Let’s Low Buy! My Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism

I mentioned in my first declutter video that I’ve been inspired by minimalism content. It peaked my interest because in 2021 I felt very overwhelmed and frustrated with skincare; At the time, I coudn’t really figure out why.

I’ve come to realize that it was due to a few things: I felt discontent about my skin, had an accumulation of unused skincare products I no longer cared for, lacked motivation to write/film anything, and overall just felt “meh.” Like all lows, there’s only going up! I eventually got over my rut and got my groove back. This is where the point of this post begins!

My 2021 end-of-year faves video featured 15 products. These were all new products I purchased this year. What you don’t know is that in the background I have 50-80+ other skincare items – opened, unopened, expired, forgotten.

That doesn’t factor in my hair and body products, gadgets, makeup, nail polish. At first I thought it was just PR items sent to me that I didn’t give away and wanted to keep. But when I sat down and looked through the items, 90% or more were purchased by me.

For those of you new to my corner of the internet, my name is Michelle, I started my blog and YouTube channel to not only review skincare products, but to share my clear skin journey and put out to the world that you’re not alone in the struggle to clear skin. This blog, my YT channel, was supposed to be my creative outlet, something fun.

I got excited when brands started reaching out for PR opportunities and I also participated in review giveaways for online retailers. But then this all started to feel like a job. So I started hauling skincare more frequently and taking on PR opportunities because I felt like I needed to be consistent with my “work”. And this feeling of it being a second job is what began my discontent. I couldn’t keep track of my collection, everything started to feel the same, all the while having this underlying feeling that I was becoming a place for free labour and advertisement.

Now these companies are not to blame, I was the one who agreed to these terms, to accept the product in exchange for review, to meet a deadline. I’ve also never felt negative about affiliates like Wishtrend – I’ve always been able to take my time with reviews and I’ve given a fare share of negative ones. I also found some great products through PR in general.

But I did have to put other skincare on the backburner for these reviews (my purchases) because I do want to thoroughly test products before sharing my thoughts with you all. However this has now lead to me having what I think is an absurd amount of skincare for one person – most of which I purchased, have been opened and I don’t know if I can use them all up in a timely manner while trying to test out products to review.

So I have decided that for 2022 I am going to do a low buy. Although my content is mostly fixated around skincare – makeup, bodycare and such can definitely fall into this as well! So it’ll mostly be rules for the beauty realm in general, but for me it’s mostly about reducing my skincare spending.


Why I’m doing a Low Buy for 2022

Empties from 2019

Declutter Backburner Beauty Products

Simply put, I want to reduce the products I have. I have come to know my likes and dislikes and it’s obvious what I like reaching for and what I forgot existed. It’s not good to buy new products, put older ones on the backburner and let them be unused, expire, and ultimate become unnecessary waste.

Have Mental Clarity

I was surrounded by stuff that I felt pressured to create content about but wasn’t quite ready to share my thoughts on. I’ve come to understand what my testing/reviewing habits and methods are, and having a bulk of opened, unused skincare confused my direction. I wasn’t enjoying blogging and filming anymore because I felt like I was surrounded by stuff and I didn’t know where to begin. I’m hoping by decluttering, reducing my spending, I will have better direction and organization with my content in the future, and bring back more joy I had in skincare.

Have More with Less

Part of this interest in minimalism relating to my beauty product accumulation was lowering my reliance on the need to feel the best through products. Don’t get me wrong, my skincare is my self-care and applying makeup feels therapeutic. But I don’t want to feel a heavy reliance and be surrounded by skincare, makeup, things in general, to feel whole. It’s funny – I used to love seeing all my products on the bathroom counter and my vanity, now I just want clear surfaces and a bin of my trusty go-tos.


My Low Buy Rules for 2022

Press Samples from Wishtrend.

No More Freebies

I will not be accepting any more PR, gifts, participating in review giveaways, until I reduce my current collection. Freebies will be at a halt unless I get offered an item I planned on purchasing/repurchasing, or if it was gifted by a family member/friend.

Remove Temptations

Avoid what caused me to buy a lot in the first place! This all falls under “Online Window Shopping” because it’s so easy nowadays to access online retailers and make a purchase.

