The Inkey List Vitamin C Serum Review

The Inkey List is a popular low-cost skincare brand, I was invited to one of their events this year and was gifted with a few of their products which I have been using for a while. In this post, I will be reviewing their Vitamin C serum.

The Vitamin C serum is 30% stable L-ascorbic acid in a stable waterless formula. It promises a brighter youthful complexion whilst boosting collagen production and protection from pollutants.

Experience

I have been using the serum for the last 2 to 3 weeks as part of my morning routine. I use after toner before my moisturiser. Even though it’s a high ascorbic acid content, I have not experienced any irritation from this.

The serum has a silicone feel and gritty texture, in the first few times I used this, I used it alone over my toner and I did not like the results. It had a powdery feel and left my skin dry (it is a waterless formula) I also had the tingling sensation they warn you about. I started mixing the Q10 serum (also from the brand) with the vitamin c and I liked it much better. I got hydration, a much easier texture to play with and less tingling. There was still some tingling sensations but less compared to using it alone. The Inkey List actually recommend using it with their hyaluronic acid serum(for less tingling) but I used the Q10 for added antioxidant power. I’ve run out of Q10 so I now mix it with another hydrating serum.

The serum is amazing. It has left my skin brighter and started to fade some of my pigmentation. I also noticed it has left my skin smoother. The serum also layers well with other products without pilling which is great. This is a silicone base so if you don’t like that texture this serum is not for you.

Verdict

At 7.99, this high vitamin c content serum is a great product to use. I prefer to mix mine with a hydrating serum for extra benefits. The serum alone has a silicone base so expect no hydration and a powdery texture on the skin. Due to the high vitamin c content tingling can be expected. I really like this because I have seen improvements in my skin both texture wise and complexion. Vitamin C is also an amazing antioxidant so I know I am getting extra protection in addition to my SPF in the AM. I have also used this in my PM routine.

I would definitely recommend and buy once I’m out of this.

Vitamin C Serum is £7.99 on Cult Beauty

Pixi Vitamin C Review

Pixi has been popular because of their Glow Tonic AHA toner. Whilst the makeup range isn’t the most diverse, I do like their skincare range and used a few of their products. This year, they expanded their skincare collection by adding new ranges including the Vitamin C range. The 6 product strong collection features a vitamin C toner, cleanser, serum, leave-on mask and lotion.  I bought the travel size kit featuring the tonic, caviar balm and lotion. This post will be a full review of the latter two products.

The Vitamin C range has Vitamin C and promises to effortlessly brighten the complexion. The Vitamin C lotion is a lightweight daily moisturiser that can be used daily as part of a routine. The Caviar balm promises to leave the skin hydrated and brighter with encapsulated vitamin c in the form of a leave-on mask.

Pixi vitamin c review

Experience

Both products smell great, the scent reminds me of a sweet orange essence scent. Both products have Ascorbic acid however in a medium length ingredient list, ascorbic acid is somewhere in the middle for the Caviar Balm and in the 6th ingredient in the Vitamin C lotion. Both products have Ferulic acid and lactic acid. I experienced no irritation from both products.

Vitamin C lotion- I used this in my PM routine as my moisturiser. The lotion is lightweight and layers well over serums without pilling. It absorbs into the skin easily.  Whilst I like that it was very easy to use in a routine, I do not think I experienced a lot of benefits from this. It did provide some hydration but it wasn’t long-lasting. In terms of brightening my skin, I can’t honestly say I saw a huge difference.

Caviar Balm- the caviar balm took me a little longer to add to my routine, I used this as a rinse-off mask. I do not like leave-on masks because I prefer to use serums and a moisturiser. The mask has the same sweet orange scent and almost the same texture as the lotion. The encapsulated vitamin looks and feels like slightly gritty but they easily melt into the skin whilst the mask I on. I leave this on for 10 mins before rinsing away. I do see a slightly brighter complexion but it’s not enough to blow me away.

Verdict

Out of the two, the only one I would think of repurchasing is the lotion only because of the added Ferulic acid which makes gives this added antioxidant benefits. It’s not super hydrating but it’s lightweight so it would be nice to use in the spring/summer. The caviar balm didn’t make much of a difference. whilst the collection has ascorbic acid, their position in the inkey list makes me question how effective they would be, however, they also have additional beneficial ingredients like vitamin e, Ferulic acid and lactic acid.

I think I would rather recommend something with pure vitamin c without a lot of fillers in it.

