Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner – The Best Toner for Sensitive Skin?!

Sukin_TonerI love Sukin products as a whole and this one was definitely not a disappointment. I’ve actually just finished up using this bottle. Sukin is a great brand for sensitive skin types because they are very conscious about not using potentially irritating ingredients. This toner is a very light formula and is especially great if your skin is at all irritated. I’ve been using this after chemically exfoliating my skin and it’s really helped to prevent my skin from feeling at all dry.

You can spritz this directly onto the face if you prefer, or onto a cotton pad as I do. It is quite a light mist so if you apply it directly to the face make sure to fully cover your whole face.

Because this is so light and non-irritant it also makes a great summer face mist. This is very gentle on sunburnt skin. My skin gets super sensitive and sometimes irritated by even my usual gentle products but this toner was just great.

Definitely recommend this and while I like to keep trying out new products I think I may have to get a little bottle of this to add to my skincare essentials.

Annabelle x

Review: The YEON Lotus Flower Sheet Mask – Whitening & Brightening

Lotus_MaskStraight off I’m going to say I really liked this mask. The packaging is lovely and when you open it there is a lot of serum. The mask inside is really well soaked and the entire time I had it on (about 15 minutes) it didn’t feel at all dry on my face. The mask fit really well to my face, which is very unusual for me as I do have a bit of an awkward face shape. The mask itself is fairly thick so it was easier to unfold from the packet without risking tearing it.

Once on the serum was really nice and cooling even though I hadn’t put it in the fridge first and it left my skin feeling really moisturised. Out of any mask I’ve tried this was actually has to be the most moisturising.

Now this all sounds wonderful, right? There is however one, possibly major, issue. I really didn’t feel that this mask lightened or brightened my skin. While with these sorts of masks they do usually emphasise that repeated use is how to get these results I really didn’t see any difference at all. Personally I don’t mind because this was otherwise such a nice mask and it left my skin feeling really great. I would definitely buy this mask again but if you are looking for a brightening/whitening sheet mask specifically then this wouldn’t be ideal.

Annabelle x

Review: COSRX Acne Master Pimple Patches

DSC_0377My review on this has been long overdue. I’ll start off by saying that I love this product and it’s one of my absolute could not live without products. It consists of a set of patches that you apply onto spots to draw out all the nastiness and reduce the redness, which helps get rid of spots quickly and easily. These patches are little round shapes that come in a variety of sizes to fit whatever spots you might have.

To apply these you just cleanse the area around the spot and then place the patch over the spot. A little cleansing hack is to take a cotton bud (q-tip) and wet one end with micellar water. Just swab the cotton bud over the area around the spot and if you get the skin too damp you can use the other end of the cotton bud to dry it slightly before applying the patch. I just find this helps get the area as clean as possible so the patches can work to their fullest.

You leave the patches on for about 4 hours to overnight, depending on when you apply them. The patches turn from clear to white to indicate when they should be removed.  If the spot is still being stubborn you can apply multiple patches in a row until it is gone.

I find one or two patches are usually enough unless it’s a particularly awkward spot. These are super easy to use and really not expensive at all. The only downside I have with these patches is that they aren’t really sold in the UK (they really should be!) so I have to order them online. But I definitely recommend these and they are especially great if you need to try and clear up a spot quickly because you have a party or a particular event to go to, particularly if there are going to be pictures.

Annabelle x

Review: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

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This clay mask is one of Elizavecca’s most well-known products so as I love a lot of Elizavecca stuff I thought it was time I tried this out. This work like an ordinary clay mask, you leave it on for about three minutes then wash it off. Unlike most other clay masks though this bubbles up quite like foam.

From pretty much the moment I put this on my face it started to bubble, which was a very strange sensation. Around your eyes and lips I’d leave a big space because this does expand quite a bit as it bubbles. Because of its foaming effect I was worried that this might be a bit drying and straight after I washed it off I noticed my skin had gone very dry. It did leave my skin looking nice but I really had to nurse my skin back to health for the next few days afterwards as it was so dry. I have oily skin so I would usually avoid heavy creams but I actually ended up using some after this just to try and fix my skin.

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While this mask is quite fun it left my skin feeling really dry and considering I have oily skin I imagine it would be even more so for dry skin. As much I wanted to like this product I wouldn’t use it again.

