REVIEW: THANK YOU FARMER BACK TO ICELAND

Let’s get to know the key ingredient in this range: ICELAND MOSS. They grow in the cold northern hemisphere and apparently widely known for its immunity, strengthening and anti-inflammatory effect. 

Before we dive in to each product, I deliberately took the pictures of their ingredients list from each of the packaging, as lately I’ve been seeing a lot of beauty brands especially skincare, reformulated their formulas. Therefore, there might be different ingredients lists from older reviews on the net. Please note that these ingredients lists are accurate by the time I did this post. So, please make sure that you are aware of what ingredients normally work for your skin before trying out new products. 

There you have it, now let’s get into each product. 

CLEANSING WATER

If you prefer cleansing water with a moist effect, this is it. It contains 83% of Iceland Moss extract, instead of regular water, with additional natural extracts like Witch Hazel and Peppermint Leaf. It doesn’t leave any tightness, but it has a slight green herbal scent. They claim that this can be use as a no-rinse cleanser, but I still recommend to follow by second cleanser, especially if you have oily and sensitive skin. Always apply with cotton pads, and if you use heavy makeup, press for 5 seconds then gently wipe. By the way, from the whole range, it’s the only product which is safe for Fungal Acne. I also found out that this is great for cleansing makeup brushes too (if you are too lazy to use water and brush soap, this is your go-to, fast drying and it left makeup brushes with great scent).
Price IDR 309K for 270ml

CLEANSING FOAM

It promises to cleanse and protect skin barrier. With a thick and dense foam, it cleanses with a moisturizing effect. Normal to dry skin type will enjoy this creamy face wash. It contains 22% of Iceland Moss Extract, with no SLS, but it does contain fragrance. Somehow the scent reminds me of matcha/green tea.
Price IDR 189K for 110ml

PEELING CREAM 

With a whooping 87% of Iceland Moss extract, this is a great alternative if we want to exfoliate without tightness or dryness. Even though it stated as a cream, the texture is more like a liquid balm. This reminds me of Cure Natural Aqua Gel, the best selling peeling gel from Japan, but this comes in more creamy texture. It felt so satisfying to see the clumping effect it created, perfect for gentle exfoliating purposes.
Price IDR 339K for 150ml

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

MY ADAPALENE JOURNEY: SURVIVING RETINOL UGLIES

Whatever you’ve experienced during Adapalene’s treatment: DON’T QUIT & NEVER STOP.

Scrolling through my posts in this blog, I realized I missed to update my Adapalene Journey. So I thought, I just compile them plus giving you an update on my skin condition these days. If you haven’t read about my first encounter with Adapalene, read here.

My last update in this blog was on week 8, which looked pretty good already. But I did update on my Instagram Stories, so you might want to check the highlights here

So they said that Retinol Uglies aka purging due to Retinol will last for approximately 6 weeks, but I saw improvement on week 8. I guess my skin had a lot of closed comedones aka clogged pores, that’s why I presumed it took longer for my skin. Sharing you weeks after week 8, so you might have a greater glimpse of the purging situation.

WEEK 9: NO MORE ANGRY ZITS
WEEK 10: GETTING CLEARER, JUST HAVE TO DEAL WITH POST ACNE MARKS
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE WHEN IT COMES TO RETINOL UGLIES
OCCASIONAL ZITS MIGHT APPEAR, IT’S NORMAL
ME AT MY MOST HAPPIEST, PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PURGING PERIOD MAY VARY
NEED CAUTER FOR THOSE PERMANENT OIL BUMPS

Then one day, on June 2021 I stopped using Adapalene, because I had botox treatment (click here). Yes, after Botox you have to stop any exfoliation for 14 days. That was the beginning of another acne hell. 

Here comes the one million dollar question: Did I re-purge on the second time around after a brief break from Adapalene? Yes, but I believe they were calmer than the first time.

Obviously, I didn’t last for 14 days exfo fasting, on day 10 I decided to start using Adapalene again. After some research, I found out that we shouldn’t stop using Adapalene even though our skin got clearer. IT IS A FOREVER THING! Thankfully, it’s safe to use for a long run. 

SKIN UPDATE ON AUG 5, 2021

Lessons learned: DON’T STOP using Adapalene even though you already satisfied on the result. And please note that I also have other products in my skincare routine to help achieve my latest skin condition.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

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

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

FINALLY GETTING RID OF MY OIL BUMPS

Yeay, it has been 12 weeks since my Adapalene journey. And I guess pictures will speak a thousand words, so here’s my before-after pics.

