Today’s post (in partnership with Sephora!) is a long one and it’s packed with research so pour yourself some coffee and let’s DIVE IN because we are talking clean beauty and reviews of three products I tried this month and absolutely LOVE.
Before we dive into the products, I do want to talk a little bit more about Clean Beauty at Sephora. This program was one of the main reasons I wanted to work with Sephora so badly this year and one of the things that makes me so proud to be a member of the Sephora Squad. As you know, I try to stick to a beauty routine that is (at least) 80% clean products. I would like for it to be 100% but I’m only human, and I also like having the freedom to test any and all producs for the blog! I tend to be stricter with products that sit on my skin longer (serums, creams) than I am with products you wash off (body wash, shampoo, face wash). Clean Beauty at Sephora is their curation of products that fall under their clean category. Just look for the green “Clean at Sephora” seal!
I think one of the biggest misconceptions about clean beauty is that it isn’t high-tech or won’t work as well as other products. That’s simply just not the case. There are so many amazing clean beauty companies doing really cool, high-tech things… and they can all be found at Sephora! I’ve personally bookmarked this page – it’s a great way to discover new clean beauty products… three of which I am going to talk about today!
Herbivore Bakuchiol Serum Review
Okay I am SO excited to talk to you about Herbivore’s Bakuchiol Serum. I was bursting with excitement to try this as I use retinol a few times a week. If you pay attention to new ingredients in the beauty space (don’t worry, you don’t have to, that’s what I’m here for!), besides being fun to say, Bakuchiol is getting a LOT of buzz right now as it’s a plant based retinol alternative. It’s actually been around for a long time (traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine) but with clean beauty becoming a priority to more and more people, it’s gotten very popular this year.
What it is:
This particular product is a plant based retinol alternative serum. It has a bouncy, jelly-like consistency and feels so nice going on the skin. It’s pretty thick, so you only need a little bit (this took me a few tries as I tend to go with a more is more approach. It got a little sticky when I used too much.)
How it works:
Bakuchiol is derived from the Ayurvedic Babchi plant and functions similar to retinol (but gentler so it’s great for sensitive skin… you can actually use this every night if you’d like – with traditional retinol I recommend only 2-3x a week.) Besides Bakuchiol, this serum also contains PHAs (polyhydroxy acides) to gently exfoliate, and tremelia (a superfood mushroom to hydrate and plump). A fun fact about the tremelia mushroom: it actually can hold up to 500 times its weight in water, meaning that it not only helps to hydrate skin but also RETAINS moisture exceptionally well.
How to use it:
Smooth on 3-8 drops (I use 3-4) all over face (avoid eye area), neck, and chest. You can use it during the day (I only use at night) but if you do, please use SPF!!!
How is Bakuchiol different from retinol?
Bakuchiol is different from retinol first in that it’s entirely plant based. It’s also super moisturizing. With traditional retinol, I let it sink in a few minutes and then apply an intense moisturizer (otherwise my skin gets really dry). With Bakuchiol I use a lighter moisturizer afterward as the serum is already so hydrating.
You can actually use it every day, morning and night if you’d like. As with everything and I cannot stress this enough: we all have different skin types so I would advise to start slowly. If you have sensitive skin (or a condition like eczema or rosacea), definitely consult your derm and/or do a patch test first! I also recommend starting doing it 1-2x a week and working up… I personally only use it 2-3x a week.
I have been testing this for four weeks now (!) and LOVE this product. I would say that it works just as well as a traditional retinol. As noted above I used it 2-3x a week as I have my other products I like to use at night. I find it’s really great with both refining texture (rough spots + lines) and providing deep hydration. I can’t stress again that less is more. In the beginning I was using too much product and it got sticky/greasy which wasn’t good. So use less and the bottle will last you longer, too! It’s also a great value at $54. Most retinol serums are $100+! All you need are a few drops. Pat it on, allow to sink in (I brush my teeth) and then apply a light moisturizer… which brings me to our next product!
Primera Alpine Berry Water Cream Review
When I started trying out the Primera Alpine Berry Water Cream my biggest question was…
What the heck is a water cream!?
I actually didn’t know but the answer is pretty simple. A water cream (also called a gel moisturizer) is much more lightweight than a traditional moisturizer but just as effective (and they’re better for summer!). The best way to think about it is that all moisturizers have some sort of base. Usually it’s oil but in the case of a water cream, it’s… you guessed it… water! Water creams tend to be less greasy than traditional moisturizers.
I really like this cream. I was a little hesitant about using a water cream for dry skin, but this particular moisturizer is SUPER hydrating as it’s also packed with coconut-derived oil and artemisia extract (which helps strengthen the moisture barrier). It left my skin insanely dewy and hydrated. Experts recommend applying it while your skin is still slightly damp. I use this cream after retinol and vitamin C at night, and on it’s own in the morning.
Sephora’s C+E Super Serum Review
We saved the best one for last! Okay I don’t know about that but you guys have been blowing up my DM’s about Sephora’s new clean collection / asking if I’d tried it, etc etc! And for good reason – the new collection from Sephora has gotten sooo much buzz. There are 8 items in the collection and they’re all under $20! Yes seriously – under $20!
Of course, I was most excited to try the Sephora Collection C+E Super Serum as I’m a big fan of vitamin C as an ingredient. For brightening and firming there is nothing better than vitamin C.
What it does:
This is a vitamin C serum for GLOW and protection from the elements as well as peptides to tighten the look of skin. It contains 97% ingredients from natural origin. It’s great for all skin types (oily, combination, dry, etc).
This is an awesome product (and I can’t believe the price). It reminds me quite a bit of another famous C+ E serum but we aren’t going to name any names. It leaves skin looking brighter, glowing, and (the best part!) FIRMER. I use it in the morning. There’s been a lot of debate here for when to use vitamin C and it varies by product, but this one is for morning. It brightens, tightens the look of skin, and protects.
Fun fact: even the packaging is “clean!” The bottle is made from 100% recyclable glass, the cardboard comes from sustainably managed forests, and it’s printed with vegetable ink!