Friday, October 26, 2012

Spotlight on Simple Skin Care

They call themselves the "sensitive skin experts" and now take up a nice bit of shelf space in Canadian drugstores. I noticed the new brand as soon as it arrived and meant to try something or another from it eventually. Luckily, I was sent a whole array of Simple products to test and review!


I was sent the following products:
  • Moisturizing Face Wash (not pictured)
  • Refreshing Facial Wash Gel
  • Smoothing Facial Scrub
  • Soothing Facial Toner
  • Replenishing Rich Moisturizer (not pictured)
  • Hydrating Light Moisturizer
  • Vital Vitamin Moisturizing Day Cream SPF 15 (not pictured)
  • Vital Vitamin Restoring Night Cream
  • Eye Make-up Remover
They all claim:
  • NO ARTIFICIAL PERFUMES
  • NO DYES
  • NO HARSH IRRITANTS*
*that can upset your skin

Let's get started!

Eye Make-up Remover - SIMPLEST NAME EVER. O so rare! I like that it doesn't make any promises in the name, because you don't really have a hyped up expectation of it. Someone told me this remover stung their eyes badly, but I wear daily disposable contacts and constantly sport red eyes and didn't feel a thing. However, as a remover it performs quite poorly on waterproof or stubborn products. Like any regular remover, it will get rid of regular powder shadows or non-waterproof creams without feeling greasy or heavy, but a fully soaked pad had no effect on waterproof mascaras and eyeliners. I was disappointed because it's the only poor performer in the batch.

Soothing Facial Toner - I noticed one of the main ingredients is witch hazel, which I had been intrigued about, before I settled on aloe as the favourite primary ingredient in toners. This toner also contains chamomile and allantoin. As promised, it does leave skin feeling clean and refreshed, and I would like to use it during summer. As often stated on this blog, I have very oily skin and enjoy the refreshing feeling of this toner. But I fear it will not be soothing enough for those with dry skin at any point in the year, and I'd advise normal skin types to use it in the spring/summer as well, though I don't think it would be too harsh in the colder seasons. The combination skins will have to take their chances! I was using it every day in early fall but have put it aside for time being. As someone who struggles with breakouts (less now than before), I just prefer the more soothing properties of aloe to calm the angry red bumps that still plague me regularly. There is no discernible scent and zero negative reactions from my skin. As drugstore toners go, I think it's very decent.


Refreshing Facial Wash Gel - This is by far my favourite of the entire lot. I've been using it every single day since receiving it and am currently halfway through. This is a soap-free and non-drying cleanser that is nice to use in the morning when you need a light cleanser to remove some facial oil or sweat. It takes a dab about the size of a dime or smaller to foam up a bit. It's so gentle that I stopped using toners, actually. It doesn't seem to require additional removal post-sink, which is so nice. I haven't done that with a cleanser since Philosophy Purity, as most drugstore cleansers tend to be on the harsh side. And at night, I use a wet wipe, makeup removing lotion or oil to get rid of heavy makeup including foundation, and then do a final cleanse with this wash gel on the Clarisonic and go to sleep feeling clean. I recommend this to EVERYONE.

Smoothing Facial Scrub - "With rice granules, gently lifts dry, dead skin cells to help your skin look brighter and more evenly-textured. Contains Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and rice particles to exfoliate." I don't know about you, but I like to eat the rice instead of rubbing it against my skin. :-) I've tried worse scrubs and I've tried better. While you can feel the particles being rubbed over the skin, I feel like they're sparsely packed while the granules are coarser than those with sensitive skin would like. I didn't feel any negative effects and I'm sure that using it was better for my skin than not exfoliating, but I get most of my exfoliation action from the Clarisonic which has been marvelous -- and as a result, I don't feel the need to exfoliate additionally with other products as much. Again, there is no discernible scent or negative reaction.


Facial Wash Gel / Facial Scrub

Hydrating Light Moisturizer - I really liked this in the warmer season, though I am guilty of skipping moisturizers frequently. I'm deathly afraid of new moisturizers because often they are too rich and will result in fresh round of breakouts, but this light moisturizer really is very light -- and again, there is no offensive scent nor did my skin freak out. However, though the name doesn't indicate so, I believe this "light" moisturizer is on par with other "mattifying" moisturizers out there on the market as it doesn't hydrate anywhere near enough as soon as the temperature drops. I still use it on days I'm tempted to skip moisturizing completely, but it doesn't pack enough moisturizing power for the dry areas around my lips (which is the ONLY area that requires diligent moisturizing from me). I would recommend this for my similarly oily-skinned brothers and sisters.

Restoring Night Cream - I'm also guilty of typically skipping out on night creams. Eeep! Honestly, I've tried a lot out there and they always give me a reaction. Most nights I cleanse, Clarisonic, slap on Effaclar Duo and then hit the sack. But it's colder now, and sometimes patches of my face seems to require the added touch. The restoring night cream is supposed to "restore and replenish your skin's moisture balance throughout the night." And by golly, it sort of does. I'm not calling it a miracle worker or anything, but it adds hydration and I think that's all that a night cream is really supposed to do. But I do caution that it may not add enough moisture/hydration for the drier skin types. I think it's perfect for me at this moment.


Hydrating Light Moisturizer

Vital Vitamin Restoring Night Cream

As for the three products that I was sent but not reviewed, I passed them on to my youngest sister who has the driest skin in my family for better results. Her assessment as of last week was: "They're pretty good." She's sooo not a beauty blogger. After some questioning, I was able to determine that while she did not experience breakouts or negative reactions, she didn't find the level of hydration enough for her super dry skin. But... she likes them.

