Ingredient Spotlight: Botanical AHA

AHA (alpha hydroxyl acids) are an essential part of our exfoliating routines. They are great. They help to make your skin bright, treat acne, reduce hyperpigmentation and redness. But they also can lead to over exfoliating, irritation and damaged protective barrier. 

So, what’s the alternative?

Some skin types react better to enzymes derived from papaya or pineapple, which provide similar effect to AHA, but not quite. But the recent kid on a k-beauty block has been flower acids – milder, gentler versions of AHAs. They’re taking beauty world by storm, it’s efficacy being backed by a growing body of research. In fact, it’s so good that we formulated our newest toner – All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner with it! So today we wanted to talk about flower-derived AHA, what it is, why it’s good and address a common question that people always ask – if it’s so mild, will it do anything for the skin? Continue reading to find out. 

What is flower AHA?

First, what is flower AHA? While the majority AHA have natural origins, flower AHA – as the name clearly indicates – is derived from flowers. It can be just one type of flower or several.

Let’s start with one type.

Hibiscus flower extract is the most popular form of naturally-derived AHA. For centuries, hibiscus has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties and used in teas and health cocktails. But it turned out, hibiscus extract has impressive skin benefits. Specifically, it contains malic acid and citric acid that gently exfoliates and brightens as well as helps with hyperpigmentation and improves overall skin clarity. While it’s a very mild acid, it still provides same benefits as conventional AHA and even helps to repair UV damage. 

Now, onto the blend.

Some products may contain an AHA blend derived from several flower extracts, In case of our All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner these are:

  • Hibiscus
  • Viola
  • Rosehip
  • Celosia

In addition to Hibiscus benefits, Viola extract helps the skin to look and feel younger by providing essential vitamins and minerals. Rosehip extract clarifies and Celosia extract has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties as well as the ability to strengthen skin barrier and stimulate cell growth. Flower power? It sure is.

MOTHER MADE All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner

Needless to say that when compared to conventional AHA’s flower acids were found to be more gentle on the skin, more hydrating, provide greater cellular renewal and even reduce appearance of wrinkles by inhibiting breakdown of elastin and boosting production of hyaluronic acid. Gentler nature of flower acids also means it has wider usage – extracts can be added into skincare products we use daily – such as toners or lotions without risking to damage the skin.

Will it do anything for my skin? 

One of the common questions that people ask after learning about flower AHAs is – well, if it’s that gentle, will it actually do anything for my skin? The question comes from an outdated belief that the product (especially exfoliating product, which acids are) must give a burning or stinging sensation as an indicator of a product doing its job. But that just isn’t true. Stinging feeling means that your protective skin layer is being thinned out (at best) or even destroyed all together. Even though strong AHA peels might give you an instant satisfaction of brighter (when redness goes away) and smoother skin, stressing your skin regularly can easily backfire in the years to come.

The bottom line. We strongly believe that the best way of going around skincare is being gentle. Less is always more. That’s why we always recommend to opt for milder products suitable for daily use – it’s an indicator that AHA in that product is very mild and percentage is relatively low. Instead of harsh exfoliators, try gentle products with acids and use them consistently. At the end of the day, incremental changes add up and with diligence and patience, you’ll notice healthier, clearer and brighter skin emerge. 

Ingredient series – Aquaxyl

It’s a common knowledge that healthy glow everyone is after is a result of a hydrated skin with well-functioning, strong barrier. That is why when re-developing a formula for our Pure Pearl Sheet Mask, our research team was searching high and low for the ingredients that can provide these benefits while also being suitable for various skin types. Because let’s face it, coconut oil or shea butter can definitely help with damaged barrier, but it’s a disaster for people with oily break-out prone skin.

MOTHER MADE Brightening Pure Pearl Mask

When we discovered xylitol and a compound called Aquaxyl that offers all the xylitol has to offer and more, it was one of those “we have to have it in our formula” moments. So, that’s what we want to talk about in today’s post. 

