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Being a cactus plant enthusiast, I couldn’t overlook the fact that cactus extracts can be used as a beauty ingredient. I adore how strong and self-sufficient these plants are in extreme desert conditions so it’s no surprise they can do wonders for skin!
Korean cosmeceutical brand Bueno concocts products using natural and highly effective ingredients to rejuvenate skin, adhering to what its name stands for – beauty, unique, eco, natural and organic. Trying Bueno’s Cactus Peeling Pore Toner was a given for me, but I also tried the bestselling Paris Queen Huile to reap more from the brand’s decade of stem cell research. Find out whether these products are truly effective in mitigating pores and renewing skin!
What it does: Brightens skin, reduces fine lines, shrinks pores and gently removes dead skin cells to make skin smooth and clear. Its peeling effect is mild on skin, so it’s sensitive-skin-friendly.
Key ingredients: Extract from the prickly opuntia ficus-indica cactus plant – more commonly known as prickly pear – penetrates into skin for robust moisture, as well as antioxidant and revitalizing benefits. Prickly pear contains eight times more vitamins than aloe and includes active compounds like amino acids and flavonoids that moisturize and condition skin. Toner also contains AHA, BHA, PHA and patented EVERMAT to control sebum and shrink pores, and tuber melanosporum (black truffle) extract to provide hydrating, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
My experience: I used this toner only at night for two weeks, right after cleansing my face. It had a slight tart smell that was neither off-putting nor fragrant. I squirted a few drops to the palms of my hands and gently patted the toner onto my skin. Though refreshing at first, it left a slightly sticky feel on my skin soon after. My skin didn’t noticeably peel, but it looked brighter and recharged after a few days of use. The toner kept my skin moisturized. The serums and creams I applied after also absorbed better. My pores remained the same size, though I never had large pores to begin with, and luckily, I don’t have a lot of fine lines to see if there’s any reduction. Even though my skin didn’t drastically benefit from the toner, it’s safe to say it made my complexion look and feel rejuvenated.
What it does: Soothes, moisturizes and nourishes skin. It also relieves stress and tension from the mind and body with its woody aromatic scent. It’s great for all seasons and skin conditions, especially dry skin.
Key ingredients: Jojoba seed oil, sweet almond seed oil, sesame seed oil and olive fruit oil. Only EWG green grade ingredients are used.
My experience: I mixed two drops of this oil into my usual face cream, both morning and night. I fell in love at once with its woody aromatic scent, which Bueno claims to relieve stress and calm the jitters. While the scent made me feel good, it didn’t fully ease my mind and body. I applied extra drops to my neck as if I were using perfume, though the scent gradually faded throughout the day. Compared to typical face oils, the texture of this one was lightweight, which was a big plus for me. Better yet, it was also moisturizing and spread well when used in conjunction with my face cream. After a few days of trial, I used less of my face cream as I was already receiving a rich dose of moisture from the face oil. My skin looked healthy and felt well-nourished.
Both the Cactus Peeling Pore Toner and Paris Queen Huile fared well on my skin, though their effects were not noticeably different from the products in my usual routine. Overall, my favorite part of this experience was basking in the aromatic rustic scent of the oil, because it reminded me of the humble suburb abode I grew up in, where tall pine trees covered the backyard. Though I wasn’t wowed, I enjoyed using both products and recommend them if you want something new for dry skin.
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