Tag Archives: Japan

Cure – Natural Aqua Gel

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Those of you who’d read my earlier post on exfoliation would have learnt about Cure, a product that I’d recommended for removal of dead skin cell by softening it and not through abrasion (as with scrubs). This, I find, is a safe product to use once to twice a week – though some reviews claim that you can use this more than once on the same day if you feel that your dead skin has not been completely removed (ie your skin still feel rough).

About the Product

Cure is made in Japan by Toyo Net Japan, and it is the company’s star product. You will see from the ingredient list below, that Water is the main ingredient for this peeling gel. There are, in the market, many peeling gels. In Asia, a popular peeling gel by Ginvera is one of the earliest form of peeling gel having dominated the asian market for more than 10 years. However, Cure remains different because it does not react just on any surface; and only turns into milky water when it comes into contact with dead skin. This is the point where one will gently rub to remove the softened dead skin.

Here’s the ingredient list for Cure (taken off Toyo Net website):

WATER-90.66%

Activated hydrogen water from purified water is used.

GLYCERIN-5%

Widely used moisturizing ingredient that contains high hygroscopic nature and has been used for long time.

CROSSPOLYMER (ACRYLARES/C-10-30 ALKY ACRYLATE)

The same liquid as used by ophthalmologists for eye surgery.
We use it for thickener.

DICOCODIMONIUM CHLORIDE・STEARTRIMONIUM BROMIDE

It is to respond to old deadskin. Commonly used for conditioner.

ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT-<1%

An expected ingredient that moisturizes and protects rough and dry skin.

GINKGO BILOBA EXTRACT-<1%

Extract from ginkgo, expected to moisturize, to prevent skin mottle and freckles.

ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT-<1%

It has anti-inflammation and antibacterial effects and is expected to solve skin problems solutions.

BUTYLENE GLYCOL-<1%

Color-free and scent-free moisturizing liquid

ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL-<0.33%

An ingredient contained in fruits, vegetables, and alcoholic drinks.
We use it to blend stearyltrimonium bromide

Using the Product

Some of my friends had used Cure on their unwashed faces (ie. after removing makeup or if they don’t wear makeup, to use use it before washing their face). However, I realised that it is most effective when I use it after I have washed my face, without Clarisonic (note: Clarisonic have some abrasive effects – hence mild exfoliation). An important step thereafter is to dab dry my face (no water!) before I spread 2-3 pumps of Cure onto my face. I’ll leave it to ’emulsify’ (or turn ‘milky’) before I gently and softly run my fingers over my face to lift the softened dead skin. I will find lots of bits coming off my face. I will do this for about 1 minute before I rinse with cool or room temperature water to remove the bits.  Once done, I will apply my usual toner and moisturizer to protect the new skin that was revealed.

Another use for this product, is to remove long standing grim in hard to reach areas or under the necks, back of the knees, elbows, etc. It has been used on children below 12 years of age to remove grime that they did not wash off during shower – effective!

Where to Buy the Product

Cure is widely available in Watsons in Singapore. This Japanese product is also available in Japan drugstores (I read this somewhere). In Singapore, it retail for about S$42 a bottle but one bottle can last you a few months. Users have to remember that once you open the bottle, you should finish it within a year (the effectiveness will weaken since it does not have the usual preservatives as the website claims).

This is a staple in my bathroom. I hope it will become yours too! 🙂

Skincare Tip – Daily Skincare Essentials (Part II)

Cleansing is important, so is exfoliation to remove older or dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. Both the process of removing and the removal of the dead skin cells are beneficial to our skin and health because the former helps to improve circulation (its like massaging your skin and relevant acupuncture points along with it); while the latter improves the absorption of skincare products and enables the skin to breathe more easily.

My Essentials – Exfoliation

Exfoliation is important. It supports the renewal cycle of our skin as the renewal process becomes sluggish as we age. Removing the old skin helps to maintain that renewal process, brightens our skin and enables the skin to perform at its best. You can find out more about exfoliation here.  Most skincare experts and aestheticians will tell you that exfoliations should not be carried out too frequently. Depending on what you use, ranging from acids, to scrubs to dermabrasions, exfoliations can be as infrequent as once every month or twice a week. Exfoliation may be more frequent if very diluted compound is included in your facial wash – hence its important that you read the labels and monitor your skin condition closely before and after each exfoliation.

I know I’ve blogged about Abidis Peeling A recently. It has helped to smoothen my skin and allows me to use it in the day time like a normal cleanser.  However, considering the price, I still prefer to use Dr. Wu Special Treatment Intensive Skin Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid or Cure from Japan. These two products are mild and they only remove the dead skin cells. I will post a review of Cure soon, but this has been a trusted product that I use when I find my skin to be rough or dry. I do not need to worry about it over exfoliating my skin because the product (which is water based) only reacts when it comes into contact with dead skin cells. I can use this product twice in a day without causing irritation to my already sensitive problem skin.

