Dermstore is an online retailer specializing in everything beauty. They recently released the Best of Dermstore Holiday Edit, which seems to be an annual tradition.
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 Box: Best of Dermstore Holiday Edit
The Cost: $20
The Products: A curated collection of some of your favorite beauty brands packed in one exclusive set.
Ships to: The U.S.
Best of Dermstore Holiday Edit December 2020 Review
The back of the box came with details on the products included.
Everything came packaged in this well-made clear bag.
We also received a coupon and a PCA Skin sample.
First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser, 2 oz - Retail Value $11
I’m a big First Aid Beauty fan. Their products are usually great for those with sensitive skin or with skin issues like eczema, and they’re pretty affordable for a brand that’s sold at Dermstore. This cleanser is fragrance-free and is chock full of good-for-your-skin ingredients like aloe, allantoin, glycerin, green tea, and licorice root. The end result is an incredibly gentle and creamy cleanse that leaves your skin clean without stripping. If you’re wearing makeup, I recommend using a cleansing balm or cleansing oil before going in with this, because I don’t think it has the power to remove a full face of makeup.
Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel, 0.33 oz - Retail Value $14
I’ve only experienced this brand through Dermstore sets, but every product I’ve tried I have liked – give me more! Normally I am hesitant with trying enzyme masks like these (this one is designed for oily and acne-prone skin), however, I forged ahead and was pleasantly surprised. This definitely smells like cherry (a glance at the ingredients list shows no added fragrance so that most likely comes from the star ingredients, sweet cherry seed oil and wild cherry bark extract) and it had a thin gel texture that glided across my face. I stayed away from my cheeks, where I tend to be most sensitive, and focused on applying this to my forehead and jawline (where I get most of my acne), and I was able to leave it on for the full five minutes without any tingling or burning – impressive for a product that is made with lactic acid, salicylic acid, tartaric acid, mandelic acid, and malic acid. All of those chemical exfoliants left my skin softer, and I didn’t experience any issues with my sensitive skin. Call me impressed!
Avène Soothing Radiance Mask, 5 ml - Estimated Value $2.60 (buy the 50 ml version for $26)
I followed up the Naturopathic enzyme mask with this mask. I love a double mask session, and I wanted to be sure my skin was nourished after the chemical exfoliants. I haven’t tried this mask in particular (that I can remember), but I am a big Avène fan and my skin usually responds really well to their formulas. This mask had the texture of a rich moisturizer that was creamy on my skin as I applied it. Key ingredients include Thermal Spring Water, safflower seed oil, and antioxidant-rich red fruit complex (think currants and raspberries). This lived up to its soothing claims, and I really enjoyed wearing it while taking a warm bath to keep my skin moisturized and happy.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O, 100 ml - Retail Value $4.99
This is a classic cleansing water, most people who receive subscription boxes probably have tried this at some point, but it performs well so I’m not unhappy to have more. It is no fuss, no muss, but can remove light makeup and sunscreen with a few swipes of a cotton pad all while being gentle on my skin.
SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator, 0.13 oz - Estimated Value $15.60 (buy the 1-ounce version for $120)
This is a really luxe product with a high price tag, so I was expecting more. For $120 for one ounce, I don’t understand why this hydrating serum has such an unpleasant smell. The scent doesn’t make the product unusable (it does fade), but the hyaluronic acid, peptide complex, and vitamin E could definitely be in a better formula for the price.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum, 5 ml - Estimated Value $14.17 (buy the 30 ml version for $85)
A lot of people love this Vitamin C serum, but I’m not one of them – my skin is really sensitive to vitamin C products, so while the THD ascorbate in this formula is incredibly potent, it’s too powerful for me. Your mileage may vary, I don’t think this is a bad product, I just know my skin prefers vitamin C products that have less powerful actives. Also, if you’ve thought that no vitamin C will ever work for you I encourage you to keep looking, it works great in the morning under sunscreen to fight free radical damage that causes aging.
boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer, 15 ml - Estimated Value $11.98 (buy the 47.59 ml version for $38)
I’ve tried a lot of Boscia products, but this moisturizer isn’t one of them. I’ve been wanting to try out the light green gelatinous texture for myself, so I dove right into this moisturizer. Made with cactus water, aloe Vera, and a peptide complex, this moisturizer is great for dry and thirsty skin. I enjoyed applying the gel texture but did feel like there was a slightly sticky finish to this. I solved that by applying a few drops of facial oil on top. While I would prefer it if there wasn’t a (slight) sticky finish, that isn’t a deal-breaker for me considering how my skin soaked up all of the moisture.
COOLA Organic Sunless Tan Firming Lotion, 2 oz - Estimated Value $15.33 (buy the 6 oz version for $46)
This is the only product that felt like a miss in terms of curation. While COOLA is a great brand, I’m pretty much covered from head to toe in warm clothes this time of year. That being said, COOLA is a brand I really like and I’ve actually tried this sunless tanner before. It gives me a light glow without being streaky, and it didn’t concentrate on my ankles and knees. I’ll be saving this for warmer weather because I’m definitely not wearing shorts any time soon.
Verdict: Dermstore always features great curated sets and this one is no exception. For only $20, I got to try out some new-to-me products while also getting a few tried and true favorites. I didn’t love the Skinmedica item, but I always appreciate trying a pricy product in an affordable box. Value-wise, everything in this box adds up to $89.67. That’s below the promised value of $107, but I’m still really happy with it.
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: This box cost $20 and I calculated a total value of $89.67, meaning you are paying approximately the following per item:
- First Aid Beauty: $2.45
- Naturopathica: $3.12
- Avene: $0.58
- Bioderma: $1.11
- SkinMedica: $3.48
- Sunday Riley: $3.16
- Boscia: $2.67
- COOLA: $3.42
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