Review: Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser

I love the feeling of removing makeup after a long day. It’s like the skin could breathe again. When it comes to cleansing, the texture and feeling are very important to me. Last month, Althea sent their latest product.  Serum cleanser? That’s new to me. They’re really stepping up the skin care game. I was intrigued how simple it looks and if it will work wonders.

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Description:
A purifying cleanser with a serum-like formula. Removes makeup, dirt and oil without drying out the skin. Balances the pH levels of the skin to ensure it stays healthy

How to use:
Dampen the skin and apply on a small amount. Gently massage onto the skin in circular motions for 5-10 seconds before rinsing off with water.

Ingredients:
Water, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Cyclomethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Hydroxyacetophenone, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Fragrance

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Pros:
– Fairly priced, ₱ 430 for 150ml on their website
– Simple packaging
– Little goes a long way
– Non-drying
– Lightweight
– Effectively removes my makeup
– Doesn’t leave film or oily feeling

Cons:
– Has fragrance

I tested it on different methods. I swiped the cotton twice to remove makeup. I find that using it alone is better. It’s economical because there’s really no need for cotton. You’ll only need a few drops on your palms then gently go on the skin in circular motions. The makeup melted so easily! It felt hydrated, smooth and soft to touch after rinsing.

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It’s also easy to rinse with water. There’s no film, sticky nor oily residue at all. It felt like my skin’s already clean. I still used a second cleanser ’cause I prefer it that way. Others skip the second cleanse and they just proceed to toning right after.  The name itself describes the texture. It’s runny and light like a serum. It’s watery that I thought it won’t remove my full coverage makeup but it did! Doing circular motions helped to break down my makeup in a few seconds. Skin felt really fresh afterwards.

The only downside is it has fragrance like most korean cosmetics. It’s only a subtle scent though. I sure hope they’ll remove it or make another one that’s fragrance-free because I really like how it worked on my skin. This could’ve been a staple in my routine. This performed better than my sunflower oil. I’m going to give this a go again after my TSW. Overall, this is a great makeup remover. It removes makeup fast and no need to wash it off with cleanser or soap. All you’ll need is water. Great after a night out or for when you’re really tired or lazy but still want to take care of your skin. 😉

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Review: Human Nature Tinted Lip Balm in Pink Orchid

I like my first review this year to be from a local brand. Human Nature is a trusted Filipino brand. They have products for skin, body, home and pet care as well as food. I got this as a gift. I wasn’t a fan of balms before so it was just on my cosmetics counter. I didn’t notice it until the recent holiday. I’m using it almost daily and it’s in my makeup bag now! You can tell that I got hooked. It comes in three shades; Flame Tree, Pink Orchid and Island Kiss. By the way, I got the old packaging. The new one is in a white tube.

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Description and Ingredients from their website:
Swipe on a moisturizing sheer tint for quick fixes on the go. Get fab in seconds: no mirror needed! This blend of cocoa butter, beeswax and all-natural plant oils keeps your lips soft and moisturized through the day.

Pink Orchid: Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, Cera alba (beeswax), Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, caprylic/capric triglyceride (vegetable-derived), Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Mentha piperita (peppermint) leaf essential oil, Mentha arvensis (corn mint) leaf essential oil, tocopherol (Vitamin E), zinc oxide (CI 77497), manganese violet (CI 77742), mica (CI 77019), titanium dioxide (CI 77891), iron oxide (CI 77491)

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Pros:
– Affordable, Php 109.75
– Simple sturdy packaging
– Locally made
– Available in-stores and online
– Compliments my natural lip color
– Has cooling effect
– Moisturizes and smoothens lips

Cons:
– None

I like that this shade is so close to my natural lip color. My lips are pale most of the time but it brings back life and color. The peppermint in it gives cooling effect that lasts for a few minutes. It’s moisturizing and smoothening. It doesn’t settle in creases. The tint doesn’t last long when I eat and drink but the moisture stays on. I’m glad that this doesn’t have petroleum jelly. I’m avoiding lip balms that contain petroleum jelly. Yeah sure, PJ gives you that temporary moisturized feeling but it can actually dry out skin with prolonged use.

