Cosrx Real Fit Vitamin C Serum C23 Review

The Cosrx Real Fit Vitamin C Serum claims to brighten skin, fade dark spots, even skin tone, plump the skin, refine texture, hydrate and smooth fine lines and wrinkles without the harsh side effects (irritation and redness) of an ascorbic acid product.

Ingredients: Propolis Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Aronia Melanocarpa Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Lactate, Water, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin

The first ingredient is 60% propolis extract, a material made by bees that soothes the skin and has antioxidant properties. Cosrx says they added propolis instead of water to combat dryness caused by vitamin C (though water is added as the eighth of 11 ingredients). Ascorbic acid is the most researched form of vitamin C in skincare, but is unstable and can be irritating. Vitamin C can even skin tone, brighten, reduce fine lines, wrinkles and spots, firm the skin and defend the skin against free radicals and environmental stressors. This formula contains 23% ascorbic acid at 99% purity. Aronia Melanocarpa Fruit Extract (black chokeberry) and Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract are antioxidants, hydrating and have some vitamins and minerals and are said to increase the stability and efficacy of the vitamin C. Butylene glycol is a skin conditioning ingredient that can soften the skin. Sodium lactate is a humectant. Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and helps redness. Allantoin is a soothing ingredient.

Directions: Apply 2 or 3 drops to clean skin. Store in a dark, cool (15 to 25oC) place. If redness or irritation occurs, use every other day until skin adjusts.

The vitamin c serum comes in a lidded bottle packaged with a dropper. On opening the container, there was a small puff of air that was released and air bubbles moving the surface; this happened the first few times when opening. Cosrx sent an email saying that since the vitamin C has 99% purity, it reacts to temperature changes during shipping and gas is generated inside the product; this can cause the lid to slightly open and leak (this happened to one of my bottles). The serum comes in a 20 mL bottle and is best before 2 months once opened. It has no scent other than a slight vitamin C smell. It has a liquid texture and is light yellow in color.

I have oily/combination skin and used the Real Fit vitamin C for 5 months, using 5 to 6 drops per use (2 to 3 did not seem like enough) for 5 months every morning.

I got no irritation, stinging or redness of the skin until after about a month of use. I tried it on dry skin and damp skin with no other changes to my routine. Some days my skin would be fine, a few days my skin got very red and irritated (after 30 to 60 seconds of application) and I wanted to wash it off, and some days just stung a bit. I did not find this to be a hydrating formula (some days my skin felt quite dry and I got flakiness around my nose and mouth) and other products layered on top did not feel as nice on the skin. It left a dry, sticky layer over the skin. Using this, my skin felt a bit more rough than usual and there was no plumping of the skin.

I keep my skin care in my closet, away from light, heat and humidity. Despite this, the vitamin C was very unstable and started turning darker yellow after a couple weeks, then turning dark yellow-brown at about 6 weeks (best before 8 weeks). I did not get through more than half the bottle (of any of the bottles I purchased) before I could not use it due to oxidation. I wonder if the air in the bottle caused it to oxidize faster than it should have. Likely a bottle with about half the product and a pump would be better, but the pump would have to be metered and very smooth with a liquid formula and would probably have increased cost.

After about 2 weeks of use, my skin looked generally brighter and was less oily.

Above, after 5 months of use, my complexion looks generally brighter and less congested. The splotch of hyperpigmentation does not look greatly improved, but some of the darker spots have faded.

The left side of my face has darker hyperpigmentation and I was surprised by how much the spots on my cheekbones had faded. This is more noticeable on this side of my face likely because the spots were darker and more defined than the right side.

The left photo shows general improvement in brightness, pores and hyperpigmentation. I have some fine lines on my forehead that I do not think are improved, but the brown spots over the far eyebrow have faded and my forehead looks less oily.

I am not sure if this is my imagination or not, but looking in the mirror, I thought my skin looked darker than normal (surprising since I used this over the fall and winter). A quick read of an article on labmuffin.com says that ascorbic acid turns into erythrulose, an ingredient in fake tanner that reacts to proteins in dead skin cells, causing darkening of the skin. This can be prevented if the ascorbic acid is used in a formula with vitamin E and ferulic acid, using an oil or cream after application of the vitamin C to protect it from the air (which I did, using The Inkey List’s Peptide Moisturizer) or using it at night.

The Cosrx Real Fit Vitamin C Serum C23 faded hyperpigmented spots, brightened and generally improved the skin’s complexion, but is not a formula I enjoyed using; it is sticky, drying, irritating, unstable, oxidized before I could get halfway through the bottle (a waste of product and money) and potentially darkened the skin. Despite the results, I would not repurchase.

Thanks for reading.

