Great Online Shops for Christmas Gifts, Birthdays and more

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Time for joy, time for cheer, time for gifting! 

With just around 2 weeks before Christmas, shopping rush is on. And if you are juggling work, home, travel and many other responsibilities, it might not be easy to get gift shopping done on time. Don’t forget, there’s still Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day celebrations to plan for. 

But don’t let time stop you from getting things done. There are a lot of online shopping sites out there. While I was “window shopping”, or should I say “screen shopping”, I came across some great gifts from different sites. So many choices, so little time! The magic of online shopping is that you can explore many options in less time and you can get the gifts delivered to your house, office or maybe even directly to your loved ones. That’s efficiency and convenience. 

For those who’d love skincare, scents, hair care and body care gifts:

Althea (tried and tested)
Althea is an online shopping site for Korean beauty products, skincare, body care, cosmetics, hair care and makeup. Find brands like Innisfree, The Face Shop, Laneige, Nature Republic, Sulwhasoo and more. 

You can find gift ideas from as low as RM13  



I ordered a few items for myself (yah, I deserve a Christmas box, too) several weeks back and it came with this pretty Holiday box!





I picked this cleanser purely because of the “killer” name!





The Body Shop
The Body Shop is a retail and online shop for skincare, beauty products, makeup, body care and more. If you don’t have time to buy from its shops, you can easily order online and get them delivered to you. 
You can find gift ideas from as low as RM35
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Sephora
From as low as RM44



For those who’d like something a bit more personalised:

Giftr
Giftr is an online shopping site specializing on gifts such as flowers, bouquets, chocolates, cakes and personalized gifts. 
You can find great gifts from as low as RM49.90, including personalised monogram cushion



Printcious
Printcious is an online shop that specializes on personalized gift items such as mugs, shirts, mouse pads, keychains, luggage tags and even ceramic tile!
You can find gift ideas from as low as RM20.30



BloomThis
BloomThis is great for those who love to send or receive flowers. They can do same day delivery, just order before 1pm between Monday to Friday and before 12pm for Saturday deliveries. 
Find gifts from as low as RM99



For those who like shiny, sparkling things

Swarovski via Zalora (tried and tested)
I’m a Swarovski fan and a Zalora fan, too. It’s great to shop online for Swarovski accessories via Zalora and enjoy fast delivery. If you’re looking for sparkling, shiny gifts, check out the Swarovski flagship store at Zalora for earrings, necklaces, rings and more. 
From as low as RM149


Look at this pretty key pendant necklace…



Jeoel
If you like the idea of collecting charms or beads, check out Jeoel and its collections of accessories with various themes such as animals, fairy tales, love, music, numbers and more including diamond-ornamented accessories. 
You can find great sparkling gifts from as low as RM84

There’s currently a promo for Buy 2 for 50% off


If you or your loved one love unicorns, you might like this one…


For those who love activities and experiences

Klook
Klook is your online destination if you’re looking for experiences such as tours, shows, performances, galleries and theme parks like 3D Art Museum, aquarium and more.
Find activities from as low as RM7





For those who love delicious cake, delivered right at your doorstep:

Cake Together
What’s not to like and be happy about this Christmas if you receive a beautifully crafted cake? Cakes can get ready in as fast as 4 hours within KL and PJ, and selections are available for Penang, too.
From as low as RM95 per cake


There seems to be lotsa love for unicorns and mermaids…take a look at this beautiful mermaid cake!


Oh my goodness, look at this mouth-watering Nutella Cake…




Eat Cake Today
More and more cakes! I’d definitely be delighted to receive any of these beautiful cakes, cookies, macaroons or cupcakes. Look, they even have gingerbread cookies!

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From as low as RM60




Happy shopping and I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season! 

Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup

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Ah makeup, makeup, makeup. Can’t live without ‘em. And definitely cannot live without any foundation! 

I’m a fan of lightweight liquid foundation. I prefer texture and viscosity that feel like it’s just “second skin”. I tested this foundation in one of the retail shops (oh my, I can’t believe that I can’t remember where exactly did I buy this) and I really liked how water-like it was. So I bought one (hmmm, probably in Sephora, Aeon, Isetan, Metrojaya…). 

