REVIEW: EAU THERMALE AVÈNE GENTLE CLEANSING FOAM

If you’ve been following my hauls recently, you’d notice that I purchased more cleansing products than treatment. That’s because I finished them quite fast, since I washed my face three times a day. 

Yes, you heard me right. Three times:

  1. in the morning straight after waking up (because I apply retinol at night and it made my skin feel burned somehow after I turned off my Air Conditioner).
  2. later after I exercise under the sun (sweats mixed with bacterias, so better wash off).
  3. and in the evening before sleeping time. 

So, it is obvious that I aim for gentler face cleanser. I love my Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, but I do like to try others. And I stumbled upon this.

This specific SKU is not available yet in Indonesia’s drugstores, therefore I purchased it on marketplace (IDR290K for 150ml). When I searched for information for this in their UK and US website, they don’t seem to carry this product. They only have CLEANSING FOAM sans the GENTLE. So I guess Avène only marketed this Gentle Cleansing Foam in Asia, but still it was made in France.

Disclaimer: on daily basis, I rarely wear makeup anymore since pandemic strikes, so I don’t use this as makeup remover, even though they claim it can also remove makeup. I do appreciate that they formulated this for Asian sensitive skin with only 10 ingredients on the list.

TWO PUMPS ARE SUFFICIENT FOR THE WHOLE FACE, BTW

It is foamy, but it’s soap free, colorant free and fragrance free as well. And of course, it is rich in Avène Thermal Spring Water which clinically proven to be soothing and anti-irritating. I do recommend this if you have sensitive skin that’s easily irritated. It is really that good and gentle.

YES, IT IS FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE

I love the soft cloud-like texture, it feels so luxurious when it glides evenly on skin. It’s also great if you like to dry cleanse: apply on dry skin and massage for about 30 seconds, then add a bit water for another 30 seconds, then rinse them off. Anyway, that’s how I cleanse my face with this wonderful cleansing foam. 

It cleanse my non-makeup face really well and it didn’t leave any slippery feel. Don’t worry of this cleansing foam is going to make your skin tight and dry. It won’t. And as it was developed for sensitive and irritated skin in mine, my skin is loving it so far without any bad reactions. I’d totally purchase it again.

Ingredients (copied from Avene’s Singapore website): 
AVENE THERMAL SPRING WATER (AVENE AQUA), WATER (AQUA), SODIUM COCOAMPHOACETATE, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, CITRIC ACID, DISODIUM EDTA, LACTIC ACID, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM BENZOATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

HOW I PRACTICE SKINIMALISM

It’s not a cult, it’s just I want to save on money, time and unnecessary ingredients. Less products mean less waste too (great for this unwell world we live in). 

Let’s focus on our skin needs, and what made them happy, because face it, skin are also a living organ. You know you, so pick the right ones for your skin.

Here’s my Skinimalism Routine (please note that they’re also fungal acne safe products):

CLEANSE

No more cleansing oil and cleansing balm. If my skin felt super dirty and oily (usually after a workout session), then I’d just splash water on my skin and use micellar water before face cleanser. 
Mine: Bioderma Sensibio, Vanicream Gentle Cleanser. 

ACTIVES

What, no toner? Yes I skip toner and go directly to actives. Make sure your skin is completely dry before applying any actives. 
Mine: Azelaic Acid 20 Gel (AM) and Adapalene (PM)

MOISTURIZE

I practice 3 steps moisture method by Olena Beley (click here for the details)
After the active is completely dry, spritz (don’t splash) water to dampen (not wet) the skin, then quickly apply humectant followed by emollient. 
Mine: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum (humectant) and Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Soothing Gel (emollient).

SUNSCREEN (AM)

Staying indoor for most of the time doesn’t mean that UV rays won’t catch us. They will cause collagen and elastin in our skin to break down. So, if you want your skin to stay firm and bouncy for longer, please do apply sunscreen.
Mine: Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel SPF 50+ PA+++

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

JULY 2021 SKINCARE HAUL

July is a month of another reset, as the city I live in (Jakarta, Indonesia) was on its’ worst cases of Covid-19. It was like going back to square one when the global pandemic hits, so this month is definitely a #stayathome month for me (again). I just realized, maybe due to stress, this month’s purchase were like due to curiosity rather than what my skin actually needs. Oh well, I’m only human after all. FYI, by the time I wrote this, I’m into SKINIMALISM (more on that on later posts, so stay tune!), so I don’t know what to do with my earlier purchases.

Anyway, here’s my skincare haul this month.

