Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: The Skin Pharmacy Natural Alcohol-Free Toner and Natural Deep Cleansing Mild Facial Wash

The Skin Pharmacy is a Singaporean brand that focuses on natural ingredients. I'd always wanted to try their products, so when there was a special promotion last year to purchase the Natural Deep Cleansing Mild Facial Wash and Natural Alcohol-Free Toner as a set for S$20, I purchased 2 sets immediately!

Natural Deep Cleansing Mild Facial Wash
The facial wash is a clear, very viscous, unscented gel that foams easily. The foam is very gentle on my skin - the main foaming agent is decyl glucoside which is a mild cleanser. The ingredients consist of mild foaming agents, moisturizing agents (glycerin, sodium PCA, sodium lactate), as well as amino acids that help to repair the skin. It's a nice, basic cleanser to have - very gentle on skin, lasts a long time (you only need a little bit because it foams very well) and leaves my skin soft and never stripped. 

However - the original price is S$29.90 for 150ml on the Skin Pharmacy website which I feel is pretty steep. If you're looking for a comparative, gentle cleanser for sensitive skin that is more affordable, I would recommend Eucerin Dermatoclean Refreshing Cleansing Gel, which I reviewed here previously. 

Natural Deep Cleansing Mild Facial Wash ingredients: aqua, decyl glucoside, sodium lauryl sarcosinate, naturally derived PEG-80 sorbitan laurate, glycerin, organic propanediol, naturally derived PEG-150 pentaerthrityl tetrastearate, lysine, arginine, threonine, proline, sodium PCA, sodium lactate, aspartic acid, PCA, glycine, grape fruit seed extract, citric acid

Rating: 9/10 (-1 because I think it's a little pricey - but the toner is even pricier)

Natural Alcohol-Free Toner
The toner is a clear liquid - it mainly consists of witch hazel, glycerin and aloe vera extract, as well as sodium PCA (moisture) and amino acids. It helps freshen, soften and prep my skin for subsequent skincare. I do like the feel of this toner more than my usual Simple Toner, because this toner feels a little bit more astringent and freshening on my skin. (I think the combination of witch hazel, glycerin and aloe vera used by Skin Pharmacy feels a little bit nicer than the combination of sorbitol and witch hazel used by Simple.) 

The toner comes in a tiny bottle - 115ml. I use toner very generously so that bottle didn't last me long. The original price is S$29.90 for 115ml which is really pricey in my opinion! If you're looking for a similar, no-frills gentle toner for sensitive skin that is more affordable, I would recommend Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Facial Toner which I mentioned in my 2014 skincare regime. And if you like witch hazel and aloe vera... I have a review for Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel coming up soon (more affordable)!

Natural Alcohol-Free Toner ingredients: aqua, witch hazel, glycerin, aloe vera extract, sodium PCA, lysine, arginine, threonine, proline, sodium lactate, aspartic acid, PCA, glycine, grape fruit seed extract

Rating: 9/10 (-1 because I think it's kinda pricey)


Would I repurchase? I might repurchase the facial cleanser (but I would probably opt for Eucerin Dermatoclean since it's more affordable). The toner is nice but way too pricey for me because I use toner very generously. Unless there's another promotion... I probably wouldn't repurchase. But they're really very good formulations that I believe would be very good for all skintypes - just that I'm a bit of a tightwad and the other drugstore "dupes" are good enough for me. I have a few of the acne-care products from The Skin Pharmacy on my wishlist though - I'll want to try them out in the near future!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bioderma Sebium H2O vs Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio H2O

I previously reviewed Bioderma Sensibio here. During my last trip to Hong Kong, I found Bioderma Sebium H2O at SASA and it was really cheap - HKD128 for a 500ml bottle (which translates to about US$17), so I decided to try it, because it's supposed to be for oily skin, while Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio is for sensitive skin, and I wanted to see the difference. 

My conclusion? Stick with Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio. Bioderma Sebium H2O is fragranced and it stings worse than Bioderma Crealine when it gets into my eyes. In my previous Bioderma Sensibio review, I mentioned that it stings slightly when it gets into my eyes, but Bioderma Sebium stings even worse. They both remove light make-up (excludes waterproof mascara) equally well. 
Bioderma Sebium H2O ingredients: water (aqua), peg-6 caprylic/capric glycerides, sodium citrate , zinc gluconate, copper sulfate, ginkgo biloba extract, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, fructooligosaccharides, propylene glycol, citric acid, disodium edta, cetrimonium bromide, fragrance (parfum).

Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio ingredients: water (aqua), peg-6 caprylic/capric glycerides, propylene glycol, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, fructooligosaccharides, disodium edta, cetrimonium bromide.

Comparing the ingredients, Crealine/Sensibio is unfragranced, has less ingredients and contains cucumber extract for soothing skin. Sebium H2O is fragranced and contains the following additional ingredients which I googled as follows:

- Sodium citrate: Used as a preservative, to control pH
- Zinc gluconate: Anti-inflammatory for acne
- Copper sulfate: According to Paula's Choice, "Effective for topical wound healing, but there is no research showing it has any impact when used in skin-care products." I suppose this also gives Sebium H2O its blue hue.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory for acne

Personally, I would stick with Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio as it feels gentler on my skin (and my eyes). I always follow up with a regular facial cleanser and my acne treatment (tea tree oil) so I don't think the other ingredients really make much of a difference for me. 

Rating: 7/10

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