Lindsay · Masks · Review · Uncategorized

Porridge Face – The Mask That Wasn’t To Be

Have you ever done something and later thought ‘I understand the premise of this idea, but it’s straight up wrong for me?’. I first had this experience when I used acids on my face in my late teens to ‘help’ my skin texture/acne. Naturally I did this without using hydrators or proper moisturisers afterwards because 1. I didn’t know and 2. I’d compromised my skin so badly it was burning when I put the moisturiser on so I simply didn’t use it. Dear readers, welcome to my second experience of ‘this is not for me’. While not quite as serious as routinely burning my face with 10% acids it was certainly uncomfortable and not something I would like to repeat.

Enter the Lindsay 2-Step Gel Based Modeling Masks. Our packaging features a lovely even mask in a stunning gold colour, the reality was a goopy porridge looking mess that never fully set and had me scraping it off my face in disgust.

Image result for lindsay aqua mask

I purchased a set of three (Gold, Charcoal and Aqua Magic) from Nudie Glow  just before Christmas partly because I was curious but mostly to get free shipping (Nudie Glow has a $65 minimum which is a little high for my liking but I had used a coupon code and wanted the other products in my cart). Website description and ingredients (for the gold one) are as follows:

“This Luxurious Gold Magic Modeling Mask pack is an easy to use home spa treatment that provides your skin with intense moisture and nutrition with its 24K gold ingredients. Active ingredients including collagen, pearl extracts, Niacinamide and adenosine also help with skin elasticity, deliver intense hydration and brighten skin.”

Ingredients:
LIQUID (STEP 1)

Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Algin, PEG-75, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Gold, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Adenosine, Betaine, Trehalose, Panthenol, Squalene, Sodium Chloride, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Beeswax, Ethylhexylglycerin, MICA, Titanium Oxide, CI 77491, Disodium EDTA, Citrus Paradisi (GrapeFruit) Peel Oil

POWDER (STEP 2)

Glucose, Calcium Sulfate, Tapioca Starch, Dextrin, Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate, Potassium Alginate, Gold, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Allantoin, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Adenosine, Betaine, Trehalose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, MICA, Titanium Oxide, CI 77491, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citrus Paradisi Peel Oil

So far so good… ingredients sound promising and I know for a fact my skin loves niacinamide. The two-step process would yield one mask per box and originally I found it interesting that I would have to mix this concoction together myself! It was a little like baking, I love baking.

Turns out I do NOT like having to put large amounts of effort into skin care baking. If it’s something I can eat, you bet I’ll take my time. Skin care on the other hand has enough layers that my patience wears a little thin if one layer is taking too long. For those of you who are wondering; a modelling mask is a thick gel-type mixture which, once spread onto the face, dries into a rubber-y mask that you can then peel off. This is the theory. That is not what happened for me.

Strike One – Mixing this thing took too damn long. It’s a small amount of product, stirring shouldn’t have been as time-consuming as it was to get it to the right consistency.

Strike Two – Contrary to their claims that it is ‘easy to use’, application was a royal pain in the butt. The spatula included was absolutely useless at evenly applying the porridge -sorry, product- all over the face. The nose in particular was an issue. I eventually had to use my hands and by then it was drying and was awful to touch.

Strike Three – Feels disgusting on the skin. I’m a very tactile person, if something doesn’t feel good on my skin then I’m immediately displeased in the worst way. As it was drying it kept gooping in places, half falling off my face and half pretending to be a rubber slick.

I made it to the recommended time (somehow) and the goopy mess hadn’t turned into a rubber mask at all. It was a little more solid but not enough to remove with any ease. I had to cleanse my face again to get all of it off and you bet I threw the remnants straight in the bin.

I give this one a 0/5. It wasn’t easy to use, didn’t feel nice, didn’t do as described and was overall a really unpleasant experience.

Sorry Lindsay, this one just isn’t for me.

Liya.

Advertisements
Cleansing Water · COSRX · Review · Routine · Su:m37 · Uncategorized

Simple AB Skin Routine… Yes… Simple.

 

Most people look at an asian beauty skin care routine and think ‘there is no way in hell I am using that many products’. Fair enough, and if you’ve read my previous post about listening to your skin care needs, you’ll know that I generally don’t prescribe to the more is better ideology. Your skin needs what it needs, if that can be acheived in three steps why bother with 15-30? People have their reasons for doing what they do though. It may be that extra products allows one to pamper oneself daily and that is a valid enough reason to indulge in a huge beauty routine with expensive products. On the other end of the spectrum there are peope like me. If I so much as think about going on a glorious 30 step routine my skin whips out a baseball bat of clogged pores and irritation and proceeds to destroy my face with it. Simple steps, thin layers… good for picky skin types that hate being smothered (what a Diva amiright?). 

Today we’re not going to be looking at a long, should-come-with-an-instruction-manual-and-require-a-license-to-drive routine. In fact, I’m going to hand out the simplest routine I’ve ever used with an AB line up of products.

**Disclaimer**
These products work for MY specific skin type (normal to dry-combination deydrated with millia and hyperpigmentation). If I’m recommending them it’s because I genuinely use them. If you’re going to try them, please consider if its going to work for your particular skin type/circumstances.

Super Simple AB Skin Care Routine!

What’s important?
Remember to give your skin what it needs. Failure to do so will affect its condition.
For me these needs include:
– Cleanse that doesn’t involve hard water (previous post can explain that drama if you’re interested).
-Hydrators (holy bajeezuz am I dehydrated. Always.)
-Hypermentation (help).
-Moisturiser that won’t clog my pores (good luck).
-Sunscreen for during the day (a must).

