Category Archives: cleansing

PSA/Rant: Do NOT trust Muji Ingredient Stickers

Awhile ago, I posted about the Muji sensitive skin cleansing oil, still one of my favorites. Since then, I have gone through three different bottles of it (in various sizes) and have noticed that there are (at least) two versions. After cross-referencing the English ingredients (provided on stickers applied to the bottles), it seemed that the key difference was that one version contains octyl palmitate, and the other contains ethylhexyl palmitate. The version I preferred (thicker, darker in color, heavier olive oil scent, cleanses & washes off better) had an octyl palmitate sticker and so I made a mental note to check the stickers and buy that one in the future. I also told everyone else (on reddit, instagram, who knows where else) to do the same.

However, when I was at Muji earlier this week, I noticed ALL of the bottles had the same ingredient stickers, which made me realize trusting the stickers was a mistake. UGH.

L to R: 70ML, 200ML, 400ML

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Astalift Cleansing Oil review

Astalift Cleansing Oil Review

For the longest time, all I wanted was a cleansing oil that worked. Something that removed all my makeup, didn’t leave any residue on my face, and didn’t break me out. After a comically long struggle, I found one, and I still think it’s the best no-nonsense, super functional, great value, oil cleanser out there.

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But as they say, if you give your mouse a cookie, she’s going to ask for an even fancier oil cleanser that smells like rose red tea and has the same golden orange color as salmon caviar, which is what this cleanser is.

Product Name
Fujifilm Astalift Cleansing Oil Continue reading

mochitto awadate irazu face wash

Mochitto Mochi Mochi Awadate-Irazu Face Wash Without Bubbling Review

A few years ago, I worked in a building that had a newly open self-serve frozen yogurt shop on its ground floor. One of my coworkers and I figured out quickly that while the yogurt itself was terrible, there were other benefits to be had and so, in the afternoon, two or three times a week, we would make our way to the shop. She would get a cup and fill up with gummy bears and I would do the same but with mochi and cheesecake chunks.

The moral of that story is I freaking LOVE mochi. I love mochi filled with azuki beans, I love mochi covered in teriyaki sauce, I love mochi filled with ice cream, and baked mochi by itself!

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Taken at Mochi Cream in Torrance, aka my main mochi dealer. I’m partial to the Raspberry Mille Feuille flavor, but honestly they are all magical.

So naturally, I had to have this mochi mochi cleanser the minute I laid my eyes on it. Luckily, it’s actually a really good cleanser because of course it is! Mochi would never fail me like that. All hail mochi! Continue reading

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March and April Empties

I haven’t done an empties post since February, so there are lots of items in this post!

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Muji Sensitive Skin Cleansing Oil

Previously reviewed. This is the best cleansing oil I’ve ever used! Continue reading

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Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser Review

For those that don’t know, Glossier is a beauty brand borne out of Emily Weiss’s blog, Into the Gloss, which features close looks at the beauty routines of beautiful people. This blog frustrates me for the same reason it fascinates me – regardless of what I put on my face, I’m never going to look like any of these women. I also suspect if Jourdan Dunn ditched her expensive, luxury routine for her old clean and clear cleanser, she’d still have perfect skin. Essentially, I read Into the Gloss as an aspirational source of distraction (and also because I love Emily), not as an actual source of skincare knowledge.

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And so when Glossier launched their crowd-sourced Milky Jelly Cleanser, I was cautiously excited. On one hand, this method seemed to have identified a lot of problems I also had with cleansers, but on the other hand this wouldn’t be the first cleanser that worked well for seemingly everyone else that wouldn’t work for me. Ultimately, what convinced me to give this cleanser a try was that it was cheaper and easier to get my hands on than the Dr.Ci:Labo one I also had my eyes on. That and it comes with stickers. I LOVE stickers!

AT A GLANCE

The Claim
One face wash to rule them all. This is the ultimate daily face wash: use on dry skin to dissolve away makeup and grime, or on wet skin as you start your day. The pH-balanced, creamy gel formula is made with a blend of five skin conditioners so your face is left feeling healthy and soft, never tight. Its cleansing power comes from the same gentle cleaning agents you’d find in contact lens solution, so it’s tough on impurities and still safe to use on your eyes. You’ll see.

Where does it fit in your routine?
This can be used as either a first cleanser or second cleanser. I tried using this as a first cleanser and didn’t like it, so I use it strictly as a second cleanser.

Size, Price, & Where to Buy
177ml or 6 oz for $18 on Glossier. You can get 20% off your first order by using this link

Packaging
This comes in a translucent plastic bottle with a pump dispenser. I’m about halfway through the bottle and have only had issues with the pump getting stuck once or twice so overall, no complaints here. Also, Glossier gives you stickers that you can use to decorate the bottle!

Fragrance
This cleanser smells like fresh roses. It’s a very natural rose fragrance, but of medium intensity.

Color and texture
This cleanser has a translucent, white, gel-like texture.

