Skin care: To buy


Turning 21 years old this year. Goal to have a clearer, brighter, more radiant skin! Previous post has a list of brightening ingredients (read risks of each!) will try find products with those ingredients listed as the first few.




Brightening ingredient checklist:

  • Must be part of top 4
  • On which number was it listed on the ingredients
  • Concentration

Brightening ingredients:

  • Niacinamide
  • Licorice extract & Arbutin -more on Skin lightening
  • Vitamin C



  1. Nature Republic Saccharomyces Ferment The First Essence


Saccharomyces Ferment, Propanediol, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexandiol, Betaine, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Pueraria Thunbergiana Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Lavandula Angusifola (Lavender) Extract, Althaea Officinalis Leaf/Root Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Soluble Collagen, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit/Seed Oil, Water, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol.






Ingredients: Water, Glycyrrhiza, Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin,Polyglutamic, Acid, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA.

3. OST C20 Vitamin C


Ingredients: Water, Ascorbic Acid, Ethanol, Sodium Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Glucose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Davurica Bud Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius Flower Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Bis-PEG-18, Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan, PEG-180, Gluconolactone, Beta-Glucan, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil, Zinc PCA, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Tocopherol Acetate, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ubiquinone, Diisopropyl Adipate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben

  • it is highly acidic and contains 20% vitamin C which a relatively high concentration
  • using it every day can cause irritation and chemical burns on your skin
  • the product is a thicker serum, and using more will cause it to leave a film on your face that is unpleasant
  • using too much can actually cause the product to cause discoloration on your skin because it oxidizes on your skin before it is absorbed
  • Store well! Oxidise easily! Preferred: Store inside box placed inside the ref.
  • There are some ingredients that work well with L-AA.  Vitamin E (aka Tocopherol or Tocopherol Acetate) is the John Watson to L-AA’s Sherlock.  They’re great by themselves, but even better together(synergy).  Adding Vitamin E to an L-AA serum, among other things, keeps it from oxidizing for longer.  Ferulic Acid, another powerful antioxidant, can stabilize a Vitamin C+E solution and makes it eight times(!!!) more photoprotective.
  • DO NOT USE WITH NIACHINAMIDE AT THE SAME TIME!! But you can use Vitamin C – morning, and Niacinamide – evening.

4. Cosrx galactomyces 95 whitening power essence


Ingredients: Galactomyces ferment filtrate, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, betaine, panthenol, glycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, allantoin, butylene glycol, xanthan gum, ethyl hexanediol, adenosine

“95% fermenty goodness means that the rest of the ingredients only comprise 5% of the formulation. Still, the small amounts of niacinamideand adenosine may contribute brightening and anti-aging effects, while the sodium hyaluronate and glycerin provide hydration.”


Shara Shara Bomb


Benton Snail Bee High Content


Snail Secretion Filtrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Arbutin, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Bee Venom, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Laminana Digita Extract, Dios Pyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Ulmus Campestris (Elm) Extract, Bacilus Ferment, Azelaic Acid, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Cross Polymer, Adenosine, Panthenol, Allantoin, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Arginine

Ingredient description/review:

“lightening my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and brighten my overall skin tone. It also has some lovely tightening properties that have been nice for the few fine lines I have. I really appreciate the fact that this product tightens without making my face dry.

Even though I have been using the Snail Bee High Content Essence in conjunction with other products, I highly suspect that this product is doing a lot of the heavy lifting, due to the high concentration of actives in the formula.” -skinandtonics


Naruko Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic

Mizon Recovery Gel


Occlusive for oily skin (gel type, cream are too heavy=skin cannot breathe)

Occlusive to ‘lock in’ or ‘seal in’ moisture. Humectants (glycerin, Hycluronic Acid, etc) draws moisture out from your skin when air is dry, making your skin dry. Occlusive will prevent it from doing this.

Affordable! (below php 500)


Mizon Hyaluronic Acid 100 (humectant)



Hyaluronic Acids: (moisture+skin plumpness)

Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion


Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion (light / moist)



Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion


Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Gel


Common cons: clogged pores. too sticky, barely doing anything (light version), breakout!