  • Unsubscribe to emails – Always contains FOMO content like limited time deals, free shipping, limited stock.
  • Unfollow social media accounts – I was moreso effected by brand accounts themselves for they created the prettiest content of their products, and would have giveaways.
  • Uninstall shopping apps – I’ve already removed a couple from my phone, but the biggest one was Amazon. Us North Americans will know, that Prime delivery is dangerous for impulse shopping!
  • Remove myself from my device when I’m “bored” shopping – If I have spare time at work or am feeling bored in general, I take a breather and literally look outside, take a walk, do a chore, something other than mindlessly shop.

Let it Marinate

Prevent impulse buying, give yourself time to think about this upcoming purchase. It can be 24 hours minimum up to a week to evaluate this. During that time, check your current collection to make sure you’re not doubling up on something already.

Empty Before Newbie

Be close to finishing what I own before considering purchasing something, or using up what’s in my skincare stash first!

No Makeup

I have been on a foundation free kick since 2019 and it’s helped me come to like my face and skin more for what it is. I hauled quite a bit of makeup in 2021, all products that cater to my current aesthetic and I’m very happy with what I have. Having said that, I don’t find a need to want more and am very content shopping my stash. The only items I would consider replacing are brow gel and mascara, but even then I haven’t worn mascara in a long time!


How I Will Hold Myself Accountable to my Low Buy Rules

Is me

As a content creator, how will my audience know I am holding myself accountable? It’s easy to just monitor myself but I do want those of you reading/watching to be in the know, especially if you feel like you’re in the same boat as I am.

Seasonal Empties + Check In

No better way to show I decluttered and used up my existing stash than to do empties videos! Instead of making it a monthly thing, seasonal seems appropriate. With the seasonal empties I’ll also touch upon my progress in general and how I’m feeling about the Low Buy year.

Empties and Newbies

This type of content will showcase what’s replacing what in my skincare routine. I find it will be a good way for those of you interested to keep track as to what I’m using, it’ll also point out whether the newbies are from my stash or purchases.

Speak to Someone Before a Purchase

I always speak to my husband before I pull the trigger and make a purchase. I have noticed in recent times however that I’m quite silent about my skincare hauls, and he always seemed surprised by the packages we had to pick up at our local post office 😀 He’s typically pretty supportive of my purchases, so I know I can count on him to tell me when I’m going out of line.


So friends, will you be doing a low buy year with me? Do you also cave to the skincare/makeup/beauty craze? If so, I hope my personal low buy rules for 2022 help you out as well.

Also – Happy New Year! Stay positive, be healthy, say “I love you” to your family and friends.

xo, M

Skin Update #6: Acne + Scars

It’s been quite a while since I shared my last skin update, so I thought it was about time for a new one!

In this update, I will be sharing my 1 year experience with using Tretinoin (Retin-A Micro), 2 year experience using Dapsone (Aczone), why I stopped taking Spironolactone after 6 months of use, and a brief chat about my experience with CO2 Fraxel Laser.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I highly suggested looking at past skin updates to understand the context of this one:
SKIN UPDATE #5: 0.04% to 0.1% Tretinoin, 6+ Months of Spironolactone, Professional Microneedling
SKIN UPDATE #4: Switching From Adapalene (Differin) to Tretinoin (Retin-A), Taking Spironolactone, Acne Scar Revision?
SKIN UPDATE #3: 1+ Year using Differin
Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!
Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


Tretinoin 1 Year Later

If you recall, I started using Tretinoin last spring. My derm bumped up my prescription from 0.3% Adapalene because it was clear that its strength was not enough to controls intense breakouts. It has been just over a year since I started incorporating Retin-A Micro in my skincare routine, so here are my thoughts.

