Nair Hair Remover Moisturizing Face Cream: I used this to remove the peach fuzz on my upper lip. That’s a really important step for me because I have dark hair, and it makes my upper lip look darker than the rest of my face, and when I wear lipstick, the contrast makes the area look even darker, plus getting rid of the hair allows my makeup to go on smoother.
So, the way it works: you’re supposed to apply a thick layer of the product to desired area on the face (upper lip, cheek, chin), obviously, avoid getting this around/in your eye, and inside your nose and/or mouth. Leave it on for at least 5 minutes, but no more than 10, then wipe it off with a damp washcloth/paper towel. That gets off the hair, and all you have to do right after is wash the area with lukewarm water. For me, 5 minutes wasn’t long enough for the product to work, but when I left it on for 8 minutes, all the hairs were properly removed. Let’s say you leave it on for 5 minutes and it doesn’t get all the hair, you absolutely shouldn’t apply this again right after, or even on the same day (my sister did that and got burned), wait a day or two before reapplying or just shave the rest off. Per the instructions, you definitely shouldn’t leave this on any longer than 10 mins (set a timer), it could irritate your skin, and before using this product for the first time, make sure to test it in a small area of your face first, to see if it’s inflammatory to your skin, also be sure to avoid using this on acne, and open wounds.
After going through about 6 of these, I eventually stopped buying this product because I hate the packaging. It always got really messy, even though I was really careful about not squeezing out to much product, and always kept the cap clean. The opening gets clogged up with the dried up product from previous uses, that it always gets difficult to close the cap completely. The cap needs to be closed completely, if not, the product gets exposed to air and becomes less potent, and when this happens (which was all the time), you can leave this product on for 9 minutes and not a single hair will be removed. Now I just shave the hairs, for me it’s better because it’s quicker (I don’t have to wait 8 minutes, especially if I’m in a rush), if your skin doesn’t react well to depilatory creams, then shaving or waxing are probably better options. I wouldn’t recommend shaving/waxing to anyone who is prone to ingrown hairs, so Nair might be the best option.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser (Creamy Formula): this is a pretty basic cleanser in terms of ingredients, and what it does for my skin. It’s oil, fragrance, and sulfate-free, the texture of this cleanser is more of a gel, not creamy, and it doesn’t foam. I like using it for my morning cleanse on days when my skin isn’t feeling dry, just to get off the products, sweat, and oil from the night before. If I’ve done a clarifying mask, or some sort of exfoliating treatment at night, then I’d want to be really gentle on my skin in the morning, and I’d reach for this cleanser. It’s never irritated or dried out my skin, I wouldn’t use this for makeup removal because I think there are other products that are more effective for the task. This is a great for second cleanses, and as a morning cleanser.
This is one of those cleansers that would work well on every skin type, especially sensitive skins, it’s also a great value for money 12fl.oz/354ml for less than $10, the average drugstore cleanser costs about the same for 6fl.oz/180ml.
Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser: got discontinued, sadly. This was a cream cleanser, and unlike the Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, this contained some oils, but despite this, the results were similar to the ultra gentle. I never repurchased this because I couldn’t justify repurchasing both since the ultra gentle worked out to be the better deal.
Sanitas Glycotoner 5% (old packaging, now called GlycoSolution 5%): My skin has changed for the better ever since I started using AHAs (glycolic acid to be exact), I explained more about AHAs in my post about getting glowing skin. Nothing has made a more dramatic difference in my skin than the Sanitas GlycoSolution toners (available in 5%, 10%, and 15%). I’ve used up 4 bottles of the 5%, and I’m currently on my 2nd bottle of the 10%. This stuff changes the texture of my skin overnight, if my skin is feeling dry, flaky and is looking dull, I apply this toner with a cotton pad after cleansing my face, let it set for a few minutes, the follow up with the rest of my nighttime routine. And I tell you, the next day, my skin looks smooth, tight, and glowing. At one point, I was so addicted to this toner that I would use it every other day (instructions advise to use 3 times per week). It didn’t irritate my skin, plus there are people who acid tone everyday, and are completely fine. If you have sensitive skin, I wouldn’t advise acid toning as often as I did.
