My Journey into Korean Beauty, An Education

Recently I’ve been swept into the K-Beauty trend or Korean Beauty trend. “Is this were you use a gajillion products in your routine?”/ “Isn’t that the same trend that’s pushing snail slime?” You ask? To which I say – yes, all true. The Korean Beauty trend has gained a lot of attention from the now ubiquitous serial-killer looking sheet masks seen all over Instagram to the focus on a disciplined, multiple product regimen.

I decided to explore this trend more in depth because I wanted to see for myself where the truth stood between hype and results. Would using such uncommon ingredients be more beneficial? Is the multiple product approach better than one that is streamlined?

It was a little daunting at first when hearing about 10-step routines and just the categories (cleansers, toners, essences, serums, pressed serums, oils, ampules, moisturizers, sheet masks, rubber masks, splash masks – OH MY!) alone are enough to intimidate any beginner or novice. I enlisted the help of natural K-beauty purveyor Glow Recipe which provides handy , informative guides and insights on latest trends as well as Sokoglam‘s Charlotte Cho who is a wonderful source for all things K-Beauty.

It was through watching their videos, reaching out on Instagram and a couple of e-mails back and forth that I was able to form my insights which is that like any beauty regimen, the Korean Beauty regimen is all about what works for you. For the most part, the reason for so many steps is because the K-Beauty philosophy is comprehensive rather than tedious and purposefully overwhelming. After researching the products and categories, I believe it’s really important to think about everything holistically in terms of how products will interact with each other and what they bring to the table independently.

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One of the first things I noticed was that despite those uniquely out-there ingredients, most of the ingredients list tend to be fairly common and not that different from what one might easily find in a Sephora store. Take for example the snail goo sleeping mask from Missha (Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask) shown above. Sounds pretty cool right? The actual product is really just a rich creamy lotion, no hint of goo but an abundance of synthetic fragrance. In my experience, there wasn’t anything that distinguished it from other moisturizers despite being called a sleeping mask. I suppose in this regard overnight moisturizers might as well all be called sleeping masks and day time moisturizers, activity masks?

What I did gravitate toward was Glow Recipe, a site where products are really celebrated from being uniquely different. While the brand curates “natural” offerings, the green beauties out there may notice some iffy ingredients such as PEG’s but in general I didn’t see too many bad ingredients. Think of this purveyor as carrying brands akin to Origins, REN, Grown Alchemist, where they’re not entirely ‘green’ but a daliance isn’t going to be ideology shattering either. I love how enthusiastic the ladies at Glow Recipe are with sharing their latest finds in which each product is given a chance to shine – their latest discovery is the Aqua Peel which is an acid treatment applied through a soaked over sized Q-Tip, pretty cool right?

With Glow Recipe, I found that the Whamisa line really spoke to me and I purchased their Organic Flowers Toner [Deep Rich] which is described as a bouncy essence like hydrating step and Organic Flowers Facial Oil which I purchased purely to see how Korean oils may differ from ones we purchase here. The Organic Flowers Facial Oil reminded me of the Acure Oil in terms of packaging and was noticeably light and quick absorbing. As a fan of face oils and being spoiled by brands like Odacite and Yuli that just can’t be beat when it comes to freshness, nothing about the Whamisa Oil stood out to me per se although it proved competent as a night time oil (it contains citrus oils which automatically classes it as an evening only product for me).

Still, the toner immediately found its way into my routine, nestled between cleansing and a fine botanical mist. I found the emollient texture to add a certain bit of moisture cushion which is much welcomed during the winter. I also like that it relies on Aloe Vera, botanical extracts and natural fermentation which is something we see in green beauty as well.