Here goes…
Cleanse – Su;m37 Skin Saver Essential Pure Cleansing Water
Hydrate/Mild Exfoliate – COSRX Moisture Up Pads
Hyperpigmentation – COSRX Galactomyces 95 Essence
Moisturise – COSRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturising Lotion OR COSRX Holy Moly Snail Face Mask (1-2times a week during the evening).
Sunscreen (day time) – A’pieu Pure Block Tone-Up Sun Base SPF50+ PA+++

I know what you’re thinking… either she really likes COSRX or this post is sponsored. Alas, sponsorship is not a thing for me and, if I could give out an award for best simple-products-that-won’t-freak-out-your-skin-nor-make-your-wallet-weep it’d go to COSRX. Not everything is a winner but the things that are are wonderful indeed. The one’s on this list make me extremely happy I switch to AB in the first place.

Bonus mini Reviews
Su;m37 Skin Saver Essential Pure Cleansing Water
removes makeup easily, skin feels nice afterwards, no residue or overwhelming fragrances.

COSRX Moisture Up Pads is a beautiful double whammy of exfoliation and hydration. My skin is baby-butt smooth after using these things and it keeps the clogs from happening. If I go travelling… these go in the bag. If I’m at home, they’re in my drawer. You may think… why not just use a mild BHA essence and then a Hyaluronic acid essence… I’m sorry my friends… my face likes the pads. She demands the Moisture Up pads.

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Essence is light, absorbs quickly and beautifully, works on the remants of my hyperpigmentation and provides an even canvas after months of consistent use (I’m a patient woman… ha… sort of).

COSRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturising Lotion does exactly what it sounds like it should do – moisturise in a way that isn’t oily. It is beautifully light, absorbs easily and doesn’t clog me up. It’s currently the only moisturiser in my rotation since everything else repeatedly betrays me.

COSRX Holy Moly Snail Face Sheet Mask’s are an addition that I couldn’t help myself with. They’re just a beautiful ending to a 5 minutes evening routine twice a week. The material and essence is so light and wonderful that I leave this mask on far longer than directed. It makes things feel good without being overwhelming… after my modelling mask debacle, not being overwhelming is very welcome.

A’pieu Pure Block Tone-Up Sun Base allows my seriously pale skin to go out without founation. It provides just enough smoothing that I’m over the moon with the fact that this product protects me from the sun while simultaneously evening out my skin tone.

What’s your simple routine that works? Or a product that your skin loves and would hate you if you stopped using it (like my Moisture Up pads)? Let me know below!

-Liya.

Avène · Battle · Bioderma · Cleanser · Cleansing Water · Garnier · Review · Su:m37 · the SAEM

Battle of the Cleansing Waters

There are a few reasons why someone might decide to use cleansing waters. Perhaps you prefer them to remove light makeup over oil cleansing, maybe your skin can’t handle normal cleansers… or maybe, like me, the water coming out of your tap is HARD water and would love nothing more than to wreck the skin you spend so much money looking after.

Originally I thought cleansing waters were just a fad for getting rid of makeup. In Australia Bioderma and Garnier seem to be the ‘in thing’ and beauty gurus on youtube were flogging it pretty hard for a while there. I didn’t want to buy it, why? cause Lauren Curtis told me to buy the Garnier one and there is something that seems so bored/not-genuine about her (tbh, she could be a lovely person but her online persona just isn’t for me). I tried oil cleansers but always felt that they left a residue and felt hideous during application (this was before I knew about the double cleanse method and cleansing balms). Eventually I caved but that is besides the point. The point of todays post is to compare the cleaning/micellar waters that I have used. Finding and using a good cleansing water has been paramount since I moved into the ‘hard water wrecking my face’ scenario.

I’ll be comparing the Bioderma Sensibio H2O, Garnier Micellar All in One Cleansing Water, Avène Cleanance Micellar Water and the SAEM Healing Tea Garden White Tea Cleansing Water. I also wanted to try the Su:m37 Skin Saver Essential Cleansing Water but my wallet started hyperventilating at my Jolse shopping cart total so maybe next time. Each product will be scored according to the following criteria: makeup removal, skin condition afterwards (how does my skin feel), scent, ingredients and cost.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O
Makeup Removal: 4/5
Skin After Use: 5/5
Scent:
5/5
Ingredients: 5/5
Cost: 3/5 500ml @ $42.99AUD/34.03USD

This cleansing water is the most expensive out of the ones I’ll be comparing today. Overall however this product really works for me. Its ingredients contain nothing alarming and I like the fact that cucumber extract is involved since I find this ingredient really soothing for me. It’s basically scentless and my skin feels so soft and calm after use. It does remove makeup but sometimes I have to make it work for me (it doesn’t work like a cleansing oil or balm, you need to leave the soaked pad on your eyes for a bit before swiping away and often I have to go back in again for it to handle my waterproof eye makeup). Overall I really enjoy using this product, but the cost does make me cry a little so I like to hang out for the Priceline 40% skincare sales. Overall it gets a 4.3! (4.3 is pretty good).

Garnier Micellar All in One Cleansing Water
Makeup Removal: 2/5
Skin After Use:
3/5
Scent:
4/5
Ingredients:
3/5
Cost:
5/5 400ml @ $14AUD/11.08USD

I caved. I know. But it’s only $14!! If it had worked for me it would’ve been magic. Significant lack of magic… it feels ok on the skin, the smell is barely noticeable but for removing makeup I gotta give this one a ‘meh’ verging on a ‘fail’. This product stung the absolute bajeesus out of my eyeballs when I tried to remove my eye makeup. Since makeup removal is something I NEED I can’t use it. In fact, I don’t even have a photo of it cause I threw it out…. immediately (with blurry eyes and micellar mixed makeup on my face). Lump that with the fact that it has potential acne and irritation triggers in the ingredient list (Hexylene Glycol) and this one is NOT on my repurchase list. It comes in at a 3.4.


