The lovely people at SkinStore let me pick out a few new products to try out, and I happily obliged. It's like giving a kid free reign in a candy store! SkinStore is an online shop that I ordered from numerous times in the past and their selection just keeps getting better each time I visit. We're talking copious amounts of skincare, makeup, haircare, body care and beauty tools to choose from and discount codes running frequently, which sweetens the deal. What I love most about the site is the selection - from medical grade skincare like Obagi and SkinCeuticals to French pharmacy stars La Roche Posay and NUXE; from cult faves iS Clinical and Paula's Choice to Juice Beauty, Tracie Martyn, Illamasqua and RMS Beauty I found myself making multiple lists and checking them twice.
I focused on skincare because, as you probably know, I am an absolute skincare junkie. I selected some items from tried-and-true brands Murad and PCA Skin and was happily surprised by some extra goodies by the likes of Show Beauty and iS Clinical in the shipment. Here are my initial impressions!
PCA Skin Clearskin Moisturizer and BPO 5% Cleanser
Does it contain artificial fragance? No.
What is the texture like? Lightweight, refreshing, absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue.
Who is it best suited for? Normal/Combination/Oily skin prone to acne, redness and congestion.
What's in it? See picture below.
My first experience with PCA Skin was a few years ago when I had a series of professional peels done with their products at my dermatologist's office. I had really nice results and would recommend them wholeheartedly to tackle post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne. I was watching Claire Marshall and she mentioned these two products from the range. Clearskin is a lightweight moisturizer loaded with ingredients my skin is loving at the moment. Niacinamide, I'm looking at you. It's fragrance free, has a light quick-absorbing texture, and will be a wonderful replacement to my Paula's Choice Clear Skin Hydrator which I have almost used up.
BPO 5% Cleanser is a gentle daily cleanser formulated with 5% liquid benzoyl peroxide. My skin has responded incredibly well to benzoyl peroxide as an acne treatment so I figured this will be a good morning cleanser for me. I swear by Kate Somerville AntiBac as a spot treatment in the evenings and had never seen a cleanser with this acne-fighting ingredient before. I'm looking forward to see what this cleanser does to my skin.
Does it contain artificial fragrance? No. It does have a very very light citrus scent from the grapefruit peel oil but it's quite pleasant and it doesn't linger on the skin.
What is the texture like? Milky lotion texture, non-foaming, rinses clean with water or with the help of a washcloth. Doesn't leave a residue on the skin and doesn't make my skin feel tight and dry afterwards.
Who is it best suited for? Any skin type prone to acne, except for sensitive skin.
What's in it? See picture below.
Show Beauty Working Texture Spray
Move over, Oribe, there's a new texturizing spray in town. I was blown away by this. I heard of SHOW Beauty hair products before because I'm an avid consumer of UK beauty culture but never played with them first hand. So far it's a stellar first impression. The packaging is so glamorous! It also smells like candy and makes my hair look HUGE, in the best way possible.
I have very fine thin hair so anything that helps beef up the texture in my mane to give the illusion of more hair, I'm all for it. This is what my hair looked like the first time I sprayed it into my beach waves. Instant "oomph!"
It has a wetter spray than Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and is more gritty in the hair. By no means is it unbearable, and the volume and thickness it adds to the hair is absolutely worth it. Plus, it smells like candy. What more can a girl want?
iS Clinical Hydra-Intensive Cooling Masque
This product was a pleasant surprise in the package I received. iS Clinical is a skincare brand that is often mentioned in interviews by celebrity facialist Shani Darden. She regularly touches the faces of some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood - from Kim Kardashian to Jessica Alba and Rosie Huntingon-Whiteley - so needless to say my ears always perk up when she talks about skincare products she loves using on her clients. This brand is mentioned almost every single time.
This face mask has a gorgeous thick gel consistency and has an instant cooling effect on the skin. It's perfect for summer time if you've spent too much time in the sun and are looking to rehydrate and soothe your skin. The brand's website touts this product as "a rich, luxurious cooling treatment designed to reinvigorate, refresh and provide soothing hydration. This professional strength formula (available for home-use) features natural botanical antioxidants Centella Asiatica, Resveratrol, Green Tea, Aloe Vera, and Rosemary Extracts, which are perfectly balanced with botanically sourced Hyaluronic Acid - nature’s most powerful hydrator." Count me in!
Last but certainly not least, the skincare product I have been using the most frequently since its arrival...
Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum
It's a clear gel containing glycolic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and 2% hydroquinone to help fade pesky pigmentation. In my case it's post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne, but it works well on sun damage as well. I apply this on clean skin in the evening (one pump of the clear gel is all I need) on the areas of concern. It has a slightly astringent quality to it and it's quite strong so if you have sensitive skin, make sure you ease into it and don't start applying it on a daily basis. I use it a couple of times a week and while my old acne scars are still present, their appearance is starting to soften. I can't wait to see the results a couple of months down the line!
Big thanks to SkinStore for letting me explore new beauty options. I'm super excited to have these goodies in my lineup and I strongly encourage you to peruse their amazing selection of products. They currently have a 20% off discount and a free gift offer with code "CUSTOMER" - so it's the perfect time to try something new!