Skincare Review: Huangjisoo Sugar No:rinse Cleansing Pads, Sakura Peeling Radiance Pads, and Mugwort Rescue Soothing Pads

I have been traveling quite a bit recently and have been using these pads from the k-beauty Huangjisoo. Contained in tubs, these pads are travel-friendly and easy to use.

The Sugar No: rinse Cleansing Pads using micellar water, sugar, and lactobacillus ferment filtrate to remove make-up and dirt. These pads are vegan and cruelty-free and they remove makeup well without it feeling sticky. Used without rinsing needed afterward, it leaves the skin feeling soft after removing makeup. I usually use two to three pads to completely remove my makeup. I use the Pure Perfect Cleansing Oil after this one to remove heavy eye makeup and then their Pure Daily Foaming Cleanser to fully cleanse the skin.

Containing cherry blossom and echinacea, the Sakura Peeling Radiance Pads promises to moisturize and brighten the skin. This leaves the skin feeling and looking fresh. It has a clean smell and sinks in quickly onto the skin without leaving any residue. After a few weeks of use (twice to thrice a week) it helped smooth my skin and leaves my skin with a rosy glow.

The Mugwort Rescue Soothing Pads aims to soothe and moisturize the skin using sea mugwort and cica complex. This feels good on the skin, especially on irritated areas. I usually leave a piece of the pad on the irritated area/zit for a few minutes to reduce redness to spot treat. Used all over the face, this leaves the skin feeling moisturized without feeling sticky.

The Huangjisoo Sugar No:rinse Cleansing Pads, Sakura Peeling Radiance Pads, and Mugwort Rescue Soothing Pads were provided by @huangjisoo and @sophiebeautybox. Available for huangjisoo.com

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: Laneige Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer

I never knew I needed something like the Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer from Laneige until I used it. It feels like a viscous toner and applies like one. It leaves the skin plump and soft. However, after a few seconds, the feeling transforms into something thicker. It doesn’t feel tacky or anything but it feels like I applied a light moisturizer.

This hybrid product promises to be a two-in-one formula that preps and softens like a toner and moisturizes like a cream in one step. Using Cream Blending Technology, it contains white leaf tea water to strengthen the skin barrier, moisturize, and soothe the skin. This product is also free of parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil.

It’s watery and light on the skin on first touch but once applied it feels so nourishing and filling. I know it’s not the right word but it does feel like it’s filling my skin. It doesn’t feel tacky or overly moisturizing. It’s just enough to balance and moisturize my oily skin. For my skin type, this is a very welcome addition to my hydration routine. It is extremely helpful when my skin is feeling dry or when I had a long night and want to fast track my night routine. I feel like this would also be helpful to those with dry and sensitive skin as this moisturizes like, if not much more, than other moisturizers I’ve tried, without the weight and tackiness.

The Laneige Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer was provided by @laneigeus. Available for $33 at us.laneige.com

Skincare Review: Paul and Joe Beaute Cleansing Gel, Cooling Lotion, and Herbal Lotion

I didn’t know Paul and Joe Beaute have skincare products until they sent me these. As usual, the packaging is on point and as expected, the products are gentle and nourishing.

The Cleansing Gel promises to remove makeup and cleanse the skin using olive tree oil, parsley extract, and sage oil. This has a light gel texture that cleanses my skin thoroughly. It removes all the excess oil on my skin without stripping it. I like using this in the morning instead of at night to remove makeup as it takes a bit of time when I use this as a first cleanser. What I also like about this is it leaves a refreshed feeling on the skin after rinsing.

They sent two lotions, which if you base it on j-beauty, are toners. The Cooling Lotion is an astringent and it contains olive oil, olive leaf extract, ectoin, peppermint extract, and chamomile extract. This is a gentle astringent. It doesn’t sting, just providing a relaxing and cool feeling to the skin as it helps remove the dirt that I wasn’t able to remove while cleansing. The Herbal Lotion, on the other hand, aims to hydrate, soften, and firm the skin using olive oil, olive leaf extract, ectoin, organic fennel leaf extract, and lemon extract. This is more viscous than the Cooling Lotion and provides more hydration to the skin. I like using the Cooling Lotion before the Herbal Lotion as the combination helps keep my oiliness at bay while hydrating my skin. Using both left my skin feeling nourished and plump all day long.

I am pleasantly surprised by these products especially the Cooling Lotion and Herbal Lotion as they seem to suit my oily skin.

The Paul & Joe Beaute Cleansing Gel, Cooling Lotion, and Herbal Lotion were provided by @paulandjoebeaute. Available at paulandjoe.com

Skincare Review: Banila Co Dear Hydration Toner Moisture Boosting Cream

When I first found Banila Co, there already have a lot of skincare and makeup products. Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm wasn’t the only thing I bought back then but it was the only thing I kept on repurchasing because most of their products, I feel like, were targeted for those with drier skin types.

Fast forward to today, and my inner Banila Co cheerleader is jumping up and down because they have created a variety of products targeted to a lot of skin types.

Focusing on hydration, the Dear Hydration Toner ($16) and the Dear Hydration Moisture Boosting Cream ($25) aim to hydrate and nourish the skin while removing impurities and protecting the skin from environmental pollutants. They use the Urban Water Guard System, which utilizes peppermint extract, holy basil extract, neem leaf extract, bamboo, and fermented lotus water.

Both the toner and the moisturizer feel soothing and refreshing to the skin while hydrating the skin. As expected, the tone is very watery. What surprised me a bit was how the moisturizer is on the creamy side. It also felt a bit oily, which I don’t really prefer when it comes to moisturizers. It did hydrate the skin, though, but they both offered less hydration than I prefer. I feel like these products would work for those who are younger.

All these products were formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and mineral oil so they feel gentle on the skin.

The Banila Co Dear Hydration Toner and Moisture Boosting Cream were provided by @banilaco and @bluewheelmedia. Available at banilausa.com