Pixi Vitamin C Lotion and Caviar Balm is available from Boots



Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence Review

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence Review

 

This year I fell in love with k-beauty products and after discovering YesStyle I was able to try a lot of products. Snail secretion filtrate is one of the popular ingredients and this comes in many forms: creams, essences, masks etc. when I heard of the many benefits of snail secretion (hydration, repairing benefits, reinforcing skin barrier etc) I was intrigued and wanted to try it. I got one of the most popular snail essences on the market: Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence contains a high amount of snail filtrate I think bout 90 or 95% plus 2% bee venom, vitamins and other beneficial ingredients. This promises to hydrate and repair the skin, whist reinforcing the skin barrier and smoothen the skin, all leading to a brighter heathier complexion.

Experience

I started using the snail essence straight away, using it after my acid toner and before a serum. The essence almost has no scent and the gel textured essence is easy to apply and sinks into the skin with ease. I did not experience irritation or breakouts from it. The essence layers well with other products without pilling. The essence is housed in a brown pump bottle.

In terms of hydration, I think the essence does leave my skin feeling hydrated and soft but for me that’s where the benefits stop. I used the essence till the halfway point before I started adding my vitamin c powder (from Good Molecules) for an antioxidant and brightening boost. It mixes well with the powder and again no irritation.

Verdict:

I am disappointed with this product. Snail filtrate was so hyped and Benton’s essence is one of the most popular ones on the market with a high snail filtrate content. A lot of reviews claimed healing hyperpigmentation smoother and brighter skin. For me, my benefits were hydration and soothed skin. I did like using it after derma planning, it feels slightly cooling on the skin and doesn’t dry tight however I wanted more. I’ve only now finished the bottle since getting it in March, it took a while because I wasn’t motivated enough to use it because I wasn’t experiencing the benefits I wanted

Would I recommend it? I’m not sure. A friend of mine who also uses this loves it. I think if you are intrigued by the ingredient you can have a go if not you’re not missing out on anything.

Its £28 on Lookfanastic



Beauty Pie Plantastic Micro peeling Super Drops Review

Beauty Pie Plantastic Micro peeling Super Drops Review

I started the year with my Beauty Pie skincare challenge and it turned out to be really popular. I tried a few of their products and I have quite a few reviews on my blog.  This post will be another review, on their bestselling Plantastic Micro peeling Super Drops serum.

This serum promises super smooth skin by keeping breakouts at bay, refined pores and leaving the skin brighter. They recommend usage once or twice a week for maintenance or daily use if you have active breakouts. The serum is formulated with salicylic acid, fruit acids and natural brighteners.

Experience

I have to admit that my first experience with the serum was not great. I combined it with a niacinamide serum and it left my skin really dry and itching. I used it again two months later alone and I instantly fell in love. This is a very watery lightweight serum that sinks into the skin quickly. It doesn’t provide any hydration. The serum does layer well with other products, I used it sometimes twice a day AM & PM if I had active breakouts or just AM or PM for maintenance.

When I had active breakouts or experienced texture, I would use the drops for a week. The serum is great for reducing texture and healing the skin. The salicylic acid and fruit acids also help the skin appear smoother.

Verdict

The micro peeling drops are a best seller for a reason. I love using them when I had breakouts or texture. I did find the name slightly misleading because I thought micro peeling meant it was like a liquid peeling exfoliant but it’s not. The texture is very light and very watery and it’s very easy to use in a routine. I would definitely recommend this for oily to blemish-prone skin but normal skin can also benefit from it. Another great thing I love about this is the size, most serums come in a standard 30ml size however this comes in a 50ml size so it lasts for a while. I’m not sure why the combination with niacinamide made my skin itch but I’m very happy I gave this another chance. I will repurchase.

Beauty Pie Plantastic Micro peeling Super Drops is available on BeautyPie

Good Molecules Daily Brightening Serum Review

Good Molecules Daily Brightening Serum Review

Good Molecules have been around for a while now. The first charter about the brand was from the 2019 Beautylish Lucky boxes when they included a few products in the boxes. The brand promises low-cost skincare with highly effective products. I’ve been interested in the brand for a while and I have picked up a few of their products for testing.

Good Molecules is currently not available in the UK but you can get them via Beautylish. The Daily Brightening Serum is formulated with beta Arbutin and hyaluronic acid to gently brighten the skin and provide hydration.

Experience

I was using this every morning after toning and before my AM moisturiser and SPF. This is a very lightweight serum and layers very well with other products without pilling. I experienced no irritation from this. It comes in a lux glass bottle with a dropper (that works!) and in the standard 30ml. This serum caught my eye because I am always looking for ingredients and products that target pigmentation.

