elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution & Advanced Calming Solution Review

elmt is a new, exclusive skincare brand from Wishtrend, an online retailer of Korean skincare. I was sent the Gentle Exfoliating Solution and Advanced Calming Solution to test out and I’m ready to share my thoughts!

For reference, I am acne prone, normal to dry skin. I am currently using 0.1% Tretinoin in my skincare routine so my skin is a bit sensitive as well. I used these solutions as my sole hydrator in my skincare routine for a couple of weeks on their own after rotating them in my skincare routine first to make sure I had no reactions.


Products are PR Samples. This does not change my opinion of the products.
My thoughts are honest, always *casts doe patronus*

All shopping links are affiliate links. This means when you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to search a new link.


About elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution and Advanced Calming Solution

elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution

“This solution gently but effectively exfoliates the complexion while keeping it moisturized and supple all at once. The Gentle Exfoliating Solution is formulated with AHA and vitamin C, which work together to remove dead skin cells to uncover your skin’s inner glow. To help balance the exfoliating properties, an antioxidant-rich super berry complex composed of 49.02% blueberry and raspberry extracts reduces inflammation and irritation, while also promoting cell turnover. All combined, you have a great daily exfoliator.”

Wishtrend.com

Price: $20 USD
Amount: 150ml
pH: 3.0~4.0
Where to Buy:
Wishtrend, use “MICHXMASH15” for 15% off



elmt Advanced Calming Solution

“This lightweight, liquid-type solution doubles as a toner and serum that quickly absorbs into the skin to deliver a calming, regenerative experience for irritated skin. Enriched with more than 59.12% Centella Asiatica extract, a superstar ingredient highly lauded for thousands of years as a part of reparative skincare in Asia, and snow fungus-derived polysaccharides, which keeps the skin moisturized and comfortable, the Advanced Calming Solution is a one-stop solution to hydrate, heal and soothe.”

Wishtrend.com

Price: $20 USD
Amount: 150ml
pH: 5.0~6.0
Where to Buy:
Wishtrend, use “MICHXMASH15” for 15% off

ADDITIONAL CLAIMS:

  • Made in Korea
  • Vegan Friendly
  • Cruelty Free

elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution and Advanced Calming Solution Ingredients

elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution

Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Trehalose, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Panthenol, Allantoin

The elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution has a base of Blueberry Fruit Extract at 49.02% which comes from a fruit high in antioxidants, followed by good ol’ Glycerin, a humectant that’s naturally occurring in our skin. It also contains Rasberry Fruit Extract and 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid for antioxidants. The latter ingredient plus Licorice Root Extract can also aid in brightening. The formula also contains the classic combo of Allantoin and Panthenol for Soothing. Just before this soothing combo, we see the actual exfoliants – Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).

I do question the exfoliating power of this solution however. While it contains AHAs and the pH level is low for them to perform, the percentage is very low. If the chemical exfoliant was Salicylic Acid, I would have more faith, for a 0.5% concentration of this beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is effective. With AHA, the concentration needs to be higher, otherwise they perform more like humectants, and that’s what I fear it is doing in this solution. I believe in South Korea, the percentage of AHAs and BHAs for OTC products is limited, whereas over here in North America we can easily find AHAs at concentrations of 5-10% and BHAs up to 2%.


elmt Advanced Calming Solution

Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Water, Centella Asiatica Leaf/ Stem Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Dipropylene Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Propanediol, Pullulan, Trehalose, Panthenol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Allantoin, Pentylene Glycol, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Centella Asiatica Root Extract

The elmt Advanced Calming Solution is in a base of the fan-fave ingredient, Centella Asiatica Leaf Water at 59.12%. Soothing ingredients Panthenol, Allantoin, and Centella Asiatica Root Extract are also in the formula to add to the soothing factor. There’s also humectants Glycerin, Pullulan, Trehalose, and Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide.


Firstly, I appreciate the minimal ingredients list in these elmt solutions and how the focus is on the purpose of each one.

The elmt Advanced Calming Solution does not have any intense active, and focuses more on humectants and soothing ingredients. While it doesn’t seem as fancy as the Gentle Exfoliating Solution, sometimes boring and gentle is what you need in your skincare routine!


Experience Using elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution and Advanced Calming Solution

Both solutions are in the same dark green glass packaging that have a white plastic twist-off cap with a spout for dispensing. Texture is also the same for both, very watery. For both I would apply 3 layers all over my face and neck like I would any hydrator.

