Category Archives: toner

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Swanicoco Fermentation Care Collection Review

In 2016, one of my favorite product discoveries was the Swanicoco Fermentation Snail Care Emulsion. I was blown away with not only its killer ingredient list but also its luxurious, silky texture. That’s why when Swanicoco reached out to me a few months ago and asked if I would be interested in testing and reviewing some other products, I immediately said yes! After some discussion on their different lines and my skin type, they recommended the Fermentation Care line, which I will be reviewing today!

This is a kind of super long review, so I set up a table of contents to make for easier navigation.

Table of Contents

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let's cure pH adjusting toner whamisa organic flowers toner rosehip oil komenuka bijin komeyu serum lookatme jelly sunscreen

July Empties, Failed Empties, and New Additions

It’s the start of a new months so it’s time for another (really long) empties post! Is anyone else upset about how quickly summer is slipping away?


Items I Used Up


Let’s Cure Pure Skin Basic Skin Exfoliator – Will Repurchase
Full review here. This is a simple but functional pH adjusting toner with just enough hydrating properties to make my skin feel normal again after cleansing. I purchased the CosRX AHA/BHA toner as a replacement because I was curious about it, but I’m missing the Let’s Cure one already.
Purchased through Avecko. It is also available on Memebox. Continue reading

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Whamisa Organic Flowers Toners Refresh Review

To date, I’ve used quite a few Whamisa products, most of which were overwhelmingly meh. A wiser person would’ve given up on the brand by now, but the marketing- the promise of better skin delivered by organic flowers- keeps me coming back. This time, I’ve found a keeper!

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At A Glance

Product Name:
Whamisa Organic Flowers Refresh Toner Continue reading

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COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence Review

I used to swim 2 hours a day, 11 months out of the year, and I played water polo before my high school even had a team, so when I moved to Southern California and decided to take up surfing, I assumed it would come naturally. I have probably a record number of battle scars from playing little league as a kid, but in water? Pffft. I’m practically a mermaid!

Turns out, swimming in the ocean is totally different than swimming in a pool, and I’m considerably worse at it than I care to admit. Something about the salt and lack of lane lines throws me for a loop, although I’m convinced if I could only wear goggles while surfing, I would be at least 300% better at it.

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In a way, CosRX snail essence is the ocean to CosRX snail cream’s pool. My skin loves snails and specifically, my snail loves the snail cream. They’re practically the same product yet my skin refuses to love this essence, despite my many efforts. It just doesn’t make any logical sense!

AT A GLANCE

The Claim
This Advanced Snail Gel Lotion is protects skin from moisutre loss and keeps skin smooth, and healthy without the use of heavy oils. 

Where does it fit in your routine?
This is an essence but due to its thicker texture, follow the thin to thick rule when applying. I usually apply this after other essences and toners but before emulsions or creams.

Size and Price
This bottle contains 1o0ml of product. I purchased this as part of the Fiddy Snails set at Memebox (now sold out). It is also available individually for $18, or on Amazon for $17.98, RoseRoseShop for $11.50 (plus shipping), or Jolse for $16.50.

(PS you can get 8% cash back from all memebox purchases from TopCashBack)

Packaging
This comes in a plastic bottle with a pump dispenser on top. The set I got it in also came with two sheets of awesome CosRX stickers. I highly recommend getting some CosRX stickers whenever you have the chance!

Fragrance
No fragrance detected.

Color and texture
This essence is completely clear and has slimy, mucus-y texture, like, well, snail slime!

What’s in it?

  • 96% SNAIL SECRETION FILTRATE 
    Also known as snail mucus or Helix Aspersa Müller Glycoconjugates, snail secretion filtrate is known for its skin repairing properties and ability to improve the skin’s natural ability to take up and hold water. For a really, really excellent overview of snail mucus, check out Lab Muffin’s post here.
  • SODIUM HYALURONATE 
    The salt form of hyaluronic acid, which is a humectant that can hold 1000X its weight in water.
  • PANTHENOL 
    The alcohol form of Vitamin B5. Panthenol improves skin’s barrier function and maintains the proliferation of fibroblasts, the cells that create collagen..

The ingredient list is simple and this essence boasts the highest amount of snail secretion filtrate I’ve seen in any product. If you’re trying to find something as close to pure snail as possible, this is probably what you want!