Avène Cleanance Micellar Water
Makeup Removal: 2/5
Skin After Use:
 4/5
Scent:
1/5
Ingredients:
4/5
Cost:
 4/5 400ml @ $24.99AUD/19.78USD

This cleansing water smells like dishwashing liquid. There. I said it. I don’t even breathe when trying to use this product because of how strong that smell is. Its price point is between the Bioderma and Garnier and I would say it performs in the middle as well. It stings my eyes to the same degree as the latter if it happens to get too close to my eyes… which is a problem if I’m trying to remove eye makeup but my skin feels almost the same as the Bioderma after use. There really isn’t anything too alarming in the ingredient list either apart from the fragrance they added. To that fragrance I must say…. Avène…. why? You’re normally the best for not putting fragrance into something!!! And you had to make it smell like that? 
3 
overall. How you did worse than the Garnier I have no idea.

The SAEM Healing Tea Garden White Tea Cleansing Water
Makeup Removal: 4/5
Skin After Use:
 3/5
Scent:
4/5
Ingredients:
4/5
Cost:
5/5 300ml $13AUD/9.58USD

The scent is pretty nice for this cleansing water… the only problem I have with that is fragrance can irritate the skin, and I have no intention of washing off my cleansing water with more water. Makeup removal went fairly easily… although it stung my eyes pretty badly… again… maybe they’re just sensitive? My skin afterwards was fairly ‘meh’… not soft but ‘clean’ in the sense that I knew all my makeup was gone. Nothing to write home about and certainly nothing compared to the skin sensation I get after using the Bioderma. The ingredients have a few things which pop up with 4’s for long term safety but nothing to be worried about for irritation or acne. The cost is brilliant so I think if I can get an eye makeup remover that doesn’t sting the crap out of my eyes I’d be happy using this for general removal of everything else on my face until the bottle runs out. Score of 4 for this one (love that decent pricing too).

***SURPRISE BONUS CLEANSING WATER!!*** Ok, so between when I started drafting this post and when I published it I actually went ahead and purchased the Su:m37 Skin Saver Essential Cleansing Water (I’m sorry wallet…. please forgive me). So now you get a bonus round…

Su:m37 Skin Essential Cleansing Water
Makeup Removal: 5/5
Skin After Use: 5/5
Scent: 5/5
Ingredients: 5/5
Cost: 3/5 400ml @ $38AUD/30.58USD

Oh gosh. It had to be the expensive bottle didn’t it? This removes my makeup fairly easily (about the same as the Bioderma) and DOESN’T sting my eyes! I repeat…. doesn’t sting my eyes! My skin feels nice after use, really nice without a film or any kind of ‘product’ left over sensation. While I normally kick up a stink about fragrance this isn’t light citrus-y scent isn’t a heavy fragrance and disappears immediately. I’ll forgive it since it seems minimal and short-lived. The ingredients contain nothing I’d worry about either. The cost however, that makes me weep. At $38AUD for 400ml this product is more expensive than the Bioderma (because of course it is), so while I am really enjoying this product cost is a factor I care about. I do feel the desire to give this item bonus points for packaging and extras however. My Skin Saver Cleansing Water came in a beautiful silver box with metallic/reflective embossing and the bottle itself lends itself towards a more luxurious feel when using it. If that is something you care about… it really is a beautiful cleansing water and comes with a small box of cotton pads (which I didn’t know until it arrived) and is a really nice touch. Overall this product gets a 4.6 making it the winner of this cleansing water battle!

What do you look for in a cleansing water? Does packaging influence how you feel about the product? Have you tried any of the cleansing waters I compared in this post? Any other suggestions? Let me know!

**A breakdown of the criteria and where each cleansing water fell is below**

Brand Product Makeup Removal Skin After Use Scent Ingredients Cost per 100ml Recommendation?
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water 4/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 3/5, 8.50AUD BEST ALL ROUNDER (GET THIS ON SALE).
Garnier Micellar All-In-One Cleansing Water 2/5 3/5 4/5 3/5 5/5, 3.50AUD NO
Avène Cleanance Micellar Water 2/5 4/5 1/5 4/4 4/4, 6.25AUD NO
The SAEM Healing Tea Garden White Tea Cleansing Water 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 5/5, 4.33AUD BEST BUDGET MICELLAR WATER
Su:m37 Skin Saver Essential Pure Cleansing Water 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 3/5, 9.50AUD BEST HIGH END MICELLAR WATER. BEST PACKAGING.

 

 

Acids · Banila Co. · COSRX · irritation · Millia · Mizon · Solution

**UPDATE AND SURPRISE SOLUTION** The Time I Gave My BHA/AHA Acids the Side-Eye (Also known at the product shuffle to find the micro-pimple/millia culprit)

I truly thought I must’ve been going crazy. BHAs and AHAs are often a necessary if not HG element of so many people routines that I would feel like a fool not including them. After all… part of my skin care routine is that I target specific skin needs, in particular, closed comedones/millia and a clog here and there. I had thought there was no way my acids wouldn’t be working for me… I’m post-roaccutane at this stage. I haven’t had a single ‘proper’ pimple since I finished the prescription duration of 40mg of isotretinoin for 9 months. And yet I still considered it… I gave my BHA/AHA Acids the side-eye.

