It's time for your update on the best new skincare launches lately!
This edition is particularly exciting, because I'm showing you...
- The cleanest, strongest over-the-counter retinoid that I've been waiting for all year
- A next-gen filler that you can administer yourself, at home
- A powerful antioxidant serum that's an alternative to vitamin C
- Plus a BHA mask, blue light pen and more!
Read on to discover the products that should be on your radar.
The Best New Skincare Products
Finally, CyberDerm's Retin+Erase is here! I've been singing the praises of this retinoid for MONTHS, as I was lucky enough to score a lab sample for testing earlier this year. I'll be doing a more detailed review soon, but for now, here's what you should know...
First of all, it's the cleanest retinoid on the market with just FOUR ingredients. No silicones, no unstable oils, and not even any preservatives or antioxidants (the formula is so stable, they aren't needed!).
What it does include is a one percent concentration (the maximum allowed by Health Canada) of hydroxypinacolone retinoate. This is a retinoic acid ester that has a similar action on the skin as retinoic acid (Retin-A), minus all the irritation. It's also the same ingredient that is in The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoids, however, you're getting at least double the dose here!
(More detailed explanation, because I've finally figured out the calculation: The term "Granactive Retinoid" refers to a mixture of hydroxypinacolone retinoate (the active ingredient) and dimethyl isosorbide (a solvent). CyberDerm's formula is comprised of 10 percent Granactive Retinoid to deliver one percent hydroxypinacolone retinoate. In comparison, The Ordinary offers Granactive Retinoid 5% and 2%, which would only give you 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent hydroxypinacolone retinoate respectively.)
In other words, THIS is the strongest over-the-counter retinoid product currently available. It also has a cream-gel texture that some may prefer to the Retinoid in Squalane.
Where to buy: CyberDerm
Fillerina Filler Treatment
It sounds crazy, but there is now such thing as a TOPICAL filler, that you can apply yourself, at home—no needles required! It's called Fillerina Filler Treatment, and it comes in three strengths.
They sent me the Grade One kit to try, which is meant for fine lines or for adding volume to lips and cheeks. Grade Two is for moderate lines and wrinkles, and Grade Three is for deep wrinkles and sagging.
You get two products in each kit, plus applicators. The Replenishing Gel is what does most of the work. It contains hyaluronic acid, the same ingredient that's in Restylane and Juvederm, but in a smaller molecular size that actually penetrates the skin. Once it sinks in, the Nourishing Film goes on top to lock it in for maximum absorption.
You're meant to apply them once a day for 14 to 21 days, after which you can expect a naturally plumped-up effect. They say it brings skin "back to the level it was" five or 10 years ago, which sounds really promising!
The only thing that concerns me is the small molecule size (larger is safer), but I'm going to give this a go regardless—stay tuned for a full review!
The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1%
This is an antioxidant serum based on a synthetic molecule (ethylbisiminomethylguaiacol manganese chloride) that combines two of our bodies' most important enzymes: superoxide dismutase and catalase. What they do is neutralize dangerous free radicals and convert them into harmless oxygen and water.
How does this compare to vitamin C? Aesthetically, I like it better. It's completely weightless on the skin, and since it's not acidic, there's no chance of irritation.
It is said to be one of the strongest antioxidants, especially in the high concentration The Ordinary uses (0.1 percent)—but the only reason we haven't heard of it is because it can be prohibitively expensive. I guess the brand is making so much money now, it's easier to launch stuff like this!
There aren't tons of studies to back it up like with vitamin C, but knowing how those enzymes work in the body, I think they can only be beneficial for the skin.
The only catch is that you have to use this away from any acidic products, either at different times of day or after a 30-minute wait time.
Where to buy: DECIEM
Omorovicza Midnight Radiance Mask
I've been on a mission to prove that BHAs aren't just for acne (read more about that here). Apparently Omorovicza agrees! Their Midnight Radiance Mask is a salicylic acid-based mask that is designed to brighten, exfoliate and hydrate all at once. Of course, like all BHAs, it would also help to prevent breakouts.
You're supposed to wear it overnight, although I don't see why you couldn't apply it at other times, too. The texture is a thin gel, which sinks in fast without any messy residue. FYI: a little goes a long way, so while it is pricey, it should last quite some time.
With hydrating ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, this would be a good substitute for acid toners, if you find them too harsh!
Foreo Espada Acne-Clearing Blue Light Pen
While I've tried many blue light gadgets over the years, none have been as elegant—and I dare say, as effective!—as the Foreo Espada Acne-Clearing Blue Light Pen.
If you get pimples, this is a handy tool to have in your arsenal. It treats them with a painless 30-second blast of blue LED light (which kills bacteria) and sonic pulsations (which increase blood circulation to speed healing).
Just like their Luna cleansing brush, which I adore, it's made of waterproof silicone that won't harbour bacteria.
While I wouldn't suggest using blue light all over your face as a regular preventative measure (too toxic!), I think this device is a great spot treatment for occasional acne. I tested it out on a spot that was on its way to becoming a full-fledged pimple, and just one use calmed it right down!
Another bonus is this won't make your skin dry or flaky, like so many topical acne products that leave pimples actually looking worse.
Note: In general, red light is safer than blue. If you find you have a lot of acne to treat with the Espada, I would consider investing in a red light as well. Red light has other benefits for acne (and skin in general), and would have a protective effect from the blue. I recommend Red Light Man's products!
Silk'n Titan Skin Tightening & Lifting Device
The Silk'n Titan Skin Tightening & Lifting Device is a handheld anti-aging device that delivers three sources of energy to the skin: red LED light, infrared heat and bipolar radiofrequency.
