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WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? Comparing Similar Products to Find What’s Best For You

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.

Powder Enzyme Cleansers

If you’ve never tried a powder cleanser, you might find them surprisingly convenient and easy-to-use. Because they’re dry they have a great shelf life, and are an ideal product to bring travelling. They also often have a combination of gentle exfoliation and cleansing that make them a multi-purposed product to have on hand.

Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash vs By Wishtrend Green Tea and Enzyme Powder Wash

Let’s start with some similarities - both cleansers are pH balancing (at around 5.5.), which means they won’t strip your skin or be unduly harsh. They also both contain papain, an extract from papaya which is a mild exfoliant.

One of the first differences you’ll see on the ingredient lists are the type of starch used. The Tosowoong uses corn starch, while the By Wishtrend powder uses baking powder, as well as green tea powder. Baking powder tends to be safer to use on oilier skin, while green tea can also help reduce excess sebum production. There’s also a difference in texture - the powder in the Tosowoong is more granular, while the By Wishtrend is finer. The amount of exfoliation you get can be adjusted by adding more or less water. The more you use, the more the powder dissolves, so the less physical exfoliation you’ll get. 

If your skin is oily or prone to acne, the By Wishtrend Green Tea Wash is likely the better choice, as one of its main functions is to unclog pores and prevent acne. If you’re looking for a gentle exfoliant or your skin is prone to being dry, try the Tosowoong Powder Wash. As with a lot of exfoliants, you don’t necessarily need to use them every day - two to three times a week is enough.


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.

I’m From Rice Toner vs E NATURE IROUL:E Rice Essential Tone-Starter

Rice water is a popular ingredient in toners. It has the advantage of being a nice watery texture, and is known to have brightening and smoothing properties. The bran is sometimes used as an exfoliant, and fermented rice water is used in anti-aging treatments.

Both of these toners are super lightweight and absorb quickly for a non-sticky finish. Like a lot of toners, they aim to balance the skin barrier so it retains its natural pH and stays healthy. However, the I’m From Rice Toner focusses on dull, dry skin. It uses rice bran extract and niacinamide to brighten and exfoliate so your skin looks less tired and more vibrant. It’s also surprisingly moisturizing for such a light formula, making it perfect for people who have dry skin.

The E NATURE toner contains fermented rice water, which is rich in antioxidants and minerals that cleanse and smooth skin. Rice bran extract and niacinamide brighten and give skin an even complexion. In addition, it contains several botanical fruit, flower, and seed oils that help to clear up acne, control oil production, and calm flare-ups. This makes a great toner for people who want the benefits of rice water, with some major acne-fighting ingredients as well.

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!