Laneige Cream Skin Review

Laneige Cream Skin Refiner (also known as Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer at Sephora) is a light-weight two-in-one toner/moisturizer liquid that preps and hydrates the skin in one step. This is for all skin types (according to Sephora’s website, however, on the bottle (from Sephora) says for normal to dry skin) and claims to soften and deeply moisturize the skin.

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

Cream Skin contains glycerin and butylene glycol, humectants; meadowfoam seed oil, an emollient, softening and occlusive ingredient; glyceryl caprylate has moisturizing properties; propanediol enhances absorption and has hydrating properties that can leave a dewy finish on the skin.

Directions: After cleansing, morning and evening, shake into the palm of the hand and pat into skin until absorbed. Can apply with toner pads. For extra dry skin, layer product by reapplying or soak toner pad and leave on skin for a few minutes, then pat into skin.

I have an oily T-zone/combination/dehydrated skin prone to congestion and blackheads. Cream Skin is a liquid formula, a little thicker than water, and has no scent. I’ve been using Cream Skin for about a month, on the face and neck, around the eyes and on the lips, applying with Klairs Toner Mate 2-in-1 Cotton Pad (I find if I pat onto the skin with my hands, I use too much). For the first couple uses, I was applying too much and it left my skin quite shiny/tacky. My skin does not feel oilier when using nor did I get breakouts. It leaves a smooth, dewy finish on the skin (as seen in the above photo) and my skin feels so soft. It does not feel heavy on the skin, but I can feel it to the touch. If I apply other products to the skin, particularly light gel treatments like Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, Cream Skin needs to dry for a bit (about 5 minutes) before applying and even then my skin looks shinier and I’m not sure that other treatments are being fully absorbed. (Update May 26) – I just started using Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence. I used once 5 minutes after applying a very little bit of Cream Skin Refiner and the essence was a bit shiny on the skin and the skin felt plump and moisturized. The next day I applied the essence after a normal toner and it absorbed into the skin leaving a sort of dry stickiness, then a smooth layer after a few minutes; so I’m pretty sure the Cream Skin is blocking some absorption of other products.

Cream Skin moisturizes very well and protects from water loss. After a few hours the dewiness disappears, but there is a soft protective layer on the skin until I cleanse at the end of the day. I also use this product on the back of the hands in the evening.

When my skin is very dry, for instance, after a hot shower, Cream Skin makes my skin immediately hydrated, whereas before I would have to use a toner, hyaluronic acid and a cream, and even then, the skin would still feel/look a bit dry. With tretinoin use, my skin will get dry and flaky, I will get dry patches around my mouth and nose and sunscreen and makeup will stick on these dry areas and make the skin look worse, but with Cream Skin makeup and sunscreen apply very nicely.

Laneige Cream Skin Refiner is moisturizing for oily and dry skin, with one layer in warmer months, and I would use multiple layers in winter. I will not need to purchase a separate moisturizer. This has become a favorite and I will definitely repurchase; I just hope that other products layered over Cream Skin are being absorbed.

As a side note, Cream Skin Refiner is available on chuusi.ca and mikaela-beauty.com for a bit cheaper than at Sephora, with fast shipping. There is also a mist version available that I might try on dry areas of the body (I would love a body version of Cream Skin).

Thank you for reading.

Tretinoin Review

Tretinoin (retinoic acid) also known as Retin-A (prescription only) is a form of vitamin A in cream or gel form used for the treatment of acne, surface wrinkles, scarring and can help hyperpigmentation by increasing cell turnover on the skin and stimulating collagen production. Retinoic acid is more aggressive than retinol. It comes in a couple different strengths; I’ve been using the 0.05% cream. I do not like the gel formula; it does not seem to work as well.

Directions: This is a product the skin needs to get used to. It can be used once a week for a few weeks, then twice a week and so on, working up to once a day. It can be applied mixed with a moisturizer as the skin gets acclimated. Use at night. Cleanse the skin and let thoroughly dry (about 20 minutes). Apply a pea-sized amount and layer over the skin. Avoid eyes and lips. This makes skin photosensitive and sunscreen should be used during the day.

Side effects can include redness, irritation, dryness and peeling. To prepare the skin for using Retin-A, one can consider using a retinol first; I’ve used this from The Ordinary.