Although the name sounds a bit like a laundry detergent, it is actually a wonderful blend that helps your skin to maintain healthy hydration levels. Keep on reading to find out what Aquaxyl is and why it is oh so good for your skin!  

 So, what is Aquaxyl? 

Aquaxyl is a trade name of the ingredient developed by French company SEPPIC. While it is called an ingredient, it’s technically a blend of three – Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, and Xylitol. 

Xylitol, the most familiar of all three, is a sugar alcohol (“good” alcohol) that naturally occurs in many fruits and vegetables like bananas, strawberries, lettuce and plumps. 

You might have heard of xylitol as a sugar substitute and yes, it’s a great more nutritive alternative. It’s considered a “healthy” sweetener that has prebiotic action and therefore can positively influence the gut microbiome. 

But it also has proven skincare benefits. 

Just like glycerin, xylitol replenishes moisture and helps to prevent it from evaporating by strengthening skin barrier. If for some reason your skin barrier isn’t functioning properly (i.e. no matter how much product you put, your skin always feels dry in a couple of hours), xylitol can help with restoring healthy barrier function. 

Anhydroxylitol and xylitylglucoside are both natural, plant-derived humectants also help skin to stay hydrated for longer.  These compounds work to enhance skin’s dermal water reservoirs, so the skin can absorb more moisture and help with barrier function, so accumulated water doesn’t evaporate easily. Bonus points –  these ingredients help the body to produce more hyaluronic acid, which also helps with hydration. 

Aquaxyl, then, is a combination of plant-derived ingredients that target dry and dehydrated skin by improving water circulation and reserves. On their website, SEPPIC defines Aquaxyl as “anti-hydration shield” and this is probably a very accurate way to describe its main skin benefits. 

Here’s a breakdown of how your skin can benefit from Aquaxyl:

  • Restructure and strengthen the upper skin layer (stratum corneum).
  • Boost all skin hydration elements – lipids, proteins, polysaccharides (dermal and epidermal hyaluronic acid), NMF.
  • Smoothes the skin and improves its tone.
  • Strengthens glycerin benefits and removes its side-effects.

The bottom line. Aquaxyl is a great ingredient that all skin types can benefit from (there’s no such thing as too much hydration, right?), but it will be especially beneficial for people with dry and/or dehydrated skin. 

The renewal of the Rich Snail Mask: what’s changed?

You’ve loved our Deep Moisturizing Rich Snail Mask. We’ve loved our Deep Moisturizing Rich Snail Mask. And while the saying goes “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it,” we felt it was the right time to update our favorite baby, so it better aligns with our current brand philosophy and values.

Today, we’re spilling all the tea there’s to know about the revamping of the snail mask. Everything from formula to packaging got a handsome upgrade while remaining the mask that all of us know and love. Keep on reading to learn more!

  1. The Fragrance.

First, let’s talk about the formula. We wanted our new formula to reflect MOTHER MADE’s core principles, which is clean and safe skincare that everyone, even the most sensitive skin types, can enjoy using worry-free. And that meant we had to solve one big problem – the fragrance.

In the past, using natural fragrances like blends of various essential oils that can adequately cover any unpleasant base odor, but also are beneficial to the skin, worked well for us. Sadly, though, a lot of essential oils are classified as allergens, which makes them unsuitable for people with allergy-prone and sensitive skin. With essential oils out of the equation, we turned our gaze to the world of synthetic fragrances. One thing to note about these types of fragrance is that “synthetic” doesn’t immediately translate to “bad” or “harmful.” Beauty science has come a long way, and we now have allergen-free synthetic fragrances that are safer than many natural alternatives (read, essential oils). Admittedly, the choices are still limited, and while the absence of any allergy inducing parts is excellent, the smell is a work in progress. As the “synthetic” moniker in the name implies, the scent is, well, synthetic.

We requested several samples from the lab, hoping it won’t come off as strong when mixed with the natural smell of other ingredients in the formula. But each sample proved us wrong. It didn’t feel (or smell) like our snail mask.

