The Year I Said Goodbye to Foundation Thanks to Skinceuticals

And I have the before and afters to prove it.

Yes, it’s true.  I’m just not into a full face of foundation anymore and you don’t have to be either.  I’ve been leaning towards a dusting of powder, and maybe some concealer, but this is going to be the year of “less is more”.

It’s thanks to the Skinceuticals Advanced Brightening System.  Think of this like a multi-purpose tool kit for your skin, helping you achieve better skin in almost every way possible.

Skinceuticals advanced brightening systemThe system includes antioxidants, exfoliants, melanin transfer inhibitors, and of course, sun protection.

I had to try it, and I have to say that it works.  I know you’re all waiting for the before and afters and here they are:


No makeup in either, except I’m wearing mascara and brow powder in the second.  (I was just about to work out in the first, hence the headphones!) Both taken at the end of the day in front of the same bathroom mirror.  The first image was after a couple of days of using the system, and the second image was 4 weeks later.  My skin is much clearer and smoother in the second image.

Now, I had tried all the products in this range before – the Phloretin CF serum, the Retexturing Activator, the Advanced Skin Discoloration Corrector, and I use a sunscreen everyday.  The Phloretin CF uses a combination of vitamin C, phloretin, and ferulic acid to help fight free radical damage on the skin – but is still gentle enough to use every day.  The Retexturing Activator helps exfoliate the skin but is very mild.  The Advanced Skin Discoloration Corrector is as effective as Hydroquinine 4% which helps get rid of dark spots on the skin, and also prevents new spots from forming – it helps regulate how melanin is produced in the skin cells and so when used regularly it leads to more even-toned skin.

But the Retinol 0.5 was something new for me, and I couldn’t wait to try it.  Retinol is a powerful exfoliating agent, and in the 0.5% it’s more potent than anything available at the drugstore.   This product doesn’t dry out the skin but it did make it peel – almost as if I had a sunburn that was peeling, except there was no redness or dryness to the skin.  Of course, I was put off by the peeling at first.  It doesn’t look great and it was difficult to figure out how to get rid of it.

So I switched to a more intense moisturizing sunscreen during the day (by Neutrogena), and used my Clarisonic and that did the trick.  I also tried using the Retinol 0.5 cream every other night instead of every single night, and that helped with the peeling too.  When I use it every day, I find that my skin is just too sensitive, to the point where even my Clarisonic brush feels like

When the system is used, it promises to give brighter overall skin tone, improvement in skin texture, a reduction of brown spots and splotchiness, and more radiant skin – I found all of that to be true!  Most impressive is the radiance that my skin now has – it is so smooth that it reflects light and looks luminous even when I’m wearing pressed powder.  You can see that I have freckles here and there because of sun damage, and although the more prominent ones are still there, many of them have faded away to nothing.

I did notice that the results tapered off after week 4… although my skin still peels here and there and I still have to scrub it off, there hasn’t really been as dramatic a change in my skin texture and tone, but it could be that after the initial peeling that took place, the new changes are now happening more gradually – and I still have 2/3 of the 0.5 Retinol cream left!

I’ve found that I can’t use the Retinol cream all the time – it makes my skin so sensitive that even wiping it with a towel or a tissue feels like I’m scratching it.  I need a couple days off a week, and then I start using it again, making sure to use a heavy moisturizer during the day and the Clarisonic to exfoliate at least every other day.  My skin is so radiant and smooth, and it’s a glow that I’m working sans any foundation.  Around week 3 I decided that I didn’t need it anymore, and if anything I’ll put a dusting of powder on to reduce the shine from the moisturizer and touch up that powder throughout the day.  But a full face of foundation?  It’s just not needed, even on the days that I haven’t gotten any sleep!  That’s saying something because it has been a while since I went without foundation – I’ll still be trying them out to see if there’s anything out there that I love (I’m trying the Nars Matte Velvet Skin Tint right now!), but I certainly won’t feel like I can’t step out of the house without any foundation.  And highlighter at the top of my cheekbones?  I just don’t need it anymore.

After this bottle, I definitely want to try the Retinol 1% cream and see if that makes even more of a difference in my skin.

Overall, if nothing else, I’ve seen what a difference sticking to your skincare routine can make.  The products are pricey – $402.90 for the combo of Retexuring Activator, Phloretin CF, Physical Fusion UV Defense, Retinol 0.5, and Advanced Skin Discoloration Corrector – but they work and it’s much more useful to get them instead of creams that won’t make that much a difference on your skin.

To see the full Skinceuticals Product list and to find a retailer near you, check out


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12 Responses to The Year I Said Goodbye to Foundation Thanks to Skinceuticals

  1. Kathy Smith-Woodcock says:

    You look great!

  2. Cici says:

    So great to read this Henna and you look amazing! I work for SkinC and I can honestly say that the each product I have used really have worked. I use most of the products you mentioned and I noticed that what helped me with the peeling and sensitivity from retinol (I use the 1%) is our B5 gel and the triple lipid moisturizer. The B5 gel I apply before the retinol because it contains hylaronic acid and helps the face retain moisture to not dry out. The triple lipid I apply as a moisturizer after the retinol and it is a thick cream that nourishes dry skin and refills cellular lipids which is a big help with using retinol for cellular turnover. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Henna says:

    Thanks, Cici, that is an awesome trick! I now use a hyaluronic acid before the retinol and then an oil on top and get really good results. You definitely need both if you want your skin in peak condition while you’re using the retinol.

  4. Rose says:

    Hey Henna!
    How do you incorporate both the phloretin and A313 into your skincare regime? I have both but I heard you are not supposed to mix? Is that true?

  5. Henna says:

    HI Rose,

    I don’t use them at the same time – I would use my Phloretin in the morning and then the A313 at night time. If you’re experiencing sensitivity because of the A313 then definitely skip actives like the Phloretin in the morning and keep it basic. I hope that answers your question.

  6. Rose says:

    Hi Henna! Sorry I meant p50 toner and Phloretin!

  7. Henna says:

    You can use them together! Toner and then the vitamin c.. should be fine if your skin can handle it!

  8. Rose says:

    Ahh, I thought I read that using Vitamin C and AHA together will neutralize both. Perhaps I was mistaken?

  9. Henna says:

    They should both work at around similar pH’s so they might be fine together.

  10. Rose says:

    Ok, thank you so much for all your help! 🙂

  11. Henna says:

    You’re welcome! I hope it works out!

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