No matter the amount of layers, I found no trace of moisture on my skin, both solutions would just disappear. The Advanced Calming Solution has a slight bit more slip but the overall feel on the skin is the same. These solutions seem better as a “morning cleanse” in my AM routine by drenching a cotton round with one of the elmt solutions and wiping my face and neck.

My doubts of the elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution happened – it does not exfoliate. I was hoping to see some mild decongesting around my nose, but my sebaceous filaments looked the same. I also hoped to feel some conditioning effects on my skin so it feels slightly smoother, but it just disappears and my skin has stayed the same.

The elmt Advanced Calming Solution did calm my skin a bit when I applied it after my skin was sensitized from a vitamin C serum. Another instance when my skin became irritated from an active I used, I only used this solution to help address the redness I developed. I saw and felt no difference in my skin this, and did not notice it helping reduce inflammation around my breakouts either. I experienced these types of benefits with the By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence, so I was hoping to have a similar experience with the elmt Advanced Calming Solution.


Final Thoughts on elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution and Advanced Calming Solution

I appreciate the thought in the formulas and the amount you get for the price, but the performance of both elmt Gentle Exfoliating Solution and Advanced Calming Solution was sub-par on my acne-prone, normal to dry skin. In the few weeks I’ve had these products, they have not made a noticeable difference in my skincare routine; It just felt like I was applying water. No trace of additional moisture to be found, the Advanced Calming Solution did soothe my skin a bit, but not as much as other items I have with Centella Asiatica. The Gentle Exfoliating Solution does not exfoliate my skin, it performs more as a light antioxidant water, so I don’t really know if anything is happening. Usually if I want a product for exfoliation, I need at least 5% AHA and 0.5% BHA to notice any difference on my skin.

This new skincare launch was lackluster for me, it just doesn’t seem to pair well with my parched skin. Based on the texture alone, those of you with an oilier skin-type would enjoy them more than my thirsty, dry skin. I’m curious if any of you have ever noticed exfoliating benefits from a small amount of AHA in a formula – if you have, please let me know in the comments down below! It could just be my skin being too acclimated to strong chemical exfoliants.

WHERE TO BUY:

Wishtrend – “MICHXMASH” 15% OFF

As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative!

xo, M

Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 – SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #20

Another Sunday, another Paula’s Choice mineral sunscreen review! In today’s post, I will be reviewing a travel size of the Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30.


Information on Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30

“This illuminating moisturizer shields skin with all-mineral sun protection plus antioxidants to help protect against the effects of environmental damage.

Creates an instant, healthy glow for makeup-optional skin
12 antioxidants visibly diminish the signs of environment-based aging
Lightweight, illuminating cream
Apply as the last step of your morning routine

– paulaschoice.com

Price: $29 USD (full size)
Amount: 60ml/2oz (full size)
Packaging:  Opaque hot pink plastic tube.
Water Resistant? No.

UV FILTERS:
Zinc Oxide 6.125% (UVB, UVAII and some UVAI)
Titanium Dioxide 5.25% (UVB and UVAII)

Protection:
UVB: SPF 30
UVA: If U.S. regulations say UVA has to be 1/3rd of the UVB, it should be around a PPD of 10

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Isononyl Isononanoate (emollient), Butylene Glycol (texture enhancer), Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient/texture enhancer), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate (emulsifier), Dimethicone (hydration), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancer), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (skin-soothing), Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil (non-fragrant antioxidant plant oil), Tetrapeptide-30, Linoleic Acid (skin-restoring agents), Resveratrol (antioxidant), Ascorbyl Glucoside (vitamin C/antioxidant), Niacinamide (skin-restoring), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phospholipids, Lecithin (skin-restoring agents), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols (antioxidant/hydration), Xanthophylls (antioxidant), Pullulan (texture enhancer), Sodium Gluconate (hydration), Xanthan Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Alumina (texture enhancers), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (skin-replenishing), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Triethoxycaprylylsilane (texture enhancer), C13-14 Isoparaffin (solvent), Acrylates Copolymer (film-forming agent), Polyhydroxystearic Acid (dispersing agent), Caprylyl Glycol (hydration), Polyacrylamide (film-forming agent), Ceteareth-20, Aluminum Stearate (texture enhancers), Laureth-7 (emulsifier), Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol (preservatives).

INCIDecoder

Of course, like all Paula’s Choice products, the inactive ingredient list is a cocktail of skin beneficial ingredients. It’s also handy that the primary function is provided beside every ingredient on their website.

