I was VERY perplexed by enzyme powder washes. My friend loves them, but I just couldn’t comprehend how a powder cleanser could be that amazing. I’ve used powder cleansers in the past, and although they’re handy for travelling purposes, I couldn’t bring myself to to find them a necessity. This is where the noggin’ wasn’t processing the word “enzyme” in enzyme wash!
From my understanding, (food-derived) enzymes are chemical exfoliants that are gentler, and quicker at removing dead skin cells. These types of enzymes are proteolytic, meaning they break down other proteins.
In the case of our skin, they remove old keratin, a skin protein that glues cells to each other to form a protective layer outside the skin. Usually too much keratin is what causes scaly skin and too much build up, which can lead to skin conditions like keratosis pilaris.
While researching the effectiveness of enzyme washes, I could not find any scientific study on its beneficial (or detrimental) uses in skincare. Only sources for enzyme washing detergents popped up, so I’m even more perplexed by enzyme facial exfoliants.
Before we get into the use, let me just say I grossly underestimated this product.
If you follow the Korean beauty scene, the latest skincare advice is to use vitamin C and vitamin E products together in your skincare routine. They have been talked about as a power couple and it is highly recommended to combine the two to really maximize both their skincare benefits.
The Benefits of Vitamin C and E Together
Boosting vitamin C effects on your skin
Protecting skin from sun damage
Neutralize any free radicals that occur after sun exposure
Help synthesize collagen
Maintain the cross-links between the collagen fibers
The Controversy Combining Niacinamide with Vitamin C
If you noticed on the Vitamin E Mask, niacinamide is one of the key ingredients. Some beauty companies advise consumers not to pair any niacinamide to vitamin C products; both combined will neutralize the other, rendering both ingredients ineffective in your skincare routine.
The only time I have heard otherwise:
Charlotte Cho from Soko Glam state that Niacinamide actually helps stabilize vitamin C and they’re very safe to use together
Paula Begoun explaining that old studies on their incompatibility were due to using unstable formulas, and today’s studies show the formulations they test with today are stable
Wishtrend conflicted itself; they had a youtube video saying to not combine the two ingredients together, yet on their Vitamin E Mask page, it describes how Niacinamide helps stabilize vitamin C and its own benefits are enhanced when combined
I’ve been using these 2 products as part of my night time skincare routine for a few months now, and I feel comfortable enough to finalize my thoughts on these products and how they work together.
To piece this review nicely, I’m going to start by individually reviewing the products and finalize my thoughts by how they perform together at the end. Also, because I’m reviewing two products, I didn’t include the section on claims and ingredients list, but I left links down below for you to check it out yourself. Read More »
In my personal opinion, tried and true, chemical exfoliants are the most effective products when dealing with indented scarring without breaking the bank.
I don’t have terribly picked scars, but they are quite noticeable in certain lighting. They have plagued me for many years after having cystic acne, and truthfully, I thought I would have them forever unless I spent crazy money on some type of professional treatment. However, it wasn’t until a lovely friend of mine gifted me an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) toner that I started noticing my face becoming smoother and my breakouts lessening after every use! Within a month I saw results; not perfect, but my goodness, did it make me feel a hell of a lot better and more hopeful for my skin’s future.
AHAs and I have had a very intimate relationship ever since, however, AHAs can be a bit uncompromising. Depending on the formulation and concentration of AHA, the product has potential to dry out your skin and make it more sensitive to the sun. It is precisely this reason that I wait until the end of summer to use chemical exfoliants. I’m avoiding the burn and potentially damaging my skin further than before.
Now before we get into the review I’d like to say, I had no idea what mandelic acid even was! I’ve heard of glycolic, lactic, citric… never mandelic. This is a very new AHA treatment to me, so I absolutely had to use it for a while to really see and understand how it performs!
I discovered peeling gels while delving into the realm of Asian Beauty. They are supposed to be the gentlest alternative to exfoliating. The idea is while lightly massaging the peeling gel around your skin, all the little bits pilling up is supposed to be dead skin cells.
I am a skeptic about this type of product is because:
1) Any peeling gel I ever tested in store pilled up instantly – how am I supposed to know if it’s really dead skin, or the product just drying up instantly?
2) Because it’s so gentle, I feel like it is not an effective exfoliant compared to a physical scrub (HUGE fan of the Italy Towel).
I received a large sample of the Face Shop Mild Papaya Peeling for Christmas. I have been in the bad habit of overly scrubbing my skin with the Italy Towel and that is definitely not the smartest thing to do; it gets rid of the dead skin but it leaves my face irritated from its sand-papery touch. I decided to hang it dry and give the peeling gel a shot and see if it can prove me wrong.
In my previous post Winter Skincare Routine for Dry and Acne Prone Skin I mentioned that sheet masks were Asia’s gift to us. I still and have always held by this statement since I tried sheet masks way back when I first started getting into Korean skincare.
If you don’t know, sheet masks are, well, sheets, on average the size of your face (not accurately), drenched in serum. While it may seem gimmicky, these babies sure do wonders. I always notice my face more hydrated, smooth, and bright. Depending on your specific skin concerns, constant use over time of specific sheet masks may help those problems!
While in Seoul a tourist must always walk around in Myeongdong, for this is where most, if not all, skincare shops are within walking distance of each other.
My favourite Korean brand Etude House was having a sale specifically for foreigners (lucky me) of 10pcs of the 0.2mm Therapy Air Masks for 10, 000 Won (~$12 CAD). Of course I got 4 packs (split between Nick and I. Nick uses sheet masks.)
I purchased Lotus (soothing & purifying), Hyaluronic Acid (skin moisturizing) and Snail (smoothening & firming).
Since it’ll be a while for Nick and I to go through all of them, this post will be dedicated to the first time use of each mask!