[REVIEW] TONY MOLY x POKEMON Foaming Cleansers

I impatiently waited for these to ship from Korea and I’ve now FINALLY used them enough to make a decent review on them. If I had an expendable budget I would have gotten all of them, but today we have:

Pikachu Moisture Foaming Cleanser

What about it: This is a more simple foaming cleanser designed to try to maintain your skin’s natural moisture levels. The description on the back states: 

“This moisture foam cleanser effectively removes impurities from skin with moisturizing foam containing olive leaf extract” 

and that’s pretty much it! If you have very dry skin I would not recommend this cleanser. Unfortunately the pH of the cleanser is still relatively stripping. But in comparison to the Pore cleanser it leaves the skin soft and just lightly moisturized still. The scent is described as ‘vanilla’ and it 100% in all honesty doesn’t even slightly smell like vanilla. It doesn’t foam as well as some other cleansers actually and it doesn’t really foam much more when rubbing it either. I’ve used it a few times with my clarisonic and it does foam up much more!

Overall I give it a 6/10 and most of these points are for it being Pikachu.

Bulbasaur Pore Foaming Cleanser

What about it: Now this guy actually is using two key ingredients, Albumin and Purslane! Albumn is a protein from egg white and is said it helps tighten pores and condition skin while Purslane (portulaca oleracea) is very soothing and helps skin retain moisture. This cleanser scent is described as ‘green tea’ while I can kinda get a green tea scent from it, it smells like a new hotel lobby… Idk… like really specifically if you’ve ever been to an ‘Aloft’ hotel. That’s what it smells like. You’re welcome. 

Overall it gets a 6/10 too, these cleansers are more alike than they are different. But you can definitely feel a difference which I appreciate. When it comes to some brand’s cleansers (shiseido is the first that comes to mind) their cleansers all feel exactly the same no matter what type of skin it’s for and ya know, that’s a little concerning. 

Would I recommend them to a friend? I wouldn’t tell them to go out of their way for it, but if you have a itch for pokemon products, they are definitely not bad choices!

Sunscreen 201

Yeah it’s sunscreen 201 not 101 because I’m givin’ you to some higher sunscreen knowledge.

First let’s talk about the types of damage our skin faces from the sun. They say that sun damage is the #1 cause of age on the skin. Even ahead of free-radical (pollution) damage. UV rays are the culprits for this, there are 3 different types of UV rays:

UV(A)ging

UV(B)urning

UV©rispy [I made that one up but you’ll see why]

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(credit: coola.com) (they make some bomb sunscreens too btw)

As we can see UVA rays penetrate the deepest, because of this these rays are the ones responsible for what is known as photo-damage. Photo-damage can come in the form of: dark spots, uneven skin tone, dehydrated skin; and worst of all, accelerated aging. These are actually the most prominent rays making up 95% of radiation from the sun that penetrates the OZone layer. These are also emitted from traditional indoor lighting sources too. (Yeah your lamp might be aging you I’m not even shitting you) LED lighting is said to produce no harmful amount of these rays. (HOWEVER ENOUGH TO ATTRACT MOTHS TO THE LIGHT STILL THANKS GUYS)

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(This is Bill McElligot, a truck driver for over 30 yrs showing increased UVA damage, car windows block 100% UVB rays but don’t do much when it comes to the sleeper UV rays)

UVB rays don’t always reach the epidermis, and frankly we don’t want them reaching us at all. UVB rays are responsible for sunburns, pink arms, and all the unpleasant sensations that come along with “too much sun”

Then we have UVC rays, which I will explain even though it’s irrelevant to most of the world. These are the strongest, most intense rays from the sun, and they actually cannot penetrate the OZone layer. However, since we’ve caused a couple holes in the southern hemisphere there are areas which you can be exposed to these rays. But hypothetically speaking, any prolonged exposure to UVC rays will cause much more damage than the other two. 

