Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Lotion

Ingredients:

Titanium Dioxide 4%, Zinc Oxide 4%,Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Hexyl Laurate, Iron Oxides, Panthenol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Porphyra Umbilicalis (Red Algae) Extract, Silica, Squalane, Stearic Acid, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate*, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Water

*Vitamin E

This item is labeled as 100% mineral sunscreen hence its main ingredients are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

As per COSDA, certain ingredients may trigger acne:

  • Stearic Acid (2)
  • Squalene (1)
  • Zinc Oxide (1)

The ratings are low however, if you are known to have issues with any of these, use it with caution.

Trial Period: 1 week

Skin Condition: Currently purging due to Glycolic Acid

Environment: Humid, tropical summer

Packaging:

Price: 19.99 CAD Amazon Prime Canada / around 14 USD – 89 ml

Review:

This is a mineral sunscreen. It contains both Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. This is a good choice if you’re after something that will rather sit on top of your skin rather than absorbed, a concept which is better if you have sensitive or acne prone skin.

This product does not contain fragrance at all which is perfect if you have a sensitive skin.

The product itself is somewhat a heavy cream with less oil in touch. It is soft and glides smoothly in the skin. This sunscreen is not sticky but can be a little tacky in touch – a common property of a mineral sunscreen. If you’re on the normal to dry skin, I suggest that you top your skin with something moisturizing before applying this to avoid it from getting too dry.

This tinted sunscreen has no coverage but to be fair, it claimed nothing of such. Do note though that this might tone you up in a pinkish way. I’m on the mid-fair tone and this specific sunscreen made by face and neck differs a little bit. It is not very huge difference at least from my skin but for those with darker complexion, this might be a little bit tricky to play around. They don’t look like they sell different shades (I may be wrong) so please do ask their customer support to verify.

This is not a replacement for your foundation especially if your goal is to cover up some blemishes. It will help though even out some minor skin discoloration but not to the level of hyperpigmentation.

Another thing I noticed about this mineral sunscreen is that it has a minor flashback. I don’t go out taking pictures all the time so it is not an issue but if you’re planning to get a picture, this can be a bad thing.

Without Flash:

With Flash:

Good news about this though is that it has very little transfer. Once settled, I don’t worry about it getting into my headphones or likes. It will not compound much as well on your eyeglasses’ nose pad – perfect for those who wears them a lot.

This product is also advertised to be water resistant up to 80 minutes. I personally did not try this, but I noticed though that even I sweat mildly, I did not see the need to reapply. This product has some clinging power to my skin – which probably explains my narration above.

Lastly, despite me currently purging from Glycolic Acid, no apparent additions came into my inventory of blemish.

Final Thoughts:

  • This is a mineral sunscreen, a better option for those with sensitive or acne prone skin.
  • Contain no fragrance
  • Can even out skin tone but not cover blemishes or hyperpigmentation
  • Has a pink undertone
  • Might be a little tricky to use if you have darker skin tone
  • Has a mild flash back
  • Best used with moisturizer underneath
  • Can be a little tacky but not sticky
  • Very little transfer and compounding
  • Can resist sweat
  • No bad skin reaction

Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion (PM)

Ingredients:

Aqua / Water / Eau, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Potassium Phosphate, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Ceteareth-20, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cholesterol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Edta, Dipotassium Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Ethylhexylglycerin

As per COSDNA, these below item are worth noting on the comedogenic rating:

  • Polyglyceryl-3-Diisostearate (4)
  • Dimethicone (1)
  • Cetearyl Alcohol (2)

As irritant:

  • Cetearyl Alcohol (2)
  • Carbomer (1)

Trial Period: 3 months

Skin Condition: Acne Prone (first two months of use) / Dry and Dehydrated (recently)

Environment: Warm humid (first two months of use) / Cool and dry (recently)

Packaging:

*** packing may vary on other countries

Price: 14 CAD Walmart Canada / around 11 USD – 89 ml

Review:

I started using this moisturizer when my face is still very acne prone. I watched tons of Youtube videos and I see a lot of influencers and even dermatologist using this product. As someone who’s struggling to get a better skin, I definitely felt hooked – light / not greasy, fragrance free and most importantly it contains Ceramides, Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid!

Ok, so let’s discuss their importance very quickly –

Light / not greasy

During my ordeal in acne, this moisturizer felt really light on my skin. I never had any irritation or any bad reaction during those time. It is very hard to know its presence in my skin as it is absorbed almost completely just a minute after the application. Since it is light and totally absorbed, having sunscreen is a lot easier. It will not make your skin heavy even if you put sunscreen plus makeup.

However, I find this product to be too light when I’m going to a place where air can be cooler and dry. It works fine with me on humid, warm days but when AC is around, my usual two pumps for the face is not enough. You might want to either add more or top it with something more moisturizing. This alone cannot stand cooler and dry environment without assistance.

Fragrance Free

Well, for someone who’s very concerned about the ingredients they put on their skin (a paranoia that I developed trying to understand my acne), this is a big hooray! Like I mentioned on other reviews, I see no reason to include fragrance (natural or not) on your skin care and this is just that kind of product that listened.

