There’s nothing I like more than the feeling of a polish exfoliator. Chemical exfoliants are great treatments and can be gentle ways to remove dead skin. But sometimes you want to remove a little more. You could amp your chemical exfoliation up but often times you run into a ‘plateau’ effect unless you use a stronger chemical exfoliator. Or the worst, a patch of dead skin. This why I keep a physical exfoliant on hand.
I’m lovin’ 9Wishes. The innovative Korean naturals brand has been pumping out some really fantastic and multifunctional products. Just a few weeks ago I posted my review of their Sun Moisturizer SPF50+/PA+++ which is a nifty high protection SPF that’s moisturizing and has a beautiful refining effect.
Today, 9Wishes brings us their Rice Powder Polish. It’s a thick, creamy textured scrub that has a very fine rice powder suspended in it. It melts onto skin to provide a moisturizing buff. It’s scrub mechanism is more like that of a microdermabrasion exfoliation rather than a regular scrub. I am ALL about this.
When it comes to microdermabrasion in general, things can be rough. Literally. On dry and damp skin, these really fine particles can be pretty irritating. I love the end results of it more than regular scrubs, but sometimes I feel like I pay a price for that baby smooth skin. But not with this goop. It’s waxy base turns nearly into a milk cleanser when you start massaging it into dry skin. You’re left with perfectly exfoliated skin without feeling dry, or even worse, irritated.
The Rice Powder polish smells faintly of rice with no fragrance added. This works great on dry patches on the body as well. I’ve even successfully added this to foaming cleansers to add a bit of a ‘kick’. Once water hits this polish, it starts to emulsify nearly into a milk cleanser! This isn’t only multifunctional (use before foaming cleanser as an oil cleanser/exfoliant) but is seriously moisturizing!
9Wishes Rice Powder Polish blew my expectations out of the water. You can pick the Polish up on sale right now at BBCosmetic for only $17USD! You can also use the code ‘facequench8’ to get an extra 8% discount!
Benton has been hard at work. They’ve recently launched their gorgeous Cacao Moist & Mild Cream and just launched their first sunscreen: Papaya-D Sun Cream. They’re even ramping up to launch their second sunscreen!
But I came out of my hermit shell to tell you what’s up with Papaya-D. First, what’s with the D? It stands for DAILY! As you should be wearing sunscreen whenever you’re outside morning-evening. What’s nice about the SPF38 blend is lighter weight but strong baseline defense for everyday. Not to mention higher than most US sunscreens, including many [most] SPF50s are going to give you a weaker protection than this. Of course if you’re going to the beach you’d want to bring something a little heavier duty along. PA+++ is great as it’s nearly the highest protection we can get against UV(A)ging rays. The rays responsible for accelerated aging, hyperpigmentation, and dehydration. These are also the rays we still have to worry about indoors (unless you don’t have any substantial amount of artificial light on or windows open letting direct sunlight in.) so I like having something like this that’s comfortable to wear while I’m at the office that has a ton of bright HID lights and windows.
I contacted Benton regarding the percentages of each sunscreen they have included in here but they were unwilling to share that information. Here in the US it’s mandatory for the Sunscreen actives to be labeled if they are SPF15+ and broad spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB. But they were willing to share that the major two sunscreens are Titanium Dioxide and Octinoxate both over 6% concentration. Tinosorb S and Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate are also present to help boost UVA protection.
Besides sunscreen, you can find 55% papaya water as the very first ingredient. Loaded with moisture retaining B vitamins, it plays hand in hand with the added Adenosine and Niacinamide. Papian the protease enzyme found in Papaya is also present to keep dead skin cells from accumulating.
Upon application it does produce a slight white cast. I only get a slight iridescence from the Titanium Dioxide but deeper skin tones may want to look at something with less mineral. The finish is VERY moist. If you dig the dewy look this sunscreen will be your best friend. I do enjoy the finish myself as I have relatively dry skin but the texture wouldn’t be suitable for any prolonged time in the heat. Also warning if you are applying this to any area with hair, such as arms, back of neck, beard, etc. extra rubbing is required to blend.
I love the scent of this sunscreen which is rare! No synthetic fragrance of course, but an intoxicating Lime scent lingers just for a minute before it fades away, leaving no Octinoxate smell.
