In the last post, we looked at makeup removers, cleansers, sunscreens, lotions, toners, and moisturizers. In this post we'll be looking at essences, serums, eye creams, acne products, and a Vitamin C powder, which is very interesting.
What we'll be looking at today! Serums, essences, acne products, masks, eye creams and the like
Some of these empties were products that I really liked, and some were products that were kind of eh-okay, but ended up getting used up for whatever reasons. As we run through the list, you'll figure out which is which. So, let's get started!
Mask empty: Just this one mask
First, we have a mask! This is a Handmade Heroes Beauty Warrior Fresh Face Mask, which is French Green Clay. The mask itself is actually literally green coloured clay in a jar, and you have to mix it with water to use the mask, according to the instructions on the packaging. I actually found that mixing it with water wasn't the optimal solution, because the water dries out so quickly, that you're left with very crumbly green powder on your face that gets everywhere. I found a mixture of water and something with a gel texture (e.g. aloe vera gel, a gel moisturizer, anything gel-like) gave the mask a much better hold and prevented it from drying out as fast.
The mask when I first got it (Source)
I actually got the mask at then end of 2015 from Zalora (as you can see in my Instagram photo from the time above), and it's finally used up. Although the little jar of powder doesn't seem like a lot, it does last for quite awhile. My sister actually ended up using most of the mask, because I was just too lazy to bother to mix up the powder and water and gel and wahtever else to make the mask.
Essence and serum empties
Next, we have some essences and serums and things like that. We have the Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate, which I've mentioned several times in my Instagram posts, the Ujene Puriste Collagen Serum, and the Hada Labo Shirojyun (Arbutin) Essence from their whitening range.
The Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate is one that I really like, because of the formulation. It has 10.5% Ascorbic Acid, and is properly packaged too, in an airtight pump and brown tinted bottle. Vitamin C is one of those ingredients that is finicky to formulate with and store properly, because it is so reactive - it gets oxidized with exposure to light and air. So ideally, a water-less formulation, and an airtight packaging that minimizes exposure to light and air is the best. The Kiehl's Concentrate scores on both fronts: the formula consists of ascorbic acid and a bunch of silicones (which are waterless, oil-type ingredients), and the packaging is also airtight and in a brown bottle. As a result of the waterless formulation, the Concentrate does have a rather oily feel on skin, so although they recommend using this under moisturizer, I would actually suggest that this goes on as the last skincare step before sunscreen and primer. Applying any water-based lotion or serum over this will result in the watery product just balling off your skin - trust me, I've personally experienced this one. So if you don't mind the oily feel, this is a great product to use. It also has a warming sensation on skin, and might sting a little if your skin is very sensitive, but should be fine for most people.
The Ujene Puriste Collagen Serum was also reviewed before in this post, a long, long time ago in 2012. And just like the moisturizer, eventually my mum used this, and liked it a lot - the texture was nice, it felt hydrating, but didn't leave behind an oily film on skin. I don't have too much to say about it otherwise.
The Hada Labo Shirojyun Essence is from their Arbutin line, and the main function of that line is to brighten skin. I generally liked this as a good hydrating essence that felt lightweight and non-sticky on the skin, with some side benefits of brightening, and a formula that does have arbutin fairly high up in the ingredients list. That said, although I do think the product had some long term brightening function, the brightening effect, as with these sorts of products, is pretty moderate. It's a nice essence generally, but I think between the Hada Labo Essences and their Lotions, I still prefer their Lotions, which are really a staple in my skincare routine. This was nice, but I'm not sure if I'll rebuy, just because there are a lot of other essences I have to use as well. On a side note, when I panned this earlier this year, I did a mini-review about it on Snapchat, which I've archived here. I don't always archive all my mini-reviews, but for I did keep these snaps, so I thought I'd post them too.
Acne product empties
And of course we have our acne products. I always seem to be battling pimples although I'm not exactly a teenager any more, so I guess there will always be some sort of acne products in my routine. I have here two LJH Tea Tree Essences, which I reviewed back in 2014, and is something of a cult product among niche kbeauty skincare fans. Like I mentioned in my original review, these are pretty mild when tackling acne - so if you have huge cystic pimples or major acne, this isn't going to really cut it. But for mild pimples on dry and sensitive skin, this would be good, because it's also pretty hydrating. In fact, towards the end I started using it all over my face as a hydrating essence with some sort of anti-blemish properties, and I felt like it probably functioned better as a hydrating product than an anti-blemish one. I guess my acne is pretty severe and thus needs some really hardcore acne treatment!
I also have a bottle of Akinicare Treatment Lotion, and this stuff is pretty solid in terms of tackling acne. It can be a bit harsh, and might sting a little if you have any open wounds or cuts, but otherwise this really seems to do the good old-fashioned drying out of the pimples. It has a very watery texture, and so is easily layered under other skincare products, and is easy to use. This is one I'd consider buying again, since it seems to have worked well for me.
Lastly, a Kitoko Kalani Acne Ampoule. This one has tea tree oil and salicylic acid (two of my favourite pimple-fighting ingredients), and was featured in previous empties December 2015, July 2015, March 2015, and July 2014. So it was a staple in my routine for a couple of years. Unfortunately this range of acne ampoules seems to be no longer carried here in Singapore, so I guess it's time to look for an alternative!
Eye cream and Vitamin C powder empties
Lastly, eye cream as well as miscellaneous skincare products - in this case, a Vitamin C Powder, the Chamos Vitamin C Powder! This is literally ascorbic acid powder in an airtight container and nothing else. The idea is that you add a little bit of vitamin c powder to your moisturizer or lotion or whatever, and get fresh, un-oxidized vitamin c everyday! It's pretty brilliant, I'll admit, because ascorbic acid is the most effective form of Vitamin C, but so volatile at the same time. I'm a huge fan of Vitamin C, which is why I used this up, and I did get a couple of comments that my skin seemed to be fairer while I was using it, so I guess it works! Of course, since this is literally just ascorbic acid powder, if you wanted to, you can definitely buy your own ascorbic acid powder from ingredients wholesalers for much cheaper. But, the genius in this product isn't just in the ascorbic acid powder itself (which is fairly cheap as far as skincare ingredients go), but it's also the packaging. The bottle is glass and clear, but it doesn't really matter because you're storing dry powder in it. What is really genius is the little rubbery spout that you squeeze the powder out of - for some reason it really works to prevent oxidisation of the powder. I've lost the little plastic cap on top of the rubber spout, and the powder still stayed fresh all the way til the end. I'm planning to retain this container, and refill it with other powders to add to my lotions.
The eye cream is the Cliv Ginseng Berry Premium Eye Cream. If I recall, I got this as a sample in one of the beauty boxes that were popular at the time, either Vanity Trove or Bellabox, both of which are no longer in operation. This was a pretty nice emollient eye cream with a slightly thicker texture, and served nicely as a moisturizing eye cream, although I didn't see any dramatic effects either way. The product does smell of ginseng, which I guess ties in with the product name.
So that's it for my skincare empties! Hope you enjoyed this peek into what I've been using lately!