skin health

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Reviewing Cult Favorite - DHC Deep Cleansing Oil


~ Cult Favorite Among Skin Care Lovers ~

Below is a review of DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. I've converted to cleansing oil ever since facial wipes started burning my under-eye areas and I haven't looked back ever since! And this cult favorite is by far my favorite!

🔎 Enriched with antioxidant & vitamins, this cult favorite removes all traces of dirt & makeup (even waterproof ones).

❓ How It Works // As step 1 of double-cleansing, with dry hands, spread oil on dry skin & start massaging gently. Add a little bit of water & oil turns into a milky form. Continue to massage to remove makeup & sunscreen. Wash off with lukewarm water.

✔️ Suitable For // Any skin type.
✔️ No Post-Cleansing Dryness // This doesn’t cause dryness or skin-pulling. My skin feels just slightly moistened after washing it off.
✔️ Skin Benefits// This oil is enriched with antioxidant (olive oil) & vitamins, meaning your skin is being pampered as you’re washing your face.
✔️ Comparing To // I also love Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil, but DHC is more affordable. I use my Tatcha every now & then as a splurge.

💡 Packing Tips for Travels// I use the small size as my travel version. Also, don’t laugh, I wrap this bottle with plastic wrap & then place it in a ziplock by itself…because it leaked once & that wasn’t pretty!
💡 Shop for Deals // I bought the jumbo size (200ml). Normally it’s $28usd, but I got mine for $15.90 on a Hong Kong beauty site!

💰 Buy/No Buy // ✅ Buy!

Skin Health Series 1.2 // Taking Skin Health Beyond Rituals & Products

// Part Two //

Taking Skin Care Beyond Rituals and Products - Improving Your Skin Health Through Food


Continuing our skin health journey in this part two of the Skin Health Series.  If you've missed part one, where I've discussed in length the "what" and the "why" behind a multi-steps skin care ritual, I'd recommend reading that first (check it out here).  It'll help you connect to today's story much better!


Skin Health Eating Habits: A change in mindset about your skin from just skin care to skin health will make a huge difference.

I also used to focus only on the skin care and the associated products.  Nothing wrong with that at all as they are integral parts of our overall skin health.  At the same time, I've learned that what we eat and how we live also play a key role.

Skin Health Eating Habits:  "Healthy eating" doesn't have to mean going on a diet. 

Oh gosh, I love to eat and my favorite foods may not be considered super "healthy".  But similar to skin care, we don't have to follow the trend because the key is to create balance - Eating my beloved Asian desserts every night wouldn't be the best choice for me, so I balance it with fruits on most nights.  Remember, key word here is "balance"!

Skin Health Eating Habits:  Become friends with your fruits and veggies and know how they are helping you maintain skin health.

A friend recently asked me if she should do a detox.  My own experience didn't turn out that great...I almost fainted at work!  I've since opted for adding more fruits and veggies to my eating habits as not to shock my body like that again.  The key here is the same as in skin care - Listen to your body!  For me, my body didn't like detox, so I look for a different way to cleanse my body.  I'll share some my of favorite foods along with their skin health benefits and super easy recipes that you can make! 

Skin Health Eating Habits:  I want to be completely transparent about one thing...

I'm sharing my personal skin health journey with you and, same with skin care products, foods or habits that my body takes in well may or may not work for you.  Always listen to your body and cater to your own needs.  Also, always consult with your family doctor or nutritionist on any dietary needs or if you have any pre-existing health conditions. 

Skin Health Eating Habits:  I hope you'll walk away with 3 key points from reading Part 2 of the Skin Health Series.

1. You start to think of your skin in terms of overall skin health that incorporates rituals, products and eating habits.

2. Always listen to your skin and your body. 

3. Skin health is a journey and there's no shortcut to it, but the rewards that you get along the way are simply priceless.


Ready to take your skin health one step further?

