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.

Thanks for reading.

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 and 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.

Your Best Face Skincare Balance Review (reformulated)

I first used Balance by Your Best Face Skincare a few years ago when it was formulated as a product to absorb oil. Balance was reformulated to calm skin and combat redness. I had emailed the company to clarify if it still had the oil absorbing properties to which they responded that the nylon-12 ingredient, which absorbs oil, was discontinued, but other ingredients were added to retain and improve the oil absorbing and balancing capability (licorice extract, aspen bark extract, L-carnosine, niacinimide).

Ingredients: reverse osmosis water, Telangyn® (water, acetyl tetrapeptide-40, caprylyl glycol), ceteareth-6 olivate, olive squalane, Leucidal® (leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate), aspen bark extract, glycyrrhetinic acid (licorice extract), L-carnosine, niacinamide (vitamin B3), sorbitan olivate, hydroxyethylcellulose, ethylhexyl olivate, tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA), dl-panthenol (vitamin B5), triethyl citrate, alpha bisabolol, lavender essential oil (lavendula angustifolia, Kashmir India), cedarwood essential oil (cedrus atlantica, Morocco), niaouli essential oil (melaleuca quinquinervia viridiflora, Madagascar), azulene (guaiazulene)

Telangyn is a peptide that claims to reduce redness caused by an exaggerated inflammatory response. Niacinamide can help reduce the appearance of blemishes, congestion, enlarged pores and uneven skin tone.

This product is a day cream for combination and oily skin that claims to
combat redness and irritation, similar in function to NIOD’s Modulating Glucosides. Balance also claims to encourage clearer pores, improve smoothness of skin for better makeup application, brighten skin, mattify skin, reduce appearance of new damage and soften fine lines.

Directions state to apply anytime but particularly after treatments that leave the skin irritated, sensitive or breakout-prone.

Comparing the updated Balance to the previous formula, the lavender scent is quite strong, its consistency is thinner and spreadability is better.

While I purchased this for the oil absorbing and mattifying capability, I also used while on retinol and Retin-A to see if Balance mitigated any irritation. I have oily, breakout-prone skin, large pores and redness.

I’ve used Balance for about 5 months in the morning. It does absorb oil, but not as much as the previous version. On the YBF Skincare website, they now sell Matte Face Serum to reduce oiliness and shine. I haven’t tried this product yet, but if looking for oil reduction and matte skin, this would probably be the product to use rather than Balance.

Upon application, Balance gives a bit of a cooling effect to the skin for a couple seconds. This isn’t a moisturizer and doesn’t feel like one, so doesn’t really seem to absorb fully, but provides a sort of smoothing layer over the skin. It certainly doesn’t feel heavy and while it’s not felt on the skin, it is felt to touch.

While using Balance the small breakouts around my jawline were reduced. I still got the odd, larger pimple, but it seemed to heal a bit faster. This product did smooth the skin and makeup went over it quite nicely (application was even nicer when Balance is mixed with an ascorbic acid powder – I use the vitamin C from The Ordinary). I didn’t notice reduction in fine lines or increased brightness.

The redness in my cheeks was a bit reduced (though not as much as I had hoped). When using retinol and Retin-A, Balance seemed to reduce and soothe the irritation. When using retinol and Retin-A I find that cleansing and using products cause stinging and irritation, which settles after a minute – so how much Balance soothed this irritation as opposed to the normal reduction in irritation after the skin gets used to product application, I’m not certain. I’ll also note that a new issue with my skin is inflammation, redness and white, raised bumps when tweezing and waxing my eyebrows. This product provided relief to the swelling and soreness when applied to those areas around my eyebrows. Balance reduced the redness caused by my glycolic acid toner and some, but not all of the irritation.

I had stopped using Balance for about 3 weeks (changing nothing else in my routine) and without use, I got more and bigger breakouts along my jawline and larger pores and oiliness on my forehead.

While Balance didn’t reduce fine lines or increase brightness, it absorbed a bit of oiliness (though didn’t mattify the skin much), reduced inflammation and overall reduced congestion and enlarged pores. I might consider repurchasing particularly if getting something like a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or other similar procedure that causes an exaggerated inflammatory response.

Thank you for reading.

Your Best Face Skincare Hydrate B Concentrate Review

YBF Hydrate B Concentrate

I received a sample of Hydrate B Concentrate with an order of other YBF Skincare products I purchased. This was a good size for a sample and I got a couple weeks’ use. This product only has a few ingredients. It can be used morning or night and helps other products work better. You can blend it or layer it with other products.

Ingredients: reverse osmosis water, vitamin B5 (dl-Panthenol), Syn®-Hycan (tetradecyl aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric urea trifluoroacetate, magnesium chloride, glycerin), sodium hyaluronate, vitamin B3 (niacinamide), vitamin B8 (inositol), sodium PCA, Leucidal® (leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate) 

 This contains vitamin B5, B3 and B8. Vitamin B5 is used to moisturize, soothe, regenerate and heal the skin. Vitamin B5 is known as a humectant, a water-binding substance that can attract and bind water.  Vitamin B3 supports the skin’s barrier from pollutants and irritants and can help keep the skin hydrated. Vitamin B8 (inositol) is a humectant and can help skin and hair feel healthier and better moisturized. Syn-Hycan is a tetrapeptide aimed at lifting sagging skin and stimulates hyaluronan synthesis. Hydrate B contains sodium hyaluronate that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water and when put on the skin can maintain and attract water. This results in smoother and softer skin that can temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles by providing a fuller appearance. The intense moisturizing helps the skin be able to provide a better defense against environmental factors and aging. Sodium PCA is a humectant with the ability to absorb moisture from the air. The preservative here is leucidal.

