Sheet Mask Compilation- May 2019

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May has gone incredibly fast and, surprise, surprise, we’re in June now. Unbelievable! I’ve been using quite a lot of sheet masks for the past 1.5 months and so I decided to do a quick sheet mask compilation for May 2019. During that month I tried 6 different sheet masks (7 in total, as I used two Jumiso Rich Nourishment ones) and although it may seem not that much (roughly 2 sheet masks a week), I’m still proud of myself that I managed to mask regularly as I’ve been preoccupied with other matters such as my final-year university exams and that made me want to simplify everything else, including my skincare routines. But without further ado, let’s jump straight in.

 

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The sheet masks in the picture above are in the date order meaning the first one from the top left is also the first one I used in May, and the one in the bottom right corner is one of the most recent ones I tried. I reviewed almost all of them on the website and so in this post I aim to give just a brief overview of each sheet mask (what I liked/disliked about every one of them) and will provide a link to the full review of the ones that I already reviewed in full. So, let’s get that ball rolling!

 

 

[Jumiso] Rich Nourishment Sheet Mask

 

 

I absolutely loved this sheet mask. The adherence was divine (see the picture below), the ingredients list top class and the effects amazing. The adherence was great but it made adjusting of the sheet (it didn’t have a good fit for my face) quite difficult, especially with the dripping-everywhere essence as the mask was thoroughly soaked in it. When it comes to the ingredients, the Jumiso sheet mask contains some of the most effective moisturizing, brightening, anti-ageing and healing ingredients, most notably Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate that encourages cell turnover leading to brighter, more even and hydrated skin. The mask’s performance itself was incredible as it not only profoundly hydrated my skin but left it brighter and more bouncy. Simply more healthy-looking and resistant to ageing.

Full review here.

 

 

[Mediheal] DNA Proatin (Aquaring) Sheet Mask

 

 

This one did get on my nerves. I basically looked like a serial killer because the fit and the adherence were terrible- the sheet mask kept sliding off my face and it didn’t fit well around my eyes nor my mouth (my upper lip was covered T.T). And the packaging itself- dear God, it was a nightmare to crack it open. I never struggled with a sheet mask packaging as much as I did with this one. I was really excited to try this mask simply because the ingredients list was wonderful and so promising- full of active ingredients that were supposed to make my face feel and look better through a proper moisturization (lock-in of the moisture) and anti-ageing care (loads of ingredients designed to address wrinkles). It did lock in the moisture but not in the right way- the Mediheal sheet mask was soaked in a heavy emulsion and took ages to absorb, and when it finally did, it left an unpleasantly heavy feeling on my face. It also didn’t do much to my wrinkles. Jumiso sheet mask was much better at both.

Full review here.

 

 

[DermaV10] Anti-Ageing Collagen Woven Face Mask

 

 

This DermaV10 sheet mask was actually really good. I paid for it just £0.89 at my local Home Bargains so I wasn’t expecting much. But I bought because the price was really good and the sheet mask had a decent ingredients list, although I feared I’d get some skin troubles as Phenoxyethanol was high up on the list. But surprisingly, I didn’t get any issues from using it.  More than that, the adherence was really good and after I removed the sheet mask, my skin looked healthier and was noticeably more hydrated. The mask did leave a slightly tacky feeling but it actually didn’t bother me much which usually happens when I’m left with a tacky face. The only thing I can really complain about is the fit- the sheet mask’s eye area was a bit too small for my eyes. But apart from that, a sheet mask definitely worth the money.

 

 

[Kina Cosmetics] Ceramide Face Mask

 

 

I actually tried this Kina Cosmetics Ceramide Face Mask a few times as I bought a pack of 10 for £5.99 at TKMaxx, which seemed like a very good deal. The mask was supposed to hydrate and lock in the moisture and reinforce the skin’s barrier with the help of Ceramides. I have to say, it did hydrate and moisturize my skin really well but left an unpleasant tacky feeling. It took a very long time to absorb and even after that the tackiness stayed. I never like when a mask leaves the uncomfortable stickiness as it messes up with my PM routine (I always sheet mask at the end of the day) and I can’t follow up with the moisturizer. So although I like the Kina Cosmetics mask for its effects (the hydration & moisturization) I definitely didn’t like its tackiness, the fit and the fact that Ceramides, the staple ingredient of the sheet mask, was one of the last ingredients on the ingredients list.

Full review here.

 

 

[Mediheal] W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask

 

 

This Mediheal W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask was definitely something different. It was pitch-black and kind of made me scared of my look. But visual effects apart, it was an amazing sheet mask. Very hydrating, fairly brightening and soothing. My face was left dewy, radiant, plump and ready for the next step as although there was plenty of the essence (in the mask’s sheet and in the packaging) it absorbed super fast with no heavy stickiness. It also had one of the best fits for my face and incredibly adhered well. It contained three ingredients which I was afraid would give me some surprises but it turned out my fear was unnecessary as the Mediheal sheet mask didn’t cause me any issues.

