This moisturizer for oily & combo skin types is your next summer must have! | Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream Review

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

Finding an ideal moisturizer for oily and combo skin can be tricky! That's why my skincare routine as a teen was tragic - I couldn't find a moisturizer that works for my skin type. Even nowadays I find it tricky sometimes to find a good moisturizer and I guess with age it's getting even harder since you expect a cream to target a few skin issues. Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream quickly found a place in my heart with its light gel texture and no scent. 

What's a moisturizer? 

Moisturizer is a product which we apply on the surface of the skin. Its main task just like the name says is to moisturize the skin. They combine three crucial to the outermost layer of the epidermis types of ingredients: occlusives, humectants and emollients. Their main task is to add moisture to the skin, strengthen the skin barrier and prevent transepidermal water loss.  

Does your skin need a moisturizer?  

Yes! Moisturizer locks the entire moisture you introduced to your skin in previous skincare steps. It's one of the elements that keep you maintain the health and balance of your epidermis.   

How to fit moisturizer to your skin type?  

There are different types of moisturizers. We can divide them by the base of the moisturizer like oil-based moisturizers and water-based moisturizers. But we can also divide them by type of formula. Balms are better for sensitive and dry skin, they might be even useful during retinol treatment or allergic reactions. Creams are usually rich in emollients, thickener ones are better for dry skin or wintertime while lightweight ones will fit combo and oily skin better. Gel creams are better for oily skin or during summer. These are the most common types you can find at shopping malls, but if you go to a drugstore or pharmacy you might also see ointments or cold creams.   

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

About Mary&May  

Mary&May is a Kbeauty brand, the motto of this brand is "believe in truth". So what's the truth that Mary&May is talking about? Mary&May is a skincare brand focused on good ingredients and raw materials. The brand is clear - combines the best raw materials with technology to provide effective products. All Mary&May products are cruelty-free, and the majority or even all products are Vegan-friendly. The brand tries to be transparent and eco-friendly, and Mary&May encourages us to choose smarter and healthier. Usually, patents remind us of big brands and conglomerates. Mary&May has its patented ingredient DSC™ which stands for Derma Soothing Complex. It's a combination of houttuynia cordata and tea tree extract.    

In general, while many brands forgot Houttuynia Cordata, I'm glad Mary&May keeps promoting this herb since I was strongly sure that after Centella Asiatica, Houttuynia Cordata is going to be an "it" herb in skincare, but somehow people were more interested in Artemisia and Mugwort.  

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream - Packaging  

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream comes in that cool eco packaging. The box is made out of recycled paper. Mary&May thought about everything that's why the brand is using eco-friendly soybean oil ink. That's something you would expect from an eco-friendly brand that wants to focus on sustainability. The packaging is made out of glass.  

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream - Texture&Scent  

If you're a fan of fragrance-free products then Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream is for you! The texture is lightweight - it's a white gel cream, non-oily and non-sticky. It's easy to apply, and for me, it's a great moisturizer if you live in a humid climate or if you need something lighter for summertime.   

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream - Ingredients 

Houttuynia Cordata Extract (71,8%), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract (9,7%), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Purified Water, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Isododecane, Panthenol, Arginine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate  

