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.

Korean

 


 

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!). 🙂

Advertisements

[Kina Cosmetics] Ceramide Face Mask Review

IMG_3882

 

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

IMG_2587

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).

 

IMG_4032

 

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

IMG_3922

 

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

20180102_102636

 

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.

 

20180102_094657

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!

 

[Jumiso] Rich Nourishment Sheet Mask Review

5 (1).png

 

Not so long ago, during a very ordinary day, while browsing my Instagram feed, I came across Mask House UK’s post about a special deal- free postage with orders above £5 (yes, £5! Initially I thought it was a mistake and figured they must’ve missed ”0” to make it £50. So I went onto their website and saw it really was JUST £5! I was shocked. Positively, of course). So what did I do? I had to order something, of course. But because I already placed three orders on three different websites that week, I knew I shouldn’t spend much. So I went for sheet masks (cheapest products out there) that were below £4 (I wanted to buy a few within £6 budget that I set for myself). I also wanted to buy something worth trying (with a decent ingredients list) and so after a long search I found this Jumiso Rich Nourishment Sheet Mask and bought it for £2.50 (in the end, I bought two Jumiso sheet masks and one pore stripe to make the balance above £5 and get the free postage). And I definitely don’t regret spending a few quid more that week. Not just because of the Jumiso’s mask ingredients and the mask’s performance (of which more below) but can we please all admire its cute packaging? After using both sheet masks, I obviously had to keep their packaging.

But! Without any further ado, here goes the review.

 

Claims

So let’s start with claims. According to the packaging,

This revitalising sheet mask contains natural ingredients which nourish and balance [the] skin. Its gentle 100% cotton fabric is of the finest quality for the perfect adherence while still allowing [the] skin to breathe.

The description is short and very general so I thought I’d supplement it with the product description from the place where I bought it- Mask House UK:

What it is:
A cupra sheet is made of the 100% mildest cotton yarn with the finest quality with black ginseng to deeply nourish the skin

Why we love it:
The sheet has superior adhesion to the skin, it is breathable and it promotes quick absorption. The nutrition is provided by boiling black ginseng 9 times in a row and including Korean herbal ingredients.

So basically, the claims about the Jumiso sheet mask can be broken down into two points:

  1. It’s made of 100% high-quality cotton that makes the mask highly adherent but also breathable for the skin while promoting the ingredients’ absorption.
  2. The natural ingredients (black ginseng among them) it contains nourish and balance the skin.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, Betaine, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pyridoxine HCI, Maltodextrin, Silica, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide NS, Triethylhexanoin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, PEG-32, Panthenol, Allantoin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Arginine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA

 

Looking at the ingredients list, four things jumped to my eyes:

a) the mask contains a number of ingredients that moisturize/help to keep the moisture in the skin (I put those ingredients in bold navy font above); there’s also Shea Butter that acts as an emollient and helps with dry skin

b) there are ingredients which have brightening properties (Niacinamide, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate- Vit. C) as well as anti-ageing (Tocopheryl Acetate- Vit. E, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil which also contains Vit. E, and two types of ceramides: Ceramide NP and Ceramide NS; interestingly enough this sheet mask contains more ceramides than a ceramide mask I have in my stash- and it has ”ceramide” in its product name) and wound healing ones (Allantoin and Arginine)

c) other key ingredients include: Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate (”the mother of all k-beauty ingredients, also known to be the star ingredient in Missha’s Time Revolution First Treatment Essence, which is a fermented ingredient that works to encourage cell turnover, leading to brighter, more even and hydrated skin”), probiotics (Lactobacillus Ferment and Xylitol) which restore microflora on the skin balancing its pH level, among other things, and plant extracts (Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Dioscorea Japonica Root Extract and Panax Ginseng Root Extract, the staple ingredient mentioned in the second product description) that act as antioxidants helping the skin to look healthier and younger 

d) the sheet mask contains four ingredients that are yellow-rated in terms of safety (I put them in orange bold) and two ingredients which might be irritant/cause acne (very unlikely as they have a rating 1 which is very low; I put them in red colour in the ingredients list)

 

Overall, the Jumiso Rich Nourishment Sheet Mask contains a variety of ingredients that nourish the skin (vitamins, extracts, ferments and other active ingredients) helping with its regeneration, suppleness, moisture and balance. The mask also has skin balancing properties as it contains probiotics that balance the skin’s pH level.

