Friday, April 30, 2010

My solution to ease allergies

So following from my last blog post, I’m sure most of you know about my current skin condition after trying out Fresh products. It’s still not perfect worse affected are my eye areas which are still red and rashy… I’m even developing double eyelids because of the swelling on my right eye. I have to admit that I look pretty freakish now hahaahaah… True story: I went for a shower last night, removed my makeup and my friend asked me if I had already showered and I said ‘I’ve already showered’. She says that I don’t look like I’ve cleaned up…and it’s all thanks to the red rashes all over the face which is more obvious once makeup is removed. My skin tone just looks so uneven now that people think I haven’t washed my face properly hahahahaha… deary me…

I just better pray that my skin will recover quickly. Now that I’ve stopped using the Fresh products I still needed to cleanse my skin. As you might know I’m a HUGE fan of Cetaphil, I love it because it’s soap free and is awesome for people who are super sensitive. But I don’t think they have Cetaphil here in Korea so my next best choice is… Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser. I have never tried the cleanser from the classic Ultra facial line but I absolutely adore their Ultra Facial Cream. And going by experience I thought it was worth a try since I had nothing to lose due to the state of my face. First what claims to do:

- mild cleanser formulated with sugar-derived glycoside to thoroughly cleanse and remove makeup
- does not over –dry or strip your skin of its natural oils
- effective ingredients can help absorb excess oil and dirt on the face
- is pH balanced to maintain a healthy balanced skin condition
- tested for safety and gentleness

Along with the claims the active ingredients are impressive, for example the product contains Apricot Kernel Oil packed with Vitamin E (for moisturizing and creating soft skin), Avocado Oil packed with Vitamin A, D, E and potassium (restores natural moisture in your own skin) and Squalane derived from olives. Yep, there is no doubt that when using this product that my skin didn’t dry out like when you use most cleansers. It’s super gentle on the skin and although I have itchy skin, I realized the itchiness settled down after using this cleanser day and night for 2days. The lathering of the foam makes cleansing really gentle and gets right down the pores to clean all the dirt away. With continued use my skin will be normal in no time.

In combination with the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, I have never stopped using the Ultra Facial Cream it’s been my best friend since I started taking Oratane. It really does keep the skin moisturized for ages throughout the day and has been great for me underneath my makeup. I probably will get asked… but ‘NO’ I DO NOT use any toner between my cleansing and moisturizing routine. I’ve been laying off the toner for a while now since my dermo said that it’s more likely to dry out my already medically enhanced dry skin. May be one day I’ll get back to doing the full routine again but right now I’m totally fine with just the two simple steps. In between I love to do my exfoliation routine, as I’m dry and sensitive I only do it maximum twice a week. I probably shouldn’t have tried out the Fresh Face Polish sugar scrub and opted for the Benefit's "Honey...snap out of it" facial scrub (a possible future review) instead since that worked so well for me back in Melbourne. A lesson well learnt, right now I’m in no state to be trying out skincare products not till my skin stabilizes after having stopped the Oratane medications.

I have to thank Oratane for taking away my cystic acne which was just unbearable. But at the same time there is a little regret to know that it has made my skin terribly sensitive and that it will possibly be like this for a long while. Not to mention that although Oratane has taken away my acne there is no guarantee that it’s gone forever. According to most cases there is always a chance of relapse after about two years. So I’m having my fingers crossed that this doesn’t happen to me because I don’t think I want to go on the meds again. It’s really damaging to your insides and on the outside you might look pimple free BUT due to my dry state, friends close to me has said that it looks like I have aged a little compared to when I had oily skin. Actually a good amount of oil production is the key to staying and looking youthful. And what Oratane (just like Accutane) does is dry up all those oil glands underneath the skin so it inhibits oil production. It’s an extreme way of removing your acne right? Well, I totally agree and wouldn’t recommend it to people in general unless you’ve exhausted all options available. CLICK here to read about my acne treatment.

Final words: If you ever have any allergies on your face make sure to give Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Ultra Facial Cream a go. At least you can still cleanse and moisturize instead of doing nothing and letting the dirt collect as you wait for your skin to heal on its own. If you just leave it its likely your skin will take longer to recover without any sort of care. Once the skin is cleansed well and moisturized well it will produce a healthy balanced skin condition thus, the skin will only get better and better.

That's all for today, I'm out.

Love from ME

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wish I could love you...

Hey all,

I know it’s been a long, long, long, long time since I last posted and I am ashamed. But I finally have my ground and realized it’s time to get back at it. First of all, I wanted to say that I am no longer situated in Melbourne, Australia anymore as I have made my move to South Korea recently. Yep, being here has really created a stir in me with all the available brands in all corners of the city. As you can imagine making a move overseas isn’t an easy decision and there is heaps of things to organize before leaving. It was honestly doing my head in right up to the morning of leaving. Anywhoo, I made it here and have been enjoying it…not so much for the weather though. So technically it’s supposed to be Spring time here but it still feels like Winter with windy and rainy days…unbelievable. So enough about my move which I just wanted to briefly mention as I did say I was going to announce it once it’s all settled. So here I am again, back and hopefully on track if I’m not too busy… No guarantees of course as I believe we all ohave lives outside of blogging which is totally allowed hahahahaah…

