Tag: retinol

SUNDAY RILEY| Power couple

Phew! It’s been a hot minute since I posted last… My PhD sometimes get’s in the way ūüėĀ

Anyway, finally, I am going to talk about the Sunday Riley power couple. If you remember, I bought this about two months ago when I was at Mecca Maxima.


These are probably two of the most hyped products in the cybersphere. So, I was pretty excited to try these together for a much affordable price of $126.

Good Genes:  Gently exfoliates the skin to even out skin. claims to transform the skin look plump, reduce fine lines and reveal brighter, smoother, firmer clear complexion. Consists of anti-aging lactic acid, lemongrass and licorice.

Luna Oil: A retinol treatment for an anti-aging effect. Consists of trans-retinol ester, cold pressed avocado, chia and concord grapeseed oils. Claims to leave the skin looking smoother, firmer and clearer.


People who used these items claimed to have had visible results in few days. However, the items claim to show results within a week. Before writing this article, I used mine for over a month, until they are completely used up (15ml each).

Before using

Good Genes is intended to be used day and night. If using with conjunction with the Luna Oil, it says to wait five minutes after applying Luna to go ahead with Good Genes. The first night I applied them together, it gave me breakouts. So, I used Good Genes only in the morning.

I took pictures before and after to see if there was any difference in my face. (Pls ignore the red eye in my ‘before’ picture. I was having allergies).

After one-month use

Apart from the differences in lighting, I don’t see any other difference, to be honest, in my complexion. I don’t feel different either. You can still see the hyperpigmentation around my mouth, and the texture of my skin is still the same as it used to be.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with the products because it did not work on my skin and they were not cheap in NZ.

But it does not mean, it may not work for you.

As for myself, I will be looking for other alternatives in future. Please let me know if you know of any alternatives that I should try.

Did these products work differently for you? Let me know in the comments section below.

Until next,



Should you care, what you wear on your skin during pregnancy?



One of my pregnant friends asked me, what she should avoid during pregnancy in term of skincare and makeup. So I did a little digging. Here is a summary of everything I read.

I will provide links if anyone needs to read further about any of the compounds given below.

High risk (Scientifically proven to affect):

  • Retinoids/Accutane – A commonly used substance in acne treatments and anti-aging products. Scientifically proven to cause birth defects.¬†A list of different forms of retinoids to avoid is given here.
  • Formaldehyde,¬†Toluene – Known carcinogens. Commonly found in nail polish, especially in Gel manicures. Opt for nail polishes that are free of formaldehyde, Toluene (not just pregnant women but everyone should consider avoiding these).
  • Aluminium – Found in antiperspirant deodorants. FDA recognise this as a chemical to be avoided by expectant mothers. Instead, opt for natural deodorants¬†or aluminium free ones like¬†Ethique¬†solid blocks.
  • Botox – This is something that has not been tested on humans, but because of how Botox works, it is recommended to avoid during pregnancy. The chemical in Botox – Botulinum toxin- apparently¬†paralyses the muscles around wrinkles so that they become less visible. It is the most acutely lethal toxin known (OMG!) which can spread around when injected to one place. Sounds scary to have around when a person is growing inside you.

Medium to low risk (Little or no conclusive evidence for adverse effects but good to avoid):

  • Benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic acid – Used to treat acne. Found in skin care products likes facewash and also in some acne-treating makeup. Using these in moderation with doctors advice is okay. Using facewash with these compounds is comparatively safer than wearing makeup that includes these as ingredients. However, it is recommended to avoid both as much as possible.
  • Phthalates – This is found in Haircare (shampoo), skincare (handwash), nail polish and even hair spray. Effect of Phthalates are not tested on humans, but animals show adverse birth effects. Therefore it is recommended to avoid. Check for products that clearly state Phthalate free.
  • Ammonia – Found in hair dye. Not tested to check the effects but it is recommended to avoid hair colouring if possible due to minor absorption of chemicals via the scalp. However, if the colour¬†does not go near the scalp (e.g. highlights to hair ends), it is okay use in moderation. Always ensure proper ventilation during application to avoid inhaling any chemicals. (Personal advice: Please stay clear of hair dyes until your baby is born)
  • Lead – This is found in lipsticks. However, there are no clinical trials to prove that lead in lipstick causes adverse effects. But because cases of lead poisoning have been reported, it is good to stay away from makeup items that have¬†the ingredient in them.
  • Hydroxy acids (AHA, BHA) – Found in a number of cleansers, toners and exfoliants. Salicylic acid is a commonly used BHA (look for risk factors in salicylic acid above). Glycolic acid and lactic acid are common AHAs. Due to lack of conclusive evidence, these AHAs used in small amounts may be okay. But professionals advice to minimise the use as much as possible and obtain doctor’s recommendation before using.
  • Essential oils – Knowledge around how essential oils affect humans, in general, is limited. A common opinion by medical professionals is that due to the concentration levels, essential oils can be harmful even for non-pregnant people. Two essentials oils to stay clear from, that has known adverse effects during pregnancy, are tea tree oil and rosemary oil.

General Comments: 

  • Always opt for products, both skin care and makeup, that are labelled ‘3-free‘ (Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toluene) or ‘5-free‘ (3-free + formaldehyde resin, and camphor).
  • Use Mineral makeup if possible – mineral makeup sits on the skin and do not get absorbed.
  • Makeup that is ‘noncomedogenic’ or ‘nonacnegenic’, which do not clog pores, are comparatively safer to use.
  • Avoid hair removal creams – Wax or shave instead.
  • Always wear sunscreen when out in the sun in addition to wearing sunglasses and hats. Always use physical sunscreen with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc oxide – These too sit on the skin and provide lasting protection.
  • Finally, ALWAYS ask your OB/GYN or the medical officer, before taking any antibiotic, pharmaceutical-grade skin care or any drug for that matter.

Want to read more? Go to WebMD, Baby Center, Mother Nature Network, Vogue 

See you in my next!