Fragrance samples

The conclusion? We bit the bullet and chose not adding any scent at all. The mask still has a faint smell that comes from the base formula and other ingredients, but it’s barely noticeable and doesn’t linger.

  1. The Snail Filtrate.

Previously, the mask featured 5,000 ppm, which is a pretty standard amount (if not on a higher side) for sheet masks. But our renewed formula boasts a whopping 10,000 ppm. Double “yes” for a double snail mucin goodness!

To put these numbers in perspective, more budget-friendly brands choose to add as little as 1-2,000 ppm while some might go as high as 7,000 ppm. Generally speaking, 5,000 ppm is considered pretty high, and finding sheet masks with even higher concentration is rare. Why? Snail filtrate has a natural texture that is far from ideal for a sheet mask essence – it’s thick, gloopy, and extremely sticky. The essence/serum for a sheet mask, however, must have a watery enough consistency so that the sheet can be fully saturated. That is why snail filtrate has to be diluted quite a bit to become “sheet mask friendly.”

That isn’t, however, to say that since snail mucin in the sheet mask has lower concentration, it isn’t effective. The smaller amount of filtrate is compensated by the fact that sheet masks adhere closely to the skin, making sure ingredients in the mask get absorbed better.

Still, we wanted to see how far we can push to create a really “rich” (snail-rich, that is) product. Our partnering labs worked hard to come up with a formula that is more concentrated and more effective, yet feels light and non-sticky on the skin. It took us more than six months to settle on a final formula, but the wait was well worth it, and we couldn’t be happier with the result.

  1. The Packaging.
Responsibly-produced packaging

The third and final major update in the mask is our packaging. We’ve been slowly transitioning to more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging options for months now. That’s why we were so thrilled when we discovered a packaging paper that doesn’t use virgin wood. You can see on the picture below a label that guarantees just that. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, and it’s a non-profit organization that provides solutions for sustainable management of forests. FSC Mix is an official FSC label that means wood that was used to produce this paper comes from a mix of sources: recycled materials, FSC-certified forests, and a so-called “controlled wood,” which is a type of forests that can’t be harvested illegally. Deforestation is a huge worldwide issue, and we were so happy we could minimize our impact by choosing paper that doesn’t deplete the resources of virgin wood.

And there you have it! Three significant upgrades that make us (and hopefully you too) about the revamped Rich Snail Mask.

The mask will become available on Amazon.com and our website from November 27. Follow us on Instagram (@mothermade_global), where we’ll be sharing more info about these masks and other upcoming products.

With love,

MOTHER MADE xxx

CC, BB, Foundation, Tinted Sunscreens – what’s the difference, and which one to choose?

Navigating the world of base make-up can be confusing even if you’re a savvy skincare addict with years of experience under your beauty belt. And we completely understand. The beauty/skincare industry has an annoying habit of assigning the same names to different products or vice versa, which further confuses things. That’s what happened with essences and toners, serums and ampules. And now, the line becomes increasingly blurred between various base make-up options. To make things worse, the meaning behind alphabetic abbreviations can also differ depending on the country of origin. You’ll find that a CC cream from an American brand can be quite different from the Asian ones.

Today, we’re attempting to give a comprehensive breakdown of each category, in hopes that it will make your next shopping trip less stressful. Let’s dive in.

Tinted sunscreens

As the name suggests, it’s just that – sunscreen with a bit of color. You won’t find many (if any, really) options in the Asian beauty aisle, but some American brands have quite successful formulas that people love. Tinted sunscreens won’t cover any blemishes or discoloration, but will give you that natural, “my-skin-but-better” look. Seriously, you’ll barely feel it on your skin. Tinted sunscreen would be an ideal option for those who’re not big on make-up and want to wear as little on their face as possible. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that tinted sunscreens don’t have an array of shades to choose from. Since the coverage is ultra-sheer, there’s usually only one shade, so it won’t be an option for those with very fair or dark skin tones.

