Between the sun and surf, an active lifestyle can prove a challenge in trying to achieve the ideal healthy skin. I was recently sent a trio of products to try from boutique kbeauty brand TARA, which has just arrived in Singapore. Read on for my full review.
Annyeong everyone! I am here today to share my two cents on a collection that I have recently tried and come to love - TARA’s Sea Therapy Collection. TARA is an indie brand from South Korea - my favourite vacation country! This boutique kbeauty brand emphasises the use of ocean-inspired, clean and pure ingredients with exceptional quality.
What differentiates them from other kbeauty brands is the premium sea therapy experience that you are going to enjoy right in the comfort of your own home when you use their products. Plus, if you are going on a staycation (or soon hopefully, a vacation), TARA’s products are super light and travel-friendly! (: In my opinion, there is no better time to pamper your skin than on staycations!
But before we jump into the review, here’s a little background about myself and TARA’s unique sea therapy skincare range. I have a very active lifestyle spending many hours out under the sun cycling and swimming which does take a toll on my skin. I am also a huge fan of Korea’s natural beauty products and routines so naturally, most of my skincare products are from South Korea.
Our skincare needs are similar to South Koreans' skincare needs during the warm and humid summers where the climate is very similar to Singapore’s. Many South Koreans also have similar skincare goals as Singaporeans, making many of their products suitable and even recommended for us here in South East Asia.
But while their sunny and humid summer days are similar to what we experience here all year round, South Koreans do get to enjoy the winter snow which we do not. This is why you shouldn’t jump blindly on the kbeauty bandwagon as many kbeauty products can be too rich for our local conditions - unless you’re cooped up in an ultra cold air conditioned environment 24 hours a day.
Now, back to TARA! Besides using organic active ingredients from the deep sea, all of TARA’s products are free of harmful chemicals and pigments and all ingredients are sourced sustainably. TARA was created on the belief that marine energy restores both the skin and the soul which isn’t a new concept as the healing powers of the ocean are well documented throughout history.
The products that I had the opportunity to review all come from their Sea Therapy Collection, which consists of the Aqua Peptide Antioxidant Ampoule, BHA Overnight Velvet Peel and the Algae Ampoule Sea Therapy Mask. My first impression was one of a luxury product with its mirrored packaging and lovely unboxing experience and the products didn’t disappoint. Here’s an overview of what to expect from TARA’s Sea Therapy Collection.
First up, the BHA Overnight Velvet Peel is a chemical exfoliant that is suitable for sensitive skin. A box has 12 packets with 5ml of serum in each packet. Within each packet, you get a cotton swab which is 100% cotton, making it safe for sensitive skin. Also, with the cotton swab provided, it means you do not use your hands but rather just glide the cotton swab covered in the serum all over the face which is convenient and more sanitary.
The packet may look small, but the serum is so concentrated, it was sufficient in covering my whole face! The serum had a refreshing and cooling sensation on my skin and with special ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Marine Collagen and Deep Seawater, it helps to gently exfoliate and regenerate your skincells while removing impurities and reducing blackheads.
My T-zone, which is a common problem area, is usually oilier than the rest of my face. BHA/AHA is widely recommended by dermatologists to help with the regulation and management of this problem. As this product contains both, it enhances its effectiveness to slough off the excess dead skin cells, unclog pores and control my oily complexion, improving my skin’s appearance!
I left the serum on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off. However, since it is an overnight peel, you could also leave it on if you prefer to let the goodness of the serum slowly sink into your skin overnight. It is really a personal preference.
It is also recommended to apply a moisturiser, ampoule or mask to hydrate the skin after. As with any chemical peel, you only need to do this twice a week and not more than 3 times making one box sufficient for a 1 - 2 month period.
Can I just say that their mask is amazing! I could see the results within the next day. I applied the mask after using the BHA Overnight Peel and I saw the difference it made to my skin. My pores minimised visibly and my skin looks brighter!
When I first tore open the packet, I was surprised by the generous amount of serum that came with each mask. I had so much excess that the serum was dripping into the packet as I took the mask out, and it was enough for me to use on my neck too! Don’t waste them ;P
What I like about this mask, as compared to the ones I’ve tried before, is that it is so thin and light on the skin that I don’t feel super uncomfortable while I mask while watching Netflix! And because it is so thin, the mask sits nicely on my face and the serum doesn’t drip off my chin, making masking a lot less messy.
Reading about the ingredient (and the philosophy) behind this mask had me wow-ed! This sheet mask is soaked in rich Spirulina and soothing Centella Asiatica Extract that helps rejuvenate tired skin. Not forgetting TARA’s signature ingredient, this mask also contains antioxidant rich Algae Ampoule that was very effective in brightening my skin.
According to Jin Lee, the founder of TARA, “Green algae ampoule combined with deep seawater helps suppress the absorption of harmful substances and hydrate the skin to improve its strength and radiance.” She wasn’t kidding! The beauty world is flooded with sheet masks at all price points but this sheet mask is one of the best I’ve tried and it delivered visible results in a very short time.
Moving to the last item in the collection and my FAVOURITE of all- the Aqua Peptide Antioxidant Ampoule! Though I only use an ampoule once a week, it is very important to invest in the right one as ampoules are more concentrated than serums and pack a greater skincare punch.
The shiny, reflective box contains 5 individually packed bottles, 3ml each with 2 stoppers. They are individually packed in order to preserve its efficacy as exposure to air can cause ampoules to lose some of its efficacy. That’s why you should always tightly cap your serums and ampoules. Although 3ml per bottle sounds terribly little, each bottle can actually lasted me between 2 -3 uses!
Once I squeezed the ampoule out, I could feel how rich and concentrated it was. Ampoules are used after cleaning and toning but before the use of your serums and moisturizers. After cleansing and toning, I gently pat the ampoule on my slightly damp face. This is really important as it is not advisable to apply your skincare products to completely dry skin. A little bit of dampness will aid the absorption of your skincare products.
Tiny but mighty, this luxurious ampoule from TARA’s delivers 6 specific benefits:
Protects - rich in antioxidants to protect your skin against free radicals, especially important if you spend a lot of time outdoors as your skin is more exposed to environmental stressors.
Rejuvenates - Packed with all kinds of skin healthy ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Spirulina, this ampoule helps rejuvenate tired skin and promote skin health.
Lifts - This ampoule helps tighten and firm your skin by encouraging collagen production in your skin for a more “lifted” and youthful look.
Hydrates - Chock full of hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Deep Seawater, its hydrating properties help prevent fine lines and wrinkles developing, especially around the eyes!
Elasticity - Rich in active ingredients that promote skin elasticity and collagen production, this ampoule is also curative and helps reduce the appearance of existing fine lines and wrinkles.
Brightens - The brightening effect of this ampoule is one of its key features with results visible within days of using it helping you achieve a more even, brighter and youthful looking complexion.
I have quite an active lifestyle and have developed many skin issues because of it. From prolonged sun exposure to regularly dunking myself in chlorinated pool water, an active lifestyle can have many skin repercussions like dry, irritated and sensitive skin. I found this ampoule to be one of the best ampoules I have ever used. Soothing and moisturising, this miracle in a bottle, also visibly brightened and evened my skin tone after just a week or two of use!
The ampoule was definitely my favourite but I highly recommend all 3 of TARA’s Sea Therapy Collection products and I will definitely be a returning customer! I found all their products to be effective and suitable for our local climate and lifestyle. TARA’s products can be a little on the pricey side but you get what you pay for and if you are willing to splurge a little, you will definitely not be disappointed!
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