Reviewing June empties in the beginning of August??? Ahh forgive my inconsistency. These products deserve a mention; besides I didn’t empty any skincare products in July so this covers up for that. In this post, we’ll be reviewing 4 skincare products (a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer), including a makeup item. Yup, you read that right! Let’s jump in already.
CosRx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
Are you even into Korean skincare (or skincare at all) if you’ve never come across the CosRx low pH cleanser??? at least on your Instagram feed? This was one of the very first products I tried when I started getting into K -beauty. The philosophy behind this product (and a lot of low pH cleansers) is to promote an acid mantle-friendly pH. What this means is that the pH of the cleanser is in line with that of the outermost layer of the skin. Unlike soaps (or soap-based cleansers) which have a high pH; far from that of the skin.
Check out this simplified post to learn more about the whole cleanser, skin and pH jargon.
Texture & Application: It is a gel formula that foams up nicely when mixed with water to gently cleanse and prep your skin for other products. I love that it strikes a balance between properly cleansing and not over stripping. I use it morning and evening after taking off my makeup/sunscreen. Although it’s not drying, I believe the oily girls and boys will love it more!
Content, Price & Packaging: 150 ml at N6500 ($16.7). Purchased from EVEbeautique. The package is basic; a white tube that gets messy easily with time. It lasted for about 4+ months upon a generous, twice daily application. 18th of February – 30th of June.
Pros: Low, slightly acidic pH. Mild surfactants used- Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. It contains ingredients that are beneficial to the skin such as Tea Tree Leaf oil for acne, Betaine salicylate for mild exfoliation, Allantoin for soothing, and a blend of plant extracts & moisturizing agents. It didn’t break my skin out.
Cons: It contains Tea Tree Leaf oil which can be a skin sensitizer to some. It has a weird earthy, plant-ish smell.
Verdict: It’s definitely not my favorite cleanser but it’s my go-to! I easily reach for this when ‘testing new stuff goes wrong’, as my skin seems to like it. This is my second tube which means I’ll most probably be purchasing another.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Another cult favorite! The Ordinary Niacinamide serum needs no introduction to skincare enthusiasts but for the sake of the newbies reading, I’ll go over a brief intro. This is a serum which contains 10% Niacinamide and 1% Zinc PCA as its active ingredients. Niacinamide aka a form of Vitamin B3 is a superstar ingredient with multiple benefits for the skin and body generally. From anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, oil control, improving hyperpigmentation to skin barrier repair; scientists claim that these benefits can be seen in as low as 4% concentration of Niacinamide. Zinc PCA helps to control sebum (oil) secretion while retaining the skin’s hydration.
Texture & Application: It has a thick, serum-y consistency. Upon application, it lathers slightly into a white (looks like) little foam before penetrating the skin completely. I don’t know how to best describe it but it is definitely not the most elegant formulation I’ve tried. I apply this twice daily (AM & PM) after cleansing and toning.
Content, Price & Packaging: 30ml at N6500 ($16.7). Purchased from EVEbeautique. The package is basic; a transparent glass bottle with a dropper for application. It lasted for about a month+ upon a generous, twice daily application. 24th of May– 2nd of July.
Pros: Meets the brand’s claims of ‘reducing skin blemishes and congestion‘. While I was on the Differin Experiment, the week I introduced The Ordinary Niacinamide serum, I noticed a huge improvement in oil control. I was no longer waking up with an oily T-zone. My skin was also visibly brighter!
More Pros: Minimal ingredient list. Free of fragrance and essential oils. Known amount of active ingredient. I dislike it when brands don’t disclose this.
Cons: NONE from this side. Wish the consistency of the serum was better though.
Verdict: I’m never letting Niacinamide out of my sight so unless I find a better or comparable formula at a decent price point, I’ll keep repurchasing this. Oh! did I also mention that it’s not my first or second bottle? Yeah that’s how much I love it.
Fadeout Advanced Night Cream
Raise your hands if you’ve ever come across this in Shoprite or those pharmacies in the Mall? Yeah, I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’ve seen this a couple of times and although I was intrigued, I never paid attention to grab myself one until quarantine, 2020.
