Review: St. Ives Oatmeal Scrub and Mask

One of my all-time favorite daily cleansers is the St. Ives Green Tea Scrub. I love how it is gently exfoliates my skin, and I also adore the scent. However, the last time I was in the US, it was extremely hard to find in stores. Turns out that St. Ives has been renewing many of their products!

 

I picked up the St. Ives Oatmeal Scrub + Mask on my recent trip to Hawaii. Would this be an every day exfoliator like the Green Tea scrub, or would it be too harsh, like the well-known St. Ives Apricot Scrub?

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What it does: (from the St. Ives website)
From America’s #1 Scrub brand, this new dual purpose formula combines oatmeal extract with 100% Natural Exfoliants. Use as a mark to nourish dry skin or as a scrub to smooth away dullness.

 

Price: As with many US drugstore products, the price varies depending on where you buy it. Walgreens.com lists this for $4.30.

 

Availability: St. Ives is available at drugstores in the US. The St. Ives website actually has a listing on where it can be bought!

 

Scent: this product has a sweet, flowery scent. Although I didn’t find the scent to be overpowering, the scent is noticeable.

 

Pros:

  • The level of exfoliation was gentle enough for me to use this as a daily cleanser
  • This is a creamy cleanser, and did not leave my skin feeling stripped
  • With a face wash net, this cleanser lathered up to a thick foam

 

Cons:

  • In the summer, I would prefer a stronger cleanser

 

Would I repurchase? Maybe. While I liked the product itself, there are a lot of other cleansers and exfoliators on the market that I want to try out.

 

Hope you liked this review!

xoxo, K

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Review: Lush Ayesha Fresh Face Mask

Every year since I started blogging, I have written more reviews on Lush than any other brand. I especially love the Lush Fresh Face Masks, but they are super pricey in Japan, being around $17 vs $7 in the US. I always stock up on a few when I go abroad!  This time, I picked up the Lush Ayesha Fresh Face Mask.

Lush Fresh Face Masks are made with fresh ingredients and do not contain preservatives. In many Lush stores, they are stored chilled and should be kept in the refrigerator at home.  Lush stores tell you to use them up pretty quickly, so I put these masks in single use containers and freeze them.

What it does: (from the Lush US website)
Ayesha is a blend of tightening and toning ingredients to refresh tired-looking skin. We use vitamin C-rich kiwi to brighten dull spots, asparagus to nourish and absorb excess oils and honey for hydrating and soothing red areas. This fresh mask is named after the fictional priestess who discovered the secret to immortality – ten minutes with it on and you’ll see why! Dull, tired and mature skin transforms for a bright, youthful glow.

Price: $6.96 for 2.1 oz in the US, 6.25 GBP for 75g in the UK. Although the UK price looks more expensive, it contains 25% more product.

Scent:  I didn’t think it was so bad, but many other bloggers commented that they really dislike the smell. I thought it smelled like the typical herbal smell of many Lush products.

Availability: Lush is available at Lush stores in several countries around the world. Although you can buy many Lush products through Lush’s website, this product is only available in stores.

Pros:

  • This product really brightened up my skin, although the effect was temporary
  • I felt that the product absorbed the excess oil in my skin without drying it out

Cons:

  • The smell, if you don’t like it.  
  • If you want a product which really absorbs oil, I recommend the Lush Mask of Magnaminty, which is much stronger than this product
Would I repurchase?  Maybe. This is a nice product if you want to see an immediate effect.  I might buy it again in preparation of a special event.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
xoxo, K
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Review: Skinfood Fermented Soy Milk Wrinkle Care Sleeping Mask

I have mentioned before that on most days, I apply a lotion mask on my face every night. Some nights, I come home so tired that it is a struggle just to remove my makeup, and I really cannot handle preparing and applying a lotion mask.  This is where sleeping packs come in handy.

Sleeping masks (aka sleeping packs) are facial masks that are formulated to go to sleep in. This means you can go to sleep without washing it off.  I have reviewed other sleeping packs before, the Skinfood Fermented Pomegranate Whitening Sleeping Pack, the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack Ex, and the Laniege Firming Sleeping Pack.  This is a review of another Skinfood product, the Skinfood Fermented Soy Milk Wrinkle Care Sleeping Mask.

What it does: (from the Skinfood website)
An anti-wrinkle sleeping mask containing adenosine and soy milk ferment extract forms a protective layer onto skin and provides continous moisturization overnight, making skin smooth, resilient, and moist by morning.

