[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! 😀

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[Some By Mi] Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream Review

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Dear beauties! My apologies for such a long period of being quiet here, on the website. A lot has happened that affected me physically and mentally and I just needed some time to deal with everything that has been put on my shoulders. I’ll try to come back to posting weekly as soon as possible, so please just bear with me.

Going back to the topic of this post- I’ve been on a lookout for a new sunscreen for quite a while now. I’ve been trying to find a mineral sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast, isn’t drying/breaking me out and isn’t very expensive. It almost seemed like a non-existent sunscreen, like an ideal that hasn’t been invented yet. Fortunately, it exists (and maybe there are even more of them just waiting for me to discover them) and I was lucky enough to start looking for it now as it was launched not so long ago. However, it will be a topic of another review. 😉 Before that, I’d like to talk about another sunscreen which I found just before I discovered my holy grail of sun protection. The review of today’s post is based on my experience with Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream SPF 50+ PA++++.

 

 

About the product

Unfortunately, the packaging of the Some By Mi Truecica sunscreen was predominantly in Korean. I’m not proficient in Korean in any way and so I was relying on the product description on the website from which I bought it- YesStyle (which I started to love, by the way). According to it, the benefits of this sunscreen are as follows:

 

  • A tri-functional product: UV Blocking + Whitening + Wrinkles Improvement.

  • With UV Blocking index SPF50+ PA++++ to block out both UVA/UVB.

  • Its non-nano factors will not absorb by skin easily while provides 100% of physical UV blocking.

  • With 85% of moisture essence, its lotion-like texture gives no white cast finish.

  • With 10,000ppm of Truecica™ for skin soothing, protection and skin barrier reinforcing.

  • No use of artificial fragrance, colourants and 20 harmful ingredients.

 

 

Does the sunscreen live up to those claims? Let’s find out by starting with the ingredients first.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

Ingredients: Purified Water, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Zinc Oxide, Silica, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Stearic Acid, Orange Peel Oil, Lauroyl Lysine, Disodium EDTA, Acrylate/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lavender Oil, Adenosine, Centella Asiatica Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort) Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Madecassoside, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid

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The ingredients in bold in the first ingredients list are sun filters (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide). The ingredients in the green colour are Tea Tree (helps with acne) and Centella Asiatica’s derivatives- a plant which is known to be the source of active ingredients famous for their healing properties. Now, some good and some bad of the Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream’s ingredients.

 

The good:

  • As the screenshot of the ingredients list taken from CosDna shows, all of the ingredients are super safe, although three of them (Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol and Zinc Oxide) might potentially, although unlikely, trigger acne.
  • The claim from the YesStyle website that holds the sunscreen contains ”10,000ppm of Truecica™ for skin soothing, protection and skin barrier reinforcing” may be somewhat true as the ingredients in that technology are Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree. The ingredients in the green are just those, meaning there are quite a few of their derivatives in the sunscreen, although it’s hard to say in what concentrations. That being said, the sunscreen seems to be a great option for sensitive skin.
  • It doesn’t include many harmful ingredients (20, according to the product description) such as parabens, artificial fragrance or Phenoxyethanol.
  • It contains two mineral sun filters (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) which are good for sensitive skin as there’s a smaller chance of a breakout. Plus, they provide broad protection against both UVA and UVB rays for longer than chemical sun filters most of which are less photo-stable.
  • Due to Centella Asiatica and Niacinamide it contains, it’s got some anti-aging and whitening properties.

 

The bad:

  • As already mentioned, three ingredients might cause breakouts (Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol and Zinc Oxide, especially the first one).
  • There are some ingredients which may potentially trigger a fungal acne: Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate and Stearic Acid

 

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When it comes to the texture, the Some By Mi sunscreen’s consistency is very much lotion-like. White in colour and with a strong medical scent (I guess Tea Tree and Centella Asiatica may be the culprit here as there’s no fragrance in the cream) it spreads incredibly well. It’s not thick or greasy like many other mineral sunscreens out there and although it leaves a white cast, it is minimal. However, in my experience a least, it doesn’t layer up well so I had to remove it before re-applying it to avoid it rolling on my skin. I don’t know how it would work with makeup (I’ve read positive comments on that) but because I tend to splash loads of sunscreen on my skin (I’m a sunscreen freak that is very pale and doesn’t like the sun at all) I couldn’t put another layer of it 20mins after applying the first layer. So I’m not sure if putting makeup on top of it would work for me either.

