My dear friends and readers of the blog : I am truly, TRULY sorry, but there was not one moment in the past ten days to write another (second) “skin moments”. Stupid, isn’t it, how one can just be too busy/stressed out, to find even a few minutes to sit down and write about one’s skincare routines ?

Well, speaking about routines ; there were only few in these past ten days ….. Why, you will ask ? Well, we’ve been moving …… Horrible, well not the fact of moving houses, that IS indeed lovely. No I’m speaking about having to pack your entire life into boxes and the unpack them not knowing in what order to start, because there is still no kitchen, my office is a mess and well, you get the picture, I guess…..

So I kept things basic, very basic. Cleansing, Serum, Moisturizer/ SPF. Honestly, that’s all I did these last ten days. Mostly using my wonderfull Bodyshop Chamomile Cleansing Oil to clean my face, whiping it off with a cloth and warm/tepid water. No toner, didn’t know which box they were in…. Used Retinol from Klapp (from the Skin Boosters Series). Nice one, very, veeeeeerrrrrryyyyy mild. Mostly hydrating with a bit of Retinol. Just enough to keep my stressed skin going. Plus a Clarins Moisturizer for the night : Multi-Active Nuit, still ones of my most beloved ones. Hydration plus a few beneficial plant extracts. Nothing complicated. And Heliocare Satin Gel SPF 30 for day. Even in winter : there is light, so there’s UV Radiation. Plus the BLUE LIGHT from our computers, cell phones etc. Think of that and you will be wanting an SPF all year round.

No time for exfoliation, no acid toners or peels. No AHA or BHA serums. It’s time to introduce them back into my routine again. I found them today, together with my other (hydrating toners). I had put them in the same box….  Neostrata, Exuviance, Biologique Recherche, Clarins, Lancome, Klairs, Leegeehaam and Missha are back. Lush, lovely. Ten days is a long time when you’re a skincare junkie !

To be continued …..


“Temps de peau”they say in French. A beautiful way of describing how versatile skin can be. How quickly it can change from being “normal” to reactive, sensitive, stressed and even oily. Our skin changes all the time, from day to day, from week to week. So keeping your skincare routine up to date with your skin’s needs, is one of the most difficult things about being a beauty lover ….

As I worked a lot (abroad, mainly, involving long travel), my skin was stressed this week.Or rather, more sensitive than usual. Plus, I ‘ve been “retinolling” (thank you dear Caroline Hirons, for introducing this word to our vocabulary), meaning I’ve been using quite a bit of (potent) vitamin A products on my skin. Giving it a boost, an anti-ageing one, to be more precise. Times come when one needs a bit of that.

So cleansing has been very soft, alternating Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Oil with Origins’ Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil. Both are super-gentle, yet very effective cleansers/make-up removers. I personally believe there’s nothing better to clean your pores than a cleansing oil. Not only will it dissolve EVERYTHING on the surface of your skin, it will also DEEP CLEANSE your pores as “like dissolves like”, meaning the oil in the cleanser dissolves the sebum in your pores also. Think about it, it’s the most logical thing on earth !

I love both these cleansers, for mornings, to prepare my skin for (a hard working) day, and evenings, when skin is a bit stressed and/or out of balance.Skin feels super clean and comfortable with each one of them. When I’m in a “very soft mood”, I ‘ll have the Body Shop product, when I feel a bit more “aromatic”, I go for the Origins version (gosh that smell is beautiful!!). Both are great and work well for ALL SKIN TYPES, including sensitive and oily skins.

Another cleanser I like to use when my skin is a bit sensitive, is the Bèta-Glucan Cleanser by Klapp Cosmetics. This is a very creamy, fragrance free and ever-so-gentle Cleansing Milk. It’s part of the Bèta-Glucan series by the brand. Bèta-Glucan is supposed to calm down any skin reaction to external agressors and bring back sensitive skin to normal. For me, these products work beautifully. I use this cleanser both mornings and evenings. When I use in the evening, it is usually my second cleanser after an oil.

