Review – Orbis UV Cut Sunscreen Super SPF 50 PA ++++

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Source: Orbis Singapore

Hi guys! Today I would like to introduce you to another sunscreen which I’ve been using and also really liked a lot (a very close second to my holy grail!) – the Orbis UV Cut Sunscreen Super SPF 50 PA ++++ (seriously.. what is it with Japan and their weird super long product names?!). As usual, let’s check out its ingredients below.

Ingredients

CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, WATER (AQUA), ZINC OXIDE, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, TRISILOXANE, ALCOHOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, DIMETHICONE, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, POLYGLYCERYL-3 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, HYDROGEN DIMETHICONE, DIETHYLAMINO HYDROXYBENZOYL HEXYL BENZOATE, ISOSTEARIC ACID, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, SILICA, MICA (CI 77019), TOCOPHEROL, HYDROLYZED HYALURONIC ACID, POLYQUATERNIUM-51, BHT, HYDROXYAPATITE, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT

You should note that this sunscreen has both physical as well as chemical filters.

How does the Orbis UV Cut Sunscreen Super fare?

As I’ve mentioned at the start of this post, I really liked this sunscreen. Firstly, it is a broad spectrum sunscreen providing both UVA and UVB protection and it is also SPF 50. Secondly, it has a very light watery texture typical of Japanese sunscreens, which means that I can use about 1/2 teaspoon (about 2.5 ml) for my face and neck without feeling like a sticky greasy mess. In fact, the texture of this product is even more runny than my favourite Shiseido Anessa sunscreen. Thirdly, it provides a nice base for my makeup without any whitish cast to my face. I’ve been really enjoying this sunscreen as the temperatures in Singapore rise even further because the texture is so light despite its protective powers.

I put this to the test by using it in the sun while on construction sites and I didn’t burn at all, or even turn pink. However, I did notice that I gained a little colour to my face which doesn’t usually happen when I use my Anessa sunscreen. Therefore, I like using this sunscreen at times when I’m just staying in the office the whole day or when I’m going out with my friends or family during the weekend where I’ll be mostly in the shade. In short, I highly recommend this product for daily use if you do not need to be in the sun too often.

Note: As this product is very water resistant, you’ll definitely need a makeup remover to remove it thoroughly. 

Where can you find it?

You can find it in Orbis stores in Singapore or you can also purchase this from their online store. It retails at S$25 (40 ml sized).

Thank you for reading!

Review – Stratia Liquid Gold

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Stratia Liquid Gold

I chanced upon Stratia’s Liquid Gold when I was looking for a moisturiser with ceramides which would help my skin to better resist the drying effects of the retinol treatments that I was using, especially after my disastrous experiment with Differin and Benzoyl Peroxide. I was looking for something which would repair and fortify my skin since I believe that my skin barrier was compromised due to that experiment. This post on Reddit on Asian Beauty convinced me that I need Stratia Liquid Gold in my life.

As usual, let’s check out its ingredients, shall we?

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Niacinamide, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Rosa Mosqueta (Rose) Hip Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, Panthenol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Squalane (olive-derived), Cetyl Alcohol, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA.

Stratia’s Liquid Gold contains 3 different types of ceramide which are namely Ceramide NP (Ceramide 3), Ceramide AP (Ceramide 6) and Ceramide EOP (Ceramide 9).

How did the Stratia Liquid Gold fare?

I’ll preface this review by informing you that this is a really small indie skincare brand. The products are literally made by the founder and owner herself, mixed from scratch. Therefore if you are leery of it, please look away now. However, if you want to give it a chance, please carry on.

Stratia claimed that their Liquid Gold is a lightweight but powerful moisturizer that fortifies your skin’s moisture barrier to help heal, hydrate, strengthen, and soothe. Liquid Gold is formulated with ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids to mimic and strengthen your natural moisture barrier. By healing your dehydration and replenishing that fatty mixture in your stratum corneum, you can address the symptoms of a damaged skin barrier and discover healthy, bouncy, resilient skin.

Now, when I first started on this moisturiser, my skin’s barrier was compromised due to my experiment with Differin and Benzoyl Peroxide. I had stopped all my actives in order to concentrate on repairing my skin. When I used this moisturiser the first night, I really liked its light texture and how it absorbed easily into my skin. Even though this moisturiser has a light texture, I find that it’s nourishing enough on its own. However, one method which I’ve been enjoying recently is to mix a few drops of my La Belle Lune Organic Skin face oil with it and apply it to my face. Finally, I would apply a layer of Jane Scrivner’s ‘OO’ cream over it to seal everything in. It didn’t break me out and I believe that this product is key for repairing my moisture barrier within just a week of using it. My skin looks and feels healthy after incorporating this product into my skincare regime. Another thing which surprised me about this product is that my skin feels unbelievably smooth after using it for around one month. Stratia’s Liquid Gold has formed part of my core skincare products. Even if I experiment with other products, I would still keep backups of this product in my stash. The only con I could think of with this product is that I cannot use it in the daytime because I find that it tints my skin slightly orange/ yellow since I’m quite fair. This tint is due to the inclusion of two types of sea buckthorn oil, so you don’t have to worry that the tint is due to a product dye. I love Stratia’s Liquid Gold and I’m so glad that I found it when I needed it the most!