Full review here.

 

 

[Mediheal] N.M.F. Aquaring Hydro Nude Gel Mask

 

 

And finally, the Mediheal N.M.F. Aquaring Hydro Nude Gel Mask. I hadn’t tried a gel mask for quite a while and so this was my first attempt to get back to hydrogel masks. Things I liked first, as there weren’t many. The ingredients list looked great, with a lot of botanical extracts, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine and Ceramides. It was supposed to be very hydrating. But… it wasn’t. Instead, it brightened my skin a little but made my skin so tight I had to quickly apply a thick layer of my moisturizer to relieve this tightness. More than that, the hydrogel mask came in two pieces: one for the forehead and eye area, and one for the mouth and chin area. It was really hard to put both pieces on my face and they were very slippery and didn’t want to stick to my face at all. After a long struggle I managed to make them stay on my face so I quickly took a photo to demonstrate how the mask sits on my face. Verdict? I wouldn’t repurchase. I thought that the Mediheal DNA Proatin (Aquaring) Sheet Mask was a disappointment but that was before I tried this one.

 

How do I rate my overall sheet mask experience of May 2019? 

There certainly were some really bad fails (the Mediheal DNA Proatin (Aquaring) Sheet Mask and the N.M.F. Aquaring Hydro Nude Gel Mask) but the majority of the masks was great. I don’t think I’m going to repurchase any of them anytime soon but not because I didn’t like them but because I’m in a mood of trying something new. That said, though, I’ll certainly go back to them sooner rather than later.

 

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[Missha] Cicadin Centella Mega Sun Protection Cushion SPF 50+ PA ++++ Review

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My dear beauties! Here I come with the first review of a sun cushion. I never tried sun protection in any other form than a sun cream (you can see the review of my favourite one here) so I’m super excited to share with you anything and everything about this Missha Cicadin Centella Mega Sun Protection Cushion SPF 50+ PA ++++  which I got from RoseRoseShop.

 

About the product

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So what the packaging and the RoseRoseShop website have to say about this cushion? First, let’s start with the website, according to which this Missha cushion is

Formulated with carefully chosen ingredients for sensitive skin.
Infused with mild physical sunscreen ingredients.
Provides a cooling sensation to the skin as it contains 38% Centella Asiatica Extract in place of water.

The cushion’s packaging provides the same information so I’m not gonna repeat it. The fact that it’s got a cooling effect (38% Centella Asiatica Extract) and that it contains physical filters were the main reasons why I went for that cushion in the first place. I was looking for something that would make sunscreen re-application easy but effective, skin-friendly (my skin can hardly tolerate chemical sunscreens so I always need to opt for physical ones and I wanted to get something that doesn’t have any unsafe or irritating ingredients) and which wouldn’t leave me look like a monster (white streaks are my worst nightmare). This Missha cushion turned out to be the best option out there withing the affordable price range.

 

Ingredients and Texture

Ingredients: Centella Asiatica Extract, Propyheptyl Caprylate, Zinc Oxide, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Titanium(IV) Oxide, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Propanediol, Glycerol, Silica, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Eggplant Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa Root Extract, Holy BasilMoringa Oleifera, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Sorbitan Caprylate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polyurethane-11, Ethylhexylglycerin, Guaiazulene, Amber Powder, Calamine, Madecassoside, Chlorella Vulgaris Powder

 

Because the ingredients list on the cushion’s packaging is in Korean (and I’m not sure if there’s the full ingredients list on it anyway), I took this ingredients list above from CosDna. I also resorted to it before I actually purchased the cushion to avoid any disappointment in a form of irritation that would make me have to stop using it. So.

 

The good:

  • Centella Asiatica Extract instead of water so loads of it (supposedly 38%)- has potent antioxidant properties and contains amino acids and Madecassoside (there’s also additional Madecassoside added, towards the end of the ingredients list). It has soothing and hydrating effects so it’s good for upset skin. Also, it mitigates some of the visible effects of sun damage thus it’s a perfect ingredient for a sun cushion!
  • two physical sunscreen ingredients: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide that provide  broad sun protection against UVA (responsible for aging) and UVB rays (responsible for tanning) while being safer and largely non-irritant for skin than most chemical sunscreens
  • contains quite a few botanical extracts providing the skin with a variety of antioxidant benefits
  • almost all of the ingredients are super safe and non-irritant apart from Stearic Acid that has the acne rating of 2

 

The bad:

  • contains Lavender Oil which can lead to skin’s oversensitivity and make it irritated (although CosDna doesn’t rate it as either irritant or unsafe, weird)
  • contains Stearic Acid that has an acne rating of 2 and which can trigger fungal acne (Zinc Oxide has a rating of 1 so it might also cause acne for some people but it’s never caused me any issues)
  • Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, that can also be found in the ingredients list, may trigger fungal acne as well

 

The cushion seems to have a pretty decent ingredients list when compared to so many sunscreen cushions in a similar price range (about $14). Because I never tried a cushion until this very one, I thought I shouldn’t be overly picky and went for it to test how it works for me.

