The Good and Not So Good Face Sunscreens

Because sun exposure is very ageing to our skin as well as the risk of skin cancers and many of us are already aware of this. There are many factors that cause your skin to age faster but I’m just going to skip that part because we should already know a lot of them. Just remember, sunscreen is a must and you need at least SPF15 and above for a daily use. However, not all of them are safe to use so it’s a must you need to know and avoid those toxic ones. So what is considered a good sunscreen to me?

First of all, it protects our skin from UVA, UVB and Infrared. The higher SPF, the better protection for your skin? No, not really true. It must not be oily and doesn’t clog pores or give breakouts. It should also help makeup to stay in place after applying or doesn’t ruin it at least. And most importantly, safe to use of course. Now let me give some reviews on the ones I have used/been using. Please kindly take notes that these reviews are purely based on my personal experiences and they may not have the same effects on everyone.

1. Biore UV PPerfect Face Milk SPF50+ 

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Another favourite sunscreen as of now. The texture is very light with fast absorption. I thought it would be quite greasy after a short while and not so suitable for my combination skin but I was wrong. It doesn’t ruin my makeup too. Reasonable price. I hope it comes up with the new upgraded formula in the near future. I will repurchase this or their upgraded formula.

2. Nivea Oil Control Sun Protection Serum SPF50PA+++

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The texture is quite light and it only takes a short while for this serum to be fully absorbed into my skin. It can control oil in a certain level but not for many hours. I’m still not sure if I get breakouts from this or not. But the price is very affordable so I think it’s alright for this quality. Will I repurchase this? No. But I would say I found a few other Nivea body sunscreen and body lotion products are quite good.

3. Anessa Whitening Essence Facial UV Sunscreen

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My current favourite sunscreen. I love its texture, fast absorption as well as how it helps my makeup to stay in place. I can go at least 4-5 hours without feeling greasy at all. I will repurchase this product.

4. Estetica Sunshield Aqua SPF50

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I got this after a spa session at Estetica beauty Plaza Singapura. What I like most about this product is the instant brightening effect right after applying with non-sticky and light texture. I can use this alone instead of putting a foundation after to go for a very natural look. The cons about this product? My makeup cannot really stay in place after this sunscreen. I still like it anyway.

5. Keihl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 

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The good thing is their cream is pretty rich but I find it too heavy on my skin. It also makes my skin greasy after awhile and doesn’t really help with holding makeup. It’s alright if I plan to go on bare face but not with my makeup on. I personally think it doesn’t work well on (prone to)oily skin. Although I like a lot of skincare products from this brand but I will give it a pass for this sunscreen.

6. Mizumi UV Water Serum SPF 50+

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This one is actually not bad but I think I prefer other sunscreens I already have than this one. It doesn’t give me breakouts but I find it can be quite greasy easily if I stay outdoor for long hours.

When I find ones that are not so good for putting on my face, I put them on my body instead. I hope my reviews help you find the most suitable sunscreen for yourself.

Love, nira

Most Favourite Perfect Skin Hydrators, 2017

Derek Zoolander once said “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.” and I couldn’t agree more. In this post I will share some reviews on my most favourite moisturizers with hydrating formulas.

I have combination skin that leans more towards oily and quite sensitive. However my skin can also look quite dry underneath my makeup. If you have a similar skin type like mine, you might find this review very useful.

I often go for an oil-free moisturizer that helps to balance my skin’s natural levels and reduce shines from a greasy complexion. And it is also very important that they will keep my skin hydrated for long hours without ruining my makeup. It’s not difficult to find ones that is specifically suited to your skin’s needs if you starts to pay more attention on the key ingredients.

1. Kiehl’s – Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream

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I’ve been using this cream very often for my skincare routine in the morning, especially on the days I prefer to put makeup on after. It quickly absorbs into my skin very well with instant cooling effect and doesn’t make a mess for my make up. Non sticky, non greasy and control shine for at least 4-5 hours for myself. No overwhelming fragrance too. I strongly recommend this for good results with affordable price.

2. Dr.Jart+ – Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel

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I was quite impressed with this moisturizer and its lightweight and very smooth textures. I use this at night and I’ve noticed some difference the next morning after I woke up. It makes my skin so soft and looking more radiant as well as doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin so far. The cons of this product? I find it cannot hold shine very well and that’s why I personally prefer to use it at night. I randomly bought it from Sasa in Hong Kong.

3. Bioelements – Beyond Hydration

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I read some reviews online and decided to give this moisturizer a try. It’s recommended for oily skin to keeping skin hydrated without leaving adding shine. It only takes a few minutes for their gel-alike texture to sink into my skin. It also doesn’t feel sticky at all and works pretty well for my combination skin with no breakouts. This one gives a bit of cooling feels on the skin which is quite refreshing. So far there is nothing I dislike about this product. Worth buying.

