As a native Angeleno who happens to be a beauty writer, I’ve been hearing whispers about a lady magician who has the ability to heal even the most brutally damaged skin -- which you see a lot in this town thanks to the 300 days of sunshine and easy access to hundreds of estheticians (i.e. lots of chemical peels and laser treatments). I wondered: Is this all hocus pocus?
Turns out there’s no actual magic happening, but there is lots of science, practicality, and some genius. Jean Seo, founder and formulator of Évolué Skincare, who happens to have an extraordinary knack for research (her library science degree helps, too), formulation skills, years of experience interfacing with real customers at her eco-clean beauty boutique, and what I’ll call “skintuition,” is why her beloved Évolué Skincare is a darling for many beauty buffs, especially those with sensitive or unhealthy skin that need some major resurrecting. Oh, and Emma Watson -- the feminist actress who’s on a mission to go all-natural -- is also a huge fan. No big deal.
When an actress claims she can’t live without a skincare product, I’m all over it. So when I first heard of the Évolué Skincare + Organic Authority collaboration -- Belle’s Kit featuring Watson’s favorites -- I jumped on board. Fortunately, my editor was able to get me a kit to review from Évolué. The kit includes the Gentle Cleanser/Makeup Remover, their best-selling Resurfacing Grains, and the Firming Toner.
[Pssst! Organic Authority has exclusively partnered with Évolué Skincare to offer you actress Emma Watson’s favorite three products. Aptly named Belle’s Kit, this collection is only available for a limited time -- and there are only 300 of them! This is only time you’ll be able to try Évolué for 10% off plus free shipping. You can shop now here.]
Here’s what went down.
Over the last two years, my face blew up twice (I mean it literally blew up -- I looked like a puffer fish in addition to sprouting some hideous goosebump-like hives all over). My derm said it was due to a reaction to all the chemicals in my skincare -- and there were so many he couldn’t pinpoint which one. Yuck! Side note: I was testing products for my job, so please don't blame me -- a girl's gotta work!
Fully traumatized, I now invariably investigate prior to going anywhere near a new product. The first thing I noticed about Évolué Skincare is that most of the formulas contain very few ingredients (the cleanser has ten, the grains has three, and the toner has four). That’s incredible.
“I don't believe in mixing too many ingredients together. When ingredients are mixed together, it can create negative reactions," Seo tells me. "I believe in keeping the formula simple and focusing on sourcing the best-quality ingredients. I don't want to confuse my clients with long list of ingredients, especially since when the list is long the quantity of ingredients used is so small I doubt it even does anything."
And since Seo is clinically obsessed with transparency, she has a list on her website explaining in detail why she chose each ingredient, how she gets them, and why she thinks they’re the best quality.
After determining that Belle’s Kit wouldn’t make my face explode, I gave it a shot.
Gentle Cleanser/Makeup Remover
If you’ve ever desperately run to your dermatologist because your skin was irritated in any way, chances are she told you to use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, which is famous for its ceramides (lipids naturally found in skin cells) and hyaluronic acid (super-hydrating molecules also found in skin). I heard once that nearly all Stanford derms use CeraVe, so I used it religiously after both my puffer-fish incidents. Unfortunately, if you shun chemicals from your skin, this drugstore cleanser won’t do. Scientists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) are particularly concerned with the propylparaben and potential endocrine disruption.
But guess what? Now I have Évolué Skincare’s Gentle Cleanser/Makeup Remover as a natural, safe, and -- yes, I’ll say it -- way better alternative. Like CeraVe, it is lightweight, creamy with a slightly gel-like texture, and has zero scent. I love the fact that it contains high levels of sunflower and jojoba seed oils, both of which are highly nourishing and moisturizing. In fact, jojoba seed oil is very similar in structure to human sebum, which makes it a great way to balance your oil levels and stave off breakouts. After using it just once, my skin felt petal-soft.
Note: At nighttime, I always use organic olive oil as a pre-cleanser to any other cleanser, so I wasn’t able to test the makeup-removing element.
This bottle is Seo’s best-selling -- and I can totally see why. Previously, I’ve relied on jojoba beads for some physical scrubbing action or formulas with glycolic acid in them to chemically dissolve dead skin cells. In all honestly, they did help remove the dullness and made me look fresh-faced, but here’s the thing: I stopped exfoliating every week because I felt like it was a bit too much for my thin, temperamental skin.
You won’t know an excellent exfoliator from a good one until you’ve tried the Resurfacing Grains. They contain organic whole grain flour, organic milk powder, and magnesium carbonate, which is a mineral salt that helps adjust pH. When I opened the bottle, I was scared because it looks sandy. But once mixed with water, it turns into an ultra-gentle paste that glides over skin smoothly. I left it on for a minute and washed it off. My skin appeared brighter, smoother, and even-toned immediately. After about a month, my brown spots have lightened up significantly. My derm friend mentioned that the grains are removing the upper layer of skin that contains the brown pigments, so that’s why. That’s pretty cool because I experienced zero irritation. ZERO.
My Korean mom has always emphasized the importance of toners, essences, and pretty much anything liquidy you can bathe your skin in. So naturally, I was most excited to about this toner. Évolué Skincare’s Firming Toner contains elastin, which we lose as we age. Without effectively replacing elastin in our skin, it becomes droopy. I’m not seeing actual sagging quite yet, but I’m definitely concerned about it happening in the future. The toner feels light yet rich, and I can actually feel the elastic goodness finding its way into my skin. After a month of using, my faint forehead expression lines have diminished. I’m sold.
My skin is usually in good shape unless I’m using it as a guinea pig (see above mentioned horror stories). But since my complexion tends to be clear, even, and without wrinkles, a lot of times it’s hard to tell when a new product is actually making it healthier. With Évolué Skincare’s Belle’s Kit, my already-decent skin has improved -- and it’s noticeable. My mom told me I looked good. When my mom says that, you know something has worked.
If you want to try for yourself, remember Organic Authority has exclusively partnered with Évolué Skincare to offer you Belle’s Kit, which contains all three of these amazing products!
This collection is only available for a limited time -- and there are only 300 in stock. This is only time you’ll be able to try Évolué for 10% off plus free shipping. It's not on sale anywhere else at this price! Don’t wait, make your skin as happy as mine! To learn more go here.
Or if you're ready to buy your kit, you can shop now.