Empties # 1

Today, let’s talk trash! I’m bringing a popular series from YouTube into the site called “Empties“. This is a common beauty series that most beauty gurus do where they literally keep all their beauty-related trash and show them to their audience, summing up their thoughts after finishing the product as well as whether they would repurchase them.

I don’t know about you but I get so satisfied when I finish up an item. Unless it’s limited edition or really hard to get a hold of, in which case I will be gutted. For the most part, it’s hard for me to use a single product consistently and finish it up completely before moving on to the next one. Simply because the options are endless and new things are always popping up every day! It’s difficult to stay loyal to a product. But when I am loyal to something and finish it up, you know the love is real.

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So here’s a quick round up of my beauty trash!

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1. Pixi Glow Tonic  (US$30.50)

One of the most highly raved about AHA toners out there. Ever since skincare expert, Caroline Hirons, mentioned these, it blew up! Everyone in the UK started using it and it became a super hyped product in Europe and the US. Unfortunately, as with many things that are amazing, we can’t get this brand in Singapore. I actually picked this up when I was in London late last year. But do not despair! Recently ASOS has expanded their beauty section and you can now order this with free international shipping through them. However, be wary when purchasing items online (especially from ASOS). 

That being said, I would repurchase this and take that risk in a heartbeat because this toner is EVERYTHING. The Pixi Glow Tonic is an acid toner. Hence, it is packed with 5% Glycolic Acid as well as Ginseng extracts to help chemically exfoliate the skin. The AHAs in this toner will get rid of your dead skin cells without tugging the skin to reveal youthful, clear skin and it definitely helps with any textural issues I had. It’s great for all skin types and gentle enough to use daily. It’s one of those cases where a product is truly worth the hype.

I’ve used other AHA toners such as the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, but this is by far superior in its formulation. Definitely more forgiving on the skin, without losing its effectiveness. I’m already on to my back up bottle. Cannot live without this one!

 

2. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (SGD $15.90)

Holy Grail dry shampoo!! I know that dry shampoo isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to talk about. And it isn’t as widely used here in Asia as it is in the states. If you aren’t using Dry Shampoo, try some! It will change your life I guarantee it. It’s perfect for second day hair or refreshing your style after a low intensity gym session. Contrary to popular belief, it is damaging to wash your hair daily as it strips it of the natural oils it need to grow and become stronger. It’s especially bad for people with colour-treated hair as washing your hair too much can strip its colour.

This is the best dry shampoo I’ve found. And trust me, I’ve tried a substantial amount. The formula is gentle yet effective and does not leave a major white cast on your roots (hello fellow brunettes). This Klorane one also does not leave the hair feeling dirty or overloaded with product, like the Batiste one does for me. It’s very airy and has a gentle inoffensive scent that doesn’t clash with your perfume. Furthermore, it adds subtle texture to your hair whilst absorbing unwanted grease. When I found that Klorane made a tinted version for brown haired girls, you can just imagine the elation. Pure joy!!

Needless to say, I will definitely be repurchasing this, forever and ever. It’s completely flawless.

 

3. La Roche Posay Serozinc Spray (£8.50)

I think it is apparent that I am a huge fan of French Pharmaceutical brands. I find most of their formulas very gentle and suitable for my sensitive acne prone skin. Speaking of which, I have finished up another bottle of my Serozinc spray toner from La Roche Posay. This is my third bottle and I have 2 more back ups, ready for me. Yes, it is THAT good.

Although the brand is sold here in Singapore, this particular toner is only sold in France. But due to its popular demand, recently certain UK sites have started carrying it and they do have international shipping. Why are people going ga-ga over this? This is basically a zinc sulphate solution, designed specifically for oily, acne prone skin but people of all skin types are able to use it. Zinc sulphate helps reduce inflammation and soothes skin irritation. On top of that, it balances the skin and also contains sodium chloride, a mild astringent to help purify. Just three ingredients in total, including the La Roche Posay signature thermal spring water.

This is GODSEND for days when I am having breakouts and my skin is red and angry. It prevents the spread of my breakouts, whilst treating it and reducing its redness. As with all gentle products, it isn’t a miracle worker that cures acne overnight. However, I love how balanced my skin feels every time I use this.

Love. Love. Love. 

 

4. Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Eye Cream (SGD $21.90)

This is a standard eye cream that I enjoyed using. No fragrance, mineral oils plus a lightweight cream formula that sinks in quickly and does hydrate the skin under the eyes very well. Hada Labo features a super hyaluronic acid formula that contains 3 types of hyaluronic acid that really helps with oil-free hydration. Perfect day and night, works amazing under makeup. I’m not sure if I will go back to this, because this eye cream only targets hydration. I might graduate and take it to the next level by trying out a more anti-aging formula next.

