The Plog (Piya + Blog)

Probiotic Skincare? Real or Hype

The Plog - published 05.25..21

Hello beautiful! It’s almost the end of May and I just now have a chance to pop in here.

I want to share with you about what I know of Prebiotics, Probiotics and Postbiotics.

More and more brands are coming out with products with these words on the labels. Before jumping on this bandwagon, you’d want to understand what they really are and what science says about them.


We all have heard about the word microbiome - what is it actually? In simple English - it is a community of microbes on and inside our body. In this case, I’m going to discuss the microbiome on our skin. Just like any community, there are the good and the bad. I’m only using these terms for the sake of simplicity; however, it’s not really that black and white. P. Acne and C. Acne can be also found on healthy skin but when they are on a skin that is imbalanced, they can wreak havoc causing all kinds of problems. Now you understand.

We all have different numbers and types of microbes on our skin depending on our genetical diversity. So, again for the sake of simplicity. All the skin have pretty much the same types of microbes but in varying numbers depending on multiple factors.

The microbiome on healthy skin is balanced and it is out of balance for troubled skin and that is where the Prebiotics, Probiotics and Postbiotics come in as theymay help put the balance back into the skin microbiome.

PREBIOTICS are nutrients or foods to microbes.

PROBIOTICS are live microbes.

POSTBIOTICS are by products that microbes produced.

Note that a dietary prebiotics MAY NOT be skin prebiotics; however, there are some prebiotics that are good for both skin and gut.

Yogurt powder, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Inulin, Lactic Acid and Lactobacillus ferment are cosmetic & skincare ingredients that are good for both skin and gut microbes.

Since probiotics are live microbes, there are really NO SKIN CARE products on the market today that can be considered as probiotics. If we look closely at a list of ingredients for these probiotic skincare, we would often find that they are based on more microbial ferment, often in the forms of extracts or lysate - which are considered as Postbiotics.

It troubles me that some brands market their products as probiotics but there are no live microbes in them; however, do I really want live microbes in these products? Not really. Here is why....

Formulating live microbes in skincare is extremely problematic. Safety regulations governed by the EFSA - the FDA of Europe; require that all cosmetic and skincare products to pass the microbe-hostile challenge. Once passed, the live microbes need to survive up to 30 months.

With these requirements, I don’t think that it is possible that we can expect the microbes to survive in a container for that long.

Right now, the FDA doesn’t regulate the claims in cosmetic and skincare products; however, if companies keep pushing the probiotic claims (400 beneficial claims but only 1 is proven, according to the EFSA), the FDA may have to step in.

Now you could see that products that are claimed to be probiotics most likely are Postbiotics. Not that they are not good products but they are not correctly labeled.

I believe that the industry owes it to us, the consumer to communicate clearly and to avoid inappropriate and loose use of the term probiotics; unless they want to end up with a class action lawsuit that Clinique is currently experiencing.

The bottom line is with the requirements that products need to maintain its integrity throughout its shelf life; and along with the anti-microbial ingredients that are used to maintain that integrity, there is no chance that live microbes will survive. Therefore, there is really no probiotic skincare product in the market today.

So,, don’t go out and spend money on claims that could not be substantiated. It is important that we educate ourselves. I also wanted to point out that there is an “encapsulated” technology that claims to be able to protect live microbes in the product until it touches our skin. Until I can hold it in my hands and see it with my own eyes, I will continue being skeptical about it. As for now, we all can still gain the skin benefits of the probiotics from yogurt with live active cultures of Lactobacillus Acidophilus that helps calm and sooth irritated skin.

I can go on but that’s all for now. I hope you are having a brilliant week.

What products are you loving at the moment?

Love ya’ll. xx 😘 🤗❤️

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Meet A Gentler and Nicer AHA

The Plog - published 03.30.21

Hi beautiful. We are upon the end of March. Can you believe that it’s less than 9 months before Christmas. 🎄

One ingredient that you should add to your routine in 2021 is....

It’s Mandelic acid (MA) - the lesser-known and "gentler" AHA.

Because of its larger molecule, it is the best acid to use on dark skin. It has been well studied to improve dark spots, wrinkles, skin texture, dullness and acne.

Due to its size, it penetrates the skin at a slower rate, which makes it less irritating. MA was first discovered in 1831 by the German pharmacist Ferdinand Ludwig Winckler while heating amygdalin, an extract of bitter almonds, with diluted hydrochloric acid. Its name is derived from the German word mandel for almond.

MA is known to accelerate cellular turnover by breaking desmosome bonds between skin cells to exfoliate and remove dead skin thus improves skin appearance by regulating sebum production, unclogging pores, preventing the formation of comedones and reducing inflammation. MA is also reported to promote collagen production to support the skin and connective tissues, providing anti-aging benefits.

MA acts through two primary paths: as an exfoliant on one hand and the other, a disinfectant/antibacterial. The exfoliating properties are said to be proportional to its concentration. As an antibacterial, it has been shown to inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus sp., Escherichia coli and Klebsiella aerogenes; ergo, the anti-acne effect.

With antibacterial properties, we can actually use it on the underarms instead of commercial deodorant. As an exfoliant, the product accelerates turnover to reduce underarm-area pigmentation and prevent ingrown hair.

A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology compares the safety and efficacy of MA versus salicylic acid (SA) to treat mild to moderate acne vulgaris. 45% MA was shown to treat inflammatory lesions more effectively than 30% SA; which was more effective in the case of noninflammatory lesions. While both treatments addressed acne equally and effectively, MA was deemed as safer and more tolerable to skin.

MA is also found to be as effective as retinoic acid in treating hyperpigmentation and PIH but a much gentler option to retinoic acid.

MA has also shown to improve fine lines and wrinkles in Fitzpatrick I through IV skin types at concentrations of 10% to 20% by increasing glycosaminoglycan levels in skin; which are precursors to collagen.

A study from 2018, published in Facial Plastic Surgery, explored the topical effects of MA on skin viscoelasticity—the property of skin to bounce back to its original state. 20 women and 4 men ages 42 to 68 years, applied a topical MA formula to the face twice daily. The viscoelastic properties of the lower eyelid skin were assessed weekly. After four weeks of treatment, the elasticity of the lower eyelid increased 25.4% and skin firmness increased 23.8%.

So, what’s your favorite MA product? 

Love ya’ll. xx 😘 🤗❤️

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Making The Case For Facial Oil

The Plog - published 03.24.21

Hi gorgeous 😘 It’s Spring so bring out the sunshine ☀️

Making the case for not using facial oil. 

How do I feel about it?

Honestly, I try to use the least amount of it as possible and reasons behind my decision are:

1. Oil doesn’t really hydrate the skin. Well at least not directly. Oil has very large molecules. What that means is that it doesn’t actually penetrate the skin but rather forming a protective barrier on top of the skin to prevent TWL (Trans-Epidermal Water Loss) of the skin. 

Essentially I consider oil as an occlusive product. What makes it a step above other occlusive products such as Vaseline is the fact that seed oils actually contain antioxidants that are good for our skin and health.

2. Oil will eventually clog pores. OK my thought on this is quite controversial among oil worshippers. Most oils are made up of Essential Fatty Acids (Linoleic acids), Non-Essential Fatty Acids (Oleic acids), other trace minerals and nutrients. 

When oil contains more Oleic acids, they are more of the pore cloggers than oil that contains more of Linoleic acids; however, since you can’t avoid Oleic acids in oils, people with combination, oily and acne prone skin would experience the pore clogging effects of oils sooner than people with drier skin. Generally, you can use oil that contains more of Linoleic acids to prevent pore clogging but the clogging effects are eventual.

3. Adding oil to your daily routine will make your skin lazy. OK another controversial statement here but hear me out. I’m going to use this analogy so that you can understand where I’m coming from. 

If you keep giving money to a friend who doesn’t want to work, it doesn’t give him/her incentive to go out to find work to support himself/herself. Skin is the same way. 

If you have dry skin and use oil regularly in your routine, you are teaching the sebum to be lazy and eventually will stop producing its own sebum. Have you ever noticed that your skin is even drier when you are not using oil for a couple of days? 

Skin has a remarkable healing ability. If you want to train it to do its job, encourage it by using less products, in this case...oil. I always suggest my dry skin clients to stop using their face oils for a week and see how their skin react without the help of adding face oil. Taking the oil away will encourage the sebum to do its job - to produce oil. If you still feel dry, add oil to your night routine twice a week just to help it along. 

What if you still want oil in your routine? OK so I’m nice and I will list out the oils with less tendency to clog pores below. But please use it sparingly. 


Evening primrose

Grape seed




Pumpkin seed

Sweet almond

Hemp seed



Borage seed

Black currant seed

Cranberry seed


Manketti nut

Raspberry seed

Rosehip seed

I hope you find this information useful.

Y’all know what? I love y’all. xx 😘🤗♥️

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Clear Your Pores with Derma E

The Plog - published 03.08.21

Welcome to the new week darling! 😍

Spring is definitely in the air and so is my active sebum. I was looking for a new cleanser that not only keeps my skin balanced, but also makes sure my pores are 

Derma E gifted me their ANTI-ACNE TREATMENT SYSTEM, but I wanted to shine the spotlight on:

🍃ACNE DEEP PORE CLEANSING WASH ($ 15.50) with 2% salicylic acid and anti-blemish complex.

In my experience, this cleanser can be used every day to remove dirt, bacteria and excessive oil build-up from the skin that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. I started using it at night as my second cleanser.

The scent of tea tree oil stands out, but if you've ever used tea tree oil in products, you know that nothing will camouflage that scent. It has a cooling effect on my skin that I love.

I have clogged pores in my T-Zone and am sick of having to see it every night. I extracted them the first night of use and noticed that they became less noticeable thereafter.

If you are concerned about clogged pores, salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that helps skin cells shed more easily, is your best friend.

It is oil soluble so it penetrates deeper into the skin. In this formula, it is enhanced with Derma • E's exclusive anti-blemish complex, comprised of tea tree oil, willow bark extract, lavender and chamomile. This unique combination of plant-based ingredients not only helps unclog pores, but also soothes and balances the skin for a noticeably clearer complexion.

I am looking forward to permanently adding this cleanser to my routine. If you don't know Derma E, they are the most transparent beauty company on the planet, long before the word transparency became common.

This cleanser should be in everyone's gym bags. I have teenage clients who have acne from face to back. I will ask them to carry this cleanser in their bags, among other products.

I will  be showcasing the rest of the products in this range in the near future.

Purchase Derma • E products on their website, WholeFoods, Sprouts and Ulta. 

What is your favorite Derma E product?

Have a super week darling. I love you all. xx 😘🤗 ♥ ️

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Saying NO to Afterpay & Is Korean Skincare Really Affordable?

The Plog - published 01.31.21

Happy Sunday beauties! 😍

It's a day off for me. What about all of you?

So I wanted to share with you all something that has been bothering me for a while: payment plans for beauty and skincare products - Afterpay and Klarna come to mind. 

I can understand home and car financing, but for beauty and skincare? ☹️

There is no reason to keep up with the trend and go into debt. The global economy is about to be almost irreparable. I don't want to see anyone going  into debt for something that is disposable and that obviously comes with expiration dates.

Please don't let shiny and blingy things lure you into more debt. If you are just starting out in life, it is not something to go into debt with.

Another thing is Korean skin care. In the western world we assume that they are affordable. The fact is, they are not as affordable in Asia or other developing countries.

Korea is considered a developed country just like the United States, Canada and Western Europe, among others.

This is just an example to back up my statement.

CosRX toner costs 18,500 South Korean won.

In the US - $ 16.55 (1 USD ~ 1118 Won)

In the Philippines - 794 Pesos.

In Thailand - 497 baht

In Mexico - 339 Pesos

Consider that the AVERAGE ANNUAL household income is:

Korea - $ 42,285 (about 47 million won)

Philippines is $ 5,662 (around 267,000 pesos)

Thailand is $ 10,400 (about 312,000 baht)

Mexico is $ 10,356 (approximately 209,122 Pesos)

United States is $ 68,703. Ok, this number is from 2019. I think 2020 would be less.

From the above math, you can now understand why we assume Korean skincare and beauty products are affordable; simply because their median annual income is 32% less than that of the US. I am not taking into account the fact that more American households earn much less than $ 68,703. That's another topic entirely.

The bottom lines are: don't go into debt for makeup and skincare and that not everyone can afford Korean products. After all, Korean products are not as inclusive as you might think.

I'm sorry I disappointed someone today, but I think these are things that need to be discussed.

Have a great week and I love y’all. xx 😘🤗 ♥ ️

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That JLo Glow Serum - Jar....Deconstructed

The Plog - published 01.24.21

Hello beautiful. I hope you had a restful weekend.

So, I went to Sephora yesterday and bought a few things including JLo Beauty products. I bought a Glow Kit and a full size of the serum; which is called That JLo Glow.

When exploring new brands, I always buy serums first. Serum is supposedly the very best product and the most expensive in a brand. 1 oz - $79; 1.5 oz - $118.

CLAIMS: Tighten, Brighten and Hydrate.

🧚‍♂️Visibly lifts and tightens.

🧚🏼Improves the appearance of skin firmness and elasticity.

🧚‍♂️Boosts skin’s radiance and luminosity for an immediate and lasting glow.

I will start off my JAR - DECONSTRUCTED series with this serum. I will discuss the ingredients in more details. Skincare products in the 21st century is very much a science. Therefore, it is important that you know what you are getting.

This serum has 38 ingredients with water leading the way and followed by Butylene Glycol - a solvent for other ingredients that also enhances overall product absorption. The third ingredient is the Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, one of my favorite of all time because it is in the @skii Pitera Essence that is a staple in my routine.

There are Squalane at no. 4, Niacinamide at no. 5. Between ingredient no. 5 and no. 31 (Phenoxyethanol) are their magical “Olive Complex”; with 5 different olive products; from ferment filtrate to leaf extract.

Like most skin care on the market today, this serum also contains Sodium Hyaluronate, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil AKA Hemp Oil (Do not confuse it with CBD oil) and Green Tea Leaf Extract.

There are also Tetrapetide-14, Boswellia extract (Frankincense) and Honey extract. When combined with Green Tea Leaf Extract become a trademarked ingredient from Grant Industries called Granactive AR 1423. However, the ingredients in this serum are not Granactive AR 1423 because it is not listed as such on the ingredient list.

Granactive AR 1423 with a concentration of 5% is shown to reduce redness caused by rosacea by 50% over a 4 weeks study.

There are a lot of moisturizing ingredients in this serum; therefore, I believe that it is a good moisturizer. As you know good skin starts with hydrated skin.

Let’s talk about the glow. That JLo Glow in this serum comes from Tin oxide, Mica and Titanium dioxide. These ingredients combined give of that glossy pearlescent effect. It also has a trademarked name of Rana Flair Blanace; trademarked by Merck Germany. This serum doesn’t use this trademarked ingredient because it’s not listed on the ingredient list.

If you feel that your face suddenly got a glow after applying this product, these are the ingredients responsible for that JLo Glow. Tin oxide is known as effect pigments; which give multiple color effects.

While I can’t say that I am super excited about the formula because these ingredients are run of the mills and that they are trying to use trademarked ingredients without actually paying for the actual trademarked ingredients. However, there is one ingredient that puzzles me - Carmine.

This serum is almost translucent in color, Carmine is a red colorant; derived from an insect Coccus Cacti. While I am not a vegan and that I love honey in skincare, I can’t say that I understand the purpose of this colorant bug.

The packaging reminds me of the Dior L’Or de Vie which is very elegant but not as substantial in weight. You can actually injure someone with the Dior.

Overall, I feel like there are good ingredients for hydration and that it provides a good cosmetic effects of glowing skin. However, I can’t honestly say that I am impressed with it. Here’s why.

Niacinamide - 4-5% concentration is needed to be effective.

Tetrapeptide-14, Green Tea Extract, Honey Extract and Boswellia Extract: 5% concentration is needed but these ingredients are at no. 30, 16, 22 and 21. I don’t think there are 5 % here.

It is at a borderline between so so and good. There are good ingredients here but just not enough concentration of it to be effective. Of course that Olive Complex - it might be less expensive if you’d just use olive oil and olive leaf extract on your skin.

While I love JLo, I can’t say that I love her skincare. You didn’t think that JLo really uses these products to get that glow, did you! 

Have a great week ahead. I love y’all. xx

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Scents That Save Some Cents

The Plog - published 01.18.21

Perfume has come to mean so much to me in the past year. I use it to revive my spirit or give me some sparks of creativity and amp up my confidence when I needed more oomp. Or simply transport me to my dream travel when I couldn’t even leave my state.

By now you have heard of Dossier - the alternative perfume house with all the scents that are inspired by the luxe brands but with a fraction of a cost.

I have tried many of their perfumes (9 to be exact) and got all of the nurses in my neurosurgeon office to love them too. From Oriental Oakmoss to Ambery Saffron that are inspired by Coco Mademoiselle and MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 and today I want to introduce you to Woody Sandalwood (WS).

This universal perfume introduces the notes of cardamon, iris, violet, ambrox; which crackle in the formula and bring to this smoking wood alloy (Australian sandalwood and cedarwood) Some spicy, leathery, musky notes and gives this perfume its unites signature and addictive comfort.

Woody Sandalwood introduces the notes of violet leaves, cardamon, orris, ambrox, cedarwood, cypriol that finished out the notes with musk, sandalwood and amber.

While the Santal 33 3.4 oz will push you back $280, the Dossier’s WS with 18% concentration costs $49.

Honestly, I found that the Santal 33 doesn’t linger as long as the WS and that WS spicy note is more pronounced before softening down to a creamy musk.

These scents are very similar and can hardly be distinguished. If you are looking for alternative perfumes that don’t break your pocketbook, I highly recommend Dossier. If you are unsure whether you’d love the luxury versions, try Dossier first to see if you’d love the scents before the big splurge.

Honestly the pocket friendly perfumes that smell fabulous but won’t break the bank are the holy grail at any time. They still make you smell and feel like a million dollars.

Check out Dossier’s by clicking the link  below to find a great Valentine’s present or two for someone. Use my code: PIYA10 to save some money. Non-affiliated.

Have a fabulous week babe. I love y’all. xx 😘🤗♥️

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Summer Body Starts Here - DIY Cellulite Body Oil

The Plog - published 01.15.21

Hi gorgeous!!! It’s Friday and I’m feeling fantastic. How about y’all? 🥰

Calling on all DIY goddesses!!!

Summer is only a few months away. If y’all haven’t been taking care of that body, it’s time to start NOW.

I’m gonna show you a simple recipe to create a perfect body oil that you can add to your goddess body routine to reduce those pesky cellulite.

Honestly, I totally get about body positivity and that MAJORITY OF MEN don’t care about cellulite. However if y’all don’t like them, that’s what matter most!!!




💚LEMON EO 1oz. 



💚50% GLYCOLIC ACID PEEL - 0.5 oz.

Purchase these ingredients from my Amazon showroom via the link below.

❤️HOW TO❤️

Combine everything together and stir until the collagen powder is dissolved.

If you don’t want to add Glycolic acid in the formula, the oil will have a pH of about 6.

If you add leftover serums to the formula, the pH will vary according to the pH of the serums used. If you choose this method, be sure to test the pH before adding Glycolic acid to the formula.

You can add caffeine to the formula. Make sure that it is fully dissolved before adding to the formula. Caffeine will dissolve in water, which means that your formula will contain water. There is no way around this. That’s why most skincare start off with the good old H2O as a dissolving agent.

I use the original formula and add Glycolic acid to it. My final pH is about 5.

If you wish to make less, cut all the ingredients volume by 1/2.

Note: 50% Glycolic acid has a pH of 1. Please handle it with care.

I love WholeFoods 365 brand of pretty much everything and I’m not sure why they don’t have lots of things on Amazon. 

You can purchase these ingredients from my Amazon page:

Have a fabulous weekend babe. I love y’all. xx 😘🤗♥️

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How to Match Your Foundation When You Can’t Even Touch a Display

The Plog - published 01.07.21

Hello beautiful! It’s finally Thursday night. I hope today was kind to y’all. 🙏♥️

My foundation squad.

The inspiration for today’s post was my yesterday’s visit to Ulta.

I walked in with a lady who was looking for a Juvia’s foundation. She had a customer service person helping her.

This person proceeded to tell her that she should not be touching anything because they would have to sanitize the whole thing. I just rolled my eyes. She could obviously read. There’s no need to treat her like she is 2.

I went to another section of the store and by the time I came back the second time, this poor lady was still standing there alone looking like she’s in a daze.

I said to her I am sorry to interject but I overheard that you are looking for a foundation. She said yes. I let her know that the best way to find a foundation is to know what her favorite foundation shade is and just Google it. She said she has been using Mac but now wanting to change to Juvia’s. I hope she got what she needed.

Makeup companies often name their shades in alpha, numeric or alpha and numeric. I found that knowing the code of the foundation that you love will help you get the closest match in a different brand.

For example, I wear Shiseido foundation in 330 bamboo. My Huda beauty foundation also happens to be 330N Butter Pecan.

Some brands have names like Almond or Bisque or using digits like 1 or 3.5 (Charlotte Tilbury came to mind) for their shades. These naming systems don’t do very well for me so the foundation finder tool like one on a Sephora app is helpful in finding your new foundation but you would have to search one brand at a time.

If you have to choose between the two shades, I’d choose the lighter one. Simply because you can bronze it up. I generally buy 2 shades - lighter & darker so that I could match my skin anytime.

I also have been playing with several websites and found the best website - I like the fact that it gives many options in one search. I went to CVS to get @lorealusa @maybelline & @neutrogena just to see if it would work on my skin.

Even with the best intentions that these apps and tools have to offer, note that they are not fool proof. As for me, I would always get two foundations when all else fails. 

How do y’all match y’all foundation?🤗

Have a lovely night. Love y’all. xx 😘🤗♥️

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Holistic Skincare Brand That You Can Buy At Whole Foods

The Plog - published 01.03.21

I truly believe that the self care journey will still be strong in 2021. While some companies still want us to decipher through their formulas, others are stepping up their ethical cultures by becoming more transparent. The only company that has been the head of the class in transparency and the leader of clean beauty is none others than Derma-E.

Derma E gifted me

Lemongrass & Thyme Restoring Shea Body Lotion - $9.99

Soothing Relief Lotion with Tea Tree, Chamomile and Vitamin E - $12.99

Skin beneficial mist and Mood enhancing products: $18.95 each

Calm - with amla & gotu kola herbal waters.

Create - with cordyceps and cardamon aromatic waters.

Uplift - with eleuthero and Arctic root citrus waters.

When searching for body lotion, I always look for three types of ingredients - Emollient, Moisturizer/Humectant and Soothing ingredients. These body lotions are loaded with so many seed oils; from Safflower to Olive and Shea butter; along with Glycerin, Panthenol and Aloe leaf juice - the major stars of moisturizer/humectant category.

These products contain natural fragrance oils of Tea tree, Lemongrass and Thyme. If you don’t like or are allergic to scents, they also offer the non-scented version. My favorite is the Lemongrass & Thyme. It reminded me of many fabulous spas in Southeast Asia. Apply everywhere from neck to feet to combat dryness during this dry winter.

The Mood enhancing products are really special. I couldn’t stop spritzing them on my face. All of them are only slightly scented. To me, Calm has a light green scent. Create has a fresh minty scent and Uplift has a fresh orange scent. Create may just be my favorite while Calm is at my bedside to help me fall asleep.

Calm, Create and Uplift contain balanced blends of purified Spring Water, Witch Hazel, Coconut Water, Rose Water, herbal adaptogens and therapeutic essential oils. The uniquely curated blends are formulated with skin-loving ingredients to hydrate, soften and comfort skin while providing re-centering and mood-enhancing benefits - a true holistic experience.

All Derma-E products are super affordable and are eco-ethical, 100% vegan, Non-GMO, Cruetly-Free and indeed very very clean. Their products can be purchased from their website and of course Whole Foods, Sprouts and Ultal

Have you tried Derma-E? 

Have a fantastic week ahead beautiful. I love y’all. xx

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How To Do Chemical Peel Safely At Home

The Plog - published 12.14.20

Happy Monday beauties 💛 After almost a month of absence from my Plog, I’m back with so much more of self love tips and tricks. Did y’all miss me?

How often do you exfoliate your skin?

Today I wanted to talk about chemical exfoliation. It is very important that you purchase them from reputable brands. There are a lot of products with inferior quality out there that you should not be putting it on your skin. We can test products for pH but we can’t test them for purity.

Yeouth Skincare (find it on Amazon) gifted me with their GLYCOLIC ACID 30% GEL PEEL WITH RETINOL AND GREEN TEA. I started using it on the weekend when I have more time to take care of my skin. The gel consistency of this product helps it stay where you apply. You only need about a teaspoon for face.

I apply it with cotton round starting from my chin with an upward stroke on just washed and towel-dried skin. Glycolic acid is quite small and quickly penetrates the skin. Therefore, there is no need to help it out with dampened skin.

The instructions said to leave it on for 30 seconds before thoroughly rinsing off with water.

This product has many great ingredients to buffer the aggressiveness of 30% glycolic acid such as green tea, chamomile, cucumber and comfrey extracts. It also contain Retinyl Palmitate to help accelerate the turnover of the skin cells.

Note that the pH of 30% Glycolic acid solution is about 1.4 to 1.8. What this means is you will NEVER use straight up acid directly on the skin because it will literally tear your face off.

This product has a pH of 3-4 because it has been prepared, buffered and neutralized so that we can use it safely. Upon applying, if you ever feel itchy and your face turns like the color of the tomato 🍅, please rinse it off with cool water and stop using it. Patch test is highly recommended on the skin below your sideburns.

When starting any products that not only have a potential to smooth and revitalize our skin but also have a tendency to destroy it if not used correctly, my only advise - START SLOW and LOW.

If you have never used any acids or stopped using it for 3 months, you’d need to start at a lower concentration and build it up. Remember Retinol? Ok. It is the same concept. You want to enjoy using the products rather than wanting to throw it away because you want to rush its results.

My suggestion is to start Glycolic Acid at about 10%. Even at 10%, make sure that it has a pH of 3-4. Anything with higher pH will not be able to turnover the skin cells. Our skin has a pH of between 4.7 - 5.5 rather than just a 5.5 previously believed.

Whichever brand you get, make sure that it is from a reputable source. Like I said earlier, it is not about the pH that I am worried about because we can test for it with an inexpensive litmus paper. It is the purity of the product that is my biggest concern. 

Read the instructions before you proceed. Each brand added different ingredients to their Glycolic peel, therefore, please read the instructions a few times before you proceed. Leave it on according to the instructions.

OK so below is how I will tell you to make your Glycolic peel work harder for you.

1. Apply everything according to the instructions and start with using it once a week for 4 weeks. If you don’t experience any adverse effects, go to No. 2.

2. Peel weekly but extend your time by 2 - 3 minutes. You need to do this about 2 - 4 weeks until your skin is used to the product. If no adverse effects, go to No. 3.

3.  Peel weekly but after extending your time by 2 - 3 minutes, apply another layer of Glycolic acid. Leave it on for another 1 minute and rinse it off.

4. If no adverse effects, extend the time for the second layer to up to 3 minutes.

5. Essentially what I am asking you do to do is to wait between layers. The previous layer has to be almost dried before applying another layer. 

6. Important - If anytime you skin feels super itchy or red, please rinse everything off immediately with cool water. It means that your skin is not ready for the next level.

7. You can do the layering from 1 - 3 layers for light peels, 4 - 6 layers for medium peels but I think we all need to go see a skincare professional for anything deeper than the medium peels. Also, if you successfully complete the 3 layers without the side effects, reduce the frequency to once every two weeks. 

If you have any questions about layering acids or which acid to use for best results, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

Have a lovely week my darling. I love y’all.  xx

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The Only Lipstick to Wear Under a Mask

The Plog - published 11.19.20

Does a lipstick make a woman or does a woman make a lipstick? 

Yves Saint Laurent gifted me the SLIM GLOW MATTE - Luminous matte lipstick in shade 202 - INSURGENT RED. 

This is an easy to apply, long-lasting and creamy matte lipstick available in stunning shades for every skin tone that leaves lips with a luminous and glowing matte finish. 

The brick red with warm yellow undertone was calling my name so I picked it out from twelve glorious shades, from modern nudes to plum.

Yves Saint Laurent’s innovative square bullet was created for easy and precise application with modern women in mind. You can first define your lips with the tip of each square before filling it in. You can also contour your lips with Touche Eclat Brightening Pen before applying lip color. It’s another magical product from the iconic beauty house.

This smudge-proof, creamy matte lipstick is formulated with pearls to leave lips with a luminous and glowing matte finish. It also contains mallow extract for smoother, more hydrated and moisturized lips. I tend to have dry lips during winter and these ingredients help my lips stay moist while showing off this beautiful shade.