Leegeehaam (Korean) Hyal B5 Essence Toner & Serum were my favorites this week when it comes to treatments. The Essence toner is a very moisturizing, softening and smoothing product, that’s just GREAT when your skin is quite a bit DEHYDRATED or SENSITIZED. Together with the serum, it hydrates intensively and brings back a stressed skin to normal in no time.

Although the weather has definitely become darker and colder, we should always keep in mind, that light is present around us all the time (well during daytime, that is), so we should remember to wear a (light) sunscreen anyhow. I used up the last bit of my very beloves Estée Lauder Daywear, which is an ANTIOXIDANT rich cream with an added SPF 15. Great for winter days, I’d say. Antioxidants protect our cells from environmental damage, meaning they are a preventive form of anti-ageing for your skin. Embrace them, we need all the help we can get in our modern world…..

As you see, skincare was simple this week. No fuzz, just good basic hydration + protection. That’s all it took. See you next week !


If you’re a skincare lover, fanatic or whatsoever, you know about Retinol, so no need to read any further.If you’re a novice into skincare, or just need some “updating”, read on.

Retinolis the name of the MOST ACTIVE FORM OF VITAMIN A. It is, in fact het ONLY one that has all the properties that are often mentionned, when speaking of vitamin A.

Vitamin A in cosmetics can also occur as vitamin A PALMITATE and vitamin A ACETATE, which are both good, but far less effective ingredients for skin, when compared to RETINOL.

So here’s what Retinol is famous for:

  • It’s skin restoring
  • It helps smoothing out wrinkles
  • It’s firming
  • It takes care of all signs of visible ageing, like open pores and hyperpigmentation spots

Isn’t that great ?In fact, Retinol is considered by many to be the NUMBER ONE POWERHOUSE INGREDIENT for anti-ageing skincare.

I often get asked about the PERCENTAGE a Retinol product should have to be effective. Although percentage does make a DIFFERENCE (especially if it’s too low!), the actual delivery system in the product, the packaging (should be airless or air-reducing) and other ingredients present in the product, determine its effectiveness. As Retinol is sensitive to light, packaging should be opaque.

Beautypedia has published a few very good articles on this subject, especially about percentages and myths about the use of Retinol. They also mention three different “strengths” of Retinol, but these, obviously, only cover their own (very good) Retinol products (Paula’s Choice).


My advise to you would be to see what options are available to you locally, as many brands make excellent Retinol products, but not all are available in all countries. I personally like to use Retinol off-and-on, like 2 to 3 times a week, in order to fight wrinkles (especially around my eyes), hyperpigmentation and my old (but stubborn) acne scars. If you have a specific concern, like skin sagging, open pores or age spots, you might consider using Retinol more often, even daily if you want to.

One of the myths about Retinol, is that it can only be used at night. This isn’t true, as you can perfectly use it during daytime, as long as you use a good sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). The Retinol (and your skin) will be protected.

Products containing Retinol I’m using at the moment (November 2018) are :

  • Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum
  • Nazan Tastan Retinol Serum
  • Klapp Cosmetics Retinol Booster (is supposed tob e mixed into a cream, I use it directly on my skin)

The ones that are waiting to be tried are :

  • Exuviance Super Retinol Concentrate
  • Neostrata Retinol +NAG Complex (this is a very strong one you can use just once a week)
  • Indeed Labs Retinol Reface

I logically introduce new products to my routine one by one, in order to be sure about the effect it has on my skin. There is no use introducing three products at the same time, as you will understand.

One word of caution:although some brands claim to have a Retinol product, it can often be one of the less effective forms of vitamin A. The only way to be sure, is to check the ingredients list : it should mention “retinol” or “ Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate”, which is a newer from of (effective) vitamin A.

