May our skin grow beautiful, as we grow wiser.

Just another weblog

2nd Gmarket Order October 19, 2010

Twitpic – Share photos on Twitter.

Was taxed 35 euros !!!! I wish Gmarket was like Sasa, Adambeauty or Cosmo-beauty, where they mark down the price so it can escape taxes! 😦


Officials to test BB cream to ally consumers’ concerns

An official at the Department of Health (DOH) said public health offices have gathered samples of blemish balm cream, commonly known as BB cream, for examination following a media report that some of the products being sold in Taiwan stores have been found to have contained fluorescent dyes.

Some consumers complained that their skin turned blue, and glowed under dimmed lights at night clubs or pubs, making them look like Japanese geishas with heavy makeup or the characters from the movie “Avatar.”

Chang Chi-jui, section chief of the Medical Devices and Cosmetics Division at the Food and Drug Administration under the DOH, said the product samples collected yesterday morning will undergo close examination to determine if they contain optical brightener.

The product that has been highlighted is the IPKN (Independent Professional Korea New Yorker) BB cream from South Korea, where the product takes fourth place in terms of market share.

The Cosmed chain store selling cosmetics and medicines in Taiwan started offering the product in January. But many consumers have bought the product via the Internet.

Separate tests by two inspection agencies and a university professor showed traces of optical brightener.

However, the importing company of the IPKN BB cream said their products have passed the examination of SGS with negative test results for fluorescent dyes.

Chang said no conclusion has been reached concerning whether fluorescent dyes may cause cancer. No nation has prohibited the use of such chemicals in cosmetics, he said.

But the labs of the DOH will carry out tests to allay consumers’ concern and find the truth, Chang said.

He said the supplier did not specify that the product contains the chemical substance when it completed applications to enter the local market.

But the importer will be fined up to NT$100,000, and products will be removed from store shelves for violating the labeling regulations with a discrepancy between product and label, if fluorescent dyes are found in the products, he said.

Some toxicologists at leading hospitals and chemistry professors said fluorescent dyes could cause allergy or even cancer, or harm organs like the liver and kidney, when toxic substances are released from the product.

Chang said the DOH will gather relevant information for discussion by a panel of cosmetics experts to determine whether to ban the use of the products.

BB cream started off as a soothing treatment balm, which dermatologists and surgeons used on patients who underwent laser skin operations. Suppliers said the product represents a recent breakthrough in combining skin care and makeup.

Many women in Taiwan have joined the fad after some Korean actresses began to promote the product for sponsors.


Breaking News : Beware of IPKN’s Whitening BB Cream October 18, 2010






Today, two Taiwanese inspection companies have found a strong quantity of ‘fluorescent whitening agents’ in IPKN’s Whitening BB Cream.

Firstly , what are these fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) ?

According to Wikipedia :

fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) are chemicals that absorb light in the ultraviolet and violet region (usually 340-370 nm) of the electromagnetic spectrum, and re-emit light in the blue region (typically 420-470 nm). Fluorescent activity is a short term or rapid emission response, unlike phosphorescence, which is a delayed emission. These additives are often used to enhance the appearance of color of fabric and paper, causing a perceived “whitening” effect, making materials look less yellow by increasing the overall amount of blue light reflected.

Optical brighteners have also found use in cosmetics. One application is to formulas for washing and conditioning grey or blonde hair, where the brightener can not only increase the luminance and sparkle of the hair, but can also correct dull, yellowish discoloration without darkening the hair. Some advanced face and eye powders contain optical brightener microspheres that brighten shadowed or dark areas of the skin, such as “tired eyes”.

Fluorescent whitening agents have been found to be carcinogenic. When exposed to large quantities, they may cause stomach, liver and kidney damage. The fluorescent agent itself may cause allergic skin reactions that product allergic dermatitis, eczema and even increase the burden on our liver and kidney.

However till this day, there hasn’t been any standards if Fluorescent Agents can be added into skincare products. Neither was this Fluorescent Agent recorded in its ingredient’s list. Further tests will be conducted and if found guilty, the company will be fined for NT 10 million taiwan dollars.


