10 more Duds: Products that did not Work as Advertised

FEAT Nivea, Dr Jart+, Revlon, Ashirira, AHC, 23 Years Old, Smith’s, Curesys, Mediheal, Melvita

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com – Accurate representation of my emotions while testing the below products.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about 10 products that I genuinely disliked – skincare, body products and makeup duds too. Well, the day has come to continue that beautiful tradition with this here second instalment. As before, I cannot be asked to go into detail for products I did not enjoy using – a quick paragraph for each will have to suffice. I would like to know though –

Should I continue giving my honest opinion on products I hated, or should I just self censor and simply not talk about them – in keeping with the good old ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it’ aphorism? What say you?

Let’s get cracking with today’s mini reviews for now.

◍ 1/10 Nivea – Extra White Quick Dry deodorant ◍

The deodorant by itself smelled ok, but contrary to the promise on the bottle, I found that this left those telltale white deodorant marks on clothes. If you wear black as much as I do, you’ll understand my frustration.

What’s worse, this deodorant was unable to handle my white people odour. At the end of the day, I found myself panic-sniffing my pits and dousing myself in perfume as I felt that I was starting to give off a stink. Probably unfounded and unnecessarily paranoid, but if you’re a language teacher, especially one who teaches a lot of 1:1 classes, you tend to get up close and personal with your students. The last thing you want is to be known as the stinky teacher.

This was not a very efficient deodorant to use and I don’t think I will be buying this any time soon.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

◍ 2/10 Dr Jart+ Calming Sun Protector ◍

When I realised that my beloved Dr Jart+ Every Sunday sunscreen – which I only talk about in, I don’t know, every other post, because I love it so much – was discontinued, I was in a frantic bid to replace it. I marched into the next Olive Young, spotted this and took it home, hoping for a soothing, moisturising sunscreen to alleviate my crappy acne skin.

No such luck, people. This sunscreen is one of those super drying physical ones and in fact reminds me a lot of that awful Mild Oat one from Innisfree which I reviewed over here. Additionally, it leaves you super ashy looking as it contains green pigment, which apparently is supposed to counteract redness in your face.

Now, I could potentially see this working for extremely oily people who want a colour correcting sunscreen, so take my whining with a grain of salt. Personally, I am not into colour correcting, so this just did not work for me on any level. I tried using it on my body but alas, the ashy cast did not work on my neck or arms either, and the formula made me feel sticky and uncomfortable throughout the day.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

◍ 3/10 Ashirira Detox Foot Pads ◍

If I am being completely honest here, I still don’t quite understand the point of these. I think that these are meant for people who do a lot of walking and standing and who deal with swollen feet. Apparently, these are supposed to draw excessive moisture away from your feet and reduce swelling.

I did not feel anything at all. They did not smell much – I had been hoping for some kind of aroma therapy – and the next morning, they were full of something slightly oily and slimy, but I think they just pulled moisture from the air because my gnarly feet felt and looked the same. If you have used them with success, do tell me about your experience in the comments because honestly, I was expecting a bit more from a famous Japanese product such as this.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

◍ 4/10 AHC Intensive Aqua Seaweed Toner & Emulsion ◍

Trashing these makes me really sad, because I got them as a gift from a dear friend for my birthday earlier this year and they were my first AHC products too. Unfortunately, these are full of fragrance – it feels as though you’re rubbing perfume on your face. Plus, they contain alcohol. They broke me out straight away. I used them on my body but found the scent too much even then, so I ended up pouring most of them down the drain, which upset me greatly.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

◍ 5/10 23 Years Old Ban Changko Gel 30 ◍

Don’t even get me started on this waste of space product. It’s like Elmers Glue and rubbing alcohol had a baby – it’s a gel that you can apply to spots. When you first put it on, it burns because of the high alcohol content, then as it dries, it starts peeling and eventually falls off on its own but before that, makes you look as though your face had rabies. Does eff all for zits.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

◍ 6/10 Smith’s Rosebud Salve ◍

This one might be an unpopular opinion. I got this as it came recommended by OG makeup and skincare guru, Michelle Phan, and it was super expensive here in Korea too, ₩15,000 or thereabouts.

I was so disappointed to find that it was just petroleum jelly in a pretty jar with a touch of rose scent. Did nothing for my lips and actually dried them to a husk. I did use it up eventually after 5 years of continuous use as I used it as an eyebrow gel during colder seasons (not recommended when it’s hot out as it may melt and drip into your eyes). As a lip product, this sucked.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

◍ 7/10 Revlon Colorstay Exactify in Black ◍

Having used liquid liner for 16 years in a row now, I consider myself to be reasonably adept at applying it, simply through the sheer number of years of practice and through all the eyeliners and formulas that I have tried up until this point. I also used to think that I can make pretty much any eyeliner work, be it through different application techniques or flipping the nib or dipping it in saline solution or using different primers or eye shadows.