NIVEA SOOTHING CLEANSING OIL

Mmmm…. after I bought this in early July, I became to wonder, do I really need to double cleanse with oil since I’m not wearing any makeup? I guess I bought this just because I want to try cleansing oil with Grape Seed Oil, known to have high Linoleic Acid (which is supposedly great for oily skin). Might keep this for later if I start using makeup again (but when is that going to happen?)
Price IDR 92K for 150ml

GALLINÉE FACE VINEGAR

Definitely splurge of the month, and yet another products purchased due to curiosity. I used to drink Apple Cider Vinegar/ACV, but my family couldn’t stand the smell, so I quit (LOL). I guess it had me because it contains hibiscus-infused ACV and prebiotics to support the skin microbiome. 
Price IDR 451K for 200ml. 

KEEP COOL SOOTHE BAMBOO TONER

Another toner in my basket this month, and I was thinking to skip toners for my new SKINIMALISM routine. Just great! Maybe I use this for CSM later on, because of its’ soothing purpose. This hydrating toner contains 85% bamboo extract which supposedly helps skin retain moisture and freshness. 
Price IDR 280K for 160ml.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

HOW I TREAT MY ACNE SCARS

Self diagnosed, I think I might also have redness and irritation from over exfoliation, retinol and (too) high percentage of Niacinamide. A lethal combination that eventually weaken my skin barrier, triggered more inflammation and irritation. 

And being an adult with acne didn’t help either. So, if you have Acne-Related Redness problem like me, read on.

BEFORE (JUNE 7,2021) | AFTER (JULY 11, 2021)

I believe, it is best to identify the cause of redness first, in order to pick and choose your skincare products wisely. 

A few tips:

  • Choose soothing and natural ingredients like aloe, oat, cucumber, licorice or chamomile that actually has been proven to calm redness. 
  • Wear sunscreen in the morning
  • Keep a simple skin care routine
  • Last but not least, do not pick on your acne

Products I used:

PETER THOMAS ROTH CUCUMBER GEL MASQUE

YVES ROCHER SENSITIVE CAMOMILLE THE MICELLAR WATER
DERMA 365 GENTLE CLEANSER
KRAVE BEAUTY OAT SO SIMPLE WATER CREAM

 

AZELAIC ACID 20% GEL
BOTANICS ALL BRIGHT CLEANSING TONER

FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE MOISTURIZER

I realized that I haven’t done this category, oops! 

Personally, getting the right moisturizer is rather tricky, since I’m also very prone to clogged pores and breakouts. Therefore, I do pick my moisturizers wisely, to make sure they’re not just safe for Fungal Acne, but also for my clogged pores prone skin. And, it’s a bonus if they don’t leave any greasy or sticky residue. 

Ingredients that I tried to avoid while looking for moisturizer, as they might be comedogenic:

  • Silicones (dimethicone)
  • Oils (avocado, coconut, the list is long)
  • Bad Alcohol (like Hexadecyl Alcohol)
  • Lanolin
  • Butters (Shea, cocoa)
  • Fatty Acids (Lauric & Stearic specifically)

KRAVE BEAUTY OAT SO SIMPLE WATER CREAM

This is my second jar by the way, I love it because of its’ minimal ingredients list. If you want a basic and lightweight moisturizer, this one’s for you!

Ingredients
Water, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Trehalose, Behenyl Alcohol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Avena Sativa (Oat) Meal Extract

BOOTS GLOW PINEAPPLE GEL MOISTURISER

If you check out the ingredients list below, nothing really icky there except fragrance and coloring. IMHO, it works for oily skin better due to its’ gel texture. For drier skin type, you might need another moisturizer on top to seal in the moisture. 

Ingredients
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Niacinamide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium acrylates crosspolymer-2, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Chlorphenesin, Polyacrylamide, Disodium EDTA, Dipropylene glycol, Sodium hydroxide, C13-14 isoparaffin, Benzophenone-4, Sodium hyaluronate, Parfum (Fragrance), Laureth-7, Ananas sativus (Pineapple) fruit extract, Silica, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Maltodextrin, Potassium sorbate, Sodium benzoate, Denatonium benzoate, CI 14700 (Red 4), CI 19140 (Yellow 5).

SEBAMED CLEAR FACE CARE GEL

Now, this is my go-to everyday moisturizer. Easy to find at local drugstores and affordable. It’s great that it has Panthenol inside, because it supports the healing of acne. It’s also a water based gel, therefore it supposedly prevents clogged pores. 

Ingredients
Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propylene Glycol, Glycine, Sorbitol, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Sodium Carbomer, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: AZA 20 GEL (AZELAIC ACID 20%)

Dr Sam Bunting said it is a multi talented acid and her most loved ones too. 

After all those AHA, BHA, PHA, LHA that I’ve tried, I’ve decided to give this pore-cleaning acid a go. Especially after I did an exfoliant/retinol fasting due to Botox, read here

Why I bought the gel instead of the cream format? 
Well, Dr Davin Lim once said that Azelaic Acid is best or most stable in a gel formulation. So I purchased this local product at Erha Apothecary for IDR 96,5K (30ml). 

