Good Molecules Review Roundup

Hooooo boy it has been a whole lifetime. WordPress has changed its layout and everything and it is everything I loved about Notion tbh! it has been awhile since I reviewed a product on here- everything is on Instagram these days- but sometimes you really need a blog post to get all your thoughts out there.

I was contacted by a representative Good Molecules and they asked if I would like to try out their product range. If you haven’t heard the buzz around the brand yet, Good Molecules is Beautylish’s newest brand addition, and it prides itself as an affordable alternative to pricey skincare products, backed by research and just as effective without digging a deep hole in your wallet.

Image from Beautylish | Good Molecules

” By working directly with top labs, Good Molecules offers products that target skin issues—like acne, redness, and hyperpigmentation—without the traditional retail markup. See a difference in your skin, starting at just $6. “

I told them about some of my skin concerns, and they very quickly put together a lovely package for me that arrived in a few days flat all the way from LA- and with a lovely note inside too. Colour me impressed.

Without wanting to draw too many comparisons, the brand reminds me of The Ordinary: with the simple packaging and science-based skincare, and affordable price besides. This comparison has no doubt been mentioned in many reviews besides mine but it’s simply so rare to have good, affordable products that are exactly just that. I moved back from the UK to Singapore last year and I’m happy to have a brand like The Ordinary that ships to Singapore that I can purchase!

Most of these products are made in Korea as well, and I’ve found them very suitable for Singapore’s humid and hot weather, and works a treat on Asian skin. Is there a distinction really? I’ve found that many international brands don’t consider different climates and skin types when formulating their products, and as someone who loves to do lots of research before buying beauty products, I have occasionally been disappointed because a product that was getting a lot of rave reviews from many sources (forums, beauty gurus, unsponsored testimonials etc.) turned out to be lacklustre or unsuitable for my skin.

That’s not to say that the products themselves are bad and don’t work, but I failed to take into account the fact that these people were living in different areas with different climates, had different skin types, and simply assuming that it would work for troubled/ oily skin would be too superficial. That’s why I feel that it’s so important to have representation (in all ways! – age, skin type, race, etc.) in the beauty industry for better self confidence and more tailored recommendations! /rant over

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Before I delve right into each individual product, these are some of my major LOVES so far (I’ve tested these for almost two months now, to get a feel of how they work with my skin).

  • Price– each product is so affordable- none of the usual mark-ups!
  • Clear description and instructions for use. Surprisingly, you don’t get enough of this. To skincare newbies and for people not used to incorporating many products in their skincare routine, each product is clearly described and explained on the website AND the product itself. Forget which one should only be used a few times a week? Which one goes before the moisturiser? It’s there on the bottle. Major plus points.
  • Packaging. Maybe this overlaps with the previous point a little, but I love the heavy bottles and dropper applicators. I tend to be so clumsy (ask any of my friends) and I have dropped these bottles a couple of times. Oops. No spillage, cracks, or general destruction. The heavy bottles make it feel so luxurious too.

Other great things:

  • Special consideration for all skin types and living choices– each product is listed as being vegan-friendly, only natural fragrances are used to avoid skin irritation for people who are sensitive to fragrances, and even gluten sensitive ?? I’ve seen the cruelty free label and ‘vegan-friendly’ labels, but this is such a great level of care.
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Love the clear instructions (AM/PM use) and warnings
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They even give guidelines for using different products in your skincare routine. Beautylish’s website also gives a breakdown on the different steps you should have and what products to use before/after each one.

I was sent the Niacinamide Brightening Toner, Super Peptide Serum, Overnight Exfoliating Treatment, and the Squalane Oil.

good molecules, beauty, vegan, skincare

My favourite by a long shot was definitely the Super Peptide Serum– I honestly didn’t know what I was missing out on until now. Why have I not known about peptides sooner?? My skin feels so so smooth and amazing after applying it and I wake up with really soft, plump, and hydrated skin. Maybe the Squalane Oil helps a little too, but… wow. I honestly love this. I sometimes rotate the other products with the existing ones I already have in my skincare routine, but I use this serum along with the Niacinamide Brightening Toner daily.

