BUDGET BUY: YVES ROCHER LAIT REPARATEUR

Repair Lotion, Shea Butter, Extra Dry Skin.

Mineral Oil-Free

Yves Rocher is a French brand, that has made its name with “natural cosmetics”.In this product, more than 91% of the ingredients is nature-sourced. The Karité Butter (Shea) is from Biological – Sustainable agriculture, meaning it was raised without the use of pesticides and grown with respect for nature and the next generations that will be living on our planet.

Ingredients:Aqua, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, PEG-2 Stearate, Methylpropanediol, Glycine Soja Oil, Dimethicone, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Brassica Campestris Seed Oil, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric TrIglyceride, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Trilaurin, Behenyl Alcohol, Aphloia Theiformis Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Parfum, Ceteareth-20, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sorbic Acid, BHT, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitan Isostearate, Polysorbate-60, Tocopherol.

Although Yves Rocher is not a brand I would normally be very enthusiastic about, I must admit that sometimes, they have rather nice surprises when it comes to the products they offer. Like some other products (from other brands) I wrote about earlier, the excellent price/quality is remarquable. All this, plus the fact that the product is very nice to use and does what it promises, you have a real winner, as far as I’m concerned.

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Ingredient-wise, it’s excellent, with a hight content of Karité (Shea) Butter, a nourishing, natural plant oil/butter from the Karité tree.  Other beneficial ingredients are Coconut oil, Glycerin and Soy oil, all helping nourish/hydrate dry skins. One word of remark, however: although the product is rich and nourishing, I’m not totally convinced i twill be rich enough fort he dryest skin types amongst you. It has the advantage of penetrating almost immediately, which means you can get dressed in a minute or so. This also means, that it doesn’t leave any “film” on the skin, which in some cases (extremely dry skins) can be an advantage.

Strong points: texture, quality ingredients, price. No mineral oil, which I think is always a plus !

Weak points: maybe not rich enough fort he dryest skin types.

Lait Réparateur can be obtained through Yves Rocher boutiques or through their webshop.

www.yvesrocher.nl

www.yvesrocher.be

ESTEE LAUDER ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR SYNCHRONISED RECOVERY COMPLEX II

Estée Lauder’s legendary Night Repair serum was introduced into the cosmetic market in 1982.

It was the first skin treating complex that promised to FIGHT against environmental DAMAGE, REPAIR it partially and PREVENT new damage.The product proved  to be an enormous succes and has, since then, been “facelifted” two times. Starting as a “cellular recovery complex”, it became “protective recovery complex” and now has become a “synchronised recovery complex II”, working with the “carcadian rythms” of our skin, meaning it follows skin’s own natural rythm of protection and repair.

Ingredients:Water/Aqua, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-75, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Kola Acuminata (Cola) Seed Extract, Hydrolised Algin, Panthetine, Caffeine, Lecithin, Tripeptide-32, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium RNA, Bisabolol, Glycereth-26, Squalane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Lactobacillus Ferment, Oleth-3, Oleth-5, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Yeast Extract, Choleth-24, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceteth-24, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hexylene Glycol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Red 4, Yellow 5.

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Whatever the theory that comes with this product, every time I open a new bottle, just the smell gives me an immediate wooooooooooooooow effect. I don’t know why, but there’s something magical about it.

Ok, enough of that, back to scientific skincare analysis. The product is loaded with PROTECTIVE– cell protective – and skin REPAIRING, ANTI-AGEING ingredients. It will, as the Lauder Company claims, help our skin DEFEND itself against environmental stress-factors, such as environmental pollution.

The bifida ferment lysate is an interresting active ingredient, that more and more cosmetic companies tend to use these days. Let one thing be clear: Estée Lauder has been using this ingredient for years and has been a real trend-setter in that respect. (Like they have been more than once in the history of cosmetics). It is supposed to help our skin cells REGENERATE themselves and is a COLLAGEN-promotor in this sense.

The texture of this serum is in between a moisurizing and a silicone-type product. Those of you who are real serum junkies will know what I mean. It’s slightly moisturizing (Hyaluronic Acid) and glides over the skin at the same time. You’ll just need a few drops for your entire face and neck.

