Foundation of Skincare: Double Cleansing


This picture has no relation whatsoever to my post.. I just really love Big Bang’s T.O.P.. Lol..

Double cleansing is a phenomenon that has blown up over the past few years in the western beauty world. This was very surprising to me since I have been doing the act of double cleansing since I was 19 years old (FYI, I’m going to be 33 years old this year!). Essentially I have been following this routine for 14 years and had also, perhaps naively, thought that everybody was more or else doing the same thing as me.

So what is double cleansing? Well, it is exactly as its name implies – you cleanse your face twice! I worked part-time for a beauty brand during my university days and vividly remembered an encounter with the beauty counter manager who tried to explain the concept of double cleansing to me. She asked me whether I have the habit of showering everyday. At that time, I was mortified and thought that she was hinting that I smelt kinda funky. However, she carried on to ask me another question. She asked if I wore my clothes while showering. I replied “Of course not!”. Then she started to explain that double cleansing is akin to the act of removing your clothes before you shower. Just as removing your clothes before showering/ bathing is essential to washing yourself clean, using a makeup remover to remove your makeup/ sunscreen before you wash your skin itself is important for your skin to be thoroughly cleansed. This concept has stayed with me ever since.

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T.O.P agrees that you should remove your clothes before you shower!

Double cleansing is the foundation of a proper skincare routine. If your skin is not thoroughly cleansed of all the dirt and makeup or sunscreen that accumulates throughout the day, all other skincare products layered on top would not be absorbed properly. If I’m going to be very harsh, I could even say that it’s useless applying all your expensive serums or moisturisers if you are not going to wash your face thoroughly.  

By now, if you are convinced that you want to start double cleansing, I have a few tips to get you on the way. The first cleanse would usually be used to remove your makeup or sunscreen. My first cleanse typically consists of either cleansing oils or balms to remove my super waterproof Japanese sunscreen as well as my makeup. Sometimes I would use micellar water as my first cleanse if I’m wearing a non-waterproof sunscreen or light makeup.

Here’s a bunch that I’d used before and really loved.

First Cleanse (Cleansing Oils/ Balms/ Micellar Water)

  1. Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil (Read full review here)
  2. Dr Lewinn 4 Fusion Cleansing Oil (Read full review here)
  3. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (Read full review here)
  4. Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water (Read full review here)

For my second cleanse, I usually prefer using low-pH cleansers. Some of them are foaming cleansers and some are more milky/ creamy in texture. Below are some products that I’d used before and loved.

Second Cleanse

  1. Oskia Citylife Cleansing Concentrate (Read full review here)
  2. Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (Read full review here)
  3. Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser => I didn’t really like this cleanser much at first but after I’d gone through one whole tube of it, I find that I kinda missed using it. It’s actually a very nice cleanser. (Read full review here)
  4. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (Read full review here)

I hope that if you are reading this and had not incorporated double cleansing into your skincare routine yet, this post will inspire you to start. Join us in our glorious world of double cleansing, won’t you?

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Review – NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex 2 (MMHC 2)

NIOD’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC) was one of the first few products that I had reviewed back in May 2017 when I just started my blog (Read full review here). I knew at that time that Deciem was in the midst of revamping the formula for MMHC and was about to release MMHC2 in a few months time. I’ve always wanted to try MMHC2 for the longest time but got distracted by some other hydrating serums along the way that I never got to it.

Well, as luck would have it, during the Chinese New Year period in February this year, I received a discount code from ASOS for 15% off. When I saw that the NIOD MMHC2 was listed on their website, I went for it and grabbed 3 bottles in one go. Heh! Now that I’ve been using it for around one month plus (and already more than halfway through one bottle), I think that it’s time for me to reveal my thoughts on this product. Will it live up to its predecessor? Will it exceed it? Or will it be a disaster? Read on!


