Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish UV Protection Review

Sunprise Mild Airy Finish mineral sunscreen from Etude House has an SPF of 50 and claims to have a nonsticky, nongreasy, milk formula that offers long-lasting UV protection safe and is for sensitive skin.

Directions state to shake well and apply to sun-exposed areas of the face and body, layering if exposed to the sun throughout the day.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Alcohol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dipropylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract, Carex Humillis Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Pinus Sylvestris Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Malpighia Emarginata (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Methicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Butylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Cellulose Gum

Alcohol is the third ingredient (when listed as “alcohol,” implies denatured alcohol) that gives formulas a quick dry, weightless feel on the skin. This contains 20 different vegetable ingredients to enhance sun protection. This has citrus oils of lemon, orange, bergamot and lime; depending on how these oils are processed, they can be irritating and photosensitive. Looking at a segment on the Mad Hippie website, if citrus oils are steam distilled, it should not be a worry.

Sunprise is a thin lotion that smells like it would be irritating to the skin; like a lemon-flavored alcoholic drink. On application, it goes on smoothly, it is not sticky, heavy or greasy and doesn’t require much dry-down time. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin; I can’t feel it on my face, but can feel a light layer to the touch – this feeling lasts all day. I’ve been using Retin-A for the last few months and when applied, my skin feels slightly warm for a couple seconds, but does not sting or get more red. It is very slightly mattifying on my oily skin, so my face doesn’t look as shiny. This sunscreen does not feel drying. It is not irritating around the eyes.

It doesn’t leave much, if any, white cast; my skin tone looks slightly more pale in the mirror, but hardly noticeable.

The sunscreen enhances the dry patches by my mouth and chin.

I’ve been using this for about 2 months and have not gotten any unusual breakouts. I usually apply a second layer to my cheek bones where I get hyperpigmentation from the sun. As a sunscreen, this seems to work; I got no other redness and did not seem to get more tanned.

I wanted to see how foundation performs over the sunscreen; I use a natural-looking, satin finish foundation that I applied about 5 minutes after the sunscreen. The sunscreen seemed to mix with the foundation and made me look quite pale. It did dry down to a more normal color after about 10 minutes. Next time I waited about 20 minutes between sunscreen application and foundation and it also mixed together. I was able to use The Ordinary sun care as a primer; the Sunprise would need a primer over top if putting on a more liquid foundation.

To remove, I use an oil based cleanser followed by a gel cleanser or two cleanses with a gel cleanser.

I would repurchase the Sunprise Mild Airy Finish mineral sunscreen. It is not heavy or greasy and leaves minimal, if any, white cast. It does, however, enhance dry patches and mixes with liquid foundations that have a thin formula.

Thank you for reading.

Klairs Toner Mate 2-in-1 Cotton Pad

Klairs is a Korean skincare company that makes the 2-in-1 cotton pads. In the box are two types of cotton pads, a 5-times compressed cotton pad and a sponge pad, 60 each.

I had been using regular cotton rounds for toner and found they absorbed too much product, so used my fingers to pat in product. I bought these on a whim to get free shipping with a skincare order.

From the Klairs website: Compressed cotton pad – 100% cotton for soft, smooth skin. A certified 100% pure cotton pad designed for the Klairs toner, compressed 5 times with the waterjet process. Wipe away irritants and gently exfoliate for soft, smooth skin. Use before other skin care products to help aid absorption. Increase hydration, decrease product waste.
Sponge pad – Increase hydration, decrease the amount of product used. Air laid pulp fabric designed to act like a sponge. Doesn’t absorb the product fully, but soaks up the toner to effectively deliver the full hydration to the skin. Rather than wiping, use a patting motion to calm and cool irritated skin.

Directions state, after cleansing, saturate the compressed cotton pad with toner and gently wipe the skin. After this, apply toner to the sponge pad and pat on the face.

The cotton squares measure 6 x 6 cm with the sponge pads 2 mm thick and the cotton pads 1 mm thick.

The compressed cotton pads are thin with textured lines and don’t absorb much product (unlike normal cotton rounds) and they exfoliate the skin a bit, of course, being more gentle than physical scrubs, and quite good for getting rid of flaky skin from use with Retin-A and removing leftover makeup and cleanser residue after cleansing. These aren’t super gentle when using Retin-A or wiping around the eyes. The cotton pads don’t break down nor do they leave lint.

