We are probably way past the point when majority of people (like me) have mostly given up on all “new year, new me” resolutions, but well done to those who did survive Veganuary and dry January (or damp, if you only abstained on weekdays)! 🥇🏆
Just the same as last year (and almost every year, come to think of it), I haven’t made any big promises to myself, apart from (maybe) not lying in till noon every weekend so I can correct my circadian rhythms. Sadly, things are still very up-and-down in that department, so no energising ⚡ breakthrough there. However, there is rejuvenation going on elsewhere in my life, because I now have a new and improved beauty routine! 🥰
Move over 10-step Korean skincare! It’s now been trimmed down to…erm…six steps? 😅 Ok, not much of a difference, I know, but when you’re rushing to get ready for work in the morning, the less faffing about, the better! Besides, none of those extra steps seemed to be doing much for me until I switched most of my products to Tropic Skincare.
It’s not often I am motivated to post a review before agreeing to some form of brand collaboration (in which case I’d post a disclaimer), and would only make exceptions when I’ve either had a terrible experience or an excellent one…pleased to say this falls in the latter category! ❤️
Everyone’s been raving so much about Tropic that I felt it was time to see if the great reviews are justified. Although you can order from their website, there would be a delivery charge, so a friend put me in touch with a local ambassador last October, and it wasn’t long before a Discovery Kit (with Tamanu Balm) was on its way to me. I was so impressed by the little samples that I upgraded to the full Build-Your-Own Skincare Selection. Honestly speaking, my temperamental skin hasn’t been this healthy since I was in my early twenties!
The range I am currently using includes the ABC Skincare Essentials, night cream, two treatments, healing balm, and a face mask. Full of potent ingredients, the main heavyweights 💪🏻 touted by experts – such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, pro/prebiotics, MSM, and bio-retinol etc – no matter what your skin type is (mine’s combination), you will see the benefit. All their award-winning products are freshly-made, ethically-certified, and carbon-neutral, with refillable options for some items. Plus, Tropic Skincare is 🐰 Leaping Bunny approved, so I kind of did start 2020 part way there on the vegan front! 😂
STEP 1 – SMOOTHING CLEANSER: COMPLEXION PURIFIER
This is a wipe-off cleanser that’s available with or without a bamboo washcloth. I love the way it melts onto my skin, dissolving impurities as advertised. I’ve never been a fan of no-rinse cleansers, but this has converted me. I still continue to use Cetaphil face wash (recommended by my dermatologist decades ago) in the shower most mornings as it’s more convenient, but pamper myself with the Tropic one before bedtime (and Sunday mornings if I’m not in a rush to get anywhere). As can be expected from such a luxurious cream, you won’t get that unpleasant tight feeling after cleaning your face.
STEP 2 – VITAMIN TONER: PORE REFINING MIST
This, I am convinced, is inspired by the Asian approach to beauty where a lot of emphasis is placed on hydration, and attaining that lit-from-within “dewy” complexion. Perhaps this is the influence of founder Susie Ma’s Chinese heritage? Most conventional toners we are used to tend to have an astringent effect, but by contrast, the ones from Asia are moisture-intensive, much like Tropic’s Vitamin Toner. 💦 With green tea, aloe vera, multivitamins, and probiotic ferment, it behaves more like an essence…which interestingly, is also an important element in Korean skincare. Although spritzing directly on face and neck is recommended, that method set off my eye allergy, so I now spray the toner on my hands before carefully patting it on my skin.
STEP 3 – RAINFOREST DEW: HYDRATION SERUM
As the name suggests, this serum is very liquidy. You have to be pretty quick when applying it as the dew absorbs almost instantly, which is terrific because it means there’s no need to wait around before putting on your moisturiser. And oh yes, it does give my skin a lovely glow. ✨
DAY STEP 4 – SKIN FEAST: NOURISHING CREAM CONCENTRATE
This moisturiser is suitable for morning and evening, but I only use it as a day cream because I have another of their moisturisers specially for night-time. The consistency is very much like a lotion that simply glides onto skin, and as others have described, it is positively lush. Skin Feast is one of Tropic’s best-selling items, and no wonder…It has given my face a velvety radiance, and kept it from desiccating to a crusty husk this winter.
DAY STEP 5 – SUNSCREEN SPF 50 PA++++
Don’t want to omit this even though the Tropic equivalent is not part of my daily regimen, but regardless of your age or whatever skin condition you have, sunscreen is an essential step. Don’t leave home without it! ☀️ Tropic does a Sun Balm, but as previously reviewed, Bioré UV Perfect Milk is not something I would compromise on as it has earned Holy Grail status in my skincare collection.
NIGHT STEP 4 – SKIN DREAM: AGE-DEFYING FIRMING CREAM CONCENTRATE
Compared to the relative fluidity of Skin Feast, this night moisturiser is quite thick and a bit paste-like, so the application isn’t as silky smooth. However, it has a fragrance that’s reminiscent of yummy cakes, desserts, and beach holidays. I always feel a sense of satisfaction with the tingly sensation that comes with using Skin Dream…I like to think it’s a sign that the bio-retinol formula is working and doing its thing! I’m not certain if the emollient quality of this is as high as the day cream, but that doesn’t matter because of the next item on this list…
NIGHT STEP 5 – ELIXIR: AGE-DEFYING OMEGA OIL
This golden oil adds another layer of protection to skin, acting as a barrier against antioxidants, fatigue, and dehydration. I was initially wary that it would be heavy and greasy, but that’s not been a problem, and I even mix a drop with my usual application of Skin Feast each morning.