Aqua (Water), Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Salvia Sclarea Extract, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sodium Lactate, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Gallyl Glucoside, Algae Extract, Sodium Salicylate, Lecithin, Polyglucuronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Citric Acid, Magnesium Chloride, Silica, Polysorbate 20, Ethoxydiglycol, Propyl Gallate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.

How does the NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex 2 (MMHC 2) fare?

NIOD’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex 2 is the second generation of MMHC, combining 15 forms of hyaluronic compounds to visibly hydrate skin. The formula offers a multi-dimensional approach to topical hyaluronic supplementation by combining 15 forms (vs the 12 forms of HA in the original MMHC) of hyaluronic compounds, hyaluronic precursors and a hyaluronic support technology in a peptide-charged delivery system. It offers water-based hydration and helps skin surface look plump, elastic, comfortable and uniform.

So what’s so special about MMHC2? Well, Deciem had included an extremely rare direct form of hyaluronic acid amongst the 15 hyaluronic compounds. In the world of beauty, the term “hyaluronic acid” is used loosely to refer to “sodium hyaluronate” which is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. When brands refer to “hyaluronic acid” in their information and marketing materials, in almost every case the reference is to forms of “sodium hyaluronate” which appears in the ingredient listing of the products. In fact, I had only encountered hyaluronic acid in its direct form before in Jordan Samuel Skin’s Hydrate serum (Full review here). While several sodium salt forms of hyaluronic acid are included in MMHC2, the formula also includes 1.0% direct hyaluronic acid which appears as “hyaluronic acid” in the ingredient listing. Direct hyaluronic acid offers pro-repair support far beyond basic water hydration that sodium hyaluronate offers, resulting in improvements to the elastic appearance and the general healthy look of skin.

Below is a table of comparison between the ingredients in the original version of MMHC and MMHC2. You can definitely see the inclusion of hyaluronic acid as well as a rise in the position of the various hyaluronic sodium salts (which translates to higher levels of hyaluronic sodium salts added in the revised formula).


MMHC (Original)



Aqua Aqua
Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract
Glycerin Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer
Hyaluronic Acid Dimethyl isosorbide
Sodium Hyaluronate Glycerin
Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate Sodium Hyaluronate
Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate
Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum
Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract
Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate
Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3
Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6
Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract Ceratonia Siliqua Gum
Ceratonia Siliqua Gum N-Acetyl-D-glucosamine-6-phosphate disodium salt
Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3 Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate
Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract Betaine
Salvia Sclarea Extract Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate
Arginine Ethylhexylglycerin
Aspartic acid Cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose
Glycine Pentylene Glycol
Alanine Potassium Sorbate
Serine Citric Acid
Valine Sodium Benzoate
Isoleucine Lecithin
Proline Magnesium chloride
Threonine PPG-26-Buteth-26
Histidine PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Phenylalanine Polyglucuronic acid
PCA Chlorphenesin
Sodium PCA Phenoxyethanol
Sodium Lactate
Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside
Gallyl Glucoside
Algae Extract
Sodium salicylate
Polyglucuronic acid
Xanthan Gum
Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate
Sclerotium Gum
Cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose
Pentylene Glycol
Dimethyl isosorbide
Citric Acid
Magnesium chloride
Polysorbate 20
Propyl Gallate
Dehydroacetic Acid
Benzyl Alcohol
Potassium Sorbate
Sodium Benzoate
Caprylyl Glycol

However, I’m sure that if you are reading this review, you would be more interested to know whether the MMHC2 is as hydrating as MMHC or even more so. Well, I can definitely confirm that this version is indeed a far superior formula than the original one. How could I tell, you may ask? It’s simple. I find that on days that I use this serum, the fine dehydration lines on my forehead are very much lessened and my cheek area looks more lifted and plump. Most importantly, the hydration actually lasts throughout the day. This serum, like its predecessor, also comes in a watery formula which sinks into my skin nicely without interfering with the rest of my other skincare products. Since hydration serums are a non-negotiable part of my skincare routine (that is, I must use a hydrating serum in both my day and night routines)it is imperative that there’s no “rolling” or “flaking” even when I layer other products over it. 

