Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Review : Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

The latest addition to my skincare routine is Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop, an anti-oxidant serum containing 5% Ascorbic Acid.
*Picture borrowed from Wishtrend. Wishtrend do not sponsor me obv.*

The Benefits of Vitamin C in Skincare
-Improves skin texture 
-Helps to reduce hyperpigmentation and discolouration
-Antioxidant serum + sun cream = better protection against photoageing. Sun creams do not block all of the free radicals generated by UV exposure. They work by absorbing or reflecting UV radiation while Vitamin C neutralises free radicals. In that sense Vitamin C enhances the effect of suncream. TLDR: 'Anti-Ageing'.
One of the most popular Vitamin C serums among K-Beauty enthusiasts is C20 which contains 20% Ascorbic Acid. Users' before & after photos look promising but the high alcohol content is a total put-off, not to mention the problems with stability and oxidation... Across the globe, Skinceuticals sets the gold standard for Vitamin C serums. The star product in Skinceuticals’ catalogue of Vitamin C serums is C E Ferulic, though my personal fave is Serum 10 which contains 10% L-Ascorbic Acid. It's amazing but costs the equivalent of $115 in the UK - enough for a basic Korean skincare routine!

Packaging, Texture and Application
Packaging: standard dropper bottle. It's easy to control the amount dispensed. I use 2-3 drops so it'll last ages (*sigh*). The bottle is made from plastic and seems durable.
The formula is quite oily but doesn't feel greasy or leave a sheen. It's colourless so theres no need to worry about it turning you orange. I only use Vita-C in the morning and after applying I have breakfast, water the plants or do something to give 10-15 minutes before starting the the rest of my routine. I use products with niacinamide and the two shouldn't be mixed.

Water, Propylene Glycol, Ascorbic Acid (5%), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Centella Asiatica Extract, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Polysorbate 60, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Chaenomeles Sinensis Fruit Extract, Orange Oil Brazil, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Camellia Sinensis Callus Culture Extract, Larix Europaea Wood Extract, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Rheum Palmatum Root Extract, Asarum Sieboldi Root Extract, Quercus Mongolia Leaf Extract, Persicaria Hydropiper Extract, Corydalis Turtschaninovii Root Extract, Coptis Chinensis Root Extract, Magnolia Obovata Bark Extract, Lysine HCL, Proline, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Acetyl Methionine, Theanine, Lecithin, Acetyl Glutamine,SH-Olgopeptide-1, SH-Olgopeptide-2, SH-Polypeptide-1, SH-Polypeptide-9, SH-Polypeptide-11, Bacillus/Soybean/Folic Acid Ferment Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol

Vitamin C:
In my excitement to re-introduce a Vitamin C serum to my routine, I bought this when it launched on Wishtrend without knowing what the percentage of Vitamin C was >.< (It's listed now, but was only added after I e-mailed Klairs to ask. D'oh.) Vitamin C is (only?) effective in concentrations of 10-15% or 15-20% (the studies vary), so at 5% you're basically looking at a bottle of water and humectant.

Everything Else (<5%): 
I didn't pay much attention to the stuff listed after Vitamin C since it's all in tiny amounts. I just checked for possible sensitivities.


Before & After, following 6 weeks of use

Please excuse the crap photo quality and ugly face, neither were meant to be seen by Le Internet. Yes my skin looks brighter and the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation has faded a bit, but I wouldn't say that's thanks to this serum. My skin has been improving since I started a K-Beauty routine a few months back. #allhailthesnail   

Overall Impressions
-Didn't make my skin any better but didn't make it any worse. Meh.
-Found use for it as a hydrating serum. But really just meh.

Not something I'd recommend, but if you're really determined to try it it's available on Wishtrend for $23.

-Vitamin C: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic or Serum 10
-Niacinamide to lighten PIH: Mizon Black Snail Cream, Placenta 45 Ampoule, Missha FTE. Niacinamide has worked really well to help fade my PIH.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Review : Etude House Happy Essential Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam

For those not familiar, double cleansing involves using an oil cleanser to remove oil-based impurities (like make-up and suncream) and following up with a water-based cleansing foam or cream to remove water-based impurities. The idea is simple enough but I find foaming cleansers to be quite drying and I struggle with spots so I don't need to send out an invitation for more bacteria to breed there by stripping my face with harsh cleansers.

When I came across this cleanser formulated with "40% moisturisers" I was pretty pleased, thinking it was gentle on the skin and hydrating. I ran the ingredients through cosdna and the analysis didn't look bad. Stearic Acid and Myristic Acid are flagged for acne but I wasn't too concerned since it's a wash off product. Fortunately, this cleanser hasn't given me any problems in terms of acne/breakouts but for something that touts a high percentage of moisturising ingredients, I find it so drying!!

Stearic Acid
Myristic Acid
Potassium Hydroxide
Lauric Acid
Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Sodium Hyaluronate
Glyceryl Stearate
Lauryl Glucoside
Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
PEG-100 Stearate
Disodium EDTA
Sodium Benzoate
Blue 1 (CI 42090)

Moisturising ingredients: Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Sorbitol
Potential acne triggers: Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid
Potential irritants: PEGs, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Alcohol
Free of: Sulfate Detergents (SLS, SLES)

I made a major boo-boo with this cleanser. The Big Boo among boos actually. I did a simple check on cosdna but didn't fully research the ingredients. And I misread the description, thinking it contained 40% Hyaluronic Acid and I didn't notice Alcohol listed in the ingredients. D'Oh. To even think it contained 40% HA was silly because that should have HA near the top of the list (which it isn't) and would also indicate a high percentage of Potassium Hydroxide which is irritating in high concentrations. - Something I would have known had I looked it up on Beautypedia first. Live and learn...

Texture & Smell
Feels creamy and luxurious. Has a pleasant soapy smell.

Doesn't warrant a mention, but my OCD side appreciated the hygienic foil seal.

There's no denying that this cleanser works well. I'd say too well because my skin feels "too clean" (AKA stripped and crying out for help), a telltale sign that the PH level is too high. That or it contains a lot of alcohol. Some people favour the squeaky clean feeling, but I don't relish the idea of messing up my skin's PH level and exposing myself to acne and dehydration.

The Good:
- Cheap ($4)
- A little goes a long way

 The Bad
- Likely to have a high PH = breeding ground for bacteria
- Alcohol. Some people are ok with alcohol in skincare, I say leave it in Gin & Tonics

I'm kind of sad to see this cleanser go to waste but at least it cost less than my toothpaste. Someone please provide me with some recommendations!!