Price:
To be honest, I really don’t know. The Skinfood Fermented Pomegranate Whitening Sleeping Pack is 14000 Korean Won (around $13.50 USD), so I suppose this is a similar price.

Scent: When pumped out, this product has a slight floral-herbal scent, which I did not notice when I applied it to my skin.

Availability:  Skinfood is a very popular Korean brand. In Seoul, I found many free standing Skinfood stores. Skinfood has also expanded to 13 other countries including Japan and the US. However, I have found that purchasing online is usually cheaper than in the stores in Japan.

Pros:

  • Very light, watery texture
  • Absorbs quickly.  Once I apply the product, it is absorbed into my skin within a few minutes
  • Does not have any residue.  I can’t handle products which make my skin sticky!
  • I love the hygienic pump.
(picture from a previous blog post, when this blog was still called Bihada Diaries…)

Cons:

  • During the dry winter, I still needed an additional moisturizer
  • I don’t see how this reduces wrinkles. All products which are moisturizing reduce wrinkles, but I didn’t see any dramatic results

Would I repurchase? Maybe. I found that the Skinfood Fermented Pomegranate was more moisturizing. It is still a great product, and if you are interested in sleeping packs, I recommend you try this out.

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

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Review: Laneige Firming Sleeping Pack – pamper your skin while you sleep

Every year as the weather turns cooler, I rush around to change my skin care. My skin is combination, and I have oilier skin in the summer and drier skin in the winter.  Therefore, my summer skin care and my winter skin care are totally different!  I have mentioned several times that Japan has been super hot this year and that it continued to be hot into October.  Now that the weather is getting colder, it is getting cold super fast!

Sleeping packs are a very convenient way to pamper your skin.  Because I can go to sleep without washing it off, it is great for busy people like me.  I have previously reviewed 2 other sleeping packs, the Skinfood Fermented Pomegranate Whitening Sleeping Pack, and the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack Ex.  This is a review of another sleeping pack from Laniege, the Laniege Firming Sleeping Pack.
What it does: (from Laniege’s website)
A supple and resilient sleeping pack that restores skin firmness while you sleep

Price: this product is around $30 online. I could not find the price in Korea.

Pros:

  • Sleeping masks are super easy and convenient to use!
  • The scent is quite light, although it smells like a generic bath product
Cons:
  • While this product does not feel sticky on my skin, it does not absorb as well as other sleeping masks.  The remnant is particularly noticeable when I washed my face the next morning.
Notes:
This product feels like jelly on my skin, instead of like cream as I imagined. When I first applied it to my skin, I was worried that it would not spread evenly.  However, after massaging it in, it smoothed out into a liquid-like consistency.
Although I did not personally see any firming benefits from this product, there are several reviews online saying that this product worked for them.
Would I repurchase? No.  This was not a bad product, but the residue was a little off-putting for me. 
Are there any Japanese brands which make sleeping packs?  I only know of products from Korean brands.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
xoxo, K
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Revisited review: VOV Daily Fresh Mini Pack Apple AHA Peeling Gel

(purchased product)

Every year in the summer, I get small pimples on my chin. I have gotten them since I was in high school, and even after consulting several dermatologists, the conclusion is that my skin can’t handle the heat very well. One of the ways I try to minimize the damage is through exfoliation. The VOV Daily Fresh Apple AHA Peeling Gel is one of the most effective exfoliating masks that I have tried! I reviewed this once before (in 2009!!!) and I fell in love with it after trying it again.

What it does: (VOV does not have an English website. I originally tried this because AHA is a known chemical exfoliator)
Price: According to my previous review, these were $1 each in Korea. I bought mine from Sasa in Hong Kong for about 10 HKD ($1.30 USD)
How to use:
This product comes out as a whitish gel. I apply the gel to my face and leave it for a few minutes before washing it off. Amazingly, this product started peeling off immediately after I started applying it, probably because my skin was in dire need of exfoliation!
Pros:
  • This is the most effective exfoliator that I have tried. I could immediately feel the difference in my skin! It was much softer and smoother after using this product.
  • This is a very affordable product, at least in Korea and Hong Kong. (note: not all Sasa stores in Hong Kong carry VOV masks. I pick them up as soon as I find them)
  • I don’t have to peel this mask off. (I don’t like masks that I need to peel off of my whole face – they hurt too much!)
Cons:
  • As with most other chemical exfoliators, this product may sting your skin. Use this carefully if you have sensitive skin.
If you are like me and impatient to see the effects of skin care products, this is a good product for you!
Hope you enjoyed this review!
xoxo, K
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