MiLi’s PR Manager, Victoria Ross uses the MiLi Pure to test her top beauty buys on a five-week mission to find the best "all-ages appropriate" face moisturizing products.

“We decided to focus on moisture-rich cleansers and masks instead of traditional moisturizers. We did this because a) the skin reacts instantly & b) If you use a poor quality cleanser or mask, it strips the skin of moisture each time you wash. The hydrating products you’re using afterwards will have a reduced or non-existent effect."


We’ve all had a “beauty rush” before.  It’s that fluttering feeling in your stomach when you find a cosmetic product that appears to be the answer to all your skin care problems. Once you’ve bought this magical-face-saver, you can’t wait to get home and try it out.

When you finally try said miracle product, you expect to see results immediately. After all, isn’t that what you paid for?

But life is no fairy-tale and neither is your journey to healthy skin. Most Dermatologists recommend waiting at least one week to see the full results of face moisturizers, masks, serums and washes. There is also the “patch test” option where you test different areas of your skin with various competing products to compare results. But it just sounds tedious and expensive.

Luckily, finding the right moisture balance for your skin is becoming easier and more cost-effective.

Beauty retailers like Sephora have a satisfaction guarantee and offer complete refunds on all product bought within 30 days - even after you've used them.  This is a great incentive to try new brands while minimizing the risk of over-spending on ineffective products. But it doesn’t address the issue of solving your skin problems faster.

The MiLi Pure uses BIA (Bioelectric Impedance Analysis) to test the strength of your skins moisture barrier. The device registers how fast a current can travel from the device through your skin and back. The faster the current travels, the more moisture your skin is holding. This means MiLi can tell you if the product you’re using is working in 5 seconds or less.

With tech products like MiLi, it now takes less time to prove products effectiveness, but finding the right product for your skin is still daunting.

That’s why the MiLi team decided to save you some time by testing and comparing the results after using the trendiest products retailing right now.

The image below depicts the MiLi moisture rating chart used in the five week study: 

Victoria's Daily MiLi Routine

She tested her skin with a MiLi Pure twice each day for five weeks.

Wake-Up: Test skin and record hydration rating before showering, applying product or makeup to the face or hands

Day: Go about daily activities & regular makeup routine

Evening: Cleanse face with each weeks chosen product. Pat access water off of face and apply mask or toner when applicable.

Bed-Time: Test and record hydration before going to sleep

  • Skin Type: Mixed/ Dehydrated
  • Age: 25
  • Solve: Uneven tone, age spots & large pores
  • MiLi Pure Moisture Rating Before Trial: 28% (dry)

Week One

Eve Lom Cleanser

  • Overall Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Price: $$$$
  • MiLi Results: Before: 28% | After: 30%
Opening the jar, you understand why Vogue UK hailed it “probably the best cleanser in the world.” Its contents were a creamy, luscious and spoonable texture. Finished with a dazzling cocoa scent – you impulsively contemplate lathering your entire body in the stuff if not for the $120 a 120ml jar price tag. Please keep in mind, this is a cleanser, not a cream. Devoid of a doinky plastic pump and paraben-rich “micro-beads,” Eve Lom beauty pot packaging lends a completely different experience to nearly every other cleanser on the market.
It’s all natural potion uses the moisturizing & antioxidant powers of raspberry stem cells to retain skin moisture. Clove oil acts to encourage clear skin and take out redness, Egyptian chamomile softens and soothes and cocoa butter conditions.

Moisture Results

It instantly melted away makeup and left my skin uber soft and plump albeit a little oily. For someone with dry skin it was good, but for my shiny t-zone it exacerbated the problem. I would definitely use this product again – the experience is just too good to pass up, but for a daily cleanser it was a bit rich. According to MiLi it brought my skin to an almost normal texture, so it achieved what it promised while also making me feel great!

Week Two

SHU UEMURA Co Ultime8 Cleansing Oil

  • Overall Rating: 4 stars
  • Price: $$$
  • MiLi Results: Before: 30% | After: 35%
As the original purveyor of facial cleansing oil, Shu Umerara released its first oil in 1967. Explained by a Shu Uemura rep, the SHU UEMURA Co Ultime8 is the most advanced oil on the market because it combines the key ingredients from all other oil cleansers in the coveted Shu Uemura collection. It’s claim to fame is that the Ultimate8 oil contains the extremely rare camellia oil, extracted from a flower only grown on the tiny island of Oshima in Japan and carefully harvested by the mere 300 residents who live there.  Camelia Oil’s benefits are extensive: An emollient – Tea seed oil is a brilliant moisturiser | Antioxidant | Anti-Aging  | Anti-mutation – This means that it can prevent certain cancers from even occurring | Anti-inflammatory

How Did the Oil Feel?

