Tag Archives: K Beauty

A Week of Repairing Skincare

When I just returned from my trip to Switzerland, MY HEART WAS FULL (´ ▽`).。o♡ but MY SKIN WAS TERRIBLE (⌣_⌣”).

Despite taking a small army of skincare items, plus protective gear like hats and sunglasses with me, I still suffered from redness (a combination of the cold, sunburns and windburns) and the feeling of skin dryness and tightening is almost constant. So when I returned, it was an uphill battle to get my skin back to the pink of health.

Here are a few things I did to get my skin to calm the F down.

The ceramidin mask is pretty awesom. It is also the most expensive mask that I have ever repurchased. 😦

1. Masking, masking, masking

A huge problem I had was the inability to retain moisture. As soon as I stepped out of the shower, there was an uncomfortable tautness in the skin. The answer to that, I found, was using a mask every single day. Be it regular glycerin-propylene glycol-hyaluronic acid type of mask or the high end ones that claims to do everything under the sun, it is the consistency that counts the most.

I have been enjoying the JAYJUN Baby Pure Shining MaskDr Morita Hyaluronic Acid Essence Face Mask, and my absolute fave by far DR. JART+ Ceramidin Mask (review), a mask full of watery and oily goodness.

As for the mornings, I have no time or patience for masks, but I was sure to use Chifure Essence (review) or any other hydrating essences.

Repairing Skincare 02

Some high end stuff in the mix!

2. Mositurise

Following the mask, I moisturise immediately. Without a layer of emollients as well as occlusives to keep the water in, I find that my skin returns to the previous state of uncomfortable tautness. In mere minutes I can feel my skin shriveling up like an old man, seriously.

I have been enjoying: HABA Squalane (review), which isn’t occlusive enough to replace a face cream, Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream (review) absolute fave, Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream (review) for the day time under sunscreen, and SK-II RNA Power Cream.

On the first few days, I’ve also worn the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Mask (review) on top of the cream as yet another layer of occlusive.

I had to take a photo with these alliums (basically flowering onions, I think?) I love having fun with the styling of the photos on this blog XP

3. Careful with the AHAs

I packed a BHA along with me for the trip, because AHAs can lead to sun sensitivity and I don’t want it to be a problem, even though I touch up on skin screen almost religiously. But as I have normal to dry skin, AHAs always made a lot more difference to my skin than BHAs ever did, so I was happy to be back home and reunited with the Cosrx AHA Whitehead Power Liquid.

The thing is, AHAs have kinda stung for my entire life. Even after 5 years of regularly using AHAs, it hasn’t gotten any better and it is something that I’ve come to accept and anticipate with any AHA usage. With my skin in a highly sensitised state, I only applied the AHA once in the week, and left it at that. Gradually, it went back to 3 times a week, which is how I normally use it.

Really short routine, but this is exactly what I used for the first 2 nights when my skin was at my worst.

4. Bring out all the anti-oxidants

I think everybody has a favourite serum for, you know, general anti-aging. If not, I wish you loads of luck and you can click through my Serums and Skin Treatment reviews for ideas. For me, my one true love has to be Estée Lauder ANR, which is my oldest cosmetic love. I don’t exactly know what is working for me, maybe it is the Vitamin A, but I always have a 100ml on hand, even though most of the time I’m trying out other serums. But during this period, I have turned to those that have consistently worked well for me.

Serums that I’m using now: Estée Lauder ANR and Melano CC Medicated Intensive Spot Correcting Serum (review). If you have dabbled in skincare for a while now you’d have your own faves too, just make sure you stick real close to those tried and tested formulas, rather than popping yet another serum that you’ve never tried open.

What I Used To Do

I’ve actually had loads of experience with dryness and sensitivity, and I’ve mostly stuck to the routine.

Back in 2014, I’ve tried a hell lot more, as seen in my post, A State of Emergency. Some things include:

  • Manuka honey mask – which I most commonly use when I have both sensitive skin and pimples, I cannot vouch for its efficacy, but it is a delicious mask 😉
  • Manuka honey + cinnamon mask – Again, delicious mask, does it do anything at all? ><
  • EPO, flaxseed oil, vitamin supplements – Nope, haven’t done any supplements in a while now, but I’m a lot healthier than I was back in 2014 (exercise & eating well. I’m still not getting enough sleep).

You can go to my old post and have a laugh (but seriously its not TOO bad) =.=

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COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

I actually wrote this post in April this year 0__0 But I conveniently forgot to post it in between work and exams (hurhur yes I had no life for the whole month of April / May this year).

But here we go!

My relationship with K beauty is weird. Sometimes I think they’re the best thing that happened (aside from newborn kittens). Other times I find that there too many weird shit going into skincare that shouldn’t really belong there.

cosrx-rice-mask-01

The COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask is, thankfully, free of ingredients like animal dairy, snake venom and gold flakes. In fact, its ingredients list is really short and efficient (apparently, all of its skincare items have efficient ingredients lists).

Ingredients

I will direct you to the trusty CosDNA database for the full list.

What it claims to do

The product claims to to brighten, nourish, and hydrate overnight. Personally, I don’t expect much brightening effect, because while rice has traditionally been used in various parts of Asia for brightening, it is not a well researched cosmetics ingredient, so I will stick to the various forms of vitamin C for that.

cosrx-rice-mask-02

The product does not come with a spatula, reuse the free spatula from your other products if you don’t like to dig your fingers into the product directly

cosrx-rice-mask-03

This is the Hanyul spatula ❤ So ergonomic and elegant!

How I incorporate in my routine

The mask comes in a light gel-cream and melts easily into the skin without heaviness. A simplified night routine looks like this:

Mizon AHA/BHA Toner (Exfoliant) > Rhoto Melano CC (Vitamin C) > Sheet Mask > COSRX Night Mask

It is one of the simplest routines that I’ve had in my adult life, but it works really well. By morning, the dehydration lines on my forehead will be gone and my skin feels nourished and plump. (But I never kid myself because the lines will return amidst the grind of daily life).

Most of the effect I attribute to Mizon and Rhoto Melano CC, which I declare to be potential HG products. But COSRX is a simple and uncomplicated mask that compliments these star products. It only has one job, and it does the job really well.

I also find myself appreciating it as a temporary, “in-between” moisturizer. Essentially, when I want to remove the sunscreen and make up, but there is still a few more hours before I am due to take a shower and go all out on the skincare routine, I generally do my full double cleansing and toning routine, and apply a layer of sleep mask. Many sleep packs are too heavy duty to be used during the day time (read: Hanyul Optimizing Mask), the COSRX is light-weight and perfect for a few hours of moisture.

Verdict

Overall, I find the COSRX very similar to the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack, with the added benefit of no fragrance as well as being much more affordable. It doesn’t come close to the revitalizing effect of the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Mask (review), but then again, there are days where you just want to KISS (“Keep it simple, stupid”).

Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream: The Award Winner

Ladies and gents, after a long break, here is another addition to my family of Hanyul product reviews!

The Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream (50g) is a fairly new addition to the Seo Ri Tae line. At least, it wasn’t introduced as part of the original lineup back in 2014. Somewhere in between, it replaced the Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti-Aging Cream as the only moisturiser in the Seo Ri Tae Line. It claims to revitalise and moisturise skin, and is targeted to a younger audience than the Baek Hwa Goh line.

The Skin Refining Cream won the Singles Magazine 2017 Best Ingredient Award, which does seem like a recent thing, as I did not see it when I purchased it back in March 2017.

The award seem to award specific ingredients out of the whole list, rather than the entire concoction. In the short article written about the award, Singles justified awarding the product based on 2 ingredients: soybean extract and madecassoside. The rest of the ingredients are not mentioned at all.

However, props are given to the packaging of the product, which reflects a “dawn frost”, and it is such a romantic way of describing a packaging. (It is really fun to read the Google Translate of the web page, I’m sure some of it is lost in translation but really… “dawn frost”? I love it! XD)

The (Not Very Exciting) Ingredients List

Purified water, Shea butter, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Caprylic / capric triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-14 Olefin), Glyceryl Stearate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Madecassoside, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Natto Gum, Dextrin, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Adenosine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Palmitic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-100 Stearate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Flower Extract, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

  1. Soybean Extract is an antioxidant and improves uneven skin tone. It is the feature ingredient in the Innisfree Soybean Energy line
  2. Madecassoside I’m more familiar with, it is a proven antioxidant in its own right, and works well when combined with vitamin C.

I use it primarily as a day cream under sunscreen and it works beautifully. In fact, I was really surprised at how much I liked this cream given the boring ingredients list above.

My favourite part has to be the fluffy texture. The cream is super lightweight and fluffy like marshmallows. It is easy to spread and pat in. While it is a cream, it contains just the right amount of emollients for day use. Unlike the Beauty of Joseon Cream (review) which I found a little lacking in moisture retention, this is just enough to provide moisture, but not too much that my face becomes an oil field.

With the right amount used under sunscreen, I was spared the afternoon dehydration lines and tightening of the skin in hot weather. There is no added glow or dewiness, but it does appear healthier and more hydrated.

One thing that I’m not really a fan of: it smells like a mimosa perfume mixed with wheatgrass and avocado smoothie. I like these smells separately but not mixed together.

Overall, it is not mind-blowing, but I can see it being one of those staples that I can go back to consistently.

Verdict: 4.5 / 5.0

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.

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream

When I learnt that Hanyul line is being revamped and the Rich Effect Cream is no more, I felt bereft. I held on to the hope that the reformulations are not much different from the original. (In SK-II, the RNA Power was rebranded from the Stempower line with a bit of reformulation). But soon I realised that in Hanyul seemed to be a total overhaul. The Rich Effect line was repackaged to Seo Ri Tae line, but the Cream is gone*.ヾ(;゚Д゚;)シ

And with that realisation came the bitterness, loads and loads of bitterness which lead me to step away from the brand for a while. (Alright, I promise that this will be the last time that I willl harp about my old HG.) But now, I’ve come back because life has to move on. And because the Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream looks like a great treat to the skin.

The claim to fame

The Baek Hwa Goh Cream claims to restore the skin’s vitality and elasticity, what ever that means. The star ingredient is the baek hwa goh extract i.e. extract from shiitake mushrooms. Using mushrooms in skincare is not unique to Asian products nor is it very exotic. The Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom line from Origins also relies on extracts from mushrooms.

I have used another cream with mushroom ingredients, the DHC Kakonjuka Cream, which I wrote about in my first ever post here on October 2013 (4 years ago OMG). I liked that cream but I didn’t repurchase because I didn’t have major skin concerns then. Its a whole different story now…

Ingredients

Head over to CosDNA for the full ingredients list. The key ingredient is the lentinus edodes extract: extract from shiitake mushrooms, which is shown to have both antioxidant and anti-irritant properties. Studies show shiitake mushrooms are rich in compounds that reduce redness and calm irritated skin with topical application: polysaccharides, triterpenes, proteins, lipids, phenols, and cerebrosides (Source) **.

Other ingredients include:

  • Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins are saponins derived from ginseng that are hydrolyzed by acid, enzyme or other method of hydrolysis
  • Panax Ginseng Root Extract – Which is the main ingredient in other star products like the Sulwhasoo Revitalizing Overnight
  • Aspergillus Ferment – Fermentation extract from a aspergillus, a type of mould.
  • Also high up on the ingredients list are glycerin and squalane, two well known humectants and antioxidants.

Not much help, but you can see the stiff texture of the cream here

How I incorporate this into my routine

I apply Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream as the last or second to last step in my skincare routine:

Toner > Fermented Essence > Serum > Hydrating Serum OR Sheet Mask > Moisturiser > Sleep Pack (Optional)

It is strictly for night time use only because I live in the tropics and it is humid all year round. If you live in a dryer climate, you can get away with using this in the day time.

I use a chickpea sized amount of the cream to cover my face. Most of it is absorbed immediately, but it leaves behind a thin, glossy sheen that is smooth but not sticky. From the first use, I can say it is very very similar to the Rich Effect Cream (NOT the Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream), and its got me almost shedding tears of joy. It has the exact same texture as the Rich Effect Cream, something like butter (don’t question me about my memory because I dream about my HG every night). It is thick and emollient, but absorbs splendidly, without the cloying feeling of dimethicones sitting on top of the skin.

Aside from the texture, I’m wild about the scent as well. I don’t catch any mushroom, but I can definitely place the ginseng. I love ginseng.

The next morning I wake up to really well rested skin, a little like the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Mask (featured here). I have not had this kind of feeling from a cream for a very long time. The last one was actually SK-II Stempower, which cost me an arm and a leg (Hanyul cost me just an arm, thank you).

One last thing, please please bear in mind my skin type and my skin concerns when you read my review! What works for me may not work for you. You can head over to my Beauty Profile, but if you’re lazy to click, here you go:

  • Normal skin type
  • Hardy for the most part, able to tolerate most ingredients such as a small quantity of alcohol in skincare
  • Hyperpigmentation 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

Verdict

This is a pure gushing post. I don’t see why this will not suit your skin, unless you don’t handle oils in your skincare well and you prefer a gel texture. Get it! Its is potential HG for me.

Why potential HG? Hurhurhur as I’m writing this, two more Hanyuls: Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream and Seo Ri Tae Firming Sleeping Pack are making its way to me from Korea. I have high hopes for the Seo Ri Tae Skin Refining Cream, so I shan’t count my chickens for now~

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* The Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti-Aging Cream is not the old Hanyul Rich Effect Cream. Seriously, the texture is very different. Look at beautifulbun’s review and pics of it here.

** Studies on the benefits of mushroom derivatives on skin: Mushroom Cosmetics: The Present and Future (Link)

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.

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⌒☆

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