Niche Beauty Lab Haul Update – Reviewing Purchases 8 Months Later

Niche Beauty Lab is a Spain-based skincare company that gives off similar vibes to that of Deciem – but in Europe! Niche Beauty Lab is the umbrella company of the following brands:

  • THERAMID
  • Acnemy
  • Transparent Lab
  • Hyalulip
  • Hairvest

Recall last August 2022 I hauled 4 items from Niche Beauty Lab. 8 months is plenty of time to rotate in a handful of skincare in one’s routine. Below are the following items I picked up:

  • Transparent Lab PHA Soft Peeling Cleanser
  • THERAMID C-TETRA E.F.
  • THERAMID AZID
  • THERAMID Advanced Eye Treatment

I have already done a dedicated review of THERAMID AZID, so please be sure to check that out if you’re curious about that skincare product in particular. I wrote up a dedicated review because it’s a skincare item many like myself seek out – an over the counter 15%+ Azelaic Acid product for acne prone skin. In this post, I will be going over my experience with the other 3 skincare items from Niche Beauty Lab. Maybe not as much detail as THERAMID AZID, but hopefully enough to give you an idea of the product itself and my experience using it in my skincare routine the past 8 months.


Links marked with an asterisk (*) indicate an affiliate link. This means if you tap/click on the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support! MICHXMASH Disclosure


Niche Beauty Lab Transparent Lab

PHA Soft Peeling Cleanser Review

General Info on Transparent Lab PHA Soft Peeling Cleanser

Price: €12,95
Amount: 150ml
Main Purpose:
An exfoliating cleanser for all skin types.
Highlighted Ingredients:

– 5% Gluconolactone: Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA), chemical exfoliant, water soluble. Provides gentle exfoliation and moisturizing properties to the skin without further photosensitizing it.
– 1% Salicylic Acid: Beta hydroxy Acid (BHA), chemical exfoliant, oil soluble. Exfoliates the inner-lining of the pore and is anti-inflammatory. Does not photosensitize the skin.
Where to Buy: * https://go.shopmy.us/p-570669

My Experience with Transparent Lab PHA Soft Peeling Cleanser

The reason I picked up this cleanser is because it contained chemical exfoliants that I could use without worrying about increased skin photosensitivity. It is a non-foaming cleanser, so I was hoping that it would be gentle enough to use on both my face and body.

On my back, pretty good results – reduces inflammation on active cystic breakouts and pigmentation fades. With consistent use, I experience little to no breakouts. Unfortunately, my face is a different story.

My face after using Transparent Lab PHA Soft Peeling Cleanser. It became red, hot and puffy.

The more I tried to use this on my face, the worse the reactions became. After I first used it I did notice my skin looked puffier and slightly red, but I did not associate it with the cleanser. I wasn’t itchy or irritated, so I thought the cleanser was gentle to use on my face. However, with continued use, the reactions progressively worsened. So much so, my face was puffy and itchy.

While it performed decently enough on my back, I did notice some irritation if left on for too long. All in all it performed decently for body, but I’m ready to empty it and move on.

If you’re interested, check out my body care routine and how I prevent and treat bacne:
My Body Care Routine to Prevent & Clear Bacne


Niche Beauty Lab THERAMID C-TETRA E.F. Review

General Info on THERAMID C-TETRA E.F.

Price: €32,95
Amount:
30ml
Main Purpose:
Provide optimum protection from free radicals, boost skin glow, and target imperfections from photoaging.
Highlighted Ingredients:

– 20% Vitamin C – Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate: All are Vitamin C derivatives that are more shelf stable than it’s predecessor, Ascorbic Acid. May or may not provide collagen synthesis like Ascorbic Acid. Mostly reliable for brightening and evening skin tone, and antioxidant protection.
– 1% Vitamin E: Tocopheryl Acetate, An ester of Tocopherol. An antioxidant.
– 0,5% Ferulic Acid: An antioxidant, helps stabilize Ascorbic Acid.
Where to Buy: * https://go.shopmy.us/p-570669

My Experience with THERAMID C-TETRA E.F.

I originally purchased this for my husband, who will only use vitamin C as an active. Frankly, he already has lovely skin, a vitamin C serum for him just adds a nice extra freshness. The texture of THERAMID C-TETRA E.F. is a white milky lotion, similar to THERAMID AZID.

Unfortunately, this is the most unimpressive vitamin C serum both he and I have tried. Why? There was no brightening effect from it. In fact, it actually irritated my skin. Over time as my husband used it, I asked if he’s noticed anything. This is the first time he said a vitamin C serum did not make a noticeable difference for him. He usually notices brightness, his pores look better, more even complexion. Nothing to say about it.

I tried using it on my hands for the sake of finishing up the serum, but it also irritated the skin on my hands. Hate to say it, but THERAMID C-TETRA E.F. was a dud for both of us.


Niche Beauty Lab THERAMID Advanced Eye Treatment Review

General Info on THERAMID Advanced Eye Treatment

Price: €29,95
Amount: 15ml
Main Purpose:
 Tackle all visible signs of aging around the eye while deeply hydrating the delicate area.
Highlighted Ingredients:

– 5% Peptide Complex: 5 Peptides based on the mechanisms of the Growth Factor (GF). In vitro shown to stimulate cell growth.
– 5% Ceramide Complex: 5 ceramides naturally present in our skin. Add emolliency to the skin, prevent excess TEWL, help with skin’s barrier function.
– 5% Absorbyl Glucoside: Vitamin C derivative. Provides antioxidant and skin brightening benefits.
– 0,1% Retinol: A derivative of vitamin A. A weaker form of tretinoin for it needs to go through a 2-step conversion process to turn into retinoic acid. Once done, the benefits are similar to that of tretinoin (pure retinoic acid). Antioxidant, normalizes skin cell turnover to help smooth skin’s texture, reduce acne, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, lighten pigmentation. NOTE: 1% of encapsulated retinol, 0.1% of the retinol itself.
Where to Buy: * https://go.shopmy.us/p-570676

My Experience with THERAMID Advanced Eye Treatment

While still in my eye treatment phase, I decided to splurge on THERAMID Advanced Eye Treatment. I liked the ingredient deck and hoped to apply this stuff on my mobile lid. The texture surprised me – it reminded me of COSRX snail skincare. One pump is a lot, so I do tiny little pumps to cover my eye area with a thin layer.

I have to say the magic of eye treatments have been lost since I broke my bottle of Hylamide SubQ Eyes. I just don’t get the same effects with THERAMID Advanced Eye Treatment as that. Unfortunately I am also unable to apply this to my mobile lid without experiencing irritation. I can apply my prescription strength 0.1% tretinoin under my eyes with ease (and have been doing this for years), so THERAMID Advanced Eye Treatment has become rather redundant in my skincare routine. I decided to use up the rest on my neck and chest. It is lightly moisturizing and does not pill when frequently used. I notice my skin feels softer in the morning and not at all sensitive.

Overall I really like the concoction of ingredients in THERAMID Advanced Eye Treatment and wish Niche Beauty Lab just made this an all-in-one face serum. Alas, that would defeat the purpose of the rest of the items in THERAMID’s skincare line.


My Overall Experience with Niche Beauty Lab Skincare

Trying out Niche Beauty Lab skincare was a nice depart from Deciem to see what other similar brands are out on the market. Out of the ones I used the past 8 months or so, I would say the experience has been rather so-so. 1) Performance wise, I didn’t like the constant irritation I experienced from most products, 2) I feel rather blah about skincare in general. Not to say Niche Beauty Lab made it that way, but I’ve been feeling quite fatigued from skincare and all the noise in the skincare world.

Despite my blasé attitude, I hope this review helped you out in some way. Be sure to check out a more detailed review on THERAMID AZID if you haven’t already!