  • It is a powerful molecule. I said it before and I’ll say it again, 0.04% Tretinoin did more for my skin than 0.3% Adapalene. I noticed in a month existing acne healed quicker, pores looked smaller, overall skin texture is smoother, skin quality is just overall better.
  • Slow and steady really wins the race. When I bumped up to 0.1% Tretinoin, my skin still had to go through a bit of retinization because I did experience more sensitivity with it. I was using it every night after, but started noticing my skin would look flushed and my pores would look very exaggerated. I now cut the usage to 2-3 times a week and my skin has been in a very happy state.
  • It is not the end all of acne control and anti-aging. Yes, I noticed a number of benefits when I started using it and will continue using it for the rest of my life. However, after years of on and off using a vitamin A topical, even using sunscreen, chemical exfoliants, vitamin C serums… Being super consistent with my skincare for years, I can still see wrinkles coming through on my forehead, my pores were sagging a bit which is a sign of collagen degradation, I still freckle when it’s summer time. It has only been in recent times I’ve been able to control my acne, and a big reason for it is both the use of this topical prescription as well as taking care of myself on the inside. After a year and a half of experimenting, I have finally managed to connect the way I eat to my skin health. Being disciplined in my eating habits plus these topicals help keep my skin clear and overall contribute to the graceful aging process.

Dapsone 2 Years Later

I started using it day and night everyday since January 2020 when I did my 1 year of Differin update. I felt like I could have saved myself a lot of time and money if I just stuck with what was prescribed to me and not freaked out so much about short term side effects. Dapsone is one of the gentlest prescription topicals I have used for my acne and it’s an unsung hero for sure. It helps reduce inflammation around active acne, I have been able to use it alongside other actives with no issues (tretinoin, AHAs, BHAs, Vitamin C), there’s no irritation if I overapply, and it doesn’t make other skincare textures not work in my routine. Now that my skin has been staying fairly clear, I reduced the usage and only use it at night when I use my tretinoin.


6 Months of Spironolactone

Spironolactone is an oral medication to help further assist with acne control. Originally prescribed as a diuretic to help lower blood pressure. How it works for acne is it also inhibits androgen production, which us with hormonal acne tend to be in excess of.

I first started taking it because I had a bad breakout when I saw my dermatologist in the summer of 2020. Fed up with breakouts, I agreed to going on Spironolactone while continuing my topical treatments tretinoin and dapsone. The first 3 months I most definitely had side-effects, the worst being dizziness and spotting for an entire month. After this time had passed, I definitely noticed its benefits. When I ate too many carby foods, I still did not have a bad breakout – maybe a small pimple that disappeared quickly. When it was my time of the month, same thing! Little to no breakouts. I would say I was about 98-99% clear at that point.

I took Spiro consistently for another 3 months until I ran out and decided not to get a prescription refill. I knew it was a bandaid to my lack of discipline with what I ate, and as time pass this fact bothered me a lot more. I finally figured out my gut health and how it has been effecting my skin, and the Spiro just allowed me to be lazy and undisciplined. I also didn’t like the side effects when it came to hormonal changes. I have had experience with birth control in the past and part of the reason I stopped taking it is to not be reliant on oral medication, I wanted control over my body. Spiro also effected my hormones, my period being the obvious indicator. If I was younger I wouldn’t care, but now that I’m in my 30s, hormonal health is very important for me. I know a few people who had difficulties conceiving and I was afraid that iIwould have that problem. Although the rewards of taking Spiro were good, for my situation the risks outweigh it, so that’s why I stopped taking it.

Frankly I don’t miss it, because I’m way more disciplined with my way of eating and lifestyle than I was at the time when I started taking it. I also feel very free not relying on oral medication for my acne.


CO2 Fraxel Laser

YES, I finally did it! I got my first CO2 Fraxel Peel session to address my old atrophic acne scars. I started 3 professional microneedling sessions last year and while it definitely lifted some of the scarring, improved my pores and gave a moment of plumpness to my skin, I knew I needed something more heavy duty. Even the dermatologist who performed the procedure said prior that my scars are too old and therefore difficult. I documented my healing time over on my Youtube so be sure to check it out! Long story short, it hurt lol. Now that my skin has settled from the procedure, I find my skin definitely looks smoother; Scars look more lifted, pores look more minimal, and obviously overall skin texture has been refined. I have already completed a 2nd session and will probably get a 3rd in the new year.


And that’s all, folks! As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative.

xo, M

Regimen Lab C.R.E.A.M. Review

Final product in my series of reviews from Regimen Lab – their C.R.E.A.M.! Be sure to check out my reviews on their Vitamin X and Wave Serum.


General Information on Regimen Lab C.R.E.A.M.

