Now that Lockdown is over (sort of, but maybe not for much longer…) I think it’s about time that I stop procrastinating and write this “empties” post. I don’t think I’ve done an empties post before. I enjoy reading and seeing other people’s empties posts, but I never got through enough products down to the last drop or scoop to be able to do a bimonthly or even a seasonal empties posts. Being at home more than previously has enabled me to properly take care of my skin. I’ve always been someone to rarely skip a skin care routine, although occasionally I’d pass some of the moisturising and treatment steps simply because I was either too lazy to do so or I wasn’t in the mood for relaxation and self-care.
This post won’t be as long as a “One Year of Empties” blog post, but I do have small basket worth of products to discuss. So grab your favourite drink and your pet for a cuddle as you read this. By the way, this empties post doesn’t feature sheet mask because if it did we’d be here for forever and a day 🙃 Plus I have my “Mask Mondays” segment for masks.
Here’s the first of many…
SIORIS – “TIME IS RUNNING OUT” MIST*
I’ve never been a big fan of mists. Many of them are a gimmick and actually dry out skin, making you believe you need to apply more of it and therefore get through the product quicker so that you repurchase it often. However, on this occasion this mist restored my confidence in using mists as way to ‘top-up’ skin hydration through a day. This is a oil~water solution type mist. The two components should be shaken together upon each use to properly control the right oil~water ratio before dispensing it. It can be used as a mist, toner or spray serum.
It has a low pH level and is formulated with 78% organic fruit water – either Green plum or Yuja/Yuzu fruit water depending on the season. It further holds macadamia, jojoba and sunflower oils to provide a long-lasting boost of hydration. All the natural ingredients within this mist are harvested at peak season across South Korea. Even if this is only the mini travel sized version of this mist, it contained enough product to influence my opinion on it.
I totally agree that this mist provides a sufficient amount of hydration without clogging pores or making skin feel heavy. The ratio of water~oil is a good balance: not a half oil, half water mist. This mist was very helpful during the heatwave we experienced in the UK. To an extent it soothed my skin when it was reddened and feeling irritated or inflamed. For those interested, Sioris is a clean skin care brand. Not only do they use organic produce to formate their skin care, they are cruelty-free and are environmental conscious: only using recyclable packaging. To tie in with their theme of minimalism, they use fairly plain packaging as it’s easier to recycle with easily removable labels.
LACBON – HIBISCUS DREAM SOLUTION SERUM*
This serum is by a small brand in Korea. As far as I’m aware Lacbon isn’t stocked in Korea drugstores, but probably operates through social media and Korean marketplaces equivalent to eBay. Their products have gained some coverage by Westerners in Korea as well as Korean bloggers, but I honestly hadn’t heard of them until my friend and I were gifted some of their products last year. This gel-type serum was created with improving skin elasticity in mind and a lightweight way to get some antioxidants into your skin care routine.
The majority of the serum is centred around Hibiscus. It additionally contains Niacinamide, Allantoin, Squalane, Lavender, Shea, Rosemary, Thyme, Bergamot, Peach, Raspberry, Fig, and more. As I said when I originally reviewed this serum, it’s not a “wow” product. It doesn’t stand out as something special or an essential asset to a skin care regime. I do really like the texture. It has a fast absorbing gel-like texture, but leaves a slight tacky finish so that it doesn’t feel like it’s evaporated into nothing. It’s scent is natural and delicately floral. It didn’t irritate my skin at all, which was a surprise because other Hibiscus skin care I’ve used didn’t agree with my skin. It provides enough hydration to combination~oily skin types, but won’t be rich enough for drier skin types.
Repurchase: No. It wasn’t bad, just not fantastic.
NEULII – PEONY ACMELLA ANTIOXIDANT SERUM*
This serum lasted a long time! I was able to use it throughout the this Winter, Spring and into the beginning of the Summer thanking to it’s generous 80ml – the standard or average size for serums among Korean brands is typically 40~60ml. The Peony Root Extracts within this serum aim to soothe skin whilst also improving skin’s elasticity. Its advertised as a suitable product for rough and tired skin. It has a high Glycol and Glucose content to create that smooth serum that most of us desire in order to thoroughly treat out skin. It also contains Acmella Oleracea extract, which has been described by Dermatologists as having a “natural botox effect”. To me it was interesting how this serum helps shield skin from harsh environmental factors.
