2019 Skincare Favorites

As you know, I love cleansing and these are the new cleanser I’ve added to my favorites.

Sekkisei treatment cleansing oil – I’m usually a balm person but this cleansing oil feels nourishing and gentle on the skin.

Youth to the People superfood cleanser – I love cleansing foams but this is just on a league of its own. it’s watery but foams, it smells great, and it feels so good on the skin.

Then I Met You living cleansing balm and soothing tea cleansing gel – this is just a very nourishing duo. it does the job of cleansing the skin while refreshing and nourishing the skin.

Ole Henriksen phat glow facial – this zaps my blemishes and gives my skin a ridiculous glow the morning after

Korres hydra-biome – this came in at the latter part of the year and I have barely a few months trying this but it’s just so good. It plumps, brightens, and improves my skin overall. Love it. Love it.

Youth to the People 11% AHA exfoliation power toner – this is strong on the skin but it does give stellar results of glowing and clear skin.

Whalmyung skin elixir – my go-to hydrating toner this year

Peach and Lily the good acids pore toner – gentle and good for daily use, this toner doesn’t just brighten the skin. It nourishes them too

Then I Met You birch milk refining toner and the giving essence – if you haven’t noticed I love @charlottejcho for giving me TIMY products this year. This duo are gentle and nourishing but not only that but they also plump and brighten the skin in the long run. I always recommend these for those who have sensitive skin or those who are just building up their skincare routine

Farmacy Beauty very cherry bright – with a heavier texture, I use this brightening serum when my skin is feeling dehydrated

Peach and Lily glass skin serum – this just makes my skin look so damn good

Volition Beauty strawberry-c serum – another brightening serum, this is lightweight and gentle

Caudalie vinopure serum – my go-to serum when my skin is acting up

Korres wild rose spotless serum – yes, I love brightening serums. this one is watery and great before applying makeup

Bliss renew and smooth, glow and hydrate serums – amazed by this. they both have enjoyable texture and for the price, what they do to my skin js more than worth it.

Paula’s Choice power berry serum – a staple in my morning routine

Paula’s Choice antioxidant pore purifier – this just helps when my skin is irritated

Drunk Elephant a-passioni – this made me love retinol. It doesn’t sting, it doesn’t make my face red, and it has improved the overall texture and firmness of my skin

Wander Beauty do not disturb – this has retinoid and I love using this treatment when my skin is feeling dry and dull

Wander Beauty layover – my skin just drinks this in. it light yet so nourishing to the skin

Wander Beauty glow ahead – it calls itself a face oil but it doesn’t feel like it. It’s light and it doesn’t feel oily at all. I use this before applying SPF and makeup and it just a boost of radiance to my skin

First Aid Beauty retinol eye cream – see what I mean by loving retinol this year? I have it for my eyes as well.

Cult Favorite: Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner

As a firm believer of changing up my products based on the changes around me and the changes on my skin, I like switching up products. I usually choose products depending on how my skin is feeling. Then I consider others factors like the weather, the environment, the kind of exfoliation I will do, and the like. For example, I’m about to get my period so, naturally, my skin is acting up a bit. I will have my go-to actives and exfoliators but my hydrators, purifiers, and detoxifiers vary depending on how much help my skin needs. Add humidity and warmth, then my skin will require stronger products that may otherwise be too much if, for example, it’s December.

That’s how I crossed paths with the newest curation of Soko Glam – the Green Tea Fresh Toner from Isntree, which has stood by my side the past month.

Recommended for oily and combination skin, this toner uses EWG green-grade ingredients to balance and nourish. It contains a blend of plant extracts, which they call anti sebum p(hd) to control excess oil. It also uses 80% green tea extract sourced from Jeju Island to protect, brighten, and balance skin, centella asiatica extract to reinforce the skin’s barrier, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid to hydrate, allantoin to soothe, and blueberry fruit extract to provide relief.

As expected, this helps keep my skin hydrated while managing my skin’s oil production, no matter how hot and humid it gets. I like using it in the morning as it has a watery consistency that feels so lightweight on the skin. It also has a slight viscosity to it making the skin feel plump and ready to grip makeup. Free of parabens, pigment, artificial fragrance, animal ingredients, surfactants, mineral oil, alcohol, silicone, and fragrance, this feels like a gentle hard worker on my skin. Safe to say, I was glad to discover this as my summer morning toner.

The Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner was provided by @isntree and @sokoglam. Available for $20 at sokoglam.com

Cult Favorite: Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid

As a fan of what vitamin c has done to my skin, I have actually tried the Triple C Lightning Liquid from Cosrx and @charlottecho from Soko Glam. I actually ordered this as soon as it was available again. The hype around this product was so big, it was sold out after an hour it launched.

Why wouldn’t it be, this vitamin c serum contains 20.5% pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and 72% black chokeberry to attack pigmentation, lighten brown spots and acne scars, and bring radiance and balance back to the skin while keeping it hydrated and smooth.

