Here, we will talk about the products Cassandra wishes she could return. We say "wish" because when you return a skincare product, it cannot be put back on shelves for hygiene purposes. For most people, Cassandra advocates taking advantage of returns if a product doesn’t work out, but Cassandra has very strong feelings about waste, and plus she knows so many people that she can pass the products onto. So, instead of returning them, she passes them forward to people who will perhaps love them more.
1. M. Skin Care Acne Control Serum - $5.90
The first product is the M. Skincare Acne Control Serum. This product did not pull through for Cassandra. Amazon actually has fantastic skincare, including international skincare. But, this one heavily disappointed. It was about six dollars, and to Cassandra, it wasn’t worth a single cent. This supposedly has azelaic acid, but Cassandra doesn’t know if it truly does. It comes out like water, and it doesn’t do anything. If anything, it gets kind of crunchy and crusty upon application. This is one of the worst azelaic acid products that Cassandra has ever used, and not because of its gritty texture as many azelaic products feel this way. It's that this product literally feels like water. Furthermore, Cassandra didn't notice that it calmed irritated skin or prevented breakouts.
Azelaic Acid Product Recommendations
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid 10% - $10
Dr. Sam's Flawless Neutralizing Gel - $38
2. Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Microneedling Patches - $38
Cassandra wanted to love these because they sound amazing. They're supposed to help your under eyes wake up feeling and looking refreshed. Cassandra thought they would be like the Skin Iceland microneedling patches. The Skin Iceland patches changed the color of her under eyes, and they lasted all day.
Skyn Iceland Dissolving Eye Patches - $16
However, the Pacifica one is more of a retinol product. Initially, Cassandra saw that it had gran active retinoid instead of just hyaluronic acid, and she thought they might be under eye patches. She was triple excited because retinoids are the gold standard in dermatology. They help with wrinkles, fine lines, acne, blemishes, scars, and acne. However, these are not under eye patches. They are pimple patches and not very good ones. These Pacifica patches have little ridges, but they’re so small that they barely get into the skin. At the same time, Cassandra can appreciate patches with tiny darts because they dissolve quickly, and likewise, give immediate results. However, Cassandra didn’t get any results with the Pacifica patches. With a main ingredient like granactive retinoid in a pimple patch, it's not going to work the same way as a BHA or tea tree pimple patch. Retinol is not something that actually kills acne bacteria. It’s something that works over time. Cassandra feels like this is such a great concept, but there was poor execution. She doesn’t feel like it did much for her pimples. On the other hand, if Pacifica ever comes out with an under eye patch, that would be amazing.
Moreover, Pacifica has some excellent products like their vegan ceramides.
3. Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum - $72
Biossance is an excellent brand, but they are a little on the pricey side, and Cassandra understands why. Biossance sources their ingredients sustainably, and they do commit to sustainable products. But, this phyto retinol serum was not great. It made Cassandra’s face so red. It’s supposed to be squalane combined with phytoretinol which is basically bakuchiol. Then, it’s got a bunch of citrus oils which some people can have an issue with. This made her face irritated, red, and it stung badly. She also doesn’t feel like she’s getting the benefits of retinol. Again, it’s a bakuchiol serum, which we love, but this serum is not it. Cassandra loves some of their other products like their jelly cleanser. She loves their omega cream, and she thought for 60 bucks, this one would be worth it, too. Although they tried to mix science and nature, this one missed the mark. It also doesn’t have the best smell. Cassandra wants to return this, but perhaps someone with citrus irritation could use this.
4. Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil - $72
Cassandra originally brought this because Caroline Hirons raved about its benefits for acne-prone skin. The blue tansy oil gives it a beautiful color, and on top of that, it’s supposed to be helpful for acne. Cassandra used the whole thing, and it is very expensive. However, it was not worth the money. Cassandra felt like the blue tansy oil was more for aesthetics. In regards to blue tansy oil products, Cassandra likes brands like Accure and Byoma at target.
5.BYOMA Clarifying Serum - $15.99
Byoma has some blue tansy oil, and Cassandra feels like you could get blue tansy oil at a similar quality for a similar price. Quality and sourcing matter, but Cassandra has found other products that arguably work better, using the same ingredients. So, in retrospect, Cassandra would not have purchased the Herbivore Blue Tansy Oil product. The bottle was pretty, but it didn’t bring the results that Cassandra wanted.
5. Topicals Faded - $38
This product did indeed produce results, but it didn’t smell the best. As they took a bunch of hyperpigmentation ingredients and put them into a bottle, it definitely reduces dark spots. Cassandra loves what this product does for her face, but she hates how it smells. Topicals did come out with a new formula because they got so much pushback on the scent. They ended up making one that is unscented.
But, despite the scent, the product does what it says it would do, and the brand was made by two women who have skin conditions. Plus, the packaging is recyclable, and the ingredients are very good. But, if you don’t care about the scent, this could work. Cassandra doesn’t care much about scents, but this one is another level. It’s definitely a formula she doesn’t want to go to waste. So, she’s been putting this on her shaving cuts, and ankles, hoping to fade some long standing scars.
6. I DEW CARE Mini Meow Trio - $17.28
Cassandra purchased this three-mask set thinking it would be a fun face mask, and they ended up being peel-off masks. And if you remember, peel-off masks are not recommended. They’re not even masks, they’re basically aggressive exfoliants or peel-off exfoliants. But these ones from I DEW CARE didn't even solidify on Cassandra’s face. The one Cassandra purchased was a goopy disaster. So ultimately, I dew care does have some cute products, but the prices are questionable
7. Fenty Skin Pre-Show Glow - $32
Cassandra thinks this formula is nice, however it is so tiny. There’s barely any in here. Then, along with the product, they give you a washcloth that doesn’t have a clear purpose. It looks like a tiny wristband, but it’s supposed to bolster the “instant retexturizing treatment.” However, this treatment is just a basic glycolic and lactic acid wash. At the same time though, it is potent, and if you’re looking for an exfoliant, this is a good one although the packaging is not refillable. Cassandra is going to finish using it, but she wouldn’t spend $40 on it. Fenty Skin's Cookies and Cream is a different story though!
8. The Inkey List Brighten-i Eye Cream - $17.89
The Inkey List is a knowledge-based, affordable, and effective brand, but this product was basically like putting on makeup with glitter (i.e mica). And when you wash it off, the effects go away. Cassandra is very skeptical about eye creams, but she gave this eye cream a try. It’s probably more effective to get your favorite moisturizer and put it on your eyes. Better yet, you can put mica in the moisturizer, and you’d probably have the same effect.
9. Cay Skin Isle Glow Face Lotion SPF 45 -$32
The customer service for Cay Skin is good, but this product - not so much. No matter how much you shake it, this product is going to separate. It's true though that the brand has taken note of this, and they’re caring for their customers. Cassandra has also heard that their lip stuff is amazing.
So, those are a few tips from Cassandra about recent products. But, most of all turn and learn your ingredients and switch products out slowly when trying them for best results.
Cover photo cred: YourTeenMagazine