by Rosy Day Blog
Beauty Tap + AZN Labs Partner UpAZN Labs is basically the brand of Korean beauty store Beauty Tap (they have both a website and a physical U.S. store in Costa Mesa, CA). AZN Labs is a luxury skincare brand that marries Japanese ingredients with Korean emulsion technology, set out with the challenge to restore skin vitality and radiance without damaging active ingredients or the hassle of a multiple-step routine. Their first flagship product, the Afterglow Ampoule was born.
Disclosure:I bought this with my own money from AZN Labs. I was not given anything in exchange for this review. I enjoy doing product reviews to share my own experiences with the product and hope someone finds it useful. I do not work for AZN Labs or BeautyTap.
Table of Contents- Product Description, Claims, & How-To
- The Ingredients
- Packaging, Scent & Texture
- Product Review & Final Impressions
- Similar Products & Shop This Post
If Anti-Aging is on Your Checklist...
Product Description & Claims:The AZN Labs Afterglow Ampoule claims to reverse signs of aging such as age-related dryness, dark spots, dullness, and loss of elasticity, as well as help prevent future damage without spending as much time and effort on skincare. Think of a more simplified, streamlined routine instead of having 10+ steps. The product also claims to be anti-pollution (protect from harmful radicals and fine dust, etc.) while achieving a more warm, dewy glow (hence the name “Afterglow”).
After the first use, skin should look and feel softer, more supple and nourished, along with a dewy glow. After one week, a vibrant rosy glow should return to your cheeks for a natural “lit from within” type of look. Over time, collagen production should increase, therefore reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Lastly, the antioxidants in the product, while protecting against UV and free radical damage, should allow the skin to be able to repair previous damage and help regain its original youthful look.
How To Use:The directions for this are very simple. Just apply to your face after cleansing and toning, but before your moisturizer. A little goes a long way with this product as it’s actually quite hydrating. I personally use 2 drops all over my face initially, and if I have any areas of concern where I feel I need more nourishment, I take another drop to those areas (usually the eye and mouth areas). Finally, if I don’t have enough to go down to my neck, I may take another drop as well (for a max total of 4 drops depending on my mood and needs).
Yes, I take this all the way down to my neck. Not many people pay attention to their neck, and the next thing they know, they have severe neck lines and skin starting to sag that seem to come from out of nowhere. This ampoule has lots of anti-aging stuff and since a little goes a long way anyway, it just seems wasted to only put it on your face. I do only use this ampoule at night though as it is a bit much (and slightly sticky/tacky) for me to use during the day. However, I have used it during the day many times initially, and didn’t have any major problems with it other than the fact my combo skin just needed to breathe more during the day (my own personal preference). You can also make this product last longer if you only use it once a day. I didn’t notice any difference from using it once a day versus twice a day.
Astaxanthin: The Powerhouse You’ve Never Heard OfAstaxanthin is a vibrant red keto-carotenoid (antioxidants with organic pigment usually from plants/algae/bacteria/fungi) that is created naturally in rainwater microalgae. It is basically a byproduct from stressful conditions such as excess heat, excess UV exposure, and lack of nutrients. It gives salmon and shrimp their characteristic red and pink color. However this ampoule isn’t here to turn us red or pink. Fuji Chemical Industry (yes the same ones that do the Fujifilm cameras, etc.), did a study that suggested that astaxanthin could significantly reduce wrinkles as well as age spots, rough skin texture, and age-related dryness. As the star ingredient of the Afterglow Ampoule, astaxanthin has 550 times more antioxidant activity than vitamin E, 1,000 times more than CoQ10 - even 6,000 times more antioxidant activity than vitamin C which is typically considered one of the most powerful antioxidants out there by many.