Apparently peptides are supposed to smooth the skin and help with dullness, fine lines, and wrinkles, as well as help with collagen and elastin production so I’m hoping for improved results with consistent use. Will report back again in the future 🙂 It’s never too early to start with anti-aging products in your skincare routine (even in your early twenties!)- prevention is always better than cure. I’ve even used it around my eye area and experienced no irritation.

The natural scent of the serum also reminds me a little of a kind of cereal I used to eat as a child. I can’t place my finger on what brand it was- but I love the smell. Maybe it’s such a weird thing to mention, but I really like it. The bergamot fruit oil is not too cloying like a lot of moisturisers that have sickly sweet scents.

The Niacinamide Brightening Toner and Squalane Oil are tied for second and work beautifully together. I experienced some stinging sensation initially upon using the toner for the first time, so I monitored the results very carefully and checked for irritation. I prefer to apply directly to palms instead of applying it to a cotton pad, as this toner is less of a liquid and more of a serum/gel texture in my opinion!

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The toner is supposed to promote bright, even skin and less visible pores- I love that it is gentle on the skin and alcohol free! A lot of the cheaper toners are heavy on alcohol to allow for a ‘refreshing’ sensation or a better texture upon application- but alcohol is drying and very bad for your skin. There is none of the dryness or tightness you get with some toners- so I think this would be an excellent starter to people who want to introduce more steps in your skincare routine but keep it down to basics.

Side note: I am currently phasing out all the products I use with alcohol and irritants- hoping Good Molecules develops an amazing sunscreen soon, because I am stumped- everything is either too pricey or not great for skin, or doesn’t work with makeup.

But I digress. The toner has definitely helped with a lot of the visible pores I have, especially on my nose and cheeks. It hasn’t broken me out, but I feel like my skin is slightly sensitive so I don’t want to overdo it. I tried rotating it with another lighter, water-based toner because of this concern, but ironically that toner broke me out because it was so heavily scented (lol).

I still like it, but I’m hoping they will introduce another toner for sensitive skin- my skin feels very tingly and a little warm upon application especially if I’m having a particularly bad breakout, so I don’t want to risk aggravating any acne or open wounds.

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The Squalene Oil sinks in beautifully into skin and isn’t too greasy- a little goes a long way! I use a couple of drops for my whole face, neck, and massage the remainder into the back of my hands as well. The oil smells a little of burnt tyres and isn’t my favourite thing in the world to smell, but it doesn’t linger too long or bother me overmuch.

I have also recently received Good Molecules’ latest release, the Pure Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil. I’m looking forward to seeing how it matches up with the Squalene oil- while I was still working at Vom Fass, I used to purchase their rosehip seed oil to help with acne scarring and dull skin. It was one of the only things that helped especially during those teenage years of bad acne and eczema. Rosehip seed oil is really pricey though, and I stopped using it when I could no longer have any employee discounts (lol). We’ll see how my skin fares with this- I’ll do another post in the future!

Side note: maybe this is not very well known, but if you were to use it during the day, make sure you use a good sunblock (SPF 50 and above!). Rosehip seed oil helps fade scars, but applying it and exposing yourself to sunlight for an extended period without any protection can actually reverse these benefits.

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The Overnight Exfoliating Treatment was a teeeensy bit underwhelming, especially after I had seen such visible effects from the other products. Perhaps it was working together with the other products to make sure that all the goodness actually reached my skin by removing the dead skin cells? I was quite worried that it would be too much for my sensitive skin as I got a strong tingling sensation, but it did not break me out. My skin felt a little dry upon the first initial applications, so now I do not use it overnight- I leave it on after my shower and wash it off after, and then reapply my various serums and moisturisers.

I can’t say for sure if it has actually evened out my complexion, but I much prefer this to physical exfoliants that can damage the skin with grit and coarse scrubbing. I will continue to use it consistently with the other products, since they have all served me well so far. I use this treatment about 2-3 times a week in rotation with another BHA product.

BHAs are great for combination to oily skin like mine- they work to combat acne and sun damage, and can even calm sensitive skin at lower concentrations of below 5%. BHAs can penetrate deeper into your skin compared to AHAs, to dry out excess oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores.

