Dud Alert: Hanyul Optimizing Mask

The first few weeks of February has been a crazy period for me. While I should be getting used to the peak season by now, it still shocks me when sometimes I get as little sleep as this:

I swear I age by 2 years every time I go through this ordeal. No amount of skincare products can reverse the damage caused by a serious lack of sleep. But if you have to push through a tough period like I have to, sleeping packs are here to help.

The Hanyul Optimizing Mask is an overnight cream mask which is to be used as the last step of your skincare routine, and claims that with just one night’s use, the skin will be visibly smooth and radiant. It is a sister product to the older and more well-loved Hanyul Optimizing Serum (my 2013 review).

Ingredients List

I will direct you to the trusty CosDNA for the full list of ingredients and the list of possible triggers (there’s quit a few). Some key ingredients of note:

  • The star ingredients niacinamide and squalane
  • Pinus Sylvestris Leaf Extract: Extract from the leaves of Scotch Pine
  • Morus Alba Leaf Extract: A skin conditioning agent extracted from the leaves of white mulberries
  • Tricholoma Matsutake Extract: A skin conditioning agent extracted from mushrooms
  • Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Extract: A skin conditioning agent extracted from kernels of apricots

The main selling point of this product is in its fermented brown pine needle extract which is supposed to soften and restore the skin. BUT to my horror, Pinus Sylvestris Leaf Extract is listed in the CosIng database as a “tonic”, which is defined as an ingredient that “produces a feeling of well-being on skin and hair”. Wait… it means there is no established research into the efficacy of the star ingredient? ლ(ಠ_ಠ ლ)

I mean, fine, a lack of research doesn’t bother me so much, because it doesn’t mean a product is not effective. In particular, I did see results with the Optimizing Serum and like it so much that I used up 2 bottles. So theoretically, I should like the mask as well.

hanyul-optimizing-mask-02

How it fared

The Optimizing Mask is stickier than any other sleeping packs that I have used before. Even my heavy duty favorite Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Pack (featured in my repurchases) eventually absorbs and settles into the skin, but the Hanyul forms a layer of slightly sticky film. So side-sleepers beware, you’ll need to take extra care of your pillowcases when you apply the Optimizing Mask. Even as a rather light sleeper I sometimes wake up with hair plastered all over one side of my face. Definitely not sexy.

A key feature in sleeping packs that I look out for is the “morning after glow”. I want plump, soft and moisturised skin, like you actually got eight hours of sleep. I got it in the Sulwhasoo, and in the old Hanyul Rich Effect Overnight Mask (my 2014 review), but sad to say, not in this. I really don’t see it. It’s not BAD per se, but it hasn’t done anything. 😦

Hanyul is my skincare bias, and I really really want to like it, but nope.

hanyul-optimizing-mask-03

A quick comparison with Sulwhasoo

I’d say the Sulwhasoo trumps the Hanyul in all areas that I can think of:

  • Texture: Sulwhasoo wins. Hanyul is lightly more tacky and forms a protective layer on top of the skin, while Sulwhasoo sinks in and is more like a thick moisturiser than a mask.
  • Packaging: The Sulwhasoo tube is definitely more hygienic and convenient, but I do like the luxurious packaging of Hanyul.
  • Scent: I imagine some will like the milder scent of Hanyul as compared to the ginger and ginseng scent of Sulwhasoo. For myself, I LOVE GINGER 😉

Verdict

Nope. Sorry Hanyul. 😦

Where I bought it

I bought it on my local Qoo10. You can find it at Qoo10 Global here.

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The Mega Skincare Empties Post

In the dusty corners of this blog, I found old posts which I drafted 2 years back which I did not post, because I was into the whole neglecting-my-blog thing. ๑•́ㅿ•̀๑) ᔆᵒʳʳᵞ

Most of the draft posts I’ll trash, because I forgot I’ve used those products (e.g. The History of Whoo Myeong-Ui-Hyang Secret Court Cream). But certain posts I think are worth sharing–2 empties posts from back in 2015, which featured an interesting range of products. Some are defunct / discontinued, but there are many that I am still repurchasing now.

So to give the old posts a new life, here I will combined 3 empties posts into 1:

  • March 2017
  • May & August 2015: Kept exactly how it is written 2 years ago, with any updates to my thoughts in italics.