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Makeup removed: Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen, a bunch of Tosowoong Makeon liners, Nars Blush in Luster, Memebox X Pony Lipstick in Rose Garden

What’s in it?

  • ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER WATER
    1/4 of the water content in this cleanser is rose water, which doesn’t do much except provide fragrance. If you like the scent of roses though, the rose water is a nice addition.
  • PEG-7 GLYCERYL COCOATE, POLOXAMER 184, POLYSORBATE 80 
    These are the cleansing agents in this cleanser. According to Glossier, Poloxamer 184 is the surfactant used in contact lens solutions, so it is supposed to be gentle. PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate and Polysorbate 80 are both non-ionic surfactants (non-ionic surfactants are, in general, the least likely to irritate skin) and emulsifiers.

Acne Triggers & Irritants
Cosdna identifies Isopropyl Myristate (5) and Benzoic Acid (2) as acne triggers and Isopropyl Myristate (3) and Benzoic Acid (3) as potential irritants.

Full Ingredients
Water/Aqua/Eau, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Propanediol, Isohexadecane, Poloxamer 184, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Xylitylglucoside, Betaine, Allantoin, Glycerin, Panthenol, Symphytum Officinale Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Anhydroxylitol, Polysorbate 80, Xylitol, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Isopropyl Myristate, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide 

PERFORMANCE

I’ve used a lot of cleansers in the past couple of months, and as a general rule have found that the tradeoff for the gentleness my skin needs is effectiveness in cleansing. I have a couple of cleansers in my rotation that suit my skin’s needs, but the problem with all of them is that none of them really feel like they make my skin cleaner. This cleanser breaks that rule.

You see, this cleanser has a lot of friction, both on dry skin and wet skin. On dry skin, I can feel the gel drag along my skin as I apply it. Yes, this cleanser removes makeup but I have to use a lot of product and even when I do, the gel tugs at my skin more than I would like when I’m applying it. After a few attempts, I quickly deemed this to be a second cleanser only, to be used after I’ve used an oil cleanser to remove any makeup and sunscreen.

As a second cleanser, I apply this cleanser on wet skin. The friction is still there, but greatly reduced, and actually becomes a good thing. It may be entirely psychological, but it seems like this cleanser is, well, cleaning! I feel like the gel is mopping up and sucking up any residue on my face that the first cleanser missed. I haven’t experienced this from any other second cleanser before, and I quite enjoy it!

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pH looks like 5 to me, although the second square from the left looks like it might be even lower.

This, along with the rose scent, should make this cleanser a slam-dunk except that it is a tad bit stripping on my skin. This is not a harsh cleanser at all. This cleanser also has the skin-friendly pH of 5.0, and as mentioned, the surfactants used are all non-ionic, which as a group have the lowest irritation potential. However, on some days after using this cleanser, I sometimes notice my skin texture displaying the tell-tale rubberiness of freshly stripped skin. However, my skin is likely on the extreme side of dry, and I doubt normal, oily, or combo skin types would have an issue with this.

The Takeaway

I don’t like using this as a standalone cleanser, but as a second cleanser, it is very, very good. It is sufficiently gentle yet still feels like it’s actually cleaning. Likely suitable for all but the driest skin types.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser


Disclaimer: This product was purchased by me. 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.

acwell cleanser

Acwell Bubble-Free pH Balancing Cleanser Review

I’ve been agonizing over this review for quite some time now because, well, do you guys remember this song?

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When I shop for second cleansers, I have a list of deal breakers and pitfalls, such as having a high pH, producing foam, sodium lauryl sulfate or papain, because my skin doesn’t tolerate those things well. This cleanser avoids every single one of those, and trust me, not many cleansers do. Yet, I still don’t like this cleanser. I mean, what’s my problem right?

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I’m not sure why I swatched this on my bare hand, maybe to showcase the texture? The texture is actually really nice. It’s thin, spreads easily, and can be move around on the skin with very little friction.

At a Glance

ACWELL BUBBLE-FREE PH BALANCING CLEANSER
Size: 150ML
Price: $20 at Memebox, $22 at MelodyCosme, and $24 at ViaSeoul
Packaging: White, plastic pump bottle
Fragrance: Fresh, astringent smell. I think it’s supposed to smell like Yuzu but it reminds me of toothpaste. Not a fan.
Color: Cloudy / sheer
Texture: Soft gel
pH: Claims to be 5.5. My pH strips test closer to 5.0.

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INGREDIENTS
Acne Triggers & Irritants
: Triethanolamine (2) flagged as an acne trigger
Full IngredientsPurified Water, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethanol, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel Extract), Dehydroacetic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Glycyrrhiz Glbra (Licorice Root Extract), Paeonia Lactiflora Bark / Sap Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Extract, Cimicifuga Dahurica Root Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Cimicifuga Simplex Root Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Salicylic Acid, Farnesyl Acetate, Farnesol, Panthenyl Triacetate, Fragrance

Performance

This cleanser can be used as both a first cleanser, by applying to dry skin, and second cleanser, by applying to wet skin.