Have a good skin. x
Love, nira

Itch away with Suu Balm

There is no single cause of dry or itchy skin. It can be anything we face everyday from external factors such as cold weather, low humidity, chemical, overuse of sanitizer or soap; to internal factors such as genetics, health, age, and etc.

In my case, I have a sensitive skin with mild allergy and easily become dry or itchy (sometime with rashes) due to all these causes: chlorine in the pool, hot baths or showers, soap or detergents, fermented food and certain seafood, insect bites, dust and dirt. Therefore, I really cannot do without creams and lotions that help to relieve itchiness. And even better when they moisturize skin at same time. I’m glad to be doing this review so I can share with you something that could be relevant to your lifestyle needs.

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To give a short introduction, Suu balm is Singapore’s first rapid itch-relieving moisturising cream and is developed by dermatologist named Dr Tey Hong Liang from the National Skin Centre in Singapore. Their product, backed by clinical evidence, is good for those with dry, itchy and sensitive skin, as well as people who have eczema or those who need to face some internal and external factors I mentioned earlier.

Even though Suu Balm is a proudly Singaporean creation (formulated at the NSC and marketed by Good Pharma Dermatology), it’s doing very well both locally and overseas. In fact, you can read Good Pharma’s interview article with the Straits Times last month here.

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I have been using Suu Balm since the beginning of May until now and I really like this product. Their cream is very smooth and light, non-sticky, and easily absorbed into my skin. I also love how Menthol ingredient itself gives an immediate cool feeling especially on crazy hot days (sometimes I try not to overuse it) and relieve itch at the same time. Suu Balm contains ceramides which help my skin hold on to moisture more efficiently and preventing future dryness and itchiness. I gave my dad a tube to try as well since he also has a very dry itchy skin and he gave pretty good feedback after using this cream.

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I found no cons and I think it’s one great product to have it as a family essential in your home for either daily usage or to standby. Since I travel pretty often, I usually bring a 75ml tube with me in my handbag whenever I’m outside. The pump bottle of 350ml is for home use.

You can shop online or request for a sample at www.suubalm.com. Also available in all Watson branches (in Singapore), Guardian, Fairprice and Unity.Remember to stay updated with the latest news by following their Facebook and Instagram. Support local brands always.

Love, nira

Go Natural In Your Home with Pineapple Power

Mothers and household jobs can never really be separated whether you are a full-time housewife or a working mom. This post I will be sharing some good stuff which may help you to do them even better, and safer.

Choosing household cleaning products that cleaning quicker and easier may not be a difficult task at all but some of them may not be good for our health. Unfortunately, not many of us are aware of these toxic chemicals (or petrochemicals) which are commonly used in those products and how badly they could harm us both short term and long term. It can lead us to the development of allergies, skin rashes, asthma, eczema, and reproduction issues in pregnant woman. I’ve been through experiences with unsuitable products which caused me very bad rashes on my skin (and worsen skin allergy) and took me almost a week to get rid of them with medication, creams etc. From then it taught me a very good lesson to be even more careful with cleaning products.

But I definitely understand it can feel quite overwhelming scanning through all the ingredients of every cleaning product you are going to buy, so what I usually do is to find natural products from trusted brands, such as Pipper Standards.

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Their products are naturally made from pineapples, have both hypoallergenic and non-irritation certifications by Dermscan Asia, and are free of known allergens according to U.S FDA; which is safe for babies or young children when using Pipper Standard products at home.

I’ve been trying a few Pipper products and my most favourite one goes to laundry detergent. Because Terena has sensitive (and eczema-prone) skin so I’m extra careful with anything that related to her skin or detergents that used in her clothing. Pipper detergent is perfectly safe for her with no itchy skin or rashes, clean effectively with lesser foam, easier to rinse out compared to many detergents in the market with chemicals added to create foaming effect due to the common misconception that the more foam is the better cleaning. There is also no damp smells when I dry my clothes indoor because their products contain no chemicals.

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Below is a picture of Terena trying to wash her face towel with water only and there is no detergent or fabric softener added in until it was my turn to hand wash it myself. Teaching my daughter some household stuff is fun, especially when we can do it together sometimes.

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Another thing I love about Pipper products beside being safe cleaner especially for our family’s sensitive skin; is the powerful natural cleaning with eco-sustainable. They use patented pineapple fermentation process (yields natural organic acids, natural enzymes, natural preservatives and biosurfactants) to clean as good as or even better than some chemical products. Not to forget the air we are breathing in too. Cleaning products with harmful chemicals that circulate in the air of our home is definitely harmful. With Pipper products, I do not have to worry about that. They are chemical-free, worry-free and healthy for environment. And most importantly, I personally think it’s better to use natural products to keep my daughter safe and away from any possible harm of chemical products.

