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

REVIEW: ALPHA H LIQUID GOLD

They’re confident enough to call this ‘Liquid Gold’. Does it live up to its’ name?

So, I started to buy the travel size (30ml) ones, like last year (and compare to 2020, 2019 was a great year). And because it worked so well on my skin, then I decided to splurge and purchased the 100ml ones.

PRICE? In Sephora Indonesia, 100ml cost IDR673K.

WHAT’S IN IT? Only 9 ingredients (another minimal ingredients winner!): Aqua (Water), Alcohol Denat, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Silk, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract.

CLAIM: Effectively diminish wrinkles, pigmentation and sun damage.

HOW DOES IT FIT INTO MY SKINCARE ROUTINE (2x/week):
Double Cleanse (Oil Cleanse & Foam Cleanse)
LIQUID GOLD

MY THOUGHTS: I believe it’s a very clever skincare product. In one easy step, it works as a toner, chemical exfoliator, serum and moisturizer. On a very tiring night, it’s a savior. On this pandemic time, when we can’t visit beauty clinic to do facial, this will be a wonderful ‘overnight facial’. Their hero ingredient is Glycolic Acid, an AHA which works to exfoliate our skin, not just on the surface but on the walls of our pores as well. So it really helps to reduce the build-up of cells in pores that lead to breakouts. That’s why it worked wonderfully on my skin pores. I applied twice a week, but when I feel like a pimple is going to get bigger, I will apply this with cotton pad (recommended to use one because the texture is watery) and it’ll eventually flatten the morning after. Yes, it stings (and still stings after months of using this), but it didn’t cause any redness or irritation on me. It is one strong active, but somehow they say it’s safe to use during pregnancy & breastfeeding. But beware for those who have sensitive skin, try to patch test first. Some people compared this to Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion, but having tried it also, Alpha H works better on my skin, easier to find and more affordable. And yes people, it is safe for Fungal Acne.

Check out my skin before and after using Alpha H Liquid Gold (please note that I use other skincare products too).

On me, it’s great for skin textures and acne scarring.

Check out the used cotton pad of mine (I already double cleanse before, so imagine that dirt and gunk were still there if I don’t use this).

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

MINIMAL INGREDIENTS PRODUCTS FOR FUNGAL-ACNE PRONE SKIN

As life is not simple right now, it’s best not to over-complicate our skincare regime by trying to understand those long lists of ingredients.

Yes, there are sites for help like skincarisma, folliculitisscout, cosdna and incidecoder to break them down. But, I truly believe keeping it simple is the best. Especially if your skin is troublesome like mine, it’s a good feeling to know that we don’t layer hundreds of ingredients on our skin.

Here, I will list my favorite minimal ingredients skincare products (that only use ten or less ingredients for each product), which are also safe for Fungal-Acne prone skin.

EAU THERMALE AVÈNE TOLÉRANCE EXTREME EMULSION
Contains only 6 ingredients, this is a staple in my moisturizing routine. Because it is an emulsion, I found it lighter than any moisturizer.

SIMPLE KIND TO SKIN REFRESHING WASH GEL
Made with only 9 ingredients, this is an affordable face cleanser (even for sensitive skin). Easy to find at our nearest drugstore. It is a face cleanser, so it cleanse. That’s it and don’t expect something magical out of it.

LA ROCHE-POSAY SEROZINC
Basically it contains only 3 ingredients: water, sodium chloride and zinc. Truly a must have mist for me, I don’t dig mist with too much gimmicky stuffs.

AMORE PACIFIC VINTAGE SINGLE EXTRACT ESSENCE
Minimal ingredients with maximum price (LOL). There’s only 6 ingredients inside this luxurious bottle of essence. If you have the budget to buy, splurge. But to tell you the truth, I skip essence step most of the time.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

NEW 10 STEPS SKINCARE ROUTINE

Lately, having #stayathome with lots of time to kill, I’ve been watching a lot of YT videos. And there’s one that I’m obsessed with: @labeautyologist.

In this video, she shared The Ultimate Self-Care Skincare Routine for maximum hydration & product penetration. It’s like her version of 10 steps skincare routine. They’re really different from the renowned Korean 10 steps, and personally it gets me because I want my skincare products to penetrate well into the skin. Mind you, this routine will involve 4 times of hydrating toner and only one active in later step.

These are her steps.