Acne Triggers & Irritants
Cosdna identifies Butylene Glycol (1) as an acne trigger and carbomer (1) as a potential irritant.

Full Ingredients
Snail Secretion Filtrate, Betaine, Butylene Glycol,1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Arginine, Allantoin, Ethyl Hexanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol

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PERFORMANCE

As mentioned earlier, this essence has a very slimey and mucus-y texture. I follow the instructions and apply heavily to my cheeks and lightly to my t-zone. The CosRX snail cream is mucus-y as well, but feels more whipped in comparison. It certainly feels nice, like a gluey gel, takes a minute to sink in, but once in doesn’t leave a film or residue on my skin.

Unfortunately, this essence doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything. Whereas the very similar CosRX snail cream left my skin soft and bouncy, my skin feels very much unchanged after using this essence. I suppose it does add a bit of hydration, but not enough for me to use it as a hydrating product.

I also noticed that when I use this essence, I tend to develop clusters of small pimples around my nose area and mouth, which is not an area I’m prone to breakouts. These bumps clear up quickly, but they quickly clear up when I stop using this essence. This is especially puzzling because I do not have any issues with the CosRX cream and the two products are extremely similar in their composition. There are a total of 2 ingredients in the essence that are not in the cream (if anyone is curious, these are butylene glycol and 1,2-Hexanediol), so I was very surprised to be getting breakouts from the essence. My theory (I’m not a biologist – this might be utter nonsense) is that something about the slimy texture doesn’t sit well with my skin.

THE TAKEAWAY

Everyone’s skin is different, but on my skin this essence does not seem to do much of anything except to give me minor breakouts. This is totally bizarre and exceptionally disappointing considering how much I love the sister cream to this product.

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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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From Nature Age Treatment Essence Review

I often feel that the Asian beauty products that become popular in the West are somewhat arbitrary. Take first treatment essences, for example. Missha FTE is one of the first products people reach for when first adopting a Korean beauty routine, yet there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other first essences that remain virtually unknown even though they have very similar ingredients.

For example, there’s the From Nature Age Treatment Essence. It first fell on my radar after /u/GiveMeABreak25 repeatedly raved about it and again later, as luck would have it, when I received a sample from a Testerkorea order and fell in love. Whereas the Missha essence did not seem to do much for my skin other than make it wet, this essence feels like it penetrates through to the nether regions of my skin to deliver a much needed dose my hydration and glowiness. Used after cleansing, it makes my skin feel renewed and rebalanced. In other words, I think this essence is due some much deserved attention and so here we are.

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AT A GLANCE

The Claim
Wrinkle Repair & Whitening for the first step of skin care

Where does it fit in your routine?
This is a first essence. Use it after all cleansing steps.

Size and Price
This bottle contains 150ml of product. I purchased this from Yesstyle for ~$20, but it is no longer on their website. It is available on Ebay for $22.49 or if you are feeling savvy and want to try your hand at a forwarding service, Memebox Korea has it for 9900KRW ($8.13 USD).

Packaging
This comes in a glass bottle. I’m in constant battle with the bottle because it likes to collect finger prints like nobody’s business and it drives me bananas!

Fragrance
There’s a hint of yeast, but it’s very mild. I don’t notice it at all anymore. No artificial fragrance, essential oils, or any added fragrance of any kind.

Color and texture
This essence is completely clear and has a thin, runny texture like water, but with more slip.

What’s in it?

The ingredient list is simple but keenly focused. Other than the ingredients discussed above, there are also a handful of extracts, some fermented some not, but very little else! For those of you that don’t like “fillers” in your products, you really can’t ask for much more!

Acne Triggers & Irritants
Cosdna identifies Butylene Glycol (1) as an acne trigger

Full Ingredients
Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide, Water, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharomyces/Angelica Dahurica Root Ferment Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Flower Extract, Ipomoea Hederacea Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Chlorphenesin

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PERFORMANCE

I’ve been using this bottle for a little over two months and it is very nearly empty (which is why I’m finally getting my act together to write this review). In that time, it’s become an absolute staple in my routine.

First essences are supposed to deliver a concentrated but easily absorbable dose of skin-beneficial ingredients. This essence does that. With regular use of this essence, my skin looks and feels healthier, and on the days I’ve gone without, my skin looks lackluster, seems to be more easily irritated than usual, and is more prone to dryness. I can’t quite pinpoint exactly what this product is doing, but since I’ve started using it, my skin feels healthier and generally more resilient to thinks like cold, dry weather.

