It's been particularly cold outside and cold winds aren't doing our skin any favours. My skin is constantly dry and I've been taking a closer look at my skincare routine to help it out. I've had the chance to try out a handful of skincare brands recently and now that I've tried a few, I'd like to talk to you about my top 3 skincare brands I am using at the moment.
In no particular order, here they are:
1. Drunk Elephant ($$$)
I know, I know, it's really expensive. Not going to lie, I would have never bought these products without trying them first. Thankfully, they were so nice and sent me most of the line to test out. Since the products are pricey, I've narrowed it down to MUSTS if you are on a tight budget. All the products work really well, but some products have similar alternatives in other, less costly brands so I'll be focusing on the winning items:
The Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil ($90)
I am a huge fan of facial oils since using this product. It doesn't smell like much, it leaves your skin super hydrated and soft and a little bit goes a long way. It's my GO-TO facial oil!
The T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum ($112)
This product is great if you have uneven skin tone, dullness and uneven texture and it also helps the pores. My skin always feels good the next day! When you put it on, there is a slight tingly sensation and it makes me feel like its working. I wouldn't recommend using it every day, but it's definitely good to use every few days for smoother, healthier skin.
The Lala Retro Whipped Cream ($75)
It's very thick and gives a very hydrating rescue to your skin. I probably wouldn't use it in the summer given how thick it is, but it's perfect for this harsh winter weather. My favorite way to use it is mixed in with some marula oil for optimal hydration.
If you want to try the Marula Oil and the Night Serum, Sephora sells a duo of mini versions of the two products together in a kit for only $36! It's the perfect way to see if the products are really for you :)
2. Biossance ($$)
Biossance is a clean skincare brand that I love for many reasons:
1. It's non toxic, which means there are no harsh chemicals and all their products are free of toxins.
2. It's sustainable in both its packaging and its formula.
3. It's cruelty free.
4. It works WONDERS on all skins and is designed for sensitive skins.
5. They work to make the world a better place. Their lab has also worked to develop an accessible cure to malaria.
Their line is focused around squalane as an integral ingredient to their products. Squalane is an agent that is natural produced by the human body, but it's production significantly decreases as women age. It's part of what makes our own natural moisture in our skin. Biossance derives it from plants and adds it to their products, making for a HELLA moist brand ;) Here are my winning items:
The Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil ($36)
I had never used an oil cleanser before trying this one so I didn't know what to expect and I ended up being obsessed. I always thought of an oil cleanser as counter intuitive, like there would be oil residue left on the skin, but not at all! It always left my skin super clean, without striping it of all its moisture! And priced at $36, it's very affordable!
The Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel ($68)
Guys if you only buy 1 eye gel in your life..BUY THIS ONE. I ordered a sample size of it from their website and used it for the first time last September when I was in New York City. I thought I looked tired so I applied some to my eye area. I was SHOOK. And that is not a word I like to use lightly. Guys, I swear my under eyes had never felt so smooth and hydrated.
Beauty queen Camila Coelho uses her eye gel to do a mini lymphatic massage in the eye area, check out the video here at 3:21 if you want to see how to use it!
The Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil ($90)
Last but not least, I present to you the facial oil. It is quite similar to the Marula oil from Drunk Elephant in function. I honestly wouldn't be able to pick one over the other so I would say to stick to the same brand of the other products in your routine. If you are using a Biossance serum for example, I would finish off with the Biossance oil and, likewise, if you were using the Night Serum or whipped cream from Drunk Elephant, I would end the routine with the Marula oil!
If you want to try out some Biossance products without breaking the bank, Sephora sells a Love Your Face kit that includes 5 mini products for $53: the cleansing oil, the eye gel, the rose oil, the serum (which also works amazing) and their omega repair cream (which I have never tried, but have read good reviews about it)!