I was first introduced to Retin-A a few years ago when I used the Obagi Nu-Derm system and have used it on and off since then. I have oily skin that is prone to breakouts. I have hyperpigmentation and old acne scarring. For this review, I used in the evening every second day for a couple weeks, went up to once a day for the next 10 months and about every third day for the last month, for a total of 11 months. Depending on how often I use it, the tube lasts about 6 months; I usually use for 6 months, take a 3- to 6-month break and purchase again. I do not use it with a moisturizer, but after cleansing the skin I use a hydrating toner mixed with The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics, then let the skin dry completely before applying the Retin-A. I do not follow with anything else. If I want to use an AHA, BHA or vitamin C, I use these in the morning. I try to avoid applying Retin-A in the crease beside the nostril; the skin peels and stings.

Retin-A has a medicinal scent, and is absorbed immediately and immediately makes the skin feel dry to the touch, like all the oil has left the skin. This evens out after a while. In the morning, my forehead seems much more oily than usual.

After two applications the skin started flaking, and continued (while diminishing) for 2 to 3 weeks. Once in a while, I’d get a bit of peeling around areas of movement on the face; the mouth and eyebrows. I use the gentle Daily Exfolipowder from Amarte followed by Laneige’s Cream Skin to help with the flaking.

In the before photo, there are large pores in the middle of my forehead that had diminished by 3 months. The complexion looks more even. Fine lines are less noticeable by 11 months.

In the before photo, my skin looks rough and congested with large pores and hyperpigmentation from sun damage. There is noticeable improvement in the texture and brightness of the skin. Pores look smaller. There is some fading of the dark spots. My skin feels very smooth.

I got a cluster of breakouts by the jaw around 3 months. Had I not been using Retin-A at the time, those breakouts would have caused postinflammatory hyperpigmentation that takes a very long time to fade on its own. In general, while using Retin-A, I got a minimal breakout here and there and those healed quite fast. The patch of pigmentation and congestion on/under my cheekbone has faded.

In the before photo here, I had some fine lines around the orbital bone (very minimal crow’s feet) which are gone.

I was hoping for more fade of the freckles caused by sun damage after the 11 months, but some spots have faded and lighter spots have disappeared. For quick reduction in spots, I like getting photofacials.

The level of irritation and skin reactivity will be different for everyone when using Retin-A. When I first used it a few years ago, any product I would put on my face (including water) would sting and cause redness for a few seconds. Using it now, as my skin is used to retinols and acids, I get peeling, but no redness and no stinging. My sister tried Retin-A (she has a very different skin type to me) and got redness, pain and a burning sensation lasting hours after application.

Retin-A is one my must-have products. Thank you for reading.

Yes / Almost / No / Not Anymore

I started my beauty story here back in 2015; below is a summary of my must-haves (I don’t have many; a product must provide great results to make this list), favorite repurchased beauty products that provide great results (yes), particularly bad products (no), those that are close to being favorites (almost) and ones I will no longer purchase (not anymore). For reference, I have oily/combination skin that is prone to congestion, breakouts and hyperpigmentation. My hair is dry, thin and frizzy.

No:

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. Drying. Not much improvement.

The Ordinary Suncare. Heavy and leaves a very noticeable white cast.

Drunk Elephant Slaai. Waxy and irritating. Used on my hands as an overnight treatment and my hands were so dry in the morning.

Abnomaly Petrowhat? Drying. No improvement.

Going blonde ruined my hair. Ended up having to cut about 8 or 9 inches of damage.

Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser. Does not cleanse or rinse well.

Must-Haves:

Follizin Hair Renew Leave-In Hair Masque. Improves frizz, silkiness, softness and moisture.

Your Best Face Skin Care Quench. Antioxidant lip treatment hydrates, protects and heals dry cracked lips after only a couple applications. Rose Otto seems the most moisturizing.

IPL/Photofacial. Improves sun damage, hyperpigmentation, scarring, blemishes, redness and aging skin.

Briogeo Blossom and Bloom volumizing spray. A lot of volume. Extends hairstyle and wash day.

Retin-A. Improves acne, scarring, texture and fine lines (review coming up).

Favorites:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade and brush No. 12. I still need practice, but with this, eyebrows look full and natural.

