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!

Ingredients

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 2

MMHC (Original)

Ingredient

Ingredient

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
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

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.

Ingredients:

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.

foam

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!

Is the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence worth the eye-watering price?

img_1417

Isn’t it lust-inducing?!

I first learnt of the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence while I was watching Gothamista’s video in which she used this essence in her morning skincare routine during the summer of last year. When I saw this product, I was attracted to it immediately and knew that I’ve gotta get it (Do you believe in lust at first sight? That’s how I felt about this product!). However, I went online to search for reviews on it and couldn’t find much information (probably because it’s kinda a new product). My lust for it also kinda stalled when I saw its price on Sephora (US$145 for 120ml!).

eye widening

Literally my reaction when I saw its price!

Like the handsome stranger that you met briefly on the train ride during the morning rush hour, the memories and the feelings of that encounter with this product got pushed to the back of my mind as months passed by. It wasn’t until September last year (in 2017) that my friend asked me if I wanted anything from Korea as she had another friend who’s going there for a holiday. Immediately I thought of this product and asked her to haul one from Lotte Duty Free shop for me.

Ingredients

Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin

If you just look at its ingredients list as above, you’ll note that this product is basically made out of glycerin (a humectant) and green tea extract (a strong antioxidant).

How does the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence fare?

Amorepacific’s Vintage Single Extract Essence is described as a skin-enhancing essence sourced from single extract, antioxidant-rich green tea that has been naturally fermented and aged to pre-tox and purify skin before ageing occurs. The antioxidant-rich green tea was harvested from AMOREPACIFIC’s Dolsongi tea garden on Jeju island. The handpicked leaves used to create the original single extract are fermented for 50 days, aged in traditional Korean earthenware for another 50 days and extracted for 24 hours, using the patented Full Body Extraction, to create a concentrated skin superfood. The fermentation process really maximises the potency of the EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) in this green tea extract. EGCG is a powerful antioxidant which protect cells from damage.

See the video below from Amorepacific on this product! I swear this advertisement is so effective and makes me want to rush out to buy it immediately!

 

Even though I’ve had this product for around 6 months, I only really started cranking down to using it seriously around the end of January this year (2018) since I was using the Sulwhasoo First Care Serum previously. So I’ve been using this product both in my day and night skincare routines for around 1.5 months and I’m ready to share my thoughts of this product with you.

Amorepacific’s Vintage Single Extract Essence is similar to a First Care Essence/ Serum in that you’ll need to use it in the first step after cleansing your face. For the first 2 weeks that I was using this product, I only pour out a few drops from the glass bottle and pat it into my skin. However, I later decanted it into a plastic spray bottle to spray it all over my face instead. There are 2 main reasons why I do so. Firstly, the product is extremely liquid, almost water-like, and I would find it seeping out through the gaps of my fingers. D*mn if I’m gonna let my floor gain all these anti-ageing super anti-oxidant benefits instead of my skin! Secondly, my 3 year-old daughter is now extremely curious about the “magic” potions that her mama keeps on the dressing table. She likes to pretend that she’s using them the same way as her mama does. To my absolute shock and horror, I caught her trying to shake the glass bottle of this particular product (that costs US$128/ US$145 a bottle, mind you!). For my own peace of mind and my daughter’s safety (in case she breaks the bottle and gets cut by the glass shards), I decided to decant it instead.

Anyway, as I was saying, the product is extremely liquid and it smells of tea (like duh!). I literally feel like I’m spraying my face with tea everytime I use this product. My initial impressions of this product was that it is lightly hydrating, softening and seems to help boost the absorption rate of my subsequent skincare. To be honest, I didn’t really see much results for the initial 2 weeks that I was using this product. I was just enjoying the sensorial experience of using this product. After 4 weeks, I find that my skin was significantly softer. I wanted to test if this new texture of my skin was due to this product so I stop using it for a few days just to see if there would be a difference. I noticed that although my skin still looks relatively ok, the feel of it was really quite different. Although my skin still feels smooth, it didn’t quite have the velvety softness that it had before.

However, the pressing question is this: is the difference in the softness of the skin a big enough factor for me to repurchase, considering its price? To be honest, I’m not certain either. Currently, I’ve got 3 new essences in my stash that I’ve not tried out yet. I’m not sure if the performance of those essence would be better than this essence but, they are certainly cheaper than the Amorepacific one. To date however, it is the best essence that I’ve used before. I might do a comparison post of all the essences that I’ve tried sometime in the future.

Where can you find it?

I asked a friend to purchase it from Korea. It retails at US$128 (120ml sized) at Lotte Duty Free shops.

Alternatively, you can also purchase it from Sephora (USA) or Nordstrom Online. It retails at US$145 (120ml sized).

Thank you for reading!