Valjean Labs Facial Serum in Hydrate

I’m reviewing another part of my TJ Maxx impulse buy. The (fake) frosted glass of the Valjean Labs bottles got me, okay? If you missed it, I also picked up a facial mist. I like it despite not wanting to repurchase.

This, on the other hand..
Valjean Labs' Hydrate facial serum with hyaluronic acid and vitamin b5. It's light blue liquid in a frosted dropper bottle.

It seems like it would be straightforward. Hyaluronic acid helps your skin retain moisture and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is supposed to be good for acne. I don’t have issues with acne, but I’m always looking for ways to up my skin’s hydration.

Full disclosure: I thought that vitamin B5 was niacinamide. It’s not. That’s vitamin B3. Maybe that’s why I don’t think this is working as well? I expected to flush like I do with niacinamide and I don’t get that..because that’s not what it is. We’re all learning here.

The back of the bottle. It says that the serum is super concentrated and to think of it as supplements for your face.

Shout out to Valjean labs for saying that their serum is super concentrated without giving ingredients percentages! Those are useless, empty words. The lack of transparency inactive ingredients is actually why I wont shell out for Glossier’s serums despite desperately, desperately wanting to believe in their effortless beauty marketing.

I used this serum correctly the first few times I tried it. A few drops into my hand, rub it on my face, wait and then moisturize. I actually felt like it was drying my skin out. I think it smells like alcohol. I’m not sure where that’s coming from.

All I know is that I now essentially dump it on my face, don’t wait for it to dry, and slather my moisturizer on top of it. I think it works a little better this way. I’m mostly trying to get through it at this point. I don’t think it’s doing much for me. Since it’s not breaking me out I’m having trouble making myself throw it away.

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I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to stand using it, though. The little dropper doesn’t have great suction and will only fill to the product level in the bottle.

Edit: The dropper did give out on me! I ended up pouring it on my face. Since my goal was to get through the bottle as quickly as possible, I was fine with it.

Does anyone have a good serum I should try?

Valjean Labs Facial Mist in Clarify

The beauty aisle at TJ Maxx got me. TJ Maxx is such a dangerous place. You can get amazing deals, but you’ll never be able to repurchase the products ever again. This is where brands go to die. I was just going to go in for a silly mask as a treat, but I came out with this replacement for the witch hazel toner that I had run out of.

Valjean Labs facial mist in Clarify. Contains Vitamin A and witch hazel. Comes in a spray bottle.

It’s not strictly marketed as a toner, but it has witch hazel. I figured I could use it for the same purpose. I didn’t realize at the time that vitamin A is retinol so it might not be great for morning use. Wear your sunscreen and don’t impulse buy, kids.

Back of the Valjean labs facial mist bottle. It was it soothes, refreshes, and hydrates the skin. It also tells you that Vitamin A helps balance oil production and that witch hazel reduces redness and inflammation. Use instructions are to use it after cleansing before moisturizing, or throughout the day over makeup.

The instructions seem super weird to me knowing that vitamin A is retinol. Use it to balance oil production? Spray it over your makeup? No. Don’t do that. Use it at night and wear sunscreen the next day because it sensitizes your skin.

Having said that, I love it. It has a light, generic smell that I’m a fan of. I get a sweet glow in my skin from using it regularly. Bare skin photo below for evidence:

Frumpy hoodie selfie after washing my face and giving it a spray.
I also really love that it’s a spray. Misting your face is surprisingly soothing.

So I’m going to buy this again and live the glow life forever now, right? Well, no. I think this spray is only sold at Urban Outfitters. We’re overdue for another Urban Outfitters controversy so I’m preemptively not a fan.

And then there are the ingredients. I don’t mind that there’s added color and fragrance. My skin doesn’t get irritated easily, so it’s just silly that the extra ingredients are there instead of harmful. Instead, I’m bummed that the second ingredient is glycereth-26. Also known as polyethylene glycol 26. You might recognize the word polyethylene from microbeads. If not, let me point you in the direction of my handy microplastic reference sheet.

Yep. The second ingredient is plastic. So the product isn’t tested on animals, it’s just terrible for anything that comes in contact with the ocean. Cool.

I’m going to finish using it and then banish it from my memory.
You bet that I’m putting my next toner into a spray bottle, though.