Hi hi everyone! Checking in back again with another skincare diary with Cute Press– I’ve previously reviewed their other booster serums and sleeping masks HERE and their Intensive Renewal range HERE and you guys should totally check it out!
I have been invited to try out their new Ci-Lab Sensitiv range and it’s something I have been meaning to try for awhile- I have hormonal, sensitive skin that is oily in areas yet dry in others, so this range sounded perfect for its hydrating + repairing benefits.
Oily skin is often the result of a compromised skin barrier, which this range claims to help with! 👀
The Ci-Lab range has both facial and body care products but I’m most excited for these products in the range in particular:
- Ci-Lab Sensitiv Moisture Repair First Serum
- Ci-Lab Sensitiv Moisture Repair Barrier Cream – Normal to Oily
- Ci-Lab Sensitiv Moisture Repair Barrier Cream – Dry to Very Dry
- Ci-Lab Sensitiv Ultra Mild Tone Up Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA+++
This skincare range promises improved hydration, with softer, smoother, and healthier skin that is great for all skin types from dry and sensitive to normal and oily skin.
In this blog, I’ll share my honest review of this range, with some amazing before/ after moisture level readings! My skin is an ongoing battle (more on this below) and this range has been such a lifesaver.
MY SKIN PROFILE
I have severe hormonal acne, and although I am currently on accutane to try to control breakouts and improve my skin condition, I still experience bad breakouts from time to time. Accutane has also left me with both oily + dry skin in certain areas, as well has a hyper-sensitive, easily reactive complexion!
I often experience irritation especially when trying new products, so patch testing is crucial. I also have redness/ flushing on my cheeks from accutane, which you can see on my skin here!
You can see the after effects of a recent breakout (picture taken 14/08/2023) due to changes in my hormones from my period.
The Ci-Lab Sensitiv Moisture Repair First Serum is probably my favourite in this range. I have tried lots of serums over the course of my skincare journey, and let me tell you- it truly is a hit or miss sometimes.
Serums are important as they help provide active ingredients to our skin in a higher concentration to toners or moisturisers, with very focused and targeted benefits that usually provide a higher efficacy.
This serum contains a unique Sub-Micron Barrier Rescue Complex that is a proprietary innovation by Cute Press! But what is this exactly?
This is a very snazzy combination of four active ingredients – Ceramide, Phytosphingosine, Aloe Vera, and D-Panthenol – in a sub-micron particle size. This means that these active ingredients can penetrate deep into the skin, increasing the potency and effectiveness!
This serum gives the ultimate hydration layer without any stickiness or oiliness. I love that it feels lightweight yet is so hydrating and soothing, my skin feels plump and bouncy after with none of the uncomfortable ‘heavy’ feeling.
When combined with the Ci-Lab Sensitiv Moisture Repair Barrier Cream, the moisturising + nourishing benefits are multiplied.
The Ci-Lab Sensitiv Moisture Repair Barrier Cream is available in two variations – one for normal to oily skin and another for dry to very dry skin.
I love that there are two options available- not everyone’s skin is the same, and having more options for different skin types really speaks volumes about their dedication to catering to different skin needs!
For my combination sensitive skin, the barrier cream for normal to oily skin worked wonders. It struck the perfect balance between hydration and staying lightweight- it didn’t feel oily or heavy after applying, and the cream absorbed quickly when patting in.
It didn’t sit on my skin in that heavy/ uncomfortable way, and is really soothing and comfortable in Singapore’s crazy humid weather.
Plus, I could feel the moisture levels stayed present throughout the day, so my skin did not feel uncomfortably tight or dry even when I was in an air-conditioned room throughout the day, AND I had makeup on.
I think this can definitely be attributed to the Sub-Micron Barrier Rescue Complex in their formulation!
For the Ci-Lab Sensitiv Moisture Repair Barrier Cream in Dry to Very Dry, I used this as a night cream instead. I must say, even for a cream that is meant to be more rich + moisturising, I did not feel that it was sticky or uncomfortable in any way. Major props to the formulation!