The only downside of the ingredients list is that it contains a few ingredients that might be considered unsafe or might irritate the skin/cause acne. However, they are further down list so their effect should be fairly weak and definitely outnumbered by the positive effects the rest of the ingredients.

 

 

IMG_3863

In terms of the sheet mask’s texture- Oh My God. They didn’t bluff by saying the sheet is made of ”high-quality” cotton. It’s extremely soft and delicate in touch. And very thin. As you can see in the picture above, although the sheet covered my eyebrows you can still see them through very well- that’s how thin the sheet is. And it’s 100% cotton so it’s also biodegradable.

The essence in which the sheet was soaked (dripping soaked actually- when I took it out of the packaging I couldn’t stop the essence dripping off the sheet. I felt soo guilty about wasting so much of precious essence but there we go) was very watery. There was loads of it in the packaging and it proved to absorb very fast as well.

 

 

My thoughts

317DFFA6-93B5-4986-A894-3B93553B3CCB

So now, coming to the sheet mask’s performance. There are a few things which I absolutely love about this Jumiso mask.

First, the adherence. Adherence, adherence, adherence. It was brilliant. The sheet adhered so well that it was really hard for me to move and adjust some of its parts to my face (more on the fit below). As I already mentioned, the sheet was also dripping with the abundance of the essence of which there was plenty left in the packaging. It lasted me for three days. The essence absorbed super fast into my skin so when I removed the mask all the essence was locked in my skin within two minutes. It did leave a slightly tacky feeling but it wasn’t uncomfortable and I still could carry on with my PM routine and apply a rich moisturizer.

Secondly, I absolutely love the ingredients list and how effective it was. First of all, the sheet mask didn’t break me out even though it contains Castor Oil which my skin doesn’t like (but it was at the very far end of the ingredients list so it’s understandable as its quantity must’ve been scant; or maybe it was the probiotics that prevented any breakout?). Straight after removing the sheet mask, my skin was super hydrated, plump and bouncy, and slightly brighter as my old pimple scars became paler. I also saw my worst wrinkles were noticeably diminished. I have no idea when was the last time I saw any product do anything to my wrinkles. They aren’t that deep but they are definitely visible. I’ve tried a countless number of products that were supposed to address my wrinkles but I can’t recall any product that actually changed the appearance of them. But this Jumiso sheet mask did. Straight after removing. More than that, after taking the mask off my skin was so bouncy and elastic that even though I laughed really hard and frowned a lot that same night, I couldn’t see any bad changes to the newly improved wrinkles nor could I see any new temporary wrinkles formed (which usually happens when I frown/laugh, especially around my eyes). There were no changes whatsoever. I was really impressed.

However! There are also things I don’t like about Jumiso Rich Nourishment Sheet Mask. One of them is the fit. The eye area was too small which resulted in the sheet not adhering well in some places around my eyes. Also, the incredible adherence made the fit adjusting worse. Because the fit wasn’t good I had to move the sheet’s parts around to make it fit my face better. But because the mask stuck to my face so well, the adjusting was hell. Quite a few creases and air pockets formed and that drove me crazy (I’m a perfectionist when it comes to skincare and I can’t stand when a sheet isn’t adhering to my face evenly). And the fact that the sheet mask was dripping with the essence didn’t make it any better. But as they say, you can’t have everything.

 

All in all, I really enjoyed the Jumiso Rich Nourishment Sheet Mask and loved the results it gave. I would definitely repurchase it if I have a chance. But as for now, I want to venture out and try other sheet masks out there to expand my horizons and add more products to my collection of holy grails. ❤

 

 

Thank you for reading the review! Before you leave, here are just three things I’d like to add:

  1. The photos were taken by me and are copyrighted. 
  2. All the opinions in this post are entirely mine; all the claims are based on my own knowledge. 
  3. If you’d like to have your review of a k-beauty product/store featured on the website as well, just send me an email on email.kbeauty.reviews@gmail.com. I’ll be more than happy to publish it here! The more reviews, the merrier. 

