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Welcome to my beauty blog, and you will find a lot of beauty sharings here. As a shopaholic and a skincare maniac, I always like to try new things in market. And the most important thing is I just share what I had tried for at least a month to get most trustworthy testimonial. Besides, as a cosmetic analyst, I'll share with you more interesting facts behind these bottles and jars. Feel free to drop by here and I am looking forward to approaching you soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Skincare Myth: Black Foods make us Dark?

It's totally nonsense and ridiculous! Skin color is determined primarily by the amount and type of melanins. Variations in skin color are mainly genetic in origin, if food can change our skin tone, then MJ could drink more milk during his stay at US, and he does not need any lightening treatment. If Caucasians could take coffee to tan their skin into brownish wheat colour, why don't they just rest at home (ok, now you have tanning bed) but go to beach have a sun bath under the hot sun? Will we really become dark because of too much black foods intake such as coffee, tea, soy sauce and etc?

Some researches showed that tyrosine (amino acid) rich foods such as cheese, egg, soy protein isolate and other protein-rich foods. Tyrosine could be converted to melanin (pigments that caused darker skin). Yes, if you worry about it you could limit protein intake but it is not necessary to avoid it totally since tyrosine could also convert to thyroid, neurotransmitter dopamine and adrenal hormones.

In fact, tyrosine convert to melanin request helping hand from tyrosinase, an enzyme contained in some fruits and vegetables (like apples, or potatoes) responsible for the dark pigments (enzymatic browning of tyrosinase with oxygen and iron-containing phenols) produced when cut raw food is exposed to air. Tyrosinase inhibitors such as kojic acid, arbutin (bearberry extract), licorice extract, mulberry extract inactivate tyrosinase by chelating with its vital copper ion and suppressing the tautomerization from Dopachrome to DHICA, L-ascorbic acid and its derivatives which include L- ascorbic acid ( Vitamin C), act as reducing agents on melanin intermediates, thus blocking the oxidation chain reaction at various points from tyrosine /DOPA to melanin. All these tyrosinase inhibitors are widely applicable in whitening skincare products.

In addition, photosensitive compounds (bergapten, fagopyrin, furo-coumarin) in celery, coriander, basil, bergamot enhance the body’s absorption of sunlight, so that the incidence of sunlight dermatitis increased risk, it is advisable to take these foods at dinner but not applicable to all people.

People who often engaged in outdoor activities can eat more tomatoes, kiwi, oranges, cabbage, strawberries, and even olive oil, sesame oil, argan oil or jojoba oil can play a sun, sunshine role.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beauty info:More on Exfoliation

To my opinion, unless you are red inflammed acne skin or thin skin after doing laser or peeling treatment, the best exfoliation way is cocktail treatment of chemical exfoliation (involved in fruit acids and enzymes) and physical exfoliation (scrub, exfoliating mask).

Start with gel based facial peel containing fruit acids such as AHA, BHA, PHA or enzymes such as papain or apple enzymes apply on skin for 15-20 minutes (if you experience some itchiness, do not worry, just rinse it off immediately)before rinse off with water, give some time for these acids work on dead skin cell by softening it. In addition, fruit acids stimulate synthesis of collagen, keratin & hyaluronic acid within epidermic layer, indirectly to say, it is suitable for thin skin with visible blood vessels, as well as inflammed acne skin because fruit acids not only mildly exfoliate without stimulate fragile skin, but also hydrate skin at the same time. Besides living nature vitalising exfoliant, you have more choices such as Juice Beauty Green apple peel, Elemental Herbology facial glow radiance peel, suki renewal bio-resurfacing facial peel,Natura Bisse Glyco Extreme Peel, Doshacare Exfoliant, Sophyto dual action exfoliating treatment and h2o+ Sea Results Overnight Perfecting Peel.

