REVIEW: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Masks

Glow Recipe is another online K-Beauty retailer, but they curate more indie brands that are not as known or easily accessible to those of us in the Western World! Think Make P:rem, Blithe, Huxley, Whamisa… Working in the Korean and American beauty market for so long, and having their own business, the founders Sarah and Christine curated their own line, Glow Recipe!

I first purchased the original Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser and Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, and eventually wanted to try their Jelly Sheet Mask! Since the Cleanser has been reformulated, I won’t be reviewing it * missed my chance *. If you would like to see a review on it despite it being the older formula, let me know in the comments! We’ll be focusing on the 2 Watermelon Masks I purchased from their line:
Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask

Why watermelon? I actually find it a very cute and sentimental reason. In the summertime during their childhood, their grandmothers would rub the rhine and flesh of fresh watermelon on their backs to soothe irritated, inflamed skin.  My grandmother never did anything like that, but she’d always prepare a copious amount of snacks for me and my cousins!

Quick Facts:
– Cruelty Free
– Formulated without synthetic dyes and mineral oils
– Good for all skin types
– Made in Korea


Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

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Price: $59 CAD, Mini $29 CAD
Amount: 2.7oz/80ml, Mini 1oz/30ml

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Description: “The Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is a luxuriously bouncy, breathable sleeping mask that smoothes and perfects skin, overnight. This pillow-proof formula acts as a radiance-boosting hybrid hydrator, formulated with soothing, amino-acid rich Watermelon Extract, hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, and pore refining AHAs that work while you sleep to gently exfoliate and clarify.” – Glow Recipe Website

Key Ingredients: Watermelon, Hyaluronic Acid, AHA

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Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Caulerpa Lentillifera (Seaweed) Extract, Simethicone, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit, Silica, Propanediol, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract , Paeonia Suffruticosa (Peony) Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Ipomoea Batatas (Sweet Potato) Root Extract, Betaine, Beta Glucan, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Fragrance

Usage: Bath time, 1-2 times every 2 weeks.

Texture: Slimey. You have to mix before applying because there is separation.

Fragrance: Artificial watermelon, like a candy or a popsicle.

Application: I use the spoon to apply dollops on my forehead, cheeks and neck. I had to be fast, the texture is slimey and slippy!

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Face with Sleeping Mask

Instant Results: Skin felt soft and smooth.

Long-Term Results: Don’t use it enough to know. I rely on higher strength chemical exfoliators for this purpose.

Where to purchase:
Sephora
Glow Recipe


Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask

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Price: $11 CAD
Amount: 1.17oz/33g

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Description: “This one-of-a-kind sheet mask gets its jelly texture from a blend of watermelon extract and natto gum. That’s right, it’s a sheet mask made out of watermelons that gives you all the benefits of the amino-acid rich fruit directly into the skin. The watermelon base gives the jelly a naturally translucent pink hue that’s almost invisible on the skin, meaning you can mask anywhere, anytime without anyone knowing what you’re up to. It’ll be our little secret.” – Glow Recipe Website

Key Ingredients: Watermelon, Hyaluronic Acid, Centella Asiatica

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Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit, Soy Amino Acids, Fructooligosaccharides, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Hyaluronic Acid, Natto Gum, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Gum, Glycerin, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa (Peony) Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Beta-Glucan, (-)-Alpha-Bisabolol, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Ipomoea Batatas (Sweet Potato) Root Extract, Fragrance.

USAGE: 10 minute one night stand.

Texture: Thin, jelly gel mask.

Fragrance: Artificial watermelon, like a candy or a popsicle.

Application: 2 pieces, apply top and bottom.

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Face with Jelly Mask

Instant-Results: Somehwat hydrating.