Let's go!!!

skin health super hero nutrients

As I was thinking about how I should write this post, I realize there are soooooo many nutrients and foods that have great skin health benefits and I can probably write a 100-pages blog post about them all!  But of course, who has the time to read that and I definitely want to give you something that you can easily absorb and, more importantly, take action on!  So I've narrowed down to these 3 "super hero" nutrients based on the foods I eat regularly and on the promise that the recipes are super easy to make.

~ 1. Antioxidant ~

Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Antioxidant  Why Do We Need It?  1. I know we're all familiar with topical antioxidant from our favorite skin care products, and there's even greater benefits by absorbing it from its most active form, which is the kind you'd get from food.  2. Our cells are under constant threat from "free radicals", the unstable molecules that damage cells. Unfortunately, it's hard to escape from them because they are natural byproducts of our body turning food into energy or they are in some foods we eat or in our environment.  3. This is where A/O comes in to help us fight against these free radicals!
Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Antioxidant  What Are Considered A/O?  1. There are 3 major A/O - Vitamin A, C and E.   2. Within each one, there are many different foods/veggies/fruits you can choose from.    3. What I'll show later on are some of my favorites along with super easy recipes you can use to get yourself some helpings to these free-radical-fighters.   4. For Vitamin E, it's known to be more difficult to get from foods, so you can consider taking a supplement instead. 


~ 2. omega-3 fatty acids ~

Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids  Why Do We Need It?  1. Omega-3 is more well known for promoting heart health, but the lesser known benefit has to do with skin health, too!  2. They help maintain the health of cell membrane, which is essentially the barrier to block harmful things from entering our cells.   3. They also impact the cells' abilities to hold water, which we all know is key to having soft, supple skin.   4. In other studies, Omega-3 is also known to reduce production of inflammatory compounds that affect how healthy our skin looks.
Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids  What Are Considered O-3?  1. You can get healthy dose of O-3 from seafood such as tuna and salmon.  That is the most common way of getting O-3, but other foods such as walnuts, flex seeds, and canola oil are also good options.  2. There's also a super easy way to get it - Taking a Fish Oil supplement.  I pop one in everyday since I don't eat seafood that often. 


~ 3. vitamin b6 ~

Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Vitamin B6  Why Do We Need It?  1. Vitamin B6 has many health benefits that sometimes indirectly affect our skin health (such as hormones, metabolism).  2. For skin health, V-B6 helps us maintain good skin condition.  It's also known to help ease skin issues such as eczema, acne and dry skin.   3. A word of caution - My philosophy when it comes to vitamin intakes (from food or supplement) is that they are there to help boost our skin health, but not necessarily to treat any particular issues.  I'd reco taking similar approach on V-B6's benefits.
Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Vitamin B6  What Are Considered V-B6?  1. The list here is endless!  It covers whole grains, nuts, meat, seafood, veggies.   2. One I like the most is banana.  It's very universal as you can make a lot of different foods from bananas!  Smoothies, snacks, or just eat it as is. 

Now it's time to feed our skin some yummy goodness!

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a terrible cook!  Fortunately, my mom has some exceptional cooking skills and I occasionally figure out a way to copy some of her causally-whip-together recipes.  She's also probably the healthiest 60+ person I've known and it's because she understands how her food affects her body.  Despite our occasional disagreements, she remains my motivation in my quest to live a balanced life, inside and out.  Enough of my mushy stuff, let's move onto the fun part!

First, I want to share this chart with you - These are the foods I eat regularly and I dub them "Skin Health Super Foods" because they contain the skin health nutrients we've just talked about.

Skin Health Super Foods: Strawberries, Blueberries, Chia Seeds, Banana, Matcha, Carrots, Beets, Avocado, Fish Oil. They contain skin health nutrients Vitamin A, C, B6 or Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Now that you have a good idea of what skin health goodness these foods provide, I'm going to share below how I incorporate them into my everyday eating habits! I promise you that these are very easy to make!

~ Chia seeds + blueberries ~

Perfect For // Breakfast, Snacks

Substitutions // Any toppings will work!  If you want protein, you can add protein powder or bananas.