Second, after chemical exfoliation is done, you can start do physical exfoliation, either scrub or exfoliating mask. Undoubtedly scrub is the fastest step, if you have more time, give up scrub and choose exfoliating mask. Apply on skin until it is completely dry, use wet gauze to remove mask in circular motion to push away dead skin cell (you softened them just now, will even make them push more) , last rinse with water. At this moment, it's best time to apply mask since your skin is breathable, it absorbs nutrients of masks in maximum power.

Choose scrub based on criteria: granule size, hardness. Large granule for rough area, suitable as body scrub, fine granules are suitable to use on face, as the smaller it is the easier for the granules to contact with skin to remove horny layer efficiently. Scrub beads also divided to plant based natural source and synthetic made. Natural source such as sea salt, cane sugar, ground almond, adzuki beans, oat, apricot kernels and jojoba beads, it contains natural lipid and vitamins to nourish skin but the size is always uneven. Synthetic granules such as Magnesium oxide, polyethylene, PVC, silicon-derived (Magnesium aluminium silicate),the size of granules is even, but lack of skin supplementation.

Recommendations of scrubs according to skin types, based on hardness of granules, and product base (cream or gel):
oily/combination: mukti gentle facial exfoliant, la mer the refining facial, h2o+ sea mineral scrub, sulwhasoo white ginseng lightening gel

dry skin: trilogy gentle facial exfoliant, origins never a dull moment, bobbi brown buffing grains for face adzuki bean powder, kimberly sayer Gentle Almond and Lavender Organic Face scrub

scarring:dr brandt microdermabrasion in a jar,origins modern friction, mary kay microdermabrasion

Exfoliating mask: Living Nature cleansing clay peel, Dr alkaitis exfoliating mask,Murad pomegranate exfoliating mask, The Organic Pharmacy flower petal exfoliating mask


Product Comment:Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser

If you think that most cleansing milk make your face feel greasy, have a unbreathable film left on skin after wash, Living Nature vitalising cleanser will definitely make up your mind. Experience the extraordinary smooth and fresh feeling just wiping off the cleanser with serviette, before washing or following by lathered foaming cleanser.

A oil-soluble dirt removing creamy cleanser formulated with moisturising manuka honey, glycerin, macadamia nut oil, avocado nut oil and naturally cleansing Kumerahou to gently remove all traces of make-up and impurities, leaving skin clean, dewy and soft.

Aqua (water), Cetearyl olivate (from olive oil), Sorbitan olivate (from olive oil), Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Macadamia ternifolia seed oil, Glycerin (vegetable glycerine), Pomaderris kumerahou flowers/leaf extract, Glucose (plant sugar), Mel (manuka honey), Parfum (natural fragrance)*, Sclerotium gum, Decyl glucoside (from coconut oil), Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, Glucose oxidase (from milk), Lactoperoxidase (from milk), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil, Totarol (totara extract), Limonene*, Linalool*. * From natural essential oils

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beauty Info:Red Ginseng, Root of Youth

Panax Ginseng has long been used as a medicine for over 5000 years but has become a modern miracle to Western civilization as well as that of Asian in recent years.

Turning the fresh ginseng into red ginseng is a long involved process. After the ginseng is harvested, washed and inspected, it is cured with peel, steamed and then dried. During the drying process the roots are systematically steeped in baths of herbal recipes, which will cause the roots to become brittle.

Steaming preserves the ginseng's natural state and intensifies the elements by preventing the breakdown of active ingredients and biochemically altering the roots composition (Falcarinol, G-Rh2, Panaxytriol, maltol, panaxacol, panaxydol, panaxytriol. sesquiterpenoids, monoterpenoids) during aging process. The process of steam curing with peel gives shiny reddish-orange color to the ginseng. Compared with white ginseng, red ginseng is firmer, more commonly used as a herbal medicine than white ginseng, and there is an increasing number of researches on the pharmacological activities of red ginseng-specific ginsenosides.

