French Drugstore Skincare

By Elicka Ghahramani, @Elicka_G

Thanks to factors such as an abundance of organic produce (and despite the fashionably excessive smoking) French –in particular, Parisian—women have long been heralded for their natural beauty. While this could partly be down to the vitamin-packed, rich, organic diet or simply a matter of winning the genetic jackpot, it could also be down to the volume of dermatologically approved, affordable skincare brands available to them, as easily accessible as nipping to the shop for a packet of gum. 

The French are leading connoisseurs in ‘clinical over clean’ beauty. They’re not messing around with essential oils or the bark of a pine tree, but instead are in the labs, formulating products that will complement your skin’s own chemicals without adding unnecessary perfumes or irritants. 

Below is a list of our favourite French skincare brands typically found in drugstores.

Bioderma

Bioderma was founded in 1977, just north of Marseille. Over the past 40 years, the company has maintained a dedication to tackling blemishes without overly harsh or aggravating ingredients. Their hero product, no doubt of heard of by our readers and probably sitting in your bathroom cabinet right now, is their Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Solution for Sensitive Skin. This micellar water is a crowd favourite, offering complete make-up removal (even on that pesky waterproof mascara) without overly drying the skin or causing redness and irritation. Come to think of it, we can’t name a more unanimously popular micellar water. Other products we love are the Atoderm Shower Gel, which is entirely unperfumed and hypoallergenic, cleansing your skin effectively and leaving it supple and fresh, without irritating or drying out the skin surface (meaning that, ladies, if you happen to use it on your intimate bits, you don’t have to worry so much over harsh chemicals disrupting your natural pH balance). We’ve also found a new company favourite in the White Objective Fluid, which makes for a thin, milky moisturiser which manages to protect from UVA and UVB, with added Vitamin C for brightening. 

A round-up of our favourite Bioderma products are below:

  1. Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate
Bioderma PigmentBio C-Concentrate

2. Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner Corrective Cream

Bioderma Sebum Pore Refiner

3. Bioderma Atoderm Cream

Bioderma Atoderm Cream

4. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Solution

Bioderma Micellar Make-up removing solution

La Roche Posay

La Roche-Posay was founded in Western France, and now operates under its parent company, L’Oréal. However, the affiliation is entirely loose, as La Roche-Posay formulate with clinical attention and absolutely zero tolerance for perfume or inessential ingredients. One of their shining products is the Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream, which is popular for its light and watery consistency, blending into the skin with a minimal whitecast. However, we’re big fans of their intensive moisturisers, which manage to provide a deep nourishment without needing overly scented and greasy ingredients such as shea butter or olive oil extracts. Last but not least, we were blown away by the Retinol 0.3% Vitamin B3 Serum, which is the perfect first step for those easing retinols into their skincare routine while trying to minimise irritation. This 0.3% retinol serum upstages The Ordinary and The Inkey List with their gateway 0.5% retinols, while maintaining a relatively friendly price tag –our comparison is the Paula’s Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment which retails for £53

A round-up of our top products below:

  1. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Riche
Hydraphase Intense Riche

2. La Roche-Posay Retinol 0.3% + Vitamin B3 Serum

La Roche-Posay Retinol + B3

3. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water

4. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel

Avène 

Formulated in the southern most region of France, Avène have one simple, key ingredient at the core of all of their products: thermal spring water from the commune of Avène. This philosophy and resounding belief in the restorative, calming and replenishing qualities of thermal spring water is why all of their products feel like a tall glass of water for the skin. Each product has a light, watery texture, which sinks into the skin easily. Additionally, the purity of their formulations mean that Avène is our number one brand when it comes to sensitive skin. Our particular favourites include the Extremely Gentle Cleanser for Very Sensitive Skin, which needs no explanation as its attributes are all in the (arguably too long) title. Another favourite is the Thermal Spring Water Spray for Sensitive Skin. We love the travel size to keep in our bag and spritz onto the face before and after a city commute, flight or particularly humid day. This mist gives the face a quick moisture boost on the go, like splashing your face with cool water (without the hassle). But Avène tackles other skin concerns too, such as their Cleanance Comedomed Anti Blemish Concentrate Moisturiser, which tackles minor blemishes without being harsh on your skin.

Our favourites from the brand are rounded up below:

  1. Avène Tolèrance Extreme Emulsion
Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion

2. Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser

Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser

3. Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray for Sensitive Skin

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray for Sensitive Skin

4. Avène Cleanance Comedoned Anti-Blemish

Avène Cleanance Comedoned Anti-Blemish

Embryolisse

Embryolisse is a little harder to get your hands on, and their main popularity in the UK centres around their intensive moisturisers. These moisturisers are fantastic for particularly parched skin, and the OBVS team were taken by the Smoothing Eye Contour Care, which offers intense hydration minus irritation for the delicate eye area. We were also impressed by the Anti Age Comfort Masque Tube, for its anti-ageing benefits thanks to the intense hydration.

Here are a few Embryolisse moisturising products to try:

  1. Embryolisse Anti-Age Comfort Masque
Embryolisse Anti-Age Comfort Masque

2. Embryolisse Smoothing Eye Contour Care 

Embryolisse Smoothing Eye Contour Care

3. Embryolisse Youth Radiance Care – 1st Wrinkles Prevention

Embyolisse Youth Radiance Care

Sunday Riley Serums: Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil, C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum and Luna Sleeping Night Oil

By Elicka Ghahramani, @Elicka_G

Combining clinical and clean skincare, the brand slogan at Sunday Riley is: ‘Powered by science, balanced by botanicals’. Founded in Houston, Texas back in 2009, the brand only reached international cult status in the last few years. Now, we see their serums dominating the go-to routines of beauty insiders. 