Let me know if you tried anything under the Niche Beauty Lab umbrella and how it went! Maybe there’s a hidden gem that I have not yet come across.

xo, M

THERAMID AZID 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment Review

I have had more than enough time to try out all the products from my Niche Beauty Lab haul back in 2022. In today’s post, I’ll be doing a dedicated review of the much anticipated THERAMID AZID 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment. It is an over-the-counter Azelaic Acid product at 15% concentration! The last time I used Azelaic Acid in my skincare routine was back in 2019. I used up a full tube of Finacea (15% Azelaic Acid) and I also tried the Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster + BHA.

THERAMID AZID piqued my interest because the concentration of Azelaic Acid is equivalent to what is given in prescription form (i.e. Finacea). Intrigued, I decided to make a purchase when Niche Beauty was having a sale on their site. I have been rotating THERAMID AZID in and out of my skincare routine ever since. I am now near the end of the bottle, so I thought it was about time I gave a review!

UPDATE 27/04/2023: The rest of the Niche Beauty Lab skincare products have been reviewed:
Niche Beauty Lab Haul Update – Reviewing Purchases 8 Months Later


General Information About THERAMID AZID 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment

An intensive multi-action treatment with Azelaic Acid to effectively treat and reduce spots, calm redness and unify skin tone and texture. A unique formula for the daily care of reactive, redness and acne-prone skin resulting in a more uniform, smooth and rejuvenated skin in just one step.

– Niche Beauty Lab website

Price: €34,95
Packaging: Red glass bottle, white plastic pull-off cap and pump
Amount: 30ml
Where to Buy International: Niche Beauty Lab *
* This is an affiliate link. If you click on this link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!


THERAMID AZID 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Azelaic Acid, Glycerin, Propanediol, Glycereth-26, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Carnosine, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2, Ceramide NP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide NS, Ceramide AS, Ceramide AP, Gallyl Glucoside, Propyl Gallate, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Daucus Carota Sativa Root Cell Culture Lysate, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Callus Culture, Sphingomonas Ferment Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sucrose Distearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Dipropylene Glycol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Benzyl Alcohol, Citric Acid

INCIDecoder

Highlighted Ingredients

15% Azelaic Acid – anti-acne, anti-rosacea, anti-inflammatory, lightens pigmentation like PIH and melasma.

1% Carnosine – peptide naturally occurring in the human body. The form in THERAMID AZID is synthetic. Manufacturer studies in-vitro that it has anti-glycation, collagen boosting, protects against infrared radiation. May have antioxidant and wound-healing properties.

1% Colloidal Oatmeal – Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour in the INCI. Has skin soothing, protecting and antioxidant properties like the extract.

I have used a prescription strength Azelaic Acid in the past and at the time it served my skin needs well. It worked well with Differin in keeping my skin clear of active acne. I noticed a brightening effect and my PIH almost never formed.

I’m very skeptical that carnosine is doing anything in this formula. All the benefits are from the manufacturer’s studies A.K.A. biased studies. While a nice-to-have ingredient, it’s most definitely not something I’ll bank on doing anything for my skin.

A soothing ingredient like colloidal oatmeal is always lovely to see in anti-acne actives. When I was younger, I tried washing my face with oats to soothe my very inflamed skin. To my surprise, it helped!

Additional Ingredients

Glycerin – skin-identical humectant.

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2 – peptide that may stimulates skin’s immune defenses, helps skin regenerate.

Ceramide NP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide NS, Ceramide AS, Ceramide AP – skin-identical lipids found in the waxy parts that make up the outer layer of our skin.

Gallyl Glucoside, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside – antioxidants, soothing.


THERAMID AZID 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment Application & Texture

After cleansing, before moisturizing, I dispense 2 pumps of THERAMID AZID, and spread it evenly across my face. The texture is a thin, opaque white milky consistency with no fragrance. When I first started using THERAMID AZID, I applied it on a nightly basis to maintain a bright and even complexion. I then reduced the usage to an as needed basis.


My Experience Using THERAMID AZID 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment

THERAMID AZID on Active Acne

Back then, and still to this day with only a handful of pumps left, I am unable to tolerate THERAMID AZID on a nightly basis. I had to reduce the usage to an as need basis when I was experiencing breakouts. I found THERAMID AZID to be the most helpful on mild acne. A couple of applications did the job at reducing any minor breakouts.

However when it came to active acne cysts, my skin seemed to struggle longer than I’d like. I’m used to Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO) doing the job quickly and effectively – lower inflammation, size, kill the acne bacteria with ease. I found with use of THERAMID AZID, it was almost as if it was teasing the acne cyst. It would calm it a bit, but inflammation would creep its way back. The acne cyst would make it’s presence known, sending an inflammatory message that it would return. This constant tease of inflammation would only stop once I went in with the big guns – BPO and a cica product.

THERAMID AZID on Overall Complexion

As previously mentioned, to this day with little product left, I am unable to tolerate frequent usage of THERAMID AZID. Fortunately, my skin has been maintaining a nice complexion with just a simple skincare routine. When I did try upping the usage, my skin did look smoother. But I found it also looked more red. This again falls back to not being able to acclimate to it. I decide to cut my losses and just have THERAMID AZID on hand when I needed it – mild breakouts and bacne. Even with this once in a while usage, I find it leaves my skin feeling sensitized and irritated, rather than calming.


Final Thoughts on THERAMID AZID 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment

I appreciate Niche Beauty Lab offering an Azelaic Acid product at a fairly high concentration for those of us seeking alternatives to controlling our acne outside of BPO and tretinoin. All in all, my experience with THERAMID AZID 15% Azelaic Acid Treatment was alright. Sure, it helps with mild breakouts and bacne, but I have other products that do the same thing – and do not irritate my skin. Unfortunately, my inability to acclimate to THERAMID AZID and not seeing results different from current skincare I have leads me to not repurchase in the future. Very unfortunate, as I really liked the ingredients list and was hoping to get a similar result to when I used Finacea in the past. I’ll be very jealous to hear from those of you that got on well with THERAMID AZID! I still think it’s a great option on the market for Azelaic Acid. It meets the concentration similar to prescribed products and has a many additional skin-friendly ingredients.

That’s it for this review! As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative.

xo, M

My New Baseline Nighttime Skincare Routine

NOTE: The introduction below is copied from My New Baseline Morning Skincare Routine. I want to reiterate the same message I had in the previous post.


I had the same baseline, template, minimally required products in my skincare routine since 2018. The following items had to be in my daily skincare routine no matter what:

  • Oil cleanser/balm
  • Gel cleanser
  • Toner/watery essence
  • Aczone
  • Tretinoin
  • Barrier repair serum
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen

At the time, it worked. My skin was constantly acclimating to different strengths of Vitamin A (0.1% adapalene, 0.3% adapalene, 0.04% tretinoin, 0.1% tretinoin). I also never 100% fixed my severe dehydration issue, only temporarily put it at ease.

I also got sucked into the beauty trap of feeling I need to try the next best thing. It was a need to figure out the similarities, differences and nuances. Add in that I create content on skincare, it increased this pressure to try new items and appease to brands.

As a result, my skin goals and health were hindered, my hard earned money constantly funneled into the beauty sector. Worse, my happiness creating content for fun dwindled.

Having a procedure for my acne scars, years of consistent skincare, slowing down my skincare in November, learning of others’ experiences, reading Skintelligent, reflecting on why I became fatigued and “plateaued” with skincare in the first place… All of these helped me reshape my view on skincare and form a new baseline.

I want to share my baseline skincare routine so it serves as a reference to what I normally do. When I review something new, it’s injected in this routine with stuff I know that works.

My Skin Type:

Skin type is normal leaning dry. My skincare revolves around acne-control and well aging. Fitzpatrick skin type is III-IV: I freckle, but I never burn. I can count on one hand the number of times I burned in my life. It took a good effort on my part to overly expose myself to the sun.