Now we know what sun damage is and what causes it, lets talk about SPF. Spf stand for Sun Protection Factor and this is the measuring system used to tell us how well the sunscreen can protect against UVB rays. Specifically speaking, SPF will tell you how much longer before you would start to burn. SPF 20 is 20 times longer. 35 is 35 times longer. But this is frankly a useless way to look at SPF in my opinion since reapplication, formula, percentage, quality, etc are all factors. SPF can range from 10 all the way to ‘50+’. SPF is also not a linear rating system so SPF 20 isn’t double the protection of SPF 10. Here’s a chart of protection: 

SPF 0: 0%     SPF 10: 90%

SPF 15: 93% SPF 30: 97%

SPF 50+: 99%

No there’s nothing higher than SPF 50 no matter what neutrogena tries to tell you! There’s no 100% protection from the sun unless you’re just not being exposed to it. Most brands now, and any brand with integrity simply state ‘SPF 50+’ as an indicator there may be a temporary effect of a ‘higher spf’. Everyday use is recommend of course but a minimum of 15 should be worn everyday, while an SPF 30-50 is more suitable for going to the beach, etc. Some sunscreens can have a less pleasant texture when delivering more protection.

Now there’s also another rating system we see sometimes on sunscreens called PA. This stands for “Protection of uvA” The PA rating can This is actually a conversion from how the rest of the world rates sunscreen for UVA (remember aging!) Ratings range from PA+ to PA++++ of course the more pluses the more protection. 

Sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB are called ‘broad spectrum’. I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase at least once in your life.

Now that you know the Sun is the devil, we’ll move on to the different types of sunscreen. Physical vs. Chemical.

 Physical sunscreens are minerals that block and reflect harmful UV rays. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are currently The only two physical sunscreens. Both happen to be broad-spectrum sunscreens, meaning they protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Because of how these sunscreens work they can often times leave a sick and uncomfortable feelings.Physical sunscreens interact less with the skin compared to chemical sunscreens, making them more ideal for sensitive skin. These minerals are naturally white, therefore they can meet a white cast for streaking if not tinted. Considered to be the safest sunscreen option by most however there’s a lot of controversy over their saftey and the possibility of nano sized particles of these known carcinogens absorbing through our skin into our blood stream. I’m not frankly worried about it and don’t think you should be either. But hey, that’s just me. 

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Drunk Elephant Umbra Defense (Left) VS Tony Moly Mild Mango Block (Right)

The drunk elephant sunscreen is 20% zinc oxide, no fragrance so it smells like… mineral sunscreen.. or aka pennies. But this is to show the ‘white cast’ effect. Which in this physical sunscreen it’s minimized since there’s color correcting pigment added.

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Chemical sunscreens are also known as organic sunscreens. Reason being they are generally derived from carbon. Chemical sunscreens generally work by causing a chemical reaction that converts the harmful UV rays into heat which then leaves our skin. These can cause irritation to some sensitive skin. Benefit over physical sunscreens is the increased UVA protection.These do take up to 20 minutes to activate. Some chemical filters can generate free radicals so we see many of them packed with an antioxidant boost to cancel out that effect. Some filters like avobenzone are very unstable, however it is one of the filters that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Filter sunscreens have a tendency to be light weight compared to physical sunscreens, they also do not produce a white cast making them in a great choice for any skin tone.

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(credit: futurederm.com)

While there are a slew of different chemical sunscreens and they all have their own pros and cons. Many sunscreens actually aren’t sold in the US but can be purchased overseas in countries more conscious about their skin darkening. The US FDA is very slow at approving things (but also very slow and banning things it doesn’t make sense)

 I hope this helps you navigate your next sunscreen purchase!

美容护肤

[REVIEW] Tony Moly Mango Mild Sun Block SPF50+ PA+++

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(It’s wearin sunglasses bc it knows it’s cool AF) 

After a trip back home to the Bay Area I may have spent substantially more money than anticipated on skin care in Japantown. But this was my favorite purchase so it gets reviewed first! However, I purchased it for WAY more than I needed to! At the time of this post, Amazon is selling it for ~$10, I purchased it from an official Tony Moly reseller called K-Beauty for ~$21 (the same on Tony Moly USA’s website).

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My partner is pretty finicky about what he puts on his face. Not quite in the same way I am though, I can live with a product I don’t like the feeling/smell of as long as it’s a good product. He however…. is more concerned about feeling and smell. We’ve had a couple everyday sunscreens he’s tried: Drunk Elephant’s Umbra Defense (20% Zinc Oxide mineral based sunscreen) and Supergoop!’s City Serum Sunscreen (lightweight chemical filter sunscreen) and while the Supergoop wasn’t a total bust the ‘sunscreen’ smell lost him. It’s safe to say he is in love with this as much as I am. 

