Written by: Diana Aldea
Photography by: Nathalie Martin

A new skincare regimen is a lot like a new relationship. You're initially cautious - but always hoping for the best - and so ready to fall madly and passionately in love. If you've been burned before, you're going to be super careful and remain skeptical. You're even likely to do some serious online stalking, seeing if your new partner has some past indiscresion that some other poor soul may have outlined in painful detail on some social media site or obscure message board. 

Online stalking is one of the most effective ways to gauge whether or not you want to start a relationship - whether it's with another person or with a new skincare line.

Do your research and you'll find that people have a lot to say about Skinceuticals, a clinical skincare brand used by dermatologists and plastic surgeons to help correct signs of aging, protect healthy skin, and prevent future damage. The reviews are polarizing and that may be attributed partially to cost (their C E FERULIC® and PHLORETIN CF serums retail for $162). People expect amazing results at that price point but aren't necessarily willing to wait to see them, which isn't fair or realistic. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you'll find Skinceuticals die-hards who will likely expire with bottles of the stuff clutched in hand, resting against their chests.

So which camp do I fall under? Both. 

Full disclosure - WoahStyle was given samples of Skinceuticals RETEXTURING ACTIVATOR, PHLORETIN CF, SPF 50, and Face Cream. After using these products for just five days, I saw a visible improvement of my skin. The "I'm over 30 and my skin is dull as shit" dilemma seems to be improving quickly. The hyper-pigmentation I've experienced from annoying bursts of stress acne already appears lighter. And my makeup is staying longer and looks more vibrant. 

Yes, I got this stuff for free, but it doesn't mean I can't be objective. Have you ever received expensive, free food? I have, and more often than not it's mediocre. I've been lucky enough to get a lot of comp luxury skincare in my career, and a lot of it simply isn't good. This one definitely is. But am I in love? I don't know yet. 

Buying this skincare on a regular basis guarantees that I'll have to compromise because I'm not filthy rich (yet). It will mean that I'll have to give up something else to offshoot the cost. Would I give up my bi-weekly trip to an unnamed fast fashion store where I buy basics out of boredom as opposed to necessity? Probably. Will I stop buying my stupidly overpriced $5 Americano Misto at Starbucks every morning (and alright, in the afternoon too). Unlikely. See, it's tough. I really, really like Skinceuticals but love's a big word and I'm just not ready to commit yet. Then again, it's been a week. In eight, I'll come back and tell you if we're going steady. Hey, you never know, we might even be married. 

[Diana Aldea is's Contributing Beauty Editor]

Marble Notebook by NUNUCO DESIGN CO.