Natural skincare products & review

Thursday, 1 August 2013
skincare2
From left to right: REN invisible pores mask, REN vita-mineral day cream, REN glycolactic radiance renewal mask, Coloresciene sunforgettable powder & brush (perfectly clear), REN AHA serum.

skincare3
From left to right: Trilogy rosehip oil, REN mayblossom cleanser, Neutrogena age shield sunblock, Waitrose baby bottom cream.

I had a laissez-faire attitude towards my skincare routine until two years ago. As long as my face is clean and I've slathered something on, who cares? Ever since that scary visit to my  beautician (there's tiger mom and then there's tiger beautician) in New Zealand who told me that my physical age was 37 but my skin was at least 10 years older. You can always count on an Asian for no holds barred honesty.

So I've been experimenting with skincare in the past year with the hope of finding a handful of natural products that would work for my combination skin. A few were binned after a couple of months because they were just that bad. Some produced rather meh (technically not an English word but....) results. I've finally whittled the list down to 9 items which are fantastic and have never failed me so far.

You'll probably notice that most are from REN skincare range. I'm totally biased here as you can tell but after using them for 2 years, I can say that they're truly awesome. I can safely say this after talking to numerous individuals who waxed lyrical about the brand.  Not the cheapest by a long shot but they work.

Let me start with the top 5 of the bunch.
1) REN Glycolactic radiance renewal mask. A mouthful to say but hands down, it's the best I've ever used. It smells and looks like apricot puree. The orange concoction draws blackhead to the surface. More importantly, it leaves the skin moisturized and dewy. My skin just glows for days after using it.

2) Next is REN AHA serum. There's a lot of scientific babble on the little leaflet inside the box but all I know is if I use a few drops (I know they say use a pipette but seeing that they're £30 a bottle, I make mine last a year) every night, my skin looks radiant. You know something is working when your husband actually notices your skin. My pores seem to look smaller too which helps seeing mine are crater size on a hot summer day.

3) I've talked about Trilogy rosehip oil many times before. I know some of you mentioned that it's not for you. I'd say it works better for those who are in your mid 30s and above. I don't use fancy schmancy anti ageing creams anymore because the rosehip oil seems to keep fine lines at bay, at least for now. It's completely natural, organic and safe for babies and kids.

4) I bought Colorescience Sunforgettable powder after reading about it on Garance Dore's blog. I wish I knew about this product earlier. I'm very fair and tend to freckle easily. It's hard to reapply sunscreen when you've got a face full of make up. This gives an even coverage without an oily residue and it's even water resistant up to 80 minutes (in the water). It's perfectly safe for kids too (and husbands who think their skin is naturally equipped with SPF 100). I love that it's small and easy to carry around. I don't dig the brush as the bristles seem to fall out but on the whole, it's a brilliant product.The price tag of £35 may make you feel lightheaded but a little goes a long way.

5) So the product is called Waitrose Baby Bottom butter. It would've been considered cringe-worthy except that it IS made for babies. It's 100% natural. The main ingredients are olive and chamomile oils with a bit of vanillin for scent. It's ridiculously cheap (£2.89) which is always a bonus. I use on my body especially on my scaly legs. It's incredibly moisturizing but bear in mind that it takes a few minutes to absorb.

**UK residents: FYI, some of the REN skincare and Trilogy products seem to be 10%-20% cheaper on Active Beauty so compare the prices before you buy.

What skincare products are you using that work for you?






38 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! I'm using skincare products from Khiel's. Affordable and it works for me. :)

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  2. I love REN Moroccan rose body cream , smells like Turkish delight which is just divine!
    I have recently swapped back to dermalogica stuff for my face and I have seen an improvement.I got some REN travel sizes free in magazine so I have popped them in my travel bag for my holidays in September, and I will try them out. Xx

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    1. Which Dermalogica products are you using?

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    2. I ve got dry/ de-hydrated skin so I use their essential cleansing solution, multi active toner which I love!! And intensive moisture balance. I used to use dermalogica then swapped to clarins ( think they had an offer on) after having my second child I started breaking out in pimples around my chin. Swapped back to Dermalogica and breakouts have stopped and skin looks more hydrated.

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    3. I've never tried Clarins. I've used Dermalogica cleanser once and it was fabulous. I'm trying out REN mayblossom as it's very affordable and comes in a big bottle. It's been working well so far.

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  3. Since I went nearly all organic cosmetics more than 10 years ago I tend to use raw and/or organic cosmetics for my skin, but for 2 or 3 specific items. Thanks to you I discovered the brand Trilogy and since then bought the vital moisturizing cream and the cream cleanser, both make wonder on my dry/deshydrated skin, even when I can't bear to put water on my face (the cream cleanser lives my face smooth, clean and not dry at all). I use also several german organic cosmetics like moisturizing cream or cleansinng milk (as I wrote I can't put water on my ace as my skin won't appreciate at all). I always rince with a thermal water spray then hydrolat. I was interested in Ren range but when I saw that they were not really organic... well I passed. I use pure organic honey to cleanse my face as well or as a mask, along with cream. Rinse well with a hot wet cloth (yes only time, with Trilogy cream cleanser, I can actually put water on my face but I never rub, ever, and use it sparsingly). And sometimes I use a mask made of ghassoul, rose powder and organic oil (argan or whatever). And my secret is pricly pear oil on my wrinkles: it is as good as rosehip oil.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your tips. They'll be especially helpful to those with very sensitive skin. I've heard about putting honey on the face. I used a moisturizing mask which had honey and it was wonderful but it has been discontinued since. Thank you for the reminder because I'll try putting pure honey on my face. So much cheaper too!

