You know the drill. Here are the things I emptied and now get to throw away:
Disclaimer: All products purchased by me unless indicated next to the product name. This post does contain 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.
Olivarrier Emollient Extra Comfort Cream – Reviewed Here – Available on RoseRoseShop –
Fragrance free, sensitive skin friendly, but moisturizing power is too low, especially given the richer/thicker texture. Will not repurchase.
Niva Sun Protect Plus SPF 50 PA++++ – Discontinued –
Gorgeous, creamy sunscreen that includes Chemical X Physical UV filters, has no white cast, and is resistant to sweat and sebum. Would repurchase except this is discontinued.
Avene Mineral Mist – Available in various sizes on Amazon and Dermstore –
Pressurized mists are my jam right now. This Avene one is decent, but Evian’s 18oz spray with its ultra fine droplets, perfect misting density, and ideal spray ratio just can’t be beat. Will not repurchase.
Dr Roebuck’s Ultimate Hydrating Serum – PR Gift – Available from Dr Roebuck –
Serums fall into two categories. Those with breadth that do a little of everything and those with depth that do a lot of one very specific things. Not a bad product, but this definitely falls in the former whereas my typical preference is for serums in the latter. Also, a tad too sticky for my taste. Will not repurchase.
Swanicoco Highest Moisturizing Butter Edition Swan Cream – PR Gift – Reviewed Here – Available on Beauty Tap and Koreadepart –
Dense, non greasy cream – like a heavy blanket for skin. Lovely for winter. Maybe repurchase.
Milk Makeup Urban Defense Mask – Reviewed Here – Possibly Discontinued –
This is a cleansing mask with a gel-oil texture that takes off makeup and emulsifies cleanly. I enjoyed using this on my face but also in my hair. Wish the fragrance was more mild (or non existent). Will not repurchase.
NIOD CAIS –
My gateway drug into Copper Peptides, which have been the most impactful ingredient for my skin after retinoids. I no longer purchase Deciem products because of questionable treatment of employees amongst other reasons. Luckily, Skin Biology makes a copper peptide serum that I find to be equally effective as CAIS and is half the cost (NIOD is $3 per ml, Skin Biology Super GHK-Cu is $1.54 per ml).
The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% –
Like all The Ordinary products, the cosmetic elegance of this serum is non-existent. However, my skin seems to respond well to ferulic acid. I no longer purchase Deciem products because of questionable treatment of employees amongst other reasons, but I will be on the hunt for more ferulic acid products to use.
Hada Labo Premium Gyokujyun Lotion – Available on Amazon and Yesstyle –
The OG Hada Labo lotion was the very first Asian beauty product I tried and was a staple in my routine for a long, long time. The premium version is even better. I finished one refill bag and have 3 more in my stash. On my skin, it hydrates and plumps. I also like adding a few drops to hair conditioner which I swear improves hair bounciness and shine. Will repurchase.
Holy Snails Drunken Shark – Other flavors available on Holy Snails –
Great, light weight hydrating step. Will not repurchase this particular flavor, but Spooky Shark is on my wishlist.
Shu Uemura Ultimate8 Cleansing Oil (Travel Size) – Full Size Available on Shu Uemura –
Not my favorite cleansing oil, but a very good cleansing oil nonetheless. I mostly use this for travel (I use the full size bottle to refill) since it takes very little oil to get my face completely clean. Will not repurchase.
Curology – .017% Tretinoin, 4% Azelaic Acid, .25% Zinc Pyrithione – Reviewed Here –
Good old Curology! My prescription has not changed at all in the past 2 years. I still use this about 2-3 times a week to keep my acne in check.
Stratia Liquid Gold – Available on Stratia –
My moisture barrier has been in pretty good shape since eliminating exfoliants from my routine (I can do retinoids or exfoliants, but not both at the same time and I chose retinoids). Even so, Liquid Gold stands out because it feels so nourishing. If my skin feels devoid of water, oil, or just general TLC, I can count of LG to step up and being to fill that void. Despite its creamy texture, I consider it a serum because its functional ingredients are so concentrated. Will repurchase.
Kuramoto Bijin Komeyu Rice Bram Oil – Reviewed Here – Available on Rakuten or Amazon –
I have gone through multiple bottles of this oil. Gorgeous, mid-weight texture that provides richness but also soothes my skin. Have a backup already.
2Sol Bifida Power Ampoule – Available on SweetCorea –
Simply formulated bifida product. Despite similar ingredients this did not give me the elasticity improvements I got from the Swanicoco essence. Will not repurchase
Matsuyama Cleansing Gel – Reviewed here – Available on Amazon Japan, Amazon US, Ebay –
Functional, unscented cleanser with vaseline-like gel-to-oil texture. Maybe repurchase after I use up more of the first cleansers in my stash.
Vichy Mineral 89 – Deluxe Sample – Full Size Available on Target, Dermstore, and Amazon –
Received this as a freebie with a mist order and really liked this! It hydrates like any other hyaluronic acid serum but sinks in so cleanly. I don’t need a bottle now (given I have 3 refills of the Hada Labo Premium lotion) but I might revisit this in summer when being able to sink in cleanly is very important.
Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream – New Version Available on KoreaDepart and SweetCorea –
I consider this the gold standard of moisturizers – the texture is second to none. This has sense be reformulated. Will repurchase when the next cold season rolls around.
Stratia Velvet Cleansing Milk – Available on Stratia –
The gentlest, soothingest second cleanser. Indispensible during winter and/or when my skin acts up. Will repurchase.
Mebika Toner – Reviewed Here – Available on Amazon JP –
Probably the best value ceramide toner out there. Effects are nearly identical to the Matsuyama Light Toner. Might repurchase, especially if the reformulated Matsuyama Light Toner doesn’t stack up.
Pestle & Mortar Superstar – Available on Amazon and Skinstore (get 25% off your first order using code YUN-RGK) –
Effective and non-irritating retinoid housed in the loveliest blend of nourishing face oils. I absolutely love this serum. Will repurchase during winter when my skin requires a gentler retinoid option.
Rafra Balm Orange Green Tea – Limited Edition –
Cleansing balm that smells good enough to eat. Heats up upon contact with skin. This is very effective at removing makeup and sunscreen, but I like to save this to use as a skin treat instead of an everyday cleanser. This is a limited edition flavor but I have backups.
Secret A I Am Watermelon Soothing Gel – Available on HKC Plaza –
This is pretty much watermelon jolly ranchers flavored aloe gel. Will not repurchase.
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 – Deluxe Sample – Full size available on Sephora –
This came with last year’s Sephora Sun Safety Kit. The white cast is tolerable, but this sunscreen literally never dries. Whenever I take a call, it leaves a smear of sunscreen residue on my phone screen. Will not repurchase.
Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++ – Deluxe Sample – Full size Available on Sephora –
Definitely invisible. Feels like a more luxe version of Glossier’s Invisible Shield. I dislike super siliconey/balmy textures, which this has, but that’s a preference thing. Will not repurchase.