Foundation

The opposite of tinted sunscreen, the foundation is pure color. It works to even out your skin tone, camouflage blemishes, and give you an overall airbrushed skin effect. Meaning that even the lightest formula will still have a decent amount of coverage. Foundations can be formulated with SPF filters, but we wouldn’t rely solely on them for sun protection. Since it isn’t a dedicated sunblock, the quality of the filters can be questionable. Also, the SPF number rarely goes higher than 35, which is barely enough, and you’ll need to apply a face full of foundation to get this level of protection. Never a good look.

Foundations are an obvious choice when you have an important event to attend, which calls for flawless skin. Some lighter formulas will also work great for those who like to be more “covered up” on day to day basis. Just don’t forget your SPF!

BB cream

Dubbed as a “Blemish Balm” or “Beauty Balm,” this cream is essentially as a foundation with skincare. It’s meant to even out skin tone, cover blemishes (hence the name), and give the appearance of smooth skin. BB creams formulas also have various antioxidants, hydrating ingredients, and a decent amount of sun protection. Again, we wouldn’t rely solely on bb for sun protection, especially if you spend a lot of time outside. But since most of the BB creams (Asian at least) boast an impressive SPF 50, it might work for a day in the office.

BB creams are perfect for those who need a higher amount of daily coverage that’s also hydrating and nourishing for the skin.

The question, however, that logically follows is – if BB creams do everything foundation does, but better, why do foundation as a concept hasn’t yet become extinct? In short, because BB creams don’t offer nearly as generous shade line up as foundations do. Developing shades for darker skin tones is more complicated than merely adding pigment to lighter shades. Not every skincare company has the knowledge or resources to dedicate to this process, so they stick to tried and tested formulas. Also, because of added sunscreen filters (especially if they’re mineral), BB creams cannot compete with foundations in terms of a variety of finishes. For this reason, most make-up artists still prefer foundations over BB creams as the foundation allows for more creative freedom.

CC cream

MOTHER MADE Aqua Light CC Cream SPF 50+/PA+++

Originally CC, or “Color Correcting,” cream was designed as a lighter version of a BB cream.  Like BB creams, CC creams also contain various skin-loving ingredients but are targeted at those who want sheer, natural-looking coverage that adds a bit more color balance to the skin rather than covering it up. The primary functions of cc creams are to even out blotchiness, cover redness, and give skin overall brighter, woken-up look. It’s also supposed to be lightweight enough to be used as a color-correcting primer under a foundation if needed.

CC cream is ideal for those who want more coverage than a tinted sunscreen would offer, but find BB creams to be too heavy.

The problem, however, is that the difference between CC and BB isn’t always as straightforward. Some CC creams are dense and opaque with a foundation-like coverage. On the other hand, BB creams can disappear into the skin without leaving a trace. To add to the confusion, American CC creams tend to have more coverage (which brings them closer to the foundation realm), and BB creams are considered as their lighter counterparts.

The bottom line

For better or worse, a name on the packaging doesn’t always serve as a good indicator of what’s inside, but you can still use it as a general guide. We always recommend to get a sample and try the cream at home a few times before committing to a tube. Swatching in-store isn’t ideal as the lightning is often off, but it’s also an option. Just make sure to apply a cream on your jawline (not on the back of your hand) to get a feel of how a product works. If neither option is available, get in touch with the brand and ask for a consultation. Most brands will be more than happy to offer you guidance.  

#Skinconfessions. MOTHER MADE team members share their summer skincare routine feat. Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash. Ep.3.

For this episode of #skinconfessions installment, we’ re talking to our assistant manager, Eva Babicheva. She manages the brand social media accounts and PR inquiries.      

Eva, assistant manager

I: How would you describe your skin?

Eva: I have combination oily skin that can get dehydrated easily even in summer. I’ve done a lot of damage in my teen years – the concept of sunscreen was non-existent for me, and I loved tanning. And let’s not even mention years of neglecting hydration and over-using sebum-controlling toners. Now. I’m paying the price.  

I: Do you have any particular skincare concerns?

E: Sun damage is definitely a big one for me. I’ve started to notice that my skin got sort of dull, not as firm as it used to be with fine lines and mimic wrinkles popping up here and there. Oh, and let’s not forget enlarged pores and blackheads! So, yeah, lots of concerns.