Let me tell you, none of them have ever made me ANGRY… until this piece of utter crap rolled along. I was intrigued by the little roll-on applicator, which at first glance seemed innovative. At second sight, it was just dumb and gimmicky.

The way it works is basically like a pizza knife… you dip the applicator in the product, and you then proceed to roll the little disc along your eyelid. It is not intuitive and application does not come naturally.

On the rare occasions that I tried it, it took me 20+ minutes (vs my usual 2-3 minutes) to get the eyeliner to look somewhat acceptable, and that only with the help of more cotton buds than I’d like to admit, plus lots of four letter swear words and a few choice expletives screamed into the void of my bathroom. I just hated the experience and cannot see how this product made it past the conceptualisation phase, let alone land in stores.

It dries down somewhat shinily and has the tendency to crack after a few hours too. It was easy to remove at the end of the day though. Thank god for small favours.

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

◍ 8/10 Curesys Dark Spot AC Patch ◍

I bought these patches at a time when my skin was just really freaking out and I was at my wit’s end. I did end up seeing a dermatologist – read more about my experience at a Korean dermatologist’s office here.

I had read much about these Dr Jart spiky pimple patches, but always found the pricing a bit rich for my blood. I had also read much about hydrocolloid patches and acne treatments by other companies and was much intrigued. Unsurprisingly, I ended up popping this into my bag late one night after work.

What I did was cleanse and tone my face, then apply the stickers, and then carefully dab around the plasters to finish my skincare routine. In terms of adhesion, these bad boys held up well and they were still all there the next morning, however my zits looked… the same. Not better, not worse, just the same. Honestly, I am confident that I could have made them look better by just sticking to my regular skincare routine.

I will not be looking into buying these again as they, quite simply, did not do anything.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

◍9/10 – Mediheal A Zero Shot and Dr Jart+ Teatreement Soothing Spot ◍

I originally got both spot treatments to be able to compare and pit them against one another, but seeing as they both work the same on me – namely, I don’t see them zapping those zits any faster – I have decided to just talk about both quickly.

Both of them are essentially calamine (metal oxides) suspended in alcohol. While Dr Jart’s offering smells distinctly of sulfur, the Mediheal treatment smells more like tea tree oil. Neither helps reduce the size or appearance of my pimples, and in fact the alcohol just seems to irritate my skin. I can see this product working on teenagers perhaps and people with oily, non-sensitive skin, but you know what? Acne prone skin can often be sensitised skin.

I am still using both but only on my husband’s body acne (sorry if too TMI, just trying to keep it real for the blog).

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

◍ 10/10 Melvita L’Or Bio Extraordinary Oil ◍

I would love to meet the formulator who thought that bringing this product to market was a good idea. This oil is chock-a-block with fragrances and irritants – see the relevant cosDNA entry here, and to tout this as a product for hair, face and body simply screams irresponsible and reprehensible to me. I used it on my face a few times and it completely ruined my skin.

It was ok to use on the body but despite this being marketed as a dry oil, this felt very sticky and uncomfortable. The smell was sickly sweet and unpleasant. On hair, it weighed down my fine hair and pixie crop, though perhaps this could work on coarser strands.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Final Thoughts

I try to stay positive on the blog and I try to see the good in every product. That being said, recounting negative experiences to help others make more informed decisions could lead to positive outcomes.

What was the last product that made you angry or frustrated you to no end? Curious minds want to know.

© 2020 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

14 thoughts on “10 more Duds: Products that did not Work as Advertised

  1. I bought the Nivea deodorant once, and I instantly regretted. I didn’t like the smell, a bit sour on my nose! I went back to Dove deo after that experience

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yessss. I like Dove Silk the most! They’re not available here in Korea anymore though so I’m slightly miffed. Making do with Lady Speed Stick these days. For some reason, Nivea is most commonly available here unfortunately.


      1. Aw, that’s sad to know. They are still available here in the Philippines but very limited, only a few malls have them. Helpful post by the way! Now I know which products to stay away from

        Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG the Ashirira detox foot patches! I have half a box of the hot chilli pepper version from like 2 years ago just sitting there because after using half the box in hopes of some kinda relaxation and de-swelling, I just gave up as they really did nothing at all XD

    Liked by 1 person

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