Ingredients That Aim to Fade Hyperpigmentation & Even Out Skin Tone

Hi Beauties,
As you might already know, my skin is prone to getting hyperpigmentation every time my skin breaks out- so I’m always looking for products that might help fade the hyperpigmentation spots that I have left from prior acne. In addition to doing reviews of products I have tried that target this skin problem, I thought I would also share with you what I have learned about the ingredients behind these products- ingredients that aim to fade hyperpigmentation and even out your skin tone.
Before we get into the ingredients, let’s briefly talk about what causes hyperpigmentation/uneven skin tone. The skin produces melanin, giving our skin the color that it is. When the skin produces too much melanin, we get brown spots or hyperpigmentation. This can happen as a result of past acne, with age, or when you use birth controls, or during pregnancy.
In this blog I want to talk about 4 ingredients that aim to fade hyperpigmentation and even out the skin tone: Hydroquinone, Alpha Arbutin, Vitamin C, and Niacinamide.
– limits the skin’s production of melanin by killing the cells that produce melanin
– For the last 50 years it has been deemed as the most effective solution to fading hyperpigmentation, but it is a very controversial ingredients- so controversial that some countries like Japan and European countries have banned this.
     – Side effects: dryness, irritation, pruritus, erythema, and contact dermatitis and ochronosis, a blue-black pigmentation with caviar-like papules on the skin.  Also increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun
      – can also cause cancer
     – It is still a common ingredient used in the US, even though the FDA has confirmed these health risks too.
Alpha Arbutin
– Instead of killing the skin cells that produce melanin, it suppresses these cells so they dont overproduce the melanin
– A less irritating, natural, version of hydroquinone: Can be found in the leaves of a small evergreen bush called Bearberry. This bush can be found in the Northern Hemisphere
– Studies have shown Alpha Arbutin does NOT have the nasty side effects that Hydroquinone has – less irritating
– It makes the skin less sensitive to the sun compared to hydroquinone
– It is MORE expensive than Hydroquinone
I actually just tried a product that contains Alpha Arbutin- head to my Youtube channel to see how well it worked on fading my hyperpigmentation!
Vitamin C
– Vitamin C slows down the production of pigment-producing cells and stimulates the production of collagen. 
–  The Vitamin C that is in most skincare products is unstable, meaning that it oxidizes when exposed to the moisture in the air; That’s why vitamin C products that contain the unstable form of Vitamin C turns brown when exposed to the air. This is also why when you’re wearing Vitamin C serum on your skin during the day, it’s always recommended to wear sunscreens on top of it.
– Niacinamide is also known as Vitamin B3 and Nicotinamide. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally found in your skin.
– It helps with hyperpigmentation by reducing the transfer of pigment molecules into your skin.
– It increases the ceramides within your skin, boosting your skin barrier function.
– It helps make your pores look smaller, events out your skin tone, improves appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and make your skin more radiant.
There you have it! Four ingredients to look for when you are looking at skincare products to help fade hyperpigmentation and even out your skin tone. My personal favorite is the Niacinamide because it is a natural ingredient and yet is not high-maintenance like Vitamin C (i.e. unlike Vitamin C, you don’t have to worry about the stability of niacinamide).
Which one is YOUR favorite??

My FIRST K-Beauty Haul Video- Part 2!!

Hi Beauties,

Part 2 of my FIRST K-Beauty Haul video is now up on youtube! There are more brands that I mentioned in this video, like COSRX, Skin & Lab, and more! This time the products were purchased myself from the Wishtrend site. Come check out the video! Let me know which product(s) you would like me to talk about in more details, and what else you’d like to see on my channel.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and/or to my Youtube channel to get notifications of new videos I upload! I have more videos to upload in the coming weeks, and possibly more blog posts as well, so stay tuned.


My FIRST Youtube Video

Hi Beauties,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/New Year’s break! I know I have not posted in a while, but I am excited to announce that I have a Youtube channel now! I just posted my very first video on Youtube a couple days ago.


This is the first part of a two-part K-Beauty haul video. Because this is just a haul, I tried not to go into too much detail on each product, especially since I had a TON of products to show in the video. Please check out the video, and let me know if there is any of those products that you would like me to talk about in detail! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my channels to get notifications of my newest video!

Stay Beautiful!

