Bio-Essence Dual Cream

Bio-Essence Dual Cream

Category : Beauty

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For anyone who finds they have too many products on their bathroom shelf, this is a neat solution – a jar that combines both day cream and night cream in one handy pot.

From Bio-Essence, a Singapore company, the gold flecked day cream and platinum flecked night cream are apparently packed with anti-oxidants, and the day cream also contains a sun protection filter.

Both creams go on smoothly and absorb well, and have the added advantage of smelling really good – a little bit like mango. I am not clear what the point is of the gold and platinum flecks, but they look very pretty anyway.

Even though this costs over S$40, the pot lasts a long time so it is definitely value for money. I also really like the ‘yin-yang’ shape of the divider that holds the creams apart. This is part of a range which includes day/night eye cream as well as cleansers and toners, all of which I may yet consider sampling.

Donkey Milk Face Cream

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You can always rely on Korean cosmetics companies to come up with interesting and unusual ingredients, many of them home grown natural products. It probably taps into the Asian way of embracing the change in seasons, which often means that certain foodstuffs are only available for a limited time each year. (Certainly, the fruit and veg you find in the supermarkets out here are a far cry from the year-round, hot-housed, usually disappointing produce on sale in the US or UK.)

There is also a constant race to come up with something new and surprising, because crazes come and go very quickly, and competition between the top brands is fierce. Some trends peak and vanish almost immediately, others stand the test of time.

Donkey milk (and its cousin, donkey gelatin) looks to be one that will stay. And if you think about it, Cleopatra is said to have bathed in this and she was famously the most beautiful woman in the world…

Legends aside, there is also some science to back this up. Donkey milk is apparently far closer to human milk than is cow’s milk, so it causes fewer allergies and it beneficial for sensitive skin. It is also low in fat, high in lactose, deeply hydrating for the skin, and contains all manner of good things including a range of vitamins.

You may be wondering why we don’t drink this instead of cow’s milk, but the reality is that donkeys have to be milked by hand, which makes it impractical to keep large herds.

I came back from Seoul with a small collection of donkey milk-related products, and have been trying them with interest. Luckily, they do not smell either of milk or donkey, which is a distinct bonus but means that I would not have guessed they were any different from the plant based products I am used to. But my skin feels soft, I have had no adverse reactions, so would consider buying a full-sized version of either of these creams should I see them again.

Bee Venom

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There’s a lot of this around, not just in wildly expensive pots of under eye cream and suchlike, but also in the more affordable guise of sheet masks.

It seems like a weird sort of ingredient to hype in skin care products, but there is apparently some science behind it – the tiny amounts of venom in the mask are enough to make your skin react as if it had been stung.

If you really had been stung, a toxin called melittin would have been injected into your skin, and your body would automatically send blood toward the area to promote healing. This would also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, both things your skin needs to retain a youthful look. Meanwhile, the toxin would have had the additional effect of relaxing the muscles.

All of these things, minus the painful sting, are theoretically good for your face, hence the popularity of bee venom in skin care products. There is also scientific research suggesting that bee venom might even help treat arthritis and multiple sclerosis, which rather backs up the old wives tale that bee keepers don’t get arthritis…

Just in case you were wondering, no bees get harmed in the production of these masks. They are tricked into stinging a sheet of glass, which means they don’t lose their stinging ‘lance’ and so they live to sting another day.

And did I feel the ‘sting’ when I tried these products? Maybe… sometimes it is hard to tell how much is just your imagination. I did, however, really like the sparkly gold flecks in the bee venom jelly cream I used after my mask.