My Nighttime Skincare Routine

First Step: Cleanse

For my nighttime skincare routine, a cleanser is a must-have to remove a day’s face. Just like the morning, I opt for a lotion/cream type cleanser – whatever will not make my skin feel dry after. In the warmer months, I may switch it with a more gel, foaming type cleanser. I don’t wear as much makeup as before, so I no longer require an extensive cleansing routine. One cleanser does the job!

I used to cleanse for around 2 minutes maximum. I noticed there were times that I would over-cleanse and irritate my skin. This in turn made my skin more sensitive to any skincare I applied after. I apply a pump or two of cleanser on dry skin, and massage in like an oil cleanser. I find this is best at removing water-resistant sunscreen and light makeup in one go. Sometimes I will use a cloth to assist with cleansing. I’ll reach for one if the cleanser I’m using is too thick for water to wash it off on its own.

Second Step: Tretinoin

Of course my baseline nighttime skincare routine would not be complete without the use of my 0.1% tretinoin prescription! The must-have active that normalizes skin desquamation and stimulate collagen to help control acne, refine skin texture, minimize pores, maintain an even skin tone, reduce pigmentation. Can you tell why it’s a must-have in my nighttime skincare routine? While skin is slightly damp, I apply 2 pumps of tret all over my face, and just slightly above my orbital bone (NOTE: got this okay’d by both a dermatologist and optometrist). As of late, I have been more in maintenance mode with tretinoin, so I have been lowering my nightly usage. Prior I was using it every night of the week, now It is around 1-3x a week. The point is, this is the main active I frequently rotate in my skincare routine.

Third Step: Repair

I almost decided to skip this, but I’ve realized I have been frequently rotating a centella asiatica based product in my skincare routine for years now. It is my go-to supportive ingredient. When I want to keep my skincare routine gentle, I will just cleanse, apply a cica product, and moisturize. If I use an active and want to ensure calm skin, apply a cica product. If I have breakouts, apply a cica product. Yes indeed, applying a skincare item with centella asiatica is a must in my baseline nighttime skincare routine. Depending on the texture, I will usually apply this kind of skincare before or after tretinoin. Right now I am reaching for the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ (reviewed), so in this case I will use it after tretinoin, before moisturizer.

Fourth Step: Moisturize

At night, I will be more generous with the amount of moisturizer I apply. This step could rotate between my go-to moisturizer or an occlusive. It really depends on how I feel. I just need my skin to be sufficiently moisturized throughout the night so I don’t wake up in the morning feeling parched.


Nighttime Skincare Then vs. Now

That is all for my new baseline nighttime skincare routine! The must-have skincare that needs to be on hand is no more than 4 items. On my most lazy, minimal days, I can cut down my routine to just cleansing with a milky cleanser and moisturizer.

To give some perspective, here’s what my baseline routine was then vs. now:

Then:

  1. Oil-based Cleanse
  2. Water-Based Cleanse
  3. Hydrator
  4. Aczone
  5. Tretinoin
  6. Hydrate/Barrier Repair Serum
  7. Moisturizer

Now:

  1. Cleanse – Eucerin Dermatoclean Mild Cleansing Milk * https://go.shopmy.us/p-1201975
  2. 0.1% Tretinoin – PRESCRIPTION ONLY
  3. Cica – La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baum B5+ * https://go.shopmy.us/p-780082
  4. Moisturizer – Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume * https://go.shopmy.us/p-656533

Note: The products may change, but the template is the same. Above is the current skincare items I have on rotation for my morning baseline skincare routine.

* Indicate affiliate links. If you click/tap on one of these links to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support! Disclosure


My previous baseline served me well when I needed it, and now it’s time to reevaluate it. My skin is better now in my 30s than in my 20s. It has also become more sensitive, and after my experience with my first Buy Year, I desire less.

I cut reliance on so many things to have nice skin, and I never want to be that dependent on products again. I know where skincare alone can get me now.

That’s it for my new baseline nighttime skincare routine. Be sure to check out my new baseline morning skincare routine. Let me know in the comments down below how your clear skin journey has been going.

xo, M

My New Baseline Morning Skincare Routine

I had the same baseline, template, minimally required products in my skincare routine since 2018. The following items had to be in my daily skincare routine no matter what:

  • Oil cleanser/balm
  • Gel cleanser
  • Toner/watery essence
  • Aczone
  • Tretinoin
  • Barrier repair serum
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen

At the time, it worked. My skin was constantly acclimating to different strengths of Vitamin A (0.1% adapalene, 0.3% adapalene, 0.04% tretinoin, 0.1% tretinoin). I also never 100% fixed my severe dehydration issue, only temporarily put it at ease.

I also got sucked into the beauty trap of feeling I need to try the next best thing. It was a need to figure out the similarities, differences and nuances. Add in that I create content on skincare, it increased this pressure to try new items and appease to brands.

As a result, my skin goals and health were hindered, my hard earned money constantly funneled into the beauty sector. Worse, my happiness creating content for fun dwindled.

Having a procedure for my acne scars, years of consistent skincare, slowing down my skincare in November, learning of others’ experiences, reading Skintelligent, reflecting on why I became fatigued and “plateaued” with skincare in the first place… All of these helped me reshape my view on skincare and form a new baseline.

I want to share my baseline skincare routine so it serves as a reference to what I normally do. When I review something new, it’s injected in this routine with stuff I know that works.

My Skin Type:

Skin type is normal leaning dry. My skincare revolves around acne-control and well aging. Fitzpatrick skin type is III-IV: I freckle, but I never burn. I can count on one hand the number of times I burned in my life. It took a good effort on my part to overly expose myself to the sun.


My Morning Skincare Routine

First Step: Water Rinse/Moisturizing Cleanser

When I wake up in the morning, I listen to what my skin needs. I opt for water rinsing or using a creamy cleanser. Typically, I only water rinse my face in the morning if my skin feels sufficiently moisturized from the night before. My skin needs to feel particularly parched for me to use a milky, creamy cleanser. The reason I pick a creamy cleanser is because they’re great at quickly adding moisture back to the skin, while gently cleansing. I have a need to cleanse simply to wake me up. I also just want to make sure any sweat, fluff and such from sleeping is removed.

Second Step: Barrier Serum

This step is inspired by how Koreans approach well-aging, as learned from Odile Monod’s videos. I look for a barrier serum with ingredients such as ferments, antioxidants and additional moisturizing properties. I have been using this type of serum since 2021, and they have been in my skincare routine ever since. There is an overall improvement in my skin’s quality and function. It is skin-enhancing; It just brings out the best of my skin.

I stopped vitamin C serums during my CO2 fraxel laser sessions. I haven’t felt the need to go back because it’s the one product in my routine that would irritate my skin on occasion. However, I do find it’s the one skincare product that offers skin brightness like no other. I’m highly considering reintroducing it back into my skincare routine.

Third Step: Moisturize

Keeping my skin’s moisture level in tact is one of the most important goals in anyone’s skincare routine. I have been using my go=to moisturizer for years, day and night. In drier weather, I’ll mix in or add an occlusive.

Fourth Step: Sunscreen

I typically stick to a high UVA protecting sunscreen in the last morning routine step. I freckle easily in the warmer months, and I noticed some freckles are not fading. I work out and taking long walks, so a sweat/water resistance sunscreen is necessary.


Morning Skincare Then vs. Now

That is all for my new baseline morning skincare routine! The must-have skincare that needs to be on hand is no more than 4 items. On my most lazy, minimal days, I can cut down my routine to just water cleansing and sunscreen.

