I've always wanted to open a food or skincare blog and I guess it's time I committed! So I will be starting this page with products that I personally use. These are just my opinions of the products (I'm not an expert), so please don't bite if you disagree! I will also post links on where to find these items. If you would also like the ingredients, do ask!
My rating scale: 1- Do not recommend. 2- Does nothing for my skin. 3- Some effects. 4- Good Buy! 5- A fave!
Recently, I was invited to do a Korean Beauty Q&A by a fellow beauty blogger @beautyandmatcha and she's posted it up onto her blog! I would love for yous to all go and have a read - there's a bit more about me, my skincare routine, my favourite products and ingredients and also some of my thoughts on what's going on in the world at the moment.
Please don't forget to give us some love over on instagram and also share this post!
#15 REN SKINCARE GLOW ONE STEP FURTHER TRIO
This Trio includes
1. Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream - daily fixture of skin vitamins
2. Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic - cleans the skin deep within the pore and tightens appearance
3. Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask - exfoliates and lessens appearance of dark spots and tames blackheads
The Vitamin C Gel Cream has helped me maintain a smooth appearance, whilst evening out the darker areas on certain parts of my face. It smells of citrus and its texture is super smooth and easy to spread all over the face and neck! This prepares me for the day and. I use Typology's Vitamin C serum at night time. The Toner ensures that the dirt is all wiped away: AHA Works on the skin's surface, whilst the BHA works deeper in the pore. I have to use my moisturiser after it, but it does leave my skin bright and smooth.
#14 TYPOLOGY TRIO OF SERUMS AND PURIFYING SOAP WITH NETTLE
The Trio consists of
1. Radiance: 11% Vitamin C - reduces pigmentation spots and reinforces elasticity, whilst protecting the outer skin layer.
2. Antioxidant: 3% Ferulic Acid + 3% Reservatrol - fights the dirt, pollution and smoke we're exposed to in the air.
3. Eye: 5% Caffeine + 5% Niacinamide - facilitates blood circulation and reduces water retention/puffiness under the eyes.
I used these as directed on the bottles and I do feel that results have shown through, especially on my forehead and my lower chin where I struggle with uneven complexion and dull aspects! I dislike the consistency of the Antioxidant as it does feel oily, so I choose to apply a lesser amount onto my skin; but the oiliness isn't so obvious once the skin absorbs it. The Radiance and Eye serums are much more fluid and aren't sticky at all and really have made my skin appear less dull!
I haven't managed to try the Purifying Soap with Nettle yet, but they do offer other soaps targeting other concerns: Hydrating and Exfoliating. I like how this is a form of sustainable skincare, also using natural ingredients and it smells so much like mint! The texture of the soap is soft but I'm yet to see how well it works - I'm still in the process of finding a soap dish! I never realised how difficult it was to find one in stores... I can't find one anywhere!
#13 COSRX SALICYLIC ACID DAILY GENTLE CLEANSER
I only started using this recently, so I'm not going to plug it massively yet! I've noticed that the smaller pimples on my forehead have slowly shrunk, but since I've been trying out some other new products, I can't say it's this product alone that's doing the magic.
It's similar in texture and lemon scent to Etude House's Baking Powder Foam Cleanser. It's a denser foam and doesn't leave my skin irritated, red or dry after using it to wash my face with. I would consider an affordable product that will last you good time, since you only need to use a small amount each time!
#12 T-ZONE AUSTRALIAN PINK CLAY MASK
To be honest, I was fairly disappointed by the consistency and texture of this mask, compared to a tester I had tried a while ago. It was a pool of watery grey/pink water that was squeezed out of the tube, not the clay texture I anticipated.
However, the parts that did come out as clay were really easy to apply, with a face-mask applicator! I had used a smaller packet version of this and it had resolved my redness, really cleaned my pores, especially on my nose and tightened my complexion! What came out as clay from the tube also produced these results too!
#11 COSRX ACNE PIMPLE MASTER PATCH
IF YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW HOW GOOD THEY ARE! These are the best short-term relief for a new/growing spot, if you want them gone fast! They suck all the gunk from the spot and reduce the obvious size of it. If you notice a pimple growing, stick one of these on them before you go to sleep. If I'm not doing anything in the day (that requires make-up!), I will keep the patch on for about 24 hours. The patch is translucent, so they're not too obvious! When removing the patch, you'll know if it's done its job by the gunk (or pus!) stuck to the back of the patch. I wouldn't suggest using these for a cluster or persistent acne - you'll need longer-term cleansing and targeting solutions!!
#10 INNISFREE SEA-SALT JELLY CLEANSER
I started using this a couple of months ago and at first I wasn't sure about the texture and how effective it would be, however, it's a lighter exfoliation, whilst leaving the skin hydrated! The product feels smooth on the skin and because it's a denser foam, it's not messy, it doesn't feel rough and it doesn't leave much residue at all - which is great because my skin can be very sensitive. I wash my face with this every few days and my skin always feels bright and supple, which means it really is able to clear out the dirt and dead cells you've gathered from a day out. I would recommend this as an every day cleanser, but it doesn't target particular skin imperfections i.e. spots, pigmentation, redness, oiliness. If you're looking for something in particular, find a cleanser that targets your problem i.e. Salicylic Acid, Charcoal.
