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How to Use Retinoids

Here’s a short post to help you get started with your retinoid regimen 🙂

Please note that the information given is for educational purposes only. Treatments are customized to our patients’ needs.

For inquiries, contact:
Mobile: (0998)5673765
Landline: (02) 75010962
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YouTube: MabelleMD

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Skin Box is live!!!

If you’re here right now, I’m sure that you are curious on how to address your skin concern. Like you, many patients contact me every day to ask for help! Because of this, I decided to create SKIN BOX as a guide to help patients in choosing the proper skin care regimen appropriate to address their specific concerns. 

So, here’s what you should do… 

Carefully read the self-assessment guide. For every step, I’ll be asking questions to determine which products and treatments to recommend to you! 

Remember that these are general recommendations, and cannot replace the expert advise of a board-certified dermatologist

However, I do hope that you find my suggestions useful in your journey to your best skin ever!!! 

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Ellana Calm Skin Balancing Skin Care Line Review

Hello, friends! 

This post is a review of the Ellana Calm Skin Balancing Skin Care Line

I’ve worked with the Ellana Team before the pandemic. They’ve been an absolute joy to work with! Aside from being a local brand (yey!!!), the company has continually pushed to create new and affordable products that have sensible ingredients! So when they contacted me one month ago, I agreed to review their skin care line. They asked me too choose which line I wanted to review, I was considering to review the maturing skin line (never too young to start an anti-aging regimen!)… But in the end, I decided to review the Calm Skin Line for sensitive skin because I wanted to start with milder skin care products since these will all be new to my skin.  

Without much ado, here is my concise review of the Ellana Calm Skin Balancing Skin Care Line.

Calm Skin Balancing low pH Mineral Powder Cleanser

The key ingredients: 

TAPIOCA STARCH is the first ingredient in this product. It is a natural cosmetic thickener derived from the root of cassava plant. It also helps stabilize emulsions, create gel like like texture and help ingredients penetrate the skin. MAGNESIUM SULFATE or epsom salt is popularly known to ease body and muscle tension. For the skin, it can help balance the natural oils and exfoliate the skin. ALLANTOIN works as a moisturizer and helps soothe the skin.

My experience:

I find this powder cleanser a cute and novel idea. It is cost-effective! You only need a tiny amount, mix with water, let it sud before massaging it onto your face. The skin feels really clean after using this cleanser. I think it’s a good complement to the Calm Skin Balancing Lightweight Cleansing Oil & Waterproof Make-up Remover.

Since this is in powder form, I was careful to not to keep it in the shower. However, on the third week, the inevitable happened. The powder started to clump together, and it was not possible to tap it from the container. I had to remove the strainer to get the powder out. This, of course, carries the risk of wetting the rest of the powder by accident. 

My thoughts: 

Calm Skin Balancing low pH Mineral Powder Cleanser is a good product that removes oil and dirt. However, the packaging can still be improved.

Calm Skin Balancing Lightweight Cleansing Oil & Waterproof Make-up Remover

The key ingredient:

TSUBAKI OIL is a cold-pressed oil from the seeds of Camellia japonica. It is said the tsubaki oil is a prized  beauty ingredient within the Japanese community. Tsubaki oil contains high levels oleic acid, polyphenol antioxidants, vitamins A, D, C, & E making it an excellent moisturizer. It also protects the skin from UV and environmental exposure, arresting the effects of free radical damage. 

My experience:

To be honest, I have not been using make-up much these days… but I do wear mascara and eye liner from time to time. To test this product, I wore BB Cream, eye make-up, blush and lipstick for a few days. I used the cleansing oil to do my first cleanse. It did remove my make-up, especially my eyeliner and mascara with ease. However, I needed to follow this with a second cleanse because the oil sticks to the eye lashes. The Calm Skin Balancing low pH Mineral Powder Cleanser was my second cleanser, and it did make my skin feel tingly clean!