 

My thoughts

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The verdict?

One of the things that I loved about this Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream is how well it calmed my sensitive skin. No matter how sensitive my skin was on any particular day, when applied, it instantly calmed/cooled down any redness or any small inflammation I was struggling with that day. I believe it was due to the already mentioned Truecica™ technology that contains derivatives from Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree, helping to balance (sensitive) skin and heal it. Although Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree gave out a very strong medical scent which I didn’t like at the beginning, I got used to it pretty quickly so it didn’t bother me that much later on.

Another thing that I liked about Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream was how well it spread (like melted butter on a bread slice, without any better comparison) and its minimal white cast compared to many other mineral suncreams I’ve tried to date. It was also very lightweight and non-greasy which made wearing it comfortable and there was no hair sticking to my face (which by the way drives me crazy, especially when it’s windy outside). I think the ease of spreading, non-stickiness and the fact it was really lightweight can be attributed to the fact that the suncream was designed to be lotion-like with ”85% of moisture essence”.

What’s more, because the sunscreen’s ingredients were super safe and contained only mineral sun filters, not only I was provided with a broad UV spectrum protection (SPF 50+ PA++++) but I didn’t experience any breakouts or clogged pores. And! The suncream didn’t contain lots of ingredients considered unsafe, including parabens or artificial fragrance, giving it a big plus and making it a good sun protection product for people with sensitive skin like me.

However, there are two things which I didn’t like about the sunscreen. The first one is how it layered up… which could be hardly done. As already mentioned, I don’t wear makeup but when I wanted to reapply the sunscreen the first layer from the first application started to roll leaving weird white powder-like streaks. So whenever I wanted to reapply it, I had to remove it all, apply a moisturizer and then I could put it on my face again. All of that took me well 10mins (or more) with every re-application which was particularly annoying as at work I had only 30min breaks during which I had to have my lunch and do other pressing things.

The other thing I didn’t like was that it was a little bit drying. When applied on top of a moisturizer, it wasn’t tragic but I wouldn’t recommend wearing it on its own if you have dry skin like me. And as we all know, there are days when you’re in a hurry and you have to stick only to the most important skincare steps and in the morning, at least for me, it is a solid amount of sunscreen on my face and neck which is the best protection against aging. That’s why when I bought it, I made sure I had another, tested sunscreen at hand to use when in a rush.

Overall- did the Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream live up to its claims? I’d say 99% ”yes”. I’m leaving 1% for a ”no” as there are certain things which cannot be tested with only using the product such as whether the sun filters’ particles were nano (as opposed to non-nano) or how much of the Truecica™ was in it. But I find it a very good sunscreen nevertheless. Maybe not so much for dry skin, but certainly it may be for normal/combination or even oily skin. That’s all from me. Just for the very end of this article:

 

Where you can get this sunscreen if you’re interested (I bought mine from YesStyle so I can vouch for it but I haven’t used the rest- I heard good opinions about them and so I added those stores to show you the options. Always make sure that you buy from the trusted distributor):

YesStyle

Jolse

Sweet Corea

Beauty Net Korea

 

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[muju] Sweet Animal Mask- Unicorn and Zebra Review

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I like trying new things. Especially things that are fun or cute, or both. And the muju Sweet Animal Masks seemed so cute and fun to use that I had to try them (although the Unicorn one was rather creepy than cute- the packaging was cute but the mask itself made me look quite… scary). I got those two masks from my mom in Poland (hence Polish print on both of them) but they were made in South Korea and so as a k-beauty addict I feel I have a duty to say what I think about them. And so here’s the review.

 

muju Sweet Animal Mask- Unicorn

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First, in order, comes the muju Sweet Animal Unicorn sheet mask. In terms of what it is designed to do, its packaging says, quite appealingly I must admit (I really liked how the brand described both masks in such a smooth way; comments in the square brackets mine):

When your skin is dry, matt, and you wish you could shine [oh, yes, baby, bring it on], it’s time to meet our Unicorn. This sweet animal contains ingredients that help to moisturize, brighten and smooth the skin.

