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What’s your Skincare Routine? November 28, 2010

I’ve been following this skincare routine for a long time, and my skin has never looked this good. Though the acne scars are still there, but they are much less apparent !

Step 1- Cleansing

Decleor’s Reflet de Purete + Elisha Coy’s BB Cleanser

I’ve been alternating between both products and love them both. But if i had to pick one, it would be Decleor’s Reflet de Purete.

Step 2 – Exfoliating

Charmzone’s Control Cream

Control Creams are cream exfoliants that do not use grains or acids. The action of this cream is meant to dissolve dead skin cells and basically draw out sebum and other impurities which settle into the skin.

It melts impurities from pores without scrubbing. Maintains the skin’s natural balance of oils and moisture by utilizing the cytokine ingredient which intensifies the skin’s self control function.

Ever since i was introduced to Control Cream 1 week ago- it has became a staple step in my skincare routine! Keep an eye for the review.

Step 3 – Booster-pH Balancing

Sulwhasoo’s First Aid Treatment Serum.

This is the first time i’ve seen any cosmetic brand that requires us to apply a serum before anything else! The Sulwhasoo’s First Aid Serum is a booster that prepares your skin for other products. It boosts the efficiency of the upcoming products and assures optimal results from your serum and cream. It also promotes pH balance of the skin and replenishes essential moisture and nutrients.

Step 3 – Skin Balancing

Sulwhasoo’s Balancing Water

Formulated with Korean Medicinal Herbs, this gel-textured water balances and delivers deep hydration.

Step 4 – Moisturizing

Sulwhasoo’s Balancing Emulsion

Formulated with Korean Medicinal Herbs, this moisture-rich emulsion promotes soft, smooth skin. I love how light this emulsion is – but still very moisturizing in every way! Those with drier skin would opt for the cream instead , but those with normal or oily skin would do just with the emulsion.

Step 5 – Revitalizing

Sulwhasoo’s Revitalizing Serum

Formulated with Korean Medicinal Herbs, this serum refines the skin and improves skin density.

Nourishing the skin on the surface as well as deep within, this treatment serum promotes skin renewal and diminishes uneven skin texture and roughness.

Step 6 – Eye Cream

Sulwhasoo’s Rejuvenating Eye Cream

Absolutely divine to put on!  Formulated with Korean Medicinal Herbs, this age-defying eye cream revitalizes skin around the eyes, reducing lines and wrinkles and minimizing dark circles and puffiness.

Step 7 – Moisture Locking (Night)

Sulwhasoo’s Overnight Treatment Pack

Formulated with Korean Medicinal Herbs, this overnight mask awakens a radiant looking skin with nourishing moisture and herbal extracts. – Creating an essential moisture layer on the skin, this masks assures optimum penetration of nourishing herbs while you rest.  Can’t live without this!

Step 7 – BB Cream (Day)

SunnySide VIP’s BB Cream

I think i found the holygrail of all BB Creams! Smile

Step 8 – Clarifying

Sulwhasoo’s Clarifying Mask (Once a week)

Formulated with Korean Medicinal Herbs, this peel-off mask purifies and clarifies dull, devitalized and problem skin. A cream/emulsion is advised before applying this clarifying mask. It really brightens the skin !!!

Step 9 –Neck Cream

Sulwhasoo’s Restoring Neck Cream

Formulated with Korean Medicianl Herbs, this neck cream improves firmness for younger-looking skin.
– Phyllanthus urinaria and Sulwhasoo Lipo-Filling Capsule promotes firmness and volume; reviving age-damaged slackenned skin.
– Absorbing quickly, this treatment cream, gently supports the skin of the neck and reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles and sagging skin. A neautral colored formulation ssures cream will not stain clothes or linens.
* Sulwhasoo Lipo-Filling Capsule: A synergy of 7 Korean medicinal ingredients to build volume and restore firmness

Now What’s YOUR Skincare routine? Share it here below in the comments!