Overall, I’m ‘alright’ with this sunscreen. It doesn’t ‘wow’ me in any way. It does slightly underperform in application, it’s a nice staple daily sunscreen. Big shoutout to Benton for providing this sunscreen for my honest review
If you want to give this suncream a try, pick it up at Amazon for $20USD.
It’s true, I’m addicted. I use too much. I justify it. I love it. This is one of Sulwhasoo’s finest.
I hate really dislike my new job. It has perks over my old one but I’ve been trying to get out of there almost since I started. I was moping around about having to work Saturday night (Not part of my regular schedule but I was doing it the entire month) After grocery shopping at HMart my partner and I went into AMOREPACIFIC because I actually wanted to get myself something. My partner was tired of it and asked what I was eyeing last time and that was Sulwhasoo’s First Care Activating Serum. I told him it was expensive and I don’t really need it, it’s ‘just another step’. He snatched a bottle up and put it on the counter before I could say anything else.
Also included from the day’s shopping: Ryo Ginsengbo Conditioner for Normal/Dry Hair , Laneige Water Bank Soothing Gel Mask (5pc), Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, Happy Bath Peach & Orange Blossom Foaming Hand Soap (2) [gift w/ purchase!] , Sulwhasoo Basic Care Set 6pc [also gift!])
So to say the least, he did cheer me up. A L O T.
Sulwhasoo products are really special to me. Once I moved away from such an intensive repairing regime I found myself bored and tired of my skincare routine. While results kept showing, my drive faded. Sulwhasoo brought a fresh take to my idea of skincare. Holistic skincare. Indulging all senses and not just applying product for results. Make your routine relaxing and beneficial inside and out. Textures irresistible to touch, scents that evoke emotion, and most importantly quality and well processed ingredients.
What is First Care Activating Serum? It was the first product of it’s kind. First launched in 1997 it’s been a best seller in Korea, and now even the US. It’s described as a ‘booster’ or ‘activator’. You can find other products like it, though rare, from other brands such as Naruko 60 Actives Youth Activating Enhancer and Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule are some examples. What is a booster? Well, it’s a serum you apply before any treatment step, first essence (and sometimes toner) included. They all vary slightly on effects but the common theme is enhancing product absorption. First Care Serum promises to do this and more, such as provide a boost in firmness and hydration.
I started experimenting with where I wanted to use this product in my routine because in my routine, I apply actives before essences and above. I let them sit for 20 minutes before applying anything else. At night I use my Curology prescription. In the morning I use Dr. Dennis Gross’ C +Collagen serum. So i’ve applied this before actives and after my actives. I found over a month of testing this is how I like to apply it best:
The last method with actives requires a bit of time, but it’s the only way I’m truly happy with how my products layer when I’m doing a full routine. Why I say a toner w/ denatured alcohol is because these make much better ‘prep’ toners. For you it may not be a toner with alcohol, Actually, the toner I use with alcohol is designed to increase treatment efficacy and product penetration! I feel like my regular alcohol free toners do not leave my skin feel freshly cleaned and First Care has a slower absorption rate. I use it before and after my actives, then use a refreshing treatment toner as my ‘toner’ step before First Treatment Essence. This is totally unnecessary and I skip it at times, but if you want the whole shebang.. there you go.
Now my favorite part, ingredients. Based with 5 ingredients that were hand picked out through a tedious process. First 3,000 Korean traditional medicinal herbs were studied, from this list 163 were selected. These 163 herbs went through intensive research and an even smaller list of 30 was created. Rigorous tests discover 5 ingredients poised to work harmoniously. These 5 ingredients makeup what is called the ‘JAUM’ balancing complex.
Peony — Antioxidant powerhouse, anti-inflammatory, skin tone corrector
Sacred Lotus — Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Solomon’s Seal —Anti-inflammatory, UV damage repair/protection
White Lily — powerful anti-inflammatory
Rehmannia —Anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, rich in repairing amino acids
Essentially, these 5 work together to soothe, balance, and protect. Sulwhasoo couldn’t just stop at hours of research to find the 5 perfect herbs. They then tested traditional brewing methods. The poje honey method is used to marry these ingredients with honey in earthen jars. To ensure maximum efficacy the ingredients were checked every 10 minutes when researching. They found no more, and no less than 18 hours was the perfect brewing time. With that the JAUM complex was born.