Where to purchase:
Sephora
Glow Recipe


Final Thoughts

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PROS:
One of the few Korean-inspired products with a decent-sized ingredient list. When Korean brands use plant extracts, the list is so insanely long and features a lot of exotic ingredients that I don’t even bother to check all of them. Glow Recipe’s list is actually readable.
Key ingredients are actually near the top of the list. Too many times I have seen Niacinamide, collagen, HA, and all the good stuff at the bottom of a 50+ long ingredient list. I never thought it would do anything significant for my skin. Watermelon is noticeably high on the GR INCI lists.
Texture – the Sleeping Mask has an interesting and fun texture, which adds to my enjoyment using the product.

CONS:
– Price – $59 For a sleeping mask that dries way too quickly for my skin, PLUS I have to use extra layers to feel a decent amount of hydration… Not worth it.
– Artificial fragrance – I don’t mind fragrance if it is somewhat natural smelling. The watermelon definitely smells like fake candy. It’s not overwhelming, but it takes away from a more enjoyable experience with the mask.
– This isn’t an attack solely on the Watermelon Glow Jelly Mask, but after trying multiple gel masks this one just continues to prove to me that gel masks are MEH. Not worth $11 When a $2 cotton-sheet has shown to be just as efficacious, if not more.
Jelly Mask in general is flimsy and I managed to puncture it a few times when trying to get it to adhere to my face.

IN-BETWEEN FEELS:
More suited for oily skin. I wouldn’t say these products can be for all skin types, I don’t feel like my skin is nourished enough, even when I applied extra layers. Having said that, they still somewhat performed, and someone with an oilier skin type may see better results.
Mild enough for sensitive skin or for those who have never used chemical exfoliants. I’m used to stronger chemical exfoliants, but I did notice my skin would look fairly smoother with the mask. I just feel like I have tried better, but for someone starting out, you may want to look into the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask.

I appreciate Glow Recipe, admire the founders, and generally like the products. I’m sort of interested in trying the Avocado Mask, but I don’t really have an urge to try anything further from the brand. Have you tried the Avocado Mask? Let me know in the comments below!

xo, M

BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Skincare

I feel like with every passing year, I always learn a different aspect of skincare. I found this year I focused a LOT on scientifically proven ingredients, as well as new, popular ingredients that are commonly talked about in the beautysphere. This was also the year I showed more interest in drugstore products! Out of everything I tried and used up this year, here are the skincare products that really stood out to me this year and deserve some praises.

Before we get into the individual products, I want to give a shout out to a few brands that have impressed me with almost every product I’ve tried from the line. If I didn’t, I feel like the list would be a lot longer! I also have product shoutouts along the list as well. They may not be my top pick for the year of 2018, but again, they deserve a mention since I did enjoy using them.


BRAND Shoutouts

DRUGSTORE: Cerave – If you need affordable, effective skincare with a simple ingredients list, this is the brand to turn to. Almost any skin type can turn to this brand! I’m looking forward to trying more from the brand and provide you all affordable alternatives in skincare.

MID-RANGE: Krave Beauty – I actually would have featured everything in this post, but since I only started using them near the end of the year a handful of times, I’ll leave the praises for a future post *hint hint*. A new skincare line created by acne-prone, sensitive-skinned beauty Youtuber Liah Yoo. The brand is all about respecting the skin’s natural function and makes sure to promote its helf rather than further sensitizing it.

HIGH-END: Dermalogica – She may be pricey, but she works, and a little goes a long way with every product I have tried! I love the combo of science-backed ingredients mixed with botanicals and essential oils in their formulas. This is one of the few skincare brands I’m willing to splurge money on because I’ve reaped nothing but benefits!


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Makeup Remover

Marcelle Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes – Favourited by a handful of Canadian Beauty Bloggers, and I can see why. It is simple, it is gentle, it works really well at removing waterproof makeup, all the while never irritating my eyes or drying out my eye area!

Cleanser

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser – Jesus where was this when I had worse skin problems? Cerave has impressed me this year as a drugstore brand and this is one of their standout products to me. Preferably used for my morning cleanse, I find it softens my skin when massaging for a minute or so and does a decent job at removing overnight fluffs. If you need a very gentle cleanser, I don’t think you’d be disappointed with this one!