Fade Your Hyperpigmentation with COSRX Mela 14 White Ampule!

Hi Beauties!

I was moving some time ago and as you may know, moving can be so stressful! Not to mention all the dust you dug up while packing/unpacking. Between the dust and the neglecting my skincare some days (because I was so tired), my skin took quiet a hit- meaning, breakouts. So now, I have some more hyperpigmentation spots from those acne. I immediately went and bought the COSRX Mela 14 White Ampule. I used this earlier in the year too and noticed a significant improvement on my dark PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) spots in a month or two.


There are two popular ingredients that are effective in fading hyperpigmentation and evening out the skintone: Vitamin C and Niacinamide. You have to use one at a time though, because if you use both at the same time (i.e. in the same skincare routine), they cancel each other out and so you won’t see a difference.

Anyway, I know a lot of people love Vitamin C to fade their hyperpigmentation, and don’t get me wrong- it does work. However, I think Vitamin C is pretty high maintenance because the more concentration the Vitamin C is in a product, the more unstable it is. This means that you have to make sure to put it in a fridge to lengthen its life, you have to be careful about using it in the daylight as it makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight, etc. Sure, I wear sunscreen during the day so even if I use Vitamin C product during the day, the sunscreen would prevent the Vitamin C from reacting to the sunlight and from making my dark spots even darker. I still prefer Niacinamide though because there’s no such rules/precautions I need to take.

As you might have guessed already, Niacinamide is the main ingredient in the COSRX Mela 14 White Ampule. Niacinamide is made from Niacin, which is also known as Vitamin B3. The human body produces this ingredient naturally too but only a small level. As I mentioned above, niacinamide is effective in fading hyperpigmentation caused by prior acne or age spots. Here are some other benefits of niacinamide:

– Niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s good for treating acne by reducing clogged pores.

– It helps produce collagen, which gives the skin a youthful firmness
– It prevents moisture loss and dryness by producing ceramides, which is a lipid layer in the skin’s epidermis that shields the skin from losing moisture.

So, Niacinamide is beneficial for both young skin that suffers from acne and hence the post-acne hyperpigmentation but also for mature, aging skin.


I used 1 drop of this for each side of my face, and then go in with a second drop on my hyperpigmentation spots, for a month and saw pretty significant improvements in my darkest spots, circled in purple in below picture. I was so pleasantly surprised!


This ampoule has some kind of artificial scent- but I think it’s pretty subtle.



The texture is a big more viscous than water but not as viscous as a gel. It feels very light on the skin. It IS sticky though, so keep that in mind.


I wish this product was available in more retailers, but so far I’ve found it only on Jolse. Amazon sells it too, but some of the reviews mentioned that it smells fishy. As I mentioned above, the actual product does have an artificial scent, but I don’t think it’s a fishy scent- so the COSRX Mela 14 White Ampule that you see on Amazon may be fake or old. Normally I have no issue buying Asian skincare products from Amazon, but I would not recommend it for this product.


Some things I do like about this product:

– It’s effective for my hyperpigmentation
– It’s light on the skin

Some thing I don’t like about this ampoule:

– The artificial scent; Even though it’s subtle, I still notice it because I do have a pretty sensitive sense of smell), so I wish it was completely scent-less.
– The stickiness

So, what do you guys think?

Foaming Powder Cleanser: Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash by Wishtrend

Hi Beauties!

Have you ever wished that there is a K-beauty product that is both a face wash and an exfoliator all in one? Well, there is! Wishtrend, one of the K-Beauty curators from where I purchase some of my K-beauty products, just launched their own green tea powder wash on Nov 10th- and I am one of the lucky beauty bloggers that they picked to try the product pre-launch!


Green tea powder- as a lot of you may already know, green tea is good for the skin because of its antioxidant properties. It is rich in vitamins A, C and E, which means that it helps to improve the skin tone, calm the skin, and purify the skin.

Papain Enzyme- this is an enzyme that is contained in papaya. Papain enzyme acts as an exfoliator, a skin softener, and helps fight acne.

Sodium Bicarbonate (aka Baking Soda)- ok, this might sound scary, having baking soda in a skincare product. Actually, apparently baking soda is excellent in removing blackheads and improving skin texture. It also penetrates deep into the pores and helps clean out the pores.