  1. CLEANSE
    It can be double cleanse (she’s more into oil cleanser for makeup removal than micellar by the way) and continue with second cleanser.
  2. TONE
    Function of toner: to increase absorption. So, she recommends to gently pat the toner (hydrating ones) before the next step (which is exfoliation) to make it works better.
  3. EXFOLIATE
    Not a chemical exfoliation, she prefers the one that we can apply and take off (like peeling gel and enzyme scrub). Do not scrub harshly, just apply gently then rinse off with water.
  4. TONE
    Yes, again to increase absorption of the next step, which is….
  5. MASK
    She chose a hydrating mask, a wash-off ones.
  6. TONE
    She said hydrating toner works best with hydrating serum.
  7. SERUM
    If your skin is prone to irritation, apply hydrating serum before serum with actives like Niacinamide or Retinol. This is the only step that allow us to use one active, so choose wisely according to your skin needs. If you’re using prescribed product from your derm, this is the step.
  8. TONE
    Last toner, to push the actives further down into the skin.
  9. MOISTURIZE
    This goes before oil because moisturizer is a mixture of oil, water and emollient. And heavier oils (except squalane which is lighter) will block the absorption of moisturizer.
  10. OIL
    If you use squalane, you can mix it with moisturizer. But other than that, oil is the last step. If you live in colder climate or you have very dry skin, opt for occlusive to lock in water.

MY THOUGHTS:

This is why I love skincare and writing about them. There’s always new techniques to try, to learn and made me excited to see the result.

Somehow, this new routine kind of reminds me of 7 Skin Method (remember the toner layering?).

Usually, I do my double cleanse step inside the bathroom and continue the rest in my bedroom (because I never put my skincare products inside the bathroom, except cleansers). As these new 10 steps required 2 more rinsing steps with water (after exfoliate and mask steps), the thought of going back and forth to the bathroom seems daunting and uncomfortable.

I guess I won’t be doing this everyday morning and night, but I’ll try to simplify the steps with my choices of products (mostly FA safe). And doing this in the evening seems more reasonable as we are more chill, yes?

  1. CLEANSE & EXFOLIATE
    Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil – for oil cleanse
    Tatcha The Deep Cleanse – it is an exfoliating cleanser, so I use this as second cleanser to skip step number 3 and 4.
  2. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
  3. MASK
    Freeman Deep Clearing Manuka Honey + Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask
  4. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
  5. SERUM
    Alternate between Me+ Niacinamide & Zinc Booster or Drunk Elephant A Passioni Retinol Cream
  6. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
  7. MOISTURIZE
    Eau Thermale Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion is my last step, as I try to avoid oil as most of them blocked my pores.

PHOTO: SHINTA ROSVITA

CLEANSING WITH ENZYME

Personally, I always believe in the power of great cleanser. It’s a “Make It or Break It” situation for me.

Yes, serums are great, actives are great, but really what cleanse our skin thoroughly is cleanser. Now, I’ll be discussing about a different type of ‘just face cleanser’, they are called ENZYME CLEANSER.

First thing first, what the heck is Enzyme? Well, I did some research online and Enzyme is a “chemical that speed up the rate of a reaction between two substances without being consumed themselves. Enzyme works by breaking down that keratin protein to reveal smoother skin.”

Do we really need this type of cleanser? Well, as you might know, we all need exfoliation. Some (like myself) might depend only on chemical exfoliation, just because physical exfoliation (traditional scrubs) can be too rough on sensitive skin. But if chemical exfoliation is also too tough on your skin, because you simply can’t take the actives, you might try this enzyme cleansing method. It is noticeably one of the softest way to break down dead skin cells and other impurities. So, if you have oily and easily congested skin but very sensitive to harsh exfoliation, give enzyme cleanser a try. Please do treat this as a second cleanser, use your regular first cleanser to remove makeup.

There are currently two forms of enzyme cleansers out there:

POWDER

Yes, in a powder cleanser form. It literally contains no water, very concentrated formula that will go farther than liquid cleanser.

One of my favorite is KANEBO SUISAI BEAUTY CLEAR POWDER.

Made in Japan, they’re individually packed and contains soybean milk filtrate (for that enzyme action) and silk powder to soften skin.

How to use? When water is added, the powder will become gentle exfoliating foam. Open one package, place the powder on the palm of your hand, add a drop of warm water and work up a gentle lather. Apply on face and rinse off as usual.

Pros: very travel-friendly, and because they come in a dry form, they’re usually have longer expiry period.

Cons: they look like detergent (LOL), can be messy if you have shaky hands and not safe for fungal acne.

GEL

Some said that cleanser in a gel form will actually lessen skin irritation, therefore it’s recommended for sensitive skin. And one of the many fews that have enzyme cleanser in a gel form, is MARIO BADESCU ENZYME CLEANSING GEL. No wonder they claim this as their best-selling face wash. Even though they do recommend to cleanse twice daily with this cleanser, but personally I use this as a night cleanser with my Foreo. It contains Papaya and Grapefruit extract which are known for their exfoliating properties to remove buildup (the cause of blackheads and pimples).