 

 

 

 

Why is K-Beauty becoming so popular?

 

Whenever I tell people about my skincare routine or that I use sunscreen on my face every day, they seem shocked. And then I have to explain why I use so many products and why I avoid the sun so much. In those explanations k-beauty word always creeps in and people look even more baffled. So then I have to explain what that is too, and why it is better than European skincare products and practices. At the end I always add that this is why k-beauty is becoming more and more popular in the European world. So I thought I’d scribble a short post on k-beauty and why it’s becoming so popular. This time, however, I’m reversing the order and start (instead of finishing) with this statement about k-beauty and try to justify it by answer the why. So without further ado, here it goes.

 

Why (2)

 

Not always has K-beauty (Korean beauty & skincare) been known/accessible (yet alone popular!) in Europe. I remember a few years ago, when I was just starting to get to know Korean skincare, there were very few places where I could get hold of the products. And although Korean beauty & skincare is still not recognisable by many people, it’s rapidly gaining ground in the European beauty sphere and it’s turning many women’s beauty regimes (and approaches to skincare) around (I shall just add that Loreal has already heavily invested in Korean beauty/skincare brands because of the market potential they have).

So why is this happening? Why is K-beauty becoming so popular? Is it just a short-lived hype, another ridiculous trend or maybe it’s a novel to the European world approach to beauty that’s going to stay because of its effectiveness?

There certainly are a lot of reasons why K-beauty is attracting so many people- from Korean celebrities (largely famous for their pretty faces and ‘’ageless’ look, e.g. K-pop bands like BTS or BlackPink) to cute-looking products to the flair of exoticism it brings around as it’s ‘’Asian’’ and hence attractive.

But despite the façade of this seeming hype, there’s much more to the Korean beauty that definitely makes it worth trying and sticking to. There are two main points that validate the real value of the Korean approach to beauty.

1. K-beauty is all about prevention. And prevention is better than treatment of existing skin issues. It’s also less expensive. Koreans take really good care of their skin externally (which is reflected in, for example, their 10-step skincare regime or applying sunscreen religiously- and by religiously I mean every day a few times a day) and internally (ever heard of kimchi? How about bibimbap? Korean diet is one of the healthiest in the world, that’s why Korean women are going to outlive us all). This kind of approach goes even further than the healthy diet and skin ageing prevention. It also extends into the makeup culture. In most cases the best makeup is no makeup- the less ‘unnaturalness’ in the makeup look the better. When the makeup is applied, it should be as delicate and ‘’natural’’ as it can possibly be. However, the general aim is to have such clear, flawless skin as not to have to apply any makeup at all. The skin should look healthy, be dewy and glowing. The Korean concept of cloudless skin captures this ultimate skincare goal very well. But this dewy glow isn’t achieved by the external care of the skin only. It goes much deeper than that. The skin glows when it’s taken care of AND when the person beams with positive emotions. So the mental well being is as much important as the good skincare routine and healthy food. Korean women also aren’t afraid to visit dermatologists regularly. It’s something that differs them from most Western women who tend to regard visits to the dermatologist as the last resort, when they can’t take proper care of their skin themselves and are often haunted by serious skin issues. Korean people, on the other hand, consider visiting skin experts as something normal. It’s quite popular even among men. It’s become so widespread and ‘natural’ that it already makes up part of the wider Korean culture.

 

Prevention.png

 

2. The Korean beauty products REALLY work. Not all of them live up to the marketing hype but most of them are far more skin-friendly than European products and you can definitely see their effects (obviously there are some exceptions but they exist all around the world). There is a simple reason why it is so. The Korean beauty market is vast. There are much more beauty brands in South Korea than there are in the UK or, most likely, any other European country (I would argue about France, but I’m not an expert). So the competition is fierce. And the Korean consumers want to get the best that’s on the market. To stay at the top Korean brands have to create the most innovative/most effective products that will lure in the buyers. And because there are so many skincare products available, they are also affordable because the competition brings the prices down. So effective skincare isn’t available only to the well off- anyone can create a personalised skincare routine that’s within their budget, that works, that prevents and keeps their look younger for longer. I’ve also read somewhere that the Koreans have generally sensitive skin so the products’ formulas are by and large gentle. It definitely doesn’t apply to all the products (I’ve come across many that weren’t) but it’s much easier for me to find something that doesn’t break me out and is effective from among Korean skincare products than the European ones. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Plus! It’s not just what’s inside that makes Korean products worth buying – so many of them also come in cute packaging. Who wouldn’t like to buy a sheet mask with a cute panda on it or a night cream in the shape of a colourful, smiling egg? A feast for your skin, a feast for your eyes.