Why? Because despite religious use I keep getting these tiny little micro-pimples and my millia isn’t receeding at all.  So I looked at them… could they be the problem? Or was my skin simply acting up again? Am I using it too frequently? I’m not ‘breaking out’ but I’m not HAPPY with whats happening either (things are bumpy, dry and uncomfortable). What is going on?

So here we are… I am going to continue to religiously use my current acids routine on the left half of my face. Meanwhile I am going to follow the rest of my routine for the right side of my face!

Deductions From The Changes:
1) No Changes for Either Side – Skin Issue, current routine isn’t catering to it well enough.
2) Dissappear on my Left but not on my Right –  My acids are protecting me it’s just taking a little bit longer to move these things along.
3) Issue exacerbates on the Right side but isn’t as bad on the Left – potentialy another product is causing it within my routine/skin is seriously pissed at me and the acids can’t keep up.
4) Dissapear on my Right but not on my Left – The acids aren’t helping and should potentially be removed from my routine.

Left Side Of Face
PM
Banila Co. Clean It Zero (First Cleanse)
Sulwahsoo Snowise Ex Foam (Second Cleanse)
Mizon AHA BHA Daily Clean Toner (pH Bal Toner)
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid (BHA)
Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum (AHA)
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence (Hydrator/Serum)
Tosowoong Sheet Mask (could be any of them not sure yet)
COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask (Occlusive)

Right Side Of Face
Banila Co. Clean It Zero (First Cleanse)
Sulwahsoo Snowise Ex Foam (Second Cleanse)
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence (Hydrator/Serum)
Tosowoong Sheet Mask (could be any of them not sure yet)
COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask (Occlusive)

Let’s do this skin… I’m listening.

P.s I’ll also investigate if there are other ways to keep skin turning over/making sure pores are staying un-clogged including staggering acid usage, steaming, masks/serums etc

**UPDATE 22ND JULY 2017**
My skin started talking within three days of trying this method of elimination out – It just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Dear skin, why must you be like this?

By the third day I had to give a big apology to my acids. It wasn’t you, it’s me…. or rather the culprit really wasn’t either of us. Both sides maintained the same level of millia/dryness/discomfort. The skin on the acid side of my face felt more smooth than the un-exfoliated side but there was no difference except that my right side was a tiny bit angrier. Whatever was causing it had nothing to do with my acids, and weren’t being solved by acids either. Deductive option 1 it is then.

So I wracked my brain… I hadn’t experienced this before using the exact same products. Had my skin suddenly developed an entirely different personality? What had changed? Exactly when did I notice this becoming a problem? And then it hit me…. I had moved recently… and my previous house used a water tank. The new residence utilises the town water supply meaning that I’d gone from soft water (sky–>tank–>Liya’s face) to hard water (sky–>dam–>allthewaythroughgodknowswhere–>Liya’s face). Hard water isn’t good for skin either! It contains extra minerals from going through the ground that can cause irritation and clog pores (clogged pores? irritation? helloooooo millliaaaaaa).

At first I didn’t want to believe. But I’m a week into only using cleansing water on my face (until I organise an alternative) and the hard bumps, dryness and general unhappiness of my skin are GONE. WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK?? This has affected what I can use though…. I haven’t been able to use the Banila Co. Clean It Zero Balm (because I’d use water to get that off and don’t want to go through more cleansing water than I have to). I’ve also noticed that the minuscule manual exfoliation from the makeup pads (that I soak with cleansing water) has meant I use acids maybe one or twice a week now instead of daily. In the right conditions, my skin seems to be more than willing to function in a way that leaves me with even, soft, supple and bouncy skin with a hint of k-glow. I almost feel betrayed by this skin! I was so ready to save you… I didn’t realise that you could save yourself if put in the right situation **sobs**.

At present I’m using the Bioderma Sensibio H20 micellar cleansing water. I have used others previously and am glad I have this one to help me. I’ll be doing a battle of the cleansing waters soon (since its very relevant to my skin health right now) so let me know if there are any cleansing waters that you really like using!

Banila Co. · COSRX · Dr. G · Mizon · Paula's Choice · Routine

How I Break Down My Routine + Listening To Your Skin Needs

Buckle in folks (or grab some tea and a snack)… this is a long post.

Everybody’s skin has different needs. Discovering those needs is part of what makes skin care fun, although sometimes we can read the signs wrong and wind up like I was a year ago trying desperately to combat dehydrated acne-prone skin with high pH cleansers, acids and moisturisers (good one ya goober!). Now that I’m post-Roaccutane and my skin isn’t dominated by cystic acne anymore I have to consider it in a different light. I no longer think of myself as acne prone but my skin type has both similar and different needs to my pre-Roacc skin type. I’m going to break those down and how it correlates to my routine below. **You’re gonna notice that my routine breakdown is pretty influenced by Korean skin care concepts**

Brief Interlude About Korean Skin Care Routines
You may have heard that Korean skin care requires anywhere from 15-30steps. In truth? Owning/using as many products as possible is not what it’s about. At it’s heart, this type of regime is all about catering to the individual needs of your skin and ensuring that you maintain a balance (i.e. if you take something away you MUST replace it).  Sometimes, a one-and-done product won’t be able to do that effectively, in fact, you might be neglecting one or more of those skin needs. Are there people with these massive step routines? Yes. Will that be right for everyone? Nope, just as smaller routines won’t work for everyone.

In the West we’re at least somewhat aware of the basic 3 step routine: 1 – Cleanse, 2 – Tone, 3 – Moisturise. Other than that, we then add products in for various goals – an acid or benzoyl peroxide for acne, a facial mist to feel like a diva etc. For some people this works. For me it does not… so lets get into it.