A big point here.

Ceramide

This ingredient can be produced by our skin naturally. However, due to some factors (like age and harsh products), this can deplete.  To help build and strengthen our barriers, sometimes we need to add this in our skin care routine and this moisturizer boast to have that.

It’s hard to actually measure and compare this aspect as very few products still has this ingredient and if they do, they are usually pricey. I personally have not tried much to compare this with. I do, however, felt like my skin tends to go back to its more natural state faster when using this product – a sign of Ceramide presence.

Niacinamide

This ingredient boast tons of promises like shrink pores, treats hyperpigmentation, treats acne and likes. I personally did not notice all of that. However, when I’m using this moisturizer, I noticed that I don’t oil as much as when I’m using other moisturizers. Though to be fair, I’m also using Hyaluronic Acids before applying this.

Hyaluronic Acid

This ingredient is naturally produced by our skin. However due to certain factors like age, this deplete during production. Having this in our routine aids our skin to retain moisture and promote suppleness. This moisturizer has that.

I’m not sure how much Hyaluronic Acid this product contains in its formulation but I can tell you confidently that it is not its biggest asset. During my dehydrated days, this alone is not enough to provide the hydration my skin needed. Hence, I added Hyaluronic Acid lotion before this product and most of the time I have to top my skin with heavier creams. I think this will work well alone when your skin is on the normal and oily side.

Additional —

For some reason though when my skin is a bit stingy (probably due to strong ingredients), when I apply this on my skin, the stinging tends to intensify a lot. I am personally not sure how normal that is or if I can even add moisturizer when my skin is compromised but for the record that happened. I’m not sure if it is the Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate or Cetearyl Alcohol that’s amplifying the sting so be cautious putting this when your skin is compromised already.

Will I recomment this? Yes. However, this may not be sufficient for all skin types so you might want to play around with this.

Final Thoughts:

  • This contains no fragrance
  • Formulated with Ceramide and Niacinamide
  • Very light on the skin
  • Perfect for acne prone / oily / normal skin but not adequate if you’re on the dry and dehydrated side so you might want to look for something else or add heavier hydrators
  • Contains no strong ingredients like AHA and BHA so it can easily be added into your routine
  • Be cautious on using this when your skin is compromised as it may intensify the sting

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer

Ingredients:

Aqua, Glycerin, Paraffinum Liquidum, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Bisabolol, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Lactic Acid, Panthenol, Pantolactone, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Carbonate, Potassium Hydroxide, Serine, Sodium Lactate, Sorbitol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Urea.

There isn’t much ingredients highlighted to cause acne or irritation. Do note though that this product contains Dimethicone. I don’t consider this an issue, but I understand that some people are highly concerned about this.

Trial Period: 4 months

Skin Condition: Acne prone, occasionally dry and combination

Environment: Tropical – warm with little humidity

Packaging:

Price: 499 PHP Watson, Lazada, BeautyMNL / around 10 USD – 125 ml

Review:

It wasn’t my first go-to moisturizer.  Ever since I started doing Tretinoin, the importance of clean and fragrance-free moisturizer has always been my goal. I started using Cerave PM during those days (which I hoarded when I visited our relatives in Canada last year). Let me tell you this – it is perfect. Cerave PM is the moisturizer that I have been looking for all my life. Unfortunately, due to baggage limitation I was only able to hoard 4 months supplies of these lotions. Hence, the search for next best locally available lotion went into picture…then I got this.

This moisturizer is literarily simple when it comes to its claim. Let’s discuss each:

Hydrating Light Moisturizer

True – it is light. It never feels heavy during and after application. It is perfect with or without makeup. However, do know that it isn’t the lightest moisturizer I have tried. I have no problems with its weight in the skin but it I wouldn’t say it is an upgrade (weight – wise). The difference, if I will compare it with Cerave PM, is not even huge so it will definitely not bother you at all.

Texture: Light white cream which becomes invisible after application

Immediately After Application:

After around one min:

12 Hours Hydration

Hydrating and Moisturizing for 12+ hours – checked!

There isn’t much to discuss about this topic though. It does what it claims perfectly. If there’s one thing that this moisturizer do best amongst those that I tried – this is that. However, if you have extra dry skin, you might want to add something like Hyaluronic Acids before using this. On regular days, this can stand alone. However, there are days when I tend to use more active ingredients that sometimes makes my skin dry. As a result, my skin compensates the issue with oiliness. The trick that I learned from my fellow skin care lovers is to add HA (through Hada Labo or Neutrogena Clear Lotion). Voila!

Fragrance – Free

Yep! No fragrance even for masking purposes only. You will not get any irritation due to fragrance.

Others worth mentioning….

If I’m not using Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, I use this immediately after washing my face (when my skin is still moist but not dripping). A small pea-size will do. I use it this way to prevent water lose (which often happens when your skin made contact with water). You may use more if you wish but this procedure works perfect for me.

