagen. The mild bitterness and earthy sweetness unique to ginseng roots are translated into a more pleasant scent for the Red Ginseng mask. That said, it could still be a turn-off to the untrained nose at the onset. But once you’ve grown accustomed to the smell, you won’t want to go back!

Propolis

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz)

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz / S$20.90)

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask ingredients

A red or brown resinous substance collected by honeybees from tree buds, bee propolis (or bee glue) is commonly used for its healing, antiseptic and restorative capabilities, making it an ideal ingredient for sensitive and redness-prone skin. When combined with other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents such as Elderflower and Eucalyptus extracts, the composite boosts the skin’s natural immunity and protects it from environmental stressors and harmful bacteria, all of which is basically what the Propolis jelly mask is all about!

Black Pearl 

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (10 × 35ml / 1.18 fl.oz)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (10 × 35ml / 1.18 fl.oz / S$20.90)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask ingredients

Enriched with the active ingredient of the highly coveted black pearls such as amino acids, the Black Pearl face mask seeks to improve dull skin caused by stress and prolonged exposure to the sun by promoting a brighter and cleaner complexion. In addition, it also contains conchiolin protein which has been scientifically proven to reduce the skin’s pigmentation. The face is kept slightly acidic (at about 5.5 on the pH scale) with each application to ensure the skin’s barrier – which helps to repel pathogens (i.e. microorganisms that can cause diseases) – is not compromised.

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask essence

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask essence

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (after)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (after)

Black rayon sheet is used in this instance to coordinate with the colour of black pearls. A fairly adhesive fibre resistant to tearing, black rayon holds moisture better than cotton and is very comfortable and soft on the skin. It is also worth noting that, unlike the rest of the sheet masks, Black Pearl amazingly does not leave much of a tacky sensation after removal. The essence seemed to settle into my skin completely with continuous patting.

Simple day-to-day skincare routine:
Cleanser → Toner → Sheet mask → Moisturise
10-step Korean skincare routine:
Oil cleanser → Water-based cleanser → Exfoliator → Toner → Essence → Serum/Ampoule → Sheet mask → Eye cream → Moisturiser → Sunscreen

STEAM HAIR CAP 

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (5 × 30ml / 1.01 fl.oz)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (5 × 30ml / 1.01 fl.oz / S$29.80)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap

IYOU Steam Hair Cap

IYOU Steam Hair Cap ingredients

IYOU Steam Hair Cap ingredients

C’mon, it’s about time you show your hair some love. After all, true beauty extends beyond the face! Likely the first of its kind, this disposable steam hair cap enables you to bring your salon experience home, minus the tedious setting up process and the hefty electricity bills that follow, of course! Mainly composed of PRODEW® 500, an amino acid blend developed to moisturise, strengthen the structure, protect the colour and repair any surface damage of the hair, the steam hair cap is ideal for those who frequently dye their hair with synthetic colours. More importantly, it smells heavenly!

IYOU Steam Hair Cap

IYOU Steam Hair Cap

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (actual product)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (actual product)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap essence

IYOU Steam Hair Cap essence

To use, remove some water from the hair after shampooing and cover the scalp with the hair cap while ensuring that all stray hair is tucked beneath it – which will take practice to get right especially if you have long, thick locks. Adjust and tighten the cap with the plastic flap attached to it to minimise its movement and prevent the essence from evaporating. Massage the head gently with both hands (or risk having it slide off) to increase the absorption of the nourishing ingredients into the scalp. Then, remove the cap after 15 to 20 minutes, rinse off leftover essence with lukewarm water and embrace your now soft and supple hair. Oh, and also be prepared for a slimy floor 🤦‍♀️

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (application)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (application)

If all else fails, simply scoop the essence from the cap and massage it directly into the hair (which defeats the purpose of the cap, I know) for the stipulated duration before washing it off. You may skip on conditioner since the hair cap functions the same way. Once-daily usage is recommended for a shinier and healthier appearance of your tresses but if budget or time doesn’t allow it, once-weekly should do too.

Hair care:
Shampoo → Steam Hair Cap (15-20 min)

NECK & COLLARBONE SHEET

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet (5 × 35ml / 1.18 fl.oz)

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet (5 × 35ml / 1.18 fl.oz / S$14.90)

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet ingredients

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet ingredients

As we get caught up in work, there is bound to be at least one part of our body that we are guilty of neglecting in our daily beauty routine. For me, it has always been my neck – which happens to be one of the areas that reveal a person’s age first – somewhat because of my aversion to the icky sensation products would leave behind, and as ludicrous as it sounds, my neck and collarbone are also some of my many ticklish zones. So can you imagine my agony of having to suppress my laughter whenever my masseuse or facial therapist brushed their hands against that delicate area?!? 😖 But with IYOU’s sheet mask for the neck and collarbone, I feel that I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Made of cotton, the mask is loaded with ingredients known for their antioxidant properties that protect against the effects of aging and promote elasticity and tightening to ensure a younger and firmer skin around the neck and collarbone. These include Aronia Melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry) Fruit Extract for eliminating or improving the appearance of skin discolouration, and Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), an enzyme produced naturally in the body responsible for cell growth and maintenance in the body, to neutralise free radicals.

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet (application)

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet (application)

Multi-tasking!

Multi-tasking!

As always, the neck and collarbone area has to be washed and dried thoroughly before using the mask to ensure optimal absorption of the essence. Leave the mask on for 10 to 20 minutes (the narrower portion to be wrapped around the neck) while occasionally applying light pressure to it. Just a word of caution, though – use the mask lying down because it may get a little messy. After taking it off, gently massage any remaining product into the skin until thoroughly absorbed.

HAND GLOVES 

IYOU Hand Gloves (5 × 20ml / 0.68 fl.oz)

IYOU Hand Gloves (5 × 20ml / 0.68 fl.oz / S$26.90)

IYOU Hand Gloves

IYOU Hand Gloves

IYOU Hand Gloves ingredients

IYOU Hand Gloves ingredients

Being afflicted with some sort of Dermatillomania (an excoriation disorder that causes obsessive picking of skin) on top of mild eczema meant that my fingers would periodically be marred with involuntary nicks and scabs (which get worse in times of boredom) developed from dry peeling skin. But because my hands are always on the move, creams have never been considered as an option for me to alleviate the problem. However, this could all change with IYOU’s hand gloves!

IYOU Hand Gloves (1 pair of gloves per packet)

IYOU Hand Gloves (1 pair of gloves per packet)

Tear along the perforated lines to separate the gloves (the essence is sealed inside the gloves)

Tear along the perforated lines to separate the gloves (the essence is sealed inside the gloves)

Suitable for sensitive skin prone to atopy, inflammation and irritation, the plastic gloves are formulated with Camellia Sinensis (green tea) leaf and Portulaca Oleracea extracts (among many other ingredients) to provide a calming and moisturising effect while stimulating metabolism and cell regeneration. That said, the gloves should not be used on open sores, wounds and weeping eczema or dermatitis.

