• Lauren Hughes

Empties | 5

I have a jumbo empties post for you today! I used up a second bottle of the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, the Neostrata Retinol + NAG Complex, The Ordinary's Matrixyl 10% + HA serum, my second bottle of Superdrug's Simply Pure Hydrating Serum, the Skinceuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF 50 and The Ordinary's SPF 30. Keep reading to find out which products I will be repurchasing and which products I think you should steer clear of!

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

This cleanser from cult brand Glossier is brilliant. It has a light rose scent and has a gorgeous creamy gel consistency, which feels lovely and smooth on the skin. It contains rosewater, comfrey root extract and pro-vitamin B5. It is soap free, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free and vegan. It is very gentle and doesn't strip the skin at all so would be good for all skin types.

I mainly used this in the evening after I took my make up off with micellar water but it is gentle enough to also use in the morning. This is the second bottle I have used up and I think it is very reasonably priced at £15. I will definitely repurchase this cleanser again.

Neostrata Retinol + NAG Complex

I think this product is so good that I recently did a dedicated review on it so please head on over and give that post a read! In short, this product contains 0.5% encapsulated retinol plus NeoGlucosamine, a non-acid amino sugar technology that gently exfoliates the skin to encourage cell turnover. It is extremely effective at helping with fine lines and discolouration, I would highly recommend it.

It is a strong product so I would recommend starting off slowly to build up your tolerance and minimise irritation. No one wants a red, peeling face!

You can purchase the Neostrata Retinol + NAG Complex here.

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA

This high-strength peptide serum is one of The Ordinary's more expensive products (£9.60) and includes 10% Matrixyl plus hyaluronic acid. Cult Beauty calls Matrixyl 'one of the most powerful anti-ageing ingredients out there.' Matrixyl is a peptide that claims to stimulate collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The Ordinary's serum includes two ‘generations’ of this ingredient – Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl Synthe'6 – at a combined concentration of 10%.

I picked this product up because it has better reviews than The Ordinary's Buffet, which is also a peptide serum that I have used. The Matrixyl + HA is a nice lightweight serum, which I threw on in the morning or evening (or sometimes both) underneath my retinol or moisturiser. It sinks in quickly and is pleasant to use. In a similar way to the Buffet, I'm not convinced that it has made any particular difference to my skin in the three months I used it. I think when it comes to peptides, it is a long-term game to see results.

If you are interested in trying a peptide serum, I would definitely recommend this one. Brands such as No7 have similar peptide serums that are three times the price of those from The Ordinary.

Skinceuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF 50

I have spoken about this SPF and my confusion about whether or not it is actually completely broad spectrum in a separate post. I still haven't gotten to the bottom of that, but I have gotten to the bottom of the bottle! This is a titanium dioxide based mineral SPF and it is tinted.

The consistency is very thin and it spreads nicely. Because I'm not 100% sure if it is broad spectrum, I used this over my altruist SPF or The Ordinary SPF. The tint is great for my skin tone and I enjoyed using it.

I will continue with my investigation and update this when I get an answer!

Simply Pure Hydrating Serum

This is my second bottle of Superdrug's own brand hydrating serum and I absolutely love it. It is a light, fragrance free lotion packed full of ceramides. Ceramides are lipids found naturally in the skin and they keep the skin barrier healthy and moisturised.

If you are using retinol and/or acids regularly, using a product containing ceramides will help hugely to soothe the skin and keep it calm and happy.

The Simply Pure hydrating serum is only £2.99 from Superdrug and I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30

This sunscreen is a big fail unfortunately. It is titanium dioxide and zinc oxide based and is fragrance free, alcohol free and vegan - sounds ideal on paper! It also contains Tasmanian Pepperberry which is rich in flavanones, anthocyanins and minerals.

I always try and use the recommended amount of SPF to give the best protection (1/4 of a teaspoon for the face, a pea sized amount won’t cut it) and with this amount of product, it leaves a very noticeable greyish/purple white cast on my fair skin. It is a thick paste and is quite hard to blend in.

I definitely wouldn't recommend this product. I think The Ordinary may now be offering an updated version so fingers crossed it doesn't have such a prominent white cast!

Lauren x



© 2023 by Salt & Pepper. Proudly created with