Current Empties: March 2017

Melano CC Whitening Lotion (150g) is the companion to my favourite Melano CC Essence. I’ve enjoyed using this toner, but I’m not impressed by the dish soap scent. The Lotion relies on 2 derivatives of vitamin C, 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid (EAC) as well as the standard ascorbic acid. But who knows how stable the ingredients are in such a standard toner packaging. Not likely to repurchase.

Hada Labo Super Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (150g) I have no idea how many bottles of this I have gone through over my skincare life. It is a good product to have in anyone’s repertoire, but I think users need to be realistic about expectations. This is a hydrator which provides a boost of hydration. It doesn’t deliver antioxidant or vitamins and other goodness that you skin can benefit from. I will still repurchase (on and off) as a supplement to my standard hydration serum.

Dove Nutrium Moisture Face Foam Cleanser Sensitive (130g) is a decent foam cleanser which I’ve enjoyed using. My only anxiety comes from the fact that its pH level might be too high. I won’t know because I haven’t gotten myself pH test strips and stuff, because I’ve been busy! because I’ve been LAZY HAHAHA

HABA White Lady (30ml / Reviewis a SAP serum which is great to layer under daytime skincare. It doesn’t do much for spots but it is good for boosting overall clarity. I will not repurchase at this point, because I have 3 other brightening serums to try (Muahahaha Shiseido Haku Melanofocus, SK-II Aura and SK-II Spot)!

Melano CC Melanin Whitening Anti-Spot Essence (20g / ReviewIs much more effective than HABA White Lady in terms of spot reduction. If you’re into OST C20 (you’ll see four empties below from back in 2015), you should try this.

Flow Fushi Matsuge Biyou-eki (15g) is an eye gel and lash serum. After abusing my lashes I have stopped wearing mascara and eye liners to work, and applied this daily. No effect for now, but I’m giving it chance by using a second tube.

Shiseido Bio Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream (50g) A HUGE NO IN CAPS. I hate the feel of diamethicones in this, and the cream is so difficult to spread and tap in.

Emptied the #shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream yesterday! Took me close to 2 years 😒 not wild about this, so writing a quick review about my thoughts . My skin type is normal, so generally I can use gels and creams of all textures with no problems. This one, though, should be reserved for super-ultra desert dry skin only 🌵 🌵 🌵 The cream is a lot richer, thicker and more emollient than most other creams, and it can be difficult to spread, and impossible to massage. To apply this, you need to lightly tap and dab it into the skin until absorbed. . Following the application, my skin feels soft and smooth, but don’t be fooled, dimethicone is the 5th ingredient on the list 😱 Despite the texture of the cream which is more suited to dry skin (or someone who likes to spread heavy stuff on the face), it should still give you anti-aging benefits. There is a tiny tiny bit of “morning after glow”, but it is not enough for me to justify the price 💸 . So sorry, Restoring Cream, you ain’t for me. #donotbuy . #japaneseskincare #asianbeauty #rasianbeauty #skincare #skincareroutine #skincarejunkie #skincarediary

A post shared by A Banquet of Roses (@theskinchronicles) on Mar 21, 2017 at 8:59am PDT

Old Empties Post: August 7, 2015

May - June Empties (m)

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (155ml / ReviewIn my previous review I said I would not repurchase this essence, but I did. And I’ve used 3 whole bottles (hides).

Hanyul Optimizing Serum (120ml / Review) has survived the Hanyul revamp, but it now comes in a different packaging. I still like it for its calming effects on the skin, but age has necessitated that I need to amp up my dose of antioxidants, vitamins and skin-repairing ingredients. While I may still repurchase it, the days of using only the Korean brown bottle is over.

C20 Vitamin C Serum (15ml) is a necessity as I am recovering from holiday sun burns. is a much more affordable dupe for the La Roche-Posay Redermic C (featured here) series and its effect is very immediate and observable. [Update March 28, 2017: I prefer Melano CC now~ seriously, try it! ] 

Hanyul Finish Essence (50ml) I have never heard of this product, nor could I find it on the official website. It is supposed to be an all-in-one serum, moisturiser and primer used as a last step of skin care. I was not expecting much, because while Hanyul has its fair share of winners and HGs, but it also produced some fails like the Eungyeol Light Eye Cream (Review). Turns out this does exactly what it says and more. As a moisturiser, provides just the right amount of moisture and protection; as a primer, my make up stays put even hours after application. It’s a bit of a stretch to call it a serum, but for S$10 this is a bargain beauty purchase. [Update March 28, 2017: Didn’t manage to find this on Gmarket again, so I couldn’t repurchase.] 

