Many women have wondered if it’s worth buying a skincare “system” or a kit, since there’s often the marketing message “you need to use all products from the same brand at the same time to see results” attached with this concept. Having been a former esthetician, I have a very strong opinion on this. My opinion is “no”, that’s not really necessary. If you sell skincare for an at-home marketing company or for a major beauty brand, you probably will be upset with me. However, I do really like buying smaller trial kits from a brand, such as the one I’m going to chat about below, when I want to try more products within a recommended regimen. The reason my opinion is “no” to having to buy a system is that not all of a brand’s products may be 100% appropriate for the type of skin you have. For example, I really like the Olay Complete SPF 15 Sensitive Moisturizer. But my skin reacts to their facial cleansers based on their blend of sulfate ingredients, and irritates my skin enough to cause mild breakouts. Also, I don’t believe in shelling out a ton of money to try a new brand, as you can often find smaller/cheaper trial size kits that give you enough product to see how your skin will ACTUALLY behave over time when making the switch. I know women often attend home parties or visit a cosmetic counter for skincare, and buy a couple hundred dollars’ worth of a new brand – to me, that’s a bit risky and not all that necessary. Sadly, I’m also well aware that if the women aren’t happy with the results after using for a few weeks, they end up tossing the product rather than getting their money back.
Step 1 in any trial of skin, hair or makeup product is know what’s inside the product, and if you can tell what known allergens are inside (like synthetic fragrance) that may cause you a reaction. If that coast is clear, Step 2 is seeing if the kit has products that you know you’ll actually use daily. Many people rarely use a mask daily, for example. If you are truly seeking a new regimen, find a kit that you can use up daily as you’ll determine your skin’s reaction that much faster – for better, or for worse. This goes for haircare too – I really like trying a new haircare brand’s travel kit first, as I’ll use it for a week or two to see how my hair and hair color reacts to the products’ ingredient blend.
Sephora, ULTA, Target and most department stores often sell larger kits (or usually called “gifts”) around the major retail holidays: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and back-to-school. And many brands offer kits online year-round. What can be great about these kits is that you often get a nice variety product for a better value than buying all full sizes. That way, if you really hate it and make the decision to toss, you’re probably only out about $20-$40, rather than over $100. Also, if you get a gift card for one of these stores, you’ll get more bang for your buck to buy a kit, over individual products.
Case in point, my husband gave me a Valentine’s Day gift card for Sephora, and I decided to treat myself to a First Aid Beauty Kit that features their Pure Skin Face Cleanser, their famous Ultra Repair Cream moisturizer (that I LOVE) and their Facial Radiance Pads. The 2.0 oz tubes contain about 4 weeks worth, which totals 28 days of beauty!!! Get it? 😉 That is the whole point of trying these types of sizes – I knew that within 4 weeks (which is the appropriate amount of time for skin cell turnover) that I would have my results, and be able to form an educated opinion. First Aid Beauty’s skincare concept is designing products specifically for people with very sensitive skins, but who also want results. Since I hadn’t tried their Facial Radiance Pads or Pure Skin Face Cleanser before, I was totally game to test them out.
After using the set for about three weeks, while also using witch hazel as a toner after cleansing, here’s my thoughts on these products:
- Pure Skin Face Cleanser: I am really happy I decided to try this, as I love foaming cleansers that are gentle, but also remove all makeup. Since I love both Clinique and CeraVe cleansers, this one had to at least perform similarly or exceed my expectations. I was first surprised how concentrated it was, as a little bit goes a very long way. Also, it’s pH-balanced formula has natural extracts, is fragrance-free, and zero parabens. It feels comforting and cushy, but rinses cleanly without stripping skin. Based on that, and the fact that my husband keeps stealing this in the shower, I think it’s become a new family favorite.
- Facial Radiance Pads: One of my favorite nightly treatments is a mild AHA application to help purify, exfoliate, even out, and brighten skin overnight. These are super convenient in application, and remind me of the Altchek MD Glycolic Pads that I’ve used before and like. What is great with these is that the 28 day supply of pads is a convenient travel-size, and I’ve already used it a few times on weekend trips. My skin felt comfortable after applying after witch hazel, and prior to moisturizing. In the morning, my skin felt soft, brighter, and I’m starting to see some darker spots fade. This formula combines lactic and glycolic AHA’s, plus contains similar skin-loving extracts as the cleanser, without fragrance or parabens. Loving these so far, and the full-size prize is very reasonable at $30 for 60 pads.
- Ultra Repair Cream: This moisturizer is appropriate for any skin type, but especially cares for the hyper-sensitive, eczema sufferers, or any skin type that is dry, overstressed and in need of calming hydration. The formula also combines natural extracts, contains zero fragrances or parabens, but is also very concentrated. It’s appropriate for face, body, or hands. I’ve been using this every night with the other products above, as I use the Olay Complete SPF 15 moisturizer during the day. And my skin continues to feel great, as I’ve raved about in previous posts! I love how the antioxidant and ceramide-3 blend is anti-aging, yet also builds the skin’s natural defenses and strengthens the moisture-barrier. This size was incredibly convenient to take with me on weekend trips as an all-purpose moisturizer.
If I were to buy all of these individually, it would have been $90 for the normal full sizes. But for $30, this was a great way to enjoy a product I already love, plus get to try two new options from this brand for a month. Through this little experiment, I have even more respect for the brand, as I can tell the science and research they have put into these products are really innovative. I like the blend of nature and science, as it creates formula combinations for sensitive skin to receive the special care it needs.
I truly hope this review helps, as I think many people (men and women) can be frustrated by the amount of skincare choices out there – but knowing what to look for, and that these value kits can be a great option to try, helps in narrowing down selections while sticking to your budget. Plus, if you purchase from a known retailer, you can often return a kit if it just doesn’t work out for you.
© 2017 28daysbeauty