SKIN UPDATE #3: 1+ Year using Differin

Wow, it’s been 1 year since I started using 0.3% Adapalene! Crazy how fast time passes when you get older heheheh….

If you haven’t already, please be sure to read my previous skin updates so you understand what I talk about in this post and other actives I use that I do not mention here.
Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars
Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!

Breakdown of what I’ve been doing to my skin since my last Skin Update August 2019:

  • Got too cheeky and started eating eating crappy food and drinking sugary drinks, thus getting breakouts so big that 10% Azelaic Acid couldn’t handle it 🙂
  • Have repurchased a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide wash which does the job very quickly. However…
  • Contemplated why I stopped using 5% Dapsone, and realized that the moment I had a mild side effect (redness) I freaked out. I began the purchasing spiral to find an OTC product to help with breakouts, when I could’ve just continued using Dapsone.

ACNE

My cystic breakouts have been on and off. As mentioned in my recap, I’ve been eating shitty food lately, and both my boyfriend and I know the triggers (refined sugar). Since the holidays, I have been cutting back on sugary snacks and drinks. Reflecting back on older photos, my acne is definitely is more under control than it has been in years. Here are some posts for reference when I started 0.1% Adapalene. You’ll notice dark red marks and lots of hormonal breakouts along my jaw:
2018 Skincare Routines
Some By Mi Review

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From this year of using many actives (do as I say, not as I do lol), I found that Benzoyl Peroxide in wash form (Benzagel 5 Acne Wash) and my 5% Dapsone gel prescription have been the most effective at treating inflamed acne lesions quickly and making my skin smoother from bumps. I’ll continue using both, mostly 5% Dapsone on my face 2 times a day (as advised) and use the BP wash for emergencies.


PIGMENTATION

Due to the increase in some breakouts, my chin in particular has more red/purple marks than usual. However I don’t find it to bother me much, since Differin really helps to diminish them quickly, alongside an SPF50+ sunscreen. I also find Azelaic Acid has been great in speeding up their healing process. Incorporating it into my routine definitely makes my complexion brighter, more even tone, and assist with fading any pigmentation.

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I actually prefer it over Vitamin C serums, which have never shown (in my experience) to help with red acne marks. I currently am near the end of Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster in my collection, and I don’t plan on getting the unprescribed 15% Finacea any time soon. The PC one while nice is quite expensive and it is difficult to find unprescribed Finacea, even if I look on eBay. I think I need to be patient and either a) ask my Derm about prescribed AA, or b) wait for F.C. from SimpleSkincareScience to launch his AA serum!


ATROPHIC SCARS

And now the big update! Please watch my Youtube video showcasing my scars after a finishing a whole tube of 0.3% Adapalene (over 1 year). I couldn’t for the life of me replicate the exact angle and lighting of my face and it looked different with every photo. The video will give a better idea.

Like I have mentioned here or there, every time I see family and friends, they always compliment how much smoother my skin looks. Usually awful lighting was the teller of all tales for my complexion, and I even notice that my skin looks so much smoother! Although my skin isn’t 100% smooth (I don’t think it will ever be to be honest), the texture has definitely improved for the better with continued use of Differin.


FINAL THOUGHTS + MY PLAN

Although it’s a lengthy process, I’m happy that my skin has been overall improving for the better since starting 0.3% Adapalene. This plus other actives has also given me more mental freedom, and I see myself (literally and figuratively) in a more positive light. The quality of my skin has been a constant focal point in my thoughts for years, and I finally have the clarity to not care about how I look without a face full of makeup.

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I already picked up another prescription of Differin, so I will continue to use it. It seems that more evidence is popping up that it can also help with photoaging, so hopefully this will also contribute to my skin’s quality in that aspect. In addition, I will continue to use 5% Dapsone morning and night even if I am lesion free (it’s supposed to help prevent as well), and book an appointment with my derm if I ever have concerns.

Now that I have finally used up a full tube of Differin, I am going to FINALLY start microneedling again to speed up the healing process of my atrophic scars and to help prevent my subtle fine lines from getting worse. I know I mentioned this in my last skin update, but I decided to just see what topicals solely did for my scars.