I: How would you describe your lifestyle?

E: I’d say balanced. I spend most of my time behind the desk in the office. But I try to compensate by going swimming every morning and commuting to work definitely helps to keep me moving. I also try to stay active on weekends – meeting friends, going to cafes and art galleries. It might sound like too much, but weekends on a couch is not my cup of tea.

I: Walk us through your typical summer morning and evening skincare routine.

E: I start my day in a swimming pool, so whether I want it or not, morning face wash with a cleanser is a must. It probably adds to the dehydration issue, but there’re a lot of people in the pool, so I feel like it’s a necessity. After that, I focus on one and only thing – hydration. First is a hydrating toner, then some kind of serum, followed by a hydrating yet lightweight lotion and a thick layer of sunscreen. Once I get home, I put on cc or bb cream, and I’m off to work.

My evening routine isn’t that different from the morning one. As soon as I get home, I double cleanse and follow up with the trusted  toner-serum-moisturizer formula. Sometimes, I’ll squeeze a sheet mask in between. Right now, it’s too hot in Seoul, so I use the same moisturizer as in the morning. I make sure to layer it up, so I won’t wake up with tight skin.

I: How does an Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash fit in your skincare routine?

E: I use every night as my second cleanser. It’d be great to use it twice a day, but I keep my skincare in the pool locker, and the storage conditions aren’t ideal for powder cleansers. Too hot and humid. In the evening, I don’t use foaming nets, but sometimes I’ll use a silicone pore brush if my skin feels extra congested. But most of the time, I just foam it with hands and massage into skin. I really enjoy this part –adding water and watching the bubbles form – it’s my form of meditation.

I: What do you like about Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash the most?

There are so many things about this cleanser that I appreciate. As someone with dehydrated oily (and blackhead prone) skin, I love that it gives that squeaky-clean feeling without drying my skin out. It’s also changed my pore care game completely. I’m barely reaching for clay masks these days, and that’s a big one coming from someone who used them at least three times a week.    

#Skinconfessions feat. Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash. Ep.2.

For this episode of #skinconfessions installment, we’ re talking to our Operations Manager, Monica Shin. She oversees the production process and makes sure that all paperwork in the company is done well and finished on time.

Monica Shin, Operations Manager

Q: How would you describe your skin?

Monica: Very dry. So dry that even in summer, I need heavy moisturizing cream. Lightweight creams/gels do absolutely nothing for my skin. Girls in the office often complain how hard it is to manage oily skin, but in all honesty, having extremely dry skin that is not a piece of cake either. It can easily add a few years if I’m not diligent enough with my moisturizers. In Korean, we have a word akkeonseong [악건성], meaning “really really really dehydrated,” and I’m the perfect example.

Q: Do you have any particular skincare concerns?

M: Well, on top of being super dry, my skin is also papery-thin. You can almost see through it. And while I wouldn’t describe it as sensitive, it’s sensitized easily, so I have to be very careful with what I put on my face. I also have smile lines, and year after year, my skin is losing firmness. 

Q: How would you describe your lifestyle?

M: I work in the office, so around 70% of the time, I’m clunking away on my keyboard. The rest of 30% I’m on my foot – in our warehouse or meeting our suppliers and partners. I’m not very into sports, and luckily my job allows me to move a bit during the week. But I know I should move more, so try to take long walks on the weekend if the weather allows.

Q: Walk us through your typical summer morning and evening skincare routine.

M: I never wash my face with a cleanser in the morning, just splash some water. I then apply a hydrating toner. Generously. Summer or winter – it doesn’t matter. I always use rich, viscose-y toners. After years of experimenting, I found that using hydrating products at every stage of the routine is the only way to keep my skin from being completely and utterly dehydrated by the end of the day.

After toner, I apply a thick layer of moisturizing cream ( REALLY moisturizing), then moisturizing sunscreen. Sometimes, instead of regular sunscreen, I use our Aqua Light CC cream, which has the same protection level as my daily sunscreen (SPF 50+/PA+++), plus it’s tinted. I don’t wear eye make-up, so that’s it.

