[First Take] The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Brands like the Ordinary make me worry about large cosmetic resellers like Sephora and Nordstrom. Effective, affordable, attractive. Asian Beauty brands are one thing because uneducated westerners don’t know how to really shop the products, let alone the different product types they’re used to seeing. But brands like the Ordinary and their parent company DECIEM bring a different philosophy to selling skin care that I’m all about. 

DECIEM created The Ordinary after their two core brands N.I.O.D (Non Invasive Options in Dermal Science) and Hylamide. These two brands offer more advanced formulations and other types of products such as ‘boosters’ and ‘finishers’. NIOD being their attempt at the ‘Ferrari of skincare’ provides people with incredible formulas using the latest technology in active ingredients and dermal science. You can find products from them like Sanskrit Saponins which is a pH balanced, raw saponin cleanser to actually cleanse the skin instead of stripping or purifying it has Lysine an essential amino acid to help optimize skin functionality. They tout the brand as the brand for the hyper obsessed about skin, while I agree it’s definitely a brand of it’s own class, but there’s a lot of exaggeration in the description of some of their products. The Ordinary is the ‘essence’ of these two brands, it essentially delivers  minimalist versions of some of their core brands’ products. So to better understand the differences between these 3 brands lets quick compare their 3 hyaluronic acid serums:

NIOD (top end) – Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid Complex – 12 forms of HA – peptide delivery system ($35/.5oz)

Hylamide – Booster – Low Molecular HA – 5 forms of HA ($20/1oz)

The Ordinary – Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – 3 forms of HA – Panthenol ($6.80/1oz)

Kinda classist but hey, even the most expensive is NIOD at $35.00 for .5 oz you could also go to any cosmetics store and find some very basic hyaluronic acid serums for about the same price point. 

This is my first Ordinary product. I kinda forgot about reviewing it until one of my favorite coworkers asked me if I’ve tried anything from them. I got it during a black friday sale for $1.00! However the company didn’t process anything in a timely matter and it took until about a week before christmas to show up at my door. The company also failed to inform customers of the delay. No note in the package, email, or compensation. I literally just got a product a month late that I figured got stolen because it was taking so long. But awful customer service isn’t the formulators fault and they did a pretty good job themselves but it’s worth mentioning before potentially throwing money at them.

Now onto the the HA + B5…

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I was pretty impressed with what 6.80 can buy you as far as a Hyaluronic Acid serum goes. It contains HA crosspolymer to give surface hydration, as well as two lower weight forms to insure penetration and deep hydration. The Ordinary notes that when using just regular HA, because of it not being able to penetrate into our skin it can actually pull hydration from the surface of our skin and this is why they use 3 forms. HA is great at pulling that hydration in, but where does it get that hydration from? Generally we expect from the environment, but HA serums will almost always contain a decent amount of water to insure you’re ‘feeding’ that newly absorbed HA. (Also if you live someplace where it’s dry AF the HA isn’t gonna do a lot for you unless it has water to absorb in the product) It also contains Panthenol or B5 to lock in that moisture too.

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Here is the ingredient list. Just goes to show how incredibly simple they keep their products. 

Smart formulation, simple and effective. I think as people catch on to brands such as the Ordinary and CosRx we’ll see the beauty industry shifting their skincare market. High end brands have already been hustling to get new improved, more concentrated formulas out on the shelves to sway people back to loyalty. Something western brands get that most Asian Beauty brands do not get! I will definitely be trying some more products out from the Ordinary as well as NOID since this product went well for me. 

I give this HA serum a 8/10, I hope I would give the NIOD version a higher rating but comparing this to my Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Serum, I still prefer Caudalie. For comparison it has 3 forms of HA, peptides, resveratrol and a patent from Harvard University but an $88 price tag. I want to compare the NOID 12 forms to it soon. So we’ll see! HA show down?!

[REVIEW] KIKU-MASAMUNE Sake Skin High Moist Lotion

So is it a facial toner? Sure! Body toner? Yeah dude. It can be what e v e r you want it to be. This lotion is to the western world, a toner (acidic pH included) for drier skin. The white version of this contains alcohol denat. for quick drying and astringent effects for more oily skin. Kiku Masamune is much more than a beauty brand, however. They are a sake brewery first!

