by Rosy Day Blog
Minimalistic K-BeautyMinimalism seems to be a growing trend in K-beauty. When I first got into K-beauty, I often associated it with things such as "fancy water" ingredients and more shocking things like snail slime, down to their often colorful, cutesy packaging. Now, along with more black/white/grayish packaging comes along a more simple approach to skincare. That is not to say that the products/ingredients themselves are any less effective. Sometimes more simple ingredients lead the way for more potent formulations, as well as less irritation for those with skin sensitivity issues.
Polatam is a natural skincare brand created by Korean actress Tam Hee Park. Their focus is everything that I had just described earlier: high-quality, yet non-irritating ingredients for a more minimalistic approach to skincare. Recently there has been a bit of a surge in clean beauty and clean ingredients. "Clean beauty" means non-toxic and without a long winding list of potentially harmful ingredients (whether harmful to health, irritating or sensitizing to skin). Usually this means no parabens, phtalates, PEGs, ethanolamines, SLS, synthetic fragrance, dyes, etc. Even Sephora has dedicated a section for clean beauty now.
For those of you who actively seek/prefer clean products, I am happy to share with you that Polatam omits many of these potentially harmful ingredients and use lots of EWG-friendly (rated green) ingredients. As someone with sensitive skin that seems to be reactive to many different products, this is definitely something that I can get behind on.
Disclosure:I bought all of these with my own money from OhLolly. 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 OhLolly.
Table of Contents- About Korean Oak Tree Sap
- Cleansing Foam
- Optimal Repairing Mask
- Brightening Mask
- Moisturizing Mask
- Final Thoughts & Shop This Post
Korean Oak Tree Sap Extract
Skincare Benefits:You might have heard about the skincare benefits of tree sap (see my E Nature Brand/birch juice post), or have heard of a brand that revolves around tree sap (like May Coop and their maple tree sap). Oak tree sap is no different (despite being a different kind of tree's sap). Not only does it deeply hydrate, but it is supposed to be soothing, as well as anti-inflammatory.
In short, Korean oak tree sap is ultra hydrating and helps with overall brightening/evening of the skin as well.
And More:While not all of the Polatam products necessarily feature Korean oak tree sap as a star ingredient, it is important to note that some of them have other interesting ingredients such as shea butter, argan oil, and ceramide. For those of you who lean more towards the dry side (or need something to keep your Curology prescription in check like me), these are all very nourishing and hydrating ingredients. In fact, shea butter seems to be one of the few ingredients that my dry flaky skin responds well to on my Curology nights. Argan oil, despite having "oil" in its name, is actually good for acne-prone skin in addition to dry/dehydrated skin. It's good for inflammation and skin texture. Ceramide is a popular dry skin ingredient that can plump skin and help it retain moisture while also protecting the skin barrier (a very important thing if you're using actives in your skincare routine).
Polatam Better Cleansing Pure Moist Cleansing Foam Mini-Review
pH 5.5 + Rich lather:For many, it can be hard to find a good cleanser that doesn't irritate skin and leave it dry/stripped. I'm not necessarily "all about that low PH life", though I'll admit the best non-irritating/hydrating cleansers I've used were mostly a low PH of 5.5. It's safe to say there really is a good reason why many actively seek out low PH cleansers, especially if you have sensitive/acne-prone skin.
I'm happy to announce that this cleanser not only has a PH level of 5.5, but it also nicely foams up (for those of you who like foaming cleansers). I've noticed a lot of low PH cleansers don't really foam up and are usually gel-based. I have nothing against these types if they do what they claim to do, but personally I have found many gel-based cleansers to not clean that well (on me anyway). I don't mind them in the mornings when you don't have so much dirt and oil that you need to wash off your face, but at night even with double cleansing, I don't feel fully clean unless I use a cleansing toner such as the Son & Park Beauty Water right after.
The cleanser seems scentless at first, but once you lather it up, it produces a kind of earthy/hanbang (Korean medicinal herbs) type of smell. I don't exactly like the scent but it's not too bad and is tolerable (I'm not a big fan of hanbang scents but if you are you should like this). After rinsing my face, it doesn't feel dry or tight after. It feels clean yet totally comfortable - no redness or signs of irritation right after. The cleanser is slightly more pricey compared to drugstore cleansers but I think it's worth it for the price. It's fairly affordable if you compare it to some of the department store cleansers, even some of the ones at Sephora. I've seen some cleansers that are like $40 - $50 range and I'm just like "But why?!"
