Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars

It has been ~6 months since I stopped dermarolling and started using OTC Differin 0.1% Adapalene. I have done quite a few things for my skin since then, and I thought I’d do a Skin Update if you were curious about my progress and my current approach to achieving healthy skin! As seen in the title and main image, these will be the main focus of this update.

Before we continue, please be sure you’re caught up with the following, that way you have a better understanding about my skin and my approach to this post!
I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
REVIEW: Banish Acne Scars Banish Starter Kit

RECAP:
– Did 4 at-home dermarolling sessions with the Banish Kit. Stopped microneedling in general because I had no control over my acne breakouts. (March – April 2018)
– After microneedling, used OTC Differin for ~6 months. (May 2018)
– Sun not as strong, reintroduced chemical exfoliators back into my routine. BHA in the AM only on days when I workout, and AHA every other night. (September 2018)
– Tried Banisher 2.0 and did another 2 microneedling sessions. (Novermber 2018)
– Saw a dermatologist after 10 years of not seeing any skin professional; Got prescribed Aczone Gel 5% Dapsone + Differin 0.3% Adapalene to heal acne lesions and prevent breakouts. She was okay with my at-home microneedling. (November 2018)
– Created a more focused skincare routine in consideration of the new prescriptions. (Decmber 2018)
– Spoke with a Medical Esthetician about a PRP (Vampire) Facial. (December 2018)


Acne

IMG_20181209_144157-1.jpg

Differin 0.1% Adapalene for 6 months
After using OTC Differin 0.1% Adapalene for 6 months, here’s what I have noticed:
– Skin is subtly smoother, but not by a lot
– Quickly reduced pain caused by active acne
– Helped acne to quickly heal
– Red acne marks fade faster

Overall, OTC Differin was a great introduction into my skincare routine. Any skin professional will tell you Vitamin A is the most superior ingredient for improving acne and anti-aging, and this one is easily available for Americans (*shakes fists of jealousy*). However, after half a year of use, my skin plateaued. By that I mean it was working okay, but not great – not significant. Quite frankly, I really disliked how I was still breaking out into large, painful cysts. Definitely a sign to me that 0.1% was only doing so much.

Dermatologist Visit
My family doctor booked me an appointment to see a dermatologist about a few spots I noticed on my body (FYI: no skin cancer, yay!), so when I went in for the visit I also expressed concern about my persisting acne breakouts after YEARS of trying to get it under control (antibiotics, birth control, previous prescriptions, cleaned up diet).

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20181128115502296_COVER.jpg

The derm prescribed me Aczone Gel 5% Dapsone to help heal current inflamed acne lesions (painful AF cysts) and non-inflamed acne lesions (blackheads and whiteheads), and upped the Differin to 0.3% Adapalene to better prevent blocked pores as well as treat inflamed skin. I’ve currently been using Aczone in the day and Differin at night (since Nov. 27th), and I, as well as family members and BF, have already seen a difference. Current inflamed acne lesions subsided a lot, and I find my skin way more even tone and smoother than usual *no placebo effect, plz*.


Scarring

I’ve hoped for years topicals could help me with my acne. I’ve been trying this for 5 years. Half a decade. And only recently I decided to incorporate Vitamin A into my routine and speak to a professional. I feel like a dummy, but at least I’m still in my 20s and I got over my fear of prescriptions (due to my poor routines years prior) and understand my skin concerns enough to address them with a professional.

As I previously mentioned, Differin 0.1% Adapalene made my skin appear subtly smoother, but frankly, there was no significant change. In attempts to take a Before/After photo (the Before photo being my last picture in my dermarolling post) I found it not only difficult to remember the exact lighting angle I used, but also my atrophic scarring didn’t look THAT different. On top of that, I am still breaking out so you can see red marks despite previous ones healing fast, as well as active acne *le sigh*.

I’ve seen Chemist @kindofstephen post a study on 0.3% Adapalene helping with acne scarring just before I got prescribed Differin 0.3% Adapalene; After reading the study, I am more enthusiastic about my higher prescription and the potential results.

IMG_20181209_143756.jpg

Reintroduced Acids
Before I saw the derm, I began using chemical exfoliants in my routine once the sun became less strong and we started moving into the fall. I’m currently using Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid in the morning only on days I workout. In the PM I was using Krave Beauty’s Kale-laly-yAHA, a 5.25% Glycolic Acid toner *, but now rotate it 1-3x a week due to prescription use. PC’s BHA Liquid makes my face lovely and smooth every time I use it, but AHAs seem to always be my bestie when it comes to scarring. I’ve been using KB’S toner for just under 2 months now and I already notice my face looking smoother. I think I’ll keep using the AHA all year round just because it’s probably the only topicals easily available that I notice makes a difference in my skin. Also I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this, but I got 2 free BHA Peels done by George Brown College Students in downtown Toronto last year (2017) because it was free.