IYOU Hand Gloves (application)

IYOU Hand Gloves (application)

IYOU Hand Gloves - tighten it with the plastic flap (or "sticker", as IYOU calls it)

IYOU Hand Gloves – tighten it with the plastic flap (or “sticker”, as IYOU calls it)

You're still able to use your phone!

You’re still able to use your phone!

Like the steam hair cap, the inside of the gloves are filled with the essence whereas the exterior is typically clean (if not, just wipe any product off with a towel), making it possible to work with both hands as the treatment is underway. Rinse and dry the hands thoroughly before putting the gloves on (keeping them in place with the plastic flap) and remove them after 10 to 15 minutes. Then, gently rub both bare hands to evenly distribute the excess essence.

FOOT SOCKS

IYOU Foot Socks (5 pairs × 20ml / 0.68 fl.oz / S$28.90)

IYOU Foot Socks (5 pairs × 20ml / 0.68 fl.oz / S$28.90)

IYOU Foot Socks

IYOU Foot Socks

IYOU Foot Socks ingredients

IYOU Foot Socks ingredients

Heel fissures are a common foot problem, and this is even more so for jobs like mine that involve standing for prolonged periods of time. Although admittedly, I find joy in picking at the dead skin every so often, the cracks can hurt when they get too deep, not forgetting they are also awful to look at and rough to the touch (which has always been the triggering factor for my disgusting habit). But as busy professionals, a routine as simple as applying moisturiser to our feet before heading to bed can be weary and bothersome after a tiring day. Furthermore, with our feet being a hotspot for germs and bacteria, we tend to avoid touching them unnecessarily. So, how now brown cow? Well, having already had masks catered for most vital parts of the body, there’s obviously one for the feet for the same purpose as well!

Tear along the perforated lines to separate the socks

Tear along the perforated lines to separate the socks

The size of 1 side of the socks (1 pair of socks per packet)

The size of 1 side of the socks (1 pair of socks per packet)

The foot socks soothe and restore moisture to dry and cracked skin with Hamamelis Virginiana (American witch hazel) as well as Camellia Sinensis (green tea) leaf, Aloe Barbadensis leaf and Potulaca Oleracea extracts, resulting in softer and healthier-looking feet. Similarly, the ingredients used in this instance are perfectly safe for irritated or inflamed skin. However, you are not advised to use them should you notice any signs of bleeding or infection.

IYOU Foot Socks (application)

IYOU Foot Socks (application)

IYOU Foot Socks (application) - tighten the socks with the plastic flap!

IYOU Foot Socks (application) – tighten the socks with the plastic flap!

After washing the feet and sopping up the dampness. wear the socks and adjust them to fit you properly with the aid of the plastic flap. Upon removing them 10 to 15 minutes later, massage or rub the feet against each other to allow better absorption of the essence. Convenient for use even at the office, the foot socks can be worn as you rush out reports at your desk – just be sure to bring along a pair of sandals to walk around in while waiting for the feet to fully absorb the essence.

Tip

Put on the foot socks BEFORE wearing the gloves!

With the market already saturated with face masks of every kind imaginable, the alternative offerings by IYOU are, simply put, a breath of fresh air and a solution to lazy days (though some will require a few uses to master the technique of keeping them in place). If you’re not ready to commit to a full box just yet, you may want to consider getting the trial pack (S$22.90) which contains both regular face masks and masks for the hair, hand and feet on Qoo10!

What are your thoughts about IYOU masks? Are they something you see yourself using on a regular basis? Let me know in the comments below or take a quick poll 🙂

Thanks for reading!

IYOU Masks are now available on Qoo10. FOr more information, visit IYOU website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
This post is brought to you by IYOU.

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[BEAUTY PICKS] SEPHORA Natural Allure; Feel-Good Beauty Redefined

Hello everyone!

With sustainability becoming a global business trend, even the beauty and personal care industry has joined the growing green movement by incorporating natural ingredients in their products. This news comes as music to the ears of beauty enthusiasts afflicted with troubled skin like yours truly because not only do some of the synthetic cosmetic ingredients found in many products cause skin irritation and toxic reactions, they are also detrimental to our health if used on a long-term basis.

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for an exciting giveaway!)

This season, Sephora pays homage to Mother Nature with a bounty of skin-loving goodness inspired and powered by the very best of nature as they are filled with plant-based ingredients that are absolutely gentle on the skin!

An overview of my beauty picks from the Sephora Natural Allure range

An overview of my beauty picks from the Sephora Natural Allure range

Among the brands I will be featuring from this theme are a handful of new faces such as UK brand This Works and a new product from Fresh. The key natural ingredients for each product are denoted in teal.

new

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Inspired by the iconic cult-favourite Rose Face Mask, the new Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum is an expansion of the Rose skincare collection. This lightweight serum absorbs almost immediately and the hyaluronic acid, angelica leaf extract and porphyridium cruentum formula penetrates deeply to restore the skin’s natural glow.

The key natural ingredient in this face serum is rosewater, a venerable elixir suitable for all skin types which helps to maintain the skin’s pH balance and prevent excess sebum production. It can be used as a makeup base (but do allow some time for the skin to absorb the serum before applying your makeup) and the size of the bottle is small enough to be carried around all day.

RETAIL PRICE: S$88 in-stores and online

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems in Singapore as can be understood from a 2014 study which showed that we are among the cities in the world with the least hours of sleep. Considering how fast-paced and stressful life can be in these current times, it is almost inevitable not to be able to unwind at the end of the day. But not all hope is lost because with This Work’s Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, you will likely find yourself having better sleep or falling asleep faster as you inhale the invigorating yet soothing scent of a combination of three pure essential oils – lavender, vetiver and wild chamomile. To experience the wondrous effect of this spray, do ensure that you spritz it on a clean pillow case as you wouldn’t want such fragrance to blend with the intoxicating smell of your sweaty hair and saliva 😉

This natural alternative to prescription sleep aids calms and relaxes the mind and body while you have sweet dreams at night. Some health benefits of the key natural ingredient (lavender) include its ability to eliminate nervous tension and improving mood, thereby uplifting your spirits in the morning. If you’re still unsure of what to get for your insomniac father this Father’s Day, then look no further and get this in your shopping cart right now!

RETAIL PRICE: S$32 in-stores and online
(also comes in supersize 250ml at S$66)

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

Freshen up your morning with This Works in Transit Camera Close-Up, an all-in-one product which works (no pun intended) as a leave-on mask, moisturiser and primer, to banish any signs of fatigue and make you look camera-ready in no time. It has creamy and slightly thick texture but does not leave a tacky or greasy finish. Instead, it leaves the skin feeling hydrated, supple and smooth. Smell-wise, it reminds me of clinical hand creams – no overpowering artificial fragrance whatsoever.