To give some perspective, here’s what my baseline routine was then vs. now:

Then:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Hydrate
  3. Vitamin C
  4. Aczone
  5. Moisturizer
  6. Sunscreen

Now:

  1. Cleanse – Eucerin Dermatoclean Mild Cleansing Milk * https://go.shopmy.us/p-1201975
  2. Barrier Serum – Yunjac Whole Plant Effect Concentrate * https://go.shopmy.us/p-1201878
  3. Moisturizer – Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume * https://go.shopmy.us/p-656533
  4. Sunscreen – La Roche Posay Anthelios UVmune 400 Hydrating Cream SPF 50+ * https://go.shopmy.us/p-1012854

Note: The products may change, but the template is the same. Above is the current skincare items I have on rotation for my morning baseline skincare routine.

* Indicate affiliate links. If you click/tap on one of these links to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support! Disclosure


My previous baseline served me well when I needed it, and now it’s time to reevaluate it. My skin is better now in my 30s than in my 20s. It has also become more sensitive, and after my experience with my first Buy Year, I desire less.

I cut reliance on so many things to have nice skin, and I never want to be that dependent on products again. I know where skincare alone can get me now.

That’s it for my new baseline morning skincare routine. Stay tuned for the nighttime version! Let me know in the comments down below how your clear skin journey has been going.

xo, M

2022 Skincare Favourites

Unbelievable, we’re already well into the middle of February! Well just like past favourites videos, it’s better late than never!

Now That I’ve shared all my hauls of 2022, it’s time to share my skincare favourites of the year!

I always make sure to include new discoveries from the year, but there are also some oldie but goodie skincare that I have come to appreciate in 2022.


Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water

I remember first trying Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water back in 2013, and I hated it. At the time, my skin was at its worst with inflamed cystic acne all over my face and covering it up with a lot of makeup. I found the micellar water did not remove makeup well and my skin stung from it. Fast forward 9 years later, I have come to really appreciate it and used it frequently in my skincare routines.

My go-to for majority of 2022 was none other than the first one I’ve ever tried: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water. I tried the Hydrabio minis prior and had a good experience with it. I opted for the full size of Sensibio because it has a simpler formula. It has been a great skincare item to have throughout 2022 because I became quite lazy with cleansing. Sensibio came in handy on those multiple lazy days and it worked well, especially since I don’t wear as much makeup as I used to.

Shout out to the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water & Makeup Remover Mini – it’s more cost effective yet still gentle, leaves no residue and does the job just as well.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-585879

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water & Makeup Remover Mini
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1012585
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1012586

RELATED CONTENT:
Quick & Easy Skincare + Makeup Routine https://youtu.be/KUHdbAxGx0U
Carry-On Skincare https://youtu.be/CADjPU0XSmw


Balea MD Ultra Sensitive Reiningungs Schaum/Cleansing Foam

This isn’t really a new thing in my skincare routine, but I always have to give a shoutout to a good cleanser find! The first one is Balea MD Ultra Sensitive Reiningungs Schaum/Cleansing Foam. Very affordable, low pH, nice ingredients list, and fun to use! The texture is a fluffy, dense foam. I have to be careful to not overuse product and overcleanse my face because I enjoy it so much.

Shoutout to an OG in the beautysphere – and that’s the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. As the seasons changed, I notice my skin becoming more easily parched in the colder months. Not feeling much like experimenting, I picked up an already tried and true cleanser. My skincare and makeup habits changed a lot since I last used it. Before, I questioned its cleansing ability despite how much I enjoyed using it. Now, I am able to use it as my only cleanser, not even double cleanse in anyway in my nighttime skincare routine.

Balea MD Ultra Sensitive Reiningungs Schaum/Cleansing Foam
https://www.dm.de/balea-med-reinigungsschaum-ultra-sensitive-p4058172920707.html

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1012588
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1012590

RELATED CONTENT:
Slow Skincare Routine
– Blog Fall 2022 PM Slow Skincare Routine
– Youtube https://youtu.be/m6sfzowGf4U
Carry-On Skincare https://youtu.be/CADjPU0XSmw


Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule 5x

2022 was definitely the year of trying out “alternative actives” AKA not tretinoin, AHA, vitamin C, etc. I completed my 3rd CO2 fraxel laser session for my acne scars around the end of February. Since my skin needed to be babied more, I thought I would incorporate gentler, alternative actives in my skincare routine until I could reintroduce my usual ones.

I’ve been smitten with ferment lysate serums since 2021, so it’s no surprise that I include one in my annual favourites of 2022. I purchased the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule 5x and I’ve been low-key obsessed with it every since. It does exactly what the previous one did, but with more oomph – brightens, smooths skin, strengthens skin, reduces redness.

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule 5x
* https://shrsl.com/3lvjv
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-621086

RELATED CONTENT:
Skincare Haul #3
– Blog Third Skincare Haul of 2022: Korean Skincare
– Youtube https://youtu.be/IQHw4_NKQRo


NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1

Second alternative active I tried out was none other than the famous NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 (Reviewed). I am someone who’s “one foot in, one foot out” with peptides in general. I use the gold standard tretinoin and have been using a vitamin A prescription for 9 years (cumulatively). NIOD CAIS3 is the first peptide I tried that made me think this really could be an alternative active for those who cannot tolerate vitamin A. I noticed the same skin refining benefits that I did with tretinoin and I like that copper peptides in particular has a wound-healing property. I am still 32 years young with no significant signs of aging so I do not see any more benefits beyond that. Although I prefer tretinoin over copper peptides, I see why NIOD CAIS3 has been a fan favourite.

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-557807

RELATED CONTENT:
NIOD CAIS3 Review 6+ Months Later
– Blog NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 (CAIS3) Review
– Youtube https://youtu.be/nW6iHBsPdm0


Malezia Acne Treatment Gel

For the past few years I have been using prescription Dapsone in my morning and nighttime skincare routines to tackle both inflamed and non-inflamed acne. Once I ran out, I have been going without the need for it ever since! My skin, thankfully, is not as reactive and inflamed as it used to be.

For the times when I still get the occasional cystic acne, I reach for an oldie but goodie anti-acne ingredient, Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO). I found myself reaching for Malezia’s Acne Treatment Gel with 2.5% BPO (Reviewed) when my skin on both my face and body are in need. It’s one of the gentler leave-on BPO treatments I’ve tried, and I like that it’s so effective with a small percentage. More does not mean better, both in concentration and application!

Malezia Acne Treatment Gel
* https://collabs.shop/iwcpiq

RELATED CONTENT:
Body Care Routine for Bacne
– Blog My Body Care Routine to Prevent & Clear Bacne
– Youtube https://youtu.be/AOAU4uZkCP4


Retin-A Micro

Of course, I can’t not mention my prescription Retin-A Micro (0.1% Tretinoin) when talking about appreciating old reliables. I reintroduced Tretinoin back into my skincare routine more consistently after the summer. I went a long time without using it because 1) my skin was sensitive after CO2 Fraxel Laser sessions, and 2) I was testing out NIOD CAIS3. Essentially, Tretinoin is a must in my skincare routine. It helps with acne, makes my pores look good, refines my overall skin texture, just improves my skin quality in general.

Retin-A Micro 0.1% tretinoin – PRESCRIPTION ONLY

RELATED CONTENT:
Slow Skincare Routine
– Blog Fall 2022 PM Slow Skincare Routine
– Youtube https://youtu.be/m6sfzowGf4U


Bioderma Cicabio Pommade

A cica/centella asiatica based product has rotated in my skincare routine for years. End of 2021 and all of 2022 however were the years that I really upped the rotation, almost to a daily basis. We can thank CO2 Fraxel Laser, frustrating allergic reactions and carby deliciousness for that!

Bioderma Cicabio Pommade was a new discovery in 2022 thanks to a recommendation from an Instagram follower. I immediately fell in love with its ointment-like texture, how it quickly calmed my skin AND no white cast! This was my first purchase in 2022 and I even emptied and repurchased.