If that was all this essence did, it would still be a great product, but there’s more. Likely due to the significant niacinamide concentration (credit once again to /u/GiveMeABreak25 for obtaining the concentration), this essence is also surprisingly hydrating! When I use this, I don’t feel the need to use a hydrating toner at all. Also, on days when my skin needs a little extra help, I’ve been using this essence to make lotion masks, which expunges any hint of dehydration and also seems to have calming effects to my skin.

The essence also absorbs easily, does not leave any residue or stickiness, and does not irritate my face at all. It also layers extremely well under creams. Overall, you could say I’m quite happy with this essence!

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The Takeaway

This is probably the hardest working, dehydration fighting, skin plumping first essence you’ve never heard of. It is by far my favorite essence that I’ve tried to date!

From Nature Age Treatment Essence Review.jpg


Disclosure: This product was purchased by me. This post contains an affiliate link. See here for my full disclosure policy. 

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Comparison Review of Benton Honest TT Mist and LJH Tea Tree 70 Mist Toner

RoseRoseShop sent me the Benton TT Mist for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own. The LJH Mist was purchased by me.

I had initially decided to do a comparison review of these two products because I expected them to be very similar. After all, they both contain high amounts of tea tree water – 70% in the LJH mist, 80% in Benton- and let’s be honest, who wants to read two FULL reviews of nearly identical mists?

However, after spending some time with both products (7 weeks with Benton and 4 with LJH), I’ve realized that not only are these products very different from each other, they are also some of the most overachieving mists I’ve used! My initial expectations were completely off base and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Without further ado, here are the two tea tree mists:


At a Glance

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BENTON HONEST TT MIST

Size: 40ML
Price: $5.96 on RoseRoseShop, $8.48 on Jolse, $12.13 on Cosmetic-Love,  $6 on Memebox (get another 8% off all Memebox orders from TopCashBack)
Packaging: Soft plastic, non-aerosol spray tube
Fragrance: None detected
INGREDIENTS
Acne Triggers & Irritants: Butylene Glycol (1) is an acne trigger
Full IngredientsMelaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water (80%), Sodium Hyaluronate (7%), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract (5%), Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Althaea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Beta-Glucan, Polyglutamic Acid, Aspalathus Linearis (rooibos) Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Psidium Guajava (guava) Extract, Zanthoxylum Piperitum (Japanese pepper) Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (lichen) Extract

 

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LEEJIHAM (LJH) TEA TREE 70 MIST TONER

Size: 100ML
Price: $27 on HKCPlaza (currently 60% off), $33 on Birchbox, $33 on Glow Recipe (get $5 off your first order), $33 on Memebox (get another 8% off all Memebox orders from TopCashBack)
Packaging: Hard plastic, cylindrical spray bottle
Fragrance: Tea tree scent of light – medium strength
INGREDIENTS
Acne Triggers & Irritants: Butylene Glycol (1) is an acne trigger
Full IngredientsMelaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract (70%), DI-Water, Niacinamide, Sorbitol, Humectants, Disodium EDTA, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Rhus Semialata Gall Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Oleanolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract


Performance

The production value of the LJH mist is really high in every way! The packaging looks unexceptional in photos but is much more impressive in person. It’s larger than I expected, made of a sturdy plastic, and looks quite sleek. The misting mechanism is top notch as well, releasing a consistent, finely dispersed amount of product with each pump. On the skin, the LJH mist has a lot of slip, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave any residue. It’s a very well formulated product from both an ingredients and cosmetic elegance point of view. It does smell very slightly of tea tree, which I dislike but I feel like most people wouldn’t give it a second thought.

By contrast, the Benton TT mist did not make the best first impression. The soft plastic tube, while practical in its portability, is mostly unremarkable, and the mist that comes out is way too dense and forceful! I actually stopped using it as a mist, for the most part, choosing instead to spray into my hands then patting onto my face. Also, the liquid that comes out feels exactly like water, which made me extremely suspicious that this mist would be a repeat of the CosRX centella water toner, which not only felt like water but was about as effective as water.

Here’s a video that shows how different the mists that each of these products produce are:

However, after spending some time with both mists, the Benton mist has completely won me over while the LJH mist sits mostly unused in my stash.

