Althea Bare Essentials

Regular shoppers have their haunts, and I have Althea Korea for my (authentic!) Kbeauty fix. True Story: I was in Korea late last year and got to shop around Myeong-dong, and I was surprised to find that some of the products on my to-buy list were actually cheaper in Althea than in-store. Lesson learned? Don’t forget to canvas! So, yeah, the site is still a go-to for great deals and brands that aren’t locally available.

But it doesn’t stop there. After the successful launch of their first in-house product, the Petal Velvet Powder, and a major site revamp, the big news on the block is the release of Althea Bare Essentials, the brand’s dermatologist-tested 3-step skincare line. Seemingly going against the grain, the Althea skincare range is about minimalism, coming up with products that “give the benefits of the infamous 10-step Korean skincare routine, rolled into 3 quick and easy steps”. Additional steps = Bonus/Optional.

Althea Korea Bare Essentials

Quick Specs: made in Korea

Althea Bare Essentials Contour Cleanser Ingredients: Glycerin,Water,Myristic Acid,Stearic Acid,Potassium Hydroxide,Palmitic Acid,Lauric Acid,PEG-32,Glyceryl Stearate,PEG-100 Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine,Glyceryl Stearate SE,Microcrystalline Cellulose,Zea Mays (Corn) Starch,Lactose,Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Polyquaternium-67,Sodium Chloride,Disodium EDTA,Menthol,Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polyquaternium-7,Fructooligosaccharides,Saccharide Hydrolysate,Pullulan,1,2-Hexanediol,Tocopheryl Acetate, Mesembryanthemum Crystallinum Extract,Sodium Benzoate,Sodium Acetate,Butylene Glycol, Lippia Citriodora Leaf Extract,Ethylhexylglycerin,Fragrance

Althea Bare Essentials Primer Water Ingredients: Water,Propanediol,Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone,Alcohol,1,2-Hexanediol,Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract,Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract,Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer,Tromethamine,Betaine,Fructooligosaccharides, Saccharide Hydrolysate,Xanthan Gum,Ethylhexylglycerin,Pullulan,Butylene Glycol,Dipropylene Glycol,Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Saussurea Involucrata Extract,Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract,Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Origanum Vulgare Extract,Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract,Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Sclerotium Gum,Agar,Polysorbate 20,PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil,Fragrance

Althea Bare Essentials Fixer Cream Ingredients: Water,Glycerin,Methylpropanediol,Dimethicone,Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil,Hydrogenated Poly(C6-14 Olefin),Cyclopentasiloxane,Glyceryl Stearate, 1,2-Hexanediol,Cetearyl Alcohol,Polysorbate 60,PEG-100 Stearate,Cyclohexasiloxane,Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract,Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract,Carbomer,Tromethamine,Polyacrylate-13,Fructooligosaccharides, Saccharide Hydrolysate,Polyisobutene,Propanediol,Ethylhexylglycerin,Pullulan,Disodium EDTA,Polysorbate 20,Butylene Glycol, Sorbitan Isostearate,Trehalose,Sodium Hyaluronate,Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract,Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract,Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract,Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract,Fragrance

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The Saem Iceland Skincare Collection

I think I’m starting to develop a preference for Kbeauty brand, The Saem. Back in circa 2012, it was my dad who unintentionally introduced me to it during a trip to Korea. Not usually a skincare person, he caught sight of the never-ending lineup of beauty stores and decided he wanted to try some anti-aging stuff. I saw their Gem Miracle line with shimmer pigments and pearly balls suspended in their toner and serum, respectively. This was a relatively new concept (at least, to me) at the time, and it blew my mind. Fast forward to 2016-2017, where the brand still doesn’t have a boutique in the Philippines, but they do have several items for sale in Althea Korea.

Just like that day when I spotted the Gem Miracle line, I found myself amazed at the presentation of the The Saem Iceland skincare line. In fact, it has now become my summer skincare routine.

The Saem Iceland Skincare Collection

Quick Specs: made in Korea

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Dickinson’s Enhanced Witch Hazel Hydrating Toner

While I have been almost exclusively using moisture toners that specifically focus on skin hydration, there are times when I seek a deeper cleanse for my heavy makeup/sweat days. Therefore, chancing upon something like Dickinson’s Enhanced Witch Hazel Hydrating Toner (USD 5.97) feels like hitting the jackpot to me.

Dickinson’s Enhanced Witch Hazel Hydrating Toner

Quick Specs: 10 fl oz / ; made in

Ingredients

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Kracie Natululu Skin Conditioner

I’ve come to learn that the Japanese and Korean definition of the word ‘lotion’ pertains to light, watery or milky moisturizers rather than the thick, creamy emulsions from Western brands that I’m so used to. The watery lotion, in particular, is the same as a moisturizing toner in my mind. So just what is Kracie Natululu Skin Conditioner (regular price at PHP 495; got on sale at Beauty Bar for 50% off at PHP 247.50) and how does it work?

Kracie Natululu Skin Conditioner (Tomato)

Quick Specs: 500 ml ; made in Japan

Natululu Skin Conditioner Ingredients

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