Having problem skin..? What products are out there, yet affordable..?


BEAUTY – Random problems with skin? How can you handle it?

Starting this post with my skin type:

What skin type do I generally have?

Okay, so I’m very fair in complexion and my skin is very delicate and fine but, very elastic but yet tight! I also have combination skin and the outcome highly depends on the seasons. Usually, I have an oily T-zone (especially in warmer weathers) and can sometimes get dry skin or vessels on my nose (due to allergies and forever using tissues). All of these are factors I take in to consideration, so I usually use a number/different types of moisturisers in my routine to complement this.

What type of complexion and colouring do I have?

My skin is generally fair, but the undertones surrounding my outer face, neck, jawline have very yellow undertones. I’m pale but have more of a milky complexion and never really get general redness. So in recent years, I’ve been working with Colour Correctors (when applying makeup) to really even out my skin tone, rather than using full on coverage or concealers as my skin doesn’t need much coverage.

How old am I & whats my skin background (going through puberty)?

I’m now in my gracious 20’s. I never ever really struggled with any skin problems, actually… ever (until now). Occasionally I’d get those random horrid white heads that would turn out huge and be like, the ugliest thing in the world… so damn noticeable as it would be the only spot lurking in the middle of my face, but a part from that I never really struggled with anything like acne, reactions, over redness, drastic dryness etc.

What was my previous skin care routines (as this may have something to do with how it is now? I don’t know!)

When I was a teenager, I actually only used Sudocreme (weirdly) on my face as a moisturiser, and I never really wore makeup apart from when stealing my Mother’s Nivea Tinted Moisturiser. I only really got in to foundation when I could afford it when reaching mid-late teens (and never really wore it most days).

What are the few things I generally do with my eating and drinking habits? (We all know these things play a huge factor in skin).

Thirsty as hell, always. So I drink A LOT of fluids every day. Mainly water, then herbal, green & black teas. I also drink black coffee with dairy alternatives in milks and creams sometimes, but thats about it. If Im super craving for something sugary its always a Vitamin C based drink, like Lemon, Orange or Grapefruit. However sugar always leaves me shaking when consumed from sugar rush, so I think thats one main thing I stay away from in drink or food form. I’m quite conscious of that. I am not a big dairy consumer (due to digestion problems) and I love any type of beans, pulses and grains, tofu/soy, berries & dark greens. Luckily these are my favourite types of foods, which are high in calcium, protein and other good vitamins. Which are all essential for great skin (as we’ve been told).

However, these last few months my skin has been a huge problem. Most people don’t even realise. Tbh, no-one even bats an eyelid when I point out I have gained some spots. In fact I often get laughed at. However, this time around its an obvious problem to me, it’s depressing and awful. I’ve never suffered with problem skin to this extent. It’s been about 2 months or so where I have so much excess sebum I could literally grease a baking tray. Luckily it’s only causing congestion in my already oily areas, that being my T-Zone rather than all over. It’s just simple blockages not so much as acne that spreads. The spots only usually last a few days to a week at most, but it’s like one after the other without a break. But it’s awful for me . Evidently I’m one of the unlucky ones where my hormones are now unbalanced and surging – causing water tension, excess sebum, oily hair and a series of mood swings – weirdly at the weekends?

So the question goes… How am I handling this?

I’ve read some blog posts, watched a few vlogs, read medical reports and spoken with nutritionists & doctors. But sometimes nothing works more than listening to yourself. What is your body telling you?

For me it’s starting with food. If I feel sluggish which is becoming more often due to a digestive issue (I’ll talk more about that another time), I automatically switch to greens and fruit but most importantly guzzle that water down. I also have opted into having a few more espresso’s every week. Reason being, is that caffeine helps as a quick solution to my sluggish digestion. I know a lot of people wouldn’t recommend this, but if green foods and water isn’t doing the trick, I’d rather go for that organic espresso to help clear out any lurking foods in my digestive system. I’d much rather an empty gut than a sluggish one that’s releasing toxins back in to my body.

Washing my hair more often is also what I’ve opted to doing. Leaving it no longer than every other day/night. This prevents any extra hair oils that may leave my pillow dirty or be building up that could end up on my face.

Ensuring I change my pillow-case twice a week has helped reduce oil build up during my sleep. Including changing my towels frequently.

NOT touching my face at any point during the day (perhaps only if I get an odd itch or two).

Using a room diffuser with Ylang Ylang essential oil. Now, I’m a firm believer in the powers of essential oils and apparently Ylang Ylang is a great stress reducer and very key in reducing excess sebum production (which can be the result in blocked pores and spots), whilst also taking a morning dose of Evening Primrose Oil  30 mins before I eat anything!

