[REVIEW] SWANICOCO PHA 10% COCO PEELING CREAM

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!)

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Silicone free, looks very glycerin heavy

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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.

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((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.

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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!

[REVIEW] Naruko 60 Actives Youth Activating Enhancer

Enhancers and Activators are quite an interesting skincare
category. I’m not even entirely convinced it’s a worthwhile product to use. By
complete unofficial definition, activators are products used before ANYTHING. I
mean like if you use a First Treatment Essence this would go even before
that!!! WOW! (See my skepticism of their worthwhileness?) They are supposed to help penetration and absorption
while providing some other mild benefits. However, this is formulated, feels, and even looks like a hydrating toner and can be used as such.

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Naruko’s 60 Actives Youth Activating whatever is one of two I’ve
thought to be worthy of testing. It being the cheaper of the two (Sulwhasoo’s
First Care Activating Serum was the ladder) I decided to give it a go after finding
little info except a rather helpful review from fiddysnails and this cosdna posting of the full ingredients.

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Naruko (this is pulled from their Malaysian website) touts 4 key factors of this enhancer. Hyaluronic Acid, vitamin C (in Ascorbyl Glucoside flavor), their ‘60 actives’ botanical blend, and Dimethyl Isosorbide. I don’t think the botanical blend has anything worth mentioning since the list is so lengthy it most likely does little to nothing. More on the nothing side.

Why do I get excited about Dimethyl Isosorbide? It’s because this and two other products (Dr. Dennis Gross Firming Peptide Milk & PTR 3% Retinoid) that use this ingredient absorb REALLY WELL! That’s really the purpose of this ingredient. It prevents ingredients from oxidizing, making that overwhelming list of extracts, and vitamin C safe for a while longer. It is listed higher than most of the ‘actives’ in this product and you can definitely tell by the slight oily texture.

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Its scent is also pretty nice. To me it’s ‘soapy rose’ but i’m sure that smell is more ideal than all of those extracts havin’ their own party.

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I rarely use this product at night as I have other actives I am using and waiting on, but I use this almost every morning. As a carrier of Ascorbyl Glucoside, I pair this with my vitamin C serum in the morning as my ‘actives’. The fresh cool feeling of hyaluronic acid and glycerin are usually welcomed as well as the relatively quick absorption without any type of residue. Just perfectly prepped. But is it prepped? Or is your youth activated? That’s none of my business.

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However, if you care about my business. I give this ‘enhancer’ a 6/10. It was also next to impossible to ship to america, I found it on ebay for an alright price but it’s nowhere to be found now.. It wasn’t my hopes and dreams of a product that’d make my face act like a literal sponge. But did it help product absorption? I think it did in the beginning steps, but over the course of the routine I can’t say I could feel a major difference.

Texture: 7/10 — a tad oily? but hydrating. Difficult is a good word.

Packaging: 5/10 — kinda weird, product builds up really easily in the cap and can get gross.

Scent: 8/10 — soapy rose… I think I love it ? But sometimes I’m not in the mood.

Performance: 6/10

Overall: 7/10

[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)

[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.