Annabelle x

Explaining AHA and BHA

You may have come across these before if you’ve ever tried to research ways to clear up your skin. AHA and BHA are chemical exfoliators (different to physical exfoliators like scrubs). If you have sensitive or acne prone skin you may have found that physical exfoliators just irritate and damage your skin and don’t actually help with your blemishes and blackheads. While they may sound a little daunting chemical exfoliators are actually more gentle for the skin.

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AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid and works on the surface of the skin, smoothing it and helping to encourage cell regeneration, which can clean up the blemishes from your skin. Products like this Soap & Glory AHA Scrub Your Nose Into It (Boots, £9.00) are good non-Korean options. Do note though that non-Korean products tend to contain higher percentages of acids. When introducing your skin to these acids it’s best to do so slowly. I often dilute my products with a cleanser or even just water. Start by using them once a week and work your way up as your skin becomes more used to them. While this might sound a bit scary it really is better in the longer term (and to be honest the shorter too) than using physical exfoliators.

 

UB_SABHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid and the most common form you will see this in is probably salicylic acid. If you look at the ingredients list of gentle face cleansers increasingly salicylic acid is being used (like this Una Brennan cleansing wash, £5.33 [Boots]). BHA gets into your pores and so is great for clearing your skin of blackheads and whiteheads. Often blackhead pore strips only tackle the surface of the skin rather than what’s underneath so can’t fix the blackheads in the long term. Like with AHA it’s best to introduce your skin to this slowly. You may find you get breakouts at first as your skin purges itself but that’s completely normal.

 

As with most things there are a couple of rules with using these products. The first and probably most important is not to use this alongside strong acne medication. It will end up over-exfoliating and drying out the skin. If you are on acne medication and have a dermatologist you can talk to they may be able to suggest how to combine them but I wouldn’t recommend trying it otherwise.

CAHAThe second is not to use them together. You can get products that combine the two like this COSRX AHA/BHA toner (Yesstyle, £28.62). Just don’t try and combine them yourself using separate products because you might end up mixing two high concentrations or something similar.

You can use AHA and BHA with vitamin C but because of the pH that vitamin C works best at it’ll make vitamin C products less effective.

 

 

 

So that is all for AHA and BHA. If you have found that your skin won’t clear up no matter what you try, or that your usual products are just irritating your skin then do give AHA and BHA a try. It’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise.

Annabelle x

Review: Institut Karite Shea Night Cream

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This cream is a very thick consistency, which is what I prefer in an eye cream. It isn’t actually labelled as an eye cream but that’s what I like to use it for. Shea is a great moisturising ingredient but can be quite heavy. If you have dry skin this could be quite a good multi-purpose product but for those like me with oily skin I would avoid putting this elsewhere.  It does take a little bit of time to sink in but it’s very moisturising and I feel gives my under-eye area a little boost. The pot is a little too large for me to take travelling but if I’m home this is my favourite eye cream to use.

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Annabelle x

Review: Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask

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I absolutely love this product and the hype around it is spot on with this. I admit it doesn’t look the nicest inside (see below) but it does smell quite nice and sweet. After I’ve cleansed my face I take a little bit of this product, add a little hot water and then spread over my face, rubbing it into my skin gently. I then leave it on for 15 mins and then wash off and continue on with the rest of my morning/evening routine. Even though I have very sensitive skin and so usually avoid physical exfoliators this particular one doesn’t cause my skin to flare up at all, which is pretty rare. If you have sensitive skin you can dilute this product as I do by mixing it with a bit of warm/hot water and also by simply applying it to the skin rather than rubbing it in.

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Straight away my skin is left looking glowy and naturally bright. I use this a couple of times a week and while you can use it in the evening as well I would recommend using it in the morning just because it starts your day off with great skin.  I really recommend trying it out and I will definitely repurchase this. This product comes in a range of varieties such as strawberry and I’m planning on trying out the whole collection. You can get this product in the UK as well now in places like Boots (though it is a little more expensive).

Annabelle x

Review: Tony Moly Egg Pore Blackhead Steam Balm

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Yes, it is literally an egg…

This steaming balm comes in this very cute packaging, with a yolk lid and inside (see below). To apply you put this on the targeted areas where you have blackheads (either before or after cleansing, it works for either). You then rub it into the skin for about 3 to 5 minutes. If you have sensitive skin then be careful to work this gently into your skin, scrubbing won’t make it work any better and will just irritate your skin.

TMBSB_2I find that this product doesn’t get rid of my blackheads but it does bring them to the surface of my skin, which I find makes them easier to treat. This isn’t a quick-fix product but if you’re willing to incorporate this into your skincare routine for a longer period it can be a useful little product.

Annabelle x