And finally, apart from washing my face every morning and night (as usual) I’m using the following skin care products:

La Roche Posay Skin Care Serozinc Zinc Sulfate Solution Oily Blemish-Prone Skin Face Care Beauty
La Roche Posay Skin Care Serozinc Zinc Sulfate Solution for Oily, Blemish-Prone Skin

I am a user of toners, but everything was proving either too drying or too oily for my current skin situation… I came across La Roche Posay’s Serozinc Spray whilst looking for toner alternatives. The fact that it was a spray and noted for oily skin I thought why not? I have to say, after about 2 weeks of using this, my skin has become so bright, small clogged pores were reduced and my face doesn’t get so oily so quickly through out the day. I do use this morning and night after cleansing/washing (with another brand face wash) and I’m totally loving this product… It works just like how you freshen your face with Thermal Water Sprays… Cotton Wool isn’t needed for application, however you can dab away excess if needed.

La Roche Posay Skin Care Effaclar K (+) Oily Blemish-Prone Skin & Anti-Sebum Moisturiser Face Care Beauty
La Roche Posay Skin Care Effaclar K (+) Oily Blemish-Prone Skin & Anti-Sebum Moisturiser

This particular moisturiser has an emulsion “aqua-gel” consistency, therefore a little goes a long way and is easy to spread across your skin. I decided to purchase this item to use before bed and when not wearing makeup during the day. I tend to only use matifying lotions when wearing makeup, therefore I wasn’t concerned about the finish this particular moisturiser would have as I wouldn’t be putting product on top of it. However, this is quite light and doesn’t add any extra shine to the skin anyway. It works really well for evening use on skin that doesn’t need much/extra hydration over night and when using along side the Serozinc Toner, I could definitely see an improvement in skin texture and excess sebum reduction (especially overnight). This particular creme aims to combat oxidation and irregularity that affects the skin causing imperfections. I can definitely say my skin looks and feels more purified.

La Roche Posay Skin Care Effaclar K (+) Oily Blemish-Prone Skin & Anti-Sebum Moisturiser Face Care Beauty
La Roche Posay Skin Care Effaclar Mat Sebo-Controlling & Anti-Shine Moisturiser

This particular product I decided to go with due to the fact it was an anti-shine daily moisturiser which is also perfect for a make-up base. Tbh it act’s like a moisturiser/primer in one. I think a lot of people with oily try to layer up too much with bases, even before they put on the tint/foundation and pack primers on top of moisturisers on top of toners, most of which can all be oil based which is obviously what I wanted to avoid during this problem skin period. After I cleanse, I spray my face with the Serozinc Toner, apply a pea sized amount evenly across my face of the Effacer Mat, wait for a few minutes for it to absorb and then begin my next step… My face feels lights and clean when using these three products and has majorly helped with my blocked pores and excess sebum issue. Black heads have definitely appeared reduced and I feel like I can at least wear a little bit of makeup without worrying about it sliding off or blocking pores up some more when doing so.

La Roshe Posay Effacer BB Blur Absorbing Coverage Mousse Tint Skin Care Beauty
La Roshe Posay Effacer BB Blur Absorbing Coverage Mousse Tint

Due to the fact of producing too much oil build up during the day, I decided to opt for a mat finish BB style coverage cream. This formula has a mousse style finish and smooths over the face with finger tips easily. It definitely gives a full coverage look, but if struggling with dark marks, it’s not going to cover completely… However, it will give enough tint to tone down the redness if you have any. I really feel they need to develop this line for darker skin tones as it would benefit so many. I’ve not yet seen this line for anyone darker than Olive/Tanned/Medium skinned tones? La Roche Posay should really work on this point. Women/Men of all complexions can struggle with oily skin, pore issues and excess sebum so this BB line would be perfect for anyone who isn’t looking for something so heavy and something that allows the skin to breathe. *If suffering with dryness, it may stick to that, so try to avoid those areas if you have any dry spots.

In all, this has been a great line for my skin currently. I feel that for daily use, it’s really helping and supporting my skin through this rough patch and I’d strongly recommend all lines for oily skin sufferers. It’s not too expensive, and I suppose where you get it from will reflect on the price for each product. I bought all of mine from Boots in London on a promotional offer, which kind of helped lead me in to trying it! It’s affordable, at most items being no more than 14.00 GBP. Some products can top off at over 100.00 for such dermo skin-care products so I had no qualms parting with my money for this brand.

