Review: COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid (BHA)

This was my first product from COSRX and my first experience into chemical exfoliation.

I use it right after cleansing and using a pH balancing toner (I currently use a simple DIY combo of apple cider vinegar and water) and before AHA, hydrating toners and serums. COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid is oil permeable which means it can get right down into the pores and work it’s gentle exfoliating magic deep in the skin.

I have quite large pores and this is gentle enough to use twice a day for me.

I really like this product a lot – it’s good value for money, and I really admire COSRX as a company for their integrity and dedication.

A while back on the AsianBeauty subreddit there was a discussion on the pH of this product as people with batches made from 2016 onwards were getting higher readings than the expected pH of 3.5-4.5 – most were getting readings of around 5-6.5 – however studies show that Salicylic Acid (and Betaine Salicylate – a neutralised form used in this product) are also effective at higher pHs (6.5). COSRX has responded that the pH had been raised as the previous versions were unstable, and in order to bring the pH back down they would have to add alcohol to the formula.

I find the product still works fine for me – it’s very gentle but I can really see amazing results when I use Fifty Shades of Snail‘s pore shrinking method with my Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask – so I will continue to buy and use this product even with the higher pH.

I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who has enlarged pores, blackheads, or is interested in chemical exfoliation or a K-Beauty style skin care routine.

Love, Selkie.


Review: Etude House Bebe Foot Mask

Okay! After the last one I wanted a foot peel that… well… did anything. Preferably working as advertised.


So I picked up a pack of the Etude House Bebe Foot Mask – it came in a cardboard box (WITH BOOTIES) and the cute foot-shaped packet full of liquid, divided in two (one for each foot).

I didn’t get any photos of my feet in the booties, but they were comfy and easy to wear and didn’t leak.

I have a confession to make. I stuffed up. I dozed off while wearing the booties. (Also, the liquid tested at about pH 4 – low enough for exfoliating! Hurraw!)  It wasn’t uncomfortable or apparent I had over-exfoliated UNTIL I jumped in the shower. Holy wow. It hurt when the water touched it – my skin felt raw and burning hot. As soon as I jumped out of the shower it felt a little tender but that was all. My feet felt totally normal, a little dry, when I woke up the following day.

Fast forward to day 4… a tiny blister of skin appeared. The following day when I got out of the shower my skin peeled off my feet in huge sheets, mostly from my heels.


Snail gel for scale.

This was amazing. I have used multiple foot peels in the past and none have worked as well as this one did, is it possible that that’s because I over-exfoliated by leaving it on too long? Maybe. But I’ll definitely be picking these up again the next time I want a foot peel!

Review: Rolanjona Milk and Bamboo Vinegar Peeling Tendering Feet Mask

Here in Australia Autumn is finally starting to settle in and for me, that means foot peel time! I’ve bought a couple of cheaper foot peels off of eBay before, some worked okay, some were pretty awful, but this… THIS… aside from the fact that it was under $2, made me so sad.

Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures of the process or the packaging but as you’ll see there’s almost no need for it.

This was TERRIBLE.

First, after soaking my feet in warm water for about an hour, I opened the packaging. 

Surprise! No plastic booties in here, just weirdly thin paper-type fabric soaked in not unpleasant smelling goop. 

Argh. Okay. So I ran around grabbing some supplies. Which ended up being grocery bags, cling film and packing tape.

I picked up the now dripping booties to find not only was there not a foot hole and they needed to be cut, but they had weirdly fused together so I ended up with a small tear in one of the booties. Argh again.

After makeshifting a plastic over-boot for my feet to soak in I tested the pH of the remaining liquid with my cheap pH strips.

In order to exfoliate a pH of around 4.5 is needed. They read at… somewhere between 7.5 and 8. Argh.

So I sat and waited, and played some Animal Crossing to pass the time, and washed off the liquid.

Nothing. After knowing the pH I’m not surprised there was no peeling but there was nothing. No moisturising, no dryness, not a hint that I had even soaked my feet in anything. 

So, lesson learned. These suck.

Review: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask 

Ok so first off, I’m obsessed with cute gimmicky skincare. It constantly pops in and out of my routine but very occasionally I’ll find one that I actually like.

Now that the furore for this product is starting to die down a little, I figured I’d throw my two cents in. I bought it because it was cute, fun, and has a happy little pig on the container. It also wasn’t overly expensive.

Photo via

I think almost everything that’s to be said about this product has been said 100 times over by now, but I wanted to share something that I found really surprising.

After doing the amazing pore shrinking routine as shown here by Fifty Shades of Snail as follows:

1. Starting with makeup free but unwashed skin ( I did it first thing in the morning) apply your BHA. I used COSRX Blackhead power liquid – about 4 pumps to really slather all over my skin.

2. Wait around 20 minutes or an episode of Forensic Files.

3. Apply your clay mask – in this case the Elizavecca Carbonated Clay Mask.

4. Follow the directions on the packaging. Don’t sneeze. Don’t itch. Don’t think about how itchy it is. Don’t scratch.

5. Rinse off clay mask with lukewarm water. Be absolutely amazed that your pores actually look less hideous. Be astounded that the blue-black hair dye stains all down the left side of your forehead and cheeks from where it dripped have vanished without a trace.

6. Apply your oil cleanser, I used the regular Banila Co. Clean it Zero.

7. WAIT. This is important. Watch two episodes of Forensic Files and then doze off…

8. Gently GENTLY massage your face. Hopefully you are now learning what grits are, and not in the American breakfast (is it breakfast?) context, but all those clogs and dirt that were in your face are now free.

