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

Cult Favorite: Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay Mask and Blue Clay Mask

To be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve used a powder mask. I usually use them if I have a bit of time to spare at night but the convenience of readily applied masks is just too tempting. When Herbivore Botanicals sent me their Pink and Blue Clay Masks, I had to admit that I kind of missed having powder masks as part of my skincare ritual.

Both masks, when mixed with water, transforms into a pasty mask that feels like you’re at the beginning of your pottery class. I usually use a bowl to mix the mask and both provide a bit of grip to the skin. They both tighten easily so I suggest those with drier skin types to use a bit more water. Both are easily rinsed off after about 15 minutes. They also leave the skin feeling thoroughly exfoliated and cleansed. Both masks are also vegan and cruelty-free.

The Pink Clay Mask ($22) uses french pink clay, rosehip, chamomile, and rose petals to exfoliate, purify, plump, and soothe the skin before leaving it feeling soft, smooth and radiant. I like using this after days if spending time outdoors, exposing my skin to a lot of environmental stressors. It feels purifying and it leaves my skin smooth.

Meanwhile, the Blue Clay Mask ($22) promises to detoxify, draw out toxins, reduce breakouts for a clearer complexion. It contains blue clay, white kaolin clay, and rose geranium essential oil. This is a heavy-duty mask. It tightens a lot more than the Pink Clay Mask and you can really feel it sucking everything out. I like using this when my skin is looking problematic or if my skin is looking dull. It just clears everything out.

I enjoyed returning to powder masks again. I like using them on the weekends when I have more time. They also provide purifying and detoxifying benefits to my skin, which is definitely needed after spending my week exposed to dirt and grime.

The Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay Mask and Blue Clay Mask were provided by @herbivorebotanicals and @autumnpr. Available at herbivorebotanicals.com

Skincare Review: I Dew Care Scoop Shop Hydrating Duo

It’s always fun to try products from I Dew Care because they are just too cute. Take these ice-cream inspired products from their Scoop Shop Hydrating Duo.

The Berry Melting ($23) is a cleansing balm cleanser that has blueberry fruit extract, jojoba oil, and glacial water to cleanse the skin while leaving it soft, smooth, and moisturized. Its texture is similar to the solid cleansing balms I like.

Once massaged onto the skin, however, it turns into a very thick oil. It retains the purple tint once mixed with water, which is fun. It smells like sweet berries as well. What I had a hard time, though, was rinsing it off. I think this is might be best removed with a cleansing cloth instead of water as it takes a few rounds of rinsing to remove and even then, it leaves a thick film on the skin. It does remove dirt and makeup though, even stubborn eye make up. It leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth but I like my cleansing balms to leave no trace and oil once rinsed.

Cake My Day ($25) is exactly like a birthday. It smells and looks like the cake you blow the candle on when you were a kid. It’s actually a wash-off mask that promises to nourish, hydrate, and balance the skin using hyaluronic acid and squalene.

It’s a creamy mask, the texture similar to ice cream, and it doesn’t completely dry. Due to the creaminess, this also takes a few rinses to wash off. I find it easier to wipe off before rinsing. The “sprinkles” also don’t melt but it doesn’t feel harsh on the skin due to its smooth texture. What I really like about this though is how plump and moisturized my skin feels afterward. No mask has ever done that at the same level for me so, I like using this when my skin is feeling dry and tight.

In this set, I like the Cake My Day whenever I want additional moisture and extra softness for my skin. The Berry Melting is something I wouldn’t really go for but those with drier skin might enjoy it.

The I Dew Care Scoop Shop Hydrating Duo was provided by @idewcare. Available for $29 at us.memebox.com

Skincare Review: BareMinerals Little Gems Mini Metallic Mask Set

I had fun using the masks from the Little Gems: Mini Metallic Mask Set of BareMinerals. Infused with natural gemstones, the mask has a metallic shine to them. There are also easy to apply and are just so fun to use and look at.

The Metallic Mask in Gold promises to help hydrate with hyaluronic acid. Unfortunately, this felt a bit drying than expected. The Metallic Mask in Amethyst aims to revitalize tired-looking skin and it did leave my skin radiant it has to be used more often to keep that dullness at bay. Meanwhile, Metallic Mask in Sapphire Blue works to detoxify skin and helped quicken to dry out some of my blemishes. This worked best for my oily skin. Lastly, the Metallic Mask in Pink Diamond claims to give skin a radiant, healthy look. I also enjoyed using this as it left my skin looking plump and it left a glow in my skin that last hours after application.

Overall, the metallic color of the masks made them a joy to apply. However, all the masks were a bit difficult to rinse due to their sticky consistency. The shimmers in the mask were also hard to remove, even after I have completely rinsed the mask. I enjoyed the benefits of the Pink Diamond and Sapphire Blue masks. I just hope they remove the shimmer in the formulation.

The BareMinerals Little Gems: Mini Metallic Mask Set was provided by @baremineralsuk. Available at bareminerals.com

Skincare Review: Boscia Mermaid Fire and Ice Cryosea Peel-Off Mask, Rosehip Omega Face Oil, and Indigo Eye Cream

Boscia is really one of the brands I admire. Vegan and cruelty-free, they constantly evolve and release new products catering to a plethora of skin types and concerns that are made without preservatives, artificial fragrance and color, and gluten.

The Mermaid Fire and Ice Cryosea Peel-Off Mask ($39) uses the brands cryosea blend of red algae, menthol, sea kelp extract, sodium hyaluronate, and seawater to lift, tighten, plump, and increase circulation to the skin.

True to its name, the mask had both hot and cooling effects. After about 20 minutes on the face, it leaves my skin feeling tighter, cleaner, and well-prepared for the next steps of my routine. I should also point out that it applies and peels off very easily, so it makes for a hassle-free face mask experience if you enjoy using peel-off masks

The Rosehip Omega Face Oil ($42), on the other hand, promises to hydrate, replenish, and brighten the skin using rosehip oil, rose oil, and pomegranate seed oil. It might be more effective for hydrating those with dry skin as I need a more hydrating #faceoil for my #oilyskin.

Using wild indigo, hand harvested fucus algae, and hyaluronic acid, the Indigo Eye Cream ($38) aims to hydrate, illuminate, and color-correct the under-eye area while reducing the look of puffiness.

It’s a light, lavender colored solution that applies very easily. However, it doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of disguising dark circles or any imperfections. It also works better with paler or lighter skin – the cream looks a bit too white when applying on mid to dark skin tones.

The Boscia Mermaid Fire and Ice Cryosea Peel-Off Mask, Rosehip Omega Face Oil, and Indigo Eye Cream were provided by @boscia and @purplepr. Available at boscia.com