If I intend to sequence this with my go-to HA lotion, I will use HA lotion first when my face is still moist. Then when my face is already sticky, I will follow it with this moisturizer. When in HA though, I tend to put more of this as HA requires tons of moist. Your face might get dry if you don’t supply it with more moisturizer (unless your place is very humid). Three pea size seems to work well for me.

Also take note that there’s really not much promises this lotion claims. It is perfect to partner with active ingredients like BHA, Retinoids, AHA, Azelaic etc. I have no issues with them when I use this products because to begin with, there’s nothing in this lotion’s recipe that it known to counteract or cancel any of the actives I mentioned.

Precaution though, for some reason this product has been giving me a slight “sting” whenever I applied it. I’m not sure what specific ingredient this contains that could possibly give me such reaction. I have been using this product for months now and it is only recent that I felt this mild sting. To be fair though, I started feeling this when I added AHA and BHA (couples of times per week as cleanser) to my routine. There’s a possibility that my face is still too sensitive for these additions (since I also use Tretinoin at night). If you’re not using any actives but your face stings, please discontinue use.

Takeaways:

  • It does hydrate and moisturize for 12+ hours
  • Fast absorbing
  • No fragrance (both artificial and natural)
  • Best used after face wash (when skin is still moist)
  • No known ingredients to cancel out popular active ingredients
  • There is a possibility that you might feel mild sting especially if your skin is sensitive

Simple Rich Moisture Sheet Mask

Ingredients:

Aqua, Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, Agave Americana Stem Extract, Carbomer, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Tromethamine, Cellulose Gum, Allantoin, Caffeine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyglycerin, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyacetophenone

This mask contains Butylene Glycol which has a rating of 1 for acne. Not a huge number and personally, I did not get any skin issue after using this mask.

Trial Duration: 1 day

Price: 89 PHP (Watson, Lazmall and BeautyMNL) / 2 USD – 1 sheet

Packaging:

Current Skin Condition:  Combination

Environment:  Tropical – warm with little humidity

Review:

Every Saturday, I practice a routine called “No-Tretinoin Night”. So basically, this procedure consists of chemical exfoliation  (via BHA Cleanser) and extreme moisture practice (and from the name itself, no Tretinoin). For the moisture, my go-to Hyaluronic Acid lotion and moisturizer (Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer) are usually sufficient for my daily needs. However, who doesn’t need an extra kick, right? Hence, I bought this hydrating mask.

The official claim of this mask is:

Simple Rich Moisture Sheet Face Mask infuses active nutrients into the skin to condition dry, dehydrated skin. The perfect antidote to dry city skin! Our Korean sheet mask is made of natural fibers, so light and soft that it contours the face like a second skin. Enriched with a blend of Botanical Extracts and moisturizing ingredients. It contains no colour or dye, no artificial perfume and no harsh chemicals that could lead to skin irritation. Perfect for even sensitive skin. Feel the benefits of a moistuising facial treatment, in one convenient, easy-to-use sheet face mask. Dermatologically tested and approved. Ophtalmologically tested. Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic.”

From: https://www.simpleskincare.com/ph/products/masks/kind-to-skin-rich-moisture-sheet-mask.html

The claims are literally simple and not extravagant. Let’s dissect the claim.

Infuses nutrients to skin to condition dry and dehydrated skin

This part, I can assure you happened. My skin afterward went literally well moist and supple after using this for only 15 minutes!

After I soaked and washed by face with Cerave SA Cleanser (which contains 2% Salicylic Acid), my face literally went dry. It’s not irritated but it feels very tight. For this specific test, I did not grab  my humectant (Hada Labo Goku Jyun Hydrating Lotion) and moisturizer (Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer) to see how much this mask can provide me.

After I removed the mask, my face went very sticky. If I will compare it to other cheaper masks that I have tried, I can say that it is not the stickiest. It takes a while though to get the remaining serum to totally be absorbed / dry by itself.  You may top your face with very little moisturizer if you want the stickiness to disappear faster. This is a practice I learned from using Hyaluronic Acid which by the way this mask has in form of Sodium Hyaluronate.

Also for those asking if I needed to add more moisturizer to support the Hyaluronic Acid inside this product, for me not at all. This mask itself contains the needed moisture to supplement the humectant’s need. Though you can still add if you wish especially if you think that your face is still very dry. I just did not see the need for it based from my experience.

Mask is made of natural fibers, so light and soft that it contours the face like a second skin

True.

The mask is very thin and soft that it can easily be molded to fit your face. It’s like a stronger version of wet facial tissue – that’s how it feels when I pulled it out from the packaging.

Another thing I like about this mask is that it can be used as well by people who have bigger and rounder faces. Combining it with the mask’s flexibility to be folded and molded to your face – I can say that it is perfect to any face shapesand sizes.

It contains no colour or dye, no artificial perfume and no harsh chemicals that could lead to skin irritation. Perfect for even sensitive skin

True – no color and artificial fragrances. I also did not get any irritations (even clogged pores) when using this product.

HOWEVER — for the record, this product contains very mild scents from essential oils like Cananga Odorata Flower Oil and Cananga Odorata Flower Oil (Bergamot Oil). Caffeine is also a form of fragrance which this product has. Surely, they are natural but we have to understand that not all “naturals” are safe. Based from my experience in this specific mask, I did not get any bad side effect but I can’t speak for everyone especially on this matter. I still think that this product can be good even if there’s no fragrance involved.