Dedicated to sourcing high quality ingredients while upholding cruelty-free, clean and green formulations, Sunday Riley excels on all fronts and has earned its respect as a high-end, higher price tag brand. 

To find out for ourselves just what makes the products stand out, the OBVS team decided to review three of their most popular serums, sharing results after a fortnight of consistent use. 

Here’s what we found:

1. Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil

Sunday Riley Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil

This serum is impressive for its dual benefits of intense nourishment and deep protection. As the title suggests, the Juno Serum is jam-packed with nutrients such as argan and black cumin seed oils to feed and moisturise the skin, filling out fine lines and creases. The serum is also replete with antioxidants such as raspberry, blueberry and grape seed oils to protect the skin from free radicals and UV rays. The formula is a pleasingly lightweight, dry-oil blend which is friendly for all skin types, including our oily readers. Rapidly absorbing to provide the dream base for make-up, while working to nourish the skin & restore its elasticity and glow, this serum got a thumbs up from us. 

2. C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

The C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum proudly shows off a 15% Vitamin C formulation, promising a brightening transformation for your skin. This product was tested on sensitive skin and we didn’t notice any adverse reactions, despite the high Vitamin C percentage. We were impressed by how easily it blended in, with only leaving a minimal greasy residue behind. However, the hydration factor meant that we didn’t mind the grease so much (for once). If you’re a fan of citrus then you’ll enjoy the strong, lingering scent (think: pure tangerine), but if not then perhaps this won’t be the one for you.

3. Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

The Luna Sleeping Night Oil divided the team, as we weren’t taken with the texture or suspicious colouration. The blue tint concerned us at first, as we were worried about subtle staining after we had to wash the excess blue tinge off the fingertips. Plus, the serum leaves a slightly sticky residue, which creates concern of blue staining on pillowcases (silk ones, obvs, since we’re skincare lovers). But since this product is such an A-list favourite (Victoria Beckham, Gwenyth Paltrow, etc.) we gave it the benefit of the doubt. The formula contains retinol for anti-ageing purposes, as well as blue tansy to combat redness and inflammatory skin conditions, such as rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis and acne. It also claims to combat eczema but we personally feel the formulation is too strong for this and could be an irritant. The jury’s still out on this one, and another month or so is needed to fully examine the effects.

If you fancy testing out two of the mentioned serums without indulging on the full-sized bottles just yet, then you can purchase the Sunday Riley Multivitamins Kit here and try out some travel editions of two of their most popular products.

Multivitamins Kit, Sunday Rilet

In the UK, Sunday Riley is stocked at all luxury beauty consignments, including Selfridges and Harvey Nichols in-store and online, and online at Cult Beauty and Space NK.

Best Korean Skincare Products to Buy in the UK

By Elicka Ghahramani, @elicka_g

Korean skincare follows a failproof philosophy which has ensured that natives are often the highest subjects of skincare envy. They believe in nurturing and maintaining healthy skin and body at all times, to prevent breakouts and blemishes before they can even think about forming. This means that what we often see in Korean skincare is: feed, hydrate and brighten (and unclog those pores properly!)

A Korean beautician working at a spa in Battersea once told me that the magic skincare formula is: “Cleanse, tone, mask, moisturise. Keep your routine consistent and that’s all you need”. So, following this magic formula, we’re going to take a look at the best Korean cleansers, toners, masks and moisturisers available to buy in the UK. 

CLEANSERS

Upkeeping constant innovation, K-beauty is a minefield for cleanser forms –but we thoroughly enjoyed exploring them all

1. Erborian Milk and Peel Resurfacing Balm

Erboarian Korean Skin THereapy Milk & Peel Balm Cleanser


At OBVS, we’re partial to transitional cleansers, which is why the Erborian Milk and Peel Resurfacing Balm caught our eye. Offering the benefits of a milk, balm and oil, this cleanser manages to lift make-up as well as dead skin cells. Our favourite ingredient on the list? Sesame milk. 

2. Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser 

Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser


The formulation for this cleanser is impressively packed with Amino Acids, Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramide to boost your skin’s cell production while keeping it hydrated. This hypoallergenic facewash is low irritation, and a rare foaming cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin.

3. Dr Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Foam

Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Foam Cleanser


The minerals in this formulation create a unique antibacterial cleanser, using dead sea salt and coconut water to tackle impurities, while the coconut water and oils replenish softness and hydration.

MOISTURISERS 

Here at OBVS we just love the fast absorbing action of a serum for moisturising (plus the little pipets let us feel like we’re playing scientist), so forgive us for the serum-heavy focus. The below items did the trick without us feeling like we needed to reach for extra hydration.

1. Dr Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Water Cream

Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution


Light, refreshing and with the perfect gel texture, this super hydrating moisture sinks into thirsty skin like water, offering an immediate quench. The OBVS team found that this was a particular favourite under make up, and left a dewy but non-greasy residue. 

2. Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum

A serum offering Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid to feed your skin with the nourishment it needs to stay as ‘plum plump’ as the name promises. The added bonus is an adorably round, baby pink vial pump to brighten up your vanity or bathroom cabinet. 

3. Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop


The third favourite to round us off is the Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop. This product boasts 5% pure Vitamin C for guaranteed brightening, without being too high of a percentage to easily sensitise the skin.

MASKS 

We’re all about hydration at OBVS, because we plan to look 32 when we’re 52, so it’s no surprise that our favourite K-beauty masks are all about hydration and glow. And of course, K-beauty has become synonymous with sheet masks due to the sheer volume of brands on the market (Seoulista Beauty, Oh! K, Dr Jart+, Holika Holika) Below are some of our tried and tested favourites which offer the best glow with the lowest level of irritation.

