Skincare empties (September 2019)

Keeping empty containers may seem like a silly thing to do but I have good reasons for saving them. I can’t post dedicated reviews on every possible thing I try so I tend to collect them for a bi annual post like this. I enjoy watching people review their empties because it gives me a good indication of whether they would repurchase having used up all the product.

Skincare, especially, is something that you (generally) can’t form an instant opinion on so having some more information after its entire use is more helpful than a first impression (compared to someone just rubbing it on their hand in a haul). As usual, I’m going to be breezing through (well I’ll try my best to) each of them, otherwise this will be very long.

DHC Deep cleansing oil 

DHC Deep cleansing oil

Cost: $20 AUD from yesstyle.com

This cleansing oil is a cult classic and one that I had always wanted to try. When I saw that Yesstyle had in this cute Alice in Wonderland packaging in a smaller bottle, I was sold. I can see why it’s a popular product, the consistency is in the middle, not too thick and not too thin. I can massage it easily around my face and it does a great job in melting down my makeup. I always follow with a second cleanser but after I use this oil, my face already feels clean and moisturised with no sticky residue. The main ingredient is organic olive oil. 

Would definitely repurchase the larger pump style size in future. 

IUNIK – Calendula complete cleansing oil 

Cost: AU $24.81 from ebay *

IUNIK - Calendula complete cleansing oil

iUNIK is a brand that focusses on natural ingredients so I thought I’d give this a try. Calendula has recently appeared in a number of skincare products across different brands. It’s extract can serve as an antiseptic to soothe and heal wounds and it’s also great for collagen stimulation. This cleanser contains a bunch of oils, the main ones being sunflower and canola oil. This performed fine, melted makeup well enough and didn’t leave a film on my skin but what I struggled with was the scent. This outright smelt like cooking oil with a hint of floral. So if you don’t like strong scents in your cleansing oil I would give this a pass.

Would not repurchase.

NEOGEN – Real fresh foam – Green Tea

NEOGEN - Real fresh foam - Green Tea

Cost: $15.58 USD, from bbcosmetic.com

This is already a repurchase and is my HG cleanser. I love its subtle scent and they way that it foams. The texture is soft but holds it’s shape so it’s easy to dispense and apply. It doesn’t strip my skin even though its ph of 7 is a bit on the higher side. This product is also sold in other “flavours” but I love this green tea version so much I haven’t dared to deviate. This one definitely deserves its own post and I will get to it once I get another. So it’s a definite repurchase for me. Myer (department store in Australia) also now sells Neogen so it’s much more accessible which is awesome. 

ORIGINS – Make A Difference Plus Rejuvenating Treatment

ORIGINS - Make A Difference Plus Rejuvenating Treatment

Cost: $70 AUD, 50ml, purchased from mecca.com.au

This is ultimately a moisturiser despite its fancy long name and I was attracted to it because of its star ingredients which included Rose of Jericho, Lychee and Watermelon. These ingredients appear in all their Make a difference products and are great for hydration. I have combo/dehydrated skin and it was summer at the time so I needed something lightweight and non greasy. This is oil free so it seemed fitting. I actually really liked this moisturiser, it was rich enough to properly moisturise and hydrate but light enough for me not to feel it or mess with my makeup. It has a cream gel consistency so it was perfect for me since I don’t really like just gels in moisturiser form. I need a little bit more even in summer. It has a slight fresh citrus smell which I was ok with. Would repurchase.

GO-TO Face Hero

GO-TO Face Hero

Cost: This was part of the Tiny Stuff set which was $39 from gotoskincare.com.