It contains hyaluronic acid and caffaine, combined with Bio Boost – a revolutionary blend of echium and sunflower oils that restores, heals and brightens and tightens the skin.  Echium is also known for its emollient qualities and anti-inflammatory effects, hence making it extremely suitable for eczema-prone skin. This product can be used daily or as a pick-me-up throughout the day to give your face a dewy appearance.

RETAIL PRICE: S$61 in-stores and online

* * *

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

This multitasking Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask by Estelle & Thild promotes glowing skin as it protects the skin’s delicate natural moisture levels. On top of that, the natural bentonite clay of this certified organic mask draws out impurities and toxins and shrink your pores while the black elderflower decongests and detoxifies for a firmer and more radiant complexion.

This mask does not require a lot of your time as you would only need to let it sit on for five minutes before you can rinse it off with warm water. Given the minimal time needed, nobody would suspect a thing in the event that you feel like cleansing your face in the midst of your work!

RETAIL PRICE: S$57 in-stores and online

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Looks are important, but so are our hands. We always shower our face with so much tender loving care and neglect the most valuable tool we have that is often overworked. Since our hands have fewer oil glands than the rest of our body, they are susceptible to drying out, especially in air-conditioned environment.

Application

Application

Prevent your hands from aging prematurely with the Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands which acts as an antioxidant barrier and powerful protective agent to reduce moisture loss. It keeps the hands soft and smooth with liquorice, yuzu peel extract and vitamin E and has a nice citrus scent. Yuzu, the key natural ingredient of this product, is also a good source of antioxidants that can help replenish dead skin cells.

RETAIL PRICE: S$17 in-stores only

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

Dehydrated skin is a common concern but one that is often mistaken to be solely caused by inadequate water intake. In fact, the issue may well be brought about by the use of soap as their high alkaline levels could damage the skin barrier function and allow greater water loss. The solution? Use soap-free products, of course, starting from the most sensitive part of our body – our face!

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel is a soap-free facial cleansing gel that removes makeup, oil and pollution without the harsh effects of sulphates found in traditional cleansers. Formulated with aloe vera and rose otto oil for its therapeutic healing and regenerating qualities, this cleanser balances, tones, decongests and soothes the skin to promote healthy skin metabolism.

RETAIL PRICE: S$50 in-stores and online

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

Seal

Seal

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

Every office desk needs a pick-me-up to get you through the work day. June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist does just that by providing a surge of moisture to refresh your skin. It contains bitter orange from the south of France to calm the over-active production of sebum especially on oily and acne-prone skin. Other ingredients such as neroli oil and a powerful patent-pending blend of tea extracts revitalise the skin and stimulate cell regeneration to combat the visible signs of aging.

RETAIL PRICE: S$74 in-stores and online

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

Burt's Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

In the heat of everlasting summer in Singapore, one can never have too many moisturisers. Infused with clary sage to regulate oil production and reduce inflammation, Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Nourishing Facial Water is a toner that replenishes your skin’s natural moisture. Applied using hands or cotton pads, it absorbs into the skin readily and leaves a visibly softer and smoother appearance.

I unfortunately didn’t find the smell all that pleasant. It actually reminds me of the chemical-ish smell of unscented lipsticks, though not that strong. But then again, it could just be me so do pop by Sephora to have a whiff of it 🙂

RETAIL PRICE: S$30 in-stores only

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (S$46)

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Illustrated instructions within the box

Illustrated instructions within the box

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Everything about this moisturiser – down right to the lovely baby pink packaging (I’m not ashamed to admit that I love everything pink, heh) – is just so noteworthy! Formulated with advanced skincare technology, this gel-cream transforms into a liquid on contact with the skin just like a sorbet.

Application

Application

For those who are not familiar with Caudalie, it is one of the few beauty companies to harness the properties of grape seed into their formulas to maximise anti-aging properties. Suitable for dehydrated and sensitive skin, this sweet-scented moisturiser contains both merlot (a kind of grape used for making red wines) and muscat grapes from the south of France which integrate to create the key natural ingredient: Organic Grape water®. It increases skin hydration levels by 127% with each application and together with other natural ingredients such as chamomile, this moisturiser soothes skin and reduces redness.

Retail price: S$46 in-stores and online

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #1 Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #1 Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion

Gear up for your upcoming vacay with Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit! This travel kit contains all four of Edible Beauty’s core products and covers all your skincare needs on-the-go.

Perfect for any climate around the globe (save for the extreme ones, of course), No. 1 Belle Frais Cleanser cleanses and purifies the skin with coconut oil during winter while No. 2 Citrus Rhapsody Tonique refreshes the skin with a unique blend of antioxidant rich fruits and herbs to protect you against the sun when you hit the beach. No. 3 Exotic Goddess Angeless Serum increases the skin’s elasticity with Edelweiss and No. 4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion hydrates with cocoa butter extracted from the cocoa bean when the air turns dry and colder in autumn. These portable skin-lovin’ goodies may merely occupy 1/8 of your luggage space but they will definitely be your go-to items to keep your skin in tip-top condition!

Retail price: S$73 online only

* * *

Dying to get something listed above but have already emptied your bank account for your summer holiday? Here’s your chance to lay claim to one of the coveted products above because I’m about to throw a…

1 MILLION MILESTONE GIVEAWAY

WOOHOO!! That’s right! This site has recently passed the one million mark in visits! I wouldn’t have gotten this far without your support 🙂 In celebration of this huge milestone and as a gesture of appreciation to everyone who has supported this blog, I would like to reward one reader with an Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit worth S$73 (as featured above) to prep you for your next holiday!

To win, simply follow these steps:

(don’t worry, nothing too burdensome if you’re already following my social media accounts!)

1. Like my Facebook page here
2. Follow me on Instagram here
3. Comment on this post what you like about fionaseah.com or what you would like to see more on this blog! 🙂 This is for me to know your interests better! It can be related to any category I’ve covered on this blog
4. Remember to leave your e-mail address for me to reach you if you win

And guess what? This contest is open internationally because how could I forget about my foreign readers? You guys are equally awesome! Postage will be fully borne by yours truly so all you need to do is sit back and wait for the parcel to arrive at your doorstep! 🙂 It’s that simple!

Contest ends 24 June 2016 and the winner will be notified by 26 June 2016 (GMT+8). More giveaways (lipsticks included… yup) will be coming your way to mark this significant milestone so stay tuned! 🙂

Contest has ended! Thank you for your participation! 🙂

Thanks for reading, lovelies! And good luck!

find out which other products made it to the ‘green’ list! SEPHORA Natural Allure is now available online and/or at all Sephora stores in Singapore.
DISCLAIMER: PRODUCTS FEATURED were sent to me for review purposes with information provided by sephora BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE MY OWN.