Constituent conversion to improve activeness of a plant via fermentation and aging technique is practiced by pioneering Koreans, that's why herbal cosmetic is standing firm in this competitive beauty industry with this long kept, precious technology. Jaeumdan and Jaeumboweedan of Sulwhasoo, Gonjindan of History of Whoo, are the combination of various Korean medicinal herbal fermentation brews, they are to create functional constituents that do not exist in plant themselves. Red ginseng is the classic example of activeness improved plant, therefore red ginseng is widely available in Korean cosmetic products, as well as other brands in all over the world.

Major premium skincare brands highlight red ginseng, besides sulwhasoo (concentrated ginseng cream), another premium line is HERA (kathano cream). Other brands include SISLEY (ecological compound) and UGBang. Of course, many more skincare products use red ginseng as the main active ingredient or part of the ingredient lists, for it has excellent antioxidant and anti-aging properties, and it can also maintain the vitality, elasticity and regenerative capacity of mature skin.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Product Comment: Living Nature Eye Makeup Remover

I feel cool & refreshed when using this! Dunno whether you agree it smells pleasant, but this definitely a kick start before cleansing milk. This light and gentle formula with its infusion of soothing flower extracts: Calendula & Chamomile; Kumerahou & decyl glucoside are mild cleansing agents (surfactants) that perfect for even sensitive eyes while gently removing all traces of eye make-up, including heavy metals caused by eye shadow.

Red, inflammed skin can apply this eye makeup remover as cleansing water to cleanse their face until condition is soothed and calmed, follow-up with toner and moisturizer after cleansing. Simply wet cotton pad with eye makeup remover and wipe off your face.

Ingredient list:
Aqua, Decyl glucoside, Glycerin, Citrus grandis seed extract, Mel, Calendula officinalis flower, Chamomilla recutita oil**, Pomaderris kumerahou flower/leaf extract, Leptospermum scoparium oil, Melaleuca alternifolia oil. ** Certified organic


Acne Therapy:Isotretinoin (Retinol)

Isotretinoin is often used to treat severe acne, especially acne in pustule or cyst form, or recurrent cases after some oral antibiotic treatment. Isotretinoin not only normalizes keratosis (growth of keratin on the skin) to avoid pore congestion, but also balances oil/sebum secretion evidently to suppress the growth of acne bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) , thus controls inflammation caused by it.

Isotretinoin treatment usually takes 3-4 months, and only 15% of patients will experience break out after three years, who have had bad lifestyles such as staying up until midnight. It will further worsen hormone imbalance (and affect oil secretion).

The biggest problem of isotretinoin is that it can cause fetal malformation during pregnancy, therefore patients must practise contraception (birth control) after stopping this medication for a month. That's why isotretinoin cannot be an OTC (over-the-counter) medicine, you need to conduct a doctor before taking it.

Apart from that, isotretinoin treatment can cause dryness on skin and mucosa, lip crack, and even itchiness. So I strongly suggest that anybody who wants to get isotretinoin treatment should focus on hydration treatment and apply lip balm to improve the dryness. Stop using oil control skincare ranges (do not think that "cocktail" treatments will solve the problem faster, YES, in most cases but not this) , it will only aggravate dryness condition (skin may start peeling off).


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Beauty Info:Liposomes In Skincare

Liposome is a small membrane (20-300 nm, it is about 1/50 of hair thickness) double layer in shape, phospholipid membrane sphere to encapsulate water soluble as well as oil soluble compounds (peptide, antioxidant & vitamins).

Phospholipid molecules consist of a nonpolar head (hydrophobic) structure with a polar tails (hydrophilic) structure at one end. When dispersed in water, they form bilayer membranes, composed two monolayer layer sheets of lipid molecules with their nonpolar surfaces facing each other and their polar surfaces facing the aqueous medium. In fact, the bilayer membrane is essentially a cell membrane without its protein components. Similarly, the intercellular substance found between the skin cells is composed of phospholipids, ceramides, triglyceride, free fatty acids, cholesterol and water. If skin cells are slightly damaged or if the intercellular substance is lost through aggressive cleansing methods, liposomes are able to perfectly replenish the missing lipids.