Few drops goes a long way!


The SA:EM Power Hydra Ampoule


Ingredients: Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Butylene Glycol


Hada Labo Shirojyun Arbutin Lotion (Not affective)



Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Arbutin, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Disodium Succinate, Methylparaben, Styrene/ VP Copolymer, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate


After cleansing with HADA LABO Goku-jyun Face Wash, pour a pea-size amount into your palm and rub between hands to warm. Gently pat onto face until it is thoroughly absorbed. Follow with HADA LABO Shiro-jyun Milk for additional hydration. Use twice daily after washing face.

  • Arbutin contains hydroquinone, and has great skin lightening/melanin-inhibiting properties.  Again, no, doesn’t bleach your skin, deals with PIH and unevenness.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is actually the reason why I bought this.  MAP is a form of Vitamin C, like L-Ascorbic Acid, although much more reasonable and stable.  It can whiten/brighten, act as an antioxidant, stimulate collagen production, reduce PIH, and all kinds of other fun stuff.  I don’t think that its concentration in this toner is enough for collagen production, but I definitely appreciate it being included.
  • Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid/Sodium Hyaluronate are forms of hyaluronic acid, which is a great humectant.  It’s known for being able to hold 1000 times its weight in water.  Hyaluronic acid on its own is too large to penetrate the skin, so companies shear hyaluronic acid to different weights, also known as LMW (Low Molecular Weight) hyaluronic acid.  This article on Barefaced Truth is a must-read on Hyaluronic Acid.  Other humectants in here are glycerin and sorbitol.

“As for the whitening toner, I think it is quite ineffective in terms of moisturizing or brightening. If you look carefully, it also contains some irritating or acne-causing chemicals that are harmful for your skin especially for those with sensitive skin. A friend of mine develops strong sensitive reaction towards this toner.”


Sidmool Fast Turn Over Rebuilding

Ingredients: water, portulaca oleracea extract, glycerin, niacinamide, glycolic acid, butylene glycol, centella asiatica extract, paeoina suffruticosa root extract, scuttelaria baicalensis extract, potassium hydroxide, algin, allantoin, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, panthenol, salicylic acid, xanthan gum, 1,2-hexanediol



8. NuFountain Celsignal serum


Ingredients: Purified Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide, DL-Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Oats, Nannochloropsis Oculata, Pullulan, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid. pH of 5.5.



Hanyul serum

Hada labo Shirojyun (but arbutin was listed 5th)








Skin Brightening Ingredients!!




Skin Care Products:

“Always tap. Don’t rub.”


1. Hydroquinone (HQ)

What is HQ and how does it work?
HQis a phenolic compound.  This structure allows it to inhibit melanin synthesis by acting as a substrate for tyrosinase. Tyrosine, an amino acid, is acted upon by the enzyme tyrosine to form melanin. These phenolic compounds “interrupts” this reaction by giving the tyrosine something else to attach to. That way the tyrosine never makes melanin particles.

Nothing works better than HQ – it’s considered the gold standard for skin lightening. Here’s a quote from Dr. Rendon, associate clinical professor, University of Miami who says “other products haven’t proven that they really are as good as they say they are. In the few studies that actually compare them to hydroquinone, they never beat it.” Now, that doesn’t mean it works instantly – it can take several months of usage to reach maximum lightening efficacy.

A prescription strength retinoid (0.5% tretinoin) steroid (0.01% fluocinolone acetonide) and Hydroquinone

A skin-lightening ingredient that works by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, by acting as a melanocyte cytotoxic inhibitor, and by increasing the cytotoxicity of melanocytes.