What about it: This magical mango sunscreen is over 60% a hydrating base which leaves an incredible supple feeling without feeling too greasy or matting down too much. It uses chemical filter sunscreens that instead of bouncing harmful UV(B)urn and UV(A)ging rays it filters these rays out and actually causes a chemical reaction that changes them into heat which is then released from the skin. There are a ton of different chemical sunscreens and they all work differently from each other, some instead of absorbing the rays will actually scatter the light. For more information on the differences of sunscreens I highly recommend this chart by skinacea It’s designed to be a super universal non-oily/fluid lightweight sunscreen, using chemical filter sunscreens means this product won’t give you a white cast, or a ‘penny smell’ like some physical sunscreens. It can be worn alone or under makeup without disturbing application.

What I like about it: It f*cking smells like MANGO. Like I mean to each their own but if I catch a whiff of mango while walkin to the store on a sunday in sweatpants I’m not complaining. The smell is pretty prevalent however it does dissipate especially with makeup application. I also love the protection without sacrificing comfortability SPF 50+ (This is rating protection against UVB rays, remember B for burn, these are the ones that leave us pink and sore after a day at the beach) and PA+++ (Rating UVA protection, out of a possible quadruple plus ratting, however most sunscreens today offer 1-3 pluses. These rays are responsible for (UV)Aging our skin.) Holy parenthesis batman. It leaves me feeling fresh all day, something sunscreens have a problem with delivering and I can put on a full face, light bb cream or just some concealer and not run into any problems. 

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(leaves a slight dewy finish as you can see immediately after application)

Overall take: Lightweight, smells great, full sun protection I can’t ask for much more. However I would love to see more good for you ingredients but reiterating the price point of under $10 I’m not going to say it’s a deal breaker whatsoever. 

What’s found in fortified bread, but also in skincare?

Vitamin B-3! Well specifically we’re talking about Niacinamide, like a lot of ‘actives’ in skincare are a form of a Vitamin (Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, Vitamin C we all know and love). Vitamin B3 is found present in all cells, like we’re literally made up of this stuff. It helps specifically with the cell reproduction and has incredible anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it effective for acne and can even show signs of improvement in cases of rosacea, keratosis pilaris, and psoriasis. But Niacinamide doesn’t quit with just helping 4 common skin conditions it’s also a great anti-ager as well as hydrator. With the increased skin cell turnover helping reveal brighter, healthier skin Niacinamide also helps stimulate production of ceramides, a lipid our skin produces to protect against aggressors and maintain moisture. So this is why it’s been a major skin care ingredient in Asian beauty for so long. It’s results can be great and it’s suitable for sensitive skin so it’s kinda a no brainer ingredient.

Some bomb products I personally love that contain effective amounts of Niacinamide:

Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Pack

This lil’ fella smells very very similar to LUSH’s Twilight Bath Bomb if you’ve ever had a chance to smell it. It’s key ingredients are Niacinamide and White Mulberry to deliver a bright glowy complexion in the mornin’. It’s also packed with Trehalose, Hyaluronic and Glycerin; all three powerful humectants to keep your skin pulling in humidity for serious hydration. 

(as you can see, I need to repurchase soon)

CosRx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence

While Galactomyces may be the power player in this product the assistance of Niacinamide really pushes this product into Holy Grail status. Read my full review of this here! 

J.One Hana Cream

This cream does it all and it was designed to! J.One is founded by famous Korean actress Jiwon Ha is a capsulated cream packed with macademia nut oil, ceramides, and other powerful moisturizers and hydrators while it works to firm, lift, (Peptides) brighten & smooth (Niacinamide, Salicylic acid) and protect (Fullerene, Centella, B5)

F*** ENLARGED PORES AMIRITE???

I gotta say there’s a couple questions I get asked WAY more than a persons regular specific concern which is “How do I shrink my pores?!” People’s faces usually start to show disinterest as soon as I tell the basically “You can’t!” Now this isn’t 100% true every time and there’s different philosophies on how pores operate.

The ‘safe’ philosophy is to compare them to a trash bag. They start one size and they can hold xx amount of content. The pore can slightly stretch and snap back but can easily be stretched passed it’s original size and basically stay that size. This is why we see pores where we’ve picked get funky shapes often times looking like an oval or line. I have a few of these battle scars from when I was a teenager not having a drop of self restraint from picking at my sebaceous filaments. Sebaceous what? Sebaceous filaments are in my opinion one of the most annoying things but they’re so great. Basically these are like candle wicks that bring oil from inside the pore to the skin’s surface. However sometimes these ‘wicks’ need to be ‘trimmed’ yeah it’s a gross analogy but you’re picturing it correctly. They oxidize from their exposure to air and turn black, the same way a blackhead turns black, but these suckers are a skin function, not a temporary obstruction. So if you feel like you have recurring blackheads in the same spot they most likely are these guys instead. Blackheads generally are raised and much larger than the pore.