Zensation’s Deep Purifying Toner October 17, 2010

Company’s Introduction

ZENSATION luxury skincare is essentially based on high quality Swiss Alpine plant extracts, fruit extracts, bio technology complex and neuro stimulating molecules. No harmful preservatives and chemical substances used, and natural aroma is being added to offer blissful “ZENSATION.”

Here’s a long list of things you won’t find in Zensation products:
– Alcohol
– Colorant/Dyes
– Synthetic Fragrance
– Animal-Derived Ingredients
– Mineral Oils
– Parabens

Product Introduction

A detoxifying and revitalizing toner with tea tree oil to control misbehaving skin and for occasional spot prevention.  This toner is dedicated to soothe and refresh the skin as it removes any excess of dirt, debris, or cleanser residue.  The mixture of essential oils of thyme, sage, lavender and mint to produce a calming, yet mildly astringent effect.

This unique, alcohol-free preparation is a natural product with antibacterial and anti- inflammatory properties. Helps to soothe blemishes, leaving the skin feeling fresh and conditioned.


The toner comes in a very heavy glass 120ml bottle (as all luxury skincare products). It has some very nice simple floral drawings to it.


1) Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is no stranger in anti-acne/anti-blemish/oily skin products. The scent of it is quite obvious in this product. As you all know, tea tree oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antivirus properties to it.

2) Peppermint Oil – Has high Menthol content, giving the toner a minty cold feeling after using. (Be careful to not dap this on your eye! ) It nourishes dull skin and improves oily skin.

3) Thyme Oil – An ancient herb used in medicine by the Greeks and Romans.

Thyme oil contains the elements caryophyllene and camphene, which allow it to function as an antiseptic.

4) Sage Oil – helps to balance the production of sebum (oil) in the skin and also has some astringent qualities

5) Lavender Oil – Calms and soothes troubled skin.


I have been applying this toner almost every single day for the past 3 weeks. The lotion has a very nice herb-tea tree smell to it. I usually use this toner together with my Hitachi Face Crie Ion Cleansing . The texture of this toner is a little sticky, it is not entirely liquid. It does leave some stickiness to your skin, but that doesnt pose any problems for me. Another good point is that it doesnt contain alcohol – therefore it doesnt dry the skin out completely and gives a tight uncomfortable feeling. But it does give you a very refreshing feeling probably due to the menthoi content of the peppermint oil.  Regarding oil-control, i do not see any differences or improvement, but come on, what do you expect from a toner? Hehe. However, i would not spend such money on a toner (this was a gift from a friend).


Coeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rouge


BB Creams without Silicones

As famous as BB Creams have become and loved, there are also a number of those who doesn’t use BB Creams because it is packed with tons of silicones.

So why the hate for silicones? Afterall the ‘smooth velvety’ feeling you feel on your skin whenever you apply your creams/bb creams/foundations/serums are all due to Silicones. They make products feel smooth, but evaporate without leaving a greasy residue unlike petrolatum. Also, Silicones are very non-reactive – meaning very little chance of causing irritation therefore making it perfect for people with sensitive skin. It creates a barrier on the skin against pollution, etc – but at the same time – the skin isn’t able to ‘breathe’ and it makes the skin congested.

However, recently a Korean company called IsoI (Koreans have this thing for making weird peculiar English abbreviations ) and guess what it stands for? I’m SO Intelligent = ISOI.

And introducing the world’s first ever Silicone-free BB Cream. The ISOI’s Bulgarian Rose White Recovery BB Cream.


Notice that the color of this BB Cream isn’t the conventional color of most BB Creams :


The main ingredient is of course Bulgarian Rose Oil distilled from roses in the Bulgarian Rose Valley. It is an expensive ingredient because to make 1ml of the oil, 3000 roses are needed.

The BB Cream claims to be paraben-free, chemical-free, silicones-free, fragrance-free.

Currently there is no way to get hold of this BB Cream, i can’t even find it on Gmarket.  If anyone knows a way, please alert me. I would love to do a review for everyone.