Let’s backup and talk about why sake is so great for the skin first. Sake contains two great things for our skin, amino acids and kojic acid. These amino acids like Lysine, Proline, Leucine are building blocks of our actual skin. These help ‘feed’ our skin and skin’s processes such as collagen and elastin synthesis. So in short, amino acids are top notch. (Both externally but as well as internally!)

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Kikumasamune’s toner boasts the equivalent of 1 shou of sake (an old japanese measurement that equals ~1800mL) of amino acids in a 500mL bottle. You also find some super ingredients such as ceramide 3 and 6 for moisturizing and repairing the lipid barrier, arbutin a tried and true ingredient for brightening, and Glycyrrhizic acid a derivative of licorice root for soothing. The lotion does come with a cost though. PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is added, it’s a silky cleansing agent but still not ideal but it’s cheap and it keeps this product at $13 USD from my local Uwajimaya or for about the same here from Amazon

It does have a ever so slight tacky feeling left behind on clean skin, however this works to our advantage when we apply a occlusive on top! I’ve been applying this head to toe out of the shower, I initially wasn’t applying lotion but I was feeling that slight tack so I decided to start applying my Happy Bath Shea 24H Moisture body lotion on top to help not only seal the lotion ingredients in, but to provide that nice silky smooth feeling.

I would recommend this toner for drier skin, anyone wanting to try a ferment based essence but don’t want to commit to a more luxe alternative until you’ve tried it, or for someone looking to amp their body care up. I will continue using this on my face for awhile longer, but I will most likely switch this product over to body only as when I purchased it, that was the deciding factor on this product over another.

All in all I gotta give this product a 7/10 I like it, I really like it for my body, ESPECIALLY under body lotion. But I think I’m going to stick with my regular first treatment essences for my face, just due less ingredients and cleaner product layering.

Mystery Grocery Store Masking [PART 2/?]: Kikumasamune Sake Brewing Face Mask

Oh boy, I was excited for this segment when I first started it, now I’m not sure how I’m going to financially support this segment because I want to go to the grocery store every day to grab some more face masks LOL. 

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Today we have Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Face Masks. They make this version and then also a ‘Moist’ version that contains placental protein, ceramide, and licorice root extract, I’m very intrigued but wanted to start with this simple and sexy ingredient list so I was more than happy bringing the white ones home instead of the adorable pinks ones that would match the new Moist lotion I got! (Review to come, actual products get way more testing time compared to sheet masks)

I couldn’t decide on Kose or Kiku, but i’m real tired of babies on the front of my packages Kose, talk to Loshi about it.

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Why did I pick these up? Kiku-Masamune’s lotions and emulsions are incredibly popular. The brand itself is very interesting, they are also a sake brewing company as well! Not in the same way SK-II was ‘discovered’ at a brewery, I mean they boast concentrating 1,800mL of sake ferment filtrate in every bottle from their OWN brewery that is still in business. Kikumasamune is a brewing company first, their skin care is just an extra blessing. 

This same sake ferment makes it way into these sheet masks as the 3rd ingredient without propylene glycol to be found and her less problematic brother butylene glycol is found very very low on the list and is actually the only /potential/ acne trigger. That’s almost unheard of. Especially in a world of sheet masks where the top 3 ingredients 9/10 times are water, butylene and propylene. 

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(this is NOT the moist version therefore the ingredients are incorrect, Oceana USA needs to get their shit together)

The fit of this mask is awful. Incredibly small all the way around, and since it’s a japanese daily mask style they’re drier than most sheet masks so they can ALSO have a hard time sticking. My daiso silicone mask is the only reason I can even try these masks to be frank. This size sheet mask is common in daily sheet masks, they aren’t really made for the mass market as some of the korean big names are. But if you have a silicone mask holder you shouldn’t run into issues with these (or really any other sheet mask)

(the uncut eye and nose holes are good signs of a cheap sheet mask that won’t fit well but of course YMMV)

Overall I was impressed with these, especially all the concentrated amino acids present (all those words ending in ‘sine’), something you normally see in a Peter Thomas Roth serum, not a $1 sheet mask. I can’t wait to try the moist version out, but I feel like my Horse Oil masks are too similar for me to go out of my way to purchase them right now.

They get a 8/10

No issues here except the fit.