REVIEW: Blended Organic Skincare – Be Matte, Be Protected, Be Restored & Be HD-Ready

SPONSORED

Hello everyone!

Blended

Blended Skincare

As beauty vigilantes continue to uncover the dirty little secrets about the cosmetic industry, many of us are now well-aware that we should avoid anything that is neither “organic” nor “all natural”. Not wanting to lose out on the growing consumer segment favouring all things eco-friendly, several industry players have rebranded their products to incorporate ingredients that would earn them the right to use the organic label. In spite of that, not every ingredient in the formulation could be organic as strict guidelines aren’t put in place yet to define the amount of organic ingredients the product should be constituted of to be considered as being one, therefore allowing the cosmetic industry to be self-regulated and make organic and natural claims without certification.

But according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which is responsible for regulating the organic industry in America, products labelled “organic” must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). In other words, your USDA-certified products sitting on your shelf now may still contain 5% artificial colouring or preservatives and synthetic chemicals that are linked to kidney disease, breast cancer, and some birth defects! YIKES!

Side note

Products can be labeled “made with organic ingredients” if at least 70% organic ingredients are used (excluding water and salt). The remaining 30% of the non-organic ingredients must be approved on the National List. These products may display the certifying agent’s (The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association) logo but not the USDA organic logo.

(Source)

For such unethical practice to still be condoned in this day and age, when technology has advanced so greatly, is totally unacceptable! But I am glad something has been done to combat greenwashing in the beauty industry – at least in Singapore – and the hero is none other than Blended, a beauty brand started by a few Singaporeans passionate about raising awareness of harmful chemicals in modern skincare products.

Blended Skincare

Blended Skincare

Blended Skincare

Blended Skincare

After spending over thousands of hours on scientific studies dedicated to exposing these dubious claims of modern cosmetics, Blended has come up with a range of affordable skincare products containing only organic ingredients with no fuss and no lies. To date, they have sold more than 500 products since their inception in March 2015 through very minimal publicity. Since it’s still a relatively young brand, not many people have heard of it yet, which I feel it’s a bit of a pity because it’s such a great cause! I have actually tried some of their bestsellers and penned my thoughts below, so do read it if you’re interested to know more 🙂

{Be Matte}
Pore Powder

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte (S$19.50)

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

The active ingredient in this mattifying (loose) pore powder is rice, which has amazing healing benefits. It shrinks pores and absorbs the oil on your face to give you a matte look and is perfect for touch-ups, with or without makeup. Despite the size, the product does come with a traditional sifter that releases just the right amount each time and a miniature powder puff that provides a smooth and unified finish.

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

Blended Be Matte

However, you need to be really gentle with the puff because the ribbon handle came off after about three times of use (‘coz of my fat fingers and rough handling, maybe). The powder is extremely fine and messy in nature so I had to be really careful not to dab the puff too hard into the powder or use it at a breezy place lest the excess disperse and get onto my apparel and the things around me. But it’s unlike flour or talcum powder that would stain your dark-coloured clothes, fortunately, as a casual brush would be able to dust if off without a trace.

The powder has a discernible (mild) citrus scent and it blended fairly evenly over my bare face with just a light buff. Although there weren’t any prominent white blotches, it left a slightly ashy cast. It will probably appear less chalky on a smoother surface, and not on a face marked by acne. I feel that it would give better results if a small powder brush was used in place of the puff because that way, you’d have more control over the distribution of the product. But functionality aside, my T-zone really did look a lot more matte (and fairer) after application and the powder somehow also concealed some of my faint acne scars, so it has fulfilled its purpose!

{Be Protected}
SPF Gel Moisturiser

Blended Be Protected (S$20.90)

Blended Be Protected (S$20.90)

Blended Be Protected

Blended Be Protected

Blended Be Protected

Blended Be Protected

Packed in a small transparent container about half the size of my palm, Be Protected is an organic cooling sunblock with SPF25.

Blended Be Protected

Blended Be Protected

This limpid and emollient gel has a consistency between thick and runny (more towards the latter) that spreads across the skin effortlessly. It took a while, about 3 to 5 minutes, to absorb fully into the skin (so a little goes a long way!) but once it does, the skin felt supple and refreshed. I like to keep my moisturiser in the refrigerator because the cooling effect gives a very nice, therapeutic sensory feel. From the smell of it, my guess is that is it is mainly made of cucumber, a very common ingredient for moisturisers due to its hydrating qualities. The familiar clear and flowy consistency might be derived from aloe vera which is another popular constituent for its skin healing properties. But then again, these are just my assumptions 😉

As a sufferer of inherited dry skin (a.k.a ichthyosis, everywhere but my face 🙄 ) since birth, my daily routine includes applying ample moisturiser to my body but it is always difficult to find an effective moisturiser that doesn’t sit too heavy and tacky on the skin. While I wouldn’t say that this does wonders on moderate and severe cases of ichthyosis (it’s not a clinical medicine after all), it actually works on milder conditions like fungal infections.

Fungal infection of the skin

99% healed! I had to resist the urge to pick my skin for a week to see the results! (Bad example, please don’t follow hahaha because even if I left it alone, the infection would still persist) Worth the endurance I must say

Apply twice daily on the affected areas for a week at least and you shall see the stark difference! Of course, this multi-purpose gel can be used on the face as well.

{Be Restored}
Manuka Honey Bee Pollen Mask

Blended Be Restored (S$34.90)

Blended Be Restored (S$34.90)

Blended Be Restored

Blended Be Restored

Blended Be Restored

Blended Be Restored

Made with premium Manuka honey from New Zealand, this face mask is a blended with quality bee pollen and pure aloe vera (and other natural ingredients that are beneficial to the skin) for optimal therapeutic effectiveness. Manuka honey is known for its anti-bacterial and moisturising attributes whereas bee pollen helps to speed up the healing process of wounds and reduce the effects of acne. Aloe vera, on top of what was mentioned earlier, can also reverse skin aging while giving it an instant glow.

Blended Be Restored

Blended Be Restored

Upon removing the lid, I was greeted with a watery and diluted surface to which my first reaction was, “Huh, how does this work as a mask? Won’t everything just dribble down my neck?” until I read the instructions to stir it well on the packaging. Pardon me, I’m not one who is fond of reading so.. 😛

I didn’t have a spatula small enough to fit into the bottle so I used a chopstick to mix it instead. True enough, the product was sitting at the bottom but it somehow couldn’t blend fully with the watery substance no matter how much I tried. Using the same chopstick, I scooped a bit of the product and applied it on my face. Despite having stirred it already, the product was still relatively runny so I created a bit of a mess in the process. Hence, unless you’re itching for extra cleaning work, do this in the toilet!