I’d urge all folks to listen to their skin first, if that makes any sense? Take time in figuring out a routine and taking extra care in working with your skin rather than trying to cover up any issues by make-up and spending loads of money on products one after the other because you feel it isn’t working after a mere two weeks. These things take time and remember it could be a hormonal imbalance or a bad diet issue that is adding to any flaws. However, I’d def recommend trying the Serozinc and Effaclar range if your looking for a skin care option to complement the other factors your trying.

Price range: *** out of 5

Solution/combat: **** out of 5


BEAUTY: BxE The Brand – Salves/Balms, Shampoos, Conditioners & Other Products

Having a look at natural oriented products in Japan. Hair & lip care.

BEAUTY – BxE the brand – Salves/balms, shampoos, conditioners & other products.

Again, as you all know I’m a sucker for products that contain if not all natural ingredients, then at least some!

This brand BxE, I came across once again whilst doing some Loft store browsing. I’m actually not sure how to pronounce/say this brands name (often I find in Japan its the complete opposite of what an English native speaker would expect it to be).

Basically BxE are owner to a great range of products & brands that again focus on using botanicals, natural ingredients and organics with plant based factors. I first discovered BxE when looking for a natural based Shampoo & Conditioner after using the PAX Olie (which I’ve previously reviewed), and that’s when I came across rinRen.

rinRen – Rose & Tsubaki Shampoo & Conditioner:

rinRen – Rose & Tsubaki Shampoo –

I actually purchased this particular product for the Tsubaki contents. I had read that Tusbaki is used in a lot of Japanese hair products as it has the ability to create great strength and shine! I could say I noticed it, but it may have just been down to the shampoo in general (I guess I’d have to try some other Tusbaki based products to get a better judgement). Anyway, the scent was herbal (more rosemary and lavender type than “perfumey” rose scents). The shampoo came in a clear form & I used 2 pumps for one rinse (repeated twice) it soaped up quite a bit and took some rinsing to clear it all out. I actually preferred this shampoo to the PAX range as it was better suited for my hair type (medium thickness) and didn’t leave an oily residue.

rinRen – Rose & Tsubaki Conditioner –

This conditioner had the same smell to it as the shampoo, obviously with the consistency difference of a typical conditioner. I really didn’t need a lot of the conditioner for my hair and kept it on mainly my ends for say; 3 minutes tops! Again, this conditioner was better suited for my hair type and left it feeling ultra soft! The conditioner washed out pretty easily and didn’t seem to leave any residue which is great!

I was really impressed with this product for hair, as a “natural” product. I cannot remember the exact price I paid for this duo pack (as seen in the photos) but it was on an offer no more than 3000 YEN + tax. To be honest, when looking for natural based products in Japan, it takes time, research etc. when wanting to find something that you genuinely like and are impressed with and within the “natural” category. I think a way around it, could be to ask a friend to go shopping with you and translate what is written in Japanese. Anyway, 3000 YEN comes in at around 15 GPB, however the bottles for both the shampoo & conditioner are quite big. You’d definitely use up 2 bottles of shampoo to 1 bottle of conditioner, so it’s not too bad when you think about it!

This also came with a free sample of face & body oil containing some kind of herbal extract. I used it mainly on my body after showering, but due to the size and not using longer than 2 weeks or so, I can’t really compare it to any other oil I’ve used. However, it was a nice sample to be given. The smell was great too!

Botanischol – Moisture Lip Treatment –

I am actually a huge fan of Burts Bees, but that particular brand isn’t easy to come across in Japan so it was time to find an alternative for a salve type lip therapy. I came across the Botanischol range on a wing when trying to find a suitable balm that was more of a therapy than a chapstick, gloss etc. I bought it before much research. Upon looking online, I could see that this range is mainly aimed at/for “mature women”, however I’d consider using this range simply because of the essential oils that are incorporated. Im sure there isn’t something that I shouldn’t be using just because I’m a little younger – therefore I’ll enjoy it too!

It’s texture is non-sticky, smooth and non-glossy. It is more of an oil balm but again isn’t too oily on the lips (such as a petroleum like Vaseline). The smell is herbal for obvious reasons but not too overpowering!

The cost came in at exactly 1000 YEN + tax (in Loft) which is maybe a little costly for the size as its only 13g. But reasonable for Japan, and for essentially paying for “Natural”. I’d recommend this product for anyone looking for a salve type lip therapy that is also bound to last a long time!