(I may have thrown one off my face in rage because it wasn’t cooperating)

Mystery Grocery Store Masking [PART 1/?] : LOSHI Horse Oil Sheet Mask

I’m starting a new segment dedicated to some of the lesser known gems I’ve been coming across actually from my local asian markets! Both stores Uwajimaya and HMart have plenty of masks to choose from however, Uwajimaya has quite a few I’ve never seen before currently. Last time I went looking for skin care there I left disappointed, however I think the surge in stock is because of the holidays. HMart carries more well known brands like Medi-Heal and Mediental but I’ll try to stay away from brands like this as much as I can to bring you some hidden gems to the surface. 

Today I am starting it off with Loshi Horse Oil Moisture Face Mask. 

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I bought these at Uwajimaya in Seattle $8 for 7. You can grab them here for $12 I actually didn’t think much of these when I picked them up. Other than the baby is really irrelevant (it’s for rough skin/texture but like, ??? sass baby instead)

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I was more stressed about the fact I stumbled upon the motherload of PureSmile masks for their appropriate price of $1.50 (they were $3+ in Portland!) These also don’t get any love or reviews so maybe they’ll be next. 

I love masks that come in resealable packs especially because they’re usually pretty affordable and they’ve never disappointed. One thing to note is masks in this style are usually referred to as ‘daily sheet masks’ because they aren’t DRENCHED in essence like single use masks commonly are, especially like My Scheming masks that give you enough for 17 sheet masks in one pack. (These get most of the hype from the grocery stores unfortunately) Loshi is a japanese brand and they are most famous for their Horse Oil cream. 

The ingredients really impressed me, the ingredients featured on the package are of course Horse Oil, it states that horse oil is similar to human fat and because of this it’ll be supremely moisturizing. Partially true, the lipids found in horse fat will definitely moisturize and protect, but there’s nothing ‘superior’ about using it over another lipid other than the fact the only real studies done show horse oil being only more similar when compared to other animal fats. So unless you’re currently rubbing pig fat on you, horse oil will reign in that category.  The information I’ve found on the subject is slim, just a few studies done in the 50′s speaking to the linoleic content and some other stuff that isn’t really interesting. If you care to read up more (please tell me what you learn!) you can read about it here, here and here

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But just one key ingredient wouldn’t get me writing a review, you also spot placenta (nutrition and moisture), royal jelly (moisture), vitamin C (antioxidant, brightening) Collagen (moisture), Glycosphingolipids (superior moisture/N.M.F Natural Moisturizing Factors ) and a few different forms of Hyaluronic acid (hydration) so we see a theme here. 

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me fully enjoying soaking in the horse fat and placenta protein. 

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(I took the time to type in all the ingredients into cosDNA for the world, you’re welcome internet) 

I really enjoyed this mask after just one use, I can’t wait to try it again tomorrow! There isn’t any scent and my skin feels perfect after application. It leaves you feeling moisturized but not tacky or slimy. My only complaint is the fit is a little off, it’s huge in the cheeks and very narrow everywhere else? Not a deal breaker especially since most sheet masks don’t fit my face well. I’ll definitely be picking another pack up to hold on to next time I’m over there. 

[REVIEW] HUANGJISOO Pure Daily Foaming Cleanser: Anti-Trouble

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I love cleansers, I really can’t get enough of them because there’s usually something about them that makes it unique. Huangjisoo’s new daily foaming cleanser is no exception to this obsession.

Huangjisoo has been the hardest brand to find information on, like ever. They are owned by a parent company called New Feel (my cleanser was shipped from them as well) but I believe this brand has actually been around one time before but in 2017 they’re making a strong (and fabulous) comeback.

Let me explain, I found some posts on resale websites of products with the same name and very similar writing style on the package. These products were definitely more of a hanbang type product while the new, chic Huangjisoo is more mainstream.

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Pure Daily Foaming Cleanser comes in 5 different types: Anti-Trouble with Chamomile, Anti-Aging/Anti-Pollution with Omija, Deep Cleaning with Peppermint, Moisturizing with Oatmeal, and last but not least, Whitening&Brightening with Green Tea

I got to try the anti-trouble version thanks to 0.8L and Huangjisoo for my honest opinion. Lil do they know they get a full review of the product here as well as my IG post 😉 My first impression of this cleanser was actually made before I even got to try it out. Before I read anything or google translated any characters I spotted the English ingredient list. Which by the way, only contains ingredients that rate <2 on the EWG scale for safety. This is incredible, I have never seen a brand take a stance this strong. Even brands like CosRx will have ingredients that spike at a 3 or 4 (though not often).

