Welcome to your monthly skincare update—I've got so many exciting products to show you this time around!
As usual, I edited down all the launches that crossed my desk to bring you the ones that are REALLY worth checking out, including:
- New moisturizers with mostly-natural ingredients
- Healthy cleansing cloths
- High-zinc sunscreen at the drugstore
- A Lotion P50 alternative
- Better thermal water mist
- And more!
Here's your guide to the latest and greatest in skincare...
Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream
For a while there, I thought mainstream brands had completely abandoned the idea of making natural products. But not all hope is lost—Kiehl's has just launched a 99.6 percent natural moisturizer!
The Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream is a unique lightweight cream with an ingredients list we can all understand, for once. No silicones, no mineral oil and mostly botanicals instead of strange chemical compounds. The star is Manuka honey, which gives it an almost gooey texture. (Although it's not sticky and dries down beautifully.) It even looks honey-ish, since it's tan instead of white!
This isn't really an anti-aging cream but more of a "healthy skin" cream that hydrates and helps to strengthen the skin barrier. The ingredients list is not perfect, but MUCH better than the vast majority creams I've seen, making this an excellent option if you're searching for a new moisturizer. I'm really impressed!
Korres Greek Yoghurt Smoothie Priming Moisturiser
With a name like Greek Yoghurt Smoothie, how could you not be intrigued by the latest product from Korres? This is a lightweight cream-gel that packs 26 percent Greek yogurt proteins—which they say will strengthen and repair skin tissues, just like protein in your diet.
It also doubles as a primer under makeup, and a silicone-free one at that! I love that it leaves skin feeling hydrated and smooth, without any oily residue or the typical silicone "slip."
Overall, this formula is 94.7 percent natural, so it's quite a rare find. Like the Kiehl's, there a few things I wish weren't in here (high phenoxyethanol, which might be irritating, and the sunflower oil, which is prone to oxidation). But it would most certainly be better for your skin than the typical silicone-heavy moisturizers and primers!
Consonant Come Clean Anytime Natural Cleansing Cloths
Cleansing cloths usually have questionable ingredients (including too much fragrance) and leave a weird film on your face. Am I right? But finally, there's a healthy option thanks to my beloved Consonant.
The Come Clean Anytime Natural Cleansing Cloths are totally skin-friendly. They're 100 percent natural and made from biodegradable bamboo. The surfactant, coco betaine, is gentle and won't strip your skin. I tested these with waterproof eyeliner and they got it off right away, although you might need to use two wipes (or cleanse twice) if you're wearing a full face of water-resistant makeup.
These leave my face feeling clean and refreshed, without any tightness. If you need a good wipe for the gym or travel, I can't recommend these enough!
Where to buy: Sephora
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face SPF 50
If you've taken Better Skin in 7, then you know what I think about most mineral sunscreens on the market. They suck. That's because they don't contain adequate amounts of zinc oxide (or none at all!) to protect you from aging UVA rays. Titanium dioxide can only shield you from burning UVB rays.
So I'm thrilled to see that Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face SPF 50 has 21 percent zinc oxide! This will give you all the protection you need against both types of UV. To my knowledge, it's the only high-zinc formula available at the drugstore.
The downside is that it does contain quite a bit of silicone, however, it is oil-free. I'm still recommending it because it's so affordable and widely available, without any the health risks of chemical sunscreens. Hooray!
Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Crème
Do you remember the Éminence cream with jojoba beads I was showing you last month? Well, you can't really see them in this photo, but Chanel's new Hydra Beauty Micro Crème is based on the same idea, but with camellia oil instead.
Basically, the oil is suspended in tiny droplets in the formula, which only melt on contact with the skin. Camellia oil is a pretty good oil (mostly oleic acid, which is monounsaturated) and transforms this cream-gel into a more hydrating treatment.
None of us expect natural from Chanel, so yes, there is fragrance, silicone and colour in here, although they're further down the list compared to most creams I see. That's why I think this is a pretty good option if you're into luxury skincare! It's like you're getting the benefits of a rich cream but in an ultra-lightweight texture.
Burt's Bees Gentle Foaming Cleanser
Here's a super-affordable cleansing option if you've got skin that's on the oilier side. Burt's Bees Gentle Foaming Cleanser is sulfate-free and 98.9 percent natural... just what I love in a cleanser!