No thanks to Coronavirus, I was running out of my moisturizer and the one I ordered couldn’t come through in the mail. So, I managed to make it to the mall one faithful day the lockdown was eased up a bit, and I decided to get this cream after skimming through the ingredient list. A few ingredients that drew my attention include lactic acid, niacinamide (can’t never have too much), arbutin, rosehip seed oil, licorice root extract…
Texture & Application: A rich cream! This is not your regular lightweight, ‘non-moisturizing’ gel moisturizer (Looking at you, Tony Moly Green Tea gel cream). However, it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. Even my oily T-zone handled the texture pretty well. I apply this after my hydrating toners, exfoliants, treatments and it serves as the perfect seal to prevent loss of moisture throughout the night. I mostly use it in the PM routine as my sunscreen is moisturizing enough and it can be a tad bit much for daytime use.
Content, Price & Packaging: 50ml at N3,000 – N4,000 ($7.7 – $10.3). Can’t remember the exact price. Purchased from HealthPlus Pharmacy (you can find them in any mall). It comes in a sturdy jar packaging; doesn’t feel cheap at all. It lasted for about two months. A little goes a long way!
Pros: Meets the brand’s claims of ‘brightening and restoring natural suppleness & hydration level’. Can’t comment on it evening out my skin tone, not even after using it for more than *4 weeks as the brand claims. It just helped keep my skin radiant. Since I started using it, I noticed my skin was never dull.
Cons: It stings! Yes! I wasn’t expecting that either. Although, I was on Adapalene at the time, I’m pretty sure my skin barrier was intact so that’s definitely not the reason. Most likely the Fragrance or Lactic acid; Lactic acid is supposed to be gentle on the skin. Although the concentration isn’t stated, it’s high up on the INCI so who knows? As for fragrance, I usually don’t react to fragrance but this one has a chock full of fragrance. I wonder how I skipped that while making my impulse purchase.
Of course I kept using it because I wasn’t about to waste a moisturizer (please don’t be like me), especially not with the lockdown. With time, it got better. It’ll sting for a few seconds after application before my skin returns to normal.
How I managed the stinging: I’d mix a tiny amount with my handy Aloe Vera gel (not plant) in a 1:1 ratio. Whenever I did this, I didn’t feel even the slightest tingling.
Verdict: I really wanted to love this cream as it’s highly moisturizing but I can’t afford to put my skin through another episode of inconvenience, especially for a product I’ll be using daily. I will not be repurchasing this!
RCMA No-Color Powder
Even if you don’t wear makeup, your slicky nose and forehead could use some setting powder, especially if you wear a greasy sunscreen. Can’t relate but you probably can. Lol Jk. The RCMA is a lightweight, translucent, finely milled setting powder. Lawwd she is so smooth! This powder is perfect for baking, setting, catching eyeshadow fallout, and buffing out makeup to give a flawless finish.
Texture & Application: Like I mentioned earlier, she is so finely milled and smoooooth! I apply this either with a tapered brush or semi-damp beauty blender to set the concealer under my eyes and my T-zone as well. I usually don’t set the rest of my face. I just sweep all over with whatever powder’s left on the brush.
Content, Price & Packaging: 3 oz./85g for N6,190 (£12) from Beauty Bay (they don’t deliver to Nigeria but it’s not hard to find here; a lot of vendors stock it). I got this as far back as June, 2017 and I only emptied it in June, 2020; which is a really long time for someone who wears makeup regularly. I even gave some out to a friend at a point. Yet, it lasted this long. The packaging is basic, lightweight, and easy to carry around.
Pros: Gives a smooth finish. It does a decent job at keeping the oils at bay throughout the day. Amazing value for your money!
Cons: The packaging is quite annoying. The dispenser is so large that you always end up dispensing more than you need. Tip: Decant this into another powder package if you have one.
More Cons: It is not so translucent on deeper skin tones, especially when you use it on bare skin without any makeup base. I’ve used it on a few darker clients and I also noticed that it kinda flattens out the under eye. You may still need to go over with a warm flesh toned powder.
Of course, you can make it work if you’re about that hack life but I just wanted to put this out there.
Verdict: I just got another translucent powder (for exploring purposes) as a replacement for this one and it doesn’t come close. I will most definitely repurchase the RCMA No-Color Powder!
Have you tried any of these products? What was your experience like?
If you made it this far, thank you for your time! What products did you empty recently? Hit or Miss? I’ll like to know.