I must mention the price point of Neulii products in general are so affordable! Most if not all of their products are $10 or less if you hunt around and do price comparisons on Asian beauty websites. ROSEROSESHOP sell this particular serum and other Neulii serums for around $9 and are often on sale for as little as $5.99. To me that’s a bargain and a great way to try K-beauty on a budget.
For me this serum was useful for keeping my skin plump and bouncy without having to layer moisturiser for example. I think some would say its resembles and essence more than a serum, because of it’s gloppy texture and how a little goes a long way. Because it’s a pump bottle, I felt that it was more hygienic to use than a dropper/pipette. The pump dispenses the correct amount too.
Repurchase: Yes, and I’d like to try the Neulii Cicapepta Repair Serum too.
KOSMETIC IMMUNITY BY JKOSMMUNE – ENZYME CLEANSING POWDER*
I have many powder cleansers that I like and I intend to repurchase, and this powder cleanser is no expectation to that. I’d happily buy this with my own money! First of all the packaging is the perfect size, shape and weight for easy travel. A bottle lasted me 6 months even if I used it almost every morning. Most important of all, it truly is as gentle as stated. My skin didn’t dry out or become sensitized because of the particles. The powder softens and bubbles as you lather it in your hands with just a few drops of water, so you don’t need to worry about Microdermabrasions.
If you have sensitive dry skin a enzyme powder like this is really ideal for breaking down keratin and blackheads which accumulate in hard to reach areas (around the nose, etc) without having to use some kind of harsh peel-off mask or patch.
XY COS VITA PROPOLIS TONER*
Honestly I haven’t had much luck with XY Cos products or any other brands under The Skin House family. Seemingly, most of their products are targeted at acne-prone and aging skin types, however they don’t always take into account that these skin types are usually also sensitive. It was disappointing to use a product that supposed to brighten and nourish cause irritation and dry out skin because of the high concentration of citric acids. I suppose it did make my skin appear brighter, but not a drastic improvement. In fact I actually couldn’t finish this product by myself, I ended up sharing it with my Mum. She said she didn’t experience any irritation but didn’t think it had much of an effect on dark spots as it was supposed to do.
COSRX AC COLLECTION CALMING LIQUID MILD*
I wrote an entire blog post dedicated to the COSRX AC Collection, so I’ll spare you of the recap of this toner (although you are welcome to read it “here”). After using the entire 125ml bottle, I’d describe this toner as the ideal non-overcomplicated toner for acne-prone and oily skin types. Its not so basic that it offers nothing much but a little hydration to prep skin for the delivery of ingredients through skin care to follow thereafter, yet at the same time it’s not so complex that you have to second guess how often it should be used because of it’s contents.
This toner can be used twice daily without causing breakouts or interfering with sebum production. It’s reliable for keeping skin soft and soothed. It’s watery texture is great for different types of toner application: my go-to for this toner being “toner pad masking”. I regard this to be a staple toner that many people could benefit from. I’d happily use it again but I wouldn’t necessarily repurchase it myself, only because I like more viscous toners that are like a toner-essence hybrid and it’s overpriced for what it is.
BIORE – ROSE QUARTZ + CHARCOAL GENTLE PORE REFINING SCRUB
I haven’t spoken about this product previously as its just something I picked up myself and don’t have to much to say about it. I have always liked Biore for their know-how when it comes to producing products for oily skin types. They have several charcoal and oil-free products for pore maintenance and controlling excessive sebum, however as I’ve gotten older and come to know quite a bit about skin care, I’ve learnt how oil-stripping and abrasive some of their products can be; including this rose quartz scrub (why did I even buy it?).