1. Dr Jart+ Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution

Dr. Jart Dermask Clearing Solution

We’re going back to Dr Jart+ a little soon, but this time with the clearing mask, for those of us who haven’t lived life with the good practices and nutrition of Koreans.

The ingredients found in this sheet mask target pimples and blemishes, such as niacinamide, salicylic acid and tea tree, giving your skin a fast but powerful zap when you need it.

2. Erborian Glow Eye Patch

Erborian Korean Skin Therapy Glow Eye Patch

Although Erborian go heavy-handed on the use of natural ingredients (their Ginseng infused products being a range my sensitive skin cowers from) I’m admittedly a fan of their Glow Eye Patch. As with all eye masks, it’s most effective after being stored in the fridge (plus, the feel of the cool, little slices is incredibly relaxing) and you don’t need to leave them on for long before you can see an illuminating effect. The pearly sheen left behind is noticeably brightening, giving the undereye skin a milky glow that’s almost ethereal. 

3. Seoulista Beauty Brightening Instant Facial

Seoulista Beauty Brightening Instant Facial Mask

Just as with the Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop, this mask has been approved for the sensitive souls, with low percentage Vitamin C. This Vitamin C, AHA sheet mask offers a fast brightening treatment by lifting off dead skin cells thanks to those sweet, sweet acids. However, as a staple with Seoulista’s sheet masks, it’s also infused with coconut oil to help replenish moisture.

TONERS

We’re still sceptical on the use of toners (and many who don’t wear make-up choose to forgo the product in their routine altogether). However, since our trusted facialist insisted on it, we’re starting to come around, starting with these picks below. 

1. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA BHA Pore Tight Toner 

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner

BHA is a buzz term everyone’s drawn to these days (not least the OBVS team) and this K-beauty toner is packed with the hottest skincare ingredient on the market. Buffing away dead skin cells without irritating the skin, this toner leaves the glow we’re after, with an added bonus of a stylish mod design bottle for your skincare collection. 

2. Holika Holika Good Cera Super Ceramide Toner

Good Cera Super Ceramide Toner

Although we haven’t been blown away in general by Holika Holika (finding that some of their products can be a bit aggravating for sensitive skin), this Ceramide toner manages to tackle pigmentation and blotchiness, as well as impurities, without being overly irritating or drying.

3. Purito Centella Green Level Calming Toner

Centella Green Level Calming Toner

This acid toner has added Hyaluronic Acid so that it manages to lift of the last, clinging bits of dirt, make-up and impurities while still moisturising the skin. The only down side is that the product is hard to source in the UK.

The Ordinary Regimen For Acne Scars

The Ordinary boast a superb range of products which can help tackle acne scars. Acne scars are a complication which develop after acne has cleared up. These can present themselves as dips in the skin, raised areas of skin, and enlarged pores. Risk of acne scarring is increased by popping and picking acne, genetics, and by not seeking treatment. We’ve created a regimen using only products by The Ordinary to tackle these acne scars, boost skin cell turnover, and minimise pore appearance to give you the complexion you deserve.

The Ordinary Regimen For Acne Scars

Before you continue reading, if you still suffer from acne make sure you check out our guide: The Ordinary Regimen For Acne.

The purpose of a good AM and PM routine is to boost skin cell turnover and collagen production. This will tighten the skin, minimise pore appearance, and help fade those acne scars sooner.

Daytime routine

  1. Squalane Cleanser: Cleansing is an essential process regardless of your skin type to wash away any oil, dirt and pollutants which can clog your pores and dull your complexion. This squalane cleanser is a gentle but effective formulation at a good price point.
  2. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: Hyaluronic acid is a god send ingredient for those suffering from acne scarring. It will immediately plump the skin, reducing the depth and appearance of skin dips. Continued use will also improve collagen synthesis, tighten the skin and combat dryness.
  3. Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%: Vitamin C is a fantastic antioxidant which brightens the complexion and helps to fade hyperpigmentation. The antioxidative properties of Vitamin C also help to fight skin damaging free radicals and boost collagen production.
  4. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA: Moisturising is critical step of any skincare regime. NMF’s work to provide a protective barrier on the outer layer of the skin. Not only will these protect the skin from pollutants and free radical damage, but it also means the skin’s moisture is locked in.
  5. Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants: This SPF solution neutralises free radicals, reduces transepidermal water loss and helps the skin stay hydrated for longer. Applying SPF also prevents the skin from being damaged by harmful UVA/UVB rays.

Nighttime routine

  1. Squalane Cleanser: Cleansing twice a day is crucial, this squalane cleanser is effective for both nighttime and daytime use.
  2. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: Hyaluronic acid immediately boosts skin moisture and plumps the skin. Not only will this reduce signs of aging, but it will also combat dryness from any acid treatments.
  3. Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%: Azelaic acid is an exfoliant which can help fade hyperpigmentation associated with acne scarring. Azelaic acid also possesses anti-inflammatory and acne-battling qualities.
  4. Retinol 1% in Squalane: Retinol is a form of Vitamin A which works to boost skin cell turnover, this can accelerate scar healing. By boosting collagen synthesis, a more youthful complexion is achieved (with continued use).
  5. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA: As with the morning routine, this moisturiser will help lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated. Adequate skin hydration helps it perform at it’s best.

Use 1-2 times a week: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This 10 minute exfoliating treatment will help slough off the outermost layer of facial skin. This can brighten and even skin tone, fade hyperpigmentation, regulate sebum production, clear blackheads, and boost collagen production.

