new skincare products | hits & misses

It’s true, there’s no denying I love skincare. I was able to test out 33 products in the last six months and I wanted to share a thorough review of products I personally liked and disliked.

It’s important to note that skincare products should be tested over a 30 period as it takes the skin 30 days to run it’s cycle and shed new skin. That’s when you’ll be able to really see a difference in your skin. And just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you and visa versa!


Tatcha Camellia Oil Cleanser:

  • This did a good job of getting off all my makeup and skincare residue.
  • This cleanser is good for all skin types and does not contain mineral oil, so it leaves no residue on your skin. 

Dermalogica PreCleanse Cleansing Oil:

  • This is definitely my holy grail. 
  • I’ve been using this for two years now. I always have a bottle of this in my bathroom counter, always! 
  • This oil contains Vitamin E and Rosemary to protect the skin from damage. 

Holifrog Acid Wash:

  • This is a brand new product to me. 
  • I absolutely love this and would repurchase it. 
  • It’s a milky formula and you need to really massage the cleanser into your skin for a few minutes. Get that AHA into your skin and then rinse off. Left my skin feeling soft and clean but not stripped.
  •  Also felt this helped tighten my pore. 
  • This wash includes Australian Caviar Lime Extract to brighten and smooth skin. It’s a skin clearing serum in cleanser form. 

Dermalogica Daily Exfoliator:

  • I use this 2-3x a week. I can’t live without this stuff. Also been using this for over two years. 
  • It’s great to clean out pores and dead skin. 
  • This activates upon contact with water, and contains colloidal oatmeal to lock in moisture to the skin.

Tatcha Rice Polish Enzyme Powder:

  • This was a new product I tried out.
  •  I felt it was too gentle for me. 
  • I prefer the Dermalogica one since or just a traditional cleanser than this one. It wasn’t really polishing enough or cleansing for me.
Essence / Toners

Caudalie Brightening Essence

  • This is very similar to SKII in my opinion. Great alternative and more affordable as well. 
  • This is powered by glycolic acid to remove dead skin. It also has grape water for added hydration.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

  • I used almost half the bottle and liked the way my skin looked whenever I used it.
  • I like to wear multiple layers of this sometimes to make my skin extra plump.
  • This essence combats dullness and hydrates the face. 

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Exfoliator

  •  My holy grail AHA. This one is quite strong and powerful. I use this 1-2x a week esp. on the days I feel my skin is dull or about to break out.
  • This treatment uses a low PH delivery system to diminish the look of wrinkles, pigmentation, and sun damage.

 Kate Somerville Liquid Exfolikate 

  • New AHA that I tried out. Pretty potent and powerful.
  • Did a great job keeping my skin tight and pores clean.
  • I wouldn’t recommend this for someone who is new to AHA exfoliators.
  • This product is sulfate-free and includes a 10 percent triple acid blend to exfoliate dead skin and even out your complexion. 

Indie Lee Daily Peel

  • This is great for when I want to scrub a bit more residue off of my skin.
  • This is nice to have, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • Allows skin to shed by using Natural Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) to dissolve excess sebum. 
Vitamin C / Serums

Drunk Elephant Vitamin C 

  • I like this during the winter time because it is more of a heavier formula.
  • This is great for combatting dark spots on my skin.
  • I like to use this during the day, every day.

Very Cherry Bright Vitamin C – Farmacy

  • This didn’t really work for me. It wasn’t strong enough.
  • This is more suited for someone who is more sensitive or new to Vitamin C.

Summer Fridays Vitamin C Serum

  • When I first tried this out, I wasn’t sure if it was actually going to work. But on lazy days, I do prefer this one a lot more.
  • This leaves your face feeling nice and plump.
  • This is great for someone who wants an all-in-one serum.
  • This serum is packed with two forms of Vitamin C and squalane to deliver instant brightness.

Peter Thomas Roth Vitamin C Spot Brightener

  • This isn’t for all over your face, but I find that this really helps with my dark spots that I get from breakouts.
  • This works on fresh dark spots. I’d put this on a new spot immediately for a few weeks.
  • It doesn’t really work on older dark spots. This has saved me because my spots are so new.
  • This dark spot treatment is powered by Vitamin C, Vitamin E, ferulic acid, and advanced skin brightening actives.

SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier

  • This has been a staple in my routine for years now.
  • It is a bit pricey – I go through three bottles a year.
  • This reduces the look of crow’s feet and other wrinkles and is proven to amplify skin’s hyaluronic acid levels by 30%.

Maelove Glow Maker

  • This is very comparable to the SkinCeuticals formula, and it’s much more affordable!
  • It’s a great alternative if you feel like your skin is starting to sag in certain areas and you want that amplification.
  • This antioxidant serum leaves your skin feeling hydrated and bright throughout the entire day.

Herbivore Bakuchiol Serum

  • This is my absolute favorite serum and has been for the past 6 months.
  • This is supposed to be a retinol alternative, but I don’t think it does what a retinol does. It holds the moisture to your skin so it’s more comparable to a hyaluronic acid.
  • I would highly recommend this, and I may feature it on my holy grails.
  • It’s super watery and soaks into your skin well. I find myself reaching for this one the most.
  • This is 100% natural and uses polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) to enhance absorption while strengthening skin. 

TaTa Harper Brightening Serum

  • I really like how hydrating this is. It’s a bit of a thicker consistency and creamier, so it’s great for the days I want a lot more brightening and hydration.
  • A high performance serum with encapsulated plankton to help preserve natural skin tone appearance while removing dark spots.

