Sephora Favorites – 12 Days of Skincare…
After purchasing this collection, I think that the name should be changed to Sephora Favorites – 12 Days of Anti-Aging Skincare, because that’s a better description for this collection of 12 anti-aging skincare products.
This collection is impressive. Why? Because most of the products in the set are treatment products, and I’ve always felt that you get the most bang for your buck with this product type. There are four serums, two masks (one of which can be left on as a treatment overnight), a treatment toner, a treatment peel, two face oils, and two face creams. I don’t remember Sephora ever offering a Favorites set with so many great treatment products!
12 Days of Skincare – Advent Calendar
Before we take a look at each product, I wanted to discuss the packaging. As the product name indicates, this is a take on an advent calendar. Usually, advent calendars are dated and every day you are supposed to remove an item that is behind the date. This box is a little different. Each item is behind a cute picture of a wrapped gift, but there are no dates. So you can open one “gift” a day for 12 days or if you have no patience and just can’t wait, you can open them all at once!!
I opened them all at once, not because I really wanted to, but because I wanted to try everything before writing this post. I am a huge fan of beauty advent calendars, so this was still fun for me even though I got everything at once! There’s just something so exciting about the surprise behind the door!
This is a limited-edition collection and I just checked the links to the set and it is showing as sold out on Sephora! Unfortunately, it didn’t last long, but I will go ahead and link to the full-size products of each item in the list and description sections below.
Now, onto the products!
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Here is the entire list of 12 products that are in the 12 Days of Skincare collection. Please note that trial sizes are included in this collection but full-size products are linked below as the collection is now sold out:
✅ If you want more product details (or are in a hurry), here are links to the full-size version of each product:
- Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum
- Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
- Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C™ Vitamin C Power Serum
- Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum
- tarte Knockout Tingle Treatment Toner
- Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel
- Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask
- Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask
- Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Night Cream
- Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Face Cream
- Kiehl’s Since 1851’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate
- Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil
Serums and Treatments
There are four serums in this collection:
Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum is a lightweight serum that is formulated with bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative, hyaluronic acid, a super hydrator that draws and binds water to the skin, and squalane for additional hydration and moisture.
I love using bakuchiol since it’s been proven to be just as effective as retinol without the unwanted side effects that often come with retinol. Check out this bakuchiol study from 2014 and this bakuchiol study from 2018 for additional details.
I find this serum gentle and hydrating, just as described! For a quick Anti-Aging Treatment Tip, on some evenings try adding a basic bakuchiol serum like this one on top of a retinol treatment for an added anti-aging boost.
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum is a brightening anti-aging Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C treatments are an important part of any anti-aging skincare routine. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and help protect the skin from precancerous changes brought on by UV exposure.
It helps to protect your skin from the formation of the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help prevent hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Vitamin C is brightening and supports collagen production – all characteristics we want from a potent anti-aging ingredient.
This best-selling citrus-scented serum contains stabilized vitamin C derivates, collagen to improve skin elasticity, nourishing orange, and green tea extracts and conditioning aloe juice. While vitamin C can sometimes be irritating, I experience no irritation at all with this serum.
Another vitamin C serum! Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Vitamin C Power Serum contains 20% THD ascorbate: a potent and stable form of vitamin C. Plus, the power of vitamin C is magnified with 3% vitamin E and 2% ferulic acid to firm and brighten the skin.
This vitamin C felt more potent than the Truth Serum and left my face brighter and smoother after only a few uses.
Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum contains a 6.5% solution of stabilized retinoids, CoQ10 to improve the appearance of UV exposed skin and Hawaiian white honey, a humectant containing phytonutrients.
I have been wanting to try this serum for quite some time after hearing rave reviews about it. Well, I am hooked. It is definitely concentrated and my skin becomes a little irritated if I use it more often than every other night. But like other retinol-based products, I am beginning to notice an improvement in my pore size and skin texture after using this serum.
tarte Knockout Tingle Treatment Toner is formulated to resurface your skin and balance its pH. It contains salicylic and lactic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells, support cell renewal, and clear the skin. It also contains niacinamide to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, pores, and redness, plus glycerin for hydration and moisture.
This is the one product of the group that I have not tried. My skin is sensitive to salicylic acid so this product will most likely be passed on to someone who will use it. It sounds potent, and I love the other ingredients of lactic acid and niacinamide for exfoliation and brightening!
Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel is formulated to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, pore size and increase your skin’s radiance.
It contains lactic acid from fermented beet sugar and glycolic acid derived from sugar cane for exfoliating dead skin cells and brightening your complexion. Plus, it contains bromelain, a fruit enzyme exfoliator from pineapple, and Centella Asiatica extract (gotu kola or tiger grass), a popular ingredient in traditional Asian medicine that protects the skin’s moisture barrier.