While antioxidants are more preventative in my opinion (rather than fixing/reversing any issues you might have), I do believe in the powers of anything related to algae and vitamin C. I have been using some other products with algae and plankton in my skincare routine, and they have slowly but surely helped with smoothing out some of my textural issues (more specifically some old acne scars that I have). Of course my scars were more on the minor side to begin with, but inspecting them nearly everyday, I have definitely seen them smooth out from these algae products. Vitamin C on the other hand is great for overall brightening, especially for dark spots. While I can’t say that the Afterglow Ampoule brightened my face better than other brightening/vitamin C type products I’ve tried out there, the ability to brighten/even out skin tone is always a welcomed attribute. Besides the astaxanthin, here I’ll break down other ingredients in this product to see what other types of things might help with anti-aging and restoring that natural glow.
Full Ingredients List:Water, Rhizophora Mangle Callus Culture Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Arbutin, Betaine, Astaxanthin, Camellia Japonica Flower Extract, Ubiquinone, Ferulic Acid, Caffeic Acid, Thioctic Acid, Glutathione, Xanthophylls, Hydroxycinnamic Acid, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Sodium, Ascorbyl Phosphate, Galloyl Pentapeptide-33, sh-Oligopeptide-1, sh-Oligopeptide-2, sh-Polypeptide-1, sh-Polypeptide-10, Superoxide Dismutase, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Viscum, Album (Mistletoe) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract, Sparassis Crispa Extract, Hericium Erinaceum (Mushroom) Extract, Cudrania Tricuspidata Fruit Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Extract, Caffeine, Allantoin, Adenosine, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycosyl Trehalose, Lactic Acid, Panthenol, Propylene Carbonate, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, PEG-240/HDI Copolymer, Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethyl Hexanediol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Polysorbate 60, Decyltetradeceth-25, Octyldodeceth-16, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Cholesterol, Ceteth-3, Ceteth-5, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Lysolecithin, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Phosphate, Lecithin, Fragrance
Packaging, Scent & Texture
Packaging:The product comes in a white dropper bottle. The dropper cap itself is a beautiful rose gold color (appropriate for the Afterglow Ampoule). The bottle itself isn’t transparent so you can’t see how much product you have left, but with such potent anti-aging ingredients inside, you do not want them to oxidate from being exposed sunlight. It does look pretty luxe as the product also comes in a rose gold trimmed box.
Scent & Texture:Honestly, to me it’s not exactly a pleasant scent. It’s not super off putting but really, this is not necessarily the type of product you go around sniffing either, lol. Like do you go around sniffing your vitamin C serums, retinol, or glycolic acid products? No, I don’t think so. Not unless that product specifically advertises that it smells like oranges or whatever...This product does smell alcoholic to me, but that’s probably because alcohol is the 5th ingredient on the list. I also think AZN Labs couldn’t be bothered adding fragrance to the ampoule for various reasons. So for those of you that don’t like perfumes/artificial fragrances in your products, you can at least rejoice about that part.
The ampoule itself is (not surprisingly) kind of a rose gold color as well. It really is a serum texture, not at all watery like some other serums/essences/ampoules might be. You do still have to quickly apply to your face as sometimes liquid just easily escapes from the dropper without you necessarily needing to squeeze it out. As for the actual texture, the ampoule is slightly sticky/tacky as you’re patting it on. To me it’s similar to something like the Missha Time Revolution ampoule. The tackiness does eventually subside and your skin just feels nice and hydrated. Anyone can use this ampoule really, but those with more oily skin may not like the slight tackiness, but I think that’s more of a personal preference. The formulation itself shouldn’t make you breakout unless you’re like allergic to any of the ingredients for example.
Youthful Glowing Formula
Firming/Elasticity: I don’t really have any serious issues with firming and elasticity, though I could use some firming around my eye area as I do have one eye that depending on the angle, does look more sunken in than the other. Because of this, I do tend to use my eye area as a benchmark for how good something is anti-aging wise. While I do think the overall ingredients are good for firming and elasticity, I feel like it would mainly be the hydration you get from this product that might help. Other than that, I personally did not see any improvements in firming and elasticity with my eye area. This ampoule would be good for prevention though.