 

 

 

 

The cushion comes in a, well, cushion compact form, with a puff that rests on the inner lid of the compact. As you can see, when I opened the product for the first time, I had to peel off a plastic protector that was separating the inner lid and the contents on the cushion. The cushion contents itself was of a very washed-off green colour with a white cross in the middle. When applied on the face, the contents had a texture of a watery cream of the same washed-off green. However, when patted evenly over the face, it blended in well leaving my face a bit paler but with no white streaks. The cushion’s packaging also contained a mirror which was really handy as I didn’t have to carry around my own mini-mirror to apply and re-apply it onto my face throughout the day. The puff, however, was waaay too big for my face and I struggled with it quite a bit. I must admit, even though the cushion’s name says it’s ”Cicadin Centella Mega Sun Protection Cushion” I didn’t expect it to be so big.

 

 

My thoughts

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I can say I really liked this Missha Cicadin Centella Mega Sun Protection Cushion. Why?

  • it really soothed my skin. It gave a nice cooling sensation and my skin never broke out while using it.
  • the coverage was really well (although it’s not a makeup cushion) as it hid small imperfections on my skin. It also made my skin paler but that’s something common for physical sunscreens and, because it spread incredibly evenly, it didn’t bother me
  • it left no white streaks. After using the cushion for the first time, I’ve become a fan of applying a sunscreen with a puff and after I ran out of the cushion, I’ve been using my makeup sponge to apply and re-apply my other sun creams
  • the application and re-application process was so easy- I didn’t have to touch the sunscreen (good for hygiene… and laziness reasons) and there was also a mirror inside it so I could re-apply it anywhere at any time
  • the cushion provides a broad and long sun protection against UVA and UVB rays (the maximum I’d say) which is something I always look for in sun protection products

 

But there were also things I didn’t quite like about this cushion:

  • as already mentioned, the compact was waaay too big and it was a bit of a challenge to apply the sunscreen with such a big puff, especially around my eyes
  • it lasted me only for about 2 weeks while a normal sun cream usually lasts me for 3. I’m quite money-conscious so when  I buy something I want it to last me as long as possible. Next time I might invest in a cushion that I can re-fill.
  • the puff rests on the inner lid of the cushion and it’s not washable which I find very unhygienic. I didn’t get any breakouts from using it but I fear if I’d been using it for longer, I’d have got some kind of irritation from it
  • the cushion’s packaging didn’t have the ingredients list in English so I couldn’t compare it to the one on CosDna. I always need to know what I’m applying on my face in case something bad happens so no ingredients list is a big disappointment for me
  • it has a very strong medical scent, most likely due to the high concentration of Centella Asiatica Extract. But I got used to it after a few days so it wasn’t that bad in the end

 

Overall, I enjoyed using this Missha Cicadin Centella Mega Sun Protection Cushion as its positives outweigh negatives. The cushion’s performance was amazing and I just wish it’d lasted me longer and had been a little bit smaller. However, although I liked it a lot, I don’t think I’m going to repurchase this cushion anytime soon. I’m venturing out to explore the sun protection products a bit more- recently I’ve been trying a sun stick (another sunscreen form in addition to creams and cushions) so watch out for my review of it!

Have you ever tried sunscreen in cushion?

[Mediheal] W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask Review

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Hello my friends! Last week and this week I sheet masked with a truly scary mask- Mediheal W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask. Nevertheless, I think it’s a wonderful mask and I couldn’t resist sharing my thoughts on it with you. So here comes the review!

PS. If you’re interested in purchasing it, you can get it on YesStyle.

 

About the product

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According to YesStyle (where you can also get this sheet mask), this Mediheal W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask:

  • is an intensive whitening and hydrating mask that creates radiant, dewy skin.
  • has whitening and moisturizing power which is due to its excellent whitening ingredients (such as Niacinamide, Acai Fruit Extract) as well as moisturizing ones (such as Xylityl Glucoside, Anhydroxylitol and Xylitol)
  • emits far infrared radiation on the skin to increase its elasticity.

 

The sheet mask is also suitable for every skin type.

