Fascinated by their philosophy that aims for clean beauty that captures good ingredients in full disclosure, I decided to join the “Try Me Review Me” by Style Korean Global.
Another South Korean beauty brand, Mary & May’s ingredients are all EWG green grade and free from 16 harmful ingredients that can cause skin troubles and irritations.
As a freelance product developer myself, I do appreciate a thoroughly well-thought products. Of course, ingredients are important, but so do labeling, wording, and packaging. Personally, I believe Mary & May scored on all of these. Just look at the labels, no fancy names, easy to decode even for beginners, and they transparently disclose how much of the ingredients are included. They state their concentration in both, PPM (stands for Parts Per Million) and Percentages. I will explain more about PPM below on one of the products’s review, so you can get clearer understanding.
I also appreciate a little note from their researchers, tagged on the serum bottle.
They note that Idebenone (one of their main actives) is not easily soluble in solvents, but they’re using raw materials with the appropriate technology to increase the solvents’ solubility and skin penetration rate.
Overall I can say that Mary & May has this luxurious feel and touch without the luxury price.
Let’s start the review of each products, shall we?
WHITE COLLAGEN CLEANSING FOAM The first ingredient in the list is a whooping Hydrolyzed Collagen at 46.6%. You see, collagen is a major component of our skin and it will help to strengthen, hydrate and great for elasticity. It also has 1% Niacinamide to help with brightening, hence the name White Collagen. With milky white texture that foams up well (not overly foamy), it has a slight green scent but very gentle ones. On my oily skin, it cleanse them up without any slippery feel. But I believe, it’ll also do good on dry skin, because it doesn’t strip the skin at all.
VITAMIN B5 + BIFIDA TONER First, I love the thick glass pump bottle. Since I never travel anymore during this pandemic, I don’t mind glass packaging at all, and it’s great for the earth too. It contains 30,000 ppm of Bifida Ferment Lysate and 1,000 ppm of Vitamin B5 aka Panthenol. That means 0,03% of Bifida and 0,001% of Panthenol. So why they stated on ppm rather than the percentages? Well, actually it just sounds more sophisticated because ppm is commonly used in the lab. But personally, I think it’s better to write big numbers rather than zero point something, right? It’s watery and has a slight herbal fragrance, IMHO it’s better to use without cotton pads. I also recommend this hydrating toner for CSM.
IDEBENONE + BLACKBERRY COMPLEX SERUM Taken from the note of their researchers, which is tagged on the serum glass bottle, the orange shade is the original color from the antioxidant that they use, Idebenone and Blackberry Extract. They said that Idebenone is better than vitamin C, to make skin more healthy looking with less hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Basically, this is a good serum to reduce the visible signs of aging without feeling oily and sticky. It’s also fragrance free and placed inside an amber colored pipette serum bottle.
IDEBENONE + BLACKBERRY INTENSE CREAM At first, I was skeptical because of the name. But when I applied it with the spatula provided inside the box, I know why this cream is one of their best sellers. It glides smoothly, doesn’t feel heavy like most anti-aging creams that I’ve tried. It just melts and sinks right away on skin, giving it a slightly dewy but healthy (not oily) look. Beside Idebenone (500 ppm) and Blackberry Extract (63%), it also contains 5 types of ceramides, so it’s great to strengthen our skin barrier and helps to brighten as well. Oh, have I mentioned I love the sturdy yet luxurious feel glass jar?
GARNIER MICELLAR CLEANSING WATER If you’ve been following me long enough on this blog, you’d know that I love my Bioderma, but it’s quite pricey comparing to this affordable one from Garnier. This pink version is made for normal to sensitive skin, so I chose this one to purchase for the first time ever. Let me know if you want a comparison review with Bioderma ones. Price IDR 29K for 125ml
SILCOT MAXIMIZER COTTON I believe this was my second purchase of this cotton pads. I don’t use it to apply toner to wipe. But these are very good if you do CSM (Chizu Saeki Method). It can contain the toner long enough to hydrate while masking away with CSM. Frankly speaking, I don’t use this method frequently, just when I feel my skin is irritated or need extra loving care. Price IDR 29K for 1 box of 40 sheets.
LIESE CREAMY BUBBLE COLOR During pandemic, I DIY my hair color, because doing it in salon will take more than 2 hours indoor and it’s quite pricey. This brand is from KAO, produced in Japan and claimed to be number one hair coloring in Japan. Now available officially in Indonesia, so it’s relatively affordable. Easy to spread, because it comes in a bubbly foam texture, but I don’t recommend this if you want to cover gray hair. Price IDR 144K
First thing first, why vinegar? If you’re a BTS army, you’d probably knew that one of their member, Jungkook apparently cleared his acne by using ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar). Yes, ACV is good for acne, because it helps to get rid of bad bacterias and lower the skin’s pH (FYI, acne sufferers tend to have a higher pH). I used to drink them on daily basis, but couldn’t bear the scent. So, when ACV finally made it as skincare ingredients, I can’t help but to try them.
Let’s dig deeper to each of these two ACV based toner, shall we?
Both are fungal acne safe, by the way.
Made in USA Claim: Oil-absorbing toner, leaves skin clearer and smoother Plus Points:
Only contains three ingredients.
Can be use as clarifying hair product
It comes in a spray bottle
Price: IDR 200K for 237ml My thoughts:
It still contains Damask Rose Oil, so if your skin is sensitive to oil, I do not recommend this.
The scent is more vinegary than rosy if you know what I mean. This smells stronger and linger longer than Gallinée ones.
Made in France Claim: Soothe & reduce redness in sensitive skins, purify & exfoliate oily skin. Plus Points:
Contains prebiotics to support the skin microbiome
Using ACV infused with Hibiscus (I guess this also help to reduce the smell).
Price: IDR 451K for 200ml My thoughts:
Yes, it smells like vinegar, but not as strong and lingering as Heritage Store.
I dislike the flip-top cap, though, it might get messy and sticky on the top with longer uses.
PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA SCREENSHOTS FROM INCIDECODER
ROUND LAB 1025 DOKDO TONER Instead of using the real sea water to treat acne, like people on TikTok (seriously??!!), this toner contains sea water that has been processed specifically for skin. It also contains panthenol to reduce irritation and allantoin (which I personally prefer than Centella Asiatica) to soothe the skin, especially acne prone skin. Price IDR 155K for 200ml
S NATURE AQUA SQUALANE WRINKLE MOISTURIZING CREAM Impressive ingredients list for a complete skin barrier moisturizer. Two of the top fives are squalane which acts as emollient, and glycerin as humectant. Because I try to save lately, I opt for a moisturizer which have both humectant and emollient in it, so I don’t have to purchase two separate moisturizers for my night time routine (FYI, I skip moisturizer step in the morning to prevent maskne). Price IDR 350K for 80ml
MISSHA AQUA SUN GEL SPF50+ PA++++ If you’ve been following me long enough, you’d know that I love my SkinAqua sunscreen. Time to try something new, which relatively easier to find locally. It is categorized as chemical sunscreen, with glacial water as one of the hero ingredient. Yes, it still contains Alcohol Denat and Silica (which can be drying for some), but I do like the matte effect on my oily skin. Price IDR 139K for 50ml (bought it on sale)
It has been awhile, so I thought I’m going to update y’all about my current skincare routine.
I found this routine to be super effective on my fungal-acne prone and hormonal/adult acne prone skin. Especially I live in always hot and summer weather, plus using mask during the pandemic. If you notice, I do skip moisturizer step, just because I try to avoid clogged pores under the mask. But as I always mentioned, skincare is personal, so what work for me might not work for you.
Currently, I swear by these 4 products only:
1. Facial Cleanser: Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser My all-time favorite, one of the best basic face wash for sensitive skin. Unlike many who skip face wash in the morning, I just can’t. I wore Retinol at night and it feels icky and oily when I wake up.
2. Exfoliant Toner: Gallinée Face Vinegar It contains Lactic Acid, the gentlest member of AHA for sensitive skin. This toner will help to promote slightly more acidic environment on the skin, in order to make Vitamin C serum absorb better and work more effectively. If you dislike the vinegar scent, you won’t enjoy this.
3. Vitamin C Serum: Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum It’s fungal-acne safe, non-irritant, and by far the greatest vitamin C serum that I’ve ever tried. Expensive, but worth it.
4. Sunscreen: Missha Aqua Sun Gel Spf 50+ PA++++ I’ve been using Skin Aqua brand for ages, but currently trying something new just for a change. It looks like milky white lotion but when applied, it won’t leave any greasy feel or white cast. So far I’m loving it.
Cleansing our face is by far the most effective and basic routine to keep our skin clear and healthy. With so many choices out there, it’s not hard to pick one that suits your skin’s need.
So, why use Hydrating ones? Does it effective to remove dirt and other debris? Of course! Hydrating Face Wash can remove those things with a bonus: protecting skin.
