Cosmetic Reviews
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My Updated Skincare Routine – Autumn / Winter 2018

It is a Wednesday & it feels like I am doing nothing for the first time in quite a while.

I have had the free time, but there has been a lot physical & mental energy spent on settling down in the Western Hemisphere while my next visa is pending.

It has been a long time, no skincare talk!

My routine has been non-existent recently, I just haven’t felt like it. I have moved continents & unsure how long I intend to stay, part of rebuilding a self-care routine & settling into my current lifestyle has been revitalizing my skincare stash.

Oil Cleanser: Generic Coconut Oil

Value: $4.99 – 14oz / 414ml


I feel like this defines how uninspired I have felt with skincare lately. I have resorted to using standard coconut oil that can be found on an Aldi shelf. I always have coconut oil on hand to use as a hair mask, my skin is not acne-prone so I can use it to remove make-up without any clogged pores. I have not been wearing much makeup lately between a humid & moving so I have not felt like I needed this step recently.

Water-Based Cleanser: Equate Hydrating Cleanser

Value: $5.34 – 12oz / 355ml

Definitely Repurchase

Guys. GUYS! We finally have a CeraVe dupe in The States! Equate is the generic Way-Mart brand, it is the first replica I have found of a CeraVe product. It is just as effective for less than half the price, I am definitely willing to sell my dignity to Wal-Mart for that!

Toner: Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner – Cucumber

Value: $3.50 – 3oz / 89ml


I have owned this toner many times before, I was so happy to find it in a travel-size! My dry & dehydrated skin cannot handle this product on my entire face, especially during the winter months. However, I love using this sparing around my nose & other places I get congested pores.

Vitamin C: Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum

Value: $18.75 – 1oz / 30ml


I have been using 20% vitamin c serums for the past five years. I consider it a vital step to my routine, but I have never been loyal to a particular product or brand. I have only been using this product for a week so no conclusive thoughts yet, it seems gentle & no breakouts so far.

Essence: The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics

Value: $6.80 – 10z / 30ml


This product was prized as one of the best skincare products by Glamour UK in October, Deciem offered this product at half-price so I thought I would give it a go! It is a lovely, thin layer of hydration & I have not experienced any adverse issues so far. I cannot tell if it is quite hydrating enough for my skin, more time will tell.

AHA: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%

Value: $6.50 – 1oz / 30ml


Can you tell I did another Deciem haul recently? I have only been using this product for a week, it seems very gentle so far & I am beginning to wonder if I would have preferred the 10% version.

Moisturizer: Trader Joe’s Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer

Value: $5.99 – 6oz / 144ml

Will Not Repurchase

This is an American supermarket brand if you are unfamiliar, they have surprisingly good skincare. This moisturizer has been inspiring the odd whitehead on my face, but otherwise I think it is a fantastic value for a product that contains retinol. This moisturizer does leave an oil residue on my dry skin so I definitely do not think this is suited for all skin types as advertised.

Oil: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

Value: $9.80 – 1oz / 30ml


I have a love affairs with oils, as most people with dehydrated skin do. The marula oil from this brand has been my go-to purchase for the last few years. I began noticing skin texture & increasingly clogged pores around my nose with age, I saw the rose hip oil recommended by people dealing with acne scaring so I decided to try this instead.

Sunblock: Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun

Value: $11.00 – 1.7oz / 50ml

Repurchase – Holy Grail

This has been my most loved sunscreen for many moons, at least since 2015. It is moisturizing, offers UVA & UVB protection, plays well with other skincare layers & makeup.

Mask: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Value: $7.20 – 1oz / 30ml

Definitely Repurchase

This is my second bottle of the stuff, which is serious business in my universe. It works wonders on my durable face, yet gentle enough to use on my overly sensitive neck & chest. I have yet to find another acid peel that is as effective for this low of a price point.

 Missing Pieces of My Routine

There are more than a few gaps in my skincare routine. I am still seeking the fulfillments, please feel free to recommend any products you have been loving lately!

+Oil Cleanser

An actual oil cleanser, not a messy jar of coconut oil.

+AM Moisturizer

I can definitely finish the Trader Joe’s moisturizer currently in my arsenal, but it is not playing well with sunscreen & makeup. We are going to disregard that I shouldn’t be using in my day-time due to the retinol, but let’s move on from that!


I have never had an unfortunate reaction to retinol, but I still have not found a particular product I love for this step. It sounds like it is skincare play-time again!

+Post-Gym Skincare Routine

This is the first time in many years that I have started going to the gym so this is a new sphere of skincare to me! I only have time in the afternoons so I am hoping to find a non-striping cleansing routine & basic moisturizer.

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