Bioderma Cicabio Pommade
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-557843

RELATED CONTENT:
1st Haul of 2022
– Blog My First Skincare Haul of 2022!
– Youtube https://youtu.be/ItDdfz3t4Is
Slow Skincare Routine
– Blog Fall 2022 PM Slow Skincare Routine
– Youtube https://youtu.be/m6sfzowGf4U


La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+

Near the end of 2022, I stumbled upon the new La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ (Reviewed). I have purchased the original 3 times, yet I never got around to reviewing it and featuring it on my blog or Youtube! Just like the Bioderma Cicabio Pommade, I immediatlely fell in love. I was instantly reminded of why it used to be my go-to to soothe the skin and use on acne spots!

Both Cica products, and cica/centella asiatica in general, are must-haves in my skincare collection. They just do no wrong for my skin.

La Roche Cicaplast Baume B5+
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-780082

RELATED CONTENT:
La Roche Posay New Cicaplast Baume B5+ Review
– Blog La Roche Posay’s New Cicaplast Baume B5+ Review
– Youtube https://youtu.be/sSumhGxElTc
Slow Skincare Routine
– Blog Fall 2022 PM Slow Skincare Routine
– Youtube https://youtu.be/m6sfzowGf4U


Avene Very High Protection Cream SPF50+

After years and years of trying new sunscreen, I finally stumbled on one that can actually be worn on its own, comfortably! Avene’s New Very High Protection Cream SPF50+. It has a cream texture that’s easy to apply and reapply all over the face and neck. At first there’s a bit of a yellow tint on application but immediately disappears. I actually find it helps make my complexion look more even. In the summer months, I used this sunscreen on its own without a moisturizer. It’s the first time since starting my blog and Youtube that I found such a sunscreen that comfortably moisturizes my skin without feeling or looking greasy.

Avene Very High Protection Cream SPF50+
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-557811

RELATED CONTENT:
GRWM Summer 2022 Skincare + Makeup https://youtu.be/hn_pzjBiKDQ


And that’s all, folks!

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

Let me know in the comments down below if you’ve tried any of the products mentioned!

xo, M

Skincare Haul #4

I may have overestimated my willpower not to buy skincare during the months of November and December. While on a slow skincare routine, I had an “AHA” moment about my skin, my content, life… And, well… It made me lose my cool.

For my final skincare haul of 2022, I am adding comments to each item so you could better understand my thought process and how I ended up purchasing more than 10 items in the last stretch of the year. Really, I’m just trying to justify the purchases lol.


My Fourth Skincare Haul of 2022

Fall 2022 Haul (not all items shown)

Links with an asterisk (*) indicate an affiliate link. If you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you so much for your support! MICHXMASH Disclosure

Cleansers

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (Travel Size) – I needed a first cleanse item while I left for Canada for a month and opted for this.
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1012586

Balea Med Ultra Sensitive Cleansing Foam – I (finally) emptied the Cerave Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser and needed a new one. The price of this low pH, gentle cleanser is incredible – less than 4 Euro!
https://www.dm.de/balea-med-reinigungsschaum-ultra-sensitive-p4058172920707.html

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser – Yes yes, I just wrote about the Balea one. However in the colder months, even in a more mild climate, my skin still needed a more lotion-type cleanser. I decided to pick up a tried and true item.
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1012588


Moisturizers

Balea MED Ultrasensitive Intensivcreme 7% Urea x4 – In an attempt to winterize my skincare routine, I thought rotating in a urea moisturizer would help alleviate the excessive dryness my skin felt. I also wanted to see if using a urea moisturizer consistently would help me lower my use of other products. Now you may ask, “Why 4?”

  1. The tubes are 50ml, that’s 450ml smaller than my go-to moisturizer
  2. I share a moisturizer with my husband
  3. We use shared moisturizer day and night
  4. Colder, dryer months require more layers of moisturizer
  5. One tube was for my mother-in-law

https://www.dm.de/balea-med-intensivcreme-urea-ultra-sensitive-p4066447101072.html

Sebamed Extremely Dry Skin Relief Face Cream – Another urea moisturizer. Thinking ahead, I thought maybe this gel-type moisturizer would be great for the warmer months when I surprisingly did not need a daily moisturizer. I picked this up because it’s quite easy to get in Europe, and I’m hoping it could replace the Malezia 5% Urea Moisturizer that’s on its last leg and not so easy to repurchase.
https://www.amazon.com/Sebamed-Extreme-Relief-Cream-Urea/dp/B01IZ6Q180

The Ordinary Squalane Oil – I have been curious about this oil for a long time, given the rave reviews around it being great for acne-prone skin. I picked it up after swatching it at a local Douglas. I was impressed at the dry oil feel, how quickly it settled on the skin and the glowy, almost sparkle-like finish. I’ve already tried it on its own and mixed in with my moisturizer, and so far it’s proven to be a lovely supplemental moisturizing product in colder, dryer months.
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1043946

Aquaphor Healing Ointment (small tube) – Another mini for travelling to Canada. Both my husband and I use this frequently.
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1006175


Miscellaneous

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ – When my skin was going through various irritations, I thought of how I used to frequently use La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5. I saw the latest version, B5+ in a pharmacy so I thought I’d pick it up. (Reviewed: La Roche Posay’s New Cicaplast Baume B5+ Review)
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-780082

Rivana Castor Oil – The first castor oil I started to use in pursuit of Jennifer Myers type lashes. I purchased the second one (see below) shortly after. This castor oil is now used for stubborn eye makeup removal.
https://www.uk.rivana.eu/castor-oil

Alteya Organics Castor Oil – Purchased about a month after the previous castor oil. This one is actually cold pressed. I use this one on a nightly basis.
https://alteyaorganics.eu/product/oils-and-herbs/carrier-oils/castor-oil/

La Roche Posay UV Mune 400 Cream – I have been very intrigued by this sunscreen as another potential moisturizer + SPF. I have tried it a few times, but plan on using it more consistently when I am finished with the Avene Very High Protection Sun Cream SPF 50+.
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-1012854


Fall 2022 Skincare Empties

I am playing catch-up with my posts – my husband and I made a spontaneous trip to Canada to surprise family and friends for the holiday season!

I had a bunch of content planned to wrap up 2022 – a Low Buy Year review, my final hauls and empties, Skincare Faves & Fails… Welp, better late than never!

I’m starting off 2023 with my fall 2022 skincare empties and haul, so any content following ties together nicely.


Fall 2022 Empties

Fall 2022 Empties

Links with an asterisk (*) indicate an affiliate link. If you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you so much for your support! MICHXMASH Disclosure

Cerave Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-804776

Drunk Elephant Mini Beste No. 9 Gelee Cleanser
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-981032

Beplain Bamboo Healing Mask
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-743149

Derma E Vitamin C Bright Eyes Hydro Gel Patches
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-981037

Coppertone Perfect UV Cut Gel Creams SPF 50+ PA++++ (Reviewed: Coppertone Perfect UV Cut Gel Cream SPF50+ PA++++ I, II, and III!) – DISCONTINUED

The Ordinary “Buffet” Serum (Reviewed: The Ordinary “Buffet” vs. The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% Review) – DISCONTINUED
* New version is The Ordinary Multipeptide + HA Serum https://go.shopmy.us/p-981034

NIOD Survival 0 (Reviewed: NIOD Skincare Review – SDSM2, RP, MG, S0, LBLC)
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-557813

NIOD Modulating Glucosides (Reviewed: NIOD Skincare Review – SDSM2, RP, MG, S0, LBLC)
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-821347

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-585875

COSRX Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-585874

Purito Daily Go-To Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++ (Reviewed: Purito Daily Go-To Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++ – Sunscreen Sunday #22)
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-981042

EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 Moisturizing Physical Sunscreen Tinted
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-981039


Total Empties of 2022: 57

57 products from my own skincare collection, only 1 being a 2022 purchase! Stay tuned for the haul post.

xo, M

NIOD Skincare Review – SDSM2, RP, MG, S0, LBLC

NIOD stands for Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science. The late Brandon Truaxe stated that NIOD was created “with only a single genetic commitment—to be at the very edge of science without regard to brands, trends, criticisms and words.”