In the evening, I use an oil cleanser (or oil-based cleansing pads)/ low pH cleanser combo to wash the day off my face.  Toner comes next and I might follow with some kind of brightening or firming serum if I feel like it. I don’t feel like it very often and honestly, over the years I’ve realized that the best anti-aging product is a moisturizer. That’s where most of my skincare money go. Sometimes I’d use a hydrating sheet mask, like our Rich Snail Mask, or a sleeping pack when my skin is feeling extra rough.

Q: How does an Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash fit in your skincare routine?

M: I use it every night as my second cleanser, and it’s been working great for me. I don’t like dense foams (they dry my skin out mercilessly), so I add quite a lot of water when lathering the product to make airy, weightless foam. A foaming net serves this purpose well.

My favorite way to use it though, is with cotton pads. I massage the foam first into my skin and then, instead of rinsing it, I’ll remove the foam with a dry cotton pad. It gives a light physical exfoliating effect plus my skin looks sort of polished afterward. I don’t do it every day, more like 2-3 times a week. This is the only form of exfoliation my dry skin needs in summer. 

Q: What do you like about Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash the most?

This is the first charcoal product that’s actually mild enough for me, which makes me very happy. I love charcoal, but most of the products I’ve tried (and I’ve tried plenty) sucked the last bits of moisture that was left in my skin. I’m glad we could make our Charcoal Powder Wash so suitable for different skin types.

Another thing I appreciate is that it’s keeping my pores clean. Even if I have dry skin, it doesn’t mean my pores don’t get clogged. But I can’t use acids – they sting and tingle. So, our charcoal powder wash is an excellent alternative for me!  

MOTHER MADE Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel with Green Tea Explained

Meet our newest addition to MOTHER MADE family! The Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel with calming and skin-soothing Green Tea Extract. Peel gels have been all the rage in Asia, and it might feel like they’re all the same. But in reality, every peel gel has its own flavour. So, in this post, we’ll give you a quick run-down on what our peel gel is, what drove us to create this product, what makes it special, and how to use it the right way. Keep on reading!

How it all began

Full disclosure – we love ourselves a good scrub. Even though they’ve earned somewhat controversial reputation. Don’t get us wrong; we love chemical exfoliators. But there’s just something so satisfying about touching the post-scrub smooth, evened out, bump-free skin. Unfortunately, conventional scrubs can be quite harsh, especially ones with bigger granules, which is a no-go for sensitive (or easily sensitized) skin. And frankly, despite the pleasant feeling, they aren’t as effective as their chemical counterparts since they only work on the outer layer of the skin.

So, we challenged ourselves to make a product that will deliver the same satisfying scrub feeling with the benefits of the chemical exfoliator.
Almost a year later, we’ve finally launched the Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel with Green Tea, and it’s everything we’d hoped for.

What it is

Our Peel Gel is a mild exfoliating treatment formulated with both physical AND chemical exfoliants. We opted for natural cellulose, not carbomer, as our physical peeling agent. There were several reasons for that, but that’s a subject for another post. Finely milled, moisture-rich cellulose particles we used in the formula are imported from France and made from Egyptian cotton (so fancy!). The way it works is simple – bits of cellulose interact with natural oils on your skin and ball up once you apply some pressure. These balls/clumps/flakes (take your pick) act as a very gentle scrub that sloughs off dead cells sitting on top of the epidermis ready to go but in way that won’t traumatize your skin.

For the chemical peeling agents, we chose nature-derived extracts that are well-known to be potent but at the same gentle and sensitive skin-friendly.