I like to support Aussie brands and I had liked everything I had read about this brand. It was founded by Zoe Foster-Blake and I resonated with her beliefs that skincare should be simple and fun. The aesthetics of the packaging and products appealed to me, always a sucker for pastels, so I thought why not give it a go. This sampler pack of their popular products was a cost effective way to try it. This oil was the first thing I tried and was the product that I was most interested in. It has a tonne of oils in it and is easily absorbable into the skin. It’s quite rich but lightweight at the same time. The scent of this oil is particularly strong, it’s derived naturally from the ingredients, but man it’s strong. It isn’t unpleasant but bad enough for me to not look forward to using it though I did finish it. It’s a shame because I did like everything else about it. I definitely favour my Marula Oil from Drunk Elephant over this any day. Will not repurchase

Drunk Elephant – B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel 

Drunk Elephant - B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel

Cost: $35 as part of the Rise and Glow set from mecca.com.au

I didn’t like this the first time that I tried it because I tried to use it as a moisturiser. For my skin type, this definitely wouldn’t be enough. When I started to use it as a mixer to my acids, it became magical. Drunk Elephant’s products are designed to be mixed into one another and I chose to mix it with their Framboos Glycolic Night Serum at first. I’ve also mixed it in with my Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster and it really helps to make the product go further as well as improve spreadability. 

Will definitely repurchase the full size once I’m done with my current hyaluronic acid serum. 

Sunday Riley – Good Genes

Sunday Riley - Good Genes

Cost:  Came in a The Flash Fix mini pack with their clay cleanser $24 GBP from cultbeauty.com 

Sunday Riley has since reformulated Good Genes to use Glycolic Acid instead of Lactic Acid. I finished the old version and haven’t tried the new so I can’t compare the two. There was so much hype around this and the claims were that you would see brighter and more radiant skin, less wrinkles within a very short period of time, 3mins in fact! My skin never felt quite comfortable after application. I found it a bit hard to spread it around and I felt like I needed to use quite a bit to cover my face. The smell was a big turn off actually. I like the smell of lemongrass but this was way too strong and also had a chemical smell mixed in too which I didn’t like at all. Buying the full size of this is a big investment that I for one will not be making. The brand itself is a turn off altogether based on that drama with making their employees post fake reviews on Sephora…no deal. Won’t be repurchasing anything from their line again.

The Ordinary – Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Cost:  $12.90 from adorebeauty.com.au

This was first foray into hyaluronic acid (HA) and one of my first products from the brand. HA is pretty popular at the moment, it’s everywhere from skincare to makeup.  The consistency is on the thick side and my face felt tacky after application. I usually used it at night so I would normally follow with an oil or moisturiser so I didn’t mind the tackiness so much. But it wasn’t my favourite. I have since used other HA serums/toners which I’ve liked much better which don’t do that so I won’t be repurchasing this

MUJI – Cleansing milk

Cost:  $15 AUD (I think) from MUJI (in store)

I love both foaming and milk cleansers equally and everything about this cleanser was positive. It contains peach and apricot extracts, has a very subtle fruity scent, packaging is basic but easy to use with the pump. The texture isn’t as runny as milk so it’s easy to dispense and massage onto the skin. It rinses off easily and leaves my face feeling fresh and clean, not stripped. This product contains parabens but that doesn’t bother me. As long as the product is effective and works for me, that’s all I care about. Muji sells most of their skincare in different sizes so if you’re curious but not wanting to commit to a full size, there are mini sizes available too. Best of all, their skincare is very affordable, similar to drugstore prices. They also have an amazing cleansing oil which I adore. They don’t seem to sell skincare online though which is a bummer. Worth checking out if you have store near you.

Will definitely be repurchasing this one.

Ok so that’s it for my empties and product roundup. I need to do them more regularly so that these posts don’t get ridiculously long each time!

What products have you finished recently? Do you tend to repurchase the same things or do you like trying new products out? Let me know!

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skincare favourites of 2018

There were plenty of great skincare finds in 2018 making it hard to be selective. I don’t use all of these products everyday but they were (and still are) my absolute go-to products in the last year.

