Thursday, January 31, 2013

Whitening Galore: Showertime!: Reviews

Bath time. A time to rub, soak and rinse off all the tension of the day, or a time to freshen up for the challenges of the day ahead. What better time to brighten up your overall complexion than your daily rub a dub?


RDL Papaya Whitening Soap with Milk

 I have used up 2 bars of this soap previously, and this is the last one remaining from my supplies. This soap, used daily, helps to lighten darkened skin to its original skin tone. Dark scars are also lightened. I stopped using it for a period of time, however, when my skin was in a bad mood--it tends to make the skin dry. It does work well, however. The tiny spots that plagued my arms due to my inconsistency in use of sunblock on the body faded (almost) to obscurity after I completed the first bar. A good product, but moisturizer afterwards is essential. I bought it for about SGD4 at a jamu shop in a shopping centre. Most jamu shops should sell it, or know where it can be found.

Next in the spotlight....

Johnson's Baby Milk Bath

Now, who hasn't  used products from this baby product manufacturing giant at some point? I share this with my boy, who loves the product too, and hence the big bottle. Now, this product is not exactly a 'in your face' whitening product. But having used it in conjunction with other shower foams, I find that this shower foam helps the skin's tan (and mosquito bite marks) to fade faster as compared to when I use other so called 'whitening' shower foams that I have tried. Skin is left subtly scented and lightly moisturized. Its effect is not very apparent, but more like "Eh? When did I get so fair?" after a period of use. Retails around SGD6.50-8.50,depending on the retailer.

As with all whitening products, use the above with patience, and do not expect instantaneous or fast results. Getting fairer is a long process.  What works for someone else may not be as effective for you, but I believe, patience will bear fruit.

More on body whitening coming up, do come back soon!

***All the products I review are bought and paid for by me, for my own use, unless otherwise stated.

Whitening Galore:Stars of the Show

Before we go on, presenting to you, a photo of the current stars of the show...

Left to right- Hada Labo Arbutin Whitening Lotion,Hada Labo Arbutin Whitening essence, Hadd Labo Arbutin Whitening Milk, The Face Shop White Tree Snow Aqua Capsule Sleeping Pack, Lovemore Super White Diamond Sheet Mask

This are my current loves, for whitening. Why no mention of sunblock till now, you say. To answer that: It is important, so it deserves a separate post on its own. (As do the bath and body products.)

Watch this space, Snow Whites!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Whitening Galore:Masked Beauty:Reviews

I love masks. Who doesn't? (What? You mean you don't?) They offer you the convenience of a mini facial treatment, right in the comfort of your own home. (Or, your preferred location.)Sheet masks, sleeping packs,clay masks--you name it, I have probably tried at least one of the variety that is available for the type. This post reviews some of my favourites for whitening. I have completed at least 2-3 boxes of each of the below masks. Here goes!

Lovemore Diamond Super White Mask

This sheet mask fits well to the facial contours. (remember, the better the fit, the better the absorption and therefore, the better the result.) Face is immediately visibly brighter and hydrated after usage. Effect lasts for a few days, and continuous usage means skin gets visibly fairer(So much, that, at one point of time, my face was visibly fairer then my neck. Lesson learnt: Leave mask on the neck for 10-15 mins after usage on the face--it is usually moist enough for that. Voila, no more strange two toned face and neck!) It also does not irritate sensitive skin.(Inexpensive, retailing around SGD7.90-SGD9.90 for a pack of 5, depending on retailer and promotions.)My current favourite sheet mask.

My Beauty Diary Black Pearl Mask

This sheet mask also fits well to the face. Face is brighter after use. The effects are not, however, as obvious as the above. I also notice that when my skin was going through a sensitive stage (Read:flaring up at any slightest provocation), breakouts were more common when I used this mask. Having said that,  however, it did leave my face hydrated and plumped, and brightening effect lasted throughout the next day. In short, it was good enough for me to repurchase several 10-pc packs (around SGD14.90? I don't remember clearly),which were also good value for money.

The Face Shop White Tree Snow Aqua Capsule Sleeping Pack 

I love this stuff. I am on the 2nd tube now. It comes in a tube, and squeezes out as a clear blue gel with capsules that release moisture when massaged onto skin. Perfect for when you are feeling lazy when mask-day approaches. (Yes, honey,masking with the right mask is compulsory, unless you are blessed with good genes, or you can't  be bothered.) Just apply right after you regular nightly skincare, and wake up to visibly brighter, and hydrated skin.Quite economical also, at SGD29.90  for a 120ML tube. So far, no irritation.

