Collagen: The Effective Beauty Supplement Japan Has Known About For Years Is Finally Hitting It Big In the West

Outside of Japan, particularly in the paleo and clean eating crowds, people have started going crazy over collagen. Moving beyond the uber-hipster bone broth, people are getting serious about their collagen supplementation, stirring collagen powder into their coffee, smoothies, and pretty much anything edible. Japan though, being the ultimate hipster, supplemented with collagen long before it was cool to supplement with collagen. Women here have known for years the kindness that collagen can show your skin, and a zillion and one forms of it are available pretty much everywhere.

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The Pimple Patch: A Hydrocolloid Answer to Acne Sufferers’ Prayers

Ahhhhh, acne. My faithful companion through adulthood, we met sometime early on in college. I had been blissfully free of acne throughout junior high and high school, but thanks to hormones, stress, and just plain adulting, my face has been somewhat of a war zone since then. My mom has always been in the “you need to pop that thing” camp (vs. the “never touch your acne, it will scar” camp across the lake), to the point she would about chase a person down to pop their pimple herself. So, rather than being chased down, I began to do the dirty work myself. Which yes, always led to a long-lasting red spot on my face that no amount of vitamin C or glycolic acid ever seemed to tone down. Now though, enter the pimple patch. What’s a pimple patch, you say? Well, on its surface it’s just a hydrocolloid bandaid that’s been manufactured in pimple size. But for anybody with an angry red volcano brewing on their face, the pimple patch is about the most amazing advancement in treating active acne, ever.

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The BEST Japanese Skincare Products You Can Buy From

Korean skincare products are HUGE right now (and for good reason), but don’t let that buzz distract from the amazing stuff coming out of Korea’s neighbor, Japan right now. Japan may not be quite as flashy or in-your-face, but dang girl, have they got just as much amazingness going on over in the land of the rising sun (this cracks me up a bit, as I moved from the “land of the midnight sun” to the “land of the rising sun” … why so many suns?!). If you’re stateside, there are lots of re-sellers that can get you almost any goodie your heart desires … even the oh-so-convenient Keep reading for my personal favorite Japanese skincare products (so far) that are readily available on Amazon.

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Klavuu Review: Klavuu Pure Pearlsation Revitalizing Facial Cleansing Foam

One of the (full size!) goodies from my Klog Box from Soko Glam this month was a tube of Klavuu Pure Pearlsation Revitalizing Facial Cleansing Foam. Made in Korea, this tube retails on that site for $30 USD, which seems to be an average going price in the US (like many things, with K-beauty outside of Korea it pays to shop around). Like many products SG sells, this one is currently on trend in Korea, even being featured in Vogue.   So, without further adieu, and since I couldn’t find a Klavuu review when searching, my Klavuu review on the Pure Pearlsation Revitalizing Facial Cleansing Foam.

Klavuu Review
Isn’t the packaging so fresh and so clean?

Scent: It’s lightly scented (fragrance is listed in the ingredients), and I personally really enjoy the scent. It’s a lovely (not artificial-smelling) sweet honey-like scent mixed with a powdery freshness. I don’t know, I’ve never smelled anything like it, but I enjoy it.

Klavuu review
Dense. Super dense.

Appearance: It comes out of the tube very thick and creamy looking, with a beautiful pearlescent sheen to it when you look closely (it has pearl as one of its active ingredients, hence the (crazy-long) name of the product. A little goes a long way, it has good slip and spreads easily and creamy over the face. As you work it with your fingers (and especially if you use a tool like a foreo or clarisonic or the like), it creates a dense foam. If you like foaming cleansers, I think you will enjoy this.

Claims: This creamy cleansing foam features over 30 natural plant extracts to help remove all remaining traces of makeup and dissolve impurities your oil cleanser may have missed. Pearl extract brightens and provides anti-aging benefits while seaweed and algae extract boosts hydration. A delightfully light and soft lather for a luxurious cleansing experience. (from the Soko Glam website) 

My Klavuu review:

First, I will be straight up with you: I don’t typically like to spend much on cleansers because, well, they aren’t on my face very long. I don’t think it’s a good place to plunk down the bulk of your beauty budget, whatever it may be. Though I do agree with many people, particularly in the Asian beauty community, that proper and thorough cleansing can solve many of your skincare dilemmas.