At-Home Microneedling
If you read and watched my brand review on Dear, Klairs, I did mention that I started microneedling again. I had the opportunity to review Banish’s new Banisher 2.0 * and have done 2 microneedling sessions since receiving it. These were done before my derm visit, so now that I have new prescriptions to get used to I won’t be using the Banisher 2.0 for another month or so until I get a better understanding on what’s happening with my skin.

original vs. 2.0

Considering a Professional for Microneedling
I told the derm I’ve done 6 microneedling sessions total with 0.5mm titanium needles and she was okay with that. Actually, she said microneedling or Fraxal laser were my best options for getting rid of my scars completely since topicals can’t do it themselves *le sigh*. My boyfriend’s mom (Medical Esthetician) discussed the Vampire Facial (PRP) with me and suggested to have the facial done through her friend who is an RN. I’m planning to meet her soon for a consultation. I also asked my sister (who’s now in Seoul working) to scope out the prices for PRP. In the meantime, at least the at-home 0.5mm dermastamp will assist in the appearance!


My Current Skin Goals & Routine

After all I have just said and done, my skin goals have not changed much. Acne Control, Hydration, and Barrier Protection are still my top priorities for maintaining and achieving healthier skin! Instead of using so many products like my previous routines, I want to achieve these goals by attempting a more minimal approach *key word: attempting*.

I’ve also been watching way more skin professionals online, including dermatologists, so I have a better idea (and patience in general) on how to incorporate the prescriptions in a routine with products I like to use. I’m going to try my hardest to keep an efficient daily routine, and leave the fun stuff for bath time or lazy times. I’d say my approach is inspired Dr. Davin Lim’s Vitamin ABC’s, but it seems like my routines always had them!
Vitamin A – Differin 0.1% Adapalene to 0.3%.
Vitamin B – Niacinamide (B3) is da besttttt.
Vitamin C – Using a derivative at the moment, but will try to focus more on L-Ascorbic Acid with future products.

TBH, I’m having a hard time with the C. I currently am using Dermalogica’s Biolumin-C Serum * and in November I received the Banish Oil * when testing out the Banisher 2.0 *. I just find the effects I usually get from Vitamin C (even skin tone, brightening, glowing, reduced hyperpigmentation), are also coming from/being assisted by the other Vitamins, and I don’t know if there’s really a purpose for the C. Or maybe, they all just work best together, which is why I haven’t noticed anything individual! I’ve heard great things about Melano CC Essence and have ordered it from DokoDemo along with a couple of other items. I’ve also been curious about Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma, but we all know that shiz is esspenssive. Skincare peeps, what do you think?

Now that topical prescriptions have been introduced to my routine, I want to make sure what I use with it has effective ingredients and helps offset any dryness or irritation I may expect.  I will share my updated skincare routine once I have comfortable used all the products.


And that’s that for my skin update! I hope you found it informative, especially if we’re on the same healthy skin journey! Stay tuned for an updated skincare routine with Aczone and Differin!

xo, M

Advertisements

REVIEW: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum

My interest of Dermalogica’s esspenssive Biolumin-C Serum * peaked when I first tried it when I had a Dermalogica’s ProSkin30 Facial. I achieved the results below from cleansing, clay mask, toner, Biolumin-C, and a mositurizer with SPF.

proskin-facial-before-after
Gloals

My face felt very calm and comfortable for the rest of the day and I was stunned myself to see the before and after. Mind you, I was out dehydrating myself for my friend’s birthday the night before 😛

Before the ProSkin30 Facial began, I mentioned in my consultation that I was acne prone, normal to dry skin, concerned with hyperpigmentation from acne as well as preventative aging. One of the products the esthetician recommended to me was the Dermalogica Biolumin-C serum. Check out my Instagram multi-post where I took photos of my experience!

Dermalogica was kind enough to send me the Biolumin-C Serum as a gift, and I decided to give it a 2-week run to see if I would notice any noticeable benefits from it. If you’re interested in learning a bit about what it’s done for my acne prone, normal-dry skin, then keep on reading!