 

Ingredients and Texture

Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Glucose, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Trehalose, Charcoal Powder, Disodium EDTA, Arginine, Carbomer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Zanthoxylum Piperitum (Japanese/Korean Pepper) Fruit Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Fragrance

 

When it comes to the ingredients, the Mediheal W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask comes with quite a lof of moisturizing ingredients (Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Glucose and Trehalose). There are also two brightening ingredients in the form of Niacinamide and Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract (contains loads of vitamin C) where Niacinamide is the third ingredient on the list. Additionally, the sheet mask contains a few soothing and skin-conditioning ingredients: Allantoin (soothing and healing properties), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (anti-inflammatory,  improves the appearance of dry/damaged skin and restores suppleness) and Arginine (antioxidant that helps to boost collagen production). 

The bad of the ingredients list are:

  • contains Fragrance and two ingredients are listed as moderately unsafe (yellow rating of 3), according to CosDna, which are Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane and PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
  • contains Carbomer which might be mildly irritant

 

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The sheet mask comes extremely well-soaked in a very watery essence. I had to be really careful not to make anything wet around me when unfolding it. Which means there was looots of the essence left in the packaging which I could reuse the following day. I was in seventh heaven. The essence also absorbs really fast so after taking off the sheet mask, I didn’t have to wait long to be able to finish my routine off with a moisturizer. The sheet mas also left a slightly tacky feeling but it didn’t bother me much- I actually liked it as it made me feel like my skin was fully moisturized (which it was).

The mask’s sheet itself was scary pitch black and adhered very well (as you can see in the photo above). I left it on for about 20min and afterwards it was still so wet I could wipe my feet with it (I genuinely think I should take more care of my feet) only to bin it still being wet. What a shame I could not use it on anything else as I feel it was quite a bit of a waste throwing it out with so much essence in it.

 

My thoughts

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Before I say anything else, let me say this: I was quite scared by just looking at myself in the mirror while wearing this mask. It’s so black (thanks to Charcoal Powder) and its cut has something monstrous about it that it made me think I look a monster or a serial killer. And I couldn’t resist the temptation to send my mom a photo just to scare her away. 😛 This sheet mask was so much fun. Ekhm. Getting back to its performance, though.

I not only enjoyed this Mediheal W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask in terms of its visual effects but also skincare effects. It was veeeery hydrating, soothing and fairly brightening. The variety of its hydrating ingredients made my skin plump and bouncy, and my fine lines and tiny wrinkles either disappeared or diminished in appearance. My skin was also left super calm and any irritations from the week just went away. The brightening effects resulted in my skin getting a more healthy look which made me look fresher at the end of the day than in the morning of any other day.

I really liked that the sheet mask was so well-soaked in the essence and that there was so much of it to use. I didn’t like that the essence was dripping all around when I was unfolding it but when I finally placed it on my face, I was over the moon. A good sheet mask equals happy Blue. 😀

The other thing I didn’t like is some of the ingredients (the ones with a yellow rating and Carbomer) but because I didn’t feel any negative effects in a form of pimples or irritation, I would gladly repurchase this Mediheal W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask. Because, let’s be honest- how often do you get a sheet mask that can scare people away while providing you with all the benefits? This sheet mask has truly become one of my favourites.

[Neulii] BHA PHA 5.5 Peeling Pads Review

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And here I come with another review! This time it’s Neulii BHA PHA 5.5 Peeling Pads. I must confess, though- I never tried peeling pads up till now, so this is unchartered territory for me. But that makes me even more excited to share with you my thoughts on this product.

A quick note before I jump into the review, I received those pads from RoseRose Shop for review purposes. Although they were a gift, all the opinions in this post (and everywhere else on this site, if a review is written by me) are mine and only mine and are not influenced by any third party. Okay! Let’s jump into the review then!

 

About the product

When I got the pads, I was really curious as to what exactly they’re meant to do- I only use cotton pads as a tool to apply other products like a toner or a make-up remover on my face and those pads were already soaked in something so I was intrigued.

The Neulii Peeling Pads, as may the name suggest, are designed to exfoliate. But, surprisingly, that’s not the only thing they are made to do. The packaging itself says the pads:

  • hydrate and nourish
  • refine texture
  • remove dead skin cells
  • reduce excessive sebum

 

Additionally, on RoseRose Shop‘s website, there’s some more information on the product:

Neulii BHA PHA 5.5 Peeling Pad is an exfoliator combined with toner and cotton pad for your convenience. Simply wipe with BHA PHA 5.5 Peeling Pad to gently exfoliate and get rid of skin impurities while moisturizing for smooth and soft skin.

