Monday, April 18, 2016

Confession: I Didn't Patch Test - Thankfully Benton's Snail Bee Line is Rescuing Me

Triggering Images Ahead!

*Images may induce the need to buy ridiculously cheap and amazing skin care that takes, in some cases, 4-6 weeks to reach your front door.

**Unless you buy from Memebox or Amazon in which case it's only slightly under American skincare prices, but arrives within two days. Note affiliate links ahead on the products I've been using!

I personally have to place two orders when buying Eastern Skin Care products - one with Jolse or RoseRoseShop located in South Korea -  the other with Memebox in California.
That way the impatient ADD person within me is satisfied as well as the old penny pinchin' curmudgeon that runs my soul. Today I'm going to review the Benton Box from Memebox.

I bought this box because I melted my face off and needed some soothing products to fix it. 
As with any skincare regime it is important that you know a bit before you start putting products on your face! Let's take a moment to consider what is in these tubes and pause to breathe. 

So tight! So shiny! Look at the skin under my eyes!
I know the excitement is huge, but we've gotta take this journey slowly.

Let's imagine you've jumped into Asian skincare, or even Western skincare before reading too far into the usage of it and your skin is looking great - super plump, pores are shrinking, your skin is glowing and all around awesome...Except that it's maybe weirdly shiny or you've noticed the circles under your eyes seem strangely more pronounced - like you're suddenly a very attractive TB patient or something - maybe you've even got a little bit of 'hormonal' acne you didn't have before?

The acne is just a purge right?

No. I'm sorry.
You can now hop in the 'I gave myself a Chemical Burn (by over exfoliating)' Boat...
And I'll be right there paddling along with you. 
Because that's exactly what I did. I have super, ridiculously sensitive skin and even knowing that I still managed to give myself a slight chemical burn by over using the chemical exfoliants.

I got excited okay?!
I had received some samples of an AHA and BHA and after reading around a bit, I thought, 'why the heck not! Treats acne and gets rid of flaky-ness? Sounds perfect!' *slathers face in both acids and slaps a mask over it.*

And thus, I am now repairing my moisture barrier - the barrier that keeps bacteria, dirt, and fungus out of your skin - and am suffering through my first ever cystic acne spot. Do not do this. Do not be like me.

It's not pretty, and it's an easy mistake to make because the first time you use a chemical exfoliant it will be like the skin gods blessed you. You will think that all your skin troubles will be solved by this one miracle serum... And seeing that baby smooth skin in the mirror is addictive. That doesn't last long, and soon you'll regret the day you patted it on your face, as suddenly your skin is back to where it started, only translucent and full of acne....

I warned you. Do not slather products on your face without considering that it may melt off.

Okay, so the Memebox Benton Box I purchased has five main ingredients in it that you should be aware of in case you're allergic or vegan: tea tree, bee venom, aloe, propolis (what bees use to repair their honeycombs) , and snail slime filtrate.

Yep. That's right. Snails and bee venom.

The first thing you should do is, as always, is patch test. Now, this is a blog about Attention Deficit Disorder and I will forgive you if you don't patch test, but your skin may not. So, please use your discretion and your best judgement when putting stuff on your face.
Picture of the Memebox contents from their site.

There are 4 products out of the 8 that I reasoned would be okay for me to use while my face heals:

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence

Essences and ampoules are pinnacle of Asian skincare as they are usually high concentrates of the good stuff that you want to infuse your skin with. They should go on bare skin, or after you've discovered how your face handles acids, right after your toner/AHA/BHA step. I've been using this one directly on the cystic acne.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream 

This is a medium-thick moisturizer described as being 'perfect for hypersenstive skin'. It doesn't have much of a smell and was really, really nice. I used this after the essence as a moisturizer and continue to reapply through out the evening.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

At first I didn't feel like this did much, but combined with a honey mask it has been the thing saving my skin. I apply this over the steam cream in a pretty thick glob. The box only comes with a tiny sample, but luckily I had another tube of it.
The box comes with 3 masks and you can bet your butt I opened the box and slapped one of these on while getting ready to go have drinks with my friend Amanda. I use mask over essences or after washing my makeup off. Or I use them when I'm browsing Reddit...bored, hungry or just generally need something productive to do...

There were 3 other products were a little more risky and I haven't used them yet. I'm going to wait to introduce them into my routine, and actually patch test this time.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin

Willow Bark Extract is the main BHA ingredient in this. Be careful when using it! It's to be used after the cleansing step as any toner is. I'm curious as to why Memebox included two BHA type products, but hey...I didn't curate the box. 

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner 

From what I understand anything that says 'toner' is likely an exfoliant. These are Eastern products and their idea of a toner is not witch hazel or alcohol. No, it's typically a clear, watery liquid that upon first glance may trick you into thinking it's an inert step in the process but usually has some kind of acid in it.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion 

Reading on this product was a little scary. First off, the idea of a lotion sounds pleasant, does it not? The thing is this one happens to have some fatty alcohols and stearic acid in it. Now, I'm not personally aware of having any allergies to either one, but it gave me pause because both can cause acne, which I saw first hand on Matt when we started his regime with some CeraVe products.
I'll be patch testing it or passing along.

1 product wasn't risky at all, but I was just not crazy about trying it...Benton Honest TT Mist

I ended up giving this to Cole as it has Tea Tree Leaf extract and seemed beneficial for dry skin. I personally have a gazillion products for dry skin and I wanted to see what he thought. We both ended up spraying it on our faces and it was refreshing, but I don't know that we actually paid attention to the benefits.

As ever, your millage may vary. I encourage you to patch test and thoroughly research all products you use on your face.  I am not a doctor! This is just my experience with a mild, self-induced chemical burn. Seek thee a dermatologist when in doubt!

For a more detailed break down of what some of these product do, check out Skin & Tonic's Review of a couple products. You may also be interested in Reddit's Asian Skin Care Community for a more varied and personal look at Eastern skin care in general.

Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these products and what your results were!!


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