Review – Skylake Herb Relax Toner

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Skylake is a Korean skincare brand that touts its products as containing natural oriental herbs to soothe, hydrate and helps in bringing out the healthiest version of our skin. I first got to know about this brand while I was reading Fanserviced-b’s blog in which she talks about this small unique Korean brand. Skylake’s patented production method includes 72 hours of boiling 18 main ingredients, and allowing another 90 days of maturation and fermentation period of the extracted distillate that’s known to soothe, hydrate and empower skin’s natural healing abilities.

In Singapore, I unexpectedly found out about this store called Hebeloft that carries this brand. I answered some of their survey questions online as part of their Facebook promotions and was gifted the Skylake Herb Relax Toner for my efforts. I’ve been using this product for around 3 months and think that it’s time to share my thoughts on it with you guys.

Below are its ingredients for your reference.

Ingredients

WATER, ANGELICA GIGAS EXTRACT, ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM EXTRACT, PEPPERMINT LEAF EXTRACT, CNIDIUM OFFICINALE ROOT EXTRACT, ANGELICA DAHURICA ROOT EXTRACT, LICORICE ROOT EXTRACT, ANGELICA TENUISSIMA ROOT EXTRACT, SCUTELLARIA BAICALENSIS ROOT EXTRACT, PUERARIA LOBATA ROOT EXTRACT, INULA HELENIUM EXTRACT, LAMINARIA JAPONICA EXTRACT, POLYGONUM MULTIFLORUM ROOT EXTRACT, PHELLODENDRON AMURENSE BARK EXTRACT, EUGENIA CARYOPHYLLUS (CLOVE) FLOWER EXTRACT.

How does the Skylake Herb Relax Toner fare?

Skylake Herb Relax Toner claims to soothe, re-hydrate, tone skin and balance skin’s sebum production levels, leaving your skin with a cool and fresh sensation. With daily application, this toner claims to improve texture and clarity, and contribute to a more beautiful, balanced, and glowing complexion. I used this toner in my hydrating mist/ toner step after my actives in both my day and night skincare routines.

When I first used this product, I was rather underwhelmed by it. It seemed to be just like any other hydrating mist that I’ve used and doesn’t seem to be doing much more than providing a light layer of hydration. It was only when I took it with me to my Myanmar trip that I truly discovered its usefulness. While I was packing for my Myanmar trip (I’m Burmese but I haven’t gone back to Myanmar for about 19 years!), I wanted to bring some skincare products that are light but hydrating since Myanmar was experiencing monsoon season then and it would be very hot, humid and wet. I eschewed my usual actives routine and bought only my Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel in the packettes form (since they were so easy for travel) as well as my usual hydrating serum, a light moisturiser and sunscreen. While I was there for around one week, I credit the rather stable state of my skin to this toner. This is because Myanmar was indeed as hot, humid and wet as I expected and my skin was literally feeling suffocated with the heat and pollution at the end of the day when I returned back to my hotel. I couldn’t wait to remove all my makeup and begin my skincare routine everyday while I was there. However, the Skylake Herb Relax Toner really went a long way in soothing my skin! After I removed my makeup and used my Alpha Beta Peel, I would spray this toner liberally on my face and it would be as though the fire in my skin was extinguished.

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Not as dramatic but still!!

It is exceptionally calming and reduces the redness and sensitivity that my skin was experiencing within a short period of time. I’ve read that this product is so mild that even babies could use it (Don’t quote me on this though!). If your skin is naturally sensitive or you are going through a period of skin sensitivity, I believe that this product would be useful to you.

Where can you find it?

In Singapore, Hebeloft carries this brand. They have both an online store as well as physical counters. It retails at S$30 (100ml sized) and S$60 (250ml sized).

In the US, you can refer to their US Online Store here.

Thank you for reading!

Review – Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

Antipodes is a New Zealand skincare brand that emphasizes on creating products that combines the highest quality ingredients from New Zealand nature and raw super-fruit extracts with science and innovation to produce high-tech certified organic and premium formulations. Essentially it is a green beauty brand but one which also fully embraces technology to validate the performance of their skincare products.

The product that I’m going to talk about today is one that I’ve been using since early this year but I’ve never gotten around to reviewing it for one reason or another. The Aura Manuka Honey Mask is supposedly one of Antipodes’ best-selling products and I could totally see why that is so.

As usual, let’s check out its ingredients below before we continue, shall we?

Ingredients

Aqua (water), leptospermum scoparium mel (manuka honey), persea gratissima (avocado oil), glycerine, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, glycerol stearate, gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate, vitis vinifera (Vinanza Grape grapeseed) extract, daucus carota sativa (carrot oil), metrosideros excelsa (pohutukawa) flower extract, tocopherol (Vitamin E), essential oil fragrances of vanilla & mandarin: coumarin*, d-limonene*, linalool*.

*Component of essential oil

How does the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask fare?

The Antipodes Manuka Honey Mask is touted as a luxuriously hydrating face mask, which helps leave skin soothed and intensively hydrated. Manuka honey draws moisture to the skin, whilst helping keep skin super fresh and blemish-free. I usually use this product once a week on the weekends where I’ll break out all my masks on Sunday for an indulgent Sunday facial. You’ll just need to apply a thick layer of this mask (until you cannot see your own skin behind the mask) and leave it on for around 15 minutes to half an hour before you rinse it off with warm water.

Once I’ve rinsed off the mask and stare at myself in the mirror, I was left feeling quite impressed with its results. My skin looked very calm and hydrated with a subtle glow. If I’ve got any active blemishes, the redness would subside substantially after using this mask. I like that it is both intensively hydrating as well as cleansing at the same time. It’s quite intriguing to me as most of the cleansing masks I’ve tried before will not simultaneously hydrate and cleanse my skin. Therefore this product is indeed special in this regard. I’ve also tried using this mask to spot treat blemishes and it works gently to calm down the inflammation.

I would be remiss if I do not mention the absolutely delicious vanilla and honey scent of this mask. It smells like a lovely dessert yet the scent is not too cloyingly sweet. If you’ve smelled the vanilla scent from real vanilla pods before, you’ll definitely recognize this scent in the product. All in all, this mask is definitely one of my favorite rinse-off mask!

Where can you find it?

I purchased this product from Lookfantastic SG. It retails at S$46 (75ml sized).

Receive $5 off your first order when you spend S$30 on LookFantastic by either clicking HERE or use my referral code SUMB-R2!

You can also purchase this product from Bud Cosmetics Online. It retails at S$59 (75ml sized).

Thank you for reading!

Review – The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

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The Ordinary is a brand under the DECIEM umbrella that exploded onto the skincare scene in 2016. Its range of skincare is based on no-frills functional skincare products at low prices. The brand eschews unnecessary packaging and fancy-sounding exotic ingredients for active ingredients that are actually proven to work, such as retinol, vitamin c, and hyaluronic acid etc. In fact, I had actually bought a few of their serums to try back in January 2017 but honestly, I wasn’t too impressed with the products. I couldn’t actually see much improvement in my skin from those particular serums that I had bought and I didn’t buy any other serums from them since then.

* For reference, I bought their Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, Advanced Retinoid 2%, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, and 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil. *

However, in March 2017, The Ordinary introduced a product that made me stood up and take notice of them again – The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. It’s reportedly a dupe for the famous Drunk Elephant Babyfacial with almost the same percentage of active ingredients (FYI Babyfacial contains 25% AHA and 2% BHA blend). At that time, I was curious about Babyfacial and wanted to try it but Drunk Elephant wasn’t easily available in Singapore and it does cost a pretty penny (US$ 80!). Therefore, I settled for The Ordinary’s product instead.   

Before we continue further with the review, let’s just check out its ingredients, shall we?

Ingredients

Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

How does The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution fare?

Right off the bat, I must tell you that the colour of this peeling mask freaks me out! I kept feeling that it will be a very strong acidic product due to its colour. Even though I’m an experienced acid user (LOL.. Not that kind..), I was still quite apprehensive about using it. The first time I tried this product, I used just one pipette full of product and timed its length of masking for exactly 10 minutes as directed on its packaging. While I had the peel on, I low-key felt like Countess Elizabeth Bathory – a 16th century Hungarian countess who bathed in the blood of at least 650 servant girls she had tortured and killed in order to stay #foreveryoung.

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Portrait of the Blood Countess herself!

Anyway, I did experience some stinging sensation while I had it on my face but it wasn’t severe or irritating enough to be a concern for me. When I rinsed this peel off after 10 minutes, I looked into the mirror and my skin was slightly flushed but it was not super red or inflamed. I continued with my skincare routine by layering my hydrating mist, hydrating essence and hydrating serum and finally my trusted Stratia Liquid Gold (Full review here) with a few drops of my facial oil before going to bed. I didn’t use any other actives in my skincare routine after using this product because I didn’t want to risk compromising my skin’s moisture barrier and cause either massive peeling or inflammation.

Just a pipette-full of product is enough for my whole face!

When I woke up the next morning, I was shocked! I noticed that a very stubborn pimple (the kind with no head and therefore cannot be squeezed out since there’s no outlet for the goo to come out) came to a head. Some clogged pores on the side of my forehead came loose and I was able to wash them off gently in the morning using just my normal cleanser. My skin just looks very clear and even overall. I was impressed indeed! After using this product for around 3 months, I find it to be excellent for clearing congestion of any kind and really helps to refine my skin’s texture. It is also particularly useful for clearing acne that reside deep within your skin and are hard to uproot. The AHAs in this product would exfoliate the skin’s topmost surface and sort of “clear” the path for the BHA to go deeper within the pore and dissolve the “gunk” in the pore.

Note that I only use this product once a week as I’m also using other acid toners and actives the rest of the time. I must also caution you not to use this product on broken skin (cause it will hurt like a b*tch! trust me!) or when your skin’s barrier is compromised (never use it on sun-burnt, peeling skin). Also, if your skin is particularly reactive, I would advise you to patch test it first. When you use this product for the first time, I would suggest that you could either reduce the amount that you use (maybe half a pipette-full instead of a whole pipette-full?) or reduce the time your skin is in contact with the product (maybe use it for 5 minutes instead of 10 minutes?). I must also emphasise that you use a sunscreen everyday as the AHAs in the product will make you more sun-sensitive.

Where can you find it?

I bought this product from ASOS Online. It retails at £6.50 (30ml sized).

You can also purchase it from their official website. It retails at US$ 12.30.

Thank you for reading!