Haulage! The Ordinary by Deciem, Part I (March 2017)

DECIEM — The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Blemish Formula Review

Niacinamide was one of the first skincare products I ordered from DECIEM’s The Ordinary, and over the course of about four months, I used up a full 30 mL bottle.

The product’s full name is Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula, and it is meant to fade blemish spots, reduce skin congestion, and brighten skin tone.

DECIEM The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Blemish Formula

Here is DECIEM’s description of the product:

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.

Contraindications: If topical Vitamin C is used as part of skincare, it should be applied at alternate times with this formula (ideally Vitamin C in the PM and this formula in the AM). Otherwise, Niacinamide can affect integrity of pure-form Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid).

Notes: While Niacinamide and Zinc PCA reduce the look of blemishes and balance visible sebum activity, neither is a treatment for acne. For persistent acne-related conditions, we recommend the use of Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Retinoic Acid. DECIEM doesn’t recommend ongoing use of BHA such as Salicylic Acid for persistent blemishes. For temporary improvement in appearance of blemishes, Salicylic Acid would help. This formulation can be used alongside acne treatments if desired for added visible skin benefits.

Independent studies suggest Niacinamide is also an effective ingredient for brightening skin tone.

As per instructions, I did not use any Vitamin C with Niacinamide; other studies have suggested that use of these two in conjunction on the skin may not be a problem—for example, the TIA’M Vitamin C serum I am using at the moment actually contains niacinamide, as well!). However, I wasn’t introducing any Vitamin C to my skincare routine at the time I was trying out the Niacinamide, so I did follow DECIEM’s recommendation by default.

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Benton Papaya-D Sun Cream (SPF 38 / P+++)

Benton — Papaya-D Sun Cream (SPF38 / PA+++) Review

I’ve only just gotten into trying Asian sunscreens this summer (I dipped my toe in with Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Cream and Innisfree UV Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care, and have Missha All Around Safe Block sitting in my queue), and so far the Innisfree is doing very well, indeed. Recently, I also received the new Benton Papaya-D Sun Cream in exchange for an honest review, and was delighted to test it out!

Benton — Papaya-D Sun Cream (SPF38 / PA+++)

Seoul-based Benton Cosmetics was founded in 2011 by two brothers, JangWon and ChaeWon Lee. The company is perhaps best known for its Snail Bee skincare products. (There’s an amusing story behind the name: it’s a mispronunciation of the the titular, reverse-aging character’s name from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, an entertaining F. Scott Fitzgerald short story—I haven’t seen the Brad Pitt film, but that version is specifically what the brothers reference.)

Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Surely it’s Cate’s skin we’re all coveting, and not Brad’s?
Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).

Benton is one of the smaller Korean brands—as it isn’t owned by one of the major conglomerates—and it is cruelty-free. Their main selling point is the use of natural ingredients and the freshness of their products due to Benton’s small-batch production.

The Papaya-D Sun Cream I received marks Benton’s first foray into suncare. It is a combination chemical-physical sunscreen: in order on ingredient list: titanium dioxide, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), isoamyl p-methoxycinnamate (amiloxate), and bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (bemotrizinol/Tinosorb S). Of the sunscreen ingredients, amiloxate and Tinosorb S are EU-approved and undergoing regulatory evaluation in the US. Benton is currently in the process of releasing a second, physical sunscreen containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Other beneficial ingredients include papaya fruit water and papaya fruit extract, which contain vitamins, polyphenols, minerals, and papainPapaya seed oil helps to keep the skin to retain moisture. Niacinamide and adenosine work to brighten the complexion and smooth the skin. The product aims to not only protect the skin from UV damage and other external stressors, but also to moisturize and improve the complexion at the same time.

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