Hi family, how’s it hanging? I mentioned in my Skincare Routine: AM and PM post that I would be trying out some cheaper alternatives to my current routine and today I am presenting you with a review on just that. I’ve been using all of these products for just over a week now. Typically, I say to use skincare for 3-6 weeks to see the full effects, but I am very attuned to my skin and because I’ve been an avid skincare user for years now, I can usually tell if I like something immediately after I put it on my face. But, I gave all these products a fair chance and a full 7-9 days to wow me. Lets get into it
Garnier SkinActive Refreshing Gel Cream ($8.97 CAD).
★ / ★★★★★
Claims: “Garnier Moisture Rescue captures the power of antioxidant fruit water* to replenish skin’s moisture reserve to help defend skin from external aggressors, like the drying effects of the sun and wind. Infused with Vitamin E, this ultra lightweight gel-cream texture is instantly absorbed to help maintain skin’s moisture barrier, protecting against dryness.”
Review: I’m not in love with this product. The first time I used it, the gel consistency felt really hydrating and smoothing. Although it took a long time to absorb into my skin, it did leave it feeling moisturized…but then about 20 minutes later, my skin felt odd; I want to describe it as kind of tacky, but also tight and honestly kind of scaley? My skin is very normal (i.e. not dry) and once a good moisturizer is applied, it feels soft and hydrated inside and out. It looks plump and glossy and the surface feels baby soft. This product just didn’t leave my skin feeling that way, so this one will sit in the ‘backup skincare’ drawer in case of emergencies. Any good drugstore moisturizer reccommendations?
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80 CAD)
★★★★ / ★★★★★
Claims: “This formulation combines low, medium, and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, as well as a next-generation H.A. crosspolymer at a combined concentration of two percent for multi-depth hydration. This system is supported with the addition of B5 for enhanced hydration.”
Review: First of all, don’t pay attention to all the chemsitry-talk, all of that was just a fancy way of saying “it’ll hold a lot of moisture and lock it in with molecules that bind together”. And, if you’ve been around since before this blog got a makeover, you’ll know ♥ hyaluronic acid ♥ is my favourite chemical, so I might be biased towards this product. I will be doing a skincare post in the next few weeks explaining chemicals in simple terms so you know what to look for in skincare ingredients lists, and you’ll understand this kind of serum a little better. Anyway, I love this serum. It immediately sinks into the skin and begins hydrating from the inside out.The only thing I don’t love about this product is I feel like I have to use a lot more than the reccommended amount to cover my whole face; it doesn’t spread well. But for less than $7, I really shouldn’t complain.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion ($9.80 CAD)
★★★ / ★★★★★
Claims: “A stable serum emulsion of a next-generation retinoid active that achieves better reduction in visible signs of aging than retinol—without irritation.”
Review: Since that claim didn’t exactly explain much, the idea of a retinoid is meant to simulate the production of skin cells. Our skin cells ‘turn over’ (i.e. renew themselves) about once a month for people over 19, and once every 45-90 days for people over 50. That means the same skin cell is sitting on your face for longer and longer as we age; if the skin isn’t renewing itself (or is renewing itself super slowly), it makes the skin look older and emphasizes fine lines, pores, and can even cause breakouts due to the same bacteria-ridden skin cell sitting on your face for up to 90 days before it is replaced. SO, a retinoid encourages the skin cells to replace themselves at a faster rate –> brighter, fresher skin, reducing the look of fine lines, wrinkles, pores, and acne. I gave this retinoid three stars because I am confident it would work for anyone else, but I have tough skin and I can handle a decend amount of retinols and acids. While the product worked slightly and I noticed a minor improvement in my skin, it was too gentle for me. It is always better to start with a diluted retinoid and work your way up to stronger solutions because they are very potent; I am going to try the stronger version now that I know I can handle it (5% instead of 2%) and I think the results will be faster and stronger!
Roger & Gallet Aura Mirabilis Beauty Vinegar ($25 CAD)
★★★★★ / ★★★★★
Claims: “Ideal for prepping the skin, this formula should be used as a toner, just after cleansing. It helps to gently eliminate dead cells, while preparing the skin for the products that follow. It leaves skin feeling smooth, refines skin’s texture, and helps to tighten pores and clarify the complexion, so that every day, skin looks luminous, pure and radiant. Towards the end of the 18th century, cleansing vinegars, formulated with natural essences and fruit vinegars, were used for their astringent and exfoliating properties. Inspired by these toners of the past, the Beauty Vinegar harnesses is infused with 96 percent naturally derived ingredients with the properties of 18 officinal plants that are infused with a fruit vinegar.”
Review: Hate the name, love the product. Although this product is not the cheapest, nor is it drugstore (find it at Sephora Online), it is slightly better than the $36 Caudalie toner in my Skincare AM and PM post, and I truly believe in investing in a good toner. Although it is becoming more and more common to omit alcohols from toners, most drugstore brands continue to add them and alcohol is a big no-no for the skin. This product smells amazing, and does exactly as it claims. It is gentle enough for the eye area to remove leftover makeup after cleansing, and prepares my skin for the rest of the regimen to follow. Toning is my favourite part of skincare because it makes sure the skin is super clean, removes excess makeup that your cleanser missed, and even removes any traces of cleanser leftover. It truly is an underrated product and this one will be repurchased for sure.
What products from the list have you tried before, or which ones are you going to try now that I’ve reviewed them? Also, let me know what your fav drugstore/affordable skin products are!
Until next time,