The texture of the foam is deceivingly airy, because upon wet skin, it feels creamier. This cleans well, and is easy to rinse away. But do steer clear if you have normal, dry or sensitive skin, as this would probably be a little drying for you. (They should probably get rid of the word "nourishment" on the label.)
Alumier MD Bright & Clear Solution
Lately, I've noticed that brands are taking a cue from Lotion 50 and coming up with their own versions of the sought-after exfoliating toner. Alumier MD's Bright & Clear Solution is one of the better alternatives I've seen!
This, too, has lactic acid, yeast extract and glycerin, so it's going to gently brighten and refine your skin texture. It also has the bonus of vitamin C and lime extract (the latter is apparently a source of alpha-hydroxy acids).
The texture is clear and watery, and the application method is the same—twice a day on bare skin, under moisturizer. This is a professional formulation, suitable for all skin types, and would likely give you similar results to the cult favourite!
Where to buy: Alumier MD
NeoStrata Brightening Peel Solution
Here in Canada, NeoStrata offers the next best thing to getting a chemical peel at the dermatologist's office. Case in point: the new Brightening Peel Solution, which contains a 25 percent exfoliating complex.
There's 10 percent glycolic acid; 10 percent gluconolactone (a polyhydroxy acid, which is like an AHA but gentler); 5 percent papaya enzyme; and 2 percent "Genowhite" (a peptide that lightens dark spots). Quite a unique and powerful combination of ingredients!
You're meant to leave it on for 20 minutes, one to three times a week, to even out skin tone and improve dullness. They also have a new Anti-Aging Peel with the same ingredients except for a different peptide. If you've been spending money on professional peels, this would be a good at-home alternative!
Where to buy: Well.ca
Attitude Natural Soothing Body Cream Daily Moisturizer
If you only go natural with one item in your beauty routine, it should be your body lotion. Since it's covering such a large surface area, and we tend to apply generous amounts of product, there's a higher chance of absorbing problematic ingredients compared to, say, face cream.
Attitude Natural Soothing Body Cream Daily Moisturizer is one of your best bets, and especially good for sensitive skin or eczema because it has 2 percent colloidal oatmeal. (It's also got the National Eczema Association's seal of approval.)
It's fragrance-free, with healthy oils like shea butter and coconut oil, and has a rich but non-greasy texture. Love!
Where to buy: Well.ca
Uriage Eau Thermale
French pharmacy brand Uriage has just landed in Canada, and their star product is the Eau Thermale. This is a thermal water mist that comes from the French Alps, and like all thermal waters, it helps soothe, hydrate and refresh the skin.
What's different compared to all the other face mists we could already get? Well, there's some data on their website showing how it compares to a "control" thermal water. Uriage achieved 32 percent more hydrated skin within one hour, compared to only 15 percent for the control brand.
I understand it's also the only isotonic thermal water, which means it has the same mineral concentration as our cells and blood. Other thermal mists are hypertonic, which is why they can be dehydrating. If that could be a problem for you, get this one instead!
Where to buy: Amazon.com
Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Peel-Off Mask
Finally, we have the Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Peel-Off Mask. Gosh, there's just something so satisfying about peeling stuff off your face! If you like doing that, this might be a fun product for you.
It's a charcoal-based mask that is specifically for acne-prone skin, and made with 97 percent natural ingredients. What I like most about it is the applicator, which allows you to brush it on instead of getting your fingers all messy. If you want the mask to peel off easily, make sure to apply it fairly thickly.
The charcoal might have a small effect on excess oil, but I think the main thing this does is take away dead skin. Your face does feel really soft afterwards. However, I wouldn't use it if you are sensitive or have open acne sores, as the peeling part could hurt you and even take off delicate skin! Also, don't expect it to take away blackheads—for that you're better off with a BHA product like the ones from COSRX or Paula's Choice.
We're in a really good moment for skincare, wouldn't you agree? I know many of these products are going to become staple recommendations, since I'm always on the lookout for safe creams, face wipes, sunscreens and more. So you should expect see them on this website again!
What's your favourite new skincare product lately?