9. Finish routine as per normal (although I skip any other acids on days I do this).
It worked guys, like holy wow. Clogs I didn’t even know were there were leaping out and it EVEN REMOVED PERMANENT BLACK HAIR DYE FROM MY SKIN. I can attest I’ve tried everything under the sun, harsh exfoliants, bi carb soda, acetone, everything. And nothing NOTHING removed stains like this. With no damage, no scrubbing, no scratching. I’m blown away.

I’ve since tried it with the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay mask – which I think I preferred for my skin, but it’s less entertaining and didn’t remove hairdye stains nearly as well.

I will definitely be repurchasing the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask again – if only for those pesky hair dye stains immediately before an important event!

Banila Co. Clean it Zero! A review and comparison of all four types.

When I first started my Asian beauty inspired routine I knew what my first step had to be, both literally and figuratively.

Oil cleanser! I live in Australia, I’m very pale, and I want to keep it that way so I wear a LOT of sunscreen. I read that it was the best way to remove makeup, sunscreen and general goo from your face so your “normal” cleanser can really get in and do what it’s supposed to do.

So I approached the idea with caution. This is because I dye my hair and sometimes use Vaseline to cover my skin to stop it from going blue-black but ugh. That feeling… It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. It’s greasy, sticky, and personally, I’m not a fan. I can’t stand using it so I put up with dye stained ears for a few days rather than subject myself to the evil vat of petroleum sludge.

So first hearing about oil cleansing I got that same, crawling feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was going to wash my face… with oil? Ew. No thanks. Nope. No.

So I read up on it, I asked around on reddit, and someone suggested the Banila Co. Clean it Zero to start me off, as it’s a different texture, easy to find, not drippy and messy, and a bit easier for a creeped out newbie to handle. Sounds good!

I managed to snag a sample pack of each of the four kinds because I’m quite indecisive and even though I looked quite a bit I couldn’t find a comparison that suited the questions I had. (If you find or have written one please please link me!)

I’ve broken down my comparison as I have a couple of requirements, however my skin is pretty hardy and not at all sensitive and firmly balanced between oily and dry – yes I’m a mythical creature of no not combination really it’s normal skin type.

1. Smell
If I’m going to be slathering this stuff on my face daily, massaging and hopefully drawing out those stubborn grits out of my nose, it has to smell okay. It doesn’t have to be scented at all, but if it is, I want it to be nice. Not necessarily a deal breaker but it might help if I’m torn between two. Obviously the rating on this will totally depend on your taste. The scent on all four of these is quite subtle to my nose but if any of these sound gross to you, well, here’s your heads up.

Regular – sweet, lightly floral almost baby powder scent. A little cloying to me but that just because I jammed my nose in the pot. 3/5

Purity – one of the big draws for Purity is that it’s free from any added fragrances, but it does have a scent. It’s the lightest herby lavender smell, which considering it has lavender oil in it is unsurprising. 4/5

Reveratrol – very bright fruity scent, mostly green apple. This is my fave! 5/5

Radiance – soft, floral almost candy like scent. Kinda meh but not offensive. 3/5

2. Makeup & sunscreen removal

Now this is why I bought the four pack! I’ve tested them all quite a bit and found it to be a tie overall, but I did another small test so I could show you guys!

I slathered some makeup on my hand, two eyeliners, a liquid liner and a liquid lipstick as well as a slather of my indomitable mascara (review for that one coming soon!) as it’s easier to show makeup removal in picture format than sunscreen removal.

I tried really hard to put the same sized tiny blob of each cleanser onto each section of my hand. I rubbed them in a bit to get them breaking down the makeup, as you can see the liquid lipstick and eyeliners gave up immediately!

I ran some water over my hand and, still trying to keep each quarter seperate, emulsified them. You can’t see it here but all four went milky when mixed with water, this is when the liquid eyeliner gave in.

And rinsed off! As you can see that mascara doesn’t budge, unfortunately my hand isn’t a perfectly flat even surface for testing, but I can tell you that I was rubbing and working the hardest on the Radiance quarter.

So, after multiple face tests and the little experiment above I gave each one a score out of 10 for makeup removal.

Normal: 9/10

Purity: 8/10

Resveratrol: 9/10

Radiance: 7/10

3. Feel

Again, this is totally subjective but I wanted my oil cleanser to give me some slip, especially when I’m doing a facial massage.

Regular: Nice, creamy, soft. Emulsified well. Left minimal residue. 8/10

Purity: A bit more slippery when melted than the regular kind. Left no noticeable residue. 9/10

Resveratrol: Almost the same as the regular. Minimal residue. 8/10

Radiance: Same again, doesn’t feel different until rinsed off. Leaves a film behind that my regular cleanser removed. 6/10

4. Bonus round!

Purity gets a bonus point for being clean, simple and free from stuff that makes people not able to try the regular kind, sooo a point for being inclusive.

Regular gets a point for being the most readily available and usually the cheapest.

Final thoughts.

I really like all of the “flavours” of Banila Co Clean it Zero… except Radiance. I was so so excited to try it but it wasn’t the best at removing makeup, smells not so great and just left me feeling kinda meh.

I was also interested in the Resveratrol version as I keep seeing it advertised being for oily skin OR anti-aging. I didn’t notice any difference in oil production or skin texture during my tests but I may grab a full size soon to investigate further.

Down the track I may purchase a full size of the Radiance, just to see if I’m being too harsh but for now, I’m totally in love with the other three, but the smell of the Resveratrol version has my heart.