I am fortunate enough to work for a retail company that allows me to try out all kinds of wonderful skin care lines and as such I have taken full advantage of it. I thought to myself today that it would be a worthwhile experience to actually do a post around what I have tried and give you an honest opinion around the experience. The twist? I’m doing from the point of view of an athletic woman, who generally hates makeup but also equally dislikes the prospect of getting wrinkly. Lately, I run about 15km a week (not a ton but enough), and I weight train consistently 3-4 times a week. That’s a lot of sweating and exposure to the elements. A typical day will have me come from work, maybe scarf something down and go straight to the gym. That being said, whatever I’m putting on my skin has to be able to work with those realities.
What is my skin type? Like a lot of people, I’m sensitive and prone to a bit rosacea. Usually leaning towards oily skin I also find it also craves moisture. I’m an oily moisture-less mess I suppose. Usually when I go for skin care items I seek out kits. Kits usually have a good mix of items or enough so that I can get a sense of if I want to keep using it or move on. The investment tends to be a bit more reasonable then buying everything separately and finding out after I hate it.
I will start off with what I’ve liked, and end off with I’m using currently.
First Up: Rodial Dragon’s Blood
I first tried this last summer and more specifically just the serum. It’s pretty pricey sitting at about $100 a bottle. Over the holidays though I bought the full kit which had the serum, moisturizer, eye cream and a mask.
My verdict: The Dragon’s Blood serum as a solo is a great summer serum. My skin looked amazing, despite all the sweat and small amount of powder I used. When I went back to it over the holidays, I wasn’t as impressed. The serum alone didn’t have a enough moisture and my skin started to peel. I used the moisturizer and mask to offset the peeling and although they were not bad I wasn’t hugely impressed. The under eye serum tended to make my eyes water, so I switched to using it only at night. When I get up in the am I found my skin was patchy and a bit ruff under my eyes. It was a no go for me.
The serum is excellent as a stand alone and only during the summer months. The moisturizer and mask were ok, and I didn’t care for the eye serum at all. They work well together but for the costs of the package ($170) it isn’t something I would buy as a kit again. I would buy the serum alone however during those hot months.
From a sweaty prospective, when I have it on during training – it was fine. Didn’t make my eyes water or adversely affect me in any noticeable way.
Clinique – Redness Solutions Redness Regimen
I bought this as kit and overall cost was about $75. It included a Soothing Cleanser, Daily Relief Cream and Daily Protective Base SPF 15. I usually hate SPF based skin care as I almost always breakout. I must have a sensitivity to the combination of ingredients. I am happy to report though with this line I had no such struggles.
My verdict: The cleanser was a cleanser. You will never sell me on the value of a cleanser, to me they are always “expensive fillers” and I always go back to using Neutrogena stuff when it’s done. In this case, it was the same. The cleanser really did not add any value. The Daily relief cream and protective base were not bad! I didn’t react, and I actually looked less red. Overall, I was impressed with the experience. My only caveat being, not a good line to use during the winter. It’s not heavy enough in the moisturizing department but during the spring-summer time I would definitely purchase it again.
From a sweat prospective, it did bug my eyes when I trained which was unfortunate. I guess the sweat mixed with the cream didn’t bode well with me and I almost always found myself wiping my eyes as they would burn. If you plan to give this a try, you may want to wash your face before you train and go with nothing.
Lancome – Advance Genifique Serum and Genifique Eye Light Pearl
Lancome as a brand is expensive. For both of these you’re looking at a $200 investment, but the brand also has a good track record. The serum is really nice, applies well and you don’t need a lot. My skin absorbed it like water and overall I had a good experience. I didn’t really notice any difference in my skin per say but it was a good maintenance serum that works well with other products and cooperates with powder foundation. When I worked out, it didn’t bother me in the least.
Would I buy the serum again? As part of a winter regime yes. But I was also using hydraluron underneath which is a moisture prep acid. I found when I used the product solo it wasn’t quite as effective. On the flip side, the Eye Light Pearl cream has been interesting. The application is a bit of pain and you tend to use to much at a time until you get used to the application. But it’s the first eye cream/serum I have used that I haven’t had issues with. Usually, when you use under eye cream and you sweat it makes your eyes burn as the blood in your face brings the serum closer to your eyes, then you wipe your face and it gets in your eyes which equals an uncomfortable burn. I have been using this serum for about 3 weeks and have worn it running and to the gym with no adverse effects. The catch? It doesn’t really seem to be making any difference in my fine lines under my eyes. Although nice, I’m not sure the price tag or hype is worth the effect. I’m unlikely to buy it again based on that which is a bummer as I am not affected by it.
b.kamins Blue Booster Kit
The kit is aimed at those with major redness issues. I thought I would give it a try and see what my luck was. Running about $70 it has 4 products ranging from a cleanser to a mask. I managed to last a week with it, then returned it. I reacted so badly that my eyes looked like I had been punched and were actually peeling. This was definitely not for me.
That brings me to what I am using currently!
Right now, I’m using a product called Stimulskin Plus by Darphin and a naturally sourced moisturizer by L’Occitane called Ultra Gentle Moisturizer with 8% Shea Butter. The Stimulskin seems impressive so far but will set you back $400 a bottle. I’m actually using a sample I was given and it’s a little early to make an official call on it. The L’Occitane moisturizer is nice though. Light in texture and smells wonderful I think I will stick with it for another month or so and see what the results are. It absorbs quickly is only about $45 a bottle and seems like a good cream to use during summer months. From a sweat prospective it’s also passed the test. Doesn’t bother my eyes, and seems to hold on through my ridiculous work outs.
The end verdict:
Rodial and Clinique are good summer options but only the Rodial didn’t bother my eyes during exercise. For winter, Lancome seems a better choice but a little pricey for what it claims. L’Occitane and Darphin are lovely but time will tell if the anti-aging properties will hold through. I have yet to find “the right eye serum” and will be testing out Biotherm’s Blue Therapy Eye shortly.
Hope that helps you make a decision! More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.