Like I said, I truly believe in the magic of red light therapy to treat all types of skin issues. Infrared is equally safe and good for reaching the deeper layers of tissue, while radiofrequency is specifically helpful for skin tightening.
From The Skincare Edit Archives
This gadget is unique in that you're getting all of them at once (although I don't think it would be as powerful as using Red Light Man's individual devices). But it's also more convenient, as you could watch TV at the same time as you work in sections around your face, which takes about 40 minutes (10 minutes per quadrant). And it feels great because it's very warming!
You can use it on both face and neck, twice a week for the first 10 weeks, and then every two weeks after that for maintenance. Some of the promised benefits include tighter, "lifted" skin; fewer wrinkles; and fewer age spots!
Lierac Sébologie Blemish Correction Keratolytic Solution
The Sébologie Blemish Correction Keratolytic Solution is a clear liquid that comes in this amazing, expensive-feeling green bottle. It's formulated to fight acne, reduce oil and large pores, and speed healing of post-acne marks.
The ingredients list is surprisingly minimal, yet it packs a punch with three types of acids (lactic, glycolic and salicylic) plus zinc to regulate sebum production.
Yes, there is alcohol in here, but I don't think that's a bad thing—it acts as a penetration enhancer and shouldn't be a big deal if you're applying a hydrator on top. The only thing I wish they'd left out is the fragrance, but at least it's mild and at the end of the list.
Where to buy: Shoppers Drug Mart
Jouviance Hydractiv Hydration Boosting Serum
When it comes to hydrating serums, y'all know I'm in a long-term relationship with Consonant HydrExtreme (reviewed here). But here's another alternative: the Jouviance Hydractiv Hydration Boosting Serum!
Rather than the usual silicone-glycerin-hyaluronic acid mix, it hydrates with stable oils and bark extracts that help to keep water in the skin. No 'cones, parabens, mineral oil, artificial fragrances or colours!
UPDATE: This formula has changed and now includes hydrogenated polyisobutene, an ingredient that acts like a silicone (which I would avoid in such a high concentration). You can see their updated ingredients list here. They've also removed silicones from their ingredient blacklist. Disappointing!
The consistency is a cream-gel that dries down without any texture; it's hydrating but not greasy in the least. If your skin is normal to oily, this would be perfect to wear on its own. Otherwise, you could layer it underneath a cream or oil to pack in the moisture. I'm confident that you will love it!
Where to buy: Shoppers Drug Mart
Cliniderm Hydra-Defense Hydrating Gel
Another new lightweight hydrator is this Cliniderm Hydra-Defense Hydrating Gel, which is for oily and combination skin.
In case you're not familiar with the brand, their raison d'être is being irritant-free. So they don't use parabens, fragrance, dyes, formadehyde or formaldehyde-releasers, lanolin or proteins.
Unlike most gels, which aren't very moisturizing, this one delivers an invisible "patch" technology that hydrates and strengthens the skin barrier. I'm pretty sure the ingredients that are doing that are the urea and trehalose—both very beneficial.
The formula is oil-free and has some mattifying properties, although it doesn't feel tight or leave any white residue.
If you're sensitive to silicones, just be aware that there's isodecyl neopentanoate in here, which is similar to cyclomethicone. It doesn't feel siliconey at all, though!
Where to buy: Shoppers Drug Mart
Filorga Scrub & Mask Reoxygenating Exfoliating Mask
If you love oxygen facials, the Filorga Scrub & Mask Reoxygenating Exfoliating Mask is a great way to replicate the effect at home.
I've actually never seen a face mask that combines as many different elements. Note: Even though it's in a jar, the packaging is an airless push-pump, so you never have to contaminate it with your fingers!
It starts off as a creamy scrub, with finely-ground bits of perlite (volcanic glass) that give you a mechanical exfoliation as you massage it around. There are also enzymes that gently dissolve dead skin cells.
After about a minute or two, the product starts to turn white, and then it bubbles—that's the oxygenating effect! It takes about 10 minutes to stop, and then you rinse it off to reveal smooth, glowing skin.
I didn't find this irritating at all, and found it gave me a nice rosiness from the increased blood flow.
Dermalogica Nightly Lip Treatment
The Dermalogica Nightly Lip Treatment is a bit of a splurge, but might be worth it if you're struggling with dryness and lip-area lines.
The thing is, finding the right lip product can be a bit of trial and error. That area is so sensitive and as I outlined here, there are many ingredients that work for some, but cause irritation for others. (Vitamin E, for example!)
So far I've had success with this one, which has a silky, non-oily cream texture. It's silicone-based (which I'm not concerned about on the lips), with shea butter, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to repair dryness.
They say you can apply this both on and around your lips. I'm just not sure it would have any lasting effect on lines, as the formula is not "active," like a retinol.
PS: Another great product I rely on for chapped lips is squalane oil!
Stewart & Claire Lip Balm
If you prefer an all-natural product, you could try this Stewart & Claire Lip Balm instead.
Although it's beeswax-based, it's nothing like Burt's Bees (which always seems SO hard and dry to me; I never understood the hype for that brand!). The texture of this balm is so much better—it goes on super-smooth, not too thin and not too thick, and genuinely nourishes your lips.
There are a few different flavours; I tried Autumn, which smells just like chai tea.
Where to buy: Amazon.com
Chanel La Crème Main
The cream dispenses through a tiny hole in the top (all you need to do is gently squeeze); it gives you a ton of control over the amount that comes out.
The formula itself is just about perfect, as far as hand creams go. It's non-greasy and long-lasting. It does contain paraffin, but I'd worry about that far more on my face!
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