Also another product which also claims to be Silicone-free is TheOrangeCo’s Ecobeau BB Cream Plus. (Click on link to read it’s description) :

Ingredients : Water, Propylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, sopropyl Palmitate, Talc, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Diisostearyl Maleate, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Dimethicone, Dictamus dasycarpus turcz Extract, Houttuynia cordata thrunberg Extract, Gingko, biloba leaf Extract, Sesame seed  Extract, Padina pavonica thallus(Brown Algae) Extract, Artemisia vulgaris(Mugwort) Extract, Rosemary(Herb) Extract, Aloe Leaf extract, Kelp extract, Morus Alba Root Extract, Phaselous Radistus Seed Extract.Grycylrrhiza Glaba Root Extract, Solanum Dulcamara Stem Extract, Agaricus Bisporus mushroom Extract, Rhododendron brachycarpum Extract, Saxifraga stolonifera Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Beeswax, Microcrystalline Wax, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Aluminum Hydroxide, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/ Hexastearate/Hexarosinate, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Zinc Stearate, Bisabolol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Panthenol, Ultramarines (CI 77007), Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata(Lichen) Extract, Natural Fragrance


You can find more information about this at

Dimethicone is silicone oil. And the people at The Orange Co didn’t even noticed this until Hope In A Blog pointed it out to them in an email (and we even ordered to test it but cancelled it later on)  and they took down the ‘World’s First BB Cream Without Silicones’ tagline on their website. So i say they should send Hope In A Blog some samples for free to thank us !

Anyway updated news : Ecobeau replied me and said

Thank you for email and highlighting the ingredient. We run through the ingredient list and noted Dimethicone, it is a derivative of silicone. Ecobeau lab in Korea is having long holiday now, we are awaiting for their advice on this. (we have to check which is the print error). In the mean time, to be safe, we have removed the part on silicone-free (till they revert to us).
We apologise for the error. Ecobeau is the brainchild of Prof Choi fr Kwangwoon Univ. We trust his efforts in bringing us quality pdts in most natural way.
A day later :
We have received reply from Korean lab. Yes, the new BB plus (2nd version) has added 0.3% dimethicone in order to eliminate white turbity on skin. (due to customers’ feedback on spreading). We have removed the ‘silicone-free’ on website.
Our sincere apologies on the error. At this juncture, will like to know your preference. Should we refund you the amt paid or u wish to proceed with the purchase. Look forward to hearing from u.
Thank you!


So obviously we cancelled the order, but hopefully they will be kind enough to send us a sample to see how this 3% dimethicone BB Cream compares to the rest.
2nd Update :

The Orange Co has responded and they did indeed offer a silicone free BB but recently changed it due to customer feedback because it was rather challenging for customers to spread on their skin. Thus a 0,3% dimethicone  was added to rectify this problem.

The Orange Co was kind enough to offer Hope In A Blog a sample of the BB Cream, so once we receive it, we will write a full up review on the BB Cream. Stay tuned !



Vichy AERA Mineral BB Cream October 16, 2010


Vichy, a huge and very famous French pharmaceutical cosmetic brand has hopped in the BB Cream bandwagon and announced it’s first BB Cream.


I do not know if it will be exclusively sold only in Asia, but i have not seen this around in Paris.


I could not find any information about this on the net yet, so if u have, please do share with other readers.


However, i do know that this is a mineral BB cream and it is also fragrance and paraben free.


For those of you who are curious of the color, here is two links (however they are in Chinese) :


Dr Jart Acne-X Spot Out




Dr Jart has been slowly building up it’s name in Korea, and quickly becoming the best selling BB Cream manufacturer in Korea. I myself have read and heard many raving reviews about it’s Silver Label BB Cream.

I decided to try out Dr Jart’s Acne-X so see how it’s skincare line would fare.




Trouble Treatment Gel.Great effects for troubles relax and treats from the roots of troubles

Immediate Effects

Trouble treatment gel has the great effects to remove pimples and troubles immediately.

Pull out the root of the troubles

Synergy effect from Selemix AN and natural ingredients treats troubles intensively.