This serum has Beta Arbutin as its main ingredient. Arbutin is known for its brightening properties and its ability to inhibit excess melanin production. I have used Arbutin before but in the Alpha Arbutin form from the ordinary and I had no luck with that. I wrote off the ingredient completely but wanted to try this serum as it’s the beta form (although the alpha form is supposedly more effective). This serum also has hyaluronic acid for hydration.

I really like this serum. It’s lightweight and absorbs easily without leaving a ‘film’ on the skin and no stickiness. I find it provides some hydration and layers very well with other products. I never experienced pilling. In terms of gently brightening the skin, I began to see results in the 3rd to 4th week of using the serum: my skin generally looked healthier and some hyperpigmented spots seemed lighter but then I run out of it a week later. I was happy with this because although the results were slow I experienced some benefits compared to using alpha Arbutin

Verdict

Good Molecules say this serum gently brightening the skin tone and it definitely does. Gently! You definitely have to stick to using it. It provides hydration and brightening and it was very easy to add to a routine. The serum can be used day and night but I preferred it for daytime use. I wish I had another bottle to start using immediately after I finished it because I would have had better results.

Will I repurchase: yes because I really like it and it works!

Good Molecules Daily Brightening Serum is $9 on Beautylish. You can also get it in the Correct Brighten & Boost set for $29 which also has 2 two products. I got the set (it works out to be the same price if you bought those two products separately). This is the first product I have finished from the brand and I am impressed (I’ve been using the vitamin C booster powder intermittently! I still have a few products to use and I will be looking out for any new products on Beautylish

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum Review

Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair (ANR) Serum is one of their bestselling skincare products. The serum has been around for a very long time now with its patent expiring in 2033. The 2nd generation serum from the brand promises to fight the signs of ageing, promote radiance and deliver hydration for all ethnicities. Being the skincare fanatic that I am, I have always had my eyes on this serum and I finally saved up enough Boots points to get it last year and I started using it this year, a few months ago. I purchased it in the giftset below- but I think this is now out of production because I can’t find it anywhere!

Experience

Prior to using the full-sized product, I used the deluxe travel size which I instantly fell in love with – this is why I started saving all my points for the full size.

The serum is a light textured serum with a pleasant scent, it is absorbs into the skin very quickly. The serum layers well with other serums although I mostly used it alone at night, probably 4 to 5 times a week. I did also use it in the morning a few times and it works wonderfully well under SPF and makeup.

Is it worth the hype?

I first noticed how well the serum was working when I went travelling. Usually travelling stresses out my skin and the results are a dull appearance, dryness and texture. I noticed when I used this serum prior to and during time away, my skin remained fresh and radiant with little to no texture. When I used the serum after travelling, back home, my skin recovers quicker. On nights where I have had little to no sleep, I usually wake up with textured and dull skin but using the ANR every night basically helped my skin recover overnight. In terms of radiance, I have definitely seen a difference in the appearance of my skin: it looks healthier and appears more radiance. I was hoping for it to improve my hyperpigmented spots but I have not seen a huge improvement in those. In terms of hydration, the Estee Lauder ANR delivers hydration and there have been many nights when I would layer this serum over a mist without no moisturiser, only to still wake up to beautifully soft skin!

For 2 weeks, I layered the serum with the Estee Lauder ANR Ampoules (deluxe sample size) and let’s just say my skin never looked better! Skin recovery from texture, tiredness and general ‘blah’ was literally overnight! I instantly fell in love with those ampoules as well. The ampoules have a hefty price tag of £89 but it was so worth it! This combination is the perfect skincare prep for long days, big events and travelling. I NEED those ampoules!

Verdict

When you hear the hype of this serum, please believe it. It’s pricey but it’s so worth it. It truly does repair and restore the skin overnight and for me, any signs of tiredness and dullness goes away. My skin has been consistently smoother and radiant because of this serum and now that I have finished the entire bottle (I waited to finish it before doing this review) I can definitely see a difference and I need another bottle!

It’s not the longest inkey list I have seen, the main star is Bifida Ferment Lysate which is a yeast-fermented product which studies have shown to have a soothing and restorative effect on the skin. There is also vitamin E and squalene among other ingredients.

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule is a popular k beauty product which the beauty community swears to be a dupe for Estee Lauder ANR. The ingredients are pretty similar but Missha has a longer inkey list. I plan to get this for testing & comparison.

