Saying Goodbye to $200 Worth of Skincare

This was painful – literally!

This May, I decluttered over $200 worth of skincare due to a painful chemical burn caused by my skincare items interacting with one another. If you’re interested to hear about what went wrong and what I’m getting rid of, then please keep reading.

For the past year and a half, I’ve had a fairly steady skincare routine that I detailed in a previous post. For the most part, the items I was using remained fairly constant because I only introduced something new if I finished something up. Given that my routine is more intense than the average American, please see the below for a brief summary of my morning and evening routine:

  • Wash my face with a gentle cleanser
  • Tone my T-zone
  • Treat breakouts as needed with topical solutions
  • Apply a serum (Vitamin C during the day/ BHA exfoliant at night)
  • Moisturize with a gel cream
  • Pat eye cream around my orbital area
  • Finish with sunscreen on the face, neck, and chest

Expired Facial Serums

By April, both of my Drunk Elephant products – the C-Firma Day Serum and the T.L.C. Framboos Glycol Night Serum had expired. The Day Serum has an expiry date of six months after opening, while the Night Serum has a shelf life of twelve months. I started using the Night Serum in April 2017 and the Day Serum in August of 2017. Despite my heavy usage, I still had quite a bit of product left in each tube.

Since I was still seeing positive differences in my skin texture, pore size, and overall brightness, I decided to keep using both products with the hope that I would finish both serums before the end of 2018. In hindsight, I would never recommend that anyone use a chemical exfoliant or chemical serum past the expiry date, regardless of how the product may look or how much was spent.

New Skincare Products

At the end of April, I finally finished my First Aid Beauty Triple Remedy AM Gel Cream. Rather than buying a new eye cream, I decided to use the Strivectin Eye Cream in the mornings and evenings.

My Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Moisturizer was used up in April, too. Instead of buying a refill, I wanted to try a new moisturizer from one of my favorite drugstore skincare brands, Simple.

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What Went Wrong: Expired x New

To keep it simple, both the eye cream and moisturizer caused inflammation on my cheeks when the products interacted with one another and with my facial serums.  Not only did my skin burn, but it swelled and turned bright red. My pores looked engorged and the inflamed skin was hot to the touch. This lasted for two days.

The following week, my skin was quite sensitive even after the visible signs of inflammation calmed. However, when I tried to reintegrate some products back into my routine, my skin continued to burn. Thus, I stopped following my skincare routine and could not wear foundation for two weeks.

Although I think the new moisturizer is the catalyst for the problem, I decided to declutter both Drunk Elephant serums and the eye cream in addition to the moisturizer. When it comes to my skin, I’d rather toss out products then do anything to permanently damage my skin.

Although I am extremely disappointed with the Simple moisturizer, I wanted to give the product another shot. I decided to try the moisturizer three weeks after the original flare up. What happened? My face still stung when I used this moisturizer, but I did not have a severe reaction. Interestingly, when my partner tried this moisturizer he felt a similar burning sensation.

Finally, since I was feeling paranoid about the potential for another bad reaction, I decided to do a skincare collection declutter- removing any other items that expired.

Total Value Decluttered: $220.00 USD

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Skincare Declutter


Have you tried any of these products before? How did your skin react?