Tag Archives: Taiwan

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?

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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! 🙂

Dr. Wu Special Treatment – Intensive Skin Renewal Serum w/ Mandelic Acid

Mild mandelic acid for skin renewal
Mild mandelic acid for skin renewal

I have been using this product for a long time to help improve the renewal of my skin on days when it feels rough or when I feel that my skin is not able to absorb the skincare products well.

From my research on the internet, “Dr.WU is a line of highly effective skincare products developed with advanced patented technologies to target various problems in Asian skins. Based on 40 years of clinical experience and extensive skincare research, the founder Dr. Ying-Chin Wu has created the technologically advanced skincare line so that patients can enjoy the same medical treatments just like having a doctor at home.”

Product description on Dr. Wu’s website states that the “Intensive Renewal Serum With Mandelic Acid 18% is a revolutionary home spa facial treatment using several patented technologies and ingredients to refine skin texture, diminish fine lines and improves skin elasticity and firmness. It contains Mandelic Acid 18%, which is used in Chemical Peeling procedures, to effectively diminish the appearance of fine lines and stimulate the skin desquamation process to achieve a smoother and brighter skin, even improves skin tone by resurfacing epidermis and removing aged layers. Formula also contains Sodium Hyaluronate, Tinocare GL and Biophytex which can be easily absorbed by the skin to facilitate hydration, and reduce dark spots and freckles, therefore to make skin brighter and more clear.”

 

Although I have not seen visible improvements in the size of my pores, I did notice that my skin is a lot smoother, and occasionally I have white heads popping off my pores with just a light rub while washing my face. My pores also do not clog as much (this is what I noticed when I visit my beautician – she does not have to push out a lot of white or black heads).

 

How to Use The Product

A sales lady at Watsons had advised that I should use this serum twice a week to improve the texture of my skin. From my experience, the serum should be applied onto the skin using cotton swap due to its acidic nature, after washing and drying the face. Special care need to be paid to avoid the eye area and around the mouth. After applying the serum using the cotton swap, wait for a few seconds and apply your usual moisturizer to lock in the moisture while the serum works on renewing your skin through mild peels. One should also take note that the serum should be used at night before you sleep, and not in the day time. I have never used it in the day since the day I started using this product. The next morning, you will notice that your skin is smoother, but you do not see any bits of dead skin like what some of the BHA and AHAs peels do. Wash your face normally the next day and continue with your normal skin care routine.

 

Another point to note is NEVER use this serum when you have open wounds or are experiencing skin sensitivities such as allergies or redness. Consult your doctor if you are unsure if your health conditions permits you to use this product. Do not touch the serum with your bare hands either. Stick with cotton swaps.

 

Published product key ingredients: Mandelic Acid 18%, Tinocare GL, Sodium Hyaluronate, Biophytex.

 

Target: Rough and Sensitive Skin

 

Where to Buy the Product

1) If you are in Singapore, you can get it from Watsons outlets

2) If you are overseas, you can purchase it online via Dr Wu’s Official Website . This is a bilingual website so it should not be difficult to shop for those who can read english or mandarin.

Let me know your experience from using this product! 🙂