Here’s the list:

WATER, TREHALOSE HYDRATE, SODIUM COCOYL, APPLE AMINO ACID. LAVENDER EXTRACT, ROSEMARY EXTRACT. MUNG BEAN EXTRACT, CHAMOMILE EXTRACT, TANGERINE PEEL EXTRACT CENTELLA EXTRACT. ORANGE EXTRACT, LEMON EXTRACT, ALOE VERA EXTRACT. MULBERRY EXTRACT, GRAPEFRUIT EXTRACT, LIQUORICE EXTRACT. MAGNOLIA TREE EXTRACT PLANTAIN EXTRACT. ACANTHOPANAX EXTRACT SOPHORA ROOT EXTRACT. DANDELION EXTRACT, ALLANTOIN, SCUTELLARIA ROOT EXTRACT, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, FRAGRANCE

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Ya’ll catch that 2nd ingredient? It’s a crazy powerful humectant (like glycerin or hyaluronic acid) which helps the skin preserve and gain hydration. The 3rd ingredient Sodium Cocoyl is actually one of my favorite cleaning agents, it’s considered to be one of the most gentle (arguably the most gentle a water based cleansing agent gets) on our skin’s natural barrier functions. This is amazing! However comes with a catch, being so gentle it doesn’t make the best makeup removing wash. But it fits in perfectly in the morning or as a gentle second cleanse at night.

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I also like the harmonious blend of ingredients they use. For instance Mung Bean is a great detoxifying ingredients alongside the antibacterial effect of rosemary, the soothing effects of centella and chamomile wrap this up into a badass cleanser. Honestly every ingredient in here has a purpose and a clear idea of the effect in mind as well.

I’ve been really enjoying this cleanser and recommend you check them out. Their products are definitely of a higher quality than many of the popular Korean skincare brands out there and you can tell from the first pump until you rinse clean to a dewy fresh face. I also noticed when washing it still made some bubble when rubbing water in. Unlike some self pump natural cleansers I have used! So I give this guy a 9/10 I really want to try their body washes after I use up the huge things of happy bath I just got. (Reviews of them soon)

Winter Dryness

Since moving to Seattle from California my skin has been non stop dry. I can’t really tell where my skin has done better yet? It’s pretty terrible everyplace. One thing I can tell you about my skin since moving to Seattle is, it’s DRY in the cold weather.

So far I’ve kept a nice dew to my skin through the cold so far, but it hasn’t been easy! These are just a few of my tips for fighting the cold.

Sheet mask more

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Sheet masks offer a variety of skincare benefits, but at the end of the day they usually have two or three humectants in them like Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Glycerin. Depending on the mask then you can also find even more moisturizing or hydrating ingredients. Three of my favorites:

Medi-Heal E.G.T TIMETOX Ampoule Mask is a superpowered repairing mask. Containing ingredients that can whip skin out of both dryness and dehydration. It contains Astaxanthin(super-antioxidant), Acetyl Hexapeptide-8(Peptide that reduces appearance of wrinkles), RH-Oilgopeptide-1(Epidermic Growth Factor)

The Face Shop The Solution Nourishing Face Mask is the soothing propolis flavor is a great option if you want some well rounded nutrition. What is propolis you may ask? It’s this honey like substance bees collect that they use as a disinfectant, and a glue! It’s antioxidant rich and can be used topically as a antiviral and antimicrobial. Super great for those who are acne prone or just want a super great nourishing mask. 

Bonvivant Botanical Mask Pack is another favorite, I was able to snag 40 masks from them @ $.50 a piece. They have a few different ones that would be great for dryness but I really love this Adenosine + Acai mask because it’s a sheet mask loaded with milk essence! So it’s a little bit more moisturizing than your regular runny clear essence sheet mask. 

Lipids, fat, and cholesterol, give me it all.

Hydrating is still very important in the winter time however I recommend to most of my clients to start incorporating at least one type of lipid based product into their routine at least once a day. Hydrating gets our skin pulling in humidity but doesn’t necessarily help it stay in there. In fact they do nothing for our epidermal lipids; Which keep all the good inside, and all the bad, out. With colder weather present is should be a no brainer as to why we want to keep this lipids in tact and replenished. Facial oils and occlusive moisturizers(we’ll see this later) are great ways to add these to your routine. 

