Aloe Talk: Bench Organics 92% Aloe Face & Body Mist

When you hear Aloe Vera mist, the first thing that comes to my mind as a K-beauty fan is the Nature Republic’s 92% Soothing Aloe Mist. A lot of people love the gel type that’s in the tub since it’s a very versatile product that offers more than 12 ways to use it. You might be thinking– wait, we’re supposed to be talking about the Bench Organics 92% Aloe Face & Body Mist, right? Well, the best way to start this review is to compare the two since there are a lot of similarities with regards to the 92% Aloe content, the scent, packaging, etc.

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First of all, I’m a huge fan of the Nature Republic’s Aloe Mist. I’ve emptied about 3-4 bottles of that until I decided to look for an easier and possibly cheaper alternative– the Bench one. In the Philippines, the Nature Republic Aloe mist is about P330+. I forgot the exact price but if you have their membership card, they offer about 10% discount on your purchase. I use the mist to freshen up my face when it feels too hot outside. Sometimes, when I have rashes on my face or slight irritations, I just spray this on my entire face before I slap on my moisturizer. As much as I love this specific aloe mist, I’m having problems getting my hands on it. The nearest mall that I could find it is not a store but a small kiosk in the mall. (Note: You can’t use the 10% discount on kiosks) Unfortunately, the aloe mist is always out of stock. Plus one on the Bench Organics 92% Aloe Mist, because almost every mall in our city has a Bench store in it. Another plus one, because it’s only P218 per bottle.

 

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It contains 5.1floz/150ml which is the same as the Nature Republic one.

What surprised me about this Bench Organics Aloe mist is that it smells exactly, like literally exactly like the Nature Republic one. What kind of sorcery is this? I told myself that maybe it’s because that’s what aloe really smells like. But really? I remember trying out another Aloe Vera gel in a tube that I purchased in Watson’s, I can’t remember the brand since I tossed it in the garbage years ago (because that’s where it deserved to be!) and it didn’t smell like that. It smelled like glue, so I’m pretty sure that’s not how Aloe is supposed to smell like.

But I won’t further question those two brands on why they smell 100% the same. Because I honestly think that they both work just fine and since the Bench Organics is cheaper, plus highly available almost everywhere for me, I’m choosing it over the Nature Republic one.

It hydrates, yes.

It freshens you up, yes.

It soothes your skin, yes.

Although, I’ve heard other people use it for setting their makeup. But I find that every mist that I use makes my makeup melt instead of setting it. I’m not sure if it’s because it doesn’t work well with my makeup or what. So I never really use it as a setting spray. However, whenever my brow pomades start to dry up, I just spritz a little of this Bench Organics Aloe Vera mist and it instantly revives the texture of the pomade. What a lifesaver, right? Another thing, if you’re a shaver (facial hair or whatever) you can spritz this after in order to avoid razor burns. I find that it really does help soothe your skin.

Another plus one for this Bench Organics Aloe Vera mist is that I like the spray better than the Nature Republic one. I find that the Nature Republic Soothing Aloe mist sprays random big droplets of the product on your face, while the Bench Organics one sprays evenly all over your face. I think that the spritzer itself makes a huge difference for a misting product to work well. If I was going to splash my face with big chunks of liquid, I should have just doused my face with the aloe mist instead.

Final Rating:

Bench Organics 92% Aloe Vera Face & Body Mist – 4.5/5

Nature Republic 92% Soothing Aloe Mist – 3/5

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To Splurge or Not to Splurge?

There are a lot of beauty products out there that claim to be able to do a tremendous amount of improvement for your skin along with a jaw-dropping price tag. Do not get fooled! There are a lot of products out there that are advertised in such a way that can make you feel like you need it despite the price, but you actually don’t. Expensive doesn’t always mean it’s better. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. So the question is, to splurge or not to splurge?

Most of us already know that before we could find our holy grail products, whether it’s skincare or makeup, it takes so much time, effort and money just to finally find one that fits all your needs and criteria for a holy grail status. Now, we all hate having to spend and waste our hard-earned money for things that don’t really do what it claims to do. In this post, we will tackle some of the things that you need to think twice about before splurging a huge amount of money. Below is a list of 5 beauty products that are not worth splurging for.