“C.R.E.A.M. is based on game-changing research that gives us a new understanding of how moisture moves through the skin. We use high-concentration ceramides to better replenish your skin’s natural barrier and aquaporins to help generate and lock in moisture.” – regimenlab.com

Price: $49 CAD/$39 USD
Amount: 50ml
Packaging: Opaque white bottle with an airless pump
pH: 4.5 – 5.0


Regimen Lab Vitamin C.R.E.A.M. Ingredients

Aqua, Glycerin, Isostearyl Isostearate, Isopropyl Isostearate, Isosorbide Dicaprylate, Bisabolol, Glyceryl Glucoside, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide EOP, Ursolic Acid, Propanediol, Adipic Acid, Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Phospholipids, Cholesterol, Linolenic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Tocopherol, Dimethoxymethyl Chromanol, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth 7, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin

INCIDecoder

For the skincare enthusiasts, I’m sure we have seen the “Why Most Ceramide Products are a Scam” reddit post and felt shook if our beloved moisturizer was mentioned to not have the 3:1:1 (ceramides, cholesterol, essential fatty acids) ratio of ingredients. So what is this ratio and why are us skincare enthusiasts obsessed with it? The 1:1:1 or 3:1:1 molar ratio of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids is sought after in skincare because this is reportedly the ideal ratio seen to recover the skin barrier. Since our skin is made up of these substances, it only makes sense that if we have an impaired skin barrier, we replenish it with what the skin lacks. The reason there is a range of the molar ratio is due to the barrier recovery being dependent on factors such as your skin type, your use of topicals, etc. You can read more about it in the pdf down below, but it is a difficult read for us non-science lingo oriented folk:

Optimization of Physiological Lipid Mixtures for Barrier Repair

Regimen Lab states their C.R.E.A.M. has a 3:1:1:1 (note the extra 1) ratio of ceramides, cholesterol, essential fatty acids (EFAs), and non-essential fatty acids (NEFAs). So naturally, I was excited to try it out and see what impact it may have on my skin!

Quick Briefer:

  • Ceramides – make up 50% of the outer layer of our skin – they help make up the glue that holds our skin cells together, keeping our skin hydrated.
  • Cholesterol – make up 25% of the lipids on the outer layer of our skin
  • Fatty Acids – make up 15% of the lipids on the outer layer of our skin

From my understanding (a non-science profession one), the ratio C.R.E.A.M. is as follows based on their 5% of the following ingredients and how it’s ordered in the INCI list:

2.5% Ceramides (NP + EOP) : 0.833% Cholesterol + Phospholipids : 0.833% Lineonic Acid (Omega 3, essential) + Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) : 0.833% Stearic Acid

Alright, now that we (including I) understand this 3:1:1:1 ratio offered in C.R.E.A.M., time for the rest of the standout ingredients!

5% Glycerin – also an ingredient naturally occurring in our skin that acts as a humectant.

2% Isosorbide Dicaprylate and 2% Glyceryl Glucoside – according to Regimen Lab, help activate more efficient hydration alongside Glycerin.

2% Bisabolol – soothing.

2% Ursolic Acid Liposomes – according to Regimen Lab, this ingredient helps support the skin barrier.

Tocopherol – antioxidant.

Are you still with me? That was quite a doozy to go through and write down considering I haven’t blogged in quite a while. But I’m glad you made it through this skinthusiast perspective about the madness behind this 3:1:1 ratio! Now on to my personal use of C.R.E.A.M.


My Experience Using Regimen Lab C.R.E.A.M.

As you may have guessed, I used Regimen Lab C.R.E.A.M. as my moisturizer lol. In the AM it was after all the serums, before SPF (of course), in the PM it was the last step in my skincare routine. I applied 2 pumps of C.R.E.A.M. for my face and neck as it was well within summer I started using it. Now that we’re going into the colder weather, I find myself doubling the amount!

The finish feels nice and velvety, it also doesn’t look super glowy, it just gives the skin a nice healthy look. Unfortunately both in the summer now fall months I found this moisture to disappear, particularly if I was inside majority of the day; My skin felt dry to the touch and my face would start to feel a tad tight. My face would feel comfortable if I was out and about, producing tidbits of my own oils mixed into C.R.E.A.M. When I used this moisturizer at night on its own however, I found myself waking up with dry, slightly tight skin. This plus the weather change is what prompted me to increase the amount I used; While the feeling did improve a bit, I still sometimes find myself applying my go-to moisturizer as a safeguard.