Hydroquinone (Wikipedia)

<p><b>Hydroquinone</b>, also <b>benzene-1,4-diol</b> or <b>quinol</b>, is an <a href=”; title=”Aromatic” class=”mw-redirect”>aromatic</a> <a href=”; title=”Organic compound”>organic compound</a> that is a type of <a href=”; title=”Phenols”>phenol</a>, a derivative of <a href=”; title=”Benzene”>benzene</a>, having the <a href=”; title=”Chemical formula”>chemical formula</a> C<sub>6</sub>H<sub>4</sub>(OH)<sub>2</sub>. Its <a href=”; title=”Chemical structure”>chemical structure</a>, shown in the table at right, features two <a href=”; title=”Hydroxyl group” class=”mw-redirect”>hydroxyl groups</a> <a href=”; title=”Covalent bond”>bonded</a> to a <a href=”; title=”Benzene ring” class=”mw-redirect”>benzene ring</a> in a <a href=”; title=”Arene substitution patterns” class=”mw-redirect”><i>para</i></a> position. It is a white granular <a href=”; title=”Solid”>solid</a>. Substituted derivatives of this parent compound are also referred to as hydroquinones. The name “hydroquinone” was coined by <a href=”; title=”Friedrich W&ouml;hler”>Friedrich W&ouml;hler</a> in 1843.</p>

<!– mw container end –>”>hydroquinone (4%) has been shown to be effective in treating melasma and general darkening of the skin over the course of eight weeks. According to Dr. Audrey Kunin, M.D., a Kansas-City based dermatologist, should not be used for longer than eight weeks, as the steroid component may cause the skin to become thinner ( (and hence more photosensitive and prone to sun-induced signs of aging, etc.).

What hydroquinone is used for: Since 1982, hydroquinone has been FDA-approved for the treatment of freckles, melasma, and general brown patching. Today, hydroquinone is the most commonly used bleaching agent in the United States.

How hydroquinone works: Hydroquinone works in two distinct ways: 1.) inhibiting tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme of melanin (i.e., pigment) production, and 2.) increasing the cytotoxicity of melanocytes, the melanin producing-cells.

Risks: Unfortunately, hydroquinone has been banned in some countries, including France and South Africa, for concerns about increased cancer risk and ochronosis (darkening of the skin) with its use. Yet I have yet to encounter an American dermatologist who believes hydroquinone in skin care products increases cancer risk. Dr. Susan C. Taylor, M.D., a Philadelphia-based dermatologist, states, ”The maximum levels of hydroquinone currently allowed (2 percent for over the counter, 4 percent for prescription) aren’t dangerous. At worst, it might cause redness or irritation, but only if your skin is sensitive or allergic to the medication.” (Elle, October 2007). Dr. Jacob Levitt, M.D. also reviewed the existing studies on hydroquinone and concluded “topical applications of hydroquinone in standard product concentrations are not carcinogenic to humans” (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2006), and Dr. David J. Goldberg, a clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, agrees, “Over 100 scientific articles confirm it is a safe topical for humans; no independent studies prove the opposite.” (Elle, October 2007).

As for ochronosis, a paradoxical darkening of the skin that is caused by a build-up of phenylalanine or tyrosine, that may be a small, though legitimate, concern for those with darker skin tones (American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2001). Dr. Jacob Levitt reviewed 10,000 cases of hydroquinone use over the course of 50 years, and found just 22 cases of ochronosis amongst them, yet all involved patients of color (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2006). The reasons for ochronosis occurrence in patients with darker skin are not clear. However, increased risk of ochronosis have been linked to using hydroquinone with resorcinol (an agent often used to treat postinflammatory inflammation) and to excess sun exposure while using hydroquinone. As such, always use hydroquinone without resorcinol and with a sunscreen.


2. Licorice Root

Also suppress tyrosinase (melanin production catalyst) production. The substance has anti-inflammatory components hence can lessen sunburn effects

3. Azelaic acid

It’s a dicarboxylic acid which occurs natural in wheat, rye, and barley. inhibits DNA synthesis in melanocytes and has a modest antityrosinase effect. According to some sources, it works better than 2% hydroquinone and about as good as 4%. The interesting thing is that its apparently safe to use during pregnancy. Side effects of itching, mild redness, scaling, and burning but overall this is a good contender. It’s also prescription.

