As an Asian beauty enthusiast, I am always up for trying unorthodox ingredients. (Unorthodox, at least, for my corner of the world.) A cream that features straight animal fat as a star ingredient is certainly something I’ve not tried before. My skin, though fundamentally normal in its sebum production, does tend to lean on the drier side which has resulted in my affection for richer, heavier creams. Products like the Benton Steam Cream are touted as being some of the heaviest creams out there, but I haven’t found them to be all that rich. Enter the horse oil cream. My dry-leaning skin, combined with my first experience of tret-face this year, meant I was looking for a seriously beefy (haha) cream to nourish and maintain that all-important moisture barrier.
I’m a big fan of masking. I make a point of buying one new mask to try in each of my big hauls. Since I only use any particular mask once a week, there’s a lot of room to have a big variety of choice without feeling like I’m drowning in products. I would love to work my way up to having a different mask to use for every day of the week! I could do a clay mask on Sundays, alternate between a sugar scrub and a peeling gel every other week, throw in a massage mask once in a while, and do any number of moisturizing or nourishing types all the rest of the time.
The I’m From Honey Mask has been extremely popular and very well reviewed. Eventually I read one too many accounts of glowing praise before I finally caved in and plopped it into my cart. The price gave me pause, but I decided it would be worth it if my experience was similar to everyone else’s.
Oh Tony Moly. How you lure me in with your packaging. There are two mango-shaped products from this brand, one being this sunscreen and the other a hand butter. I chose the sunscreen because I’m really bad about applying sunscreen on my hands, and I wanted something fun to carry in my bag that would encourage me to use it regularly.
Skinfood has a reputation for some really great wash-off masks, particularly their sugar scrubs and rice mask. I got incredibly excited when they released a new range of masks, dubbed the Freshmade line, and I’ve had the chance to try a couple of them out now. The Apple Mask has been reviewed already, and the Coconut Mask was the next in line for me to try. I love the smell of coconut, and this mask made me think of smearing thick, rich coconut cream on my face, which I just couldn’t resist.
There was a whole lot of excitement when Shara Shara released their three Bomb ampoules in Honey, Berry, and Aqua. They featured great ingredients in enormous sizes, and where packaged in colorful jars reminiscent of homemade preserves. Unfortunately as far as I can tell, they are no longer in production and are pretty much impossible to find.
Luckily for us, shortly after Shara Shara’s release, Scinic swooped in with their own line of dupes labeled as All-In-One Ampoules, featuring 4 ‘flavors’: Honey, Snail, Aqua, and Iceland Water. These are all still very much available, and have become well-known favorites. The Honey version is by far the most popular, so that’s the one I decided to try first out of this line.
Cleansing oils are probably my favorite products to use. There’s something about mushing around all your makeup after a day of carefully avoiding face contact that is therapeutic for me. There’s no harsh scrubbing with a wipe, no dragging cotton rounds over your skin. There’s only a relaxing massage all over to dissolve everything, and then all the dirt and sunscreen and makeup just rinses away. It’s so easy and it works so well. Innisfree’s Apple Seed Cleansing Oil lured me in with a promise of a juicy apple scent on top of everything I love about oil cleansers. Let’s see if it lived up to expectations.
As many a skincare nerd will know, there are some types of products in which the pH is hugely important to the product’s purpose and effectiveness. BHAs, AHAs, or L-ascorbic acid serums are ‘pH dependent’, which means their effectiveness is altered by the pH of the product formulation, or by the pH of the skin they are applied to.
These products tend to perform better at a pH that is lower than the natural pH of your skin. Your skin’s pH hangs around 4.5-5.5, and the ideal pH for these products, such as Vitamin C, can be as low as 2.5. What ends up happening is that some of the effectiveness of these products is used up in the effort it takes to lower the pH of your skin to a suitable range. One way to resolve this is to use a pH-adjusting toner to do the grunt work of lowering the skin’s pH so that the pH dependent products can be more effective at what they do. This is the role of a product like the COSRX BHA/AHA Clarifying Treatment Toner.