I would say this product is quite suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin, but you should do a spot test if you are unsure. With AHAs, you’ll want to take care if you have extremely dry and sensitive skin. Avoid using too much and leaving it on for too long, and don’t use AHAs daily until your skin has become accustomed to it to avoid irritation.

Overall, I am very happy with the products I have tested out so far and some have actually made a noticeable change to the quality of my complexion. While my hormonal acne has not entirely diminished, I have definitely seen a very big difference in my pore size and I feel that my skin is definitely more toned and firm. I would highly recommend the Super Peptide Serum– I think peptides are not often included in many skincare routines, and I think this is a good and affordable option to start!

Many thanks again to Good Molecules for reaching out and letting me try out all these wonderful products- I’m officially a fan! I am already eyeing some of their other products like the Vitamin C Booster Powder and the Instant Cleansing Balm for purchase next.

Top 5 Most Useful Things I bought from The Body Shop*

*of course, this is MY list, which means it is relative. Definitely, someone else has bought these product(s) and thought they were terrible and worthy of a long rant like I did here, so please don’t come after me with a rusty axe.

This is a post in response to my very cheeky post from 2 weeks ago: Top 5 Most Useless Things I bought from The Body Shop in a vain attempt to ensure I’m not sued. These purchases are things I genuinely enjoy and purchase repeatedly. I stockpile them whenever there are sales on, which means always (there is a sale every week and I don’t understand why, but I’m not complaining. The Christmas sales are the best)- so I end up with a lot of these.

Whoops.

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1. Body Soaps

I prefer bar soaps to liquid soap. There’s something simply satisfying about scrubbing it all over yourself, and I find you feel cleaner and firmer for some reason?? With liquid soaps it feels like you’re rubbing conditioner all over yourself and it doesn’t feel CLEAN. I give up trying to explain this concept because there’s obviously some science-y mumbo-jumbo and mind trickery that I am no good at so you need to try it out for yourself.

My favourite is the Chocomania bar soap. All the UK and Singapore stores have phased it out, unfortunately- but I stockpiled 5 of them last year during the sale because it was going at only £1 (50% off!). What is it with The Body Shop and getting rid of nice things?? Why can’t we ever have nice things? The US stores still sell it but it comes in the shape of a heart. Wish they’d ship it to the UK ffs- I’m running low and need my soap fix asap.
Edit: went to Canada and they don’t stock it either. Looks like the US is hoarding them all.

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The Chocomania soap comes with little gritty bits in them that serve as an exfoliator. Just like how you expect a cookie to be chocolate chip and bite into a raisin cookie instead, the little gritty bits are actually pieces of coconut shell.
Such heresy.
I wanted to bathe in the ruined dreams of broken chocolate bits.

However, if this isn’t a priority on your list and you’re perfectly happy in scrubbing yourself off with coconut shell, these exfoliator thingamajigs are perfect: you can get clean and smooth at the same time. Especially if you’re really lazy. It’s now winter and you don’t need to get your legs out so you can skimp on full-body exfoliation I guess. Though I still have dry scale-y snakeskin on my legs that show no sign of wanting to budge and probably needs some sort of industrial-strength cleaner, it does slough off some of the dead skin and makes it feel soft.

With the Chocomania soap sadly out of stock in stores everywhere here, I would recommend going for the Shea soap if you liked the scent of the Chocomania one, or the Coconut. I would recommend popping into one of the stores to sniff surreptitiously at them like a drug addict and run home to nab one of the “exclusive” and “limited-time” (read: forever ongoing) sales. It is much cheaper than buying the soaps in stores because you can usually get them for 30-60% off with free delivery even. Sales are best from November-January but you need to decide if you want to hold out for the massive Christmas sale around 20-25 December and risk having the items go out of stock, or get them earlier, but at a lower discount.

I sound like such a cheapskate seasoned shopper gosh.

At full price, most of these soaps are £2. Other ranges can go up to £4-6 if I am not wrong (e.g. the hemp one), but I prefer the basic ones.

2. Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

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I admit I mostly bought this because I’m a huge fan of ginger and ginger tea. I had occasions of dandruff 2-3 years ago whenever I got stressed, nothing major so I didn’t think it was anything I should worry about. To tell the truth I didn’t think this would help much. You know how products promise loads of things and never actually do any? (wow what a cynical b*tch I am)

Surprisingly, it did help, and it smells amazing. The smell doesn’t last as long as the cheap ones you get from the pound store and costs four times as much but a little goes a long way and I promise you, it makes your hair and scalp feel great. It feels really cooling and a little tingly and I don’t know if I should attribute it to this shampoo- but my hair grows out a lot quicker and looks fuller. Most importantly, I don’t have issues with dandruff even though the second year of uni is stressing me out beyond belief. It would be perfect if it could help with oily scalps (the product claims to help dry scalps) but I guess you can’t have it all!

I sometimes mix it with cinnamon powder because it smells amazing together and makes your scalp less oily but make sure to rinse it out properly or you will leave cinnamon powder that looks like gritty brown dandruff everytime you move your head.

After I got a light perm 3 months ago I found that this isn’t enough to moisturise my hair, so I’ve been using argan oil (pure argan oil from my old workplace, not the one TBS is selling) and a conditioner from the Rainforest range.

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I usually get the jumbo-sized 400ml ones and I bought far too much last Christmas (three bottles). It’s Christmas again soon and I’m STILL on my first bottle. Huh. Admittedly if you’re buying it for your family it’ll go down quicker, but it is still impressive nonetheless.

Get the 250ml at £4.50 or the 400ml at £6.50.

3. Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream

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This baby is NOT cheap and I would highly recommend going in-store to make sure whatever hand cream you’re getting is something you like the smell of/ works for you. I like the smell of this as it is very fresh and wakes me up but it still needed some getting used to. One of my best friends absolutely loathes the smell though.

I like this one because it’s light enough to not leave an oily film on your hands yet moisturising enough (more than the rose one). I only switch this out for the hemp hand cream (which smells even worse) for heavy-duty moisturising during winter. I even apply it to my nose if it’s feeling really dry and I don’t have any face moisturiser on hand. It’s so light it doesn’t break me out.

In terms of how heavy the different hand creams are,  from what I’ve tried: (heaviest to lightest)

Hemp > Almond > Absinthe > Wild Rose (SPF 15)

They’ve launched a whole bunch of fruit ones but I’ve not tried those yet.

My boyfriend got this for me nearly two years ago (the 100ml one) and it’s still around, though very squashed and crinkled. I’m not sure what I feel about these tubes because they look very pretty, but they don’t bounce back to shape and I’m definitely going to cut the tube to scoop out the remaining hand cream hiding in the cracks I couldn’t smooth out.

Get the 30ml at £5 or the 100ml at £11. I find the 100ml a lot more difficult to misplace, lasts longer, is more bang for your buck and still compact enough to fit in the small pockets of your bag.

 

4. Madagascan Vanilla Perfume Oil (15ml)

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This perfume oil is from the Scents of the World range, which is pretty popular in Asia but is apparently being phased out of a lot of western stores for some reason. I have huge issues with this. The Body Shop discontinued their original, wildly popular vanilla perfume oil to huge outcry and I was glad they brought it back in the form of this perfume oil. However… it seems like this is going the way of the Dodo again. I don’t understand it, they must not want to earn money. Stop wasting money marketing new ranges and please bring back all the good things!

Maybe it’s time to start hoarding bottles when I fly back to Singapore in June.

This perfume oil lasts for ages and is not overly cloying. Standard spray-on perfumes tend to overwhelm upon initial application and fade quickly, but this stays on for hours and hours consistently, which I love.

I often layer this with my Chloé perfume because that doesn’t last long, and I like the additional musk. Often, vanilla-based perfumes have the tendency to make you smell like a bakery but this manages to keep the vanilla note without making you out to be a breathing, living cupcake.

If vanilla isn’t quite your thing, you can check out the other scents in this range. They also come in other forms, like a body mist, shower gel, and body lotion. I bought it for $22.50 SGD if I’m not wrong, which is probably around £10-11. I’m not quite sure if you can buy it still but you could try scouring eBay.