Low Acid pH Peel
The breakdown of this peel is as follows: Step 1 has an acid pH of 3.5 (skin normally has a pH a bit below 5.0) and delivers lactic, glycolic, and other Alpha Beta acids along with the enzymatic action of bromelain for skin renewal. Step 1 is applied for two minutes. Step 2 is a corrective treatment that contains Centella Asiatica, green tea extract, and colloidal oatmeal and neutralizes the peeling process of Step 1.
I’ve been using Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peels for years and was unsure if this peel would be too strong for my sometimes sensitive skin. I could definitely feet the tingling from this peel and after completing Step 1, my skin reddened. Step 2 helped calm my skin down, but it stayed red for a while after finishing the treatment.
But wow, the results make the irritation and sensitivity worth it. My skin was so bright and so radiant and so clear! This peel is the real deal and would be perfect before a big event (after, of course, testing it first to ensure that your skin is not too sensitive for this treatment).
Face Masks and Face Creams
Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask contains encapsulated retinol, a gentler form of retinol that will release smaller amounts at a time, thus causing less irritation. It also contains avocado, which is chock full of antioxidants vitamin E and vitamin C, plus polyhydroxy acid for overnight exfoliation.
I use a very thin layer of this sleep mask as the last step in my skincare routine and wake up in the morning with smoother, brighter and clearer skin.
The ingredient that Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask is named after, blue tansy oil, contains azulene, which is an anti-inflammatory that soothes skin and reduces redness. The mask also contains white willow bark, a natural beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), and papaya and pineapple, natural alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). These acids gently exfoliate dead skin cells while aloe leaf unclogs pores.
This is a “Clean at Sephora” product which is formulated without over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, and phthalates.
I was unsure about this mask since white willow bark contains salicylic acid, which I am sensitive to. So I applied a light layer of the mask and left it on for 15 minutes as suggested. I was relieved when the instructions said that slight tingling is normal. I felt the tingling but after rinsing off, my skin was not irritated but bright and glowing.
Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Night Cream contains viniferine, the sap from the grapevine stalk, which brightens dark spots and reduces the appearance of acne scars and pigmentation. It is also formulated with super-star chemical exfoliator glycolic acid plus hyaluronic acid for hydration and skin plumping. The glycolic acid is encapsulated in a time-release formula for eight-hour penetration.
This cream is supposed to be for even the most sensitive skin and I will attest that I am able to use this cream, even though glycolic acid is very irritating to my skin. I’ve used this cream previously and like to alternate nights when my skin needs brightening.
Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream is powered by antioxidant super lotus which protects the skin from free radical damage, increases hydration, support’s the skin barrier and minimizes the appearance of fine lines. Peach leaf extract refreshes and de-stresses the skin.
I need to use this cream at night since the formula leaves my skin a little on the shiny side. It’s a rich formula that would work well with active treatments underneath since it also contains shea butter, glycerin, and soothing cucumber fruit extract.
I love the fact that two facial oils are included in this collection. Since there are so many active treatments in this set, these face oils will soothe and calm your skin post-treatment.
Kiehl’s Since 1851’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate is a very lightweight herbal concentrate facial oil infused with cannabis sativa hemp-derived seed oil and green oregano oil. Cannabis sativa seed oil reduces redness, calms the skin and supports the skin’s barrier, while green oregano oil helps to relieve problem skin, i.e. oily, blemish-prone skin.
In case you were wondering, this product does not contain CBD, but wow, it sure does smell like cannabis. Actually it smells like a mixture of cannabis and oregano oil. I applied it to my face and appreciated the lightweight texture that sank in quickly, but the scent did not dissipate. I just couldn’t get past the strong scent. Ultimately I had to wash it off my face. It’s unfortunate since I loved the lightweight texture, but this oil was not for me.
Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil is jam-packed with rare super berry antioxidants in a sunflower/jojoba blend. Did you know that maqui is the most antioxidant dense fruit in the world? It’s in this oil to fight the signs of aging. Also in the formula is açaí, which is rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids for hydration and antioxidant benefits, and prickly pear to help with cell renewal, the reduction of redness and hyperpigmentation.
Perfect for cold winter days, I like to use the oil at night to seal in all of the active treatments I’ve used underneath, like Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum or other night treatment serums. For use during the day, you can add a drop of this oil to your foundation for a glow boost.
Final Thoughts on Sephora Favorites – 12 Days of Skincare
I really like this collection. I’ve tried a few of the products prior to purchasing the set, so I was looking forward to getting a travel size of Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum and finally trying Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum. The standout product for me is Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel. It is STRONG but I saw the biggest changes in my skin after using this treatment.
As I previously mentioned, this is a limited-edition collection and currently showing as sold out on Sephora.com, but check back because you never know. They may get it back in stock!
Have you tried any of these products? Did they work for your skin type? I’d love to know!
Thanks for reading and until next time…