Will I recommend this? Yes. It is a good addition to your weekly routine especially if you’re looking for an extra kick of hydration and moisture.

Takeaways:

  • When it comes to moisture and hydration, this mask can stand alone
  • Has a very thin and soft structure that helps when molding this mask to your face
  • No artificial colors and scent but still contains fragrance though from essential oils and Caffeine.

Nivea Sun Protect and Moisture Face Cream SPF 50 ++

Ingredients:

Aqua, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Titanium Dioxide (nano), Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Myristyl Myristate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrasodium Iminodisuccinate, Cellulose Gum, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Silica, Dimethicone, Trisodium EDTA, Hydroxyacetophenone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Coumarin, Parfum

As per COSDNA, there are four ingredients worth nothing that may trigger acne or irritation:

Cetyl Alcohol (2)

Cetearyl Alcohol (2)

Glyceryl Stearate SE (3)

Dimethicone (1)

They are relatively low in rating but still good to know in case you have a very sensitive skin.

Trial: 3 days

Current Skin Condition: Combination

Environment: Tropical – warm with little humidity

Packaging:

Packaging:

Price: 359 PHP Lazada (Lazmall) / around 8 USD –50 ml

Review:

Personally, I’m not concerned about the whole PA Metric System as this is hard to standardized and results tends to vary. Anyway, if this is something that you consider vital, this specific sunscreen only has two plus – not the highest measure out there. However, NIVEA is a very well-known institution already. I hate to sound brand-biased but there’s confidence in time and experience.

Let’s start with the immediately obvious – this contains fragrance. The fragrance is not light which I think is very common to any Nivea products (correct me if I’m wrong though). The smell tends to go away anyway but this is worth noting as some people might get irritation from it. I didn’t though which I think is a little surprising.

The product itself comes in a thin, opaque white cream. It can be spread easily into your skin due to its light consistency. However, as time pass by you will start to notice that it becomes sticky and hard to move around so don’t wait too long in spreading this.

The finish of this product is sticky and shiny. In my experience under tropical weather, this did not disappear even after long hours. Also, this sunscreen has a tendency to transfer some tackiness into your hand when touched.

What I liked about it though is that I did not experience this product staining my clothes. Also, it is true to its claim that it is water resistant. As a matter of fact, I hard a hard time washing this product off my hand after application.

This sunscreen is perfect for more extreme days with swimming, gym, jogging and likes. Though it is important to know that re-application is still needed as indicated in the packaging.

Since I mentioned about swimming and surely a lot of people will consider this product for a swim in the beach, do remember that this sunscreen has Octocrylene. Octocrylene is one of the many known sunscreen ingredients that contributes to coral reefs’ death. Surely, it comes with big amount for this to see immediately but I suggest not to contribute to this known issue already by not using this product for a swim in the beach. There are still plenty of sunscreen you could choose from when dipping in the sea.

Another thing, this sunscreen is not drying. It is a visible truth that it has moisturizing feature. Though, to be fair, I won’t rely on this just for moisturizing purposes especially if you have a very dry skin. Do consider using your go-to moisturizer still when using this to avoid dryness especially when planning to go outside.

There is no recorded flashback when I was taking pictures. However, if you have medium to dark skin tone like mine, expect that your skin will tone up. Therefore, it is preferable to use this exact sunscreen to your neck as well to avoid huge indifference in tone.

Lastly, I had a hard time using this under makeup due to its tackiness. I tried to use pressed foundation on top of this and after a while, I can see that this sunscreen is absorbing it and empowering it with shine. I just didn’t bother trying this further on other makeups as this sunscreen, from my opinion, is designed mostly for extreme exposure / activities rather than something to hold and played with makeup. Perhaps this part is more subjective to my available tools and collections so feel free to test it on yours.

Will I recommend this? Yes. Despite its texture and smell, this sunscreen is perfect for sweaty activities!

Takeaways:

  • Very tacky on skin
  • Has strong fragrance but I did not get any irritation
  • Water resistant – perfect for extreme activities like playing, swimming, gym and etc.
  • Contains Octocrylene, which is not good to our coral reefs
  • Moisturizing but still consider using your go-to moisturizer
  • No flashback
  • Doesn’t go easily with makeups

Hada Labo Goku Jyun Hydrating Lotion

Ingredients:

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Acetyl Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Disodium Succinate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Succinic Acid, Methylparaben

As per COSDNA, the only ingredients they highlighted is the Butylene Glycol. This is a known as a moisturizing agent and solvent.

Trial Duration: 2 days

Price: 195 PHP (Watson) / around 4 USD – 30 ml

*** the one I bought is in travel / trial. size This size might not be available for other locations. There is a 170 ml version of this which cost 685 PHP (around 14 USD).