There are many reasons for my skin outbreak, and I did notice that my skin renewal is not as efficient after I turn 30 and many times the acne will come out red and painful. I counteracted the problem with Clarisonic which provides some form of exfoliation whenever I use it. I also make it a point not to use Clarisonic when I have used or plan to use Cure to help remove the dead skin cells – to ensure I am not over exfoliating due to Clarisonic’s more abrasive tendencies depending on the amount of pressure exerted on the equipment. I will, however, use Dr Wu’s Treatment Intensive Skin Renewal Serum if I find that my skin is still rough after using Clarisonic, to enhance the exfoliation.

As for frequency of exfoliation, I only do it when my skin feels rough despite the use of Clarisonic. However, I will not use the products every day or every alternate day because I do not believe in regular exfoliation even when the skin is in good condition. A bit of an overkill, don’t you think?

In any case, I do not use Mandelic Acid products in the day, but more at night. The next day, my skin will look brighter than before and smoother too. Nope, I do not have pieces of skin falling off like some AHA or BHA peels. :p

About Mandelic Acid (杏仁酸)

In an article published by Mark B. Taylor M.D in 1999 issue of Cosmetic Dermatology, mandelic acid is “an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) named after the German mandel (almond) and derived from the hydrolysis of an extract of bitter almonds has been studied extensively for its possible uses in treating common skin problems such as photoaging, irregular pigmentation, and acne.”  In an open trial investigation, it was “shown that mandelic acid is useful in suppressing pigmentation, treating inflammatory noncystic acne, and rejuvenating photoaged skin. Moreover it has proven useful in preparing the skin for laser peeling and in helping the skin heal after laser surgery.”  I would recommend that you read this article for more information on Mandelic Acid before you go grab a bottle to try.

What about your exfoliation routine? Did it help you address your skincare concerns?

Brigitte – Blooming Rouge Lipstick

wpid-20150207_120426.jpgI’ve been scouring the internet for some background on Brigitte Blooming Rouge lipstick which I’ve bought it from Watsons in Singapore some time back. I was re-organizing one of my make up pouches (oops, yes I have more than 1 because I can’t decide which of the pretty colours I should bring along with me all the time! :p) and decided that perhaps I should do a review on this lipstick.

About this Product

I am not able to give more background on this product, aside from the fact that this is a Japanese cosmetic brand, which is very popular with young ladies in their 20s. The underlying concept of this brand is to mimic the ethereal look of candy sweet girls who are almost doll like (sounds very kawai!). Anyway, Brigitte is a eye makeup cosmetic brand under Sho-bi Corporation in Japan (founded in 1948), a company listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange.  The company has had several other cosmetic brands under them, including Lumikki and Playgirl. Brigitte’s focus is on eye lashes, lash wands and shadows for young girls. It is intended to be a drugstore / pharmacy brands so that it is able to reach out to its target customers. Recently, Sho-bi has also gone into the development of coloured contact lenses that would enhance the eyes. Picture this, lovely long lashes with soft eye makeup, enhanced with decorative contact lens! Anyway, I’m not going to delve too much into the main product line under Brigitte, but will talk about the Blomming Rouge Lipstick. The Blooming Rouge Lipstick is intended to be longer lasting and hydrating. There are very few lipstick shades under Brigitte and I must admit they all look lovely on asian skin! The Blooming Rouge also includes lip gloss (which I have not tried) but that too comes with limited shades.

From the Sho-bi Online Store, the ingredients of this lipstick are:  jojoba oil olive squalane (moisturizing) Color: PK-1 / PK-2 / CR-1 / RD-1 / OR-1 / BE-1component: triisostearate polyglyceryl-2, diisostearyl malic acid , macadamia nut oil, triethylhexanoin, ceresin, polyethylene, dimethylsilyl silica, candelilla wax, microcrystalline wax, tocopherol, squalene, jojoba seed oil, titanium oxide, mica, Yellow 4, Red 202, Red 201, Blue 1.

Using the Product

The Brigitte Blooming Rouge Lipstick does glide on nicely, with little to no feeling of stickiness. It did last longer than regular lipstick but I didn’t find it more hydrating than the other lipsticks that I’ve used before. I guess its usually a trade off: Longer lasting lipsticks won’t be able to deliver the level of hydration comparable to lip balms. As you can see from the ingredients of the lipstick, it contains silica so those of you who are allergic to silica or have silica on your “No” list, you may wish to avoid this product. Otherwise, I would think that this is a reasonably fine product to use if you love the shade.

Where to Buy the Product

If you live in Singapore, Watsons is where you can find this product (but do note, its not available in all Watsons. I’ll recommend the outlets in the popular shopping centres.  For those who can read Japanese, you can try checking out the Sho-bi Online Store coz its all in Japanese. I haven’t tried going onto this site to order any Brigitte products so am not able to tell you if they ship overseas.