Skin Health Recipe - Chia Seeds Pudding with Chia Seeds & Blueberries (Antioxidant) .   Ingredients:  Honey 1 tspn, almond milk 1 cup, vanilla extract 1/2 tblspn, a dash of cinnamon, blueberries, quick oat 1/2 cup, chia seeds 1 tblspn.  To Make This: 1.  Start in a sealable food container, mix all ingredients in except blueberries. 2. Gently stir and mix until it's evenly blended. 3. Put in refrigerator and let it soak overnight.  It'll turn into semi-solid form. 4. Serve with fresh blueberries. Bananas will work great, too...You can basically add any toppings to this!


~ matcha + bananas ~

Perfect For // Breakfast, Snacks, pre/post workout snack.

Substitutions // You can use any type of milk.  I use almond milk because it's dairy-free.

Skin Health Recipe: Matcha Banana Smoothie with Matcha Powder and Bananas (Antioxidant + Vitamin B6)  Ingredients: Almond milk 1 cup, honey 1 tblspn, vanilla extract 1/2 tblspn, matcha powder 1 tblspn, Korean grain powder (optional), 2 bananas, a handful of ice cubes.  // To Make This // 1.  Put everything except honey into the blender. 2. Use "mix" setting until smooth or blended. 3. While mixing, slowly add honey into the mixture.  I love it sweeter, so I add more, but it's really up to you! 4. This is enough for 2 servings & 1 is pretty filling as a breakfast food. You can save the 2nd one for afternoon snack.   *This protein-rich drink is great for pre or post workout. 


~ carrots ~

Perfect For // Lunch, Dinner (with entrees or side dishes).

Substitutions // I would stick with carrots as the base and sub green carrots/radishes (if you don't like them) with tomatoes or melons.  You basically want at least two kinds of veggies to get a good flavor.  Note: Tomatoes are not suitable for people with GERD or suffer from heartburn.

Skin Health Recipe: Chinese-Style Veggie + Pork Soup With Carrots as Base Ingredient.  Ingredients: Chinese herbs (optional), dried orange skin (optional), 2 dried dates, 6 dried scallops, 1 green carrots/radish, 2 carrots.  // To Make This // 1.  Prepare ingredients as shown. 2. In an 8-qt pot, boil water (about 3/4 of pot).  When ready, put everything in the boiling water. 3. Boil at high heat for 15 minutes. 4. Reduce heat to medium/medium high & simmer for 3 hours. 5. Add salt to taste.   *This carrot-based soup can have different variations. For example, radish can be replaced by tomatoes & potatoes. 


~ carrots + beets ~

Perfect For // Lunch, Dinner (with entrees or side dishes).

Substitutions // I would stick with carrots as the base and sub beets (if you don't like them) with tomatoes or melons.  Note: Tomatoes are not suitable for people with GERD or suffer from heartburn.

Skin Health Recipe: All Veggie Soup with Carrots and Beets as Base Ingredients.  Ingredients: Barley 1/4 cup, 4 carrots, 2 dried dates, 4 beets, 1.5 potatoes, 1/4 cabbage, 6 dried scallops.  To Make This: 1.  Prepare ingredients as shown. 2. In an 8-qt pot, boil water (about 3/4 of pot).  When ready, put in ONLY carrots, beets, potatoes, dates. 3. Boil at high heat for 15 minutes. 4. Reduce heat to medium/medium high, simmer for 3 hours.  At 2.5-hr mark, put in cabbage & beets leaves. 5. Add salt to taste.


~ avocado ~

Perfect For // Breakfast, lunch, pre/post workout snack.

Substitutions // You can use any kind of bread.  Also, you can switch out the toppings, but definitely stick with at least the boiled eggs.



~ strawberries ~

Perfect For // Dessert, snack.

Share The Love // This is a recipe by the fab Mary-June who runs Southern Meets Urban blog.  Mary-June is a nutritionist by training and a mom of twin girls.  She is always cooking up something in her kitchen and whipping up what I call magic with her Vitamix.  For more of her recipes, go check out her blog here.

