Hey, loves! I’m finally sharing with you my South Korean skincare haul from when we visited last year. I filmed this one back in 2017 (erm, just a month ago) and thought I’d share even more thoughts in this written review. Especially now that I have even more experience with most of these products. I hope you’ve watched the video, already, or will watch after reading this one!
Again, as mentioned in the vide, research on what skin type you have as some of these products may not work for you as well as it did for me and vice versa. Beauty forums have this acronym, YMMV, which stands for your mileage may vary. Each of us are unique and with that, these products will react to us differently, hence, your mileage may vary. To know if we’re similar, I have a normal-combination skin with an oily T-zone. During my visits to cold countries, I get dry patches around my cheek and forehead area.
I am still a novice when it comes to skincare. I only went somewhat serious back in February 2016 when I published this Asian Routine Haul. That was my first deep-dive into the overwhelming universe of asian beauty routine, mostly South Korean skincare, with the 10-steps and numerous skincare categories. Even now, I’m still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I have no benchmarks yet whether my skin improved or not. Currently, I’m having a hard time concluding if my oiliness comes from my face being dehydrated since I get dry patches during colder climates. From what I learned, dehydrated or skin that is not moisturized properly compensates and produce even more oil. So yeah, I suppose we shall learn together, shan’t we?
A brand I’ve heard but never thought I’d owned. This was gifted to me by my cousin. It’s a makeup remover and rather gentle in nature. Oil-based without any scent whatsoever, this is perfect for that 1st half of your double cleansing. It removes makeup and a day’s worth of dust easily. Though I’ve stopped using this for a couple weeks because I used it with a cotton pad and I think I rub my face way too hard. So hard that after using, my nose area goes sore and when the rest of my routine is applied, it stings and gets really painful. Instead, like my holy grail Clean It Zero cream makeup remover, I started using this with just bare hands. Then I use wipes to remove the cleanser + makeup mixture that is now on my face. This way, I won’t be able to rub my face with the cotton too hard.
The only product that I have not used intensively. Reason being, I still have my Clean It Zero foam cleanser. I did try it twice, for first impressions sake and so that I can share something with you. Depending on where you store it, it’s consistency ranges from watery to foamy. My first use was definitely foamy and I observed there were blue micro-beads in it. This one, I’m not entirely sure if it also exfoliates because if it does then I won’t be using this as my daily foam cleanser. Too much exfoliation is dangerous as natural oils will get stripped down. It has a very faint scent but nothing offensive, and it works much like most foam cleansers I’ve tried. No violent reactions from my face!
I ran out of toner before we went to Korea and so this was first and foremost what I wanted to find. Not this product in particular, but a good toner that is somehow similar to my Muji Toner. And boy is this the complete opposite. The Muji Toner almost feels like water, I actually don’t know if it works, but I kept using it anyway. For once, I finally had a toner which doesn’t have an overpowering scent and sting. I bought this clearing toner because it was pore minimizing. I read reviews and they said it helped them clear out their blackheads, or at least prevent them from worsening. And so far, it didn’t clear out my blackheads but yes, my blackheads do not multiply crazily anymore. A couple of cons, however. This has a very strong scent that I immediately disliked it on first try. I kept using it days after though because, uhm, I’d like to get my money’s worth. You get used to the scent, I don’t find it offensive anymore. But I know it’s still there. 2nd con, the opening of the bottle is too wide that pouring excessively at times is no surprise. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this to scent-sitive friends, otherwise, it’s a good product to try.
A gem I found at the airport. Would you believe it’s almost just as cheap buying from the airport vs at the night markets? Anyway. I was looking for a product that would help me minimize my pores and the lady recommended this. Skin is another genre of skincare that I haven’t discovered until then, so I was a bit excited to try one. I researched when we came back and it’s a thicker form of toner. I, initially, got worried because I already got a Broccoli toner. How will I fit this into my routine?
Apparently, someone started a 7-skin routine especially made for oily skin types. This is to help us not feel to heavy under the moisturizer during summer. Instead of layering emulsions and creams, you use 7 hydrating toners instead. And therefore, it’s safe to say that layerings toners and skins are okay. If your skin enjoys the extra attention, continue!
This one has a green tea scent but not as offensive as the Broccoli one. It’s thicker than most watery types toner and according to reviews, works with any skin type! It absorbs quickly and also, provides a nice matte but plump layer for the rest of my routine. I’d definitely recommend this one.
The Skinfood’s Peach Sake was a line I fell in love with a few years ago that my heart skipped a beat when I spotted this one at the airport. I, also, haven’t had an emulsion before and reading that it is sebum control, I thought it’d be perfect for me. The peach scent is so delicate and it’s really just an amazing experience every time I use this product. I can attest that I’m not as oily before, although there’s still a thin film of oil after a day, which is probably natural. In photos, I don’t shine as much anymore which is good. I love this product so much that I went ahead and ordered its Toner and Cream of the same line from Althea.