To read more about these complexes you can find out more from AMOREPACIFIC’s R&D: Here, here, and here
The JAUM Complex is the star of First Care but there’s a few other ingredients I like to see. Licorice Root is the second ingredient, my favorite anti-inflammatory. Betaine, Hyaluronic acid, and Natto Gum are great humectants to include.
(not an exact comparison due to lighting differences but still noticeable!)
First few applications of the product I didn’t notice any substantial differences. But over time I started to crave the cooling/soothing feeling it left. I would notice days that I had to skip it in my routine; my skin would extremely lackluster compared to what I was getting used to. Once I added it back, immediately that glow was back. I can say with confidence this product has improved my skin’s circulation with its gang of anti-inflammatories.
First Care Activating Serum throws a huge wrench in the ‘thinnest to thickest’ method of application extensive routines have. Instead of being the thinnest product first it’s actually this guy. Not essence. Not even toner. Like straight after washing your face you take 2-3 pumps of the serum and apply onto dry skin. I was super weirded out by this, especially for my cleansers that have a pH that requires a toner afterwards. I like to keep the brands whole product line in the back of my head when analyzing products. Sulwhasoo doesn’t make pH unbalanced cleansers. Their ‘Waters’ or toners are a cross between toner and essence so a very watery pH balancing toner isn’t a step in a Sulwhasoo only routine.
First Care’s scent is so lovely. It carries a similar scent the rest of the ‘Essential’ line has, but isn’t excessive and fades quickly. Citrusy with prominent woodsy-hanbang notes, Sulwhasoo scents are part of what make their products unique and a holistic experience.
Overall, I found a new staple. I look forward to it the most in my routine, I can even spend a solid 5 minutes just rubbing this product in. From it’s soothing sensation to the long term circulation benefits I’ve noticed, it’s a keeper.
I’ve sold their products for years, I’ve used their products for even longer. But I am just now writing about ‘mother’. Amore isn’t just a brand, they are a cosmetics conglomerate of over 30 brands. They make some of the world’s favorite brands and most people are unsuspecting of such. Brands like Laneige, Mamonde, IOPE, Hera, Sulwhasoo, and Happy Bath, the list goes on (in all price ranges).
AMOREPACIFIC is the cream of the crop. With products that have price points that compete with ultra luxe wastes of money like La Prairie and 111Skin. (Of course there are exceptions. However, no skincare product will compete with procedures, put your $600 towards microneedling or something other than a bottle of 50% water) They are to be considered the pinnacle of Amore’s R&D. Most products don’t wander into the $200< mark unless they are apart of the ‘Time Renewal’ collection. The super super super #1. Sh*ts like $450 for green tea and bamboo, man.
The Treatment Toner is part of the basics so while it does take a blow to your wallet, nothing like above. While in many Korean skincare brands we’d expect to see essences somewhere in the product lineup. However, unlike the rest of the AMORE group brands, there’s not a single essence to be found. (until like a month ago, no joke it’s the Vintage Single Extract Essence, and yes I need it, and no I can’t ever afford it and the part that kills me is it’s technically a First Treatment Essence based with 100-day fermented green tea…. NO YOU’RE CRYING.) But in a normal Amore routine, Treatment Toner is your essence. But it’s still also your toner. It’s both. Instead of being just pH restoring and balancing like toner, or just a hydration step like essence this product does the job of both. Pretty well too!
In typical Amore fashion, water is not the first ingredient. Instead they use Ginseng extract as the base. Before you close this tab and run to your nearest Amore reseller.. Calling the first ingredient ginseng doesn’t mean this product is filled to the brim with it. It’s still a water. & the word ‘extract’ can be stretched. Like in cooking, we call it, lets say “whatever” extract, but with propylene glycol and water added. But it’s still 100% “whatever” extract. So in a product we could list that as “whatever extract”. But nonetheless, something you can count on in this ingredient is the quality.
Other ingredients to should note: Hyaluronic Acid(hydrator), Korean Red Pine extract (antioxidant powerhouse), Green Tea (also antioxidants), Theanine (green tea component), Ginger, Bamboo sap(hydrator), Water Lily (astringent), and last but not least Licorice Root(anti-inflammatory).
