South Korea is known world wide as one of the leading producers and innovators of skin care products (and I will add stationery to that list too! Have a look at what I have in my store if you need convincing of the cuteness of the stationery here). Their most affordable flagship brands being The Face Shop, Innisfree, Tony Moly & Etude House. When we were first living here back in 2010, SkinFood was also very popular, but it seems to have taken a dive now and no longer seems to be producing award winning products. Or so I thought until came across their Black Sugar Skin Perfecting Serum. This particular bottle (pictured above) is from their Gold edition which was launched to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. The original packaging is a little less bling than the black and gold, but the box it comes in is just gorgeous...see picture below:
So what is a serum and do you really need one? Serums are formulated to target specific skin problems. They are oil or water-based products and have the ability to penetrate deep within the layers of your skin, so that you get phenomenal results. Unlike other skin products, serums have a higher concentration of active ingredients and usually come in a creamy gel form. The most common benefits of serums include hydration, increased nourishment, brightening of the skin, and acne prevention. They also help in strengthening skin cells. While other face creams contain only 5 to 10 per cent of active ingredients, a face serum can contain up to 70 per cent! (Idiva Beauty).
So, do you really need to add a another step to your beauty routine? Entirely up to you, but I have and I just love this one from Skin Food. This is my second bottle and I will be adding this to my 'must' buy beauty list.
*just a little note, as serums are jam packed with active ingredients, sensitive skins should be extra careful as some irritation may occur. If possible, try samples first before investing, as most serums tend to be on the pricey side.
What is special about this serum?
Most of the box is written in Korean but this is what I can read:
- it is made from Brazilian black sugar extract and is free from harsh chemicals often found in other serums: acrylamide, benzophenone, mineral oil, silicone oil, sulfates and talc (this can only be good right? The less chemicals the better!)
- It's claim to fame: sloughs off dead skin cells, hydrates skin from the inside out, brightens and adds a healthy glow and increases skin’s resilience. It claims to be an “All-in-One” serum as it acts as an exfoliant, toner, moisturiser, and anti-aging product.
- it comes with special cotton pads (I have yet to use them but as they are always out of my reach in the bathroom *reminder to self to move to a more reachable place!) but from the reviews these cotton pads do seem to be 'special'. They are double sided...one side being slightly netted to remove flaky skin...and the other side soft to allow full absorption of the product into your skin. The 'netted' side acts as a bit of an exfoliator, but I still choose to use a weekly scrub to really help remove dead skin. If you have very sensitive skin (and have already tried this product to ensure you don't react) try using this product with regular soft cotton pads.
How to use it:
After cleansing your face, pat dry and immediately apply the serum using a cotton pad. Allow for full absorption into the skin (two - three minutes) and then follow with your regular eye cream, moisturizer and sun block. I skip out my regular toner as this serum acts like a toner without leaving my skin feeling dry. As it is winter right now, and only when my skin feels like it needs it, I make use of The Face Shop's Mango Seed Essence spray toner for a little added moisture.
My skin isn't left with a stinging sensation and doesn't feel look or feel oily after using this serum. The fragrance is very light and has a mild, sweet scent that doesn't linger. You will be surprised as how much dirt and makeup is left on your skin even after thorough cleansing, this is why the double sided cotton pads are useful when used. As for the anti ageing benefits, I can't say for sure whether my fine lines (oh the joys of heading into your late twenties!) have dissappeared, or whether I have stopped noticing them after my husband has helped me to worry less about the smaller, less 'significant' issues us women tend to focus on.
My skin is brighter, my pores are less pronounced, I have seen a decrease in pigmentation (it's still there, but definitely less noticeable...although it is winter here and I have spent less time in the sun and more time applying my sunblock too!) my skin is smoother and more moisturised and feels healthier every time I use it.
The biggest thing I have noticed is I no longer have a problem with flaky, dry skin around my nose area. I alternate between a lighter lotion and heavier cream for night time use and even when using foundation there has been a remarkable decrease in flakiness. I used to exfoliate nearly every day during winter time in the hopes that the skin on my nose area would stop flaking, but it didn't help one bit. Since using this serum this is no longer an issue for me and that makes this product worth every last cent.
The full size serum retails for W24 000 a bottle (+- $24) and currently includes a free travel size bottle of serum, a cute tube of hand cream and a big box of the 'special' cotton pads.
Have you tried this serum? Do you have any other Skin Food recommendations? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!