Useful for:

  • when make-up looks patchy and uneven

  • when blackheads or whiteheads appear

  • when your skin looks dull and lifeless

  • when you need to remove dead skin cells and reduce sebum at the same time

  • when you feel residue on the skin after cleansing

 

So the pads seem to serve four main purposes: to exfoliate, moisturize, improve the appearance of the skin and top up the skin’s cleansing step (if needed). Everything in more detail below.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Gluconolactone (5%), Glycerin, Tromethamine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine Salicylate (1%), Sodium Hyaluronate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Aronia Melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry) Fruit Extract, Methyl Cyclodextrin, Allantoin, 7-Dehydrocholesterol, Disodium EDTA

 

What surprised me at first was that the ingredients list is one of the first things you see when you hold the Neulii Peeling Pads. It’s quite impressive that Neulii made the ingredients so prominent as usually ingredients lists are in a very small print and put in the least visible place on the packaging. I like to know what I’m buying/going to use straight away when looking at the product, without trying to locate the list of ingredients and putting real effort to actually trying to figure out what’s written in the list (I have quite a poor sight, ladies and gentlemen). But with Neulii Pads, I knew immediately what I would be putting on my face. And I really liked what I saw.

According to CosDna, all the ingredients are super safe (all are rated as green) and just one (Bulytene Glycol) might cause acne (although unlikely because it’s got the lowest rating of just 1).

In terms of what beneficial ingredients the product contains, here’s a breakdown:

  • chemical exfoliants – Gluconolactone (PHA) which is a very gentle exfoliant, suitable for sensitive skin and found to protect the skin from damages caused by UV radiation as well, and Betaine Salicylate (BHA), also very gentle, and considered good for improving skin’s tone and texture
  • moisturizing ingredients- Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate and Allantoin (which also soothes and aids skin repair)
  • botanical extracts- Witch Hazel Leaf Extract (enhances the appearance of damaged and dry skin), Tea Tree Leaf Extract (calms the skin, soothing any irritation), Rooibos Extract (anti-ageing- packed with antioxidants), Acai Fruit Extract (also packed with antioxidants alongside minerals and vitamins A, B, C, and E), Black Chokeberry Fruit Extract (high in vitamin C)

 

It’s an incredibly good ingredients list and I can’t really recall the last time I saw such a clean one. The moment I read it, I couldn’t wait to actually start using the Pads and see what effects they’d give.

 

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When it comes to the texture, the pads are very thin and made of 100% cotton. They’re double-faced, meaning both sides are the same so you can use either. They’re very well-soaked in the essence although there’s not much essence left in the packaging as such (and the packaging seems way too big for the pads, just a sidenote)- it seems like all the pads absorbed all the essence. However, as long as you close the packaging immediately after using the product, the pads should stay well-soaked for a long time. 🙂 The essence itself is very watery and absorbs really fast, leaving just a slightly tacky but not an uncomfortable feeling.

 

 

My thoughts

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I’m absolutely in loooove with those Neulii BHA PHA 5.5 Peeling Pads. ❤ They’re extremely hydrating and skin pH friendly and because of that they’ve replaced my regular toner and I’m thinking whether I still need my essence. I love that they’re multipurpose- they gently exfoliate, hydrate, nourish the skin and keep it clean. Every time I use them, my skin feels well moisturized, smooth, bouncy and properly cleansed (when there are any impurities left on my face, the pads effectively remove everything). And also more radiant and generally healthy-looking.

When it comes to more specific effects, I noticed my pimples are surprisingly well kept at bay- if they appear they never fully develop but disappear the next day and the scars from the old ones seem to fade away so much faster. What’s more, the blackheads on my nose which I’ve had for a very long time (and couldn’t get rid of no matter what I did), disappeared almost entirely after two weeks of using the product! I can’t really speak if the pads also help with sebum control as my skin is very dry and I wish it produced something to make it less like that. But well, with those pads my face is much better moisturized anyway.

All in all, I love the Neulii BHA PHA 5.5 Peeling Pads for what they contain and what they do. They contain super clean and beneficial ingredients which do moisturize, gently exfoliate and nourish the skin while at the same time addressing the skin’s imperfections. There’s absolutely nothing bad I can say about those pads. Maybe just that the packaging is too big for all the pads (seems like a waste of plastic) but apart from that- nothing. I truly have enjoyed this product and I’d certainly recommend it to everybody interested in chemical exfoliating- regardless of the skin type as the pads seem to be very gentle. But remember to always patch test any product you buy, just to be on the safe side!

Korean vs. Western Skincare + 10-step Korean skincare routine

I was wondering how to get to grips with the post on Korean vs. Western skincare and I thought instead of writing a long article on it, I could put it in a more comprehensible way with the use of graphics. 🙂 So there it is, below you can see a very brief and general comparison between Korean and Western skincare. I hope you like it.