The Breakdown
I have combination (drier cheeks, t-zone is a tad oily), dehydrated skin which can very easily become sensitive/compromised if I neglect those first two components. I have hyper-pigmentation (left over from acne) and a tendency to develop small whiteheads (clogged pores). I also wear make-up so this should be factored in. 

From this my skin needs include:
– products which will not unbalance either the dry or oily parts of my face.
– component to combat dehydration and protect against moisture-loss.
– component which can improve my hyper-pigmentation.
– ‘……’ which can prevent clogged pores.
– anti-inflammatory/healing product in the event of sensitivity.
– Make-up removal.
– Sun protection.

My Routine

AM
Cleanse – Why? Remove any left over product from the evening/oil/dead skin cell build up etc. This will go towards ensuring that I can cater to my other skin needs, by removing the evenings build up from your face you are contributing to your skins overall health.
Skin Needs: Remember that combination skin type I have? I need to make sure that my cleanser isn’t going to irritate my dryness while still doing it’s job on the oily areas. I like to make sure that the pH of my cleanser isn’t too high either otherwise this can compromise your acid mantle (meaning you will have already thrown things into chaos from step one). pH of 5.5-6.5 is best but my skin will still be ok going on a second date with a pH of 7 delivered in a well formulated product.
Products I like for this: Sulwhasoo Snowise Ex Foam Cleanser, COSRX Good Morning Low Ph Cleansing Gel YADAH Anti-T Bubble Cleanser.

Targeting – Why? Not going to lie. I made the name of this step up. Largely because between here and the end of my routine I select products based on the targeted needs of my skin. It’s the customisable part of my routine however you should always layer products by consistency – thinnest to thickest.
Skin Needs: I know my skin, it can get overwhelmed pretty quick and the balance between my combo zones chucks a tantrum. For this reason I choose one product, preferably in a light consistency, per issues. If I don’t need a step, I don’t do it. 1. Hyper-pigmentation, Vitamin C or Niacinamide. 2. Dehydration, hydrating serum/mist/essence (You’ll notice I’m only going after two elements here, remember you don’t have to use everything on your face at once).
Products I like for this: Drunk Elephant Vit-C Firma Day Serum (Hp),
 Holy Snails Shark Sauce (Hp), COSRX Galactomyces Ferment 92 (Hp) & COSRX Snail Essence 96 (De-h). 

Lock It in! – Why? Originally I used to think a moisturiser was the obvious choice for hydration and for a lot of people this is the case. For me however I try to get as much hydration into my targeted steps because typically moisturisers/creams don’t work out for me and heavier creams can clog my pores/feel too heavy for me. So I primarily use this step to lock in all the products I’ve previously layered.
Skin Needs: As previously mentioned heavier moisturisers can clog my pores, break me out, sit on my skin by not absorbing fully or cause oiliness. I look for a lighter moisturisor which is still appropriate as an occlusive but it must absorb quickly, not sick heavily on the skin, not break me out/cause clogged pores and has to be compatible sitting under sunscreen and makeup.
Products I like for this: Moisturisers and I have a love hate relationship however some products which work in this category are; Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream and COSRX Oil-Free Ultra Moisturising Lotion. The list here is short as my skin is super picky with this skin care type.

Protect (LE SUNSCREEN) – Why? Do you like having an even skin tone? fully functioning skin care products? a defense between you and sun spots, discolouration and sun burn? Does the idea of not aging so damn quickly also sound good? Sunscreen is your man, your best pal, your shield etc. If you are utilising sun sensitive actives it’s a must and I firmly believe that sunscreen can be the difference between a good routine and a great routine (that is if you go outside, if you don’t then don’t worry about it).
Skin Needs: My last post included an entire rant about sunscreen but to reiterate, I need a: cosmetically elegant formula (doesn’t leave a white cast, sits easily on the skin, scent can’t be absolutley offensive) with a minimum SPF35 with broad spectrum protection. So it has to be easy to use, feel nice, sit well under makeup and still provide the protection that I need.
Products I like for this; Dr. G Brightening Up Sun SPF 42 PA+++, YADAH Oh My Sunblock SPF 35 PA++ COSRX Aloe Soothing Suncream SPF 50 PA+++. 

Well done, you made it through the AM routine!! Replenish your tea… we got the PM to go.

PM
There is a certain element of repetition with a few added bits in the PM routine.

Cleanse – why? You have a whole days works of dead skin cells, dirt from the day, sunscreen and possibly even makeup. Remove the sludge to make your beautiful skin available to the rest of your routine.
Skin Needs: I follow the double cleanse method. Reason being I wear makeup most days for work and this method works best for me to ‘gently’ remove everything. Most western cleansers will probably be too harsh to cleanse twice so I utilise a cleansing oil or balm/sherbert (which emulsifies) to gently get my makeup moving. A good cleansing oil/balm will ensure that all makeup is removed once you rinse the balm away, won’t strip the skin nor leave too much of an oily/product residue behind. The second cleanse? That’s to get rid of anything the balm may have missed as well as removing any residue from the first cleanse (there shouldn’t be a heap, but my pores clog easily so best to get rid of it just in case). Both cleansers have to be able to do their job effectively without stripping the skin/compromising the lipid barrier (if your lipid barrier isn’t happy you’re gonna have a bad time).
Products I like for this: First cleanse? I really enjoy the Banila Co. Clean It Zero cleansing sherbert (it’s a balm but they call it a sherbert). It smells nice, is easy to use, successfully removes my makeup and leaves minimal residue. I use the original formula but there are others depending on your skin needs. Another is the TATCHA Camellia Cleansing Oil overall I loathe Tatcha for their overpriced, ineffective products but this cleansing oil is really nice (kind of an ‘I love you but your family is a nightmare’ deal). (To be honest, I need to explore potential first cleanser options a bit more. Because my skin doesn’t like thicker products anywhere near it the moment the Banila. Co didn’t break me out and was completely functional I was happy enough to leave it there)Second Cleanse? Good news! Usually the gentle cleanser you use in the mornings can be utilised here. Most of the hard work has been done (in a nice way) by your first cleanse right? Still, try out other products (in case your first cleanser and your second disagree with one another) but your AM cleanser usually will work. I like the Sulwahsoo Snowise EX Foam, YADAH Anti-T Bubble Cleanser & the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. P.s If I haven’t worn makeup that day I typically won’t use the double cleanse method. The balm is really good for shifting makeup without aggravating your skin by rubbing etc but I see no reason to use it if there is no heavy lifting to do. 

