Archive for April, 2009

Part 2 –
Things You Need To Know About Anti-Aging & Wrinkle Creams

The importance of ingredients

Nowadays, the latest and superb ingredients and claims so prominently displayed on the latest and ‘miracle’ expensive anti-aging cream jars are usually nothing more than just cleverly worded promises that do not deliver anything. Most of the time, these ‘greatest’ ingredients are just some ordinary ingredients which do not serve the purposes that the products claim to be.

There are numerous wrinkle creams in the market have misleaded consumers by using ‘innovative’ ingredients which only have hydrating benefits, inflated the claims to eliminate wrinkles.

The ‘right’ percentage to be effective

Do you know that the ingredients which are prominently displayed on the packaging and advertisements, are often present in minuscule quantities in the jar? You’ll probably be asking, ‘why aren’t adequate quantities added to the products?’.

Well, the reason is simple as many of these ingredients are quite expensive. Often, some may feel irritating to the skin and the cosmetic companies may be concerned about high returns.

Technically, it is important to put the correct or maximum percentage on the active ingredient in order to be effective. If the active ingredient is compromised, so is the skin-care product.

Review – SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

 

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask is considering as one of the best seller mask especially in Asia.

Pitera, the key ingredient for all SK-II products, is said to consist of vitamins, minerals and proteins that match the nutrients in skin. It helps revitalize the skin’s natural renewal cycle giving you crystal clear skin.

Product claims

This intensive moisture-boosting mask is enriched with Pitera which deeply hydrates skin. Reviving and relaxing, it leaves skin noticeably radiant, soft and crystal clear. 

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
v.s. SK-II Wrinkle Treatment Mask

If you’re finding it difficult to choose between SK-II Facial Treatment Mask and SK-II Wrinkle Treatment Mask, make no worry! Not to be suprised, both contains the same ingredients. So identical that, I will consider them as a twins only to addressing them in different names.

So innovative of them…

Ingredients

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask contains mainly just water, Pitera, slip agents and preservatives.

Although it does also contain sodium salicylate, but the pH of the product, combined with the characteristics of this type of salicylate (a form of salicylic acid which does not have exfoliating properties), render it a poor choice for exfoliation.

Results

After putting on the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask on my face for 20 mins, I will usually place it on my neck to fully utilize the benefits of the concentrated residue. Amazingly, my skin feels refreshed, moisture and tone. It also helps to brighten my skin noticeably.

Rating

  Expensive though!

Will I buy it again? …… Maybe!

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How To Manage Rosacea

 

Rosacea is a skin problem that causes redness and swelling on the face. Rosacea may include acne-like outbreaks on occasion, but the key feature that describes rosacea is dilated red visible capillaries that actually gave the name rosacea (rosa for red).

Rosacea may first manifest itself as a tendency to flush easily. After a while it progresses to persistent redness in the centre of the face. It may gradually involve the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. As the disease progresses, the redness becomes more severe and persistent. The small, superficial blood vessels, acne-like outbreaks and red nodules become permanently visible.

Managing Rosacea

- Sun exposure is the worst culprit in causing rosacea flares. Sun must be avoided at all times. Besides ultraviolet rays, sun also radiates infrared heat, a known cause of flares.

- It is a must to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday, especially for people with rosacea.

- Avoid heat as must as possible. Any sudden blood flushing of the face can cause a flare. Be careful in hot kitchens and when opening hot ovens or dishwashers. Allow hot cars to air out before getting in.

- Avoid saunas and steambaths.

- Hot water should be avoided on the face. Extremely cold water can also aggravate rosacea.

- It is best to avoid spicy foods, wine (red especially) and other alcoholic beverages. Caffeine and hot beverages are included too.

- Nicotine affects blood flow and it is advisable to be avoided.

- Flares can be caused by heat from exercise. Try to exercise indoors in air-conditioning to avoid overheating the face. Swimming in a cool pool is an ideal choice, although chlorine is also a possible aggravating factor and the skin should be rinsed thoroughly after swimming.

- Products used especially for rosacea should be independently tested for irritation.

- It is best to avoid products with fragrance because fragrances can often cause reactions.

John Little @ Plaza Singapura

Here I’m sharing some interesting cosmetics that you may not be aware of or could likely appeal to you. Venue : John Little beauty counter @ Plaza Singapura.

A floral scented perfume, small enough to fit into your bag. Reveal your feminine charms anywhere, anytime.

Apply the balm under your temple, neck, wrist or behind your ears. It can also be used as nail nourishment.

Solid Perfume 3 scents : Madonna Lily / Rose / Sweet Fruit @$13.50 each

These unique mascaras, called Fiberwig, are marketed as fake lashes in liquid form. Instead of the traditional mascara liquid, fiber is used to maximize or lengthen your eye lashes.

