Skincare Review: 23.5°N Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Facial Cleanser, Balancing Gel Mask, and Balancing Toner

My actives and I are one and the same person but, I have been looking for gentler and more nourishing products. I felt like they are what my skin’s looking for and, of course, I’ll oblige.

23.5°N is a brand I have recently been curious about and thankfully, Glowie Co sent over some of their products for me to try. Using ingredients from natural farming in Taiwan, 23.5°N offers gentle formulations that are cruelty-free and are made without artificial coloring, fragrance, alcohol, and parabens. All the products I tried contains Oriental Beauty Tea, a plant indigenous to Taiwan. It’s farmed from the Emei Township in Hsinchu County, Taiwan. This extract is rich in polyphenols and promises to balance oil and moisture levels in the skin.

I have been using the Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Facial Cleanser ($22) for a few months now and my skin is loving it. It uses glycerin, camellia leaf extract, and hyaluronic acid to gently cleanse the skin. It’s a foaming cleanser that has a thick whipped texture. It mildly lathers and gets rid of all oils on my skin without leaving it stripped or dry.

My favorite out of the bunch is the Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Gel Mask ($29) which aims to detoxify and hydrate the skin while controlling oil using niacinamide, peppermint extract, and hyaluronic acid. I seriously enjoy this. It’s a gel mask that dries on the skin. The green tea smell is calming and the actual product feels soothing to the skin. It helps hydrate my skin and it feels gentle too. I like using this after exfoliating or on days when I just feel like giving my skin extra hydration.

The Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Toner ($22) claims to clarify, hydrate, and control oil using peppermint extract and hyaluronic acid. This smells like iced tea, which I really like. It’s very watery and it sinks in quickly onto the skin. I’ve had more hydrating and nourishing toners than this one but this might work for those who want a gentle and soothing toner.

Overall, I enjoyed how these vegan products are extremely gentle and soothing on the skin. The Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Gel Mask, especially, has been part of my weekly ritual. It was, at first, because of how it made my skin feel afterward. After a few weeks, however, I noticed how it helped balance and detoxify my skin. I love it.

The 23.5°N Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Facial Cleanser, Balancing Gel Mask, and Balancing Toner were provided by @235n and @glowieco. Available at glowieco.com

Skincare Review: Iunik Beta Glucan Power Moisture Serum, Black Snail Restore Serum, and Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum

AD| I have always stood by my statement the #kbeauty has the most nourishing serums out there. Iunik yet again has proved me right with these three serums.

The Beta Glucan Power Moisture Serum promises to moisturize, strengthen, balance, and brighten skin with beta glucan extracted from mushrooms. I always have a beta glucan serum in my stash and this just replaced that. I really like its light and runny texture and this really balances my skin. Used in the morning, this helps prevent my skin from getting too oily and it just moisturizes my oily skin.

The Black Snail Restore Serum uses 70% black snail extract, black rice, black bean, black sesame, eggplant, and sea tangle to smooth, lighten, and nourish my skin. This is a bit more viscous than the Beta Glucan Power Moisture Serum but is much more lightweight than all of the snail-based products I’ve tried. I like that it’s not slimy and it does not leave a tacky feeling to the skin. I use this at night and after a month of use, it did help in brightening my skin. It also helps in leaving my skin looking healthy and nourished.

I love propolis but found that most products using the ingredient felt too thick and too heavy for my skin. Then I found the Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum and met my match. This serum aims to soothe, calm, nourish, and brighten the skin using 70% propolis extract and 12% hippophae rhamnoides fruit extract. This serum sticks to my skin without the tacky feeling. It sinks in beautifully and leaves my skin dewy and bouncy. I always use this at night before applying moisturizer and it helps keep my skin plump and soft.

I chose these three serums from Stylevana because they contain ingredients that I love and they didn’t let me down. Also, I have tried other Iunik products before and I always to I would get gentle and nourishing products. My oily skin loves their quick-absorbing and lightweight consistency that never made my skin overly moisturized or clogged. Altogether, these serums just helped improve the health of my skin and made my skin feel nourished, plump, and bright.

The Iunik Beta Glucan Power Moisture Serum, Black Snail Restore Serum, and Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum were provided by @stylevana_sv. Get a discount when you shop at stylevana.com using the code SKINWHIMS20.

Skincare Review: Lilah B Aglow Cleansing Butter and Priming Oil

Fully veering away from the luxurious pebble Lilah B is known for, the brand showcases its new products in bottles and tubs. The thick rose gold-accented glass packaging is very different yet equally luxurious and very on-brand. Vegan and cruelty-free, these new drops are all welcome additions to my stash – new skincare products to compliment their pigmented and uncomplicated makeup siblings.