Shoutout:
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * – She’s expensive, but she also has a lovely texture, amazing second cleanse, and a little goes such a long way it took me forever to finish it!

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Hydrator

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence – I seriously miss this from my routine! I’m currently using Secret Key FTE which is nice, but COSRX is pretty much the same but with my preferred consistency! It wasn’t until I started using this that the plateau I was experiencing in my skincare ended. Face felt more hydrated, looked even tone, and I actually started noticing improvements in my hyperpigmentation.

Shoutouts:
Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner *
Some By Mi AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner *

I already threw out the COSRX Essence so I couldn’t take a new solo photo :3)

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Moisturizer

Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun Perfect Gel – I pine for this. Has the different HA molecules, Urea, Ceramide, and Squalane! A seriously lovely humectant moisturizer that I’m highly considering repurchasing.

Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Surprise surprise! But seriously, I really am surprised that I liked a drugstore moisturizer so much. It worked with my dry skin and I see the workings of the 4% Niacinamide.

Klairs Vitamin E Mask * – Love it as my night time moisturizer in the colder months, and it’s also just a joy to use because of the texture and the instant brightening effects. The bonus is that it is a heavier mask that doesn’t aggravate my acne or enlarge my pores!

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Actives / Treatments

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum * – I cringe that this is a favourite because of the price point, but it’s SO GOOD! It does everything you could want in a vitamin C serum – hydrate, brighten, create an even tone, lighten pigmentation. I felt like it just simplified my morning routine when I used it.

Differin OTC 0.1% Adapalene – My gateway drug into retinoids (lol). After years of experimenting with skincare outside of prescription, and learning so much this year about its benefits, I decided to go back to Vitamin A. It was definitely a turn for the better, because I’ve only noticed my skin improving since incorporating it into my routine. I now use prescription Differin with a higher percentage, but Americans are very lucky to have easy access to this in your local drugstores!

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash – Simplest, gentlest BP product I have ever tried. It was very affordable, I was surprisesd at how long it lasted, and yes, I found it very effective at killing any spots within a few days. I never thought I’d like a BP product as much as this!

Exfoliator

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel – Gentle and easy to use, and I like that I can use it on wet skin!

Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel * – Must be used on dry skin, but love how my skin is noticeably softer after using this. This one is particularly good for not just it’s quality but the low cost!

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid – Out of all the products I’m mentioning, this one is probably the gentlest. I always anticipate a stinging sensation when using this, but it’s always soothing and moisturizing! Like I’ve said before, it’s like an acid essence. My skin always looks bright and even, and pores look smaller.

Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA * – This year’s AHA favourite. Love that it’s gentle, especially now that I am using a retinoid, and still effective as an exfoliant for my skin. I especially like how both this and the PC product can be used under my eyes!

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Sunscreen

Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen – We hear time and time again from skin professionals, experts and enthusiasts how important sunscreen application is, and this is the one I used that really made me enjoy applying sunscreen. I also consider this a gateway drug into trying out many other sunscreens!

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+ PA++++ * – How can I not include this? Seriously one of the best Klairs releases. Chemical sunscreen with photostable UV filters, doesn’t sting my eyes, is slightly moisturizing, doesn’t have a cast, and comes in a great size for a great price.


And there you have it! I’m impressed that I managed to keep the list * rather * short this time around. Hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to check out the related content below!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT

BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Makeup
BEST OF BEAUTY 2017: SKINCARE
The Best of Beauty 2016
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #2]: Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm
Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


This post contains affiliate links.

REVIEW: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

…with Ecinachea GreenEnvy!

I can’t stop seeing this product on Youtube and Instagram. It was driving me quite mad actually. What is so damn special about Farmacy’s Green Clean Meltaway Cleansing Balm!? I picked it up during Sephora’s surprise summer VIB Sale to find out.


