Update 8/18 – One Month Using Ghost Democracy
Unfortunately, I’ve had to up my dose of lithium for my bipolar disorder. But Ghost Democracy? It’s been there for me the entire way — here’s your month-long review on my skincare routine.
As I write this, I have a few tiiiiny zits on my face — like, you can barely see them. This is nothing compared to two weeks ago, when I accidentally slipped up on my routine and broke out like no other.
I’ve come to find that my skin looks more radiant, and I believe this is entirely thanks to the vitamin C serum, because I certainly haven’t gotten more sun. #hermitlife. Spots that used to be there? Faded. And burning? Absolutely none. It feels like I put on water that’s a little sticky, not runny and full of burning ingredients.
And moisture-wise? My skin has never been so frickin’ DEWY or hydrated or smooth! The combination of the hyaluronic acid serum with the daily moisturizer is a winner, absolutely.
Overall, the first two weeks were not some weird fluke. My skin is glowing, radiant, hydrated, and thriving since starting my Ghost skincare routine. I can’t recommend it enough, and Rex is the MVP for giving me the gift of clear skin.
Read more about Ghost Democracy and Rex Chou in the profile I wrote!
When I found Ghost Democracy on Instagram – all blue, with a cute lil ghost as the logo – I knew I had to reach out to the founder, Rex. After emailing back and forth, he asked if I’d like to write a review on a Ghost Democracy product. What came, instead of the just one (1) I requested? A new skincare routine, all Ghost, all blue and beautiful.
I was overwhelmed, and I’m going to tell you a secret that I’m ashamed of: I’ve never had a solid skincare routine.
Yes, I wash my face, throw on some moisturizer, exfoliate on occasion, maybe do a face mask here and there. But a routine? Nowhere to be found.
That was all going to change, though. I was determined, and when Rex found out, I knew I couldn’t back down from the challenge.
When I Zoomed with Rex (for reasons I can’t divulge yet!), I admitted to the skincare brand’s founder that I didn’t have a routine. However, my new medications cause breakouts, and I was in need of one before my face became a war zone.
I cringed, ready for the shock and potential judgement. But he was thrilled instead, giving me a pep talk and walking me through each step of the routine with excitement. He was glowing, my aura was glowing, and I hoped that my dull, lifeless skin would be glowing soon, too.
The next day, I pulled out everything and committed to a one-month routine – even my ADHD self could do that, especially when I had someone indirectly holding me accountable. You know, like the founder, who gifted me a skincare routine. No big deal.
In Rex’s amazing gift box, he had sent me four products and two samples, because he is simply the greatest, period. I was ecstatic to find an exfoliating cleanser, a vitamin C serum, a hyaluronic acid serum, and a moisturizer all neatly packed in a box with the logo printed on tissue paper. Can you say adorable?
And the best part: nothing was gendered. It was sleek, chic, chill – whatever word you want to use that indicates universal and cool. I excitedly brought the products to the bathroom, set up my camera, and caught my reactions in live time. Reel and TikTok soon to come, but first: a detailed review of my first experience with my new Ghost Democracy skincare diet routine.
Step 1: Daily Cleanser
Naturally, my first step was Ghost Democracy’s Transparent Gentle Exfoliating Daily Cleanser.
It sounds a bit like an oxymoron – an exfoliator that’s gentle? – but trust me, Rex knew what he was doing when he created these transparent products.
Speaking of which, that’s one of my favorite things about Ghost Democracy: their transparency. You won’t find any hidden ingredients or additives, nothing that will seep into your skin and poison your pores. In fact, they’re so transparent, every highly-concentrated ingredient and its percentage is listed on the product. Love that, because it gives me all the more reason to recommend the brand! Who doesn’t love honesty, especially when there isn’t anything unfortunate about it?
In the daily cleanser, the key ingredients are 4.1% glycolic acid and , which slough away that dull skin. The magic soothing comes from its other two major players: 1.6% willow bark extract, which soothes while also balancing oil levels, and 1.3% niacinamide, which calms irritation and inflammation.
The product foamed up nicely, and felt soft and smooth, despite being an exfoliator. However, I didn’t doubt that it was doing its job – after using my Foreo luna mini 2 for one minute to really get in there and deep clean, I rinsed off plenty of gross, murky water. Goodbye, skin cells! My face was red after, but not irritated; clearly, the willow bark extract and niacinamide did their job.
Next step: a good ‘ol dose of vitamin C.
Step 2: Vitamin C Serum
This was the singular Ghost product I asked to review, prior to receiving a huge box of products. The Lightbulb Vitamin C Serum is one of their bestsellers, and my skin NEEDS brightening desperately.
After learning that vitamin C goes on before hyaluronic acid despite both being gentle serums (kind of a duh, but let me reiterate: I’ve never had a skincare routine!), I took the dropper and applied liberally to my face.
I didn’t need a full face of vitamin C, but I gave myself one, and it felt… not drying. Nope, it felt good, gooey, a little runny, and oh-so-soothing. And then there’s the brightening effect, which I definitely have noticed after 14 days. Even with the every-other-night-all-nighters, I don’t look like a total zombie! (Aside from the night I accidentally fell asleep in the kitchen, but that’s another story.)
This radiance would be courtesy of its key ingredients: 18% vitamin C, which helps neutralize free radicals and even out pigmentation; 1.9% vitamin E to protect, while also acting as an anti-inflammatory; 0.5% bisabolol, which is an antimicrobial with skin-brightening properties; and 0.5% bakuchiol, a retinol-alternative that helps brighten and even out texture.
Even though my skin didn’t feel like it needed it – the goop truly was moisturizing – I opened up my hyaluronic acid after pat, pat, patting the C into my pores.
Step 3: Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Another popular product, Ghost Democracy’s Floodgate Hyaluronic Acid Serum is appropriately named, because it will flood your skin if you’re not careful. Trust me.
Rex told me to drown my face in it, so I do it each time, and I’m telling you: I wake up feeling like I’ve just put on a face mask of some sort, because my skin is so ridiculously hydrated.
No surprise, the top ingredient in the hyaluronic acid serum is… 2.1% PURE hyaluronic acid. The “pure” means its extra potent, retaining up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This is why your skin feels drenched with just one dropper – or, should I say, flooded.
Then, there’s 4.0% niacinamide, which is also extremely hydrating and helps support your skin’s moisture barrier. Add in 1.5% Linden flower extract, an anti-inflammatory with water-binding properties, and 1.3% white tea leaf extract, which helps protect skin from outside stressors, and you have a serum that will fight for you. It will literally (not literally) sit on your skin and fight anything that intends to dry out or harm your skin, and it will do it well.
I didn’t think I’d need the hyaluronic acid serum after the vitamin C serum. And I certainly didn’t think I needed the moisturizer after patting in the hyaluronic acid. But I listened to the (R)expert (I’m so sorry for that, Rex), so I moved on to the final step.
Step 4: Daily Moisturizer
Everyone should end their routine with a moisturizer, but… okay, sometimes I’m lazy and I don’t. I know, I know, but I’ll say it one more time: no skincare routine before this.
But I am a good student, so I read up on the ingredients first to see how else I’d be hydrating my skin – as if I hadn’t hydrated it enough. Inside the Lightweight Daily Face Moisturizer, there is no oil. None. So that greasy after-feeling that I hate, which is why I skip so much? Not an issue here. Knowing that, I happily read on to the main characters.
I was surprised to see 12.0% probiotics. I’ve never seen that before. Peptides, ceramides, yes. But probiotics? However, I know the skin’s microbiome needs a lil extra help when it comes to balancing itself out, so I was grateful to see that my skin would be loved on with calming, soothing TLC.
1.0% niacinamide is also there, to help the skin’s moisture barrier, pairing up with 0.5% panthenol (aka pro-vitamin B5) to keep skin moisturized and soft. Finally, 1.0% oat seed extract is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant, calming the skin down – perfect after a long day (or all nighter).
This is going to sound gross, but the formula reminded me of slime. Maybe snail slime. But don’t let that freak you out, because it goes on so. frickin’. comfortably. And a little goes a long way – I dipped my fingers in once, no scooping, and I had enough formula to cover my entire face.
Was I supposed to pat this in? Probably, considering I was directed to do so with the serums. But I rubbed it in, because I wasn’t sure, and that’s what I’ve always done with moisturizers. Old habits die hard, right?
And with that, I was done! … With day one. And now, I’m 14 days in. Here’s the current situation.
14 Days: I’m Already Glowing
It’s been 14 days and 14 days only, and my skin is soft, it’s clear, it’s evened out, it’s kind of worth being obsessed over. I know I’m defeating the purpose, but I can’t help but touch my face throughout the day because I can’t believe how soft my skin is! And that medication problem? Nowhere to be found on my face, now. It’s a blank canvas. A clean slate. It’s just… good.
I would absolutely recommend this skincare routine to anyone and everyone, but especially those who have never had a skincare routine before. Four steps felt like the Goldilocks of length – enough to feel mature enough for a skincare routine, but not too long where I felt afraid to do it every night. And NOTHING was uncomfortable or bothersome, which also kept me from being scared off.
Rex, thank you endlessly. I can’t wait to update you one month in – I can only imagine that I’ll be bright as the sun and smooth as marble by that point. And I. can’t. wait. Ghost Democracy review #2, let’s do this.
Did this review of Ghost Democracy’s skincare routine convince you to try out the brand? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!