Skyn Iceland Brightening Eye Serum

Today’s spotlight is on the Brightening Eye Serum from Skyn Iceland.

This is a hydrating, lightweight gel that sinks into skin quickly. A little truly goes a long way: I use one small drop for both eyes. I chose this because I tend to get irritation and puffiness around my eyes and thicker gels/creams always exacerbate it. This provides immediate and long-lasting hydration without feeling heavy. I have not seen any skin brightening from this product, but I appreciate how it decreases any redness I may have and slightly plumps and smooths. I typically use this once a day in the AM.

Skyn Iceland focuses on stressed skin with their products, and with that in mind this eye serum is brilliant. Ingredients include a vast array of peptides, glycerin, centella asiatica extract, chamomile extract, cucumber extract, and their signature Icelandic Complex. Previous to this, I had been using Niod’s Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate, another eye serum which mainly targets signs of aging and is highly favored in skincare circles. For my needs, I prefer the Brightening Eye Serum. It quickly targets my concerns, which are dehydration, stress, and puffiness. It is also slightly thicker than FECC and seems to boost hydration in the skin for a longer period of time.

Overall, I love this product, and even at $40 retail price it is worth the purchase for me.

Links:

Skyn Iceland Brightening Eye Serum | Ulta Beauty

*at the time of writing, this product is on sale at Ulta for $30

Spring/Summer Morning Skincare Routine (featuring Dermalogica)

These products are the current staples in my morning routine. I recently incorporated the serum (so I only have a first impression of that so far), and some mornings I add in a self-tan product and/or an eye product.

The Active Clay Cleanser is a clay-based cleanser featuring prebiotics, bioflavonoids, tea tree oil, glycerin, and aloe. It helps to balance out excess oil while cleansing and leaves skin feeling refreshed and calm. It is not stripping at all to skin; it feels like a typical hydrating gel/cream cleanser with the added benefit of the oil-control ingredients. Love it for the warmer months when my face tends to get sweaty and oily.

Multi-Active Toner is the perfect lightweight layer of hydration to prep skin after cleansing. It delivers natural moisturizing factors to the skin to boost up hydration and soothes skin with Arnica, Balm Mint, and Lavender. Coming in at 8.4 oz, you can expect the full size bottle to last awhile. The spray can be a bit messy and forceful, but I get around this (somewhat) by spraying in half-pumps instead of pressing down all the way.

Smart Response Serum is officially being released on June 3rd here in the US. Being the freak that I am, I took advantage of a pre-release Dermalogica offered during their official announcement of the product. It boasts next-generation technology which activates the ingredients in the formula only when it senses the skin’s need to utilize them, and that intrigued me enough to purchase it. The actives featured are Oligosaccharides from Beta Glucan (which target dehydration), Hydrolyzed Wheat Flour (which targets dark spots), Japanese Cornelia Cherry (which targets redness), and Mannose-6-Phosphate (which targets fine lines and wrinkles). Other ingredients include Glycerin, Niacinamide, and Hyaluronic Acid. It is on the thicker side of the serum segment, verging on a lightweight lotion texture. It spreads easily and immediately hydrates and slightly smooths the surface of the skin. I find that I prefer to skip moisturizer when wearing this and go straight to SPF. I have used this for three days now, so my only thoughts at this point are that it is a pleasure to use and it keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day.

Lastly, Prisma Protect has been a staple SPF in my routine since I first discovered it. It is a light-to-medium weight formula that provides a beautiful satin sheen to skin without being overtly glowy or shiny. It smells like citrus candy when first applied (dissipates quickly, though). It utilizes traditional chemical filters, so there is no trace of white cast or grittiness. It feels smooth and luxurious to apply and hydrates and moisturizes without feeling heavy, greasy, or irritating to skin. It does look a bit shiny when first applied, but when it has set up on skin for several minutes it looks and feels amazing. It is not water or sweat resistant, so if I am going to be outdoors or working up a sweat then I make sure to reapply periodically. I have reapplied using a number of other sunscreens and they have all set up smoothly and without pilling. Love. Period.

Dermalogica has been a brand that has consistently delivered and been a pleasure to use, and I always look forward to my routine when their products are in the mix.

Links:

Cleanser: Active Clay Cleanser, Prebiotic Cleanser, Charcoal Face Wash For Oily Skin | Dermalogica®

Toner: Multi-Active Toner, Hydrating Spray Toner | Dermalogica®

Serum: Smart Response Serum | Dermalogica®

SPF: Prisma Protect SPF30, SPF Face Moisturizer | Dermalogica®

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance

What it is: A moisturizing treatment for face/neck/decollete

What it does: Deeply hydrates and fortifies the skin

Star ingredients: Barrier repairing lipids, Hyaluronic Acid, Echinacea, Centella Asiatica, Chlorella Algea complex, Ceramides

Review:

This is at the forefront of my favorite moisturizing products ever. I’m on my second supersize tube of it and have yet to come across another product that is in the same league as this cream in terms of performance. It does exactly what it says in the name: it intensely moisturizes and balances the skin, and it does so without shouting “Hi, I’m on your face!” It effortlessly blends into the skin and leaves it feeling like, well, skin. Calm and comforted, hydrated and healthy.