I used to use Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil  to massage my calves after jogging. After an ankle injury last year, I’ve had problems jogging, so any exercise that is intensive on the ankle is out of the question for now. Nevertheless, I finished it with determination since oils will run rancid after a while. Not going to repurchase.

The Asahi Suhada Pack Gel is supposed to be a lotion, emulsion, serum, cream and mask in one. I suppose it is for busy (or lazy) people who have no time for the full set of skincare routine before sleep. The gel melts into the skin and becomes almost the consistency of water as I pat it in. It doesn’t do much except provide hydration through hyaluronic acid, so I found it quite boring after a while. Not going to repurchase.

And here comes the product I was most disappointed by. I was initially drawn by the advert of Mamonde Age Control Power Serum (40g) which is so darn pretty (see above). The product’s performance however is lackluster. It did not break me out, but the only thing memorable was the fragrance, which is what you look for in a perfume, not a serum. I guess the disappointment came because of the unreasonably high expectations from such a pretty poster AHAHA. Eventually I finished the bottle by mixing the serum in my body lotion.

Old Empties Post: May 17, 2015

Project Empties

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Rich Oil (150ml) is just a bad cleansing oil, period. The whole point of using a cleansing oil is to be able to spend time to give the face a good massage (using the Caroline Hirons method) with the oil/balm as a lubricant. This oil emulsifies so so quickly that there isn’t time to work the product in at all. It came in a set of 3 when I bought it on Gmarket AmorePacific Store, so I still have 2 more bottles to work through though. I’ve learnt my lesson now! T.T [Update March 28, 2017: Finished up the remaining 2 bottles as sunscreen removers for body, still not impressed, I have not bought anything from the Face Shop since] 

Rosette Scrub (120g) us a dupe for Cure Natural Aqua Gel, and this is not up to the standard, but it is 20% of the price of Cure so I suppose it’s alright. [Update March 28, 2017: I am still using and repurchasing this!]

Kikumasamune Sake Lotion 菊正宗 日本酒の化粧水 (500ml) was lugged all the way from Japan in June this year. It is a really good toner, lasted me a good 6 months, so I should probably have bought a few more. Naris Up Skin Conditioner Pomegranate (500ml) is not used as a toner, but rather a DIY mask in the Chizu Saeki method. Soak 2 pieces of cotton pad with the conditioner and spread it on face like I would a mask. It doesn’t do much except provide a hydration boost, so I will not be purchasing again. [Update March 28, 2017: I am currently using my 3rd bottle of Kikumasamune Sake Lotion!] 

La Roche Posay Redermic R (40g) – is my second retinol product and a great introduction to the ingredient. It is only 5%, and therefore comes with none of the drawbacks of retinol such as skin irritation and flaking. I wish I could repurchase this, but sadly it is so expensive everywhere except Citi Pharma in Saint Germain. [Update March 28, 2017: I lost the photos for the LRP empties, but you can see some photos featured in my super old routine here]

La Roche Posay Redermic C (40g) Nah. Go for cheaper alternatives like OST C20. [Update March 28, 2017: Nah go for Melano CC! ] 

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (30ml / Review) I still don’t know how I feel about this facial oil. The first few months really gives amazing results, the effect declined after a while, but even after a second bottle, I can’t decide if it is worth the money. [Update March 28, 2017: The uncertainty remains! In 2016 I used the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate as well, I still can’t decide for sure it I will repurchase either.]

There’s nothing to be said about Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask (118ml / Review), except it is one product that does not deserve the many rave reviews floating out there in internet.

 

There you have it, my cheat 3 in 1 empties post! As I get older i go through skincare a lot more quickly than I used to (I really don’t wanna see myself aging) so I’d expect to write a lot more empties posts this year~

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

So, snail goo. Don’t go yuck! The snail mucin as a cosmetic ingredient is only going to grow from here. While there aren’t much research into the effectiveness of snail mucin as a cosmetics ingredient, my advice is to dive into it. There must be a reason why so many are vouching for its effectiveness.

The product claims to replenish nutrients to the skin to prevent and repair damages and fill the skin with elasticity for a healthier, younger looking skin. My filter sieved out most of it 6((((≧▽≦))))9 what went into my head is just: hydration, hydration, hydration.