Packaging:

Current Skin Condition: Combination

Environment: Tropical – warm with little humidity

Review:

So recently my face has gone drier than the usual. I’m not surprised because if you follow my other blogs you would know that I use Azelaic Acid (15%) and Tretinoin (.05%) – very, very drying. Good thing about my condition though is that the peeling is almost gone now. Unlike before when I was starting with these ingredients, I get a lot of dry patches (part of tolerance building).

Anyway, because of my dry condition I thought about adding some extra moisture into my routine. I heard a lot of people globally talking about Hada Labo HA lotion. I didn’t think about it that much until officially this brand has opened some of its product in our local market (and there goes my sign). A soon as I heard about this, I immediately went to our trusted local pharmacy which is Watson.

Since I’m not sure if I can stick to this product for long, I though about buying the smaller version – the 30 ml travel size.

Immediately after I got home (around late afternoon), I removed all my makeups and sunscreen and cleansed my face with Simple Facial Wash. I didn’t dry my face with towel but rather just let it drain a little bit for less than a minute then went to this product. The amount of product I used is around 5 drops. 5 drops gave me some excess so I tapped the remaining into my neck. By the way, based from the promotion video of this product, the proper way of using this is by tapping. This is to make sure that we are not pushing the product away from our skin.

The feeling of this product into my skin is somewhat sticky. I read about HA in general and it is expected as humectants are sticky in nature. My personal experience after applying this (and as someone who is new to Hyaluronic Acids), I am a bit surprised and startled. Anyway, I still went on to the next step.

After around one minute, I followed it with my go-to moisturizer (Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer). As usual, I used a very small pea size of this moisturizer on top of my skin. For the record, I did not buy the water gel or cream of this brand as I’m not sure how well this brand is. Anyway, I tapped my moisturizer until it becomes dry. The stickiness went a lot less after I put my moisturizer.

After few hours of being in this product, I noticed that my skin is a bit drier despite the claim of this product. I went to research further on how to use this. Since I live in the Philippines and humid is very abundant in this country, my expectation is that I won’t be needing much moisturizer as my environment can supplement it. That wasn’t the case. Apparently since I used a very small amount of moisturizer and my environment is not humid enough, HA slightly sucked the moisture out of my skin. It was not a lot but you will notice it.

Late night of that very same day, I cleansed my face again (using the same products). This time, I added some few more pea size of the same moisturizer. I guess you can say that I went generous this time. Of course, I have to wait until morning to see the effect. I didn’t expect much as I sleep on an air conditioned room. My face is usually drier in this setup and the next morning, my face will be too oily especially in the t-zone area. However, to my surprised, my face is not as oily as I am expecting it to be. It’s like having a slightly normal skin condition but with very little oil. My t-zone isn’t as oily as it used to be when I woke up. Also, for the record, my skin isn’t exactly as perfect as baby’s butt, but it is better when it comes to hydration. I guess if I wanted it to be more hydrated, committing longer to this product is necessary. Despite having a lot of praises and effect almost instantly, do consider that this product is not an overnight magic.

If I wanted to have a more “supple” result, it is a must to invest more time and effort in using this product. What this product will give you is a “help” in drawing moist into your skin. This product itself is not a moisturizer and best to supplement your routine with a good moisturizer (unless you live in a place way too humid than Manila). It is important to know that Hyaluronic Acid is a very greedy ingredient. If it can’t draw moist from the environment (including your moisturizer), it will take it from your skin, causing you a drier feeling.

Will I buy this again? Yes but I would buy the 170ml instead as you can save more money here.

PS: I haven’t tried it with my Tretinoin nights. From my research the molecules of this acid is small enough that Tretinoin itself can penetrate. There is also no known issue of HA cancelling out the effect of Tretinoin. I’m planning to use this immediately after cleansing and before my moisturize (and yes, I buffer before Tretinoin). If by any chance, the result is not good, I’ll update this post.

Takeaways:

  • Should be used at least twice a day for best result (or every time you wash your face, whatever is the most frequent)
  • Sticky but when you put moisturizer, it disappears
  • Supplement your routine with moisturizer, water based is preferable
  • This product would be extra good in a more humid place (adding a humidifier would be a good addition but not a must)
  • This is not meant to replace your moisturizer
  • The bigger version (170ml) is a good way to save money

[Under Makeup Review] : Biore UV Covering Base – Oil Control

Trial Duration : 2 Days

Day 1: Air conditioned room, tropical

Day 2: Non – AC room, tropical, humid

Current Skin Condition: Combination, with small dry patches in the chin

For the non-makeup review of this product, you may click here. This will show you how I used this sunscreen as it is, without makeup.

For the 2 days trials I took for this product, I always use a gentle cleanser (Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash), basic moisturizer (Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer) and a small amount of eye cream (QuickFx Eye Lift Cream) beforehand. There are no known strong ingredients on these items. Once the moisturizer and eye cream have settled (after 10 minutes), that’s the time I started using this product.

For this, I was able to put around 1/2 teaspoon of this sunscreen to my face. After it settled for like 10 minutes, I started putting my liquid foundation (L’Oréal Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation) and concealer (Maybelline Instant Age Rewind) on top of it.

*** it doesn’t look like 1/2 teaspoon in the image as I added more after I blended it.

What I noticed about this base product is that it is not sticky. Hence, it did not require me to add more foundation which is just a pump usually. For some reason, I even had a small excess that I managed to put on my neck. The reason for it is because the finish of this items is very velvety (like I mentioned this is post). The finish is close to a rose petal which is very smooth and very soft – making it easy for makeup to cover my face thinly.

I personally enjoyed applying my foundation with either a brush or fingers when I tested this sunscreen. Both of which makes the application even so easily. I just think that I managed to save a small part of my foundation when I’m using a brush as I tend to have more control on it.

I felt really nice wearing this beneath my foundation. It has a hold to my makeup at the same time it felt very light and smooth to touch. To be honest, I did not feel any stickiness or too much shine hence I tried to skip putting light powder on it. However, to make it standard with the other review I had, I still did use Clean & Clear Essentials Face Powder (small taps). Regardless, the final output is very clean and light.

Another thing that I like about this product is that it did hide my pores. During the time it was starting to degrade (around 8 hours), it did not push the makeup to my pores or lines. I hardly see my makeup compounding on my pores and noes. Instead, it only disappeared slowly.

During the stress test, I noticed that regardless of my environment (room temperature, humid or air-conditioned room), both acted almost the same way. Though being in cooler environment makes it last longer. This sunscreen managed to hold my makeup longer by helping my face not to produce too much oil. However, for the record, this is not the best primer for this criteria. There are still better primers and sunscreen that can hold my makeup longer and control oil at the same time.

So you might be asking why I like this one then? The answer for that is simple. From the previous test with the other sunscreens and primers I had, this is very light and did not break me out. It still lives to its claim that it does control oil and be use to hold makeup. Also, because I can use the same amount of this sunscreen as my regular go-to sun protection (and considering that it has high protection against UVA and UVB), I’m confident enough that I can use this as my only sunscreen for that day.

Take note that there is no claim in the packaging that it is waterproof or sweat resistant. I personally do not reapply on regular (non-vigorous) days. However, if you will be sweating, reapplication is highly recommended to prevent sun damage.

Lastly, (though there is no direct claim for this) this product did not hold my dry patches together. I wouldn’t expect it from a regular sunscreen, but I do think that it should as a primer. But then again, I’m not seeing any claim for dry skin issues. So, I can’t hold this against this product.

Takeaways:

  • ­It is true that it controls oil and hold makeup longer however it is not the best primer in the market for that criteria
  • You can adequately protect your skin from the sun using only this (amount should be 1/2  to 1/3 teaspoon at least for the face).
  • No claims for being sweat resistant
  • Not the best product if you’re trying to hide your dry patches

Biore UV Covering Base – Oil Control

Ingredients:

Water, Zinc Oxide, Alcohol, Ethylhexyl, Methoxycinnamate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Lauryl Methacrylate/Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 60, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Stearate, Methicone, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloydumethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetyl Alochol, Mica, Aminomethyl Propanol, Peg-32, Polysorbate 80, Accrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer,Xanthan Gum, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsequioxane Crosspolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dimethicone Disodium EDTA, BHT, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone, C30-45 Olefin, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, CI 77491, CI 77499, CI 7789

As per COSDNA, these are the items worth noting as they may trigger acne and (or) irritation:

  • Zinc Oxide (1)
  • Isopropyl Palmitate (4)
  • Cetyl Alcohol (2)
  • Tocopherols (2)

Trial Duration: 3 days

Price: 435 PHP (Lazada) / around 9 USD – 30g

Packaging:

Current Skin Condition: Combination

Review:

Recently due to my newly upgraded Retin-A strength, my skin went oily. I’m expecting that however, I know I needed something that can help control it. Hence, I ended up buying this.

I love it – that’s for sure. Here’s why…

For a sunscreen, the number of measurement they provided is very high — SPF 50+ and four (+). The numbers should be sufficient for a proper sun protection. When applying this, just make sure that you have completely covered your face with sufficient amount ( around 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon for the face alone). Personally, I never had compounding issues when applying this product. Excess did not sit on my hairline and eye brows. It is smooth to apply and did not pill.

Another thing is that this product itself has a very cream to light pinkish color which when you wear might tone your skin lighter (if you have medium to darker tone). The change is very light, and the tone change requires an extra look as it is hardly noticeable on a regular sight. I personally did not notice it that much, really. I guess, what I’m trying to say is that it is not completely invisible on initial application; but will definitely tone down as it settles – making it perfect even without makeup.

The finish of this product in my skin is somewhat velvety – not matte (which they said in the box). I felt like it has a blurry effect which make sense because it did promise concealing pores (I’m not sure if they mean it like this though). However, to be fair, it did not completely cover my pores, just made it less visible.  

*** the picture though might look too shinny but that’s just the lightning.

Another thing I love about this product is that it really controlled my oiliness, which makes it true to its claim. I never felt the need to powder or blot all throughout the day. It’s very light and hard to notice its existence in my skin – very comfortable to wear indeed. It is not the best oil-controlling sunscreen / base out there but it did what it promised.

