Brand Overview: Lavido Purifying Facial Cleanser, Purifying Facial Toner, Replenishing Facial Serum, Mandarin Aromatic Body Lotion, and Thera Intensive Foot Cream

From the Galilee Valley, the vegan and cruelty-free brand Lavido uses botanicals, herbs, and fruit extracts to develop skincare products. Their products are also created without mineral oil, petroleum, silicones, propylene glycol, synthetic dyes, phenoxyethanol, synthetic alcohol, parabens, PEGs, and SLS.

A cleanser to balance the skin while melting away makeup and impurities, the Purifying Facial Cleanser ($29) contains pomegranate, orange blossom, and propolis. This gel cleanser feels gentle and soothing on the skin. After wash, my face feels smooth, clean, and fresh. However, it packs a strong fragrance which I don’t like.

The Purifying Facial Toner ($24) has similar key ingredients as the cleanser and promises to balance and refresh the skin. Same with the cleanser, this feels gentle on the skin. The solution is contained in a pump bottle and dispenses to form a small mass of bubbles when pumped onto a cotton ball. It leaves the skin smooth and fresh after application. However, this one comes scented as well. It’s not overpowering, but still, the scent is kind of strong for me.

Using pomegranate, lemon myrtle, and mandarin, the Replenishing Facial Serum ($59) aims to plump, retain moisture, and smooth the skin. I use this serum before bedtime to hydrate and nourish the skin. It doesn’t feel heavy and helps me keep my face soft, smooth, and supple especially after it gets absorbed into my skin. Out of all the products, this is my favorite because of how nourishing it feels on the skin.

For the body, the Mandarin Aromatic Body Lotion ($19) contains mandarin oil, orange oil, and bergamot oil to nourish and hydrate. This lotion has a whipped texture that smooths evenly on the skin. It also comes with a refreshing citrus scent. I have dry skin, and use lotion to calm down dryness. This lotion surprisingly doesn’t feel tacky and uncomfortable when applied even when I’m out. It sinks in quickly and feels light. I want a more moisturizing body lotion but this does soften my skin.

The Thera Intensive Foot Cream ($28) is for dry, cracked, or chaffed feet. It contains tea tree, achillea extract, and myrtle oil to soften and condition the skin. This foot cream has the same whipped texture as the body lotion but thicker. It also has a leafy scent to it. I like how it easily melts onto the skin as I massage it on my feet. It does manage to soften and smoothen my foot, especially dry areas like my heels. It also helps to keep it smelling fresh.

The Lavido Purifying Facial Cleanser, Purifying Facial Toner, Replenishing Facial Serum, Mandarin Aromatic Body Lotion, and Thera Intensive Foot Cream were provided by @lavido and @purplepr. Available at lavido.com

Skincare Review: Sigi Skin Kaleanser Face Wash and Pink Nectar

Never to shy away from cute packaging, Sigi Skin caught my eye and my natural attraction for pastel colors. I got to try the Kaleanser Face Wash and Pink Nectar, which simple but cute and are also cruelty free and are made without parabens, dye, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), DMDM Hydantoin, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban, and polyunsaturated oils (PUFA).

A face cleanser in gel form, the Kaleanser Face Wash promises to remove makeup, dirt, and oils while rebalancing the pH level using glycerin and soy and kale extracts. Despite the overwhelming smell, it feels so gentle on the skin. It emulsifies and cleanses the skin quickly. I like that it doesn’t leave a film but it also doesn’t strip the skin. I like using this when my skin is feeling a bit tight because this is calming and soothing to the skin.

Pink Nectar is one of the lightest eye creams I have tried. It spreads thinly but feels really moisturizing on the eye area. Using five kinds of hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide, vitamin e, propolis, peach extracts, and actractyloides lancea root extract, this eye cream aims to moisturize, firm, depuff, and brighten the eye area. Even though I have not seen its brightening effects, what I really like about this is how light enough this eye cream is to be applied in the morning and how it moisturizes my dry under eyes. It sinks in quickly and doesn’t mess my makeup while not aggravating the dryness of my under eyes.

The Sigi Skin Kaleanser Face Wash and Pink Nectar were provided by @sigiskin and @thewoodsandco. Available at sigiskin.com

Skincare Review: Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster

I have come to appreciate the wonders of peptides when I entered my 30s, which to be honest is a little late. If I knew how good it would make my skin look, I would’ve started earlier. Of course, not all peptide products are created equal and the Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster is one of my favorites.

