I have a confession to make: During the pandemic, my skincare game eroded to shit. Things that I used to love—including cleaning my face—were actions I could not stand to complete. Of course, this 100% has to do with my self-diagnosed pandemic depression. I told myself, as pimple after pimple would pop up on my (once) unblemished face, if I wasn’t seeing anyone and no one was seeing me, why bother with upkeep?
Not to be vain, but this face? Is a money maker. Despite what broader society tends to say about Black women, I am crazy attractive. I don’t need applause (or likes on social) to survive like Tinkerbell, but to keep it 100, in order to “make it” in the beauty industry, generally, your face has to be pleasant to look at. So with the world slowly getting more and more vaccinated and everyone is starting to collectively be perceived again, I thought I would you know, give my skincare regimen a jump sooner rather than later.
Surprisingly, it was easier than I assumed. Routines are exceptionally hard because of my (recently diagnosed) ADHD. Usually, if something doesn’t serve me, I move on, which can be frustrating and liberating all at the same time. So far, I’m about 2 weeks into my routine, but with a brand new skincare line, 107 Beauty. As a Beauty & Lifestyle Editor, I receive free stuff all the time, so this was one of the many products that have been cluttering my small NYC bathroom.
Here’s the deal with 107 Beauty. It’s a fairly new brand and if you’ve ever bothered to scroll through the skincare tags on Instagram, you’ll see multiple influencers who are in love with it. All the products are made with all-natural ingredients, but its special sauce includes aged vinegar, an ingredient traditionally used in Korea. The founder was given a bottle of a family friend’s Korean-based distillery and told her to apply it on her face for her acne breakouts. After a few days, like magic, her skin was clear and so were her woes. Not to get too deep into the science, but the fermented vinegar, which is aged for at least seven years, creates this probiotic that clears acne-causing bacteria in your skin while repairing your moisture barrier.
My routine was simple—in the morning I’d cleanse my face with Chaga Jelly Cleanser, lightly apply Micro Drizzle Hydro Toner, let it settle for a bit, then spray the Dewy Mist Serum, and finish off with the Everyday Hydro Cream Moisturizer. While it may seem overwhelming on paper, I swear the whole process took a total of 15 minutes, tops. And since I still have the privilege of working from home, it’s time I don’t mind investing in something that sparks joy.
The Chaga Jelly Low pH Cleanser is made with that fancy fermented vinegar, but also includes Chaga mushroom extract and green tea leaf powder for hydration and exfoliation purposes. My skin has gotten a bit more sensitive this past year (I blame it on getting old), but this cleanser doesn’t have any salicylic acid, which, according to my dermatologist, means the cleanser is actually defined as gentle and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. It also smells like lemon iced tea on a warm summer day, so it is a pleasant start and end to my mostly monotonous pandemic existence. The cleanser also lathers up quite nicely but doesn’t do too much, making it easy to rinse off after a few passes around your face. You don’t need a lot of product—a nickel-sized amount will be more than enough to get the party started.
After rinsing the cleanser, I tap, tap, tapped a couple of drops of the Micro Drizzle Hydro Toner on my face. Now, other beauty editors will tell you to use those disposable cotton cloths, but your fingertips will do just fine if you don’t have any available. Technically, your hands should be clean after rubbing in the Jelly Cleanser, so breathe a little. Skincare should be accessible fun. Do what works for you because it’s your face! The toner itself isn’t as “fat” as the one by Fenty Beauty, but it does do the job of prepping my moisture barrier, making my skin soft and supple, but never oily.
107 Beauty’s Dewy Glow Serum Mist comes in an attractive spray bottle, making it simple to apply to your face after the toner seeps into your skin. By this step, you’ll probably be over it, but you’re almost done. The serum is made with multiple rice and soy milk ferments to naturally brighten and hydrate skin. After using it twice a day for two weeks, it illuminated mine considerably. So much so that I didn’t even realize how dull my face was from a general lack of care.
Lastly, you’ll want to finish off this K-Beauty routine with its Everyday Plump Hydro Cream. It applies evenly on the skin, and isn’t overly-heavy, although it gives your skin a final burst of moisture to last you throughout the day. Made with sunflower seed oil, Plump Hydro Cream includes Vitamins A, D, and E to help lock in your skin’s moisture barrier without clogging your pores. Interestingly enough, the lotion also has squalane, which aids in skin elasticity. I’m black and my skin probably won’t crack, but steps must be put in place to act as insurance.
After going through the process for a couple of days, I noticed a big change in the vibrancy of my skin—it was brighter and camera-ready. As I’ve mentioned in prior reviews, I don’t suffer from acne unless you count the one pimple that emerges during my period. This means I can’t say if the cleanser actually improves breakouts or not, but it did cut the excess oil from my T-zone, which came in handy for the rare times I applied makeup.
Speaking of, the Dewy Glow Serum and Hydro Cream worked tremendously as a base for foundation. My skin was properly primed, foundation, concealer, and BB-Cream applied seamlessly. Removing layers of product did take two or three passes of Jelly Cleanser, even after using makeup remover wipes, but I do have a tendency to cake it on, so that is something to be mindful of whenever you safely begin Hot Girl Summer 2021.
Overall, 107 Beauty’s products are a great entry-point into the world of K-Beauty. Because it limits the routine into a simple, four-step process, it isn’t immediately overwhelming. Like I mentioned earlier, I do have ADHD and wound up sticking with it for 2 weeks (and counting), so that should count for something. All of that being said, the price for this line isn’t cheap, and they currently don’t have a complete bundle, so you’ll have to purchase the Probiotic Duo for $95 and get the Cleansing Jelly and Micro Drizzle Toner separately. But, if you’re not a fan of multi-step skincare, you’ll be cutting the process in half. You’ve gotta give a little to give a little, you know?