I am not happy to report that I only have 7 skincare empties in the first half of 2017. In my defense, instead of trying to use up everything, I passed on and sold a lot of them for fear of finding them expired by the end of the year.

Here are capsule reviews of the stuff I finished:

Etude House AC Clean Up Cleansing Water
(PhP 678 300ml; The SM Store/Watsons)

I bought this because I was bored with PureVivi Cleansing Lotion. This cleansing water is a little bit more drying than the latter. I don’t use heavy bases or waterproof makeup every day so I can’t assess whether this removes significantly more makeup than other micellar water products I’ve tired. My main use for micellar water is to soften makeup before I use a facial wash.

I’m not repurchasing but it’s not because it’s bad. It’s more expensive by the ml compared to most other cleansing waters and it doesn’t do anything significantly better on my skin to justify spending more. This is marketed for acne-prone skin, though. Maybe if you find yourself breaking out with other brands, this could be worth the shot.

PureVivi Cleansing Lotion
(PhP 667 500ml; Sephora.ph)

This is my favorite cleansing water. As of this writing, I’ve already halved my last backup bottle. I think this cleansing water does a lot more than cleaning because my skin seem to look slightly nicer when I use it. It has lactic acid in the ingredients list which must be doing something. Other stuff I saw listed are aloe (listed last) and sodium hyaluronate.

Once I finish my current bottle, I probably won’t repurchase micellar water (of any brand) soon. I’ve been going through so many cotton pads, it’s not even funny. I’m looking into sherbet cleansers as my first-cleanse product. I recently bought Banila Co Clean It Zero.

Ingredients: Water, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Butylene Glycol, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Xylitol, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Lactic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Glycolate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ziziphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia Juice, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-Yuen Seed Extract, Crataegus Cuneata Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Juice, Citrus Medica Limonum Juice, Citrus Grandis Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract.

Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover
(No longer locally available? It was PhP 249 at Watsons)

Bi-phase cleansers are my go-to when removing liquid lipsticks and waterproof makeup. My holy grail remains to be Laneige Waterproof Lip & Eye (Makeup) remover but a bottle of the latter is PhP 895 (just a few pesos more and you can already buy a good quality foundation with that!).

Bifesta does the job but it doesn’t dissolve mascara and eyeliner as quickly as Laneige. It’s good enough for the price, though. You just have to hold the cotton pad for several seconds longer if you are used to Laneige.

Burt’s Bees Anti-Blemish Solutions Toner

Most of this toner was used by my husband. I didn’t hear him complain about it so I’m guessing it’s alright. I got this from Project Vanity’s anniversary event more than a year ago. I won’t repurchase because I prefer moisturizing toners nowadays (preferably, alcohol-free). I also finished the Burt’s Bees Anti-Blemish Purifying Daily Cleanser, but I don’t have a picture. My husband beat me up to the empty bottle and threw it away 😂. The cleanser is like most standard gel cleansers. It has an herbal scent that’s very soothing. I’m not likely to repurchase because of the price. I’m trying to limit my second-cleanser budget to PhP 500.

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night with Accelerated Retinol SA

I tried to like this so much but the strong floral scent bothers me. I used this up by applying it on my neck and chest. I can’t say I saw a difference, I don’t have issues on those areas. Also, with Retinol, it’s hard to tell if something is happening (at least on my skin). In general, it takes 3 months to see significant changes with retinoid-containing products. We don’t have this in the country, but the Neutrogena Fine Fairness Serum has retinol in it. The percentage is not indicated, though.

Curel Whitening Moisture Lotion II Enrich (Toner)

My friend bought this for me when she went to Japan. I liked it because it’s not drying. It doesn’t have denatured alcohol, if I remember right. I would repurchase if it were available here. I like the idea of having ceramides (a special type of oily wax that’s naturally found in our skin | source) in my toner, but to be honest, it’s hard to tell if it made a difference. My skin is probably not compromised when I used this.

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Hopefully, in the next installment, I’ll feature makeup products. I’ve hit pan on several items but I’m far from finishing up a lot of stuff.


Hi, I’m Rae and I am a scatterbrain. I am in my 30s and I write in this blog from the Philippines. I spend a tiny portion of my time de-stressing with makeup and skin care. Email: scatterbraintures@gmail.com | Instagram: @scatterbraintures

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