Pros: available in Indonesia.

Con: not paraben free & fragranced

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

EASY TO FIND FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE SKINCARE FOR ROOKIES

Disclaimer: I live in Jakarta, Indonesia with (you can say) a limited skincare products legally available in our retails.

Luckily, we do have market places choices with online stores that carry imported skincare brands. We just have to make sure they are legit and not fake. I do have some recommendations for online stores in market place that I usually purchased from, please feel free to DM me on my IG @shintarosvita.

Back to the topic, for those who asked me on products that they can easily get (especially for Fungal-Acne rookies out there) this one’s for you. Basically all you need is a good cleanse (first and second ones), toner, treatment and sunscreen.

If your Fungal-Acne is relatively new, I do recommend you to stay out of makeup until they heal. But if you have to put on makeup anyway, look for non-waterproof makeup and sunscreen, so you don’t have to use cleansing balm or oil as a first cleanser. Opt for cleansing water instead to remove your makeup (except for eyes, you might need a specific eye makeup remover).

BIODERMA SENSIBIO H2O

Being a number one choice for me for such a long time, before they are legally available in Indonesia. Removes makeup like a charm and it feels like swiping your makeup away with water without leaving any oily residue. But still needs to wash with second cleanser and water, okay.
Where to buy: Drugstores

PYUNKANG YUL ACNE FACIAL CLEANSER

It didn’t foam up much, but I love how it cleans comfortably. Comes in a milky-gel texture and without fragrance, this is a great second cleanser for Fungal-Acne prone skin.
Where to buy: Style Korean Indonesia

SIMPLE SOOTHING FACIAL TONER

No fuzz daily toner. Feels like water without tackiness and will lift any leftover from your first and second cleanser.
Where to buy: I believe they sold this exclusively at Guardian Indonesia.

ACNE FELDIN LOTION

Combat fungal acne like a champ with sulfur. And this lotion contains 6.6% of Precipitated Sulphur.
Where to buy: Pharmacies

SKIN AQUA UV MOISTURE MILK SPF50+ PA+++

You know how hard it is to find sunscreen that are safe for Fungal Acne, right? No worries, this sunscreen is safe, super affordable and doesn’t leave white cast.
Where to buy: Drugstores

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

BEST OF 2019 : FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE SKINCARE

Super glad that 2019 is almost over. Definitely not one of my best year, but I’m sure you don’t want to hear about it (LOL).

Just a quick update on my skin condition, I believe when I got older, my skin easily and rapidly reacted to skincare products. Bumps and adult/hormonal acnes are still easily appeared. The good thing is, I’ve managed to control my fungal acne come back with the right products. In fact, I didn’t suffer any fungal-acne breakout this year.

After trial & error here and there, I became more aware on what ingredients that actually work, or in the other hand, caused the problems. In my case, I try to avoid:

  1. Butylene Glycol, because it might trigger comedones.
  2. Centella Asiatica, because it’s not good if you are still suffering from acne or having acne-prone skin like mine.
  3. Essential Oils or any facial oil, because my skin didn’t react well after using them.

So yes, it became harder to find skincare products for me. Other than avoiding non-safe fungal acne ingredients, now I also have to check those ingredients above. And trust me, it’s not easy!

This (much shorter) list is based on my own personal experience and after checking all the ingredients on cosdna and skincarisma. No worries, this list is mostly different from my 2018 list (with additional categories and check out my HG products with *).

Enjoy reading and happy holidays, folks! Make sure you spent your money wisely when it comes to skincare products (talking like a true champ, LOL).

MAKEUP REMOVER:

  • Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Micelle Cleansing *
  • Eau Thermale Avene 3 in 1 Make-Up Remover

FOAMING CLEANSER:

  • Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar *
  • Drunk Elephant Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser
  • Patyka Paris Detox Cleansing Foam

MIST:

  • La Roche-Posay Serozinc *
  • La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water
  • Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water

EXFOLIATING TONER:

  • Biologique Recherche Lotion P50T *
  • Alpha-H Liquid Gold
  • Cosrx Aha 7 Whitehead Power Liquid

TONER:

  • Patyka Paris Anti-Blemish Toner *
  • Thayers Facial Toner Unscented
  • Eucerin Dermatoclean Clarifying Toner

BOOSTER:

  • Vichy Mineral 89 *

SERUM:

  • Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum *
  • Cos De Baha Niacinamide 10 Serum
  • Aqulabo Vinyasa Calming Serum
  • The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%

