Biologique Recherche Lotion p50 Review

biologiquerecherchep50

Behold. Above you is a picture of one of the most, if not the most amazing skincare product on the planet. If you were coming here hoping that Biologique Recherche Lotion p50 was gonna be a bust, well…you’re out of luck because this stinky ass shit is LIFE CHANGING. LITERALLY LIFE CHANGING. I’ve been on this planet for 28 years and my skin has never looked better. I’m constantly getting compliments, my makeup looks flawless, and my skin is soft, smooth, and acne/mostly acne scar free. WAY UP I FEEL BLESSED.

I have reviewed many skincare products over the past few years. I have liked and loved a good 90% of the things I have tried. Most of the products I have tried and continue to use have done wonders for my skin. But the Biologique Recherche Lotion p50 is in a whole different category. Lotion p50 has set the bar so high I don’t think there is anything that can compare. People call it Jesus in a Bottle, and bitch…that’s pretty much what it is.

What IS Biologique Recherche p50 lotion? At its most basic, it is a balancing, exfoliating acid toner. It exfoliates your skin, and balances your skin’s pH, combats excessive oil production, hydrates the skin and can also be used to treat ingrown hairs! It also fades hyper pigmentation and clears blemishes. All skin types can use Lotion p50, although there is p50V for maturing skin, and p50W for sensitive skin.

p50lotionback

The ingredients of Lotion p50 are: Water (Aqua), Gluconolactone, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Citric Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Magnesium Chloride, Malic Acid, Vinegar (Acetum), Phytic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseradish) Root Extract, Arctium Lappa Root (Burdock Root) Extract, Rumex Acetosa Leaf Extract, Myrtus Communis Extract, Commiphora Myrrha Resin Extract, Allium Cepa (Onion) Bulb Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Oil, Sulfur, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.

How to use: The directions on the bottle state that p50 can be used morning and night, and should applied with a cotton pad. From experience, if it is your first time using any sort of high percentage chemical exfoliant, it is best to start off slow. This means, use only at night, maybe twice a week initially, then gradually work your way up to using it nightly, then to using it day and night. If you want to start off even slower, you can soak a cotton pad in water, apply a few drops of Lotion p50 to the cotton pad and apply that it that way. I have been using Lotion p50 for almost 5 months now and can use it day and night with zero issues, but I had A LOT of purging when I initially started using it. Be warned that if you are new to acids, you most likely will purge, and it could last up to 2 weeks. Reminder: purging is when you have breakouts in areas where you normally break out (for me, around my cheeks and jaw line), but if you breakout in areas where you normally don’t, or your skin is extremely irritated, you’re most likely allergic to the product and should stop using it. I now use p50 most mornings and every night, after I finish cleansing my skin, and before my serum. I apply 3 to 4 drops directly into my palms, and then gently press the product into my skin. I used to use cotton pads but I don’t anymore. It’s expensive as shit, and I feel like I wasted a lot of product by using the cotton pads, so I just use my hands now. Like with your BHA products, you want to wait at least 20 minutes for the product to work its magic before moving on to your next skincare step.

You will experience a slight tingling/burning sensation when you first start using Lotion p50. I personally love the feeling, because it lets me know it’s working. I don’t get the “burn” really anymore, but if I skip a few days, it’ll tingle again. It’s a bit comforting to me now!

p50closeup

One of the cons of the Lotion p50 is the scent. It smells absolutely awful. But when some of the ingredients are sulfur and vinegar, what can you expect? To me, it smells like an old, musty house that hasn’t had fresh air in a long time. I’ve actually gotten used to the scent so it doesn’t bother me as much, but it is overwhelming at first. The scent disappears a few minutes after you apply the product, so don’t worry about your face smelling awful forever.

Okay, now here is the good shit. Biologique Recherche has improved my skin in every way possible. I don’t have breakouts anymore. My skin tone is even and bright. My skin is smooth and doesn’t get nearly as oily anymore. And my acne scars have faded to the point of near non-existence.

The before photo on the left was taken in April, and the after photo on the right was taken 2 days ago. The lighting is slightly different, so do not be alarmed that my skin appears to be 2 different shades.  What I want you to notice is how much my acne scars have faded, and how smooth my skin looks. GET YOUR LIFE.
skinbeforeandafter

And this photo of me was taken right after a shower 2 days ago, before I washed my face. No makeup, no filter, no editing. My complexion is much more even and bright!