The Inkey List Peptide Moisturizer Review

The Inkey List’s Peptide Moisturizer is a peptide cream that claims to hydrate, support collagen, improve fine lines, wrinkles, firmness and elasticity. This is said to be a rich cream for dry skin.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water/Eau), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Gluconate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phenethyl Alcohol, Acetyl Hexapeptide-37, Maltodextrin, Pentapeptide-48

The Peptide Moisturizer contains 2% Royal Epigen P5 that nurtures skin to help decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and a 1% peptide solution to support that skin’s moisture barrier for radiant skin. The product contains humectants, emollients and occlusive ingredients.

Directions: Morning and evening, apply a pea-sized amount to face and neck after cleansing and preferred serums.

The moisturizer is labeled for dry skin, however, I have oily/combination (in colder temperatures)/dehydrated skin. I have used this for 3 months thus far as my morning moisturizer, and sometimes in the evening.

Peptide Moisturizer comes in a jar with a pump and has no added scent, but smells a bit medicinal (this smell lasts a few minutes and does not bother me). This is a medium-thick cream, described as “rich,” though I’m not sure I would actually describe it as such; I think it is generally similar to an average cream moisturizer. It spreads nicely over the skin. After initially applying, this product feels relatively moisturizing on oilier areas of the skin, particularly my nose, with a silky layer on the skin, however, on drier areas like my chin, I need to apply a couple layers. Foundation does not apply as nicely over this as other moisturizers I have used. The moisture lasts only 3 to 4 hours and I feel like I need to reapply. If I put some other hydrating or moisturizing serum underneath, my skin feels moisturized all day. For this purpose, I’ve used Indeed Labs’ Hydraluron Moisture Serum, Cosrx Snail Mucin Essence and surprisingly, the Vichy vitamin C serum ampoule seems to provide extra hydration as well; my skin feels more moisturized and protected than with the peptide cream alone just over a toner. I’m not sure if this is because Peptide Moisturizer does not have enough moisture or hydration for the skin or if it is ineffective in preventing water loss (and I have combination skin). Interestingly, it is stated on the jar to use hyaluronic acid under the moisturizer to draw in the peptides. I also need to use more than the recommended amount; I use one pea size for the face and one for the neck, with an extra layer or two on drier areas.

I’ve not seen any difference to fine lines and wrinkles or radiance to the skin, though I doubt 3 months is enough time to improve fine lines, and there are other better products targeted to those issues. My skin feels a little softer though.

I’ve seen this recommended as a dupe for Drunk Elephant’s Protini; I disagree. Protini provides more hydration/moisture, lasts all day on its own and leaves the skin feeling plump, bouncy and silky with a general improvement in texture and complexion. If Protini was not so expensive, I would continue purchasing.

Peptide Moisturizer from The Inkey List is just okay (surprisingly rather ineffective on drier areas of my face). The price is good. I might use this as a summer moisturizer for the face and neck (other than my T-zone which would be too oily), but would need a more moisturizing/hydrating and protecting product for fall and winter.

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Indeed Laboratories Eysilix II Review

Indeed Labs’ Eysilix II eye cream is formulated with ceramides, peptides and probiotics and claims to reduce puffiness, dark circles, crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles while brightening, lifting and smoothing the eye area.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua / Eau), Isononyl Isononanoate, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Arachidyl Alcohol, Phenyl Trimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Behenyl Alcohol, Peg-100 Stearate, Palmitoyl Glycine, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Arachidyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Polysilicone-11, Caprylyl Glycol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Tribehenin, Panthenol, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Xanthan Gum, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Camelia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Disodium Edta, Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate, Punica Granatum Extract, Polysorbate 80, Ceramide Ng, Peg-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Methylglucoside Phosphate, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Glucose, Lactobacillus Ferment, Copper Lysinate/Prolinate, Caffeine, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2, Pantolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12.

A few key ingredients; Neodermyl and Uplevity trigger/increase collagen and elastin, Dermaxyl repairs skin’s natural barrier function, Revital-Eyes is a complex of probiotics, green tea extract, pomegranate extract and caffeine that protects the skin from environmental damage and diminishes dark circles and puffiness.

Directions: After cleansing, pat a small amount around eye contour in the morning and evening.

I have fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes and puffiness and dark circles (I suspect the dark circles are hereditary, so an eye cream is unlikely to improve those). I have used Eysilix II for 5 months thus far. Eysilix II has no scent.