It’s great at calming my irritated skin down after exfoliating, replenishing moisture and pH. I also know it’s giving me a solid foundation to a great routine.
Where does this toner go wrong though? Fragrance and unnecessary pigment. Why does it have to be pink? ((Attract the ‘US market’ client)) Red 33 and CI 15985 are what give this product it’s pale pink tint, not ginseng unfortunately.. The fragrance is definitely artificial. It’s not the best scent, but definitely not bad! It is not a herbal/natural smelling wonderland like Sulwhasoo products, it’s just a ‘good scent’.((Attract the ‘US market’ client)) I can smell it for step or two afterwards even with those products on top, but then it seems to go away.
Where this toner goes right all the way, is it’s texture. It’s as light as water but feels as hydrating as an essence with absolutely no residue. I can’t imagine someone not caring for it.
Find this toner at your local AMOREPACIFIC store or retailer for $50USD
Can you own too many sleeping masks? If you said yes, YOU’RE WRONG. I have I think 5 currently, and one disposable… When Cupidrop announced this product to review I was stoked! How did they know I needed another hydrating sleeping mask?
They didn’t. I got lucky.
BRTC is a clinical oriented KBeauty brand that stands for Bio Remedies Therapeutic Cosmetics. Their goal is to provide effective formulas based in nature. (Like a lot of brands!) They do however have two of their own patented ingredient complexes in this single product: Purple Vigor, and Blue Phyto Complex.
Notable Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane*, Niacinamide, Adenosine, Allantoin, Chamomile, Jasmine Water
The Jasmine Waterful sleeping mask is described as dual function to assist with not only whitening (reducing dark spots), but anti-wrinkle as well. It has an extremely light Jasmine scent that I honestly, can’t really pick up unless my products have no scent whatsoever. Some people are more sensitive to it than others, but I really have to strain to pick up any jasmine scent. I do wish it was in a tube or a pump to prevent ingredient degradation and maintain sanitation.
The texture is great. It’s described as ‘bursts with moist when rubbed in’ and it…. well… really does! Just like if you’ve tried Dr. Jart Water Drop moisturizer or similar, this will form lil’ water beads when you start to rub it in! Pretty novel, but it shows the formula is literally ‘bursting’ with hydration. Pretty cool stuff! It absorbs well and makes a fine last step at night (or even as a lightweight hydrating/priming moisturizer in the morning!)
We’re facing summer head on now! I’ve never been so excited for summer! Not just the warm weather (that I’ve missed since moving from CA), but also the new fresh textured products that roll out.
One thing that’s new to me is 9Wishes! They’re a contemporary Korean brand that ‘wishes’ to provide natural, gentle, and safe products. There are actually 9 individual things they stand for, that I haven’t had translated yet! But google translate tried for me:
It’s hard finding sunscreens that are high coverage but have a nice texture, and have more than just a couple humectants thrown in as far as ‘extras’. You may not think your sunscreen needs anything more than just the sunscreen and a delivery system, but it’s definitely ideal for them to have some other benefits. The sun dehydrates our skin, with or without sunscreen. Certain sunscreen filters produce free radicals as a byproduct of converting the harmful UV rays into heat. For many, the sun and/or the activity of the filters can be irritating. In short, the sun is the devil and we can use help especially during prolonged exposure (longer than 80 minutes) and we’d need reapplication.
9Wishes takes all of this into consideration with their Sun Moisturizer SPF50+ PA+++. With a patented ‘SM Calming Newplex-8’ ingredient complex, moisturizing and hydrating ingredients and a reapplication friendly, non-sticky finish, I found a Captain in my ‘Sunscreen Army’. Let’s take a look at these ingredients:
Antioxidants: Korean Red Pine, White Mulberry, Licorice Root, White Tea (sounds like a Sulwhasoo product) Niacinamide, Honeysuckle (and more)
What’s great about these antioxidants is they all will play a slightly different role in aiding you against the sun. For instance, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate is an incredible anti-inflammatory that reduces the Tyrosinase activity (forming of dark spots). White Mulberry also suppresses Tyrosinase activity. Niacinamide helps skin maintain a healthy lipid layer. I mean, this thing is really made to kick UV rays in the ass. This is important to not only start with, but keep using throughout the day. Why wouldn’t you want these great antioxidants and humectants with your reapplication? It’s definitely priced to do so, guilt free.
