Gold Caviar Collagen Plus Serum

Introduction

If someone asks what the most famous Skinfood product is, most of people will pick the Black Sugar Mask. But, Skinfood is not all about 11 dollar cleansing foam and cheap sheet masks. Actually, unlike many other road shop brands, Skinfood’s target audience is not limited to teenager. They have multiple product lines, and Gold Caviar line is the most popular premium line along with Platinum Grape Cell or Blanc Pearl line. Today I brought THE MOST EXPENSIVE serum from Skinfood – Gold Caviar Collagen Plus Serum ($62 or more expensive). Why not enjoy a little luxury from this reasonably priced brand, Right?

First Impression

The serum is placed in a pump type container, dispenses adequate amount (pea size) of serum for use. The serum has gel like texture rather than creamy/butter. When it is applied on skin, it feels refreshing and it is absorbed really quickly. It leaves slightly oily layer on the skin but it is not unpleasant and it moisturized my skin very well. It has very light floral fragrance, so it is not completely fragrance free product 😦

skingun

skin gun

From the PH test, it turns out this serum is slightly acidic (pH 5.5 to 6) than water, which is adequate for the skin because skin exists in slightly acidic condition. So it won’t irritate your skin interms of its acidity. Right after the application, skin gun test demonstrated water index was increased from 41.6% to 60.6% and oil index also increased from 18.7% to 27.2%. So we can see, this serum nicely moisturized my skin.

ph

Ingredient Check

Interestingly, this serum used hydrolyzed marine collagen as its base. So it contains 80.8% of hydrolyzed marine collagen. Actually, collagen has been a very popular ingredient from early 90’s as firming and anti-aging ingredient. Yes, there are some researches that collagen may used for wound healing for the dressing purposes, but collagen is definitely NOT a recognized active ingredient for an anti-wrinkle or a firming agent. So we should understand the benefits from collagen (including hydrolyzed one) generally comes from its moisturizing effect. It also contains 800mg of caviar extract and safe moisturizing agents such as butylene glycol / glycerin. It contains dimethicone, so be aware of it if it concerns you. Sodium hyaluronate, adenosine and multiple peptides were added as anti wrinkle and firming agents. I can say this serum is made with safe compounds.

 

After Thought

Some of Korean bloggers recommend this serum as a cheaper substitute La Prairie’s Cellular Platinum Rare. I do not know the La Prairie can magically protect your DNA and brighten your skin (at least this is what they say) but certainly Gold Caviar Collagen Plus does its job. It moisturizes skin well and it contains good amount of anti-aging, cell repairing ingredients. So I would rather choose the Skinfood if I wanna go a little luxury.

One-line Review

★★★★☆

 PROS: light but moisturizing texture with lots of lots of collagen

 CONS: A little expensive (62$)

IDEAS: Skinfood maybe go luxury. I love Caviar!!

I am also on Reddit and /r/asianbeauty

 

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Everything about Sunscreen!

When I was young, my mom used to put thick layer of sunscreen wherever I went and I hated it. <(`^´)> It made my face unnaturally white, and that super uncomfortable oily feeling on my skin was not my favorite. Now I know, as a biochemist, I realize she did the right thing. It does prevent skin cancer and furthermore prevents fine line and pigmentation. Today, I will talk a little further about the core of Asian beauty – sun block.

What is sunscreen?

Generally, we can roughly divided sunscreen into 3 different types.

physical-sunscreen

Type 1: Physical sunscreen

So, physical sunscreen veils your skin with thin layer of mineral particles so it makes sunlight be reflected from your skin rather than absorbed. Representative ingredient can be zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Since it is not absorbed into your skin, it does not stimulate skin much so it can be used on sensitive skin or baby skin. But at the same time, it can be a little uncomfortable since the mineral layer remains on the top of your skin. The biggest problem of physical sunscreen is white cast, and you generally need oil type cleanser to completely remove physical sunscreen.

 P.S. There are number of researches prove that titanium oxide can be problematic for acne prone skin. ( ̄ε(# ̄)︴

chemical sunscreen

Type 2: Chemical Sunscreen

Instead of using mineral coating, chemical sunscreen use carbon based molecules.  Chemical sunscreens use a little more complicated mechanism. The chemical molecules work as a barrier as well but when they got attacked by UV, they undergo exothermic reaction (releasing heat to the environment.) So these chemical molecules undergo reaction instead of your skin cells. (Great sacrifice!) Oxybenzone , Avobenzone or many other molecules can be used as chemical sun filter. They are generally colorless and have watery / refreshing texture than physical sunscreen so it is widely used “oil-free” sunscreens. They can be refreshing but may irritate skin as well. So you have to try before you buy any. ㄟ(≧◇≦)ㄏ

Type 3: Mixture of 1 & 2

Nowadays almost all companies try to mix these physical / chemical filters to maximize sun protection and minimize the feeling of uncomfortable.

Then what is SPF and what is PA?

sunscreen

Sun Protection Factor refers to the time that sunscreen can protect your skin from UV B. Everyone has different threshold time until you got burn without sunscreen. So, SPF X means you can stay X times longer under the sun with the given sunscreen. So for example, if your skin’s threshold is 10 min and you wear sunscreen with SPF30, you can stay under the sun for 300 min without get burned. (I am not saying you have to find out your burning threshold time. It is generally 10 to 20 min.) So it does not mean a sunscreen with SPF50 blocks UV B than a sunscreen with SPF30.

PA (protection grade of UVA) is a relatively new concept, and it shows that how well the sunscreen protects you from UVA. (UVA up-regulates the MMP that degrade elastin and collagen, meaning you will lose firmness and gain wrinkle if you got exposed. Scarrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyo(╯□╰)o). Since there is no standardized system to measure PA or (PPD for European cosmetics), I won’t mention it precisely here but more + after PAor higher number of PPD means better protection against UVA.