Having used the same before photo for the Indeed Labs eyelash serum as eye cream (I started both products at the same time), I did not realize the undereye is a bit blurry/smoothed, so unfortunately, the before photo is not really helpful. In any case, Eysilix spreads easily and leaves a silky, smooth, protective layer over the skin that lasts until it is washed off in the morning/evening. My undereye feels more moisturized and smooth. The eyes looked maybe a bit brighter in the morning, but I would not say that there was really any significant improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness or dark circles. I have used a number of eye creams and have yet to find one that provides significant noticeable improvement (though the eye cream by Your Best Face Skincare worked quite well for my husband). Eysilix is a good moisturizer, however. I’ve seen here and there online that eye creams do not work and are just expensive moisturizers; based on my results with a few different eye creams, I wonder if that is true, though I think if an eye cream has peptides and actives, it would have potential.

I am going to finish the tube of Indeed Labs Eysilix II and will not repurchase. Next I am going to order the Retinol Eye Cream from the Inkey List. I expect (hope) retinol will help the fine lines and wrinkles.

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Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence

The Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence from Cosrx is formulated with 95% galactomyces ferment filtrate and niacinamide and claims to hydrate, improve skin texture, brighten and smooth fine lines.

Ingredients: Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide, Panthenol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol, Adenosine

Galactomyces ferment filtrate is a yeast and byproduct of fermented sake and is said to reduce pore size, hydrate, brighten and nourish the skin, reduce oil production, reduce blackheads, increases absorption of other products into the skin and provide antioxidant benefits. Niacinamide is said to improve skin texture, strengthen the skin barrier, reduce inflammation. fade hyperpigmentation and regulate oil production. Panthenol, glycerin, butylene glycol and sodium hyaluronate are humectants. 1,2-Hexanediol is a preservative and a moisture-binding agent. Betaine balances hydration. Allantoin soothes the skin. Adenosine soothes and restores skin.

Directions: After cleansing and toning, apply a small amount to the face and pat into the skin. Follow with moisturizer.

I have oily/combination skin, hyperpigmentation, redness and blackheads. I used the galactomyces essence for 4 months, morning and evening; one to two pumps for the face and neck.

This essence has a thin, watery-gel texture that applies very nicely with good spreadability. There is no scent. I tried it a few times with no moisturizer to see how it performed on its own in terms of hydration (with how oily my skin is and depending how moisturizing a toner or essence is, I often don’t need a lotion). This essence absorbs quickly, but leaves a dry, smooth, tacky feeling on the skin for about an hour until my face gets a bit of its normal oil. I don’t really find the galactomyces essence hydrating and need to add a moisturizer. I’ll use a light serum or lotion; the Cosrx snail essence on its own provides enough hydration.

After the first couple days of use, I got some whiteheads on my cheekbones and pimples on my neck (which are unusual spots for breakouts for me), but these disappeared after a couple more days and did not recur. After one week, my T-zone got less oily throughout the day and after 2 weeks, my skin seemed brighter. Noticeable benefit seemed to stop here, however. I continued use for a total of 4 months.

Other than some brightness and oil reduction/balance, my skin didn’t really feel or look different or improved, with no reduction to the hyperpigmentation, texture, fine lines or blackheads in particular. I would not repurchase.

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Cosrx Hydrium Watery Toner Review

The Hydrium Watery Toner from Cosrx is for all skin types and is said to provide long-lasting hydration and soothed and dewy skin.

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Allantoin, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate

The Hydrium Watery Toner has 6 types of hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration. Glycerin is a humectant. 1,2-Hexanediol is a preservative and moisture-binding ingredient. Panthenol (also known as B5) has moisturizing, regenerating and anti-inflammatory properties. Allantoin is soothing to the skin.

Directions: After cleansing, use a cotton pad to swipe away any cleanser residue, pat on the skin with fingers or cotton pad, mist on the skin throughout the day when skin is feeling dry, or soak a cotton pad and let sit on dry areas for a few minutes like a sheet mask. I like to use these toner mates.

I have combination skin, more on the oily side in the summer, and prone to congestion. I have dry areas as I am using Retin-A. I have been using the Hydrium toner in the morning and evening after cleansing for a couple months now. I apply to a cotton pad and swipe over the skin to get rid of any cleanser residue and then pat the toner on the skin and mist with mineral water.

The toner has a water-like consistency and no scent. It applies smoothly and absorbs quickly. There is no sticky or tacky feeling on the skin. The skin feels hydrated and soothed; I would not say that it looks dewy, however.

I generally like the Cosrx Hydrium Watery Toner, particularly for hydration. If looking for a toner that is more calming and soothing to the skin, while providing moisture, I would recommend the Soon Jung Relief Toner (which I will likely go back to after I run out of the Hydrium Toner). I like mixing the Relief Toner with The Ordinary’s Marine Hyaluronics.

Thanks for reading.