What’s good about it is that it is effective. As a first cleanser, it will take off pretty much all of your makeup and sunscreen. The texture has a lot of slip, so you can work it into and around your skin with very little physical tugging. Also, one of the reasons I was so keen on trying this Acwell bubble free cleanser is because it’s been reported on more than one occasion to delodge grits from congested pores. I’ve not been able to replicate this effect (but I’ve never really been able to extract grits because my skin is stubborn like that), but it contains salicylic acid (a oil-soluble chemical exfoliant) and feels very deeply cleansing, so I don’t doubt it’s skin decongesting powers.

Even as a second cleanser, I feel like my skin gets a thorough cleaning. If my skin were able to handle this cleanser better, it would be exactly the kind of cleanser I would want to use after hitting the gym or for hot, sweaty summer months.

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Let’s give the swatching thing another try! I have Kevyn Aucoin foundation, Lioele and Tosowoong eye liners, Innisfree concealer, and Memebox X Pony lipstick on my hand. The cleanser takes everything off, but as you can see leaves my skin a little reddened.

Unfortunately, this cleanser is unexpectedly harsh. It’s weird, because the cleanser is not drying – my skin does not feel tight after using it – but it is nonetheless stripping. After use, my skin feels raw and rubbery, as if I’ve been vigorously scrubbing at it. Also, depending on how long I’ve had the cleanser on my face, it makes my skin noticeably redder. In the pictures above, you can even see the reddening effect on my hand from leaving the cleanser on for too long.

The suspected culprits? Ethanol and/or triethanolamine. My skin actually tolerates alcohol pretty well – most of the sunscreens I use contain it- but during cleansing, the skin is at a particularly vulnerable state, and at the 4th ingredient this cleanser likely contains a generous amount of ethanol. Triethanolamine, on the other hand, is a compound that could function as an emulsifier, pH adjuster (triethanolamine has a high pH), and/or surfactant.

The Takeaway

This is probably a perfectly good cleanser for most skin types. Unfortunately, my skin is either too dry or too sensitive to use this.

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Disclaimer: This product was purchased by me. 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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Muji Sensitive Skin Cleansing Oil

I used to live with a girl who was manically obsessed with cleansiness and organization and who, following a trip to Italy, came back with a suitcase full of not only cashmere tights and Schoko-Bons, but also pens, containers, and storage tools she had purchased from a “Japanese, brand-less store” called Muji. This was my first introduction to Muji, a few years before Muji opened their first US flagship store in SF, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

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Muji is what I want to be when I grow up. I’m totally convinced that by buying their functional yet minimalist goodies, I will somehow turn into someone who has all her shit together in the most tasteful manner. Yet, it’s taken me years to finally give their skincare line I try. I guess because my skin is so problematic, I was worried Muji’s products would prove ill-suited for my skin, and I’d have to face the fact that Muji is less perfect than I had built it up to be in my head.

A few months ago, I spotted this cleansing oil while shopping for furniture, considered how unhappy I was with the cleanser I was then using, and figured why not? The rest is, as they say, history.

At a Glance

MUJI OIL CLEANSING (SENSITIVE SKIN SERIES)
Size: 200ML, but also available in travel size (50ml) and extra large (400ml)
Price: $15.50 at Muji stores and online.
Packaging: Transparent, plastic pump bottle
Fragrance: Smells like olive oil
Color: Pale yellow
Texture: Thick, viscous oil

IMG_0749INGREDIENTS
UPDATE: There are multiple versions of the sensitive skin cleansing oil and Muji makes it extremely difficult and confusing to figure out which is which. Read more here.
Acne Triggers & Irritants
: Olive oil (2), Octyl Palmitate (4), Sorbitan Oleate (3), Tocopherol (2), and Butylene Glycol (1) flagged as acne triggers; Octyl Palmitate (1) and Tocopherol (2) are potential irritants
Full Ingredients: Olive Oil, Octyl Palmitate, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polysorbate, Sorbitan Oleate, Water, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Glycosyl Trehalose, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-51, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Purslane (Portulaca Olearcea) Extract

Ingredients Overview

Somewhat unfortunately, this cleansing oil is a great example of how ingredients are only one variable in how well (or poorly) a product performs. At first glance, there are two major issues with the ingredients of this oil.

First, this cleansing oil contains quite a few acne triggers as identified by cosdna. Secondly, the main ingredient is olive oil, which despite the fact that it is all natural and edible, has somewhat of a challenged reputation in skincare. In particular, this study comparing the topical effects of olive oil and sunflower oil demonstrate that 4 weeks of applying olive oil topically caused a significant reduction in stratum corneum integrity and induced mild erythema in volunteers with and without a history of atopic dermatitis.