Skin Health Recipe: Ruby Red Strawberry Sorbet with Strawberries and Bananas (Antioxidant and Vitamin B6)  Ingredients: 2 Bananas (frozen), raw honey 1 tblspn, strawberries 1.5 cups (frozen), 2 pitted dates.  // To Make This // 1.   Prepare ingredients as shown. 2.  Place everything into your Vitamix and select Variable 1. 3.  Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.  Use the tamper to press ingredients into the blades. 4.  In about 30-60 seconds, the sound of the motor will change and four mounds should form. .  Stop machine.  Do not over mix or melting will occur. Serve immediately.

Many thanks

I had so much fun writing this particular post because I get to talk about foods I love!  I hope you've enjoyed it as well!! 

In full disclosure, the list of recipes here is a combination of my trial and error, my mom's homecooking and word-of-mouth from friends.

I've narrowed down the content for ease of reading, but if you have questions about anything in particular, comment below or email me...I'd be happy to help dive in further!

I also want to say thank you to all of you who have been super supportive of this blog and just want to send you lots of hugs and kisses!!! 


Skin Health Series 1.1 // The "What" & The "Why" Behind a Multi-Steps Skin Care Ritual

// Part One //

What Is A Multi-Steps Skin Care Ritual + Reasons Behind Each Step


I've been following a multi-steps skin care ritual for such a long time that I have forgotten how confused I was when I was just starting out.

A few friends recently asked me what the steps really are and how they would know what products they should use.  And that prompted me to write this series on skin care ritual and share what I've learned throughout my skin health journey!

I realize when you don't know what you should be looking for, skin care is a super confusing thing to figure out ...

I used to dive head first into the products and the trends, but now I realize it's most important for me to first understand the reasons behind each step in the ritual.  When you become well-informed about the "why", then finding products your skin loves comes much easier.  

And remember - Skin care is about listening to your skin.

This is why I look at it as a "ritual" because it is something that allows you to connect at a deeper level with your body.  It is beyond just the mere action of putting products on your face.  And since our skin is the largest organ in our body (yes it's true!), it needs all the love we can give to it, both inside and out!  

I hope you will walk away with 2 key points from reading this Skin Health Series.

1. You will always listen to your skin. 

2. You will become a well-informed skin care lover who will make your own choices and not the choices brands want you to make.


Ready to jump start your own skin health journey?

Let's go!!!

skin care ritual At a glance

Here is a look at the multi-step skin care ritual from 30,000 feet

Steps for a day time skin care ritual
Steps for a night time skin care ritual

Notice I am showing no more than 8 steps and can be less based on your skin.  That's all you need - Don't believe in the urban myth that you have to use 20 products all at once to maintain your skin health!

one step at a time!

I made these play cards below to help you understand why each step exists, what to look out for, and how to maximize each step.  I will minimize product talks as what works for my skin may or may not work for yours.  However, I'm happy to share my thoughts on the ones I do use.  Just ask away!

Also, in case you want to have a hard-copy of these play cards, you can download a copy by clicking on the Dropbox file link at the end of this story.

Let's start with your Day Time Ritual

(Note: 4 of the 5 steps will be repeated in your night time ritual)

Steps in a day time skin care ritual

~ 1. CLEANSE ~

Step: Cleanse  The Basics:  It's basically washing and cleaning your face with a facial cleanser.  What To Look Out For#1: 1. Your post-cleansed skin should feel soft and supple. If your skin feels very dry after cleansing, it's time to find a new cleanser. 2. Many people think that a cleanser is doing a great job if it dries up the skin, but in fact, it is harming your skin!   3. You want your cleanser to clear away dirt and excess oil, but not to the point where it strips all moisture from it.
Step: Cleanse  What To Look Out For#2:  1. Always use lukewarm, not hot, water to cleanse your face as hot water dries your skin.  2. Beware of foam cleansers as they tend to be more drying than cream/gel cleansers.  Some even contain astringent which dries up skin. I avoid them at all cost!  3. Exfoliating cleansers shouldn't be used daily as the action is quite harsh on the skin and it's more suitable for oily or combo skin (only use on t-zone).