I love everything that I have ever used from this brand, from foundation to eyeshadows and this lipstick is no exception. It stays on my lips throughout the day. It fades a little after I eat but it doesn’t leave the dreadful ring around the lips. I know that mask wearing is mandatory in my state and probably yours too; but that doesn’t stop me from wearing lipstick. Seriously, go on beautiful. Never let his hurdle stop you from being you.

Which shade is calling your name?

This lipstick is retail for $39 and you can explore more from YSL beauty on

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Green Tea For People Who Don’t Like Green Tea

The Plog - published 11.10.20

I believe that beauty is always an inside job and that our beating heart and soul depends on it.

I’m fanatic about skincare and even more obsessed about what I put in my mouth. I love searching for different nutrients from all over the world. Not for the crusade to find a fountain of youth, rather to age as gracefully as I could possibly be.

When @08lusa had the JEJU GREEN TEA/ALL GREEN TEA up for grab, I was curious about it so I decided to go for it. This product is made with every part of green tea plant that was fermented in the pristine water of the renowned Jeju island.

  • SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Add 10 - 20 ml of the concentrate to 500 ml of water. It also said to prepare it however you like. I add 10 ml to 8 oz of water and drink it in the morning. Taking 20 ml in one serving gave me a bit of a headache because I don’t do well with caffeinated drink. Green tea does contain caffeine.
  • TASTE: Bitter if taste neat out of the bottle. 10ml in 8 oz of water takes all the bitterness away and tastes just like water.
  • AROMA: Green out of the bottle but no scent is detected once diluted.
  • WHY FERMENTED GREEN TEA? The fact is the quality of green tea is impacted by many factors from cultivation to storage and preparation; which influence its chemistry, taste, aroma, morphology and bioactivity. Fermentation process stops it from further degradation. Many modern studies showed that fermentation process also breaks down large nutrient molecules into smaller molecules to increase their bioavailability.
  • MY THOUGHTS: This product is a convenient way to enjoy the benefits of green tea even for people who don’t like a taste of tea. Tea drinking is a part of Asian cultures that have been passing down for centuries and I don’t think we are going to stop anytime soon. It is a way of life just like drinking coffee in the western world. Make green tea a part of your daily life to reap its benefits.

Green tea has long been known for its nutraceutical properties; however, its efficacy needs further exploration. At the very least, we can agree that it has anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Green tea is sourced from Camellia Sinensis, the same species from which white, oolong, black and pu-erh teas are derived. The various types are classified on the basis of their processing, and the associated oxidation and fermentation levels which influence taste and aroma profiles.

Green tea is a minimally oxidized and non-fermented tea. It is the most-consumed beverage, besides water across Asian countries.

Catechin polyphenols are the primary compounds responsible for the claimed health benefits of green tea, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Catechin makes up 30% of the dry weight of green tea leaves. The most abundant catechin in green tea, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) accounts for 65% of the total catechin content. A cup of green tea contains 100–200 mg of EGCG. Effective dosages are 300–400 mg daily. So, I’m assuming that you should take 2 servings of 10ml of Jeju Green Tea per day in order to kick start the anti-aging effects of EGCG.

EGCG leads to inhibition of IL-1–stimulated proteoglycan release and collagen degradation. When taken orally, green tea can cause gastrointestinal symptoms as well as central nervous stimulation. This is most commonly seen with higher doses of green tea.

Phew!!! Now you know what I know. You can purchase this product from Amazon.

Drink up buttercup! No, not the Gibson. Love y’all. xx 

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My Search For The Best Lip Gloss Is Over

The Plog - published 11.05.20

Hello beautiful 🤩 We have made it to Thursday after all. 😅

I love makeup, maybe not as much as I love skincare, yet I am always in search of the best in class in every category.

One category that my search may have been over is LIP GLOSS.

I used to cringe every time I heard the words. Why? Lip gloss gave me a visual of something gooey, sticky, oily and that it attracts my (used to be) long hair, dust and every environmental effects you could have imagined 😬 I think you get the picture.

If I ever wore them, it would be only just long enough to have a photo taken and I would quickly wipe it off. I never liked the feel of them of my lips. It gave me a feeling that my lips are dirty and sticky, wipe it off.

Well, my search for a wear it like a lipstick lip gloss is over when @3gracesbeauty gifted me their best selling



Not only that 3 Graces offers clean products with sophisticated formulas but each of their products are inscribed with words to encourage us, when we need a moment of...Grace 🤍

Zoom into the photo to see the inscriptions:

LIP GLOSS - “In everything, give thanks.”

LIP SCRUB - “Kind words are sweet for the soul.”

It brought a smile to my face every time I saw those inscriptions. It is very true that in this busy world, take a pause and give thanks in everything...when I am applying the most comfortable lip gloss that I’ve ever used. 🥰

The lip gloss feels great on my lips and wear it like the most comfortable lipstick. You can see that this shade matches my natural lip color & it gave me a beautiful no makeup - makeup look.

The lip scrub nourishes and repair the delicate skin of the lips & only contains 3 ingredients of Organic Cane Sugar, Moringa Seed Oil & Rosemary Leaf Extract. It tastes sweet and you can actually eat it. 🤭

I’m not sure about you but indie brands really do make my heart swoon 💓

This duo can be purchased as a set at 20% off for a total of $30.40. Go to my “Brands We Love” page to shop this duo.

There are six other beautiful shades to choose from. What are you waiting for?😍

Have a lovely day beautiful. I love y’all. xx 😘🤗🤍

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You Will Never Look At Biotin The Same Way Again

The Plog - published 11.03.20

Hello gorgeous! How was your Monday? I’ve been super busy all day plus my puppies kept finding paper to chew on and scattered it all over the kitchen.

What was the first supplement you ever had?

I could remember the first supplement that I ever had was Fish Oil - the one in liquid form that parents thought * (my parents thought that it will help grow our brain cells). OMG! That was a horrible experience. I had to hold my nose and do a jig before I could even take it.

Fast forward a million years later, I now take some supplements - probiotic, ginseng, DHEA, Triphala and Milk Thistle.

A couple of weeks ago Prettyville Lab sent me not one but two bottles of their BIOTIN 20,000 μg (Biotin & Collagen). Maybe because they heard me whining about wanting my long hair back.

I honestly can say that my nails are growing faster. I have my nails done every other week and I could tell that my nails have been growing at a faster rate than normal because it’s a little annoying when I type.

I’m not gonna bore you with what Biotin does to hair, skin or nails because you have seen enough posts about it. I want to give you some fun bits about it.

  • Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H.
  • The daily requirement of biotin is 30 μg for adults.
  • Biotin is found in liver, meat, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts and certain vegetables such as sweet potatoes.
  • It is water soluble and non-toxic. It means that I could take a whole bottle of Prettyville Biotin and I’d be just fine. I really wanted to do that because it tastes like pear juice.
  • Multivitamin contains about 30 μg biotin.
  • People often take 5–10 mg (5000 - 10000 μg) of biotin per day for healthy hair, skin and nails.
  • Multiple publications indicate beneficial roles of biotin in improving quality of life in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (100-300 mg/day).
  • It is POTENTIALLY HELPFUL for maintaining healthy glucose levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
  • POTENTIALLY improving lipid profile and reducing weight.
  • It may also have POTENTIALLY favorable effects on immune function and may reduce hypertension.
  • These are all POTENTIAL benefits of biotin. And we thought that t’s just for hair, skin and nails.

You can order this little tasty supplement from Prettyville on Amazon for $23.95 through the link below. Non-affiliated. I simply like them. :)

Disclaimers: Please always consult a healthcare professionals before adding supplements to your diet.

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You Definitely Don’t Want To Miss These Skincare Tips

The Plog - published 10.30.20

Happy Halloween Eve guys and dolls!🎃👻

Will you dress up for Halloween?

I wanted to share a few bits about skincare on #tidbitsfriday

👻I read an article about hyperpigmentation and the person said that it will come back if you live in a “warm” climate. First of all, it is true that nothing can get rid of hyperpigmentation permanently, not even laser. It takes a lifelong commitment of using SPF 30 (Some say 50 but I think broad spectrum 30 is sufficient.) and staying out of the Sun. Secondly, it is the sun that triggers the hyperpigmentation and not the warm climate. You can live in the coldest place and still get hyperpigmentation if you stay out in the sun. Let’s be clear on that.

👻If you have combo or oily skin, you should invest in a little steamer. I have been using it after double cleansing for 10-15 mins for the past month, it really help decongest my pores. Plus it’s also quite relaxing. This is a great way to remedy maskne.

👻Fact - you can’t grow more hair where there are no follicles. Each one of us was born with specific number of hair follicles. If you no longer have hair where there used to be hair, you can potentially get your hair to grow back with different methods like microneedling; however, you can’t grow hair where there is no hair follicle. Even if you have hair follicles and it’s been years since you had hair, you might not be able to grow it back because the follicles may already be dead. We still don’t know how to resurrect dead things.

👻I mentioned before that you should exfoliate the skin before using sheet mask. You also shouldn’t apply any products if you want to use sheet mask. It simply defeats the purpose.

👻Hyaluronic acid - if you have been using HA since the summer and found that your skin is drier nowadays, pull HA out of your routine for a week to see if your skin will improve. Don’t add more of it because it will make your skin even drier. I know that a lot of people love it but using too much of it will get your skin irritated and red. Note that HA does not moisturize skin. It is a humectant that pulls moisture from wherever it’s closest to being environment or our skin. 

👻Emollient, Moisturizer and Humectant - People have a tendency to confuse them, especially emollient and moisturizer. Emollient is not a moisturizer but rather a component of a moisturizer that keep our skin soft and smooth. A moisturizer contains emollient and humectant. Emollient can categorize into 3 types: Ointment, Cream and Lotion. 

Ointment contains mostly oil and very little water.

Cream contains equal part of oil and water.

Lotion contains more water and very little oil.

Now you know. If you ever have a question about skin, I’m here to help. Have a blast! Love y’all. xx

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Your Skincare Products Should Have This Ingredient.

The Plog - published 10.22.20

Standing in the rain. Do you feel that mother nature can’t decide if she wants warm Fall, rainy Fall or cold and rainy Fall?🙄😂

Hi beauty!!! It’s Thursday and I hope you are well. 😍

If your skincare goals include firmness, elasticity and even tone, your skincare routine needs to include OLIGOPEPTIDES.


It is a short chained amino acids consist of 2-20 amino acids that are small enough to reach the cellular level where they can activate dermal metabolism.


🤍Wrinkle reduction by stimulating collagen & elastin production.

🤍Moisturization by stimulating HA production, essential partner of collagen in keeping youthful skin.


🤍Regeneration. With small molecular size, it can be absorbed quickly & lower layers of the dermis, where all the skin metabolism happens.


It’s the size that matters in this case. Any peptides with over 20 amino acids ( called Polypeptides) are simply too large to penetrate down to the dermis, where all skin magic happens.

Most skincare only say “PEPTIDES” on the labels, therefore, we don’t really know what kind of peptides are in the product. All peptides are good but if you want the best, you’d need to look for oligopeptides or any of the peptides listed below. These peptides have smaller molecules.

Whatever kind of peptides you are using, pair it with Vitamin A for the ultimate power duo to accelerate cell turnover and provide antioxidant support with maximum results.


👻Copper Peptides

👻Palmitoyl (Look for anything that starts with this word). For ex. Palmitoyl Tetrapeptides (4 chained amino acids). Dipeptide (2)

Tripeptide (3)

Pentapeptide (5)

Hexapeptide (6)

Heptapeptide (7)

Of course look for products with peptides listed near the top.

Oh and don’t use peptides with Vitamin C. While both are great ingredients, they cancel each other out when used together.

Do you have any HG peptides product to share? Love y’all. xx 😘🤗🤍

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Understanding Tyrosinase Inhibitors and Your Hyperpigmentation

The Plog - published 10.18.20

Hi babe 🤍 How’s your Sunday going? It’s wet & cold where I am. I’m contemplating whether to turn on the heater or just keep piling blankets on myself to keep warm. 🥶

I’ve read many articles about how to treat hyperpigmentation. Some says Vitamin C works the best, some says Hydroquinone is best & some says Kojic is best.

If anything works for your condition, please continue using it but know this. Every skin is as individual as we are. My TWIN SISTER and I use different products even though we are twins.

Skincare professionals agreed that the only way to reduce hyperpigmentation is by inhibiting tyrosinase activity.

There are 12 tyrosinase inhibitors (so far); which I will abbreviate as TI.













The fact is most topical products with TI’s lack clinical efficacy because most have been performed with the only commercially available tyrosinase enzyme from mushroom (Agaricus bisporus).

Hmmm...we are not mushrooms. Lol 🤣

There was an in vitro study with human tyrosinase to compare the effectiveness of 4 TI’s - Hydroquinone, Arbutin. Kojic acid & 4-Butylresorcinal.

As of today the FDA no longer allows over the counter sale of Hydroquinone. All will have to be prescribed by a doctor by the beginning of 2021.

The study showed that 4-Butylresorcinol had the most promising results.

I spent hours scouring the internet looking for topical products with this ingredient because I wanted to try it for myself. I only found one product & it’s from Neostrata.

The product is called Skin Brightener SPF35 - $65. It contains 0.3% of the ingredient in the formula; which was the same concentration used in the study.

NOTE that you will find a lot of products that say they have this ingredient BUT they actually don’t. Read the ingredients list.

I also ordered a product from Singapore that contains 0.5% It may take weeks to arrive.

Have you used this ingredient?

Love y’all. 😘🤗🤍

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This 70 Years Old Formula Get Rid Of My Inflamed Maskne In Just One Day

The Plog - published 10.09.20

PAYOT USA gifted me the Pâte Grise L'Originale – Emergency Anti-Imperfections Care.

WHO IS PAYOT: For nearly 100 years, the PAYOT brand has been at women’s sides, at every life stage, offering skin and body care based on innovative formulas that incorporate the latest scientific advances.

WHAT IS IT? For almost 70 years, Pâte Grise L'Originale is the ideal skincare to bring small blemishes to a maturation phase. Anti-blemish secret transmitted from generation to generation, its secret formula Dr Payot works while you sleep to accelerate the maturation of minor sub-cutaneous spots and make them disappear!

TEXTURE: Pasty (Not a surprise as it’s in the name - Pâte)

COLOR: Off white

SCENT: Earthy. To me, it smells like clay.

INGREDIENTS: There are 9 total ingredients; each with its own unique ability to quickly heal minor skin blemishes. From Zinc oxide, a super hero of physical sunscreen to Sodium Shale Oil Sulfonate, an anti-inflammatory agent that regulates sebum, reduce inflammation and modulate skin’s immune system.