And so, at first glance, we seem to have an oil that may cause/exacerbate acne and/or damage skin’s natural barrier. Yet, as someone with super dry, acneic, easily inflammed, and occassionally sensitive skin, I have not experienced any issues with this oil on either the acne or irritation front. I think there are two important thing to keep in mind when looking over these ingredients: Cosdna is NOT a perfect guide – I think I’ve mentioned before that my two main acne triggers both have a rating of 0 – and also in cleansers the effects of constituent ingredients are diminished because the product does not stay on your skin for long enough to do much of anything. If you have very acne-prone skin (and even if you don’t because there’s no telling what your skin might react to), patch test thoroughly and introduce this into your routine carefully. But as a whole, I think this is a fantastic oil, despite its ingredients.

Performance

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Pic 1: hand with foundation, 2 types of eyeliner, lip crayon, and a bunch of eyeshadows. Pic 2: hand with makeup and a few drops of cleansing oil. Pic 3: oil cleansing has dissolved all makeup except a bit of eyeliner. Pic 4: hand after oil has been rinsed off. Notice the trace amounts of eyeliner from pic 3 has fully come off.

All I want from oil cleansers is for them to remove makeup thoroughly and rinse off cleanly without doing something bad to my skin, which sounds simple enough, right? The five cleansing oils I’ve tried prior to this one would either cause my skin to breakout, not remove makeup fully, leave behind cleanser residue after rinsing, or dry my skin out. By the time I had gotten around to trying this oil, my expectations for oil cleansers were basically nonexistent – if it didn’t break me out, I could live with it.

Happily, the Muji Gods are merciful and kind! This oil not only checks all of my requirements, but exceeds them!

Makeup comes off with remarkable ease. I don’t wear eyeliner frequently, but when I do I require one that can withstand my constant eye rubbing, which means they tend to be difficult to remove. The Muji oil can get all my eyeliner off with the gentlest of rubs, no tugging required!

Texturally, this oil does not feel like any other cleansing oil I’ve tried. It is thick and behaves and feels almost as a thick gel might behave. If you frequently struggle with oil dripping on your floors, running into your eyes, or just overall not staying in place, you must try this oil. It’s not so thick that it’s hard to apply – I actually use less of this oil than I do with most cleansing oils I’ve used if that is any indication – but once you’ve spread it around your face, it stays put pretty well.

Not only does this oil washes off fully, without leaving a trace of residue, and does so in such a lovely manner. Upon contact with water, this oil seems to BLOOM, becoming a bit thicker and creamier at first before giving way to a thinner milky, liquid texture. The whole experience of cleansing with this oil, from beginning to end, feels very luxurious!

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The area of the (gross looking) oil X makeup mixture that is whitish is where it has come in contact with water. As mentioned, this oil turns milky when it emulsifies.

My only complaint with this oil is that it smells a bit like olive oil. I don’t mind the smell, but I also don’t love it, and I can’t help feeling this oil deserves to smell as remarkable as it performs. Other than this, this oil would be as close to reaching holy grail status as anything else I’ve ever tried. If you’ve read my blog a lot, you may have noticed I never use the phrase Holy Grail because to me, something labelled as such needs to be so perfect and impossible to improve upon that I declare my undying loyalty to it. I’m not quite there with this oil. There are two other cleansing oils I have my eye on before I’m willing to settle on this category, but it’s very, very close to that point.

The Takeaway

I love this oil. It’s a easy and pleasant to use cleansing oil that does everything a cleansing oil should.

Benton Honest TT Mist (3)


Disclaimer: Product purchased by me. No affiliate links are used.

Re:cipe Marine Mineral Cleansing Fluid Review

Re:cipe Marine Mineral Cleansing Fluid Review

This is the Ryan Reynolds of cleansing oils, ridiculously good looking but not what you would cast for a movie requiring more acting talent than the frat boy version of Freaky Friday. I wanted really, really badly to be a fan but I’m not. If you want to see some pretty(ish – my photograph skills are questionable at best) pictures though, keep scrolling!

Re:cipe Marine Mineral Cleansing Fluid Review

Packaging and Appearance

If it were up to me, this cleansing oil would have come in a lava lamp, complete with a few blobs of wax, so I could plug it in and watch this sparkle up and down all day. Instead, this comes in a very functional pump bottle, which has its merits too, I guess.

Recipe Cleansing Oil Review

Trying to photograph the sparkliness of this oil is so hard. 😦

The oil is a beautiful Spanish Viridian color. It reminds me of peacock feathers and is full of cosmic glitter. The photos don’t do this oil any justice at all.

Performance

Continue reading

rohto lycée eye wash

What do Japanese Eyewashes Do Anyways? Ft. Rohto Lycée Eye Wash

As a former swimmer, contact lens wearer, and all around clumsy person, there’s a lot of weird things that have made their way into my eyes. Despite this, I’ve spent very little time and effort dedicated to their health and maintenance. Recently, I learned of Japanese eye washes and immediately wanted to try them out! What are these mysterious eye-rinse liquids and what do they do? I picked up a bottle and set out to find out!

rohto lycée eye wash

There seem to be two brands that dominate the Japanese eye wash market: Rohto, which makes the Lycée Eye Wash, and Kobayashi, who makes the Eyebo Eye Wash. Between the two, I choose Lycée because I’ve used their eye drops before and they are awesome – intensely cooling and refreshing! Also, the bottle is super pink and I like pink things.