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The second part of this post is going to be about the 10-step Korean skincare routine. I’ve been asked a million times already what it consists of and what step follows which. I’ve also seen many questions on Facebook and Quora on that topic so I thought I’d scribble a short guide (based on my knowledge and experience) for people who are new to k-beauty or still feel lost despite being in it for a while. I hope this mini-guide helps!

 

10-step Korean skincare routine

  1. Oil cleansing

Oil cleansers contain oil particles which help to break down make-up and any other impurities. The oil cleansers are usually applied on a dry face and are rinsed off with water. This type of cleansing can replace make-up removing in that you don’t need any kind of special make-up remover to get rid of mascara or eyeliner (e.g. micellar water) – the oil in the oil cleanser does it for you. Although for the heavier/waterproof make-up I’d recommend adding an extra make-up removing step, such as makeup wipes.

 

  1. Water-based cleansing (foam/gel cleanser)

In this part of a double-cleansing routine you should use a water-based, or in other words, foam cleanser (or gel cleanser) to deal with any residues left after oil cleansing. It helps to ensure that your face is thoroughly cleansed and ready for the following steps.

 

  1. Exfoliating (optional, usually not done every day)

After you got rid of your make-up and dirt that piled up throughout the day, it’s time to exfoliate the skin. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores, accelerating skin renewal process and making it easier for the following skincare products to do their wonders. However, exfoliating isn’t a daily step and should be used 2-3 times a week (or once a week if you have particularly sensitive skin).

 

  1. Toning

Using a toner after cleansing the face prepares it for the following products and makes them absorb more easily. The toner hydrates the skin and brings its pH levels back to normal after cleansing. It can be sprinkled into the hands and gently tapped on the face or, alternatively, it can be applied with the use of a cotton pad.

 

  1. Essence

This kind of product is rather unknown in the Western skincare routine. In texture, an essence is like a combination of a toner and a serum- it’s usually as watery as a toner but targets more specific skin problems, just like the serum. It hydrates the skin and enhances its repair.

 

  1. Serum/ampoule

Serum/Ampoule is a concentrated treatment that targets a particular skin problem (e.g. acne, pigmentation, dullness, etc.). It’s not a necessary step in a daily skincare routine. The rule of thumb for incorporating this step is that if you have a particular skin issue,  go for it.

 

  1. Sheet mask (optional)

Sheet masks are soaked in essence/serum (sometimes even emulsion). There are loads to choose from and each and every one of them is different, addressing different skin concerns. Sheet masks can be a great addition to your skincare routine, especially if you want to add that healthy glow to your skin instantly.

Usually, you should apply a sheet mask 2-3 times a week; however, it’s up to you and your skin to decide how often you should do it. It can also serve as a replacement for a serum/ampoule application.

 

  1. Eye cream

The skin around the eyes is the thinnest and the most fragile area on your face. And that’s why it requires special treatment. A tailored eye cream can provide you with extra hydration, and protection of this important and easy to omit part of the face. You just need to gently tap the cream under your eyes. And avoid rubbing!

 

  1. Moisturizer

And finally- moisturizer. Usually the last step in a PM routine that is supposed to lock in everything you’ve applied so far. Moisturizers come in a variety of forms from emulsions to lotions, gels and your standard creams. Up to your which form of a moisturizer serves you best.

 

  1. Sunscreen (only AM routine)

This is the final step but only in the morning skincare routine (the night skincare routine would end with step 9). Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays that damage your skin and make it age faster. An absolute must, even if you don’t plan to go outside. The UV rays can easily penetrate the window glass! And don’t forget to re-apply throughout the day!

 

 

As you can see, it’s called a 10-step routine but not all the steps are to be followed every day and not all at the same time. One thing to add is that there’s a lot of variation of how 10-step Korean routine is ”executed”. Some people exfoliate their skin daily with gentle exfoliators, some people use both serums and ampoules in one go and some people follow a moisturizer with a sleeping mask. There are so many ways in which you can tweak this routine. The one thing to remember is it’s always up to you to find ways that work best for you (and your skin!). 🙂

[Kina Cosmetics] Ceramide Face Mask Review

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My dear beauties! Here I come with another sheet mask review. I found this Kina Cosmetics Ceramide Face Mask a few months back (January this year) in a nearby TK Maxx. I love popping in there regularly as they always have some k-beauty products and sometimes you can come across some really good deals. I bought this sheet mask in a pack of 10 for £5.99 (which makes each sheet mask just £0.60!) and it has lasted me for a long time- I still have a few left as I have used this mask alongside other sheet masks. Initially I was really happy with it (as you might probably know if you follow me on Instagram) but it took me quite a lot of time (and sheet masks) to truly get to know what this Ceramide Face Mask has to offer. So let’s jump straight to the review!

