I thought I’d try something different and share a sole post dedicated to those products that either made no impression or me, or a bad one..
Paula’s Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturiser
I tried to give this moisturiser a fair chance when I first started using, but I could never get along with this one. The ingredients list instantly attracted me: vitamin C, retinol, ceramides – some of my absolute favourites, but this fell severely short. The texture is very lightweight, which I normally enjoy in a product, as it allows for layering, without weight, but this added no hydration to my skin. In fact, my skin would often feel tighter after using this. The scent and colour is that of a typical vitamin C product, which I don’t enjoy. For £55 for 50ml, it is the most expensive moisturiser the brand offer, and the most underwhelming, from what I’ve tried.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane
I used a full bottle of The Ordinary’s 1% Retinol in Squalane and loved it, so I had high hopes for this, a lighter than already light squalane – hemi-squalane. Squalane is not an oil, but a hydrocarbon. This was a total fail for me, as it just sat on top of my skin and didn’t sink in at all, as well as offering little hydration. I think this costs around £3 for a bottle, so it isn’t a total loss. I even tried to repurpose this as a cleansing oil, but word of warning, it’s terrible. I think I’ll stick with regular squalane in future.
Simple Age Resisting Night Cream
Simple are one of my favourite brands, high street or high end. Their products are the perfect mix of affordability and high quality. Although they don’t promise the sun, they do the basics really well, or as I like to call them, the ‘skincare bookends’ – cleanser and moisturiser. This, however, is an exception. The smell of this one is one that I can’t quite describe as anything but ‘like plastic’. The product itself isn’t bad, but the scent is enough to put me off using it and it swiftly got passed onto a family member after about 2 uses. I’ll be sticking to my tried and trusted Simple Rich Moisturiser in future.
Dermatica – 0.05% Tretinoin*
Dermatica are the UK equivalent of US brand, Curology. The brand provided me with a free trial of their treatments and following a consultation with one of their dermatologists, we decided to start on a 0.05% Tretinoin treatment. The texture of this is very light and watery, which made me feel like I needed more than a single pump to even cover my face. This aside, Tretinoin and I are definitely not the best of friends. I gave the product a full month of use, 2-3 nights per week, before deciding to part ways. The harshness of pure retinoic acid does more damage than good to my skin and for this reason, I decided to continue to explore retinalydehyde and higher strength retinol treatments instead. If it’s not broke, don’t try and fix it.
Alex Steinherr x Primark Maximum Moisture Moisturiser
I didn’t hate this, but didn’t love it either. It was a real ‘meh’ product for me. It’s loaded with some lovely oils and occlusives, but I found that it just bordered on the ‘too rich’ side of the scale for my skin. This was also really difficult to squeeze out of the tube, as it was so dense. Someone with chronically dry, dehydrated skin would love this, but unfortunately, it wasn’t the one for me. I’d be open to trying some of the lighter, moisturiser/serum hybrid products from this line, however. The PHA pads are also really brilliant, so not all hope is lost for Alex S x Primark!
Alex Steinherr x Primark Pore Balance Low pH Cleanser
This cleanser got a single use from me before deciding that it is absolutely rubbish. The consistency of the gel is so thick that it barely dispensed from the pump and required at least 3 pumps to get enough to satisfy a regular cleanse. Upon use, I noticed that this does not thin out and foam when added to water and unlike a regular gel wash, this did nothing but get rubbed around my skin, tightly and with lots of friction and dragging. To say I hated this was an understatement. Normally I’d try and repurpose a bad cleanser as a body wash, just to make use of it, but I didn’t think even my body deserved to be subjected to this rubbish. A strong fail in a line of quite a few really great budget products.
Boots Cucumber Clay Mask
While this is a functional, basic kaolin clay mask and by no means is terrible, masks never ‘wow’ me. For £1.50 for 50ml of product, this is definitely a very affordable option for something that will do the very basics and no more. The cucumber scent (a la fragrance) is rather pleasant, actually! This isn’t bad, but just doesn’t have a place in my skincare arsenal.