Soleluna Hydrating Face Wash only contains 10 ingredients on the list, SLS-free and with additional Glycerin as humectant, it won’t strip the skin of its natural moisture. It is still foamy, in fact when added with a small amount of water, it will form an enjoyable liquid mochi texture (almost feel like snail mucin). And for those who are sensitive to fragrance, this is fragrance-free.
With additional actives, Zinc PCA, it’s also great for if you have oily and acne-prone skin. Overall, it is a simple face wash with affordable price (IDR 70K), a great cleanser to start off your skincare steps.
Disclaimer: I’m not a dermatologist. I’m just happy to share my experiences and if I can help others achieving clearer and healthier skin, I might get a good skin karma in return.
In this post I’ll share the progress pics and the concoction of my so called ‘first client’. Just a glimpse of the client’s data: early 20’s, oily skin, cystic acne and blackheads (mostly on forehead and cheeks), definitely a Tretinoin Newbie.
WARNING: disturbing skin pictures ahead.
It was not easy to assure the client to use Retinol, because of the ‘Retinol Uglies’ that might happened in the first 4-8 weeks. Mine took 8 weeks to fully recovered, while my client already showed improvements (no more cystic acne) on 4 weeks time. Yes, it might vary to each person.
FYI, as an amateur skin coach, I worked on the my first clients’ skincare routine, and adding new products to be used based on my experiences with my own acne’s issues.
The Retinol Myth is true: YOUR SKIN WILL GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER.
Some important notes:
You need to be more patient and understanding when it comes to using Retinol (Tretinoin or Adapalene) for the first time.
Start with the smallest concentration of Retinol in cream form to reduce irritation and minimize ‘Retinol Uglies’. Using a pea-sized amount, any other day at night time.
Progress won’t happen overnight, but trust me, you will feel incredible when you see and feel the results.
Stick to the same routine and products for the ‘Retinol Uglies’ period.
Whenever the skin feel sore and uncomfortable, I recommend to use Thermal Water Spray generously and wait to dry by itself (do not pat).
I was thinking to do this skin coach thing professionally, if I succeeded with my ‘first client’. I’ll update you next month when my first client hits 8 weeks.
They’re all skincare for sure, not to be mistaken with setting spray. With so many choices out there, do you need all of them? Read on to find out which one is more suitable to your own skin needs.
Face Mist: Their first ingredient on the list might be water, but usually contains additional ingredients like humectant or emollient. It can be used anytime of the day, to refresh your skin and/or makeup. Recommended: Hada Labo Gokujyun Ultimate Moisturizing Face Mist (it contains Sodium Hyaluronate, which is more hydrating than Hyaluronic Acid) Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray (great for maskne as it contains Hypochlorous Acid aka HOCL to attack bacterias and inflammation)
Thermal Water: Some of you called it ‘expensive water’, well…it is. But it’s not an ordinary water inside a can spray. It comes with high minerals which is great if you have dry skin and irritation-prone skin. Recommended: Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water (which has the perfect nozzle that sprays evenly until the last drop) La Roche-Posay Serozinc (thermal water with additional Zinc Sulfate and Sodium Chloride)
Mist Toner: It is what it is, a toner inside a spray bottle. It supposedly be used on clean skin after cleansing or double cleansing, to prepare our skin for the next steps (either serum or moisturizer). Recommended: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydrating Toner Mist (it has the perfect nozzle to spray evenly, and it’s not sticky at all) Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner (if your skin can stand essential oil and fragranced toner)
Use antioxidants. There you have it, thanks for reading this post. Just kidding!
Don’t get me wrong, I do love makeup, but I love my skin more. No makeup will look good on blah skin, so I swear by this jargon: skin first, makeup later.
Trust me, our skin has the ability to glow naturally without any help from highlighter and such. It is up to you how to achieve it. But let me tell you one thing that I feel after hundreds of stay at home days, my skin glows like never before. Because I rarely went out, and if I did I’d wear mask, my skin is sort of free from environmental damages like pollution, sun, smoke and stress.
Here are some of my tried and tested antioxidants products:
Vitamin C, the superhero of antioxidant. If you have sensitive skin, avoid L-Ascorbic Acid, and opt for the less irritated vitamin C, THD Ascorbate (Tetrahexydecyl Ascorbate).
Retinoid, only for the brave (LOL). It’s my HG, and the truest meaning of ‘beauty is pain’. If you dare to purge and face that retinol uglies, for the sake of glowing and healthy skin 8 weeks ahead, you won’t regret it (seriously).
Niacinamide, great if you have blemish prone skin. Just make sure it’s 5% or below to avoid any irritation.
Hyaluronic Acid, which is not only for hydrating, people! It helps to prevent free radical damage and stimulates wound healing.