Targeting – Why? Skin needs. Look after them. Odds are you can’t tackle all your needs in the morning, so often the night time is when you can go to town layering things. PLEASE NOTE: LAYERING PRODUCTS TENDS TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE IF DONE BY pH AND CONSISTENCY (LOWEST pH to HIGHEST FOR ACTIVES, THINNEST TO THICKEST FOR EVERYTHING ELSE).
Skin Needs: I’m dehydrated in the mornings, I’m dehydrated at night, my skin is one thirsty creature, always, so hydration is definitely something I need to include in both AM and PM. Clogged pores are something I can work on easier at night as well, usually via acids (nothing too strong though).  Hyper-pigmentation and sensitivity are two more needs in my nightly line of fire.
Products I like for this and a little bit more why: An effective vitamin C tyically has a lower pH than my other products but since I use my Vit-C in the morning I’m not going to use it and will instead start with my acids to take care of the pore glogging need. The COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid is a gentle beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) which will penetrate deeper into the pore and give oil a heave-ho-you-gotta-go! I wait 15-20mins for this to absorb fully and then spot-treat any uneven skin surfaces with an AHA (alpha-hydroxy-acid) like the COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid or the Mizon AHA 8% Peel Serum. The AHA will nibble away the unwanted gunk on the surface of the skin (This works for me but you could use it all over the face). Typically BHA’s have a lower pH than AHA’s and that’s why I use them in this order. That isn’t a hard and fast rule though, if it works in reverse for you then that’s cool too. Hyper-pigmentation is next, with the COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence or Holy Snails! Shark Sauce (does not contain sharks). Then onto Hydration with my COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence or possibly a face mask. I’m really enjoying the Tosowoong Deep Sea Moisturing sheet mask for added hydration or the Tosowoong Aloe sheet mask to hydrate and soothe. Other benefits include the mask itself sending everything deeper into the skin for a more effective overall routine (this is my honest opinion, although I personally do not use a sheet mask every night, just when I want a boost).
Please note: Actives may not be able to be used every single day. At the time of writing I have had to downgrade my usage to twice a week and not at the same time. AHA one day. BHA a different day. Skin is going through a strange patch… yippee. 

Lock it in! – Why? Same reason as the AM occlusive. Lock all that goodness in so you don’t lose any of that lovely moisture throughout the night!
Skin Needs: A slightly heavier moisturiser can be used now although I still need something that isn’t going to sit on my face and make it freak out that its being suffocated. Anything that could also benefit my other steps is a plus.
Products I like for this: I currently have one product which I use above all others (skin doesn’t like heavier stuff… sue me). This one just WORKS for me. I’m going to sound like a COSRX-broken record but their Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask is A-FREAKING-MAZING. You wanna know why? Read my review of it. Go on… I’ll wait.

Additional/Final Touch: I use my HG lip balm before bed as well (Paula’s Choice Lip and Body Treatment Balm). It means I wake up with soft lips that have spent the entire night being conditioned and cared for. This makes me feel good so I’ll continue to do that.

Whew! You made it to the end! Good for you. I hope this was helpful. Bearing in mind that I may not have the same skin type as you and, as always, YMMV I hope this has at least exposed that skin care is a lot more than a strict three step or 30 steps deal. You have to listen to your skin and its needs. My skin care routine is shaped by my skin needs (which you’re now more than aware of if you’ve made it to the end) and I pick and choose what and when I use products based off its current state. Feeling all good for hydration? No face mask. Pigmentation is fading? Guess I’ll cut back on the Galactomyces Essence. Looking a bit dull? Use a brightening serum/mask. There are so many options available and not all products have to be expensive or a one-and-done (like most western skin care). Explore options from other countries (Korea in particular makes it easier to treat specific needs) and remember it is YOUR skin, no one elses. Listen to it, have fun, take note 🙂

Good Luck!

Got any HG products or methods? Let me know! I’m always down to try something new. 

 

Dr. G · Review · Sunscreen

Dr. G Brightening Up Sun – Review + Sunscreen Semi-Rant

As a permanently pale person sunscreen is the one skin care product that must be included in my AM routine. I don’t care if I only have time to cleanse and sunscreen… I’m too goshdarn pale in a country known for its skin-cancer stats to neglect it (cancer.org.au says “Approximately, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, with more than 750,000 people treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia each year).

