[COSRX] Centella Blemish Cream Review

Author: Complete My Seoul

This review originally appeared on her blog here. You can also follow her on Instagram here.

Disclaimer: The photos were taken by the review’s author and/or appeared on her blog where the copyrights are stated.

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. ^.^


 

[COSRX] Centella Blemish Cream Review

 

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“Centella Blemish Cream heals blemishes and acne scars quickly. An advanced formula that’s clinically proven to reduce acne while minimizing the appearance of scars.” – COSRX

Here is another review of a CosRX product that I have bought recently. A while ago, I interviewed CosRX’s Marketing Team Assistant Manager on the brand which you can find here.

I purchased this product from Jolse out of curiosity since there weren’t any reviews about the product yet. I never used a product that contained ‘Centella Asiatica’ extract before, so this will be my first time using it. The ingredient is widely known for its antibacterial and wound healing properties, which can make it popular for those suffering from acne or for those who desire an anti-aging product. Centella Asiatica is an effective natural ingredient in treating anti-aging by providing improvements to collagen support and providing a moisture barrier.

 

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Duration of Use:

July 27, 2015 ~ August 11, 2015
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Directions:

Here are instructions on how to use the product from the WishTrend website:

“1) After cleansing, prep the skin with toner & serum, then apply an adequate amount of the Centella Blemish Cream to areas of dryness, blemishes, and/or acne-prone areas and spread out evenly to assist absorption.

2) Use as a cream for day & night and enjoy clean, clear skin!”

 

– It says to use it as a spot treatment, but sometimes I’d like to cover my whole face with this product right after using a moisturizer to help relieve my troubled skin. It doesn’t make my face greasy at all, which is a bonus for my oily skin.

 

Application:

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The texture is very soft and creamy. When I rub the cream on my face, I find that it does not leave a greasy feeling on my skin. It mattifies it. I have very oily skin and this product isn’t heavy at all when used as a moisturizer. I would continue to use this as a moisturizer instead of a spot treatment if it was cheaper. The price is pretty high for the amount of product inside.

 

Ingredients:

Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Zinc Oxide, Dimethicone, Betaine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Viola Tricolor Extract, Elaeis Guineensis(Palm) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis(Palm) Kernel Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Zinc PCA, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract

An analysis of ingredients can be found here.

 

Centella Asiatica Leaf Water: Approximately 51% of Centella water is used instead of purified water in this cream. The ingredient is extracted from the Centella Asiatica herb, which is traditionally used to treat damaged skin, which is proven to speed the process of healing damaged skin and to fade scars. Since the herb is antibacterial and contains wound-healing properties, it is perfect for those who are suffering from acne and/or acne scars.

Cetearyl Alcohol: Another fatty alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol assists in keeping ingredients intact in the formulation.

 

Scent:

There is a ‘plant’ or ‘herb’ smell to the cream which is very faint in my opinion. The scent isn’t something I would be worried about breaking me out.

 

pH Level: 7

 

Moisture Test:

Before application:

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30.9%

 

After application:

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45.3%

 

Thoughts:

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This product has done absolutely amazing things to my acne and cysts after just one day of using it. When I first got it, I patch tested it during my nighttime skincare routine on the upper half of my face where it contained a few cysts. When I woke up the next morning, my cysts completely deflated. I saw results in just one night. Amazing. I followed up with my morning routine. As I was cleansing my face, it felt extremely smooth and soft after a while of having bumpy skin with acne problems. Everything on the upper half of my face disappeared and cleared up. This product is more effective than all my prescription acne treatments which only dried out my skin. This Centella cream is able to moisturize my skin and clear it up as well. Pretty impressive.

The product claims to fade acne scars in addition to treating acne. It might be because I haven’t been using it enough, but I don’t see any visible differences in my acne scars.

