Today we are reviewing the routine of our new lovely community member LeBun 💛. The original post is here: https://whatsinmyjar.com/posts/882/suggestions
LeBun's original routine is good overall, but we spotted some repeated actives in it - especially too much niacinamide. (Yes, there can be too much of a good thing in skincare). Doubling down on actives usually does not increase the skin benefit. It can add more stress for the skin barrier though - though higher concentration of the active, as well as because extra preservatives, surfactants and other "non-actives" in the routine from extra products. A more stressed barrier means dryness, more aging inflammation in skin, and also less tolerance for other helpful actives. This is why "cleaning out" your routine from repeated actives is a great idea: for your skin, your wallet, and the environment! In the routine makeover, we took away 3 products saving about $27 usd. (We did recommend a more expensive sunscreen and moistruizer though, so the total savings are closer to $15 usd). (The removed and substituted products are attached to this post.)
Let's zoom in on the specific repeated actives:
1. Niacinamide: the Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner contains it in 3% concentration. It is enough to get the anti-aging and skin brightening benefit. Holika Holika Good Cera Super Ceramide Cream contains niacinamide in at about 0.3% (this is not an effective concentration). Niacinamide is also in the Good Molecules Niacinamide serum, in the 10% concentration. It is higher than used in clinical trials for niacinamide, so we recommend LeBun not to re-purchase the serum, and continue only with the Brightening Toner.
2. Hyaluronic acid. It is a good humectant, but despite the hype, there is nothing special about it compared to other good humectants like glycerin for example. So there is almost never a need to use a separate hyaluronic acid product. You'll usually get it anyway in a moisturizer and other products. In LeBun's routine, various forms of hyaluronic acid are in 4 different products: Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Good Molecules Niacinamide Brigthening Toner, and Holika Holika Good Cera Super Ceramide Cream.
The last "touches" in the routine makeover are the sunscreen, cleanser and moisturizer. There is nothing wrong with the formulation of the Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50, but with it being an oil, we find that the temptation is too high to apply too little to avoid the too shiny look. This is why we suggested an "old good" sunscreen lotion instead. The product we selected is Caudalie - Vinosun Very High Protection Lightweight Cream. We love that this product offers a very solid UVA protection (it uses Uvinul A Plus and Tinosorb S new generation filters). UVA protection is especially important for redness-prone skin.
We are not impressed with Holika Holika Good Cera Super Ceramide Cream. It has a lot of ingredients, but many good ones are in low concentrations, so we are wondering if the formulators added them for marketing only. It also contains a number of fragrances and essential oils, and they can be harmful to dry skin. Instead, we recommend I'm From Rice Cream: a simple fragrance-free moisturizing formula with Ceramides, Panthenol and anti-aging Adenosine.
As for the cleansing step, we recommend a "one-and-done" approach with a gentle cleanser. Double-cleansing is an extra-challenge for the skin barrier, and most people do not need it, even when wearing a normal makeup and sunscreen (of course, you can still remove stubborn mascara separately with a makeup-remover). We recommended a different brand for the cleanser because the Good Molecules options included a few unnecessary irritants.