You can find out more Pipper Standard here. Always keep your home clean, and your family safe. Easily starting a healthy environment at our home.

Love, nira

The 5 Expensive Beauty Products Worth Buying

When you spend money on something, you want to make sure it’s worth your money at least. Unfortunately, not everything expensive is considered good. Sometime it’s expensive because you are paying for the branding, marketing costs, years of R&D etc. There are costs I’ve been paying for experiences before I found some that are worth buying. This is not an advertorial and these reviews are purely based on my personal opinions.

So this post I’m going to share with you some of the expensive products I could recommend. However, I suggest you to consider buying a tester (if they do have) before purchasing some of the products below because everybody has a different skin tone, individual texture and types. Cut short, here we go. 

1. Sisley – Emulsion Ecologique Day and Night Lotion

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One of the best moisturizer products that I always repurchase when it’s finished. It moisturizes and smoothen my skin very well as well as giving a healthy look. You wouldn’t see the results until one week of using it regularly but it depends on an individual. Although I do not use this everyday but at least 4-5 times a week, I can still see the differences between using and not using it. The reason why I do not use this everyday because I have many others (new) moisturizers wanting to try or trying now.

The only downside I do not really like about this product is a slight oily feeling after 3-4 hours of application. If I want my make up to last longer in a daytime, I will not go for it and preferably apply it before bedtime. But again, it really depends on types of skin. I still love this Sisley Emulsion very much and this is one of the few products I keep buying for my parents because they too love it.

2. La Mer – The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF20

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Foundation is one of the makeup products I spend the most on. Because I’m considered VERY PICKY when it comes to choosing a foundation that suits my needs and reach my expectation. You hardly see me writing reviews on foundation because of that. However, I’m impressed by this La Mer foundation because of its weightless texture which is easily blending and healing hydration at the same time. I dislike anything that is too heavy. My skin looks naturally flawless after applying and my makeup stays well for at least 4 hours. Pores too look more refined.

Comes in 15 shades. However, I personally find this product is not really good enough for a full-coverage look if you are planning a night out.

3. Giorgio Armani – Power Fabric LONGWEAR HIGH COVER Foundation SPF25

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I have a combination skin with an oily T zone and and areas around my cheeks. This foundation works great on my skin. It feels very light and not too heavy. The texture is so smooth and easily blends into my skin. Even though it’s stated to use for full coverage but I think it works perfectly for both day time to go for a natural look or a night out for a more full-coverage finish.

All I need for my entire face is just one small drop to give a flawless look with a bit of powdery finish to it. Comes in 24 shades so your skin tone will surely find one that matches perfectly. I’m in love with quite a number of Armani’s makeup products and this is one of the tops.

4. La Prairie – White Caviar Illuminating Moisturizing Cream

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I think this is one the most expensive moisturizers I have bought so far. Slightly more expensive than Skin Caviar Luxe cream because of slightly different ingredients. White Caviar cream includes White Sturgen (fish eggs) which is very rich in omega (3 times than an average) and rare to find. I’m a sucker for whitening products so I prefer White Caviar. For the first time I applied this at night, my skin was really glowing the next morning. Dark spots from acne scars slowly disappear and leave my skin’s natural glow and bright. My mum thought I have been going to a facial treatment as she noticed some changes.

I use tiny amount of this cream before bedtime because they are so rich but not everyday (sometimes I switch to Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which is definitely another worth buying skincare product). If I remember correctly I bought this more than half a year and I just finished it last month. The only con you may find is probably their price. I love their luxurious jar packaging but it’s still considered very expensive. I’d still put it in this post because I like the results. I strongly recommend a sample to try at least 1-2 weeks before you consider purchasing this.

5. Shiseido – Revitalizing Essence

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This heavy red glass bottle of Essence works good for my combination skin. My all time favourite toner and also one of the very few toners I have been using (on and off) for years. I will use it at least 4-5 days in a week (morning and night) especially when my skin is getting dry during winter. I can easily feel the hydration it gives to my skin yet leaving no greasy or sticky feeling. One excellent product to be in a skincare routine. And yes, I will always repurchase this product.

Those are the top 5 I could share now. More updates will come.

I will end this post with small useful tips. You can actually try to ask for some available testers whenever you purchase something from the counters. Some countries (or malls) will give them even without you asking. But please do not expect them to do so if you only spend a few bucks. Hope it helps.

Love, nira