Recommendation

 code9

Code 9 UV defense long lasting protector SPF 50+ / PA +++

The texture of water capsule in the base is very interesting. It tones up your skin and makes your skin glows. If you like dewy skin, this sunscreen is recommended under your primer.

leaders

Leaders Aqua Sun Liquid SPF 50 / PA +++

It has very refreshing and non-sticky texture, so good for oily skin in summer. It does not leave much white cast, so if you like natural skin, Leaders Aqua Sun Liquid may be a good choice.

too cool for school

Too cool For School Jean George Llong  SPF 50 / PA +++

Too Cool for School’s Jean George LLong has non-sticky, fast absorbing texture as well. It has slight ivory color, so you may use and skip the make-up base or CC cream.

skinfood

Skinfood Tomato Sun cream SPF 36 / PA ++

It has very matt texture. Interestingly, this sunscreen has very natural white cast, some Korean bloggers use this as “natural bare skin make up(안색크림).”

sunscreen

Reference

Latha, M. S., Martis, J., Shobha, V., Sham Shinde, R., Bangera, S., Krishnankutty, B., … Naveen Kumar, B. R. (2013). Sunscreening Agents: A Review. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology6(1), 16–26.

Hayden CG, Cross SE, Anderson C, Saunders NA, Roberts MS

Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2005 Jul-Aug; 18(4):170-4.

Marionnet C, Grether-Beck S, Seité S, et al. A broad-spectrum sunscreen prevents UVA radiation-induced gene expression in reconstructed skin in vitro and in human skin in vivo. Exp Dermatol.

Find Your Best Sleeping Pack This Summer !

5sleeping pack

Sometimes I really feel like Korean products are like wines.↖(^▽^)↗ There are many prestigious brand and famous products but at the same time, there are so many “cult-wine” like products in the realm of K-beauty. I mean, there are many unknown, economically priced brands with excellent quality and it is such a great fun to find those products and share with others. So Blog #M did a little experiment on these less appreciated sleeping masks. (*¯︶¯*) We picked up 3 sleeping masks and 2 sleeping mask substitutes. So here are our experiment subjects.

  1. LLang Redgin Magic Sleeping Pack $31.50
  2. BOTANIC FARM Black Soybean Milk Pudding Sleeping Pack $24.50
  3. Code 9 black volume cream $35.00
  4. Code 9 Super Seed Oil Mask $33.00
  5. Skinfood Lettuce Cucumber Watery Soothing Pack ?

5sleeping pack

Texture Test

For you, we have prepared tiny texture dishes below. Llang & Botanic Farm has jelly like texture but Llang has more watery, honey-like texture than Botanic Farm. Code 9’s Black volume has thickest texture among them. Code 9’s Super Seed Oil Mask has the butter like texture, and skinfood has the most watery texture, with only slight viscosity.

 

Spotting Test / Oil Chromatography

We prepared commonly used oil blotting paper and run the chromatography. (I know, it is not a real chromatography, but since we use the hydrophobic affinity of blotting paper, we can somehow consider it as chromatography process.) Anyway, if the oil circle spread winder from the spotting, it means that it contains more oil in it. By the way, I am not trying to say that oily sleeping packs are bad (But I personally prefer less oily sleeping masks for the summer.) rather, you can use this as a reference when you buy your next sleeping mask.

(Original)

oil test1

As you can see, Code 9’s Super seed oil and Botanic Farm Soy bean mask have high oil contents. Llang’s Redgin has the least oil, and the texture maintained even after 2 hours.

 (After 40minits)

oil test after 40m

Skin-gun Test

(before skin test number)

original

  1. After the cleansing my inner arm thoroughly, I ran the skin gun test. The oil index is 18%, and water index is 40.01%.
  2. I run the skin gun test, and see the chart below. Oil/Water change indicates the change from my initial skin condition. Redgin showed highest increase both in oil & water index.

after 5minits

Oil Water Oil % increase Water % increase
Redgin 23.60% 52.50% 67.38% 67.20%
Soy bean 22.60% 50.30% 60.28% 60.19%
Black Volume 22.10% 49.30% 56.74% 57.01%
Super Seed 18.80% 41.90% 33.33% 33.44%
Lettuce Cucumber 20.60% 45.80% 43.26% 46.18%

 

after hour

I run the skin test again after one hour. Oil/Water change indicates the change from the run 2. Still, Redgin showed the highest Water/Oil index in skin. Interestingly, Super Seed showed increase in number, both for oil& water index. (I guess it is due to Super Seed’s Oily texture because it absorbs really slowly.╮(╯3╰)╭)

 

Oil Water Oil % change Water % change
Redgin 21.90% 48.70% -7.20% -7.24%
Soy bean 20.70% 46.00% -8.41% -8.55%
Black Volume 20.80% 46.40% -5.88% -5.88%
Super Seed 20.50% 45.60% 9.04% 8.83%
Lettuce Cucumber 20.20% 45.10% 0.00% -1.74%

 

Winner of the First Lab 0^◇^0)/

So, the winner of Blog #M’s first experiment goes to……………

☆ミ ☆彡LLang Redgin Magic Sleeping Pack !!!!!!! ☆ミ ☆彡

From both test, I could assure Llang’s sleeping pack is nicely formulated, giving fresh texture for hot & sticky summer but maintain oil and moisture index in my skin pretty well. If you have really oily skin, Skinfood’s Lettuce-Cucumber Watery Soothing Pack may be a really good choice as well because it effectively controls the oil in your skin, and maintain the moisture level nicely.

I am also on Reddit and /r/asianbeauty