I also tried using C.R.E.A.M. in combination with the Wave Serum and I wasn’t a fan of this mixture, I’d rather use the two separately. In addition I used it as a “supplemental” moisturizing product in my routine on its own but I just wasn’t into the feel and finish of it on my skin, I preferred the Wave Serum for this purpose.


My Final Thoughts on Regimen Lab C.R.E.A.M.

I appreciate the formulation of Regimen Lab’s C.R.E.A.M. in that it’s offering us skincare nerds that “golden” ratio of barrier repairing ingredients, but unfortunately it doesn’t really suit my routine at the moment. It is not rich enough for my dry skin to use as a moisturizer, I just use too much for 50ml. I wasn’t a fan of mixing it with the Wave Serum, and overall on its own I didn’t really notice any significant impact it had on my skin’s health. I don’t think I am the right candidate for this skincare product, it may be better suited to those who are in dire need of something repairing.

Where to Buy: Regimen Lab Official Website

As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative!

xo, M

Regimen Lab Wave Serum Review

A continuation of my review of Regimen Lab Skincare! Be sure to check out the first review of their Vitamin X Serum.


General Information on Regimen Lab Wave Serum


“Wave hydrates instantly and deeply using multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid to penetrate each layer of the skin. We designed it to mimic the skin’s moisture barrier, using 24 humectants for intense hydration and plant and marine hyaluronics to lock that moisture in. The result is a serum that hydrates as effectively and deeply as scientifically possible.” – regimenlab.com

Price: $47 CAD/$37 USD
Amount: 30ml
Packaging: Opaque white bottle with an airless pump
pH: 5.3-5.5


Regimen Lab Wave Serum Ingredients

Aqua, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Betaine, Glycerin, Urea, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Pentylene Glycol, Saccharide Isomerate, Sodium Lactate, PPG-20 Methyl Glucose Ether, Sodium PCA, Sorbitol, Lactic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Asiaticoside, Madecassic Acid, Asiatic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, PCA, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Proline, Threonine, Isoleucine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

INCIDecoder

In a nutshell, Regimen Lab’s Wave serum is a crazy cocktail of proven moisturizing molecules part of our skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) as well as plant and marine-derived humectants. But lets get into what I think are some highlights (majority of the ingredients lol)!

5% Urea and 5% Hydroxyethyl Urea – Urea is a humectant naturally found in our skin. It also helps thicken our skin barrier to prevent excess Trans-Epidermal Water Loss, and regulates our skin cells shedding process. HE Urea is a derivative from urea that has the moisturizing elements.

The Wave Serum also has 5% Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycerin and Betaine, 2% Sodium PCA and Sodium Lactate, 1% Sodium Hyaluronate – all great humectants that will help our skin hold on to water and keep the surface plump and hydrated.

1% Panthenol – also a humectant that has additional soothing and wound-headling benefits, always a goodie to have in a skincare formula.

0.5% Centella Asiatica constituents – Asiaticoside, Madecassic Acid and Asiatic Acid. Add antioxidant, moisturizing, barrier repairing, and wound-headling benefits.

Amino acids Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Proline, Threonine, Isoleucine, Histidine, and Phenylalanine. Amino acids are also moisturizing ingredients part of our NMF, some may play a role with soothing the skin as well.


My Experience Using Regimen Lab Wave Serum

Just like the Vitamin X Serum, I use one full pump of Regimen Lab’s Wave Serum all over my face and neck. In the AM I will use after the Vitamin X Serum, PM I use on damp skin after applying a hydrating toner or essence, then follow up with my tretinoin or fermented serum.

The texture looks like a thin gel, but it’s rather thick and emollient in feel, which I personally like in a serum that’s primarily used to add more moisture to my skin. I’ve come to the conclusion that runny gel serums are not my thing, I always associate them with a lotion like Hada Labo Premium Lotion but in smaller packaging.

After applying the Wave Serum, my face instantly looks so smooth and plump! Right before my eyes, I also notice my pores looking smaller and my face in general just feels comfortably moisturized throughout the day when I use this serum in conjunction with the Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume.