The thick glass bottle packaging first popped up when Lilah B launched the Aglow Face Mist ($48) last year. It’s a mist that helps create dewy and glowing skin. I like using it before applying my serums in the morning.

Joining the Aglow family are the Cleansing Butter and Priming Oil to help cleanse the skin and set it for makeup.

The Aglow Cleansing Butter ($44) promises to cleanse, soften, and condition the skin using rosehip extract, snow mushroom extract, and lavender essential oil. This buttery cleansing balm feels luxurious as it dissolves into an oil-like texture as soon as it comes to contact with the skin. It emulsifies on a milky consistency easily and rinses off quickly with water. It leaves the skin feeling so smooth and moisturized without the tacky filmy feeling, which really surprised me. I have never experienced my skin feeling this moisturized after the first cleanse. It’s something you really have to experience.

Upon first use, I had the feeling that the Aglow Priming Oil ($68) would work better with dry and normal skin types because of its oily yet runny feeling wrapped in a light cream texture. I was right. However, it also worked for my oily skin. Claiming to be a serum, moisturizer, and primer that aims to nourish, hydrate, soften, and smooth the skin with tamanu oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, purple tea extract, grapeseed extract, and lavender essential oil. I used this in the morning after spritzing the Face Mist and before applying SPF. It cuts my routine in half, which is really convenient. Since it’s colder nowadays, this helps bring plumpness and dewiness to my skin. What surprised me though is how this didn’t make my skin look greasy. It didn’t make my foundation slide off either. It’s become my go-to for that glowy look which is achieved when it’s combined with my stick foundation.

I’m really impressed with these new additions in Lilah B’s portfolio. They all feel gentle and nourishing to the skin and I would recommend them to those looking for products that would help in hydration, nourishment, and radiance. These products are also formulated without gluten, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances.

The Lilah B Aglow Cleansing Butter and Priming Oil were provided by @lilahb. Available at lilahbeauty.com

Selfcare Review: Scilla Rose Amethyst Face Roller and Rose Quartz Roller and Gua Sha Beauty Set

Did some face massage using the Amethyst Face Roller from Scilla Rose before doing my makeup. I have constantly been reaching for this lately because it’s my first time using an amethyst face roller.

Amethysts are known to detoxify, purify the mind, tighten pores, improve the elasticity of the skin, reduce dark circles under eyes, and promote lymphatic drainage. The roller is double-sided and feels relaxing on the skin. It’s a tad bit heavier than the other face rollers I’ve tried but it’s equally soothing.

They also sent their Rose Quartz Roller and Gua Sha Beauty Set. Rose Quartz is known to help eliminate toxins, reduce puffiness, roll out wrinkle and expression lines, brighten, improve elasticity, relieve stress, promote lymphatic drainage, reduce dark circles, soothe inflammation, and improve blood circulation.

I like using the smaller end of the rollers around my eyes. I can go one day without doing a face massage but I can’t without massaging my eye area. It just relaxes me instantly. It’s a form of relaxation that instantly affects my mind, which I badly need at the end of each day. I use the guasha on my jawline or at my temples to help relieve my tension headaches and I use the rollers to help with puffiness in the morning or to do a full-on face massage at night after doing my skincare routine.

These tools are just really helpful for me when it comes to relaxation and stress.

The Scilla Rose Amethyst Face Roller and Rose Quartz Roller and Gua Sha Beauty Set were provided by @scillarose. Available at scillarose.co.uk

Skincare Review: Herbivore Botanicals Natural Fruit Acid 5% Exfoliating Glow Potion

As a lover of acids, I found the Natural Fruit Acid 5% Exfoliating Glow Potion from Herbivore Botanicals gentle and nourishing. This is actually surprising because this serum contains a blend of bilberry lactic, sugar cane glycolic, orange peel citric, and apple malic acid combined with kakadu plum to exfoliate, hydrate, and even the skin. This light viscous serum doesn’t sting or tingle at all, which surprised me when I first used it. However, looking at its first three ingredients (aloe vera leaf juice, sodium hyaluronate, rose flower water, and glycerin), I figured out why it felt gentle.

I think this would be great for those looking for a vegan and cruelty-free serum that gently exfoliates the skin while hydrating the skin.

As for my skin, I have gotten to a point that my skin is clear (save for a few blemishes during my period) so I have been into gentler formulations lately. This is a product I use together with other hydrating and nourishing products that are included in my basic routine at night.

The Herbivore Botanicals Natural Fruit Acid 5% Exfoliating Glow Potion was provided by @herbivorebotanicals and @autumnpr. Available for $44 at herbivorebotanicals.com