Hall of Shame: Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun SPF 50+

Let me preface this: this is a product that gets a lot of love amongst K-beauty lovers. So, your mileage may vary. That being said, this is a hall of shame post and this Missha sunscreen has made my list. Why so harsh? Read on … Continue reading “Hall of Shame: Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun SPF 50+”

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask: Mini Review

This may be a bit of a reheat, as according to Innisfree it’s their #3 seller, but Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask is a winner-winner-chicken-dinner. Sorry to cut to the chase there, but that’s what you’re here for, right? Here’s why: Continue reading “Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask: Mini Review”

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.

Continue reading “The Pimple Patch: A Hydrocolloid Answer to Acne Sufferers’ Prayers”

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.

Hado Labo Gokujyun and Erborian Yuza Double Lotion: Same But Different

If you’re new to Asian skincare, the term lotion may be confusing as in the West, the term lotion has equated moisturizer for a long time. In Asian skincare, a lotion is a lightweight moisturizing layer, sandwiched between your toner/essence and serum/ampoule/oil/moisturizer. They come in various consistencies, from a very liquid, essence-like quality, to more viscous and can utilize any number of active ingredients to try and tackle, well, whatever it is you want your skincare doing for you.

Case in point: Hada Labo Gokujyun is a very popular (and in the West, a cult classic) lotion from the drugstore in Japan. It prominently features hyaluronic acid as its active ingredient of choice. Erborian Yuza Double Lotion is from Korea, and features the yuza fruit, which is a citrus fruit, from Jeju island. Both are called lotion, but vary in how they look and feel (and of course, what they claim to do).

Note: I have only used the Hada Labo lotion in the ‘premium‘ variety as, for an extra 100 yen or so (less than $1 USD) I could upgrade to five (5!) different types (molecular weights) of hyaluronic acid. How could I say no?

lotion
Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium and Erborian Yuza Double Lotion — such sunny packaging!
How each lotion looks/feels on the skin

The Hada Labo lotion is clear and has an interesting slip to it. I don’t notice any scent in mine (mine is from here in Japan, so I don’t know if that’s the same for exports). It takes about 3 drops, which come out of the bottle easily, and it absorbs quickly into my skin, and my skin doesn’t feel sticky afterwards. Like most Japanese products I’ve tried, it doesn’t leave an emollient or greasy feeling to my skin once it’s absorbed.

The Erborian Yuza lotion is a two-part lotion; it contains oil, and needs to be shaken before using it to emulsify everything. It has a light, citrusy scent that I personally enjoy, and which goes away pretty quickly. It is more watery feeling than the Hada Labo and is opaque and white. In fact, it comes out of the bottle quite fast, maybe because of the thinness of the formula, and is tricky to not go overboard with. Once on the skin, it absorbs quickly, and maybe because of the oil, leaves the skin with a slicker feeling than the Hada Labo lotion (it feels like you’ve applied a beauty oil, if that makes sense).

Ingredients and Claims

Here is a link to Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium lotion’s ingredient deck (in English). It uses glycerin and, like stated before, five different hyaluronic acid ingredients. Hyaluronic acid is used for moisturizing, but specifically it’s a humectant. That means it pulls water out of the air and delivers it, ever so gently, to your skin. If you live in a humid climate (like, you know, all of Asia), this is a really, really fantastic thing. If you live in Siberia and it’s winter, the amount of water in the air is pretty negligible, making it a rather useless product. Also, if you’re a paraben avoider, listed last in the Hada Labo ingredient deck is methylparaben.

Here is a link to Erborian Yuza Double Lotion’s ingredient deck. It uses oils to hydrate the skin and the yuza extract (plus a couple others) to brighten. No parabens, but fragrance is listed for avoiders of those.

My personal thoughts on the lotions

The Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium runs around $10 USD and is readily available in Japan (like, grocery store, drug store, pretty much everywhere with a roof and a cash register will carry it). It is lightweight and doesn’t make me feel greasy. I don’t personally get the “WOW” cult classic status of it, but I think it will be a very useful product in my skincare arsenal, especially when summer rolls around.

The Erborian Yuza Double Lotion costs $36 from Sephora. It’s definitely not as readily available here in Japan. I really love this product. It plumps my skin and makes it feel very moisturized, but also doesn’t make it greasy-feeling or looking. I enjoy the scent quite a bit. If I still lived in Alaska, this would be in heavy rotation year-round for me.

Final thoughts; I like both products, and they both moisturize, but in very different ways. And they are both called lotion. So let that be a lesson learned. In skincare, particularly in Asian skincare with the seventeen billion steps and products, don’t let the product’s label be your guide.

Note: The following may be affiliate links, which don’t cost you anything but can send money my way.