I’m a Skincare Skeptic, But AbsoluteJOI's Starter Collection Actually Helped Tame My Acne-Prone Skin
- Value: 17/20
- Functionality: 20/20
- Ease of Use: 20/20
- Aesthetics: 17/20
- Results: 18/20
- TOTAL: 92/100
You see, I’m that girl who will spend two hours obsessively googling an acne treatment and another two hours reading through customer reviews before I even consider adding it to my cart. And even then, I’m hesitant to purchase it because I know I run the risk of investing in something that won’t live up to the hype. What if it fails to treat my breakouts? What if it does nothing for my uneven skin tone? Or worse yet—what if it actually worsens my problem?
These are typically my biggest concerns when it comes to buying skincare—so I had settled for a simple routine that’s kept some of my acne at bay. However, I knew that my skin needed something more. It needed a product that could better tame my breakouts without leaving my skin feeling super dry. And it needed something that could help fade those pesky dark marks.
Enter: the Skincare Starter Collection by AbsoluteJOI, a line of clean, vegan and cruelty-free skin care products that are specifically designed for women of color. After being offered the opportunity to try some of these samples, I was immediately drawn to the fact that they’re tailored to the needs of darker-skinned women.
Made in Italy, the collection includes the Skin Refining Night Oil and a complete Cleansing Face Kit, which includes the Sunflower & Moringa Fresh Cleanse Oil, the Hydrating Gel Foam Cleanser and the Balancing pH Toner. According to the brand, these products are suitable for all skin types. The three-step cleansing kit is designed to cleanse, hydrate and balance the pH of your skin while the night oil, which has Retinol and Vitamins C and E, moisturizes the skin, improves skin tone and helps with anti-aging.
I'll admit, a part of me thought that this sounded way too good to be true. But on the flip side, I was kind of eager to try these products because 1) they’re organic, 2) they’re specifically formulated for people with melanin-rich skin and 3) I’ve been searching for something to address my acne and uneven skin tone. I’ve always had very oily, acne-prone skin, and most of my breakouts tend to happen on my forehead. In fact, right before I started using AbsoluteJOI, I’d been dealing with a few breakouts that left multiple acne marks on both my forehead and cheeks.
And now, after using their line for over two weeks, I’m happy to report that I already see some improvement in my skin. Read on for more details on my daily regimen and the end result.
Step 1: Sunflower & Moringa Fresh Cleanse Oil
TBH, I almost skipped this step because adding more oil to my already oily face seemed counterintuitive. But after doing a bit of research, I found that oil cleansers can actually keep the skin balanced, effectively clean clogged pores and remove excess oils without drying out the skin. So for this step, I start with a dry face and use about three pumps of the cleansing oil, a silky and lightweight blend that carries an earthy, sunflower scent. After I massage the oil into my skin and wash it off, I can literally see the dirt and impurities that got removed in my sink—and my face already feels so much cleaner.
Step 2: Hydrating Gel Foam Cleanser
I’ve grown used to foamy soaps that leave my face feeling parched like the desert, but that’s not the case with this soap-free cleanser. I use three to four pumps of the Hydrating Gel Foam Cleanser and massage it in my face for a minute before I wash it off. But the best part? My skin doesn’t ever feel like it’s been completely stripped of moisture. Definitely a huge plus.
Step 3: Balancing pH Toner with Aloe, Oat & Hyaluronic Acid
After patting my face dry with a towel, I move on to the toner (which, BTW, is alcohol-free). I apply three pumps to my face and leave it to dry for a few moments. By then, I can already see a difference in the smoothness of my skin—and my face already feels so soft and moisturized.
Step 4: Skin Refining Night Oil with Retinol and Vitamins C+E
Guys, I really, really hated the idea of having to sleep with oil on my face for six to seven hours straight. But now, I’m glad that I took that leap because I’ve already noticed an improvement in my skin tone. After my nightly cleanse, I massage two pumps of the oil into my skin for about a minute, and when I wake up the next day, my face is actually super smooth and glowing (a welcome change from the dull and patchy skin that used to greet me every morning).
In case you’re curious, according to the brand’s website, this oil contains granactive retinoid, which is a next generation retinol that supports cellular turnover. Additionally, the oil-soluble vitamin C helps brighten the appearance of skin (which certainly explains a lot).
I honestly didn’t expect to see quick results after I started using these products, but I kid you not, in just one day, I saw that my face looked smoother and more radiant than usual. When I hit the one-week mark, I noticed that most of my breakouts were gone, and now that I’ve used this line for two weeks, I’m already starting to see some of my dark marks fade (the above pic was taken the morning after I used these products for two weeks). Considering how my dark spots tend to linger on my face for what feels like forever, I’m really impressed at how well AbsoluteJOI is working on my skin.
Overall, AbsoluteJOI is pretty amazing (so yes, it definitely lives up to the hype). Although my dark marks haven’t completely vanished (well, not yet), my overall skin tone is actually luminous and it looks so much better. While I’m impressed by every single product that I‘ve tried, the Skin Refining Night Oil stands out for me—simply because of how it works its magic overnight and visibly changes the appearance of my skin. Now that’s what I call results.