One thing that I’m less than thrilled about it how many types of sunscreen go in here. While I do like the inclusion of Tinosorb S and Uvinul t 150, if they used higher amounts of these and zinc, they wouldn’t need the other 3 estrogenic filters included. But overall, this is a small complaint and doesn’t outweigh the risk of damage from unprotected sun exposure.
The finish is really soft, almost like a pore perfecting primer, without the silicone slip feeling. It doesn’t have a cast on my fair skin, but a nice iridescence. (however deeper skin tones this may show up as slight white cast).
The fragrance is nice, it isn’t really strong and definitely cuts out the smell of the lengthy list of filters. After a while you don’t really smell it anymore either.
*Big thanks to BBCosmetic and 9Wishes for providing these products in exchange for my honest review. If you haven’t checked our BBCosmetic they’re a great place to get your KBeauty fix. Great prices and best yet, free shipping to the US! Also if you wanna try this sunscreen out (or somethin’ else) you can use this promo code: “facequench8″ for 8% off your order! You can catch the 9Wishes Sun Moisturizer on sale for $13.00 for a limited time!
This cleanser is Skin79′s take on the ever popular Slowganic cleansers by RE:CIPE.
In the flavor Adlay. Or more commonly referred to as Job’s Tears, or simply Coix. Adlay has been used for centuries as a natural remedy all of the world. For anything from skin ailments, to menstrual cramps, to even cancer in the liver Job’s Tears has shown some signs of improvement in one study or another.
But what does it do on the skin? Well, Albion answers that question better than I can, they formulate their Essential Skin Conditioner with adlay as well, but utilize it much more for it’s actual skin benefits.
So we see it helps regulate our skin cell synthesis. Cool! It’s based with 66% Seed Water, specifically from the Bong-hwa area. The 6 types of plant extracts, and 15 types of plant oil really just give it a scent more than an actual effect on the skin. Because it’s just a cleanser, on to the more important things.
The cleanser’s consistency is so unique. I’ve also never tried a unique cleanser consistency that i’ve really enjoyed more than regular liquid/cream to foam. It’s almost like a mousse; it has nice spreadability and it lathers beautifully, especially for a cleanser with a pH of only 5.
Having such a low pH is great. It means we aren’t stripping our natural lipid barrier, and keeping our skin around it’s natural acidic state. But the reason we don’t see every cleanser with a pH of 5 like this, is because often times the cleanser won’t lather very well unless it was a bit more stripping. You can find this with soapless cleansers, or very acidic sulfate washes like Tosowoong’s Enzyme Wash (review)
When washing the mousse, foam, whatever lathers up really well. You can feel a couple pieces of the crush adlay as well. They’re too far and few in between to provide any amount of exfoliation. When washed off, I can’t say my skin feels tight, because it doesn’t. But it also feels a bit drier than if I used my Skin Laundry Foaming Wash that’s a pH of 7. What gives?! Even though it’s less stripping, it can be cleansing better. There could be more cleansing agent. It also doesn’t have oodles of B-vitamins or other things to help the skin maintain moisture better. There are a lot of factors as to why. But it really doesn’t bother me, like it makes people toss this product. I feel like my skin is perfectly prepped for a long, nice skincare routine.
The scent is really relaxing and it’s a way more fun cleansing experience than dabbing some gel into your hands. But with that being said, often times when I’m fidgeting with the jar trying to get it open I am wishing I was just globbing some gel into my palms.
I found this cleanser at Marshalls for <$10! You can find it online for anywhere from $7-$23. It does come with an expiration date printed on the bottom of both the box and package so no need to worry about picking up an old one!
With a name like Swanicoco I wanna tell everyone about it. Just because Swanicoco is extremely fun to say outloud. The name, like many kbeauty brands, is a blend-word. Swan = beautiful Coco = botanical. The brand recently has launched a 10% PHA cream alongside other innovative kbeauty brands following this trend. This is the first product of a few that I will be reviewing over the following weeks.
What is PHA?
Other than a headache for beauty consultants to explain I can imagine, is an exfoliating acid, similar to AHAs (think Glycolic Acid) but have a larger structure therefore work slower / are less sensitizing. They aren’t anything new, but it’s something to buzz about in the beauty industry.
