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Today we're talking through the new skincare products I've had on rotation for the past several weeks! So, if you've had any of these products in your cart and you're not sure whether they're worth it or right for you: I hope this post is helpful...

First up, we have the Skin Rocks Moisturiser* | £58 | which is one of now 3 launches by Caroline Hirons' skincare line (check out my review of their retinoids here). This is a creamy formula but it's not too rich or heavy; it's probably about as universal as a moisturiser texture gets. It's not active, it's formulated to support active serums and treatments you may have in your routine, which I personally really like because it makes this product compatible with just about any routine. It's formulated with ceramides, a fundamental component of the skin's lipid barrier which we can replenish topically (both to add more ceramides and to encourage further ceramide production); a healthy barrier function means skin that's happy, healthy, moisturised and free from irritation. Pro-vitamin D3 is great for further boosting up the skin barrier and the hyaluronic acid in this formula will help to draw water into the skin. Additionally, we have squalane - a plant-derived, skin-similar oil that's lovely and replenishing. Vitamin E adds an antioxidant boost to the formula, as do many of the plant extracts here.

The product comes in both a fragranced and an unfragranced formula, which I really like; the people who enjoy a subtle aroma in their skincare can enjoy that, whereas those who can't tolerate fragrance or choose to avoid it can also try this product. This moisturiser for me during the day as a base underneath my sunscreen and makeup but also has enough substance to work as a night cream, which I really like (especially when I'm travelling a lot). This works really well for me, softening and hydrating my skin effectively. Honestly, my only negative is the price given how simple of a moisturiser it is without any fancy ingredients or actives. For those who see £58 as an investment in their skin that's a stretch but achievable for the right formula; I do think you'd be better off buying a cheaper moisturiser and investing in something else, such as your retinoid, to get the most bang for your buck.

Next, we have a very exciting launch from a skincare brand I'm really interested in at the moment: the Peach & Lily Retinal for All Renewing Serum* | $55. This serum is formulated with a potent 0.1% retinaldehyde, which is my personal favourite form of retinoid. Retinoids are your well-ageing powerhouse, with the ability to increase skin cell turnover (which slows as we age) so your skin stays smooth and radiant, boost up collagen production (to help keep the skin full and bouncy for longer), even out the skin's texture and smooth existing fine lines. They combine this with 0.3% ectoin, which is an amazing ingredient for this skin barrier, reducing environmental stress but also when it comes to soothing inflammation and hydrating the skin. There are ceramides in here (plus cholesterol, another component of the lipid barrier), glycerin and hyaluronic acid to draw in hydration, bisabolol is included (which is very soothing to the skin) and lots of nourishing plant oils.

This is a kind of creamy-gel serum which is dark yellow in colour, which is what I'd expect from a retinal serum. It melts nicely, it will be suitable for most skin types (though, if you're oily, you might want to keep other skincare steps to a minimal in a routine with this and top it off with a lighter lotion moisturiser) and it doesn't pill with the other skincare products I like to use. What impressed me the most about this is that it doesn't feel like the concentration it is; I didn't experience any irritation or even adjustment when slathering this on my face, neck and chest from day 1 and 6 weeks later it's still great! I also didn't find it drying and it contains plenty of ingredients to reduce that potential retinoid side-effect. Granted, my skin is pretty used to retinoids, and I'm not saying someone who has never used a retinoid in their life before should jump directly to this, but if you've used a retinol, a retinol ester or even a lower-strength retinal, you skin was happy with it and you want something punchier: this is for you. It smooths, plumps and clarifies my skin without any negative side-effect and for a really reasonable price! 

Staying on the retinal theme, we have a new launch from the brand that I really credit with popularising this ingredient: the Medik8 Crystal Retinal Ceramide Eye 3* | £42. Medik8 are known for encapsulating their retinal for a slow release and increased stability, but also for their 'ladder' system, which allows you to work up through different strengths of this amazing ingredient to let your skin adjust as you boost your results. However, many people struggle to use retinoids around the eye area because the thinner skin can be more sensitive and prone to dryness and redness, which are all known side-effects of stronger retinoids and for those who are new to them. Medik8 formulated this product (currently in 3 strengths) as a gentler alternative to their retinal serum line and added in ceramides to help keep the skin nourished and the barrier in balance.

I won't lie; I'm often skeptical of eye creams, because they usually don't contain active ingredients and are very expensive for the amount of product you receive, however I've been using this for well over a month every night and have barely made a dent in the tuble, plus it features my favourite active ingredient. If you're already using your favourite retinoid around the eyes; this probably isn't worth it for you, but if you've been trying and trying to get those benefits to your eye area (one of the places that tends to age faster, again due to that thinner skin) but the skin can't seem to acclimatise, then this could offer the solution. I also see this being really great for people who use prescription-strength retinoids (such as tretinoin) on the rest of their face, which are going to be way too much for the eye area. This hasn't irritated my eyes and I really like the creamy-lotion texture - it's nourishing enough but isn't thick or heavy and melts in effortlessly. It's a really great product if there's a need in your routine for something like this. 

The final product I have for this edition of new and noteworthy skincare is the Deviant Essential Hydration Serum* | £44. I far prefer formulas that combine different hydrating ingredients and skin barrier boosters to something like a standalone hyaluronic acid serum, so I was really looking forward to trying this new launch. This milky serum is formulated with amino acids to condition and replenish the skin, natural moisturising factors (such as sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid) which occur naturally in the skin but a boost of them is always welcome, oat ceramides to support the lipid barrier, nourishing marula oil, oat oil and jojoba esters, fermented ingredients (which can help skin barrier function) and linoleic acid, which moisturises the skin but also helps to soothe the skin, provides some antioxidant benefits and can even help with discolouration.

This lightweight serum slots effortlessly into my skincare routine and it's fragrance-free and free from any strong actives or potential irritants. If you have sensitive skin or even if you're just looking for something replenishing to use after an acid toner or before your retinoid serum: this is perfect. It's soothing, hydrating, skin-barrier-supporting and highly compatible with any skincare routine. It gives my skin hydration that really lasts! It's calming, skin-softening and full of amazing ingredients that just about anyone can benefit from. It's a stealth-favourite; one of those ones that you just find yourself reaching for without thinking because it always hits the spot.

Let me know; have you tried any of these new launches? If so - let me know your thoughts, if not - which catches your eye the most?

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Read more posts from this series here!

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