Keep in mind that eventually, your skin becomes accustomed to a certain percentage, so you would eventually have to increase the percentage to see new results. This is why after using up 4 bottles of the 5%, I could tell that I wasn’t getting the same results as I did in the beginning, and as soon as I started using the 10%, I started getting the results I wanted again. When I got the 10%, I decided to be more judicious about how often I use it, right now, I use it about once a month, but I acid tone with my Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner (which is a 2%) 3 times a week for maintenance. Sanitas has recently changed the packaging, and slightly changed the formula, this toner contains lemon, and orange peel oils (both essential oils, which I’m not a fan of) but they are closer to the end of the ingredients list. I’ve compared the ingredients in this toner to a lot of other ones, and I find that this is a much better formula because it contains no alcohol, certain other popular AHA toners like the Alpha H Liquid Gold (which I’ve tried, wasn’t impressed) contain so much alcohol, in fact alcohol is the 2nd ingredient, and glycolic acid is the 5th in Liquid Gold. As for the GlycoSolution toners, glycolic acid is the 3rd ingredient in the 5% after water and glycine, the 10%, and 15% have glycolic acid as the second ingredients after water.
In my opinion, the GlycoSolutions work out to be the best value for money based on formula, amount of product, and price. I always advise anyone who wants to start using glycolic acid, to start with the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, it has 2% glycolic acid, but it’s effective. You have to start low, and work your way up for your skin to build tolerance, and always wear sunscreen, exposing your skin to sun damage basically undoes all the good stuff you’re doing for your skin.
e.l.f. Illuminating Eye Cream: this eye cream has some great ingredients, like: cucumber fruit extract, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and green tea extract, but it doesn’t live up to the claim that it can “minimize the appearance of dark circle.” Nothing from the ingredients list leads me to believe that this claim can be substantiated. It’s a good enough eye cream that is great for hydrating the under eye area, it’s rich and hydrating without being heavy or oily. I loved applying it in the morning because it wears well under makeup, never made my makeup slide around in the under eye area even though it contains oil.
If you’re looking for a basic eye cream for hydration, and don’t have issues with puffiness/dark circles, then the e.l.f. eye cream is a good choice. I wish it didn’t come in jar packaging, it’s the worst way to package eye cream, it’s unsanitary, all the product gets exposed to air, and when I repurchased it, I accidentally dropped it in my bathroom and lost all my eye cream to the floor.
Andalou Naturals Luminous Eye Serum (old packaging): I love this eye cream, it’s my go-to daytime eye cream. It’s packed full of amazing ingredients like aloe juice, vitamin c, green tea, cucumber, turmeric root extracts, and more. It’s a light gel that can be applied on its own, or applied under a richer eye cream. I do both depending on how dry my skin feels. This stuff wears well under makeup, it definitely hydrates, but I’ve never noticed my under eyes being noticeably lighter, tighter, and brighter in appearance, as the company claims. I would know, I’m on my second tube. The tube packaging is great, makes application easy, and keeps things sanitary.
Indeed Labs Eysilix: I don’t think this eye cream lived up to all the claims to “help minimize the look of puffiness, dark circles, crow’s feet lines and wrinkles.” To be fair, I’m probably not the right person to judge the effectiveness of this eye cream because I’m in my early 20s, I don’t have crow’s feet lines, and wrinkles around my eyes, I also don’t experience puffiness. I don’t have dark circles either but the inner corners of my under eyes are darker than the center of my face, and I never saw that they were noticeably less dark due to Eysilix. I never repurchased because it really didn’t live up to the claims, but it was hydrating, I like the tube packaging, but there are other eye creams that perform similarly that cost less.
Andalou Naturals Ultra Sheer Daily Defense Facial Lotion with SPF 18 (old packaging): essentially, this is a rich daytime moisturizer with SPF. SPF 18 is a little low for sun protection, I generally prefer SPF 20 and above, but I only wear this if I know I’m not going to be outside for an extended period of time. Just like a lot of Andalou Naturals products, it’s packed with a ton of great ingredients like CoQ10, licorice root extract, rosehip fruit oil, etc. It’s a rich moisturizer, it’s really not as lightweight as they claim, so I would only recommend it to people with normal to dry skin. If you have sensitive skin, I wouldn’t recommend this moisturizer due to the chemical sunscreens in it (octisalate, octocrylene, avobenzone), it also contains tangerine and orange peel oils (both essential oils, gives the product a delicious citrus scent), as I always say, I’m not a fan of essential oils in skincare, but they’re the last two ingredients so it’s not that big a deal to me. This is one of my favorite daytime moisturizers and I repurchased.