 

Itsn't this

 

The Korean beauty & skincare has been slipping into Europe steadily but it’s already picking up the pace. The Internet certainly has played a big role in it- the information travels fast and so many things have become so easily accessible, including k-beauty products. However, despite it becoming more popular, I think k-beauty still needs a lot of attention. It needs to be talked about. It should be talked about as it’s such a great skincare & beauty alternative to the European one. We should take more care of our skin to prevent the ageing process rather than try to reverse it. To enjoy the healthy look of our skin for longer we should ditch applying heavy makeup and strive to reach the point when going out without it wouldn’t be something negative.

On the flip side, I noticed k-beauty has already positively influenced not just the approach of beauty product users but also the brands. The majority of the European products I tried a few years back were heavy, pore-clogging and ineffective. Or inaccessible- a couple of years ago it was a miracle to find an oil cleanser (which, by the way, was popularised by k-beauty as part of a double-cleansing routine). Now, because of the Korean trends that have reached the West, the brands have started launching more and more products inspired by k-beauty (think sheet masks, think BB creams, think creams with sun filters). The demand for the Korean-inspired beauty products has grown significantly and I can understand why. There’s still so much to be learnt and so much to adapt from k-beauty but I’m positive the k-beauty craze will not disappear anytime soon.

 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it. 🙂 If you’d like to connect, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

All the opinions in this article are mine. The images were created by me and are copyrighted so please do not distribute them without my permission.

 

[MEDIHEAL] DNA Proatin (Aquaring) Sheet Mask Review

IMG_3764

 

This month it’s Mother’s Day (at least where I come from) and I got this lovely Mediheal  DNA Proatin (Aquaring) Sheet Mask from my dear mom. She knows how much I love Korean skincare and whenever she sees something ”Korean” in the beauty sale, she buys it for me, God bless her (best mom in the world). But don’t worry- I sent her something for Mother’s Day too and she knows how much I love her. So by no means I’m mistreating her. As for the sheet mask, let’s jump straight to the review.

 

Claims

What is this mask supposed to do? Now, here, the back of the packaging of my sheet mask got damaged (don’t ask how, please) so I’m going to use this website’s description of the mask:

This Mediheal Defence: Natural Aquaring system with DNA Mask is made of bamboo cellulose and feels extremely soft and smooth. It is a Creamy Serum mask that creates a protein water lock screen to lock the moisture into the skin. The emulsion provides deep hydration without being sticky. It helps to recover the damaged skin barrier and improves its function to keep the moisture into the skin.

 

And because that tells me little (just that it’s hydrating without being sticky and repairs skin damage, but oh well, don’t most, if not all, sheet masks do that?), I found another website and looked at its product description as well:

Moisturizing, Whitening, Wrinkle Care Effect Creamy Serum Type: Creates Proatin water lock screen to lock the moisture into the skin.

Recover[s] damaged skin barrier and improves its function to keep the moisture into the skin.

DNA and various moisture ingredients give tired skin nourishment and nutrition. PT CELL sheet with friendly material bio and nano technology slowly lift[s] the face line.

 

 

Okay, now, both of those descriptions make me confused. The first one with its ”protein water lock screen” and the second one…well, the whole description is confusing as, apart from referring to the same ”protein water lock screen”, it also mentions PT CELL sheet (God knows what PT CELL actually is), DNA (is it talking about the DNA as in human DNA, that is, genetic code?!) and ”nano technology that slowly  lifts the face line” (hmm… what nano technology?). So what did I do? I kept looking for a third website, thinking, ”third time lucky”. So I found two websites, each of them helping me to understand the things the sheet mask is supposed to do better:

 

Website 3:

Mediheal Defense Natural Aquaring Proatin Mask restores moisture to your skin and keeps it hydrated. This blue package one works on moisturizing. It contains DNA ingredient, amino acid and collagen which can greatly and deeply replenish your skin. Proatin is made by protein and amino acid which strengthen your skin barrier. This enhances skin’s firmness and glossiness. Clearfit Mask can easily fit your face and stick on it. It helps absorption and lifting.