This is actually an instant like because it has a watery consistency. I honestly prefer this consistency to oil-based ones. The mere strength of this I felt as soon as it came into contact with my skin because it stung a bit. That sensation seems to wane the more you apply it though. I love how light and gentle it feels on this skin, despite the initial tingling sensation. Unlike other vitamin c serums, this actually feels hydrating on the skin. I can easily use this in the morning without worrying if it’s going to make my face oily after a few hours.

As for the results, I wasn’t surprised as that a week in, I already noticed brightening. It also faded dark spots and pigmentation in a couple of weeks but the effect that really stood out to me is how it also helped hydrated and soften my skin. It just helped with the overall health of my skin and left me looking radiant and bright.

The Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid was provided by @cosrx and @sokoglam. Available for $27 at sokoglam.com

Monthly Favorites: July 2019

Solved Skincare Coconut Oil Cleansing Pads

We all have our doubts with coconut oil. Me especially, because I don’t like eating coconuts and I don’t like smelling it. Then there were countless articles saying how it can cause irritation and block your pores.

So, when Soko Glam sent me the Coconut Oil Cleansing Pads from Solved Skincare. I was hesitant even though I thought that cleansing pads are such a genius innovation. It’s amazing, the thought that you can bring a first cleanser anywhere without worrying if it would spill on your bag or if you will make a mess by the sink.

Anyway back to coconut oil, I looked through the comments at Soko Glam and saw Charlotte Cho replying that coconut oil is good for the skin if it’s formulated right. 95% of the formula of the cleansing pads contain 100% virgin coconut oil while the other 5% consists of natural fatty acids (caprylic/capric triglycerides, PEG-20 glyceryl triisostearate) derived from coconuts to exfoliate and moisturize my skin while melting away makeup without irritation. The product is also vegan, cruelty-free, and is made without parabens, pigment, artificial fragrance, animal ingredients, surfactants, mineral oil, alcohol, and silicone.

I tested it on my hands first, which if worth noting, is something I rarely do. I didn’t get any negative reaction from using it on my hand so I used it on my face after a few days. It smells very coconut-y, which as I have said here before, I am not a fan of. Thankfully, the scent doesn’t last. It honestly feels like most cleansing oils out there. The pads are soaked in oil but it’s not dripping, making is easy to bring around. What I like about this is that the oil is soaked in a pad making it easy to use, especially on the nooks and crannies of my face. It removes impurities and makeup and amazingly feels gentle on the skin. Also, I like how it can easily be washed away with water without leaving any residue. I like reaching for this on days where I do an elaborate eye makeup as it works well with eyeliners and mascaras really well.

The Solved Skincare Coconut Oil Cleansing Pads was provided by @solvedskincare and @sokoglam. Available for $25 at sokoglam.com

Huxley Secret of Sahara Cream: Glow Awakening

I have always been a fan of that distinct Huxley scent so, I was instantly drawn to the Secret of Sahara Cream: Glow Awakening. I have tried the Fresh and More variant and it worked so well with my oily skin . This moisturizer, however, is a bit heavier so I reach for this after I do some deep physical exfoliation and do not want to apply any more products. This is a one and done for me before sleeping.

Even if it has a richer texture and a heavier consistency than the Fresh and More Cream, it doesn’t clog my pores. I only wake up with brighter and healthier-looking skin as it promises to brighten, moisturize, and protect the skin from pollutants and impurities using prickly pear seed oil, niacinamide, odeetox, glutathione, bisabolol, and cs-glucan. This will work for those looking to brighten and moisturize their skin and it can be a go-to winter moisturizer for skin types similar to mine. Those with dry skin, however, would have a field day with this any time of the year.

The Huxley Secret of Sahara Cream: Glow Awakening was provided by @huxley_global

R+Co Control

Hairstyling, to be honest, used to be the most important thing when I was in grade school. I use to have a different style per day, using a variety of products. All that stopped in college and up until I started working. Sleep has become more important and with that, my hair suffered. I just let it down and just let it be – just a bit of shampoo and conditioner and I’m done. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to take notice of my hair again. I started caring for it and styling it again.

I usually have a go-to for work – a sleek low-bun. It’s simple, it’s low-maintenance, and it keeps hair off my face when done right. It doesn’t sound as easy as it sounds since I have a lot of baby hairs so I usually need help.

I have been using Control from R+Co, a paste that promises stronghold in a semi-matte finish. This vegan and cruelty-free paste contain aloe barbadensis leaf extract, passionflower extract, mango fruit extract, and ginger root extract to condition, strengthen, soften, smooth, retain moisture, and add shine to the strands.

I associate pastes with something sticky, tacky, and slick but this one is easy to use. It doesn’t feel heavy and doesn’t feel greasy. It provides a soft hold to the hair. It wasn’t able to flatten and hide all my baby hairs but it was able to tame them. I like using this at the ends of my hair to help manage fly-aways and frizziness. When applied at the ends, it leaves my hair with a controlled volume without looking like my hair is being weighed down. It doesn’t make my hair oily even if I leave the product for more than 12 hours and it rinses quickly. So, yes, this definitely provides a soft control to my hair.