Why 20%? 
Since I’ve been using Adapalene for quite some time now, I believe that my skin can take stronger percentage of actives. It’s just my opinion, though. If you’ve never tried actives and took stronger ones, better start low. 

How I incorporate this to my skincare routine? 
Twice a day, morning and night on clean and dry skin after cleanser and toner. I usually use two drops for the whole face. It absorbed so fast, let me tell you. Then I will apply moisturizer than finish with sunscreen (morning).   

Why apply on the whole face? 
To get the full benefit, obviously! It’s not just great for congested pores, it also improves radiance and a good anti-oxidant. And unlike Retinol, I applied Azelaic Acid directly on clean dry skin without the help of moisturizer, because it is way more gentler than Retinol. 

Plus points: it’s safe for pregnancy and breast-feeding, great for sensitive skin (because of its’ low irritant factor), it’s anti bacterial.

My thoughts: if you can’t deal with the purging of Retinol, you might want to try this. It might left a bit of a white cast and felt powdery if applied alone. But if you layer with serum and/or moisturizer, it’ll be fine. What I’ve experienced so far with Azelaic Acid, it didn’t make active acnes pop in one night like Retinol. It won’t make skin get worse first before it can clear up like Retinol. But it is slower in action, only for the patient ones. After two weeks of using AA religiously, I might say it brighten up my whole skin tone and it did treat my redness around my nose. I also can see my new acne marks fading (see before after pics below). So far, I’m enjoying using AA and considering it’s affordable and locally available, I guess I’m going to use this for 6 months (as recommended) and pause my retinol/adapalene treatment. AA didn’t completely make new acne stop (it’s not a miracle ingredient), but it did reduce sebum production and clogged pores.

IT LEFT A WHITE CAST
BEFORE (LEFT) & AFTER 2 WEEKS (RIGHT)

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

JUNE 2021 SKINCARE HAUL

Sharing you my skincare haul from iHerb, this was the first ever I bought from them. I’m a happy customer, because they already fixed the taxes and my order arrived exactly 10 days as promised. 

DIFFERIN DAILY DEEP CLEANSER 
Since my skin can’t bare Benzoyl Peroxide when applied topically as spot treatment, this cleanser is a great alternative. Contains 5% of Benzoyl Peroxide, it’s also fragrance free. 
Price IDR 195K for 118ml 

PACIFICA KALE DETOX DEEP CLEANSING FACE WASH
Interesting list of Super Greens and its’ claim to detox the skin made me bought this. With Kale, Coconut Water (not oil), Clay and Aloe Vera, it’s formulated for oily & blemish prone skin types. 
Price IDR 150K for 147ml 

COS DE BAHA HP SERUM
As I’ve been investing on Vitamin B5 for intake, due to my massive breakouts, I’ve been searching for topical treatment. Glad to found this serum which contains 4% of Panthenol aka Vitamin B5 as their top 5 ingredients. 
Price IDR 150K for 30ml

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

EXFO FASTING FOR TEN DAYS

If you wondered why, well…I just had my Botox again after 5 years of Botox hiatus (watch my previous experience, here).

So what shall we do after Botox? Except the ordinary stuffs like don’t lie down for the next 6 hours, they told me not to use any exfoliants for 14 days. What?! No retinol, no BHA, no AHA for two weeks? Can my skin handle it? 

Guess not! I gave up on day 10, LOL. WHY?? Scroll down and you’d know.

Day 1 (after botox treatment)
Day 10 (result of exfo fasting)

As you can see from both before and after pics as my evidence. Pores were clogged heavily and I could feel that bumpiness on my skin textures. Just like the days before I met my Retinol.

AUGUST 2020, before RETINOL

So, moral of this post is: EXFOLIATING your skin is super important. But as always, know your skin and their ability to handle exfoliant. Some might need it every day like yours truly but some might not. Remember, you know your skin best.

For now, I decided to start my exfoliant again with gentler acid, Azelaic Acid, not my usual Adapalene and Tretinoin. More on Azelaic Acid, so stay tune for the next post. 

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

BOTOX (AGAIN AFTER 5 YEARS)

Yes, due to lots of things happened in my life, including this global pandemic situation, I just had my Botox again, after 5 years of Botox hiatus (read my previous experience, here).

I did my second Botox Treatment at Jakarta Aesthetic Clinic with Dr Olivia Ong, you can check them out here

Why Botox if you might ask? Well, like most of people I do love my skincare products, but seriously how far can they go? I read it somewhere (I forgot where), skincare and botox are like diet and exercise. To achieve a successful and maximal result for your body, you need both to complement each other. 

Many did it earlier in their late 20’s for preventative botox, but for me it’s all about getting treatment, not just to relax wrinkles. And mine was not just a conventional Botox, obviously. It was like getting a facelift without surgery, very important for a woman my age, with problems on lower face.  

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