I have tried many masks over the years, and these are the current ones that work well for me and I keep coming back to... till the skincare schizophrenic in me itches to try something new.

We've taken care of the face, so coming next, are lotions and bath products to make you the fairest of them all!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whitening Galore: Masked Beauty:Reviews: Work in Progress!

Coming next, reviews on masks from The Face Shop, Lovemore, My Beauty Diary, and more.  Do come back soon to check.

See you soon, I promise it won't take long!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Whitening Galore: Kitchen Magic!-Part 2

To all aspiring Snow Whites: Whitening is not just an external process, you have to take care of what you eat too. Here, I am going to share a few simple recipes that will soon have you drinking your way to glowing skin! Note, however, as always that these are recipes that I myself have tried, and found to work well for me. They are not miracle cures, but will help you a little along the way. Every little bit counts!

Almond Milk

1 Dessertspoon Almond Powder (You can grind your own, or if you're lazy like me, just use store bought. Works just fine, for me) 

200ML fresh milk (Unflavoured is best)

Stir almond powder into fresh milk, making sure it is thoroughly mixed. (Those who are lactose intolerant, you can use Soy milk.) Cold or hot, it's entirely according to your preference. Enjoy!

Soy Milk

4 Tablespoons soya beans
350ML water 
Sugar to taste  (may be omitted if you prefer, or replace with other sweeteners)
1 knotted pandan leaf, optional 

Soak soya beans overnight in plenty of clean water. Drain, discard soaking water. Blend soaked beans with water (in the recipe) in blender. Use a sieve/ strainer bag to filter the liquid, making sure to squeeze out all the liquid possible. Pour into a saucepan. (You may add in the pandan leaf at this stage.) Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the sugar last, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat, serve hot, or cold. Enjoy!

Pearl Powder

You can easily buy pearl powder from Chinese medical halls in Singapore. Just mix it in milk or juice. Taken consistently, it also helps to improve the condition of acne. Do note that real pearl powder does not dissolve totally, so be sure to stir as you drink

As always with beauty, consistency is key. Do not (obviously)ingest large amounts at one go and expect overnight results. It simply won't work that way. In the case of whitening, you require consistent effort of not weeks,but months to see results. Some people may see results sooner, and some later. Everyone is different. Your patience will be rewarded.

 I recommend that you start with something that is sustainable, rather than embark on an unrealistic programme that is difficult to maintain. Try one thing at a time, so that you can judge for yourself which one works better on you. As always, do take note of allergies when trying out new recipes.

Coming up soon, reviews on whitening products (that I have not reviewed yet,of course.)--my hits and misses over the years. See you soon!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Whitening Galore: Cooking in Progress

In the process of compilation, recipes to brighten you up, both inside and outside. Thank you for your patience!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Whitening Galore:Kitchen Magic!--Part 1

Whether you are on a budget, or have deeper pockets, home remedies are always a good alternative to over the counter solutions for whitening. Not only do you know exactly what goes inside, you also get to control the freshness and quality of ingredients. Do note that while all these remedies are natural, it is always a good idea to do a patch test on less visible areas, especially for sensitive skins.


Mix equal amounts of milk powder and honey. Add to the mixture a few drops of lemon juice. Apply to skin, and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. For sensitive skin, you may add less lemon juice or omit it altogether. This mixture can be used both on the body and face


Mix lemon juice from half a lemon, a spoonful of honey and enough sea salt (coarse or fine according to your preference) to form a gritty mixture. Apply to skin and leave on for 5-10 minutes. Then, scrub your skin as you would when using a body scrub. Take care not to rub too hard-- let the scrub do its job! Rinse thoroughly. Moisturize. This mixture is strictly for the body.


Dry some orange peels and grind them to a fine powder. Add a few drops of milk to make a paste. Apply to skin. Leave the mixture to dry, and then rinse off with warm water. This mixture can be used both for the body and face.


Soak some almonds overnight. Drain. Peel, grind and add to the almonds an equal amount of milk powder, and enough honey to form a paste. Leave to dry, then rinse off thoroughly. This mixture can be used for both the face and the body.

The above list is not exhaustive. But in line with my usual practices,I only post what I have tried and liked. You may like to tweak the recipes to your preference, that's the beauty of homemade beauty remedies.

Up next, foods to brighten your skin from inside out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Whitening Galore:Snow White and the Seven Dwarves-Part 2

The Seven Dwarves of Snow White's beauty arsenal, continued.

5)Vitamin C

How and Why it works

An effective antioxidant, it gives a boost to the immune system, and brightens the skin overall. It boosts Glutathione production, thereby lightening skin. (Glutathione, together with L-Cysteine and enzymes, maintains the balance of light and dark pigment in our skin).


Oral (pills,daily diet), topical (creams, lotions, serums etc), injections.

Pros & Cons

A large dosage (minimum 1000- 3000mg) needs to be taken for visible results. May cause loose bowels if taken in excess for those with sensitive stomachs. Having said that, any excess Vitamin C is flushed out of the body automatically, no major damage, unless you take really excessive amounts in one sitting. (Spread out your intake, and maintain stable levels of the vitamin in your body).Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, so sensitive skin may need to take care when using topical products and select a stable form of  Vitamin C that does not irritate the skin (best to do a patch test). For injections, a doctor's advice is needed as its safety has yet been established (So convenience may be an issue).

6)AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)

How and Why it works

Works by exfoliating the upper layers of the skin, and revealing the newer skin underneath.   Lactic acid and Glycolic acid (included in the group,the most researched forms of AHAs) other than exfoliating,  have also shown to inhibit melanin production.


Topical and via skin procedures at the doctors'.

Pros & Cons

Helps increase skin's turnover rate, therefore revealing not only lighter, but healthier skin. Sensitive skin, however, needs to use with caution. (These are after all, acids). The higher concentrations used for peels to remove discoloration need to be administered by a qualified doctor. (Repeat after me: A beautician is not a doctor.)


How and Why it works

It is a form of Vitamin B3 that is commonly found in  root vegetables and yeast.It is believed to work by interfering with the signals between keratinocytes and melanocytes, thereby preventing melanogenesis (production of melanin leading to pigmentation--simply put, dark spots and patches).


Topical (Creams, etc)

Pros & Cons

No known side effects. Helps with acne, fine lines, and helps with skin moisture. However, the effects on whitening have not been very widely researched and proven.

And there you have it, the seven most commonly used ingredients for whitening.

Next up, skin whitening right out of your grocery supplies.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whitening Galore:Snow White and the Seven Dwarves--Part1

Who can forget it, whether it is the traditional storybook Snow White,or Kristen Stewart's portrayal of the princess of many a little girl's dream? But like every storybook heroine, every girl needs her helpers. Into the picture, Snow White's Seven Dwarves.


How and Why it works

It is a strong antioxidant. Hydroquinone works by getting to the root of the problem--suppressing melanin synthesis and production. In short,melanin production goes down, and so does skin darkening.


Topical.Available in cosmetics in concentration of 2%, or 4 % and above via prescription.

Pros & Cons

It lightens rather than give an artificial bleached effect. However, it can irritate sensitive skin, especially when in higher concentrations and combined with trentinoin.


How and Why it works

Works via melanin inhibition. Exists in two forms, alpha and beta (commonly known as bearberry extract), of which the alpha is more stable.


Topical, available in cosmetics

Pros &Cons

Although a form of hydroquinone, it is considered to be safer alternative.Sourced from natural sources such as bearberry and mulberry.

3)Kojic Acid

How and Why it works

Inhibits melanin


Topical, available in cosmetics.

Pros & Cons

Unstable and loses efficacy in the presence of sunlight and air. Can cause skin irritation, and allergic contact dermatitis in sensitive skin. Alternative form of Kojic Dipalmitate used by many cosmetic companies. A good antioxidant,it  has not been shown to be as effective as Kojic Acid.

4)Azelaic Acid

How and Why it works

Used for acne medications/ treatments, but has also been shown to be effective at treating skin discolorations. May also inhibit melanin production.


In topical skin creams in concentrations of 10 to 20%.

Pros & Cons

No known major ones.

Coming up next, Vitamin C, Niacinamide and AHAs. Keep your fingers crossed for part 2! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Whitening Galore:Stay tuned!

Gone are the days when a tan was the mark of good health. We have reverted to the good old days--in short, the fairer, the better. Besides anti aging, whitening has become the primary beauty obsession many of women and men, young, middle aged and old.(Of course, tanning salons do still have their clients. I am just talking about the rise in numbers concerned with whitening over the past few years.) I admit, I am not an exception.

Coming up next, write ups on whitening ingredients (and of course new product reviews)--Their pros and cons, as well as their method of delivery, and how they work. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review:Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

I am a person who prefers to have hair care as simple as possible. Preferably, just wash,condition and go. However, as my hair gets longer, even this becomes a chore. Dealing with sopping wet hair past midnight when your child finally decides to go to bed is not appealing. (Who can I blame when I am a night owl myself.) And all that heat doesn't do hair any good. I needed something that would keep my fine hair from falling flat on days when the bed is too hard to resist.

In steps my hero:dry shampoo. I would like to say that I tried many dry shampoos, before finally settling on this one, but I didn't. I just grabbed whatever I could find at the pharmacy that looked like it would not irritate my sensitive scalp. (On one of my random trips to the pharmacy near my place, hair in messy ponytail, no makeup, in old t-shirt and shorts. Don't judge me. I tried to get what I needed ASAP before I became an eyesore.) Anyway, here is my take.


-Hair is left smelling and looking fresh and clean.
-Flat, oily hair is revived.
-Spray makes it easier to get at scalp, which is normally the oiliest.
-Oat Milk in product soothes itchiness
-Paraben and sulphate free.
-good for hairstyles requiring a little more texture to the hair--but not overly so. Just spray sparingly where it is needed, brush through, and voila!

-White residue which is very visible on dark hair like mine if not brushed out thoroughly.
-Hair felt a tad too dry, but problem easily resolved with a few drops of hair oil. (note: For cleansing purposes, the product is meant to be sprayed on the scalp and not the hair.)


A good, fuss free product, worthy of being on the favourite list of stars like Gwyneth Paltrow. It cannot, of course, replace your regular shampoo, but it does come pretty close. Only gripe is that it is not easy to find where I stay. On the repurchase list, unless I find something I like better.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Hair Care Oil

I am not a person who likes a lot of hair product on my hair,but a few months ago, I decided my hair needed a little TLC.

Now,my hair is not exactly damaged at the time of this post, but as I was growing out the damaged parts of my hair, so that I could cut them away without looking odd,I needed something that would stop the frizz/tangling but at the same time, not weigh my super fine hair down. (Humidity is moisture. Oil seals out humidity, and retains moisture in hair.)

I was searching in the isles of one of my local Watson's for a solution to my fried hair ends (Thanks to previous bleaching) when I came across this retro looking bottle. Having heard good things about camellia oil, the vision of Japanese women with luscious, silky locks, with nary a split end came to mind. Convinced, I took the plunge.

A few haircuts and many inches of growth later, here is my two cents worth.

 -A little product goes a long way. I have used it for at least 3months, but I think I still have around half a bottle left.
-Very light, so it doesn't weigh down fine hair. The few times I over applied, it felt oily, but surprisingly, not heavy.
-Hair is well protected. with consistent everyday usage, I was no longer as scissor happy snipping off split ends.
-Tangles are greatly reduced. I can leave my hair loose when sleeping and not wake up with impossible tangles in my hair.
-Hair is silky smooth following usage as a weekly treatment.
-Multiple uses--this baby can be used as a hair and scalp treatment, as well as a styling product. Now that's a multi-tasker for you!

-Heavy glass bottle. I know the glass protects the integrity of the oil inside, but perhaps it would be a good idea to have a more ergonomic shape to help fingers slippery from the fantastic stuff inside to hold on to it.
-Dispenser. It can be tricky to get the correct amount since the dispensing hole at the top does make it rather difficult to measure the correct amount. An integrated dropper with the product could be helpful.


I do like this product. However, the packaging is rather unnerving. I am constantly afraid that I will drop it,or I will waste the product because of the dispenser. Repurchase is only a maybe for this product, because of the packaging. I would be most happy to repurchase if they came up with a better packaging for the product.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mobile Broadband Affected+ Coming soon!

Thank goodness my internet connection is back.

 I had no alternative internet connection, and was therefore unable to update. The staff actually asked me to change to another computer to try to connect to the internet again??I needed a solution, not  more problems!Disappointing service  from the usually service-oriented M1, which I insisted on staying with despite protests from hubby. Will be likely to switch service providers soon, unless they are able to come up with a convincing compensation package.They probably won't feel the pinch, or even mind. Whatever. I have spent too much time on this issue.

On a happier note, reviews on hair products, coming up soon!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Review: The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner

I  came across this toner by chance.