  • Willow Bark Extract. Naturally rich in salicylic acid, this mild astringent helps to reduce inflammation, control sebum, unclog pores, and de-congest skin. No wonder, it’s a favorite among oily skin types. While this peeling gel does not target at clearing pores specifically, with consistent use, you might notice that your pores become cleaner and pesky blackheads go away naturally.
  • Papaya Extract. Yummy papaya is chock full of an enzyme called papain that is a perfect exfoliant for sensitive skin. Gentle than your regular AHAs, it will work on the outer layer breaking down excess keratin to help the skin appear brighter and smoother.
  • Apple Extract. Like papaya, apple extract is rich in antioxidants (Vitamin C is one of them), and it is also a natural source of AHA. This extract has astringent properties and can help minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, clear acne, and regulate oil production.

Two types of exfoliants make for an excellent team, ensuring that every nook and cranny of your skin is clean and refreshed!

Other additional skincare benefits

As the name suggests, we added Green Tea Extract that has well researched and documented anti-aging skin benefits. It also helps to soothe and calm down the skin, which feels wonderful after a long hot summer day. Ascorbyl Glucoside, or Vitamin C, is another antioxidant gem that’s made it into the formula. It helps fight free radicals that speed up the aging process in our skin and will also deliver brightening effect with consistent use.

Who’s it for?

It’s for everyone, really! Any skin type can reap multiple benefits from using this peel gel. Drier skin types will love how hydrating this product feels on the skin. People with combination to oily skin will appreciate the addition of astringents that help with sebum control and pore care. We especially recommend it for those who love scrubs in their skincare routine, but whose skin for some reason or another can’t tolerate them well. Alas, if you hate the feeling of scrub in any way or form, this might not be for use.

How to use

If you’re familiar with Korean peel gels, you might know that most of them require dry skin as a starting canvas. Otherwise, they won’t clump. With our peeling gel, we recommend applying it on damp skin. How damp? Well, it depends. Cellulose bits will clump more or less depending on how dry or damp your skin is. If you want the stronger scrub effect, dampen the face only slighly. If your skin is sensitized, introduce more water to make everything extra mild and smooth. You can even make a paste and leave it for several minutes to let chemical peels time to interact with your skin.

Our general recommendation is to use it 1-3 times a week, but always check in with your skin. If your skin is super sensitive and dry, using the Peel Gel once a week will suffice. But you feel extra congested and bumpy, increase the frequency. The bottom line is – whatever you do, make sure not to over-exfoliate. Too much of a good thing can quickly turn into a bad thing, right?

#Skinconfessions feat. Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash. Ep. 1

Hanla Lee, Brand Manager

For this blog post, we decided to do something different and talk a little bit about our team members’ skincare struggles and what they do to keep their skin balanced and healthy in the heat and humidity of Korean summer. Our interviewee today is Hanla Lee, our brand manager who makes sure that everything runs smoothly here, at MOTHER MADE HQ. 

Q:How would you describe your skin? 

Hanla: It’s oily all year round, but even more so now that it’s so hot and humid.   

Q: Do you have any particular skincare concerns? 

Hanla: Excessive sebum seems to be the bane of my existence. I almost stopped wearing make-up in summer because it slides off my face after a few hours and primers/setting powders break me out. Blackheads and clogged pores are another significant areas of concern for me. Of course, having oily skin has its upsides. For instance, wrinkles and fine lines are not something I need to worry about. But I do feel that my skin can get pretty dull and lifeless if I’m not diligent with the skincare regimen. 

Q: How would you describe your lifestyle? 

Hanla: I’m in the office behind a computer most of the time, so I’d say sedentary. Regular exercise is something I’d like to start doing more of, but I’m yet to find an activity that doesn’t bore me to death.  So for now, whenever the weather allows, I try to commute by bike, eat a healthy diet, and take long walks on the weekends. I feel a massive difference in how my skin looks and feels when I spend at least 2-3 hours walking on the mountain trails surrounded by greenery. 

Q: Walk us through your typical summer morning and evening skincare routine 

Hanla: It’s really simple. I mean REALLY. I love skincare, but I don’t have the patience for a complicated regimen. One thing I never skip, though, is a morning cleanse. I don’t like to sleep with an AC on, so I wake up already feeling sweaty and oily. Washing the face with some type of a low pH cleanser makes me feel so refreshed and awake. After cleansing, I go on with a toner, then apply lightweight moisturizer and finish off with sunscreen. If I have a meeting or an audit, I’ll put a thin layer of cc or bb cream, And that’s it, really. In the evening, as soon as I come back from work, I shower, do a double cleanse, apply toner and lightweight moisturizer. We’re currently working on developing several masks, so these days use sheet masks more than I’d typically do. On the weekend, I might do a clay mask, and I also use a sleeping mask a couple of times a week. 

Q: How does the Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash fit in your skincare routine? 

Hanla: I use it every day, morning and evening, as my mild, low pH cleanser. My oily skin LOVES charcoal, and it made a massive difference in the way my skin looks and feels. I don’t normally say “holy grail” (I hate that expression), but for the lack of a better word, let’s say this is what Charcoal Powder Wash is for me.

In the mornings, I like to use a foaming net to make a very soft, weightless foam. Since it’s a morning and I only need to remove the excess oil and leftover skincare from the night, I find that using the Powder Wash this way gives me just the right amount of cleansing.  

At night, I use it in a shower as a second cleanser/in-shower mask pack. What I like to do is to lather it up into a dense, cream-like foam, apply it all over the face as I’d do with a regular wash-off mask. I then leave it on for about 10-15 minutes while finishing my shower. Not only it saves me a little time and effort each evening (which I’m all for), but my pores look extra clean afterward. 

Q: What do you like about Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash the most? 

Hanla: I like that it’s mild. Most charcoal products I’ve tried before dried me out, so I almost gave up until we decided to make one. Plus, as I said before, I’m not the one who enjoys complicated double-digit step routines. As someone with oily skin, I need to take care of my pores daily, and I appreciate that our Charcoal Powder Wash keeps my pores clean without extra efforts (or added steps) on my end.

New beginnings: Introducing the MOTHER MADE

ABOUT-US

Hello, friends and welcome! Thank you for stopping by. We are the MOTHER MADE – a brand that puts healthy skin and balanced life at the heart of everything we do.

Our brand is run by women of different walks of life who know first-hand that a busy demanding lifestyle of a modern woman takes a toll on her skin. As each of us was juggling full-time jobs and side-projects, we came to value versatile, time-saving products. Products that work hard taking care of our skin, so we don’t have to. Products that free us from constantly wondering “Is my skincare working?” because we see the results. We believe that such products are essential necessities for any woman. And that’s why we developed minimal, carefully curated skincare range, so you can stop worrying, live in the moment and focus on pursuing YOUR dreams.

So, how do we achieve that?

It all starts with ingredients. Mother nature is powerful, but so is science, and it is the synergy between the two that yields the best results. Raw botanical extracts are volatile and unpredictable, so scientific intrusion is essential to make them not only stable but more functional over time.

We also take the time when developing a new product. Unlike mainstream brands, we don’t use standardized recipes. Instead, we pride ourselves in developing our products from scratch. Every product idea is born out of the desire to solve a particular skincare problem, and we spend months brainstorming, researching, making product samples and testing them (on real people!) before finalizing the formula.

Clean_RoomAfter we are 100% satisfied with the final sample, we move onto the production. All our partnering labs have ISO Certification, meaning that each and every ingredient that is used in our formula MUST go through a rigorous certification process. Such a strict quality control system ensures that all the ingredients, as well as the finished products, are of the highest quality and safe to use. It also guarantees ethical and transparent production practices.

 

And that’s our usual workflow.

It doesn’t always go smoothly, and sometimes our ideas don’t work out. Over the years, we’ve learned to be ruthlessly honest and not to go forward with a product if there is even a tiny bit of doubt left. That’s why our current range might seem limited at first. But in our eyes, it’s a true testament to how serious we are about bringing YOU, the customer, the best we can deliver.

We hope that on the pages of our website and this blog, the MOTHER MADE Edit, you will find inspirational, educational and empowering content that will help you achieve a healthy work-life balance and make a step closer to reaching your career and skin care goals.

 

To the new beginnings!

With love,

MOTHER MADE.