Korean 7-Skin Method

A short while back I wrote a post about the 10-step Korean skincare routine. While this is the most mainstream routine in Korea, there is a trend that’s getting more and more hype, called the ‘7 Skin Method’. When I read about this, I was very intrigued, because this new skincare routine only involves 1 skincare product. I thought ‘how can a skincare routine only include 1 product?’ I would love for this to work because using only 1 product means it’s cheap!!!
So I decided to try this method out for myself to see if it can provide my skin what it needs with just 1 product, and if so, how does it compare to the regular 10-step skincare routine? 

What is the 7-skin method?

The 7-skin method is a way of increasing and maximizing hydration and plumpness by layering up to 7 thin layers of toner (or a watery essence) onto the skin. The idea behind this is that by layering your toner multiple times, your skin gets to absorb more of the hydrating ingredients, leaving you with that healthy, radiant, glowing skin. By using this method, your skin gets to soak up the toner in 7 small portions, instead of 1 large amount, drenching your skin with hydrating goodness.
Btw, this method is called the 7-skin, because in Korean the word for toner also means skin, so a 7-toner method.

How to do the 7-skin method?

So how exactly do you do a 7-skin method?

Step 1: Cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser as you normally would.
Step 2: Let your skin air dry and when it’s only slightly damp, apply the first layer of toner using a cotton pad or your hands. Pat the toner into your skin on your face and neck. Let it absorb.
Step 3: For layers 2-7 you don’t need a cotton pad, it would be too abrasive for your skin. Pour a dime-size amount (not more, you only need small amounts for this method) of toner into the palms of your hands and press the toner into the skin.  Wait for your skin to absorb the product and move on to the next layer.
Step 4: if you find that your skin is hydrated and moisturized enough after the 7th layer of toner, you can leave it at that. If you find that your skin can benefit from a light layer of moisturizer, you can also apply a thin layer of moisturizer after the 7-skin method.

You can start by only applying 3 layers of toner and see how your skin reacts to it. If your skin is agreeing with this method, you can work your way up to 7 layers (or more). I know that
applying toner 7 times can be quite time consuming, but you don’t need to do this method every day. Some do the 7-skin method once a week, some do it every other day. Personally I do the 7-skin method 2-3 a week, or whenever I have time on my hands, but trust me, the results are worth the time. Your skin will be so hydrated and will look so glowing after using this method! My mom even commented on how great my skin looked. She said I looked transparent XD. Also, if you’re scared you will run out of toner 7x faster, don’t worry, this method actually takes only 3-4x more toner than regular routines, because every application takes less product than it would if you’d only do 1 layer.

What products to use for the 7-skin method?

You can use any hydrating toner or lightweight essence that you like. Just make sure that it doesn’t contain any alcohol or fragrance that could irritate your skin. Also those toners that have cleansing properties, like a 2-in-1 toner-micellar water, are not appropriate to use in a 7-skin routine, because those can strip your skin of oil and be irritating when applied too many times. I personally used my favorite essence, the Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist.


Other suggestions according to your skin type:

-Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner (Deep rich) for normal to dry skin.
-Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner (Original) for normal to oily skin.
-Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin for acne prone skin.
-Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner for sensitive skin.
-Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner for all skin types.

Review & Comparison with Regular Routine

Now how does this routine compare to a regular 10-step skincare routine that I usually follow? It definitely takes more time, as mentioned earlier, but it really does make your skin more plump and glowing (or transparent to quote my mom). However, I don’t see myself doing this every day, I wouldn’t recommend others doing that either, because your skin needs more than only hydration. But it’s a very good spa-like treatment you can give yourself a couple times a week. I’m definitely going to keep doing this weekly because it really works and I love how my skin looks after!

Have you tried the 7-Skin method? What toner did you use and what did you think of the results?

This is an article published in the blog of the Korean brand Little Wonderland,

This article is reposted in my blog under permission from “Little Wonderland”. 


Philippe Cats

Hi you guys, here’s some “in between” news for you. Just to make sure certain things that I plan to do on my blog are known.