My Final Thoughts on Regimen Lab Wave Serum

After rotating Regimen Lab’s Wave Serum in my morning and nighttime skincare routine for the past month, I am quite impressed. I usually don’t like buying just a hydrating serum because I feel like any serum I use does that, but I have noticed it’s performance and the difference it makes in my skincare routine, so it is officially my go-to hydrating serum. It’s also the urea product I’ve been looking for – it contains 5% urea which is an ingredient I have been struggling to incorporate in my skincare routine for years. Back then I didn’t know hydroxyethyl urea was different and didn’t have the same benefits to urea other than the moisturizing aspect. Also for moisturizers I haven’t found one that keeps my skin feeling calm, collected and well moisturized throughout the day like Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume. The Wave Serum is exactly what I need it to be – a serum form of urea that I can easily include in my existing skincare routine without sacrificing my HG moisturizer.

Where to Buy: Regimen Lab Official Website

As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative!

xo, M

Regimen Lab Vitamin X Serum Review

I first heard of Regimen Lab from Sarah of No BS Beauty, and shortly after watched Dr. Dray’s brand review. I was so pleasantly surprised to learn that a science-backed, peer-reviewed skincare brand existed in Toronto, Canada, where I’m from!

When I looked at Regimen Lab’s website for the first time, I really liked what I saw. Here’s the breakdown of their brand, products, and website in general:

  • Products made for us skincare nerds
  • Only use ingredients backed by thorough, independent scientific evidence
  • Use the best ingredients in their highest effective concentrations
  • Formulation, sourcing, production are all done in their lab
  • Curate specific products with a cocktail of beneficial ingredients, don’t release based on an individual key ingredient
  • List the pH of each product
  • An encyclopedia of skincare ingredients
  • Informative blog posts
  • No fear-mongering “free of” marketing, but just say that their products do not contain common concerns to make their skincare as straight to the point as possible
  • Cruelty-free

Perusing their website more, it is probably the first time in a while I felt like I was learning something new about skincare, all coming from a skincare brand no less! I find their encyclopedia on skincare ingredients and blog very insightful and I feel like a skincare student again.

As you can imagine, after checking out what they have to offer and rave reviews, I was very keen on trying Regimen Lab products, so I bought 3 out of the 5 that seemed to suit my skin needs – Vitamin X serum, Wave Serum, and C.R.E.A.M. I have been incorporating all of these items in my skincare routine one by one over the course of a few of months – so I’m ready to share my experience with you all!

In this post, I will be reviewing the Regimen Lab Vitamin X Serum. I originally attempted to review all 3 items in this post, but as you can imagine, it got quite lengthy!


General Information on Regimen Lab Vitamin X Serum

Vitamin X is packed with more antioxidants, in the highest clinically proven concentrations, than anything before it. It’s the antioxidant of the future, but we got it here a little sooner.” – regimenlab.com

Price: $59 CAD/$47 USD
Amount: 30ml
Packaging: Opaque white bottle with an aireless pump
pH: 3.0


Regimen Lab Vitamin X Serum Ingredients

Aqua, Propanediol, Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Pentylene Glycol, Acetyl Zingerone, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Ferulic Acid, Resveratrol, Genistein, Quercetin, Silymarin, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid

INCIDecoder

We see – of course – the Ascorbic Acid (AA), Ferulic Acid, and Tocopherol trifecta all at a lovely low pH of 3.0. I saw the brand was doing a Q&A on instagram so I asked there what the percentage of LAA was, and they said 15%! So to all the vitamin C conoisseurs out there, the Vitamin X serum hits the bells and whistles.

But as advertised, this is more than just a vitamin C serum, we can’t forget the 8 other antioxidants in the formula! EGCG, Resveratrol, Quercetin, and Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone also have soothing properties. Definitely a nice bonus, as AA at a low pH can irritate my skin and this has always been a struggle for me when trying to find a vitamin C serum!

Regimen Lab also highlights 2% Acetyl Zingerone helps reduce immediate and delayed DNA damage, and Dimethulmethoxy Chromanol provides double scavenging action against reaction nitrogen and oxygen species.

Genistein helps reduce UVB-induced redness, and Silymarin adds some skin-conditioning benefit (I feel like a lot of plant-derived skincare offers some moisturizing ability…).

