Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: Muji Light Toning Water Moist

I purchased a huge 400ml bottle of Muji Light Toning Water - Moist at a Muji sale a while ago. It was pretty affordable, the regular price is 980 yen. With the bit of Japanese I can read, I managed to note that it's made with "natural water" (does this mean spring water?) and it's free of alcohol, parabens, fragrance and mineral oil.
It comes with a seal for freshness!

It feels just like water - it infuses my skin with hydration, yet feels light, unlike some other 'moisturizing' toners which feel too heavy. It feels soothing and good for sensitive skin.
'Shittori' on the cap means 'moist'. I love the packaging, don't you?

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, DPG, PEG-32, Glycosyl trehalose, Hydrolysed starch, Purslane Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, PCA-NA (Sodium PCA), Citric Acid, Sodium Acid Citrate, Allantoin, BG, Phenoxyethanol

The ingredients list is pretty short and here are the ones I like and look out for in toners:
- Glycerin for moisture.
- Allantoin (one of my favourites for my oily, acne-prone skin) which helps skin renewal, thus smoothing skin. Also protects skin, soothes and desensitizes, as well as hydrates.
- Sodium PCA (another one of my favourites for oily skin) which hydrates and binds moisture to skin.

Basically, it feels hydrating but light, which makes it good for problem skin. The bottle's so pretty, and it's pretty affordable (of course when you're not in Japan, the price is marked up a little).

Rating: 9/10
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Muji actually has quite a lot of skincare products, but I feel the quality is pretty hit-or-miss. The packaging, of course, is beautiful in its simplicity.

One of the Muji products that I don't really love is the Muji cleansing oil, which has been widely reviewed online. It looks like DHC cleansing oil, but it feels so thick that it's difficult to spread on my face. Also, it doesn't emulsify well and leaves an oily, thick residue on my face when try to wash it off. It was a big fail, but luckily I only tried the travel size which cost me about $5? A cheap mistake. It's difficult to go wrong with toners though, so I might try out other Muji toners in future since they have many different lines, for moist, organic moisturizing, light, etc...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Review: Korean Dermal Masks - Charcoal, Red Ginseng, Royal Jelly Collagen Essence

Recently I tried out a few more 'flavours' of the Korean Dermal masks - Charcoal Collagen Essence, Red Ginseng Collagen Essence and Royal Jelly Collagen Essence.

Charcoal Collagen Essence Mask has a nice floral scent, and the sheet mask was very moist, it really hydrated and soothed my skin very well.

Ingredients:
Rating: 10/10

Red Ginseng Collagen Essence Mask has a bitter, herbal-medicinal scent, exactly like ginseng. Honestly I really hated the scent, so using this mask was totally not a relaxing experience for me. It was moisturizing and left my skin smooth and firm, so only the scent was off.

Ingredients:
Rating: 7/10

Royal Jelly Collagen Essence Mask has a weird, sweet scent which doesn't annoy me too much because the fragrance was light. It's very moisturizing and the essence is thicker than the others in the Dermal Collagen series. In fact, it's the most moisturizing out of the Dermal masks I've tried. My skin feels very supple and repaired after using this. It's probably good for very dry skin.

Ingredients:
Rating: 10/10

If you've been reading the ingredients' list carefully, you'll realize that all the ingredients are the same except for the differentiating ingredients - charcoal powder, or red ginseng extract, or royal jelly extract. So you can't go too wrong with whatever 'flavour' you choose.

My favourites so far?

- Dermal White Collagen (whitening and moisturizing)
- Charcoal Collagen (moisturizing and soothing)

After experimenting with all the flavours, I think I'll be sticking to these 2 when I repurchase in the future! Click here to view the entire series of reviews on Dermal masks.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: Burt's Bees Pore Refining Mask (discontinued)

I just renewed my love for Burt's Bees Pore Refining Mask this week, and while searching for the ingredients online (because I'm too lazy to type it out from the box), I just discovered it's been discontinued! :O Sadness! Because this is a truly fantastic mask. Thank God I purchased a back-up! The glass jar is so pretty too, with the metal lid.
It comes in a powder form which smells herbal in a nice way. It comes with a tiny scoop which I've lost, so I use a regular teaspoon to scoop the powder out.

Ingredients: French green clay, bentonite (natural clay), fragrance, mentha piperita (peppermint) leaf, shavegrass herb, calendula officinalis flower, rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf
I use a full teaspoonful of it. Then I measure out one and a half teaspoons of water, dribble it over the powder and mix well to form a nice paste as shown, not too runny or thick, just the nice consistency. It takes practice to get the right consistency though.
It feels nice and minty on my face and dries pretty quickly (within 10 minutes). When it dries on my face, it's slightly drying and makes my face feel itchy, but it's not painful or stinging, so I just bear with it, because the results are really worth it! When I wash it off, my skin looks fresh, clean, bright and soft. The morning after, I really do notice my skin becomes calmer and clearer and any existing zits are minimized and not so angry or painful. Truly an outstanding deep-cleansing mask.

While it is messy to mix the powder in my hand, it would be easier if you mixed it in a bowl, and not too troublesome either. The instructions state that you can mix it with other liquids such as carrot juice for mature skin, tomato juice for troubled skin, and green tea/grapefruit juice for oily skin.

I've tried green tea, but it's way too drying (green tea is naturally drying, I'm thinking because it's a diuretic, I like to drink a lot of green tea every day and it dries my lips out if I don't apply lipbalm). I've also tried it with a bit of honey (with water), and when it dries, it doesn't itch as much.

I think it's really fun to mix your own custom mask, and I love the fact that it is in powder form, which makes it easy to pack in luggage (and you don't have to worry about liquid restrictions or anything).

Rating: 10/10 (I hope they bring it back!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Review: Dermal Green Tea Collagen and Lemon Collagen Essence Masks

Dermal is a Korean brand that manufactures affordable and good-quality sheet masks (usually S$2 per sheet mask, pretty good value!). I've previously reviewed the White Collagen and Coenzyme Q10 Essence Masks and now here's the review for another 2 flavours - Green Tea Collagen and Lemon Collagen Essence.
Green Tea Collagen is supposed to moisturizing and firming. It has a pleasant, light floral scent and the serum is light and runny. It is easily absorbed and feels hydrating, like most of the other Dermal masks. I like this one, but if you're looking for a multi-functional mask with whitening benefits as well as moisturizing benefits, I'd go for the White Collagen mask instead.

Rating: 9/10

Lemon Collagen is supposed to be brightening, firming and refining. (Apologies - I forgot to take a photo of the ingredients, but it contains lemon essence.) It smells like lemon-scented toilet freshener, which really turns me off. The mask essence is lighter and more watery than the other regular Dermal masks, and perhaps because of the lemon essence, it stings a little on places where I have zits. I also find it not as moisturizing as the other Dermal masks. The essence is easily absorbed and I do notice some slight brightening and refining effects, but the results pale in comparison to the White Collagen mask.

Rating: 6/10

Dermal really makes quite a lot of different flavours; I have a few more flavours in my stash I'll review soon. I like all the masks, but since they all perform pretty well in terms of basic functions like moisturizing, in my next blog post I'll focus on which ones are the most outstanding and multi-functional. Till next time! :)

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