The sponge pads are a bit thicker and soak in the product rather than absorbing it, with most of the product being dispensed out to the face when patting in. Toner almost seems to multiply as I pat it on the skin. The sponges work best with watery formulas and not as well with thicker formulas; thin gel products work okay as well. I like to use the sponges as spot masks; apply essence or serum to the sponge and place on the area of the face to be treated. As an under-eye mask, I cut the sponge in half, apply a serum or eye cream, then stick it in the fridge for later use. The sponges work much better than the fingers for even distribution.

These toner mate cotton pads are more expensive than cotton rounds, but aren’t too small to be used when cut in half.

I will continue to purchase these, but might get softer cotton pads for use around the eyes. I love the sponge pads and wish they were sold separately as I use them for masks as well.

Thank you for reading.

Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner Review

The Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner is a slightly acidic toner to rebalance the skin’s pH after cleansing to protect the skin’s moisture barrier. This toner uses 97% naturally derived ingredients and claims to balance, hydrate and cool stressed skin.

Ingredients: Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Betaine, Panthenol, Madecassoside, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, 1,2-hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Polyglycerin-3, Disodium Edta 

There are a number of moisturizing/hydrating/humectant ingredients in this toner; propandiol, glycerin, panthenol, betaine and butylene glycol. Madecassoside has soothing and repairing properties. Betaine is also an anti-irritant. Camellia sinensis leaf (green tea) extract is used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Directions state to saturate a cotton pad and sweep onto skin after cleansing or apply in the palm of the hand and pat onto skin. Once absorbed, continue with your skincare routine.

I don’t generally use toners in my routine, but read about the importance of pH balanced skin, so gave this toner a try. I have been using the Soon Jung toner for a few weeks, morning and night, applied with Klairs Toner Mate 2-in-1 Cotton Pad.

There is no scent. It has a water-like consistency and applies nicely to the skin. The toner does absorb, but leaves behind a layer, that almost feels protective or a dry-sticky feeling, so that there is tugging on the skin when I run my finger down my cheek. It doesn’t bother me too much; it is not a heavy feeling and I don’t feel it on the skin, but rather to the touch.

After I applied the toner, I followed with The Ordinary’s Marine Hyaluronics, then NIOD SDSM. I didn’t apply moisturizer, as I wanted to see if the Soon Jung Toner provided hydration/moisture without using a cream for the first couple times of use (which it does; my skin feels more hydrated). I have oily skin and using the above routine, my skin didn’t seem to have the greasy shine that it usually does, but more of a dewy-like complexion. With continued use my skin feels more hydrated and my complexion looks better in general. I don’t notice a cooling effect, however.

Redness is one of my biggest skin issues (blackheads and large pores being others). After the first few uses I was surprised that the redness on my cheeks improved by about 80% and didn’t get much redder as the day went on.

I also applied to the backs of my hands and they feel smoother and softer, likely due to the layer left behind, though doesn’t feel as sticky on the hands as on the face.

I would definitely repurchase the Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask Review

The Lip Sleeping Mask by Laneige is an overnight treatment that claims to reduce flakiness and fine lines, and soothe and moisturize for smooth, soft and supple lips.

Ingredients: Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phytosteryl / Isostearyl / Cetyl / Stearyl / Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Hydrogenated Poly(C6-14 Olefin), Polybutene, Microcrystalline Wax / Cera Microcristallina / Cire Microcristalline, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Synthetic Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax / Candelilla Cera / Cire de Candelilla, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Butylene / Ethylene / Styrene Copolymer, Ethylene / Propylene / Styrene Copolymer, Mica (CI 77019), Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Dimethicone, Fragrance / Parfum, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Methicone, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax / Cera Carnauba / Cire de Carnauba, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985), Red 6 (CI 15850), Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Water, Potassium Alginate, Propanediol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Chiloensis (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Sapindus Mukorossi Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ascorbyl Glucoside

The mask contains Moisture Wrap technology that forms an 8-hour time-release moisturizing layer on the skin that locks in active ingredients, and Berry Mix Complex that is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Directions state to apply a generous layer to the lips in the evening, leaving on overnight and wiping off or cleansing in the morning.

I got the mini size original lip mask as part of the Goodnight with Laneige kit that included the Water Sleeping Mask. I had gone camping last week and forgot my Quench lip balm, and my lips got quite dry, had some flakiness on the bottom lip and a couple cracks, so took this opportunity to try the lip mask.

It has a slight berry scent and taste. It applies smoothly with a bit of a sticky, heavy feeling on the lips. I applied with my fingertip and when rinsing with just water, there was a thick oily layer left on my finger, so needed soap to wash it off. It had taken me about an hour to fall asleep and by then, the mask had absorbed into the lips by about 50%. It has good staying power and I still felt it on my lips in the morning.

In the morning my lips felt a bit sticky and not as moisturized as I would have liked. They look okay in the “morning” photo. After cleansing with my regular cleanser, it looks like the mask helped with some surface hydration, but there is still a visible dry layer.

Above, I took a photo 20 minutes after cleansing as my lips felt drier and the three cracks on the bottom lip are more visible.

In the photo above, for a closer comparison, the surface hydration is better; the lips feel dry, however, and I still feel the flakiness on the bottom lip.

I also tried a small amount of the lip mask during the day and it made my lips drier and flakier than they were to begin with. To use up my mini jar, I might try it over lipstick to give a bit of shine, but wouldn’t put directly on the lips again.

The above photos were both taken the morning after their respective evening routines. I wanted to see how my regular evening lip care routine compared to the lip mask, so the next night after cleansing, I misted my lips with water, added a drop of The Ordinary’s Marine Hyaluronics, followed by my long-time favorite, Quench Lip Treatment Balm by Your Best Face Skincare, and Biossance 100% Squalane Oil. My normal routine performed much better than the Lip Sleeping Mask. In the morning, my lips felt moisturized and soft and the three cracks on the bottom lip were nearly gone. There appeared to be fewer fine lines (likely due to so much moisture and softness) and I felt no flakiness on the bottom lip.

While the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask improved surface hydration, my lips still felt dry and flaky. I would not repurchase.

Thank you for reading.

Amarte Daily Exfolipowder Review

Amarte is a Korean skincare company that formed an international partnership to customize their formulations for the western markets.

I bought Amarte Daily Exfolipowder at the same time as the Wonder Cleansing Foam (it was suggested to use both if doing a double cleanse routine).

Exfolipowder is suitable for all skin types and is a plant seed-based polishing cleanser that claims to be gentle enough for every day use to remove dry, dull skin.

Directions state to use morning and night, applying product to the palm of the hand, adding water and massaging into a rich lather. Gently massage on the skin in circular motion with fingertips and rinse. Amarte uses a metered dose container that dispenses the correct amount of product as the container is tipped.

Ingredients: water, Zea mays (corn) starch, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauroyl aspartate, titanium dioxide, Phaseolus radiatus seed extract, Oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, Triticum vulgare (wheat) bran extract, Salix alba (willow) bark extract, Pinus densiflora (pine) extract, pearl powder, arbutin, genistein, elemental sulfur, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, sodium palmitate, phenoxyethanol

The key ingredients, arbutin and genistein are antioxidants. Genistein apparently brightens and can prevent DNA damage (neither of which I expect to happen in a rinse-off product). Sulfur can help with breakouts.

The Daily Exfolipowder is a fine, white powder that has a light berry scent. I think the metered dose that the container dispenses is about twice what I would use for the face and neck. I have used this for a few months now, mostly daily, either after regular cleansing in the evening or as my only cleanser in the morning. While this is very gentle and doesn’t feel like it is doing much compared to other “harsher” exfoliants, my skin has a polished look and my skin feels smoother especially around my nose where I almost always have texture due to blackheads and congestion. Exfoliants with bigger grains or harsher ingredients can sting the skin or cause microtears that aren’t noticeable to the eye. I started using Retin-A a week ago and have some sensitivity, dryness and peeling, and the Exfolipowder doesn’t irritate the skin and gently exfoliants away the flakiness. While not really meant to be used as a sole cleanser, this gently cleans away lighter coverage foundation and daily debris, however, sunscreen, heavier makeup and eye makeup can benefit from a first cleanse. I like using this as a cleanser/exfoliant in the morning.

I would repurchase the Amarte Daily Exfolipowder.

Thank you for reading.