While detoxing we all know helps enlarged pores but there’s something that is actually MORE important! We need to make sure our skins properly hydrated (think water not oil) otherwise how can you expect your pores to be perky tight and firm?? Like a butt that hasn’t seen squats in a while our pores aren’t quite themselves when they’re dry. Most people see dramatic improvement with increased hydration over time. 

So what do I recommend for congestion, sebaceous filaments, enlarged pores and everything in between? These are some of my favorites and some quick bits about them.

INGREDIENTS

Salicylic Acid (and it’s various forms) – exfoliates also the inside of the pore (something manual exfoliation and AHAs do not do) think: dran-o for your skin.

Bentonite – Detox without the dryness. Bentonite cannot physically absorb water but it can absorb oil and impurities that come along with it. 

Sulfur – Detox the sh*t out of your skin, can be considered an active ingredient. Can be drying. But effect for a quick purge. I like it for spot treatments the most. 

Charcoal – Moderate detox; this is in toooooooooons of products, including many you’re going to read about. Not all that drying however can be. 

Hyaluronic Acid – A humectant that our skin has present naturally that pulls in humidity into our skin.

Snail Secretion – Multi-function ingredient that actually contains hyaluronic acid, as well was copper peptides to help repair skin and a slew of other compounds. 

(Scroll down to find out more and what products have these ingredients!) 

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CLEANSERS:

CosRx Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser – Make sure to use a toner with this one! More stripping pH of 9. But a deeply cleansing ‘micro foam’ penetrates Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree deep to help liquify sebum and lead you to clear skin. I love these photos of explanation from the brand, the brand is phenomenal inside and out. 

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(Credit: Wishtrend.com)

Caolion Pore Blackhead O2 Sparkling Soap – I like spot cleansing my nose every morning with this charcoal and sebum balancing bar soap. Leaves the skin squeaky clean but not totally stripped, if you’re into that typa thang.

Foreo Luna Sonic Cleansing Brush – While our cleansers can do a lot how we put them to work can be a total game changer. I prefer the Foreo over the Clarisonic for many reasons. But that doesn’t mean I’d tell you to toss the Clarisonic, I would just stick to the radiance and cashmere brush heads. (I’ll do a post one day as to why)

EXFOLIATORS:

Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel – IT SMELLS LIKE SPRITE. Peeling gels are great gentle exfoliators, something that can be used more frequently than a scrub or intensive acid peel. I personally use this guy on my nose everyday and my forehead almost every day. These types of exfoliators stick on to dead skin cells and balls them up off your face. Gentle and effective, just how I like it. That’s him down there! 

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Perricone PRE:EMPT Exfoliating Pore Refiner – If you don’t dig the idea of rolling your dead skin up but want an everyday exfoliator still I highly recommend this bad boy. Hailing from Perricone, a brand extremely concerned about inflammation and irritation. The second ingredient is Betaine Salicylate a gentle form of Salicylic acid that’s just as effective. I have a full review of this product planned!

(not pictured) PTR Pumpkin Enzyme Mask -TRIPLE ACTION EXFOLIATOR BURN THAT SH*T OFF Mask should actually be its name. But it’s still on this list because it works and it works well. Not for everyone but it uses aluminum oxide to give you a nice microdermabrasion scrub (fine granules to buff, great for texture), AHAs to lift and Enzymes to eat it away those dead skin cells. While I like this more for texture; it’s a phenomenal prep step into clay masks and really any exfoliator is but, I like this one for its thoroughness.

MASKS:

PTR Irish Moor Mud Purifying Mask – Purifying but not stripping. But WARNING do this mask in the shower it is crazy thick and it’s very invigorating w/ your pores open. Using charcoal and peat (irish moor mud just the not frilly ~magical~ name for it.) Peat is basically mud that’s had a lot of decay in it for a lot of years so it’s very very nutrient rich. To top it off it has some hijiki seaweed to add some nourishment. You never feel stripped however sometimes sensitive if you leave it on for awhile. Absolutely my favorite mud mask, thickness and all.

Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding – I consider this the Irish Moor Mud lite. Similar effect comes from both white and black charcoals. While the ‘white charcoal’ side offers some more nourishing ingredients and helps with pore refinement. It has no real tingle or warmth. 

Kate Somerville EradiKate Oxygenating Mask – For those looking for a serious detox to bring them a serious glow without the stripping effects. This is your guy. Oxygenating to help bring flush tone and a glow while containing just a smidge of sulfur to really flush your pores. Can leave your skin a little stinky if you don’t get it all off (or out of your hairline which is very hard to do with this bugger)

SERUMS:

Admittedly, I haven’t tried very many pore serums. I’ve always been skeptical and seen lack of results but this was an exception: 

Skinmiso Pore Corset Serum – This guy has been impressing me lately but it’s still too soon to tell for sure. I’m about 3 weeks in but I’ve definitely noticed my nose pores looking less and less noticeable. Now this is what makes me start to believe the second pore philosophy of Pores are like rubber bands they and stretch and snap back to the size they were but you can’t make them smaller. I know a lot of my enlarged pores are from sun damage and acne damage, so in theory that means my pores should be able to tighten up maybe not all the way back to normal but some since it’s not all genetics. Wishtrend has a lot of pictures and info on the product, it is a more ‘secretive’ product in the ingredient area. It does mention something about 20 minutes of pore tightening therapy which sounds awesome and probably has something to do with the cooling effect it imparts. 

HYDRATORS:

Sunday Riley Tidal Enzyme Cream – ugh, love you bae. I’m on my second jar of this and I don’t use it consistently. This lightweight gel cream has two forms of hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrated and stay that way all day long. To top it off there are enzymes like papain to smooth and brighten and brightening actives like the safer hydroquinone-derivative alpha-arbutin. A lot of makeup artists I know and work with swear by this for prep. But nonetheless a great hydrator to keep those pores lookin fuh-reshhhhh

Mizon Intensive Snail Repair AmpouleRead in depth about it here!

CosRx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence Read in depth about it here!

(other notable and strong recommendation that I haven’t though have had a chance to try is the Mizon 100 Hyaluronic Ampoule for obvious reasons.)

[REVIEW] Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash

Enzyme Cleansing Perfectedimage

Before I get into it can we just appreciate the english description “Real effect cleansing powder for keeping your healthy skin in the best condition” Like thanks for words that mean nothing. However the product speaks volumes about itself even if the english doesn’t. This is by far the best enzyme powder wash I’ve used. There’s some relatively similar to this one, from another very big Korean brand that you can get in the states for a cool $60 (Amore Pacific Enzyme Treatment Peel)  or another version from a Japanese inspired American brand (Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder) for $65 none of these really compare to my beloved Tosowoong.

What about it:  Enzymatic exfoliators are awesome. They help shed dead skin by eating it away. How do enzymes ‘eat away dead skin’ though? A question I get about 9/10 times I talk about these with clients. “Enzymes are proteins folded into complex shapes that allow smaller molecules to fit into them. The place where these substrate molecules fit is called the active site.” -bbc.co.uk these smaller molecules being dead skin! If you’re looking to smooth out texture this is a great gentle way to do so omitting any harsh physical or chemical exfoliants.

What I don’t like about it: hard to rinse completely off without being in the shower (not a deal breaker for me) it is very concentrated so if you feel similar try using less! I’m still playing around with how much myself. Also takes some time to work into a lather. Comparing to above enzyme powders which later immediately, this takes some work to break down every last piece.

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What I like about it: 5.5 pH balance, I’m not dry or stripped after cleansing. It helps exfoliate without totally skewing your skin’s natural synergy like a traditional peel might. (For people concerned about it containing SLS, the product is pH balanced still. Meaning there are hundreds of cleanser that are more aggressive that will advertise it’s gentle because it’s ‘sulfate-free’ when in reality the pH actually tells us how stripping this will be to our acid mantle and fortunately, it isn’t at all.) The smell, like old lady products but it doesn’t smell as strong in lather as it does inside the bottle. Lastly the price. Solid flakes of soap and enzymes shouldn’t ever cost $60 so that’s why Tosowoong, you earned another spot in my medicine cabinet.

