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Amidst YesStyle’s numerous beauty product and brand launches, Korean skin care brand Barr recently caught my eye. The brand doesn’t draw attention with flashy packaging, though its products clean, minimal exteriors are still aesthetically pleasing. What really stirred my curiosity to try its 3-step skin care routine is the ingredient list. Barr adheres to a simple list of ingredients to foster the highest efficacy. Its co-founders, Celeste and Joey, consider the brand part of a wider minimal lifestyle to promote sustainability.
Since I’ve been trying to transition into a more sustainable lifestyle, I’m on the lookout for products that are not only friendly on my skin but also friendly to the environment. Barr’s cruelty-free, vegan formulations, as well as its use of recycled packaging, definitely piqued my interest enough to try it out. Have I found a new long-term brand for me?
Centella Calming Ampoule Toner
Main Ingredients: The toner is infused with 80% centella asiatica and 0.5% panthenol while the rest of the formulation is enriched with jojoba seed oil and houttuynia cordata extract.
The toner is free of artificial colorants and fragrances, which is always a good sign in skin care. My skin has been very irritated as of late, and this toner was very soothing even on first use. Its lightweight formula has only a slight initial stickiness, which dissipates quite quickly as the toner absorbs into skin. I don’t use cotton pads in my skin care routine and I found that this toner’s slight viscosity made it easier to apply in comparison to more watery toners.
Centella Calming Gel Essence
Main Ingredients: Carrying a very similar formulation to the toner, the gel essence has 85% cica and 0.3% panthenol as well as added asiaticoside and madecassoside.
Barr’s Centella Calming Gel Essence is my first gel-type essence and my first essence that comes in a pump. I thought this meant that the essence would be thicker and stickier, but thankfully, it was not. As someone who has super oily skin, I usually find essences too thick, especially during my morning skin care routine when I have to layer on sunscreen. Fortunately, this absorbed quickly into my skin and left it feeling fresh. Like the toner, it also did not have any fragrance.
Centella Calming Barrier Cream
Main Ingredients: The cream has a lower amount of centella than the toner and essence, but is still infused with 64% of the extract and 1% of panthenol, squalene and jojoba seed oil.
Finding a cream that works for both day and night on my oily face has always been a challenge. Most creams leave my skin feeling slick with oil even during my morning commute. When I incorporated this cream into my daytime skin care routine, my face felt a little oilier than usual, especially in the T-zone. It did work very well when I used it before bed, as I woke up with refreshed, moisturized and soothed skin.
As much as I used to love fancy, bright and extra packaging for my cosmetic products, I’ve been leaning towards minimal packaging these days. This trio from Barr lives up to the brand’s motto of “Great ingredients speak for themselves.” My skin has been under the weather since I’ve been wearing surgical masks every day. It’s been angrier and oilier than it has ever been in the past two years, so this gentle, calming and simple skin care routine was something that my skin readily welcomed.
The toner is perfect for soothing my skin after a thorough double cleanse. As for the essence, it’s steadily becoming one of my all-time faves! I was skeptical of the need for essences in a minimal routine, but this one has proven me wrong. However, I don’t think that a pump applicator is a sustainable switch as it’s harder to recycle.
The cream calmed and moisturized my skin as promised. However, when applied in the morning, it also left my skin feeling incredibly oily by midday. It’s a welcome addition to my nighttime skin care routine, but my search for a daytime face cream is still ongoing!
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