Review: Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser

I love the feeling of removing makeup after a long day. It’s like the skin could breathe again. When it comes to cleansing, the texture and feeling are very important to me. Last month, Althea sent their latest product.  Serum cleanser? That’s new to me. They’re really stepping up the skin care game. I was intrigued how simple it looks and if it will work wonders.

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Description:
A purifying cleanser with a serum-like formula. Removes makeup, dirt and oil without drying out the skin. Balances the pH levels of the skin to ensure it stays healthy

How to use:
Dampen the skin and apply on a small amount. Gently massage onto the skin in circular motions for 5-10 seconds before rinsing off with water.

Ingredients:
Water, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Cyclomethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Hydroxyacetophenone, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Fragrance

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Pros:
– Fairly priced, ₱ 430 for 150ml on their website
– Simple packaging
– Little goes a long way
– Non-drying
– Lightweight
– Effectively removes my makeup
– Doesn’t leave film or oily feeling

Cons:
– Has fragrance

I tested it on different methods. I swiped the cotton twice to remove makeup. I find that using it alone is better. It’s economical because there’s really no need for cotton. You’ll only need a few drops on your palms then gently go on the skin in circular motions. The makeup melted so easily! It felt hydrated, smooth and soft to touch after rinsing.

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It’s also easy to rinse with water. There’s no film, sticky nor oily residue at all. It felt like my skin’s already clean. I still used a second cleanser ’cause I prefer it that way. Others skip the second cleanse and they just proceed to toning right after.  The name itself describes the texture. It’s runny and light like a serum. It’s watery that I thought it won’t remove my full coverage makeup but it did! Doing circular motions helped to break down my makeup in a few seconds. Skin felt really fresh afterwards.

The only downside is it has fragrance like most korean cosmetics. It’s only a subtle scent though. I sure hope they’ll remove it or make another one that’s fragrance-free because I really like how it worked on my skin. This could’ve been a staple in my routine. This performed better than my sunflower oil. I’m going to give this a go again after my TSW. Overall, this is a great makeup remover. It removes makeup fast and no need to wash it off with cleanser or soap. All you’ll need is water. Great after a night out or for when you’re really tired or lazy but still want to take care of your skin. 😉

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Best Products I’ve Used in 2018

Hello readers. I’m here to do a recap of my favorites last year. I selected these because I reach for them the most out of all the products. They’re divided into categories; skin care, lip care and fragrance.

Skin Care

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Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment
My most favorite in this list. I’m using this for my topical steroid withdrawal. It instantly gives itch relief and protects the skin from external harm. A 30 gram tube of this is only 170 pesos. Available locally at the drugstores.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
My first review on this didn’t turn out well when my skin was still oily. But now I have dry skin and works well. It doesn’t cause breakouts anymore and no irritation. It has 3 kinds of ceramides that can aid in strengthening skin’s barrier. The only downside is it’s not in-stores yet. It has to be ordered online.

Human Nature Sunflower Oil
I used this as moisturizer when I posted my full review. But I found a better use for it as makeup remover. Since my skin is flakey, I can’t use cleansing tissues anymore. This oil dissolves my makeup in a few circular motions. It works better for oil-based makeup than water-based. It can’t be washed of with water alone so I follow up with CeraVe soap. I splash my face with water and then add a little bit of water to the lather. Sunflower oil has comedogenic rating of 2 but it doesn’t break me out.

Watsons Unscented Wet Wipes
This was my makeup remover before my TSW. The sheets are wet enough to breakdown my makeup. I’m a full coverage girl so I use liquid foundation, concealer and powder foundation. 2 sheets are enough to completely remove them. We choose fragrance-free products as much as possible. A pack of 50 sheets is 75 pesos. Make sure to reseal it properly to avoid it from getting dry.

Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway Cream
I really liked this sunblock because it’s long lasting. It stays on the skin even if I sweat a lot. There’s only a minimal flashback for photography. There’s a ball mixer inside which makes shaking the product a lot faster. The oil doesn’t separate unlike with other sunblocks. It’s good for sweaty skin. It mattifies and makes skin look fresh. This has a strong fragrance though.

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence
Now this sunblock is for everyday use. It feels light on the skin and gives hydration. Great for warm weather because of it’s lotion-y texture. It’s fragrance-free. It doesn’t stay on for long but that’s okay if you’re just in an air-conditioned place.