 

Website 4:

  • DNA = Defense Natural Aquaring Proatin Mask (Defense : Natural Aquaring system with DNA)

  • Main Functions: Moisturize water gloss, Whitening , Anti-wrinkle,

  • Recover[s] damaged skin barrier and improves its function to keep the moisture into the skin

  • Moisture protein mask prevents moisture loss with moisture barrier.

  • DNA and various moisture ingredients give tired skin moisture and nutrition for vital skin care.

  • Gives glow for moisture soft skin enhancement.

  • Major ingredients: 19 Amino Acids, Peptides, DNA, Hyaluronic Acid, Aqua-Seal, ceramides, sodium hyaluronate, aquaxy – Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol / Xylitol, Sodium PCA

 

So, I’m still a bit confused by all those descriptions, but what they all seem to have in common is that the Mediheal  DNA Proatin (Aquaring) Sheet Mask is supposed to:

  1. lock in the moisturise in the skin to keep it hydrated
  2. enhance the skin’s appearance and make it glossy
  3. recover the skin’s barrier

It possibly has also face lifting, whitening and anti-wrinkle properties but those are clearly stated in just one description (lifting in two). And the DNA seems to be an acronym (Defense Natural Aquaring) but the description that says that also adds ”Defense : Natural Aquaring system with DNA” just to make me even more confused. Help! How can you use genes in a sheet mask? That baffles me.

However, I’ve got the gist of what the mask is designed to do, so let’s proceed to its features and performance.

 

Ingredients and Texture

Ingredients: Water, Methylpropanediol, Dipropylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide, Hydrogenated Rapeseed Oil, Althea Rosea Flower Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Xylitol, Betaine, Squalane, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Panthenol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Jojoba Esters, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Allantoin, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Behenic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Capryl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Adenosine, Stearic Acid, Tromethamine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Myristic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, DNA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Ceramide NP (Ceramide 3), Phytosphingosine, Tocopherol, Glycine, Serine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Leucine, Alanine, Lysine, Arginine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Threonine, Proline, Isoleucine, Histidine, Methionine, Cysteine, Copper Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caffeine, Xanthan Gum, Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum)

 

This ingredients list is quite long so I’m not going to talk about all the ingredients in detail as it would take AGES and I’m not an ingredient expert so some of those ingredients don’t tell me anything because of, well, lack of knowledge. But I’m going to list points about the ingredients of this sheet mask that I think are worth highlighting:

  • it contains a skin brightening ingredient (Niacinamide) that is very high up in the list, meaning, there must be quite a lot of it in the serum (or emulsion rather, due to its thick consistency)
  • it has the following anti-ageing ingredients: Niacinamide, Adenosine, Ceramide, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Peptides
  • it contains healing ingredients such as Arginine, Allantoin
  • as well as moisturizing/hydrating ingredients, for instance Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Squalane (also anti-ageing) and Xylitylglucoside
  • and plant oils/extracts such as Althea Rosea Flower Extract and Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, also high up in the ingredients list;

 

I also underlined ingredients that are the amino acids as one of the descriptions mentions them. They ”maintain skin’s hydration, texture, resilience, and an overall supple, healthy appearance” and they work well with ingredients such as Peptides, Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid (all of them present in the emulsion).

Overall, based on the ingredients list, the Mediheal  DNA Proatin (Aquaring) Sheet Mask certainly has a highly moisturizing, skin barrier restoring (healing) and anti-ageing potential. Some of those ingredients are supposed to repair the skin, some of them make it more resistant to ageing, some of them hydrate/lock in the moisture to keep the skin plump. And there are quite a lot of them, the majority being safe and effective in what they do. So the sheet mask is a real bomb in terms of active ingredients which is a big plus.

 

IMG_3798

In terms of the texture, the sheet of the mask is white and quite thick. According to one of the descriptions, it’s made of bamboo cellulose and is supposed to fit the face (”Clear Fit Mask”) and stick to it properly.