3. Summer Fridays ($$)
Ahhhh don't you wish it was a summer Friday today? (Sorry I had to). Onto another skincare favorite: Summer Fridays. The brand currently has 3 products, all masks. All serve very different purposes so I want to help you understand the differences and I've also ranked them. I get a lot of questions about this brand and which product they should buy first. The masks are definitely quite pricey if you are used to buying $5 face masks at your local drugstore, so people usually want to try 1 out first. Hopefully after reading this segment you guys will have a clearer idea which one to buy!
1. Overtime Mask ($54)
There you have it: my favorite Summer Fridays product. I use it every week or two. I try to space it out so I don't run out of product too soon! The overtime mask is an exfoliating mask. It smells like pumpkin spice and chai latte mixed together. It provides a really efficient exfoliation, leaving your skin smelling amazing and remarkably smooth while the cleansing oils inside the product are strong antioxidants that help with circulation. Even after washing the product off my fingers, I've noticed my fingers felt so much softer.
Now here's the thing about the price that I feel people are forgetting:
A. Their products are certified clean by Sephora and are completely safe for everyone, even if you are pregnant!
B. Individual sheet masks at Sephora are $8 a pop. You can easily get over 10 uses out of all the Summer Fridays products, and I'm being very conservative. 10 Sephora masks would cost you $80. This product will cost you $54. And it's cuter. Just saying :)
2. R+R Mask ($68)
If I could, I would give a silver medal to both the Jet Lag mask and the R+R mask. All their products work really well and they all have their own great properties! If you saw my IGTV review of the R+R mask, then you know I really love it. It smells ah-mazing, even better than the overtime I think, and it provides a very calming experience and leaves your skin with a stunning glow from the essential oils inside the product. I use this mask for a relaxing experience, like my own little "spa day" treatment. If you're in need of me-time, want a break from the real world or you want a natural glow, THIS is your mask.
3. Jet Lag Mask ($59)
The jet lag mask was their first product and quickly became a staple product in people's routines. Here's how I honestly feel about it. It does exactly what it claims, which is a great start. It is a very thick cream in consistency so I believe it would work best on people with dry skin. Given I have somewhat oily skin, I think it was a little too thick. HOWEVER, I found it worked amazing when used after the overtime mask given skin exfoliation somewhat strips the moisture from your skin and especially since the cold weather has got us in desperate need of hydration. I also use it daily as a moisturizer around the eye area, a trick I stole from Melany Cecilia, to brighten the eye area and help with dark circles.
The reason I placed it in last place is because I have yet to find a product that compares to the Overtime mask, or even the R+R mask, while other products can easily be a substitute to the jet lag mask, for instance, the Drunk Elephant whipped cream mentioned above has a similar effect in my opinion. If you already have a moisturizer/cream that works for YOU then I think you should stick to that one and splurge on one of the masks instead :)
However, for the purpose of this article, I wanted to recommend 1 for those who are on a budget and who are testing the Summer Friday's waters and I think overtime is a sure winner and I don't think you could ever be disappointed trying it out first!
4. Nivea ($)
Last, but never least, we have Nivea. I love Nivea because it's affordable and it works. Nivea is the only brand in this article that you can find at your local drugstore. They have the perfect products to carry around in your handbag. I personally always carry around a lip balm and hand cream of theirs! So I've rounded up my 3 favorite products of their below:
1. The in-shower body lotion (approx. $15)
This product is amazing for hydrating your skin. Think of it as conditioner for your skin. It laters on and immediately creates a moisture barrier in the shower. Often when you take hot showers, the water can strip your skin from all its moisture, so this product prevents that.
2. Gentle cleansing wipes (approx. $10)
The only cleansing wipes I use. I think that's all you need to know.
3. 2-in-1 Moisturizing Primer Normal Skin (approx. $11)
I used to use this product every night after washing my skin before I started using drunk elephant. It's a great product to put on in the morning before heading out because it absorbs into your skin immediately and doesn't feel greasy at all. It also doubles as a primer to apply before your usual makeup routine.
So there you have it everyone! Let me know if you try any of the products mentioned above and comment your favorite skincare brand below if its not in the article!