Things to look out for

Remember, consistency is always key with any new skincare regime. The above routines will reduce the appearance of acne scarring with continued use. Always remember that you can swap out any of the above products for ones you already own.

This routine has the potential to increase skin sensitivity to sunlight. Applying SPF is a must, and ensure you moisturise to prevent dryness.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this read, let us know what you think in the comments 🙂

Should You Use Toner Before Or After Moisturiser?

With skincare routines becoming increasingly hectic, it can be hard to know which order products should be applied. This is no different with toners, which come with all sorts of active and natural ingredients to rejuvenate your skin. If you’re wondering when in your skincare routine you should apply toner, read on:

So, toner before or after moisturiser?

Typically the rule is that you should apply toner before moisturising. As a matter of fact, you should be applying your facial toner before any serums, moisturiser, SPF and make-up. Toner should be applied first thing after cleansing. This means optimal absorption and best results from the treatment.

Toning first thing after cleansing will help you remove any residual dirt or oils you missed during the washing process. Not only will it help achieve a thorough cleanse, toners now include a variety of active ingredients to help supercharge your complexion.

Some of the ingredients you should be looking to find in your toner:

Glycolic Acid: An AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acid) with excellent exfoliating properties. Aids in sloughing off the outermost layer of dead skin cells, revealing a brighter, more even complexion. Also boosts collagen production, and can therefore reduce signs of aging

Rose Water: Rose water possesses excellent hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties. Read more about Rose Water here.

Aloe Vera: Aloe vera gel has a soothing, cooling effect on the skin, and can help reduce inflammation. Read more about Aloe Vera here

Salicylic Acid: A god send for oily skin sufferers and acne sufferers alike. Salicylic acid is an BHA (Beta-Hydroxy Acid) which exfoliates deep into the pores to reduce blackheads and minimise oiliness. Also helps control redness, sebum production and inflammation.

Hyaluronic Acid: A particularly beneficial ingredient for dry skin sufferers. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant which works to draw moisture into the skin, making it plump and bouncy.

To sum it up

Always use toner first thing after cleansing to reap the full benefits of the solution. Some of the ingredients you should be looking to find in your toner include; Glycolic acid; Rose water; Aloe vera; Salicylic acid and Hyaluronic acid, depending on your skin concerns.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick read, let us know which toners you’re using in the comments below! 🙂

Drunk Elephant: Routines for all Skin Types and Concerns

Looking for an effective skincare regimen with only products by Drunk Elephant? Then look no further. We’ve compiled AM and PM routines to tackle your skin concerns once and for all.

We love Drunk Elephant’s products here at Obviously Skincare. Their potent, pH balanced formulations contain high quality ingredients that provide effective results. In addition to the excellent ingredients and sourcing processes (vegan, cruelty-free), Drunk Elephant do not include problematic ingredients in their formulas; what they refer to ask the #suspicious6. This means no essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes or SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate).

We’ve put together routines that exclusively use formulations by the brand, but you can always use these to point you in the right direction. It’s completely fine to swap out some of the products to those which are less costly.

Drunk Elephant Routine for Normal Skin

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream

Normal skin describes skin that is well balanced. This means no excessive dryness, sensitivity, oiliness, small pores, and few imperfections. In general there is no perfectly normal skin, but rather skin that doesn’t fall under any extremes. Below is a daytime and nighttime routine for normal skin, which aims to maintain this balance and keep your skin looking at it’s healthiest.

Daytime Routine

  1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: Cleansing is essential to get rid of unwanted dirt, oils and other contaminants which can clog the pores or lead to a dull, uneven complexion. This cleansing wash is gentle enough for everyday use, has a pH of 5.5 so it won’t disturb the delicate pH balance of your skin, contains glycerin to replenish hydration during cleansing, and Virgin Marula Oil high in antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9 improving the cleansing and hydrating properties of the formula.
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: This intensive hydration serum is excellent for all skin types as it includes pro-vitamin B5 (a fantastic hydrator), pineapple ceramide to boost skin luminosity; sodium Hyaluronate, a derivative of Hyaluronic Acid with smaller molecular weight to penetrate deep into the skin and deliver hydration where it’s most needed; and Squalane, a natural oil which works as a barrier on the skin preventing transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin nourishment.
  3. Protini Polypeptide Cream: This breakthrough moisturiser contains a Signal Peptide Complex made up of amino acids which bind moisture to the skin. This means firmer, plumper skin that is deeply hydrated. A light-weight formula which sinks right into the skin yet delivers all day hydration. Non-comedogenic and doesn’t leave skin looking or feeling greasy unlike many other moisturisers.
  4. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: A super effective eye cream which contains Vitamin C to firm the skin around the eye area and even the complexion. Other ingredients include coenzyme Q10 which works to drastically improve fine lines and wrinkles, cucumber for added antioxidant benefit, and an 8-peptide blend to strengthen, hydrate and repair the skin. A readily absorbed formula that will nourish the skin around the eyes.
  5. Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30: Sun protection is critical to protect the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays and environmental stressors. This is a daily sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30, ideal for daily use and it doesn’t leave a residue or a greasy feeling. Contains Aloe Vera and Virgin Marula Oil for added hydration, and Algae Extract to protect against oxidative damage.