Application

Apply using a spatula (or spoon if you’re skilled enough to get the product out of the indented part) or any flat tool. In my case, I used a chopstick!

Close-up

Close-up

Some of the product landed on my cupid’s bow and you know, being a foodie (plus, the smell of the honey was really alluring), my natural instinct would be to stick out my tongue to taste it*. To my surprise, it was actually more salty (presumably from the Himalayan sea salt) than sweet! A quick search on Google for the ingredients revealed that they are indeed edible* so fret not if the mask, you know, accidentally gets into your mouth (not sure how but I know it happens *winks*).

Once I was satisfied with the amount applied on my face, I used my fingers to even it out and then left it to dry. The runny consistency meant that it wouldn’t be able to provide full coverage on the face like a traditional mask. But after 3-4 minutes, the mask felt a bit stiffer. I had it on for about 20 minutes before washing it down with water (very easy – no scrubbing required!)

Top: application with just the chopstick // Bottom: after evening it out with my fingers

Top: application with just the chopstick // Bottom: after evening it out with my fingers

I was initially quite sceptical about putting this mask on my face as I was worried that my skin would react negatively to it. But apart from the smoother and brighter appearance it gave me, it also managed to keep new pimples from breaking out on my face for the next couple of days!

{Be HD-Ready}
Thermal Black Sesame Mask

Blended Be HD-Ready ($34.90)

Blended Be HD-Ready ($34.90)

Blended Be HD-Ready

Blended Be HD-Ready

Blended Be HD-Ready

Blended Be HD-Ready

What in the world? Well, as the name suggests, this brownish-black substance is a self-heating (thermal) mask that helps to open up pores. It contains black sesame (thus the colour and smell) which is not only superb for detoxing the skin but also preventing the formation of wrinkles and pigmentation. Among other benefits of black sesame is its ability to neutralise the effect of free radicals that damage cells, thereby protecting the user against skin cancer!

Cool upon application at first, the mild thermal effect kicks in almost instantly the moment it comes in contact with dry skin (so do wipe your face dry after washing). Unlike the Manuka honey mask, this black sesame mask has a thicker and firmer consistency which makes it a lot easier to deal with. Even so, it’s still best to apply the mask in the toilet because clumps of it tend to glide down from time to time.

Blended Be HD-Ready (with flash)

Blended Be HD-Ready (with flash)

Blended Be HD-Ready (with flash)

Blended Be HD-Ready (with flash)

Using my fingers, I applied a layer of the mask on my face and left it on for 15 minutes. The warming effect started to wear off by the 5-minute mark (or maybe my skin had gotten used to the sensation by then). Regular use of this mask should help tighten and control the appearance of large pores. Besides, those specks of sesame seeds help to exfoliate the skin as well, hence I came up with the idea of using it as a lip scrub!

As a lip exfoliating scrub

It’s actually just an excuse for me to eat it* (tastes exactly like black sesame and it warms your tongue as well) but yeah, it really did work as a scrub because it helped to reduce the dead skin on my lips 😆 )

All of these products have a shelf life of 3 months (therefore, they are usually packed in small quantities) if stored well in the refrigerator. I think 3 months is a reasonable amount of time for a trial period if you’re planning to explore other skincare alternatives that are truly beneficial. As cliché as it sounds, your skin definitely deserves the best and not products that can cause adverse effects in the long run, so it’s better to switch now before it’s too late!

* Disclaimer
Please consult sales rep to check if products are indeed safe for consumption (as well as for allergies) before attempting to ingest it. We will not be responsible for any injury, illness or loss resulting from your failure to comply with this obligation.

 

Your thoughts? Do share them with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading my first post in 2016 😉

BLENDED
blendedskincare.com

Quote <FionaSeah> when you liaise with the sales reps
(on Shopee, Facebook, e-mail, etc.) to get a free organic pimple cream

Shopee | ExcluniqueeeeFacebook | Instagram

Hyaluronic Hyalogy Treatment Facial at Indulgence Beauty

Sponsored

Hello everyone!

I often wax lyrical about being a student because of the perks that come with it. But like everything in this material world, it also has its own downsides especially if you’re a final-year undergraduate (or anyone in their final year of study). While everyone else – including my friends who are already in the workforce – celebrates the holidays, my peers and I are slogging our guts out for our final-year project. And because I hold multiple day jobs to pay for my daily expenses, I often have to burn the midnight oil and turn in as late (or early lolz) as 7am just to complete my part of the work which requires a lot of reading and research. This has been going on for months now and as you would expect, my skin hasn’t been in good shape of late.

I don't usually get zits on my nose but when I do, it's those red, headless ones ARGHHHH

I don’t usually get zits on my nose but when I do, it’s those red, headless ones ARGHHHH

Aside from the increased number of zits on my cheeks and jaw area, my face had also become visibly drier and a lot more sallow, most likely due to my sleep deprivation which, according to Cosmopolitan, strips my skin of its moisture. Much as I’d like reverse the damage by having sufficient sleep, it is practically not feasible for now, or at least until next March (what terrible example I’m setting, I know.. time management is clearly not my forte) when my project officially comes to an end. Hence, I would have to rely on superficial methods to relieve the effects of stress on my skin for the meantime, one of which is to get a professional facial just so that I can (finally) lay back and relax for those few hours.

Three months had lapsed since my last facial session so obviously all the good done previously to my face had already been unravelled. Therefore, I was really psyched to receive a rather timely invite from the manager of Indulgence Beauty, a facial salon conveniently located at Tanjong Pagar (about 5 minutes away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station), to try out one of their services.

Getting to Tanjong Pagar Plaza where the salon is housed was a breeze but finding the unit itself took me a while because the whole place is seriously like a maze! But once you manage to find the correct corridor of shops, it would be easy to spot the salon. If you see a portrait of Edmund Chen fronting a shop, that’s when you know you’ve arrived at your destination 😉

Indulgence Beauty

The salon front just had a makeover! (Photo credit: Indulgence Beauty)

Walking into a spotless, spacious and brightly lit reception area, the beauty parlour gave the impression of cleanliness and professionalism which immediately put any first-timer at ease. I was welcomed by one of the beauticians, Anna, who would later attend to my facial needs. But before that, I had to go through the formality of registration to indicate my beauty regimen, allergies and whatnot.

Shop logo

Shop logo

Cup of tea served upon arrival

Cup of tea served upon arrival

The facial rooms were tucked behind a closed door at the back of the counter and there were also lockers for you to store your belongings. I was brought to the room nearest to the entrance to change into a loose-fitting silky tube top and a pair of bottoms. The top affirmed my belief that I had got very nanoscopic boobs because it kept sliding down XD

Bed in facial room

Bed in facial room

Anna then cleansed my face using MD Dermatics’ C-Cleanse Clarifying Wash to remove any unwanted debris (makeup, sunscreen, moisturiser, etc.) before proceeding with the skin analysis and actual facial. Indulgence Beauty uses mainly MD Dermatics to treat aesthetic skin concerns. A highly trusted brand, it has recently won the “Best for Hydration Serum” and “Most Waterproof Sunscreen” Bright Sparks Awards from Cosmopolitan Singapore.