After using NIOD skincare for over half a year, each formula was easy to include in my skincare routine and not compromise the health of my skin. All formulas have very good mileage; I do not need a lot to cover my face and neck. One bottle will last a good amount of time if used once or twice a day. Bonus, all visually look interesting and feel elegant.

In this post, I will be quickly reviewing the other NIOD Skincare products I have tried:

  • Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist (SDSM2)
  • Re:Pigment (RP)
  • Modulating Glucosides (MG)
  • Survival 0 (S0)
  • Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate (LBLC)

In the summer of 2022, I had a skincare routine consisting of NIOD SDSM2, CAIS3, RP, and S0. Demo is shown in the Youtube video below:

I also wrote a dedicated review of NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 (CAIS3). Please be sure to check that out as well!

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 3 1:1 (CAIS3) Review

Perhaps in the future I will write a dedicated post for each. In the meantime, I hope this “speedy” review helps you make an informed decision if you plan on shopping during DECIEM’s Slowvember Sale month!


*All product links on this page are affiliate links. If you click on the link and use it to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!*

DECIEM Slowvember Sale 23% Off


NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist (SDSM2) REVIEW

General Information About SDSM2

Description: “Daily Mist Targeting Environmental Stressors and Transepidermal Water Loss”
Concern: Antioxidant support, Look of Redness, Signs of Aging, Dryness
Amount: 240ml
Price: 43 EUR
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-557806


My Experience Using NIOD SDSM2

Texture: Turquoise; Watery.

Fragrance: None.

Use: After cleansing on damp skin, mist 4 times.

Firstly, SDSM2 has a great mister. Once it’s done, I’m definitely keeping the bottle to reuse! Truthfully I did not understand the hype around SDSM2 after a couple of months of use. It’s gentle, lightly hydrating, preps the skin for skincare, and can be used over makeup to rehydrate face. I feel like these are all points I’ve experienced with other facial mists.

I finally noticed something worthwhile after over half a year, and it has to do with signs of aging. After a basic skincare routine of non-foaming cleanser, moisturizer and SPF, my face still looked depleted. So much so that for the first time in a long time, dehydration lines appeared on my forehead! I sprayed SDSM2 and noticed it did make my face look more hydrated and plump. The dehydration lines on my forehead subsided, and my nasolabial folds didn’t look as emphasized.

I’m really happy that it improved my skin condition after not being so content with my skincare that day. For this reason, it does differ from other mists I have tried. Usually I like mists to just simply rehydrate. SDSM2 clearly did something more with my complexion alongside with the feel of my skin.

I do recommend if you want a multi-use lightweight face mist. Be it as a prep step in skincare, to rehydrate throughout the day, or to even rejuvinate skin throughout the day.


NIOD Re:Pigment (RP) REVIEW

General Information About NIOD RP

Description: “Multi-Pathway Brightening System”
Concern: Uneven Skin Tone, Dullness
Amount: 15ml
Price: 38 EUR
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-557808


My Experience Using NIOD RP

Texture: Pale yellow; Watery with a tacky finish.

Fragrance: Stinky. Not sure how else to describe it lol. Fades after application.

Use: After SDSM2 and CAIS3; 4-6 drops for face neck.

NIOD RP is my least favourite product out of the bunch I’m reviewing. It did maintain a bright, even complexion… When it did not irritate. No matter how long I rotate it in my skincare routine, I always feel an uncomfortable stinging. In addition, I dislike the smell, despite it disappearing quickly. It does overall perform well in maintaining an even complexion, but not enough for me to want to purchase the full size. I did not notice a difference in the freckles on my face until I switched to a high UVA-protecting sunscreen.

I’m currently testing this on an age spot on my leg. If anything changes, I’ll be sure to share my results. As of now, I do not recommend. I feel like many other products – or just changing your skincare routine – can provide a brightened, even-tone effect.


NIOD Modulating Glucosides (MG) REVIEW

General Information About NIOD MG

Description: “Dermal-Friendly Lipids Support Barrier Function to Help Lessen Skin Reactivity”
Concern: Antioxidant support, Uneven Skin Tone, Look of Redness
Amount: 30ml
Price: 29 EUR
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-821347


My Experience Using NIOD MG

Texture: Opaque light yellow; Thin emollient lotion.

Fragrance: Sweet and warm.

Use: As needed; After RP, before S0; Dime-nickel size amount for face and neck.

MG is my favourite product out of the bunch mentioned today. I notice an instant soothing effect when applied on sensitized skin from using a strong active prior (eg. NIOD RP). When I used it more consistently alongside a fermented serum, I always found my skin calm without redness around the typical areas of my face. MG is also texturally elegant and smells so damn good!

I highly recommend this one if you want a soothing product for daily use that’s easy to include in your skincare routine. This will be especially useful alongside a strong active like LAA, AHA, and/or tretinoin.


NIOD Survival 0 (S0) REVIEW

General Information About NIOD S0

Description: “Networked Defence System”
Concern: Antioxidant support
Amount: 30ml
Price: 25 EUR
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-557813


My Experience Using NIOD S0

Texture: Burnt orange; Thin, watery lotion.

Fragrance: Sweet and light.

Use: Last step after RP, before sunscreen; One pump for face and neck.

NIOD S0 has been my go-to gentle antioxidant blend since I discontinued use of an L-ascorbic acid serum during my CO2 Fraxel Laser sessions. I am near the end of my second bottle and it has always been reliable, even on my most sensitive skin days. However it was unfortunately with S0 that I experienced an allergic reaction back at the beginning of November. After I got over a couple of weeks of being sick, it was this product I reintroduced. I am suspecting my bottle may have gone bad despite not opening it until June-July 2022 (under 6 months).

I recommend if you want a gentle antioxidant serum. If you do decide to pick up S0, make sure to use whatever bottles you have in a timely manner.


NIOD LIP BIO-LIPID CONCENTRATE (LBLC) REVIEW

General Information About NIOD LBLC

Description: “Multi-Peptide Formulation to Improve the Look of Lip Colour, Volume, and Texture”
Concern: Lip Plumpness
Amount: 15ml
Price: 49 EUR
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-821812


My Experience Using NIOD LBLC

Lips before NIOD LBLC application
Lips 1-2 minutes after LBLC application

Texture: Cloudy light green-yellow; Thin, dry oil.

Fragrance: None.

Use: As needed; Very small drop all over lips.

Admittedly, NIOD LBLC was a for-fun purchase. Last year, my lips generally did not have a lot of pigment and sometimes looked grey. I liked applying LBLC to get some natural colour on my lips and to plump them out more. Back when I was more consistent with use (applied both morning and night), the plumping effect did not tingle as much and the colour in my lips stayed.

Now I do not use it a lot, only when I feel like plumping my lips out before going out. I do plan on using it more frequently to make my lips more smoother and to just give them some more TLC.

I recommend as a fun purchase 😀 Otherwise it’s not needed, and applying hydrating skincare on your lip can also help.


