Every one of us is different, so does our skin. Some might love Hyaluronic Acid as their trustable and effective hydrating ingredient on their skincare, but some might not.

No worries, there are more than one hydrating ingredients on the market, if your skin can’t tolerate Hyaluronic Acid (HA). Currently most popular in Indonesia is Ceramides. Everything with ceramides on it will sell like hotcakes. There are also other hydrating ingredients such as Beta Glucan, Squalane, and Glycerin. 

Thankfully, I am not allergic to HA, and I also live in a country with high humidity in the air (making skin unvulnerable). But vice versa, if you are allergic to HA and live (or traveling) in a colder climate with low humidity, let’s find other options available on the market. Please note that they’re also free from ingredients which might trigger Fungal-Acne (based on incidecoder), since my skin is prone to FA. 

Great texture for oily skin: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
You are definitely missing out if you haven’t tried this. It looks like a gel in the jar, but it gives a satin feel on skin when applied. Glycerin is number two on the ingredient list, making it an awesome hydrator. 

Not available yet in Indonesia: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide
Great for sensitive skin (so safe, even babies can use this!), as it only contains 10 ingredients, with Glycerin as the hero. I can’t wait until this will be widely available on Indonesia’s market. 

Most expensive: Chanel La Solution 10
It has two hydrating ingredients on their top five ingredients, Squalane and Glycerin. Thus the name, it only contains 10 ingredients, making it good for sensitive skin. If you have the budget to splurge, this moisturizer is worth every pump. 

Online favorite: Krave Oat So Simple Water Cream
Also not available in Indonesia, but easily purchased on market place. Less than 10 ingredients, this moisturizer have Squalane as hydrator. This moisturizer melt like water when applied, perfect to use in hot and humid weather. Pictured here is the old packaging that I’ve purchased and emptied already, I believe they renew the label last year.



FYI, I had this on and off relationship with vitamin C serum. It’s not easy to find one that won’t cause breakouts, especially if it contains Ascorbic Acid. But, this comes in the right timing, when I was dealing with Cauter wounds (please scroll down for before-after pics). And I believe the older I get, the harder and slower it is for my skin to heal from any wounds. 

For those who avoid Ascorbic Acid, I do recommend you to try this as dark spots treatment. But if your skin can tolerate Ascorbic Acid, go ahead and use this as an anti-oxidant serum for morning routine. However, one very important thing that you have to remember when you use this serum, make sure you are using gentle facial cleanser and toner with no actives (read the ingredients carefully). It does contain vitamin C and Salicylic Acid already, so it’s best to keep your skin well hydrated pre-this serum. And if your skin can tolerate vitamin C, you can layer this with Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Texture-wise: it is clear, watery with a subtle fresh scent (I believe it comes from White Birch & Peony extracts and Lavender oil from the ingredients’ list, so the scent is definitely not a synthetic fragrance). No worries, it won’t linger around, the scent only last while you’re applying. It glides evenly, it doesn’t clump under makeup and (seriously) works well with other Kiehl’s product:  Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream (try them both and you can thank me later). 

Unlike most vitamin C that will oxidize over time, this serum has a highly stable formula, even though the bottle is clear and exposed to light easily. It didn’t sting or give any warm sensation when applied, and it’s lightweight. This is the type of serum that won’t disappear on skin, you’ll feel it’s there, but it’s not oily nor heavily sticky. If you see my bottle is a limited edition this year, from “Made By Radio”. The only con is it doesn’t have stopper, so use it carefully. I believe because as a brand, Kiehl’s does have a mission to minimize plastic waste.

Please note that you won’t see immediate results, you have to be patient when using it, especially if the dark spots were there for the longest time already, or if you have mature skin. Give it time, using it twice a day as recommended, pair it with hydrating products, and you’ll see the difference. 




If I could simplify this review: this is a simple and basic moisturizer with all the ingredients that your skin need to restore natural barrier, lock in moisture and protect. 

If you do have oily skin like me though, don’t freak out because it comes in a cream texture. It doesn’t feel heavy at all, comfortable on skin and (unlike some reviews out there) I didn’t feel any burning sensation. Remember, skincare products is totally personal. So what worked for me, might not so for you and vice versa.

