I mean tubs of skincare. Asian brands do their share of putting out products that come in huge tubs, usually 300 ml, mostly aloe vera-based but sometimes you do come across nicer ones with snail filtrate or horse oil. I like them as multi-task products you can use on your body, or as wash-off masks, or… you get the idea. They are very cost-effective and you can layer them up in lieu of a multi-product skincare routine. Prices quoted include shipping, since most of you are probably based in the west.
The SAEM Horse Oil Soothing Gel Cream ($12). It’s much cheaper than the Geurisson horse oil cream, though the ingredient list is not as nice, as this one has a good deal of aloe vera as filler. Still, aloe vera is good for your skin and horse oil is even better. It sinks in slower than an all-aloe gel, is thicker and milkier, and can serve as a decent last moisturizing step or a sleeping pack. (Available from Testerkorea for $4.39, but they do shipping by the weight and this is a pretty heavy item.)
Tony Moly Pure Snail Moisture Gel ($10). 90% snail filtrate! No aloe vera! It does contain alcohol denat and a lot of fragrance, but it’s a lot of snail in a big tub.
The FACE Shop Jeju Aloe Fresh Soothing Gel ($9.25). Good old aloe vera. No fancy ingredients (there’s a bunch of plant extracts but in this sort of product, it’s not going to be a large concentration), but if your skin likes aloe vera, here’s 300 ml of it. Contains alcohol.
Mamonde Rose Water Gel ($9.76). Oh my god, a big tub product without aloe in it. It does have a fairly strong alcohol smell, so that’s up to whether you can tolerate. The ingredient list is pretty solid for a product of this price range:
Water, Rose Extract, Ethanol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Scutellaria baicalensis, Sodium Hyaluronate, Nelumbo nucifera, Prunus mume, Acrylates/ C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/ VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/ Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.
Scinic All in One Ampoules ($16-18). Available in snail, honey, aqua, and the somewhat inexplicable iceland water. Ingredient lists: honey, snail, aqua, iceland water. They all contain niacinamide and adenosine, respectively brightening and anti-irritant ingredients. Gel consistency. I’m a fan of the aqua variant, but the snail and honey are generally the more popular (I get my honey fix from my Banila Co. cream, so…). If you’re willing to spend more, absolutely go for these over the 300 ml tubs, the ingredients are so much nicer, there’s no alcohol, and they smell better. 250 ml is still a ton of product (most creams come in 50-60 ml jars, for comparison) and it’s still pretty cost-effective. I decant mine into a small pump bottle for ease of use. While these are supposed to be ‘all in one’, I’d still put an occlusive over it since they won’t be enough on their own for dry skin.
A similar line of products are the Shara Shara All-in-One Bombs ($19?), available in berry, honey, and aqua. I have never used them, though, so I have no idea, but like the Scinic version they’re 250 ml and substitute for the toner/essence/emulsion steps. The ingredients seem fairly similar (niacinamide, ceramide, etc).
Kikumasamune High Moist Lotion ($7-10). Ebay and Amazon listings tend to mark this up, so you may be finding it for closer to $15. Rakuten sells it for $7, but you’ll have to take shipping into account. Ideally you shouldn’t pay more than $10 for it, but… Anyway, this belongs to the category of Japanese supersized hydrating toners that come in 500 ml bottles. It’ll last absolutely forever unless you try to bathe in it or something. The ingredients:
Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, rice ferment filtrate (sake), glutamate, arginine, leucine, ceramide 3, ceramide 6 II, placenta extract, arbutin, Glycyrrhizic acid, soy protein, maltitol, methyl gluceth-10, peg-60 hydrogenated castor oil, hydroxyethyl cellulose, alkyl styrene/acrylic acid copolymer, citric acid, sodium citrate, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, fragrance
The sake filtrate contains kojic acid which, as per Paula’s beautypedia, ‘In vitro and in vivo research and animal studies have shown that kojic acid is effective for inhibiting melanin production’. This sounds problematic but functionally just means it’ll help lighten dark spots and sun damage, not bleach your skin. Ceramides are beautiful, arbutin is great. While the concentration of each star ingredient may be questionable, the sake filtrate is unquestionably there because this stuff smells strongly of sake. It also smells of ripe bananas, inexplicably. Takes a bit of getting used to, but not unpleasant. The pump bottle it comes in is sucky, so I do recommend decanting it into a small spray bottle so this doesn’t end up flooding your vanity or something. It has the consistency of water and is slightly milky.
Very hydrating and slightly sticky, it’s a fantastic first step or, for daytime hydration in humid environments, even as a single moisturizing step on its own. You can put it on before a sheet mask, put it on before your other skincare, put it on your lips (really) before a lip balm, or use it as a body product. If the placenta ingredient bothers you, there’s the version in the white bottle, but it doesn’t have ceramides and contains alcohol denat.
I have heard good things about, but not tried, similar supersized lotions at a similar price point: Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner (500 ml), Doshisha Platinum Label Adlay Lotion (1000 ml), Doshisha Platinum Label Horse Oil Skin Lotion (1000 ml).
Sheet masks in bulk
Some of my twitter timeline has really gotten into sheet masks, so I spent some time scouring Roseroseshop. Keep in mind that Roseroseshop charges shipping by the weight, so if you’re just buying 10 masks it’s not worth it. However, depending on where you live, it may come out pretty well.
I tried calculating shipping to the US and the UK; essentially, you’d be paying $24.74 for 40 masks. Not bad. To hit this price point, you have to pick wholesale sheet mask listings that have been heavily discounted. As of this writing, those would be these 3W Clinic masks (I have used them before, they are pretty indifferent as far as sheet masks go, but they aren’t bad; for my money I’d go for the red ginseng variant) and these RiRe masks.
Alternatively, and I have never used these so I have no idea as to the quality, these Vanedo masks are available on Ebay in bulks of 30 pieces for $19. Reviews of it exist, at least: here, and here, and here. Apparently the lemon one smells terrible.