Skin Care On The Go

Skin care routine when I'm traveling
I don't skim on my skin care ritual when I'm on the go for these reasons.

ONE // Most important one - Your skin deserves the best pampering, whether you're at home or not!  I won't compromise my skin health and if it means getting up a little earlier or staying up a littler later, I'll do it.

TWO // Not changing out your products too much will help normalize your skin. Plus, you don't want to be dealing with skin reaction when you're traveling!

THREE // Using the same products that you would at home is the best remedy for homesickness.  As much as I love traveling and seeing new places, I get homesick every now and then.  Seeing familiar things help ease that a little bit.

FOUR // Having a few options for those special treats (sheet masks, clay mask, eye-refreshers, etc) is like carrying a mini-first-aid kit with you in case your skin needs some extra attention in your new location.

I stick with my core products and bring full size or travel size depending on my destination

I know it looks like a lot in this photo, but my core ritual consists of only 8 steps with the rest on rotation depending on how my skin feels.  If I'm visiting home, I bring my full-size since I don't have to worry about multiple transit points or the need to do carry-on only.  If I'm traveling to destinations, then I bring travel-size.

The white triangle includes my 8 core steps.  1.   Pre-Cleanse // Tatcha Pure Camellia Cleansing Oil 2.  Cleanse // Fresh Soy Cleanser (Not Shown) 3.  Tone // SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (Transferred to a travel-size spray bottle) 4.  Treat Specific Needs // Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster (for brightening) 5.  Treat Specific Needs // Clarins Double Serum (for anti-aging) 6.  Treat Specific Needs // Clinique Pep-Start (eye cream) 7.  Moisturize // Clarins Multi-Active Moisturizer (day and night)   8.  Apply Sun Protection // Tatcha Silken Pore-Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35   
The yellow triangle includes special treats on rotation.  1.   Hydrating // GlamGlow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment (use as overnight leave-on sleeping mask) 2.  Firming // GlamGlow Gravitymud Firming Treatment + Dr. Jart+ Firming Solution Sheet Mask 3.  Brightening // Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask (leave-on) + SkinFood Blanc Pearl Caviar Cream Mask Sheet 4.  Eye Treatment // GlamGlow Brightmud Eye Treatment + Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Eye Mask + DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips for Eyes. 5.  Pore-Clearing // Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
If you're curious about these products, you can check out the stories I had posted before (just click on each product)

Tatcha Pure Camellia Cleansing Oil

Clarins Double Serum (I've found a site selling this at a more reasonable price!)

Tatcha Silken Pore-Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Dr. Jart+ Sheet Mask (I wrote about Dr. J's Brightening Solution mask)

Like this post if you agree with me that our skin deserves the best pampering no matter where we are!

I'd also love to learn about your skin care ritual...Leave a comment below!

Thanks for stopping by :)


The Sunscreen Worshiper // Why I Wear Sunscreen Everyday, Rain or Shine

Put some sunscreen on! Poolside at Maui Andaz.
Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Body Cream
Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35
It's fun in the sun, but don't forget your sunscreen!
I am dedicating this post to my best friend's husband (who still needs some convincing) and all those who work hard to spread their professional knowledge on and personal experience with sun protection...

I was bad in my younger years - Worshiped the sun instead of my sunscreen. I also neglected my poor face when it came to sun protection.  Now I am left with a losing battle with my dark spots.  At the same time, I know I'm one of the lucky few who have escaped skin cancer.  I am extremely grateful for my "second chance" and take my sun protection very seriously.

This story is about more than just showing you products I’s also giving me a chance to share what I know about sun damage and I hope, after reading this story, you will convert to sunscreen-worshiping, too!

worship these sunscreens

for your face

Sunscreen for face is tricky as it tends to clog pores and not always ideal for oily/combo skin.  However, with new technology in skin care, there are more options these days that are more gentle to the skin.  After some trial & error, I've finally narrowed down to these gentle and lightweight versions that don't stir up the oily pot and work well with layering.  And for those with normal or dry skin, I encourage you to try them out, too, as some of these have great skin care benefits while protecting your face from UV radiations!

P.S. I'm also including some tidbits about sun damage, sunscreen labeling and sun protection in each section. My goal is to share what I know, so that you are armed with information to make informed decisions about your own skin care ritual!


Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35
Learn what SPF truly represents and what the SPF numbers are telling us about how much sun protection we are receiving.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70
Explaining UV Rays and the differences between UVA and UVB.
La Roche Posay Anthelio 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 60
Learn about how much SPF we need in order to be effectively protecting our skin from UV rays.