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The swatch was taken under natural lighting. I layered it three times to match my lip color.  It has a subtle shine. You’ll see tiny glitters in the tube but it’s not noticeable anymore once applied. I don’t mind reapplying since I like the cool feeling it gives. I still like the old packaging better because black is my favorite color. Haha! Overall, I really like this. It makes my lips look healthier and plumper. In fact, I’m going to buy Flame Tree next time which is the darkest one. They’re offering this in 10 + 1 bundle during the holidays. It means it’s a great gift idea and/or a stocking stuffer. Although I’ve only tried a few of HHN products, I’m really proud of this homegrown brand. They’re making high quality yet affordable products.

Best Products I’ve Used in 2018

Hello readers. I’m here to do a recap of my favorites last year. I selected these because I reach for them the most out of all the products. They’re divided into categories; skin care, lip care and fragrance.

Skin Care

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Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment
My most favorite in this list. I’m using this for my topical steroid withdrawal. It instantly gives itch relief and protects the skin from external harm. A 30 gram tube of this is only 170 pesos. Available locally at the drugstores.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
My first review on this didn’t turn out well when my skin was still oily. But now I have dry skin and works well. It doesn’t cause breakouts anymore and no irritation. It has 3 kinds of ceramides that can aid in strengthening skin’s barrier. The only downside is it’s not in-stores yet. It has to be ordered online.

Human Nature Sunflower Oil
I used this as moisturizer when I posted my full review. But I found a better use for it as makeup remover. Since my skin is flakey, I can’t use cleansing tissues anymore. This oil dissolves my makeup in a few circular motions. It works better for oil-based makeup than water-based. It can’t be washed of with water alone so I follow up with CeraVe soap. I splash my face with water and then add a little bit of water to the lather. Sunflower oil has comedogenic rating of 2 but it doesn’t break me out.

Watsons Unscented Wet Wipes
This was my makeup remover before my TSW. The sheets are wet enough to breakdown my makeup. I’m a full coverage girl so I use liquid foundation, concealer and powder foundation. 2 sheets are enough to completely remove them. We choose fragrance-free products as much as possible. A pack of 50 sheets is 75 pesos. Make sure to reseal it properly to avoid it from getting dry.

Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway Cream
I really liked this sunblock because it’s long lasting. It stays on the skin even if I sweat a lot. There’s only a minimal flashback for photography. There’s a ball mixer inside which makes shaking the product a lot faster. The oil doesn’t separate unlike with other sunblocks. It’s good for sweaty skin. It mattifies and makes skin look fresh. This has a strong fragrance though.

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence
Now this sunblock is for everyday use. It feels light on the skin and gives hydration. Great for warm weather because of it’s lotion-y texture. It’s fragrance-free. It doesn’t stay on for long but that’s okay if you’re just in an air-conditioned place.

Lip Care

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Human Nature Tinted Lip Balm
I wasn’t a fan of lib balms before. But this one form Human Nature got me hooked. It gives a subtle tint. Pink Orchid is close to my natural lip color. It has a little bit of shimmer but it’s not bothersome. The peppermint in it gives a cooling effect on the lips. It’s locally made plus it’s very affordable.

Fragrance

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Stay Fresh Body Sparkling Mist by Titi Kamal x Althea
This came in the mail just in time for the holidays. It has a light floral scent. I used this a lot during our gatherings. It smells sophisticated. I can see myself choosing this scent for formal events too. The packaging is sturdy and sprays evenly. This is a great gift for your best friend.

I carefully selected these as they all work well on me. I’m quite picky now when it comes to shopping for cosmetics. I’m still excited to explore stores and find new products to try. By the way, what’s the one thing that you could rave about? Share it below. 😉

Review: Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment

I’ll be reviewing an ointment that I’m currently using when I can’t handle the itch of my dermatitis. But first, I want to share what I’ve been searching online. It’s about Topical Steroid Withdrawal or TSW. People who suffer from skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis can relate to this. Your skin became so dependent on steroid creams that it flares up when you’re not using it. What is TSW? It’s when you finally decide to stop using steroid cream for good. You can either go cold turkey (completely stop) or gradually reduce it so you wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the discomfort. Those few months or years of flare ups and flaking without using steroid will be worth it in the end. I’m going to discuss more about it in another post.

I tried going cold turkey but it was so uncomfortable. So I’m gradually stopping it instead but by areas.. Right now, I stopped using steroid on my T-zone area; forehead, nose and chin. I’m going to deal with the cheeks next year… which is the biggest part of my rashes. I’ve watched Youtube videos on how to reduce discomfort. Some of them used Sudocrem. It’s an antiseptic cream used for itch relief. Zinc oxide is one of the main ingredients. I couldn’t wait to order online so I found an alternative that I can get on that day.