The price for this product is quite expensive for its amount given, which is why I see CosRX suggests to use it strictly as a spot treatment. Despite the size, the product is very effective at doing what it claims: getting rid of acne. Even though the price is higher than what I would usually spend on a skincare product, this product is definitely an exception since it was able to give me a difference in my skin in just one day. I would definitely recommend this product to those who are looking for a solution to their acne and cysts!

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Pros Cons
– Effective of getting rid of acne and cysts – Expensive for its amount
– Hygienic container – Not as effective for reducing acne scars
– Got rid of pimples/cysts fast
– Reliable ingredients
– Very faint scent

 

 

Where to buy?
Shop Price Location Free Shipping?
Amazon $18.98 Korea Yes
Jolse $17.60 Korea Yes

 

 

Overall Score

Application                         10
Ingredients                          8
9.2
Scent                                  10
Packaging                          10
Effectiveness                    8

 

Repurchase?  Yes

 

20

 

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[Mizon] Hyaluronic Ultra Suboon Cream Review

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Today’s quick review is on Mizon’s Hyaluronic Ultra Suboon Cream. I finished the tube quite a while ago (purchased it from RoseRoseShop) and published this review on my old blog. I haven’t tried the cream ever since but I thought it may come useful to some of you and so I decided to repost it here.

What drew my attention to this Hyaluronic Ultra Subook Cream was its relative affordability (relative, because it was quite cheap but with a shipping cost not so much anymore) and the cream’s ingredients- it was supposed to contain 30% of Hyaluronic Acid- a very potent hydrating ingredient. The reality turned out a bit different, though. But! Let me explain everything in order so let’s dive right in.

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Dimethicone, Triethylhexanoin, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, 1,2- Hexanediol, Glyceryl Stearate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Panthenol, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Ceramide NP, Betula Alba Juice, Alcohol, Glucose, BHT, Tocopherol, Iris Florentina Root Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Propylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phosphatidylcholine, Serine, Lysine, Alanine, Arginine, Threonine, Proline, Phenoxyethanol

 

The good:

  • contains a variety of plant extracts, such as Arnica Montana Flower Extract, which come with a number of skin benefits (for example the Arnica extract mentioned above has anti-inflammatory properties) as well as two plant oils (Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil and Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil)
  • there’s also the staple Sodium Hyaluronate (derived from Hyaluronic Acid and supposedly absorbing faster) that hydrates the skin very well, and Panthenol which attracts and holds the moisture in the skin
  • the cream also contains ceramides (Ceramide NP helps to restore the natural lipid barrier of the skin and keeps the skin’s moisture balance in check), Biosaccharide Gum-1 (soothes and moisturizes) and Adenosine (provides anti-wrinkle benefits)
  • and a range of amino acids (Serine, Lysine, Alanine, Arginine, Threonine, Proline)- each of them has a different function in skincare- some transport moisture through the skin and some work as antioxidants (but most help your skin to reproduce its own antioxidants)
  • most of the ingredients have a green rating meaning they’re safe for the skin

 

The bad:

  • there are a number of ingredients that have 1 or 2 rating for acne/irritation (Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Carbomer, Tocopherol, ) which means if your skin is sensitive to any of them they can potentially irritate your skin or break it out
  • contains three potentially skin-irritating types of alcohol– Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol and Cetearyl Alcohol
  • according to Skincarisma, there are five ingredients that may trigger fungal acne: Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stereate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil and Polysorbate 20
  • some ingredients are yellow-rated (lower rating than green which is the highest)

 

 

When it comes to the texture, Mizon’s Hyaluronic Ultra Suboon Cream itself is white, light and extremely easy to spread. It absorbs quickly, too. And that’s pretty much all I can say about the texture. Nothing to complain about.