Cleanser – Muji Oil Cleanser

Muji Oil Cleanser

I’ve only tried two products from their skin care line and would definitely want to try more. I love the simple aesthetics and the effectiveness of their products. One stand out was their Oil Cleanser. There are two types, sensitive and normal. I have the normal one. It’s texture isn’t too runny and because I keep buying the travel size, it comes in a flip cap bottle and is relatively mess free to use. It is rich but emollient enough to easily rub on my face and rinses off completely clean. It even removes mascara and eyeliner really well. I always follow with a second cleanse anyway. It’s pretty affordable and the full size comes in a pump so will definitely buy that when I’ve run out.

Purchased from Muji.

Exfoliant – Neogen Dermalogy Bio Peel Gauze Peeling

Neogen Dermalogy Bio Peel Gauze Peeling – Green Tea

I’m currently on my second jar as I can’t get enough of it. I have the green tea version and have also tried the lemon which is a better option for brightening. I like both but prefer the lemon because of it’s fresh scent.

This is a great option for a lazy person like me. Each gauze pad is already soaked in a cocktail of ingredients such as green tea, glycerin, glycolic and lactic acid. It’s a chemical and physical exfoliant in the one little pad. All you need to do to use it is, rub the more textured side all over the face and then repeat with the smoother quilted side to fully sloth of all remnants of dead skin. Then you rinse it all off with warm water and you’re left with smooth, clear skin. Each pad is single use only so remember to toss it out after each use.

I use this around 1-2 times a week.

Purchased from ebay*

Toner – Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence

Hanskin – Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence

This toner is filled with sodium hyaluronate and is hydrating without leaving any residue. The absorption rate is phenomenal which is great for a person like me who doesn’t like to wait between layers.

The texture is viscose without being too thick. It’s a good one for layering because it has a little body to it. After cleansing I pour a few drops into my palm and press it onto my skin. I have dehydrated skin so it’s like I’m giving my skin a big drink of water each time. It is marketed as an essence but you can use it in whatever step feels right for you. I rarely use essence every morning so if it’s a two in one, then it’s a nice bonus 🙂

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Serum – The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%

The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%

This was the first product I tried from the brand, based on recommendations from Renee (Gothamista) on Youtube. Being a total novice, I wanted to start slow and this turned out to be perfect. I apply it in the evening after toner or essence. It has a milky viscosity and I only use 3-4 drops each time. It absorbs really quickly and best of all, it never irritated my skin. I don’t have obvious signs of ageing so I can’t tell you if it helped with wrinkles. It did, however, smooth out my skin’s texture and helped normalize my cheek area because I tend to get unevenness there. It’s also supposed to help with acne and pigmentation but I didn’t really see much of a difference in the 6 months I used it for.

It’s now been re-labelled as Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion with the same ingredients. I haven’t tried this yet but hopefully it is exactly the same because I will be definitely buying this again. I’m using their Retinol 0.2% in Squalene at the moment and I find that it’s too oily in texture so not enjoying it.

Purchased from Adore Beauty.

Face oil – Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil

Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil

I’ve used up a travel size of this oil, bought it from eBay before my local Sephora ended up stocking it (finally!). It feels lightweight, has a nice subtle scent and hydrates the skin with just enough dew. It’s moisturising too so most days during the warmer months, I will skip moisturiser. It doesn’t leave an oily residue which I love and sits well under makeup. Gives the skin a nice subtle hydrated glow. It has surpassed my love for Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil (reviewed here), something I thought couldn’t possibly happen.

Purchased travel size from eBay * and full size from Sephora.

Eye cream – Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream

Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream

This eye cream has the characteristics of being perfection. It is easily absorbable, rich yet lightweight, doesn’t leave a residue and doesn’t give me milia. I don’t have obvious lines around my eyes but the skin in that area definitely isn’t as taut as they used to be. This cream hydrated and moisturises without causing any sensitivity to my eyes. The small jar is only 25ml but has lasted me a year and still going strong.