IMG_3403

And this is a photo with makeup, no filter/editing. My makeup applies like a dream now – I don’t even have to wear that much for my skin to look pretty flawless. Most of the time I just wear some concealer under the eyes and use my MAC powder foundation. A lot of people asked on FB and Instagram how I get my skin to look so glowy…it’s the p50 girl!

makeup

So basically what I am telling you is that Biologique Recherche Lotion p50 is well deserved of its hype and cult classic status. It’s worth the money, and I will continue to buy it until the end of time.

Now, here’s the sort of bad part. It’s not that easy to find. If you are in the US, there are 2 spas that sell it, Vicki Morav and Rescue Spa. I ordered my bottles from Rescue Spa, where a 5.1oz bottle is $61, and a large 8.5oz bottle is $96. Yes, it’s expensive. But one bottle lasts a long time, especially if you don’t use cotton pads. I’m going on almost 5 months with my small bottle and I still have a few weeks of product left.

With Rescue Spa, you must sign up for an account to see the prices and to order anything, but they don’t spam you so no worries. It’s also recommended that you speak with one of their staff before you purchase to make sure you are getting the correct version of p50 for your skin type.

If you live anywhere else in the world, you can head over to Biologique Recherche’s website and find the contact information for the country you are in. AND if you are living in SE Asia, Malaysia specifically, you can find them at the upcoming Cosmobeaute Expo, July 6-9th. I’m actually debating making a trip just to see their booth!

What is your holy grail, life changing beauty product? Let me know in the comments!

 

Mizon Snail Repair Hydro Mist Review

snailmist

I know, I know. You’re probably like WTF SHERYLL WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN WHAT IS GOING ON?

Well, my life has been ridiculously busy lately. Like…I don’t even know how to manage my time busy. It all started when I moved apartments (my new apartment is so awesome and amazing btw!), and then I had a few deadlines get moved up with one of my jobs, and then a sort of lost my mind in all the craziness. But very soon, in about 2 weeks, everything will die down and I won’t be working 6 to 7 hour days, 7 days a week. Trust me, I’m counting down the days. I plan on having a party and then sleeping… a LOT.

Anyway, I thought I’d pop in for a quick review for one of my new favorite products – the Mizon Snail Repair Hydro Mist. I purchased it from the Cosmobeaute Asian Beauty Expo that was in HCMC a couple of months ago. I bought one bottle, and liked it so much that I went back the next day to buy a backup. The love is real.

snailrepairmistcloseupThe crazy thing about this mist is that I’m not even a big mist person. I always buy them, but then I never really use them. That’s changed with this mist. It’s a mainstay in my gym bag, and I’d bring it with me everywhere, but the canister is a little too big to just randomly carry around. I’m praying that Mizon hears my pleas to make a travel size version of this mist because it would be absolutely amazing for travel.

Anyway, the Mizon Snail Repair Hydro Mist is an alcohol free, snail slime facial mist. It has a whopping 90% snail slime in it, which is pretty freaking bad ass. There are a bunch of other fruit extracts and other awesome ingredients that you can read below.ingredientssnailmist

It comes packaged in a aerosol spray can, containing 120ml of product. It’s a super fine mist, so you don’t have to worry about giant drops of product that just drip down your face. It has a light, floral fragrance that doesn’t linger on the skin. Of course, I wish it wasn’t fragranced at all, but it’s not a major problem for me. If you want to see a demo, head over to my snapchat (username sheryllrenata) to see it in action!

The mist is wonderfully hydrating, and doesn’t leave my skin sticky, greasy or oily. I use it after I wash my face at the gym, or whenever my skin feels a little dry, which happens if I’m in an air conditioned room for a long period of time. But my favorite way to use it is over my makeup. It leaves such a flawless, dewy, natural finish to the skin. I use tinted moisturizer with a powder on top and sometimes the powder leaves me looking too matte and unnatural. But just a spritz of the mist and my skin looks gorgeous and naturally dewy. Just today, I went to tea with my friends and they complimented me on how glow-y my skin looked. Get your lifeee!

If you’re a mist kinda gal, you definitely need to add this to your skincare lineup. If you’re not a mist kinda gal, you definitely still need to add this to your skincare lineup. It’s really lovely!

You can find the Mizon Snail Repair Hydro Mist on Amazon.com for 11.51 + Shipping, or crazily enough, from Urban Outfitters for $20, which is pretty ridiculous, not gonna lie.