Moisturizing – Glycerin, Dimethicone, Argan Kernel Oil, Phospholipids, Soybean Sterols, Sodium Gluconate.

Antioxidants – Resveratrol, Niacinamide Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopherol, Xanthophylls, Kiwi fruit Extract

Soothing – Licorice Root Extract, Bisabolol

Brightening – Licorice Root Extract, Niacinamide, Tetrapeptide-30


My Experience with Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30

FRAGRANCE: None.

APPLICATION: Applied in 2 separate layers to give the sunscreen a chance to adapt to my skin tone as best as possible. Feels a bit greasy while applying and definitely more emollient than the Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense. I also noticed pilling along my hairline while lightly massaging the sunscreen onto my skin.

FINISH: Very glowy, it looks like there are shimmer particles in the sunscreen. It sits similarly to the Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense.

FEEL: Light, it has a tacky, slightly greasy finish. The feel sits between the PC Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense and the DRMTLGY Universal Tinted Moisturizer.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST / TINTED? The colour of the sunscreen is an off-white but this is not tinted. After initial application it looks pretty blended in as I can still see my skin’s undertone, but I do see a whisper of a cast. After 20 minutes, it looks more or less the same.

EXTRA SKIN BENEFITS? Simply that it sits comfortably on my dry skin type. Other than that, this sunscreen makes me look like a disco ball and the way it sits on my skin makes it quite unflattering for the texture on my face.

UNDER MAKEUP: On my dry skin, the moisturized finish of this sunscreen pairs well with whatever base makeup I use. It is not as grippy as the PC Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense, which oilier skin types may prefer.


Final Thoughts on Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30

Pros

  • At least a SPF30, as recommended by most skin experts.
  • Comfortable to apply the 2mg/cm2.
  • Like all Paula’s choice products, contains other nice beneficial ingredients.
  • Skin felt comfortably moisturized for most of the day.

Cons

  • The glow of the sunscreen is so shimmery, I feel like I look like a disco ball. I was able to diffuse some of the glow with a setting powder but the shine is quite strong and it does not make my skin look smoother.

Overall the Paula’s Choice Defense Essential Glow Moisturizer SPF 30 is very comfortable to wear and I am impressed at how there is very little to no cast on my skin. Usually with all mineral sunscreens I can see a difference in the undertone, but this one blended out well enough that it could be worn on its own. Unfortunately the shimmer is too much for me and it makes me uncomfortable with how much texture it emphasizes.

WHERE TO BUY:
Paula’s Choice Website *

As always, I hope you found this review helpful and informative!

xo, M

Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 – SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #19

Another “Youtube made me buy it” moment! The Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 seems to be a popular tinted mineral sunscreen in the beautysphere, and I wanted to give it a try on my acne prone, normal to dry skin.


Information on Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

“A lightly tinted mineral-based formula that protects skin from sun damage and fortifies it with state-of-the-art antioxidants.

Prevents premature aging of skin
Boost skin’s environmental defenses
Silky texture leaves a soft matte finish
Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine”

– paulaschoice.com

Price: $33 USD
Amount: 60ml/2oz
Packaging:  Opaque blue plastic tube.
Water Resistant? No.

UV FILTERS:
Zinc Oxide 13% (UVB, UVAII and some UVAI)

Protection:
UVB: SPF 30
UVA: If U.S. regulations say UVA has to be 1/3rd of the UVB, it should be around a PPD of 10

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), PEG-12 Dimethicone (texture enhancer), PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone (texture enhancer), Lauroyl Lysine (skin-conditioning agent),Sodium Chloride (stabilizer), Trihydroxystearin (texture-enhancing), Dimethicone Crosspolymer ( suspending agent), Resveratrol (antioxidants), Quercetin (antioxidants), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidants), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Adenosine (skin-restoring), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract (skin-soothing), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract (antioxidant), Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract (astaxanthin/antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Corn Starch (texture-enhancing/mattifying agent), Polysorbate 80 (texture-enhancing), Hydrated Silica (texture-enhancing/mattifying agent), Triethoxycaprylylsilane (texture enhancer), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient texture enhancer), Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate (texture enhancer), Caprylyl Glycol (preservatives), Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservatives), Iron Oxide (CI77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Phenoxyethanol (preservatives).

INCIDecoder

In true Paula’s Choice fashion, the Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30’s inactive ingredient list is a cocktail of skin beneficial ingredients and I always appreciate the ingredients having their primary function beside them.

Only noticeable moisturizing ingredients are various -cones which make the base of the sunscreen.

Antioxidants Resveratrol, Quercetin, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, and plant extracts high in antioxidants.