In fact, I recognized that a lot of things that worked for me with Korean Beauty also worked in line with green beauty from the reliance of high quality ingredients, plant based actives and designing a comprehensive system focused upon individual skin conditions. I was able to take the teachings of K-Beauty and apply it to my fairly green top shelf:

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My evening K-Beauty inspired Green routine starts with double cleansing. In Korea and Japan, women believe that to take off the layers of the day requires a multi-step process starting with the make-up, sunscreen and water-proof products. This is usually an oil based cleanser and in my case on light days, I use an oil-based cream cleanser like In Fiore’s Treate. After the surface is cleared, it’s time to really cleanse and freshen the skin and Korean beauty usually incorporates a light foaming, pH balanced cleanser that is usually SLS and alcohol free. Of course, for this step I use my beloved Yuli Halcyon Cleanser, which I find to use much higher quality and advanced ingredients – I really do consider it to be THE gift to us green beauty fans.

Now that skin is bare and fresh, I acid tone with First Aid Beauty’s Radiance Pads to give a gentle resurfacing which only helps skin absorb more moisture to follow. This is the most gentle acid toner I’ve used and it was recommended by a reader (thank you!). Next I use 3 drop-fuls of Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Toner and press into my skin in upward circular motions. This gives my skin a good moisture base to build from. Then I follow with Tatcha’s Luminous Deep Hydration Serum to really amp up the hydration factor with hyaluronic acid and Okinawa red algae which is very deeply moisturizing as the name suggests and gives skin some bounce. Next, with my skin loaded up from the water, glycerin, hydrating actives and hyaluronic acid, I mist it with MUN’s No.11 Rejuvenating Rose toner which is based on water and rose water (which the aforementioned actives will bind to skin) and also contains hyaluronic acid. In Korean Beauty, this is the pressed oil/ampoule stage so I press 1.5 to 2 pumps of Yuli’s Liquid Courage antioxidant serum to my skin as it is the most concentrated product and I want to give time for my skin to absorb all of the good stuff. Liquid Courage itself contains a unique ingredient in the form of a bio-ferment of black garlic which kicks up the antioxidant capacity, and don’t worry I can confirm that there is no unpleasant garlic odor, only a soft neroli fragrance. With serums, I allow one to two minutes for it to absorb before continuing.

During this time I diligently apply my Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum which is one of my favorite as it contains peptides, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid as well. I do a dot on each ring finger and dab across my under eye. This Eye Serum relieves that bit of tightness that I sometimes feel and sinks in quickly. I press any leftover product to my smile lines and around my lips.

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As the final step I use Tatcha’s Soothing Triple Recovery Cream which locks in all that hydration and itself is formulated with the highest concentration of colloidal oatmeal which is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. This anti-aging moisturizer also contains Indigo extract and is based on water and olive based squalane. The Soothing Triple Recovery Cream also does not contain essential oils and coupled with the colloidal oatmeal has won the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

So while I know this might look like a lot immediately, once each step is broken down everything starts making sense in their place. So what began as an exploration of a new trend really just showed me that it was a different take on the tried and true: do what works for you! I’ll likely continue to incorporate some things from Korean beauty because they’re quite playful and out of the box with product ideas and a lot of things actually work very well, however I’ve come away with a deeper appreciation for high quality ingredients that us green beauty fans have treasured all along.

Anti-Aging Series: All Star Evening Routine

Anti Aging Trio

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fitting to share the beauty products that my mom and I both adore in turning back the hands of time and off setting the aging that occurs. While some may be uneasy with the usage of the term “anti-aging,” it is not a term that has ever bothered me. To me, ‘anti-aging’ really isn’t an age discriminatory word but rather a scientific word that indicates a delay or reversal in skin aging which is crucial for identifying suitable products. Therefore I use this word without judgement of broader social aspects that some may apply to it as I think the removal of this term ultimately just confuses the message as at the end of the day – these really are anti-aging products.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that two of the products featured are serums as these are the most concentrated and active skincare products which are needed to counter the effects of aging. There are many effective products but I chose a trio that features the key components in anti-aging skincare: exfoliation to turn over skin cells, retinol the most effective ingredient to turn back time and a gentle, light moisturizer that renews skin and counters dryness. Because of how active these products are, they’re great when used overnight rather than during the day which is better for protecting skin.