Do you use a mist? What is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

PS I’ve started doing mini skincare routine snapchat videos, since I rarely have the time to sit down and write out a long post. Make sure to add me if you use snapchat to see the action! My username is sheryllrenata.

Life in Vietnam 3

Hi hi! Here’s another round of photos from life here in Vietnam. As with the rest of the photos in this series, all were taken with my iPhone 6 and edited on my MacBook Pro using the CameraBag 2 app.

The past few weeks have been busy, but I’ve been making time to have dinner and coffee dates with friends, and of course, play with my new puppy, Sophia Loren-Petrillo. She’s pretty much the best puppy of all time and I AM OBSESSED. I held back on posting the 94535 photos I’ve taken of her so far but just know that anytime you want to see a photo, I have them.

Hope you enjoy!

theworkshop theworkshopcoldbrew rainyday
koreanbbq inataxi d1 selfie bahnmimotorbike motorbikes nightmarket IMG_2219 colormerun organicstrawberries bikeriding scvivocity mastercup chickenrice

passionfruitmojito sophialoren johnnyandsophia

Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid vs. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

BHAphoto

It’s been a while lovelies, but I’M BAAAAAACK! Shit got cray for a few weeks – I increased my hours at one of my jobs, got a puppy, then my computer crashed, and I just got it back yesterday. Anyway, I upgraded my computer so now it’s super fast and amazing…silver linings!

Today, I want to talk about how much chemical exfoliation has changed my life. I’m going to start with BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids), and then move on to AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) in my next post, then talk about how I incorporate them into my nighttime routine.

Until about 10 or so weeks ago, I’d never used chemical exfoliants. They aren’t typically used in a Korean skincare routine, and most Korean skincare companies don’t make any BHA or AHA products, so it was something that wasn’t even on my radar. One of my besties in HCMC got her hands on Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Exfoliating Liquid and the holy grail Biologique Recherché P50 Lotion for me and GIRL. My skin hasn’t looked so good pretty much…ever. Both products are pretty pricey and difficult to get in Vietnam (well Paula’s Choice is in Vietnam now but still expensive), but thank god that some Korean companies have started making BHA and AHA products, so I decided to do comparison reviews. On today’s agenda is the COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid vs the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% Exfoliating Liquid.

First things first, what are BHAs? What do they do? How do they help? BHAs or Beta Hydroxy Acids work by “degunking” your pores. Since BHAs are oil soluble, they penetrate through the oil that’s clogging your pores and exfoliate all of the dead skin cells that have built up inside. This is why BHAs are recommended for those with oily skin. BHAs also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, help reshape your pores, and allow your other skincare products better penetrate your skin. Salicylic acid is the most common type of BHA, but there’s also Betaine salicylate, which is what COSRX (and most Korean products) uses in its products. If you have oily or acne prone skin, suffer from blackheads and white bumps, adding a BHA to your routine will be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. Adding BHA products to my routine has drastically improved my skin’s texture and appearance. I no longer have acne, and my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation has faded significantly. Here are some comparison photo for reference:

11074998_958412427526325_7969239145918437846_n

Before and After – roughly 11 weeks apart

hyperpigmentation

Acne is all cleared up, but lots of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation – approx. 6 weeks ago

nomakeup

Makeup/filter free – about 4 weeks ago

closeupskin

Photo taken about one week ago – scars are fading!

GET YOUR LIFE GIRL. I don’t have to use as much concealer anymore, my skin feels like a baby butt, and I legit look like I have been sleeping 9 hours a night and drinking kale smoothies all day but that’s like the opposite of my life right now.

So let’s start with the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, or what is widely regarded as the holy grail BHA product by many a skincare lover.

paulaschoicecloseupFrom the Paula’s Choice website:

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant rapidly exfoliates both the skin’s surface and inside the pore, reshaping the pore lining, unclogging pores and improving skin cell turnover rate. The result is a dramatic improvement in the skin’s appearance, feel, and function which leads to healthier skin. There is a great deal of research indicating that BHA (beta hydroxy acid) increases collagen production and drastically smooths the surface of skin. Additionally, BHA has antibacterial properties that attack blemish-causing bacteria. The lightweight, non-occlusive formula allows for a faster and deeper exfoliation rate than our gel or lotion BHA products, so it’s an ideal choice for stubborn clogged pores or blackheads.

It’s packaged in a hard plastic bottle, containing 4oz/118ml of product. I’ve had my bottle for about 12 weeks now and it’s just now on it’s last legs, so it lasts a decent amount of time. The BHA of choice in the Paula’s Choice exfoliant is salicylic acid, so if you are allergic to aspirin, this is not the product for you.

directionspc

The texture of the 2% liquid exfoliant is very watery. I apply it using a cotton pad, because I find that applying it with my hands leaves them peeling and gross. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

paulaschoiceswatch

You can use the 2% liquid day and night, but I prefer to only use it at night, roughly 2 to 3 times a week, depending on what my skin is doing. I wash my face, apply a toner, then apply my BHA. I let my BHA sit on my skin for about 20 minutes before continuing with the rest of my routine. Why? Well, if you apply your moisturizer right after you apply your chemical exfoliant of choice, it raises the pH of the exfoliant, which renders the active ingredients useless. Also, waiting that long allows the acids to neutralize, and do their magic on your skin. During the 20 minutes, I answer e-mails, scroll through Tumblr, or do something productive like wash my dishes. This is partly why I use it only at night, because I don’t have time in the morning for a long skincare routine.

Without a doubt, the Paula’s Choice liquid exfoliant has improved my skin tremendously. All of the claims on the bottle have definitely happened to me, and I’m very happy with my results. But my major gripe is that it leaves my skin SO GREASY. Like I rubbed a pizza all over my face greasy. According to the website, the greasy feeling can be attributed to using too much of the product (maybe??), and if you live in a humid, moist climate (MOST DEFINITELY). Either way, it’s a pretty uncomfortable feeling and one that I was willing to put up with until I started using the COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid, my new ultimate favorite.

BHAblackheadcloseup

COSRX is a brand that’s been around for a while, but is just now starting to gain some attention with Korean skincare fanatics because they are one of the few (if only??) Korean brands that make well formulated chemical exfoliant products. Fifty Shades of Snail just did a really great interview with the marketing assistant from COSRX that you definitely want to check out to learn more about the brand.

The blackhead power liquid is packaged in a clear, plastic bottle with a pump top, containing 100ml of product. It’s not as runny/watery as the Paula’s Choice product, just only slightly thicker than water. I also apply this product using a cotton pad, but out of habit. I don’t know if it will cause your hands to peel or not. Another thing to note is that it smells pretty fucking awful, like really chemical-y/sort of like paint. Thankfully, the scent doesn’t linger.

cosrxswatch

The active BHA in the COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid is betaine salicylate (4%). Betaine salicylate is similar to salicylic acid, and is derived from sugar beets. Apparently there are strict laws about salicylic acid used in over the counter products in Korea, so most BHAs that are made and sold there are actually formulated with betaine salicylate. What’s super interesting to note is that even the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Exfoliating Liquid sold in Korea is formulated with 5% betaine salicylate and not salicylic acid, as you can see here. I’d be VERY curious to see how both Paula’s Choice products compare, as the few English reviews I’ve found have said the betaine salicylate product is better. Betaine salicylate is apparently gentler than salicylic acid, and also provides time released exfoliation. 

To use, I wash my face, apply toner, then apply the Blackhead Power Liquid and again, wait for 20 minutes, then move on to the rest of my skincare.

I’ve been using the COSRX liquid for about 5 weeks, and in my opinion, it’s better than the Paula’s Choice 2% liquid in many ways. It doesn’t leave my skin greasy, which is a huge selling point for me. It’s not really drying either, which is pretty nice. I’ve done side by side comparisons of both liquids, and my skin feels much softer and smoother in the mornings on the side where I’ve used the COSRX liquid. I also think it’s done a better job at evening my skin tone and lightening my PIH than the Paula’s Choice liquid. Since using BHAs in general, my acne has completely cleared, and I haven’t had a single breakout (not even a hormonal one!) in at least 8 weeks.

Once you start using BHAs, the change is pretty drastic in the beginning then it sort of peters out. I was expecting that for sure, but I feel that with the COSRX liquid I am constantly seeing improvements with my skin, where as I feel the Paula’s Choice product definitely cleared up my acne and smoothed my skin, but stopped being as effective with long term usage. I feel like if I keep using the COSRX regularly, within the next 4 to 6 weeks all of my PIH will be 99.9% gone.