The LJH is not a bad product by any means. It’s a light-to-medium strength astringent toner with some moisturizing properties, likely from the niacinamide it includes. I think it would be a great product for oily but dehydrated skin types, but it’s not something that suits my skin type very well. I also think it has slightly too much slip, but that’s probably a personal hangup.

The Benton mist on the other hand, is neither astringent (this is a VERY good thing for dry skin) nor hydrating, but is remarkable in how effectively it calms my skin. My skin is very prone to redness and inflammation, especially on my cheeks and around my nose. Using this Benton TT mist not only reduces visible redness immediately, but after a few weeks of consistent usage, my face has been generally less prone to redness. If you’ve got sensitive or easily irritated skin, I can’t recommend this enough. It is also extremely gentle (again, it feels like water) and has become the first product I reach for on days when my skin is irritated, sensitive, and/or over-exfoliated.

In short, the Benton mist is perfect for my skin’s needs! I don’t even mind the lack of moisturizing power, because I’ve got tons of other products in my routine to do that. What I don’t have is another product that can soothe my skin nearly as effectively. The only complaint I have with this product is the misting nozzle.


 

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Size Comparison

The Takeaway

Despite a rocky start, the Benton TT mist has earned a long-term spot in my skincare routine. It is neither astringent nor moisturizing, but has remarkable anti-inflammatory effects on my skin. The LJH mist would be a good product for oily but dehydrated skin types (I think) but does not suit my skin type.

Benton Honest TT Mist (1)


Disclaimer: The Benton TT mist was provided to me for review purposes by RoseRoseShop. The opinions expressed are my own. The LJH Mist was purchased by me. This post contains affiliate links. See here for my full disclosure policy. 

 

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Chosungah22 Mineral Toning Essence Review

The problem with shopping for things from Korea is sometimes I don’t realize how much stuff I’ve ordered until I receive everything. This is how I ended up with all these Chosungah22 products. I’m usually very cautious about ordering too many things from a single brand, especially one I have ZERO experience with, because things can go south quickly!

chosungah

The wonders (Juice and Milk) of the Chosungah world + the Mineral Toning Essence (MTE). Not pictured: Chosungah22 Mint Sun Essence

Luckily this hasn’t been the case with Chosungah22 for the most part.

Packaging & Appearance

This “essence” comes in a simple but stylish plastic bottle. All of Chosungah’s products come in plastic, even though some of it looks like glass. This is actually a very good thing if you think about it. Glass things get easily shattered in cross-oceanic transit. I LOVE the design of this bottle. It’s minimal and looks like it could belong in either a laboratory or a Scandinavian kitchen.

This essence is clear and very fluid, only a tiny bit thicker than water. It is not sticky at all and has a very faint fragrance that I love! To me, it smells of cleansiness with a hint of lavender.

chosungah22 MTE 2 swatch

Performance

I honestly don’t think the folks at Chosungah22 know what an essence is. First of all, they named this product the confusing name of “toning essence.” In addition, they also categorize Wonder Juice as an essence, but seems to be, from my experience, a pretty straightforward hydrating toner. MTE to me is a toner. It is, after all, composed primarily of onsen-sui (spa water), and water.

I apply this MTE after my second cleanser, either on a cotton square or by patting it on my face with my hands. It is not a powerhouse hydrator nor does it contain a significant concentration of active ingredients, but my skin does react positively to it. After cleansing, I tend to have a lot of redness around my nose and on my cheeks. MTE is just soothing and hydrating enough to make my skin feel normal again, removing any tightness, if any, and noticeably reducing some of the redness.

chosungah22 MTE 1

I also like to use MTE to prime my skin before applying serums and ampoules. It makes ampoules easier to apply and allows me to use less product. This is particularly useful for sticky ampoules like the Scinic AIO honey ampoule, because using less product means that my face is less sticky after application.

The full ingredients are below. Cosdna identifies butylene glycol (1) as the only acne trigger.

Onsen-Sui, Water, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Mesembryanthemum Crystallinum Extract, Betula Alba Juice, Ceramide 3, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot Fruit Oil), Geranium Maculatum Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Styrax Benzoin Gum, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin

The Takeaway

This is a good, basic, non-irritating toning product. That doesn’t sound super exciting, but like cleansers, finding a toner that doesn’t suck sometimes takes a lot of effort. However, I won’t be repurchasing this because at the end of the day, this product just doesn’t excite me.