However, if you are still hesitant to wear cream in the morning, try to apply it only at your night time routine like me. Personally, I use lighter moisturizer at morning time routine. And this is Fungal Acne safe! Check out all the ingredients from incidecoder and the original packagings below.

It does contain dimethicone, but no worries folks, it didn’t clogged my pores. I believe it is used to give the soft texture to the cream, which I do enjoy. For those of you who use retinol, this will be a great companion to protect your skin from dryness and irritation. 

Initially, I bought the small size first, then I decided to purchase the jar with pump version. I love it and my son also believe that this moisturizer didn’t cause him breakouts. Unfortunately, the brand is not officially available yet in Indonesia, so I purchased this online at market place. Hopefully they will be available soon in our local drugstores. 



If you are looking for a skincare makeup or famously known as Hybrid Makeup, which combines the benefits and texture of skincare in your makeup, then this will be the right product to start.

Obviously BB Cream is not something new, but let me tell you why I found this different. While slightly covers imperfections, it also prevents hyperpigmentation with its’ light texture. Dermatology tested on Asian sensitive skin, it’s also non-comedogenic and fragrance free. Even though it does contain some ingredients that are stated as not safe for Fungal Acne, but it didn’t trigger mine. It didn’t cause my skin to break out and act weird, too.

TBH, it does feel more like a tinted sunscreen, not a heavy duty BB Cream with full coverage. So don’t expect this to act as concealer or foundation, it won’t. It won’t cover your pores too, but at least it won’t clog them. You’d totally love this if you love dewy base look. I use this on the weekends, when I want my skin to breathe and free from foundation. I enjoy its’ finish without adding setting powder, my skin look more unified and glowing. 

Applying tips: 

  • a little goes along the way and use cushion puff. Trust me, I tried using beauty blender (wet and dry), and also my fingers, but cushion puff made the application easier and more even. 
  • Remember to tap on the whole face, do not slide. 
  • If you are still using mask during pandemic as I am, use setting spray afterwards, as this might easily transfer. 
  • Unlike most base out there, I do not recommend to layer more than one. It’s not a buildable base to achieve the coverage that you expect. Apply concealer on top instead if you want more coverage. 



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?

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. 

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. 

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. 

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? 

You can purchase Mary & May products, here



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: 

  • Affordable
  • 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
  • Oil-Free 
  • 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.



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.



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)



In one of his YT video, world renowned makeup artist, Hung Vanngo said that he loves to use vitamin C under makeup, because it’s brightening. And obviously I can’t agree more, skin prep before makeup is very very important. Even without makeup on (the way I live these days during pandemic), I love how it create that healthy glow from within (not a fake dewy look, which I hate btw). 

After all these years avoiding vitamin C in my skincare ingredients, because it irritated my sensitive and acne-prone skin, now I am a proud user. Thanks to this Vitamin C serum from Peter Thomas Roth (by the way, this is the second serum that I love from the brand-the first one is the Water Drench one). 

How does it differ from another vitamin C serum that I’ve tried and dislike? Instead of using L-Ascorbic Acid which commonly found in many vitamin C serum, this uses 20% of THD Ascorbate (Tetrahexydecyl Ascorbate). Even though this THD thing is 50 times more powerful than traditional vitamin C, but it is way more stable and with higher pH level, it is less irritating. Yes, this is not an ordinary vitamin C serum, people!

It is safe for Fungal Acne

With additional 3% Vitamin E and 2% Ferulic Acid, it is a booming anti-oxidant that delivers not just brightening purpose, but anti-aging and firming as well. It is great if you are like me, having uneven skin tone problem and texture. 

Milky texture with a slight hint of citrus scent, this is a moisturizing serum. Therefore, it won’t instantly disappeared onto the skin, but it left a moist and healthy looking skin. Which is why this is great for morning use before sunscreen. You do know that vitamin C and sunscreen is a power couple, right? Using vitamin C and sunscreen has been shown to be more effective at neutralizing free radical damage from sun exposure. 

So yes, I have been pairing this serum with my sunscreen. It is currently one of my tried-and-true favorite. Not cheap, though, but worth every single pump.

You can buy it here and get special promo while it lasts. I’d definitely repurchase this!



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