Nighttime Routine

  1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: This cleanser, as with the AM routine, is suitable for PM use. Ensure you’re thorough and make sure you pat dry with a clean towel after cleansing (never rub).
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: Great for daytime and nighttime use, this serum will deliver additional hydration throughout the night to rejuvenate your skin.
  3. T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum: An AHA/BHA powerhouse serum containing Glycolic, Tartaric, Lactic, Citric and Salicylic acids to exfoliate the skin, reduce congestion, improve skin tone, texture and minimise fine lines, pores and wrinkles. Use 2-3 times a week.
  4. Protini Polypeptide Cream: As with the daytime routine, this moisturiser is also perfect for use at night.
  5. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: Coenzyme Q10, peptides, Vitamin C and cucumber are just a few of the ingredients this powerhouse eye cream boasts. Works to deliver intense hydration, minimise dark circles, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Drunk Elephant Routine for Dry Skin

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum for Dry Skin

There are many factors that contribute to dry, flaky skin. Hot showers, aging, over-cleansing and genetics to name a few. With dry skin types, the goal of a skincare regime is to replenish moisture, prevent skin flaking & cracking, and protect the skin from the environment. Below are morning and nighttime routines including some hero products for dry skin:

Daytime Routine

  1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: Cleansing is essential to get rid of unwanted dirt, oils and other contaminants which can clog the pores or lead to a dull, uneven complexion. This cleansing wash is gentle enough for everyday use, has a pH of 5.5 so it won’t disturb the delicate pH balance of your skin, contains glycerin to replenish hydration during cleansing, and Virgin Marula Oil high in antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9 improving the cleansing and hydrating properties of the formula.
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: This intensive hydration serum is excellent for dry skin sufferers as it includes pro-vitamin B5 (a fantastic hydrator), pineapple ceramide to boost skin luminosity; sodium Hyaluronate, a derivative of Hyaluronic Acid with smaller molecular weight to penetrate deep into the skin and deliver hydration where it’s most needed; and Squalane, a natural oil which works as a barrier on the skin prevent transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin nourishment.
  3. Lala Retro Whipped Cream: This breakthrough rescue cream contains an essential mix of African oils and a plant ceramide complex. What does this mean for your skin? Luxurious, rich moisture without feeling heavy on the face. Other ingredients include a hyaluronate crosspolymer for added hydration, and green tea seed extract for added antioxidant and nourishing benefit.
  4. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: A super effective eye cream which contains Vitamin C to firm the skin around the eye area and even the complexion. Other ingredients include coenzyme Q10 which works to drastically improve fine lines and wrinkles, cucumber for added antioxidant benefit, and an 8-peptide blend to strengthen, hydrate and repair the skin. A readily absorbed formula that will nourish the skin around the eyes.
  5. Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30: Sun protection is critical to protect the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays and environmental stressors. This is a daily sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30, ideal for daily use and it doesn’t leave a residue or a greasy feeling. Contains Aloe Vera and Virgin Marula Oil for added hydration, and Algae Extract to protect against oxidative damage.

Nighttime Routine

  1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: This cleanser, as with the AM routine, is suitable for PM use. Ensure you’re thorough, especially around problem areas, and make sure you pat dry with a clean towel after cleansing (never rub).
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: Great for daytime and nighttime use, this serum will deliver additional hydration throughout the night to rejuvenate dry skin.
  3. Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil: This luxury facial oil delivers rich hydration that is easily absorbed into the skin. 100% cold pressed and filtered Marula Oil with essential fatty acids to hydrate the skin and prevent trans-epidermal water loss. The ultimate nighttime treatment for dry skin sufferers.
  4. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: Coenzyme Q10, peptides, Vitamin C and cucumber are just a few of the ingredients this powerhouse eye cream boasts. Works to deliver intense hydration, minimise dark circles, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Drunk Elephant Routine for Oily Skin

Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Oily skin is characterised by enlarged pores, a greasy/shiny looking complexion, blackheads and breakouts. The objective of a skincare regime is therefore to control and minimise skin oiliness, unclog pores, and as a result, prevent breakouts and congestion. Below are some of the essential products that you can use to combat your oily skin troubles.

Daytime Routine

  1. Pekee Bar: A thorough cleanse is much needed if you suffer from oily skin, and this Pekee Bar does just that. With a pH of 6.5, this bar gently but effectively removes skin impurities, makeup and excess oil while moisturising and maintaining the skin’s protective barrier.
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: Includes pro-vitamin B5 (a fantastic hydrator), pineapple ceramide to boost skin luminosity; sodium Hyaluronate, a derivative of Hyaluronic Acid with smaller molecular weight to penetrate deep into the skin and deliver hydration where it’s most needed; and Squalane, a natural oil which works as a barrier on the skin prevent transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin nourishment.
  3. Protini Polypeptide Cream: This breakthrough moisturiser contains a Signal Peptide Complex made up of amino acids which bind moisture to the skin. This means firmer, plumper skin that is deeply hydrated. A light-weight formula which sinks right into the skin yet delivers all day hydration. Non-comedogenic and doesn’t leave skin looking or feeling greasy unlike many other moisturisers.
  4. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: A super effective eye cream which contains Vitamin C to firm the skin around the eye area and even the complexion. Other ingredients include coenzyme Q10 which works to drastically improve fine lines and wrinkles, cucumber for added antioxidant benefit, and an 8-peptide blend to strengthen, hydrate and repair the skin. A readily absorbed formula that will nourish the skin around the eyes.
  5. Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30: Sun protection is critical to protect the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays and environmental stressors. This is a daily sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30, ideal for daily use and it doesn’t leave a residue or a greasy feeling.

