About two months ago, I purchased a couple of new skin care products that I've now had time to properly trial and talk about: Edible Beauty No. 3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum and Muji Cleansing Oil. I bought the Edible Beauty serum at Sephora (the 15ml travel size was cheaper than the full size and a safer bet in case it didn't work for me) while the Muji oil was bought from The Galeries store ($10.95 for 200ml, surprisingly not too expensive).
I'd finished my DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and was using Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, but wanting something entirely liquid for ease of use. I was hoping the Muji would be a cheaper but equally effective alternative to DHC.
Ingredients: Hydrogenated polyisobutene, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, ethyl oleate, sorbitan oleate, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, helianthus annuus (hybrid sunflower) oil, dipropylene glycol, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) flower water, water, butylene glycol, tocopherol, prunus persica (peach) leaf extract, prunus armeniaca (apricot) juice, glycerin, propylparaben, butylparaben
Compare that with the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.
Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil
We have to get through the first four ingredients of the Muji before we reach the first ingredient of the DHC, olive oil. Still, close enough, right? Especially when the cleanser's main purpose is simply to remove makeup at the end of the day as efficiently as possible.
I usually use 2 pumps for my whole face, though sometimes I feel generous and do 3 (which I then spread onto the neck as well). It gets rid of makeup fine, including stubborn eye makeup. However, I don't think it's as good as DHC in two ways. First, it doesn't get really deep down into the pores and help minimise blackheads and refine my skin's texture as the DHC. Second, while both cleansers get into my eyes as I'm trying to scrub away mascara and eyeliner, the Muji is harder to wash out and really stings my eyes after I get out of the shower. That's even when I spend more time and effort trying to thoroughly rinse my eyes and wash away any trace oil that may have accumulated around the waterline (both upper and lower) and tear duct. I only feel like I can get rid of the oil from my eyes with a good dose of my beloved (and tragically emptied) Rohto eye drops.
I recently used up the Edible Beauty No. 3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum and already miss it. This one I had no complaints about. After cleansing at night, I would put 2 drops on my face and follow with Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream mixed with 3-4 drops of argan oil. In the morning, I'd wake up to smoother, softer, calmer skin that looked well rested and supple. While I was using it, I was generally happy with the condition of my skin, the way it looked bare-faced and how my foundation applied. No pesky dryness, flakiness or rough patches indicative of skin care that isn't working.
Ingredients: Aqua, Citrus Aurantium (Water), Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Beta Glucan, Leontopodium Alpinum (Edelweiss) Extract, Terminalia Ferinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Extract, Syzygium Luehmannii (Lilli Pilli) Extract, Camellia Senensis (White Tea) Extract*, Acerola Malpigia Punicifolia (Acerola), Davidsonia Pruriens (Davidson Plum) Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Extract, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Gluconolactone
I find that I'm partial to watery, liquidy serums like the Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum or Antipodes Apostle Skin Brightening & Tone Correcting Serum rather than gel-like or oily ones. They're absorbed quickly and generally feel more hydrating, refreshing and soothing on the skin, rather than sticky or greasy. My only gripe with them is because they literally feel like water, it's easy to get through a bottle quickly. The size of the bottle was a bit misleading as the actual product contained was only 15ml, but the bottle was closer to a 30ml size. I did use it regularly for about 1.5 months for a $25 spend, so from a cost perspective it's not prohibitive, but it's not hugely economical either. If I bought the full size, it would last about 3 months, whereas something like a bottle of rosehip or argan oil takes me forever to use up (I'm talking over a year with generous use).
There are definitely cheaper serums on the market, but whether I'll like them as much remains to be seen. I've just currently begun testing out Sugar Baby Vita+Skin Super Serum High Potency Nutrient Complex and Rosehip by essano Collagen Repair Serum (Priceline 40% off skin care purchases, of course), and first impressions are that both aren't as good as Edible Beauty. Maybe you get what you pay for.