Every one of us is different, so does our skin. Some might love Hyaluronic Acid as their trustable and effective hydrating ingredient on their skincare, but some might not.

No worries, there are more than one hydrating ingredients on the market, if your skin can’t tolerate Hyaluronic Acid (HA). Currently most popular in Indonesia is Ceramides. Everything with ceramides on it will sell like hotcakes. There are also other hydrating ingredients such as Beta Glucan, Squalane, and Glycerin. 

Thankfully, I am not allergic to HA, and I also live in a country with high humidity in the air (making skin unvulnerable). But vice versa, if you are allergic to HA and live (or traveling) in a colder climate with low humidity, let’s find other options available on the market. Please note that they’re also free from ingredients which might trigger Fungal-Acne (based on incidecoder), since my skin is prone to FA. 

Great texture for oily skin: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
You are definitely missing out if you haven’t tried this. It looks like a gel in the jar, but it gives a satin feel on skin when applied. Glycerin is number two on the ingredient list, making it an awesome hydrator. 

Not available yet in Indonesia: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide
Great for sensitive skin (so safe, even babies can use this!), as it only contains 10 ingredients, with Glycerin as the hero. I can’t wait until this will be widely available on Indonesia’s market. 

Most expensive: Chanel La Solution 10
It has two hydrating ingredients on their top five ingredients, Squalane and Glycerin. Thus the name, it only contains 10 ingredients, making it good for sensitive skin. If you have the budget to splurge, this moisturizer is worth every pump. 

Online favorite: Krave Oat So Simple Water Cream
Also not available in Indonesia, but easily purchased on market place. Less than 10 ingredients, this moisturizer have Squalane as hydrator. This moisturizer melt like water when applied, perfect to use in hot and humid weather. Pictured here is the old packaging that I’ve purchased and emptied already, I believe they renew the label last year.



FYI, I had this on and off relationship with vitamin C serum. It’s not easy to find one that won’t cause breakouts, especially if it contains Ascorbic Acid. But, this comes in the right timing, when I was dealing with Cauter wounds (please scroll down for before-after pics). And I believe the older I get, the harder and slower it is for my skin to heal from any wounds. 

For those who avoid Ascorbic Acid, I do recommend you to try this as dark spots treatment. But if your skin can tolerate Ascorbic Acid, go ahead and use this as an anti-oxidant serum for morning routine. However, one very important thing that you have to remember when you use this serum, make sure you are using gentle facial cleanser and toner with no actives (read the ingredients carefully). It does contain vitamin C and Salicylic Acid already, so it’s best to keep your skin well hydrated pre-this serum. And if your skin can tolerate vitamin C, you can layer this with Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Texture-wise: it is clear, watery with a subtle fresh scent (I believe it comes from White Birch & Peony extracts and Lavender oil from the ingredients’ list, so the scent is definitely not a synthetic fragrance). No worries, it won’t linger around, the scent only last while you’re applying. It glides evenly, it doesn’t clump under makeup and (seriously) works well with other Kiehl’s product:  Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream (try them both and you can thank me later). 

Unlike most vitamin C that will oxidize over time, this serum has a highly stable formula, even though the bottle is clear and exposed to light easily. It didn’t sting or give any warm sensation when applied, and it’s lightweight. This is the type of serum that won’t disappear on skin, you’ll feel it’s there, but it’s not oily nor heavily sticky. If you see my bottle is a limited edition this year, from “Made By Radio”. The only con is it doesn’t have stopper, so use it carefully. I believe because as a brand, Kiehl’s does have a mission to minimize plastic waste.

Please note that you won’t see immediate results, you have to be patient when using it, especially if the dark spots were there for the longest time already, or if you have mature skin. Give it time, using it twice a day as recommended, pair it with hydrating products, and you’ll see the difference. 




We exfoliate, we use retinoid, we take care of our skin barrier, but still no progress?

Well, thanks to dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, now there’s SKIN CYCLING. Looking at these two days actives and two days resting kind of thing, then I realize my skincare routine sin. I use gentle peel toner every morning, and that is not right! Yes, even it is a gentle one like PHA. No wonder I felt my skin was not at its’ best condition, foundation won’t stick and my pores look bigger than ever with occasional acne on my forehead (which never happened before). 

So I started my Skin Cycling Routine, and these are all the products that I’m currently using for that four nights cycle. Yes, this method is for night time only. 

Night 1: Exfoliant

After I double cleanse, because I use makeup almost every day now, I pat dry my skin and go straight to chemical exfoliant. From my own experience, BHA works better on my skin, so I’m using the 2% one. But if your skin can tolerate other actives like AHA, you can continue using that. Top that off with (heavier) moisturizer, just to make sure our skin is protected. 

Revox B77 Just Salicylic Acid 2% & Cerave Moisturizing Cream (all safe for Fungal Acne)

Night 2: Retinoid

If you already using prescription strength Retinoid, you might want to continue using it. But if not, use a gentle one, an OTC kind. Same rule applies: double cleanse, pat dry (real dry!), apply retinoid then moisturizer. 

Kiehl’s Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum & Cerave Moisturizing Cream

Night 3: Recover

This is the step that we all have to be careful and read the ingredients on our skincare products. Make sure all of them are not containing any active ingredients. Double cleanse, use gentle cleanser, apply hydrating serum while skin still damp and moisturizer. 

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5 Ultra Repair Serum & La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide (all safe for Fungal Acne)

Night 4: Recover (again)

Same rule applies: double cleanse, gentle cleanser, hydrating serum and moisturizer. 

Vichy Mineral 89 & La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5

How about morning routine when doing this skin cycling?

Pretty simple, I must say. Cleanse with gentle cleanser, anti-oxidant serum (my skin can only tolerate THD ascorbate at this point), light moisturizer (because we are still using mask due to pandemic here in Indonesia) and SPF. 

Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide & Lancôme UV Expert Youth Shield Aqua Gel SPF50 PA++++

Like most skincare routine, do not expect miracles happened on the fourth nights. Look at it to accomplished long-term skin goals, not a quick fix. Good luck!



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).


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


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


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


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


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


  • Vichy Mineral 89 *


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


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


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


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


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