Mixed nylon/boar bristle brush. Distributes oils. Removes dust, debris and static.

Got these scissors from Amazon. Great for trimming my bangs while the salons are closed. I found a great tutorial on YouTube from A Model Recommends https://youtu.be/EArJrHbbFrA

Boar bristle dry brush for daily body exfoliation.

Keratin straightening treatment. No frizz. Silky, healthy hair (review coming soon).

First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser. Smooths skin and improves redness and bumps.

The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry. Hydrates and softens skin on the feet. I use in conjunction with KP Bump Eraser.

Cosrx Blackhead Power Liquid. Took a while to see results, but improved blackheads and texture.

Klairs Toner Mate Cotton Pad. Particularly love the sponge cotton pads for applying products with a thin formula.

Amarte Daily ExfoliPowder. Gentle daily exfoliation as a second cleanse or morning cleanse on its own. Improves texture.

BioBliss Lash Serum. Thicker and longer lashes.

The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics. Layer with toner or water for hydration and plump skin.

NIOD Sanskrit Saponins. As a mask and cleanser, improves texture and oiliness. Skin feels smooth.

Kopari Coconut Deodorant. Fantastic odor protection. I wonder if I can layer with Drunk Elephant’s Sweet Pitti which is really good at absorbing sweat.

Drunk Elephant TLC Happi Scalp Scrub. Exfoliates the scalp. Hair feels lighter and has more volume. Makes a good exfoliant for the face as well.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser. Removes makeup and sunscreen. No residue or irritation.

Almost:

Laneige Cream Skin. Moisturizes really well. Leaves a layer over the skin and I’m not sure that other products penetrate as well or as fast (review coming soon).

Etude House Sunprise UV Protection. Light weight. No white cast. Enhances dry patches and mixes with thin foundations.

Drunk Elelphant Sweet Pitti. Really good at absorbing sweat with applications throughout the day. Odor protection could be better during activity and when out in hot weather.

Not Anymore:

Your Best Face Skincare Balance. Was a must-have, however, with a reformulation, this no longer functions to absorb oil. The previous version stopped shininess and gave a matte finish to the skin. I no longer had to use blotting papers and this prevented foundation from moving around throughout the day.

Akita Hand Cream. This, too, was my must-have. After a recent purchase, something changed in the formula and it is no longer anywhere near as hydrating and leaves an almost dry feeling on the skin as it is rubbed in.

Thank you for visiting.

Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser Review

The Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser by Youth to the People is a daily “green juice” cleanser for the face with cold-pressed antioxidants from kale, spinach and green tea that claims to remove makeup and prevent buildup in pores without being drying. In addition, on the Sephora website, it claims to help with concerns of fine lines, oily skin, dullness and uneven texture.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Panthenol (Vitamin B5),Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Butylene Glycol, Brassica Oleracea(Kale) Leaf Extract, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea)Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract,Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Natural Fragrance, Lecithin, HydroxypropylMethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorophyll.

Kale is rich in phytonutrients and vitamins C, E, and K to strengthen and leave skin glowing. Spinach has cooling properties and conditioning essential fatty acids. Green Tea is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that keeps skin clear.

Directions: Use in the morning and evening on wet skin. Pump onto wet hands, rub together into a light lather, and massage into face and neck for 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly.

For best makeup removal, massage one to two pumps into slightly damp face and neck. Add more water gradually as you massage for one minute. Rinse thoroughly.

This is a light green gel-like cleanser that has a sweet, green scent. On wet skin, this lathers into light bubbles. Above, after I rinsed the cleanser, my arm had a couple blotchy red itchy patches which is an odd reaction for me. This did not happen to my face.

I have oily skin now that the weather is warmer, prone to breakouts. I got the mini sizes of this cleanser and was able to use for a few weeks, morning and evening.

I do not find this to be a very effective cleanser. Wearing a medium to full coverage foundation and following the instructions for makeup removal, then patting the skin dry and using a toner, as in the photos above, there was a lot of foundation left on the skin after the first cleanse and still some slight color after the second (there are little fuzzies on the toner pad after patting the skin dry with a facecloth). The first cleanse did not form as many bubbles as the second. When wearing makeup and/or sunscreen I usually do two cleanses anyway or use an oil balm cleanser as a first step, however, that is a lot of makeup left on the skin for a first cleanse.

