Dermstore is an online retailer specializing in everything beauty. They recently released the Dermstore Problem Solution: Clarifying Regime, curated by a dermatologist.
FYI - this limited edition kit is still available for purchase!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this kit. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
About this Limited Edition Kit from Dermstore
The Cost: $75 + free shipping
The Products: A dermatologist-curated skincare regime for problem skin.
Ships to: The US
Dermstore Problem Solution: Clarifying Regime February 2020 Review
Everything came packaged in this well-made clear bag.
The info sheet for the box includes a breakdown of which products should make up your morning routine and which should be your evening, which I found helpful.
SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer, 0.25 oz – Estimated Value $7.25 (Buy the 2 oz version for $58)
This is an oil-free moisturizer made with hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E to provide lightweight moisture. My original package from Dermstore was actually missing this moisturizer (aka, when I was taking photographs), but Dermstore did send out a replacement of an entire new kit, so to me, it was a happy mistake that resulted in me having doubles of products in this kit. On its own, this wouldn’t be my preferred moisturizer since I have dry skin rather than oily, but this layered really well with the hydrating sunscreen that was also included in this box.
PCA BPO 5% Cleanser, 1 oz – Estimated Value $5.57 (Buy the 7 oz version for $39)
Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient that fights acne-causing bacteria. On its own, benzoyl peroxide can be harsh and overly drying as a spot treatment, so I love the use of it in a cleanser that is washed away. About five years ago I actually visited a dermatologist because of how severe my acne was, and this is the exact cleanser that I ended up purchasing after the appointment because of the combination of benzoyl peroxide, aloe, and cucumber in the ingredients list.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, 1 oz – Retail Value $10
This is an exfoliating toner absolutely adored by many- I can’t scroll through Instagram these days without seeing it on someone’s vanity. I don’t love this, but that is because the star ingredient is salicylic acid and my skin doesn’t respond well to this particular ingredient. A lot of my friends with acne different from mine swear by this, though, so don’t let the fact that I am not a huge fan keep you from trying it.
SkinCeuticals Blemish Age & Defense, 0.14 oz – Estimated Value $12.88 (Buy the 1 oz version for $92)
I was excited about seeing this baby sample of this luxe skincare brand- at $92 per ounce is it going to perform miracles? This was formulated specifically for adult acne and has a combination of AHAs, BHAs, and dioic acid. Dioic acid was a new ingredient for me, and its purpose is to improve uneven skin tone. This is a product I would need to use more long-term, but post-acne hyperpigmentation is a big concern of mine because even after the pimple is gone my fair skin still will have red spots.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, 1.7 oz – Retail Value $35
I have seen a lot of people rave about this sunscreen, so I was really excited to try it for myself. Spoiler alert: the hype is real. I love how hydrating this is- it feels like I am applying a moisturizer rather than a typical sunscreen to my face, but it doesn’t leave a heavy finish. I have seen multiple reviews from women of color for whom this doesn’t leave a white cast, either, which is super helpful to know.
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, 1 oz – Estimated Value $7.05 (Buy the 1.7 oz version for $12)
I am no stranger to this cleanser- I have been buying it for my mom whenever I have a 20% off prestige coupon from Ulta for years and using it whenever I go to visit her. This is a really simple, no-frills gel cleanser that is great when the rest of your skincare routine is full of actives or other strong ingredients. This doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, doesn’t dry it out, and washes away with ease.
iS Clinical Active Serum, 0.13 oz. x 2 – Estimated Value $35.88 (Buy the 1 oz version for $138)
I don’t know how I feel about this being the most expensive item in the entire kit when we also received a $35 sunscreen, but those are feelings I can deal with another day. I do know my feelings on SD Alcohol being on the ingredients ahead of the more beneficial ones like sugar cane extract, bilberry extract, arbutin, willow bark extract, and mushroom extract. SD Alcohol can be drying and irritating to the skin, but it may not have as much of an effect if you have oily skin. This didn’t irritate my skin, but it also didn’t perform any miracles. I will be blunt and say that, considering the price point, I expected more from the ingredients.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, 0.10 oz – Estimated Value $2.22 (Buy the 1.35 oz version for $29.99)
This is a spot treatment that features both 5.5% benzoyl peroxide and 0.4% capryloyl salicylic acid, and it is designed to dry out blemishes and smooth skin texture. This worked well for a random whitehead that appeared on my forehead, but I wouldn’t reach for this for my cystic acne.
PCA Clearskin, 0.25 oz – Estimated Value $7.21 (Buy the 1.7 oz version for $49)
I liked this moisturizer! While I don’t have oily skin (this is designed for irritable and oily skin), the sensitive skin part of me really appreciated the combination of niacinamide, aloe, hyaluronic acid, cucumber extract, and calendula. This was lightweight while still providing nourishment to my skin, and I think it is reasonably priced considering the going rate for moisturizers once you leave the drugstore price range.
Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask, 0.68 oz – Estimated Value $18.33 (Buy the 2 oz version for $55)
Sulfur is one of my favorite ingredients for treating my cystic acne- it is the only ingredient that truly shortens the duration of those bad boys and calms any pulsing irritation. I prefer to use this as a spot treatment over acne rather than as an all-over mask, and even though sulfur is a potent ingredient this doesn’t dry out my skin or cause any irritations.
Verdict: I really enjoyed this acne-focused kit from Dermstore. I really appreciate that the products featured an assortment of acne-fighting ingredients instead of just one because different types of acne and different skin will respond, well, differently. Both the Sunday Riley and Elta MD products are ones I am using consistently in my skincare routine, and I appreciate that a lot of samples were from pricier brands I don’t normally get to try. Value-wise, I calculated a total value of $134.34 for everything except the clear bag this kit came in.
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: This box cost $75 and I calculated a total value of $134.34, meaning you are paying approximately the following per item:
- SkinMedica: $4.05
- PCA Cleanser: $3.11
- Paula’s Choice: $5.58
- SkinCeuticals: $7.19
- Elta MD: $19.54
- Dermalogica: $3.94
- iS Clinical: $20.03
- La Roche Posay: $1.24
- PCA Clearskin: $4.03
- Sunday Riley: $10.23
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