Kojic acid This is a fungal metabolite and also a famous cop show from the 70s. It works by inhibiting the production of free tyrosinase. Could not find any data directly comparing it to other agents but one source considers it to be be the most effective skin-lightening agent behind hydroquinone. We do know that it can cause greater irritation, it is highly sensitizing and may be mutagenic. For this reason, it is banned in Japan, just like over-the-counter (OTC) hydroquinone.

What azelaic acid is used for: Same as hydroquinone – freckles, melasma, and general brown patching. Sometimes azelaic acid is used in place of kojic acid in hydroquinone four-week alternating periods. Azelaic acid works as an acne treatment, and, to a lesser extent, a rosacea treatment.

How azelaic acid works: Take a guess – yep, you got it, azelaic acid also inhibits tyrosinase. According to a double-blind study in the International Journal of Dermatology, over the course of six months, a 20% azelaic acid cream yielded good or excellent results in 65% of patients.

In fact, according to the same study, 20% azelaic acid had “no significant treatment differences” observed when compared to 4% hydroquinone (the prescription level) with regard to overall rating, reduction in lesion size, and pigmentary intensity.

Risks: Side effects, such as allergic sensitization or exogenous ochronosis (associated with hydroquinone) were not observed with 20% azelaic acid

4. Alpha arbutin

Arbutin is chemically related to hydroquinone and was originally obtained from the bearberry plant. Like HA it decreases melanin biosynthesis through the inhibition of tyrosinase activity.  It also inhibits melanosome maturation and is less cytotoxic to melanocytes than hydroquinone. However, several studies have shown that arbutin is less effective than kojic acid for hyperpigmentation. Deoxyarbutin is a synthesized topical derivative. Studies have shown that it has an enhanced sustained improvement, general skin lightening and a safety profile comparable to hydroquinone.

has a similar chemical composition to hydroquinone, but without the potentially irritating side effects.

5. Vitamin C

A study compared 5% ascorbic acid and 4% hydroquinone in 16 female patients with melasma and found 62.5% and 93% improvement respectively

Vitamin C

Holds the number 10 spot among the best whitening ingredients. Vitamin C is a recognized anti-oxidant that decreases skin-aging process. Vitamin C can cut down melanin production in the skin a minimum of 10%. Additionally, Vitamin C contains magnesium phosphate, which is common in most whitening products. Moreover, vitamin C has the power to defend skin from the UV lights.

Vitamin C inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which helps produce melanin. By inhibiting tyrosinase, Vitamin C basically helps prevent melanin production so that the dark spots and hyperpigmentation stop dead in their tracks. Vitamin C as been found to lighten the areas affected by hyperpigmentation but leave unaffected areas alone so it knows to focus on those troubled spots.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is probably one of the best known skin brighteners. It’s a potent antioxidant that’s amazing for dull, congested complexions as it increases cell turnover to boost brightness and overall radiance, and has a lightening effect on all kinds of pigmentation.

What vitamin C is used for: Sunspots, skin dullness, UV-induced erythema and sunburn, increase skin firmness (mild effect), decrease wrinkle depth (mild effect).

How vitamin C works: Vitamin C inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme in melanin production (Cosmetic Dermatology, Burgess, 2008).

Risks: Risks associated with topical vitamin C use are rare and few side effects have been reported. Probably the biggest risk is not storing vitamin C properly. While most of the ingredients listed on this page are sensitive to light and heat, vitamin C in particular becomes far less ineffective when exposed to air, light, and heat. Another risk of using vitamin C is not selecting the right form of vitamin C. Different forms include L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl glucoside, magnesium ascorbyl palmitate, and ascorbyl glucosamine. My favorites are L-ascorbic acid (high concentrations are available) and ascorbyl glucoside (found to be absorbed well into the skin).

I choose azelaic acid over ascorbyl glucosamine for hyperpigmentation, as 20% azelaic acid has been shown to be more effective than 5% ascorbyl glucosamine in treating solar lengitines (Dermatology, 2002). For more on the different forms of vitamin C, please see my Spotlight On: Vitamin C post.