Polatam Vitalizing Water Mini-Review
pH Balancing & Moisturizing Toner:If you are looking for a light watery, yet still noticeably hydrating toner, this would be a great choice. Whether you use a cotton pad or pat it on your face, you do feel that there is something hydrating on your face - yet it does not suffocate or feel heavy at all. This is similar to the Huxley toner but cheaper and also comparable to the E Nature toner but lighter and less/not sticky. Interesting ingredients include: grape extract, orange extract, malus domestica extract, lemon extract, lime extract, anise extract, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, and citric acid. With all of these citrus-type of fruit, I believe the toner very slightly exfoliates, as well as help even out your skin over time. This toner also pH balances your skin and is a great choice for the 7-skin method (or however many layers you choose to pat onto your skin for hydration).
Polatam Oak Tree Sap Deep Moist Cream Mini-Review
Moisturizer for all skin types & all ages:This is one of the more unique moisturizers out there in that it's a thick white cream, yet it comes in a convenient tube (usually I'd see lighter watery-gel type of moisturizers come in a tube). I used to wonder if some creams were just too thick and that's why they were packaged in jars instead of cubes, but no that's not necessarily the case here. I'm not against jars since I always use a clean spatula to scoop up what I need, but I totally understand those who are against constantly exposing the entire product to the air for fear of contamination. This moisturizer is scentless and emolliant (very moisturizing) yet it leaves an almost matte finish on your face (you won't look like a greasy mess waiting for it to fully absorb).
For those of you that like going bare-faced once in awhile (do use sunscreen whenever you expose yourself to the sun though), I can say that I look the same after putting this cream on as before. Meaning, you can't tell that I just slathered on some heavy cream. A good thing for me actually. I kind of hate the greasy moisturizer look, though sometimes that's hard to avoid if you need a moisturizer with a certain level of hydration. If you want a "basic" moisturizer (scentless, clean ingredients) housed in a convenient tube, I highly recommend this one. It has also helped on the nights that I use my Curology prescription as well, so this is definitely one of the better ones to me. It's also not super expensive (it's $34 - often moisturizers seem to start at $40+). If you have much drier skin, Polatam also has the much heavier (and in a jar) Deep Moist Melting Rich Cream. It costs a little bit more but you are paying for a luxurious moisturizer mixed with argan and olive oil.
Polatam Water Gel Extra Force Optimal Repairing Mask Mini-Review
Firmer and smoother skin in minutes:Out of the 3 Polatam sheet masks, this one is my favorite and is true to its name. The first time I used this a long time ago, I didn't really think too much of it but I think it's because I was already having a fairly good skin day. This time around my skin was a bit irritated and needed some "oomph". This sheet mask is deeply hydrating, not to mention it got rid of my redness and helped calmed down my flared up skin. In this case, it really did some "optimal repairing" for me. This sheet mask is also supposed to be good for anti-aging and firming as it contains adenosine (a proven ingredient for advancing collagen and elastin levels) plus niacinamide and natural minerals for brightening. Polatam sheet masks are unique in that they are made out of Cupro fibers (cellulose fibers derived from cotton linter, ultra-fine and silky). Accordingly to Oh Lolly, "They can hold ten times more essence than regular cotton fibers, which means more concentrated essence for your skin". They are also soft, thin, breathable and hypoallergenic.
Polatam Water Gel Extra Force Brightening Mask
For bright, luminous skin:I don't really have any issues with dullness and unevenness, however I don't doubt the brightening powers of this sheet mask as it did subtly reduced the existing dark spots and marks on my skin (from a recent breakout). I would imagine that if someone bought a box of these and regularly used them (almost every day), it would definitely help out with the overall brightening of your skin tone and help tackle some of those pesky dark spots like what I had when I used this. In additional to the usual Korean oak tree sap, niacinamide and minerals, this sheet mask adds licorice extract which is great for hyperpigmentation. Polatam sheet masks are unique in that they are made out of Cupro fibers (cellulose fibers derived from cotton linter, ultra-fine and silky). Accordingly to Oh Lolly, "They can hold ten times more essence than regular cotton fibers, which means more concentrated essence for your skin". They are also soft, thin, breathable and hypoallergenic.