The serum itself was rather thick, white and very… hmmm… heavy. It was more like an emulsion than serum although the second name of the mask on the packaging says ”Creamy Serum Aquaring Mask”. Why couldn’t they just call it ”emulsion” instead of ”creamy serum”?

Also, what it worth adding, I struggled to open the packaging itself. You can see the evidence in the picture below- it took me ages to rip that thing apart.

IMG_3799

 

 

 

My thoughts

IMG_3804

So now, it’s time for the performance review. Let’s start with the performance of the sheet mask while I was wearing it.

First, as I already mentioned, the packaging was hard to open (I struggled to open it for 5 or more minutes- it just didn’t want to open) and unfolding the sheet mask was also a challenge. When I finally opened the packaging and unfolded the mask to put it on my face (dirty job) it didn’t adhere very well and the fit was horrible (as you can see in the pictures above). The upper part kept sliding hence the noticeable bubble between my eyebrows. The poor fit resulted in the sheet mask almost getting into my eyes (I tried to pull it as high up as I could on my face to adjust it for the lip area) and my upper lip was totally covered (I don’t think that was the designer’s intention, but I may be wrong of course). I definitely didn’t enjoy those 20min of having to re-adjust the sheet mask to keep it in place and it was quite annoying to have something slimy on my upper lip. It was really uncomfortable to wear. So the claim that the sheet mask is an easy fit and adheres well is definitely not worth believing in.

When I finally took the sheet mask off it not only took a bit to absorb in but left a sticky and heavy (again) feeling on my skin. I don’t like emulsions in general as they usually clog my pores and give me break outs and this was the first time I sheet masked with a mask that was so thick both in terms of the material’s texture and the texture of the… liquid. As for the results, I feel like it did lock in moisture in my skin but not in the right way. It felt too heavy on my face yet I had a need to apply a moisturizer and that was definitely too much for my skin. I didn’t get any zits but I just had this uncomfortable feeling and my skin was shouting ”that’s too much!”. I didn’t notice any difference to my wrinkles (yes, I have some at the age of 23- due to my past experiences) and my pimple scars weren’t diminished so no whitening effect. I also didn’t experience any ”face lifting”. Was my skin more glossy? No, I didn’t notice anything like that.

What I did like about this Mediheal DNA Proatin (Aquaring) Sheet Mask, though, is that it did make my skin firmer. When I touched it it was incredibly bouncy and I don’t know if that will make any sense but my skin felt thicker.

I probably won’t repurchase this sheet mask anytime soon. It’s got an amazing ingredients list (full of wonders, indeed) and it made my skin firmer and more bouncy. But it didn’t fit my face well, didn’t adhere well either and was too heavy for my skin. I still think, though, that this is a good sheet mask to have in your stash. This mask will be my go-to when my dry skin feels extremely dry as I feel it wouldn’t have left such an overwhelming feeling if my skin had been more in need of hydration.

Would I recommend it? Possibly yes, but maybe not for oily skin. But every skin is different so if you have oily skin and already have this sheet mask, just give it a go- it may very well work for you better than it did for me.

 

Thank you for reading the review, luvvies! Before you leave, here are just two things I’d like to add:

  1. The photos were taken by me and are copyrighted.
  2. If you’d like to have your review of a k-beauty product/store featured on the website as well, just send me an email on email.kbeauty.reviews@gmail.com. I’ll be more than happy to publish it here! The more reviews, the merrier. 

 

PS. The sheet mask does contain DNA! And I still don’t know what to think of it…

 

 

 

[PURITO] Centella Green Level All in One Mild Pad Review

AUTHOR: Jean Kuah

THIS REVIEW ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON HER BLOG HERE.

YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM HERE and on Facebook HERE.

Disclaimer: The photos were taken by the review’s author.

If you’d like to have your review of a k-beauty product/store featured on the website as well, just send me an email on email.kbeauty.reviews@gmail.com. I’ll be more than happy to publish it here. ^.^


 

PURITO Centella Green Level All in One Mild Pad Review

 

purito

 

I was so glad to be able to try out Purito’s Centella Green Level All In One Mild Pads. The founder contacted me first and I was kindly gifted a few products in exchange for my honest opinions.