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Korres Wild Rose Brightening Oil is a beast in beautiful package. (With real rose petals at the bottom!) It contains demethyl isosorbide, an ingredient that enhances penetration so for people who don’t really like the feeling of oil on their skin, this can be a great place to start. Not to mention it’s loaded with a SUPER stable form of vitamin C called SUPER C (or Ascorbyl Tretraisopamitate) which is supposed to be a highly stabilized vitamin C that is 10x better at absorbing as well. Bisabolol and ginger root are also found in this oil to help calm inflammation and irritation. 

For a customized approach. Tosowoong’s 100% Fermented Camellia Oil is a favorite. You can mix this into moisturizers, foundations, bb creams, or layer it before or even after moisturizer to add extra moisture and protection. This product being 100% such a heavy oil, is really best for spot application. It’s also very hard to spread, therefore taking some in your palms isn’t really easy either. 

Last but not least, Boscia’s Tsubaki Oil. Also loaded with camellia oil (that’s what tsubaki is) but features a few different types of oil to make the consistency much much more appealing. This is better for someone who may want all over application, or just something more viscous but still incredibly moisturizing. 

Baby your under-eyes

Your eyes suck. They may be pretty or w/e but they suck at producing moisture for themselves. So that leaves our eye area needing some extra attention. MIZON has made my only go-to option now to help fight the cold and dry. 

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MIZON Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream is packed with ~42% marine collagen, this puppy is mooooooisturizing. It’s ‘firming’ title comes from it’s nice array of great supporting ingredients. Main one being Copper Tripeptide-1, a power ingredient responsible for firming and lifting. Also is said to reduce damage and crosslinked collagen (scarring tissue). To top it off you’ll also find, adenosine, argan oil, and hyaluronic acid. 

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y’all… look how thick it is.

Yes, you do want moisturizer twice a day. 

So many people I know only moisturize once a day. That can be totally fine sometimes, especially during the summer. But winter is one of those times again, where I try to encourage people to step their skin routine up. At least by swapping some of their lighter products out, or adding a hydrating step or two. Here are some moisturizers that I recommend and prefer for the colder times. They can be considered occlusive moisturizers because they help trap in our own natural production of moisture and protect it.

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Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream knocked my socks off. Containing no dimethicone, or heavy butters. This moisturizer is a phenomenal option for those who are oily to combo. Based with 64% snail secretion goodness, this will give your skin a boost of hydration as well as help aid in repair processing. Benton, being great and being benton, also loaded this with EGF, Hyaluronic Acid, Squalene and Niacinamide. 4 of my favorite things I’m not joking. 

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Yay for REN! This cream is a backbone in the brand and once you try it, you can see why. This superior protecting cream features a ‘Global Protection Complex’ that helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays, pollution and more. It’s repairing with triglycerides from calendula oil that repair the skin’s hydrolipidic film. Amazing for those with super dry and/or irritated skin because it contains chamomile and bisabolol (the component in chamomile that makes it anti-irritation anti-inflammatory, and anti-redness)

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Then we have this master line from Dr. Jart+. Who almost never does wrong in my book, here are two products from their (No, it’s not a ‘he!’ There’s a Dr. J but no “Dr. Jart”) Ceramidin line. Which is heavy on….. Ceramides! and also other supporting ingredients. Ceramides are the ‘building blocks of our moisture’. If you think of your skin cells as bricks, ceramides would be the mortar in between. Neat, huh? My favorite recommendation is the Ceramidin Liquid and Ceramidin Cream layered for the driest, saddest skin.  

Sleeping Packs are the cherry on top.

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If you wanna insure all that hard work you put into your routine absorbs, I recommend a Sleeping Pack/Mask These pictured are 3 more nourishing or occlusive type sleeping masks. 

Fresh’s Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask is a super rich mask that sports hyaluronic acid, peptides, and of course nutrient rich black tea ferment. A great one-and-done option for those with less steps in their routine, as it can be too thick for most with a long routine. 

CosRx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask: oh my god my partner sent me this I believe over a year ago of an advertisement for this mask so I’m actually not gonna say sh** about it and let this masterpiece do the talking.  

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Amazing..

I just wanna say after that… The last has sum banana in it and smells good. 

[REVIEW] Manyo Factory Galactomyces Clearskin AHA/BHA Toner

I have been so excited to share this toner but I wanted to give it a decent amount of time under testing. But from my first impression I’ve liked this product and my love for it just keeps growing every day I use it.