Ingredients

I will direct you to CosDNA for the full ingredients list. It is very basic and efficient, with the main ingredient being snail secretion extract (it is supposed to be 96% snail mucin hence the name). No fragrance at all so yay.

How I incorporate this into my routine

Despite all the claims of promoting a glow and fading lines, I’d firmly call it a simple hydrating serum, like my favorite Chifure Essence. In my long-ass routine, it belongs here:

Exfoliating Toner > Fermented Essence > Eye Cream / Serum > Hydrating Serum / Sheet Mask > Moisturiser > Sleeping Pack

There is definitely a glow after you use this, but it is the type of glow that comes with good hydration. I mean, just try to wash your face with nothing but water, I swear your face will look better immediately with the introduction of water, as well as the cooling effect the water has on your skin. Zilch effect on lines and pigmentation, but don’t expect any and you will not be disappointed.

A quick comparison with Chifure Essence

Chifure Essence has been my go-to hydrating serum for years (actually, only 3. But thats like 10 in skincare years).

The difference is mainly in the texture, packaging as well as the key ingredients. Chifure has a runny texture which is just slightly more viscous than water. COSRX is slippery, goopy and stringy. It does absorb after a while (longer than Chifure) but make sure you spread them evenly because it will settle down into a shiny film where it hasn’t been spread out properly.

The Chifure Essence comes in a small and handy 45ml tube with a small dispenser. They also have 40ml refills so I’m still using the very first bottle that I bought in 2014. The COSRX Essence comes in a hardy 100ml pump bottle and no refills are available if you’re into the environment stuff, but the pump is very convenient.

The COSRX Essence relies on snail secretion filtrate, betaine and butylene glycol for to provide hydration. In comparison, Chifure Essence relies on butylene glycol, glycerin and 2 variants of hyaluronic acid in its formulation. I’d have to say both are equally effective in providing a shot of hydration.

Verdict

It is a good hydrating serum, and to be honest I don’t think there is much difference between all hydrators. Just go for your favorite one. For me, I still have stacks of Chifure re-fills to use up, so I will not be repurchasing the COSRX soon.

(Update 11/06/17) I repurchased this! Its meant for the face, I know, but I’ve been enjoying it on the dry patches on my legs and hands and elbows ♪(゚▽^*)ノ⌒☆

Where You Can Buy This

Holy Grail Skincare

I plan for this page to be constantly updated with a compilation of skincare products that I consider to be holy grails. I have to confess that I do have high standards !(*´∀`*)尸” and there are very few products that I consider to be HG worthy.

So ladies, let me present the super short list of my skincare HGs! ゝ(▽`*ゝ)

I. The Already HGs

i.e. True loves, not actively searching for anything in the same category

Chifure Essence (review)

  • Added: June 2015
  • My go-to hydration serum for daily use, even when I’m battling bouts of dryness, sensitivity or the rare acne
  • Very very affordable boost of instant hydration

II. The Potential HGs

i.e. Love them, but the love needs to withstand the test of time

Rohto Melano CC Medicated Intensive Spot Correcting Serum (review)

  • Added: December 2016
  • Current on tube number 2, best AA serum used thusfar
  • Stable formula, excellent packaging, can be layered under other skincare products
  • Crazy affordable for a vitamin C serum

Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner

  • Added: February 2017
  • Beautiful beautiful exfoliating slash pH adjusting toner

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream

  • Added: February 2017
  • Rich, emollient, luxurious texture
  • I wake up to well-rested and glowing skin

III. The ex-HGs

i.e. Loved them madly, but they’ve passed on

Hanyul Rich Effect Cream (review)

  • Added: March 2014
  • Killed as part of Hanyul revamp here. Note: The Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti Ageing Cream is NOT the Rich Effect Cream! The texture is completely different!

PM Skincare Routines (Part I): All Out Spa Night

The last time I wrote about my skincare routine was back in 2014!!! D: Going back to read it makes to rotfl because I used Cetaphil!!! Sorry, I’ve let this blog rot for far too long, an update is due.

Thing is, I don’t have a single routine. I have an entire range of products and I mix and match everyday. The routine can range from 10 products to 3 products, all depending on how much time I have and how vain I feel. So here’s a selection of some of the night time routines:

  1. The all out spa night routine (below)
  2. The lazy night routine (I’ll write later!)
  3. The zombie night routine (I’ll write later!)
  4. The sensitive emergency routine (I’ll write later!)