BxE will definitely be my go-to natural brand when needing hair care, moisturisers etc in Japan! You probably won’t find this brand at a local drug store or a Donqui so best to check out Loft, Tokyo Hands, Cosme Kitchen & Biople (by Cosme).


rinRen – Rose & Tsubaki Shampoo & Conditioner, both **** 4/5 stars

Botanischol – Moisture Lip Treatment, *** 3/5 stars

Cons: All products were great, exceeded expectations – however didn’t leave me with that “to die for” feeling. The Moisture Lip Treatment has a herbal taste and smell, that lingers on your drinking bottles or glass, so a little annoying in that respect.

Hope this helps once again for recommendations on natural based products in Japan!

Flower x

Link to the BxE web page

  • I do not own the content from the links provided

BEAUTY: How Japanese Keep Warm When Out

Taking a look at the convenient heat patch in Japan – The “Kairo”

BEAUTY – How Japanese keep warm when out – Taking a look at the “Kairo”.

In Japan, temperatures are… let’s just compare it to England… Same seasons at the same time of year but more extreme!

However, it has been noted by my Japanese pals (especially Tokyoites), that the weather during Winter months is/has been becoming increasingly warmer. I myself, have felt that Tokyo 2015 December was definitely a few degrees up from 2014. Due to the fact that I was able to wear an open cocoon coat for the whole month without freezing to death!

Anyway, it seems that the Japanese will come up with any possible invention for necessity and convinience as some of you may or may not know! And for the winter months it’s the trust worthy KAIRO!!!

It’s not really a beauty product as such, but more of an item that you will purchase for just about any part of your body to keep warm (although you find them in beauty and drug stores). Its basically a heat patch and some are designed for injury and muscle aches also! And ladies… trust me it works wonders for those once a month back/stomach pains!

Okay, so the deal is – you can buy ones with adhesives or simply ones that you would hold (just like the ones in the photos!). These patches can be bought in a variety of sizes and also length of time that they stay warm. Most commonly you would purchase a pack of KAIRO at your local drug store, but can also be picked up at a Combini (convenience store) and a Supa (super market). As most of them come, you open the individual pack and the moment it is opened and given body contact (some you need to shake to activate – or bend) it develops heat pretty rapidly. Also as you can see in the photos of this post, this particular hand warmer lasts for 12 hours! And, I might add, yes it does! Just to note – When you don’t hold it or wear it after opening, the heat will begin to decline, but will pick back up once you give that body contact again.

They can come in singular packs or as much as 20 (as what I have seen). There are also a few brands available at great prices! something like 600 YEN for 10 large KAIRO in Tokyo. Possibly even cheaper in other areas or more independent stores. The only problem for these are, I really have no idea of how easy they are to dispose of! They are definitely not recyclable 😦 but, I suppose you can save them for a really cold day or for a serious ache when needed.

Beauty usage, I often see a lot of girls who will plan to go out for an evening and dress up (with little clothes on in Winter), put the foot KAIRO on in their heels, one on their tummy and back and carry one for their hands! I’ve not yet tried it but I’m pretty sure it keeps you warmer than without!

Im sure you can also get packs of these online to be sent to England (or worldwide) by Typing in “Japanese Kairo Heat Patches”. They may come in at a steeper price than usual as would in Japan, but shouldn’t really be too costly at all.

I also found this great article for more about the history of the KAIRO in Japan, have a read in you are interested.

Flower x

  • I do not own the content from the link provided

BEAUTY: Shirasu Volcanic Ash Face Scrub

Having a look at natural oriented products in Japan. Needing an exfoliator?

BEAUTY – Shirasu Volcanic Ash Face Scrub – Exfoliators & What To Get!

Recently I’ve been using this volcanic ash face scrub as an exfoliator. I found it when browsing in Loft store for a face scrub that contained good natural ingredients and that I felt wouldn’t be too drying once exfoliating. The ingredients claim to include Aloe Vera Extract, Brown Sugar, Royal Jelly & other Natural Plant Minerals.

I usually only use facial exfoliators like, 1-2 times a week or, if I went out for a night and have worn a significant amount of makeup that I wish to remove. But, as soon at the hotter months began in Japan, it was a must have to remove that extra oil build up that had been occurring on my face from all that humid weather sweating!

I totally like the idea of using volcanic products on my body, not only does it sound good/exciting but, its proven that the minerals that occur in the volcanic ashes are great for your skin and perfectly suited for exfoliating products and skin brightening.

This particular product comes in a small pot, with a very strange constancy, I think the best description I can offer is like, a plasticine feel (or just like that pink putty stuff they use at the dentist when making teeth moulds) that contains minuscule granules that you can ever so slightly feel as you move it across you face. I use a little fingertip size amount, that I spread across my fingers then apply to my wet face whilst showering. I move in circular movements mainly on my t-zone for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. After rinsing thoroughly I can definitely feel the squeaky clean difference.

