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.

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 Celluite Cream and Stretch Mark & Scar Cream

This is part 2 of a series on InstaNatural’s products!  InstaNatural is US company based in Florida with more than a dozen nature inspired beauty and cosmetics products.  They pride themselves on using natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe. Today will be about skincare products for the body.

If you want to read my reviews on more of InstaNatural’s products, follow the links: part 1, part 3, part 4, part 5.

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Key ingredients:

  • caffeine
  • retinol
  • cocoa butter
  • shea butter
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin B5

InstaNatural’s Cellulite Cream is a powerful solution that tightens and tones the skin so you can achieve a smooth, supple appearance.  They claim that its blend of ingredients:

deeply nourishes the skin to decrease the appearance of cellulite and dimples. Caffeine tones and tightens, while Retinol repairs and restores, so you can obtain long-lasting results for a firm and supple appearance.

This cream is in a pump bottle, my product dispensing method of choice (you get a mess free, measured quantity every time!).  The cream is thick and amazingly smells like fresh coffee beans.  Though it smells like coffee, the aroma doesn’t linger after you apply the product.  It is creamy on application and not tacky or greasy, and absorbs fairly quickly.  I like this cream a lot more than some expensive counterparts, such as Clarins or Biotherm.

71usv95_OxL._SL1500STRETCH MARK AND SCAR CREAM

Key ingredients:

  • vitamin C
  • cocoa butter
  • rosehip oil
  • mango butter
  • grapeseed oil
  • evening primrose oil

This cream boosts an incredible 15% of vitamin C. InstaNatural says that this cream is

designed to increase elasticity of the skin and diminish the appearance of these marks to restore a youthful look.

I love love love the feel of this cream.  I can’t comment on the long term efficacy, since I have only been using it for a few days, but the texture is so nice that I would prefer it even if it was just a regular cream, without the stretch/scar mark healing properties.  The cream’s thickness is between a butter and a lotion, and absorbs into the skin very quickly.  Although it’s disputable whether any topical creams can help with stretch marks, I feel like with such a high concentration of vitamin C, it is more capable of living up to its claim than the other stretch mark cream I’m currently using, Cerave Intensive Stretch Mark Cream.

Because I have not used these products for more than a week, please take my review with a grain of salt as it is just my first impressions, and I don’t know if these products will live up to their claims (to get rids of stretch marks, etc.) beyond being moisturizing.

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Philosophy Haul

Aaaah Philosophy.  I have a lot of memories tied up with this brand and their products.  When I first started working at Sephora, Philosophy was just getting really big – probably due to the Oprah bump.  It was one of my manager’s favourite brands, and we were encouraged to introduce their products as the first line of skin defense.

philosophy haul
The goodies!

Purity, of course, is the original workhorse of facewashes.  A gently foaming formula that is good for most skin types and purposes (but be careful around the eyes, this animal bites).  Back in the days when I worked at Sephora, we used to use Purity to clean the brushes from the makeup stations.  I loooove how it smells, but not how it feels.  I don’t really use Purity as a facial cleanser, but it’s become a habit to use it as a beauty tool cleanser (I’m looking at you, grimy sponges).

Hope In A Jar is not for me either, but there’s something about the whipped texture of that moisturizer always gets people excited.  After all, it was one of Oprah’s “Favourite Things!”  Ergo, it serves as a fantastic gift for a fellow product junkie.  In this case, mommy dearest.  The Microdelivery Peel and Philosophy’s new fragrance Loveswept was also put aside for mom, which leaves only one product: Miracle Worker.

Philosophy Miracle Worker

Miracle Worker is one of the products hitting the market that is reviving the retinol hype.  It is billed as “miraculous anti-ageing retinoid pads” with “next-generation retinoid technology that helps maximise skin’s rejuvenation potential, while minimising the risk of irritation commonly associated with traditional retinols.”  Outside of anti-ageing, many reviewers remarked that Miracle Worker eliminated blackheads and drastically decreased the size of their pores.

It comes in two parts – a bottle of oil, and a tub of 60 pads.  You pour the oil onto the pads, allowing the product to be soaked up before use.  One pad really does go a long way; I’m able to use one pad for the entire face, neck, and both hands and arms.  The pads are honey-combed and a little bit abrasive, which gives an exfoliating effect.  Philosophy recommends using Miracle Worker every day (with a healthy dose of sunscreen too!), which I did for a few weeks, before I decided to tone it down.

Why?  Honestly, it was just too much exfoliation for my skin to handle.  My cheeks began flaking and my entire face began to look a bit dull.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with the product, just that I have sensitive skin.  Miracle Worker definitely works.  Of all the products I’ve used to close up those pesky pores, none has worked so well or so quickly as this one.  Just don’t use it too much!