6. Niacinamide

It works by interfering with the interaction between keratinocytes and melanocytes, thereby inhibiting melanogenesis. We’ve talked about this in our anti-aging show and it does work but not much data comparing it to other options.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 comes to number 9. It generally called niacin amide due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. It restrains melanin production. It gives you utterly lighter skin.

A vitamin B derivative, niacinamide has been known to have positive effects on lightening hyperpigmentation marks on skin by suppressing the transfer of melanin to the outer layer of the skin. It’s different in that while some ingredients inhibit the production of melanin, niacinamide prevents melanintransfer so that color-inducing pigment can’t get to the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin.

 “No, it works deeper in the skin. It takes a while of using it every day to see results. Like months. I’m not sure of the exact mechanism, but it somehow interferes with the skin creating pigmentation. So as your skin creates new layers, that’s where you see the results.”

7. Licorice extract

Licorice extract improves hyperpigmentation by dispersing the melanin, inhibition of melanin biosynthesis and inhibition of cyclooxygenase activity thereby decreasing free radical production. Glabridin, a polyphenolic flavonoid is the main component of licorice extract. Studies have shown that glabridin prevents Ultraviolet B (UVB) induced pigmentation and exerts anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting superoxide anion and cyclooxygenase activity. However, more studies are needed to prove its de-pigmenting action.

Licorice can help reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation because it contains something called “glabridin” which inhibits the enzyme that causes skin to darken. Glabridin helps decrease the production of melanin and will help even out those dark spots.


8. Retinoids

Works three ways: dispersion of keratinocyte pigment granules, interference with pigment transfer, and acceleration of epidermal turnover Something like 68% improvement (although you can’t really compare numbers across studies.) Side effects: erythema, peeling, and possible post inflammatory hyper pigmentation. Can help with Melasma which is in the dermis. Works very slowly. Takes 24 weeks or more at 0.1% Need a prescription. One paper we found listed something links an additional 16 other ingredients that have some data but not enough to fully validate them.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is in the eighth spot. Oftentimes it called as retinol. It boosts skin reproduction process and improves vision too. It can give healthy and restored skin along with whiter skin.


A form of vitamin A, retinols work at the cellular level to increase cell turnover, stimulate collagen and elastin production, and fade hyperpigmentation. As already written about, retinols can be very strong so use with caution and under the supervision of your doctor so that you can ease these products into your skin care routine.

These ingredients target discoloration while treating the whole complexion for dullness and uneven skin tone.

9. Undecylenoyl phenylalanine

We just became aware of another ingredient Undecylenoyl phenylalanine. We don’t know much about this yet but here’s a quote from the Cosmetic Cop that provides a couple of helpful references:

“Although this ingredient’s research pales in comparison to what’s known about hydroquinone and many forms of vitamin C, it is a promising ingredient that is worth considering in products meant to lighten brown spots and help even out skin tone (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2011, pages 189–196 and December 2009, pages 260–266; and Clinical Experiments in Dermatology, July 2010, pages 476–476).”


10.Mulberry Extract

It’s been shown that the derivatives of the mulberry plant’s root bark inhibit tyrosinase similar to Vitamin C. As mentioned above, tyrosinase helps produce the pigment-causing melanin so inhibiting tyrosinase means inhibiting those annoying dark colored spots.

11. Fruit Extracts

When melanin build up has occurred one way to tackle it is to increase exfoliation so that you can continuously reveal new, fresh skin. Fruit extracts help with very gently exfoliation. Fruit extracts help soften and exfoliate skin which in turns helps to  fade dark spots and remove dead skin cells.

12. Glycolic acid

What glycolic acid is used for: mottled pigmentation, skin dullness, fine lines, surface roughness, freckles, lentigines, and to treat actinic and seborrehic keratosis

How glycolic acid works: As the most commonly used alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid advance desquamation and exfoliation of the top layer of the skin. As a result, glycolic acid quickens the rate of cell turnover, decreases small wrinkles and increase fibroblast proliferation of collagen. It does not specifically inhibit melanin production, like hydroquinone or kojic acid.