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Alexander Kimsco BB Cream Ceramide November 20, 2010

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Introduction

Alexander Kimsco is the KING of all BB Creams. It was also one of the first BB Creams that hit the market ( after Schrammek’s BB Cream ).  After the success of Schrammek’s Blemish  Balm, other german cosmetic companies also launched their own BB Cream, and Alexander Kimsco was one of them.

Amongst the the brands, Alexander Kimsco’s was one of the more popular brands because it came in skin color that gave a natural look compared to other brands that were grey in color ( However, i beg to differ here! )

In 1990, Alexander Kimsco establied a subsidiary in Korea and released their First BB Cream. That BB Cream that made Alexander Kimsco a household name was their ‘BmB Blemish Balm’ .

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In 2009, they released a new BB Cream called the Alexander Kimsco Ceramide BB Cream ( which will be reviewed ).


What Are Ceramides?

First of all, let us understand the name behind this BB Cream. What exactly are ceramides?

Scientists are uncovering the important role that ceramides play in the barrier function of the skin. The top layer of the skin is the epidermis, and the top layer of the epidermis is thestratum corneum (SC). Even though the SC is very thin — 10-30 mm or one-tenth the thickness of a piece of paper — it is the main barrier of the skin. It keeps chemicals that come in contact with the skin from absorbing into the body, and it keeps water inside the skin from leaching out.

The SC contains three types of lipids — ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acids. These lipids have different chemical compositions and different functions throughout the body. There are nine different types of ceramides in the SC, conveniently named ceramide 1 through ceramide 9, and they account for 40-50% of the lipids in this outermost layer.

Scientists have learned that people who have eczema have significantly fewer ceramides in their SC. On the other hand, people with psoriasis(another itchy, flaky rash sometimes confused with eczema) have the same number of ceramides compared to people with normal skin.

Recent studies have shown that lipids can be replaced with topical preparations. Interestingly, all three lipids have to be replaced at a certain ratio to restore the barrier function of the skin. If the incorrect balance of lipids is applied, it actually takes longer for the skin to heal. The healing effect of ceramides has been studied in eczema, but there are no studies yet for psoriasis.

Moisturizers with Ceramides – Not All the Same

There are several moisturizers that claim to have ceramides in their ingredients, but these are just regular moisturizers unless they can show:

  • The moisturizer also contains cholesterol and free fatty acids
  • The ratio of these three ingredients is correct

That is what Alexander Kimso’s Ceramide BB Cream is all about. As BB Creams was firstly used for those who has undergone cosmetic treatments ( such as laser peel, etc) and for those with skin problems such as eczema – therefore, it is only natural that Ceramides was used as the main ingredient here.

The Ceramide BB Cream helps keep moisture in the skin  and contains the same balance of lipids as your skin.

Ceramide moisturises are extremely useful to treat eczema, but they can be used by anyone with dry skin.

To read more on moisturisers with Ceramides, click here !


Packaging

As i was given a 5ml sample, i cannot comment on the packaging, but here it is how it looks like : comes in a simple 50ml tube. It is really sad to say that the packaging isn’t appealing at all. In fact, the european-made BB Creams such as Schrammek, Alexander Kimsco, etc have the ugliest BB Cream packaging in the world and cannot be compared to their Asian counterpart. The packaging isn’t desirable at all and makes it seem like a cheap product!

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Ingredients

1) Ceramide – please refer to the What Are Ceramides section above.

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2) Licorice Extract – from the Licorice Plant known also as sweetwood and black sugar since the extract is very sweet. As an herbal supplement, licorice extract is said to boost the immune system, aid in the function of antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

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3) Cera Alba – also known as Beeswax. It helps as binder when manufacturing and also helps withstabilizing the emulsion when combining water and oil based products while conditioning the skin and thickening the mixture.

The inclusion of beeswax in a formula does NOT make the product tacky or oily – but helps to create a very luxurious “feel” to the product.