Anti Aging Trio

The first step of this anti-aging trio is Kypris Moonlight Catalyst, a wonderful exfoliator that reveals new skin through the use of pumpkin and peach enzymes that resurface skin. Kypris calls this a retinol alternative because it delivers the sloughing action that retinols provide only in a more gentle manner. Don’t worry about drying, this serum contains glucosides that are precursors to hyaluronic acid and sea algae that is known to help in moisture retention. The first few times I used it, I felt that slight tightness and had some skin peeling the next morning — which is a GOOD THING! It means the serum is doing it’s job!

I sometimes mix and sometimes just follow through with YULI Modern Alchemist. Most of the time I mix as I feel like it gets most of the actives in which is important because these two serums combined have so many actives. Whereas Kypris Moonlight Catalyst acts as a chemical exfoliator, YULI Modern Alchemist is a bio-retinol serum which contains a completely botanically sourced retinol complex that contains varied forms of biologically compatible Vitamin A that skin recognizes immediately and turns into retinol. This is important because it prevents many of the irritation commonly found in retinols, including increased vulnerability to sun damage. Besides retinols, this serum also has CoQ10 which hydrates, smoothes wrinkles and works with the retinols to even complexion. There is also a bio-fermented tamarind seed extract which in clinical studies is shown to be more effective than the gold standard hyaluronic acid in delivering hydration and boosting moisture retention.

So we have a super-serum made of an exfoliator and a retinol, your skin is getting quite a workout. I like to finish with Ren’s V-Cense Frankincense Revitalizing Night Cream which both adds to the power of the duo and provides some cushioning. Frankincense is the star ingredient here and it is known to rejuvenate and revitalize skin. I love this night cream because it complements the serums so well, the phytosterols work with the omega-lipid complex in YULI Modern Alchemist to restore skin’s lipid content which plumps and softens skin. The Vitamin C works with the enzymes in Kypris Moonlight Catalyst to boost cell turnover and tone skin. As a bonus, this night cream is very light and absorbs so quickly which means it won’t dilute your serums or just lay an ineffective coat over skin like some moisturizers can.

This power trio excels in promoting cell regeneration, restoring moisture and stimulating new cells which are the three main focal points of anti-aging skincare. This is why I always see results the next morning. No other combination gives my skin that almost botox like line-less skin with brightened glowing complexion like this – it is like a real life photoshop filter. I can’t speak enough good things about how effective this routine has been and how much of a workout its given my skin.

For starters, go light and ease up as all three products are powerful (I only use all 3 together about 2-3 times a week). Expect some tightness and maybe some flaking but once you get your skin adjusted, it really does become a total revitalizing treatment for skin.

Purchase the products in this story:
Kypris Moonlight Catalyst 
YULI Modern Alchemist
REN V-Cense Frankincense Revitalizing Night Cream

Full reviews of these products will come in the future. Have you used any of these products? What is your ultimate anti-aging routine?

Kahina Giving Beauty Night Cream

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When Kahina announced several months ago that it was releasing a night cream, my ears perked immediately. Truth be told, I had long since given up on green moisturizers, finding (what I consider to be) their over-reliance on waxes and butters undesirable for a girl like me who could break out for the slightest of reasons. The moment this night cream was released, I read the ingredients list like a hawk – lo and behold not a single wax in sight and the only butter was a breathable shea butter located further down the ingredients list than any green moisturizer I had seen.

Real talk: I put the Kahina Giving Beauty Night Cream through it’s paces. As a beauty junkie who has been let down by too many green moisturizers in the past (Pai, Tata Harper – casting some shifty glances your way), it’s important for me to write a review from true real-world experience which I believe requires extensive use and not just first use/impressions that many editors and bloggers tend to give.