This is a watery form of toner and I use this before the emulsion. After applying with a cotton pad, it’s almost as if I’ve put powder on my skin. Which is probably why you can clearly see powder settling after it’s been at rest for a while. Do shake it before using! Still sebum control and a better toner than the broccoli one, I must say. Or, it just complements the emulsion and the cream better, given that they’re in the same line.
My last step of the routine, I incorporated creams into my routine late into the game. I feel discomfort in having too many products on my face, more so if I end it with a thick cream. However, this is very light and, much like it’s toner companion, finishes powder matte. The power of the three will definitely be beneficial to the oiliest of us. I don’t wake up nor do I end the day with an oily T-zone, anymore, every time I use these three.
I was obsessed with Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel which I purchased in Taiwan a couple years back. I found this one from Face Shop which is 99% aloe vera in a 3+1 promo in Myeongdong. So my friend and I purchased 3 (and got 1 for free) and went halfsies. We went back to hot and tropical Cebu and welp, let’s just say just because there’s more aloe vera in there doesn’t mean it’s better. It just wouldn’t stay matte on my face but would rather feel sticky. It would probably take 30 minutes or so before I can finally put another product on top, which is usually sun block, another thick layer. So if you’re oily, I don’t think you’d love this. I, now, just use at night, when I can tolerate it’s thickness.
Because I didn’t like The Face Shop’s, I ordered the Nature Republic one along with the SkinFood goodies. It absorbs quickly, soothes me better and finishes matte regardless of how much I pile on my face.
I’ve wanted one for a long time, only because I loved the gel. I use this product before and after I put on makeup. Sometimes, during a particular hot day. Essentially, any time I can. Beats any mist I’ve tried since this is more I’m familiar with, being an aloe vera.
I tried to love Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Masks which came in capsule packs but it just irritates me how the product dries quickly. Applying it in layers would usually cause the removal of the first layer that has already dried up. I tried this one at the airport and ding, a light bulb came on. It is more hygienic than the ones in pots because it comes in a bottle with a nozzle. Plus, it’s in mousse form meaning it’s more light and liquid in nature before you put it on your face. Making it lighter to apply and spread!
Also, this has been my favorite product to buy as the results are instantaneous. When the clay mask dries, you can clearly see tiny pore circles where it looks like the mask has sunk in deep to cleanse your face from impurities. After washing off with warm water, my skin looks poreless and it’s like my blackheads have gone away.I’m not really sure how it works but I don’t think the blackheads have come off, it just looks like it have because they come back after day or two. I use this once to twice a week and every time I skip a week, I do get oilier after. Keep in mind that if you have dry skin, clay masks might not be for you! Oily peeps though, we need this! You need this!
Because it was cold in Korea, I didn’t mind going under the sun since it brings me warmth. That’s what I do whenever I visit the UK, too. And guess what, I always come back a tone darker. Silly me, I never thought of putting on sunblock. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the sun’s not damaging your skin anymore. So I chose the first sun block I saw, this has SPF 50 so that’s a pretty good deal to me. Came back to Cebu to try it and well, I quickly learned that it may not be for me. It’s pink-based so you have to blend it well so don’t look ashy, plus it’s also not sebum control. So…
…what I did was find this sebum control sun block on Althea.This has, unfortunately, only SPF 35, so I still use the Nature Republic one because it has more SPF. What I do is I use this whenever I have to put on makeup, or whenever I want less oil on my face like on extremely hot days.
Hand creams are everywhere in South Korea. It’s easy to find them in packs and having visited skincare shops numerous times when we were there, we concluded that The Face Shop has the cheapest deal. This was very helpful when we were freezing our butts off and our hands started to crack.
The ones I bought are quite strong in scent than the usuals that I use. But there’s not much to review! They’re still very nice to use especially when cold and packs a lot of moisturizer. It’s just the scent I have a problem with.
I heard so much about pimple patches from friends. Reviews have been widely positive so I bought a couple of this. A pack already contains 24 patches, half of which are of smaller size, for smaller pimples. I’ve used one on what I thought was an open pimple, but it didn’t suck out the sebum or pus. I think the pimple must already have that opening, and exposed before this patch could be effective. I’ll share more on my Instagram stories should I come across a big pimple! But I won’t cross my fingers for that, obvs.
Last but not the least is this Gudetama version of Holika Holike peeling gel. Please do watch the video so you can see how it drastically peeled off dry skin. This one is perfect for clearing out blackheads especially stubborn ones because it’s quite hardcore. I don’t use this as much because it tends to make the skin around my nose thin. Which in turn makes it sensitive to most products. It’ll usually sting around this area after using the peeling gel. The rest of my face are okay, though. Still, I wouldn’t use it more than twice a week.