We all love bargain buys, especially when looking at department store products. Here are three excellent jumbo-sized options that I’d recommend.
For me and I’d imagine for most people, the only reason for spending the extra money on shower gel—something that can be purchased at the drugstore for $5 for 32 oz, is for the fragrance and “experience” that the more expensive one can offer. This indeed smells like watermelon-flavored candy and is pure olfactory bliss! My shower routine is just that much more enjoyable with this.
Detergent-wise, this primarily uses the sodium laureth sulfate anionic surfactant and a bit of its sulfosuccinate cousin, which are both significantly less potent than sodium lauryl sulfate (1) due in-part to larger functional head groups (2). The surfactants are balanced by the inclusion of a PEG-related thickener, a foaming agent, and an emollient. Overall, the lush texture emulsifies into a rich lather that cleanses well, while leaving a lingering (and yummy) scent on the skin, which I want! Oh and forget about the other beneficial ingredients included, such as vitamins B5 and E, green tea, and aloe vera because this is a cleanser! They’ll be washed down the drain, not to mention that the amounts are most likely, present in very low concentrations.
Verdict: Watermelon may not be my favorite Philosophy scent (I like the Vanilla Birthday Cake and Classic Fudge Cake ones more), but I will definitely repurchase this when I run out.
Marketed as one of the most popular Kate Somerville products, this is basically a low-strength non-aqueous retinol serum. Wrapped up in an elegant silicone base with a touch of stearic acid to enhance penetration (3), this contains I’m guessing, somewhere between 0.1% to 0.25% retinol, along with a vitamin C salt, and vitamin E.
The inclusion of the vitamin C salt is irrelevant because it cannot dissociate and convert to L-ascorbic acid, due to the absence of water. Not to mention that when applied, the skin’s natural pH is not low enough to allow for adequate penetration (pH needs to be < 3.5). On the other hand, the inclusion of vitamin E has a two-fold benefit: to act as an antioxidant in its own right, and to increase the stability of retinol, especially against UV light (4). This makes sense since both ingredients are lipid-soluble.
Now, because this product doesn’t have a pH, make sure not to apply it over anything that’s acidic, as a more neutral pH is required to optimally convert retinol to tretinoin. For more information on this topic, click HERE.
Verdict: While quite expensive even with the discount, this serum would be great and effective for first-time retinol users who have normal to combination-oily skin types.
*Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Ethylhexy Stearate, Cyclomethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Water, Retinol, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Lecithin, Glycolipids, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Glycol
Available in two select shades, this tinted moisturizer is one of the best on the market in terms of coverage and finish. The lighter of the two shades, Nude, is appropriate for people who are about NC20-NC25. Sand, the darker of the two, is better for those around NC25-NC30. This has light-medium coverage and a beautiful satin finish.
Ingredient-wise, this contains a dash of a vitamin E ester, a vitamin C salt, and the humectant sodium hyaluronate. However, the concentrations present will most likely, have no measurable or significant effect on the skin.
What’s more important to note is that this does NOT provide adequate UVA protection. But before you panic, know that even if it did, not enough would be applied to achieve adequate sun protection, at least not enough to skip a regular sunscreen. I have personally tried to apply as much of this as I do with my regular sunscreen, and it caked up and separated like you wouldn’t believe. This primarily happens because if too much is applied, the pigments (usually some type of metal oxide salt), will seep through the vehicle, resulting in a blotchy mess. As for the vehicle, the texture is a sublime lotion-gel that is best for normal to dry skin types, due to the use of modified castor oil.
Verdict: Despite some formulary cons, the cosmetic pros of this product warrant a huge thumbs-up from me. If I had normal skin, this is probably all I’d use on a daily basis.
Have you guys tried any of these? What are you favorite beauty staples that you wish had supersized-version? Let us know down below or on my blog!
John Su describes himself as eccentric—you might find him having a conversation with himself. He’s a stickler for accuracy, so you might find him correcting one thing or another! His goal is to answer questions and provide unbiased, meaningful, and insightful information when it comes to skin care. His underlying motivations stem from a need to inform people who have doubts, questions, or even prayers for solutions to their problems. He has his own skin care blog, The Triple Helixian.View all John Su posts.
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