We all love a good bargain, so I thought I would start a monthly 'Skincare on a Budget' post on my blog. Skincare can get expensive as sometimes, I won't lie, I have spent hundreds of dollars with my skincare kit. As consumers we pay a lot for the quality of the ingredients or the research and development of the product. In saying that though, some skincare doesn't have to be expensive and it is always nice to find a little bargain.
This month's May Budget Skincare Buys features products with an Asian skincare theme as I have been wandering around the shops in Shanghai and have found myself some great little buys which have all been under AUD$20.
HADA LABO MILD AND SENSITIVE FACE WASH
This was such a bargain, I couldn't not purchase this cleanser. It cost me Chinese RMB $19.00 which is about $4 AUD or USD $3 (not even on sale) and I had read some great reviews about this that I couldn't not buy it. Hada Labo is a Japanese brand which is renowned for their use of hyaluronic acid in their skincare products. Their ingredients used are normally very minimal and the claims are simple and don't promise you the world. After much research on the ingredients (because I can't read Chinese or Japanese) the ingredients list is the following:
Water, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Citric Acid, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Potassium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid/Disteardimonium Hectorite, Glycerin, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone/Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, PEG-14M, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate, Propylene Glycol, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Glucose, Butylene Glycol, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate
I am happy that there are no crazy foaming agents such as SLS as this ingredient doesn't sit with my skin so well (dries it out so much) and the only two ingredients of concern is: Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Potassium Hydroxide and PEG14 which have an EWG rating of 3 and 4 (out of 10) and are to do with irritation concerns. The product does have some natural calming extracts such as Gingko leaf, Calendula and Liquorice as well as the addition of hyaluronic acid (too keep the skin nice and hydrated) which the brand is famous for.
I have used this in the morning and in the evening every now and then (since purchase) before I use my acids as this cleanser claims to have a low pH of 5.5 which is a great canvas before applying any of my treatments and it prepares the skin well. I have found that it does make my skin feel clean, soft (from the hyaluronic acid) and not at all irritated. It does create a bit of foamy later which I am not used to but it doesn't completely dry out my skin. It is such a cheap and cheerful find here in Shanghai. I probably won't repurchase this for myself as I have so many cleansers already and I didn't find this ground breaking (nor did I expect it to be!). I also wish to try others cleansers in the Hado Labo range. I do recommend this product for those who are on a budget with sensitive skin if you are based in Asia or have relatives in Asia, as this is currently available on Amazon but at a huge price difference...at USD $28.
HADO LABO GOKUJYUN LOTION
This one has a cult following on the internet and is often something that a lot of people stock up on when the go to Japan on their drug store hauls. It is famous for its use of four types of hyaluronic acid to soften and hydrate the skin and minimal ingredients as per below:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Succinate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxyethycellulose, Methylparaben, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid
This lotion reminded me a lot of Indeed Lab's Hydraluron and Hylamide's Low Molecular HA in what it does. It basically injects your skin with a good dose of hyaluronic acid, making your skin nice and soft and prepping it for other serums and your moisturiser. There are 4 different types of hyaluronic acid in this lotion which is great for the skin as hyaluronic acid is a compound that is naturally found in the skin, that helps it to retain moisture (yay for hydrated skin!).
I found that my skin really liked this lotion a lot and it kept it nice, soft and plump. It also helped create to perfect canvas for my primer and foundation when used in the day time. The consistency of this is a little bit lighter that Hylamide's Low Molecular HA and a bit thicker than water, I find squirting a little bit on your hands and rubbing them together to pat on to the skin the perfect way to apply this light formula. The lotion sinks into the skin quite quickly and nicely and there is no fragrance to this, this does however contain a paraben so if this does concern you, stick to Hylamide and Indeed Lab's version of hyaluronic acid.
I purchased this in the Chinese Watson's for Chinese RMB $65 (approx $13) for the smaller, 100ml size. This is available on Amazon for around USD$13 for the larger 170ml version. I will definitely look in to repurchasing this if I am stuck and cannot seem to get hold of Hydraluron, as I am still on the fence on how I feel about parabens in some of skincare products.
INNISFREE GREEN TEA MINERAL MIST
There are Innisfree stores everywhere in Shanghai and on my daily explorations, I found the Shanghai flagship store on Nanjing Road which is 3 storeys high and it has a cute little cafe on the second floor. I couldn't not walk out with something from this beautiful looking store so I purchased a few bits and pieces as gifts for friends and family and this little spray for Chinese RMB $40 (approx AUD$8).
Innisfree is an eco friendly brand (the use soy ink on all their products and try to have sustainable packaging) and claim to use natural and eco-friendly ingredients (true to a certain point as there are some products with some not so friendly and definitely not natural ingredients). This green tea mist was one that I found the ingredients list was generally straight forward, not too complex and it has a very high in green tea extract (its the top ingredient) and other natural extracts. Please find the complete list below:
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Camella Japonica Leaf Extract, Orchid Extract, Opunita Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Betaine, Dl-Pantheniol, Propanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
I use this in the morning as it is really very refreshing and the scent is very crisp and clean. It sometimes can be a bit much (too strong) so I do spray is sparingly and the packaging does ensure that this does spray a fine mist over the face. Its a great buy as a hydrating toner (green tea is great for the skin and has terrific antioxidant qualities) and I can imagine it as a great pick me up on those humid, hot days. I would definitely repurchase this again and buy this for family members as I think it does make a really lovely gift as well. This can easily be purchased on Amazon for USD$7.40 for a smaller 50ml spray or USD $14.90 for the 150ml size.
Overall, this month's budget buys have been fun as I have discovered this products on random little stops at stores I wouldn't normally be exposed to back at home. Have you tried any other products from these brands? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear them!