I (we, being me and my website constructor :-)) are planning to do a series on Korean skincare. I discovered Korean skincare about 4 years ago and must admit I was pretty sceptical at the beginning. In the meantime, my scepsis has changed into enthusiasm and I actually love using & testing Korean skincare brands.

The Korean approach is quite different from our current way of treating our skin. They have more steps (I hear you thinking : “ oh sh..”), but these steps go SO FAST one after another that this shouldn’t be a problem to anyone.

Their products are often much LIGHTER and more HYDRATING in every step of their system, plus they ALWAYS DOUBLE CLEANSE which I find absolutely great…

View original post 97 more words


Skin Best

Oxygenating Resurfacing Mask With Algae Extract

Ingredients :Aqua, Kaolin, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Isononyl Isonanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Prunus Armeniaca Seed Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Capryloyl Glycine, Stearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Palmitic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Limonene, Vitreoscilla Ferment, Linalool, Geraniol, Myrisitic Acid, Moroccan Lava Clay, Citric Acid, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Potassium Sorbate, Parfum (+/- CI 77891 Mica, CI 77491, CI 77510).

Bioterm Wonder Mud is a clay mask, to put it simple. A green type af clay, to be more precise. And this has some “scrubbing” particles, quite large ones, in  fact.

Looking at the ingredients list, we find Kaolin (White Clay) to be the principal active and a little (tiny little) bit of Moroccan Lava Clay. I suppose this gives it its very distinct (but nice) smell.


Clay masks definitely are “back”.To call this one a wonder product, is an overstatement. A huge overstatement, if you ask me. Wonder Mud is just a good clay mask.There are many good clay masks on the market, and you don’t need to pay Biotherm’s price to get a decent one.

The results are ok, at least if you DON’T FOLLOW Biotherm’s advise to “scrub” with the product, as its particles are much too harsh. (Unless you have an elephants’ skin). If you use it as a “normal” clay mask, and leave it to dry for about 10 minutes or so, it’s perfectly ok.

But definitely NOT a wonder, pardon me, Biotherm. You make lovely products, I love your Detox, Red Algae (will be reviewed later) and your Sun products, but this one I’ll skip for the price.

Skin type: all, but I’d say rather oily skins will love this.

Positive points: nice clay mask, gives a very refreshed feeling.

Negative points: quite expensive “wonder” product being a quite ordinary clay mask.


One of the most discussed subject in cosmetics, is undoubtedly “fragrance”. No other subject in cosmetics has been more discussed, argued about and researched.

In order to give you – my readers – some clarity on this subject, here’s my personal opinion.

In order to discuss this topic, it is important first to define, what fragrance exactly is. In cosmetics, fragrance is a substance, or a mixture of substances, meant to perfume the product OR to mask unpleasant odors from (active) ingredients.

So, this means a fragrance can be used for marketing purposes, but also to make a product acceptable for its consumers. Because, what you should know, is that many cosmetic ingredients do NOT have a nice smell. This goes for NATURAL es well as SYNTHETIC ingredients.

This also means that “NATURAL” as well as “CLASSIC” cosmetic brands, use fragrance in their products in order to make them pleasantly smelling to their public. 

Fragrance can also be used to “neutralize” odors. A product that “has no smell” could very well be fragranced !

Fragrance can be both natural (ex : essential oils) or synthetic, and can also be a mixture of both.

Now let’s come tot he crucial point : is fragrance BAD FOR SKIN ?

In my opinion (shared by many skincare experts, I’ll just cite Caroline Hirons), the answer is : NO, unless you have an ALLERGY to the product. 

I personally DO NOT believe that fragrances can lead to skindamage (like Beautypedia tells us) or are harmfull in any way. It is only bad for you if YOU are allergic to ONE (or more) fragrance ingredients.

The EU has made up a list of 26 fragrance ingredients, that are considered to be more “suspected” when it comes to the frequence of allergic reactions. Again, this means :  only for those who are allergic to the said substance. 

