Product Review: Onomie Powerful Priming Serum

The weather is starting to change, my sailing season is officially done, and autumn is officially here – my favorite season. What also will be starting to show is all of the sun damage that may have occurred over the summer. For those of you who do tan, you may be noticing that there are darker splotches or patches as the color fades. And for those of us who normally burn, you may notice freckles or dark spots that are suddenly appearing. Serums are one of the best products to tackle specific skin challenges, as they are concentrated and packed with active ingredients. I normally switch up my skincare routine between winter and summer, and fall is the perfect transition period to make those product updates. So, I looked for a serum that had claimed to address uneven tone and dark spots, as I noticed I have a bit of sun damage on my cheeks from being outdoors this summer. I’d been asked by a friend to review the Onomie brand before, and after researching their formulas and skincare approach, I decided to give them a try. I’ve now used their Powerful Priming Serum since mid-August, and here’s my thoughts after 45 days of use:


  1. The formula is a clinical-grade blend of natural plant extracts and Vitamin C, which is one of the things that appealed to me about the brand. These extracts, like Willowbark, are known to increase collagen production, hydration, even skin tone, and improve texture. However, the product has an added shimmer (mica) to the product, which I had to get a bit used to. After using this product for a while, I found I could actually do without the shimmer. Yes, it helps to blur fine lines and add radiance to the skin, but I’m not sure it’s what I want in full face coverage. I prefer to add shimmer with a highlighter where wanted.
  2. The product’s packaging dispenses just the right amount for a full face application. I have also used additional pumps to apply on my neck and chest. I have also found that my arms and backs of my hands have some dark spots (presumably from hours out on the water), so I’ve been liberally applying to help even tone overall. I recommend using serums that have pump packaging, as it seals the product against bacteria and air (oxidation). This keeps the product hygienic and fresh, without adding the risk of causing breakouts.
  3. Speaking of breakouts, I noticed that within the first two weeks of use that I developed a few small pimples along my cheeks and jaw. But that is to be expected, as a product that increases cellular turnover will naturally “purge” the skin of any blockages or debris that may be embedded within pores. This usually calms down, once the skin has had a chance to settle into the new product and the fresher cells begin to emerge. Tip: if you do experience persistent breakouts, or if you notice suddenly that you have a rash or a worsening breakout, then stop application.


Another selling point of the serum claimed that it was a priming serum, meaning that it would help makeup last longer. I did not find that to be the case for me. I’m a sensitive/combination skin type, and often experience an oily T-zone – I didn’t find that using this primer made my foundation last that much longer than I’m normally used to. My final results with using this serum for the last two months is that I’ve noticed a subtle change in the overall tone of my skin, which is what I wanted due to the darker spots on my cheeks. And my skin felt hydrated and smooth.

One important point that I do want to highlight with this (and any serum that contains Vitamin C or exfoliating ingredients like Willowbark) is that you need to wear a minimum of SPF 15 during the day to protect skin for this to be effective. Otherwise, you will not see progress on the benefits of tone correction and reducing fine lines.  Vitamin C can also make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure, so it’s best to protect against further damage.

Overall, I think it’s a solid serum, and I especially like the approach that this brand uses with a blend of nature and science. Onomie features a blog on their website, in which they feature articles from estheticians and topics such as stress relief. They offer bundles of products, and also a subscription service; which is a smart way to try a regimen and also ensure that you won’t run out of product – especially since this only sold online, or in their NYC showroom. I think this brand has a lot of promise going forward – I like their indie yet educated approach, and I think we’ll continue to see great product innovation come from them!

©2017 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Anti-aging & Acne

Most people think that acne is just a thing that teens deal with, and that is simply a rite of passage into young adulthood. Sadly, a lot of us still deal with acne far into our 30’s, 40’s, or even older. And for men, acne may take different forms, such as ingrown hairs. And truth be told, acne doesn’t immediately mean that you have that skin type forever. It could mean a lot of things, so let’s talk about some of the most common causes:

1) Hormones – so yes, this is one of the common reasons why teens suffer from acne. However, it’s also one of the reasons why women also suffer from it, due to our own fluctuations in hormonal balance as we age. Lucky us. 

2) Skin care regimen – many of us misinterpret our own skin, and therefore can create our own skincare issues by using the wrong products. Plus, take a look at your skin care product ingredients…is there added fragrance? Mineral oil? Make sure that the products you are using are proven products to be effective, or recommended by your dermatologist. Do your research.

3) Rosacea or sensitive / reactive skin – this is one of the hardest to treat, since sensitive and irritated skin can often “breakout” as a reaction. But then, people think that they need to be treating an acne breakout, rather than simply switching up their regimen to be more suited for hyper-sensitive skin. Make sure you see a dermatologist for this, as it is tricky to treat correctly on your own.