I’m only sticking to night time routines here, because they are more exciting. More time and do weird things to your face, and you can get away with layering more products. I might get around to write my morning routine eventually.

(Take note that the steps matter more than the featured products, because the products can easily change).

1. The All Out Spa Night Routine

Spa Routine Part 1

Steps: Oil Cleanser > Foaming Cleanser

  • Oil Cleanser: Can I confess that I have never tried cleansing balms before? I have nothing against them but I find that oil cleansers work well enough for me, and they come with pumps so I find them extra convenient. I’ve been sticking to the Senka Perfect Watery Oil because I have a few refills, but there are many other Japanese oil cleansers that work well. An oil cleanser is a must because I wear sunscreen daily
  • Foaming Cleanser: I still haven’t found a cleanser that I truly love. I am currently using up the Kose Softymo Washing Foam but I’m looking for other alternatives.

Steps: Exfoliating Toner > Fermented Essence > Eye Cream > Serum > Face Mask > Moisturiser > Sleeping Pack / Facial Oil > Lip Balm

Spa Routine Part 2

  • Exfoliating Toner: This step used to be an AHA mask or AHA treatment, but ever since Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner came along it has become AHA/BHA toner. I am currently feeling infinite affection for Mizon because the toner has treated me sooo well, and I have this urge to try more products from this brand. (But then again, I remember the mediocrity that was Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream…) I might try for an AHA/BHA treatment in this step in the future, but the toner is working splendidly right now.
  • Fermented Essence: Estée Lauder Micro Essence, a Western variation of SK-II FTE. Many cheaper alternatives are also available from many Korean brands, including Secret Key FTE (review), IOPE Bio Essence (review). I am unlikely to repurchase both the ME and FTE unless they are heavily discounted because I really want to try a hand at the numerous cheaper alternatives from Korean brands.
  • Eye Cream: SK-II RNA Power Eye Cream. I am still not very convinced on the formulation of eye creams. While we know that the skin around the eyes are thinner and that there are no sebum glands in the under-eyes, there is no consensus on how eye creams should be formulated to accommodate for the differences.
    For the past 3 years, I have not been using eye creams. My last one was actually Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye (review) back in 2014. Subsequently I have used my regular face cream on my under-eyes as well. A recent addition is Elizabeth Arden Eye Capsules (featured here), which is essentially too light to be a serum. I have been using SK-II for 2 weeks, and currently withhold my opinion.

Spa Routine Part 3

  • Serum: Varies, I have a number of serums in rotation and I’ll choose based on my concerns. Right now, I’m working on my second tube of Melano CC Serum (review).
  • Face Mask: Varies with what I have on hand. Been loving the Kracie Hadabisei 3D Face Mask (featured here), which fits GREAT.

  • Moisturiser: I am currently finishing up the Kose Moisture Repair Cream YAY! I do like the moisturiser but I’m really looking forward to trying other alternatives.
  • Sleeping Pack: COSRX Rice Mask is the lightest of the sleeping packs that I own, so it fits best in a routine as long as this.
  • Lip Balm: A tub of Vaseline Lip Therapy Aloe. You can tell I’m not excited about lip balms.

That is all!

One last thing, if you wear eye make up, you should stick a separate eye makeup remover to the very beginning of the routine before oil cleanser. I haven’t been wearing eye make up for ages so I totally forgot about that step.

Holy G: Chifure Essence!

Chifure Essence 01.jpg

The Chifure Essence is my favorite hydrating serum, but I can’t seem to find a review or product information in English, so I’m here to rectify that (*´∇`)ノ

The Essence was first purchased blind in Japan back in 2015. After just one nights use, I proceeded to buy 3 more refills at the Matsu Kiyo near my hotel. After countless more refills and brief flings with other products, I think I’m ready to declare this as my HG.

The Essence is a very simple hydrating serum. Do not expect it to do anything else, aside from giving your skin a shot of hydration, plumpness and help your skin absorb other products.

Ingredients

The Essence has a short ingredient list. Head to the CosDNA site for the full list. Standard cosmetic ingredients are marked with *. The first 7 ingredients by weight are as follows:

  • Butylene glycol *
  • Glycerin *
  • Sodium hyaluronate *
  • Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate *
  • Hyaluronic acid *
  • Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is new to me. It comes from baker’s yeast, but I’m not sure what it is supposed to do here.
  • Morus Bombycis Root aka white mulberry root extract, a whitening ingredient which is also present many other beauty products, such as Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream.