 

Claims

What is this sheet mask? According to the back of the packaging, Kina Cosmetics Ceramide Face Mask is

a function driven facial sheet mask that is uniquely formulated to deliver targeted benefits to address specific skincare concerns. Powered by two complexes crafted with 17 botanical extracts, and a boost of Ceramide.

Not sure what are those ”specific” skincare concerns but there we go. The packaging says what it says. On the front of it, it says something more as to what the sheet mask is designed to do, which is to

quench, strengthen dry skin and lock in moisture for lasting hydration.

 

That’s what the front and back of the packaging has to say about the mask. Pretty straightforward when you add everything up. The sheet mask’s main aim is to hydrate the skin which it is expected to accomplish with the help of a variety of botanical extracts and the ceramides.

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract, Angelica Keiskei Leaf/Stem Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Glycine Max (Soybean) Seed Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Salvia Miltiorrhiza Flower/Leaf/Root Extract, Schizandra, Chinensis Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Ceramide NP, Carbomer, Arginine, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Allantoin

 

The packaging didn’t joke about those 17 (!) botanical extracts. I counted them all and there indeed are 17 of them, plus Schizandra which is a five-flavor berry (all of them in green bold font above). Which means the sheet mask contains loooooads of antioxidants and other goodies specific for the plants the extracts came from. However, with the name of the mask (Ceramide Face Mask) and the claim it contains Ceramide as a staple ingredient, one would expect the Ceramide to be quite high up in the list. But it’s not, unfortunately. It’s the 6th ingredient from the very end of the ingredients list. Very disappointing.

On a brighter note, the sheet mask is quite clean as only a few ingredients were rated yellow for safety or irritant/acne-causing by CosDna (in yellow and red, respectively, in the ingredients list).

 

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When it comes to the texture, the mask’s sheet was white and quite thick as for a sheet mask (you can see it in the picture above). The fit wasn’t perfect (I’ve seen worse though, so it’s not something to cry about) and the adherence was okay. But just okay. Which means it could’ve been better.

The essence the sheet mask was soaked in was very watery and took AGES to absorb into my skin (more about it below). The sheet was well drenched in it but unfortunately, there wasn’t enough of it left in the packaging to apply on the neck.

 

My thoughts

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There are days when I love this sheet mask (just like when I tried it the first time) and there are days when I’m not so keen on it. I love it for its effects. This Ceramide Face Mask is SUPER hydrating– every time it made my skin very plump, bouncy and healthy-looking. So it definitely lived up to its claims about hydration.

However, on the downside (and what I’m not so keen on), the essence took very long to absorb and left a very unpleasant tacky feeling. Every time I sheet masked with this face mask I had to wait for about an hour or so to be able to apply my moisturizer (I can’t go to be bed without applying it). The tackiness gets even more uncomfortable in the warm weather which has just arrived in the North West of England. So the most recent use made me end up with a super tacky feeling which drove me crazy. Even after three hours after using the sheet mask, the stickiness didn’t diminish and I went to bed with an urge to wash my face again. But I didn’t because I also knew my face was clean and over-cleansing isn’t good for the skin just like over-exfoliating isn’t.

In addition to that, the fit could’ve certainly been better (to please skincare perfectionists like me- I hate when I sheet mask and see creases and air bubbles on my face just like the ones you can see in one of the photos above). And although the 17 botanical extracts are really impressive (and effective!), the position of the Ceramide on the ingredients list was very disappointing and I’m not sure if it did much to my skin. I think the hydrating effect was mainly due to the extracts.

All in all, I love this Kina Cosmetics Ceramide Face Mask for its effects and cleanliness of the ingredients list. But I’ll probably use it only during colder days of the year and/or when my skin needs really deep hydration.

 

Do you have a product that you have a love-hate relationship with? I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

[goodal] Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream Review

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I bought and used this goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream quite a long time ago (over a year ago). I also wrote a review of it but back then I was posting on a different blog and never actually shared the review here. In all honesty, I was waiting until I could use this sunscreen again and update the review to make it more detailed. And I even found the sun cream being sold again at one of my favourite shops (it was discontinued for some time and reappeared relatively recently) at a decent price. But somehow, at the time when I noticed it being sold again I couldn’t place an order. I came back to the website a few days later only to see it’s been sold out. But because I still wanted to share the review with you, guys, I thought I’d post the old review here and update it when I finally get a chance to try the sunscreen again. ❤ Which I’m hoping to be soon.

 

Ingredients and Texture

I will start straight away with ingredients and texture because I didn’t save the packaging and don’t really know what the sun cream’s claims are (so sorry about that!).