1. Expensive Facial Cleansers

How long do you even use a facial cleanser on your skin? I’m pretty sure it’s less than a minute or two before you start rinsing it off. After that, it’s going down the drain along with the dirt and gunk you just washed away from your face. So why spend so much money on expensive facial cleansers? Facial cleansers are often used to balance your skin’s pH and/or remove dirt or makeup on your face. Although some cleansers offer additional benefits such as exfoliating and brightening– those are fine and very possible. But anything too extreme is slightly questionable in my opinion. Like how can a minute or two of slathering my face with a cleanser claim to do things such as shrink my pores? Remember, you rinse the product off! Even facial masks that offer great results requires about 15-20 minutes of being on your skin to get maximum benefits. Yes, you do need facial cleansers to wash your face because bar soaps are never a great option because it’s too acidic and it can lead to breakouts. But splurging on expensive facial cleansers are just really not worth your buck. As long as the cleanser does a good job in cleaning and it doesn’t break you out, I think that’s already a thumbs up for the brand.

2. Expensive Toners

Toners are usually meant to remove the makeup residue that your cleanser failed to remove, balance the pH levels of your skin if your cleanser is too acidic and to prep your skin for the next skin-care steps. Again, any other brand that you prefer will probably do. I think that it’s better to splurge on other beauty products such as serums or creams instead since those are the ones that have greater benefits because of the higher concentration of good ingredients that can really improve your skin condition.

3. Sunblock with very high SPF

Just because you went out under the sun with your face and body covered with an SPF 100 sunblock, it doesn’t mean your skin is safe from damage. Just a little side story from my own experience, I was on the beach with a couple of co-workers during a beach outing. I was sporting an SPF 30 sunblock while my friend was using an SPF 100. She felt secure that she wouldn’t get burned under the sun because she was using such a high SPF sunblock. Now, kindly refer to the break down below.

SPF 15 = Blocks 93% of UVB radiation

SPF 30 = Blocks 97% of UVB radiation

SPF 50 = Blocks 98% of UVB radiation

You see, there isn’t really a big difference in the performance of your sunblock even with such a low SPF one. So, why the high price tag along with the high SPF? Back to my story: At the end of the day, my co-worker still got sunburn and a very obvious tan. As for me, my skin looked pretty much the same before I even stepped out in the sun. I was still this fair light skinned me. Why? Because I reapplied my sunblock and she didn’t. She was so confident that the high SPF will protect her skin even after a long exposure under the sun. Bottom line, it’s not really about the high SPF that makes a sunblock do its job properly. Another thing to consider is that in the market, the higher the SPF of the sunblock is, the price tag also doubles up–some, even triple. Now ask yourself, is it really worth it to splurge on an expensive one?

4. Expensive Makeup Removers

Makeup removers are like facial cleansers. They just remove makeup and usually get rinsed off after even if it was the emollient balm type one. I haven’t really seen any makeup removers that claim to do anything other than leaving your skin feeling hydrated or supple after removing your makeup. This is a no-brainer. Don’t splurge.

5. Pore-Minimizing Products

One thing that’s proven and scientifically tested is that your pores don’t open and close. So if a product claims to shrink your pores, what’s the truth in that then? The pores that you currently have now will be the size of your pores until you get older. Environmental factors may seem to affect the size whenever you would check the mirror, but that’s mainly because your face has probably been producing more or less sebum, or even sweat, making it look enlarged. However, that doesn’t mean that your pores are opening and closing.

Although there are products that claim to make your pores less visible, that’s a different story. Products with silicone or pore-filling primers are different. A better alternative to purchasing pore-minimizing products is to get yourself something that can deep cleanse your pores to avoid clogging and making your pores look more enlarged because of whiteheads and blackheads.

6. Bonus: Cute Packaging

If you like K-beauty, then you’re probably splurging on products with extremely adorable packaging that seems to beckon you from afar. Most of us are guilty of that! A product or two that has bunny ears for your lip gloss cap is fine–but if it’s becoming such a habit–Stop yourself. I have never really found a product with adorable packaging that has delivered good results. That’s just me, though. I bet you guys don’t even use those products that you bought just because it’s shaped like a banana or a cat.