I’ve been using this for more than a month now and I’m enjoying how easy it is to blend and spread on the face. I normally apply it using wet beauty sponge and it easily gets absorbed by the skin. However, if you prefer full coverage, this might be a bit light for you. Although it says that coverage is from medium to full, I find that it might be light if there are dark spots that you want to blur. I do apply concealer before this foundation to even out some spots. 

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Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra-Bright Essence Makeup
SPF30 / PA++
How much: RM205 / 30ml 
My shade: 1C0 Cool Porcelain

Made in Belgium. Use within 24 months after opening.
Created for and tested on Asian skin in Asia.

It comes in a plastic bottle with frosted finish, looks like frosted glass until you touch it. The cap serves as dropper so you can dispense the liquid in controlled amount. 

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Here’s a closer look at the dropper
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Look at those drops. Aren’t they pretty to look at?
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My steps on how to apply this foundation:
1. Cleanse your face and neck. Pat dry.
2. Apply your usual skincare products: toner, essence, moisturiser and eye cream. 
3. Apply your makeup base. 
4. Based on your preference and need, apply concealer on target areas of your face. 
5. Dispense 2-3 drops of Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup on your palm.  
6. Using a beauty sponge, dab the foundation onto your face up to jawline and neck. Blend in circular motions until even. 
7. If needed, dispense another 1-2 drops and apply on selected areas. 
8. Finish with translucent or face powder. 


Throughout the day, this foundation feels great on the skin. No caking. My skin feels moisturised and I do notice slight brightening of some spots over the past weeks. It’s not massive impact but the foundation does function as makeup and skincare at the same time. Works great for me. 

It seems though that it’s not easy to find this specific product online except Amazon. I’m not sure if it’s still available in major retail stores but if in case you are looking for it, Amazon might be able to ship it to Malaysia. 

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About Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup 
(try to say that in 3 seconds, quite a mouthful of a product name)  

Every drop of this light-filled liquid foundation is fortified with skin-pampering, cooling hydration to plump skin, enhancing its luminosity. Advanced optics instantly blur and minimize uneven skin tones, dullness, fine lines, pores and dark spots. The result? A smooth flawless finish that seems one with your skin, glowing from within. Contains key actives that complement the Light Cycle Complex in the Crescent White skincare products. Medium to full coverage. Oil-free. Fragrance-free. Dermatologist tested. 

  • A brightening, fluid foundation with high UV protection 
  • Gives medium to full coverage to even out skin tone 
  • Instantly hides fine lines, pores & dark spots for a flawless complexion 
  • Delivers a luminous finish to refresh dull skin 
  • Enriched with cooling hydration to plump skin 
  • Boosts skin radiance & smoothness
  • Smooth on this luxuriously sheer, fluid base to help instantly correct and minimize dull, sallow tones and dark spots with advanced optics and skin-brightening lavender pigments
  • The luxuriously lightweight formula primes skin so effectively, makeup glides on effortlessly, blends smoothly and looks flawlessly fresh

For optimum performance, prime with Brightening Makeup Base. 
Shake well before use. 

Other available shades:
  • 1C0 Cool Porcelain
  • 2C0 Cool Vanilla
  • 3C0 Cool Cream
  • 4C0 Cool Cashmere
  • 1W0 Warm Porcelain
  • 2W0 Warm Vanilla
  • 3W0 Warm Cream
  • 3W1 Tawny


For more Crescent White products, you can check Estee Lauder site 

Beauty on a Budget: Freeman Golden Grain Brightening Mask

freeman-golden-gran-brightening-mask-product-review

Who says you can’t find good beauty products within a tight budget?
I haven’t tried using a face mask purchased at a pharmacy before; my previous face masks were from specialty stores or brands, like Sephora, Glam Glow and Skin Food. I do like to try different brands once in a while. My favorite so far is still Glam Glow Thirsty Mud.
I came across this Freeman mask at a Guardian store. The name was quite catchy with its “Golden Grain” phrase and I was surprised to see the price at only RM24. It claims to hydrate and brighten, and suitable for dry skin. I doubt that any wash-off mask can really brighten the skin progressively but I decided to give this a try.
Golden Grain Brightening Mask
  • Price: RM24 / 175ml
  • Available at Guardian Pharmacy stores
  • No Parabens
  • Contains Vitamin C
  • Made in USA
  • Life after opening: 36 months