Promising to firm and target loss of firmness, dullness, wrinkles, and discolorations, this is thick. It isn’t unusual with most peptide-based products but what sets it apart is that it sinks in beautifully in my oily skin. It doesn’t feel tacky and it doesn’t sit on top of my face or clog my skin. It just leaves my skin feeling plump and bouncy. I have yet to see it eliminate fine lines but I notice how they are not as prominent as before, especially the ones around my eyes. As for the long-term results, I have been using this two to three times a week every night after applying my essence for about a month and noticed how my skin looks firmer and less dull. I just look healthier.

I need a bigger bottle, honestly.

The Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster was provided by @paulaschoice. Available for $52 at paulaschoice.com

Brand Overview: Kate Ryan Skincare

From Ohio, Kate Ryan Skincare aims to create skincare products made in small batches that are made of quality ingredients and are affordable, plant-powered, and cruelty-free.

The Salicylic Cleanser ($35) contains salicylic acid to exfoliate, DMAE to firm, alpha lipoic acid to refine, and coffee fruit and green tea extract to protect the skin.

This gel type cleanser feels gentle and smells citrusy. It doesn’t strip the skin of oils and leaves it feeling plump and moisturized. As a matter of preference, I enjoy using foaming cleansers more but this exfoliating cleanser is a good option for days when I really want to deeply cleanse my skin.

Containing natural fruit enzymes like pumpkin, pineapple, papaya, and kiwi, the Clearly Radiant Enzyme Mask ($32) to clarify and renew the skin. It also contains gotu kola and hyaluronic acid to also smooth and firms the complexion. This gentle #facemask, softens and nourishes my skin so I like using this when I need an additional glow to my skin. It leaves my skin so soft and hydrated afterward.

The Collagen Booster Intense Repair Serum ($38) promotes collagen synthesis with hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, centella asiatica, and stabilized vitamin C. It also has hyaluronic acid and DMAE to condition and strengthen skin’s collagen, and resveratrol, phloretin, alpha lipoic acid, and green tea to protect the skin. This is best used for me thrice a week as it helps lessens the look of dullness and makes me look like I had more sleep than I really did.

To lift and firm the skin, the 4% DMAE Firming Repair Serum ($38) uses a blend of DMAE, collagen peptides, centella asiatica, alpha lipoic acid, and hyaluronic acid. This does help in firming some not so firm parts of my face however, this leaves my skin feeling dehydrated and I wake up with oilier skin than usual.

With 1% retinol, the Retinol Evening Renewal Serum ($28) also has hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, niacinamide, and B5 go to clarify the skin and help with hyperpigmentation, moisture retention. I’m always looking for a product that will help with post-blemish pigmentation and this is a really great find for me. My skin loves retinol so this expectedly helped clear, brighten, and hydrate my skin.

I really enjoyed trying these affordable and cruelty-free products with the Enzyme Mask and the Retinol as the favorites. Save for the DMAE Serum, all products provide hydration and brightness to my skin.

The Kate Ryan Skincare products were provided by @kateryanskincare. Available at kateryanskincare.com

Skincare Review: Uruoi U2 Clean Foam and U5 Moisture Milk

Using science in skincare isn’t new but Uruoi, which mean moisture in Japanese, uses their patented hyaluronic acid: D.P.H.A. Denka Pure Hyaluronic Acid or D.P.H.A. promises to help skin retain moisture and plump the skin.

The U2 Clean Foam ($28) is my kind of cleanser. It’s gentle, it foams, and it removes unnecessary oils on my skin, providing a good clean base for my skincare routine.

It easily rinses and a pea-sized amount goes a long way. It contains D.P.H.A., hydrolyzed collagen, and sodium lactate to hydrate, plump, and firm the skin. I like how creamy this feels as you massage it on your face and how it dissolves all impurities once you rinse it off. It feels gentle yet deeply cleansing. Once dry, my face doesn’t feel stripped, just nourished, smooth, and deeply cleansed.

Using D.P.H.A., squalene, sunflower seed oil, and jojoba seed oil, the U5 Moisture Milk ($40) aims to hydrate and balance the skin. I was really excited to try this because it sounds like what my oily skin would really enjoy. This moisturizer is of the lightest creamy moisturizers I’ve ever come across with. It almost feels like an emulsion. It also sinks in quickly. Despite its lightness, this hydrates and nourishes my skin so I like using this before applying a sleeping mask and I feel like this will really come in handy once it gets warmer again.

I really like these two hydrating products with the cleanser being a great everyday cleanser for those who get clogged pores easily and the moisturizer a good companion for those with extremely oily skin.

The Uruoi U2 Clean Foam and U5 Moisture Milk were provided by @uruoi. Available at uruoiskincare.com