BYE BYE OIL BUMPS


Please note that I do use Retinoic Acid on top of Adapalene for 12 weeks.

I just want to say that I’m glad that these prescription strength creams really worked on my hormonal acnes and closed comedones. Yes, the first 5 weeks was a nightmare and I almost gave up. But this pandemic really helped me, because all of the bad purging were hidden underneath mask. And FYI, based on everything that I read or watch in YT, Adapalene needs max 12 weeks to show its’ result.
Mine already got better on week 8, fortunately. No more bumps and no more big zits. Big improvement shows on the chin area, while these creams won’t work on milia and sebaceous filaments that I have on my left cheek (might need another Cauter session after the pandemic is over-God knows when). 

DESPERATELY NEED CAUTER


Am I still going to use both creams? Yes, to maintain my skin condition, but I’ll make sure I minimized their doses or use both every other day. 
Should you try it? Please check to your dermatologist first, because both are prescription-strength products and not everybody will have the same reactions and results. GOOD LUCK!

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

MY ADAPALENE JOURNEY (MONTH 2 OUT OF 3)

Great, it’s October. It has been two months since I was on adapalene & retinoic acid treatment. Scroll down for the updates. 

I almost gave up on week 5. But somehow I kept going (just like my life during this darn pandemic). 

Well, week 8 was great.

No more big angry red zits, no more pustules. My skin texture are way better, no more small bumps. Another homework for me is to get rid of all the leftover red scars. Wish me luck, folks. 

One more month to go. I’m more than halfway to go, so I can do this! Will surely update on the final month of my Adapalene journey. Meanwhile you can check my IG stories highlight for weekly updates.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

MY ADAPALENE JOURNEY (MONTH 1 OUT OF 3)

Time to update on my Adapalene journey.

It’s almost a month (if you want to see my weekly update, please go to my IG stories highlight) and to think of it, I’m not even halfway there yet (sigh).

So, I can definitely tell you that Adapalene really helped my problem with oil plugs a lot. I had severe bumps on my left cheek and chin only, so I only apply the cream there instead of the whole face. First, it really help to push the existing oil plugs out, either they became blackheads or pustules. Then, it helps to stop the new oil plugs from forming. Of course when there are no more new oil plugs, my skin felt smoother. If I rubbed it now, I can feel lesser bumps.

On week 2, I decided to add Retinoic Acid as spot treatment. Under the name Vitacid (another local brand), it’s another prescription-strength topical skin treatment. From my point of view, it speeds up the progress (gunks up to surface, I mean). But I warn you, this is really potent, so please consult with your derm if you want to try.

I can’t wait until month 3! Anyway, here are my current skin condition.

LEFT CHEEK IS GETTING BETTER WITH LESS PURGING & IRRITATION
NO MORE SMALL BUMPS REAPPEARED, BUT THE EXISTING ONES TURNED EITHER INTO BLACKHEADS OR BIG PUSTULES

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

ACTIVES FOR FUNGAL ACNE

Wait, WTH is active? It is the ingredient in a product that addresses our skin concern. It has been proven in a lab by research to change our skin in each of its’ own way.

Check the ingredients’ list on your skincare products, and you might found familiar actives such as Vitamins (A, C & E are the most common ones), Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, AHA, BHA, and Benzoyl Peroxide.

Based on my experience, I’d probably recommend not to use any actives if your fungal acne is still flaring up. The simpler your skincare routine is the better. But, if you decided to add one to your regimen, based on my own personal experiences, I’d recommend these:

MY GO-TO GLYCOLIC ACID

EXFOLIATING ACIDS
Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid. Lactic comes from lactobacillus which you might suddenly think of yoghurt. Well, this specific active might help to control the production of the yeast. Glycolic is a type of AHA (same like Lactic) that’s derived from sugar cane. Salicylic Acid is a BHA, known for reducing acne & keeping pores clear. You have to try which one is the best for your skin, though.

MY GO-TO HYALURONIC ACID

HYALURONIC ACID
Also known as hyaluronan, it’s actually a substance that can also be found in our body and naturally produced by our body. It helps to hold water and keep our skin hydrated and plump.

