“Current Routine Part 2: the Consortium of Hydrating Layers” has arrived! You can read about Part 1 of my routine–cleansers, actives, and toner–right here. This part will cover my essence, ampoule, moisturizers, and sunscreen. I’ll also introduce some of the goodies lined up in my testing schedule!
And thus begins the Hydration Party.
(Disclosure: All links marked with an asterisk (*) are referral links. If you are a first time customer and use the link the make a purchase, the blog gets a referral credit.)
Essence: Benton Snail Bee High Content EssenceOkay, I know you don’t need to hear yet another person wax poetic about the incredi-beauti-wondrousness that is snail bee. But that is not enough to stop me.
Snailbae was my first ever Asian beauty product and it yanked me down the rabbit hole so quick I didn’t even have time to check my bank account. I came to it after a friend told me bee venom could help fade acne scars, and research pointed me right at Benton. The research was right (for me, anyway–everyone gets different results with Benton).
Looking back, I can probably attribute some of my results to increased hydration. At that point I was using LUSH cleansers that either stripped my skin or required long bouts of scrubbing with a washcloth. Face was Not Happy. But enter snail–a tense hush falls over the room as redness fades and months-old acne scars disappear in a matter of days.
The first week of using Snail Bee had me hooked. It felt great and cooled my skin when I slathered it on, like it was immediately soothing. Naturally, my scars did not continue to fade at the same hyperfast rate. My skin plateaued but was still looking better than it had in a long time. So I decided I liked this AB stuff and started setting up a full routine.
Now, as part of an established routine, Benton still brings me joy. I panic-bought another bottle once the first got low and am so glad I did. The only breakouts I get anymore are hormonal, and I think that Snail Bee really amps up my routine and helps stop any wannabe inflammation in its tracks. I’ve even started to like the smell.
Alright, that got long. Told you I would get waxy. Moving on. If you’re interested in trying the snail bee life, I recommend reading a lot of reviews, good and bad. Mine skews positive but Benton has been pretty controversial. The Snail Bee line remains popular, however, and is super easy to find. You can get it on Memebox* for $20 (which is a price increase from when I got it), Jolse for $17, and Amazon Prime for $17.
Ampoule: Let’s Cure Honeybunny Propolis 40 Ampoule
I’m not sure what the 40 means, but my guess is that it’s Let’s Cure trying to tell you that this will only live up to 40% of your expectations. The Honeybunny ampoule is not a bad product at all, I like lots of stuff about it, but it can get kinda… meh. It’s just not a stand-out in a negative or positive way, really.
What I do like about it is the airless pump, the texture, the smell, and how versatile it is. My issue is that I didn’t see much brightening or redness soothing on my face. The package claims it will protect against UV damage, but with daily sunscreen I can’t say if it lives up to that. On a positive note, my body loves it and thinks I’m really treating it when I rub a bit on my hands or elbows. It’s innocuous on my face as well, and I will finish the bottle before moving on. But I won’t be repurchasing if only for the fact that my propolis itch is far from being scratched. Gotta see what else is out there!
If you’re looking for a simple and enjoyable hydrating layer, the Honeybunny ampoule is a great value. This bottle is gonna last forever and I got it for only $15 on Memebox.* Let’s Cure is a little harder to track down on other sites, but it’s on Amazon (not Prime) for $21.99.
Light Moisturizer: Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream
I’ve experimented a lot with this smooth, surprisingly hydrating stuff. It’s been really solid with every hoop I’ve made it jump through (that includes bug bites, razor burn, acne spot treatment, and even plain old slathering it on my face). Mizon lives up to the hype on this one.
Sure, I’m not running around the village screaming about its magic powers, but I can see
myself keeping this on hand. I’m currently using it as a “base” for my heavier lotion–which has sadly become too expensive for me to keep using–and it’s helping me feel even more moisturized than before.
The Mizon Snail Gel has become a favorite of mine recently because of its non-sticky dewy finish. I’ve finally seen the (high)light and can’t get enough of that healthy glow. This works great under my mattifying makeup to, well, undo the mattifying. I still use a highlighter though because I love the #glowup.
Being a fan favorite, the Mizon Snail Recovery Gel is easy to find. It’s on RoseRoseShop with free shipping for only $4.40, and on Amazon Prime in packs of two for $8.61. Real cheap, real worth it. I’m looking forward to trying out Mizon’s sleeping pack in a few weeks!
Heavy Moisturizer: Benton High Content Steam Cream
Didn’t think writing this part would make me so sad 😦 I’m in love with the steam cream, and my face is too, but my wallet is a bit miffed with it at the moment. Most of my usual stores have raised the price to over $17, which I can’t justify at the moment. My skin has started drinking this up like there’s no tomorrow so I’m gonna have to remind it that there definitely is a tomorrow… and it’s coming fast.
But onto the happy stuff, like the spreadable and smooth, almost luxe texture. This cream is thick. When I first started using it, a tiny little dot would do me just fine. But after my oiliness balanced out, the Skin Monster demanded more and more and more. Soon, the same amount that used to drench my face would barely do it for my forehead. You can imagine my shock at my previously no-that’ll-never-absorb face wanting to bathe in a heavy cream.
Oh man, was it good. Those carefree days where empties didn’t exist and holy grails never ran out. I miss it. Hopefully my replacement will give me the same smooth skin and calm both inflammation and rogue breakouts. We’ll see, because the CosRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask (that was too many words) is next on my testing schedule.
If your wallet is deeper than mine, you can indulge in the Benton-y goodness for $20 on Memebox* (I’m weeping) or $17 on Amazon Prime. I really recommend this for oily skin. It gave me incredible hydration while keeping my skin from being shiny, and worked great in conjunction with the essence from the same line.
Sunscreen: 3W Clinic Intensive UV Sunblock Cream SPF 50+ PA+++
This was given to me by a friend and I really have to remember to thank her. I’m probably off the market when it comes to sunscreen now. I love this stuff. Don’t really love the price hike on domestic sellers but we’ll just have to work around that.
The 3W Clinic sunblock dries down quickly and doesn’t stay sticky at all, which is great for someone who can’t make herself spring for a primer. (By the way, cross your fingers that Ipsy sends me a primer this month. Please and thanks.) Now that my skin isn’t an oil slick, I’ve noticed that this could dry me out, so I take precautions by layering my two creams.
People have talked about the white cast with this, and I would probably agree if not for the fact that I’m NW10 and there’s no such thing as white cast on my face. Like literally impossible. So, people whose skin is not scary-translucent, watch out for reviews that mention white cast. They’re likely right.
But for me, this sunscreen is tops. I love the thickness and how easy it is to spread. I also love that RoseRoseShop has it listed for only $2.22. It’s sorta hard to find on other sites, but Amazon has it for $9.99 without Prime and $11.99 with Prime. So yes, a price increase. Not really a bad one though, it just annoys me.
That’s the second half of my daily routine! I hope I’ve been able to introduce some lesser-known products or maybe shed light on something that could help you in your skincare journey! If not, that’s alright. I’ve got lots of stuff lined up to review and experiment with. Here’s a look into what I’ll be testing soon.
Currently, I’m testing the nooni Snowflake Cleanser. I liked the stick form so much that I immediately put the tub form into my schedule and got to testing. It’s pretty great so far, I’m looking forward to typing up a full review soon. After the cleanser I have the CosRX Ultimate Moisturizing Forevername Honey Overnight Mask, which I’m hoping to use as a new day cream. Later on I have the Secret Key Refresh Tea Tree Toner, Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence, and Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Pack.
Let me know if you have any questions about the products I use, or if there’s anything I should address in future reviews! Thanks for reading!