Soothing ingredients Bisabolol and Willow Bark Extract.

Adenosine for wound-healing and aiding in barrier repair and protection.


My Experience with Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

FRAGRANCE: None.

APPLICATION: Applied in 2 separate layers to give the tint a chance to adapt to my skin tone as best as possible. It does not feel greasy at all, rather it feels like a light lotion. I experienced no pilling.

FINISH: Semi-matte but still skin-like, I notice my texture is a bit emphasized once it sets more.

FEEL: Light, sets pretty quickly and has a light tacky finish, not as tacky as the DRMTLGY Universal Tinted Moisturizer SPF 46.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST / TINTED? I find the tint to lean slightly pink. With separate layers it’s not very noticeable, but when I apply the sunscreen all in one go, the pink is more obvious. I have also used this sunscreen as a “topper” over an all-organic UV filter sunscreen for the tint, and with a very sheer layer I barely notice the pink undertone.

EXTRA SKIN BENEFITS? One main benefit I’ve noticed is that the light coverage does even out my skin tone. Other than that, I don’t find it does dry skin any favours, even if you’re well prepped prior. It makes me look dehydrated quickly and as a result makes me look a bit more aged. By end of day my skin feels uncomfortably dry.

UNDER MAKEUP: Like other all-mineral sunscreens I have tried, I find it grips onto product more and thus increases coverage. On days I feel like I can wear it on its own, my concealer and liquid blush sits really well on it and still blends easily. I notice when I set my face lightly with powder, the dry feeling increases quickly.


Final Thoughts on Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

Pros

  • At least a SPF30
  • Sets quickly and has a skin-like, non-greasy finish
  • Like all Paula’s choice products, contains other nice ingredients
  • Skin tone looked even

Cons

  • I don’t know how they can call this a moisturizer, it’s quite drying. Seems that it would work best for those of you with very oily skin that have never been concerned with the uncomfortable, tight feeling. Otherwise I’d recommend to moisturize prior to application for any skin type.
  • Even though it is a soft matte finish, I find my texture is still emphasized because of the way it sits on my skin, and it adds further to the dehydrated look I get.

In-between Feels

  • Tint – prefer the undertone in the DRMTLGY one but this is still passable when applied properly. For fairer skin tones you may notice it being a bit dark with generous application, darker skin tones may still see a cast.

Overall the Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 seems like a good tinted sunscreen for those with very oily skin types, and because the finish is so skin-like I can see it performing nicely under makeup. I will be giving this away to a family member with a more oily skin type because it is too drying for mine.

WHERE TO BUY:
Paula’s Choice Website *

As always, I hope you found this review helpful and informative!

xo, M

I’m From Rice Serum and Cream Review

Back in November 2020, I received a lovely package of I’m From’s Rice Toner, Serum and Cream. I’m a fan of their toner for how it instantly softens and brightens my skin while performing as a great supplemental moisturizing product. I even featured it in my Skincare Favourites of 2020!

I’ve been rotating all three products in my skincare routine for a few months now and I’m ready to share my thoughts! Note I have already done a full review on I’m From Rice Toner so I’ll leave a link to that down below. In this post, I’ll specifically be reviewing their serum and cream.

I’m From Rice Toner Review

I also have a Youtube video reviewing all 3 products!


Products are PR Samples. This does not change my opinion of the products.
My thoughts are honest, always *casts doe patronus*

All shopping links are affiliate links. This means when you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to search a new link.


About I’m From Rice Serum and Cream

I’m From Rice Serum

This serum contains 73% Rice Germ Fermented Extract, which retains more than 65% of the nutritional value in a grain of rice. It is also rich in vitamin B and powerful antioxidants, which will boost collagen production and improve skin elasticity. Use this serum before the rice cream to double the effect.

Wishtrend.com

Price: $27 USD
Amount: 30ml
pH: 5.0~7.0 (6.1)
Where to Buy:
Wishtrend
YesStyle

I’m From Rice Cream

“Rice is known as the 1000 years Asian Beauty Secret. The cream contains rice bran extract rich in ceramide that has been distilled and specially treated by the in-house technology to help improve the skin tone and barrier from sun damage. It is rich in beauty minerals and vitamins B and E and effectively controls excessive sebum production. Together with the rice toner and serum, this cream will be ideal for daily use.”

