Archive for October 2013

Skintastic Treats from Paula's Choice and Camaru Naturals

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I haven't used anything new for my skin lately except for the Shiseido Ibuki duo that broke me out badly. Now that my skin cleared up and has recovered from the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from fractional CO2 laser therapy, I'm ready for new skintastic treats before the month ends.

  1. Camaru Naturals Amazonian Clay Face Mask - cleanses, detoxifies and purifies the skin for visibly clearer complexion
  2. Paula's Choice RESIST Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment - imparts instant radiance, reduces dark spots and diminishes wrinkles
  3. Paula's Choice Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish - controls oil, minimizes pore appearance and smooths-out imperfections
  4. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid - creates radiant and even-toned skin and unclogs & diminishes enlarged pores
  5. Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator - silky gel-cream that hydrates and firms the skin

I'm thrilled to learn that Proudly Filipino brand Camaru Naturals' has come up with a face mask that contains the very ingredient that makes my fave bar soap from the brand tick, activated bamboo charcoal! Their soap brightens the skin on my body and I can't wait to see how it fares for the face.

And it still feels surreal I'm looking at skincare from Paula's Choice. I'm very excited to find out which of these four my skin will love best!

Disclaimer: This non-paid post contains products sent to me for review purposes

Paula's Choice Philippines Brand Launch & My Special Skincare Prescription

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Last October 2, 2013, Paula's Choice Philippines celebrated their formal brand launch at the Manila Marriott's The Den. You can say I was more than excited to finally catch their top acne-clearing products as I once wanted to get hold of their Skin Perfecting line. It was also difficult back then not to get curious about their RESIST Skin Resurfacing System when Trang blogged about how effective it was.

What is Paula's Choice?

Lifestyle & Beauty bloggers were all ears as Paula's Choice Pte Ltd. Southeast Asia Managing Director, Naree Mongkol,  introduced everyone to the brand's role in catering to individual skin concerns. One of the highlights include an apple experiment showcasing the Vitamin C serum, RESIST C15 Super Booster (for brown spots and wrinkles, to be made available in the coming months), as it effectively reverses the rusting of an apple.



Paula's Choice's wide range of effective skincare products originates from its founder, Paula Begoun's, discriminating habit of choosing what she puts on her skin-- a habit formed from a past trauma when she realized acetone was in her skincare staple.

The brand banks and puts emphasis on the science of skincare in coming up with each product, making sure they contain well-researched and proven effective ingredients. Since its creation, consumers worldwide have been drawn to their serums, exfoliants, sunblocks and anti-acne & redness line.


Paula's Choice Bestsellers

The brand's crème de la crème include:
I've had my eye on the BHA and AHA bottles for the longest time as I've read countless great reviews for both. What I appreciate more is that the brand cared enough to get these two powerful exfoliators in separate bottles. Most brands would have AHAs and BHA in one bottle when there are skin types that are highly sensitive to salicylic acid (BHA).

What's exciting is that these two exfoliators are modestly priced at P1,120! I'm definitely getting the BHA Liquid ASAP before others beat me to it. 

Paula's Choice Philippines

Paula's Choice products can be purchased via placing an order on:

Soon, they will also be available via Zalora and Lazada shopping sites.

Special Prescription

After the event, I grabbed the chance to talk to Ms. Naree Mongkol, who I learned was also the Advisor to the World Anti-Aging Academy of Medicine. She coyly confesses she's 41 when I asked how old she was. Naturally, I shot her the how-can-i-get-that-skin? question and she started to examine my face and asked for my skin type.


She noticed some obvious redness (from my previous fractional CO2 laser treatment) and jotted down a two-phased recommendation:

Part I- Anti-Redness:
Part II- Youthful, Lustrous and Zit-Free Skin (after completely addressing redness):
She advises I stick with the products that already work for me and pick out the "new stuff" I'd like to try out in strengthening my skin care. We decided I should go for all those listed in phase 2 minus the Hydralight cleanser.

Before leaving, I had to ask what her top three favorite Paula's Choice products are. And she starts gushing about how she cannot live a day without her three favorites and we find ourselves chatting for another 30minutes!
I am too excited for words about Paula's Choice coming to Philippine shores! Its unexpected popularity in Thailand and Korea is a good sign that there's something about these tubes and bottles worth trying out. I am now too addicted surfing their website as it offers so much information for each product. If you have any recommendations from the brand, drop me a note so I can finalize my to-buy list!

Fractional CO2 Laser for Acne Scars - Results, Photos, and the Rough Conclusion

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I started having fractional CO2 laser (fCO2) treatments, via Multixel, for my acne scars and in totality, I've already had four. (It's technically 5 but the 3rd one had to be redone). The very first session happened February 2012 while the last, just three weeks ago. Sadly, I haven't been a good patient to follow up according to my doctor's prescribed interval because of the discouraging downtime.

I know I shouldn't be expecting outstanding results for my ill-compliance but I'm relieved to see that there are improvements both in the scars and in my skin's overall texture.

Fractional CO2 laser Treatment 2 (taken March last year) versus the recent Treatment 4, show improvement even for the more problematic side of my face. The edges of my acne scars have greatly softened and they look a lot more shallow now. Photo-wise and in real life, the results are commendable.

I don't know if you see the improvement but most of my bukbok (acne scars)-there's just no better way to say it- have resurfaced, most notably those on the upper area of my right cheek. The improvements are still below perfect but I'm really not complaining.

Inefficiency Issues

There's a claim that fractional CO2 laser is ineffective as the scars revert to its original depth a couple of months after. However, this doesn't hold true for me. I have carried over the good results to this very day.

The resurfacing of scars is naturally heightened throughout the course my skin is inflamed but I can say that after all the residual swelling has gone, the depressed areas are a lot more shallow.

Rough Conclusion

  • Doctors Know Best. I've had two major faults during my experience which I hope my readers would learn from: not following up within the prescribed treatment interval and asking for low-powered & less dense fractional CO2 laser settings to evade the pain & shorten the downtime. These two have cost me the unmet treatment goals I and my derma, Dr. Six Foronda, have set prior to the first laser encounter. 
  • Pore Problem Unaddressed. My pores still look like an orange peel perhaps because I "controlled" the treatment settings-- I wanted less obvious scabs and faster healing! If you plan to have this treatment, be a doll and let your doctor cover ALL your targetable skin concerns.
  • Lookin' Better in Makeup.  I find that I am able to make foundation work without slapping on a lot of product just to cover up the scars on my cheeks. I truly appreciate this the most!
  • Anticipate the Cost. I have to say that this skin rehab treatment is not for the budget-conscious. Have the treatment only if you have already saved up for the recommended number of sessions. It is also wise to be ready with back-up funds in case you'll be needing an additional one or two more. 
  • Resurfaces the Skin. I can firmly conclude that I have improved. I can see more skin now than depressed parts which I am truly happy about.
Before subjecting myself to the treatment, I hoped for a perfect skin after only a couple of  fractional CO2 laser sessions. I honestly ruminate about the "if only's" more than enjoying my skin's current state, which is of course, sad. I encourage those wanting to get rid of acne scars via fCO2 laser therapy to: (1) follow up treatment regularly; (2) be ready for the long downtime and embarrassment; and (3) go for the favored settings. If you're not ready for all three, don't go for it yet. It pays to be compliant with the treatment program as results may turn out to be more phenomenal than what I enjoy now. 

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