This article contains affiliate links* The Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad was one of the skincare bestsellers of 2020 in Korea – enriched with “it ingredient” carrot seed oil, these pads target troubled skin, promising to soothe and hydrate. Learn whether these trendy orange-hued pads are worth the hype in today’s review!
I’ve been talking about K-beauty trends for 2020 on my latest podcast episode, where I put the spotlight on five trends that seem to be particularly hyped at the moment. One of those trends has been a bit of a surprise for me, to be frank. The current popularity of carrot seed oil as an “it ingredient” was something I did not see coming! Carrot seed oil is a skincare ingredient that I mostly connect to organic beauty brands, and it’s been around for a long time in the German organic beauty industry. I guess just as in fashion, so, too, does everything come back as a trend at some point! I wonder – will we see a new “cica craze” in about 20-30 years?
But, I digress. Today, the product in the spotlight is from a brand that has a whole skincare line centred around carrot seed oil. Bellamonster is still a relatively new brand, with a clean aesthetic and a very streamlined approach to products, with three main skincare lines: “Sensitive Care”, “Pore Out” and “Stress Out” – all of them pretty self-explanatory in terms of what type of skin ailments they address. With its bright orange and white packaging, the Stress Out range is probably the best-known set of products from the brand, with the Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad its clear bestseller.
I had been super keen to try these hydrating, mildly exfoliating pads for quite some time, and so it was a special treat to receive them as a souvenir from Seoul! Let’s have a look at the ingredients and general info on the pads first, and then – as always – I’ll share my thoughts about the product.
Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad – the Basics
The Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pads are meant to be used right after cleansing, to soothe troubled skin and help with acne breakouts. Basically, the “stressed” skin targeted here is mainly acne-plagued skin with a tendency to inflammation.
I actually made a mistake in the last podcast episode when I said that the Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad has only a negligible exfoliating effect. At first glance, I had only spotted lactic acid in the ingredient list, but it also contains glycolic acid, although I can’t give you the exact percentage of acid. I still suspect that it’s not going to be much higher than one-ish percent, since this is the norm with most K-beauty pads. Both lactic acid and glycolic acid are AHAs, which help smooth rough skin texture and slough off dead skin cells, helping to speed up the renewal cycle of the skin.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad:
“Centella Asiatica Extract, Water, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Arginine, Polysorbate 20, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycolic Acid, Panthenol, Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil, Allantoin, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Lactic Acid, Disodium Edta, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Fragrance, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Dextrin, Cyanocobalamin.”
Now, the fact that this product contains carrot seed oil – an essential oil – means that people with sensitivities to fragrance may need to be careful about using it. The pads’ essence does smell pretty strongly of the oil, which has a herbally sweet scent. Carrot seed oil is an emollient, meaning it has a moisturising and skin-softening effect on the skin. It is also said to help with inflammation and possess antioxidant properties, though I couldn’t find fully scientific sources for these claims. As I discussed on the podcast, carrot seed oil has a long history of being used in organic skincare formulations, especially those targeting dry skin. It’s interesting to me that Korean brands mostly seem to use it in troubled/acne-care products, presumably because of its potentially anti-inflammatory action.
When it comes the rest of the ingredients, they form a nice little mix of hydrators and moisturisers: rose water, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil and macadamia seed oil, plus the humectant urea all help to keep skin nicely plump and smooth. I’m always happy to see my beloved centella asiatica extract on the list, which is great for inflamed, acne-prone skin. The Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pads are free from any alcohol.
Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad – Troubled Skin Soother Ahoi!
The first thing I positively noticed about the Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad is the size of the pads. They seem a tad bigger and also sturdier overall than some of the other K-beauty pads I’ve tried, such as the Cosrx One Step Original Clear Pad* or the Purito Centella Green Level All in One Mild Pad*, though to be fair it’s been a while since I’ve tried those two and my memory on their size may be hazy. I also really like the convenient flip-top lid, which makes taking out a pad less of an awkward affair.
Like most exfoliating pads, the Stress Out Solution Pads have one side embossed and one smooth, so they offer a certain level of physical exfoliation as well in conjunction with the acids. When swiping them over my face, I didn’t feel the embossed side was harsh or too rough, and overall the sensation is pleasantly soft. The pads are sufficiently soaked in essence and hold on to it well – some toner pads tend to “leak”, which often means there is a lot of essence left over after using them up. This was the one thing that slightly bothered me about the otherwise excellent Commleaf Rose Moisture Pads* I reviewed a while ago.
The strong carrot seed oil scent does take some getting used to, but it doesn’t linger on the skin. I love using these pads on days where I don’t use any other actives, to just give my face a very mild after-cleanse and remove dead skin cell “debris” that my cleanser may not have caught. The toner essence feels pleasantly refreshing and does a great job hydrating and invigorating my skin. After using a pad, I always find my skin to be looking extra rosy and “awake”, with a faint glow. The soothing ingredients do a good job calming down my redness, though nothing ever fully gets rid of it, I think it’s just part of my natural tone, sadly.
I am not sure if the pads really help with existing breakouts, but I can say that after I used them consistently every day for a week that there seemed to be less breakouts overall, and my skin seemed clearer than usual right before my period (always the trickiest skincare week for me!).
Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad – the Bottom Line
This is a new favourite of mine when it comes to K-beauty pads, for sure! Compared to the Purito Centella Green Level Pad, I find the Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad far more gentle and less aggravating for my skin. The essential oils in the Purito pads were just too much for me, personally, while I have no trouble tolerating the Bellamonster pads. If you have acne-prone skin, I would still suggest you try out the Cosrx pads, since they contain BHA, an acid that is actually better suited for oilier skin types with breakouts.
To me, the Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pads work particularly well for dehydrated combo skin, though I think drier skin types may also enjoy these, as they are more hydrating than the Cosrx pads, for instance, though not as deeply hydrating as the Commleaf pads or the Dermatory Azulene Gauze Cica Pads,* which I’m also trialling at the moment. The Bellamonster pads offer mild exfoliation in combination with a nice dose of hydration, so for me they are a rather perfect balance!
If I have made you curious about these pads and the brand Bellamonster, you can purchase the Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad* at Yesstyle for usually around 13$ for 70 pads. I’ve also heard great things about the Sensitive Care Solution Pad* from Bellamonster, and I hope to be able to try them out at some point. This is definitely a brand to watch, no doubt.
Let me know in the comments: Are you jumping on the carrot seed oil hype? Have you tried the Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad yet?
Take care guys!
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