I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Well, the Belif train ain't slowing down any time soon. Like a waiter who keeps refilling your water glass even after you politely signal that you're good, Belif has caught on to their great potential and expanded their offerings beyond merely hydration.
To spot: This new line is called Problem Solution and has the funny (to me) tagline, For Troubled Skin? Yes! As if your skin grew up on the wrong side of town and has seen some shit and doesn't know how to process it so it lashes out with negative behavior. Like zits and stuff. So naturally... Problem, solution!
OK, so none of these products explicitly state that they are only for treating acne; however, the main actives here are tea tree oil and white willow bark in a lightly hydrating formula to address sensitive and oily skin types. Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial properties, which is why it's used in lots of acne treatment products (since a common cause of acne is attributed to bacteria and pore infection — gross yet arguably the most treatable cause). White willow bark extract is a botanical ingredient that's used as a gentle exfoliator — it's more or less salicylic acid — again, helpful with acne in the case of eradicating pore-clogging dead skin cells.
My skin is combo, but not super acneic — I'll get whiteheads here and there around my nose and chin, and milia around my under-eye area if I slack off with exfoliation (which is why I am exfoliation obsessed). I am, however, always working on evening skin tone and boosting brightness — which incidentally is a thing that white willow bark also aids.
The Problem Solution Toner contains Belif's signature Napier's Original Formula, an herbal ingredient for mega moisture, in a watery (but a thick water?) formula that makes my skin feel way fresh and way clean but also slightly hydrated, with a really soothing herb-y scent.
For those who mess with essence, The Problem Solution Essence is a bit different. Rather than a clear watery substance, this one is a really fluid lotion. It absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling silky and hydrated.
Belif's Problem Solution Moisturizer is wayyyy light — lighter even than Belif's Aqua Bomb moisturizer. Rather than Aqua Bomb's gel formula, this one is a slippery light lotion. It spreads pretty far due to its lightness and absorbs really easily. You can keep globbing on in areas that need more hydration.
But for real, what I didn't expect to love that I do indeed love, is this cleansing stick — The True Tincture (not to be confused with all the false tinctures out there). It's not in the Problem Solution line, but it is new, so I felt it merited inclusion. You can rub it over your wet face like a deodorant stick and then proceed to lather, rinse and that's enough. The solid tube twist-up packaging makes it convenient road-trip fodder, but who even still goes places anymore, honestly?
The stick itself states: Contains natural chamomile flowers? YES! Mild herbal cleanser for healthier skin? Sure! And in typical Belif fashion goes on to list a 0% next to all the baddy undesirables a skincare product can possible contain. Made to serve all skin types, this is a gentle foaming cleanser with bits of chamomile flowers (for really gentle manual exfoliation) and is indeed very gentle without leaving my skin feeling like there's residue on it or dried out and tight. Best of both worlds!
I've been using all of these for the past three weeks and man, are these a summer skincare savior. I never realized that the extra oil and sweat emulsifying on my face/entire bod was enough to change how I consider my skin type, but using these products geared towards more oily skin types than I usually am was a great choice.
Also, the brightening and evening powers on top of the oil-fighting are deserving of praise. It sucks that every time I spend more than 10 minutes in direct sunlight, my skin tone digresses further and further away from all of my formerly matching foundation shades, but I feel like at least it's even and glowing, so I don't mind ditching the heavier-coverage stuff anyway.
Have you ever tried a skincare product that you didn't think was for you, but then it had other unexpected benefits?