Houttuynia Cordata Extract is an ingredient which some people with acne-prone skin love while for me, my experience was not bad but still all hail Centella! Houttuynia Cordata is a plant, which we still use in Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, it's also known as Heart Leaf or Chinese lizard tail. Funny fact about Houttuynia - it's also called Fish Wort, Fish Leaf, etc. because it's an edible plant and it usually leaves a fishy aftertaste. I eat fish a lot, but I'm not a fan of the fishy taste of low-quality matcha (yep, I'm a tea & fish snob) so I don't think I would enjoy it, I'll stay with enjoying Houttuynia magic in skincare. Houttuynia is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It's also a source of quercetin, quercitrin, rutin and hyperin. If your skin is sensitive, you might love it! It speeds up wound healing properties, and it might help with capillaries. Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract or Tea Tree Leaf Extract is an ingredient with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Glycerin or Glycerol is a humectant. Its origin can be natural or synthetic - depending on the product. It protects TEWL (transepidermal water loss) and naturally occurs in the skin. It's one of the NMFs - natural moisturizing factors. It's practical in hair care. Glycerin won't clog your skin or irritate it just the opposite - it protects your skin from irritation. Butylene Glycol is a common ingredient in products. It's not only a solvent. We use butylene glycol because it helps with the penetration of active ingredients, protects products from drying and moisturizes skin and hair. This ingredient can prevent hair loss and make your hair stronger. 1,2-Hexanediol is a synthetic solvent and preservative - it protects products from microorganisms by boosting other preservatives. At the same time, it can moisturize the skin, and it has no unpleasant effects on your epidermis. Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride is a combination of coconut oil and glycerin. It's a notable emollient, quite common in skincare. It leaves a protective film on the surface of the epidermis to save your cutis from dehydration. Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride has a significant role in skin care products - it makes the application process effortless. Some people might experience pore-clogging after using Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride but pore-clogging and skin reactions to ingredients are individual. What works for you might not work for someone else. Ethylhexyl Palmitate is an oily emollient that provides a satin-like film on the skin. It makes brushing your hair easier. Water hides in cosmetic products under names such as Aqua or Eau. It's a solvent, but it's not your regular drinking water. Water in skin care needs to fit some standards. It should be clean and free from minerals, microorganisms or other substances. Usually, water makes up the majority of the content of the product. Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate is an oil-in-water emulsifier, suitable for vegans. Isododecane is an emollient that leaves a film on the skin. It makes product application easier. 

Panthenol is a humectant. It prevents skin from TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss). Panthenol is also known as vitamin B5, and it helps with inflammation. Panthenol can soothe the skin irritated by preservatives, scent ingredients, and chemical sunscreens - it might have a meaning for lipids in our skin and skin barrier. It speeds up the healing process. It's good to use it after sunbathing. In hair care, Panthenol has moisturizing properties. If you have problems detangling your hair or hair growth go for Panthenol. It is good to mix it with niacinamide and zinc oxide. You can see it in products for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis. Arginine is an amino acid. It helps with protein biosynthesis in adults. According to research from 1964, a lack of arginine might raise your chance to get an HSV infection. Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a synthetic polymer and quite a large molecule. It works as a thickener and emulsion stabiliser. Ammonium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate/​VP Copolymer is a polymer with thickening properties. Ethylhexylglycerin is a preservative with subtle moisturizing and antimicrobial properties. Caprylyl Glycol is an oily emollient and humectant. It leaves a moisturizing film on the surface of the skin. Pentylene Glycol is mostly a solvent and stabilizer, but it has great moisturizing properties. Disodium EDTA neutralizes metal ions in the formula to keep products fresh. Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate is a soothing and antibacterial ingredient. For many people, it's the only acceptable form of Licorice. This ingredient has many positive meanings for the skin - it has moisturizing properties, and it can even lighten the dark spot. Even sensitive skin should enjoy it. Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer is a humectant. Sodium Hyaluronate or sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. It's a form of hyaluronic acid and naturally occurs in the skin. Sodium Hyaluronate has strong water-binding properties. Sodium hyaluronate combined with elastin and collagen is like a scaffolding for the skin. It has hydrating properties and leaves a hydrating film on the skin, but sodium hyaluronate prevents skincare products from drying. Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer is related to sodium hyaluronate. It's a good moisturizer. Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid is a low-weight humectant. We have to remember that not every molecule can get through the skin surface and lower molecule HA can penetrate the skin deeper and bring moisture inside the skin. It's a natural polymer that binds water in the skin to prevent TEWL (transepidermal water loss). Hyaluronic Acid is an ingredient loved by everyone! Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the skin. It's a glycosaminoglycan or GAG. What does that mean? It's a long polysaccharide - nothing else than sugar, and we all know what sugars do in the skin. It's not different from Hyaluronic Acid - it acts like a humectant. One HA molecule is supposed to hold up to 1000x heavier molecules than this one single HA molecule. Hyaluronic acid can have different molecular weights - smaller molecules are usually more hydrating than bigger ones. Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate is a smaller version of sodium hyaluronate. ULMW Hyaluronic Acid (ultra-low molecular weight HA) penetrates skin easier than Hyaluronic Acid. It's a good moisturizer that prevents skin from dehydration. It works in deeper layers of the skin.   

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

How does Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream work?  

I guess I waited for the ideal moment to open Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream since it's getting warmer and my skin has different needs than before. Let's talk about the product itself first and then about my experience.   