Although exfoliants for the face are great to get those pores or black heads gone, it is important to not use them more than twice a week as they can actually remove too many naturally occurring oils that are there for skin protection. So be careful!

I’m really not sure if you can get this product in store in any other country or not, as I’ve never seen it, but I think I’ve found some links from which you can order it from –

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

I cannot remember the price of this product but I know it was no more than 2000 YEN and prices my be different depending on where you purchase it, such as in a drug or department store in Japan or online.

I totally recommend this product for anyone to try, as I feel it always removes any blackheads 100% that I may get around my nose especially after wearing makeup. Also if you are after a simple, extremely long lasting exfoliator (to use 1-2 times a week) with natural/plant based ingredients and looking to explore different product consistency/texture options, as well as explore international exfoliator products that you wouldn’t normally get in your home town, I’d say start here!

Rating: **** 4/5 stars

Cons: The consistency and texture can be a bit difficult to spread evenly until lather begins. (This product can also be used with a synthetic net buffer – very popular for exfoliating products in Japan, however I feel these nets are too abrasive for my skin so I opted to use my good old finger-tips).

Flower x

Link to the Shirasu web page

  • I do not own the content from the links provided

BEAUTY: Body wash & Shampoo/Conditioner – Natural products in Japan

Having a look at natural products in Japan. What are the options?

BEAUTY – Body wash & Shampoo/Conditioner – Natural products in Japan.

Since all the products I had brought with me to Japan had come to an end, I decided to begin searching for Japanese products to buy, that were totally organic and natural in ingredients or contained a high amount of both. It seems organic products in Japan are not really distributed and sold at the local drug stores, and if they are they are limited with options. Your best bet is to take a trip to your local, Tokyu Hands, Loft, and Cosme stores to buy such products.

Due to not being able to read Japanese ingredient labels, I did some online researches and came across the brand name PAX, which is under the Taiyo Yushi Corp. cosmetic company line. The company focuses on using edible oils and fats as their main ingredients, and without using synthetic additives in the mix.

I decided to purchase the Pax Olie series first, for the body wash and shampoo/conditioner. It was the choice between this and the Natron range (The Natron range is actually a few hundred Yen cheaper per product). However, so far, so good!

PAX Olie – Body Wash –

The Pax Olie series is good use for sensitive skin types but also serves good moisture overall with no noticeable skin drying issues once dried off.

The body wash comes in foam form as you squeeze it out the dispenser and it is easily distributed across the body with only two pumps needed per shower session. Im am sharing this product with my partner and the bottle we are currently using has lasted us 2 months so far. Although I am super happy with this body wash product, I think I will try the Natron range next, just to see what its like!

PAX Olie – Shampoo –

The Pax Olie shampoo like the body wash, shares a similar smell (light, herby and soapy) and the same foam texture. For a first wash/lather I use about three pumps. Taking in to account that my hair is just up to my shoulders, and is straight medium thickness hair. I think if you had super thick hair you would need to use a lot more. I also feel the shampoo does not strip your hair of oils it actually adds an oil coating to it. So, for thin – medium hair it may not be the best shampoo to use if you want to wear your hair down. But on the plus side, it is good if you wish to style your hair up after washing (maybe in a top knot or something) you don’t need to use much holding/styling products after wards. I like the shampoo for the natural ingredients, price and quality, but for my type of hair it lacks the ability to make it silky and light, it actually adds weight to it. I think it is better suited towards thick hair!

PAX Olie – Conditioner –

The Pax Olie Conditioner, actually came as a surprise to me with its texture & consistency. Its more of a liquid like substance. A little goes a long way and its like adding a watery rinse to your hair for added oil as a treatment rather than for softness and cleansing uses. I think the conditioning value is a lot different to what my hair actually needs and again is best for thicker hair types that need extra coating and oil for their hair. I like the smell of this product, however and overall, I think I’d use this product as an extra adding for moisture when shampooing rather than using it as a conditioner for finishing.

All products from Loft store ranged from about 1000 YEN to 1500 YEN each. Price wise it is very good for the product size and quality.

I enjoy using all of these products, the body wash is just right for my skin – it is nourishing and I like how it feels during and after bathing. However I feel the shampoo and conditioner range isn’t totally for my hair type.

Im interested in trying more of the Pax range and feel I can trust this brand overall. You can buy refill packs when purchasing your next batch which actually come in cheaper in cost instead of having to buy a whole new bottle each time!

Hope this helps you on your search to finding natural ingredient based products in Japan.

Flower x

Link to Taiyo Yushi Corp. web page

  • I do not own the content from the links provided