Monday, 8 June 2015

Drugstore Skincare - Yay and Nay!

I had a sudden realization that my stash is devoid of drugstore skincare products. Main reason is because for the past few years, I have been sticking to only what works for my acne-prone, sensitive combination skin, i.e. the products I purchase regularly from my dermatologist. And then I switched to Creme Simon, which is still working very well till this point. Partly also because I am an avid fan of Korean beauty products, so I always hang out at Korean beauty stores/counters or Qoo10, instead of my local pharmacy & supply chain stores.

Last month, I decided to try out some highly raved drugstore products for the face! I purchased all of them at Watson's Singapore. It is more like a collective haul over a span of 1-2 months.

So in this post, I selected four of them that I want to give quick reviews and to briefly tell you my impressions of them.

1. Hada Labo AHA + BHA Foam Wash

This product contains fruit acids that claims to exfoliate your skin to dissolve blackheads, whiteheads, dullness, dirt and impurities. Fitted with a hygienic pump, each pump gives a dollop of soft, dense foam that saves the trouble of foaming with your fingers.


The amount of salicylic acid and glycolic acid is too low to leave a significant exfoliating effect on its first wash. Having been a regular patron of acid peels, this is apparently too mild for me as an exfoliant, but it does work as a good basic cleanser that cleanses well enough. I wouldn't recommend regular use, especially for sensitive skin, even if the acids' levels are low.

For its affordability and availability at our local shores, I still like it a lot as a basic, no-frills cleanser that does it job. It controls oil quite well too, and has a faint acidic scent which is considered pleasant and not overpowering whatsoever.


2. Hado Labo Super HA Hydrating Foam Wash

Another popular product of Hada Labo, this foam wash packaging uses the same mechanics as the above AHA + BHA face wash - fitted with a convenient self-foaming pump. The key difference is the ingredients used here.' HA' stands for Hyaluronic Acid, and this is supposedly a good acid that replenish & preserve essential moisture in the skin, thus and prevent dryness so skin stays soft, hydrated and supple. It is also fragrance free, alcohol free, mineral oil free, colorant free and skin PH balanced. Hence, this product fundamentally suits almost everyone, even for sensitive skins (unless of course you are allergic to HA).

I co-use this with the AHA + BHA face wash, so this lower the chance of my skin being hyper-sensitized by AHA/BHA. I find that although product claims to possess the ability to clean off light makeup, I think it is unwise to skip proper makeup remover. When I use this hydrating foam wash, I need a slightly longer time to rinse off the cleanser thoroughly as opposed to the AHA + BHA face wash. It leaves behind a slippery feel on the face, if it's not rinsed doesn't feel clean enough. (And THAT's why I wouldn't use it to remove my makeup.)

Texture-wise, foam is smooth and application is like a dream, exactly like the AHA + BHA foam. And the face feels reasonably hydrated right after wash, with no tight feeling at all. 


3.  La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +

The product name and information on its box doesn't say a lot, but basically it's a lightweight creme consisting of BHA (Salicylic acid) with the purpose of unclogging the surface of the skin. Blemishes will be gradually eliminated, as the dirt & grime surface to the skin. For me, the unclogging process resulted in minor breakout, after which 'new skin' resurfaced in a week and it looks clearer. (Note: this is not to be used in place of pimple cream that are targeted to heal or zap zits in a couple of days)
Anyways, a lot has been said on this gel cream, so I won't delve too much on this. You can read more about product information HERE


On days where I get those annoying comedones (those clogged pores, white heads, blackheads before acne eruption), I add this extra step of applying all over my face after cleansing and toning, followed by my usual serums and moisturizer. It really works if you have the patience to use it daily for 1-2 weeks. My skin feels a lot smoother to the touch, and the blemishes significantly reduced! However, if acne are already formed, this wouldn't be sufficient without complimenting with another stronger product. By stronger, I mean targeted zit treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide, climdacyl, adapalene, etc. Another thing to keep in mind is, step up on your sun protection while using any AHA/BHA products, including this seemingly-mild gel cream that sometimes feel like a serum.

It is a little bit pricey for a drugstore product. However, do try to snatch it up during Watson's sale!


4.  Curél Sebum Care Moisture Gel

Taken from Kao official website:

"(Curél Sebum Care Moisture Gel)...Control oil & acne with zero-in sebum control technology to regulate sebum secretion at its source and active ingredient - antiphlogistic to reduce acne occurence. Strengthen skin resilience against external irritants with hydrating and penetrating moisture retaining formula and eucalyptus extract to replenish ceramide and boost ceramide production, thus restoring skin's barrier function.This liquid based gel spreads and get absorbed easily to facilitate speedy penetration, leaving skin refreshed, matt yet comfortably hydrated."


If you were thinking I was saving the best for the last, as in, introducing the best product at the end of this post, sorry...You're gonna be horribly disappointed.

I want to first state the fact that I like KAO products, and I have nothing against this brand. BUT...

I am extremely disappointed with this Sebum Care Moisture Gel, one of the newer products in the Singapore market. 

As the product name suggests, it is reasonable to expect the moisturiser to be suited for oily skin and controls oil well. It did not deliver this promise. My face oiled up much faster than when I apply NOTHING at all. And even though the texture is light and goes onto skin smoothly, I could feel the silicones in this product SCREAMING out to me. On the brighter side of things, it does make a good makeup base because of all the silicones - foundation glides on better than usual. Bouts of regrets kicked right in after 3 hours, when my face looks like a kwali (greasy pan). After taking my makeup off, I noticed the skin seems dehydrated - it was like I didn't put on moisturiser.

Besides the inadequate oil control properties, another point that pissed me enough to pen this in my usually positive blog is I GOT A BREAKOUT of 3 bad-ass pimples the day after!


The 1 lippie is for the clean, transluscent-white, unsuspecting packaging.  (No. Actually, my lowest rating is 1 lippie. HAHA.)


My Faithy Lovelies, do you like drugstore products? What are  your favourites? Share with me in the comment box! 

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  1. I'm Hadalabo user, but never use foam wash. I think I should try it

  2. Hi Gadis,
    Yes, it's good. Try it and let me know how it goes!

  3. Yes! Do more drugstore skincare reviews please!! I want my skincare regiment to be effective, yet I dont want to splurge my money either. Thanks for the reviews :)

  4. Agree do more drugstore skincare reviews!
    I'm tired of spending so much money on my skincare.


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