What I Found in Poland | Sephora, Pharmacy, Drugstore

We spent a few days in Gdansk last week and I really enjoyed the chilled atmosphere there. It was such a breath of fresh air to see so many friendly and kind people in one place, I actually can’t wait to go back one day.
They also had a fantastic variety of pharmacy, drugstore and high-end skincare and makeup products but I tried my best to go minimal this time. I’ve accumulated so many items that I feel like a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to use them all up, so I basically got only what I’ve been curious about for a long time.

One of these things was prescription strength Azelaic Acid. I’ve been a fan of the acid for years, it has anti-inflammatory properties, it shows great results in cases of rosacea, melasma and acne and brightens the skin complexion. I see some results with my products with 10% Azelaic Acid content but I’ve never tried the prescription strength ones that are typically of 15% – 20% concentration. It turned out that such concentration can be found in products sold over the counter in Poland.   They didn’t have the 15% ones but I got the Polish Acne-Derm Cream and  probably the most popular Azelaic Acid treatment, Skinoren Cream (they also had a gel version and one for rosacea). They both have 20% Azelaic Acid concentration and I can’t wait to incorporate them into my skincare routine.

And speaking of acids, I found many Asian brands at the drugstore, so I picked up the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner. It suggests that it has anti-acne purpose but I believe that the low 0.50% Salicylic Acid content can have just a bit of a pore-refining effect and not really help with acne, Salicylic Acid is great for my skin, so I’m looking forward to see if this toner  would show some improvement on my combination skin.
They also had several Hada Labo products which looked quite unusual to me, as I’m used to seeing them in different bottles and in Europe they have  another look. Although, I wanted to grab several from the shelf, I limited myself to the Anti-Ageing Lotion Super Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen & Retinol which  is described as a very lightweight facial moisturiser. I tried it a couple of times and it feels really nice and indeed light on the skin but I think I’d prefer using it as a serum and then seal it with a moisturiser on top. To be fair, I can’t remember if I’ve seen this product before in its original packaging.

A Polish pharmacy brand caight my attention with a product, apparently very popular in the country, labelled a bestseller. The brand is called Iwostin and it looked like the whole Purritin range was rather famous among the people there but I got only the Active Cream because it contains a rather interesting blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Retinly Palmitate, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Malic Acid and Salicylic Acid. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried it yet, as I’m currently testing out other products and I don’t want to overdo it with the acids but as soon as I have a more detailed view on it, I’ll share my experience.

I was surprised to see an incredibly big range of Neutrogena products, don’t think I’ve seen so many items from the brand in one place ever. It was hard for me to pick just one but I promised myself to not go overboard like always and chose the Hydro Boost Quenching Body Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to have such a strong scent but the texture is really light and abosrbs quickly, so it would probably be a great body moisturiser in the warmer months, as well.

As a person who’s always on the hunt for the best concealer, seeing the popular Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer, got me excited. Finding a shade  was the tricky part, as the lighting in the store was pretty bad and the testers were basically all of the same three shades while the range was much wider. I still don’t know if I made the right choice but will  find out soon.

It was rainy and snowy in Poland and my lips got pretty chapped, so I was looking for something to hydrate them but to also give me a bit of a natural tint. I knew that Fenty Beauty had just released their latest Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in the shade FU$$Y that looked very nice and I noticed that there was only one left at Sephora (later I went to different Sephora stores and it was sold out everywhere), so I grabbed it and to be fair, I haven’t stopped wearing it since then. I’m not a big lip gloss fan but this has to be one of the most comfortable glosses to wear. It also feels quite nourishing, thanks to the Shea Butter in it. It makes the lips look smoother, it’s not too glittery, it’s semi-sheer, leaves a slight tint, feels lightweight and it’s not sticky at all.
Then I went to the section with the minis which is my favourite part at Sephora and noticed this The #1 Essential Lip Tints Trio from Lanolips. I love the brand, their ointment is saving me in the winter but I’ve never tried their tinted lip balms that also have SPF30. All 3 shades look beautiful and I already gave one to my mum.
The last mini set I got from Sephora is the Givenchy My Mini Magic Lip Duo. This is my first time trying lip products from Givenchy, they’re very popular and the miniatures don’t look as luxe as the original size but I’m actually curious about the product in the bullet rather than the packaging itself. One of them is the 3-in-1 Lip Balm, Moisturiser, Plumper, Colour Enhancer and the other one is the Black Lipstick that reacts to the lips pH for a custom look. It sounds like a bit of a gimmick but as a lip balm lover, I think they would be a nice addition to my handbag in the winter.

And last but certainly not least, L’Occitane have brought back their rose-scented lip balm! I already showed you part of their collaboration with Castelbajac on my Instagram and what I was missing was exactly the Wonderful Rose Lip Balm. I had a rose-scented lip balm from them more than 5 years ago and I loved it but it was part of another limited edition collection. I’m so happy they brough it back, unfortunately, they didn’t have it available as an individual product, so I had to get the set that also includes the Wonderful Rose Hand Cream which I alread had but you can never have too many hand creams, especially when they’re from L’Occitane.

I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve been slowing down the beauty shopping lately, I still have a lot to work on because I simply love trying new products and it’s hard to resist when every brand releases new items all the time. However, I’d like to focus on what I really like and share more in-depth reviews on the products and simply to enjoy using them.

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