Carrot Root- repairs, smooths and moisturizes the skin, protects and facilitates tanning.

Panthenol- regenerates and smooths the skin.

Star Anise- has purifying, depigmenting and anti-irritant effect.

Thanks to the printed sheet, the mask is more efficient and fun.

 

Ingredients: Water, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Panthenol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Erythritol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Parfum (Fragrance), PEG-14M, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Natto Gum, Disodium EDTA

 

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After a long and productive day at work, I wanted to shine. So bad. So I put a Unicorn Mask on my face (sometimes I wonder how far I can go to enhance my skin) and became a unicorn for 15 minutes. The muju sheet mask was well-soaked in the serum (although there wasn’t much of it left in the packaging)… and was huuuge. As you can see in the picture above, the upper part of it was sticking out well beyond my forehead. However, although big, the size did bring the mask to life more than if it’d been smaller as the unicorn horn looked as if it’d been coming out of my forehead. And the sheet mask adhered surprisingly well to my skin as well. Not to mention the fun the print brought me when I was putting it on my face and then while I was taking sweet, sweet selfies.

In terms of the ingredients, most of them are clean. There are only a few which had a yellow CosDna safety rating (PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum (Fragrance), PEG-14M, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil). And the staple ingredients were right at the beginning of the ingredients list making me hope there was a considerable amount of them as opposed to other ingredients.

The effects? My skin did look slightly brighter and definitely less dull. It was well-hydrated and moisturized (I should start distinguishing those two, honestly) but despite that I still put a layer of my moisturizer on top of that to finish off the whole routine. The sheet mask left only a slightly tacky feeling (nothing bothersome) and brought some healthy look to my skin.

I really liked it, although I looked..creepy.

 

 

muju Sweet Animal Mask- Zebra

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After trying the muju Unicorn mask, the next evening I tried the Zebra one. This is what its packaging had to say about its main purpose:

When you notice first wrinkles and fine lines [mine have been with me for a while now T^T] or that your skin loses its elasticity [welcome to my world, luv], it’s time to meet out Zebra. This sweet animal contains ingredients that help to plump out wrinkles and to add back firmness and smoothness.

Fig Extract- has firming, moisturizing, and anti-aging properties and stimulates the collagen synthesis.

Collagen- helps to add back moisture, smoothness and elasticity.

Witch Hazel Water- regenerates the skin, improves blood circulation and has anti-aging effect on the skin.

Thanks to the printed sheet, the mask is more efficient and fun.

 

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Panthenol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel Water), Allantoin, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyacetophenone, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-14M, Natto Gum, Erythritol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal

 

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To be completely honest, this sheet mask had a much worse ingredients list than the Unicorn one as there were more yellow-rated ingredients. However, I enjoyed muju Sweet Animal Mask Zebra more than the Unicorn one. Why? There are two reasons. First, I didn’t look creepy but actually quite cute (wouldn’t you agree?). Second, to my eyes, it gave out much better effects. My skin was as well-hydrated and moisturized as with the Unicorns sheet mask but somehow it looked better (healthier, more even toned, plumper) after I took off. Which makes me wonder- was it the result of the Fig Extract that was fourth on the list (praying here that there was a considerable amount of it in the essence and that it wasn’t just a marketing trick)? If so, then the Fig Extract becomes my number one skincare ingredient from now on. ❤

 

 

I’m looking forward to trying more of such funny/cute/creepy looking sheet masks. If you have any ideas what sheet masks I should try next, let me know in the comments!

 

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! 😀

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

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

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

 

About the product

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

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

 

The sheet mask is also suitable for every skin type.

 

Ingredients and Texture

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

 

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

The bad of the ingredients list are:

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

 

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

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

 

My thoughts

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

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

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

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

[Neulii] BHA PHA 5.5 Peeling Pads Review

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

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

 

About the product

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

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

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

 

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

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

Useful for:

  • when make-up looks patchy and uneven

  • when blackheads or whiteheads appear

  • when your skin looks dull and lifeless

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

  • when you feel residue on the skin after cleansing

 

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

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

My thoughts

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

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

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

[Kina Cosmetics] Ceramide Face Mask Review

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

 

Claims

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Ingredients and Texture

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

My thoughts

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

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

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

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

 

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