With the amount of empty boxes and containers that have been pilling up on my dresser, you’d think I’m a hoarder. There’s something along the line of 31 boxes, ghost of skincare past, gathering dust in my room. As I look at these former vessels, I have feelings of joy, disgust, and utter indifference. I decided to run through my empties, or almost empties, and give some impressions and thoughts!
The reason I started my hoarding habit was because I wanted to remember what I bought for future blog post, but now my dresser just looks like the skin care version of a frat guy’s kitchen who collects empty bottles of alcohol (although I’d like to think this version is slightlyyyyy more classy). So here we go! I have them divided into categories if you feel the need to skip around.
Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Balm: I’ve been using this for forever. Its on oil cleanser in solid form that is used to break apart BB cream and sunscreen. It starts off as a soft solid with hardly any scent, and it melts down instantly when rubbed into the face. I love taking my time to give myself a mini face massage before adding water to emulsify and rinse off. I’m on my second container.
Atomy Evening Care Foam Cleanser: This cleanser is super thick, super rich, and the bubbles feel soft and luxurious. After a few nights of using this cleanser I noticed that it was dying out my skin – something i can’t afford with my already dry as fuck skin. I have put this guy on the sidelines for emergency purposes only.
Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser: This cleanser was an impulse buy during the summer months, where the humid climate and my oily spots were just too much. It’s ok in the fact that it absorbed my oils and felt refreshing, but its incredibly overpriced for a meh cleanser. Plus, the menthol tingle is a little too strong and starts to feel on the verge of burning pretty fast. Nothing about this product justifies it being almost $40.
CosRX Good Morning Gel Cleanser: This cleanser has been ideal for me because it’s low pH, which gives a gentle cleanse without stripping the skin bare of natural oils. It has the slight scent of tea tree, and foams up just enough to feel like I’m doing something. The bottle is kind of a pain though, as it will 100% of the time pop open in a bag and spill everywhere.
Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule: A lightly hydrating product that contains propolis to help bless the face with a ~glow~. As time passes, I feel like I’m not reaching for this product as much. While it does give a glow, I feel like my current routine has made the use of this product redundant. That being said, I do love using this to sheer out foundation and BB creams.
CosRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid: A BHA exfoliant that I recently wrote about in a comparison post, this BHA did not left me wanting a little more out of it. HOWEVER, I am willing to give it another try now that I am using retinoids and my current BHA is currently a little too drying for me.
CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence: Many people say that this is a product that they could not live without, and now I am one of those people. My skin is so much more soft, supple, dewy, and the moisture from this product is weightless. My third bottle is on the way.
Skin&Lab Red Serum: This product has helped to keep my skin moisturized, and I’m always down for an anti-oxidant serum. Only drawback is that it felt like it left an ever-so-slight film over my face, so I’d only use it at night. Plus side: using it at night left my face looking super radiant the next morning.
The Ordinary 1% Retinol: This is my first retinoid, and I’m definitely going through the phases of the typical side effects: dry skin and flaking, but luckily not much irritation. Sheet masks and creams with ceramides have been helping, plus my skin seems to be acclimating as of recent. So far so good. Will continue monitoring progress.
The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide and 1% Zinc: I’m going to be honest, I’m not 100% sure this is doing much for me. While I know niacinamide is a great ingredient for skin, this serum has been a little on the meh side. It spreads across the face easily and absorbs with little effort, making it pleasant to use. Kind of indifferent about this one.
The Ordinary Buffet, peptide serum: Same texture as the zinc and niacinamide serum, making it cosmetically elegant to use. As a wrinkle reducing serum, I’m planning on giving a little more time to see results. At the moment I’m focusing attention around my smile lines and the fine lines around my eyes. The downside of having a full face smile is all the face wrinkles involved 😐
Leave On/Wash Off Masks
Tosowoong Sheet Mask: They’re great and are hands down my favorite, cheap, sheet mask. The green tea flavor is super refreshing and the snail mask leaves my skin soft and relieved from irritation. Both of these masks have helped tons with fighting against retinol dryness while also plumping out my skin and giving me a super radiant glow. The propolis flavor, which is not shown here, is also great for reducing irritation and giving a deep drink of hydration.
Bonvivant Botanical Mask Packs: Another cheap mask set that I enjoy, especially the lotus and olive masks. They come in either a watery essence or a cream, which I really liked during the winter months when my skin needed a little extra moisture. They’re kind of basic, but sometimes you just need the basics.
Petitfee Black Pearl & Gold Hydrogel Eye Masks: I’m on the fence about these. They do provide moisture, but I’m not sure they do much else for me. They function as a cold compress so they help reduce my morning puffiness, which is nice cause I wake up looking like a balloon. I only really use these when I need a pick me up, and even then I feel like it’s more a mental feeling of being refreshed than a physical one.
Goodal Deep Clean Pore Glacial Clay: There are a lot of good things going on here. The mask is thick, doesn’t get super dry, and has argan oil to help condition the skin as the mask absorbs oil. After rinsing off, my skin feels super smooth and bright. I don’t like that there are little bits in the clay, which are meant to exfoliate. They’re not very fine and I feel like they scratch my skin. You win some, you lose some.
I would like to preface this by saying that I like mineral based sunscreens because they give a nice finish and because I live in a humid subtropic climate where I need a sweat resistant sunscreen. On the other side of that coin, I don’t have the lightest skin tone out there, so I’m on a mission to find a mineral based sunscreen that isn’t white cast heavy.
CeraVe Sunscreen SPF 50: I bought this because it said it was “invisible zinc.” Nope. Like chalk on my face. It has been delegated to arm and neck only. Will not rebuy.
Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunscreen: For some reason its very hard to find mineral based sunscreens in the western market. When it is mineral based, it has a scammy market claim about being “pure” and “free”??? This sunscreen dries me out so bad, I come home with flakes all over my face when I use it. White cast is also pretty intense and there is no chance of blending it out because it has the consistency of chalk. This only goes on my neck, even then its a pain to work through this bottle.
Innisfree Eco Safety Perfect Sunblock SPF 50: This was the first sunscreen I actually enjoyed using. It gave me a primer like finish that smoothed out my texture and pores, without leave a heavy white cast. Recently it has been drying out my face, something I suspect will not be an issue once summer starts back up. Unfortunately, this formulation has been discontinued.
Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream PF 50: Out of Innisfree’s sunscreen reformulations, I feel like this is the equivalent of the Eco Safety Perfect Sunblock It still gives me a smooth primer finish, but it does leave a slight white cast that I can usually get to blend in. I’m pretty happy with this replacement, but I know if I was just a single shade darker this would not be an option because of the heavier white cast.
Tony Moly My Sunny Sun Cream: This is creamy, blends in, and smells horrible. Even when used on my arms, the scent drifts upward and make me nauseated. Even after washing it off, I feel light headed all day. The scent isn’t good, it just smells like… Sunscreen. I need to just go ahead and toss this tube.