Protects skin from external irritation

Controls the sebum and clogged pores.

Remove troubles with fast acting ingredients.

Easy to carry and use

Compact size. Frequent use will maximize the results.



: The product itself looks like a pen. It even functions like one, but instead of ink coming out, you have the gel coming out. The box itself is simple and nice, giving an impression of the hospital first aid logo, white and red, which coincidentally (or purposely) is the logo of Dr Jart. At the top of the ‘pen’ , we are able to ‘lock’ the product by twisting it to right, therefore when we click on it, no gel will be released. To release the gel, turn it to the left, and ‘click’ on it like how you would click on a pen, and the acne gel will be released on the tip. You could appear it directly on your acne with the pen tip. Have to say that it’s the first time i’ve used a product built this way. Very interesting and innovative. However, when we directly apply the gel to the breakout areas, the pen tip would probably be contaminated. So for me, i’ll rather apply some gel on my finger first before i apply it on my breakouts.


Retail price is around 16$ USD for a mere 10ml. I find it kind of pricey.


This product claims to have a fast acting formula that eliminates acne breakouts. I’ve tried it a few times, and i’m not entirely impressed with this product but i wouldn’t say that it doesn’t work. With some breakouts, it did calm them down the next day, and usually by day 2-3, the breakouts will be gone, however it turned into my magic product once it’s combined together with my Bare Minerals Blemish Treatment (review coming soon) . Spots disappear overnight , if not they are reduced by half of its size.



Selemix AN : Intensive trouble care

Camphor : Soothing trouble

Rhus semialatu extract : Control sebum

Aloe vera extract : Calming skin

Beta-Glucan : Caring sensitive skin


I threw away the box and forgot to take a picture of the ingredient list. But however, i can see that the conventional anti-acne ingredients like BHA (salicylic acid), glycolic acid were not listed as the main ingredients here.

I do see Beta-Glucan which appears in higher end BB creams and in Asian Skincare, but not huge in Western Skincare. B-Glucans are mostly cellulose in plants or the cell wall in certain fungi/mushrooms(e.g shiitake mushroom). They are known to have the ability to activate the immune system. Also, it has been found that B-Glucans can prevent infection and kills pathogenic bacteria, which is probably the main reason it is incorporated into the formula.

Camphor, found from the wood of the Camphor tree which is found in Asia (Taiwan and East Malaysia) – and well known for its strong aromatic scent is mainly used in cooking and medicinal purposes. You’ll probably find this on your Vicks, Tiger Balm, as it has that cooling effect of Menthol(Mint). It acts as a antimicrobial substance. Indians use a lot of Camphor during their religious ceremonies.

Rhus semialatu is a tree found in the north east of India. Note that it excretes liquid gall, compromised of mainly tannins, which reacts with proteins to produce the ‘tanning’ effect which is important for treatment of inflamed or ulcerated tissues (antimicrobial properties ). It is also known to have astringent quality , which you will find in almost all of your toners, that has the ability to shrink or constrict your body tissues (advertised as pore-shrinking)

Of course, probably the star ingredient in Dr Jart’s Acne-X line is Selemix AN. It is a mix of a few extracts, the main one being Selebean,  a natural mineral extracted from soybean sprouts. It has moisturizing and collagen-increasing effects. The other extracts include Magnolia Bark extract – famous for its anti-allergy, anti-inflammation , anti-acne properties.


I’ve also found an interesting lab report on SelemixAN :


Different concentrations of Selemix AN was mixed with acne bacterias, and as you can see from the pictures above, the one with the highest percentage of Selemix AN has the clearest solution.




This product is either a hit or miss. However, i would not say it is a totally useless product. Do not expect miracles ,and wait for 2-3 days to see effect of this product. Try mixing it around with your other anti-acne products to see if it increases the effectiveness of it ( and report back! ). Note that there is Jumbo version of the product (which is 30ml instead of the 10ml) and it retails for around 58,000 won. Yes. keep this product away from the sun as UV Rays degrades Selemix-AN!







Coeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rougeCoeur rouge