Tag Archives: skincare

Healthier Skincare Products

30 Apr

My cousin is a doctor on her way to becoming an endocrinologist. She visited me a few weeks ago and gave me some advice on skincare. If you want to maintain your youth, the best way is to take care of your skin. Wrinkles and a dull complexion adds age to your overall look. Plus, it doesn’t help that a lot of commercial makeup and skincare products contain chemicals that can be toxic or bad for your health.

She suggested some products that’s all-natural and toxin-free for me to try since she loves using all-natural things. For a while, she made her own cosmetics like lip balms and things, but since she’s so busy now, she doesn’t have the time. Still, there are so many things I’ve learned from her during her quick stay over here…I thought I’d share some of her top items.

Sweet Almond Oil

This oil makes a great moisturizer or a hydrating boost to creams and lotions. I use this as a night-time moisturizer since I don’t want to smell like almonds during the day. A few drops is just enough to cover my face and even a few drops added to regular lotions and creams makes it more hydrating. It absorbs fairly quickly into the skin so you don’t feel greasy.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has plenty of uses, but my cousin prefers to use this as a astringent or toner. It can also be used on acne, bruises, sores, swelling, dry skin, and other skin irritants. I did my best scouting for 100% witch hazel without any alcohol content and it was such a challenge. I was looking for a bottle without any additives either, but the Rose Petal one is the closest I could find in a brick and mortar store. I may have to resort online for the exact bottle I want.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been touted to help with acne, but it also has other uses as an anti-septic and anti-fungal. It can help reduce the effects of dry skin and reduce dandruff when added to shampoo. It has quite an aromatic kick to it, but once you get over the smell, it’s not so bad.

I’ve tried all three products since my cousin left the States. Since then, I have discovered that I love the sweet almond oil. It makes my skin feel smooth and more hydrated than it usually looks. The rose water witch hazel works well as a toner. However, I think I might be slightly allergic to an ingredient in it because my face was a little red the next morning. Perhaps when I find that plain 100% witch hazel, I’ll have a better idea of how it works. And though I have seen the effectiveness of Tea Tree Oil on acne, especially since I’m allergic to benzoyl peroxide, I dislike the smell. It’s so medicinal and pungent. It definitely takes some getting used to, but it surely wakes you up.

It’s quite amazing that you don’t need much for these items to be effective. In fact, a little goes a long way.

What are your natural make-up or skincare products and does it work?


Review: Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer

28 Aug

I’ve been trying a new facial moisturizer since the Biore Dual Fusion Moisturizer hasn’t been working for me. I went to my local drugstore and picked up the Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer 4 oz. bottle for $9. A pretty good deal if you ask me.


What does it claim?

Moderate sun protection plus elegant facial moisturizer all in one.

Cetaphil is the #1 Dermatologist and Pediatrician recommended brand of cleansers and moisturizers. I’m not 100% sure if it really is number one and who exactly recommends the brand, but it has to have some truth in its advertising.

The Result

After using the moisturizer for a month, my skin feels less dry and more hydrated. In fact, there is no flakiness on my skin at all. Also, the lotion was light enough to wear under my makeup without feeling heavy or oily.

The only side effect I encountered was that after washing my face and applying the moisturizer, there was a slight tingling sensation. It wasn’t very noticeable until after the 2nd week of usage. However, it isn’t too bothersome and the sensation vanishes after a couple of seconds. I heard that the tingling is due to the alcohol that makes the cells in the skin more absorbent of the lotion. But I’m not sure about that part…as long as it’s not going to hurt me in the long-run, I’m ok with it.


  • Smooth, light lotion that provides SPF 15 protection
  • Keeps skin moisturized and well-hydrated throughout the  day


  • Slightly tingle right after cleansing the face
  • Amount of lotion dispensed by the hand-pump is too much (use half a pump)


I give this product 4/5 stars.

Great moisturizer, though I can do without the tingling sensation.

Fall Makeup

16 Aug

I’m not that big on makeup. I love everything simplified…that’s why I have an eyes, cheeks, and lip kit that covers the changing colors each season. Not only is the kit versatile, it also saves me money so I don’t have to keep spending money on new colors.

To me, the best makeup look is one that makes your skin look flawless. Once that’s achieved, you look great with any look.

Currently, I’m looking for a good foundation and primer. I use liquid foundation every now and then, but I end up with more coverage than I want. I’m trying mineral makeup, but it’s a hit or miss. Perhaps cream to powder foundation. As for a primer…I want a good eye and skin primer. That way, the makeup lasts longer and looks better throughout the day.

Here’s my basic makeup regime:

  • Cetaphil Facial Moisturizer ($9)
  • NARS Liquid Foundation ($40) or Everyday Minerals Original Glo Powder Foundation ($3 sample)
  • CoverGirl Bronzer ($4)
  • Brown Eyeliner Pencil/Mascara ($1/sample)
  • Origins Lip Gloss ($14.50)

On fancier days:

  • Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost (as a primer) ($23.50)
  • NYC Liquid Eyeliner ($2)
  • Jasmine La Belle Cosmetic Kit – for eyes, cheeks, and lips ($20)

Just because I’m pretty low-key with makeup doesn’t mean that I don’t love the seasonal trends. Like the NARS Fall Look, (picture from Nitrolicious and NARS) it’s soft, moody, and sophisticated. I’m not sure if I could pull it off, but I’ll be experimenting with my cosmetic kit and if I can’t do it on my own, I’ll be heading over to bluemercury for some professional help!

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Review: Biore Dual Fusion Moisturizer

24 Jul

Since my skin is changing, I thought it best to change my moisturizer as well. I went from slightly oily combination skin to slightly dry yet clear skin. Previously, I used the Neutrogena SPF 30 Moisturizer but it didn’t keep my face hydrated so, I figured my old moisturizer wasn’t cutting it anymore. Biore Dual Fusion Moisturizer claims to be the best for in-between skin and it seemed like the best time to try it.

But what exactly is in-between skin?

“Too old for acne, but too young for wrinkles?”

According to commercials, it’s skin that’s not young oily, acne-prone teenager skin and not dry, older, less elastic and more mature skin of the 40+ year olds. So, I fit right in its target market…the twentysomethings!

For $13.99, I got a 1.7 oz bottle of moisturizer and I’ve been trying it for the past two weeks. The first couple days, I definitely felt more hydrated by the moisturizer and I was happy. After the first week, my skin started getting more dry despite my attempts to stay hydrated and slather on the moisturizer about twice a day. And after the second week, there wasn’t any improvement and my skin become even more dry to the point of flakiness, which never happened before!


  • easy hand pump for dispensing the same amount of lotion everytime
  • light smooth lotion with SPF protection


  • initial hydration but loses moisture over time
  • no positive change in texture and tone


I give this product 2/5 stars.

Great texture and light feel of a moisturizer, good as a sunscreen, but lacking in hydration.

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