A few examples, like they are mentionned on the INCI (Ingredients) list :

  • Amyl cinnamal
  • Eugenol
  • Coumarin
  • Alpha isomethyl ionone
  • Hydroxycitronellol
  • Linalool
  • And more …..

The ONLY WAY to know what you are allergic to(be it a fragrance or some other type of ingredient), is to have it TESTED & CONFIRMED by a DERMATOLOGIST. Since we live in an era of “contains no parabens, synthetic fragrance and blabla blabla”, it has become very “fashionable” to have some self-invented allergies (or “highly sensitive” skin).

The funny thing is, that most of the “suspected” allergens are from NATURAL sources, being the essential oils. Meaning that natural-led products are more likely to give you allergies than the synthetic ones. Surprising, isn’t it?


In my personal opinion, fragrance should not be a problem when used in acceptable dosage in skincare products.If you are, however, allergic to a certain fragrance ingredient (or group of ingredients), you will have this black on white from your doctor and you can read ingredient lists in order to select your cosmetic products.

Although a nice fragrance in a product has nothing to do with its purpose (namely : skin care), it can add an extra dimension to the product. What would a luxury cream be without a nice smell !!

Fragrance is absolutely not a necessity(unless the product would smell bad because of certain ingredients), and if you want to avoid, there are plenty of unfragranced products on the market.

Remember also that fragrance is not the only culprit when it comes to allergies and that cosmetics are often made of complex formulas in order to meet our skincare needs.



Exfoliating & purifying lotion for face.

Ingredients :Water (Aqua), Gluconolactone, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Citric Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Magnesium Chloride, Malic Acid, Vinegar (Acetum), Phytic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseraddish) Root Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Rumex Acetosa Leaf Extract, Myrtus Communis Extract, Commyphora Myrrha Resin Extract, Allium Cepa (Onion) Bulb Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Oil, Sulfur, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.

I believe no other cosmetic product has been more “hyped”, “blogged” or discussed on beauty platforms. Why is that ? No idea. Because for me, nothing about this lactic acid-based, facial toner is so very special ….

So, where did the hype come from ? Probably (I can only guess), it was because lotion P50 is one of the first AHA TONERS ON THE MARKET. Plus, the original (1970) formula had  Phenol, a VERY STRONG acid, that surely can be “skin changing” as I’ve read in some comments.


I can’t speak about this version, as the product I could eventually lay my hands on, is the “European version” without this famous phenol. So that leaves us with a still pretty potent, exfoliating (=peeling) skin toner, that will help improve skin texture & clarity and will also help clear up acne. Its active ingredients are lactic acid, which is said to be more gentle than, for example, glycolic acid, used in many anti-ageing preparations nowadays. Plus some other (very good) acids and  vinegar (the product smells of it too), I suppose to help keep the pH value low enough, so the acids will work.

So far for the ingredients. I personally DO NOT LIKE this product so much at all !It stings and burns, leaves your skin quite red at times. And yes, I know, that’s how it’s supposed to work, but I can’t notice any “improvement” using this nasty smelling product.

So, no, I’m not a fan.I’m sure some of you love this product and you have every reason to do so. The ingredients are good, very active and WILL help your skin cell turnover and prevent the clogging of pores. Fact is, that some damn good lotions are available on the market nowadays. Think Paul’s Choice AHA/BHA products and (my favorite) Mandelic Acid Prep by Wishtrend (Korean).Not to forget the Clarins (glycolic acid based) Doux Exfoliant. And many, many others….

Positive points :good active ingredients, a myriad of acids, niacinamide (Vit. B3) that helps fighting hyperpigmentation.

Negative Points: agressive product, didn’t work for me. Better options on the market nowadays.

Conlusion: not for me. Good if you’re specifically looking for a lactic acid based exfoliator. Not for sensitive/reactive skin types.


“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”could be true for your skin too. Not that it means putting apple juice on your skin, but speaking in term of vitamins ; your skin needs them too.