This just is a WONDERFUL, ACTIVE serum for those who are looking for an “allrounder”.

Skin types:all

Age group:all, as it helps prevent (futher) damage.

Texture:light, smooths over skin.

Strong points:everything I mentionned above.

Weak points:will not give you the same “wet”/ moisturizing feeling as a (pure) hyaluronic serum, so if you have a (very) dehydtrated skin,  you will either have to combine it with a really moisturizing toner (before), or even  another serum. Of course, a good hydrating cream on top could also do the job.

Estee Lauder products can be obtained through perfumeries and department stores.

www.esteelauder.com

FACIAL OILS ARE HOT!

Although brands like Clarins have been making wonderful skin oils for decades, many cosmetic brands have now discovered the market for this type of products.

If the word “oil” makes you shiver, don’t compare these skin oils to any greasy product you might know. A good skin oil is light, sinks in quick and doesn’t leave your skin greasy. Nor do good quality skin oils block your pores.

Skin oils can have many different properties: they can hydrate, nourish, calm or even regulate sebum (oil) production. For every skin type, there is an oil. Depending on your skin condition, you can use them in your skin regimen during day- or nighttime.

Where does a skin oil fit in to your skin care routine?

Depending on the brand, and the purpose of the product, they can be used INSTEAD of a classic SERUM or OVER a SERUM. If your skin is both dry and dehydrated, you can use a facial oil over your moisturising serum and under your cream. Both during the DAY and at NIGHT. If your skin is oily/combination or “out of balance”, you can use a regulating skin oil instead of a serum AT NIGHT.

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Many facial oils use (precious) botanical – meaning plant based – extracts. Some use high-tech active ingredients like RETINOL.

Whatever oil you choose to use, make sure you use only VERY VERY LITTLE of your product.A FEW DROPS will do! Less is more, in his case.

For myself, I like to use both.This is what I would advise you to do also. Have one plant-based and one high-tech. The plant based one will be  the vitalising/correcting one, the other one will bring you the “anti-ageing” benefits. Make sure there is no MINERAL OIL in your product. Mineral oil could clog your pores and prevent precious ingredients to sink deep into your skin. Silicone is not a problem for me, although most botanical facial oils tend to avoid this ingredient too.

As a facial oil does NOT REPLACE your SERUM, make sure you keep using a good (moisurizing/hyaluronic) serum also. If you like to use your facial oil OVER your serum, make sure it is a water-based one, as any creamy texture will prevent your skin oil to sink in deep into your skin.

A few examples of facial oils that are worth the try :

Plant based;

  • Clarins Huile Santal (dry skin), Lotus (oily/combination skin) and Orchidee Bleue (dehydrated skin)
  • Primavera Moisturizing 3-in-1 Face Oil (if you have budget issues, try to get this one)

High-Tech;

  • Klapp Faciol Oil with Retinol

This represents the ones I’ve tested so far: more reviews will follow.

ISANA KÖRPERMILCH UREA + 10% UREA

Bodylotion 10% Urea

Skin calming, fragrance-free.

Sometimes in life one has to make choices. When it comes to cosmetics, not all of us (myself included) can just spend eldless amounts of money on products. We all have a budget to respect.

So when it comes to body care, this might be the occasion to save some money. Don’t get me wrong now, I don’t mean you should NOT SPEND any money on your BODY care! I’m just saying that when you are ON A BUDGET, there might be a focus on face care. Body care still has to be good quality too, but does not necesarilly need to have the high-tech ingredients you want for your face! (and pay for, of course).

Isana is one of the brands of the German drugstore Rossmann, who’s “Serum for very Mature Skin” JI reviewed several weeks ago. The Bodylotion with 10% Urea caught my attention, as it is designed especially for people with very dry, sensitive skin.

Ingredients:Aqua, Urea, Helianthus Annuus Hybrid Oil, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Panthenol, Bisabolol, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Piroctone Olamine, Sodium Lactate, Magnesium Sulfate, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid.