Lip Care

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Human Nature Tinted Lip Balm
I wasn’t a fan of lib balms before. But this one form Human Nature got me hooked. It gives a subtle tint. Pink Orchid is close to my natural lip color. It has a little bit of shimmer but it’s not bothersome. The peppermint in it gives a cooling effect on the lips. It’s locally made plus it’s very affordable.

Fragrance

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Stay Fresh Body Sparkling Mist by Titi Kamal x Althea
This came in the mail just in time for the holidays. It has a light floral scent. I used this a lot during our gatherings. It smells sophisticated. I can see myself choosing this scent for formal events too. The packaging is sturdy and sprays evenly. This is a great gift for your best friend.

I carefully selected these as they all work well on me. I’m quite picky now when it comes to shopping for cosmetics. I’m still excited to explore stores and find new products to try. By the way, what’s the one thing that you could rave about? Share it below. 😉

Review: Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment

I’ll be reviewing an ointment that I’m currently using when I can’t handle the itch of my dermatitis. But first, I want to share what I’ve been searching online. It’s about Topical Steroid Withdrawal or TSW. People who suffer from skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis can relate to this. Your skin became so dependent on steroid creams that it flares up when you’re not using it. What is TSW? It’s when you finally decide to stop using steroid cream for good. You can either go cold turkey (completely stop) or gradually reduce it so you wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the discomfort. Those few months or years of flare ups and flaking without using steroid will be worth it in the end. I’m going to discuss more about it in another post.

I tried going cold turkey but it was so uncomfortable. So I’m gradually stopping it instead but by areas.. Right now, I stopped using steroid on my T-zone area; forehead, nose and chin. I’m going to deal with the cheeks next year… which is the biggest part of my rashes. I’ve watched Youtube videos on how to reduce discomfort. Some of them used Sudocrem. It’s an antiseptic cream used for itch relief. Zinc oxide is one of the main ingredients. I couldn’t wait to order online so I found an alternative that I can get on that day.

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I found a review on Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment and the result was amazing. It’s locally made and can be bought at drugstores. I bought mine for around 170 pesos at Mercury Drugstore. It’s mainly used for diaper rash and minor skin conditions. According to Unilab’s website, zinc oxide is a skin protectant. See the leaflet in the box for instructions and when to stop.

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Pros:
– Affordable, around 170 pesos
– Available locally at drugstores
– 30g is a huge amount for an ointment
– Little goes a long way
– Did not trigger contact dermatitis
– Did not cause breakouts
– Can be used as spot treatment
– Reduces itch in just a few minutes

Cons:
– Difficult to wash off

Can I just say I love this stuff so much? It gives comfort immediately. The itching stops and I can go on my day without even being bothered. I was a bit hesitant at first because the ointment is thick. I thought it would clog my pores and cause breakouts but it doesn’t! You’ll only need a small amount since it has thick texture. It did not make my dermatitis worse. It actually calmed my skin down. This can also be used on small areas or spot treatment as you can see in the photo below.

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In my case, it doesn’t remove rashes completely. It doesn’t matter because my main concern right now is to reduce discomfort. I’m going through TSW so I know the rashes will be on and off for a while. I’m glad there’s a local alternative that’s so affordable. 30 grams of this product can last for a long time. I also love that it’s in an collapsible aluminum tube. I can control how much I just need.

The only downside that I can think of is it’s difficult to wash off. Sometimes it stays on spaces of dry patches. But even if it happens, there’s no pimple breakouts. Overall, this is by far my most favorite product this year. It really helps me on dealing with TSW. It makes it not as bad as what I’ve expected.

 

First Impression: Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water

Hello readers! It’s been a while since I blogged about makeup remover. I usually go for remover wipes ’cause I’m that lazy. But I find that wipes can scratch and irritate the skin. So I’m on the search again for something that’s less harsh. I remembered that I still have samples from Benton. Out of all their products, Tea Tree Cleansing Water intrigued me the most.

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Description:
Infused with Tea Tree Leaf Water and Tea Tree Leaf Oil, this cleansing water mildly cleanses your skin, leaving skin refreshed and calm.