How I incorporate it in my routine

PM Steps: Exfoliating Toner > Fermented Essene > Serum > Hydrating Serum OR Sheet Mask> Moisturiser OR Sleeping Pack

I understand that for some, a plain hyaluronic acid serum is superfluous, because why not use products which provide whitening and anti-aging benefits on top of hydration? Well, to each her own, I suppose.

Products tend to be touted as all-in-one or multi-functional, like those ridiculous 5-in-1 gel creams from Japan that claim that one product is all you need. It’s a bit like McDonalds servings sizes are bigger than 50 years ago, and how our homes are bigger than ever. We want more, bigger and better every single time, which is not a bad thing. But I do still find value in products simple products like Chifure Essence and the HABA Squalane (review). They do only one thing but do it really really well. For the antioxidants as well as whitening ingredients, I trust that my serums will do their jobs.

In any case, if you want your skincare steps to pack extra punch, Chifure does have other essences:

  • Chifure Whitening Essence VC: with ascorbic acid
  • Chifure Whitening Essence W: with arbutin and ascorbic acid.

I haven’t tried those. I may, in the future, but they aren’t that high up in my test list.

Other Hydrating Serums

There are loads of other hydrating serums out there, such as Indeed Labs Hydraluron, Hada Labo Moist Essence (not the Hada Labo SHA Lotion). The COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence (review coming) is also another good hydrating serums which is very affordable, plus it comes in a 100ml pump bottle.

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There you have it! What is your favorite hydrating serum? Or maybe you like more of the multi-functional skincare, I’d love to hear your thoughts 😉

New on the Hit List: Rohto Melano CC

Warning! This is a new entry to my potential HG list: Rohto Melano CC Medicated Intensive Spot Correcting Serum (¥1,058 for 20ml). Potential HG is when I love the product like a litter of newborn kittens, but as a rational woman I have to exercise restraint and see if this love can withstand the test of time.

And can you believe it, my Holy Grails tag currently features 1 product which has been discontinued, which is why potential HGs are so exciting.

rhoto-melano-cc-01

HAHA FOR A VITAMIN C SERUM OF COURSE I HAD TO USE A LEMON AS A PROP

The product claims to suppress melanin production and prevent spots, freckles, acne and breakouts, which topical application of vitamin C is proven to do. The vitamin C variety in this serum is ascorbic acid, which generally has the drawback of stinging upon application and a sometimes nasty citrus scent. Back in 2015 I had a stint with the OST C20 Serum, which features ascorbic acid as well. That baby stung (burnt) and made my skin look extremely greasy.

I can safely say that there is no stinging observed with Melano CC, but it does have the standard citrus scent. Like my dish soap. ARGH. Housework is not sexy.

The first time I used it, I applied it all over my face and man it got tingly and warm. Also, it has a rather oily texture so application to the whole face isn’t particularly appealing. BUT give it 5 mins and all the serum will be absorbed, and you can proceed to layer the rest of your skincare. I generally use it on my cheeks where I have some discolorations and freckles.

rhoto-melano-cc-03

THE TINIEST NOZZLE THAT YOU’LL SEE IN A SKINCARE PRODUCT

It comes in a silver tube with a tiny nozzle that dispenses the product in teeny drops. This is a great design for dispensing unstable compounds like ascorbic acid. Its been 3 months, and the serum still comes out clear, while OST C20 turned an ugly orange within a month of opening. While I had to keep the OST C20 in the fridge immediately after opening, I find that I don’t really have to do that with the Melano CC, though it is a good habit to practice for all vitamin C serums.

I’ve been using the serum consistently since last December and I’m almost done with the tube!

A quick comparison with other vitamin C serums

I have only used one other type of vitamin C derivative: the sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) aka HABA White Lady (review), but the Melano CC is a very good re-introduction to ascorbic acid. It trumps the OST C20 Serum in every single way. The packaging allows for more stability, it doesn’t sting and it doesn’t leave a sticky finish. Most important of all, I don’t need to have this mad scramble to finish the product before it oxidizes. Oh and the price is comparable to OST C20!

On a side note, I really want to try magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), which is supposed to be more effective than SAP.

Where to buy

I bought my 2 tubes on my trips to Japan, but you can also find it here on Qoo10 Global and Rakuten Global.

Other reviews

The fantastic Ratzillacosme wrote a glowing review of this serum.