Nighttime Routine

  1. Pekee Bar: Suitable for use day and night, cleansing twice a day with this Pekee Bar by Drunk Elephant will ensure your skin remains clear and congestion-free.
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: This serum will deliver additional hydration throughout the night to rejuvenate your skin. By providing the skin with essential moisture, sebum production is likely to be reduced.
  3. T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum: An AHA/BHA powerhouse serum containing Glycolic, Tartaric, Lactic, Citric and Salicylic acids to exfoliate the skin, regulate sebum production, control oiliness and unclog pores all without the typical side effects of AHA/BHA treatments such as skin dryness.
  4. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: Coenzyme Q10, peptides, Vitamin C and cucumber are just a few of the ingredients this powerhouse eye cream boasts. Works to deliver intense hydration, minimise dark circles, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Drunk Elephant Routine for Large Pores

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

Large pores are often a result of overactive sebaceous glands, aging, genetics and sun damage. To minimise pore appearance, the skin surrounding the pores must be tightened (if enlargement is a result of aging or sun damage) as sagging skin accentuates pore size. If however excessive oiliness is the culprit, this must be controlled, typically using direct acids.

Daytime Routine

  1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: Cleansing is essential to get rid of unwanted dirt, oils and other contaminants which can clog the pores or lead to a dull, uneven complexion. This cleansing wash is gentle enough for everyday use, has a pH of 5.5 so it won’t disturb the delicate pH balance of your skin, contains glycerin to replenish hydration during cleansing, and Virgin Marula Oil high in antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9 improving the cleansing and hydrating properties of the formula.
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: Includes pro-vitamin B5 (a fantastic hydrator), pineapple ceramide to boost skin luminosity; sodium Hyaluronate, a derivative of Hyaluronic Acid with smaller molecular weight to penetrate deep into the skin and deliver hydration where it’s most needed; and Squalane, a natural oil which works as a barrier on the skin prevent transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin nourishment.
  3. C-Firma Day Serum: A potent day serum with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) as well as Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E. This serum works to brighten and even skin tone, neutralise free radicals, and minimise signs of aging.
  4. Protini Polypeptide Cream: This breakthrough moisturiser contains a Signal Peptide Complex made up of amino acids which bind moisture to the skin. This means firmer, plumper skin that is deeply hydrated. A light-weight formula which sinks right into the skin yet delivers all day hydration. Doesn’t leave skin looking or feeling greasy unlike many other moisturisers.
  5. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: A super effective eye cream which contains Vitamin C to firm the skin around the eye area and even the complexion. Other ingredients include coenzyme Q10 which works to drastically improve fine lines and wrinkles, cucumber for added antioxidant benefit, and an 8-peptide blend to strengthen, hydrate and repair the skin. A readily absorbed formula that will nourish the skin around the eyes.
  6. Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30: Sun protection is critical to protect the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays and environmental stressors. This is a daily sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30, ideal for daily use and it doesn’t leave a residue or a greasy feeling. Contains Aloe Vera and Virgin Marula Oil for added hydration, and Algae Extract to protect against oxidative damage.

Nighttime Routine

  1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: This cleanser, as with the AM routine, is suitable for PM use. Ensure you’re thorough, especially around problem areas, and make sure you pat dry with a clean towel after cleansing (never rub).
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: This serum will deliver additional hydration throughout the night to rejuvenate your skin. By providing the skin with essential moisture, sebum production is likely to be reduced.
  3. A-Passioni Retinol Cream: This vegan formula by Drunk Elephant contains 1% Retinol to promote skin renewal, collagen production and drastically reduce the appearance of fine lines, large pores and wrinkles. The addition of passionfruit, kale, apricot and apricot work to soothe the skin, and virgin marula oil ensures the skin is rejuvenated and moisturised.
  4. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: Coenzyme Q10, peptides, Vitamin C and cucumber are just a few of the ingredients this powerhouse eye cream boasts. Works to deliver intense hydration, minimise dark circles, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Drunk Elephant Routine for Aging/Mature Skin

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Let’s face it, at some point we’re all going to develop wrinkles and fine lines. But there are ways to reverse and slow down the process so you can have youthful, vibrant skin for longer (it’s also never too early to incorporate some anti-aging ingredients into your skincare regime!).

  1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: Cleansing is essential to get rid of unwanted dirt, oils and other contaminants which can clog the pores or lead to a dull, uneven complexion. This cleansing wash is gentle enough for everyday use, has a pH of 5.5 so it won’t disturb the delicate pH balance of your skin, contains glycerin to replenish hydration during cleansing, and Virgin Marula Oil high in antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9 improving the cleansing and hydrating properties of the formula.
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: This intensive hydration serum is excellent as it includes pro-vitamin B5 (a fantastic hydrator), pineapple ceramide to boost skin luminosity; sodium Hyaluronate, a derivative of Hyaluronic Acid with smaller molecular weight to penetrate deep into the skin and deliver hydration where it’s most needed; and Squalane, a natural oil which works as a barrier on the skin prevent transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin nourishment.
  3. Lala Retro Whipped Cream: This breakthrough rescue cream contains an essential mix of African oils and a plant ceramide complex. What does this mean for your skin? Luxurious, rich moisture without feeling heavy on the face. Other ingredients include a hyaluronate crosspolymer for added hydration, and green tea seed extract for added antioxidant and nourishing benefit.
  4. Shaba Complex™ Eye Serum: A super effective eye cream which contains Vitamin C to firm the skin around the eye area and even the complexion. Other ingredients include coenzyme Q10 which works to drastically improve fine lines and wrinkles, cucumber for added antioxidant benefit, and an 8-peptide blend to strengthen, hydrate and repair the skin. A readily absorbed formula that will nourish the skin around the eyes.
  5. Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30: Sun protection is critical to protect the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays and environmental stressors. This is a daily sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30, ideal for daily use and it doesn’t leave a residue or a greasy feeling. Contains Aloe Vera and Virgin Marula Oil for added hydration, and Algae Extract to protect against oxidative damage.