Fine Lines & Wrinkles: I do have a few fine lines under my eyes. While some reviews I’ve seen for this ampoule claim to have their fine lines vanished, that did not happen for me here. Of course, considering I’ve had these fine lines since I was in my early 20’s and I’m now 34 - they certainly haven’t gotten worse so I guess I’m doing something right routine-wise. I guess just don’t expect much with your fine lines. If they do fade - great, but if not, just accept that the ampoule is probably more maintenance and prevention if anything.
Brightening & Dark Spots: I don’t have any major issues with dullness and dark spots, but I did stop using actives while I was using this ampoule. I also eventually developed dark spots (not related to this product). Overtime, my dark spots were definitely fading and I wasn’t using any other brightening product or even a vitamin C. It was all due to this ampoule.
Dryness: Whether you have age-related dryness or just plain dryness, this will definitely hydrate your skin. Of course if you’re very dry, you should definitely top this ampoule off with an appropriate hydrating moisturizer. As someone with combo skin, this hydrated my skin without making me breakout. Though now that the weather is slowly getting warmer, it is my preference to only wear this ampoule at night. You might think that hydration isn’t such a big deal, but when your skin is well hydrated, it looks more youthful and can plump up skin and minimize fine lines.
Not Just a Warm Glow
With that said, if you’re like me and you like to have a little bit of everything (multiple products to explore with) in your routine, then yes it’s not necessarily cheaper as you will just be adding an additional $120 USD product to your existing routine. But if you can find a use for this ampoule to cut out several products/steps from your routine (which is what I’ve heard some people use it for), then more power to you. If this ampoule at least did something for my eye area, this definitely could have replaced some products for me.
So while I did not experience the same “miracles” that other reviewers of the Afterglow Ampoule did, if you take the time to read a bit of background on how this product was made, I can appreciate all the work that was put into its creation and release. This ampoule is far from holy grail status for me and considering its price and the lack of physical anti-aging results I saw, I can’t quite justify consistently re-purchasing this product. However, as I mentioned earlier, I do believe in the power of algae/plankton-related products, so I may keep this in rotation when I’m not using my EGF serum (that happens to be cheaper than this ampoule). Overall, I do look forward to any future products AZN Labs might release. They still did a good job with this ampoule and I do like the way it feels on my skin.
Final Rating = 3/5
Other Products For an Anti-Aging/Antioxidant-Heavy Skincare Routine
Products of Interest:I totally understand that not everyone has the budget for a $120 USD product, or anything over $100 USD really. Even spending over $50 USD sometimes just seems too much. Here I’ll suggest to you some other anti-aging/multi-tasking products at different price points that you might want to slowly incorporate into an anti-aging specific routine - whether you decide to use these products alongside the Afterglow Ampoule or something similar.
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Photo Credit: BeautyTap
by Rosy Day Blog
About Self KaireTaken straight from the Self Kaire website: “created with self-care in mind and we want to promote mind and body health positivity all around.” Kathy (founder and CEO) and Elisha (COO) are self-proclaimed beauty & health fanatics that have spent 10 years in developing beauty tools with a focus on eastern medicine. The result were tools designed to “promote blood and lymphatic circulation and use acupressure to target your body tissues.”
I can get behind their chosen name of “Self Kaire”, as beauty and health in general is not necessarily all about looking good, but feeling better about yourself and treating/pampering yourself once in awhile.
Disclosure:I received this product from Self Kaire in exchange for my honest review. I was not given any money to do this review. I enjoy doing product reviews to share my own experiences with the product and hope someone finds it useful. I do not work for Self Kaire.
Table of Contents- Product Description & How-To
- Benefits of Massaging
- Final Thoughts & Shop This Post
The Facial Roller Re-Imagined
Product Description:You’re probably familiar with jade rollers or those gua sha facial massage tools - they’ve seem to have seen a surge in popularity the last year or so. If you’re looking for something different, the Kaire tool is kind of like a hybrid of the two. You move it across your face like a gua sha and even those it doesn’t roll like a jade roller, the pronged ends do help it to kind of glide across your face and adds a bit more stimulation (in my opinion) than just rolling it around like a traditional jade roller.