I didn’t know what Peat was and I’m always skeptical when “miracle” is used in a product’s name. It’s a big reason why I don’t try La Mer because their “miracle broth” sounds like a load of crock. Peat is basically dead, decomposed plant residue (sounds gross) but because it originates from moors, bogs and old glaciers, it is rich in minerals and antioxidants, hence it is considered a powerhouse ingredient for anti ageing. Whatever it is, it’s effective and I like it.

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Sunscreen – Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+/PA++++ 

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+/PA++++

This sunscreen is fairly new to me but I have used it long enough to fall deeply in love with it. It’s a chemical sunscreen loaded with hydrating, moisturising and brightening ingredients such as Niacinamide, Adenosine, Panthenol , Beta-Glucan and Sea Buckthorn Oil.

It has zero white cast and has the texture of a light moisturiser, hence it’s name “soft and airy”. I have combo skin so I substitute my morning moisturiser with this and it is enough for my skin. It sits well under makeup too which is a plus.

Purchased from eBay *

Other – COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

This super popular product needs no introduction. I wrote a full review here. They are hydrocolloid patches and when applied to active breakouts, either dramatically flatten the pimple or bring it to a head so it can heal quicker. I used so many of these little bad boys last year especially during the bout of acne I suddenly got around my jawline. The worst thing to do is touch active pimples so with these patches on them, it prevented me from contaminating them with my fingers. I think they make a huge difference so will probably keep buying them for as long as I keep getting acne.

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Well that’s it! You may have noticed that I didn’t include a moisturiser, essence or masks in my favourites. I’ve used some decent products but nothing that has really stood out.

What skincare product(s) could you not live without in 2018? Do let me know as I’m always looking for recommendations.

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you đŸ™‚

Skincare I’ve used up (September 2018)

I haven’t written an empties post since March…uh yeah this year has really flown! When I noticed that my pile of empties was becoming increasingly more difficult to store, I thought it was about time I posted so I could get rid of them.

I’m going to be breezing through (well I’ll try my best to) each of them, otherwise this will be very long. I’ve reviewed some of it in the past and will add a link to the review where applicable. Most of these products are minis, which I think is an affordable and smart way to try out new skincare, especially if getting samples beforehand isn’t possible.

All products were purchased by me (except for the last one which was in a members rewards box). There are no affiliate links in this post.

Simplistic Skincare – Essence wonder

empties-essence

Reviewed here.

Cost: $49 AUD, purchased from liliacandberries.com 

My thoughts since the review remain unchanged. I didn’t think it did much for my skin, even after using it up, I didn’t miss it or notice any differences in my skin. It is hydrating and absorbs very quickly. Nice packaging but won’t warrant a repurchase.

Goodal – Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++

Goodal - Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++
Goodal – Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++

Cost: $9.81 USD, purchased from ibbi

After hearing the ladies at Glow Recipe rave about this sunscreen, specifically about it’s gel texture, I knew I had to try it. It’s a chemical sunscreen which is what I usually go for because I can’t stand dry and difficult to blend physical sunscreens. I’m sure there are more elegant formulas out there now but I just haven’t found one I’ve liked yet.

The gel consistency makes it easy to rub into the skin which I liked. There were two things that I didn’t like as much with this sun gel and the first thing is that alcohol is the 7th ingredient in the list (cosdna). I noticed this after I bought it, rookie mistake I know! I do know that alcohol is common in sunscreens since it helps make the texture more spreadable but I would still like to avoid it when I can. It wasn’t drying and didn’t smell like alcohol so that was a plus. The second thing was that it left my face dewy…borderline greasy. This could be a great thing for drier skin types but on my combo skin, I did not need the extra grease in my t-zone. Might be a better one for winter. Because of these two reasons, I won’t be repurchasing.