The green tea powder is pretty soft compared to a lot of physical scrubs out there. When I mix some water with the powder, it kind of foams up, as you see in the picture below.

I apply this to my WET face and gently scrub it on the face and then rinse. After rinsing it out and drying my face, I can feel my face is super soft! I can also feel that the powder did not strip moisture out of my skin, which I love! I use this as a second-step cleanser, in addition to as an exfoliator. I also think this product is not bad as a cleanser because after I use this and then swipe a toner-soaked cotton pad across my face, I don’t see much (if any) leftover dirt/makeup on the cotton pad.




Now, let’s talk about the scent! As one of the key ingredients in the product is green tea powder, this product does have a very subtle green tea scent to it. It’s so subtle that I barely noticed it though.


Overall, for the past few weeks I have been loving this power wash! I really think this is a product worth trying. If you would like to purchase this product, you can buy it from my link here:

I think Wishtrend is the only site that carries this product currently.

Let me know what you think, especially if you have purchased this and tried it!

Stay Beautiful!!

Simplest & Cruelty-Free: Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule

Hi Beauties!

You know how a lot of skincare products have so many ingredients? A lot of those ingredients that have difficult/long scientific names are actually “fillers” ingredients that are used as emollients, emulsifiers, solvents, etc to make the product into a certain texture/consistency. Recently a new brand in the K-Beauty market has emerged that uses all natural ingredients and the simplest ingredients, making their products safe and gentle enough for those of you with sensitive skin. Their products have been all over social media in the last several weeks (or maybe even the last several months!). The brand is called Pyunkang Yul.

Background of the Brand

Pyunkang Yul is an up-and-coming cruelty-free and all-natural brand that was developed by a traditional Korean medicine clinic in Korea called the Pyunkang Yul Oriental Medicine Clinic. The products are known to contain as few ingredients as possible without adding any “fillers” ingredients like emollients, emulsifiers, solvents, etc. Because the product contains only a few ingredients that are all natural, the products do not contain controversial ingredients like parabens and the products are known to be very gentle.

The brand carries products for dry skin as well as for those with normal and combination/oily skin. Ohlolly, a K-Beauty retailer based in Los Angeles, provides product recommendations for the different skin types here. Today the product from this brand that I am going to write about is the Moisture Ampoule

Even though the name “Moisture Ampoule” sounds like it should be used in the Serum/Ampoule step (which is step 5 of the 10-step skincare routine), this product is really meant to be used as the last step in your skincare routine. It is meant to seal in all the serums/ampoules and moisturization that all the skincare products have provided. In other words, this product is meant to serve the same function as a sleeping mask would.


Ninety percent of the Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule is made of Coptis Japonica Root Extract, which is the extract of a plant in East Asia called Coptis Japonica. The plant itself is cultivated to be used as traditional medicines, while the root extract is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-infection properties- meaning that it calms and hydrates the skin.


The Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule comes in a light dropper blue bottle. I noticed that the dropper doesn’t suck the product all the way up though, as you can see below. I think that might be because of the heavier, slimey consistency of the product? Not sure. A little does go a long way though, especially since I have a pretty small face, so I don’t need a full dropper stick worth of product to cover my entire face.


The Moisture Ampoule has quite an interesting consistency- it’s a thicker, slimy consistency, kind of like snail mucin or honey. However, when it’s applied to the skin, it does not feel heavy at all (and I have combination to oily skin); it feels quite light on the skin actually. The ampoule is not easily spreadable, possibly because there is no water at all in the ingredients, as I mentioned above- so the best way to apply it on the skin is by tapping it into the skin.

It does feel sticky on the skin, but once the ampoule is absorbed by the skin, which takes a few seconds, the stickiness definitely went away. The skin also then feels so soft and smooth and hydrated. Additionally, it gives a cooling effect when applied to the skin.


The product has no scent. I heard that all the products in this Pyungkang Yul line have no scent, actually, which is nice, especially for those of you who are sensitive to fragrance in your skincare products.


I have used this for about a month now, and I have noticed that when I use this product, which is usually at night, my skin is less oily. My forehead is the most oily part of my face. When I don’t use this ampoule during my night routine, when I wake up the next morning, my forehead becomes oily like usual. When I do use this ampoule as part of my night routine, I notice my forehead stays matte the next morning! I think it’s safe to say that this ampoule is effective in controlling sebum.


