Skincare Empties and Thoughts

I think one of the best ways to know what someone likes in their skincare is to see their empty products that they have used up.  I’ve been saving these empty products since I moved last spring and I’m sure I threw some things away as I tend to forget to save them, but these are most of my empties. I don’t really save things that I keep in the shower so I don’t have cleansers to show but I will share my favorite cleansers in an upcoming post.

I have been using almost all medical grade skincare since about 2015 but have recently changed up my routine to calm some mild rosacea that I have been having. I’ll discuss my in depth thoughts on medical grade vs non-medical grade skincare in an upcoming post. My skin type is sensitive dehydrated combination skin. I tend to be oily in the summer and can get very dry in the winter.

Current Empties:

Obagi Nuderm Toner- I have been using this toner since I first started using medical grade skincare in 2015. I recently stopped using it to see if going without it would calm my skin since a primary ingredient in this is witch hazel. So far i do think this was contributing to the irritation. I still have a full bottle of this I just opened so am not going to repurchase right now.

Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Masks– these are the best sheet masks I have ever used and my current most favorite mask. I feel these are totally worth the money and try to use one once a week. They really calm and hydrate my skin and I also love the relaxing self-care time when I use these. I leave these on 30-45 minutes usually while I lay down and read. I love, love, love them and have at least one back up box at all times. Tip: stock up during sales on Tatcha’s website and during Sephora sales.

Skinmedica TNS Essential Serum- this is the very first medical grade skincare product I tried. I do see some immediate results with this serum. It really brightens my skin and evens my complexion. It also seems to make my skin heal quicker. I do have a back up of this.

Regenica Dual Serum- this was discontinued  and I was so sad to hear it. It was the main competitor of the Skinmedica serum and was a little cheaper. I heard Skinmedica bought Regenica so they discontinued it. I used to rotate between this one and the Skinmedica serum. I actually preferred this one in the summer because it helped control my oil more than the Skinmedica TNS, which felt more hydrating.

Epionce Renewal Lite Facial Lotion– I currently use this as my go to day time moisturizer. I already opened my back up. It is a great light weight moisturizer for combination skin.

Skinmedica Vitamin C+E Complex– I actually didn’t finish this whole thing. I used 3/4 of it before it expired. It was not my favorite because it usually made my face sting after applying it and i felt like it broke me out sometimes. It had a texture almost like a silicone primer and I could feel it on my skin. I feel there are better vitamin c serums out there for my skin.

Skinmedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator– I bought this as soon as it was released and enjoyed using it during the winter when my skin is drier. I feel like it was a little thick feeling for my skin type and broke me out sometimes so I have not repurchased. I feel like people with dry skin would really love this.

Cellex- C Skin Signaling Serum– I really love this and used it at night and have actually gone through a few bottle of this. It is lightweight like a hyaluronic acid serum and will repurchase again after I finish some other things I’m using. I like to rotate these type of hydrating serums.

Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore– this is a very moisturizing cream that I used at night during colder months. It really does seem to restore my skin when I use it. I would definitely repurchase.

Skinmedica TNS Eye Cream– This was the first medical grade eye cream I tried and I really liked it but it seemed to irritate my skin around my eyes on the upper cheek bones and made my eyes water sometimes (this is a common problem i have with most eye creams).  It just seemed a little strong for my skin type.

NuGene Eye Serum– I have gone through a few of these eye serums. I used this for the past couple of years as my go to eye treatment and one bottle lasts me almost a year with nightly use. I just switched to something else recently because I feel like my skin can get used to skincare sometimes and like to switch it up.


Replenix Hyaluronic Acid Serum– I used this as one of my nightly hydrating serums in the winter and loved it. I have a back up that I’ll break out when the weather gets colder and drier. I also love the pretty blue color of this serum.

Skinmedica Total Defense and Repair Sunscreen– I have used the tinted (can only use in summer when tan) and untinted versions of this and like them both under makeup.

Skinceuticals Resveratrol B E– I have gone through several of these. It has been my go to vitamin c serum for a few years now. I wake up with dewy and glowy hydrated skin with this.

Neocutis Micro Serum– I love this serum as one of my night peptide serums that I rotate through. It has been a go to and really helped with my 11’s.

Neocutis Micro Night Cream– a great lighter weight night cream that pairs really well with most other products.

Osmosis skincare– I hopped on the Osmosis bandwagon and honestly wish I hadn’t. Some of the items I have long discarded because most of their products have given me horrible reactions. They contain a lot of botanicals and I feel like they are just really harsh on my skin.

  • Osmosis Calm-I used this some but don’t like the smell or texture. It seems to stay sticky. My skin did look nice in the mornings in the beginning but I just didn’t enjoy using it because of the way it feels.
  • Osmosis Stemfactor– I had to force myself to finish this and wish I hadn’t. This actually gave me some hyperpigmentation and caused a lot of the irritation I am now trying to heal. I think it actually gave me the rosacea. It does contain some citrus essential oils and I think I learned the hard way that citrus oils are not for me.
  • Osmosis Catalyst AC11– I did not like this and did not finish it. It is very dark and is a mess on my silk pillowcases and makes my face orange. It also smells bad and has a sticky texture that does not spark joy to use. The times I used it I didn’t see any results to keep going through that. Life is too short.
  • Other things I have tried from Osmosis have been some of the waters (they did nothing for me at all), the clear activating mist (I felt scammed with this. It was literally just water and I tested using just water and had the same results.) SO then I tried the clear + and felt it was sticky. Also used the Rescue which I had a horrible reaction to and broke out in hives. I’ve also bought the foundation and powder but don’t like those either and will be decluttering them. Needless to say, I’m not going to purchase anything from this brand as it just doesn’t seem to work with my skin.

La Mer Treatment Lotion– I just received this sample recently and loved it so much I bought a full bottle. This will be in my upcoming favorites. It has really helped undo that damage from the Osmosis mishap.

La Mer Creme de la Mer– I had a sample of this for a while that I hadn’t used because I was so onboard with medical grade skincare only. All I can say is I wish I had tried this years ago. I tried this because it is suppose to heal skin and put it on my whole face on a day my skin was very irritated and can honestly say within a few hours my skin looked significantly calmer and redness was greatly reduced. I feel like this really helps my compromised skin barrier and has completely transformed my skin. This tiny sample lasted me about 2 months because I only needed to use the tiniest amount rubbed between my fingers and patted onto the skin. I feel the pressing it in is key. This has made me rethink medical grade skincare in general. I thought, ” why is my skin so irritated if I am using the best skincare?”  I’m starting to think medical grade is not always best and will be discussing this more in a future post.



Makeup Empties: I go through Mascara the fastest and I think I had some MAC empties I took to Back to Mac in the spring. I know I had a foundation in there, eye brow pencil, and some expired lipsticks.

Chanel le Volume Mascara- My favorite high end mascara. I always have back ups.

L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara– Favorite Mascara for bottom lashes and favorite drug store makeup items for years now. I love the carbon black the most. Always have at least two back ups. If my eyes are irritated I can still use this. Its my most reliable mascara ever.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara- I really like this mascara. it tends to be a little drier but I do like how it makes my lashes look.


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