Moving onto the topic for this post: Wish I could love you… There is no doubt that I can get hold of brands over here in Korea which is just unlikely to be available in Australia in the coming years. So naturally I got excited and wanted to try stuff out. What did I try? First up, is the Fresh Sugar Face Polish which I think was raved about by a few people… (not many to be honest) but I needed an exfoliator and came across the Fresh counter and thought back to what others have said about it. Hey, it’s not to mention that this is also one of the brand’s best sellers, so why wouldn’t I give it a go? Sometimes my reasoning can be rubbish when I truly just wanted it for myself hehehe… So here’s what it does:

- Nourishes and smoothes skin
- Gently eradicates dull flakes
- Leaves skin with a healthy, radiant glow
- Won’t sting or cause redness
- Can be used daily
- Ideal for all skin types (CLICK for more on the product here)

Sounds good right? Wait till you here what’s in it… Key ingredients include REAL brown sugar crystals (polishes complexion by dissolving dead skin cells), crushed wild strawberries (antioxidant filled with vitamin C to heal and protect skin) and other stuff like meadow foam seed, plum, mango and macadamia oils (helps to moisturize). It’s all naturally found ingredients which is great for the skin. This is one of those all in one products, it exfoliates, protects and moisturizes in one go. I used it every second day, rubbing gently in a circular motion for a minute then leaving it on for 5-8mins as a mask so it works deep down to remove dead skin cells, repairs and moisturizes the skin.

In the beginning I was really impressed; my face was noticeably brighter and instantly smoother…feeling well ‘Fresh’! I initially thought that this was a keeper for sure so after about a week it was working pretty well. I loved applying makeup on myself with such smooth skin underneath hahahahah... (I’ll tell you why it didn’t work for me later despite all the good stuff I’ve mentioned).

Now the next thing I tried along with the Face Polish is the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser which really was a sample given to me. But a whole 50ml tube worth of a sample so there was no doubt that I’d be trying this. I was attracted to this cleanser because the SA said that it can remove all traces of makeup as well as point makeup (eye/lip makeup). It’s perfect for me as I don’t like to spend ages on doing my skincare routine. First, what it claims to do:

- Fresh’s unique crème gel formula won’t strip skin of its essential nutrients
- Removes all makeup and is safe for use around the eye area
- Soothes and refreshes the complexion
- Gentle enough for a.m. and p.m. use
- Effectively removes pore-clogging impurities, including pollution and makeup
-Leaves skin clean, fresh, and hydrated
- Fragrance free (CLICK for more on the product)

This product also says it’s ideal for all skin types as its ultra gentle with ingredient such as soy amino acids (help with water retention, elasticity and firmness), rose water (calms, soothes, cools and balances the skin) and cucumber extract (anti-inflammatory property). All good stuff no doubt.

The outcome of switching to these products and having used them together for about 3weeks was horrendous. My face started to be consumed by red itchy rashes from the forehead down to the chin and around my eye area. It was terribly itchy to the point where I couldn’t get any sleep for about 2nights. It looked so patchy that I couldn’t even go out as I didn’t want to layer makeup over the top to aggravate the problem. And honestly the red splotches made me look diseased (shocking isn’t it). I immediately stopped using the products to see if it really was because of the Fresh products causing me grief. And within 2days I was getting heaps better…itchiness died down heaps and red splotches started to disappear. For products which contain such natural ingredients and isn’t scented unless it contains fruit extracts, I would think that all would be fine. Plus it was highly recommended by a friend whose cousin loved it but NO! It didn’t work for me. Since I stop using the two products entirely I couldn’t really figure out which one was causing the actual problem. But I suspect it’s the Face Polish because the sugar grains are a bit rough before it dissolves into your skin and then you have to leave it on for up to 8mins. A lot can go wrong if you use something you aren’t suited to and to have it left on your face for an extended period of time then repeating the process every 2nd day. I think I should have seen it coming to be honest, since my skin has gotten heaps sensitive from taking Oratane to fix my acne problem. On another note, the Soy Cleanser really does remove makeup off the face real well HOWEVER, it does not work when removing your eye makeup especially when I only use stubborn waterproof cosmetics. I had black all over my face when I tried to use the cleanser to solely remove my eye makeup, just to see if it would work. It totally doesn’t work so don’t believe what you hear.

Although this brand and these particular products didn’t work on me, I’m not saying that it will be the same for everyone else. It would totally be fine on someone with normal to oily skin as they both cleanse real well. Like I said “I wish I could love you (Fresh)” but it just wasn’t meant to be. Not to mention the Face Polish wasn’t cheap to begin with being close to $110AUD. So it’s such a waste and since I changed my wallet and threw out the receipt I couldn’t return it~~ I had to eventually give it away to my friend’s mother who is just loving it right now… at least it’s found a better home and is being used.

Anyway guys that’s just my experience with my first ever Fresh products and it’s been an ordeal for me. Besides me having extremely sensitive and very dry skin it just made my skin condition 10 times worse than before. This is just what happened to me… If you have used Fresh products in particular the Face Polish and Soy Face Cleanser, I suggest you comment on how you found the product to be working on you? Despite what happened to me I really wanted so badly to love them because it was working so great on me initially but I’m so glad I used it consistently and really got to find out whether it was good in the long run for my skin.

P.S. My face is still recovering as of now. I still have red itchy splotches under my eye (which makes me look like I’ve cried for hours coz it looks swollen) and on my cheek areas. But at least it’s heaps better than before, can’t complain.

Till next time.

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