As always, I hope you found my post helpful and informative.

xo, M

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #8: Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30 Moisturizer

Product is a PR Sample provided for review purposes.
All opinions are my own, always *casts doe patronus*


DERMALOGICA PRISMA PROTECT SPF 30 MOISTURIZER

 

Light-activated multitasking moisturizer provides broad spectrum defense while preventing future signs of skin damage. Intelligent drone technology is activated by visible light to help boost skin’s natural luminosity. Breakthrough antioxidant technology helps protect skin against pollution. Broad Spectrum Defense SPF30 provides protection from UV damage, while a bio-ferment from sage helps maintain an even skin tone. Advanced moisture magnets provide all-day hydration for visibly smooth skin.

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • No artificial fragrances and colours
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

Price: $89 CAD
Amount: 50ml

UV FILTERS & INGREDIENTS:

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Type: Organic / Chemical
Homosalate 10%
Octocrylene 10%
Ethylhexyl Salicylate (Octisalate) 5%
Avobenzone 3%

Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 30

FULL INGREDIENTS LIST:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Coconut Alkanes, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethyl Capramide, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Saccharide Isomerate, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Sclareolide, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, PEG-100 Stearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arachidyl Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Methicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Propanediol, Geraniol, Limonene, Citral, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol

From my -skinthusiast- perspective…

From my understanding, Drone Technology refers to encapsulating an ingredient for better penetration into the skin. There are a few beneficial antioxidants in the formula such as Green Tea Leaf Extract and Vitamin E, as well as Palmitoyl Oligopeptide for anti-aging that I suspect may be the encapsulated ingredients. In terms of luminosity, there’s no standout ingredient to tell me this would add a luminous boost other than the fact that there are more than a handful of moisturizing ingredients to help achieve the look.

UPDATE JAN. 27, 2020: getthegloss.com has more insight into the Drone Technology and light-activating properties of this sunscreen:
https://www.getthegloss.com/news/dermalogica-prisma-protect-spf30-review

Moisturizing (humectants, emollients): Butylene Glycol, Coconut Alkanes, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Methicone, Caprylyl Glycol
Antioxidant: Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate
Peptide: Palmitoyl Oligopeptide

INCIDecoder breakdown


EXPERIENCE

PACKAGING: Tube with squeeze spout.

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CONSISTENCY:  Cream.

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FRAGRANCE: Ginger Root Oil, Geraniol, Linomene, Citral. It’s a very light scent and not unpleasant. Smells like a high-end Western SPF.

APPLICATION: Glides on skin very easily.

 

FINISH: As the product describes, luminous. Not too much and not too little.


FEEL: It’s like I added extra moisturizer on my skin. My face feels a bit hot.

STINGS EYES? Yes.

WHITECAST / TINTED? No.

WATER RESISTANT? No.

SKIN BENEFITS?
Adds extra moisture to the skin, has antioxidants from vitamin E and Green Tea Leaf Extract to protect skin against free radicals, and Palmitoyl Oligopeptide to help with skin’s firmness.

UNDER MAKEUP:
Currently in winter mode, this SPF feels great under makeup and doesn’t dry out my face.


FINAL THOUGHTS

PROS:

  • As expected from Dermalogica, cosmetically elegant
  • Provides extra moisture and some preventative aging benefits
  • Any skin type can use it, you would just havee to adjust it accordingly in your skincare routine

CONS:

  • $$$$$$
  • Skin felt heated shortly after application

IN-BETWEEN FEELS

  • As mentioned in prior posts, I’m more of an SPF50+ kinda gal. For the price I really would’ve liked to see that in a Dermalogica sunscreen.

Overall the Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30 Moisturizer is a decent sunscreen. It’s not my typical go to because of the price and the UV filters, but for a North American sunscreen it performs very well; It is definitely not as greasy as other Avobenzone sunscreens I have tried and I found it moisturizing. There are definitely affordable options with better UV filters if you’re willing to purchases internationally, but if Dermalogica is in your price point and you want a nice-feeling Western sunscreen with organic UV filters, the Prisma Protect SPF 30 is it.

WHERE TO BUY:
Sephora

This is an affiliate link. If you click on this link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you so much if you decide to use it! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.