Fibering (comes in black and brown) are priced at $25 and Fibering Finisher (for corner lashes) are priced at $16.

If you are a chocolate lover, you may want to check this out. This chocolate face mask is enriched with vitamins and is an excellent moisturizer that leaves your skin soft and glowing.

Calling out all Hello Kitty lovers! You may not want to miss this fun.

Hello Kitty Cosmetics consists of Bath & Shower Gel, Eau de Toilette, Eye Shadow, Nail Polish, Lip Gloss, Hand & Body Cream, price from $5.90 onwards.

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Ingredients – Is Fragrance or Mineral Plant Extract Bad For Skin?

 

Many different fragrances, derived from various sources, are used in cosmetics. Some are natural, having been extracted from plants, such as essential oils. Turpenes extracted from trees are another variety. Some musks are derived from animal by-products and synthetic fragrances are developed.

There is no real advantage in using natural over synthetic fragrance, except perhaps in the actual odor.

Fragrance is the number one cause of cosmetic reactions. It does not matter if the fragrance is natural or synthetic. Frequent fragrance allergens include eugenol, hydroxycitronellal, cinnamic alcohol, geraniol and ylang-ylang. Fragrance can contain as many as 600 individual chemicals. Combining these chemicals with vehicles and delivery systems can increase the potential for skin penetration and, therefore, increase the potential for skin reaction. There are approximately 400 essential oils, which are also fragrances or groups of fragrances. Many essential oils have had very little formal scientific testing, and may present a major problem for sensitive skin.

Another interesting fact is that so-called natural cosmetics that contain a lot of botanical ingredients actually require more preservatives to be added due to the breakdown of the plant ingredients and the presence of fungi on the plant extracts. Many people think of natural ingredients as being less irritating, but they actually can be more irritating due to the presence of so many chemicals in each extract, and the need to use larger quantities of preservative to inhibit growth of unwanted organisms in the product.

Although essential oils are widely used in esthetics and certainly have their place in facial therapy, they are also capable of producing allergic reactions. Plant extracts of any type are made up of a variety of chemicals, from salicylic acid to water to glucose. They may also contain very small amounts of insecticide or other contaminants. Unfortunately, when we add a large number of plant extracts, we add many new chemicals. It is best to stay with known chemicals when dealing with ultra-sensitive skin.

Source : Skin Care Beyond The Basics

Review – Wakilala Clear Wash & Bright-up Essence

I used to hate the dark patches on my armpits all “thanks” to the dead skin cells which I find them unsightly. Dead skin cells are accumulated due to the bacteria from bad ventilation and sweat glands.

Wakilala Clear Wash, from Japan, a gentle exfoliating peel specially designed for armpit, is one product I swear by. It is claimed to help remove the surface of the skin. It has recently been changed to a new packaging. Many Asian women adore and go GA-GA about this product.

Usage

Before you start, do make sure the armpits are dry before applying the Wakilala Clear Wash. And it is best not to use straight after shave or shower.

  • Squeeze a small amount about 1cm onto the loofah pad. (my recommendation – The Body Shop Smooth and Renew Loofah Pad – comes in 3x @ US$6)
  • If required, you may add a small amount of water onto the loofah.
  • Rub the armpit in a circular motion for 20 seconds.
  • Leave it on for another 30 seconds before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
  • Dry the armpit with clean cloth and follow up with the Wakilala Bright-Up Essence.

Result

Wakilala Clear Wash helps to remove the dead skin cells effectively. Skin becomes refresh and clean. The darkening of the skin has significantly lightened.

I love it so much, I couldn’t leave without it. I go CRAZY when it was out of stock for a while, and I couldn’t find a good replacement for it.

Rating

Will I buy it again? …… Yes, definitely!

You may want to check out the Wakilala Bright Up Essence. It contains AHA and BHA that are proven to exfoliate the surface of the skin and improve moisture content.

Beware The 16 Signs Of Aging

 

If any of these problems are already visible and they bother you, place a check mark next to them. These are the issues to which you might want to consider giving a little extra care, in addition to following a good skin-care regimen and leading a healthy lifestyle. This way, we can fine-tune the precise plan of attack that will be the most effective for you. 

The visible 16 signs of aging

Dryness. The skin’s oil glands reduce their production significantly after about age 30, and the loss continues over the years.

Enlarged pores. Some people are predisposed to having enlarged pores and others are blessed with non-existent pores, but in both cases the loss of the skin’s underlying support system causes them to open up even more with age.