BIOLUMIN-C

IMG_20181209_145308.jpg

“A high-performance Vitamin C serum that works with skin’s own defenses to brighten and firm. Advanced bio-technology fuses ultra-stable Vitamin C and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, helping to dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Formulated with advanced technology to deliver more Vitamin C into skin. This superior formula outperforms other Vitamin C products (including those formulated at higher concentrations). Other key ingredients include Vitamin C Complex for brighter, firmer, more radiant skin, Lactic Acid to accelerate cell turnover, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract to help return skin to a calm state after experiencing oxidative stress, and Salvia Hispanica (Chia Seed) Oil to hydrate and help quench free radicals.

Price: $118 CAD
Size: 1oz
Gluten-Free
Vegan
No Artifical Fragrances and Colours
Paraben-Free
Cruelty-Free

WHERE TO BUY:
Dermalogica
Sephora
In-store at select retailers


INGREDIENTS

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Lactic Acid, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract, Sodium PCA, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Trehalose, Polyacrylate-13, Propanediol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyisobutene, Methylpropanediol, Carrageenan, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Limonene, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol

COSDNA IL

HIGHLIGHTED INGREDIENTS:

Lactic Acid (unknown %): exfoliant, humectant
Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract: emollient, skin-replenishing, skin-restoring
Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5: skin-restoring
Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate (unknown %): antioxidant, texture enhancer
Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate (unknown %): antioxidant, skin-brightening

I haven’t been able to successfully find much online about Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phophsate or Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, not even parroted information from other bloggers. Here are 2 links I found, feel free to share with me more info!

https://incidecoder.com/ingredients/aminopropyl-ascorbyl-phosphate https://www.futurederm.com/dr-brandt-power-dose-vitamin-c-serum-20-review/

Despite the lack of online information to us mere consumers, I’ve been informed by a Dermalogica esthetician that the bioavailability score of Biolumin-C is 21, compared to leading competitors with L-Ascorbic Acid rating at 7 and 9. In layman’s terms, it penetrates the skin better than the unknown competitors.


USAGE

First Week: Used in the morning only, used AHA toner every night with OTC Differin.
Second Week: Used morning and night, no BHA or AHA, with OTC Differin.

Fragrance: Light citrus scent. Possibly the Grapefruit Peel Oil in it. It is not strong at all and you only notice it for a second.

Texture: A runny type of serum but definitely on the more viscous side.

Application: I use almost half a dropper, placing on my forehead, cheeks, chin and neck. I make sure to massage the product all around my face and neck, and only the undereye area. I then tap the product in until it starts to feel tacky.

Finish: Tacky and moisturized.

Initial Results: Skin feels smoother, hydrated, bright, plump.

Long-Term Results (2 weeks): Spot on face (with Differin) faded. Spot on neck (without Differin) faded.


FINAL THOUGHTS

IMG_20181209_145147.jpg

I like it, but I’m confused. Is lactic acid doing majority of the work? It also helps smooth skin, make it brighter, and contribute to anti-aging skincare. Is it helping the Vitamin C derivative penetrate better? Although it might be highly stable, does it just sit on top of the skin? Also, for the price, it’s asking too much of me to apply half a dropper day and night!

Despite my confusion, the product is showing results. Every Dermalogica product I have used has bettered my skin, so I am open to it being an efficacious Vitamin C derivative. They like using ingredients with endless studies proving its benefits, but also try to create innovative products using phytobotanical ingredients. Their description of Biolumin-C alone states that they formulated the serum to help the Vitamin C become more bioavailable, but unfortunately I’m not a chemist and wouldn’t know how they began to do that.

Despite my skepticism, I overall am enjoying the Biolumin-C Serum. Face feels and looks smoother, brighter, feels moisturized, works with OTC Differin, and is able to heal spots on its own (the neck spot). I feel like it cut down some steps in my skincare routine; I can pretty much use just do Cleanser, Toner, Biolumin-C, Moisturizer, SPF and call it a day (until my nighttime routine, obvs).

If you’re interested in learning more about it, Dermalogica actually talked about it on their podcast called Living Skin. Check it out here!

Do I recommend? I would recommend if this would be your skincare routine’s star player in a fairly minimal routine, and you purchase during the Sephora VIB Sale lol.
Specific Skin-Type? I think all skin types would like this. Half a dropper may be too much for oily-skinned peeps though!

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT

I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

Product was sent as a gift, not for review purposes. I decided to do that on my own.

October & November 2018 Roundup

Jeez, I missed one month! Where was my head at!? Either way, the roundup is not lengthy at all but they are items worth mentioning!


