Sunday, August 2, 2015

[REVIEW] Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil

This is my first Korean skincare review! I've gone through quite a few Korean skincare products looking for the perfect regime, so I'm excited to share my findings with you as I experiment. I rarely buy skincare products without searching for reviews online first, so I know what I'm looking for in reviews and hopefully can write a thorough one myself. My reviews will be long in order to be thorough, but organized in a way in which you should be able to skim through and find what you need.

I'm choosing to review this cleansing oil first because I've been using it for about a year now and have just bought my third bottle!

Review summary: This cleansing oil effortlessly removes any makeup while leaving my skin feeling moisturized and unharmed. It should be used before your usual cleanser.

Skin Profile

Type: Combination
Good points: Moisture, no longer prone to cystic acne
Trouble: Mild breakouts, acne scarring, whiteheads, blackheads, large pores

Product Information

Brand: Skinfood
Name: Black Sugar Cleansing Oil
Type: Make-up removing cleanser in oil format
Amount: 170ml
Price in Korea: ₩9,500
Boasts: It's listed as the top selling cleanser on Skinfood Korea's website!

Buy internationally 
Cosmetic love: $15.45 (free shipping)
Amazon: various prices

Mineral oil, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Octyldodecanol, Sorbe TH-20 Tetraoleate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Polysorbate 20, Triethylhexanoin, Water, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, 1,, 2-Hexan Ediol, Alcohol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Cholesterol, Cermamide 3, Dimethicone, Tocopherylacetate, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Clycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Sucrose, Cl 19140, Cl 17200, Cl 42909, Parfum

Brand Marketing

Here is Skinfood's "Brand Story" taken from their global site. Their brand story seems to be just a lot of flowery language without saying much. In summary, their goal is to use real food in their products with packaging that compliments their food for the skin concept.

CONCEPT: When it comes to the brand story and concept, I'm totally in love with Skinfood. I'm big on using food for skincare purposes, so the idea really excites me. However, the one thing I'm unhappy with Skinfood for is their ingredients. While they do include real food ingredients depending on the line such as tomatoes, honey, sugar, rice water, and healthy oils, these ingredients are often in the middle of the list or lower and surrounded by chemicals or minerals I'm unfamiliar with.  I'd really love to see Skinfood follow through with their brand concept by simplifying their ingredients to have a higher concentration of natural ones. Because sucrose is the 5th to the last ingredient on this product when it is in the name of the line (Black Sugar), I'm taking off one heart on this product's rating.

DESIGN: I personally am a sucker for brand concepts that are fluid with their packaging and design! As a brand, Skinfood consistently packages their products in ways that reflect the ingredients or give the image of something you'd pick up at a farmer's market. Nice packaging makes me want to boast the products to my friends and carry some around in my purse (which I do). Kudos to Skinfood for consistently charming package design!

GENEROSITY: Another bonus for Skinfood's marketing is their sample generosity! Every time I buy something, I'm given at least two skincare samples, which is typical for Korean cosmetic companies (I usually have to ask for them at Etude House, though). Skinfood employees also give me larger samples with larger purchases. I once bought only a moisturizer and was given a handful of samples AND a Tomato Whitening Sample Kit, which included two small bottles (smaller than travel size) of toner and emulsion. When I signed up for a membership (more on this in another post), I was given two generous gifts (not including the usual samples and a free box of cotton pads) and a discount, which was made possible because the employee divided my items into two purchases to get me the best deal! I think for the amount of product given, the prices are also reasonable to cheap.

I wish I could give Skinfood a full five hearts on their brand because I'm so in love with their marketing concept, packaging, and generosity, but the ingredients are one of the most important aspects.
Brand Marketing
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As I mentioned in the Brand Marketing section, I am in love with Skinfood's packaging designs. Some containers are meant to look like the usual container of the food ingredients in the product. This one reminded me of a tinted apothecary jar. Very cute, love the vintage aesthetic. No complains on usability.
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The scent is how I imagine sugar intensified would smell like. It's not a cotton-candy sickeningly sweet kind of sugary smell, but more raw and natural.
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The description on the back label reads:
❝A cleansing oil that contains mineral-enriched Brazilian black sugar. Dissolves even the toughest makeup and leaves skin soft.
To use: Take a moderate amount of it on a dry hand and gently remove the make up. Then complete the cleansing by washing the face with cleansing foam.❞
I've been using this cleansing oil for about a year now and am consistently able to remove my makeup with ease. I usually don't even need a washcloth to get the makeup off. The only challenges my favorite make-up remover has gotten is a recently purchased waterproof eyeliner and a long-wear lipstick I don't often use, as you'll see below in my swatch test.

1. Etude House Surprise Stick Concealer
2. Innisfree Creamy Tint Lipstick (long-lasting)
3. Holika Holika Jewel-light Waterproof Eyeliner
4. Heroine Make Impact Liquid Eyeliner (waterproof)
5. Elf Liquid Eyeliner
6. Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick
7. Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Blooming Fit
8. Skinfood Rose Essence Soft Cream Blusher

I used two half-pumps of oil, which is what I usually start with when removing makeup. 

This wash was on the more gentle side. The Etude House Concealer stick is barely visible, but otherwise the other three remaining swatches are all either long-wear or waterproof. I expect these to need more effort and product.

I used half a pump more oil to remove the remaining product. The Innisfree lipstick is still a little visible and some remnants of my Heroine Make eyeliner can still be seen. Whether or not I need a second wash will depend on what make-up I'm wearing that day.

I ran a towel over my hand and it's nearly flawless now. The Innisfree lipstick is the only barely visible one at this point. After drying, I follow up with a cleanser and toner with a cotton pad. By now, my makeup is totally removed and I can continue with my nightly routine.

Claim 1: "Dissolves even the toughest makeup" ✓


After cleansing with this oil, my skin always feels soft to the touch and not overly oily. The feeling is almost dewey. As opposed to other non-oil-based make-up removers I've used in the past, I feel SO much more comfortable using this one. Other removers made my skin feel dry or tight, but this one leaves me feeling moisturized and healthy.

Claim 2: "leaves skin soft" ✓

I personally don't mind needing a extra pumps at times to get my make-up off effectively. Really all that matters to me is that my skin doesn't feel damaged afterward, my make-up comes off, and it doesn't break me out. All of these points are accomplished with this product.

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Favorite quality: The fact that my skin is left feeling moisturized even though it's dissolving make-up.
Would I buy this again? Yes! This is my third bottle and I'll definitely buy another when this one runs out. There aren't many skincare products I'd continuously buy but as long as I wear make-up or until my skin changes dramatically, I'll use this.
Would I recommend this? If your skin is already oily, this may feel uncomfortable for you use. Combination, normal, and especially those with dry skin I highly recommend this to!
Overall score
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  1. The oil sounds promising. I use a similar one from The Body Shop, but I'm not really happy with it, so I might change as soon as my bottle is empty. Great review.

    1. Thank you! If you change I hope you like it as well :)

  2. thanks for the very good review, i wasnt sure if i was gonna buy this or not but now imma put it on my buy list from ebay