Ingredients:
Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Water (Aqua), Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sodium Chloride

Pros:
– Fairly priced, $17 or approx. 850 pesos
– Fragrance-free
– Lightweight
– No oily or sticky residue
– Non-drying
– Quickly removes makeup
– Did not cause irritations
– Did not cause breakouts

Cons:
– None

They say that if your makeup is oil-based, you have to use an oil cleanser. And if not, you should use water-based remover. Although my makeup is oil-based, I prefer to use this because it’s refreshing. It doesn’t leave any sticky residue. It effectively removed my makeup in just a few swipes. For your reference, I used liquid foundation, concealer and powder foundation while I tested this for 3 days.

It didn’t dry out my skin even if it’s main ingredient is tea tree water. It’s also fragrance-free. That’s a plus for us with sensitive skin. I don’t have cons for this. Benton recommends this for oily and acne-prone skin. I used this when I still had oily skin and I must say it did not cause breakouts or irritations. It is just amazing!

Review: Human Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil

I’m back on exploring local brands again. Recently, I had a bad flare up of rashes again so I needed to “protect” those areas. We bought Human Nature’s bestseller last month. I was hoping it could at least lessen the redness and itching caused by rashes. It’s my first sunflower oil so I won’t be able to compare it with other brands.

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Description:
A cult beauty classic rich with moisturizing and nourishing vitamins A, D & E this holy grail oil has earned its place as a well-known and well-loved miracle worker.

Ingredients:
Premium cosmetic-grade sunflower seed oil

Pros:
– Very affordable, 50ml for 199 pesos at Sesou branches
– Can be used as makeup remover
– Can be used as moisturizer
– Gives glow
– Quickly absorbed
– Helps to heal blemishes
– Reduced my itching
– Did not cause breakouts

Cons:
– Pump bottle is not travel friendly

Neutral:
– Might be too heavy for the skin depending on the weather and your activities

I tried using this to remove my makeup first. It really did melt all my heavy makeup. After cleansing, I used it as moisturizer for flaky areas. It smoothened those areas. I like that it gives a subtle glow too! I can definitely see it even under my makeup. I also noticed that my blemishes dry and heal quicker than usual. It did not cause breakouts even on my oily t-zone. While there was no improvement on redness, it did reduce the itch and provided comfort while I had rashes caused by dermatitis.

It’s quickly absorbed if you press it down lightly with your palms or by gently sweeping on the skin. If you’re in a hurry, just dab at tissue and proceed to your makeup routine. Your tissue paper should be organic or at least unbleached if you have hypersensitive skin like me.  Just putting it out there.

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The only down side is the packaging. It’s not travel friendly. From my past experience with other products, oils are easily spilled out from a pump bottle. Spillage will be avoided if oils are in amber glass bottles with droppers. It’s now a factor for my next purchase.

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I’m neutral about its heaviness. In my opinion it’s ideal as night treatment since we’re living in a country that’s hot and humid (& messed up. lol). But you can also use this during the day if you’re just in an air-conditioned place. Your activities like commuting and exercising should also be factors on your skin care decision-making.

Overall, using this turned out pretty well although it’s not a cure-all for dermatitis. Dermatitis is also linked in the body’s health so don’t just rely on topical treatments. The only thing that I want was to reduce the itch and it delivered. It’s multifunctional and one of the most affordable oils out there. I was a bit hesitant because sunflower oil has high comedogenic rating, meaning it has a high chance of blocking pores. Each skin is unique so trying out products is always a trial and error. But if you never try, you’ll never know~ Yes, that’s a Coldplay reference.

Review: Dove Sensitive Beauty Bar

I was browsing BeautyMNL’s website to find cleansers suitable for sensitive skin. You know that fragrance should be avoided if you have sensitive skin. I’ve read reviews on this Dove variant. Some use it on the face, body and some even use it down there. Their dermatologists recommend this because of its fragrance-free formula. My doctors recommended Cetaphil and Physiogel which did not work for me. I had to look for another cleanser. It’s less than 50 pesos. It wouldn’t hurt to try, right? I’m using this for almost 3 weeks now and I’m ready to share my experience.

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Description from Dove’s website:
This sensitive skin bar brings you the classic Dove cleansers and ¼ moisturising cream in a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic bar that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin. Suitable for daily use, it helps protect skin’s natural moisture and can be used on your hands, body or face. Get the gentle skin care for sensitive skin that you deserve – try Dove Sensitive Beauty Bar.