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream is based on 71,8% of Houttuynia Cordata and 9,7% tea tree. It's a fragrance-free product which I appreciate a lot and it completed the skin irritation test. According to the brand Mary&May, Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream has an instant cooling effect, it soothes redness and external irritation damage. It's suitable for sensitive skin and it has a "pore convergence effect" - whatever that means. The effects are supposed to be visible right after 2 weeks.   

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream is a cruelty-free product. I'm not a fan of EWG, and Labmuffin made great posts about this topic. I guess I'll add more private points to this post. I was diagnosed as a person with celiac disease when I was 20 so when I started to create content I had this moment when I found companies like EWG good since in my case celiac disease + allergies = I can't eat the majority of food and processed food is quite harmful to my guts but hey, it's harmful to your guts too! Still, people with celiac disease or Crohn's disease have to go through lots of stuff with food, and even at the company where I work, I got a friend who got diagnosed with Crohn's. We both share experience, and we are aware that when you have health complications it's super easy to get into this "pseudoscience" trap. EWG is not better, lots of people once they have some skin or health issues feel like okay I need to eliminate this or that. What changed my view on this topic is education and science. For the last 5 years, I've been studying aesthetic cosmetology. I understand why so many people want to live more healthily and eco, but scaring with science is not a way in my opinion.   

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

Usually, when I see brands promoting their brand being free from something I do mention that, but I try to be neutral about it since it's your consumer choice if you're okay with some ingredients or not. Some people do a great job fighting myths and some Tiktok fearmongering, I feel better about having discussions on an academic level with my lecturers to show them how incompetent they are. Let's just say my target audience is different since I believe that if you want to educate someone - do your job right. So to sum up, just because you see some stickers it doesn't mean that products without them are bad.   

Mary&May created this product without 16 ingredients such as BHT, synthetic colourants, Parabens, Imidazolidinylurea, mineral oil, Thymol, Triisopropanolamine, Sorbic Acid, Triclosan, Avobenzone, Hormones, SLS, Triethanolamine, Butylhydroxyanisole, oxybenzone and Isopropylmethylphenol.   

I always like to see promotional materials for products and what I found in the case of Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream is a good example of how hard can translations be. I see store after store saying that Houttuynia Cordata in Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream contains cuercitrin. When I saw it I was like "Hey, this sounds a lot like Quercitrin". Then I found research translated from Korean with cuercitrin and how it was related to Fishwort - it's another name for Houttuynia Cordata or Eoseongcho (어성초) - brands like Mamonde or Manyo Factory sometimes use Korean names of Houttuynia instead of using English name. I even went to the official Mary&May Korean website (since the brand has a US website as well) and I was right. I saw there "쿠에르치트린" so I believe someone translated this word to cuercitrin instead of quercitrin. This can happen - you have no idea how hard some compounds are to translate.   

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

I might not agree with Mary&May if it comes to clean beauty, but I appreciate when brands are cruelty-free and try to be better for the environment. In general, Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream gets a big "YES!" from me, because this formula is so lovely for my skin. During warmer months I love to use gel-like formulas and Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream fits these criteria well. The product doesn't feel heavy on my skin and I feel like my epidermis drinks this formula in a few seconds. It doesn't leave an oily film on the skin, but it sinks into the skin very quickly leaving it soft and bouncy on the touch. The white colour of the formula doesn't leave the white cast and this product has no scent.   

I appreciate that Mary& May decided not to add Niacinamide to Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream since for sensitive skin, Niacinamide can cause some redness, so the formula helps me a lot with calming my skin. Also, if you use serums with high amounts of Niacinamide, let's be honest - you don't need that ingredient in every step of your skincare routine.   

For some skins, Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream might not give enough moisture, but for me, it's good under makeup or hydrating sunscreens. If you have an important event then this cream might be a good combo with sunscreen and makeup. This formula fits oily & combo skin types, but sensitive skin should be happy with this formula too. I do have sensitive skin, especially on retinoids and it didn't cause any irritation. The fact that it worked with all the sunscreens I've tested lately is a big plus since last year I had a huge problem with sunscreen pilling.   

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream

Where to buy Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream and how much does it cost?  

Mary&May Sensitive Soothing Gel Blemish Cream costs $15.83/50ml on OhMyBeloved*.  

Overall, Mary&May surprised me with this lightweight formula that fits my skin and didn't clog the pores. Have you ever tried Mary&May before?



*** This post was made in a collaboration with OhMyBeloved*, 
even though it still shows my personal opinion on the topic and product. This post contains affiliate links, all affiliate links are marked with (*) sign. ***

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