Founded in 2014, Purito is a brand committed to using safe and honest ingredients. They do not perform animal testing and produce eco-friendly products at reasonable prices.

The founder is very friendly and open to any forms of feedback, regardless of positive or negative ones which I am very impressed of.

 

2

 

The Purito Centella Green Level All In One Mild Pad uses all EWG Green Level ingredients, BHA, and 10% Centella Asiatica Extract to gently exfoliate the skin, decrease inflammation, and remove make-up and sebum.

The Purito Centella Green Level All In One Mild Pad is gentle on the skin and great for sensitive skin leaving the skin feeling clean and refreshed. It gently assists the skin in removing excess sebum and make up without irritating the pores or skin, re-enforces the skin barrier and leaves the skin softly moisturized.

 

3

 

Ingredient List:
Water, Centella Asiatica Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Betaine Salicylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arginine, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Allantoin, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Panthenol, Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate, Myristyl Myristate, Caprylyl Glycol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Melaleuca Quinquenervia Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 12.47.56 PM

 

The ingredient list is very clean. Madecassoside, Centella are my favourite ingredients for intense soothing.

 

4

 

A lightweight plastic tub packaging. I love the graphics inside the box, showing how it can be used. This is suitable for various usage. A versatile product which is suitable even for your body. Like for me, I have back-acne and this acts like a scrub for my back too.

 

5

 

Nothing over fanciful. Clean and simple packaging.

 

6

 

Comes with a seal for freshness. The seal is not loose, the pads inside are well soaked but I don’t see any additional essence inside.

 

7

 

It comes with a little tool, so as to not contaminate the entire tub with your fingers.

 

8

 

There are two sides. One side is with texture while the other side is smooth. I forgot to take a photo of the other side, sorry. I will update it again!

How to use: After cleansing, use the raised side of the pad to gently wipe off any remaining make-up and debris from the skin. Use the opposite smooth side of the pad to gently wipe away any excess dirt or sebum. Let air dry, patting gently over the skin. Follow-up with your favourite moisturizer and/or cream.

 

9

 

It’s very watery so the skin absorbs it fast without any residue left behind.

Does it do what it claims?

 
Claim 1: Gently exfoliates the skin, decreases inflammation, and removes make-up and sebum. 

It does gentle exfoliation when my skin is sensitive, whenever I need something less strong. It does remove impurities off my face as I can see the leftovers on the cotton pad.

 
Claim 2: Gentle on the skin and great for sensitive skin leaving the skin feeling clean and refreshed. It gently assists the skin in removing excess sebum and make up without irritating the pores or skin, re-enforces the skin barrier and leaves the skin softly moisturized.

Yes, it does. However, I have to give a heads up, the rough side can be quite irritating if you rub it too vigorously. So please, do it gently. I do regular exfoliation these days, so yes, my skin’s texture is softer than usual.

 

 

Summary of product:

| Packaging |

~ Plastic tub that comes securely sealed. A plastic tweezer was included too.

 
| Smell |

~ A medicinal, tea tree scent?

 

| Color? |

~ Colorless liquid.

 

| Pros |
~ Great for days I needed gentle exfoliation without compromising my skin barrier.
~ Not irritating for my sensitive red skin.
~ Softer skin after prolonged usage.
~ They packed it in a travel size which is so convenient.
~ Reasonably priced.
~ Helps with little pimples, I wouldn’t say big acne though.

 

| Cons |
~ It will dry up so use asap.

 

| Thoughts |

This ended up great for lazy days or days I needed something gentler (emergency). I was quite impressed as it helps with the tiny stubborn pimples. It did not work very well on my big acne though. However, I am ok with it as for the bigger acne, I tend to use other spots treatments to deal with it. There’s a lot of dead skin around my mouth area, which can look very pronounced when I do my makeup. With this, I simply wipe the mouth area and the make up adheres better! Emergency use as always. I will be repurchasing this product.

 

| Where to buy? |

It’s available on Eopenmarket (International) & Ezbuy (SG customers).

 

| Disclaimer |

~~Above are my actual thoughts. All thoughts are based on what I truly feel.

~ ~ This product is kindly provided by Purito in exchange for my honest reviews and thoughts on it.