Tuesday, January 5, 2016

ACWell Sleeping Pack Review and Memebox Offers

As you may know, I've been enamoured of Korean beauty products for quite some time. I use them everyday in my skincare routines and have been really happy with my results. Finding the perfect product takes a lot of trial and error. It's not always pretty (I now assiduously avoid ginseng) but the rewards are many once you find something you love.

This review is for three ACWell products sent to me by Memebox.  There's a Relaxing Skin Sleeping Pack, a Water Pumping Sleeping Pack and a Bubble Peeling Wash Off Pack.

ACWell prides itself on using oriental herbs in it's products. The use of traditional herbs in oriental medicine is called "hanbang." The use of herbs is considered natural and practical and the method of using them can range from tea to poultices to beauty products.

I am familiar with the brand ACWell but have never tried any of their products until now. If you follow my blog at all, you know that I have dry skin and that I'm sort of an ingredients list fiend. I do not want to waste my time putting something on my face that has no actual benefits. I want scientifically proven benefits and as much moisturizing power as I can get.

Let's start with the Sleeping Packs. Sleeping Packs are very common in Korean beauty and are certainly sneaking into Western skincare as well. Basically, it's a moisturizer used at night. Slather it on thickly, go to bed, wake up and wash it off to reveal supple, hydrated skin. I have one that I absolutely love even though the ingredients list isn't as sparkly as I'd normally like it to be. That's the Lioele Waterdrop Sleeping Pack. It's pretty much my baseline and I compare every other sleeping pack to it. So far, it's still the top of my list.
You don't have to use sleeping packs only at night. You can use it as a regular moisturizer or you can slap it on for a half hour in the evening and wash it off so you don't get your pillow all gross. It's a moisturizer and you can do whatever is best for your skin. :)
ACWell Relaxing Skin Sleeping Pack- Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to have a single moisturizing ingredient in it at all. It's silicone based and has plenty of plant extracts (most of which have little to no benefits to the skin except in the form of antioxidants). It's a light lotion consistency and smoothed onto my skin. After washing it off, my skin still felt dry and slightly rough so I went through my complete skincare routine to get some moisture into my skin.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Oleth-15, Cetearyl Alcohol, Angelica Gigas Root (purple parsnip), Polygonum Multiflorum Root Extract (fleeceflower), Cuscuta Japonica Seed Extract (Dodder weed), Psoralea Corylifolia Fruit Extract, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract (Goji Berry), Alchyranthes Japonica Extract (Chaff flower).
ACWell Water Pumping Sleeping Pack- This is a clear gel, which surprised me. It glides on, spreads easily but is still stiff enough that it's not drippy. Happily, this does have a moisturizing ingredient- glycerin. It's common, cheap and effective though not long term. I did not use this on my face because of the alcohol in it. Alcohol and dry skin just don't seem to get along. At least with mine. I quit using products with alcohol in them and it has drastically reduced my redness issues. To the point that I don't have them anymore. This did leave the skin on my hand very soft but it's not moisturizing enough for me to choose to use it on my face.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Polygonum Multiflorum Root Extract, Cuscuta Japonica Seed Extract, Psoralea Corylifolia Fruit Extract, Lycium Chinense (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Achyranthes Japonica Extract, Poria Cocos (a type of mushroom) Extract.
ACWell Bubble Peeling Wash Off Pack- I think I should confess... I've never used a bubbling cleanser! Like that Elizavecca one? Never used it! I've gotten SO picky about cleansers since reading up about skin barriers. I only use cleansers with a pH around 5-5.5. I feel like my skin thanks me for it by looking good every day.
However I can take one for the team so I tried this. I don't think I did it right because it wasn't super bubbly? Maybe I wasn't supposed to wash it off so soon? It's an opaque gel with bits of chestnut shell as an exfoliant so I softly massaged it onto my skin. It went from tan to white but more like a foam cleanser rather than a puffy mask of bubbles.
Either way, it worked and my skin was clean without being squeaky and was nice and soft. Although the softeness could also be attributed to my use of AlphaHydrox the night before. Still. This was decent.

Ingredients: Water, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Acrylates Copolymer, Glycerin, Castanea Crenata (Chestnut) Shell Powder, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Polygonum Multiflorum Root Extract, Cuscuta Japonica Seed Extract.

THOUGHTS: I personally would not use any of these ACWell products. That's mainly because these aren't formulated for dry skin. Someone with oily skin may have better or more apparent results. The packaging is fun and I like that there is a cap so this is easy to reuse. It would be super easy to travel with these. As for the efficacy of the hanbang ingredients, studies are mixed and most have nothing to do with the skin. I don't mind a gimmick if the rest of the ingredients are up to snuff but these don't really have either.

ACWell does have other products that could be much better than these. I've found that there are definite disparities in quality and ingredients even within certain lines by brands. Some products can be amazing and others quite lackluster so you really have to pay attention rather than just blinding grabbing everything because you like a certain brand. Of course, that's only something I learned from experience. Sadly.

Memebox sells a bunch of ACWell products but they also sell some pretty wonderful things that I would consider in place of these. Like the super bubbly and amazing Elizavecca Bubble Clay Pack or this Goodal Honey Sleeping Pack.

Of course, Memebox is most famous for it's Memeboxes so I have to plug one I think is fun right now. That is the Snails on a Plane Travel Essentials Memebox! I'm slightly obsessed with snail in my skincare and this box has a plethora of snail things to try. It's got good brands and a fun array of products.

Before you purchase, make sure to check out my Memebox Deals page for the latest coupons! At least, I try to keep it as up-to-date as possible. :D

*These products were sent to me by Memebox for review purposes. All opinions are entirely my own. Affiliate links were used in this post.

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