Nighttime Routine

  1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: This cleanser, as with the AM routine, is suitable for PM use. Ensure you’re thorough, especially around problem areas, and make sure you pat dry with a clean towel after cleansing (never rub).
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: Great for daytime and nighttime use, this serum will deliver additional hydration throughout the night to rejuvenate your skin.
  3. A-Passioni Retinol Cream: This vegan formula by Drunk Elephant contains 1% Retinol to promote skin renewal, collagen production and drastically reduce the appearance of fine lines, large pores and wrinkles. The addition of passionfruit, kale, apricot and apricot work to soothe the skin.
  4. Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil: This luxury facial oil delivers rich hydration that is easily absorbed into the skin. 100% cold pressed and filtered Marula Oil with essential fatty acids to hydrate the skin and prevent trans-epidermal water loss.
  5. Shaba Complex™ Eye Serum: Coenzyme Q10, peptides, Vitamin C and cucumber are just a few of the ingredients this powerhouse eye cream boasts. Works to deliver intense hydration, minimise dark circles, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Drunk Elephant Routine for Acne-Prone Skin

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

Acne forms when the small pores on the skin become clogged. It is therefore imperative that a skincare regime for acne works to reduce congestion and inflammation, regulate sebum production, and exfoliate deep into the pores.

  1. Pekee Bar: A thorough cleanse is much needed if you suffer from oily skin, and this Pekee Bar does just that. With a pH of 6.5, this bar gently but effectively removes skin impurities, makeup and excess oil while moisturising and maintaining the skin’s protective barrier.
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: This intensive hydration serum is excellent as it includes pro-vitamin B5 (a fantastic hydrator), pineapple ceramide to boost skin luminosity; sodium Hyaluronate, a derivative of Hyaluronic Acid with smaller molecular weight to penetrate deep into the skin and deliver hydration where it’s most needed; and Squalane, a natural oil which works as a barrier on the skin prevent transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin nourishment.
  3. C-Firma Day Serum: A potent day serum with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) as well as Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E. This serum works to brighten and even skin tone, neutralise free radicals, and minimise signs of aging.
  4. Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30: Sun protection is critical to protect the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays and environmental stressors. This is a daily sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30, ideal for daily use and it doesn’t leave a residue or a greasy feeling. Contains Aloe Vera and Virgin Marula Oil for added hydration, and Algae Extract to protect against oxidative damage.

Nighttime Routine

  1. Pekee Bar: This cleansing bar, as with the AM routine, is suitable for PM use. Ensure you’re thorough, especially around problem areas, and make sure you pat dry with a clean towel after cleansing (never rub).
  2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: Great for daytime and nighttime use, this serum will deliver additional hydration throughout the night to rejuvenate the skin.
  3. T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum: An AHA/BHA powerhouse serum containing Glycolic, Tartaric, Lactic, Citric and Salicylic acids to exfoliate the skin, regulate sebum production, control oiliness and unclog pores all without the typical side effects of AHA/BHA treatments such as skin dryness.
  4. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream: Coenzyme Q10, peptides, Vitamin C and cucumber are just a few of the ingredients this powerhouse eye cream boasts. Works to deliver intense hydration, minimise dark circles, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

References

Product images: https://www.drunkelephant.com/

Well that concludes the regimes, we hope you’ve found this article to be useful. What are your favourite products by Drunk Elephant? Let us known in the comments below 🙂 – OBVS. Team

The Inkey List: Top Five Products

The Inkey List focus on providing superb skincare results at a budget price point. While their product line is expanding (even into haircare), there are a few hero products we’ve found provide better results than the rest –including luxury alternatives on the market. We’ve compiled a list of the best five products The Inkey List currently have to offer.

1. Q10 Serum

The Inkey List Q10 Serum

This serum by The Inkey List contains Coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant which works to battle aggressive environmental stressors, free-radicals as well as slowing down signs of aging. A fantastic serum with a lightweight, non-greasy consistency, it sinks right into the skin. Also containing Hyaluronic Acid for added hydration, Syn®-tacks –the brand’s own dual peptide innovation with collagen boosting benefits– and their Squalane solution, a non-comedogenic oil derived from olives (and currently a hot moisturising ingredient in most high-end products).

Friendly to sensitive skin, this serum is unlikely to react with accompanying products, and provides a great antioxidant substitute to Vitamin C, for those who need a gentler alternative. The best part? It retails for only £4.99 (yep), so you can definitely test-drive this serum in your skincare repertoire.

Get it here: The Inkey List Q10

2. Peptide Moisturiser

The Inkey List Peptide Moisturiser

A strong(er- dare we say it) dupe for Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream. Both are packaged in push down pump containers and share similar ingredients. Drunk Elephant’s moisturiser is renowned for fantastic hydrating and repairing properties, and The Inkey List’s Peptide Moisturiser is almost identical in consistency and results (but with a price tag of only £14.99 –that’s roughly a £40 saving on this drugstore equivalent).

Get it here, The Inkey List Peptide Moisturiser

3. Bakuchiol Moisturiser

The Inkey List Bakuchiol Moisturiser

A natural, gentle alternative to Retinol, this moisturiser by The Inkey List contains 1% Bakuchiol. Bakuchiol works to reduce the signs of skin aging and pigmentation, while boosting skin hydration and promoting an even complexion. An extremely lightweight formulation, only a pea sized amount is required to cover the entire face. The formula leaves your skin looking soft and glowing all day long. Unlike Retinol, Bakuchiol doesn’t increase skin sensitivity to sunlight, and therefore can be used both in the AM or PM.