 

My thoughts

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So, here comes the verdict. First of all, I’d like to voice my disappointment regarding the ingredients, more specifically the claim that the Mizon cream contains 30% of Hyaluronic Acid. It’s a kind of a shady claim (which as far as I remember was on the website from which I bought it and, just as a side note, it’s a legit website) and seems to be totally invalid- Sodium Hyaluronate is put as the 23rd ingredient on the ingredients list! I’m already aware that the order of the ingredients list does not fully reflect the ingredients’ proportions in the product (at least when it comes to Korean products) but it definitely does not even slightly indicate that the cream contains 30% of Sodium Hyaluronate. And there’s no Hyaluronic Acid in it either. So I feel totally misled. After all, it was one of the two major reasons why I bought it.

However, despite being disappointed, I finished the cream. What are my thoughts on its effectiveness? It definitely didn’t break me out. Didn’t clog my pores. Did moisturize my skin but I wonder if it was any more moisturizing than an ordinary moisturizer. It felt good on my face, especially after applying a bit of a drying vitamin C serum. It was lightweight and left a nice feeling after application. And there was no sticky feeling left either.

How much would I give it?

I think 6 out of 10, on a 10-point scale.

The Mizon Hyaluronic Ultra Suboon Cream wasn’t an outstanding discovery- it wasn’t as impressive as I thought it would’ve been. But it wasn’t bad either. A big minus was definitely that lack of the 30% of Hyaluronic Acid but it worked well on my skin and didn’t cause me any issues.

I wouldn’t purchase it again though. I’d find it a bit of a waste of money-  a good and cheap regular moisturizer can do as well as this cream.

 

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[Bellflower] Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum Review

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I haven’t posted a review of a serum for…. God only knows how long. Ages, it seems. So I’m coming to you with the review of this Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum. I received this product from Bellflower’s founder for review purposes but even though I got it from the brand itself, all opinions in this review are mine and only mine. So, with that being said, let’s jump to the review!

 

About the product

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Bellflower is a rather unknown brand as it’s fairly new on the market. According to their website, they’re a brand that provides products which are intensive solutions to skin problems with an emphasis on ”naturalistic ingredients of EWG safety grade not including artificial scent and colors” and the ”necessary quantity of ingredients” rather than their number. And all that with a packaging that is simple and eye-pleasing.

When it comes to the product itself- the Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum– it is a serum that aims to contribute to making skin healthy, elastic, moisturized and smooth. The health and elasticity of the skin are meant to be aided by Adenosine, Hibiscus Flower Extract, 7 type complex of Peptides and Collagen, while the moisturizing and smoothness effect is meant to be achieved with the help of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and Acorus Calamus Root Extract. That’s the only information on the serum’s packaging. On the official website of Bellflower, there’s a bit more information on the product (you can also buy it from there, just by the way) so if you’re interested, you can have a look. However, I’ll use some of the information from their website below to address the ingredients and texture so you won’t miss much.

So! Let’s proceed to the ingredients, my favourite part of reviewing skincare products.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Acorus Calamus Root Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Caprylyl Glycol, Wheat Amino Acids, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Natto Gum, Hexapeptide-9, Nonapeptide-1

 

So. The good and the bad. Let’s go.

 

The good:

  • the ingredients in bold are the ones mentioned in the product description above (the ”staple” ingredients) and all of them are in the product, which is a big plus (I’ve seen products which claimed to have/not have certain ingredients and the ingredients list was showing something different)
  • contains Adenosine (supposedly there’s 0.04% of it in the product) which has proven anti-wrinkle benefits (makes the skin look younger and smoother) and Hibiscus Flower Extract (there’s meant to be 15,000 ppm of it in the product, according to the serum’s packaging and the Bellflower’s website) which contains AHAs (gently exfoliating acids), and a powerful antioxidant in the form of vitamin C, helping the skin look fresher, healthies and more evenly in tone. Plus, there’s also Niacinamide (2% in the product) which helps to brighten the skin.
  • contains 4 types of peptides (especially copper peptides) that encourage collagen production helping the skin stay elastic (as we age the amount of collagen in the skin diminishes)
  • contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice that has soothing and antioxidant properties, as well as Acorus Calamus Root Extract that’s meant to smooth and help to moisturize the skin
  • there are also a variety of other skin-beneficial plant extracts (e.g. Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract) and oils, such as Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
  • there’s no artificial colouring or artificial fragrance
  • almost all ingredients are green-rated on CosDna meaning they’re safe to use on the skin