For those who have money to spend, go ahead and do whatever floats your boat. In the end, it’s your skin and your wallet. Let’s admit it, a little healthy splurging here and there is fine as long as it’s something that your skin actually needs. I’m just here to remind the whole lot of you that there are other skin care products that are worth splurging for and there are products that are not.

 

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Skin Woes & Empties: St.Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Moisturizer

It’s a sort of a unique phenomenon when I manage to finish up a bottle or a tub of skin care product. I’m still in the search of that staple for my skincare routine that I would repurchase over and over again because it has worked wonders on my skin.

Lately, I’ve gone from breaking out to having itchy, flaky and inflamed skin due to irritations because of my constant search for amazing skin care products. I was an impatient little puppy a few weeks ago that I added two to three new products in my routine and I couldn’t figure out which one was causing the irritation. After a few more weeks of trial and error, I managed to eliminate the culprit. Everyone was raving about the Missha Time Revolution Essence and I wanted to try it for myself, so I purchased a bunch of trial sachets along with my CosRx Low pH Goodmorning Gel Cleanser, Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream and Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream. Only to figure out after a few days that the Missha TRE has made my skin worse than it already is.

I was aware of my lack of judgment for introducing all of those to my skin all at once. But again, I was so desperate to finding something that can help my skin recover. I figured that I had to use moisturizers to soothe the inflammation and flakiness, so I started looking for another moisturizer because I thought that the St.Ives Timeless Skin Collagen and Elastin Moisturizer was not doing the job. I came across the CosRx Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap and purchased it, then replaced my St.Ives Moisturizer.

Long story short, I ended up wanting to re-purchase my almost empty St.Ives Timeless Skin Collagen and Elastin Moisturizer after my long search for a better one. The main reason why I decided to keep looking for moisturizers other than this, is because I could not justify the benefits it gives my skin. Sure, it was very cheap for such a huge tub, but I simply cannot think of anything that makes it “work”. I was probably underestimating it because it was so affordable and I haven’t really seen famous bloggers using this. Before I purchased this moisturizer back in 2015-16, I remember reading somewhere that Collagen does not exactly work together with Elastin in the anti-aging department in order to achieve awesome results. Something along the lines of those ingredients cannot work alone for it to be effective. Like it lacks another ingredient to make it active or something. Well, I can’t be all scientific on this as I have no enough knowledge to prove my claims, so I took the blogger’s word for it. But anyway, here I am with an almost empty tub of St.Ives Timeless Skin Collagen and Elastin Moisturizer and absolutely loving it.

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Below is the information I found on the St.Ive’s website:

Collagen Elastin Moisturizer St. Ives

See ya later scale-agator. Nourish your skin with the goodness of 100% natural moisturizers (Safflower seed oil). Infused with hard-working collagen and elastin this hydrating formula will help capture that fresh-faced glow we all love.

Safflower Seed Oil


A lesser-known relation of the sunflower, the safflower is a thistle-like plant with red, yellow and orange flowers. Don’t be deceived by its prickly looking exterior, the oil is known to help to smooth and moisturize skin.

Our safflowers come from all around the world, as far away as Australia and Argentina and lots of places in-between. The flowers are picked by hand and refined to extract the oil, which is 100% pure.

Ingredients

Water (Aqua, Eau), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum, Huile Minerale), Propylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Coumarin, Geraniol

I actually really regret purchasing so many items to add to my skincare when all the while, I have loved the St.Ives Collagen and Elastin Moisturizer but failed to appreciate it. I have damaged my skin so much that after a week of it being inflamed and extremely stingy. It even started peeling and being scaly after a few more weeks. I was so devastated and I was very desperate for my skin to heal. I began reducing my skincare routine to cleansing and double moisturizing. I used to use a cleanser-toner-moisturizer-eye cream-oil serum in my routine, but since I was trying to help my skin recover, I minimized the products I have been using.

It’s been 3 days and I can say that my skin has improved so much and I honestly don’t think it was the fact that I lessened the products I’ve been using on my face. It’s good to take note that when I minimized my skin regimen, I went back to using the old products my skin was used to. I completely removed the new ones that I was unsure of. During those days and weeks that my skin was at it’s worst, I realized that only the St.Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer did not feel stingy against my skin. It gave my skin a fresh, cooling and soothing feeling after I apply it on my face after cleansing. That was the reason why it was the only product that I could pretty much tolerate applying to my face. My face was less flaky, itchy and scaly immediately after 3 days of continued usage. I also tried using Nature Republic’s Aloe Vera Gel, but due to its alcohol content, my skin just felt drier, so I switched back to this.

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This moisturizer is really underrated. It’s a very simple yet an amazing product that can work wonders for your skin. It also smells very nice and I love applying it at night because of that. However, I use this 2-3 times a day and it works just fine. During the day, I’m okay with applying this under my makeup, as it gives my skin a healthy looking glow without looking too oily. Although, I don’t think that I can recommend this to those who have oily skin especially when using it under your makeup. It can get quite heavy. But for someone who has dry combination and sensitive skin like mine, it works just fine. My skin drinks this up easily. Another good thing about this moisturizer is that I don’t think I need an eye cream to add to my skincare routine anymore. It hydrates my under-eye nicely and it makes my concealer application easier. I still don’t know how I can justify how this moisturizer works on my skin, but I can truly say that I am in-love with this and I will definitely keep repurchasing.

If you want a moisturizer that does the job without any complicated claims, I highly recommend this to you. It’s a simple moisturizer that doesn’t have too much gimmick going on but definitely excels in the moisturizing department. Just an additional use for it too: I spilled this once and I didn’t want to waste it, so I scooped out the spilled contents and used it as a lotion. (Don’t get me wrong though, it wasn’t dirty or anything. I just didn’t want to keep using it on my face.) This product is so moisturizing that it works amazing even as a lotion. I find that it really locks in the moisture on your skin and it doesn’t have a sticky feel to it. Since this product is a whopping 10oz/283g product for such a cheap price, (P200+ something in the Philippines, available in Watson’s and other grocery stores.) using it both as a facial moisturizer and a body lotion is not exactly a bad idea. Just make sure that you use a spatula to scoop the contents out to prevent contamination.

Would I repurchase?

Definitely! Over and over again.

Rating?

I’m giving this a 5/5 because it was the only product that truly helped my inflamed and irritated skin!

Update: My 65-year-old grandmother was starting to get bothered by her sagging skin and fine lines. So here I am to the rescue! I gave her a new tub and told her to use it at least twice a day. Guess what? She loved it! I also noticed that her skin really did improve. It seemed to be a lot more supple and her fine lines aren’t too visible anymore because her skin was plumper now. This product is really amazing even for mature skin.

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Lily’s Touch Snail Serum Review

Snail filtrates in skin care have been a growing trend nowadays. Brands are going back to basics with their all natural skin care products.

Today, we will talk about the Lily’s Touch Snail Serum. Below is how the product looks like.

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“Contains a patented technology using secretion filtrate of snails that encourages the skin to repair itself. Snail secretion filtrate diminishes the appearance of dark spots and discoloration of the skin.”

In the Lily’s Touch official website, it says:

Snail serum was popularly used in Ancient Greece as an ingredient to reduce inflammation. It is known for its regenerative properties and facilitates the restoration of damaged tissue and replenishes moisture in skin. It is also effective in treating acne and scarring.

Snail serum contains a patented technology using secretion filtrate of snails that encourages the skin to repair itself. Snail secretion filtrate diminishes appearance of dark spots and discoloration of skin.

It is the perfect product if you want to slow down the ageing process of your skin.

Good for:

Dark under eye, scars, melasma, warts, visible pores, dark circles, puffy bags, wrinkles, uneven skin-tone, and dull skin.

Snail slime becomes latest beauty must-have as mollusc mucus is touted to clear acne, heal scars and beat wrinkles.

The science behind snail slime as a viable beauty cream is mostly derived from lab studies where the effects of the slime have been tested on a variety of cell cultures. In these studies, research suggests that snail slime will stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, increase fibronectin protein production, and stimulate increased proliferation of fibroblasts. The perfect thing if you want to slow down the ageing process to a snail’s pace.

Slime harvested from the creatures is the key ingredient in new range of anti-ageing products.

The makers claim they can make users appear six years younger in just four weeks. The benefits for human skin were discovered by Chilean snail farmers who noticed their skin healed quickly without scarring when they handled the creatures which were being exported to France.

  • Dermatologist tested
  • FDA approved
  • Tried and Tested
  • Mercury free
  • Paraben Free
  • All Natural ingredients

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It retails for P550 per 30ml bottle on their website but is usually on sale via Shopee app for about P275. Always check with the seller regarding the expiration dates especially if the item is on sale.

Again, here’s a list of my skin issues if you haven’t seen them in my other posts.

  • Redness around my nose and below my chin.
  • Uneven skin-tone.
  • Dull skin.
  • Dry to Combination skin, oily on the T-zone.
  • Blemishes on my cheeks.
  • Large pores.

These are the things that I wanted to correct when I decided to purchase the Lily’s Touch Snail Serum. I’m currently using their best-selling Lily’s Touch Miracle Cream as a part of my morning routine, but for my night time skincare routine, I needed a potent serum to cure or improve my skin woes overnight.

I have been using this serum for more than a month now. I still haven’t seen any drastic improvements on my skin, considering I have been using this 3 times a week with intervals.

3 times a week with intervals instead of everyday, because I noticed that with everyday use, I tend to have more whiteheads on my nose and chin area. I think it’s because it’s very thick and oily on the face, probably clogs my pores to an extent. I feel the need to exfoliate 3 times a week instead of 1-2 because of this.

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It doesn’t break me out, nor did I have any allergic reactions. I’ve read that there are people who get allergic reactions to any type of snail filtrate products. So if you want to try this out, start with patch tests first.

It has a scent that’s hard to explain. No, it doesn’t smell like a snail. It’s something between powdery or your grandmother’s old makeup or perfume. It’s not that bad at all, I personally don’t mind it since I usually apply it at night.

Don’t go overboard in applying this. A little goes a long way. Just make sure that you distribute it on your face in small amounts so it’s easier to blend and spread. If you apply too much, it will feel tacky and warm against your skin. Almost as if your skin is saying that it’s suffocating and it can’t breathe. The first time you use this, you will notice a slight tingling sensation. It’s somewhat itchy but after awhile, the tingling sensation goes away. It’s not an allergic reaction, at least for me it’s not. The next day, I woke up to glowy soft skin that looked so hydrated and healthy.

However, the moment I washed it, I could barely see the difference. It seemed as if the product was only working when it’s on your skin. But the moment you wash it off, you’re back to your old skin but slightly better.

I don’t recommend using this during the day since it feels very heavy on the skin and it doesn’t set or dry even after hours of application. It stays oily and tacky until you decide to wash it off.

The reason why I keep on using this product, despite that I hate the feeling of having a thick oil against my skin, is because it did improve my complexion in a way. Whenever I feel like my skin feels so patchy and dry, I would apply this at night and I’d wake up with a better and normal skin without the dry patches or bumps. After I wash it off, it does feel dry again but without the patchiness. I would just apply moisturizer and my skin looks and feels so much better. I think that this serum is a decent moisturizer that can remedy extreme dryness overnight. It does claim to ‘encourage skin repair’. But the rest of its claims is something I haven’t seen. I don’t think it lightened my blemishes, nor did it shrink my pores. Also, I think that this isn’t meant for everyday use, probably just on days that you feel like your skin needs a pick-me-up.

If you’re looking for a snail serum that will work wonders for your skin in all aspects, I honestly don’t think that this will deliver the best results. It’s a so-so product, given too much credit because Lily’s touch is known for their best-selling Miracle Cream that’s patronized by local celebrities. That’s the main reason why I purchased it, regardless of how very few reviews are available online for this product. Although I wouldn’t say that this is a bad product, it’s actually a decent one.

Would I repurchase?

The 30ml bottle is a lot and it will last you for a long time. However, in the Lily’s touch website, it says that it’s best consumed within a month. I don’t think that you can use all of it in a month, since you’re basically just using 3-4 drops of it for your entire face. I’m not sure if I’d repurchase, there are probably better snail serums out there, especially in K-Beauty brands.

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