I got the inspiration for this article from a question recently got : “ Is brand xxx clinical or not ?”

Without mentionning the brand this person asked me about, my answer was short & direct : “no, it is NOT, as you can buy it in a perfumerie store ….”

Shocking as this may be for some of you, my answer to the question “ What brands are truly clinical” is led by the following ideas :

  • Products that are available from perfumeries, beauticians or department stores generally are formulated, to be tolerated by all skin types, even sensitive ones. This inevitably means that concentrations, pH-values and combinations are adapted to a larger public.
  • Products from brands sold or prescribed by dermatologists, or sold at private clinics / in doctors’ offices DO take the risk of possible irratation/adaptation time, as patients generally are supposed to come back for follow-up treatments.
  • Products sold in perfumeries do not need clinical trials to prove their effectiveness.
  • Products sold by doctors/clinics do generally have (lots of) clinical studies to prove their claims.

Next question that rises is : “Are clinical products always better ?”

Honestly : No, I don’t personally thinks so ….. BUT, they will give you more RADICAL and faster results than any other product. This, for me, is a FACT.

Being an ambassador for the Neostrata brand (AND it’s daughter brand Exuviance, both owned by Johnson & Johnson), I know what clinical trials & tests mean and what a truly clinically formulated product can do. That’s why I simply get angry when I see other brands claiming to be “clinical” simply by the fact that they use certain ingredients. “Clinical” sounds good and makes sales go up, it’s as simple as that. But ask these brands for THEIR own clinical studies ….. You won’t get them, because they don’t have them.

There are several good clinical brands available. There are some excellent non-clinical brands available. But there is a lot of confusion too. That’s why I felt the need to write this article. I’m generally a nice & easy person. But just don’t get me angry. Especially not in the cosmetics field 🙂


Blue Light Shield


Super Hydrating

Youth Protector

“The perfect partner for everyday life” . “Fights the harmful effects on the skin induced by al types of pollution. Indoor, Outdoor and from NEW TECHNOLOGIES (Blue Light). Sheltered, the skin is optimally protected, it’s youth is preserved”.

Let’s face it, high-end skin care can be luxurious and efficaceous at the same time. This product, in my opinion, certainly combines both. Sisley Paris just masters the art of making delicious products that simply do what they promise.

Active ingredients in the product are :

Adenosine : energizer

Hydrolyzed Pea Extract : the peptides have a stimulating effect on COLLAGEN production

Panax Ginseng Root Extract : powerfull ANTIOXIDANT, thus Cell Protection

Ginko Biloba Leaf Extract : the same

Actidia Chinensis Extract : Kiwi Fruit Extract also has powerful ANTIOXIDANT properties

Hence, quite a few interresting ANTIAGEING ingredients, gathered in a ever-so-lovely smooth & silky texture.


The product has no parabens and doesn’t contain mineral oil, in case this might worry you. I personally do not avoid product containing these ingredients, but some of you may have an issue with them…

BOTTOM LINE : the product delivers what it claims. Very nice texture, lovely smell (aromatic). Can be used day & night. Good price for a Sisley product, by the way !

I personally use this both day and night. Day, I like it as a serum/under cream and under SPF. At night, I use it on its own or over a (Sisley) Serum or Essence (Sisleya).

Product type : day & night cream

Use : over a serum or under SPF

Texture : creamy, yet easily absorbed

Smell : lush !

Age : as a preventive from 25 years on, but good for oldies also J




All hair types

Non-foaming cleansing cream

Every now and then I like to “splurge” on a product that falls into the category of “budget buys”. So does this one. Well, it used to, because it was in fact a second buy for me, but I had to spend about the DOUBLE to get this one this time….

Yves Rocher beauty shops always look like delightful gardens of beauty where the “all natural” rule seems to be the only truth. Plants, flowers, you name it, as long as it’s natural. And most of the time, products are on a kind of –  what seems to me like –  a  permanent offer, which makes you SAVE a lot of MONEY. Well, you think you save a lot of money when you look at the “original” price tag that always comes with the “offer” price tag…..


Unfortunately, I walked in at the wrong moment and it wasn’t my lucky day L. I paid my Low Poo Shampoo FULL PRICE (about nine Euros) and still haven’t digested that ! The girl in the shop told me they COULD IMPOSSIBLY put all items on offer all year round, because the company would go bust if they did.


Anyway, enough of that, I wanted the product and got it. Even at full price, this is an item that I seriously recommend to any of you troubled by an itchy, irritated scalp.