 

5. Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution (SGD $120)

Amazing entry level retinol product that really does help with hyper pigmentation and scarring. I used this religiously for months, every night. You can read more here, where I explain in detail what retinol does and how this really helped my skin. I will definitely repurchase this for the ferulic acid, because it made my skin bright and even toned. However, I have since then moved to a stronger retinol formula so I will not be repurchasing this immediately. But I highly recommend this for its lightweight and effective concoction of antioxidants, acids and retinol. Say hello to bright, even skin!

 

 

 

Most of my empties are skincare products as I tend to use those up much more quickly than any makeup product. These kinds of things really give you a good idea of the prolonged performance of a product and encourages me to be less wasteful, to truly get every penny’s worth. I’m pumped to keep doing this and use up even more of my things.

Shop my stash more and be less fickle when it comes to beauty products.

 

Anti-Aging Virgin

As someone in their mid twenties, teetering on the edge of late twenties, the concept of aging scares the crap out of me. I’m sure many young women out there feel me on this. Aging is certainly inevitable, so my main concern is not to prevent aging but instead to age as gracefully as possible.

A hero anti-aging ingredient that has been used for many years is retinol.

 

What is Retinol?

Retinol is basically vitamin A that is applied topically on the skin. Vitamin A helps with the renewal of skin cells and is a resurfacing agent to reveal brighter, younger skin. The strongest form out there is called Retin-A. However, that is prescription only. You will be able to get it from a dermatologist, depending on whether your dermatologist feels it is necessary. The side effects are quite extreme as the skin is likely to turn red and peel. The skin will also be highly photo-sensitive and thus, SPF is absolutely mandatory when using retin-A or a retinol product.

Retinol is the over-the-counter version and is much less potent than Retin-A. But that does not mean that it is any less effective in terms of its resurfacing capabilities. Granted that the side-effects are far less severe, and results are more gradual. Retinol is used for many purposes besides anti-aging. Some claim that it can help with acne as it helps the skin regenerate at a rapid rate and pores are more likely to shrink and be less prone to clogging. There has been many recorded successes in Retin-A and retinol products, helping people suffering from acne. However, it is still very subjective to the individual’s skin type and reaction to the product. Therefore, it isn’t the answer to all acne woes.

 

Side-effects of Retinol

Going back to anti-aging, I wanted to try a retinol product to keep my skin looking clear and plump as I age into my late twenties. After a bit of reading up, I was a little worried on the side effects that were mentioned by people. Many experienced skin sensitivity, redness and peeling. The scariest ones are the ones who had allergic reactions to retinol, or experienced “skin purging” with cystic acne. At the same time, there are many who praise it to the heavens and say that the side-effects are worth it for the end result.

 

Best Product for an Anti-Aging Virgin

 

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I present to you Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Brightening Solution. This is GODSEND for someone dipping their toes into the anti-aging skincare front. Dr Dennis Gross combines ferulic acid which is an amazing antioxidant with the resurfacing power of retinol to create the perfect facial cocktail. The ferulic acid helps brighten the skin, helping create a more even canvas while the retinol refines texture and helps the skin regenerate. This powerful cocktail is water-based, making it perfect for all skin types, even oily. It sinks in quickly and is an easy addition to your current skincare routine. This solution also has salicylic acid and glycolic acid to target troubled skin and help exfoliate.

I was initially really confused when I opened the package and saw some cotton pads that came along with it. I believe you can soak the cotton pads with the product for a more saturated and exfoliating application. But I ditched the the pads as I felt that it would waste too much product. And considering that this is expensive, I was not going to waste a drop!

 

Results

After using it consistently for over 8 months, I am just about done with my bottle (30ml). I used it daily before my moisturiser and after my toner at night and made sure that I wore SPF in the morning. My skin is definitely more even toned, brighter and it helps clear acne scars a lot more quickly. It did not break me out at all, even with my acne-prone skin (THANK YOU, water-based formula), and I did not experience any of the side-effects that retinol products usually give.

*Keep in mind that I have been using AHAs and chemical exfoliants for many years to help combat my acne. So my skin might be more resilient than some.

I love this product so much! It really helps with the overall texture and appearance of my skin. My pores are less visible and my complexion is more luminous. However, if you are looking for a retinol product to help with acne, I don’t think this is a product for you as it did not help me clear up my acne break-outs. But what I can definitely vouch for is how bright and youthful my skin looked after using this product consistently. Thus, I think its perfect for retinol virgins!

The age of grace is upon us!