This following paragraph should tell you how the rest of the review is going to do: I originally wanted to write this review closer to winter when many are looking for a good moisturizer to add into their routine, but here we are in the middle of September. Why? Because I find it nearly impossible to not use up my jar of this delicious cream. It’s seriously a race at this point to write this post before I finish out the jar and end up taking pictures of an empty container. And I’m not the only one to blame, my mom virtually stole it from me when she visited for 2 weeks and I had to ask for it back! That is how good this stuff is!

Kahina Night Cream

Now let’s actually talk about this wonderful Night Cream! Like all Kahina products, it’s scented with a careful hand attuned to sensitivities which means it’s delicate, balanced, and beautiful in a very sophisticated and subtle way. I’m not fantastic at describing fragrance components but I can say that it smells fresh with soft notes that are an homage to the moisturizers roots in the wine country.

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The texture is something many people have asked about because while this is a very nourishing cream, it’s deceptively light and silky. This is not one that you’ll need to warm in your hands, it’s a buttery fluid texture that is just right. That is very important because many people assume moisturizing = heavy and this is just not the case. I’d say any skin type can use this moisturizer and see good results because of the superb ingredients used.

Now let’s discuss results: first of all – this is moisturizing, let’s just get that out of the way. It does what it’s supposed to do which is moisturize skin and it does it beautifully, easily replacing any mainstream luxury lotion on the market in this regard. This seemingly simple task is actually quite an accomplishment for a product to comply with strict green standards, so I want to make everyone aware of how truly in awe I am that Kahina has managed this feat. Oh and also with all its bells and whistles, it just feels so damn good that I pretty much consider this the Bentley of moisturizers.

Red Wine Grapes

To achieve such excellent results, Kahina Giving Beauty uses their signature argan oil and the anti-aging red wine grapes which also makes this a very global product that incorporates two places very important to it’s founder: Morocco and Napa Valley. Argan Oil as we know is high in Vitamin E which smooths skin while Red Wine Grapes contain clinically proven concentrations of antioxidants resveratrol and polyphenols which address signs of aging. In this regard, it isn’t just a luxury moisturizer but rather an anti-aging moisturizing powerhouse. I also want to call out Aloe Vera Juice the first ingredient which is probably why this is such a soothing cream as well as Blue Tansy, one of the “hit” ingredients from summer known as a particularly effective anti-inflammation ingredient.

A jar of Night Cream retails for $105 (50ml) which I understand can be a bit intimidating. But listen: this IS the Bentley of moisturizers after all. I think it’s solid enough for people hesitant about green beauty to use and those of you making the switch from your La Mer and La Prairie moisturizers should make this your first stop as it delivers better long term results in a similarly elegant package. For those of you on the more economic side, I will just say this: you can still get good moisturizers at lower price points but if you ask me for my absolute favorite regardless of price, it would be this.

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So in short: this is THE moisturizer to have in my book and in fact when people ask for recommendations on a good, clean moisturizer, this is the one I’ve been recommending. If you’re on the fence, the great news is that Kahina now has samples of their products and many of their retailers including Spirit Beauty Lounge offer custom sample services so you’ll be able to try this in some way. Not only do I think this is one of the best products in the green beauty world, I would consider it to be one of my favorite products in general. Clean, proven ingredients and wonderful results make this a winner.

Coola Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer

 

 

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As I was rationing out the final few pumps of my Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30, I complained to a few green beauty girlfriends about the lack of a luxury cleanly formulated sunscreen. I’ve tried brands from 100% Pure to Vive Sana, and while I would repurchase them, they have not managed to sway me from giving up the silkier less-clean sunscreens that I’ve come to love. That’s when I began hearing wonderful things about Coola, a company with a dedicated line of sunscreens for everyone: chemical, physical, face, body, sport, matte, mineral, spray, scented, unscented, etc. you name it, they have it! I noticed their cute packaging and fell in love with the literature of “organic suncare” (indeed 70% of the inactives in the formula are certified organic). As I read the ingredients lists, I was amazed that a company was using truly luxurious ingredients in a sunscreen which just isn’t that common. 