This cream is excellent if you have dry, flaky skin and in need of some serious hydration. I used it on my sunburnt shoulders too because it was stinging, flaky, and red/ sensitive. Highly recommend this!
Because I couldn’t test it out effectively on my oily skin, I enlisted the help of my boyfriend to test this out and share his thoughts (LOL).
What he liked:
- Felt soothing
- Didn’t feel heavy or sticky
- Skin didn’t feel oily
- Skin felt soft and moisturised still in the morning
- Didn’t sting his eyes
His moisture levels improved by 14.7% overall after 2 weeks, which is a great result considering how he missed a few days of application.
I was SO DELIGHTED to hear that this range has sunscreen too! My journey to find the perfect sunscreen has been an ORDEAL.
First off, the basics:
This non-chemical sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays and also leaves my skin with a natural glow! I love the hydrating feel and how it absorbs nicely, which is great for non-makeup days.
When I first applied it, the texture looked rich and thick, but blended and absorbed easily and did not leave any white cast even on my tanned skin.
As someone with highly sensitive skin, finding a sunscreen that doesn’t cause breakouts or irritation can be a challenge. Prior to this, my skin only tolerated the Supergoop Mineral Sheer Screen + Skin1004 Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum.
I was a little wary of trying this at first, as my skin is so picky with sun care products! A lot of popular korean sunscreens e.g. the viral Beauty of Joseon one broke me out and left my skin feeling hot and ‘burning’. Definitely not for me!
However, this sunscreen delivered on its promise. It doesn’t clog pores, suitable for all skin types, and I didn’t experience any burning or stinging. A+!
This sunscreen is 12-Free and dermatologically tested- no irritating chemicals like oxybenzon, alcohol, fragrance, paraben, mineral oil, talc, petrolatum, etc. (*Tested on 21 volunteers for a week under the supervision of a dermatologist by Spincontrol Asia: test results showed that the product was non-comedogenic and non-irritating, even on acne-prone skin.)
The product claims to provide effective protection even with water exposure- it’s marked as ‘very water resistant’ by measuring the SPF value before and after immersion in water for 80 minutes with In Vitro UV Analysis 😎 so you can go out in Singapore’s humid weather without fear!
I would recommend re-applying every 2 hours to ensure a consistent protective layer if you are going to be out under direct sunlight (according to health organisation recommendations).
This also states it can control oil for up to 12 hours, but I was sweating like crazy in the sun on an outdoor shoot, so I think it’s hard to get a good gauge of whether there was any oil control as I was a puddle!
My makeup did not slide or smudge, so that’s a win.
I did experience slight patchiness as my foundation broke up under the sweat + heat + humidity.
This was similar to my experience with the Skin1004 sunscreen, so I’m assuming the patchiness is attributed to the higher hydration content in both the Cute Press and Skin1004 sunscreens.
The Supergoop one has been specially formulated for additional priming/ makeup-gripping, so this might be why! It is also 3x the price 🙁 so I’m really glad I’m finding a great alternative in this one that is both affordable and hydrating!
Over consistent use of 2 weeks I felt that my skin definitely bounced back quicker after breaking out, and it looked smoother, radiant, and healthy. While I cannot say pthat it entirely eliminates acne (nor does this claim to), I definitely experienced reduced irritation and less itching, which my skin is very prone to especially in the morning.
Good hydration is the first step to reducing breakouts, oily skin, and for a healthy skin barrier. This range definitely delivered on all its promises and more!
If you’re on the lookout for skincare that combines effective and innovative ingredients that are suited for sensitive skin, I would definitely recommend the Cute Press Ci-Lab Series.
If you’ve made it all the way till the end of this very long review, congratulations! 🎉
I hope my detailed review will help you and inspire you to pick up the new Ci-Lab Sensitiv range for yourself!
It is really priced so affordably and excellent for troubled & sensitive skin- my skin feels so amazing and isn’t irritated at all! Try it out for yourself folks!
P.S. If you’d like to save more, there’s an exclusive offer ongoing: the serum + barrier cream is currently sold in a bundle for only $40!! The usual price is $61.80, so it’s a huge steal.