 

The bad:

  • it contains essential oils and while some of them are beneficial to the skin, others such as Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil can make the skin oversensitized; CosDna yellow-rates Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil and Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil in terms of safety, so although they have the potential to provide the skin with benefits, at the same time they may result in negative effects on the skin
  • there are two ingredients which have a rating of 1 (the lowest but of some significance nevertheless): Butylene Glycol for acne and Carbomer as a skin irritant
  • there’s Hydrolyzed Collagen in the serum which, although it doesn’t have any negative impact on the skin, it doesn’t bring in much either- collagen particles are too big to penetrate the skin to reach the underlying structures and stimulate the new collagen production

 

 

 

 

When it comes to texture, it’s very runny (almost water-like), pink-ish (sometimes it looks more reddish to me) and has quite a strong citrusy smell. It seems to be due to the Lemon and Orange oils mixed with other oils (Lavender, Basil and Clary) so it certainly doesn’t come from any artificial fragrance.  The serum absorbed super fast with every application, even faster than my essence which is more watery. It also didn’t leave any sticky feeling so I could easily apply my moisturizer on top of it.

 

 

 

 

My thoughts

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I got this serum over a month ago and for a month I’ve been wondering what actually are my thoughts on it. As much as I love the ingredients list that is packed with skin-beneficial ingredients (especially peptides!), I haven’t seen any significant difference in my skin since I started using it. The only noticeable change I noticed is that my skin felt thicker. After a month there’s been no change to my wrinkles either (yes, I do have wrinkles despite my age) but maybe I’ve had too high hopes. Or maybe a month hasn’t been enough for the serum to show its full potential. I’ll keep using it and maybe when more time passes by I’ll see a difference to my wrinkles and will update this review.

As for now, though, I can voice my full thoughts on other features of the product. I love how fast the serum absorbed every time and didn’t leave my skin tacky. It’s quite runny and spreads very well and so one or two drops were enough to cover my entire face. It comes with a small pipette which makes it very easy to get the product out and the bottle itself is made of glass which ensures the ingredients stay stable. I already mentioned that, but I’ll say it again- I’m a big fan of the ingredients in this serum (although some of them may have a negative impact on the skin, such as some essential oils). I’m a dry and sensitive skin type but I haven’t experienced any negative effects.

Overall, I do like this Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum from Bellflower. It had positive effects on my skin: moisturized it well, made it thicker and more radiant. However, what I counted on the most when I started using it was an improvement to my wrinkles. It hasn’t done much to them but I’ll continue using the serum and I’ll continue having hopes- maybe after two months of using it I’ll finally notice some changes.

 

If you liked the post, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook where I post daily. And if you’d like to buy me a cup of coffee or support me with running the website, there’s a donation button on the right side of the site. Thank you! 😀

[Fascy] Wave Tina Aqua Mask Review

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Hello and welcome (some of you again), my dear beauties! I visit my local TKMaxx store very often and although I usually have to fight myself to not buy anything as I already have too many products, often I simply succumb to it as the urge to buy is too strong. A few days ago I gave up to that urge again as I found a very promising box of sheet masks. The sheet masks were Wave Tine Aqua Masks by Fascy- they came in a box of 10 for £6.99, making each just £0.70. So! Let’s dive into the review straight away!

 

 

About the product

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I must admit, when I bought the box, I didn’t really pay much attention to what this sheet mask was designed to do. 👀 I was only guided by the ingredients list. However, this is what the packaging had to say about the sheet mask’s function:

Fascy Wave Tine Aqua Mask is formulated to supply moisture energy to the dry skin, to boost skin’s moisture by forming moisture membrane on the skin, and to keep skin always bright and smooth. Cellulose mask sheet features excellence in adhesion, clarity and less skin irritation, without adding mineral oil, artificial coloring matter, silicon, paraben and ethanol.