My only concern showing in my pictures is that no matter how little or natural the light is, I felt like the picture is amplifying the shine. In reality, it is not shinny at all. Like I said, it is velvety.

After four hours from the application (room light):

After fours from the application (camera flash):

After eight hours, this product degraded showing some minor shine. However, it is still not a lot and personally I did not see the need to blot or powder.

After eight hours from the application (room light):

After eight hours from the application (camera flash):

This product also contains no fragrance however it has a very light scent. It is not offensive, and it didn’t bother me at all.

Take note however that this product contains alcohol. If it gets too close to your eyes, it will definitely sting, causing minor irritation to your eyes. I’m used to it though as it seems to be very common for Biore to build it that way. Also, this is something that can be addressed by practicing. As someone who suffered from acne for a very long time, if a sunscreen doesn’t cause you a pimple, that’s a keeper. Biore is a good brand to remember for that. If it is any help, my trick for having less irritation during the application is by closing my eyes tightly when smoothing the product, until it dries. It works for me, so give it a try.

Will I buy this again? Big YES!

Final Thoughts:

  • Smooth to apply and did not pill
  • It does control oil
  • Pores becomes less but not fully covered
  • Velvety not matte in finish
  • No fragrance but it has a raw scent, not offensive
  • Did not break me out

If you wish to see how I used this under my makeup, click here.

Biore Cleansing Oil

Ingredients:

Mineral Oil, Peg-12 Laurate, Isododecane, Isopropyl Palmitate, Water, Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate, Decyl Glucoside, Polysorbate 85, Glyceryl Oleate, Isostearic Acid, Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether, Myristyl Alcohol, Isostearyl Glyceryl Pentaerythrityl Ether, Bht, Fragrance, Citric Acid.

Textbook-wise — if you will check COSDNA, take note that Isopropyl Palmitate has a comedogenic rate of 4 and is also tagged as possible irritant. Isostearic Acid, Glyceryl Oleate and Isopropyl Palmitate as per Skincarisma are known to trigger fungal acne.

Trial Duration: 3 days

Price: 349 PHP (BeautyMNL) / around 7 USD – 150 ml

*** The price I indicated above is the regular tag of this item. I did not buy this personally but rather got it as a freebie when I bought Biore UV Covering Base – Oil Control

Packaging:

Non-Sampler should look like below (not my picture):

What I got:

Current Skin Condition: Combination with random peeling

Review:

For the record, I have always been a Micellar Water person. I use Micellar Water to remove my sunscreens and makeups on a daily basis then follow it with a gentle cleanser. But because I got this for free and I can see a lot of people liking this product, I thought of giving this one a try. I have always been too scared of pure oils when it comes to cleansing or even leave-on’s. I think if you’re the type of person who struggles with acne for a very long time, you would understand where this fear is coming from.

Personally, I’m surprised with how this item functioned. First, it removed my sunscreen and makeup so easily. Second, it didn’t break me out.

The way I used this product is that I massage it to my face for at least 30 seconds, aiming to make the oil contact all the makeups and agitate it a little bit, nothing harsh.  Afterwards, I wash my face with regular water, not too cold and not too warm. Lastly, I followed it with my favorite cleanser which is  Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash.

The feel of this cleansing oil when removed by water will give you a smooth and squeaky kind of clean. I did not feel any oil leftover in my face which I do expected because after all, this is oil. This oil when you massage it into your skin will turn murky – this is the oil doing some action.

For this test, I took some commonly used cosmetics (sunscreen included) into my arm:

*** the order is described as the first picture.

*** this includes tinted sunscreen, eye shadows (liquid), foundation, lipstick, crayon eye liner, liquid eye liner (waterproof), eye shadow (powder), mascara (waterproof), eye brow wax with colored powder,  eyebrow pencil and concealer

In this example I used roughly 1/3 teaspoon of Biore Cleansing Oil. Massage it for 30 seconds, let is sit there for couple more seconds (for pictures) and rinse it with water.

I’m not sure how this picture was taken but my arm looks longer? Meh.

In the picture above, you will see that the oil went murky due to the dissolved makeup. If you will look closer you will see that the liquid eyeliner is still visible. After I took some pictures (which took like 15 seconds), I immediately rinsed the oil with water and tap my skin with towel (just tap and not rub).

This is what it looks like now:

In the picture above, you will see that nothing was left even the liquid eye liner we spotted before we rinsed it. I haven’t followed this with any cleanser for the record, so the removal was only done by the cleansing oil itself.

In addition to its cleaning power, this cleansing oil did not break me out. However, do note that this contain fragrance. The smell is very light and I personally did not notice it right away. I only went to smell the bottle itself hence I realized that it does have scent after all. I would imagine that they added this very faint smell to mask the original smell of oils. It didn’t bother me at all and it is very easy to miss unless you’re looking for it.