Fresh – Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)

Fresh - Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)
Fresh – Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)

Reviewed here

Cost: $20 AUD, 50ml, purchased from Sephora

As a second cleanser, it was a good one. Like I said in the review, it doesn’t leave my face stripped. It instead, left it feeling bouncy, hydrated and soft. Would repurchase. Keen to try more products from Fresh 🙂

MAC – Prep and Prime Fix +

MAC - Prep and Prime Fix +
MAC – Prep and Prime Fix +

Cost: $36 AUD, 100ml, purchased from Myer

This is a classic product which I will always keep repurchasing. I use it after makeup to set my face and to add a natural looking glow to my skin. It also helps melt powder into the skin, to mesh with the other elements. It doesn’t work like a setting spray (like urban decay’s all nighter) so don’t expect it to prolong the wear of your makeup. I just love the way it makes my skin look which is a good enough reason in my books. The mister on the bottle is glorious too, very fine. Good for use all year around but especially in summer because it also feels refreshing 🙂

Belif – The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)

Belif - The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)
Belif – The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)

Cost: I can’t access the order details but I think it was around $20-30 AUD purchased from eBay.

This was another purchase inspired by Renee (Gothamista). She compared this to the Su:m37 Rose Cleansing stick which I loved but can’t seem to find anymore. Anyway, this stick was nice, it had little bits of chamomile petals in it so it also gently exfoliated the skin while cleansing. I didn’t really feel it to tell you the truth. It did have a subtle natural smell and it was a nice sensory experience to use it. It also didn’t strip my skin but it wasn’t the most hydrating cleanser I’ve ever used either. I felt like if I didn’t apply toner right away, my skin would feel a bit tight. A stick last a really long time, mine expired before I could finish it.  I think I had it for awhile before use and didn’t pay attention to the date.

I probably won’t repurchase this. I prefer the Su:m37 Rose cleansing stick and Neogen Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick (Green Tea) over this one.

Amore Pacific – The essential creme fluid (mini size)

Amore Pacific - The essential creme fluid (mini size)
Amore Pacific – The essential creme fluid (mini size)

Cost: $25 USD, travel size purchased from eBay.

After hearing Liah Yoo and Jude (Fiddy Snails) rave about this moisturiser, I too also needed it. Especially when I heard that it contained 150 handpicked baby green tea leaves from AP’s own tea garden and that it’s a rich moisturiser disguised as a lightweight creme. Now Amore Pacific is impossible to get here in Australia. Managed to find a travel size on eBay which I probably overpaid for but oh well. I’m actually glad I only got the travel size because the full size is around $100 USD. I liked the texture, it was light and silky. My skin did feel moisturised but not that comfortable. I think it was the scent that bothered me, it smelt quite strongly of flowers I think, not a natural smell. Wish it smelt like green tea instead. For that reason I will not be repurchasing. Overall it didn’t feel unique enough for me to want to get past the scent. The good news is that Mecca, applicable to AU and NZ (I think), will be stocking AP products soon so it will at last be easily attainable!

Drunk Elephant – Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)

Drunk Elephant - Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)
Drunk Elephant – Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)

Cost: Came in a “Hit it off Duo” with the Lala retro whipped cream – $29 from Mecca 

I wasn’t a fan of the Lala Retro but I did enjoy this cleanser. It is hydrating, leaves my skin feeling similar to the Fresh Soy cleanser, which is soft and bouncy. There is no scent and I like how the texture is jelly like, so it doesn’t get messy.

I would repurchase, but lo and behold, my husband overheard about how much I liked it and gifted me with the full sized product for my birthday, yay!

Drunk Elephant – Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (mini size)

empties-marula

Reviewed here

Cost: Came in a “Night Brights Duo” with the TLC Framboose Glycolic Night Serum, $40 AUD, from Mecca

I’ve already repurchased another Night Brights Duo before I finished it. I almost bought the full size but since I’m between a few oils, I thought I’d just buy it later because it’s quite expensive. I love this oil, it’s lightweight, easily absorbable, feels nourishing as well as moisturising. I like to apply it at night after my actives or retinoid. I don’t feel like to I need to apply moisturiser either. There’s just something about it sensory wise, it feels very comforting.