My Thoughts So Far on NIOD Skincare

In the summer, my NIOD skincare routine kept my skin looking fresh for a long period of time. My normal to dry skin always felt well hydrated and I never found the need to use concealer. I spent majority of my time outside and would go to bed late. My skin never looked haggard. To be fair, I never felt stressed despite the busy summer schedule and I slept really well. Either way, my skin stayed in great condition despite all the gelato 😀

As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative. If you’d like a more detailed review of a particular NIOD product, let me know in the comments down below!

xo, M

La Roche Posay’s New Cicaplast Baume B5+ Review

I recall speaking with a sales rep at Shoppers Drugmart (Canadian drugstore) years ago (like 5+ years ago, oh my!) and he told me that he’s noticed many customers buy La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 for acne. Since that encounter, I have continuously had a tube of it in my skincare collection. The original version was my go-to for surgery scars, acne and post-CO2 Fraxel Laser care. I very well understood why it’s a cult classic and has earned “Holy Grail” status in many a person’s skincare routines.

I eventually stopped repurchasing and there are a few reasons why:

  • It was very casty
  • Felt a smidge too greasy and never set
  • Stung my face at times, so I could not rely on it completely when my skin barrier felt very impaired

Lo’ and behold, not even a year later, I purchased the new La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+. The cult classic product has been reformulated, thus I was intrigued. I wanted to try it in hopes my previous reservations were settled.

La Roche Posay’s new Cicaplast Baume B5+ has been in constant rotation in my skincare routine ever since I picked it up at the local pharmacy. It has only been a couple of weeks, but I am ready to review it for you all!


General Information About La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+

“Ultra-repairing soothing balm clinically proven to immediately soothe uncomfortable, damaged, or irritated skin, and to provide the optimal conditions for faster and better repair from day 1*.

The new & improved La Roche Posay Balm formula helps accelerates the natural skin recovery process whilst respecting the skin microbiome and reducing feelings of discomfort. The balm texture acts as a barrier cream, leaving an invisible protective layer on the skin, also making it ideal as an everyday nappy change balm.

*Skin barrier repair, instrumental test, 26 subject’s vs untreated skin.”

– La Roche Posay UK site

Price: 15,95 Euro
Packaging: Opaque white squeeze tube with click-off cap
Amount: 100ml
Where to Buy International: Escentual *
* This is an affiliate link. If you click on this link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!

Additional Claims/Information

  • Product is for face and body
  • Minimalist formula
  • Hypoallergenic
  • May be used for
    • nappy rashes
    • mosquito bites
    • heating sensations
    • post peeling and laser
  • Claim it’s an ultra-nourishing texture
  • Non-greasy finish
  • Fragrance-free
  • Denatured alcohol-free

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ Ingredients

Aqua/Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Panthenol, Zea Mays Starch/Corn Starch, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Trihydroxystearin, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Polymnia Sonchifolia Root Juice, Zinc Gluconate, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Silica, Aluminium Hydroxide, Magnesium Sulfate, Mannose, Capryloyl Glycine, Caprylyl Glycol, Vitreoscilla Ferment, Citric Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Lactobacillus, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Maltodextrin, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Tocopherol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide.

I looked on a good number of La Roche Posay’s official product pages, and I never saw an updated ingredients list. I found the list above on cocooncenter.es.

“La Roche-Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5+ is enriched with new Tribioma (a unique prebiotic complex) combined with 5% of vitamin B5 and madecassoside​. Enriched with antibacterial agents’ zinc and manganese, the formula provides the optimal environment skin needs for its healing process, reducing the causes of long-term scarring.”

– La Roche Posay UK site

The above quote pretty much sums what the formula of La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ is all about.

The newest star ingredient is Tribioma. It is La Roche Posay’s trademark for a unique prebiotic complex. It’s derived from sugars, plant extracts and fermented ingredients. It is supposed to help restore the skin’s microbiome, in turn helping to strengthen weakened skin.

Highlighted Ingredients

While comparing the old formula on various websites and what I have on the box, I noticed extra ingredients:
*Not a skin expert in anyway. I’m a “skinthusiast”. Below descriptions of ingredients are written to the best of my knowledge.

  • La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water – mineral rich water that soothes the skin and has antioxidant properties
  • Dimethicone and Shea Butter: emollients
  • Glycerin: a skin-identical humectant
  • 5% Panthenol: a humectant, soothing and wound-healing
  • Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract: antioxidant, humectant and soothing
  • Polymnia Sonchifolia Root Juice: skin conditioning
  • Zinc Gluconate: soothing and anti-acne
  • Madecassoside: an antioxidant, soothing and wound-healing
  • Manganese Gluconate: skin conditioning, described as also anti-acne
  • Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide: sugar molecule that protects and stimulates beneficial microbial skin flora
  • Mannose: sugar molecule humectant
  • Vitreoscilla Ferment: skin conditioning
  • Lactobacillus: skin conditioning; There is no indication of it being a ferment, lysate, filtrate…
  • Tocopherol: AKA Vitamin E, an antioxidant

The ingredients list of the new La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+, to me, clearly showcase what the product is about. A non-greasy emollient cream with antioxidant, soothing, wound-healing, and anti-acne benefits. Throw in microbiome supporting ingredients, we got ourselves a nice barrier reparing product! Compared to the old ingredients list, there are plant extracts sugar molecules as well as ferments in the formula. I (highly) suspect these are what most likely makes up Tribioma.

But does it perform as such?


La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ Texture & Application

Texture

Straight out of the tube, La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+’s texture is a midweight, opaque, and white cream. The cast-like finish is not immediately noticeable with a thin layer. Nighttime is best to be more generous and less attentive to the finish. As I spread the cream, I notice a shimmering, wet-like finish on the skin. A thin layer eventually sets on the skin. With thicker layers, it slowly melts into that shimmery wet-like finish.


Application

Fall 2022 PM Slow Skincare Routine

I have tried La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ in several ways, morning and night (depends if I stay at home or not):

  • Spot treatment for active cystic acne. At night, I am also using my prescription Retin-A Micro 0.1% tretinoin. Tretinoin also helps to reduce inflammation around cystic acne.
  • Mixin with mositurizer. I like this for extra emollience and barrier strengthening assistance.
  • All-over face treatment for irritated skin. I do not use as a standalone moisturizer, it’s just not enough for my drier skin type.

My Experience Using La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ with Before and Afters

Helps with Allergic Reaction to Skincare and Flushing

A before and after collage. Left panel is Michelle's skin showing an allergic reaction. Left panel is Michelle's skin with soothing products applied and less redness.
A before and after picture using La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+. Left side: skin with an allergic reaction after a presumably gentle skincare routine. Right side: skin a few hours after appling the baume in a new, more minimal skincare routine.

Do you recall the above before and after photo? I featured this in my Slowvember post as an example of why I’m taking it slow in skincare for November – hence Slowvember. The La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ was – and still is – the barrier repair cream I used! Although my face is slightly casty, I assure you the after photo is not the white film covering up the redness. The redness was still peaking through after initial application. I took the after photo once I noticed the redness has finally subsided. The baume was very quick to relieve the itchiness after application. Any minor breakouts around my face also disappeared.

I also mentioned in the Slowvember post how my face was very heated after eating spicy food and having an afternoon cup of coffee. My face flushed while eating spicy food, and the afternoon coffee increased my heart rate. This unfortunate combo left my face very red, heated and uncomfortable. I again had to rinse my face and use La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ in a minimal skincare routine to save the day.


Helps with Cystic Acne

I have been very bad the past few months at maintaining consistency with my high-fat, low-carb way of eating. European summer was just so long and beautiful, fall has also been very pleasant! This means a lot of eating out and over-indulging. It is a blessing in disguise that my face tells me my body is not happy *rolls eyes*.

Since I was intrigued by the original baume for acne, of course I’d use the new one for the same reason. On two big, inflamed acne cysts on my chin (where else), I consistently applied and reapplied a generous amount of the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ throughout the day and before bed. I showed this application in my latest nighttime skincare routine video.