Ingredients:
Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Palmitate, Aqua, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Zinc Oxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Alumina, CI 77891

Here’s CosDNA Analysis (link here):cosdna

Pros:
– Affordable, 47.75 pesos only at Mercury Drugs
– Accessible
– Fragrance-free
– Gives enough lather
– Doesn’t leave a slimy film
– Easy to rinse
– Multifunctional
– Glowing skin every after use
– Did not cause breakouts
– Did not trigger my contact dermatitis

Cons:
– Has that waxy feeling
– Not really for heavy cleansing

Neutral:
– Doesn’t prevent breakouts

I’m using this alternately with Althea x Get It Beauty Masks. I really do not like the original Dove because it leaves a film but this sensitive variant doesn’t. I rinse it off with water for 10 seconds. I just don’t like that it gives waxy feeling which has been an issue for me with their bars. But despite that and me having oily skin, I did not experience breakouts. This isn’t intended for heavy cleansing. This won’t remove makeup and won’t prevent breakouts. My main concerns right now are moisture and avoiding contact dermatitis. I prefer to use other cleansers after working out. Make sure your cleanser matches with your activities. I use this when my skin’s irritated and/or I had a day without intense sweating, commuting or cleaning the house.

This is very accessible. Most of the supermarkets, department stores and drugstores have it. Eliminating fragrance whether natural or artificial can really make a difference for sensitive skin. This has the same lather as their other bars. As I said above, it’s multifunctional. You can use it for face, body, “down there” and for moisturizing purposes. I also noticed that my skin’s glowing from the inside when I’m using this. Similar to “glass skin”. Best of all, it did not cause allergic reactions.

It seems like Dove’s releasing new products. Have you tried anything from them lately? By the way, I’ll make a list of cleansers for sensitive skin. Please watch out for that!

Review: Human Nature Nourishing Facial Wash

I went to a department store last month and found Human Heart Nature’s shelf. I heard a lot of good things about this local brand. I’ve also visited their website many times just to see what I will try in the future. I’m looking for a good cleanser that wont cause rashes. I’m not even concerned about blemishes anymore. I read reviews about their Nourishing Facial Wash. Good thing there’s a small size available.

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Description:
100% Natural | Hypoallergenic
Mild & gentle cleansing
Care for your delicate skin without the sting – with tomato extract and mild moisturizers that help soothe skin and keep it soft, supple and healthy inside and out.

Ingredients:
aqua (water), decyl glucoside (coconut-derived), sodium lactate (sugarcane-derived), sodium gluconate (sugarcane-derived), glycerin (vegetable-derived), coco-glucoside, glyceryl oleate (coconut-derived), dicaprylyl ether (vegetable-derived), Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit extract, dehydroxanthan gum, levulinic acid (plant-derived), fragrance (all-natural), farnesol, linalool, phytic acid (rice-derived), p-anisic acid (anise seed-derived), citiric acid

Pros:
– Accessible; available online, in department stores and supermarkets
– Very affordable, 50ml for Php 79.75 and 200ml for Php199.75
– Little goes a long way
– Gives enough lather
– Non sticky and doesn’t leave a film
– Skin feels fresh after rinsing

Cons:
– Triggered my contact dermatitis

Neutral:
– Could feel there’s a slight tightness

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It’s very affordable and accessible. I bought it in Landmark Makati. It has a gel consistency. Its lather is enough to clean the skin. It doesn’t foam up unlike other cleansers. I did not notice any film or slimy texture after rinsing. My skin felt really fresh every time. I like to use it especially after my workout. This has a powder scent. I prefer that scent on my clothes instead. I like to add water while lathering it to dilute its concentration. I thought doing that would lessen its strength but after a few days, my whole face was itchy. Fragrance is not the last ingredient so that’s why or it could be the Sodium Lactate, Farnesol and Linalool. These ingredients have a safety rating of 4 on CosDNA. Safety rating should be 1 or 2 to be considered safe/unlikely to cause irritation. If this wasn’t the culprit of my rashes, I’d definitely want to use it again.

I was confident to try it because it’s natural. Lesson learned, natural isn’t always good in skin care and chemical-based ingredients are not always bad.