It’s an undeniable fact that the skincare industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom. As a result, many large retailers like Sephora, Target, and Ulta have all launched their own skincare lines. So, it’s no surprise that Amazon would follow suit.
Amazon’s own skincare brand, “Belei,” was introduced this spring with very minimal advertisements, which I think well conforms to its brand slogan – “Let’s skip the buzzwords, overpromising and ‘secret formulas’, and get straight to the ingredients that deliver results. We take a simple approach to skincare with products built around key ingredients with proven effectiveness.”
After looking into Belei’s ingredient lists, I am confident to say that they did a great job to keep the ingredients and formula simple and effective (something I always promote here at FutureDerm), and also holistic (I can take it or leave it, but I understand what the brand is trying to do with it).
Overall, the ingredients are centered around reputed ingredients that have already been widely introduced in the skincare industry, such as retinol, peptides, and vitamin C. All products are fragrance-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and under $40.
Favorite Product: Belei Ferulic Acid + Vitamins C and E Serum
Among the 12 products, I highly recommend the Belei Ferulic Acid + Vitamins C and E Serum. To be honest, I rarely find ferulic acid skincare products to have such an affordable price, since most of them cost from $60-$100. If you are seeking a ferulic acid serum at a reasonable price, here is the one for you – Belei’s Ferulic Acid + Vitamins C and E Serum ($40). Ferulic acid is an extremely powerful bran-derived ingredient that helps fight radicals and have antioxidant benefits to our skin. However, what makes ferulic acid prestigious and well-known is its combination with vitamins C and E. These three ingredients together form a golden triangle that boosts the antioxidant efficacy on the skin. It’s scientifically proven that ferulic acid can counteract the instability of vitamins C and E, and can also minimize its photosensitivity. In fact, according to the research conducted by Duke University Medical Center, when ferulic acid combines with vitamin C, it can double vitamin C’s photoprotection ability to skin:
“This combination (ferulic acid with vitamin C and E) of pure natural low molecular weight antioxidants provides meaningful synergistic protection against oxidative stress in skin and should be useful for protection against photoaging and skin cancer.”
However, since it’s derived from bran, there are people who develop allergic reactions to ferulic acid products. So I recommend testing the product on an area behind the ear and leave on for 15 minutes before use on your face, especially for those who are allergic to wheat, corn, and barley.
In addition, I noticed a few very powerful, top-tier “key ingredients” are used repetitively in Belei’s collection, such as sodium acetylated hyaluronate. This is a highly effective ingredient that is proven to perform better than the original form of hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate). Sodium acetylated hyaluronate shows a much greater capacity to retain moisture and a greater ability to increase the affinity of skin compared to regular hyaluronic acid. Most HA products on the market today use the sodium hyaluronate, because sodium acetylated hyaluronate is a Shiseido-developed, patented ingredient. It’s impressive to see Belei’s dedication in skincare by using the most advanced and effective ingredients, but at a very reasonable price.
Least Favorite Product: Belei Blemish Control Spot Treatment
The product that I have the most concern from Belei is the Blemish Control Spot Treatment. Most skincare products today are usually formulated with dozens of ingredients. However, for this Spot Treatment, I only see one thing in the ingredient list – 5.5% Benzoyl Peroxide. It’s rare because most products that contain benzoyl peroxide are accompanied by other inactive ingredients. (For example, Paula’s Choice “Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide” and Clearogen’s “Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Lotion”) Hopefully, Belei will fix it soon by listing out the entire ingredient list. In addition, the concentration level of 5.5% benzoyl peroxide in this product is a little bit high which may pose a threat for dry and sensitive skin. Benzoyl peroxide is an extremely powerful anti-acne ingredient that can penetrate the pores and kills acne-causing bacteria. In general, the concentrations of benzoyl peroxide range from 2.5% to 10%. The higher the concentration, the more likely benzoyl peroxide will cause irritation, dryness, and flakiness on the skin. A 5.5% benzoyl peroxide product is certainly more suitable for users who have extremely oily skin or with very stubborn acne problems.
So my recommendation for people who consider purchasing the Belei Blemish Control Spot Treatment spot treatment is to start with some 2.5% benzoyl peroxide products. If you find them too weak or doing nothing for your skin, then move your way up to higher concentration. It’s definitely not a good idea to begin with 5.5% benzoyl peroxide unless your dermatologist asks you to do so. Also, it’s essential to pair your benzoyl peroxide product with a powerful non-comedogenic moisturizer (characteristics of non-comedogenic moisturizers: not overly thick, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and petroleum-free) and have solid SPF protection since benzoyl peroxide can cause photosensitivity to skin.
Despite the rather boring packaging that may extinguish your interest in Belei, it is a brand that really worth a try. The impeccable formulas are free of skin-damaging ingredients such as fragrance, harmful preservatives, and overly harsh acid. Instead, the whole collection is packed with hardcore, top-tier ingredients like vitamins, squalane, and hyaluronic acid. Most importantly, they are all under $40 (which just gave me another reason to love Amazon!). In order for you to skip all the descriptions and choose more easily, I made a list of skin types and their most suitable products from Belei:
Sun damaged skin/ hyperpigmentation skin – “Belei Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Serum” + “Belei Vitamin C Moisturizer”
Dullness/aging skin: “Belei Ferulic Acid + Vitamins C and E Serum” + “Belei Retinol Refining Moisturizer”
Skin with dark spots: “Belei Dark Spot Solution Serum” + “Belei Oil Free Face Moisturizer UVA/UVB SPF 50”
Dehydrated skin/Aging skin: “Belei Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum” + “Belei Bio-complex Moisturizer”
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