Sun damage/loss of skin tone. Melanocytes begin to burn out when you reach your late 30s and 40s, reducing the skin’s ability to fight sun damage and often causing uneven pigmentation.

Loss of skin elasticity. The loss of collagen and elastin are largely to blame for the appearance of wrinkles, but a lot of dynamic expressions – in the form of smiling, frowning and squinting – contribute as well.

Thinning. At about age 40, the dermis and the skin’s fat layer begin to thin. The process picks up steam after your 50th birthday. The unhappy result: sagging and the loss of the plump, youthful softness. The loss of the fat layer also makes the skin more fragile and likely to abrade.

Frown lines, lines on the forehead and from the nose to the mouth. As the skin ages and collagen breaks down, the skin will yield to the pulling force whenever you smile or frown and develop a wrinkle along the pulling force of the muscle.

Increased healing time. Our healing time begins to increase once we reach our 30s, with epidermal regeneration taking twice as long in our 70s and 80s as it did in our earlier years. The result is not only a dulled complexion, but also a longer wound-healing process.

Loss of firmness. In the dermis, cells called fibroblasts constantly replenish our skin’s supply of collagen and elastin. Fibroblasts lose their ability to function over the years, resulting in the reduction of collagen and elastin.

Broken capillaries. These fine red lines appear most frequently on the cheeks and nose, and they’re due to the proliferation of many tiny broken capillaries.

Dark discolorations/pigmentation spots. Hyperpigmentation is one of the first signs of aging. Sun-induced skin discoloration begins in the late teens and early 20s and get continually worse.

Reduced ability to repair damage. Overall, the body loses its ability to repair free-radical damage, so changes in the cells become more pronounced, accelerating aging.

Wrinkles. At age 30, collagen and elastin start to lose their strength, leaving the skin with some wrinkling.

Loss of fat. It’s the loss of fat under the eyes and in the cheeks that gives rise to a hollowed, aged look.

Eye wrinkles or crow’s-feet. When we reach our late 30s, little folds of soft skin have turned into sharp-edged lines around the eyes. However, once we enter 40s, most of us develop lines around the eyes that remain visible even when our faces are still. 

Sallow, dull or lack of radiance skin. When we’re in our 20s and 30s, our skin exfoliates well even by itself, giving us the pinkish, radiant glow of new skin cells. But as we age, the exfoliating process slows down dramatically. 

Sagging around the jaw and neck. A sagging jawline happens because of a combination of thinning skin, loss of subcutaneous fat, loss of muscle bulk, and loss of bone in the cheek and jaw. The 90º between the neck and the chin is also lost as we age for the same reasons, plus the fact that the muscles and tendons in the neck change consistency and are less able to follow the chinline.

Review – La Prairie Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold

 

Frankly, I never have good impression on La Prairie, maybe because I find their product marketing tactics aggressive, confusing and over-promised. I will reveal more when I do the next La Prairie product review. As I have bought one of their eye product before, they have since been faithfully sending me direct mailers on their promotional sets and new product launch. 

During the launch of La Prairie Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold, I was given a generous size sample to try the product.

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold, a skin enrichment serum, is claimed to contain pure 24-carat gold that helps to brighten the skin and enhance its appearance.

Product claim

Illuminates and brightens skin immediately while reducing age spots. Rapidly plumps lines and wrinkles within one hour. Speeds exfoliation to reveal fresh, younger-looking skin. Enhances natural collagen and elastin production.

Ingredients

Its over-claimed ingredient, hyaluronic acid, is just a good water-binding agent that helps to seals moisture in the skin. Nothing like what they claimed as key to the wrinkle-reducing, skin-smoothening phenomenon of La Prairie Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold which fill in lines and wrinkles within an hour of application. This is way too exaggerative. Come on, YES, it is true that hyaluronic acid will entrap water to the skin and thereby reducing the look of wrinkles and lines. As I said, only ‘the look of’ and don’t expect this ingredient to eliminate the wrinkles and lines. Dream on, baby!

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold contains a tiny amount of another over-acclaimed ingredient, Pure Gold, which claimed to improve skin texture. But sad to say till now, there is no scientific benefit for skin at all.

But it do contains some beneficial antioxidants like panax ginseng root extract, equisetum arvense horsetail extract, ascrobyl glucoside, phyllanthus emblica fruit extract, pisum sativum and arginine. Other beneficial ingredients like lactic acid, glycolic acid and malic acid, are AHA that help to exfoliate dead skin cells by breaking down the substance in skin that holds skin cells together.

Results

I don’t see there is any improvement on the skin other than the feel-good texture and skin that feels smooth after application. There’s no benefit ingredient to help what most of us concern like removing wrinkles, lines or reverse signs of aging. The claims are not realistic and it is not worth the money.

