Travel, Skincare, Food & Drinks, Hospitality

Coming Home: Decompressing after A Trip

Home: My Room with A View

Home: My Room with A View

The past three days have been about self-indulgence for me. As a law student and moot court member, I travel to compete at a few competitions a year. The most recent one was held at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando. Our team was excited because Orlando is only a few hours away. The resort was beautiful and loaded with amenities. The room was ok but clean and good enough for a two-night stay. My favorite thing was to sit outside by the fireplace. Yes, fireplace in the summer. The AC was working on over-drive, and with the doors all open, we enjoyed a wonderful breeze without being cold all day and night.

The food and drinks were both EXCELLENT! Look here:

On the left are the Mediterranean Platter along with their version of a Whiskey Sour called Sour Bulleit, and a Cosmo. On the right are the Charcuterie Board and a Martini. I have to say, for a lobby bar, this was quite a satisfying set up. My friends and I hung out here for six hours straight until the lights went up at 2am. Nobody bothered us and the server Candy was the nicest. If any of you ever visits this spot, make sure to tip her well.


As much fun as it was, I am so happy to be home in my bed. The first thing I did was to take a long long bath in a dark dark room. Sounds dramatic, yes it felt that way to relieve all the stress of traveling. After all the drinking and eating between competing, my body was swelling and my face got very puffy. A hot bath, followed by a cold shower, really improved circulation to my extremities. That soreness you get from walking in heels or sitting for an extended period of time? Take a hot bath + cold shower.

As far as my face is concerned, I rely on the Body Shop's purifying charcoal mask. Check it out here. Sit back, relax, then all my worries go away momentarily. 

Don't forget to always drink tons of water as well. Tea is even better! Then the last thing, really, is to doze off to an alarm-less sleep.


The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid v. Marine Hyaluronics

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid ("HA") naturally exists in our body. It is found in the highest density in our eyes and joints. It plays many roles important roles as discuss here, including lubrication and joint cushion As we age, the rate at which we produce HA slows down.

The Ordinary notes that the natural function of HA in our body is not for hydration. In its natural molecular state, HA cannot penetrate our skin surface. Instead, it sits on top, drawing out moisture to make the skin feel hydrated. Hence, by using various molecular weight of HA as well as HA crosspolymer, they "hang out" longer on your skin surface to enhance that "moist" feeling as well as hydration at deeper level.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Glycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.

Easily seen in the ingredient list, Sodium Hyaluronate and its crosspolymer are the main players in this mix. They are modified forms of HA with small molecular size, which helps them penetrate better. "Crosspolymer," from my layman understanding, is the substance--here it is sodium hyaluronate--attached to a polymer structure (think of it like a vehicle) which keeps the the substance at the skin surface to enhance hydration. Understand that it works by attracting water to itself. See more here.

I have combination/ oily skin. This HA mixture is good, but it takes a while to dry for me and keeps me pretty shiny. My skin definitely feels hydrated. However, I live in Miami with a very high level of humidity, my face feels a little "tacky" after combining this with 2 other serums. 

>>> The bottom line is: It works great, but listen to your skin.

Marine Hyaluronics

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Algae Extract, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Salicylic Acid, Citric Acid, Propanediol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Salicylate, Sodium Benzoate, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.

Totally different combination here. Technically, this is not an HA mix. It does, however, work to achieve similar result. Those two main ingredients with long, unpronounceable names are formed by the fermentation of marine bacterial strain. It's actually a fascinating process. I do not understand it fully myself. If you want to know more, start here.

>>> The bottom line is: it carries a light scent (I am guessing from the fermentation process), but my skin much prefers this formula. Much lighter and absorbs much faster.

I use these HA formulas in combination with Niacinamide and the "Buffet" mix. Check them out at The Ordinary and let me know how they work for you.