As my skincare obsession continues, I have noticed it’s best for me to keep a more minimal, tried and true range of products I can fall back on if and when my skin is sensitized.
I stumbled across this brand as I was diving the internet rabbit hole regarding tyrosine blockers. Facetheory has a heavy focus on staple proven skincare ingredients such as Niacinamide, AHA/BHA acids and vitamin C at afforadable prices.
They also maintain a strict ban on ingredients I already avoid such as BHT, pentylene glycol, phenoxyethanol and phthlates. I also really like that most of their products come unscented, or you can at least opt out of added fragrance.
They’re also much more affordable compared to some other formulations, with the same core ingredients that I’ve been looking at.
Collodial-C Anti-Redness Toner T3 / $18.99 USD – $27.99 AUD for 200ml – 6.8 fl oz.
A really light and quite refreshing toner, that doesn’t leave a sticky residue or pill underneath my other serums. I love that it has no strong scent (though there is a slight scent of the ingredients without a masking fragrance). Since I’ve started using this, I’ve gone through sensitized skin, irritated skin, back to my normal skin. I do think it’s a touch too strong when my skin is irritated, as it slightly tingles. However it does help to bring it back to normal. I also find that it really does help with redness, though not broken capillaries. Another effect which I wasn’t expecting is how smooth my skin texture became.
One thing I’ve noted though, is that the bottle top is not great. When you tip it out, a little toner drips down the side. It ends up in the lid and after a few days goes a bit funky. I’ve needed to wipe it off multiple times. I don’t think it would be an issue if you held a cotton round to the top itself and then tipped out toner. I don’t do this because I find them wasteful. Between the constant repurchasing, disposal and majority of the toner being absorbed into the fabric itself, I just don’t think it’s a very effective form of application. If the bottle was redesigned so the excess dripping was eliminated, it would be a much better user experience.
Azeclear Azelaic Acid Serum A15 / $18.99 USD – $47.99 AUD for 30ml – 1.0 fl oz.
The light texture of this makes it easy to layer under oil serums and balms without any issues. It also doesn’t have a strong scent. I started first applying this to my neck. No issues. I moved onto applying a small drop on my forehead, but and this is probably a mistake on my behalf, I started this when my skin was sensitive. Big no. This doesn’t sting on contact, but afterwards I can feel it slightly irritate my skin. It does sensitize it very quickly, so I have mixed feelings about this. Facetheory claim that azaelic acid can reduce inflammation (which was something I was trying to combat). However it’s too strong for me when my skin is inflamed, so my skin has to be settled to begin with.
Only after one application it smoothed my skin and started visibly lightening a dark patch on my forehead. After two consecutive applications it started irritating my cheeks, drying them, despite my thick Queenbee Secrets balm. I’ve since dropped back to using this once a week. While I know it slows the progress of visible results, I don’t mind too much. This works much better as a weekly treatment, than an everday serum. It’s much more powerful than the serums I’m used to. The next day my skin is tightened and the texture refined and smoothed. The dark spots I’m trying to treat also look lighter and not as noticeable.
Porebright Serum N10 / $18.00 USD – $27.99 AUD for 30ml – 1.0 fl oz.
Niacinamide is the ingredient of the moment and while I have some toners with a lower percentage, this is my first dedicated serum. My skin doesn’t tolerate this if it is irritated so I took a break after first introducing it. The texture is super light and watery, but it also dries down without any tack. It also doesn’t affect the rest of my skincare.
After using it consistently, every night, I do think my overall skin tone looks brighter. Other places where I have more pigmentation don’t have much change, so I guess I’ll finish the bottle and see then. I’m at the point where I feel like it’s a very neutral product for me. I don’t know if I’d miss it if I stopped using it. The benefits are that it’s so light, pretty much like water, it doesn’t affect my oil serums, but I would like some more noticeable improvements in dark spots. I am curious to see whether their Pro version would have better results.
I’m quite happy with my purchases, especially since I had my eye on more expensive versions. These are really quite affordable, even without the discount they often run on their website. I also had a seemless delivery and it was much quicker than expected, even though it came during COVID-19 and from the UK.
For my skin, moisturisation is absolutely key and if these were to impact that part of my routine, I’d definitely reconsider continuing to use them. Luckily they’re all effective little additions. I would definitely recommend starting slow, patch testing and paying close attention to your skin when you introduce acids into your routine. Once my skin can tolerate them, they definitely help keep my skin clear and smooth.
I would definitely repurchase these, despite the packaging issues with the toner. It’s managed to see me through quite a few flare ups, so I think I may have found my staple toner! I look forward to trying more, especially their cleansers and light moisturisers.