It is classified as a binder, emulsion stabilizer, fragrance ingredient, skin conditioning agent (miscellaneous), surfactant (emulsifying agent) and a viscosity increasing agent and chemically classed as a wax.

Texture and Color

The texture here is rather unique, i have not felt such texture before with any BB Creams or even Creams. My guess is that it is probably due to the ceramides?

It leaves a matte feeling on your skin and does not feel oily at all. However i do feel that this is a love-it or hate-it texture. Personally, i felt weird initially because i’ve never felt such texture/feeling before, but i came to like it after a few uses. It feels like the cream creates a barrier over the skin , and doesn’t feel like the slippery smooth feeling that most BB Creams have ( which is due to silicones ).

However, this cream will not give you that moist feeling and those with very dry skin will definitely need to apply some cream before the BB Cream. For those with oily skin, you will probably be happy with it’s texture.

The BB Cream looks very creamy and rich in texture, but it isn’t quite the case once applied to skin as it doesn’t give that rich feeling that it seems to have. It also needs a little rub when applying to your skin due to it’s creamy thick texture.

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Colour wise , this BB Cream is very natural. It is actually one of the more natural colours i’ve seen in BB Creams. However, this BB Cream did give me a shock when i applied it for the first time because the greyish tone was very heavy and my skin looked so dull and ‘ash-ified’.

However, i found out what the problem was – i was suppose to wait for a few minutes to let the BB Cream sink into my skin and blend with my skin tone ( which applies to ALL BB Creams! ). After a few minutes, it gave a very natural look.

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SC : Skin Ceramic BB

B : Beaute Derm BB

SV : SunnySide VIP BB

A: Alexander Kimsco Ceramide BB

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Coverage

The coverage for this product isn’t very good. Although it is an excellent skin camouflage because of it’s very natural colour, it sadly lacks in coverage. Those of you with big pores, scars will have to cover it with something else, but this BB Cream serves as an excellent make up base because it keeps your skin matte and helps protect from loss of moisture.

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Before :

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After :

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Before ( On my troubled cheek Sad smile ),  After : Not much difference Sad smile :

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Before and after on my less troubled cheek :

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Oil Control

One word to describe : FANTASTIC!

This BB Cream has one of the best oil-controlling properties i’ve come across on any BB Creams. It’s perfect for those with oily skin. After 8 hours, my skin doesn’t feel very oily, and feels very comfortable!

Here’s some proof :

The time when the photo was taken is noted on the blotting paper itself on the right.

SC : Skin Ceramic BB

B : Beaute Derm BB

SV : SunnySide VIP BB

A: Alexander Kimsco Ceramide BB

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On its own :

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Incredible isn’t it? Even after 12 hours, the oil doesnt even cover 1/4 of the blotting paper!

Conclusion

The question is now : Is it worth spending $100 on this BB Cream? Is it even worth $100? My answer is sadly No.

While i’m satisfied with this BB Cream, i do feel that it’s price is too steep for a BB Cream. One can easily find another BB Cream that does the same job for much less!  However, i believe that the steep price is due to the high-quality natural ingredients that was used to make this BB Cream. Ceramide itself is a rather expensive ingredient. However, i would purchase a sample size of it on days when i need to look fabulously naturally !

While i do love it’s very natural color ( and hates its very greyish base it gives on first few minutes of application ) , i have to say it has one of the best oil controlling properties. The BB Cream is also very comfortable to use and doesn’t dry up your skin, nor does it make it oily. When applied, you will feel that there is some kind of a ‘barrier’ on your skin.

On the coverage side, it is average. Those with no skin problems would find this enough, but those who wants more coverage should skip this product, or use it as a make-up base.

For it’s moisturizing properties, those with dry skin would definitely need to apply their usual cream before this BB Cream. For those living in countries where it’s summer all year long, this might do just enough! And for those with oily skin, you definitely just need to apply this to your face and skip the moisturizer!

Here is the before  (just after cleansing ) and after ( 5 minutes after applying the BB cream)  results with the skin analyzer :

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Ratings

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