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The nice thing about this product is, that it does what it promises. It hydrates, nourishes and sooths very dry, rough skin. I’d even say atopic skins and skins which tend to develop  neurodermitis/eczema might benefit from this product. This is, by the way, what it says on the bottle too. It’s fragrance-free, very nourishing(some of you will say: greasy) texture is ideal for anyone who struggles with allergies and a very dry skin.The 10% Urea is what really does the trick : Urea is a skin-identical, natural moisture binding ingredient. It is naturally present in our body and helps our skin retain moisture. A 10 percent concentration is REALLY HIGH and is the reason this product works so well.

Other beneficial ingredients are Panthenol (vitamin B5) ; skin calming, Bisabolol, from Chamomile ; skin calming, Tocopherol ; Vitamin E, is an Anti-Oxidant.

Similar products/formulas can be found in phramacy brands, but these will cost you at least three to four times the price of this product….

Pro’s:price, no mineral oil (which is great for a product in this price category!! Congratulations Mr. Rossmann). Nourishing enough for even the driest skin types ; 10% urea helps very dry skin to hold its moisture better.

Contra’s:texture. Absorbs slowly (well, on my skin and I am realy dry on legs, arms and ellbows). You can’t just get dressed after one minute or so.

Isana Products can be obtained in Rossmann stores or through their website.

www.rossmann.de

CATTIER PARIS : ROSEE FLORALE – SOOTHING BEAUTY LOTION

Rose – Chamomile

“ This lotion completes your cleansing routine and gives you a radiant complexion. It is enriched with rose and chamomile water and biological calendula extract. Calms and refreshes. Wheat proteins firm skin”.

Ingredients: aqua, rosa damascena flower water, Glycerin, anthemis nobilis flower water, calendula officinalis extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, parfum, benzyl alcohol, Sodium benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, limonene, linalool.

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Cattier is a French brand that was created in 1968 by Pierre Cattier. The BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS are based on NATURAL ingredients, partially from BIOLOGICAL agriculture. The first products were clay masks, which are still very popular these days.

Cattier does not use Parabens, Phenoxyethanol (preservative), synthetic perfumes or colorants or petroleum derivatives (like mineral oil).

Rosée Florale is a refreshing, hydrating toner in a spray.

How to use: spray over face after cleansing.

Active ingredients:

Rosa Damasceana is not just “rose water”, but has ANTI-OXIDANTS that PROTECT our skin cells from environmental damage (stress, pollution).

Chamomile and Calendula extract SOOTHE and CALM skin.

Glycerin and wheat protein lock moisture into skin.

Smells of roses (very lightly).

STRONG POINTS: organic/bio, if  this is important for you. Plant extracts.

MINUS: be careful if you’re allergic to essential oils. Not as hydrating as many other toners.

Available: I bought mine at DI in Belgium.

www.cattier.com and www.cattier.be

BURT’S BEES INTENSE HYDRATION CREAL CLEANSER

Beekeeper Burt made candles from beeswax. Experimenting, he made a lip balm with bees wax and this turned out to be a big succes.It was the beginning of what would later become an extensive range of skincare products.

“ With PROBIOTIC TECHNOLOGY, hydrates dry and mature skin, helps diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.”

The brand’s philosophy: if you nurture your body with the good things offered by nature, the same goes for our skin. The right mixture of good ingredients takes care of our skin, and brings it back into BALANCE.

Seems logic, doesn’t it?

I discovered the brand by chance. Burt’s Bees sounded so cute, so I bought a few products to try.

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Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Citrus Aurancium Dilcis (Orange) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Lactobacillus, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Jojoba Esters, Hydrolysed Jojoba Esters, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amare (Bitter Orange) Peel, Polymnia Sonchifolia Root Juice, Zinc Oxide, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Propanediol, Maltodextrin, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Glycine Soya (Soybean) Oil, Arginine, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Amyl Cinnamal, Citral, Eugenol, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool.

The formula has a lot of natural ingredients. Cocoa Butter and Jojoba NOURISH skin with ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS. Clary Sage REFINES PORES.

“ PROBIOTIC TECHNOLOGY “ is popular these days. After the succes of Yakult probiotic drink, the  cosmetics industry  got interrested in this type of ingredients.  They are supposed to RE-BALANCE skin.

STRONG POINTS: gentle yet effective, lovely smell of oranges.

WEAK POINTS: be careful if you are allergic to essential oils. It’s perfectly fine for me.

How to use: I would say, wet your hands first. It does’n lather (thank god !), but it’s a bit “thick”. Morning and/or evening. Second cleanser in the evening :  first remove make-up with oil/balm.

SKIN TYPE: ALL. For sure!

Available: I bought mine at Holland and Barret (NL/BE).

www.burtsbees.com

LA SOLUTION 10 DE CHANEL

“ A gentle, soothing moisturizer formulated for sensitive skin and all skin types temporarily irritated by agressors, including pollution, climatic conditions, stress and non-invasive micro-dermabrasion. The complexion is re-balanced and nurtured into a more resilient, less reactive state”

La Solution 10 de Chanel is formulated with just 10 selected ingredients for optimal skin tolerance.

Many of us still remember the “older” versions of Chanel’s skincare products, that without exception were heavily perfumed. The last few years, however, Chanel shows us it is perfectly capable to produce high quality, state of the art skincare products, that will be appreciated for their efficacy.

La Solution 10 de Chanel is a well thought,  efficient and uniquely formulated product, that is outstanding by its simplicity.

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Ingredients:

Aqua: water.

Squalane: lipid extracted from olives, skin-restoring.

Lauroyl lysine: lysine is a so-called “essential amino-acid”. Amino-acids are the building blocks of proteins. Our collagen is a protein. Calms and softens skin.

Glycerin: hydrating ingredient, binds moisture into skin.

Green tea extract: a powerfull anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants protect our skin cells from agressions.

Shea butter: also known as “Karité”, nurtures skin.

Sodium polyacrylate: softens skin.

Steareth-21:  emulsifier, mixes water and oils.

Caprylyl glycol: moisturizing ingredient.

Phenoxyethanol: preservative.

By limiting the number of ingredients, the chance of allergic reactions is limited to a minimum.

Texture is light, creamy and non-greasy. Upon application, an immediate comfort can be perceived.

Who can use this? Apart from sensitized skin, I would easily recommend La Solution 10 for any skin type or skin condition. Oily as well as dry. Works great in alternance with “more powerfull” products containing Retinol or fruit acids.

Great product!

Chanel is available in perfumeries and department stores.

www.chanel.com

CAUDALIE EAU DE BEAUTE

“Inspired by the youth elixir of queen Isabelle of Hungary, this product smooths skin, refines pores and gives your complexion a real boost.”

Caudalie is a French brand, which origins can be found in the Bordeaux wine area. Active ingredients from GRAPES and VINES are being used to make beauty products. So many PLANT BASED ingredients. The specific action of the grape extracts is based on a high percentage of “polyphenols”, that PROTECT our skin cell against environmental damage like sun and pollution.

Ingredients: AQUA/WATER/EAU, ALCOHOL*, CITRUS AURANTIUM AMARA (BITTER ORANGE) FLOWER WATER*, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE)*, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF OIL*, POTASSIUM ALUM, GLYCERIN*, MENTHA PIPERITA (PEPPERMINT) OIL*, STYRAX TONKINENSIS RESIN EXTRACT*, COMMIPHORA MYRRHA RESIN EXTRACT*, MELISSA OFFICINALIS (BALM MINT) LEAF OIL*, ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER OIL*, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) FRUIT EXTRACT*, TOCOPHEROL*, CITRAL*, LIMONENE*, LINALOOL*, CITRONELLOL*, GERANIOL*, FARNESOL*, BENZYL BENZOATE*, EUGENOL* (010/024) *Origine végétale – Plant origin

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“Eau de Beauté” is one of the ICONIC products of the brand. It’s a spray, meant to be used before applying a cream, or at any moment of the day, when skin needs a BOOST. The bottle should be shaked well before use, in order to mix the essential oils evenly in the product.

How does it work? I think its strength is also its weakness. Sensitive skin could react to the powerful action of the ESSENTIAL OILS. This is a pitty, because it feels LOVELY on your skin. Caudalie makes lots of superb products, but unfortunately, this one is not for me.

STRONG POINTS: REFINES PORES  almost immediately. Good for OILY skins. Stimulates BLOOD CIRCULATION. VITALISING and aromas do make you feel good ….

MINUS: the concentration of essential oils could be too strong (as it was for me).

Available through pharmacies and several niche (web) stores like Skins.

www.caudalie.com

URIAGE AGE PROTECT MULTI ACTION INTENSIVE SERUM

Thermal Water – Blue Light Protection

“ Blue Light “ is a new term to design the rays emitted by, for example, our computers.

Uriage is a French brand, sold in pharmacies (in France you will also fin git in “Para Pharmacies “, a type of crossover between a pharmacy and a perfumerie). In our countries, it is less known than brands as Vichy or La Roche Posay.

Uriage products are based on their UNIQUE THERMAL WATER , which has “ a unique mineral composition, strengthening skin’s barrier BARRIER FUNCTION and ACTING AS A GUARDIAN ANGEL”.

It has protective, soothing and hydrating properties.

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Composition: Water (Eau), Propanediol, Lactic Acid, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Polysorbate 60, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxyde, Cetyl Alcohol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Palmitate, Croton Lechleri Resin Extract, Tocopherol, Acrylates/C10-30 Aklyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Cl 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Parfum (Fragrance), Mica, o-Cymen-5-Ol, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Adenosine, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed extract, Tin Oxide.

STRONG POINTS: This serum is LOADED  with ACTIVE INGREDIENTS, like :

  • Retinol, the most powerful cosmetic form of vitamin A, works well for WRINKLES.
  • Low molecular Hyaluronic Acid, very MOISTURIZING, the small particles being able tp penetrate skin’s deeper layers, helping COLLAGEN production.
  • Vitamin C and E are POWERFUL ANTI-OXIDANTS, which PROTECT our cells from environmental damage.

The “Blue Light Protection” is new to me. I have no idea what can be said about this. Obviously, this serum will protect your skin very well, considereing its excellent formula.

Weak points: can’t think of anything.

How to use: after cleansing, before your cream / sun protection.

Texture: light, creamy.

Skin types: all, oily skin will probably need no cream after this.

Uriage is available through pharmacies.

www.uriage.com

Primavera 3 in 1 Facial Oil

Primavera in a German “green/organic” brand, that I discovered by accident when I was in Germany for a cosmetic seminar. Their website is a long story about their philosophy, values, standards etc. A bit too much for me, but as this product is worth the try, I thought it wouldn’t be nice to keep you away from it.

Ingredients: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil Org*, Prunus Amygdalis Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil Org*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil Org*, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil Org*, Helianthus Anuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Org*, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil Org*, Tocopherol, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract Org*, Citral**, Geraniol**, Benzyl Benzoate**, Citronellol**, Limonene**, Linalool**.

  • * from certified organic cultivation
  • ** from 100% essential oils

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The funny thing is, that the packaging mentions “vegan” only, because the product seems  “bio” to me also … Maybe it’s because of the essential oils. For a “bio” label , at least 95% of the natural ingredients need to be from  organic cultivation.

The large amount of organic/biological oils, makes this one a very interresting product. ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS as well as ANTI-OXIDANTS are present in large amounts.

Essential Fatty Acids also play an important role in nutrition. For our skin, they are nurturing, repairing and protecting. They adjust natural deficiencies in our skin. Anti-Oxidants are cell protectors acting as “soldiers” to protect our skin cells from external damage. Consider this to be an “anti-ageing” benefit.

The price/quality of this product is really a strong point. You will pay up to three times at much for similar oils from other brands !

Skin types: all, especially dryer skin types. Use under a cream or alone at night.

Strong points: the hight concentration of really beneficial vegetable oils, price/quality, lots of organic ingredients, in case you find this important.

Weak points: lots of essential oils. Could be problematic if you have a (dermatologist-confirmed) fragrance allergy. In this case you’d better choose another one.

Primavera also mentionnes the posibility of using this as a facial cleansing oil.

Available through webshops like Natuurlijkzuiver and Primavera’s own webshop.

www.primavera.com

www.natuurzuiver.nl