Performance

lycee rohto eye washThis eye wash is very simple to use. Do not use this eye wash until after you have removed your contacts, if you wear contacts. You fill the rubber cup that is provided with the wash up to the line indicated, hold the cup up to your eye, lift your head to better submerge your eye in the eye wash as needed, and then move your eye balls around while blinking. After I finish with one eye, I dump out the liquid, rinse the rubber cup with tap water, refill, and repeat with my second eye. The cup has a bit of suction action that helps keep the liquid from spilling all over your face, but depending on how vigilantly I blink, I sometimes get a few trickles of eye wash run down my face. I don’t really mind this because I use this eye wash before using a second cleanser so any eye wash on my face gets removed ASAP.

I’ve been using this eye wash for a month. At first, I used it daily. The eye wash always leaves my eyes feeling fresh and hydrated after I rinse them, but most of the time, it does not pick up any makeup, dirt, or oil from my eyes. I know that this is a good thing – I’m glad my eyes are usually clean – but I had been prepared for it to unearth much more residue!

However, if there is anything in my eye, this wash does a great job picking it up. I don’t wear eye makeup frequently, but when I do this eye wash always manages to pick up some pigment, regardless of how well I think my oil cleanser has removed my makeup. Also, this wash is awesome at removing rogue eyelashes, which I seem to get a lot of. This eye wash will also remove any oil cleanser or sunscreen that gets into my eyes. These are all things that I am sure over time, the eyes are capable of cleaning up themselves, but this eye wash speeds up the process and therefore reduces any incidental discomfort. If you’ve ever had to deal with cloudy vision from having oil in your eyes, you probably know that it only lasts a few minutes, but those minutes are really annoying and uncomfortable!

What’s In This Thing Anyways?

Going into this product, I was extremely curious about what was in it, what those things were meant to do, and if I should be worried about the impact to the health of my eyes. Armed with google translate and my very limited knowledge of Japanese, I set out to learn as much as possible about what is in this eye wash, starting with Rohto’s website, where I found the full ingredients and a handy infographic, all of which I have attempted to translate into English:  and the full list of ingredients. Here is my attempt at translating into English:

<有効成分 // Active Ingredients>
  • ビタミンB12 0.001% // 0.001% Vitamin B 12
  • ビタミンB6 0.01% // 0.01% Vitamin B6
  • 酢酸d-α-トコフェロール(天然型ビタミンE) 0.0025% // 0.0025% acetic acid d-α-tocopherol (natural vitamin E)
  • 硫酸亜鉛水和物 0.01% // 0.01% Zinc Sulfate (aka Naphazoline)
  • クロルフェニラミンマレイン酸塩 0.003% // 0.003% chlorpheniramine maleate
  • コンドロイチン硫酸エステルナトリウム 0.01% // 0.01% chondroitin sodium sulfate
  • L-アスパラギン酸カリウム 0.1% // 0.1% potassium L-aspartate
<添加物 // Other Ingredients>
  • ヒアルロン酸Na // Hyaluronic Acid
  • ホウ酸 // Boric Acid
  • ホウ砂 // Borax
  • d-ボルネオール // d-borneol
  • ゲラニオール // Geraniol
  • ベルガモット油 // Bergamot Oil
  • エデト酸Na // Sodium EDTA
  • ポリオキシエチレン硬化ヒマシ油 // PEG-4 Castor Oil
  • pH調節剤 // pH Adjustor

My attempt at translation. If anyone actually knows Japanese and wants to help a girl out, let me know???

My very clumsy attempt at translation. I only know enough Japanese to order food + beer, tell people they are pigs in human clothing, and talk about the weather, which according to my Japanese friend is a way to pick up men. Who knew?

Let’s take a look at a few of these ingredients. The inclusion of Vitamins B6, B12, and E, zinc sulfate (aka naphazoline), and hyaluronic acid will reduce inflammation and soothe the eyes. Turns out, hyaluronic acid, which is ubiquitous in skincare, is also a common dry eye treatment. A study in Russia found hyaluronic acid to be effective in providing relief from dry eye symptoms. It also has been shown to improve the corneal epithelial barrier and in severe cases of dry eye, reduce the occurrence of epithelial lesions.

Zinc sulfate, more frequently know in the US as Naphazoline, is a vasoconstrictor and the active ingredient in Clear Eyes and All Clear eye drops. It reduces redness and swelling by constricting blood vessels. There is some concern over the use of vasoconstrictors in eye drops because overuse can lead to a rebound of redness and swelling. However, most of the concern seems to be centered around another vasoconstrictor, tetrahydrozoline (NOT in this eye wash), which is found in Visine. In a comparative study, the effects of naphazoline are shown to last longer than tetrahydrozoline, meaning it is less likely to result in overuse, and that neither vasoconstrictor results in rebound vasodilation.

