Here is the low-down on some of my latest skincare empties that I have been using the past few months. I’m starting with the higher end of the price spectrum and finishing with some budget recommendations, so there’s something for everyone in here.
Osea Hyaluronic Sea Serum ($88 / 30ml)
Have you heard about this cool Malibu brand that creates sea-inspired skincare based on algae extracts? I love their opaque glass packaging and whimsical wave-like logo in a superb green colour. I’ve only tried two of their products (they’re not easy to source in the UK unfortunately) and the Hyaluronic Sea Serum was a fantastic discovery. Not very different to regular hyaluronic serums, it has the added benefit of three organic red and brown seaweeds, full of vitamins and minerals. The overall effect is a great moisturising and line reducing, lightweight gel-like serum that perfectly preps the skin for the day, especially when followed by a hydrating cream. I’m definitely devastated to have finished it, but I did enjoy it till the very last drop.
BeautyBio The Beholder Lifting Eye + Lid Cream (£75 / 15ml)
This was a brilliant eye cream that I very much enjoyed using every night. The winning combination of vitamin A, antioxidant licorice and moisturising sodium hyaluronate really helped to leave the eye area looking visibly more rested and fine lines reduced. Because it worked so well, I would even apply a double layer and massage it into the skin with the back of my Foreo Luna 3 (more details to follow on this in a future post), which contributed to instant results. This also meant I finished it a lot quicker than I was hoping, but it was totally worth it for a troubled sleeper like myself.
Paula’s Choice Exfoliate Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (£28 / 118ml)
I’m an avid consumer of acid toners, which are my go-to skincare step at least 5 nights of the week. I’m also a big fan of Paula’s Choice, so trying one of her cult products was high on my list. The overall verdict is generally positive: an efficient toner with salicylic acid, an absolute hero ingredient for the treatment of acne, that helps keep blemishes under control. I don’t think you can expect dramatic, overnight results with acids, especially at low doses meant to keep skin balanced, but this product was a good daily treatment overall. My biggest criticism is the slightly unpleasant smell, and the strangely tingling sensation it gave me especially around the nose and mouth areas, which are generally more sensitive. Other positives include the quick drying action, which made my night-time routine pretty easy, allowing for the quick application of serums.
Your Good Skin Energizing Facial Scrub (£6 / 125ml)
I really love it when I come across a cheap, yet efficient product! And when it comes to cleansers and scrubs, they are the usual skincare steps that I refuse to splash cash on, and save it for treatments and serums with a high concentration of actives that can actually make a difference. Your Good Skin is Boots Wallgreens’ private label brand, which does good basic maintenance skincare, an even cheaper version of No 7. I initially bought this for my husband, but I ended up using it as well 1-2 times a week. The creamy, gentle yet efficient scrub has a creamy and pleasant texture with a very soothing feel that leaves the skin nicely hydrated even after the exfoliation process. I warmly recommend it!
Simple Refreshing Facial Wash For Sensitive Skin (£3.80 / 150ml)
My second budget review of the day is Simple’s cult cleanser, a soap-free and gentle gel that smells super fresh and leaves the skin squeaky clean – even if a touch dry, but clean nonetheless. I loved using it in the shower, morning and evening, as part of the second step in my cleansing process, and I really don’t think you can ask for more from a cleanser that is less than a fiver!
Products that I’ve previously raved about
Alpha-H Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser SPF 15 (£40 / 50ml)
I talked about the Alpha-H day cream with SPF this time last year, when I was raving about how divine it smells (natural rose extract) and how smoothly it spreads, while caffeine, niacinamide, hydrating shea butter, and blue-light protection make it the ideal spring-time day cream with SPF 15.
The following three products were some of my absolute favourites in September 2019:
Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask (£43 / 100ml)
Sill not a believer in crystals, but boy how I loved this scrub-meets-mask and how sad it made me to squeeze the last drop out of it! As I previously said, this is an equally abrasive and acid peel that gives you the best of both worlds, combining turmeric and papaya enzymes to leave skin smoother, brighter and clearer.
Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Plumping Jelly Serum ($58 / 30ml)
Last year, I had the absolute pleasure to do some research for work into the use of mushrooms as a skincare ingredient, and I fell in love with their magical properties (no pun intended!). So trying Moon Juice’s Plumping Jelly Serum was a true joy, and not only because it’s a Goop-favourite brand and a cult name with the cool L.A. crowds. I really liked using it every morning as a serum to: 1. to plump those annoying fine lines on the forehead and around the eyes and 2. to prevent any moisture loss during the day, especially when spending hours in front of computer screens and in the blast of air conditioning.
Susanne Kaufmann Glow Mask (£59 / 50ml)
I was super obsessed with this mask and cleaned up the jar till the very last drop. It’s a fantastic pick-me-up to help skin survive on way less sleep than needed, and probably one of my favourite masks ever. Amazing for tired skin, the glow-restoring formula is based on one of my favourite chemical exfoliators – papaya enzyme (yes, same as the Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask above), while ginger, coffee and paprika give a pleasant tingle for infinitely smoother and brighter skin.