Ole Henriksen Night Treatment

  • I like to use this one at night and I’m really happy with it. 
  • This is a lightweight face gel that supports natural cell turnover, which helps transform your skin towards a more youthful-looking complexion.

Tatcha Serum Stick

  • This feels a bit silicon-ey, but this is more squalene based.
  • It’s nice to have, but I feel like it’s absolutely not necessary. It just hydrates your skin in the moment.
  • I’d rather invest in a serum that will actually do something for your skin rather than just sit on it.
  • This balm is packed with 80% squalane, hyaluronic acid, and Japanese lemon balm to target signs of aging and dryness.

Herbivore Lapis Oil

  • I didn’t like the consistency of this. It really didn’t do much for me and I felt like it wasn’t very effective.

True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil – Renew 

  • This is my absolute favorite oil in the world and I will always have this at all times.
  • It is a very thin oil so it penetrates into your skin well and leaves it nice and fresh.
  • It’s worth the price and it lasts a long time! Would highly recommend it.
  • Oil is the key to youthfulness.
  • This face oil contains Chia seed and kiwi extract, along with two Omega-3 powerhouses to help shield the skin from environmental toxins.

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

  • I have a love/hate relationship with this oil.
  • I found myself continuing to try to find ways to use it and like it. When I use this alone, it makes my skincare peel. I’d recommend using this at the end of your skincare routine.
  • When I pair this with another Biossance moisturizer, then it doesn’t peel and it feels amazing on my skin.
  • It really does brighten, especially during the wintertime.
  • This face oil contains Chios Crystal Oil to help nurture skin and improve the look of firmness.

Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream

  • This is one of my favorite moisturizers that I’ve used in these past 6 months.
  • It’s lightweight and almost feels like a gel once you rub it in.
  • It smells like Cheetos, but the scent does go away pretty fast. It’s very interesting but this one is probably one of my favorites.
  • This cream includes all the good fats your skin needs to thoroughly moisturize, without leaving a greasy residue feeling afterwards.

Peter Thomas Roth Age Defense Cream

  • This is not heavy at all. It’s a super lightweight moisturizer that almost disappears once you put it into your skin.
  • I do wish this contained cleaner ingredients, but that’s the only downfall.
  • This cream is good for normal and dry skin. It uses Gamma E Antioxidant technology to help prevent the look of dullness and wrinkles from environmental damage.

Venn Age Reversing Concentrate

  • This is one of my holy grails.
  • This is one of my favorites because I will always reach for this one and travel with this one.
  • It’s an all-in-one, so I don’t feel like I need to pair this with other products.
  • It’s definitely an investment but I would still recommend it. 
  • This product uses naturally-derived antioxidants and high-performance peptides to deeply hydrate and improve complexion in one easy step.

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream

  • This was a bit too heavy for me. I’d wake up with oil in between my nose so I didn’t think it matched well with my skin type.
  • It’s better for dry skin.
  • This cream uses TFC8 technology to restore the skin’s youthful appearance and deeply hydrate, transforming the skin’s complexion.

Curology Cream

  • I use this every single night. I don’t use retinol anymore but they’ve changed the formula so that it still works with me during pregnancy.
  • I have an entire video dedicated to Curology if you want to learn more about it.
eye creams

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream

  • This is really good for every day. It’s good for lightweight formulas, but I wanted something a little more concentrated, so I moved on after using about half the jar.
  • This cream includes paracress extract to help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles in as little as seven days.

Peter Thomas Roth Age Defense Eye Cream

  • I like to use this during the daytime. I found that this really worked for my eyes.
  • It’s my go-to for when I want something a little less heavy.
  • This anti-aging eye cream is also anti-pollution and anti-blue light to help support your skin’s natural microbiome.

Erno Laszlo Eye Gel Cream

  • I love this because it’s hydrating and light at the same time.
  • I’ve reached for this a lot.
  • This serves as both an eye cream and a multi-tasking hybrid eye serum.

Perricone MD Smoothing and Brightening Under-Eye Cream

  • This is my favorite under-eye cream overall!
  • This is heavy enough to stay on but not so heavy that it irritates my eyes.
  • Both sulfate and paraben-free, this eye cream helps with dark circles, deep wrinkles, and sagging.

Tatcha Sunscreen SPF 35+

  • This is the sunscreen that I gravitate towards the absolute most.
  • It feels like a very nice moisturizer on your skin and the scent is not overwhelming.
  • This sunscreen is non-irritating and doesn’t leave a chalky feeling on the skin. It can also be worn under makeup.

EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40

  • This is slightly lighter than the Tatcha Sunscreen. This has always been one of my holy grails.
  • This helps protect against UVA and UVB rays to help combat the visible signs of aging.

EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46

  • I like this one but I do prefer the tinted on one my skin.
  • This sunscreen is good for sensitive or acne prone skin. It is a mineral-based sunscreen, leaving the texture light and silky.

SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair

  • This is really good if you want to find a higher-end skincare/SPF sunscreen. I like the powerful ingredients in it.
  • Uses antioxidants to combat the skin’s free radicals and boost the sunscreen’s availability to protect your skin from damage.

Maelove Sun Protector SPF 30

  •  I like this one a lot, and it’s the newest one I’ve tried.
  • It leaves the skin feeling a little bit matte, which I like.
  • This SPF30 sunscreen is fortified with Vitamins C and E and is paraben-free. It also doubles up as a makeup primer.