REVIEW: MARY & MAY

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? 

You can purchase Mary & May products, here

PHOTOS & VIDEO BY SHINTA ROSVITA

COMPARISON REVIEW: GALLINÉE FACE VINEGAR & HERITAGE STORE ROSEWATER VINEGAR

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.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA
SCREENSHOTS FROM INCIDECODER

REVIEW: SOLELUNA HYDRATING FACE WASH

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.

VIDEO: SHINTA ROSVITA
SCREENSHOT FROM INCIDECODER

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FACE MIST, THERMAL WATER AND MIST TONER

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)

PHOTO: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: PETER THOMAS ROTH POTENT-C POWER SERUM

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!

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: THANK YOU FARMER BACK TO ICELAND

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. 

CLEANSING WATER

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

CLEANSING FOAM

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

PEELING CREAM 

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

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: SOLELUNA

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.

THE PR PACKAGE

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?

HYDRATING FACE TONER

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

BRIGHTENING FACE SERUM

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

BRIGHTENING DAY CREAM

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

BRIGHTENING BB CREAM

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

PHOTOS & VIDEO: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: GALLINÉE FACE VINEGAR

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.

Price IDR 451K for 200ml (at Sephora Indonesia)

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. 

Yes it is safe for Fungal-Acne

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.

Check out that gunk

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. 

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: KEEP COOL AND SOOTHE TONER

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.

It’s safe for Fungal Acne

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

REVIEW: EAU THERMALE AVÈNE GENTLE CLEANSING FOAM

If you’ve been following my hauls recently, you’d notice that I purchased more cleansing products than treatment. That’s because I finished them quite fast, since I washed my face three times a day. 

Yes, you heard me right. Three times:

  1. in the morning straight after waking up (because I apply retinol at night and it made my skin feel burned somehow after I turned off my Air Conditioner).
  2. later after I exercise under the sun (sweats mixed with bacterias, so better wash off).
  3. and in the evening before sleeping time. 

So, it is obvious that I aim for gentler face cleanser. I love my Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, but I do like to try others. And I stumbled upon this.

This specific SKU is not available yet in Indonesia’s drugstores, therefore I purchased it on marketplace (IDR290K for 150ml). When I searched for information for this in their UK and US website, they don’t seem to carry this product. They only have CLEANSING FOAM sans the GENTLE. So I guess Avène only marketed this Gentle Cleansing Foam in Asia, but still it was made in France.

Disclaimer: on daily basis, I rarely wear makeup anymore since pandemic strikes, so I don’t use this as makeup remover, even though they claim it can also remove makeup. I do appreciate that they formulated this for Asian sensitive skin with only 10 ingredients on the list.

TWO PUMPS ARE SUFFICIENT FOR THE WHOLE FACE, BTW

It is foamy, but it’s soap free, colorant free and fragrance free as well. And of course, it is rich in Avène Thermal Spring Water which clinically proven to be soothing and anti-irritating. I do recommend this if you have sensitive skin that’s easily irritated. It is really that good and gentle.

YES, IT IS FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE

I love the soft cloud-like texture, it feels so luxurious when it glides evenly on skin. It’s also great if you like to dry cleanse: apply on dry skin and massage for about 30 seconds, then add a bit water for another 30 seconds, then rinse them off. Anyway, that’s how I cleanse my face with this wonderful cleansing foam. 

It cleanse my non-makeup face really well and it didn’t leave any slippery feel. Don’t worry of this cleansing foam is going to make your skin tight and dry. It won’t. And as it was developed for sensitive and irritated skin in mine, my skin is loving it so far without any bad reactions. I’d totally purchase it again.

Ingredients (copied from Avene’s Singapore website): 
AVENE THERMAL SPRING WATER (AVENE AQUA), WATER (AQUA), SODIUM COCOAMPHOACETATE, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, CITRIC ACID, DISODIUM EDTA, LACTIC ACID, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM BENZOATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA