The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

I confess: Before my beauty writing colleagues mentioned their desire to try products of Indie brand, Deciem, I never even knew about The Ordinary. But the thrill was palpable as they discussed shipping the stuff to Manila and, yes, there was a little bit of FOMO on my part. When I heard that they were stocking up from a local reseller, I was in! I got only 2 products to start with, the first being The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (USD 9.8).

Quick Specs: 30 ml ; made in Canada


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It’s Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effector

If you had told my high school self that 2016 would see me trying out the full Korean 10-step beauty routine, I wouldn’t have believed it. Heck, if I was told the same thing last year, I wouldn’t have believed it either. Prior to starting the experiment, I had to read up on all the complicated product classifications (lotion, emulsion, essence, etc.) and the proper order of layering them. And I have always been this person who though that a four-step skin regimen was already a full plate.

After that effective routine, I was inclined to try and keep it up as much as I could. My revised skincare essentials now include serum, watery essence/light lotion, and emulsion. I’m currently using It’s Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effector (PHP 390) from Althea Korea.

It's Skin VC Effector Serum

It’s Skin VC Effector Serum

Quick Specs: 30 ml / 1.01 oz ; made in Korea



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Burt’s Bees Daisy White Serum

I’m not actually big on serums in the skincare department. When you first start learning the ropes on a solid beauty routine, it’s moisturizer that gets the most mentions. Sure, I’ve purchased two or three serums out of curiosity, but the rest of the time a sale is what actually gets me to buy more than the need to boost my routine. This was exactly the case with Burt’s Bees Daisy White Serum from a big sale on Burt’s Bees products at Beauty Bar (original price is PHP 1,650; bought on sale at PHP 577.50).

Burt’s Bees Daisy White Serum

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Philosophy Keep The Peace Super Soothing Serum

It’s not just soothing, it’s super soothing—at least, according to the packaging. If you’ve been following Philosophy closely, you’d know that the Keep The Peace line has already been discontinued. I’m still pushing through with this review, because I’ve noticed that the primary ingredients for the Keep The Peace Serum and the When Hope is Not Enough Omega 3-6-9 Replenishing Oil (PHP 2,295) are similar, so Omega 3-6-9 is probably what this evolved into. I hope to compare and contrast in the future to see if Omega 3-6-9 makes for a good replacement.

Philosophy Keep The Peace Super Soothing Serum for Redness and Sensitivity


Quick Specs: 27 ml; made in the USA; fragrance-free



  • It’s gentle, and I can see it. No breakouts, no reactions.
  • It has a natural oil scent. Nothing raw or nutty. If you’re familiar with the slightly sweet scent of olive oil, this is something similar.
  • Because you’ll only need a few a few drops at a time, 27 ml is actually a lot. I use 6-8 drops to really get a full face going, and it feels like I hardly made a dent on the product. I’ve been using this nightly for nearly two months.


  • This is more oil than serum, so the name was a little misleading for me. However, the newer Omega 3-6-9 product clearly states that it is a replenishing oil, so you’ll avoid any confusion there.
  • Though the packaging looks sleek with its push-button dropper, I find that it isn’t able to hold oil properly without wayward drops falling here and there. Omega 3-6-9 was able to address that problem with its rubber dropper.

Push-button Dropper

Verdict: It doesn’t lighten, whiten, or brighten, but that’s not what it promises anyway. Keep The Peace Serum was created for gently moisturizing reactive skin with minimal irritation. It certainly delivers on that front.