Overall, I like Simple. I think the "simple" concept it fairly clear: clean looking, uncomplicated names, function over aesthetics, jargon and gimmick, which is always a winning point with me. In Canada, the products range $8-15 at Rexall/Pharma Plus and Shoppers Drug Mart, and they frequently go on sale for $2-5 lower than the regular price. Aside from the poor quality of the eye makeup remover, I think it's a solid brand that is affordable and accessible.



For a full list of ingredients, check out the brand website at www.simpleskincare.ca. They can also be found on Twitter @simpleskincare.

Have you tried Simple?

Products were sent free of charge for review purposes.

27 comments:

  1. I'm on my second tube of the Refreshing Facial Wash Gel and I love it. I'll definitely be sticking to this one for a while. :)

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    1. Are you? Yay!! I think we like a lot of the same face products.

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  2. I've tried a few products (the wipes and makeup remover) and liked them for the most part. The packaging claims they'll remove waterproof formulas, but as you mentioned they don't so a little misleading.

    I like that the packaging is smaller making it more likely for product jumpers (like myself...) will actually finish it!

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    1. I heard the wipes were great. But I don't really find the packaging to be too small - seems about standard to me. I'll never get through the moisturizers!

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  3. I've been hearing about this brand left and right and now I really want to try it! I'm always down to try a new, light moisturizer that doesn't leave my oily skin feeling greasy or broken out, so maybe I'll give this one a shot. Also that toner! I LOVE really light, "nothing" toners that don't really do much but are super refreshing. Besides, all I really need for it to do is leave my skin nice and moist so I can apply my serum over it for better absorption. Will definitely check this out!

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    1. Let me know what you think! I'm always interested to know how these things work out for other people since skincare can be so subjective. Between the two of us, we could nail all the necessary HG items for oily skin pretty soon!

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  4. The facial wash sounds good, I need something non drying! I don't know about the prices in Canada but they're so affordable here.

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    1. Yeah, they're originally from the UK so you'll get a really nice bargain. Over here, they're priced a little higher than the North American brands, but not by much. :)

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  5. I really like the eye makeup remover - I find it works really well on a q-tip to remove makeup residue under my eyes or fix mistakes while appying, since it's not oily. It definitely doesn't sting or bother my eyes, either.

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    1. I've been using the Bioderma micellar water for that because the hole in the spout is just the right size for a Q-tip. I'll have to use my Simple remover that way!

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  6. This makes me think of drugstores in Singapore, where I come from, because you can find Simple everywhere. My sister uses the facial wash and the makeup remover milk (not featured here) for years and has never strayed. I did use these two products as well and they worked great for me. No bells and whistles but they were cheap and effective.

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    1. Oh, I didn't realize you weren't originally from Japan! :) I don't recall seeing Simple in Singapore but I was all about the makeup, not skincare at that point. Simple arrived in Canada only about a year or two ago, so it's still quite new to a lot of people here. I'm glad you and your sister agree!

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  7. Hmmm. That facial wash sounds good! I wonder if I can find it here. I haven't seen it, but then, I haven't looked...

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    1. You're using Clinique or something? No need to switch around if what you have is working for you! But I definitely recommend it if you need a cheap cleanser in a pinch.

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  8. Great overview of the line! It put a few things on my radar I wouldn't have considered otherwise (the wash gel) and took a few things off (facial scrub). Too bad I have a giant skincare product backlog to work through ;)

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    1. Oh, too bad! lol Looking forward to them, whenever you get around to them. :)

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  9. I've tried a couple of Simple products and really liked them - the refreshing facial wash for one and more recently their wipes. Shame you didn't get those to try because they are the BEST(of the wipes I've tried so far anyway)!

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    1. I keep hearing that but I'm fine with baby wipes for now. :)

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  10. I've seen this range at my local Pharmaprix (Shopper's) and resisted the urge to try anything until I read your thoughts (I remembered you saying a while back that you had received some products for review). I like how everything seems to be honed & minimal: packaging, names and products...makes it easy to figure out what you need. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Liz and happy to learn you had no adverse effects.

    PS: START MOISTURIZING NIGHT & DAY ... your skin will thank you for it in about 10 years time (trust me!)

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    1. Awww, I'm so honoured that you remembered and held back. :D

      Yesssss, ma'am. I keep thinking that moisturizing is actually key to controlling oil production, but it's hard to start something you ignored for so long. Maybe I can build up the habit this winter.

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  11. Great review! I definitely want to try the face wash gel now, once my Clarisonic Hydro runs out. Usually I go with the mindset of 'if it's not broke don't fix it' but the Simple cleanser is so much less expensive, I'm willing to give it a shot!

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    1. Thanks, Mimi. I agree with "not broke don't fix" - messing with a good routine is the source of many skin woes! I think the cleanser is a good choice for an emergency landing at an out-of-town drugstore with only the clothes on your back scenario, LOL.

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  12. It has been a long time since I've tried Western drugstore skincare. Many of them don't appeal to me cause they're all anti-aging this or anti-breakout that. I appreciate the simplicity of Simple :P Their makeup remover wipes aren't so bad but you've got my eye on the wash gel!

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    1. That's so true about the anti stances of Western skincare! Never thought about it that way. I always just felt like they were trying to do too much. I've heard the wipes were good but sticking with baby wipes for now. :)

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  13. Sounds good. And I believe the when it comes to skincare, a simple regime is always better. If I had not found my HG skincare products, I might be intrigued to try these.

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    1. Oddly enough, it is Mary Kay. I have the whole Botanicals line for combination/oily skin and few extra products and the change to my skin after three months of using it is unbelievable. Who would ever think I'd become a one brand die-hard fan? Definitely not me.
      I have to get back on track with the blog, but the reviews are on my to-do list.

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