For those who don’t know, a first cleanse is usually done by heavy make-up users to remove by make-up. Oil-based cleansers are used to remove oil-based make-up products. It is then followed by a second cleanser which is water-based to remove all the debris. This is called the double cleansing method.

My thoughts:

Calm Skin Balancing Lightweight Cleansing Oil & Waterproof Make-up Remover is a good product that removes oil-based impurities from the skin. Heavy make-up users will benefit from this cleansing oil the most. I think it’s best to use this as part of a double cleansing routine or as an initial make-up remover.

Calm Skin Balancing Face Oil

The key ingredients:

RICE BRAN OIL (Oryza sativa L.) has many documented benefits when used inside and outside of the body. For the skin, rice bran oil is packed with antioxidants and is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects. SAFFLOWER SEED OIL (Charthamus tinctorius L.) is said to contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and phytochemicals which help block UVB-induced skin photo aging. This is a can be a potential anti-wrinkle agent. TSUBAKI OIL (Camellia japonica), as above, is packed with antioxidants which shield the skin from UV and environmental damage to keep the skin clear and youthful. 

My experience:

This is my favorite product of the lot. I love face and body oils. The Calm Skin Balancing Face Oil really is light weight. Despite being lightweight, you only need 2 to 3 drops for the whole face and neck. The scent is negligible too which I like. 

My facial skin is quite dry. I use this facial oil twice a day. However, I still add a bit of lightweight moisturizer at night. I am not fond of layering too many products on the skin. So I use this face oil with only one or two products at a time. So far, I haven’t had any untoward reactions mixing this oil with my nightly regimen.

My thoughts:

The Calm Skin Balancing Face Oil is a product that I will most likely buy again!

Calm Skin Balancing Balancing Serum

The key ingredients:

CENTELLA ASIATICA or gotu kola is a plant extract known for its hydrating and antioxidant properties. The main active compounds of Centella Asiatica are asiaticoside, madecasosside, asiatic acid and madecassic acid. Researches claim that it can soothe irritated skin while improving the skin barrier. There are products that use Centella Asiatica to heal small wounds and even burns.

Other ingredients of this product are: CHAMOMILE and ROSEMARY which are known to have anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. However, studies on Rosemary also point to its possible application in improving ultra violet light damage and anti-aging effects.

My experience:

While this serum is packed with soothing ingredients, I was not able to fully appreciate it because my skin was not irritated at the time of my review. However, I did notice that this serum is very light on the skin and it did not cause any itchiness or redness. I was able to use it twice a day. In the morning, I can use it prior to the Calm Skin Balancing Face Oil and Clean Screen SPF 40 Oil Control Mineral Sun Protection, and my skin will still feel light despite being covered by a face mask the whole day.

My thoughts:

Although I was not able to fully appreciate the effect of the Calm Skin Balancing Serum, I can definitely say that this is a lightweight serum that you may use for both morning and night skin routine. 

Well, those are the products that I have from the line. I will make a review of the Clean Screen SPF 40 Oil Control Mineral Sun Protection in my next post. Overall, I can say that the company was very thoughtful in the key ingredients they used to make each product. As you may have read, for this line, most of the key ingredients used had anti-inflammatory and skin soothing benefits — the aim of the Ellana Calm Skin Balancing Skin Care Line.

That’s my review for this skin care line. Hope you enjoyed reading it!

** Just to let you know, the products were sent to me by Ellana Mineral Cosmetics for the sole purpose of review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. All information in this post are based on research (see my reference below). This is not to endorse or recommend any brand or product, but to give you my thoughts on the product. **

– MFC 02.26.2021 –


International Journal of Cosmetic Science, June 2003, pages 113-125

Gröber, U, Werner, T, Vormann, J, & Kisters, K, 2017. ‘Myth or Reality-Transdermal Magnesium?’, Nutrients, 9(8), 813.

Johnson, W, et al. 2018. ‘Safety Assessment of Magnesium Sulfate as Used in Cosmetics’, International Journal of Toxicology.