5. Vitamin E Moisture Cream

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This is one of the best moisturisers I’ve used and it cleared up my acne for the first 2 months of usage. After that the acne bacteria probably got used to it and developed some sort of immunity? I have zero clue about how this works please don’t lecture me about it thanks #badscience

I got it before they started offering the larger 100ml size but it was a bit cheaper then, £11 compared to £12 (they’ve changed the packaging now to a very patriotic British flag design). I got it during a sale, 50% off so I got it at £5.50. I probably wouldn’t buy it at full price (why is my whole blog post about me talking about discounts? I’m so Singaporean) when there are much cheaper alternatives, but if you’re extremely frustrated with your skin and would like to try a cream that is suitable for combination skin, I would recommend giving this a go.

A little honestly goes a long way and I would like to see this cream in a pump dispenser, which will be more convenient and infinitely more hygienic than repeatedly dipping my fingers that have touched every surface possible- even if I washed my hands before application, exposure to air/dust etc isn’t very good either. I used a tiny spatula that was originally used for ice-cream to apply it, but it was a hassle half the time.

The original price for the 50ml is £12. The 100ml is £18 (admittedly the better deal).

BONUSBody butters

This post cannot be complete without the product that probably made The Body Shop so well-known all over the world- body butter!

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Before they started marketing it as such, other brands called moisturisers, moisturisers. Now, every brand is coming up with their own version of body butter in various fruity scents. Sounds fancier, I guess.

In high school, we weren’t allowed to use perfume so the girls would apply these body butters after P.E. (gym) to smell nice. Everyone had their own ‘signature scent’ and when someone happened to buy the same scent there would be inevitable bitching in class with snide remarks (ahh, how immature we were). The class would always smell like a bloody fruit salad after P.E.

Still, at least it masked how bad the guys smelt.

My favourites have got to be the Papaya (limited edition, OOS), the Raspberry, and the Shea (which I have never owned but have always wanted to). These tubs never seem to run out and I have only managed to finish one. I have 6 unfinished ones, because The Body Shop keeps sending me free tubs along with their sales, or I pick up some because they are 60% off or something and I couldn’t resist.

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I hope this post didn’t end up being a shameless plug for products. These are things I have honestly tried and loved and they worked for me. Of course, I would recommend visiting a store to try them out (the staff members are usually very generous with samples) and please, please, do patch tests for stuff you put on your face especially if you have sensitive skin. I would recommend waiting for sales and purchasing the products online, unless money isn’t an issue and you can’t be bothered with deals and sales.

The Body Shop is definitely more expensive than drugstore alternatives like Nivea, but I like the extra care they put into packaging and their various campaigns to help the environment and people in need. Plus, if you wait for the sales, some of their soaps and moisturisers can be cheaper than the drugstore alternatives too.

Read my other post where I lambast useless Body Shop products here (fairly, of course)!

Olay Total Effects 7-In-1 Day Cream (SPF 15) and Night Moisturiser

I’ve been using this product for about three months now, and I’d like to blog a little about it.

I ran out of my trusty The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream, and I didn’t want to buy it again at full price without any sales being on. I came across this range by Olay on Amazon (I honestly spend too much time on there) that was going at a discounted price of £13.50 for both the Day and Night cream, and I jumped at the chance since I’ve heard great reviews about it.

Olay claims that the cream is unscented- though I find the day cream does have the strong smell of sunblock to it (sniff it at a sample counter and you will know what I mean)

I like the night moisturiser a lot more because it’s lighter on the skin- the day cream leaves my face feeling very sticky and oily, which I guess is due to the fact I’m not used to wearing makeup or product on my face.

The day cream is good under foundation and I find it does help to even out skintone. It stings a little when I get really bad hormonal acne during the time of the month.

I found that with regular application of the day/night cream, my acne subsided somewhat for 4~5 weeks, which was quite a pleasant surprise for me as it’s not really something that the product is advertise to help with.

The acne was back with a vengeance after that, though (and also partly due to stress and my itchy fingers), so I would say it helps with acne for the first few weeks of application.

