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!


Product was sent as a gift, it was not sent for review purposes.
This post contains affiliate links. If you use the link to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


BIOLUMIN-C

IMG_20181209_145308.jpg

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

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

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


INGREDIENTS

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

COSDNA IL

HIGHLIGHTED INGREDIENTS:

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

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

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

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


USAGE

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

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

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

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

Finish: Tacky and moisturized.

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

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


FINAL THOUGHTS

IMG_20181209_145147.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

WHERE TO BUY:
Sephora
Dermalogica

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT

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

REVIEW: The New Banisher 2.0! | AD

This post is sponsored by Banish Acne Scars.
Products provided for review purposes.
This post contains affiliate links / codes. This means if you use this link / code to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thanks for your support if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


Banish Kit

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

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

banisher 2.0

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


How the Banisher Works

Microneedling


Banisher 2.0

original vs. 2.0

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

original vs. 2.0

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

banisher-improvements
Picture from Banish website

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


Usage

banish-oil.jpg

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

cleaning cup vs. cap

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

banisher 2.0

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

up close needles

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


Before & Afters

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

banish kit 2.0

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

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

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

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

I hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M

REVIEW: Some By Mi AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner, Cleansing Bar, and H7 Hydromax Cream

Seriously, how many of us saw this product and the before/afters circulate our social media feeds? Some By Mi reached out to me to try their very popular AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner as well as their Cleansing Bar and H7 Hydromax Cream.

Some By Mi (meaning: Attracted to Beauty) is a popular natural cosmetic Korean Brand that’s all about “Miracle of my skin with good ingredients” (this is their slogan translated to English). 400 thousand of their products sold out within 3 months, and from that popular before/after photo circulating around, their products seem especially catered to those with acne-prone skin.

For this review, I will be more detailed about the 30 Day Miracle Toner because it’s the only information I received in English from the brand. I will do my best to review the other products in this post.

And yes, as the title suggests, there will be a giveaway of all 3 products! Be sure to check out the details at the end of this post. Let’s get on to the review!


This post is unsponsored.
Products were just sent complimentary for review purposes.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you use this link to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thanks for your support if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to search a new link.


About the Brand

Some By Mi means “Attracted by Beauty”
Slogan is “Miracle of my skin with good ingredients”
Popular natural Korean Cosmetic Brand
400 thousand products sold out in 3 months
Products catered mostly to those with acne-prone skin
From what I’ve seen on e-retailers, these products are always on sale at a reduced cost / some type of deal


AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner

Some By Mi #2.00_03_11_17.Still005

CLAIMS / QUICK FACTS:

  • 150ml, 32, 000 won
  • Skin Cell Control
  • Exfoliating
  • Acne Control
  • Smooth Skin
  • Skin Cell and Body Waste Removal
  • Moisturizing
  • Pore Control
  • Improvement of Complexion
  • Passed the Hypo-Allergenic Test – I don’t know what this test is
  • Without 20  Stimulating Ingredients – meaning 20 ingredients that could cause a negative reaction
  • Sebum-Control
  • Blackhead Control
  • pH 5.5
  • Ingredients based on EWG Safety Ratings

Ingredient Highlights

Note: The ingredients listed is provided to me by Some By Mi. It doesn’t reflect the entire ingredient list, just the main ones.

AHA (Citric Acid): 500ppm = 0.05%
– Derived from citrus fruits
– Usually used as a pH adjuster
– Larger molecule than Glycolic Acid
– Not as studied as Glycolic or Lactic Acid
– If in higher % could exfoliate the skin and act as water-binding agent

BHA (Salicylic Acid): 100ppm = 0.01%
– Exfoliates the pore lining, making it very suitable for acne-prone skin
– Also has soothing properties

PHA Lactobionic Acid: 100ppm = 0.01%
– Supposed to be as effective as AHAs
– Larger molecular structure; Doesn’t penetrate the skin as quickly
– Less sensitizing

Tea Tree Water: 10, 000ppm = 1%
– Tea Tree Oil is skin-soothing
– Some By Mi explains that it helps soothe skin, relieve inflammation and disinfect skin (antibacterial properties)

Niacinamide: 2%
I love this ingredient, it’s multipurpose for your skin’s health
– Improves barrier function
– Controls oil production
– Minimizes pores and fine lines
– Brightening

Other Notables (stated by Some By Mi)
Adenosine: Anti-wrinkle
P-Refynil: Sebum Control
Fructan: Deep Hydration

Usage:
I removed my acne treatments – BHA wash, BP wash, Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum, Differin
Applied toner morning and night for 14 days (I only used it for this much because at the time of testing this, I was at the 2 month mark for Differin. It’s recommended to use Differin for 3 months to see its results, so it was very risking removing it from my skincare routine).
I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

Scent: It has a noticeable smell of mint, but it doesn’t overwhelm my senses and last. After using Google Translate, Peppermint Oil appears as the last ingredient.

Texture: Very watery. To compare, Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner is more viscous.

Application:  As recommended by Some By Mi, use a cotton pad and wipe upwards. I applied about 4 douses each time. For my bad breakout areas I let the cotton pad sit for a bit on that area for maybe 30 seconds to get extra treatment.

Finish: None. It sinks into the skin pretty quickly and I don’t find this has any softening effect like Klairs.

Immediate Results: Overnight any active pimples including cysts decreased in size. Imparted a brightening effect after use, making the skin look slightly even.

Long-Term Results: Inflammation around spots subsided, decreased the size and lowered the risk of long-lasting hyperpigmentation.