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I found a review on Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment and the result was amazing. It’s locally made and can be bought at drugstores. I bought mine for around 170 pesos at Mercury Drugstore. It’s mainly used for diaper rash and minor skin conditions. According to Unilab’s website, zinc oxide is a skin protectant. See the leaflet in the box for instructions and when to stop.

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Pros:
– Affordable, around 170 pesos
– Available locally at drugstores
– 30g is a huge amount for an ointment
– Little goes a long way
– Did not trigger contact dermatitis
– Did not cause breakouts
– Can be used as spot treatment
– Reduces itch in just a few minutes

Cons:
– Difficult to wash off

Can I just say I love this stuff so much? It gives comfort immediately. The itching stops and I can go on my day without even being bothered. I was a bit hesitant at first because the ointment is thick. I thought it would clog my pores and cause breakouts but it doesn’t! You’ll only need a small amount since it has thick texture. It did not make my dermatitis worse. It actually calmed my skin down. This can also be used on small areas or spot treatment as you can see in the photo below.

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In my case, it doesn’t remove rashes completely. It doesn’t matter because my main concern right now is to reduce discomfort. I’m going through TSW so I know the rashes will be on and off for a while. I’m glad there’s a local alternative that’s so affordable. 30 grams of this product can last for a long time. I also love that it’s in an collapsible aluminum tube. I can control how much I just need.

The only downside that I can think of is it’s difficult to wash off. Sometimes it stays on spaces of dry patches. But even if it happens, there’s no pimple breakouts. Overall, this is by far my most favorite product this year. It really helps me on dealing with TSW. It makes it not as bad as what I’ve expected.

 

Review: Leiania House Of Beauty Virgin Argan Facial Beauty Oil

Hello readers! I’m changing my routine and making it more suitable for hypersensitive skin. I’m dealing with rashes, redness and dryness from time to time. Remember the first time I got hooked with argan oil? I wanted to use “liquid gold” again but this time I found a cheaper one. I was browsing BeautyMNL’s website and came across Leiania House Of Beauty. They have 15ml pure argan oil for only 200 pesos. How cheap is that? I added it to my cart and the next day I got my order.

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Description:
Formulated with 100% cold pressed, virgin, unrefined Moroccan argan oil rich in vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and proteins; enhances and improves skin texture and tone; helps boost elasticity and moisture levels; diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and scars; treats acne, eczema, and psoriasis; relieves inflammation and irritation; neutralizes free radicals; softens and smoothens; works to regulate sebum production; plumps up, firms, and tightens; hydrates and enhances hair growth; repairs brittle and damaged tresses; nourishes cuticles; lightweight and easily absorbed; gentle even on hyper-sensitive and allergy-prone skin; handy 12ml roll-on fits your handbag

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Pros:
– Affordable, 15ml for 200 pesos
– Locally available on BeautyMNL
– Glass dropper bottle
– Gives glowing skin
– Gives hydration
– Skin feels soft and smooth in the morning
– Did not cause breakouts
– Did not trigger my contact dermatitis

Cons:
– None

It says in the description that’s in a roll-on tube but I’m glad they changed the packaging. I’m going to say it again, I’m very pleased with glass dropper bottle for oils. Brands usually use the one with pump which is messy and not travel friendly. In fact, I dropped this one time and it didn’t break. Another thing that I like is it’s very affordable. This product is also good if you want to start adding oils in your routine. Its comedogenic rating is 0 but we all know anything can block pores. I keep coming back to it because it’s less likely to block pores compared with other kinds of oil.

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It has the same effects with my previous brand. It gives glowing skin from within. It’s not something that you can get with makeup/highlighters. It gives enough hydration. When my skin is still damp, I like to press it on to be absorbed quickly. My skin feels soft and smooth in the morning when I wake up. It doesn’t give me breakouts and doesn’t make my rashes worse.

I’m using this especially when my dermatitis is so dry and itchy. It relieves the itch and softens the look of my desert-like skin. Yes, I’m in drought right now. It doesn’t cure the rashes but it definitely gives relief. I can’t think of any negative experience while I was using this. I can say that it’s safe for my hypersensitive skin.

