Asian Beauty, Review

Empties & Mini Reviews [July 2017 – December 2017]

Brands Included: COSRX | Missha | TheFaceShop | the CREME shop | Hada Labo | SCINIC | Kikumasamune | Mamonde

1. COSRX

  • COSRX – AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
    • As somebody with oily, acne-prone skin, I found this product to work fine, but it did not seem to do quite as much as I would have hoped it would. It could be because the formulation is so gentle and I need a higher percentage of AHA/BHA, but this product would be ideal to those with sensitive skin. Will not repurchase. 4/5.
  • COSRX – Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
    • When my skin was doing particularly bad, this was my absolute go-to product. It hydrates, heals, and soothes the skin very effectively. I think everybody should try a snail product at least once in their lifetime. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • COSRX – Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask
    • While COSRX tends to impress me more than disappoint, I was sad to find that this product did next to nothing for my skin. As an overnight mask, I expected it to act as an occlusive to seal in all of the hydration and moisture from the products I used underneath, but it felt like it would simply dissipate from my skin. I did love the texture of the actual product though. Will not repurchase. 2/5.

2. Missha

  • Missha – Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule
    • This is a holy grail item for me. With its long list of extracts I can always expect this product to hydrate my skin and make it look more radiant. And because it has a very small percentage of retinol, I can comfortably use it every night without irritating my skin but still see the benefits that retinol brings — lightening of acne scars, smoother skin texture, a more even skin tone, and less acne in general. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • Missha – Near Skin Smart All-In-One Cream
    • I wanted to love this product so much. Its ingredient list might suggest that it could easily become a product loved by many, but for whatever reason this product did very little for me. I do not think that it truly functions as an all-in-one product, but rather, a slightly heavier gel-cream. That being said, it must be one of the very few products by Missha that had absolutely no fragrance. While it did not make my skin worse, it did seem to make it more oily and did not wear well under makeup. Will not repurchase. 2/5.

3. TheFaceShop

  • TheFaceShop – Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Mud Pack
    • Simply put, I found this product to be very drying (and ultimately damaging to my skin more than anything else). My skin is not particularly sensitive, but this product made it feel as though it was. Will not repurchase. 1/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Chia Seed Moisture Recharge Cream
    • After discovering that my holy grail Chia Seed Moisturizing Cream had been discontinued, I decided to give this newer formulation a try. I was pleasantly surprised. Just as the original cream, it soothed my skin, thoroughly moisturized my skin without turning it greasy, and worked well under my makeup. The only thing that gets me about this product is that its scent seems more artificial (more “perfume-like”) than natural. Their first formulation will always be superior, but this is an acceptable replacement. Will repurchase. 4.5/5.

4. the CREME shop

  • the CREME shop – Chia Seed Calming Spritz Toner
    • I thought I had stumbled onto an amazing dupe for my beloved Chia Seed Soothing Mist Toner by TheFaceShop, but unfortunately, I was very disappointed by this product. It burned my skin instead of soothing it, smelled strongly of perfume, and was drying rather than hydrating. I managed to finish the bottle by using it on my body. After only a few uses, I was reluctant to use this on my face. Will not repurchase. 0/5.

5. Hada Labo

  • Hada Labo – Gokujyun Lotion (Clear)
    • This is a perfectly light toner that effectively plumped up my skin, reducing the look of the fine lines on my forehead and under my eyes. I found that it was perfect for layering when I wanted that extra bit of hydration. Will not repurchase only because its main ingredient, hyaluronic acid, can be found in many Asian beauty products that provide additional benefits. 5/5.

6. SCINIC

  • SCINIC – Honey All In One Ampoule
    • Smells amazing, feels amazing, and simply is amazing. I loved how thick this product was while at the same time it felt light on the skin because of how well it absorbed. (Note that it will feel sticky until it does fully absorb.) It soothed my skin, improved my skin’s texture, was healing, and helped fade some post-acne scars. Will repurchase. 5/5.

7. Kikumasamune

  • Kikumasamune – High Moist Lotion
    • The most hydrating toner I have ever used to date. It delivers immediate hydration upon application due to the many ceramides it contains and improves the skin with its star ingredient, fermented sake. Perfect for layering. Smells of bananas and bubble gum. Will not repurchase only because of its controversial ingredient (horse placenta) and there is a dupe of this product. Still, I cannot deny that this is an amazing product. 5/5.

8. Mamonde

  • Mamonde – Rose Water Toner
    • The highest rose-containing product that I currently know of (90.98%) that smells of natural roses and not artificially perfumed. I love that I could use it effectively as an astringent toner to remove any makeup I might have missed with my cleanser and to prepare my skin for the following products I used on top of it. It made my skin smooth and helped reduce my acne. Will repurchase. 5/5.
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Asian Beauty, Review

Review: Hada Labo – Gokujyun Lotion (Clear)

Packaging: It comes in a clear, plastic bottle (170ml) with a label stuck right on it along with a cap that pulls open. I like that the spout dispenses the product in the exact amount I need when I simply tip the bottle upside down over my hand for a moment. What I don’t like is that its design is so similar to their other products that sometimes we may confuse it for something else. A quick Google search shows that it also appears to go by the name “Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (Moist),” making matters worse. (And remember, Japan refers to toners as “lotions.”)

Price: Because I bought this at a T&T store in Canada, the price was marked up to about $25-30 CAD, but you can get this product off of Amazon for about $16 USD. So far, it has lasted me over five months and I generally use it 2x a day (although, admittedly, I haven’t been using it as often this month since I’m testing out another hydrating toner).

Consistency: The consistency is very watery, but there is still this slightly viscous feel to it. Because of this, I don’t use a cotton ball/pad to apply it since so much of the product can get trapped inside and get wasted; instead, I simply use the palms of my hands to pat it onto my face. Its finish feels dewy (or as the name implies, “moist”), making it the perfect hydrating toner.

Scent: Absolutely no scent! Great for people who are sensitive to fragrances.

Ingredients: A CosDNA analysis showed that the only flagged item was butylene glycol (solvent + moisturizer) for acne, which only scored a 1. But let us dive right in and analyze the star ingredient, hyaluronic acid. It only sounds scary, but it isn’t – I promise! When we think of “acids,” we generally think of exfoliation and skin peeling, but this ingredient does the exact opposite: it moisturizes, plumps your skin, and sucks moisture out of the air and into your skin. This product includes two forms of hyaluronic acid for increased efficiency due to their differently sized molecules: hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate. They are naturally found within the skin and even between connective tissues.

Its “plumping” effect on the fine lines of my forehead shows that it actually works instantly; the photos above were taken only minutes apart. And take a look at that short ingredient list! I love it! Unless you have a sensitivity to hyaluronic acid, this product may be just what you’re looking for if your fine lines need some plumping.

Important note: If you find that hyaluronic acid actually dries out your skin, this is because there is no moisture in the air for it to draw into the skin, so it sucks the moisture out of your face instead. This issue can easily be mitigated by using a moisturizer on top (which you absolutely should be using anyway!).

Overall Review: This product is ideal for all skin types due to its simple ingredient list and lack of fragrances. I will note that it does contain parabens to keep the other ingredients from breaking down or spoiling, so if that bothers you, then you may not like this product. But if this doesn’t bother you, then you will absolutely love this product for its efficiency just as I do. 5/5.