Where can you find it?   

I bought this product from Stratia’s official website. They also ship worldwide.

It retails at US$24 (60ml sized).

Thank you for reading!

My Experiment with Differin 0.1% + Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%

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Before I decided to write this post, I’ve actually been debating with myself on whether I should even start writing this. The thing is that I’ve tried to use both products (the Differin 0.1% gel and the Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%) in a way that’s never been indicated on the product packaging or its leaflet so it’s kind of an unorthodox method of using them. However, I decided to write and publish this post to inform you guys on the results and the warnings of not using a product for the way it was intended for, especially with strong prescriptive products like Differin.

Note: I’ve previously done a full review on the Differin 0.1% gel and you can read it here.

I’m just going to list the ingredients of the Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% below. The product that I’d used is Galderma Benzac Spots Treatment Gel 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide.

Galderma Benzac Spots Treatment Gel 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Ingredients

Active: benzoyl peroxide 2.5%
Inactive: sodium docusate, disodium edetate, poloxamer 182, carbomer 940, propylene glycol, acrylates copolymer, glycerin, silicon dioxide, sodium hydroxide, and purified water. May contain citric acid to adjust pH.
So let’s start, shall we?
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How did the combination of Differin 0.1% plus Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% fare?

The fantastic (no..not really..) idea of combining Differin 0.1% and Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% came to me when I realised that there’s this product called Epiduo on the market. Epiduo is a prescriptive-based gel that has a combination of 0.1% adapalene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. This gel helps clear up the breakouts you have now and helps prevent future pimples from forming. I was thinking that wow.. since I already have the Differin 0.1% gel, I can just buy the Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% product (which is easily available over the counter) and I can form Epiduo at home. At this point in time, you’ll need to bear this phrase in mind “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

gOOD INTENTIONS

Indeed! Although the Great Botticelli wouldn’t appreciate me desecrating his painting like this!

You’ll also need to know that actually I don’t really have a severe acne problem. In fact, the only acne I’ve got are those one or two pesky hormonal acne that pops up around that time of the month. So retrospectively, I’m probably not the person that’s the target market for Epiduo. And the fact is that I wasn’t even using Epiduo. I was just trying to recreate Epiduo at home. I was thinking to myself one night while I was lying in bed trying to coax my daughter to sleep “Since Differin worked so well for me, why don’t I try adding Benzoyl Peroxide to see if my hormonal acne can be banished forever?” (Note to self: It might not be so wise to take action on random ideas that pop up at night).

How I use the combination is this: I apply a thin layer all over my face after applying Differin then I wait for 30 minutes before I apply all my other hydrating serums/ creams/ oils on top. The thing is, this combination actually worked amazingly well for me the first 2 weeks. Any small clogged pores on my face went away, hormonal acne was banished to the depths of Dante’s Inferno, and most importantly, my face was glowing like I’ve Snapchat filters on me in real life!

But then the 3rd week came around and it was really the beginning of the end. I remember distinctly one morning after I used the combination the previous night and my face started to feel tiny prickling sensation while I was washing my face. It wasn’t very bad, just a slight tightness that wasn’t present before. The usually mild PIXI Glow Tonic that I used in the morning started to sting when previously it didn’t. And my face felt uncomfortably tight the whole day even though I had already used my hydrating serums and creams on top. I tried to use all my most nourishing oils and moisturisers at night after I had applied the combination but my face still felt tight the next morning. By the end of the 3rd week, I knew that I cannot carry on with this experiment. I had to stop using this combination and also all my other actives. I needed to concentrate on repairing my skin barrier which I believe cannot take such a harsh combination. After that, I only used my gentle cleansers, hydrating serums and creams with my ceramide moisturisers and oils. It took about a week before everything became better. Nowadays I only use the BP cream sparingly at localised area for spots.

So yup! I learnt my lesson the hard way and now I’m here to tell you about my experience. Obviously my skin is different from yours but what I’m trying to say is that sometimes, too much of a good thing might not be so good after all. Doing things in moderation might just be the key for everything, even skincare!

As always, thank you for reading!