It’s no secret that we love our beauty products, but Stacie and I are also super into skincare. As much fun as it is to play around with new makeup looks, it’s even more important to take good care of our skin. A couple of months ago, we were contacted by Jess, a woman from a company called Skin Actives Scientific, who asked if we would like to try some of their products. I did a little research into the company and really liked what I found out. Skin Actives is a skincare company that focuses on quality ingredients and scientific research rather than fancy packaging. Plus, it’s located right here in AZ. Their whole system is setup so you can tailor their products to your needs. In addition to ready made skincare, they also sell additives. If there is a certain ingredient you really like or want to try you can buy the additive and mix it into your favorite moisturizer or serum. Jess asked us for information about our skin type, any sensitivities we might have, and what our skincare goals are. The whole process was really easy and a few days later we each received a box full of goodies chosen specifically for our skin needs. I’ve been using the products I got for the past couple of months and here is what I think so far (Stacie received different products based on her skin type and goals).
One of the products I received was Skin Actives’ Creamy Facial Cleanser. I’m not too picky when it comes to cleansers but there are certain things that I look for. I’ve been really happy with this cleanser. It is a cream formula that doesn’t really lather up. This is moisturizing so it doesn’t leave that awful squeaky-clean feeling that really means your skin is stripped of moisture but it cleans really well, I don’t feel like I need to rewash my face with something else after I use this. I really like how this cleanser makes my face feel and it even removes my eye makeup (this is the gold standard I hold all cleansers to). The packaging isn’t very cute and it does get dirty easily but I really like this cleanser. I would definitely buy it again. The Creamy Facial Cleanser is $14 for 4 oz.
I was most excited to get the DMAE 4% Serum. I’ve written before about how much I love my Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer and it contains DMAE. A lot of the reviews on the Skin Actives site talked about how people switched from Perricone to Skin Actives and liked it much better. DMAE is a slightly controversial ingredient but it’s great for minimizing wrinkles and tightening skin. One of the things I like about Skin Actives is how honest the website is. Instead of shying away from the criticism, Dr. Sivak (Skin Actives’ founder) addresses it on the product page and explains why they still carry the ingredient. I also like how each product page gives suggestions for what skin types should use the product and what other products should be paired with it. I am really happy with this serum…. as long as I don’t use it too much. I love how good it makes my skin look if I use it a couple of times a week. My skin looks clear, brighter, and firmer. DMAE is the ingredient that has made the biggest difference in how my skin looks and this serum works really well for me. However, if I use it too often my sensitive skin does not like it. I’ve found if I use it every day I start to break out. I will also say that if I get any of this on my eyelids it makes them burn soooo bad. Would I get this again? Definitely! I love it, as long as I only use it every other day or so and don’t get it anywhere near my eyes. I received the 4 oz bottle of DMAE 4% Serum which runs $52.70 but there is also a 1 oz bottle for $16.
I also received the Vitamin C Serum. Since vitamin C can be a little harsh for sensitive skin, Jess sent me Skin Actives’ DIY Vitamin C Serum. Instead of coming premixed, the DIY kit comes with a separate serum base and vitamin C serum powder. I started with half of the vitamin C powder to create a 10% mixture. Once I tried the serum for awhile and had no reaction I added the rest of the powder to bring the serum up to 20%. Vitamin C is great for exfoliation and reducing redness. It also helps restore elasticity and promotes cell turnover. My skin looks brighter when I use this. Skin Actives recommends keeping their serums in the fridge and this feels so nice on my skin when it’s hot out. I really liked the serum when I had it mixed at 10% but I think 20% is a little much for me. Unfortunately you can’t reduce the strength once you’ve mixed it all together! The packaging is also terrible for this serum. The pump is too long so when you screw the lid on it bends in a way that doesn’t allow serum to get out. This is one product where better packaging would be very beneficial. I might buy this again but I would have to put it in a different bottle, and I’d stick to a 10% mixture. The Vitamin C Serum is $15.50 for 1 oz and comes premixed at 15% or in a kit like this one.
I don’t have much luck with eye creams. My eyes are really sensitive so most creams sting or burn my eyes. If I find any that don’t, they cause milia to pop up immediately. Usually I just use my regular moisturizer on my eyes but I know you are supposed to treat your eye skin differently. Skin Actives Bright-I Serum isn’t a heavy cream and it doesn’t irritate my eyes. This serum is also kept in the fridge so the coolness helps with puffy eyes. The Bright-I Serum is designed to reduce dark circles, too. I like the feel of this serum around my eyes but I don’t notice any difference when using it. I’ll probably use it up but I won’t buy it again. The Bright-I Serum is $15 for 10 mL.
Skin Actives makes several different moisturizers and I received the Vitamin A Cream. The Vitamin A Cream is a nice alternative to Retin-A, which can be too harsh for a lot of people. This promotes skin renewal and cell turnover and also helps keep skin clear. It can increase the risk of sunburn so Skin Actives recommends using SPF with it. This cream has an interesting smell (it’s not bad but it doesn’t smell like roses like my Perricone moisturizer). It also felt a little sticky on my face but that could have been from the serum I applied before this. This is a very light moisturizer that isn’t quite enough for my skin. I need to layer another moisturizer over this to get the hydration I want. I didn’t notice any changes to my skin with this. This cream was average for me. It wasn’t awful but I wasn’t really excited about using it. It’s a great price so I might buy it again but I wouldn’t miss it if I didn’t. The Vitamin A Cream is $17 for 2 oz.
Because the Vitamin A Cream increases the risk of sunburn, I also received Skin Actives’ Advanced Protection SPF 30. This is a really nice sunscreen. It absorbs easily and isn’t at all greasy. This actually dries down to a bit of a matte finish. I use this on my face and it doesn’t irritate it or make me break out. This feels so light on my face, I forget I’m even wearing sunscreen. It’s also nice because I can apply it before makeup and it doesn’t rub off when I put on my foundation. I would buy this again, it’s a really nice sunscreen. The Advanced Protection SPF 30 is $9.50 for 2.5 oz like I received or $14 for 4 oz.
The final product in my box was Liquid Rainbow. Liquid Rainbow is a moisturizing lip product that contains 100% active ingredients. It is applied like a lip gloss but doesn’t feel gloopy or sticky on the lips. This absorbs well and really keeps my lips feeling hydrated. I like to wear my Nuxe Reve de Miel at night and this during the day. This does need to be applied fairly often but the lipgloss applicator makes that really easy. My only complaint with this is the label. The sticker peels off very easily when twisting the bottle to open it. I would probably get this again but this one tube will last me a long time. Liquid Rainbow is $12.50 for 10 mL.
Overall I’m pretty happy with Skin Actives and the products I received. You can tell everything is good quality with ingredients that work really well. I love the idea of being able to DIY your skincare so you get exactly what you want. It’s also nice to be able to support a local company and they have so many different products, I’m really interested in trying some more. I really like all of the scientific and usage information on Skin Actives website, it makes me feel very comfortable with the company. I really like the Creamy Facial Cleanser and DMAE Serum. The Vitamin C Serum is also nice although I wish the bottle was different. The Bright-I Serum and Vitamin A Cream seem like really good products, they just aren’t perfect for me. I also really like the Advanced Protection SPF 30 and Liquid Rainbow is a lot of fun. Although you sacrifice packaging and marketing with Skin Actives, the prices are really great (although some better packaging would be nice!).
Although Skin Actives sent me these products for free, they did not ask me to post about them. These are my honest opinions of the products after trying them for two and a half months.