HOW TO USE: On cleansed skin, apply a thick layer at night locally on small spots.

MY THOUGHTS: I feeI like my face is super dirty and my pores could not breathe when I wear mask. The fact is my skin started to develop itchy and sensitive bumps, a precursor of the inflamed acne in the mask areas.

The thick paste stays right where I applied. I’m a side sleeper so it gets on my white pillowcases and stains it. The good news is it can be washed off. I even applied it all over my face once. The paste stays white on the skin. After all, it contains Zinc oxide – a highly stable and non-irritating skin protectant. It’s not cosmetically elegant as it leaves a disturbing whitish tint on the skin but it oh so effective in what it does. That’s why you only use this product at night. Those irritating bumps on my face is gone by the next morning. I also applied it on after extractions. My skin heals by the next morning.

I’m very pleased with the efficacy of this product overall. This is a no fluff product. There is no perfume or unnecessary additives. If you have mature pustules, it may take a couple of nights for them to go away. I think the product is fantastic for people with occasional inflamed acne.

There are 2 sister products to banish blemishes if you wish to explore more:

Spéciale 5 in addition to dry blemishes

Stick Couvrant Pâte Grise for camouflage.

You can purchase it from 15ml/$22;  Use code: PATEGRISE19 for 10% Off your online purchase.

Have a lovely weekend beautiful. I love y’all. xx

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Fermented Essence/Toner For The Most Sensitive Skin

The Plog - published 10.07.20

Hi beauties! I hope your Wednesday is going well. I received a result from my MRI. It turned out that I have a bulging disk that has been causing me pain. My doctor is referring me to another specialist. I may need a surgery to fix it.

Today I will share my review on T’ELSE KOMBUCHA TEATOX ESSENCE that was kindly gifted to me by Atopalm and T’Else Official via .08L in exchange for my honest review.

You have seen this product many times before; however, my review is slightly different than most.

WHAT IS KOMBUCHA? Kombucha is actually a drink produced by fermenting tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. OK so…it’s not a mushroom.

WHAT DOES IT DO? It moisturizes with triple Hyaluronic acids and detox the skin with 74% Kombucha extract. It soothes sensitive skin while providing anti-oxidant benefits to fight environmental stressors.

COLOR: light brown

TEXTURE: Same viscosity as water.

SCENT: Non-scented

FEEL: Non-sticky

FORMULA: There are 29 total ingredients with 15 being goodies and superstars. 8 ingredients are considered as moisturizer/humectant, 4 soothing, 3 antioxidants & 1 brightening ingredients.

HOW I USE IT: I replaced my beloved SK-II with this essence. I dispense it on a cotton pad and apply it on my face both morning and night after cleansing and before applying the rest of the products in my routine.

WHAT DO I THINK?: This essence is made from Green Tea Leaf extract as a base broth and may benefit people with dry, sensitive and acne skin the most. The formula doesn’t contain alcohol nor any aggressive active ingredients. If your skin is already in a pretty good condition, this essence will maintain it. If your skin is in a slump, it will help restoring it. The benefits of fermentation is that the product can better absorb by our skin. With 3 Hyaluronic acids, it provides deep moisturization where the skin needs most.

DOES THE PRODUCT REMOVE TOXINS FROM THE SKIN? My answer is the fact that no product can physically remove toxins because the skin doesn’t have the ability to remove toxins. Topical product can only get rid of excess sebum and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Some products use the term “detox” in terms of skin defense. Products that contain antioxidants can reduce the effects of environmental damage but they cannot physically pull damaging substances out of the skin. They can; however, inhibit or remove any free radicals that cause damage. Antioxidants, Sunscreen and Retinol are the tools for our skin to fight free radicals.

BOTTOMLINE: This product has many great ingredients that helps restore unbalanced skin. It contains many moisturizers/humectants, antioxidants, brightening and soothing ingredients. I highly recommend it for people with dry, sensitive and acne skin. Since the ingredients are so mild, I have been using it as a face spritz too. Yes, you can.

You can purchase this essence from Atopalm website for $27.20.

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Product That Actually Works On My Eczema Scars

The Plog - published 10.05.20


If you’ve been with me for a while, you’d know about my eczema outbreak. The eczema itself has subsided leaving the scars that look like bug bites all over my arms and legs.

My dermatologist prescribed all sorts of topical products, including silicone pads that you could buy from drugstore. Those scar patches are super annoying too. You have to cut the sheet to size and it is a pain to peel off the sticky pad. Moreover, the sticky doesn’t seem to want to stick to my skin so it left me with finding them in my bed. If you have ever used these silicone pads, you know exactly that the struggle is real. 

About 6 weeks ago, Dermafacs Skin Care sent me their product RecoverX to try. I thought it was gonna be same old silicone stuff.

🤍TEXTURE: Like Vaseline but less thick.

🤍SCENT: No scent.

🤍HOW I USE IT: I use it AM & PM but the instruction says to use up to 6 times a day. I massage a thin layer on the spots.

🤍RESULTS: I noticed that my spots are getting smaller. My GP even commented that my scars actually look better.

I’m pretty pleased with it so far. As you could see about how much I’ve used it. I only have about 1/2 a jar left.

🤍LET’s LOOK AT THE SCIENCE: The claim to fame is the MICRO SILICON (Si). Don’t confuse it with SILICONE.

Silicon is the 2nd most abundance element on earth. The formula contains ORTHOSILICIC ACID (OSA), a dietary form of silicon, a mineral involved in formation of collagen and bone. OSA is available in supplement form too and is used to treat certain medical conditions and boost hair and skin health.

RecoverX was introduced as post laser treatment since laser procedures normally zaps out several layers of the skin. Most patients are left with redness & swelling for several days. OSA helps promote oxygen and moisture exchange; which promotes rapid skin healing by attracting moisture from the air into damaged skin to help accelerate repair & recovery.

It contains 8 ingredients - moisturizers, humectants, water, preservative and hydrated silica.









🤍PRICES: Currently on SALE for $100/1 oz & $164/2.7 oz.

It sounds steep but your skin is worth it. It can also be used on acne scars, scars, stretch marks and scarring for eczema and psoriasis.

TIP: For older scars (no longer pink), Microneedle the scar areas prior to applying the product. You only need to microneedle once. Basically you are reinjuring the area with micro points of the needle to induce collagen production.

Shop RecoverX on

Have a great week babe. Love y’all. xx 😘🤗🤍

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Fake 8-Hour of Sleep With The Masks For The Ages

The Plog - published 09.30.20

Molequle Skincare gifted me their eye patch and face mask sets. The fact that their formulas contain Tremella mushrooms (aka Snow mushrooms) caught my eyes.

There are 4 sheet masks in a set:

Chillax Calming

Glow & Go Brightening

Magic Mushroom Moisturizing

Skin Resurrection Rejuvenating

There are 3 eye patches in a set:

Baggage Handler

Morning After

Pillow Fight

A total of 26 ingredients in the mask and 34 ingredients in the eye patches. Both formulas are packed with antioxidants, skin brightening, moisturizing and soothing ingredients.

Both formulas have 3 different molecular weight of Sodium Hyaluronate that provide deep hydration along with Rose extract. Niacinamide, Kakadu plum and Tremella mushroom help with skin brightening. Super soothing ingredients Allantoin, Cucumber fruit extract, Agave Stem Extract and Manuka honey are also present. Cap it off with antioxidant powerhouses of Vitamin A, Resveratrol, Ferulic acid, Vitamin E, Caffeine and Kakadu Plum.

The eye patches have similar formula to the face masks with added Peptides, Green Tea, Licorice roots, Squalane, Disodium EDTA, Watermelon extract, Aloe Vera and Citrus peel extract. The formulas do not contain any alcohol and only Aspen bark as a natural preservative.

I found the eye patches to be super soothing. I use them in the morning to fake a full 8-hr sleep. I keep them in the fridge to keep them cold. I use face masks at night after thoroughly cleansing and light exfoliating so that it can absorb the goodness of the sheet masks. I leave the mask on until the sheet is almost dry before I take it off. It dries down nicely without any stickiness. I woke up with a rejuvenated and refreshed skin.

I’m quite pleased with these products overall. I’ve not seen formula with this many superstar ingredients packed in a single product in a while. Do you know that you are supposed to use the mask in a series of 7 – 10 days in order to see results? Just a thought.

You can purchase these products from their website

Products gifted but analysis is all mine.

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Effective Microneedling At Home

The Plog - published 09.29.20

There are a lot of information on the internet about Microneedling. They might not be wrong and they might not be right. I want to share what I know so that you could do it safely and effectively at home.

I won’t go into details on what Microneedling does to the skin because you already knew that. Here are my tips on how you can do it safely at home.

EQUIPMENT MATTERS I honestly am not a fan of manual Microneedling tools because you can’t control the “pressure” and “consistency” of the movements. Invest in one with motor. While I love the one with needles in the barrels like my Dr. Pen M8, I also love the one by @beautybio shown in the photo.

SANITIZE PROPERLY: After each use, you should clean it with soap and water. Scrub it with a soft brush. Then sanitize it with alcohol (at least 70%). Air dry and store in airtight container.

PREPARE YOUR SKIN: It is important to cleanse the skin properly. You can even do light chemical peel prior to the procedure. LIGHT is the operative word here. Your skin needs to be dry before applying Hydrogen Peroxide. I like it because it doesn’t sting.

RULES OF 3: Wherever you prefer to start, make sure to keep the rules of 3 in mind. Roll it \ 3 times, / 3 times, | 3 times and — 3 times. It’s the movement of drawing a star. Do everything in short strokes to ensure full coverage. Cover the whole face first; then you can repeat it up to 3 times.

What products should you use with Microneedling. 

My short answer is effective but non-irritated. No acids, retinols, AHA, BHA or even PHA & stay away from any strong exfoliants. Make sure products used is fragrance free.

Some ingredients that I like:

HYALURONIC ACID and SODIUM HYALURONATE - Your skin will feel a little tighter and drier after Microneedling; therefore, it is important to add extra hydration to the skin. HA will cover the surface of the skin while SH will go deeper into the skin. I like HADA LABO pretty well as it contains both HA  and SH. Also, the one from VICHY is super soothing too. You can get both from AMAZON. VICHY can be purchased at CVS or WALLGREENS.

PEPTIDES - help with skin firmness and wrinkles. The one from the GLOW MAKER works really well for me and super affordable. Go to “BRANDS WE LOVE” page to shop all kinds of goodies.

CERAMIDE - The stratum corneum makes up of 50% ceramide. It helps keep the skin intact, speed up the healing process and keeping irritation to the minimum. The one I like is from DR. JART. It’s a cream so you’d need to apply it after all of the serums.

ZINC - Anti-inflammatory & antibacterial that helps balance the skin’s microbiome. If you don’t have zinc cream, you can use mineral sunscreen instead.

SPF: This is non-negotiable especially during the day. 

Caution about Vitamin C: Make sure that it is water based form - Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate; which is non-acidic and more suitable for vulnerable & sensitive skin. The GLOW MAKER also has this Vitamin C; which is super affordable.

Your micro injuries will stay open for 5 minutes before it starts to close. That should be plenty of time for you to apply the products.

Have a lovely rest of the week beautiful. I love y’all. xx

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Ways To Be Less Freaked Out During The Holidays

The Plog - published 09.24.20

The holidays are fast approaching and we are a few days away from the end of September. How do you feel about holidays? Panicking, Exhausting, Dreading or Loving it? For me, it’s all of the above. I wanted to share with you about how to manage holiday stress according to Richard Blonna, PhD, author, life coach and stress-management expert. These are the excerpts from his book “Stress Less, Live More; How Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Can Help You Live a Busy Yet Balanced Life.”

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a values-based approach to managing stress and other psychological problems. One of its main objectives is to help people set goals and live lives that are consistent with what they value. Values give direction to people's lives and are central to defining who you are as a person. According to Blonna, "Because our values are so important to us, stress commonly occurs when our values collide with each other."

This often happens over the holidays when family, friends, and other loved ones come together and visit. Many people value family yet struggle with family-related values and conflicts that crop up over the holidays. For example, you might value small intimate dinners with just a few family members but your visiting parents want to bring the whole family together at your house. You might value sharing simple, meaningful yet inexpensive gifts but your siblings like to buy expensive, trendy gifts for you and your children. You value classical music and good conversation but your uncle wants to put the football game on and shut off the music.

To cope with holiday stress, try the following 5 tips:

1. Clarify what you value about the holidays before making any plans. Finish the following sentence stem with as many endings as possible: "The things I value about the holidays are..." When you are done, rank your holiday values from most to least important.

2. Set reasonable goals for your top three values. It is better to break goals down into smaller objectives that answer the question: "Who will do how much of what by when?" This will make it easier to meet your values-based holiday goals. For example: Top value: "Family." Goal: "Visiting my family over the holidays." Objective: "I will visit my mom and dad, aunt Millie and her family and my uncle Bob between Thanksgiving weekend and the weekend after New Year's."

3. Accept the pain and suffering that accompanies the joy associated with the holidays. Seeing your family may dredge up some old painful thoughts, feelings and mental images. ACT has found that the worst thing you can do when these painful thoughts and feelings arise is try to control, avoid or eliminate them. This only makes them worse. The best way to deal with them is to accept them. Tell yourself: "I am willing to co-exist with these painful thoughts and feelings in the service of ... value (fill in the value: family, etc. )."

4. Work in some daily physical activity or exercise. The stress response mobilizes energy and creates muscle tension. If you don't dissipate this through physical activity it has nowhere to go and will cause irritability, insomnia, fatigue and muscle pain.

5. Take a few good breaths several times a day. Every day take a few moments to calm yourself by becoming more mindful of the present moment through diaphragmatic breathing. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Put your hands on your belly and slowly exhale completely through your nose. As you inhale slowly through your nose notice the feeling of the air travel in through your nose, down your windpipe, and all the way down to the bottom portion of your lungs closest to where your hands are resting. As you slowly fill your lungs from the bottom up feel your belly rise and push on your hands. When your lungs are completely full pause for a moment and notice how this feels. Slowly empty your lungs and notice the feelings in your chest as the air exits your body. Continue to notice the sensations in your nose, windpipe, lungs and belly as you breathe in and out for a few breaths. Repeat this a few times a day.

Have a great weekend beautiful. I love y’all. xx

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Maskne and Athlete Acne Prevention

The Plog - published 09.22.20

We have seen a new skin phenomenon called Maskne on the rise after the pandemic. Everywhere you go, there are always people wearing masks; doing their jobs. Some have to wear masks up to 16 hours a day. Mask wearing is here to stay but what can we do to prevent maskne from happening.