Wishtrend.com

Price: $30 USD
Amount: 50ml
pH: 6.6~8.6 (7.9)
Where to Buy:
Wishtrend
YesStyle

ADDITIONAL CLAIMS:

  • Made in Korea
  • Vegan Friendly
  • Cruelty Free

I’m From Rice Serum and Cream Ingredients

I’m From Rice Serum

INCIDecoder

Aspergillus/Rice Germ Ferment Extract Filtrate, Propanediol, Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Caprylyl Methicone , Water (Aqua), Cyclohexasiloxane, 1,2-Hexanediol,Squalane, Betaine, C12-14 Pareth-12, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Panthenol,C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Adenosine, Disodium Edta, Pentylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Madecassoside, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Glutathione

I’m From Rice Cream

INCIDecoder

Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Water, Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Synthetic Beeswax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Vinyl Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Bisabolol, Cetearyl Olivate, Panthenol, Sorbitan Olivate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide NP, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Tocopherol, Phytosphingosine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Lecithin

“…rice bran is a rich source of over 100 antioxidant compounds, including vitamin E, ferulic acid, and oryzanol.

The bran also contains moisturizing polysaccharides, omega-3 fatty acids, and micronutrients like calcium, selenium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.”

Paula’s Choice’s ingredient dictionary

I personally enjoy using rice based products in my skincare routine because I notice various benefits such as brightening, skin softening, and extra moisture. I experienced this from the Naruko Jing Cheng Face Renewal Miracle Essence (gift) with 94% Rice Lee’s Extract (featured in my latest morning winter skincare routine), as well as I’m From’s Rice Toner (gift) with 77.78% Rice Extract.

The I’m From Rice Serum contains a good 73% of Aspergillus/Rice Germ Ferment Extract Filtrate, in addition to other brightening ingredients like Niacinamide and Licorice Root Extract. There are also some soothing factors in this serum coming from the Panthenol, Allantoin, Madecassoside, and Purslane Extract. In addition, we have some lovely moisturizing ingredients in the formula such as Glycerin and a couple of Hyaluronic Acid molecules for humectants, and Squalane, an oil that can be found in our skin’s own sebum.

The I’m From Rice Cream has 41% Rice Bran Extract Water. Since this is Rice Bran Extract Water, I’m assuming that the claimed benefits of Rice Bran Extract will be more watered down. Similar to the serum, the cream contains moisturizing ingredients Glycerin, HA molecules and Squalane; It also has Shea Butter, Rice Bran Oil, Ceramide NP, and Phytosphingosine to add more emollience. The cream also has Panthenol and Bisabolol for soothing, all rounder Niacinamide and Tocopherol for antioxidants.

Based on the ingredients list alone, both the I’m From Rice Serum and Cream contain a really nice variety of moisturizing, soothing, brightening, antioxidant and wound-healing ingredients, all of which are great at supporting any actives in your skincare routine.


Experience using I’m From Rice Serum and Cream

I’m From Rice Serum and Cream are both in glass components; Serum dispenses product with a plastic pump, and the cream is in a jar with a twist off lid. Texture wise, both the serum and cream definitely have cosmetic elegance. Neither of them are sticky and they are enjoyable to use in my skincare routine. The serum is a gel milky texture, the cream feels like it’s a dense but light cream. There is no scent coming from these products and it’s fairly easy to incorporate them in my existing skincare routine.

I use both the serum and cream as supplemental moisturizing products in my skincare, to which find myself using a generous amount of each of them. I’m so used to using layers of a viscous lotion this time of year, the serum does not seem enough with one or two pumps – I actually use around four pumps. I have used this as the 2nd hydrator step in my current Nighttime Winter Skincare Routine and have noticed its soothing benefits if my skin felt particularly sensitive that night. While the cream is a lovely texture, it is definitely not enough for my skin this time of year; I tried using it as a standalone moisturizer and I felt my skin become dry as the day progressed. I feel it may perform better come the warmer, more humid months for my skin type, but for those that are not as dry and prone to rough texture, you may enjoy this cream during the colder months. For now I have been using it either to “sandwich” my Retin-A Micro or ocassionally swap it with the serum as a 2nd hydrator step.


Final Thoughts on I’m From Rice Serum and Cream

At first I was a bit “meh” about the new I’m From Rice Serum and Cream, but continued use of them changed my mind. The I’m From Rice Toner is still my preferred product out of the line because I find it gives me better skin benefits such as brightening, even complexion, skin softening, and additional moisture. Out of the two new products, I like the serum best; I became fond of it with increasing use because it still has a high amount of a rice extract, plus how gentle it is with the concoction of supportive ingredients it has. My one gripe is the 30ml amount, but I should try to lower the amount I use. I probably don’t need that much but I’m so used to applying a generous amount of supplemental moisturizing products, especially this dry time of year. The cream is also lovely to use, but if you watched my recent Winter Skincare Routine, you know that the 50ml of moisturizer is not enough for me and it doesn’t seem as cost-effective. I also find I notice the instant brightening benefits from rice extract the best from the toner and serum vehicles, but overall I enjoy using it and like the formula.

