Updated Iconic Serums

In the world of skincare, serums are where the modern individual looks for results. A serum is typically in an aqueous base and focuses on delivering a clear benefit to the skin. They tend to be more concentrated with active ingredients as less volume in the formula is spent on the emulsifiers and conditioning agents so necessary to making a face cream. Now that does not mean that face creams cannot show results, and that does not mean that all serums are awesome; remember, most active ingredients like acids and retinoids perform the best in comparably lower concentrations. That being said, a serum may offer a greater assortment of different actives. In your routine, a serum is where you realistically should be spending the bulk of your money but also the product you should be the happiest about.

Lately there have been quite a few modernized face serums, enough to warrant a bit of discussion on what is new and who each formula is tailored for.

Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate

clarins-double-serum-2017-versionDear Double Serum has received a bit of a face lift as of late, and while the most dramatic (and obvious) change is the elimination of mineral oil, if you actually compare the ingredient lists nearly everything is different. Double Serum makes use of over 30 years worth of research, has both a water- and oil-soluble component for maximum bioavailability, utilizes 21 active ingredients, and has a dial-pump system that allows you to customize the amount of product it disperses according to age, skin type, and lifestyle.

Who is it for? Anyone over 25 (or younger if you have a harsh lifestyle) who wants a good ‘general’ serum, especially those with a busy lifestyle.
What does it do? Strengthens dermal fibres, preserves the epidermis’ ability to proliferate new cells, improves oxygenation, protects microcirculation, stimulates cellular energy production, strengthens lipidic ‘cement’ that binds skin cells together, enables skin to hold hydration longer, protects against free radical damage, offers an instant lifting effect.
What should I notice? Radiance, diminished fine lines and enlarged pores, smoother texture, a more rested appearance.
What is inside? Banana, avocado, myrothamnus, red jania, teasel, goji berry, beautyberry, horse chestnut, kiwi, mary’s thistle, leaf of life, quinoa, marsh samphire, cocoa tree, mango tree, huang qi, ginger lily, edelweiss, orthosiphon, organic oat.
Natural or synthetic? 9 organic active ingredients, 3 fair trade active ingredients, recyclable container.
How does it work? The new Double Serum focuses on protecting the ability for cells to communicate with one another. University of Kent has a fantastic article on cellular communication, but essentially cells communicate with one another through sending signal molecules which then bind to receptor proteins on the target cell. A multi-step process follows, resulting in the target cell changing its behaviour. Double Serum uses turmerone, a specific extract of turmeric not often used in skincare, to protect this ability to communicate.
Where can I find it? Clarins, Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom, John Lewis.
Continue reading “Updated Iconic Serums”

Advertisements

Lazy Skin Day

IMG_0332

A pile of ‘lazy day’ products have seemingly collected themselves on my vanity; these are products for days when you have things to do and not much time to spare on skin. I am a person who enjoys spending quite a bit of effort on my skin, but if I can find products that cut down on time I am all for that.

IMG_0334First up is cleanse; two to mention, both rather different in concept. Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water* is a smartly-packaged micellar water with the innovative inclusion of hydrogen water, the same ingredient at the heart of the rather unique Perricone H2 Elemental collection. I recommend this article on hydrogen skincare, but essentially hydrogen is an antioxidant with a unique activity in the skin that up-regulates NRF2, which in turn increases our body’s own antioxidant production. So we have hydrogen, sake, willowbark, royal jelly, and rose all acting to soften, cleanse, and resurface the skin. For those who love that squeaky-clean feeling, this is an incredible one-and-done rinse-off (please rinse it off) cleanse.

For those with a penchant for a traditional cleanser, CLE sent me their Oxygen Foam Cleanser*. This is applied to dry skin where it can dissolve makeup and cleanse the skin in one step, though I would always go in twice on days I am wearing liquid foundation to ensure every last bit is taken away. This too gives that squeaky-clean feeling, and I do enjoy how bright and even-toned my skin looks after application. This does say it assists in promoting the production of collagen, which I am sceptical of, but as a cleanser this is a comfortable option.

I have a few bottles of Avène Thermal Spring Water lying about, and though I have tried and tried to make these work I never see any difference when using them despite having tried Avène’s and both the regular La Roche-Posay and Serozinc. The infusion of minerals is supposed to act as a supplement to the skin, though again I never notice anything different. Nevertheless, I quite enjoy spraying them on my skin mid-day to refresh or before a moisturizer to sheer it out and make it feel lighter. For me this step is necessary whenever I wear Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream*, which I tried to like but just could not get on with. I quite enjoyed it the first few days I used it, but several weeks later my skin had developed red bumps across my temples and even a few hours later I could feel it on my skin. I was rather disappointed because Caroline Hirons just dropped it into her Hall of Fame, and I have heard wonder-stories of people who have replaced most of their routine with this one product. Its claim-to-fame is its inclusion of ceramides, which are lipid molecules that exist in the stratum corneum and protect against water loss and the entrance of foreign substances into the skin. I suppose not every product is for every person, but I still wholeheartedly recommend giving this cream a try if you have compromised, problematic, or mature skin.

IMG_0331

To finish the lazy look, Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Advanced* is an after-moisturizer skin perfecting serum that provides both instant gratification and long-term benefits to the skin. I am always sceptical of luxe products in higher price brackets, but this is truly remarkable. Within a few minutes its optical powders mildly blur imperfections like moderate dark spots, impart a subtle glow to the skin, minimize the appearance of pores along the top of my cheeks, and subdue minor texture along my jaw. What is unique about this is that it also has long-term benefits, stemming from the inclusion of longoza extract which acts to both increase collagen and elastin production and ease gravity-related sagging, and opilia extract which aids in dark spot correction, red spot correction, and the reduction of visible pore size. Critics say these ingredients are unproven, but if we look at skincare as a whole the only ingredients which are relatively ‘proven’ are ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, green tea, and vitamin C and even so, most of these studies are far from extensive nor are they done on the product but rather the ingredient and often tested in vitro rather than in vivo. So in all honesty, if a product makes you look instantly better, makes you happy to use it, and will not kill you, then it is aces in my books.

Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterisk (*) were given to me free of charge. I receive countless products each month, and say nothing about the majority of them; I will only review a product if I think it is worthy of words, either negative or positive. Links are to the easiest and most common retailer. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies mentioned, nor my employer.

 

Skincare Journal No. 5

Back at it again with the Drunk Elephant, I have been trailing a few different products from the line these past three weeks in a follow-up to my original post. This time it’s been about C-Firma Day Serum*, T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum*, and Marula Oil*. This is my first proper trial of a vitamin C product (the first was a dalliance with Indeed Laboratories C24) and my goal is to drench my skin in antioxidants while correcting post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. I am using T.L.C as a night serum, alternating with Differin, in an effort to correct surface irregularities. As a final step, a little layer of Marula Oil. How this compares to The Ordinary Marula Oil still alludes me, mostly because I haven’t any idea whether Deciem’s is unrefined and I am sceptical as to whether or not they would even know for certain. An overall glance at my routine:

AM: Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser, Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum*, Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum* mixed with Drunk Elephant B-Hydra*, Drunk Elephant Marula Oil*.

PM: Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser, Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum*, Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum* OR Differin Gel, wait twenty minutes, Drunk Elephant Marula Oil* mixed with Drunk Elephant B-Hydra*.

First impressions after three weeks:

– C-Firma gives a good instant glow to the skin, though I am always sceptical of vitamin C’s ability to correct red post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
– T.L.C. is potent and fantastic at reducing inflammatory acne; I love it as a spot treatment during the day.
– B-Hydra is nice, though I do not see a major difference using it when I already use the day and night serums.
– Shaba is pricey for what it is, though it is fantastic at plumping dehydration lines and making me look a bit more awake than I really am.
– Marula Oil is lightweight but intensely soothing.

Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterisk (*) were given to me free of charge. I receive countless products each month, and say nothing about the majority of them; I will only review a product if I think it is worthy of words, either negative or positive. Links are to the easiest and most common retailer. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies mentioned, nor my employer.

Skincare Journal No. 4

Luxury skincare has always had its draw, but the ingredients never hold a candle to the price. For that reason I often glaze over La Mer, La Prarie, Elizabeth Arden, Sisley, Lancôme, Chanel, etc. That being said, the new Dior Hydra Life collection is a pleasure to use and exists in brilliantly-designed packaging to match.

The nine-part collection of cleansers, masks, and hydrators is suited in Kubrick-inspired white with hints of faded colour and priced below $100. Of the collection I have tried four products. The Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser was so lovely that I have already bought my own bottle; plant saponins remove impurities and it may be used on dry or wet skin. My skin feels soft to the touch with that good ‘tight’ feel. Hydra Life Oil to Milk Makeup Removing Cleanser is my evening first cleanse, and it makes quick work of full-coverage foundation while rinsing off rather effortlessly. Hydra Life Deep Hydration Sorbet Water Essence is a hydration serum that also happens to brighten and tone the skin with natural fruit acids; I find it a treat for the morning after I use retinol as I often develop dehydration lines around my cheeks. Is it more effective than Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 or Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum, I doubt it, though the texture is far less tacky. Hydra Life Fresh Hydration Sorbet Crème hits the right balance between gel and cream, and its formulation respects skin’s natural flora which, in theory, better balances the skin and prevents hydration loss rather effectively. For the price I would recommend Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream, which has a similar texture and result but comes in at a more approachable price (though you lose the balancing effect on skin flora).

All of this being said, the new Hydra Life collection has impressed me. The ingredients are rather unique, the sensorial experience is legendary, and the science Dior puts into its products is commendable. If you try any new luxe brand this year, I hope you take a look at Dior.