The problem is that there are so many cosmetically inelegant sunscreens that it can be uncomfortable bordering on ‘get this stuff OFF my face’ unpleasant to wear it everyday. If it’s thick, refuses to ‘set’, makes me feel greasy, leaves a hideous white cast, won’t function under makeup or is below an SPF 35 with UVA and UVB protection then I won’t use it. Proper sun coverage also requires a decent amount of sunscreen! That one little blob on your finger? not gonna cut it sweet cheeks! So you may potentially have a lot of sunscreen in a gross formula all over your face (ughhhhh). **End Rant**  

My search for a cosmetically elegant formula left Australia pretty quickly and landed in Korea. It makes sense right? Being pale fits their beauty standards, so while in Australia my reasons involve not wanting to age quickly or potentially die from the harsh Aussie sun, Korea provides cosmetically elegant solutions for sun care as part of their ‘beauty regime/goals’. They also generally meet my minimum SPF 35+ with both UVA & UVB protection. All in all I’m having a nice time trialling some Korean sunscreens at present and what I’ve tried so far has worked for me.

Today’s review is about the Dr. G Brightening Up Sun screen.

IMG_20170630_205421

What Is it?
Dr. G claims that this sunscreen has an SPF of 42, PA+++ Rating (higher UVA protection) and is broad spectrum (meaning both UVA and UVB protection). It’s primary function is to protect you from the sun but it is also meant to act as a ‘tone up’ or ‘brightening’ product to correct skin tone while giving a matte finish.

It is a skin-tone product with a creamy consistency. The ‘sunscreen’ smell is very present at first but does die down. Packaging is easy to use with a basic screw cap.

How I Use It
I use a method advised by fiftyshadesofsnail author Fiddy Snails – two fingers worth of sunscreen for the whole face and three for your neck (the tiny blob on your finger looks super inadequate now huh?).  Now I get a little overzealous and use three fingers for my face. This is primarily because the packaging aperture is a little smaller but also because I like how it lets me ‘zone’ my application. I put a line of sunscreen on my pointer (left cheek), middle (forehead, nose, chin) and ring finger (right cheek). If I can be bothered I might use a cushion puff/sponge (another fiddy snails suggestion [blogger crushes can be a thing right?] Im’ma leave this right here Fiddy Snails Sunscreen Info but typically I don’t have time for that so I’ll just use each finger for its prescribed area and then pat in till absorbed.

17-07-01-10-54-14-958_deco
Could you imagine putting this much gross-feeling-sunscreen on your face? No thanks! This is the Dr. G sunscreen and it WILL absorb down to basically nothing.

Ingredients
“Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane,Magnesium Sulfate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Vinyl Dimethicone/ Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance ( Parfum), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Talc, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Disodium EDTA, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract, Water, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Diospyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract.”

Off the bat this is a chemical sunscreen so if you’re sensitive to that please don’t use this product. The active sun protection ingredients are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and both of these typically do a bang up job of protecting against UVA and UVB (yay broad-spectrum claim is accurate). A plus is that in this extensive ingredients list there are a fair few moisturising ingredients (sometimes moisturising ingredients don’t play well together and can leave you feeling greasy, not the case here). When put into CosDNA Ethylhexyl Palmitate flagged with a 4 (acne trigger) however none of the ingredients really stand out as having too much potential for long term damage. Fragrance is added (plant extract) so if you’re sensitive to this please make a decision that is in your best interests.

My Mileage
How does one judge a sunscreen? If you’re as whiney about how it feels on the skin as I am then it makes it fairly easy. It also helps that ‘tan’ is not something I could achieve outside of a can (no thanks) and burning is a very real possibility if I leave the house. This sunscreen feels very nice once applied, it spread easily, absorbs quickly, feels light (no grease or ‘heavy’ sensations) and my skin is rather soft after use. It sits very well over makeup and does function a little like a primer since everything is nice and smooth. The sunscreen smell bothered me at first but it’s really only strong-ish when you first put it on your face and is basically gone once absorbed. Does it protect me from the sun? You bet. I haven’t been sunburned once whilst using this product (and I moved house last weekend, carrying things in an out of my old place in full daylight **vampire hiss**).

Its brightening effects on the other hand? Meh. I wouldn’t say this evens out my skin tone because the tint to it is in fact darker than my skin tone. It doesn’t make my skin look darker but it certainly doesn’t provide a glow or any special ‘tone up’ experience. It looks like I’m wearing nothing, which in itself is a plus (if you aren’t going to give me an even skin-tone like you promised at least be polite and look like nothing… thanks). I’d also say it has a natural finish rather than matte.

Overall this has been very pleasant to use and I’d buy it again if nothing else extraordinary crops up.

Rating
1 – How are you even a thing? Get away from my face.
2 –  You can’t sit with us. (couldn’t back up its claims. pretended to wear pink)
3 – Mehhh. not good. but not bad.
4 – Yay happy skin experience. Will repurchase unless I find something better.
5 – Holy Grail. You and me were meant to be together.  

Where To Get It
BBCosmetic**  $19.26USD/$25AUD
Ebay.com.au 
Ebay can always be tricky with costs depending on the seller. Cheapest I found was around $28AUD (korean seller). 
RoseRoseShop 27.93USD/$36.35AUD

**This is where I purchased my product from. It was cheaper than elsewhere and I trust them as a seller because I’ve bought from them before. Shipping took roughly 2 weeks.

Something Strange. I’ve noticed in my searches that different stores (in person and online) seem to be stabbing for a different profit margin. Usually this is by a few dollars but this time it can be quite extreme. While one seller is selling this for $50AUD a ‘direct from Korea’ seller (like BBCosmetic) can send you the same product with free shipping for $25AUD. Why the huge markup? I’ve noticed that western sellers seem to be primarily utilising huge mark ups. This may be to do with the rise of AB popularity (Dr. G as a brand has kind of broken into the western market) and they think people will pay for hype/aren’t aware of its cost from Korean distributors? I’m not sure. Just be careful because I certainly wouldn’t pay $50 for this item (in fact I’d laughed when the girl in my local W Cosmetics said it was $52, I’d thought she was joking).