It will not help with hormonal acne, though, but it does leave your skin feeling moisturised and refreshed. I much prefer the night cream and confess to skipping the day cream on hot days even though I know I should have something with SPF on!

ba3a7-tumblr_inline_mi7t0pdd4v1qdlkygLikes:

tumblr_inline_mpl4nskDvl1qz4rgp Moisturising effect

tumblr_inline_mpl4nskDvl1qz4rgp Helps with acne for first few weeks

Dislikes:

tumblr_inline_mpl4np1jA61qz4rgp Strong chemical smell (day cream)

tumblr_inline_mpl4np1jA61qz4rgp Oily and sticky feeling (day cream)

Overall Rating (3.5/5)

3 and half

The Body Shop (TBS) All-In-One™ INSTABLUR™ Universal vs TONYMOLY Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm Primer Comparison

Long long ago, (five to six years ago), no one used this magical thing called a primer. Now, it has become just another oh=so-very important and crucial and definitely, hands-down, one of the most needed things in your makeup routine. (read this in a slightly sarcastic tone for full effect)


Alright, so last year, The Body Shop has launched the

ALL-IN-ONE™ INSTABLUR™ UNIVERSAL

Sounds really promising. Lighten up on the Trademarks, guys.

Being a huge fan of The Body Shop, I knew I had to try this out right away. I stopped by my nearest shop and the shop assistants gave me a good-sized sample of it and showed me how to use it.

My immediate reaction?

Wow, this feels (and smells a little) exactly like the TONYMOLY Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm!

It smoothed over my pores, reduced the redness (temporarily) of my acne, and my skin felt smooth and silky to the touch.

After touching my face, I realised that the primer began flaking off and started coming off in bits, like eraser dust.

I left with my sample and brought it home for comparison, not quite sold on the idea yet.

After comparing the two products side-by-side and using them under makeup (heavy and light), I realised that the TONYMOLY actually worked as a better primer for your bare face and under light makeup, but faded the vibrance for heavy makeup (I guess so, since it wasn’t marketed as a primer in the first place)

However, out of the two, the TONYMOLY won hands down for lasting power, and it smoothed over my pores much better. It even smells refreshing, with a slight lemon scent that is not overpowering at all.

I have used the TONYMOLY on its own over moisturiser and no makeup for years now, and I love how matte it makes my face look, and I always get compliments on my skin when I use it (if you’ve seen the state of my acne, you’d know how amazing that is.

For people living in Asia, I would definitely recommend the TONYMOLY Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm as a cheaper alternative to The Body Shop’s Instablur™ because it lasts longer, doesn’t flake as easily, and smells better without being overpowering. 

For UK consumers, you might find the Instablur™ more affordable, especially during 50%-off sales, but if you do stop by Korea or see a sale on Korean cosmetics (there is an online shop for Korean skincare products, but I can’t remember which one it is), I would definitely recommend the TONYMOLY instead, especially if you have oily/combination skin that would result in the Instablur™ flaking off really quickly.

The Body Shop Aloe Moist Lotion (for sensitive skin)

Hi peeps, I’m really busy with work and university applications so I will be doing posts with quick takes on certain products I’ve tried recently- I’m making sure to choose products that can be tried out at their respective stores so you can try them out for yourself too- because urgh I don’t have my DSLR available and my phone camera is. the. pits.

 

So, today I’ll be giving you my quick take on The Body Shop’s Aloe Moist Lotion (for sensitive skin)!

It looks like this.

The bottle is opaque btw, it’s a very pretty mint green that strangely looks see-through in this picture I grabbed off The Body Shop’s website (teehee)

It is intended to be a moisturiser rather than a toner, and when I apply it on my face it feels really soothing and nice.

It claims to be fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and colour-free, and it certainly lives up to its claims.. Though to be honest sometimes I feel it smells a little like paint! 

This didn’t work out as nicely as Nature Republic’s Aloe Vera gel, because I’d apply it before I sleep and feel a little uncomfortable and my skin a tad bit sticky.

It also doesn’t soothe my skin as well as the aloe vera gel did.

 

As I don’t have sensitive skin, I can’t test if this product really lives up to its claims of soothing sensitive skin, and overall, I’d give it a miss. It’s even more expensive than the aloe vera gel too (=_=)  And it doesn’t help my acne at all.

Likes: Fragrance-free, doesn’t sting skin

Dislikes: Does not perform up to expectations and is more expensive than the aloe vera gel

Rating: 

3 stars (3/5) Not too bad, but not that good either. Just meh.