If you are a skin care addict like me than you’ve probably seen the term Hyaluronic acid being thrown around. Restylane, a trade name for it, is used in injections to plump up wrinkles. But it is one of the new Star ingredients in a lot of topical skin care. As a topical ingredient it’s claimed to help moisturize the skin and improve moisture retention, and help plump wrinkles (through the skin being moist mostly). Since moisturizing is one of the 3 most essential components of any skin care routine (the other two being sun protection and cleansing) Hyaluronic acid is very interesting to me.
So why did I go out and buy a Japanese Hyaluronic acid serum when lots of moisturizers from reputable brands have Hyalurnoic acid listed. Well, quite frankly I don’t trust brand packaging. ... Really. I tried the Loreal; Skin Genesis line. I’m quite fond of L’Oreal, they are generally inexpensive, but of decent quality. There was no noticeable moisturizing difference. Even after a couple of weeks of using the Serum and Moisturizer. They were nice... In my opinion Hyaluronic acid has fallen into the same trap as Retinol (retin, vitamin-a, etc.) It’s a selling feature, but there are no claims as to the amount of the key ingredient in the products. You can add a miniscule drop of hyalronic acid and call it an ingredient. So, I went to Juju. I love Juju. Seriously, I’ve used a ton of their products and they are always of really nice quality. Now, I admit my Japanese skills aren’t very good. I can only roughly translate the label... But, it’s supposed to be a hyaluronic acid serum, and I believe it. The Japanese are so much more anal about their skin care.
So, the serum. It’s clear with a gel like thickness. It goes on like water and absorbs immediately. Like freakishly immediately, as though my skin is a giant sponge baking in the desert. I apply a drop of the serum and it’s gone. In fact, I have to be careful to spread it out quickly, otherwise it all gets absorbed into where I dabbed it... Once applied my face feels exactly how it did before applying the serum. It doesn’t feel moisturized, soft, wet, oily or sticky. And if I don’t work quickly I can’t even tell where I’ve applied the serum and where I haven’t. I then move on and apply my moisturizer. Then I feel moist (well duh), but there’s no real textural difference than if I applied the moisturizer without having applied the Serum first. So, so far, it seems like a dud right? *laughs* that’s what I thought too. But OMG, when I wake up in the morning, my face feels amazing. It’s like I just moisturized. My skin is soft and smooth and almost plumper. And that softness carries on through most of the day. Even under make-up my skin is better moisturized. It’s amazing. The best part of all though is it makes even cheap moisturizers seem like magic. This stuff is so worth the money!
The Dariya magic sheets are basically like flat Velcro rollers. They are designed to hold the hair back while you wash your face, or do your makeup.
... Unecessary right? *laughs* kind of... I used to just you a headband or put my hair back in a pony tail. But they looked cute... Damn, I can’t resist cute packaging.
Anyways, they are actually nice to have around. They do a much better job of holding the little short fringe hair than a head band. They also don’t mess up a hairstyle. I always end up with a pony tail line... Which I hate, because no amount of styling gets rid of it. Plus, if you are doing you make up, they do help prevent you from accidentally getting stuff on your hair. I generally set my foundation with loose powder, and the finly milled stuff can certainly drift off teh brush.
Conclusion Yeah, okay, they aren’t a beauty essential. But they were cheap, and I like ‘em. So :P
If you’ve never used a powder face wash (and if you’re in North America you likely haven’t) they are... different. It’s a bit of an adjustment from gel or cream washes. They are pretty common in Japan. In some products, like enzyme face washes, they make sense. The dry enzyme keeps the enzymes from being oxidized (water tends to be somewhat oxidizing), so they stay fresh and retain their effectiveness for longer.
There are a couple of things that I like about cleansing powders over other types of cleansers. 1. They are light, and they travel really well. You don’t have to worry about them exploding or leaking liquids. The softymo even has a double cap, to prevent spillage. 2. The flexibility. You can adjust the strength of your cleanser by varying the amount of water/ powder you add. 3. The cleansing power. It’s not as harsh as gels, and leaves no residue like oils 4. It’s un-fragranced and colorless. Honestly there is no reason why a face wash should have either, since they add nothing to the cleansing process. I’ve only been using the Q10 face wash for a couple of months, and I haven’t seen any significant changes too my face... Mind you, from a cleanser, I didn’t expect any. It leaves my face soft and clean, although a little drier than I like, but that’s not a big deal since I always moisturizers afterwards anyways. It also doesn’t really remove eye makeup (I pretty sure it’s not supposed to); I always use a separate eye makeup remover anyways, but it if you already using a cleanser that does both, switching to a cleansing powder is probably not for you. I don’t love it nearly as much as my Kanebo enzyme wash, but it’s a lot cheaper. So it makes a really good, light morning cleanser.