I’m glad that the original container of this item comes with a pump. It will definitely make the dispensing a lot easier and less messy which I think is valuable when dealing with liquid oils. I also like the fact that it did not left my face feeling greasy or oily, giving me the impression that you can end the cleaning from this point. However, oil is a very tricky substance to play with your skin. Despite having a squeaky feel of your skin, I would suggest to follow it with your favorite mild cleanser. There’s no need to use heavy duty soaps or cleansers for this. This cleansing oil already attracted the junks out of your skin. The goal of you second cleanser is just to remove any residue of this cleansing oil.

Takeaways:

  • This cleansing oil can be used every day for mild to waterproof makeups.
  • Some ingredients may trigger acne (esp.  fungal) hence every once in a while (not necessarily everyday), use a cleanser that prevent acne of such
  • Make sure to cleanse with water thoroughly and follow it with your mild cleanser (Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash is a personal recommendation)
  • This can be use regardless of your skin condition

Would I buy this again? Yes.

I highly recommend this product to everyone. However, please review the ingredients listed and make sure that you are compatible with them. Some people have reported breaking out after using this product. I would assume that they are not compatible with some ingredients in this item or they did not use it properly. Regardless, I personally like this product and will use it further.

Moisturizing Facial Wash – Simple

Ingredients:

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Benzoic Acid, Bisabolol, Cocamide MEA, Disodium EDTA, Glycol Distearate, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Laureth-10, Panthenol, Pantolactone, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-39, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate.

This contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate though for foam purposes however I don’t think it is a lot because it didn’t make much when I tried (picture below).

Trial Period: 2 months

Price: 249 PHP (BeautyMNL) around 5 USD – 150 ml

Packaging:

***bought both online and actual mall but this does not come with a box however it is definitely sealed.

Current Skin Condition: Acne Prone with dry patches

Review:

This product does not claim too much but it’s gentle and moisturizing. To understand these claims, let’s dissect the highlighted ingredients:

Pro vitamin B5 (Panthenol)

This ingredient leaves a very thin film to skin preventing transdermal water loss. Transdermal loss of moisture is common when our skin gets contact with water…which in common scenario is cleansing.

Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate)

Vitamin E when formulated well with cleanser, creams, etc can make skin smooth, soft and supple.

Bisabolol

Provides same effect as vitamin E plus it works as anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial which prevents acne.

That having said, the formulation is perfect for sensitive and acne prone skin.

The consistency of this product is almost similar to Cetaphil cleanser. It is smooth and slippery.

Do note though that it contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). I personally don’t mind as I didn’t get any issues. For those who are not aware what SLS is, this ingredient is used to create the foam from your cleanser. By experience, this cleanser did not create much foam. Hence, it gave me the impression that it did not contain much.

What I also love with this cleanser is that it didn’t contain any fragrance. I don’t usually require this from cleansers as they tend to get washed off eventually, but it is a good thing that they did this anyway (no fragrance contact is always good regardless). This went as an extra point for Simple!

This cleanser can be used daily as this is very gentle like I mentioned earlier. However, because it is gentle, the physical cleaning power of this product is limited.

In my arm, I tested several items that men / women usually put on their face daily. For this experiment, I took the below items:

  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Waterproof Mascara
  • Thick Waterproof Pencil
  • Eyebrow Pencil
  • Eyebrow Wax
  • Eyeshadow
  • Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
  • Tinted Sunscreen
  • Primer
  • Lipstick

*** In order as depicted below:

First Wash : 30 seconds

After I added water and massage this cleanser to my arm for 30 seconds. I noticed that most of the non-waterproof products I placed are either gone or left very little residue. The waterproof, wax-based and balmy  one (lipstick) were still very visible but lessened.

Second Wash : 30 seconds, same arm and residue

Using the same arm with remaining products, I added almost the same amount of cleanser and massage it for 30 seconds. Lastly, I rinsed it off.

The second wash helped decreased the remaining items. I noticed that the residue of foundation (closest item to my elbow) and primer (near the lipstick) disappeared on this step. However, team waterproof remained. I don’t think that it can be washed off further using this product.

For this test, I conclude that this cleanser does clean. Basic cleansing using this item can remove non-sticky items like powders, non-water resistant sunscreens, eye shadows and likes. Second wash can remove thicker products such as primers, foundations and blush.

However, for thick cream based products (e.g. lipsticks and wax / pomade) and waterproof makeups (like mascara and eyeliners), better use your favorite Micellar Water or Makeup Remover first before using this cleanser. Do not rely on this item for such products as this is not strong enough to dissolve them.

IMPORTANT: If you’re not confident that you can adequately clean your face with this cleanser alone, there’s no harm in using your makeup removers first (and I highly recommend that you do).  I did this test only show you how strong this cleanser is when it comes to cleaning your daily makeups and skin care.  

Final Thoughts:

I highly recommend this product especially for those with sensitive, acne prone, combination and even normal skin. I have been using this product for a very long time now and this did not give me any breakout at all. Considering the fact that I’m using strong ingredient in my routine (Azelaic and Tretinoin), this product helped make my dryness become manageable.

This is my holy grail when it comes to facial cleanser. I rarely use other cleanser no matter what climate I’m in. I highly recommend this product as it is gentle and does clean really well. It is important to know though that you will still need to use a makeup remover for your heavy and waterproof items.