For January skincare empties, we have a cleansing oil that contains the newest exfoliant on the block ‘PHA’, a soothing essence that everyone and their grandma swears by, and a sun stick with SPF 50+ that makes the reapplication life easier. Let’s go!
Hanskin Cleansing Oil & Blackhead (PHA)
Since last year, there’s been increased awareness on the benefits of gentle exfoliation; with preference being given to the likes of mandelic acid and poly hydroxy acids (PHAs) such as gluconolactone and lactobionic acid. How pleasing it was to have found an oil cleanser with this gentle exfoliating ingredient. This oil cleanser is also available in two more flavors – AHA and BHA.
Key Ingredients– this oil contains Maltobionic acid, a PHA that acts as an antioxidant, humectant, and gentle exfoliant. Other notable oils include Jojoba Seed Oil, Green Tea Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, and Tea Tree Leaf Oil.
Texture & Application– It is a thin, lightweight, runny oil formula. I apply it on dry skin as the first step of my evening routine to break down makeup, sunscreen, and excess sebum. I found that I need to use more to work it around my face without tugging, as this is a lightweight formula.
Value: USD 7 / 30ml; Lasted for about two months when used every other day. Trial size. The regular size comes in 300ml for around USD 27.
Pros: It has a refreshing citrus scent that makes me look forward to my evening routine. It’s great for unwinding! The fragrance might not be a ‘pro’ to some but, I believe a little scent in a wash-off formula is tolerable.
It emulsifies and rinses away easily without the need for a washcloth or flannel. It doesn’t leave an oily residue after rinsing. A ++ for oily skin as it doesn’t clog the pores.
I can’t comment on the exfoliating properties as I have other leave-on exfoliants in my routine but, the cleansing power is great! My face feels soft when I rinse this off. Finally, and most importantly for a cleansing oil, it did not cause my skin to breakout.
Cons: The consistency is thin. Again, this might not be a ‘con’ for some, especially oily skin. However, I prefer a thicker consistency to make the massage process enjoyable while working the cleanser around my face.
It could get the job done (if you make it work) but, it’s not the best option for heavy makeup like matte liquid lipsticks and thick foundations.
Repurchase? Maybe after going around the trial sizes on my wish list.
Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
The famous Snail Mucin Essence from CosRx. It feels like you’ve made it in life as long as this is on your skincare stash. LOL! just kidding but, this essence comes highly recommended by the skincare community– for soothing, hydrating, moisturizing, layering; some even claimed that it reduces acne and hyperpigmentation. Hmm, I bet it fixes your edges too. I purchased this solely to satisfy my curiosity (the raving reviews were all over my feed that I couldn’t help it) sadly, it was a disappointment.
Key Ingredients– this essence contains a whopping 96% Snail Secretion Filtrate – an antioxidant known for its repair and hydration properties. It also has other humectants such as Sodium Hyaluronate and Panthenol and the soothing Allantoin.
Texture & Application– It has a gooey texture; somewhere between slimy and a thick water-based serum. I apply this after cleansing; before my face dries down completely or after a hydrating toner if I’m to use one along. I find that this improves the penetration of the essence. It can be used twice daily without interfering with the rest of your routine.
Value: USD 25 /100ml; Lasted for three months despite using it twice daily.
Pros: Simple ingredient line up. Free of essentials oils and potential irritants.
It is gentle on the skin and can be used even in times of sensitivity.
Cons: It is NOT hydrating enough. It takes a while to penetrate the skin and just sits there barely hydrating. I mean a product with 96% snail filtrate; there’s hardly any water content so, it makes sense. It’s like applying honey on your skin and expecting it to absorb simply because it’s liquid? The worst part is when it is applied to dry skin. It feels like an additional unnecessary step.
As for the soothing claim, I see what they mean in terms of it not irritating the condition further. I do not find it soothing per se.
Repurchase? Nope! There are better hydrating (and soothing) products that penetrate the skin seamlessly.
JMsolution Marine Luminous Pearl Sun Stick SPF 50+ PA++++
This sun stick is not new to this blog. It’s my fave of all the sunscreens I tried in 2020. I’ve emptied about two or three of this. I wrote about it in last year’s April empties where I also mentioned the different flavors available. You can find more details in that post but here’s an update.
It’s harmattan now in Nigeria and this sun stick doesn’t feel as shiny; in fact, it serves as an extra moisture sealant during the day and prevents dehydration. It’s perfect for colder seasons. I wouldn’t use this in the summer or hot seasons.
Repurchase? I recently discovered there’s a ‘24K Gold’ version that’s supposed to give a luxury effect to the skin. If it happens to meet its marketing claims, it’ll replace the Pearl one for me. Of course, I’ll keep you all posted; subscribe to my newsletter so that you don’t miss the post when it drops.
What skincare products are you enjoying at the moment?