Some things I like about this product:

– It controls sebum
– It is hydrating
– It has a light consistency

Some things I don’t like about this product:

– It’s sticky when first applied to the skin

Would I repurchase? I definitely like the brand and would purchase its other products- its simple yet effective and affordable. I’m not sure whether I would repurchase the moisture ampoule specifically though- just because I feel that there are other products that I need more in my routine, like a moisture serum, dark spots serum, a toner/essence- all of which Pyunkang Yul also carries (besides the dark spots serum). I guess I want to try the other Pyunkang Yul products first, like the moisture serum, and see if any of them can control my sebum too.

SO, what do YOU think?

The K-Beauty Skincare Routine & My Abridged Version- PART 2

Hi Beauties!!

So, in my previous post, I wrote about the first 5 steps of the universal 10-step Korean skincare and my abridged version of the routine. I also listed the products mentioned in my post. Now, let’s move on to the remaining 5 steps of the 10-step Korean skincare, and, of course, my abridged version of it.



If I put ***M on a certain step, that means it is a step that you definitely can NOT miss in your MORNING skincare routine; where as ***N means it is a step that you definitely can NOT miss in your NIGHT skincare routine. If it has both M & N next to the stars, that means you can NOT miss this step in BOTH skincare routines.

Step 6: Serum/Ampoule

Serums and ampoules are a highly-concentrated treatment for your specific skin problem. Let me back up, what is the difference between a serum and an ampoule? Long story short, both are concentrated treatment, but an ampoule is usually even more concentrated and more potent than a serum.

I have some stubborn post-acne hyperpigmentation spots, and so I am always looking for serums and ampoules that aim to fade these hyperpigmentation spots. So far, the serums/ampoules that I have found to be effective in fading hyperpigmentation spots are COSRX Mela 14 White Ampoule, Cellnco Vitamin Solution Radiant Whitening Ampoule (click here for my full blog post on this), and COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid (click here for my full blog post).

I also get clogged pores so easily. According to my research, clogged pores are basically the skin’s overproduced sebum that gets clogged within the pores. The skin overproduces the sebum because the skin is not hydrated enough, so the skin compensates for the dehydration by over-producing sebum. One way to prevent sebum over-producing is by hydrating the skin more. Of course, drinking more water would help hydrate the skin, but I can’t seem to drink enough water, so I’ve been looking for serums/ ampoules that provides hydration to my skin too. So far, I’ve been liking the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum. Let me know in the comments if anyone has another recommendation for a serum/ampoule that helps prevent or treat clogged pores!

Step 7: Eye Cream ***MN

Eye Cream- this is the first thing about skincare that my mom taught me to do. The purpose of eye creams is to hydrate the skin under the eye and/or prevent/treat wrinkles in that area. The skin under the eyes are thinner than the skin on the rest of the face, so that’s why the eyes require a whole separate product from other facial skincare products.

I used to think that eye creams are only for “old” people, and I used to think “I’m still young- I have no wrinkles under my eyes yet, so I don’t need to use eye creams everyday!”…well, wrong! Even if you have no wrinkles under the eyes yet, you should still use eye creams to slow down the appearance of wrinkles. To be completely honest, I am still guilty of forgetting this step most of the times I do my skincare routine, but yes…this is actually an important step to include in a skincare routine!

I have not found my holy grail eye cream yet, so I would love to know what your holy grail eye creams are in the comment section below!

Step 8: Sheet Mask

This is probably the step that most people are familiar with, and to be honest, this is the most fun of all 10 steps! I think a lot of people like sheet masks, compared to other kinds of face masks, because sheet masks are relatively more convenient and faster than other types of face masks. You just put these babies on our face for 15-20 minutes, and that’s it! Sheet masks are usually soaked in essence and there is usually so much essence that when you’re done with the sheet mask, you still have a ton of the essence remaining in the packaging. I, like a lot of people I know, usually use the remaining essence on my neck, shoulders, arms, and legs- so no wasting product!

Because this step requires having the mask on my face for 15-20 minutes, I only do this at night- no time in the morning. Also, even though it is ideal to do this step everyday, I don’t think it’s necessary to do this every day.

