Good + Gone: Skin Care Empties

Farmacy ‘Green Clean’ makeup meltaway cleansing balm

I’m on a big balm kick these days. I don’t want anything foaming near my face, and I find a good cleansing balm is the gentlest and most effective way to remove every trace of makeup, dirt/oil, and sunscreen as a first cleanse in the evening. Farmacy Green Clean smells like lime sherbet and dissolves every speck of product and grime on your face — including eye makeup — leaving your skin super clean, hydrated and balanced. It has an almost 5-star rating on, and I would definitely buy it again.

Murad Essential-C Cleanser 

This was a big favorite at the beginning of the year: I named it as one of my top 5 gentle-but-effective cleansers in this post. When I began my love affair with cleansing balms, oils and milks, I put this gel cleanser in the shower for my husband and he polished it off. He really enjoyed it, so I would consider repurchasing it for him, but I probably wouldn’t use it much myself. (Gimme all the rich, oily cleansers!)

Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil

Speaking of rich, oily cleansers! We carried Aster & Bay in our gift boutique at the flower shop last year, and I brought home a bottle of the cleansing oil to try for myself. I loved it as a second cleanse: I massaged it onto my clean skin for several minutes, then placed a hot washcloth over my face for about 30 seconds to soften the oil and deep-clean my pores, and used the washcloth to wipe it all away. It kept my skin really soft and hydrated and smelled lovely, but I think I’d like to try some other cleansing oils before I give it another go.  (I’d love recommendations!)

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil

This was fine, but I much prefer the balm version.

Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser

I really enjoyed this in my AM routine. The mud formula feels really cooling on the skin, and it contains 5% glycolic acid for a mildly-tingly exfoliation with a deep clean. It’s available at Target, and I plan to pick up another tube on my next trip.

Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm

I got a sample of this eye balm in a Sephora Play Box and liked it so much I sprung for the full size. It was a big splurge for an eye product, and after finishing the tube, I just don’t think it’s worth the price tag. In my skin care research, I learned you don’t need an eye cream; a well-formulated face moisturizer used around the eyes works just as well.

Lately I’m really enjoying this “triple remedy” brightening eye cream from First Aid Beauty. It has a luminous pink tint that helps neutralize discoloration.

Kypris Antioxidant Dew

Anna raved about this product for months, so I finally splurged and purchased it for myself. It’s a lovely moisturizing serum with a blend of herb-derived antioxidants, and I enjoyed it in the spring and early summer for lightweight hydration… I just don’t know that it’s worth the investment for me, especially since I use an antioxidant vitamin-C serum every day.

I don’t think I’ll repurchase the Antioxidant Dew, but I would consider trying some other products from the Kypris line. A friend swears by the Moonlite Catalyst serum.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

A good vitamin C serum was one of the things I didn’t know was missing from my daily routine until sometime last year. (See: Skin Care Mistakes I Made In My 20s.) I saw results from the C-Firma Day Serum pretty quickly: my skin looked brighter, the texture improved, and I noticed some lightening of my pigmentation and sun spots. This has become one of the skin care products I never want to be without, and I’m nearly through my second tube. I use it every day on clean skin after toner, and take it down my neck and all the way onto my chest, where sun spots seem to pop up overnight as we age.

A note: vitamin-C products are notoriously unstable, meaning they lose their effectiveness quickly when exposed to light and air. Make sure you purchase a quality vitamin-C product in air-tight pump packaging, store it in a cabinet or drawer, and use it within 6 months if possible to maintain its maximum potency.

Kate Somerville ‘Nourish’ Daily Moisturizer

This is my HOLY GRAIL daily moisturizer and one of those “I’m-getting-older-and-I-like-what-I-like” products. I happily hand over a ridiculous amount of money for a new jar at Sephora every few months. It’s an “age defense” moisturizer that has a nice mix of peptides and antioxidants, and I love the way it feels on my skin: it sinks right in for immediate and long-lasting hydration that never feels heavy or greasy. I apply a thin layer every morning, sandwiched between my vitamin C serum and a physical SPF.

Pixi Hydrating Milky Serum 

I bought this as part of a Pixi haul at Target last year, along with the Glow Mud cleanser, Glow Tonic To Go exfoliating acid pads, and nourishing sleeping mask. I think Pixi is a great line if you’re new to skin care and want to add some effective budget-friendly products to your routine. This serum gives lightweight hydration that’s great for daytime under makeup, but it has a pretty heavy fragrance that makes me think twice about repurchasing.

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links through Shopstyle. I earn commission on clicks and/or purchases from affiliate links, but I purchased all of these products myself and all opinions are my own.

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  1. 10.11.17
    Erin C. said:

    I have the Pixi Glow Mud cleanser and LOVE it. Right now, my skincare routine is pretty minimal (read: I am lazy) – I take off makeup with coconut oil, follow with diluted apple cider vinegar as toner, and slap on a heavy-duty moisturizer and maybe some eye cream if I remember. In the morning, I wash with the Pixi cleaner, moisturize, then follow with sunscreen. I’ll look into the vitamin C serum – sounds like that would be a big payoff for not that much effort!

  2. 9.27.17

    I’ve been hearing so many great things about Pixi lately, I’ll definitely have to go try them out!

  3. 9.26.17

    So many great recommendations! I’m about to start the Farmacy cleansing balm and I’m so excited!