The pH of this cleanser is 7. This sounds perfect, right? Well, for some lucky and perfect skinned people, their skin can tolerate damn near anything. But, there’s a good bit of research out there now that an acidic cleanser maintains the skin’s acid mantle (the skin naturally sits a little acidic), so it’s less likely to “strip” your skin and leave it feeling tight after washing. Also, acne doesn’t grow as well at acidic pH. If you’re curious about pH, Goals to Get Glowing is a bit of a genius on skincare pH.

Klavuu Review
Super dense foam; if you use a cleaning device it’s even denser.

This cleanser is plush as hell; I don’t usually use a foaming cleanser, and this one’s foam is dense and luxe. You could sit and wash all day and never run out of bubbles (or so I would imagine). My own face feels ever-so-slightly tight after using it. If I wash and move straight to a toner, I don’t notice it, but if my skin gets a good dry down (if you use retinol, this is often recommended to reduce irritation), things start feeling a bit too small.

Klavuu Review: My thoughts

This cleanser is totally different from anything I usually purchase, or would have picked on my own. I love the smell. I love seeing the pearlescent color of the cream as I work it in my hands. If you perused the ingredient list, you saw that there’s a laundry list of skin-soothing botanicals at the ready to make your face glow.

Would I repurchase? Probably no. I will enjoy this bottle, and I expect it will last a very long time, as a little really does go a long way. But, for the tightness I get afterwards (likely from the pH), and the price point, at this point I just personally don’t think I will reap the rewards it may offer another user. The reviewer on the Klog, where I bought this from, mentioned the pH and said for her, it wasn’t an issue at all, so like with everything, mileage will vary.

Overall, I think this is a lovely sensory experience and an effective cleanser (I use it after oil cleansing to be totally up front). For me, I get a bit of skin tightness after which doesn’t make me want to spend $30 USD for another bottle when it’s done, BUT it’s not a deal breaker that will keep me from enjoying the bottle.

Have you tried this cleanser? Or anything else from Klavuu? It’s hard to find many English language Klavuu reviews online. I’m curious to hear more reviews on the brand, as this is the first thing I’ve tried from them.

Klavuu Review

My March Klog Box: It’s Here! (What’s a Klog Box?)

I decided to take the plunge and order a Klog Box this month. A what? A Klog Box is a curated one-time box (vs. a subscription) from the Korean beauty online shop, Soko Glam. I don’t know how often they do these, but this was my first time ordering from the shop. I was on the fence; the box is $50 including free shipping (the value of the items is close to $100 I believe) because it contained a non-waterproof version of a Missha sunscreen that I had tried before and not liked (kind of unfair of me, comparing apples to oranges, right?). But it had a trial size of Neogen peel pads that had been on my radar for about a zillion years so I broke down and ordered.

My thoughts on the retailer (Soko Glam)

If you are new to K-beauty, or even to skincare, this shop stands out from its competitors because everything is broken down, explained and reviewed. The owner is also a licensed esthetician, and she seems to curate what she offers from current trends in Korea. There are lots of reviews, recommended products, and collections (several products sold in a bundle, for a bit of a discount) addressing several skin concerns for people not sure where to start.

The company is U.S.-based, so American customers won’t be waiting for things to be shipped from Korea. They offer free shipping at $35, and they have a corresponding blog, or Klog, with more information.

Downsides: not always, but often other k-beauty retailers can beat the pricing (not by a lot though I would say). Also, if you’re a sample junkie **raises hand** I got just one sample with this Klog Box, a Missha BB cream packet (I actually use and really like this product). A lot of retailers will include a few to even a handful of them. Probably not a deal breaker, though.

Thoughts on the Klog Box Itself

It was shipped in a large (Stitch Fix sized) sturdy box, and made it to my APO address in Japan in about a week, which is as fast as anything gets here. The box was shipped quickly after I ordered it as well so A+ from me there.

Klog Box
Voila! My exciting mail day.

Inside was the Klog Box itself. Do you love packaging? Do you love reusing nice boxes? You will love this. It’s super sturdy and sleek and on the inside of the front (magnetic!) flap, a little funny face.

klog box march
It’s so pretty inside!

From the  website (links below are to the retailer’s reviews on each of these products).

March Klog Box
Everything (but the sample) from March’s box.
Final Thoughts On My Klog Box Purchase

I’ll (probably) review each of the items later, but for now I’m happy I ordered the box. I haven’t tried any of these before now, and the retailer was great to order from. How the package arrived and was packed surpassed my expectations (anybody that’s had an APO/FPO box can share some stories). I would recommend it to people just starting to read about K-beauty, and really anybody wanting to try out a bunch of different top-rated Korean skincare products.

FYI none of these links are affiliate links and all the opinions are my own.