Favourites

IMG_20181202_140725.jpg

Makeup

Bubz Beauty Liquid Lipstick “Girl Next Door” – The latest and current favourite lip product in my collection. It’s a neutral pink colour, and it’s the most comfortable liquid lipstick I’ve tried. Instagram Post

Butterfly Social Eye Lashes *– At first look, you’d think they’re an underwhelming pair of lashes because of how natural they are. But they looked so natural once applied, no one could tell I was wearing falsies! They match the length of my lashes and make my existing lash line look fuller. Instagram Post

Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Boho – It took me a while to like this colour let alone try it! I had some creative urges this fall and this colour inspired me to wear more cold colours. This isn’t my favourite formula from Nudestix, but I found prepping my lips before hand does the trick to wear it comfortably! Instagram Post


EMPTIES

IMG_20181202_140955.jpg

Skincare

Cerave Moisturizing Cream – Used day and night by Nick, used on my body and face at nighttime, it is finally an empty! Although it does moisturize well, I found it took a bit of a wait time until the moisture actually kicked in. I’d have to play a fairly generous layer to get an instant satisfaction.

Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Another one bites the dust! And in the nick of time too. It got cold fast in Toronto, and I felt like I needed to use a lot of this to feel satisfyingly moisturized. I’m finishing up my Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream I’ve had on the backburner, but I am looking to purchase an Avene moisturizer. Recommendations?

Cuccio Naturale Non-oily, Hydrating Butter Milk & Honey *– A lovely butter I used for my hands before bed. They felt velvety after use and the smell was so relaxing!

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel – One of my favourite peeling gels because I can use it on a wet face right after the shower! It provided just enough manual exfoliation to rid my face of some extra flakes, and didn’t sensitize my skin.

EltaMd UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ – I was holding off on finishing this one because Amazon is just so tricky when purchasing it! My face felt moisturized, smooth and even tone after using this, plus it was great at sun protection. I have quite the amount of sunscreens to go through but I am missing reaching for this one in my collection.

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask * – Received my second one in the mail shortly after finishing this pot! If I didn’t get one sent to me, I would’ve purchased it. It’s one of my favourite sleeping masks I’ve tried, and I definitely recommend it to dry skin types!

Makeup

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ – This is an OG spray if you just want your makeup to look less cakey, however it doesn’t contribute to longevity. I purchased a Pixi Mist instead, but the fragrance is SO heavy and artifical! Any recommendations for an affordable finishing spray that kinda does it all without a heavy fragrance?


Tosses

IMG_20181202_141218.jpg

Skincare

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop – A Vitamin C serum that gave me the glow, even tone and hydration, but didn’t tackle my hyperpigmentation! (Didn’t mean to rhyme lol).

Timeless 20& Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum – Did similar things like the previous Vitamin C serum (or any other for that matter) but it stung my face almost every time I used it, causing my face to be slightly red until it settled. This has been hyped as a dupe for the Skinceuticals Vitamin C serum, and Angie from Hot and Flashy did an awesome test on it along with other ones! This unfortunately wasn’t my favourite, I actually still prefer Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum out of the two.


And that’s that for October and November! I can’t believe it’s the end of the year. Enjoy the holidays!

xo, M

RELATED CONTENT

My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs
Dynamic Duo? Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop & Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Face Mask


This post contains affiliate links.
Disclosure

REVIEW: The New Banisher 2.0! | AD

 

Check out my Banish Kit 2.0 Giveaway on Instagram! Ends December 15th.

banish-kit-2-0-giveaway.jpeg
Go here to enter: @michxmash

 

*This post is sponsored by Banish Acne Scars. Products provided for review purposes.*

Banish Kit

Back in March I began using the Banish Acne Scars Banish Starter Kit in hopes of smoothing out my textured skin from the onslaught of cystic acne I suffered 5+ years ago, as well as controlling my hormonal acne breakouts. It was my first time microneedling, so I figured the selected products included in the kit would also help with my skin issues. To my surprise, microneedling wasn’t painful, and I saw results within 3 months.

The Banish Team saw both my First Impressions/Demo and Banish Starter Kit Review, and reached out to me and a few other “influencers” (I can’t take myself seriously calling myself that) to test their newly launched, limited edition Banisher 2.0!

banisher 2.0

I agreed to partner with Banish because:
1) I have already purchased and tried almost all of their products.
2) Daisy, the owner of Banish, experienced the pain of acne and acne scarring just like I, and many others are currently going through. Banish products were originally made for her personal use, until friends and subscribers started requesting them after seeing her skin’s progress in her Youtube videos!
3) Banish partners with influencers with similar skin concerns as ours, who could also benefit from their products and achieve similar results.


