His wisdom and enthusiasm led me to this, the B. Kamins Clear Skin Kit:
|B. Kamins Clear Skin Kit, in box|
B. Kamins is a Canadian line that touts dermatological results without irritation to the skin. At just over $50 CAD, I thought the kit was a decent value given the variety of products inside. Literally a whole skin care regimen in a box! The set features five products, including:
1) Acne Wash, 60 mL
This facial cleanser has a fluid-gel consistency and actually feels quite heavenly on the skin. It breaks down makeup wonderfully (which is a must for me, since I wear long-wearing foundation) and has a very subtle minty-tingly sensation. Typically products that contain tingling agents (like menthol, for example) irritate my sensitive skin, but this one keeps my face relatively calm. Plus, it contains lactic and salicylic acid, so it gently exfoliates while it cleanses. The only downside is that it is *slightly* drying, so it is essential to moisturize afterwards! Overall, a fantastic cleanser for my sensitive, acne-prone skin.
|B Kamins Acne Wash|
2) Blemish Gel 5%, Full-sized (30 mL)
I have actually used this 5% benzoyl peroxide treatment in the past, and quite liked it. It retails for $29 CAD on its own though, so I often opt for more wallet-friendly spot treatments. Included in the context of the kit, however, it was a decent value! The texture of this treatment is a thin greyish-white gel that becomes invisible on the skin once absorbed. It definitely dries out skin in the beginning (less so as your skin gets used to it), but is quite effective at reducing the frequency and size of blemishes!
|B Kamins Blemish Gel 5%|
3) Corrective Mattifier, 15 mL
The corrective mattifier is a thick orangey-yellow cream-gel that is designed to reduce shine, exfoliate (thanks to salicylic acid), and soothe acne-prone skin. I was skeptical about this product at first, because it is definitely full of silicones (which make products feel super smooth on the skin, but typically break me out) and the texture is quite tacky and thick. It takes a while to work this into the skin, but once it's applied evenly it actually leaves the skin incredibly smooth, without a heavy feel. Amazing! It works wonderfully as a mattifying primer underneath foundation, and can also be used at night time for additional exfoliation and soothing.
4) Matte Moisturizer, SPF15, 15 mL
Because chemical exfoliants (like the lactic and salicylic acids in the above products) can leave your skin more susceptible to sunburn and pigmentation, it is essential that you use a sunscreen in combination with them. Hence the inclusion of this SPF15 moisturizer in the kit. I typically like to use an SPF higher than SPF15 when using chemical exfoliants, but this one did work well in combination with the other products. It protects against both UVA and UVB rays, leaves skin moisturized following the slightly drying products beforehand, and leaves a matte finish. Pretty impressive!
|B Kamins (L) Corrective Mattifier and (R) Matte Moisturizer SPF15|
5) Purifying Mask, 30g
The final product included in the kit is the Purifying Mask, designed to absorb oil, calm inflammation, exfoliate, and reduce past pigmentation, thanks to glycolic acid. The texture of the mask is a medium-to-thick greyish white cream with an herbal smell. It doesn't smooth over the skin incredibly evenly, but doesn't take too much effort either. The instructions say to leave it on for 10-15 minutes, and then remove with a damp washcloth. Since washcloths are generally too rough for my face, I used saturated cotton pads to remove it, which worked fine! I'll talk about my experience with the mask a bit later.
|B Kamins Purifying Mask|
In addition to the brief impressions of the individual products above, I wanted to outline how all these treatments worked in unison to change my skin. I've included several bare-faced shots of myself, revealing the good, bad, and the ugly. Posting makeup-free shots always makes me cringe a bit, especially in such a public venue, but I think it's really the best way to clearly demonstrate the results. Throughout my experiment I exclusively used the five products from the kit, with occasional supplementation with my Marcelle Foaming Cleansing Gel on days when I washed my face more than twice.
Here are a few pictures of me before I started the regimen (all pictures are taken following use of the Acne Wash, Corrective Mattifier, and Matte Moisturizer). As you can see, I have several breakout areas and patches of redness:
|Before starting the B Kamins Clear Skin Kit regimen|
And here are some photos of me at Day 4 of using the kit. Throughout the first several days I noticed an improvement in the size of my existing breakouts (they began to shrink and flatten significantly!). The downside, however, was that the products (particularly the spot treatment and corrective mattifier) were making my skin quite red, which goes against the many "soothing" claims these products tout. So, the pictures below show this stage pretty well- shrinking blemishes, but increased redness:
|After 4 Days of using the kit|
At Day 4 is when I used the Purifying Mask for the first time. As mentioned above, it contains glycolic acid and features a thick, creamy, herbal-smelling texture. My initial reaction, about 30 seconds after I applied the mask, was- ouch, this burns! It definitely caused some discomfort on my face, which gradually decreased as the minutes passed. I was able to stick it out for between 10-15 minutes, after which I rinsed it off. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, despite the pain it caused, my skin was not left red or parched. In fact, my skin looked rather glowy and calm!
Here are a couple pictures of me wearing the mask:
|Wearing the Purifying Mask|
Despite all of the redness and burning that the products caused within the first few days, I stuck with the kit for the sake of this review and in the name of science and persistence :) Also, past experience has taught me that acne products often irritate for the first week or so, after which the irritation diminishes. And luckily, this is exactly what happened!
Here are a few pictures of me after a full week of using the kit. As you can see, the redness has reduced, along with the amount and size of my breakouts:
|After 1 Week of using the kit|
I can definitely say that I was pleased with the results of the kit following the first week of use. I continued to hope for good things... and I will update you soon about the continued results.
Thanks for reading! :)