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Few sunscreens will pack in ingredients like Plankton Extract as well as beneficial skin oils that can rival a face oil such as Acai Fruit Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. Now I have to admit, this sunscreen does use silicones and chemical sunscreen but if that isn’t your cup of tea, you can buy a mineral/physical sunscreen from them as well.

After much debate, I selected the Cucumber Moisturizer for it’s silky texture, and non-streaky application. My skin didn’t need time to adjust to it, no breakouts or fussiness. The scent is light and delightful, not at all overwhelming or ‘artificial’, so I daresay even those who do not like scented products will find much to enjoy in this. The silky texture reminds me of a light moisturizing cream. The pump applicator is a very efficient way to dispense product and I usually apply 3-4 pumps for my face and neck. I use a little more than the average person because I don’t like to re-apply throughout the day.

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After extensive use, there are a few issues. This isn’t waterproof so sometimes the formula will slip especially during the hot and humid summer weather. This is forgivable, but I noticed that it irritated my eyes. So I do not wear this sunscreen if I know I’m going to workout. The other issue I have is that although this sunscreen is light and doesn’t leave a white cast, it immediately makes my skin shiny and add a layer of sheen. Oily isn’t how I would describe it, but it just doesn’t look clean. The moisturizing benefits aren’t that substantial where it should make my skin look like I obviously applied something. Thankfully they have both mattifying and waterproof options (though unfortunately none with the two features together). 

While I would not repurchase this moisturizer for the above reasons, I found my initial experience with Coola pleasant enough and with enough potential that I’m looking forward to trying one of the other options that might be a better fit for me. Have you had any experiences with Coola? Which of their sunscreens do you like?

The Samples: Round Up

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Clockwise: La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Serum, Ahava Mineral Body Lotion, Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk, Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20, Dr.Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Serum: A serum to treat dark spots and uneven coloring. Key actives for anti-pigmentation include: golden caviar extracts, tomato fruit extract, larch tree extract, and white tea complex. I make it a point to call this out because La Prairie is one of the most scientifically advanced high-end skincare brands and many detractors of the ‘natural skincare’ movement say natural products aren’t ‘effective’ which just isn’t true as it’s the base of active ingredients in nearly ALL skincare.

This is a light serum that seems to have shiny glitter in there. I seriously thought I was going to have sparkly skin a la Twilight vampires when I first used this. Fortunately the serum disappears upon contact. At $450 for 1oz, I expected miracles, as should you. I was disappointed to see that the top 3 ingredients in this formula are water, glycerin, and alcohol, followed by silicones. This is kind of the typical layout of ingredients you’ll see in many top-tier ‘premium’ brands in department stores. I wish that good ingredients like their active form of Vitamin C could be more concentrated as that seems to be the key method they’re using to lighten skin pigmentation. So as expected this serum is beautiful to look at but unfortunately didn’t really deliver long-term benefits.

Ahava Mineral Body Lotion: I am really enjoying this body lotion. At $24 for 8.5oz, there is a lot to like in this simple, but well made cream. The scent is lovely as is the texture, this is the kind of stuff clinical trials are made for as every sense is pleased with this lotion. The actual results are very typical and will be similar to what you’ll find in products that are cheaper and more expensive as the ingredients are very traditional: Water, Alcohol, Emulsifiers, etc. The good ingredients like Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel are in the middle of the pack, but I’d like to see them higher as I think it might make this mix more hydrating, soothing, and skin softening as it’s actual results now leave it in the “typical” range.

Juice Beauty Cleansing MilkSo first impressions – Tata-freaking-Harper! This formula reminded me so much of Tata Harper’s Refreshing Cleanser, from the texture to the scent to the way the product glides on the skin – I’m convinced that if I did a blind test study, few people could tell the difference if they’ve used neither products before. If you’re a fan of Tata Harper’s cleanser, you should jump for joy as this can be had for just $22 for 6.75oz! Unfortunately for me, this just felt so heavy on my skin like I was coating it in moisturizer instead of cleansing my face. In fact the first time I used it, I felt like I hadn’t washed my face the entire day afterward and by the time I came home at the end of the day I had 3 pre-acne bumps on my forehead. Not a fit for me.

Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20In the spirit of being helpful, I decided to review this, otherwise I’d just leave a big resounding “ugh no.” This is called a light-weight acne moisturizer and I guess if you include Tea Tree Oil to your product, you can justify it. But the entire formula is laden with alcohol which ages and stripes skin (causing more oil production that leads to acne) and silicones which clog skin. Yes the texture is light, but you’d expect that from all the chemicals. The SPF power is only at 20, which is surprising considering all the sunscreen power comes from chemicals, so one would think they would at least bump this up to a SPF 30 to truly be of any use for daytime wear. Also, this contains retinyl palmitate which is the form of Vitamin A that dermatologists are advising should not be used in sunscreens. Overall, everything wrong with chemical sunscreens can be found in this product. 

Dr.Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel: I like Dr. Saul Alkaitis, his products are priced fairly (although the cremes are on the high side for his line), and I like his philosophy that his products intuitively respond to individual skin type so his products are not sold by skin type. However this also makes buying things like choosing between his 4 masks extremely difficult as you have to look for indicator words to figure out what would be best for your skin. I digress, the Organic Soothing Gel earned a steady reputation in Spirit Beauty Lounge as a lightweight gel moisturizer that is really good for acne prone skin because of its anti-bacterial properties. 

The scent of the gel is similar to his line, herbal, strong, but not something you’d think was bad. The texture in my sample was a bit inconsistent, can anyone confirm if this product is supposed to be shaken first? The product came as very fluid at first and as I used more, it became more gel like and darker in color. So something was going on there. Unlike a lot of natural skincare products, there is an obvious amount of alcohol in this gel. It’s derived from organically grown grapes so it’s better than the typical alcohol that is used, but I wonder if a lower concentration would be possible. 

There are great ingredients to counter acne such as witch hazel, lavender, & fennel, but while I think it helped rather than hindered breakouts, I can’t say I would count on this for serious breakouts or to dramatically reduce flareups. Nonetheless, I would consider purchasing this as a light moisturizer that has additional benefits in discouraging acne, despite my reservations over it’s alcohol content and effectiveness in tackling breakouts.

Tatcha: Beautiful Skin Revealed

Every once in a while, a beauty line comes along that makes me stop in my tracks. Nowadays, it seems everyone has a new line that promises to be different and this and that, so often the message can feel a little overwhelming. Not so with Tatcha, a brilliant line that has a beautiful message that is only equaled by their exquisite packaging (I have seriously never seen a line as detail oriented and focused to delivering a luxurious experience in their packaging).

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When was the last time a line just let you take a step back “enjoy the simplicity”? Tatcha is inspired by ancient Geisha beauty secrets, looking towards the past for the secrets to beautiful skin. The products use a proprietary anti-aging Hadeisi-3 complex which consist of time-tested ingredients crucial to Geisha beauty routines: Green Teas, Okinawa Red Algae, and Rice Bran Extract. The promise is simple: traditional secrets from Eastern Beauty for a modern woman.

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I was honored to receive my own kit that allowed me to try the Tatcha Ritual. It included a full sizes of the Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder and Original Aburatorigami, as well as samples of the One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, Deep Brightening Serum, and Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream.

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After spending time with each of the products here are my impressions:

One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil: A wonderful cleansing oil to remove makeup and water-proof sunscreen from face. It felt lighter than the typical cleansing oil and the scent was very light and fresh, both qualities that I think are due to the Camellia Oil. Camellia Oil is better than normal cleansing oils because it is very rich in antioxidants while also being very nourishing to skin due to high fatty-acid content. Rice Bran Oil is also used which is high in skin-softening Vitamin E. These are very fitting oils to use as they both have long history in Asian culture (the Camellia Seed oil is extracted from the same plant that makes teas), so I can definitely see how the Geisha have mastered incorporating this into their routine over time. Although this is a cleansing oil, there are emulsifiers which cause the oil to turn milky upon contact with water, so the oil will wash off easily.

