Refreshing Skin Tonic

Active Ingredients :Hydrogen peroxide, essential oils.

Sometimes there are products you just don’t get. Formula-wise, I mean. Sometimes you’e amazed about how wonderful a product can be, sometimes you’re left speechless and just think : “what the f… were they thinking when making this formula”…..


This is one of the RARE cases I just cannot find ANYTHING positive about a product. Yes, sure, “refreshing” it is, but at the cost of a lot of oxidation (hydrogenperoxide, potentially damaging your skin cells), PLUS a whole lot of – yes I know, LOVELY – essential oils, which do NOT make things better.

So I’m left speechless, with the only advise there is to give you : skip this one, even if it was a present (mine was), even if it feels sooo refreshing and smells so nice. This is definitely a NONO option for me.


With Acerola

“A highly effective concentrate of water-soluble vitamin C, enriched with Acerola. This superfruit is rich in vitamin C and works as an antioxidant. Skin ageing and dehydration are prevented, free radicals are neutralized  and collagen and elastin production are boosted. Skin’s moisture balance is improved and discolorations are visibly reduced”.

For mature skin, wrinkles, age-spots and discolorations, sun damaged skin.

I fully agree.This must be one of the stronger vitamin C products on the market, using Ascorbic Acid in a stabilized, watery solution. Ascorbic Acid is extremely difficult to stabilize in a cosmetic products, reason for which many brands look for other, more stable alternatives like MAP and SAP (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate). Some skin care experts, however, consider the Ascorbic Acid form to be more effective. I personally don’t really have an opinion on this and believe both options can be great, depending on skin type and problems one has to treat.


The reason for putting this product in the “stronger section” (meaning it will have a percentage of about 15-20 percent Vitamin C), is that I personally can NOT use it while I’m on Retinol or AHA’s (Fruit Acids). My skin just cannot take all these actives together.

On its own, however, as a course of several weeks, this product is great. Powerful, lightening and giving skin a more even skin tone. I believe someone with serious hyperpigmentation problems/Melasma should absolutely check out this one. Great after acne too (think discolorations).

Texture :watery

Age group :all

Use :after cleansing, just using A FEW drops. Follow with moisturizer/SPF




With vitamines C,E,F.

If you’re looking for a not-too-strong, yet still active form of a Retinol product, with the benefits of some extra ANTIOXIDANTS and want it to be slightly moisturizing too, you should try out this Nazan product.

Netherlands-based Beautician Nazan makes a nice, still small, product line and was so kind to send me this one (along with two others – reviews will follow) for try-out.

I really enjoyed the light, rather watery texture that is absorbed by skin immediately. This Retinol product is very well tolerated by skin, although the dosage, according to Nazan herself, should be around 1 percent, which is quite strong for a Retinol product.

Maybe it’s due to the total formula, or depends on the delivery system of the product, but I have noticed no irritation or any other “symptom” of Retinol abuse Jwhile using it. Of course, I didn’t start using it on a daily basis, but used it alternating with the Nazan Vitamin C serum and the Hyaluronic serum.


I would say this is a nice product for someone who has used weaker formulas before and wants something effective, but not too strong.For me, it was an ideal “in between”, before moving on to a stronger version, and I will certainly use it again in future, during times I want something that is easily tolerated by my skin.

Texture :water-based, light, immediately absorbed.

Age :any

Skin concerns :skin texture, hyperigmentation/uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, acne

Use :build up use, starting 2/3 nights a week and gradually moving up to 5/7 nights a week.

Combines well with :any other “neutral” moisturizer or “anti-ageing” cream. ALWAYS use an SPF of 30 or higher when doing Retinol !!


“ Hydranov improves skins’ ability to lock-in moisture. From the very first application. It holds water molecules and works 3 times faster than hyaluronic acid. Hydranov is extracted from a red algae, Furcellaria lumbrilicalis and stimulates the natural production of hyaluronic acid in the skin. Skin becomes firmer and more supple and looks smoother & younger.”

Dehydrated skin, first signs of ageing.

To begin with :moisture serums are always great. Especially oil-free ones, like this one, because EVERYBODY can use one in his/her skincare routine.