If you wanna check it out:

Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash ~$9

Fact: Boozy Suds clean better

I actually gave up sleep to open this package up and give it a smell and test. After finally taking a couple showers with it I feel like I can give it a fair review. Granted this isn’t an extended test like I generally do on products for face. 

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Now it’s actually super pale but it’s on a dark background. But the color shaken up looks like you poured WAY too much milk in your coffee

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What it is: Body Wash/ Bubble Bath. It uses some great skin friendly extracts like Argan Oil and Olive Oil to deeply cleanse (this is part of the ‘froth’ on top, real beer, hops, and malt! 

What I like: While still being a soap it cleanses well! I’ve never had the thought to be doing an oil cleanse (or double cleanse) on my body until I saw this, this will help purify those lipid layers in our skin soap cleansers either strip dry or leave behind. AND. THE. SMELL. oh my god. I was hesitant with the ‘original’ scent. I was fully expecting to smell like my great uncle who’s full blooded german on New Years Eve but I was pleasantly surprised to experience a spicy/woody scent with the essence of hops in the background. Happy Bath (the name makes me smile every time I see it) nailed it with this wash in my book and I can’t wait to try some of their other flavors like coffee stout!

What I don’t like: It’s 300ml and I want 30 gallons.

Check them out on memebox.com | $10

Also I figured I should also post a referral link for you guys if ya ever feel like shoppin memebox you get 20% your first order whaaaaaaat

http://share.memebox.com/x/kNLnKq

REVIEW: Benton Bestsellers MEMEBOX Set

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Price: $15!! (Due to the market this price fluxuates, I had a client try to purchase the set while being sold out it also said the price was now $17, still not bad at all)  Benton has now had a price increase on the Snail Bee products in most online resellers incl their online store launching w/ retail prices. So these products of this update (Oct 14 2016) are listed w/ the products title below. CrystalCoveBeauty.com is a reseller however who has it listed closer to the old pricing at $13.50 

Everything is full size, and everything is great.

Snail Bee High Content Essence ($20)

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This is my bby Snail Bee High Content Essence, I’ve used this product for about 6 months now and I can’t get enough. My skincare routine isn’t complete without it. It leaves an incredibly fresh sensation which I love. 

Ingredients wise, It’s jam packed full of ingredients while literally every single one is fantastic in its own way, but the two key ingredients are Snail Secretion and Bee Venom. The purpose of this line is to help heal any texture, underlying damage, hydrate, fight acne, then to top it off help brighten. 

Now the ingredients backing up those claims:

Texture/Damage: Snail Secretion, Oligopeptides, Willow Bark (natural form of BHA [Drano for your pores]) Bacillus Ferment (enzymatic exfoliation)

Acne: Snail Secretion, Bee Venom!, Willow Bark

Hydration: Snail Secretion, Oligopeptides, Aloe, Glycerin 

Brightening: Adenosine, Panthenol, Arbutin, Bacillus Ferment

From someone who’s as picky about skincare as I am, the person who rarely repurchases products, I will always always always have this in my cabinet.

Snail Bee High Content Lotion ($20) 

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The Snail Bee High Content Lotion is a new product for me. I actually really haven’t decided where/if I want it in my routine. The size of this is staggering, if you’re used to overpriced $100 1.7oz moisturizers. This is a whopping FIVE (5) F-I-V-E OZ. 

Now the ingredient content has quite a few repeat ingredients. If you read my essence masterpost we know this product being called ‘lotion’ is about as helpful as when clients tell me they’re looking for a “good cream” without providing ANY other details. This lotion is very close to an Emulsion. Shiseido is a brand we see a LOT of these. Essentially a very liquidy but still moisturizing product. A few ingredients to note that are different in here are: Hyaluronic Acid (while Snail Secretion naturally contains this) and Niacinamide (effective B-Vitamin that’s anti-wrinkle and brightening.) In the Benton line this is to be used under their Steam Cream which is a thicker cream. I too like to use it this way, either with Steam Cream (I LOVE it) or with another moisturizer, it is an extra step for most but in a lengthy routine (skip steps you don’t follow) this would be used as following

Cleanser(s) – Toner – Actives – First Treatment Essence – Essence – Serum – Lotion/Emulsion – Moisturizer – Sunscreen/Sleep Mask

Honest TT Mist ($11)

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It’s a tube spray! Very eco friendly I love it. Very simple product, a light spray you can use anytime, anywhere to help kill bacteria and hydrate, it can help reset makeup or is a great refresher if you’re feelin’ a little dry or tired. Key ingredients are tea tree and hyaluronic acid.  

