Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rethinking product

Before my move to Cambodia, I agonized about packing.  In the end, I brought with me two suitcases full of dresses, shoes, and products (including two bottles of industrial size Bumble & Bumble shampoo and conditioner - which I am still working on!) that I thought I could simply not live without.  Believe me, my list of "essentials" was relatively long.

Looking back, I have to chuckle at it all.  Let's be clear: it is very difficult to get certain products in Cambodia. You must venture off to Bangkok, maybe Ho Chi Minh City, and of course there is Kuala Lumpur.  But you tend to find substitutes.  And even more likely, your needs can change.  For instance, all my field research last year took a beating out on my skin - my SPF30 no longer cut it.   

As I face a move this summer, I'm considering what products I actually use and what I can leave behind in Cambodia.  Over the course of two years, my product regime has changed to accommodate humidity and sun exposure -  and my general laziness and increased travel.  There are products that I swear by and others that I have chucked.  A few current favorites, below:

1. Jan Marini Green Papaya Skin Enzyme Mask:  My favorite exfoliation mask. Period. I've tried many and this remains the best for my skin: gentle and yet effective.  I have one application left, and I will save it for an occasion when I want my skin to glow.  It's hard to come by in Cambodia, as no one will ship it internationally. 

2. Josie Maran Argan Oil:  I, too, would like to switch to more natural products.  I keep this one not because it's the best moisturizer I have used, but because it does the job and is multi-purpose!  I use it as a substitute for lotion, as a face moisturizer at night, or as an oil for the tips of my hair (especially if I'm traveling without my preferred shampoo and conditioner)!  I do, however, think it is over-priced.

3. Kanebo Impress SPF50: This was my first foray into Asian beauty products - high SPF, a touch of "brightening" (not whitening, thank you).  I like the consistency of this daily sunscreen and one bottle has lasted me for over a year. 

4. Giorgio Armani - Eyes to Kill Mascara: This is a little expensive, but I've found it's the best one for my eyes.  It's a once-in-a-year splurge for a little bit of luxury.

5. Josie Maran Argan Color Stick - Petal Pink:  This came with one of the JM Argan Oil sets I bought over the holiday, and I am hooked, though the staying power may not be the best for humid Cambodian days.

To be continued.


  1. Love this list! I'm a product junkie, so I'm always interested in what others use. Definitely curious about the mask - will check it out for sure! :)

  2. Me too! It was really hard the first 7 months here. The mask is pretty gentle exfoliation. There would be stronger versions, but my skin is sensitive.

  3. I love this type of posts- I usually try new skincare/cosmetic products through recommendations. I'd definitely give Josie Maran a try as I, too, am trying to use more (if not all) natural/organic products.

  4. Tee - Is there a Sephora in Bangkok?


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