I think every Asian skincare brand has some sheet masks, but some of my favorite brands of sheet masks are Leaders, Annie’s Way Gallery, Unitouch, and The Faceshop.

Step 9: Moisturizer ***MN

Moisturizer is the one of the common steps in western skincare routine, so do I still need to explain what this is? haha…For my combo/oily skin, I like moisturizers that balance my oil production. I have tried numerous moisturizers, and here are my favorite moisturizers so far:

– COSRX All-in-One Snail Cream: This is one of my holy grail moisturizers! Even though it contains 92% snail secretion and so it has a sticky-looking consistency, it is NOT sticky at all! Even though the consistency looks pretty thick, it’s actually pretty light on the skin, so those with oily skin can still use this without feeling like their skin is suffocated by it. Also, no snail is killed in the process of making this cream! Learn more about this cream in my full review here

– Asis-Tobe Fresh Relief Moisturizer: very good in balancing my sebum! I bought this product as a special-request purchase from Beauty in Hanguk, a reseller of Korean beauty products in Korea. Quite honestly, I don’t know where else to purchase this product.

– Hanyul Pure Artemisia Water Calming Gel: this one is not as good as Asis-Tobe Fresh Relief Moisturizer in regards to balancing, but this product is very light (gel-based) and very calming/soothing. It also smells amazing! I also purchased this product from Beauty in Hanguk as a special request purchase, but it’s also in Amazon (I think the Beauty in Hanguk website is currently down).

Step 10: SPF (For morning routine) ***M or Sleeping Mask (for night routine)

Suncare- I think this is another concept that is not uncommon in the western world. I’m sure you already know that we need to apply SPF to protect the skin from skin cancer. Not only that, SPF also helps fade any hyperpigmentation…or at least not make it even darker. The SPF products that used to be applied on me when I was a little girl were all greasy and thick in consistency, so I never liked wearing SPF on my face or on my body. Over a year ago, Soko Glam’s Best of K-Beauty Award Winner Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF 50+ PA +++ completely turned me around! Click here to read my full review on this product that answers how this product turned me from a non-spf-wearer to an spf-wearer. Another favorite SPF of mine, that I still use to this day, is the Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero SPF 50 PA ++, which you can also see my review here.

Sleeping Mask- Sleeping masks, in my opinion, are basically a thicker version of a moisturizer. Some popular sleeping masks include the Laneige Sleeping Mask and E-Nature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack. If you want something more affordable, the Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel can also make a good sleeping mask.

In terms of necessity, I think in the morning it is CRUCIAL to wear SPF, but at night, I don’t think using a sleeping mask is essential. Of course, if you feel like your skin needs the extra hydration that you’re not getting from your moisturizer and if you have time, you can use a sleeping mask on top of your moisturizer. I just don’t think it’s an absolute must, especially if your moisturizer already does the job well.

Ok, so let’s recap:

The universal 10-step Korean skincare routine:

  1. Oil Cleansing
  2. Water-based/Foam/Gel Cleanser
  3. Exfoliation
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serum/Ampoule
  7. Eye Cream
  8. Sheet Mask
  9. Mosturizer
  10. SPF (for morning)/ Sleeping Mask (for night)

My Abridged version- the version that I HAVE TO do EVERYDAY (steps that I do only once or twice a week, like exfoliation, is not part of my Abridged version here)


  1. Foam/Water/gel-based Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Eye Cream
  4. Moisturizer
  5. SPF


  1. Oil-based Cleanser
  2. Foam/Water/Gel-Based Cleanser
  3. Toner
  4. Eye Cream
  5. Moisturizer

Products Mentioned:

COSRX Mela 14 White Ampoule
Cellnco Vitamin Solution Radiant Whitening Ampoule – blog post here
COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid – blog post here
Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum
COSRX All-in-One Snail Cream – blog post here
Hanyul Pure Artemisia Water Calming Gel
Asis-Tobe Fresh Relief Moisturizer
Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk SPF 50+ PA +++
Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero SPF 50 PA ++ – blog post here.
Laneige Sleeping Mask
E-Nature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack
Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel

For those products mentioned that I have NOT written a blog post about, let me know if you would like me to write about them!

