PHOTO & VIDEO BY SHINTA ROSVITA
It’s hard to hold the urge to squeeze blackheads (really!). But there are help, people! Read on.
Thanks to this skincare routine, I’ve managed blackheads on my face, especially on the nose.
Cleanse: Sebamed Clear Face Antibacterial Cleansing Foam. It’s one of my favorite face wash, because it’s also safe for Fungal Acne. In the morning, I use this with a dry-cleansing technique. Apply on dry skin and massage for one whole minute, than left them on for 5 minutes. Rinse them well and pat to dry (personally I never use towel to dry my face).
Exfoliate: there are two ways to exfoliate. One, you can use exfoliating toner. Two, use peeling cream. Because I have sensitive skin, I am very picky of exfo toner, and one that I love currently is Gallinée Face Vinegar. It is made for sensitive skin, eliminating dead skin cells with Apple Cider Vinegar. If you dislike the scent of vinegar, you might try the second option, Thank You Farmer Back To Iceland Peeling Cream. It smells like green herbal, you might enjoy the scent and how it exfoliate gently without no skin irritation. If you have oily skin which are more vulnerable to blackheads, do this exfo step maximal 3 times a week (choose toner only or peeling cream only, not together at the same time).
Treat: Vitacid Tretinoin 0.1% Cream. Retinol is the best way to clear clogged pores and treat blackheads. It’s also an effective ingredient to prevent blackheads because it helps to remove sebum, bacteria and dead cells from the skin. I use this every night (with a pause twice a week to use exfo toner or peeling cream) almost two years already. It made my blackheads popped out effortlessly without having to extract them.
Remember, consistently clean skin is the best way to prevent and clear blackheads, so if you can do all steps accordingly, that’d be great for your skin.
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Let’s get to know the key ingredient in this range: ICELAND MOSS. They grow in the cold northern hemisphere and apparently widely known for its immunity, strengthening and anti-inflammatory effect.
Before we dive in to each product, I deliberately took the pictures of their ingredients list from each of the packaging, as lately I’ve been seeing a lot of beauty brands especially skincare, reformulated their formulas. Therefore, there might be different ingredients lists from older reviews on the net. Please note that these ingredients lists are accurate by the time I did this post. So, please make sure that you are aware of what ingredients normally work for your skin before trying out new products.
There you have it, now let’s get into each product.
If you prefer cleansing water with a moist effect, this is it. It contains 83% of Iceland Moss extract, instead of regular water, with additional natural extracts like Witch Hazel and Peppermint Leaf. It doesn’t leave any tightness, but it has a slight green herbal scent. They claim that this can be use as a no-rinse cleanser, but I still recommend to follow by second cleanser, especially if you have oily and sensitive skin. Always apply with cotton pads, and if you use heavy makeup, press for 5 seconds then gently wipe. By the way, from the whole range, it’s the only product which is safe for Fungal Acne. I also found out that this is great for cleansing makeup brushes too (if you are too lazy to use water and brush soap, this is your go-to, fast drying and it left makeup brushes with great scent).
Price IDR 309K for 270ml
It promises to cleanse and protect skin barrier. With a thick and dense foam, it cleanses with a moisturizing effect. Normal to dry skin type will enjoy this creamy face wash. It contains 22% of Iceland Moss Extract, with no SLS, but it does contain fragrance. Somehow the scent reminds me of matcha/green tea.
Price IDR 189K for 110ml
With a whooping 87% of Iceland Moss extract, this is a great alternative if we want to exfoliate without tightness or dryness. Even though it stated as a cream, the texture is more like a liquid balm. This reminds me of Cure Natural Aqua Gel, the best selling peeling gel from Japan, but this comes in more creamy texture. It felt so satisfying to see the clumping effect it created, perfect for gentle exfoliating purposes.
Price IDR 339K for 150ml
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Believe it or not, cutting your hair professionally in salon can lift up your mood, anyway.
Who doesn’t like to walk out of a hair salon, feeling fabulous (you wish you have your own glam team everyday to style your hair)?
But most of Indonesians believe that if you cut your hair, you throw away bad luck (we called it “BUANG SIAL”). And so do I. How about you?
Did I splurge on my birthday month? I wish, but I did not.
EGO QV FACE OIL FREE MOISTURISER
A gentle moisturiser that contains vitamin B3 and pro-vitamin B5. I believe this is great for day moisturiser as it claims to minimise shine. It contains Glycerin, therefore this act as a humectant. I purchased this on market place, since it’s not available locally here in Indonesia.
Price IDR 280K for 75gr
LA ROCHE-POSAY TOLERIANE SENSITIVE FLUIDE
Yes, another oil-free moisturiser. This one is formulated with a high concentration of prebiotic thermal spring water for a double repair action of the skin barrier. This is not cheap, but it hydrates and moisturize at the same time, because of the humectant (glycerin) and emollient (Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride) ingredients inside this tiny bottle. I also purchased this on market place, since it’s not available yet in Indonesia.
Price IDR 390K for 40ml
EGO QV GENTLE WASH
No pun intended, but I just realized I bought skincare products this month with Glycerin in each ingredients’ list. And the second EGO QV brand that I purchased, but this one is available in our local drugstores (tip: buy when on promo). If only they carry the 1kg ones, I’d buy it in a heartbeat, since I use this for my body.
Price IDR 267,5K for 500gr
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SOLELUNA is a new local skincare brand from Indonesia, just launched on 8/8/2021. Local beauty brands are so in right now (especially in market places), people here seem to put a lot more trust and confidence of using one.
Disclaimer: Yours truly is the mastermind behind the products, yes I’m their freelance product developer. But I’m totally honest about this review. Feel free to DM me on Instagram if you need more information(s).
SOLELUNA Behind The Scenes: when my two lady bosses and me discussed about this startup project, we decided to keep the prices affordable, without sacrificing the formulas for each product. And we also decided to make a no-fuss and simple skincare essentials for all.
Currently, SOLELUNA has four SKU’s: Hydrating Face Toner, Brightening Face Serum, Brightening Day Cream, and Brightening BB Cream. FYI, more products coming up before 2021 ends, so watch this space.
OK, let’s start with the review, shall we?
This is my personal favorite, first: it is fungal-acne safe, and it has minimal ingredients. It only has 8 ingredients on the list, including Zinc PCA and Glycerin. Texture as light and clear as water, I prefer to use this as a mist as I don’t use toner with cotton pad anymore. Instantly cooling, refreshing and hydrates well.
Price IDR 72,6K for 100ml
For Niacinamide fans’ out there, this contains 4% of it, so rejoice. Plus Gluconolactone (it’s a PHA-new generation of AHA), and Zinc PCA, it’ll be a favorite for those who wants to brighten their skin without vitamin C. Texture like a light gel, it absorbs quickly and didn’t leave a sticky feeling. And you’d be glad to know that it layers well with the next step on your skincare routine, because it didn’t clump or got foamy.
Price IDR 110K for 15ml
If you’ve been following me, you’d probably know that I apply three layers of moisturizers, first: water, then humectant and emollient. This cream contains Glycerin as humectant and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride as emollient in one jar. Practical, so I just have to damp my skin with water and apply this, without having to layer. Even though it is called a cream, but the texture is more like a gel-cream and is easy to absorb.
Price IDR 88K for 10gr
It contains Zinc Oxide, a physical sunscreen, but I still recommend you to apply sunscreen on top of this if you go out. Because it’s part skincare and part makeup, it does have Dimethicone, so you’d better cleanse them well when you take them off. Only one shade (brown) is available, but it doesn’t leave my skin look greyish. In fact, it sort of matches itself to my skin tone when applied. It was placed inside an airless pump container, so it might take a few pumps before the formula actually goes out.