~ 2. tone ~

Step: Tone  The Basics:  A toner preps your skin for ultimate absorption of the essences and serums that will come later in the ritual.   What To Look Out For#1: 1. Many toners out there contain alcohol, which dries up your skin in a very bad way. 2. Similar to the cleanser misconception, you don't want to use any product that dries up your skin too much.
Step: Tone  What To Look Out For#2:  1. A key difference between Western and Asian skin care is that (most) Asian toners tend to be more mild.    2. It's not there to strip oil - It serves a more positive purpose which is to get your skin prepped for maximum absorption of the essences & serums (with powerful ingredients) in the next step.
Step: Tone  What To Look Out For#3:  1. Your post-toned skin should feel soft and slightly moistened.  2. If you feel any dryness, I suspect that your toner contains alcohol.  3. Time to look for a new one!


~ 3. treat specific needs ~

Step: Treat Specific Needs  The Basics:  A few essences or serums that carry skin health benefits to target specific needs (eye cream included). These products contain powerful ingredients (for example, anti-oxidants, retinol) that come in very concentrated doses.   What To Look Out For#1:  1. Proper order of application is important here.  2. Start with the most-liquid and most-lightweight form and move toward the heavier ones.    3. This is because the liquid kinds get absorbed most quickly and don't form a barrier like a heavier cream would, so that all subsequent products will still be nicely absorbed by the skin.
Step: Treat Specific Needs  What To Look Out For#2:  1. Splurge vs Steal:  If you're on a tight budget, this is the step where you should splurge because you get what you pay for.    2. I've tried my share of affordable vs expensive essences and serums and notice a big difference.  3. Also, get what your skin really needs and not just follow the trends.  My philosophy is always to listen to your skin!
Step: Treat Specific Needs  What To Look Out For#3:  1. Be Patient! I can't stress enough on being patient and not pile on the next thing right away.   2.  You'd only be wasting your time and money if you do that because the skin is not fully absorbing any of the essences or serums in that fashion.


~ 4. moisturize ~

Step: Moisturize  What To Look Out For#1:  1. Skin-type personalization is needed for this step. For example, I have oily combo skin, so I'd look for a moisturizer that is not a heavy cream (like a gel-cream) and something that is possibly oil-free.  2. If you have drier skin, you'd look for the opposite of mine - something heavy to get you the extra moisturization.
Step: Moisturize  What To Look Out For#2:  1. Similar to skin-type personalization, you should also switch out moisturizers based on the season.    2. For example, I use a gel or gel-cream moisturizer during summer months (when my skin gets the oiliest) and a cream moisturizer during winter (when skin feels more dehydrated from brutal weather and indoor heat).
Step: Moisturize  What To Look Out For#3:  1. For day time only, use a moisturizer with Broad Spectrum or PA + SPF, but this shouldn't be the only time you apply sun protection on your face!   2. Most day time moisturizers with sun protection has lower SPF and the lower the SPF number is, the less UVB ray (the UV ray that causes skin to burn) the sunscreen is filtering out.