 

So the sheet mask, 100% made of cellulose and with no mineral oil or others undoubtedly unattractive ingredients, was to mainly moisturise the skin, with some additional smoothing and brightening effects. All good and everything, but… Hmm…I’m not so sure about the ingredients the mask was NOT supposed to have, as will become clear down below. Despite that, it certainly did some of the things it claimed. But about that- below!

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycereth-26, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Aqua, Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Psidium Guajava Leaf Extract, Rosa Hybrid Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Fragrance, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide 3, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethyhexylglycerin, Cholesterol

 

When it comes to the ingredients list, here are the good and the bad of it.

The good:

  • there’s a variety of botanical extracts (9 in total) which provide a variety of skin-beneficial antioxidants and Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract
  • it contains Betaine which balances the skin’s hydration, Adenosine that has anti-wrinkle (helps to smooth wrinkles) and soothing benefits, and Ceramides (Ceramide 3) which help to keep the skin supple by forming a barrier to prevent moisture loss
  • there’s also Sodium Hyaluronate which acts as a humectant (attracting the moisture from the environment), making the skin well-hydrated
  • the ingredients list is quite clean and safe as the majority of ingredients are non-irritant, don’t cause acne and are green-rated, at least according to CosDna

 

The bad:

  • there are two ingredients which a yellow-rated: Fragrance and PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil so if your skin doesn’t tolerate those, I’d suggest precaution if you want to try out this sheet mask; and also, it breaks one of the sheet mask’s claims as it was supposed to contain no “added mineral oil”, but… isn’t PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil just that? 🧐
  • one ingredient (Butylene Glycol) might cause acne (although unlikely as it’s got the lowest rating of 1 at CosDna)

 

In terms of texture, the essence the sheet mask is soaked in is transparent and liquidy- not too watery, not too creamy.  Just in between. It does take its time to absorb as I had to wait a few minutes before I could continue with my routine. It also leaves a tacky feeling. Not as heavily tacky as some masks I’ve tried, though, so I could top it up with my daily moisturizer without any discomfort. I suppose it was that moisture “membrane” mentioned in the product’s description that made my skin a bit sticky.

The mask’s white sheet also adhered very well and was well-soaked in the essence to the extent it was dripping and there was plenty of the essence left in the packaging. No qualms about that here.

 

 

My thoughts

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So what do I think about this sheet mask? Well, I think it did was it claimed to do. It hydrated my skin and moisturized it pretty well. Although I do think that the mask was more moisturizing than hydrating. I’ve tried some sheet masks designed specifically to hydrate the skin and when I think about the end effect of them and compare them to this Fascy Wave Tina Aqua Mask, they made my skin plumper and more bouncy than this sheet mask. On the flip side, Fascy’s mask moisturized my skin better than those other sheet masks- as already mentioned, it formed a thin layer that locked in all the goodies my skin had absorbed and, although a bit tacky, didn’t irritate me at all, and I could still top it up with my moisturizer.

In addition to a pretty good moisturizing effect, I did notice my skin became a little bit brighter. I’m very pale in general and don’t have any discoloration on my skin but I did have a few pimple scars when I used the Fascy’s sheet mask which, after I’d taken it off, became lighter in colour.

However, although the sheet mask didn’t irritate my skin, what I didn’t like were those few yellow-rated/irritant ingredients (Fragrance, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil and Butylene Glycol). I’m always trying to avoid anything potentially harmful to my skin (is it just wishful thinking?) and, well, I thought that this sheet mask was supposed to not contain the mineral oil, so seeing PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil was a bit of a disappointment.

