With most shutters down and the government urging us to stay home, my shopping orientation has changed drastically over the past few weeks. Online shopping apps are creeping up on my most frequently used list on my mobile phone, so instead of saving money, my bank account is actually taking a greater hit than usual from the Circuit Breaker 🥴 Shopee has got to be the biggest culprit of all because of their flash sales that happen every four hours and to be perfectly honest, most products sold there really are priced at a steal.
Take, for example, the APRILSKIN skincare products of which advertisements have been bombarding my social media feed lately (even though said products were launched in 2018?). What could have essentially cost me almost $50 if I had gone the traditional route (i.e. buying from Guardian) was only slightly more than half that amount during the flash sale I so happened to be camping for.
Established in 2014, APRILSKIN is a South Korean beauty brand that prides themselves on using naturally-derived ingredients in their products to prevent skin irritation. Apart from skincare products, APRILSKIN also boasts a complete range of makeup tools and cosmetics from which many devotees might have first learnt about the brand (not gonna lie – their cushion foundation looked incredible).
Based on the availability, or lack thereof, of their products on their international website, it’s safe to say that APRILSKIN is sought-after not only in Singapore and their home country, but also in other parts of the world as well. Hence, I’m very excited to see what the hype is all about! Are their products really that effective, or is APRILSKIN just a master of social media marketing? Let’s find out 😉
In case it wasn’t explicit earlier, all products reviewed on this post were paid for with my own money and Shopee had not approached me to do a collaboration.
Real Calendula Peel Off Pack (S$23)
This product in particular piqued my interest because of how gentle it seemed in exfoliating the outermost layer of the skin, unlike those that cling to the skin and make ripping them off a nightmare. There’s also something oddly satisfying about peeling stuff off the skin while being able to see dead skin cells getting removed in the process (nothing quite unusual for someone who enjoys morbid videos of pimple popping, earwax extraction and ingrown hair removal 😜) so I wanted to experience it for myself!
Calen.. what? If you have been out of the skincare loop like me, calendula, or pot marigold, is traditionally used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It has antiseptic properties which helps in treating wounds and preventing acne, and promotes skin tightening among many other benefits. ‘Pretty much explains how calendula lent itself to be the star ingredient in this peel-off mask!
The product had a scent to it that smelled somewhat like yuzu to me (it might well be the smell of calendula but I’m not familiar with this plant) although some users have also commented that it reeked of artificial fragrance. It contains visible particles which, according to APRILSKIN, are parts of the calendulas (petals, pistil, stamen, calyx, etc.) and are distributed evenly throughout the clear, gel-like sticky substance.
Application is ideally done with the brand’s Real Jelly Brush for a more even coating but since it was not included in the bundle, I used the brush that came with my Sand & Sky mask just because I am a cheapskate (it worked perfectly well, though!). Having tried several different ways of application, I found dispensing the product onto the bristles before spreading it all over the face, section by section in an upward motion, worked better. The brand also recommends applying a thin layer (twice a week), but I piled it up a little more to prevent it from ripping apart during removal. At the rate I’m going, one tube would probably last me for about two months.
The product tightened over time and finally, with my desk fan pointing towards me on full blast, dried down completely after 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes as stated on the box. The peeling process went pretty smoothly and painlessly (although it wasn’t as clean as this) but not without having to lightly scratch or pinch along my jawline to locate the edge of the mask (‘reckon I lost a few strands of facial hair doing so).
All in all, I didn’t think it was entirely effective in removing my blackheads (on my nose especially), but it certainly lifted tons of dead skin (mostly from my healing zits) from atop my cheeks. Although the drier parts of my face looked negligibly flaky thereafter (it definitely did not give me the glass skin depicted on their marketing collaterals after use), it appeared brighter overall and the redness of my acne blemishes had also been visibly reduced. Most importantly, it did not irritate my sensitive skin!
Real Carrot Serum (S$25.90)
This was included in the set, so it wasn’t like I had a choice. That said, it came timely because I was already on the lookout for a replacement for my nighttime serum when my current one runs out. However, much as I was happy to welcome this to my rotation, I was also curious – why is carrot chosen over the likes cucumber, aloe vera and tomato which are so commonly found in skincare products? Google revealed a plethora of benefits of carrots but the one that struck with me was its ability to overcome acne. Wow, today I learnt! Where have carrot-based skincare products been all my life, especially when I was battling a serious case of acne?
According to APRILSKIN, this daytime and nighttime serum has been clinically tested to be non-comedogenic. It harnesses ingredients derived from certified organic carrots (carrot water, carrot seed oil and carrot proteins) to combat blemishes such as acne and whiteheads (those pesky little bumps beneath the surface of the skin which I have plenty of!) and also niacinamide (a water-soluble vitamin) to brighten the skin tone and lighten hyperpigmentation. Of course, the ingredient list doesn’t stop here but I shan’t bore you with the details.
The smell of this white, lightweight, mildly viscous cream reminded me of lemon grass – it kind of evoked a sense of tranquillity in me. But not to worry if you aren’t a fan of aromatherapy because the scent is fleeting and you won’t be able to smell a thing once it’s on your face. In terms of its efficacy, perhaps because I used it after applying the peel-off mask, I noticed that the skin absorbed it a lot better than other serums. It also didn’t leave a sticky texture behind after application, which is a rarity for Korean skincare products (for me)! There wasn’t much difference to the appearance of my skin until the next morning because I woke up to shrunken bumps and glowing skin! The results were quite unexpected, I must say 🙊
In general, even though the mask didn’t perform as well as I hoped at the first try (I expected more gunk), I enjoyed the experience of peeling it off and will most likely repurchase due to this reason (it’s a good compelling reason for me to use it as I have the tendency of not using up my face mask before they pass their shelf lives 🙊 #lazy). The effects of the carrot serum were what really took me by surprise so I guess this pretty much settles it for me. Hello, new serum in my skincare regime!
What are your thoughts on these products? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll! 😊
Thanks for reading!