 I was gifted the Beautree Blemish Calming Treatment Pads in exchange for my honest review. The product arrived just in time for my latest experiment - how to prevent maskne.


  • Quick calming with superfoods
  • Triple calming ingredients of AHA, BHA & PHA with low risk of irritation
  • Double textured pad (one side to exfoliate, the other to nourish)

5 in 1 Power of Superfoods

• Broccoli provides low irritation exfoliating care.

• Broccoli and Tomato - great skin moisturizers.

• Centella Asiatica - exceptional for soothing and trouble care.

• Moringa helps with pore care.

• Eggplant and Blueberry - antioxidants that help brighten the skin.

Key Ingredients:

Niacinamide, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum Fruit Extract, Gluconolactone, Betaine Salicylate, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Arginine, Allantoin and Panthenol.

SCENT: Medicinal

FEEL: Each pad has embossed and non-embossed sides. I use the embossed side first with gliding movement. Followed with non-embossed side with patting movement.

MY THOUGHTS: I have been using it at night after cleansing. It feels more like a toner rather than a blemish pad. Maybe because it doesn’t even sting my skin. I always expect acne treatments to sting the skin. I use the embossed side on my T-zone because I always have issues with blackheads and whiteheads in this area. It helps me clear my pores. I don’t have an inflamed cyst so I can’t tell you how effective it will be for that.

There are a total of 30 ingredients in this formula. The first half of the list is focused on soothing, calming and nourishing while the last half is focused on exfoliating, free radical fighting, anti-acne and skin brightening.

My final thought is that this product would be great as a toner for every skin type. The mildness of it makes it ideal for sensitive skin. It would also be great for athletes on the go. If you don’t have time to rinse off your skin after the game, these little pads would prevent the pores from clogging. I see more kids now that have flare up after the game because they had to wait two hours before they can rinse their faces off.

I often recommend my young clients to keep baby wipes in their gym bags. But I think this product would be so much better. Not only that it cleanses the skin, but it also soothes, calms and nourishes it at the same time.

If your face is under a mask all day long, these pads would be great for calming the skin down and unclog the pores. The goal is to get rid of excess oils and debris and to prevent acne from popping up. Note that you should use this product as a spot treatment during the day.

Overall, I like the mildness of the formula and I would give it a 5-star for the thoughtfulness of the formula, the convenience and the fact that it just fits into so many lifestyles nowadays.

Another K beauty for the win!!! You can purchase this product from Amazon ($15)

Have a beautiful week. Love y’all. 

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If You Think Nothing Can Grow Your Hair, This May Change Your Mind

The Plog - published 09.17.20

I often wonder if there’s anything I could do to make my hair grow faster. I use quality hair products along with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, yet my hair still doesn’t grow as fast as I want it to. The fact that my hair is processed every four weeks & perhaps my age doesn’t help; yet I still wondered.

A few weeks ago Better Not Younger gifted me:

Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum 

Superpower Liquid Comb

Power Within Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies

I was super excited of the promise that my hair would be stronger, healthier and perhaps longer.

I went to my stylist last week and even she commented that my hair is healthier & grew out quite a bit. I was really glad because I noticed it too.

The fascinating fact and according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) is that we are born with all the hair follicles we’ll ever have — around 5 million to be exact. Of those, about 100,000 follicles are on the scalp. It’s totally normal to lose about 50 to 100 hairs a day. I really can’t afford to lose more than 10 a day; otherwise, I wouldn’t have any hair left.

I’ve been using the Serum nightly by dispensing it in the Liquid comb and massage my scalp with it. It’s like giving myself a scalp massage. I bet it would feel better if you can actually have someone do it to you. There are 27 ingredients in the serum and a third of them are superstar and goodie ingredients. The formula is loaded with antioxidants, skin identical ingredients, moisturizers and humectants. Our scalp, like our skin, also needs nutrients.

I love the non-greasy feel and how easily it absorbs without the help of alcohol. My hair grew about an inch last month and with the continuous use, perhaps I could have a short bob haircut by New Year.

After all, there’s something that can help my fine thin hair grow stronger and longer. Those delicious gummies are bonuses for adding collagen to my skin and hair. I really do feel like I‘ve found my Superpower, literally.

Below are  some superstar ingredients that you might want to know plus Wheat Protein, Vitamin C, Biotin, Licorice Extract. The list read like a great list of skincare ingredients. 

Caffeine – helps stimulate follicles.

Centella asiatica – can act as a strengthening agent for the scalp and hair follicles.

Ginger – helps soften and nourish hair strands while encouraging stimulation of the scalp.

Apigenin – can help promote hair health and growth. Found in parsley and chamomile.

Oleanolic Acid – helps inhibit DHT which is associated with hair loss.

Ceramide-NG – helps retain moisture and is essential to protect hair shaft.

Kelp Extract – can help provide vitamins and minerals to the scalp as it is rich in zinc, iodine, vitamin A and C.

Niacinamide – a water-soluble form of B vitamin that can help rebuild hair keratin by supporting hair follicle function.

Have you found your Superpower yet? 

Thank you so much Better Not Younger and ApexDrop for the gift of stronger hair.

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This Moisturizer is Ready for Cold Weather

The Plog - published 09.09.20

The weather is sure 10 degrees cooler where I am and it’s not even mid September yet. I dread cold weather and I would be fine if Summer will be present all year round. 

If you are a skincare newbie, you should know that changing skincare routine every season is a must. Or even going from one climate to another on a holiday (which I honestly missed) is a must. You can find a lot of skincare products in the market that are gearing for winter or cooler weather. I’m certainly looking to amp up my skincare routine to combat the coldness and dryness that’s definitely on its way to the town that I live in; when I was chosen to try the Atopalm Real Barrier Moisture Cream by the brand through .08L in exchange for my honest review.

WHAT IS IT? A rich cream, specifically developed for serious skincare. Long lasting moisture benefits, derived from a combination of specialty ingredients that help to repair a damaged skin barrier. Skin feels moisturized and calm almost immediately after application.

HOW DO I USE IT? I replaced my beloved moisturizer from the Clean Beauty Co. and used this cream day & night. This cream is said to be for dry and normal skin. Note that I have combination skin but I wanted to push the envelope a little bit to see if it will work on my skin. I thought to myself, the worst that could happen to me is a breakout.

INGREDIENTS: There are 29 total ingredients with 6 skin nourishing ingredients such as Squalane, Panthenol, Ceramide, Allantonin, Sodium Hyaluronate & Madecassoside. There is really not an ingredient that flags me except for Lavender Essential Oil, Vetiver Root Oil and Orange Oil; which are at the bottom of the ingredients list; meaning that they are probably present in less than 0.1%.

SCENT: Despite the fact that they contain flower oils mentioned above, the cream has a super fainted scent of lavender essential oil; which dissipated very quickly.

FEEL: It has that deep moisturizing feel that reminded me of one luxurious cream from Creme Du Loch. The rich and creamy texture made me worried that my combo skin would not absorb or down right reject it. I was a bit worried about Squalane. While it maybe a great ingredient for dry & normal skin, it really isn’t a great ingredient for my skin. Back to the program, despite my worries, the product absorbs beautifully into my skin. I even started using it on my neck because of how moist it is. I keep checking on my neck to see if it leaves any greasiness or oiliness. To my surprise, it doesn’t.

MY THOUGHTS: Since the cooler weather is on its way, I think people with dry, sensitive, dehydrated, mature and combination skin would benefit from using this cream. I even use it on my hands, elbows, knees & feet (These uses are not intended by the brand but I’m naturally a boundary pusher) So, I use it all over where there is dryness. My skin feels well moisturized and not sticky; even when wearing mask. I started developing maskne a few weeks back but it’s only on one side of my face; which is really strange. More on that at another time. A little bit of this product goes a very long way. I love the non-greasiness feel and the nourishment that it provides to my skin; plus the fact that it has no bad ingredients was really sway me to give it a 5 star.

You can purchase this product ($23) and others from The Real Barrier store on Amazon. 

Have you tried any product from this brand?

Have a lovely week my darling. I love y’all. xx

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9 Beauty Products That You Actually Want To Buy This Weekend

The Plog - published 09.04.20



Dr. Lancer’s most powerful solution for dull, stressed skin, this advanced peel is formulated with 10% Glycolic Acid and Caviar Lime. This AHA blend works together with 10% brightening Phytic Acid to help resurface and remove surface cells, improving the look of pores and skin tone. Pineapple and Papaya fruit enzymes moisturize and help improve the appearance of uneven skin texture. Stabilized retinol helps refine the look of lines and wrinkles. Skin appears smoother, softer and more even with a youthful glow.

Why I Love It?

Just one use and I could feel the difference. My skin feels smoother and softer and ready for the rest of my skincare routine. With Glycolic and Phytic acids as the 2nd and 3rd ingredients, you know that this peel means business. The rest of the ingredients are fruit and botanical extracts that nourish the skin. 

How to Apply:

Apply a generous amount to clean, dry skin avoiding the eye area, lips and broken skin. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. You may experience a slight tingle as the product starts to work. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Use 1 to 2 times weekly as tolerated.

This brand seldom goes on sale but enjoy 15% off your first purchase.

CLICK HERE to explore this PERFECT PEEL & more on LANCER. 



Black Pine trees along the Mediterranean have survived the Ice Age due to their ability to regenerate. We extracted this rejuvenating power and formulated a serum that is clinically proven to promote skin elasticity and firmness, while visibly reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Why I Love It?

I was a little skeptic because when someone says the word Pine, I would often think of Christmas tree. When I applied this serum on my skin for the first time, I could feel my skin started to tighten. It’s not the kind of tightness that happens when you use clay mask; but you could feel it. I apply it to my face all the way down to the neck & décolleté and apply over it the Black Pine Plump-Up Sleeping Facial before bed. When I woke up, my skin felt lifted and smooth. So smooth that I couldn’t stop gliding my fingers over it. The more I use it, the more I am obsessed with it. I noticed that my pores are not as big as crevices on the Everest and as of today, I no longer have to wear primer. The Black Pine line may not be as well known as her more famous sister - the Wild Rose line; which I also love. 

How to Apply:

Apply daily after cleansing and toning avoiding the eye area, Let absorbs well. Followed with your favorite KORRES moisturizer.

Take advantage of 25% off through September 7th with code: LABORDAY25

CLICK HERE to explore this gorgeous serum and more on KORRES. 



BeautyBio patented, award-winning GloPRO® Microneedling Tool in a limited edition blush finish. This must-have set comes pre-loaded with a FACE MicroTip™ Attachment Head, a LIP MicroTip™ Attachment Head, and a Volumizing Lip Serum to turn up your pout post-treatment.


*Limited Edition Blush GloPRO® Microneedling Tool 

*FACE MicroTip™ Attachment Head

*LIP MicroTip™ Attachment Head

*The Pout Volumizing Lip Serum Sparkling Rosé - 15ml

*GloPRO® Skin Prep Pads - 5 pairs

*Power Cord + Adapter

*Empty Sanitizing Spritzer Bottle

*2 AAA Batteries Pre-Installed in GloPRO®

Why I Love It?

Firstly - the fact is that if I were to recommend any at-home microneedling tool to anyone, it would be BeautyBio. The GloPRO® Microneedling Tool alone is $199 and you get the FACE MicroTip™ & LIP MicroTip™ with this set. You can’t go wrong with any of their high performance skincare products; which are backed up with clinical studies. Another one of my favorite is the THE QUENCH EYE BALM ($95).




Who doesn’t love a dainty and delicate petal-flower pink that is versatile for every season and every skin tone? 

Why I love it?

*Long lasting formula with a chip-proof finish

*Rich, lustrous color payout in 2 coats with striking brilliance and intense shine

*Double patented quick dry formula delivers a super smooth application while creating a lasting manicure with bold, brilliant color, smooth application and the ultimate high gloss chip free finish.

*UV Filter protects against fading or yellowing of color

*10-Free formula means there are no toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, DPB, camphor, and formaldehyde resin

High-tech polymers and resin for longer wear and extended shelf life

*Vegan friendly

*No animal testing

Enjoy 15% your JINSOON purchase this weekend with code :LBRDAY15

CLICK HERE to explore PINKY and the colorful world of JINSOON!!!




Black Pine trees along the Mediterranean have survived the Ice Age due to their ability to regenerate. KORRES extracted this rejuvenating power and formulated a serum that is clinically proven to promote skin elasticity and firmness, while visibly reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Why I love it? 

The sister serum of the Sculpt +Lift Serum but for the eyes. I am a self-confessed eye cream hoarder but this one is actually worth the hoarding. With the syringe like tube that dispense perfect amount of product for each use. I keep this baby in the fridge at all time. It said that it is for dark circles and tired aging eyes. I use it on my eye bags and it works perfectly. I use other eye creams to prep my skin and this serum on top of my makeup. I really love It and will carry it around with me everywhere. It does visibly lift and firm the bags under my eyes. 

Take advantage of 25% off through September 7th with code: LABORDAY25

CLICK HERE to explore this AMAZING eye serum and more on KORRES. 



Complexion perfection for a gorgeous matte meets dewy finish! Your multi-tasking beauty balm that glides on like a tinted moisturizer with all the age-defying, coverage, sunscreen benefits of a foundation and BB cream! It’s perfect for getting that Instagram- filtered version of yourself, featuring our exclusive Asian Herb extracts complex.

Comes in 11 shades. I always get 2 shades of my favorite BB cream or foundation - one lighter and one darker than my skin tone to custom match my skin.

Take advantage of Purlisse Labor Day stock up sale: 

Spend $50, save $15 with code LABORDAYTAKE15

Spend $75, save $20 with codeLABORDAYTAKE20

Spend $100, save $30 with codeLABORDAYTAKE30

And of course, stack these savings with free US shipping with orders of $50+.

CLICK HERE to explore this BB cream & more on Purlisse. 


30Days Miracle Toner


My top buys list would not be complete without Korean favorites.

This Miracle Toner is a SokoGlam cult favorite. One bottle of this multi-tasking toner is sold every three seconds! The formula boasts three types of chemical exfoliants (AHAs, BHAs and PHAs) plus papaya and witch hazel extracts to effectively boost cell turnover and keep skin smooth and healthy. A high concentration of tea tree water extract also promotes clear skin, as well as soothes inflammation, while adenosine and niacinamide target wrinkles and a dull skin tone.