4) Lifestyle – this is another culprit that is often a teen issue, but can also trickle into adulthood. Are you making sure that you are washing your face twice a day? Are you taking the time to exfoliate regularly? How about washing your bed sheets and pillowcases regularly? Not picking at your face? And drinking enough water, or consuming too much sugar? I know a lot of these things can sound like your mother nagging at you. But believe it or not, they do make a difference in your health and condition of your skin.

As we age, we get bombarded with advertising and promises of products that will reverse the clock. But how do you select a few that really will work, especially if you still deal with breakouts? Luckily,  the answer is that many of the anti-aging products out there will actually also combat acne because they encourage exfoliation and cell-renewal. Both promote cell turnover, which will natually purge out clogs and dead skin cells. Plus, salicylic acid (beta-hydroxy acid) is a common ingredient in both types of products, which also kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. Bonus! 

Here are two of my favorite products that can help combat acne, and help you age gracefully by refining skin texture:

clean & clear
salicylic acid-based anti-acne treament
  • Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot treatment: I really like this because it’s salicylic acid-based, and doesn’t contain benzoyl peroxide. It’s a much gentler, but very effective, treatment and can be worn daily under makeup. My husband really likes it too for treating ingrown hairs. I use it anywhere on the body I have a breakout – and it’s especially effective as a thin film applied daily to keep breakouts at bay.
cerave serum
gentle yet effective retinoid serum
  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum: this serum is newer to the market, but it is already a staple product in my skincare arsenal. CeraVe has the sensitive skin care needs down pat, and this serum contains retinol (form of vitamin A) to combat fine lines and wrinkles by encouraging cell-turnover and exfoliation. Plus, the formula contains ceramides to help cushion the active ingredient of retinol. Many dermatologists prescribe stronger versions of retinoid creams, but I like this because it is so gentle, yet effective. I only use it it at night, when my skin won’t have exposure to UV Rays. I also use it on my chest and back to help smooth and brighten skin, and fight minor breakouts.

Bottom line is that you don’t need a very complex routine to achieve results, but the biggest tip is to be strategic about it. Using products that have multi-use properties also help save you time and money! Reach out if you have any recommendations of your own, too!

© 28daysbeauty 2015

Beauty Topic: Exfoliation

This is a topic that is often misunderstood within a skincare regimen. One of the primary reasons is because there are so many options to choose from that it’s easy to be confused about what to use. As an esthetician, I would often recommend that people try a few of the options (one at a time) to decide ultimately what works best for them, and delivers the best results for their skin type.

Before I speak to my favorite options out there, let me clarify two important points that everyone should know: 1) yes, it is possible to exfoliate too much (creates irritation), and 2) if you have rosacea or severe acne then you need to ensure your dermatologist helps determine what is best for you.

Physical exfoliators are also referred to as scrubs, sponges, or brushes. Think of them as polishing agents – they will remove dead skin and debris by using granular beads, fibers or bristles to create the exfoliation. I especially like these for dry skin, since flakes and small clogs will easily roll off the skin surface. Tip: use in the shower up to 2x a week on clean skin to start.

My favorite physical exfoliators are:

– Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream – creamy and gentle, and great for all skin types

– Konjac sponges by Eco-Tools – these are made with Konjac vegetable fibers, and are all the rage in Asia. Gentle enough to use everyday with your cleanser, they are incredibly smooth on the skin’s surface.

– June Jacobs Radiant Refining Exfoliating Powder – this is similar to the ancient practice of rice powders being used in Asia to polish skin. This can be used on it’s own (creates a creamy polish with water), but I really love adding it to my Cetaphil or CeraVe creamy cleansers to brighten and clarify.

Chemical exfoliators are also referred to as peels, serums and solutions. These products rely mostly on alpha or beta-hydroxy acids (glycolic, salicylic, etc), retinoids (vitamin A), or enzymes (papaya) to create a non-physical reaction on the skin that loosens dead skin, clogs, and minimizes wrinkles. Tip: use at night to gain the most repair and avoid sun sensitivity during the day.

My favorite chemical exfoliators are:

– bliss That’s Incredi-‘peel’! pre-soaked pads – these use glycolic acid to refine skin and brighten. I love using them at night, after toning and before moisturizing.

– Olay Regenerist Serum Fragrance-Free (not pictured) – this serum is silky and instantly smooths. Use at night before moisturizing, and it helps boost hydration.

All of these can be used down the neck and chest to help brighten and give anti-aging effects. Men may also like these products as they help smooth skin, reduce ingrown hairs from shaving, and keep skin clear. Ultimately, the best advice I can give you on this is to be gentle to your skin – exfoliation is an essential step, but shouldn’t be overdone. Find something you like, and it will be like having a mini-facial on a weekly basis.

My favorite exfoliators & scrubs

©2015 28daysbeauty