Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: Red Heart Sweet Cherry Soap from Pelican

For a couple of years now I've been crazy about soap. I've stopped using regular shower gels and switched to a variety of scented bar soaps. The exception is EO shower gels which contain essential oils and smell divine. The latest soap bar I got my hands on is this cute soap from the Japanese soap brand Pelican. I love the packaging!
It costs about S$8 (or 294 yen), which is roughly the price of one bar of regular Crabtree & Evelyn soap. (I purchased it from the Japanese drugstore section of BHG Bugis.) It's a "rich moist whip soap" which means it lathers easily into a rich foam and is quite moisturizing, though not as moisturizing as Chagrin Valley soaps. It rinses cleanly with no tight feeling. The one thing I love is the amazing fragrance - lightly floral, fruity, fresh and sweet, like juicy cherries and honey. Apparently the fragrance was formulated in Grasse, France (which is famous for its perfumes) - it is indeed a very uplifting, happy, cheerful and luxurious fragrance. Definite plus!
I love the cute heart shape too. With the cute packaging, it would make a nice little gift for friends, along with the Red Heart Sweet Cherry hand cream from the same line. I didn't purchase the hand cream, but if it has the same amazing fragrance as the soap, I'm definitely getting it!

All in all... a lovely soap with outstanding fragrance. The fragrance doesn't linger though. I wish they would make a body mist using the same scent!

Rating: 10/10

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Organia Extra Virgin Olive Oil Water Drop Essence Hand Cream

Recently I ran out of my Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Hand Therapy (my holy grail), so I decided to try out a tube of Organia Extra Virgin Olive Oil Water Drop Essence Hand Cream which I purchased at the drugstore a while ago, I think it was going for about S$2 in the bargain bin. I really love the design on the tube, don't you think it's so cute? One of those pretty Korean brands.
The cream feels water-based (I don't know how true it is since it supposedly contains extra virgin olive oil, but it sure feels like water to me) and looks like a frosted white, similar in texture to Bio Beauty Skincology Advanced Hydrating Creme.
When rubbed on, it forms tiny water droplets on the skin! Do you see? That's why they call it 'water drop essence' I suppose. It feels quite refreshing and absorbs well, it leaves my hands feeling moist immediately after use. Because it feels like water, it is very light. After the initial moistness though, I don't feel anything on my hands.

It is only very lightly moisturizing, I have to apply it much more frequently than other hand creams. While this may be good for people who don't really have very dry hands in the first place, or good if you stay in a country like Singapore with high humidity, I can't see it working in dry places. My ultimate hand cream test - whether it can smoothen my dry cuticles and make them look presentable in a jiffy. Sadly, this one doesn't quite cut it. I can't imagine it working in dry, temperate countries where my cuticles get so dry and ugly.

While the packaging is cute, handy and portable (50g tube), the screw top cap is also a little troublesome. I'd prefer a flip top cap for easier access. I do love the pretty design though, it is a hand cream I would happily whip out to apply because it is so pretty.

Rating: 6/10

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Avene Diacnéal (with photos omg)

Oops I've been gone for a couple of weeks. (I blame it all on The Job.) So my skin has been flaring up recently, the worst since I was 19? That's like 4 years ago. It pretty much came about due to the stress and late nights from The Job. I've read about Avene Diacnéal before but I had good skin so I never got the chance to try it. Now that my skin had become horrible, it was a good chance for me to try it out. (Always look on the bright side...)
I read on MUA that Diacnéal has been replaced by Triacnéal, but somehow Singapore's version is still called Diacnéal and there hasn't appeared to be any changes. (The expiry date on my tube is June 2013 so I don't think I purchased an old tube...) The active ingredients are 0.1% Retinaldehyde (prevents thickening of skin and formation of blackheads) and 6% Glycolic Acid (exfoliates and 'peels' skin to reduce blackheads and smoothen skin).

This is the first time I'm using a retinol and glycolic acid treatment... I applied a thin layer almost every night (only at night). I say almost every night because if my skin feels dry or tight or itchy, I listen to it and I skip treatment that night, substituting with a light moisturizing sheet mask. While on Diacnéal, I also skip exfoliation, scrubs and deep-cleansing masks. Usually I exfoliate/mud mask about once or twice a week. With Diacnéal, I do so only once or twice a fortnight, and on the day I do so, I skip Diacnéal and use a moisturizing sleeping mask after. So I believe you do have to listen to your skin and give it what it needs.

On to the pictures!
1. Before treatment
2. After 1.5 weeks of treatment.
3. After 4 weeks of treatment.
So the photos above are of my left cheek, the lighting conditions look different because #1 was taken in daylight, #2 was taken in the wee hours of the morning after work under my desk lamp, #3 was taken on a cloudy day under my desk lamp. I'm afraid I didn't have time to take many photos, but you can see how my skin has gradually improved!

I realise I haven't taken a photo of Diacnéal itself... it's a thick yellow cream, feels quite heavy so I only use a very thin layer of it, and only at night, followed by a moisturizer. You do have to let your skin adapt to it, and it might sting on areas where you have zits, but other than that, I haven't experienced any hyper sensitivity to it. Also, it is very important to put on sunscreen in the day, since Diacnéal increases your skin's sensitivity.

Ingredients: Water, Cetyl alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Polysorbate 60, Glycolic Acid, Avene Thermal Spring Water, Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, BHT, Dimethiconol, Fragrance, Polymethyl methacrylate, Potassium sorbate, Red 33, Retinal.

Rating: 9.5/10 (-0.5 because it is so bloody expensive!)

On a side note... my clear skin (in that last photo) isn't so clear anymore because of my recent lack of sleep, stress and the fact that I'm having a cold right now. :( So seriously... good health = good skin, so take care of yourself if you wanna be beautiful! :)

Till next time~

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