Audrey // Normal to Dry, Sensitive Skin // Early 30s
When I was in my teens and early twenties I had acne, and following the UK skincare trends of the early 2000's I "did the most" to combat my spots. Harsh manual scrubs and high strength acids on the daily. All this, and no sunscreen! So, so wrong, but it took me a long time to work this out. I was treating my skin like I was angry with it, and it became very, VERY angry with me. It was red and sensitised, I had to wear a lot of makeup to try and cover up.
I have made a lot of progress with my skin by using gentle products (preferably fragrance-free) and developing an interest in Korean skincare products and methods. However, I do still have redness in my cheeks and occasionally I will get itchy raised lumps that show up like uninvited guests.
My main hopes/expectations for my skincare are that:
- They don't sting or irritate my skin.
- Redness is reduced.
- My skin feels hydrated and looks fresh and glowy.
Centella Calming Ampoule Toner
$37 | 200ml
First Impressions: Lightweight, no noticeable scent (it's fragrance and essential oil-free) and feels hydrating on the skin. Packaging nice, simple but feels good quality.
After 4 Weeks Use: This is my new favourite toner! Not quite water weight, this feels a little more viscous and is extremely hydrating. The name "Ampoule Toner" is very fitting, it feels like a diluted serum. I apply with my hands after cleansing. No sting, no itch, it leaves a comfortable, hydrated feeling and I love it. It immediately calms down and soothes any redness on my skin.
I would certainly be willing to pay $37 for this toner, with twice-daily generous use I predict that this would last approximately 10 to 12 weeks. I think given the quality of the product and the results, this represents good value for money. This is a beautiful product.
Centella Calming Gel Essence
$34 | 60ml
First Impressions: Pumps out as a transparent gel but quickly becomes almost liquid as you spread it across your face. Again no scent, doesn't feel sticky.
After 4 Weeks Use: I really enjoyed using this essence in conjunction with the toner. I feel like it gave similar effects in terms of hydration and soothing, and again, never caused any stinging or irritated my skin.
I think the price of $34 is reasonable, if you use the recommended 2-3 pumps twice daily (I used a bit more - big face problems!) you're probably going to get three months' use. I don't think you will see dramatic results unless your skin is particularly dehydrated to start with.
If you have sensitive skin like me, I think you will really enjoy this. If you want something reliable that will hydrate your skin without causing any drama, this is an essence that I would recommend.
Super Balance Brightening Ampoule
$49 | 30ml
First Impressions: Lightweight. I did feel a little nervous about this product initially as I have had problems with products containing niacinamide before, but the description was incredibly tempting as I would love something to brighten up my skin.
After 4 Weeks Use: I have to be honest and say I only used this product a few times because I think I do have some kind of allergy to Niacinamide. I think this must be very unusual because it is often highly recommended for sensitive, reddened skin. The serum felt lovely on the skin, but unfortunately each time I used it I woke up to clusters of small whiteheads, which is unusual for me. They went away quickly (the other products seemed. to deal with any inflammation very quickly) but sadly it's a no-go for me.
Price-wise, I think it is a little expensive for the amount you get ($49 for 30 ml). The ampoule would have had to show dramatic brightening results for me to consider it worth the money.
It's a Nay from me, but as I say I think I have a sensitivity to Niacinamide. This may work beautifully for other people.
Centella Calming Barrier Cream
$35 | 80ml
First Impressions: A nice medium to a thick cream. I initially tried it on the back of my hand and knew instantly that I could be on to a winner.
After 4 Weeks Use: I think this is my second favourite of the Barr products (after the toner). You would think a simple, fragrance-free moisturiser that protects and comforts your skin would be easy to find - this is not the case. This cream fits the bill! I find I can use this cream both day and night and it works beautifully. Again, as with the other products, no sting, no irritation. It smooths on and sinks in, leaving a slight protective occlusive layer behind. It doesn't feel greasy or heavy, but my skin feels calm and comfortable.
I think the pricing is very good for the quality and compares well with other similar fragrance-free and soothing moisturisers available. I would happily pay $35 for this cream.
I loved testing these products and would definitely purchase the toner and barrier cream again. My skin condition has improved and I can feel the difference (my skin feels more velvety to the touch). In terms of visible results, I do still have some redness (I suspect I always will) however, I certainly think my skin looks hydrated and glowy which is impressive especially given I tested these over the Christmas period!
The toner and cream were particularly impressive, and I need them in my life so I sincerely hope Hikoco starts stocking them. If you have sensitive skin, I would highly recommend the Barr skincare range!
- Written by. Amy R