And that’s all folks! As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative.

WHERE TO BUY:

Wishtrend – “MICHXMASH” 15% OFF
YesStyle – “YESMICH” 4% OFF RETURNING ORDERS

xo, M

My Winter Skincare Routines for Dry Acne Prone Skin 2020/2021

Weather is in the negatives, the heat is on, and my face is feeling it! Come the colder, winter months, I need to adjust my skincare routine accordingly to prevent the uncomfortable feelings of dehydration and dryness.

Fortunately, it isn’t as crazy and elaborate as some would think; Once the colder months come around, I alter my skincare routines in the following ways:

  • Replace products
  • Use existing products differently
  • Add in more emollient products

The key points are that all steps of my skincare routines are gentle and/or leave an additional moisturizing film to my skin.

Before we continue on, please take a look at previous posts I have written which will provide more context for this one!

Skin type: Acne prone, normal to dry. Becomes easily sensitized from drying products or environment.
Skincare Focus: Acne control, hydration, barrier protection.
What my skincare addresses: Acne prevention and healing, hydration, barrier protection, promoting graceful aging, fade pigmentation, minimizing pore size, reducing redness and inflammation, improves texture, promotes collagen synthesis, skin thickening.


Products marked with * are PR Samples/gifts. This does not change my opinion of the product. My thoughts are honest, always *casts doe patronus*

All links are affiliate links. This means when you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to search a new link.


Breakdown of my Winter Skincare Routines

Below is the full list of steps in both my morning and nighttime winter skincare routines, including the optional steps.

Morning Winter Skincare Routine

  1. Morning Cleanse (OPTIONAL) – Water Rinse or Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser
    • On an as-need basis, when overnight moisturizing layers, fluff and sweat create too much build up
  2. First Hydrator – Naruko Jing Cheng Face Renewal Miracle Essence *
    • More watery than the second hydrator, acts as a morning cleanse if I do not do the first step
  3. Antioxidant – Geek & Gorgeous 101 C-Glow Serum
  4. Second Hydrator – Rovectin Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion *
    • More viscous and moisturizing than the first hydrator, will sometimes swap for something more emollient
  5. Acne Control Active – Aczone
  6. Moisturize – Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume
    • Will sometimes mix in an occlusive
  7. Sunscreen – Krave Beauty Beet the Sun SPF50+ PA++++

Nighttime Winter Skincare Routine

  1. Eye Makeup Removal (OPTIONAL) – Kiss Me Heroine Make Speedy Mascara Remover
    • On an as-need basis when I wear mascara
  2. Double Cleanse (OPTIONAL) – Purito From Green Cleansing Oil *, Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser
    • Will use a cleansing oil on an as-need basis when I wear face makeup or feel like I need it, otherwise I just use my current cleanser by itself
  3. First Hydrator– Rovectin Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion *
  4. Acne Control Actives – Retin-A Micro and Aczone
    • Will use an OTC Retinol every other day on my neck and chest
  5. Second Hydrator – Jumiso Super Soothing Cica & Aloe Facial Serum *
    • Opt for a serum/ampoule that has more emollience than the first hydrator
  6. Moisturize – Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume
  7. Occlusive (OPTIONAL) – Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment
    • On an as-need basis if skin is feeling particularly chapped

Main Winter Skincare Products

AKA products I frequently use in my morning and nighttime winter skincare routines. The products featured are my tried and trues out of the rotation of items I receive from PR, gifts, and my own purchases. Each are purposeful and contribute to my skin’s overall health.