Packaging
  • Simple, easy squeeze tube with flip-top cap
  • Not ideal for hand-carry luggage as it exceeds 100ml – either check it in or transfer the amount you need into a travel container

Price
  • Very affordable at only RM24 for 175ml, that’s RM0.14 per 1ml

freeman-golden-gran-brightening-mask-face-gel


The Product itself
  • Face gel texture, light and easy to apply
  • Can be applied easily using your fingertips or with a face mask brush if you prefer
  • Bright, clear color with tiny gold grains, which you won’t feel at all on the face
  • Has light floral scent that I like, a bit odd considering that most of the ingredients are fruit extracts

The Result
  • Right after washing off, skin feels soft, smooth and refreshed
  • Hard to see brightening results but I didn’t expect it to brighten my skin just after 4 times of use

Overall, I like this product as a regular face mask to use. Not bad at all for this kind of price!
What the product packaging says:
  • Glowing skin is worth its weight in gold! This illuminating gel mask with natural Golden Grain helps to lift moisture levels for a dewy-smooth look and feel. Get triple skin benefits from Vitamin C, known to help control the formation of dark spots, firm and brighten. Perfect for dry skin.

How to use:
  • After cleansing, apply generously to the face and neck, avoiding contact with the eyes.
  • Leave on skin for 5-10 minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Personal recommendation – Apply your routine skincare after washing off. Don’t skip eye cream, especially if you’re in your 30s and beyond.
  • Use two times a week or as often as needed.


freeman-golden-gran-brightening-mask-product-review

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Amaranths Caudatus Seed Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide, Allantoin, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Maranta Arundinacea Root Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Extract, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Carbomer, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance, Limonene, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide.
If you want to find out more about this brand, visit

Octo Baby for Clean Devices

I’m not sure about pokemon and digital pets but I’m definite that I need Octo Baby for my gadgets
octo-baby-cleaning-jelly-for-devices-pink
I’m very fussy when it comes to clean gadgets, specially laptops. I don’t like the thought of my fingers continuously touching dirty keyboard. Although it’s quite easy to clean the surface with cloth, it’s challenging to get into corners and to grab dust resting in between the keys. 
While visiting Harvey Norman in Mid Valley Megamall to take a look at laptops and earphones, I saw this eye-catchy, colourful gel stuff inside a plastic jar. It looks cute and it’s unusual so I checked it out. It says “Have Fun Cleaning!”, something you’d rarely see in an IT/hardware section. 

The Octo Baby makes it easy to clean devices such as your PC keyboard, MacBook, speakers, mobile phones and other items that have small parts or holes and are not water-safe. 

octo-baby-cleaning-jelly-for-devices-pink
Price: RM17.00 per jar
What makes the Octo Baby great:
  • Absorbs dirt, dust & germs in cavities
  • Anti-bacterial & kills 99.99% of the germs
  • Does not leave residues
  • Simply press it against surface then pull and the dirt is gone
  • Portable & Convenient to bring it along
  • Use with dry hands
  • Does not contain damaging formula
  • Ideal for home, office, car, computers, ventilation, consoles and more
  • Alcohol – Free

octo-baby-cleaning-jelly-for-devices-pink
It might feel icky at first because it’s a blob of goop that you use with your hand to clean the device. But it works! 

octo-baby-cleaning-jelly-for-devices-pink

It’s very simple and convenient to use. Just take the entire goop into your palm. Press it on the surface of your device (as long as that part of your device is safe for cleaning and a little bit of pressure, not the internal, sensitive parts). Lift/pull the Octo baby and you’ll see that dust and dirt are already caught in the goop. 