This a clear gel, not too runny, that absorbs fast with no stickiness after a couple seconds. This has no smell. It seems like it would be very moisturizing considering the moisturizing and humectant ingredients, but according to the YBF Skincare website, it works best with other moisturizers and products; however, if the climate is humid, this may be sufficient as a moisturizer. I was a little hesitant to use this on my oily skin, but since the weather is colder and my skin isn’t as oily as usual, I thought I’d give it a go. Oily skin needs moisture and nourishment too (especially if you go through cycles of chemical and physical exfoliation) and this was perfect for my skin; not too moisturizing and didn’t feel like it sat on my skin making it feel heavy like I’ve experienced with other moisturizers. During the time I used Hydrate B my skin didn’t break out, which is pretty unusual when I use a moisturizer. I also tried blending this with Retin-A to make the Retin-A more easily spreadable which worked quite nicely, and didn’t seem to negate the effects of the Retin-A. I used this on my neck layered with a skin cream and think this would really benefit the thinner more sensitive skin on the neck as it ages. I bet this would also provide a healing effect after a skincare treatment like a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or IPL (photofacial), and could be used on the hands as well.

I can’t comment on long term effects as I only had a sample, but my skin started to feel softer and look better overall. This seems like a promising moisturizer for oily skin. When I make my next purchase at YBF Skincare, Hydrate B Concentrate will be on my list.

Your Best Face Skincare Balance Review

YBF Balance
YBF Balance

Balance from Your Best Face Skincare is a cream that claims to fight new breakouts and decrease damage and duration of existing breakouts, as well as regulating oil over time.  It can be used alone or with other skincare products. Reformulation review here.

Ingredients: Reverse Osmosis Water, Nylon-12, Olive Squalane, L-Carnosine, Olivem (Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate), Ppg5 Ceteth-20, Niacin, Tetradecylthioacetic Acid (TTA), C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Vitamin B5, Alpha Bisabolol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lavender Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Niaouli Oil, Triethanolamine, Paraben Du, Azulene (Guaiazulene)

Nylon-12 is the ingredient that absorbs excess oil on the skin, eliminating shine. L-carnosine is a combination of two amino acids, alanine and histadine, and is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Ppg5 Ceteth-20 can be used as an emollient and surfactant. When used as an emollient, it creates a dry silky feeling on the skin and reduces the slick feeling of oil on the skin. Tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA) is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and can regulate the oils that cause breakouts. C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is used to create a smooth consistency and can be used as a stabilizer. Vitamin B5 and niacin are used to reduce breakouts. Alpha bisabolol, sodium hyaluronate and azulene sooth and hydrate the skin. Lavender oil is used as an antiseptic. Cedarwood oil properties include antiseborrheic (anti-oil) and antiseptic. Niaouli oil is an antiseptic and bactericidal (kills bacteria). Triethanolamine is an amine produced by reacting ethylene oxide (considered  toxic) with ammonia (also toxic) and is used as a buffering agent and surfactant with its primary use as a pH adjuster.  The CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel) found that Triethanolamine was “safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products designed for discontinuous, brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin. In products intended for prolonged contact with the skin, the concentration of Triethanolamine should not exceed 5%.” Triethanolamine is third-last on the ingredient list, so this would be under 5%. Still, this information is pretty unfortunate as Balance is not a rinse-off product and one that I like to use daily as it really helps my skin. This product also contains paraben du. There is a good article on the YBF website about why they use this paraben. Azulene is considered to have a calming effect because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

This product is for people in their teens and 20s when still dealing with excess oil. Oil production is supposed to regulate as one gets older, but in my case, at 34, I’m pretty sure I’m stuck with my oily skin. This extra oil on my skin causes breakouts, enlarged pores, blackheads, and a shiny face about an hour after cleansing (most of my skin issues and what I am trying to fix and prevent). I get one or two big pimples every few months and redness and many small pimples on the right side of my lower cheek that stay a long time.  If I use a lotion or moisturizer (I use a glycolic lotion) my face stays shiny all day. I found YBF Balance about a year ago. This product goes on very nicely, under or over other products including foundation. It absorbs into the skin fast and the skin feels smooth and looks matte for the whole day. You can apply this throughout the day if needed. Some may not prefer the matte look, and it may look a bit strange if you are used to seeing a shiny face in the mirror. Using this, my breakouts and redness are reduced and I don’t get the urge to wash my face in the middle of the day because of the extra oil. This product is supposed regulate oil production over time; I’m not sure I’ve really noticed that. It apparently has a very light lavender scent but I didn’t really note any scent. I wouldn’t really consider Balance to be a moisturizer; it creates a silky, matte feeling on the skin and is not drying.

Balance would take the place of blotting papers or oil absorbing powders/makeup. I often see people comment on makeup reviews that their oily skin causes foundations to break up and slide off their face, and I just want to leave comments everywhere saying to try this product, as it would resolve that issue. Balance is one of my must-haves.

This product is affordable, as it does not contain the two products in almost all of the other YBF products, spin trap and lipochroman.

This is probably my favorite product and one that I will continue to buy, as it definitely calms the redness in my skin, absorbs excess oil and reduces breakouts; but there must be something else that can be used in place of the Triethanolamine. YBF Skincare often reformulates their products; I hope Balance is on the list.

Update May 12, 2019 – Balance has undergone reformulation; you can find the review here.

Thank you for reading.