How the Banisher Works

Microneedling


Banisher 2.0

original vs. 2.0

I’m happy to report that the Banisher 2.0 was created based on the questions and feedback received from customers, as well as Daisy’s personal needs. During her travels, Daisy always brought the Banish Stamp, but wanted a bigger surface area, clean it easily and store it securely in her bag. I’ts always a big thumbs up when companies revamp/create products based on customer input!

original vs. 2.0

Features
Price: $69 USD
Needle length: 0.5mm
1. Cleaning cap acts as a protector, stand, and sanitizing container
2. Bristles are finer & sharper than current Banisher
3.  Design more ergonomic; Better grip, provides a platform for even distribution of bristles into the skin vs. rolling.

banisher-improvements
Picture from Banish website

Angle of needle penetration is straight line as opposed to roller; less skin trauma, easier to work around pimples
4. Titanium needles coated in 24k gold to accelerate collagen production in skin
5. Lasts twice as long as Banisher – can use up to 8 times
6. Can be used once a week


Usage

banish-oil.jpg

Skincare
Since I already know microneedling works with the Banish Oil, I tested the first session with products in my current skincare routine: peptide serum, HA lotion, moisturizer with Niacinamide.

cleaning cup vs. cap

Cleaning Cap
VERY handy; Wastes less, and less annoying to disinfect.

banisher 2.0

Ergonomics
– Takes a tad longer to microneedle with the new design, but I don’t mind it if safety is considered!
– Easier to concentrate on specific red marks and large pockets of texture.
– Difficult to microneedle on the nose, the Banish Stamp is better for this.
– The handle has soft, grippy material with a wider body, felt secure to hold and easily rotate when I stamped.
– I felt the needles more, and my face became quite red! *beauty is pain* > . <

up close needles

It’s Goooooold
I haven’t found anything solid to convince me that gold can indeed help induce collagen, but I haven’t read anything controversial to say it’s not safe to use; Gold mostly acts as an extra precaution against infection from microneedling.


Before & Afters

Time Period: 11/11/18 – 11/18/18; I had a short amount of time to review this. Since I already showed Before & Afters of texture improvements, the photos below capture the improvements of my red marks in a week’s time.

Note:
– It typically takes 4-6 weeks to see the most results, especially for texture. I’ll try to update as I continue using the Banisher 2.0.
– It was my time of the month when I tested this :\

banisher-2-0-left-1-week.jpg
Left; Mark top of cheek faded
banisher-2-0-1-week-right.jpg
Right; Marks closest to mouth on chin faded

Final Thoughts

banish kit 2.0

Compared to the original Banisher, Banisher 2.0 is most definitely a fancy (and effective) upgrade! In my Banish Kit review, I mentioned how there was not enough information on using the Banisher safely. I appreciate that the Banisher 2.0 was created to ensure a safer and easier approach for beginners, with a less likelihood of problems (still use it carefully!). Another step I hope they consider in the future is making just the head replaceable, which will make Banisher 2.0 more cost effective.

If you want to give the Banisher 2.0 a try, they are currently selling it in a kit. Banish offers:
– Products made to order in the U.S.
– International Shipping on purchases $150+
– 30 Day Money Back guarantee
– Products only available on their official website.

Banish Acne Scars
Banish Kit 2.0
Shop all Banish products
Use code “MICH” at checkout to get $5 off!

If you want know more about my experience with Banish, be sure to read my Banish Starter Kit review. I post Before & Afters after 4 microneedling sessions and review every product in the Kit.

I hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M


This post contains affiliate links.
Disclosure

BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs

For the past few years, Klairs products have at some point, and still is, part of my skincare routine. When my skin was going through a very confusing time, their skincare managed to provide some type of relief and help with my skin concerns. I have tried old and new formulations of their products, been exposed to their marketing long enough, and follow them on Instagram to see their updates. I figured it was about time I did a big review on the products I have tried, as well as the brand as a whole!


QUICK FACTS

IMG_20181103_144340_1.jpg

Here’s some information on Dear, Klairs based on what’s available online and what I have noticed when shopping their products:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-Free
    • They actually created “Stay Beagly” Badges for Wishtrend’s Cruelty Free Week Sale and proceeds went to saving Beagles and making sure they get a loving home! Check out their Instagram posts in May, and be sure to click left to see more! May 20th, 2018
  • High quality at reasonable prices
  • Only use necessary ingredients in the formula that contribute to skin’s overall health
  • No artificial fragrances used (although one of their products just has “Fragrance” on the list – I’ll point it out)
  • Effective, yet mild formulas
    • They keep sensitive skin types in mind
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Have a variety of products
    • Beauty tools
    • Makeup
    • Skincare
  • Different skincare lines focused on specific concerns
  • Price range is $$
    • Least expensive product – Mochi BB Cushion Air Puff $1.50 USD
    • Most expensive product – Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop $30 USD
  • Always offer great deals with their skincare bundles. I always get them if I plan on repurchasing a product, as well as if my family and friends want to repurchase something in my order.
  • Their samples have expiry dates so you can save them for short trips! I did that when I went to Puerto Vallarta with friends.