FACE LIFT: BRIGHTENING TIGHTENING MASK
I’ve only used this twice so far, and panicked at first because my skin began to sting almost immediately, but only ever so slightly, and only for a brief moment. I’ll probably need a few more tries as I’ve not noticed any significant changes, but on the upside, it’s not done any harm either.
TAMANU HEALING BALM: ALL-IN-ONE SKIN SAVIOUR
Special shout-out to this as it’s such a brilliant multitasker. You can use it for literally anything – chapped skin, lip conditioning, eczema, burns, spots, insect bites, scars etc. Although this is not a dedicated eye treatment, I’ve been regularly tapping the healing balm around that delicate area as it is the only product that hasn’t caused an allergic reaction there. In fact, the skin under my eyes was sore and inflamed until Tamanu Balm soothed it. As it was also preventing dryness, I continued using it as an eye cream. Tropic’s fab all-rounder has an added bonus – a little really goes a long way. I got this mini pot of miracles October last year, and there’s still more than a third of it left!
I began my Tropic journey roughly five months ago (not including the Elixir which I only purchased in January), and the first thing I noticed was the absence of dry flaky patches which I’d normally get on my face throughout the cold season. ❄️ Another significant improvement was clear skin during my time of the month…Remnants of the bad acne I suffered in my teens, I assumed those breakouts were down to hormones. Nothing helped to get rid of them, and I’d resigned myself to live with the monthly eruptions. It’s still early days, but if this spot-free phase becomes permanent, I may have finally discovered the solution to one of my period (and lately, perimenopause) woes! 🥳
All in all, Tropic has got the thumbs-up from me…both of them! 👍🏻👍🏻 Everything I bought has a whiff of the botanical 🌱 and smells divine, though there is a choice of scented or unscented if you have allergies. I won’t get your hopes up and say anything Tropic is a panacea to all skincare concerns, but it will boost your complexion in general, keeping it fighting fit. My skin is softer and smoother than it was, and seems more pert. Although large pores (mine belong to a class of sinkholes that can swallow up cities) and blemishes won’t vanish, they do appear kind of blurred, like you’ve lightly brushed primer over them. I’m sure even my age spots have lightened!
Some people are put off by the cost of Tropic. Admittedly, it’s not a budget brand, but the prices are not jaw-dropping either. Measured against what most are willing to pay on the high street, I’d say it’s about mid-tier and quite affordable. When you take into consideration the lengthy time each bottle/tube lasts before you need to re-order, it’s actually pretty decent value, and worth every penny! Moreover, you make huge savings of over £60 with the Skincare Selection set. To make the products last even longer, Tropic’s pump bottles also prevent waste, though a few have mentioned that it’s difficult to make out when you’re low on something. However, there is an easy fix – just sit the bottle on top of your phone’s torch, and you’ll see the empty parts light up.
If money were an issue and I were forced to choose, the two Tropic items I’d rather not do without are the Vitamin Toner and Skin Feast. The Smoothing Cleanser is of course fantastic, but I already had a reliable substitute in Cetaphil. Twice a week I also exfoliate with SRB, a gentle enzyme powder wash, but will soon run out of it so I am now eyeing up the Face Smooth Brightening Polish as my next self-care treat. I’d like to add Glow Berry Brightening Serum to my wish-list as well, and will share my progress once I’ve tested it, so stay updated by subscribing, or following me on Instagram! 🙏🏻
Update 12/05/20 – Quite by coincidence, Tropic Skincare extended their range only a few days after I posted this. What perfect timing! A couple of the newly-launched products are (from the description in their catalogue) very similar to the only two non-Tropic items in my routine – Enzyme Exfoliator and Sunscreen – and prices are within the same ballpark too. It’s almost as if they read my mind! As I knew I would soon be running low on the Smoothing Cleanser, I placed an order for it and included these two to see if they would be good substitutes.
Aside from being more finely-milled, the Clear Skies Cleansing Powder is not much different to SRB (see above). It exfoliates just as gently, and even the smell isn’t much different. If you’re wondering how the powder is dispensed, Topic have uploaded a video that demonstrates how it’s used.
I really did want to like the Sun Day Facial UV Defence, but sadly, it still doesn’t compare to my HG Bioré sunscreen (as previously mentioned) since it doesn’t have any mattifying qualities. It might work on very dry skin, so maybe it’s more suitable for me during winter. As the BBE isn’t till the end of 2021 anyway, I’ll give it another go when December comes round.
Thanks to gifts from friends and family, I also now have the full spectrum of oils and serums! As I have only just started using Super Greens Nutrient Boost Oil, Glow Berry Brightening Serum, and Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum, I can’t say what the long-term effects will be, but from what I can tell so far, my skin seems to like soaking up all that Tropic goodness.
Having so many bottles lined up on your vanity dresser can be a little overwhelming, so if you’re as confused as I was at the beginning, here’s a handy table from Tropic that shows where each product (except cleansers and exfoliators because those are self-explanatory!) should fit in your beauty regimen. Hopefully, it will also help you decide which ones are most suitable for your skin type!