Like jasmine green tea scented magic. Unlike many cleansers, the oil evenly spread to every corner of my face. When the oil has removed makeup and sebum, it transforms from a clear liquid into milky bubbles signifying all impurities have been extracted and its time to wash-off. I achieved a beautifully balanced texture to my skin that I had not felt before. Acne and pore imperfections were minimized and my skin felt “glowing” rather than oily in my t-zone areas. Unlike Eve Lom, I would use Shu Uemera on a regular year-round basis because of the balance my whole face achieved over the course of week two. My only misgiving would be the price tag – it’s roughly $67.00 for a month’s worth of product.


Week Three

Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask

  • Overall Rating: 5 Stars
  • Price: $$$
  • MiLi Results: Before: 35% | After: 40%
  • Frequency: 3x/ week
While Perricone MD is known for its “anti-aging skincare,” founder and world renowned dermatologist, Dr. Perricone believes that using products before the aging process even starts is the healthiest way to achieve beautiful skin. The texture  of the mask is rich and reminiscent of whipped cookie batter with an indulgent chocolatey scent. Using DMAE, an organic fruit acid that is best known for penetrating skins moisture barrier fast - and cocoa extract to soften and renew complexion, the Perricone MD mask delivers on all its promises.

Skin Texture After Application

With a no-frills health focus, I knew from reading the box and after the first application that the mask was designed to work. As you see in photos to the left, I did a patch test on my hands first. See the bright  even tone of my right hand after the moisture mask? Amazing. On my face, each night my skin was refreshed and did not experience the typical tightness felt after applying a mask. The best part? I only had to use the mask 3 times that week instead of 7 to deliver the best moisturizing results I had received yet for any product.  When it comes to an effective skin care regime, the simpler the better.

You Can But it Now Here.

Week Four

CLINIQUE Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

  • Overall Rating: 2.5 Stars
  • Price: $$
  • MiLi Results: Before: 37% | After: 35%
Clinique has been a household name since 1967 because its founder, dermatologist Dr Orentriech was the first to prove Great Skin Can Be Created” and isn’t just a result of lucky genes. Marketed as a make-up remover, Take The Day off Cleansing Balm is one of Clinique’s latest products aiming to cleanse thoroughly while not drying out skin.
The product comes in a pot which is cool, but it’s texture is a bit off-putting; it’s the consistency of a block of butter. Once you dig your finger in and grab a helping of the balm, it immediately starts to melt into the warmth of your hand and then your face. It has little scent and its ingredients list is unclear, mostly unnatural and requires research.

How Skin Reacted 

I liked the cleanser because its suitable for all skin-types and effectively removes makeup. What I didn’t like was that it promised to add moisture back into my skin, but my results actually came back dryer. This could be a result of  the cleansing balms key ingredient: Glycerin. Added to common skincare products to temporarily help moisture enter skin faster by opening pores, it actually possesses no moisturizing properties itself. Glycerin can actually make skin dryer if used long term because of this ability to open pores.

Week Five

Muji Oil Cleansing

  • Overall Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Price: $
  • MiLi Results: Before: 32% | After: 39%
Buying skincare products from a Japanese brand best known for visually appealing rows of pens, containers, and ergonomic storage tools from its self-coined “brand-less store” initially doesn’t sound too promising. The truth: MiLi is the future of the department store. Because Muji only retails its own skin care brand it is accountable for every ingredient and package it sells. All of Muji products are paraben free, fragrance free, mineral oil free and use natural ingredients and fewer chemicals.
The cleaning oil smells faintly of orange and glides smoothly on the skin. The orange blossom and grapefruit extract work together to soothe redness and irritation while managing oil levels in the skin. While the Muji Oil Cleansers main ingredient, olive oil may throw some users off, it’s a tried and true cosmetic product since ancient Egypt – revered for it’s anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating squalene.

Great Results, Good Price 

At $16.00 per 200ml bottle I find the quality of ingredients amazing. The oil is non-greasy and smooth. Various oils work together to carefully maintain the PH balance of my skin in a way I could clearly feel – my face was never dry and I am comforted knowing I am putting natural moisturizers back into my skin.


The Winner

Put simply, the Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask improved my skin dramatically with little effort.

I not only loved how moisturizing the mask was, but I also admired the brand for not being too gimmicky. It's packaging and directions are simple and straightforward. There were no flowery prose offering promises of perfect skin, instead a clear explanation of each ingredient and how it in turn would affect my face. I also ordered from their web shop which meant I received a complimentary choice of three sample packets to test –  amazing!


Key Findings

  • Price doesn’t always indicate effectiveness: products that scored highest with the MiLi Hydration Meter were PerriconeMD Moisture Mask ($69.00 USD) & Muji Oil ($16.00 USD) Cleansing
  • Ditch pretty packaging in favour of ingredients labels: Products that performed best were not the fanciest or most attractive. It was actually brands that marketed less and let their product do the talking that garnered the best results.