Chandrasekaran, N, et al. 2014. ‘Effects of magnesium deficiency – More than skin deep’, Experimental Biology and Medicine, vol. 239.

Jung, E. et al. Effect of Camellia japonica oil on human type I procollagen production and skin barrier function. Journal of ethnopharmacology 112.1, 127-131 (2007)

Manosroi A, Chutoprapat R, Abe M, Manosroi W, Manosroi J. Anti-aging efficacy of topical formulations containing niosomes entrapped with rice bran bioactive compounds. Pharm Biol. 2012 Feb;50(2):208-24. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2011.596206. PMID: 22235888.

Jeong EH, Yang H, Kim JE, Lee KW. Safflower Seed Oil and Its Active Compound Acacetin Inhibit UVB-Induced Skin Photoaging. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2020 Oct 28;30(10):1567-1573. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2003.03064. PMID: 32522955.

Bylka W, Znajdek-Awiżeń P, Studzińska-Sroka E, Dańczak-Pazdrowska A, Brzezińska M. Centella asiatica in dermatology: an overview. Phytother Res. 2014 Aug;28(8):1117-24. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5110. Epub 2014 Jan 7. PMID: 24399761.

El-Salamouni NS, Ali MM, Abdelhady SA, Kandil LS, Elbatouti GA, Farid RM. Evaluation of chamomile oil and nanoemulgels as a promising treatment option for atopic dermatitis induced in rats. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2020 Jan;17(1):111-122. doi: 10.1080/17425247.2020.1699054. Epub 2019 Dec 6. PMID: 31782320.

de Macedo LM, Santos ÉMD, Militão L, Tundisi LL, Ataide JA, Souto EB, Mazzola PG. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L., syn Salvia rosmarinus Spenn.) and Its Topical Applications: A Review. Plants (Basel). 2020 May 21;9(5):651. doi: 10.3390/plants9050651. PMID: 32455585; PMCID: PMC7284349.

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SHOP Dermaloqique

Invest in your skin.
It is going to represent you for a very long time.

Linden Tyler

Good skin is an investment indeed! In my years of dermatological practice, I’ve witnessed patients with beautiful clear skin who don’t put on anything, while there are patients with skin that need a little bit more help. More often than not, patients research and buy products that have the best reviews… and wonder why sometimes the product does not work on them.

Well, every skin is different. What works for one may not necessarily work for you.

Also, I believe that “less is more” with regards to skin care. Choosing the right products for your skin is far better than putting everything on it.

This Shop is a dream come true for me!!! It may seem that it only took weeks to put up this site, but, in reality, it is actually an accumulation of more than 10 years of dermatological experience in the skincare industry. I’ve seen how the products in the Shop work, and I truly believe in them.

Thank you for stopping by… hang around, I might be of help to you. 🙂


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Skin Detox

Good Skincare = Good Skin

Good skin is a combination of many things, not just a product of elaborate skin care. The status of our immune system, eating proper diet, engaging in a healthy lifestyle, having adequate rest, living in a clean environment are just some of the factors come into play when we want to achieve beautiful skin.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the right skin care products can work wonders for your skin. After all, conditions like acne, rosacea, etc., need a little help to clear up. However, I believe in adhering to a sensible skin care routine.

So how do we know what products to use?

First of all, listen to your skin.

Know your skin type. Are you oily, dry, sensitive?

Know your skin concerns. Is it acne, pigmentation, pores, etc?

There is no one miracle product that can address all skin concerns, and it also won’t do you good to apply all the available skin care you get your hands on.

Skin Detox

If you’re in stuck in your gazillion skin care routine, why don’t you try to give your skin a break?

I recommend that you just use the bare minimum: mild cleanser, sunscreen with SPF 30 and a light moisturizer for 28 days. Yes, 28 days because this is the turnover time of the skin.

While waiting for the 28 days, just look and observe your skin. Evaluate your self and your skin care products too. Are they really right for you?

After this 28 day skin detox, re-introduce your skincare one by one so you can check how each product affects your skin. -MFC