MY COLLECTION OF NIACINAMIDE

NIACINAMIDE
It is a water soluble derivative of vitamin B3, that help to visibly minimize enlarge pores, improve uneven skin tone and strengthen a weakened surface.

TIPS:

  • The downside of using active ingredients is the risk of potential adverse reactions, so it’s recommended to start with lowest concentration levels of actives.
  • Even though some actives are usually compatible with others, like Niacinamide with AHA, BHA or Vitamin C, better to go solo. Yes, use one active at a time due to FA attack.
  • Stick to the rules on when to apply each of them (day or night or twice in a day), do not go overboard.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

VEGAN & FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE SERUM/AMPOULE

Disclaimer: this is not a comparison review, but both are Vegan.

I agree when someone said “Serum is like the Couture of skincare”. And just in case you are still wondering, serum and ampoule are basically the same. Both belong to the same step, after essence and before emulsion/moisturizer. But I believe, ampoules are slightly thicker than serums, so in accordance with the thinnest to thickest rule, always apply serum before ampoule. And according to Director Pi, if you already use Essence in your skincare routine, you can skip the Ampoule.

ALPHA-H VITAMIN B WITH COPPER TRIPEPTIDE SERUM
You know how I love their Liquid Gold, so when Sephora Indonesia had a (rare) sale, I know I have to purchase this too. This vitamin serum contains powerful natural antioxidant Chia to assist in plumping and hydrating, plus Ferulic Acid (extracted from Rice Bran Oil) to help diminish the appearance of uneven skin tone. And of course, it has Niacinamide (you know it’s my favorite too) and Copper Tripeptide (Copper with Amino Acids) to prevent premature ageing and promote elasticity.

They recommend to apply twice daily, but considering the hefty price tag, I’m using this at my PM routine. I can say this is the ‘do it all’ serum for me, for its’ ability to prevent moisture loss, regulates excess oil, boost skin immunity and reduce hyper-pigmentation.

Price IDR787K for 25ml

Full Ingredients List:
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Niacinamide, Methyl Gluceth-20, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Ferulic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Wheat Amino Acids, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Lactobacillus Ferment, Copper Tripeptide-1, Hydroxyproline, CI 42090 (Blue 1)

ROVECTIN LHA BLEMISH AMPOULE
I guess this launch earlier this year, but stay under the radar. But I believe this deserve some attention, people!

It doesn’t use purified water as their main ingredient, but they use 85% of Neroli Flower Water Extract, known to help soothe and calm skin with its anti-inflammatory properties.

As the name stated, it contains LHA, excellent yet gentle exfoliant (with pH 5.5) to combat clogged pores. So gentle, it can be use day and night everyday.

Texture is thick like a light gel, that’s why it’s easy to use as a spot treatment. But, I dislike the droplet as it’s slightly hard to pick up, and the size (it’s only 15ml). Other than that, I love everything about this ampoule. It instantly calms down the redness of a huge pimple within hours. Might be a bit sticky at the first application but after it absorb, it feels like nothing on my skin. Will definitely repurchase this, and using it only as a spot treatment.

Price IDR252K for 15ml

Full Ingredients List:
Citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower water, propanediol, 1, 2-hexanediol, methylpropanediol, niacinamide, purified water, sodium hyaluronate, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, glutathione, hyaluronic acid, capryloyl salicylic acid, hyrolyzed hyaluronic acid, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, panthenol, carbomer, glycerin, raspberry ketone, hydroxyethyl urea, hydroxyethylcellulose, tromethamine, ethylhexyglycerin, allantoin, hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycans, butylene glycol, benzyl glycol, beta-glucan, hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, disodium edta, plant-based ethanol.

TIPS:

  • First timer of using serum/ampoule? Try them as spot treatment first, then gradually apply on the whole face if needed.
  • Use it after cleansing & toning steps. Usually I need 3-4 drops for the entire face, but you can adjust accordingly.
  • If you’re not a dropper expert, just drop them on your hand and gently press onto skin.
  • If you’re using hydrating toner (the viscous one), use serum first than your hydrating toner.
  • You can layer with other serum if you wish. My safest bet is Hyaluronic Acid Serum/Booster.
  • Let the serum/ampoule sink fully into skin before moving on to other steps/layers.
  • Personally, I think it’s best to apply them in an air-conditioned room. Somehow, I feel like they absorb better and won’t sting in colder temperature.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA