Letting go of clutter: Skincare Samples

Hauling Responsibly is one of my most read posts. It blew up in a way that I did not expect, and inspired others (who then inspired me) in ways I could not have predicted. So I decided to do a little check up and see if I’m sticking to the guidelines I set out for myself.

Dude, I’m still sample hoarding.

While I’m not swimming in samples like I used to,  I have two 15cm wicker baskets of samples (one foil, one deluxe) that I haven’t touched in months. What am I some kind of beauty sample historian? No! So I decided this would be a use it or lose it week. Patch testing be damned I’m going purely on skin feel.

The only two samples excluded from this are Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence and SkinFood Rice Mask Wash Off Mask remaining as I actually just prefer the individual sample sachets to the full size products. I bought them this way.

Monday Night


Innisfree Juicy Apple Cleansing Oil

I bought this when I was first dipping my toe into cleansing oils. I really like it, if I lived in Korea I’d probably use this, or at least I’d buy this as my ‘old trusty’. It is very light, smells nice and washes off nicely. I chose not to buy the full size because I found lots of good options here in the UK.

Cremorlab Essence Tonic

Damnit, I wanted to hate it. The last Cremorlab product I tried was pretty ineffective, and most reviews I’ve read about the brand are a resounding meh. The only two products I’ve heard good reports for are the Cleansing Veil (which I personally love) and the Cleansing Gel Oil which Cat from Snow White and the Asian Pear loves, so I expected this to fully go in the dud pile, I was wrong! While I can’t speak to how effective this was after half a foil sachet, I really liked it. The consistency is almost like water, it smells very light and absorbs nicely.

Estée Lauder New Dimension Firm + Fill Eye System

When I used this, I didn’t realise this was a two part product and only used Step 1 which was thoroughly underwhelming. The thought of writing out the full ingredient list (because Estee Lauder don’t put it on their website) and faffing around with both parts fills me with such dread that this is just going right into the bin. Especially as my eyes feel really puffy today. Sorry Estée.

Etude House True Relief Moist Cream

I don’t know how I feel about this, clearly my skin likes the effect but I feel really uncomfortable, like the cream is suffocating my skin so I know that there will be no repurchasing here. I had to use an oil cleanser in the morning to remove it, it’s that heavy on my skin.

Tuesday Morning


Cerave Hydrating Cleanser

Full review can be found here.

Dr Galatok Real NMF Barrier Serum

NO! It burned my face, I had to wash my face and start all over again.

Etude House Sunprise Mild Watery Light (SPF50+/PA+++)

The ingredient list is horrendous, it’s like Etude went out of their way to make it as long as possible. Still, it’s really light, smells great and with no white cast! But it’s a bit too oily for me to consider purchasing a full size.

Tuesday Night


L’Occitane Aromachologie Rebalancing Face Mask

I don’t like it enough to write out this boring ass ingredients list. No.

Estee Lauder – Micro Essence Lotion

I KNEW I would like this. It smelled just like the SK-II essence and felt just as heavenly. So far the essences are the winners here.

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Deep Cream

Yet another overly thick cream that can just hard pass to the left please and thank you bye.


This sucks, I’m out.

By Wednesday morning I realised I couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t having any fun.

When I first started my skincare journey I wanted every sample I could get my hands on because I was utterly lost with what to do with my skin. Now I’m more confident in what my skin likes free samples in my orders are more of a burden than a joy. If I don’t get BB cream samples which I cannot use, I get products with ingredients that irritate, or formulations I can tell right away are not going to work. I used to pack them away to give to friends, but now they’re all pretty confident, the rando sample lottery is no longer for them either. 

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with samples. They are a great way to try out a product without committing to a full size you might not like, however having lots of samples for the sake of having samples is sample hoarding, which is just hoarding. I don’t want that, I want everything in my skincare stash to have a function, that includes masks and samples.


So I looked at my samples yet again, thought really seriously about what I have that could be an asset to my skin and sorted accordingly.

I blog about skincare because I enjoy it, and about Asian Skincare because it’s what works for me (not for the money, spoiler: there isn’t any). Which means, when I put something on my skin and when I write about it, like Tracy from fanserviced-b writes, I want to do it because I truly want to.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. I love a good declutter! And your blog is awesome 🙂 Follow for follow?


    1. adoredee says:

      A good declutter does us all a world of good! Thank you! Yours is awesome too ^_^


  2. Fiddy Snails says:

    “free samples in my orders are more of a burden than a joy”

    I feel this so so much and totally agree. And now you’ve inspired me to go through and do a very harsh decluttering of my own sample stash! I already know I’ll never use most of them so why the hell do I keep them around?

    (Except the samples of heavy creams. Those make great on-the-go hand moisturizers. And the little tinymasks. I love the tinymasks!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      I have so many samples of body cream (thank you based L’Occitane) and enough hand creams to last me a lifetime. I’ve decanted all my faves I can no longer justify by using the, ‘overnight bag’ trick. This all kind of came to a head because I had quite literally maxed out all my excuses to keep these around!

      You’re right about the tiny masks, I will never not love a tiny mask, omg! I’d love to see what samples made your cut! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Charlotte says:

    Wasnt the cremorlab triple bright sheet mask the last product you tried? Sad it didnt make your cut 😣 Still, more for me!! The cleansing oil gel is on my want to try list….thanks snow 💸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      Oh my gosh! You’re right, no it was lovely! I know right Snow, adding yet another thing to my wish list, ruuuuuudee. 😛


  4. My Fair Lady says:

    I really don’t enjoy getting samples for all the reasons you states, BB creams are never my shade or ingredients I do not use. I keep some that I will throw into a carry-on while travelling if I am too lazy to decant into travel bottles, but most just go in the waste bin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      Yep, some are great single use for travelling! I’ll keep buying the Skinfood Rice Mask & Propolis Essence in the sample sets for as long as they make them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. karrwaii says:

    You can declutter any full-size products you don’t want onto my face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      I literally have a bag of goodies for you and it includes the bubble mask!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lynda says:

    you should do a giveaway for all the samples you don’t want cuz heck i’ll take them! and what are tiny masks??


    1. adoredee says:

      If I ever get another bunch of samples I don’t want, I’ll think about it! The tiny masks are like.. mask samples? Some brands do them, so you can feel the serum and the texture of the material before buying the full mask. Haha~


  7. I know I should declutter my samples, but it’s sooo hard. I think it’s because they’re good for travelling, and in my head I’m more well-travelled than I am in real life. So I think “This would be good if I go to Paris for the weekend” when I only ever get as far as the supermarket at the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      LOL! After the fifth ‘away from home’ trip I took (ie, center parcs and my boyfriend’s house) I realised that even if I took said samples, I didn’t use them preferring my decants instead, which means they had to go.

      I’d been in sample swaps and just never used the samples i’d swapped for, I’d already done a few giveaways so I just decided to let it be, let them go and be freeeee of unwanted samples!


  8. I am sample hoarder and I ashamed to admit it. I want to try the samples, I do. But then I rarely ever do it because I am scared falling in love with 50 moisturizers will give me one hell of a cognitive dissonance. But then again I am an extremist and I am willing to slap most thing on my face to see what happens (the future scientist speaking) so no sample ever bother me. Except for the BB creams and foundations which are never the right shade. I really need to step up my game and “donate” some to friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      I do too, I want to try them, but like I want to have already tried them. 8/10 I already know how I’ll feel about the product! But I want to try because I just do.

      The ‘giveaway bag’ really is awesome thing, anything I don’t want goes into the bag and now it’s someone else’s problem, lololol.


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