Risks: A lot of people experience irritation after at-home glycolic acid peels, for two main reasons. First,glycolic acid sensitizes the skin, such that the skin is more likely to be irritated by other ingredients used in conjunction with glycolic acid (Skin Therapy Letter, 1998). Second, glycolic acid has been associated with skin burns and ulcerations, so it is important to speak with a dermatologist first to see which strength is appropriate for you (International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2007).


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Korean Skin Care Routine

I’m so glad I discovered korean skin care routine!

Why? Bec their products actually contain ingredients that will benefit skin! Not just some ‘instant’ benefits, but continuous use could actually make a difference on the skin!

I forgot how I discovered K-skin care routine, but I’m so glad I did! Definitely be sticking to it 😀

Very informative blogs about k-skin care products:


Get Familiar with the Ingredients!

Controlling excess sebum production? Maintaining skin moisture? Maintaining skin elasticity? Or aiming for a brighter, glowing skin?

These ingredients can help with your specific skin concerns.

  1. Niacinamide, Brightening & aniti-aging. Also, not only anti-inflammatory, but helps repair the skin barrier and lightens hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide is another name for vitamin B3. A cell-communicating ingredient, which means that it actually alters the behavior of skin cells. Skin brightening by inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin. Increase skin elasticity and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Decrease sebum production. Produces other notable improvements in skin condition over time. stimulate skin to produce more natural lipids and strengthen skin’s overall barrier function, helping those with dry and dehydrated skin that loses moisture easily. Lessen the appearance of acne and redness by soothing inflammation. Finally, in conjunction with sunscreen, niacinamide’s antioxidant properties help to protect skin from further UV damage.
  2. Sodium hyaluronate for more non-greasy humectant moisture



Dullness and/or hyperpigmentation from acne or sun damage:

Correctly formulated AHAsniacinamideLAA, the sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) form of vitamin C, the magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) form of vitamin C, licorice root extract, arbutin, and hydroquinone (which you should never use except under a doctor’s supervision)

Don’t buy an L-ascorbic acid (LAA), AHA, or BHA product unless the label lists the exact percentage of the active ingredient. LAA should be between 10 and 20% to work (higher is okay but may be irritating); AHAs should be between 5 and 8%, and salicylic acid, the most common BHA by far, should be at 2%. AHAs are humectant and BHAs are anti-inflammatory, so they’ll continue to have those effects at suboptimal percentages, but they won’t exfoliate as expected.

Ideal percentage:

  1. BHA: 4% betaine salicylate, which from what I’ve read is ideal for that particular acid



Keep an eye out for buzzword ingredients! Some common buzzword ingredients!

  • Any kind of “special” water: Water from some specific glacier or spring or other source. Water is water. It has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Period. (The exception is micellar water, which is apparently a great makeup remover, but I haven’t yet read much about it.)
  • Anything having to do with precious gems or metals. I can’t think of a better way for a luxury brand to make a mediocre cream or serum seem special than by sprinkling in some gold or diamond dust, but your skin doesn’t really care about bling.
  • Plant stem cells. Unless you’re some kind of Lovecraftian monstrosity excavated from the Antarctic ice, you’re not plant-based. Plant stem cells are therefore not going to rejuvenate your skin. Lately, skin care companies love the stem cell concept. Not all stem cells will fix human cell function. You know what stem cells fix human cell function? Human stem cells. I’m pretty sure La Prairie hasn’t found a way to harvest and utilize those yet.


Hyped Products, but nope. Must read!


The following information are from:

Budget: Narrowing down my oil choice

Since my budget just comes from my allowance, and it’s not that big, it’s just enough (which is okay for me, honestly). I need to narrow down the oils that I’ll buy. I’ll probably try the other oils once I’ve saved up enough again.