Acwell – Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)

Acwell - Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)
Acwell – Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)

Cost: $9.50 USD for two mini sizes from eBay

Charlotte from Soko Glam sold me on this when she curated it into their store. It all sounded pretty good, low ph, licorice and peony for brightening and green tea. Honey skin also sounded pretty damn good too and her skin is flawless! I actually really liked this toner, it felt gentle and my skin felt balanced and calm after using it. I don’t know if it alone gave me honey skin, which I still don’t have anyway. I still have another bottle left but it’s something that I liked enough to repurchase.

Too Faced – Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)

Too Faced - Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)
Too Faced – Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)

Cost: Free with my beauty loop box from Mecca (member rewards thing)

I’ve wanted to try this for awhile because I’m obsessed with anything coconut and this has coconut water in it. Too Faced says you can use it three ways, as a primer/setting spray/refresher, but I used it only as a setting spray (because it was so tiny). It’s more of a hydrating setting spray than something that would cement your look to last all day. I feel like it gives the same effect as MAC Fix + and now that they also have a coconut version (which I’m currently using), I haven’t made up my mind as to which I prefer. I can’t remember if this Too Faced one smelt like coconuts but I remember it being pleasant enough. Because of its teeny tiny size, I only got to use it twice or thrice so it’s hard to remember exactly. I’ll most likely purchase the full size once my current setting sprays are used up.

Ok if you’ve made it this far, you’ve done well! Phew that was a looong post, a lot of words. Let me know if you’ve used any of these products mentioned and if you have any questions, please post them below. Until next time 🙂

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[Review] Wishtrend – Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum

I use Vitamin C for two main purposes, to lighten post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH) and Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE), in layman’s terms are sunspots/freckles and dark acne scarring. Ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid, in its pure form is generally a great antioxidant for this purpose since its a major skin brightener. 

I used Wishtrend’s Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum for about 4 months and I’m ready to share my thoughts on it.

About Wishtrend

Wishtrend is a online k-beauty store who are under the same Wish Company umbrella as Klairs. They sell products under their own brand as well as curate other well known k-beauty brands such as Mizon, Skinmiso and more.

Cost

$26.35 AUD, purchased from Wishtrend’s eBay Store *

Ingredients (from wishtrend.com)

Hippophae Rhamnoides Water (70%), Ascorbic Acid (21.5%), Sodium Lactate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol

Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum
Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum – ingredients list and instructions

The short ingredient list was appealing and is what captured my attention. A past Vitamin C serum I had used also sold by Wishtrend, the TIAM My Signature C-Source, had a much larger ingredient list which freaked out my skin and gave me cystic acne 😮

Claims

The product seems to have undergone a reformulation though I can’t compare it to the original since I never used it.

With an upgraded formula with more of the effects but less the ingredients, 
the Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum has been transformed to have even greater hydration and absorption without the stickiness. It conditions and restores balance to replenish and retain moisture in the skin with the optimal 21.5% of pure vitamin C.

Packaging

The serum is housed in a dark glass bottle with a red label. You get 30 ml of product and a dropper as the applicator. It seems like this type of packaging is common amongst Vitamin C serums. I guess its more cost effective than using (innovative) packaging like Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum. With this type of packaging, its easy to let air into the product, and since ascorbic acid is naturally unstable and can easily oxidise, you need to make sure you keep this serum in the fridge (instructed on the box) and seal it up as soon as you’re done. 

How to use

Since I keep the serum in my fridge I need to remember to walk over there and grab it. This was a pain and something I never got used to doing. I have a full time job and not a lot of time to get ready in the morning (because I prefer to sleep) so having to go grab it was always a nuisance.

There are some in instructions in English on the back on how to use but this is how I use it. After cleansing and drying my face, I would dispense two or three drops into the palm of my hand. I would then frantically close the bottle to prevent air from entering the bottle. Then using my index finger, I would start to spot treat areas where I have pigmentation spots caused either from the sun or acne.