Final Thoughts: Stunned. I wasn’t expecting this to work as well as it did around my acne. I wouldn’t consider this an acid toner however; The pH is 5.5 and the percentage of acids are too low to show significant exfoliating results. Overall this is perfect as a pH balanced toner with good skin ingredients that any one using would find beneficial. It could prevent future breakouts to an extent, but there’s a lot of factors that contribute to a breakout 🙂

WHERE TO BUY:
YesStyle
Style Korean


AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Days Miracle Cleansing Bar

sbm-bar

Note: The ingredients I’m about to list below is based on me using Google Translate’s app and highlighting the text area. This is NOT the official list and I can’t 100% guarantee the translation was correct.

Ingredient Highlights
Chlorella Powder: Antioxdiant, Emollient
Tea Tree Extract: Skin-Conditioning
Licorice Extract: Skin-soothing
Moisturizing: Olive Oil, Argan Oil, Green Tea Seed Oil

While using the GT app I didn’t seen any acids in the list…

Usage:
Used occasionally morning and night
Swapped it as either sole morning / post-workout cleanser, or second cleanse in my nighttime routine.

Scent: I don’t know how to explain this other than it smells like a natural soap. It’s not strong at all.

Texture: Not as stiff as a generic soap bar (let’s say Dove). Once lathered, the foam feels very soft on the skin.

IMG_20180723_123028.jpg
When I lathered more than necessary the first time lol

Application: Used with the foaming net and lathered it lightly between my hands. It produces a lot foaming lather really quickly, definitely better than using it without. Would wash my face with it for around a minute, including eye area.

Final Thoughts: My skin didn’t feel irritated at all while using this soap. I’m not a fan of using cleansing bars but this is definitely not a conventional one. I like the extra bit of moisture it provides and it’s overall very simple and gentle. This could wash off sunscreen, but I rely more on my cleansers with surfactants to do a better job with makeup removal.

WHERE TO BUY:
YesStyle
Style Korean


H7 Hydromax Cream

sbm-cream

Ingredient Highlights

Note: The ingredients I’m about to list below is based on me using Google Translate’s app and highlighting the text area. This is NOT the official list and I can’t 100% guarantee the translation was correct.

Ulleung Sea Water – 71%
Glycerin
Niacinamide
Various oils: Avocado, Jojoba Seed, Palm Oil,
Various plant extracts: Green Tea, Yam Root, Okra Fruit, Kelp, Lotus Root, Licorice, Chamomile Flower
7 types of Hyaluronic Acid: Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolized Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid (I can’t find the other 2)

Usage:
Used occasionally morning and night
Swapped with Hada Labo Perfect Gel as humectant moisturizer.

Texture: Light cream.

Scent: A noticeable smell of lemon as you apply it. Lemon Peel Oil translated at very end of IL. It does not last.

Application: Used nickel-sized amount and dotted it all over my face and neck. Spreads nicely and doesn’t irritate my eye area.

Finish: Slight tacky finish that leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. Lighter than my Hada Labo Perfect Gel.

Final Thoughts: It’s a nice moisturizer more suitable for normal to oily skin types if you want to use it on its own. It performed nicely as a humectant moisturizer before going in with my occlusive one, but I love the Hada Labo Perfect Gel more.

WHERE TO BUY:
YesStyle
Style Korean


Final Feels

Usually when it comes to hyped up products, I am super critical. However I have to say Some By Mi products took me by surprise and their AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Day Miracle Toner gave me great results. I’d say the couple of issues with them are 1) Google Translate struggle was real and I hope Some By Mi eventually adds an English description and ingredients list to each of their products 2) Up the acids in their claimed acid products (but I guess that would rid it of its gentleness).

I think anyone can try this line, for all the products are really easy to incorporate in your existing routine and only provides skin benefits. But if I were to really pinpoint who these were meant for based on just these 3 products, definitely for the teens starting out in skincare that need a simple routine with gentle but effective products.

Speaking of trying…

GIVEAWAY TIME! [CLOSED]

IMG_20180723_120836.jpg

One winner will receive full size products of all the ones I just reviewed!
You’ll be receiving full-sized products of:
AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Day Miracle Toner
AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Day Miracle Cleansing Bar
H7 Hydromax Cream
There are many ways to enter and increase your chance of winning! Just be sure to provide the necessary information in the link down below.

SOME BY MI GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

UPDATE 09/03/18: Giveaway is closed. Thanks for participating!

Terms of the Giveaway:
August 25th – September 2nd
International
Must be 18 years or older
No giveaway accounts
Winner will have 24 hours to reply
MICHXMASH and SOME BY MI are not responsible for customs fees or lost items.

Thank you Some By Mi for the opportunity to try your products, and giving the opportunity for someone else to as well!

Good luck everyone!

xo, M

REVIEW: Banish Acne Scars Banish Starter Kit

Products all purchased by me.
This post contains affilaite links / code . This means if you use this link / code to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thanks for your support if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


After years of ogling this product, back when I was a broke af university student, to my now somewhat adult self, I bit the bullet – I purchased the Banish Starter Kit.

Now for those of you who don’t know the brand Banish Acne Scars, it’s a skincare brand created by an OG acne-talking YTer named Daisy from the Acne Channel (formerly Perfect Beauty). Back when I was dealing with cystic acne, I found Daisy’s channel and saw that she too was going through the same journey to clear skin. Back in the day, not a lot of people showed their bare face on camera if they had really bad skin, so I was really happy to find a YTer I could connect to.

Fast forward to today, she has her own business called Banish Acne Scars, a brand that’s about:

“[Creating a] product line that gets to the root of problems, not just to cover them up temporarily. 

Use fresh natural ingredients, sourced from the West Coast of United States .

Focus on the internal rather than external healing.”

I’ve been wanting to try her products for a long time, especially for my leftover scarring from cystic acne. The website has a lot of before and afters of customers that have been using her products, and that just made it more intriguing for me to try it for myself.

Read More »