If you are looking for an excellent hydrating serum which does exactly what it claims to do, I would highly recommend that you give this product a try. Because this serum has such a light watery texture, it would also be suitable for all skin types.

Thank you for reading!

Review – Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

sunday riley ceramic slip cleanser

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of new posts recently. I’ve been having some writer’s block and really don’t have any inspiration for blogging (or taking photos and thus the stock photo as above! Sorry!). I’m also in the midst of changing my job and had been really busy trying to handover my current scope of works to my colleagues. What can I say? Sometimes life gets in the way… Anyway, lately I’ve also been experiencing a situation that feels quite foreign to me. You know, I’m usually constantly on the lookout for new products to try and see if they are better than my current stash but recently I’ve been pretty content with my current skincare routine and haven’t been motivated to rope in new products to try (even though my stash of new skincare products is probably enough to last me for one year!). My skin has also been in a pretty well-balanced state with no major problems and I just don’t wanna jinx it by adding new stuff that my skin might not like.

Anyhoo, today I’m gonna review a cleanser that I’ve been using since January this year and that is the famous Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip cleanser. I first bought it because I saw that it was tested to be a sexy low-pH cleanser (which is totally my thing!). However, after I’d received my cleanser, I saw some newer reviews stating that Sunday Riley had changed their formula and that the new formula’s pH level was tested to be higher than the old one. The old formula had a pH level of 5.0 (which is really excellent) and apparently the new cleanser is around pH level of 6.25?! Now, don’t get me wrong.. A cleanser with a pH level of 6.25 to 6.5 isn’t too terrible (although it’s not ideal). Researchers have found out that acne tends to grow well at pH values of between 6 and 6.5 but when the pH level of skin drops to 5.5, its growth significantly decreases. Therefore skin at pH 5.5 is better at preventing the growth of bacteria than skin at pH 6.5. Oh well, I’ve not tested the pH of my bottle but I think that mine might be the new formula. I’ll explain in a bit.

As usual, ingredients are below for your reference.


Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocopolyglucoside Tartrate, Sodium Cocopolyglucoside Citrate, Montmorillonite (French Green) Clay, Moroccan (Rhassoul) Lava Clay, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Oil, Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) Fruit Oil, Botswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Jasmine Officinale Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol.

How does the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser fare?

Sunday Riley described this cleanser as a lightly foaming cleanser containing a cocktail of vitamins, minerals & essential oils to tone and balance normal to combination skin. Refined French green clay draws out impurities while vitamin C reduces the appearance of discolouration and stimulates collagen production for a plumper, dewy complexion. Black pepper promotes circulation, sandalwood combats areas of sensitivity, jasmine soothes and restores while frankincense encourages healthy cell growth for firmer, porcelain-smooth skin. TLDR; it’s a clay-based cleanser that foams. Heh!

I’ve been using this product as my second cleanse after I removed my makeup in the evenings. Due to the inclusion of Frankincense and Neroli oils, this cleanser has a slightly musky smell. Thankfully the smell dissipates quite fast and doesn’t linger. Now, the thing which intrigued me about this cleanser is that although it is clay-based, it actually has some foaming action going on. The foam is rather wimpy though but I guess it helps to ease people with combination/ oily skins who are used to foaming cleansers into using this kind of clay-based cleanser instead.


Do not expect such vigorous foaming action!

It is quite an effective cleanser and my skin usually feels clean and soft after using it. However, as I’d stated as above, I suspect that my bottle is the new formula because it does feel slightly drying during times when my skin is acting up or when I’d gone a little hard on my actives routine. My husband loves using it for his combination oily skin though and it’s now permanently stashed in the bathroom that he’s using.

Where can you find it?

I bought the cleanser from SkinStore Online. It retails at US$45 (125 ml sized).

You can also purchase it from Sephora Online (US store) and Cult Beauty (UK & International).

Thank you for reading!