~ 5. apply sunscreen ~

Step: Apply Sunscreen  The Basics:  Apply sunscreen that reads "Broad Spectrum" or "PA" on the packaging along with SPF #'s. This notation means the sunscreen protects you against both UVA rays (cause aging) & UVB rays (cause burning).  What To Look Out For#1:  1. Skin type matters here, too - If you have oily combo like me, look for a sunscreen that's lightweight, oil-free, or gives a matte finish.    2. If you have dry skin, you're in luck as your options are broader and you don't have to worry as much about extra oiliness created by use of sunscreen.  
Step: Apply Sunscreen  What To Look Out For#2:  1. Sunscreen ingredients can be confusing.  They are typically categorized as either Chemical or Physical Filters.  2. Chemical Filters form a thin protective layer on the skin & absorbs UV rays before they penetrate the skin.  Physical Filters reflect UV rays away from the skin.   3. Zinc Dioxide is the only FDA-approved (Physical) Filter known to protect against all 3 major UV rays (UVA 1 & 2 + UVB).  4. If there is no Zinc in the sunscreen, you want to make sure there is a good mix of ingredients that would cover all 3.
Step: Apply Sunscreen  What To Look Out For #3:  1. The word "sunscreen" can be misleading as UV rays are the culprits of skin damage and they penetrate through the atmosphere even when sun is not out.  2. Think about this tidbit:  40% of sun's UV rays reach the earth on a completely cloudy day.  3. Don't skip this sunscreen step even if it's a cloudy day! 

Time to pause for any questions...

I know we've covered a lot in just this section, but hey, we're talking about your skin, so the more informed you are, the better it is for maintaining your skin health!  If you have questions at this point, ask away because I want to make sure you have a good understanding every step of the way!

Now let's talk about your Night Time ritual

Steps in a night time skin care ritual

Notice 4 of your day time steps will be repeated at night.  I'll be focusing on the 2 steps indicated by the white circles above that are dedicated to your night time ritual.


~ 1. remove makeup & sunscreen ~

Step: Remove Makeup & Sunscreen  What To Look Out For#1:  1. Makeup and sunscreen contain ingredients and come in textures that are harder to remove with just a regular facial cleanser.  2. Letting any residual from these products remain overnight on your face will eventually clog your pores and you'd be offsetting all of the hard work that you've put in with other steps!
Step: Remove Makeup & Sunscreen  What To Look Out For#2:  1. Products here come in all shapes and forms, literally - Wipes, cleansing oil, remover liquid.  2. I'm not against using wipes at all...Just a few things to note: 1) Wipes that contain alcohol are never a good idea;  2) Try not to press/rub too hard against your face as you wipe; 3) Some wipes are not biodegradable (i.e., not capable of decomposing and end up in landfills). 
Step: Remove Makeup & Sunscreen  What To Look Out For#2:  1. On cleansing oil: Don't be afraid of the "oil" part.  I have oily combo skin, so at first glance, I really shouldn't be putting any more oil on my face, right?   2. Not quite - Once mixed with water, it emulsifies into a semi-liquid form and works hard at removing the pore-clogging elements from your face.  


~ 2. weekly bonus treats ~

Step: Weekly Bonus Treats  What To Look Out For#1:  1. Your options here are endless! Sheet mask is a popular one, which does take at least 15 minutes, but that's not the only bonus treat you can do and some take much less time.  2. Think about an eye mask that allows you to do other things while you have it on (if you can't afford to lay down for the whole 15 minutes). 
Step: Weekly Bonus Treats  What To Look Out For#2:  1. A sleeping mask is another time-saving option: It's a leave-on moisturizer mask that you put on your face before going to bed (no, this "mask" blends in just like a moisturizer, so none of that crazy mask face while you sleep).   2. The point here is, if you mix it up a little, this step won't always be time consuming. Your skin deserves this treat!

Time to pause for any questions...

I know you're in an information overload stage right now, so I'll stop here.  I hope so far I've helped you gain a better understanding of what a multi-steps skin care ritual looks like and, more importantly, the reasons behind the different steps.  Again, ask away with any questions.

create your own mini book of skin care rituals

Click on the link below for a printable version of all the play cards that you can turn into your own mini book of skin care ritual.  This file is in PDF format.  If you'd like it in other formats, email me and I'll do my best to get you a version that works for you!

coming up next...

I am a firm believer that skin health includes not only skin care (products, rituals) but also food intake.  In the next post, I'll share a few of my favorite foods along with some simple recipes.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about anything we've discussed today, don't hesitate to ask me! You can comment below or, if you prefer a more direct route, email me here.