Hope you found this post helpful and informative!

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #7: Bioderma Photoderm SPF 50+ Milk High Protection

REVIEW: Laneige Cream Skin Refiner

Raise your hand if Youtube made you buy it! Now available in Canada, I purchased the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner/Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer shortly after it first launched. I was very intrigued by the reviews of this product, for it seemed like a thoughtful product with a simple yet effective formulation.


CLAIMS

A two-in-one formula that preps and softens like a toner and moisturizes like a cream for maximum hydration benefits in one simple step.

Using Cream Blending technology™, Cream Skin contains the same moisturization as a jar of cream, made into the lightweight texture of a toner. The specialized white tea leaves are harvested once a year and grown in the shade, meaning more amino acids to strengthen, moisturize, and soothe skin.

Clinical Results: In a consumer testing study of 30 female participants aged in their 20’s:
– 86.67% of respondents perceived a rich feeling of moisture when applied
– 90% of respondents felt the product relieved skin of dryness after 2 weeks of usage
– 93% of respondents felt skin was moisturized after use after 2 weeks of usage

– Sephora.com

Price: $43 CAD
Amount: 150ml

  • Canadian/U.S. Name: Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer
  • For all skin types
  • Dryness, Dullness, and Uneven Texture skin concerns
  • Lightweight Liquid
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil
  • Contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances
  • White Leaf Tea Water: Rich in amino acids to strengthen the skin barrier, moisturize, and soothe

INGREDIENTS

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyglyceryl- 10 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propanediol, Disodium Edta, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopherol

Total number of ingredients: 15

From my -skinthusiast- perspective…

This toner is mostly emollient focused, so it is on the slightly richer side of hydrating toners/essences, while incorporating Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract and Tocopherol (vitamin E) for antioxidant benefits. Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is also anti-inflammatory and helps reduce pore size (yay), so despite the non-super fancy formula, don’t let that deter you from thinking the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner doesn’t pack a good punch to your skin! The claimed standout ingredient is that this product uses White Tea Leaf; Liah Yoo did an informative video on why this form of Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is more special.

Moisturizing: Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Propanediol
Antioxidant: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopherol

INCIDecoder breakdown


EXPERIENCE

USAGE: 2 layers in the morning after cleansing.

TEXTURE: Thin, like water!

APPLICATION: Shake, apply nickel-size amount with hands. Since it’s watery, I apply fast.

SCENT: None.

FINISH: Surprisingly moisturized, as if I just finished applying a moisturizer rather than an essence.

SHORT-TERM RESULTS: Skin is relieved of dehydration and feels softer.

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Helps maintain moisture throughout the day.


FINAL THOUGHTS

The Laneige Cream Skin Refiner is an impressive product in terms of quality, quantity, innovation and results! It a simple product, but performs like nothing else in my skincare routine. When I need that big boost of moisture without using a lot of layers, the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner is my go-to. I think any skin type can benefit from this product, provided you use it according to your specific skin needs!

WHERE TO BUY:
YesStyle
Sephora

These are affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. Thank you if you decide to use it! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.

I hope you found my review helpful and informative!

xo, M

REVIEW: Klairs Fundamental Watery Oil Drop

It’s been a hot minute since I last reviewed a Klairs product! Since my brand review, they have introduced a few new lines in their collection, one being the Fundamental Line – Skincare Line achieved with premium formulation.

Wishtrend sent me the Klairs Fundamental Watery Oil Drop to try out, and I’m ready to share my thoughts!


Product is a PR sample and provided for review purposes.
Links provided are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and use it to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you do not feel comfortable, feel free to Google a new link.
All thoughts are my own, always *casts doe patronus*


CLAIMS

The Klairs Fundamental Watery Oil Drop is a water-based serum with the rich hydration of a facial oil. It is recommended to those who want all the benefits of an oil product without the oily finish. It holds a non-sticky texture that absorbs effectively on the skin. Also, consisting high effective formulation such as Green Tea, Ferment Extracts, Ceramide and Peptides, it not only provides antioxidant care but improves skin regeneration and acts as an anti-aging solution.