I hope that I have helped simplify for you the overwhelming 10-step Korean skincare routine. I have to put a disclaimer here though: everyone’s skin is different; What works for me may or may not work for you. The abridged version of the skincare routine that I have suggested in this post and the prior post is just a suggestion. The most important thing is still to listen to your own skin. If the 5 steps in my abridged version works for you, then that’s awesome! If your skin prefers fewer steps, then that’s awesome too!

Let me know what your skincare routine looks like and whether there are any products that you would recommend that I try!

Stay Beautiful!!

The K-Beauty Skincare Routine & My Abridged Version- PART 1

DISCLAIMER: I break this topic into multiple posts so hopefully it’s not as overwhelming! ?

Hi Beauties!

As you might already know, I love testing different skincare products and sharing my knowledge and experience with these products. However, one day recently while talking to one of my friends, I realized that hey- I have been sharing my thoughts on different skincare products and yet I have not even written about the skincare routine that incorporates the products I have reviewed! So in this blog post, I will be breaking down the different steps in the skincare routine.

If you don’t already know, the Koreans are known for their 10-step Korean skincare routine. First let me just say that to me, having a skincare routine is a way to take a few minutes to relax and pamper yourself; it’s like a spa getaway, except it’s at home and it doesn’t cost as much as an actual spa getaway. In this busy world, it is so easy to get carried away in all the busy-ness that we forget to take care of ourselves, take care of our skin.

I do understand that a 10-step skincare routine could be overwhelming and realistically, we’re all busy people- we do not have time to do ALL 10 steps every single day; well, at least I know I rarely have time to do ALL 10 steps. I usually do all 10 steps during some weekends when I have time. With that said, I do have an abridged version of the 10-step skincare routine, and I will put *** on the steps that I include in my abridged version – these are the steps that I think should really be done every single time you do your skincare routine.



If I put ***M on a certain step, that means it is a step that you definitely can NOT miss in your MORNING skincare routine; where as ***N means it is a step that you definitely can NOT miss in your NIGHT skincare routine. If it has both M & N next to the stars, that means you can NOT miss this step in BOTH skincare routines.

Ok, so enough babbling and let’s get to it!

Step 1: Oil Cleanser ***N

The oil cleanser is to clean your makeup. The reason an OIL cleanser rather than a WATER cleanser in this first step is because oil cleansers contains the “good oils” that cleanses the “bad oils” that is naturally produced by the skin or the oil from makeup products. Oil cleansers usually use oil that doesn’t clog the pores and removes impurities within the skin.

Normally you use oil cleanser on dry skin (i.e. rather than on wet face), massage the oil on your face, and then wash it off. You have to wash it off so the oil doesn’t clog the pores.

In an abridged skincare routine, this step is very necessary and should be done as part of your night skincare routine, assuming that you wear some makeup during the day. If you don’t wear makeup, I don’t think this step is very necessary and you go directly to the foam/water/gel-based cleanser step.


Some good oil cleansers that I’ve tried: Banila Co. Clean It Zero & Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. Check out my full review of the Banila Co. Clean It Zero here.

Step 2: Foam/Water/gel-based Cleanser***MN

After you wash off the oil cleanser in Step 1, you need to make sure you get all the oil of the oil cleanser, and any remaining dirt, off your face. This is what the Step 2 cleanser is (some people refer to it as “second step cleanser”). Second-step cleanser is usually water-based; it can be a foam cleanser or a gel cleanser.

Most foam cleansers leave your face feeling tight and squeaky clean. This is NOT a good thing because that means that the natural moisture of your skin is stripped off by the cleanser, resulting in the tight and squeaky clean feeling.  However, I have found a foam cleanser that does not make your face feel tight and squeaky clean; it is the Neogen Real Fresh Foam Cleanser (click here for my full review of this product). A gel-based cleanser that I would recommend, if you don’t like foam cleansers, is the COSRX

I think this is a very essential step to do in both morning and night skincare routines.

Step 3: Exfoliation

Exfoliation is very important to do in a skincare routine because it helps scrub out the dead skin cells that your skin sheds. I went into more details about exfoliation in one of my prior blog posts titled “Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate!!!

Most exfoliation products are too harsh to use everyday and that could result in your skin getting irritated- so, I don’t think you need to exfoliate every day, and on the days that you do exfoliate, I would recommend doing it just once that day- either in the morning or at night.