This is exceptional for me during the colder winter months (I live in Michigan) and for the havoc that wearing a mask for long periods of time wreaks on the skin. I can wear this during the day or in the evening, although I generally save it for evening use as my morning routine works well for me without it. It gives me the needed extra oomph in restoring my skin after the day’s activities and keeps it hydrated and protected throughout the night. It does not have any discernible scent to it, just smells like product (does that even make any sense?). It is lightweight and smooth and glides on like a lipid-rich lotion, and a pea-size amount goes a long way. My first 3.4 oz version lasted me almost nine months with regular nighttime use.

This is a product that knows its purpose and delivers, straight and to the point. And for a time and a season such as this current one, that is exactly what I need and what I think a lot of others need, too. Highly recommend. For a lighter moisturizer option, Dermalogica’s Skin Smoothing Cream is also perfection, though more suited for the summertime for me.

Purchase: Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance | Ulta Beauty

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser

What it is: A facial cleanser

What it does: Nurtures skin (especially dry or sensitive) with a gentle, hydrating cleanse

Star ingredients: Goat Milk, Avocado Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Manuka Honey, Glycerin

Review:

I never thought I’d be someone to really enjoy a cream cleanser. I’ve always preferred the lightweight gel formulas, but this winter my skin had been experiencing some surface dehydration and I could not for the life of me figure it out. My routine was on point in terms of hydration and protection, so I was a bit confused until it finally entered my brain that maybe my cleansing process had something to do with it.

I had this cleanser on hand so I decided to swap the others out for this one. I was a little nervous at first because one of them included salicylic acid and that was how I was incorporating that ingredient into my routine. But a few days in and it was obvious that my problem had been remedied. My skin no longer looked dry after cleansing (like there was a layer of translucent skin sitting on the surface of my face) and it felt very calm and balanced. The products I applied afterward also seemed to settle in and do their thing more efficaciously. I have continued to use it since then and am still thoroughly appreciating it.

It has the rich, slick texture of an oil-rich cream, but does not feel heavy or suffocating. It spreads very easily and creates the tiniest bit of lather when introduced to water. It cleanses thoroughly and rinses off completely with no feeling of residue, yet the skin doesn’t feel like it has been depleted of moisture. I use this as the second step of my double cleanse, but I have used it as the first step as well and it performed very well at destroying the layers of sunscreen that I typically wear. The scent is very light and refreshing and makes this step of my routine a bit more enjoyable. I may go back to my gel cleansers in the summer when the heat and humidity level is much higher and the dryness might not be an issue, but as of right now I have no reason to stop using this product. Easily my favorite product out of the few cream cleansers that I have tried and I highly recommend it.

Price: $38

Purchase at: https://www.sephora.com/product/goat-milk-moisturizing-cleanser-P440305

Special shoutout to Gino for appearing in the photo.

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum

What it is: A facial serum

What it does: Hydrates, evens skin tone and texture, encourages cellular renewal

Star ingredients: Retinol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Coq10, Honey, Algae Extract

Review: I have a soft spot for this product, as it is the first retinol/vitamin A serum that I ever used and it brought about remarkable change to my skin. I started using this when my skin was very dehydrated, sensitive, rough, and prone to breakouts and I was desperate for some “remodeling.” I was hesitant to start using a retinol (let alone a prescription-strength retinoid) because of the irritation and skin peeling that is a common side effect, and chose this product because it is a very hydrating, soothing formula and because the retinol is encapsulated, which means a sustained, gradual delivery into the skin. It is a lightweight, runny lotion that feels very hydrating when applied and sinks in quickly, leaving a silky finish on the skin. It has sort of a funky smell that lingers for awhile after it is applied, however it was not pervasive or bothersome for me. I did not experience any noticeable irritation or redness with this product, and I used it nightly and would follow it with a light moisturizer. It was worth the investment: after about a month and a half of consistent use my face felt completely different. The inflammation and sensitivity in my skin was gone and I could not believe how smooth it was to the touch. After struggling with my skin since my early teens, I cannot tell you how amazing it was to see such positive change in my skin. Needless to say, retinol and other vitamin A derivatives have become a pillar of my routine. If you are looking for a retinoid product that will improve your skin at a low risk of irritation, I highly recommend this option.

Price: $85-$122

Purchase at: https://www.dermstore.com/product_A+HighDose+Retinoid+Serum_80441.htm