I’m planning to buy oils to speed up the growth of my hair (my hair grows 1 inch a month), better scalp condition, and to make my hair stronger (bec. I have dry hair, without extra effort to moisturize my hair, it is prone to breakage = split ends = cut hair = shorter lengths)

My target for my hair is to have a good scalp condition, to grow healthy hair, and to make my hair stronger or to  protect my hair so it will not break off easily.

*Essential Oil Use: 4-5 drops*


The following information are directly copied from

a. Lavender Oil

  • Helps balance natural scalp oils, which makes it valuable for all hair types
  • Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic properties, lavender oil is a good treatment for dry, flaky scalp.
  • Soothes and nourishes the scalp, providing relief from inflammatory scalp conditions.
  • Regular massage with lavender oil is said to reduce hair loss and make the hair soft and shiny.

b. Rosemary Oil

  • One of the premier hair growth enhancing essential oils.
  • Packed with antioxidants which help scavenge free radicals – that are responsible for greying as well as hair thinning.
  • Stimulates blood flow to the scalp
  • Promotes strong and healthy hair growth.
  • Effective for treating dandruff, itchiness, scalp irritation and oily skin.


a. Lavender Oil

  • balance natural scalp oils
  • Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic properties (for dry, flaky scalp)
  • Soothes and nourishes the scalp
  • Reduce hair loss
  • Makes hair soft and shiny

b. Rosemary Oil

  • One of the premier hair growth enhancing essential oils
  • Antioxidants (for free radicals – can cause greying, hair thinning)
  • Stimulates blood flow
  • Strong and healthy hair growth
  • Treating dandruff, itchiness, scalp irritation and oily skin.


I think I’ll buy Rosemary Oil first, 2. Lavender, then 3. Peppermint, 4. Tea tree


Oils to buy for my first batch:

  1. Natural Vitamin e oil (faster hair growth)
  2. Rosemary Oil (faster hair growth+scent)
  3. Almond Oil


The following information are directly copied from

Peppermint Oil:

  • helps to stimulate blood flow to the root of the hair. This is very important for hair as it helps the hair to receive proper nourishment. This in turn will lead to hair growth. That tingly feeling when peppermint oil is felt on the scalp is actually the stimulation of  blood flow to hair

How do I apply essential oils topically?

Essential oils can be applied to the skin using a variety of techniques. It is important to note that most essential oils can not be applied directly to the skin without being diluted.

How do I prepare a solution?

As a rule of thumb, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier substance (vegetable or nut oil, or water) at no greater concentration than 3-5%.

That means if you have one teaspoon (5cc) of carrier, you would add 3 drops of pure essential oil. This would make a 3% solution that could be used on a portion of the body.

For massage or for application over large areas of the body, a 1% solution (meaning, one drop of essential oil in one teaspoon of carrier) is generally a safe concentration. For infants, using a 0.25% solution is recommended (.5% for toddlers).

Note: If you use water as a carrier, be sure to shake or mix your solution well before application.


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Benefits of Vitamin Oil

Benefits of Vitamin Oil for Skin

Free radicals damage molecules and the cells they belong to, causing not only aging and wrinkles, but also cancer, heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases.

Free radicals are naturally produced by the body but they also come from pollution, sun exposure, cigarette smoke and stress.”

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Free Radicals and Antioxidants

Free radicals in the body are oxygen molecules that lose an electron, which makes them unstable. These unstable molecules interact with cells in the body in a way that can cause damage. As the process snowballs, cells can be damaged and you are made vulnerable to disease.

Free radicals can be created by our bodies as we age, or by everyday factors like digestion or exercise. They’re also caused by exposure to external things like:

  • tobacco smoke
  • ozone
  • environmental pollutants
  • radiation

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating the missing electrons that destabilize them. Antioxidants are found in many foods and are also made in our bodies using the vitamins and minerals found in foods.