Here are some good exfoliation products that I would recommend:

– Neogen Bio Gauze Peeling Pads (these are pre-soaked pads that have a harsh side and a soft side)
– Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder (this is gentle enough to be used everyday. There are 4 different versions- each for a different skin type. This contains mostly rice powder and papaya enzyme. If you are allergic to papaya enzyme, I would stay away from this; Otherwise, this is a good exfoliator that you can use everyday).

Step 4: Toner ***MN

Cleansing your face tends to result in an imbalance your skin’s pH, meaning that cleansing the face might strip off some moisture of your face, drying out some of the skin’s moisture. Toners are meant to re-balance the skin’s pH while also taking off any remaining dirt that might still be on the face even after the double cleansing steps (i.e. step #1 & #2). When I don’t tone my face, I start getting a couple clogged pores. This is why I think toners are very essential to a skincare routine and should be done in the morning and at night every single day.

A lot of western-brand toners contain alcohol, which is a big no no. The Asian-brand toners that I’ve known of do not contain any alcohol. Some people apply toners directly to the face (with a patting motion), but other people, like me, pour some of the toner onto a cotton pad and then gently swipe the cotton pad across my face- this way, any remaining makeup/dirt that is still on my face after the first two steps can be wiped off. Nowadays, there are more and more toners that are in mist form, like the COSRX AHA BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner and Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner. Some people do like their toners in mist form, and I can see why, but I personally prefer my toners on a typical non-mist bottle.

I have tried quiet a number of toners, and so far the Son & Park Beauty Water is my favorite toner (check out my full post on the Son & Park Beauty Water here). Here are some other toners that I have tried:

– Missha Super Aqua Pore-kling Toner
– Missha Super Aqua Anti-Trouble Formula Control Toner
– Lapothicell A.C. Daily Calming Peeling Booster: Check out my review on this product here

Step 5: Essence

The essence…while this might be a new concept in the western world, in the K-Beauty world, essences have been around for ages! Essences are meant to prep the skin for the next skincare steps. Most essences have a runny watery consistency- there is a few essence products that I know of that have a bit thicker consistency than water. Honestly, I think essence is one of the products that you can skip in your abridged skincare routine.


The Missha First Treatment Essence is my holy grail essence, partly because it contains niacinamide, which helps fade out hyperpigmentation. It is also scentless- so those of you who are sensitive to fragrance would like this aspect. Also, the Missha First Treatment Essence is the cheaper (but still as effective) version of the SKII First Treatment Essence.

Ok! Before this post gets any longer, let me end it there for now…we’ll continue with the remaining 5 steps in my next post! Below is a summary of what my abridged skincare routine looks like so far. I am also listing the products mentioned here and the links to my full review on them (if I have written a review on them), and links to the site where you can buy them.

MY ABRIDGED SKINCARE ROUTINE (out of the first 5 steps of the 10-step Korean skincare routine):


  1. Foam/Water/gel-based Cleanser
  2. Toner


  1. Oil-based Cleanser
  2. Foam/Water/Gel-Based Cleanser
  3. Toner

Products Mentioned:

Banila Co. Clean It Zero – blog post here.
Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil
Neogen Real Fresh Foam Cleanser – blog post here
Neogen Bio Gauze Peeling Pads
Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder
COSRX AHA BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner
Son & Park Beauty Water – blog post here
Missha Super Aqua Pore-kling Toner
Missha Super Aqua Anti-Trouble Formula Control Toner
Lapothicell A.C. Daily Calming Peeling Booster – Review here
Missha First Treatment Essence

For those products mentioned that I have NOT written a blog post about, let me know if you would like me to write about them!

Stay Beautiful!!

Got Chapped Lips? Try Peripera Butter Pang!!

Hi Beauties!

Got dry AND pale lips? Try the Peripera Butter Pang! I have been loving these so much because not only are they oh so moisturizing they are also tinted.


These are like tinted lip balm. The tint does not transfer much and lasts about 4 hours (see picture below). I wish the tint lasts longer, but my lips sometimes get dry pretty fast, so at those times I’ve had to keep re-applying anyway.


Another attribute of the Peripera Butter Pang is that the shade changes color depending on the skin temperature; when the skin is heated, the shade gets deeper, and when the skin is cooler the shade becomes lighter. I honestly don’t see the shades changing, but maybe that just means my skin is always on the warm side temperature-wise.


