Radha Beauty Skin Clearing Serum

Here’s a product that was a surprise hit for me – the Skin Clearing Serum from Radha Beauty.

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Radha Beauty is a natural skincare line started by Singaporean-Indian Rebekah Letch in 2014.  In their own words, they are:

high performance with natural and healthy ingredients and partner with earth-loving, women-empowering organizations, use Eco-friendly packaging, and we never stop striving to improve our products and our impact on the world. Our products are Cruelty Free and Not Tested on Animals.

They are one of those companies that talk about how chemicals are “toxic”, which is a turn off for me.  But, since they are transparent about their ingredients and place an importance on actives, I thought I would give them a try.

Ingredients:  

Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), MSM, Vegan Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Retinol, Olive Oil Squalene, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Organic Rosehip Seed Oil, Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree Essential Oil), Lavender Essential Oil, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

In terms of actives, this serum has 2% Vitamin C, 2.5% Retinol, and 2% Salicylic Acid (BHA).  Please note that I tested this serum to be at a pH of 6-7, which is not the range where BHA is effective.

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It also has one of my favourite ingredients, niacindamide.   I have combination skin with hormonal breakouts, and these are the ingredients I usually turn to to lighten my PIH anyway.   However, this cocktail might be a con for some in that there are multiple actives in one product.  It’s not great if you’re looking for a vitamin C product but not retinol, or vice versa.

Texture

This serum is milky white and slightly runny, and spreads easily on the skin.  I especially like it layered with my bottle of Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion.  It is not moisturizing enough on its own, nor is it intended to be used as a standalone in your routine.

Packaging

Love the pump dispenser.   It’s convenient, it’s hygenic, and I always get the right amount. This is probably the biggest plus of this product versus the other vitamin C serums I have used before (I have reviewed Instanatural’s and Valentia’s in the past, which both come in droppers).

Verdict

I didn’t think very much about this product, but I ended up liking it so much that it has made it’s way into my regular routine.  By no means is this a miracle product, and while it works very well to lighten my PIH, this was something that I expected with a well-formulated product with these ingredients.  The main reason I like this serum is because of convenience – its blend of actives were ones that I was already using, albeit in separate products, and I’m a huge sucker for pump dispensers.

Adovia Dead Sea Salt Scrub

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Adovia’s Dead Sea Salt Scrub is a product designed to exfoliate and moisturize your body at once.

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As you can see, there is a layer of liquid on top of the salt – this liquid includes sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and aloe vera.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a full ingredients list for you guys.  For a company that admonishes “toxic and dangerous chemicals”, it is disappointing that they don’t have ingredient transparency themselves.

Scooping from the bottom of the jar, I think the salt and oils come out in a good proportion.

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Personally, I’m not a fan of scrubs or any bath product that leaves a residue on your skin, moisturizing or not.  I prefer to do my moisturizing after washing (yay body butters!) and would have enjoyed an emulsifying scrub more.

This product was provided to me by Brandbacker in exchange for my honest review.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer and Vitamin C Serum

InstaNatural is US company based in Florida with beauty and skincare products inspired by nature.  They pride themselves on using natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe.  Today is the 6th and final installment of my reviews on InstaNatural’s products.  I saved the best for last, because these two vitamin C products are my favourite from InstaNatural’s line!

You can read my earlier posts on other products in InstaNatural’s line here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

76L0OV3hRiOMjvyhrHqK_FrontVITAMIN C MOISTURIZER

Key Ingredients:

  • 20% Vitamin C
  • 5% Niacinamide
  • 5% Hyaluronic Acid
  • Plant Stem Cells
  • Peptide Complex

This moisturizer has an attractive ingredients list.  In addition to the vitamin C, it has two of my favourite ingredients – niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.  When it comes to moisturizer, texture is very important to me.  This moisturizer comes in a pump, and is a light lotion-cream with no discernible fragrance.  It applies smooth on the face and does take a little time to absorb, but is not unpleasant or tacky.  I used this as the last or second to last step (if I apply sunscreen) in my routine in the AM, and although I love the ingredients, I’m a little skeptical on how well the vitamin C can work because generally products with active ingredients should be used as one of your first steps after washing, not the last.  Regardless, this is a nice feeling moisturizer that does keep my face hydrated through the day.

71yEY9k9lAL._SL1500VITAMIN C SERUM

Key Ingredients:

  • 20% Vitamin C
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Ferulic Acid
  • Sea Buckthorn Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Rosehip Oil
  • Plant Stem Cells
  • Pomegranate

This serum comes in an opaque dropper bottle, and it is milky yellow with a pleasant citrusy scent.  The consistency of the serum is not too watery, and in my opinion it is the perfect thickness for a serum.  The type of vitamin C used here is sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which is more stable than L-ascorbic acid, and can perform at a higher pH.  That’s nice because I don’t have to worry about keeping the serum out of light/in the fridge or trying to use it up quickly.  I have been using this serum every other day for 2 weeks in the AM.  In my routine, I use it immediately after washing and wait for it to dry before applying toner, moisturizer and sunscreen.

