This is not my first purchase, I repurchase because it’s a very simple toner with super minimal ingredients. It’s not viscous, doesn’t have fragrance in it and I use this for CSM. Though it’ll be great if they change the sprayer, because it doesn’t spray evenly. Price IDR 156K for 200ml
Some people can’t tolerate Hyaluronic Acid, maybe because I believe it works better on hot and humid climate. Fortunately, HA is safe on my oily and fungal-acne prone skin. I wish that I found these two sooner, as both works well together for optimal skin hydration. Price IDR 282K for 40ml (ampoule) IDR 225K for 150ml (toner)
Not sure what I did, I didn’t over exfoliate, I didn’t try new products, I didn’t change my skincare routine. It certainly not caused by weather change, since I didn’t go on my winter holiday (thanks Covid).
Maybe, it was just one of those hyper-sensitive days? My skin was extra dry, dehydrated, sting, burn, red, basically all the bad things that can happen to one’s skin. It even went to my neck, and it was hard even to open my lips.
So how do I make my skin back in tact, in just 4 days? Here are my new healing routine (and I’m going to stick by it for awhile until it fully recovered)
HEALING AM ROUTINE
Cleanse with cool water and gentle facial cleanser
CSM with DIY’s Oat Water (soak cotton pads with it and leave them on for 10 mins max)
Apply moisturizer with soothing purpose (aloe, propolis and allantoin are my go-to)
HEALING PM ROUTINE
Cleanse with cool water and gentle facial cleanser (again with VANICREAM GENTLE FACIAL CLEANSER)
Spread Hyaluronic Acid Serum evenly
Spray with Thermal Water, and while still damp, go to next step
It’s not slugging method, apply petrolatum jelly as thin as you can on damp skin (and only on problematic areas).
Do not exfoliate at this damaging period. Also, watch out for hidden ingredients in your current skincare routine that might have exfoliating properties.
Don’t use any face oils, occlusive like petrolatum is better to prevent TransEpidermal Water Loss.
Never apply petrolatum jelly on active and fungal acne.
Using petrolatum jelly on face is not pleasurable. Use it at night in a full AC room is preferable.
Avoid any alcohol and actives.
Avoid trying new skincare products at this time.
Avoid sunscreen until fully healed, please stay indoor when you can.
Stay at home until your skin healed, because wearing mask and makeup will aggravate the damaging condition.
During this pandemic, I have to admit that I rarely wear makeup, might as well any lipsticks. But lately, the condition in Jakarta, Indonesia was getting a lot better, so I attended some offline meetings and meet-ups already (which required one, obviously).
And I feel you, as it’s already hard enough to keep our makeup not melting, it is not easy to find lip color that won’t transfer on the mask. If there’s any, some of them are super matte, made my lips dry and lip lines more noticeable. I believe, the appearance of lips lines will make us look older.
Enter Lip Gel by Lizzie Parra or as we locals said BLP Lip Gel. I believe this was my first time ever trying one, and I’m glad I did. I believe this specific gel texture was introduced by the Koreans, as we see those high shine effect on idols’ lips all the time. Personally, I think it looks like applying nail gel on lips. But, these are quite different. It claims to be a gloss-meets-stain tint that feels extra comfortable on the lips.
I might say, it does feel comfortable, not sticky at all. It contains Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E, that won’t leave our lips dry, with a smoothing effect to lessen the appearance of lips lines. For those who love high shine effect on their lips a la Korean’s Idols, you’d definitely enjoy these. Personally, I love to blot with a piece of tissue, so it only left a natural stain to minimize transfer on the mask.
Do not worry that they will be hard to wash off. Some of us might swatch it on the back of our hand, and found it hard to erase, because of the stains. But our skin on the hand is different from our lips. It is easy to take them off, as long as you are using a specific eye and lip makeup remover (I recommend using the bi-phased ones).
Priced at IDR 109K each, they are also vegan, paraben and cruelty-free. They can also be use as eyeshadow or blush if you wish.
Like a dark cherry. It looks darker in person than in this picture, though.
I think this shade suits me the most. I love that it helps to brighten the whole complexion.
It reminds me of poppy flowers. Super if you love red lips.
When pumpkins meet oranges. Great if you dig coral’s shade.
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.