octo-baby-cleaning-jelly-for-speaker-pink

If you have speakers with those tiny, round holes, the Octo Baby jelly is a great cleaning material. Press the whole goop lightly into the speaker surface then lift it.
See how the gel effectively goes into those holes from the marks here?

octo-baby-cleaning-jelly-for-devices-pink

After you’re done using the jelly, you can put the whole thing back into the jar and use it again. Once you notice that the jelly is getting full of dirt within, it’s time to buy a new one, which will probably be several month unless you use it on big dirty devices all the time. It lasts long enough and it’s affordable at RM17 a piece anyway. 

octo-baby-cleaning-jelly-for-devices-pink

So if you like or prefer clean devices like me, you can give the Octo Baby cleaning jelly a try. Enough of those cloths and tissues that may leave residues on your devices. 

Althea Celebrates 1st Year with a Shopping Party for You

Perfect time to shop; loads of surprises in store.
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I’m captivated by Althea 🙂 

E-commerce has made beauty shopping so much easier and more convenient. When it comes to beauty products, though, I must admit that I don’t have a lot of Korean ones. I guess I often find that information on packaging can be tough to understand when there’s no English translation. But with Althea, I don’t have this problem anymore. Each product available for shopping online has product information and details, even photos of actual application!

korea-beauty-shopping-online-lipstick
Witch’s Pouch POPO Lipstick 


Althea is celebrating its 1st year birthday and all of us are invited. This is the perfect time to shop for makeup, skincare, haircare and body care products. I assure you that you’ll definitely find something that will be interesting and fun to use. 

With this birthday party, Althea is also giving us a chance to win amazing prices such as Macbook Air, Ipad Air 2, iPhone 6S, Galaxy S6 Edge, Canon EOS M10 Selfie Camera, Althea credits and beauty hampers! 

althea-birthday-contest


Why it’s great to shop now with Althea’s Birthday Celebration (20th – 31st July, 2016):


1. Enjoy a Limited Edition Birthday Box + DIY Party Kit for orders placed on 20/7 onwards. While stocks last.

2. Free Goodies for first 1,500 shoppers! Full size beauty products. While stocks last. 

3. Birthday Giveaway. Pick 3 Top Sellers for 100% REBATE!
Rebate will be credited into your account. 

beauty-shopping-rebate-at-althea-korea


4. The #AltheaTurns1 Instagram Contest with total prizes worth KRW10,000,000 to be won!
Wish Althea a “happy birthday” with hashtag #altheaturns1 and stand a chance to win amazing prizes such as Macbook Air, Ipad Air 2, iPhone 6S, Galaxy S6 Edge, Canon EOS M10 Selfie Camera, Althea credits and beauty hampers! Contest starts from 20th July – 15th August, 2016.

*Terms and conditions apply. Please visit www.althea.kr and Althea Facebook for more information. Hurry, hurry, hurry! This is the best time to shop at Althea!
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Althea has a great lineup of interesting makeup and skincare items (my top beauty addictions). I’ve recently shopped for a bunch, and I was so excited when I received the pink parcel. The beautiful limited edition pink birthday box is lovely, containing the DIY Party Kit, samples and my ordered items protected with bubble wrap. 

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My Althea shopping haul! 
(from left to right, clockwise from bottom)

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Angel of Firenze hand and nail cream

AirFit CC Cream SPF30 
Skin Liar Primer
Skin & Lab A Plus Lifting serum
It’s My Lip Crayon WN 01
Witch’s Pouch Perfect Cover Concealer 
Witch’s Pouch POPO Lipstick x 2 colours (Burgundy Wine and Sweet Red)
Witch’s Pouch Color Corrector CC Cream

skincare-makeup-for-pores


I came across this cutely-named and cutely-packaged primer, the Skin Liar Primer by Elizavecca. It promises to conceal pores like magic so, yes, I must try it! Witch’s Pouch has an interesting name and line of products, which tempted me to buy 4 items from this brand. 

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makeup-from-korea
I love the black and white color theme of this brand

I was also in search of new CC Creams and Althea has a good lineup of them. Did I mention that products at Althea site mostly (if not all) have price specials? 


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What you will enjoy at Althea:

  • FREE Shipping on orders above RM150 – products are handpicked and packed from Althea’s warehouse in Korea, shipped to you!
  • 100% Authentic Guarantee – any suspected counterfeit can be returned and will be compensated 200% of the product value!
  • Best Price Policy – you always enjoy trustworthy and transparent pricing for all products!
  • Unconditional Returns – if you are not satisfied with your order, Althea guarantees 30-day unconditional returns. 
More details here if you’d like to know more – http://my.althea.kr/promises  

My DIY Party Kit! Happy birthday to Althea!

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I love the full colour of the lip crayon! (Sorry, can’t smile too wide…wrinkles…)

Tried here: Elizavecca Skin Liar Primer, It’s My Lip Crayon, Witch’s Pouch Perfect Cover Concealer, AirFit CC Cream

Here’s a personal tip in creating your party kit. After you have decorated your hat with the paper accessories, you can try mounting it on a headband instead of tying a string on both ends. Using a headband can allow you to position the hat to the right or left aside from the usual centre position. Plus it’s easier to wear and you don’t need to use a string. 

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Happy shopping, guys!  

Why Art Lovers will love Art Friend

If you’re a creative person or want to be one, this is the art shop for you

where-to-buy-art-materials

Art comes in many forms. Some people like pencil art, some like charcoal, some like oil paintings or sculpture. We all have different personalities and, as such, we also have different ways or techniques to express our own creativity. Whether other people consider it art is not the question. How we define and create our own art is based on our own expression. 

I loved to draw ever since I was a child. I guess most kids do have a love for drawing or doodling. In college, I took Interior Design as a course, although I didn’t really continue with this profession after graduating. My first job did involve a bit of interior design but my interest and passion have shifted to marketing, which have become my career for life and I still love it. 

As my son continues to grow up, he exhibits an increasing interest with creative activities. I nurture his interest by providing him the tools, time and guidance. I also enjoy doing all these with him; it brings me back to the roots of love for art, just like being a child again. 

Although we can easily come up with improvised materials to do creative things, I still want to find and buy more stuff that he can use. The challenge lies in finding art items in stores or specialty shops around here. I first came across Art Friend at The Gardens Mall. Me and my son have made this a destination every time we visit Mid Valley. Art Friend has a branch at The Curve as well, which has wider and brighter spaces. But whichever branch may be convenient to you, a visit to Art Friend is always worth your while. 

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So far, this is the best shop to look for art and creative items. Art Friend covers almost every possible art material that my son and I would need. From a wide selection of coloured pencils, watercolours, oil paint, moulding clay, up to different types and brands of art papers, Art Friend has got your art needs covered. 

It’s not just a shop for professional artists. Art Friend has materials for beginners, for kids and for pros. Love rubber stamps? Look at the biggest selection of rubber stamps I’ve seen! 

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This is a pretty butterfly stamp…
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For collage lovers, you can find a lot of choices for embellishments here.
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For those who like to paint, Art Friend has  a wide selection of different art brushes. Narrow tip, wide tip, kids brushes, they’re all here.
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My son likes to paint and we found ships, cars and planes made of styrofoam. I bought him a set of Pentel Water Colour tubes and he had a great time painting this styrofoam ship. 
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It’s a common sight to see parents and their children shopping inside Art Friend. It’s such a joy to see moms, dads and kids doing shopping together for art stuff. 

My son’s interest for art has revived my art interests, too. It’s amazing how spending precious time with our children can bring out the child in us. I’ve begun to rediscover my own passion and interests to draw, color and use art brushes again. 

I remember during my college days when money was so tight and my parents had to struggle to afford buying me a set of Derwent Watercolour Pencils, which was required for my course. Back then, Derwent had very few types of products but it was the only brand with water-soluble pencils available, at least in my country. 

