Monthly Archives: June 2017

More Chifure! Their Fantastic Ingredients Lists & Essence W

Fantastic discovery made today! I have had trouble finding the ingredients list for my new Chifure Essence W and Chifure Essence VC, lugged from Japan courtesy of friend on work trip.

As I explored the Chifure Official website, I realised even the official website does not have the full ingredients list in the traditional sense, with ingredients arranged in order of concentration. The folks arranged the ingredients in a neat table by function (e.g. active ingredient > humectant > pH adjusting > solvent etc), and they listed the exact percentage for most ingredients! That’s even better than a regularly arranged ingredients list!

Ingredients list for Chifure Essence W, I ran it through Google Translate quite well Source: http://www.chifure.co.jp/products/essence/2478.html

Chifure Essence VC (JPY 800 30g)

Active ingredients: Ascorbyl Glucoside (2%)

Hydrating ingredients: Glycerin (8%), Butylene glycol (2.72%), Trehalose solution (0.03%), Sodium hyaluronate (0.05%)

The first star ingredient is ascorbyl glucoside, an ester of ascorbic acid. This the the first time I’ve come across this ingredient since I’ve started properly researching ingredients. It is definitely one of those derivatives that are less well researched than the standard ascorbic acid, and I cannot find a resource which looks at the effective concentration as well as its penetrative ability relative to other vitamin C derivatives.

I have not yet started using this, because I was drawn by its more expensive sister below.

Chifure Essence W (JPY 1,100 30g)

The Science Part

Active ingredients: Arbutin (3%), Ascorbyl glucoside (2%)

Hydrating ingredients: Glycerin (8%), Butylene glycol (2.02%), Sodium hyaluronate (0.05%), Trehalose solution (0.03%)

Chifure Essence W is the most expensive of all Chifure Essence formulations, and the major differences arises from the addition of 3% arbutin, an effective and less toxic derivative of hydroquinone (Source). Arbutin is definitely more familiar to me and it is found in many Taiwanese and Japanese skincare products. Think the entire Naruko Apple Seed & Tranexamic Acid Black Spots Line, which is built around alpha arbutin, tranexamic acid, niacinimide and vitamin C derivatives.

The Chifure website did not state the type of arbutin (alpha / beta), but it does seem to be formulated with the effective concentration. In fact, “SCCS decided in 2016 that this ingredient is not safe to use in finished products at a use rate greater than 3%.” (Source) The 3.0% concentration above is spot on.

I haven’t found studies about the penetration of arbutin, but if it is a cousin of hydroquinone, it should have wayy better penetration ability than vitamin C derivatives, which is known to fare poorly in terms of penetration.

How it Fared

Did the Chifure Essence W do anything for my skin? Kick the sunspots in the butt? Nah… In the month that I’ve been using this, didn’t make my skin look great, but its not significantly worse than than the time when I was using Melano CC (read review), which I do consider my gold standard.

I can’t be certain because I did not take a scientific approach to my use of products. No objective, no control and hurhur squinting at my sun spots in the mirror daily is a poor way of determining if the product is working.

Another factor in my lack of proper conclusion or thoughts for this product, is that I got through the bottle shockingly quickly. I don’t even think 30ml lasts me 1.5 months. Its just a blink of the eye and I’m down to the last 1/3 of the bottle.

I can say though, that in terms of texture, it is slightly tackier than the original Chifure Essence. For the nighttime, there is absolutely no problem with layering. For day time I’d have to be more careful. There were one day i piled on a little too much in the morning, and my sunscreen (Biore UV Perfect Milk) pilled, though granted it happened for many other products, like the COSRX Snaily Serum (read review) as well.

Another complaint is how difficult it is to get hold of Chifure products in the international market / online. All of the Chifure items I own, I bought (or my lovely friends / colleagues did) at the physical MatsuKiyo stores in Japan. Amazon Jp does carry it but it is not on Prime or eligible for international shipping. When I realised how quickly I’m using the serum up, I tried really hard to find viable shopping / shipping options, but there’re none. Darn you Japanese drugstores!!

All in all, this product is worth a try. Or two or three tries. I have another friend heading to Japan for vacation in September this year, so I think I’ll be able to get a few more refills to do a proper review.

 

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Decent but still lacking: Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream

Hello! First off, why are there zero posts in May? That’s because I went off to take an exam, which thank dear Lord is over ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡ )  Preparing for examinations while working is nasty, so nope, no Instagram, no WordPress, no Facebook ( ᵒ̴̶̷̥́ _ᵒ̴̶̷̣̥̀ )

Now onward to my first post in a while. I bought the Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream very early on during the #MyABRideorDie challenge on Instagram back in April. I’ve seen it before on social media, but when people are claiming this is their rideordie, I’ve got to try it.

Ingredients List

The ingredients list is promising, with a nice range of humectants like the standard glycerin, butylene glycol as well as sodium hyaluronate and honey. I highlighted some ingredients that I like, but I don’t normally judge a product based on the formula alone. Head over to CosDNA for the list of possible trigger ingredients.

Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, naicinamide, dipentaerythritol hexa C5-9 acid esters, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, polyacrylate-13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, hydrogenated lecithin, C14-28 alkyl acid, stearyl alcohol, benenyl alcohol, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone, adenosine, glyceryl stearate SE, cetearyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, stearic acid, tocopheryl acetate, sodium polyacrylate, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, centella asiatica extract, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, human oligopeptide-1 (EGF), argania spinosa (argan) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, ceramide 3, trehalose, calendula officinaalis flower extract, caprylhydroxamic acid, 1,2-hexanediol, raphanus sativus (radish) leaf extract, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, cucurbitaceae (gourd) extract, orchid extract, honey extract, panax ginseng root extract, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, shea butter, phytosphingosine, ceteareth-20, glyceryl citrate/lactate/linoleate/oleate, fragrance

My Skin Type and Concerns

Now before heading on to my thoughts about this product, bear in mind what I look out for may be totally different from you. If we’re skin sisters, GREAT! If we’re aren’t, you know to take things with a pinch of salt, right (○゜ε^○)

  • Normal skin type
  • Hardy for the most part, able to tolerate most ingredients such as a small quantity of alcohol in skincare
  • Hyper-pigmentation on spots where old blemishes healed
  • Dehydration lines on forehead and around nasolabial folds
  • Dark circles and visible veins in under-eye area
  • Occasional bouts of irritation, dryness and sensitivity

Now because of my normal skin type, theoretically I should be able to use creams and moisturisers of all textures with no problems, but over the years I have developed a liking to some textures over others. My favorite types of creams are stiff and buttery, sinks in quickly, and produces a satiny finish. (Like this and this)

The Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream is unlike anything that I’ve tried.

It is stringy, gooey, and if I didn’t know better I’d think that the main ingredient is 99% snail goo. The texture doesn’t really bother me but it takes some getting used to. Using a spatula to scoop out the cream is a MUST. Now despite the appearance, it spreads very easily and dries down quickly enough without a hint of heaviness afterwards. Because of its light texture, I experimented using it as a day cream under sunscreen and makeup as well as a night cream.

Annnd that’s when the problems come in. On the days that I wear the cream alone, the tightening feeling that accompanies dryness sets in within a few hours. The effect is not very pronounced in the daytime, but when used as a night cream, my skin literally shrivels up like a dehydrated peach the next morning, with none of the well resting morning glow that I look for.

It helps to apply this in two thick layers, which helps with the dehydration. Using a facial oil like HABA Squalane (read review) under the cream also does help. My favoured way of using it is as a sleeping pack, on top of my regular moisturiser. To put it simple, it’s not cutting it on its own.

I compared the ingredients list of a my current favourite cream with the Beauty of Joseon Cream, and that’s when I noticed a lot of difference.

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream (CosDNA):

Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, hydrogenated olive oil lauryl esters, squalane, diamethicone, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, butyrospermum parkii butter, diisostearyl malate, jojoba esters, cetearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, lentinus edodes extract, hydrolyzed ginseng saponins, panax ginseng root extract, aspergillus ferment, paeonia albiflora root extract, zingiber officinale root extract, cnidium officinale root extract, angelica acutiloba root extract, glyceryl stearate, cyclopentasiloxane, trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-100 stearate, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, hydroxyethyl acrylate/ sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, glyceryl caprylate, carbomer, tromethamine, ethylhexylglycerin, adenosine, theobroma cacao extract, dextrin, 1,2-hexanediol, hydrogenated lecithin, sodium polyaspartate, phytosphingosine, sodium methyl stearoyl taurate, disodium EDTA, fragrance

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream (CosDNA):

Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, naicinamide, dipentaerythritol hexa C5-9 acid esters, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, polyacrylate-13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, hydrogenated lecithin, C14-28 alkyl acid, stearyl alcohol, benenyl alcohol, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone, adenosine, glyceryl stearate SE, cetearyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, stearic acid, tocopheryl acetate, sodium polyacrylate, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, centella asiatica extract, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, human oligopeptide-1 (EGF), argania spinosa (argan) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, ceramide 3, trehalose, calendula officinaalis flower extract, caprylhydroxamic acid, 1,2-hexanediol, raphanus sativus (radish) leaf extract, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, cucurbitaceae (gourd) extract, orchid extract, honey extract, panax ginseng root extract, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, shea butter, phytosphingosine, ceteareth-20, glyceryl citrate/lactate/linoleate/oleate, fragrance.

The bolded ingredients above are ingredients that act as emollients, which help to reduce rough and flaky skin. Many emollients also double as occlusive agents and help to retain moisture. In the Hanyul cream, there are a lot more emollient ingredients and they’re further up on the ingredients list, while in the Beauty of Joseon Cream, emollient ingredients are more dispersed throughout the list.

Now I’ve never really realised what is it that I like in a moisturiser, but now it is clear. Bring on the emollients and occlusives!

Verdict

The Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream is decent as a daytime moisturiser and a sleeping pack, but definitely lacking in emollient or oil properties to be a good nighttime moisturiser for my normal skin type.

Combination to oily skins can give it a try, but I doubt this will be enough for dry skins without pairing with facial oils or heavily layering with other skincare.