THERE is no denying that as far as skin care is concerned, the biggest thing right now is a line called The Ordinary (from Canadian brand Deciem) and its line of affordable and no-gimmick serums and suspensions.
What makes The Ordinary groundbreaking? For one, the products are priced from $6 to $15. Second, each bottle and tube contains only one or two active ingredients. It is for this reason that they can be manufactured at a lesser cost.
The Ordinary’s most expensive product is a peptide-packed serum ($15). The Vitamin C Suspension 23 percent + HA Spheres 2 percent costs $6. The 100 percent Organic Cold-Pressed Rise Hip Seed Oil is priced at less than $10.
All products from Deciem, including The Ordinary, are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury and oxybenzone. They don’t test on animals or sell their products in mainland China.
The Ordinary recently launched two foundations in 21 shades, and the waiting list is tens of thousands long. But that’s another story. “Cool girl” skin care in the form of relatively new brand Glossier is also a big thing right now.
Glossier, an offshoot of the highly popular beauty blog Into the Gloss, markets itself as a line of “easy-to-use skin care and makeup”. At one time, the waiting list for Glossier’s skin care and lipsticks was 30,000 long!
The brand is all about emphasizing the beauty of your skin and using the products to give it a lit-from-within look. The bestsellers include the Milky Jelly Cleanser and Balm Dotcom, which is essentially jazzed-up petroleum jelly. The Priming Moisturizer is another cult favorite.
Purchases of Glossier products come with stickers and pouches, mostly in the brand’s signature powdery pink and white colors. We all wish we had Glossier founder Emily Weiss’s flawless skin and enviable confidence, but trying to achieve that with their products is half the fun.
You don’t love your skin if you’re not using a retinoid. What is a retinoid? It is basically a Vitamin A derivative that unclogs pores, boosts collagen to reduce fine lines and speeds cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin. Retinoids have been called the new “skin care miracle”, and for good reason.
Retinoids don’t only smoothen the skin’s appearance; they also address whiteheads, closed comedones and clogged pores. Note: Retinoids are stronger than retinols, in case you want to know the difference.
If you want to include a retinoid in your beauty regimen, it is best to consult a dermatologist so he or she could look at your skin and prescribe the appropriate product.
The term “cloud cream” was probably inspired by Korean beauty, but it is the latest trend that women are trying these days. Basically, a cloud cream is a powerful moisturizer.
An example is Dior Diorsnow Brightening Refining Moist Cloud Creme, which contains edelweiss extracts to even out discolorations and pores.
Perricone MD Hydrating Cloud Cream claims to be powered by hydrogen. “The smallest molecule in the universe, H2 Energy Complex rapidly penetrates the surface layers of the skin with a boost of hydrating vitality so that your skin looks reenergized and radiant,” the brand said on its web site.
Skin care also became more targeted. Bobbi Brown recently launched a line called Remedies, a collection of six skin-enhancing treatments designed to target specific skin-care needs and enhance the complexion.
Bobbi Brown developed three concentrates to improve vitality, boost hydration and strengthen the structure of skin. Skin Reviver (N°91) is a blend of green algae, Brussels sprouts and spinach that refreshes unhealthy, tired or damaged skin. Skin Moisture Solution (N°86), based on hyaluronic acid and mineral waters, promises intense hydration for parched, uncomfortable skin. Skin Fortifier (N°93), a rich blend of lipids, helps strengthen skin that has lost vitality and resistance to help fend off future damage.
The Skin Relief (N°80) concentrate, formulated with red algae and algae extracts, calms sensitive skin prone to redness and irritation, while Skin Clarifier (N°75) is a mix of emollient oils and salicylic acid to unclog pores and regulate sebum levels.
The Skin Salve (N°57) balm differs in texture to the concentrated treatment drops. Formulated with shea butter, beeswax, and extracts of turmeric and licorice, the balm repairs, protects and nourishes skin.
Korean beauty remains very popular, thanks to popular Korean dramas like Goblin. Watsons launched Cosrx last year, along with other brands like Scinic and Jayjun.
Cosrx is very popular for its acne-fighting products, such as the One Step Pimple Clear Pad and the Blackhead Power Liquid.
Cleansing is another area where women saw many changes with the growing popularity of double cleansing. Double cleansing is a two-step method of washing your face to get rid of makeup and dirt. First, you start off with a cleansing oil or micellar water (Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover is inexpensive but effective) and follow with your usual cleanser.
Micellar water used to be difficult to obtain (Bioderma from France) but now, we can get it in the drugstore or department store. Almost every brand, from Maybelline to La-Roche Posay, has its own version of micellar water.
What exactly is micellar water? It is made up of gentle microscopic oil molecules, called micelles, suspended in soft water that attach to dirt, grime, makeup and other dirt on your skin. It dissolves makeup without stripping your skin of moisture.
The best thing about skin care is that there are no rules. You do what you think is best for your skin. You can double cleanse, you can do the 10-step Korean thing, or you can just leave your skin alone except for sunscreen (a must!). You alone know what works for you and what doesn’t. ✚