Kiss Me Heroine Make Speedy Mascara Remover

How I use it: Apply on a cotton round and rest on eyes to break down waterproof mascara. After a few seconds, I lightly move the cotton round through my lashes to remove as much as possible.
Why I use it: My eyes are quite sensitive – any oil-based cleanser I have used around my eyes for a few seconds burn them. I need to go in with something gentle, especially when I wear eye makeup. Instead of repurchasing my go-to Marcelle Gentle Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes, I decided to try out the Herone Make Speedy Mascara Remover that was recommended by my colleague. It easily removes waterproof and non-waterproof mascara and does not irritate my eyes.
Related Content: Skincare Favourites 2020
Where to Buy:
DokoDemo
YesStyle

Purito From Green Cleansing Oil *

How I use it: Dispense 2 full pumps and gently massage all over my face and neck. After 30 seconds or so, I wet my hands and massage my face and neck again to emulsify the oil. I do this for another 30 seconds and then rinse.
Why I use it: Sometimes, the copious layers of moisturizing products get a bit much and I sometimes feel some pilling action going on or excess build-up. Using a cleansing oil always does the trick in having a thorough cleanse. The Purito From Green Cleansing Oil in particular makes me reminisce of the original Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) where I would use a kitchen oil on my face, and take a damp cloth to remove it. The benefits of this cleansing oil is that it emulsifies and rinses off without the need of a cloth!
Where to Buy: YesStyle

Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser

How I use it: Dispense 2 pumps and lightly massage all over my face and neck.
Why I use it: Most of the time I use this as my stand-alone cleanser since I have not been double cleansing a lot lately. It is pH balanced around 5.5 (last time I checked), non-foaming, gentle, creamy, and it feels like it adds a bit of extra moisture to my skin.
Related Content: Skincare Favourites 2020
Where to Buy: Paula’s Choice Website

Naruko Jing Cheng Face Renewal Miracle Essence *

How I use it: Apply on a cotton round and wipe face to remove a night’s buildup or fluff, and follow with another 2 nickel-sized layers.
Why I use it: Due to my problematic skin, layering something as light as a hydrating toner/essence/lotion really helps reduce my skin’s chance of becoming dehydrated without feeling congested. I also find hydrators make my skin just a bit plumper, brighter, more even, softer. I like using Naruko’s Jing Cheng Face Renewal Miracle Essence as the first step or “morning cleanse”; It has a light watery consistency that wakes up my skin, it also softens and subtly brightens. Perfect first and prep step!
Alternative: If my skin feels like it has too much build up in the morning from all the moisturizing layers the night before, I will rinse my face first before going in with the first Hydrator, maybe even use Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser if I feel it is necessary.
Related Content: Skincare Favourites 2020
Where to Buy:
Naruko Canada (not affiliate)

Geek & Gorgeous 101 C-Glow Serum

How I use it: Apply immediately while skin is still slightly tacky from hydrator step. Massage a full dropper all over face and neck and pat once evenly spread.
Why I use it: Mainly for photoprotection, and it’s nice that it maintains my bright and even complexion. Vitamin C is the most finnicky product in my routine – L-Ascorbic Acid oxidizes in 3 months and I can’t visibly tell if it’s working. I spoke with my dermatologist about it, and she’s pro-Vitamin C. I decided to keep it in my routine as an extra boost to the graceful aging aspect. Geek & Georgous 101 C-Glow Serum is my current go-to/Holy Grail because it is affordable and checks all the boxes of what I want in a vitamin C serum – low pH, right percentage of LAA, contains Ferulic Acid and Tocopherol, is gentle.
Related Content: Geek & Gorgeous Review
Where to Buy: Geek & Gorgeous Website

Rovectin Skin Essentials Activating Treatment Lotion *

How I use it: Apply a nickel-size amount in the palm of hands and massage all over face and neck. Follow with another 2 layers.
Why I use it: Due to my problematic skin, layering something as light as a hydrating toner/essence/lotion really helps reduce my skin’s chance of becoming dehydrated without feeling congested. I also find hydrators make my skin just a bit plumper, brighter, more even, softer.
Alternative: If my skin feels very dry and rough, I will use a more emollient second hydrator such as Laneige Cream Skin Refiner.
Related Content: Moisturizing Skincare Recommendations
Where to Buy:
Wishtrend
YesStyle

Retin-A Micro 0.1% Tretinoin

How I use it: Dispense 2 pumps (pea size amount) and apply it all over my face and underneath my jaw. Because my skin is acclimated to it, I also bring it underneath my eyes.
Why I use it: It is the star ingredient that controls my acne. It works by normalizing my skin cell turnover so there is no buildup of dead skin, and reduces my skin’s sebum production. Tretinoin in particular is also the only FDA-approved ingredient effective at diminishing the signs of photoaged skin (pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines). I have also noticed it help refine my skin’s texture and minimize my pores, making my skin look overall clear and healthy. It is my Holy Grail active.
Blog Post: SKIN UPDATE #5: 0.04% to 0.1% Tretinoin, 6+ Months of Spironolactone, Professional Microneedling
PRESCRIPTION ONLY

Aczone Gel 5% Dapsone

How I use it: Apply a thin layer all over face and under jaw.
Why I use it: Helps reduce inflammation around any active acne lesions, also helps to control non-inflamed lesions. It also pairs well with my Retin-A Micro, Vitamin C serum, and chemical exfoliants.
Blog Post: SKIN UPDATE #5: 0.04% to 0.1% Tretinoin, 6+ Months of Spironolactone, Professional Microneedling
PRESCRIPTION ONLY

Jumiso Super Soothing Cica & Aloe Facial Serum *

How I use it: After prescription topicals have set, apply 4 drops or a dropper full all over my face and neck.
Why I use it: During the colder months, moisturizing layers are key! With this serum in particular, it has a ton of barrier-strengthening ingredients in a very soothing base of Centella and Aloe extract, and has a more emollient finish. A great item to comfort and add more moisture to my skin, especially when my Retin-A Micro prescription strength increased and my skin was feeling more sensitive.
Blog Post: REVIEW: Jumiso Super Soothing Cica & Aloe Facial Serum
Where to Buy:
StyleKorean
YesStyle

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume

How I use it: Apply once Aczone has settled. Massage a full pump all over face and neck.
Why I use it: After applying layers of supplemental moisturizing products, it is important to seal all of it in with a moisturized barrier. Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume is a cost-effective moisturizer with ceramides, zinc pca, sugar molecules as humectants and various emollient oils. It always leave my skin feeling comfortably moisturized without feeling congested. Calms my skin, softens it, and leave a non-greasy residue on my skin. I have repurchased this moisturizer many times and is my Holy Grail moisturizer.
Alternative: If my skin is feeling particularly chapped before I apply my moisturizer, I mix a small amount of Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment to make it more occlusive.
Related Content: Moisturizing Skincare Recommendations
Where to Buy:
Dermstore
Well.ca

Krave Beauty Beet the Sun SPF50+ PA++++

How I use it: Apply once moisturizer has settled. Shake up bottle and pour a generous amount in the palm of hand. Lightly massage all over face, ears, and neck.
Why I use it: Due to my nightly use of Retin-A Micro and other actives, as well as wanting to prevent and prolong, sun protection is a must. Applying a fairly high UVA/UVB sunscreen in the proper amount has made a difference in my skin’s health. It has helped to further prevent pigmentation from lasting on my skin, I rarely have irritated skin or an uneven skin tone, and in pair with my prescription topicals my skin texture seems softer. I am currently revisiting Krave Beauty’s Beet the Sun SPF50+ PA++++; I remember liking the texture and various UV filters in this sunscreen. I had my sister purchase some for me before she came back from South Korea.
Related Content: Krave Beauty Matcha-Hemp Hydrating Cleanser, Kale-lalu-yAHA, Beet the Sun – Brand Review
Where to Buy: Krave Beauty Website (not affiliate)


Skincare Products in Rotation

The following products are my go-to’s that I occasionally use in my skincare routine when I find necessary.

Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

How I use it: Apply a dime-nickel size amount in the palm of hands and massage all over face and neck. Follow with another 2 layers.
Why I use it: I will swap out the Rovectin Skin Essentials Activating Treatment for the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner when my skin feels like it needs something richer in moisture, more emollient. It is a watery texture yet sets on the skin like you applied a cream!
Where to Buy: YesStyle

Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol Mini

How I use it: Every other night I apply 2 pumps all over my neck and chest after using Retin-A Micro on my face.
Why I use it: I want to start taking care of my neck and chest area more, so I decided to use an over the counter retinol for prevent and prolong benefits. I started with Paula’s Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment and am slowly working my way up to tretinoin.
Where to Buy: Paula’s Choice Website

Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment

How I use it: AM will mix a bit in with my moisturizer, PM I will massage a dime-size amount all over face and neck in a separate layer after moisturizer.
Why I use it: I reach for Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment if my skin is feeling particularly chapped that night and is in need of more TLC. It is mainly petrolatum, a skin protectant that prevents 98% of trans-epidermal water loss, mixed with other goodie moisturizing ingredients like mineral oil and Glycerin, as well as soothing ingredients Panthenol and Bisabolol.
Related Content: Moisturizing Skincare Recommendations
Where to Buy: Well.ca


And that’s it, folks! As you can see, my winter skincare routines are quite similar to my summer ones, but with an emphasis on moisture! Be sure to check out my summer skincare routines to get the full picture on what the differences are:

xo, M