The formula, which is non-foaming and creamy, leaves your hair supple and soft, with absolutely no sticky or greasy feeling. I find, that there is no need for a conditioner aferwards, which is great also. Your hair feels ever SO CLEAN and FRESH and is easy to manage afterwards.

Agave Fructans and Hawthorn Extract were added to the formula to improve microcirculation around the hair bulb and to strengthen the hair shaft. Great, in case your worried by some seasonal hair loss (autumn) or damaged hair (coulour processing, frequent blow drying/curling).

Lauryl Glucoside is the active “washing” ingredient and this is derived from sugar.

This product proves (once again) that you don’t nead a “good foam” to get clean. Be it hair, body or face, by the way. It’s not the foam (like in soap) that gets you clean. It’s the emulsifying capacity of a product formula. This one get the job PERFECTLY DONE without any foam. Great job Yves Rocher!

Product type : “Low” Shampoo

Hair type : all, especially good for itch scalp, I’d say

Texture : creamy, non-foaming, leaves hair fresh & clean




Sensitive Skin

Face and Body

Immediately soothes skin thanks tot he formula enriched with organic Which Hazel that feels incredibly comfortable.

Protects skin thanks to a formula enriched with botanical oils. Skin is nourished in the shower.

I must say it’s the first time I ever pick up a “non-foaming” body cleanser. Well, in fact, some products I use form y face are recommended for body also, but it’s the first true body wash of this type I try.

As the product claims to be gentle enough for face also, I decided to give that a try also and used it as a second cleanse while I was in the shower. Honestly, I was PLEANSANTLY SURPRISED by the GENTLENESS of this product. Considering also, that this is an item I would put into the “budget buys” category !


The product itself compares to a cleansing cream or milk (not runny) and it has a very soft feeling on skin. The same goes for face too. After cleansing (and drying) skin feels supple, soft and hydrated, just likes the company claims.

Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera) and Shea Butter (listed as Butyrospermum Parkii) are – I suppose – the “botanical oils“ mentionned in the company’s description and they do their job just fine.

So, if you’re ready for something new, non-foaming, non fragranced (and thus not very sexy), but very, VERY GENTLE, go tot he Yves Rocher shop or visit their website and get yourself one of these!

Product type : face & body cleanser / Shower cream, non-foaming

Texture : creamy

Skin types : all

Fragrance : frangrance free



Source of Balance

“Nowadays, more and more persons suffer of allergies. Part of these allergies are caused by certain ingredients in cosmetics. For this reason Klapp Cosmetics develloped an skincare programme that responds to the specific needs of these persons : BETA GLUCAN.”

Bèta Glucan by Klapp Cosmetics is free of perfume, colouring, chemical emulsifiers and preservatives. The formula is preserved by a hydrating ingredient that was integrated into the formulas. For this reason, all skintypes with permanent and/or temporary sensitivities can benefit from this product line.

The main active ingredient, Bèta Glucan, adheres to specific receptors of our skin cells and builds a protective layer against environmental pollutants/allergens. This way sensitive skin can be protected.

Composants/main Active Ingredients :

  • Bèta Glucan : fights allergens
  • Panthenol : vitain B5, calms skin
  • Aloe Vera Juice : source of Amino Acids, moisturizing & soothing
  • Allantoin : skin calming
  • Squalane : skin replenishing ingredient
  • Macadamia Nut Oil : source of essential fatty acids, skin repleneshing

The cream also has Hyaluronic Acid for moisture retention.


I have been using both the Bèta Glucan Cleanser and Toner off and on for the past seven years. I absolutely do love them, especially at times that my skin is more sensitive, which can be caused by changing weather conditions, as well as by changes in my skin care regimen (see the skin moments articles on the blog).

The milk is creamy, yet light and easily rinses off with tepid water, leaving just a slight residue, that can easily be dealt with by using a soft washcloth. It leaves skin feeling soft, hydrated yet VERY, VERY CLEAN. For the ladies with make-up ; it’s a good make-up remover too!

The Toner is just LUSH, it’s one of the BEST toners I’ve EVER used. It’s ever so fresh, yet very MOISTURIZING and prepares your skin beautifully to what comes next. Lovely after a (long hot) shower or after exfoliation/peeling. Great in the morning also. And for the guys : after shaving !

Bottom Line : highly recommend, especially if you like FRAGRANCE FREE products without too much blabla that just deliver what they promise !