I purchased this from Koreadepart. It is also available on Chosungah22’s website but for a lot more. 

Final Score (2)


Disclosures: This product was purchased by me. There are no affiliate links in this post. 

 

cosrx centella water alcohol free toner

Cosrx Centella Water Alcohol Free Toner Review

Have you ever become obsessed with an ingredient before actually having any experience with it? That’s what happened with me and centella asiatica. This exotic sounding plant is supposed to have all sorts of soothing and renewing properties that I really wanted to work on my skin. Plus, centella asiatica looks like miniature lily pads! How cute is that?

Unfortunately, this is not a rave review. I find this product to be harmless but seriously underwhelming. Let’s get this over with, shall we?

What Is Centella Asiatica + Why This Toner Probably Doesn’t Work

Centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola, is a plant native to the wetlands of Asia. It’s been used for 3000 years in Asia and India as a general heal-all. There’s a good amount of mythology around this plant, particularly around the sub species hydrocotyle asiatica minor, which is referred to as “fo ti tieng” which translates into elixir of long life and was theorized in the 70’s as containing a mysterious youth preserving factor called “vitamin X.”

Unfortunately, the existence of this subspecies has been debunked since then, but within all this mythology, there are a few sound bites of truth. There is a substantial amount of science testifying to centella asiatica’s potential as a wound healing ingredient, specifically around the plant’s primary compounds asiaticosidemadecassosideasiatic and madecassic acids.

Amongst some of the findings, topical application of extracts of centella asiatica have been shown to increase collagen, decrease inflammatory reactionsexhibit anti-psoriatic activity, enhance type I collagen and demonstrate significant improvement to skin firmness, elasticity, and hydration when used in conjunction with 5% vitamin C, and reduce the likelihood of developing stretch marks in pregnant woman (source). There is also some promising in vitro research that madecassoide may inhibit UV-induced melanin synthesis (i.e. tanning) and that centella asiatica extract could protect DNA from ultraviolet light induced damage.

The science is obviously there so why doesn’t this toner work? My (uneducated) theory is that there’s just not enough of the active compounds in this toner. The most pharmacologically active compounds mentioned above are just some of the centelloids that centella asiatica contains. Others include brahmic acid, madasiatic acid, terminolic acid, and centellic acid. All of these centelloids together make up only 1% – 8% of the things in a centella asiatica plant. A lot of the research on centella asiatica use very specific extracts. For example, the first benefit mentioned in the paragraph above was based on a total triterpenic fraction extract of centella asiatica, which apparently means this extract comprises 60% asiatic acid and madecassic acid as well as 40% asiaticosides.

From this, it seems like using centella asiatica extract for its active components is akin to using kiwi extract for its vitamin C – you probably do still get some of the benefits, but it’s not going to be on par with the results you get from a product containing purified ascorbic acid. Moreover, this toner is actually mostly (82%) mineral water and only contains 10% centella asiatica leaf water, so whatever benefits the centella asiatica compounds are producing are even further diluted. There are products that do contain clinically studied extracts of centella asiatica though – Madecassol, for example, is a Korean scar-prevention cream that contains a specific titrated extract of centella asiatica.

Performance

cosrx centella water alcohol free toner

I have inflammatory acne on my face that tends to leave behind a lot of hyperpigmentation after it heals. Because of the anti-inflammatory and general healing properties of centella asiatica, I was hoping this toner would have a positive effect on my acne.

The ingredients, which are few and clean, are as follows:

Mineral Water, Centella Asiatica Leaf Water , Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Panthenol, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethyl Hexanediol

Unfortunately, I am halfway through my bottle of toner and I can’t really say that it’s done anything. In fact, if someone had dumped out the actual toner and replaced it with tap water, I would not be able to tell. I do plan on finishing this toner – I use this to mist my skin before applying serums and creams – applying skincare products to damp skin allegedly helps the ingredients absorb – but again, I feel like bottled water would suffice just as well.

The Bottom Line

Harmless but ultimately very boring skin mist. Skip this one.

I ordered this toner from Jolse. It is also available on Wishtrend, RoseRoseShop, Memebox, Amazon, and probably a bunch of other places.

Cosrx Centella Mist review

Disclosure: Product 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.