Despite its powerful ingredients, the toner is dermatologically tested for sensitive skin and has an optimal pH of 5.5.

The formula is free of artificial fragrance and colors, parabens, sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil and silicone.

CLICK HERE to explore this Toner & more on SokoGlam. 


Mugwort Ampoule


ISNTREE Spot saver mugwort ampoule contains 85% capillary wormwood, a form of mugwort that was uniquely extracted drop by drop to ensure quality and efficacy. Mugwort is one of the most popular K-beauty ingredients of the moment thanks to its anti-inflammatory and clarifying properties.

The formula also contains ingredients like licorice root extract, panthenol and ceramide NP to promote a healthier complexion.

The ampoule is recommended for those with dry, itchy, irritated, or dull and fatigued skin.

CLICK HERE to explore this ampoule & more on SokoGlam. 



No skincare routine can be complete without a really fabulous body care. A moisturizing body cream to firm, tighten, and sculpt your bum, legs, arms, and waistnourishing body lotion adds and retains essential moisture while supporting natural microcirculation and helps prevent premature skin aging.

This whipped cream powered by an effective blend of grape polyphenols and iris extracts tightens your body and leaves the skin deeply nourished and delicately scented with an infusion of orange blossom.

Enriched in anti-oxidant grapeseed polyphenols and firming iris extract, the Vinosculpt Lift & Firm Body Cream acts simultaneously on 4 key areas of the body: arms, chest, tummy and thighs for firmer skin from the first month of use*. Skin is smooth, toned and visibly firmer. Organic shea butter maintains the skin's hydration, an essential element for elastin suppleness.

Its whipped and creamy texture absorbs easily without leaving a greasy film. When applied, the skin is lightly scented with notes of orange blossom.

Benefits :



Instantly Hydrates

Delicately scented

CLICK HERE to explore this luxurious cream and more on Cauldalie. 

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Faking A Goodnight Sleep? - Yes, Please.

The Plog - published 09.02.20

Who doesn’t love a goodnight sleep? I love a goodnight sleep and also eye cream that makes me look like I had a goodnight sleep. 

When BeautyBio gifted me The Quench Eye Balm; I was ecstatic. The claim is that it is an instantly nourishing under-eye balm, which would fill in fine lines, firm and brighten in one application. This nutrient-rich balm restores skin's protective barrier to maintain the delicate under-eye area's elasticity, bounce back and glow.

I never read up on products that I need to review until I’m ready to write a review; because I didn’t want to have a preconceived notion. Same rules applied here. While I’ve heard of BeautyBio, I didn’t know any specifics about their products.

Firstly, this work of art of a jar comes with a gorgeous spatula with a ball tip on the other end. I love when brand includes spatula with their jar products. It’s more hygienic for sure. I applied the balm with my fingertips around the orbitals; both over the lids and under the eyes. I use the ball tip to lightly massage the under-eye area. I keep it in my  mini fridge. It feels super soothing when used. Cooler temperature also helps with extending the product shelf-life.

The color of the balm is white with a surprisingly lighter texture than a normal “balm”. It has ingredients that indicated fragrance; however, I could not smell any scent. My eyes really love this balm. While I may not have wrinkles around the eyes, I do have puffiness and some dryness.

This eye balm has some superstar and goodie ingredients – Glycerin, niacinamide, squalane, Panax Ginseng, Centella and Sodium Hyaluronate, to name a few. It’s pack full of emollients, humectants and antioxidants without any bad jujus.

I could attest that it helps hydrate, brighten and tighten my eye area. My puffiness is definitely less pronounced. It’s like faking an 8-hour of sleep. The cost is $95. If you are in the market for quality skincare with clinical studies to back up the claims, look no further than BeautyBio. The packaging is like a piece of art and the product inside is equally elegant. Their hero product is the GloPro Microneedling system which has interchangeable attachments. I’d love to try it one of these days. Maybe I could take advantage of the big promo that is coming up on September 4th through 7th.

Shop this eye balm and other BeautyBio products on my Most Loved Brands page or CLICK HERE

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Is Your Skincare Working For Your?

The Plog - published 09.01.20

Skin is a wonderful organ. It is also different from person-to-person. Every skincare product works on different people differently; and the same product will not work on everyone. On average, it takes about three to four months to see the full results. Honestly speaking, not all products would yield the claimed results. How can you tell if a product is right and working for your skin?

The skin is not itchy or irritated.

This is quite obvious. If anything irritates your skin, it’s not good for you. I don’t care what people say. Oh! you need to use it for a while and it will subside. We are not talking about retinol or any acid that would need a “level up” period. If product causes you pain or skin irritation after 2-3 weeks of use, you may be allergic to an ingredient in the product. Stop using it immediately.

The skin is hydrated but not oily.

How can you tell if the skin is hydrated? Hydrated skin is soft and smooth to the touch, it is a sign that skin is happy with the new products and treatments. Oily skin feels like you have a layer of film on the skin, while hydrated skin will just feel “normal”, no irritation, itching or flaking. Oily skin typically shines all over the face, while hydrated skin glows from the cheekbones, forehead and cupid’s bow.

If your new product happens to be a beauty oil and it leaves a sheen everywhere on your face, you may be using too much of it. Reduce the amount to see if it will go away. If it doesn’t, it just means that your skin really doesn’t need that product. Honestly, watch your skin, it will let you know if it’s happy or not.

To properly introduce new product to your routine, wait about 1-2 weeks gap between products. If you happen to be allergic to a product, it is easier to identify the culprit if only one product is introduced at a time.

Remember to be patient and consistent when it comes to skincare. No skin becomes unhappy overnight, not even acne skin (more on that later); therefore, it’s unreasonable to expect results overnight. Optimum skin health is about balancing act. 

Since not every product is for everyone, it is also about trial and error. However, follow these simple steps would stop you from making your skin unhappy. I often repurpose facial products that do not suit my facial skin to my body or even my feet and hands.

When you go skincare shopping and are unsure about what you want, ask for samples – at least a week’s worth. They should be able to give them to you as these samples are provided to the merchants at no charge. Those little samples that we get from Sephora in exchange of 100 points are simply won’t last but a day or two. I prefer going to Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Cosbar and Dillard’s for my skincare because they are not stingy with their samples. Just saying.

I recently added these products to my routine which I will talk about later this week. All I can tell you is that you would not want to miss it. Can you guess which brand this is? 

Have a glorious September my queens!!! Love y’all. xx

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Your Skincare Routine Should Include This Ingredient

The Plog - published 08.26.20

I was really curious about Activated Charcoal in skincare as I’ve never used any product with this ingredient. When .08L and Mothermade had it up for bid, I jumped at the chance. I decided to use it as my second cleanse. I have been using it for two weeks and found that:

What it does: This powder cleanser was formulated to decongest pores, banish blackheads & balance the skin with the finest quality bamboo charcoal and papaya enzyme.

Texture: Fine and powdery. It turned foamy once water was added. I was really surprised that it is super smooth with no grittiness.

Color: Charcoal grey (no pun intended)

Feel: Really nice on the skin. Easily rinsed off and didn’t leave my skin feeling tight. My skin feels refreshed like all the pores have been unclogged.

Ingredients: There are only 10 ingredients in this product that includes skin surfactant, skin conditioning, charcoal powder (of course), aloe leaf extract and enzyme papain.

Full Ingredients list: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Ethylcellulose, Charcoal Powder (10,000ppm), Silica, Papain, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin

Have you ever felt that your face is gunky even though it looks perfectly fine? When that happens, I found myself thinking about this cleanser and couldn’t wait to use it. It makes my skin feel super smooth and soft afterwards.

I learned when I was a kid that activated charcoal is great for when you have upset stomach or ingesting something poisonous. My dad always prescribed it to his patients to make them feel better or before sending them off to a hospital for something more serious. Activated charcoal doesn’t neutralize the toxin but rather prevents the stomach from absorbing it. For the skin, it will absorb impurities to prevent clogged pores that eventually will cause acne and blackheads.

I push the boundary of this product a little further by adding Rhassoul clay with it and apply as a mask. Leave it on for 15 mins and rinse off. Rhassoul clay has similar benefits to activated charcoal but with added brightening benefit. In this product, there is an enzyme papain that is responsible for brightening the skin.

If you have combination and oily skin, you can use this product as a mask as is. For dry and sensitive skin, I would add a few drops of seed oils to the mixture so that it doesn’t dry out your skin.

As for this product, I’d give it a 5-star rating. It did everything that it’s supposed to plus the ingredients are EWG level 1 safe. I'm very pleased with everything I've experienced and couldn't ask for anything more. You can purchase this product from 

With all my love,

Piya xx

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The Not So Secret of the Chok Chok Skin

The Plog - published 08.24.20

I did my first Reel last night and it was fun but took a lot of work. I went to bed around 2 am and woke up at 5:30 am. Needless to say, I’m on an overdrive at the moment.

Would you agree that just about everyone you know loves Korean skincare because we all wish to have that smooth Chok Chok skin like Korean women. Five months later, you noticed that your skin only improved slightly so you would change up the products. Still very slight improvement thereafter. Hmmm….what’s going on here? Why don’t your skin look like the beautiful skin of Korean women using similar or same products?

Well, let me tell you a secret. Korean women do not rely on at-home skincare products alone. They get skin treatments in a clinic or spa regularly. I’m going to share with you two of the most popular treatments other than facials.

SKIN-BOTOX: This one only goes to the dermis to create that smoothness of the skin, tighten pores, brighten skin & banish breakouts. The treatment is repeated every 8 – 10 weeks to keep the skin smooth and in that chok chok form.

SKIN BOOSTER SHOTS: There are countless skin cocktails available with different focuses - skin brightening, reducing the appearance of pores, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin tone and balancing oil production. The most notable booster is called PDRN (Polydeoxyribonucleotide) – an extract from Salmon DNA (obviously not vegan) which has 95% match to that of humans. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory and tissue repairing properties. The skin booster shots are often administered by using Mesotherapy gun or super fine needles. You can do it at home using electric microneedling device; however, you’d need to adjust the depth to 1mm or deeper; which hurts like hell!!! Topical numbing cream is highly recommended; but, finding one with 8 – 10% active numbing agent would be tough. I’d suggest going to a professional. Don’t try using Mesotherapy gun or needles at home since you would not be able to keep the tip perpendicular to the skin or you may go too deep and trigger unexpected infection when using needles.

Honestly, obtaining beautiful glass skin doesn’t come from using at-home products alone. Another fact is that Korean skincare is really great for people who do not have a troubled skin as it is formulated to be used by younger people and more of a preventive measure rather than corrective. I know that a lot of people will disagree with me on this but that is OK. 

My last words are - If you want beautiful skin, you’d need to put time and effort in it so that you can reach your skin goal. Life is about making progress. If skincare you’ve been using for the past months did not give you the improvements as advertised, change it. Go see your esthetician every 4 – 6 weeks. We all need professional help. I’m a professional but I still go to other professionals for my skin’s needs. It’s better for someone to perform the treatments on me rather than me treating myself for sure. The question of the day is - Would you want to have any of these treatments?

Have a fabulous week beautiful! Cheers to Chok Chok skin. 

With all my love,

Piya xx

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My Best & Easiest Guide For Buying Vitamin C Serums

The Plog - published 08.21.20

Summer is fading by the minutes. The air is getting cooler and I can’t believe that Fall will be here in no time. It is time to revamp the skincare routine again. Honestly, my skin has been through so many changes. I’m still dealing with scars from eczema that look more like bug bites than typical eczema scars. What we’ve been through in the past months can wreak havoc on the skin; however, there are powerful ingredients that can help combat signs of aging all year-round. I’m talking about Vitamin C.

We know that Vitamin C is a powerful ingredient that can help combat signs of aging all year-round but what do we need to look for?

The only TRUE bioavailable form of Vitamin C is L-Ascorbic acid. 

Bioavailable means that the ingredient is readily absorbed by the body. Other forms of Vitamin C may be more stable and still are considered as antioxidants but they’re not as bioavailable as L-Ascorbic. If you want to get a derivative form, always look for water-soluble form of Vitamin C.

Look for C & E together: Vitamin E is a fat-soluble and as an oil, it can help improve skin hydration, minimize roughness, wrinkles and facial lines. The best ani-aging products contain at least 1%. When applied together, vitamins C and E act as a natural form of sun protection. Together, they have greater effectiveness than either vitamin does alone. Even if some of the vitamin C in a product is degraded or oxidized, the remaining solution works better in the presence of vitamin E. Combined, they provide 4 x more protection against free radicals.

Both are antioxidants that are clinically proven to prevent aging skin and correct visible damage. Look for products with Tocopherol. It is important to always pair these alphabet friends together as they work synergis¬tically to protect the aqueous and lipid environments in the skin; while supporting one another against oxidation.

Add Ferulic Acid: Research shows that ferulic acid improves vitamin C’s stability. When combine all three together, ferulic acid appears to increase the skin’s natural defenses against sun damage.

Y’all know about looking for dark bottle with minimum exposure to air already so I’m not gonna discuss it here.

Some may argue that they can ingest these vitamins to boost their skin health. According to Dr. Vivian Bucay, “Only about 1% of the vitamins we ingest in food and supplements ever make it to the skin; so it's important to apply antioxidants topically”. Researches show that skin is the last organ to receive any benefits or disbenefits of anything we ingest.

The suggested minimum therapeutic levels of L-ascorbic acid and tocopherol are 5% and 1% and the maximum are around 20% and 5%, respectively.

The composition of the renowned SkinCeuticals CE & Ferulic is - Vitamin C (15%), E (1%) and Ferulic acid (0.5%) but honestly, you don’t need to pay that much money for a bottle of Vitamin C.

The photo is a courtesy of The Glow Maker. Their 20% Vitamin C contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate; which is a water soluble derivative of Vitamin C. It is effective for acne prone skin; compared to products with Benzoyl Peroxide. Their whole range of products are super affordable. Use my code PIYA20 for extra 20%. I think I’m going to stock a few things up.

What’s your favorite vitamin C brand? 

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Your Products May Be Causing Your Maskne

The Plog - published 08.18.20

Wearing a mask may be a way of life for all of us for a long while or at least until after this virus has been annihilated; with the hope that newer and deadlier virus doesn’t show up between now and then. Since this is the case, I’ve decided to wear a bejeweled mask. LOL

Nowadays, even some people who never had acne in their lives started to develop acne under the mask. The sale of over the counter acne medication has been skyrocketed; yet most maskne prevailed. Developing acne under the mask is a combination of the heat of the summer, the length that one needs to wear the mask and products used under the mask.