MD Dermatics C-Cleanse Clarifying Wash

MD Dermatics C-Cleanse Clarifying Wash

Cleanse

Cleanse

A simple and straight-forward skin analysis was conducted back at the reception area. Unlike facial salons I had been to, Indulgence Beauty uses a complexion analyser to determine the type of facial I should go for. According to Anna, the machine was able to work out my skin’s moisture level and skin-tone evenness, thus giving a more accurate measure of my skin condition than just by scrutinising my face. A picture of my face was captured with a flash and subsequently the image, along with some analysis results, appeared on the computer screen next to me.

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Not surprisingly, my skin was found to be dry and lacklustre with an estimated age of 30 – five years more than my present age  – and was extremely prone to wrinkles. My sebum was likely to be trapped below the surface; hence the many clogged pores (I was told that they were not acne) on my face. My skin tone was unexpectedly even, though. Perhaps all the whitening products really did work after all 😀 Based on my analysis results, I was recommended to try the Hyaluronic Hyalogy Treatment Facial, a newly launched treatment designed for dehydrated skin like mine.

Shortly after the consultation, I was ushered back to the facial room where I would receive the long-awaited pampering.  Anna began her magic with some unidentified serum on my face coupled with a few soothing strokes.

More massage

More massage

Following that, perhaps seeing how my brows were in such disarray (ain’t got no time for that thanks to my FYP), Anna offered to shape them for me. Of course, this additional service does not just apply to me. I’m sure she would also be tempted to do yours too if you have similarly messy ones 😉 It would hurt a little for the first-timers but as the saying goes, “no pain, no gain”! I’ve always enjoyed my brow-shaping sessions and this was no exception. My unruly and uneven brows turned out to be beautifully groomed.

Eyebrow shaping

Eyebrow shaping

Eyebrow shaping

Eyebrow shaping

The dreaded extraction came next but instead of using a comedone extractor which might tear or flake the targeted areas of my poor dry sky, Anna used her mighty fingers to squeeze those pesky clogged pores. I don’t know which method is more beneficial for my skin but one thing’s for sure, I didn’t feel like I was being put in an excruciating ordeal. The pain (if any) was extremely bearable. No tears were shed during the whole process! My face wasn’t as red and blotchy as I had imagined too.

Extraction

Extraction

Post-extraction

Post-extraction

Anna then tried to calm the redness by further massaging my face with a tranquility cream before progressing to the next stage. I tell you, her massage techniques were ah-mazing! They were thorough (definitely not the chop-chop, want-to-get-this-over-and-done-with kind), gentle yet perfectly firm. I could literally feel my face revitalised with every stroke.

More massage

More massage

Calming the skin

Calming the skin

Calming the skin

Calming the skin

The final part of the facial session involved a clay masque which would entirely envelop my face (even my eyes). Cool to the touch, it felt slightly heavy on the skin and hardened after a certain time, so try not to think of anything funny during this period because it may cause a crack on the masque if you burst out laughing.

This clay masque leaves your skin radiant, illuminated and glowing and renews your skin to give it a smoother and softer texture. On top of that, it also minimises the appearance of pores, improves the skin tone to provide you with a more youthful and healthy-looking appearance.

Clay masque

Clay masque

You know how beauticians would normally leave you in the facial room for what would feel like an eternity while the masque is sitting on your face? To be honest, I hated that because it makes me feel idle and the fact that I have to keep still with my back against the bed throughout the duration makes me feel very uneasy and stiff. But guess what? after applying the clay masque on my face, Anna went on to give me a full shoulder and neck massage for at least 10 minutes (could be a lot longer but it certainly didn’t feel long enough since it was so relaxing)!

YES, another massage!!!

Just what did I do to deserve this?! ❤

Exactly what my strained shoulders needed!

Exactly what my strained shoulders needed!

The masque was subsequently peeled off from my face afte. It came off effortlessly like silicone and my face instantly felt brand new. Finishing off the whole treatment, moisturiser was applied onto my face to give it a moisture boost.

MD Dermatics DayCalm Soothing Moisturiser - was told that it's also good for cool and dry climates

MD Dermatics DayCalm Soothing Moisturiser – was told that it’s also good for cool and dry climates

Moisturising

Moisturising

And here’s the result!

Post-facial

Post-facial

The redness had subsided tremendously and my pores were visibly smaller by a whole lot. The hyperpigmentation left by my old pimples were also lightened by a few notches. You can’t really see much flaws on the face save for those few stubborn active scars. Honestly, I was deeply impressed!

At night

At night

A quick before and after comparison

A quick before and after comparison. Some pores were unclogged!

If you’re in dire need to unwind and give your skin a break, the facial services offered by Indulgence Beauty are something you’ve got to try at least once in your life (and even more so if you’re a fan of properly done massage teehee).

Do share with me in the comments below your experience at Indulgence Beauty if you’ve already been there!

Thanks for reading, lovelies!

Indulgence Beauty

1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #02-34 Singapore 082001
By appointment only. Please call +65 6225 8980
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email

Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula #2: How to Treat Oily Skin & Acne

ADVERTORIAL

Hey everyone!

Despite taking special care of my complexion, my skin is bound to have a major breakout at least once every month due to hormonal shifts (ladies should know what I mean). These are unlike my usual zits as they are typically cystic which mainly occur around my cheeks, chin, jawline and hairline/scalp (mainly at places which are out of sight). They are headless bumps that hurt to the touch and because popping them is close to impossible, they take weeks to heal! They can’t be concealed with makeup entirely too since the bumps would still be very obvious especially from the side. Furthermore, they often leave awful hyperpigmentation when they subside to remind me of the painful experience. Gosh, why is it so hard being a woman?! :\

Another issue I have during my menstrual cycle is the sudden influx of oil on the skin (also the cause of my breakout mentioned earlier). My face becomes a virtual oil slick and it melts down my makeup even when I stay indoors the whole day. I don’t have the habit of carrying oil blotting sheets with me as I had read that they would only lead to more oil production. Therefore I would try to avoid being photographed although sometimes it can’t be helped.

But the condition seems to have improved quite a bit ever since I started using Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF) products for oil control and acne care last month. From the the same range as the ones I had featured previously, I feel that these products serve as a corrective to oily and acne-prone skin rather than a preventive – very suitable for people who are already battling oily skin and acne. So if you’re looking for ways to deal with the shine and the unsightly pustules (or even cysts like mine), look no further!

