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A Minor Setback

*Feel free to skip to Ingredients where I begin to compare both products

Unlike in My First Moisturiser, my experience finding a facial wash wasn't as smooth. Let's say I lost focus in finding a product that was suitable for me. It all started when I had almost used up the facial wash from my dermatologist. I can't exactly remember why I had not noticed this or if I did, why I hadn't found a new one to replace it (it could be because I do tend to procrastinate/live in denial heh). With days left before the facial wash finished, I was in a hurry to find a replacement.

Under better circumstances (I have only myself to blame), I would have taken my time in researching products and checking if they were suitable for my oily and Fungal-Acne (FA)-prone skin (check out Introducing My Skin to find out what FA is). However, what I ended up doing was watching just a few YouTube videos on facial washes and purchasing the Simple Micellar Facial Gel Wash, which had relatively good perceptions. There is nothing wrong with doing this, I think YouTube is a great resource when used consciously aka watching more than a few videos.

After finishing more than half of the product, I had to stop. While using it, I experienced an endless cycle of tiny whiteheads on my T-zone, including around my lips and on my chin which has never happened to me before. Fortunately, as I was reaching my wit's end, I tried my cousin's Simple Refreshing Facial Wash. It might just be in my head, but while I was washing my face with this product for the first time I instantly felt it was better. The following parts might suggest why.


Ever since switching to the refreshing facial wash, I was curious to understand why one worked better than the other for me. What better way than to look at their ingredients. On Skincarisma, I found that both were FA-safe. However, two ingredients in the micellar facial wash stuck out to me because there were indications that one might be bad for oily skin while the other bad for sensitive skin (I had to manually enter the ingredients of this product into the Skincarisma because I found that the one they had in the website was different). Furthermore, both of these ingredients are not present in the refreshing facial wash.

The first ingredient is Potassium Chloride. It is known to be a viscosity increasing agent, a substance used to increase the thickness of a product. This product might be bad for those with oily skin because it can clog pores. Considering how I do have oily skin, this might have been the reason for my outbreak while using the micellar facial wash.

The second ingredient is Citric Acid. As this ingredient can serve many purposes, such as being a buffering agent, cosmetic astringent, or chemical exfoliant, it's hard to pinpoint its exact function in the micellar facial wash. However, at high concentrations, it can cause skin irritation. Interestingly enough, the micellar facial wash also contains Sodium Citrate, a by-product of Citric Acid. From this, it seems that my skin could be sensitive to products with Citric Acid.

I found this website to be useful in understanding these ingredients!

Packaging and Fragrance

Besides the refreshing facial wash having a cap with sharper edges, there are few differences in packaging between the products. Both come in 150ml tubes with the front stating that the micellar facial wash is for dry and sensitive skin while the refreshing one is for sensitive skin. You can probably sense how desperate I was when I purchased the micellar facial wash to completely disregard that it was obviously not meant for oily skin. This product also says on the front that it does not leave the skin feeling tight. I found this to be true in both, although it isn't stated on the refreshing facial wash.


I use both the products the same way. First, I wet my face with lukewarm to cold water and squeeze out about a 1.8cm-diameter sized amount of facial wash. After lathering it for a few seconds between my palms, I spread it evenly across my face. Then, I work the product in a circular motion for 1 minute (I recommend trying this! I do find a difference when I don't). To make sure I don't miss any parts of my face and spend enough time on each, I spend 30 seconds on the top part of my face before working to the bottom. Once I've rinsed off the product, I pat my face dry and move on to moisturising.

As both the products are in gel form, they do not lather much, which I'm okay with. However, for the micellar facial wash, I did feel compelled to use more force because when I didn't, my face still felt unclean. Whereas, for the refreshing facial wash, I had no such feeling. Bearing this in mind, the outbreak I had while using the micellar facial wash could have been caused by my aggressive application.

In terms of fragrance, I do prefer the refreshing facial wash over the micellar. Although both do not contain any artificial fragrance, there is a very subtle difference between them. The micellar one does have a bit of a plastic scent.

Final thoughts

At this point, I'm pretty sure most of you know that the Simple Refreshing Facial Wash works better for me. Perhaps the micellar one would work better for those with drier skin or if I had been more gentle while using it. Although the start of getting a facial wash wasn't ideal, I learnt a lot through this experience. As I continue on in this skincare journey, I'll be sure to check the ingredients of products to see if they contain the two that may have contributed to my experience. For now, I plan to continue using the refreshing facial wash (I just got my second tube!). In the future, I might consider trying another facial wash, which has more benefits for oily skin (based on Skincarisma this one seems to have minimal). Currently, I'm in the middle of trying a new facial sunscreen, the Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50 + PA++++. In the meantime, I will be writing about experiences outside of skincare. The next post is a reminder for us to do the things that brings us happiness and for me it was going on a giant swing which turned out to be nerve-wrecking as well!

I would like to end by pointing out that I am not a dermatologist or a doctor but am here to share my experiences and what I have learnt on my skincare journey. Feel free to share yours with me or let me know if I have misrepresented any information.


Understanding the ingredients in cosmetic products and their function

Information on Simple Refreshing Facial Wash (find out more about its ingredients amongst other useful information)

Information on Simple Micellar Gel Wash (the link is messy because I had used the Cosmetic Analyser tool to get more accurate information of the version I owned)

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