REVIEW: NEOGEN Real Fresh Foam Green Tea Cleanser

So, a few weeks ago I was searching for a new cleanser to replace my Nature Republic Snail Herb Foaming Cleanser, which I love AND I love it’s only like $3. But I don’t love the only place I know I can repurchase in the US is in LA and /possibly/ a small Asian Beauty store in Kent, MI where I stumbled upon it on a vacation. 

What intrigued me about this cleanser was it’s ingredient list and price. It was $20 and doesn’t have a single synthetic ingredient in it. (I even had 2 of my co-workers to purchase it solely off the ingredients list after showing them)

Some things to note about this cleanser:

Second ingredient is fermented green tea leaves and you can see them steeping at the bottom of the bottle, nice reassurance you’re cleanser that’s already based with antioxidant-rich Camellia (green tea) water is even more antioxidant—y…. 

Rich in a handful of other ferments

Still backed with clinical ingredients like: Hyaluronic acid for water retention, enzymes for light exfoliation, I saw Panthenol and Allantoin in there as well as Niacinamide being listed as an active ingredient (which to note is weird and not normal.) These few ingredients are incredible at conditioning the skin in various ways as you may have read about in my other posts. But expect increased skin cell turnover leading you to a porcelain smooth complexion

So we have a cleanser packed full of potent ingredients, but how does it feel??? The cleanser rubs in great, creating a nice rich green tinted froth. The smell is subtle, but fresh and perfect to wake up to. It leaves the skin feeling very “matte” I have to say. Not the same as that nasty dry and tight feeling you get from using bar soap or another non-pH balanced cleanser but doesn’t leave a feeling of moisture behind say like an milk cleanser. Which isn’t really a complaint, just to note if you’re on the drier side like me. 

Overall I’m really enjoying the cleaner, no irritation, dryness even with the overwhelming ingredient list. 

Check it out on Sephora.com | Memebox.com | SokoGlam.com

[REVIEW] CosRx Galactomyces Whitening Power Essence: Skin Perfected Under $20

Okay this is KEY. This product has been my most effective treatment I’ve used to date. Also what’s neat about it is, it’s also one of the cheapest products I’ve ever purchased coming in just under $19 USD.

However the first ingredient is 95% of the product (it’s not a typo and it’s not water!) And it’s the saaaaame prized ingredient SK-II has dubbed ‘Pitera’. It’s known as Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate and it is a yeast ferment generally occurring in the sake making process. But instead of paying $205 USD for it from SK-II at 90% with 10% preservative why not try it for $19 at a 5% higher concentration and the added brightening effect and antioxidant boost of Niacinamide? This is the Cosrx Galactomyces Whitening Power Essence (it used to be called White Power Essence before LMAO oops)

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Here’s the OVERWHELMINGLY LONG AND SCARY INGREDIENT LIST:

Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide,Sodium Hyaluronate, Betaine, Panthenol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Allantoin, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol, Adenosine

Yeah dude, that’s it. These are also EXTREMELY safe and ‘clean’ ingredients as well. Cosrx is a near perfect brand and that is a title I thought would virtually never exist. But if we look at the sub ingredients they’re things we’ve seeing carry great benefit before like Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid) are humectants to help absorption and hydration. Adenosine and Allantoin are conditioning as well.

The reason people love first treatment essences (what’s that? read my blog post about the different types here) formulated with Galactomyces is the increased skin cell turnover. We see all around improvement not just individualized results for just one concern like wrinkles or dark spots. We are essentially dealing with all types of damage our skin deals with from existing damage to preemptive protection! This ferment is naturally loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and NMF (natural moisture factors) all that work synergistically to improve skin as a whole.

A study was done by SK-II (read about it here) on 100 women over 10 years with ‘Pitera’ aka THE SAME INGREDIENT! and all the women showed improvement in their skin in one way or another and increased hydration across the board.

This essence is a little different than your regular FTE because of it’s consistency. Most, including SK-IIs are very watery, however this is just slightly more viscous but I prefer this as it helps application and speed of absorption. The results are incredible, especially paired with a powerful serum (remember increased cell turnover means more room for increased results!) and seriously would recommend it to everyone and anyone. Especially for it’s price point E V E R Y O N E can benefit from this essence.