I’m terrible at getting ready for bed. Whatever state of undress I’m in when my eyelids start getting heavy counts as pajamas, and my contact lenses infrequently make their way off my eyeballs. I don’t ease into sleep, but full-on crash into it.
“Just take off your makeup,” I tell myself, mantra-like, as Netflix autoplays the next episode of The Good Place, since doing one productive thing is better than doing no productive things. After several years of ignoring my own pleas, I’ve found that consistently stocking this one K-beauty cleanser has been key to not only taking off my face (as I like to call makeup removal), but completing my whole dang skincare routine before falling off the face of the earth (as I like to call sleeping).
The 9 Wishes Rice Foaming Cleanser came to me via the Case Full of Seoul, last year’s popular K-beauty skincare bundle that was packaged in a sleek Deal or No Deal-style silver briefcase and exclusively sold at, of all places, Costco — I’ll take some essence with my sheet cake, I guess? (As far as I know, the big-box store doesn’t carry it anymore; you can find it through resellers at a much higher price on Amazon.) The 12-piece set that I received as a holiday gift included one brand I had heard of, May Coop, and many others that I hadn’t, like Urang and Touch in Sol.
While it was fun to layer on one product after another, I had no intention of keeping up with the elaborate routine — not to mention its total cost, regardless of whether it was a gift set — once the bottles were emptied. But since I used the cleanser day and night like the instruction card specified, it depleted faster than the rest of the products, and I quickly re-upped on Amazon rather than go without it.
Shop now: $22, amazon.com
What I like most about the cleanser itself is the gentle exfoliation it provides, thanks to the rice powder in its formula. A facialist once told me that I should incorporate an exfoliator a few times a week to improve the appearance of my dry, redness-prone skin; the rice powder in 9 Wishes’s formula is delicate enough that twice-daily use isn’t going overboard, so I don’t have to invest in a whole other product. And after I pat dry, my lightly resurfaced face feels bright and refreshed, not tight like the other cleanser that’s now sitting unused in my shower and shall not be named.
What I like most about the cleanser as a concept, however, is that it’s the catalyst for me to use everything else that makes my skin noticeably better with consistent use. After I do the labor of taking off a full face of makeup — I love using Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water in conjunction with the 9 Wishes cleanser to be sure that everything is completely removed — then I get to slap on the fun stuff: toner, a moisturizer with retinol, a few precious drops of this wildly expensive serum. Another leftover Case Full of Seoul product, the Urang Glow Oil Serum, tops it all off, and the next morning, I use the cleanser again to get rid of any trace of residue before applying toner and moisturizer and makeup all over again.
I’m also going to credit this cleanser with making me take my contacts out more regularly, since I’m already up and in the bathroom; the pajama situation, however, is still dire. Shop the cleanser that finally motivated me to wash my face at night (and made my skin baby-soft in the process) for $22 at Amazon.com.
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