This one just works great. I’m not sure the claims of being 3 times faster than hyaluronic acid, makes a real difference to skin, but it suerly does its job of hydrating/smoothing the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid serums are always a good idea. Wether you have dry skin or oily skin, are dehydrated or even acne-prone.Hyaluronic Acid will improve your total and GLOBAL skin condition and is ALWAYS worth the try.


I particualarly appreciate this product’s light, highly moisturizing, yet not-sticky-at-all texture. Is absorbed immediately. You can even layer it with other serum, works great underneath (I prefer) or on top. Great product to combine with AHA’s (Fruit Acids) or when you’re using some stronger form of Retinol (like me using Exuviance Retinol Booster).

For people suffering from acne, a hyaluronic serum (like this one) can represent a MAJOR IMPROVEMENT in skin healing as most dermatologic treatments tend to be quite DEHYDRATING and make skin HEAL less fast.

Texture :gel-like

Age :all

Skin type :all

Use :after cleansing, before another serum/cream/moisturizer/SPF



These are just a few tips I often give my clients to get a quick, simple, but almost INSTANT GLOWY DEWY LOOK. Nothing complicated, just a few steps to achieve a beautiful, heathy and luminous complexion.

Here we go :

  • Clean your skin like you always do. Not with a wipe, give it a good, serious clean with either a cleansing milk, lotion or gel. Balm & oil cleansers are great too !!
  • Use EXUVIANCE Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish.I recently discovered this one (review on the blog) and absolutely love it ! Massage for just one minute on humid face & rinse-off.
  • Use a MOISTURIZING ampoule, or Hyaluronic Acid-based serum.Favorites : Nazan Dermacare Hyaluronic, Iunik Bèta-Glucan Power Moisture Serum, Missha Night Repair Ampoule.
  • Put on a SHEET Mask, like Red-Apax or Hydra-Fill by Meder.These are wonderful, highly moisturizing & skin-plumping face masks. Leave it on for 20 minutes (yes these need some time to work, so you’ll just HAVE TO RELAX).
  • Remove the mask and apply an ESSENCE, like Missha Time Revolution or Exuviance Pro-Biotic Essence.
  • Apply a little bit of serum,in this stage I prefer a slightly creamy one, like Missha Time Revolution Vitality or Skin Calming by Exuviance.
  • Apply a tinted moisturizer, (with SPF during daytime), like HELIOCARE Gel Tinted (2 tones available), which will enhance the glow on your face. For some more coverage, a BB Cream like L’Occitane works well too.

And here you are ! Ready for the day (or night J) !


I’m honestly not all that into “face polishing” or scrubbing my face with any product containing “polishing” granules. I normally prefer exfoliating my skin on a daily basis, using either acid toner products or “stay on” fruit acid creams or lotions.

But this little gem is an exception to the rule….

As soon as you feel this product on your skin– and apart from the DIVINE SMELL – (yes thank you, I DO KNOW this is not what makes skincare great), you feel litterally THOUSENDS of small micro-particles touching your face. Massaging the product all over your face (and neck), you feel an intense, yet VERY controlled action of both the polishing granules AND the added GLYCOLIC ACID and PAPAYA enzyme, which act as “chemical” exfoliants.

The results are GREAT & IMMEDIATE !

This is what I clearly saw after just one application :

  • Refined pore texture
  • Brighter, luminous skin
  • Better hydration, skin is soft & smooth
  • Instant glow


What is there not to want from this product ?

I must admit it took me quite some time to even look at this product. Like I said, my experiences with face scrubs (even the expensive ones) are not great. Being an ambassador for the Exuviance products since a while, I just HAD TO test it. I’m convinced. Best scrub ever.And in fact, the word “scrub” is badly choosen. It a miracle in a jar, well tube, actually. A must have for all of you looking for a glowy skin.

Skin type :all, if very sensitive, ask for a sample before buying

Texture :creamy, millions of small polishing particles, DIVINE SMELL

Age : all, but especially over 30, considering the glycolic acid with anti-ageing benefits

Use: after cleansing your skin an before using any essence/toner/serum

Where to buy: official Exuviance depositories/ therapists



Intense regenerating serum

Moisture & Glow

All skin types

“ Our first liquid serum, shake to activate the power of millions of moisture micro-droplets. This exclusive dual texture melds instantly to penetrate fast and intensely restore skin’s glow. In one application, a visibly glowing skin and 24H of intense regenerating hydration. Even the dullest complexions are visibly transformed. Refined skin texture, more luminous skin complexion”.