The R+Co Control was provided by @randco. Available for $28 at randco.com

Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar and Juju Bar

Today’s routine featuring the Pekee Bar from Drunk Elephant. To be honest, I rarely use bar soaps to cleanse my skin. Even during the time I wasn’t into skincare, I had a cleansing foam. However, I can’t deny the fact that bars are much easier to travel with those cleansers packed in bottles or tubes.

The brand has two kinds – the Pekee Bar which promises to clarify, balance, and moisturize the skin using blueberry extract, marula oil, and honey. I bring this with me when I’m traveling in colder areas because it doesn’t dry out my skin or make it feel tight.

The Juju Bar, on the other hand, aims to cleanse, clarify, brighten, remove dead skin cells, dissolve oil, and refine skin texture, with thermal mud and bamboo powder. This is what I bring to places with warmer climates or when I know I’m going to be spending much of my time under the sun.

Both soaps feel gentle on the skin and not at all stripping. They are also vegan, cruelty-free, and are free of fragrance, essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, dyes, and SLS.

The Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar and Juju Bar were provided by @drunkelephant and @fullmontyldn. Available at drunkelephant.com

Amore Pacific Youth Revolution Radiance Creme and Masque

I know people like to talk about the overwhelming scent of the Amore Pacific Youth Revolution Radiance Creme and Masque but it reminds me so much of the products my mother used to apply on herself while we’re watching Gilmore Girls when I was younger so, I honestly didn’t mind. It’s strong, yes, but it brings back so many memories for me to be bothered by it. The scent does linger, not a strong as when you apply it, but it’s there.

It leaves a glowy finish which I really like because it doesn’t look tacky on the skin and it doesn’t feel heavy either. I like using this as the last step of my night routine as it is a bit heavy for my oily skin if used during the day. It contains white peony (infused at 60 degrees for a day and purified the extract five times) and green tea polysaccharide, making it feel nourishing and moisturizing to the skin. After one use, I immediately noticed how plump and radiant my skin looked. This is a definite luxury item you might want to indulge in if you want radiant skin as well as protection from environmental aggressors.

The AmorePacific Youth Revolution Radiance Creme and Masque was provided by @amorepacific_us and #OctolyFamily #amorepacific @SEPHORA #YOUTHREVOLUTION

Thayer’s Rose Petal Body Bar

A new favorite is the Rose Petal Body Bar from Thayer’s ($4.99) contains a mix of palm and coconut oils, in addition to witch hazel and aloe vera, to tone, tighten, and moisturize the skin. I really enjoyed using this. It has a slight rosy smell but what I really love is the gentleness of the soap. It soft and smooth to the skin and leaves my skin moisturized and hydrated. My skin doesn’t get dry as easily while I was using this. Also, for the price, this feels luxurious to the skin.

The Thayer’s Rose Petal Body Bar were provided by @thayers and Natural Brand Partners. Available at thayers.com

Skincare Review: Neogen Blueberry Real Fresh Foam Cleanser and Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser

As a fan of K-Beauty, Neogen is one of the few brands I’ve tried before and enjoyed. My first neogen product is actually the Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick, which was co-created with Charlotte Cho. This has been my travel cleanser two years ago. Now, Soko Glam sent over two of their cleansers and I feel like my skincare journey has come full circle.

A foam cleanser with blueberry water and moringa seed extract, the Blueberry Real Fresh Foam Cleanser ($19) promises to remove impurities on the skin and fight off free radicals while hydrating and nourishing it. It also contains witch hazel and soybean ferment extract and is formulated without parabens and mineral oils.

This cleansing foam smells sweet but not overpowering. The plastic packaging pumps out foam but the actual foam doesn’t feel diluted or watery. It’s light but one pump can cover the whole face. It doesn’t leave the skin squeaky clean but doesn’t leave a residue either. It just leaves the skin feeling soft, hydrated, and smooth. A great morning cleanser option as it feels gentle but cleansing.

To be used once or twice a week to deeply cleanse oily and combination skin, the Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser ($27) contains a blend of carbonated water, canadian colloidal clay, kaolin clay, and centella asiatica extract to eliminates excess sebum, blackheads, makeup, and dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and inside pores.

It’s my first time trying something like this. The product feels creamy when applied. It applies smooth but foams on the skin. It doesn’t tighten and feels so gentle on my oily skin and it’s easy to rinse off. I like that even if it’s targeted for oily and combination skin types, it doesn’t feel drying or stripping. It just leaves the skin detoxified and smooth. I like using this twice a week for deep cleansing for exfoliating with a face mask.

The combination of these gentle cleansers helps keep my skin cleansed, clear, and soft without stripping my skin and drying it.

The Neogen Blueberry Real Fresh Foam Cleanser and Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser were provided by @neogen and @sokoglam. Available at sokoglam.com