In short: if you want a luxury high-end all-rounder serum this is the one to go for. It’s popular for a reason. I am very impressed with how well it repairs the skin and leaves it radiant and hydrated. It reduces signs of stress overnight and leaves the skin smoother.

Estee Lauder have a lot of affordable skincare sets featuring a deluxe travel sized ANR and I would recommend you purchase one to test before deciding on spending on the full size. E.g. Estee Lauder Power Pair set is £18 on Debenhams

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum is £55 for 30ml in Boots

 

 

Lixir Skin AHA/PHA 10% Night Switch Review

I’m not new to the Lixir skin brand although my first experience was negative. Read my thoughts on their vitamin c paste here. I love acid serums so when I saw the AHA PHA 10 night serum I knew it was something I needed to try. This serum promises to gently exfoliate the skin for smoother skin.

Experience

I am very comfortable with using skincare acids even at higher percentages or a combo of acids. This AHA PHA blend at 10% promises to gently exfoliate the skin for smoother healthier skin. You are directed to use at night for 3 weeks then take a break OR switch to another night switch serum mixed with one of their moisturizers. I have been using mine neat, 3 times a week and I have experienced no irritation.

AHA PHA are acids both known to gently exfoliate the skin. 10% is a good conc for it to actively work. I remember feeling a tingling sensation when I first used it but subsequent use didn’t give that sensation.  I didn’t experience any burning or rashes with this. This is a very lightweight watery serum and I find it sinking into the skin with ease.  It offers some hydration but not a lot. I use this after a water mist and on nights I use this acid serum, I don’t combine it with any other acid. I usually layer a gel-cream afterwards or I have used it a few times with my Estée Lauder ANR. Lixir Skin AHA PHA is a blend of 3 acids: lactic (AHA) lactobionic (PHA) and phytic (AHA).

Results? I am in love with this! It’s a small but mighty serum and I find my skin has been smoother and appears healthier since adding this to the night routine. I really thought I would run out of the 15ml serum very quickly, but using only 2 to 3 pumps 3 times a week, it’s lasted longer than expected. I think I am going into my 3rd month and I have only gone past halfway.

Verdict

This is a very well-formulated acid serum which is a blend of two of my fav acids at a percentage high enough to work but gentle enough to use. I’m not sure how sensitive skin will react to this. Although you are directed to mix with a moisturizer, I have been using mine neat and I have not had any issues but if you are going to use it this way, I would patch test first. You can also use this as a wash-off mask but I haven’t tried it yet, maybe I will before I finish the bottle.

The serum is good at exfoliation and I would recommend you stick to the 3x a week direction. It may look small but it lasts.

Please use acids with caution: stick to one leave-on acid product, e.g. serum or toner. There is no need to combine several acid products in one routine, for instance, an acid toner and cream especially if they are high concentration. Always use SPF 30 and above in the mornings no matter the weather (and preferably use a dedicated SPF, not an SPF moisturiser)

 

Lixir Skin AHA/PHA Night Switch Serum is £20 and available on Cult beauty

Your Good Skin Instant Brightening Booster Review

Your Good Skin by Boots is one of my favourite drugstore brands, I particularly love the SPF 30 day cream and the cleanser. I was browsing Boots and saw the brand new Instant Brightening Booster and I picked it up straight away. It was on introductory price plus I love anything that says Vitamin C and brightening.

The Booster promises to instantly brighten the skin give a boost of radiance. It has an antioxidant complex of Vitamin C, Green tea, Lipochroman and Vitamin E to help protect against the environment. The serum is non-pore blocking and safe for all skin types.

Experience

I opened the box as soon as I got home and was slightly disappointed to see the serum is iridescent with golden shimmer in it. I do not like iridescence in my skincare because I feel like its gimmicky but at this point, it was too late lol.

The serum is supposed to be used at least 3 times a week and mixed with the Balancing skin concentrate. I used it every morning and some nights ‘neat’ after toning and before other serums. The serum itself sinks into the skin very quickly but I don’t find it hydrating (it doesn’t claim to do this anyway). I experienced no issues with it using it alone. It doesn’t have any particular scent, just smells like skincare to me.

The serum didn’t do much to my skin in terms of brightening. Sure the iridescence will make the skin look more luminous thanks to the shimmer but I have not experienced any long term benefits. This serum has lasted 3 and a half weeks using it every morning and some nights.

Verdict

I always side-eye skincare products that promise radiance and have shimmer/iridescence because it’s almost always relying on that for radiance. That is the case for this booster. I didn’t experience any long term benefits but of course, the instant radiance is due to shimmer. Had I opened the box and saw this in-store, I wouldn’t have purchased it. The serum didn’t offer hydration for me and it also doesn’t claim to do this.