200w_d.gif

 

Cleanser · Review · Tosowoong

Tosowoong Powder Enzyme Wash (Cleanser) – Review

Cleansing. So long as it gets rid of gunk does it matter what cleanser you use? Once upon a time I didn’t think so. To be fair I also used to think that tight ‘clean’ feeling after cleansing was completely normal so I’ve come a long way since then.

What I look for in a cleanser now is fairly simple:
– Don’t leave me with that ‘tight’ feeling after cleansing. At all. I don’t want it.
– No ‘film’ left afterwards either.
– pH between 5.5-7 (at the absolute most).
– Ease of use.
– No offensive fragrances of the detergent or chemical floral variety.
Bonus points if it’s not expensive.
Fairly simple – like I said. *snicker* 

Today’s product has been trialled with this criteria in mind so let’s see how the Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash (Cleanser) stacks up.

What Is it?
The Enzyme Powder Wash is a powder cleanser by Korean brand Tosowoong. Tosowoong claim that it’s a softly foaming, mild wash which will improve skin texture as the product contains papain and corn starch. They say it is good for sensitive skin and that your skin will be moist and tender after use. It also boasts a pH of 5.5.

The product comes in plastic packaging with a flip top lid and the powder itself is in tiny little balls so that powder doesn’t fly everywhere. It smells faintly detergent-y. When mixed with water it turns into a thin ‘wash’ with light bubbles.

How do I use it?
I’ve trialled this a couple of ways. One is by tapping some of the powder balls (they’re like tiny granules) into my hand, adding a bit of water and using the tips of my fingers to break down the granules into a light cleanser. This one is effective but sometimes the granules don’t want to break down.

The other is by using a foaming net. Wet the net, pour some granules onto it, use fingers to lather it. This method is less scrape-y than the previous one but I have mixed feelings about this product used as puffy foam when it comes to effectiveness.

Ingredients
“Zea Mays Starch, Sodium Lauroyl Aspartate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Palmitate, Badger Oil, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Papain, Maltodextrin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Titanium Dioxide, Alcohol Denat, Phenoxyethanol, 1.2-Hexanediol, Fragrance.”

For those of you who don’t like Sodium Laureth Sulfate in your products do not purchase this. Personally I’m not a huge fan of its presence as I do find my skin is more sensitive with sustained use but I’ll forgive it if the product blows my mind (how magnanimous right?). Now the key ingredients which Tosowoong credit its “smoothing” effects to are cornstarch and papain. While cornstarch is primarily used as a thickening agent it can have a silky side effect (thus the skin feeling smoother). Papain on the other hand can be aggravating to certain people. Judge for yourself how these ingredients work for you.

My Mileage
I wanted this product to work for me. It’s cheap and you get a lot of it… of course I wanted it to wow me. For the most part it did its job – cleaned away the gunk (mostly). That isn’t my only criteria for a cleanser though and I don’t feel it shaped up in other areas. I’ve been using this product morning and night (as a second cleanse) for over a week. This doesn’t seem like a long enough time to draw conclusions but unlike a serum or active I feel that cleansers can be judged pretty easily within this time-frame. Particularly if your skin starts acting differently immediately and it is the only element you’ve changed.

Things I liked about this cleanser include: no film residue, nice lather texture when washing, goal pH of 5.5 and potential to reduce liquids during air travel.

Things I didn’t like: There was a certain level of tightness to my skin after use. Nowhere close to feeling ‘stripped’ which you might assume would happen because of the SLS and Alcohol Denat included but still a little tight. I noticed it and quickly went into denial about it all the same (completely foaming this product in a net made the tightness more prominent). Ease of use is where this product also fell for me. I must thank the surprise educational element because it showed just how lazy I really am when it comes to ‘doing’ things for my skin care. After about the fourth day I found it a pain to be lathering this until the granules had completely broken down. Thirdly, the fragrance smells like something I’d clean my dishes with although I’ll admit that you go a bit nose-blind to it after the first few days and the scent doesn’t linger once washed it away. Lastly, it seems to have a little bit of trouble clearing away some of the ‘dirtier’ oil patches from my first cleanse of an evening. I’ve been left with some panda-bear bags from it not clearing everything.

By day three I began to notice my ‘glow’/clarity of skin-tone was beginning to fade (nooooooo!) and the redness around my nose was returning. I cannot pin-point why but the cocktail of products I use to achieve my skin goals was no longer hitting it out of the park since introducing the cleanser.

Overall it isn’t bad per se, but for me it isn’t a good cleanser either (for reasons listed above). I think I would only use this if I was in a bind (i.e ran out of my other, preferred cleansers).

Rating
1 – how are you even a thing? Get away from my face.
2 –  you can’t sit with us. (couldn’t back up its claims. pretended to wear pink)
3 – Mehhh. not good. but not bad.
4 – Yay happy skin experience. Will repurchase unless I find something better.
5 – Holy Grail. You and me were meant to be together.

Where To Get It
Jolse** $9.50USD/$12.55AUD
BBCosmetic $15.96USD/$21AUD (BBcosmetic? Why?)
RoseRoseShop $6.29USD/$8.31AUD (on sale at the moment)

**This is where I purchased from.

P.s This one is definitely a YMMV deal. As much as it didn’t really click for me there are other people who’ve reported wonderful results from using this cleanser. Fiddy Snails from Fiftyshadesofsnail apparently had an amazing time with it. You can look at her review here: https://fiftyshadesofsnail.com/2015/08/23/review-tosowoong-enzyme-powder-wash/