KEY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1% Bakuchiol helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • 3% Squalane helps to hydrate and protect the skin
  • 1.5% Sacha Inchi Oil rich in omega-3 to nourish the skin

Get it here, The Inkey List Bakuchiol Moisturiser

4. Niacinamide Serum

The Inkey List Niacinamide

If you know anything about skincare, you’ll have heard of Niacinamide by now. But if you haven’t, Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 known for its blemish combatting and sebum regulating qualities. This serum by The Inkey List contains 10% Niacinamide, which works to reduce excess oil production, breakouts and redness. Great for those with oily/breakout prone skin and acne, this formulation is lightweight, non-comedogenic and is easy to incorporate into your current skincare routine. Also contains Hyaluronic Acid for additional skin hydration and absorption.

Get it here, The Inkey List Niacinamide Serum

5. Kaolin Clay Mask

The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask

A mask for those who are breakout and shine prone, this Kaolin Clay mask by The Inkey List uses a natural ingredient to tackle blemishes, without being overly drying. Kaolin Clay draws out impurities and absorbs excess oils, which can work to unclog pores. For when you’re in need of a deep clean, this formula is still extremely gentle and can be used on all skin types. Like all products by the brand, the price point is their most impressive asset, with the mask available for only £4.99.

Get it here, The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask

What are your favourite Inkey List products? Let us know in the comments down below 🙂

– Harris, OBVS. Team

The Inkey List Retinol Review

Everyone’s heard of The Ordinary by now, but sharing a brand focus of top results at a low budget, The Inkey List are slowly pushing them out of first place. Striving for innovation and alternatives, The Inkey List has established itself with a staple set of products typically priced no more than £15 per item. Read our review of The Inkey List’s Retinol serum below.

The Product

The Inkey List Retinol Serum (30ml) contains:

  • 1% RetiStar stabilised Retinol
  • 0.5% Granactive Retinoid
  • Squalane for hydration and soothing

A quick glance at the ingredients above and you’ll see that this serum is far from any typical Retinol serum. We’ve briefly covered the key ingredients and what they do below.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. When applied topically, retinol is converted by enzymes into retinoic acid which has been shown to boost collagen synthesis and therefore reverse and reduce signs of aging. Retinol serums can also help to make pores smaller and even skin tone.

RetiStar

RetiSTAR is a retinol derivative trademarked by The Inkey List. According to The Inkey List, “RetiSTAR™ is a stable form of retinol in a dispersion containing tocopherol, sodium ascorbate and PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil in caprylic/capric triglycerides to ensure maximum effectiveness. Conventional retinol creams and serums can flood the skin with retinol which can cause skin sensitivities and redness” [1].

What is Granactive Retinoid?

Granactive retinoid is a complex of solubilized Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR). HPR has been seen to exhibit better anti-aging characteristics with less risk of irritation compared to standard Retinol.

What is Squalane?

Squalane is a fantastic natural non-comedogenic oil derived from olives. (Read more about Squalane, it’s benefits and the ethics of it’s extraction). Squalane has various benefits for the skin, including excellent hydrating qualities which can soothe dry skin and minimise signs of aging.

A common side effect of Retinol treatments is dry skin. The addition of squalane in this retinol serum ensures this is minimised.

Read Before Using

Typical side effects of Retinol and it’s alternatives include:

  • Redness and sensitivity
  • Irritation and inflammation
  • Peeling
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight

As always, make sure you patch test the product prior to use on a small inconspicuous area of skin.

The Results

I’m no beginner when it comes to using Retinol serums, so my skin responded really well to this serum upon first application. The serum is lightweight, non-comedogenic, and sits well on top of Hyaluronic Acid. I always recommend using Hyaluronic Acid before/underneath Retinol serums as it decreases risk of irritation, and provides additional anti-aging benefit. I applied this serum daily, but if you’re only just starting off with Retinol, perhaps only use it 2-3 times a week until your skin builds up a tolerance.

The goal with any Retinol solution is to ultimately reduce visible signs of aging. These typically include fine lines and wrinkles around the forehead, eye and mouth areas, and enlarged pores. If you’re anything like me and overly expressive, you’ll know all about wrinkles in the above areas. Now, one of the few things that can stop those wrinkles from forming in the first place is, as you’re probably aware, botox. But this is not always an option, especially if you’re frightened of having needles poking your delicate facial skin.

Retinol is therefore what many turn to, including myself, to battle those pesky wrinkles without having to break the bank. Non-prescription retinoids (including this retinol serum) typically show good results at the 3 month mark.

The Verdict (After 90 Days)

  • Minimised Pore Size: 6/10
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles: 7/10

The combination of Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol serums has worked wonders these past few months. My skin feels plumper and tighter which has reduced the appearance of the fine lines, especially around the forehead area. The deeper wrinkles are mostly unaffected as of yet, but Retinol requires continued use to reap the full benefits. Consistency is key with Retinol, as it will not only reverse signs of aging, but will also prevent those wrinkles and fine lines from becoming so prominent in the first place.

I love this serum, at £9.99 it’s an absolute steal and will be in my skincare collection for the near future.

Get it here, The Inkey List Retinol Serum

– Harris, OBVS. Team

References:

Featured Image: https://www.theinkeylist.com/products/retinol?_pos=1&_sid=1f6325038&_ss=r

[1] https://www.theinkeylist.com/products/retinol?_pos=1&_sid=1f6325038&_ss=r