One benefit I can see is that the booster has an antioxidant complex of well-known antioxidant ingredients so at least I was getting that protection from pollutants.

Your Good Skin Instant Brightening Booster is £10.99 at Boots

Your Good Skin Brand Review

 

Beautypie Superdose Vitamin C Oxygen Boosting Moisturizer Review

I have been a member of Beauty pie for 9 months and so far so good. My BP challenge earlier this year introduced me to some great products and since they teased a lot more exciting products for the year, I decided to stick around for a while.

The Superdose Vitamin C oxygen boosting moisturiser is one of those products I was looking forward to. Vitamin C in a moisturiser that can be layered on top of anything else PLUS brightening properties?! YES PLEASE take my money!

 

This moisturiser boasts of 3% Nikkol VC-IP which they say is the most powerful most of cosmetic vitamin c. it also has an oxygen booster for tired skin ( 3%) Brightenyl (2%) for hyperpigmentation, lemon and Shea butter.

Experience

I bought this as soon as I saw it on the Instagram page and did more research into the ingredients. The ingredients especially Nikkol and Brightenyl seemed very promising for hyperpigmentation and since that is my main concern I decided to try it. The moisturiser comes in the same tube as the SPF and has a thick creamy texture. Whilst I don’t find the scent pleasant it doesn’t linger and I have not experienced any irritation from it.

To be honest, I did not like this moisturiser because I couldn’t see any improvements in my skin. I have been using this every morning and sometimes at night – although it was only a few times. I’ve been using this for 2 months and I have just a small amount left to take it to 2 months and a few days if not a week. The ingredients seemed every promising but for me, my skin did not show any improvements in terms of hyperpigmentation or a general brightening effect. I also don’t like how the moisturiser looks on my skin upon initial application. It looks like there is a slight cast and my skin looks slightly dull. It does provide some moisture which lasts through the day. I have mixed this with ferulic acids and its fine, it doesn’t pil on top of other serums even with the drops added.

Verdict

I am very disappointed with this moisturiser. I was very excited to try a stable vitamin c moisturiser and I was hoping for improvements in my skin. The only reason I would prefer it as a moisturiser is because of its antioxidant properties but that’s not enough for a repurchase. I have spoken to another Pie member who absolutely loves this moisturiser (but also dislikes the super healthy daily lotion I love).

For me, I didn’t see any improvements. I’m still a member of BP and will be for a while, they have a lot of exciting stuff coming. I want to try the makeup range and provide swatches on dark skin as there are hardly any out there. The amazing thing about BP is that your allowance rolls over, so I have been saving my PIE since March and have a good pot saved for a haul.

I’m so grateful for all the feedback I am getting for my Beautypie reviews, there aren’t many in-depth reviews so I will keep it coming

Beautypie Superdose Vitamin C Oxygen Boosting Moisturizer is £10.14 for members on Beautypie

 



OMI Solanoveil Protect Face Milk SPF 50 review

I have now tried 5 Asian sunscreens from YesStyle. 3 were amazing but the other 2 were not. Today’s post will be a full review and demo on the OMI Solanoveil Protect Face Milk SPF 50 PA+++. This is alcohol-free and has ‘beauty care’ ingredients like hyaluronic acid and arbutin.

Experience

The texture of this sunscreen is extremely lightweight and runny, I don’t think the ‘milk’ texture describes it well. Unfortunately, this sunscreen is not suitable for dark skin and it leaves a very tell-tale white cast on the skin. It doesn’t feel extremely matte on the skin. I got this after watching a review on YT and they commented on how invisible it was on the skin. The Youtuber was white however I do also watch her other videos as she has used quite a lot of Asian sunscreen reviews. I got some of the other SPF’s she has used and they were fine on my skintone. If you have white to light skin this sunscreen may be able to work for you. It’s one of the few Asian sunscreens I have come across that is alcohol-free.

Verdict

Not suitable for dark skin unless you cover it with makeup however it may have flashback. I wouldn’t recommend it as there are other SPFs that are 100% invisible. I am getting 4 more Asian sunscreens to test out before I start working on my Asian sunscreen edit. For now, you can check out the other Asian SPFs I have reviewed: Missha SPF 45, OMI Waterproof SPF 50

For western sunscreens, see my sunscreens for dark skin edit here

OMI Solanoveil SPF 50+ PA+++ Protect Face Milk is £7.39 on YesStyle*

Use my code SARAHF1 for ££ off your order.

*affiliate link