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  4. I'm using Shisedio sunscreen spf 50+ (teal bottle) for the face. I need to get better about using my Queen Helene Mint Julep face mask because that really works. I use Purpose cleanser, but I'm going to try out Cetaphil once the bottle runs out. Also Purpose cleanser (I've read it's the same as baby shampoo, but I'm stupid and won't just buy the cheaper baby shampoo) makes a good cleaner for my silk scarves and I've used it as shampoo.

    I'm looking for a drug store waterproof sunscreen for my neck. If anyone as suggestions I'm all ears. Does that neutrogena leave a white cast?

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    1. I've used Neutrogena for nearly a decade now. It does leave a white cast if you slather it on properly until it's all absorbed. It's not oily at all. I use 70+. The Colorescience Sunforgettable leaves a matte finish and doesn't leave a white cast either.

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  5. I have been using Shiseido Skincare range for more than 5 years now. However, as I just started using organic coconut oil as body moisturizer (which is almost perfect in terms of scent & texture and it is moisturizing!), I will try to use more 'natural & organic' stuff in my skincare too once I finish my current stock. Not so sure about choices available here, but may try Trilogy first? - I Ying

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    1. I know what you mean about coconut oil. I've been using it for a few months and I love it. Personally, I think Trilogy rosehip oil is the best there is on the market. There's no anti ageing serums/moisturizers/super duper cream that have produced similar results for £20. And it's completely natural too.

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  6. This post is perfect timing, because I just finished using my moisturiser and I haven't tried anything knew that excites me very much. Is the REN AHA concentrate hydrating on its own or does it need to be used with a moisturiser or serum? The REN counter in Singapore is out of stock, annoyingly, so I can't test the consistency for myself.

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    1. Lin, you'll have to use a moisturizer with the AHA serum. It has a liquid, watery consistency. I tend to use it with the rosehip oil but I guess any moisturzier you're using will do. I use it sparingly - 3 drops at the most and it does the trick. BTW, I've used links to shops that ship internationally. You may not have to pay the 20% VAT if you're buying from Singapore.

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  7. You've sold me on the REN AHA serum! I'm definitely going to investigate that. And stained pillow cases notwithstanding, I think I'm going to go back to the Trilogy Rosehip Oil as well. It's certainly one of the best products that I've tried

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    1. I'd highly recommend the REN AHA serum if you don't have sensitive skin. I'd definitely use the rosehip oil at least 30 mins to 1 hr before bed time. And you won't have the stained pillow case issue.

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  8. I've used the REN mask in the past and it really is that good, leaving skin clear and radiant. And it smells so good!

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    1. Couldn't agree more. That's the best mask I've ever used.

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  9. Finally you made a post regarding your skincare routine! Everytime I come to your blog there's a question in my mind on what your "ritual" is all about. What about your eyecream? Do you also use one? For now I'm satisfied with estee lauder's timezone and advance night repair.For now i'm still on the look out for brightening serum to keep freckles and age spots at bay.Lastly about your rosehip oil, is this a once a day application?:)

    <3,
    Angie
    Audrinajulia.blogspot.com

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    1. I didn't think about my skincare routine as I don't really experiment enough to write a post about it. I don't use eye cream at all. I just use the rosehip oil. I've used Estee Lauder Advance night repair but the results were rather so so. Nothing to shout about but it's A LOT of money! I don't actually have lines on my eyes, thanks partly to the rosehip oil and my genes (mom doesn't have them either and she's the one who got me my first rosehip oil).

      I don't use any brightening serums so I can't help you there. I get freckles in summer and then they fade away in winter but if you're living in a tropical country, it is something to think about. I use rosehip oil at night in summer but I apply it day and night in winter. Just a drop or two depending on the condition of your skin.

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  10. Marlene hello,

    been reading your blog for a while and finally unlurked. I got the rosehip oil based on your rec while in the UK, so thanks for that :)

    It suited my skin (very sensitive and dry) very well. Although in winter I do have to combine it with a moisturizer (a honey rich cream. Which is an improvement since I used baby bottom cream for years!)

    When my Boots stash ran out (did I mention I love Boots? :) I found this rosehip oil from Melvita (http://uk.melvita.com/melvita-uk-organic-beauty-oils-natural-skin-care-for-anti-ageing,8,1,4952,4870.htm) since it is available where I am at. Quality wise and price wise me thinks it's similar to trilogy.

    I also like the Superfacialist range from Boots (although that's not all natural, but her facial oils are good, you are supposed to cleanse with them, but it's more than fine as a moisturizer/serum).