Polatam Water Gel Extra Force Moisturizing Mask
Soothing and ultra-moisturizing:If you're looking for a more "basic" moisturizing mask, this one is a really good choice as the thinner material does seem to make the ingredients penetrate your skin better than others (it does hug your face nicely). In fact, this sheet mask is so moisturizing, I highly doubt you need moisturizer after. For me, I feel like I'd suffocate my skin if I added moisturizer after. If you need to seal in all the goodness with something else after, I'd suggest using a hydrating mist instead and pat it all in. You can definitely do a more simple routine with this sheet mask as you don't need multiple hydrating layers after using this. This sheet mask includes hyaluronic acid and centella extract (good for healing and calming skin). Polatam sheet masks are unique in that they are made out of Cupro fibers (cellulose fibers derived from cotton linter, ultra-fine and silky). Accordingly to Oh Lolly, "They can hold ten times more essence than regular cotton fibers, which means more concentrated essence for your skin". They are also soft, thin, breathable and hypoallergenic.
Buy Polatam Skincare
Similar to E Nature, Polatam is another underrated/lesser-known brand in this huge sea of Korean beauty products. They have simple packaging and mostly revolve their products around hydrating/balancing your skin. However, I do respect the brand in their attention to making clean products for sensitive skin and at a fairly affordable price point. Other similar simple and natural hydrating brands such as E Nature and Huxely (I do think these are great brands as well) costs more.
Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with this brand. I would definitely recommend this line to everyone, but especially to those with dry and/or sensitive skin. I was also using many of these products while I was breaking out (to offset any possibly drying acne medications) and it did not make my breakouts worse. These products definitely helped while I was using my Curology prescription as well. Obviously you might not want to use all of the products in this line if you’re oily/acne prone, but I would recommend the cleansing foam and the toner as they feel very light, yet still hydrating on the skin (the cleansing foam also isn't drying/irritating). It was hard to pick a favorite honestly as I felt like I could see myself using any of the products in this line. In fact, if you will be traveling somewhere where you could use some lightweight hydration and you want something more basic/simple for sensitive skin, this would be my pick (the minis-to-go set).
Any questions and/or comments about my Polatam brand overview/product reviews? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please let me know in the comments below!
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Photo Credit: OhLolly/I Aem Beauty
by Rosy Day Blog
Introducing Peach & Lily SkincareU.S.-based Korean beauty online retailer Peach & Lily might have teased the first of their skincare products on May 22, 2018 wth the Glass Skin Refining Serum. However for me, I felt like founder Alicia Yoon's dab into heeer own skincare products, really started with the Dream Sheet Masks collection back around November 2016. This was a very important moment for me as this was the very first thing I purchased from Peach & Lily, and it was their committment to the quality of these sheet masks, that has made me a long time customer of theirs.
Most recently on June 15, 2018, while not a part of the Dream Sheet Masks collection, Peach & Lily launched their Original Glow Sheet Mask. If you're just looking for a brief overview of all the Peach & Lily sheet masks, read on to see my mini-reviews of not only the Dream Sheet Masks but also the new Original Glow Sheet Mask (full review coming soon).
P.S. The more affordable Peach Slices sheet masks are not included but I'll add them here in the future to fully complete this post.
Disclosure:I bought all of these with my own money from Peach & Lily (the Original Glow Sheet Mask set I got a good deal from QVC). 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 Peach & Lily or QVC.
Table of Contents- About The Sheet Masks
- Reset Button
- Good Skin Day
- Chubby Cheeks
- Original Glow
- Similar Products & Shop This Post
Radiant Hydrated Glowing Skin
The Beginning:The original Peach & Lily sheet masks were created after Peach & Lily asked their users for feedback on what they would want for their "dream sheet mask". It's no surprise that everyone wants big results (with no compromise in ingredients), as well as a mask that stays on your face and doesn't produce a super sticky after-feeling. Needless to say, a good sheet mask should give you instant glow and hydration as well as lasting radiance onto the next day. Peach & Lily themselves took about 18 months and over 500 formula submissions to try and perfect the formula to most customers' expectations. You can read Peach & Lily's original request for sheet mask suggestions here: PSA: #PLMASKLAB IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!