Edited to add: The purpose of vasoconstrictors is 100% cosmetic and regular use is generally discouraged because it can exacerbate dry eye or mask underlying eye issues. If your eyes are frequently red, see a doctor. 

Chlorpheniramine maleate is an anti-histamine.

In this study in rats, Vitamin B 12 was shown to accelerate healing, specifically the re-epithelization and corneal re-innervation, after mechanical injury to the eye. Also, when used with hyaluronic acid, it can attenuate oxidative stress associated with dry eye and reduce inflammation.

Lastly, boric acid is not listed as an active ingredient but is an ingredient frequently used to rinse eyes. It has a soothing effect and exhibits antibiotic and anti-fungal properties.

Edited to add: This eye wash also contains Sodium EDTA, which is a buffering agent and preservative. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid any eye product that contains preservatives if you suffer from dry eye because of its potential to irritate the conjunctiva and cornea, which in turn can result in an unstable tear film. Sodium EDTA seems to be one of the lesser problematic preservatives, but still carries this risk

Overall, it seems like Rohto has stuck a bunch of soothing, hydrating, and anti-inflammatory ingredients into this eye wash making it not only effective at removing debris from your eyes but also making it at least temporarily effective at treating the symptoms of dry eye. From my experience, it does a pretty good job at it. As mentioned earlier, my eyes do feel hydrated after using this eye wash, without any irritation.

The Takeaway

This eye wash offers a really easy way to remove any foreign particles that have gotten into your eyes, including makeup residue, rogue eyelashes, cleansing oils, or other floaters. It also leaves my eyes feeling soothed and hydrated for many hours after use. Although I don’t use this every day, I really enjoy having it around for when I do feel the need to give my eyes a rinse.

Edited to add: Due to this eye wash’s inclusion of naphazoline and Sodium EDTA, please avoid this eye wash and/or consult your eye doctor if you suffer from dry eye or have frequently red eyes. A cheap, dry-eye friendly, preservative-free and vasoconstrictor-free alternative to rinse your eyes is a simple saline solution

I purchased this from amazon (450 ml bottle, 80 ml bottle). It is also widely available on ebay.

rohto lycee review

Disclosure: Product purchased and paid for by me. Affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.

thefaceshop white seed blanclouding

TheFaceShop White Seed / BlanClouding Foam Cleanser, Toner, Lotion, Serum, and Moisture Cream Impressions

Whereas I almost always use shampoo and conditioner products from the same product line, I almost never do so with skincare products. Sure, I’ve used the Benton snail essence with the steam cream, and the Sooryehan ginseng juice essence with the cream (review coming soonish but don’t hold your breath), but most of the time I don’t see the point. There are certain benefits to using products exclusively from one product line – the products are designed to go together so you won’t have issues with product compatibility and, because each product line usually targets some specific skincare condition, its an easy way to find products suitable for your skin – but because my skin suffers from multiple issues and because I like to make things as complicated as possible, I have, to date, never used or purchased an entire product line.

I did, however receive a neat little travel-sized pack of TheFaceShop’s white seed and blanclouding products with a recent purchase from TheFaceShop and thought it would be worth giving the whole single product line thing a try!

The White Seed and Blanclouding Line Products

thefaceshop white seed blanclouding

Here are all the products I received, from left to right. This is also the order in which I would use these products, following the thick-to-thin principle:

  • White Seed Exfoliating Foam Cleanser – 50 ml
  • White Seed Real Whitening Toner – 32 ml
  • White Seed Real Whitening Lotion – 32 ml
  • Blanclouding White Moisture Serum – 8 ml
  • Blanclouding White Moisture Cream – 10 ml

So it actually seems we have two similar product lines, White Seed and Blanclouding. I’m not sure why TheFaceShop decided to package them together, but since they have opted to do so I’m going to assume they will work well together.

The White Seed products feature ingredients such as white lupine seed extract and daisy flower extract and is particularly focused on whitening, aka brightening. A bit of googling revealed that the star product of this line is the essence, which includes an interesting ingredient called hexylresorcinol which is supposed to be 1000X more potent than Vit C. This is a very lofty claim and one I would have liked to explore, so I’m a little disappointed this product was left out.

The BlanClouding line features the star ingredient “Swiss Cloud Flower,” more commonly know as edelweiss, and is focused on brightening and moisture. The cream seems like a new product for TheFaceShop, and comes with promotional material that reads: Just another Moisture Cream? No, it’s a WHITE Moisture Cream.

blanclouding english

Just going to assume something got lost in translation.

I was actually pretty excited about this cream the more I looked into it, because it makes claims of providing 12 hours of hydration. My skin is constantly dry and dehydrated, so any serious promise of hydration tends to catch my interest.

Ok, onwards to the individual products!