CLAIMS

 

Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm instantly melts into the skin, dissolving away makeup and pollution residue so even the boldest eye makeup and sunscreen applications are easily removed. It refines the skin’s surface for a younger looking complexion. Perfect for all skin types, Green Clean can be used even on dry and delicate complexions.

The balm features sunflower oil and ginger root oil to gently cleanse and nourish the skin for a glowing complexion. Extract of the Moringa tree, a native tree to India and Africa, helps to purify and refresh skin by removing impurities caused by pollution. Papaya extract acts as a natural exfoliator to help renew the look of the skin’s surface. An aromatic blend of lime, bergamot and orange essential oils revitalizes the look of skin. It features the unique patent-protected variant of Echinacea Purpurea, GreenEnvy™, which contains a high concentration of the phytochemical Cichoric Acid, a potent natural antioxidant that promotes an evenly toned complexion.

AMOUNT: 3.2oz / 90ml

PRICE: $34 USD – $44 CAD


INGREDIENTS

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As listed on Sephora

“-Echinacea GreenEnvy™: Promotes an evenly toned complexion.
-Sunflower Oil and Ginger Root Oil: Gently cleanse and nourish the skin for a glowing complexion.
-Extract of the Moringa Tree: Helps to purify and refresh skin by removing impurities caused by pollution.
-Papaya Extract: Acts as a natural exfoliator to help renew the look of the skin’s surface.”

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Peg-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Peg-10 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Amino Esters-1, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Amber Powder, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid.

COSDNA IL – Lists basic functions of each ingredient.

Funny that the highlighted ingredients are all at the bottom of the list, while the essential oil fragrances are all on top… I can’t seem to find anything about a dosing issue for ecinachea topically, and not gonna lie, I’m bothered that these ingredients are not higher up; It makes me question if they’re truly significant in this balm. Even in the description on Sephora, it states, “An aromatic blend of lime, bergamot and orange essential oils revitalizes the look of skin. It features the unique patent-protected variant of Echinacea Purpurea, GreenEnvy™, which contains a high concentration of the phytochemical Cichoric Acid, a potent natural antioxidant that promotes an evenly toned complexion.” So both the essential oils at the top of the list as well as their Ecinachea GreenEnvy help with improving your complexion. Maybe the Ecinachea is for long-term whereas the EOs just impart an instant brightening effect?


USAGE

 

I’ve been using it every night since I ran out of my Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm.

SCENT: Light lime scent. Not overpowering and doesn’t linger.

TEXTURE: Despite being in a balm form, it is quite light and I find oily-skinned peeps will find this very approachable and pleasant. Think “sherbert balm.”

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APPLICATION: Scoop of a nickel-quarter size amount for my face and neck. I’d use the latter amount if I was wearing a lot of makeup that day. Melts quickly and goes on very thin.

FINISH: No residue or heavy moisture like the Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm.

INSTANT RESULTS: Clean, not green face!

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Nothing fancy.


FINAL THOUGHTS

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The Farmacy Green Clean Meltaway Cleansing Balm is nice. It’s a light texture, smells pleasant, removes all the makeup from my face, removes the beady dirt/dead skin, and doesn’t compromise anything. I’ll definitely keep using it since it is serving it’s purpose, although I’ll probably hold off on repurchasing. This didn’t do anything overly amazing for my skin that I would miss. I upset myself, for I wanted something significant! I’m interested in going back to a regular cleansing oil, and the affordable, simple Japanese cleansing oils are capturing my interest. If I start traveling more frequently, I may consider picking up the small size of this, or just go back to Banila Co. if I decide I want a full-size balm again (better price too).

Do I recommend? For the funsies. Get the mini first, especially if you travel a lot.
Specific Skin-Type? Any skin type will enjoy this if you prefer a thinner, light balm.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Sephora

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT:
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

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

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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).

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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.

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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-lalu-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

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

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“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

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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!

WHERE TO BUY:
Sephora
Dermalogica

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M


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