After Retinol (Vitamin A), vitamin C is likely the most important vitaminwhen it comes to skincare. Recently, newer – more stable forms – of vitamin C have been found for use in cosmetics, which means that we nowadays have the possibility to supply a good portion of vitamin C to our skin topically.(Meaning by putting skin care on our faces).

Surely, your daily intake by mouth is very important too. It is, in fact, the basis for all. Did you know, that our organism needs vitamin C in order to produce COLLAGEN, our skin-buiding fibers, that decline over the years ? A good dosage of vitamin C could actually keep them fit & healthy! Fruit, vegetables, consumed either raw, lightly cooked (cooking “kills” part of the vitamin C), in a smoothie or simply, in a nice, fresh made soup, will keep your vitamin levels up.

On our skin, we could very well do with an extra supply, as our skin gets served LAST when it comes to nutrients absorbed through our digestive system.

Vitamin C can be applied as either a serum or a cream and I would advise you to look out for a serum, because the vitamin C will generally be MORE CONCENTRATED in a serum. Furthermore, it needs to be absorbed DEEP into your skin, and that is exactly what serums are meant to do.

You can use vitamin C either during the day, or at night. You can even MIX UP SEVERAL SERUMS TO GET ALL THE BENEFICIAL INGREDIENTS from several serums, in case you’re a real “beauty freak” like me.

Not only does vitamin C have COLLAGEN BUILDING properties, it will also help keeping SUN SPOTS & AGE SPOTS at bay (aren’t these two things the same ?). That’s why vitamin C is also considered to be a SKIN BRIGHTENER.

Good forms of vitamin C are :

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Ascorbyl Glucoside

And Ascorbic Acid being the pure, unaltered vitamin C, that is, however, quite unstable in many cosmetic formulations, because it is very sensitive to air (oxygen) and light. That’s why it is sometimes presented as a powder, ready-to-mix with a liquid, before application on the skin (Clinique Fresh-Pressed).

My favorites of the moment :

  • Clinique Fresh-Pressed
  • Mad Hippie vitamin C serum
  • Nazan Tastan vitamin C serum
  • Helena Rubinstein Force C serum

So have your apple, but don’t forget your skin : it will thank your for it !


Or shouldn’t we ? That’s a question that always comes back again. You might be a Lauder devotee, or fully in love with Clarins. Both things, I could imagine, by the way… But is there a real need to stick to just one brand ?

The anwer is : NO , you don’t need to !Although many cosmetic brands offer a full spectrum of skincare products from which to choose, there is no rule that tells you you MUST, by all means, stick to just their products. It might, in fact be that your best skincare routine, can be found in three or even more brands.

As a professional blogger, I try a lot of products. I love a lot of different brands. I discover new, lovely and actually WORKING products almost every week. So it is very difficult to say that one brand “has it all”. I can actually use about up to six OR EVEN SEVEN products in one routine (when I’m really in the mood), all of them coming from a different brand.

For example, I love Clarins cleansers and toners. Just believe they do a great job in this area of skincare. But my Retinol serum will come from a brand like Indeed Labs or Nazan Tastan. For a repair serum, I ‘ll go to Estee Lauder for their famous Night Repair Skin Recovery Complex, or I ‘ll go for its (much less expensive) dupe from Missha, a Korean brand that happens to be equally great. And my favourite eye creams (when I use one) are from Chanel.

The choice of a day cream / night cream is very personal too. Are you looking for a high-end product or just for something nice and hydrating ? Every brand has its own specificities and therefore also its specialty products. The trick is to find the right ones for you. The ones that work best for YOUR SKIN.

As long as you do your routine right, meaning :

  • Mild cleanser (best non foaming) first
  • Acid toner, if you like
  • Moisturizing toner or essence is a MUST
  • Serum (spend some money here)
  • Eye cream
  • Moisturizer
  • SPF during day.

Your moisturizer can be skipped if your skin is oily during daytime. A cream with AHA’s or fruit acids is great overnight. So is a Retinol serum. Plenty of options here ….. Most important ; ENJOY !