(from left) Acne E-Rase, AHA Oily & Acne Solution & Clay Mint Mask from Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula

(from left) Acne E-Rase, AHA Oily & Acne Solution & Clay Mint Mask from Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula

Do note that these products work best as supplements to the 3-step beauty regimen (cleanse, tone, moisturise) I wrote about in the first TDF feature and should only be used when necessary or (as advised by an aesthetician) daily until the skin gets better otherwise you may risk having your skin dried up.

1. Control

For those with severe acne, normal cleansing alone won’t be enough to rid them. Therefore you’d need this to be part of your routine:

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

Immediately after cleansing and drying my skin thoroughly with the Deep Acne Facial Wash (a stronger cleanser for my menstrual acne, brief review on Facebook), I applied the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 liberally on my face twice daily, morning and night. This formula helps to control breakouts and clear up complexion and prevent blemishes from forming by clearing clogged pores, correcting enlarged pores and removing excess oil or other lipids present on acne-prone skin. When used regularly, the skin becomes smoother and shine is kept under control.

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

The solution is a colourless lightweight and runny liquid (like water) that rapidly absorbs into the skin with just a few gentle pats on the face. The excess evaporates like water and does not leave a tacky feeling on the skin.

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*Compulsory

2. Correct

Pimple treatment gel/cream is one of my must-haves for bad skin days because it dries out and flattens specific pimples fast enough before an important event. They are my emergency breakout fix. But from my years of using various acne gel, most of them work better on regular pus-filled pimples and not the cystic ones. They also generally do little to stop the development of zits that have not surfaced. Isn’t it frustrating to be able to feel an oncoming pimple and yet feel helpless about it? Well, now you can!

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

The Acne E-Rase is a blend of advanced deep exfoliating ingredients (Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid) that control the most common concerns associated with acne by regulating the sebum production.

The exfoliant helps to slough off dead skin cells that clog pores which can then cause a breakout. Salicylic Acid, for instance, is both an exfoliant and an anti-inflammatory which effectively reduces inflammation and relieves pain. It’s a lot less irritating like Benzoyl Peroxide (my nemesis – gave me a terribly swollen and crusty face on both occasions that I used it) so allergy level to this product should be relatively lower for those with sensitive skin.

Therefore, besides treating existing blemishes, breakouts and blackheads, this acne treatment gel is capable of addressing future blemishes before they even appear as well without over drying the skin.

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

A pale-yellow light and pellucid gel, the product flows out of the tube uncontrollably when I first removed the cover so do make sure you open it with the tip faced upwards. The Acne E-Rase is to be used after cleansing and drying the skin thoroughly and should be applied on the affected acne spot twice a day (once a few minutes before makeup to allow sufficient time for it to dry, and another before bedtime for me) until they are visibly reduced.

However, because acne treatment gel tends to be drying on the skin, you have to use a moisturiser (the Ultra Light Hydrator makes a great choice!) on top of it to prevent your skin from flaking. Basically, the general skincare rule is to apply the thinner product first so that the thicker one above can “lock in” the one below. Of course, the sequence varies according to different skin types and conditions. When in doubt, consult your dermatologist!

My pimple had clearly shrunk and dried out after application!

My pimple had clearly shrunk and dried out after application! (obviously I didn’t put on any moisturizer because I was too lazy)

I was way past my menstrual period when I took these pictures so I didn’t have any cystic acne (not like I wished there were!) to demonstrate the product on, but I did have some stubborn pustules. The result was quite amazing as I could actually feel that my zit had subsided and the small oncoming ones around it had also dried out completely. They could all be concealed entirely with tinted foundation by the following day.

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Correct (Acne E-Rase) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*COMPULSORY

3. Mask

Facial sessions are the perfect excuse for you to relax on your couch/bed and do nothing (though I still use my phone sometimes hehe eh, don’t act like you don’t) so I am always looking forward to them. Not only are face masks easy and hilariously fun to use (who hasn’t scared anybody with their face mask before?!), it also delivers noticeable results after a single use.

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay masks are normally recommended for oily skin because of the drying and tightening nature of their natural clay substances. The Clay Mint Mask combines natural earth clays – kaolin and bentonite – for intensive pore-purging and elimination of impurities. It decongests clogged pores by drawing out dirt, excess sebum and other cellular debris. Weekly use of this mask detoxifies the skin to unveil a clearer and more refined complexion.

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

The greyish-green product comes out of the tube like a toothpaste but it’s rather structured in a way that it does not break off easily from it so it won’t cause as much of a mess as the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 or the Acne E-Rase.

After cleansing

After cleansing

The picture above was taken at night, hours after applying the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 and Acne E-Rase illustrated above! Can you tell that the pimples (on the forehead especially) had reduced quite substantially? Their redness were now a light-pinkish.

With Clay Mint Mask

With Clay Mint Mask

Close up

Close up

To use, apply desired amount (the thicker the better but I’m prudent when it comes to using beauty products) of mask to cleansed face and neck (skipped this area because I didn’t want to wet my body) with finger tips or brush. The mask spreads evenly and hardens completely within 2-3 minutes. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and then, rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat the skin dry with a soft towel. As the name describes, the mask gives the skin a very therapeutic minty sensation (even more shiok in an air-conditioned room!).

Prior to this, I used mainly peel-off masks because it’s less time-consuming. But subsequently I realised that they are not as absorbent as clay masks and certainly a lot messier. Some experts have advised against applying mask after shower as they feel it would be too drying for many skin types yadda yadda (well, there’s always the other side of the coin ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) but I prefer to apply nighttime beauty products on a squeaky clean face and then conveniently head to bed thereafter. Furthermore, the facial pores would also be enlarged after a hot shower so the mask would definitely be absorbed into the skin more rapidly!

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Mask (Clay Mint Mask) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Correct (Acne E-Rase) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*COMPULSORY

Now that I have managed to keep my pimples under control, the next step is to treat the hyperpigmentation left behind by my past acne! If you are trying to get rid of your stubborn hyperpigmentation as well, stay tuned for the next installment of my TDF skincare series! I have more tips and product recommendations in store for you 🙂

Hope this guide has been useful to you and many thanks for reading! 🙂

To find out more about my beauty regimen for oily and acne-prone skin, click here for Part 1!

ALL TDF PRODUCTS ARE EXCLUSIVELY SOLD AT ALL CLINICS, NATIONAL HEALTHCARE GROUP POLYCLINICS, SINGHEALTH POLYCLINICS, HOSPITALS AND PUBLIC/RESTRUCTURED SPECIALIST CENTRES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PRODUCT AVAILABILITY, CLICK HERE.

Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF)

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REVIEW: NEXGEN Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum & Phantom Mask

ADVERTORIAL

Hey everyone!

