Is it me or is Sephora a breeding ground for spectacular skincare launches of late? What makes the issue worse is that they’re all pretty tempting. Over the past month, I’ve gotten to play with a bunch of newness and have thought why not share the five biggest highlights? From cleansers to moisturizers, below is a quick round-up of what impressed me most and why.
Drunk Elephant Slaai
You probably don’t have a clue as to how hard it is to excite me about an unscented cleansing balm. Luckily, Drunk Elephant’s Slaai ($34) grabs you first with the visuals: a cheery green container with an adorable magnetic scoop. Moving on to the sensory, since no fragrance is added (not even a drop of an essential oil), the cleansing experience isn’t boring, especially when you want to add a boost of exfoliation a couple of times a week with the sidekick bamboo and charcoal powder shaker.
I’m not a huge makeup person (a tinted moisturizer and undereye concealer at most) but I do need an oil or a balm to remove my SPF at the end of the day. The blend of plant butters, oils, and extracts melts away stubborn pigment, dirt, and sunscreen within seconds. It also liquifies on contact with water and rinses off very well. You may not be needing a washcloth nor seeking a second step in your a cleansing routine but my undiagnosed OCD triggers a follow up step with a cleansing foam or ‘beauty water’ after every balm.
SkinFix Barrier + Foaming Oil Cleanser
Are you ready for another fragrance-free face wash? The Skinfix Foaming Oil Cleanser ($28) has been my go-to most mornings of late. You may remember this Canadian brand has been sporting a slightly different look on the shelves of CVS or Target the last few years. After a minor makeover, the sensitive skin-friendly range is now at Sephora. Not all products survived the transition but this gentle cleanser has attained a cult following for a reason.
Don’t expect a traditional oil texture. And keep in mind that unlike ‘oil cleansers’ we massage into dry skin, this Skinfix formula goes on a wet face. It turns into a creamy lather and cleanses by using coconut-derived agents that never strip the skin nor disturb its pH. Since I prefer balm formulas for makeup and SPF removal, I am enjoying this one as a single-step morning wash, especially after having indulged in resurfacing acid potions or retinol treatments the night before.
Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Brightening Serum
A Vitamin C serum is a non-negotiable step in an effective anti-aging regimen. In case you don’t have a favorite or maybe you’re still searching for ‘the one’, check out the new Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Brightening Serum ($49) next time you’re at Sephora. The K-Beauty inspired range has expanded their fruity empire with an impressive glow booster. And yes, it contains 22% Pineapple Fruit Extract. Don’t expect to smell like a pinacolada, though; the pineapple scent is faint.
The beauty of this Glow Recipe treatment is that it can be used day or night. Don’t ever skip daily broad spectrum sunscreen after incorporating it into your routine as the exfoliation it delivers can render the skin more susceptible to sunburn (and hyperpigmentation). The potent blend includes brightening Ascorbic Acid, resurfacing Lactic Acid, skin plumping Hyaluronic Acid, soothing Chamomile and Aloe Extracts as well as firming Arginine. My express AM line up includes a cleanser, this serum, and sunscreen.
TATCHA Dewy Skin Cream
A word I gravitate to in skincare marketing? ‘Dewy’. A pro at chasing the ‘glow from within’, I couldn’t wait to try the new TATCHA Dewy Skin Cream ($68). My jar arrived a couple of months ago so I had plenty of time to enjoy it on the many freezing cold days when it worked brilliantly on my combination skin. FYI, the Dewy Skin Cream is RICH. Since the weather has warmed up with some unwelcome humidity, I have moved it to my PM routine since the formula is simply too heavy for daytime.
If you’re looking for a deeply nourishing moisturizer, the Dewy Skin Cream is worth a shot. It may appear somewhat basic but I am using it on nights as a reset button when I take a break from actives. It is packed with soothing and revitalizing Japanese Purple Rice, Algae, and Ginseng Extracts but the formula also contains dimethicone, which gives it a slightly occlusive feeling. With that said, you may want to avoid layering another product over this cream since doing so may cause pilling. In true TATCHA fashion, the intricate packaging and enticing scent elevate the task of moisturizing to an indulgent ritual of selfcare. Most importantly, it definitely makes my skin look dewy and plump.
Origins Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturizer
Since starting my retinol adventure over fifteen years ago, I have remained loyal to this truly impressive anti-ager. I’ve also moved away from the prescription strength Tazorac during the spring and summer months and opt for gentler, yet very comparable OTC formulas. My latest discovery of the Origins Retinol Night Moisturizer ($64) proves that a derm visit is not a must when searching for a good retinol treatment. The only catch is that you have to give it time and harness expectations — the results will be similar but not as dramatic and may take a few weeks longer to deliver noticeable improvement. You can expect refined pores, smoother texture, and a more even tone with less pronounced fine lines and wrinkles. Again, patience.
Why am I into the new Origins Plantscription launch? The convenient tube packaging followed by its creamy, spreadable, fast absorbing texture. It’s non-drying and non-irritating. In addition to the pure and high-grade form of Vitamin A (wish the brand would share the percentage but it’s a proprietary blend — I get it), the moisturizer is infused with Swiss Alpine Flower which helps stimulate collagen production. Other nod-worthy botanicals include Caffeine, Anise, Hibiscus, Artichoke, Algae, Barley, and St. Paul’s Wort. It’s quite impressive.
What are you some of your best Sephora finds lately?