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SkinStore “Expert’s Choice” Limited Edition Box Review

Jessica Hapak
ByJessica HapakAug 14, 2021 | 3 comments

SkinStore is a one-stop-shop for everything you need in the premium beauty world. They feature everything from luxury skincare to french pharmacy products and everything in between. They definitely know their skincare- and they just released a limited edition “Expert’s Choice” box featuring $361 worth of products selected by a panel of beauty industry professionals, including estheticians, dermatologists, and Skinstore’s own beauty editor.

The SkinStore limited edition box is available (while stocks last) for $120.00.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

First Impressions

This set is packaged inside of a high-quality clear makeup bag with black piping on the edges and the SkinStore logo on the top. Once you unzip it, you find an incredibly detailed informational booklet with details on all of the products included in this set. Since this Expert’s Choice bag is definitely on the higher end of price ranges, I appreciate the little details that were put into this- it adds to the overall experience, and made me even more excited to try out these highly-rated luxury beauty products.

 

 

The Breakdown- What’s Inside This Limited Edition SkinStore Box

Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, 0.5 oz – Retail Value $48

 

I am a really big fan of the Sunday Riley Brand, so I am always happy to see them in subscription boxes and curated sets- especially when it’s at a generous size. This lactic acid treatment is a chemical exfoliant that you apply at the serum step of your routine. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is less drying and more gentle than its popular cousin, glycolic acid. This formula also has licorice root, lemongrass, arnica, and prickly pear extract to help leave your skin glowing without any irritation. While some skin is hardy enough to use this treatment daily, I use it less frequently around 2-3 times a week. When I use it this way I don’t experience any irritation or discomfort on my sensitive skin, and since I have been using this product long before it arrived in this Expert’s Choice bag, I can attest that it definitely helps to fight discoloration and hyperpigmentation, and long-term use also helped to reduce the frequency of my acne breakouts because it helped to keep my pores from getting clogged.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, 0.14 oz – Estimated Value $4.67 (buy the 0.45 oz version for $15)

 

I am genuinely always happy to see Dermalogica products when they show up in boxes- I have a lot of nostalgia associated with the brand because they have been the main skincare brand my Mom uses for more than a decade. Before, I would be excited to receive Dermalogica products because I could pass them along to my mom once I was done trying them out because I knew she would love to receive them. Now that I’m a little older, I’ve realized just how much I personally enjoy this brand too- so this definitely won’t be passed along to my Mom (don’t worry, I still give her plenty). This Daily Microfoliant is a great example of a product that I enjoy a lot more now that I am a little older and have a better understanding of what works best for my skin.

When I was younger using exfoliating masks followed up with exfoliating serums and acne treatments, the cleanser in my Mom’s shower was nice but nothing special. Now that I have learned that my skin is much happier with gentle exfoliation, this rice-based enzyme powder is a joy to use when I wash my face. When mixed with water this dry powder foams up slightly, and the rice enzymes, papain, and salicylic acid go to work to leave your skin smoother and brighter, without irritation or that sensation that your skin feels tight. That lack of irritation is probably due to the beneficial ingredients this is also formulated with like green tea and colloidal oatmeal. This is definitely a unique cleanser- the only two like it that I have tried are the Tatcha Rice Polish and Amorepacific Treatment Enzyme Cleansing Powder. If you’ve tried either of those products and enjoyed them, this one from Dermalogica is more affordable and just as enjoyable to use.

Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist, 30 ml – Retail Value $33

It’s always a treat to receive Omorovicza products- because of the price point I haven’t tried too many products from the brand, but I have really enjoyed the ones I could get my hands on. The Queen of Hungary Mist is one of the signature products from the brand- it features a blend of Hungarian thermal water, rose water, orange flower water, sage leaf water, and Hungarian thermal water fermented extracts (just to name a few). Sure, that’s a lot of waters- and fancy waters you spray on your face may not be a skincare product that makes your heart sing. I love mists like this, though, and this one, in particular, is lovely. Along with adding a refreshing dose of hydration, this mist has a pleasant, lightly floral, scent that harkens back to the 14th century and the world’s first recorded use of perfume (seriously- you can read about it on the product description page). I like to use it as a toning mist that I apply after cleansing my skin, and I enjoy how it’s refreshing to both my skin and my sense of smell.