Below is a short list of pore clogging ingredients in skincare that some might find surprising. Always check the ingredient list even though the products may say “won’t clog pores” or “non-comedogenic”. See the bottom of the PLOG for full list of pore clogging ingredients.

All Oils & Butters can be some of the worst offenders, like cocoa butter and coconut oil - found in many skin care products. Other oils such as jojoba, olive and lanolin are mildly comedogenic and can be a problem if formulated with other comedogenic ingredients. Some prescription products like Retin-A and many over-the-counter acne medications also have pore clogging ingredients. “Oil-free” products can be comedogenic. All oil will eventually clog the pores regardless of mask but wearing mask seems to exacerbate the problem. Consider using oil only at night and only if you have dry skin.

Algae Extract




Red Algae


Squalene * Squalane is a better choice.


I’m not saying to disregard products with these ingredients because these are not bad ingredients but they have a tendency to clog pores and cause acne when combined together with other pore cloggers. Even some really great products have pores clogging ingredients. If you are not acne prone, I’d limited the use to only at night and not during the day while you have to wear a mask. I hope you find this information useful. Have a great day beautiful. With all my love. xx

• Acetylated Lanolin

• Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol

• Algae Extract

• Algin

• Butyl Stearate

• Carrageenan

• Cetyl Acetate

• Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20

• Chondrus Crispus (aka Irish Moss or Carageenan Moss)

• Chlorella

• Coal Tar

• Cocoa Butter

• Coconut Alkanes

• Coconut Butter

• Coconut Oil

• Colloidal Sulfur

• Cotton Awws Oil

• Cotton Seed Oil

• D & C Red # 17

• D & C Red # 21

• D & C Red # 3

• D & C Red # 30

• D & C Red # 36

• Decyl Oleate

• Dioctyl Succinate

• Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2- Sulfosuccinate

• Ethoxylated Lanolin

• Ethylhexyl Palmitate

• Glyceryl Stearate SE

• Glyceryl-3 Diisostearate

• Hexadecyl Alcohol

• Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

• Isocetyl Alcohol

• Isocetyl Stearate

• Isodecyl Oleate

• Isopropyl Isostearate

• Isopropyl Linolate

• Isopropyl Myristate

• Isopropyl Palmitate

• Isostearyl Isostearate

• Isostearyl Neopentanoate

• Kelp

• Laminaria Digitata Extract

• Laminaria Saccharina Extract (Laminaria Saccharine)

• Laureth-23

• Laureth-4

• Lauric Acid

• Mink Oil

• Myristic Acid

• Myristyl Lactate

• Myristyl Myristate

• Octyl Palmitate

• Octyl Stearate

• Oleth-3

• Oleyl Alcohol

• PEG 16 Lanolin

• PEG 200 Dilaurate

• PEG 8 Stearate

• PG Monostearate

• PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate

• Plankton

• Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate

• Potassium Chloride

• Propylene Glycol Monostearate

• Red Algae

• Seaweed

• Shark Liver Oil (Squalene)

• Shea Butter

• Sodium Laureth Sulfate

• Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

• Solulan 16

• Sorbitan Oleate

• Soybean Oil (Glycine Soya)

• Spirulina

• Steareth 10

• Stearic Acid Tea

• Stearyl Heptanoate

• Sulfated Castor Oil

• Sulfated Jojoba Oil

• Wheat Germ Glyceride

• Wheat Germ Oil

• Xylene             

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My Blonde Hair Survival Kit

The Plog - published 08.14.20

        Even though I may have short hair, it doesn’t mean that I don’t pay attention to it. Honestly I pay more attention to my hair than my face and body. I never used drugstore brands haircare in my adult life unless I absolutely have to. When I started coloring my hair, it’s a different game when it comes to hair care. Not only that I have to make sure that products cleanse my hair but also keep my color true, shiny and healthy.

      Everything changed again when I cut my long hair and went blonde two years ago. I had to find hair products that will keep my blonde bright and retain the hair on my head.

        I have a new stylist and all of the stylists I had always use Olaplex No. 1 & 2 in their coloring process. For those who color their hair, if your stylist does not use Olaplex No. 1 & 2 or other brands with similar attributes, when coloring, leave. That’s the only suggestion I have.

        Here they are a few years after introducing their No. 1, 2 & 3, came No. 4, 5, 6 & 7; which are take-home products. There is a new No. 0 that is also a take-home product that is not shown in the photo.

No. 4 – Shampoo

No. 5 – Conditioner

No. 6 – Smoother

No. 7 – Oil

        I shampoo and condition my hair every Wednesday and Saturday. I use No. 3 as an intensive hair mask once every 2 weeks and only on Saturday morning since I don’t have time to really primp myself during the week. Mind you I get up at 5 am and start working my consulting job at 6 am on weekdays.

        About No. 3, you should not use it more than twice a month because your hair won’t be able to stand it. It’s the case of too much of a good thing. I use No. 7 on a regular basis because my hair is so dry from over processing and use No. 6 whenever I feel like my hair looks like chicken little.

        You can purchase them from your stylist or Sephora. They are $28 each, a bit pricey but what’s your hair worth to you.

         From shampoo to hair oil, I can only say that they give beautiful results. Some products contain silicone but silicone is not all bad; not for hair or when you try to manage your scars. So, don’t discount it.

         These are products that need to be in everyone with colored or processed hair survival kit                    

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21st Century Skincare

The Plog - published 07.31.20



          Today, I'd like to introduce you to a brand new skincare that came to me from across the Atlantic by way of Mallorca, Spain. If you haven't been there, it's a Mediterranean tourist paradise but that's not what I want to share with you today. 

Anyhow, I hope your week went without a glitch. As soon as I was done with work, I just came here to escape and write for a few hours. 


          It’s a combination of cream & serum that helps to increase skin hydration, restore skin barrier and prevent moisture loss.


          White, Creamy & No scent.


          Absorbs quickly without oiliness or tackiness on the skin. I tested it on my @slip silk pillow and my face doesn’t stick to it during the night.


  • ALOE – Soothes, moisturizes, improves skin hydration, reduces redness, maintains pH balance & protects against environmental stressors.
  • BIFIDA, LACTOBACILLUS, LEUCONOSTOC & SACCHAROMYCES – Microorganisms used in fermentation process that help break down the molecules to make them smaller in order to penetrate the skin.
  • OLIVE OIL – Anti-oxidants & anti-aging
  • PENTYLENE GLYCOL – Humectant. Retains skin moisture.
  • LECITHIN – Promotes healthy skin barrier.


          While I don’t consider HA a sérum per se & I’m still unconvinced about its claim to fame, I’m very fond of this product. The ingredients list read like a botanical index & there is nothing in the list that causes my eyes to roll back into my head. I was really concerned about all the oils as they have a tendency to break me out like popping popcorn. As I was digging deeper into the formulation, I’ve found that this product was formulated to mimic the phospholipid in the skin.

          A phospholipid is a type of lipid molecule; the main component of the cell membrane. Lipids are molecules that include fats, waxes & some vitamins, among others. Each phospholipid is made up of two fatty acids – a phosphate group & a glycerol molecule. When many phospholipids line up, they form a double layer that is characteristic of all cell membranes.

What I also love about this product is the fact that it is probiotic; which means that it contains live microorganisms. According to the National Institute of Health, a product is not probiotic unless it contains live microorganisms. In addition, products containing dead microorganisms and those made by microorganisms (such as proteins, polysaccharides, nucleotides, and peptides) are, by definition, not probiotics.

          What else can I say about it? Maybe that it’s 100% natural & 90% organic. The whole range is clean & cruelty free. 30ml for 49USD. It’s a steal based on the quality. I’ve used it for 6 wks. While I don’t know how much I’ve used up, I know that the packaging is cross-contaminant proof plus the label is super simple. Know that you are not paying for fancy packaging. This cream has a formula that is modern, thoughtful & my skin adores it.

          One more thing, the man behind the brand is super obsessive about skincare and its ingredients. He wants to ensure that all of the products are made with highest quality ingredients & perform as advertised. We’ve got to admire that.

          You can check out this cream and other fabulous skincare products by going to 

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Traditional Chinese Medicine in Modern Skincare

The Plog - published 07.21.20

          Realr kindly sent me three products in exchange for my honest review. I started using them six weeks ago while I was in the midst of eczema outbreak. At first I was a little hesitant to use anything new but I had these products for almost 2 mos. I simply couldn’t postpone it any further because there are other products behind them that I’d still need to test.

Vital C Anti-Oxidant Serum - $28

         Helps to brighten skin’s appearance, fade dark spots, age spots & freckles & even out skin tone for a clearer, brighter complexion while; helping prevent future pigment formation.

Ingredients: 15% Vitamin C water, Arbutin, Salicylic Acid, Hyaluronic acid, Carbomer, water

REALR Sunscreen SPF30 - $38

          A non-greasy formula that effectively resists light damage and prevents sunburn by forming a natural barrier function against UV rays.

Ingredients: Chinese medicine essence, Pearl Powder, Natural anti-allergic agent, Vitamin E, Jojoba oil & Nano Titanium Dioxide.

Peptide cell repair Serum - $68

          Repair damaged skin tissue while delivering nourishing antioxidants.

Ingredients: Water, Glutatione, Oligopeptide-2, Oligopeptide-1, Yeast Peptides, Aloe extract, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Hyaluronic acid.

          Both the Vitamin C and Peptide serums are clear and no scent. The texture is almost that of water. I use Vitamin C in the morning and Peptide at night & replace my Shiseido sunscreen with this sunscreen.

          I use these serums on its own without other serums. It helped me with identifying when products are showing results. I still have a bit of acne scars on the lower part of the cheeks to fend with and often have to dab a little bit of concealer for extra coverage. By about day 25, I noticed that I didn’t have to use anymore concealer and I was ecstatic.

         As I don’t have wrinkles (yet), I couldn’t say whether the peptide serum works or not. What I know is, you should always use skincare before the signs of maturity started to show.

          Lastly, the sunscreen…I consider myself as an avid sunscreen user and a sun escaper. I don’t care about being tan. Being tan means that the skin is damage and it’s trying to heal. This sunscreen feels like a light lotion, easy to apply and absorbs well, doesn’t have white cast and doesn’t pill my primer or foundation.

          As you can see that there’s not much excitement in the ingredients; however, if you consider carbomer or phenoxyethanol exciting – well…OK. I also didn’t know that Realr is actually a spa in Massachusetts and these are their own products. It’s quite humbling for another spa to trust another spa owner to review their products. I usually go in blindly when testing products so that I wouldn’t have a preconceived notion or otherwise.

          Additionally some of their formulas are based off of Traditional Chinese Medicine which ’d really love to learn. It’s super intriguing to me.

           All and all, I really like these products because they have simple formulas, feel great on the skin & with reasonable prices. If I have to pick just one, it would be the mineral sunscreen. It feels incredible on the skin. After I checked the ingredients, I am sold. Totally in love with it.

          Thank you so much Realr for trusting me with your products. I wish I were a little closer to MA so I could visit your spas. To find out more about their spa & other products, visit

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You Put What On Your Face?

The Plog - published 07.20.20

        I love nothing more than beauty and skincare rituals of the old world. While the Greeks’ and Romans’ maybe intriguing, the beauty rituals of Geisha is spellbinding. I came across many strange beauty rituals in my readings. The most notable is – in ancient time, young women in Southeast Asian countries would smear their faces with the blood of their own menstruation to prevent acne. And we thought that the Vampire facial was a new thing.

      Back to the Geisha, they normally keep their skin super paper white and one way to do that is by smearing nightingale’s poop on their faces. I just caught you clinching. LOL.

          Let me explain. This is not just a run of the mill nightingale’s poop. It’s called Uguisu No Fun.

Birds only have one opening to excrete their waste material; therefore this actually has both liquid and solid wastes. If you think about it, it’s really gross. Yikes! Nightingale poop contains nitrogen-rich urea and guanine. Urea is used in cosmetic applications because it helps the skin retain moisture. Guanine creates a shimmery, iridescent effect in cosmetics and other products.

         There are nightingale farms in Japan that exist exclusively for the purpose of harvesting the poop from birds that are fed a diet of organic seeds.

After their poop is collected, it is sanitized with UV light. Dried poop is ground into a very fine white powder & sometimes mixed with another product, such as rice bran, for exfoliation.

How To Use: 

          Mix powder with water to form a paste and massage into the skin for a few minutes before rinsing off. It was described as having the same effect as a light chemical peel but without the redness or irritation. The skin feels clean, soft, moist and maybe a little brighter.

The Story:

          Unlike wild bird poop, Uguisu No Fun is safe and clean due to the birds' special diet, controlled habitat and the purification process. So even if it's not a miracle skin product, it's probably not going to hurt you; however, this is not a product for sensitive or allergy-prone skin. I bought this bottle right after I discovered it through reading many months ago. It was shipped from Japan. I think I will use it as a face mask. All I know right now is that it doesn’t have any scent. I will let you know how it goes.

         Even though the Uguisu No Fun has been a traditional part of a geisha's beauty regimen, that doesn't mean that all geisha use it.

         The practice of using nightingale poop was first introduced to the Japanese by the Koreans during the Heian period (794 to 1185). The Koreans used the poop to strip dye from fabric and create beautiful, intricate patterns on clothing. This remained its primary use in Japan until the Edo period (1603 to 1868). Although female entertainers existed in Japan prior to this time, the modern geisha is thought to have originated in the 1700s. Kabuki, a style of theatre involving elaborate makeup, also became popular.

Both geisha and Kabuki actors have traditionally worn heavy white makeup. Originally, it was made with ingredients like zinc and lead, which proved to be deadly. Then it was discovered that using Uguisu No Fun completely removed the makeup as well as served to condition and soothe the skin. Although the makeup is no longer made with these ingredients, Uguisu No Fun had secured its place. Buddhist monks also use it to clean and polish their bald scalps.

Why The Nightingale?

      Maybe because they have long held an important place in many Asian cultures. The Japanese Nightingale known as the Bush Warbler is a shy bird rarely seen in any season other than Spring. Spring is often associated with beauty and rebirth. This song bird is often kept as pet because of the distinctive sounds it makes; which has been the subject of many poems.  

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Back to Basics Korean Skincare Routine

The Plog - published 07.13.20

          We are very familiar with the Korean 10-step routine which has been revered by the die-hard skincare addicts all over the globe. However, there is a new skincare routine that has the K Skincare world buzzing as of late. It’s called Skincare Diet - consists of 3 steps - Cleanse, Tone & Moisturize. I’d add Sunscreen as the 4th step. Without it, y’all might as well throw y’all money down the drain.

