Much like relationships, there’s a certain level of optimism when we introduce a new beauty product into our lives. You’re going to be ‘the one’, we tell ourselves. Unfortunately, in the world of cosmetics, there’s nothing that works 100% of the time for 100% of people (except drinking lots of water — celebrities, please stop labelling this a beauty ‘secret’). So even with my rigorous research and guidance from my dermatologist, there have been products that I’ve found ineffective or just downright bad.
Again, these products may work for another person’s skin, but as a dry to normal-skinned Asian girl in her late-twenties, I’ve found them underwhelming. (For further clarification, these are products I’ve purchased this year, but they weren’t necessarily released in 2017).
Without further ado, here’s a list of some of Yeon & Bee’s skincare razzies.
Missha Super Aqua Snail Renew Cream
With 70% snail mucus, this stuff is MEANT to work. I mean, when you cover your precious face with the bodily secretions of gastropod mollusks, you want it to pay off, right? To be fair, this product has overwhelmingly positive reviews across the beauty blogosphere and while it didn’t terrorise my skin with a mountain of cystic acne, it did nothing for brightening my complexion.
I can’t say that I am totally surprised, because while the 70% snail filtrate is impressive, the other ingredients are cheap… like denatured alcohol? While not all alcohols are bad — for instance, fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol are super important for helping the product penetrate your skin — there’s no benefit to denatured alcohol and it shows that there’s been a little bit of cost cutting in this product.
I swapped it for: The impractically designed yet wonderfully effective It’s Skin Prestige Creme D’escargot. Prior to the Missha Super Aqua Snail Renew Cream, this had been my snail slime of choice and it looks like it’s not going anywhere soon!
The Pimple Provocateur
Alpha H Liquid Gold
This skin resurfacing liquid puts its money on the powers of glycolic acid and it has become a cult product, especially here in Australia. I have a love hate relationship with cult products — on the one hand I desperately want to try them and on the other, I’m wary of the ‘cult’ status and whether there’s more hot air than substance.
This 5% glycolic acid concoction really ripped into my skin and made it freak out in ways I had not witnessed for a while. If you have sensitive skin and are not used to glycolic acid, please patch test this one. I spent weeks trying to calm my skin down after Alpha H wreaked havoc on it!
I swapped it for: It was back to my perennial favourite, the Garden of Wisdom 10% Mandelic Acid Serum. Hippy name and all, this is an alpha hydroxy acid that is suitable for even the most annoyingly sensitive of skin (like mine).
The French (Dis)Connection
I had great — grande even — expectations for the A313 pommade, a retinol palmitate cream that is as French as a pain au chocolat, but definitely not as delicious (please don’t eat it). Parisians sing its praises in that shruggingly Gallic way so I couldn’t help but buy it. In fact, it was my first drugstore purchase during my Paris trip earlier this year and for the first week, my skin loved this balmy ointment.
But! Then my skin started to dry and peel, which is admittedly normal with retinol. I soldiered on, applying 2-3 times weekly, and attempted more hydration but to no avail. Small red bumps kept appearing and although I trudged on, hoping that it was a purge, it got to the point where it was doing more harm than good.
Overall, I think if your skin’s a bit tougher this may prove to be that miracle wrinkle eraser you’ve been searching for, but for me it was just a bit of a flop!
I swapped it for: Rohto’s Melano CC and boy has it paid off.
Et voila, the worst of 2017’s skincare purchases. I’ll be doing a ‘best of’ before the year where I will detail which beauty discoveries have made remarkable, visible differences to my skin.