This skincare brand’s products start at 20 pesos - is it any good?

When I first stumbled across Face Republic on my social media feeds, I thought I was looking at Nature Republic and Innisfree. My initial confusion came from the similar names and branding, but after reading more about this new player, I learned that it offers the unique premise of creating Korean skincare products that have been specially designed for Filipino skin. The brand’s CEO Yohan Kim explains that the temperate climate in Korea means that their skincare products are designed for drier weather, so formulations can feel too heavy and greasy on Pinays.

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Launched just last year, Face Republic only has a few product offerings for now but they have been active about listening to what Filipinas want in their skincare. The price points are pretty reasonable, too, with everything under P600! Here’s a quick roundup and review of what they have so far.

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Gold Mineral Cleanser (P23 for 5ml and P399 for 100ml)

Since writing about and living the low pH cleanser life, I just couldn’t put this on my face as it scored 10 on the pH scale when we tested it. I did try to wash my hands with this, and it left my skin with a dry, too-clean afterfeel of a high pH cleanser. It has a soapy floral fragrance that fades right after rinsing. This cleanser also highlights the inclusion of 10ppm of gold as an antioxidant ingredient for reviving skin - it brings that luxe feel into the experience but the benefits of using precious minerals in skincare has yet to be proven.

Crystal Glow Whitening Cream (P26 for 2ml and P499 for 30ml)

What’s a Korean brand without a whitening cream of some sort? I first thought this would be a tone-up cream, but I did not see the usual brightening effect on my morena skin. I prefer to use it as a hydrating primer, as it makes my base look dewy! One of its ingredients is niacinamide; this may help brighten the face with continued use, but I haven’t been able to observe any noticeable changes.

Swatches, from left: Perfect Cover BB Cream, Super Screen Sun Gel SPF50+, and Crystal Glow Whitening Cream

Swatches, from left: Perfect Cover BB Cream, Super Screen Sun Gel SPF50+, and Crystal Glow Whitening Cream

Super Screen Sun Gel SPF50+ (P20 for 2ml and P499 for 50ml)

This is the product that I was most excited for after Tellie said it was similar to Liz’s sunscreen HG. It feels lightweight and watery, and dries to a matte finish without leaving a white cast. One complaint: it smells like men’s cologne and camphor so I feel like I’m slathering on aftershave. Also, it contains alcohol and may not work well for those with sensitive skin.

Perfect Cover BB Cream (P29 for 1.5ml and P599 for 40ml)

I had a college throwback moment upon seeing the pale shade of this BB cream. Usually, I compare BB creams to my faves like iWhite BBholic BB Cream in Beige. This one works better as a tone-up cream for morena skin, with a buildable light to medium coverage. However, wearing this alone gives my face a grayish cast so I asked Nine to model its application instead. It also transfers easily, with a wear time of three hours. I also discovered that the product tends to separate when not in use, so make sure to shake the tube well before application to avoid the oily discharge.

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Sheet masks: Whitening Rice Formula, Nourishing Snail Essence, Soothing Aloe Extract (P49 each)

Despite my initial doubts because of the cheap price tag, their sheet masks has a quality that was quite impressive! The essence is thick but not sticky, leaving my skin feeling hydrated until the next morning. The sheet mask itself is made sturdy from sturdy material, and is comparable to Mediheal’s masks.

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Since it’s a new brand, I really appreciate that Face Republic has sachet versions that make it easier to try their offerings. Plus, you can find them in all Watsons branches! Overall, the products I would use again from the line are the Sun Gel and the sheet masks, as these were the best performers of the bunch.

Have you tried Face Republic products? Which one is your favorite?

Photography by Nicole Quindara


Gold Mineral Cleanser ingredients: Water, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Lauric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Myristic Acid, Glycol Distearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Beeswax, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Dextrin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Allantoin, Lactose, Cellulose, Polyquaternium-7, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Platycodon Grandiflorum Root Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Tocopheryl Acetate, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Gold (10ppm), 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Edta, Fragrance, Ci 77491, Ci 19140, Ci 15985


Crystal Glow Whitening Cream ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propanediol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Niacinamide, Polysorbate 60, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Carbonated Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Prunus Serrulata Flower Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Flower Extract, Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Lilium Tigrinum Extract, Rosa Rugosa Flower Extract, Oleth-10, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Simethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone, Arginine, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Oleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance


Super Screen Sun Gel SPF50+ ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor, Behenyl Alcohol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide Np, Mineral Water, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Tromethamine, Carbomer, Fragrance, Silica, Adenosine, Disodium Edta, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexylglycerin


Perfect Cover BB Cream ingredients: Inonotus Obliquus Extract (Mushroom), Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclopentasiloxane, Mica, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Isostearyl Isostearate, Arbutin, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba), Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ci 77492, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Dipentaerythrityl Hexa C5-9 Acid Esters, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbitan Olivate, Squalane, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan Palmitate, Ci 77491, Snail Secretion Filtrate , Ci 77499, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ultramarines, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Rhus Semialata Gall Extract , Adenosine, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Extract