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold is definitely a feel-good product than a look-good product.

Rating

Will I buy it? …… Don’t think so!

 

The Telltale Signs Of Aging Neck

 

 

When it comes to skin care, most women tend to focus on their faces, forgetting about the other parts of their bodies. Many women barely have time to deal with putting on their makeup and flossing, much less paying attention to their skin care needs from the neck down!

Not just face

Yet some of the most telltale signs of aging are often quite evident from the neck down. This is especially true if you haven’t been as diligent about protecting your body from sun exposure as you may have been with protecting your face. Your hands, forearms, and chest can look older than need be if the proper steps aren’t taken. If you are over 40, sun damage (brown spots, creping, and loss of elasticity) is most likely becoming more and more evident on those areas.

Protect your neck

The neck often gives away a woman’s age. The skin there is extremely delicate, with fewer of the oil glands that help facial skin heal and repair itself, so it’s much more prone to damage and scarring than the face. It is usually been neglected when moisturizers and anti-aging creams and sunscreen are carefully applied on the face each day. As a result, the skin on the neck can become wrinkled, loose, riddled with hyperpigmentation spots or broken blood vessels, and develop a crepey texture.

Neck aging

As the skin around the neck is much thinner than the face, it therefore ages more readily as a result of sun damage. While fat is lost from under the neck skin with unsightly strands and bands of skin and muscle, turkey necks, horizontal lines and double chin, the most common signs of neck aging, start to appear.

Taking care of your neck is as important as taking care of your face. Always apply sunscreen and moisturizers to the neck. 

Book Review –
The Japanese Skincare Revolution

Many women like me, will love to know on why the Japanese women have such a beautiful skin and what are their beauty secrets. Before, there have never been a book in English which reveal the secrets of their successful beauty regimens. Not until recently, I finally came across this book named ‘The Japanese Skincare Revolution’ by Chizu Saeki which I bought without a second thought.

The author, Chizu Saeki, Japan’s #1 best-selling beauty advisor, is a practicing esthetician and beauty consultant whose dream is to teach ordinary women how to become more beautiful. Born in the year of 1943, she doesn’t look anything like her age of 66. She has worked all her life in the beauty industry and has been working in big cosmetic companies like Guerlain and Parfums Christian Dior.

Chizu Saeki’s message

  • To achieve a beautiful skin like the Japanese, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on cosmetics and treatments to achieve it.
  • Your hands are the ultimate tools – they can gauge your skin’s condition like a sensor and smooth out wrinkles like an iron. They can also warm and soothe tensed-up skin, making it more receptive to skincare ingredients.
  • The effectiveness of any skincare product depends greatly on its use. It’s how you use your cosmetics, not what you use, that will transform your skin.
  • The importance of proper cleansing and washing

> Step-by-step face cleansing

In this book, Chizu Saeki is proud to introduce the unique lotion mask – a moisturizing treatment for keeping the skin fresh and lustrous; messages for toning the muscles of the face; no-nonsense remedies for wrinkles, sagging, oiliness, pimples and blackheads; water massages to energize the skin; and much, much more.

At a glance

Chapter 1 – Getting Started

  • A short list of essential tools and cosmetics.

Chapter 2 – Skincare Basics & Massage Techniques

  • Simpy touching or pressing your face with your fingers and palms, or wrapping your hands around it, will do wonders for your skin.

Chapter 3 – Lymph Massages

  • Doing these massages daily while sitting in the bath, watching TV, or just before applying makeup will make your skin grow lustrous.

> Lymph node pressure points

Chapter 4 – Everyday Skincare

  • Many women spend a fortune on beauty salons – but you can get similar results at home for a fraction of the cost.

Chapter 5 – Cures for Problem Skin

  • When I turned 40, my skin went through hell. But by looking after it carefully day after day, I was able to solve most of the major problems.

Chapter 6 – Quick Fix Spa Secrets

  • Meeting a friend you haven’t seen for ages? Got a hot date? Have an important interview tomorrow? No worries – here are some emergency remedies for quick results.

My Review

I personally find this book very inspirational. With all the step-by-step instructions, these make it easy to read.I especially fond of the lotion mask and the toning massage.

> Chizu Saeki's original lotion mask

> Chizu Saeki’s original lotion mask

The Lotion Mask is claimed as the key to beautiful skin. All I need is the cotton, water, lotion, and 3 minutes of my time.

> Chizu Saeki-style massage techniques

This book also covers the 6 unique massages for toning the muscles of the face and smoothing out wrinkles. I’ve already made a habit of lifting my cheeks and mouth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. I really hope to see some improvement from it.

Rating

Will I buy her other books? …… Most likely!