Because I used both vitamin C products in conjunction, I can’t say which one worked the magic, but magic happened!  I noticed a significant improvement in fading hyperpigmentation, especially for newer acne scars.  Although some stubborn discoloration remains, the time it took for my new acne marks to go away was cut short by a few days, which makes a huge difference for me.  Going forward I plan to just use one product or the other, to avoid stressing my face.

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Kiss Me Organics Matcha and DIY Matcha Mask

I love all things matcha, as this powdered tea is yummy and not to mention healthy, whether you eat it or use it in skincare.  Because it contains the entire tea leaf, matcha is said to have more nutrients and benefits than brewed green tea.  Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Organic Matcha is made from tea leaves harvested on a certified organic farm located in Shizuoka, Japan.

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Matcha is a potent ingredient, and this 4 oz (113 g) bag is huge considering how little you’ll need to use most of the time.  It is in a resealable airtight and waterproof bag, which is fine for keeping the powder safe, but I would prefer a jar for convenience.

Green tea is an anti-oxidant and helps with inflammation.  It has also been shown to decrease sebum production and thus help prevent acne.  This simple mask is my go-to when I’m suffering from breakouts and really needing to detox.  Plus, it smells AMAZING!   Like a mud mask, rinse off when it dries and hardens.

DIY MATCHA MASK

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon matcha powder

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Mix and apply.  That it’s!  Culinary grade (as opposed to the more expensive ceremonial grade) matcha will be fine for this mask.  Yogurt taken straight out of the fridge makes this mask oh-so-cooling.  If you don’t have yogurt on hand,  you can also substitute in 1 teaspoon water, although I prefer the consistency of the yogurt.  If you have dry skin, you can add honey.

InstaNatural Argan Oil and Argan Oil Hair Mask

This is part 5 of a series on InstaNatural’s products.  InstaNatural is US company based in Florida with beauty and skincare products inspired by nature.  They pride themselves on using natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe.

You can read my earlier posts on other products in InstaNatural’s line here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.

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ARGAN OIL

Key ingredients:

  • 100% Pure Certified Organic Virgin Argan Oil

This oil comes in a brown glass bottle with a nice pump.  Because it is pure argan oil, it has a strong aroma that is best described as nutty and fruity.  I have used argan oil in many different hair oils before, but never 100% argan, so the smell was unexpected and hit me right in the face.

The main advantage of pure argan oil as opposed to an oil blend is how multipurpose it can be.  The oil can be used as a leave in hair treatment on towel dried hair, which is my main use, and it can also be used on your face, cuticles, or anywhere that needs extra nourishment.  If you have dry skin, the best way to use argan oil in your skincare routine is to pat it on after your regular moisturizer to ‘seal in’ the hydration.  I have heard of some people using it as a cleanser in the Oil Cleansing Method (to learn more about OCM, check out /r/SkincareAddiction’s post), although I’m not sure about it’s comedogenic rating.  When it comes to OCM though, I would recommend an oil cleanser with an emulsifier, such as Etude House Real Art Cleansing Oil, which can be rinsed off with water.

arganoilhairmaskARGAN OIL HAIR MASK

Key ingredients:

  • Argan Oil
  • Amino Acid Complex
  • Coconut Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Vitamin B5

This hair mask should be applied to towel dried hair and rinsed off after 5-15 minutes.  It can also be used in the shower, after shampoo, in lieu of conditioner.  The Argan Oil Hair Mask smells primarily like shea butter and argan oil, and has the look and consistency of conditioner.  I found this difficult to rinse off – more difficult than LUSH Fluff Eaze but easier than Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment Plus.  When it comes to hair treatments, the LUSH Fluff Eaze is still my HG (although it’s important to note that Fluff Eaze is meant to be applied to dry hair, followed by a shampoo).

InstaNatural Retinol Serum and Retinol Moisturizer

This is part 4 of my series on InstaNatural‘s skincare products.  Today I’ll be giving you guys a lot on two retinol formulas, a serum, and a moisturizer.  You can read my earlier posts on other products in InstaNatural’s line here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 5.

