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Before trying a new product, many people will go online and look up reviews, or check what their favourite beauty bloggers have said about it. But everyone’s skin is different, so what one person says works may not necessarily translate into the same results for you.

That being said, there are a lot of really great brands and cult favourite products. So how do we choose one over another, especially if they are both great products and seem really similar? If there are multiple toners that are described as “hydrating”, how do I know which one I should get?

We’re comparing some products that are similar, but looking into some subtle differences that might make it easier to choose which will work better for you. Some of them suit certain skin types better, some are targeted at difference consumers, and some are purely a matter of preference.


Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner is a long time favourite, and a staple of many skincare lineups. After the original formula gathered a cult following, Dear, Klairs released a second, unscented version.

Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner vs Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner
Both toners are fast-absorbing, hydrating and nourishing. Use them to balance the skin and prepare it for the rest of your products. Both contain soothing ingredients like centella and aloe leaf extract, and hydrate with sodium hyaluronate. The texture is gel-like, though some people feel the unscented version is slightly thinner.

The main difference is that the unscented version doesn’t contain any of the essential oils the original has. Though many people don’t have an issue with botanical oils, some people find that they can cause breakouts or irritate their skin. So while the original has lavender, eucalyptus and citrus oils (among others), the unscented version is sensitive-skin friendly and fragrance free.

Facial Scrubs

Gone are the microbead-filled scrubs we used to rub on our teenage faces. Sugar has always been a popular physical exfoliant, because it starts to dissolve on contact with water, making it gentler and less abrasive. It’s also good to check if there are acid exfoliants in the formula as well.

Dear, Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish vs Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off
Which black sugar scrub you use here will largely depend on the effect you want the exfoliation to have. The Skinfood mask contains organic black sugar, and is enriched with seed oils and shea butter. It’s also a low pH formula, so it won’t dry out your skin. If your skin is dull or acne-prone, use this mask for clearer, softer skin.

The Dear, Klairs facial polish contains finer grains and is creamier in texture, which works well for sensitive skin that needs something gentle. While you might not get as much scrubbing action out of this formula, it contains cranberry seed oil, a potent antioxidant. Licorice root powder also helps with hyperpigmentation, making this a good choice for those who are looking for soft exfoliation as well as some brightening, anti-aging benefits.

Vitamin C Serums

Vitamin C is an extremely effective active, good at fading hyperpigmentation, fighting acne, and reducing signs of aging. A higher concentration of vitamin C (usually in the form of ascorbic acid) can give you better results, but some people can find it irritating. It’s important to store vitamin C products carefully as it can be unstable. Keep it in a dark, cool place (the fridge is good), and try to keep the bottle closed as much as possible. If it starts to turn brownish it’s time to throw it out - it has oxidized and won’t be any use anymore.

Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop vs By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum
Both of these vitamin C serums are extremely popular, but which to use will largely depend on your skin’s ability to tolerate different concentrations of vitamin C. Both products will fight blemishes, and contain soothing ingredients, but the By Wishtrend serum contains a much more concentrated dose of vitamin C, at 21.5%. In comparison, the Dear, Klairs formula contains 5% vitamin C.

This makes sense, since Dear, Klairs’ mandate is to help people with sensitive skin. If your skin is easily irritated, you’ve had reactions to vitamin C before, or you’re trying vitamin C for the first time, this may be the right product for you. Starting with a low concentration a couple of times a week will give your skin time to get used to the formula. On the other hand, a veteran vitamin C user will be able to appreciate the effectiveness of the By Wishtrend serum. The higher concentration means you get the most bang for your buck, and will likely see more immediate results.

Snail Cream

Snail mucin is a wonderful thing. It’s extremely soothing and good at healing skin, moisturizes without being heavy, and helps reduce signs of aging as well. It’s no wonder it’s so popular now, and being used in many repairing and healing products.

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream vs Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream
Mizon and COSRX are both considered very reliable brands, with a lot of popular and well-received products. Mizon is known for its snail mucin formulas, and the All in One Snail Repair Cream is a favourite. It calms inflamed skin, has a nice, slippery texture, and works really well with other products. Both the COSRX and the Mizon contain a whopping 92% snail mucin.

What differs between the two products is the texture and finish. The Mizon cream is slightly lighter, and finishes matte, which makes it ideal if your skin is a little on the oily side. The COSRX cream is a medium weight formula, and is more moisturizing. It also tends to leave the skin a little dewy, perfect for people with drier skin. You may also want to take into consideration the texture and type of makeup you use, as these will create a different base on which the makeup sits.


You know your skin best, so start off by working out what your skin type is, what specific concerns you have, and what results you’d like to see. Keep track of what you’ve tried and what ingredients have worked for you (or haven’t). Like a lot of things, fine-tuning which products you pick requires practice, patience, and a little research!

Did you find this helpful? Let us know in the comments below if you’d like to see more reviews and product comparisons !