#9 MALIN+GOETZ GRAPEFRUIT FACIAL CLEANSER
I use this cleanser most nights when I'm washing my face and to remove make-up! I used to use cotton pads with micellar water, but it's not as great for the environment, plus this works great with re-usable cotton pads. The first time I used it, my skin looked really bright and purified (very clean!) and it still feels that way on the regular. I apply it to my face, with wet fingertips, in a circular motion and it's so smooth! This product is also great because you don't necessarily need to use lots of water to remove the product - a wet flannel or towel is enough! I bought it a while back (August 2019) in London and i'm still using the same bottle now, because you only need a tiny little bit and it does the trick! I like the simplicity of the ingredients: a) natural grapefruit extract to cleanse, b) coconut-based surfactants to provide a deeper cleanse without drying, c) amino-acids to rebalance pH, d) glycerin and sodium PCA to hydrate and I recommend this if you're looking for a product that covers several steps of a regimen.
#8 MYCLARINS REFRESH HYDRATION BEAUTY MIST
I use this mist, when I've run out of all my other mists or when I need an extra boost of hydration. This is a convenient size to take out with you, if you carry a bag and as it says on the bottle, it does refresh my skin during the day. The droplets are small, so it feels fluid and lightweight! This has a cooling sensation when applied onto a bare face, so definitely keep it in a cool area, away from the sun! I bought it end of 2019 and it's still lasting me now (summer 2020)!
#7 INNISFREE GREEN TEA MINERAL MIST
I've used different facial mists for a good 5 years now and this is probably my favourite one! I spray it onto my face (eyes closed!) from a distance, and one or two pumps usually covers the whole surface. It's really fluid, therefore fairly lightweight and becomes absorbed quite quickly. Once applied, I usually pat very gently with my hands (base of fingers and top of palm). This was the best thing during Summer - my face turns red very quickly in the heat and this usually relieves the redness due to a cooling sensation. It sets my make-up with a dewy and fresh-faced look, without looking sweaty (what every girl needs!) but also relieved the areas on my face with dry skin AND you can still use this after make-up.
#6 SUNPLAY SKIN AQUA SARAFIT SPF 50+ UV MIST
I've had this for a couple of years now, when I last was in Hong Kong (2016), so I'm sure the packaging has changed since then. This is my form of everyday SPF, with added Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen, and only use a thicker form when the sun is blazing (but do we get that often? No!)
It's an easy spray onto the face from a distance and you don't feel any stickiness or any residue and it's fragrance free! I usually do a gentle pat around the face with my fingertips to add a little warmth for the skin to absorb. I usually spray before applying make-up and also take it out with me if I'm spending the entire day out! However, I would suggest having another form of everyday SPF (gel or milk-form if you battle with oil problems) and not rely on this as your sole SPF. Due to it's mist-form, you're likely to miss some the edges of your face or it gets lost in the air - you cannot ensure FULL protection and coverage.
This product is sadly not directly available in the UK. The only location I could find for this specific UV Mist was Ebay (with free international delivery), however Yesstyle UK does stock some alternatives. If you, friends or relatives are visiting Hong Kong or Japan, you're likely to find this in any drugstore i.e. SASA, Watsons, Mannings, Matsumoto Kiyoshi.
#5 LANEIGE WATER SLEEPING MASK
This would be the product I would hope I have with me, if I were to be stranded on a desert island. It comes with an tiny plastic applicator (I don't use, simply because I own a larger face-mask spreader) but I suggest using it, so that your face receives all the product, rather than your fingers/hands. It's very light on the skin, super, super hydrating and cooling and has resolved ALL my dry skin problems. I apply a thin layer morning and night and once a week, apply it to my neck also. With this considered, one pot lasts me usually at least 10/11 months and I've used this for about 4 years now.
#4 THE ORDINARY HYALURONIC ACID 2% + B5
I use this after the Ordinary's Niacinamide and Zinc and this provides my skin with another layer of moisture (yes, I'm afraid of dry skin). This is lightweight, so only two small drops suffice for me and I rub it smoothly into my skin and leave it to dry. It is also affordable and one bottle does last me around 4 months. I have used this without the Niacinamide, without my first step (COSRX Clarifying Treatment Toner) and in replacement of my Laneige Water Mask and it still has proven effective.
#3 THE ORDINARY NIACINAMIDE 10% + ZINC 1%
I've starting using it at the beginning of lockdown and haven't noticed any really obvious results. I think I'm lucky that I currently have clearer skin at the moment (with spots popping up individually), however I think this may have been more useful when I had bad acne over my forehead 2/3 years ago. I bought this product as a part of a promotion with the Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid2% +B5 (see next post). It's definitely an affordable product and one bottle lasted me about 4 months. It does leave a slightly sticky feeling after application, so I always wash my hands before applying my next layer.
#2 COSRX LIGHT FIT: REAL WATER TONER TO CREAM
This product I fully swear by - hands down! I have combination skin and you're meant to apply an essence or cream right after a toner, but this can act as both! The texture of this product is half-way a gel and a cream, which makes it lightweight and silky smooth to apply. I wouldn't consider it "the most affordable product", but does last a very good length of time (6-8 months), dependent on the amount you use. With this product a mini pea-size squirt for each cheek is enough.
#1 COSRX AHA/BHA CLARIFYING TREATMENT TONER
I've used this for a couple of years now and it really helps clear up red patches after a breakout, soothes the skin immediately after cleansing and enhances natural moisture. I didn't notice much of a difference at its early days, but I noticed that my upper lip became very flaky/dry at certain times of the year when I didn't use it. Some people spray toner onto a cotton pad, but I spray it onto my face directly and pat, rather than rub it into my skin.