Vitamin E Oil is also found naturally in many foods, including:

  • vegetable oils, especially wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils
  • nuts and seeds
  • avocados and other fats


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Vitamin E Oil for Skin

Vitamin E has numerous benefits to our bodies. While its main job is to support your cell membranes, it also helps increase your blood flow, strengthens your heart, muscles, nerves and of course, your skin. So where can we get our source of Vitamin E? It’s mostly found in leafy vegetables like spinach and fruits like raspberries and mangoes.


  1. Fight Wrinkles and Age Spots

With anti-aging and antioxidant properties, vitamin E oil can help cure any damage created by over-exposure in the sun and UV rays which cause wrinkles and aging spots. Vitamin E also helps increase collagen production in your skin. This helps keep your skin elastic and prevents wrinkles from forming. Not only is vitamin E a great way to prevent wrinkles from forming, but it also contains properties that help fade away an existing ones.


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Vitamin E boosts the production of collagen, a fiber-like protein that is responsible for maintaining skin elasticity.

Acts As A Cleansing Agent

Vitamin E also helps cleanse dirt, grime, and other impurities while simultaneously maintaining your skin’s oil balance.

Vitamin E is a heavy emollient, which makes it easy to remove impurities from the surface of your skin as well as maintain its oil balance.


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A form of Vitamin E, gamma tocotrienol, has the ability to reverse damage dun by UVB radiation to some extent. Our skin ages prematurely because of damage done to it by harmful solar radiation, and the free radicals in our environment. Vitamin E reduces the damage to skin framework because of both these factors.


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Vitamin E Oil: Why You Should Use On Your Body With Caution

Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas said, “It’s an awesome antioxidant, but it’s heavy, so if you are prone to break outs, it could make you break out more. Vitamin E has always been used in skincare, but I think the purity of it has changed.”


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Use Vitamin E Oil with Caution!

Vitamin E is LIKELY SAFE for most healthy people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Most people do not experience any side effects when taking the recommended daily dose, which is 15 mg.

Vitamin E is POSSIBLY UNSAFE if taken by mouth in high doses. If you have a condition such as heart disease or diabetes, do not take doses of 400 IU/day or more. Some research suggests that high doses might increase the chance of death and possibly cause other serious side effects. The higher the dose, the greater the risk of serious side effects.

There is some concern that vitamin E might increase the chance of having a serious stroke called hemorrhagic stroke, which is bleeding into the brain. Some research shows that taking vitamin E in doses of 300-800 IU each day might increase the chance of this kind of stroke by 22%. However, in contrast, vitamin E might decrease the chance of having a less severe stroke called an ischemic stroke.

There is contradictory information about the effect of vitamin E on the chance of developing prostate cancer. Some research suggests that taking large amounts of a multivitamin plus a separate vitamin E supplement might actually increase the chance of developing prostate cancer in some men.

High doses can also cause nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fatigue, weakness, headache, blurred vision, rash, and bruising and bleeding.


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The tocopheryl part is vitamin E, but the acetate comes about when the vitamin E is mixed with acetic acid.

This ingredient is basically a form of vitamin E created in the laboratory. Manufacturers take natural vitamin E and add acetic acid to it.

Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar. The word “acid” means just what you’d think—it’s corrosive, and attacks the skin.

Two words: cheaper, and longer lasting. Adding the acid to vitamin E makes it last longer on the shelves. That makes it easier for manufacturers to process, ship, store, and sell their products.


How to use:

  • Poke a hole in the softgels, you can mix the oil with other oils. Use at night (because it is heavy and greasy)
  • You can use it overnight.
  • Some says to use it only twice a week.
  • Rememeber, Our bodies react differently. Keep in tract on how your body or skin react.


In Summary:

  1. Support your cell membranes, it also helps increase your blood flow, strengthens your heart, muscles, nerves and of course, your skin.
  2. Cure any damage created by over-exposure in the sun and UV rays.
  3. Increase collagen production
  4. Keep your skin elastic and prevents wrinkles from forming.
  5. Help fade away an existing ones.
  6. Remove impurities from the surface of your skin
  7. Maintain its oil balance.
  8. Note: Choose Natural, d-alpha tocopheryl. Avoid (acetate)
  9. Use it with Caution!