I acknowledge that this scrub does clear-out pores well in hard to reach areas and the Menthol sensation basically stops skin from feeling sore from the scrubbing, but it leaves skin feeling too polished and a little dry. I suppose as a twice per week treatment it’s okay, but if you use it you should apply an alcohol-free toner or face mist directly after using the scrub to prevent dehydration. Furthermore, the particles are too chunky.
SKINACADEMY ZERO – 100% NATURAL FACE SCRUB*
This is one of the first Vegan face scrubs I’ve had the chance to try, so I was definitely intrigued by it’s creamy texture formed by the use of enriching Sacha Inchi & Sweet Almond Oils. The exfoliating particles aren’t too soft nor too abrasive, which I believe ties in well with the brand’s belief in gentleness and creating skin care with nature in mind. I’d say this is a scrub more appropriate for drier skin types, as it’s hydrating and softens skin. I liked the sweet almost nutty natural scent of this scrub, but the runny texture was a bit messy – I advise that you use it in the shower only. Despite being advertised as a face scrub, I used the majority of it on my body to rehydrate skin after shaving and to effectively remove remaining traces of body sun cream.
Repurchase: No, only because my skin is oily and I prefer not to use scrubs on my face.
GRUUM – GOSTA FACIAL TONIC*
I generally steer away from tonics – they don’t appeal to me, although I suppose they are comparable to toners which I do infact use a lot of. This spray facial tonic uses orange extracts for it’s vitamin C and citric acid to brighten dull or uneven skin tone, whereas witch Hazel has been included for it’s skin soothing properties and effect on reducing the number of breakouts acne-prone skin types typically experience. I don’t have an extensive amount of information to share on this tonic, it didn’t seem to be special in any sense. I will say that it’s a good size for travel and the spray nozzle is convenient for quickly spraying on your face directly after cleansing to retain moisture.
LACBON – MINERAL MASTER*
This is perhaps the most interesting textured gel moisturiser I’ve ever used. It’s made for carbonated water to help form a moisture protection barrier at the surface of skin. When applying this product, you can clearly see air pockets within it. I believe this is suitable for most skin types as it does give a boost of moisture that doesn’t leave skin feeling saturated with oils or anything of that nature.
I used most of this gel during summer as it’s ideal for days when you don’t want to layer too many products. The only thing I would change it the chunky plastic packaging – the size is deceiving from the outside making you think you’re getting more product than you actually get.
Repurchase: No, it’s nice but again it’s not easy to buy overseas.
COSRX – AC COLLECTION BLEMISH SPOT CLEARING SERUM*
Earlier I mentioned the toner from this acne-prone skin care range. This serum provided a slightly more positive experience than it’s counterpart. It contains many skin loving ingredients like Niacinamide, Ceramide NP, Tea tree Panthenol, etc. which all contribute to aiding the recovering of acne and blemishes; as well as keeping them at bay in the first instance. I think this serum genuinely helped lower the frequency of my breakouts, although the texture is what disappointed me.
Despite Propolis extract being first in the contents list, this serum is very runny and therefore doesn’t have much form to it. I’d prefer it to have a slight tackiness for easier application. Also I think the price point is a bit ridiculous considering its not particularly special and wasn’t as fantastic as during the first few weeks that I used it. I love COSRX and own at least 10 of their products, so I don’t want to slate them too much. Then again without being biased, I think COSRX have plenty other beneficial serums to choose from – most of which are more affordable than this one in particular.
Well that concludes my Lockdown Empties post. I’d be interested to hear about your favourite skin care product that you used and may have finished over the Lockdown period. Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterisk (*) are gifted products which were given as PR and/or giveaway prizes. However all opinions expressed are my own and have therefore not been influenced by any brands or companies in association.
Read about how to collaborate with, or advertise you blog or business on, SimplyEm’sBlog “here”.
Find me here:
💻 LinkedIn (I’m a freelance blog writer/copywriter)
Support SimplyEm’sBlog – this is for people who want to help me to continue to bring readers more skincare reviews & advice, mental health discussions, recipes, sharing of my experiences of living abroad, or whatever I put my mind to. Any contributions are welcome. Thank you🙂