These Peripera Butter Pang lip tints come in 3 shades (Cream Butter, Peach Shea Butter, and Pink Butter), but I have only the Cream Butter and the Peach Shea Butter shades.

Shade #1 Cream Butter: This shade is light, natural-looking, pink. I think this is a good shade for everyday wear if you’re going for that natural look.


Shade #2 Peach Shea Butter: This shade is an reddish orange color. I don’t like wearing a bold red shade on my lips, especially for an everyday look for work, so this shade is the perfect natural reddish color. I think this color would look food on any skin tone, but I think it looks best with a warm skin tone with yellow undertone, like mine.


The main active natural ingredients of the Peripera Butter Pang are the Shea Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, and Camellia Japonica Seed Oil (Japanese Tea Oil, also commonly known as Tsubaki Oil)- all of which have moisturizing properties. There is also Red 27 dye in the ingredients. This is the ingredient that contributes to the change in the shade color according to skin temperature.



To recap, here are the things that I love about the Peripera Butter Pang:

– It’s so moisturizing, just like a lip balm!

– The shades are natural-looking, perfect for everyday wear

– The tint doesn’t transfer much

There really isn’t much about this product that I don’t like. The only thing I don’t like about this product, but can still tolerate, is that the tint doesn’t last all day. Again, my lips tend to get dry pretty fast (within 4 hours), so I have to re-apply anyway- Interestingly, after re-applying once, usually the color seems to stay longer!

By the way, I purchased these tints from Amazon:

So, I have finally revealed one of my two most favorite lip tint products! What do you guys think? Had you heard of this product before? If so, how do you like it? If not, have I inspired you to try it? I hope I have! ^^

What other moisturizing lip products have you tried that does NOT transfer? Place a comment below and let’s start a conversation! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog with your email address to get updated newly-published blog posts and follow me on Instragram, Facebook or Twitter @aiforbeauty

Stay Beautiful!

Labiotte Wine Lip Tint

Hi Beauties!

How cute are these lip tints?? Really, the Koreans (and also the Japanese actually) always come up with the cutest packaging haha….I know these tints were very popular the first few months after they came out, so I know my review is super late, but I know some of my readers have been waiting for my review on these tints, so here it is!

But first, I’ll give you a second to admire the packaging….


Now, let’s get down to business!



Just like other lip tints, these lip tints are drying, not moisturizing at all. In terms of longevity, I’d say yes and no….here’s what I mean:

As you can see from the picture above, after 8 hours (and with eating and drinking), the tint was still there, but more on the edges of my lips so basically not only the tint was not moisturizing enough for my dry lips, it also seeped into the fine lines on my lips. Doesn’t look so good, does it?

One good news is that the tint does NOT Transfer! I really wanted to like these tints, but honestly the transferability is the only thing I like about these tints.

Also, I noticed that everytime I wore these Labiotte Wine Lip Tints, my lips got itchy and then super dry! So I think I might be allergic to something in the ingredients 🙁


These tints come in 6 shades, but I bought only 3 of the shades.

PK01 Blush Pink

As you can see, this shade is really sheer; I have naturally pale lips and I had to apply 2 layers for the color to show. If your lips are naturally pigmented, I don’t think this shade would show. If you don’t mind applying 2 layers of the tints and want to go for that natural look, then these tints would be a good color.

CR01 Rose Coral

As you can see, this shade is an orange-y shade. It’s also pretty sheer, so I had to apply 2 layers too for the color to show. Again, if you’re going for a natural look, then this would be a good tint to wear.

RD02 Nebbiolo Red

Unlike the other 2 shades I had, this red shade is actually a lot more pigmented. If I was not allergic to this product, this shade would’ve been my favorite shade in this line.


When I first purchased these tints, I was expecting them to smell like wine- but they don’t smell anything like wine or alcohol.  For me that’s a good thing because I don’t think I would want some alcohol-smelling product on my lips!


I really wanted to like these tints, but unfortunately I don’t. It’s not moisturizing for my lips at all and it doesn’t look good anymore after several hours with drinking and eating. Also, something about the tints always made my lips itchy, so I had to stop using them.
Does anyone else have an allergic reaction to these tints? I would love to know your experience with these tints in the comment below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get updated on newly-published blog posts and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter @aiforbeauty.

Stay Beautiful!

Ai For Beauty