I like Swanicoco includes 10% PHA which seems to be an effective amount compared to CosRx’s 3%. Of course the percentage doesn’t matter as much as the Free Acid Value.. But I’ll leave that explanation up to another day. But comparing Swanicoco to the sample I had of the Moisture Renewal from CosRx, they’re definitely designed for slightly different purposes (But I felt SWANICOCO was the superior option all around) But the Coco Peeling Cream definitely exfoliated more.
Ingredient features were relatively hard to find since the product is almost entirely in korean so I looked to CosDNA hoping for an ingredient list. CosDNA ingredients thanks to Crazysnaillady
Blueberry extract is the first ingredient before Gluconolactone (one of the two PHAs featured), providing soothing benefits and protective antioxidants. Niacinamide is the next power ingredient on the list which is a powerful B vitamin that helps with everything from acne to rosacea to dehydrated skin. Centella, Camellia, and Witch Hazel are also found, great soothers, protectors and blemish fighters!
Besides just being safe and clean of any real pore clogging ingredients, SWANICOCO leaves this product unfragranced to reduce irritants (and room for actual ingredients!)
Silicone free, looks very glycerin heavy
It’s texture feels silky initially but leaves a noticeable tack when layering products. It also can leave a glossy finish, on my skin it leaves a glass appearance if layered on top of a full night routine.
((this is the first time I’ve ever been comfortable taking such a close up of the most damaged skin on my face!))
I was really impressed by this moisturizer. When I first tried it, I told myself I was only going to try it one night before I switched back to my current night time moisturizer, but I found myself reaching for it the next night like it was apart of my routine or something??? So I stuck with it and now I’m kinda addicted.
I wanted to give SWANICOCO and May @ Swanicoco a shout out for providing this (and more to come) tailored specifically to my skin’s needs for review purposes. I’m seriously in love with this, especially that it feeds my skin moisture and antioxidants while lightly, but consistently exfoliating while I catch some zzz’s.
Last but not least, if you want an extra boost of hydration, or like waking up to extra soft bouncy skin, apply a sleeping pack over the top of this. I’ve tried both hydrating gel sleeping packs like Dior Hydra Life Sleeping Jelly Mask & more lipid-y cream sleeping packs like CosRx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Mask (my review of it here!).
Find it on YesStyle, the official distributor of SWANICOCO globally. Make sure to check all their products out! They have some really neat stuff I’ve been eyeing for (very) future posts!
The review I’ve been waiting to write since I clicked the order button. If you read my last sunscreen post you would have read about my quest for the perfect daily sunscreen. To recap, biore watery gel was a bust. It’s a favorite for many, it sounded like the more ideal choice for me out of the two choices, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Partially because of it’s filter content.
What exactly am I looking for in a sunscreen?
SPF 50+ PA++++, Prone to dark spots.
Bioaccumulative and estrogenic filter free/ Specifically Octinoxate free, this filter accumulates in your system and is widely used. Personal preference.
‘Cosmetically elegant’, It needs to feel good
Somewhat durable throughout the day
SUNMEDIC UV’s Medicated Day Protect in Mild seemed to fit the bill. But it wasn’t easy to find. It was actually SO hard to find, I asked Ratzilla of http://www.ratzillacosme.com to help me out. She suggested a new Anessa SPF that was more for outdoorsy use and this one. Both made by Shiseido a leader in sunscreens, I felt pretty confident I would find something I like in either of them. But I leaned towards this because I was guessing it would feel a bit better throughout the day compared to the Anessa one.
Ingredients wise, this sunscreen fights with the big dogs. It definitely kicks every American sunscreen I’ve tried in the ass. Since it’s stated ‘medicated’ in japan, it’s what is known as a ‘Quasi Drug’. What’s a quasi drug you might ask? It’s a category of cosmetics that lighten and prevent hyperpigmentation. There are set active ingredients and amounts that can be used that make a product a functional whitening cosmetic. (Remember! Whitening just refers to the rapid brightening process, not necessarily skin bleaching) The active quasi drug ingredient is Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate. Paired with Xylitol, this dream team is irritated and sensitive skin’s best friend. Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate is a salt derived from Licorice Root. It’s clinically proven to reduce redness and irritation, as well as atopic dermatitis (eczema). Xylitol is a Natural Moisturizing Factor so it helps our skin retain moisture and hyaluronic acid.