And lets not forget good ol’ Glycerin – one of the best humectants out there and always welcome in a skincare product.

Another interesting point to make note of is that Regimen Lab also shared on their Instagram Q&A that the Vitamin X Serum (as well as the other products) are good for up to a year. Without refigeration. Actually, they said not to refigerate Vitamin X as it was formulated to be stable at room temperature.


My Experience Using Regimen Lab Vitamin X Serum

Upon first pump, I did get thrown off that the colour was a bright neon yellow despite being told by the brand that this is the natural colour. I was even more thrown off when they said not to put it on the fridge as it was tested to be stable at room temperature. I have been using it daily in my AM skincare routine for a couple of months and I haven’t noticed any intense oxidization until the 3rd month when the colour became deeper.

The texture is not watery like I’m used to using, but a rather slippy, runny gel. As mentioned, I use the Vitamin X Serum in the AM after applying a hydrating toner or essence, and one pump is enough to cover my entire face and neck. Regimen Lab suggests to wait 5 minutes for maximum absorption until following up with the rest of your skincare routine. I personally just wait until it feels like it settled on my skin then continue. I don’t like waiting long between steps because I run the risk of dehydration. First time I applied the serum, I did feel a little bit of irritation, but I have not experienced this since so overall I find it gentle. I also find it leaves a bit of a moisturizing layer on my skin.

As with any properly formulated AA serum, I find the Regimen Lab Vitamin X Serum maintains a bright complexion on my skin, even in recent times where I have been going to the beach a lot, my skin does not look compromised. While this didn’t do anything to prevent freckles (I don’t really care), I have noticed that when I get a breakout on my chin, it performs well alongside my tretinoin to help reduce the colour and longevity of post-acne red marks I may get. I used to get very dark red marks after dealing with a breakout and it would take 6 months minimum for them to fade. I’ve noticed this since using gentler, properly formulated vitamin C serums that they disappear significantly faster – I’d say within a couple of months. With the Vitamin X Serum in particular, I also notice my skin is looking smoother.

Unfortunately you can’t have so many good things without a little bad involved. One major con I have with this serum is that it does oxidize after a few months and I can’t refrigerate this serum to prolong its freshness. I tried to remove my bias of using clear coloured vitamin C serums and continued to keep on with Vitamin X. Unfortunately I started to notice blackheads on my nose, around my nose, and surprisingly some faded black dots all over my chin. I’m no stranger to using richer products in the colder months and the only time I experience blackheads like this is in the summer with too many emollient layers. In addition I have been continuing the same skincare routine as I had in the summer months, so why am I getting these blackheads? Well, it’s because the vitamin C in the Vitamin X Serum has oxidized, and it’s showing on my face.


My Final Thoughts on Regimen Lab Vitamin X Serum

Regimen Lab’s Vitamin X Serum has the bells and whistles I’m looking for in a vitamin C serum but with a hell of a lot more antioxidant prowess (I’ve been liking this word recently lol). It is quite a pricey serum at $59 CAD for a 30ml bottle, but in my opinion I believe it is worth it considering its formula and that you use it in a timely manner. I say timely because you still notice the colour of the serum changing and for me I need any skincare product with L-Ascorbic Acid to be as fresh as possible. Vitamin C has been one of the biggest-love hate products for me for quite a while because of 1) finding the right formula 2) whether or not it is gentle 3) price and 4) accepting that there are some results I will not see unless I use it longterm. With Regimen Lab’s Vitamin X Serum, it fits in my skincare routine, I like the texture, I see the brightening, post-acne mark fading benefits, it’s gentle, my skin feels smoother, it feels like it adds a touch of moisture to my skin, it’s local (or was local, currently in Europe lol)… It is one of the best vitamin C serums – or antioxidant serum I have come across. I am considering repurchasing, but right now I actually repurchased the Geek & Gorgeous 101 C-Glow Serum (reviewed) and I want to try NIOD’s Survival 0. It may be 2 products, but I want to see if both would last longer. I’ve used 2 bottles of C-Glow in the past and the clarity was kept for a long time when stored in the fridge.

Where to Buy: Regimen Lab Official Website

As always, I hope you find posts like this helpful and informative!

XO, M