Sunday, June 23, 2013

Skincare Review: Must-haves for the Hot, Humid Summer Days

Hi there! Suddenly realized that I'm approaching my 100th post very very soon! Having read about the long list of products that I loved/love, I believe it's time I update you all with the products that I'm still using or keep getting back to - Thanks to those who have reminded me of this! xxx

First on the My Faves series are the staple, holy grail items that I rely on over our sizzling hot and super humid summer here in Hong Kong. That said, these products are brilliant in controling sebum and I shall say pretty heat-resistant with great lasting power. Also for your info, I've combination skin with an oily T-zone which probably secretes enough oil for frying an egg in spring and summer. It's also pretty sensitive, especially to AHA, anything with soy, yeast and natural essential oils, and I get PMS acne pretty much every month. So the products below are all hypoallergenic. By the way, I'm not into beauty products that feature high-tech stuff like nanotechnology and stem cells.

1. Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel (Hypoallergenic)

Can't remember how many bottles I've used. I've tried other cleansers along the course, but still got back to it in the end. It effectively removes the grit and grime without stripping much of your natural moisture layer. My face feels fresh with no stretchy tightening sensation after wash. 

2. Bioderma Hydrabio Moisturizing Toning Lotion (Hypoallergenic)
If the main point of using a toner is to rehydrate your skin after wash, this Bioderma toner does an excellent job. To me, I never think a toner should do anything more than rehydration as I believe my skin needs to be strengthened with something simple and effective before it can take anything more advanced, like brightening and anti-aging. And in fact Bioderma is what I will turn to whenever my skin is fragile and hypersensitive. This toner has never failed to leave my skin soft and supple. The best is, I can use it on my eyes as well, which I love and insist for toners! This toner is in my staple item list...literally the water that quenches my thirty skin after every wash - NO GIMMICK! 

3. Laneige Water Bank Essence (see review HERE)
Again, I've been using this for ages, but it's really THIS good! For those of you who are not familiar with Laneige, it's a popular Korean brand under one of the giants in the korean beauty industry, Amore Pacific Group. The Water Bank series is their best seller which features great hydration power. This essence pumps water into my skin, leaving it...bouncy! Not sticky at all. And my skin feels absolutely hydrated and strengthened after use.  

4. Caudalie Radiance Serum (see review HERE)
The serum contains great anti-oxidants - polyphenols and resveratrol. I only use Radiance Serum for my undereyes on summer days as I really wanna keep my skin feeling light, fresh and supple. It provides a wonderful protective layer for the fragile undereyes by locking in moisture throughout the day. My undereye concealer manages to stay put without sinking into fine lines.   

5. *Innisfree Anti-Trouble Spot Essence W and Essence R
I highly recommend to use the two essence together as they work hand in hand to heal and soothe bumps and pimples, including hormonal ones. They feature the efficacious Jeju torreya seed oil and natural salicylic acid. Essence W feels more like a lotion than an essence. It provides a foundation for the skin treatment. In fact I'm also using the lotion from this Anti-Trouble series between W and R, topically on the affected areas. Essence R usually comes last in my entire skincare routine before bed and I use it sparingly on bumps, pimples and acne-prone areas. My skin is smoothened and the inflammation is usually tamed the next morning, as if nothing has ever happened - Hurray!

6. *Innisfree Capsule Recipe (Jejubija & Tea Tree)
This clay mask contains less kaolin than most other clay masks, which makes it friendlier to sensitive skin like mine. It supplements the Anti-Trouble products in use to tame and heal my sensitive and sometimes troubled skin, especially in times when PMS hits! It's one of the few products I found so far that can combat hormonal acne without strong chemicals. And because of the natural ingredients used, I use this mask every other night or sometimes on consecutive nights when my skin breaks out cuz of hormonal changes. Highly recommended!

7. Avene Cleanance K Cream-Gel (see review HERE)

Although I'm mainly using Essences W and R for acne treatment these days, Cleanace K is still on my desk for intensive treatment. It goes well under makeup. The only thing is, don't use it too generously as it will still burn and peel your skin since it's acidic. Very effective though! ;)

8. Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream
This is the eye cream that I keep getting back to. I love its luxurious texture and above all, its moisturizing power that goes well under makeup the entire day. Unlike many other moisturizing eye cream I've used, including the high-end ones, it seeps into my undereyes to plump them up without getting sticky or oily. It won't clump my undereye concealer even after long hours. Love it! xx

9. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Light (Cream)
I use it as a night cream on summer nights cuz it's a bit too rich for me in the day. It's soothing and moisturizing, just enough for replenishing my skin at the close of the day. It doesn't break my skin even when I use it sparingly. 

10. Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream

This watery cream is one of my new discoveries and I love it upon my first application. The sherbet-like cream seeps through my skin in no time and leaves my skin soft and supple without any burdens on these hot, humid summer days. Beautiful texture and great hydrating power. It's absolutely a delight applying it every day!

The Korean brands I introduced are carried in many online shops (e.g. which offers free international shipping), as well as eBay. 

*Innisfree is another Korean brand under Amore Pacific Group - the mother company of Sulwhasoo. The brand vouches to be environmental-friendly. Their products feature powerful natural ingredients from the beautiful, pollution-free Jeju Island. All their products are hypoallergenic and free of parabens, mineral oils and artificial colorings. 

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