Review: Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway

Last month, I received a package from Althea. It’s their first product for sun protection. I have been testing it out for almost two weeks now. You know me, I only post reviews once I completely tested out a product. 😉 I just known the importance of sunblocks when I started to have combination skin. Lately it’s cold in the morning and then it’s either hot or it rains after a few hours. It’s important to use products that are comfortable in different weather conditions like this.

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Description:
Give your skin the look and feel of soft flower petals with this moisture-filled, velvety sunscreen. Filled with premium Damask rose extracts, Althea’s Petal Velvet Sunaway uses advanced micro particle technology to protect the skin from UV rays while giving it a petal-like finish.

Ingredients:

WATER, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, ZINC OXIDE, DISILOXANE, PROPANEDIOL, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, DICAPRYLYL ETHER, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, PELARGONIUM GRAVEOLENS FLOWER OIL, SALVIA OFFICINALIS (SAGE) OIL, POGOSTEMON CABLIN OIL, CITRUS AURANTIUM BERGAMIA (BERGAMOT) FRUIT OIL, ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER EXTRACT, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE, STEARIC ACID, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, VINYL DIMETHICONE/METHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER, SODIUM CHLORIDE, TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, SORBITAN CAPRYLATE, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, POLYGLYCERYL-6 POLYRICINOLEATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ETHYL HEXANEDIOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL

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Pros:
– Affordable, 55ml for 480 pesos on Althea
– Travel-friendly packaging
– SPF 50+ PA++++
– Lightweight
– Easily absorbed
– Gives hydration
– Makes skin look fresh
– Mattifying
– No flashbacks
– Stays on even when skin’s sweaty

Cons:
-Scent is too strong for me

The first thing I noticed was the packaging. It’s travel-friendly. It’s secured and no need to worry about any spillage. It also has a ball mixer inside like in spray paints so shaking the product won’t be time consuming. I skip my moisturizer because this alone provides enough hydration for the day. It’s easily absorbed and feels lightweight on the skin… Which is usually a problem for other sunblocks. I love its brightening effect. It’s not too much, just enough to make the skin look fresh. If you’re oily, you’ve experienced skin darkening at some point. This works well for that.

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I’m also impressed with its longevity. It stays on even if I sweat a lot. I didn’t feel the need to reapply throughout the day. But of course, you still have to reapply after every 2 hours if you’re staying under the sun for a long time. It doesn’t interfere with makeup application. It’s mattifying and actually helped my makeup to stay longer. It’s also fine for both hot and cold weathers.

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The collage above is a test for flash photography. The left photo has no product. I applied Sunaway in the right photo. It gives little to no flashbacks at all. Based on the ingredients, it doesn’t have any artificial fragrances. Which is a good thing but this has a powdery scent. I love that scent but this one is too strong for me. It goes away after a few minutes though.

Overall, this is a good product if you’re looking for something that’s light and long lasting while giving you maximum sun protection. It stays on even for sweaty skin. It can be used for all weather conditions since it gives hydration. This is very affordable and a 55ml tube will last for a long time. You can get this one on Althea and it’s also available in a set with their powder. 🙂

First Impression: Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water

Hello readers! It’s been a while since I blogged about makeup remover. I usually go for remover wipes ’cause I’m that lazy. But I find that wipes can scratch and irritate the skin. So I’m on the search again for something that’s less harsh. I remembered that I still have samples from Benton. Out of all their products, Tea Tree Cleansing Water intrigued me the most.

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Description:
Infused with Tea Tree Leaf Water and Tea Tree Leaf Oil, this cleansing water mildly cleanses your skin, leaving skin refreshed and calm.

Ingredients:
Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Water (Aqua), Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sodium Chloride

Pros:
– Fairly priced, $17 or approx. 850 pesos
– Fragrance-free
– Lightweight
– No oily or sticky residue
– Non-drying
– Quickly removes makeup
– Did not cause irritations
– Did not cause breakouts

Cons:
– None

They say that if your makeup is oil-based, you have to use an oil cleanser. And if not, you should use water-based remover. Although my makeup is oil-based, I prefer to use this because it’s refreshing. It doesn’t leave any sticky residue. It effectively removed my makeup in just a few swipes. For your reference, I used liquid foundation, concealer and powder foundation while I tested this for 3 days.

It didn’t dry out my skin even if it’s main ingredient is tea tree water. It’s also fragrance-free. That’s a plus for us with sensitive skin. I don’t have cons for this. Benton recommends this for oily and acne-prone skin. I used this when I still had oily skin and I must say it did not cause breakouts or irritations. It is just amazing!