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dipropylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Mineral Water, Pueraria Thunbergiana Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Soluble Collagen, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Oxygen, Methicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Octyldodecanol, Butylene Glycol, Cellulose Gum, 1,2-Hexanediol, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol

 

Okay, then jumping straight to the ingredients list, what is really noticeable is how many botanical extracts and other active ingredients this goodal sun cream has! It’s not just a lot for a cream but a lot for a sunscreen in particular. Even though I used this sun cream over three years ago, I still haven’t come across a sunscreen that has such a high SPF/PA and such a long list of plant extracts plus things like collagen, Aloe Vera Juice, oils and a probiotic (all those ingredients are in bold green colour above).

The goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream doesn’t have many moisturizing ingredients- just Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate (in bold navy) but it’s not drying at all (more about that below).

On the less happy side, the sun cream has three relatively unsafe ingredients which I put in bold yellow as they also have a yellow rating on CosDna, and three of them (put in red) might cause acne. It also contains Fragrance and Phenoxyethanol and I know some people don’t like those so I thought I’d point them out as well.

 

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The sunscreen is all over my face except for the right (your right) cheek. You can see a clear difference in colour between areas where I applied the sunscreen and the right cheek. The contrast is especially noticeable around my mouth and on my chin.

 

The sunscreen itself is white and easy to spread. It has a subtle scent which isn’t irritating. As the sunscreen is white and many physical sunscreens don’t want to blend in well, I was expecting visible white streaks after spreading it onto my face. However, although it did make my face whiter (or paler if you wish; you can see in the picture above, excuse my ugly face), there were no white streaks as was the case in most physical sunscreens I’ve tried to date.

 

My thoughts

 

Let me break my thoughts down into pros and cons of this sun cream:

 

Pros:

* It didn’t irritate my skin which is a big big plus. The ingredients list is truly amazing although there are a few ingredients that might cause acne (more about that in cons below). And the UV protection is guaranteed by the physical filters- Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide- that are much less skin irritating than chemical filters.

* Have I mentioned how amazing the ingredients list is? Not only it has a lot of skin-friendly plant extracts- Mistletoe Extract, Licorice, Opuntia and so on, but also contains a probiotic which balances the skin’s pH, Sodium Hyaluronate, collagen, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment (in case you wondered what it is, it’s a microorganism from the depths of the ocean, rich in amino acids, enzymes and peptides) and Aloe Vera Leaf Juice that soothes the skin. It’s a really impressive ingredients list for a sunscreen, wouldn’t you agree?

* It provides a broad, high and long protection- high because it’s SPF 50+ PA +++ and long and broad because it’s a physical sunscreen and lasts longer than chemical ones. Plus, it doesn’t make your face shiny that fast.

* As I already mentioned, it did blend in well leaving no white streaks.

* It didn’t dry out my skin. Many physical sunscreens I’ve used tended to make my face feel like a piece of paper after application due to the fact that they contained Zinc Oxide which is an astringent, meaning it dries up the skin (which is not too good for my skin as it’s naturally dry). That’s why I would always put a thick layer of a moisturizer before applying a sunscreen to minimize that drying effect. But with this goodal sun cream I didn’t have to put a drop of any moisturizer before application. And that’s something I value because in the morning I’m usually in a hurry and don’t have time to wait till the moisturizer absorbs into the skin.

 

Cons:

* It was expensive, at least when I bought it some time ago. In comparison to the sunscreens I normally buy this one was far the most expensive. I purchased it for about $20 from RoseRose Shop. I suppose you can actually buy it cheaper on eBay, but I’d be very careful as you never know if you can trust that the seller sells genuine products. It always seems fishy to me when I find something really cheap. I would never be able to tell if a product I bought is fake or not so I’m trying to stay away from eBay. But of course, there are amazing sellers out there and maybe you already have some that you trust.

* There are a few ingredients that have a yellow safety rating (Tocopheryl Acetate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane) and a few that might cause acne (especially Stearic Acid that has a rating 2).

* It’s not waterproof which was quite annoying for me because in the place where I live (North West England) you never know when it’s going to rain. I’ve been caught up without an umbrella so many times that now I wear one with me everywhere, no matter whether it’s sunny or cloudy outside. Better safe than sorry.

 

I got to like this Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream quite a lot. I would’ve given it 10/10 but it was way too expensive for me when I bought it. Also, there are days when I just don’t like looking paler than I already am and this sun cream does whiten the skin (not significantly, but it does nevertheless).

But I have to say I noticed the difference in my skin’s condition after using this sunscreen- it didn’t feel that dry and seemed to have become more bouncy. And I loved the feeling that when applying it I was actually doing something really good to my skin- protecting it from the UV radiation while nurturing it with all those plant extracts and other goodies. ❤

I will repurchase it again in the future when I have a chance. It’s definitely worth it!