Shiseido gives a lot of things, a lot of names and a lot of patents. Take that however you want. One things they patented is their ‘Light Stamina’ Technology. Which is said to release UV rays into heat offering a more stable protection. Wait… isn’t that EXACTLY how chemical filter sunscreens work??? So to tell you the truth, even after extensive googling I found nothing about light stamina and why it’s patented and if it’s different that the regular filters that are converting rays into heat as it is..
SUNMEDIC promises this sunscreen is free of any potential irritants. It’s 1. paraben free (wasn’t specifically looking for this but less is less!) 2. alcohol free (nice! a lot of ABeauty sunscreens I’ve found contain alcohol to help dry. I just find sometimes it messes with layering products) 3. Mineral oil free, I don’t need this but mineral oil is cheap and doesn’t feel super cosmetically elegant. 4. Colorant free, some colorants are SUPER pore clogging so, cool! 5. Lastly Fragrance free, unpopular opinion I love smelling smells. Most shiseido products are LOADED with perfume but SUNMEDIC is not the brand for smelly smells.
I don’t feel it on my face. But when I put it on my face feel a nice cool feeling, not the same cool feeling Biore Watery Gel gives from it’s high alcohol content. It’s that fresh feeling you get after patting the excess essence in from the sheet mask you just pulled off. My guess is it’s either the Licorice derivative or the xylitol is really workin’.
UPDATE: I had to translate an ingredient list from japanese.. But I got all the ingredients to match actual ingredients so I think I got it.
It leaves me feeling radiant without any noticeable white cast. I think Shiseido needs to get this sunscreen formula into a broader range of products because it’s really somethin’!
Look at that radiance.
Holding up through the day, you’ll want to reapply before going out again. It isn’t water/sweat resistant. For everyday use water/sweat resistant sunscreens aren’t really necessary and can make the product feel more like glue less like a nice moisturizer. But even through a day of work I can still notice that ‘radiance’ I pictured above so there’s still sunscreen on my face. But those invisible filters are the ones more likely to have worn off, and those are our super defence against UV(Aging) rays.
I purchased this product through Buyee.jp on Amazon.jp. Buyee will purchase your favorite japanese items and then ship them anywhere in the world! Amazon is affiliated with them and while yes, you can purchase items directly through Amazon with AmazonGlobal, as a big boss company they won’t ship it since it is a prohibited item in the US. Those sunscreen filters (the super safe non-estrogenic ones, not Oxctinoxate the estrogenic one allowed in the US) make this product a no-go. Rakuten Global also does not ship this item. But when you’re browsing Amazon.co.jp you’ll want to either ‘search in english’ or search it’s japanese name. There’s way too many sunmedic sunscreens and it wasn’t coming up SO I had to find it’s name that was copy/pastable (no thanks to Ratzilla’s website 😐 ) ‘サンメディックUV 薬用デイプロテクト マイルド クリーム 顔・首用 25g SPF50+ PA++++ [医薬部外品]’ [Direct Link] (you’re welcome) But Buyee as of right now offers a solution around this. All for ~800JPY or ~7USD they will purchase it, ship it to themselves, inspect the package!!, repackage it up, and ship it off to your grabby hands. I highly recommend the service, it went so smoothly, I’ll definitely be using it next time to purchase more. But the more you spend, the more cost effective the service fees get, so gets some sheet masks too! I recommend these ones (if you’re feelin’ lux) or these by LuLuLun if you’re wanting to try daily masking or just more frequent masking if you can’t get them near you at an asian market. (They’re a lot cheaper than if you buy them in an asian market here too!!)
Two ‘cult favorites’. Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero! Cleansing Balm in Classic flavor is arguably the best selling cleaning balm there is. Amongst beauty accounts, it’s by far the one I see the most. Then Heimish’s All Clean Balm, while being slightly lesser known, has only brought good reviews to my eyes.
Over the past year or so brands such as CosRx, Benton, NEOGEN, and Missha have all blown up into big boy brand status. When I was handing samples of Snail Bee Essence to clients and they had only a few retailers they could buy it from. Now I can send them to FOREVER 21 to pick a bottle up. Banila Co. Clean It Zero is a cleansing balm I’ve seen since I’ve first laid eyes on Asian Beauty products.
Banilla co. Clean It Zero
(yeah this jar has seen hell)
Clean It Zero Classic features a very heavy fruity/generic fragrance. My jar came with a solid top and emollient bottom so I had to stir it together before using it. When stirred, it actually isn’t so much of a balm as it is a gel cream. Key ingredients include Vitamin C and Papaya however realistically they aren’t doing anything. Neither are the extracts listed lower down.
The first ingredient is Mineral Oil. Are you screaming in rage? If you are, well stop it. Mineral Oil often gets a bad wrap from greenwash blogs, it’s sad bc Mineral Oil doesn’t do nothin’ to nobody! Maybe not quite, like every ingredient your mileage may vary. But 9.5/10 times we steer away from it for no good reason other than we think it’s clogging our pores. Mineral Oil is an occlusive that helps prevent transepidermal water loss when applied and left on our skin. It’s comedogenicity rating is between a 1-3/5. It relies HEAVILY on the type of mineral oil too. The mineral oil viscosity of this CLEANSER will be much different than that of a well formulated MOISTURIZER that contains the same ingredient. I personally do not use moisturizers with mineral oil in them, It’s definitely not the most cosmetically elegant ingredient.
In this case, mineral oil makes a kick ass deep oil cleanser. In general, it’s such a deep cleansing oil cleanser, it doesn’t come off with just water. LIKE IT’S REALLY HARD TO REMOVE THIS WITH JUST WATER. IT IS NOT A ONE STEP OPTIONAL CLEANSE. IM SERIOUS. The positives of this: Take the day OFFFF. Sunscreen, dirt, sebum, makeup, pollutants everything is getting trapped in this cleansing balm once it’s rubbed in. But you’re in a committed relationship once it hits skin. Make sure to get your foaming cleanser to remove the remnants. You don’t need anything strong or stripping. But you’ll want some sort of water based cleanser handy.
Wiped clean and I still have some shine
What’s the deal? My best guess because I didn’t formulate this product is that there is SO MUCH Mineral oil and Cetyl Ethylhexanoate (a fatty alcohol mixture) and not enough of those PEG emulsifying agents. So this guy for me is not a favorite. Or a repurchase. I never need this much cleansing power. Realistically no one does unless you’re wearing a F U L L face of makeup everyday. Lashes and 24h foundation included. But then again most other oil balm cleansers can remove things just as well, residue or not.
Can I say it’s ‘bad’? No. Is it good? Eh. Is it practical? No.
Heimish All Clean Balm
All Clean Balm is free of parabens, fragrance, and pigment. They state it as ‘Hypoallergenic’ which nothing but a marketing term. It does not mean the product is less likely to cause irritation than the next. Why? The FDA doesn’t have a standard for it. So if you’re sensitive to any of the many essential oils that are listed in the product you should stay away.
I hate jar packaging so much. I could make an entire post on why I hate jar packaging because there’s different reasons for different products. Heimish has solved all my issues with cleansing balms being put into jars. (I mean what else can you put a balm into, it just suuuuucks)
BEHOLD SPATULA HOLDER / AIR TIGHT LID
As you melt the balm into your skin you immediately notice the aroma of essential oils. It’s actually quite a nice scent but is overwhelmingly ‘lavender-y’. It spreads easily and doesn’t need any time to warm up and melt.
It emulsifies beautifully. I mean like, second to Tatcha One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser. Still not quite as milky. She’s still #1, but she’s also $48. Ingredients wise, there really aren’t any benefits. It’s based with Ethylhexyl Palmitate and Cetyl Ethylhexanoate instead of Banila’s Mineral Oil and Cetyl E. The PEG’s (what helps emulsify these balms) that are listed are also different. The combination of these two results in better emulsification and there’s nothing left behind. No dirt, no balm. Just clean skin. I’ve actually been liking this so much i’ve been using this as a morning cleanse alternative to a light pH balanced cleanser or miceller water when I have more time.
Fresh, no shine
I’m blown away by the Heimish balm. It’s a cost effective alternative to the cost annoying Tatcha Cleansing Oil. I can use it day or night, with or without a second cleanse. I like the options. For me, Clean It Zero doesn’t have a place in my stash but it could have a spot in yours.