Something they don’t list themselves, but deserves a quick mention: They take constructive criticism well and use the feedback they get from customers to improve their formulas and create new products!

I have tried old/new formulations of the following:
Supple Preparation Facial Toner – added Unscented version
Rich Moist Soothing Serum – less sticky, more elegant formulation
Rich Moist Soothing Cream – jar to tube with more product and added ingredients
Sheet masks – cotton to tencel and bamboo sheet material

Even with reformulations, I still find some Klairs products a hit and miss for me. Not a miss in a way where I think the product is awful, but moreso that it doesn’t tickle my fancy and it doesn’t have a purpose in my routine. Overall I do think they offer a variety of products for everyone, even the ones I personally don’t care for.

I will only be reviewing the products I own / have tried, which is about 14/23 products. It’s not all, but they seem to be the more popular products out of the bunch! For any product I did a full review on, I’ll be sure to leave the corresponding blog posts for you to look at if you’re interested in finding out more.

Also since there are quite a number of products, I’ll be linking each one with the COSDNA Ingredient List, that way it’s easier to check out what the primary functions of each one is.

For the full list of their products, check out their page http://klairscosmetics.com/products/


Blue Line – Keep skin looking youthful

IMG_20181103_144605.jpg

This line focuses on calming the skin and lowering inflammation using Guaiazulene as the star ingredient. It is an extract from the chamomile plant that turns from violet to light blue after the blending process. It is used to treat a variety of skin ailments, especially when it’s inflamed or has damaged skin tissue (eg. sunburns, eczema)

Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask *
COSDNA IL
Amount: 25ml
Price: $3 USD
First off – they do not have Guaiazulene in this, and I don’t know why it would not be included in the essence; It’s pretty much the whole reason for the Blue Line!  However, it has a handful of soothing ingredients such as Erythritol, Willow Bark Extract, Allantoin, Centella Asiatica, making this mask particularly beneficial for those with inflamed skin; Since it functions as a calming sheet mask, it does give it merit to be part of the Blue Line. I like that they went the route with using bamboo instead of cotton. It comes in a top and bottom piece, fits my face better and it definitely holds the essence longer. After use, this mask made my face look and feel very smooth, look even tone, and helped lower inflammation around breakouts.

Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop
COSDNA IL
Amount: 20ml
Price: $30 USD
This is a peptide serum that is one of Klairs’ products catered to anti-aging. Despite it only being 20ml, it is not in a base of water and contains only 10 ingredients, EGF and bFGF being the first two on the list. On initial application my skin always feels surprisingly soft, considering that this is a watery formula. I particularly like applying this after using a product that was sensitizing, making sure my skin doesn’t take a bad route from the reaction. I do have a love/hate with this serum however because of the size and if it’s really “keeping me young”. This is my second bottle, and with retinol or retinoids being in my skincare from here on out, I have been applying the Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop afterwards to ensure I don’t get any irritation. A subscriber also commented that they use this serum after dermarolling, instead of a Vitamin C serum like I used, and noticed its benefits. I would definitely like to give that a try, since no matter the % Vitamin C definitely stings, especially if you create multiple small wounds on your face!

Midnight Blue Calming Cream
COSDNA IL
Amount:
30ml – 60ml
Price:
$24.50 USD – $31 USD
This is like the cream version of the Youth Activating Drop, for it also contains peptides and Guaiazulene. The reason I like it better is because it contains other ingredients I really like such as Niacinamide, Centella Asiatica, and Ceramide 3. I repurchased the jar twice and invested in the 60ml limited size. This is a must in my routine, and serves the same purpose as the Youth Drop only heavier. Despite the thickness, I don’t get additional breakouts from the cream, but rather soothed skin, especially when my chin area is inflamed with pimples! The jar is good for travelling, for I almost always breakout after getting off the plane! Even if there is a climate change, I find myself reaching for this constantly to soothe my skin (or if I reeeeeaaaaalllllly react with a skincare product).

Recommended for: Constantly irritated and/or inflamed skin that needs some calming.


Freshly Juiced Line – The Ultimate Brightening Solution

IMG_20181103_153421.jpg

The more “active” line out of the bunch, each product carries a star ingredient(s) that have skin benefits, including maintaining a healthy glow and youthful look!

Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ *
COSDNA IL
Amount: 80ml
Price: $23 USD
Klairs’ newest sunscreen, and hallellujah it’s so good! It’s an all chemical sunscreen with the more photostable filters Uvinul A Plus and Uvinul T 150. It come in a large size at a decent price; despite it being a chemical sunscreen it does not sensitize my skin or irritate my eyes. If you have normal to oily skin, you can even get away with this being your moisturizer! I found it adds a slight bit of moisture to my skin, giving it the supple look, not a greasy sunscreen look. It  It’s a new addition that is one of the best they have to offer.

Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask *
COSDNA IL
Amount: 90ml
Price: $27 USD
Probably the best sleeping mask I have tried to date. I’ve never been a fan over moisturizing, overnight masks because they tend to enlarge my pores, make me feel congested, and never tackle the dehydrated feeling. The Vitamin E Mask actually performs! My skin instantly looks bright and plump on application, stays moisturized the next day despite sleeping in a dry environment, and my pores look smaller. I definitely see the 2% Niacinamide working well.

Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
COSDNA IL
Amount: 35ml
Price: $23 USD
This is a likeable serum, but not my favourite. I like that this brightened and plumped my skin, felt hydrating, and evened out my skin tone. However long-term it did nothing for my hyperpigmentation. I am suspecting a few things:
1) The 5% L-Ascorbic Acid wasn’t enough for me
2) The lack of Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid in the formula is not bringing it to its full potential
3) Only suitable for the most sensitive of skin types
Your skin also feels heated on application. It didn’t bother me much or make my skin look splotchy, but I can see this being a concern for very sensitive skin. (Truthfully, I’m questioning if vitamin C really does anything for me atm, even the Timeless serum that has 20% LAA).

RELATED CONTENT:
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Dynamic Duo? Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop & Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Face Mask


Recommended for:
Those who need an instant brightening and hydrating boost! I think oily skin types would enjoy this line, but be wary of the Vitamin E Mask for it might be too heavy for you, even with the lightest amount. Sensitive skinned peeps beware of both the Mask and Vitamin Drop – you will feel some type of sensation!


Rich Moist Soothing Line
Deeply moisturize and soothe the skin

IMG_20181103_153545.jpg

These were the first items from Klairs I ever tried. They served as good, gentle products when my skin was transitioning from oily to dry, and when I stopped birth control and started having crazy hormonal breakouts.

Rich Moist Soothing Serum
COSDNA IL
Amount:
80ml
Price:
$22.99 USD
Both old and new formula, I find this did nothing for my skin. It adds a moment of a soothing feeling and disappears into my skin, barely making the surface feel soft. I think this is TOO gentle for me. What’s weird is that it has similar ingredients in the Supple Preparation Toner (which I love), but I don’t find I get the same effect. Maybe I prefer the toner as the “vehicle” for those ingredients rather than the serum?
Skincarisma actually did an ingredient comparison of the Rich Moist Soothing Serum and Supple Preparation Facial Toner, what they both have and what one has over the other. Definitely give it a look!

Rich Moist Soothing Cream
COSDNA IL
Amount:
60ml
Price:
$24.50 USD
My OG moisturizer when my skin started transitioning from oily to dry. It is a Glycerin-based moisturizer with Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Ceramide 3, as well as a variety of plant extracts. It comforted my skin while using it and I never felt congested. Now that I have branched off to my Cerave PM, I appreciate the minimal and effective ingredient list, and that it’s more accessible for me to get. I have not gone back to the Rich Moist Soothing Cream and don’t think I need to hang on to it anymore. It’s still a good moisturizer, and I have got my friend hooked on it for her dry, psoriasis skin.

Recommended for: Those new in skincare and need a gentle and simple start. The Rich Moist Soothing Line is basic, and sometimes that’s what you need. You can layer this as you like, making it suitable for oily to dry skin. As for the Rich Moist Soothing Tencil Sheet Mask, I only tried the old formulation and didn’t like it. The new one claims to have ceramides, so it’s possible it’s more nourishing, but I still can’t bring myself to want to try it.



Supple Preparation Line – Cleanse and Hydrate the Skin

IMG_20181103_144933.jpgIt’s exactly what the name of the line suggests, it makes your skin supple! To better describe it in my own terms, they are products that help add a little extra to your skin, without a heavy finish.