White Seed Exfoliating Foam Cleanser

So this cleanser and I were never going to work out. I don’t use foam cleansers, high pH cleansers, or products with sodium lauryl sulfate because of my skin’s issues. This only way this cleanser could have been more inappropriate for me is if it also contained papain and microbeads.

If you also have dry and/or acneic skin though, allow me to direct your attention to the pH test results:

thefaceshop white seed foam cleanser pH test

The pH clocks in at just under 10.

I tested this cleanser on my hand and for a non-oil cleanser, it actually takes off makeup really well. Only my lip gloss (TonyMoly Lip Tone Get it Tint) and eyeliner (Lioele Glittering Jewel Liner), which my oil cleanser has trouble removing completely as well, remained. It also foams up nicely, washes off cleanly, and, despite its pH and ingredients, did not leave my hand feeling stripped. I wouldn’t use this on my face, but if you have combination, normal, or oily skin and do not have acne issues, don’t write this one off. I did a quick search and the reviews for this cleanser are in general very positive.

thefaceshop white seed exfoliating foam cleanser Here is the full list of ingredients:

WATER/EAU. GLYCERIN.MYRISTIC ACID. STEARIC ACID. POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE. POLYETHYLENE. LAURIC ACID. COCAMIDE MEA. DISODIUM COCOAMPHODIACETATE. POLYSORBATE 20. GLYCERYL STEARATE. PROPANEDIOL. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE. HEXYLENE GLYCOL. PEG-100 STEARATE. HYDROXYPROPYL METHYLCELLULOSE. LUPINUS ALBUS SEED EXTRACT. BELLIS PERENNIS (DAISY) FLOWER EXTRACT. CHENOPODIUM QUINOA SEED EXTRACT. SALIX ALBA (WILLOW) BARK EXTRACT. SODIUM CHLORIDE. DISODIUM EDTA. PARFUM/FRAGRANCE

This cleanser is available on Koreadepart or Amazon

White Seed Real Whitening Toner

This toner is actually my favorite product of this bunch. It is gentle, leaves my skin soft, not too fragrant, and at a pH compatible with healthy skin.

thefaceshop white seed whitening toner

Here is the full list of ingredients:

WATER/EAU, PROPANEDIOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, NIACINAMIDE, HYDROGENATED POLYDECENE, TRICETEARETH-4 PHOSPHATE, PEG-2 STEARATE, GLYCOL STEARATE, GLYCERIN, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC GLYCERIDES, HEXYLRESORCINOL, LUPINUS ALBUS SEED EXTRACT, BELLIS PERENNIS (DAISY) FLOWER EXTRACT, SALIX ALBA (WILLOW) BARK EXTRACT, CHENOPODIUM QUINOA SEED EXTRACT, BETA-GLUCAN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ARRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM EDTA, PARFUM/FRAGRANCE

There’s definitely some interesting stuff here! I don’t know much about white lupine (lupines albus) seed extract, but using daisy as a brightening ingredient has some science behind it and niacinamide is a known powerhouse brightening agent. Willow bark (i.e. the source of salicylic acid and aspirin) extract is an interesting ingredient with anti-inflammatory properties.

thefaceshop white seed toner pH test

My pH strips are funky, but left-most square indicates 5 whereas second left-most square indicates around 4.5, so pH probably around 4.75?

Also, it’s comforting to me that they’ve included this toner with the exfoliating cleanser. The pH of this toner is not as low as some others, but at 4.75, it’s squarely in the lower range of healthy skin and as such will help adjust your skin pH back to normal after cleansing.

This toner is available on RoseRoseShop or Amazon

White Seed Real Whitening Lotion

I’ve actually never used a Korean lotion before and had erroneously assumed they were the same as Japanese lotions (which are more like toners). This lotion is actually more like a Western lotion, in that it’s creamy, but is thin and light like an emulsion.

thefaceshop white seed whitening lotion The texture is nice and light and my skin did feel softer after application, but I did not find this lotion to be very moisturizing.

Here is the full list of ingredients:

WATER/EAU, PROPANEDIOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL DICAPRYLATE/DICAPRATE, NIACINAMIDE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDES, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, PANTHENOL, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, CETEARYL OLIVATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, GLYCERYL STEARATE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC GLYCERIDES, SORBITAN OLIVATE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, LUPINUS ALBUS SEED EXTRACT, BELLIS PERENNIS (DAISY) FLOWER EXTRACT, POLYGLUTAMIC ACID, HEXYLRESORCINOL, GLYCERIN, SALIX ALBA (WILLOW) BARK EXTRACT, CHENOPODIUM QUINOA SEED EXTRACT, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, CARBOMER, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, SORBIC ACID, PARFUM/FRAGRANCE

This list is not identical to the toner, but I feel like a lot of the ingredients that are different are ones that dictate texture / consistency. A lot of the “active” ingredients (i.e. niacinamide, caprylic/capric triglycerides, white lupine extract, daisy flower extract, willow bark extract, glycerin) are repeats. For me, I would consider using the toner and lotion to be redundant because the lotion doesn’t offer enough hydration for my dry skin to take the role of an emulsion. If you have oily skin or are looking for a lightweight lotion though, this may work for you.

