As some of you might know, I am on a one year very-low-buy. An over-abundant skincare wardrobe brings some people happiness. Recently, its been giving me anxiety. My goal is to emerge on the other side of this no buy with a carefully curated assortment of skincare products that brings me joy with every single use!
Doing things a bit differently than last time – this isn’t just my springtime routine but the entire inventory of products I have on rotation right now:
Disclaimer: This post features a few items that were provided to me at no cost for PR purposes. All of these items are marked with (PR) in the post below. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains 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.
- Low-buy rules: replacement only
- # of cleansers acquired in 2018 so far: Zero!
SanDaWha Natural Mild Cleansing Oil (PR)
Available on BeautyTap
Lovely cleansing oil with a gentle, floral fragrance that I wasn’t so fond of at first but which grew on me. Rinses cleanly but not at all stripping. Maybe repurchase.
Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil
Available on Shu Uemura.
The most efficient of cleansing oils in my stash. One pump takes everything off, including water resistant eyeliner and mascara. This is a fan favorite, but I find it to be low joy. Will not repurchase.
Muji Sensitive Skin Cleansing Oil – Full Review
Available at Muji stores and online.
My long time favorite cleansing oil. Thicker consistency means less drippiness and mess, very conducive for face massages. Fantastic cleansing power and rinses cleanly – no need for second cleanser if you’re not in the mood. Have gone through many bottles and will probably repurchase forever.
Cotte Face Wash
Available from Cotte. Requires a forwarding service if you’re outside of Japan.
Low pH, foaming cleanser with a hint of sake scent. A tiny bit of cleanser creates a dense, lush cloud of foam. The highest cleansing power second cleanser that my skin can tolerate. Would repurchase except having to go through a shipping service is a bit of a pain.
2Sol Green Enzyme Cleanser – Full Review
Available from Beauty Box Korea and Ebay.
My favorite travel cleanser but also great for non-travel. Low pH, surprisingly gentle, provides the tiniest amount of exfoliation. Will repurchase.
- Low-buy rules: I am allowed to maintain 1 treatment for each need
- # of treatment products acquired in 2018 so far: Four. These are the Skinfood Rice Mask Wash Off, Skin Biology 7% GHK-Cu Accelerant (not shown – additive, not standalone product), Metatron MT Condense C Serum, Curology
SoyBio+ Fermented Lumpoule
Available on Ebay.
General purchase herbal/fermented/botanical serum. In other words, I don’t know what this does but it’s nice enough to keep using. A little bit goes a long way. Will not repurchase.
Metatron MT Condense C Serum (PR)
Available on Ippin
I’m back on the Vit C wagon after being off for a few months. This is a 20% L-Ascorbic Acid serum from Japan that comes in an airless pump bottle. Airless pumps bottles make me happy. Will repurchase.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum
Available on Amazon, Sulwhasoo, and Althea.
You know that glow that stays with you all day from morning workouts? This gives me that with no sweat required. Will repurchase.
Curology – Full Review
Available on Curology.
My prescription hasn’t changed in the past 2-ish years. I use this about 2 times a week to keep breakouts at a minimum and to speed up the recovery of any acne that comes to a head. Will repurchase.
- Low-buy rules: One in, one out
- # of hydrators acquired in 2018 so far: Four – Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner, Acseine Shieldwater AD, Curel Whitening Moisture Care Lotion II, and Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator
Swanicoco 1st Essence (PR) – Full Review
Available on BeautyTap and Koreadepart.
Hydrates and improves skin elasticity. My favorite of the Bifida products I’ve tried, but I prefer galactomyces and saccharomyces to bifida at the end of the day. Will not repurchase.
Hada Labo Premium Gyokujyun Lotion
Available on Amazon and Yesstyle.
I received a decant of this from @hashtag.glow last year and after using for a week, bought 4 refill pouches. Awesome multi-purpose, ultra-hydrating lotion. Will repurchase.
Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner (PR)
Available on Amazon, Ebay, and Wishtrend
Surprised at how much I like this toner. It isn’t as hydrating at the Hada Labo Premium lotion, but it sinks in faster and without any stickiness. Will repurchase, but probably the regular (not unscented) version because the unscented formula ironically has a chemically smell I don’t love.
Acseine Shieldwater AD (PR)
Available on Ippin.
Good, basic hydrating toner. Does not leave any stickiness and does not irritate my eyes. Probably won’t repurchase, but there is a long list of Acseine products I want to try.
Curel Whitening Moisture Lotion II (PR)
Available on Ippin.
This features ascorbyl glucoside and eucalyptus extract, which Kao’s (Curel’s parent company) own research says boosts ceramide production. I’m taking a break from using any ceramide products in my routine to see if this works as an adequate substitute but regardless this is a very nice, unscented, easily absorbed hydrating lotion. Maybe repurchase. Too soon to tell.
- Low-buy rules: 1 in, 1 out
- # of moisturizers acquired in 2018 so far: one – Farmacy Honey Savior Salve
Leaf & Botanics Face Emulsion Sake
Available on Amazon JP and Yesstyle.
Sake is one of my favorite skincare ingredients and Leaf & Botanics/Matsuyama is one of my favorite brands yet I don’t love this emulsion. It’s a bit too thick, takes a bit long to sink in, and isn’t anymore moisturizing than the L&B acai emulsion, which sinks in much faster. Will not repurchase.
Banila Co. Miss Flower & Mr Honey Cream
Discontinued. A few jars are still available on EBay, but at a significant markup.
It’s maybe cruel to talk about how much I love this cream with its honey-apple-pie scent and fancy vaseline texture given that it’s discontinued, but I really do love it. Luckily, I still have one more backup after this jar.
Farmacy Honey Savior All-in-One Skin Repair Salve
Available on Sephora.
A sample of this came in a Sephora order last year and on one fateful night, I decided to give it a try and slathered it mask-like over dry, painful, cracked skin from repeat nose blows in a fit of desperation. The result? Immediate relief! It soothed my skin instantly and my morning my skin looked ok. Will repurchase.
The History of Whoo Han: Honey Ginseng Sleeping Mask
Available on Ebay.
@snails4eva identified this as a functional dupe for the Banila Co MFMH Cream. It doesn’t smell nearly as nice but it does work similarly. Will probably not repurchase but am happy to use up the rest of my tube.
- Low-buy rules: No bulk sunscreen orders
- # of sunscreens acquired in 2018 so far: Three – Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen plus two (Nivea Sun Protect Plus UV + Biore Aqua Rich Watery Gel 2015 formulation gifted by @hashtag.glow)
Nivea Sun Protect Plus UV Milky Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Discontinued. Still available on EBay, but probably not for long.
I’ve used more tubes of this sunscreen than any other sunscreen. Contains both organic and inorganic filters, adequately moisturizing but still dries quickly enough, completely white cast free, and water/sebum resistant to boot. Would repurchase, except it’s discontinued.
Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Spf 50+
Available on Amazon and Skinstore (get 25% off your first order using code YUN-RGK).
Since every single Japanese sunscreen I love ends up getting discontinued, I’ve been on the lookout for every-day American and European sunscreens. This is the latest I’ve been trialing and it’s not terrible. Pros: thin, runny, easy to apply texture, no white cast at all, good filters, works well under makeup. Cons: smells like sunscreen, leaves a balmy film on skin that never quite dries. Maybe repurchase.
Malibu 50SPF Lotion High Protection
Available on Amazon.
My brother bought this in Cancun and it is surprisingly nice! Has a creamy texture but not thick and has a sunscreen smell but a beachy sunscreen smell (as opposed to Replenix’s chemical sunscreen smell). No white cast either. I mostly use this on my body, but it’s passable as a face sunscreen. Will maybe repurchase.