// Where to Buy //

Tatcha // Tatcha or Sephora // $68.00 (2 0z) or $13.00 (0.33 0z) //

La Roche Posay // ULTA or Walgreens // $29.99 -  $30.00 (1.7 oz) //

Neutrogena // ULTA or Walgreens or any local supermarkets // $12.99 - $13.99 (1.4 oz) //

worship these sunscreens

for your BODY

The smell of Coppertone is one of those sensorial experience I could never forget.  You just knew when someone’s wearing sunscreen with that intense smell back in those days.  And I think for this and many other reasons, most of us forgo applying sunscreen from the neck down on a normal day.  The truth is that UV rays don't discriminate and it is as harsh on your body skin as it is on your face.  But thank goodness for technology and now we have these less-scented, lightweight, no-white-streak options that don't make us go "ewk" while protecting our body skin.

Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Body Cream
Reasons for wearing sunscreen even on a cloudy day & for the need to wash it off every night.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70
Reason you need to use sunscreens that read "Broad Spectrum SPF" or "PA & SPF”.
Cera Ve Sunscreen Body Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50
The amount of sunscreen you need with every application in order for your skin to get the true SPF stated on packaging.

// Where to Buy //

Clinique // Sephora or Nordstrom // $23.00 (5.0 oz) //

Cera Ve // ULTA or Walgreens // $14.22 - 16.99 (3.0 oz) //

Neutrogena // ULTA or Walmart  or any local supermarkets // $11.47 - $11.99 (3.0 oz) //

what do you think?

I am really curious to know your thoughts because I sometimes feel like I'm preaching the importance of sun protection and some people may want to tune me out...but I truly mean well and just want everyone to understand what the UV rays are doing to our skin and how we can protect it while still allowing us to enjoy the great outdoor!

It was very hard to narrow down all the tidbits to just one post.  If you have questions or would like to know more, feel free to ping me via email (, Instagram (@hulawithme), or leave a comment in the comment box at the bottom of this post.

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Love Me Some Serums - Deep Dive into Clarins, ROC, Mizon & LeeJiHam

#serum #diditwork
Anti-aging serums from Clarins, ROC, LeeJiHam, and Mizon.

My daily skin care routine involves multiple steps and one of them is always a serum.  Serums pack a high concentration of active ingredients because they typically don't contain any of the emollients and thickeners (non-active ingredients) usually found in moisturizers.  Their lightweight consistency also allows our skin to absorb quickly and at a deeper level.  And most importantly, serums often contain great anti-aging ingredients such as antioxidants and retinol.  In other words, with just a few drops, you'll be getting a powerful dose of skin benefits that's making this extra step well worth your time and investment!

As for me, I went through a very stressful time a few years ago and it totally showed on my skin.  That's when I added a serum in my routine, so that I could get the much needed hydration to combat my dehydrated skin from the stress.

Needless to say, I’ve tried quite a few since I've introduced it to my daily routine.  Below is my experience with this group from Clarins, ROC, Mizon and LeeJiHam.

Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate


I was probably one of the early adopters of this product.  It’s one of the few products that I’ve actually used down to the last drop.  To say I love this is an understatement.  However, there are some drawbacks.  

Like  I feel the hydration right away, but it does not give me the greasy feel at all like some anti-aging products do.  My skin has this glow after application and I could see my skin tone improves as I use it consistently.  The way the product pumps out is pretty cool...there are two semi-circular chambers (photo here shows one side).  As you pump, serums from each chamber comes out separately and you mix it in your palm. 

Dislike  Not much in terms of the actual product, to be honest.  However, the drawbacks are 1) the high price (USD $87.00 for 1.0 oz) and 2) the lack of a smaller size for travel convenience (I've had one too many missing baggage incidences, so now I try my hardest to pack travel-size skin care in carry-on just in case).  To combat the high price, I use it only at night in order to extend the usage.

Fragrance  Low level to none.

Sampling  I've already received a few one-time use samples via my Sephora orders, so it could be an option for trial.  Given that this is a pricy product, it would be a good idea to try it out first via sampling.

Available At  Sephora


ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum


I was using this ROC serum consistently before I tried Clarins.  Even though this is a drug-store brand, ROC was developed in France by pharmacist Dr. Jean-Charles Lissarrague in 1957.  Dr. Lissarrague had a strong following of stage actresses at the time as he curated personalized skin care formulas based on their skin concerns.  Needless to say, this affordable drug-store brand is curated and continued to be made in France just like its pricier anti-aging competitions. 

Like  Don't let the mustard yellow color turn you off.  This retinol-based serum packs quite a few anti-aging punches in a tiny bottle.  Similar to my comments for the Clarins serum, I use this for hydration reason.  However, a little something extra from ROC due to its retinol ingredient - skin discoloration improvement.  I have some dark spots and they get worse when I'm in the sun more often.  While the only way to completely remove discoloration is advanced procedures such as laser (with some risks, of course), using this serum helps minimize my dark spots' "mood swing" throughout the sunnier months.