I am so impressed how within a few days, the size and anger of these acne cysts decreased. In the daytime without use of tretinoin, it performed similarly to Malezia’s 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Gel (Reviewed). Keep note that I was constantly reapplying La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ throughout the day. If I were to use Malezia’s BPO Acne Treatment Gel in its stead, I would apply only twice maximum daily.


Prevents Dark Post-Acne Red Marks and Maintain’s Skin’s Health

As I write this November 17, 2022, the acne cysts are just tiny, red bumps. Although there is some residual redness, it’s nowhere as dark and obvious as the post-red acne marks I had in the past. I find the redness has faded significantly faster than just using Tretinoin on its own. In addition, my skin’s integrity is still in tact; It looks neither flakey nor depleted of moisture.


An Ode to the Original La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5

Before I complete this post, I just want to give a quick shout out to the original La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume 5 that I constantly had in my skincare collection, yet never reviewed.

Works to Reduce Breakouts

The original was also excellent at reducing breakouts around my face from irritation, as well as reducing cystic acne. If you’re still not convinced, here’s a youtube video I found when first looking into La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5. A great testimonial on overcoming acne with a gentle product!

Note on the right side of the thumbnail, he points out in the video that he’s using his phone camera which may have a beauty filter on.

Post-CO2 Fraxel Laser Care

My CO2 Fraxel Laser Recovery (1st Session)

I used it as my main barrier repair product for my post-CO2 Fraxel Laser care. My husband actually had to pick up another tube for me mid-recovery because I was using it so generously. I will say during this time, when the state of my skin was most sensitive and weakened, there was some stinging. Because I was already dealing with itchiness, redness and all the fun stuff, I decided to use something else. This is during the time I picked up the Bioderma Cicabio Pommade at the recommendation of an Instagram follower. Many thanks again, because I already repurchased a 2nd tube and may soon pick up a 3rd! It has proven its worth during this post-CO2 Fraxel Laser recovery period and other instances. I deem it a go-to S.O.S. product in my skincare collection because I never have any bad reactions from it.


Post-Surgery Care

Punctures from the laproscopic appendectomy surgery

I also used it consistently on my surgery scars after my laproscopic appendectomy (got my appendix removed, heh). Fun story: I went to a follow-up appointment with the surgeon who performed the laproscopic appendectomy on me. He took a look at my scars and asked what I used. I told him my routine, which included La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5. He thanked me and said he wanted to know so he could recommend the same thing to his other patients! Both my husband and I had such big smiles on our faces after that appointment. Although he didn’t say it directly, it’s clear the surgeon thought the healing was very good.

My friend who also saw my scars said they healed incredibly well compared to when her mother had the surgery (keep in mind age difference and lifestyle could be a factor here). I have 3 scars total – above the bellybutton, far below the bellybutton, and one on the left between the two. The latter is completely gone, the bottom one is never seen and almost faded. The top one is the biggest and most visible, but I’ve been told it looks like where I’d have a belly button piercing lol.


If the latest formula is not available where you live, worry not. The original is just as effective, but I do find the textures differ and how it sets on the skin. However, the new formula may be problematic for those of you who don’t get along well with plant extracts and ferments. For those of you who love the original and dread the reformulation, I believe the gel version is still the original formula.


Final Thoughts on La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+

La Roche Posay has not disappointed; The new Cicaplast Baume B5+ performs amazingly well and has been re-established as a staple in my skincare collection. Reflecting on previous usage, it has a clear track record in my routine as a product that provides barrier repairing and anti-acne abilities.

Rave review aside, here’s the one big con: I should not have to look across several of their websites to find an updated ingredient list. ESPECIALLY for such a cult classic product from a well renowned international brand. I started hearing of this reformulation in late August 2022. Considering how frequent online shopping is, the page for a beloved product should be up to date in a timely manner.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I had several reasons why I stopped repurchasing the original La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5. The main factor was that when push came to shove, I could not 100% rely on it when my skin barrier was at its utmost dismay. Thankfully, those times do not happen frequently. I’ve come to realize that while both La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ and Bioderma Cicabio Pommade may seem similar, I reach for them for completely different reasons. Thus, it’s okay to have more than one “cica” product, and both are must-haves in my skincare collection. I dare say, both may be “Holy Grails”.

Where to Buy International: Escentual *
* This is an affiliate link. If you click on this link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!


That’s all folks! As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative. Let me know in the comments down below what you think of the new formula!

xo, M

Fall 2022 PM Slow Skincare Routine

As mentioned in my post Slowvember: Taking it Slow with Skincare, I have experienced some bad reactions at the beginning of November. It is clear that my skin has not been impressed with me and has had enough of my shenanigans. I decided November will be an actual “Slowvember” month in order to keep my skin happy.

I am sharing my Fall 2022 PM (slow) skincare routine. My prescription strength Retin-A Micro at 0.1% is my only active (in my entire routine for that matter).


My PM Skincare Routine for Slowvember

Cleanse

Firstly, I am using Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water on a cotton round to wipe my face and neck. I then follow up with a foaming cleanser. It is a German drugstore brand called Balea. I’m using their Ultra Sensitive Cleansing Foam. I like the soft, fluffy texture and it is very gentle.

My First Skincare Haul of 2022!


Hydrating Toner

Immediately after cleansing, I apply 3 nickel-sized layer’s of Ma:nyo Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner all over my face and neck. I like how it satisfies the “inner moisture” of my skin with such a light consistency.

Third Skincare Haul of 2022: Korean Skincare


Tretinoin

While my skin is still damp from the toner, I go in with two pumps (pea sized amount) of my prescription strength 0.1% Tretinoin. This ensures that the prescription spreads nicely all over my face. The highest strength has a gritty texture so it could be difficult to apply on drier skin. I only apply this on my face and underneath my jaw. I do bring it slightly above my orbital bone. Note, I discussed this with my prescribing dermatologist and optometrist.


Moisturize

Once the Tretinoin has set, I apply a mix of Bioderma’s Atoderm Intensive Baume and Cicabio Pommade. The Pommade provides additional emollience and is soothing.


Gentle Anti-Acne Treatment

After applying the moisturizer mix, I go in with my recent purchase, La Roche Posay’s new Cicaplast Baume B5+. It contains 5% Panthenol, Madecassoside (a centella asiatica constituent) and Tribioma. Tribioma is a pre-biotic complex that has been added to further support the skin’s microbiome. Stay tuned for a future review! For this routine, I used on a couple of acne cysts on my chin. I apply a generous amount to ensure the inflamed areas are well covered.


Castor Oil

I am having a go (again) at applying castor oil nightly to my eyebrows and lashes. The inspiration stems from Jennifer Myers’ eyelash video. I can’t wait to see what my lashes look like in 6+ years lol.


List and Links of Products Used

Anything marked with an asterisk (*) is an affiliate link. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase through it, I earn a small commission. Thank you for your support! Please see MICHXMASH Disclosure

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water

* https://go.shopmy.us/p-585879

Balea MD Ultra Sensitive Reiningungs Schaum/Cleansing Foam
https://www.dm.de/balea-med-reinigungsschaum-ultra-sensitive-p4058172920707.html

Cerave Cream-to-Foam Hydrating Cleanser (alternative)

* https://go.shopmy.us/p-743115

Ma:nyo Bifida Biome Ampoule Toner

* https://shrsl.com/3lvjv
* https://go.shopmy.us/p-621086

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume

* https://go.shopmy.us/p-656533

Bioderma Cicabio Pommade

* https://go.shopmy.us/p-557843

La Roche Posay New Cicaplast Baume B5+

* https://go.shopmy.us/p-780082


That’s it for my nighttime skincare routine! As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the goal is to keep my skin happy. I am also using this month as an opportunity to reflect on what I truly need when it comes to skincare. Be sure to stay tuned for my 2023 Skincare Goals!

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

xo, M