brightening

mini review: hada labo shirojyun arbutin lotion

In search of a lightening face product, I bought this lotion. Hada Labo calls it a “lotion” but it doesn’t have a creamy texture. In my understanding, the Japanese call their toners “lotions” and their moisturisers “milk.” It can be confusing so make sure you’re getting the right product.

Picked this item specifically for its arbutin and MAP (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a stable derivative of Vitamin C) content, two lightening/brightening powerhouses. I had previously used a generic arbutin cream and another Vitamin C product with success so I can vouch for the efficacy of these ingredients when it comes to lightening/brightening.

Within a week of use, it changed my skin. It brightened my face, but in an artificial sort of way. It gave me this glossy plasticky shine on my forehead that makes it look like I have a layer of plastic on my face. It’s not necessarily bad, but it was unnatural. Looked like I had an oily forehead, except there was no oil and it was squeaky to the feel. The last time I experienced this was with Stridex in the red box.

The bigger bummer was that with such a short ingredient list, this lotion still managed to break me out. It gave me whiteheads on my forehead – only on my forehead, none elsewhere. I read that somebody else experienced the same thing, too.

In terms of application, this product feels tacky and a bit sticky. It always goes away within a couple minutes, though, so it’s not a big issue. It also has the texture of sticky water and I find that it adds hydration to the skin, but just a tiny bit.

A tip when you look for this product: You will find that some merchants use “albutin” instead of “arbutin.” It’s the same thing. The Japanese just don’t use “R” in their language sometimes; they change it to “L”.

mini review: [ost] c20 serum

I can’t think of any product that worked as fast on me as this serum. I applied it on my face one night and when I woke up the next morning, my skin smoothened and brightened! The effects were not minimal, either. It was as if I was using this serum for a long time. A miracle product, if I found any. I was amazed.

However, my bliss was cut too short. By Day 3, it gave me cystic acne, even in places where I never get spots (above the eyelid). I was disheartened because cystic acne aside, it was HG material. It even managed to plump my skin when barely anything does. I tried using it for a couple more weeks, hoping that it was another product which was giving me the cysts. Unfortunately for me, it really was the C20.

Upon searching online, I found that others have also experienced C20 + cystic acne. I’m not sure if it’s the high alcohol content (ethanol), the coconut oil (caprylic/capric triglyceride), the Vitamin E content, or something else. But if a Vitamin C can be this effective, I’ll be on the hunt for a good one that can give me the same benefits without the cysts. Next on my short list is C21.5 and Melano CC. Then Skinceuticals, Time and NuFoutain on my long list.

I already have Melano CC in my possession. Going to try it soon.

first impressions: cosrx galactomyces 95 whitening power essence

Just got this item in the post yesterday morning. So far I have used it three times.

Some observations:

  • Sticky water texture
  • Tacky upon application but absorbs and dries fast; tackiness goes away fast
  • Hasn’t made me oilier than usual
  • Hasn’t broken me out so far
  • Hydrating but just slightly; no plumpness whatsoever
  • Slightly smoothened my skin texture

Not really expecting a lot from this product, especially not at this point as it is too early. But so far I like that it adds a bit of hydration to my skin. When I woke up this morning, my skin felt smoother!

In the long run, I’m expecting this product to brighten my skin, even just slightly. I also hope it continues to improve my skin texture and hydrate my skin. The extra layer of hydration, albeit not a lot, is always welcome.

Same day update: Seems like this is making my skin oilier. I’ll keep monitoring.