All in all, I do think Fascy Wave Tina Aqua Mask is a really good moisturizing sheet mask, packed with beneficial ingredients, fully-soaked in the essence and well-adhering. However, I didn’t find it anything special and so I won’t repurchase. It’s a fairly good mask, don’t get me wrong, but I do think my regular moisturizer does a really good job at moisturizing as well and I prefer to stick with it. I think a sheet mask should give something more, that extra boost that you can’t get out from your everyday skincare products. 🤷🏼‍♀️

 

But if you’re interested in trying it out, you can find it in those places:

Your local TKMaxx

YesStyle

eBay*

 

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*Affiliate links

 

 

 

 

[The Face Shop] Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ PA +++ Review

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Hello, my lovely beauties! Today I’m coming to you with a review of my first ever sun stick! When I started my journey with k-beauty not only were k-beauty products largely unavailable in the part of the world where I live, that is, Europe, but there was no sight of face sunscreen in any other form than a cream. I’ve been keeping an eye on sunscreen in a stick for quite a while but I decided to purchase one only fairly recently. Why? The sun sticks have been relatively expensive in comparison to many sun creams and they have largely been made with chemical sun filters which don’t work very well with my skin- that’s why I always opt for sunscreens with physical filters (I ordered a few new physical sunscreens this week so keep an eye on this space as I’ll post reviews of them this month). But! I finally found a sunscreen stick that contains only physical filters (The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ PA +++) and I’m just about to share my thoughts on it with you. ❤

 

About the product

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The simplest way to describe this product is to say that it’s a sunscreen that comes in a stick (wow). And I could actually stop here. But, according to the packaging in which my sunscreen came, this The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick not only ”features inorganic [that is, physical] UV filters but also Calamine powder which helps to calm the skin” and ECOCERT certified Sunflower Seed Oil (for moisturization, I suppose). It doesn’t contain animal-derived ingredients, parabens and was dermatologically tested. But that’s pretty all about the product.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Ceresin, Synthetic Wax, Triethylhexanoin, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Aluminum Stearate, Ethylene/Propylene Copolymer, Diisostearyl Malate, Alumina, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Calamine, Dimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Quaternium-18 Bentonite, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Parfum/Fragrance

 

In terms of the ingredients, the matter is more complicated. To this post, I usually approached the ingredients lists of the products I bought in the way that I would approach any other European food/beauty product where the ingredients are placed in the order of their predominance in a product. So when I saw something as a fourth/fifth/sixth ingredient, I would think that there’s quite a bit of it in the product. However, recently I came across a few posts, fanserviced-b.com and theklog.co among them, that talk about the differences between the US and Korean ingredients lists. I’m not going to go deeper into that topic now, because that’s not what the post is about, but the key takeaway is that anything in 1% or below in a Korean skincare/beauty product can be listed on the ingredients list in ANY order. Which means that, although the first three or four ingredients (probably) may predominate in the product, anything from half down to the bottom of the list may come in various amounts and if something is higher up on it doesn’t mean there’s more of it in the cosmetic. This is something I learnt only quite recently and it makes me feel like a fool, to be honest with you. There were so many times when I bought a Korean skincare product only because the ingredients list looked really well. I suppose, those products’ formulations weren’t something I thought they were. But, there we go- we can only learn from our mistakes (PS. European skincare/beauty products have to list all the ingredients in a descending order of their concentration in a product- so what’s the last is the least (source here)).

But getting back to the ingredients of The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick- I can only be partially certain that the first few ingredients at the beginning are in the highest concentration in the sun stick and those are: Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide. The last two are physical UV filters that effectively deal with both types of UV rays- UVA and UVB. The rest of the ingredients may be placed in any order and God only knows how much of each ingredient in the stick- including the ECOCERT certified Sunflower Seed Oil and Calamine powder. So even though the product’s description stresses the product contains those two ingredients, it’s certainly possible that there’s less than 1% of each of them in the sunscreen, making me think that whether or not the sun stick contains them, doesn’t really matter- their ”positive” effect on my skin would be so minuscule that I would see no difference. (◔_◔)