Recently, the weather in Singapore has been extremely erratic. One moment rainy, and blazing hot the next. So, my skin has been just as schizophrenic. One moment, it is dry and tight, the other moment, my oil glands start working overtime to compensate for the lack of moisture. I needed something in addition to my regular skincare  to soothe and add moisture but at the same time, not cause breakouts in Singapore's humid weather.

I have always loved The Body Shop products, due to their environmentally as well as socially responsible practices. Therefore, when I came across this toner on a discount (SGD12.9 VS the usual SGD22.90) at The Body Shop, it was a shoo in candidate. So here goes.


-Hydrates and prepares skin well for other products--other skincare absorb better after that.
-Skin feels soothed. Non irritating.
-After about 3 weeks of use, skin looks less tired.
-Removes any last traces of impurities after cleansing .
-Hormonal breakouts are reduced
-Smells great!

-None for me at the moment.


This product is a keeper. I normally prefer toners to have some sort of whitening effect, being prone to  spots genetically. However, the Vitamin E (which functions as an antioxidant) in the product makes up for this. Skin is visibly brighter following consistent use. I would purchase this product again in a heartbeat.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Beauty Resolutions for 2013

I have not been taking as good care of myself as I should, so I decided to list out a few promises that I hope to keep to myself. Hopefully I can look back on them next year, and give myself a thumbs up.

As above, not in order of importance.

1)I will sleep earlier, preferably by midnight.

2)I will drink more water instead of sweet drinks

3)I will pay more attention to what I eat.

4)I will squeeze in at least an hour of exercise, twice a week.

5)I will apply sunblock not only to my face, but my body.

6)I will take care of the skin on my body as well as my face.

7)I will pay better attention to what I eat.

Our body is the only one we have, ladies and gentlemen, so take good care of it! What are your beauty resolutions?

Monday, January 7, 2013

For Mothers:The Most Beautiful Things

The yawns and gurgling of the life that you nursed in your womb for 9 months.

Tiny feet in tiny shoes as it takes its first steps.

Sparkling, wide eyed innocent eyes staring at you as you teach them the alphabet.

Sleepless nights when you grow sick with worry when they fall ill.

The swelling of pride as they put on their school uniform for the very first time.

Hugs and kisses out of nothing but pure, unadulterated love.

The joy of watching them develop into the people you want them to be. 

The sweetest music to your ears when they say  "I love you Mummy."

For mothers, whose whole lives revolve around your children, the world's most beautiful things...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review: Stiefel Physiogel Lotion

My skin has been finicky of late. Flakes, rashes, itchiness... you get the drift. Tempting as it may be to bathe my skin in my beloved Jorubi Aloe vera gel (which I use for everything), it simply isn't very budget friendly, neither is it moisturizing enough.

Attracted to the TV advertisement that promises,with its patented DMS technology, to 'repair,rehydrate, and revitalise dry skin', I did a little research. DMS, or 'Derma Membrane Structure'  technology, uses ceramide and other physiological lipids that imitate your skin's natural lipid layers. This means dehydrated skin is repaired and moisturized naturally, and itch and dryness is reduced. It also claims to lock in moisture for up to 3 days.

I put the product claims to test, and this is what I found.

-moisturizes well
-Really 'repairs' skin'. I used it on itchy, flaky skin to immediate relief that lasted throughout the day and the next. Consistent use saw my skin return to its original condition in 3 - 4 days. It also helps heal my poor boy's itchy legs which  are scratched almost to the point of bleeding to heal faster. So much that he asks to apply it, even though he dislikes the smell.
-Hypoallergenic, no coloring and preservatives to irritate sensitive skin.
-A little goes a long way. It may seem expensive, but a bottle lasts quite a while.

-The smell. But then, it disappears after awhile so I can deal with it.
-Can get a little greasy if you get over zealous about applying it.


Heaven sent for my dry, itchy sensitive skin. It works so well that my 4.5  year old boy goes around recommending it to whoever  he feels needs it. Haha...Excellent product that will sit in my holy grail list for a long, long time.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

School Blues

Its the first day of school, and someone's got the blues. Not my boy, but me...

It seems like only yesterday that he took his first steps, now he is in Kindergarten.  Pride, and a little wistfulness tugs at my heart. His independence is assuring, but part of me knows that he will no longer just be my little boy.

Well,well...the trials and tribulations of parenthood...


On a lighter note: Happy 2013!

Coming soon, something for busy mothers amidst the flurry of schoolbags and books. Stay tuned!