Hello, lovely readers!

Hello my friends! Many of you across the globe are most likely experiencing a pretty strange and worrisome time right now. First and foremost, I hope that all of you are, and stay, healthy!

I’m certainly no expert on quarantines or living out a pandemic, and I have mixed feelings about buying things in a panic. So I’ve been trying to take it slow, and think about what’s really important to me. Here’s a few things I’ve done, or learned, over the past week.

I’m ashamed to say this, but I need to print out 50 copies of this poster and put them on every wall in my life.
  • I thought of the *most* essential skincare items for me that were running a bit low that I might miss over the next thirty days, and ordered an extra on Amazon today. For me, this includes CosRX Low PH Cleanser, Aquaphor, and Thayer’s Witch Hazel toner.
  • Body wash, as compared to hand soap, doesn’t appear to be experiencing the same level of price-gouging or running out of stock on Amazon. There are several different body washes available for less than $6. This is just as effective as regular hand soap or soap bars.
  • The label “antibacterial soap” doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily any more effective than regular soap — both will get the job done. Antibacterial soaps are best for hospitals — not for day-to-day use, because it will kill your ability to naturally fight off bacteria over time. So don’t worry about making that distinction during this time! Read a little more about the differences here)
  • If you find your local supermarket might be out of stock on items you need like toilet paper, paper towel, and hand soap, try thinking outside the box! Holiday-themed shops often stock paper goods (if you don’t mind a couple of Christmas trees on your paper towels in the middle of March 🙂 ). Discount retailers like TJ Maxx and Big Lots sometimes carry soap. (just please, please, please, don’t hoard! Pay it forward to the next person who needs the item, and leave some for them. Everyone needs a helping hand in times like this!)
  • And for all of my fellow women readers — I know this does not pertain to skincare, but please consider picking up one extra box of feminine products today! (I personally “forget” about needing these types of things until, well, two days before I need it).

I hope all of my beautiful readers stay safe out there — I’ll see you tomorrow for my regular Saturday post! ~A

CosRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Throw out your Cerave cleansers, boys and girls, I have found the new cleanser holy grail! (Just kidding, don’t throw out the Cerave, it’s still fine). Seriously though, this $9, 5 fl oz bottle is awesome for sensitive skin.

It’s a cleanser, so I don’t think I’ll have too much to say in the review since the process is quick: you apply the clear gel from the bottle on your face with a little water, and rub it in. Then, you wash it off. However, there are a few things this product is capable of that, strangely, many cleansers cannot do:

1- You only need 1 dollop of gel for your face to cover your entire face (as opposed to like, four pumps out of a bottle, and even then, you still think to yourself “I probably need another”),

2- It removes makeup fully,

3- Doesn’t strip your skin: your face won’t feel dry after you wash the product off of your face, and…

4- Doesn’t cause break outs! I can’t say for certain if it’s because of the cleanser or not, but I feel that the condition of my skin has been better since I started using it a few weeks ago,

5- The price point is pretty good at $10 a bottle.

The smell of the gel is a bit sterile, but I can live with that. That’s the point of soap, after all, isn’t it? So there you have it! The perfect cleanser. I absolutely recommend this. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: n/a

How much I actually like this product: 5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

COSRX Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream

Finally, a CosRX product that is compliant with my skin, and one I’m in absolute love with! If you’re looking for a heavy moisturizer, I very heavily recommend this one.

My story about this moisturizer begins with another, the coveted Cerave-in- a-Tub. At the height of my cystic acne, I wanted so bad for Cerave to be my HG, second-to-last step moisturizer, convinced that the weight of it was locking in a supreme amount of moisture which would help my skin recover from all the retinol and benzoyl peroxide I was applying to it. Maybe this was the case, but it was SO difficult to work with. It never played well with any other products, and the whitecast was difficult to rid of. I woke up the next morning feeling sticky, moreso than hydrated.

A couple other heavy creams came after this one, but this CosRX honey ceramide cream ended up ticking off all of the boxes, and being everything Cerave was not – the only gripe being the ridiculously small amount in the package for the price ($17), and perhaps a slightly shorter listing of ceramides in the ingredients.

This alcohol-free, odorless white cream spreads very easily into the skin, and you don’t need to go overboard on product – a few pea-sized amounts should do. It won’t pill with any other skincare product you have underneath, unless you apply it too soon in succession. I use this exclusively at night due to it’s weight, but I did try it once with makeup, and it didn’t make too much of a mess – obviously, the longer you wait between application, better. Immediately after application, I feel like my skin was bouncier. When I wake up in the morning, my skin STILL feels hydrated. This being my first honey cream, I was under the impression that the honey would make me feel sticky, but it didn’t.

As a bonus, this did not cause me to break out! I suppose I had pictured honey clogging every single pore in existence and causing a mess, but it absolutely did not. I felt, in fact, my pores had shrunk a bit overnight. All in all, this stuff is great. This is a new HG for me, and I’d recommend even those with sensitive skin give it a try. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4.75/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

CosRX Galactomyces 95 Toner Balancing Essence

One day, I woke up and decided I was bored with applying Cerave PM every single day. I know, complete blasphemy, right? Cerave PM is amazing. But I wanted to switch up my niacinamide treatment, so I picked up this product from CosRX.

I love CosRX for both their packaging simplicity, and their short ingredient lists. The product — clear, watery gel — can be seen from the outside of the bottle. You don’t need too much of the product, it’s easily spreadable once on the skin. The absorption time is a bit long — probably close to 5 minutes — and sits “tacky” on the skin even when dried. Considering the tackiness, though, it doesn’t pill up against other products as much as I thought it would.

Sadly, it turns out my skin is pretty sensitive to this product, so I wasn’t able to use it enough to see the long term results. For the short-term, I didn’t really see anything noticeable, not quite the way The Ordinary’s Niacinamide temporarily turned my skin into glass.

I tried this out both morning and night. A few hours after, I noticed quite a bit of pore congestion, and I believe I had some small breakouts from that. There’s no alcohol in this product, so my suspicion is that my breakouts are related to the fermented ingredients. Case in point, I used to use My Beauty Diary Natto Masks (natto = fermented soybean) religiously, with no issues whatsoever. Freakin’ love that sheet mask. But one day, a year and a half later, these masks started to have roughly the same effect on me that Galactomyces has on me now: it caused crazy pore congestion and breakouts.

I would tread carefully if you have sensitive skin. Cerave PM is probably a much safer option if you’re prone to breakouts. This is also relatively pricey — $18 — although you do get quite a bit of product. If you’ve been able to try this product out to see any long-term results, please comment and let me know how you like it!

Side note: You may also recognize this product as “Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence”. I think the renaming was probably for the best… ~A

Try out Galactomyces here: https://amzn.to/2Sf9Ilo

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 3/5

How much I actually like this product: 2/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No