Retinol is a type of vitamin A which can help clear away hyperpigmentation from sun damage and acne scarring, as well as smooth out fine lines and improve skin texture in general.  In my opinion, retinol may not be for everyone as it is very potent, so YMMV.  The last time I used a retinol product (Philosophy Miracle Worker), I experienced great results in the beginning, but it soon became too much for my skin, and I gave it up after struggling with constant dullness and flaking skin.  So, when using a retinoid, please start slow and work your way up to ‘full dose’, and remember to constantly evaluate the health of your skin. Because my current skincare routine contains both a BHA and an AHA product, and I’m currently trying InstaNatural’s Vitamin C serum for an upcoming review, I decided not to use these two retinol products on my face at the moment.  I decided to still do a post to share my thoughts on the packaging, texture, and smell, and to talk about the formulas’ ingredients, so please keep in mind that I am not evaluating performance.

AGE-DEFYING RETINOL SERUM

4NqjsbOMRbaMFu20KYfQ_5a394f1ad6b414e749dbd9ceb2ed3d05b1a24497Key Ingredients:

  • 2.5% Retinol
  • 20% Vitamin C
  • 10% Hyaluronic Acid
  • Plant & Fruit Acids

After looking at the ingredients, I think InstaNatural’s marketing department needs to get a pep talk, because this isn’t only a retinol serum, but also has an high concentration of hyaluronic acid as well as vitamin C.  In fact, according to the ingredient list, this has more vitamin C (3rd on the list) than retinol (7th), though of course this is because a higher concentration of vitamin C is needed than retinol for it to be effective.  For comparison, a vitamin C serum I reviewed a few months ago also has 20%.  While it’s fine to use both retinol and vitamin C in  your routine, I worry that having these two ingredients together takes away the option of finding out how your skin reacts to each, and also it may make it too intense for people looking to start using either ingredient for the first time.

This serum comes in a brown dropper bottle, and the product is milky-clear and fairly watery, to the point where the dropper will drip on its own.  I find this kind of annoying because it will drip before I’m ready to spread it.  The product smells like citrus, and a little bit can spread over a large area.  I do find that it takes a bit of time to absorb.

ADVANCED ACTION RETINOL MOISTURIZER

HpiPAnTzRxSJ7MxfO5pc_f0412b4cc55e0ae1938b722627ecdc5667c7cf60Key Ingredients:

  • 2.5% Retinol
  • Vitamin C
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Green Tea

Again, this moisturizer also has retinol AND vitamin C.   While the bottle doesn’t disclose the percentage of vitamin C, it is 8th on the ingredient list, so I feel like it doesn’t give me the same concerns as I had with the serum.

The moisturizer comes in a pump bottle, and the product is creamy but light.  It is fragrance free and does not have any ‘chemical’ smells.  Again InstaNatural opted to use aloe instead of water for the first ingredient, and I enjoy the cooling sensation when you first apply this product.  I tried this moisturizer on my neck and decolletage, and it absorbs well without a film, leaving behind noticeably softer feeling skin.  Between the retinol serum and the retinol moistuzer, I much prefer the moisturizer, and I think it would be a good choice for people not wanting to introduce an extra serum step into their routine.

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InstaNatural Youth Express Eye Serum

This is part 3 of a series on InstaNatural’s products.  InstaNatural is US company based in Florida with beauty and cosmetics products inspired by nature.  They pride themselves on using natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe.   In part 1 I covered the Youth Express Eye Gel, and today I will be reviewing its counterpart, the Youth Express Eye Serum.

If you want to read my reviews on more of InstaNatural’s products, follow the links: part 1, part 2, part 4, part 5.

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The Youth Express Eye Serum claims to

deliver exceptional results to the under eye area, resulting in a decreased appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles and puffiness.

It’s main ingredients are vitamin C, plant stem cells, astaxanthinn, kojic acid, passionflower, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and matrixyl 3000.  Most of these ingredients are high up on the list, with vitamin C coming in third (after water and aloe), hyaluronic acid forth, matrixyl 3000 fifth, and plant cells sixth.  Wow.  I’m really blown away by this ingredient list, because it’s such a concentration of potent ingredients.  I’m not a chemist so I can’t say whether or not all these ingredients are in an environment to best perform, but, what I do know is that the type of vitamin C that they use, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, is more stable than L-ascorbic acid, and can perform at a higher pH.

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The Youth Express Eye Serum comes in a dropper bottle.  The formula has a citrus aroma and is alarmingly orange.  I suspect that the orange is for a immediate cosmetic purpose – to help even out dark undereye circles.

Because I have eczema, I didn’t use this serum on my eyelids, only my undereyes and temples.  I read that sodium ascorbyl phosphate has been shown to reduce sebum, which is great news for me as I tend to get some breakouts on my temples.  It goes on watery and imparts a prolonged cooling sensation which feels similar to Origin’s GinZing Eye Cream (although GinZing stings my eyes, whereas this serum doesn’t).  I don’t know what the cause of the cool feeling is, but I don’t really like it as I have very sensitive skin around my eyes and I am wary of eye products that gives any perceptible feeling.  However, if you suffer from puffy eyes, you might find this a nice relief.

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