Along with my No Moisturizer Challenge, I've started using two new skincare products by an Asian brand b•liv by Cellnique, which specializes in salon-formulated but easy to use products aimed mostly at young people. While the brand was new to me, it's been successful on the Asian market for over 12 years and has many devoted fans, judging from the rave reviews on the company's website.
I've been trying two products: Off With Those Heads, a blackhead sebum gel, and Shield Me, a moisturizing broad-spectrum sunblock SPF 35. Both come in a beautiful packaging: silver boxes with a white sleeve and handy plastic pump bottles. The shipping was very fast, customer service helpful and knowledgeable, and the products arrived without any problems.
Off With Those Heads is a clear gel with a refreshing minty smell, which retails for $49 (30 ml bottle). It promises to remove stubborn blackheads and whiteheads in just 14 days and also to reduce oil secretion. The key ingredients include tea tree oil, aloe vera and witch hazel extracts and peppermint oil. Unfortunately, it's not paraben-free, but the ingredients' list is short and sweet.
I've been using half a pump to cover my nose, the center part of my face and my chin. The gel feels cooling on the skin, is non-sticky and sinks in very fast. It didn't irritate or dry my skin out, although my husband testified it burned his skin a bit (but then, I think he's been putting on 4 pumps just to cover his nose). However, as for the product's ambitious claims, it did not remove or even reduce my blackheads or whiteheads. It seems to me that my pores are exactly the same as a month ago, maybe a bit smaller and not as noticeable. On Mr R, it helped to dry out one huge blackhead so that it could be removed easily. I think however that my blackheads must be beyond stubborn; also, it's important to remember that it's virtually impossible to reduce the size of one's pores, only their appearance can be somehow diminished by keeping them clean. Overall, I won't repurchase this product.
Shield Me is a white smooth cream with a subtle citrusy smell, retailing for $32 (45ml bottle). It promises protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and contains both physical (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) and chemical (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) sunscreen, as well a moisturizing agent derived from seaweed.
I use one and a half pump to cover my face, concentrating on areas where the sun hits most. Sunscreen shouldn't be skimped on, and it's usually recommended to use an amount corresponding to 1 teaspoon to cover just the face; I used too little at first and managed to burn the skin on my nose a bit while snowboarding. The product feels very lightweight and silky on the skin, leaving a beautiful, satiny finish. I also believe it helps to hold back shine a little, possibly because of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide content. I leaves my skin soft and moisturized with no greasy residue or whiteish cast. I would repurchase this one if the price point was a bit lower; I'm afraid for now it doesn't fit in my student's budget! Other than the price, I can't find any fault with this product.
Now, the best part: first 50 readers to leave a comment with their email address at the b•liv by Cellnique Facebook Fan Page under my wall post can score a free 3ml sample of Shield Me. What's more, if you link your blog too, you might stand a chance of trying some other products as well!
Small print: The offer is valid until March 15th 2011 . Sample delivery time is 4-6 weeks. Samples are only available to readers who haven't previously received samples from b•liv.
Disclaimer: Products described were provided to me for review consideration. I'm not compensated to write this review or affiliated with the brand. All opinions are my own and 100% honest, as always!