Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I get very excited when shopping around for skincare. I'm the one who checks in early at the airport to see what limited edition items are being sold at the duty free shops. Not to mention that I am a sucker for starter kits. I think that every skincare brand should have them. They are not only practical for traveling but recession-friendly on the pocket. If a brand wanted to convert a client into changing their entire skincare routine, this would be the most effective way to do so (and I believe it is more effective to use an entire range of skin care from only one brand). As a consumer, I don't know how many times I wished there was a starter kit available every time I wanted to try a new brand. It can be very expensive to buy regular sizes and what if my skin reacts to the product? I am then stuck with a jar of something that I'll end up rubbing on my elbows and knees instead. I've listed my all time faves below and why. Let me know if I missed out on any!

REN Skincare

During a trip to Tokyo, iodine-rich foods decided to wreak havoc on my skin. I looked like prickly heat personified. A sales associate at Roponggi Hills turned me on to REN. Even if I was working for the competing company, what sold me was this woman's flawless skin. But then again, I've not met a Japanese lady with bad skin. My obsession with starter kits began with the purchase of this particular one. Expandable black mesh kit stores flat with snug garters on the inside to hold the refillable bottles in place. I ended up purchasing the regular-sized versions of each a day later when I woke to clear, de-blothced skin sans the prickly heat-like bumps. Includes: Seaweed & Sage body wash, Omega 3 facial serum, Calendula & Arctic Blackcurrant seed cleansing milk, Frankincense repair cream, Grapeseed Jojoba & Shea butter body cream, Hydracalm global protection day cream.

Star product: CALENDULA & ARCTIC BLACKCURRANT SEED CLEANSING MILK this is the stuff that makes sensitive, allergy-prone skin be a thing of yesterday. Smells heavenly!!!


The 2 boys behind this awesome skincare brand left Kiehl's to put up their own unisex line. I discovered the stuff during a press junket when my roommate stashed the goodies on our bathroom shelf. Even with the identical packaging, the color-coding and straight-shooting labels make it easy to reach for when your eyes are covered in shampoo suds. Sold in it's own sturdier-than-zip-lock-case, kit includes peppermint shampoo, vitamin b lotion, grapefruit face cleanser, bergamot body wash, vitamin E face moisturizer, and cilantro hair conditioner. Guess what? It is flight approved, which means you can just toss this in your carry-on bag without having to worry about confiscation at security check.

Star product: DETOX FACE MASK, though not included in this product it is a most-def must try.


Proctor & Gamble launched the brand some 25 years ago and is the first line of skincare to have PITERA as it's main ingredient. A derivative of Sake, (yes as in the Japanese rice wine!) is known to leave the skin as smooth as a baby's butt. Kits are available where cosmetic counters are and includes cleanser, lotion (toner), essence (serum) and treatment (cream). I tried the one also for problem skin purchased in Singapore out of pure curiosity. It was alright, but I wasn't exactly wowed by the stuff. To each his own, I guess.

Star product: FACIAL TREATMENT ESSENCE if you can splurge on just one and skip the rest, this highly concentrated serum is the most effective one of the bunch. I had to remind myself not to drink it!


New York-based dermatologist Patricia Wexler has answered my prayers. Not only do the products work, results are guaranteed in 30 days. Dermatologist to the stars with a no-b.s., no-frills packaging, simple steps for day and night. (All the items packaged in maroon are for night-time use only). Includes cleanser, moisturizer, moisturizer w/ spf, deep wrinkle eye repair, serum, night repair cream, microdermabrasion scrub and hydrator. Entire line is sold in Bath & Body Works across the USA.

Star product: MMPi 20 SKIN REGENERATING SERUM which delivers smoother, more even skin tone in the morning and then again throughout the day.