Skincare Review: Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner, Niacinamide Serum, Overnight Exfoliating Treatment, Squalane Oil

It’s always nice to hear about new brands that offer products at a very accessible price so I said yes when Good Molecules offered me the opportunity to try their products. They promise to target skin issues—like acne, redness, and hyperpigmentation using ingredients backed by research while working directly with labs to avoid retail markup.

The Niacinamide Brightening Toner ($14) promises to reduce the appearance of dullness, uneven skin tone, and enlarged pores using niacinamide and vitamin. This toner has light, watery consistency and easily sinks into the skin.

The Niacinamide Serum ($6), on the other hand, contains 10% niacinamide to refine skin tone and texture. This serum is thicker than I’m used to but it’s fine because I apply niacinamide at night as part of my retinol routine.

It feels moisturizing and gentle on the skin. I would prefer this to have a pump because of the thick gel-like consistency. Most of the time I have to press the dropper repeatedly to get enough product. The toner and the serum is gentle enough for those starting with skincare to use. Using both every other night provided me a brighter, healthier-looking complexion after more than a month of use.

I have a penchant for exfoliating serums so I enjoy using the Overnight Exfoliating Treatment ($6). It contains a 10% alpha and beta hydroxy acid blend to resurface, brighten, clear, and renew the skin. This is also light and it sinks in quickly, which suits my oily skin. It can sting a bit. Though the result is subtle, I immediately noticed how clear my skin looks after a week of use.

After masking, I use the Squalane Oil ($8) as it claims to soften and seal in the moisture of the skin. This is what I usually apply after the exfoliant to not make my skin angry. It’s thick and nourishing but it takes a while to sink in my oily skin so I use at night to soothe and moisturize my skin. Despite the tackiness, this leaves my skin feeling soft and plump the morning after.

I really like using the Overnight Exfoliating Treatment as I can’t believe something that costs $6 can make my skin look so healthy. The other products are also good vegan, affordable, and gentle options for those looking for a starter skincare routine.

The Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner, Niacinamide Serum, Overnight Exfoliating Treatment, Squalane Oil were provided by @goodmolecules. Available at beautylish.com

Skincare Review: EmerginC Rawceuticals Raw Facial Oil and Eye and Lip Craft

EmerginC produces cruelty-free and paraben free skincare products that use cosmeceutical and medical-grade ingredients, active botanicals, and marine extracts. Not only that, but they also practice environment-friendly practices like planting nearly 850,000 trees, using fair trade ingredients, and creating essential habitat for bees with emerginBees milkweed seed bombs.

Promising to work for all skin types, the Raw Facial Oil ($100) uses hemp seed oil, sunflower seed oil, grape seed oil, immortal oil, and marula seed oil to fight the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, soothe and calm, address redness, improve tone and texture, and fight environmental aggressors.

When I used the face oil for the first time, I immediately enjoyed its soothing spa-like aroma. It feels calming after doing some heavy exfoliation and noticed that it helped soften my skin. I have yet to see how it helps with fine lines, wrinkles and skin texture so I find the price tag a bit steep.

I’ve been on a lip balm kick the past few months and the Eye and Lip Craft ($80) is a new addition to my stash.

Promising to be a moisturizer for both the eye l and lip area, it contains virgin cocoa butter, black cumin seed oil, hemp seed oil, carrot seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil. It also claims to help combat environmental stresses, defends against environmental aggressors, fights the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps soothe sensitive skin.

At first application, I found this a bit greasy but my lips absorb it quickly. I also used this in the eye area but for its texture and consistency, this works better for me to be used on the lips. It helps soothe dryness and calm slight chapping. It offers intense moisture so I like using this at night before sleeping so I wake up with soft and smooth lips.

I would recommend these products to those who don’t mind the hefty price tag and those who experience extreme dryness.

The EmerginC Rawceuticals Raw Facial Oil and Eye and Lip Craft were provided by @emerginc and @thewoodsandconest . Available at emerginc.com

Brand Overview: Ogee

Using jojoba oil as a hero ingredient, the vegan skincare products from Ogee promises to restore the natural beauty of the skin from within. My experience with jojoba oil has been a bit of a hit or miss but these certified organic and cruelty-free products housed in luxurious bottles looked too good to ignore.

The Gentle Glow Cleansing Cloths ($19 for 3 pack 10) aims to cleanse, hydrate, and exfoliate the skin with plant-fiber, microporous cloths, drenched in jojoba oil, aloe vera juice, and botanically derived AHAs. I prefer cleansing balms to remove makeup but this comes in handy for times I want to remove my makeup in the middle of the day at work. The cloths are soft and smooth and they leave my skin fresh and cleansed afterward. It feels gentle and moisturizing as well.