Supple Preparation Facial Toner Original & Unscented *
COSDNA List
Amount: 180ml
Price: $21.99 USD
I’ve spoken about this too much, so I’ll be brief! Love this toner, have gone through multiple bottles of it. It is a no fuss type of product that gives your skin that little extra *oomph*. The Unscented one is definitely your go to if you’re looking for a light, simple, hydrating toner to add to your routine without the essential oils.

Toner Mate 2-in-1 Cotton Pad 
Amount: 60-60 pads
Price: $6.50 USD
Compressed Pad: 100% Cotton
Sponge Pad: Pulp-Rayon blend
Probably the best damn cotton pads ever. I never knew how important cotton pads are until I tried these ones. I still have a pack of Delon cotton pads I got for $15 at Costco. They’re good, but these….. Not a drop of product goes to waste, even with the thicker, more compressed pad. The compressed pad is best used say if you feel like you need to wipe extra stuff off your skin while adding hydration. The softer, sponge pad to help saturate your skin more, and you can even use them for toner masks.

Supple Preparation All Over Lotion (2 samples)
Amount (full size):
250ml
Price (full size):
$26.50 USD

This is a fast absorbing body-lotion that can be used for both face and body, depending the type of finish you prefer in a moisturizer. This one caters to those that don’t like a heavy finish. This also has Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Beta-Glucan, Ceramide NP and a ton of plant extracts as well. Comparing it to the Rich Moist Soothing Cream, these ingredients are all near the top of the list, but the difference is in the finish.

Recommended for: Those who literally want a “simple, but enough” type of feel to their skin. And high quality cotton pads. It pretty much compliments the Rich Moist Soothing Line (or any skincare routine for that matter) well.

RELATED CONTENT:
REVIEW & COMPARE: Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner – Scented and Unscented!



Gentle Black Cleansing Line – Deep cleanse the skin without irritation

IMG_20181103_153633.jpg

Similar to the theme in the Blue Line, Klairs has a few cleansers that have black ingredients as their highlighted ingredients. The ones I see listed are black sugar, charcoal, and black currant.

Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil (multiple samples)
COSDNA IL
Amount: 150ml
Price: $22.90 USD
A gentle makeup remover with Black Currant Seed Oil. It’s a soothing and moisturizing ingredient high in linoleic acid,making it suitable for problematic skin; It found in the middle of the list along with other plant oils such as Jojoba Seed, Soybean, and Sesame Seed. It is an emulsifying cleansing oil so there is no need for a towel, although I do find it takes a bit to wash off without it. From the handful of times I have used this, my skin is left feeling moisturized and smooth, but it also feels like product is lingering on my face. This is also the one I found in their line that has just “Fragrance” on the list, instead of their typical EO blend found in their other skincare products.

Recommended for: 1st cleanse steps but still want that slight moisturized finish.



Makeup

Klairs doesn’t really have a big makeup line, but I have purchased and still use their BB Cream!

IMG_20181103_153615.jpg

Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream
COSDNA IL
Amount: 40ml
Price: $24.99 USD
I remember this being the first Asian BB cream I tried without making my skin grey and I could actually wear on its own. My skin definitely had a natural glow to it, and it helped blur my enlarged pores and make my skin look smoother and literally supple. I’m a bit tanner than I was when I first tried this product, and even at my paler times this really makes my skin tone look lighter. At the beginning of this year, I mixed it in with my It Cosmetics CC Cream (Medium) to match my lighter skin tone better. I may just keep using it for that purpose only.

Recommended for: Those who want a “My Skin But Better” type of look.

RELATED CONTENT:
Review: Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream and Enca Acne Control Total Concealer
Glass Skin for the Unblessed: Skincare Focused, Minimal Makeup


Final Thoughts

Dear, Klairs is a great brand to consider if you want to venture into K-Beauty that’s cruelty-free with vegan formulas. They reformulate and formulate products based on customer input, any skin-type can use their products, they are fairly affordable, and a little goes a long way when using their products in your skincare routine.

Based on my skin concerns and needs, here are Klairs products I highly recommend:
Midnight Blue Calming Cream
Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50 PA++++
Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask
Supple Preparation Facial Toner
Toner Mate 2-in-1 Cotton Pads

Where to purchase:
Wishtrend
Amazon

Wishtrend is having their annual Black Friday sale soon, and that’s usually when I shop on their website! Amazon would be preferred for those that have Prime, but I’m not sure if the sale prices will reflect there. If you’ve been eyeing Klairs products, I hope my post helps you navigate their selection to choose and try the ones right for you.

xo, M

P.S. The video version shows me demo-ing the products!


This post contains affiliate links.
Disclosure