Deep Brightening Serum: Like all of Tatcha’s products, this serum is very light and sinks quickly into skin. However, like most serums, it does tend to leave my skin with a sticky film (which is why I always follow up serums with a facial oil or moisturizer). The first time I applied this serum, I could ‘feel’ it go to work. It’s hard to describe as there wasn’t a tingling or adverse reaction, but I knew it was doing something. That initial sensitivity subsided after continued use. The main actives that any brightening should probably accredited to are from the Rice family as both Rice Bran, Rice Starch, and Rice Germ Powder figure into the ingredients. Rice is indeed known to be a skin brightener, and although I don’t have sunspots or age spots to speak of (fortunately), I do imagine that continued use of this product can lighten their appearance.

Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream: I was initially concerned about using a moisturizer in the warmer months since I already have oily skin but as a dedicated beauty blogger, I decided to chance it – and I’m glad I did. No breakouts to speak of and my skin is very balanced. I like to use this during the day under my sunscreen which can be pretty drying when used alone due to the silicones. This moisturizer isn’t just a simple cream, but almost a gel-cream consistency which allows even those of us with oily skin to use this without fuss. There are many active ingredients including Royal Jelly Extract (wonderful for replenishing collagen loss), Silk Protein, Wild Thyme (great for acne prone skin), Ginseng root, Algae Extract, and Green Tea Extract. Just looking at the list, I feel it is the perfect moisturizer for all skin types due to a delicate but well-formulated balance of great ingredients. Gel-creams such as this are my favorite because when done right, they provide the moisturizing properties of a cream but the cool, weightless feel of a gel.

Original Aburatorigami Blotting Papers: these natural papers are made from leaflets of the Abaca Leaf, and infused with gold flakes throughout. You might be wondering what sets these apart from other blotting papers, and I did too when I first saw them. It turns out that these natural leaves are incredibly balancing, so they absorb excess oils without leaving skin stripped (and therefore producing more oil). I was quite surprised at how absorbent they are, and 1 sheet definitely can go for an entire night without being completely used.

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Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder: I saved this for last because it is my favorite product in the entire line. It’s a water-activated powder that exfoliates and cleans skin without harsh abrasives. This powder is truly addictive to use and is unlike any other product I’ve used before. Simply pour half a teaspoon in the half of your hands. Add water and it turns to a cream. It lathers up a great deal, and feels like a very gentle milky cleanser once applied to the face. I hesitate to even call this an exfoliator because it truly is not a “grainy” scrub, but rather a gentle creamy cleanser suitable for most sensitive skin types. The enzymes are very effective and the first few uses I saw it get rid of blackheads around my nose that most cleansers cannot seem to handle. The entire use process is very fast and simple, so if you’re put off by powders, give this a chance. Upon washing off you’ll notice your skin balanced (somehow this removes excess oil without stripping skin) and soft without being irritated. I find myself bypassing my usual cleansers for this.

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So that’s the general rundown of the line. For full disclosure, the line uses a lot of natural ingredients but it isn’t a 100% Clean line like those on NMDL. There are instances where I would prefer formulating with less alcohol, phenoxyethanol, silicones, etc. but that doesn’t take away from my general love of the products as they are. If it seems I am gushing about their products, it’s because I am a fan. Despite my outspokenness, I do enjoy writing about things I love and this line is one that I absolutely adore. All the products are so gentle and seem to be lovely to my skin. I applaud the brand consistency and the focus on the product experience. After my experience with their ritual, I’m now interested in more of their range including their Hydrating Mist and Lifting Mask.

Has anyone else used Tatcha? What do you think? I love discussing new lines, so drop a comment!