Skin type : sensitive/reactive, or in combination with certain treatments like Acids or Retinoids (Retinol)

Age : all, great for youngsters too.

Texture : milky, creamy (cleanser), fresh & very hydrating (toner)






“ Acombination of extracts of Rose, Corn Flower and Witch Haze lto soothe, soften and refresh skin for immediate comfort.

Alcohol free

Spray Floral by Sisley is an ever so nice, multi-functional spray mist for face. Its plant extracts do indeed soothe, calm irritation (like RAZOR BURN, HEY YOU GUYS) and gives your skin an immediate feel of comfort & hydration.

You could perfectly use this spray after cleansing, INSTEAD of a toner (it IS a toner, in a spray), or after using an exfoliating product (be it an acid toner or a “scrub”).

Sisley is an upmarket brand and tends to be in the higher price range. Up to you if you want to splurge on this – LOVELY – product. I can just say I’ve been using mine for about two months now on a daily (morning) basis and it is still not finished. I recon i twill last for about three months with daily use.


This is very a very “pure”, uncomplicated but effective product. If you have sensitive skin, it is great. If you want something luxury, hydrating and you  like your toner in a spray, this one is for you. Unless you’re on a tight budget. But it will be X-mas soon, won’t it. NO this is NOT an add, merely a suggestion J!

Skin types : all, especially sensitive, dehydrated

Age group : all

Use : am/pm after cleansing or as an “in between” refreshment

Detail : the packaging is 125 ml, so don’t put it in your handbag when you go on a plane !!

My product was a press sample



Anti-aging cream

Version for normal skin

Repacell was introduced by Health Cosmeticals (part of the German Klapp Group) several years ago and has been an ongoing succes for years now.

Repacell offers an “in salon” alternative to several (expensive) upmarket brands and is available at spa’s and selected beauty salons.

It’s mode of action is based on “plant stemm cells”, which by no means are able to do any miracle, like some stories seem to imply. However, what plant based stemm cells CAN do, is offer your skin an extra boost of ENERGY and REGENERATION, simply by the fact that they contain a cocktail of active ingredients like amino-acids, peptides, vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals.

Good stuff, but just no miracle.


I personally love this product for its very REPAIRING properties, I had the experience once after having had a mesotherapy treatment done to my face. I looked like I just came out of a war zone, but Repacell treated the agression in just one night. Effectiveness confirmed, as far as I’m concerned.

You will mostly be attracted to this product if you like high-end, luxury textures and are looking for an all-round antiageing product.

Very nice when combined with retinol and/or acids !

Repacell cream comes in 5 different textures, which is GREAT, because it means you can choose depending on your SKIN TYPE/SKIN CONDITION. No other brand offers this many textures in just one product (to my knowledge).

Repacell Cream for Combination Skin (has a tiny bit of Salicylic Acid)

Repacell Cream for Normal Skin (my favourite)

Repacell Cream for Mature Skin (rich)

Repacell Cream for Sensitive Skin (with extra plant-based skin soothing ingredients)

Repacell Cream for Dry Skin (Ultra-nourishing)

Need I say more ?



All skin types

TIME is Içi Paris XL ’s private label and offers quality products for a very reasonable price.

“Ultra-rich formula that removes make-up, impurities and pollution without drying out the skin. The smooth balm texture transforms into oil on contact with the skin, melting on the face and giving instant comfort and suppleness”.

I must admit it is the very first time I’ve ever tried anything from this brand. And I was pleasantly surprised !

As you will possibly know, I’m all for balm/oil/milk cleansing. The milder, the better, I believe. Even if your skin is oily, there is no need to strip it … So I tend to stay away from anything foaming (there might bet he occasional exception to the rule) and prefer something based on oils, to clean my face.

This cleansing balm is just perfect. Indeed it is mild, leaves skin supple and soft, but above all, VERY CLEAN and FRESH. You will need a (mild) washcloth to take it off, but that’s just the way balm cleansers work. Use either a washcloth (see my previous blog on them) or a facial mitt to rinse of the product. Once you’re done, you can splash if you like (I do). Use tepid, not hot water.


I’ve been advocating a double cleansing routine (as many collegue bloggers do), but I must say this product works so well that you might be lazy and just clean in one application. Unless you’re wearing more than a light make-up. For me, just wearing SPF, one cleanse is fine with this product. Massage fora bout 15 seconds in order to get all “filth” dissolved.

Pricewise – especially if you’re on a budget – this is a really good bargain (around 13 Euros for 75 ml) and you’re getting a GOOD FORMULA for your money.

No mineral oil.

Active Ingredients : Camelia (Green Tea) Seed Oil, Mung Bean Extract, Glycerin, Sunflower Seed Oil. Mild, hydrating & anti-oxidative ingredients ; good job done !

Skin type : all

Age : all

Use : massage about half a teaspoon over face and throat, emulsify with some water, wipe with a washcloth or facial mitt. Splash if you want. Repeat if you’re wearing more than a light make-up. Follow your routine as usual.



Skin Resurfacer

For fine lines & wrinkles

Helps to improve the appearance of visible signs of aging.

“This modern formula combines Retinol, Peptides and Plant-based microspheres to help deliver softer, smoother looking skin”.

The goods : “a 3-in-1 formula consisting of Retinol RA (Rapid Action), Retinol microspheres and Retinol-like peptide”.

So far for Indeed Laboratories. It pretty wells sums it all up. Retinol is widely recognised as THE number ONE anti-aging molecule. Internet is full of it, blogs mention it all over. Caroline Hirons wrote an excellent series on Retinol and Retinoïds, so place go and check that information out if you need more details.

Indeed Labs are famous for their HYDRALURON serum and this one I’ve discussed in a previous blog post. Indeed are a small lab (well, when compared to l’Oréal) and make some EXCELLENT, truly specific products, that are really worth being dicovered.


Their Retinol Reface is in fact a “dual” action type of Retinol, as it contains both the famous “classic” form of – potent – Retinol, plus another form called Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate. It has a similar, but somewhat different mode of action and is often being used as a “softer” form of Retinol.

I personally very much LIKE the COMBINATION of two types of Retinol molecules, as they will both act in their specific way on our skin cells, meaning there is a “double chance” the product will be benficial for our skin.

Although some put this product in the category “mild/beginners”, I personally found it quite POTENT and felt some light reaction after using it only one night. Which is GREAT, by the way, because we want our Retinols to WORK, don’t we ?

Bottom line : truly active product, good association of Retinol and Retinol derivative, plus two Peptides, that will stimulate COLLAGEN production. (Palmitoyl Oligopeptide and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7).

Skin types : as soon as you see your first wrinkles coming

Use : at night, start 2/3 times a week, gradually build up

Routine : cleanse, tone, exfoliate (if your skin can take it), put on your Retinol. Stop. If you must, use a cream (neutral/hydrating) after about ten minutes. If you put a serum before your Retinol product, be aware that it will lessen the effect of your Retinol product !

I bought my product from The Sisters in Amsterdam




For daily use

Sisley Paris has a way of making lovely products. They just have. Price-wise, it’s not a brand that will go for everyone’s budget, but if ever you feel you want to give yourself a real treat (and a truly nice product), this is a brand to consider seriously.

I’ve been trying quite some Sisley product lately (as I’m training for the company actually), so there’s more to come. But let’s start with the beginning.

This is meant as a morning cleanser. Which doesn’t mean you can’t do it at night. That’s how I use it. After a “normal” cleanse (milk/gel/balm/oil), when ever I feel my skin needs “a bit more”. Either because I’ve been in town all day long (pollution), or just because my skin looks dull.

The product has tiny, yet active, srubbing particles, that nicely roll over your skin while you’re massaging it. I tend to insist on T-zone, but go for one or two rounds over cheeks and neck also. Always avoid eye area, it’s just too thin and sensitive. It takes one or two minutes to apply, and is simply rinsed off. Twice a week is great.


Although you’re not supposed to do anything more “agressive” afterwards, I do like to follow with a mild acid in order to make it an “acid” / regenerating treatment. Think toner or cream here. Whiche also means, I personally like it for the evening. Instead of mornings, of course.

In my opinion, if you want to re-activate your skin, you need to “take it by surprise” now and then. That’s just what I do.

Normally, when I’m not in an acid mood J, I will follow with gentle toning, essence and serum/cream. All by Sisley, of course. Well, most of the time, anyway.

Results : skin is IMMEDIATELY refreshed and looks ever-so-fresh. Blood circulation in the upper layers of the skin is ACTIVATED and anything you put on afterwards is immediately absorbed.

Texture : gel with buffing particles

Skin types : all (active acne : avoid, couperosis : avoid)

Age : all, especially after 35/40 when you skin needs some “vitalization”.

Frequence of use : Daily (Sisley) as a MORNING cleanser, twice a week (me), in the EVENINGS

Lovely, slightly aromatic smell.