This toner is available on RoseRoseShop or Amazon

Blanclouding White Moisture Serum

Moving on to the BlanClouding collection. This is the one I was more curious about! Both the marketing material for the serum and cream make mention of the “clouding effect,” but I can’t quite figure out what that means! I assume it’s a reference to clouds being both white and wet?

thefaceshop blanclouding serum When I think of serums, I usually think of highly concentrated solutions with minimal filler ingredients. This serum, however, looks a little like a cream. It sinks in quickly and without issue.
blanclouding serum Here is the full list of ingredients:

WATER/EAU, GLYCERIN, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, TRIETHYLHEXANOIN, ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, DIMETHICONE, NIACINAMIDE, PEG-240/HDI COPOLYMER BIS-DECYLTETRADECETH-20 ETHER, PANTHENOL, MYRISTICA FRAGRANS (NUTMEG) EXTRACT, TILLANDSIA USNEOIDES EXTRACT, CHENOPODIUM QUINOA EXTRACT SEED EXTRACT, PEUCEDANUM OSTRUTHIUM LEAF EXTRACT, PROPANEDIOL, C14-22 ALCOHOLS, DIMETHICONOL, C12-20 ALKYL GLUCISIDE, XANTHAN GUM, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CAPRYLHYDROXAMIC ACID, HYDROXYETHYL ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEANS) SEED EXTRACT, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, LITHIUM MAGNESIUM SODIUM SILICATE, DISODIUM EDTA, PARFUM/FRAGRANCE

To me, this isn’t a serum but another emulsion or lotion product. The first couple of ingredients are water, a humectant, an emollient, and a slip agent. It isn’t until the 8th ingredient that we get to niacinamide, which by the by, occurs 4th on the list for both the toner and lotion. Obviously, there is more to how well skincare products perform that ingredients, but based off the ingredients, I can’t help but question the effectiveness of this serum.

This serum is available RoseRoseShop, Koreadepart, or Amazon

Blanclouding White Moisture Cream

This item seems to have a good amount of buzz to it and I was excited to try it out. The consistency is actually very nice and it did leave my skin feeling very soft.

blanclouding cream

Here are the full ingredients for the cream:

WATER/EAU, PROPANEDIOL, GLYCERIN, TRIETHYLHEXANOIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, PANTHENOL, BETAINE, NIACINAMIDE, MACADAMIA TERNIFOLIA SEED OIL, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, DIMETHICONE, TILLANDSIA USNEQIDES EXTRACT, MYRISTICA FRAGRANS(NUTMEG) EXTRACT, PEUCEDANUM OSTRUTHIUM LEAF EXTRACT, BETA-GLUCAN, CHENOPODIUM QUINOA SEED EXTRACT, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, HYDROXYETHYL ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, LITHIUM MAGNESIUM SODIUM SILICATE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), POLYACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER-6, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, GLYCERYL POLYMETHACRYLATE, TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE, CAPRYLHYDROXAMIC ACID, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM EDTA XANTHAN GUM, PARFUM/FRAGRANCE

blanclouding cream swatch

To test the claim that this provides 12-hours moisture claim I mentioned earlier, I busted out my new little handy dandy skin analyzer that I was inspired by Fifty Shades of Snail to get and did the following:

    • Tested the moisture of both wrists
    • Applied BlanClouding White Moisture Cream to my left wrist
    • After two hours, Tested the moisture of both wrists

Initially, my plan was to test the moisture of both wrists every two hours, up to the 12 hours mark, but that ended up being totally unnecessary. After a mere two hours, both of my wrists clocked in the same oil / moisture reading (13% and 30% respectively. The analyzer also output a sad face, in case I didn’t already know my skin is dry and dehydrated), which meant that on my wrists, the effects of this cream all but vanished in a mere two hours. I may try this cream on my face to see if the results are different, but I’m not very hopeful. For what it’s worth, after two hours though, the skin on my left wrist still felt nice and soft!

A little bit about my skin though: I have very dry skin. Trying to hydrate my face is like trying to sustain a garden in the Gobi desert. Won’t happen without a lot of dedicated time, effort, and multiple points of attack. I’m currently using the skin analyzer to test a bunch of different face oils (review to come, but probably not for another month at least) and even these oils don’t perform as well as I expect them to (horse oil performs really well, btw. ❤ horse oil), so just because this cream doesn’t work on my face does not mean it won’t work for yours.

This cream is available on Koreadepart, RoseRoseShop, and Amazon

Conclusion

My favorite item from this travel kit is definitely the toner. If my current, much loved toner ever gets discontinued or impossible to get ahold of, I may even opt for the full size. The cleanser, lotion, serum, and cream, though, sadly just aren’t for my skin.