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Galactomy Clearnskin Toner is a pH balancing toner that is hydrating, mildly exfoliating, and infused with the muti-functional powerhouse Galactomyces ferment filtrate. (what? find out here

Manyo Factory is a lesser known but still relatively popular Korean brand that delivers high quality, simple, effective, concentrated, natural products. They don’t formulate with a lot of common irritants and always load up on key ingredients. 

I love this stuff because well… It’s so gentle! So gentle I can remove heavy duty chemical exfoliators with it and it’s still incredibly soothing. My favorite part has to be the consistency. Many hydrating toners I’ve tried leave my skin sticky don’t leave it feeling entirely clean. This is based with Mineral water and Galacta so it’s perfect. It feels just like water. I also like that it’s in a spray, I can either spritz onto cotton pads or all over then wipe. Whichever way, the spray bottle works the best.

Here’s a breakdown of the great ingredient list:  

Mineral Water, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract(Smoothing, softening), Chamaecyparis Obtusa(Hinoki cypress)(moisturizing) Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract(hydrating), Centella Asiatica Extract(soothing), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract(BHA/exfoliating), Lactic Acid(AHA/exfoliating), Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit(Japanese Pepper) Extract(antioxidant/protection), Pulsatilla Koreana Extract , Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water(Soothing), Sea Water, Potassium Hydroxide(conditioning), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract (BHA,exfoliating) Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract(antioxidant/protection), Rosa Damascena Flower Oil(moisturizing,scent) , Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract(enzyme/exfoliating)

*bolded are ingredients I like to see, as you can tell, Manyo put a lot of love into this.

What I don’t like about it: it has rose oil in it. It’s a small complaint but some people complain more about it. *shrug* NBD

10/10 Holy Grail status.

[REVIEW] Joseon Dynasty Cream

The Multi Functional Hanbang Cream

Here is a gummy cream moisturizer I’ve seen talked about for literally years but it wasn’t until the ‘discontinue’ scare that I finally tried it. From what I have gathered from many reddit posts and searching was that the cream was discontinued and memebox said they could not get the manufacturer to make anymore. But then, somehow magically they came back! Some people said this was just a last run, but then my like new favorite website find crystalcovebeauty.com stated in an instagram post they “have not heard that this is a last run production or that the cream has been discontinued.” So great news!

joseon dynasty cream

I love this packaging, unfortunately my box came damaged so I cannot share a great photo of it.

What it is: gel-cream-like Hanbang (korean natural medicine) multifunctional moisturizer. To help break down the benefits this cream delivers here are a few of them broken down:

Niacinamide(conditioning, balance oil:water, brightening), Hyaluronic Acid(humectant), Centella Asiatica Extract(soothing, good for acne, rosacea, eczema), Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil(Sea Buckthorn)(anti-aging/moisturizing antioxidant and omega rich), Human Oligopeptide-1(EpidermicGrowthFactor)(conditioning/restoring), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil(Argan Oil), Ceramide 3(moisturizing, protective), Trehalose(Hydrating), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract(smoothing), Honey Extract(moisturizing, antibacterial), Panax Ginseng Root Extract(conditioning, hydrating, stimulating)

*bolded ingredients are some of my favorite key ingredients I find in products.

What I don’t like about it: There are a few acne triggers you can see in the CosDNA posting and I do believe it is the culprit for a few weeks of breakouts on my forehead which is very acne prone. However it was fine on the rest of my face, including other acne prone areas but my forehead has always proven to be the hardest to please. It is also ever so slightly tacky, In my routine this moisturizer isn’t the last step before SPF or BB Cream(day) or Sleeping Pack(night) so this feeling goes away for me.

What I like about it: For starters the packaging is pretty damn beautiful. The scent isn’t overpowering but it is a pleasant scent. I feel like my skin has been a little bit more luminous since starting this moisturizer and I get this nice temporary immediate glow too which I’m sure is from the higher Niacinamide content (it’s the 3rd ingredient after all).

UPDATE 1/27/17: I’ve now almost finished the entire jar. I’ve used the cream almost every day and every night. There’s something about the cream that keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s the gorgeous scent, or packaging. It could be how cool and refreshed my skin feels after. Or it may be I get thinking about all those great ingredients and feel like slathering it on. Anyways.

[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.