For the record : I love French brands. I love Biotherm. I love serums.

I just think this one is a bit “overhyped”. It’s nice, definitely. It hydrates, absolutely. It will even improve your glow, I agree. But it’s just not some new skin-changing product you would think it is after reading Biotherm’s description.

Aura Concentrate is a dual-phase serum.This means no emulsifiers have been added. Normally, creams/lotions/creamy serums all have emulsifiers to mix up water and oil. That’s what emulsifiers are for. Without them, water and oil separate and you get a serum like this one. And you need to shake it up just to make both water and oil in the product mix together. Very nice it looks, but it doesn’t represent any improvement from the skincare point of view. Of course, it isn’t bad either.


Aura Concentrate does contain some nice, plant-based antioxidants, like Vitamin C and Nasturtion Extract, which means it will help protect your skin from environmental damage. There is Hyaluronic Acid too, for extra MOISTURE and Squalane (from olives), helping to restore skin barrier.

The formula itself is quite good (to my humble opinion) and will suit practically any skin type, from very dry to combination. Oily skins might not like the oil phase of this product.

One little drawback: the product has a nice, yet very distinct, citrus-like fragrance, which is quite strong. So in case you have very sensitive skin, this might be a problem. My skin, for example, will not tolerate it after a few nights of Retinol. Apart from that, I’m good with it and like using it on “dryer” skin days when I need that little extra glow Biotherm speaks about…. Good for your Aura !!!

Texture :water & oil, shake-up formula

Skin types: all

Use: after cleansing, as under your moisturizer/SPF

Ages: all, but I definitely you need more glow after 40 J



8 Actives

With Konjac Root, Ferulic & Hyaluronic Acid

“ Uplifting, antioxidant blend that brightens, tightens & smoothes the skin. Genuine Flower Power, natural antioxidants & active essentials work hand in hand to liberate the skin from signs of ageing. By leaving out harmful chemicals, parabens, synthetic color & fragrance, Mad Hippie helps your skin achieve true harmony”.


Cruelty Free

GMO Free

Ingredients :Deionized Water, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Alkyl Benzoate, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis), Hyaluronic Acid, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Vitamin E (Tocotrienol), Ferulic Acid, Chamomile Flower Extract (Reticuta Matricaria), Sodium Phytate, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose.

What’s so nice about Mad Hippie and what makes them a truly lovely brand in my opinion, is their no-nonsense approach of skincare.Natura-led and still using the most powerful (science-proven) active ingredients. High dosage of active ingredients. How do you know this ? Look at the ingredients list. The higher up the list, the higher the concentration.


Vitamin C (in the form of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) is second place, meaning its concentration will probably be around 10-15 percent, which is GREAT and means the product will work. If you have a product with vitamin C listed somewhere near the END of an ingredients list, i twill probably not do a lot for your skin.

Vitamin C is a great ANTIOXIDANT, meaning it will keep your skincells protected from environmental DAMAGE and thus will be protecting your skin from ageing. It will also help regulate melanin and improve (hyper)pigmentation in your skin. Double bonus so far.

PLUS, Vitamin C boostst COLLAGEN production, which also means it belongs to the list of favorite FIRMING ingredients in cosmetics.

FERULIC ACID is a powerful antioxidant tooand will boost the action of the Vitamin C, meaning this serum is a truly active, all-purpose antiager suited for anyone looking for something that works for both WRINKLES AND HYPERPIGMENTATION.

Hyaluronic Acid is added for extra moisture and Clary Sage, Grapefruit and Konjac Root all are powerhouse antiosxidants.

Well done Mad Hippie !!

Skin Type :all, especially over 30 J

Use :after cleansing & toning, before any cream, day & night

Texture :watery




Bionic Face Cream : 10 PHA

Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream 12 Bionic/PHA

Neostrata’s Bionic Face Cream and sister product Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream have been new discoveries for me. PHA’s and Bionic Acids (Maltobionic Acid and Lactobionic Acid) are considered as the “new generation” of Fruit Acids and also as a very promising group of new “Anti-Ageing” ingredients.

Neostrata, famous for its AHA – “classic” Fruit Acids – products, featuring mostly Glycolic and Citric Acid, has turned the milder way with the introduction (not that they are new) of these products.

Fact is, that not everyone of us can tolerate the full force of AHA’s in, let us say, a still reasonable (effective) dosage. AHA’s can be quite irritating for some and are therefore best tolerated by persons with a non-sensitive skin type.

But what to do if you’re unfortunate and DO HAVE a SENSITIVE skin ? Well, the answer is right here ; just turn to the milder options containing PHA/Bionic Acids.

The Bionic Face Cream is a RICH, yet not greasy, very hydrating and nourishing formula, that is considered (by Neostrata) as the ideal “post-procedure” option. Meaning you can use it after and during a series of professional peels. Not everybody with a rather oily/combination skin type will appreciate its thicker texture, but I must say I personally LOVE it.


The Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream is a better option if you want something LIGHT, yet very HYDRATING without the comforting feel of extra NOURISHMENT. The texture is really nice and sinks in in seconds, which makes it the better option for anyone looking for a powerful, yet light-textured moisturizer with this type of mild acids.

The BENEFITS of both products can be compared to those of an AHA product, being :

  • Improvement of cell turnover, meaning :
  • Better skin texture
  • Better hydration
  • Improvement of skin tone (think : hyperpigmentation)
  • Improvement of skin firmness and elasticity
  • Diminishing of fine lines and wrinkles

So about anything a well formulated (i.e. acidic with low pH) AHA product would do, but with less risk of adverse reactions. Of course, it will take some more time to see real improvement, but normally you should begin to see the first results after approximately two months of regular use.

Although both products are being marketed as “very mild”, I would still advice you to introduce them to your routine in a step-by-step way, like 2/3 times (night) a week fort he first month, to see how well your skin tolerates them. They’re still acids, after all !

Neostrata products can be bought in private clinics (Netherlands) or through your local pharmacy (Belgium).

Neostrata products are fragrance free.



Bionic acids (Bionics) and PHA’s are considered by some skin care experts as the future of modern skin care. Compared to their “big brothers”, the AHA’s, Bionics and PHA’s are MORE GENTLE, less irritating and also more MOISTURIZING. They could very well be used by people with MORE SENSITIVE skin types that are not able to use the stronger AHA’s, like GLYCOLIC and LACTIC acid.

Products with PHA’s, in the form of GLUCONOLACTONE and BIONIC ACIDS, in the form of Lactobionic and Maltobionic acids, are still not widespread. The brand that has most of them combined and offers a FULL SERIES with this type of acids is NEOSTRATA and its daughter brand EXUVIANCE.

If you are curious to see, what PHA or Bionics can do for your skin, I suggest you try one of these brands’ products.


I am personally very fond of Neostrata Bionic Face Cream and Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream.If have been using them both of and on since a few months and can truly see they are effective at both hydrating and activating the skin at the same time.

One of the advantages of this type of acids is, that they present the benefit of stimulating cell turnover, something we would all want once we are over 30 (and especially when over 40!). They are, however, much softer on skin than, for example, a product with glycolic or lactic acid.

If you want to introduce one of these products into your routine, I would advice you to do it STEP by STEP, like you would with a “classic” acid. I made the mistake of being over-enthusiast with these products and thought they would be a wonderful match with my Exuviance Retinol, but how wrong I was. Using full strength Retinol and alternating it with even a gentle PHA or Bionic acid on a daily basis, is just NOT a good idea …..

If you’re not on Retinol, or use Retinol in a very low (0,1/0,2 percent), start using your product twice or three times a week and see how that goes for about a month. If all goes well, use it 5 times a week for another month, before making it a daily use product.

If you’re using a stronger Retinol, try and keep AT LEAST three days in between using a PHA/Bionic and your Retinol. Experiment (carefully), to see how long your skin stays sensitive after using Retinol.For me, this is AT LEAST three days after having used Retinol for two nights consecutively.

I recommend you use “simple” moisturizers and lots of HYALURONIC serums/essences to keep hydration levels up and soothe skin as well as you can.

Reviews on both products will follow in a few weeks.