Due to the fact that their composition of phospholipids is identical to that of the cell walls, an exceptional compatibility is guaranteed to allow it easily absorbed and metabolised (as lipid component) by the skin, and provide your skin with "nutrients" that would not be absorbed easily otherwise. When the same substances are put onto the skin under normal circumstances no allergic reaction will occur. Therefore, transference by liposomes of allergenic substances, which in all rights should not be in the skin such as perfumes and chemical preservatives.
Since the depth of penetration is directly related to their size, the smaller the liposome, the deeper they are able to penetrate. However the depth of penetration of a liposome also depends on whether the liposome’s phospholipids are built of saturated or unsaturated fatty acids. Many scientific studies have shown that liposomes consisting of unsaturated fatty acids / phospholipids can penetrate well into the skin and transport active substances.

In cosmetic industry, liposome is applied to deliver anti-aging or whitening functional compounds to our skin effectively.
- Cosme Decorte White Science and Moisture Liposome applied liposome delivery system to transport ascorbyl glucoside (whitening agent) and moisturizing agents respectively
- Amway latest launched product, crème LX also using liposomes to encapsulate Roxisomes, Cardiolipin & L-Carnosine to contribute promising anti-aging effects.

- Suki transport ascrobyl palmitate by liposome delivery system in whitening products such as renewal bio-resurfacing facial peel, ascorbyl polypeptide liposome could be found in concentrated balancing toner; retinol liposome found in bio-active purifying face serum & balancing day lotion.
- Aubrey Organics Lumessence skincare ranges deliver CoQ10 liposomes, Moisturizing & vitamins liposomes to the skin.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Product Comment:Suki exfoliating foaming cleanser

An advanced organic brand from United States, celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and other Hollywood stars are advocates; Kate Dillon is ambassador of the brand recently. This fruit puree-like exfoliating foaming cleanser has delicate lemon & lemongrass scents, the frosty ground rice & cane sugar forms very fine particles to remove dead skin cell, saponified olive oil produces creamy lather to remove dirt thoroughly. Organic herbs and orange natural vitamin C, AHA and BHA will help out uneven skin tone, reduce scarring and fine lines, make skin looks glossy.

This face scrub mimics Siam spa to breathe in fresh lemon and lemongrass scents. Sugar will start to melt when contact with water, form smaller particles to work on. Suki exfoliating foaming cleanser is a daily cleanser, cleansing milk is recommended as follow-up skincare routine.

organic non-gmo rice flour (oryza sativa), natural sugar (sucrose), organic saponified olive oil (potassium olivate), organic calendula (calendula officinalis), chamomile (anthemis nobilis), lavender (lavandula angustifolia), lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus), orange peel (citrus senensis) & seaweed (algae) extracts, aroma (pure premium steam distilled essential oil)


Acne Therapy:Antibiotics

Oral antibiotics have been long term used frequently to treat acne, it can kill Propionibacterium acnes, an anaerobic bacteria that caused continuous inflammatory response, thus work efficiently on pustules and papules.

Antibiotics work by several mechanisms. The most important is the decrease in the number of bacteria in and around the follicle. Antibiotics also work by reducing the irritating chemicals produced by white blood cells. Finally, antibiotics reduce the concentration of free fatty acids in the sebum, also reducing the inflammatory response.

Antibiotics take usually 3-4 weeks & above to work on acne treatment, physicians/dermatologists will adjust the concentration/dosage of antibiotics according to skin conditions. After stop taking antibiotics, we could still continue acne treatment with topical acne cream and AHA products.

Common antibiotics:
tetracycline, erythromycin, minocycline, doxycycline, clindamycin

All antibiotics can cause candida vaginal yeast infections in women. Tetracycline seems to be the antibiotic that most frequently has this side effect. All oral antibiotics can also lessen the effectiveness of birth control pills.