According to CosDna and Skincarisma, the ingredients list as the whole is relatively clean and safe. There’s one silicone (Dimethicone) and Butylene Glycol that have a comedogenic rating of 1 (quite low) and there’s also Fragrance in it. Skincarisma also adds that the Sunflower Seed Oil can trigger fungal acne so I’m really not convinced that this ingredient should be so praised in the product’s description. (〜 ̄ △ ̄)〜

 

 

 

The sunscreen’s texture is interesting, though. It’s white and very solid with a kind of floral scent. The sun stick is quite small (20g half of which is probably the weight of the packaging itself) but very convenient to hold. To get it out there’s a thingy at the bottom (for the lack of a better word for it) to turn. The stick’s surface is rectangular with rounded corners, relatively wide. The surface’s shape, however, makes it quite difficult to apply the sunscreen in places where precision is needed such as around the eyes. And the texture of the sun stick makes it really difficult to glide at the beginning- once there’s one layer of it the stick rolls easily but to get there, you have to be careful not to stretch the skin too much (again, especially around the eyes). Upon application, the sunscreen leaves only a slight white cast but it does have a shiny finish which drove me crazy- my face shined as if it’d produced tons of sebum. But, but, all of the ranting in the section below.

 

My thoughts

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And now, finally, here comes the time for my ranting. Let’s start off with the positives, though, because I feel like this The Face Shop Sunscreen Stick deserves that. What I liked about it is the hands-off experience you get with it. No need to make your hands dirty with the sunscreen (or a beauty sponge if you’re like me and apply a sun cream with it most of the time) and no need to make your hands clean before you can make them dirty. Which saves time, water (you have to wash your hands before and after the application) and doesn’t put you off when it comes to the sunscreen re-application. I loved that aspect of this product. I could just grab the stick, roll it out and put it on my face. What I also liked about it was that it contained ONLY physical/inorganic UV filters. Which meant broad and solid UV protection and my eyes didn’t sting which often happens when the chemical filters start to come off my face when I use chemical sunscreens. However! That’s where the good ends.

The bad. Oh, the bad. First, let me say that the ingredients list wasn’t anything impressive. Although it doesn’t reflect the ingredient concentration, it does reflect what’s in the product. And apart from the two UV filters and the Calamine powder, there’s really nothing skin-enhancing in it (I don’t think the Sunflower Seed Oil is good, especially not for my sensitive skin). I’ve tried much better sunscreens in that respect.

Another thing, the application process, although partly extremely convenient, was at the same time nightmarish. The stick didn’t want to glide easily at the beginning so I had to put multiple layers of it to be sure I spread it properly- I didn’t want to stretch my skin too much so every time I started the application process very gently and always thought I didn’t cover my face with it evenly. After the first application in the morning, there’s wasn’t much of a white cast left and no white streaks either. Just the shiny effect (which, by the way, made my skin imperfections more prominent). But upon first, second, third re-application my face looked worse and worse. Whiter, with more shine and more and more streaks with every re-application, so that at the end of the day I look as if I saw a ghost and sweat like a pig. Sorry for such a comparison, but that’s the only one that came to my mind. To add to all of that, I love the idea of a having a sunscreen in a stick, but I don’t think it’s very hygienic unless you wash your face before every application- I noticed a variety of pollutants stuck on my stick (nothing major but visible nonetheless) which I think, in the long run, would break me out. But that long run probably won’t happen since after 1.5 I used quite a lot of it. I stopped using it for a while but as I return to it, in the next one or two weeks I should be run out of it.

Those would all my thoughts (at the moment) on this innovative The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Inorganic Sunscreen Stick. I liked some aspects of it but I disliked the rest which, to be honest, were in the majority. I certainly won’t repurchase this particular sunscreen stick but I’m in love with the idea of using a sun stick in general, so I’ll keep looking for a better sunscreen in this form. Till next time!

 

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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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[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.