About Original Glow:Of course for those who seriously love to mask, just having 3 different varieties of sheet masks did not seem to be enough...Peach & Lily sought to create a well-rounded sheet mask that seemed to "do it all", yet was gentle enough for daily use (if the desire comes up). To add "icing to the cake", as if sheet masks weren't cost consuming enough (the average seems to be about $6/decent sheet mask), Peach & Lily wanted to deliver an affordable pack of sheet masks that would deliver antixidants, a little exfoliation, and a blast of hydration all in one. You can see for yourself how they came up with the name "Original Glow" here: Welcome: The Peach & Lily Original Glow Sheet Mask Set!
Peach & Lily Reset Button Sheet Mask Mini-Review
Soothe & Restore:It is often hard to find a good product to calm down redness (and actually do a good job of it). I'm happy to announce that for a single sheet mask, this did the trick. This sheet mask contains not just one, two, or even three star ingredients, but all of the following to not only soothe inflammation, but to effectively nourish your skin as well: lavender extract, propolis, chamomile extract, licorice extract, calendula extract, centella asiatica, skullcap root, bergamot, peppermint extract, rosemary extract, freesia extract, aloe, tremella mushroom, and rosewater. Yeah I know that was a lot. In short, I actually had irritated skin when I tried this, and at least for me this sheet mask really did "reset" my skin. Even if you don't particularily have any irritated skin, I would say that this is also a good sheet mask to use while you're using anything potentially drying/irritating like acne medicine (a lot of the ingredients in this mask are anti-fungal as well).
Peach & Lily Good Skin Day Sheet Mask Mini-Review
Drench + Nourish:Never underestimate the power of a good hydrating sheet mask that is anything but basic. I'll admit I probably didn't fully appreciate this mask the first time I tried it as I was very physical-results-driven and since I was already having a particularly "good skin" day, I didn't really notice too much with this mask. However, since using actives such as tretinoin and vitamin C, etc. I've grown to appreciate all the nourishment that this sheet mask provides with star ingredients: chia seed, algae, centella asiatica, lemon peel oil, olive oil, avocado, soybean, hyaluronic acid, pumpkin, rosewood oil, ceramides, heartleaf and pine leaf oil. This stuff is like a hydrating vitamin pack for your skin! I recommend this sheet mask if your skin is a bit on the dry side and could use a bit of a pick-me-up (especially after actives).
Peach & Lily Chubby Cheeks Sheet Mask Mini-Review
Lift + Plump:I am like totally obsessed with anything that can help firm up my skin, so naturally I was most interested in this sheet mask. The Chubby Cheeks mask sounds like the type of dream mask that I'd create for myself. Superstar ingredients for firming and all-around anti-aging include: ginseng, snail secretion filtrate, kidney bean, peptides, galactomyces, niacinamide, skullcap root, black soybean, tremella mushroom, hyaluronic acid, camellia water, adenosine, and ylang ylang. I did see some plumping action, but I'll be honest and say that although not has much plumping/firming as I'd like, the main selling point for this mask for me are still the ingredients. There might not be any immediate results, but this would make for a great treat to unwind with and I'm sure the benefits would be worth it over time. If Peach & Lily were to ever develop an essence/serum especially for just firming skin with these ingredients (hint-hint), I would be all over it. Anti-aging stuff in general is less correction and more prevention anyway.
Peach & Lily Original Glow Sheet Mask Mini-Review
Powerful + Dramatic:So what kind of ingredients are there to help you bring back your original glow? If you thought the Chubby Cheeks one was awesome, this one is packed to the brim with ingredients such as: peptides, ginseng, mushroom extract, camelia extract, soybean extract, niacinamide, AHA, centella asiatica extract, avocado extract, and ceramide. Did I get back my "original glow"? I sure did, though it's probably because of the AHA in this. The AHA in this sheet mask is for real. It's probably gentle enough to use almost everyday for most people, but for my senstive skin I actually slightly over-exfoliated a bit by using this 2 days in a row, LOL. I would say overall I saw similar results to the Chubby Cheeks one, but definitely more brightening and evening in tone with this one. If I had to pick only one sheet mask that can "do it all" for traveling, this would be my pick. Hands down my favorite of all the Peach & Lily sheet masks. I plan to do a more thorough review of this going over all the important glowing ingredients in the coming weeks.
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Photo Credit: Peach & Lily