It has been drilled into our heads since we were little children that preserved food is detrimental to our health. But do you know that preservatives are also existent in beauty products? Like food preservatives, they allow extend the shelf life of the products by allowing them to remain fresh during the long span between the time of manufacture and the time the customer finishes using it. Similarly, they are often unhealthy as they may pose long-term health risks. However, preservatives form an integral part of the cosmetics ingredients. Without them, you’d most likely be tossing out your barely-used lipstick and facial cream every other few weeks.

Furthermore, it’s perfectly legal to use these toxic materials despite the fact that they may cause adverse effects to the health. Therefore, don’t be alarmed to see them on the list of ingredients of your everyday beauty products. They are everywhere.

Ingredients of a very popular body lotion sold in Singapore

Ingredients of a very popular body lotion sold in Singapore

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is an allergen and can cause severe skin reactions in some people.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is an allergen and can cause severe skin reactions in some people.

Ingredients of a branded lipstick I own

Ingredients of a branded lipstick I own

Phenoxyethanol is believed to cause damage to the brain cells and the central nervous system when used in large quantities

Phenoxyethanol is believed to cause damage to the brain cells and the central nervous system when used in large quantities.

On the other hand, there are still cosmetics brands around that tout to be completely free of preservatives and specially formulated to be self-preserving. But the problem lies with the fact that they are often reusable. Reusable cosmetics products which are free of preservatives usually can’t withstand the test of time (hence the shorter expiry dates) because they get contaminated very easily with repeated contact with the skin. That’s why most of such products are sold in small packaging, but at premium prices. With that said, are you getting more bang for your bucks, or not?

But not all hope is lost! With the advancement of technology today, nothing is impossible. In the case of NEXGEN, instead of using preservatives, their products are packed separately before undergoing a sterilizing process, all while ensuring that the composition and functions of the products are not altered.

skinthenext

Established in 1999 in South Korea, NEXGEN is a biotechnology company specialising in second generation (hence the name) plant biotechnology which does not involve the use of herbicide, pesticides and genetically modified plants. Diversifying from the medical, agricultural and industrial business, NEXGEN started venturing into the cosmetics industry in 2011 under the subsidiary name of SKIN THE NEXT.

What sets SKIN THE NEXT/NEXGEN apart from other cosmetics brands is that it makes beauty products that are perfectly sterile and as mentioned earlier, preservative-free because of the individual and disposable packaging. On top of that, it also bans the use of plant extracts.

“Wait, aren’t plant extracts supposed to be good?”

Not many people know this (neither did I!) but besides the active ingredients in plants which are highly effective and pure with high biological value [1], they also contain synthetic substances which can be really harmful to humans. In order to extract the beneficial ingredients, companies have to pay a truckload of money and go through a dreadful process. Realistically speaking, not many commercial enterprises would do it.

Therefore, instead of using these unknown substances, SKIN THE NEXT incorporates Growth Factor Protein (a protein almost identical to human DNA and found in vegetables and fruits) into their products to help stimulate human tissues to repair themselves. Another active ingredient is the Cellular Vital Complex which contains 21 essential amino acids and 14 minerals in an optimum proportion to nourish your skin.

Here are 2 beauty products recently launched by SKIN THE NEXT/NEXGEN.

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Die hard® is a moisturizing repair serum that doubles as a wrinkle treatment. It is composed with genetically engineered growth factor protein named Spider Silk Protein, which is 18 times stronger than steel that replaces collagen and elastin to improve skin elasticity and triggers cell  division.

As a moisturizing and anti-aging product, it contains vital complex (21 kinds of essential amino acids, and 11 kinds of minerals), sH-Oligopeptide-1 (EGF) 10ppm and Spider Silk Protein. There are 60 sachets in each box.

There is a perforated line on the individual packaging to facilitate the opening. 

There is a perforated line on the individual packaging to facilitate the opening.

Easy to tear

Easy to tear

Extract all the serum from the pouch

Extract all the serum from the pouch

Colourless serum

Colourless serum

You just need one sachet for every application. Apply the serum evenly onto the face and smooth it gently until it is completely absorbed into the skin. I use this only at night before heading to bed because it does leave a mildly sticky residue on my skin. The amount of serum in the pouch may look insufficient but trust me, it’s more than enough to cover the entire face because it has a flowy consistency. It’s colourless and formulated without fragrance but it doesn’t have a pungent chemical smell.

Effectiveness-wise, my skin did feel a lot more moisturised, supple and revitalised the following day. Most importantly, it didn’t break my skin out one bit. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s pure coincidence but I noticed some of my acne scars lightened up a little. Nevertheless, the product worked well enough for me to continue using it.

I also love the travel-friendly size of the individual packaging and how two sachets are adhered together to save even more space. It will definitely come in handy for me when I go abroad at the end of the year!

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Like the hydrating serum, one of the key ingredients of the Phantom Mask is spider silk protein. Phantom Mask is suitable for sensitive skin and it helps to replenish moisture and add glow to the skin. It is separated into 3 sections for the upper and lower half of the face as well as the neck area. There are 8 sheets in each box.

3 sections of Phantom Mask folded into one so be careful when you open it up!

3 sections of Phantom Mask folded into one so be careful when you open it up!

Mask application

Mask application. Leave mask on your face for about 30 minutes (minimum 20 minutes)

Moisturizing my eyelids with the flaps. Time to doze off!

Moisturizing my eyelids with the flaps. Time to doze off!

Neck area

Neck area

If you like truffle oil, you’d love this mask because it smells almost like it. But if you don’t, you’d probably find the smell unpleasant. It didn’t quite bother me because I fell asleep soon after I went to bed with it. This mask gave me a sense of luxury, the feeling I had when I was in the esthetician room a few weeks back. The moisture of the mask on my face coupled with the cool breeze from my air conditioner just spelled bliss. Plus, I had actually refrigerated my mask before application. It felt so, so good and relaxing! My worn out face looked evidently lifted, tighter and calmer (inflammation of pimples greatly reduced) when I peeled off the mask and I also realised my skin tone becoming a teeny weeny bit more even.

And the best part? The aftermath feeling wasn’t as tacky as I thought. Just smack on some sunblock and you’re ready to leave the house! (No I’m not kidding because I really did go to Orchard after one of the sessions).

The mask is made of great quality cotton sheet to prevent clumsy people like me from tearing it accidentally while trying to separate the sections. There would also be plenty of remaining essence left in the packaging which you can massage onto other areas of the neck, or wherever you deem fit. This is what I call “stretching your dollar” 😀

What do you think of these products? Would you be more wary when purchasing your beauty products now? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

NEXGEN BIOTECHNOLOGIES

NEXGEN: Website (English) | Website (Korean)
SKIN THE NEXT: Website (English) | Facebook | TwitterNaver (Korean)
To order, please visit SKINTHENEXT.COM or email to lei@nexgenbiolab.com