           Let me explain because I could visualize y’all rolling y’all eyes while reading this article.

Korean dermatologists have discovered through the years that there’s an increasing number of young patients with sensitized skin. What they prescribed would work for a while but the sensitivity returned once they stopped. It took a few years for them to come to a conclusion that all of their patients have one thing in common – they have extensive skincare routine. They started prescribing the skincare diet to their patients and have seen remarkable improvements.

        Personally, I have never been a believer of the 10-step routine. It might be OK to have a 10-step if products used are for “balancing” the skin and that the words lighten, brighten or whiten are not found in every other product used. Skin possesses a remarkable healing ability. We don’t really need a lot of products in a routine. 

My Thoughts

  •   I think 3-step routine is better suited for young people whose skin hasn’t shown any signs of damage. I have 6-step routine with added Serum, Eye Cream & Sunscreen. I’d exfoliate and mask twice a week for total of 8 steps at night.
  •     Cocktailing serums carefully. We know not to mix Vitamin A or C with a lot of other actives BUT we may have overlooked the “natural” ingredients. My recommendation is no more than two serums in each routine.
  •     People often focus on chemicals in the formula but I am more worried about the natural extracts in it. What we don’t know is whether these extracts are safe and will they continue to be safe after mixing with other natural extracts. That’s a question of the day.
  •     The truth is natural extracts also contain chemicals in its makeup. Some natural things are obviously unsafe such as Poison Ivy. Korean skincare often contains boat loads of natural extracts which I love BUT that doesn’t mean that it is 100% safe when combining with other products and used for an extended period of time.
  •    If you notice that your skin hasn’t improved after using the same products for a few months, know that skincare performance will plateau, same as dieting. You’ve got to change it up. We change our wardrobe every season and we should do the same thing to skincare. 
  •   I don’t believe in using every product from the same line as every company has strengths & weaknesses. The Holy Grail products for each line are normally ones that they came out first.
  •     I don’t buy skincare products from companies who started their business with cosmetics no matter how popular they are. Skincare shouldn’t be an afterthought.
  •     If you can afford to purchase only one product, get a sunscreen. Always wear it like a 2nd religion. I prefer mineral sunscreen as chemical ones are often not reef friendly. I love my oceans.

Have a great week beauties. I love y’all.  

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Lilyam - Liquid Gold

The Plog - published 06.26.20

            Y'all have seen this liquid gold from Lilyam all over your Instagram feed. Many people talked about how good this product is. I will discuss how I use it. This Plog will discuss the first and the most important ingredient listed on this formula - Castor oil.

             This product has ten ingredients in total from plant oils and herbs. The product is a labor of love of Parissa, the brand founder. She watched her mum applying oils to her thick & beautiful hair when she was growing up. After her daughter was born, she decided to share her family's secret to the beautiful long hair with the rest of us. 


           Castor oil comes from castor beans of Ricinus communis plant with naturally clear or pale yellow in color. For black castor oil, the castor beans were roasted rather than cold pressed.

           It has been in use for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, it was burned as fuel in lamps, used as a natural remedy to treat other ailments; which I won’t discuss here. NOTE: IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR LACTATING, PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE USING ANY PRODUCT WITH CASTOR OIL.


          It is a natural moisturizer with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t directly make the hair grow. Ricinoleic acid in castor oil, a known vasodilator is responsible for promoting hair growth. When applied to the scalp, it increases blood vessel dilation and in turn increases the flow of oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to the root of the hair. The normal hair growth rate per month per the FDA is one centimeter. There’s really no scientific evidence that proves its effectiveness but you can gauge it yourself by using this guideline. 

         Even without scientific evidence, a lot of people say that it also can be used on eyebrows and eyelashes to promote hair growth. Currently, there is no safety data about castor oil and eye health. I would be cautious and consult with an ophthalmologist about applying it in close proximity to the eye.


            Lilyam Liquid Gold is a 100% natural treatment oil. I’ve been using it from head to toe. It’s anti-inflammatory property helps relieve eczema irritation and my skin heals faster, rub it on my nails to soften the cuticles, elbows and knees to combat dryness and all over the body to boost hydration. The instruction suggests using it as a pre-shampoo and intensive hair treatment. I have been using it post shampoo by applying a few drops to my dampened hair. It gives shine to my blonde hair and tame flyaway. With a faintly and soothing scent of rosemary and lavender that takes me away to Provence, the place I most loved. Afew drops go a long way and be sure not to overuse to prevent greasy hair and skin.


            Some people think that since it has anti-inflammatory property, it can be used to get rid of dandruff. IF your dandruff is caused by seborrheic dermatitis, it’s OK to use oil on the scalp. However, generally dandruff is caused by yeast and yeast feeds off of fatty acids in oils. Applying oil to the scalp can actually worsen the dandruff because you are actually feeding the yeast.


            Although castor oil is widely used, it is not meant for everyone. Please patch test by applying a small amount behind the ear or the inner upper arm for a week. If you noticed that your hair is looking dull and you use oil regularly on the hair, it’s time to use clarifying or detox shampoo to get rid of all the buildup. I can notice that my blonde is no longer bright and it’s time for me to use clarifying shampoo for my hair.


           If you have fine to medium straight hair, use it as a deep treatment, split ends tamer or pre-shampoo treatment.

           For medium to thick straight & wavy hair, use it as an intense pre-shampoo treatment and add heat or steam for deeper penetration into the hair cuticle.

           For wavy to loose curls, mix a few drops of castor oil with your hair conditioner.

For curly to tightly coiled, use it any way you wish as needed throughout your regimen.

           The best type of castor oil to use is the cold-pressed which can be used all over from head to toe. Black castor oil should only be applied to the scalp as the pH of it is high and can damage hair shaft and skin.

            This product is gifted by the brand in exchange for my honest review. Visit​m to check it out. Retail for 30 USD/240 ml. 

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Musely Spot Cream - Deconstructed

The Plog - published 06.25.20

         By now, y'all have heard of a new skincare brand called Musely that promises to get rid of melasma and skin spots in no time. We saw the results of “real” users in their commercial and couldn’t help but be excited about it. I was ready to jump in head first but had to put an emergency brake on my spontaneity to do some research on the brand. I’m most interested in their Spot Cream and that’s what I’ll share the info here.

          They offer four different formulas which are named - Erase, Nurture, Hydroquinone (HQ) Free and M+

The base of the three formulas is relied heavily on high percentages of HQ that ranges from 6-12%. The HQ Free formula replaced HQ with 20% Azelaic acid.

          HQ is a great skin lightener. In the US, we can get OTC skincare with 1% or less HQ and anything more would require a prescription.

          Musely is set up in a way that one would “virtually” consult with a dermatologist and he or she would write a prescription of a spot cream based on one's needs. This process doesn’t bother me because Telehealth has been in place for a while now and some conditions don’t require an in-person visit. While Telehealth is fine, the high percentages of HQ is my concern. Here are a list of why.

  • Clinical studies show that higher percentage of HQ beyond 4% doesn’t make product perform better.
  • High HQ tend to cause more stubborn hyperpigmentation, quicker resistance and higher chance to develop ochronosis (a disorder characterized by blue-black pigmentation resulting as a complication of long-term application of HQ)
  • Even with lower percentages, HQ should be used no more than 4 – 5 months each time with a 2-3 months break in between. If used continuously without a break, a skin can develop resistance to it. Once that happens, you’d notice that regular skin becomes lighter while hyperpigmented skin stays unchanged.
  • Excessive HQ may induce toxic or shocking effects on melanocytes, forcing them to regroup and increase in melanin production.
  • High HQ may provoke skin inflammation since it is an inflammatory agent that can cause redness, itching and allergic reactions. That’s the reason all of Musely HQ formulas contain hydrocortisone (topical steroid); which is an anti-inflammatory to counteract HQ inflammation tendency. Inflammation leads to melanocyte hyperactivity which overpowers HQ’s ability to suppress tyrosinase, leading to rebound hyperpigmentation.
  • Their formulas also combine HQ with Retinoic acid & Hydrocortisone; which long term use can lead to skin atrophy, the appearance of telangiectasias, skin sensitivity and worsen pigmentation. This triple-combination product should not be used for more than 7 days. HQ (up to 4%) is better used with retinoic acid without steroid as it is safer and more effective.
  • Topical steroids only work on pigmentation induced by trauma or disease (PIH). MELASMA IS NOT A RESULT OF INFLAMMATION.
  • Retinoic acid is a great skin repair tool but should not be used long-term because the portion of the drug that is not absorbed into the skin remains on the skin’s surface; which can provoke continuous reactions.
  • Vitamin C and Glycolic acid combined with HQ offer no scientifically documented extra benefits. We already know to not use Vitamin C and Glycolic acid together as they can irritate the skin; which leads to inflammation and worsening of existing hyperpigmentation (rebound hyperpigmentation).
          If I were to use this spot cream, I would choose the M+ and use it for 4-5 months. Then switchover to HQ Free for a couple of months but again I’m still concerned about that 12% HQ in M+; which I feel is too agressive. My suggestion is to proceed with caution and always apply sunscreen. If any of y'all are already their customers, I’m curious to know if there are any warnings with regards to prolong use of HQ as I believe it is a responsibility of the brand to do right by its customers. I also want to see the results of actual users after 12 months of use. I might decide to enroll in their plan for the sake of this exercise to prove true the findings of past studies and clinical results & use it for a couple of months. However, I really don’t want to develop product resistance as a result.

          It takes the right combination of ingredients, time and a lot of patience to treat hyperpigmentation and to make sure that we don’t trigger it in the first place. Even though hyperpigmentation isn’t generally harmful, it doesn’t help with confidence. Know that there is no guarantee that they will fade completely, even with treatment. If y'all want to try HQ, I'd suggest making an appointment with a dermatologist and ask or a 4% and create your own spot cream.

          Let me know what y'all think about Musely. As always, love y'all. xx 

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The DIY Do Right - Microneedling 

The Plog - published 06.18.20

     I went to a grocery store last night to get a few things. A lady stopped me in the juice aisle. She was looking for the cream of coconut for her homemade coconut ice cream and couldn’t find it. I mentioned to her that she could find the coconut milk in the international foods aisle​ an​d that the Thais use coconut milk to make coconut ice cream.

     Long story short she complimented on my skin. I informed her that I do skin for a living and we started chatting about skincare for about 45 mins. Among many things that we chatted about was microneedling, I asked her a few questions about what type of microneedle does she use, on where & how.

     As much as I love the DIY skin treatments, there are many factors that one should at least consult a professional before taking a leap. Proper at-home treatments make my life easier when I see clients. I’m sorry to say that you should not be relying on YouTube for instructions.

     Basic microneedling practices that I wanted to share.

1. Invest in a motorized microneedling pen. They often come with choices of pins – from 1 to 64 & nano pins. The pen will have adjustable needle length feature plus different speeds (rpm) that you would want.

2. Different needle lengths are meant to be used for different protocols & on different areas of the face.

  • 0.25mm is used for superficial peeling. This length is perfect for the thin skin around the eyes, forehead (up to 0.50mm), nose and the cupid bow area.
  • 0.50mm is used to minimize fine lines and wrinkles and can be used all over the face except for the areas with thin skin.
  • 1.00 – 2.00 mm is used for deeper wrinkles, minimize large pores, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, stretch marks & hair loss.

     My choice of pins are 16, 36 & nano. I use 16 pins with lowest length (0.25mm) and highest speed to exfoliate while pushing the serum in the skin at the same time. The 16 pins for the Dr. Pen that I have has the finest needle gauge. The smaller the needles, the less likely they will damage the skin. Note that microneedling is all about triggering the skin that there is a damage but without actually damaging it.

     The 36 pins are a little thicker and with more pins. I use it to reduce hyperpigmentation, acne scars & general scar revision. The reason that I don’t like the manual microneedle is simply because you can’t control a consistent pressure throughout the treatment. The motorized pen is more powerful. All you'd do is simply guide it and let it slide on the skin. If you bleed more than a couple of spots while microneedle at home, there’s a possibility of scarring and that just totally defeat the purpose. You can certainly go deeper into the dermis but do it with the thinnest needles possible.

     After each treatment, stay away from exposing to the sun. Night time microneedling is best because skin does its magic during the night. You can even follow with a light Glycolic peel to optimize the benefits. Personally, I would microneedle once every two weeks & you should start seeing improvement after the second treatment. Results are accumulative and you should see significant changes after 3 – 4 months. If you plateau at 6 months, the skin condition maybe too deep for the treatment to work – especially in hyperpigmentation & scars. It maybe time to talk to a dermatologist on other treatment options.

     Let me know if you'd have any questions. I’ll be glad to answer them. Have a fantastic day & I appreciate y’all. xx

Dr. Pen M8 with BB Glow Ampoule

     Dr. Pen M8 is the latest model from Dr. Pen, the expert in microneedling devices. It's the first model to offer the thinnest 0.18mm 16-pin needle that is less invasive and required very little or no anesthesia. 

     It has 6 speeds with up to 16000 RPM (that's super fast). Great for every skin type and gentle on clients with thinner skin for the treatment of hair loss, large pores, fine lines & wrinkles, eye brightening and scar revision; both on body and face. 

     BB Glow is another beautiful invention from South Korea. It is a semi-permanent foundation treatment that can last up to one year. 

     Recommend three initial treatments; each two weeks apart. Follow up with eight and twelve weeks maintenance treatments. Results are accumulative. 

     Dr. Drawing Glow BB Ampoule is best in class and offers the most consistent pigment. BB Ampoule is not only a cosmetic but also a skincare that filled with skin loving hyaluronic acid and eight different peptides to smooth out skin, minimize large pores, even out skin tone & improve skin texture. 

     Each client's will be custom matched to his or her natural skin tone. The result is like your skin but better. Perfect for people who don't want to apply foundation daily. This is the ultimate no makeup makeup look. We also offer semi-permanent lip tint. Both are weightless and you won't feel like you have any makeup on.

     BB Glow can be applied to most skin conditions except for client with inflamed acne or active infection. We purchase our BB Glow supplies directly from the source in South Korea.

     Coming soon: Baby Botox. Don't worry. This treatment is not an injection that paralyzes the muscles like the traditional Botox does. It is applied by microneedle and stay in the epidermis to soften the looks of fine lines and  wrinkles.

     We would never offer a service that we are not willing to try ourselves and that's a promise. We test each treatment out first before we even put them on the service menu. 

     Needless to say that we love Korean beauty inventions and stay up-to-date by learning and researching. After all, we love skin and would love to take care of yours.

     Thank you so much for all your support. xx