Have you used any of Brigitte’s products before? Tell me about your experience! 🙂

Kao – Megurism Steaming Eye Mask

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Soothes Tired Eyes

Kao Megurism Steaming Eye Mask is made in Japan and comes in boxes of 5 or 14 pieces. Each piece of the eye mask is packed in foil, and one will have to tear open the packet to open up a disposable mask with self heating sheets that will warm up to about 40deg celsius to create the steaming effect when its worn like a mask on the eyes. Made of soft material that feels like a cross between cotton and non woven fabric, the eye mask is soft to touch and feels comforting to the tired mind. The mask also comes in unscented and many scented varieties, ranging from popular lavender scent, rose scent, etc. I have been using lavender and have stocked up plenty through online purchases over time.

In 10 to 20 mins, you will feel water condensation around your eyes due to the heat emitted by the eye patches. I like to wear them to sleep especially when my eyes feel tired after a long day working in the office. However, one needs to be reminded not to press the eye patches on the eyes to make it more “fitting” because the heat could be too warm to the eyes. Remember, the mask is to create steam but not to be scalding your eye lids.

Where to Buy the Product
The cost per box of 5 pieces is about SGD 7 in Singapore. I can’t find the boxes of 14 pieces in Singapore but if you like to shop online (like me), you can find boxes of 14 pieces in Taiwan, Japan and China. If you live in Singapore, pop into Watsons and you should be able to grab a few boxes of 5 in different scents. However I find the boxes of 14 pieces to be more economical so I tend to use 65daigou to help me purchase the products from Taiwan or China.

1) Taiwan’s Momoshop
2) China’s Taobao

Have you used this mask? Share with me how you find this product! 😉

Senka – Perfect Whip Foam

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I have written about Senka Cleaning Oil the last round. Now I am going to share my experience on the use of Senka’s Perfect Whip Foam, which comes from the same Senka product family, under Shiseido.

The Product
Visually, this product is like any other facial foam. Comes in a light blue tube, the product dispensed is white and creamy. The uniqueness of this product is that once you rub the product with cold water, it will create lots of foam, which looks like a well beaten egg white. Take some practice actually. If you like to use warm water to wash your face, take note that the product may not fluff up as much. According to the product explanation, the foams created are finer and could clean the pores more thoroughly. It was also mentioned on the product that Amino Acid is one of the ingredients included. Those who have acne or problem skin will appreciate that Amino Acid cleansers are good for problem skin.

Using the Product

I use the Perfect Whip Foam twice a day, Day and Night. Personally, I find the Perfect Whip Foam not too drying (though I have found out from others who find it a bit drying after wash), and give a little bit of hydrating effect. At night, after removing my foundation or sunscreen with Sephora Triple Cleansing Water or Bioderma Sensibio, I will use the Perfect Whip Foam with my Clarisonic Aria on normal speed. This helps to cleanse my skin once and for all to prevent clogging. This method has worked well for me thus far.

How to use with Clarisonic

Squeeze your usual amount of foam cleanser (it should not be more than 2cm long product as it will be too much), and foam it up using cool or room temperature water. Once that is done, spread the foam on your face with light rubbing motion. Then give your Clarisonic a quick rinse, flick off the water and turn it on and place the brush starting from the center of your forehead and move in circular motion. The entire brushing time should only take a minute. Then rinse your face with warm water (esp if your face is very oily) followed by cool water. Some people will rinse with cold water to immediately close the pores. I don’t particularly find this making much of difference for me, but I usually would prefer to use warm water only.  You will find that your skin is smooth and clean.

Do remember to keep your Clarisonic brush head clean by detaching it from the handheld, and run it under warm water to remove suds, followed by flicking off remain water and leave it to dry.

Where to Buy

If you live in Singapore, you should be able to purchase Senka Perfect Whip Foam from Watsons, its retailing at around $12 per tube (I think). Frequent users can always purchase them when there is a sale at Watsons at a cheaper price. Like many skin care and food products, Senka is a Japanese product, but they do let regional partners help them manufacture the products using the same formula. So, not all Senka sold in the market are made in Japan.

1) From Qoo10, you will find many sellers carrying this product. I like to visit the vendor Kenko.com who claimed that they import directly from Japan. There are of course other sellers who could prove that their products have gone through checks by Health Sciences Authority of Singapore. These are reliable products too. Just take note of the expiry dates before you buy. You will notice that products imported from Taiwan comes with chinese labels at the top of the tube. Those from Japan or Korea comes with Japanese labels at the top of the tube.

2) From Rakuten, you can also find Kenko.com to make your purchase. But of course, from Rakuten Japan website, you can find the Japanese locals carrying the same products but it could be pricier to import from there.

3) If you are shopping from Japan and you are able to read Japanese, you can visit Kenko to place your online order too.

Hope the above information helps! Do let me know if you have any other experiences using this product, and where we can find Senka Perfect Whip in your country! 🙂