    A couple of weeks ago I started with Eluage. I've never used "heavy duty" anti-aging stuff before (I'm in my 30s). I'm diligent about sunscreen and my ma has a lovely completion, but my dad's side of the family have this problem of wrinkly looking cheeks (that's a proper beauty term obvs :), I think it's down to very dry skin.

    When I noticed that on my cheeks a few months ago it was - bugger and DOOM! A good deal of research later - retinoids weren't an option given I'd probably peel and look like the singing detective. So Internet told me Eluage might be the thing. Use it every other night, leave for 30 mins, then do the honey cream and Bob's your uncle. Had some spots pop up (really minor) and some minimal flaking. Need to use it for a few months to see results but I *think* my skin looks good (and cheeks are smooth!) My face hasn't peeled off so you know yay?!

    Anyhow, sorry, didn't mean to ramble on. It just seemed a bit rude to read all this time and not say anything :) So hello?!

    R.

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    1. Hi R, Thank you so much for taking the time to write. It's lovely to hear from you so do comment more often! Really appreciate your recommendation. I've never ever heard of Eluage before so I'll have to check them out now that you've mentioned the brand.

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  11. oh gosh I am so happy you reviewed some REN products and put a link to Active Beauty.

    I got three sample size REN products free with Red magazine last month and I absolutely LOVED them! They really made my skin look and feel very smooth. They're quite expensive (for me anyway, as I don't usually spend very much on cosmetics/skincare) and I've been unsure whether to buy the full size versions incase it was just a fluke - but now I'm convinced!

    I really like Burt's Bees and Neal's Yard skincare too, they have a very good range of natural products. :) x

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    1. A friend told me about REN but it was another 3 years when I actually tried out their products. They're definitely not cheap but I've managed to make my serum & mask last a whole year. Quite a feat in itself :P

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  12. I got the REN Glycolactic mask a few weeks ago and I also like it very much. I was afraid to try it at first because I have very sensitive skin and other AHA products didn't work for me, but besides a tingling it doesn't irritate my skin further and as you said it works great to give clarity!

    At the moment I'm using a couple of products from the Effaclar range from La Roche-Posay because my skin broke out and they help with keeping it in check. After about 2 months of the Effaclar Duo, I'm happy to say that a couple of spot marks have faded somewhat which is great because my acne scars are REALLY stubborn >.< La Roche-Posay has really nice products overall, I really recommend it!

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  13. Thanks for sharing! I'm going to have to check out the REN products. Currently I'm using up some potions from Elizabeth Arden that are surprisingly fabulous. I really want to get that powdered sunscreen. Been reading about it for ages but I've never jumped. Maybe now is the time.

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    1. Heather, I've used the Colorescience for 5 days now and I love it. You're lucky that it's far cheaper in the US. It's really expensive here.

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  14. i love the REN mask, definitely on my holy grail list too. it's amazing!

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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    1. Same here. I haven't found a mask that is as good as the glycolactic acid.

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  15. Great post! Out of the products you have listed I have only tried REN glycolactic radiance renewal mask but I would like to try the rest of the products you recommend as well (I have ordered the rosehip oil). Some questions:

    Do you use the rosehip oil and REN AHA serum at the same time?
    Have you tried rosehip oil from another brand than Trilogy? I have found some online "raves" about Pai BioRegenerate™ Rosehip Oil and wonder which is the best?

    I have yet to find my holy grail products but there are a few that I like a lot: Kiehl's Crème de Corps, EVE LOM Kiss Mix, Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating mask and Dermalogica Sheer tint Spf 20 (I believe none of these products are "natural" though). Cheers, Linda

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    1. Hi Linda, I've tried rosehip oil from a different brand a year ago but for the life of me, I simply can't recall the name. For some reason, it just didn't produce the same result as the one from Trilogy. I thought it was rather odd seeing that oil is oil. So I'm not sure if it's the way it was pressed or processed. Perhaps others may have had a different experience so I'd love to hear from anyone who has used rosehip oil from another brand.

      I put on the serum first before the rosehip oil. I don't use it everyday though - maybe 5 days a week.

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  16. I liked the rose hip oil .It suited best for my skin and effective for dry skin. Although in winter I do have to combine it with a moisturizer. This is an improvement since I used baby bottom cream for years.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. It's the one mainstay of my skincare routine.

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  17. Thanks for your reply! Are you using any toner in your daily skin care routine? Cheers, Linda

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    1. I should do but I haven't used a toner in more than 20 years. It's just too much work!

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    2. I am not using a toner either but after having spent some time looking at a for me new blog (www.beautymouth.com) I realize that I have to get one (or two!). Cheers, Linda

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  19. Now I have used the roseship oil for some weeks and I LOVE it! I couldn't resist and bought the one from Pai as well but I cannot decide which one I like the most. Next I think I will get some oil for my body. Right now I am choosing between Olio Lusso (seems to smell divine but it is rather expensive) or from kō denmark (I'll most probably get this one). Once again thank you for your recommendation!!!!! Cheers, Linda

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