[Those with Sensitive Skin  Retinol-based products are not as powerful as pure retinol products in terms of diminishing discoloration, but they are a good entry into the world of retinol especially for those with sensitive skin.  Pure retinol causes some skin reaction that would normally go away after consistent usage.  However, people with sensitive skin may have bigger or worse reaction, so retinol-based products such as ROC offers a safer option.] 

Dislike  Some may say it's the mustard yellow color, but I don't have anything to complain about this serum.

Fragrance  Low level to none.

Sampling  There is no official samples manufactured by the maker of ROC, but drug stores such as CVS is very good about letting you return even used products if you follow its return policy. 

[Homemade Trial  If you are thinking about getting a little bit of your friend's bottle to try at home, do note that retinol loses its effectiveness if it is exposed to light or air.  It's still a good and economical way to test, but take a small amount and keep it in a non-clear container with a pump (as opposed to an open jar), so that you can truly test out the power of retinol!]

Don't Forget Your SPF  Retinol usage increases your skin's sensitivity to the sun.  Remember to use sunscreen whenever you're using retinol-based or pure retinol products.

Available At  ULTA or any drug store

Did You Know? 
Dr. Lissarrague created the first hypoallergenic skin care product and the first SPF sunscreen.
RoC patented the first pure, stabilized form of retinol for over-the-counter products.
Mizon Skin Recovery Night Repair Seruming Ampoule


I bought this Mizon because I've used and liked their sleeping mask and brightening serum, so I wanted to try another product.  Timing was good, too, as I was commuting between West and East Coasts and I wanted to keep a set of skin care in each home.  I was also hoping I could find a lower-cost replacement for Clarins Double Serum.  Well, cheaper is not always better.  I have very mixed feelings about this product...

Like  I get the hydration that I need from this Mizon serum/ampoule, but somehow the effect feels very short-lived.  Sometimes product gets absorbed quickly into the skin, so not "seeing" the moistened skin may not always be a bad thing. In this case, I have other concerns...

Dislike  Not only is the hydration short-lived, I also don't see much difference after using this serum.  I was starting to wonder if I got a "lemon" or if I somehow got the placebo?

Fragrance  Low level to none.

Sampling  I haven't seen any official samples manufactured by the company.  Another option is to try your friend's bottle if that's available.  There is no known active ingredient, but as a precautionary measure to preserve the effectiveness, use a non-clear container for your sample.  My rule-of-thumb is that if a product comes in a non-clear or non-see-through bottle, it is most likely because some ingredients cannot be exposed to light.

Additional Thoughts  As always, my reviews are based on my own usage experience.  My skin (Combo - 50/50 dry/oily) may react differently to the same products than someone else.  This Mizon is an example - I saw rave reviews on Peach & Lily website where our fellow beauties had great results.  I am super excited that this has worked very well for some, but I'm also here to offer another set of feedback to give you a balanced perspective. 

Available At  Peach and Lily


LeeJiHam Vita Propolis Ampoule


Lee Jiham (LJH) markets itself as a clinically-driven dermatological company with heavy focus on R&D.  When I see such selling feature in a beauty company, I often take it with a grain of salt.  I've worked in the beauty industry long enough to know that most beauty companies have some type of R&D facility and conduct clinical testing if they want to make specific claims on their product (even drug store brands such as Neutrogena and L'oreal have heavy R&D investments).  So whenever I see these "glamorous" selling points, I want to wait and let the products speak for themselves.    

Like  This ampoule is lightweight and does not give me the greasy feeling on the skin.  The packaging has a very sophisticated look and feel.  The triangular box unfolds and there are lots of information on there (only if I could read Korean!).  I also like the ultra-compact size for traveling, on-the-go, or the gym bag. 

Dislike  Ampoule is a more concentrated form than serum and it's meant to be used as a booster when skin calls for special treatments.  I use this daily as I tend to get stressed out easily and that's never good for the skin, so I want to give it a daily "booster".  I've used this LJH down to its last drop...sadly, I didn't notice much difference and, similar to Mizon, the hydration was short-lived as well. 

[Alternative Usage  While it hasn't worked for me as a standalone anti-aging treatment, I realize that mixing this LJH with my concealer (my go-to is NARS) is a great way to add some moisture to it.  Also, because this ampoule is mostly in a clear formulation and very lightweight, it mixes well with other products without distorting the color or texture. One more save from my beauty junkyard!] 

Fragrance  None that I can smell!

Sampling  I have not seen any samples yet, but Glow Recipe does attach samples on every order.  You may be able to ask for one.

Available At  Glow Recipe


Thanks for stopping by!
What is your favorite serum?