Price: $31 USD
Amount: 50 ml
How to use: After cleansing and toning, apply 2-3 drops of the Watery Oil Drop on the face and massage from the face down to the neck.

  • Made in Korea
  • Made for all skin types
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Free of ethanol, silicone, steroid (whut?), artificial colouring, artificial fragrance

INGREDIENTS

Aqua(Water), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Bifida Ferment Extract, Betaine, Dipropylene Glycol, Sorbitol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aspergillus/Rice Ferment Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Arginine, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Ceramide NP, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Copper Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8

Total number of Ingredients: 28

From my -skinthusiast- perspective…

I like the ingredient list for what it’s meant to do – a great selection of moisturizing ingredients (mostly humectant rich) paired with antioxidants and skin-soothers to help calm down sensitized skin and maintain skin health:

Moisturizing: Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Sorbitol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Bifida Ferment Extract, Betaine, Aspergillus/Rice Ferment Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arginine, Ceramide NP, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Copper Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8
Antioxidant: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Copper Tripeptide-1
Soothing/Anti-Inflammatory: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Copper Tripeptide-1

A couple of things that I noticed is that there are more than a handful of ingredients that help with the texture of the product, and the preservative Ethylhexylglycerin is halfway in the list. Fortunately, the highlighted ingredients below it typically fall around 1%> of a North American formulation, and I also don’t know how South Korea orders their ingredients (I found this blog post by fanserviced-b that compares U.S. and South Korean laws if you’re interested in the read). Overall this doesn’t bother me too much; The beneficial ingredients are more than half of the product, and the solvents/texture-enhancers seem multifunctional with both moisturizing and improving the formulation, but I thought I’d point it out.

Check out INCIDecoder’s (one of my FAVE reference sites) for a more detailed and professional breakdown!


EXPERIENCE

Packaging: Glass bottle with a dropper.

Usage: Usually I prefer to use antioxidant-based products during the day, but I like mixing this with the Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc serum and applying it after Differin.

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Texture: Surprise surprise, a watery oil! Definitely has more slip compared to the Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop but not as viscous as the Rich Moist Soothing Serum.

Fragrance: None.

Finish: Very light and there is a film on the skin.

Instant Results: Skin feels smooth, calm and lightly moisturized.

Long-Term Results: Skin rarely feels rough, dehydrated and/or sensitized.


FINAL THOUGHTS

The Klairs Fundamental Watery Oil Drop is overall a great new addition to Klairs’ skincare collection. It embodies the science + nature combo that I enjoy in my skincare products, all the while being gentle and effective for all skin types. I wouldn’t necessarily rely on this for “anti-aging”, but it’s definitely a nice supplemental skincare item to have while using other beneficial (yet sensitizing) anti-aging actives like Vitamin A.

If you’re looking for a light, soothing product that has a bit more oomph to the ingredient list than the classic Hada Labo HA Lotion, check this one out; I actually prefer this serum way more over the Rich Moist Soothing Serum from Klairs as well!

WHERE TO BUY:
Wishtrend
YesStyle

Hope you found this review helpful and informative! I definitely want to get my hands on the Klairs Fundamental Ampule Mist next, the ingredients list

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT:

BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs

I’m Starting Project Pan 2020

Hey everyone and Happy New Year! Following suite to my Makeup Faves of 2019 post, I plan on doing a Project Pan for 2020.

In short, I have too much makeup. So much so that while organizing my products in some new organizers my boyfriend got me for Christmas, the anxiety of all the stuff messily placed in my drawer was real.

This year I decided to shop my stash and give Project Pan a go. Hopefully during this process I 1) Use up makeup products 2) Giveaway what I truly think doesn’t work for me to a family member or friend 3) Throw out the old stuff.

For the month of January, I decided to incorporate both new, old, and already panned products. I want to enjoy my new purchases with some items that have been longstading in my collection. With that in mind, here’s my Project Pan, mauve themed!


Items marked with * are PR Samples.
Most links provided are affiliate links via rStyle. This means if you click on the link to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thank you if you decide to use it! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


COMPLEXION:

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CHEEKS:

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EYES:

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LIPS:

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Are you going to Project Pan this year? Let me know!

xo, M