Also, COSRX is cheaper than Paula’s Choice, and even if it wasn’t, I’d still buy it over the Paula’s Choice product. Basically, both products have cleared up my skin and helped me finally overcome my skin issues, but I have to award the grand prize to the COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid because it is just simply more effective for me.

Some other notes:
+ If it’s your first time using a BHA product, start off slowly. Only use once to twice a week initially, then slowly build up your tolerance. There may be some slight purging. I purged for about 2 weeks when I first introduced acids into my skincare routine, but I also was a crazy person and didn’t build up. Learn from my mistakes.

+ BHAs do not increase sun sensitivity, but everyone everywhere should always be using a sunscreen anyway. I’m currently using the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF. It’s cheap and awesome and I love it!

You can purchase the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant from the official website here. It retails for $26 dollars.

The COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid is available at Wishtrend for $18 dollars (A STEAL!).

Have you tried any BHA products? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

**this post contains affiliate links**

HERA Cell Essence Review

heraessence

I’m quite loyal to my Missha First Treatment Essence (FTE), but you know, I gotta test the waters out. I’ve always wondered about HERA, and since I can’t try their famous UV Mist Cushion, I decided to order their next best things – the HERA Cell Essence and the Aquabolic emulsion. Today’s review will be on the highly requested HERA Cell Essence (or the Cell-Bio Fluid Sync but ain’t nobody got time to type all of that).

The HERA Cell Essence comes packaged in a big box, containing the above: the box of cotton pads, and the actual product itself. One of my favorite things about this essence is the packaging. It’s so sleek and pretty and looks more expensive than what it is. It’s packaged in a frosted glass bottle, containing 150ml of product. It’s heavy, and you definitely can’t travel with it, but it looks gorgeous sitting in your bathroom so there’s that.

The cotton pads are nice – one side is textured, and the other side is plain. You’re supposed to apply this essence by soaking the cotton pad in essence, placing it between your fingers as demonstrated above, and starting from your nose, swipe the pad onto your skin in an outward motion towards your cheeks, forehead and chin. I’m not really down with cotton pads and essences so I apply it using my hands. I just use the cotton pads to take my eye makeup off because they’re nice.

heraessence5

There are markings on the side of the bottle to indicate how much you should use each time. Recommended use is 5ml for one day, or 2.5ml day and night. The bottle is supposed to last you between 28-30 days. When I first got this product, I attempted to use the recommended amount and it was just too damn much. The product doesn’t dispense fast enough (I’m impatient), and to be honest I don’t think that much essence is necessary. A few drops in the palm of my hand is all I need to cover my entire face and I’m pretty sure it works just as well as slathering my face in it. Using less of the product also means you can stretch it to last to around the 2 month mark.

heraessence2

The HERA Cell Essence is a very lightweight, watery texture, that’s slightly milky/cloudy in color. It feels exactly like water, no heaviness or stickiness whatsoever. It absorbs within 10-15 seconds, and leaves your skin feeling very hydrated and plump. It has an extremely light, pleasant floral scent that’s barely detectable, but if you’re sensitive to fragrance then maybe you’d notice it.

heraessence3 The HERA Cell essence has many claims, including moisturizing, brightening, and firming the skin. To be honest, I haven’t seen much brightening at all, but it is the most hydrating essence I’ve tried. I really love the way my skin seems to just drink it up, without any heaviness or stickiness.  After application, my skin feels more firm, supple, and definitely hydrated.

But after taking a peek at the ingredient list (found here), I’m really sad to find out that the 3rd ingredient is alcohol. Like I said in my previous post, I’m really trying to be more conscious about ingredients instead of just buying things all willy nilly. If I had known this contained alcohol I may have thought twice about purchasing it. Then again, my favorite su:m37 waterfull products contain alcohol as well so…I guess you gotta pick your battles.

Overall, this essence just didn’t WOW me like I expected it to. It’s very hydrating and feels nice on the skin, but I prefer the Missha FTE hands down. I’m going to finish the bottle, but I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing this one.

In the meantime, I’m on the hunt for more essences to try so give me your recommendations! I’m currently looking at one from Secret Key and I may just have to pull out the big guns and finally try some SKII.

I purchased my HERA Cell Essence from W2beauty where it’s on sale for $58.50, which is average for a mid-range/high end essence. You can use my sponsor code 05632401 to receive $5 off your first order. It’s also available from ebay seller joongmart for $66.00.

1 2 3 70