After using the Drunk Elephant Happi Scalp Scrub on my face, which left an oily layer behind, I used the Youth to the People cleanser and still felt the oily layer (albeit a bit less); the same can be said for sunscreen left behind.

I did not find the cleanser to be drying on the skin and did not get increased breakouts. I do not expect a cleanser to be effective for fine lines (which this was not), nor did it particularly help with small breakouts along the jawline. This cleanser took a lot of extra time and water to rinse off and I still felt residue from the Superfood cleanser on the skin after rinsing which made me want to use a different cleanser to wash off the residue.

The Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser is not very effective and does not rinse well. I would not repurchase.

Thank you for visiting.

Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream Review

Sweet Pitti is a cream deodorant from Drunk Elephant’s new body care line that is free of baking soda, aluminum, fragrance and essential oils. This claims to soothe the underarms and keep odor at bay.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Mandelic Acid, Maranta Arundinacea Root Powder, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isononyl Isononanoate, Glycerin, Tapioca Starch, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, Sclerotium Gum, Panthenol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Hydroxide

Mandelic acid is an AHA that kills odor-causing bacteria. Arrowroot powder absorbs wetness from sweat. Shea butter is an emollient that provides skin barrier protection.

Directions: Only needs to be applied once a day and “always” to clean dry skin. Can be applied with fingertips. I find the instruction “always” apply to clean and dry skin odd; what if I want to reapply after a workout or being in hot weather because of underarm odor or wetness or does it not work well unless it is applied to clean skin. Getting further instructions from Instagram comments, one application is a 1/4 turn of the dial, which dispenses 1.2 mL of product. Using it this way, there are 50 single underarm applications (or 25 uses applying to both underarms).

Other baking soda-free deodorants I’ve tried use magnesium for underarm bacteria odor rather than mandelic acid. This is a cream formula; like a thin face cream. There are no essential oils or added fragrance; the natural scent of this product is sweet almond, like the other body products from Drunk Elephant. It smells like the almond extract used in baking. The scent lasts only minutes. With no added fragrance, I can get a sense of how well this works without a fragrance to just mask the odor.

I like that this deodorant comes in a twist container rather than a jar; less messy that way. One application is a 1/4 turn of the dial. I feel like this is way too much. Using this amount takes a long time to rub in until the deodorant creates an invisible layer. I use a bit more than a pea size for each underarm; usually with cream deodorants, I’ll see instructions that say to use a pea size. I tried applying by rubbing the container under the arm; that does not work well. Rubbing in with the fingers works much better. This does create an invisible protective layer that is felt under the arm once it dries. It is not sticky. I like the cream formula rather than the paste-type deodorants I have used, but it does take longer to rub into an invisible layer than these formulas. It felt nice and a bit moisturizing under the arms.

Wearing the deodorant just around the house, it lasts all day (9 to 10 hours). Applying at night to help with wetness and odor while sleeping worked somewhat. The underarms were less smelly, but not completely free of odor. I applied 3 hours before a workout. After my workout, I had quite sweaty underarms and I am not sure Sweet Pitti absorbed much sweat while working out (it had, by that point, likely absorbed as much as it could). There was a slight odor, definitely much less than not having worn deodorant. I wanted to try this after already sweaty considering this should “always” be applied to clean dry skin. I applied after my workout and was surprised it absorbed quite a bit of the wetness, but there was still a slight odor. I applied one morning after waking up stinky and sweaty and some sweat was absorbed, but none of the odor. I applied before going for a walk in warm weather for about 30 minutes. There was no odor after getting home, but 6 hours later my underarms were relatively stinky. I was thinking that maybe this deodorant does not work as well without applying the large amount as directed, so applied the deodorant as instructed, with the 1/4 turn, with the same scenarios above, and got the same results.

Overall, Drunk Elephant’s Sweet Pitti is not too bad; other deodorants I’ve used performed better when doing activities and when already stinky (I think a good deodorant should be able to diminish odor already there), though instructions do say to apply to clean skin. I might consider a repurchase just for using at home or at the office, but would probably use a different deodorant for working out or going out in hot weather.

Thank you for reading.