Skincare Journal 05

Back at it again with the Drunk Elephant, I have been trailing a few different products from the line these past three weeks in a follow-up to my original post. This time it’s been about C-Firma Day Serum, T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, and Marula Oil. This is my first proper trial of a vitamin C product (the first was a dalliance with Indeed Laboratories C24) and my goal is to drench my skin in antioxidants while correcting post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. I am using T.L.C as a night serum, alternating with Differin, in an effort to correct surface irregularities. As a final step, a little layer of Marula Oil. How this compares to The Ordinary Marula Oil still alludes me, mostly because I haven’t any idea whether Deciem’s is unrefined and I am sceptical as to whether or not they would even know for certain. An overall glance at my routine:

AM: Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser, Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum, Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum mixed with Drunk Elephant B-Hydra, Drunk Elephant Marula Oil.

PM: Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser, Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum, Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum OR Differin Gel, wait twenty minutes, Drunk Elephant Marula Oil mixed with Drunk Elephant B-Hydra.

First impressions after three weeks:

– C-Firma gives a good instant glow to the skin, though I am always sceptical of vitamin C’s ability to correct red post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
– T.L.C. is potent and fantastic at reducing inflammatory acne; I love it as a spot treatment during the day.
– B-Hydra is nice, though I do not see a major difference using it when I already use the day and night serums.
– Shaba is pricey for what it is, though it is fantastic at plumping dehydration lines and making me look a bit more awake than I really am.
– Marula Oil is lightweight but intensely soothing.

Recent Acquisitions – Winter

Photograph of Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel, Dr. Jart Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in Green, and IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel for hair.

To celebrate the winter season—and mourn the loss of autumn—here are my latest skincare and haircare acquisitions worthy of note. A video version of this post up now, and you can watch it here.

On the hunt for a gentle yet effective cleanser these last few months, I was rather unhappy with the options available domestically; hence my purchase of UK-favourite Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. Yes, it has been mentioned by almost every other blogger; yes, it is worthy of acclaim. After cleansing with NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester, I apply this to dry skin, wait a few minutes, massage with my Foreo, and then rinse off with a hot cloth. My skin feels incredibly smooth, redness is reduced, and my skin feels comfortable. This is my all-time favourite cleanser.

After I cleanse I liberally spritz with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, which supplements the human body’s natural superoxide dismutase to reduce oxidization—and thus inflammation—whilst marine exopolysaccharides aid in moisture retention. I will report back after using this one for a bit longer to determine its relative efficacy.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is responsible for the numerous compliments I have received on my skin these past few weeks. A treatment for both acne and rosacea, azelaic acid reduces inflammation and bacteria. I have ordered many backups of this.

NIOD Hydration Vaccine has been my saviour this brisk winter. Formulated with fungi composite organisms, a silicone mesh, a blue algae molecular film, and more technologies to retain moisture, this goes far beyond a ‘moisturizer’ to enable the skin to better retain its own hydration rather than simply creating the illusion of such. On days I go out only for groceries or for a run I mix this with NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 12% to add a cinematic look to my skin through a reduction in redness and the appearance of texture; together they make a far more effective—and natural-looking—alternative to cosmetics.

A newer release, Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel* meshes well with my philosophy on acids; if you use them, be gentle. Hydrogen water—a key ingredient to the Dermaclear line—removes impurities, lactic acid topically exfoliates, salicylic acid reduces pore-level congestion, coconut milk calms irritation, while a trio of panthenol, squalene, and allantoin hydrate. While I am not thrilled by the inclusion of bergamot oil—a photosensitizing essential oil—I have enjoyed using this weekly to even out my skin’s texture. I have also tried Dr. Jart Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in Refreshing Green*, a mask which—when applied for a few minutes and rinses with water—turns to a deep cleanser. It too contains several fragrant oils, which I would prefer were not included, but it makes for a fine deep cleanse treatment.

Bosica Sake Brightening Hydrogel Eye Masks* are something I use on clients often, but for some reason have yet to try on myself. My favourite aspect of these is the use of hydrogel rather than cotton; these stick to the face and stay put. Sake hydrates and brightens, marine collagen reduces moisture loss, willowherb reduces inflammation, and jojoba leaf defends against free radical damage. These make for a refreshing treat for a weekend facial—or as a prep-step before an event—through reducing puffiness, soothing the sensitive under-eye area, and plumping dehydration lines.

For the hair, IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel* comes from a trio of America’s top-requested stylists. Formulated with coconut oil to hydrate and comfrey extract to soften, Rich Kid is a great styling product to achieve a natural look, especially for those with shoulder-length hair. I appreciate the lightweight texture, and even the smell is luxe.

Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterisk (*) were given to me free of charge. I receive countless products each month, and say nothing about the majority of them; I will only review a product if I think it is worthy of words, either negative or positive. Links are to the easiest and most common retailer. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies mentioned, nor my employer.

The Deciem Skincare Routine

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Working in the beauty industry means I receive bags of new products to try. I never love everything, but after trying something I can usually come up with an ideal client for it. Now, while these bags of goodies are one of my favourite parts of the job, my skin is far from perfect and it needs consistency and serious treatment products. This means that sometimes I have to push the newness away for a bit and pick products for me rather than everyone else. When I do that, the answer is always Deciem.

Morning

While I tried to do a gentle oil cleanser in the morning, my skin became rather congested and I had to scale it up a notch. I use NIOD Sanskrit Saponins on wet skin after the shower, let it sit for a minute, then massage and rinse. Next I mask with NIOD Mastic Must every other day. This is a brilliant product and one that leaves your skin—I exaggerate not even the slightest—clear of any visible pores. Think of it as a primer that lasts two days. Next is hydration with Hylamide SubQ Face, banishing dark circles and dehydration lines with SubQ Eyes, blemish calming with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, and a healthy dose of colour from Hylamide Glow.

Evening

To remove any complexion makeup and pollution from the city I use NIOD Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester, followed by NIOD Sanskrit Saponins. With NIOD SS still on my face I go in with my Clarisonic Mia Fit, which has done nothing but surprise me. I feel so clean and smooth from it, and despite the qualms of it removing one’s natural acid mantle I am rather enjoying it every night. After rinsing I follow with Hylamide SubQ Face and SubQ Eyes, then The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%. This vitamin A emulsion has been the first product that has noticeably eliminated my cystic acne, nearing the point where I only have the occasional spot with only a month of use. If you have persistent acne that has not responded to other treatment, get yourself to vitamin A (and stay properly hydrated!).

I have been vigilant with this routine for about a month now and have seen a massive improvement in my skin; never before has it been this clear of blemishes. More than that, it feels comfortable and I feel more confident. All in all, Deciem you are one of my favourites.