Using boswellia tree extract, the Liquid Gold Cleansing Oil ($85) removes makeup with restoring the natural hydration of the skin. This smells like a garden, which of course I like. It’s thicker than most of the cleansing oils I usually prefer but my face always feels cleansed and taut after using this. It was able to easily remove cream products and my eyeliner with a few strokes. Since the consistency is a bit thicker, I put some pressure into mixing this with a bit of water to rinse, though.

Claiming to be an anti-aging serum, the Seeds of Youth Serum ($98) works to hydrate, boost radiance, and firm the skin using edelweiss plant stem cell, hyaluronic acid, and cold-pressed jojoba oil. This feels very light on the skin. It doesn’t leave a tacky finish and sinks into the skin after a few minutes. However, it feels a bit heavier than I’d like so I only use this at night. I used this for more than a month and it did help hydrate the skin. However, the thing that I liked best about this is how radiant my skin looks the morning after. I will be using this again once it gets colder as I feel like this would work best for my oily skin once the temperature drops again.

The Jojoba Glow Face Oil ($64) is designed to moisturize, restore, and smooth the skin using jojoba oil. I like using this on the dry patches of my skin. After a few days, it would soften and smooth those areas so I would say this does what it claims to do.

For the price, these products would work best to those whose skin responds positively to jojoba and those with dry skin. For my oily skin, however, I would like to use these again, especially the Seeds of Youth Serum, come the colder months.

The Ogee Gentle Glow Cleansing Cloths, Liquid Gold Cleansing Oil, Seeds of Youth Serum, and Jojoba Glow Face Oil were provided by @ogee. Available at ogee.com

Skincare Review: Taila Nava Jungol and Prana Oil

Combining spices, blooms, and woods with Ayurvedic practices, Taila Skincare promises effective and #crueltyfree products that also help educate children in partnership with Shanti Bhavan.

Aiming to detoxify, exfoliate, and restore balance to the skin, the Nava Jungol Detoxifying Mask ($68) contains honey, black cumin seed, turmeric, and pomegranate.

The face mask has an earthy scent that’s a bit strong but it doesn’t linger after rinsing. Upon application, there’s a tingling sensation that transforms into a soothing one after a few minutes. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. This would be great for those who are looking for a gentle detoxifying mask.

The Prana Face Oil ($102) claims to minimize fine lines, diminish dark spots, and hydrate and firm the skin with brahmi, amla, rosehip seed oil, and neem.

This face oil has an amazingly light texture, despite the face that it looks heavy in the bottle. It easily sinks into the skin and doesn’t leave it feeling tacky. I still use other products to help diminish dark spots but this mainly helps my skin look smooth and radiant.

I expected to like Nava Jungol but instead adored the Prana Oil as it works well with my oily skin. These products are recommended for those looking for products that are cruelty-free and are made without parabens, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, and GMOs.

The Taila Nava Jungol and Prana Oil were provided by @tailaskincare. Available at tailaskincare.com

Skincare Review: Oleema Skincare

Oleema Skincare is a natural, hand-crafted skincare line created in small batches in California. They use botanical and herbal oils, and organic, ethically produced, and fairly traded ingredients that are free from paraben and laurel sulfates.

The All Natural Oil Cleanser – Oily Skin ($32) promises to cleanse, hydrate, and purify the skin, dissolve impurities and unclogs pores, balance oil production with castor oil, grapeseed oil, chamomile oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil, and palmarosa oil.

With all its oil ingredients, this cleansing oil felt lighter than I thought. It’s easy to massage onto the skin and was able to dissolve makeup and sunscreen. However, I prefer washing off my first cleanse with water and this needs to be removed with a damp washcloth. What I like about this though is how it left my skin soft and nourished. This might work to those who prefer to do their first cleanse with a washcloth instead of water.

The Moisturizing Nectar – Oily Skin ($36) aims to dissolve impurities, restore balance, and soothe irritation and active breakouts with jojoba oil, hazelnut oil, grapeseed oil, chamomile oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, carrot seed oil, frankincense oil, palmarosa oil, rosehip seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, turmeric oil, tamanu oil, sea buckthorn oil, evening primrose oil, and bergamot oil.

The texture of this face oil isn’t any different. It felt a little heavy on my oily skin so I only use this at night. Despite its heaviness on the skin, I still loved how it made my skin look fresh and how it soothe a few bumps I have on my face.

The Oleema Skincare All Natural Oil Cleanser and Moisturizing Nectar for Oily Skin were provided by @oleemaskincare. Available individually or as a set for $60 at oleemaskincare.com