How to Use:The directions are very simple. You can use this on either bare skin or over clothing (since the prongs do provide a bit of an acupuncture-like sensation). You can even use this with skincare or over face masks - even on your body (you don’t just have to massage your face). I like to use this with a facial oil, but I suggest if you plan to use over a face mask, to either carefully massage your face, or just turn it upside down to use the flat top handle to smooth and massage over your face mask without tearing it up. Yes, you can just massage your desired areas for just 30 seconds a day. If you want some more specific directions, you can click the link below to view some tutorials courtesy of Self Kaire.
View Self Kaire Tutorials
Massage as Skincare Therapy
Skincare Benefits:If you’ve never tried incorporating massaging into your skincare/self care routine (or have just been curious about it), now might be a great time to start. It brings a whole set of benefits as outlined below.
Eastern Beauty Redefined
Performance:If you can’t decide between a jade roller or a gua sha tool, the Kaire tool seems like a nice compromise. As I have previously mentioned, you can still glide it over your skin like a gua sha tool, but you also get a bit of rolling action (plus a slight acupuncture like sensation) with the prongs at the end of the Kaire tool. Because of its unique shape, it would also make a good scalp massager (if you’re into that sort of thing). I feel like the prongs at the end add a bit of a depuffing and relaxing effect. I’ve tried it on my bf’s eyes and combined with a hydrating eye cream, it did help tone down the puffiness - a lot more than with just the eye cream alone. While it’s been too cold for me to try the Kaire tool on my body (I’ve been pretty covered up from head to toe lately), the prongs at the end definitely help with a more traditional massage type of feeling. I can imagine this feeling pretty good around areas like your neck and shoulders that are prone to being tense and/or sore.
How I like to use the Kaire tool is to just slather some facial oil all over my face (but you could use a serum or similar) to give it a bit of slip for the Kaire tool. I personally like to focus on my jaw line and cheeks, occasionally the eye area to depuff a little bit. I’m not the best at describing facial massages, LOL. So what I did was just look up some facial massage tutorials for sculpted cheeks and tightening your jaw line area. I applied the techniques from those tutorials (though they were referencing either bare hands or a jade tool) with the Kaire tool. If I feel like doing a “double pampering” type of session, I might use a massage bar (I like the ones from Reverence Nature) right after for some extra hydration. Or if I don’t want to be any additional massaging but I also don’t want to do any additional skincare steps, I’ll just slap on a good sleeping mask (like the Laneige Sleeping Mask) right after and call it a night.
Promoting Mind & Body Health Positively
Final Impressions:Honestly speaking, I don’t think I’ve used the Kaire tool consistently enough to say that it’s made a big difference in my appearance (I’ve only been using it on my face). I’ve been so busy testing out so many different products and doing reviews week after week, I’ve only been able to massage my face with the Kaire tool only a few times a week. I do feel like my cheekbones are a tad bit more noticeable, but I’ve also lost a total of 11 pounds around the same time so I can’t be 100% sure it’s the Kaire tool.
Although I didn’t use this product as often as I had intended, I really do enjoy massaging my face with the Kaire tool (approximately 30 seconds each area). I like to think of it as a workout for my face. It might not have had any immediate results, but I felt like it was helping to keep my face nice and tight, and I can see it becoming a must-have for the prevention of sagging skin. Yes this product is not cheap, but as I’ve mentioned a bit earlier, you are paying for the material - surgical grade steel (it is typically used for biomedical purposes and is corrosion resistant). I can see this product lasting a long time. This is definitely an investment so the best thing that I can compare this to, is like a workout machine. Do you necessarily need a workout machine? No, but if you’re serious about working out and am not only able to afford one, but also dedicate the time, then by all means go ahead and do so. However if it’s not something you can easily afford and/or you’re probably not going to use it much, then it probably isn’t for you. Yes you can still use your bare hands to do facial massages..the Kaire tool is a luxuriously good (but not necessary) bonus.
Final Rating = 4/5
Any questions and/or comments about this product review? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please let me know in the comments below!
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Photo Credit: Self Kaire