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But now, wow. I’ve fallen head over heels with Derwent with its wide and useful products. It even has water brushes that can be filled up with water to use easily. In my school days, we had to do the classic way of filling up a mug with water, use a paintbrush and paint palette to colour our drawings with water-based art. It is time-consuming and uses more water than necessary because we keep washing the brushes. But this Derwent water brush is genius for watercolour pencils. 

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I enjoy mixed media rendering, which means I use 2 or more different types of art materials to colour or draw. My latest colouring set is the Derwent Inktense ink pencils. If you love finishes in bright, vivid colours, this is perfect. It is water-soluble but can be used together with non-soluble coloured pencils. Here’s a sample of my drawing:

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Art items used:
Cretacolor Fine Art Graphite B for outline drawing
Pigma Micron 05 Archival Ink for fairy dust 
Colleen Coloured Pencils
Derwent Watercolour Pencils
Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils
Here’s another one using the same colouring items but with ink outlines:

sample-colored-drawing-with-derwent-colleen-pencils

Another great thing with Art Friend is that you can buy Derwent pencils individually. At one point, you’ll definitely finish one colour before the rest and it doesn’t make sense to buy the whole set just to get the color you need. I often finish my black, blues and purples first. It’s great that I can buy one Derwent coloured pencil at a time. 
Even if you’re shopping for your kids, you’ll more likely end up buying something for yourself, too. Believe it or not, these entire lines of shelves are all glue stuff. 

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Always having problems with stains or spots ending up on clothes or seat cover? This might be something that can help you…
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More fun activity kits for kids…
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Whatever your or your child’s art interest is, a stroll along the aisles of Art Friend will make you love art (again). 


Baby Sebamed Protective Facial Cream

How do you take care of your kids’ skin?

what-cream-to-use-on-kids-baby-skin

I’m a big skincare junkie and I sure am cautious about my son’s skin as well. He’s been experiencing rashes or prickly heat a few months ago, probably caused by dryness and sweat on his neck area. My son is very active, always busy with something, loves to cycle and play, and he’s always sweating on the forehead and neck. 

I tried to heal the rashes on his neck with antiseptic powder, calamine lotion and cream, alternate.  He didn’t really like the calamine lotion smell but I still manage to apply it when needed. The rashes disappear for a while but appear again after a few days after discontinued use of cream. So I thought if I need to apply something regularly, I’d better use a mild skincare product meant to improve his skin’s health.

I’ve gone through pharmacies and I picked Baby Sebamed Protective Facial Cream. I apply this cream twice daily, after shower, on my son’s face and neck. In just 1 day of use, I’ve seen improvement on his neck rash. We’ve been using this for 3 months now and it’s a great cream! He never had rashes on the neck (or anywhere on his head) again even with changing hot, humid or rainy weather. 

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This cream protects against irritation, soothes irritated skin, provides effective hydration, is safe for delicate skin and does not leave any greasy finish. I’d recommend it to parents who have babies or kids with delicate skin that is prone to redness, dryness or rash on face and neck. 

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Baby Sebamed Protective Facial Cream
Size: 50ml
Dermatologically – tested
Made in Germany
Ideal for delicate skin
Where to buy: Guardian or Caring Pharmacy
Price: RM50 


What this cream does:
  • Moisturising complex with vitasqualene
  • Soothes skin with Pantheon
  • Prevents dryness with effective hydration 
  • Panthenol and lipid compound protect against irritation around the mouth from saliva
  • Vitamin E safeguards against harmful environmental influences
  • Non-occlusive
  • Rich in panthenol and allantoin to soothe and regenerate irritated skin
  • Easy to apply and readily absorbed
  • Oil-in-water emulsion


Benefits:
  • Protective moisturizing complex – vitasqualane, lipids and the natural moisture-retaining ingredients allantoin and hyaluronic acid prevent dryness, enhance the barrier function against noxious substances and soothe the skin
  • The lipid compound and pantheon safeguard against dryness around the mouth from saliva
  • Easy to apply and rapidly absorbed without any greasy residue
  • Consolidates the resistance of baby’s delicate skin
  • With the pH value of 5.5 Baby sebamed is clinically proven to promote the development of the acid mantle
  • Free from nitro-mochus compounds, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, dioxan