Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Eucerin DermatoClean Refreshing Cleansing Gel

I got this bottle of Eucerin DermatoClean Refreshing Cleansing Gel for free with a purchase of Aquaporin moisturizer. It was an absolute lifesaver when I was suffering from painful cystic acne, because this was so gentle on my skin, yet cleansed well. I've really fallen in love with this cleanser - even though it's simple and no-frills, I can't live without it!
Like most of my favourite gel cleansers, it uses less irritating surfactants/foaming agents like Cocomidopropyl Betaine and Decyl Glucoside, which means it foams less easily than conventional gel cleansers, but you can still foam it up nicely and the foam is very fine and moisturizing. And because this also contains Sodium Hyaluronic, it's moisturizing enough for sensitive acne-prone skin, yet feels light and cleanses well without stripping. And the squeeze bottle with the press-cap is so functional and easy to use.

Though it looks very plain, like a no-frills, simple cleanser, I feel like I'm pampering my skin when I use it. My skin feels instantly soothed and softened. An absolute joy!

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Glucoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Acrylates C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Rating: 10/10

I totally recommend this!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review and Comparison: Micellar/Cleansing Waters - Avene, Bioderma and Uriage

After skin started breaking out really badly due to stress, one of the major skincare changes I made was to switch my make-up remover from oil cleansers to cleansing water. They're really light and feel just like water, and they're very gentle on painful cystic acne bumps. Micellar solutions can be used as a toner as well, but I've only used them to remove make-up. So far I've tried 3 brands - Avene, Bioderma and Uriage.

Avene Micellar Lotion
This comes in a 200ml bottle (I believe it comes in 400ml as well, but I haven't seen it around), which I purchased for about S$26 after a 30% discount. It lasts me about a month with daily use. The fragrance is quite strong and smells like an expensive face cream. I find Avene's micellar lotion the most gentle of the three, and leaves my skin feeling the softest, I think because it's the only one of the three that contains sodium hyaluronate. If the lotion accidentally gets into my eyes, it doesn't sting too much.

Ingredients: Avene Thermal Spring Water, Cocamidopropyl Betainamide Mea Chloride, Poloxamer 188, Bisabolol, Fragrance, Peg/Ppg-14/14 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Trisodium Edta.

Rating: 9/10

Bioderma Sensibio H2O
This comes in various sizes. I bought the 500ml bottle in Taiwan for about S$40 on sale. It's fragrance free and smells like saline. I find the Bioderma is the best at removing makeup as compared to the others. However, it stings if it gets into my eyes.

Ingredients:  water (aqua), peg-6 caprylic/capric glycerides, propylene glycol, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, fructooligosaccharides, disodium edta, cetrimonium bromide. 
Rating: 9/10

Uriage Tolederm Soothing Cleansing Water
This comes in a 250ml bottle, which I purchased for about S$30. This isn't actually a micellar cleanser, it's just a regular cleansing water. (The Beauty Brains explains what micellar water is. I think the difference between micellar water and regular cleansing water is that micellar water is more gentle while cleansing water might contain harsher surfactants.) Uriage does make a micellar solution too, but I bought this cleansing water accidentally instead. It smells a little yeasty, like beer. I find that this doesn't clean as well as Avene or Bioderma. This also stings if it gets into my eyes.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Uriage Thermal Spring Water, Glycerin, Poloxamer 184, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-80 Glyceryl Cocoate, Cetrimonium Bromide, Citric Acid, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide

Rating: 8/10

I did a little experiment on the cleansing power - I swatched black pencil eyeliner (Urban Decay Perversion), Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus mascara and Ettusais BB cream on my arm and tried to remove them. I used just one cotton pad. (Usually for light base make-up and no mascara, I use 2 cotton pads for my whole face.)
From left: Avene Micellar Lotion, Bioderma Sensibio H2O, Uriage Tolederm
As you can see, Bioderma has the best cleansing power, followed by Avene, then Uriage. All three don't remove the Majolica Majorca mascara easily. (However, Majolica Majorca mascara is really tough to remove, even with regular make-up removers.) They're all quite comparable in price and effectiveness.

Personally I will stick with Bioderma because I'm more cost-conscious, but I would choose Avene if it was more affordable. Micellar waters are pretty expensive really, and are more expensive in Singapore. I think I will stock up when I go overseas - there are bundled promotions in Taiwan drugstores, especially in summer, when people want to use lighter cleansing waters in the hot weather.

Summary:

Most value-for-money: Bioderma
Best for sensitive skin: Avene
Best make-up remover: Bioderma

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Review: SOFINA jenne Day Protector UV SPF 50+ PA+++

This is the sunscreen I've been using every day for the past month - Sofina Jenne UV Day Protector UV SPF+ PA+++. I bought it because it was just so pretty! I love the lace-embossed bottle and the frosted finish of the cap. I got it at a Taiwan drugstore. The Sofina brand is usually found at beauty counters in department stores, but the Sofina Jenne line is marketed to women in their 20s and is available in drugstores.
It's the typical Japanese sunscreen with a ball inside, so you can shake the bottle to mix the sunscreen better. It's a white liquid and the floral scent is a little strong but quite pleasant and luxurious. Because it's white, it leaves a little bit of a white cast in flash photos. However, I like it because it has a matte finish, is very fluid and hence spreads easily. Oil control is slightly above average.
Ingredients: Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Alcohol, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Talc, Glycerin, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Styrene/Stearyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polysilicone-9, Methicone, Triethoxycaprylsilane, Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide, Fragrance, Hydroxyundecanoic Acid, Rosmarinus Branch Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Bis-Methoxypropylamido Isodocosane, Cl 77492

Like most Japanese sunscreens, it contains -cones and alcohol. However it's really difficult to find good natural suncreens that are effective and don't make me look like a greaseball, so I still rely on Japanese sunscreens.

I bought this 30ml for about S$30+, so it's a little pricey for a drugstore line. (Most Japanese drugstore sunscreens are around S$15 for 30ml.) I haven't tried Sofina's suncreens from the main beauty counter line, so I can't compare, but they're quite well-known for their sunscreens. I do like this Day Protector, it works and makes me feel happy every time I use it because it's so pretty. The design of the bottle is lovely too, compact and functional.

Rating: 9/10

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