Price IDR99K for 15gr
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This exfoliating toner had me at their Prebiotics & Probiotics claims, to support the skin microbiome. And my first ever purchase from this French made brand.
Just a glimpse of this microbiome thing, our skin is home to millions of bacteria, fungi and viruses, invisible life-forms known as the skin microbiome. In order to make our skin healthy, a balanced microbiome is crucial. We need to keep those good bacterias, and banish the unhealthy ones.
Enter Gallinée Face Vinegar. Acts like a toner, it claims to cleansed away those unhealthy bacterias and eliminates dead skin cells, allowing better absorption of good bacteria and other ingredients in the rest of our skincare routine.
Their first active ingredient is called Actibiome, a novel prebiotic that works to calm stressed skin and prevent it from further irritations alongside gentle postbiotic acids that allow the skin’s beneficial bacteria to flourish. The second actives is hibiscus-infused Apple Cider Vinegar, but no worries, it didn’t smell as sour as the real ACV.
Some said, this is a dupe for Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion. I’ve tried it before and I found Gallinée ones is more light (in terms of the formula and scent). I remember I have to dilute P50 with water so it won’t sting my skin, but I apply this face vinegar directly without no stinging at all. I do recommend this if you have sensitive skin like me.
So how do incorporate this exfo toner in my skincare routine? You’d probably know that I don’t use toner everyday since my #skinimalism journey. But I do use Adapalene on daily basis, and it doesn’t exfoliate. A lot of misconception that retinol exfoliates your skin, well….it does not. I apply this exfo toner with cotton pad twice a week (Monday and Thursday), at night time when I don’t use Adapalene. If you are using Retinol like me, I suggest you skip your retinol while using this, because Apple Cider Vinegar is actually a gentle form of AHA. Avoid applying Retinol and AHA together at the same time as it can cause serious irritation. Instead, if you are using this toner, apply hydrating serum afterwards.
Unlike some of the exfo toners that I’ve tried before, this is the only one that didn’t make my skin looks red afterwards. However, don’t expect this toner to act as water (even with the watery texture), it didn’t absorb as fast and it did left a bit tackiness on skin. But, still on comfortable level, and I found that my hydrating serum and moisturizer sit very well after using this toner.
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Due to my skinimalism routine, I do skip toner step these days. So I go straight to actives after face cleanser. But, I do love to mist my face (especially during hot and sweaty days) and if my skin got very irritated due to sunburn or retinoid’s usage, I do CSM with hydrating toner.
This is one of those hydrating toner for such purposes, as I don’t apply toner with cotton pads anymore. The texture looks like water but doesn’t feel like one, once applied. It’s slightly thicker (not viscous though), there’s a slippery feel and it gives a slightly dewy look on skin. As I do have sensitive and easily irritated skin, I do find this toner comfortable and cooling, just like the name stated.
It has 85% bamboo water which is known for skin calming purpose, Low & High Molecular Hyaluronic Acid for hydrating effect and Polyglutamic Acid for absorption and moisture. It’s a slightly acidic toner of pH 5,5 which calms, hydrates and moisturizes at the same time.
If you are experiencing heatwave weather, or all year round summer (like me here in Indonesia), put this inside a spritz bottle, let it cool down inside the fridge (not freezer) and spray it on your face. You can definitely get extra freshness and hydration boost easily, anytime of the day.
Since I already bought this on sale, IDR 112K for 160ml (it’s already available officially in Indonesia), I will finish this one bottle, but I don’t think I’ll repurchase. I don’t enjoy its’ after feel, as I prefer hydrating toner with thin like water consistency. I prefer water mist like Avène, a very straightforward soothing mist with no after feel.
Ingredients (from Style Korean Indonesia’s website):
Bambusa Vulgaris Water (85%), Glycereth-26, Glycerin, Water, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyglutamic Acid, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Forsythia Suspensa Fruit Extract, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Leaf Extract, Thuja Orientalis Extract, Pinus Densiflora Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA
PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA