Cult Favorite: I’m From Ginseng Serum

Ginseng is a staple in Korea. It has been known to be used for improving overall health, strengthen the immune system, and help fight off stress and diseases. I have never tried it orally but not I’ve tried it as a skincare ingredient.

The Ginseng Serum from I’m From contains promises to enhance blood circulation and replenish nutrients to the skin. It uses 7.98% ginseng extract created in Geumsan Country in Korea to increase elasticity and help purify the skin.

This is a viscous gel-like serum that applies thick onto the skin. I have #oilyskin and I usually steer clear from thick products. Yes, this is thick but it doesn’t feel blocking or suffocating with applied to the skin. It smells like ginseng and the scent lasts for a bit as it dries to a thin, slightly tacky film. I know it sounds a bit icky but this is one of the most nourishing serums I’ve tried. I never knew my oily skin would enjoy something like this until I tried it. I feel like this compliments the treatment serums I apply beforehand and helps my moisturizer in hydrating my skin. Like it helps reenergize my complexion after using a strong acid beforehand. I feel like this is equivalent to some of the face oils I use, with less fuss in terms of absorption. After about a month of use, I have noticed that this helps plump and nourish my skin and have come to like using this after using a tingly active or some deep exfoliating.

The I’m From Ginseng Serum was provided by @imfrom_global and @wishtrend for review.

Skincare Review: I’m From Rice Mask and Toner

I have loved the Ginseng Serum from I’m From and it has become a mainstay in my routine so I was really excited to receive the Rice Mask and Toner, hoping it would be as hydrating and as nourishing as the Ginseng Serum.

The main ingredient of these products is the Yeoju Rice, which compared to regular rice, promises to have a higher content of dietary fibers like aminosine and lysine and claims to brighten and smooth the skin.

The Rice Mask feels milky and has some grains in it for gentle exfoliation. This promises to brighten, firm, and tighten the skin using rice and oryzanol. This does brighten the skin and leaves it plump and smooth afterward. I like using this on days when I only want to lightly exfoliate my skin. It prevents my skin from getting dull and sallow. I also like how it moisturizes my skin after use.

Aimed to hydrate and brighten the skin, the Rice Toner contains rice and goami extract. This feels gentle and nourishing to the skin. However, my easily clogged pores reacted to the toner as I had a few bumps after use, which is weird because I didn’t get a reaction from the Rice Mask.

No doubt, these products were provided nourishment and brightening to the skin but for those who have the same skin as I do, the Rice Mask would be a gentle and hydrating option that won’t clog your pores.

The I’m From Rice Mask and Toner were provided by @imfrom @bywishtrend and @wishtrendstory.

Cult Favorite: I’m From Ginseng Serum

Ginseng is a staple in Korea. It has been known to be used for improving overall health, strengthen the immune system, and help fight off stress and diseases. I have never tried it orally but not I’ve tried it as a skincare ingredient.

The Ginseng Serum from I’m From contains promises to enhance blood circulation and replenish nutrients to the skin. It uses 7.98% ginseng extract created in Geumsan Country in Korea to increase elasticity and help purify the skin.

This is a viscous gel-like serum that applies thick onto the skin. I have oily skin and I usually steer clear from thick products. Yes, this is thick but it doesn’t feel blocking or suffocating with applied to the skin. It smells like ginseng and the scent lasts for a bit as it dries to a thin, slightly tacky film. I know it sounds a bit icky but this is one of the most nourishing serums I’ve tried. I never knew my oily skin would enjoy something like this until I tried it. I feel like this compliments the treatment serums I apply beforehand and helps my moisturizer in hydrating my skin. Like it helps reenergize my complexion after using a strong acid beforehand. I feel like this is equivalent to some of the face oils I use, with less fuss in terms of absorption. After about a month of use, I have noticed that this helps plump and nourish my skin and have come to like using this after using a tingly active or some deep exfoliating.

The I’m From Ginseng Serum was provided by I’m From and Wishtrend for review. Available for $28.80 (now on sale at $21.60) at wishtrend.com

Why your AM and PM routines should be different

When I first found out that skincare goes beyond cleansers and toners, I got to know the benefits of serums, essences, masks, and moisturizers. Then I read about the 10-step routine and it’s just information overload. There is so much to do, and for someone who has oily skin with pigmentation, there’s a lot to treat. I bought so many products making me paralyzed with fear when I sat on my vanity. I’m going to put all this twice a day? When? How?

Using many products at night is okay with me. I’ve gotten used to it and even take pleasure on having a few minutes to myself –between my thoughts, my skincare, and I. It’s a time for me to really look at my face and check what exactly I would need that day.

At night, I usually remove my makeup with a cleansing balm like Banila Co’s CleanIt Zero Purity or Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm before anything else. They both remove my makeup so quickly and so efficiently. This step also serves as the time to relax; I turn on the music, close my eyes, and massage my face until the song is over. I know it’s too long but I like the feeling of balm on my face.

I then cleanse with a foaming cleanser like Earth Tu Face’s Palmarosa + Aloe FaceWash before I put on my masks. I choose my mask depending on what I need that day – Georgette Klinger’s Vitamin C Mask if I need some brightening, Dior’s Hydra Life Pink Clay Mask for when my skin needs an extra glow, or Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Clay Mousse Mask if my skin is a bit congested. I put on my mask and watch a rerun of The Office while waiting for it to dry.

Once that’s off, I go to my vanity and watch makeup tutorials until I finish my routine. I start with a hydrating toner, like Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Toner in Refresh or By Wishtrend’s Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water. I then pat SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence, the cult fave fermented essence, which helps refine pores and even skin tones. After that, I put on an acid, like Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, which is both clarifying and anti-aging. Then I use an exfoliating toner, Biologique Recherche’s P50, which is literally a miracle in a bottle. My skin is always clear and glowing the morning after whenever I use this.

I follow this with serums to treat whatever my skin is feeling that day. If my skin is feeling extra oily, I will use the Bare Alchemy Ambrosia Cleanse Serum. If I have a budding zit, I will use Glossier Super Pure and use this continuously until the zit subsides. If it’s a good day, I will pull out Sahajan’s Ayurvedic Radiance Blend Face Serum or Bare Alchemy’s Ambrosia Cleanse Serum. With this, I always use a hydrating serum, like Jordan Samuel’s Hydrate Facial Serum, because it’s like a tall drink of water and an anti-aging serum like The Ordinary’s Buffet because I need to. I’m already in my 30s so I desperately need to keep those wrinkles at bay.

I cap my nighttime routine off with a moisturizer. This was a tricky part since it took me a long time to find a moisturizer that will not make my skin oilier. I found Blended Boost’s Face Cream, which can be customized to fit your skin needs, and J.One Cosmetics Black Jelly Pack. They are both hydrating and moisturizing but I don’t wake up with a greasy face after. I sometimes mix Butter Elixir’s Face Oil with my moisturizer if I feel like I need more nourishment.

Having these many products in my stash was a huge adjustment in the morning. You see, I love to sleep a bit too much. I tried doing all the steps above in the morning but it just didn’t work. My skin got greasy even before lunchtime and it was difficult to apply makeup. I also experienced breakouts. This is when I realized that I don’t have to follow a specific routine, I can adjust it based on what my skin needs and how my skin works.

I use a different type of cleanser in the morning – something gentler like Goodal’s Yerba Mate Cleansing Foam or Alder New York’s Everyday Face Cleanser. They don’t strip my skin but they do the cleansing part well. For toners, I use something lighter like mists. Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator or Enature’s Vita 8 Nutritive Mist is so light and yet so hydrating. Mists are also great for waking up the skin and for reducing the puffiness a bit.

In the morning is when I will use my Vitamin C serums, like Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum or Skindeva’s Vitamin C+E Serum to brighten dull spots. These two products have a very light oily texture and sink in the skin quickly so it goes great with makeup. I do this because Vitamin C is very fussy with products used with it. After this, I use Onomie’s Priming Serum to even the tone of my skin.

After the serums, I use a different moisturizer, something lighter than what I use a night – Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion or Yasou’s Cellular Day Cream. They both work great with makeup and don’t make my skin oily. Up next is sunscreen, which is, again, a difficult search for me. Most of the sunscreens in the market are too greasy or too thick for my skin. Some have even broken me out. I use either Benefit Cosmetic’s Dream Screen or La Roche Posay’s Antihelios XL Ultra Light.

As you can see, my morning routine is much shorter. I have toned it down because what I need during the day is very different from what I need at night. During the day, my main goal is to mattify and protect my skin. I spend my days either stuck in the office surrounded by air-conditioning or outdoors surrounded by dust or under the sun so protection is important. Also, if you apply makeup finding products that will blend well with your foundation is necessary.

My goal for my nighttime routine is to cleanse, treat, and moisturize to prepare for the next day. Double cleansing is very important because it removes everything that my face has encountered during the day. This is the time to check what my skin needs and what I can do for it be it a serum or a mask.

It would, of course, be a different thing for people who have normal or dry skin types as they are looking for different things. Note that the routine I mentioned took a lot of trial and error on my part in order to find the most suitable products for my skin. However, my experience just proves to me that yes, layering products can be effective but it can also be customized depending on what your skin needs. Happy Discovering!

**published in puropulence.com last December 2017