Good skin, I’m starting to realise, is the result of a three-pronged approach that includes clean skincare, healthy eating and exercise. There are, of course, people who have flawless skin without doing any of the above. O how I envy them! They are like people who are born rich. Unfortunately, I do not have an inheritance or naturally great skin, so my only option is to work for it!

Skin supplements, as the name indicates, supplement a healthy lifestyle (and should never be a substitute for food-based nutrition). If I could recommend just one skin supplement, it would be a probiotic like Fivelac. Good health/beauty starts in your gut, and Fivelac is one of the best probiotics I’ve tried. It improves digestion, helps with immunity and keeps skin clear.  Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic is another great option, if you are looking for something for more prolonged use. In addition to a probiotic, I’d recommend adding an Omega 3 (Dr Perricone’s Omega 3 is always a reliable choice) to your diet. It works wonders! View Post

Oskia 1I think I might as well start this post with a bit of a rant. I hate it when a small product comes in an extra large box. I find this marketing tactic deceptive because it makes unsuspecting customers think they are buying an XL-sized product when they clearly are not. When I first saw this Oskia balm in the latest Cult Beauty Caroline Hirons box (that I went halvies on with a friend and just took all the natural products), I was amazed by how big it was. However, upon opening, I was shocked to see the size of the actual product. In addition to the usual circular cardboard cradle to house the product, the box had a raised ‘platform’ designed to pack a small jar into a much bigger box. Also, the product is housed in a heavy, thick-bottomed paperweight-like double-walled glass jar that, again, makes it look like there is much more product than there actually is. View Post

Su_Man CleanserSu-Man has been on my radar for a while, and this cleanser is my first ever purchase from the brand. Su-Man Hsu, whose clients include Juliette Binoche and Freida Pinto, is a London-based celebrity facialist. At 51, her skin is smooth and line-less,  and it’s not hard to see why her facials (where she re-sculpts the skin using massage techniques) are called a ‘natural alternative to botox.’

First Impressions:

The cleanser has a very unique texture. It’s a white hybrid oil and water-based gel that cleanses both oil and water based impurities off your skin. Unlike most balm cleansers, this cleanser has a bit of ‘grip’ when you start rubbing it on dry skin (you’re meant to use it on dry skin). I think this ‘grip’ is intentional because it forces you to massage it in until it melts into an oil that you can easily rinse off with warm water. View Post

May Lindstrom Clean DirtI grew up in Kerala, India, where most skincare rituals are homemade. Most women (and men) massage their face with coconut oil before a bath and rinse it off with a paste of chickpea flour and water (the double cleansing trend started centuries ago!). The oil melts impurities, while the chickpea flour ubtan (the Ayurvedic term for cleanser/mask that you make by mixing a dry ingredient with water to form a paste) offers gentle exfoliation without upsetting the skin’s acid mantle. As a teen with bad skin, I was often asked to follow this double cleansing regime, but I wanted the latest foaming cleanser that left my skin squeaky clean and made it smell like a fruit or flower that didn’t exist in nature.

I am reminded of these ubtans when I use May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt. Unlike the humble chickpea ubtan, this powder cleanser smells like vanilla and spices and turns into an airy mousse when you mix it with water. It’s an ubtan executed in the most luxe way imaginable. View Post

pixie glow tonicMany beauty bloggers push exfoliating toners, and Pixi Glow Tonic is one of the most affordable and popular options in the beauty blogging world (at least here in Australia and the UK). UK-based blogger Caroline Hirons (who is also part of multiple ongoing projects with the brand) endorses it and rates it highly, and many of her fans have jumped on the Glow Tonic bandwagon. I love Caroline Hirons and her blog, but I really regret using/buying this product.

I bought it online a couple of months ago just to see what the hype was all about (and also because I needed to add something relatively cheap to my cart to get free shipping), After receiving it, I tested it on the back of my hand and left it there. To be honest, I didn’t even pay attention to the ingredients (I knew it had 5% glycolic acid) because I didn’t think I’d ever use it on my face (the tiny gold print on pale green didn’t make things any easier, either). It sat on my bathroom counter gathering dust, until about three weeks ago, when a very persuasive friend told me I needed something strong — like Alpha H or Glow Tonic — to take my skincare to the next level. That night, after cleansing, when I was wondering which toner to use, I thought I’d give Glow Tonic a go. Surely, testing it once couldn’t possibly ruin my skin. View Post