3 Day Creams that Didn’t Work & Lessons Learned

This independence day weekend, I decided I am going to emancipate myself from the backlog of half-finished reviews taunting me from my drafts folder every time I log into my wordpress account. The issue is a lot of them are for products I’m very indifferent about and I just have nothing interesting to say about them. So instead of giving them their own reviews, I’m dumping them all into one short, sweet, but (hopefully) informative post which you are currently reading. Enjoy!


The Products:

centellaca 1.jpg

W. Lab Centellaca Reset Cream

Where does it go in my routine?
Last step before sunscreen.

Size and Price
100ml for $16.06 on Koreadepart. $30 on NY based SokoShop (haven’t shopped with them but I’ve seen them on Instagram).

Packaging
Heavy, translucent glass bottle. Very luxurious feeling.

Fragrance, Color, and Texture
Clear colored, gel-like texture with a generic-ish cologne like scent. I want to say it’s similar (but not as strong) as the Missha cell repair snail cream, but I could easily be misremembering.

centellaca 3 swatch

What’s in it? 
70% centella asiatica extract (you can read more about centella asiatica here), niacinamide, sea buckthorn fruit extract, evening primrose oil, phytosqualane, and various other extracts and oils. Full ingredients are here. Cetearyl  Alcohol (2/2) and Evening Primrose Oil (2/2) are identified as acne triggers and irritants and Butylene Glycol (1) is identified as an acne trigger.

Why I bought it 
This contains centella asiatica which is supposed to be an excellent healing/soothing ingredient. I bought this a few months back when my skin was chronically irritated.

What I didn’t like
As a cream, it’s not substantial enough for my dry skin. At best, I would describe this as a scented aloe gel with a more silicone-y finish. I don’t mind silicones at all when they are used appropriately (i.e. they keep my skin moisturized), but in this case they leave a tacky finish on my skin and not much in terms of hydration or moisture. I wouldn’t bother trying this unless you have oily or combo skin. I also don’t love the scent and did not notice any skin-soothing or anti-inflammatory effects.

What I use instead
Swanicoco Fermentation Snail Care Emulsion. It’s full of licorice, fermented ingredients, and even has some snail mucin. I find it to be super soothing on my skin and, although not hydrating enough to use on its own, more hydrating than the centellaca repair cream, and has a silky, clean finish instead of a silicon one.


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A.True Spring Green Tea Calming Cream

Where does it go in my routine?
Last step before sunscreen.

Size and Price
80g. Currently I don’t see it available anywhere that ships to the US, not even at Cupidrop, which is the go-to vendor for A.True stateside. Cupidrop has this now for $29. It is available in Korea for 27000KRW so if you really wanted it you could us a forwarding service like Avecko, Koreanbuddy, or BoyahShop.

Packaging
Plastic jar. It feels a little flimsy given the price range of A.True’s products, but they may or may not be using recycled plastic and cardboard.

Fragrance, Color, and Texture
Clear colored, gel-like texture, not dissimilar to the W.Lab Centellaca Reset Cream (in case you haven’t caught on gel-creams are not my jam). I was hoping this smelled like green tea, and there is a hint of tea, but the fragrance is mostly perfume, which I’m not so fond of.

FullSizeRender (5)

What’s in it?
71% black tea & sencha (allegedly. Ingredient list shows camellia sinensis leaf water and camellia sinensis leaf extract), niacinamide, glutathione. Full ingredients are here. Cosdna identifies butylene glycol (1), dimethicone (1), cetearyl alcohol (2), PEG-100 stearate (1), and glyceryl stearate SE (3) as acne triggers and cetearyl alcohol (2) and glyceryl stearate SE (2) as potential irritants. 

Why I bought it 
I did not buy this. It was provided for me to review on Instagram by 0.8Liter. I did, however, ask to review this because I like tea and I liked the other A.True product I tried before this so I wanted to try this.

What I didn’t like
This feels soothing going on, especially in summer, but all moisture and hydration from this cream disappear within minutes. Again, it’s not suitable for my super dry skin. It also does not smell like tea in the way I was hoping.

What I use instead
Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence (unless I’m allowed to pick the Swanicoco Fermentation Snail Care Emulsion again?). It’s got 60% artichoke extract in place of the 71% black tea, and will pack more hydrating than this, thanks to its inclusion of ceramides and cholesterol, while still being very light.


Blossom Jeju Camellia Soombi Day Cream

Where does it go in my routine?
Last step before sunscreen.

Size and Price
50g for $70. I bought this from Glow Recipe during the Thanksgiving (or maybe Xmas) sale last year for $56. Get $5 off your first order at Glow Recipe with this link.

Packaging
Heavy, glass bottle. It’s heavy, feels nice, and looks like the kind of product I’d gift my mom if she didn’t insist on only using French products.

Fragrance, Color, and Texture
This is a dense but silky, off-white cream that smells beautifully like jasmine. It is every bit as lovely as you would expect it to be although I definitely would not describe it as “feather-light” as the marketing materials claim.


What’s in it?
Camellia Japonica Flower Water, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Mango Seed Butter, Shea Butter, Squalane, a bunch of other oils and extracts. Full ingredients are here. Cosdna identifies olive oil (2), squalane (1), tocopherol (2), soybean oil (3), and coconut oil (4) as acne triggers and tocopherol (2) and coconut oil (1) as potential irritants. 

Why I bought it 
I had previously purchased the Blossom Jeju Camellia Soombi Essence Oil and fell in love with its scent. Since I have dry skin, the 24 hour hydration claim really appealed to me.

What I didn’t like
When I apply this cream anywhere else on my body, like my arm, it feels absolutely lovely. It leaves my skin hydrated and soft. On my face, however, it leaves this unpleasant tacky finish and feels like it is suffocating my skin. I’ve tried getting around this by applying on wet skin, mixing with oils, only applying the tiniest amount, and/or even misting like crazy afterwards, but so far no dice. As a result, it’s impossible for me to use this cream during the day, and when I use it at night, I don’t enjoy it all that much. It does contain shea butter, which I’ve had similar issues with in the past, but it’s so far down the ingredient list I didn’t think it would be an issue.

What I use instead
Aromatica Calendula Juicy Cream! Full review is long overdue coming soon but it is a no frills, super basic, super functional cream that I’ve been relying on a lot this past spring and summer!


Lessons Learned:

I’ve been trying to cut down on my skincare stash for a couple of months now (shout out to /r/AsianBeautyRehab which has been a really good resource!) after realizing I have too many products that I don’t even like using. I’ve been trying to get better at keeping track of what ingredients and/or characteristics of products I don’t like so I can avoid similar situations in the future. From these three products, here are the lessons I learned from each:

  • Gel-creams do not work for my skin
  • Gel-creams do not work for my skin
  • Remember to use return policies

Phew! It feels good to get this review wrapped up so I can be done with these products! Are there any products or types of products that haven’t worked for you? I’d love to hear about them!


Disclaimer: The A.True cream was provided to me for review purposes. The other products reviewed were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate links. Purchasing an item through an affiliate link does not add any cost to the customer but does help support this site’s upkeep.

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7 thoughts on “3 Day Creams that Didn’t Work & Lessons Learned

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