Once I’ve spot treated the affected areas, I would rub my palms together and pat the leftover product onto the rest of my face. This stuff absorbs fast so you need to work quickly. I would then promptly return the serum and its box to the fridge in fear of oxidation. I would then continue with the rest of my routine. There is an area of debate whether niacinamide and vitamin c would lose efficacy if used in the same routine, so I just tend to not use essence (mine contains niacinamide) in the mornings when I’m using vitamin c, just as a precautionary.

Something to note which is quite important is that ascorbic acid can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Especially in such a large dose as this one. If you are using this during the day, you HAVE to wear sunscreen. Its a non negotiable. This is also the case when using any type of acid which chemically exfoliates the skin. Update: Acids increases sensitivity because you are basically shedding skin. Vitamin C actually boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen so it’s still important to wear it. 

Consistency

Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum - ingredients list and instructions
Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum – watery consistency

It is runny with no viscosity which I see as good and bad. Good because it’s easily absorbable and bad because it can get tricky with application (the whole trying to screw the cap back with one hand thing). The good outweighs the bad in this case.  True to the claims, it does not leave any sticky residue.

Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum
Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum – patted in, no residue or stickiness, true to the claims.

In its freshest form and by keeping in the fridge, the colour should remain clear. If this changes to anything else, it means the serum has oxidised and is no longer effective. As mentioned, I had mine for 4 months and it still maintained its translucency.

Scent

Smells very slightly of chemicals which dissipates on contact with the skin.

The TIAM My Signature C-Source, smelt like oranges which I didn’t mind either, the product just didn’t work for me.  I’ve also used the Klairs Freshly Juiced, and while the name sounds like something that would smell pleasant, it smelt like iron which was unpleasant. The Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum also smelt like this (why?!).

Final thoughts

Rating: 3/5 (it's ok but will not repurchase)

I was afraid that this serum would break me out like the Tiam one did but luckily it didn’t. It also didn’t cause any irritation.

In terms of effectiveness, I didn’t see any significant changes over the 4 months I used it. I applied it every other morning because it had such a high percentage of ascorbic acid. I liked its elegant consistency because it felt like nothing once applied and also appreciated that it had little to no scent.  Perhaps my overall skin did appear brighter but I needed more than that, especially at 21.5%. With humectants such as sodium hyaluronate and panthenol within the ingredients list I would’ve expected to also feel some hydration but I didn’t.

Not seeing any significant lightening of my spots wasn’t the main issue I had with it, and its probably not all this serum’s fault. As I mentioned, using vitamin c during the day can cause sensitivity to the sun. I ALWAYS wear sunscreen but I felt like with such a high dose of ascorbic acid, one application of sunscreen in the morning just wasn’t enough. I work in an office and only pop out a couple of times before the sun goes down. I know these are lame reasons but I just don’t reapply sunscreen. I felt like I was getting more sensitive to the sun (we are closer to the ozone hole here in oz) and I’m pretty certain that this vitamin c serum is what was causing it. I saw a couple more sun spots appear and my PIE and PIH just weren’t getting any lighter even though I adequately slather sunscreen on my face. Don’t get me wrong, when I do get regular sun exposure I do reapply, but on work days when I have a face full of makeup, I just don’t.

I guess I could still use it at night but I already have serums which like to use and have proven to be more effective (for different purposes). I have also read that using vitamin c serums during the day can also have other benefits like helping fight free radicals and protection against environmental pollutants.

I think that this has been my final experiment with vitamin c serums for awhile. The fact that it’s also so (so!) high maintenance deters me from using it. Keeping it in the fridge and limiting its exposure to air is a pain because I’m simply lazy. They usually have a life span of 3 months (less if you don’t refrigerate) anyway so having to repurchase would also get expensive and annoying. Again if I did see results I could possibly continue to overlook the inconveniences and repurchase but the cons really outweighed the pros.

I’m perfectly ok to use skincare where ascorbic acid (or its derivates) isn’t the main ingredient like in moisturisers and serums/ampoules so I’m not dissing it completely. I’ve just concluded that my skin is too sensitive for it when it’s in its purest form which is sad 😦

Have you tried any vitamin c serums and how did they work out for you? Would love to hear about your experiences in the comments 🙂

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you 🙂

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[Review] Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care

I have been using this essence for about 6 months now and since I’m fast approaching its end, its probably a good opportunity to share my thoughts on it.

This is the first product I’ve tried from Simplistic Skin Care. I was browsing around lilacandberries.com, a k-beauty online store based in Sydney.  I couldn’t find much information about Simplistic but from what I can gather from the website, they are a company which focusses on using natural ingredients (vegan) and without harmful substances in their products. They only make products which they feel can be used in the daily lives of people, so no gimmicky products here.

Please keep on reading if you are interested in hearing more about this essence.

Cost

$49 AUD, purchased from liliacandberries.com 

Ingredients (from lilacandberries.com)

Amaranthus Hypochondriacus Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycerin, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glutathione, Pinus Radiata Bark Extract, Beta-Glucan, Allantoin, Trehalose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyglutamic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Soy Isoflavones, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA

Claims

This essence claims to:

– speeds up wound healing, soothes and calms skin
– locking in natural moisture and helps repair your moisture barrier\
– helps to moisturize and exfoliate old skin cells by penetrating to the deepest layers of your skin
– maintains your skin’s water balance which makes your skin appear healthy, moist, radiant and supple.
– evens out your skin’s texture
– soothes and anti inflammations
– improves skin’s elasticity
– reduces pigmentation and scars
– promotes collagen for a more radiant and flawless complexion
– soothes and calms your skin’s redness

Packaging

This is what attracted me to the product. The flask like yet medicinal look of it with the wooden cap was unique. Normally essences are commonly housed in cylindrical shaped glass bottles. I thought this would be frosted glass but its actually sturdy plastic. The cap is faux wood and gives it a natural effect. The label is minimal and modern, reflecting what the company stands for. I’m actually glad it’s plastic because it can be knocked about in a suitcase. I took it with me on holidays over Christmas and it was fuss free.

How to use

On the back there are three illustrated steps in korean which I can’t understand. However, the illustrations are pretty self explanatory and if you are an experienced essence user, then it’s the same principles.

Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care
Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care

I always use it the same way as I would use any essence. I would pour two or three drops into my palm, rub my hands together and gently pat my face for absorption. Sometimes I would follow with another layer but generally it would only be one because I have a few more steps to do in my routine. You could use a cotton pad if you were in a hurry but I wouldn’t recommend it since you waste some of the product.

Consistency

Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care. Runny consistency, amber in colour.
Runny consistency, amber in colour.

Its consistency is runny. It has an intended amber tinge to it which doesn’t translate once applied. Because it’s so runny I would recommend only using a few drops (2-3) at a time and layering if you want to add more.

Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care
Patted in, completely absorbs with no residue or shine.

Scent

Zero fragrance so great for sensitive skin.

Final thoughts

Rating: 3/5 (it's ok but will not repurchase)

As mentioned at the start of this post, I’m almost at the end of the bottle and I’m not sad about it. Which is a bit of shame since there are some really nice ingredients in this product.

I like the packaging and the fact that it’s fragrance free and didn’t break me out. However I didn’t really see much of an effect on my skin over time. 6 months is fair amount of time to test something too and I did use this twice a day consistently. The claims seem quite extensive which is what sparked my curiosity in the first place. If anything, I did feel that my face felt and looked slightly more hydrated but that’s about it. I didn’t see any real brightening of dark spots or my skin texture being more even etc.

The first essence I used is the cult favourite Missha FTE (intensive moist) and with that one I could see immediate brightening and skin evening results. If I were to choose which one to repurchase, it would be the Missha one. They are also similarly priced and are both 150ml.

Have you tried anything from this line? Let me know what you think 🙂 Also if you have any essence recommendations for me, please let me know in the comments.

 

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