Eve Lom Cleanser & Muslin Cloth, 0.7 oz – Estimated Value $16.96 (buy the 3.3 oz version for $80)

 

I’ve tried a lot of cleansing balms, and this one from Eve Lom is one of the more luxurious ones out there (I would expect nothing less from cleanser Vogue allegedly called “the best in the world”). This cleanser features the brand’s signature plant oil blend of clove, hops, eucalyptus, and Egyptian chamomile, along with lanolin and cocoa seed butter. This is designed to be used with the included muslin cloth, but I’ve definitely used it without and still had a good experience. To use I apply to dry skin and massage it in, before adding water (or the damp muslin cloth) to emulsify and melt away the cleanser and the makeup and dirt the cleanser is taking with it. You don’t technically need to follow this cleansing balm with a second cleanse, but I like to anyway because that’s my normal habit.

DERMAdoctor KP Duty Scrub, 8 oz – Retail Value $32

I honestly wish I had photos of what my upper arms looked like two or so years ago- I never was diagnosed with keratosis pilaris, but I definitely had a lot of discoloration and bumpiness on the tops of my arms. Alas, my arms have always been a source of anxiety for me, so there are no photos of me in sleeveless tops so I could show you just how big of a difference exfoliation has made to my skin. This scrub by DERMAdoctor features both chemical and physical exfoliants. The chemical exfoliants come from multiple AHA’s (lactic and glycolic acid), multiple PHA’s (lactobionic acid and gluconolactone), and willow bark extract (a beta-hydroxy-acid), while the physical exfoliation comes from hydrated silica. All of those powerhouses are paired with botanical extracts and oils, so while this scrub is incredibly effective it’s not so harsh that you can’t use it on your arms. I will say this scrub is a little messy- to use, you apply it to dry skin before rinsing it away, and I had to apply it standing in the bathtub in order for my tub to catch the bits that fell to the floor while I massaged this into dry skin. That’s a small price to pay for some seriously soft, smooth skin though- if you’ve been struggling with KP or just very, very dry skin, this should definitely help.

SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF, 0.13 oz – Estimated Value $22.13 (buy the 1 oz version for $166)

When it comes to vitamin C serums, Skinceuticals definitely knows what they’re doing. Their most well-known one is the C E Ferulic serum, but they also released some other vitamin C serums in the past year or so. This one absorbs so quickly- I can see why it is designed for oily skin. Once I apply a few drops to my skin, it feels like it’s been completely absorbed in just a second. The formula features a blend of silymarin (also known as milk thistle extract), l-ascorbic acid, ferulic acid, and salicylic acid, and while this has a texture that those with oily, acne-prone skin will love, I enjoyed it too. If standard vitamin C serums haven’t been your cup of tea, the unique texture and absorption of this one may be the glass slipper you’ve been looking for.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel, 3 ct – Estimated Value $10.20 (buy a box of 5 for $17)

 

I am always happy to see these exfoliating peel pads in a box- if I’m not going to use them I pass them right along to my Mom, who I also have gotten hooked on these. Each “peel” features two pads- step one, which is saturated with ingredients like glycolic acid, witch hazel, lactic acid, malic acid, zinc, and copper, and step two, which is soaked in baking soda, resveratrol, retinol derivatives, vitamin C, and green tea. Step one provides a chemical exfoliation that helps to fight the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, while step two neutralizes the acids from step one and provides a dose of antioxidants, too. Combined, this is a very effective exfoliant that isn’t so strong it damages the skin. My skin is a little too sensitive to use these on a daily basis the way that others can get away with, but I do really like these- they’re widely recommended for a reason!

iS Clinical Pro-Heal Advance+ Serum, 0.13 oz – Estimated Value $20.66 (buy the 1 oz version for $155)

 

I had high expectations for this serum after reading how some dermatologists recommend this for a plethora of sensitive skin ailments- standard ones like acne (including cystic!) and rosacea, but also for bug bites (my allergy system has been haywire this year, so I have had some major skin reactions to regular ol’ mosquito bites). This was nice, but it didn’t blow me away like I expected it to. The formula features vitamins C, E, and A, olive and mushroom extract, and zinc. It absorbs into my skin very quickly, and while it did help with some mild redness it wasn’t the holy grail I thought it would be. Maybe I just need to keep using it to see more thorough results- or maybe the alcohol denat in the formula just isn’t a good match for me.

MZ Skin Soothe & Smooth Collagen Activating Eye Complex, .47 oz – Retail Value $143

 

This eye cream was the highest-priced item in the entire box- it retails for more than what the entire set retails for. If you already use and love this or have been wanting to try it, you can get it at a discount by buying this set (and get everything else for free, too). With a high price tag comes high expectations, but this was pretty impressive. If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while you may know that I’m not crazy about eye creams and really only use them because they appear so frequently in sub boxes- so I have a pretty high bar when it comes to these cute little jars. The formula is designed to stimulate collagen and elastin (thanks to a blend of peptides), strengthen capillaries, reduce dark circles, plump and smooth fine lines, and provide long-lasting hydration. I honestly have no idea how to tell if my capillaries have been strengthened, but I can say that this is incredibly gentle and nourishing to the delicate skin around my eyes (and it doesn’t make my eyes burn, no matter how closely it’s applied to my eyes). The skin is definitely left soft and, dare I say, plump, after applying, and this is an eye cream that I actually look forward to applying (the only other eye cream to ever excite me like that is the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream). While I don’t have the budget to purchase an eye cream this pricy, I am definitely going to savor this to the very last drop inside the pretty pink jar.

EltaMD UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF50+ Serum, 1.7 oz – Retail Value $30

This sunscreen was truly a star among stars in this set- I’ve tried a lot of them, and this is one of the best. It’s water-resistant (up to 80 minutes), sweat-resistant, and protects against UVA and UVB rays. The SPF filters are a blend of chemical and mineral with octocrylene and zinc oxide, and the resulting texture is incredibly lightweight and liquidy. Because of that, it only takes a few seconds of rubbing before this absorbs into my skin with no white cast. This formula is fabulous- it’s non-irritating to my sensitive skin, and it is enjoyable to use because it absorbs so easily. If you want to see so with your own eyes, you can see me applying it here.

Value – Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $120

Cost Breakdown: 

  • Sunday Riley: $15.97
  • Dermalogica: $1.55
  • Omorovicza: $10.98
  • Eve Lom: $5.64
  • DERMAdoctor: $10.64
  • SkinCeuticals: $7.36
  • Dr. Dennis Gross: $3.39
  • iS Clinical: $6.87
  • MZ Skin: $47.58
  • EltaMD: $9.98

If you enjoy good quality skincare, I definitely think you will love this box. Value-wise, SkinStore promises a total value of $361, and my math adds up to $360.62.

Key Takeaways

With a high price tag comes high expectations, but SkinStore absolutely met its mark with this Expert’s Choice set. They did a great job curating a set full of high-quality, well-known brands, and even though I’ve tried more skincare than I can count I was still introduced to multiple lovely products that I had never would have discovered otherwise. I like that this covers all of your skincare basics- we’ve got a cleanser, a toner, exfoliating treatments, a vitamin C serum, a serum designed for acne and sensitive skin, a lovely eye cream, a body scrub, and sunscreen. This set would be a great one to divide into multiple holiday gifts- give the eye cream (the one that alone retails for more than the cost of the entire box) to your mom, the sunscreen and KP scrub to another friend or family member, and keep the rest of the products for yourself.

Other Things You Should Know

Is this box still available? Yes, this limited edition set is still available for purchase while stocks last.

Are you going to pick up the Limited Edition Skinstore Expert’s Choice box? What product in the set would you like to try the most?

Jessica Hapak
Jessica Hapak
I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.

Jessica Hapak
Jessica Hapak
I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.
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3 comments

Boxymom

Don’g get me wrong, looks like a great box. However for the price tag of $120 for a value of $360, Boxwalla, See New, Beauty Heros, & sometimes L&R almost always hits that same price point for around $45-60. Not worth it for me personally

JoJoB

The Eve Lom is my holy grail of cleansers. I used the last $10 coupon I received in my Macy’s box to repurchase it when it was on sale a month or so ago. I love the smell and I can honestly say my skin is at its finest when I use this. I also do the whole ritual they recommend with the muslin cloth-wetting it with hot water and laying it over your face 3 times and then repeating a final time with cold water. It just feels special I guess. I have dry skin and this stuff makes my face feel very soft and not at all stripped the way some cleansers can. I love it!

JesCro

I have to say… Vogue is off the mark on the Eve L cleanser being the best. I have used several different cleansing balms in the last few years – including this one. It was just okay. I enjoyed the scent, but the Elemis cleansing balm is so much better overall. Even the one from OSKIA is better, IMO.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.