ESSENCE:

  • I’m From Mugwort Essence *
  • Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence
  • Amore Pacific Vintage Single Extract Essence

MOISTURIZER:

  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
  • Eau Thermale Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion *

SPOT TREATMENT:

  • De La Cruz Sulfur Ointment *
  • Fourth Ray Beauty Later Hater Spot Treatment

SUNSCREEN:

  • Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel SPF 50+PA++++ *
  • Nivea Super Water Gel SPF 50 PA+++

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE SKIN-CARE PRODUCTS FROM LOCAL (READ: INDONESIAN) BRANDS

I’ve received lots of DM on my IG about this topic, and I’m trying to find ones that are safe for fungal-acne prone skin. Feel free to add to this list, please DM me on my IG, here.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you will know that I did recommend to do the basic skincare routine while dealing with Fungal Acne. You can build up your routine once they’re completely gone. Personally, I will stick with cleansing, toning and hydrating steps. That’s it. No makeup added, just the good ol’ basic skincare routine.

CLEANSE

ELSHESKIN DEEP CLEANSING SENSITIVE

TONE

VIVA ASTRINGENT CUCUMBER

HYDRATE

NAMEERA HYDRATING GLOW ESSENCE WATER

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE MISTS & ESSENCES

When to use mist & essence in your fungal-acne prone skincare routine?

Well, for me, mist can go beyond their original duties. Mist can fit in nicely to my hydrating toner step, especially after that harsh exfoliating toner. And of course, spritzing mist on before makeup (after SPF) will help to prepare skin to enhance our makeup staying power. Or, impart that dewy glow by spritzing mist after makeup. There’s more: try spritzing before applying sheet mask or on beauty blender or cushion puff to even out foundation and help it blend seamlessly. Throughout the day, mist can also help to refresh skin and makeup.

These are the mists I love that are safe for fungal-acne prone skin.

ROLLOVER REACTION HYDRATING FACE MIST &
LEEGEEHAAM (LJH) TEA TREE 70 MIST TONER

How about essence? Well, if you are into Korean skincare routine, you’ll find that essence is actually the heart of the skincare routine. Use after hydrating toner and before serum, usually essence comes in thicker liquid form than toner. Think of essence like a base layer of hydration and moisture.

These are the essences I love that are safe for fungal-acne prone skin.

AMORE PACIFIC VINTAGE SINGLE EXTRACT ESSENCE &
I’M FROM MUGWORT ESSENCE

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: AMORE PACIFIC VINTAGE SINGLE EXTRACT ESSENCE

To cut the post short, I’ve been looking for skincare with green tea.

Why? Because it’s rich in EGCG (that’s Epigallocatechin Gallate), that research has shown can improve acne and oily skin. As I’ve been dealing with never ending hormonal acne, thanks to my fluctuating androgen levels, I need EGCG’s help. Not only that, EGCG is also a great anti-aging oxidant which helps fight wrinkles by increasing cell turnover.

Then, my googling journey came to this product. An expensive product for a bottle of essence. What made them so bloody expensive? Well, it carefully utilizes green tea cultivated from the Dolsongi Green Tea Garden, the first of the three garden tea gardens that the company owns and operates on Jeju Island, off the South Coast of Korea. The green tea leaves are handpicked and naturally fermented in optimal condition for 50 days, then transferred by tea masters and placed into this traditional Korean earthware band buried in the earth, to age naturally for another 50 days.

So yes, it needs 100 days of waiting and another 24 hours slow extraction process to make this worthy essence. But, does it worth my splurge (btw, it costs me IDR1,5 mio for 120ml bottle).

From skincarisma.com

Rejoice for those who love minimal ingredients. It only consists of 6 ingredients: Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (aka the green tea), 1,2-Hexanediol and Ethylhexylglycerin. And yes, this product is also vegan.

As the name stated, it is an essence, so it goes straight after toner. I use this twice a day, morning and night by pouring three drops on the palm of my hand and pat. If you’ve been reading my post, you know I still believe in essence step, as it will help skin to absorb serum and moisturizer more effectively.

So how did it perform on my skin?

BEFORE USING THE ESSENCE
AFTER USING THE ESSENCE

Well, I can see a huge difference when I applied this on night time. When I woke up in the morning, I saw less oil on my face. And if big painful zits, especially on chin area started to appear, this will lessen the red appearance. I believe, it also brighten my skin tone.

Texture: very watery with no scent. It looks more like a black tea essence, even though it’s supposed to be green tea.

Is it safe for Fungal Acne? Yes, even though it comes from fermented green tea.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA